Black Dog returns this week as the informational arrives along with a lot of stress for the students and teachers alike. While the story behind Black Dog remains interesting, it’s still delivered with A very slow pace which does hinder the drama as the weeks tick along.
The episode begins with the teachers from the advisory group discussing Chan-Hui coming to the informal as they don’t think it’ll be a good idea, knowing how much she hates the school. Ms Park greets her as she speaks to the principal but sees that he doesn’t remember her. After she leaves, the principal tells Ms Park that there have been talks about restructuring where the college advisory group may have to merge with the Senior group again.
Meanwhile, Yoo-Ra looks online about how to volunteer in hospitals then speaks to other students about what activity they should do while the four teachers head out for drinks. There, Ms Park tells them they need to change some of their presentation to make sure they win the parents over. They want to use this chance to sell their schools to Hankuk University as no-one from their school ever gets into it.
The next day, as the four teachers meet for another meeting regarding the informal, Ha-Neul suggests showing the growth of the school and the students in the presentation. After going to an ice cream shop and seeing how they’ve advertised their shop, Ha-Neul gets an idea to do something similar with the school by showing how bad they used to be and how they’re planning to improve.
Meanwhile, Yoo-Ra and Jae-Hyun come to blows again and when Mr Ha sees them, he takes them to Mr Song and Ha-Neul. They get reprimanded and Ha-Neul tells them that if they don’t make up, this will go on their record. This forces them to apologise to each other and ask for their class to take a trip to a hospital lab. Ha-Neul later finds out that this would be good for the student college application so she agrees to do it.
The day of the informational arrives but unfortunately too many people have turned up and they don’t have enough seats. Instead, they decide to send parents of juniors to the classrooms instead. Back in the office, Mr Do gets a call from the admission officer, who tells him she’s running late. He tells Ha-Neul not to say anything to Ms Park as he doesn’t want her to get more nervous before her speech.
The Principal is up first and he gives a long, droning speech before a very nervous Ms Park takes the stage. This prompts Ha-Neul to go back to the office to check on Mr Do. Suddenly, the phone rings and Mr Do rushes outside with Ms Yoon to greet Chan-Hui. Ms Yoon saves the day though as she recognizes Chan-Hui, which pleases her greatly.
Meanwhile, Yoo-Ra struggles to reach her mother and heads off alone in the informational at the same time as Mr Do, Mrs Yoon and Chan-Hui. The father of Jae-Hyun gets up to ask a question about the low admission rates to prestigious colleges and wants to know how Daechi School is planning to guide the students.
As planned, Ms Park talks about the poor performance and unpopularity of the school but tells them not to be surprised as they already knew this. This was Ha-Neul’s idea; showing rock bottom is the only way to show growth. She then lists all the things they have been implementing including the Icarus club. This seems to win the parents over before mentioning the admission officer from Hankuk who’s there and what they have been working on with the university in terms of students records. After this, the rest of the day goes without a hitch and everyone seems happy with the outcome.
Later on, Ha-Neul meets with Hyun-Jae’s father and denies his request for his son to write his own student record, telling him they’ll return his gift. As he returns to his son, the latter sees Yoo-Ra standing alone by the entrance. This prompts him to go back into school to tell Ha-Neul about it. The episode ends with Ha-Neul rushing to Yoo-Ra who’s crying, crouching down on the floor as the teacher offers to take her out for dinner.
We’re now half way through the series and while the premise is still informative and eye opening, the slow pace makes this a really difficult one to get through. Given the plot, 30 minute episodes would potentially have worked better here as with a run-time of a little over 70 minutes, there just isn’t enough substance to justify this length.
Still, the teachers have managed to get their points across during the informational meeting with the help of Chan-Hui and an excellent speech from Ms Park remains a clear fan favourite. I do wonder if this will start making a difference for the struggling school and I’m hoping we’ll find out before the end of the series.
Black Dog might not be for everyone as its serious and slow pace could potentially put some people off. However, for anyone interested in school politics and what goes on behind closed doors, this is certainly right up your alley as it does show some important themes when it comes to education in South Korea.
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Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!