God’s Gift–14 Days: Midway Musings

[Spoilers Ep 1 – 10]

God'sGift ep9

I started watching this show on a lark not really expecting to get involved or invested in anything new considering I was clearing my plate for Secret Love Affair. Of course, as things never go according to plan, here I am hooked on two live-watches with a growing backlog of marathons.

To be honest, this ride got off to a rocky start. The first couple of episodes felt a little disorienting. I knew the core of the drama was always going to be Soo Hyun fighting to save the life of her child, Saet Byul. I just didn’t know why another dude, and a shifty one at that, was muscling in on her story and I was getting impatient. It took about 4 episodes to get there but now I know that Dong Chan, our troubled ex-detective, is as important to this fight as is Soo Hyun.

The drama really took off once it settled around the partnership of Dong Chan and Soo Hyun on their quest to prevent Saet Byul’s murder. Once they team up, the plot surges forward relentlessly. There is very little breathing room as we hurtle from reveal to reveal, one hair-raising encounter with one murderer to the next. If you’re looking for some genuinely nail-biting cliffhangers look no further than the early-middle episodes of this drama. 

It’s been one long adrenaline rush.  The closest equivalent I can think of is last year’s Two Weeks which had a similar premise but wasn’t nearly as gritty and mysterious and as intricately plotted as this one.

But there are also moments when this drama feels like a rapidly growing snowball of barely-contained chaos rolling down a steep cliff. Everything flies by so fast that I sometimes find myself pausing midway during an episode wondering, waitaminute, how did we get here again?

Logic fails, epic conveniences, missing transitions and bad edits, are rampant too. But so far, I’m happy to ignore all that because the stakes feel really high and there’s palpable sense of danger. Everyone is a suspect and a threat to Saet Byul’s life.

But what brings me coming back for more isn’t so much the action but the tag team of Soo Hyun and Dong Chan. Soo Hyun brings an investigative mind (when she isn’t flying off the handle) and her drive, while Dong Chan brings instincts, observational skills and the brawn. Dong Chan as a character, is a bucketload of tragic, checkered past and ragged round the edges. (And Jo Seung Woo is so versatile and makes Dong Chan so appealing that I’m ready to pledge my eternal devotion to this actor.)

God's Gift Episode 9

Soo Hyun’s biggest stan, Ki Dong Chan

They both have a lot in common. Aside from having fraught family ties, I also like that their emotional states are both so unstable. Because for one thing, they’re both on edge all the time and have made some god awful decisions. God knows I love Dong Chan, and he gets extra points for adoring Soo Hyun, but let’s be honest: he shot his nephew, permanently disabling him and sent his mentally-challenged brother to death row for a murder he did not see him commit. Not to mention the anger-management issues. Seriously, Dong Chan, get some therapy!

As for Soo Hyun, I love that here is someone who is not only trying to become a better mother, but who is willing to kill to do it. That’s some pretty heavy stuff.

But here’s where I find a little time more spent in Soo Hyun’s head is seriously warranted. She almost strangled someone to death, someone who as it turns out wasn’t involved in Saet Byul’s abduction, and that doesn’t seem to weigh even the teensiest bit on her mind. In her down time, she talks about first loves and cries about her crumbling marriage, but almost taking a life has no noticeable impact on her?

We know so much more about Dong Chan than we do about her. Why is she estranged from her mother, enough to lie that she’s an orphan? If the drama can spare a few minutes for Dong Chan to sweetly serenade Saet Byul, I think it can spare a few to tell us more about the other hero of the story!

God's Gift ep 9

Which brings me to my biggest worry, which is that character motivation or development ultimately is going to be sacrificed in the name of a plot twist or another cliffhanger that may not serve a larger purpose. We saw this at the end of episode 9 where Soo Hyun gets damselled for basically no reason.

I fear we simply won’t have time to dwell on important character beats because we’re too busy chasing down red herrings or getting into fist fights enroute to uncovering yet another connection between someone and the larger conspiracy.

