First off Happy Birthday Ji Sung! What a way to round off his special day!
What is this magnificence? This perfection, this utterly intricate web that causes even the most expert writer to reel, what is this? This is genius, this is brilliance. Liar Game, you’re this close to being kicked out of the ballpark by a fast one that I never saw coming. Scratch that you’re tied. How am I supposed to survive until next Wednesday?
Look when, I started this show, I expected a mess. I’d only ever seen Hwang Jung Eum in Full House 2, which was awful though she made it amusing, and I’d never seen any of Ji Sung’s works before, besides having skimmed Secret briefly in 2013, turned off by the angst (though I adore it now). Point is, I came in with VERY low expectation, convinced to watch this only because of the sheer magnetism Ji Sung exerted on my poor heart when watching that first trailer. I got hijinks and humour, leather jackets, lipstick and lousy bombs (I’m looking at you Perry), poignancy and palpitations, gentle understanding and glorious kisses, all wrapped in this lovely sense of sheer joy, and warmth. And I loved it. Little did I know that a carefully spinner was working her spindle, having set into place a web that would soon begin to collapse in on itself. I – and just as with Dohyun yesterday, I seem to have cause to use this word again – adore this show. When the past few episodes began to degenerate rapidly into a horror/psychological thriller. I was overjoyed at the Liar Game-ness of it all, how well plotted and acted it was and how deep the rivers of emotion ran in these wonderful people.
I didn’t expect this.
This is pure genius and officially escalated this show to Liar Game status, perhaps it’s even better in that it networks all genres seamlessly and effortlessly while Liar Game grabbed your throat and held it for the entirety of the episode, letting you only breathe at the end. Though that was today’s episode. You know it’s a good sign when you’re breathless after a show, and not just because of Ji Sung’s perfection. This explains so damn much. I’m absolutely over the moon at this turn of events.
Seeing that Rijin is the real Cha Dohyun, that leaves the question of just what Dohyun’s real name is. Seeing that his mother’s name is Shin Hwa Ran, that really only leaves one possibility: Shin Segi. This is incredible. The name was clearly pushed on him by Evil Grandma and Mom, and Dohyun, who didn’t remember anything at the time, simply accepted it. Yet some part of him new the truth, and couldn’t stay still as the last part of the girl who’d had to go through so much (and who was his first love) was twisted by the Seungjin family, and so Shin Segi separated from the memory-less Dohyun. This is wonderful. Not only does it give new meaning to Segi’s anger and frustration at being shut up in Dohyun/Ji Sung’s body, but it also makes Dohyun’s words to Segi much more eerie. You will soon become me…I will soon become you. Not only was that a promise but an eerie prediction of what the truth was. Dohyun is Segi, literally, figuratively, and legally. this makes Dohyun’s reinforcement of his name in previous episodes all the more more moving and sad, as it’s not his own. He has just lost the first bit of stability that he clung to. On the bright side, he’s just gained a new piece of himself: Segi. That solves the name game, I’ll be referring to Dohyun and Se gi interchangeably from now on, though Rijin will remain Rijin, because she really is a treasure, and it doesn’t feel right to address her by a name that is part of the most horrible days of her life.
But this raises a whole host of interesting questions. At the end of episode 11, there’s an eerie moment where Segi reverts to Dohyun at the beside of his dad/abuser in the hospital, and crazy dad moves his fingers in the SAME WAY Segi does, that one finger at a time slow roll. The fact that Nana is a projection of Rijin as a child, and today’s revelation, has led me to believe that there may be a real person behind almost every one of Dohyun’s personalities. The keyword here is: who? Who are these people? And most importantly, who truly is the main personality? As of now we have:
Cha Dohyun: who involuntarily suppressed his past but spends the most time in his body. He was essentially a blank slate due to losing his memories, so he built his own personality over the years
Shin Segi: who remembers everything and bears seething hatred for all that is Seungjin and spends less time in his body than Dohyun. He uses his abuser’s hand movement at times, especially when he’s about to do something violent, and the pent-up rage that lurks below the surface in him is a prime example of what can happen to abused children
Perry Park: Doesn’t seem to know of anything, but bombs and fishing and spends less time than Segi in Dohyun’s body. He’s seems to be based on someone. Who?
