kakashi: I usually HATE the backstories in sageuks. I get so bored by the same-old-stories and want to get to the real deal (i.e. main cast) more quickly. But not in this drama. This isn't just a backstory that explains why our hero is the way he is (though it also is, of course), but much more to me. I guess it is the mysteries that we get introduced to? This is a rich and exciting world and understanding it has only marginally to do with the hero and so much more with all the characters around him. In fact, I like the "backstory" so much, I hope we will go back to it occasionally ... I can hope, right?!
JoAnne: Young Chul races through the streets after Aka but all he finds is The Fortuneteller, casually leaning against a black car. Is that the car we see Aka and Shinichi in sometimes? Who IS this man? (likely the Big Boss of FreedomFightersCentral, or something like that). The Fortuneteller orders Young Chul into the car and won't take no for an answer. 'All you had to do was ignore him. Did you have to take it this far?' NO idea who 'him' is - Shinjo? Aka? It's for Jung Tae, Young Chul pleads, but it seems that holds no water with The Fortuneteller. In the end, Young Chul appears to acquiesce, but asks for a favor. We are not privy to the details.
kakashi: It likely involves stupid sacrifices.
kakashi: We cannot rule out anyone. This is quite exciting, in fact ... well, Aka is certainly a prime contender, but he isn't the one pulling the strings. He is one of the puppets being pulled by the strings. I would guess that Shinichi isn't the one, but nope, cannot entirely rule him out either.
kakashi: She isn't trying very hard, though. If she had really wanted to kill herself, she would have just stuck it in there, without the long speech. So, maybe, she is testing him.
(oh .... YES). Gaya thanks him for saving her, but points out that he can't be there all the time, and she'll keep trying until she succeeds. I love watching Shinichi's face while he listens to Gaya. He always seems proud, somehow. Admiring, concerned, proud - she really is important to him, and I'm dying to find out why.
kakashi: I love watching Shinichi full stop! But ... I do wonder a bit at Gaya. She does ask questions, but never about him! Wouldn't the first question be: "Who are you, incredibly handsome warrior? And why do you protect me?! And why is your nose so gorgeous?"
JoAnne: I love his hair line.
JoAnne: I love his hair line.
kakashi: But only from afar. He strikes me as a very tragic figure. He will most likely die an honorable, but utterly sad death.
JoAnne: Oh, the tears we will shed for thee, Noble Shinichi.
kakashi: A rose tattoo. What a classic.
Cut to a young (chubby!) (haha, first thing I noticed, too!) Shinichi watching an older woman he calls Princess Ryoko. Clearly, he worships her. He has vowed to be her bodyguard, and she accepts his offer with the sad comment that there is no one else in this place to protect her. There's a neat bit where the older Shinichi looks through the door at his younger self and the Princess. His eyes are suspiciously shiny, but when the scene shifts to the present and he realizes Gaya is looking back at him, Shinichi turns and walks away. Is this Gaya's mother?
kakashi: It definitely is, judging from the fotos we saw earlier. So, Shinichi was devoted to Gaya's mother, but much too young to truly be her bodyguard. Maybe he became her bodyguard later? In any case, she was murdered (maybe on his watch?), so one way or another, he has failed. Also, Gaya is royalty of sorts. So ... this is very much political.
kakashi: This Dog Nose ... he is an interesting character. But why are they in a hotel that looks exactly like one of the Swiss mountain hotels built in the 1960s?
JoAnne: Exactly what I thought the first time we spent time here, in Gaksital...
kakashi: Hm. Hmmmmmmmmmm.... who and what is this guy?! He quite cleverly fooled Shinichi. But why? Against whom is his hate directed?
JoAnne: I do really like Dog Nose. As a character.
How convenient, Jung Tae. His apology is not very comforting to Ok Ryeon and once again I'm impressed with how she refuses to shy away from the truth. She calls him out on his bullshit, but then she tells him saw Gaya leaving. Without a word, he takes off running and my heart just... oof. Yes, Gaya is more exciting, but so what? She also wants to kill you, dude.
kakashi: I am not so sure she really wants to kill him. And at this moment, all Jung-tae wants is to makes sure she knows that it's all a big misunderstanding. He doesn't like his Daddy-o, but he is quite certain his Daddy-o isn't the killer. I am guessing that Jung-tae doesn't know his Daddy very well, cause he clearly isn't just a hobo who doesn't come home.
kakashi: Cause he lurves her, of course!!!! And again, by taking the initiative (i.e. the sword), Gaya saves his life, if she wants to or not (I'm guessing wants. She also seems to believe Jung-tae and wants him to find her father's killer). Shinichi certainly wouldn't have hesitated to strike.
kakashi: He is faaaar too nice for this to be real. Unless Dog Nose fools everybody around him and this is his real persona. But I guess not. But thanks show for letting me guess at all!
JoAnne: I'm sure you're right but now I want to see this guy in something where he's a sweetheart.
kakashi: Hahaha, yeah, well said. A little "too innocent", exactly.
kakashi: So ... he knew exactly who Chung-ah was. This is part of some plan. Oh, I don't like this.
