Episode 7 Review: Mr. Back (2014)
It’s December already, have a wonderful winter everyone! Well, there are places that winter’s already blossomed for some time now, but once December breaks in it’s officially winter in politically correct terms! As for me, winter’s omnipresent all over my body and i’ve entered a nirvana-like ailment state of sore throat, angry nose, burning eyes and a fever that will soon transform me into a spiritualist monk in a parallel universe. Amen. Well, even though i’m in a state of relaxing devastation and it may take like forever to finish this, i will try writing about Mr. Back’s 7th episode simply because it made me burst into tears of laughter.
Let’s be honest here, the seventh episode feels as if there was a laughter marathon, too many more than humorous scenes in an hour’s time. My stomach was wigwagging that hard in my central torso i thought it would reinstate somewhere else from its arch position by the time the episode would reach its end. The backstabbing plots between family members and not only come and go and Go Bong lies in the center of all conspiracies trying to make the puppets do the Go Bong dance in order to achieve his goals and protect Dae Han. A journey through Go Bong’s rejuvenation conditions in order to find out what may lie ahead takes place as well and the zen doctor must find out the truth behind Choi Go Bong’s renewal and how much it’s going to last. In any way, what happened to him isn’t natural and we’re already aware of some side-effects that appear as cardiac arrests from time to time. The pendant, the pendant hides many truths despite its minimal size.
We also get to witness some of our main figures’ feelings in motion as each one’s love puzzle collects its personal pieces. Always as a half, unless someone completes it. And it’s not necessary that the pieces will be in the exact half of the puzzle as it borders with the other one, there can be sparse pieces all over the place as a part of the overall interaction. The most important parts though lie in the middle and in the way they connect, if they finally do, to the parts of the other border. Until it reaches fulfillment, love sometimes feels like a civil war of half parts fighting for unification of the internal land. And this battlefield is omnipresent on Mr. Back, a tranquil fight when it comes to Ha Soo in the way she interacts with both Dae Han and Go Bong, but also a power play between Dae Han and Go Bong when it comes to Ha Soo. The emotional camps on behalf of the men in our story are becoming steadily more specific, but also Ha Soo who’s been neutral so far starts leaving behind her thin red line. The love triangle processes.
The seventh episode feels complete the way it is and it delivers brave doses of laughter without forgetting to move the scenario some steps ahead. Lee Joon once again shines through his interpretation, he’s steadily leaving behind his bereaving essence and he tries to move forward. Almost every time he encounters Go Bong, Dae Han, even when he’s emotionally fortified, he possesses a “bitch please” attitude no matter how righteous Go Bong may appear. Excuse me for the aforementioned phrase, but Lee Joon’s face as Dae Han holds a power of its own that can only be deciphered this way, you can consider it as a defense mechanism.
The episode gets connected to its predecessor by presenting Go Bong’s agony in front of the mirror. It was just a bad dream, was it? One thing is for sure, it works as food for thought and Go Bong’s not willing to just sit and watch what may happen to him in the near future. Something important is the fact that when he was watching Ha Soo working in front of the laptop and he referred to a tomato fighting festival, Ha Soo really paid attention to his words and she searched for it. After all, it’s going to be the main theme of the Red Day event Ha Soo was in charge of for some time now on Dae Han’s behalf under his slight supervision. Right before leaving for work, she returns back to tell Go Bong something, apparently she couldn’t have left him out of the event since his idea was her muse for the final outcome of Red Day.
So, it’s Red Day time! Dae Han on the podium precedes the event. Everything’s drowning in shades of scarlet due to the main theme of the day and Dae Han introduces the wine and the tomatoes to the audience. Just like red as a color awakens a bull’s wildest instincts, in human terms it represents the passion, the heat and the anger and it’s about time everyone inside the event chamber relieved themselves from the stress within! Pick up a target and unleash hell! An utterly funny scene and from a moment and on we witness Dae Han and Go Bong fooling around for the first time in their lives like brothers, like father and son, like friends. They are so ecstatic! Although, an unfortunate act takes place while Ha Soo works as a barrier between the two of them and she ends up hitting the floor, with the first impact being with her head. Hope it didn’t hurt much, Jang Na Ra! Αfter the fight is over, Ha Soo brings a towel to Go Bong, Dae Han’s face is priceless as he craves for one of Ha Soo’s towels so badly! Ji Yoon brings one for him, but as he witnesses their playful encounter he starts thinking that it’s about time he gets closer to Go Bong. Just like the saying “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”, he intends to keep his love life enemy closer!