Ahn Yona and Yosub: Yosub seems to be a little aware of the past, but Yona is a wild card. Both seem to rarely appear (I say this seeing that Dohyun isn’t dead, as Yosub would definitely have committed suicide if he came out often), though Rijin’s proximity sure has brought them out quite a bit. Who on earth are they based on? The theory running through the soompi forum is that Secretary Ahn might be involved in this. Looking at the brillance of this show, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out that he was Min So Yeon’s lover.
Nana: projection of Rijin as a child, rarely and randomly appears. We’ve yet to see her role in this.
Mr X: We know nothing of this guy, and I can’t wait to meet him. The wonderful people over at soompi noted a marked resemblance in the way that Segi and X swirl their wine, proposing that perhaps X is the master personality, the man who knows everything but stays silent, sending the other personalities out to save Dohyun from behind the scenes. Save him, until he’s ready to handle the truth.
Now, if any of this is true, I’m going to die happy. But the question of the main personality remains. Just who is Cha Dohyun? Not just name-wise, but person-wise. What constitutes a dominant personality? Is the one who uses the body the most or the one that controls it? Dohyun is certainly the one that’s out the most, and honestly I do think that he’s the dominant personality, but this show has me on tenderhooks what with such a brilliant twist at this point in the game (and here I was wondering last week what they’d do to fill up six more episodes). Will Segi make a sudden return? Seeing that Dohyun doesn’t have ALL his memories just yet, Segi still lurks in there (Yay!) but what is he going to do now? So many questions! (But this is great!)
And just what does absorbing the personalities mean for Dohyun and each personality? Because face it, we’ve grown attached them at this point and so has Rijin.
Inconvenient as they may be, they’re fully fledged people for the most part (Segi is still a bit of a child) and having them absorbed is no different than them dying which would be rather painful to see, and is not really what I would call healing.I would love for Dohyun to simply be able to switch between personalities at random, managing them like one does unruly children. Being incomplete better than being dead though Yosub would disagree. If Dohyun could fully accept all of them as vital parts of himself that have made him the wonderful person he is today, and manage to control them in some manner…*sigh* as impractical as it sounds I would love for this to be true, and see Rijin take Yona shopping and be of quiet comfort to Yosub and save the world from Perry Park and smother Segi and Dohyun with kisses and play with them for as much and long as they’d like. How I’d love for this to come true.
But I’ve been talking about only Dohyun here. Rijin almost needs no words. She’s brave, bold, beautiful and brilliant. I can’t express how moving it was to know that she’d known it was a farewell all along and she wasn’t buying whatever excuse Dohyun was cooking up and knew it had to do with her, with how much he loved her. She’s understandably angry with Ri on, who honestly couldn’t have told her anything anyway. I feel for both hurt siblings and hope that they realize (SOON) that they need to be on the same side. I love that Rijin is now finding her memories for herself as opposed to finding them just for Dohyun. Isn’t it strange, what a day can do? It makes her stronger in my eyes, to bear the brunt of that pain, knowing just how bad it’s going to be. And I wonder how both will react upon the revelation of Rijin’s true name. On thing’s for sure, I want them to do it, whatever it is, together. No more secret, no more bearing all the pain alone. Rijin and Dohyun are tied by the weight of their pain in the past, and need to overcome it together in the future. There’s no point in solo missions here. What with Ri On, now Dohyun’s staunch ally, and Secretary Ahn’s loyalty assured (right, show? right?) we have four people ready to take down Seungjin. And that worked pretty great with the Healer team.
I’m curious as to what Dohyun and Rijin’s retaliation (if any) will be. Besides Ri On’s book, which will almost certainly land him a lawsuit, I can’t see how they’re going to extract revenge, which has me a little nervous for these last four (NO!!!) episodes. I want to see these two together, sans misunderstanding and pain (of the pain these past two episodes!) as soon as possible. Dohyun cries far more in this show than Rijin does, which I absolutely adore. I love a man who isn’t afraid to show emotion and Dohyun and Rijin are just good people, that I just want nothing but the best for them. What with the deeper threads this show is treading, i hope it doesn’t lost its fun good humour. We were long overdue for pain, (as Ri on noted in ep 12, saying that it wasn’t yet the time for melodrama) so I’m glad it’s here – and that it was done brilliantly, with magnificent skill on part of Hwang Jung Eum, Ji Sung and the scriptwriter – but I hope it doesn’t continue for too long. For one thing, it’s going to tear my heart out. And secondly, let’s just give poor Dohyun and Rijin something to hold onto, shall we? How does each other sound?
I think they’d really want that, now more than ever.