23 February 2014

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Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 11 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by JoAnne on February 23, 2014
JoAnne This is an important episode...The Change is here. I am so nervous!
kakashi: I dub it the "Bodysnatcher" episode. It's alright, don't you think? There's no easily discernible change. At least not visually. They still fight. It's still complicated.
JoAnne: We just had different people to miss, as far as I was concerned. Still felt the same otherwise!
Episode 11

JoAnne: We're back to the fight in front of the guest house. I've decided that Green Eyes must be interested in Lady Doctor, going by the way he fixes his hat before he approaches her. They're going to make room at the inn for Jung Tae after all. Jung Tae isn't waking up, and Ok Ryeon is worried. Lady Doc Woo Jin says it was a momentary loss of consciousness only (uh, no, he's not conscious right now, lots of moments later) and all he needs is an IV and a good night's rest. Ok Ryeon sits up all night to watch over him and cry about his not having changed at all.
kakakshi: He is unconscious after that little beating?! He must be faking it. I think he was just tired and really wanted that room.
JoAnne: HwangBang Leaders (Seul Bang Joo and his next-in-command, Wan Baek San) are planning to move Young Chul's remains, and apparently they're going to publicly anoint Jung Tae as the new owner of Bangsamtong, or at least Club Shanghai, at the same time.
kakashi: I've decided I don't like them. Mo Il-hwa or Dobis: Please come and kick their ass!
JoAnne: It's funny because they both SEEMED like nice guys at first.. but yeah, I eventually come to the same conclusion.
JoAnne: Back at the clinic, Jung Tae wakes to the Lady Doc and Jung Jae Ha, he of the pretty green eyes, in a flirtatious death match. He had snuck in behind her and surprised her with a back hug - looking very, very, VERY handsome in his fedora and overcoat - and she responded by pressing his hand with a needle attached to an empty syringe and threatening death by embolism. It sounds harsh, but she doesn't seem to mind as much as she might act.
kakashi: I think I like her. Threatening death by embolism is a cool thing to do. In certain settings, of course, not always. And this is the time to mention that Kim Sung-oh is acting mighty fine in this drama. I think all the actors give their very best because they've realized they could be dead two episodes later.
JoAnne: Jae Ha reintroduces himself to Jung Tae and offers a friendly hand - which Jung Tae does not shake - then explains that his guys beat up Jung Tae, yes, but ever since Young Chul died, everyone's been trying to get control of Bangsamtong, and they were nervous. Jae Ha hopes that now their connection is understood, Jung Tae might forgive the error. He orders his men to acknowledge Jung Tae as Young Chul hyungnim's son, and they offer polite bows with a chorus of 'Hyungnim!' Jae Ha tells Jung Tae to come with them since they have to bring his father's body for the funeral.
kakashi: I wouldn't trust them, Jung-tae. Just saying! Also, I think it's unfair that Jung-tae has to walk around in the shabby same clothes all the time. Give him something to represent, man!
JoAnne: Ohhh. Which HwangBang is currently preparing to do. Somehow, I don't think that stricture against fights is going to hold up against this plot.
kakashi: I think "less violence" doesn't mean less fights. It just means "less bloody".

JoAnne: Of course, Jung Tae says he's not interested in that kind of thing, because his father has been dead to him for a long time. This enrages Jae Ha. He makes a really impassioned speech, but I'm a bit distracted by the lovely rock wall of a man in a blue shirt and tan blazer standing behind and to his right. He's no Aka, but Aka ain't here, is he? Jung Tae's face registers distress, but he doesn't change his mind and he leaves the clinic.
kakashi: I think it's a good idea for you to look for another AoF-love, JoAnne. Aka really is the sidiest of side characters ... Also, I find it interesting that Jae-ha is quite passionate about Shin-Daddy ... even though he "took" his place. He definitely has a lot of respect for the man. When it serves his own purposes at least.
