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Posted by eric_r_wirsing AKP STAFF Friday, October 27, 2017

[Drama Review] 'While You Were Sleeping' – Episodes 19 & 20

Suzy, Lee Jong Suk

So now we know that Hong Joo was the "boy" in the baseball cap, that pulled on the rope to save Jae Chan, thereby saving the brother who killed both of their fathers. And we learn why it's significant beyond just the backstory and sweet coincidence.

After gunning down Jae Chan, the late archer's father (Yoo Man Ho) tries to flatten Woo Tak and Hak Young, but police cruisers block him, and he's arrested, but already unconscious. Yoo Bum tries to say the evidence to exonerate Hak Young was tainted, but few buy it. We learn that Man Ho is staying in the same hospital.

Jae Chan gets up to walk around and confronts Hong Joo about meeting her 13 years ago, but she feigns ignorance because she's embarrassed about hesitating to pull the rope and save him. Ji Kwang runs into Woo Joo at the hospital. She tells him her son has renal failure and swears him to secrecy. Jae Chan goes to see Man Ho and explains he understands why the family is upset because they lost a wonderful daughter. And that Hak Young didn't kill her because he said she was nice. Man Ho and his wife are moved to tears.

After the visit, he thinks of Hong Joo, tears off his I.V. and goes out to find her. She's there waiting, with an umbrella, and she saw him in a dream do the same, sick as a dog. He explains that he hesitated to save the killer's brother as well, so he's no better, no saint. And that's when they kiss...  

Okay, these two episodes had me crying like a baby, for several reasons. One, it's absolutely beautiful that Hong Joo was there with Jae Chan in the funeral home. Two, it's tragic that she feels bad that she hesitated to save him. Three, it's sad that Woo Joo's son is hospitalized for want of a kidney. Four, it's beautiful that Jae Chan tried to console Man Ho about his daughter in his last hours. Five, it's wonderful that Jae Chan reconciled with Hong Joo. I cried so much, I'm probably dehydrated.

There are some golden hilarious sequences here, like hugging Hyang Mi and caressing his boss' face while hallucinating. It's these kinds of things that we need sometimes because some of the things they deal with in these episodes particularly are dark and then some. I'd rather come away feeling good about something I watched rather than terrible. And so I think the humor alleviates some of the tragedy that we see.

I'm not entirely a fan of how they handled Jae Chan's recovery. It's a minor quibble, but I would have had a nail-biting episode where you didn't know he was going to pull through or not. Where the doctors would have no encouraging news and it would be touch and go. Or maybe they realize that viewers are more sophisticated than that. I've watched shows where the mains do die, but it's exceedingly rare. It would have to add something to the story for it to be meaningful. I guess I'll have to be content with the overnight nail-nibbling I already did.

This installment also just had several stunners that just really humanize everybody involved. I love how they treat their secondary characters! This episode really raised the bar there, showing you what these people are really like outside the office. I now know more about Woo Joo and Ji Kwang. While Hyang Mi is played primarily for comedy relief, she's definitely crushing on Jae Chan. In some ways, I hope they deal with all that.

Probably time to wrap this up before it becomes a TL;DR. I have to commend the writers, cast, and crew for a couple top flight episodes. Every time I think I've seen the best ones, they go and produce even better ones. Great job, guys!




  1. Suzy
  2. Lee Jong Suk
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