kakashi: Shiiiiiiiit! That's some major WTFuckery ... I guess we'll never know what made him do it, but my guess is KJW felt neglected. Happens with such a large cast. Oh well ...
kakashi: We’re back to Mo’s insanely cool boots and insanely cool walk through town to Ill Gook Hwae’s doors. His minion does the archaic battle cry (love it), and Gaya gets to say her insanely cool “and I am Gaya” again to a worrying Shinichi. Thanks for repeating this, show, cause it’s awesome! And they fight: will it be Shin Jung-tae or Dandong that exchanges hands?
JoAnne: Revenge: It's What Teaches You Superior Knife Skills.
JoAnne: The first time I watched this I giggled nervously. The second time I watched this I cried.
JoAnne: There's this point where he cuts his eyes at her and I felt like he was directing her on what to do next, because he'd picked up on something (who knows what, we're just mortals and he's Mo) that let him know she didn't want to win but couldn't afford to LOOK like it. The subs make it seem like she was directing him, but that's not how it looked or felt to me.
JoAnne: Yeah because no one has ever hurt anyone they ever loved. She'd kill him if she had to. I'm supposed to give her a free pass because she'd feel bad about it?
kakashi: You don't believe in true love?!
JoAnne: Mo and Minion feel like Batman and Robin to me, somehow. Yes, the 60's live-action version.
JoAnne: Ain't even gonna try to front on that one. I did. But I fear his story will be relegated to the writing room floor at this point. If it makes a tighter overall story, that's ok.
JoAnne: So fortunate that forests there seem to consist of scrubby pines, widely spaced.
JoAnne: It was a rather chilling scene, watching those men bow to him.
JoAnne: I DEFINITELY had Matrix feels all over these scenes. And someone (Jubies33 I think) pointed out that Mo has more than a whiff of Prince about him, which I must have been feeling subconsciously because I've had Purple Rain on my mind lately. I thought it was because Prince appeared on New Girl, though.
JoAnne: I will hold you to this, show. Boss Hwang and Mo, side by side and kicking ass, somewhere down the road. #MoBettaDobi
JoAnne: You're a dick, but you're right.
(lets go with yes) Overlord gets some tea and then he asks where she will go to next: Manchuria it is. He approves and tells her to turn it into an Opium route. Her new ally there will be the new Emperor of Manchuria. Just a puppet to their Japanese Emperor, she says, by Overlord warns her: be careful. Never curse the Chinese Emperor. Nonetheless, he is convinced she will fit into China well.
JoAnne: Gaya, take note: Shinichi is yours to order around, but he's in constant (secret) communication with Grandpa. Aoki clearly has something for you, but he, too, is loyal to Grandpa first. Can't say I blame them... just saying it might be wise for a girl to watch her back.
JoAnne: The worst kind of liar; the one who uses nothing but the truth to make the lie.
JoAnne: Seriously, Shinichi... I hope you made a good deal when you sold your soul.
JoAnne: Hoping for lots of bickering between Shinichi and Do-Ggoo. Deadly, nearly fatal bickering.
kakashi: Fine with me, if it means lots of Shinichi :)
kakashi: Several things happen in rapid succession now:
Jung-tae is carried away from Shineuiji on a bark, with a pensive Mo Il-hwa. Jjang-Ddol is languishing in a cell, hoping for his friend to get him out (I think that character is dead too - nobody will miss him even if he never reappears again!)
JoAnne: Somebody's jealous, somebody's jealous!
JoAnne: Is he The FortuneTeller? Besides being a lying liar who lies?
JoAnne: I liked how his face didn't change all that much there at the end, and yet it changed completely. He's dangerous. I think he's like Do-Ggoo up to a point: they both keep something in reserve that will save them if needed. The difference will be that Do-Ggoo is better at it.
JoAnne: He emoted like a mofo, that's for sure. I liked very much that Mo Il Hwa just sat there quietly and patiently. He didn't say anything and he didn't move, he was just there while Jung Tae lost it. Being there for someone like that is good, but hard.
JoAnne: LOVED how neatly they circled back to this and was thrilled to see it again because - it's damn good.
