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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Spy - Drama" Episode 12

2015/02/13 | Permalink

The story pivots away from family somewhat and back to action. Yoon-jin, contrary to the other characters in "Spy - Drama" has dedicated almost all of her energy to trying to escape the spy world. So it should come as little surprise that there was a bit more going on in the last episode's cliffhanger than was implied. In the immediate sense this is interesting because of the way it affects the spy interplay. In the melodramatic sense, though, I liked the exploration of the Seon-woo / Yoon-jin relationship better.

I've come to the conclusion that Kim Jae-joong is, in fact, doing acting correctly. It's just hard to tell because Seon-woo is such an amazing dork, spy tomfoolery notwithstanding. Having just shot down his mother's help last episode, he sees the rescue of Yoon-jin purely in terms of the classic damsel-in-distress dynamic. Whereas Seon-woo and Hye-rim can't make up their minds about honest they should be, now that Yoon-jin can finally be truthful, she grabs that chance immediately.

Gi-cheol does likewise. It's appropriate that the way he's managed the situation comes off as a complete surprise- it's not like any of the main characters have been privy to the conversations Gi-cheol has with people who at first glance just seem to be extras. But strength in numbers is actually pretty hugely important when operating on enemy soil. While Gi-cheol's team has always had the physical advantage, this was by their personal design, as well as taking advantage of the Souther Korean government's general flat-footedness.

Now that the literal MacGuffin device has mostly been dealt with, I suspect we're now going to face off with Gi-cheol's emotional attachments. From the very beginning Gi-cheol has been pulling punches with Hye-rim, and it seems like he could very easily cut-and-run. If not now, then certainly in the near future. While his plan has always been a good one, there's definitely moments where Gi-cheol seems to be cutting just a tad too close.

It's usual territory for the genre, really, but "Spy - Drama" manages to keep the proceedings interesting by just being a generally well-polished production with fairly tight narrative focus. There seems to be a general trade-off going on here in regards to how much melodrama there is versus direct excitement. In any case, Seon-woo's unwillingness to just let the matter slide, coupled with the urgency of the situation, will almost certainly serve to expand the drama's current crescendo.

Review by William Schwartz

"Spy - Drama" is directed by Park Hyeon-seok, written by Han Sang-woon and Lee Kang and features Kim Jae-joong, Bae Jong-ok, Yoo Oh-sung, Ko Sung-hee, Jung Won-joong and Kim Min-jae.

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