An Elephant and its door
Episode 8 of Mine picks up right where we left off, with devastating news about Hi-Soo. She’s lost the baby and decided she’s going to leave Hyowon no matter what. Yu-Yeon is tasked with looking after Ha-Joon for the time being.
Meanwhile, Ji-Yong talks to Jin-Ho at a bar. They discuss the chairman and his differing parental methods, leading to Ji-Yong admitting that he’s going to oust him from the company because Jin-Ho “cant carry the company on his back”.
Jin-Ho, in turn, threatens to tell Hi-Soo he deliberately brought Hye-Jin into the house. However, he’s convinced Hi-Soo wouldn’t believe him. Well, Ji-Yong tells him in order to keep his position he’ll have to kill him.
Now, through all of this Ji-Yong has no idea what’s befallen Hi-Soo. Yu-Yeon lies, telling him she’s hormonal and out the house for morning sickness. However, it takes Seo-Hyun’s interjection to really hammer that point across. Ji-Yong threatens her too, although Seo-Hyun is a tough cookie and she scoffs at the notion, telling him to take his best shot.
Elsewhere, Mr Kim returns to the mansion. After driving Hi-Soo to the hospital, he’s under strict instructions to read his contract thoroughly. While he does, Jin-Ho shows up and decides to use him to his advantage. He wants Mr Kim to spy on Ji-Yong and report back everything. If he can do that, he’ll receive a big reward.
Poor Jin-Ho though, when he heads back to see Seo-Hyun, he reveals the “shocking news” about Hye-Jin. Just like the writers though, he’s 4 episodes behind. Anyway, he eventually leaves after reconfirming that she’s not having an affair.
Seo-Hyun walks up the mansion and finds Butler Joo listening in to a conversation with SoonHye and Ji-Yong. They discuss loudly the Hye-Jun situation where Ji-Yong puts the blame on her, calling his Mother unwell. In fact, he’s going to have her tested for dementia. Seo-Hyun listens to all of this unfold and walks away in shock.
Mr Kim goes through Ji-Yong’s drawer while he’s out and finds a mobile with numerous pictures of his victims from the fights. He then feeds back what he’s found to Jin-Ho but interprets it as him being gay in a hilarious turn of events.
This bite of hilarity is soon quashed though when we cut back to Hi-Soo. She’s staying away for a week – the same length of time our elephant painter is going to make a new portrait for Seo-Hyun. Now, this whole “elephant in a narrow door” I’ll discuss in the review portion, but it’s a beautifully poetic sentiment to Seo-Hyun.
We then cut forward a week to see the finished product. Before that big reveal, Seo-Hyun receives word that Suzy Choi wants to meet with her. However, Seo-Hyun decides against this and tells her associates to find another painter as she’s not a good fit.
Hi-Soo is now a brand new person, and she eventually heads home to see Ha-joon and the gang. With Yu-Yeon working there now as a tutor, she watches as Hi-Soo keeps up the pretense that she’s pregnant to her husband. But how long can she really keep going like this?
Well, Ji-Yong continues to scheme and his impending coup to take over as President of the company draws ever-nearer. Jin-Ho is worried though and sits with Soon-Hye and Jin-Hee, spilling the truth about Hye-Jin.
On the back of this, Jin-Hee’s husband decides they should get a divorce. This obviously does not go down well with her, eventually juxtaposing nicely to the meal with Ji-Yong’s family. Hi-Soo coolly calls her husband out for his deception but does so under the pretense of innocence. He can’t quite figure out what she’s doing, chalking it up to hormones as an air of uneasiness hangs over proceedings.
Elsewhere, Soo-Hyuk sits down to dinner with A-Rim’s family and outright declares that he won’t go through with this. He humiliates the family and puts them on the spot, refusing to live with unhappiness and decides to pursue his forbidden love.
Meanwhile Butler Joo starts to suspect that Mr Kim is keeping secrets. Of course, he’s been having baths with Jin-Ho but Joo’s insistence (and bringing up the necklace again) is enough for him to cave and admit the truth about Hi-Soo’s lost baby.
With this secret out, the Chairman’s will is read out to the board as they’re about to decide on who’s going to take over the company. Before we find out the answer though, wee cut to Ji-Yong crying down by the docks. It seems like he’s lost but we’re not explicitly told.
He receives a call from Seo-Hyun who demands he come over. Hye-Jin is there and she sports a murderous look on her face. Hi-Soo shows up too and approaches Hye-Jin, shouting in her face and promising she’s not going to back down.
We then cut forward in time. Mother Emma narrates that death is inevitable as we see her stop running in the mansion that fateful night of someone’s death.
Hi-Soo awakens to find a fire extinguisher on the floor and a puddle of blood trickling away. As she sees who’s lying before her, Hi-Soo begins hyperventilating and panicking. Interspersed in the middle of this is a shot of Ha-Joon at a funeral, sporting Hye-Jin’s horseshoe necklace.
The Episode Review
With a bit more humour this time and some gorgeous production design, Mine has definitely grown and become a lot more confident in itself after a rocky opening set of chapters. The whole “mystery but not really a mystery” story felt like an unnecessary shackle over this drama and now it’s finally been given the chance to show off some of its better qualities.
Surprisingly, this episode feels a lot more light and comedic than what we’ve seen before too. Part of this comes down to Mr Kim who absolutely nails the right comedic beats along the way. The whole contract and spying on Ji-Yong lends nicely to his character and the show does a good job allowing for some levity to seep into the screenplay.
After the heavy chapter we just received yesterday, it’s perhaps needed but it also brings the focus back to the future murder we’ve been teased since the beginning.
It seems like it may well be either Hye-Jin or Ji-Yong that meets an untimely demise.. I think this necklace is a red herring to be honest, and it could well be that Hye-Jin and Hi-Soo have decided to share parental responsibilities for Ha-Joon, patching up their differences and booting Ji-Yong out the picture in the process. Of course, that’s still speculation at this point.
However, the whole elephant through the door allegory with Seo-Hyun is what really makes this chapter so beautiful. This whole concept is an allegory for Seo-Hyun’s own sexuality; the idea of an elephant being trapped in a doorway and unable to get through to the other side. That speaks of Seo-Hyun’s conflicted feelings about being a lesbian.
She’s frozen and unwilling to accept who she truly is. And yet, the elephant can just freely walk through without thinking about the wall if it wants to. “It was never confined in the first place. The wall was never there.” As Seo-Hyun smiles, she utters “I was…” and trails off. It’s easily the highlight here and a beautifully artistic way to demonstrate this.
Overall, Mine has finally won over this reviewer after some very critical thoughts early on. Shows like this are the reason I started this gig, and being proven wrong and seeing a show blossom like this is incredibly satisfying. Roll on next week for the follow-up!