Unlike it's premier, the second episode of "Temptation" delved deeply into the heart of the characters' issues and made for a much more interesting watch. It seems like the show was trying to bypass the setup as quickly as possible. Melodramas garner interest because of the moral dilemmas they inevitably posed, the the dilemmas in this show are worth exploring.
Seok-hoon chooses to accept Se-young's proposal, which hinted at strong sexual implications that never played out. But the betrayal is still felt strongly by his wife, Hong-joo, who struggles to cope with his decision. It's a wicked dilemma because she nearly committed suicide for money, driving him to desperately choose money over pride and his body. Choices made in such a high state of anxiety are always dubious. Se-young's motivation behind her offer was a twisted curiosity - could she shake the seemingly stable marriage? It's sick, but morbidly fascinating. And, like men do in wartime, Se-young and Seok-hoon bond despite themselves due to stress. It's a bond that should not form, and will be the basis for the rocky relationship development in the show.
Concerning Hong-joo, she finds herself swept up in her grief over her husband's betrayal despite understanding his motivations. She allows herself to be persuaded by Min-woo to help him with his son, Roy, who he has secreted away at a family vacation home. Had she not been so distressed, she may not have involved herself in another family's issues. But such is the wily effect of misery on a person's mental faculties.
Min-woo is covering up for his tendency to live as he wishes in spite of having a family who he is obligated to. He is the most childish of the four adults, shirking responsibility much like a hormonal teenager. He is still on his way to becoming an engaging character. Right now he is very reactionary.
It is Se-young who is the center of the show's intrigue. She is the character who purposefully plays mind games to alleviate her own pain. She also gets caught in the trap she set by falling for Seok-hoon's earnest efforts to earn the money she bribed him with and his affections for his wife. Despite her cold, practical nature, she opens up to Seok-hoon, and that action draws him towards her as well. Watching the relationships grow in such a logical way makes sense even though the relationships themselves violate almost every culture's moral values.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Temptation" Episode 2"
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