Memories Of The Alhambra Season 1 Episode 11 Impressions


The Downfall Of Jin Woo

After last week’s episode it was always going to be interesting to see what direction the show took going forward. With numerous questions around the game left unanswered, Episode 11 shifts the focus back to Korea and in particular the fate of Jin Woo. The quest has been an overwhelming failure and the consequences of our hero failing are felt both sides of the world as Jin Woo comes to terms with his actions.

We left our protagonist in the depths of the Alhambran dungeons last week and Episode 11 picks up right where we left off. The lights in the tunnel happened to be security who save Jin Woo just in the nick of time from a hungry mob of zombies in-game. After a particularly emotional and awkward moment in the Granada hospital, the various members of our cast head back to Korea. It’s here where the attention turns to the fate of J One Holdings in light of the news around Jeong-Hun’s death.

Like a shark that smells blood, Professor Cha swoops in to do damage control, urging the board to cut ties with Jin Woo as CEO of the company and instill Park Son-Ho in his stead. To add insult to injury, the Professor aims to re-open the case around his son’s death, with the focus squarely on Jin Woo’s exhausted shoulders. This results in the downfall of Jin Woo who descends further into a depressive state the longer this charade goes on.

It’s at this point where Hee-Joo enters the scene, determined to stick by Jin Woo and help him through this dark time. After dismissing her numerous times, she defiantly sticks around, proclaiming it’s her birthday and reminding Jin Woo he ruined her birthday last year. After some convincing, they share dinner together before finally engaging in an intimate moment in the rain following an ominous and spine-chilling message from the new CEO of J One Holdings.

This defining rain-soaked moment is likely to divide opinion among many fans watching the show. On the one hand, this has been coming for many episodes now but on the other hand, it still feels a bit sudden and anticlimactic, given the circumstances. Personally, the untimely nature of this mirrors the dysfunctional relationship and numerous ups and downs these characters have shared over the weeks. In a way, it feels similar to the bond two people feel following trauma or a shared experience in something extraordinary. In that respect, it’s a welcome inclusion and what a moment it is.

On reflection, it would have been nice to see some more spunk and confidence from Hee-Joo leading up to this moment, especially given the tenacity her character had early on during the show’s opening episodes. These past 2 or 3 weeks seem to have ignored this somewhat in favour of a more emotionally dependent Hee-Joo, complete with a torn state of mind over Jin Woo.

With 5 more episodes left in the season, things are starting to take shape going forward but despite the 60+ minute run time for each episode it still seems unclear where the finish line is likely to be. The previews for tomorrow certainly help, showing a key plot development that may just turn the tables back in Jin Woo’s favour again. Who’s to say though, Memories Of The Alhambra has been such a thrilling rollercoaster ride, I can’t predict where the show is likely to go next. It’s partly why this Korean drama is so endearing. Although the romance angle does feel a little contrived, perhaps this is the kick needed to jump start Hee-Joo into some serious character progression.

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