The Smile Has Left Your Eyes: Ep. 13 Review

Revelations are coming fast now as the plot picks up speed; however, a lot of this episode was filling in gaps that we maybe already know or guess, but the characters on the show do not. It’s an engaging episode despite mostly setup for Episode 14.

Ever amused by Officer Yoo, Moo Young tells him that being a murderer doesn’t suit him, recalling an earlier conversation they had about murderers. No hard feelings about the stabbing, ok? Moo Young is an odd duck, that’s for sure.

Episode 13 is primarily about Moo Young’s quest to learn about his past. He is going on this journey alone, though Jin Kang gives him moral support. Moo Young travels to the mountain in Haesan where his dad supposedly committed suicide and gets bombarded with a slew of memories that lead him to his old house on the mountain. It’s a house made of stone with an angel on top and a cross inside. His family was perhaps Christian. Everything appears to be left as it was after the accident/shooting he remembers. New things he now remembers are his kid brother by the name of Yoon and the fact that he did actually see it was Officer Yoo who shot his dad.

Moo Young is amused by Officer Yoo no longer.

As for Officer Yoo, he talks briefly on the phone with the psychiatrist and we realize that the doctor is just taking his word for it that Moo Young’s dad committed suicide. So looks like no collusion between the two. Officer Yoo meets Deputy Tak for a drink as usual and he confirms for her that Moo Young is the child he was searching for so long ago. Officer Yoo also says that he shot Moo Young’s dad because he was scared. He recalls Moo Young saying that he doesn’t like things for free, that he likes living by “eye for eye and tooth for tooth.” Officer Yoo agrees, nothing in life is free, and he tells Tak that if Moo Young wants eye for eye and tooth for tooth that’s ok with him. Officer Yoo fully expects retaliation for what he did.

I had to point this out because it’s a Korean film reference I actually get because I saw the movie. There’s a shot of Kim Moo Young waiting for Jin Kang at a nearby school. He’s hanging upside down on the bars and staring across the track and field area to the school. This is a very direct reference to the movie Our Town that I quick reviewed not too long ago. It’s an extremely disturbing film about how trauma begets trauma with psycho killers reenacting their pasts over and over again.  I actually do not recommend watching it as although it may offer some truth, it offers no hope or goodness, unlike this show that has hope in how the story is told and in the characters of Tak, Eom Cho Rong, and especially Jin Kang. Is Moo Young like the psycho killers in Our Town? Is his past something he is unable to escape and must live over and over again, maybe even kill because of over and over again?

Moo Young lies to Jin Kang about lying. This news about what her pretend brother did is something he can’t share with her. But he has to be sure, so while the pretend siblings are at work, Moo Young breaks into their house (he did memorize the code!) and finds the lost child ad that Officer Yoo keeps in his room. Officer Yoo returns early due to a pot being left on the stove. Although he misses Moo Young, he encounters him on the street and from the daggers in his eyes and the fact that someone turned off the stove and put the pot in the sink, Officer Yoo knows the young man was in their house. He finds his beloved missing child ad missing. One thing Moo Young has confirmed is that the missing child is himself.

Perhaps returning to his monster status roots, Moo Young visits CEO Jang who is dead gone on him and is going to be in serious trouble. She makes him wait, pretending she has any leverage here, but there’s no question that Moo Young is calling the shots just like he does with every woman. Moo Young asks the CEO to get him a gun and also agrees to do anything for her. Since he’s just playing her, it’s unlikely that he really means that promise, but then he has an odd tendency for honesty, so we’ll see.

Moo Young gets the gun and bullets and CEO Jang tells him she wants him, has fallen for him, etc. He pretty much scoffs and rolls his eyes–this is definitely a man who really doesn’t like being chased, preferring to do the chasing–and flatly disagrees that they are at all alike, an assertion CEO Jang keeps bringing up oh so hopefully. She’s lonely. It’s kind of sad. She does reveal to him, however, that it was Officer Yoo looking for him as a child, not his father like he thought. Since Moo Young has thought his dad was a police officer this whole time, this news confuses him. He asks CEO Jang if she’ll look more into his past for him and especially find out the whereabouts of his mother and younger brother. Perhaps thinking of her dead brother, CEO Jang says that younger brothers are no use in having and why would Moo Young want to look for him.  “And you think we’re alike?” Moo Young scoffs. Yeah, he holds the cards. Every single one.

The end is a standard cliffhanger. After establishing that Jin Kang will be pulling an all-nighter at work, Moo Young decides it’s a good night to shoot Officer Yoo and the episode ends with him threatening to do just that.

A few other notable things:

Jin Kang and her coworkers are just a vehicle for the show to advertise food and instant coffee. The ad in this episode was particularly egregious and really detracts from such a fine show that has a production quality to rival any film.

Upon seeing a robot that Moo Young brought from his childhood home, Jin Kang doesn’t suddenly have memories revealing she, too, was there. So, either she really wasn’t there and their similar burns come from two separate accidents, or (more likely) she was too young or honestly doesn’t remember anything about the accident or her childhood. Moo Young seems pretty sure this Yoon he now remembers–actually he eventually says Kang Yoon–is his younger brother, but that’s super unlikely considering the show this one is based on. Will they ultimately turn out to be siblings? If so, will Moo Young try to keep the truth from Jin Kang at any cost? Will he and Officer Yoo even make an agreement to do just that? Does the officer even know they are siblings (if they are)? He hasn’t mentioned it, but that doesn’t mean anything.

Lastly, a shout out to all of the awesome plaid shirts and coats that mostly Moo Young wears. It just makes me think, again, of the great state of Minnesota. And it’s sad we seem to be saying goodby to the breweries as Moo Young has been fired/laid off from Eagle brewery.

Ep. 14 review up for next time.

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