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17

A Beautiful World: Episode 10

Sometimes people are more interested in sensational lies than the truth, and our heroes learn how quickly rumors can grow. It only takes a single seed of doubt to turn the tides, and when others wish to conceal secrets of their own, it will take more than a kind heart for our heroes to obtain justice for their son.

 
EPISODE 10 RECAP: Secrets and Lies

While Moo-jin presents an alternative explanation to the broken security cameras, the guard thinks back to his gambling and drug-addict son begging him for money and then the serendipitous timing of Eun-joo offering him anything to keep her secret. He tells Moo-jin that he chased bad guys for twenty years, unaware of the problems brewing in his own home. By the time he realized it, his son was a lost cause, but the guard couldn’t give up on him.

The guard firmly states his inability to help Moo-jin with Sun-ho’s case, but Moo-jin refuses no for an answer. He’s certain that the guard sent them the video, but his arguments sound like unrealistic textbook-answers to the guard. Moo-jin says that he’ll wait for him, and the guard compares Moo-jin to a cactus that endures harsh conditions. However, he has no intentions of being Moo-jin’s oasis.

After cram school, Sung-jae mentions Ki-chan’s absence, but when Joon-suk asks if he’s worried about him, he quickly denies it. Before they leave, In-ha comes up to them and takes Joon-suk to a café to talk. She asks him why he went to the school that night, but remembering Eun-joo and Jin-pyo’s words, Joon-suk continues the ruse. In-ha begs him to tell the truth for his sake as well, but Eun-joo barges in and stops her.

Eun-joo sends Joon-suk to the car and warns In-ha to leave her son alone. As a mother, she’ll do anything to protect him, but in In-ha’s eyes, Eun-joo’s actions are only harming him more. She reminds Eun-joo that being a mother can’t justify her crimes, but Eun-joo throws her words back at her, arguing that In-ha can’t bother people just because she’s the victim’s mother.

On their way home, Eun-joo takes the long route passed the school, and with a desperate look on her face, she repeats out loud what she told the police about taking this way from time to time. She even takes a “wrong” turn towards the back gate and drives by the food truck, which she notes as the witness the police mentioned.

At home, she teaches Joon-suk their new alibi, but her uncharacteristic sternness scares him. Eun-joo angrily says that acting normally would be strange given their situation, and instead of comforting Joon-suk, she tells him to bear with the suffering. Outside Joon-suk’s room, Jin-pyo confronts Eun-joo for her behavior towards their son, but she pulls away from him, promising not to ruin his life even if she has to live in hell. Despite her icy exterior, Eun-joo breaks down when alone in her closet.

Jin-pyo visits Joon-suk in his room and reminds him that it was all an unfortunate accident. He advises Joon-suk to not feel guilty because that would make him guilty, but Joon-suk points out that Eun-joo seems to not believe him. Jin-pyo explains that she’s simply stressed, and tells Joon-suk to trust no one but them.

On her walk home, In-ha passes a shoe store which triggers a memory of Sun-ho. Noticing his worn shoes, she offered to buy him a new pair, but with his usual smile, Sun-ho suggested that they buy his next time and get In-ha some comfortable shoes instead. Staring at the sneakers on display, In-ha regrets not buying him some back then.

After waiting all evening outside Da-hee’s house, Soo-ho and Dong-hee finally spot her coming home. They run up to Da-hee on the street, and Soo-ho asks why she didn’t meet Sun-ho that day. Da-hee says that she doesn’t know anything, but Soo-ho pushes her to answer, failing to see Da-hee’s growing nervousness. It isn’t until Dong-hee asks if she’s okay that Soo-ho realizes the severity of her anxiety.

As Soo-ho puts a comforting hand on her shoulder, Da-hee sees a smiling Sun-ho standing in front of her and falls to the ground screaming. Her mother runs up to them and instantly turns on the girls. Before Soo-ho can explain, Da-hee’s mother slaps her across the face. The incident rattles Dong-hee who goes looking for her brother at his part-time job. He finds her standing numbly outside, and she tells him that people are turning into monsters.

In-ha and Moo-jin anxiously wait for Soo-ho to come home, and when she ignores their repeated calls, Moo-jin offers to go look for her. Joon-ha stops by the apartment and learns of the slap which enrages her. She wants to return the favor, tired of seeing them being pushed around, but In-ha stops her since it wouldn’t solve anything. In-ha gets an idea of where Soo-ho might be and leaves Joon-ha to wait at home.

Soo-ho is at the hospital, talking to Sun-ho about the recent event. She shows him her swollen face and admits to feeling dumbfounded by the whole thing. Realizing how painful a slap is, she comments on how hurt Sun-ho must have felt as well, and she cries while remembering their morning fight. He pestered her about wearing makeup, and Soo-ho kicked him out of her room for being annoying. She apologizes to Sun-ho for being mean to him back then and begs him to wake up.

In-ha finds Soo-ho crying next to Sun-ho, and immediately cradles her face to check her cheek. Dong-soo told them about the slap, and In-ha vows to yell at Da-hee’s mother. To In-ha’s surprise, Soo-ho asks her to pardon Da-hee’s mother since Da-hee seemed really sick. In-ha tells her that assault can’t be overlooked because of sympathy, but Soo-ho realizes that she may have bothered Da-hee even if it wasn’t her intentions.

While she feels mad over the slap, Soo-ho can understand why Da-hee’s mother was upset, and wishes to let this issue go. In response, In-ha pulls Soo-ho into a hug and asks her to not mature too quickly. They say kids grow up fast if their parents are lacking, so In-ha wants Soo-ho to grow slowly for their sakes. From the hallway, Moo-jin listens to the conversation and checks a message from Reporter Choi, telling him that the article will be published tomorrow.

The next morning, Reporter Choi’s article creates a splash, and Soo-ho’s petition receives over 15,000 signatures as a result. Having been kept out of the loop, In-ha asks Moo-jin if he knows about the sexual assault charges against Reporter Choi, but Moo-jin reminds her that he was acquitted. He thought the reporter seemed sincere, but In-ha is still unsure about him.

Soo-ho runs out of her room to share the news about her petition, and as they sit down for breakfast, she announces her new dream to become a reporter—but quickly gives it up after hearing that she needs to study. Moo-jin offers to drive her to school, and noticing her parents’ stares, she assures them that the swelling is gone.

Jin-pyo marches to his office where the principal and vice principal are already waiting for him to discuss the article. Unlike the vice principal, the principal sees no fault in the actual content, but Jin-pyo points out the need to deal with the backlash. He questions Reporter Choi’s credibility since he was once charged for sexual assault, and the vice principal eagerly offers to organize a parent committee.

The vice principal vehemently calls all sexual offenders evil scums, but Jin-pyo orders him to keep his emotions in check. They just need to stick to the “facts” since they’re goal is to win over the public’s favor before Reporter Choi. After the meeting, the vice principal asks the principal when Teacher Lee will be disciplined, but the principal tells him that he won’t, warning the vice principal to not overstep his bounds.

Moo-jin drops off Soo-ho at school and warns her about the reactions she might get because of the article. She tells him not to worry, but he can’t help it since she seems too involved in Sun-ho’s case. He wants her to live her own life and enjoy the things she used to, and Soo-ho agrees to try. Unfortunately, Moo-jin’s worries prove to be true as students whisper and stare at the those mentioned in the article.

The chatter mostly consists of curiosity and annoyance rather than concern, with some even joking about filming the students involved. Ki-chan uses the tide of suspicion to corner Joon-suk in class and declares him to be the true ringleader. When Ki-chan loses his temper at Young-chul for lying, Joon-suk quickly turns the class against Ki-chan and has him labeled as the betrayer.

Eun-joo sits lost in thought as she recalls the conversation at breakfast. Jin-pyo coached Joon-suk on how to act, but Eun-joo thought it would be best if he skipped school. Joon-suk sided with his father, assuring Eun-joo that he was fine, but his words backfired. She asked incredulously how he could be fine when he should be suffering, but Joon-suk called her out for sending him mixed messages: Does she want him to endure or suffer?

