[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Shark" Episode 6
By William Schwartz | Published on
This drama's performance has been so uneven lately that I really wasn't sure whether the last episode's cliffhanger was going to go somewhere interesting or stupid. Luckily, it's the former, as we soon discover that the plot is actually quite a bit larger in scale than we had been led to believe. Whoever's backing I-Soo clearly does not trust him, and this association also leaves I-Soo with other enemies who are quite a bit more proactive than the eventual direct target of his revenge.
Even the investigation storyline gets a bit of a boost here, because for once it's actually addressing an inconsistency that was pretty obvious the first time we saw it. Seeing the problem both from I-Soo and Hae-Woo's perspective actually gives us a good look at their characters, too. Hae-Woo and her friends are quite open about sharing any information they find, while it's quite clearly implied that I-Soo has been hoarding it this entire time, never letting the crucial piece of evidence out of his sight.
Trust plays a big role in the episode's overall theming. There's no sense or feeling of a possible fracture between Hae-Woo and Joon-Yeong, even though (as Hae-Woo realizes) there's now a very obvious way this could be provoked. There's always something slightly messy and undignified about their interactions- nothing serious, but this sort of casual silliness speaks a lot to the degree of their intimacy.
It's an element noticeably absent from Hae-Woo's interaction with her own family, who are always evasive and out of focus about her investigative questions. The feeling of pressure against them is always a welcome one- it often feels as if Hae-Woo has distanced herself from her familial wealth. And while she's doing well with her family right now, a revelation about what happened to I-Soo's father could easily destroy it. Consequently, the tension is quite well done.
This leaves us with I-Soo who, aside from his bursts of action early in the episode, is relatively passive here. Sitting in his penthouse suite, I-Soo is alone, driftless- and yet very emotionally focused. We have a good idea of what he's capable of now. However, now that we know that there are characters actually capable of facing off against him, it's a open question whether the honed vision of a shark is going to be enough. I-Soo seems quite vulnerable to getting hit with a nasty trap. While my faith in this drama hasn't been completely restored, it's certainly heading in the right direction again.
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. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.