Oh my, what an episode! Episode 7 was alright, but episode 8 really took things up a notch — it’s probably my favourite episode of the series to date! Paths cross for our hero, his enemies and his potential allies, and we learn more about our tortured hero through flashbacks that put a nice saccharine touch to an otherwise adrenaline-filled show this week.
Episode 7 began with evil Moon Il Seok meeting little Soo Jin, and her bright innocent replies to his questions gave me the urge to yell at Soo Jin not to tell him everything (you shouldn’t be talking to strangers!). I was almost expecting him to abduct her to lure Tae-san out to the open, so I was really surprised that he left her alone. In fact, later at the warehouse scene, Moon Il Seok said that he wouldn’t resort to harming a kid to force the truth about the camera’s whereabouts out of Tae-san. Interesting. So does this mean that our evil mob boss actually has a heart? I don’t like one-dimensional villains, and I was somehow resigned to the fact that Moon might be one of those, but looks like he isn’t after all. However, as of now, Moon is still unaware of how much Soo Jin means to Tae-san, but once he finds out, there’s no guarantee that Moon will spare Soo Jin the second time round.
Soo Jin’s story about the Sun and the Mountain really turned me into a blubbering mess. The English subtitles don’t explain this clearly, but the Sun (hae) actually refers to In-Hye, and the Mountain (san) to Tae-san, and Seung Woo is most likely the Moon then. This scene moved me because Soo Jin’s fairytale is actually not far from the truth, and I like how she exercises such maturity and understanding about her parent’s problems. It’s amazing how this little girl can see that beneath all the bitterness between her parents lies an undying love that her parents actually fail to realise.
The flashbacks add to the fact that In-Hye and Tae-san once had a pure, romantic love story in the past, which make me feel sad for them now. And how sweet is it that Tae-san made it a point to drive past In-Hye’s ballet school every so often just to catch a glimpse of her? The mermaid scene in the earlier episodes showed us that In-hye is actually quite a bright, spirited, open-minded girl who did not make a big fuss about a handsome guy grabbing her boob (lol). The flashbacks once again show us that In-Hye is not shy to make the first move in a relationship since she always took the initiative to meet Tae-san, talk to him, and show concern for him. Tae-san was also notably more silent back then, and there’s also a naive, innocent side to him in contrast to the dirtbag we knew from the first episode. He is a good guy at heart, but he just didn’t know how to express himself properly, and kept making wrong life decisions that landed him in this predicament today. The flashbacks give added dimension to the characters, and more reason for me to swoon and love this show.
As for Park Jae Kyung, I think she really owned the show in episode 7. She was just so badass, I think she can put many female Hollywood action figures like Charlie’s Angels to shame. I hope to see more of badass Jae Kyung using her wits and brawn in future episodes now that she has gotten past her grief over Misook. Although, I must say that Jae Kyung confronting the gangsters at the warehouse alone might have been a bit foolhardy.
The warehouse confrontation between Moon Il Seok and Tae-san was a little too long, and the ending cliffhanger of episode 7 turned out to be a cop-out (they DID show him firing a live gun!), but at least both actors pulled off an impressive performance (By the way, Jo Min Ki was quite hilarious in the behind-the-scenes footage for this scene — complaining about leg cramps, firing his gun at an airplane, and hitting Junki like a shy girl. Actually, all the BTS videos are worth a watch). This also reminded me that Jae Kyung and Tae-san have never met each other before, a fact that I had forgotten all this while since we’ve been seeing them for so long already. The subsequent action scenes in episode 8 really kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole first 30mins of the show. Incredible! No wonder the Korean netizens are likening this show to a Hollywood movie. That’s a great compliment indeed.
I have a few issues though. One problem that I’ve noticed in many dramas is how CCTV footages always seem to show the camera wrongly positioned at ground level (CCTV cameras should always be looking down on people from ABOVE). This show has taken special care not to commit this mistake, but I can’t help but notice the ridiculous angle of the camera looking at Tae-san from below in the news footage of him being chased on the speedboat. How was it possible for those tourists on the ferry to zoom in to such an angle using a handphone? Also, I couldn’t help but do a double take and pause to laugh at the ridiculous English notice (“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”) on the car side mirror during the car chase scene. Was the notice a sticker that was stuck on the mirror? Does this sticker come with all cars in Korea? But why didn’t they remove the sticker when filming that scene? Surely they must’ve noticed it?
I’m glad that Seung-woo is gradually coming back to his rational senses. Will he become Tae-san’s ally too? Also, who could be the spy? Since we are told that the spy is likely to be on the prosecution team, I’m thinking it might be Jae Kyung’s boss. I like him for being so quick to bend the rules, but maybe it’s a sign that he’s not that clean either. That actor has played some villainous roles before too, haha. Jae Kyung’s bespectacled side kick might be a contender too, since he looks unsuspecting and might give us a surprise later.
On the other hand, I’m glad that the movie references and time checks are back in the show again, although I would appreciate if they were shown more frequently. I still get confused about the time of the day. I don’t watch many English movies so I can never identify any of the movies referenced here, but at least Tae-san knew better than to imitate that stunt in “real life”. Don’t think he would have made the long journey back to Seoul clinging onto the undercarriage of the truck like that, even if his arm wasn’t injured.