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Drama Review 'Incarnation of Jealousy' Episode 23

BY HanCinema | Nov 16, 2016 03:59 AM EST

It is evident that at this point, at the penultimate episode, that "Incarnation of Jealousy" is going to forgo finishing out most of the smaller plot threads and will instead focus on the very interesting growth trajectory of Hwa-sin. For the sake of his character's exploration we forsake Jeong-won, blaze through Na-ri's growth, but watching Jo Jeong-seok pick through Hwa-sin's psyche is worth it.

After revealing his deepest secrets on live television, Hwa-sin has finally come to terms with his disease and the fact that he is no less of a man for it. This realization has been a very long time in coming, but the point strikes home, especially since South Korea's society isn't forgiving when it comes to the depiction of masculinity. It's not just South Korea, but many societies the world over that shame men for things they shouldn't feel shame over. Such shaming has a negative affect on the images and expectations of women as we saw in Na-ri's character.

Hwa-sin, however, will be Hwa-sin and he cannot keep his mouth shut about the corruption in his workplace and promptly gets himself bumped from his beloved anchor position. His headstrong behavior is nothing new, and neither is the flip-flopping nature of the SBC station. This workplace is obviously only in place to bring characters together and act as a catalyst for change. I wish it functioned more as its own entity.

As for our leads, Jeong-won has all but disappeared. His role was integral to Hwa-sin's development and having him film only a couple of scenes is severely disappointing. The bromance was one of the strongest points of the drama and the push-and-pull between the friends provided so much great dramedy fodder. This bond is forsaken for Hwa-sin's inability to accept that he can be a good life partner despite his cancer and his impotency. It takes Na-ri an entire episode to convince him, which feels like a purposeful waste of time than actual development. The fruit of her labors blooms in the final scenes when they consummate their love at her initiation. Their relationship has come full circle by this point. She pushes for a physical relationship rather than he and she pushes to keep them together. It mirrors her one-sided crush in a way.

The last episode is expected to tie up lose ends, perhaps deal with Ppalgang and her mothers, perhaps give Jeong-won a woman. We'll see.


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