Episode 3 Review: Heard It Through the Grapevine (2015)
Heard It Through the Grapevine’s 3rd episode saw its percentages in the stock market of ratings go down compared to the ones of the first two episodes (6.5%). It was an episode with a dual essence divided in two parts of almost equally airing time. This article of mine isn’t going to be that much of a recap, but more of a review with a recap aesthetic in order to point out a few things i noticed while watching the third episode in comparison and/or completion when it comes to the previous episodes.
Wandering around the net i noticed a few opinions concerning Lee Joon’s character. They are opinions and i respect them, but they seem kind of odd to me since they were somehow demanding that In Sang needs to become more mature as a character as soon as possible. First of all, Heard It Through the Grapevine is a black comedy, it has to be quirky at times once things go dark, too much seriousness would kill the drama’s arch purpose of existence. Then, it has to wear a serious looking face once things go bright and humorous in order to contrast the overall ambiance and make the fun factor more intriguing and odd, henceforth more enjoyable if done successfully. And that’s how the drama’s funnily bereaving theme will live up to the arch expectations, by doing justice to the black humor factor.
In Sang can’t be too serious and he can’t be overly fun either, he’s quite a complex character just like Choi Dae Han was on Mr. Back and i’m pretty certain that Lee Joon wasn’t chosen out of the blue to play in such a role, it was more than a mere coincidence. The director/screenwriter team didn’t wake up one day and remembered that they saw Lee Joon on a vision, it was his representative acting on Mr. Back that brought him closer to Heard It Through the Grapevine. In case you were wondering why i’m mentioning Mr. Back too much, well, Lee Joon’s role in Heard It Through the Grapevine has a Mr. Back oriented vibe, he will mature episode by episode and the changes will be distinctive.
The drama was still during its first airing week, well, demanding from 18 years old character that just became a father all of a sudden while being part of a strictly traditional high society family is odd, especially since we were at the very second episode of the drama! However, to my eyes, In Sang has shown a really mature part so far. His feelings towards Seo Bom are sincere and he’s totally into his newborn son. Taking responsibility in the first place and letting Seo Bom’s parents know that he intends to marry her is a brave act of sudden maturity. Even though he still can’t fight back when it comes to his parents, In Sang presented Seo Bom to attorney Han and madame Choi even though he knew their reaction wouldn’t be positive, not positive at all. The fact that he shakes in fear and his voice is trembling in front of them has nothing to do with maturity, it’s probably the first time he tries to stand in front of them for something he wants to do for the first time in his life because so far all he used to do was strictly following his careerist father’s guidance and his overprotective mother’s instincts that pace perfectly well with the father’s world. And by the end of the third episode he strengthens his opposition even more, but these are things i’ll talk about later on in here.
As for Go Ah Sung and the ongoing hate towards her face, a model’s face doesn’t always mean that one’s acting skills will be equal to a super hero’s powers and acting skills don’t require a model’s face to shine. Her chemistry with Lee Joon already blooms both as parents and as a couple in times when they are together, but also when they are apart. And if she’s not beautiful to some, she’s beautiful to others, so it would be nice if all this hate could stop, it’s an old story by now and i would like to think of it as a bad joke and nothing more. I know it’s easy to spoil hate, but wouldn’t it be more constructive to spend your time doing something you like instead of unleashing poison for no reason? And it’s not a rhetoric question, it has an apparent answer so do yourselves a favor and judge her for her acting skills if you still want to keep judging her, acting was never meant to be a beauty contest anyway.
As i said above, the third episode divides itself in two parts, the sneaky and troublesome day and the sneakier but full of affection nighttime. During the first half we witness the moves of the characters on the drama’s chessboard whereas during the second half the ambiance breathes with the couple’s beautifully crafted chemistry and mutual love. But let’s start with the first part! Everyone’s worried about something and everyone’s trying to hide something at the same time! The baby stands right in the eye of the storm, it’s in the epicenter of attorney Han’s fears, no wonder he refers to the baby’s cry as the most powerful enemy! In Sang’s worried about Seo Bom and his son, Seo Bom’s worried about In Sang and her son, attorney Han and madame Choi are worried about the baby and they’re at the verge of dying while waiting for the paternity test’s outcome, even though you can sense attorney Han’s worrying attitude when it comes to the baby’s cries, not only because it could betray their secret, but because it could actually be In Sang’s child, there’s a silent pleasure with the fact that the baby is a boy as well. The house personnel is worried too, in one hand they want to help In Sang and Seo Bom whereas at the same time they don’t want their intentions to be known to attorney Han and madame Choi, as for madame Choi’s “friends”, they’re worried too about her, not that much about her, but about what could be hiding behind this veil of secrecy that suddenly surrounded her when it comes to the labor pains report at 911. Hiding from the surface of the earth and cancelling most of her appointments isn’t helpful either and it’s secretary Lee’s job to bring madame Choi back to her senses. As for president Song’s gossip phone call, Attorney Han’s smart enough to mute his investigating attempts for the time being.
The manservant stands by In Sang’s side in order to help him contact Seo Bom whereas his wife and housemaid is helpful towards Seo Bom and makes sure In Sang will reach Seo Bom. As for secretary Lee, she’s the one trying to keep madame Choi calm whereas secretary Kim, he’s the right hand of attorney Han and tries to accomplish all the missions assigned to him, even though he made the mistake to refer to the incident as labor pains when he called 911. The manservant takes care of the jeet kune do specialist and photographic memory teacher of In Sang, his words are more powerful than one’s manpower and he lets In Sang sneak out of the house in order to meet Seo Bom. On the other side of the fence, Seo Bom’s parents want to meet their daughter and grandson, Jin Ae ahjumma’s not that worried and wants to meet In Sang’s family naturally, as for Hyeong Shik ahjussi, he wants to meet them right away! And that’s when Seo Bom’s sister, Noo ri, who dreams of becoming an anchorwoman, comes into play. Through the taxi agency she manages to find In Sang’s address and Hyeong Shik ahjussi arrives there, but madame Choi realizes who he might be. Of course, attorney Han will deal with the problem with a light report at the police, something that will make Heyong Shik ahjussi return back to his base if he doesn’t want to follow the officers at the police station. Even though the problem was solved for now, attorney Han’s family can’t hide forever in this fortress whose foundations stand on clay for the time being! They can hide, but they can’t run away from the greatest fear which is no other than being exposed to the public and the “friends” that await in the corner for the first “mistake”.
And that “mistake” grows underneath their feet, of course i’m referring to Yi Ji’s enthusiasm when it comes to the baby. She’s in contact with Ji Young Ra’s daughter who’s asking questions about In Sang. Plus, Yi Ji has already leaked photos of the baby and its clothing & toys without giving any further information. However, it’s going to become a problem in the near or far future. Yi Ji’s might be doing it with the best of intentions, but it seems like it’s going to have the opposite outcome and the young girl’s enthusiasm will turn into a living nightmare for her family.
Okay, we already knew about long distance studying and other long distance activities, but long distance breastfeeding? Now that’s something interesting! Seo Bom produces milk like an imperial cow on a house arrest for her own baby which is being grown by the nanny. Well, just because you don’t know how it is to sleep with your own baby, madame Choi, this doesn’t mean that Seo Bom has to be kept apart from her own son too! It’s not healthy at all, physically and mentally! And the polite mask you put on your face to appeal to Seo Bom doesn’t work, once you show your fangs, no matter how gentle you might appear, it isn’t going to work and Seo Bom is good at holding grudges, so beware! The first collapsing sounds are already apparent, attorney Han didn’t approve of madame Choi’s decision to apologize towards Seo Bom, it shows weakness and the “enemy” might use it in any possible way anytime. The almighty couple nearly had a fight, but attorney Han’s attitude didn’t let it progress because they already have to deal with a major problem, fighting with each other wouldn’t help at all.
Well, the scenery’s ready! Attorney Han and madame Choi are going to sleep, but these bloodsucking vampires won’t let sleep welcome them in its arms! In Sang had been waiting the whole day to make his move and the housemaid secures the baby’s perimeter by sending the nanny away to get some rest! It’s about time the majestic housemaid & manservant couple does its wonders so that In Sang, Seo Bom and the baby will finally meet as a family once again! The doors are closing, the lesser the sounds will be, the safer the meeting will flow. Seo Bom’s longing and agony and In Sang’s anxious waiting are about to reach an end. Until In Sang reaches Seo Bom’s room with the manservant’s precious guidance, his nearly drunken soundless pirouettes and commando movement were hilarious! Like a thief in the night! There’s an excessive sadness floating in the air, you can sense it in Seo Bom’s desperate stare and In Sang’s teary eyes until they gently drown in each other’s arms. The short time they spent with their son must had felt like eternity! Even though, apparently, such a young baby can’t act, he truly does add to the overall couple chemistry. In Sang and Seo Bom’s son is camera-friendly and for some weird reason he always poses perfectly well in front of the camera in the way the scene would ask for it! The ambiance in the baby’s chamber is as dreamy as a happy young family’s essence and Lee Joon and Ah Sung live up to the expectations of their roles when it comes to a parent’s loving stare full of affection!
