All right, so there appears to have been another angle to the night stalker subplot. Not that this is all that important. Oh Soo resolves it over a single disaffected scene, wherein he ominously implies that civil liberties don't matter when it comes to crooks. I would have thought it would make more sense to have Yoo-ri solving crimes, what with her being a cop and all. Although Yoo-ri is busy elsewhere here, what with all the moping around over her having lost another boyfriend.
The worldbuilding is interesting at least, although it's way too late for "That Man Oh Soo" to be doing basic exposition. Apparently caretaking the magical tree is not a privilege, but rather a curse. Hence why the magical tree applies such unnecessarily harsh punishments. Apparently the magic tea Yoo-ri drank doesn't even have anything to do with anything, that's just Oh Soo's childish misunderstanding. Which once again begs the question of why Oh Soo doesn't go into the lore of the tree more with Man-soo.
Anyway, in other subplots, Jin-woo is informed that Yoo-ri is very sad, and doesn't really do much of anything. Also Che-ri briefly discusses her extremely short-term focus when it comes to romantic relationships. And Hyo-jin has some kind of technical business excuse for why her relationship with Ga-na is so poorly defined. All of these storylines are so slight it's difficult to guess why they're even in the drama at all.
Well, no, not really. They're in the drama to break up the monotony of the relationship between Oh Soo and Yoo-ri being the main focus, which is why there are secondary characters in any drama. The problem is that none of these relationships have enough distinctive detail to break that monotony. At this point even the dialog is referencing the aggressive clichés in romantic dramas, as if that excuses "That Man Oh Soo" for its blatant shortcomings.
It's not like proper plot construction is all that hard. The leads have decent chemistry, as the callbacks to previous episodes remind us. Time was they were very combative and argumentative, when it came to short-term goals which they always managed to resolve amicably personality differences notwithstanding. I like it when solutions come from characters actively going after the problems. Contrast here when Oh Soo finally comes up with a solution to the only remaining conflict, and it's not even his own solution - someone has to give it to him.
Review by William Schwartz
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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.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "That Man Oh Soo" Episode 15"
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