Episode 12 Review: Mr. Back (2014)
Talking about Mr. Back, as a drama it didn’t manage to remain in the first position during the previous week’s episodes. Pinocchio won both battles on Wednesday and Thursday and climbed higher by 1% compared to Mr. Back’s ratings. I don’t want to be misunderstood, i love equally both dramas for various reasons, but they have something in common, splendid acting and immense chemistry when it comes to their characters. The scenarios differ, but that’s more than normal, otherwise we’d be talking about like-minded dramas. Pinocchio precedes Mr. Back and i can understand why, having Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk in a drama is more than a reason to understand why its ratings are steadily surpassing Mr. Back. And by that i’m not being negative on Pinocchio as a drama, as i already said i highly enjoy it as much as i enjoy Mr. Back. Both scenarios are pretty strong and the actors compliment them even more. However, the way i see it, Mr. Back’s storyline seems to be more appealing to a slightly more mature audience whereas Pinocchio’s potential on younger ages is way stronger. And by mature i refer only to the age factor. Nothing’s lost for Mr. Back when it comes to ratings and nothing’s already been won for Pinocchio respectively even though my drama compass shows towards its direction. So far, so good and i’m not disappointed yet. The only thing that can disappoint me in the future episodes of both dramas is only the scenario since the actors have proven their worth through their roles and interactions. A personal wish is that both dramas remain strong until the end, after all the ratings always played a secondary role to my eyes if i happen to like a drama/movie, plus they aren’t always representative of a drama’s worth (Night Watchman’s Journal for example).
The 11th episode closed its curtains with a triple devastation and the phenomenal victory of the wolves, something that wasn’t bound to last forever. Ha Soo and Go Bong had to part ways with Ha Soo taking the initiative whereas Dae Han’s logic was contrasting his feelings when he found Shin Hyung’s wishes with Go Bong’s handwriting. And let’s not forget his unrequited love towards Ha Soo. As the 12th episode begins we witness the outcome the previous episode’s events. Go Bong’s all alone out of the store with the machine from which he got the stuffed dog for Ha Soo. He’s lost into a whirlpool of emotion and he hasn’t realized yet that he had to part ways with her. Memories are more than alive and he tries to ease the burden with the koong koong da technique. Ha Soo’s going through an emotional breakdown, she’s weeping on the floor unable to sustain her tears from falling. Dae Han’s lost in his own world, until Go Bong enters his room and takes the wish cards in fear from Dae Han’s hands. Go Bong tries to explain once again that these wishes were their father’s wishes and that he had nothing to do with them, but he doesn’t convince Dae Han and his embittered facial expressions reflect it when it comes to the seaweed soup and Ha Soo’s presence at the wishes, especially when it comes to Ha Soo. Go Bong pretends he’s exhausted and that he wants to stay alone in his room, apparently he can’t offer any proper explanation and he tries to avoid this awkward situation before exposing himself to Dae Han. Go Bong surrenders to his thoughts once again and the big bear keeps him company, we get to know that it was a present from Ha Soo as a gigantic thanks for managing to get for her the little stuffed dog.
The following morning Ha Soo’s on a like-minded situation, even though she’s not practically alone, she’s all alone with her thoughts. She recalls the moment when Go Bong ate with them and was complaining about every single recipe. Eventually she comes back to reality and she’s got to answer to an army of questions to her family. In situations like these the only questions that are acceptable are the ones that come from yourself, others’ question just raise the tension within and frustrate you. Leaving the room is the only way out. Go Bong’s mood hasn’t improved since last night, but what’s that pitch black dust he left behind when he got out of his bed? And why did his cutlery became rusty after he left it on the table?
The Seohae Hotel situation seems hard, although Go Bong has a plan. He always has a plan in stock when it comes to business, he never runs out of ideas! Although, when it comes to human relations he’s not always that sharp, but he’s learning fast and we have to acknowledge it! I read Sun Ju’s The Art of War this summer and the fantastic thing is that its advices are not only war compatible, its usage is vivid in many aspects of one’s life and Go Bong manages to use one of Sun Ju’s strategies in the world of business in order to ruin the wolves’ plans. Using your enemy’s trap and affiliating it in order to capture your enemy in his own trap requires some skill and Go Bong has proven it for decades now; his face is quite representative of the enemy’s forthcoming doom.
The wolves are making their moves on the business chessboard. Yi Gun is having a discussion with Ki Chan to receive information about the Seohae Hotel and then he meets with Ji Yoon. First of all she has to move to his department and then they should start arranging their engagement. Walking straight forward down the aisle would be tough for Ji Yoon and he’s pretty much aware of that, one step at a time. Ji Yoon’s anguish and fear of the path she chose is being depicted all over her face, her unconditional love towards Dae Han is painted with the bleakest of colors. Under these terms Yi Gun intends to help them get back Seohae Hotel. At the same time Mi Hye tries to get closer to Ha Soo and get information concerning Dae Han and Go Bong. She wants to tempt her with a pretty good offer. Opening a new tailor shop at their resort with a half price rent and the hotel guests as regular customers everything’s gong to be fine for her family. Others might have agreed straight away, Ha Soo is a decent person and she drops the offer. Not everyone’s for sale, Mi Hye, and the most important is the fact that not everyone’s like you!
Ha Soo’s staring at one of those things she created with love alongside Go Bong, the Xmas tree of the company. Shortly after Dae Han finds her on the spot and apologizes once again. She’s not in the mood for talking and an awkward meeting takes place as she’s leaving, Go Bong and Ha Soo remain silent towards each other while Dae Han tries to figure out what’s going on. Dae Han demands some answers from Go Bong, instead he receives rock climbing proposal! Dae Han knows the art of rock climbing and Go Bong knows it, of course, he heard it from their late father! Go Bong gives you the impression as if… Go Bong had abandoned Dae Han and he was spending all the time with Shin Hyung talking to him all the time about Dae Han! More light is being shed upon Dae Han’s background, he went sky diving and rock climbing to make his father worry about him! Raising his blood pressure and watching his always busy face becoming angry must had been quite a sight! In the process he started to like it, rock climbing i mean, because making his father angry he always enjoyed it! Falling numerous times taught him a lot because the more you fall and get knocked down the easier you find a way up! After they finish their practice Dae Han opens up his heart in an attempt to get closer to Go Bong and tells him that whenever he needs a rock climbing teacher he’ll always be there. Go Bong’s aware that his time is limited and he starts talking like father to son, that he actually did care and he was really worried whenever he was doing extreme sports and he reveals some universal truths about parents! And for once again, he talks on behalf of their late father! Dae Han doesn’t intend to let the odd air around Ha Soo and Go Bong’s relationship slide, but Go Bong tells him that they’re no longer together and that they won’t be seeing each other again. You have to love the chemistry between Go Bong and Dae Han, Ha Kyun and Lee Joon are shining through their roles. Ha Kyun’s a renowned force for his acting and he’s impressive. As for Lee Joon, i always prefer actors to idols, but, but! I’m more than impressed when an idol acts so vividly and offers a soulful testimony by pouring himself into his role and Lee Joon is more than a pleasant surprise. The way he progresses through Mr. Back as you get to know his character more and more relates to the one of a geometrical progression!
And the bromance goes on! Go Bong intends to buy a belated present to Dae Han for his birthday and even though he tries to avoid it, it won’t be easy, not at all! All he can try to do is pay back with a counter-present! Go Bong tries to find the ideal pair of shoes for Dae Han in order to pave his way as a businessman! Being for decades on the run he knows by heart all the clothing conveniences a chairman requires in order to be flexible and appealing during his meetings! They’re having fun together trying different pairs of shoes and Gyung Bae who’s watching from a distance is more than grateful to cherish father and son acting finally like… father and son! And when it comes to business everything’s about persuasion, Go Bong makes sure Dae Han understands it! It’s about time they persuade someone. They meet the most important investor on Seohae Hotel and they try to… persuade her to pull out of the investment, Go Bong intends to offer her five times the money the wolves had offered her! She’s not easily convinced and she intends to go on with the investment, but Go Bong’s pushy efforts make her believe that something’s fishy around the Seohae Hotel and she leaves by cancelling all the plans. She leaves, without the money. What money? The suitcase was empty! The persuasion lesson went really well! And so did Go Bong’s plan to take over the Seohae Hotel anew! Go Bong’s satisfied, Dae Han’s impressed!
The stuffed dog keeps good company to Ha Soo, it’s memory-evoking though and she drowns gently in memories she cherished with Go Bong. One after the other scenes that depict some of Go Bong’s characteristics parade steadily as Ha Soo unfolds her thoughts on Go Bong and even though he might not be perfect, it’s the things he’s good at and his imperfections, but also the way he feels for her and supports her, that make her love him. At the end of the day, remembrance is always painful in situations like these and she can’t stop the tears from caressing her face.
Dae Han’s still confused about Shin Hyung, his wish cards, Ha Soo’s presence in them, etc and he’s having a discussion with Gyung Bae once again. Gyung Bae finds himself for one more time in this awkward situation and he tries to cover the truth and clean Dae Han’s suspicions by answering whatever that comes to his mind at the moment. Both figures’ facial expressions are priceless! It’s like an ongoing “-chincha? -chincha!” dialogue that is being depicted in their faces as well! The only truth Gyung Bae shares with Dae Han is about Go Bong’s health and how he feels better when Ha Soo’s around, something that makes Dae Han thoughtful. Shortly after he pays a visit to Go Bong inside his room. He’s worried about him and wants him to do the surgery. The topic changes once again into the wish cards. This time Go Bong has thought a bit more and his answers are more logical, he admits that he wrote the cards and he tried to write them in a Go Bong related way since he understood how the old man was thinking. As the discussion reaches its end he appears more like a caring paternal figure. I was almost sure Dae Han would say “father”, but he kept it deep inside!
Go Bong’s relaxing with his friend Gyung Bae, they share their own mature bromance! Go Bong after his rejuvenation has turned into a prince of love or something! Without forgetting his outbursts of course! Gyung Bae gets permission from Go Bong to visit his wife in Canada since for one more time she wants to divorce him. And why not? He’s all the time by Go Bong’s side! He refuses the offer though because he’s worried about Go Bong’s health. He reveals to him everything the fortune teller said and suggests surgery in order to return to his older shape and live as much as he can. The cardiac pain returns, but he tries to hide it and goes back to his room. He almost collapses, but Dae Han that happened to pass by held him tight. Dae Han’s really worried about his health and even at the thought of losing him he can’t hold back his tears. The always kind and elegant personnel of the Gold House takes care of Go Bong, they always transmit positive vibes every time they appear in Mr. Back. The pain remains and the messages keep coming, i really can’t wait to find out who’s sending them!
Dae Han is about to sacrifice himself for Go Bong. He meets Ha Soo and lets her know that his health has worsened once again. He accepts the fact that both of them treasure each other so much, but he also refers once again to his feelings for Ha Soo. He intends to set aside his feelings in order for both of them to be together, especially since he knows that her presence makes Go Bong’s health better. He promises that everything will be fine between him and Go Bong, he even begs her to reassure her that he’s telling the truth and you can understand from his stare that he’s telling the truth, even though it hurts him. Later on, while Dae Han takes care of Go Bong, Ha Soo sends him a simplistic yet beautiful message wishing him to get well. Dae Han wants Go Bong to get well, he can’t afford to lose him as well after losing their father and he wants Go Bong to call Ha Soo, as soon as his brother will be fine if he’s with the woman both of them love he’s willing to sacrifice his feelings and he doesn’t fail to depict it for one more time. Now both of them know Dae Han’s intentions and his conscience is clean, only his heart knows what he’s going through.
The wolves learn in the first place that their plan has been ruined, one after the other the investors are pulling back and they can’t proceed with the Seohae Hotel plan. Yi Gun can’t help either. Only one person could be behind this and they suspect Shin Hyung. Their instincts are right, after all he’s the Go Bong equivalent of Go Bong! I’m not quite sure whether Yi Gun helped Dae Han and Go Bong or not as he had promised to Ji Yoon. It could be much likely that the events were helpful towards him and he didn’t have to do anything or he really did lend a hand.
An unpleasant surprise awaits Dae Han and a pain unknown so far takes place in Ji Yoon’s heart. Dae Han finds out that Ji Yoon transferred to Yi Gun’s department and he misunderstands Ji Yoon. She can’t tell him her real intentions and he mistakes her for a two-faced person that was close to him to steadily climax her position in the world of business through Go Bong’s company. The disappointment is painted on Dae Han’s face, but the pain that rises from Ji Yoon’s facial expressions is insuperable.
Later on that night Go Bong witnesses the pitch black shadow he leaves behind on his bed and then it suddenly vanishes once again. He finally decides to reply to Ha Soo and tells her that he misses her. She rushes to find him and there he is, at the rooftop where important things happen! The scene becomes emotionally fortified, Go Bong’s affectionate temperament though the chemistry he shares with Ha Soo turns the scene into a heartfelt fountain of love as he wields her beautiful and tear-filled face within his hands. Happiness blossoms through their interaction and the third assignment soon will be born! You can sense all the love and all the longing through their vivid and highly expressive interpretation.
In the meantime, Dae Han wants to eat dinner, but he notices Yi Gun and Ji Yoon’s appearance at the same restaurant and changes his eating plans. As he’s leaving he encounters them and suspects Yi Gun’s presence behind the Seohae plot. His words are like gentle caustic acid, Yi Gun’s used to such reactions, it’s going to be hard for Ji Yoon to find Dae Han being opposed to her from now on. Dae Han’s thoughts before he leaves the restaurant present deep bitterness, but also he can’t comprehend Ji Yoon’s actions.
And the third assignment is… matching bracelets! They have to pick one little meteor each and they definitely enjoy their time at the store! Go Bong never misses a chance to reflect his admiration towards Ha Soo! I’m curious though, will these meteors have an impact later on or it was a random matching item of love? Later on Dae Han is more than enthusiastic! The persuasion lesson from Go Bong was really helpful and he did really well! He wants so badly Go Bong to acknowledge he worked hard all alone that he enrages him playfully and receives the prize of a butt-slap! I highly enjoy their “fighting” moments, they are like little kids!
Later on that night, Dae Han confesses his thoughts and feelings to his late father, Choi Go Bong, in front of the personal memorial he holds in his room. Go Bong happens to pass by and witnesses the emotionally fortified scene. Dae Han dives into a moment of sincere self-judgement and self-acknowledgement, his words crave for understanding for the moments he wasn’t nice to Shin Hyung, but also he’s proud of the moments he shared with his brother and a small reward would be more than welcome. He’d still wish he could be around and witness them together.
A humorous scene is required after so much emotional burden and the wolves are always welcome, especially when they stab each other’s back! In Ja still can’t believe how they lost the Seohae Hotel from the palms of their hands and Young Dal once he witnesses her grandiose entrance he hides underneath the desk! Not for long, their quarrel turns into a fight and for the first time Young Dal raises his voice and fights back! He surprises her once! Then, she brings divorce to the surface and Young Dal agrees in raging ecstasy! He surprises her twice, but he finally faints! They’re taking their turns in terms of fainting this time!
The fourth assignment is a brand new world for Go Bong. A cosplay dance event! The overall scenery is quite odd to his eyes, but Ha Soo reassures him that it’s going to be fun, until someone with a “Scream” costume appears in front of them and scares them to death! Their dressing concept will be beauty and the beast and Ha Soo really looks like a princess in that dress! I prevented myself from drooling at Jang Na Ra’s presence during the scene because i would suffer from extreme and irreparable dehydration. Even though he’s dressed, Go Bong can’t relate to the event and he resembles it to the end of the world! Once Go Bong finds out that Ha Soo didn’t have a boyfriend his face is shining like a second sun, although when he refers to her as a hard working grandma had she not met him, i’m pretty sure he sees the reference to his older self. They are indeed pretty much alike and he had stated it in the past as well, that they have the same taste in food, an old man’s taste! He refuses to dance but in the end he surrenders to the little cute princess Ha Soo! And their dancing scene is powerful! They share their playful and full of joy moments and as they dance Go Bong’s thoughts echo all over the place. He’s grateful he met such a brilliant person, a person he could refer to as the Milky Way, a love as deep as the universe, a love as vast as space keeps dilating itself, setting contraction scientifically aside.
Yi Gun returns Ji Yoon back home. She doesn’t pay any attention to whatever he says. Her mind wanders back at the time when she first met Dae Han, a time when he could live up to the pervert punk title Ha Soo has given him! He’s not the best waiter to begin with. Back then, she was taken by surprise by Dae Han’s temperament and by the way she stares at him you can easily find out that she fell for him from the very first second. I’m really in love in the way she stares at him!
Dae Han’s back at Go Bong’s room and he finds his calendar with the deleted days and the mobile phone that states how many days are left. He starts suspecting the worst case scenario, that Shin Hyung in a few days will not be around and it’s more than he can bear at the moment, not now that he’s getting to know him and enjoying his company.
Go Bong and Ha Soo are about to leave, but he can’t find his cellphone. He searches in his pockets but it’s not there. He drops his lantern wish though without realizing it, Ha Soo takes advantage of the situation and takes it. Go Bong appears with his cellphone and they’re walking in the rain. Ha Soo loves the sound of raindrops and her umbrella is the ideal one when it comes to this. She’s with the man she loves, underneath her umbrella with the rain conducting its own symphony through the raindrops, what else could she ask for? A kiss, of course. An utterly expressive scene with Ha Soo and Go Bong cherishing each other’s lips! I’m so glad that in Mr. Back you don’t have to pray for a kiss to make its appearance! Shortly after Go Bong falls asleep on Ha Soo’s shoulder inside the bus, it’s her chance to read his lantern wish, but his words are not the most hopeful.
The end of the 12th episode presents us the people closest to Go Bong, Ha Soo and Dae Han, both of them realize that something’s not going well for him and they already know that his health is in a bad shape. How will Ha Soo conceive the message on the wish card? What does Dae Han intend to do? What the next plans of the wolves will be? How will Ji Yoon manage to survive through her new position? Questions, questions, let’s find out the answers on the new episodes!