I was expecting the big dramatic event that would force the rift between Jin-wook and Yoo-mi to be related to Dae-bok's meddling. But surprisingly, that all gets resolved in a single scene. An exceptionally long scene where Dae-bok and Mi-hee somehow manage to have a big fight without either of them clearly explaining what exactly it is they're fighting about. So yeah, that was pretty funny, although once the miscommunications are over with, Jin-wook and Yoo-mi proceed to spend the rest of the episode in dramatic angst.
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One of the governing elements of standard villains is their refusal or even inability for remorse and redemption. "Whisper" makes this inescapably clear as Jeong-il and Soo-yeon try to one-up each other in being horrible until the very bitter end. Dong-joon and Yeong-joo can taste victory, but this victory comes at a price. As Dong-joon comes collecting dues, his own cannot be overlooked.
It is time to enjoy more backstabbing from the two villains as their time is up and while their poor characters have left me unable to get completely into it, there is still fun to be had. Soo-yeon (Park Se-yeong) and Jeong-il (Kwon Yul) hit an unfortunate middle ground of not being cliche enough to find entertaining or nuanced enough to feel engaged by. Even so, there is a good enough dose of satisfaction to be felt as Jeong-il pays Soo-yeon back with her own medicine.
"Circle" enters the drama game today and expectations are high for a genre so rarely loved by Korean film and television. The episode introduces both timelines, their characters and the two mysteries which will unfold through their adventures. These mysteries are instantly engaging, the characters easy to feel attachment to and the pop culture references and homages abundant. There is a lot to talk about, so here we go.
Before talking about the human and by far best element of the series, I have to say that I am surprised by how rich the world-building in "Circle" is. From the written to the mise-en-scne this is a series which makes its setting clear. This is especially crucial in 2037, because the creators face the challenge of presenting a foreign world. From the masks carried by Normal Earth inhabitants to the giant, narcissistic phallic buildings of Smart Earth, everything paints a clear image.
We find out that Mr. Seo is still alive, surviving the car bomb the same way that Seol Woo did -- he wasn't in the car at the time. Woon Gwang is worried about his money, so he keeps our favorite bodyguard close to him. It gets even worse when he finds the NIS funds have been frozen. Meanwhile, Lawmaker Baek begins the NIS coup, kicking out and arresting key players, men of honor who can't be bought. Seeing Do Ha get hit on, Seol Woo decides to finally commit his heart to her and takes her in a kiss...
As expected, Jin-wook and Yoo-mi continue to be generally sad as they try very hard to pretend like they don't miss each other. Jin-wook, being the man, is of course the first to snap and realize that of course he loves Yoo-mi and needs her very much. But various contrivances pop up to insure that Jin-wook misunderstands what Yoo-mi is doing, until finally, a disaster comes up that's big enough to force Jin-wook to do something.
The good news is that we finally get a pay-off to Mi-hee's constant efforts to get on television. The relevance of this subplot was completely unclear to me until Mi-hee finally gets on-screen and promptly manages to make a huge mess of everything for everyone except herself. Much like the Dong-goo subplot, the payoff here is much better than I was expecting. The scene is not only humorous in its own right, but it also gives a badly needed jump start to the plot.