The Lonely and Shining Goblin: What next?

After that epic ending for episode 13, my mind is now buzzing with theories on where the show is going to go next. While I’m sure the show is going to surprise us, here are some of my ideas on what may happen next.

1. Given that Wang Yeo has broken up with Kim Sun once again, Eun Tak is the one who breaks the news of Kim Shin’s death to Kim Sun. They both support each other through their pain of having lost a loved one and grow closer.

2. Eun Tak tells Kim Sun that Wang Yeo played an important role in summoning Park Joong Won out of her at a critical moment, which allowed Goblin to kill him. She tells her that Park Joong Won was also targeting her and Wang Yeo’s move also helped to save her life.

3. Kim Sun’s heart softens towards Wang Yeo and she decides that she is willing to give him a second chance, but waits for him to make contact again this time. Unlike the first time where she was unwilling to date him because he had no identity, Wang Yeo now has memories and an identity – which makes him someone easier to relate to.

4. Wang Yeo and Kim Sun slowly start to re-establish their relationship, building it from the start and we get scenes of them at a cafe, introducing themselves to each other once again. This time, Wang Yeo is no longer awkward and fumbling for responses, because he knows who he is, even as that identity causes him guilt. Wang Yeo’s desire to re-establish his relationship with Kim Sun also stems from Kim Shin’s final instructions to him, to protect her from any harm.

5. In the meantime, Wang Yeo use his contacts through his fellow Reapers to find out what happened to Goblin and tries to update Eun Tak of how Goblin is doing. He also meets with the Reaper who was the servant that poisoned him, and tells her that he forgives her for what she did.

6. Eun Tak tries to be strong after Goblin’s death, but it’s too hard for her because of how significant he was in her life. Wang Yeo sees her pain and wonders if it’s better for her if her memories of Goblin were erased, so that she can move on and live without the pain. Even though he risks violating the rules again, he offers her the option of helping her to remove her memories. She really wants to do so, because it’s too painful to remember Goblin and decides to do so. However, at the final moment, just as Wang Yeo starts removing them, she holds him back and decides against it – because she realises that as painful as it is, her memories make her who she is and give her strength to carry on. Her memories give her hope as well, knowing that perhaps someday Kim Shin may appear.

7. Given that Eun Tak is no longer a lost soul and has fulfilled her destiny, death no longer keeps knocking at her door. She’s free now to live a happy, successful life and does well in her career.

8. While all this is going on in the earthly realm, we see Kim Shin in the heavenly realm, talking to both Sam Shin and the deity/ Deok Hwa. He negotiates with them to see Eun Tak once a year as he had promised her. The gods are reluctant, also because as Goblin, he had violated his power many times for his own personal pursuit and tampered with human lives just for the sake of saving Eun Tak. However, Goblin’s resolve to find that door to change the destiny between him and Eun Tak doesn’t change, even as he is in the heavenly realm. He tries to find a way to get himself reincarnated, appealing to the merciful deity based on all the good he has done as well. Sam Shin plays an important role in negotiating for him and finally, Kim Shin is reincarnated in human form and meets Eun Tak when she’s 29 years old.

Besides the key events above, there may also be a reunion between Kim Shin and Eun Tak’s mum in heaven and the young boy whom Goblin helps in episode 13 may eventually come back to help in some way. These are some ideas for now – they may evolve as I continue to think about the show this week. I welcome more thoughts on what’s going to happen next or on my suggestions above!

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Favourites of the week: 12-18 Dec

Wow, a lot happened this week in the kdrama-verse as all the dramas I’m following (RDTK, LOBS and Goblin) hit significant milestones – Dong Joo stood up against President Do’s threats and decided not to forge the death certificate, Joon Jae and Sim Chung find out the truth about each other and we realise Eun Tak is unable to pull out the sword from Kim Shin.

Here are my favourites of the week!

