Chimera -- Episodes 11--14: Chimera: the past and the present
I like Jae Hwan as a character a lot, and it's why I sometimes find myself frustrated by the choices the writer makes for him. For a detective, and supposedly a good one, to be so dim-witted that he cannot pick up on the many clues fed to him almost seems unfair. I admit reporter Kim and Joong Yeop may have access to more information, but still with the little they've dug up, they've developed a bigger picture of the untold story, and they aren't detectives. Even Eugene frustrates me sometimes as an FBI agent, she hasn't done much to contribute to the story. I'm not sure if it's the actors in the roles or the storytelling that is crippling them. Regardless, I still enjoy this drama.
Joong Yeop is probably the strongest character in this drama. Everything he's done from the time he revealed his true identity has been about finding out the truth about his father's death, which made him dangerous to the many secrets Police Chief Bae, Assemblyman Lee Min Ki, Seoryun Group Chairman Seo Hyun Tae and his wife Lee Hwa Jung are fighting to keep. But what's most ironic is that all he wanted was to uncover the truth behind his father's death. He wasn't looking to threaten or blackmail anyone, but a guilty conscience needs no accuser, as they say.
As more of the story unfolded, the more it seemed like everyone was a suspect, even the team lead. Every character has a stake in what happened 35 years ago, whether to avenge or protect someone dear to them. And as evil as Chairman Seo, his wife, her brother, and Chief Bae are, they aren't Chimera. They're just a bunch of cowards who try to hide behind silence. But from the moment I first saw Report Kim, she bothered me, and I didn't know why exactly. Her arrogant behavior may have been a reason, but her obsession with the Chimera case made me believe there was more to her than just a curious investigative reporter. The reveal that she was Joong Yeop's sister confirmed it for me.
I think for the first time since the start of this drama, I actually felt sorry for Reporter Kim. Now that I know her story, I somewhat understood her selfishly arrogance, not that it excused her behavior. But as heinous as the crimes committed against her family were, and it was beyond atrocious, but committing such a horrid crime in the name of justice doesn't make it justifiable, even if those she condemned deserved it. And the same goes for Jae Hwan's mom. But I still cannot judge them, not because I agree with what they've done, I don't. They committed such abominable acts in their bid for revenge. I don't know what I would've done if I was in their place. I would like to think I wouldn't have made the same choices, but one can never know what they're capable of when faced with the kind of trauma they faced. The saddest part is that in their bid to enact justice, both Reporter Kim and Jae Hwan's mother committed the worst type of injustice against those they care about the most.
There are many catching performances in this drama, but the most catching is Lee Hee Joon as Lee Joong Yeop. One can tell he gives his all to his role, but the best scene to date is when he trips and falls right after he finds out Jae Hwan's mom was the Chimera of the past. The expression of pure agony when Reporter Kim finds him sprawled on the street is show stealing. He is brilliance in action. I loved that he didn't blame Jae Hwan for his mother's crimes, and respected him enough to want to tell him, rather than have him find out through the media like what Reporter Kim wanted to do. It spoke volumes about the kind of person he was versus what she had become. My heart truly hurts for both them when they find out that the persons they've been chasing all this time were right there next to them -- devastating indeed. Watch the episodes here.