The game has been set, the rules have been laid down, and Soo-hyeon has decided on her course of action. "God's Gift - 14 Days" continues the way it began: in a fast-paced race for the finish. It's a difficult endeavor when no one believes her story and she has to find the one person who does and convince him to help.
That person is Dong-chan . He also experiences the strange leap back fourteen days in time and has to work his way through the strange experience. What makes the magical element work in such a stark crime drama is the way that it is cleanly and clearly handled. Yes, the Shaman-like woman who foretold Saet-byeol's death in the first episode was a little too heavy-handed, but that bit of exposition allows for the rest of the drama to run smoothly. There is no going going back to change destiny, but Soo-hyeon can actively fight it. And that's what she does.
Episode 3 had Soo-hyeon and Dong-chan coming to terms with their seemingly impossible new reality on two separate paths that eventually meet because of Soo-hyeon's desperation to save her child. Dong-chan also wants to save his brother from death and give his nephew, Yeong-gyu, back his father. The way each person comes to terms with the time leap and decides to actively change the future allows for their characters to be quickly developed. Decision-making is a huge indicator of character. Soo-hyeon loves her child, but is a bit single-minded and cold otherwise. Dong-chan is much more capable and compassionate than his present situation reveals.
Watching these two characters run around trying to make sense of everything is mixed in with family issues, which are poignant. Soo-hyeon's husband, Ji-hoon, doesn't believe her when she babbles on about their daughter dying. In fact, he's actively hostile towards her attempts. Some of his reactions are reasonable, but what makes him interesting is that his first inclination is not to comfort her fears. On top of that, when she realizes he won't' support her, she excludes him from the process of saving Saet-byeol entirely. I expect for this story to develop this marital strife, which can only worsen when she is seemingly throwing herself into situations she shouldn't be in.
Then there is Dong-chan and his family. Guilt weighs on him for providing the testimony that put his brother in jail, and subsequently onto death row. Watching him struggle through his past, and deciding on the present and future is drama gold. This journey will be as much about him growing up as it is about saving Saet-byeol and his brother, Dong-ho. He reaches out to his nephew, Yeong-gyu, and realizes how much the kid misses his father. It's a big realization for someone who has been so stuck in his ways. This understanding is mirrored a little in Soo-hyeon who apologizes for hitting Yeong-gyu, but she has a lot of growing to do as well.
The camera does plenty of storytelling and cuts out a lot of character monologues that would otherwise be the vehicle for development in many other dramas. The clarity of all the camera work in "God's Gift - 14 Days" is one of its biggest strengths. It keeps tensions high, information flowing and doesn't just tell the viewers what's happening. It leads them along. The music is also a snugly fit puzzle piece in all of this. The way that certain themes float in an out of the action really sets the mood. Abrupt mood changes are accompanied by sudden music changes or a fizzling out of a theme. It's very well-timed.
After all of the basics of the time jump have been worked out, it's time for Soo-hyeon and Dong-chan to set about actively changing the future - in all of the wrong ways. She is impulsive and so singularly and emotionally driven that she bumbles her way through catching the killer. She and Dong-chan don't have a rapport yet and so their teamwork is sketchy as well. But this is all great fodder for growth in both of them.
The web of connections and relationships is complicated and will be the most difficult thing to keep coherent and functioning well. But if "God's Gift - 14 Days" can do it, this will be a strong show.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Follow on Twitter @raine0211
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "God's Gift - 14 Days" Episode 3"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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