Juz last week, I commented that watching Kill can lead to some confusion, with its twisted plot of a missing heir-competitor, memories lost, weird characterisations, etc…all of which can lead to some rather painful watching.
With recent eps7/8, I revised my impression. Imo, Kill purposely sets out to subvert our expectations of a rom-com. I notice that the earlier eps are rather angsty. Very unlike most rom-coms, which begin with fluff (usually with the OTP at each other’s throats — fun to watch, but typical), then roll over the the angst. In Kill, we get serious issues like Do-hyun’s crippling DID, his neurotic family, his greedy cousin + uncle and their single-minded ambition to usurp the family business right at the beginning. All of which kinda bog the narrative down at the start, since wherever you turn, whichever scene Kill flips to, there is no lightness there. (save for Ri-jin/Ri-ohn and their nutty family… but even THEY have dark secrets)
Kill also starts off by giving us a rather “meh” half of the OTP — Do-hyun. As early as ep1, we are introduced to an unpredictable and violent Se-gi, who spells trouble for Do-hyun. Ironically, even though we know Se-gi means trouble, we still prefer Se-gi’s masculinity to Do-hyun’s perceived effeminity. Do-hyun is a character who is supposedly playing the “core” personality, but does it with the attitude of a mouse. He gets described as being “Mr Goody Two-Shoes” by Chae-yon, scoffed at for his inability to mix with people and refusal to touch alcohol by Ki-joon. Even the unnamed friend in America calls him out for being Mr Doormat. Se-gi, in contrast, appears to be the Do-er. We are attracted to his heck-care attitude, his recklessness, his dominance.
However, as Kill progresses, the impression of meek Do-hyun vs. hot blooded Se-gi gets flipped on its head. I’m not sure about you, but I think I’m falling in love with the Do-hyun I see in eps7/8. And I attribute the drawing out of the more domineering and human (as opposed to doormouse) Do-hyun to Ri-jin’s interference. He shows annoyance, raises his voice (comically pointed out by Secretary Ahn as the FIRST time he has seen his boss getting pissed off), has no problem drinking like a fish (the Perry Park part of him without him being Perry)…and most importantly…has the same burning gaze as Se-gi (re: the closing scene in ep8, when he heck cares Se-gi’s warning and moves in to kiss Ri-jin again). In contrast, the last time we saw Se-gi (in ep5) in his flamboyant orange coat at the hotel room “romancing” Ri-jin, we involuntarily shuddered. He is juz so…cheesey and childish. The dominant Se-gi who once seems attractive to us now looks like a pre-pubescent irrational boy — who woos girls with creepy toys.
And in line with getting a “meh” effeminate male OTP, we get a female OTP I kinda wanna bitch slap in the earlier eps. Sorry for that violent image, but I really found her shrill. (even my husband, who wasn’t watching Kill, asked me why the female lead screams her head off in every ep) It’s not that Ri-jin is hateful, but she appears over-the-top, juz “too much” for every scene in Kill that she pops up in. And when contrasted with the meeker Do-hyun or the sullen Se-gi in the same scene, her shrillness gets amplified. (remember those lung busting screams down the highway in Se-gi’s Ferrari?)
Strangely though, I have grown to be rather fond of her. Yes, she may still yell her head off (re: ep7 when she screams for the hidden Do-hyun in Yo-sub), but I am beginning to love her unconventional, finger-in-your-face attitude. When she straightens out her thoughts, and sets her mind to agree to be Do-hyun’s secret physician, she lunges in without worrying about the results. (i found her howls of horror at realising the one-sided contract she signed up for only later as being more funny than annoying than her previous screams…and Do-hyun’s cheeky smirk at luring her into his mousetrap — priceless)
As a resident-level psychiatrist, Ri-jin knows that she isn’t exactly qualified to “heal” Do-hyun, but she senses that he needs her. And I love her protectiveness and generousity; she sees through Do-hyun and understands the loneliness he has to endure, and wishes to alleviate it a little by replacing his loneliness with the love she has received in abundance from her own family and friends. She isn’t even afraid of ANY of the personalities which Do-hyun harbours. He calls himself a monster — and by default, those are his monstrous spawns. But Ri-jin’s response is to tell Do-hyun that she wants to befriend ALL of them, monsters or not, and make them learn to trust her. (and that’s why i think she really has earned that sizzling smooch at the end of ep8…oh, and that pile of money that Do-hyun transferred to her bank account) =^^=
[and totally off tangential to this post: why do i get the creepy vibe that Ri-ohn may be the son of Do-hyun’s grandad and Mdm Min (the Cha’s family first daughter-in-law)? instead of Do-hyun’s half-brother, Ri-ohn may be his half-uncle? that will explain the need to keep Ri-ohn’s existance under wraps, and the scandal of the father bedding his own daughter-in-law may be the “secret” Mdm Shin keeps referring to…but even more importantly, why Do-hyun’s grandfather so favoured his daughter-in-law that he was willing to oust his own son from the throne…
…to continue on a larger mental leap, did Do-hyun’s grandma staged that car accident which killed her husband and her first daughter-in-law and the fire which scarred Do-hyun? cos if Ri-ohn IS her legitimate grandson borne by the legitimate first daughter-in-law, there is no need to remove him, isn’t there? and it also explains her insistance that Do-hyun keeps the throne for his comatose dad…but maybe i’m juz over thinking.]