Episode 8 Review: Mr. Back (2014)
On Thursday the 24th of November, 2014, Mr. Back lost its first ratings battle to Pinocchio who managed to climb on the top of the hill at the end of its 3rd airing week. I won’t search for the reasons, yet. A fight was lost, not the war and no-one can predict the audience’s preferences and mood swings. This week’s aftermath will make the horizon clearer and will point towards the winning direction, but still, when the difference is not that great you can never know what to expect. And that’s one of the most beautiful or most desolate aspects of the world of dramas, expecting the unexpected. A drama may not appeal to you in the beginning, but the more you watch the more you dive into it and such dramas are growers, they become better with time and in the end they reward you. However, a drama may take the control of your thoughts by storm during the first episodes, even until the last 15 minutes, until the scriptwriter decides that so far, so good, so what, let’s ruin everything and deliver an ending that will be remembered more than the previous 15 hours and 45 minutes, for example. There are many factors, but as they say, the pen is mightier than the sword, and a South Korean drama’s scriptwriter’s pen, or keyboard, totally lives up to this phrase! Ladies and gentlemen, let’s proceed to the 8th episode of Mr. Back!
Even though the main story is based on a novel, scriptwriter Choi Yoon Jung so far depicts pretty well the characters’ aspects and lets them grow naturally in front of the audience. It’s the second time i come across her this year and having already loved Emergency Couple the expectations were great; she hasn’t disappointed me so far and the script flows pretty well. As a scriptwriter, she seems to enjoy presenting overburdened stories and by saying that i mean that there are many things going on. The good part is, she can handle such stories and let every aspect of them breathe. I mean, take a look at Mr. Back, so many characters have their own background and we get to know them step by step whereas at the same time they progress as they learn from their mistakes and they welcome the future that lies ahead of them with open arms, no matter what it may hold for them. There’s always a sense of romance on the background that tries to make it to the surface, steadily, in fact, there are many love side-stories going on and they take their time.Should i leave aside the humor factor? Definitely not! How many times did you laugh while watching Mr. Back? Many i presume, at least for me it worked and i’m grateful for that!
There are conspiracies and plots and the changes in this vicious world come and go, there’s never a static hyper-plot going on until all hell breaks loose. It’s almost like guerilla tactics, attacks and counter attacks all the time. There are eight camps so far, it’s Young Dal with In Ja, but there’s no mutual trust between them and anyone can work solely. There’s Mi Hye and Yi Gun, i wouldn’t say though that they wouldn’t work on their own on side-plots even against their teammate’s back. There’s Ji Yoon who’s Dae Han’s right hand and it’s a 75%-25% teamwork and then it’s Go Bong with Gyung Bae who have the perfect teamwork and they’re always one step ahead. The first two camps can work together, the other two as well, it will be rather interesting to see how this whole thing will flow! And let’s not forget the health matters of Go Bong which is still a mystery to be revealed, both to Go Bong to find out how he will proceed, but also to the people surrounding him, whether they are friends or foes, it will definitely have an impact on them by the moment the truth is revealed.
Keeping a balance between all these factors without losing your coordinates isn’t easy. So far, so good, so let’s dive into the 8th episode of Mr. Back! As the episode opens its gates, a ray of light is cast upon the recent scandal of Dae Han. It was Yi Gun’s plan to entrap him by providing the key to Dae Han’s room to a girl that would sneak in and get some photos. The good things is Dae Han was so wasted from the overnight excursion on the pathways of alcohol that he’d keep his face hidden over the pillow. Shortly after the scandal’s all over the place and a crusade begins in order to protect Dae Han. It wasn’t the best timing for a scandal to take over Dae Han’s rising fame and Go Bong’s aware of it. His trembling confession towards Ha Soo reaches a rough ending before reaching completion, she didn’t deserve to become the recipient of Go Bong’s sudden anger. He leaves her on the spot and at the same time he rushes to find Dae Han. An inside communication with Ji Yoon and Gyung Bae is more than necessary and so it happens. A whole new background is being forged in order to protect Dae Han and Go Bong takes all the blame on him.
