Last ~ Episode 9 Review [TriAngle]
“After breaking through my own gilded surface,
I saw that what was inside of me was actually worthless.”
∠ ~ Left hand path/Hearts still beating.
Tae Ho went to see Na Ra at the clinic with Heung Sam’s words still in his mind. Things are not flowing well, but the fact that he wanted to talk to someone about anything and she was the first person that came to mind made him once again secretly welcome at her grandmother’s restaurant. He talks to her about his skillful past, but also his arrogance which led to his demise before arriving at Seoul Station, but even at the present Na Ra doesn’t find him that humble either. Tae Ho’s thankful for her caring attitude, but Na Ra doesn’t want him to get involved in dangerous affairs as she wouldn’t like him or anyone around him to get hurt.
Tae Ho eventually chose the left hand path even though some people close to him will feel disappointed. Working under Heung Sam’s wings feels like the easy pathway and there’s no turning back. Heung Sam himself helps him in his own way to lean towards that direction. Tae Ho will be free of murder charges since Man Chool’s right hand turned himself in and his record will be clean once Heung Sam’s connections progress the closing of the case when Tae Ho tried to murder Man Chool.
Jong Goo tries to become a boxing instructor, but all doors are closed for him because of his sinful past. The more he tries to get closer to Mi Joo the harder she pushes him away. As for Eun Ji, she doesn’t intend to keep helping him and hands him over all the necessary information to progress the investigation on his own. After he finds his daughter anew he intends to escape from everyone and everything, but Mi Joo doesn’t intend to follow his lead as she tries to sever all ties. Jong Goo met Tae Ho at the health center and he hopes that he has nothing to do with Sergeant Bae’s case because now that Straw Cutter is out Tae Ho could possibly find himself in danger. If that’s the case, not even Heung Sam will be able to save him.
Tae Ho and Na Ra’s first date is about to take place and he was making grandiose plans while she’s more simplistic and adorable! A picnic it is and she informs him on her past in the nearby area. Tae Ho thinks she’d been missing all the fun of a young lady her age, but she’s not missing anything simply because being there for people who need her help was everything she ever wanted. Tae Ho informs her on his decision to become a villain, someone who’ll absorb all power and money and nobody will be able to touch him. All he wants from Na Ra is to remain the precious person she is and he will help her all along the way.
She took him to the flowerbed in order to open up her heart to a wider extent. It’s the place where her mother passed away in the merciless cold and her grandmother adopted and raised her even though they’re not related in any way. Just like she was a child who almost died at her mother’s arms and grew up to live like this today due to someone’s saving grace, Tae Ho finds a connection between them because he was someone who overcame death and started living anew at Seoul Station. All Na Ra wants is for everyone to be happy and if she can be happy among others it will be more than fine for her, but if money and power will bring happiness in Tae Ho’s life he should get prepared to get used to it as he will lust for more. Even though Tae Ho is a selfish person by nature and he can’t understand everything she wants to convey, he acknowledges her delightful mindset and wants to protect that precious part of hers as much as he can.
∠ ~ Blood is thicker than water.
Jung Min’s brother, Jae Sung, is back and the overall climate is already awkward. He will be the one in charge of cleansing director Choi’s department instead of Jung Min and Se Hoon. Jae Sung’s back on track and he emphasizes that just like her mother will never be able to replace his mother’s position that’s how Se Hoon will be unable to emerge victorious due to his background. Even though the Mi Rae City Hall project isn’t a part of her brother’s priorities she’s well aware he will get involved at some point and she urges Se Hoon to be more concerned about Jae Sung, but all he wants to know for now is more information about Tae Ho. He reassures Jung Min that he won’t let Jae Sung take over the company and Se Hoon’s victory will become her own eventually.
Se Hoon met Heung Sam who got informed on the latest events. The fact that Jung Min trusts him as she’s afraid of her brother’s plans is a positive sign and Se Hoon wants Heung Sam to prepare Tae Ho to the fullest. However, Heung Sam’s not worried about Tae Ho who’s always two steps ahead of everyone, all he’s worried about is Se Hoon. He sacrificed way too much so that he’ll be able to have this fake identity and all he wants from him is to lead a great life and do everything he wants to far away from his brother’s shady world.
