BY HanCinema | Jan 31, 2017 04:14 AM EST
The penultimate episode of "Solomon's Perjury" brings a sense of deflation, because it reminds us that reality is rarely as neat and rewarding as fiction. The show's take on authority and morality is nearly fully formed and everything is ready to come to light. It will hurt many, but the truth always does. That is because it gives us control and therefore responsibility for our faults.
Ji-hoon (Jang Dong-yoon) seems to have most of the big picture in his mind by now and this makes the experience of seeing his father lie to him very painful. It is good storytelling to see even the "heroes" discover their faults through this case. So-woo (Seo Yeong-joo-I) knew this all too well. Corruption taints everyone it touches and even the ones who seem to benefit from it are not always in control or willing participants.
Some are, however and speaking of which, the episode helps us understand Kyeong-moon (Jo Jae-hyeon) better. I said before that he does not seem to take teenagers seriously. Kyeong-moon sees Ji-hoon as someone he needs to protect, but he views parenting as a dictatorship. "I know what is best and what my child needs" may apply up to a point, but it is a mindset parents need to eventually overcome. Kyeong-moon forgets that Ji-hoon is a complete person who has the right to choose his own morality.
This point is enhanced through the contrast with Seo-yeon's (Kim Hyeon-soo) parents. They worry about her future and expulsion, but they also understand that what she does now will mark her start as an adult. We cannot and have no right to control our children forever. They eventually have the right to decide, make their own mistakes and live with their decisions. This applies globally, but in a society as fixated on hierarchy and filial piety as Korea, it is an even more important message.
Kyeong-moon turns his love into cruelty towards another child. Joon-yeong's (Seo Ji-hoon) father is blind to his pain. Every parent here shows us that while love is great and wanting to do what is best for your child is crucial, those children need to be included in the plan. Not as passive objects accepting what is handed down, but as people who develop their own rich identity.
I still think So-woo killed himself, but I can see why Ji-hoon has potentially sacrificed his newly formed friendships for the truth. He probably feels unworthy of the people who want to reveal what happened, because he sees in them the same drive which made So-woo a fighter for justice and representation. I am ready for the end of this story and for the moral of it to come together.
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