“The worst punishment in the world is time. You have to go back and forth between hope and despair endlessly. The punishment of time.”
There’s that famous proverb: time heals all wounds. We tend to believe that these words are true and that we will, indeed, heal from what had hurt us as long as time passes. But in reality, it’s a form of comfort. We believe that if we say these words long enough, we can ignore our pain and get on with our lives until we’re forced to confront it.
In He Is Psychometric, the theme of confronting past wounds runs throughout. A fire from 11 years ago brings four individuals together, and not only do they need to confront it, but they must also solve it. These four individuals are:
- Lee Ahn (GOT7’s Jinyoung) – a young man who acquired a paranormal ability after the tragic death of his parents. Dubbed as psychometry, he can see someone’s past by simply touching them.
- Yoon Jae In (Shin Ye Eun) – a trainee policewoman with a hidden past. After the incident, she switched between schools after becoming ‘a murderer’s daughter’.
- Kang Seung Mo (Kim Kwon) – a mysterious special investigation unit prosecutor, who saved Lee Ahn as a child.
- Eun Ji Soo (Kim Dasom) – a special investigation unit’s investigator. Her father had been the original investigator for the incident, and she’s followed in his footsteps.
The drama begins quite light-hearted and comical for a crime k-drama, as the poster implied. However, like all crime k-dramas, it soon takes a dark turn. As the characters discover more about a set of crimes in the present, the more is revealed about the original fire. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, and there are times where you wonder how the characters reach their conclusions. If anything, this drama proves that not everything is as it seems on the surface.
Behind the script is Yang Jin Ah, a writer who generally dabbles in fantasy and crime k-dramas. It appears to be her first drama since Moorim School (2016), leaving one to wonder if the time gap allowed her screenwriting skills to develop.
The answer is yes. A drama like He Is Psychometric requires a well thought out structure. Its clues need to be hidden in plain sight, and Lee Ahn’s ability must be embedded into the narrative, instead of feeling awkward and out of place. Yang Jin Ah does exactly that, and this may be her best work yet.
Notably, the drama is Jinyoung and Shin Ye Eun’s debut as lead actors. Ye Eun is more of a novice actor than Jinyoung, having only appeared in the web-drama A-Teen, but she does justice to her role. Furthermore, there seems to be a prejudice around idol actors. But seeing Jinyoung as Lee Ahn was quite surprising. In GOT7, he’s the ‘serious’ one, but his character is nothing like that. Lee Ahn is the carefree kind of guy, who would rather use his powers to cheat in an exam instead of actually studying for it. Definitely doesn’t sound like Jinyoung, right? As you become invested in the plot and the characters, you will quickly forget that Lee Ahn is indeed GOT7’s Jinyoung.
Although Kim Kwon’s role is hugely significant to the plot, it is Dasom’s portrayal of Eun Ji Soo that wins the hearts of viewers. Unlike her father, Ji Soo is dedicated to finding out the truth very early on in the drama. Her resolve is highly commendable and becomes central to both the drama’s resolution and the healing of her father’s wounds.
Furthermore, without the villain, there would be no story. Lee Seung Joon, who plays the Seung Mo and his mother’s stalker, is well hidden for the first portion of the drama. You may easily suspect his identity, however, his back story makes you wonder how he would have turned out if he had not experienced such a past. In a way, his story demonstrates the consequences of not being able to heal from past wounds.
If you’re looking for a drama to compete with JTBC’s record-breaking Sky Castle, this is the one to watch. Whereas Sky Castle is thought-provoking, He Is Psychometric blends comical tones with the dark, creepy elements of a crime k-drama. It will have you on the edge of your seats, trying to figure out the answers before the characters do. If that isn’t the sign of a well-produced k-drama, then it will be impossible to find any signs. As of now, it is one of the best-produced k-dramas of 2019.
You can watch the drama on Viki.