You’re All Surrounded part 16: Things You Cannot Hide

Posted by Stephanie on July 6, 2014

Reviews

I’m going to start off by taking a quick poll: Anyone else out there want to smack the effing smug off this effing woman’s face?

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Anyone? Anyone? Just me then?
This episode weirdly directly correlates with last weeks podcast, where Cherry and I go into what makes a good villain. I say weirdly because within this one show, this one episode, we have perfect examples of a well written, multi-layered villain and one who is so one dimensional I can almost smell the cardboard from here. How is it that they are within the same drama??
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So, we were right in our theory last week that the two crimes of the past are actually not connected and Dae Gu’s mother wasn’t murdered because she testified–well–with the exception that the publicity is probably what allowed the congressman’s daughter to find her. For some reason, I’m thinking that Dae Gu and his mother were either hiding or laying low in order to steer clear of this family–why they were living in this small out of the way town without friends or family.
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At the end of the episode when we get to see the flashback of the past giving us almost all the information (except motive), the Congressman’s daughter looked shocked and horrified at what she had gone with the vase. I think this is more the actress’s choice than that of the the character as the way she hunted them down, not only pushing her way not only into the house, but Dae Gu’s mother’s bedroom, she was there looking to cause trouble. Especially going into the bedroom, as that is so much more an invasion of privacy, of personal space. Not to mention the fact that Dae Gu’s mother was leaving the room when the woman lashed out, hitting her. That wasn’t self defense. Since there was no audio we, at this point, can only guess at what went down, why Dae Gu’s mother was leaving the room, but I’m sure it wasn’t, “Stay right here so I can get a blurred-out knife to stab you with.” The only thing I can think of is her last comment was probably more to the effect of “I’m going to call your husband to have him drag your crazy ass out of here–oh, and when he’s done there your husband, our son and I will run away laughing at you as we go.” Screenshot 2014-07-06 at 3.28.43 PM
Which is really what this woman deserves.
The writers had better freaking not try to redeem her in the end–this woman is past it. For her one woman is dead and two others have been stabbed–and these are just the incidents that we know of!
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I don’t know if this woman and her storyline would irritate me as much if we were made aware of her motivation–if we saw any emotion from her other than smug. We don’t see her particularly care for her son, she doesn’t care for her husband, and we see what regard she has for the random public. There are no layers to her and I just don’t understand it. Almost every other character in this world is more carefully written than this one who is pushing the story forward.
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And how did she get this way, I ask? Yes, her father is a congressman now, but he didn’t start out that way–he started out as a police commissioner and worked his way up. In this weeks flashback to the Chief’s past, we saw that 25 years ago, when this woman would have been a fully grown adult, he was with no power, and was being pushed around by the prosecutors. Did she just get corrupted especially fast by wealth and power? I guess that can happen. It did happen to her dad.
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It’s Kdrama–we’ve had flat villains before–I’m not sure why she ticks me off so hard. Actually, I do. How can you have one incredibly nuanced layered villain (or antagonist) in the same drama as the congressman’s daughter? It makes me angry. Angry I tell you!
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However, I was pretty much in awe this week with the writing on the Chief character. Holy smokes she is like a textbook example on what to do when writing a villain–hell–any character at all.
Through her backstory everything is revealed. Her deserved bitterness to the system that failed her friend and continues to fail to protect the public, and her guilt in the part she played in the death of her partner.
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When writing a good character, you want to make sure they have GMC–a writers term for Goal, Motivation, Conflict. Here’s hers:
Goal: To change the system, allowing the police to investigate their own cases, freeing them from the corrupt prosecution.
Motivation: To avenge the death of her partner and protect the public.
Conflict: Those pesky kids! To accomplish her goals, she must continue to break the law and possibly murder people to protect the Congressman.
(I’ve always had trouble summing up the conflict, but I think I got the gist of it.)
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She may be a bad guy, but we, as an audience, feel for her. We saw it ourselves in the flashback, by giving so much power to the prosecution, it allows for corruption,and victims, the people who the law is there to help, are the ones who are paying the price. We want her to accomplish her goal.
