As much as I expected Ha Yeon to be alive, it brought a smile to my face when I saw her in the Seong Kyu’s car at the end of the episode. Yay!
All this while, we’ve been seeing the murder of Ji Soo being reconstructed through Jeong Woo’s recovery of his memories. However, in this episode, we start to see it through Seong Kyu’s perspective and his involvement in getting rid of Ha Yeon. From a villain’s point of view, it’s a smart move to only kill one of Jeong Woo’s family members and hold the other as hostage, so as to still have a bargaining chip to ensure that he goes through with the confession. And in this episode, we learnt that Jeong Woo’s confession was made to ensure Ha Yeon was alive. Finally, the question of whether Jeong Woo actually murdered Ji Soo is answered. It’s always a good thing when a show keeps moving ahead and answering pertinent questions, because you know it’s going to take you to new places that you didn’t expect, rather than allowing questions to drag on for too long.
While the show generally does a good job with Jeong Woo’s character, I’ve always felt the show could certainly go deeper in exploring Min Ho’s character. I found it very telling when Yeon Hee asked him at the hospital how long he would keep the truth from his mum, and his reply was, “What can I tell her? That the Min Ho she once knew is dead? Or that I am Min Ho?”. It shed light on how Min Ho is looking upon this new identity as Seon Ho – while he takes on Seon Ho’s identity, he’s shedding away his ‘old’ self and proving himself to be as capable as his brother. We certainly saw that in the fencing sequence, where he tried to overcome his fear of needles, wearing Seon Ho’s fencing suit and taking on the young champion fencer. I wish we saw more of the ‘old Min Ho is dead’ storyline, because there is so much scope for story telling there. However, it’s also rather confusing as we seem to see Min Ho descending deeper and deeper into darkness as he continues his killing streak. It would help if we knew more of how Min Ho was like before he killed Seon Ho so that we can see his character trajectory better.
I do enjoy the scenes between Min Ho and his dad, because his dad clearly knows what happened – which makes the conversations between them so layered and tense. The scene in this episode with Min Ho asking his dad why he always treated him so harshly was a good one and I could almost sense the resentment and anger simmering to the surface when Min Ho heard his dad’s response. I wanted the scene to go on for a while longer, for more questions to be asked, but that seems to be the case with Min Ho scenes which tend to be more focused on him planning what to do next, rather than about delving deeper into his psyche and struggles.
Back to the Seong Kyu and Ha Yeon storyline, I’m wondering what happened to Ha Yeon during the period when he was in prison. And why was she so trusting of a stranger who simply took her into his place, away from his parents – unless she had already seen him around before and spoken to him? There are still some questions that need answering, but I do find Seong Kyu a compelling enough character that I’m interested not just in what happened to Ha Yeon, but his own emotional journey and investment in this. I was actively rooting for him in the previous episode to win the appeal and what I’ve seen in this episode continues to paint him in a somewhat positive light, because he’s clearly on Jeong Woo’s side. That definitely means he is in danger, which gives greater impetus for Jeong Woo to find a way to get to him and Ha Yeon.
Given how fast the answers are coming, I’m excited to see where the show takes us next. While the show certainly does a good job in moving the storyline forward, I would appreciate too if it could take time to flesh out its characters more concretely – that would truly make this show an excellent one.