Which is why all complaints I’ve read about Soo Hyun being too reckless, or Saet Byul being too obstinate or unrealistically desensitised to strangers, feel rather pointless. It’s obvious why they’re written that way–because something bad needs to happen! And Dong Chan needs to fill his quota of ass kicking! Not that I’m complaining too much when the ass kicking looks as exquisite as this rain-soaked roof-top beatdown:

god's gift 14 days episode 9

Also, I do hope that what seems to be an overarching theme of mothers striving to redeem themselves for their children and vice versa gets explored a little more. There seem to be a lot of pained mothers and daughters and estranged sons here. Let’s hope this drama does right by them.

For now, this is a thrilling roller coaster ride that I don’t want to get off.




14 thoughts on “God’s Gift–14 Days: Midway Musings

  1. exactly….whenever I watch this show, I always pause at least once and then think about everything that happened till then and then after summing up the theories with an “okayyy”, I proceed…LOL 😀
    But I’m totally LOVING the drama….I love the teamwork they do to investigate and find clues ….and then come to conclusions (it is actually clicking all the right buttons for a mystery-loving fan like me)…even if they are very filmy or need suspension of disbelief….
    and I love Dong Chan…. 🙂
    Also, this is what we call a fast-paced action thriller….we have no time to breathe!!!


    • I know, it ticks off all the right boxes, and in a genre like this you kinda have to have a healthy suspension of disbelief anyway! Yes, where’s the Dong Chan fanclub at? I wanna join! Jo Seung Woo has such good comic timing too. The latest episode, he really nailed that scene when they meet Snake’s fan, when he turns and says, “he’s weird” totally cracked me up!!


      • Oh he is such a natural and effortless actor!! all the comic bits thrown here and there in the drama are simply awesome 🙂
        I think most of the international viewers were not so much aware of JSW before as he didn’t appear in any TV drama before 2012-13 and so now they are seeing how brilliant he is….DB did a podcast recently about him but I’ve yet to download it….I’m actually not well right now….the heat has shown its effect on me… 😦


      • Oh no is it summer already in India?? I know those are deadly hot. Hope you feel better soon!
        I haven’t gotten round to the latest podcast yet though, but did they sing his praises? I’ll bet he’s a household name in ROK, but even if the drama goes off the rails, I’ll be happy I watched it if only coz I discovered JSW!!


      • Yes….it’s only April and it has become reallllyyy hot here…I’m feeling much better today 🙂

        I already knew JSW since his movie The Classic was the second Korean thing I watched (after My Little Bride and before discovering dramas)…and liked him a lot…but then kind of forgot about him after I got into Kdramas and its actors 😉

        So GG 14 Days was a good reminder of how amazing he is!!

        I haven’t listened the podcast yet but the description says they talked about his acting and popularity in ROK 😀


  2. I watched the first episode and thought “eh…” but after reading this you give me hope to start again! I actually love procedurals too so this sounds really good. Cheers


    • Heh that was me and 3 Days which put me to sleep before the first ep ended. This one though, from ep 3 onwards you won’t be able to catch a breath!


  3. Despite the few question marks and my brief confusion in ep 10, I am really enjoying the kickassness of team Soo Hyun and Dong Chan. Especially Dong Chan. And the sprinkle of antics throughout is also another plus.


    • The levity is definitely a plus point for me, and I think the show found the right balance after a rocky start. And by levity, I mean Dong Chan, amirite ;D?


      • Indeedy, Dong Chan always catches me off guard. I’ll be concentrating so hard on what’s happening and then out of nowhere I’ll just start giggling. 🙂 Jo Seung Woo is really showing off his theatre roots.


      • I know! Seriously, I’m not sure how the drama is able to strike that balance so well, but it has a lot to do with Jo Seung Woo’s chops. He’s so versatile, he can switch from badass to clown in a flash and make it seem completely natural. And his minions kill me too–Jenny! And the other guy who always complains but does whatever he says anyway! Same with Ho Gak who keeps insisting he’ll get fired. I guess no one can resist Ki Dong Chan eh ;P


      • Even Heidi the fanboy joined the party… I was in stitches. And that saturi, lemme just stop now before my thirst shows.


      • THE FANBOY!!! Possibly my fave cameo character! He tries to hide the map which is RIGHT THERE. And that moment where JSW waits a beat, then turns to LBY and says, “He’s weird” was just..I can’t. I flopped like a fish on the ground.


  4. Pingback: The OCDrama Digest 8th -14th April: Black Day Edition | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder

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