Mr. Temporary (also known as Class of Lies) just aired its final episode and, honestly, I have a ton of thoughts that I want/need to sort out. So, this blog post serves a dual purpose — my brain needs to process the ending of this drama, and hopefully my sweet readers will be at least mildly entertained in the process.
Alright, I’ve got my coffee — what about you guys? Let’s get right into it!
Since this post focuses on the final episode of Mr. Temporary, there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!
Let’s start with something I loved…
My favorite thing about this final episode is watching Beom Jin (Jun) completely unravel. He has kept such rigid control of his emotions the entire time that when he finally begins letting his true nature show, it is utterly terrifying. It’s particularly unnerving that even after the truth comes out, Beom Jin still furiously insists he’s done nothing wrong.
Immense kudos to Jun for pulling off this complex role so splendidly. I’m not sure I’ll ever fully be able to unsee him as the ingenious highschool murderer, especially since I had the same thoughts a lot of viewers initially had about him: Beom Jin isn’t as bad as the other kids. Ha ha…Ha. Right.
Thank you, Jun, for giving us the chills all the way up to your final moment on screen.
Next, the things I didn’t love so much…
It felt rushed
I’ve genuinely loved Mr. Temporary so much, but the end felt rushed to me — and here’s why:
The court scene is a little too convenient. As cool as it is to see Moo Hyeok (Yoon Kyun-Sang) school Beom Jin in public, the scene feels like a writer’s tool to move things along rapidly and, unfortunately, it shows. Beom Jin walks right into the courtroom and begins monologuing, then is suddenly called as a witness where an incredibly convenient video of him at Soo Ah’s apartment is played for all to see. It is dramatic, beautifully acted, and wonderfully shot. But it comes across as a necessity to conclude issues that need quick wrapping up.
I don’t know how these things work, but I wish the drama could have been extended — not only because I love it so much and would have relished watching a few more hours worth of it, but because I genuinely think it could have done with about 2-4 more episodes. Some issues might have been able to be resolved a bit slower, and at a more natural pace.
This unanswered question
I am completely fine with unanswered questions; I dislike when dramas spoon-feed viewers information, something this drama was great about not doing. However, they might have taken that too far at the end when Beom Jin is murdered and…we have no idea who did it. Not only no idea, but no clue — nothing. Just a random hand belonging to a hooded figure that quickly injects him in the neck with something, and then walks off as Beom Jin seethes in anger and contorts in pain.
Like, seriously…who killed him? (If any of you have ideas, please drop them below because I’m genuinely curious as to what people think and couldn’t find much online about it.) I have guesses, of course. In a twisted and dark way, I kind of wanted it to be Byung Ho…I’m not even completely sure why, it just would have been such sweet poetic justice. For that matter, I could also totally see it being Ki Hoon. Or was it simply one of Beom Jin’s father’s men? Or Moo Hyeok’s hacker buddy? Someone from the police?
Or did I just completely miss some indication telling us who did it? In which case, I would take back everything I’m saying and hide in a corner for a bit because I would feel dumb. But I went back and rewatched some parts and still found nothing. If a fantastic villain character gets killed at the last minute, is it too much to ask that we are given a clue as to who it might have been? At the same time, I think I’m okay not knowing for certain and just believing what I want to believe.
It’s clearly intentional that we aren’t given a solid answer as to who killed Beom Jin, but I hope it was meant to provoke thought rather than to merely dispose of him quickly. Since they didn’t need to kill him off for the sake of the story — Beom Jin’s presence on screen could have ended after his final showdown with Moo Hyeok — I lean towards the idea that it was indeed intended to provoke thought, something the writers clearly succeeded in because look at me writing about it in a blog post because I was deeply perturbed at his death. Well played, writers.
It lacked closure
In general, things didn’t seem wrapped up with most characters. I understand that there’s simply not time to show everyone’s ending (which goes back to the whole “I think it could have done with 2-4 more episodes” thing), but I really wanted some kind of closure with characters like Byung Ho, Joon Jae, and even Ye Ri and Ki Hoon.
If I harp on each character I’m curious about, we’ll be here all day, so I’ll try to keep my thought process concise. Let’s start with Byung Ho (Byung Hun) and Joon Jae (Shin Jae Hwi), both very crucial characters in the beginning, middle, and even later episodes. They were characters I was invested in and cared about (yes, even Joon Jae), and I’m a little disappointed that we don’t get much of an indication as to what happened to them. Did Joon Jae stay with the loan sharks or did he end up coming back to school as Beom Jin promised him? I know Byung Ho is seen briefly in the last episode, but that’s it. For characters who were pivotal in a lot of the early plotline, I wish we had been shown a little bit more of them in the end.
I understand why Ye Ri (Kim Myung Ji) and Ki Hoon (Choi Kyu Jin) were not focused on too much during the final episodes; earlier in the drama, these two drove a lot of the action because of their outspoken and emotionally-charged personalities. So when things begin centering on Beom Jin, it’s natural that they fade into the background a bit. That being said, I still wish we had been given more of these two in the end — at least a little more than the couple seconds of their faces during the courtroom and classroom scenes. It doesn’t feel like a proper goodbye to characters we’ve been watching develop for weeks.
All of this being said, I would probably have complained if we were given a neatly little perfectly packaged explanation as to what happened to every single character because that’s just silly and not how life works. (But let’s be real — who seeks realism when watching a K-drama?) Maybe I’m just super cinematically picky and hard to please.
Once again, it comes down to the fact that I just wish we had been given a couple more episodes of Mr. Temporary. I absolutely loved it as a whole. The drama is so solid, and definitely rewatchable. It seems like the kind where you catch more details the more you watch it.
One thing is for certain — every single actor/actress did a superb job — this drama has a lot of incredibly gifted rookies and I’m so excited to keep up with these talented young people as they continue pursuing their careers in this industry.
Well, just as my intro is brief and to the point, I guess my conclusion will be too: on to the next drama! Happy watching, dear readers.
images source: OCN
And if you want another interesting read, be sure to check out my most recent post about the unique presentation of domestic abuse in the recent K-drama, At A Distance, Spring Is Green.
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