‘The Glory’ (Part 2) Review: Vengeance Weaves the Perfect Thread
After the ending of Netflix’s The Glory: Part 1, audiences were anxiously waiting for Moon Dong-eun’s (Song Hye-kyo) vengeance against her bullies. Her motivation for seeking revenge is articulated through years of meticulous planning. She plays no hand in the revenge personally, but the thread weaves perfectly.
The new Korean series is inspired by the real-life experiences of a student who was bullied by her classmates and burnt her skin with hair curlers for 20 days. South Korean schools have a notorious history of bullying that results in serious cases. The targeted students often deal with psychological and mental distress due to years of bullying. Dong-eun’s scars are a visual representation of the years of torment that she went through as a student. The second part of the series portrays the dangerous and absurd lengths families will go to protect their children. The director, Ahn Gil-ho, has recently been accused of school bullying and issued an apology.
The second part of The Glory begins just as it is left off. Park Yeon-jin (Lim Ji-Yeon) arrives at Dong-eun’s apartment to find pictures of her friends, husband and everyone who had wronged her in the past on the wall. Yeon-jin’s husband, Ha Do-yeong (Jung Sung-il), suspects that his wife might have been part of the accusations that are being brought to light by Dong-eun. He finds out that Yeon-jin hid many secrets from him.
Meanwhile, Dong-eun is at the end of her revenge. She enlists the help of a plastic surgeon, Joo Yeo-jeong (Lee Do-hyun), who has secrets of his own and plans his revenge plan. Yeon-jin has plans of her own to sabotage her plans and career. But Dong-eun is ahead of everyone else. She decides to leak information on the death of Yoon So-hee (Lee So-yi) at the hands of Yeon-jin. The tension escalates, and Yeon-jin and her friends find themselves in a living hell as Dong-eun slowly takes them down to complete her revenge.
The second half of The Glory, released earlier this month, packs more punches than the first part. In this complex and articulate revenge story, the writers weave an incredible thread that summarises perfectly by the end. Dong-eun never puts herself physically into the revenge plan. She sits back and watches Yeon-jin and her friends fall for her schemes. Kim Eun-sook, the writer, creates a character motivated by revenge. Dong-eun is intensely calculating and knows her bullies inside and out so that she won’t be blindsided by their actions. Her poetic vengeance is threaded perfectly, and even when her presence isn’t visible, Yeon-jin and her bullies know that Dong-eun is responsible for it.
The Glory builds the story of a perfect revenge tale. The audience learns that Dong-eun is seeking vengeance for herself and someone else. It adds another level of mystery that ups the ante for Dong-eun’s plans. In the first half of the series, Yeon-jin killing a student was teased. This new subplot is added to Dong-eun’s schemes, with the help of Yeo-Jeong, who has an important role as her ‘partner-in-crime.’ As her executioner, Yeo-Jeong’s darker side reveals a hunger for revenge compared to the faithful doctor the audiences saw at the beginning of the series. It dives into Yeo-Jeong’s past and the traumatic death of his father, who died at the hands of a murderer haunting him inside a jail cell.
It’s a riveting series that doesn’t overcomplicate itself with too many subplots and twists and turns. The Glory is confident in its storytelling, characters, and the twists and turns are concluded perfectly. Part 1 focused heavily on the class differences and the bullies’ perspectives; the second half of the season focuses more on the victims.
With the success of Suicide Squad and Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Netflix has once again put out another successful Korean drama. The melodramatic revenge plot and the rewarding conclusion of Dong-eun’s plans leave a dark setting and a worthy continuation for a second season.