JoAnne: I think that like Jung Tae, Jae Ha's emotions about Young Chul are complicated. It would hard to be fathered by/raised by a hero. Someone who is always thinking about everyone else, but never about his own.
JoAnne: Ok Ryeon is outside the clinic and she encourages him to honor his father regardless of how he feels about the man. She fills him in on what happened the night everything blew up for everyone: The Japanese destroyed the gibang, and both her mother and Ahjussi Choi died. (Aww, we knew about mom, but Ahjussi... sad.) Ok Ryeon had to leave her mother in the river - if she could find her body now and say goodbye that would be a comfort. But she doesn't have that luxury, even though Jung Tae does.
kakashi: I totally expected them to explain Kim Jae-wook/Kim Soo-ok's absence in this scene, but they didn't Why? Did they shoot this before he left?
JoAnne: Jung Tae apologizes and explains that no one told him what happened in Shineuiju; Ok Ryeon says that since she had no idea what happened to HIM, they'll call that even - but he needs to go get his father's body. Jung Jae Ha steps outside and watches Jung Tae expectantly. (Jae Ha, seriously. Your ridiculously handsome face. Those beautiful green eyes. Ugh.)
kakashi: You've always had a thing for him, haven't you? I must say, his weird constantly-cleaning character in WAML didn't really do it for me. This is much, much better! 
JoAnne: It's just that they're green, man... I love green eyes.
JoAnne: It's a turquoise pick up! My heart flips and then falls at my feet, crushed, because it's not Dobi (Doooooooooobiiiiiii! I think they only have one truck in this production. They also have only two black cars that look identical). It's Jung Tae and some of the Bangsamtong Boys. They are on their way to get Jung Tae's father, but all I can think about is Boss Hwang, Dobi We Like, Jjang Dol... even Dissenting Dobi - will we ever see them again?
kakashi: I imagine an epic scene at the end, in which all the surviving characters appear to fight the last fight. For a best friend, Jjang Dol has had very little screen time - and I am almost willing to bet that he has died in that prison.
JoAnne: I have that same dream.
JoAnne: Gaya reads an announcement: The funeral for Young Chul will be held at HwangBang. Not just that, minion Goichi says. ChirinBang will provide security for the event. I guess ChirinBang is like a Shanghai-centric G-7 or something. It's composed of top leaders from all segments of society - farming, banking, commerce, etc - and to the public, these people are the law. Minion explains in answer to Gaya's question about opposing HwangBang's decision that if you go against them, you should be prepared to die like a dog. Gaya correctly interprets the intent behind HwangBang's actions: they hope to stop Il Gook Hwae from taking over Club Shanghai.
kakashi: Yeah. Good. Slowly, slowly, we're getting to know the power structures in this new place. ChirinBang sound important. And they also sound like Chiddy (Chiddy) Bang (Bang). Which means I'll be able to memorize this name in no time.
JoAnne: Gaya moves on to her next agenda item: Where is Sasaki? WHO is Sasaki? You might be asking this, because I certainly was. He's the guy who attacked Seul Bang Joo at the club - Yamamoto's guy (we called him Brown Kimono last week). They're all waiting anxiously for Gaya, with Sasaki kneeling before an array of Il Gook Hwa samurai (WHERE IS SHINICHI!) and Yamamoto gulping like a fish. Gaya walks in wearing sharp Western clothes, although she was in traditional attire previously, wasn't she? (nope) There must be a message there. Probably something like 'It's a new day, mofo's - get with my program.'
kakashi: Did you know that Gaya is getting a lot of hate? Her and Im Soo-hyang for acting as her. I simply don't get it. To me, Gaya is one of the best (and definitely strongest) female KDrama characters ever. And Im Soo-hyang is doing a fairly good job as her, despite her young age! I hope she gets even tougher and bitchier.
