All things must come to an end, right?
Ep 12 closed the warzone arc in Uruk. Some loose ends were tied, and while episode 11 still left a bitter taste for me for the way the storyline was rushed and edited and jammed all together in one episode, 12 was the redeemer. It still felt a little too advanced, too rushed, like how easy it was to eradicate Capt Argus, and how little the fight scenes were (they seemed fully capable, and the threats to Team Alpha’s lives didn’t seem that heavy), but generally, this is just my personal complaint. I don’t like dragging things, and with 4 episodes left, I don’t think it necessary to. Since the ending showed us a new ‘threat’ and new drama unfolding in Korea, it seemed fitting that this particular chapter be closed.
I don’t mean to antagonize when I say that things seem to come easy for our heroes and heroines. Easy isn’t the word. Things seem to just ‘end easily’ or ‘close very quickly’ and it could really just be the story telling. Like how an epidemic was addressed by one antibiotic, or how the whole unauthorized rescue operation ended favorably for all parties involved, except Argus and his minions. Even the side story of the trafficking, of Fatima’s recovery from the gunshot wound –things moved fast, yeah?
That aside, I love that this chapter closes and with it, our heroes and heroines now come to a full understanding of the sacrifices that must be lived out in their intertwining relationships. While Kang Mo Yeon still wants the regular conversations between girlfriends and boyfriends, I admit that I agreed with her when she asked for the heavy conversations and for the right to be worried. I would, if I were in her shoes. After all, relationships aren’t always walks in the park, right? I’d want to know if at that moment, someone I love is fighting a battle between life and death. I’d want to know if he is in danger. While I won’t be able to do much about it, there is something intrinsically valuable to a relationship about shared miseries. People want to go through it together. To keep the suffering to oneself feels very selfish, and while the argument will also go that it is for protection, it always doesn’t seem and feel that way to the other party. She asks simply not to be kept in the dark. She’s as invested as he is, so I think it fair (in certain respects) that they be honest with each other. I liked that she gently confronted him about it, and assured him she will try to cope with it. I’m beginning to see how she now tries to fit in her role and understand the dangers that come with being the Big Boss’ lady love. In the same way, I feel Yoo Si Jin also now realizes that he is lucky to have someone like her understand things this way. The maturity and growth she has shown over her stay in Urk is such a wonderful thing to behold –and Song Hye Kyo owned this. I feel no other actress can play her part better than how she’s portraying Kang Mo Yeon now. She’s fierce, she’s sassy, you hated her at first, but you see her growth. Song Hye Kyo shines in this drama. She’s such a great actress and knows the impact of correct delivery of lines and emotions. I think she’s also a big factor why Song Joong Ki is even more popular. Her experience and maturity supported his portrayal. Both are perfect for their roles.
- Alpha Team. The whole brotherhood is just too awesome for words. You save my neck, I save yours. Even cracking jokes in the face of danger –that’s how these men trust each other. When Snoopy was defusing the bomb and Yoo Si Jin was trying to calm Mo Yeon, he said something important: In 15 years, he has never once seen him not be able to disarm a bomb. He’s the best at what he does. I love that he took away her attention from the ticking 30 seconds left of life and assured her of his full trust on his men. It’s like, welcome to the family, see how we do this whole “I-take-care-of-you-you-take-care-of-me-thing”.
- As soon as Yoo Si jin realizes that Mo Yeon was hurt, he doesn’t hesitate to point the gun at Argus. He’s consistent and the protective side of him came out. I love the way he took a good look at her, and within seconds, how he switched to being bad ass boyfriend.
- Along this line, I also love how he fired a warning shot at Argus when Argus pointed the gun at Kang Mo Yeon. Don’t touch my girl, don’t scare her, don’t talk to her. Deal with me. Smooth, Joong Ki. Extremely smooth.
- When he realized he needed to make a clean shot at her shoulder to disarm the transmitter, I loved that he paused and looked at her directly. He knew he needed to calm her down. Even his tone of voice changed. This was reminiscent of that cliff scene. She was panicky and wouldn’t trust him. He said the same things again: Don’t move, trust me. The difference was that both of them have clearly expressed their feelings so the trust issue is addressed. I’d be scared to let someone shoot at me. She needed to trust him completely to save her.
- The conversation pre-hug. I loved how Mo yeon grappled with the issues at hand. She is consistent as well. She talks about her fears. She’s very transparent and again remembers the dangers presented to her when dating someone like him. I also love the line she said, when he urged her to keep talking about the mundane things. How is she to do that to somebody who takes a bullet, as if to say, someone who’s as good as dead?
- The coffee-talk. To me, this was the meat of their relationship, when they are able to understand each other and be completely honest with each other. The way she hugged him and the way he was nervous and totally caught by surprise –nicely done, you two! I love their acting. It was so real and raw, and they really only hugged but there was so much depth and emotion that went with it. Their whole body suggested so much love for each other.
- Dr. Song and Nurse Ha. The jogging scene was hilarious. He didn’t look bad for a middle-aged man, too. LOL
- The President’s leadership. I thought that was good writing and good argument. The military side had done its rescue operations well. The fallout, politically and diplomatically, now rests on him. I also love General Yoon and how he addressed the Chief of staff as Politician. So spot on.
- The chicken soup scene. This was funny. Seeing the reactions of the men was hilarious. First, Mo Yeon and Myung Joo wouldn’t even acknowledge their cooking part in the delicious meal before them. (Thanks, Ki Bum!) Second, much like the scene from ep 10 where the men literally run for their life over a parcel they received from girls they had a date with in the past, which was accidentally uncovered by their jealous girlfriends, now the girlfriends are on the hot seat. They bicker over a guy they used to see in medical school –and end up spilling too much information before their jealous boyfriends. LOL at the reversal.
Speaking of closed chapters and ending quickly, one complain I have of this drama is that it addresses too little what happens after the closures. Onew’s arc seemed to suggest he was going through PTSD, and he coped by crying and withdrawing. That dragged for a while and the effect wasn’t that great, because all we saw was that he cried and his patient couldn’t even be forgiving of him, even when he had plenty more reasons to be thankful for. When his patient tells him (in ep 11) that he seemed like a doctor who was finally able to save a life, it still doesn’t quite address his issues. So all he needed was validation? I also felt that that even as Yoo Si Jin cried and grieved over the loss of Argus, who he unfortunately had to kill, there wasn’t much emotional attachment to begin with. They showed backstories of them in the same team before, how he saved his life and how he was legendary, but there wasn’t much to work with to make us draw the conclusion that he meant that much to him. If there were deep feelings of betrayal, these weren’t clearly shown or relayed on screen so it doesn’t feel so personal. I know that Argus was the accidental reason YSJ’s commander was killed when they were boarding the plane. They took time to rescue him so to see him turn to the dark side (lol, sorry Star wars), does feel betrayal at its worst. Valid. Of course it was sad to kill a former comrade. I just wished they dug deeper at the well and gave us a better story to this from earlier episodes.
Anyway, that chapter is closed too. Four more episodes and we come to the real ending. There have been circulating rumors and spoilers of how it will end. I’ll hold out til the end. :)