∠ ~ Straw Cutter; tradition, loyalty, fear.
Straw Cutter’s in the outside world and he became aware that many things have changed all this time in Seoul Station! Sergeant Bae’s disappearance is bound to become an obsession and he wants to meet Heung Sam who’s been reassured by Praying Mantis nobody will ever find evidence of Sergeant Bae’s body. Straw Cutter never appeared at Mi Joo’s bar where everyone was waiting for him, he was securing his life insurance. Now he can head towards the penthouse for a face to face confrontation with Heung Sam who’s not afraid of the rumors floating around since facts won’t make an appearance.
Praying Mantis was ready just in case while Heung Sam and Straw Cutter were talking in private. Heung Sam conceals all suspicion when it comes to the rumors, but Straw Cutter doesn’t intend to give up since loyalty is above everyone and everything. He wants Heung Sam to find Sergeant Bae and whoever took care of him if that’s the case. Straw Cutter will take care of the details, after spending 5 years in jail in Heung Sam’s place he has every right to ask for a favor, a favor that will prove Heung Sam worth of wielding the scepter or not. Since he doesn’t have anywhere else to go, he will sleep at Jong Goo’s place. He didn’t want Heung Sam’s help on that aspect. The stench of money over loyalty disgusts him and he hasn’t forgotten his duel with Jong Goo which was about to take place 5 years ago. Jong Goo intends to give him the second place right away, but Straw Cutter wants to do it according to the rules as he was facing Jong Goo every single day in his mind all these years.
Heung Sam killed someone 5 years ago and Straw Cutter willingly took the blame for him so that Seoul Station won’t fall apart. Praying Mantis informed Heung Sam on Crocodile and Poison Snake’s investigation on Sergeant Bae’s disappearance and he intends to explain everything to Straw Cutter. Heung Sam restrains him since this would be the very end of Praying Mantis, Tae Ho and himself respectively. Once Straw Cutter flips, Seoul Station will turn into a bloodbath and Praying Mantis wants to take him out of the picture quietly, but Heung Sam’s debt prevents him.
Crocodile wants to silence Tae Ho once and for all and he convinces Poison Snake to spread rumors that Tae Ho was involved in Sergeant Bae’s disappearance! They paid a few homeless to enter the game and Straw Cutter was informed that the last time they saw Sergeant Bae he intended to duel for the second time with Tae Ho after he almost won the first duel, but Heung Sam intervened. He heads towards Tae Ho’s hideout, but he’s nowhere to be found since he’s at Se Hoon’s office progressing their plans. His meeting with Jung Min was planned by Se Hoon, but even though she was surprised Tae Ho maintained his calmness. Even if she wanted to talk to him right before leaving Tae Ho had nothing to say and she wants both of them to act like strangers for the project’s sake. It’s his own course to rise again and he wouldn’t like her trying to prevent his advance because of long lost feelings. Heung Sam informed him that Straw Cutter is looking for him and he wants Tae Ho to go to the penthouse right away.
Straw Cutter was already at the penthouse by the time Heung Sam arrived! He starts showing his intentions by breaking Heung Sam’s favorite vinyl and walking on the couch! All he wants to know is Tae Ho’s location, but Heung Sam can’t afford to lose this specific limb at this very moment, sometime in the future yes, but this isn’t the right timing. Straw Cutter wonders whether business is more important than loyalty and he invests in the past. In jail he was curious about the victim’s identity and the reason why Seoul Seven’s number one beat him to death. Someone informed him that the man who was murdered was a Korean-American “merchant” selling Korean names to children who were adopted abroad. Heung Sam doesn’t want to talk about it and Straw Cutter wonders what will happen if he informs the police. All he wants is Tae Ho and he will take this secret to his grave. Praying Mantis awaits for Heung Sam’s signal, but Straw Cutter informs them that he’s written down all this information in case something happens to him. He will either get Tae Ho who just arrived or Heung Sam will lose everything.
