Episode 5 Review: Mr. Back (2014)
Sometimes i consider 24 hours per day being not enough, especially when you are a proud citizen of drama land or drama asylum’s inmate. It would have been better if days were consisting of 72 hours, then you’d have plenty of time to deal with pretty much everything. Let’s say, you’d have full 48 hours to invest in your dramas and movies, then 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of real life; and i wouldn’t put my hand in the fire for the 16 hours of sleep and real life respectively. Not many days ago Mr. Back reached its 6th episode, but i’ll start from the 5th one as a continuation to my review/recap on the previous one and steadily i’ll reach the 6th one for like-minded reasons. The rating battle with Pinocchio started becoming quite fierce during this week and both Mr. Back and Pinocchio are dramas i dearly cherish, so i kind of enjoy this rating race. I’m quite curious which one will prevail in the end both in terms of statistics but also in terms of emotional charge, scriptwriting/visuals and high quality from beginning to end.
Episode 4 left with one of the most beautiful scenes in the drama so far. A glimpse of a love triangle that starts becoming more intense, with both Go Bong and Dae Han pointing their emotional arrows towards Ha Soo in steady pace in one hand. On the other hand, Ha Soo keeps standing on the thin red line between father and son and that makes things quite interesting. Almost everyone is still unaware of Choi Shin Hyung’s real nature and identity, except for the zen doctor and Gyung Bae. The shameless contenders for Go Bong’s throne and inheritance are not at ease after the appearance of Go Bong’s illegitimate son. They were really close to prevailing, but they were caught off guard. They’d tremble in awe had they known the real background of Shin Hyung and his plan of revenge.
Young Dal is frightening, but not a real genius. The real mastermind behind their evil plans is his wife, In Ja. She doesn’t intend to surrender and she would do just anything to become triumphant. Male villains sure are frightening, but nothing compares to an evil woman whose teeth are adorned with blood. People like Young Dal, In Ja and Mi Hye when i look at my dictionary they match the word “subhuman.” I will refer to this to a bigger extent along with the flow of the story. For the time being, In Ja wants Shin Hyung under investigation, she wants to know every move he makes so that she’ll start planning her own malevolent strategy anew.
In Dae Han’s camp confusion reigns supreme. Too many events happened in such a few days and it’s too tough to handle and find some peace of mind. Not only did he lose his father, but also he had to find in such a sudden way that Go Bong had an illegitimate son that would take over his father’s company. His world is fragile, but Ha Soo seems to be comforting him with his tranquil personality. Dae Han never felt his father’s love and when he talks about his father he usually has a bittersweet smile painted on the canvas of his face. No matter how much he comprehends his father’s personality, he can’t understand part of his actions.
Go Bong pays a visit at the tailor’s shop, it’s about time he buys his new suit. Memories overflow the scene as the discussion with Ha Soo’s mother goes on. Shady parts of Go Bong’s past get enlightened and we get to know that he wasn’t rich when he was younger. He became a colossus on his own, without his father’s enterprises, wallets and bank accounts. He started his small company and by working hard he made it the powerful company it is nowadays. He had to pay a price, he dedicated his whole life in making money and expanding his business territory, there was no time for simple yet highly important human values such as love, family and internal pleasure. He would never forget the kindness such beautiful people, the tailor and his wife, had shown him at the most important turning point of his career.
Back at the present, he’s impressed by his new suit and he can’t hide the happiness floating all around, but when asked if he likes Ha Soo he gets caught off guard! South Korean drama mothers get you caught pleasantly in their web when you least expect it, it’s some kind of art!
As soon as he leaves the tailor shop he meets Ha Soo. It’s not easy to interpret Go Bong’s emotions when it comes to Ha Soo and Dae Han’s relations. For one more time he misunderstands Ha Soo’s intentions to stand by Dae Han in his time of need. One reason could be that he’s jealous when she’s close to his son. Another reason is that he knows his son pretty well. By telling her that she’ll get hurt eventually it’s probably because Go Bong never showed his paternal love to his son, henceforth Dae Han himself doesn’t actually know how it feels like to love and to be loved, something that could hurt Ha Soo in a possible relationship with Dae Han. Both reasons could be happening at the same time, but i enjoy this misunderstanding playground, it leaves enough space for humorous moments to breathe! You have to adore Jang Na Ra’s simplistic and natural beauty on Mr. Back! Her face is so pure and elegant that even when she seems exhausted from work, it’s being depicted so naturally on her role that you simply respect her efforts. It paces really well with the hard-working character she preserves on this series, from a multifaceted part-timer to a company worker with more than many expectations due to her relations with Go Bong and Dae Han!
