14 March 2014

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Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 17 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on March 14, 2014
kakashi: Oh dear. Do we have another Fiasco at hand? The AoFiasco? If they stop filming, I'll go cry in a corner. What is it with Kim Hyun-joong's rotten luck and dramas? Maybe he needs someone to do some kind of ritual that involves a lot of naked skin ...
JoAnne: No. I reject this. They will find a way to make this work. Can we donate? This must be how those USBoFiasco fans felt, except, you know, we're fans of a GOOD drama. I'm going to contribute 5 dollars 4 times. I want Jung Tae, Jae Hwa, Do Ggoo and Mo all to whisper my name.

kakashi: But for the time being, the drama is still on and it's my time to lead-squee. And squee I will! Because there is more Mo Il-hwa in this episode ... and plenty of Aoki! And Jae-hwa. Yum.
JoAnne:  I'm telling you. He is so very... I just want to ... I can't even say. But it involves multiple locations, props, and breaks for naps.
Episode 17

It is showtime! And while the bombastic fireworks bath all our protagonists and antagonists' faces in flickering, colorful lights, Baek-san makes Mo Il-hwa go all crazy-eyes on us. He tells him it's either win or perish in this war (which is a "bit" extreme, but hey, it's about effect, baby!). Mo says into the night (and to his minion) that he will win and after that, he must survive. I wholeheartedly agree.
JoAnne:  Mo is way too smart...I get why WE didn't see this coming, but how come HE didn't?
At Club Shanghai, the show begins, while Jae-hwa makes his rounds. So does Jung-tae, but Jae-hwa is charm personified, while Jung-tae is sourpuss. Jae-hwa grabs him and introduces him to the Chirinbang Elders. They chat amiably and ask where Seul is. Well, not here ... yet. Jung-tae seems super nervous, but it's not because of his new father - it's because of his love! Who has to sing backstage for the main act - who lipsyncs. Too bad Ok-ryeon also lipsyncs. So who is really singing?
JoAnne: I was. It was me.  But first I giggled a lot at Jae Hwa's 'helfa youself!'
Watching from the balcony: the incredibly sexy and very dangerous looking Aoki. Also watching, though from across the stage: Lady Doctor and So-so. They are in awe of Ok-ryeon's great talent. The audience is delirious ... but of course, the applause goes to the wrong woman. And the right woman has Aoki on her tail. Uh-oh. In the dressing room, So-so and Ok-ryeon jump up and down, that's how happy they both are about OK's performance.
JoAnne: How on earth does Aoki get more handsome each time we see him? We are never going to call him Cutie Soo again, are we. (awwwwww, our innocent Cutie ...) Sigh. Could you imagine if Baksa had had a part in this?  He'd have been a good Jae Hwa, too.
Oh, but there's Do-ggo. He says that a record company president wants to see her. Who of course is ... Aoki. And one of his cronies. Is that the dude that tried to kill Jung-tae in prison and was pardoned last week? Dude says let's go for a test right now (no, that's not fishy AT ALL), but Ok-ryeon is reluctant. She excuses herself and wants to leave, but that's not an option: Crony puts a gun to her ribs. Come with them now or ... join her mother in the Yalu River.
JoAnne: I don't think it's the same guy... it might be, but I think he's been at Aoki's side for a while.
kakashi: There's a "few" too many actors in this. 100 less and they might have some money left to pay the rest. 
Seul arrives! He is warmly welcomed by Jae-hwa ... the rat has invited him behind Jung-tae's back! It's better not to piss off the sleeping lion, Jae-hwa says; they're on Hwangbang territory after all. Frankly, I never got the "let's not invite them" part. Yes, please explain, Jung-tae! But he doesn't. Rather, Jae-hwa introduces Jung-tae to some Shanghai politics: they leave him alone because of the money he pays them monthly and because of the exclusive vendor rights they have at Club Shanghai. Opium, alcohol, you name it. He may be dirty and greedy, but this is the only way to protect Bangsamtong and its people.
JoAnne: Do you think his tears and grief over that were genuine, or an act to sway Jung Tae? 