◎ ~ Circular view.
Straw Cutter’s back in the game after five years of silence. There are times silence is gold and he was preparing his cards one after the other as an exemplary inmate. He never forgot about his duel with Jong Goo and he was preparing himself for this combat every day with the power of his mind, he was also aware that things were bound to change in his absence and that’s why he prepared a web for Heung Sam.
He’s well aware Heung Sam is hiding someone under a new identity, but that someone is the only person for whom Heung Sam would put his life on the line. He sacrificed way too much so that Se Hoon would be protected from Heung Sam’s shady tactics and he can’t afford to lose him, not as long as he keeps breathing. It won’t be easy taking Straw Cutter’s Sergeant Bae journey out of his mind and most and above all he can’t silence his obsession with Tae Ho now that he caught Straw Cutter’s attention.
Straw Cutter is an old school villain to the fullest and now that he appeared i am more convinced that he reminds me of president Kang from My Beautiful Bride. Just like president Kang wanted to find out what really happened to Hak Soo, that’s what Straw Cutter does with Sergeant Bae. It’s all about loyalty, the utmost value of old school villains and it will always be above wealth, power and hierarchy. Things have changed, but Straw Cutter is still in the good old days, he’s as raw as one can get when it comes to delivering pain, but he’s kind of romantic to loyalty and tradition and that’s why he wants to duel with Jong Goo according to the rules.
In such a violent world one should expect the unexpected, but Heung Sam was caught off guard both when it comes to Se Hoon and his plans which involve Tae Ho. He can’t protect both of them, but he can’t lose them either. It’s yet another point which proves that nobody’s irreplaceable for Heung Sam until he says so, he can’t affords to lose Tae Ho for now, but he wouldn’t mind turning him into a sacrificial lamb anytime in the future once his plans have prospered. He’s got many limbs after all.
Tae Ho chose a dangerous path, but it’s the safest one for now, had he chosen the dueling path of bloodshed he would have already been dead by now. As long as he’s useful nobody can touch him, the conditions have changed a bit now that Straw Cutter’s back in the game, but Heung Sam and Tae Ho eventually will find a way out and something tells me the rumor factor in the absence of proof will do the talking during the calm before the storm.
Na Ra gets way more interesting as episodes pass by and she’s a person filled with unconditional love for those in need and she’s always there to help them in any possible way through food and medical treatment. She reflects back all the love she received throughout the years by her grandmother who raised her as if she was her own child while she could have passed away in her mother’s hands that morning in the bitter cold.
Tae Ho can’t step back from his own plans and he chose the pathway with the less bloodshed even though it doesn’t make him bulletproof. The more he gets to know Na Ra the more enchanted he feels by her beliefs and their interactions get more meaningful as both of them gradually unfold their past, present and future in front of each other. He may have chosen the left hand path, but his heart’s beating on the left side as well and he can’t neglect the vibes it transmits. Even if he chooses to not be with Na Ra for the time being in order to protect her, he intends to help her at all costs so that her dreams won’t remain buried in the dark. They have a common starting point in different moments of their lives as they were given a second chance to move on.
Jong Goo tries to remain distant from Seoul Seven’s activities and he even tried to become a boxing coach, but the past’s sinful medals on his jacket block his path. Now that Mi Joo pushes him away for his own well-being he’s got only one goal, to find Eun Ji and escape this ill-natured reality. Straw Cutter’s reappearance and the fact that he wants to duel properly make the whole ambiance more menacing. In one hand Jong Goo’s not in the finest shape, on the other hand he can’t afford to lose if the time comes since he can’t leave his daughter alone in this world. He already lost her once, he can’t lose her twice, at least not before he finds her again.
One of the things i like in Last, among others, is the presentation of a variety of characters’ nighttime and how it is related to other figures of the drama. It’s shattering in its own way and even though it may incorporate a longing factor reality always breaks in to pause any dreamlike vibrations. Alright, time to move towards the 10th episode!