The detectives in "You're Surrounded" have begun to function as a team, rookies and seasoned pros alike. They are on a case that requires complete participation and dedication to solve the death of a seven-year-old boy. This case opens old wounds, pits detective against prosecutor, and changes the dynamics of the cast.
"You're Surrounded" gave insight into the reason Pan-seok and Sa-kyung divorced. They lost a young son and couldn't recover from the guilt and blame and severe pain of such a loss. I love that the issue wasn't petty, but something hefty and chock full of great writing material. The episode's missing child case is so similar to their loss that it brings badly buried emotions and memories to the fore. It gives insight not only to the viewers, but to Pan-seok's rookie team as well. He is becoming a man, not just an evil being (in Dae-goo's view) or a Superman (in Soo-seon's, Ji Gook's, and Tae-il's view.) The show spends time exploring the disillusionment of the rookie's and waking them up from their notions of what detective work is supposed to be while also giving them a taste of the real joy of the job.
Part of the heft of the story is watching the rookies grow up. Soo-seon is often the narrator during the small periods of growth for the rookie team and their stalwart leader. She is the rookie who earnestly fell in love with the job (much like Pan-seok in his rookie days) and is guiding the others on a similar path, even reluctant, revenge-oriented Dae-goo. It is her passion, and her beauty that get to him. There were some pre-cohabitation hijinks this episode that were laugh-out-loud funny. Cohabitation is an oft used Korean drama tool that happens to be a personal favorite of mine when used correctly. "You're Surrounded" is prolonging the process of bringing Soo-seon into the male rookies' apartment, but it's part of the fun. Already Dae-goo is feeling a spark of attraction for her against his will. That emotion is a key point in allowing him to be receptive to Soo-seon's earnest desire to make them an effective, productive detective pair.
We got to know Sa-kyung better this episode, mostly through her bitter view on life and her painful past. What makes her interesting now is not her story, but the cold, often nasty, interactions she has with Pan-seok. The frosty atmosphere Cha Seung-won is able to create with Oh Yoon-ah is fantastic. I'm looking forward to watching this relationship thaw and grow. It doesn't have to be romantic, but to watch them find resolution between them is juicy plot stuffs.
The part of the show I'm not so pleased with is the addition of Prosecutor Han, a spiteful, crooked prosecutor who goes out of his way to heckle Pan-seok. His introduction was sudden and his presence in the show was consuming in a bad way. If they had sooner integrated the power that prosecutors have over detectives and how that power can easily be abused, the addition wouldn't have been so jarring. The issue is relevant, but the execution was sloppy. What Prosecutor Han allows the story to do is show that Pan-seok, eleven years into his career as a detective, is still as dogged as ever. He is willing to do the grunt work with the rookies and to go as far as it takes to solve a case. That effort doesn't go unnoticed by his rookies, Dae-goo included despite his suspicions.
I'm still waiting for the major issue between Pan-seok and Dae-goo to receive some more air time, but it feels like "You're Surrounded" is biding its time, waiting for the most opportune moment. I just hope there is less of the annoying Prosecutor Han and more of the adorable interactions between the four rookie detectives.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Follow on Twitter @raine0211
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "You're Surrounded" Episode 5 "
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