"You're Surrounded" has come full circle, giving it a satisfying ending in this finale. There were many moments that mirrored the events of the first episode, and those moments carried so much more weight after the journey through the past twenty episodes. What is most satisfying is that this finale didn't feel rushed. Rather, it provided the climax for the battle between the good guys and Assemblyman Yoo, then rode the lovely denouement to the finish.
The weaknesses of the finale are similar to the overall weaknesses of the show. There is a simplicity to the cases the detectives work, and the same goes for the final showdown between Assemblyman Yoo and Daegoo. Yoo has so much power that the situations he forces Dae-goo into are difficult to believe. Also, a lot of the progress in the cases, and in the climactic showdown of this episode, comes from luck. There are plenty of heartwarming speeches, but the skill level required to solve the true dilemmas is not what I would normally expect from a crime procedural drama.
Jung Dong-hwan as Assemblyman Yoo was more funny than frightening. He spent his time contorting his face and bugging out his eyes. The faces made him look more deranged than evil. His line delivery is impeccably timed, but the accompaniment of the awkward expressions detracted from the menace of his character. Part of his character's breakdown mirrors that of Yoo Ae-yun's, which means that part of the hysterics is due to writing and acting. However, Moon Hee-kyung as Yoo Ae-yun did not overact as Jung did. She was unbearably shrieky, but the acting was effective.
The Yoo family had several points of weakness, mostly in that the father and son, Ji-il and Ki-tae, were underdeveloped. The two had significant roles to play in the later parts of the drama and some setup for them would've been nice. Time could have been taken away from Ae-yun's shrieking and incredible narcissism with no complaint from me. There was also a quiet, strained relationship between Ki-tae and Dae-goo that went unresolved. It fell victim to Assemblyman Yoo's manipulative schemes that ripped apart his family, and Dae-goo's.
Dae-goo found some good closure as well. His case resolved, yes, but he also grew a lot. Mostly, he learned to open up and rely on others. He learned to love and cooperate. He learned to express sincere thanks. These are all skills that were stunted by his mother's murder.
The other detectives also grew. In the beginning, they had all joined the force for shaky, superficial reasons. Now, they have settled into their careers, learned to love it, and express interest in particular aspects of the work. Rather than working just to work, just to earn money, the rookies find fulfillment and joy as detectives. The very last scenes show the rookies going through similar scenarios as in the first few episodes, but with much more savvy. They have come full circle.
Pan-seok makes a sacrifice to close the case and receives a demotion - he gets sent to head a country precinct. But he has left his "kids" with love, knowledge and a lot of experience. They flourish well without him, and he thrives in his new environment, no longer weighted by the Masan nurse case or by his jaded attitude. Working with the rookies was as good for him as it was for them. Plus, watching him bond with a newly thankful Dae-goo was cute in that Pan-seok was incredibly touched by Dae-goo's change of heart.
The later episodes of "You're Surrounded" lacked the whimsy and humor of the earlier episodes as it was weighted down by Assemblyman Yoo's evil mechanizations. And, what the show lacked in development, it made up in heart. This show was never really about detectives. It was about people coping with life and learning to lean on each other. Had "You're Surrounded" been able to incorporate better police procedural activity, it would've been a tighter drama. But, I would watch it again for the solid acting, adorable romance and bromance, and the emotional depth that "You're Surrounded" has in abundance.
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 20 (final)"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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