God’s Quiz 2 is an amazing show. It’s true that the beginning of the second season wasn’t as exciting as I was expecting. However, the season was still good and it’s a show which deserves a chance.
Let’s talk about the season without a completely structured review. I want to talk about the things I liked and disliked about the new episodes. I will write more freely because, if you are here, we all already know the main idea of the plot and the characters. So, I will skip this introduction.
My sincere thoughts:
Don’t let the first episode deceive you. I know that watching detective Kang Kyeong Hee wearing a mini-short and high heel during an investigation wasn’t the best first impression, but the drama will recover from this first lapse.
It’s necessary to inform that there is a new director. In the second season, the director was Lee Jung-Pyo and, in the first, Lee Joon-hyeong occupied this position. The author was the same: Park Jae-Bum – I’m sure you know him! He also wrote Good Doctor, Blood and Chief Kim! Such a versatile pen, right?
The author/director changed some things for the second season.
The first two episodes aren’t procedural as the others, but it will get back on track by the third episode.
Also, we will see much more criminal investigation during this season than properly medical analyses. Therefore, I felt the series had a different rhythm.
The format was still basically the same: we start seeing a crime happening; detective Kang brings the case and explains why a deeper investigation is necessary; so, they proceed to the autopsy, formulate the main questions and investigate.
I didn’t like the new board the director gave to Dr. Han. In most of the cases, it had generic maths formulas but nothing related to the case. In the first season, the production was more carefully and connected the board and the cases in more coherent way.
They have changed how the necropsies were performed at the first season. I think the production around the medicine world was much less well done in the season 2 than in season 1. They don’t show the respect the doctors had revealed for the bodies before, and the scenes around the bodies were shorter. Additionally, the exams were less visual. It’s true that in the first episodes, the director tried to maintain the previous pattern; however, my impression was that, at some point, the cost of production was high and he cut the scenes instead of showing a lower quality material for the viewers. I think it was a wise decision. This was also related with the change in the tone of the drama from medical to criminal, as I said.
Here, we will see less scenes in the hospital and more scenes in the police station. So, we will see much more often Detective Park Do-Joon (Choo Seung-Wook) and his colleague Jeong Jin Soo (Oh Sung Soo).
There was a bromance between Dr. Han Jin Woo and Detective Park, which was nice, but the previous relation between Dr. Han and Dr. Kim Seong-Do remains as strong as before. In this season, Dr. Kim will be the strongest support for his friend, since he has all those trust problems as in the first season.
Also, we will see less of the philosophical talks between Dr. Han and his mentor, since Dr. Jang started to have his own issues in this season. [Spoiler] As he was facing an ethical crisis, he couldn’t be the “moral rolemodel” for Dr. Han, it would be weird if the author hadn’t realized this ambiguity and hadn’t kept them more distant. [End of Spoiler]
Yes, the way their relation changed brought other consequences to the drama. I feel that, in general, the drama was more about the greed of the human being than about their feelings, motivations and deep suffering. This was a consequence of the criminal turn. Episodes 7 and 8 were closer to the spirit of the season 1. I will comment about them below.
The relationship between Dr. Han and Detective Kang didn’t go anywhere. On the one hand, I think she could understand him better. On the other hand, he didn’t evolve in the romantic sense. He continued with his many jokes of bad taste, touching the sexism on several occasions. I don’t understand why they never became a real couple. The author made a very clear effort to make their relationship as pure as possible. There was no skinship of any kind and, when the only kiss happened, it was in a dream. The emphasis on their “pure” relation didn’t make sense because they are adult people with a romantic bond. At the end, he assumed the role of “knight”, trying to protect his damsel.
Those factors made me think that their relationship was much more conventional than it should be. Considering that the female character is a competent, independent police officer, she never assumed the traditional female role, except in their moment of intimacy. That could have been the perfect opportunity to make a couple become partners, but this rarely happened. That called my attention particularly when their relationship becomes more personal and goes beyond the procedural investigation. Those moments could have been perfect to strengthen their bond which was seldom true – but again it just happened on an intellectual level, not emotional. So, as a couple, they were very frustrating.
