Oh! Master: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
With the comedic love triangle plot behind us, this week we focus on our hero — and he sure goes through the ringer, facing everything from long-hidden family secrets, to his mother’s illness, to the ghostly event that keeps haunting him.
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Oh dear. I was hoping our little show would recover after its plotless dive last week, but it’s as if it overcorrected, reaching for several different plots and then going in all directions at once. It was all over the place, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Last week we left off with a new plot thread — that perhaps there’s more to Bi-soo’s family drama than we thought, and indeed that is true. His mother quickly confesses that his father is not his father. This is actually a weight off Bi-soo’s shoulders, since he’s despised the man since he was eighteen when he saw him cheating on his mother in their family home.
But that’s not the end of the family drama. While Bi-soo and his mother share some very sweet moments and he learns about his real father, his step-father removes the mask he’s been wearing for the last three decades and whammo: he’s full-on despicable. And he’s not only despicable to Bi-soo, but to his ex-wife as well. The affair comes to light, his long-standing ulterior motive of owning the hospital comes to light, and this family unit is shortly in shreds.
Although this plot line seemed sudden (and we can argue its necessity), it leads to some good healing moments for Bi-soo, who has been holding onto hidden hurt for some time. There’s even a moment where he heads to the listening booth and imagines comforting his distraught 18-year-old self, which is a favorite way of mine that emotional healing is depicted.
While Bi-soo is going through this tumultuous event, he not only lashes out at Joo-in (deflecting his pain on her), but loses his voice for a time. It’s a sudden stress response that is rather terrifying, but in terms of the story it disappointed me in two ways.
First, that this stress response (and entire plot line) was dealt with in the space of a single episode, so it felt rushed and not very well meshed into the drama as a whole. Second, that the drama passed up some prime moments for a first kiss (or two or three) between our leads — so prime and so perfect were these moments that I had to shake my fist at the screen. Why give the tropes if you’re not also going to reward us for them?
In the end, the dramatic event brings Bi-soo and Joo-in closer together. Joo-in realizes she’s in love with Bi-soo (and so does her mother), but the fact that she chooses him over Yoo-jin is so downplayed after the overplayed comedy of last week that it all falls a bit flat.
It gets even more crazy as Episode 9 comes to an end. Joo-in and Bi-soo are being cute in their house when all of a sudden the drama drops this eerie Sixth Sense moment, and we realize that Joo-in can’t see Bi-soo — that he’s not there in the house at all.
What!? What twist is this! Well, the man in white returns and repeats his warnings from before. That Bi-soo will die, has 49 days before he disappears, and needs to think about how he wants to live his final days. Then everything goes back to normal.
I’m confused. This plot line rears its head out of nowhere, and then tramples us for no reason. Bi-soo is not so much of a Scrooge character that his total reformation is required as the moral of this story, so why the heck is all this happening?
As expected, even though Bi-soo “reappears” in normal life, this event sends Bi-soo into tailspin number two. I do not deny him either tailspin, or either lashing out at Joo-in, but the two events are so close together, and handled so similarly, that they just feel like plot dominoes.
As for Joo-in, she has nothing to do this week except wait for Bi-soo like a saint. Bi-soo has all the action, having to face this supernatural foretelling and utter strangeness. Will he go into shock and remove himself from the world, and Joo-in? Or will he embrace his final days and live them to the fullest? That seems to be the decision at hand.
Again, though, the drama moves too fast. Bi-soo quickly goes from despair to acceptance to full-on lover mode. The two finally have their first kiss. They enjoy some cuteness. Joo-in is blissfully ignorant of what is happening in Bi-soo’s world, despite asking him to share his pain with her like any normal couple (not in Dramaland) would do.
While I’m glad the drama didn’t drag Bi-soo into full noble idiocy at this point, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting whiplash from the multiple directions our drama has taken. Pick a plot line and make it work, Show — don’t pick five and then give us the half-baked version of each. I’m pretty disappointed at this point, especially when we look at where we are now after the drama’s strong beginning. Maybe, just maybe, the drama will redeem itself? Kisses will help. Just sayin’.