Parents Of The Year
Episode 11 of L.U.C.A.: The Beginning starts at the church, with Ji-O waltzing inside. With electricity crackling, the cultists all drop to their knees and begin worshipping him.
Goo-Reum meanwhile, fights her way past guards with the baby strapped to her back. She then heads outside and on the run. Unfortunately she’s stopped by a number of guards who render her escape futile.
Ji-O shows up though, prompting all the guards to stand around and watch as they talk. Goo-Reum suggests they escape but Ji-O takes the child for himself and silently walks back inside. He talks to Goo-Reum about his desires, and how he believes changing humanity is the only way to proceed forward now.
Meanwhile, Attorney Jung and Hwang Jung-A discuss Ji-O’s return and how he’s akin to a deity. Jung wants to clone Ji-O, claiming she apparently works for many higher-ups from different organizations. After sighing, Jung-A succumbs but apparently Cheol-Soo and his subordinates have gone missing.
As we cut across to this small band of goons, Cheol-Soo gives them a list of targets to go after and kill. Those include Ji-O. He also tells them to use the baby as a hostage too if need be.
Back at the church, Ji-O walks with Joong-Kwon who comments how this cult that follow him makes him the leader and the king of this world. Joong-Kwon goes on to talk about war and how it’s the biggest moneymaker. This is why Jung-A and the others wanted to create him in the first place, to try and stop that.
Joong-Kwon laughs and tells his creation that he wants to make a whole army of clones like Ji-O. Ji-O suddenly agrees, telling him that humanity is nothing special. He’s willingly going to allow himself to be cloned and decides to comply with the others.
With Ji-O hooked up to the machine, they begin raising the level one at a time, intending to use his embryos by shocking him into submission. At the same time, Goo-Reum continues to mope about with her baby. She talks to the infant, telling her how Ji-O was born and promises that she’s not a monster.
Midway through the experiments, Ji-O hears his baby crying and instinctively rushes off, wires draping across the floor.
Goo-Reum stands watching, not even trying to help her child (Mum of the year, everyone) while Ji-O comes in and cradles the child, who’s on bed with an electric forcefield just like before. When the electricity fades, Goo-Reum snatches her up and tells him to leave.
With the child crying, Joong-Kwon contemplates whether she may have amnesia. To further complicate maters, the cells in Ji-O’s child are identical to his own, so this seems to back up that theory.
On the back of this, Joong-Kwon decides to shift their focus across to his daughter, experimenting on her to prevent memory blackouts like he was originally experiencing. Following Ji-O’s tumble off the roof, this may well have killed all the weak cells in his body, leaving only the strong.
After feeding this fact back to Goo-Reum, she mentions how Ji-O killed her parents and tells him to stop. He holds her hand and apologizes. Eyes turning blue, he shocks her, knocking the girl out so he can take the child and experiment on her.
After injecting himself with another syringe, Yi-Son heads out with the others to begin the operation. This brings him to the church where he sits at the back and watches the service take place. When it’s over, he shuts the door and chases after Jung-A.
Yi-Son knocks the leader down but she tells him it was Ji-O who killed Yoo-Na. Despite stabbing him in the chest, Mr Plot Armour shrugs it off and slices her across the neck.
Meanwhile, Captain Choi shows up and takes one of the guards hostage outside the church. Goo-Reum awakens from her slumber and bites her arm hard, drawing blood to lure the guards inside the room. Well, after knocking them out she grabs the baby and takes off, with no one bothering to stop her. The hairs on Ji-O’s arm stand up though as Yi-Son shows up with his goons.
Ji-O decides to fight Yi-Son with his fists. That is, until he’s knocked to the ground and then finally uses his powers. With a wire wrapped round Yi-Son’s neck, he chokes the man out while shocking him. Anyone else want to bet he’s not dead yet? Well, we get our answer later on when Yi-Son awakens and drives off. Damnit.
Goo-Reum holds Choi up at gunpoint and forces him to move. That is, until Choi saves her life. Unfortunately he takes a fatal wound to the stomach in the process though. Goo-Reum helps him outside and drives off, leaving Ji-O to watch them in the parking lot.
On the way to the hospital, Choi mentions how there’s one person he’s been hunting all this time, and that person happens to be Jung-A. He also breaks the news that Ji-O wasn’t the one who killed her parents – it was actually Cheol-Soo. He too is the one who framed her for murder. With this, he dies.
Goo-Reum snatches up her baby and takes off after parking up near a building, closing a metal grate to prevent Ji-O from finding her. She apologizes when Ji-O shows up and takes off with the child. Ji-O uses his electric powers but it’s no good, Goo-Reum is gone.
The Episode Review
Phew, what a mess. This show started so brightly all those weeks ago but somehow has turned into this melodramatic, nonsensical slog that still doesn’t know what sort of show it wants to be. This entire episode completely undoes Ji-O’s careful character work too, with him deciding to join the bad guys. Meanwhile, Goo-Reum’s lack of redeeming features continues to thwart her personality.
Ji-O’s whole deal this season has been coming to terms with who he is and his origins. There was an almost Sephiroth-like arc going on there, helped by some fascinating back and forth rapport with Goo-Reum. Unlike Final Fantasy VII’s antagonist, Ji-O was actually trying to make sense of his life and be the best version of himself.
Instead, he blindly decides to follow Joong-Kwon’s ideology and allow for his child to be experimented on. While it’s perhaps admirable that he wants to stop his child from experiencing memory loss, he should be the first one to reject this idea following how he was treated and experimented on.
Meanwhile, the minute Goo-Reum gave birth she turned into this damsel in distress with absolutely no redeeming features. Not only does she badmouth Ji-O for holding their child wrong, she does so moments after strapping a child to her back and fighting off guards.
That brings us along nicely to Mr Plot Armour, Yi-Son. We’ve joked a lot this season about how he never dies but my gosh, there are some Walking Dead levels of ridiculousness going on here. Not only does he survive a seemingly fatal knife wound to the chest, he also shrugs off being strangled and electrocuted too.
This show has fallen quite remarkably from the excellent high standards it set for itself at the start of the season. Only an electrified miracle can save this one from ending up as a disappointing piece of squandered potential. What a shame.