Jung-tae, always the fighter, sees things a bit differently, but Jae-hwa tells him just how deep corruption goes. Seul is the fat spider in the web that is Shanghai - going against him is suicide. Sticking to Seul is a kind of life insurance - get it, Jung-tae? He does: so that is why his father was killed? Because he thought differently and went against the "order" of things? Yes, says Jae-hwa. And that is why he, though mortally embarrassed by it, lives as a dog of Hwangbang.
JoAnne: That whole moment of realization, where Jung Tae figures out what got his father killed - and am I wrong, or is some of that sadness on Jae Hwa's part because actually, he maybe did kind of stab his hyung in the back by being willing to participate in the illegal stuff - and Jung Tae said he chose him because he was the only one who didn't. Side note: Will you LOOK at that face right there?  I have never in my life been so attracted to a ratty mustache and a laughable goatee, but I swear to you on my mother's grandmother's bible that I would kiss the fuzz off that man's face given half a chance.
Jung-tae has a choice: either go down like his father - or live dastardly like Jae-hwa. Or ... leave. But Jung-tae doesn't think so: neither of these options are acceptable for him. No ... he will make this territory his. He will destroy Hwangbang and he will make Bangsamtong his. Megalomania much?
JoAnne: Forget that! Should he be saying it out loud to Jae Hwa? What about my BROMANCE?

Oh, and right about then, Mo-Minion's awesome battle cry starts outside. The two boys look surprised and then worried - and Jae-hwa grabs Jung-tae's shirt front, yanks him closer and tells him to win against Mo Il-hwa. That's step number one. Then think about Hwangbang.
JoAnne: Seriously, I got chills hearing that again. I love it, it's so ridiculous.
Inside Club Shanghai, the crowd (the small crowd, one must add) is agitated. Seul pretends to be "a bit worried" about his son in front of the Chiribang, but what can he do? His son is all grown up. So let's just hope he doesn't get too injured and wins. Jae-hwa comes over and offers them the best spots for the viewing the fight. He is all smiles and business on the outside, but inside, he is fuming.
JoAnne:  That cheesy fuck is hoping Jung Tae dies. He can barely hold in his smile.  (And yes, I noticed that sparse crowd - maybe they're all up in the balconies? I think they're saving money, haha)

The fight is on! Jung-tae and Mo Il-hwa face each other right outside the Club - the crowd that has gathered here is impressive. Baek-san sidles up to Seul and informs him not to expect too much of Mo. The reasons why Mo hates Il Gook Hwae is because they killed his mother and because they distribute opium. Uhm ... how is this news? And why does Seul says "there's nothing we can do then"?
JoAnne:  So then what is it you WANT, you freaking maniac?
Mo steps closer. So he is acting as Hwangbang's lackey? Jung-tae asks. That's right, says Mo, whose lips are so red I can't stop looking at them ... where was I? Must he fight? Yes, says Jung-tae, he must. And they start. They seem pretty equal, but Jung-tae cannot get any hits in. "Direct line, direct line", shouts Old Man Fly's assistant. Wait ... that's the other dude, NOT the one Jung-tae fought all night, right? Alright, and Jung-tae remembers the bit about "sacrificing half of his body". Good, cause I had completely forgotten about it. If he cannot dodge the blows, Old Man Fly said, take them. Again and again. Wait for the opportunity to get closest to the heart. And it works. Jung-tae gets hit a lot, but he also lands a few very painful hits in the heart region. And we all know that boyo has a fist of steel! Poor Mo ....
JoAnne: This was nerve-wracking to watch. I can't even say anything about it, let alone be intelligent or funny.
But poor Mo realizes what Jung-tae is doing and that he has mastered the direct-line attack technique. In just one night, one must add. Yes, Jung-tae is Asia's Neo! Alright, says Mo, then I need to put in some strength. Awwww, he hasn't fought at full capacity? He is hurting ... and he says he could die. Listen, Jung-tae! Do not kill this dude! Not allowed!
JoAnne:  Come on, of all times NOT to have the plan we didn't know about until just this very minute? Where's your element of surprise, Mo? Where's Stratego Jung Tae? There will be no dying tonight do you hear me? Maybe Shinichi dies in bed of a heart attack in his sleep or something but not you guys.
