The illicit relationships that were formed in the first week of "Temptation" have now begun to develop at frightening speed. Each character has been hurt and is looking for the comfort and security that they can't find in their spouses, their family, or their work.
Se-young is the only main character of the four who is experiencing her first love. Although she wasn't innocent in offering Seok-hoon a huge sum of money for three days of servitude, the emotions she feels are genuine and innocently begun. Choi Ji-woo does a marvelous job of breaking down the cold business woman who is experiencing the first symptoms of falling in love. What sets her character apart from other such cold chaebol women is that she plays with her burgeoning emotions like a cat would a mouse. She doesn't understand them, so she toys with Seok-hoon in order to better explore them. Also, rather than find solace in her work, work no longer holds the same fascination as love.
The more complicated relationship is with Hong-joo and Roy. While the pairing in and of itself isn't illicit or wrong, the fact that Hong-joo has placed herself in Min-woo's path is dangerous to her marriage - and she knows it. Although she completely understands why Seok-hoon accepted Se-young's insane proposal, she cannot emotionally cope with it. That is the crux of the matter - the inability to cope with betrayal. Once it happens, realities change for all involved. Laughing with Min-woo isn't cheating to her, but a form of relief. She can smile with another person who appreciates her. It doesn't make drinking wine and smiling with another man correct, but it is so understandable. And that's where melodramas are so fascinating. The issues are sympathetic.
Min-woo is the dirtiest of the main characters. He is a regular cheater and his wife knows it. He is hiding an illegitimate son from his very suspicious wife and falling in love with Hong-joo in the process. He spares no effort to talk with her and her amazing way with his son wins him over further. Min-woo is the character who will be most molded by love. He has done wrong by his family and needs to realize that. Also, he defends his mother against his wife's desire to move out from under his mother's firm grasp, but never spares a thought for his wife's suffering. That is a balance between filial piety, which is very important in Korean culture, and selfishness.
As for Seok-hoon, he has erred, but he is trying with Hong-joo. Unfortunately, the time he spent with Se-young, free of worry, is plaguing him. Again, he seeks what he doesn't have in his wife - freedom from financial burden and the burden of supporting and pleasing. Se-young seeks him out. She wants him. She doesn't run from him. In his situation, that is very appealing.
In terms of the story, it couldn't be more contrived. What makes this story engaging is the fact that the emotions it induces are strong and immediate. Everything is a little too interconnected; there are a few too many coincidences. Like Hong-gyu, Hong-joo's younger brother, happens to get hired by his friend's private detective agency and discovers that she is at Min-woo's vacation home. It's just too coincidental, but the meeting between siblings was worth the coincidence.
While the plot is manipulated for maximum angst, the way that the relationships unfold has been quite logical. As long as the plot doesn't get too twisty for its own good, "Temptation" should be a good watch.
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 3"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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