And Gu Seo Jin (Hyun Bin) comes in swinging! Our stuffy Executive Director continues to surprise us in big ways this week, and takes tremendous steps in his character development. Robin and Ha Na (Han Ji Min) are dealt huge blows as they deal with the fall out of Seo Jin’s confessions, and we get, if not a new face, definitely a new character to enter the ring.
The truly jaw-dropping reveals from episodes 11 and 12 of “Hyde Jekyll, Me” left everyone emotionally vulnerable and pushed to the brink. The ramifications of which can change the course of this story in ways I don’t think many expected, least of all me.
Here are the 5 things I loved about “Hyde Jekyll, Me” episodes 11 and 12.
1. Sung Joon’s Mind Games
I still don’t know whether to call him Lee Soo Hyun or Professor Yoon, but Sung Joon is totally creepy but also totally awesome in this role. Every time he interacts with another character, I can’t help but feel on edge because you honestly never know what he’s planning. And every week he manages to up the ante with his mind games, masterfully manipulating people and their memories at will. I love what the drama has done with our understanding of memory, how we can never really trust what we think we know, and the prime example of this is just how easily Sung Joon’s character is able the twist and bend our minds to suit his needs. Or even how even he can’t be too sure of his own memory.
Still, it seems that Professor Yoon/Lee Soo Hyun has plenty of tricks left up his sleeve, and no problem utilizing them to his advantage. The way that he was able to draw Terry out was so underhanded, and executed with such precision, I couldn’t help but admire and fear what he’s able to do.
I still can’t help but wonder at his motives though, or, more like what does he want from Seo Jin exactly? Is it just for Seo Jin to remember the events of their kidnapping the way that he does, or is it to get an apology from Seo Jin, or is it for all of that and then to destroy his life? Because it seems to me that Professor Yoon/Lee Soo Hyun is more concerned about getting Seo Jin to admit the truth of that night as he sees it, and his actions against Ha Na and Robin are merely reactions against Seo Jin’s reluctance or denial. It is interesting and fitting that Professor Yoon/Lee Soo Hyun seems to be, at least to me, primarily concerned about memory.
2. The Return of the Professor
The writing of “Hyde Jekyll, Me” has improved by leaps and bounds since those first clumsy episodes. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that the quality of the drama’s writing has been revealed in the last half of episodes that have aired. Whichever way you want to look at it, I feel safe in saying that we all agree that post-episode 6 has been full of great writing and storytelling elements. And the proof of this is what they’ve done with Professor Kang (Shin Eun Jung)‘s character.
She has long been regarded, and still is, by some, as being the means to cure Seo Jin. We are privy to the knowledge that this isn’t true at all, and yet she’s been held on this pedestal. As Seo Jin has slowly been coming around, embracing himself and all his faults and weaknesses, it is fitting that we get her return just as it no longer matters.
Or at least, her return doesn’t matter so much to Seo Jin and him finally being cured.
I mean, I love that she’s back and safely too, but I love that the drama has taunted us and Seo Jin for weeks on end, and only to subvert those expectations. Good job, drama.
3. Seo Jin Steps Up, and Knocks It Out of the Park
Alright, who else felt like Secretary Kwon this week? Just shooting Seo Jin the most adoring looks of admiration, calling Seo Jin “cool” and “awesome,” and generally being the biggest Seo Jin fan? There were so many reasons to be impressed by our Executive Director this week, this list could have easily been the “5 things I loved about Gu Seo Jin in Episodes 11 & 12.”
Seo Jin figuratively embraces Robin. The feels when Seo Jin said and kept saying that Robin is him, that they’re one, that he accepts Robin–I was flailing and wailing and just reduced to hugging my pillow to my chest. I’ve always loved Seo Jin and Robin together, and the fact that Seo Jin has now stopping fighting Robin, now acts without malicious intent towards Robin, but rather in what is best for the both of them (as high-handed as that may be) is so poignant and moving and so, so important for their individual character arcs as well as their unified one.
