Now this is what I’m talking about! *fist pump* I had begun to regard “Hyde Jekyll, Me” as a highlights reel of a drama. That is, if you compiled the drama’s best moments, it would be a pretty fantastic reel–beautiful and handsome actors, softly lit in all sorts of romantic scenarios, those probing gazes and innocence touches–and it would look stunning. But all the stuff that happened in between these great moments? Ehhh. It was like the writers didn’t so much care how we got to the big romantic moments, just as long as we got there. That is, until this week.
The drama covered serious ground with these episodes, with Robin (Hyun Bin) and Ha Na (Han Ji Min) taking a romantic step forward, the beginnings of a reconciliation between the “brothers” Robin and Seo Jin, and twist after surprising twist as red herrings were revealed and we finally discover who the real culprit is behind Professor Kang’s disappearance. Things come together in big, big ways this week, which sets us all up for what I think will be exciting times ahead. Thank you, drama, for making my job easier by giving not one, but two, great episodes of “Hyde Jekyll, Me.” It took us a while to get to this point, but I’m so glad we did. Here are the 5 things I loved about episodes 7 and 8. Be forewarned, there will be spoilers near the end.
1. Behind Every Powerful Man Stands His Assistant
I love Assistant Kwon. He has to deal with the antics of Seo Jin, Robin, and the Chairman, and he does so with such graciousness. I don’t envy his position at all (okay maybe a little), and it takes a person with incredible finesse to be able to adapt so quickly to situations, the changing temperaments of his bosses, and to be one step ahead of everyone else. But more than that, Assistant Kwon is a great vehicle for understanding Seo Jin. The things that Seo Jin can’t say, or won’t, the things he can’t remember, or doesn’t want to, are often revealed to us by his assistant. And because Assistant Kwon is so darn likable, he makes Seo Jin more human, softens his edges a bit, makes us feel more sympathy for Seo Jin than we might otherwise. All that aside, I really adore Assistant Kwon because whenever he’s around it’s like we can all breathe a little easier and not have to worry so much about the whole split personality situation, the love triangle, the abduction case. And while he often brings a bit a comic relief, there’s a lot to admire about his character and stability he brings to the show. Plus, he’s just adorable with his mop of curly hair and his obvious affection for both Robin and Seo Jin.
2. Robin Comes Clean
Robin’s presence in this drama is interesting because while he is quite obviously the more charming of the pair, and readily likable, he’s also the more shallow character, in the sense that there’s not a lot of layers to his character compared to Seo Jin, for example. And that’s fitting, considering how he was created to be everything good and gracious that Seo Jin couldn’t be. But because he’s just so darn nice, I really couldn’t gauge if he really liked Ha Na, or not. If he just felt grateful to her, and wanted to protect her as part of his whole “white knight” persona, or if he genuinely felt romantic feelings towards her.
Those questions are finally cleared up in this week’s episodes, where Robin lets it be known that, at first, he did feel protective and grateful to Ha Na…but now his feelings towards her have grown beyond that. I felt like we were all Ha Na, never knowing where Robin stood, and so I’m happy we had this clarified since it allows for certain other romantic complications and developments, but more than that, I like that Robin was the first to come clean about his emotions. It gives him more weight in the drama, a presence that exists beyond Seo Jin, which I think we could use more of. That aside, I’m so ready for Ha Na to find out the truth about Seo Jin and Robin, because as cute as everything has been so far, I’m ready for something more substantial in the romance department.
3. Seo Jin’s Hope
Seo Jin is such a pitiful character. Yeah, I know, pity to power wealthy executive director, but honestly, he knows nothing of hope or happiness, of joy or love. So much so that he created a whole separate personality to deal with those emotions. But it’s not that he doesn’t want them for himself, and I think it’s only recently (after Professor Kang told him he could be cured) that he’s allowed himself to really have hope that he could be happy in his life. Part of that, certainly, has to do with Ha Na and through their interactions he learns a lot about what life can offer him outside of the cage he’s built around himself. Regret, friendship, being vulnerable with someone else, saying you’re sorry–all of these things he is experiencing, if not for the first time, then the first time in a long time, and I loved that we got to see Seo Jin be open to and welcome these experiences.
