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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Incarnation of Jealousy" Episode 9

2016/09/23 | Permalink

Last week's episode left us with a very emotionally confused Hwa-sin, but he finds himself trapped even deeper into an emotional mire he doesn't know how to extricate himself from. Around him Jeong-won and Na-ri deal with the problems that come their way while he watches with pain in his eyes. The decisions he makes are indicative of how much he's grown over the past five weeks; and also of how much his jealousy has grown.

We know that Hwa-sin has it hard. He has cancer. He has a huge ego that gets battered daily. He loves a woman he professed not to love and now has handed to his best friend. Na-ri doesn't make it easy for him to recover from the sudden bout of lovesickness from which he suffers. Her kindness extends beyond the norm. After being mocked at work for dating Hwa-sin in front of all of her co-workers and bosses she still goes to Hwa-sin to take him to the hospital. She has been pretending to be getting treating instead of him to save face and he pretends to be the doting husband. Except he's not pretending, he's in love and it's hurting him. Watching him battle his emotions and his current method of thinking is so excellent. We can see the conflict on his face and see the character growth happening.

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Jeong-won has a dark streak and I really like it in him. His parents don't get along at all, which hurts him. He is boxed in by their expectations and the task of rising to them. Even the major conflict of the episode was founded in the fact that his mother wants him to marry Soo-jeong. It's an interesting dilemma, one often found in Korean drama. How does a child of a Korean family turn against their parents wishes to follow his heart without bringing down a world of hurt and trouble? He should definitely be honest with Na-ri. I hope the show explores his issues more.

As for Na-ri, she has a few cathartic moments in the episode when she gets to fight back against the SBC station bullies or when she confronts Jeong-won and ends up in a passionate kiss. Both were instances of her seeking and getting what she wanted. She has worked so hard and other kick her down. To see her receive something is wonderful, especially because she went after it herself.

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On the production side, I love how the signs in the drama become animated in order to illustrate what the characters are really feeling. Hwa-sin verbally gives Jeong-won his blessing to be with Na-ri, but the sign at the boxing ring shows Hwa-sin punching the back of Jeong-won's head. These fantastical, visual exposition elements crop up from time to time and make me wish there were more.

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Incarnation of Jealousy" is directed by Park Shin-woo, written by Seo Sook-hyang, and features Jo Jung-suk, Gong Hyo-jin, Go Kyung-pyo, Lee Mi-sook, and Park Ji-young.

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