Under the prosecutor’s devious stare Go Bong tries to help Dae Han, but Dae Han’s ego won’t accept his help that easily, he tries to take responsibility and Go Bong is being imprisoned for the time being because he can’t support with full information his Shin Hyung profile. There are some parts that just doesn’t match in Dae Han’s mind, the comparisons between Shin Hyung and his father Choi Go Bong are omnipresent, but it just doesn’t make any sense. He really can’t comprehend who Go Bong really is and why does he put his life at stake to protect him. Ji Yoon’s unconditional love towards Dae Han’s face is all over the place, all she cares about is to protect Dae Han from any harm, she doesn’t want to know what really happened with the scandal, she just wants Dae Han to make it out of this stronger than ever. That’s the reason she cooperated with Go Bong, as soon as Go Bong’s plan helps Dae Han it’s more than welcome.
Yi Gun’s behind the scandal and he pays a visit to Go Bong wearing his friendly and caring mask. Go Bong’s thoughts point towards Yi Gun as the culprit and his experience over the years is correct. Gyung Bae’s lines add a humorous approach in the overburdened situation. The prosecutor is part of the plan as well, but his devious ways don’t seem to work, Yi Gun’s at the verge of exploding because nothing goes as expected. Well, it was a well-conceived plan, but not well-executed. It’s one of these rare times Dae Han’s alcoholic sleepy reactions would protect him, had the picture been clear Go Bong would be unable to help him.
Back at the Gold House, the wolves are not satisfied, it was a good chance for them to take the upper hand once again, each to his/her own aspirations. They can’t comprehend what’s going on, they can’t believe that Go Bong helped Dae Han since their relations weren’t the best since the very beginning. They ask the house personnel if they noticed something and their reply that they were on fire inflames their imagination. Inside their suggestive mind the option of a romance between them starts making its appearance and hopefully enough Dae Han appears to stop this nonsense.
It’s Ha Soo’s turn to pay a visit to Go Bong at his cell. On her way there, thoughts of moments they shared pass by her mind. Even though he wouldn’t like her to watch him like that and he tries to prevent her from staying, Ha Soo’s warm character understands how he feels. She wouldn’t leave him all alone and the fact that she’s worried about his health shows the first hints of her feelings. She cares more about Go Bong, it’s not her usual caring self towards anyone. She trusts him and that’s all that matters and Go Bong can’t help it but be truly thankful towards her, even though he sets aside his confession. Let’s be honest, it could be kind of fun and quite dramatic, but confessing behind bars would steal part of the magic of the moment!
The scandal doesn’t flow well for the prosecutor and Yi Gun. Ji Yoon’s personal investigation, facts and the CCTV footage prove that nothing could have happened in less than a minute’s time. The papers that prove Go Bong’s identity as Shin Hyung are being presented and both Dae Han and Go Bong can walk in the outside world free of charges. Gyung Bae’s invocation upon the prosecutor’s manhood is priceless!
The elevator scene is pretty intense. There are hints that Dae Han has realized who Shin Hyung really is, but his mind can’t comprehend it. So he’s trying to read between the lines. Go Bong’s attitude is more caring and rewarding in a way. He can finally understand Dae Han’s inner world, something he was unable to see through for the past decades. It’s not that Dae Han was wearing an armor, it’s that Go Bong’s eyes were selectively blind. His words hold deep paternal affection and they strike chords inside Dae Han. It’s not that Go Bong doesn’t want to hide his real identity, it’s one of these times he can’t suppress his feelings that have turned into a stream of emotion struggling to come to the foreground. He’s human after all and the realization of the harm he had caused to Dae Han all these years is ever-flowing.
It’s Dae Han’s turn to talk with Ha Soo and during the discussion he refers to Go Bong as his brother for the first time, he tries to cover it up with the resemblance of the word hyung (older brother) and Shin Hyung. Her trust towards Dae Han is strong as well, the bonds of trust she has forged with both Go Bong and Dae Han are more than apparent. And the pervert picture she had in her mind when it comes to Dae Han seems to fade away. Although when he gets closer to her with his playful smile i am pretty sure she still thinks of him as a pervert deep inside!
When Young Dal and Yi Gun are not around, the lair of wolves when it comes to In Ja and Mi Hye turns into a hyena power play over carcasses in the desert. Mi Hye’s got the advantage to be part of Choi Go Bong’s bloodline and she can always express her superiority complex towards In Ja who comes from the countryside. If they could they’d definitely take each other’s eyes out with their bare hands! But in the civilized world of rich ladies taking over one’s stylistic item is powerful enough to show off. And Mi Hye managed to be one step ahead of In Ja when it comes to a new coat!
