Woman: Ep 7
I feel like ever since the leukemia plot was introduced into the story, there have been plenty of worries that Woman would eventually lose steam and crash. Something felt off in episodes 4-6 even though they all had their own memorable moments, and even though I still believe Woman is a wonderful drama, I myself was also having some doubts over Woman could live up to its full potential. Maybe it’s just because of the comments or reviews that I’ve read about the last few episodes, but in general I’ve been getting some negative vibes towards the drama. Well needless to say, episode 7 has totally removed all those doubts. Episode 7 made me feel like watching Woman is really worth it. This is the episode that, after my worries over eps 4-6, made me think to myself “I am going to watch this drama all the way through ’til the end and I’m loving it.”
No no, the reason I loved this episode wasn’t just because our dear Oguri Shun/Shin got lots of screentime. 😛 But I have to say, it’s totally refreshing to finally have an episode where Koharu’s leukemia is not mentioned even ONCE. I’m really glad that we finally get to focus on Koharu’s family rather than dividing up the screentime between the mother-daughter plot and the leukemia plot.
Anyways at first I didn’t want to watch tons of Shin’s flashbacks but I actually really liked how the episode shows his story. Like Koharu, Shin also fell out with his mom at a very young age. His childhood experience sounds really familiar to the scenario in the Japanese movie “Nobody Knows” (Dare mo Shiranai)–he was left in an apartment all by himself and his mom would send him money in the mail so that he could fend for himself. She would only visit him occasionally and eventually she stopped sending him money. In other words, she neglected him. Later on Shin left his mom and cut off contact with her, only to years later finally approach her to tell her about his marriage.
Of course, the whole purpose of Shin’s telling this story to Koharu (in a letter that he wrote to her) is to encourage her to reconcile with her mom. He tells her how even though he was neglected and abandoned, he eventually found middle ground with his mother. I’m glad that the drama doesn’t make this into a pity-story in that there is no attempt to be like “oh no look at what Shin went through as a child”. Instead it’s saying, this happened in the past, but here’s how Shin faced it and moved on as an adult.
Shin’s big reconciliation scene with his mom is good in some parts, a bit borderline-cheesy in other parts. For instance, I really like how all throughout this scene, Shin’s mom doesn’t give a huge speech about how she’s sorry for neglecting Shin or how she’s really happy that Shin has a family. Usually in typical jdramas, there is a cheesy scene where the ‘bad’ character breaks down and gives a huge speech about how they’re sorry, blah blah blah. J-dramas tend to like to redeem the bad characters. In this case though, Shin’s mom doesn’t redeem herself, nor does she explain her actions in the past. But by the end of the scene, we can tell that even so, Shin and his mom have finally found common ground and that Shin has accepted his mom with a full heart.
“Everyone would tell me I was unhappy, but to me, it was just reality. I just lived.”
On the other hand though, even though Shin’s mom doesn’t get a cheesy long speech….Shin gets one. I’d say that it’s borderline-cheesy. It walks the fine line between cheesy and moving. I think this one line (that I quoted above) really saved that speech for me though. That line is so true on so many levels. Omg.
So…I obviously tend to get really emotional about Woman…especially considering the fact that, before Koharu even started reading the letter I was already tearing up and bracing myself for it. HAHA. But actually the letter is more uplifting than depressing. If anything, the letter gives Koharu some newfound hope that maybe she and her mom can also reconcile. I also like how it gives her more motivation to forgive her mom–this is not only for herself, not only for her mom..but also to finish what Shin started.
In case you haven’t noticed from my screencaps, this episode is absolutely GORGEOUS. The previous episodes were beautifully filmed as well but this was just PERFECT. OMG. There are so many lush, scenic shots with soft lighting and AHHHHHH. SO! GOOD! The majority of the episode (about Shin’s letter) is really calming and almost soothing in a way. The beautiful countryside and the mountains really give me a feeling of peace!
So after having such a hopeful and peaceful experience of the first main part of the drama, just imagine my surprise when there is a REALLY INTENSE DARK ENDING SCENE. OMGGG. After Koharu returns from her trip to Shin’s hometown, I was all LALALA THINGS ARE BRIGHTENING UP! KOHARU AND HER MOM ARE FINALLY GONNA RECONCILE! Note that all of this is intertwined with scenes where Koharu is eating a dinner that her mom made especially for her, and where Sachi is shopping for special cupcakes for the entire family. YES! THERE’S HOPE!
BUT………..THEN SHIORI RUINS IT. She reads Shin’s letter, apparently feels bad for the kids and Koharu, and then decides that now is the perfect time to confess everything to Koharu. At first I was all, oh ok. She’s finally owning up to what she did. She’s no longer hiding it from Koharu. Yay. But on a second glance, she may have ulterior motives as well. Could it be that she wants to keep Koharu from reconciling with Sachi, so she decided to drop this bombshell at just the right time?
Anyways this entire scene is so gripping. Right before it, I was freaking out over how Koharu got a cut on her foot (because her bleeding might not stop) but then this scene totally made me forget about it. OMGGGGG. Koharu’s reaction is full of pain and utter hatred and outrage towards Shiori. I seriously thought that Koharu might start strangling Shiori, but then instead she asks forcefully “WHY?” and again, “WHY?”. And when Nozomi tries to come into the room, Koharu screams at her not to come any closer. OMG. I can’t even describe these moments, but even screencapping them I felt a bit conscious..because Koharu’s hurt and anger just feels so raw, so real.
What a great cliffhanger to this episode, eh? My jaw literally dropped during the ending scene! Well it’s obvious that episode 7 has made me a happy camper! I can’t wait for ep8, but I’m guessing that the leukemia story will come back again since Koharu got a cut on her foot. T______T Urgh I just wish there were no leukemia plot so we could focus on Koharu’s family more!