Scandal Episode 21 Masterfully Executes the Intense Birth Secret Payoff

The just aired episode 21 of the weekend drama Scandal: That Very Shocking and Immoral Incident was a master class in the storytelling element called “The Payoff.” Already the drama has successfully (if not perfectly) done “The Set-up” – Good Daddy Myung Geun kidnaps Bad Daddy Tae Ha’s son in retaliation for Bad Daddy causing the death of Good Daddy’s own son. It then proceeded to an engrossing albeit protracted “Tension Building” – Good Daddy raises the real Eun Joong while Bad Daddy raises the fake Eun Joong, while Real Mommy must pretent fake Eun Joong is her son while secretly searching for real Eun Joong. Along the way, the two sides get embroiled through a construction scheme cover up and investigation, which leads right to where episode 20 left off. Bad Daddy is being investigate by his own son real Eun Joong, and he’s already pissed but gets even more angry when he believes real Eun Joong is the son of his nemesis Good Daddy. He drags Eun Joong to an empty warehouse and is about to kill him, all the while everyone has finally learned the truth and is rushing to stop this horrific filicide. Episode 21 doesn’t disappoint in the least, delivering what may be the best executed Payoff cascade of scenes I have seen in makjang K-dramas. All the intensity is there, the shock and anger and grief and blame, but there is none of the histrionics and useless exposition scenes. Instead the episode made everyone absorb the tidal wave of shock and then deal with it. Wonderfully rendered and epitomized by real Eun Joong spending the entire episode without a single line of dialogue until the very last scene. And the words he spits out “Don’t call! I told you not to call That Person!” in reference to the man who raised him Good Daddy, is just exponentially more powerful to show us how much pain and despair he’s dealing with despite his outward appearance of calm and withdrawal. I also think the OST for this drama is easily my favorite of the year so far, with the first two tracks juxtaposing rock ballad with a mellow tune. The first two were performed by male singers but the recently released third track called “Get Off” by Lee Ji Hye stands shoulder to shoulder with the awesome of the first two and together creates the musical support to bring Scandal to life. Links below to listen and download at your leisure.

I’m seriously thisclose to becoming a Kim Jae Won fangirl after this drama. I watched Can You Hear My Heart and didn’t love it and definitely didn’t love him in it. But this? This is like Koala-nip and I just want to rawr at him and hug him for being stuck between a rock and a hard place with Good Daddy kidnapper and Bad Daddy murderer. His life sucks, but he makes the most of everything and I have faith he will weather the worst birth secret EVER and come out unscathed.¬†Of course Scandal can still tank in the last third of its run, since it still needs to carefully maneuver “The Resolution” and “The Wrap-up” part of the storytelling narrative, but so far the drama really wins major thumbs up for being so restrained and unleashing the fire power only when required. Female lead Jo Yoon Hee gets props for taking a major backseat for the last ten episodes to every other major character in the drama, but it looks like her role finally integrates fully with the main action as she becomes the sole person not personally involved in the entire birth secret mess surrounding Eun Joong, ergo she’s his sole source of support that doesn’t come with strings attached.

Lee Ji Hye “Get Off”:

Click here to download from Mediafire.

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Scandal Episode 21 Masterfully Executes the Intense Birth Secret Payoff — 17 Comments

  1. I was speechless after watching ep.21 last night. This drama was really top notch … Kim Jae Won nail down the best emotion needed, anyone never had done before, you can’t help but to watch him as if you are on that situation.
    It’s so heart breaking watching the two dad coming into their senses and realizing they almost killed the precious son they wanted to protect.

  2. Thank you for this post Ms K. I don’t get to see this episode till Monday or Tuesday on Good Drama as we don’t get Drama Fever in Oz. I love KJW in this show too. He’s just great – super sensible, caring and has a quiet machismo that is not off putting. Can’t wait till next week!
    Also, the reason behind the OTP getting together is also well set up – she’s also trying to find the family that shge’s lost and she’s both looking for a child as well as her partner while he’s missing his birth mother. That doll she gave him just cements it.

  3. @ockoala , the preview for ep.22 is out on youtube ,
    you can add it on your article for more details…

    check Scandal FB page or Koreandrama.org site … the link was posted their..

    thanks for the wonderful review..

  4. This drama gets better and better. It does not disappoint like GoM does and the script is gripping coupled with well executed acting. It deserves your 2 thumbs up. Hoping that the good keeps rolling till the end.

