It is plot twist o'clock in episode ten of "Mad Dog" and boy, is it sudden. I suppose this is the way to go when Hyeon-gi has been brought out of his villain hibernation and Hong-joo has gone off the deep end, but I cannot help this nagging feeling of being taken for a ride. Min-joon's much expected change of heart happens in the same blink of an eye and our team cannot handle it all either.
Oh hello, undeveloped hacker boy who is suddenly patient zero and son to an Evil Rich Dude™ we saw about twice and know little about. I did not quite see you there. Noo-ri (Kim Hye-sung) has lingered nicely under the radar of our character development and I cannot call this revelation too sudden when considering the fact that him being the only one without a revealed backstory has been highly suspicious.
At the same time, he would not have been the first or last character of his type to be left unattended in a plot filled with much more interesting people and so this twist really is surprising. I can at least give it that. On the other hand, giving a character you have not gone through the minimum amount of trouble to develop or give any proper focus to such a pivotal role in what is the final stretch of your story feels like a bit of an emergency measure.
My biggest question, however, is why this is necessary. With six episodes left, two new rising villains and established relationships among the more story related characters on the good side, it does not seem like we need Noo-ri's intervention. Min-joon (Woo Do-hwan) might have gone from zero to one hundred in one episode in terms of his sympathy and adoration for Kang-woo (Yoo Ji-tae), but at least this has been a long time coming development.
On the other hand, I will take anything which can inject a little conflict into the current standstill, since by now there is no time to really focus on the personal anymore. Still, this episode is such a bittersweet glimpse into what could have been. I would have genuinely liked to see an honest Min-joon slowly shed his defenses over the snarky, unnecessarily and unreasonably cruel know-it-all he has been until now.
I still feel that the major reason why the series manages to keep afloat in terms of engagement are the interesting interactions. They are clumsy at times, but that also generates some surprises. Hyeon-gi (Choi Won-young) and Hong-joo (Hong Soo-hyun) are still spiraling down the villain road nicely and perhaps this new crisis will bring the dog team closer together outside of one liners and joint witnessing of security feeds.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mad Dog" Episode 10"
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