It’s time for us to leave the equator, and say goodbye to all of the men there. I think every story line was pretty much wrapped up, and there was as much closure as you’re going to get in a Korean drama. This last episode was kind of strange, but was it any stranger than the rest of the drama?
The Jang Il Face Off ended kind of abruptly when Seonu stepped forward to get the gun away from his bestie, only to send a stray bullet into the Chairman’s arm. And I think this marked, like, the third time Seonu tossed Jang Il around like he was made of straw, as he pinned him to the ground and emptied out the bullets. Those two.
I probably shouldn’t have laughed at how shocked and insulted the Chairman looked after he had been shot, and I know I really shouldn’t have laughed when Seonu gave his father a piggy back ride, since it was probably supposed to be heartwarming. Yet how could I not when it looked like this:
It didn’t help that the tiny Chairman (I swear that was CGI or something) broke down as he called out his son’s name. I guess anyone who would ruin so many lives because he thought his fiancée didn’t love him is just one of those overly emotional types.
As for Jang Il, he totally went off the deep end in this one, reverting back to his high school self, pre-trying to kill his best friend (so nice to see Lee Hyun Woo and Im Si Wan return).
Seonu forgave him, and I guess I liked how there wasn’t a touching reconciliation scene, but instead just Seonu caring for his damaged friend. At first I wondered whether Jang Il was faking it (it wouldn’t be the first time in a drama), but once they started doing schoolwork together I knew it was real – Jang Il had to have lost it to want to relive high school again.
He eventually remembered everything, and apologized to Seonu, but being best friends means never having to say you’re sorry, for Seonu just brushed it all off. It was poignant how much Seonu enjoyed all of these role-playing games with Jang Il, as if this was also what he wanted all along.
I think being so happy after a long time made Seonu less alert, which is why he agreed to an outing at all of their old stomping grounds. Um, is this the best time to take Jang Il to the sites of all of his former monstrosities? It was another splendid day as they had a few moments by the sea, complete with visits from their younger selves.
Like with the Chairman’s ride, I know this mystical double date was supposed to one of those “Whoa” scenes, but it just came across as a little awkward and weird. And I don’t really blame anyone for that, but Lee Hyun Woo’s mushroom hair (was that a wig?) didn’t help.
Anyways, it ended predictably – well, maybe not for Seonu. He had turned to go, when he heard a loud splash, but it wasn’t until he turned around that he realized that Jang Il had just jumped, almost recreating that scene from 15 years ago. Seonu dove in to save him, but it was too late to save his smiling friend (I think). The last memory Jang Il has might not even be real – it’s a scene of him and Choi Sumi in their old classroom, having just returned from that painting trip he promised to take her on all those years ago. I’m surprised that’s what he regretted in his last moments.
I still burned a little when Choi Sumi smiled at the news that Jang Il had gone crazy, remarking that Seonu must love this. This just emphasizes how dumb and perverse she is, but I guess after seeing her get smacked around by Seonu a few times has made me feel for her more. That actually wasn’t cool, Seonu. The drama still had her be pretty pathetic till the end, but I think what was the cruelest was introducing the possibility that Jang Il had loved her (and not Ji Won) all along, as evidenced by that last vision of his. Had she known this the whole time? Even though the drama threw her this bone, it still punished her at the very end. She and her father (who was still wheelchair bound) moved to a rural village where she taught art to children (is she really the kind of person you want teaching kids?). Lest you think this was too easy and idyllic for her, know that this is the fate that awaits many drama villains, so drama people must think it’s a fitting punishment. And I guess for someone as ambitious as Sumi, this was pretty bad. But she’s chilling with her dad, and hasn’t become obsessed with anyone new yet, so maybe there’s hope for her yet. Bye, Sumi.
In the wake of Jang Il’s ambiguous suicide, Seonu lost his vision once more, but this one was due to psychological, rather than physical factors. Since everything else has been tidied up, the one remaining hurdle was for him to tell Ji Won (yeah, she was in this episode a little) about his dad. But how could he tell her when he hadn’t even come to terms with it himself? So off he went to pay a visit to the Chairman, who is in jail for stuff like bribery. The Chairman started off by putting on a tough face, but then Seonu grabbed his hand, and he realized that his son was blind again. Now this was the moment of truth for him, I think, and the Chairman totally passed the test of being an acceptable parent. He was devastated to find out what had happened to Seonu, and put his arms around him and they cried together. I’m guessing they’ll be a part of each other’s lives once the Chairman gets out of jail, and I guess I think the Chairman deserves it. I felt that the Chairman’s remorse was true, and I admit that I cried a little (way more than for Jang Il). Even though he still looked funny as he got all up in his son’s personal space. I see he’s that kind of dad.
Ji Won wasn’t so happy once she heard the news, and she instigated the obligatory Time Spent Apart, in which they’re both supposed to grow as people. This was pretty lame since you knew she was going to forgive him, and I bet they’ll end up being one happy family. So after she had finished going through the motions, she went to the equator (I hope this drama realizes that the Equator isn’t really one, definable place) to find her man. They reunited, and will live happily ever after. The end.
So, I think that was a strange ending to a strange drama. Even though I got into it at times, it was always in a kind of detached way since everything was a little too bizarre. I don’t like makjangs to begin with, but I’ll like good ones, like Bread, Love, and Dreams, but this wasn’t one of the best. It kept reminding me of Thorn Birds, another really bizarre drama that just left me puzzled most of the time.
This was probably Uhm Tae Woong’s best role so far, but I think he played gangster better than wounded animal. He was at his best when he got back at Sumi, but I don’t think those were supposed to be his finest moments. I still question the way he played a blind man, but whatever.
This was also a better showcase for Lee Joon Hyuk, though some of his acting choices made me a little uncomfortable. He seemed to have a lot of trouble showing how Jang Il was “cold” – has the man never felt cold in his life? Or what? And was Jang Il really dead, or was the screenwriter setting up a sequel where he becomes the Man with Amnesia?
He couldn’t really do sinister, either, and at most he only ever came across as some kind of prissy jerk. Sumi was much scarier than he ever was, but then again, she was one of the freakiest characters I’ve seen in a long while. We’ll see if he becomes scarier after coming out of the army.
I already liked Lee Bo Young from Becoming a Billionaire, and she was good again in this drama, in which she made a potentially boring and decorative character more interesting, or at least more interesting to watch. These princess types can be a little annoying, but Ji Won was never that lame. I get that girls are kind of superfluous in stories like this, but I still don’t want them to be lame.
Lee Bo Young is a likable actress, and I would like to see her in more lighthearted fare, simply because I like lighthearted fare a lot more. And I get the impression that she’s eager to do a comedy, too. I might check out Harvest Villa, her 2010 suspense-comedy (opposite Shin Ha Kyun of Brain) that’s supposed to be really good – kind of like Four Gold Chasers.
It’s hard to say whether I like Im Jung Eun, since she played such an awful character, but I guess some credit is due to the actress for playing it so well. I guess it says something that I still want to see her supernatural drama, Secret Investigation Record, where she plays someone investigating crazy things, instead of being a crazy thing herself. At any rate, I can’t imagine her ever playing someone worse than Sumi. There are some people who should just stay away from the equator.