Da-hye finally directly addresses the creepiness inherent in Yeong-soo's position of trying to constantly hit on a widow. While this doesn't smooth over all the ethical problems involved in Yeong-soo's behavior, I'm grateful that "Please Come Back, Mister" is at least acknowledging the very uncomfortable position in which Da-hye has been put. Some self-awareness can go a long way to making a problematic story seem more harmless and less deserving of over-analysis.
Consider how a weird, petty boxing match takes center stage here as the main setpiece. It's hard to read this scene as being anything except Yeong-soo acting rather dumb, with some equally foolish assumptions when it comes to how willing Maya is to facilitate his weird fantasies. Gi-tak is a more constant ally on account of their having the same enemy, although they both skirt far too close to the "no revenge" rule than seems at all reasonable. Really, all of the rules seem like suggestions at best.
That aspect of the worldbuilding, I think, is the main reason I can't seem to get "Please Come Back, Mister". The rules exist because otherwise dead people would just want to be reincarnated all the time, yet there do not seem to be any major downsides that we've seen just yet. Both Yeong-soo and Gi-tak have made life marginally better for the ones they left behind, and have even managed to gain more satisfactory relationships in the process.
I suppose Gi-tak does deal with some very awkward circumstances, given how he's a man stuck in a woman's body. There's plenty of misunderstandings, both internally and externally, and Gi-tak can't really put forth much of an explanation as to what's really going on because Gi-tak's sister would be expected to conform to certain personality and society centered roles. He just has to suck in his pride and not to get too angry all in the name of the greater good.
What greater good? Well, aside from empathy with the main characters "Please Come Back, Mister" is still rather lacking in conflict so it's pretty weak in this department. While I have to struggle with maintaining interest in Yeong-soo's antics, Hae-joon's scenes always strike a chord with me because the poor guy is convinced there's a huge conspiracy out to get him and incidentally there is. It's just that Hae-joon can't prove it, and even if he could, it wouldn't make a difference. There's a sympathetic element to that pain that always elicits a decent laugh from me, which is more than I can say for the main story.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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