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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mask" Episode 11

2015/07/26 | 1218 views | Permalink

For the first time we see the potential in Ji-sook actualized. She is a fierce woman to be reckoned with, which is not at all what Seok-hoon expected. Watching the power balance between them even had is not only satisfying, it's great writing. Seok-hoon has had such overwhelming power over all the characters in "Mask" that it was beginning to feel infinite and real. Now we see he is just a very clever, very evil, very selfish man.

Seok-hoon is the pivotal character of the show. He is the catalyst for each main character's change. In himself, he has to contend with the situation he has wrought by bringing Ji-sook into his family to play Eun-ha. Ji-sook navigates the minefield of Seok-hoon's family and his dangerous mechanizations only to come out stronger on the other side. Min-woo seemed like an oblivious traveler through life, but, thanks to Ji-sook, has the courage to emerge as much more than a mindless drone. And, perhaps most dangerously, Seok-hoon has hurt Mi-yeon. Her feelings for him convince her to forget how he continues to hurt her everyday. As of late, she sees how he's hurting her sibling who she secretly cares for. She's a sleeping tiger. I'm waiting for the episode when she strikes back.

This is the first time that we see Ji-sook is more than just a scared rabbit. She has always had spirit, but has never acted upon it. Now she does so with cunning and intelligence. Like Min-woo, her burgeoning love has given her strength and its satisfying to see her newfound confidence play out against the selfish loanshark, against Seok-hoon, and with Min-woo. "Mask" constantly mentions wearing masks in its dialogue and to that effect Ji-sook gives Seok-hoon a dangerous USB that has a mask on it, which is particularly clever. The "Mask" USB can uncover Seok-hoon's mask.

The loan shark is the only part of this story that exasperates me. He is in there to keep Ji-sook's family on edge and on the angst radar, but he's the only character that is superfluous. There are other ways to pull her family in. Her mother already has liver issues that can be plot fodder. However, the writing includes some great character material for Ji-sook that blossomed because of the loan shark, and I do appreciate that. It's just that it could've been derived in a different way that is less exasperating.

Min-woo has been a very passive character until now. He is emerging from his cocoon in a most satisfying way. He openly confronts the devious Seok-hoon and declares that he is no fool - and he isn't. Despite the drug influence that has allowed Seok-hoon to manipulate him, Min-woo has stayed cognizant enough to take note of the things going on around him and to do good work. And, Min-woo is still a little boy wanting to be loved. The way he reaches out to Ji-sook is endlessly sweet. This episode really revealed the depth of his character and has me anticipating more from him in the future.

The romance between Min-woo and Ji-sook is never forgotten even as the events of the drama because more entangled and, well, dramatic. There is this underlying tension between them that constantly draws them together. A similar tension pushes Seok-hoon and Mi-yeon apart. As one couple disintegrates, the other grows stronger. Hopefully Ji-sook's truth won't wrench them asunder.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Mask" is directed by Boo Seong-cheol, written by Choi Ho-cheol, and features Soo Ae, Ju Ji-hoon, Yeong Jeong-hoon, and Yoo In-young.

 

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