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However, is the price she’s willing to pay for her goal worth it? A woman is dead, innocent people are being stabbed all over the place to protect this one bad person. Is the good for all more important than the lives of a few? So far she says yes, and this little victory, the idea that the higher ups have put the idea to change the laws on the table, does not bode well for any mind changing on her part.
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This has put her in a lose/lose situation. If she relents and helps Dae Gu get his mother’s killer, she won’t be able to avenge her friends death and the police will continue to be under the thumb of the prosecutors. But if she continues to stick by the Congressman and his murderous daughter, Dae Gu will die.
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Something tells me this is not what her partner would have wanted. Yes, she was angry and frustrated over the prosecutor and the betrayal by those she trusted, but she was more upset that she wasn’t able get justice for the victim. In this future situation, Dae Gu and now Tae Il are the victims and are just as important as the big picture.
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I rambled. I hope that makes sense–but I am just so freaking pleased with this episode, character-wise for her.
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So lets move on to something I’m not freaking pleased with. The loss of the pendant. This was such sloppy writing I just wanted to spit. Dae Gu ‘forgets’ his cell phone and has to go back? And hands over the pendant to Tae Il? There is no way that Dae Gu would have just handed the pendant over to Tae Il. And there was no reason for him to. Was it so heavy he couldn’t walk it with him to get the phone? It’s not like he handed over the notebook he was carrying too. After being lost for so long, there is no way he would have just so casually handed it over. Not to mention–why are they carrying it around? You know, loose, in a little ziplock bag in their hands? Pockets people, pockets. Oh, and maybe you might want to lock that sucker up somewhere. If you don’t trust the evidence locker, there has to be somewhere they can stash it.
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The writers just wanted a way to get the pendant back in the hands of the bad guys and Tae Il stabbed in order to jack up the suspense and conflict heading into these last episodes. Fine, whatever, but please, put a little more thought into it.
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I love that Soo Sun was able to talk Dae Gu out of charging over to the Congressman’s house. She’s right, at that point there was nothing that they could do, nothing that could be accomplished that wouldn’t just make the situation worse. The fact that she was able to get through to him, through his wall of anger, frustration, and most importantly guilt says a lot for their relationship and for Dae Gu’s growth within the course of this drama.
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I also love how much Dae Gu is willing to stick his neck out in their relationship–in his own stunted emotional growth way. The scene with them in the room where he wants to know what her type is totally made me squee–although if he’s not certain of his coworkers feelings for him–he should keep his hands off.
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When watching her answer, “You’re friend, Ji Yong,” completely perplexed me. And from the look on his face, it did Dae Goo too.
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Did she mean the person he once was, like the person he’s become is flawed in some way? Does she want him to become Ji Yong again before they could be together? Like if, once his mother’s case is done, she wants him to leave the force and go back to law school? What did she mean by that??
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But then I decided to sit back and stop over-analyzing it. Ji Yong is Dae Gu. By her saying she liked Ji Yong, it was her way to un-awkwardly as possible admit she liked him back. You know–without actually admitting she liked him. From the final look on his face, he finally got it too.

Notes

Does Dae Gu’s possible dad know of his existence? Did the congressman’s daughter steal him away from Dae Gu’s mom? There has to be a reason why they are so ambivalent to each other now. Did she realize she couldn’t make him love her? Or did his not caring enough for her turn her into the evil person she is now?
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Tae Il had better not die and leave us with Ji Kook–I will be very upset. I’m guessing next episode we’re going to see a reappearance of his nasty parents, and probably learn more of his backstory.
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The car ride of jealousy was so funny–Dae Gu’s jealousy of Ji Kook and Soo Sun having dinner together.
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And Detective Seo’s jealousy over Tae Il trying to steal Angry Lady Detective away from him.
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I love how much Detective Seo is trying to be like a dad figure to Dae Gu (probably without him even noticing it.)
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Of course, Dae Gu is still too prickly to allow any of the overtures.
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I just love this shot–so pretty. Makes up for at least three of the through the ventilation shots.
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