Favourite character growth moment –
Dong Joo in RDTK Ep 12 when he decides not to forge the death certificate

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While I had some issues with the execution (explained further in my Ep12 review), it’s undeniable that Dong Joo has grown so much. It’s not just his final decision not to forge the death certificate, but from the very beginning of Private Park’s case where he stands firm against the army authorities and tells them the surgery needs to be done in Doldam. Later on, when facing the lady who calls him a murderer, he takes complete responsibility instead of blaming it on Geodae or those in power for forcing it upon him. This is miles ahead of the Dong Joo we saw earlier on, who blamed the world for everything. In the end, his final decision to stand firm to his values as a doctor, and give up more salary and career progression, is certainly worth celebrating. Probing deeper into the medical/legal issues in the episodes only made me admire Dong Joo even before as he was put in a very stressful position as a young doctor.

Favourite couple moment-
Joon Jae and Sim Chung finding out the truth in Legend of the Blue Sea, Ep 10

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There’d be too many choices if I had to select for sweet couple moments this week, so I’ve decided to choose this scene because of its intensity and depth. While the focus has mostly been on Sim Chung hiding her mermaid identity, Joon Jae has also been lying about who he is by telling her he’s a civil servant. The tension mounts this week when they are at Jin-Joo’s home and Sim Chung senses throughout that something is amiss. When they come back, she asks suspiciously what was going on and then gives Joon Jae the most intense, angry stare yet from her. The fact that the truth was confronted through telepathy with them staring at each other made the scene even more powerful.

Favourite character dynamics –
Kim Shin and Reaper from Goblin

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I know we’re supposed to be invested in the romances, but Goblin/Kim Shin and Reaper/Wang Yeo have such great chemistry together that every scene with them is a delight to watch. In this week’s episodes, they help each other heat up eggs or cool drinks, intrude on each other’s personal space, figure out smart-phones together and engage in butter-knife fights. They also have serious heartfelt discussions about God, death and fate as the both of them are really in the same boat, being mere servants to the deities and struggling in their love lives.

There’s a brotherly bond being developed as we see Wang Yeo’s concern for Goblin growing. When Goblin says he deserves to die, Reaper tells him confidently that there’s no life that deserves to die, and then jokes that there may be exceptions in an attempt to bring some cheer to Kim Shin. Later on, he opens up his arms to offer him a hug, which is charming in a sweet and awkward manner. When Eun Tak tells him of her decision to take out the sword, he responds with concern. I’m looking forward to the friendship between the two of them deepening and many more hilarious moments.

The Lonely and Shining Goblin: Why can’t Eun Tak remove the sword?

Following the big reveal in episode 6 that Eun Tak could not take out the sword, I became more intrigued and started my attempt to piece things together about the Goblin and Goblin’s bride mythology.

One thing we know for sure is that Eun Tak has been selected as the Goblin’s wife, because she has the mark on her and she’s able to see the sword. The question then is why she cannot pull out the sword and I believe the reasons can be explored from two different angles – the significance of the sword and the importance of the ‘Goblin’s bride’.

The sword: award and punishment

While Eun Tak can see the sword, she does not understand the full implications of what pulling out the sword entails.

All she knows is based on what Shin told her, that the sword is a punishment for the innocent lives due to him approaching the king.

Now, what Shin tells her is not the complete picture, if compared against what the deity/God says as he resurrected Shin in Episode 1:

The souls of your people are saving you. However, the blood of thousands are on your sword. The blood of your enemies, who were also descendants of deities. You shall be immortal and watch your loved ones die. You will not forget a single death. This is the award I give to you and the punishment you shall receive. Only the goblin’s bride shall remove the sword. Once the sword is removed, you shall return to ash and be at peace.

It’s not just about those innocent lives which were lost in the palace, but the thousands of lives lost during his battles, some of whom were descendants of deities. It’s quite clear how his immortality is a punishment, but as to how it’s an “award” – I’ve been thinking about it and the best theory I can come up with is that it’s because the immortality gives him sufficient time to make up for his sin of taking away the thousands of lives. The abilities given to him to protect and watch over others could therefore be a means of enabling him to make up for his wrongdoings.

