Duel: The Twists, Sung Joon, Sung Hoon and Sanyoung

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Episode 13 Thoughts

Bravado to the screenwriter. OCN’s chase thriller drama, Duel, has proven to be one of the smartest mystery drama I’ve ever seen. Episode 13’s twist and revelation really blew me away. This show fell under the radar in its country, but thankfully the low rating didn’t affect its quality, and the plot just gets better and better. We have three episodes left, questions are getting answered and this episode has highlighted to us the script is well-thought-out, characters or scenes from the past are starting to link together and nothing is wasted, and that they were shown for a reason (i.e. if we exclude the PPL).

— CONTAINS SPOILERS —

The more I think about it, the more I find these twists amazing. I did not realise how close I was thinking on the same wavelength as the writer: on Mi Rae being the key to the cure, that she may be sick and Lee Yong Sub saved her. I also entertained the idea that Mi Rae maybe a clone of Joo Hee and Ryu Jung Suk is the surrogate mother, but I shut down that idea thinking it’s waaay too crazy. And yet here we are—the show tells us Mi Rae is not only the cure, but she is Joo Hee, the daughter of Lee Yong Sub and Han Yoo Ra. OMG. How much more awesome can this show be?

Nurse Ryu Jung Suk being pregnant with Mi Rae became the best red herring, ever. I rejected the theory that Lee Yong Sub is Mi Rae’s father on the account that it would make the mystery boring and too easy, and more importantly, I can’t accept the idea of Lee Yong Sub having an affair. But now, even though the outcome of him being Mi Rae’s father is the same, this new revelation made it convincing without tainting his character. Show, I salute you, and can I expect more of this awesomeness?


As the end draws near, I can’t help but look back at some of these characters penned by the screenwriter. And of course these characters I love/hate wouldn’t have made a strong impression if the actors didn’t do a good job in playing them.

The Sanyoung Devils — Satans

There are not enough words to express just how disgusted I am with this family. I had wanted Sung Hoon to end Park San Young’s life before, so that everyone will be free. I didn’t even mind if Sung Hoon wanted to slice or stab him many times rather than one bullet to the head. But now I have a change of heart, all thanks to his evil manipulation towards Sung Hoon. If I am the writer, I would do what Sung Hoon did to Park Seo Jin—use him. Use his money to make the medicine so everyone can be cured, then I would have Jang Deuk Cheon and Choi Jo Hye crumple and destroy his kingdom; watch the three (and Director Han) pay the price of the crimes they have committed. Instead of jail, I want them to be taken away by another pharmaceutical company and suffer the same illegal experiment Sung Hoon had. Because the Sanyoungs are pure evil; they deserve no mercy. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. I got your back, Sung Hoon-ah.

Lee Yong Sub — The Flawed Human

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Metaphorically, Lee Yong Sub is true and true a human being; full of flaws, neither black nor white—but grey. As a scientist, he is stone cold hearted towards his test subjects, but we cannot deny him a genius that had a breakthrough with science. His sin can’t be overlooked even though these test subjects are criminals and perhaps deserve no redemption. Since Lee Yong Sub has paid his sin with a cruel death, I don’t hold any ill thoughts towards him. As a loving father, I can understand his good yet desperate intentions all stemmed from trying to save his sick daughter, and hence, prompted him to participate in the illegal experiment funded by Sanyoung. He had to, because he needed funds. Lee Yong Sub is therefore, neither good nor bad.

Lee Sung Joon — The White Angel

Without a memory, Sung Joon appears pure and innocent like a newborn. He often seem lost and carries sadness in his eyes. But even without memory, he remains who he truly is—a gentle, caring, sweet and kind man. After regaining his memory, we finally saw him regain his optimistic, cheerful side and those smiles melt our hearts. Sung Joon is like an angel that hasn’t been tainted by darkness, and it makes us very protective of him. He may come off as weak, but in truth, I see perseverance and stubbornness in him.

Lee Sung Hoon — The Fallen Angel

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Sung Hoon is the complete opposite. Like a fallen angel who were once pure and innocent, he now lives in darkness. He is extremely charismatic and badass, and that makes him dangerously charming for many people. He is often seen wearing an evil smile with bitterness. Underneath that tough villainous façade, Sung Hoon has a sensitive, vulnerable and lonely heart. He is a sad but compelling character that has been swallowed by fear, pain and doubts. He is a survivor who struggle to live, yet doesn’t know why he’s living and for what. He is in serious need of love, and I hope he gets it in the end. For all that he had been subjected to, it would be too cruel not to let him learn to love again and be loved.

The Clones | The Brothers

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Both boys, like Lee Yong Sub, carries his genius DNA—They are super smart and quick-witted. Sung Hoon may appear to be the stronger one and Sung Joon the weak, but Sung Joon is definitely more level headed and stronger in mind, as he was able to worm his way out of that dangerous encounter with Park Seo Jin. Unlike Sung Hoon, Sung Joon is capable of love. I believe he will play a crucial part in Sung Hoon’s redemption and be his lighthouse when Hoon gets swallowed by darkness each time.

I absolutely adore the screenwriter’s depiction of these clones. They may look entirely the same, but their personalities and behaviours are world’s apart. It not only gave Yang Se Jong the challenge to satiate his thirst and desire in acting, but it gives us, the viewers, endless enjoyment of continuous outstanding performances.

Side Note: Sung Joon’s Root of Memory Loss

Amidst all the questions that are getting answered slowly, I do wonder if the writer will go back in time and tell us how Sung Joon lost his memory in the first place. The below preview teaser shows us Sung Joon in the clothes he was wearing from episode 1, and appear to be running for his life with Sung Hoon trailing behind. Is this a scene that traumatises him and cause the memory loss? Will we be seeing this scene in full, or is it just made as a teaser?

Other than this question, I would love to know how Sung Joon has Lee Yong Sub’s memory but not Sung Hoon. This one is highly likely unexplanable, but I can hope, right?

Some image source: oh_rennn

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