Wow, are we already on episodes 11 and 12 of this drama? I already know I’m going to miss Strongest Deliveryman once it ends and it hasn’t even ended yet.
This drama is hitting all the right cords for me in every way possible. Strongest Deliveryman is so charming, providing us with all the right punches to get us caught in our feels and emotions. The thing about this drama that I appreciate the most is how fast-paced it is. We’re always constantly being given more progress and content while our characters are always given constant development and growth (to some extent). The drama knows what it’s doing and it’s doing all those things wonderfully.
The primary plot that the drama has been focusing on in the last few episodes is Ji-yoon’s mom trying to take over the neighborhood with her new family business. It’s not one that’s random so it was built neatly into the narrative of the story which is nice. Is it my most favorite aspect of the show to watch? Definitely not considering that I’m here more for our characters and their relationships, but this plot remains interesting because it moves at such a fast pace. In the last episode we had Grandma’s restaurant attacked and then in episode 11 she actually has to leave so now Kang-soo is battling Ji-yoon’s mother in the fight for revenge and victory. The plot never drags and you never feel like things are moving slowly simply because it’s not. Once we’re done with one thing we automatically move on with the next and it’s so refreshing to always constantly be given new material in each episode. I’m not sitting here waiting endlessly thinking what Kang-soo or Ji-yoon’s mother is going to do next. The route the drama is taking in terms of this predicament is predictable but it’s fast-paced which is a lot better than the drama taking us down this predictable route but then take forever in getting us to the final showdown that we got in episode 11.
Jin-gyu got more character development once again in episode 11 which is always a good note for me. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a drama give their second male lead so much character growth before; Strongest Deliveryman is doing a great job in balancing their focus on all 4 of their characters. So even though Kang-soo and Dan-ah are the leads and we get to see them plenty of times in this drama, so do we with Jin-gyu and Ji-yoon which I think is nice. You know Jin-gyu and Ji-yoon are the second leads because Go Kyung-pyo and Chae Soo-bin are playing as our main leads, but you never actually feel that way because the drama is doing such a good job in balancing all our characters. In episode 11, Jin-gyu decides that his values and morals are of more significance than Ji-yoon’s mother’s goals and it was refreshing to see him choose what he thought was more important to him. Yes, he might be homeless having quit his job as branch manager, but he did this without losing his friendships, morals, and values along the way. Whereas before he was merely a puppet to what his family or Ji-yoon’s mother was telling him, now he knows what he wants, he’s formed his own backbone, and he can advocate for himself. The old him has died and he’s now revived as someone entirely new and different unfamiliar to anyone else. I’m loving this new version of Jin-gyu.
I appreciate how Kang-soo is such a great and determined hero. He saves people’s lives and he is a firm believer in justice and equality for all which I’m all for. I’m rooting for him as our protagonist and I think the drama has done a great job in demonstrating what it is that he is passionate about. Granted, in order to get to this point he’s received quite some time in the spotlight which I think I would have been okay with had it not been at the expense of our other characters. I also want to see more Dan-ah and I felt like she’s been placed in the backburner the past few episodes so that the drama could focus on other plots like Kang-soo’s delivery business, the competition with the Jung Family Foods business, and Chef Jang’s mini sub-plot with the gangsters. Earlier in the drama we saw her working endlessly to finance her trip abroad which was great but that was all that we saw of her. And even until now that’s all that we’ve seen of Dan-ah. We’re missing some substance and content on our female lead character and now she’s just merely a character while Kang-soo continues to take the lead in everything. I hope the drama can learn to hash out Dan-ah’s character somehow in the next four episodes because I’m dissatisfied with how little we’re getting of her lately.
Kang-soo and Dan-ah remain cuter than ever in these two new episodes. I love how much of a source of comfort and support they are to each other. We especially witnessed this in episode 11 when Dan-ah cares for Kang-soo upon finding him bawling over having discovered his mother after years of failed attempts. While a part of me would have liked to see Kang-soo actually leave the neighborhood to go find his mother and therefore leave Dan-ah behind, I also feel like it was a good thing that the drama decided to just have him find his mother in the neighborhood he was already in. It’s a simple cop-out, but the impact is still there. We witness him yelling at his mother for all the pain she’s caused him and his late dad and all the pain she’s still causing him. It was so painful but heart-warming to see Dan-ah hold him in her arms as he was weeping upon his discovery. Another example is in episode 12 when Kang-soo scolded Dan-ah for almost getting hurt and at first they’re angry at each other but they eventually make up through lots of hugs. It’s small moments like these where our leads are with each other in their most vulnerable moments that makes you root for them individually and as a couple.
However, the aspect about their relationship that irked me a little bit was after watching episode 12 when Kang-soo was pleading Dan-ah not to leave and he stated to her how happy he could make her. While I understand that this was just a simple act of pleading and begging Dan-ah to stay because Kang-soo is in love with her and wants to continue spending time with her, another part of me also feels like he’s a little selfish for asking. This is a slight shift from his personality earlier in the drama where he was supportive of Dan-ah’s decisions and wanted the best for her. Granted, the two have created and maintained such a beautiful relationship so Kang-soo might have changed his feelings and therefore want Dan-ah to stay, but I hope Dan-ah doesn’t stay behind for Kang-soo. I hope that in her decision-making process she thinks about herself and puts herself first. What is it that she wants? If she chooses to stay behind, is it because she wants to or is it because of Kang-soo? I hope that in no way does she stay behind because she felt guilty that Kang-soo didn’t leave on his 2-month trips to every neighborhood in Seoul like how he usually does so she’s not going to leave either. I totally want to keep seeing Kang-soo and Dan-ah together and I love how adorable and supportive they are of each other, but at the same time I also like them individually and I want the best for them individually. If she wants to leave Korea to start anew in another country and that means leaving Kang-soo behind then so be it. I also think this scene in particular could have had more impact had the drama placed more emphasis on Dan-ah’s decision to live abroad. Lately her character growth and journey has been pending due to other sub-plots so even though you were sad that Kang-soo and Dan-ah could possibly be separated, the hurt and the pain could have been so much worse if the drama had shown more of Dan-ah working even harder to achieve her goals and stand firmly on moving out of the country.
There are still many more obstacles that our leads are going to face now that they’ve come face to face with their enemy and they’re definitely going to need each other in the wake of it all. Episode 12 revealed some of the drama’s weaknesses, but I’m hoping that it’ll solve all these small issues in the next four episodes.