The last we saw of Do-kyeong, he was fervently racing to solve the great mistake of letting Hae-young go. Most of the tension this episode revolves around the horrifying possibility that their relationship has been overrated. Do-kyeong and Hae-young were just never meant to be. It's more of the usual from "Oh Hae-Young Again" in terms of frightening relatability, since in every break-up anywhere, it's only really over when both parties finally decide to give up.
And what makes a person give up on what they think may be love? Mostly just looking foolish. Do-kyeong's personality is not well-suited to submissive gestures. It's a struggle for him to act concilatory with Hae-young, and nearly every such attempt Do-kyeong makes here involves unnatural behavior that comes off as less than persuasive. So it's suitable the episode is building up overall to the moment when Do-kyeong snaps, finally acting like his real self again.
That much, I think, illustrates the difference between a relationship that a person wants to continue out of inertia and one one that genuinely has a life of its own. Look at Tae-jin and the other Hae-young, and the desire to get back together with their formally engaged partners mostly just amounts to returning to a life of known comfort. But knowing that you love a person isn't the same as really knowing anything about them, and it's the latter quality that "Oh Hae-Young Again" has always prioritized.
While that's all strong material as usual, I really must take issue with the whole "Jun shows Hi-ran his script" storyline. Mostly I've just gotten uncomfortable with the way Hi-ran dresses at meetings that are obviously intended to be semi-formal rather than dates. This episode is the first time I can remember the drama actually commenting on Hi-ran's wardrobe, and while the first joke with Hae-young was kind of cute, everything afterward was just awkward and weird.
And not the good kind of awkward and weird like what we've come to expect from Soo-kyeong. The poor pitiful woman asks for advice from the only source she can think of, which just goes to show how low she's gone. And yet there's Jin-sang, always at the wrong place at the right time when inspiration hits. It's very sweet how Jin-sang is consistently able to show Soo-kyeong he cares about her in pretty much the most inappropriate way possible. I really do hope that plotline works out. Sure, Jin-sang is kind of a creep. But at least he's not married.
Review by William Schwartz
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Oh Hae-Young Again" Episode 13"
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