The stage is set for the final engagement in the last episode, and it occurs to me, I'm not sure there ever was a plan. Ever since getting out of prison Dong-soo and Yeong-dal have mostly just been running counter-attacks instead of actually pitching their own operation. I'm not sure we ever actually even got to the part that made it clear why it was necessary for Dong-soo to learn casino stuff. It's just more Bok-tae. Hard to imagine he used to seem like a credible threat.
Well, at least the drama manages to find somewhat interesting material by once again going after the despondence of Yang-ha. At this point he can barely even be bothered to really try anymore. Yang-ha's in an emotional woodshed. Talking to his brothers, his fiance, his father- none of it really seems to help him decide to be more decisive. I feel sorry for the guy- the degree to which he's upset really makes him feel like the main character.
Mostly this is because, again, the other central characters aren't really doing much of interest. Now that everyone aside from Yang-ha been clearly aligned on the side of good or bad (their differences in the past apparently not being of much interest anymore), it's time for a literal party celebrating everything they've managed to overcome. It's silly, as such parties often are, but then that's the whole point of friends. To have someone you can be silly with together.
The winddown actually goes pretty nicely here. The character actions don't always make the most sense, but it's internally consistent with what we've seen so far. There's nothing explicitly and obnoxiously stupid mucking up the works. There's just the sense of relief that things are probably going to end up all right. Dong-soo and Yeong-dal's heroic rush at the end to deal with the last showdown mainly just serve as a reminder that most of the conflicts are in fact finished, and now it's all going to be done with once and for all.
Hopefully the final episode is able to continue this trend and avoid being particularly contrived. I'm actually fairly curious how Yang-ha is going to resolve his final unease about mixed loyalties. The main question is whether he's going to make such a decision for himself or if it's going to be forced upon him by outside circumstances. Either way, that's the real conflict going into the ending that's worth worrying about. I really hope the drama doesn't do anything stupid like kill a character off for no reason.
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] "Triangle - Drama" Episode 25"
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