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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 4

2014/05/16 | Permalink

Episode 4 of "You're Surrounded" was a pleasant surprise. The pacing was excellent and the balance between the comedy, the detective work, and the character development was much improved from the past three episodes. If the rest of the show settles this nicely, "You're Surrounded" can be a great show.

One of the strongest points of the episode was using the situations the rookies found themselves to highlight their growth while simultaneously forcing them to either become real detectives, or literally die. The growing process begins with the heavy fallout of the stabbing from the last episode. The situation reminds Dae-goo of his self imposed guilt over his mother's death. It is now compounded with the guilt of nearly getting the stalked girl killed because of his arrogance. He escapes to his hometown of Masan to come to terms with what has happened and imagines a conversation with his deceased mother. There is such a poignancy when he adopts his native Masan accent to talk to his mother and reveal his fears, and his faults. It shows that he has dropped his facade as the arrogant, devil-may-care detective and is once again the open boy who lost his mother and is afraid. What is even better about this scene is that the entire conversation, and his mother's wisdom, stems from him - she is a figment of his imagination. He knows he made a huge error in the stalking/stabbing case and that he needs to atone for it. It's a beautiful growing period for him.

Then there is Soo-seon who feels completely culpable for not preventing a stabbing, and for provoking the stalker in the first place. The stabbing shocks her into realizing how very real and dangerous the career path she has chosen is. The same realization trickles down to the other rookies, but it hits her hardest, and she turns in her resignation. It is only when the foursome get trapped in a hostage situation and are forced to work together that she, and Dae-goo, realize what being a detective is about. It is a life and death job, and they need to learn to rely on each other, not just on themselves or their ideals or their zeal. "You're Surrounded" has tried to show this in the past three episodes, but it wasn't effective until now.

The latter half of the episode focused on the four rookies and the fact that they are forced to work together or die in a dangerous hostage situation. (Choi Wooshik made an impressive cameo as the jobless man who takes the detectives hostage.) It brings them closer together and, for the first time, they seem like detectives. It brings them each out of their personal reasons for being detectives and forces them to contend with the job they have chosen and the partners they are paired with. They make use of the skills each person brings: Dae-goo's impeccable memory; Tae-il's medical background; Soo-seon's passion; Ji Gook's newfound devotion. I do wish we got a better sense of how the camaraderie between Soo-seon, Tae-il and Ji Gook came to be. Their closeness prior to this episode was not well established. After going through the hostage situation, they are definitely closer and can now see being detective for the noble job, albeit tough, career that it is.

This episode renewed my faith in this show. The cast was its main draw, but now the story has begun to match their strength. I'm interested to see where it goes with the eleven-year-old case that haunts Pan-seok and Dae-goo as well as resolving the personal issues floating around the Gangnam station.

Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy

Follow on Twitter @raine0211

"You're Surrounded"is directed by Yoo In-sik, written by Lee Jeong-seon and features Lee Seung-gi, Cha Seung-won, Go Ara, Oh Yoon-ah, Ahn Jae-hyun, Sung Ji-ru


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