I was so caught up with how Dae-bok would interpret the existence of Dong-goo (played by Joo Sang-hyeok) it never even occurred to me that Jin-wook would also be inclined to the same interpretation. And honestly, Yoo-mi is so comically mum on the whole mum issue there were moments this episode where even I was wondering- have Mi-hee and Yoo-mi ever actually explicitly stated who Dong-goo is relative to them, or have we just been assuming? These characters are so bad at communicating it’s hard to tell.
Well, OK, they’re not that bad. Yes, Jin-wook is consistently fantastically vague on the question of why he wants to spend so much time with Dong-goo. Jin-wook is completely oblivious to Yoo-mi’s genuine confusion at his excessive interest in her younger brother. It does help that Yoo-mi’s pointless lie last episode about the puppy does make it seem like Yoo-mi is keeping a secret, although that secret really is just that she’s embarrassed by her mom.
But Jin-wook’s excessively romantic overtures are genuinely sweet. If up until now there has been legitimate concern that Jin-wook is a selfish jerk, his more inspired responsible persona here really does bolster the sincerity of his motives. It’s honestly hard not to swoon when Jin-wook starts talking about how Yoo-mi will never have to be alone again. While it’s complete overkill from Yoo-mi’s perspective, Jin-wook’s meaning is so explicit it’s even better than an out-and-out declaration of love.
The scenes are so good here that I actually liked the epilogue this time, when we all know full well by now that the epilogue just consists of alternate takes from different camera angles. That’s how good all these scenes were the first time. Take particular note of how Jin-wook is still his normal teasing self in between all of these dramatic declarations. That really sells him as being the complete package- at least when Yoo-mi is inspiring him on that level.
The weaknesses this episode are the same as always- a very undeveloped supporting cast who barely even have subplots at all. I really liked how Dong-goo when from a random background character to someone whose importance to Jin-wook and Yoo-mi cannot be overstated. And everyone else does…what? Mi-hee is trying to get a job in broadcasting? Hye-ri keeps trying to get frustrated at Jin-wook’s romance only to be interrupted by Hyeon-tae? That’s not very much to go on.
Review by William Schwartz
“My Secret Romance” is directed by Kang Cheol-woo, written by Kim Ha-na-I and Kim Yeong-woon and features Sung Hoon, Song Ji-eun, Kim Jae-young and Jeong Da-sol.
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“[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “My Secret Romance” Episode 9″
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