Beautiful World Review: Episode 12

This entry is part 10 of 14 in the post series Beautiful World Review

The overlying themes of this episode are the differences between Joon-seok and Sun-ho’s families. While relationships in Joon-seok’s family seem to be fraught with doubt and are falling apart, the ones in Sun-ho’s are quite the opposite—Sun-ho’s family comfort and trust each other even in the face of their struggles. It is this difference that ultimately was the starting point of the conflict between the two boys and as far as I can predict, will be the catalyst to resolving Sun-ho’s case. As Sun-ho’s parents inch closer to the truth, Oh Jin-pyo brings his attempts to conceal the truth up a notch, even resorting to straight up murder.

Oh Jin-pyo’s modus operandi of having everyone, including Da-hee, followed by his men just goes on to show how easy it is for the rich to cover up the truth. He seems to be unaware of the accusations Da-hee’s parents are leveling at Sun-ho, but that’s obviously not going to last long. I shudder to imagine what this information will do in his evil hands. Just the fact that he had the nerve to meet Sun-ho’s father and pressure him to give up the investigation is cause for concern. Considering the fate Shin Dae-gil met with, there’s no telling how far he will go.

Eun-joo, on the other hand, seems to be falling apart with every crack in her alibi. Her mental balance is precarious at best, and she desperately needs a kind listener but all her husband does is yell at her. In her panic, she inadvertently ends up distancing Joon-seok who finds her anxiety suffocating. He revolts against her, preferring instead to be overconfident by his dad’s advice. It doesn’t seem to be working, though, because Joon-seok has an even scarier meltdown compared to his mother.

I’d made up my mind to not feel sorry for any member of Joon-seok’s family even if the show gave them backstories and redemption arcs, but Joon-seok’s rant about hating Sun-ho because of how relaxed and comfortable his family was got me. It put into perspective how much toxicity Joon-seok’s parents inject into his life—his mom with her obsession and his dad, with his disapproval.

Throughout the episode, we see Joon-seok get increasingly angry and violent. Hitting Ki-chan even earns him the disapproval of Sung-jae.
The way Joon-seok talks about disciplining his friends is bound to scare or annoy them into calling him out soon. He further acts out by engaging in dangerous behavior like running out into traffic and trying to buy alcohol and cigarettes, resulting in a run-in with Dong-hee’s brother. I wonder if this chance meeting will translate into something—perhaps a friendship, since both boys are delinquents in their own ways.

Sun-ho’s school management and specifically, the Vice Principal have so far acted in ways that have been nothing short of disgusting. I didn’t think it was possible for them to stoop lower, but they do, this time by distributing the irresponsible anti-bullying pamphlets in the school. These pamphlets not only put the blame of bullying on the victim by urging them to examine why they’re being bullied but also ask them to accept it. Why is no one reporting this? Surely some kind of mechanism must be in place for this kind of irresponsible stance? As usual, Teacher Lee protests the move and ends up being joined by other teachers in his protest.

Through Da-hee’s flashback, we unravel some of what transpired on the day of her birthday. It seems like regular teenager stuff—she’d made a plan with Sun-ho hoping to make her crush, Joon-seok, jealous. Except the day hadn’t quite ended on an innocuous note for her. I fully understand Da-hee’s mom’s refusal to believe in anything In-ha says, especially considering the rumors of Sun-ho’s family manipulating the truth. But it’s difficult to understand why Da-hee would lie about something like this. For now, it’s certain that Sun-ho didn’t meet the girl. Dong-hee’s observation about Joon-seok’s interest in Da-hee coupled with Su-ho running into him in front of Da-hee’s house all lead to the same person.

I find it awe-inspiring that despite her own suffering, In-ha finds the compassion to worry about Joon-seok and offer Eun-joo advice to save him. Eun-joo’s desperation and panic, however, clouds all reason. Little moments serve to further the contrast between these two families—one of them being Moo-jin deriving strength from just one phone call with his wife as Oh Jin-pyo pushes his wife further towards the edge.

With Shin Dae-gil possibly being killed, we have a bona fide criminal case here. Journalist Choi is the one person with proof that Shin’s death is a result of foul play, since he’s the only one who saw Shin being followed. Now that he has teamed up with the detective on Sun-ho’s case, I’m expecting the investigations to kick it up and reveal some meaty details.


Song Joong-ki in a still from the Netflix Korean movie Space Sweepers
NEW Netflix Korean Dramas & Films: Park Shin-hye’s 2nd movie this year is now streaming, and 6 more series and movies are coming soon!

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Indoor Enthusiast

Indoor Enthusiast (Esha) is usually found going on rants about how Ji Hae-soo from It's Okay That's Love and Sung Bora from Reply 1988 are the best heroines to grace our screens. Thrillers like Secret Forest and rom-coms with sprinklings of feminism à la Because This Life Is My First hold a special place in her heart. She can be reached at [email protected]