Cinematography For The Win: Love is Drop by Drop Episode 114

Even when a drama is going downhill, there can still be some stellar moments hinting at the possibilities of what might have been. Since this show seemed to jump the track much later than the average Kdrama daily, it’s especially frustrating to see quality work from the crew who are working on a very slim budget. When their efforts are blown up with a storyline that is far less than what viewers expected given the excellence of the first ~75 episodes, I feel that it needs to be acknowledged.

**All screencaps from newasiantv.me** Apologies for any spacing issues–I’m still trying to figure how to correct it.

Lessons to be learned:

Let’s pick up in Episode 114 as the showdown between SC and CR continues in front of Doc’s house. CR starts to look very cornered as she once again reverts to calling SC “Oppa” like she always does when she’s in big trouble. (not subbed that way, but I can hear it.) CR says that she’s sorry and asks him to forgive her. However, SC wants some more specific details: lidd114-1alidd114-1blidd114-1c

CR whines that she was scared and ran away from the scene of the accident. She swears that she was gonna tell him the truth, but SC is done with hearing her excuses. She’s had her chance. CR gets down on her knees and begs his forgiveness again, even promising:

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I take a deep breath….will SC fall for her routine again today? Nope! He says that chance has come and gone:

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Yessss! I love it! SC is making firm decisions, no hesitation, no wimping out, no ‘one more chance’. He turns to go, but CR seems to realize he’s not bluffing, and she snaps out of her ‘sorry’ persona and screams:

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Uh, oh. CR says that she has the exact same necklace (Not true, she screwed that up too! Geez, what a rookie!) and what she thinks is the real incriminating evidence:

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SC then thanks CR:

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and adds this for good measure:

 

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SC’s swayback posture tells me he needs to see the chiropractor ASAP! 

 

A digital recorder?! He had the presence of mind to bring a recording device?! Holy cow! This is awesome! Now this is the SC I envisioned from the start–and when I wrote that little scene correction FF–he’s thinking ahead of the baddies, he’s prepared, he’s not believing CR’s lies. This is what a true wingman does! Is he double-recording this on his phone just to be sure? I sure hope so.

SC then gives an unneeded explanation of his tactics to the enemy:

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Moral of this scene: When you have a chance, go for the slam dunk!

Sun Tzu is probably rolling in his grave, but I am cheering for SC right now! Oh, and look who’s eavesdropping on this whole convo….it’s WH!

lidd114-10 He realized CR left her medications in the car and turned around to go back and give them to her. I could not ascertain the names of her meds from the paperwork shown on the seat of his car, darn it! I’d love to know what meds the doc put her on, and what her psychiatric diagnosis was. I have a few meds I’d like to suggest!

As SC gets in the car to leave, CR goes running after him in her high heels! She opens the door and gets in. (Moral of this scene: If you ever needed a reason why you lock your car doors before you leave, this is it.) A scuffle ensues and CR throws the recorder out the window as SC drives off. WH sees the recorder in the street and runs into the street to retrieve it. In perfect Kdrama timing, a random car barrels down on him and hits him! (At least it wasn’t a White Box Truck of Doom! I am extra careful of those now when I see them on the freeway!) SC stops the car and goes back to WH, calling 119/911 and covering him with his jacket. I have to give bonus points for SC yanking off CR’s white silk scarf and making her put it on WH’s bleeding head!

At the hospital, SC lets OHW, WW and WK know what WH is being treated for:

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Hmmm. Looked more like a head injury to me, and kudos to KET for the twitching movements when he was down on the pavement indicating to me that he might be having seizures due to a head injury. However, I had to laugh at @euraka’s comment on the Soompi forum that WH would probably have amnesia after the accident! I love it! It’s the true mark of a veteran daily drama viewer to immediately consider that possibility! How many episodes could they extend the drama out if that happened? 30? 40?  **eye roll**

Detective Ko arrives at the hospital, effectively stopping the hand-wringing party:

 

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I did not realize how short Detective Ko really is. 

 

and SC humbly accepts his fate:

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Aaaack! Can it get worse? Of course it can! This is a daily Kdrama!

