DRAMA CLUB RECAP: Temptation 17-18 (2/2)
Temptation is near its final end and Tempters, we are here to tell you, we still have no idea how the mess these characters have made will get cleaned up. But while my partners Pam and Drama Debussie have some valid ideas and mixed feelings, I'm just hoping they all make it out alive and alone.
Drama Debussie: A week away from the finale and, correct me if I’m wrong, is it possible that Hong Joo actually achieved some self awareness this week? Did I dream that?
Pamela: Well, it’s better late than never, I guess. She still has a long way to go in terms of how she acts in romantic relationships, but in this case, it may be good for her to be the one to call for an end to the relationship.
Unnichan: I don’t know. I have zero hope in that woman. She’s still pouting and feigning sacrifice. Honestly, I am just glad she is consistent enough to never keep her word and told Seok Hoon about Se Young. Though, I only cared where he was concerned ‘cause that news should have come from Se Young.
Drama Debussie: True, but Se Young obviously had no plans to tell him anything no matter how serious things got which is silly and annoying. I get that Se Young has had to be HBIC for a long time in a world dominated by men, so a certain strength is required. But her unwillingness to share even the most serious of problems was getting ridiculous and unnecessary. Girl, you have to have MAJOR surgery and you won’t even tell the man who loves you? This is when pride becomes stupidity.
Pamela: It is getting to the point with Se Young that she has been being far too careless with her health. She does not want to relinquish any strength she has (or had, since her father and the company basically run her life), which would be at least somewhat okay in a non-life-threatening situation. Her lack of giving information at this point in the drama is actually making her weaker. Pre-surgery Se Young is simply a tired woman who looks overworked to everyone, not a woman in need of surgical medical attention. Your ovaries are being removed - not your head. While Hong Joo has gained at least a modicum of self awareness, Se Young actually has been losing a tiny bit.
Unnichan: I understand being private… I do, but she was just being ridiculous. Surgery is serious, no matter how big or small, because there is always the chance you won’t recover or with anesthesia, wake up. You don’t have to be fearful, but caution is always key when it comes to health. Se Young was being unruly, regardless of how you look at it, concerning Seok Hoon and her family. However, her breaking up with him just boiled my blood. Did it really have to go down that way?
Pamela: Remember my “Kdrama Law of the Land” images from a couple weeks ago? I have a new one: Always Break Up at the Most Inconvenient Time. A theme with Se Young’s character is that we may comprehend her actions, but we definitely don’t want to condone them.
Drama Debussie: It certainly didn’t have to, but it seems the name of this show’s game is making sure that every decision comes with the most cringeworthy result. I have to admit that I do understand why she did it. We all know he wouldn’t have walked away without a really good reason to do so and she definitely gave him that reason. The last thing you want is to have someone hanging on when you don’t want them to. Speaking of, can we talk about Ji Sun AKA the ex-wife that simply won’t go away?!
Unnichan: So it’s official--- she’s just crazy, right? ‘Cause though we all knew her plan to endanger her life with another pregnancy with her ex-husband was an irrational and disastrous scheme, her delight in not only her achievement but ability to then flaunt it was incomprehensible. I’m still reeling from her piting the blame on Hong Joo and confessing her continued love for Min Woo, all the while using her children as her shield/motivation.
Pamela: When it comes to Ji Sun… *sighs* One aspect that I have enjoyed about this drama is the attempts the creators made to add some level of complexity - you can call it, “internal conflict,” I guess - to the characters. With Ji Sun, though, those efforts seemed to be made fairly hastily. That’s why it seems like her children are her “shield;” even when she’s with them, she still has an air of plotting about her, if that...makes any sense...
Drama Debussie: And Min Woo’s mother! She wasn’t much better than Ji Sun. She’s always been a special kind of crazy but it reached new heights this week. I’m thoroughly convinced that while Hong Joo ended her (unregistered) marriage with Min Woo because of her slight self awareness this week, her decision was mainly based on the realization that no matter how much she may victimize herself for no good reason, there’s no way she could ever be as crazy as this bunch. I still stand by the theory that Hong Joo should be single for a while and the writer may be setting us up for the that. Something I would be happy about. Although it seemed for a split second she considered trying again with Seok Hoon after EVERYONE was telling her to do so. Disappointing, seeing that I was proud of her admitting that she dug herself the hole she was in by marrying Min Woo and she wanted to dig herself out, then you get that look in your eye when looking at your ex-husband soon after leaving your current husband?
