This episode was Hwa-sin's and the struggles he faces between his unwanted feelings for Na-ri, and the implications of having breast cancer. Surrounding his plight is Ppalgang's sad situation and all the people rotating around her like planets around a sun.
What I love most about this show is how deeply it is layered. Na-ri will shove her pride down to go for what she wants. But, she also battles for what is right, flirts when she's in the mood, and does right by the people around her. In this case, that person is Hwa-sin. She goes out of her way to care for him, understanding how badly breast cancer can affect someone and how his ego is wounded by social stigma. Na-ri seems to still care for him, but it is a love without hope. She expects nothing for him and her one-sided love seems to be more of a memory now than anything. The same is not true for Hwa-sin who sees in her a dependable, kind-hearted, and beautiful woman who helps him without judgement in a competitive, brutal, and judgmental workplace and world.
Not that Hwa-sin hasn't lost some of his more unsavory qualities. He still makes sexist comments, and those get struck down faster than lightening by feisty Reporte Gye. He has a long way to go, but watching him go on this journey is half the fun of "Incarnation of Jealousy". Watching the Reporter moms fight over Ppalgang is quite amusing as well, mostly because it rides on a real layer of issues: pain of abandonment, pain of separation, pain of coming together again. Ppalgang is rebelling as her moms try to win her over. Na-ri's brother won't let her get away with that behavior with him and I appreciate that. In that way he is much like Na-ri, calling situations as they are.
As for the romance between Jeong-won and Na-ri, it's almost shocking to see such a bold second lead chasing so firmly after a main lead. Jeong-won has an edge to him lacking in most kind-hearted, but extremely soft second male leads. He has a present manliness, a sexuality, that makes their physical pairing charged on screen. He is definitely giving a Hwa-sin a run for his maid lead position.
But in the end, this episode was Hwa-sin's, like I said before. He is utterly moved by Na-ri's caring of him. At the end of the episode he quietly and secretly gives back by watching her sleep when she is upset and worried. It's the small changes in him that are so satisfying. And Jo Jung-suk is amazing. The thoughts running through his head are apparent on his face. Onto episode 9. I can't wait!
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Incarnation of Jealousy" Episode 8"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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