We’re heading into the final weeks of beloved SBS drama “While You Were Sleeping,” and emotions are heightening as the stakes keep getting higher. With more courtroom drama and one of the most vile villains yet, there was a lot to love and hate about this week’s episodes. Read on to find out what we thought!
Warning: Spoilers for Episodes 11 and 12 below.
1. Loved: Jae Chan’s overactive imagination
Which gives us this hilarious peek into what a Hong Joo-Woo Tak couple might look like – at least in Jae Chan’s imagination. It’s a treat for those of us who have bad cases of Second Lead Syndrome!
2. Hated: The latest bad guy
We’ve seen some pretty despicable people in this drama, but the villain from this week’s episodes might just take the cake. A professor who abuses and then murders one of his hardworking students? Yikes!
Writer Moon Tae Min is also the latest in a string of bad guys that is starting to feel repetitive, so hopefully the drama has saved the worst for last and will build on what it has already laid out in the remaining few episodes.
3. Loved: The cameos
The two unfortunately fall victim to Jae Chan’s newfound (and very temporary) flippant attitude.
4. Hated: Mom sabotaging Hong Joo’s relationship
Confusingly, Hong Joo’s mom (Hwang Young Hee) switched this week from Team Jae Chan to Team Anything But Jae Chan. She even resorted to meddling in their relationship by hiding the ring that Jae Chan gave to Hong Joo, which is pretty inexcusably manipulative.
The reasoning behind her transformation into the ultimate Jae Chan anti-fan is puzzling; she suddenly can’t be around him just because his father’s death is related to her husband’s death?
Never mind all that Jae Chan has done to protect and care for Hong Joo.
Slightly more sensical is her concern that Jae Chan will cause Hong Joo to blame herself should she not be able to protect him after dreaming that something bad happens to him, similarly to how devastated she was when she couldn’t save her father from being killed… or Jae Chan from being shot.
But still, these concerns are trivial in comparison to how well Jae Chan treats Hong Joo, and seem like a half-baked attempt by the drama to insert some woes into their relationship. So it’s a relief when Mom finally gets her act together and reconciles with Jae Chan:
5. Loved: The boys’ new friend
Having a 5-year-old child as the only witness to a crime may present some drawbacks, but at least the little boy from this week’s episodes gave us some heart-meltingly adorable scenes with the two lead men.
Woo Tak once again proves he is the epitome of the perfect man when he rescues the kid from bad guy writer Moon. Has he ever looked so heroic? Has our Second Lead Syndrome ever been worse?
And we are blessed by the hilarity that is Jae Chan’s aegyo, as he is forced to shed his serious demeanor and speak kiddie language… in front of a full courtroom.
6. Hated: Prosecutor Lee’s undue anger
Lee Ji Kwang (Min Sung Wook) and Son Woo Joo (Bae Hae Sun) are adorable together, and his encouragement and attempts to lift her spirits are totally heartwarming.
Can they just date already?
Which makes it even more puzzling when he gets in her face angrily after she expresses the belief that they should not authorize an organ transplant from a brain-dead patient, even though doing so would give her son the kidney transplant he needs. Clearly it’s a difficult decision for her, so she must have good reasons. And as much as Prosecutor Lee may care for Prosecutor Son, it’s not his place to question her about such a personal choice, especially in such an accusatory way.
Why are we yelling? Why not calmly ask her for her reasoning?
It was important that the drama reveal what inspired Prosecutor Son’s choice – after all, it was heartbreakingly courageous, and one of the most touching parts of the episodes.
But a less dramatic scene might have done Prosecutor Lee’s character – and his relationship with Prosecutor Son – more justice.
7. Loved: Prosecutor Son’s happy ending
Thankfully, Prosecutor Son’s noble decision didn’t preclude her son from getting the kidney transplant he needed.
Which makes the scene where she bows to the father of the dead student – the kidney donor – in the courtroom even more powerful. It’s also at this point that we have officially used up all our tears in this episode.
Also can someone please give this man a hug because he looks so unbearably sad and it’s breaking our hearts.
8. Hated: When things were too easy
Nobody likes it when conflicts are drawn out for way too long in a drama, but in Episode 11, “While You Were Sleeping” gave us the opposite problem. We encounter an intensely interesting ethical problem when Jae Chan is choosing between saving seven people’s lives by allowing the brain-dead student’s organs to be donated, or convicting a murderer by conducting an autopsy, rendering the organs useless. The drama does a captivating job of setting up this difficult and unresolvable moral question… until Jae Chan resolves it almost immediately and quite simply.
I won’t complain about justice and organ donations and happy endings all around, but the ease with which this conflict was resolved felt like a cop-out and a bit of a letdown in the face of a dilemma that was built up to seem so insurmountable. But the resolution of this problem did at least lead us to…
9. Loved: The suspenseful courtroom scene
Writer Moon’s murder trial was enthralling: charged with tension and laden with twists and turns, the scene took us for a wild emotional roller coaster ride. We even believed that Yoo Beom had won for a while there. After all, he caught on to a pretty convincing technicality:
Cruel, but convincing.
But it turned out that technicality was no match for an impassioned appeal by Jae Chan on the importance of justice.
They may have overcome this week’s challenges, but there’s still a lot in store for our characters as we head into the drama’s penultimate week! In the meantime, catch up on “While You Were Sleeping” on Rakuten Viki. Start watching here:
What did you love and hate about this week’s episodes of “While You Were Sleeping”? Let us know in the comments below!
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases.