TL;DR: Is it too pretentious for me to declare a theme for these two episodes? —when has that ever stopped me before? This week’s theme: the boundary between observation and voyeurism.
Hye-in’s life was already pretty awful at this point, by every objective measure—and yet it managed to outdo itself this time. Turns out that her manager of several years, who is so intimately close with her family that he has his own locked bedroom/suite in her house, also is scarily obsessed with her. He had an entire hidden drawer filled with her(?) bras and DVDs labeled things like sleeping and shower.
I just—I can’t wrap my mind around how awful that had to be. When Hye-in was working, I’m betting she easily spent more time with Kyung-hoon than her own family son. He already shared so much of her life by virtue of being her manager, and he smashed the remaining boundaries between them with this gross violation of her privacy. How many of his cameras are left in the house? We had a glimpse of him beating one of Hye-in’s stalkers—could he have turned violent to Hye-in, too?
All of this is on top of the fact that Hye-in has been forced into a live reality television show where she has to get at least 20% of the country staring at her while she struggles to save her son. A son she promised to give away to SG group in order to keep the secret of his parentage from the public…only to be forced to reveal that secret to the entire nation anyway.
In the meantime, Dong-wook marches onward, subjecting others to the pitiless focus of his camera. He showed absolutely no reaction to Woo-shin getting taken hostage by an actual murderer—he just kept filming. Even afterwards, when he didn’t need to be filming, he entirely failed to check in on her. (In contrast, Dong-wook showed a lot of concern over Joon-goo, for a brief moment at least. Woo-shin didn’t even get a look of alarm.)
So I loved it when Woo-shin started being snippy with him afterwards. She pushed back against him and reexamined their roles in crafting and sensationalizing the show. I honestly didn’t expect Woo-shin to break ranks with Dong-wook so soon—or at all, honestly—and her objection to broadcasting Nam-cheol’s body was great. Will she continue to speak out against Dong-wook’s tactics? Or will she return to her old justification of means and ends?
Seung-in strenuously objected to broadcasting Hyeong-soo’s body and showing the crime scene photos of Sang-shik’s body. He continues to be firmly lodged in Lawful Good(-ish) territory, and I hope he stays there. We need someone on this show to draw lines, even if those lines are only there for everyone else to cross.
These cases finally drew in Seung-in personally. The connection between the third mission and the murder of his sunbae finally give him a reason to stick with this case beyond generic justice and being a good guy. Somehow, somewhere, Sang-shik’s murder seven years ago is relevant to the kidnapping and convoluted reveal-and-punish scheme going on in the present. I’m excited to see what happens with him and Mi-ok.
(Mi-ok is amazing, by the way. I love that she’s trying to look at the bigger picture and suss out the kidnapper’s motives and that she went back to question Ji-eun.)
Wanted continues to deliver with every episode. While it hasn’t kicked my adrenaline into high gear yet, it keeps my attention. I also have confidence in the show’s ability to manage all the balls it’s juggling right now. I don’t have the sense yet that it’s about to lose control, which was one of the problems with the latter episodes of God’s Gift.
Hang in there, show. You seem to know what you’re doing. Don’t get to convoluted that you fail to catch everything.
By the Numbers
- Hostages taken: 1
- Pairs of baby shoes: 2
- Dead bodies: 3
- Bottles left of potassium chloride: 10
- Bechdel Test: 3 episodes passed