19 January 2014


Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 2 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 19, 2014
kakashi: Let's see how our "Fist Fighter for Love and Family" fares in the 2nd episode! I am curious: Will we see more of the older version of Jung-tae and will he speak? How will the love triangle develop? (there's going to be one, right?) And, most importantly ... will Kim Jae-wook appear???!!! 
JoAnne: Yes, when? And even MORE most importantly: Will he be another  $&#%^ ghost?
Episode 2

kakashi: Ah! Confusion #4534509 from Episode 1 is solved right away: somebody pretended to be Poong Cha in front of Rockhead/Great Masturbator, and Doofus fell for that. He gave him their meager savings to become part of the gang. The leader of Dobi Gang (I really want to call them Scooby Gang so badly!), Hwang Bong-Sik, sends one of his men (a reluctant, sullen kinda fellow) to find the guy that is responsible. By the way, the Leader of Scooby Gang is Yang Ik-joon (or Yang Ik-june), writer, director, editor, and actor in the film Breathless.
JoAnne: Look at that faaaaaaaaaaaaace. I'm gonna squee over the sad short puppy in this one.
kakashi: In the meantime, Gaya is meeting someone at the river in the dark of the night. Almost naked man that emerges from the waves (he is exhausted, cause the current is too strong) is also a smuggler (is he a recurring character? does he have a name? he is looking nice enough!): He is carrying cigarettes and alcohol across the river and calls her crazy for smuggling this: if she gets caught, she'll die. And he will die too.
JoAnne: I spend the entire scene wondering how they kept the cigarettes dry, wondering if they had plastic in the 30's. I mean I know, ok, they had oilcloth and stuff like that but still. It's these details that keep me up at night, definitely not the finely muscled and glisteningly wet torso of some random vaguely criminal guy who ascends out of the waves like Venus on the half shell, already panting and making my imagination run wild.
kakashi: Rock Head goes to see Bobby Socks, who is training her singing voice at the pharmacy, and lets her know (after finding enough courage) that Jung-tae is at the hospital. She grabs some money from a box immediately and runs off. Pharmacy owner is furious about the money-grabbing.
JoAnne: I love her and her stringy hair and her pale skin and her bobby sox. She was the girl who had the crush on Puppy in IHYV. I'm really pissed that she grows up to be Mok Dan.
kakashi: We get acquainted with the Boolgom Gang. These seem to be the guys in charge of the rickshaw business. They talk about a new joint that opened and the need to make sure that they do not stray onto their territory. Dog Nose enters! He has a huge band-aid over his nose. Boolgom Boss (oh, his name is actually Bool-gom) hits him and teaches him a lesson: be brutal. Take revenge three-fold. If he's the one getting beaten, Boss will "take him down". When Boss and his guy have left, Dog Nose asks his minion where Jung-tae is: find him!
JoAnne: Dog Nose's voice is distracting but his un-beat-up face is quite lovely. I checked. Still - I appreciate that the minute we saw these guys we hated them, right? And the minute we saw the Dobi Babies we loved them. It was like meeting Baksa Adeul all over again. They're criminals but they're not bad and we KNEW that about them. Right away, even while they were beating that poor boy senseless. And that SHOULD have made us hate them.
kakashi: Our hero is hospitalized. When he wakes up, Bobby Socks is there with him ... she leaves pretty quickly though, saying that he seems alright (she thought he might be dying). She'll go to see his sister, to calm her down. Jung-tae has a heavy heart, but he is grateful to her - and sorry. Bobby Socks stays the night with Jung-tae's sister (who wants to learn how to read and write from Bobby Socks) and they talk about their missing Daddy Shin, who is into fighting like his son, but sounds like some kind of hero.
