“Big Mouth” might have ended a couple of weeks ago, but the drama has been on my mind ever since. I know I am late but here is a review of the second half.
Note: the below review is filled with spoilers of “Big Mouth” second half [episode 9 to 16], this is a subjective review.
I have not been the biggest fan of the way “Big Mouth” has progressed in its last couple of episodes and its two folds, one about how I personally feel and one about a more ‘objective’ look at the script writing.
Regardless of the ending, I still believe that “Big Mouth” held up way better than I had originally anticipated or expected. I feared it would go downhill faster and crash harder considering how much the screenwriter has been attempting to hype up the reveal of big mouse and such. Generally speaking, this tends to be the case with such types of scripts.
The ‘good’ thing is that from a writing perspective, the plot did not remain stagnant and evolved as events unfolded, however, the issue lies with the way events unfolded. Let us discuss each point below!
Big mouse’s reveal, death and Chang Ho’s involvement
The first biggest red flag is when the truth about big mouse was revealed. I did not like the way the big mouse reveal was handled, it felt very underwhelming and I spoke about it here. There are many plot holes spread throughout to the point that re-watching it would probably ruin it if you pay close attention.
I anticipated this early on as I said in my previous reviews, but my issue is the handling of the plot after big mouse’s death that makes it a lot worse, that, and the inclusion of the warden in the big mouse organization. I feel like a lot of plot holes would have disappeared if he wasn’t a part of them.
We move to the second part… taking down another villain. While I do believe the mayor crimes are bad, still, I believe the big mouse organization is horrible and a cancer to society.
I also thought the way big mouse died was annoyingly poorly justified and executed. For very obvious reasons.
Setting aside how much the organization robbed other people [referring to the rich too], the fact that they sell drugs and ruin people’s lives with it forever is something not to take lightly, and taking down the mayor does not erase that fact. I also don’t like how Chang Ho was made the head of it and remained the head of it at the end.
I felt like the screenwriter wanted us to sort of compare the two things next to each other and root for big mouse as if they’re not equally bad. Both sides [the NR Forums and big mouse] are horrible in different ways and prey on people, especially the poor who end up with the short end of the stick, including Chang Ho himself who got into this whole mess as a scapegoat and not once did he do things properly at his own will, he was always forced. However, he also reverts into their side after the passing of his wife as if this shall resolve any issues. He’s still taking on a horrible empire that was built on horrible actions, nothing will ever change this fact. Despite the death of his wife, he chose to remain in this environment says a lot about his actions and character.
I would have much preferred if he collapsed after her death and he was shown to be struggling. I understand why the screenwriter might not have wanted this but it would have felt a bit more ‘just’ if she took that direction, because Mi Ho’s death would have not gone to waste. I know the actor wants to look cool and all in the final scenes but that last scene really hurt my perception of the drama as a whole for the way it was written.
The screenwriter attempts to justify this by having Mi Ho’s character say she wants him to be a ‘good big mouse’ is a huge slap to the face of fans. What kind of wish is this? You spent weeks talking about how horrible they are only to have a character who was against all of this say its ok? Like what? How? Why?
Mi Ho’s death and the aftermath
I especially didn’t like how much Mi Ho got the short end of the stick through all of this. I said this before, I don’t mind sad endings if they’re justified…. however….
If a main character dies, it is not a deal-breaker for me, it is for many kdrama fans, but not me if its justified. I felt it was sort of justified here but the entire way it was handled was poor to be quite honest with you. Logically speaking [how radiation works in real life, and emotionally speaking as a viewer], it was not the way it should have been handled.
If I try to justify it from a writing perspective, I could say that Chang Ho had to experience the true loss of a lover due to this dirty fight and eventually just kill the mayor. That would be a somewhat logical angle to look at it but still, as I said, the execution was weak.
The screenwriter relegated the last 3 minutes that should have been at least given 30 minutes to basically run through whatever happened after the mayor’s death. The entire build-up of the second half was supposed to focus on his downfall but it didn’t. His death didn’t feel vindictive enough in the eyes of many viewers including me.
“Big Mouth” definitely took a nose dive in the last couple of episodes leading up to the ending. And the ending left a sour aftertaste in fans’ hearts, expectedly.
The writing of the last episode could be argued to be the worst of the entire series for a multitude of reasons, the first being how its structured. Like I said above, the downfall of the mayor should have been slow and painful but it was quick and rather ‘painless.’ The writing could have been done way better for this one. The last 3 minutes almost ruined the entire drama for me even when I say I enjoyed it, this tells you how sloppy writing at the end can ruin even the biggest releases of the year.
I also expected Chang Ho to collapse after Mi Ho’s death but instead he emerges as big mouse running a corrupt awful organization. Even with his dying wife wishes and all, its still an awful decision.
There was also zero mention of Jang Hye-Jin, and it felt that the women in this drama took a backseat and were at times, simply ‘props’ for the plot. On one hand, I see why, since its a dirty fight among men who lust after money and control, but on the other hand, I still felt the female characters should have had a lot more respect in terms of writing.
The way Mi Ho died was also not to my liking, and I didn’t like that her father was not present with her in her final moments. Gong Ji Hoon also gets away with just about everything slipping through the cracks. This can happen in real life, but again, the handling of the entire episode was off.
Closing remarks, thoughts on the acting
Regardless, “Big Mouth” is one of the most entertaining kdramas of 2022 by far. The theories and the anticipation made the past two months’ weekends great. I had so much fun trying to guess who big mouse was. It also subverted my expectations on many occasions, regardless of whether it was warranted/ well-played-out or not, I appreciate that the screenwriter at least did that instead of taking the easy/lazy way out.
Also shout out to my Kim Joo Hun who plays the villain so darn well, I need more, I need more of this. He was so amazing in this role, he plays a lot of playful nice/silly characters but seeing his range here… OH MY GOD. Amazing.
Jong suk also got the chance to shine here, and I predict that he can walk away with the daesang at the MBC awards this year if no other drama comes close to this one’s success until 2022 ends.
YoonA also did great, she held up well opposite her co-stars. Yang Kyung-Won also stood out to me for being FREAKING AMAZING to watch. His energy is unmatched.
I felt that Ok Ja-Yeon was severely under-utilized here, she could have added an edge and played off better against Kim Joo Hun. And despite her short but memorable appearance, Hong Ji-Hee NAILED IT.
So what do you guys think of “Big Mouth” ending?