We were introduced to a new character, the psychologist Min Ji-Yool (Lee Sul-Hee). She helped in the first case of the season and chose to stay as part of the team to learn from her new fellows. I didn’t like her at the first glance, but her character progressed (slowly) and, at the last episodes, the author integrated her in a more cohesive way, making her participation a useful acquisition for the team and the drama. So, from that moment on, I started to appreciate her as a character that was part of the story. [I don’t like her character in ep. 5, because there she was trying to impose her psychological reading of the case. In the following episodes, she will wait for the team to request her help or she will offer it as part of the team, not someone who wants to impose the “profile” as a method].
The first episode was about a crime in which the murderer killed and cut parts of his victims’ bodies, froze the parts and left them in public places to be found. There were 5 victims, each one had one part found. All parts formed a new body. The challenge was to find him before he could kill the 6th victim to finished his work, putting a head on it. The idea is very interesting, but the conclusion of the case felt rushed, especially because they had 2 episodes to tell us the story.
|01||Wrist cutting syndrome (Part 1)|
|02||Wrist cutting syndrome (Part 2)|
|05||The definition of psychopath|
|07||A bomb in my ears|
|11||The last sacred war (Part 1)|
|12||The last sacred war (Part 2)|
I highlighted my favorite episodes. All of them share the discussion of some social or ethical aspect. In episode 3, we see a discussion about the prejudice against disabilities. Episode 7, not only approached incapacities but also spoke about generosity and family issues. Oh, be prepared to cry a lot. In episode 8, we have a story about the fragile space occupied by women in society, especially when they become (here, for medical reasons) an object of desire or curiosity.
I added to this list the episode 5, this was the creepiest episode among all. It can’t be compared to the episode about shamanism in the first season, which had been creepy. So, if you want to see something that has the current “OCN” vibe, I recommend this episode.
In the last three episodes, Jung Ha Yoon (Yong Joon Ahn) returned. Yes, dr. Moriarty never dies at the first try.
This is where the drama title makes sense. The “Quiz from God” wasn’t just about answering “why do people do cruel things?” – as it seemed to be the main point. The Quiz is about what God expects from us, as human beings.
Which was the God’s Quiz after all?
Here, the author tries to create a parable about Babel, constructed by man with the objective to reach heaven – a symbol of the human ambition and the conflict against God.
Humans tried to construct Babel to reach God, and God destructed the Babel to show to men their difference. The human can’t be God, but should look at God as an example. Our mission is to be fair in the eyes of God, not to become God. However, humans feel constantly hurt by God, who destroyed their illusion and dream. That feeling keeps us enclosed in a hate-despair-redemption circle. Humans will only be able to use their free will when they understand their mission of reaching justice and giving up on becoming God.
However, how does all this theory make sense in the plot? Dr. Han is the perfect human, who is capable of using his free will because he is compromised with his values and works hard to control his impulses and to be a good person. The “other humans” – the bad guys – want to emulate his perfection, using him (and Jung Ha Yoon) as an experiment. They want to transform Ha Yoon in a good person, using Dr. Han as the model.
At the end, the discussion about perfection/imperfection and free will of the human beings came up, as I mentioned.
Don’t worry if everything sounds complicated now, because Dr. Han explains it in detail at the last scene.
[END OF SPOILER]
The main question of the drama was answered.
Was the answer satisfactory? Yes. It sounded excessively religious (for my taste), but there’s a moral conclusion also, which was valuable, at least for me. I would prefer that the reference to God had been more of a metaphor than a real thing. However, the ethical discussion was valid.
So, it wasn’t perfect, mainly because it took them 9 episodes to start revealing something about the conclusion. I feel that, in general, if the drama had given us more information over those 9 episodes, some details could have been better explained.
However, this was a problem in the first season too. There were many things happening, so it was difficult to cut time from the procedural cases to use it for the parallel storyline. So, one of them had to be sacrificed, and the author preferred (and I agree) to give more screen time to the weekly cases and dedicated exclusive (and concentrated) attention to the second storyline at the end, in the last two episodes.
So, let me make it short:
- the production at the beginning wasn’t good, but the director improved his work;
- the actors continued doing their great job, the new actors did they job as they should do;
- the OST list remained short (4 tracks – you can listen to them below) but I think it fitted the drama;
- the plot was very nice, with some good cases but, in general, the season was less medical and more criminal;
- the main question of the drama was answered quite satisfactorily.
My score: 9/10 – I cut a point because of the production problems and the lapses in the plot.
You can also read the review of Season 1: here