Voice 4 -- Episodes 13 & 14 (final): Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect
The more I watch Lee Kyu Hyung as Dong Bang Min, the more complicated and terribly sick man detached from himself and his emotions tormented. I am awed at his brilliance and talent as an actor by the burden of three separate and distinctly real personalities. As much as I pity the boy that needed to develop all those personalities to survive as much as I agree with Detective Jo Dong Bang Min committed while taking advantage of vulnerable children. I want to say Detective Jo was wrong for beating up Dong Bang Min and but I'm not. It's a perfectly natural reaction to finally coming face to face with the man who murdered his sister in the horrific way that he did just because he could.
As they say, man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved him. More than anything, though, it's Dong Bang Min and his grandfather, or should I say father's relationship, that unnerved me the most in this episode. To find out why Dong Bang Heon Yu (Jang Hang Sun) abused Bang Min and his mother for as long as he did was disgusting. In the end, he was nothing but a disgusting narcissist who coveted his son's wife and is Bang Min's father and not his grandfather. That a family member drove his own to such desperation that they believed in and justified their actions as salvation for the world is what makes Bang Min and others like him so heartwrenching to watch and accept.
As Peter Walker said, perfectionism is the unparalleled defense for emotionally abandoned children. The existential unattainability of perfection saves the child from giving up unless or until scant success forces him to retreat into the depression of a dissociative disorder or launches him hyperactively into an incipient conduct disorder. Perfectionism also provides a sense of meaning and direction for the powerless and unsupported child. In the guise of self-control, striving to be perfect offers a simulacrum of a sense of control. Self-control is also safer to pursue because abandoning parents typically reserve their severest punishment for children who are vocal about their negligence.
I wasn't ready for Voice 4's end; this season was different than the others, it felt more personal, which is why I enjoyed it as much as I did and came out with much more appreciation for all the actors but especially Lee Ha Na in her steadfast, continued calm, supportive and balanced depiction of the Golden Team and Emergency Center Director for the run of the seasons, Song Seung Heon as the calm, clever, and extremely focused Derek Jo, Baek Sung Hyun as the tormented Shim Dae Shik with a second chance at redeeming himself, which he more than does and very bravely. But mainly, I admired how the show depicted all of Bang Min's personalities as came to realize what he had become in his desperate bid to survive his nightmare.
I loved this season's cases and stories despite some of them being hard to watch at times, but I liked the message each story left behind more. I commend the writer for depicting such heartwrenching true event stories and the director for bringing them to life. Still, the actor that shone the brightest without a doubt is Lee Kyu Hyung as a villain tormented by self-hate but more the need to survive in a world devoid of love or appreciation. A job well done all around. I liked the drama's choices and the awareness it tries to bring on the importance of the family unit, the damage of abuse and neglect. The devastating and long-lasting detrimental effects it has on children and society alike. Just as a family can be everything for some, they can be hell on earth for others.
The message I am left with here is that although the physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences of child abuse and neglect weigh more heavily on the shoulders of the children who experience it, the impact of maltreatment does not end there. Society pays the price both directly and indirectly, and that covering up such issues under the guise of protecting one's family harms more than helps. It is in the best interest of the families in particular and the communities as a whole to act to stem the effects of such abuses and, rather than find fault with the abused, support them and provide families and communities with the tools to stop maltreatment before it occurs and mitigate intergenerational impacts. To this, I say thank you to the production team.
Now that the Circus Man's journey has come to an end, I look forward to a new journey into Kang Kwon Joo's superhuman hearing abilities. I can't wait to see what else the Voice series has in store. Watch episodes 13 & 14 here. Kang Seung Yoon - Your Voice