At the end of the episode, Geum-ran finally asks the stupidly obvious question she should have been asking this entire time. Who actually has the resources and motive to try and kill Tae-hee? I bring up this somewhat spoilery point now mostly as reassurance. It would appear that "Birth of a Beauty" is finally going to pivot back to its characters acting sensibly and intelligently for the drama's last showdown. Watching Geum-ran get manipulated here has just been embarassing. She should know better.
...Yes, technically speaking this was probably how she got married to Kang-joon in the first place. It's just, one would hope that after spending so much time embroiled with Tae-hee and his wacky schemes Geum-ran would realize that he's the guy who knows how to put all the pieces together. Tae-hee spends a lot of time fumbling this episode because the guy's just not that functional when he's lacking essential information.
At least the music remains pretty good. Given the current state of the relationship between Sara and Tae-hee, cooking and pretty woman montages aren't exactly appropriate. However, as "Birth of a Beauty" has demonstrated time and again, classic romantic comedy tropes are always a lot more fun than convoluted badly written scripting. When Joo Sang-wook and Han Ye-seul interact with each other, there's just a certain chemistry that really adds to the excitement. The look Han Ye-seul gives when Sara's genuinely enjoying herself is also pretty fun.
Then we get a reminder that the story is conspiring to make Min-yeok a serious thread, first by his magical power to make Geum-ran act dumb, and when that fails, by his ability to walk by and see something by sheer dumb coincidence. Did Sara sign that contract without reading it? That's the only way I can think of that Min-yeok's plan makes any sense.
While "Birth of a Beauty" still has some joy left in it, right now we're contending with a story that's too frustratingly contrived to be enjoyable. Chae-yeon isn't even really a villain anymore. Given how Sara is acting, Chae-yeon is actually being a genuinely supportive loyal helper to Tae-hee. I really hope the drama stops confusing the lines between good and bad like this. It's easy enough to understand where Kang-joon, Chae-yeon, and Min-hyeok are coming from. It's the actual leads who are really dragging the production down at this point.
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 18"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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