Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 5/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 14 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 15 -| Review Score – 5/5
Episode 16 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Flower Of Evil is one of those shows that completely catches you off-guard. This slow-burn thriller is a very cleverly written show that not only subverts expectations, it also hops across various genres effortlessly without ever losing sight of its main premise. There’s definitely some Baeksang Awards in the pipeline for this one but a couple of bumps along the way just hold this back from hitting the perfect 10 spot it could have claimed.
The story itself plays out as a combination of both a procedural crime drama and a cat and mouse thriller. Baek Hee-Sung is a man with a very dark past. Hee-Sung is seemingly happy in his marriage to police detective Ji-Won, with a loving daughter Eun-Ha offering up a semblance of normality for him.
Only, a string of unexplained murders point to Hee-Sung being the culprit behind this. Adopting a fake persona and unable to feel any emotions, it soon becomes apparent that Hee-Sung is not at all what he seems. Could he be responsible for these murders? Or is there something else at work here?
To give much more away would be a disservice to the story but suffice to say, this is one twisty turny thriller you’ll want to watch through to the end. There’s some great moments that catch you completely off-guard and change up the genre from week to week.
While some may bemoan this, the evolution actually makes a lot of sense. As we learn more about Hee-Sung’s true intentions, so too does the tone shift slightly. These tonal shifts eventually transcend into the realm of romance before an action-packed penultimate episode wraps up many of the big plot points.
The finale does take the wind out the sails a little, used primarily to wrap everything up with a neat bow whilst also leaning into a couple of tried and tested K-drama tropes. Despite that though, this is definitely one of the stronger dramas released this year and certainly a must-watch.
The acting from both Moon Chae-Won and Lee Joon-Gi are exemplary and both of them are given a lot of range with their roles to really lean into the emotional performances they give. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joon-Gi wins Best Actor next year as he delivers a show-stopping performance every episode.
The set-pieces throughout the drama offer a great range of life-and-death situations too. From a mob boss tying Hee-Sung up and threatening to ignite the room to our hero strung up in a pool that’s slowly filling with water, there’s undoubtedly a lot of tension here. This works perfectly against Ji-Won’s police investigation, as she finds herself torn between her duty and her relationship for Hee-Sung.
This relationship is really what drives the narrative forward. Unlike many Korean dramas, Flower Of Evil takes the time to flesh this out into a much more complicated affair than the simple love triangles or misunderstanding tropes we’ve seen. It helps that the chemistry between the pair is so strong and both of them feed off each other to elevate their own performances.
For all of its positives though, Flower Of Evil slips up slightly with its pacing. There are a few lulls along the way that stop this from flowing quite so effectively as a binge-watch (it’s barely noticeable week to week though).
Despite that, Flower Of Evil is a wonderful Korean drama. It’s a romantic, dramatic, action-packed thriller that somehow blends all these genres together without getting lost in its own complicated plot.
In a year that’s given us so much great Korean content already, it’s no mean feat to say Flower Of Evil is up there with the best. If you haven’t already, this one is definitely worth checking out.