Lots of important things happen in this episode, but the most surprising revelation of all is that Nam Doo and Chi Hyun’s historical parallels in the Joseon era were the ones who killed Dam Ryung’s friend, and by relation, Dam Ryung. This revelation comes as we realise that ajusshi is also experiencing flashbacks while in his comatose state. Why is he also experiencing flashbacks? Does he also have unfinished business?
While it’s a nice twist, I also wished we also got more information about Nam Doo and Chi Hyun’s historical parallels since we are so close to the end already. It was a disappointment that we only saw their faces, but never got to understand more of who they were and their motivations back in the Joseon era. It also makes me wonder why we spent so much time with Lord Yang and Dae Young when they ultimately weren’t the real threat.
This twist does work to a certain extent because I had already suspected that Nam Doo may have a role to play in the possible downfall of Joon Jae and Sim Chung because of how the swimming pool scene played out. Chi Hyun’s turn towards evil came more as a surprise and even in this episode, it’s not so clear where exactly Chi Hyun’s allegiances will eventually lie. Given his realisation now that his dad is Dae Young, would all his hatred still be directed towards Joon Jae? And is that hatred strong enough to prompt him to kill Joon Jae? At this point, I’m still not feeling the sense of threat and danger to both Joon Jae and Sim Chung’s life – shouldn’t the show be building this up more?
Putting aside my general issues with the show’s weak villains, especially Dae Young, I liked the developments we got in this episode.
Joon Jae’s reunion with his mum was well-played. It was nice seeing Joon Jae being the one to comfort his mum and assure her that he had grown up well, which reflected how he had indeed grown up from the young kid who was always cried and needed his mum’s comfort. That cross-cutting of their reunion on the zebra crossing with shots of young Joon Jae and his mum when she was younger was very apt indeed. Besides being sweet and heartwarming, I appreciated that the mother-son was used to bring to surface once again the issue of Joon Jae being a conman, and more importantly to put the pieces together regarding Soo Hee’s past identity.
While I have issues with Dae Young, I have thus far found Soo Hee to be an alright villain, in that she does take action and instils fear. I liked that we got her backstory in this episode which she tells Chi Hyun when he confronts her about Dae Young. Scenes of her past are also portrayed to us when Sim Chung tries to erase Dae Young’s memories. She came from a difficult family background, with fate dealing her a bad hand in life and her being adopted by an abusive father. She learnt how to use her status as someone who was powerless to climb her way up the ladder, because everyone trusted the words of the powerless. Having finally gained stature and wealth, she simply wants Chi Hyun to let things fall in place and face the world without shame. I’m actually looking forward to the showdown between her and Moo-ran (Joon Jae’s mum) because this is one of the better developed conflicts/relationships in the show.
Compared to earlier episodes, we did not get as much time with Joon Jae and Sim Chung in this episode, but what we got was, as always, sweet and fun. Knowing now that Joon Jae can hear her thoughts, she starts to talk to him telepathically, thanking him and asking for kisses. What was even better was seeing Sim Chung take action to help defend Joon Jae, by asking Chi Hyun out so that Joon Jae, Nam Doo and Tae-oh could break into the household. This leads to her also eventually confronting Dae Young and erasing his memories, which makes her realise that Joon Jae lied to her about what happens to Dam Ryung and Sae Wa. Now that Sim Chung is also on the same page about what happened in the past, I’m hoping we can move on from Joon Jae being Sim Chung’s protector, to them also being equals and working together to prevent the same fate from happening.
On a related note, while we know that Joon Jae has never had issues with Sim Chung being a mermaid, it would also be nice for both of them to actually have a conversation about it at some point. Wouldn’t Joon Jae have questions about her mermaid identity and what that means for their future together? The show seems to take it as a non-issue that both of them are from different worlds or different beings.
As a whole, this was a decent episode with the plot moving ahead steadily. With only four episodes left, I’m hoping the show quickly establishes its modern day villains and allows them to do something truly threatening.
[Note: The version I watched was only 97% subbed, which meant that majority of the conversation between Joon Jae and his dad was not subbed. I may add further thoughts once I get to view that conversation.]