By the time Ha Soo returns back home she finds a note from Go Bong thanking her and letting her know that he’ll be staying at the Gold House from now on! At the Gold House, Go Bong has returned and he can’t forget his good old habits! Dae Han seems to be putting him back at his place, but nobody messes with Choi Go Bong! Ha Soo’s help is more than needed and Dae Han calls her to pass by. At the dining table a line of Choi Go Bong’s apothegms march one after the other serving the purposes of either Go Bong himself or Dae Han, dressed for the occasion! Dae Han’s been thinking of reviving his dancing dream now that the old man’s not around anymore!
Once Ha Soo arrives something just doesn’t feel right. There’s classical music all over the place and it damages Go Bong’s tranquility as well, what could be going on in the living room? Of course it’s Dae Han’s solitary dancing play who seems to ignore the laws of gravity and offers a well-executed ecstatic performance! Go Bong and Ha Soo are left speechless unable to comprehend what had just happened! They look as if they witnessed an alien landing on planet earth!
Go Bong wonders why Ha Soo’s there at this hour, but soon the discussion ends once Dae Han takes charge of the situation and takes her to his room! He makes a slight confession to Ha Soo by saying that she changed his life by 1% and by a hurt person like Dae Han it’s an important statement that he actually could find someone his life would be worth changing for. Go Bong’s outside the room at the same time and the discussion becomes complex once Go Bong starts shouting just whatever, like which tea Ha Soo would prefer, and at the same time Dae Han asks her if she’s dating with Go Bong since they lived together for a while and she answers back at Go Bong her tea preference! When the door opens Go Bong almost falls down, but he manages to survive in drunken style monkey walking! He just leaves the room after the discussion intrusion which was his one and only plan! I like how the 70 year old man trapped into a middle aged man’s body acts like a 12 year old kiddo! He’s a triple contrasting personality! It’s probably because it’s the first time he conceives this feeling called love and since he doesn’t know how to react to surrounding menaces, immense steps of jealousy pave his way!
Go Bong would never stand back and he faces Dae Han, although the outcome is not the one he’d expect. He doesn’t accpect his feelings in front of Dae Han. Dae Han instead lets him know that he likes Ha Soo, after all, what’s more natural than what he said towards Go Bong? There’s nothing wrong for a young man to like a young woman. Go Bong’s at loss for words and it’s one of these rares times he can’t argue back once the right words appear as an opposition to his secret feelings. The opinion that Go Bong thinks Dae Han would hurt Ha Soo’s feelings leans towards the jealousy factor, just because Dae Han never received love from his father and because he hadn’t felt love so far doesn’t mean he can’t love at the present. Dae Han forges his feelings steadily, whereas Go Bong’s almost there, in secrecy. Both of them feel something they’ve never felt before, the steps they take differ, it fell like an avalanche on Go Bong’s head and overwhelmed him, it started with misunderstandings and a slap in the face that felt more like a heart-awakening caress for Dae Han. “Bitch please, my satellite’s watching you” face incoming.
At the same evening, Ha Soo’s mind is restless, she recalls moments with Go Bong and Dae Han’s words keep echoing all over the room at the same time. She’s in the middle of a magnetic field and the poles start attracting her, i’m really curious how things will flow in this love triangle. Ha Soo’s tranquil state of mind is about to erupt.
