The villain gains the upper hand in this episode because he is cunning enough to stay two steps ahead of our heroes. This episode shows how far-reaching his power and how difficult it is to battle someone with no conscience.
Each of the main characters, Dae-cheol, Min-hee, Hyun-woong, and even Ri-na, is effected by Sang-taek's clever mechanizations. What makes Sang-taek such an effective villain is the combination of a lack of compunction for his wrongdoings and his ability to read the weakness in people. He is also quite rich, and money buys power. Against this the heroes fight and with their current strategies he will not win. As a former police officer, Sang-taek is able to corner Min-hee. As the man whose money is in the pockets of Hyun-woong's father he can buy Hyun-woong's obedience. Because the political players around Ri-na have also been bought, she too is trapped by Sang-taek. It's a great position for the good guys to be in. They'll have to be smart to dig their way out of this hole.
If you notice, I didn't mention Dae-cheol. He is the only one who Sang-taek isn't watching as of now. But like Ri-na, his hands are tied by Sang-taek's ability to plan and rope in key players. What traps Dae-cheol is his rage. When his identity as the Masked Vigilante was discovered by Ri-na, her cutting scrutiny forced him to reckon with the dilemma that has always faced him. He has used the mask when he feels weak and, on occasion, to exact personal revenge. Ri-na challenges him to be a better prosecutor. That will require him to have more faith in himself. Right now, he has very little of it.
That lack of faith mixes with loathing as he continues to have tender interactions with his mother who does not know she is talking to her son. Joo Sang-wook has an exceptional ability to buzz with energy even while barely moving, and this shows how charged Dae-cheol is in his mother's presence. What also makes this storyline compelling is the fact that the mother is hard to read. What she says and the looks on her face are at odds.
Hyun-woong becomes more interesting by the episode. He works the forbidden channels of the law to aid his father, but he doesn't like it. He also dares to stand up to Sang-taek and I think, eventually, he will become a powerful opponent. Perhaps he will even join the Masked Prosecutor.
This episode played a lot with dark and light. Sang-taek's face was either completely illuminated by fluorescent light, or streaked with shadow. I want to see more of this light work because it was so effective. It not only cast Sang-taek in shadow, but his intentions, and his soul.
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] "Masked Prosecutor" Episode 5"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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