[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The K2" Episode 2

The action thankfully calms down in episode two of "The K2" and the necessary emotional stakes to give it meaning are added. The music is still an issue, but it sees some improvement as well. Either that or I am getting used to it, which is sad as much as it is convenient. The episode delivers a little exposition and characterization, which is also welcome. It is still not a show I would call good at the moment, but we are getting somewhere.

Aside from the plot bringing us closer to Je-ha (Ji Chang-wook) working for Yoo-jin (Song Yoon-ah), we get to know the devil herself better. Yoo-jin runs the show and everyone obeys. Se-joon (Jo Sung-ha), her husband is but a puppet for her, but there is something more to them. I cannot tell whether she has emotional attachment, whether she truly thinks she is doing him a favor or whether she needs to soften her guilt through his approval. I would personally choose all three, because she does seem like a complex person.

Soo-jin tormenting Ahn-naYoo-jin thinking about Se-joon's betrayal

I do have an issue with Ahn-na's (Yoona) revelation about the murder, not because it is unexpected, but because we do not actually get to see it. If there is nothing more to that incident, why does the series hide it when the cat is out of the bag and Yoo-jin is confronted about it? Regardless, the past has clearly messed with Yoo-jin's mental health as much as Ahn-na's. I just hope Yoo-jin's problems are not added as an excuse for a forced redemption later on.

The other side of the coin, Ahn-na is still sorely lacking in development. Her phobia has not been conveyed well by the creators, because panic when being chased is normal. I want to see more from her than panting and tears soon, because she has an interesting backstory. Her father is being portrayed as a victim, but if he could destroy Yoo-jin as he claims, then I have to assume he is tolerating the abuse of his child for power.

Se-joon and Chief JoJe-ha and the elderly couple

Je-ha's character gets some backstory and development and I wonder whether we will get a PTSD case. I really like the humanity in his bonding with the elderly couple, though I cannot call it enough for where I think it leads. We know Yoo-jin uses loved ones as leverage, but she is right in that it is too big a sacrifice for him to make only for two people. I wish we had more of his reasoning, thoughts and feelings than just being asked to rely on our own sentimentality.

Regardless, we are finally getting a semblance of a moving story and characters with dialogue. Writer Jang Hyeok-rin still needs to learn that mystery and not holding a viewer's hand are not the same as skipping necessary information and internal story logic, but if the show can stop taking itself too seriously and if it can keep improving, it might turn out well.

"The K2" is directed by Kwak Jeong-hwan, written by Jang Hyeok-rin and features Ji Chang-wook, Song Yoon-ah, Yoona and Jo Sung-ha.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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