It made it all the more regrettable when, in episode 8, he shuts back down again. I’m willing to overlook this regression because of the bomb that was dropped on him, and everyone in a similar situation will revert to their self-preservation mode, and for Seo Jin that is shutting the world out. I have a sinking feeling though, that having tasted the hope that lies beyond, he’ll not want to let it go so easily. That he’ll fight for it, and I, for one, can’t wait to see it happen. I love that Seo Jin’s past is more layered than we initially thought. That his character has his reasons for being a big grumpy-grumperson beyond being fabulously rich, self-satisfied, and bored. I had some strong words for Seo Jin in the beginning of this drama, and I’m so glad I’m forced to eat some humble pie.
4. The Big Reveal
Hell yes, Sung Joon! *fist pump, fist pump* I am so, unbelievably glad this development panned out the way that it did, because I was beginning to feel the limits of Yoon Tae Joon as a character, and there could only be so many episodes Sung Joon could throw around those innocent and doe-eyed looks before it got stale. And even if I’m wrong, I think we are all in agreement that him being the big bad is freaking awesome! Oh drama, you pulled the wool over our eyes with this one but I’m not even mad because the implications are altogether too thrilling. Suddenly Sung Joon’s character got vastly more interesting, the suspense has been taken up about a billion notches, Seo Jin’s past is shrouded in mysteries we aren’t privy to, and the drama’s storyline as a whole became grittier, more complex, and far more compelling. In short, “Hyde Jekyll, Me” became, this week, the drama I had wanted it to be since the beginning.
I had faulted the writing of this drama, and even going into episode 8, I was lamenting that everything was being delivered so nicely, so neatly, and I began to wonder just what we would all do for another 12 episodes since it seemed like everything would be wrapped up soon. Not too fast, “Hyde Jekyll, Me” said, and proceeded to prove us all wrong. Y’all, I’m so excited to see Sung Joon really start to play in this drama. He’s been an actor that has been paying his dues these last few years and is definitely one to watch, and him going from… a Jekyll-like character to Hyde-like character is going to be such great fun.
5. The Tale of Two Brothers
Seo Jin and Robin really do feel like feuding brothers rather than two personalities sharing the same body, don’t they? I loved when it was revealed a few episodes ago that the “reason” for Robin’s reappearance had nothing to do with Seo Jin but everything to do with Jang Ha Na because it opened up the door for Robin to exist in this drama in a real way. And for Seo Jin and Robin to have a relationship with one another, as much as they would with Ha Na. What I mean by that is, if Robin’s appearance could simply be prevented by controlling one’s body vitals, then Seo Jin could live the rest of his life like the tightly-wound coward we met at the beginning of the drama, and yeah, he’d be surviving but he’d also be a shell of a person. Removing Seo Jin’s vitals from the equation means that he’ll have to deal with Robin head on, and while the two of them have been attempting to make their situation work, this week’s “brotherly” chat takes the cake. Seo Jin and Robin are quite often at odds with one another, barely tolerating each other, and with as different as their personalities are, it’s not a wonder why. But in this week’s episodes, Robin not only eludes to a past where they (or at least, he) tried to get along with Seo Jin, where more effort was made to reconcile, but also gives us hope for the future. Robin hasn’t given up on Seo Jin, wants to help him, and it’s such a sweet moment. If we read into it a bit more, what Robin is offering has great and possibly life-threatening effects for himself, but he’s still willing to sacrifice for Seo Jin. Robin is there, Seo Jin just has to meet him halfway.
That’s it for the 5 things I loved from this week’s episodes of “Hyde Jekyll, Me.” Think a kiss or hug scene should have made it in? Were you as surprised by the reveal as I was? Let me know in the comments section. See you back here next week!
For all “Hyde Jekyll, Me” recaps, click here.