Dae Han still keeps close to him a picture of his late father with a candle burning nearby to brighten his soul’s pathway. His thoughts are always there to trespass his harmony.
The big day has arrived! It’s about time Go Bong made his first official appearance as Shin Hyung in front of the employees and the high-positioned members of the company! A grandiose entrance is more than welcome in that special occasion! Once he takes off his sunglasses, he stares at the most disgusting people in his life in a like-minded way, but he also pays a tribute to the ones close to him with a bright smile! Of course there are some exceptions like Yoo Nan Hee, one of the employees, that always feels a sweet fuzz inside at Go Bong’s presence. Mi Hye, even though she looks like a simpleton, she’s got sharp eyes and she can work pretty well in the shadows, an opponent that should never get underestimated. A plan was just born. As Go Bong under the Shin Hyung moniker passes by, Young Dal can’t help but notice some intense resemblances to his brother when he was younger!
When Go Bong enters his office an unpleasant surprise awaits for him! Dae Han’s relaxing on his armchair with his feet on his desk! The discussion is formally tense and Dae Han assures Go Bong that his days are numbered. The comparison of Go Bong’s leadership to a terminally ill patient was pretty strong! Lee Joon’s ironic facial expressions live up to his words’ power.
After Dae Han leaves the office, it’s time for some decisions, no matter how tough they may be. Go Bong certainly has a plan and taking back the remaining money from the accident, even the ones that got burnt, is just the beginning. All that remains is to find out what’s on the back of Go Bong’s mind with this odd and hard to achieve plan!
After this decision, the calls the company receives are great in numbers. It’s literally hell on earth for all the employees. At the same time, Young Dal and In Ja fasten their pace in order to bombard the company with even more unpleasant calls investing on the employees’ displeasure.
Go Bong is having his secret meetings with director Yi Gun, he’s a person he always trusted and invests a lot on his help for his future decisions. Yi Gun was investigating Go Bong’s past, but he had his tracks covered and the outcome of the investigation wasn’t threatening to his course so far. Go Bong wants Yi Gun to take care of the company matters, just like the succession document and the claim against the government due to the damages inflicted by the sinkhole that led to a car accident, even though it’s not easy since the accident occurred due to a natural disaster. Go Bong wants Yi Gun to lead the company, but he’s not really positive since he’s not part of the family.
Ha Soo, her friend Woo Young and another colleague have finished working and they intend to go out for lunch, but Dae Han ruins their plans. He wants Ha Soo to go with him for work matters since the advertisement she had arranged was not approved. They visit a shopping mall and he spends lots of money on women accessories and then they go out for dinner. My personal assumption is that Dae Han’s already falling for Ha Soo and he uses the company model position as an excuse to offer some presents to Ha Soo who can’t easily accept them. Even at the mall, she was trying so hard to escape! Her expressions when she was watching the items’ quantity increase geometrically were priceless, she just couldn’t believe what was going on! Taking the receipt with her teeth since her hands were occupied was hilarious! She feels so powerless as she watches Dae Han spending billions of won in such a small amount of time!
Things don’t seem to flow well for the company, pretty much everyone is displeased with Go Bong. The news, the netizens, the employees, the executives, the stockholders, nobody’s enjoying this situation, each to his own reasons. And if all that wasn’t enough, Go Bong gets informed about Dae Han’s massive purchasing!
Go Bong goes to meet Dae Han and suddenly Ha Soo appears and complexes even more the scenery. The battlefield of Go Bong’s thoughts broadens. He doesn’t only have to face Dae Han’s use of credit cards, he also has to face and cover up as well his own feelings for Ha Soo. The past comes back at the present when he tells Dae Han the reasons why his father always trusted others more than his own son. The triple wrist grab was pretty strong! There’s always a sense of forward and backward moves that counter each other, even if one step is being taken, another one appears to block the pace. It’s a constant shift of standing ground which is just changing its position all over the place without any coherent process. Dae Han on his behalf he indicates that Go Bong’s character is pretty much just like… Go Bong himself. The overall discussion is overburdened with harsh words from both of them, at the same time Gyung Bae and Ji Yoon are watching while they are at loss for words. Ha Soo can’t stand this parody anymore and she leaves to find some peace of mind. Yet, back at home she’s not even in the mood for eating. Another surprise strikes her, she didn’t take with her the bags, shoes and the rest of the clothes with her, so Dae Han managed to send them over at her place with the delivery service.