The next kindergarten activity between Dae Han and Go Bong takes place the next morning while exercising at the vast garden outside the Gold House! You have to like the contrast, Dae Han’s almost sleepy and wants a relaxing exercise and Go Bong is hyper-energetic after the renowned Choi Go Bong dance! He’s definitely like a little kiddo preparing for a school race and gets on Dae Han’s nerves as they run side by side whereas Dae Han tries to avoid him! They end up on a “play with me”-“leave me alone” father-son running spree!
It’s been some time since we last witnessed the lair of wolves trying to stab in the back Shin Hyung and Dae Han and take over Go Bong’s inheritance and lifetime legacy. Young Dal and In Ja don’t like the outcome of the Red Day event. The reason is simple, Dae Han’s popularity grew stronger and they proceed to their next plan. Keeping away from the company the people that were close to Go Bong takes place. The interns are next in line. Τhe closest person to both Go Bong and Dae Han has always been Ji Yoon and her course at the company is being violently terminated all of a sudden. Dae Han and director Yi Gun offer themselves at her service and they intend fight back respectively and solely against this unjust decision.
Go Bong not only came back at the Gold House, but he’s been rehired at the Daehan company as well! His first task is to clean the hotel pool, did you really expect that? Gyung Bae’s the man behind the cleaning and at the same time he enlightens with his thoughts the pathway Go Bong should pave in order to prevent the wolves from attacking. He must use Young Dal’s weaknesses as a barricade for the time being. Go Bong’s more than enthusiastic! That’s the moment Ha Soo appears to see how the cleaning’s flowing. Yet again, another hilarious and ecstatic scene comes to the surface! Go Bong’s cherishing any possible moment that comes across his way. Of course such scenes are utterly humorous and i laugh my lungs out, although i suppose there’s a deeper meaning when it comes to such scenes. Go Bong’s always part of them. Having been given the chance to become younger, once again he treasures every single moment that would bring joy into his life and the fact that he acts like a little child it’s probably because he hasn’t felt this way since his childhood days. It was always about making money and growing his company and in this course he had forgotten all the little beautiful things, all the shiny comical moments. So, whenever a chance appears he turns the scenery into a vibrant circus! And the scene with the bubble on Ha Soo’s nose is pretty cute! You can always sense Go Bong’s affection towards her and in times like these there’s always a “stay calm” aura flowing through Ha Soo.
Ha Soo’s like an anytime anyplace food delivery service. She always has some snacks with her to chase away hunger! And Go Bong can’t say no and of course he can’t miss the chance telling Ha Soo to stop being that close to Dae Han! He even mentions events from the past and a specific incident for which he spent lots of money! And it’s one of these moments he refers to himself in first person while talking for Go Bong! He always makes up for these little mistakes by referring to his father the next moment. Dae Han’s at the corner eavesdropping at their conversation and he is astonished by the information Go Bong knows about him. Not positively, of course. And there are not many people that were aware of such incidents.
By the time Gyung Bae returns at the pool everything’s fine and it’s already being used. The scenery becomes clearer once he overhears Yi Gun and Mi Hye’s conversation. Yi Gun’s on the shady side of life when it comes to Go Bong’s company and Gyung Bae rushes to inform Go Bong whereas at the same time the interns’ positions are trembling.
Dae Han calls Ha Soo at his office. He wanted to congratulate her for the successful Red Day event, but that’s only an excuse. The truth is, he wants to tell her that in case Go Bong badmouths him, she should never believe any of his words! Already knowing the answer, he asks her if he’s badmouthed him so far, to receive a negative answer! He also reassures her that he’ll do his best to prevent the interns from being fired.
Woo Young is scared of Young Dal’s decision to fire the interns. Ha Soo doesn’t worry that much due to her inside information and she tries to comfort her, but she doesn’t think Dae Han is capable to do something like that. Well, judging from the way he lived the previous years i wouldn’t say that’s she’s wrong, but he’s steadily changing, one step at a time. Ha Soo’s searching her bag and the pendant that had vanished from the surface of the earth appears! She had picked it by mistake at the Gold House the day the wolves were plotting against Go Bong with alcohol, sleeping pills and a scandal.
