On one end I'm somewhat annoyed that the situation regarding Joon-gi continues to be stretched for time when it appeared to have largely been concluded last episode. But then again, isn't that what melodrama has always been about- stretching the pain out for as long as possible? It's a sensible strategy really, because death is at its most especially unpleasant when it lasts for a really long time. And even after that, grief is a factor.
That's the position So-hye is in, as she's in a really lousy mood having realized the extent to which Hae-seong and Joon-gi lied to her. So far as I can tell the whole weird plot point of her having gotten dementia from brain cancer somehow is gone. Which is fine by me since that arc never really made much sense to begin with. My guess is it was foreshadowing for a possible happy ending that doesn't simply result in So-hye being magically cured.
The bigger lesson of dealing with Joon-gi's being bedridden, though, is how it gives Hae-seong, So-hye, and everyone else a taste of what like will be like should So-hye go on. It's intriguing how even though Joon-gi himself appears to have largely come to peaceful terms with his fate, everyone else can't. This works, in a somewhat roundabout way, as a reminder that your life is not necessarily only your own. Other people may be hurt by what happens to you in ways you can't predict.
As for Seol, though, well, her storyline is still stuck in a largely pointless rut. Her in-laws do sincerely beg for Seol to come back but, well, as Seol herself states fairly accurately, their remorse has less to do with realizing what they did was wrong and more with their wanting Seol to do housekeeping again. That even now they keep coming up with pointless ineffective blackmail schemes is just further proof of their true motives.
Once again, though, plot isn't really the point in "Fantastic". This drama is principally concerned with the emotional blowback to radical life changes rather than dynamic plotting. And even if the presentation stretches at some points because of that, I have to admit the effect is reasonably strong. Even sadder than looking at Joon-gi strapped to a gurney is looking at So-hye suffer, wondering if in the end, she didn't do everything that was possible to make that ending just a atd happier.
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] "Fantastic" Episode 14"
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