The latest episode of Black Dog sees Ha-Neul facing yet another obstacle, this time regarding the length of her contract. Things are certainly difficult for short-term teachers and while Ha-Neul tries to do her best for the students, this makes her feel like she shouldn’t be making so much effort. Black Dog continues to feel slow-paced but to counteract that, tackles some interesting subjects, as well as exploring the evolution between Ha-Neul and her three colleagues, which continues to be enjoyable to watch.
We begin episode 4 of Black Dog with a flashback of Ms Park as a student and taking her CSAT test, before cutting back to the present where all four teachers are heading to a hotel for the college admissions conference. She tells them about failing that test but how she still managed to get into the best university as not many people applied that year.
The presentation gets underway and when it’s Daechi school’s turn, Ji Hae-Won gets up on the stage. Unfortunately, most of the crowd decide to leave when they realise what school it is. Yeon-Woo then explains their reasons for being at the conference while Hae-Won struggles with some of the questions he receives. Ms Park then takes the microphone and explains how they’re personally going to Hangkuk university to invite the admissions officers to their school.
The next day, Ji- Sun overhears that one of the short-term teacher will have a 5 month contract instead of one year because a teacher is coming back from vacation. She relays this to the other short term teachers who discuss this and believe it should be Ha-Neul as she arrived last. When Mr Moon hears about this however, he confronts Seung-Taek who tells him he has no choice but to stay out of it because of the rumours regarding corruption.
Ms Park finds out that the school is planning to give Ha-Neul a 5 months contract as well. This prompts her to be extra strict, giving her readings on college admissions for her to study as she’ll be going with them to the university.
Ji-Sun finds Ha-Neul and tells her that the after class lessons she submitted for next year were a little too hard and since she might not be there next year, other teachers are concerned that they will have to take over the lesson. She reminds her that she doesn’t need to work too hard as their time is limited at the school. We then cut to the other teachers discussing her after-school lesson and while most of them are reluctant, Yeon-Woo decides that he will help her teach it.
After finding out the bad news herself, Ha-Neul heads to class. During her lesson, Mr Song decides to make an announcement on the school speaker and requests that all short-term teachers report immediately to the administration office. This shocks everyone as it means revealing they’re short-term to all the students.
As the teachers head to sign their contracts, Jin-Sun doesn’t turn up and as we soon find out, she never comes back to the school the following days. This then results in Ha-Neul receiving a year’s contract. The news of Jin-Sun’s departure affects Ha-Neul greatly too, as she decides not to speak up or give an opinion during her meeting with the college advisory group. Ms Park then berates her and tells her that she shouldn’t be coming with them on a business trip if she decides to stay quiet. This is a wake up call for Ha-Neul who then speaks and insists that she wants to help.
Meanwhile, Mr Moon is still trying to find out the identity of the person who posted on the website. He then tries to get into Hae-Won’s laptop as he suspects he could be the one. The episode then ends with all four teachers happily driving to the university and as they arrive, Ms Park tells Ha-Neul that when it comes to the students, they’re both on the same page.
The premise of Black Dog is definitely interesting and quite eye-opening, especially if this is how teachers struggle with short-term contracts. The pressure they have to deal with, without knowing how long they have at the school must be quite difficult to deal with, especially for teachers like Ha-Neul who are desperate to make a difference in the student’s lives.
Ms Park is fast becoming one of my favourite characters. While she acts quite tough and strict around Ha-Neul, we see that she actually starts caring about her and pushers her to perform well. The chemistry between all four teachers is great and I’m really looking forward to see more it during the next few weeks. Black Dog is definitely a slow burn though and I hope this one picks up the pace soon.
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Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!