Episode 12 – Love of Kill

How would you rate episode 12 of
Love of Kill ? Community score: 3.5

Given the sheer amount of weight this final episode needed to carry, I must admit I’m a little bit conflicted. I kinda knew going in that there was no way this episode was going to tie up the present-day plot thread of the mob boss going after everybody. If anything, it just kinda hammers home how unimportant it is both to the present-day narrative and what goes on in the flashbacks. Looking back on the season as a whole, I definitely think that the material that is adapted shouldn’t have taken up as many episodes as it did. While I will admit that the final revelations for everything in the past are mostly satisfying, it wasn’t worth the incredibly slow, drawn-out pace that it took to get here. It genuinely feels like the writer of the season started with the decision to end the season with said revelations and then worked backwards to try to fill in the rest of the series. I don’t know if this is all handled differently in the source material but that final shot of Château and Ryang-ha squaring off against this organization didn’t exactly make me excited for future installments. At the same time, however, I did walk away with some sense of dramatic and emotional pay off.

This whole time I was led to believe that Ryang-ha was only interested in Chateau for more plot-driven reasons. When he says that he’s happy the events of his past weren’t just a dream, I was caught off guard by its surprising emotional impact. Château was traumatized by her past and completely forgot about it for the sake of her own sense of mental and emotional stability. So it also makes sense that years later growing up, she would start to feel the weight of what she did as a child to someone who was just trying to help her. The show is still very vague on what exactly the original Rang-ha’s mission was, so it’s hard to see if he was always tasked with getting her to safety or if she was meant to be delivered to somebody else.

Again the show’s plotting isn’t necessarily the best, and as mentioned, I think cutting out some of the bloat in the previous episodes could’ve allowed the show to better flesh out the good elements that were actually here. The show manages to convey the emotions that Château and Ryang-ha felt for the original Ryang-ha, but I just wish I knew him more as a character. Ultimately, he definitely comes across as a naïve albeit kind-hearted kid that was just trying to help people regardless of whether or not he knew what Donny had planned for him all along. There is a sense of tragedy and sadness in him doing everything he can but alas, the show wasn’t really about this boy. It has always been more interested in the current Ryang-ha and Château, and I think the reason why I feel so emotionally invested towards things in the end is because of what they’re feeling, rather than the narrative putting me in a similar headspace to their emotional investment. A part of me does want to go back and rewatch the show now that I have this added context for why Ryang-ha was doing the things that he did, although I might also pick apart some of the really REALLY strong narrative conveniences that made them meet in the first place. I think the show excelled as a mystery and as a callback to that classic noir, “being in love with danger” aesthetic that we don’t really see a lot of these days. I can see all of the building blocks to a successful thriller here but unfortunately, the show holds itself back from successfully landing the kill.

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Love of Kill is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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