SC gets grilled back at the police station by Detective Ko, but SC has a defense–he’s got a pic of CR wearing the necklace on the day of the accident, and the photo is dated. Unfortuntely, SC’s luck with finding the phone and the pic is all used up. He doesn’t have the phone with him now. Why? It’s in his jacket pocket–which was at the scene of the accident:

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I want to mention that the scenes in the interrogation room are really well done from a cinematography standpoint. They may be working with a cheap set, but the lighting crew has pulled off some great work with the way the shadows fall across the character’s faces, and the feel of the room is perfect to me. I don’t expect stellar cinematography from a daily drama. When it happens, I am impressed, and when it’s in later episodes, I am extra impressed!

While Detective Ko dispatches someone to retrieve the jacket from the hospital and search the ambulance, we find out what the real deal is….

CR is back at the scene of the accident, looking on the ground for something.

BTW, notice that cross in the upper center of the picture?! How ’bout that for another winning piece of cinematography! I didn’t catch this on the first watch. I have to wonder if this is another lucky accident…nah, there’s no way. I wonder if PD-nim could be hinting at forgiveness for the heinous crimes that CR and YS have committed? Or is he hinting at their judgment and punishment? Either way, it’s fascinating stuff:

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Side note: Christian religious symbols in Kdramas often disturb me. One glaring example of this was in Secret Love Affair, Episode 16. Hye Won was in jail cell 3-16, a blatantly obvious reference to the Bible verse John 3:16:

 

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**sniffle**

 

and although some viewers found it interesting or comforting, I felt like I’d been slapped across the face. Even looking at the above picture three years later stirs up my feelings of anger and rage at the ending of that drama! This cross one in LIDD leaves me with many conflicting thoughts–which is perfectly acceptable. The religious symbolism in the first episode of “Page Turner” (which was ironically aired on the day prior to Easter) is another one that left me with plenty of things to ponder.

YS is running behind a breathless CR who is desperately searching for–and then finding the recorder. She lets YS know why this is so critically important:

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YS is stunned when CR says that she had to say that in front of SC. Then SC’s luck goes from bad to worse when CR pulls out his phone! Omo. How did she get her claws on that?

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She shows YS the photo of her wearing the necklace with SC and says that is why she admitted everything. CR then deletes the pic, throws the phone on the ground and crushes it with the heel of her shoe. How fitting to use a shoe….after all the shoe/feet scenes in this show!

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**Sigh** Not even an LG phone can survive a Louboutin heel crush like this!

There have been some complaints on the Soompi forum about the acting ability of Kong Hyun Joo, the actress who plays CR. I haven’t seen her in anything before this drama, so I have nothing to compare to. I can say that she is really convincing as being an evil, psychotic and unhinged baddie. Her eyes and facial expressions really give off the “I’m losing it” vibe. Hey, if you are good at playing a baddie, go right ahead and do it! Moral of this story: There’s no shame in sticking with something you are good at.

CR is feeling much better now that all the evidence is gone. She can move on with her life:

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Look at her eyes! Totally unfocused. Whoa…

….and then at least for me, the moment of comic relief:

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Bwaaahaaahaaa! Yes, shopping as ‘retail therapy’! I had to laugh–what a great line. She’s so true to her nature! Wonder with what money she plans to shop with? I haven’t forgotten she still owes WH the $30,000 that she ‘borrowed’ to help her imaginary friend (aka pay off the blackmailer) and that CR still has WH’s grandmother’s brooch. Wonder if those two issues will be resolved by the end of the show?

Now my biggest concern is SC. He’s really up the creek without a paddle. If WH can’t testify for SC that he heard CR’s confession, SC is gonna be in the slammer for years. Although the Sang Chul Hater’s Club may be rejoicing to see him behind bars, I am devastated. Just when I thought the baddies were gonna get some well-deserved Karma, it’s another setback.

Another Moral of this story: Even if you think you are prepared, you probably aren’t. That should not stop you from doing the right thing. I do wish SC had sent a copy of the picture to Pops, WH, BW, and/or even Detective Ko as another layer of backup.

Back at the house, YS has the presence of mind to ask:

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and we begin to get the true picture of exactly how unhinged CR really is. Watch her eyes again in the next series of pics:

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We then see a flashback to the accident scene…she took the phone from SC’s jacket after he covered WH up with it and he was busy calling 119/911. She’s so pleased with herself! YS is horrified:

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CR responds gleefully:

 

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How about fear of going to jail?! 

