And now for the fun bit! I’ve already done a spoiler-free review of Sirius — but it definitely needs a spoiler-filled reaction post. There was so much going on in that drama and of course I have thoughts.
[Note: All pic’s are from Dramabeans’ Sirius recaps. Because my watch-source is too dark and untrustworthy to linger in for screen-capping purposes.]
Spoilers for everything below…
Something I really enjoyed about Sirius was the way it shared out its information. We could tell from the get-go that there was something up with the twins and their mom. But it’s not until the third episode that we learn the reason they are so completely different from each other and why Shin-woo has such massive trust issues and why their mom so obviously favored Eun-chang.
My feelings regarding their mother swung wildly — at first she seemed a monster. How could she encourage the innocent (and far more timid) Shin-woo to take the fall for Eun-chang? But once I saw that she’d had to put Shin-woo into an orphanage, I felt a certain amount of sympathy. I cannot imagine the poverty she must have been suffering to have had to give up a child. And I can only imagine the guilt she felt after she got Shin-woo back and could see how badly he’d been hurt by her abandoning him.
In many ways, she and Shin-woo were painfully alike. They both took their guilt in and used it to build a wall to cut themselves off from the one they’d injured — neither seeing that they were actually causing further damage. I’d even say Shin-woo’s obsession to take down Mr. Go echoed his mother’s drug addiction. He was just as trapped by drugs as she was, in some ways.
Another thing I enjoyed was something I think was purposefully put in. (I can sometimes read symbols into things that aren’t really meant to be taken that seriously — but in this case, I’m pretty sure I’m right.) And that would be the “mark of Cain” Shin-woo wore for most of the drama. A mark that, I think, represented his self-loathing and guilt.
It first appears, in its most dramatic form, when they’re teenagers and Shin-woo smears black ink all over his face to try and blot out his obvious relationship with Eun-chang. He sees himself as the lesser twin, the unloved failure. (The much dimmer, “Sirius B,” if you will.) But after the car wreck, when he’s taken prisoner by Mr. Go and Eun-chang is doing everything he can to rescue him, Shin-woo sustains a rather dramatic injury to his face. It’s a big black mark and it stays on him for the rest of the drama.
Of course, it’s an obvious visual cue to differentiate Shin-woo from Eun-chang. But I think it also stands as a visual cue towards Shin-woo’s feelings of guilt towards Eun-chang. That he’d failed in his duty to protect their mom and let her die, that he was failing in his attempt to bring Mr. Go to justice. And I liked that it got smaller and smaller as he started facing his feelings.
Which, I think, ties into the ending. I think the big dramatic turn around was when Shin-woo finally, finally faces Eun-chang honestly and pours out his feelings — finally breaking down that protective wall he’d built around himself. In doing so, he gets a couple of different messages of forgiveness from Eun-chang. (Which was pretty cool trick, considering Eun-chang’s in a coma at the time.)
First is the dream/vision where the two of them talk on the school roof. Second (after he manages to not do a vengeance killing on Mr. Go), is when he’s just about to suicide and the mirror falls (which I was so grateful for, by the way) revealing Eun-chang’s note acknowledging Shin-woo as his brother despite knowing all of Shin-woo’s (perceived) failures.
Getting his brother’s forgiveness allows Shin-woo to finally, finally forgive himself. And he’s able to return to his brother’s bedside and stand vigil — something he’d felt unworthy of doing when Eun-chang was in prison. And that’s the important part — Shin-woo coming to his brother’s side to wait — and why the drama chose to end there, rather than with Eun-chang waking up.
So I was cool with that being the ending. I’m cool with ambiguous endings in general, as long as we’re given enough to carry on with. I figure with short-stories that’s almost a requirement — otherwise you get into too much neat bow-tying of all the plot points.
My personal take? Eun-chang totally wakes up. The drama ended on such a positive trajectory that I feel like it only follows that the positive continues. (We even get a final screen-shot of the two of them smiling at each other — so I’m quite comfortable in making that call.) Eun-chang will wake up, Shin-woo will be there to greet him, and they’ll continue on, together this time.