So another episode. I loved it. For all those (few?) who were eagerly awaiting more development of Anna’s character, today’s episode is for you (I include myself in this group. You know me, crazed Yoona fan and all). For those who find Anna’s character and scenes a low point, well… you may have to muddle through. 😉
Today’s theme: heartbreaking realizations.
Okay, Let’s hit the highlights.
First, the mysterious Cloud Nine. I have to be honest the whole Cloud Nine business is a little too stylized for my personal taste. I like a little more utility and a little less Hollywood style in my nefarious organizations. The A.I. scene in particular hit wrong for me. The idea of utilizing artificial intelligence in decision making and analysis is in of itself perfectly plausible. A.I. is in fact used in for that reason in reality. However, the execution in the show was a little too “futuristic movie tech” for me. That said, the scene was important in that it revealed to Yoo-jin Je-ha’s troubled past and confirmed what she already suspected, that Je-ha intends to use Yoo-jin and her JSS organization in the pursuit of his revenge. It also set the stage for a possible friendship (sexual relationship?) of some sort between Yoo-jin and Je-ha. As he exits the sound-proof meeting room he tells Yoo-jin that how she’s framed their relationship sounds an awful lot like a master-slave relationship and that masters always betray their slaves. He declines her characterization, suggesting instead that friends exist who don’t betray one another, asking her “Isn’t that right? Friend?” I eagerly await more of this tense dance between Je-ha and Yoo-jin
Second, Anna’s escape from the captive house, and her subsequent excursion through the city to find her father. Some have previously suggested that Anna was some kind of invalid and perhaps lacking in intellect. I’ve disagreed with this assessment, and today’s events prove that conclusion incorrect, I think. Anna may exhibit some peculiarities and lack of immediate understanding of seemingly simple tasks, but this is as a result of her isolation and captivity. Her efforts to escape and evade capture show real intelligence. I think we can safely put the “stupid” Anna trope to bed.
Third, the church performance. This scene was beautifully done. It functioned as a pivotal scene for Anna’s development in regards to her realization that her father was denying her out of his own volition. The look in Anna eyes at her being denied by her father as he won’t make eye contact is heartbreaking. To Anna, his leaning and whispering into Yoo-jin’s ear was a clear betrayal and denial of her in favor of Yoo-jin. Aware of Yoona’s virginal attractiveness, the DP shoots Yoona’s distressed doe-eyed face, framed by the white habit, like she’s the virgin mother herself. Yoona’s feminine vulnerability and pure, delicate, child-like beauty is reverently highlighted as she tearfully gives a heartbreaking rendition of Amazing Grace. I can’t suppress my inner fanboy. God I loved this scene. So. Much. Pretty.
Finally, the ice cream scene. This scene furthers our awareness of Je-ha’s affection or at least consideration of Anna as more than his obligation. More than being concerned with just securing her physically, he shows concern for her emotional well-being as exhibited by his requesting he be allowed to approach her himself, alone, rather than have her jarringly captured by a whole group of guards. The giving of ice cream to Anna was extremely important due to how Anna views the offering. Asking Je-ha if her father sent the treat, she pauses when Je-ha lies that it was. She seems to accept something unknown to us, and then resigns, “If it’s from Father I should eat it, right?” Unknown to us until we learn at the end of her strawberry allergy, she eats the ice cream knowing it will most likely kill her, thinking it’s what her father wants. Heartbreaking.
Well that’s all for today. I’m loving the development of Anna’s character and look forward to more of her as well as more Yoo-jin (always a treat). Je-ha too… You know, main character and all. 😉
See you next week!
(P.S. A Fanboy Minute. Doe-eyed Yoona + Virginal Habit + Tearfully Sung Amazing Grace = Wounded Fawn Perfection. This scene just strengthened my conviction that Yoona is the most beautiful woman in the world. Okay, end breathless confession.)