[kooriyuki: There’s gonna be spoiler in this, so if you don’t wanna be spoiled, read the first two paragraphs and exit!]
I love this. I’ve never felt this hunger to get my brain turned and twisted every week after the awesomeness otherwise known as Signal. Admittedly, the first two weeks or so was a little slow and I was a tad lost, but after which (reading Dramabean’s recaps helped!) I found myself utterly invested in Hwang Shi-mok’s (Jo Seung Woo) dangerous quest to uncover the secret behind the murder which he himself was almost implicated in.
The truth has never been as heartbreaking in different senses, as we see how corruption of the rich and powerful either destroyed lives (literally) or broke a man’s moral beliefs. I’m really impressed with the writer Lee Soo Yeon; the writing was extremely polished and tightly paced – it’s hard to believe this is her debut drama. The end of each episode is a well-timed cliffhanger, which leaves the audience hungry for more. The twists exist not simply for the sake of it, but rather it amplifies the depth of corruption in the government.
Other than the superb story, the cast was fantastic as well. If Hwang Shi-mok is the relentless pursuer of truth, then Yoo Jae-myung‘s Lee Chang Joon is the crusader for justice albeit in a twisted way. In retrospect, it’s not a surprise who the mastermind is behind the very first murder, but the way Writer Lee reveals the truth and motive behind it all was like a rollercoaster; there’s no way of knowing what will happen next.
If Hwang Shi-mok is the brain, then Han Yeo Jin (Bae Doona) is the heart of Show, literally. It’s highlighted early on in Show that Shi-mok had brain surgery in childhood, which rendered him unable to feel his emotions. In exchange, it made him highly analytical and logical not unlike a robot. The scenes with both Shi-mok and Yeo Jin were always a delight to watch, as she slowly helps him “regain” his feelings while he opens up to her bit by bit.
In contrast, Young Eun Soo (Shin Hye Sun) failed to earn Shi-mok’s trust like Yeo Jin did, even though there were very subtle hints that Eun Soo may be crushing on Shi-mok. Eun Soo’s biggest flaw, which is also her biggest strength, was her tenacity in restoring her father’s name. It was exactly why Shi-mok couldn’t trust her, but even more so, it was his promise to her father that he’ll protect her.
If anything, I have to say Lee Joon Hyuk‘s Seo Dong Jae was the unintentional (?) joker of them all. He never failed to amuse me with his half-baked information and guesses, all the while being proud of himself. He’s also cunning and slippery like a fish, but only to a certain extent. He may be over the top sometimes, but don’t we all encounter such egoistic people in life?
More than about solving a murder, Show is also about Shi-mok’s journey to rediscover himself. I’d stop short at the rhetoric question of “what makes humans human” as Shi-mok is not cold or unfeeling, but rather his condition made it impossible for him to express his emotions like most of us do. It is also a story about finding the correct people to trust, and the quest to pursue justice in a society where power and riches dictate more than we know. Definitely a drama that can withstand the test of time.