Soo-ho’s petition continues to gain more signatures thanks to the article, and Teacher Lee wonders why Jin-pyo didn’t stop it. Teacher Shin informs him of the bad blood between Reporter Choi and Jin-pyo, but before he can elaborate, the vice principal walks in. He asks Teacher Ham to get drinks for the parent committee, but Teacher Lee offers to get them since the vice principal always orders Teacher Ham for these things. To no one in particular, the vice principal loudly announces Reporter Choi’s sexual assault charge and mutters about the hypocrisy.

Detective Park grabs a meal with his superintendent (cameo by Lee Sung-min) who tells him to stop digging into a useless case and focus on the important one. Detective Park casually mentions the need for a reinvestigation, but the superintendent warns him that he might lose his position if he meddles with a bunch of kids and forsakes his own case.

Detective Park’s partner also thinks that the detective is wasting his time, but Detective Park ignores his complaints and takes notes of all the cameras in Jin-pyo’s neighborhood. He tells his exasperated partner that they might catch their main guy, Ki Deuk-chul, as a bonus if they get to the bottom of Sun-ho’s case.

Moo-jin stops by Da-hee’s parent’s restaurant, but it’s temporarily closed. He notices a strange man—the spy who watched him and the guard earlier—but thinks nothing of it when Teacher Lee calls. Teacher Lee tells Moo-jin about the parent committee and the school’s attempts to shift the public eye. Meanwhile, Ki-chan’s mother storms into the bakery, having just heard from the vice principal that In-ha and Moo-jin hired a rapist reporter to write a slanderous article.

In another meeting with the other mothers, Sung-jae’s mother twists the recent article as a malicious scheme by In-ha to ask for more settlement money. The other mothers criticize In-ha for selling her son, and Sung-jae’s mother lies about how they refused to settle which caused this mess. She even has the audacity to insult In-ha for lacking love.

At the hospital, In-ha takes care of Sun-ho and tells him to wake up since she bought him new shoes. Afterwards, she visits Young-chul’s mother, worried about how she responded to the article, but Young-chul’s mother understands In-ha’s predicament and even says her son had it coming. She thanks In-ha for forgiving her, and grabbing her hands, she tells her to be strong since weird rumors are spreading about the article and how her family paid the reporter.

On her walk to the bakery, In-ha scoffs at the ridiculous lies being spread, and Joon-ha calls Teacher Lee to question him about them. While Teacher Lee knew about the parent meeting, he is unaware of the actual discussion and finds it hard to believe that the vice principal would have accused Sun-ho’s parents of paying a reporter. Joon-ha hangs up on his angrily, and Teacher Ham cautiously asks if Teacher Lee saw the comments on the article.

The article is filled with comments calling Reporter Choi unworthy, and Joon-ha grows more furious as she reads comment after comment criticizing In-ha and Moo-jin for scheming with the reporter to get more money. She slams her laptop shut when In-ha walks in, but she can’t hide it from her for long. In-ha looks shocked as she reads the barrage of nasty remarks about her and her family.

Having been updated by Joon-ha, Moo-jin goes back to the apartment to check on In-ha who quietly cries at the dining table. He explains how the comments are written by trolls, but even though In-ha knows that too, their words still hurt. Moo-jin holds her hand and tells her that she doesn’t have to act strong or pretend she isn’t hurt.

In-ha worries about Soo-ho who must have seen the comments, but Moo-jin tells her that she already called him. Soo-ho complained about Reporter Choi, but looking at the bright side of things, she was glad the petition got more signatures even if they were from trolls. Moo-jin tells In-ha that they’re eating out for dinner and even invited Dong-soo and Dong-hee. However, they get a call from Da-hee’s mother asking to meet tonight.

In his office, Jin-pyo berates Reporter Choi for writing a fiction novel instead of a factual article, but Reporter Choi has a different story in the works. He gives Jin-pyo a quick summary, telling him that Sun-ho met Joon-suk on the roof that night. Whether deliberate or not, Sun-ho fell off, and at the scene was the security guard. He reported everything to Jin-pyo who told him to cover it up.

Reporter Choi plays it off as a “story,” and Jin-pyo asks if he needs money. Reporter Choi wonders if he’s offering him some, but Jin-pyo laughs since he has no reason to do so. He takes out a recording device and blackmails Reporter Choi, but not to be outdone, Reporter Choi brings out his phone which was recording their conversation, too.

He challenges Jin-pyo to fight him to the end and see who wins. Jin-pyo asks if In-ha and Moo-jin know he’s using them for personal reasons, but Reporter Choi argues that everything is personal. He doesn’t trust those who claim it’s only business and hits Jin-pyo’s foot on his way out. Muttering under his breath, Jin-pyo calls Reporter Choi a crazy bastard.

In-ha and Moo-jin enter Da-hee’s parent’s restaurant which is empty except for Da-hee’s mother. They ask why she wanted to meet, and she brings up Soo-ho. In-ha understands that Da-hee is sick but still believes she was out of line for slapping Soo-ho. Da-hee’s mother scoffs at her complaint and asks if they think Sun-ho is the victim.

They might think Sun-ho is the kind, model student who was the victim of school bullying, but she describes him as a two-faced child. In-ha and Moo-jin are confused by her claims, but she shouts at them for interrupting. She screams, “Listen to me closely. Sun-ho is not a victim but an assailant. He’s not an unfairly treated victim but a horrendous assailant!”

 
COMMENTS

Despite my aversion to mullets, I find myself drawn to Reporter Choi. He has an interesting dynamic with Jin-pyo that I find oddly funny. Their entire conversation was done in informal speech, and from their interaction, I got the impression that they knew each other very well. Despite the tense air between them, their exchange was filled with jokes, and I haven’t seen Jin-pyo act this way with anyone else. For the first time, he seems to actually be himself in a way—without the pretenses of a noble businessman who knows exactly what to say—because their disdain for each other is clear as day. Though Jin-pyo doesn’t speak with honorifics to Reporter Choi, I feel more respect coming from him when he’s with Reporter Choi than when he speaks formally with anyone else. It’s not a respect out of admiration but the kind you feel when you meet a worthy foe. Almost as if he’s begrudgingly admitting that Reporter Choi isn’t an easy pushover, Jin-pyo does not try to assert his dominance through his usual tactics of manipulation like he does with the principal and vice principal. In those scenarios, Jin-pyo puts on airs and speaks formally, yet his speech drips with contempt which the principal obviously notices but stays quiet about it since he’s the boss. When he’s with Reporter Choi, Jin-pyo openly mocks him but his words lack the power they usually hold because Reporter Choi returns every barb with his own. When Reporter Choi took out his phone to show he was recording the conversation, too, I chuckled because of how easily he deflated Jin-pyo’s ego and with the exact same tactic to boot. For once, Jin-pyo is dealing with someone who poses a challenge because his methods of manipulation require using the other’s person desires against them, but in this case, Reporter Choi’s wish is his downfall.

The other thing that I enjoy about Reporter Choi’s characterization is how he has a personal vendetta against Jin-pyo. Just as Jin-pyo claimed, Reporter Choi is essentially using In-ha and Moo-jin for his personal gain, but I like this rather unrighteous aspect of his character. He isn’t helping them purely out of the goodness of his heart (though I think he does care to an extent), and this might be an asset instead of a drawback for In-ha and Moo-jin. Since he wants to destroy Jin-pyo, there’s no worries of Reporter Choi betraying them because Jin-pyo proposed a tempting offer, which has already happened in the case of the guard. They’re on the same boat, even if their destinations may be different, and while this could cause some clashes between them about how far they want to take the case, it’s still reassuring to have an ally who hates the enemy as much as you do. Also, Moo-jin was right to judge Reporter Choi as sincere because he does want to uncover the truth behind Sun-ho’s case; it’s just that his motivation isn’t as pure as they imagined.

The show used Reporter Choi’s sexual assault charge to shed light on multiple issues this episode, and one of them was stigmatization. Though Reporter Choi was acquitted, no one cared about the court outcome and only harped on the fact that he was charged in the first place. In an older conversation between Reporter Choi and Detective Park, the latter commented on the subjectivity of public sentiment and how people only care about the crime and not the verdict. The public’s response reflected Detective Park’s musing and proved him correct. However, even more terrifying was the fact that people willfully ignored the court ruling and made their judgement based off their own conclusions. The mere existence of a sexual assault charge stigmatized Reporter Choi, and as the episode progressed, the truth was warped until people started calling him a criminal even if that was factually incorrect. However, Reporter Choi’s sexual assault charge is also used to mirror the other possible sexual assault charge in the show concerning Da-hee. People like the vice principal are quick to call rapists evil scum when he hears about Reporter Choi, but unwittingly, he just told Jin-pyo that Joon-suk is evil and should never be forgiven. Then at the end of the episode, Da-hee’s mother seems to imply that Sun-ho was a sexual offender, and even if she’s mistaken, we’ve seen the negative outcomes a mere accusation can have on someone. Moreover, the situation is even more complicated simply because it’s a sexual assault case which is a tricky subject. The bulk of the research on sexual assault finds that the majority of offenders never get convicted and the number of false accusations is miniscule in comparison to actual incidents. Furthermore, sexual assault cases get dragged into a “she said, he said” situation that makes proving guilt difficult, though I think a good deal of this ambiguity is because of the prevalent rape culture that permeates many societies, including South Korea. Especially given the recent scandals in South Korea and its entertainment world, hopefully the show deals with this issue with care and caution because it’s an important topic.

Eun-joo continues to be a walking pile of contradictions, and it’s finally blown up on her. Joon-suk was right when he criticized her for sending him mixed messages, and I don’t blame him for being frustrated with her. In one moment, she feeds him lies and tells him that everything will be okay, and then the next, she rebukes him for appearing fine and not suffering like she is. Ultimately, it’s Eun-joo’s selfishness that is causing all her problems, and I agree with In-ha that Eun-joo is only trying to protect herself and not Joon-suk at this point. When he considered confessing everything to Moo-jin, she was the one who stopped him and tried to convince him that nothing happened that day. Thus, it makes no sense to Joon-suk when she expects him to live with overwhelming guilt for Sun-ho’s fall when she was the one who stopped him from admitting his fault in the first place. I think these are signs of Eun-joo cracking under the pressure of all the lies she has spun as they slowly suffocate her. It’s the classic scenario of one lie begetting another, bigger lie until everything becomes too much to handle. Eun-joo truly is living in a hell of her own making, but instead of trying to find a way out, she sinks deeper into the abyss.

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It floors me that Eun Joo’s interference caused such a long delay before Sun Ho got medical help. I keep coming back to that, and I want it to hit her son too - that he could’ve called an ambulance and didn’t. That she HUNG UP on the ambulance.

With catastrophic accidents, moments matter, and between the two of them and the security guard? That must’ve been a good quarter hour, at LEAST, that Sun Ho lost. Even if you forget absolutely everything else, there was a time when Sun Ho was incredibly badly injured and these two ghouls dithered and postponed. The time before the fall was gross but can still be morally fuzzy because it was an accident. But once that kid was bleeding out on the pavement? Nope.

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I'm surprised 119 didn't call back? I had a kid play with the phone before and apparently, pressing numbers at random makes a call to the police. My kid hung up the phone but then police called back, asked about my info, and made sure everything was fine.

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That's too intricate for a kdrama 😂 I can't help but think though, if that had happened it would have led to them wasting more of Seonho's possible recovery time.

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Because I doubt Eunjoo would have reconsidered getting an ambulance for him.

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I'm really confused about the last part that Da-hee's mother thinks Sunho is a sexual offender. I think she misunderstood Sunho or did she intend to blame him? Sunho really loves his family that he didn't tell his parents he was beaten up at school, he kept it himself and found his way to protect himself by learning boxing etc. Moreover, he saved Dong-hee, he saved her from death and gave her nice words that can enlighten her life. I don't think he's a bad kid bcos that's not how a bad kid should behave. And about Joon-Seok, I don't think he sexually assaulted Da-hee, his face told me that, he was a bit surprised and scared.

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Dahee could have lied. She seems really sorry to Seonho judging by how she cried at the flower shop. As for why, I can only guess she still likes Joonseok.

But like you, I doubt Jooseok assaulted her.

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The thing that's interesting about that is that Joon Seok doesn't have the greatest understanding of what other people are feeling. He certainly knows how to manipulate people to get the result he wants, but he seemed totally blindsided that Sun Ho now views him so poorly. And that makes me wonder if some of the things he did with Da Hee didn't register with HIM as "bad", but did with her.