Heard It Through the Grapevine is not a kiss&hug fest to attract shippers and the lovey dovey expecting part of the audience. There’s a reason Seo Bom and In Sang’s talks are simplistic and meaningful, in a romantic or desperate tone. They’re young and their reactions when it comes to kissing and hugging tightly yet full of love and affection is related to their age and the fact that they’re full of longing for each other’s embrace. They didn’t have the time to cherish their mutual feelings then and they don’t have the time now either and it’s also the baby who should be living with them on a daily basis and they long for it too. Their stare is filled with a resonating despair, resonating because at least secretly they can be together with the baby, full of despair because the present feels ominous. As for the future, it’s not painted with the brightest of colors either, it’s still unshaped, but in the shadow of the unknown. Between breaking apart and blossoming, Lee Joon and Ah Sung’s interaction feels sincere and has the potential to captivate the audience and you have to love the parts when she asks from In Sang to smile more often or when she needs to hear some specific words from his lips. It’s not that she doesn’t believe him, she needs to listen to reassuring words from In Sang himself. She’s got the “i know you feel it, but say it, i need to hear it because i’m not dancing on roses’ petals in here” face and it’s a cute one for sure! And… the baby’s name is Jin Young! Having fallen asleep on the couch amidst books was a cute scene, but beautiful moments don’t last forever, especially in this household! The manservant had to wake them up because it’s time for In Sang to leave the house! Before leaving, In Sang wants to make Seo Bom feel more comfortable when it comes to contacting him. His previous laptop will pave the way and his books will keep her company. Admit it, that farewell was definitely a saddening one.
They’re called vampires and their overburdened consciousness and sickening minds won’t let them sleep. One after the other, madame Choi and attorney Han find their way at the table for an early breakfast. In Sang missed his escaping chance and he’s lying underneath the table like an acrobat! The manservant tries to save him by asking them whether he should bring their tea inside their room or not, but attorney Han starts talking about In Sang and he’s… kind enough of releasing him from this under-table prison because he knows he’s there! Alarm! Madame Choi can’t believe her eyes, attorney Han’s boiling while trying to remain calm with his disarming yet murderous stare, the personnel’s running in fear, as for In Sang, he’s on his knees as if he’s about to be executed by an imaginary Joseon headsman wielding his sword!
Everything seems to be flowing according to attorney Han’s plan, but Seo Bom doesn’t intend to leave her loved one on his own! It’s a Romeo & Juliet mutiny and the court’s shaking in fear; and anger dare i say! Their lines are so simple, they don’t require any thought, it’s as simple as that, they love each other, purely and all they ask for is to be able to share these mutual feelings with each other. It’s not about Seo Bom approaching In Sang, she didn’t know he was coming from a rich family in the first place and that’s why In Sang didn’t tell her anything back then, because he didn’t want to ruin the magic they shared. All this shy yet adorable feeling surrounding them back then has transformed into mutual longing for each other’s presence in each other’s lives without all these unnecessary yet more than apparent obstacles. They don’t need sophisticated lines and they’re pretty representative of what they ask for and how they feel about each other and their son. It’s all about love, something attorney Han can’t conceive, but In Sang for the first time talks back without a trembling voice and without shaking in fear. His stare doesn’t lose itself diagonally downwards, it’s straight forward! He’s as clean as a summertime’s night sky and he’s got all the support of Seo Bom who finally expresses all the wrongdoings against her these days in this household! The house personnel silently agrees and that’s when my great Yi Ji comes into play! She was the only one to be so enthusiastic about Seo Bom and In Sang in the first place and right now, she’s the only one who openly concurs their decision to see each other and the baby! It’s an overall quirky and awkward moment for everyone in this house!
Madame Choi: “Milk? Really? Drink it yourself, peasant!”
Progressing the figures partaking in the storyline, but also the storyline itself, made the third episode of Heard It Through the Grapevine a nodal episode for the flow of the drama. A special reference goes to the music factor. All these instrumental pieces enlarge the playful awkwardness or chopped in half seriousness in the most representative way, enriching all vibes and emotions in the overall ambiance! It simply gets more interesting with every episode in this world of speculations, secrets, angst and feelings!