JoAnne: I read the comments and couldn't disagree more - everything she does is calculated for effect and she shows emotion quite clearly when she wants to. You just shouldn't ever trust that the emotion she's showing is genuine.
JoAnne: Without breaking stride Gaya snatches Yamamoto's sword and as she comes to a halt in front of Sasaki she swings the blade. No, he's not headless, but there is a big gash across his chest. The next time, Gaya promises, it will be his heart. Now, who is it? Who told him to provoke HwangBang? Sasaki, of course, is silent. Gaya provides a little encouragement to the determined man. She's sure whoever it was promised to protect Sasaki's family in Osaka. If he does not speak, though, SHE promises to send his severed head with ears cut off and eyes gouged out to that family, and then in front of that head she will kill his wife and children in the same way. Sasaki caves and begins to confess. As Yamamoto grabs for his dagger, Gaya stabs Sasaki in his heart and ends the confession before she can hear the name. Like she didn't already know, right? The comically shocked expression on that driver minion- Goichi - who's been working with Gaya is pretty good.
kakashi: It's good, but I'm beginning to suspect it's his ONLY expression.
JoAnne: Gaya turns to Yamamoto and explains sweetly that she didn't want to be suspicious of any of 'us' on the word of a mere soldier. Does he understand? You bet the f--- he does. Yamamoto drops to his knees and then prostrates himself in front of Gaya, promising undying loyalty forever and ever amen. She demands that he prove it today, drops his sword in front of him like so much trash, and walks out. The sword thing, that's an insult, right? Our girl does not play. She does not play at all.
kakashi: No feet kissing this time. I wonder how long he will survive, this Yamamoto?
JoAnne: Wan Baek San shows up in Bangsamtong to get Jung Tae, only to learn that he and Jae Ha have already gone to the morgue to get Young Chul's remains. At the same time, Jae Hae is explaining to the chubby gangster, Gi Chi (love that name, when we tickle babies we say gitchi gitchi goo) that if he collects Young Chul's remains and provides him a grand funeral, everyone will know that he is capable of retaining control of Shanghai - then they will not lose control of Club Shanghai or Bangsamtong and everything will be good.
kakashi: Right. Who has the body has the power. That's the name of this game.
JoAnne: At the mortuary, it's clear that both Jung Tae and Jae Ha are affected by the sight of Young Chul's battered corpse. Jae Ha offers to deal with the physical tasks and suggests that Jung Tae deal with the paperwork. After signing, Jung Tae receives his father's personal effects. When he turns to leave, Baek San is standing there. Oh, I wondered how they'd deal with this - I mean no matter what, this is Jung Tae's father who died. They can't just battle it out with the poor boy standing there, can they? Nope. Baek San suggests that Jung Tae return to town and let them deal with everything. When Jung Tae says it's ok because he came with people, HwangBang says that's exactly why - there's plenty of people to deal with matters HERE, so Jung Tae should go back to town and begin to prepare for the funeral. Which he does, and of course five minutes later all hell is breaking loose at the mortuary.
kakashi: Jung-tae seems to be sleepwalking through all of this, somewhat. He definitely isn't in control of things and his life. He needs to get on top of it.
JoAnne: The HwangBang contingent enters the room where the Bangsamtong Boys are working feverishly to close up the coffin containing Young Chul. Baek San says they'll take over from here, but Jae Ha objects - who is he to interfere? HwangBang has seniority, Baek San says, and also the backing of ChirinBang. Does this mean Bangsamtong is going against ChirinBang? Jae Ha doesn't know anything about that. Young Chul was their hyung, and they will be responsible for him. End of story.
kakashi: Baek San is pretty cool, but every time I see him, I just miss Mo Il-hwa.
JoAnne: Fighting ensues, but Jae Ha calls a halt. It's disrespectful to do this in front of the dead, so he and Baek San should go outside and deal with this on their own, like men. This was a minor skirmish, so I can't tell if the Wussy Viewers Violence Embargo has commenced - but I can say that in every other way so far, I see no diminishment in the quality of this episode compared to others. I know, it's not over yet. Permit me a cautious squeal of happiness, all the same. Side note: Jae Ha... goodness you're hot. And they like to film your face at odd angles, which only emphasizes the angularity and your pretty pretty eyes. I can even forgive you for the ratty mustache! This is a real breakthrough for me.
kakashi: The odd-angled camera is a total trademark of this show. The DP seems to like some faces better than others. The guys that got the most odd-angled shots are: Do-ggoo, Shinichi, and now Jae-ha (See above). (All of whom have very strong, angular features.)
JoAnne: On the way back to town, Jung Tae tries but cannot bring himself to open the envelope with his father's belongings. Outside the mortuary, Jae Ha is very dramatically putting on The Black Gloves That Will Protect Him From HwangBang's Mystical Chinese Fighting Magic. Hmm. Baek San has black gloves, too. Ok I will not blog this blow by blow but... after a few blocked jabs, Jae Ha takes a real swing at Baek San, which the older man avoids. He then SLAPS Jae Ha. I cannot stop laughing.
kakashi: I do see how this fight is less violent than the fights in episodes 1-10. It's like a dance, quite pretty. If less violence means making violence look pretty, I think I'm against it. A little bit.
JoAnne: There's a lot of Baek San avoiding punches and Jae Ha getting slapped and kicked. Jae Ha goes down in the mud and comes up perfectly clean, but stops the fight for a moment to fix his hair. Baek San looks up at the sun in the sky and says ok, it's time to end this. Come at me. Jae Ha: No, you come at ME. The fight is hilarious and at one point Jae Hae is literally hopping mad, having been kicked in the shins and slapped around and just generally made to look a fool. Baek San wins, of course, and just as I'm about to dismiss this as a sort of sly kiss-off to the recent complaints, we see Jae Ha's face as blood begins to seep from his mouth; he's been beaten so badly that he has internal injuries. Guess I just don't know about that kind of martial arts! #MoBettaFighting
kakashi: Mo ... come back! I loved the hopping. And I loved Kim Sung-oh's acting in this. He is really good. I'm surprised.
JoAnne: Baek San goes back to the room where Young Chul is. Gi Chi and Poodle Top take one look at him and take off running, screaming for their hyung who's lying dazed outside. There's this weird moment of looks that I'm not quite sure how to interpret, if there's even any need to, between Gi Chi and someone off camera. End result, anyway: HwangBang: 1 body - Bangsamtong Boys: 0 bodies.
kakashi: It's eye-cues. And to me, it meant: did you get done what we discussed over there? Yes, hyungnim.
JoAnne: Gaya has been getting reports on the goings-on, meanwhile, and for some reason Yamamoto happens to be guarding the very road that HwangBang must take to return to their HQ from the mortuary. Gaya figures she'll go 'there' - funeral location, or road? - and pay respects. It's a way to meet all the ChirinBang, after all.
kakashi: Let the bodysnatching begin!

JoAnne: Jung Tae's back at Bangsamtong and Ok Ryeon has hot water for him to take a bath before the funeral. Will we get a bare chest? Maybe (take it off already!!!). First we're going to look at the stuff Dad had on him when he died. It all looks pretty normal and the first thing Jung Tae picks up is a wallet. There's a picture of a young Jung Tae and a tiny Chung Ah with their mother inside. The way that Jung Tae's hands shake as he takes out the photo - you don't get to see his face at first - it kills me.
kakashi: Two things. First, Ok-ryeon. Do we really still need this character? Maybe she'd serve great dramatic purpose if she died. Second, the shaking hands ... was that acted??! I would be impressed. I actually thought he was just shaking from the cold.
JoAnne:  Re Ok Ryeon - I think we do, a bit - she's his only tie to home, they share Chung Ah - while he's on his quest, she may be the thing to ground him.