If that’s the case, then Goblin’s journey on earth is not done – the punishment is not complete; he has not completed his work on this earth and hence cannot leave. This is similar to the ghosts who remain on this world as we learn in Episode 6 too that the daughter ghost moved on once her mum was at peace. This opens up the question of what exactly is the unfinished business that Goblin has and my conjecture is that it has to do with Sunny, who’s somewhat being paralleled to the queen who died on his behalf. The connection is not concrete enough yet, but she seems to be the only plausible character in all of this.

My theory is that the sword only becomes more concrete when Goblin’s punishment is complete, and therefore his wife can then remove it.

The Goblin’s bride: Loving & Living

Another theory that I mentioned in an early review of Episode 2 was that Eun Tak is also not ready to remove the sword. While she bears the mark of the Goblin’s bride and can see the sword, that alone cannot be sufficient to confer upon her the status of the Goblin’s bride.

There are theories I’ve read about them needing to fall deeper in love first before she can truly become Goblin’s wife. That’s certainly plausible and here I’ll bring in certain beliefs in my own religion that even if you believe someone is the person God has planned for you to marry, there’s still a need to develop the relationship, get to know the person and grow deeper in love, before the decision to get married can be made. This is not just a case of Eun Tak not being ready, but also Goblin not being ready. We’ve seen in recent episodes that he’s always holding back, afraid to love her because it will make death more painful – the most painful punishment would be for him to love so deeply, only for him to have to lose it.

In the quote from episode 1 earlier mentioned, there’s a suggestion that he was not fully at peace when he died. Perhaps experiencing the fullness and purity of love through a marriage will help him to find that peace too. This is where also what God mentioned about this immortality being a award/reward comes in – that it’s also an opportunity for him to experience love that he never experienced in his past life. What Eun Tak says in episode 6 ties in with this, when she tells him:

The deity would not have given you those abilities as a punishment. If you were truly a bad person, he would’ve created only the Goblin. He would not have created the Goblin’s bride to remove the sword.

What she says makes a lot of sense and brings in a more balanced picture to the depiction of God. When Kim Shin is first introduced in episode 1, the narrator mentions that God is on his side and even when the young king tries to kill him, Shin’s man runs up to ask the king if he’s not afraid of the heavens. God is certainly not all out to punish Shin, as much as Shin thinks he is. My theory therefore is that while his immortality has been given to him to repent of his sins, it has also been given for him to experience the fullness of life.

Indeed, meeting Eun Tak has helped Goblin on this journey because he mentions in episode 6 that she’s the one who’s supposed to make him die, but she keeps making him live. Reaper mentions that Goblin did live before meeting Eun Tak, but Goblin mentions he has no memories of that. In the final sequence at the buckwheat field, it is clear that he remembers every moment with Eun Tak so vividly and clearly, and he has started living. I believe it’s only when he’s fully appreciated how his immortality is a reward, then the sword will fully materialise and even so, his bride will have the ability to decide when she will remove it.

All this is speculation based on what has been revealed so far, but it’s been very fascinating and fun stuff! Shall wait and see whether these theories pan out in subsequent episodes!

Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Medical legal issues in Episodes 11 & 12

When writing my reviews for both episodes, there were issues I wanted to write about that couldn’t quite fit into the review, hence I’m dedicating this post to talk about some other issues I found interesting in both episodes, and these pertain mainly to the role of doctor and legal issues.

1. The power of doctors over life and death

While the show seems to be repeating the message that doctors should just focus on doing their best and not take issues of life and death into their own hands, I’ve found repeatedly that this message is also being questioned and challenged. The time of death stated on a patient requiring resuscitation is in fact within the doctors’ hands and in fact, it signifies the time that the doctor decides it’s no longer worth it to stop trying. We’ve seen this happen many times in the series, but in episode 12, Dong Joo’s decision to stop resuscitating Private Park was so much more significant also because of the ethical dilemma he was placed in. Not only does doctor have power over the time of death, but he also has authority over stating the cause of death. Even high ranking army officials or President Do had no power over the operating doctor who was Dong Joo in this situation – they can encourage and strongly persuade him, but ultimately, he is the one who makes the decision to sign it.

