Beautiful World Review: Episode 8

This entry is part 6 of 14 in the post series Beautiful World Review

At one point during this episode, Sun-ho’s mom says, “It’s fascinating how we’ve found so much (about the night of Sun-ho’s fall) but nothing of value.” Well, that has been the general sentiment about the last couple of episodes of the show. We’ve been discovering new information about the night Sun-ho fell constantly but nothing that could pass off as evidence and take his case forward. This episode, however, features some big reveals that could speed up the investigations again.

Dong-hee narrating her chance meeting with Sun-ho on the night she was about to do something drastic was pretty emotional to watch. Sun-ho probably managed to alter the course of her entire life with just a few kind words, which is really all it takes when someone is suicidal. Dong-soo is understandably shocked and angry at finding out his sister was suicidal. The brother and sister duo seem to be going through the worst time without the protection of an adult.

Despite their personal loss and pain, Sun-ho’s parents are unfailingly kind to Dong-hee and Dong-soo and manage to give them strength by sharing their own stories of hardships. By the end of it, Dong-soo feels close enough to his teacher to suggest an Oldboy style torture treatment for Sun-ho’s bullies and manages to make him crack a smile. My favourite outcome of this allyship? Dong-hee and Su-ho teaming up to gather evidence on Joon-seok. He should be scared, very scared.

Talking to an observant kid like Dong-hee helps Sun-ho’s mom gain perspective into how Joon-seok was bullying Sun-ho. Dong-hee goes into detail about how Joon-seok acted nice to Sun-ho in public but manipulated others to bully him because Sun-ho didn’t kiss up to Joon-seok like others did. Sun-ho’s mom is shocked that a mere 16-year-old can be so evil, and well, so are we. With enough context, several things click in In-ha’s mind—like Eun-joo’s excessive honesty with regards to Joon-seok’s role in the bullying video—and she confronts Eun-joo. “Only someone who has a lot to hide would try to seem so honest.” Eun-joo manages to retain her composure, but I think finally, In-ha is beyond her friend’s games now.

This episode also offers the most in-depth and fascinating look into the mind of a privileged kid like Joon-seok. His father constantly teaches him that he belongs to a different class than his classmates, calling them worthless, and it shows in how Joon-seok has come to treat his friends. The boy spouts the same hierarchy shit as his father, calling Sun-ho a “mere baker’s son” at one point. After hearing Su-ho and Dong-hee’s side of the story, Journalist Choi calls Joon-seok a spitting image of his father—and I can’t disagree. Oh Jin-pyo manipulates Joon-seok exactly like Joon-seok manipulates his friends. I will never not be creeped out by the way Joon-seok leers every time his father basically tells him he’ll get rid of every bad thing he does.

Joon-seok’s relationship with his mother is equally disturbing. His angry tirade at his mom to “just call him a bad person and scold him” pretty much says that he knows his parents will let him get away with anything and he’s just trying to see how far he can get away with flouting rules. So far, the extreme measures Joon-seok’s mom took to protect him have been under the assumption that her son is innocent. Now that she’s heard the conversation about Da-hee that pretty much incriminates Joon-seok, I wonder if she’ll change her mind.

The show continues with random spooky symbolism thrown in the episode. The scene with Joon-seok visiting Sun-ho at the hospital and his face changing as if he was transforming into actual devil was an interesting choice to depict the boy’s dual personalities, even if it was rather jump-scare-y. Da-hee’s name comes up again in a flashback with Sun-ho and it’s clear now that Joon-seok harassed her just to get back at Sun-ho for standing up against him. While we don’t know yet exactly what these ‘games’ of Joon-seok are, the way Sun-ho’s face drains of all color when he threatens involving Su-ho gives us a pretty good idea.

Special mention to Joon-ha for pouring a glass of water over Sung-jae’s mom’s head. If not THE most satisfying drink-pour-over in k-drama history, it’s definitely top three because of how impossibly frustrating and shameless Sung-jae’s mom was being.

Karma begets karma, and I’m counting Joon-ha’s outburst as good karma because suddenly, the investigation that was stuck for lack of solid evidence gets back on track. The cops discover a connection between a drug case and the security guard at Sun-ho’s school just as In-ha spots Eun-joo’s car in the CCTV footage from the night of Sun-ho’s accident. Looks like things are about to get really, really interesting.

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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]