I have been feeling uncomfortable with the amount of twists thrown around in “Duel” lately, but even I could not have expected this dive into a sea of crazy that episode thirteen takes. Mi-rae’s origins are revealed as far more complicated than expected and things are leading us to a showdown with Sanyeong. At the center lies Jo-hye, who makes a bold decision to end things.
Oh “Duel”, why? Mi-rae (Seo Eun-su) is predictably right in birth secret central and the only good thing I can see coming out of this is the cure inside of her saving the day. Sadly, things have otherwise become too soapy for comfort. Seong-joon (Yang Se-jong) being a clone of his mother’s husband is weird enough, as both characters experience, but I cannot imagine how awkward family get-togethers will be after this latest revelation.
I cannot tell if “Duel” has been a sci-fi soap originally masked as a chase thriller or if a chase thriller’s creators have become desperate enough to create all manner of outrageous twists to keep things going, but “Duel” has turned into the ultimate makjang drama. Some of the recent changes, such as the more personal approach to the characters, are good. On the other hand, these latest developments of everyone and their dog being biologically related make things too ridiculous to take seriously anymore.
This makes Jo-hye’s (Kim Jung-eun) recent character development bittersweet, since it has now become the one exciting thing in this mess. Her frustration and horror over Ahn Jeong-dong’s (Joo Suk-tae) lack of humanity and love for his child are palpable. This is the first time Jo-hye’s facade completely breaks and the person under it is clearly a sensitive one, so I wonder if there is a secret about her that we do not know. Just what is her past and why does she act ruthless for power?
These are questions I do not expect to be answered, however. I thought that Deuk-cheon (Jeong Jae-yeong) and Jo-hye’s past would play a bigger part in this story, but I also know the tendency of dramas to gravitate towards the more dramatic. I am not surprised to see the two characters kept as secondary, but I still mourn the potential of their involvement, especially now that things have turned a bit too silly.
Since everything has been neatly tied together by the motorcycle of doom complete with violent victim shaking, I can see where the drama is going for the remainder of its duration and so there is little suspense to be felt. I do not know how and when these ideas came to fruition, but “Duel” has sadly become a tiring, messy web I cannot wait to get out of.
“Duel” is directed by Lee Jong-jae, written by Kim Yoon-joo and features Jeong Jae-yeong, Kim Jung-eun, Yang Se-jong and Seo Eun-su.
Written by: Orion from ‘Orion’s Ramblings‘
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“[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Duel” Episode 13″
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