In episode eight, we learn White Night experimented on the kids to create humans who could beat aging and cheat death. The genius intellect and physical prowess are just convenient side effects. Too bad the rapid cell growth is a not-so-convenient side effect. That’s what causes Jung-woo and the other surviving kids’ brain lesions.
This episode scaled back on the action to give us answers, and while I appreciate that, none of them gave me any hope for a less than tragic ending.
Yes to the flashbacks
Through them we’re getting a better understanding of the characters and their relationships with each other. We see just how close Jung-woo and Jamie were at the compound, and how Dr. Jo Hyun-hee favored him for being the brightest. We also see how Jung-woo’s relationship with his pseudo-dad Jung Soon-gu began. I thought the scene with little Jung-woo giving him sass before admitting he didn’t know what chopsticks or ramen were was funny and sad.
Yes to Jamie interrogating Son Min-ho in the hospital
I’m glad she knows some of what Jung-woo knows now. Maybe this will make her trust him, and even help him out. I thought Jamie was warming up to the idea of the serial killer being someone else, but she’s still stuck on Jung-woo, which doesn’t make sense. Even from a logical standpoint.
If Jung-woo was the killer then Son Min-ho would’ve been his victim, not Attorney Nam. Yet he saved both of them in the fire and didn’t kill Son Min-ho with that twig, because all he wants is information. I think it’s strange (and out of character) that Jamie knows this, but is still dead set on Jung-woo being the murderer. I’m a bit disappointed with that aspect of the writing.
Yes to that cliffhanger!!!
Jae-woong (aka convenience store dude) is finally standing up to his abusive handler! I have a feeling he has a split personality, and that’s the clandestine figure whose face we couldn’t see earlier in the episode. I don’t want him to be the killer, but it looks like he is. Well, at least part of him.
Then there’s Jung-woo waiting in Dr. Kong’s office and holding a pen to his neck while Hye-won’s on her way with fresh clothes. I knew he recruited her because of her dad, but if answers are what he’s after, I have a question of my own: Why didn’t he tail Hye-won earlier? This probably isn’t the first time Hye-won has visited her dad at the lab. Jung-woo could’ve interrogated him much earlier.
No to…a couple of things
Now that we’re halfway through the drama, there are actually a few things I think could’ve been done better. Aside from Jamie’s unrealistic reasoning, the Special Team doing their own individual investigations without talking to each other is starting to make the show feel disjointed. You’ve got Jung-woo on his own trying to track down White Night’s president, Hye-won digging into Kim Sun-ok’s suicide, and Jamie and the rest of the team scrambling around the police station and sneaking into hospitals. I understand why Jung-woo’s alone. He’s the main male lead, and they’re always going around trying to shoulder the burden alone. But why aren’t Hye-won and Jamie working together? We could’ve gotten to see a cool female friendship develop. But no, everyone’s doing their own thing, and since they’re not in a lot of scenes together, it feels like the last two episodes were trying to juggle too many things.
I’m also not getting that ensemble cast chemistry I like to see in crime dramas, because the three main characters are working separately.
My last “no” is…you guessed it: Jung-woo and Jamie. It really feels like they would’ve been the better pairing. They had an emotional connection when they were little, and a shared experience. The bond Hye-won’s established with Jung-woo through working with him kind of pales in comparison. I know I said I’d be okay if Jung-woo ends up with Hye-won, but if the drama keeps showing us cute flashbacks of him and Jamie playing and embracing as kids, how am I supposed to feel? Seriously, what is it with 2020 and dramas not giving the main pairing the better backstory?
With that said, I’m still obsessed with Awaken. The plot is refreshing and the characters are interesting. I know it’s going to break my heart in the end, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take, so bring on episode nine!