I’m writing this blog post as a self-reflection of sorts. Really, it’s a love letter to myself to remind me that I should really trust my gut when I read descriptions and watch trailers. Come see why I want all the hours back that I spent watching LUCA: The Beginning.
My biggest pet peeve about this drama was the ending, so I’ll be ranting about it specifically, and I’m not gonna hold back! You’ve been warned. 😀
Why I Started It
Here at good ol’ Dramas with a Side of Kimchi, we sign up to do the first impressions. I wanted to spread the love around, so I signed up to do LUCA. I was reluctant to do so — the trailers had been more like behind-the-scenes snippets and the description sounded like the kind of drama that was just NOT for me. I don’t do heavy sc-ifi or cults, and LUCA had both. But for two episodes I could handle it, and I did.
What I didn’t expect was the chemistry between Kim Rae Won and Lee Da Hee. Granted, she thought he had murdered her parents when he was a child, and he was on the run from the law, which included her since she was a detective. But her compassion outweighed her need for justice, and they became each other’s protectors. I loveloveLOVE a romantic relationship built on mutual protection, so I just HAD to see where it was going to go.
Where It All Went Wrong
SPOILERS! So, in episode 8, Ji Oh (Kim Rae Won) and Gu Reum (Lee Da Hee) both find themselves on the run from the law, from the scientists who created Ji Oh and want to chop him up for parts, and from the cult who is funding all of this insanity. They’re finally able to take shelter at an abandoned farm in the country, where Ji Oh takes care of a completely wrecked Gu Reum. Emotionally and physically, she has taken a beating and just needs a break.
All this time, Gu Reum has been focused on untangling the web of deceit surrounding her parents’ death. She’s taken on gang after gang of minions, only fully dying once in the process — Ji Oh used his electrical powers as a defibrillator and brought her back to life — and being utterly tenacious. But after being framed for murder, Gu Reum breaks down and asks Ji Oh if she should just give up. And she does. They spend a year at the farm, giving in to their chemistry. Gu Reum gets pregnant and they get married. It’s sweet and lovely and also made the drama feel like it was getting ahead of itself.
Of course, Gu Reum and the baby get kidnapped by the bad guys, the scientists want a piece of EVERYONE, and the body count gets higher and higher. The most frustrating part was that Gu Reum suddenly remembered that she didn’t trust Ji Oh, so they end up not working together to escape the clutches of the cult. Instead, Gu Reum FINALLY escapes on her own — and that took far too long — abandons her baby, and dies taking a bullet for Ji Oh. Turns out a human defibrillator can’t cure bullet wounds.
What does Ji Oh do about the disappearance of his daughter and the death of his wife? NOTHING. He may have stalked and eliminated Gu Reum’s killer, but the organizations that were pursuing them? He did NOTHING about them. Did he track down his daughter? NOPE. Instead, he turns to the scientist who created him and together they make a whole lot of infant Ji Oh clones. Ji Oh, dressed in all black, declares the beginning of a new age for the human race, and then the story ends. WHAT???
Ji Oh’s love for Gu Reum was supposedly transformative, showing him that humans were more than animal instincts. His love for his daughter had actually brought a smile to his face. But instead of trying to reconcile with Gu Reum, who admittedly had a bad habit of believing everyone else and NOT him in her search for the truth, Ji Oh just walks away, more concerned about remaking the world in his image.
The End of My Self-Reflection
That was not exactly the uplifting, inspiring ending I was hoping for. It was dark and selfish and made me realize I should have trusted my instincts. Next time, no matter how much I want to see where the chemistry between the leads takes them, I will save myself the time and walk away!
What drama-watching lessons have you learned lately, drama fans? Let me know I’m not alone!
Karie the Maknae (@KarieTheMaknae on Twitter!)
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi