Forest: Episodes 13-16 Open Thread
We’re at the halfway point in our forest tale, and childhood traumas are starting to connect to our present day. We learn about our doctor’s past, and even more about our rescue worker’s repressed memories. As history starts to repeat itself, everything goes up in flames (literally and figuratively).
EPISODES 13-16 WEECAP
But first, another day, another bathrobe. While San-hyuk seems to be gloating after their kisses, Young-jae is mortified and wants to forget the whole thing. However, that’s kind of hard to do when her father pops in for a visit and San-hyuk is left naked in her bathroom with his bathrobe out of reach. His boiler was broken and he wanted a shower so he used her bathroom (is it logical that they have separate boilers in the same house?) — and a whole lot of misunderstandings ensue. Also an amazing boiiing! sound effect when Young-jae sees him naked.
But more than the romantic entanglements, our suspicions are confirmed 100% that Young-jae was indeed trapped in that car as a child. Her parents died, the kind rescue work saved her, adopted her, and is quite the sweet surrogate father. He knows a little too much about her string of failed relationships, though, and is consequently pretty excited that she’s living with a guy like San-hyuk.
San-hyuk and Young-jae’s attraction to each other, and flip-flopping denial of that attraction, continues this week, but the focus also starts to shift. Rather than Young-jae being comforted in her panic by San-hyuk, now it’s his turn to be on the receiving end.
She’s digging deep into his past, and thanks to that little drawing from the tree hollow, some scrawls she came across in the woods, and erroneous hospital access to psychiatric files (lol on that), she starts to piece San-hyuk’s story together. Which he hates. His anger is even enough to stop them from commencing with another romantic moment, and I don’t know if I’m disappointed or relieved by that.
Despite having another psychological attack of his hand being on fire (due to seeing the rock scrawls in the woods), San-hyuk is actually making a lot of progress with his development project. They’re snatching up land, making press announcements, swaying public opinion — and for a moment that should have huge repercussions in the actual village where everyone is living, it seems like a non-event so far.
What does happen, though, is that Young-jae starts to piece together the sick village elders with the fact that they’re all drinking the “natural spring water” from up the mountain. So, Young-jae traces the water supply, testing the water with a sip every now and then (I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s done, girly).
Believe it or not, I was actually pretty interested for a second to see what Young-jae was going to find at the water source… but instead the next time she looks up, she’s surrounded by roaring flames. A fire has whipped in out of nowhere, and before we know it, we’ve circled right back to the forest fire/rope rescue scene that opened our drama eight episodes ago. I thought we’d revisit this scene much later, so I’m slightly encouraged. Maybe we’ll get more plot before this thing is truly over.
The more we learn about our characters’ pasts, the more we learn about Miryeong Forest, and week after week, the random clues continue to stack up. Memorable bird songs. Childhood treasures stuck in tree hollows. Mysterious freshwater clams. Ancient runes on a rock face (or so I assumed for a second) that are actually a child’s drawings. And let’s not forget the unique wind patterns that make Miryeong into even more of a danger. But are these clues really random?
Now that San-hyuk has confirmed the deadly fire from years past that scarred the community, wouldn’t it be funny if his childhood secret is also wrapped into the fire? Of course, that’s exactly what is confirmed for us this week. From the childhood trinkets, to the wind patterns, to San-hyuk’s “fiery” reaction to the forest itself, everything points to San-hyuk’s childhood experience in the fire. Except those baby clams.
I’m also a little confused on how the drama will balance the forest as holding trauma and terror for our characters, while simultaneously inducing a sort of euphoria for them. Because we have our token forest euphoria scene again this week, but this time it’s the both of them soaking it up. Maybe Miryeong Forest is just good at a push and pull relationship?