So, it turns out that Hong-nan is not just some random identity that Gi-tak made up to explain how his new female body could know so much about Gi-tak's life. Hong-nan is, in fact, Gi-tak's actual estranged sister from childhood, and by sheer dumb coincidence, it turns out that Da-hye is the real Hong-nan. If you're wondering why this revelation is important, well, keep wondering. All "Please Come Back, Mister" does with this new information is set up a few tender scenes.
At least the tender scenes in "Please Come Back, Mister" manage to be some of the better ones. Da-hye and I-yeon both have moments where they see Yeong-soo and Gi-tak via their souls rather than their currently inhabited corporeal bodies. I like these scenes because they really help get across how, to these women, Yeong-soo and Gi-tak were very important men. In life, Yeong-soo and Gi-tak were steady emotional forces who were capable of grounding bad situations and making them bearable.
It is, at times, difficult to reconcile these nostalgic views of Yeong-soo and Gi-tak with the often childish versions who do stuff like get into petty stupid fights for no reason except comedy, I guess. "Please Come Back, Mister" used to get some interesting staging out of switching between actors so as to contrast how radically different Yeong-soo and Gi-tak's encounters look in their minds compared to what other people actually see. Not much of that here, though.
The driving point of the drama also remains elusive. Yeong-soo even manages to reference the fact that he's going to have to leave again in the immediate future, and this too fares poorly with further scenes that make Ji-hoon look sympathetic. You know, bribery issue notwithstanding, Ji-hoon doesn't seem like that bad a guy. His romancing Da-hye is just a more reasonable version of Yeong-soo doing the same in Hae-joon's body, since Ji-hoon's still going to be around for awhile.
And there is of course the new plot twist we've gotten to by the end, which does at least have the potential to be interesting. I couldn't help but notice, for example, that one inconsistency in Yeong-soo's Capraesque vision of the world in which he never existed. I'm a little impressed that Han-na was able to figure it out on her own, but how else can we explain the fact that the daughter seems so much smarter than the father?
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] "Please Come Back, Mister" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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