Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

Remember–War of the Son: on episode 11~12

Oh, Remember… We’re barely halfway through the series and the amount of flashbacks inserted in the episodes as well as the length of each recurrence are getting ridiculous. I don’t mind if it’s something we haven’t seen before, like what’s usually shown shortly before or after a twist is revealed, or a reminder to some details which may escape our memory because they didn’t appear to be significant the first time around. But if it’s a replay of certain scenes we’ve seen numerous times before (like that fateful car crash) or those we’ve seen just several minutes prior, or a detailed digest of the show’s major plot turn we still vividly remember (like the content of “Evidence 1” CD which led to Dong-ho’s betrayal, Dad’s guilty verdict, and all of Jin-woo’s misery), then these playbacks are nothing but downright superfluous.

We may not have hyperthymesia, but our memory isn’t that bad, PD-nim!

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The speed at which the story is moving hasn’t been to my liking and these gratuitous flashbacks only drag the pace further down. I’m starting to have the urge to press that fast-forward button, which is hardly a good thing, despite promised turnaround. Episode 11 moves really swiftly with gratifying reversal. Episode 12 serves as a tipping point for some characters. Yet instead of psyched, i was frustrated with the lack of development and character reformation.

Although Dad didn’t die on Gyu-man’s direct order, his life ended prematurely due to collusion, injustice, and negligence concocted by The Nams that i believed this would be the turning point for at least Jin-woo. Alas, the one thing that changed in the aftermath of Dad’s death is his hairstyle. He bawled his eyes out for a day and that’s it. Neither the disposition nor working style of his differs in any way, as if the turn of events means nothing to him — or them. Dong-ho remains Gyu-man’s minion and chirpily continues to join hands with his frenemy prosecutor, while Jin-woo is still working toward bringing Gyu-man down through bottom-up approach, only a bit more aggressively. It’s a long winding road ahead… sigh.

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There’s one thing that i found fascinating though: the role reversals of attorney and prosecutor. Since the beginning i’ve questioned In-ah’s choice to become a prosecutor if one of her goals is to acquit Jin-woo’s dad, because a defendant’s not-guilty verdict is basically a prosecutor’s loss, and she readily turns in her badge the moment she’s assigned to the appeal case, which goes against her principle. Now she works alongside Jin-woo as an attorney. Interestingly, Jin-woo goes out of his way and acts like a detective/prosecutor by incriminating Gyu-man’s minions and handing the cases over to the handsome judge, Kang Seok-gyu.

Like Secretary Ahn, Seok-gyu is Gyu-man’s friend, although they don’t seem to be on really friendly term. Neither is he in the loop on Gyu-man’s covered-up crime(s). However, he seems upright and incorruptible and thus likely to make impartial judgment when push comes to shove (i.e. we can trust him to be on the real truth’s side). He may need to make the call sooner than later, since Jin-woo plainspokenly reveals why he’s so insistent on Dad’s innocence as well as who the real murderer is. I know they’re outside the court and the case is as good as closed now, but still, is it okay for him to tell him that, sans evidence?

I doubt Seok-gyu will believe Jin-woo’s accusation in and of itself — he isn’t privy to the confession tape (which i prefer not to resurface or be the smoking gun. There are other obtainable evidences, right?) after all — although he’s starting to have second thoughts about it upon hearing Secretary Ahn’s half-drunk tattling. I too believe you hold the key to Gyu-man’s pandora’s box, therefore quickly open your mouth and tell his dark/dirty secrets to the world before you’re silenced, Ahn Soo-bum! Why should you put up with Gyu-man’s condescendingness? What does it take for you to come to your senses?

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For Dong-ho, it’s a literal slap in the face by the sociopath himself, which is humiliating enough to snap him out of wishy-washy-ness. We can’t fully rejoice yet, because he is STILL delaying his comeback for who knows how long more. If not now, when?

Well, at least he’s taken the first step out of this comfort zone by declaring to go separate ways with Joo-il for whom i’ve lost the last ounce of sympathy. It’s disappointing to learn that the father figure would rather cut ties with his not-son than backstabbing The Nams. I thought his prodding young Dong-ho to be a lawyer was related to the latter’s father’s secret, so if the DUI case had something to do with Ilho Group which Joo-il consciously chose to serve and defend…

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At this point, i’ve run out of positive things to say about this drama. The acting is still the best thing about it, while the characters and storyline frustrate me to no end. It hasn’t gone into boring territory yet, but i don’t look forward to the next episodes anymore. It also takes me longer and longer to finish this weekly post… On the upside, i’ve gotten used to Gyu-man’s sociopathy and am no longer incensed by his twistedness.

Remember‘s most shocking plot twist thus far is regarding Jin-woo’s hyperthymesia: it isn’t a superpower but a disorder! I don’t know how to make sense of it: his exceptional memory is the cause of his deteriorating memory (which isn’t Alzheimer’s it seems) and the more he taps into his memory bank, the faster his condition is progressing. The doctor advises him not to exert his brain too much, although with only 6 months to a year left (to remember what he remembers now? to live??) i don’t think that’ll stop him. Instead, i expected him to work even harder and expedite his revenge plot before the time is up.

If anything, can we get more of his smiles and heartwarming family interactions in between his tears and plot’s madness? That’d be highly appreciated.

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