Saturday, August 29, 2020

Drama Stage 2020: Everyone is There


 Up until the last 5 minutes it seemed like a story about school bullying with a sad conclusion that actually the victim has to yield and move the school, but no consequences meet the one who initiated it. Around the middle it turned into the revenge story, however the ending just threw a curve ball no one could have predicted.


The story starts with Suyeon running for her life through some park and we soon learn she had a very good reason to do that - she is chased by someone, badly beaten and left there.


After waking up at the hospital, she is closed off and very reluctant to talk to anyone, especially that one of her school teachers barges in when the detective just started to ask few questions. The teacher behaves as if all what happened was Suyeon's fault, and she's quickly joined by Three Witches - mothers of some other students at school. In their words, Suyeon is the problem and she can drag the school's precious opinion to the gutter. She's an outcast in a more sense than one. She's bullied at school, she lives alone, because her father is abroad and - according to the report the police gets - he isn't very interested in his daughter's life. Also, as we learn on the way, she was abandoned by her mother.

To make things worse, she was abandoned, but her mother chose her twin to live with. All this leads Suyeon to the decision of taking her own life at the hospital, and probably made her vulnerable to other students' bullying. And at the moment she tries to strangle herself, a woman appears in her hospital room, saying she's the consultant and will help her if she wants. Suyeon is indifferent to anything around her, her life included, so she's a bit reluctant to offer the woman's help.

Then we meet Suyeon's twin sister - Jeongyeon, who is a delinquent, and as it turns out, the Mother of the girls died some time ago, thus leaving her daughter alone to fend for herself. And Jeongyeon did - she is a cynical, harsh young woman, who scoffs at relationships and family and she's vehemently opposed helping Suyeon, like Kang Il-young has asked her to do. But after seeing the video of what the schoolmates did to her sister, she decides that revenge will be hers...

Kang Il-young devises a plan that's straight from the nightmare version of a fairytale on mistaken identities. Jeongyeon goes to the school in place of Suyeon and she almost immediately takes upon herself to exact her revenge - by beating up the leader of the group who beat up Suyeon. But this is not enough, and Jeongyeon, having tasted the blood, takes her avenging game one step further. She tortures the girl and makes her run through the same park her sister ran. Which of course ends her up at the police station, where the detective can't believe it's the same timid girl from the hospital. She's unapologetic about her behavior, and also Il-young supports her in this mindset. 
Meanwhile, Suyeon starts to look into the future with optimism, despite learning that the school principal and her teacher will cover the bullying up because of the affluent parents' children being involved. So the school is ready to transfer her, but not the bullies. Fortunately enough, Suyeon decides to go abroad, to start anew, and as she says at the airport to Il-young - to become a counseling teacher like her, just to help people in the future.

And it is then when the episode shatters the story and leaves us with the ending which can be interpreted in many ways. The lead detective patchworks the full story from the semi-conscious words of the girl that Jeongyeon tortured, from the hospital staff and what was said during the interrogation. He realizes, to his bewilderment and horror, that there was no Jeongyeo and Jiyoung. Suyeon, suffering a deep mental breakdown, created them as a coping mechanism to defend herself. Her personality split into three with two distinct characters she needed the most - a comforter and an avenger.

And we are left with somewhat unsettling scene, echoing back the very beginning. The narration is given to the detective as he witnesses Suyeon getting into the car with Il-young as the driver, but the car vanishes as if it was never there and then we are transported back to the park, with both police radio and Suyeon voices overlapping, Suyeon crying for help, and the report saying about finding a body in the park. 

The ending is up to individual interpretation. For me, there are several possible explanation, one of which I am particularly fond of - a death dream, fired up by Suyeon's dying brain, picturing a happy ending that never was. But of course, there can be others.


  • Roh Jeong-Eui - Soo-Yeon / Jung-Yeon 
  • Geum Sae Rok - Kang Il-young
  • Kim Joon-Won
  • Lee Yoo-Mi
  • Moon Hak-Jin - male doctor
  • Kim Ha-Yun - Soo-Yeon (child)