korean dramas, recaps and reviews
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Memories of the Alhambra Episode 15 Review

Hmm.

In short: EP15 is just an explanation of what went down in EP14, with minor (although key) elaboration on the game. I have the feeling that the scriptwriters do have rules in mind (I hope), but they are probably something simple and can be shown within one episode, hence they are leaving it to the finale.

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Shortest recap but probably here’s all you need to know: Jin Woo passes the Key to Heaven to Emma, who reveals that it’s actually a hidden dagger and stabs Jin Woo in the heart.

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I’m liking this slightly evil, cold look of Park Shin Hye. Maybe she can be a psychopath next time, I might love it.

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Jin Woo sees through the pop-ups that ‘Emma is deleting the bug’, and when he pushes away from her, the process halts. He eventually runs away and faints in a bathroom, gets saved by his doctor, who hides him in a hotel room and calls Professor Cha. Professor Cha comes over without telling anyone, not least Sun Ho, and Jin Woo presses Cha to reveal to the world that he orchestrated the whole Jin Woo investigation so that he can steal his daughter-in-law’s assets. It’s then revealed that Jin Woo has deduced that he’s THE bug, and Emma has to delete him (i.e Jin Woo die) in order for the game to go back to normal. Cha secretly calls for the server to be opened (since he doesn’t want to die/’fess up) around the hotel and hides in the bathroom while Jin Woo gets ambushed by NPCs. When all is quiet, Cha flees but (woohoo) the rain starts falling, and Hyung Seok appears. Who would have known that the first victim Hyung Seok claims is his dad. By the time Sun Ho figures things out, it’s too late and he only finds a dead Cha in the hotel. Jin Woo has already left to drop Emma’s car key at his house, before returning to the church. To face Emma once last time.

My thoughts:

The cutting back and forth of conversations, whilst trying to give a coherent picture of a retelling of story, does make it confusing. Yes, some people can follow seamlessly, but I can totally see why this is not for everyone.  Even the parts on Sun Ho and Professor Cha are getting too much for me. First, they had a phone call, leading to a flashback of another phone call. Next, they have a flashback of Jin Woo’s story after meeting Emma, and then a flashback within that story to Professor Cha. It is a unique style, but it really cuts the tension and that’s working against them. Rather than always stepping back to show the truth after a cliffhanger, they should try sometimes to work linearly and cut off at the cliffhanger instead. For example, showing Sun Ho’s shocked face doesn’t actually make me feel anxious or excited.

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In fact, I feel slightly annoyed knowing that they would cut away from his face for sure (thank god  though that they cut back to Emma straightaway instead of some other irrelevant filler). And see, it just doesn’t make sense that they then cut away from the heightened scene of Hyung Seok killing his father back to the present….and then back to the past again. It’s like this episode just stopped trying to make us feel excited anymore, because the entire episode is entirely one flashback. The more I think about it, the more frustrated I feel.

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One thing I think this episode did right is Professor Cha. He IS disgusting, the way he talks about how Soo Ji cannot decide whether to live or die. I guess even though I’d wished for Cha to play a pivotal role like having planned this all along, I’m okay with him just being a selfish ass as he is now, especially since the show hadn’t planned for the game’s error to be an intentional one. Kim Eui Sang is nailing the acting because Cha sure is making my skin crawl at how much of a bloody coward he is (I mean, just look at that screenshot). And at the end of the day, he is the true villain because he started it all – by creating the riff between Jin Woo and Hyung Seok, and by loving only himself and his ambition.

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Honestly, my favourite bit in this episode was Cha’s death. I LOVED how Cha thought he was smart (and indeed it was a smart idea) but that his smart idea literally came back and killed him. BEST WAY TO KILL OFF THE VILLAIN IN MY OPINION – have the coward die from his cowardice. I felt such a huge sense of satisfaction.

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Also okay, liking the poetic justice of having Hyung Seok kill his father.

Finally, I’m sorry but I think Hee Joo’s development is a done deal for me. It’s over. Now, there’s nothing wrong in REAL life being a supportive woman and just waiting/giving emotional support. The problem here is that this IS a story, a drama, and we (just me?) want to see a strong female lead who is inspiring and different. I mean, this is a crazy storyline; it’s not meant to be relatable. So why have a female lead that is for the most part, just like us? In summary, Hee Joo’s roles in the show thus far had been: creator’s sister, love interest, and the one who gives very dramatic loud gasps (sorry I kid, fans don’t kill me).

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Don’t get me wrong though – I’m not saying in any way that Hee Joo is weak. It’s precisely because I think she has the potential to be kick-ass which is why I’m even saying so much about her at all. Despite crying a bit too much for my liking, Hee Joo has shown that she can keep her head together and she doesn’t just talk, she acts. But when the world doesn’t give her any opportunity to be active, I guess she can only be the passive love interest. To give credit where it’s due, I love that she was the one who figured Emma/Key link out and that her role in the show is tied in so nicely with her loving guitar and being a tour guide. But honestly, it felt like Hee Joo was written just for that one key revelation; just to prove her worth. So that you can’t entirely refute her existence because it’s true that without her, the game wouldn’t end.

Frivolous notes/questions of the day:

  • How does Soo Jin killing herself help in anything??
  • Sang Beom is just as annoying as ever, interrogating in his nasal voice. But SO realistic. I can just imagine someone doing this in real life.
  • So Jin Woo is the bug and killing him will reset the game? But why is he the bug when the problem already started long before him? Shouldn’t Marco be the bug instead?
  • Also from an objective perspective, why should he be deleted for the game to be reset and normal? Se Joo doesn’t see Marco anymore, and surely Jin Woo can live with seeing Hyung Seok everyday than not live at all.
  • They are still not really answering the questions on the NPCs being able to kill. Is this a blanket rule that happens only after the error occurs?
  • They also haven’t answered the question of why Hyung Seok/Marco still appears despite them not wearing the lens – or is this something that we should have accepted as a fact and not question why?
  • But all things being said, I actually love the idea of a quest. Don’t many games revolve around a quest? To have the players just mindlessly level up would be somewhat of a bore in my opinion.
  • Strangely, does anyone feel stressed out watching this episode? Because I did.

The real story has as much relevance as the game of course, because we do have to be grounded to something. And we’ve also seen how the real life affects the development of the game. But at the same time, the game is crucial to the show, and therefore, everyone must be waiting for answers to the game mechanics. I’m not sure if the show handled the balance very well, especially given the way they chose to tell the story.

Last episode tomorrow!

<3thoughtsramble

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6 Comments

  1. Damaris says

    Omg is like I spoke thru you. I have the same opinion about the series the last two episodes for me is just a long recap. The main actress I like her but not in here she needed to be more independent, assertive for me the whole episode was a big mess super confusing. The only good thing was Professor Cha dead.

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  2. nurcha says

    As for me, i don’t like se ju. I dislike him from the first I watch this drama, more than hee joo friends.

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  3. Bruce says

    So how is Jin Woo the bug? I thought the bug started because Marco stabbed Se Ju in front of Emma or near her? Hopefully, it gets answered in the next episode…otherwise….this becomes a typical Korean drama where MOST KDramas always end up finishing the series with a shitty ending.

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    • Damaris says

      I agree with Bruce I thought that everything started with Marco and now he is the problem. To complicate for my liking. I think that is a problem that kdramas have jus my opinion. Let’s see what happens tomorrow

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  4. The story line is very unique. It reminded me of Dan Brown’s book, The Origin where the fusion of human and technology was mentioned. i just hope that the writers gave more thought to the development of the story and made it a little more logical and with lesser plot holes.

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