The first major showdown between Hyeon-ae and Hyeon-sook was fantastic. These two women are so powerful on screen and their rivalry is fraught with such delicious tension. It's the most engaging conflict in a show full of what are now all engaging conflicts. Some of them started out lukewarm, but they have all turned up the heat.
Hyeon-ae seems to have had a past that is quite similar to Hyeon-sook's . Both of them had teachers who looked down on them and who kept them down. Unlike Hyeon-sook, Hyeon-ae worked hard to bolster herself, doing whatever it took to climb the social ladder. Hyeon-sook collapsed into her own misery and self-pity. She didn't bother to make changes in her life until now. At one point she says, "Until I change, nothing ever will". Hyeon-ae didn't make any internal changes. She didn't look at herself as worthy of good treatment and love. She only changed her exterior. She still needs to do what Hyeon-sook has decided to do: accept herself and improve herself, and do it all by taking the right path. In a strong juxtaposition of the past and present, Hyeon-sook promises to become a better person and care for the wounded teenager within her who we, the audience, see sitting in the corner as the adult Hyeon-sook studies to better herself.
There was also a wonderful role reversal between Hyeon-sook and Hyeon-ae this episode. Hyeon-sook has the power now. It isn't the best place for reconciliation, but the element of indulgent schadenfreude cannot be denied.
One current quibble: whatever happened to Mo-ran's illness? There has been not one mention of it since she moved in with Soon-ok. In fact, her health has been fine and we haven't seen evidence of any pills. Is this going to creep up later to shake up a stagnating plot line?
I hope to see a good character arch for Cheol-hee now that his memories have returned to him and he can see how his behavior has affected his family, and Mo-ran. This could be a good venue to explore how families can heal from betrayal and make for great television at the same time.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Unkind Women" Episode 16"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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