The completion of the Joseon storyline appears to have added some necessary perspective to Jae-min and Ma-ri in the present day. Sure, the premature dissolution of their teen romance is disappointing, but at least they didn't fall victims to a murderous war between vampires and humans. Be that as it may, Ma-ri has now been outed as a vampire. So now she has to suffer from the prejudice of her classmates.
The shift in Ma-ri's attitude is an interesting one. At the beginning of "Orange Marmalade" she was completely terrified of being discovered, yet here the young woman for the most part puts up a good front of not caring. Jae-min already knows. Lately the fear of Jae-min discovering her true identity was the only thing really bothering Ma-ri, and now that that's out of the way, well, nothing any of the other students can do is really all that bad. Although it does beg the question- why doesn't Ma-ri just transfer to a new school?
As is noted in the script, the answer to this question is so painfully obvious it's a little embarassing that anyone felt the need to ask it. Really it's all a matter of tonal transition. Again this isn't a transition that necessarily makes a whole lot of sense. While Jae-min has plenty of mysterious flashbacks it's much easier to just interpret his character being in numb shock at discovering that his girlfriend is a vampire. Jae-min has sort of but not completely returned to his former jerk-like self, which reflects how this is no longer an identity he feels comfortable with.
The irony is palpable- even though Ma-ri is the one who's suffering from bullying, her self-esteem is mostly healthy. It's Jae-min that's struggling with what to think. Take a look at Jae-min's classmates in particular. He doesn't actually like any of them that much. Back when Jae-min was just a surly popular teenager their behavior seemed passable. But given that Jae-min was the only person really seriously betrayed by Ma-ri their behavior just comes off as, well, kind of mean.
Overall this episode more-or-less marks a return to form to the original "Orange Marmalade" story- for better or worse. The story is fairly strong whenever it's dealing directly with the emotions of either Jae-min or Ma-ri, but then there's parts that make me bristle, like the implication of a conspiracy among the organization working to keep the vampires under control. Really, I just hope we get to see more of the band. I really like the music in this drama.
Review by William Schwartz
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Orange Marmalade" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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