Beautiful World Review: Episode 5

This entry is part 3 of 14 in the post series Beautiful World Review

Every single episode, we inch closer to the events surrounding Sun-ho’s fall. What looked like a simple incident of school violence is slowly turning into a serious crime cover up by adults. I’m not sure if I’ll end up hating the perpetrators more than those who assisted them in covering up their crimes or vice versa, but I sure will be praying for the severest punishment for everyone involved.

In this episode, we see Sun-ho’s mom make an important discovery that only a parent who knows the habits of his/her child can notice. In the hands of the police, however, this discovery is dismissed. This show could be a case study on men in positions of power dismissing women’s instincts and observations.

I think actress Choo Ja-hyun has been doing a fine job of conveying the frustration and heartbreak of a mother in her character’s position but after 5 episodes, I feel that her acting is starting to get just a bit monotonous.

To cover all their bases, Sun-ho’s parents do their own investigation which frankly yields more information than the cops have managed to get so far. One of the detectives in charge of the case seems to be opening his mind to the fact that the assertions of Sun-ho’s parents that their son did not try to kill himself are not just stemming from emotions. We also finally see the involvement of someone from the press, and while Kang In-ha dismisses the journalist who approaches her outside the police station, just the possibility of the case being discussed in the media makes me hopeful. Su-ho’s heartfelt Blue House petition also has real potential to get the word out in the media.

Two of Sun-ho’s classmates, Dong-hee and Da-hee, still show no signs of stepping in to help the investigation. I mean, sure, Dong-hee’s brother is right to warn her against getting involved in something like this, but we need some new leads, damn it. Da-hee, on the other hand, seems to be another victim of Joon-seok’s “games,” considering the way her hand shook after seeing him outside her window. Su-ho cursing Joon-seok out for taking part in her brother’s bullying made for a very satisfying scene. This boy should have had someone call him out, like, ages ago.

The show presents a pretty good example of how peer pressure operates among teenagers with Ki-chan being ostracized from the group and Young-cheol becoming Joon-seok’s new pet, so to speak. Joon-seok has definitely learnt using people’s insecurities to make them loyal to him at his father’s feet. Their parents continue to be the worst onscreen parents ever, going so far as to celebrate when their sons get away with mere hours of volunteer work for bullying a classmate. The level of apathy is just astounding.

Joon-seok’s father, meanwhile, continues abusing his position as the school’s director by lobbying to establish an anti-bullying image of his school while doing the exact opposite in reality. From bribing school staff with offers of promotion to stopping the re-investigation of Sun-ho’s case, this guy is leaving no stone upturned to see that no one gets to the bottom of this case. For all his efforts though, we see some cracks appear in Joon-seok’s overconfident attitude.

I’m surprised no one has caught onto the fact that something is up with Joon-seok’s mom, considering how much she seems to be shaking at any given point of time. Well, except her husband, who seems to be dropping hints about the ongoing investigations just to observe her reactions. Joon-seok’s mom has the brilliant idea to suggest that Sun-ho’s parents move him into a hospital owned by her father. I’m horrified by the fact that Sun-ho’s mom seems to be considering her friend’s proposal.

And finally, the reason why Joon-seok’s mom hasn’t stopped trembling since Sun-ho fell is revealed—it was she who had first discovered Sun-ho’s body in the school. After finding her son on the roof from which Sun-ho fell, her first instinct had been to call an ambulance, but blind love for her son had won and she ended up making the choice to save her son over Sun-ho. It’s almost scary how quickly she jumps into cover-up mode, even coming up with the plan to remove Sun-ho’s shoes and place them on the roof so it would look like he had jumped from the building. The woman seems really disturbed but honestly, I can’t empathize with her at all. How do you just leave a child your son’s age to suffer like that?

I would like to mention in passing that the inclusion of the huge full moon in all the frames from the night of Sun-ho’s fall is really fascinating to me. It’s as if the presence of the moon is indicating a silent witness to everything that went down that night. Here’s me sincerely hoping this is more than just symbolism.

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Indoor Enthusiast

Indoor Enthusiast (Esha) is a staff writer at Kdramapal. You are likely to find her 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, shows about female friendships, a la Age of Youth, and rom-coms with sprinklings of feminism, like Because This Life Is My First, hold a special place in her heart. She lives in India and spends all her free time reading books. Indoor Enthusiast can be reached at [email protected]