The Boat to Salvation is a slippery devil and the time has come for a solid shake on its not-so-divine structure. All of our characters choose their alliances and enact their final wishes as our heroine marches to her salvation and our heroes steel themselves to help end this once and for all. There are no ideal endings in this world, but perhaps small victories are enough.
I already expressed my thoughts on the obvious rush to the finish line in my previous piece and the drama’s finale is the only reasonable extension of it. We never did find out who tried to kill Dong-cheol (Woo Do-hwan) in jail, why the political part of the series mattered, whether Guseonwon’s water was drugged and more. There are many threads which I wish we had seen developed and which we did not.
On the other hand, certain things seem like decisions made for a happy ending when it comes to our heroes. Everyone gets a parent back, including Dong-cheol and this particular outcome feels like audience pandering more than a decision deeply rooted into the narrative. At the same time “Save Me” never had an idealistic approach. Spiritual Mother Kang (Park Ji-yeong) and the ever pathetic Joo-ho (Jung Hae-kyun) march forward along with every other lost soul that will never escape.
There is character consistency here. The ones who would sacrifice their children to an invisible god built by a depraved narcissist will not face their actions , because faith is such a strong tool of denial, even for the non mentally disturbed. We never find out the true past behind our villains, but their actions are ultimately what makes them. The adults of Muji have plenty to be ashamed of, but I am glad that many decided to do the right thing, even if Sergeant Woo (Kim Kwang-gyoo) is the only one willing to pay for his corruption.
Faith comes in another form and Sang-mi (Seo Ye-ji) can express it better than anyone; the hope and strength to go on come from the knowledge that there are people out there who will reach out and pull you out of a fiery pit. Whether sent by a deity or not, the world remains hopeful because of them. This is a great message to wrap the series up with and an appropriate one given its themes.
Few regretful issues aside, “Save Me” has been an overwhelmingly great adventure. It has taken viewers to the edge of despair and repulsion and then delivered much needed relief quite masterfully. It is a story which I feel will stick for a long time and I hope Korean drama produces more of its kind and quality in the future. Our wishes will be fulfilled. I believe it.
“Save Me” is directed by Kim Seong-soo, written by Jeong Sin-gyoo and Jeong I-do-I and features Taecyeon, Seo Ye-ji, Jo Sung-ha and Woo Do-hwan.
Written by: Orion from ‘Orion’s Ramblings‘
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“[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “Save Me” Episode 16 Final”
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