In fact, when reading up further, I realised that this is a current issue being debated in Korea right now, in this article “Row rises over doctor’s power on death certificate“. A farmer who had been blasted by a policeman’s water cannon died, but the policeman got away scot-free because the doctor proclaimed that the man’s death was cardiopulmonary arrest. What’s interesting also is that the respect for the farmer’s doctor’s discretion is rooted not in law, but in custom in Korea.

2. Authority over patients and Interference with medical treatment

I certainly enjoyed the very “meaty” conversation between Master Kim and the army officials when they came to take away Private Park’s body because legal terms kept being thrown about as a means to convey authority.

First, they came in to read him his Miranda rights (i.e. the right to remain silence) while he’s unconscious; technically it was not wrong for them to read it to an unconscious person as a mere formality. However, if an interrogation were to take place, then the person would need to be conscious to understand it, so that the statement can be legally effective. In this case, it was clear that the army officials knew that no interrogation would be happening and thus only wanted to use this as a means to assert their authority and control over him.

While the army officials assert control over Private Park, in actual fact, he is under the control of the hospital because he’s already given consent to them for the treatment when he was conscious. Based on my brief reading up of medical law, this falls under the “non-delegable duty of care” of hospitals, which imposes on hospitals or healthcare professionals an obligation to employ adequate amount of professionals, using operational and safe equipment and ensure the patients are not exposed to undue risk (Essentials of Law for Medical Professionals, Forrester & Griffiths: 136). By virtue of the fact that he is within a hospital, Private Park is thus under their control until the point where they determine adequate amount of care has been provided.

The final legal term introduced is “obstruction with medical treatment”. While I can’t find the exact laws in Korea about it, based on what I did manage to read it from other websites, it is the:

intentional and willful interference with a physician, physician’s trained assistant, nurse, nurse’s aide, paramedic, emergency medical technician, or other medical or hospital personnel in the performance of their duties relating to the care and treatment of patients in any hospital, clinic, other medical facility, or at the scene of a medical emergency.  (Taken from 2006 Louisiana Laws)

Such an offence is punishable by fines, imprisonment or both. Basically, within the space of the hospital, the doctor overseeing the case makes the final call and just reading all this makes me realise what a stressful and heavy responsibility was placed on such a young doctor like Dong Joo. It makes me admire him all the more for this situation because it was not just a difficult surgery, but such a complicated legal web that he was caught in.

3. Drunk-driving laws

Upon doing more reading, it amazes me that the show explores not just any medical issues, but very current, debated medical issues in Korea. The issue of drunk-driving is a heated one in Korea, with recent debates on whether to lower the tolerance level. The current level permissible is 0.05, which makes me realise that the 0.18 level that the drivers had was way over the limits.

The whole issue begins with Seo-jung being possibly charged by breaking the law without getting his consent in a written format. However, she says that he did give her his consent in verbal form. The Miranda rights must also be read to a person before the breath-analyser or blood test is administered, and he has the right to refuse the test due to justifiable reasons (info obtained from klawguru.com).

I was actually rewatching the sequence from episode 10 and I noted the drunk driver actually refused to comply with the breath analyser test and only agreed to take a blood test at the police station. However, Seo Jung intelligently twists the situations and reads it as him agreeing to take a blood test and even protects herself by saying, “Really, if that’s what you want, then we’ll do it then.” She proceeds to administer the blood test and the camera shows us every step she takes to highlight that he could have resisted at any point, but he didn’t. As such, she did get his consent and is thus protected from the law.

Reading up more on this really makes me impressed at the level of detail the show goes into in constructing realistic medical scenarios both in terms of the surgical and medical process, but also the legal processes and aspects. As I am no legal expert, I may have misinterpreted or inaccurately represented the laws, hence if anyone knows better, please feel free to correct me and I’ll make relevant edits. Thanks!