Yi Gun’s moving towards the center of conspiracies and Young Dal alongside his wife, In Ja, want to work with him on a plan, he’s not quite sure though, but he’s not that negative. He’s got other things in his mind. He takes Ji Yoon out for dinner and proposes to her. I’m not sure whether he likes her or he wants to use this marriage in order to achieve some of his goals, but the facts so far indicate that he cares for her. If we take into consideration that he really loves her, then we have one side love triangle apart from the main one. The main love triangle holds Ha Soo as its center and Go Bong and Dae Han being the peripheral aspirant loves. The second one holds Ji Yoon as its center with her unconditional and one-sided interest towards Dae Han whereas Yi Gun has his own one-sided interest towards Yi Joon, as for unconditional on his behalf, i’m not quite sure yet. He lets her know that he’s aware of the Cruise Hotel, something only Go Bong and Ji Yoon knew about. Ji Yoon’s eyes are locked on Dae Han and the next morning she lets him know about the Cruise Hotel. Shortly after she goes to meet Go Bong to find out his true intentions. Ji Yoon tries her best to keep the Cruise Hotel to its rightful owner, after all it was built for Dae Han. Go Bong’s more than satisfied by realizing once again her deep loyalty to late Choi Go Bong’s words and the support she offers towards Dae Han.
Cruise Hotel was almost at Yi Gun and Mi Hye’s hands, but Go Bong was pointing towards Mi Hye’s ignorance and he was proven right! Mi Hye’s arrogance alongside her ignorance in terms of business matters made her blind and she didn’t notice that the papers Go Bong gave her were a fraud. At this point i wonder, could Yi Gun be working for Go Bong since the beginning and he’s on a plot confusing spree when it comes to Go Bong’s opponents? Could he be acting this way in front of Go Bong to make sure the lair of wolves will trust him? Could be the most well hidden card of Go Bong’s master plan or just another rival and conspirator? He still remains a mysterious figure, time shall tell his real intentions.
People are people and people talk, sometimes too much. That’s what Nan Hee’s doing and once Ha Soo’s name comes out of her lips Woo Young jumps in to support Ha Soo and secure her name out of false accusations and assumptions. The party to celebrate Go Bong’s release from jail is taking place at Ha Soo’s home. It won’t be easy to convince Ha Soo’s mother, even if the chicken tastes good! Before his big entrance at Ha Soo’s humble home, Go Bong had his first hyper self-stylistic moment, it wasn’t the easiest task for his 70 years old brain, but his enthusiasm was omnipresent!
The moment everyone’s been waiting for is here, even if Go Bong’s not sure whether he should do it or not, his confession not only lived up to any expectation, it went way beyond that. It’s one of the most heartfelt confessions this year in drama land (Kang Tae Ha’s confessions in Discovery of Romance have to be the most powerful and memorable for 2014). It’s the first time a man like Choi Go Bong opens his heart to a woman and the poetic air his words breathe is powerful and fragile at the same time, powerful in meaning, fragile in the way he represents them. Ha Soo’s definitely the milky way he’s been longing for in his lifetime, for the first time he could watch the sky and touch the universe in search for his own constellation.
Migratory birds follow the wind to fly home.
An ocean follows the waves to get to the horizon.
Stars follow the moon to get to dawn.
I was thinking of following the blue sky and go to the Milky Way.
Ha Soo’s left overwhelmed, it’s probably the first time someone talks this way to her, the beauty of Go Bong’s words is inconceivable and the inconvenience of the moment takes over, for both of them. And even though it felt a bit awkward in the end, they both cherished the beauty of the moment with their heart pulses rising for sure.
The suspicions around Shin Hyung’s real identity are not only part of Dae Han, Ji Yoon and Yi Gun’s daily lives, Young Dal, In Ja and Mi Hye start suspecting that something’s not right in the way Shin Hyung behaves, the Go Bong essence flowing in the way he talks, the way he walks, etc points towards only one direction, Choi Go Bong, but they don’t know how to put the pieces together. By the time Young Dal wants to say something and stops by saying that his stomach is hurting, i’m pretty sure he must have thought of something important, but he kept it to himself for reasons we’ll probably find out later. It could be that he’d want to discuss it with Go Bong himself.
It’s about time Go Bong cleans Dae Han’s office and Dae Han won’t miss the chance to make his working life more tormenting! He has to clean this and this and that and so it goes on! After all, he promised to start from the bottom! But the resemblance of Shin Hyung to Choi Go Bong trespasses his mind’s harmony.
