Highlights: “Pride and Prejudice” Episodes 20 and 21 (Final)

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It’s the end of the line for the Public Safety Team, but the bad guys won’t go down without a fight. It’s time to see if our heroes can punish the people who think that their money and power is worth more than the life of a child.

These were my five favorite scenes of “Pride and Prejudice” episodes 20 and 21:

1. Revelations all around

I am a huge fan of a well-directed reveal, and I thought this was very well-done. In retrospect, the revelation that Choi Gang Gook is actually Park Man Geun doesn’t seem that surprising—Park Man Geun was bound to be someone we had already met, and we knew so little about Choi Gang Gook that he was really the perfect candidate. But the reveal worked because of Song Ah Reum’s overwhelming terror and Dong Chi’s utter horror. The bathroom scene, in which Dong Chi hyperventilates and dry-retches as he tries to process the news that the man he called “hyung” is actually a murderer, was a great scene for Choi Jin Hyuk, who plays fear so well.

I also loved the way that Kang Soo’s memories started coming back. He didn’t just suddenly remember everything perfectly—the details of his kidnapping came back in impressionistic patches, which made sense and was very interesting to watch.

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2. “I’m afraid only bad memories are going to come back.”

The bond between Kang Soo and Chang Gi was a well this drama kept returning to, and with good reason—the genuine affection between them always felt fantastically real, complicated though it may have been. So it’s no surprise that this scene, in which Kang Soo confesses to the unconscious Chang Gi that he’s frightened that all of his resurfacing memories will only concern the horrible series of events that changed his life forever, was truly moving. I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of Lee Tae Hwan in the future—he’s proved himself to be a talent to watch with this role!

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3. “Why do you like a man like that?”

Oh, wow. I can’t imagine a more awkward scene than your boss calling you out on your crush. Poor Yeol Moo! This was overall a really sweet scene, though. Hee Man and Yeol Moo have had a combative relationship since her first day on the Public Safety Team, and it’s nice to see them have this moment of closure and friendliness. They even share a little fist-bump!

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4. We’re inside a courtroom!

It took 21 episodes, but we finally see the Public Safety Team at a trial (I was seriously beginning to wonder if they only handled cases pre-trial). Most of this episode took place during Choi Gang Gook’s trial, and I really enjoyed getting to see Dong Chi and Hee Man be lawyers in a courtroom setting.

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5. Myung Sook comforts Kang Soo

What a lovely scene. Kang Soo’s survivor’s guilt is a well-established facet of his character, but it was so sweet and touching to see Han Byeol’s mother—the woman whose son died because he looked like Kang Soo—tell our favorite investigator that he could let go of all his guilt.

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Overall thoughts and feelings

In all honesty, I really disliked the first two episodes of “Pride and Prejudice.” They felt cold and weirdly centerless—I didn’t know who our main characters were as people or what goals they were working towards. But as I watched more, I came to be fond of this drama. I liked how focused it was on the minutiae of putting together a case: collecting evidence and witness testimonies, navigating bureaucracy… It wasn’t always exciting, and I don’t know how realistic it was, but it certainly felt real, as we watched our heroes work themselves into the ground with the hope that maybe they’d be able to change society for the better.

As Han Byeol’s murder and Kang Soo’s mysterious past became more and more prominent, I became engrossed. The uncompromising depiction of just how difficult it is to take a stand against institutional power was depressing, to be sure, but I loved how Dong Chi and Yeol Moo continued to stand up for justice, even when it seemed like a losing battle.

I never quite fell in love with “Pride and Prejudice,” but I was happy to watch it. There were flaws present throughout (the plot was frequently so convoluted that I had to pause the video so I could try to figure out what happened; never once did I understand what Moon Hee Man’s motivations were), but they were counterbalanced by its strengths. The main strength was the cast, which was uniformly fantastic. I was especially impressed by Lee Tae Hwan, Choi Woo Shik, and Jung Hye Sung, because their performances were such pleasant surprises. Kang Soo was in many ways the emotional heart of the show, and Lee Tae Hwan was more than up to the task. Choi Woo Shik and Jung Hye Sung’s odd couple were more than once the only source of comic relief in a given episode, and they were reliably delightful. Kwak Ji Min’s work as Song Ah Reum was also notable.

So what about the ending? I don’t know how I feel about it, honestly. I found Dong Chi indicting himself for murder in the middle of his own trial sort of silly (and doesn’t murder require premeditation? Surely killing someone to stop them from murdering a child doesn’t qualify as “murder”), and I don’t know what to make of Moon Hee Man’s final scene. Was he killed for betraying Hwa Young (my initial theory)? Or was he one of the other Park Man Geuns Choi Gang Gook referred to during the trial? And while I’m asking questions, what was happening at the beginning of episode 21? Dong Chi was digging, but what was he looking for? When did that happen? At least we get confirmation that Yeol Moo and Dong Chi’s relationship will continue in the future, once she’s a proper prosecutor and he’s become opposing counsel.

I don’t object to ambiguous endings in general. But this just felt like such a whimper of a conclusion. It left me with no strong feelings, positive or negative. I will say this: I think “Pride and Prejudice” deserved a better ending. It was a solid drama, and deserved better than the wispy question mark that its conclusion amounted to.

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What did you think of the ending of “Pride and Prejudice”? How did you feel about the drama as a whole? Let us know in the comments below!

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