He’s steadily changing, one step at a time, or not? He’s going out with his friends at a karaoke bar to drink. Alcohol reigns supreme and the karaoke room becomes a playground for his friends. He’s not entertained and even though there are people around him he’s getting lost in thoughts and alcohol. And on top of that, Go Bong appears to ruin the last lake of pleasure inside Dae Han! Go Bong’s sharp and loud, Dae Han though is sharper; and tranquil. Another “bitch please” moment profoundly. But at this point Go Bong finally realizes part of the harm he had caused to his son and understands the reasons why he was living like this all these years. The less Go Bong was caring for him, the more recklessly Dae Han was losing himself in the nighttime. Nothing remains hidden under the sun and Dae Han finally reveals the truth that never was a car incident with the girl. The fact that she made him seaweed soup at his birthday after his mother passed away back in the days, whereas his own father wouldn’t even bother to remember the day his son came to life, must have hurt. Go Bong thinks about the large amount of money he paid back then. Still, Dae Han feels grateful towards that girl for that seemingly simple yet grandiose to his eyes act. Go Bong’s going through an information overload, facts and feelings he was unaware of their presence for the most part of his life appear one after the other with every episode. It appears that all these years he didn’t know his son, he didn’t know him at all. And in such a short period of time he’s learning his son and the emotional cost is too much to handle at times. Dae Han’s bittersweet calmness is penetrating.
Go Bong’s thoughts keep on tormenting him after the insightful and full of hurt discussion he had with Dae Han. He seeks comfort at the stairs outside Ha Soo’s home. In opposition to the previous discussion, the one taking place between Ha Soo and Go Bong feels more soothing, she always has an elegant approach towards one’s problems and through her personal experiences she tries to reflect her positive thoughts upon Go Bong’s sore state of mind. She opens up her memory heart and he gladly receives it, there’s mutual affection and it’s omnipresent every time they get involved in a deeper conversation. She serves her purpose and Go Bong feels quite better, after all the role of the urban psychologist suits her pretty well! As he leaves, something bizarre starts happening inside Ha Soo. It feels as if an emotional awakening is at its birth pangs. Koong, koong, da! Koong, koong, da! And as she’s losing herself in the magic of the moment she almost falls down! One of her feet had already crossed the thin red line of neutrality and she didn’t even have the time to witness it. But that’s how such things happen most of the times, without realizing it.
In Mr. Back, the star-crossed universe is not only between lovers, it’s also between plotters. Go Bong’s pretty much aware of that and he’s making his moves in fast pace to get ahead of the events and be the puppeteer at this shadow play. He meets with Mi Hye and lets her know his thoughts on Gi Yun, but she tries to bury this suspicion. Go Bong’s after a book full of names and financial information Mi Hye owns and he’s willing to give her the plans of the Cruise Hotel which was the last grandiose attempt of Choi Go Bong. She bites the bait and she meets Gi Yun who was already informed by Go Bong in the past about Cruise hotel. Gi Yun leaves the final decision to Mi Hye for the final exchange. Gi Yun isn’t convinced about Go Bong’s real identity yet and he’s running an investigation, they are aware of the real Shin Hyun’s identity, but he can’t prove anything yet.
Go Bong’s health is an important factor, a matter of life and death dare i say. He asks the zen doctor to help him find information concerning his condition. There was an incident in the past that took place in Africa and it was in the same vein. the local leader of a tribe became younger overnight, just like Choi Go Bong. There was a meteor involved in that incident as well and the chief had fallen into the crater. Go Bong wants doctor Kim to dive deeper into his case! Gyung Bae’s additions to the overall discussion are hilarious and the zen doctor’s hypnotizing stare is a natural sleeping pill! The last question makes Go Bong wonder, it’s quite rhetorical at that point.
