JoAnne: It's the drama within the drama! I'm sad to lose so much of what we loved, but this new stuff looks pretty interesting, too. I don't like the new ending music, though.
kakashi: Gaya arrives at Shanghai station ... and she is welcomed like a Queen by the infamous Yamamoto (Jeong Jin, whom I know from The Princess' Man). But Gaya, the cool cat, walks right past him, without so much as recognizing he is there. Yamamoto is of the thick sort, though ... he doesn't get it. He quickly follows her and offers to lead her around. She turns around, slowly ... and says she heard he hasn't been able to overtake Shanghai yet, right? Might it be because he is a total loser? She talks about the temple (the one with the "railings of death" she scared Shinichi at) and how the losers in Ill Gook Hwae have to go there. He claims to know this already, which earns him a slap (meow): he knows this and he is still such a coward? Luckily for him, there's no cliff here, so he will live - but next time, things will not end as well for him.
JoAnne: No but seriously, this was seriously ballsy on her part and such a deliberately calculated insult - I was impressed but also a bit worried because that dude is now an enemy. I did like the reaction of the driver/minion - he couldn't believe his eyes.
JoAnne: Gaya understands that in this game with the boys, she's got to go big or go home. Or really, go big or die (it's what Grandpa and Shinichi have been telling her all the time, too!) I'm rooting for her, suddenly. I've never been one of those people who could calculate every move for maximum effect so when I see it, it's cool to me.
JoAnne: I liked how they filmed it and I caught that 'France' bit but somehow thought she didn't mean it literally - 'French' being a euphemism for something else? (Well, the street names are in French in that part, so...) It's going to take a while to settle in to this new world, for me.
JoAnne: This girl's a cutie - she was the manicurist with a crush on Puppy in ICHYV. And we know Jung Tae has a soft spot for girls who dress like boys.
JoAnne: This was very cool and again put me in mind of Heartless City but on a much grander scale. Remember that scene where they're lining up in the street at the warehouse, and Soon-to-Be-Dead Girlfriend is stuck between them?
JoAnne: Where is Shinichi? Is she just not even bringing him anywhere with her these days? Where is Dog Nose? How can she travel without either of her guys?
(You're right, they mention fires later. That was just kind of weird.) Somewhere in Hwangbang, the owner of Shanghai is playing horsie with a kid (Lang Lang. His kid? His grand child?). Wang Baek-san interrupts them, much to the displeasure of both. In his curt way, Wang informs Seol Doo-sung that Gaya has arrived. I am not quite sure yet what the relationship between these two is, but Seol gets furious when he hears that Wang let Gaya in there that easily and didn't tell him. Seol is insulted ... I am not entirely sure why. Because he wasn't there to greet her? Ah ... so it seems Wang is Seol's Poong-cha.
JoAnne: Yes, and having her, a woman and a member of a rival gang, just walk into their territory - it looks exactly as insulting as Gaya meant it to look. He'll now be forced to respond in like manner when he probably really doesn't want to, or else it will look like he's losing control or has less balls than she does. I do love how she manages to use her womanhood as a weapon, now, when as a kid she hid her sex to be stronger.
JoAnne: Can someone PLEASE just explain to us why Jung Tae is the Neo of this part of Asia?
kakashi: Jung-tae is at the pick-pockets place. It looks like she wants him to stay! Hehe. She cooks Kimchi Jjigae for him - but it costs 2 Won. Haha. That's a total rip-off and he tries to stay strong, but she slurps and awwws and hmmmmms so that he can no longer hold back and puts 2 Won on the table. Oups, price just went up to 3 Won! Lol, cute kid.
JoAnne: How long before she dies?
JoAnne: She has ice in her veins, that's for sure.
(Loved that bit myself.) He is asleep, head on a table. When So So leaves and slams the outer door shut, he wakes up. He follows her outside, where she is tying her shoes: so, can she do anything than stealing? Like being a guide to places and a scout? She asks for money again (and gets it) and he asks to be taken to Seolrak. That's the most expensive place in all of Shanghai, apparently.
JoAnne: Appa was so cool, though... I feel sad that we are going to learn about him mostly after his death.
JoAnne: Loved loved LOVED that little 'now turn your ass around, sonny' gesture at the end.
JoAnne: I'm curious why he got involved, since HwangBang is Chinese. Is it that any enemy of Il Gook Hwae is an enemy of his? And why was he IN Shanghai, and not with his family?
kakashi: Eternal revenge trip, that's what he was on.
JoAnne: Every time I watch it, I get goosebumps and teary-eyed. His face as he looks at these people - the wonder and confusion in his eyes. That old woman's voice, her happiness at seeing him... all those old men. It was perfect.
JoAnne: Liked the tension. Liked it a lot.
JoAnne: I love how everything they say is really something else.
