Whew, we certainly get a great deal of development in this episode, particularly involving KMH and KMS. I’ll go by character this time to keep this review uncluttered.
Kim Moon Ho has to be the most enigmatic of our three leads. It’s as if there’s a curtain in front of him, preventing us from seeing his character fully. We only catch bits and pieces now and then, and even those aren’t much to go on. Though he brings on the cuteness and cajoles Director Kang Min Jae every now and then, the smile rarely reaches his eyes, which have a layer of steel in them that’s strongly reminiscent of his brother. It helps that an established actor like Yoo Ji Tae is playing this role seeing how good he is at playing peekaboo with his character’s emotions. This episode, peels back another layer surrounding him, yet we still don’t have the full picture. Moon Ho is surprisingly manipulative. I honestly pinned the way he could slide into and out of situation, while remaining so fully in command, on his intelligence, yet there’s more to it than that. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and Moon Ho’s just as good at playing the game as his brother is. That strange smile and steel in KMH’s eyes when asking YS how far she wished to go with the story, and why she wasn’t washing her hands of it, was the equivalent of a poking a sleeping animal, waiting for a reaction. We all knew what he was trying to do, verify how earnest she was about the case. And he was definitely pleased and proud of the answer he got, but it’s hard not to raise your eyebrows a little at the method.
Director Kang Min Jae (KMJ) takes a surprisingly pitiable turn in this episode. I honestly thought the whole ex-boyfriend, girlfriend thing wouldn’t factor too much into the episodes, seeing that they appeared fine with the breakup. Boy was I wrong, she obviously still harbors feelings for him, which she now feels less reserved about expressing seeing that she’s no longer his boss. And honestly, who could rest that lump of perfection? You just can’t blame the woman, brains, beauty and heart, he’s the complete package. Too bad, he’s got a hell of a lot of baggage.
Wait so she proposed? And THAT’S what you told her? No wonder she turned you down.
Okay KMH, you’ve a serious problem with honesty. On one hand, it’s great to see a lead that comes so clean about everything, and there’s honestly no tactful way to put something like that but…I just feel sorry for you both at this point, her for loving you, and you for…whatever it is you have going on in that handsome noggin. Just what on earth does he mean by handing Yeong Shin over to KMJ though? I’m honestly a little confused by that. Seeing that he clearly planned to join Someday Daily well in advance of his resignation (which honestly doesn’t feel so on the spot now, but more like he took advantage of the disagreement to to do so), and bought the whole building, not to mention the newspaper, this is obviously a long-term move. It’s one that works well for him, seeing what an established reporter he is, and what a good reputation he’s built up. Someday Daily is going to have a lot of fans in the days to come, and this works well for him seeing that he has the power and the connections to now report the news the way he’s wanted to from the start. So why send Yeong Shin to the uncomfortable politician butt-kissing travesty of a workplace that he just left? Work experience? Getting her out of the line of fire? Just what are you planning to do here? It’s a bit confusing, as is this mention of his “first woman”. Is it Yeong Shin or Myung Hee?
KMH has the unfortunate position of being right in between both women in terms of age. Myung Hee’s about 12-15 years older, while Yeong Shin’s about 8-10 years younger. It would be weird if his first love was Young Shin, seeing as she was about five when she disappeared, and he was…13?15? That’s a little awkward on all fronts, so I’m hoping it isn’t true. Crushing on Myung Hee, definitely seems like a possibility though given the first two episodes. He does call Yeong Shin a kid as well, so I’m going with Myung Hee for now.
It’s going to be super, duper weird if he starts falling for Yeong Shin (though I wouldn’t blame him, the girl is awesome!) seeing how large the gap is, and how far apart they are in terms of personality. I’m not discounting the possibility seeing how he noted that she’s essentially a younger Myung Hee in the previous episodes, and some form of his misplaced noona crush might lead him to starting pursuing her. Talk about baggage.
(Jung Hoo is not a happy camper)
And then there’s his brother who’s even more odd. He’s beholden to a rather scary teacher cum bartender of some sort, who speaks like he’s in a saeguk and spouts beer philosophy and other warped ideals.
(Nuttier than a fruitcake, this one)
Seeing that this is the person he’s appeared to have learned from, who appears to be a major player in this game of wits as well, we’re facing up for a rather well-tangled web of conflict. Just who is this all-powerful bartender that even the mayoral candidate is fearful of? Hmm…
I love seeing a villain who’s human (hey there, Kang Do Young!) and this episode serves to highlight more of Moon Shik than we’d ever have imagined. It’s hard not to soften when you see the obvious way KMS softens at the sight of Myung Hee, whatever nefarious activity he’s up to, you can bet that Myung Hee has always come first in his life.
