This was a powerhouse episode. In fact, it was the best episode by far, both in execution and in content. It touched on the major issues of each character, moved the plot along, and packed some hard emotional punches.
Yoo Ae-yun, Assemblyman Yoo's daughter and the instigator of many troubles, is at the center of everything. She is the reason behind Yoo's villainy. He has committed crimes to cover up her, but at the same time, he has allowed the action of covering up to corrupt him. The same is true for Chief Kang. We learned her touching backstory and the reason she is adamant about passing the law giving police investigative rights. But, her efforts to bring it to pass have also turned her into another ruthless person with power. There is a visible change in her when Pan-seok confronts her and she has to choose her past; she chooses to continue to hide the truth and achieve her dream rather than reveal the truth and give that twenty-seven year dream up.
In the same moment that Chief Kang chooses to stay course, Cha Seung-won gives his best performance yet out of sixteen episodes of excellent work. He is enraged to learn that a person he trusted has gone to such lengths to trick him, hurt others, and climb to a position of power by forsaking the lives of others. And Cha literally makes his Pan-seok shake with rage as his eyes fill with tears - it's a suspended moment in time of disbelief, disillusionment, and heartbreak. Cha's years in the business and his mastery of acting have really added depth to this show.
Other wonderful moments this episode were the comedic beats between Pan-seok and Dae-goo as they suffer similar romantic woes and through jealousy. There is an easy rapport between Cha Seung-won and Lee Seung-gi that makes me want to see more of their on screen pairing.
Along with the improved relationship between Pan-seok and Dae-goo is the friendship between the rookies. It is this episode and the danger that befalls the team that shows how Dae-goo truly feels about his teammates and friends - he's come quite a long way. Also, his ability to confess his feelings to Soo-seon is an expression of how far he's come in terms of acknowledging feelings other than hatred, anger, and the desire for revenge. Soo-seon has also done her fair share of growing. She's been avoiding her feelings for Dae-goo for several episodes now and finally acknowledged them. What makes this couple a great on screen pairing is their romantic chemistry as well as the fact that they truly support each other. It's not all mooney eyes and kisses - there is real friendship and understanding behind their relationship. It is something missing from a lot of on screen relationships.
What made this episode so excellent was the fact that all of the relationship development, plot development, personal realizations, and everything else, happened quickly, neatly, and kept the action on screen constantly engaging. It was a change of pace to the slow walk the show was taking towards its finale. While the slow pace was effective for stirring character moments, the writer finally got the hang of speedier development.
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] "You're Surrounded" Episode 16"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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