Melting Me Softly: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread
It’s an uneven week of episodes for our cryo-couple. At first, they do a lot of smiling and staring at each other — then, a sudden protein toxifies in their bodies and threatens to destroy their future together. At the same time, the genius professors that hold the brainpower to save our leads are both in dire straits. This week, it’s all about the sense of urgency, whether it’s a convincing part of the plot, or a convenient throw-in.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
I spent all last week wondering where Melting Me Softly would go after the wild way we ended last week with the shower scene that shall not be named. And the answer? Well, Dong-chan towels off Mi-ran’s hair, and they return to their prior state of occasionally and cautiously holding hands.
They also spend a lot of time staring into each other’s eyes to the point where not only does the whole broadcasting station find out they’re dating, but even Professor Jo (pretty much my favorite character right now) says he expected it with all the years they have already spent next to each other.
Perhaps as a way to counter the passion of the previous episode, Episode 11 turns to our cryo-couple’s families, once again. Professor Hwang is teary eyed in almost every scene, realizing what a gem Nam-tae is, and the pure love that he has for Mi-ran; later, he’s equally teary over Dong-chan’s mother and her sacrificial love for her son.
Professor Hwang says if he had had a family, he would never have done what he did with cryogenics… which means the drama is telling us (or trying to) that it’s the people we love that matter, and the times we spend with them that give meaning to our lives.
Dong-chan also has some moments with his siblings again, whether it’s his brother’s ungraceful aging, or giving his little sister the love and encouragement she needs to get her life in order. Even while filming their new variety show Go Go ’99, we see Dong-chan and Mi-ran bursting with nostalgia and warmth for the people around them.
I love when the show takes the time to give us this view of people, family, and growing older, I just wish they made the drama about this, instead of all the silly bad guys and antibodies that are filling too much of the plot.
Because that’s what we get when the plot lurches back into action: a forced sense of urgency on every single plot front. First, we learn that Dong-chan and Mi-ran are at a turning point in their thawing where an antibody turns into a deadly toxin (or something like that), and the bruise-like patches on their skin can only mean death is coming.
There’s no reason for this little subplot at all, except to get the plot fired up, and light a fire under Dong-chan to get to the bottom of the mystery already. Professor Jo (really, someone give him a plot line already) saves the day after finally decoding Professor Hwang’s gibberish, and in the space of a few minutes, has created and administered a gold-colored fluid to save them both. For now.
While this mini-crisis is going on, we also have Ha-young, who has dug herself so deep she’s playing on every team, and doesn’t know what the heck she’s doing by the end of it (and neither do I). At first she’s furious and wants Dong-chan to suffer the same pain she is, and wants to re-freeze Mi-ran to make it happen. Then, at the same time, she’s working against herself to save Dong-chan by crippling the baddie’s plans.
But while Ha-young is ruining his plans, she’s also enabling them, and she shares information with everyone in a clumsy and useless way. She’s basically the polar opposite of Jenny Jang in Secret Boutique, who is calculating and strategic to the point that it becomes poetry. [Shameless plug: Frustrated with Melting Me Softly? Why don’t you curl up with Secret Boutique instead? It’s a wild ride that’s both easy to watch, and wonderfully deep and layered.]
For our final bit of plot oomph, we’ve got Professor Hwang captured by the doppelgänger baddie, Professor Jo in danger from same baddie, and the true Lee Seok-doo also in danger. Meanwhile, the truth behind the entire cryogenics experiment and why/how it went bad is getting blocked by baddies, redheads, and TV executives that crave illustrious political careers.
By the end of Episode 12, Dong-chan takes matters into his own hands. He effectively wrecks the premiere of his own show by instead editing in a ton of footage around the cryogenics experiment, Lee Hyeon-doo, and the cover-up around, well, everything.
I feel bad. This moment wanted to be impactful and interesting, but here in dramaland we’ve seen enough live broadcast hacks that they’ve lost a bit of their punch. And Ji Chang-wook did this stuff way better as Healer.
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