Seo Jin actively embraces his illness. This is huge people, huge! Seo Jin is able to do so much more, and be so much more, now that he has something to fight for versus something to hide. His change of mindset is so utterly crucial because before he was simply trying to survive and to keep from regressing, but now Seo Jin has something worth fighting for–and the result of that is that he’s more willing to take risks, willing to make himself vulnerable on a variety of different levels, and sees his life as something worth more than the sum of his accomplishments.
Seo Jin one ups that meddling and highly annoying cousin of his, Ryu Seung Yeon (Han Sang Jin). Just a question, how is Ryu even an effective Executive Director for the WonderGroup Hotel if all he does all day long is follow Seo Jin? How is he going to be the ED of WonderGroup if he doesn’t do any actual work? Just throwing it out there.
Going along with embracing himself, his personalities, his faults, and his weaknesses is that Seo Jin also embraces whatever feelings he has for Jang Ha Na. If I felt pity for Seo Jin before, this new vulnerable, sensitive, accepting Seo Jin is downright swoon worthy. The way that he simply and honestly exposes himself to Ha Na, the way he asks her to love him despite how challenging it will be, the way he’s unafraid of what might happen.
Here is the Gu Seo Jin I can get behind, the Seo Jin we’ve been waiting for. And goodness did he turn out swell.
4. Round Robin
On the other side of that coin, how devastating was this week for Robin? In previous episodes, the drama has briefly touched upon the fact that Robin is the “created” personality, and what that means for when, and if, Seo Jin is ever “made whole” to use the expression. It largely didn’t seem to be much of a problem, because Robin is so darn self-sacrificing, until push comes to shove and Robin finds he has a reason to want to live to. And now he has to deal with that horrible reality that he’s a “fraud” and that he’s very much in danger of ceasing to exist.
I love that the drama has done such a good job of creating Seo Jin and Robin as distinct and separate identities with their own hopes, dreams, memories, professions, and friends, and that losing Robin would be as devastating as losing Seo Jin, as we can see in Woo Jung (Lee Hyeri)’s strong attachment to Robin. We ourselves are torn between wanting Seo Jin to be well but also wanting Robin to live also. It is a terrible place to be as part of the audience, but also a development that I really love.
More than that, however, if episode 11 was about Seo Jin throwing caution to the wind and exposing his secrets, then episode 12 was all about Robin and his turning point in this drama. We have seen Seo Jin be the tortured one while Robin lives happily, but this week “Hyde Jekyll, Me” flipped things upside down and the emotional highlight was owned by Robin. Hyun Bin’s crying faces generally make me weak, but to combine Robin’s warm and caring personality with that teary face nearly broke my heart.
It makes me worried and nervous that, now that Seo Jin has accepted Robin, it seems that Robin is hell-bent on staying right where he is (thanks for that, Sung Joon). I have no idea what Robin has planned, but these developments are awesome and as much as I fight them I am also totally impressed.
5. The Best Kept Secret: Terry
Duudde, I was totally blind-sided by this reveal. Like, stunned-into-silence-kind of ambushed. I am still not really over this biggest of big surprises.
We all knew about Hyun Bin’s two personalities from the outset, and I feel like this is incredibly indicative of just how tightly the drama has kept its secrets close to the chest. I love the introduction of yet another personality, and one that is the complete opposite of Robin, and yet born(?) from Robin. Love, love, loved it.
Besides never really seeing Hyun Bin play this kind of character before, Terry helps put Seo Jin’s regimented and cold behavior from the beginning of the drama into some perspective. Imagine knowing that you have that kind of personality in you, one that you can’t control–one that tried to kill someone, and I’m sure you’d be just as terrified as Seo Jin was at the start of “Hyde Jekyll, Me.”
I am so on board with Terry and curious to see how Hyun Bin will bring him to life.
I was completely taken with episodes 11 and 12, and honestly can’t believe this is the same drama I started watching 5 weeks ago. A complete transformation, and totally worth watching.
Those were the 5 things I loved from this week’s “Hyde Jekyll, Me.” Were you as shocked from Terry as I was? Let me know your favorite moments in the comments below!
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