JoAnne: The next thing he picks up is a letter he wrote to his father when he was a much younger boy. The letter is creased, tearing at the fold, dirty. It's clearly been handled often. While Jung Tae reads the letter, memories of writing it come to him. He was assuring his dad that he would protect Mom and Chung Ah, and asking him to come visit again soon. Poor kid - looks like he was 10 or 11 there. Grown Jung Tae lets out a shuddering, emotion-filled sigh and picks up the next item. (PS: Kiss my ass, Kim Hyun Joong haters. He's doing such a good job!) At first I don't know what it is - a note book of some sort - but it becomes clear that this is where he records his savings, and it pretty much puts Jung Tae over the edge.
kakashi: Emoting like a mofo again! Well done, really. If you want to kiss another ass, Kim Hyun-joong haters, here is mine!
JoAnne: He talks aloud to his father, saying that if he had time to look at pictures, time to save money, he had time to look for Jung Tae one more time. It's not accusing so much as it is sorrowful. 'My father,' he says. 'My father, you - you should have heard one more time how much I hated you. I thought you forgot about a bastard like me. But what is this?' He sobs broken-heartedly. I join him because we have YET to see the chest.
kakashi: Not having him see his father before his death and not forgiving him etc. is really well done. It makes dealing with death so much harder when there is unfinished (emotional) business. On his way to becoming a hero, Jung-tae will definitely have to overcome his father-issues. Also ... he should take his shirt off MORE OFTEN.
JoAnne: Seul Bang Joo is getting ready for his big reveal, otherwise known as Young Chul's funeral. A minion lets him know that Gaya has asked for permission to come pay respects. He assumes she wouldn't know who ChirinBang is and that's why she's being so confident, but then some thought alarms him and he asks for a map. Ah - he's realized that something is probably going to happen to his precious package between the mortuary and HwangBang. I guess his thought process is why ELSE would Gaya show up other than to capitalize on his embarrassment? By the way - I love the crayon maps, and I get the feeling this is gonna be one BANGIN' funeral.
kakashi: Choi Il-Hwa showed for the first time that he can act in this scene. I liked it.
JoAnne: Yamamoto and friends man the guard shack that prevents further passage along this random dirt road in the woods when Baek San's entourage comes through. I don't know why they didn' t know it would be there, since it appears to be pretty standard for each gang to also perform duties as territory police and also, if that's the only road... haven't they been on it before? Whatever, because when the driver tries to bullshit his way out of not having passing papers by alerting Yamamoto to the high rank of passenger, he gets his throat cut for his efforts. Baek San does pretty well with his whole Cement Hands fighting thing, but while he's laying out half a dozen Il Gook Hwae, others have stolen the truck with Young Chul's body that HwangBang stole from Bangsamtong. He takes off after them in the sedan.
kakashi: Bye bye Shin-Daddy-Body! Also: cool sound effects. Also: less violence? Uhm ... not really.
JoAnne: Bang Joo gets the bad news and freaks out - why are any men left at HwangBang? They all need to go out there and find that body! Bang Joo makes me giggle, but while I giggle I feel bad. He is SO.STRESSED. He knows right away to suspect Gaya. At about the same time, Gaya receives the good news and immediately wonders what Bang Joo's face must look like. She's being fitted for a suspiciously Chinese-looking outfit. I wonder if that - nah, it's Gaya. It's a message. She warns Goichi to tell Yamamoto to hide with Young Chul somewhere safe, and to not harm a hair on his head.
kakashi: She looks fabulous in everything, this woman. And she has the nicest outfits, too. And she is so cool, while Bang-joo is close to either a burn-out or alternatively, a melt-down.
