By the end of this episode the evidentiary problem regarding Jae-hee is finally resolved. Thank goodness. Jae-hee's improbable feats of invisibility are by far the worst part of this drama and this episode is no less frustrating in that department. How did he manage to get a full-sized unconscious woman outside of the mall without anyone noticing in the middle of the day? Did he have a secret garage? Of course, I might as well ask why Yeom-mi's brilliant plan was to let herself be caught. I figured she must have a GPS tracker or a weapon or something, because otherwise why not set up an actual trap?
Normally the answer to this question would be "because Jae-hee has a supernatural ability to detect traps", except that the trap they come up with this episode works because...well, because this time Jae-hee doesn't have the supernatural ability. Another annoying bit is that the trap didn't really require Cho-rim's smell-seeing ability at all, because a cursory search of the area would have quickly uncovered the rather suspicious-looking blue tarp.
Still, there are some positive points this episode. Yeom-mi's conversations with Jae-hee are illuminating, and interesting in the usual master detective matches wits with the master criminal kind of way. The main problem with this is that Jae-hee isn't a master criminal- it beggars disbelief that no one is able to recognize his voice when he makes no effort to change it. And Yeom-mi has led such a bungling investigation to date that her arrogant airs aren't really justified either.
I maintain that the main scripting problem with "The Girl Who Sees Smells" is that we didn't spend enough time on casual cases before jumping into the serial killer stuff. This storyline has just stretched on and on with no justifiable limit and I'm relieved to see it end. The final two episodes can't possibly be any worse than this, unless some idiotic thing happens like all of the evidence being suppressed on a technicality.
It's hard to know what exactly "The Girl Who Sees Smells" has been going for writ-large. At its best the romance has been kind of cute, and the banter between the detectives sort of mildly silly. But trying to analyze the actual serial killer part of the story has always been an exercise in futility because the drama fails to capture the most essential part of the genre- the viewer has to believe the main characters are smarter than the average schmuck. And I've never been able to maintain 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] "The Girl Who Sees Smells" Episode 14"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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