This episode focuses on what lies beneath. The company projects an image of propriety while accepting bribes and treating employees poorly. Kang-ho seems put together on the outside, but whose and unfortunate situation sets him front and center in "Radiant Office".
Although not poor, Kang-ho is under such intense pressure from his mother he tried to kill himself in episode 1, and he is willing to suck up to anyone and do anything in order to not be perceived as a failure by his mother. Ho-won watches in horror as he buys up all the excess furniture on his credit card just to improve his team's sales figures. In a way, he's the worst of the three in terms of condition. Ho-won has determination as does Gi-taek. It is Kang-ho who is a bomb. Watching his mother on-screen lives no doubt about why he is so emotionally crippled.
Ho-won's mother also makes an appearance this episode and from it we see that Ho-won loves her mother, but that they don't quite get along. Money is a sore point between them, as it dictated her childhood in a bad way. However, there is hope for them because Ho-won calls her mother again after their major fight. It's good to see a loving family that doesn't get along perfectly. They have to work things out because life has given them obstacles.
Woo-jin was once similar to Ho-won as is revealed in this episode. He grew up poor and that strained relations with his father. He clawed his way to the top and is still fighting those who use social status to their advantage, like Seo-hyeon does against Woo-jin. Ho-won learns more about Woo-jin and he does the same with her, seeing that she has troubles that dictate her actions at work. It's interesting that he is harsh on people when he suffered the same life situation. Such repeated often happens to those who have suffered. But once Woo-jin and Ho-won begin to understand each other, they fit together like puzzle pieces, her sunnier disposition and his thoughtful take on life.
Another interesting development in this episode is how different Ho-won sees life after being "diagnosed" with an incurable disease. Because she thinks she's dying, she looks at the world anew. While beautiful, I' still not sure if the diagnosis was a plot play, or if she really is ill. She wasn't formally confirmed and there are hints that she may not have it. One of the biggest is that Seo-hyeon wrote a book about her, Gi-taek, and Kang-ho without telling them, and then befriended her without informing her of their prior relationship. I knew he was shifty.
In any case, the plot does indeed thicken as we head to the halfway point. I'd like to get to know Seo-hyeon a bit better and see Kang-ho learn to stand up to his mother and do right by himself. Here's hoping.
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Radiant Office" Episode 7"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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