Ha Soo is not really enthusiastic with the delivery since she never agreed with all that in the first place. Ha Soo’s feeling a bit lost with everything that’s going on in her life, she looks like a silent volcano, tranquil on the outside, yet boiling on the inside as it longs for its grandiose awakening. I’m pretty sure she’s going to explode some time in the future! It doesn’t seem to matter that much to Woo Young who feels like she just opened the gates of woman’s paradise as she’s going through a police investigation among the boxes!
Go Bong’s back at the Gold House! He recaptured his base and he’s moving around he house who feels like a memory box. Οnce he opens the drawer next to his bed he witnesses his broken glass and the caramel Ha Soo had given to him at the day they first met, it’s a moment he deeply treasures in his heart. Afterwards, he enters Dae Han’s room, he wasn’t really expecting the small memorial Dae Han had created about Go Bong next to his own bed.
The house personnel informs Dae Han and the rest about Shin Hyung wandering around the house and that he’s ordering the same things as Choi Go Bong. When the bell Go Bong was using rings once again Dae Han rushes upstairs full of anger and smashes the bell. I like his neurotic moves, whether he’s drunk pretending to be a maestro or sober and anger rises! You have to enjoy the contrast between an exploding Dae Han and a pretty much relaxed Go Bong!
Too much of Shin Hyung gets on Dae Han’s nerves who’s breaking down once again and he can’t stop the flow of his negative thoughts floating all over the place. Shin Hyung’s resemblance both in terms of looks and character makes him go overboard. Too many questions and harsh thoughts come to the surface. He wonders how could Shin Hyung consider Go Bong as a father since he abandoned him. And then rethinks and wonders if it could because of Shin Hyung and his mother that Go Bong didn’t actually care about Dae Han and his mother. Talking about his mother makes him shatter and blame Go Bong’s money-making mania for his mother’s loss. If he was caring enough she could have been saved, if he was caring enough he could have witnessed that something was wrong, if he was caring enough he would bother to take her at a hospital and see a doctor. But he wasn’t caring enough. Dae Han’s last words pierce Go Bong like cold metal, telling him that the most miserable thing that could happen in his life was to have Choi Go Bong as a father… in front of his own father it must have been more than devastating for Go Bong himself. Shi Hyung has no other option but to tell him to leave immediately the room, he doesn’t want to hear anything else after this heart-wrecking monologue. Both Lee Joon and Ha Kyun’s acting is exceptionally heartfelt.
Go Bong goes out for a walk, but still, even at times like these, his mind is in the right place for business. Gyung Bae approaches him and tells him what’s going on with the company’s stocks and they set a plan to find out who’s behind the stock plot. Go Bong erupts and his victim for one more time is no other than Gyung Bae who receives continuous kicks in the butt in a hilarious scene!
At the same time, Ha Soo can’t fall asleep, Dae Han’s purchases torment her mind and she wants to explain herself to Go Bong that she wasn’t aware of Dae Han’s intentions since she thought it was about work. A highly comic scene since Go Bong with an old man’s experiences that don’t include modern technology doesn’t know how to react! He reads the message, but he doesn’t reply, although Ha Soo witnesses the sign that indicates that the messages have been read and she sends once again a message to ask him why he’s not replying! He can’t comprehend how could she possibly know that he actually did read them and he looks around the place if she’s been spying on him! The moment he tries to write a message auto-correct takes charge and he sends an incoherent text to receive back a confused smiley! His reactions are priceless and he sends back by mistake an angry fire-spitting green monster smiley that makes him feel misunderstood! Jang Na Ra is so adorable as she’s lying on her bed!
The next morning Go Bong wants to apologize to Ha Soo and he wants to reassure her that he didn’t misunderstand her. Ha Soo processes the discussion and talks on behalf of the company’s employees and describes their exhausting schedule at work due to the latest efforts of Go Bong to find the remaining money of the accident. It would be very easy if she could quit, but it would be an option that would overburden her economically and by becoming a part-timer once again wouldn’t be of much help to herself and her own family. Funny part of the scene has to be Gyung Bae who tries to help Go Bong with signals!
