On the Verge of Insanity ep5: I was starting to worry that Choi Ban-seok was a male Candy whose main purpose was to teach cold-hearted HR team leader Dang Ja-young a thing or two. But I should have had more faith in the writer who gave us so many interesting female characters in Witch’s Court. In some ways, Ja-young’s predicament is more realistic and complex than Ban-seok’s. Her job is to reduce the Changin permanent staff by 50%. She comes up with a perfectly reasonable proposal for that purpose. (In fact, I love how she made use of existing circumstances such as the promotion test and Han Se-gwon’s contempt for his fellow developers.) Hanmyeong’s president is all for it. Yet all she gets for her pains are a gang of furious men staring her down and the old paper slap. To be fair, the R&D department has every right to be angry. But why should she be humiliated before so many people just for doing her job? Men like Han Se-gwon and the lecherous ex-team leader have got away with so much more.

Moon So-ri really comes into her own in this episode, and so does the direction, sound and editing. In the final scene, you can feel the defiance, the suppressed panic and the way she is just barely holding herself together. You can even see how she has built up her defences over the years, precisely to deal with situations like these. I was going to focus on all the uplifting stuff in this episode – the joy of work when things go right, the pleasures of cooperation, the euphoria of coming up with good ideas and doing a good job. But it’s the downbeat ending that has stayed with me, and made me look at the rest of the episode in a different light.