After last week’s much-improved episode, Abyss returns for a story that can’t quite make up its mind what sort of show it wants to be. Part comedy, part romance and part crime thrilling mystery, Abyss’ tumultuous 13 episodes are typified perfectly here, with an episode that swings like a pendulum between its different genres, ultimately failing to really establish itself as anything but unfortunate background noise. It pains me to say it too because I love Korean dramas and the storytelling here is some of the best in any TV show. Abyss is not one to remember though.
We begin with a flashback to Tae-Jin and Hee-Jin as kids before cutting to present day to find Hee-Jin in hospital, struggling to comprehend the death of her Mum. She begs Cha Min to use the abyss again but he stares, un-moving, at the corpse. Realizing that reviving her could spur movement from Oh Yeong, they hold off for now and get back to normality.
Se-yeon and Cha continue to flirt at work, eventually devolving to mild jealousy as Mrs Bae bakes Cha some cookies which causes Se-Yeon to become jealous. As the two dance around this idea for much of the episode’s early content, interspersed around this is a recent hit and run case that Park Gi-Man is working on which our two protagonists get drawn into. Se Yeon and Cha Min wind up catching a fraudulent lawyer and try to figure out what his game is. They get him to describe what the person who hired him looks like and Se Yeon draws a hilariously bad sketch.
As they ponder over this case and Se-Yeons death, wondering if the two are related, they realize that Oh Yeong and Prosecutor Seo have been working together from the very beginning. Realizing they may be onto something, Se-Yeon tries to convince him to confess when she goes and visits him at his work but he feigns ignorance and remains calm.
Things go from bad to worse for Seo as he meets an old friend from his past and things become hostile. On the verge of snapping, Seo heads to his house in the middle of the night, confronts him.
The episode then continues on with little in the way of plot development aside from Judge Seo coming under fire over the earlier DNA test for Prosecutor Seo. As the episode draws to a close, Cha and Se-Yeon prepare to revive Hee-Jin’s mum while they suspect Hee-Jin has gone home. Unbeknownst to them, someone has kidnapped her. Having not bat an eye at reviving people for 13 episodes, Se Yeon begins to question the morality of what they’re doing but doesn’t have long to ponder over this. As she heads to the parking lot, shes thrown into a car and drugged after calling out Seo’s name. We then leave things hanging in the balance ready for tomorrow’s episode.
In fairness to Abyss, there are some nice moments here and some of the camera work, especially the rotating shots late on, are really nicely implemented. For me though, Abyss feels like a show that’s been stitched together by numerous Directors with different ideas on where this show should go. Going back and watching the opening few episodes feels completely alien to what we’ve been presented here, with a different tone and feel to proceedings.
Having said all that, the best parts of the episode for me are the romantic comedy scenes with Cha and Se-Yeon. They have a natural chemistry on screen together and if there’s one stand out moment in this series, it comes from both of them. Beyond that though, Abyss is a tough one to recommend and with three episodes left, I genuinely have no idea what this show has in store for us and I can’t decide if that’s a good or a bad thing right now.