Oh! Master: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread
Love is in the air for our actress — except it’s not as simple as accepting a worthy suitor’s heart. This week our heroine finds herself being pursued by two men that worship her, and aren’t at all shy about competing with each other for her heart.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
Even though I admittedly giggled a lot over the pettiness and comical jealousy our two heroes displayed this week, I can’t let it go unsaid: this week’s episodes felt like they dropped all plot in favor of this comedic love triangle competition.
What happened to the drama that was about two people slowly falling in love and realizing that they make a good romantic — and professional — pairing? What happened to Bi-soo’s flirtation with death and the hints of a supernatural element to our drama? Well, it’s kind of the same thing that happened after Joo-in kissed Bi-soo on the cheek in last week’s cliffhanger: it was quickly brushed away.
Last week we talked about Bi-soo’s forthrightness in realizing and communicating his feelings for Joo-in, which was the catalyst for a change in their relationship dynamic. The other catalyst, of course, is the fake dating between Joo-in and Yoo-jin. Yoo-jin waited a heck of a long time to come clean on his feelings, but he finally admits to both Bi-soo and Joo-in (separately) that he’s “had eyes for no one but Joo-in since high school.” Between these two vying elements, the men are turned into jealous buffoons who want to compete for Joo-in’s heart. And they do.
Yoo-jin versus Bi-so is really just for the silly — their interactions are pure fluff. It’s entertaining, and I did chuckle a lot, but it didn’t really grab my heart at all. In fact, this whole thing feels pretty superficial compared to the deeper notes we hit in previous weeks, and what feels even more strange to me is Joo-in’s nonchalant reaction to this hot (double) pursuit of her heart.
I liked the Joo-in who was committed to her career, her mother, and reclaiming her home of the past — she never seemed lonely or lacking in her singleness, and she had strong friendships, and a burgeoning attraction to her screenwriter tenant. And so, her reaction to this love triangle seems so strange.
I can’t decide if it feels off because: a) she should be more emotionally affected and isn’t; or b) because her announcement that she likes them both and will carefully choose a “lifelong partner” seems like an awfully mechanical approach for someone that’s been characterized as a warmed-hearted, expressive artist. (If Joo-in’s reaction to her love triangle really worked for anyone, please enlighten me.)
After a lot of pettiness and head-butting, the two men concoct a plan: they will each have an overnight date with Joo-in, after which she will choose her, as she said, lifelong partner. I’m not sure why these dates are overnight, since our drama is completely G-rated, but nevertheless, Joo-in spends hours (and wee hours) with Yoo-jin, and then the next day with Bi-soo.
In my estimation, there’s really no competition between the two. As I mentioned last week, Yoo-jin relies on his past with Joo-in, while Bi-soo has the present. We see this (and also their personalities) echoed in their date choices. While one date feels like coaxing, the other feels like wooing.
Yoo-jin has them dress in their high school uniforms and they enjoy a private exhibit of his artwork, which it turns out is all a lifelong love letter to Joo-in. He gets a few swoony moments in there, but it doesn’t seem to resonate with Joo-in (or me) on a deeper level. It’s like her brain says he’s a good match, but her heart shrugs.
In comparison, Bi-soo’s date is a night of outdoor camping in the courtyard of “their” hanok. He also has his share of swoony (or is that cheesy) lines, and as with Yoo-jin, Joo-in accepts the confessions with a cute giggle, but not much more. However, Bi-soo’s date night feels much more authentic, and much more about cultivating closeness between them… and maybe that’s why Joo-in seems to be more affected by her time with Bi-soo.
That being said, I don’t feel particularly sold on the way the story has developed at all. There’s so much more here than suitor wars, and this plot arc caused Joo-in to almost feel tangential, since we focused so much on the heroes and their squabbles. I love an (anti)bromance as much as the next person (and I actually enjoyed them playing off of each other), but I want something more from this show. And I don’t want to watch our darling heroine just become an object of affection instead of an actual protagonist.
Does the drama have other plans in mind, though? Concurrent to our suitor wars this week, we get an inkling of a “secret” about Bi-soo that seems like it’ll have a big impact on him going forward. Are we going to get the tried and true birth secret, or is there something else waiting for us with the story of his family?
On an interesting note, we’ve passed through Episode 8 without the first kiss trope, so that, if nothing else, was the interesting choice this week.