Hae-soo continues to be the best character, a fact that's frankly rather remarkable considering she can't actually directly affect any of the action. Her role in the story is mainly that of counterpoint. Il-ri and Joon may go on about their deep, reflective conversations considering insecurities regarding life and death. Hae-soo, meanwhile, faces far more tangible misery yet barely even complains. She just thinks how nice it would be to have a normal expressive life again. Beyond that, though, well...what is there to say?
I don't mean to be too harsh toward Il-ri and Joon here, but "Sensible Love" has been giving increasingly explicit hints lately that these two are living a self-indulgent fantasy. At one point Il-ri happily takes in a full glance of narcissus flowers. What's particularly remarkable about her personal absorption is that, in the moment, Il-ri is just as upset about what's happening with Hae-soo as anyone else. The trouble is that Il-ri seems to forget about this just as soon as Hae-soo's not in the room.
Along the same lines, it's fitting that Hae-soo's relapse is what ultimately provokes Hee-tae's paranoia regarding Il-ri and Joon. Hee-tae finds the prospect of losing his sister to be a terrifying one. What's worse, he doesn't have anyone to talk to about it. So when Il-ri pulls back, for no apparent reason, of course he's going to be suspicious. And yet Il-ri is so fully absorbed in her own fantasy that she not only fails to notice Hee-tae's pain, but also his mistrust.
Joon is a little better than Il-ri on the front of actually keeping things under the rader, but even then, the change in his behavior is palpable. When Hee-tae confronts Joon, the latter man is unusually polite and cooperative. Hee-tae doesn't notice the difference in part because Joon is using the bare minimum level of courtesy necessary to deflect suspicion without betraying the essential rudeness of his character. At the same time, we the viewer know Joon well enough to see that he is acting unusually guarded.
What remains surprising about "Sensible Love" is that Il-ri and Joon are still basically sympathetic, even if their behavior is awful. Joon, at least, is heavily humanized in flashbacks where we see that bad logical rationalizations are a running theme in his family. The preview too, makes it seem as if Hee-tae is going to complicate matters further by overreacting to his discoveries in a hateful way. That's just how it goes really. The situation would be so much easier if there obvious villains, but life isn't like that.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 8"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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