Uhm, Mo, but please do not kill uri Jung-tae either? Or has the show already run out of money and this is the last episode? (Hahahahahaha - oops, Jung Tae lost, guess we have to end the show!) Jung-tae knows he needs to get very close to Mo or he'll have no chance. They get more serious. And Jung-tae starts sacrificing "half of his body". He gets hit again and again (and this time, the sound director gets it right ... almost) and goes down ... Old Man Fly turns away, telling his assistant to take care of his dead body. Right then, Mo Il-hwa attacks forcefully with his feet and the blow would likely snap his opponent's neck, but Jung-tae is a step ahead - Mo jumps right into Jung-tae's fist and ... falls. Jung-tae kicks him in the head. Mo spits blood ... and declares defeat.
JoAnne:  Mo, are you ok? Spitting blood is not good. But I did love how when Mo jumped into the air and exposed his whole middle that way, Jung Tae just stiff-armed him.  If it was words it would have been this:  First Guy: Ha! I keeel you DE--- Other guy: No.
The crowd is delirious with joy, but Seul looks as if he'd swallowed something very unpleasant. Jung-tae runs to Mo (who thankfully is still breathing and talking) to ask whether he is alright (that's about the dumbest question he could ask him right now). Mo says he'll not say more than that he was surprised. He hasn't been beaten in a long time. Mo is taken to the doctor and Jae-hwa is very happy that Jung-tae won - or rather, that Seul is so pissed off.
JoAnne: So Jae Hwa, how are you going to play this? You'll do what Princess Seul requires except for the moments you can thumb your nose at him?
Inside, Jae-hwa bumps into So-so ... who is "leaving" together with Ok-ryeon and Aoki. Stop! Says Jae-hwa ... where do they think they're going during opening hours? They have to stay and help! The girls try to go with that, but Aoki-minion presses his gun against Ok-ryeon's ribs and So-so says they can't help tonight. Jae-hwa lets them go and even thinks it's funny that these young chicks know how to handle customers, when he suddenly remembers that Ok-ryeon is Jung-tae's girlfriend ... and that he has seen Aoki before. Outside, in the street, when Aoki showed him his name card.
JoAnne: Thank you.
He goes after the retreating group and touches Aoki's shoulder. Aoki turns and swings, but Jae-hwa is a good fighter and knocks Aoki's hat off. However, his fist lands on Aoki's pistol. Ouch! That must hurt! Pistol comes out - and is pointed at Jae-hwa's face. He is brave, this one, because he tells Aoki that he is overstepping his authority. Not that Aoki cares. He just hits him in the head and Jae-hwa goes down.
JoAnne: Remember when I was worried he was ONLY interested in power?  It feels like so long ago.
Outside the club, Jung-tae gets a free lecture from his "father". Never forget about two things: One, this is Hwangbang territory. Two, the one who decides who gets to stay on that territory is Old Man Seul. If he remembers these two things, he will live longer than his father. Oh, but be assured ... he will not forget. As long as he lives.
JoAnne: I heard Jung Tae say 'Your ass is MINE.' Didn't you? 
Seul turns with that gross smile of his when So-so comes running and tells Jung-tae that Ok-ryeon has been kidnapped. Jung-tae sprints after the car and I am quite impressed at how fast he can run. He doesn't quite win against the car though (maybe because he hasn't practised all night) and Poodle Top comes to tell him to stop right here or he'll go onto American territory.
JoAnne:  Where he'll be forced to stop for McDonald's and a fanny pack? What? Why can't he go there?
kakashi: Gangster lore, I think. You step on mine, I step on yours. 
While Jae-hwa chastises his useless gangster-boys, Jung-tae gets ready to leave and rescue Ok-ryeon. With what back-up? Jae-hwa asks. He'll just jump over the fence and break through the steel walls, says our dear boy. Awwwww. But Jae-hwa says he will take responsibility - it's his club after all. Jung-tae is to stay put. See, JoAnne? Bromance! It's real! Of coursy course however, Jung-tae won't just sit still and goes to do his own stunt.
JoAnne:  Yeah, no biggie, just a few steel walls.  As for bromance, hmmmph. That's not caring about Jung Tae that's caring about Jae Hwa, and what people think of him.
