The greater theme this episode is well-meaning lies. Surprisingly enough this is actually well-integrated into all three spotlighted storylines. I can't tell whether this was intentional or just a coincidence, but mostly I'm just relieved that the rich family storyline has been given some much needed comparative context. It turns out all the characters are likely to sink or swim together on these problems.
First, let's take the obvious opening hook- Deok-in running into her husband at the big fancy rich person party. Kyeong-cheol is fortunately not quite as dumb as he looks, and manages to avoid turning everything into a scene. But from his angle the situation is a sympathetic one. Whatever Deok-in and Jin-woo are trying to do, at the very least it's insulting to have these in-laws look at Deok-in much more nicely than they ever look at him.
Where Kyeong-cheol is wrong is assuming that social class is an issue. The weird part about the rich family is that, for all their stuffy jerk-like behavior, acting elitist to low-class people seems to be the one thing they don't particularly care about. It's only the people who lack that background who get particularly upset about lower-class interlopers. This feels like commentary about something, although I'm not sure what yet.
Interestingly, niceness goes the opposite way in the storyline with Deok-in's mother. First, I must commend Kim Hae-sook's performance. She's really capturing Kim Jung-eun's subtle mannerisms, such that these two really do like mother and daughter. Unfortunately, as the last episode established, the rapport between these two characters is based almost entirely on lies. Deok-in knows at this point that she should just let the story end here instead of letting the lies get even worse. But that's just the problem. Deok-in really does have a nicety complex, and it's going to take a lot of serious soul-searching to get past that.
Now, as for the cliffhanger, this is probably the most explicit case of dishonesty predictably ending in disaster. And it's especially appropriate that the longest lasting piece of deceit is the one that falls apart first. The whole issue with secrets here just doesn't work, and I especially appreciate how well this reverberates throughout the larger storyline. Kyeong-cheol and Jin-hee definitely have their flaws, but they have been honest about their situation and for this reason, they don't have very many weaknesses. Everyone else, though, is likely to suffer through a rather serious escalation.
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] "Make a Woman Cry" Episode 16"
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