…In Translation

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
Married people never talk anymore

In the next shot, we see that ruining a romantic dinner is the least of Jin's concerns. Mr. Paik is glowering at him. Somewhere in Calabasas, California, Nick Lachey has a flashback and begins rocking back and forth on his couch. The upshot of the Jin/Papa Paik conversation: that message Jin was supposed to convey had to absolutely, positively be delivered via a brutal beating or murder, and not via a simple statement. Mr. Paik's factory is currently closed (one presumes for environmental violations), and he's ordered Jin to accompany the new and improved messenger to Byung Han's house.

Cut to a shot that appears to take place entirely in the dark. Or maybe it's just that this show has a habit of obscuring important visual details in nighttime scenes. Jin's driving, and watching as Nameless Thug #1 snaps on some latex gloves, checks his gun and its silencer, and instructs: "Keep the engine running. I will be inside less than two minutes. When I return, you will not drive faster than the speed limit. You will take the car to the riverbank eight kilometers away. Do you understand?" If Jin doesn't, he's keeping that information to himself.

The car pulls up at Byung Han's house. Before Nameless Thug #1 can fully exit the car, Jin's cast him a dark look, then burst into the house. As he strides through, Byung Han shouts for his family to scram. The little girl and former dog owner stares for a long minute at Jin. As Byung Han stammers an explanation, Jin slams him into the dining room table, tosses him into the family koi pond, then delivers a dozen meaty punches while Byung Han's wife looks on and his daughter cowers. At the end of it, a bloody Byung Han lies limply, looking up with a dazed, reproachful look, and Jin shouts, "The factory opens tomorrow." Then he leans in and whispers, very quietly, "I just saved your life." There is no sign on Byung Han's face that he understands any of this. Jin is practically sobbing for what he's done. He drops the other man, overwhelmed, and when he looks up, he meets the eyes of the little girl. She's whimpering, "Appa, Appa." My best friend as a child, Na Kyung Hahn, used to call her daddy that.

So, yes. Jin feels like a class-A jerk. He strides over to the thug, who's standing in the doorway, and says, "He got the message." The thug watches him leave with an expression that...will remain a mystery for the ages, because his face is in total darkness while the rest of him stands in relief to the apartment. I'd carp about it, but I think it works for the scene -- makes everything appear shadowy and confusing. And I think it's no accident that Jin's face was lit in stark relief the whole time.

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