In the last episode Tae-san's effort to stop behaving like an animal backfired badly. As he struggles to recover from this blunder, Tae-san now works to strike a middle ground between being a complete dirtbag but still being human enough to remember the basically selfless nature of his mission. The competency gap between the two episodes is striking. Tae-san actually gets time enough to recover before embarking on the next plan.
Something I really like about the structure of this story is that Tae-san is not a superhuman who can survive without food, sleep, or urination. These have all been consistent conflicts over the past two episodes, and it's fairly clearly implied that during the hours the drama skips he's doing all that boring resting stuff we don't actually need to watch. It's a big advantage of having a single episode take place over a single day compared to, say, a single hour, and it contributes to the sense that Tae-san is not basically invincible.
None of the other characters are, either, which is another big part of "Two Weeks" appeal. Jae-kyeong, as the plucky prosecutor, and In-Hye, as the willful single mom, are both functioning under character archetypes that are heavily romanticized in fiction, and consequently shown as always being right regardless of context. But in "Two Weeks" their foibles and mistakes are on full display. Like Tae-san, they've made choices that, while basically well-intentioned, are rendered destructive by poor execution. There's an excellent flashback this episode which demonstrates how poor choices can basically necessitate a rescue- and that only a fool would refuse help in those circumstances out of sheer pride.
One character who doesn't have these issues is the villainous Seo-hee. And it's interesting to note that, while she's basically a perfect character in terms of accomplishing her goals, Seo-hee's goals are horrible and make the world a worse place. In some sense she does turn on the world with her smile- but there's no moral relation between this aspect of her character and what Seo-hee is trying to achieve. This perfection actually makes her a lot more scary, since it's impossible to imagine how she could be negotiated with.
So far the drama has been pretty clear that lives are at stake. It's only in this episode, though, that I think all the characters fully start to appreciate how dangerous the situation has become- not just in the metaphorical sense of Tae-san's daughter needing the transplant, but in that just knowing any of the people in this story is grounds enough for a grisly death. The good guys are going to have to step up their game quickly to catch up.
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] "Two Weeks" Episode 4"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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