Wow. I can’t believe I’m almost to the end of this drama! And yet I can believe it, because I keep wanting to push play at the end of each episode to find out just what happens–that’s how I am at the end of the really good ones. It’s been an interesting exercise to see Je Hyeok grow during his time in prison, and to see who he truly is. I hope the final episode gives us a glimpse of where he ends up in the future, because I’ve grown very fond of this single-minded man who is far smarter than he acts.
I Am Not a Player
In the throwaway scene at the beginning, Je Hyeok and Bestie chat about Je Hyeok’s future and the reason for Bestie’s happiness. Lt. Lee suddenly remembers that he’s trying to butter Je Hyeok up and fervently denies that he is or has ever been a player. Good luck, Bestie. I’m VERY interested to see Je Hyeok’s reaction when he finds out Lt. Lee and Je Hee have been dating. I don’t think he’ll be mad. I think he’ll surprise them all by being very happy. But we’ll have to see.
Set Me Free
Min Chul, our cell boss, is up for parole. After many years of great behavior and a glowing commendation from the guards, everyone assures him that he’ll get it. But Min Chul is a realist–he’s been in prison long enough to know that the most unexpected things can get in a prisoner’s way. I could tell he was vacillating between hope and realism throughout the episode — what an awkward emotional rollercoaster to be riding! His interaction with the college student who was interviewing him for her thesis was quite adorable. Lt. Paeng gave voice to my thoughts, though — could she be related to Min Chul?
This is also the episode where the entire cell finds out or admits that they know Looney is gay. Their varied reactions seem true to life, even if they aren’t the ideal response, but what I really like is that they don’t treat him differently than they did before. Captain Yoo admits he doesn’t know what to do with Looney and that he’d be quite harsh if any of his friends admitted they were gay, but who saved Looney’s bacon at the end of the episode? Yep, the Demon Captain himself. His actions speak far louder than his words.
X Marks the Spot — too bad Je Hyeok doesn’t play for the Pirates
Je Hyeok finds himself stricken with Steve Blass disease — he can no longer throw a strike. Sheesh–if it’s not one thing threatening his future career, it’s another. Lt. Bestie works hard all episode to find a cure, before he finally turns to the person who knows Je Hyeok best — Ji Ho. I hate that she says, once again, that Je Hyeok is stupid. He really isn’t and her disrespect bothers me. But she has a point — Je Hyeok just needs a goal. Drawing the X in the catcher’s glove to help him aim seems to be the cure. But was it the X or the person who drew it finally getting involved that helped?
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
A new set of gangsters has sprung up to take the place of the crew that Je Hyeok and his cell dominated with an apple and a chainsaw. (Was that the best scene in episode 13? Why yes, yes it was. I laughed SO HARD. Anyway….) These gangsters are drug runners who are only interested in money and have one target — addicts with deep pockets. So our dear Looney is at risk as the gangsters concoct a scheme to draw him back into the addiction he has been working SO HARD to get out of. They nearly succeed in a tense sequence in the infirmary–so tense that I had to pause and come back to it–but as I said before, Captain Yoo saves the day. Made my heart happy.
Honesty Part 2
O Captain My Captain finds out this episode just how much his brother has sacrificed to bring about his retrial. He talks about how distant they were growing up, especially because they were 12 years apart, but his trial actually brought them together. In an enlightening moment, after Captain Yoo has asked the rest of the cell how to tell his brother to get back to his real life, he turns to Looney. And Looney, who has more depth and is more in touch with his emotions than the rest of them, has the answer–don’t tell Brother to give up and go back to work. Thank him for everything he’s done, and ask him for whatever you need. And it works — it sparks a real connection between the brothers, one they never seem to have had before.
In Which I Think Poopy Thoughts
The last scene shows a group of inmates being brought from Daegu Penitentary to see how the greenhouses at Sebu are being run. And at the tail end of the line is Rapey Pervert Inmate. Well crap.
I found it interesting that Je Hyeok’s calm demeanor is actually hiding a great pit of despair. We get glimpses of it here and there, the most telling being when the psychiatrist tells Je Hyeok to draw a graph of his life, and the past year goes off the paper, across the table, down the table leg, across the carpet, and gets stuck between the wall and the floor because Je Hyeok can’t make the pen go any farther down. It’s played for laughs, but in every joke is a kernel of truth. And the truth here is that even though Je Hyeok has made life in prison as comfortable for himself and his friends as possible, it’s still prison and he’s still miserable.
I’m with the other Fangirls — I really don’t like the relationship between Ji Ho and Je Hyeok. She looks down on him and demeans him constantly, instead of allowing him space to be himself. My husband pointed out that she’s a lot like Rachel from Friends–she’s trying to make him into what she wants and doesn’t give a flip about what he wants. And that is not a healthy relationship. I wish they would break up for good.
Until the next roll call, drama fans, I remain–
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi