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Touch Your Heart: A True RomCom

Why it took me so long to watch Touch Your Heart, which came out in 2019 is this: One, it looked boring. Two, I wasn’t confident in the acting skills of either of the leads. Despite how good they were in Goblin, in much of their previous works I found both Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na rather boring and without good screen presence. However, as they’ve aged, they have improved much, and Goblin showcased that. Lee was especially good as the lead in Tale of the Nine-Tailed, so I thought I’d give him another chance.

Coming close on the heels of the successful romance fantasy Goblin aka Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Touch Your Heart snapped up the second lead couple in that drama to star in this one. I don’t know how Lee and Yoo relate to each other in real life, but on screen they are gold. And gold is gold. Both could have continued success simply starring together in romances from here on out. Chemistry like that cannot be bought or manufactured. They are actors that bring out the best in each other. They also seem to not age, which is a plus in their industry.

Despite how many romantic comedies exist, it’s rare to actually find a movie or show that is fully romantic and comedic. Touch Your Heart was both, but I was very glad for the comedy because the romance was almost too perfect and promotes unrealistic expectations–no one is that caring for the other person, right? Based off a web novel, the story follows a down-and-out actress Oh Yoon Seo (Yoo), who dearly needs a break. When reluctantly offered the lead in a courtroom romcom, Yoon Seo eagerly accepts, promising to work at a law firm for a few months as research for her role. Fortunately her agency boss is BFFs with a CEO of the law firm Always, and the CEO is an embarrassingly big fan of hers. Yoon Seo is assigned to apprentice as secretary with lawyer Kwon Jung Rok (Lee) and immediately her bright and bubbly personality clashes with Jung Rok’s prickly introvert style.

As the main characters begin to fall for each other, the minor characters come out to play, and they are hilarious! They seamlessly replace the comedy of the leads as the leads take over the romance part. The biggest standout is Oh Jung Se (It’s Okay to Not Be Okay) as the CEO, who has great and sarcastic deadpan humor. The second lead couple are also amazing, and as in Goblin, they nearly upstage the main couple. Lawyer Choi and Lawyer Dan could easily headline their own show. Choi, played by the almost too good-looking Shim Hyung Tak (Melting Me Softly), and Dan, played by Park Kyung Hae (Goblin), seem an unlikely fit at first, but by the end they’ve convinced us (and themselves) they have something together that they couldn’t have with anyone else. Shim really needs to star in his own show, already. He’s stuck on comedy, but clearly has the presence and skills to do much more. He is definitely my latest Kdrama crush.

Props to whoever chose the opening song in the first episode, which became an instant addiction for me: “Strike Up the Band” by The Kinnardlys. It’s peppy and talks about living well and sincerely, a good fit for the story we are about to watch. Both leads live life to the fullest no matter what they are doing and have solid hearts and characters. Props also to the sound effects people! They had to do a lot of work in this one, but every weird sound makes it all more hilarious. They did a great job.

If you’re looking for a satisfying and heartfelt RomCom, check out Touch Your Heart. It won’t disappoint, the lead actors are gold together, it delivers unexpected thrills, and it is satisfying both romantically and comedically.

Doom at Your Service: No Action Figures Here

Doom at Your Service is the latest in a recent slew of paranormal romance TV shows out of South Korea. And because it stars excellent actor Seo in Guk (The Smile Has Left Your Eyes) and Park Bo Young (Strong Woman Do Bong Soo) I really, really wanted to like it, but it just ended up being a meh story for me.

Make no mistake, Doom has everything going for it, a unique paranormal figure and world, a fascinating dilemma our heroine faces, good music, great acting and very pretty actors. Almost too pretty, like, how could they possibly be real people? I joke, I joke.

So, what went wrong? After a few episodes, the main couple and storyline began to suffer from lack of action. Doom, or Sa Ram (Seo), is a cool looking dude who really doesn’t do much physically. He doesn’t get into many or even any fights, and although he visits doom on the people of the world, we really don’t get to see how it plays out very often. A symbol of this would be Sa Ram’s smoking. He never actually smokes, but only puts a cigarette in his mouth. Even at the end of the romance, I found the payoff to be very lackluster, especially compared to the recent Tail of the Nine-Tailed, which is very action packed, having the benefit of a clear villain.

The biggest sign for me that something was amiss with the writing was that I became way more interested in the secondary love triangle plot, to the point that I actually forgot about the other storyline and had to continually remind myself of the show I was watching. The triangle, too, started to suffer from lack of action, though. Sometimes a passionate kiss is necessary. Instead, we got quite a lot of talking. Sometimes you can have to much talking–and I like to talk–a lot.

To the writer’s great credit: All of the characters in the entire show had change and growth. I don’t think a one of them was missed, and that is a feat to be proud of, so if the action problem is fixed, I look forward to whatever he or she writes in the future.

One interesting takeaway: Okay, so if you’ve followed my blog enough you know I like to puzzle out how men and women interact together. With the love triangle, the woman is talking to her friend about the guy she used to like. She used to want to kill him. That sounds bad, but she didn’t really want to kill him, it was just frustration because she’s so attracted to him. Then they start talking about the new guy and she can’t figure out which one she likes. Her friend says, “Ah, so this new guy is the one you want to kill now?” Problem solved, now she knows which one she really likes, which one gets her all hot and bothered. Don’t know why, but I can say for at least some women we find the men we like to also be the people who irritate us the most. Probably just attraction and sexual tension or something, but men will probably find these women are easy for them to tease and to get a reaction out of. It’s kinda similar to when Hitch (the movie with Will Smith) tells his clients that hitting is a good thing. It’s not really hitting, it’s about the women being attracted to the man.

To some it up, although Doom at Your Service is a solid show with stellar acting and some great interactions with the characters, the severe lack of action and catharsis had me bored. The main romance would have worked much better as a shorter story, I think, and the secondary love triangle story, as well as the whole world of editors and writers, could have simply been its own show and entertaining in its own right.

6 Quick Drama Reviews

Tale of the Nine-Tailed

Starring Lee Dong Wook (Goblin) and Jo Bo Ah (Shut Up Flower Boy Band). 2021.

Enjoying it a lot more the second time. The characters are all great.

The Devotion of Suspect X

This one’s a Chinese movie from 2017. Starring Wang Kai (When a Snail Falls in Love) and Zhang Lu Yi. Directed by Alec Su.

Although I really liked a lot of the shots and the silence of the movie, it just wasn’t compelling. It’s a murder mystery that’s too easy to figure out, and although the friendship of the main two men is interesting, the story just isn’t thrilling in the way it could have been. The movie is based on a book and there are some other adaptations, so might check those out sometime.

One Page Love

Starring Hashimoto Kanna. 2019 Japanese drama directed by Keita Motohashi. Not having much luck with the Jdramas. This one I will maybe finish eventually, but I find the main character boring. And three love interests in a little much for only a few episodes.

The Divine Fury

Korean movie from 2019. Although I love me some Park Seo Joon (What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?), this was too scary for me. And the theology was certain to bother me before long, so I gave up.

Touch Your Heart

2019 Kdrama starring the much beloved second lead couple from Goblin: Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na. Am only on episode 2, but it’s pretty funny, the kind of romcom women love to watch and probably most men hate to watch. Both main characters are simultaneously lovable and annoying. Whatever youth serum the two leads are ingesting, I want some! They look great.

Doom at Your Service

This one is 2021 and currently on air. Starring Seo In Guk (The Smile Has Left Your Eyes) and Park Bo Young (Strong Women Do Bong Soon), it is a slow-burn supernatural romance with fantastic acting, an odd world in which the god of it is pictured as a young women who must continually die for the world. Definitely not as powerful as Jesus. He only had to die once for all time. There’s a lot to like – the acting and chemistry between the leads is awesome. The soundtrack’s pretty good, and the love triangle subplot with the minor characters is unexpected and interesting on its own. Still, the show is a bit slow for me and muddled. The world isn’t so far (I’m on episode 10) explained well to my satisfaction and I would prefer more action. No real villain so far, except for Doom himself, and the god girl who sometimes seems good, sometimes malicious. As it’s got SIG in it, I may do a longer review when I finish it.

