I don’t know what to make out of this drama anymore. At first it was fun scrutinizing everyone and slowly taking out a few names out of Hye-jin’s-killer-suspects pool — although that doesn’t mean they aren’t possibly responsible for other covert crimes — but when breakthroughs are easily blocked and alternate routes turn out to be detours, i’m left with nothing but trust issues. I can still handle fakeouts, but when red herrings are revealed to be the ultimate truths after all, that’s toying with us, no? Good thing is, we’re not running in circles; Show just takes us through the roundabout way to go from A to B.
In the end, So-yoon’s persistent pushiness is effective to cause rock-like Ji-sook to crack even though her general unwariness makes her an easy target. She can be bold but she isn’t strong. She’s brave though, while i was on my seat’s edge watching her unsuspectingly enter the tiger’s den. Doesn’t she see how many people related to Hye-jin’s case, including the subject herself, ended up dead? Doesn’t she fear for her life? I mean, Hye-jin was neither her sibling nor part of her life in the past two decades. This case doesn’t affect her life either that technically speaking she could afford not to bother. Of course it is to bring justice to unni’s name and closure to her death, but unless it in any way leads back to her/their fabricated death/s, Achiara will the first drama whose central plot isn’t about the lead actor. That’s just odd. We’re three episodes from the finale and So-yoon is still foreign to me.
By now, we’ve seen all players although why half of them are even here and what purpose they serve to the plot remain questionable. A lot of characters appear only when the plot calls for it and some of them got offed even before they manage to do/reveal anything. The last one to go is this Chairman Noh whom we see only rarely. It’s funny how easily he’s betrayed by his henchmen when all series long he appeared to be the benefactor behind Councilman Seo’s political career. He was supposed to take care of Hye-jin although we learned that she traded her life with recording of Seo’s murder order on her and So-yoon’s Canada address. It’s interesting to note that he knew as far as where So-yoon lived i wonder if he had had a hand in either the car accident or the sisters’ fabricated deaths…
If Yoo-na, Ba-woo, Agassi, and lumber mill/carpenter Ahjussi ‘disappeared’ somewhere in episode 7 through 10, in the latest three episodes, it’s Ki-hyun’s turn to take a backseat. He’s been working behind the scenes, tracking down and investigating sketchy paperwork. While a tedious process, i’m curious as to what other information he can dig out from there and what else it will give him besides seeing his parents with a new set of eyes and a glare contest every time he confronts them. Nevertheless, he treasures the family so much it’s sad to see him losing respect for them.
As for the two kids, they’ll pop up every now and then; Yoo-na’s still fixated on her beloved Saem while Ba-woo on the time capsule — why their wishes weren’t in it. It’s getting repetitive by now, so i hope that would mean something, that there are two boxes of it…? Cuz from the flashback, the envelope Hye-jin put in was thin it’s impossible to contain bulkier things like strands of hair and blood-stained cloth. Also, i wish Show were clearer regarding the extent of Yoo-na’s supernatural abilities. So far, her vision is selective and arbitrary: she can see dead people but Hye-jin only appears before her after So-yoon’s arrival, and now she can ‘see’ So-yoon when the latter is still alive.
That Achiara is a serene village with buried ugly truths is clear from the start, so much so that every time a character reiterates how small the village is — and how it was even smaller back then — no resident can keep a secret, to me that sounds as what they want to believe, or rather delude themselves into believing. All these years, they’ve convinced themselves that everything is fine, that nothing bad has ever happened to them, that their lies are the truths…until Hye-jin came along and shook things up so much she got all the hate. Maybe her methods were wrong, maybe all involved parties were too comfortable with the status quo, maybe the level of ingrained denial is just that deep.
Well, what more can i say when the level of convolution is already off the charts. Hye-jin returned to Achiara to find her family, but then there’s maternal kin and paternal kin, and the two don’t even know one another! And she isn’t the only one with birth secret; there’s Ga-young and then Gun-woo. They all have “dirty blood” although Gun-woo is the only one who knows his father. Question is, are the other residents aware of this? Also, who is his mother?? The clearer Hye-jin’s family tree is however, the stranger her fixation on Ji-sook becomes. Her illness was the drive behind her quest to locate the family who abandoned her, and her only wish was to live, so when she found more than one relative (didn’t she?), why asked only Ji-sook for help? Didn’t she know that Joo-hee is Ji-sook’s sister? It’s weird that they were in cahoots yet Joo-hee wasn’t aware of Hye-jin’s illness.
The last intriguing bit i have is the one Hye-jin referred to as “monster”, the one nobody knows exists among them, the one who might kill her when exposed… I’ve always assumed it’s Ji-sook (albeit “the trash of the trash” name-calling) but now it seems that it’s her father, the elusive serial rapist? We have yet to know who that scum really is, although the inkling is pretty obvious: Ahjussi. For the record, Agassi does whistle too, but he’s become the prime suspect of the serial killings (which isn’t because of the walnuts), and he was on good terms with Hye-jin. I’m still not sure what to think of this twist. I like Agassi. He displays eerie tendencies alongside childlike innocence that seeing his true color doesn’t sit well with me.
After spending the entire series being unnerved by the cackling sounds, my instinct is right after all: that sound signals impending danger So-yoon should’ve been more wary of. I don’t know why Agassi hurts her when he likes her, but then, who is readable in this dramaverse? Nobody can be trusted anyway.