This is a two-part piece. I wrote the first part yesterday – Episodes 10 through 12 – and just finished the remaining four episode’s review now. So, you will see an obvious difference in the styles.
Episode 10 through 12:
It is revealed that Joon-hee is the real killer of Dong-wook. He has put up with being a “dog” of Hermia and the years of ridicule because his father was a lowly security guard. When Dong-wook told him [Joon-hee] to either turn himself in or be brought in by Dong-wook, Joon-hee chose to eliminate the problem.
Joon-hee’s father sees what happens from the woods near the road where Dong-wook was hit.
The suspect from earlier, the same man who quit the company right before the unauthorized ingredients issue, comes across Joon-hee in the road. Joon-hee convinces the man to not help Dong-wook with promises to support the man’s family.
After Joon-hee and the man leave, Joon-hee’s father takes Dong-wook’s cell phone.
Due to guilt, Joon-hee’s father takes his life in order to protect his son. He lies in his will to cover for Joon-hee. Dong-wook’s father is given Dong-wook’s cell phone and the lie is told to him.
Soon-jung tells Joon-hee that they can not be friends anymore after finding out about his father supposedly killing Dong-wook. Soon-jung is devastated. This probably will fuel his vendetta against Min-ho and Hermia.
Joon-hee is now an official member of Gold Partners. Gold Partners have bought out a supplier for Hermia so now Hermia is in trouble if they don’t produce the new product on time. Also, the FDA is being very particular with Hermia so more troubles await the company.
Joon-hee hires someone to dig up all of Min-ho’s dirty secrets to accelerate Min-ho’s fall from grace.
Joon-hee gets production stopped for the new product and then has Gold Partners come to get Hermia in trouble for not making the new product. Joon-hee is a very, very vindictive man. A board of directors meeting is called. Hermia is given the choice to either pay off the loans in two weeks or give over the rights to the new product to Gold Partners.
Joon-hee pulls the same stunt that Min-ho did and has Soon-jung become his secretary. She manages to get out of it, though. Joon-hee swears to make her and Min-ho suffer.
After Joon-hee sees Soon-jung and Min-ho on the stairs near Soon-Jung’s home, he has a false report of pesticides levied against the new supplier for Hermia’s new product. This further complicates the production of Hermia’s new product. Joon-hee is becoming increasingly more aggressive in his crusade against Min-ho and now, Soon-jung. As Min-ho had said to Joon-hee, Joon-hee is becoming a monster because of his love for Soon-jung.
Joon-hee finds out that Dong-wook is Min-ho’s heart donor. This makes him very happy because if Soon-jung knows, she will most likely hate Min-ho.
Joon-hee’s cruelty knows no bounds and Hermia is falling apart at the seams. Joon-hee will not stop until Min-ho, Hermia, and Soon-jung are destroyed. Without new investors, Hermia is finished.
With a stroke of fate, a Mrs. Jang – a very wealthy woman who makes and sells gruel – invests in Hermia, saving the company. Min Ho’s father was a regular customer of hers. His father actually saved Mrs. Jang and her son from ruination. Her investment was to return the kindness Min-ho’s father showed her.
Min-ho sees Joon-hee’s wristwatch when they run into each other in the men’s washroom. Joon-hee’s wristwatch is identical to the one that Min-ho sees in his visions of Dong-wook’s death. Min-ho vows to investigate Dong-wook’s death completely and prove that it was Joon-hee that ran over Dong-wook.
Joon-hee contacts a prosecutor to get Min-ho in trouble for finding out the identify of his heart donor. Min-ho is taken to a police station and questioned. Joon-hee finds Soon-jung and tells her to go to a specific police station – the very one that Min-ho is being questioned currently. As Soon-jung is about to approach Min-ho, she overhears the detective say that Dong-wook is Min-ho’s heart donor.
Episodes 13-16 (finale):
As I’ve watched the final four episodes, I am taken aback at how well the writers have written the drama without it becoming excruciating as some other series usually are. The antagonist, is obviously full of rage, hatred, and pure malevolence. The protagonists struggle and fight on to the best of their abilities. But, there isn’t excessive drama to, so to speak, “pad” the episodes. The drama goes at a good pace without becoming overwhelming.
