Surprises, Shocks & Secrets
The end of the third episode of Memories Of The Alhambra signaled a significant change in tone for the remainder of the series. Following the shocking reveal of Hyung-Seok’s dead body, it was perhaps inevitable then that Memories Of The Alhambra would adopt a darker tone going forward. While there’s still pockets of humour here and there, the fourth episode signals a real change in tone for the series and boy does it enhance this augmented reality drama. Despite a slow opening, the episode builds layers upon layers of mystery and surprises, ending on another cliffhanger, this one more shocking than what’s come before.
Episode 4 begins on a somewhat light tone with Hee-joo. Overcome with joy and enjoying her newfound wealth, everything seems to be falling into place for her. While contemplating buying a new guitar to get back into her lifelong dreams of being a musician, the surprise return of Jin-Woo sees her abandon this idea, at least for now. Jin-Woo is a very different character this time around and his strained and exasperated mannerisms is something we haven’t seen a whole lot of in the show up to this point. After an unpleasant trip to see his ex-wife, Jin-Woo starts looking into the cause of death given the mysterious circumstances surrounding Hyung-Soek’s death. What he finds is a dark and shocking twist to this augmented tale that sees the puzzle pieces all start to align as the ugly truth is revealed.
Without giving too much away, this episode really starts giving us some meaningful answers to the questions raised over the past few episodes. There’s still enough of a mystery open to keep you coming back for more but the probable cause of death for Hyung-Seok is revealed, as well as the nasty ramifications that causes for Jin-Woo and the future of the game. All of this builds toward a frantic final fifteen minutes or so that leaves the door wide open for the next episode.
Before this episode the tone of the series has very much kept a steady balance between comedy and drama. It’s worked well too, setting the scene and helping us empathise and warm to each of the characters in a meaningful way. Episode 4 shifts the focus to a much more tense and serious drama, one leaning heavily toward crime mystery vibes while keeping the augmented reality an ever-present part of the show. While some may lament this change in focus, it actually works very well, giving an emotional and shocking episode full of twists and turns.
If you’ve been on board with the show so far, the fourth episode is the best this season has produced so far. Korean dramas have always had a knack for delivering compelling and engrossing stories and Memories Of The Alhambra is no exception. Don’t be fooled by the lighthearted opening – this fourth episode is one heck of a rollercoaster ride and one that’s left this reviewer incredibly excited for the next episode. With many questions hanging over the fate of the characters at the end of this 66 minute episode, Memories Of The Alhambra looks set to be one of this year’s biggest surprises. One that can hopefully keep this momentum going through to the new year and 2019.