Forest: Episodes 5-8 Open Thread
Our hero and heroine make their home in Miryeong Forest, whether that means building deep(ish) cover within the 119 Forest Rescue Unit, or turning the dilapidated hospital into a success. With a village full of timber magnates, paper-pushing bureaucrats, hot-headed rescue workers, and cranky elders, there’s really not much magic happening in the forest (yet).
EPISODES 5-8 WEECAP
An undisclosed amount of time has gone by since last week, and our main characters are busy settling into their new positions. Young-jae decides to take the initiative while she’s locked away in the woods, and starts treating patients (or trying to) and improving the hospital.
San-hyuk has it a little tougher — he’s joined the forest rescue unit (with his lurking ulterior motives), but he’s shamelessly bullied by the team. CHOI CHANG (Noh Kwang-shik) seems to particularly mistrust him… and I think I smell some rivalry cooking up for the future — especially since Chang is already driving Young-jae around in his fancy sports car and taking her out for whole chicken dinners.
One major barrier that San-hyuk faces as a first responder is that he’s almost two hours away from the rescue team’s HQ. This makes their ten-minute turnaround a little difficult, so he seeks local housing… and this leads us to the facts surrounding the mystery cohabitation. We saw hints last week of Young-jae’s quarters, but this week we learn it’s a combo of two houses in one. She’s got one, and the other? Why, San-hyuk of course.
One afternoon, our hero and heroine do what any other normal adult does when they get home after a hard day’s work: peel off their clothes, grab a snack, and head out to the terrace with their PPL speaker and cellphone for some R&R. For San-hyuk, he’s listening to classical music in a towel with a glass of red wine. Across the yard, Young-jae is twerking it out to some pop music and singing into a watering can. Imagine what happens when they finally notice each other. This is definitely the best (best meaning worst) scene in the drama this week.
Being mature adults, though, they quickly establish some house rules, since they both know neither one will budge. Between their new cohabitation and a coincidental meeting at Young-jae’s hospital in Seoul (where San-hyuk is a VVIP), the two seem suddenly closer.
Then, in a mist-filled moment that only a K-drama can conjure, Young-jae suggests they date since she’s got nothing else to do (how flattering). San-hyuk, though, takes her more than seriously and says he’ll date her — and make her take responsibility for the lack of respect she’s shown herself (being belittled by her ex-boyfriend, etc.). And now the games begin! I hope.
San-hyuk shovels on the aegyo now that they’re “dating,” and Young-jae’s not the only one dry heaving. But, it seems like food is the way to her heart, and between the packed lunches from Seoul and the steak cooked in his fancy PPL oven, the two are buds in no time. Despite being annoying, he treats her with respect, and conversely, she impresses him with her nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic — and knot tying abilities. Love is clearly in the air.
For our wider plot, though, not much is happening. San-hyuk weasels his way into getting access to Miryeong Forest for his surveys of evil intention, and we’ve got the annoying rule-keeper OH BO-MI (Jung Yeon-joo) giving people citations left and right. Basically I’m getting Avatar vibes at this point (and I really didn’t like Avatar).
The most excitement was at the end of this week’s episodes, when one of San-hyuk’s cohorts falls off a cliff (don’t ask) and needs to get rescued by the 119 Rescue Team (who are always found pumping iron in their spare time). From the drop kicking of boulders, to the fire hands inconveniently crippling San-hyuk, to the utter convenience of Young-jae there to treat everyone, to the conclusion of her losing it in the OR — this is all very dull, I’m afraid.
So far, there’s still nothing very mysterious about the forest outside of the fact that San-hyuk seems to have every bird call engrained in this brain. Or, that both he and Young-jae seem captivated by the beauty of their environs from time to time — but I call that normal, not mysterious.
I’m secretly hoping there’s a fountain of youth deep in the forest that everyone is protecting, but what I’m really expecting is the shocking realization that Young-jae and San-hyuk’s individual traumas are connected in a fateful past encounter that happened… in the forest.