Melancholia – K-Drama Episode 8 Recap & Review

Losing Focus

Episode 8 of Melancholia begins with Seung-yoo and Yoon-soo standing alone in an abandoned library. Seung-yoo calls to have a librarian come back to let them out. Before he does, Yoon-soo tells him not to ask Si-an about her again.

She doesn’t stop thinking about Seung-yoo, however. Both of them are in and out of the library, checking out the books that connected them years ago. Seung-yoo even manages to acquire her number.

When Ms. Noh’s daughter applies for the clinic at the Sammu Academy, Yoon-soo worries that Ms. Noh will discover her identity as the clinic’s teacher.

Seung-yoo meets with the reporter who exposed Ms. Noh’s preferential treatment towards Ye-rin in the 2017 Olympiad. He gives her files he took from Ahseong so she can help him uncover more corruption.

At a meditation centre, Ji-na steals a woman’s watch. Yoon-soo is there too and notices, but doesn’t say anything. Later, the police call Ms. Noh about her daughter being a suspect. She has another breakdown because of Ji-na’s behaviour.

Seung-yoo sees Si-an at the library and asks her about Yoon-soo again. Si-an, an orphan, says she met the teacher when she was playing Janggi for money. Cops arrested her for gambling, but Yoon-soo bailed her out and has been a kind of guardian to Si-an ever since.

She also reveals it is her dream to become a mathematician like Seung-yoo. Seung-yoo invites her to be a part of his next thesis and special project: building a mathematics museum. Ms. Noh is curious as to why Seung-yoo is paying Si-an special interest.

The first assignment is to introduce a theme for an exhibit. Ji-na allows Si-an to use her laptop to work on her project.

Seung-yoo eventually takes Si-an to see Professor Ji, but he doesn’t tell Yoon-soo. When Yoon-soo finds them at the care centre, the three go out for food.

Gyu-yeong recognizes Yoon-soo at her workplace, and word reaches Seung-yoo through their circle of friends. He surprises her outside her building and gives her his card—in case she ever wants to talk about Si-an.

The time comes for the students to present their ideas for museum exhibits while a TV station broadcasts the event live. Several students and parents scoff at Si-an’s presence, wondering at how she got into this elite group of students.

When Ji-na presents her slides, everyone loves her idea of using classic board games in her exhibit. Si-an panics because Ji-an has stolen her slides. She follows up with the same presentation, leading Ms. Noh and Seung-yoo to take the two students aside.

Ms. Noh says whoever is found responsible will be kicked out of Seung-yoo’s project. She then takes Ji-na into her office and slaps her. The mother accuses Ji-na of stealing a watch. She says she can turn a blind eye to a certain extent, but she can’t ignore Ji-na’s failings if they damage the reputation of her school.

Yoon-soo watches the live broadcast. She knows it’s Ji-na who cheated. Curiously, she asks her co-worker to schedule her a meeting with Ji-na… and her mother.

Yoon-soo then leaves to go meet Seung-yoo, supposedly about the incident between Si-an and Ji-na. Outside, her ex-fiancee stops her. He’s followed her after finding out that she’s not working where he thought she was. He wants to talk to her for the first time in years. From inside, Seung-yoo tenses up as he watches this exchange. 

The Episode Review

Melancholia has an end location in sight, but it clearly doesn’t know how it’s going to get there. Each scene becomes more and more disjointed and purposeless. 

Episode 8 is driven by too many coincidences. That’s always been somewhat of a problem with Melancholia, but this episode sees random run-ins between several characters—sometimes just for the sake of a run-in, without catalyzing any other events.

Additionally, Seung-yoo’s character isn’t as relatable or admirable since the time skip. I understand that his goal is to redeem Yoon-soo’s reputation, but he is unnecessarily disrespecting all of her boundaries. He’s essentially a stalker now.

Ms. Noh’s strained relationship with her daughter adds an interesting aspect to the show. Overall, however, Melancholia seems to be losing its focus. What are your thoughts?

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You can read our full season review of Melancholia here!


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