"Save Me" continues to surpass my expectations and subvert tropes at every turn, as Sang-mi's world becomes more hopeless and more absurd with each passing day. The monsters of Guseonwon are starting to show their true faces as our heroine continues to push their limits, but our group of saviors is getting closer to her.
I am constantly taken aback by how dark "Save Me" is willing to go and Jeong-goo's (Jung Joon-won) death is certainly a heavy blow. It is a choice I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, his death makes him a plot device and I find that a shame. On the other, nothing is more toxic to a cult than those who are curious and who cannot be indoctrinated. Jeong-goo's death may serve as a way to show hopelessness to viewers, but it is sadly all too realistic.
So is the immense strain on Sang-mi's (Seo Ye-ji) sanity. The drama's unapologetic brutality might be too much for some viewers to handle, but it is the honest approach to take for the heroine's plight. It perfectly captures the persistent abuse it takes to drive people off the edge, even if it speeds things up for the sake of story progression. However, followers are useless if not functional and Spiritual Father Jeong-gi's (Jo Sung-ha) choice to allow her false freedom shows how well he understands this.
The man's criminal nature is starting to show and it is of course Apostle Jo (Jo Jae-yoon) who triggers it. The series is smart in keeping the true intentions of Guseonwon's leader hidden. We do not know how much of his partners' actions he controls directly and that makes him just mysterious enough to be very unnerving. Apostle Jo pushes his buttons, because he represents the past and the bitter truth the "Spiritual Father" has probably been denying; monsters do not change by simply assuming a new form.
While Guseonwon's leader wishes to maintain the illusion of change, Sang-hwan (Ok Taecyeon) wants true one, but he has still not let go of his apprehension and fear of actually working for it. He has hoped that all of his problems would have magically fixed themselves in Muji and it is time he realizes that being idle fixes nothing. This includes his relationship with Dong-cheol (Woo Do-hwan).
His friend's release from prison is an odd moment for me, however. I understand Sang-hwan's absence, but what about Jeong-hoon (Lee David) and Man-hee (Ha Hoe-jung)? I hope the drama clears this up, because it sticks out like a sore thumb and as I have said before, these characters matter in the story, too. Good storytelling and Sang-mi burning the church with the unholy trinity in it is all I want from "Save Me".
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Save Me" Episode 5"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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