Updates

I’m getting so, so close to finally finishing my initial draft of TfD, Season 3. It would help if I actually wrote from time to time…but, there’s so many distracting–look, a squirrel! As I’ve committed to a book fair this fall, I’ve got to start to be on the ball, already. Fighting!

As for reading, I am now on Prince Caspian in the Narnia series and am just going to write a blog post once I’m done with the whole series. Have lately to find a Regency Romance that I like enough to actually finish to review. Nonfiction reading: Dr. Mütter’s Marvels by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, and then The Story of Japanese Tea by Tyas Sosen (I don’t know how to make the line above the o). Thriller reading: The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong, and then the second book in the Bowers Files series.

Breaking the Third Wall: Extra-Ordinary You

Although I pay for the Plus subscription on Viki, I don’t often watch shows in this category. Extra-Ordinary You is worth paying extra for. It has some flaws, which I’ll address, but overall was a great watch with a good script and good acting. Based on a web comic by Moo Ryoo, it is well suited to half-hour episodes, and although as usual the latter half of the show dragged a bit, I was excited to keep watching.

Extra-Ordinary You is first of all a take off of high school romcoms like Boys over Flowers. In fact, there are many references and nods to that show throughout this one, and although the shows are ten years apart, 2019 and 2009, the standard plot formula still works, although here we get a completely different take on it. Eun Dan Oh (Kim Hye Yoon Come and Hug Me) is a popular girl at high school, vivacious, with plenty of friends, and also some potential boyfriends. But something is amiss in her world as she suddenly begins to have amnesia and appears to be skipping parts of her life. Soon, she starts to realize that she is not behaving as she used to and is also starting to see strange things. She realizes the kitchen help, an older hottie that everyone calls “Dried Squid,” can see these things too, and goes to him for answers. Jinmiche, played by Lee Tae Ri (Tale of the Nine-Tailed and also whose real name is Lee Min Ho, sharing a name with the star of BoF and other dramas), and an interesting encounter with a book in the library, reveals to her that she is a character in a comic book. That is why she skips parts her life.

Eun Dan Oh finds this unbelievable at first, but she then embraces it, thinking how awesome it is to be the lead in a high school romcom comic book. But soon, she is quickly confronted with the reality that she is actually not the main character, but a supporting one with a rather pitiful back story in which she has a ticking clock heart condition and dating a boy who just doesn’t love her. To the horror of Dried Squid, who we find has been through this waking up of characters before, Dan Oh decides to change her plot line and defy the writer, causing all sorts of trouble.

The conduit for change in Eun Dan Oh’s story is a nameless almost characterless character that she eventually names Ha Roo (Ro Woon Where Stars Land). For much of the beginning of the show Ha Roo stays in the background, then becomes more and more prominent as his character gets filled in by the attention Eun Dan Oh shows him. After awhile it seems that Ha Roo may be the only one who can change any of the story, but why is unclear. The show is a bit trippy and reminded me of the Scream movie series in which the characters also talk like they are aware they are characters in a production. Eun Dan Oh alternates between explanation and frustration at herself and her friends acting just the way the writer wants. We never get to meet the writer, who is a stand in for the Creator God. Eun Dan Oh’s plight is instantly relatable. Who of us doesn’t think God has put us on paths from which we cannot divert? Who of us doesn’t have something plaguing us in our life, either a physical, mental, or historical affliction that we just can’t shake? Who of us doesn’t also want to change our story in some way, more than that, who of us doesn’t rely heavily on the idea of a hero to do that for us, to save us?

Although Extra-Ordinary You is often tedious and repetitive, it is also a refreshing take on the Kdrama high school romance genre. The acting is great, especially because a few of the characters are supposed to be bland, suiting the actors in the show who are maybe new to acting, or just not that good at it yet. Like in BoF, the teachers of the school are much in the background, as are the parents, and Dried Squid is really the only one who comes across as the adult in charge, though he never really takes charge, as he can’t. Although the show is a romance, the episodes focused mostly on that were s-l-o-w, and I was really glad they were only about thirty minutes by that point. I also really got tired of hearing the names Eun Dan Oh and Ha Roo, or, rather Ha Roo Ya. I think Ha Roo Ya was said more times than Goo Yun Pyo in BoF.

