Flower of Evil is a romance crime thriller about an emotionless psychopath (Lee Joon Gi) who changes his identity and tries to leave his dark past behind him that marries a homicide detective (Moon Chae Won) who is trying to uncover the truth about him.
Lee Joon Gi plays Baek Hee Sung. He has a dark past that he has worked hard to hide by becoming the perfect husband and father. His new life is threatened though when his wife takes on a case connected to his past.
Moon Chae Won is Hee Sung’s wife, Cha Ji Won. Her life seems perfect, and she is deeply in in love with Hee Sung. When she starts investigating an old serial murder case, clues begin to point in a direction she never dreamed…towards her husband.
Then we have Kim Moo Jin (Seo Hyun Woo) who is a reporter with a past connection to Hee Sung as well as Do Hae Soo (Jang Hee Jin) who is Hee Sung’s sister. These two had an interesting story and plenty of their own challenges to face.
Now this is the Lee Joon Gi and Moon Chae Won drama that we deserved! I’ve been waiting for this drama for such a long time, and I wasn’t disappointed. This is a crime melo with romance and thrills. It provides us with an engaging story and mystery that has to be solved.
I was initially a bit worried that the drama would would go the episodic route since the first couple of episodes take a fair amount of time to focus on individual cases. Thankfully, this was just a set up thing as we really get the groundwork laid for our main story and learn about our characters and the dynamic between them. After those first episodes, the main serialized story takes the center focus and holds steady all the way through. Thank goodness!
The story centers around Hee Sung and his mysterious past. Early on, we see evidence of his violent nature and him going to extreme lengths to hide his past. The question posed is if there is more to his story than meets the eye.
Please note: I will be discussing Hee Sung’s character which will include some vague spoilers about him. I will signal when I switch to major spoilers.
Now, I do have shower Lee Joon Gi with praise. Many of you know he’s my bias, and that’s for good reason! I will never cease to be amazed by how much he moves me with his performances, and that was certainly the case here.
He made Hee Sung such a multi-dimensional character that had so many layers to explore. Hee Sung is a complex character, and there is so much more to him than we initially see. He completely broke my heart in two seeing the immense amount of turmoil he had to go through.
Lee Joon Gi puts all of his being into the character, and the pure emotions that come through his eyes are something special. His talent just leaves me breathless. Okay, there’s the customary Lee Joon Gi praise you can always expect from me, hehe. Seriously though, his performance is really something to see.
Now, Ji Won is also more complicated than she appears. She seems to have an almost naive and idealistic personality, but she’s actually very intelligent and good at solving cases. When she finally questions her perfect life and husband, her detective skills lead her to the truth. Moon Chae Won was also absolutely fantastic here and really went all in for this role.
I really enjoyed the sort of cat-and-mouse game that ensued between Hee Sung and Ji Won. Hee Sung goes to great lengths to keep his secrets from Ji Won as she then has to hide her suspicions of him as she investigates. It’s a fun dynamic that I really loved. You should also be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions when it comes to this relationship.
I should also mention Hee Sung and Ji Won’s adorable daughter Eun Ha (Jung Seo Yeon). She was such a delight with all kinds of cuteness as well as giving a really nice performance. I particularly enjoyed the father and daughter relationship that was portrayed. Lee Joon Gi and Jung Seo Yeon had an ease and naturalness between that was great to watch.
Flower of Evil has an interesting mix of genres too. At its heart, it’s a crime melo with romance and thrills. It also has a distinct makjang side to it. Most of the drama stays in crime melo territory, but one aspect of the story was far more dramatic.
I’ll avoid spoiling it, but one key part of the plot was portrayed in such a dramatic and over-the-top way that felt quite different from the rest of the drama. And I loved it! It was so over-the-top that it made me laugh, but I still felt the suspense from it.
Now, this drama does have quite a few convenient plot devices used throughout as well as a few of those moments that don’t really make sense that you just kind of have to go with and not take too seriously. Some questionable police work is sprinkled here and there too. I found these issues to be minor though since everything else was so good, and they didn’t detract from my experience.
Watching Hee Sung (who was revealed to be Do Hyun Soo, a suspected murderer and the son of a serial killer) and Ji Won’s relationship play out was heart wrenching. Seeing their idyllic life torn apart was difficult.
As we continued to learn more about Hee Sung, we saw just how misunderstood he was. Hee Sung came from a terrible past and did so much to help those he cared for including his sister as well as his family. It seemed that his psychopathic tendencies came more from conditioning from his father which actually very much went against his true nature. He battled this all of his life.
It was particularly heartbreaking to see Ji Won begin to dislike Hee Sung as she learned who he was. He was unaware of how much she knew and was left very confused as to her suddenly distancing herself from him. That’s where we really see that he truly does love her.
As events unfold, Ji Won is put through the emotional wringer as she investigates Hee Sung, and it was difficult to see. She does eventually begin to see the real Hee Sung though and realizes that she still loves him. We get some incredibly emotional and heart wrenching moments between them as all of the secrets come out. They both fought hard to protect each other and had to face some serious threats.
It was very satisfying to see Hee Sung realize that he did love Ji Won as well as how strongly Ji Won believed in him. Their romance was complicated, thrilling, heart wrenching, and beautiful.
I have to give a shout out to our amazing villain too. Kim Ji Hoon really went all out as the real Baek Hee Sung. He was incredibly creepy and disturbing in the best kind of way. As I hinted at above, his scenes with his parents were very dramatic and over-the-top, and I loved it! He was also such a good match up with Lee Joon Gi in later scenes. Such an entertaining character and a terrific performance!
Now, I was a bit conflicted about the ending. I personally wanted to see Hee Sung get his memory back because all of the growth and personal development he went through was huge. His journey was the core part of the story, so it kind of felt like that was all thrown away.
On the other hand, the amnesia allowed him to get rid of a lot of emotional baggage from his past and cleanly take on his true identity of Hyun Soo. He was then able to fall for Ji Won all over again and reunite with her and their daughter.
Plus, considering he was already having flashes of memory and emotions about his family, I think there is a solid implication that he will fully regain his memories but then be a much more whole person. So while it wasn’t exactly the ending I would have preferred, it still was happy and had promise.
END OF SPOILERS
Flower of Evil was a fantastic watch. The reunion between Lee Joon Gi and Moon Chae Won was everything I could have hoped for and more. These two talented actors wowed me with their amazing performances and wonderful chemistry.
The story was filled with suspense as well as in depth character exploration. There are plenty of surprising plot developments along with some great cliff hangers. The soundtrack also really enhanced the drama. Mystery, heart, and thrills all came together to make for a highly enjoyable ride.
My Rating: 9/10
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