JoAnne: And THIS. This was good! I do wish there'd been an opportunity for the son to realize what his father was in his actual lifetime, but oh well. If the trade off is that Gaya realizes there are forces behind this that she may not be aware of, so that she's on her guard? All to the good. By the way: my vote for the shadows behind the screen are Aka and Denkai.
JoAnne: I love the fights, even though this one reminds me of a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. Hmm... Shin Jung Tae, grandfather of Jean Claude Van Damme...
JoAnne: Two things. No, three things: 1) Girl says he's a puzzle with no moves; usually it's drinks, gifts, sex, Jung Tae responds that his way is sex first, THEN he buys gifts, and THEN he buys drinks. 2) Guy is dressed in black leather pants, a black t-shirt, a silver necklace, a leather jacket, and a silk scarf/pashmina. I didn't realize that this was the style in '30's China. 3) Jung Tae-ah, you kick ass, and your timeline works for me, too.
kakashi: At the same time, Gaya is travelling to Shanghai by train. A minion explains the layout of Shanghai to her. The place that "sticks like a thorn" is Bangsamtong, the Korean neighborhood; ruled by Crazy Eyes aka Jung Jae-Hwa. Gaya is quite certain she can take that thorn out. But ... where is Shinichi, I ask???
JoAnne: Gaya has herself some hot young minions now. Shinichi is off staring in the mirror pensively. Hime-nim! he asks his reflection. Yes? his reflection responds.
JoAnne: That was fun. It might come back to bite him in the butt, though.
kakashi: Nice butt. I hope it doesn't get hurt.
JoAnne: Oh, neat tie-in to Dobi. I didn't even make the connection. I like this guy, I bet we see more of him and that he's a lot more than he says he is.
kakashi: Even though we got to see a lot of material we had already seen in episode 1, I liked this episode for showing us a matured (and hardened) Jung-tae, seemingly disillusioned, but still looking for his sister. We also got clarity about Gaya's feelings towards Jung-tae, though saying it's love sounds much easier than it actually is. These two? They can very clearly NEVER be. I'd advise them to not even try.
JoAnne: Seriously: it's worse than being allergic to saliva. Just saying.
kakashi: I am kind of happy we have moved on to the next leg of this journey and have come full-circle ... but I'm also sad. Because moving to Shanghai means leaving a few awesome characters behind, mostly the beloved Dobi (who are still awesome, though a little less, without Poong-cha). Sigh. Poong-cha ... the two grief-scenes in this episode really killed me. So powerful.
JoAnne: I feel like we are moving at breakneck speed, honestly, but there's VERY little problem with dropped story lines and this drama has been really good about circling back when appropriate. Seriously: the opening scenes, which are usually fleshed-out versions of things we'd already seen, are very well-done. Flashbacks, too. They add something to what we already know more often than not, and so I don't feel like I'm being TOLD something so much as I feel like we're peeling back layers of story to get to what REALLY happened.
kakashi: Having such a large cast is awesome, but it also means that a lot of the side-characters don't get a lot of air time. Aka is definitely a rare thing to behold, and Aoki is as well. I hope I do not have to add Shinichi to this list, because ... yeah. I have a thing for him. He is a bastard de luxe, but I cannot help it. Moving the story to Shanghai means getting to know the rest of the cast (or at least more of the cast) and I am looking forward to getting to know them. Let them be as awesome as the ones we've met before!
JoAnne: Well in addition to the deaths, there's already been one casualty of the large plot that we know of - I think definite word isn't out yet but it seems pretty certain that Kim Jae Wook is gone. I have mixed feelings as I definitely enjoyed Soo Ok, but he could be cut from the story without damaging the core of it, and let's be honest: where dramas falter is with huge casts and multiple story lines that become too much to manage. So although I pretty much ADORE everyone in this cast of thousands, I can support some paring down if it will make it possible to continue to give us an awesome story. One other thing that was really noticeable in this drama is the visual effect of it. Whoever is doing the cinematography, whatever happens to this story? That person deserves an award. Fantastic shots. The surroundings become as much a part of the event as anything else. And the styling of the sets is just amazing. Argh! I love this show SO MUCH.