That Da Hee is reacting at the thought of Sun Ho with flowers, and that she's clearly mentally suffering? I wonder if her mother's pieced together two completely different situations and come out with the wrong picture. Like something went sideways with Joon Seok and then she was cruel to Sun Ho and then Sun Ho apparently "suicided" and she kind of went off the deep end, and her mother linked that together as Sun Ho being the one who hurt Da Hee? And then there's always the possibility that someone's pressured Da Hee directly - clearly Joon Seok was aware that she'd made an allegation against him, and we've seen him bribing other witnesses...

Completely unexpected, though!

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It can't be a misunderstand. Da Hee must have actively lied to her mother. She saw that her mother trashed Sun Ho's flowers. She looked very guilty at that, to the point that she went to the flower shop crying. She knew her mother hated Sun Ho and was even gleeful mentioning his being comatose as him "having a conscience". If Da Hee lied to Sun Ho about Jeon Seok assaulting her, and then to her mother about Sun Ho, is she just a compulsive liar?

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Wow sexual assault is tricky enough to handle, and this show is going straight to very muddled territories within this issue, regarding both reporter Choi and Da-hee's case. Within the show, I got to know reporter Choi to some extent, so the court ruling definitely feels more trustworthy. But in real life, so many perpetrators get away with the law that it's really difficult to not look at someone in his situation with some sort of doubts, even if he's proven innocent.

On a slightly more positive note, Soo-ho's scene at the hospital was very poignant. I seriously respect the writer for patiently waiting until Episode 10 to let Soo-ho deal with her complicated feelings and finally meet her brother. Once again, Soo-ho showed how mature and thoughtful she was. She's fearless when confrontation is needed, but also capable of forgiving those who make mistakes for understandable reasons. Sending love to the director and music director, who add depth to the scene with such a tender soundtrack.

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Am I the only one who griefed over how thoroughly Jin-pyo and Eun-joo have ruined their own son? Whenever my hope surged because I could see Joon-seok wavering, because there was a glimpse of guilt and conscience in his eyes, his parents came and reassuringly led him back to the worst way possible. Though I'm still going to keep on hoping that maybe the sudden and frightening change in Eun-joo (whom I speculate is the parent Joon-seok most close with before Seon-ho's incident) will be the trigger that pushed him to find solace and a way to relieve his guilt from another source, like an honest confession to In-ha or Moo-jin, maybe?

Soo-ho and Seon-ho's story get to me like no other, probably because it reminded me of my relationship with my sister. How she came to him after an upsetting event and told him everything, even to the point of freely cried because of it. While the moment her mom appeared, she is all calm and collected, even mature enough to reassured In-ha that she's okay. Our Soo-ho has grown up well. I was impressed by her mature reaction to that slapping incident. When she calmly told her mom that of course she was upset but she decided to be understanding and let it slide just this once, I was so proud of her. Not even all adults in this show can calmly own their pain and happiness and decided how they would feel about what happened to them, and yet this kid has quietly did that and more. In-ha is probably right that Seon-ho's incident has forced Soo-ho to grow up faster, but I think In-ha also deserved to feel proud that she and Moo-jin has raised their children well.

Also, what's with that ending? Nooo... I don't want to believe that Seon-ho is someone like Joon-seok who hide his evilness behind that angelic smile. That couldn't be true. It didn't match with all those flashbacks about him that we got from so many characters. Please, please let this kid be as kind and sweet as he seems to be.

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Of course he's not an assailant! Why would he go to see Jeon Suk asking him about whether he assaulted Da Hee! Remember that it was Jeon Suk's flashback.

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From all recollection of ppl about SH, its 99% impossible for him to do such horrible crime and still bravely/shamelessly met Da Hee and brought her flower. His highlight of the book his mother read also somewhat implied something about the integral part of him that always want to help others from hurting themselves. With Dong Hee, and Da Hee, for example. Both tried to commit suicide of the sort and in both case, SH stepped forward to help them.

However, its a pity that he is in no position to defend himself when Da Hee's family accuses him of assaulting her. If DH lied to her parent, Idk what will give her courage to tell the truth now, since even when she heard that SH is comatose she still let her parent think that SH is a bad kid. Only JS know about the matter, but I never think that he'll be the one to clear SH's name. Rep.Choi and det.Park can help unearth the truth, but its dangerous if the news leaked to others esp the bullies parent sans Young Chul's mum.