Other things it has going for it: The spoofing of the leads in the comic book versus the leads in the show, the soundtrack, all of the really tall guys–seriously they all appear well over six feet, but then Eun Dan Oh is very short. The scene stealers: Definitely Lee Tae Ri, or Dried Squid, who has a hard-to-miss screen presence, and Lee Do Hwa (Oh My Baby) who is definitely leading man material with his emotive eyes and expressions. Lee Na Eun as the stereotypical heroine in the comic also shows promise, but perhaps as a villain. Not everyone can play a villain well, but her acting got a thousand times more interesting when her character stopped being so nice. Someday it would be fun to read the web comic this has been based on.

Mouse: Episode 20 (Spoilers)

With God, all things are possible, especially, and most importantly, forgiveness of sins. That was the ending message of this crazy horror story. And it fits. The horror genre often goes hand in hand with religious themes, probably because the horror or horrible things are often sins or things based on sins.

In episode 20 we and Ba Reum find out that the Secretary Chief in the government, Choi Young Shin, is behind the shady organization OZ. She chose to fund this organization through the National Intelligence Service without consent. This all comes out in public due to Ba Reum, who officially turns himself in, causing great stress to Detective Go, who finally–finally!–fully concludes that Ba Reum is the cross killer. Once again, Go is foiled in his plans by Ba Reum. The first was when he wanted to go to prison to kill the Headhunter, and this time when he wishes to kill Ba Reum.

The face offs between Bong Yi and Ba Reum and Go and Ba Reum are short but great. Ba Reum really does not want to see these people he love become killers, yet he feels their pain and anguish and knows that he does deserve to die for what he’s done.

Choi Young Shin is painted as the real monster here, as her goal in having OZ watch both Ba Reum and Yo Han was to make sure one of both of them did become psychopathic murderers, all so that she could get her abortion bill passed, a bill condemning babies to death before they have committed any crime. We, and Ba Reum, find out that although he clearly had problems as a kid and was harming animals, he didn’t actually kill any humans back then and wouldn’t have except the secretary and OZ set him on that path. It doesn’t excuse the murders he did commit, but it definitely puts them in a different light. Nearly all those who want to create a utopia or their version of a heaven on earth end up harming humanity in the process. Nearly all. And because most of these people end up in government to further their plans, it’s a very, very good reason to limit all powers of government.

PD Choi gets her wish, and the very good Yo Han is declared innocent in the public eye. She, however, too, manipulated Ba Reum, along with Dr. Lee, to get him to kill other serial killers. We also learn that she was the girl who helped the Headhunter lure at least one young woman to her death. PD Choi turns herself in for this and is arrested, though I’m not sure how that works in S. Korea, since she was a child and was clearly frightened and manipulated by the Headhunter. She is also properly reunited with her father, Detective Park, who lovingly puts the handcuffs on her. With Dr. Lee, we learn Ba Reum was the one who tried to kill him and Yo Han, the doctor, saved his life.

Ba Reum ends up going to prison, to death row, and there enacts a kind of justice, for himself, and for others harmed by the Headhunter. Ba Reum fakes going back to a coldblooded killer well enough that he gets close enough to his father, the Headhunter, and kills him. The clever Headhunter doesn’t even expect this, but then he’s been stuck in prison a long time and has probably lost some of his edge.

Like the mice in his biological father’s brain surgery experiments, Ba Reum is dying and doesn’t have much time left. He does his best to make amends with Go and Bong Yi, before dying in perhaps one of the most important scenes in the entire show.