  5. It’s the best WE drama, hands down. Ep 21 made a jump in the ratings and I’m glad for that. I like the fact that when we talk about “who’s the best/real daddy?”, there is no real clear answer to that question. A thumbs up for the 2 actors, btw.
    I hope they will stay at 36 eps & will not extend it: The pace is good & we haven’t filler scenes. Now that we have a kind of reset/restart (sans amnesia, thanks god), I’m waiting to see where the story will go. Looks like the romance will be more present.
    I don’t know if KJW had that in him from the start or if it’s related to his new married life but the gravitas and the maturity suit him very well.
    PS: I also dig that OST.

  6. Kim Jae Won was wonderful. And I was also glad that the episode was relatively light on the actors screen time so that he could get a bit of a rest for last week’s beating.

    I weight dna relatively lightly when it comes to loyalty. Humanity and kindness are more weight for me. So I don’t seen the choice between good dad and bad dad as a conundrum. It seems to me once the fog of confusion settles, it an easy choice.

  7. Whoa talk about shocking. This episode is by far the most shocking and emotionally packed episode. Stellar performances from the cast and credit also goes to the creative writers and directors. I cried for all these characters

    It is the past catching up to the present The murdering daddy, the weak kneed guilt ridden daddy, the haughty mommy all deed wrongful acts in the name of revenge and now, it is time to pay the piper and the debt now includes the children. How can the insufferably arrogant murdering JTH think that just because he was the DNA donor that Eun Joong will come back and embrace him as his father when he, JTH beat, shot and almost killed EJ and also admitted to him that he murdered a young child? YHY, how will she deal with the fact that she brought a son to replace the real son to avenge her father killed by JTH and how will MG explain the kidnapping of an innocent child to avenge his dead son?

    The children:

    There is Joo Ha who is now disenchanted with the “perfect, classy” stepmother and brokenhearted, the now unwanted, discarded fake JEJ AKA Man Bok whose neck veins are popping(must be hard for an actor to do that during the whole dinner scene) and the one who will come back from a fishing trip and shove it all in their faces, the real Eun Joong. I am at the edge of my seat waiting for the next ep to see what else will shock me.

  8. The one I feel for is fake JEJ. I hope he chooses a new name, gets the hell out of that house and sets up his own practice somewhere.

    But that would mean some self-respect…

    • Exactly, He does not need those people to give him identity. He can give it himself. Just say thank you for all you have given me and go somewhere find a good woman and set up your own family. Identity crisis solved but it is not that simple because he is still needed in the drama to complete the cycle of revenge and redemption and learn self respect …..

      • Unfortunately , it didn’t go that way… JEJ even tell his Mom that he is not even grateful for raising him up because of what happen now. He said he is not thankful at all.

        Actually, a part of me understand his feeling, but despite of the fact that he was use for revenge , they brought him up nicely, completed his education and have a promising career. He can hate them for hurting his feeling but being grateful for the good things they gave him should be considered too.

        Most people tend to ignore 100 good things just because of 1 bad thing. That is what happening to JEJ.

        I hope HEJ will take different path. His fate is much worst than JEJ … but as a person , he is much rational and sensible.

  9. I used to feel sorry for fake Eun Joong but not anymore since he was going to let the real dad kill his own son just so he could remain his son.
    He had a choice to be good or bad and he chose the latter, and with that he completely lost my sympathy. No way of redemption for him in my eyes.
    I was super happy when murderer daddy told him to call “Mr Chairman”, because I suspect Daddy knows that Fake EJ was going to let him murder his own son. That’s really cruel to me.
    And I cannot even start with how much I adore Kim Jae Won! It’s funny, because this is the 1st drama I watch of him and the guy is just an amazing actor and a real man!

    • You should watch ep.22 … It’s really heart breaking to watch Kim jae won character struggling to accept his bad fate.. He is really a strong man, it almost came to point that he wanted to end his life to get away with everything but he manage to hang on, thanks to WAM…

  10. i’m loving this drama so much, and KJW in it!!! he’s one of my faves since CYHMH
    love the ost too, so thanks for sahring. can’t wait for epi 22 with subs!!!

  11. I really just started watching this show bc I liked the older actors and figured it would give a good dose of makjang to fill the weekends. But this show has really impressed me these past few weeks and out of all the current shows I am watching it is the one I bite my nails waiting for each week. I almost wish I had just waited to marathon the entire thing.

    It amazes me how delusional Jang Tae Ha is thinking his son will just come to him. Especially after some truly unspeakable things he did in episode 22 and some things I think he has in mind for the future. I just hope they don’t take it TOO FAR with his character’s revenge or I can see it getting silly.

  12. Ep 22 was fantastic. In the beginning of the show I was mildly interested and kept watching, but now I am fully hooked and can’t wait for the next ep.
    *SPOILER* How they played out the confession of HEJ to WAM was among the best love declarations I’ve ever seen in Kdrama. Looooved it.
    Fake JEJ just breaks my heart. Hopefully, this show delivers till the end!

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