A Piece of Your Mind: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread
There’s a warmth that has taken over this show as it grows into a story about people going through the process of healing. This week, we get to see that healing extend to our heroine. She’s been busy serving as a vehicle for other people’s healing, but now she has earned some of her own.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
So, I’m really bent out of shape about this 4-episode cut. If ever there was a network that I hoped would be able to properly market and stand behind a piece of more “experimental” drama-making it was tvN, but they have let me down grossly. It’s not that I don’t like the 12-episode length — I do, a lot! But not when it’s forced on a production that has been so clearly taking its time to tell a unique sort of story.
It’s a little bogus that tvN is saying the cut is for pacing purposes when it’s clear as day that it is about poor ratings. If only I could wave a flag and show tvN how many people are loving this interesting little show over here on Dramabeans! That being impossible, I do trust that this team can make some magic in the midst of these new constraints, and finish strong despite this episode-chopping rudeness. And with that rant out of the way, let’s talk about what happened in our story this week.
Ha Won and Seo-woo are growing closer at what feels like a rapid pace. We’ve seen them bond over Ji-soo, but it does feel like their relationship has become something separate, and something of its own. While Won’s tendency to fixate has me a tiny bit hesitant, A Piece of Your Mind is doing everything it can to distinguish the distant/snowy love he had for Ji-soo from the present/warm affection that’s growing for Seo-woo.
The idea of the physical and emotional “nearness” of a person is a beautiful metaphor here — and I love every minute of watching Won change as he is surrounded by this. He’s never had someone that he liked, or that liked him, around him in this capacity. So not only is Seo-woo and her warmth changing his outlook — and his sleeping habits — it’s changing the way he thinks about his work’s mission, too.
The mysterious ajumma Kim Min-jung plays an interesting and moving part in our story this week. She declares she’s done with her therapy, but her doctor insists that before she leaves she tries out the AI therapy program that’s been created by Won’s company. Previously we saw her doctor talking for hours to the AI (much like Won, Kim Hoon, and Seo-woo struggled previously) to get the device to reach its point of reaction. And when it does, it’s like magic.
Though this storyline felt a smidge accelerated (or is it me, looking for hints of acceleration?), it was really lovely. When Min-jung, who is suffering and repressing her grief, comes face to face with the “cheerful” AI Min-jung, she just cracks. The device does just what Won’s team was aiming for — it sheds a light where patients were unable to, and watching Min-jung exorcise her grief is moving, to say the least.
It also confirms something in Ha Won’s mind — the importance of warmth, closeness, touch — the feeling of someone’s hand when you need it most. Lately he’s been witnessing (and experiencing) this yearning, and I really like how our plots all come together to spark his thoughts. Ha Won really is a visionary, and I like watching him get inspired. (I also like him holding hands, and almost holding hands, with Seo-woo, but that’s another topic entirely.)
The other character in need of healing is, of course, Kang In-wook. His storyline has been troubling me since the start. I keep wanting to say that it feels stuck, and doesn’t advance much — but then it hit me that this very stuckness or paralysis is the perfect expression of his grief and his guilt. Kim Sung-kyu has so much intensity in his performance that In-wook has never felt dull. On the contrary, he’s compelling, but also troubling.
Watching Soon-ho warm up to him (crush alert!) is cute, but I worry where this sweet plant lady will land when this drama is over. In-wook pulling out the chair for Soon-ho to join him was the first time we have seen him actively engage with someone around him, and I loved that moment.
The most important move for In-wook this week, though, was the way he is using Seo-woo’s presence to jar his emotions as he performs. It’s as intriguing as it is troubling. Is it fear, anger, or dread that he’s calling up? The drama doesn’t name what In-wook is feeling, and instead lets us just see it in those eyes of his, which is far more powerful.
Even with a lot of compelling moments with our supporting characters, this week belonged very much to Seo-woo. Just as Ha Won is benefitting from her presence, Seo-woo is also benefiting from Won. Emotional support, it’s a beautiful thing.
It’s been a while since the death of Seo-woo’s parents, but she’s been unable to return to her hometown until now. This week we go on the pilgrimage with Seo-woo, and see her struggle and heartbreak as she visits her old home, and as promised, plays some music she has recorded for her parents. It’s especially lovely that she’s chosen the piece Ha Won pecked his way through. We know it’s more meaningful to her than the sumptuous playing that In-wook is capable of.
With so much forward motion for our characters this week, it’s easy to dismiss the obvious: there’s a shocking lack of Ji-soo. I’m pretty impressed with how the drama, which previously turned on the axis of Ji-soo, has all but moved on.
There were hints of her toward the end of this week’s episodes, when we see Seo-woo both drawn to the AI device again, and feeling guilty for, as she puts it, “stealing” the affection that once belonged to Ji-soo. We knew this was coming, so I’m curious how it will play out.
It doesn’t look like Ha Won is going to let go of Seo-woo anytime soon, but there’s a bit more growth that needs to happen before these two can truly move on. In the meantime, our 1% has growth to 25%, and I call that progress.
- 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