The emotional aspects of this drama take a backseat as the more action-oriented aspects of the story come into focus. As a thriller, it looks like "Two Weeks" is going to play around a lot with information management. While we don't know all the details yet, it's fairly clear that there's some sort of spy game going on between two major powers who want to keep their activities secret. Tae-San and the normal police officers are caught up in the action mainly out of circumstance.
What's interesting about the major powers is that, rather than being all-powerful and all-knowing, these are clearly organizations being run by very mortal people who are capable of making miscalculations and mistakes. Even a standard ruffian like Tae-san could conceivably outmaneuever them- at least in the short term. His long term prospects are quite a bit more murky.
This is mainly because Tae-san's main enemy, as seen in the first episode, is himself. He's genuinely a really difficult person to like. The police don't trust him, and while they listen to his loud protestations of innocence, they're clearly not taking them seriously. Tae-san lacks any sense of tact, and this causes a lot of trouble as it forces him to handle situations alone when he needs (and knows he needs) some kind of ally right now.
Flashbacks this time make some effort to soften Tae-san's character compared to the rather brutal treatment we got in the first episode. At first I was discomforted by this humanization, but thinking back on it, the problem with Tae-san is his inability to communicate anything except selfish emotions. It doesn't actually matter if he means well or is a good person if as far as other people are concerned he's a self-centered ingrate. It's a nice touch to the screenwriting that Tae-san's underlying motivations don't automatically justify the emotional damage he does to people. Mainly because it doesn't pretend like one necessitates the other.
"Two Weeks" seems to have decided what kind of drama it wants to be very quickly. The pacing is excellent, and in just this one episode all four of the teams involved in this conspiracy have essential reactions to the events that are unfolding. The title alone inspires a lot of confidence- at the end of the episode Soo-jin marks a day off her calendar, the implication cleary being that there is a defined plan behind every individual day of the fourteen. And if we get this much plot movement in just one, who knows what any of these people are going to do with the rest of the runtime.
Review by William Schwartz
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] "Two Weeks" Episode 2"
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