Favourites of the week: 5 – 11 Dec

There’s so much going on in the series I watch each week that often I find myself having thoughts that linger even after I write my reviews. Often time the thoughts that linger are due to great lines, great moments and great performances and I wanted to use a post like this to capture some of each week’s greatness.

The categories will differ from week to week, depending on what’s on offer, but this week’s post will look at my favourite line, favourite funny scene and favourite moving scene of the week.

Favourite Moving Scene – Goblin Episode 4 “Physics of Love” sequence, 57:07 till end 

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It’s been a few days since the episode, but the whole sequence still lingers in my mind. Director Lee Eung-Bok certainly knows how to create the most poetic, stunning sequences and this has to be one of his best. I loved the soundtrack which really immersed us in the dreamy wistfulness of that scene. The lines of the poem were so meaningful and apt, and Gong Yoo’s reading of the lines is both melancholic and blissful, capturing perfectly the conflicting emotions he feels at finding the Goblin’s wife. The final line where he says she was his first love, while looking into her eyes, is such a wonderful mix of pathos and joy. After 900 years, his heart has been awakened, yet finding his love also means his mortality is finally coming to an end. Gong Yoo conveys so much through his eyes in this sequence, looking at her from afar then looking into her eyes. Goblin’s stoic, restrained expressions are such a contrast to Eun Tak’s child-like excitement and cheer, bouncing and running all around. Everything about that sequence is so perfect – I’ve watched it at least three times without it losing its emotional impact on me.

Favourite Funny Scene – Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 7, Jeong Hoon and Sim Chung make Joon Jae jealous, 47:48 to 49:43

There’s a lot of competition this week for this since RDTK, LOBS and Goblin all had their own laugh-out-loud moments, but for me, the scene that had me in stitches was the scene where Jeong Hoon and Shim Chung conspire to make Joon Jae jealous in episode 7.

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The scene had me from the start when I saw Shim Chung’s over the top outfit and just got funnier from that point as Shim Chung and Jeong Hoon really overplay their flirting to an extreme, with Shim Chung seductively pulling her hair behind her neck and both of them going “click, click, click” to capture the memories while Shim Chung moves her large glasses up and down. Joon Jae’s reaction is hilarious too he literally wears his jealousy and surprise on his face, but he responds with frustration and irritation at them, looking upon it with disbelief. The whole situation was well crafted, building on an already very funny earlier sequence where Jeong Hoon and Shim Chung cry to collect pearls, but kudos to Jo Jung Suk, Jun Ji-hyun and Lee Min-ho for their perfect comedic expressions and timing. The wacky sound effects certainly helped too.

Favourite Line of the Week – Goblin Episode 4

We have two shows – RDTK and Goblin – both exploring very meaningful and complex issues pertaining to death. RDTK explores it from the more human, ethical dimensions and they did very well in Episode 8 by exploring the DNR issue through the elderly couple. Goblin looks at it from a more ‘afterlife’, eternity perspective, which I find meaningful due to my own beliefs.

My favourite line of the week comes Goblin again, when he meets the old man whom he saved when he was young. At the moment of his death, Goblin tells the man:

“I handed the sandwich to thousands of people. But it’s rare to see someone who progresses like you. Most people just stay in that moment of miracle and ask for one more. They say they know I’m there. It’s as if I owe them miracles. But you changed your life. That’s why I’ve always been rooting for you.”

I keep sensing that the show has some religious, and even Christian, overtones as many of the things mentioned about sin, miracles and protection somehow connect with sermons I’ve heard. However, that connection has not been overtly made, so I won’t draw too concrete a connection. Nonetheless, the line above resonated with me because it spoke to me about how many just rely on their gods and religion for miracles, for things to fall from the sky whereas what’s ultimately important is how we respond to the miracle and change our character and lives from that.

