And the stepped-up pace continues! These two episodes were all about alliances. And the making and breaking thereof. So the show both made my day and broke my heart. Which, since I’m slightly twisted, made me happy.
Spoilers for episodes 15 and 16 below…
The biggest news is the continued gentling of our Young-do. His hair remains touch-ably soft, freed from the cold, shellacked style of yester-episodes, and his personality continues to follow his hair’s lead. His interactions with Tan dialed back to such a mild level of snark that it seemed downright sentimental. So I wasn’t surprised that, when Tan needed help escaping his dad, Young-do stepped up. I did love that Young-do anticipated the need; Tan didn’t even have to ask.
[Sudden thought: Kim Woo-bin should totally swing a shampoo CF out of this drama. His hair has already shown it’s got the acting chops. Plus: shower-scene.]
I also loved how selflessly Young-do supported Eun-sang. (Yes, he kept saying he was going to exact a price, etc. — but that was total fronting on his part. Young-do was practically at Chan-young levels of supportive friendship there — especially his “memorize our phone numbers” tip. *sniff* Our little monster is all grown up!)
And then there’s our other little monster, Rachel. Poor, stagnant, refusing to grow up, Rachel. I suspect we were supposed to feel sympathy towards her when her mom announced that Rachel’s engagement to Tan was over. But in this scene, I sided with the mom. Rachel’s reasoning was so childish and selfish (but I like him!) and her mom was completely right: the engagement was bad for Rachel. I know her mom was thinking more economically than emotionally (though… she did equate her failed marriage with Rachel’s one-sided obsession with Tan), but right is right. And Rachel strikes me as someone still needing firm parental guidance.
Unlike Hyo-shin who should run away! Run!! Don’t look back, just go!!! Because his parents are downright creepy and seem completely uninterested in him as a person. He’s like their personal little trophy and they want him to shine from the shelf they’ve picked out for him. I am hoping so, so hard that his friendship with Tan — who’s embarking on a mighty rebel-against-parent adventure — will encourage Hyo-shin to fight for his dream and not do something stupid like kill himself. *hope-hope-hope*
Creepy as they are though, I still think Daddy-Kim wins the “worst parent” award. (Yes, he even beats out Young-do’s teaches-with-fists-Dad for the win.) The emotional manipulation he puts his sons through… pretty twisted. Given his bloodbath past, I can manage to understand why Daddy-Kim thinks his sons need to be ruthless, cynical, isolated monsters to succeed. But that’s only because I think his past created a psychological ruin. He’s a terrible father and should not have been allowed around children.
My lone hope is that Daddy-Kim’s manipulations have given Won a much needed kick in the ass and he will finally realize he needs to stop dancing to his father’s tunes. (I think that’s the lesson Secretary Yoon is wanting Won to learn. I think Yoon has refused to choose an ally because he thinks the “war” itself is the wrong choice and has actually chosen a third path.)
It was painful that Won, all twisted up by their father, completely missed what Tan was offering him. I’m hoping he hasn’t completely blown the chance to ally with Tan but, even if he hasn’t, Won will have to work for it now. I think Tan has given up on holding out his hand. (Though I also think Tan will fall on Won with a puppy’s enthusiasm if Won will only ask.)
I adored that Tan’s mom chose to ally with Tan and use her winning card to break his engagement. She’s not a bad person, really. She’s just been stuck in a horrible, horrible situation. But she really is trying to do her best by her son.
Hands down, the most hilarious alliance continues to be to the two moms. Their breaking into the safe together was comedy gold. And I do love that Tan’s mom realizes how much she needs Eun-sang’s mom. The flight of Eun-sang and her mom at the end of ep. 16 actually gained some poignancy from Tan’s mom being so heartbroken as well.
Not that Tan’s heartbreak (and Eun-sang’s as well) didn’t bring the poignancy. They’d been so adorable and awesome and Tan was so shattered by Eun-sang leaving… I definitely look forward to Tan getting her back. With the help of Young-do. And… maybe… Won? *hopes*
I don’t know if I should categorize Eun-sang’s leaving as breaking her alliance with Tan, or not. She’s doing a classic “noble idiot” move — which means she thinks she’s actually helping him. The idiocy, of course, is that she’s not helping him at all. But… does motive count?
And finally — the kiss scene! An honest, full-on, both parties involved, kiss scene! I’m glad we got that before our young lovers were cruelly torn apart. (Though, I’m eager for them to both be happy while kissing. No sad goodbyes to come, no dangers looming; just them, together and happy.) It helps me look forward to their inevitable reunion. Which will happen soon! Right, show? Right?!? *waits* … *hopes*
Okay, I have to throw in these bonus pics… Because hilarious!