Heartache, heartache, and more heartache. Except I’m willing to accept it if they keep on doing it the way they have been till now. The sheer number of clichés and contrivances in this show amazes me sometimes, and I’m not denying that on paper, FTLY sounds like the most hackneyed story ever. But what amazes me even more is the fact that this show climbs right on top of these overused drama-land tropes & manages to land a knock-out punch anyway. Did I want amnesia? An incurable disease? Noble idiocy? Separation? Hell no. Yet I cannot find it in myself to complain after being hit with ALL of them in one measly episode. Because FTLY incorporated all of them without losing its humour and its heart, and moved me yet again. And just for that, I love it even more than before.
I remember Se-Ra saying in the previous episode that if she could go back in time, she would do things differently. And I also remember our frustration with Gun for keeping quiet and not voicing his feelings even when Mi-young declared that she loves him. His temporary amnesia in this episode gave BOTH these characters a golden chance to get back to that earlier stage in their relationship, to the point they both think they want so badly. And…bingo, reality check. Gun realises that there is a gaping hole in his life, one that Se-Ra is unable to fill any more, where once she was all he had wanted. This time, he goes to Mi-young out of CHOICE, not fate or duty or compulsion. And Se-Ra gives up ballet to be with Gun, only to realise that she had lost him long back. She has now lost everything precious to her, and this might just be the push needed to bring her hitherto private destructive side to the forefront. In fact I think this episode did a really good job of setting up Se-Ra for us, who I find rather self-centred, if not downright selfish. She’s angry with Gun for being happy with Mi-young, but not once does she consider his side of things. So she’s happy and smiling and caring towards him as long as the lie serves her, but the moment it causes her difficulty, she throws a fit and storms off? So while I don’t (yet) hate her for doing anything she does in this episode, I can’t help comparing her to Mi-young, and find her immensely lacking in the ‘caring for other people’ department. And that’s a good thing when you wonder why Gun and MY need and deserve each other.
Which brings me to Mi-young, who deserves an essay of her own, really. Her character, for me, is the super-glue that holds this show together. The writers and the actor deserve a lot of applause for this, because I’ve rarely come across a character like hers who is soft-spoken yet strong, meek yet dignified. Dunno what the others felt about it, but I thought she totally trumped Se-ra in the stairwell confrontation scene. All without wailing, being impolite. or raising her voice even once. Mi-young radiates sincerity, and for viewers like me who are tired of both doormats and meanies, she’s absolutely marvellous.
Does anyone else appreciate Daniel for being the ONLY one to give Gun the plain truth, straight out? Like, “That is what you said, and this is what I said. This is how things stand between us, so now you better shake that pretty head of yours and buck up, before I snatch your wife.” You go, Daniel !! :D
So yes, for me the amnesia trope was used pretty well, actually. They made it look sensible with the whole Huntington’s background, and they even remembered that we have things like cellphones and online news!!! Ha. Too bad he had to read it when he did though, because it deprived us of potential adorable scene. But overall, I think it served its primary purpose of character development – Gun consciously moving on, Mi-young being stronger than ever, and Se-ra being pushed into a corner.
All that said and done, however, I don’t think I’m re-watching this episode any time soon.