Kdrama Review: Mask Ep 19-20 + Final Thoughts

Mask_(Korean_Drama)-p1

“If you wear a mask, you’ll never be happy.”

Nothing much truer. SIGH, I am so sad. After two months, this amazing drama has finally ended. I have kept the last two episodes for a few days before watching them. This is why you haven’t heard about me since the last review. Of course, it will contain SPOILERS about the last episode.

What can I say?

Besides for “Falling for Innocence”, I believe “Mask” is the only kdrama of 2015 that satisfied me in every nook and cranny. For so long since I watched “Hotel King” last year, I have searched for a drama like this: an intricated plot full of misunderstandings and con artists and manipulation. I have no idea why, but I love these traits on a kdrama because I love psychological stories. I also like makjang, and this had plenty of it.

Mask had a nice plot, intriguing characters, lies, posers, bad habits, good people… and maks, of course. The title refers to the masks we all have to put on our faces in order to live our life sometimes. It reminds me of two books I love about this argument, “The Late Mattia Pascal” and “One, Nobody, One Hundred” by Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. The mask is not only a resort for some, but also a way to start anew and put your past life behind. The masks help us hide our true emotions, help us pretend, but could we be able to live like that for the rest our lives? Can we lock up our true self in order to live in a way we don’t want but that we follow solely to get something or for the fear of showing ourselves? Mask analyzes all of this.

Mask has some stereotypical characters as the main four leads: Byun Ji Sook, a woman who wants to reach the top but she is probably too honest to do so and lies to herself that she likes her life. Choi Min Woo, a man who has everything from life but he doesn’t seem happy about it. Min Seok Hoon, a greedy man who has a face for every person he meets. Choi Mi Yeon, who has everything too, but her money can’t buy her love and affection of her husband.

MW/JS are the example of people who find very hard to lie to their loved ones and people in general. They are generous, open-minded (well MW wasn’t at first), and protect the ones they care about. For them, especially for JS, it was difficult and tough to wear a mask. She couldn’t let her real identity exposed, above all after SH made her believe she could be arrested for killing a thug. Soo Ae acted this part well and was able to show us Ji Sook’s emotions through her eyes. Even when her character was happy, she showed us a tint of sadness in her eyes. She could express the hardness of keeping it all in and distance from family. She and Joo Ji Hoon had great chemistry.

SH/MY are the ones who would do anything possible in order to cover up what they feel. Seok Hoon manipulated people and proofs of his murderous acts, lied to people and to his own wife telling that he loved her. He was too confident of the character he had created for himself, that he didn’t expect his brother-in-law and JS to stab him in the back in the same way he did to them several times. He was focused all on himself, and probably not even the real Seo Eun Ha saw who was the true Seok Hoon. Yeon Jung Hoon was superb in this role because he was fascinating but scary at the same time!!! I knew he had limits as well, and it just showed in the very end when he realized what he had done. I think Mi Yeon’s suicide woke him up from the castle of ambition and confidence in himself the he had built, and destroyed it. With his plans in ashes, he lost himself and who he thought he was because of the mask he was wearing, and I find it IC that he has only one thought in mind after all of this. He had lost several chances in his life to move on from his revenge, but he tossed them away. I was sad when Mi Yeon, who acted like the perfect wife but drowned her fears and sadness in alchol, was on the cliff. The second I saw her there, I knew it. I was sure she would jump. Mi Yeon was so confusing and at the same time, she knew what she wanted. Among all of the contradictions she showed, she desired one thing more than anything. She just wanted to be loved. She loved her husband, she loved her brother, and in some twisted ways, I am sure she also liked Ji Sook because it wasn’t her the one who had a secret relationship with her husband. Still, after his refusal to runaway together and the confession that he did all for revenge and he never loved her, she couldn’t accept moving on, because no matter how twisted it was, her husband SH was her anchor. She was aware he was telling her lies, but she lived for those lies. She needed him to tell her ‘I Love You’ and she could go on another day despite it was not real. That big lie was what kept her together all along. After all she has done to protect him and he kept on lying and lying to her, her mask broke and she finally allowed herself to decide what she thought she needed, even though it was death. Sigh, so sad. I am very sorry for her, despite I hated her at times. She didn’t deserve to die like this. Her only consolation as a character, could be that before she died, Seok Hoon realized that he cared for her when he read her letter, and he also brought her pic along with him in jail. Great acting from Yoo In Young too. This couple was really interesting and I could feel the raw emotions between them. I guess their image as a couple can be resumed well in one of their first scenes together of the first episode where they kiss each other and have a wild rendezvous. If they would have just ignited the passion, the fire wouldn’t have burnt them to ashes.

The lives of these four people in Mask intervened, and the plans of the ambitious people obviously clashed with the ones of those who just want to be happy and find their place in the world. The manipulation and the wisdom was just perfect in my opinion, and it all ended in a way I expected it to, or almost. This show has been unpredictable for most of the time, and kept me on the edge of my seat for a whole hour every week. The way things tied up was a bit fast, but it is better fast than getting nothing. I think they tried to resolve all of the issues before the last-minute of the drama, and I found them alright even tho perhaps I wanted to know more about some stories. For example, Seok Hoon’s revenge. Yes, he does tell his story to Mi Yeon, but I wanted a bit more of that. Sure, I was surprised (and not surprised) when he met his father a couple of episodes ago, and I also did tell you how I thought he wanted to break into the Choi family to get at Min Woo’s father, but maybe if there was more of that back story… anyway, it is just a small thing. Oh, and I also didn’t get one thing. After the flash forward of four years where we see Ji Sook has married Min Woo again, they already had their daughter? Because in the last scene with her, the girl is already 5-6 years old… ah, dunno! Perhaps the cut of the scene was another time jump and JS and MW are in their forties when they are with their child. We’ll never know! lol.

I found the ending of each character quite fit. Min Woo got his truth about the death of his mom, Ji Sook served her years in jail (how many for identity theft?) and they lived happily ever after in the end. I loved that they kept in touch while she was away, and he tried to get better at cooking to be the perfect hubby when she would come back. Seok Hoon was also longing to reach Mi Yeon in heaven, hell, or whatever, when he was in jail. That was his moment of “catharsis”, like every respectable evil character.

Suggested for: Melodrama lovers, Makjang lovers, Psychological drama lovers

RATING: 9.5/10

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About purplebass

hey, you! Thank you for stopping by. I'm Tweety, and I am a girl who loves writing, reading, and watching stuff on TV and write reviews about it. I currently study languages (English and Spanish) @ University here where I live in Italy. I dream to become a teacher or something more impossible, like a writer. For the moment I only write stories on my laptop and review a lot of books. Speaking of which, I'm really into YA despite I am not a teenager anymore, and if you have suggestions, I am always open to hear your book advice! :D
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5 Responses to Kdrama Review: Mask Ep 19-20 + Final Thoughts

  1. NANA says:

    Finally, i get to read your review! I was refreshing your page several times everyday since the drama ended as I want to read your perspective about this drama.

    Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed this drama. I agree with you that the theme of wearing masks was well explored throughout this drama as each of the four leads had shown it through their great acting. Many would say that JS and MW are the dumbest main leads as they allowed themselves to be cheated by SK/MY lies but I thought their characters showed us what it meant to be trusting of another person; they made themselves vulnerable. On the contrast, MY/SK wear Masks to hide their vulnerabilities and thus cannot trust anyone even themselves, i find.
    I really loved the way you interpreted MY’s character. She is too difficult to hate right? She was so well written that i felt sad that she killed herself. I could feel how dejected she was. It made me wonder, are there people like her in real life?people who Loved someone to the extent of condoning all the wrongs the other person has done. Maybe there is.
    That’s why i like this drama, though the plot seemes crazy but the themes explored are real.
    Thanks for your insights. I am so happy to find someone who also thought this drama was great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • purplebass says:

      Thank you for commenting! ^^

      I saw comments around saying that JS/MW were the dumbest characters, but I think they didn’t get their characters if they say so. These two could be strong but they were put under high stress and manipulation by the others, and they behaved as if they liked being subdued but they were just looking how to become stronger and fight this. With time, they became unaware and stabbed the evil characters in the back with the same coin… 🙂 in opposition to MY/SH who threatened freely but were also afraid to be found out. There’s a song that imo represents this drama well that says “Your words are weapons of the terrified” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=202fjZZO-tI … someone should make a fanvid with this song. 🙂

      I agree, Mi Yeon is very difficult to hate. I had a love-hate relationship with her, because she was never this nor that and it was interesting. She decided on a whim that she wanted to protect somebody or hurt them, it was her own way to try to win this ‘game’ with her husband. I think they both wanted to be loved in the end, but only by the ones they wanted. They could not accept moving on and not being loved back, this is why they felt the urge to end their lives in the end… 😦

      I don’t understand why there are always people who will find flaws on a book, movie, tvshow, etc. To me, this drama was super. Of course it had some glitches (everything has them) but one can pass foward to those details if the whole thing was enjoyable and did their job which was excite and make the viewer impatient for a new episode every week. ^^

      Like

  2. jujihoon says:

    But I was wondering, to whom did the father give the company? Not that it matters. Lol. I love this drama. Makes you feel all the emotions you can have.

    Like

  3. Jane says:

    I loved this drama, and want to mention that one of the writers wrote “secret” as well (and won an award a year before the drama was filmed).
    I can`t share your feelings for Mi Yeon, I just didn`t like her because instead of winning her husband`s love (mission perhaps imposible) she was bussy interfering with othr`s life.
    I loved Yeon Jung Hoon in this drama, in fact he is the first and only villain I liked so far in Korean dramas.

    Like

    • purplebass says:

      The problem with Mi Yeon is exactly what you wrote (in fact I had a love-hate relationship with her). Instead of taking care of her business, because she asked for love and attention, she meddled in the affairs of others. That imo lead her to her fallout at the end, because she couldn’t find the strength to get up and start anew, which is not a simple task.

      Like

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