Some of this episode was cleverly wrought while the rest of it was reused material that was weaker with the repeated use. The development of Mi-yeon and Seok-hoon continues to be riveting while the contrived behavior of Ji-sook and the battles between family members and the money-hungry grow wearier.
Let's get the overused stuff out of the way . Ji-sook has come all this way walking on on a crumbling road of lies. Her footing only became more sure when she opened up and was truthful with Min-woo. So why in the world did she close up again? It makes no logical sense with her character and its development. And Min-woo who has come so far has remained at this static point, unable to move forward or backward. His battle with Min-woo is nothing more than a few threats that never grew into fruition. Instead, Min-woo is left to act ridiculously in love (which is ridiculously cute) and puzzled by Ji-sook's sudden change in behavior. He takes no true initiative and it's a loss. His character was learning to open up after being stifled for so long. With two episodes left, I don't know how much he can change without it feeling unnatural. Yes, he overcame his fear of water, but that was inevitable. I'm looking for more than the childhood trauma hurdle - I want personal growth and for him to take responsibility for himself like Ji-sook did for herself.
The most fascinating character in "Mask" is Mi-yeon. She is altogether a strange and intriguing character. Her arrogance disguises true concern, which is a typical melodrama trait. What makes her unique is that she has a vicious streak that rivals Seok-hoon's, but acting upon it pulls at her conscience so terribly that she gulps down wine by the gallons to forget her misdeeds. Her malice isn't driven by revenge like her husband's. No, it is fueled by an obsessive love for Seok-hoon. That obsession brings her to lie to those she loves best and do unspeakable things all to save her crumbling marriage. She knows what she does is wrong, and yet she cannot help herself - excellent character writing.
Seok-hoon is only as powerful as Yeon Jung-hoon makes him, which is very powerful. The character grows weaker in terms of his revenge. That revenge is weak and thin now and is only holding on by a thread. It is Yeon's fierce intensity that makes Seok-hoon so menacing. Otherwise, he's a character who lacks follow through. Does he or doesn't he like Ji-sook? Is his intention to murder her his way of carrying out a perverse sense of justice? He lies not only to Mi-yeon, but to himself. He has to convince himself that he is right.
Going into the last week we can only hope for a few tied loose ends and expect some huge calamity or other. I want to see what Seok-hoon can really do now that things are down to the wire.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mask" Episode 18"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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