JoAnne: I'm going to admit right here that as events unfold in this episode I am unclear why Jung Tae hates dad so much, when everyone else seems to admire him.
kakashi: Oh. Scoobygang Boss (plus Poong-cha) and Boolgomgang Boss (also with a plus one) meet by chance at the gisaeng house. We learn that the Dobis are the ones that get the goods in (as we know, with trains) and the Boolgoms are the ones that then sell them ... and that the two Bosses are NOT friends. In fact, I am willing to bet my Lee Jun-ki postcards that there will be blood between these two gangs. Soon.
JoAnne: Well we all know who *I'm* rooting for.
kakashi: Next we see Shin-Daddy (Choi Jae-Sung: loved him in Time Between Dog and Wolf!), he is released from prison. He goes to see a fortuneteller in the streets and says "he will come". It seems they are talking about uri Jung-tae - Shin-Daddy wants the street dude to take care of his son. Rocky music starts. I like it.
JoAnne: I really want to see more of fortune-teller dude, too.
kakashi: Bobby Socks meets her gisaeng-mother, just when she is about to scale some walls. Ah, she wanted to sneak back in without being found out, but mommy came back early and now, Bobby Socks gets those nasty slaps to the calves, for stealing money and sleeping out. Gisaeng mother tells her daughter she can always ask her for money, and that's exactly what Bobby does right away: give her 100,000 won for Chun-ah's surgery in Japan. I guess from the shocked look on Gisaeng mom's face that she either  doesn't have that much money or doesn't want to give her daughter that much money for someone else.
JoAnne: Whatever.
kakashi: Ohhhhhh, bromance at the hospital! Poong-cha comes to visit Jung-tae, and brings him something to eat. It's gangster food! Swallow nests in dough, which make you heal faster (why not?) Poong-cha gives Jung-tae some advise about fighting, and then, his nurse mother enters. Stop it already, show, I am refusing to learn any new names!! She is not his birth mother, but she raised him (at an orphanage, it seems?). Oh, he is such a GOOD guy - he provides her with money, to do good deeds for those who are in need.
JoAnne: I could barely hear the dialogue over my squeals, to be honest. Look at his sweet face and his mom is a NUN and he takes care of ORPHANS and he likes Jung Tae and he's all philosophical and everything.  ou know one of the two Dobi guys is going to die, right? And I'm going to sob for days, right?
kakashi: Back at the Gaksital set, but only for a few seconds (hahahahaha it's very distracting for me!) Evil Japanese dudes arrive at the station. This is Shinichi, Denkai Doyama's minion. He is here to see Gaya. Lady Gaya, dressed as a boy, is peddling her (American) cigarettes. But she's caught by ... I have no clue who this guy is. (Me neither. I don't think it matters much, except that this is probably NOT Doolgam gang so, a third gang.) Severe slapping ensues. Gang boss XY offers her a way out (40 packs of cigarettes for her life), but she just spits at him. Gang boss gives the order to "take care of her" (I guess that means to kill her), but before they can get started, they become aware of another presence there ... oh yes, this is badass evil Japanese Shinichi. "Run, then you'll live", he says ... and they really should have listened. Cause ... yikes. He is good.
JoAnne: Very dashing. Are we certain he's evil? (no, we're not! Maybe he is undercover?!) Maybe he just has an evil boss. Or is the party line in this one that there are no good Japanese except dead Japanese? It's very wrong of me that I want to call him Shun Ji isn't it.
kakashi: Gaya seems to be very much afraid of him. But he means her no harm ... he just fumbles for the leather-string necklace she is wearing and looks at the pendant hanging from it: it is one half of an ornament. He then tells her about fear - and how she will live under an unimaginable amount of it from now on. But she needs to conquer it - in order to take revenge. Then he gets up and leaves, without another word. Oh dear, he is cool ... I'm a little bit in love with him already. Is he going to be hard to hate?
JoAnne: Yes. And who the fuck IS Gaya, dammit.
kakashi: Somewhere else, another black-cloaked killer has "taken care of it", as he tells someone on the phone. It being the killing of at least 5 people. He sews a gaping wound in his left arm, as if it were his pants. I have not the slightest idea who that guy is... Dammit. If I am not mistaken, there's a hint of a glass eye there, so this must be "Aka". He is part of the evil Japanese.
