The ambience takes an odd turn this episode. It's actually almost kind of optimistic. Granted, there's only so far mood can take us when events are this bleak. Yeong-dal (played by Kim Jae-joong) very nearly gets killed, and survives his brush with death entirely thanks a supporting word from one of his superiors. He has, naturally, learned pretty much nothing from this experience.
What makes Yeong-dal a bit strange here is that he's not particularly arrogant. There's a very casual attitude in his countenance- like all of the miserable stuff that's happening is just what's supposed to be naturally expected out of life, and fortune will come his way sooner or later. When it does fall into Yeong-dal's hands late in the episode, the man fails to grasp that he has not "won" the game here by any reasonable stretch of the imagination.
I can appreciate the long view attitude the drama is taking toward Yeong-dal's character arc, even if it's a bit annoying having to watch him mess up so spectacularly in the moment and just not even understand what's going on. I don't think Yeong-dal has really thought that much about what he actually wants in life. Yes, he enjoys gambling, but that's not exactly a lifelong aspiration. At least not the way Yeong-dal's currently going about it.
This makes for a nice contrast with Yang-ha (played by Im Si-wan), the youngest of the separated brothers and the one who's lived life in the best circumstances. He, similarly, is just bumbling through his responsibilities as the child of a wealthy family, without really giving much thought to his future. The parallel comes together quite well in the climactic point of the episode, where both Yeong-dal and Yang-ha play bad poker, albeit for completely different reasons.
The drama's main weakness at this point is a lack of clear concept or direction. This is, again, perfectly consistent tonally with the purposeless lives our lead characters are living, but it's not a feeling that can be sustained indefinitely without a decent conflict. The money promises to be a major sticking point- but all the brothers need to be directly connected to something somehow or the whole exercise gets to be tedious. So far, Dong-soo (played by Lee Beom-soo) is contributing to the story mainly by going into sad flashback mode. I have reasonably high expectations here, given how well the scene is set, but I can't be patient indefinitely.
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] "Triangle - Drama" Episode 2"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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