This show has been such a refreshing ride thus far, with the boldness to not just tackle a difficult issue, but also to push its exploration to the darkest, most difficult corners. It hasn’t been a perfect, but I’ve admired a lot of things that it has done. As we reach the final two episodes this week, I wanted to make a list of things that I hope the show will explore to end the show on a meaningful (which is not necessarily positive) note:
Wishlist for Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon
- Some growth for Soo Yeon: From my sensing of the forums, most people have come down rather hard on Soo Yeon, which to me seems rather unfair. The show has done little to delve into her emotional journey and her post-affair emotional state seems to be only that of guilt. It’s fair to say that based on what we’ve seen so far, she has not experienced much growth at all. In the final two episodes, I hope the show will allow her to also experience some growth, not just because I want a positive ending, but also it will be meaningful to explore how a person whose committed adultery can take steps towards recovering the marriage. I don’t expect her to make a complete turnaround, but I would like her to take some steps towards self-realisation and make decisions to improve as a wife in terms of her communication with her husband and her balancing of responsibilities.
- More of Joon-Soo’s voice: It wouldn’t be too late to also let us see a bit of Joon-soo’s emotional journey. While his parents have decided not to divorce, there’s certainly tension between them and that would certainly have an impact on the child. Even now between my wife and I, little squabbles between the two of us already affect our children, what more for Joon Soo. I’ve been rooting from the start for the show to give a child a voice, because it’s so common for the child’s voice to be silenced when marital breakdown occurs. Let’s hear a bit more from him.
Happy moments from Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon’s marriage: These have been far and few between and the show has clearly held back on any positive memories between the two of them. Just towards the final two episodes, I’d like to see some happy, sweet moments that they’ve shared previously as part of their journey. This is not to say that they have to reconcile towards the end (though I seriously hope they do), but the decision even to divorce is always a struggle between balancing the joy that the marriage brings and the pain it has brought, hence whatever end we reach, it’d be useful for the show to show how the couple makes such a decision.
Wishlist for Joon Young and Boo Young
- Exploration of their post-divorce emotional journey and decision to recommit to a relationship: The pregnancy certainly came as a shocker and honestly I have no clear sense of where I’d personally like this to be taken. However, on the bigger scheme of things, I’d like to see how both of them reconcile their feelings, coming out of a divorce. We’ve thus far only seen their growing attraction for each other, but they’ve not spoken to each other about their feelings. The pregnancy will certainly be part of this exploration – I do not think Bo Young is ready to have a child and I hope that pregnancy doesn’t become the impetus for them to get married. As it is, I felt the pregnancy added somewhat unnecessary complications to what is already a relationship with many rich dimensions to explore.
- To hear Joon Young’s wife’s side of the story: I know this is rather far-fetched, given that we’re in the final two episodes already, but I’m not asking for an extended exploration. Just a scene will do, even. Perhaps one between her and Bo-Young, to understand why she left him three days after their marriage. How did she feel after that? Why didn’t she pursue a divorce? What were her reasons for still going through her marriage?
Wishlist for Yoon-ki and Ara
- Switch to a more serious tone to explore issues: Their relationship has been portrayed in such over-the-top and exaggerated manner that it’s difficult to really see the serious issues underlying their marriage. It actually started off quite well with in the first few episodes with Yoon-ki being used meaningfully to say all the politically-incorrect things and Ara talking about how the fact he was hiding the affairs from her showed that he loved her. However, it was just dragged on for too long with us having to bear with too many scenes of Yoon-ki’s philandering. Even the resolution of it through Ara’s vengeance attempts don’t seem very satisfying and it even seems like Yoon-ki is being let off too easily.
It’s been an enjoyable ride so far and even if all the wishes above are not addressed, I still have great respect for the show and the story it has been telling so far. Beyond the emotional issues, the show has also taken a very entertaining, convincing and meaningful look at the impact of social media and online communities. Can’t wait to see the final two episodes!