Forest: Episodes 25-28 Open Thread
The big reveals we’ve been waiting for are here — all of them. And while they don’t exactly inspire all of the awe they’re intended to, at least we’ve got the requisite backstory, breakups, and baddies before this drama comes to a close.
EPISODES 25-28 WEECAP
So, here we are in our penultimate week, trying to pull our ragged plot together. I’m starting to feel sorry for this drama. While everything is passable on paper, it’s practically unwatchable in drama form. It might have worked under better storytelling conditions, but here, everything is just poorly handled, dragged out, and badly paced (need I go on?), so it loses all the bang it’s been saving up for.
Speaking of things getting dragged out, we found out the mountain water was highly toxic what feels like ages ago… but nothing developed on this front for the longest time — until San-hyuk finally hears about it too. You’d like to think all these environmental tests would be part of the development process, but not so. When he finally finds out, that’s when the plot starts to move (for better or worse).
But first, even though we’re supposed to believe that it’s gonna hit the fan soon, there’s time in the plot for a dopey double date with our couples, and some weird foreshadowing with the so-called “goblin bird” and the myth that when that bird cries, a goblin fire starts on the nearby mountain. I love foreshadowing, but it has to mean something to work.
Anyway, there’s a ton of tangents in this week’s episodes before the onslaught of reveals — things like Young-jae’s father’s retirement, the Team Leader’s alcoholism, Young-jae’s wrongful imprisonment and release, the trauma center trap, the random gas leak accident that further helps to jog San-hyuk’s memory, and more.
There was also some confusing editing (more than usual) in between this week’s episodes. At the end of Episode 26, Young-jae is arrested while simultaneously, San-hyuk is attacked by a backhoe of doom (yes, I just wrote that) and thrust into a chemical puddle. However, at the start of the following episode, he’s at the police station with her, and we’re left to wonder when/where in the timeline that actually occurred.
In fact, this might just sum up a chunk of this show’s problems: the sad editing and pacing (and even storytelling) keep things happening in a sequence and flow that has no continuity and does the drama no favors. But I digress.
To his credit, San-hyuk quickly realizes it’s all a trap to cover up the pollution of the mountain — and the precious metals within. The corporate shenanigans continue, but San-hyuk learns about the highly pollutive mining method that was used 25 years ago, around the time of the fire, and that the precious metals are why the mountain has been so “protected.” He’s got a lot to uncover and it’s supposed to be very exciting and all — but I don’t understand where San-hyuk is coming from at all at this point.
I thought he was giving up on the development project for his forest love, but he’s clearly more invested than ever. By the end of this week’s episodes, he’s campaigning for mining rights in addition to all the land he’s just taken over. But then he takes Young-jae for a piggyback into a pretty fast-moving mountain river to help her to get over her water trauma. Nothing about this seems wise, plausible — or romantic. In fact, if this show were a Thomas Hardy novel, they would have walked into the rapids and drowned and it would all be over by now. But here we are in dramaland, where this kind of scene only exists as a goodbye premonition.
But wait, it’s not goodbye yet. We need some broken hearts first. It takes the idiot doctor and some left behind paperwork (and 14 hours of show) for Young-jae to realize that San-hyuk isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. However, he buys her Song-yi’s sparkly pumps from You From Another Star and asks her to come back to Seoul with him.
Of course, they break up instead, and him being deceitful, not who he said he was, and purposefully hiding the Miryeong’s secrets to make money, are a pretty good reason for Young-jae to be heartbroken. I believe they’re sad, I just don’t feel sad myself.
San-hyuk might be heartbroken, but he’s got shiz to do, and he goes to see Papa Choi, who he’s been bribing like crazy. The scene goes bad fast, and ends with San-hyuk getting clocked on the head by Choi with a 2×4. As we know, head injury is the fastest way to restore repressed memories — and the more blood and trauma, the better the drama.
San-hyuk has an extended flashback of his family drama, and we see him and his little sister getting abandoned by their mother (the little boy here acted way better than any adult in this drama so far — just saying). While little heartbroken San-hyuk is in the woods burning family photos, he’s suddenly engulfed in a huge fire, and then accosted by Choi. Choi immediately blames him for the fire even though the dude is running away from the fire with a gas canister (lol).
Then we learn about the death of San-hyuk’s little sister, and The Three Baddies — the two guys from Taesung and Choi, all in cahoots from the dawn of this story. And there you have it. Though many mysteries have been solved here, many remain — the biggest one for me being why in the world Papa Choi holds the phone against his eyebrow, not his ear.