I am adoring the wild cards That Winter the Wind Blows keeps throwing at us. I love how it keeps me guessing as a viewer, but I also love the depth it gives the characters. I’d put Hee-sun down as one of Soo’s loyal team / family members. I’m not taking her off the list. Not yet. But after ep. 5 I’ve got a stronger sense of why she joined with Soo in the first place. And it has me a bit worried. [Spoilers up through ep. 5 below]
I think she’s incredibly dependent on Soo remaining her sister’s grieving boyfriend. I think it’s tied up in both her own grief over her sister’s death and possibly her own crush on him. (Though I’m not sure her crush isn’t an outgrowth of the role she’s trapped him in. She’s forced him up on a pretty high pedestal and so far he’s been willing to stay up there. I can see how she’d romanticize that willingness.) If Soo ever tries to break character, I mean really gets to a point that he’s ready to move on (like, oh say, finding a new love), I’m not sure what Hee-sun would do in response. It’s that volatility that makes her a wild card.
And then there’s Secretary Wang. I’d had her totally written off as the villain. She kept brother-Soo’s letters from Young. She’s forcing Young into a marriage, Young doesn’t want. She apparently broke up Young’s parents’ marriage, and per Young has at least kept her blind. (With a few dark hints that maybe she caused the blindness in the first place. Somehow.)
But… But Sec. Wang seems to look at Young with a lot more love than I’d have expected from a woman out for Young’s fortune. It could all be a con-job, of course. That’s my initial, and still strongest, instinct with her. But… She seemed genuinely hurt at Young’s accusations in the car. Her flashback memory seemed to linger a lot on Young with a great deal of motherly love. Maybe creepy love? Like she wanted Young as her very own daughter? I honestly don’t know. Sec. Wang leaves me confused. Deliciously, deliciously confused.
I honestly didn’t think So-ra was ever coming back. I thought she was a cameo to get Soo into the tight space he needed to get in to get the plot-ball rolling. I was wrong, and am kind of excited to see what big ball of crazy she’s going to bring to the yard. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be delightfully insane. (And yes, it makes for an incredibly claustrophobic world to have PL Group hire So-ra as their spokesmodel. But I’ll handwave it for now. She could be interesting.)
Moo-chul isn’t a wild-card; he’s very much a villain. I love, love, love that he’s taken Soo’s apartment. Because he’s is the most beautiful shadow of Soo (and I love, love, love that kind of story trope) so of course he’s going to live where Soo lived. And their clashes are so painful and he speaks what Soo thinks of himself. And then he offers the man who feels he has nothing to live for, death. I don’t know much about Moo-chul himself as a person with hopes and dreams (though apparently he’s not big on recruiting kids into the gangster-lifestyle, which… yay for morals?), but as a shaper of Soo — he is awesome.
And then there’s twisty, twisty Soo and Young. (Because she is definitely twisty in her own way. See: random walk into freezing ice-river.) There was this lovely mirror-motif running through the episodes where they each seemed trapped in the tiny space of a mirror. Young whenever one of her headaches hit, Soo when Hee-joo died. And at the end of episode 5, we got this lovely dark image:
Soo, in his room, caught in his guilt and hopelessness. (With an etching of ginormous tree with massive roots behind him.)
Then Young joins him, he actually tells her a piece of the guilt he’s carrying. She comforts him:
And, maybe because she’s shown a willingness to be in the same dark place he is, she discovers the death Moo-chul offered him…
…and wants it for herself. It’s pretty darn awesome in a dark, dark way.
There were lighter scenes, of course. I’m actually really enjoying the closeness Soo and Young are developing. It leads to some inappropriate physical closeness for two people who are supposed to be siblings…
…but since I know they’re not (and I know he knows they’re not) it’s not as disturbing. So I can enjoy the cute when it happens.
I know it’s all leading up to a big moment of tears and pain. But I’ll take the sweet where I can find it.