JoAnne: At first I was like... twigs? No... a TAIL? A TAIL? They gave him a TAIL? ...Ok, I guess it's easier than carrying around a horse's head...
JoAnne: Well, you live through two of them...
kakashi: Gaya, who is currently NOT at her party, is called back by Goichi. (I thought they were going to have that whole thing be her literally washing her hands of the whole mess...) Her men pull their swords and surround Jung-tae (Brown Kimono is currently on the floor, where he belongs, the rat). Gaya and Jung-tae stare at each other. Then, she faces Brown Kimono and demands to know who ordered him to do this - he tries to commit suicide, but Gaya's man hinders him. She says she will found out who did this and has him led away. In the background, Yamamoto curses under his breath. She then walks over to Seol, to apologize for the unpleasant interlude. Not to worry, Seol says - but let my guy go. He saved my pride, that's all.
JoAnne: Like there was any question of punishing him.
JoAnne: She is focused on business, that's for sure.
JoAnne: I take it the news hasn't made it's way to So-So yet. I find that difficult to believe because everyone else at that funeral probably knows by now.
JoAnne: Interesting. Club Shanghai is a separate thing from BamSongTong.
JoAnne: Should be interesting.
kakashi: And look whom we have here ... it's Ok-ryeon! Looking quite different than she used to ... She takes some (I guess) water from a lady (that's Lee Hae-In as female doctor Sun Woo-Jin)(She's a doctor, working in a restaurant/boarding house? - uhm ... I don't really know, I just read somewhere that she's a doctor!) and drives off on her bike ... missing Jung-tae by seconds. He is looking for a room. But the lady doctor spots someone watching from the shadows, so she tells him there is none and to go as long as he still can.
JoAnne: Didn't he MEET HIM this morning? Why is it suddenly NOW an issue? I can't remember if he said it was Young Chool's son or not, then, HwangBang Leader.
JoAnne: That's what I was wondering, what's their connection? Does he like her? Is she his sister, maybe?
kakashi: I will repeat what I said at the very beginning ... this was interesting. For the first time in my KDrama-watching experience, a time jump actually changed a main character, quite considerably. The Jung-tae in Shanghai is not the Jung-tae we knew from back then. That is good, because it's what would happen to a real person, but the new Jung-tae is also much more disillusioned than the "old" one. It will take quite a bit of investment from a variety of people to turn this Jung-tae into what he must become: the true hero of this story. A leader.
JoAnne: He is different, I agree. For all his hot-headed ways and Daddy issues, younger Jung Tae was a positive, hopeful person. This guy...t his guy's just going through the days. He's still looking for his sister, but even that feels like habit.
kakashi: I will also be honest though and say that I really, really MISS the old, now lost world of Shineuiji, with the Dobi Brotherhood, and the intensity Jung-tae had back then. And maybe I also miss the relative simplicity of that time ... Shanghai? It's complicated, baby. I have little love for Seol so far; he seems honest enough, but he also isn't very endearing. More like an eternally grumpy old man! I want Hwang Bong-shik back!!!! His 2nd in command (and bodyguard?) Wang is also one stiff kinda dude ... loyal, correct, etc., but also not all that lovable (Pooong-cha!!!! I miss you!!!!!!).
JoAnne: Seol must be dealing with some actual insecurity about his ability to hold on to Shanghai, because that's where he gets really prickly; that and his 'image'. I remember back to his visit to Leader Mo, and how he seemed likeable and caring, even fatherly. And we saw him with Lang-Lang, same way.
kakashi: As for Jung Jae-Hwa... hm. He is the most interesting of the new characters. At first, he just seemed like your everyday greedy and treacherous villain and he might be just that ... but still, there seems to be a little more to him that meet's the eye and I really like how Kim Sung-Oh plays him.
JoAnne: Earlier I likened him to Do Ggoo and said these are guys you can't ever discount; they always have something hidden that they can use to save themselves. I really think, though, that this guy won't be as good at that as Do Ggoo was. And I really hope we see Do Ggoo again.
kakashi: From the preview it seemed as if some of the old world characters are coming to the new world with the new Jung-tae, and I really hope that's the case (it could really just be a flashback, too, some old material they still had and haven't yet used.) We need Mo Il-hwa there and we also need Do-ggo there. We need Aoki and we need Shinichi. And if the Dobi made up their mind to visit Shanghai, I wouldn't mind either. As for losing Kim Jae-wook, I'm totally over it. And I wouldn't mind getting rid of Ok-ryeon too while we're at it. I'm also really, really afraid of next week and how this drama will fare with the new writer. Like ... REALLY afraid.
JoAnne: I hate that we all kept saying for weeks this is too good, something will go wrong... and then all this shit happened. Why must we be so smart? I'm still holding out for more good stuff. Change is not always bad. Change is not always bad. Change is not always bad.