I’ll get back to that in a second, but first want to say that this episode had a plethora of great scenes and acting, especially from Kwon Hwa Woon, who plays Yo Han, and Lee Seung Gi, who plays Ba Reum. They make us really feel for these characters who got a raw deal all due to Dr. Lee’s study of the psychopath/genius gene. Much food for thought about treating children as marked bad from the day they are born. Yes, we all have original sin, but it is true that if we treat people always expecting the worst from them, not only is that psychological abuse, it often can and does bring out the worst in them. (On a side note, this brings to mind the sudden persecution of those who choose to not vaccinate, treating healthy people as if they have a disease. Again, psychological abuse and so, so wrong. Our society should be ashamed of itself).

Other great scenes were Ba Reum meeting his real mother, the Headhunter’s wife, but even better was a scene between her and Detective Go. Go is plagued with guilt now, realizing he shot an innocent Yo Han, but she tells him that he didn’t really kill Yo Han. Yo Han would have lived, but the Headhunter finished him off in order to use his brain for his experimental brain surgery to save his son, Ba Reum. And the neurosurgeon didn’t save Ba Reum because he loved him, but because he thought the psychopath gene he carried was superior to regular people, and wanted his line to survive. Ugh. Ick. And also makes madam secretary’s wish to get rid of all these psychokiller people who think other people are ants or mice sound suddenly reasonable.

Mouse is the name of the show and we find Ba Reum a figurative mouse, literal experiment, sending himself into the snake or serial killer’s lair, all in order to kill him. Everything comes full circle from the beginning shot to that scene.

Ba Reum’s death scene is the best part, though. He dies in the church he once visited as a kid, angry with God and begging God to stop him from being a monster. Ba Reum appears to see his younger self in the pew there and gives him a hug, comforting him. Ba Reum tells the boy that God did answer his prayer: He now has feelings, especially of remorse and is full of repentance. He no longer has the will or desire to kill. Ba Reum dies at peace with himself and with God. I am not sure if he just goes to the church in his mind or actually gets to go there. Think the former.

Although I am so glad that Ba Reum came to repentance and that he does say sorry to both Go and Bong Yi, I wish the writers would have found a way to indicate that Jesus is really the reason why he would be forgiven. We are called by God to repent of our sins, yes, but the real reason we are forgiven is because Jesus Christ lived a perfect life in our place and also suffered and died for us, taking the punishment for all of our sins upon himself, and the defeated death by rising from the dead in the resurrection. Christ atoned for us, something we can never do, no matter how much we may repent. It’s a sobering thought.

Detective Go does give a nod to the Gospel message, though, by asking himself if God gave Ba Reum punishment or salvation? With a wistful smile on his face, we can guess he hopes it’s the latter, and perhaps it’s a bit much to expect a mainstream TV show to really dig into the person of Jesus. It’s rarely done; sometimes Christian movies don’t even directly talk about Him or explain how it is that He is our Savior. Anyway, I give the show ten out of ten just for all that, and coming so close to sharing the Gospel message, and it is a tough message for us to swallow sometimes, that anyone, anyone who repents and has faith in Jesus can be saved. We think certain sins should be unforgivable, but we easily forget that God is holy and sees any sin, no matter how small or insignificant to us, as enough to damn a person to hell eternally. Jesus Christ is the only way any of us can be saved, from a bubblegum thief to a rapist, to a literal headhunter.

Mouse: Episode 19

Spoilers, as usual.

Have to say that so far I am not digging the whole OZ secret organization plot line, even though it was integrated into the show from the beginning. It’s sounding like the government is basically continuing Dr. Daniel Lee’s experiment, and trying to determine if Nature or Nurture is the cause of psychopathic murders. Of course they don’t see the irony in allowing and even encouraging test subject Ba Reum to kill people. This is likely at the end of the episode why Ba Reum declares to the government official that Dr. Lee asked him to kill her. From a certain perspective, what she is doing could be considered worse than being a psychokiller.

The biggest shock this episode was that Yo Han could have lived and OZ his supposed father insisted on using his brain for the surgery. Wow. The Headhunter is truly despicable.

