How well do we really know the people that are part of our lives? It’s a good question isn’t it? Unless you have been stranded alone on a desert island since birth, you will eventually meet all kinds of individuals that will have an impact on your life in one way or another. Some might become mere acquaintances, others good friends, and then there is the one that will become your soulmate, if you are lucky that is. To let someone become a part of your life, means also that you are giving up a part of yourself. That means opening up to him or her, telling them details about you that no one but yourself might know, or in short revealing all of your secrets. But do we ever give up all of our secrets though? I think that most of us will answer that question with a resounding no. No matter how good a relationship you might be in, I think it’s fair to say that most people will have at least one or two secrets that they have never told to their spouse. There is nothing really wrong with that. Everyone is entitled to one’s privacy, and if it’s not something earth shattering it should be okay. But what if your life has been a total lie from the beginning? What if you aren’t who you say you are and you have been keeping that a secret from the person you have been married to and who loves you more than life itself?
Cha Ji-Won has been happily married to her husband Baek Hee-Sung for years now. Even though their relationship had a bit of a rocky start, everything has been going well, especially since they now also have Baek Eun-Ha, their young daughter to take care of. Cha Ji-Won has a demanding job as a police detective, while Beak Hee-Sung works from home in his workshop as a metal craftsman. Life is good, or so it seems at least. Cha Ji-Won’s relationship with her husband’s parents is an entirely different matter though. They have never warmed up to her, no matter how much she cares for their son. To call her bond with them strained is pretty much an understatement. It doesn’t matter to the loving wife one bit though, as she is not even for a single moment considering to leave Baek Hee-Sung. But then something happens that is going to have the world come tumbling down around her. A series of incidents that seem tied to a serial killer that has long since been dead, are going to bring up secrets that she had never even in her wildest dreams thought to be possible. Secrets that are connected to the dark past of the man she has been in love with for so many years now. Baek Hee-Sung might not quite be the man she though she knew so well…..
To write about a show like this one is a bit of a hard job, especially since I always try to be spoiler free in my reviews. As this is a K-drama that has so many layers, it’s also one of those shows that the less you know about it, the more you will enjoy it. Nevertheless, I never shy away from a challenge, so here we go. Flower of Evil is an incredibly tense and pulse pounding thrill ride, that will keep you on the edge of your seat for most of it’s 16 episode run. It has a high mystery aspect to it, that reveals new twists of the story with every episode. There’s also quite a bit of action, but I would not call this an action show, but more of a character driven thriller. One of the best aspects of this Korean drama is the incredible cast that breathe life into the characters. I had become a fan of Lee Joon-Gi ever since seeing him in the highly entertaining Lawless Lawyer series, but he takes his already very high level of acting up quite a few notches in this show. Playing the part of the tortured Baek Hee-Sung, he’s an incredibly complex character that you simply can’t help but like. Which is quite strange really, as when you learn more about him, there is quite a bit less to like. Or is there? The show constantly plays with your emotions when it comes to him, and you will find yourself continuously second guessing him, and yourself for that matter.
The interactions, and cat and mouse game that take place between him and his wife Cha Ji-Won played by actress Moon Chae-Won is another reason to watch this drama. She is amazing in this part, and brings a range of emotional depth to her character that few actors can achieve. This being quite a dark story, it’s a good thing there is also some comedic relief in the form of a reporter called Kim Moo-Jin. Performed by actor Seo Hyun-Woo, he really brings us quite a few funny moments, while at the same time he’s also a very important character to the show’s main storyline. There are so many more terrific parts in this show, that I could go on for quite a while more, which I won’t do. I do want to mention though that especially the parents of Baek Hee-Sung, and the unbelievably cute daughter have some of this drama’s best, most intense, and emotional scenes. So, keep an eye out for them. Next to the thrilling storyline as well as high caliber performances it’s worth pointing out that this show has some of the best music and highest production values I’ve heard and seen in a K-drama. While this might seem relatively unimportant, trust me when I say that it elevates this drama to a higher level.
Observant readers might have already noticed that with all this high praise that I have given the show so far, it isn’t really reflected in my final grade for it. The reason for that is that the show’s final episode felt out of place when compared to all the previous ones. It’s not the first time that a Korean drama wraps up most of it’s threads in the penultimate episode, leaving the final one a bit empty. While that doesn’t always bother me, with Flower of Evil it did. It accomplished building up the tension in every episode in such a good way, to have it loose that tension completely at the end, just felt to me a bit disappointing. In episode 15 so many of it’s storylines are brought to a close, that I honestly thought it was the final episode. And that’s not even a joke, I literally thought that. While the real final does bring closure to all of the characters, I just felt it was a really slow episode that almost seemed like it belonged to a different series. That said, Flower of Evil is still a show that I highly recommend. It’s certainly ranked in the top 10 on my list of favorite all time Korean drama series, and with a stellar cast and gripping storyline, it’s a show that’s well worth the watch.
I give Flower of Evil a 8 out of 10 score.