Wow we’ve finally come to an end of a long fight between the underdog and the chaebol, and expected the underdog win, although it was a bittersweet ending. As I’ve always believed, all dramas require some degree of suspension of disbelief, and Show is not immune to this. That said, I think overall Show is entertaining with enough twists and setbacks for our ragtag team to keep us viewers on the toes, and a beyond redemption villain who make us actually feel fearful of him.
By the end Gyu-man is a full blown psychopath with uncontrollable anger outburst, as well as a total detachment from reality in the sense that he is convinced he is above the law. At the end of the day he is a monster created by his father, who is also another rich b*stard with no empathy but at least he manages his anger better than the son? It is his unyielding ways in disciplining Gyu-man (whoever uses the bamboo katana to hit an adult child?!) and Gyu-man’s desire to obtain his father’s approval that Gyu-man spiralled out of control. I guess it’s perfectly alright to say that Chairman Nam brought it upon himself that his conglomerate dissolves overnight.
And whatever is it with Gyu-man’s mother? I wasn’t exactly waiting for a revelation but I thought so much time was spent on the cat-and-mouse-chase between Dong-ho, Jin Woo and the Nams that Gyu-man’s background strory was swept under the rug. It’s kind of disappointing because I thought it’d make us understand better Gyu-man’s desire to please his father. I’m not too pleased with Gyu-man’s end too, although it’s not unexpected. I’m glad that our resident villain is not too one-dimensional and there’s consistency in the character.
I think it’s worth noting that Gyu-man remains the most talked about character in Show, rather than our protagonist. It’s not that Jin Woo is not interesting, but it gets a tad tiring to see how he keeps getting foiled and having to take two steps back with a step forward in taking down the Nams. As some have pointed out, why does Jin Woo always go and wave a new evidence in Gyu-man’s face, why can’t he just keep it to himself and his allies? I guess it propels the plot forward, but there’s a fair bit of frustration while watching the good guys being forced to a corner.
I think Yoo Seung Ho has done a good job as Jin Woo, because not only he plays the role with a resolution, boy can he cry. I especially love the scenes of Jin Woo and Dad because those are really touching and one just can’t help lamenting why bad things keep happening to this father-son pair. I thought it’s understandable that Jin Woo chose to leave his little ragtag team because he felt he can no longer burden them, now that Dad’s name is cleared. I still stand by my opinion that a loveline is not required between Jin Woo and In Ah, and it’s good that we get an open ending.
It’s a shame that Dong-ho’s alliance with Jin Woo is back only in the last 2 episodes or so, and I can’t understand why he just never explain to Jin Woo previously that he didn’t mean to abandon Dad’s trial. Show could have been even more awesome if Dong-ho’s a spy and working with Jin Woo all along while being deep within Il-ho Group. Nonetheless I still love Dong-ho the flashy suit gangsta lawyer, and he’s even more awesome in the end as an attorney who receives sweet potatoes as payment, a contrast from the beginning of Show where he asked only of exhorbitant payments.
The cutest bromance of Show has to belong to Sang-ho (Dong-ho’s ever faithful assistant) and Soo-beom. I love how Soo-beom actually found a real friend who cares for him (and mistakenly calls him hyung because Sang-ho looks so much older) and how Dong-ho takes him in in the end. I thought the bickering relationship between Lawyer Song and Manager Yoon was cute too, and I like how Jin Woo actually motivated them to strive for better. I do like that we have some of our tertiary characters fleshed out, but it means lesser time for the secondary characters (Yeo-jung, Judge Seok-kyu) and I thought Prosecutor-turned-lawyer Hong was way too one dimensional.
I guess Show is not only about Jin Woo’s revenge, but also how he unknowingly inspires people around him – In Ah, Lawyer Song, Manager Yoon and even Dong-ho. But ultimately Show is still about the war of three sons here – Jin Woo, Dong-ho and Gyu-man. Jin Woo’s and Dong-ho’s was a war for justice for Dad, while Gyu-man’s was for Dad’s approval. For a drama that claimed to have a super memory leading character, it’s disappointing that the trait came out fully in the first few episodes, got forgotten in the next few, and we’re told in the middle of Show that our protagonist has only 6 months left with his memories. Despite the lazy writing and loopholes, Show is still very much an enjoyable ride from beginning to end because the writer knows how to keep us viewers at the edge of our seats with unexpected twists.