Everything now makes sense as far as PD Choi and her baby. The baby is not the biological grandchild of the Headhunter, but since his wife raised Yo Han as her son, she considers his child to be her grandchild. PD Choi, we find out is the missing daughter of Detective Park, who was assigned to the case of the Headhunter. With her altered mental state, his wife recognizes the baby as her biological grandchild, which is why she kidnaps him. Interestingly, PD Choi has known this whole time that she was Detective Park’s daughter and was too afraid to approach him or her mom. Again, wow.

Now everyone is suspecting Ba Reum, and with good reason. Detective Go and Bong Yi both exhibit a lot of alternate denial and anger, which is totally understandable. It may be a good thing that Ba Reum is going to die in short order from his brain surgery, as I’m not sure how the three of them will or would deal with all of this. He’s a “good” guy now, but he still wants to murder people, just those considered bad. But that’s who he killed before, those people he considered bad. Not a moral improvement, though I admit he is saving some innocents.

Great scene with the Headhunter and his wife. He is creepily charismatic and she doesn’t seem like the kind of woman who would fall for that, but maybe she was much different when she was younger.

The murder of Detective Shin was the worst! He’s only a minor character, but the kid has grown on me. A chaebol, or son of a wealthy family, who has a good heart and a good work ethic. They had to kill him when he’s on his way to see his wife and their new baby…just awful. But it did give Detective Go a chance to freakout with his emotions. He’s going to need to do that a lot in dealing with Ba Reum, OZ, and the Headhunter.

Except for the OZ stuff, looking forward to episode 20. I am not sure if this is the last episode or not. We’ll see.

Mouse: Ep 18

Oh, this cat’s cradle of a plot! So much to keep track of, but well worth it to pay attention. The main point of this episode was that both Detective Go and Bong Yi are really considering that dead Dr. Yo Han might be innocent of the crimes. That next leads them to: Someone else must therefore be the cross killer.

Mixed up in all that is PD Choi and her poor, little baby, who at least now has his grandma watching over him. Grandma’s not such a good sitter, however, for the kid gets kidnapped by the much befuddled wife of Detective Park who was on the Headhunter’s case so many years ago and lost both his children in the process. Because Park’s daughter’s body has still not been found, he, too, is horrible to this little baby, and refuses to return it to grandma unless she asks her husband where his daughter’s body is. Former Mrs. Headhunter goes to meet with the serial killer neurosurgeon in prison.

The shadowy OZ, the cabal or organization watching both Ba Reum and Yo Han as children, is still a bit of a mystery. Dr. Daniel Lee was possibly connected to them, but now is not. PD Choi, too, knows of them and is working with Dr. Lee to maybe thwart them or, more likely, working with him in the hopes that they can show the world Yo Han is indeed innocent. What she’s going to do when she finds her baby is being held for information, I don’t know. Horribleness all around.

Finally, finally! At the end of the episode we see Detective Go and Bong Yi putting everything together. They were maybe ok thinking that Ba Reum was a psycho who killed other serial killers like the man who hurt Bong Yi. Now, they are confronted with the very real possibility that he is also the cross killer. Go processes a little more slowly, and only considers the other cases, not yet his brother. Bong Yi has probably suspected for awhile subconsciously, and now her memories are knocking at her door. She fought that killer off, she had contact with him. His fight with her in the church was personal. Maybe she didn’t pick up on that at the time, but she sure is now. And she remembers a very important scar.

On the redemption theme: Ba Reum is slowly being justified for a lot of moves his younger self made, and also revealing that he actually didn’t do a lot of killing, and if he did it wasn’t for psychopathic reasons, but more emotional ones like revenge. Is it going to end with both him and Yo Han exonerated completely? Because of OZ, which is likely run by either the Headhunter or the government or both? I would find that a bit disappointing. It’s great to see Yo Han shown as innocent, we are continuing getting details on that, and I was right, he was indeed trying to stop Ba Reum and decided to kill him if that was the only way. Not as satisfying if Ba Reum is given a pass, unless he really, really didn’t do any of it, but that seems a stretch right now. And if he really didn’t do any of it, what a let down!