JoAnne: Jung Tae and Ok Ryeon stroll through the evening streets. At the entrance to HwangBang territory, Ok Ryeon stops and says she can't go further since that place is French, unless she has someone like Jung Tae to escort her. Ok... but she DOES have Jung Tae to escort her (yeah ... does she maybe have dementia or any other terminal illness?). Are the HwangBang really not going to allow his own people to mourn at Young Chul's funeral? And I see now why Club Shanghai is so important - that intersection, they are all right on top of each other.
JoAnne: Jung Tae heads off but stops and says to Ok Ryeon that he never forgot her - so when he gets back later, will she tell him everything that happened in Shineuiju? Instead of answering, she looks away.
kakashi: I thought she had already told him everything that happened. No? (just what happened that one night...there must be more to the story.)
JoAnne: Wherever Yamamoto is with the body, he looks pretty pleased as he tells Goichi to inform Gaya that she'll be coming to the most peaceful place in Shanghai. So of course in the very next instant Baek San arrives and starts slapping people silly. Cement hands and cement elbows, he kicks err'body's butts. Re the fighting: The death count is higher, the blood volume is lower, the slo-mo shots are perhaps a bit more frequent... there's perhaps a bit more grunting and loud bone snapping. I can live with Wussy Fighting for Punk Ass Viewers.
kakashi: Less violence? Snapping a man's neck in plain view is not really less violent, is it? Jeez. And here I was worrying over nothing ...
JoAnne: A man, his sword, and where he likes to put it: Yamamoto throws down his sheath, which Baek San interprets as admitting defeat. Yamamoto corrects him: Baek San will be his sheath. Ok. Yamamoto backs up, holding his sword in 'that' position. You know the one. Baek San locks eyes with him and moves forward. There's a long-ish moment where it's just Yamamoto holding his quivering sword from around the area of his pelvis and staring deeply into the eyes of Baek San, and then Baek San steps into the hotel ro---Seriously, boys. (I'd rather watch that Aka vs Aoki fight again, frankly.)
kakashi: Who would walk in front of a sword like this? That was stupid. And I want Mo.
JoAnne: Jung Tae arrives at the area where the funeral will be and remembers that he isn't dressed appropriately. Yeah, and you didn't take a bath either. Oh, we remember, yes we do. So-So notices him and starts to give him a hard time. Little girl's about to get a surprise...  One of the HwangBang shows up and informs Jung Tae that family member seating is inside. So-So's face is priceless. And whatever else is going on, Bang Joo seems sincerely grateful for the efforts Young Chul made on their behalf. He instructs a maid to find Jung Tae some clothing.
kakashi: Laughed very much at So So's: "Him? Why??"
JoAnne: ChirinBang shows up and Bang Joo decides he's going to fake it til he makes it - until the funeral starts, he's still got time to locate that body. And if they don't find it? Forget Club Shanghai... HwangBang itself would be over.
kakashi: Did they put all of Shanghai's gold into the body of Shin-Daddy ... or WHY is his body THAT important? This is going a bit too far, I'd say. I am willing to believe that he is a symbol of power - but would not having the body and pretending to have it really result in a death penalty?

JoAnne: We watch a portion of the Yamamoto-Baek San fight as silhouettes behind a screen, which is cool. They tumble outside; Yamamoto has lost his sword, but he still has that dagger in his sleeve, and he pulls it out. I decide I definitely don't like the slow-motion SOUNDS we get every now and then (hilarious - though probably unintentional?!) Baek San wins, of course, and now it's a race to get to the funeral in time. Yamamoto's left scrabbling around in the dirt. He should just fall on that dagger now, because Gaya is NOT going to be pleased.
kakashi: A good opportunity to get rid of an annoying character has passed.
JoAnne: While Bang Joo greets ChirinBang, Jung Tae is changing. Theeeeeeere's that sweet torso, yes indeed. They even film him taking off the old shirt and putting on the new from an angle that will let you pretend you're lying in bed watching your man get dressed. It's quite nice, quite nice indeed. He's muscled, but there's still some fat on him, you know? Solid, but not marble. You want a little give, is all I'm saying.
kakashi: Mooooooooobs!