JoAnne: Well I thought he was Shinichi so if he's not he must be that other guy who was with Shinichi when we first met him. I'm glad to know it wasn't him though because I wasted valuable time wondering when he got that wound. Until I saw it, though, I was all: Why are these people just sprawled out sleeping every which way but this one guy is awake?  Then I saw the wound and the guy half in the hallway and I was like: well NO ONE takes a nap half in one room and half in another, so they must all be dead.
kakashi: Dobninori-Scooby Gang Headquarters! You rock, guys! So does the music! Yeah I liked the music there too. Poong-cha has taken Jung-tae there - they've captured the guys that posed as Dobinoris in front of Rockhead. Unfortunately, they no longer have Jung-tae's money - but Poong-cha tells Jung-tae to beat them up for as long as he needs to to get over his anger.
kakashi: Scoobygang Boss is building a tower out of matches in the backroom. His eyes almost pop out, that's how concentrated he is - and I guess that is why Poong-cha deliberately sneezes on it; the matches fly all over the table. Bong-Sik is angry, but not for long; clearly, the two have a very deep friendship. Luff. Dem. So. MUCH. Poong-cha brought Jung-tae in and our young hero gets a romanticized lesson about the history and greatness of smuggling. While Bong-Sik talks, Poong-cha cracks up laughing on the side, while Jung-tae listens intently. The bottom-line of all this is: Bong-sik wants Jung-tae to join the Scooby Gang.
JoAnne: Yes, do it! Do it! Doooooooooo eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.
kakashi: Oh, this is exciting: Jung-tae is to "train hop" on a very fast train that only slows down for about 10 seconds, during which he will either be able to hold onto the train or die. Why does have to get on? Not sure I get it: do they actually hijack trains? Anyway, of course Bong-sik doesn't think Jung-tae can do it just yet. Oh, and now it hits me why JoAnne likes this guy: he is very much like Safari from Heartless City!
JoAnne: He has this sort of resigned, jaded view of things - and in spite of it, he gives off a feeling of hopefulness and vulnerability.  Total sucker for that combo.
kakashi: The other Scoobygang member, the grumpy one (named Kang-Gae), is enraged when he hears about Jung-tae's new position (he is to be a "transporter", whatever that is) (It's an awesome movie starring Jason Statham, watch it.) and confronts Bong-sik. Apparently, Bong-sik never let anyone Kang-gae brought join the gang. But Bong-sik wants Jung-tae to join because he seems brave enough to jump a train alone: if Kang-gae knows anyone like it, bring them in! Kang-gae doesn't seem happy. Not at all. This one is probably going to be a problem.
JoAnne: I don't like his face.  He should go away. Go away, Mr. Grumpy Pants!
kakashi: Poor Rockhead is doing wood work, but he hurt his leg, quite badly, it seems. He quickly hides his tears when Jung-tae approaches. He is doing this additional work to get back Jung-tae's money, of course, but it's all so pointless ... it'll take them years and years to get enough. Carefully, Jung-tae asks what a "Dobinori" is and Rockhead tells him that it is a person that "flies" to ride a train - it's super dangerous (yes, we already knew that). Alright, goes Jung-tae: I am going to join the Scooby Gang - with you!
JoAnne: I'm not going to go check because I wish to remain in suspense but I will share that I'm quite afraid because I have no recollection of an adult Doofus.  
kakashi: Dog Nose is plotting evil things, beating up one of the rickshaw guys. Or rather: that guy didn't use a rickshaw but a three-wheeled bike and that is why is he is beaten up. Enter that other guy who is always with Dog Nose, informing his boss that they have found Jung-tae. Him and Rockhead are celebrating with alcohol when Dog Nose and his posse approach. Jung-tae and Rockhead argue over who gets to run and who stays to be beaten up, which infuriates Dog Nose even more - but then, the friends flip over the table and run for it.
