TL;DR: Whoa, Ji-hoon, back off a little, will you? I did not sign up for your story. Why are you taking center stage?
I know I praised Ji-hoon’s participation in the plot in the last episode, but he is already close to wearing out his welcome. He barged into the School Trial Club’s room and rearranged their already planned out schedule and trial focus with hardly any attempt to get their feedback, he more or less summoned Detective Oh to give her information and then tell her what she ought to do, and then he did the bulk of the bargaining with the reporter over whether or not he could report on the trial. Between all of that, the start of a Daddy-Long-Legs routine, and his refusal to open up, Ji-hoon is straying close to the genius-male-lead-who-definitely-knows-better-than-everyone-else-and-would-rather-manipulate-you-than-treat-you-like-an-equal. Which is something I am not on board with.
I get it, Ji-hoon’s going to be a significant player in the trial and probably a key player in unraveling whatever the hell happened with So-woo, but episode four felt like an abrupt theft of the spotlight from Seo-yeon. I mean, we’ve repeatedly been told and shown how smart Seo-yeon is, so why can’t she have thought it weird when the school abruptly shortened their schedule? Why can’t she demand that the reporter provide them value if they let him report on the trial? Why is she getting shoved into the emotional side of things so he can step in and (literally) save her? Why is he suddenly calling so many shots when the trial is only taking place because she had the idea and did the majority of the groundwork to make it happen?
When it starts to feel like my heroines are getting sidelined, I get grumpy. The next episodes had better put Seo-yeon back in the center where she belongs.
Another person I am unimpressed by? Woo-hyuk. Look, the male bully with the tragically awful home life just does not interest me very much anymore, especially not when the bully is as vicious and generic as Woo-hyuk. Even the attempt at getting him sympathy fell flat because 1) of course he has just one person who is nice to him who doesn’t shout, 2) of course it’s a woman, and 3) of course she dies so he can cooperate with the rest of the plot. Bleh. As soon as I saw flames, I knew there was no way his grandmother was going to make it out alive.
Try harder, Show. Woo-hyuk could be interesting, if you bothered to put in the effort. Right now he’s just the rich school bully with daddy issues and two minions because they always have daddy issues and two minions. Also? Don’t hand him redemption (if he is not the killer) just because his grandma got fridged. Be more original than that.
(Current bet: Ji-hoon somehow used Woo-hyuk’s grandma to get Woo-hyuk to agree to attend the school trial. Because otherwise, there was no point in grandma existing.)
I’m rather happy that Joo-ri’s mother is willing to go to great lengths to defend and protect her daughter. Joo-ri has been designed as an unlikable, unreliable character, and it’s wonderful to see that she has a parent who loves her and wants to protect her.
The thing I’m most intrigued by is why Seo-yeon and Joo-ri’s friendship fell apart. Seo-yeon clearly still has a great deal of empathy for Joo-ri, but is So-hee right that Seo-yeon was only her friend once upon a time out of pity? I loved that Seo-yeon was willing to step away from the trial if it meant Joo-ri would testify. Seo-yeon really does want to get to the bottom of So-woo’s death; if it means Joo-ri testifies, Seo-yeon is willing to give up her chance to be the one to find out the truth. That says a lot for Seo-yeon’s character, and it makes me optimistic that Seo-yeon will continue to prioritize the truth over her pride and her expectations.
Joo-ri seemed genuinely moved by Seo-yeon standing up to Woo-hyuk and her repeated apology. Seo-yeon never meant for Joo-ri to suffer like this, and I think Joo-ri is starting to understand that. (Or I can hope, at least.) Will anyone tell her that Seo-yeon bargained with the reporter to keep Joo-ri from being investigated? With any luck, that’s the ticket to getting Joo-ri to attend the school trial.
After all, the trial date is fast approaching. Here’s hoping our kids are ready for it.
By the Numbers
- Slaps: 4
- Flashbacks: 2
- Signatures collected: 525
- Harry Potter references: 1
- Off-camera, G-rated seduction scenes: 1
- Sudden appearances by a dead person’s brother: 1
- Bechdel Test: 4 episodes passed