The Sins Of A Father
We’re into the home stretch now and Memories Of The Alhambra continues to weave its twists and turns with one of its most revealing episodes. While the first half of this hour episode feels a little lacklustre, focusing predominantly on Hee-Joo and Jin Woo’s blossoming relationship, the second half revitalises the drama, setting the pieces into motion for what looks to be a divisive and incredibly endearing final 4 episodes.
We begin this week with the much-discussed kiss between Jin Woo and Hee-Joo. It’s a moment that’s been coming for several months now and having finally reaching that milestone, the two begin their relationship together. These early moments of the episode do feel a little cheesy and over the top, relying on romantic tropes and Korean drama quirks to drive the narrative forward. After a few less-than-flattering remarks toward Hee-Joo’s appearance, the two share a date together, but not before the game’s servers are switched back on for a quick test. Quick enough for Jin Woo to be targeted by snipers, resulting in a high-speed chase through the streets of Korea. After narrowly escaping the game, the couple finally share dinner together where they discuss Jin Woo’s upcoming police investigation.
It’s at this point where flashbacks help align more pieces of the puzzle as we begin to make sense of The Professor’s plan and how Jin Woo’s two wives and Hyung-seok fit into the picture.
After being slapped in the face by his father, we follow Hyung-Seok in a flashback with Jin woo’s first wife Soo-Jin. It turns out Soo-Jin was having second thoughts about her relationship with Jin Woo’s colleague but an impromptu phone call from Jin Woo forces his hand. He tells him he’s marrying Soo-Jin and they’ve been romantically involved for some time now. She’s less than thrilled with this decision being made for her and the scene ends with Soo-Jin watching in horror.
You may also remember a certain scheming Yoo-Ra meeting up with Professor Cha several episodes ago. Well, this week we find out exactly what was said during their meeting together. Intent on killing two birds with one stone, they decide to work together to take down Jin Woo and his first wife.
After these revelations we return to the date between our two protagonists which is cut short by a tear-stricken Min-Joo on the phone. It turns out Sang-Bum has told Hee-Joo’s grandma all about Se-Ju’s disappearance and spilled the beans on the emails. After she collapses in shock, Hee-Joo heads to the hospital to check on her while Jin Woo heads back to attend to the distraught Min-Joo. It’s at this point where Jin Woo turns a corner as a character and begins to act a lot more selflessly than before. It’s a character arc that mirrors Good Will Hunting’s protagonist transformation from self-destructive and defensive to more inclusive of others toward the end. While the intent is clear to see, it’s also one that’s not quite been handled with the same finesse, making our protagonist come across much more arrogant and narcissistic than necessary. Still, it’s a pivotal point in this tale as we near the finish line of this Korean drama and one that really helps bring Jin Woo into a more likable state than before.
The episode ends on a very intriguing and potentially massive moment. Jin Woo confronts Professor Cha in his lecture room and after exhausting all his options, decides to prove once and for all that he’s telling the truth. The servers are switched back on, the Professor logs in and immediately joins an alliance with Jin Woo. Memories Of The Alhambra plays as crackles of lightning illuminate the panic-stricken face of Professor Cha. Hyung-Seok appears and begins walking toward his father. He raises his sword… and the screen fades to black.
This tantalising moment is only further emphasized by Hee-Joo hearing Memories Of The Alhambra too as she visits Jin Woo’s apartment. Her NPC equivalent, Emma, shows up dressed in red and the episode ends with many questions. Is Hee-Joo in the game too? Is the Professor alive? Will Jin Woo now get to complete his quest? And just where the heck is Se-Ju?
We leave this week with more questions than answers but with much of the dysfunctional familial drama now out in the open, things feel a lot more streamlined than before. If I’d have to guess, I think Se-Ju is dead. Possibly killed by the game but managing to leave behind one final quest to act as a fail-safe to kill the game server once and for all, avoiding the game ever being produced and reaching the public. Hee-Joo and Professor Cha are both in-game too and alive, perhaps following Jin Woo to Granada to finish this quest and put the game to bed for good.
Memories Of The Alhambra is one of those shows that has you talking every week about its twists and turns and its endearing mystery and unpredictability is some of the reason this show is so gripping. With 4 episodes left, how will Memories Of The Alhambra end? One thing’s for sure, there’s bound to be more twists and turns along the way in this incredibly gripping drama.