Later on, Ha Soo invites Go Bong at her place to prepare dinner for him, let’s consider it their first unofficial date! The flour moustache on Ha Soo’s face owned, but what owned more than most is the eel invasion! Both of them got scared to death! The eel plan gets abandoned and our good old ramen appears and along with it almost a ramen kiss takes place! Go Bong moves forward like a hungry monkey until Ha Soo decides to cut the ramen-bridge of kiss! Afterwards they go on a walk and Ha Soo tries to grab a staffed dog. After failing her task she accompanies him to get a taxi, her enthusiasm as he’s leaving is omnipresent and the warmness in Go Bong’s eyes flows from within.
Go Bong returns back at the Gold house, he’s sitting on his armchair at the living room and he’s singing. The song wakes up Dae Han and sleepy as he is he follows the tune that reminds him of something, as he stares at the figure sitting on the armchair he sees his father and leaves the room in fear. Go Bong’s about to find the truth concerning his health.
Go Bong meets the living sleeping pill zen doctor Kim who returned from his mission to find out more information concerning Go Bong’s situation. The thing is, Go Bong must have consumed a piece of the meteor that played its own part in his rejuvenation. The black box proves it as well. The problem is that the African chief died after some time and his body turned back to his actual age. And Go Bong’s old mobile phone that receives messages with a count down is probably the countdown to his death’s date. A question that comes to mind is, who’s sending these messages? Go Bong realizes that his time is near, he doesn’t want to leave this world behind, not now. He finally found love and at the same time he got to understand his son up to an extent, he’s been finding lately all these things he’d been missing for years and he intends to do just anything to keep on living. In agony and fear of death, he pleads for help in front of doctor Kim, he has to find a way out of this journey towards the end. Gyung Bae’s expressions even at the thought of losing Go Bong are representative of the emotional charge of the moment.
Shin Hyung can’t get out of Dae Han’s mind. He wants Ji Yoon to proceed with another investigation to find out who he really is and if anyone knows him in Canada. He has to solve this mystery in order to find some peace of mind. Actually no, to deprive his mind of any peace once he finds out the actual truth! Ha Soo’s call to Dae Han disarms Ji Yoon’s tranquility as well. Dae Han and Ha Soo meet at the coffee shop her brother’s working, it’s about time Dae Han takes back his pendant. In the meantime, Go Bong managed to catch the staffed dog and he’s happy he’ll be able to give it to Ha Soo, but the cardiac arrest pain comes back. He can’t reach Ha Soo on the phone and he calls her brother, Byung Soo, who tells him that’s she’s at the cafe he’s working at. Well, the truth behind the pendant is that it’s a keepsake his mother had given him telling him that at some point in his life it will help him by making his deepest wish come true. It consists of a small meteor part and obviously there’s some interaction between Go Bong and the pendant. Also, it has a general positive effect to its owner. Every time Dae Han refers to his mother you can sense his deep affection towards her face. She’s the most loving figure he can bring back from his memory box.
In the meantime, another meeting between Ji Yoon and Yi Gun takes place. She’s aware that Yi Gun was hiding behind the scandal and he confirms it. He explains himself that he did it to find out how Shin Hyung would react to such a situation because he knows that he’s using someone else’s identity. As i’ve stated above, only time shall reveal his real intentions, for the time being he remains a mysterious figure leaning towards the dark side with some reflections of light. Ha, you have to love that room with the luxurious Christmas decoration!
By the time Go Bong reaches the cafe his pain stops, in that case he thinks that Ha Soo’s around, truth be told, it’s not actually Ha Soo, it’s the pendant, it just happened to be in Ha Soo’s possession every time the cardiac arrest was appearing and it seemed as if Ha Soo could ease his pain. He finds out Ha Soo and Dae Han are together over and goes out disappointed. Ha Soo notices it and follows him. After a small discussion Dae Han appears to tell Go Bong who he thinks he really is, earthquake incoming!
I’m really curious about how Go Bong will try to cover up Dae Han’s assumptions! Or could it be that he’ll finally reveal his real self to him? Questions, questions and not only those two! There are too many questions floating around in our figures’ minds and along with them, we have yet to find out the answers on the forthcoming episodes of this week! Concluding, here’s a like-minded brand new song from our lovely Jang Na Ra straight from the OST of Mr. Back: