Who Are You Ups the Dead Boyfriend Angst in Episode 8 and Kim Jae Wook Nails It

Welcome to dead guy angst central, feel free to park your sanity gut-check and critical analysis at the door and just go with the flow. I promise Who Are You won’t drink your tears for breakfast, but it might have some for a midnight snack. How the heck does Kim Jae Wook play a character who in the present time line has one expression (sad longing) and make it feel so alive is the miracle that is good acting. Contrast that to bad actors in many a drama (who shall remained unnamed) who are required to show many expressions and end up with one that feels so dead. Taecyeon’s Gun Woo isn’t that type of acting here, he doesn’t look one-expressed and actually runs through a nice range of emotions and presentations. The problem is that Kim Jae Wook is so nuanced as to split a hair, while Taecyeon is as subtle as an elephant drinking tea at Harrods. Episode 8 swung this drama over the fence for me and I’m officially rabid for it. MOAR, GIMME MOAR! Writer Moon Ji Young, who did I Love Lee Tae Ri, is doing an increasingly competent job of doing more with not a lot. The entire mystery surrounding Hyun Joon’s death and Si On’s accident that night and her coma isn’t all that interesting.

Clearly it was a police bust undermined by internal corruption and Hyun Joon and Si On were the collateral damage. Or maybe they were the intended target and the entire bust was to take them out, it matters not because as police procedurals go this one is constructed like a kid using popsicle sticks. But WAY isn’t about the police stuff, unlike Cruel City, and is instead all about the bittersweet fact of life that people die and the living must move on. The writer dovetails the two so that if a deceased has an unfinished matter or an injustice to overturn, then Si On’s role is to make it happen. It’s needn’t be overly complex and the writer has smartly gotten better at the ghost stories, though it appears to be taking a break since the only ghost in the last two episodes have been Hyun Joon only. I love even more how the writer didn’t present the love story past of Si On and Hyun Joon linearly like we are idiots and need to see them all in love in order to emotionally connect with the present then they are divided by death. The measured reveals of their relationship is an even more effective way to make us torn between wanting Si On to find happiness again and then wanting to bawl our eyes out that it can’t be with Hyun Joon. *sniffles* This drama hurts so good.

You know, having Gun Woo around is like having a human Golden Retriever (with extra large ears). He’s comforting to have around, and is useful in bailing out Si On in a pinch, because she is one terrible police woman. But of course, when Si On looks at him with the “what am I going to do with this?” expression, it’s hard to imagine them tumbling into love (yet). But a Golden is perfect for healing and cuddling with.

I’m relieved the dead boyfriend mystery is starting to bubble to the surface for Si On. She finds the file about the death of decorated police officer Lee Hyun Joon, and then sees a picture of him receiving an police award and realizes her hot ghost apparition is dead former cop Hyun Joon. She goes to his last known address and looks in the window and sees a slew of awards and a cute little blond girl doll.

She tracks her boss Detective Choi and starts to suspect him in the death of Hyun Joon, but the slippery sneak has a sob story about how Hyun Joon was the mole and knocked him out before the whole she-bang went down so he totally was not the baddie who gunned down Hyun Joon. Riiiiight. This is terrible, he actually pins his misdeeds on a DEAD GUY. Grrrr.

Si On goes back to Hyun Joon’s house and sits outside, while he looks at her from inside the yard. Poor babies.

Gun Woo takes Si On out to get her mind off all this ghostly and mystery stuff. They head to the movies and once they go inside, we see poor Hyun Joon all distraught looking on as his still living girlfriend who doesn’t remember him or their shared past goes on a date with another man. Cut to flashback to adorable movie date scene, when he teases her that her smile is ugly therefore she is only allow to smile in private……in front of him.

Gun Woo, who really is quite a solid dude and a very considerate partner, drops Si On home. She goes in and notices a little boy doll on her TV.

Turns out to be his-and-her dolls when she and Hyun Joon were dating. He leans in for a kiss, teasing that she clearly wants to kiss since she placed the dolls kissing. Can I get a “awwwww…”

She left her phone in Gun Woo’s car and he turns around and goes back to return it to her. He teases about wanting a payment for all the effort he put in to return the phone and she one-ups him and asks if he wants a kiss from her. He’s all flustered and turns around to leave…… And then he calls her on her bluff and finally acts on his growing feelings for her by turning back and pulling her in for a kiss. The kiss is short and they pull apart, with Si On looking shocked and perturbed but she doesn’t push him away, so he leans in slowly this time and pulls her in for another kiss.

The camera pulls back and we see Hyun Joon standing a few feet away staring at the kiss. His eyes are red-rimmed, and then he averts his face because he can’t endure watching it anymore. If ghosts had guts, this ghostly spectre of male perfection just got his innards ripped out. Proverbially speaking, of course. And in case your heart wasn’t also stomped on already, let’s review it all once more below.


Who Are You Ups the Dead Boyfriend Angst in Episode 8 and Kim Jae Wook Nails It — 26 Comments

  1. KJW is rocking this role 110%… even more amazing is that 85% he is silent!!!
    That is what one would call superb acting.
    “sigh’ – His looks is getting better and better with each episode…

    Thank you Ms Koala!

  2. ugh i honestly hope that his talent is recognized more widely now and that he’ll have a lead role soon. even though he does angsty eye stares so well, i still want him to have a happy ending.

  3. Haven’t watched this episode yet, but now that it’s gone I kinda miss the ghost-of-the-week story. The show feels sapped of its energy because well, Shi On & Gun Woo are just not that interesting on their own. Well, until KJW arrived on scene that is! KJW, the most magnificently moony second lead ever 😛

  4. KJW is doing a fantastic job!!! The level of emotion he is able to show through his eyes and facial expression is just amazing. Oh how I don’t want to see his character suffer :(. I was neither loving or hating this drama when it started but I must say that it has gotten better. I think everyone is giving it there all.

  5. Oh my gaaaaaawd!!!! He’s just pure and utter perfection thrown into a pure and utterly smexy body. Why he be dead??!!

  6. I adore So Yi Hyun and love Kim Jae Wook, so there was no way in hell I wouldn’t watch this, but then I looked it up and -BANG- he’s second lead/dead boyfriend turned ghost.
    I should have been prepared for this, but I was SO NOT. Kim is doing so well I was already teary eyed seeing the adorable couple flashbacks. I mean, wasn’t it enough him being dead, a ghost and second lead, we had to watch that freaking chemistry??? GAH.
    I’m sorry but I cannot root for Taecyeon, no chance in hell.

  7. I have been watching the show since its started and I felt that each week it got better. Plus now with KJW and his character coming into the story. It just got better. He nails his performance and I like that he has to show it without words. That I like about the writing, that its consistent with the ghosts. Plus it makes it for a very challenging part.

    • Can’t imagine Taecyeon doing the sad longing look. It’d be so fail.

      KWJ needs to get a leading role STAT!! He really showed what he’s capable of here. Good for him.

  8. I’ve been waiting for Kim Jae Wook latest project and still he’s second lead. But still, the waiting is worth it because he nails it, just from face impression, no dialogue is necessary to make our heart flutter.

    Taecyeon, he seems ok but looks a bit young for the lead lady. Anyway, Who Are You is not dissapointing, be it with Kim Jae Wook or either.

    But with Kim Jae Wook, the drama looks brighter!

  9. awww… poor KJW! Can they just resurrect him so that he can be reunited with Si On. Oh you know, just a wishful thinking, since anything can happen in K-dramaland.

  10. OMG So Yi Hyun has way better chemistry with Kim Jae Wook. Just, why does he have to be a dead ghost. Taecyeon’s character is just doing nothing for me. He’s a comic relief and that’s about it.

    Sorry this question is off topic. But are you ever going to do a formal review for Cruel City?

  11. I haven’t started watching this but oh my, Kim Jae Wook looks utterly perfect in those stills! Why is this man so beautiful? Those cheekbones!!!

  12. You know, for me it wouldn’t be that sad if she at least knew about him and consciously moved on. She doesn’t KNOW about him at all.. I thought she would get her memories back this week but no luck.

    Also agree about Taecyeon.. like I said in the last post, he is a good guy and funny and all but with Hyung Joon in the vicinity, he.. fades.. ironically. Also that kiss came out of nowhere. It didn’t feel like she has fallen for him.. yet.

  13. Lol, Golden Retriever? I always see a tapir. Sorry. :/ It’s the first time I see Taecyeon and I actually like his goofiness, but tapir it is.

    KJW is soooo good, to me it’s his best performance of the things I saw with him. Guess, the girl has to die in the end to get her man. 😛

  14. I had to laugh at the Golden Retriever-with extra large ears comment, omg yes, he is just like that.
    And something that made me laugh during the episode was the message on the t-shirt the female lead was wearing: THE MOST GREATEST ….. Engrish all the way!

  15. Aahh KJW you slay me with those quiet stares of longing and conveying various emotions without speaking. Goodness he sure can act. Yup this drama does get better every episode. Koala funny you mentioned Taecyon’s extra large ears. Everytime I watch and he is on, my eyes zoom in to his ears first lol. I can’t help thinking those are huge ears, not to mention it sticks out that he reminds me of a mouse with really big ears. I glad to see that, though he has a long way to go in acting, there is some (not a lot) improvement from his previous dramas. Looking forward to see more improvement from him. Maybe the writer will write a twist and have Si On meet a doppelganger of Hyun Joon also played by KJW and end up with him (it’s Kdrama it could happen right?)

    • They need to stay away from back lighting those ears of his…bless his heart…whoever is in charge of lighting etc. needs to protect him at this point.

  16. Have to agree with everyone here. That KJW is an absolutely beautiful man! My one and only reason for watching WAY this coming weekend! Such a brooding look.

    • LOL Every time I see one of your posts I am trying to figure out when I posted before! Since my name is Darcy IRL I get confused…scared I posted to many times. 😉

  17. Isn’t there some kind of rule that the ‘first’ drama out of MS there is at least 1 shirtless scene? LOL I feel I am not in the wrong for wanting to see him shirtless (ok a little wrong, but don’t wanna be right?)He is a mystery that needs to be unwrapped at this point s’all I’m sayin’.

  18. honestly th eplot of this show is so weak, almost nothing happens but kim jae wook’s presence here is making up for all of this, I really like his performance in an this angsty role ( well I dn’t mind staring at kim jae wook regardless ) but the little flash back with the dolls was sooooo cute that I ished this were a rom com. I hope kim jae wook starts getting lead roles soon

  19. I love the title on the site called kim jae wook nails it! He is the one of a kind to nail the story. But I hate taecyeon im not his fan! I hate him! For taking the role! Actually Age doesnt matter. Because I saw couples that have different age. And They’re married to eachother. KJW is my favourite actor number 1! I would make a video of him (Pictures tho) 🙁 I will always make a video of him. Because i can remember him if he dies. Cause he’s a smoker 🙁 I dont like it! He has a sad life in the past where he wants to die like kurt cobain (Diagnose of drugs)

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