One thing I don’t remember in trying to keep track of all these characters is how Bong Yi’s dad died. She says something that makes it sound like the cross killer murdered her dad, but I don’t remember that. I don’t remember how her dad died being discussed. Hopefully, that will be clarified or rehashed in the future for those of us with poor memories.

Still liking the show, but I want more Detective Go and less Ba Reum, more detective hunting the killer, rather than this mixed up possible killer psychopath trying to figure himself out. Ok, I just really like Detective Go, who acts like a bear half the time, but really is a sweet little puppy with a heart of gold. He and Bong Yi should just be together. They’ll barely notice the age gap, they’ve both been through so much, traumatized so much.

Next ep should be good, for we’re certainly to get at least one scene with the Headhunter.

Mouse, eps. 16 & 17

A lot of weirdness with this show, but it’s all coming together. As Ba Reum sorts everything out about himself and Yo Han, the details are all getting filled in. However, I may be wrong in Yo Han’s motivation as a genius to stop killer Ba Reum: It appears there some shadowy organization called OZ behind all of this. An organization bafflingly covering up Ba Reum’s crimes, and also keeping tabs on him. Turns out they kept tabs on Yo Han. Dr. Daniel Lee, who is still inexplicably alive, appears to not be working with OZ, but maybe once was, and the suspicious detective I had my eye on is connected with OZ. OZ is either part of or just a nickname for the Ministry of Science and Technology. Possibly. We shall see.

The good thing is, that the other main characters like Detective Go (love that man!) and the ever spunky Bong Yi are now also coming to the realization that Yo Han may be innocent and that they haven’t got the killer after all. What both will do when they discover it is Ba Reum, I have no idea.

As for PD Choi, she has a new babysitter for her child, the wife of the Headhunter serial killer, and, if Yo Han is really her son, not Ba Reum, biological grandmother to said child. PD Choi herself is trying to show her former lover innocent, mostly so that people stop treating her kid so poorly, but I think also she feels it’s the right thing to do, to set the record straight.

We learn a bit more about Ba Reum’s past. AKA Jae Hoon, he may not be quite the out-of-control killer we all thought he was. That is, he’s not and has not just killed for no reason. At least one murder has been in revenge for the man who killed his mother. Turns out, too, that Ba Reum and Yo Han crossed paths as children and Ba Reum was impressed by the latter’s smarts and kindness, wanting to be like him.

Where is all of this going? For now, it appears the big twist is that Ba Reum and Yo Han were part of an experiment. True, we know they were part of Dr. Lee’s study, but this is something bigger, probably, quite probably a grand experiment thought out and orchestrated by a person who is real dad to one of them: The Headhunter, the neurosurgeon Han Seo Joon. I really hope that’s the case, because he’s got a creepy good presence and makes a great villain.

Hoping Go and Bong Yi take all the killers down, that Go marries PD Choi already, and that Bong Yi starts a completely new and better life elsewhere. Lab rats no more, let them live their lives in freedom! And Ba Reum, he’s got remorse and I do hope he finds redemption, though it will likely come with his death, as redemptions often are wont to do.

Still really liking the show, but there’s a lot of busyness that abounds, and I almost wish they’d do away with some of procedural stuff and get more to the heart of the matter: Are we dictated by our genes, or by what we do? Or both? It’s there, the question is there, just hovering in the background. Ba Reum now is governed by both things, though perhaps he wasn’t before his brain surgery. It has to be pretty awful to become self-aware and find out oneself is a psycho serial killer. The stuff of nightmares. But that is what sin really is, a nightmare, and it’s in all of us. And only by God’s grace can we overcome it.

Mouse, episodes 14 &15 (spoilers)

This show has very good writing. Mostly, I’m just glad I’m right about the plot, but it’s more that I’m hoping I picked up on all the right cues from the writers, and that’s why everything’s fitting together so well. This may turn out to be a redemption story for our psycho killer, but that remains to be seen, as there’s one more episode.