Unnichan: Please don’t get me started on this “unregistered marriage” epidemic (we’ll be here all night!). But Mama Min Woo? That lady is truly astounding! At this point it feels like she’s just looking for incubators. I was hoping her reaction would be no different from Min Woo’s , something like--- “Riiight. Let’s wait for the paternity test.” For this is the same woman you never respected as your daughter-in-law, not to mention there’s no proof the child is Min Woo’s, same with this “feeling” it was a boy. Yet Mom can’t see past the hope. I hate Ji Sun had to deal with a miscarriage, for regardless of when they happen, they are devastating. But I had to take a pause when Hong Joo shared her understanding and empathy and the woman didn’t bat an eye. With Seok Hoon and Hong Joo, I was delighted he told her “No” to meeting up and delayed any other sit downs to a year after his return. And though I know it had nothing to do with choosing against meeting her but the realities of proximity, at this point, I’ll take whatever I can get from this crew. Which makes me think about how refreshing Hong Gyu and his thinking is for every episode.
Drama Debussie: Hong Gyu is so tired of their...stuff. I like to think Hong Gyu is us; the audience. He always seems to say exactly what I’m thinking and that makes me love him more. This show has a habit of getting a little Maury on us, particularly this week, and Hong Gyu is that bit of sanity that we get at the end of the show when Maury gives his ending thought. I would completely support a spin off for him and Se Jin. They deserve it. I did find myself feeling sorry for Ji Sun in a way. Her desperation to return to Min Woo in spite of everything that has happened proves the loneliness she has within herself and maybe even the lack of confidence she has in herself to live on her own. I do wonder how this will all wrap up next week. Will Hong Joo stay single? Will Ji Sun find her way back into the Ajin household? When exactly is Seok Hoon going to tell Se Young he took the year long job in New York? Will they finally send Yoon A to a boarding school or somewhere she can’t stir up trouble?!
Pamela: Well, unni, I would have to agree on your Hong Gyu analogy to an extent. There are times when I would like him to tone down his frustration, but since it’s highly likely that a lot of this audience - between you two, the commenters, and maybe even the South Korean audience - mirror his little outbursts, I still support him. I support him and Se Jin until the end, especially since Se Jin is Hong Gyu’s own breath of fresh air. Sure, it’s ironic if you consider her family, but that’s why the current normality of their relationship works so well here.
Unnichan: I’d like to believe Hong Gyu sees things closest to the way we take in the events. It almost seems to be a waste that he and Se Jin are the siblings of our main characters because they are living so happily in a world all their own. I don’t have any real clue where we are truly headed, for I am not sure we can say anything that has happened was worth the journey. If we give the show an inch, perhaps this last issue with Se Young was her final hurdle to becoming a “real girl” and Hong Joo turning in another resignation was the product of significant self-awareness, but where does that leave our men? I’ve felt for quite awhile Seok Hoon has been moved from major player status to hard-chested arm candy, while Min Woo...well he’s been written off as a lost cause, no matter the downcast he wore at Hong Joo’s departure. All in all, if we can walk away with no human flesh casualties and Ji Sun and Hong Joo single but acknowledging, I will be pleased.
Pamela: No matter what happens, I’m not quite prepared. Perhaps there will be a few condescending teenage glares thrown my screen’s way, but there are plenty of possible combinations of character-arc-wrap ups that we can see next week. Se Young’s smirk from the early episodes will be missed, as will the female focus and the consequences of passion (and devotion). To be honest, I’ve enjoyed myself, if only a little.
Drama Debussie: I’ll admit that there’s something quite entertaining in seeing the men be classified as arm candy or a lost cause when it’s usually the woman who fall into that category when it’s all said and done. This show was surprisingly female centric which is rare. Not the best example of a female centered drama, but one more that can be added to the small pile.
Unnichan: Certainly, not a feather I'd like to add to my cap.
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Episodes 17-18: [Part 1] [Part 2]