Chae-yeon seems to have an actual plan. While the details aren't made clear it's fairly obvious that it's not a good plan. She's not actually working with anyone. Chae-yeon deliberately withholds information from Kang-joon, and the only reason I can think of for this is that she wants revenge on him, and Geum-ran, and is hoping that this will somehow result in her riding off with Tae-hee into the sunset. She's obviously not privy to the character development that we've already seen. Tae-hee's pretty much given up on revenge.
This is, in fact, the main irony of the plotting. Sara and Tae-hee don't actually seem to care about Chae-yeon and Kang-joon anymore. Sara in particular is totally psyched just being able to participate the cooking competition, and only bothers making cold put-downs on Chae-yeon because the woman insists on pointless confrontations. This would be less ridiculous except that Chae-yeon's just so smug about everything. I mean come on. Peanuts? After everything that's happened did she really think peanuts were going to take Sara down?
Sara and Tae-hee are actually a lot more upset by the little squabbles they have with each other than by anything the actual antagonists throw at them. The dispute here is whether or not they should have to deal with their own problems. The sentiment is actually pretty sweet. Basically they want to protect each other from crossfire, ignoring the fact that, if nothing else, they need mutual support if only for the morale boost.
I get the sense right now that we in the audience have a better idea why Sara and Tae-hee work well together than they do. They're not utilizing all their resources. When Tae-hee finally busts out another one of his charts, the moment's cute and charming, but ultimately he's just telling Geum-ran what she already knows. To their credit, both members of this relationship are perceptive enough that secrets don't stay buried long, so the impact from a failure to communicate is fairly low.
Overall this is a pretty average episode- by "Birth of a Beauty" standards anyway. The character dynamics are great, but for the most part this is all material we've seen material, just being reorganized in a different way. The only real twist lately has been the conversations Sara has with Geum-ran. Which is fine by me- Ha Jae-sook has been consistently excellent. As of yet, though, we're still waiting for the next major plot shift.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Birth of a Beauty" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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