My Wife is having an affair this week: Wishlist

This show has been such a refreshing ride thus far, with the boldness to not just tackle a difficult issue, but also to push its exploration to the darkest, most difficult corners. It hasn’t been a perfect, but I’ve admired a lot of things that it has done. As we reach the final two episodes this week, I wanted to make a list of things that I hope the show will explore to end the show on a meaningful (which is not necessarily positive) note:

Wishlist for Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon

  • Some growth for Soo Yeon: From my sensing of the forums, most people have come down rather hard on Soo Yeon, which to me seems rather unfair. The show has done little to delve into her emotional journey and her post-affair emotional state seems to be only that of guilt. It’s fair to say that based on what we’ve seen so far, she has not experienced much growth at all. In the final two episodes, I hope the show will allow her to also experience some growth, not just because I want a positive ending, but also it will be meaningful to explore how a person whose committed adultery can take steps towards recovering the marriage. I don’t expect her to make a complete turnaround, but I would like her to take some steps towards self-realisation and make decisions to improve as a wife in terms of her communication with her husband and her balancing of responsibilities.
  • More of Joon-Soo’s voice: It wouldn’t be too late to also let us see a bit of Joon-soo’s emotional journey. While his parents have decided not to divorce, there’s certainly tension between them and that would certainly have an impact on the child. Even now between my wife and I, little squabbles between the two of us already affect our children, what more for Joon Soo. I’ve been rooting from the start for the show to give a child a voice, because it’s so common for the child’s voice to be silenced when marital breakdown occurs. Let’s hear a bit more from him.

Happy moments from Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon’s marriage: These have been far and few between and the show has clearly held back on any positive memories between the two of them. Just towards the final two episodes, I’d like to see some happy, sweet moments that they’ve shared previously as part of their journey. This is not to say that they have to reconcile towards the end (though I seriously hope they do), but the decision even to divorce is always a struggle between balancing the joy that the marriage brings and the pain it has brought, hence whatever end we reach, it’d be useful for the show to show how the couple makes such a decision.

Wishlist for Joon Young and Boo Young

  • Exploration of their post-divorce emotional journey and decision to recommit to a relationship: The pregnancy certainly came as a shocker and honestly I have no clear sense of where I’d personally like this to be taken. However, on the bigger scheme of things, I’d like to see how both of them reconcile their feelings, coming out of a divorce. We’ve thus far only seen their growing attraction for each other, but they’ve not spoken to each other about their feelings. The pregnancy will certainly be part of this exploration – I do not think Bo Young is ready to have a child and I hope that pregnancy doesn’t become the impetus for them to get married. As it is, I felt the pregnancy added somewhat unnecessary complications to what is already a relationship with many rich dimensions to explore.
  • To hear Joon Young’s wife’s side of the story: I know this is rather far-fetched, given that we’re in the final two episodes already, but I’m not asking for an extended exploration. Just a scene will do, even. Perhaps one between her and Bo-Young, to understand why she left him three days after their marriage. How did she feel after that? Why didn’t she pursue a divorce? What were her reasons for still going through her marriage?

Wishlist for Yoon-ki and Ara

  • Switch to a more serious tone to explore issues: Their relationship has been portrayed in such over-the-top and exaggerated manner that it’s difficult to really see the serious issues underlying their marriage. It actually started off quite well with in the first few episodes with Yoon-ki being used meaningfully to say all the politically-incorrect things and Ara talking about how the fact he was hiding the affairs from her showed that he loved her. However, it was just dragged on for too long with us having to bear with too many scenes of Yoon-ki’s philandering. Even the resolution of it through Ara’s vengeance attempts don’t seem very satisfying and it even seems like Yoon-ki is being let off too easily.

It’s been an enjoyable ride so far and even if all the wishes above are not addressed, I still have great respect for the show and the story it has been telling so far. Beyond the emotional issues, the show has also taken a very entertaining, convincing and meaningful look at the impact of social media and online communities. Can’t wait to see the final two episodes!

Personal Reflections

A few weeks ago, I read an article on TIME about bibliotherapy, where instead of diagnosing patients with medication, there are bibliotherapists who suggest certain books to patients to help them with issues they are facing.

When reading that article, the first thought that came to mind that certainly there could be ‘drama-therapy’ too, where therapists diagnose their patients to watch certain dramas with similar ends in mind. I’ve certainly found this to be a strength of k-dramas, which generally have a positive view of the world and are geared towards celebrating the good in life. While I generally take a more objective perspective in my reviews, this entry will be more personal and reflective. The dramas I’ve been following lately have provoked much thought on certain issues:

Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim

As the storyline develops, it’s clear that the series is keen to portray Dong Joo as a medical professional who’s done well in his examinations and is in all senses a good doctor. However, the way he treats his patients is largely professional and distant. He is chided by Master Kim, an experienced doctor, as being “insincere”, which we also clearly see being played out as his focus is on building his specialisation, career advancement and seeing each patient as a case, rather than relating to them as a life to be saved.

Viewing Dong-Joo led me to also think about my own professional role as an educator, where I may also have committed similar “errors” as Dong-Joo in being overly distant and “professional” in discharging of my duties. Instead of imbuing more humanity in my role, I’ve seen every situation faced in terms of issues to be resolved and the best way to do things. I’ve thought about educators which I looked up to and I realise that one thing that characterises them is their heart for education and students, not so much their intellect. This also reminded me of what I read from Parker Palmer years ago, that teaching is the only job that demands so much from within us, from our inner selves. I’ve thus been thinking about how I can be a more ‘human’ professional when I return.

The K2

Viewing the storyline of Yoo Jin’s downfall is a good reminder of the importance of decisions and choices. When she speaks of her decision to ignore Anna’s mum’s plea for help, she says she “obeyed the commands of the devil within me”. Her choice at that moment led to her descent into evil for the rest of her life, a choice that bothered her all the way till death.

Cliched as it may sound, we are constantly making choices to obey certain “voices”, whether it’s that of our conscience, or that of what the world demands of us. As a Christian, it’s a choice between God’s word and the devil. While we may not have faced as pivotal decisions as Yoojin that pertain to murder, we do make choices everyday about whether to listen to God or to the devil. It may be a choice of whether to bless someone or stay in our comfort zone, or whether to share the gospel with others or to stay silent. As these choices ultimately determine whether a person comes to believe in Christ, we can say these are “life or death” choices as well. Yoo Jin’s downfall also revealed that we should never downplay any decision that we make, no matter how small they are. The wrong path is often a result not just of one huge, bad decision, but a series of small, wrong decisions.

My Wife is Having an Affair This week

This has to be the most powerful drama I’ve watched in a while and the forums certainly reflect this. While k-drama forums are usually platforms for fangirling or criticism of the plot or characterisation, the forums discussing this show have been intensely personal, with forum users sharing their personal stories of marriage, adultery, forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s been a very different experience as forum users debate over the possibility of marriage after an affair and the challenges of marriage.

Viewing the marriage of Hyun-Woo and Soo-Yeon makes it clear that their marriage was afflicted by communication issues, even before Soo-Yeon cheated on her husband. The affair itself wasn’t the problem of the marriage; the problem was the marriage itself which had suffered from neglect over the years.

This is an important truth that all married couples need to take note of, especially as kids come along. The interactions between Hyun-Woo and Soo-Yeon had been reduced to discussions over picking up the kid and child-care arrangements. We don’t get a single conversation between them about their days, their feelings and their challenges. It’s a marriage that has grown cold over the years. It’s led me to reflect on my own marriage, that even in the midst of tending to two kids, it’s important to focus on my relationship with my wife and never to let the marriage grow cold.

This drama would certainly be one worth using for ‘drama-therapy’, to help couples facing difficulties reflect on their marriage. Of course, there would need to be someone to help focus on the key issues but that’s no different from a book, which is also subject to different interpretations. Who knows, perhaps “drama-therapy” would one day be an established field of treatment as well? 🙂