It's terrific to have Kim Nam Gil (Van) on my screen again. I hadn't realized how much I missed him until I saw him. It is also good to have Sung Joon (Goong Tan) again. I last saw him in Ms. Perfect, and if you haven't seen that drama, I highly recommend you do -- a fascinating, somewhat dark, yet very compelling drama.
It was good to get the backstory on how and why things ended up so convoluted with Van and Goong Tan and ultimately Goong Tan and Won Mi Ho, not that he appreciated her much before.
The story of how two brothers with so little in common despite their shared traumatic experiences is relatable to many with siblings. Maybe not the intensity of it, even though it might be like that with some siblings. I cannot blame Goong Tan for turning into a lustfully lusting demon after being treated like an inanimate object and with such callous disregard -- and one they created, might I add. The horror of some who call themselves human beings is unimaginable. It's hard not to empathize with Goong Tan for his need to punish those who abused, used, and hurt him for so long. No one is born evil. The wicked things done to him and Van and the circumstances they were in more than contributed, but unlike Van, he chose to unleash the demon in him. It's like they say, no one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way through choice and circumstance. The latter you cannot control, but the former is a choice.
I was so profoundly touched when Van told Johan (Cha Eun-Woo) that humans can convince themselves and justify the evil they do on the "few" for the greater good of the "all." I read a quote once. "People do things in the name of good and ideals, but the world isn't that simple. So they end up doing things that aren't necessarily good. Even if they think they're doing the right thing, when viewed from a different perspective, they can look vicious and crazy." And the same can be said about Leader Jong Ryung, Goong Tan, and many others. The only difference here is that Leader Jong Ryung knew his actions were brutal and still justified them. I was touched by Won Mi Ho, especially as a teenage girl (kudos to the child actor) who so desperately wanted to do the right thing for Van and Goong Tan despite the weight of her destiny. Not only that, she accepts her fate, for it meant freeing them but only to be betrayed later on. It's so true that life is the sum of one's choices and that the decisions and choices people make or do not make, for that matter, determine the kind of life they and those around them will have.
Watch Island Part 2: episodes 7 & 8 here. There are many prophetically profound messages that Island infers as a supernatural demon-hunting fictional story, and it's why I enjoy it as much as I do; of course, it doesn't hurt to have Kim Nam Gil and, might I add, the excellent Kim Sung Oh; his acting is stealing the show right now. It so took me that I couldn't look away -- everything from how his body shook to how he spoke and moved -- what a fantastic actor he is -- I hope he has a more permeant role in this part. I cannot wait to see where things go now that we have the past to build into the future.