Very little seems to actually be happening at this point in "Pride and Prejudice". I hope you liked the cliffhanger from last time because this episode just restates it. The situation has been thoroughly analyzed in pretty much every way imaginable. The main lingering unanswered questions are how and why, and without even a side investigation for anyone to focus their talents on, the lack of answers here is a bit annoying.
The drama appears to have realized this even on a meta-level, as the side plot involving the missing briefcase is resolved rather anticlimactically. The big attention grabber here is what happens to the characters afterwards. Granted the sexual tension has been obvious there from the very beginning, but really? Giving us a kiss doesn't really solve the issue of the drama literally being a quest for paperwork at this point.
The slice of life bits at home at least remain somewhat pleasant. Kang-soo's psychology ends up being the most relevant here, not because of the ambiguity of his background, but rather because the episode makes it clear why he's the one who ends up most strongly bonding with the kid. It's a decent enough character arc that's damaged mostly by how out of place it feels in a drama that's supposed to have a major focus on criminal investigations.
Or maybe "Pride and Prejudice" has just undergone a larger tonal shift, moving away from the exciting games of cops and robbers and more in to the daily grind of office / family life. I suppose that's an all right move, albeit one that feels a little strange given that the drama is constantly throwing us hints about the existence of am ominous greater conspiracy. The episode does at least have balance going for it. Like last time, there's just enough variation and ongoing plot threads to keep the proceedings from getting particularly dull, so at least the drama is engaging.
But to be engaging without any apparent purpose is still a mixed victory at best. I suspect that writer Lee Hyeon-joo is taking a breather here, and focusing on the lighter and subtler elements of characterization to buy time and figure out which direction the story is actually going to go. It's working, for whatever that's worth. We're not looking at a "The Night Watchman's Journal" situation where the plot is being slowed down by characters acting like idiots. It's still not sustainable, though.
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] "Pride and Prejudice" Episode 9"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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