“Radiant Offices” tackles some key social issues such as divorce, women in the workplace, and how temporary workers are treated and valued. Delicately approached, these issues are explored without detracting from the overall pace of the plot. Well done, production team.
The central conceit of the episode is Ho-won’s secret illness and Woo-jin’s discovery of that illness. Because he is emotionally invested in her by this point, his decisions are informed by those feelings. For one so stoic, it’s a very humanizing series of events. He takes the time to get to know her, discovers his jealousy of any male interaction she has, and goes out of his way to express his concerns for her health. This is the sweetest sort of romance in that it is very genuine and Woo-jin doesn’t indulge in love games.
Gi-taek and Kang-ho, on the other hand, become office place sleuths in order to protect Ho-won, convincing me further of my love for these two fallible, loving human beings. Woo-jin witnesses their unwavering efforts and joins in my admiration of these two down-on-their-luck temp workers.
Throughout the episode Ho-won tries to revel in the everyday things she’s always longed for and live for the moment, but it turns out to be quite difficult when she confronts challenges. She watches the female team leader suffer for being a divorced woman while the point is made that her ex-husband most definitely doesn’t receive such biased treatment. Furthermore, she is treated as less than her male counterparts because of her sex. It’s a horrible thing, but I am grateful to the show for pointing out such biases so they can be fought in the real world. Men, too, face obstacles, less because of their sex and more because of the social hierarchy. If they do not suck-up to their superiors and make them and the company look good, they are discarded for someone who will. It completely disvalues the employees.
As for Ho-won’s illness, I am less sure this episode than I was last, because she has passed out. But heroines in dramaland have been known to lose consciousness due to stress, lack of food, and lack of sleep. So who knows, really? Not I until the next episode!
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Rainefrom ‘Raine’s Dichotomy’
“Radiant Office” is directed by Jeong Ji-in and Park Sang-hoon-III, written by Jeong Hee-hyeon, and features Go Ah-seong, Ha Seok-jin, Lee Dong-hwi, and Hoya.
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