All the excitement of episode 14 is the big reveal, and it’s done well, the audience finds out along with Ba Reum that he is the cross killer. It never was the doctor Yo Han. Yo Han is the good one, and it’s his brain power that’s giving Ba Reum his smarts and also his newfound emotions. I thought, I so thought, that Lee Seung Gi’s acting was hokey in the beginning episodes, that Ba Reum was a bit too nice to be genuine. It was too good to be true, for Ba Reum was acting the whole time, as often serial killers do. They can fake being nice guys. Perhaps women instinctively know this and that’s why we don’t really go for guys who are too nice…? But I digress.

Ba Reum is on the mend by the end of the episode. He’s accepted that he’s a serial killer who kills and enjoys killing serial killers, rapists, pedophiles, and the like. At first he thinks surely he can’t be with Bong Yi, but then he changes his mind, certain that he’ll find a way to punish these evildoers without killing them. That he can still bring them to justice and still get the girl. We get one of the only, if not the only kiss in the show. He friendship with Detective Go is also growing, as they now think of each other and older and younger brother.

How does Ba Reum figure out that he himself is the killer? First of all, he start having some hallucinations of himself as the psycho killer taunting him to kill, and also still picturing Yo Han taunting him. The biggest thing, is that through a series of coincidences he comes to realize that Detective Go and his brother both had similar lockets and that Ba Reum himself has one hidden in his house. Since Go has his locket, that can only mean one thing, that the locket Ba Reum possesses is the one owned by Father Go, the one the cross killer brutally murdered on live TV. The conclusion of that murder was that the cross killer considered himself to be God, a typically thing unrepentant sinners like to do. He also remembers that the necklace he made and gave Bong Yi is actually made of cat teeth. Ew!

It’s what he finds Bong Yi’s dear grandma’s brooch in his house that he knows for sure. He killed her, and before he ended up needing brain surgery. The old neighborhood where Ba Reum and Bong Yi lived is roped off to be demolished. Bong Yi goes there to his house and finds the underground lair–these killers always have lairs and hidey holes–and remembers other things, like holding the missing kid from a year and a half ago hostage while pretending to work with the cops to rescue him.

Excellent, excellent acting from Lee Seung Gi. He definitely seems like a generally good man finding out he is a monster. Episode 15 is largely the details, and well worth watching how everything came together to the present time. Many teases where Detective Go and/or Bong Yi finds out he is the killer, but that’s going to be saved for episode 16. Also, Ba Reum’s prison guard friends has now awakened from his coma and we find that Ba Reum tried to kill him too–and he remembers!

With his new empathy and emotions, Ba Reum’s Yo Han good side is practically dragging him towards a redemption, at least a works righteousness one. Inside, I think Ba Reum knows he can’t really make up for what he’s done, no matter how sorry he feels now, but he is compelled to try, though like what’s-his-name in Crime and Punishment, he’s reluctant to actually turn himself in. I feel so bad for Bong Yi. She’ll want to kill him when she finds out, and so will Detective Go. PD Choi will be more sympathetic, I think because she subliminally knows Yo Han is a part of Ba Reum now.

Redemption, redemption. God works in mysterious ways, and this is a fictional depiction of that. The cross killer and psycho kid who was angry at God for not stopping him from killing is now getting his chance, but God’s putting it on him, giving him the emotions and the will to change. It’s just too bad that he probably won’t be finding solace in the true forgiveness in Christ. Oh well, our entertainment rarely shows that truth. Will Ba Reum recognize this chance? Who knows, he may choose the dark side after all and Bong Yi may have to put him down. As for the stuff with Dr. Lee, I have no idea what’s going on there, but he doesn’t seem to know that Ba Reum was actually the real killer before getting brain surgery.

Continuing with the theme of the psychopath gene, PD Choi is struggling raising Yo Han’s child. People are awful, truly awful. And to a baby no less. And the baby will live and grow up with the shame of being a psychokiller’s child over them unless Ba Reum can successfully clear Yo Han’s name. Hopefully, that’s something that will happen.

The last big twist will likely be that Ba Reum is the son of the Headhunter, not Yo Han. Looking forward to that in episode 16. One episode doesn’t seem like enough to tie up all the ends, but I’m sure the writers will surprise me.

Until next time!