Monday, January 28, 2013

The Hug Scene (E18)

by Hanjae

Hug scene!

The major turning point in the public stop-that-marriage kiss and their honest heart-to-heart about Eun Soo's fear for Young's future safety had really brought their relationship to another level. It's rather revealing that Young's gone from being grudging about any skinship or hiding his affection for her behind his surliness to launching himself at Eun Soo with a hug, stating plainly that he had spent the day worried sick about her. Once again I suppose we should thank that dastardly Deok Heung for coming up with a scheme so low that Young and Eun Soo were forced to drop any pretense and move straight onto loving each other freely. Now if only all kdramas could cut past the will-they-won't-they with the OTPs lying to each other!

Also, I like the recurring image of Eun Soo waiting faithfully for his return, while Young constantly places himself on the frontline of military and political confrontations. The first instance was with Prince Gyungchang and she does the same later when she waited for him to break out of jail and flee with her to the portal. What is most noticeable to me is that her increasing love and faith in him is reflected in her reaction each time. When she waited with Gyungchang, she was in part motivated by fear for her own safety without his protection, despite her grudging trust in him. When she waited for him to break out of jail and meet her, her very vocal decision to wait for Young underlined her unshakeable faith in him, but it nevertheless belied her fear - not just for herself this time, but mainly for his safety. This time when she waited for Young to return, it was with complete faith that not only would he come back, but that he would be okay. It's interesting that these instances gradually feature situations that pose less immediate danger to Eun Soo, while Choi Young continues to march head-first into them. In effect, Eun Soo has become the symbol of a safe refuge for Young, which is something that Mae Hee could never offer him. To return to Eun Soo is to return home, and it offered Young yet another incentive to fight to stay alive.

What's even more lovely is that the image of a waiting Eun Soo is always coupled with Young turning back to look at her. It softens the blow of him turning his back and leaving her, transforming it instead into a promise to return and protect her, which is symbolized by Young turning back to look at her and smile. I believe it was the same idea when he turned back to look at her after their kiss - a sign of his love, a promise that he'll be okay and that he will return for her as he has always done. 

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