[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master's Sun" Episode 17 (finale)

"Master's Sun" has completed it's run with no major snafus despite the extension. This finale was a solid bookend to the seventeen-episode run, but as a standalone episode, it was rather blasé. It tied up all loose ends and had neat, happy endings for all.


The largest standing problem left to resolve in "Master's Sun" was Gong-shil's ability to see ghosts and how it would resolve. Would her ability disappear after her trip with Lee Chun-hee, or would she learn to live with it? It was an intriguing dilemma because it can be paralleled with real life. And true to real life, Gong-shil's ability did not disappear and she learned to live her life while seeing and helping ghosts. She even used the ability abroad to make money. It would have been nice to see her coming to terms with her ability rather than suddenly seeing a switch in attitude towards it.

Instead of showing the attitude change, the focus rested on Gong-shil and Joong-won's relationship. It would've been interesting if it wasn't obvious that the Hong sisters were fishing for filler material. The couple is only kept apart by Gong-shil's one-sided decision making and that probably wouldn't have happened if there hadn't been an extension. Gong-shil's natural guardedness was exacerbated to cause unnecessary problems. Fortunately, the dialogue was cute and witty so while the extra relationship conflicts were unnecessary, they were fun to watch.

This final episode had a few bouts of randomness. Joong-won's aunt got pregnant and there were too many scenes showing her coming to terms with it, telling her husband and then reveling in the good news. While pregnancy is good, it would've been better had the show mentioned earlier that the aunt wanted children. Then it wouldn't have seemed random and useless. Then, the show dropped Lee Chun-hee's character like a hot potato. One minute he was there, the next, he was gone. His guest appearance was important because his character was another person who could commiserate and support Gong-shil. It should've been resolved better, but the time jump took away any need for proper explanation. Time jumps are the panacea for drama illogic.

The highlight of the episode was the relationship between Kang Woo and Yi-ryung and the acting by Seo In-guk and Kim Yoo-ri. Yi-ryung is one of the best second female lead characters that I've come across in a long time. Her character embodies all the obnoxious traits of the typical second lead, which are then made fun of and turned into something endearing. It's how Kang Woo falls for her and what keeps their relationship interesting. She retains her annoying traits like being too pushy and needy, but then she tempers those traits with genuine affection for Kang Woo. She also understands Kang Woo and how he functions. She knows he needs to protect her - it's how he shows love. It what he wanted to do for Gong-shil and never could. Yi-ryung gives him a way to protect her by having him guard her during all of her public functions as her date.

The cast and music for the show was stellar. So Ji-sub has impeccable timing for line delivery and a wonderful subtlety to his comedy. Gong Hyo-jin brought Gong-shil to life and made Gong-shil adorable where she could've been simpering and annoying. The ballads, especially the one sun by Sistar's Hyolyn, were beautiful and well used for the emotional beats. The recycling of some of the music from "City Hunter" was a bit strange and off-putting, but it was also effective because of the association and the epic nature of the music.

In the end, I wanted more from "Master's Sun". It was fun, funny, clever and heart-warming, but it lacked in the horror that was advertised. Gong-shil behaved as though she was scared, but rarely did I, as the viewer, feel scared, especially as the show continued. The romance was well-developed until the end and the side characters served a purpose and had some dimension to them. Despite my quibbles, it was a solid show that was a good watch.

Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy

"Master's Sun" is directed by Jin Hyeok, written by Hong Jeong-eun and Hong Mi-ran and features So Ji-sub, Gong Hyo-jin, Seo In-guk and Kim Yoo-ri.
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