This may also be because there were only sixteen episodes instead of at least twenty like many other series. I find that when there are a lot of episodes, writers are forced to ramp up the drama and to create more drama than necessary to fill the episodes. I am thankful that this isn’t the case for “Beating Again”.
But, getting back to my main point:
Joon-hee is a most dedicated bad guy. He is creative in his ways to undermine Hermia and Min-ho and never gives up when he is presented with difficulties. This relentless “hounding” impresses me because it’s never too over-the-top and is rather structured. I’ve always admired an intelligent antagonist.
Min-ho had made such a turn-around with his behavior that it did take me by surprise many times. Without the vendetta against his uncle, the hate-filled persona he once had now is a childish, but hopeful one. He occasionally pulls shenanigans that are unethical and yes, illegal, but these actions are driven by compassion. I can’t help but to want to hug him at times.
Soon-jung has had the hardest time of all. Dealing with the loss of Dong-wook, the erratic behavior of Min-ho’s, Joon-hee’s sociopathic schemes, and the everyday stresses of a job at a major corporation has taken its toll on her. Her feelings are constantly tested and torn asunder with every new development in the company as well as the situations with the people around her. How much pain and suffering can a person take before it all becomes too much?
Min-ho and Soon-jung’s relationship has been a tumultuous roller coaster throughout the series. They hated one another, tolerated one another, and eventually fell in love. Soon-jung’s feelings were tested when she found out about Min-ho being the recipient of Dong-wook’s heart. She wanted to leave everything behind and start afresh. But, even though she left him, Min-ho had done all that he could so that she would be happy.
In a small way, Min-ho had grown up.
When Min-ho was assaulted by the mafia men that Joon-hee hired to retrieve the memory card containing incriminating evidence, the event drew Soon-jung back to Min-ho. Seeing him assaulted in front of her made her realize how important he was to her. She had no choice other than to move forward at his side and face the oncoming onslaught of legal issues along with Min-ho.
Their journey became further complicated when the doctors find out that Dong-wook’s heart was being rejected by Min-ho’s body. Organ rejection leads to death in the transplant patient. Was the heart transplant merely a small time extension for Min-ho to right his wrongs against Hermia? Had fate given him a second chance to die with dignity and honor instead of disgrace and filled with spite?
Min-ho lost the position of CEO as Joon-hee’s plans came to fruition. Joon-hee took over as the CEO and legal manager. Hermia’s fate seemed to be sealed just as Min-ho’s.
Team Peter Pan (Detective Na, Min-ho, and Woo-sik) trick Joon-hee to come out into the parking lot while Soon-jung searches for the watch that has Dong-wook’s blood on it. She found it and was nearly caught by Joon-hee. Hope had begun to be restored for getting justice for Dong-wook. Joon-hee is then arrested for murdering Dong-wook.
As a final act of atonement, Min-ho exposed all the misdeeds of Gold Partners in the act of destroying Hermia, including his own actions. However, Gold Partners has dumped all the blame for their actions on Joon-hee. Due to Min-ho’s declining health, he was given a short jail time and some probation.
Detective Na and Woo-sik’s amusing relationship finally matures into one of love at the end of the series. I was rooting for them the entire time as they seemed so cute together. I can’t stop laughing that “Wendy” and “Tinkerbell” are dating and getting married.
Hermia had been miraculously saved and the employees have begun to live their lives without the fear of losing their jobs. Prosperity has returned to the company and the people. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the series while wondering if Hermia would survive. I am glad that it wasn’t a bittersweet ending.
As we prepared ourselves for the passing of Min-ho, we are surprised by him reappearing again at Detective Na and Woo-sik’s engagement party. He looks healthier and is full of life. He is still working with Hermia and is helping to expand business. I believe that his father would be very proud of him. I know that Soon-jung is.
And, thus concludes “Beating Again”. I am grateful for Andrea’s suggestion to watch it. It was full of laughter, suspense, hope, and joy. If you like watching a K-Drama Lite (as I’m calling it), then I wholeheartedly recommend this series to you.
Final Thoughts: I had failed to mention how amused I was by the Peter Pan references throughout the series. I cracked up every time that Detective Na, Min-ho, and Woo-sik would refer to themselves with the character names – Wendy, Captain Hook, and Tinkerbell, respectively. It was something very cute to hear.