 

She nearly breaks her arm virtually patting herself on the back for this one:

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No disagreement here!

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CR declares that she’s soooo super-duper tired from all that concentrating, and she skips upstairs to take a shower. YS is left to reflect on her stepdaughter’s actions–and on her own failings as a mother to CR:

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Good job, YS!/sarc  What a nice sociopath you and the Doc raised together! All that indulgence and spoiling to get her to like you and to keep peace in the house has really paid off, hasn’t it? SMH. I get the feeling YS has woken up to the reality of their evil deeds. Parenting tip for today: If you don’t say “no” to your kids, eventually the police will do it for you–and that is always gonna be a bad situation.

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Rehashing the past:

While JY, Mom, BW and Byeol are taking a break at the local sauna:

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Isn’t Byeol getting a little too old to hang out with the ladies at the sauna? I’m not sure how that works in Korea; I know that here in SoCal if there was a 6-year-old boy in the women’s locker room at the gym, it would make some ladies (including me) a little uncomfortable. Maybe they had him hold a towel over his eyes while he was in there so he didn’t see them or the other ladies changing. A bathroom is different–I would be ok with taking him into a women’s restroom. He’s way too young to send into a men’s restroom by himself. 

DM and his Dad are having a beer and some snacks in the courtyard of their house. DM is worried that JY and Mom will fight at the sauna, but Dad says BW will keep them from getting out of hand. Dad also suggests to DM that he should consider getting his own place. (Excellent suggestion, IMHO) When DM says that Mom will be upset with that, Dad gives him some great advice:

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Amazingly, he tells his son to put his wife first in his life:

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That conversation transitions to Dad comparing DM’s decision to a difficult one he had to make six years ago:

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I’m so glad Dad put it like this. It was all about abiding by DJ’s wishes. Donating the organs was what DJ wanted, and his wishes should have been respected by his family. DJ was an adult, he filled out the proper forms and signed them in his right mind. What is so wrong about that? I can’t imagine that if my kids did the same thing, that I would go against it. To the best of my knowledge, I think my dad might have even considered donating my mom’s organs, but because her death was a suicide and there is always a coroner’s inquest with autopsy and toxicology reports, it was not feasible. I am pretty sure my mom had the little “pink dot” that used to indicate a willingness to be an organ donor on her driver’s license. I know I am signed up to be a donor as well.

Unfortunately, Mom and the crew walk in right then and overhear the conversation:

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Oh no! Here it comes….

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Thankfully, Dad confesses immediately:

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I hope and pray this was not translated correctly because it makes it sound like his organs were harvested while he was still alive. I wish Pops would have said, “Dong Joon passed away and he then saved many lives.” 

 

Then BW comes up with a mystifying statement:

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But…but…he didn’t! DJ wanted to donate his organs if something happened to him. Didn’t BW know this? I believe she did. A rewatch of Episode 11 reveals this:

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So BW knew back then that DJ wanted to be an organ donor, as did Mom. Nevertheless, Mom gets hysterical and BW is sobbing too.

My heart breaks for Byeol in this scene:

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What an awful way for Byeol to find out that his saintly father was an organ donor–and that it caused this kind of sadness and division in his family. Nobody is able to pull him aside and explain it to him at a level he can understand because they are all drowning in their own grief. He’s got to have a thousand questions, minimum.

Dad apologizes to BW for making the decision that should have been hers to make as DJ’s wife:

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DM chimes in that he never wanted her to find out because it would make her sad. (I’m swearing here. DM is so stupid. He deserves JY.) BW asks if Dad knows who got his organ(s), and Dad says that info is confidential. (It’s interesting that the subbers don’t specifically mention if she asked about DJ’s heart, or any of his other organs, like his eyes or his kidneys, liver, etc. But ‘heart’ is greatly implied.) He does know that the person who got ‘the organ’ is alive and well because he meets with the doctor who did the surgery every year on the anniversary of DJ’s death.

