I had been wondering when things would get deadly in "Mad Dog" and it looks like we have reached that point. Episode eleven is an odd one, because certain things which I was sure were established by now get turned upside down. Kang-woo and his dog team share the same unwavering determination and closeness, but their disorganized enemies become increasingly less tolerant of being toyed with.
The previous episode was somewhat exciting near its end, not due to the twist of Noo-ri's (Kim Hye-sung) identity, but due to the fact that Hyeon-gi (Choi Won-young) seemed to be stepping up his game as a villain. It feels as if the series completely puts a stop to that, however and I feel deflated. Just as I was about to enjoy someone on the bad side pulling through, the series yanks me back by making his plans uneventful.
A multi-villain series could work just fine with a more skilled plot, but "Mad Dog" is simply not that series. As a viewer, I have three characters I am supposed to hate, but none commit to the role of a mastermind. Instead, Hyeon-gi and Chairman Cha (Jung Bo-suk) take turns making me think that they will be the biggest threat while Hong-joo (Hong Soo-hyun) has sadly fallen to the pit that is her stereotype; the scorned woman who has sinned for her fixation and is looking for a way out.
Things are somewhat better on the good team front. Noo-ri is a nice young man and despite serving a mostly decorative purpose here, I can feel a need for his well-being. I wish the episode had taken some time to develop his relationship with his father and perhaps his past with the team more, however. How did Kang-woo (Yoo Ji-tae) develop his connection with him? I wish he had been given proper development, rather than being dangled as a plot device.
Speaking of which, the appearance of the black box feels like a let down. To see this very coveted object be tossed at our hero's lap, especially after all the drama surrounding it and its acquisition is disappointing. This is a feeling I have throughout this entire episode; the feeling that the writer is trying to rush through the checklist of things they need to happen without really considering a natural way to progress.
I am not sure what the future holds for the "Mad Dog" team, but I hope it includes a villain who can get things done properly and maybe more team bonding. I long for a hint of a larger-than-life story about correcting an injustice. So far, we have an awkward school yard fight. Everyone is hurling insults and throwing punches, but no one really knows where to go and what to do next.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mad Dog" Episode 11"
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