On the next morning, the interns will move by bus to work on a special event. Go Bong’s late, but he manages to get on the bus. Once again the food machine, Ha Soo, is always prepared! However, when she gives him caramels his childish jealousy takes over thinking that she might be giving caramels to anyone, just like she did give to the old man Choi Go Bong in the past. It was an act of immense beauty for the old man Choi Go Bong, to receive something so small and ostensibly meaningless had so much meaning to him at that time. But the new candy ruined it! The place of the event is the same place Ha Soo and Go Bong met for the first when he wasn’t that young. Her thoughts are still vivid and the fact that she considers Choi Go Bong a kind person with a soft heart makes Go Bong shine like a thunder on the horizon!
In the meantime, Dae Han kept his promise towards Ji Yoon, he cancelled the unjust decision of Young Dal and she has every right to return back at the company. I like how she always melts at the presence of Dae Han and how she dives into a sea of honey when he acts this way for her! I just wish things would flow better than this for her in terms of love matters, it’s such a shame for her to be in the one-sided love jailhouse! I just love the constant suspense and agony in Park Ye Jin’s stare as Ji Yoon!
Back at the event, Go Bong enjoys watching Ha Soo working with the elderly with so much positive energy! Go Bong doesn’t enjoy it anymore, Dae Han appeared into his range of visibility and once Ha Soo and Dae Han’s interaction becomes more playful he marches in like a cheetah and steals away the antelope Ha Soo! His actions point towards the heart of his feelings and Ha Soo asks him directly if he likes her. He would never expect something like that and he’s at loss for words, thankfully enough Dae Han appears and gets him out of this awkward position. A line of inconvenient faces appears! Once again, in the end Dae Han offers another “bitch please” moment! There are times i think Dae Han’s maturing whereas Go Bong’s is going through a second adolescence!
The young and the elderly will run with their feet tied together! Go Bong will run with Young Dal together as a team and the ideas of Gyung Bae to hit Young Dal at his weaknesses are about to take place! Although, two old souls like Go Bong and Young Dal can’t help it but fall on the ground and Ha Soo alongside the funny grandma will treasure their victory!
Conspiracies upon conspiracies upon conspiracies! The world of backstabbing and plots on the chase for wealth and power goes on and on! Young Dal can’t sit down and watch Go Bong’s threats and they have a discussion at his car. By the time Go Bong shows proof of his words and Young Dal becomes aware that he wasn’t bluffing around the scenery becomes more intense. Go Bong worked things out with Mi Hye and he’s got the power to make Young Dal step down as the company’s chairman.
Ha Soo shares some humane moments with the grandma, after all they are the winning couple of the competition! On top of that, Ha Soo receives some of the grandma’s wisdom when it comes to love and human relations. It’s one of these scenes that helps you at the present to realize how precious every second is and makes you aware that it will never come back. Appreciating your time while you’re still young is more than welcome, so that in the future the “what if” silent questions won’t come to the surface and if they do, they won’t be that many.
Young Dal followed Go Bong’s orders and stepped down as a chairman. Dae Han doesn’t intend to wait and by the time the reporters appear he announces that he will be in charge from now on! He steadily becomes more responsible and being able to tell Go Bong all the things he’d say to his father helps him grow stronger.
Go Bong feels like talking to Ha Soo. He picks her up with his car and he’s trying to let her know of his feelings. It feels quite stressing and Go Bong’s confession delays. This delay isn’t on his side because by the time he’s about to tell Ha Soo whether he likes her or not they witness a scandal concerning Dae Han.
Dae Han’s under siege by the media and the overall surrounding environment doesn’t seem friendly, not at all. The prosecutor and Yi Gun’s exchange of stares betrays a higher plan behind the scandal. Everything seems to be flowing well for the conspirators, until Go Bong appears and takes responsibility for the scandal! Sorry wolves, better luck next time!
Even if the seventh episode was pretty strong, the nodal point for Mr. Back is the eighth one that will lead us to this Wednesday’s following episode. This episode set the basis on which the next one will step and both of them forge a core that will explode towards any possible direction. The balances steadily become too thin and any trip off the stair may be harmful, for many. Hopefully enough the review/recap of the 8th episode will be published before the 9th one starts airing. And so as to conclude, an emotionally fortified song: