Episode 13 Review: Mr. Back (2014)
OK, i am really pissed off, i was writing for hours and my browser betrayed me. I felt more betrayed when i restored my written version and while i was two paragraphs away from ending my review/recap i found myself once again in the middle. Seriously, this can’t be happening to me, but apparently it is happening and i’m the center of its attention. Such a bad and confusing day in many aspects, i thought at least nothing would go wrong when it comes to writing down my thoughts, but even technology had a different opinion. I even thought of dropping my Mr. Back reviews/recaps by putting an immediate end to this expedition and simply keep up watching the series. Even though i feel like being at the top of a volcano and i wait for the right moment to jump inside its sleeping lava in order to explode and bring suffering to the surrounding landscape, i will try to keep calm and i will stop the detonation countdown. I still have to rewrite my thoughts, i still have to put once again the photos in the article and i still have to feel relieved once again by the time i will have to think that i’m two paragraphs away from posting it. I’m a déjà vu of myself and it’s so painful to think that what i’ve been working on for hours it was for nothing in the end. Suddenly i feel like changing the first picture of the article and put another one with all of them crying, but it was such a great episode, especially its second half, that i will start writing down my thoughts once again and i hope i will enjoy them a bit more than the ones i had already written. I would have already dropped to keep on writing it, but since there are some people who enjoy my Mr. Back reviews/recaps and i am more than thankful towards them, i will punish sleep with a double espresso in the middle of the night and i will try to evoke the spirit of the article before the early morning light. I apologize for the long introduction of things that don’t have much to do with the purpose of the article itself, but i felt like writing them instead of destroying something small; and i didn’t want to ruin a few Xmas decoration thingies that have been laughing at me ever since the writing accident occurred. So thanks a lot for your time and patience and i hope you enjoy this review/recap!
The 13th episode spreads its wings from the moment Ha Soo and Go Bong leave behind the bus. The time they spent together at the cosplay party was indeed precious and it had its own magical touch, for both of them. She’s already read his lantern wish and starts suspecting a few things. One thing is for sure, she doesn’t want to lose Go Bong’s presence in her life, whether he’s leaving on a journey or… due to an unwelcome departure when it comes to his troubled health’s issues, especially the second. Dae Han’s worried as well, he’s already noticed the wiped off days on Go Bong’s calendar and the odd messages appearing every day on his late father’s cellphone. He visits once again the same doctor that would perform surgery on Go Bong in order to remove the meteor from his chest, but due to Go Bong’s cardiac arrest he was in an inoperable condition, something that eventually saved his life for reasons we all know. Dae Han dives a bit deeper into Go Bong’s odd health issue’s when he learns about the fast-paced backwards course of blood into his heart. Go Bong tries to reassure both Ha Soo and Dae Han that everything’s fine, when it’s not, and that he’s not going anywhere. Even though his words might seem reassuring, his full of anxiety stare proves the opposite.
Once confronted with suspicions Go Bong seems to be lucky enough to pass them by due to another event taking place at the same time, even though someone else is not that lucky. And this time i’m referring to Young Dal who collapsed after the intense divorce discussion he had with In Ja on the previous episode. Accompanied by Gyung Bae, Go Bong pays him a visit at the hospital, but the climate is not fertile at his presence. Mi Hye and In Ja, even Young Dal, can’t stand Go Bong’s words and presence and shortly after he leaves. In the meantime, Ha Soo and Dae Han cross paths and they share their mutual concerns when it comes to Go Bong’s health. In a room nearby, Nan Hee pushes her love luck forward by surrounding Ki Chan’s finger with a couple ring! She obviously can’t forget his ABS and her eyes have a heart shape ever since. Once he wakes up he has to face Nan Hee’s overenthusiastic reactions, the compass shows towards one direction, “don’t remove the couple ring, or else…” and he humbly follows her orders!
Go Bong sends a message to Ha Soo in order to find out what’s the fifth assignment, although the right time for it to take place hasn’t arrived yet. Ha Soo’s concerns about Go Bong leaving haven’t been buried in dust and they appear in the heavy air every now and then and Go Bong always tries to ease her tension. Going to the movies together works both as an excuse to put her worries in the ice for a while, but also his intentions are sincere in order to invest some more time in being together and keep sharing moments! He never fails to bring a beautiful smile on her beautiful face! Things don’t seem to be going well for Go Bong’s company and Yi Gun’s aware of that. The only thing he cares for is how to get hold of the company and makes his shady plans march forward as he intends to bring in foreign investors in order to maintain the crisis and make his plans progress. Ji Yoon’s conscience can’t let him do whatever he wants and make his spider web stronger over Go Bong’s inheritance. She meets with Dae Han and makes him aware of Yi Gun’s expanding intentions and Dae Han wonders why she’s going through all these difficulties, her stare once again is more than representative of the sacrifices she intends to do when it comes to Dae Han.
Go Bong’s waiting for Ha Soo at the movie theater. A sudden call from Yi Gun changes his plans and Go Bong goes to meet him. Ha Soo arrives later on and doesn’t find Go Bong on the spot, she can’t reach him on the phone either and she starts worrying. Yi Gun informs Go Bong that the police intends to investigate the company and his family when it comes to secret funds. The prosecutor working with Dae Han is the figure i detest the most in Mr. Back, he’s the shameful face of justice willing to step upon every law in order to obtain wealth, something that Yi Gun must have promised him. I’ll be more than happy witnessing the prosecutor ending up behind bars by the end of Mr. Back. The same thoughts apply to Yi Gun as well and Go Bong finally realizes to what great extent he’s been deceiving him for a long time. And he realizes the monster he created throughout the years, it’s the first time Yi Gun appears so fearful in front of Go Bong. It feels as if Yi Gun learned the most shady tactics from Choi Go Bong and invested on them and by now they’ve already become an enormous shadow floating over his company. Go Bong’s words never sounded so frightening until they came out of Yi Gun’s mouth. The more they meet each other the more complete Go Bong’s puzzle becomes when it comes to Yi Gun and the more complete it becomes the better the plan he must come up with must become. There’s no time for counter-plans, the real battle is about to begin and Go Bong must prepare his full assault battalion to get rid of Yi Gun and his intentions once and for all. He must protect his family, especially Dae Han, but also his brother/sister and his sister in law, even if they were trying to deceive him as well. It’s always different when someone is part of the family.
Ha Soo couldn’t reach Go Bong all this time on the phone, but still, she was waiting for him in the cold. Go Bong appears and he’s mad at her, he’s got too many things going on his mind and he slightly exploded in front her when he shouldn’t and he realizes his mistake after Ha Soo’s emotional outburst and worries when it comes to his face. Truth be told, she doesn’t have the best experiences when Go Bong’s missing and she was more than worried. Their mutual feelings always win and smiles arise anew! Later on that night, Go Bong opens his cellphone and a bombardment of messages takes place, one after the other Ha Soo’s previous messages arrive and Go Bong realizes how much she was worried. It’s adorable how our koong koong da couple manages to surpass all the problems appearing in their way up to that moment, in the near future it might become difficult and harsh, but for now the mutual power of love does its wonders.
The next day at work Dae Han encounters Yi Gun and heavens finally bless his fist and ends on Yi Gun’s face! It was so blissful to witness this specific scene, Yi Gun’s face was asking for a punch for many episodes and this time he crossed the border of no return, the only thing that concerns me is that Dae Han had to put some dirt on his hands by hitting Yi Gun’s face. More than expected was the fact that Dae Han would wrist-grab Ji Yoon and take her outdoors for a conversation. Her internal struggle with her feelings is not something she mustn’t take into consideration and working for Yi Gun was a chance to settle things deep inside to an extent. Her teary eyes when Dae Han’s heartfelt words echo for the first time so sincere to her heart are one of the most beautiful sights my eyes have witnessed so far in Mr. Back. Apologizing to her for being unable to correspond to her feelings and her unconditional aura as a woman is something he should do and i’m really glad he did so at this very moment. Holding onto her even now is something to apologize once again, but his promise that he’s willing to try was something sincere as well, everything he uttered was straight from the heart whose beats could ease Ji Yoon’s burden. I really feel for both of them, two lonely hearts whose unrequited love has left them devastated, i’m rooting for them being together and cherishing each other’s feelings by the time Mr. Back reaches its end.
Go Bong intends to give Yi Gun the original papers he desires, Gyung Bae’s thoughtful about Go Bong’s decision. He meets with Yi Gun and hands him over the papers he wanted and expresses his concerns towards his sister, Mi Hye, and the rest of the family, he doesn’t want them to be involved in economical scandals, even if most of them deserve it. It isn’t easy for blood to turn into water when it comes to family bonds. Go Bong offers the papers under one condition, all the employees must keep their positions no matter how negative the foreign investors might seem and Yi Gun agrees. By the time Yi Gun leaves, Go Bong expresses his thoughts about Yi Gun’s future conditions, he feels bad for him so it’s going to be a severe punishment, i’m pretty curious to find out what Go Bong holds underneath his hidden cards! Later on during the episode Yi Gun will meet Mi Hye who’s aware of his intentions and the world underneath her feet is crumbling. Now that the police is about to get involved she doesn’t want her family to be ruined overnight and Yi Gun merely follows Go Bong’s proposal to stop bothering her. The only thing he can do is to reassure her that everything will be fine for her as soon as she stops getting involved in company matters, if she ends up heartbroken it’s none of his business since he obviously doesn’t care about her.
Gyung Bae meets Dae Han and they’re having a discussion concerning Go Bong that turns into a small misunderstanding from both sides, but the crucial information doesn’t get revealed. Dae Han tells Gyung Bae to stop fooling him while referring to Go Bong’s health whereas Gyung Bae understands that he already knows the whole truth! Hopefully enough the subject of the discussion remains on Go Bong’s health and Gyung Bae doesn’t invest on their father-son relation! Later on Dae Han meets Go Bong since his worries about his health grow stronger as time passes by. He realizes that all this time Go Bong’s tries to please everyone dear to him is something like the final euphoria before passing away. As predicted, Go Bong tries to change the subject of the discussion without succeeding since Dae Han can’t get the overall situation out of his mind, he even shows him the cellphone messages on their late father’s mobile phone and how typical of him, Go Bong states that it’s a prank and that he’s fine. He can’t hold back his tears who are overflowing the lakes behind his eyes. The discussion ends, but the thoughts won’t leave Dae Han’s mind, in a moment of clarity all the pieces complete the puzzle and his thoughts point towards one direction, the one that proves that Shin Hyung is Choi Go Bong. At the same time, Ha Soo’s lost in her own thoughts.
The next morning nothing’s going to be the same. An experience none of the participants will ever be able to forget for all the reasons in the world is about to take place. Dae Han can’t erase the smile from his face! Alongside his partner in crime, Ji Yoon, kidnapping Go Bong and Ha Soo is only the arch brush of color of the shape of things to come! Go Bong was dreaming of going on a trip with his son, Dae Han gave birth to his dream in the most appropriate way. Soon enough Go Bong acclimates himself in the travel truck and he’s often amused by the times he starts taking selcas and photos of Dae Han, Ji Yoon and Ha Soo! Trying to build up the tent turns into a disaster and one of the father-son fights starts taking place! But the overall scenery is playful and everyone’s having fun! Even the food preparation has its entertaining fights and the eating process is another big happening taking place! Dae Han simply can’t erase the smile off his face and he has no reasons to do so! Everyone’s smiling and there’s another person whose face is shining brightly, of course i’m referring to Ji Yoon who seems to have entered another universe of happiness, being with Dae Han under these hopeful conditions put her in a trance-like dimension where euphoria is overwhelming! During another photo session Go Bong’s thoughts echo through the scene and they are heartrending since we already know that the end could be near, nevertheless, he’s more than thankful for all these moments and he’s glad he had the chance to be around all these beautiful people.
As night falls, nothing’s over yet and Dae Han enters the scene like a gentleman by bringing a blanket for Ha Soo and Go Bong and another one for himself and Ji Yoon. The playful attitude remains, but in a more relaxed tone due to the cold and the late of the hour. The discussion moves towards the late Choi Go Bong’s face and everyone has something gentle and rewarding to say about him, recognizing the figure behind the cold and emotionless mask of the businessman and despite his oddities as an old man the vibes around his remembrance are positive with an understanding aura. Shin Hyung… concurs and he’s proud on behalf of his father, he’s almost ecstatic! Shortly after Go Bong and Ji Yoon go for a walk. Go Bong’s more than thankful towards her for taking care of Dae Han all these years, she’s one of the reasons Dae Han steadily became a reliable person to take into consideration the burden of the circumstances when it comes to his father’s company. He’s pretty much aware of her feelings and he advices her to wait a bit longer since Dae Han’s emotional world has yet to mature. The slight smile carved on her face feels like quiet bliss. Shortly after the gents are about to enter the tent and the ladies will spend the night at the travel truck.
A ladies’ night takes place at the travel truck with good wine. Ha Soo and Ji Yoon get closer to each other and start talking about each other’s bad habits and the discussion turns over to the world of emotions and relationships. At the same time, under the tent Go Bong reacts like a little child, he can’t withstand the cold. Dae Han’s calm, due to his climbing experience he’s used to cold weather and he’s not being affected by the breeze. Instead, he’s turning on and off the flashlight and a sincere and heartfelt confession is about to take place, something that even the late chairman was unaware of. After Dae Han’s mother passed away he had to visit a psychiatrist in order to remain sane and overcome the bereaving circumstances. The flashlight was very important to him back then, the psychiatrist had told him to think that behind the light he could find his father and he could talk to him about anything bothering him, an equivalent of reality’s saddening face without a paternal figure by his side. That’s how he was passing his days, talking to a figurative father in the shadow of the light, at least he could give voice to his thoughts back then. A strong symbolism since he turns the light on towards Go Bong’s face and starts crying his heart out and a rain of questions starts pouring down. Go Bong tries to reply… as always, on behalf of his father, but it’s too late now, it’s too late for answers and Dae Han falls asleep. Later on, a beautiful yet heartrending collaboration of dream time and reality takes place. As Go Bong caresses his sleeping son’s face Dae Han loses himself in a dream of a scene from the past. It was when his father appeared to console and comfort him after his mother passed away, his presence didn’t seem enough back then since… it was too late, even though he tried to stop the tears from leaving their trails upon his face. Go Bong refers to his son as his pride, a pretty powerful expression, no matter how disappointed he felt in the past, Dae Han will always be his one and only son and his transformation and maturity we witnesses turning to life step by step with every episode was rewarding after Go Bong finally got to learn his own son.
On the next morning, Ha Soo intends to wake them up loudly, but the sight of father and son having their own playful fights even in their sleep brought to an end such a tormenting plan! It’s Go Bong’s turn to learn bicycling! Once again, he’s acting like a little kid! His fear is immense, but still, a 10 year old kiddo would be braver! By the time Ha Soo stops holding his bicycle and he notices it he ends up falling on the ground and he hurts here, and there and there and… there were the lips lie! Soon enough he finds out the balance trick and Ha Soo is brave enough to follow him on a journey! Any other sane person would just let him run around like crazy all over the place! Dae Han and Ji Yoon are having a discussion, he explains to her that this trip was important to him because it’s probably going to be the last time all of them will be together in such a joyful occasion since Go Bong’s days are numbered, Ha Soo happens to be nearby and witnesses their discussion and the earth stops turning underneath her feet. Later on that night Woo Young keeps company to Ha Soo, under any other circumstances her questions and thoughts would provide tones of laughter in one of their precious girlie moments, but this time it’s different. Ha Soo’s lost in her thoughts and she tries to find alternate meanings when someone’s leaving or he doesn’t have much time left. Woo Young’s answers are pointing towards the same direction as Ha Soo’s thoughts, a direction she doesn’t want to believe in, a direction that leaves her directionless in the wilderness.
The corrupted prosecutor visits Dae Han along with economical police investigators. Yi Gun’s watching in awe from a distance, Dae Han feels helpless since reality put an end to the previous journey’s excitement in such a vulgar way. Ha Soo can’t stay still, she meets with Gyung Bae to find some answers when it comes to Go Bong’s health condition, she just can’t afford to lose him. She demands some answers, how can he feel better when she’s nearby? Gyung Bae tries to explain that since she was involved in the same accident as late chairman Choi Go Bong who was Shin Hyung’s father it must be family related and some sort of effect takes place when she’s near Shin Hyung. Not the most helpful information, but anyway, it’s Gyung Bae’s common distracting tactics.
Later on, Go Bong’s in front of the mirror and he witnesses some odd side-effects being depicted on his body every time he touches it, it’s as if his veins and arteries are being electrocuted and they’re visible underneath his skin. Unaware of what’s going on, Dae Han enters his room and he can’t believe his eyes, he can’t explain what’s going on and the more time passes by the more worried he becomes. Ha Soo’s calling Go Bong and Dae Han answers it, at that point a cardiac arrest strikes Go Bong and he collapses in Dae Han’s arms, this time it’s more violent, the pain is immense and Dae Han who was already aware of his real identity calls him father once again to get for the first time Go Bong’s proof that he’s really his father, chairman Choi Go Bong. Under the devastating turn of the events, Go Bong’s mask has fallen as he’s bleeding from his mouth in front of his terrified son while Ha Soo’s on the phone and imagines the unimaginable.
The 13th episode was a pretty strong one, it was divided in two parts of equally airing time. During the first half we witnessed the scenario marching forward with many of the side-stories fastening their pace whereas on the second half we became aware of our four main leads’ brightest moment all together. The overall lengthy scene was insightful and when it wasn’t playful and entertaining it was emotionally fortified, one thing is for sure, it was always sincere and beautiful in its very own way. Some answers finally blossomed, some questions have yet to reveal their hidden card. As we’re running Mr. Back’s final airing week, i’m really curious how our scriptwriter will handle the presentation of the story in the final episodes and i really do hope the ending won’t erase in a blink of an eye all the powerful moments of the previous episodes! Hold on, Go Bong!