I've been thinking ever since Na-yeong came back that it seems like the drama's writers aren't doing much with her. It's only this episode that I realized in some sense there's not much for Na-yeong to do. Her brother and his wife are glad to have her back. But an adult sibling doesn't rely on or need a sister as much as a man and his kids need their wife and mother. The question of abandonment is a strong one, and I could see here how the survivors ended up feeling ambivalent.
Mind, it took a bit of squinting to get there. "The Prime Minister and I" doesn't deal much with this issue directly. We don't even get to see what Na-yeong is doing in the afterword. Once more the focus is on the relationship between Yool and Da-jeong, and whether they will or will not continue seeing each other. The answer is...kind of ambiguous. It makes use of all the plot devices seen so far and sets everything up reasonably logically, but there's not that much punch to it.
Most of the feeling here comes from the hospital scenes, where we find one character to be on their last legs. I liked this denouement- it had a good emotional impact. Unfortunately I realized that even though we've been spending lots of time in the hospital lately, it really hasn't been much of a focus for this drama at all throughout the entire middle of the drama's run, which was dominated by romance and spy antics.
Ultimately the introduction of Na-yeong into the storyline derailed a lot of this, such that in many ways the ending of "The Prime Minister and I" is a completely different drama than the zany episodes that preceded it- a fact made all too clear in the wistful flashbacks we see, which depicted a drama with a much wackier sense of humor and a lot less brooding. It's kind of weird to watch this episode and see resolutions to subplots which for the most part didn't even exist.
As an ending, I guess this is all right. I can't imagine it will make anyone angry, but it's really more of a case of lost potential. From a rational perspective, everyone is playing it safe and making mature adult decisions on how to proceed. That's probably and easy position to take when there's one person who has destroyed her life by going into hiding for no reason. Still, it might be a bit of a lesson as to why many dramas resort to outrageousness to grab viewer attention. While I can appreciate where these characters are coming from, this alone does not make them that interesting to watch.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Prime Minister and I" Episode 17 Final"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
"My Love from the Star" Park Hae-jin as Lee Hwi-kyeong
Actor Park Hae-jin is engrossed in his script. Pictures of the actor from the SBS drama "My Love ,...More
Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.