The Road: The Tragedy of One is a mystery drama about a tragic incident that takes place one rainy night – the silence and cover-up that ensue, which gives rise to many entangled secrets, leaving further tragedies in its wake. I was drawn to this drama for its ensemble cast of talent, experience, and legends. A drama starring Ji Jin Hee as Baek Soo Hyun, Korea’s most trusted anchor, famous for only speaking the truth even amidst pressure from powerful forces who would want to miss that, not me. A lot is happening with this drama, so much information that it feels complicated at times yet quite gripping. It reminds me of Tower of Babel.
From his very first scene, it's clear that Soo Hyun wants to be a man of integrity on second thought that he believed himself to be one, but it immediately left me with the feeling he was a man with a secret, one he would do anything to remain hidden. It's also a great treat, having Yoon Se Ah as Soo Hyun's wife, Seo Eun Soo, a chaebol heiress, and a popular miniature artist who, despite having everything, seems anxious somehow. Not sure if her being the daughter of Seo Gi Tae (Chun Ho Jin), the chairman of one of Korea’s biggest conglomerates who doesn't seem to be afraid to weld his wealth and power to get what he wants, has something to do with it or if her husband is the reason for it. On the other hand, Kim Hye Eun plays Cha Seo Young, a news anchor who seems to have a perfect life, great education, job, family, and children but is never satisfied, always seeking more, which is well represented from her very first scene.
The opening scene of The Road: The Tragedy of One is beautiful; the cinematography alone is amazing, the color palettes, the directing, and editing, acting just awing. The hunting scene alone set up the tone of the drama and the power struggle of what's to come. It might be too soon to tell, but I could immediately tell from the first few minutes of the series that the central elements of the drama will be about humanity and the control they let the immorality of power and greed have on them.
At the onset of the series Baek Soo Hyun and Seo Eun Soo seem to have it all: elegance, privilege, a happy family, a son that means the world to the both of them. Baek Soo Hyun's interaction with his father-in-law Seo Gi Tae in the opening scene, though alludes to tension and undercurrent bubbling under the surface mixed with secrets and covers up if exposed, would change the course of the artificial and tiring lives of the affluent residents of Royal The Hill, a luxury estate. I am always astounded by what people will give up for money. And this drama depicts it perfectly, including the expectation of the head of a conglomerate that expects, no more like demands the family to cover up the truth to save face rather than live with integrity and reveal it—the value of ambition over conviction, the hypocrisy of it all but the worse is not realizing the difference or even caring.
It's not the steps the head of a conglomerate takes that are shocking but who he does it to; the extent he and those associated with him were willing to go to cover up their greed and corruption, even using his grandson's kidnapping to shut Bae Soo Hyun from uncovering his truth. I wonder if he knew that Choi Jun Young was Soo Hyun and Seo Young’s son. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he did and if so, it would make sense that he would kidnap Kyung Sook's real son and murder him. He is more than capable of it.
Everybody from Chairman Seo Gi Tae to his completely screwed up and greedy wife Bae Kyung Sook (Kang Kyung Hun) to Cha Seo Young, her husband Choi Nam Gyu (Ahn Nae Sang), his weird daughter and friend/boyfriend to National Assemblyman Hwang Tae Seop (Kim Roe Ha) and his wife Yang Sung Ja (Ha Min) to Oh Jang Ho (Kang Tae Sung) Soo Hyun's super weird brother and Baek Yeon Woo's birth father and even Seo Eun Soo, each one of them, in one way or another, seems to be a driving force into how things unfold in Bae Kyung Sook's life and the lives of the people around them. Nobody is normal, happy, or even like each other, despite living such luxurious lives. They are all extraordinary, which makes them all suspects as far as I am concerned, but the one that bothers me the most is Seo Eun Soo; there's something off about her, and maybe she seemed strange because she knew the dead boy was her husband's son.
Not a single person in this drama is trustworthy, not Chairman Seo's second-hand man Jo Moon Do (Hyun Woo Sung), who seems to be having an affair with his wife. I am willing to bet he already knows and doesn't care much, and neither is Kyung Sook's boss Kwon Yeo Jin (Baek Ji Won). As big a tragedy as the kidnapping and ultimate murder of a little boy is, everybody appears to be acting super weird, which makes them all suspects as far as I am concerned, but the ones that bother me the most are Seo Eun Soo and Soo Hyun's brother.
And now, with the number one whistleblower suspect and scapegoat Yoon Dong Pil (Lee Jong Hyuk) murdered, the cat and mouse game of who wins the cover-up versus the revelation of truths begins. Right now, it looks like the only person with an invested interest in finding out the truth is Soo Hyun and maybe his Detective friend Shim Seok Hoon (Kim Sung Soo). Not even Cha Seo Young or Choi Nam Gyu seem interested, nor do they look like grieving parents. I totally understand and appreciate that grief is not the same for everyone and that people deal with loss differently, but their reaction and how they're using their grief as a stepping stone for what they want bothers me about them. I'm not sure if Cha Seo Young grieves the loss of a son or the loss of Soo Hyun; whatever it is, she is not acting rationally, but then neither is anyone else in this drama like I said already. Watch episodes 1 & 2 here.