Soo Ho is such a precious child, as is Sun Ho. Their naturally kind and mature character, compassionate and understanding of other's situation, partly must be the result of Mj and IH education towards them. Indeed, they raised them well.

I forgot one thing that can help SH: his phone, or the recordings of his phone and his diary. Only that it is in the possession of the janitor/schoolguard. I dont think he destroyed it yet, cos he needs it to help his bargain with JP. Hurry det. Park catch him and help the sweet family!

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Up until now this drama has always been very well thought-out. The slow pace was clearly a deliberate choice. The strength of the show lying in its realistic portrayal of people - their behaviours and underlying motivations and what consequences these have for others.

I say up until now because I'm uncertain where the show will go with the assault case. This is not just a plot point, it's a very sensitive and prominent issue as summarised in lovepark's comments. It would be bad representation for victims if Dahee is lying but at the same time, it's horrible to think that Joon Seok or Seonho had done such a thing (although it’s not unheard of in the real world).

What bothers me the most is that I don't know what it even adds to the story. With the reporter, I admit that I was wary of him meeting with Sooho and Donghee without the parents knowing first, so the stigma argument is valid. But although he was acquitted, those cases are hard to prove. Also, of course he's got to present himself a certain way in society. The impression he gives and his capability of such a crime are not necessarily mutually exclusive. But then again, he could really be innocent. So all in all, what do these ambiguous references to assault really achieve? I don't know about the reporter but the way they've handled Dahee's case seems sensationalist so far; the tape recording, the slap and now the accusation that defies our image of Seonho. And this leaves me wondering how they're going to explain and give it their usual humanistic depth, if they can...

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The references to sexual assault have been hinted at since early in the series, including Da-hee's mom's extreme dislike for Sun-ho. I feel like this plot thread is deliberately built into the story. But like you, I don't know how to look at the portrayal of Da-hee up until now. In this story, of course she could be sending mixed signals to her family or straight up lying. If that's the case, I wonder how the development of her character fits into the wider context, where sexual assault victims are constantly accused of lying even when they are telling the truth. In this story, we've known Sun-ho and his kindness for so long, plus his conversation with Joon-seok helps prove his innocence. But then again, looking back to reality, there're cases where the perpetrator hides so well we never really know what terrible misdeeds they are capable of. Beautiful World is only one drama, one story, and of course we can't expect it to handle every possible scenario regarding sexual assault. But I agree that it's hard to tell what the direction they're going for, and whether this story will add an insightful perspective to the issue that it discusses. One thing for sure, this drama shows us how terrifying it is even to be a bystander/viewer in cases like this. Trust becomes a scary concept, and merely talking about it feels like walking on a minefield. Speculation is natural, but the gravity of the situation means that even speculation could heavily impact everyone involved. Now add the fact that these cases are still handled very inefficiently, and doubts never go away. If a real-life sexual assault case can rarely be wrapped up neatly, I'm afraid the cases in this drama can't, too.

Ps. I've read about sexual assault victims who help perpetrators cover the truth due to fear of backlash/attachment to the abuser/emotional suppression/being inferior in terms of authority/etc. But I'm really not sure about cases where victims directly/indirectly put the blame on someone else. Is this grounded in reality?

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Yeah I could see the hints they were giving about Dahee but I was hoping they wouldn't go there by saying one of the kids did it. Now I'm not expecting them to deal with every angle but I just don't like the angle they've chosen so far, mainly with Dahee.

Since this is a kdrama, I highly doubt they're going to twist the story such that Seonho is actually the perpetrator. Either Dahee has told some lies and the show will make us end up sympathising with her choices in some way or the things she's said/her behaviour was misinterpreted by her mother. Hopefully they will portray it in a way that makes sense and I can continue to enjoy it as I have been!

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Think I am just going to read this from episode 1 since jtbc is still the only channel I have not completed more than a 2 part drama.

So when is this wrapping up at 12 ... 16 episodes ...sorry just came across this show yesterday when i saw a clip from a fight scene in this and decided that tha
t would be the part I would rewatch whilst reading.

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