It’s All About Emma
On the 2nd December 2018, I watched the first episode of Memories Of The Alhambra on my morning commute. It was bitterly cold and my fingers were freezing while I held my phone watching the drama unfold. I barely noticed the conductor asking for my ticket when I boarded the train either and from that moment onward I was hooked. As this Korean drama draws ever nearer to the finish line, crucial pieces of the puzzle come together this week with answers given to some of the burning questions hanging over the series. While the episode itself is far less action-orientated than what we’ve seen before, the reliance on flashbacks this time around is actually a welcome inclusion given the knowledge we acquire going forward.
The episode opens with Jin Woo enjoying a fresh Subway. After a cheeky bit of product placement, lead programmer Yang-Joo casually mentions to his boss that he never deleted Emma’s avatar. Aside from a personal investment with the NPC, it turns out duels cannot take place within 20 meters of her presence, hence her placement inside the cafe in Granada. It’s at this point where Jin Woo reflects on Se-Ju’s involvement with Emma and just how important she may prove to be to the whole tale and solving just where Se-Ju may be.
After a shocking flashback that shows the extent Se-Ju’s partner Marco was willing to go to secure this deal, we cut back to Professor Cha and Jin Woo inside the college halls. If there’s one thing Memories Of The Alhambra has been a little sloppy with it’s the editing and the constant time jumps are at times unnecessarily confusing. Still, it’s at this point where the Professor comes to the realization that Jin Woo was telling the truth the whole time and after a scramble out the school building, the Professor retreats to his house outside Seoul to reflect on what’s transpired. Pandora’s box has well and truly been opened now and given Jin Woo’s absence from the police hearing earlier in the day, this certainly bodes bad news for our protagonist.
After almost 30 minutes without her inclusion, the lovable Hee-Joo decides to take matters into her own hands and find where Jin Woo is hiding out. After logging in to the game itself, she follows a winding trail throughout the twilight beauty of Korea’s streets before reuniting with her boyfriend at a restaurant. The pleasantries are short lived though as an enemy appears, which Jin Woo makes quick work of. Demanding she log out of the game immediately, the couple then share dinner together while trying to ignore the onlookers taking pictures and whispering.
A questionable bout of crying is the one hiccup in the whole episode if I’m honest but thankfully this is short lived. What follows from here though is a very important piece of exposition, shedding light on the history of the Alhambran Palace and just what the significance is between this and Emma. As Jin Woo begins to put the pieces together, we’re graced by another Se-Ju flashback, this time showing Marcus and Se-Ju in a gunfight before an ominous phone call with Hyung-Seok. Understanding how to finish the quest, Jin Woo’s tracks are then halted thanks to the incredibly beautiful and cunning Yu-Ra who’s seemingly sent an entire police force after him.
While Memories Of The Alhambra has been an admittedly slow ride to this point, it’s not been without its massive high points. The thankful inclusion of meaningful answers this week is a really welcome addition and seeing Professor Cha repenting on his scheme leaves me a little too satisfied fore my own good. Jin Woo and Hee-Joo’s romance thankfully takes a backseat during the episode too which really helps drive the narrative forward and push her character back into the more empowering role she portrayed early on in the series. It’s been quite the ride over the past 7 weeks but we’re nearly there now. What will the final 3 episodes bring? Feel free to let me know your predictions for the end in the comments!