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Posted by eric_r_wirsing AKP STAFF Saturday, October 21, 2017

[Drama Review] 'While You Were Sleeping' – 15 & 16

Suzy, Lee Jong Suk

And now we learn a little more about Hak Young and Woo Tak.

Woo Tak agrees to help Hak Young and he turns himself in. The policeman finally admits to his friends over breakfast that Hak Young is his friend. The next morning, Hong Joo dreams that Jae Chan bought her a ring -- as in, engagement ring. Yoo Bum tries to talk Hong Joo into influencing Jae Chan to prosecute Hak Young. The attorney claims that if Jae Chan does not, the country will turn on him. The prosecutors watch eagerly as Jae Chan interviews Woo Tak, whose testimony stymies the prosecutors, who believe the man to be guilty. Yoo Bum does a social media blitz on Hak Young's criminal past, and it's shared widely and commented on. We flash backward, young Woo Tak and Hak Young leave the funeral and follow the killer's brother, who wades into the river to drown. Woo Tak convinces Hak Young to help save him. Hak Young finally does and learns forgiveness.

Jae Chan figures out the "victim" had fainting spells, which caused her to hit her head on a counter and split it open. They don't know what caused the strange patterns, but unseen by them is a Roomba, which drives through the blood, leaving oddly straight geometric patterns in its wake. It falls out a window and breaks, and a well-meaning kid junks it.  Hong Joo decides not to run a story on Hak Young's personal life. The suspect is released from arrest. Meanwhile, Hong Joo has a dream about the ring again, where Jae Chan is bringing the ring to her, and he is stabbed by an unknown assailant...

Wow, this show seems to like to throw cliffhangers at you and give you story twists. I like that. I figured the guy was guilty, and the explanation didn't really explain everything (like the social media post "shall I teach them a lesson?"). But it works well enough. This was not meant to be a straight police procedural -- these two episodes were meant to evoke emotions and tears. Did I cry? A little. The vignettes of Woo Tak and Hak Young as kids are heartrending.

I still think the roomba was a nice touch. Who would have suspected? Nobody. And there's no evidence to make you suspect a thing there. Although that would have been a great closer if they'd found the roomba with blood on it. One thing you can say about the writers: they really know what they're doing.

I wanted to talk a little bit about criminals and people's perceptions of them in South Korea. They seem to have a very "sins of the fathers" attitude, where your family suffers if you commit a crime. Witness the restaurant getting vandalized. Not only that, they seem to have this notion that if a suspect is in custody, he's guilty. Under the law, suspects are innocent until proven guilty, but apparently, it's common for people to jump the gun and make assumptions. Look at the prosecutors' reactions. They wanted Jae Chan to tear apart the cop's testimony, even though nothing had been proven. This drama is not alone in showing these reactions. Personally, I'm not a fan of that kind of behavior. But the U.S. has it's own problems, particularly with "trial by Facebook." Social media users are quick to condemn someone who may be innocent, but circumstantially guilty.

Jae Chan's jealousy is really funny. Lee Jong Suk really goes all out to portray this, and he ends up being hilariously awkward when he tries to play it off. I love how he gets all frantic, trying to rationalize this to his brother when he really just is annoyed that he's jealous and can't admit it. Even when he's caught red-handed (like before breakfast), he still tries to play it cool later on. It's a testament to the actor's skill that he can pull this off.

So these two episodes were slightly slower than usual. Probably because of the sheer amount of information they were trying to cram in there, there was a whole lot of talking and not a whole lot of action or even suspense, for the most part. Still, the cliffhangers keep me coming back for more each week.




  1. Suzy
  2. Lee Jong Suk
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