When evening arrives the wolves start to howl. I’m referring to Young Dal, In Ja and Mi Hye. They were nothing and Go Bong was poor. He tried more than hard at all costs to succeed and create a big fortune and he turned those nothings into somethings. This is how they pay him back with one plot coming right after the other throughout the years. They are the worst kind of people. They bite the hand that feeds them, they are disgusting. They try to blandish Go Bong, but he slaps them in the face with his words by revealing their dark secrets using as a pretense his father’s words. In Ja and Mi Hye thought they had covered their tracks, but Choi Go Bong was always one step ahead by knowing their dirty moves. But everything’s going according to their own plan, they put something in his drink and by the moment he fell unconscious Mi Hye calls Nan Hee who is unaware of her evil plans. Mi Hye makes her think that she was invited at the Gold House and she wouldn’t feel uneasy about it. Go Bong’s totally wasted and the whole world around him feels quite circular, he’s dizzy to the core. In an attempt to call Gyung Bae to help him, by mistake he calls Ha Soo who rushes for help. Everything’s set, an undercover photographer awaits Nan Hee’s appearance to create a scandal. Nan Hee’s drooling over the sleepy Go Bong who’s not wearing a shirt. By the time he wakes up he freaks out and starts running, leaving behind both Ha Soo and Nan Hee who both feel surprised at each other’ s presence. As he was living he fell on Ha Soo and his mysterious pendant fell on the floor and hid itself among Ha Soo’s belongings! I’m really curious what could be hiding behind this pendant and which magic power it beholds!
The next day at work, even with hangover, Go Bong gathers more information on the stock incident. They find out that someone from Germany was buying the stocks while everyone else was selling them due to their lower price. The same thing happened right after the sinkhole accident and right after the moment he announced that he would take back the remaining money from the accident from those that had gathered them. The information Yi Gun brought helps Go Bong find out the culprit who is no other than In Ja who’s working even Young Dal’s back! Go Bong finds Young Dal at the elevator and with his words he makes him see the smoke, all that remains is for Young Dal to get the signals and search for the fire.
Later on Go Bong meets Ha Soo at the yard and tries to explain himself, but Ha Soo understands him and hasn’t misunderstood him. Being herself pretty often a subject of misjudgment she can walk in his shoes, i like it how calm and thoughtful she is, such a tranquil character when it comes to humane discussions! I also like the close connection Go Bong feels towards her, she’s the only person he can talk to in first person by mistake. It’s not that he’s out of his mind and forgot that he’s hiding his real identity, it’s just that Ha Soo makes him feel secure. As soon as he realizes that he had let his guard down, he says that these were his father’s words to cover his steps once again. He’s surprised when Ha Soo talks positively about Choi Go Bong and he feels relieved deep inside. But when she tells him that if he wants to march forward he has to forget his father, he starts wondering if she cares about him! Of course, it’s our natural and caring Ha Soo that wants to feel helpful towards people!
A huge problem occurs, as Gi Yun was leaving, a team of black-suited punks attack him in order to steal all the important papers Go Bong had entrusted him. He fights hard, but they are too many to handle and he ends up beaten up and gets transferred at the hospital.
In Ja is more frightening than expected, she was behind Yi Gun’s assault. She sets on fire the documents and keeps everything in a USB. Her plan has progressed a lot with the final turn of events. She holds Go Bong’s future in her own hands. She’s not such an easy opponent.
In the meantime, Dae Han keeps living in his own world. He’s daydreaming of Ha Soo’s grandiose appearance! Ha Soo is astonishing, this red dress compliments Jang Na Ra that much that if it was a lethal injection i’d definitely shoot it on myself! He’s in ecstasy and enjoys every single second in an utterly hilarious scene, when she spits the rose’s petals on his face…
… reality suddenly breaks in.
Ji Yoon cancels the odd show and informs Dae Han that Go Bong’s documents are missing, it’s his chance to stand for the chairman position! His satisfaction is more than apparent, although Ha Soo seems worried about what’s going to happen to Go Bong.
In the meantime, Gold House has turned into a lair of wolves. They locked Go Bong out of his own house. In an attempt to enter the house he gets into an intense quarrel with Young Dal, In Ja and Mi Hye and he’s left out there all alone, rain-soaked and desperate. Dae Han that just arrived witnesses Go Bong’s desolation.
Episode 5 was pretty rich in storyline, many things happened, some doors opened, some others closed, but there’s no door that can remain locked forever. It’s not always about the key, but how you open it. Funny and serious scenes blended well together in a quite balanced way. The camps are being set, the characters’ interactions progress and the depth of the story broadens. One thing i’ve learned so far with Mr. Back is that it’s script shouldn’t be taken for granted! It never fails to surprise and whenever it gets intense, it is by all means. Ha Soo’s still balancing on the thin red line, on which side of the line will she start taking steps? So far she keeps her neutral self quite well, but it won’t last forever!