TL;DR: This show will only pass the Bechdel Test kicking and screaming.
I was extremely excited when our client of the episode was a lady–surely with Gyeo-wool moving in and insisting on being part of the detective agency, the representation for female characters could only improve! Alas, Vampire Detective made it exceptionally clear in this episode that it doesn’t really care about the ladies unless they’re interacting with men. Even when Gyeo-wool and Seung-hee were in the same scene together–literally across from one another–they each directed their comments to the men in the room, not each other.
We can’t even have Gyeo-wool and Se-ra talk to each other when Gyeo-wool was getting patched up. Goo-hyung was there, and so he got all of the dialogue directed to him. (With a bonus sight gag of Gyeo-wool comparing her bust size to Se-ra and being irritated by Goo-hyung’s flirting.) The only reason Gyeo-wool and Se-ra even pass the Bechdel Test in this scene (with an anemic “It’s all done” and “Thank you”) is so Goo-hyung can be shocked that Gyeo-wool would speak to someone politely. Top that off with the fact that Seung-hee’s junior, Bo-eun, is dead the entire episode–minus a flashback where she’s being menaced by loan sharks–and a nameless female staffer exists primarily to gossip about how Seung-hee and Bo-eun basically hated each other/were rivals, tell a complete stranger that Seung-hee was rumored to have a sponsor and a scandalous video, and shit talk Seung-hee for not going to her cameraman’s funeral, and you can probably guess why I’m getting angry!bored with the show.
(The less that is said about San’s confrontation with Seung-hee at the end, the better. Keep your mouth shut, San, or I will punt you into next week. The hell is wrong with you?)
Honestly, this week’s case is pretty boring. Usually the “person seeking our services is hiding information from us” cases are a lot of fun because they can be exceptionally convoluted and intriguing, but this one just never rose above mediocrity. Not even the countdown was interesting, especially since they more or less abandoned the ticking clock around halfway through. I didn’t think it was possible for a show featuring organ-stealing, secret love, gangsters/loan sharks, and murder could be this insipid, but Vampire Detective managed it.
Keeping San in the dark about his vampiric change isn’t doing this show any favors, either. San has had enough weird shit happen to him this episode (blood triggering visions, glowy eyes, probably an uncomfortable urge to lick the floorboards) that he ought to be reacting to it somehow. Goo-hyung and the tattoo guy know something is up, and their refusal to talk to San about it (even though it is his body) just annoys me. But no time for an interesting exploration of WTF-is-happening-to-my-body! They must deal with a lackluster case instead and do it via blood visions rather than actual detective work.
I was cautiously optimistic after episode one, but episode two has more or less tanked my interest in this show. Is it even worth it to go on to episode three?
By the Numbers
- Hilariously misplaced PPL: 1
- Times Gyeo-wool snarks at Goo-hyung about his reaction to pretty women: 2
- Times our hero goes a bit vamp-y at the site of blood: 6? I lost count
- Bechdel Test: 1 episode passed (begrudgingly)