JoAnne: I like that they're so in sync.
kakashi: Bang! Jung-tae runs right into a black car. Shinichi is in it, and the two lock eyes for a second. Soon after, Jung-tae and Rockhead find themselves cornered by Dog Nose et al. Jung-tae takes out his white bandage and wraps his hand - Dog Nose gives the order to attack. They fight - Jung-tae is such a badass, yum - and Shinichi watches from the car. He notices Jung-tae and is intrigued as he recognizes him as a natural born fighter. But he doesn't want a fighter, he adds, as he watches Dog Nose sneak up on Jung-tae and hit him over the head with a flower pot.
JoAnne:  He just fucking drives OFF. Bad form, Shinichi. Bad FORM.
kakashi: So ... what does he want if not a fighter? A killer?

kakashi: At that time, Bobby Socks, her calves show painful red stripes from her punishment earlier, goes by Jung-tae's house, to visit his sister Chun-ah ... but the poor girl has collapsed in the yard; she is lifeless. At the same time, Shin-Daddy approaches slowly. He is wearing a suit. He seems nervous and stops a fair distance away from the house, when suddenly, Bobby Socks' fearful screams to help her reach his ear. He runs into the yard and grabs the lifeless body of his daughter. He piggybacks her to the hospital.
JoAnne: Daddy is quite nice looking. I don't get a shiftless vibe at all. Jung Tae, you are going to owe your appa an apology sometime soon I think.
kakashi: Jung-tae and Rockhead are down and Jung-tae tries to protect his friend with his body from further assault. Dog Nose, his face bloody and swollen, lifts a plank to smack it over Jung-tae's head, but there is Poong-cha, grabbing his arm!! Finally! Poong-cha says this is Dobinori territory, but Dog Nose's people are stupid enough to attack him. It takes him about 5 seconds until all the gangsters are down, including Dog Nose.
JoAnne: Assa!  My one complaint about this drama though is the weird little drunk camera interludes where everything gets slow and shakey.
kakashi: Agreed! It makes gif-fing quite hard, in fact
kakashi: Poong-cha demands to know how Jung-tae is involved with Dog Nose. The kids don't know why he seems a bit pensive, but we do: this is a gang-matter now! Bool-gom and his underling are playing a game, when the door opens and in comes Poong-cha with an unconscious Dog Nose over his shoulder, followed by the kiddos. After throwing Dog Nose to the floor, he informs Bool-Boss that his underling touched his kids on their territory: a no-no. Oh well, Bool-gom threatens Jung-tae (for changing over to the Dobis), but Poong-cha makes it pretty clear that Jung-tae is now part of the Dobis. Touch him, and be scared. Yikes! A gang war just became 100% more likely. And after Poong-cha has left, evil Bool-gom tells his crony that the Dobi-gang is nothing without Poong-cha - take him down and Dobinori is finished. Noooooooo! Not my Poong-cha!!!
JoAnne: Oh it is ON like DONKEY KONG, my friend.
kakashi: He is so nice, I'm crying just at the thought of him being hurt ... he explains the kids that they have to be careful with whom they get into fights, because they are part of the Dobinoris now. What they do has bigger consequences from now on. He gives them money ... even his whole wallet! They are to buy themselves suits. Jung-tae (is he moved by the gesture? Or the money?) (I'm thinking he was impressed as all get out) calls after Poong-cha that he wants to start jumping trains. Immediately. But it's not THAT easy, kiddo: he needs to pass a test first. Jump off a bridge. It's 30 meters high, and people often faint due to the shock of hitting the water below. Of course, our young hero isn't scared! Poong-cha expected that, but he also tells him that there's no shame in being a transporter (people who carry the goods). Etc. End of discussion: for now!
JoAnne: Ha. I wasn't born under a KDrama bridge YESTERDAY, you know. I know what comes next.
kakashi: When Jung-tae gets home later in the dark, Bobby Socks is waiting for him. He offers her food, but she starts hitting him. He suddenly realizes that something is wrong ... where is his sister? She almost died, Bobby Socks says, while he was out fighting. Doesn't he know he cannot leave her alone? At the hospital, Jung-tae cries tears of remorse.
