Sunday, June 22, 2014

Gap Dong Episode 20 (FINALE) - The End is Here

Gap Dong ends with a surprisingly well done finale which was a shock after multiple episodes of insanity.  Unfortunately a descent ending does not take the bitter taste out of my mouth when I think about this train wreck of a drama.  All of the missed opportunities to create something really memorable (in a good way) is enough to make a drama aficionado cry, but regardless of what I feel about the drama, at least it is finally over.  So let's take one last walk into this world and see what we have learned.

-Things we learned from Gap Dong-
#1 The bad guys are always caught in the end
Even if it is after 20 years, 18+ murders, 1 bullet to the brain, countless inept police, crooked politicians, enabling parents, and a lot of unfortunate people who are mentally devastated by the cops investigation.  Don't you worry, the police will always get their guy.  DGD is given a death sentence and falls apart at the thought of dying.  Tae Oh on the other hand played his cards right and received a 10 year sentence in a mental institution, a much lesser sentence than was originally planned.  I guess the one who can play crazy better wins in the end.  Not only that but by giving up his Korean citizenship (he had a dual American citizenship) and is trying to get shipped overseas for treatment.
#2 All serial killers have an irrational fear of death
This show keeps forgetting it's own premise that the killers (Detective Gap Dong & Tae Oh) are psychopaths and are incapable of feelings.  Unless the writers decide otherwise, then they freak out over everything, especially the fear of their own mortality. It was one of the main flaws I had with the movie.  If the killers are meant to be soulless and scary (because let's just admit that their crimes and actions in the beginning were very very scary) then let them stay that way.  Don't try to make me empathize with them.  This show would have been greatly improved with more "who did it" rather than the prevalent "why they did it".   I have seen Halloween specials on the Disney Channel that provided with better suspense, than the second half of this drama.  And considering what a great concept they had to work with, it is just a crying shame.
#3 Once obsessed with Gap Dong, always obsessed with Gap Dong
Scary Tiger quits the department and has himself transferred to the correctional facilities where he can watch DGD 24/7 and attempt to get him to confess more crimes.  And that is how you become a sad and lonely middle aged man with no one to care for you other than your new BFF Moo Yeom.  At some point, you just got to let it go.  

#4 The only way to get closure is with a confession.
Because the fact that the guy has been convicted and sentenced to die is just not enough.  Unless you know the whys, the whole suffering in prison thing is worthless.  This relates back to the over psychoanalyzing problem the writers suffer from.  I wonder if one of them goes to an intense amount of therapy and is just projecting personal issues onto the plot.  DGD tells Moo Yeom (during yet another attempt to "understand" him) that if he helps DGD commit suicide than he will draw a map showing all the other bodies which are buried.   DGD complies but is given a simple vitamin since at least DGD can't escape his punishment that easily.

#5 All killers are not equal
Tae Oh is getting ready to depart but goes to see DGD one last time to gloat.  He reveals that he understands the point behind the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.  By letting a "captive" go he is able to retreat and pretend to go underground and disappear.  Thereby, he is free to murder in secret as long as his kills are never found, thus giving himself freedom.  DGD tells Tae Oh that there is no stopping, and Tae Oh just smiles and says "maybe".  DGD tries talking his protege into killing him (I thought he was afraid of death?), saying that one of the two of them had to die for things to be complete.  Tae Oh smiles wider and says that there is no way he is going to ruin his freedom for DGD, his ex-god and ex-hero, now that he has surpassed him by using his own brains.  Now DGD is just a loser in prison and Tae Oh is the true Gap Dong.  
I would just like to point out how great this scene was.  Letting Lee Joon's on screen charisma come out is what attracted me to the drama in the first place.  However when they stuck him in a supporting role rather than the lead, the drama began to fall apart.  The real Gap Dong was just not as good as the copycat for me.

#6 If you are hot enough, you can be forgiven anything.
Is it just me that thinks it is really really weird that all the characters are acting nonchalant and sorrowful towards Tae Oh?  He did go on a murderous rampage killing 7 innocent women.  He is a psychopath, and yet they all seem to be sorry to see him go and/or for letting him down.   Moo Yeom even calls him a "troublemaker" in a semi-favorable tone.   Dr Maria is even traveling to the US with him to be his therapist, because that just screams common sense.  Just because he has charisma does not make him any less of a killer as DGD, and yet everyone seems ready to cut him some slack.  
Oh wait, I guess taunting DGD was not the smartest thing to do since he finds another disciple in prison who just happens to be released, and has him murder poor Tae Oh thereby making sure that he is the one and only Gap Dong.  Dr Maria finds him bleeding out in front of the hospital and stays with him as he slowly dies of his wounds.  Poor Tae Oh, his character will be greatly missed, and I am just thankful that he made it til the end of the drama since his character was the only thing that made this show bearable.  By far the most poignant moment of the episode.
#7 Don't steal other people's sporks.
DGD is feeling quite tough now that he has killed off his copycat and he is the big bad in prison.  He stomps around like he owns the place, that is until he tries to steal another inmates silverware.  The poor inmate who was victimized loses it and stabs DGD in the eye with a spork (I am assuming it was a spork because that is just the funnest word to use and is a greatly unappreciated utensil).  A very undignified end to DGD who we assume eventually dies on death row.
#8 And everyone lives happily ever after
The last bit was pretty boring after the spork incident.  Just assume that everyone got their happy ending.  The drama ends with ditsy girl, Dr Maria, and Moo Yeom visiting the resting place of Tae Oh's ashes.  They send prayers for his soul and wonder if he had truly meant to stop, since this show had not stomped the psychological crap deep enough into the viewers psyche.  But I can forgive them that, since the show is now officially over!!!!!!
My Final Thoughts
I think you all understand my viewpoint about this drama pretty well after reading the last few recaps.  But just to sum it up in as few words as possible.  It had an amazing concept and the writers destroyed it with their psycho babble and bad character development and poorly planned pacing.  Is it worth watching?  Maybe if you don't mind FF some of the more boring filler, but I would only suggest it if you have literally watched almost everything else.  Save yourself the pain and watch something else.
What's next for Kmuse?
I am at an impasse when it comes to which drama I want to recap next.  There are so many options, but until I actually get an impression on the plots and writing styles, I don't want to commit.  My short list is as follows: Trot Lovers, Fated to Love You, Marriage without Love, and a distant 4th The Joseon Gunman (I think this is going to be amazing but I am worried that my recapping style could not do a Sageuk justice.).  Until I decide on my next drama be sure to check out my recaps for "King of High School" which is so far a really well written romantic comedy.

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