The good news is that the drama ends about as well as expected given the circumstances. The bad news is...well, that's a pretty darning caveat on its own isn't it? There's nothing particularly awful about this episode, it's just that everything is very explicitly rushed. An entire romantic plotline is formed, developed, and resolved over the course of a single montage. Kind of the entire point of having a television romantic comedy is that we actually get to see this stuff unfold.
The drama also never revolves an essential mystery revolving Ha-ni's character- why she isn't more careful about water. I'm just saying, if my legs were going to turn into a tailfin if touched by water under any circumstances, I'd make a point of scoping out every possible situation that could somehow involve water and make sure to avoid them. Of course, Ha-ni forgetting an umbrella is understandable. Still, the later blunder she makes is almost completely inexplicable.
At this point, though, it really is too late to try and go after the drama's actual mythology. It is completely unclear to me what happened in the ending going by the context of the rules we were given way back at the beginning of the drama. I'm guessing this was kept somewhat obfuscated to preserve the element of surprise. But it really just manages to pack a huge punch of confusion. How many characters know that Ha-ni was a mermaid at that point? All of them? Did they have a big discussion about all this stuff offscreen?
"The Idle Mermaid" has also been constantly undecided about what the crisis point actually is. Jin-ah's scheme to undo Ha-ni appears to just be a general act of spite- she betrays no special sense of surprise at discovering that her romantic rival is apparently a mythological creature. Moments like this coupled with the ending breed confusion about why Ha-ni being discovered was such a bad thing in the first place.
These are all broader criticisms of issues the drama's had all along though. At the very least this episode is pleasant. Pretty much everyone pairs together with someone else, and even when these romances are laughably underdeveloped they're still basically cute. Hye-yeong's shows continue to be charmingly weird, and these strange distinctive moments have always been the strong suit of "The Idle Mermaid". It's just a pity there weren't more of them better integrated into the actual plot.
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 Idle Mermaid" Episode 10 Final"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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