Normally when people think about talking to their past self, it's in terms of the advice given to help the younger, stupider you avoid what were, in retrospect, obvious boneheaded mistakes. With the past tense version of the story, that's exactly what "Longing Heart" did. But the premise has been turned around. Now it is the younger Sin-woo who is asking questions about how and why his older self is living the life that he is in the present day.
So far the older Sin-woo has been blowing his younger self off. What can the older Sin-woo learn from the younger one when the older Sin-woo is logically better in every possible way? And yet the older Sin-woo had a unique flaw from the beginning. He was hung up about Ji-soo for years and had to be prodded by friends into even trying to talk to her again. Then, after one sour meeting, the older Sin-woo just gave up and only put in more effort thanks to freak accident time travel.
The younger Sin-woo sees the obvious logical problems with this. Interestingly he's able to make a strong impact on Ji-soo rather than the older Sin-woo, because Ji-soo is a surprisingly good listener. Really that's her main fault. Ji-soo is so used to just being passively resigned to her fate that she can't actually make life changes for the better without specific prompting. Ji-soo is very bad at expressing herself, and is charmed by the younger Sin-woo's assertiveness and confidence.
Contrast that with her first meeting with the older Sin-woo, where he just did the bare minimum. There are also Ji-soo's more recent encounters with the older Sin-woo, where he keeps acting helpful, yet seems scared to make eye contact. Over the years Sin-woo has gained a lot of obnoxious bossy personality traits. While this might come off as attractive in an authority figure, Ji-soo's a doctor now. Socially, she outranks Sin-woo, and beyond that is really more interested in an equal than a superior.
This episode is a fairly excellent analysis of all three of the main characters to an extent we haven't seen so far. But then, a lot of what we learn is really just contrasting past actions with present ones, which is what makes the climax so strong even when there's relatively little definitive action. The main remaining concern is how "Longing Heart" is going to resolve the obvious time paradox, although it may just not bother.
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] "Longing Heart" Episode 7"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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