JoAnne: Whatever.  He has to leave her alone to make money. We all know she's going to die, anyway.
kakashi: But when he comes face to face with his father shortly after, he is just angry. Chung-ah thinks her father is dead - and that's how it should be. Jung-tae has seen his father only three times since he was born: he was never there for them. He has no right to call himself father and Jung-tae even threatens to kill him if anything ever happens to Chung-ah again. Well. That's maybe not such a good idea, kiddo. He may have abandoned you, but it probably isn't his fault your sister is ill!
JoAnne: And he was out fighting for KOREA, I'm guessing... which sucks for his family I know but what are you going to do? We need the dramatic tension.
kakashi: Chung-ah's brush with death makes Jung-tae desire the Dobinori position more, of course; I am assuming because these guys get the most money? Rockhead runs to the Dobi-Gang's headquarters (Gaya is also there?) (It looks to me like they hire kids to do some of the smaller jobs? And that might be what he intended Jung Tae to start as?) and the hyungnims are mighty alarmed and start rushing there in a small truck - the water is high, the current particularly powerful. But that doesn't seem to be the only problem ...
kakashi: Jung-tae is on the bridge, slowly walking towards the middle. He doesn't stop, even when he hears them shout his name.
JoAnne: So is the good looking guy next to Doofus the angry one from earlier? Is he not horrible through and through, then?
kakashi: No, JoAnne, that's another dude. His name is Kkab-Sae (thanks, Asianwiki). I deliberately didn't want to mention him, cause ... yeah. Confusing! The Grumpy dude is there as well, being all cynical and a general ass ("he's gonna die anyway" and "he's not going to do it").
kakashi: He positions himself to jump (Gaya also arrives, staring wide eyed=. Poor Jung-tae is very much afraid: I can't blame him! And then, the bridge starts to shake. Shiiiiiiiiit: now we understand what Bong-Sik meant when he said that the high water wasn't the real problem: A train is coming!!!! He simply HAS to jump now; there is nowhere to go ...
kakashi: And he frigging DOES.
JoAnne: I don't CARE that we know he isn't going to die, my heart was POUNDING.


kakashi: Me very much likey. We're still deeply into back story territory, but I do not mind a bit (not even that there still is no Kim Jae-wook): awesome performances all around. No wonder with this cast! They went all out with the Dobinori Gang hyungnims and it's instant love for me. They are AWESOME! I really, really hope they will still all be there when older Jung-tae is back! The story could be called a bit slow, but that didn't bother me either. His motivation for wanting the most dangerous position in the gang's organisation makes perfect sense (and we needed him to first lose all his money and her almost-death to speed things up a bit). The father-issues, well, they are familiar territory, and I guess about 80% of all heroes have either daddy- or mommy-issues (or both). But there is more to this father, that we know, and I am curious what it is. As for the women ... both are brave and strong, in completely different ways. Gaya's mysterious entanglement with the Japanese overlords is interesting and since I always like me a woman on a revenge-trip, I'm pretty sure her character will not disappoint later on. How they will fare as rivals, I don't know - but judging from the preview, we'll get to that soon. Give me more! 
JoAnne: Everything you said. This has been put together so well that we know how we are supposed to feel about pretty much everybody without even realizing how it is that we know, and then as the story unfolds it confirms it for us. I love that. I love SEEING a character and having it be immediately apparent to me whether he's someone I will love or hate, and having no real clue why. I  ike the pace fine so far and since it's not COMPLETELY on the (100% unchanged) Gaksital set it's not a huge distraction - but I will say that my worst problem so far ARE the Gaksital echoes - ok, and my fear that I won't ever get a grip on the enormous cast. Seriously, it makes Heirs look empty (yeah, but THAT isn't HARD at all!!!!). Still, I like this. I really do. God I hope it stays good. Stay good. Stay good. Stay good, dammit.

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