I am glad that the writer had BW find out about DJ’s organ donation from Pops and DM, but the fact that Byeol had to hear how his grandpa and uncle deceived his mom and grandmother is upsetting to me. No airtime was spent on Byeol’s reaction to hearing this information, and that’s a shame. Instead of wasted screen time on WK’s ex-husband hassling WW and WK, or the whole ‘used undies’ bit, I would have liked to see some time spent on the family (and BW especially) dealing with Byeol’s feelings about his deceased father.

If one of the objectives of this show was to portray organ donation in a positive way, I think it’s safe to say it was a massive fail–as was the drama “My Spring Day”. If anything, this show might discourage organ donation, as it portrays the donor family’s poor handling of the situation (not all family members are on board with the decision) and the anguish that it caused–and is still causing. The pressure that was put on the Yoon family to make a quick decision by the hospital, and the lack of support they were all given before, during and after the process was disappointing, to say the least. The lack of respect for the donor’s wishes, the fact that BW (who was married to DJ) was not given any part of the decision-making process, and the devastating impact this information must have on Byeol would make any viewer think twice about organ donation. If the writer had gone with WH having a severe brush with death and getting a second chance at life without the organ donation angle, this show could have worked just as well.

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Shamrockmom’s last nerve destroyed–by OHW:

It’s been a long time since I hated a Kdrama character more than I currently hate OHW. I cannot imagine that she will get any kind of sufficient Karma for the horrible things she’s done to BW, her son WH, and the Yoon clan. YS and CR may have broken the law–and I trust that they will be caught and punished (even minimally) for their actions. However, the transgressions of OHW lie outside the law, and her punishment–if there will even be any–is not as clear-cut.

BW and Pops visit SC while he’s still in the police station lockup. It’s not stated, but I’m guessing because he technically went on the run to find an alibi for his whereabouts on the night CR killed JH, he must have had his bail revoked because he’s a flight risk. BW finds out that WH was in an accident and had surgery that night from SC. She runs over to the hospital to see WH–and encounters OHW and WK in the hallway:

 

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I was actually surprised that BW went to the hospital. Considering the cold-hearted way she’d been treating WH lately, I thought there was no chance she’d show up.

 

Oh no…OWH launches into BW, blaming her for everything and anything bad that happened to WH–and proving that she’s equally as ignorant as BW’s junior high grad MiL when it comes to superstitious things:

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Who in their right mind believes this kind of superstitious nonsense?! I’m floored….OHW is a highly educated person and the CEO of a large corporation! 

 

WK tries to put the brakes on her mom, but OHW is too far gone in her own anger, stupidity, and hatred for that.

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She then gives a vicious shove to BW who falls to the ground while OHW shrieks:

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If BW needs justification to never see WH again because of OHW, this would be it. I am not pleased that the hospital security is not coming into the ICU to throw OHW out of the hospital. This kind of behavior from a patient’s family member would never be tolerated in any US hospital for a second. I can’t even cry….I simply feel profoundly sad and depressed. If I wasn’t this far into the show, I’d drop it. Maybe I should anyways! Heh, too late now…

Oh, and look who’s eavesdropped on this scene:

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So, YS–how does it feel to see your daughter–your real daughter–get abused and shoved around by OHW? Yunno, the woman who you kissed up to relentlessly and lied to so CR could pursue WH? BW gets up sobbing and runs down the hall to cry piteously:

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and I have to marvel at the lovely cinematography in this scene even as my heart breaks to hear her crying. Great use of shadows and light here. YS is around the corner, and I have to give another A+ grade here to the cameraman and PD-nim as well:

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How fitting is it that we viewers see the reflection of the back of YS’s head in the mirrored glass? I think it’s kinda like BW (theoretically) seeing the back of her mother’s head as she abandoned her all those years ago. YS can’t face BW now. She’s too ashamed of what she’s done–in the present and in the past as well. Her daughter is so close…and yet she’s so far away. I’m okay if they stay that way–but I bet the writer will find some way to ‘mend’ their relationship while making the viewers scream at the cheap forgiveness!

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There was so much going on in Episode 114, I had to give it it’s own post! Look for the next post to highlight two of Shamrockmom’s favorite writing topics in a Kdrama–the use of traditional medicines and perfect BG music selections!

 

 

 

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