Oh! Master: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread
As our hero continues through his natural and supernatural ordeals, he seems to learn a lot about life, and how precious and short it is. Will he use his time to be with the woman he loves? Or will it make him run away, for fear of causing her pain? I wish the drama did a better job at making us care.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
I’d love to write a nice insightful weecap about our episodes this week, but that would require there being an actual plot, never mind that plot being even a little bit complex and compelling. Sadly, Oh! Master is continuing its confusing nosedive, and it hurts even more than usual because they’re wasting a fantabulous cast and a story that had a lot of potential just a few short weeks ago.
When we left off last week, Bi-soo went through his second bout of shutting out Joo-in, and came around a second time. Most of Episode 11 is spent with them being cute together, and while I don’t see fit to complain about this, it doesn’t really do much for the plot, which at this point in the story, should be escalating somewhere interesting, not riding this endless (downward?) slalom.
Joo-in and Bi-soo are the cutest, of course, but how easy is it to unplug your brain from the story and just enjoy the characters giggling together and going on outings? For me, not that easy. Add in the sense of impending doom — we all know what’s coming — and the pleasure is sucked right out of it. Because what’s that thing that’s headed our way like the Truck of Doom? Why, noble idiocy of course.
At first we see the two enjoying each other’s company. Joo-in is fully enjoying being in love, and so is Bi-soo, but he also has this weight on him. So when the two enjoy a lovely outing, it ends with them writing letters to each other a year in the future. This is is basically the story’s not-so-subtle way of torturing Bi-soo and giving him a way to communicate the truth of what’s going on that he currently (of course) refuses to tell her.
Secrets and truth might be a good thing to explore in this weecap, since there’s really not much to say about the plot. Earlier in the story, I found it interesting that many of the important reveals we had (around our characters and their health) were brought about because people did not respect requests to keep things a secret.
The character of Dr. Jung, in particular, seems to exist solely to share secrets between the Bi-soo and his mother that they would have otherwise never told each other — cancer, traumatic loss of voice, etc. I kind of got a kick out of Dr. Jung’s refusal to respect their wishes, not because it was noble, but because she kept the conduit open between these two, and that kept the plot moving. But now, we are stuck in a communication vacuum between Bi-soo and Joo-in, and there isn’t a character that can fulfill the same function Dr. Jung did.
So, while we see Joo-in and Bi-soo enjoying life and love together, we also begin to see Bi-soo pull away. There’s literally zero exposition around why/what is happening to him — instead, the story only cares about the effects of is: namely, that Joo-in will be heartbroken and alone soon. And Bi-soo, in one of the worst drama hero tropes ever, tells her nothing, and instead decides to cut her off now, before they get any deeper.
There’s a level of noble idiocy I can stomach, and usually more than most, probably because I find the concept of sacrificial love quite compelling. But not here. Here, it’s just dumb. By the end of Episode 12, Bi-soo returns to jerk mode and announces they need to break up. We’ve seen Bi-soo deal so well with the truths around his parentage and his mother’s health, that it’s perplexing he won’t bring that same level of honesty to his own relationship. What woman would prefer to be lied to and pettily break up with the person they adore instead of just confronting the truth and supporting each other, no matter what that means?
To summarize my feelings on this week: Bi-soo goes the way of the trope grab-bag, Joo-in has not much to do at all (again), Yoo-jin waits in the wings like the best of second lead pawns, and our leads’ mothers are cute but their story remains tangential and/or underused in a way I can’t quite explain yet.
What waits for us in the final weeks of this drama? I can’t even begin to guess. Is it miraculous healing? A fresh start for our hero? Or broken hearts all around? I have a feeling we will be yanked around quite a bit before we find out, because this drama’s bag of plot tricks is more random than the way Bi-soo’s father reared his villainous head and then straight-up disappeared from the drama. Perhaps next week will make more sense.