Ok, that was decent.
The show gains some momentum this week with the Presidential race moving ahead and Assemblyman Park proving that he’s a worthy opponent. I appreciate that a more intricate web of relationships, intentions and manipulation is being built now with Sung won being thrown into the mix and Chief Kim’s unflinching loyalty to protect Madam at all cost.
I really really loved the TV interview scene which was so tense and layered. There are so many battles going on in the show and the most fascinating ones are the psychological ones and here we see Anna taking on Yoo Jin and really emerging from her shell. It was great to see power slowly slipping away from Yoo Jin during the scene and her strong front gradually cracking under pressure.
It’s such a pity that we haven’t really gotten more back story into the relationship between Yoo Jin and Anna. In fact, most of what we know was revealed in episode 2 and their subsequent interactions merely confirmed the hatred between them. I am concurrently catching up on Ji Chang Wook’s previous drama which is the highly rated Healer and that show is a perfect example of how to do back stories so well. In K2, the back stories are so simply used for emotional effect and don’t add significantly to our understanding of present day relationships. Also, the back stories are very event focused (e.g. Anna’s mother’s death, Raniya’s death) and not relationship focused.
The lack of complexity in back stories also applies to the character work for this show which has thus far been mostly flat. Je Ha is simply the undefeatable hero out for revenge. That trajectory hasn’t changed much and perhaps there isn’t very much to work with as well. Anna is the damsel in distress who’s emerged from her shell and Yoo Jin is the power hungry villain. So in this episode we did see Yoo Jin display some compassion for Je Ha but it doesn’t go far and is most likely because he’s saved her countless times, casting her also as another damsel in distress though in a different way. In fact, Se Joon’s absence in the past few episodes has made Yoo Jin’s character less fascinating.
As for our love story, Je Ha and anna’s interactions are cute and sweet but it’s honestly a little bland. I get why Anna likes Je Ha but why is he falling for her? It really did seem like more of an infatuation when he watched her through the video screens. Perhaps now he’s falling for her because he sees her growing in strength and confidence but Je Ha has been painted mostly as a lone warrior, contented simply with carrying out his missions and then retreating into his shell. So what has changed? No idea.
Well, at least things are now moving along and there’s some sense that Se Joon’s presidential campaign may be in jeopardy so the stakes have been raised. I do have some hope too that the character interactions will become slightly more complex because of the deal Je Ha has cut with Yoo Jin that no harm must come on Anna and in return he will ensure Anna doesn’t threaten the Presidential race. Not sure how Anna feels about that and how that gels with Sung won’s intentions for her. That has some potential for good story telling.
Amidst all my issues with the show, I do see things gradually being pulled together to build towards something bigger. 6 more episodes to go and a lot can be done! Here’s hoping things improve and the show ends with a bang.