JoAnne: When Jung Tae returns home Chung Ah has gone to bed. He apologizes to her, and she tearfully claims that she can't remember when she saw him happy last. All these things, he is doing because of her. She starts to say it would be better if she were dead, but Jung Tae is so horrified at the thought he doesn't allow her to finish her sentence.
kakashi: Ah, sad fate. Very sad fate ...
kakashi: So, I made about 100000 gifs and screencaps. Oh well.
JoAnne: Looking around, but I don't SEE them... I am sure we could - hey, maybe just a post full of gifs of that fight? With commentary? Salacious, of course?
kakashi: Oh my. So much testosterone. It's hard to breath. Also: none of them wear the other half of the medallion - unless they have taken it off, of course.
JoAnne: This is entirely too distracting for early in the morning at work.
kakashi: "Does he like his work?" buahahaha, JoAnne, you crack me up. Cause I just imagined him going to counselling, where he breaks down crying because of his low job satisfaction.
JoAnne: I laughed loud and long and two people came to see why. Thanks.
kakashi: So ... this is a bit complicated and we have no clue. So be it! Ohhhhh, Shinichi .... please don't die!
kakashi: Noooooooooo, Jung-tae, nooooooooooooo! Don't frigging do it ......
kakashi: So, JoAnne ... which School would you rather go to? Dobi School or Shinichi School?
JoAnne: Do not make me choose, no! I cannot!
kakashi: This smile there on the right? *nosebleed*. But I am not sure we can trust him.
kakashi: Awwwww, they so are.
kakashi: Time to say goodbye.
kakashi: He sweats. Man. This must be so nerve wracking for the kiddo ...
JoAnne: I didn't really notice this at the time, but look at Shinichi in that gif. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
Aka pulls out the knife and says 'I'll see YOU in six months' before stalking away. He doesn't see Gaya collapse from nerves behind him. From his vantage point at a distance, Aoki gives a satisfied huff.
kakashi: Goooooooood scene! But this trick won't work the second time, will it?
Kakashi: That's why these trains can only be jumped at very specific locations; they need to slow down a bit. All the time, I'm thinking: Don't people notice the running person? I.e. the engineman? Or the passengers?!
kakashi: Well, it's Dobi-training, baby.
JoAnne: Crossing the border at Dandong, Jung Tae finds the right spot and makes a successful jump. A couple approach, acting concerned that he might have hurt himself, but they are in fact robbers and steal his merchandise after stabbing him a couple of times. They leave him for dead by the railroad tracks.
kakashi: So ... is this Dog Nose's doing?!
kakashi: Or she is just a very neat person.
kakashi: Ack, so sad ... and so pointless.
JoAnne: Jung Tae briefly comes to consciousness to see two mysterious men in black standing over him. They carry him off somewhere for treatment and both of the Dobi Hyungs come for him. One of the times that Jung Tae comes to he he hears one of the men in black saying to the Dobi Hyungs that they will owe him big for this. We don't see his face, but I know that voice: it's Song Jae Rim! Another squee-worthy candidate I totally forgot was going to be in this drama. Seriously, it's just getting ridiculous in here.
kakashi: Do you think Song Jae-rim will ever be cast again as anything else but the creepy killer type after Two Weeks?! And ... who IS this guy?! Any connection to Dog Nose? I do NOT like that the Dobi's are in debt to him...
kakashi: Do you think it's good bye forever?! There still so many questions!!!
kakashi: It took me a second to realize that we had switched!
JoAnne: Somewhere else, one mysterious man pays another for leading him to a hideout. It's grown Jung Tae! He bursts in on a group of men and commences to kick ass. The music is thrilling and Kim Hyun Joong totally rocks the tough guy look. He is SO much better this way than as a flower, seriously. God I hope he can act a little bit now. I can tell you he does REALLY well in the fight scenes, at least.
kakashi: What she just said. I want this to be good so much it hurts!
JoAnne: The story has been well set up and I'm excited to see what happens next. It doesn't feel like we stayed in the past too long, in the sense that I'm not heartbroken to see the kids go, but I do think they did a great job and gave us a really solid foundation for the actions that come next. I really really REALLY want this to keep being good. My one problem so far has been with Gaya, really, and even then maybe it's a small thing. She was just so QUICK to turn into this bloodthirsty vengeful killer when 30 minutes before she'd been a sweet girl with a crush, and then she really adapts very quickly to this idea that she's someone important without any clue at all who she is or why that's true. 'Burn my house down' - like she'd been giving orders since birth. Puh-lease. And then of course, there's no way she could actually fight against someone like Aka after two weeks so of course she has to have the geeeeeeeeeeeenius idea. Anyway, that's my one quibble so far.
kakashi: I am quite sad the teen-story is over. I am not sure how much Dobi-gang there will be in the adult world (my Poong-cha! I already miss you!) and I love stories in which young people have to prove they are worthy. I would have loved to see him jump more trains, I would have loved to see what happens to young Jung-tae after the death of his sister. The adult version is a bit too cool ... this is already a full-grown hero, not just one in the making; or at least an almost full-grown one. That said, if the show keeps its pace as before, I'm all good.