JoAnne: So-So barges into the room, grabs Jung Tae, and starts sniffing him. While she tells him he stinks, we get another look since the shirt hasn't been buttoned yet. Between this and Mal Sook earlier... I'm starting to think the writer's accepting payouts from actresses who want to manhandle Kim Hyun Joong.
kakashi. Hahahaaaaa... where can I sign up??
JoAnne: I do like this girl. So-So tells him he must be fake, because if he were Ahjussi's REAL son, he wouldn't be here right now. She gives a side-eye to the Chinese jacket he's buttoning. Ahjussi was Bangsamtong, and Bangsamtong was Ahjussi. His REAL son would have the funeral there, where it belonged. I nod my head in agreement. That does make sense; until Ok Ryeon said that bit earlier, I didn't really think about it because I just assumed anyone who wanted could attend the funeral anywhere it was. If that's not the case, then it should be in Bangsamtong. So-So fills him in on these political realities, and Jung Tae is clearly taken aback. She leaves, and Jung Tae takes a long self-reflective I'm about to become a better man look in the chevalier. So... is his first big thing as the Hero of Bangsamtong going to be the funeral?
kakashi: Iiiinteresting. And now he is awakened. He didn't care one bit about things until now, but that little speech of hers made him realize that even the smallest things comes with symbolic importance in this town. Good! It's a turning point!!
JoAnne: Gaya shows up looking seriously fab in the feminine version of Bang Joo's outfit. This makes me laugh as I imagine Bang Joo giving her the nervous evil eye and loud whispering that she needs to go home and CHANGE, right now. Her (seriously good) legs slo-mo it into the room where ChirinBang has been paying their respects to the deceased. All thoughts of that end as elderly and middle-aged eyes alike bug out in appreciation of her heels and the slit up to there in her cheongsam.
kakashi: That was quite a reaction there! Men, close your mouths.
JoAnne: Gaya and Bang Joo do their fake appreciative mannerly thing and Bang Joo introduces her to ChirinBang. She says something pretty, and niceties over, Bang Joo moves on to say something about Young Chul - BUT - Gaya talks right over him, much to his astonishment. With a lovely, shy smile on her face, Gaya admits that she's not familiar with ChirinBang's rules. She hopes for their advice - no, she corrects herself, she hopes for their affectionate guidance as her elders. She gives a shy chuckle. If looks could kill, Bang Joo would have murdered her three times over. I can feel the heartburn boiling in his throat myself, I swear. ChirinBang, as expected, drool all over her.
kakashi: Good, good, good! I love this. The tension, the insult. She is GOOD.
JoAnne: As Gaya moves gracefully through the ritual, I suddenly remember she's actually the one who ended Young Chul's life. I think it's because when she's not looking at ChirinBang, we're back to stone-faced Gaya. She is serious business, this girl. She turns to Bang Joo and very politely asks for one more thing: isn't it Chinese custom to look directly upon the face of the deceased?
kakashi: Ah, the vixen ...
JoAnne: I cackle as I suddenly remember that not only did she kill Young Chul, but she also knows Bang Joo doesn't really have the body. Oh, this girl... she is awesome. Not least because on top of all this, she also has made a promise to find out the truth about Young Chul's assassination - so there's layers and layers of motivation and emotion here. While the tall dude in ChirinBang falls all over himself to voice their appreciation of her knowledge of their customs, Bang Joo rolls his eyes and all but chokes on hatred. As Gaya turns to him and asks sweetly if she might not say goodbye to Young Chul directly, the NotDobi truck pulls up with Baek San, minions, and coffin. Bang Joo doesn't know this, though, although he is absolutely 100% committed to his con. He grits out permission through clenched jaws, clearly hoping she drops dead in some random miracle, instead. Gaya uncovers the coffin and then stops to praise Bang Joo on the quality materials. Then she bemoans her fragile female state and asks if someone won't help her lift the lid. Me and Bang Joo are about to have a heart attack.
kakashi: "Poor" Bang-joo is going down, down, down ...
JoAnne: Half of ChirinBang steps forward eagerly, while outside Baek San and his men don't even try to hide the coffin they're race-walking through the grounds of HwangBang HQ. How in the world are they going to play this off? Are they going to pretend that the mortuary made a mistake? Are they going to bust Il Gook Hwa? Jung Tae is still looking at himself in that mirror. Can't say I blame you, sweetie. The lid is up, the coffin is empty, ChirinBang is shocked, and Gaya is pleased. Baek San is racing toward the room. ChirinBang demands to know what's going on, and Gaya is sooooo surprised by this turn of events, oh my goodness!
kakashi: Bad girls, very bad girls!
JoAnne: Bang Joo starts in on his 'Well you see, what had HAPPENED was...' speech when Gaya interrupts to ask if she might speak. Baek San bursts into the room and says nope, HE'll do the talking. He turns to Bang Joo and asks if he might replace the fake casket with the real one, now that ChirinBang is here. Bang Joo grins in triumph while Gaya mutters 'fake casket?' in a confused voice. Il Gook Hwa men bring in the real casket while Gaya edges over to Goichi and instructs him to find out what's going on from Yamamoto.
kakashi: If he is smart, he will have left town and is halfway on route to America.
JoAnne: Bang Joo apologizes for the initial presentation of a fake casket to the elders of ChirinBang, and then chides Gaya for her imperfect understanding of Chinese custom: Gak Gwan is when there's a delay before a good day for a burial can be established, and there are worries about decomposition. In those instances, an empty coffin is maintained at the house for people to pay respects, and the body is kept elsewhere. ChirinBang nod their head in agreement. This time, though, Bang Joo continues, there was another reason. He shoots daggers at Gaya with his eyes. They were worried that the person responsible for Young Chul's death would attempt to desecrate his body, too, so all of this was his effort and determination to protect Young Chul even in death. Ok, Gaya says. So then you're saying that the body is in this new coffin? I am suddenly very worried, but Bang Joo is confident and asks her if she wants to take a look. Oh man...if she...this is epic. They open the coffin and the body inside is not Young Chul.
kakashi: They were tricked by Crazy Eyes! I knew it!!!

Comments

JoAnne: Well, we may only have one episode with the new team under our belts, but I'm good. There is no discernable loss of quality in production value and plot is still tight as... well, never mind that. The editing was spot on, I think - it really enhances our awareness that this is a big world with lots of moving pieces, while at the same time helping to keep it very manageable, comprehension-wise. This new world isn't quite as pretty as DanDong or the country around Shineuiju but it has its moments, and the way they choose to film things is very interesting. Other than those weird slow motion noises and a couple times when people looked in directions I didn't understand.... it all seems really great.
kakashi: I was so worried ... all those people talking about how terrible a writer's switch in the middle is are to blame! It seems to me that the new writer is telling a slightly more straight-forward story. There's still tons of characters (also, still new ones), but overall, it seems a bit less all-over-the-place. A bit. I also feared they would destroy the character of the show by enforcing the "less violence" things, but so far, that's not the case. There's still plenty of fighting, as there should be.

JoAnne: I missed our deceased, of course, but also those friends who are theoretically still alive, just not present right now: Shinichi, Aoki, Aka, Dobi, Do Ggoo, Soo Ok, MO - and all the others who aren't men we want to fool around with. May they join us soon.
kakashi: Shinichi! I saw him in the preview!!!! 

JoAnne: In short, this is my best show and I love it and we will never break up ever ever ever.
kakashi: Awwww, you're so loyal ... I really like that about you. Yes, this show is good, still good, and will most likely continue to be good. Though I detect first signs of the life-shoot curse. Happens to the best of them, though.

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