A Piece of Your Mind: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
After a perplexing premiere week, A Piece of Your Mind continues… with even more perplexity. Really, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a drama that is so purposefully ambiguous and just…strange. But in a good way. After last week’s disquieting ending, A Piece of Your Mind has a lot of explaining to do, so here we go!
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
I think we had better get used to the fact that A Piece of Your Mind is in love with the idea of in medias res — also known as dropping us in the middle of an already-moving story. After Ji-soo’s tragic (and kind of poetic/bizarre death) at the end of last week’s episodes, I found myself completely unsure of where the drama would go next. The entire drama pivoted around her, so now what?
This week, rather than deal with the immediate aftermath of her passing, we enter the story a few weeks (my assumption) into everyone’s grief. Ha Won is MIA, Seo-woo is (and has been) totally distraught, and In-wook (Ji-soo’s husband) is in even more despair than he seemed to be in before.
Even though Ji-soo is gone, the story still pivots around her, to the point that it’s kind of amazing. I think we can all agree that Won is a little too caught up on Ji-soo. I don’t want to flat-out call it obsession, because that seems a little too harsh of a word (and the drama feels like it’s going for something deeper than that), but his entire life continues to hang on her.
In Episode 3, we watch Won and Seo-woo start meeting again — much like earlier episodes where it felt like Seo-woo stumbled upon the story of Won’s love, she now stumbles upon his grief. But, Seo-woo knows more about Ji-soo and her last days than anyone else, and Won gently pulls all this information from her.
The theft-like recording of Ji-soo’s voice also has a huge part to play. After all but stealing the recordings from the studio, Won programs his AI with Ji-soo’s voice, and much like he did with the previous program and his own self, this one has Ji-soo’s personality and emotions.
I’m not a huge fan of the concept of AI (Skynet!), but I can really appreciate how this drama is taking something that’s cold and artificial and transforming it into this device that has warmth… and pretty close to the feel of a person.
It’s Seo-woo that plays a huge part in getting the AI to reach its critical “point of reaction,” and the story of Seo-woo, Ha Won, and this AI verison in Ji-soo gets interesting this week. Because of their mutual reverence for Ji-soo, both Seo-woo and Won share several quiet moments together, whether it’s in a cafe or a living room floor or a street corner, and you can feel the connection growing between them.
As can be expected, Seo-woo starts to develop a bit of a crush on Won. It’s strange, but I also understand it. She’s pulled in, watching his love or grief or obsession or whatever you want to call it, and before you know it she’s even more deeply caught up in this man’s heart.
For all the questions this drama elicited from viewers last week, I have to say, it really stayed with me. I thought about the story all week, and when I tuned in for the second week of episodes, something finally clicked. I realized why this drama is disquieting, perplexing, and intriguing all at the same time: it feels like a bit of voyeurism.
It’s not a “creepy” kind of voyeurism, but one that is a little unsettling, maybe? It gives you the feeling of seeing something you shouldn’t, of intruding on something that wasn’t yours to intrude on, and of watching stories around you take place.
Stay with me! The drama is bursting with characters that keep witnessing these private moments/feelings that don’t belong to them, and then get emotionally entangled in them. There’s witnessing, which is kind of passive — but then there’s watching, which is far more active. And that is all over this drama.
If you start paying attention to the sheer amount of times that a character in the drama (or we as the audience) is watching someone through some kind of barrier or filter, it’s amazing.
Just for some examples of this that stood out to me: Ha Won watches Seo-woo through the snowy one-way mirrored wall in his office building. Conversely, Seo-woo watches Won through the cafe window, his house’s wall of windows, and the front gate. Soon-ho watches through the recording studio window as In-wook plays the piano to vent some emotions. Scenes like this are all over the drama.
So, what does all this watching mean? Is it obsession, intrusion, curiosity, affection? I think the drama is making us ask all these questions on purpose, and perhaps intends to answer them; perhaps not.
“Unrequited love” is a huge theme and concept here — and I loved Seo-woo saying that one of the joys of a crush is that it’s like a “secret treasure” you keep to yourself. If that’s true, then A Piece of Your Mind is like someone unearthing that treasure and exposing it.
In addition to all this analysis and watching, though, we got a lot more actual story this week. We had a closer look at In-wook’s side of the story (which is equally, if not more, heartbreaking). We also learned more about the tragic forest fire death of Seo-woo’s parents. Boy, it’s all so damn sad. I know this drama isn’t meant as fluff, but I need a little less heartbreak in dramaland right now.
Perhaps the sadness and denseness of the drama is what caused some viewers to lose interest after the premiere week? It’s true there’s nothing typical about this drama, but there’s something about it that grabbed me and burrowed into my heart, as Seo-woo might say. Now that her crush is out in the open, it will be interesting to see how Ha Won reacts, and how their relationship to each other, and AI Ji-soo, is affected.
- Premiere Watch: 365: Repeat the Year, A Piece of Your Mind, Welcome, A Couple’s World, Unique Chef Moon, Rugal
- Jung Hae-in, Chae Soo-bin in new promos for tvN’s A Piece of Your Mind
- First script reading for tvN’s A Piece of Your Mind with Jung Hae-in, Chae Soo-bin
- Jung Hae-in, Chae Soo-bin, Lee Hana, Kim Sung-gyu to star in tvN romance