Even his teenage self can testify to that. What’s interesting though is the way he speaks of his change in character. He’s well aware of the idiots he consorts with, and Myung Hee appears to share the same opinion (which is great she’s how feisty she was in college, and how that distaste for authority hasn’t changed), and he seems to want to fight the world just as they did back then, but he’s using the very people he wants to bring down to do so. I’m honestly not sure if he’s lying to her or not. On one hand, it would make sense, seeing how much he cares for Myung Hee and the great lengths (that’ve been hinted at) he went to, to marry her. On the other hand, he’s clearly been corrupted from the very start, from the moment he chose to get rid of her husband and child. I’m not sure whether he believes himself to be doing the right thing, sacrificing a few pawns for the greater good (his greater good?) if you will, but one thing’s for certain. There’s no way back. Whatever lengths he’s gone to rise up the ranks and secure such a position of power, regardless of whether or not he’s fighting the institution in his own way, have turned him into one of the very people Myung Hee and the others fought against 23 years ago. The end may have justified the means, but that doesn’t mean you should have gone that route to begin with.
And speaking of baggage, our hero has quite a lot that he doesn’t know of yet. So his father supposedly killed Gil Ahn, Yeong Shin/Ji Ahn’s real father, and then committed suicide, huh? Great. My poor Jung Hoo. But I say supposedly seeing that it’s all but confirmed that it was a set-up by Moon Shik, who is now hunting our Healer, come to think of it. This is going to be a hell of a confrontation once Healer finds out. That is if he finds out in time, Hacker Ahjumma, aka. Detective Jo Min Ja (DETECTIVE? I’m assuming you’re either retired or doing your own thing for some reason) and creepy stalker master Jung Chae Beom don’t seem inclined to let him know. Though the epic look on his face at Ahjumma’s voicemail was pure gold.
And that ring of JH’s definitely brought back YFAS feels.
It’s a little scary to know that even you can be manipulated by the people who serve that way though, seeing how effortlessly Ahjumma hacked his cameras. It’s a dangerous life that SJH leads, which makes his wish to go somewhere isolated all the more understandable now.
He’s honestly used to being alone, and if Master’s right about him being slightly autistic as well, then he’d naturally prefer animals over the rather bothersome people that populate his assignments (loved how he was watching that leopard documentary again). That is, except one person
Bong Sook-ah! Poor Bong Soo’s name continues to be hopelessly muddled by Yeong Shin. After reading the comments on the dramabeans recap, this is even more humorous seeing how Bong Sook is the female counterpart to Bong Soo, Min Ha to a Min Ho, if you will. And after that glorious phone call, I honestly don’t really know what to say. I mean, what a confession! Yeong Shin shines as bright as ever (In Ha meet Yeong Shin). I loved how the Bong Soo persona has been treated so far in the show. He’s weak, easily scared, and rather cowardly but Yeong Shin doesn’t mind one whit. She knows just how debilitating fear can be, and she worries every time he runs off, which Jung Hoo just can’t seem to wrap his mind around.
I loved JH’s reaction to her messages. The first one had him smiling faintly (*swoons*), the second one had him flabbergasted, and the third had him worried. There’s something so elementally adorable about seeing the way he curls up on the couch reading her messages with this adorable curiousity in his eyes.
As if I needed another reason to love you, Seo Jung Hoo. And to have him appear on that ledge watching her during the phone call hit me right in the gut.
There’s always this odd wistfulness he has on his face in moments like this. I don’t know whether it’s for a family or for someone to care about him, and that just makes it all the more sad. It’s as if he’s resigned to the fact that he’s no one in the world, and then you have this reporter with far too many guts who keeps worrying over his cowardly persona. And he likes it as seen by his reaction whenever she brings up Kim Moon Ho. He certainly doesn’t seem to like the fellow, even though he’s well aware that Moon Shik’s the one behind his framing for the murder. But even that flash of irritation at the mention of KMH fell away the moment she said this.
Excuse me while I go squeal in a corner. That look on Jung Hoo’s face is just…gosh he doesn’t know what’s hit him. He just stays there, barely continuing the conversation. And then of course this happens.
Poor Bong Sook. This, is the pitfall of a double identity, though he certainly dropped some of his Bong Soo persona during that phone call, from going to banmal to not stuttering at all. The preview for the next episode shows Jung Hoo in full Healer garb next to a blindfolded Yeong Shin. I can’t wait for Yeong Shin to figure it out, but I’m wary at the same time of how fast this show has been progressing. Healer is slated for 20 episodes, and as of yet, as been many good use of them. But moving too quickly like this might lead to a middle where things inevitable start to drag, or we get hell on drama wheels like in Pinocchio, with all the characters going insane. Faith did this too, with a big slice of noble idiocy (I’m thankful that I watched it after its run or I’d have torn all my hair out, and this is coming from someone who adored Choi Young, Eun Soo, our royal couple, Jang Bin, and the Woodalchi). Just this once, I’d love to see a show that’s tight, fast-paced, well-written, with plenty of heart and hijinks, and adorable fun. Oh wait. I did. *gives Liar Game a big fat hug *Dear Healer, let every episode be like this one. Please. This show’s too rich and layered to go the angsty weepfest/noble idiocy route. Oh and Bong Sook-ah? I’ll have you anytime.