The main conflict this episode is the emotional handwringing that ensues as possession of Seul-gi passes from her mother's family to her father's family. Strangely, even though most of the drama up until this point has done a fairly good job of explaining why the wealthy in-laws are bad people who are unlikely to be a good influence on the little girl, I found the emotion here heavy-handed. It's not like Seul-gi's being sent off to a boarding school in Switzerland. They'll still be able to see her.
A single tearful goodbye would have been more appropriate, and would have given the drama some badly needed time to focus on other more interesting storylines. Much of the action here is just people sitting around having chats about feelings. And there's only so many of these indoor sets that I can really tolerate before that just starts to get really dull.
We do have one lovely, beautifully shot scene outdoors, where Joon-goo is meeting up with a woman he really should not be meeting up with. This is the kind of relatable cinematography I can really get behind, because it really does emphasize why Joon-goo is being, well, such an idiot. Going outdoors is infinitely more pleasant than staying inside that ridiculous oversized mansion, where at one point a character straight up disappears to make sure she can't easily be found again.
The drama needs better comic relief in addition to more fluid changes in scenery. Hyun-soo and her crabby interactions with the people in her life are horribly underused here. She spends most of her screen time this episode commiserating with her family over the terrible Seul-gi situation. Look, I like Seul-gi too, and I'm worried about what will happen. Stop trying so hard to convince me. It's getting really corny.
In a weird way, I actually found myself caring about and empathizing with Tae-won more than the main family here, even though this episode shines a spotlight on the darker side of his personality. It's because his character has more complex motivations than "is sad because what will happen to his daughter". It helps bring out the reality of his character very well, and makes his flawed interactions and general failures regarding interpersonal intimacy shine a lot better. Other characters, namely Eun-soo, need that extra added dimension here. It makes for engaging storytelling, which right the drama is stumbling over.
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] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 8"
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