The overall theme this time concerns the meaning of life. More specifically, for what reason is life worth living? "Sensible Love" has often drawn a parallel between the apparently frivolous emotional pain of the three leads and Hee-soo, who had resigned herself to living out her empty shell of a life. The events of the last episode have been enough to give Hee-soo a choice. And the decision she ultimately makes is an unsurprising one.
The contrast in the broader storyline is with Il-ri, who also, in the same dreamlike manner, has the same choice offered to her. And just as predictably, Il-ri does not take this offer, although she clearly wavers on the question. This episode is the ultimate statement on what the friendship between Il-ri and Hee-soo has actually meant for both characters, and how even though this is the critical emotional relationship for both women, they're both eventually able to accept a permanent separation for the greater good, acknowledging that life has taken them to very different places.
It's this impetus that by the end has given Il-ri the strength to apparently cut off her romantic attachments once and for all. We've seen this happen before- and as mentioned, the main weakness of "Sensible Love" as of late has been the sheer repititon. Excessive flashbacks are also a problem here- a disappointing one to be sure, given that all of the scenes definitely had emotional power the first time I saw them. Overexposure has by necessity lessened that somewhat.
Yet here, coming up on the final episode, getting final closure regarding Hee-soo and the kind of woman she is does a lot to emphasize that yes, the drama is finally ending. Like Hee-soo's life, everyone has accepted that the faint glimmer of long-forgotten happiness isn't worth holding on to in perpetuity just for the sake of nostalgia. It was nice while it lasted, but now it's gone. As meaningful as Il-ri's compassion has been to Hee-soo, ultimately, nothing lasts forever.
This makes for a fairly bittersweet elegy- one that probably would have come off a lot stronger if we had just moved to this several episodes ago rather than padding. Hee-soo admitted, quite some time ago, that she's perfectly well-prepared to die. While I thought the that this was just a matter of her own personal subplot, the thematic relevance to the drama as a whole is quite impossible to ignore. Truly, we can only really wish for the best.
Review by William Schwartz
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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] "Sensible Love" Episode 19"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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