Lady Doctor finally has a use: take care of Mo. Who is out cold. Or sleeping? So-so is left in charge of him. Time to look veeeeeery closely at his incredibly handsome face ... but Mo-minion comes in. No fondly Mo. Sorry, So-so.
JoAnne: The heartbeats again.  And Mo is faintly smiling even in his sleep, I'd swear it.
Jung-tae is looking at the prison facility, measuring the height of the walls. It's day. That's not right, is it? Jae-hwa went to see Seul and asked him to get Ok-ryeon out by stating that Aoki broke the rules in a neutral zone (=Club Shanghai) by using his gun. Jae-hwa is making a good case, but Seul won't budge. Though he is quite unsettled after Jae-hwa has left. Evil1 and Evil2 discuss killing Jae-hwa after bringing Jung-tae to their side - by using Ok-ryeon as a bait. Eating at the table right behind them is Do-goo... Dognose and Dogears.
JoAnne:  So has he finally picked a master, our doggie? Seemed like he was helping the Japanese earlier, though.
kakashi: I think he's always a double agent. 
Now Gaya knows and she doesn't like what's going on. It seems she fears most for Aoki, who could be in danger if the Chirinbang make their move. Elsewhere, Jung-tae is worrying about Mo - who needs absolute rest. Lady Doctor will go see Ok-ryeon later on and Jung-tae gives her a message: just wait one more day, he will get her out.
JoAnne:  I still don't know about that lady doc, though.
kakashi: That's because it's a shitty character. Might as well have left her out and saved some money.  

Ok-ryeon is in the interrogation room. Of course she doesn't know anything, which enrages the Aoki-minion. Ok-ryeon thinks she is there because of the incident so many years ago at her mother's gisaeng house. That gets Aoki's attention - and he tells her again that she will end like her mother if she doesn't cooperate. Ok-ryeon remembers that he was the shooter that day and starts shaking him ... not a good idea. He hits her into the stomach and she goes down. Any means and any methods are fine to get the necessary information out of her, says Aoki.
JoAnne: How many times do you think the actor apologized to her before doing that, LOL?
And here come the Chirinbang. Seul is there to see Aoki. Aoki claims not to have known about Club Shanghai's special status. Seul says that probably makes him unfit to be the Director of Intelligence and he better release Ok-ryeon immediately. Ah, but that's not possible, says Aoki: she is a murder suspect. No, no, says Seul, that's not how this goes: release her immediately. And leave your post. "Try firing me", says Aoki. He knows a lot about Seul's dirty dealings and secret financing of general Chang Kai Shek and really has him by the balls. But he will let the girl walk free if Seul delivers somebody else instead: Shin Jung-tae.
JoAnne:  In China, it was Chang Kai Shek, and then Mao and his Gang of Four - straight into communism. Pretty sure I've got that right.  Loved Aoki's ballsy gesture with the hands up and basically saying 'come at me, then' to Princess Seul.
It's some kind of Dobi training! But this time, it's not jumping trains, but jumping on balconies, or rather walls. Mo! It's Mo! He's walking! He thanks him for saving the Dangdong family members (when did he do that??) and lends him his minion (Pyung-ah) for training. Mo-minion can fly up walls! Well done! Old Man Fly comes along and also lends his minion (Kwang-pae), who can also fly up walls. Once he is inside the prison, get all the prisoners out, says OMF. Oh no... Mo completely ignores So-so ... and then waves her an extreeeeeemely weird goodbye.
JoAnne:  Sometimes I wonder about Mo. (oh yes, me too...) But I have spent some time just TRYING to imagine him and So So on a date, and while it makes me laugh to see it I still want it to happen. Because he'd be all Mo-ish and vague and she'd roll her eyes and poke him and be all cute indignant puppy girl and Mo would just...not know what to do with that.
kakashi: That's an entirely different drama. I want to see it!  (Me too!)
Prison-break training! It's funny!
At Club Shanghai, things are falling apart without the brilliant Ok-ryeon. Do-goo declares that he is now with the Hwangbangers.
JoAnne: Whatever you say, Dognose. I'm pretty sure you're still with Gaya and never left.
Aoki does Kendo practise. In comes Gaya! She calls him Oraboni and is quite unhappy about his deeds. Yeah, but he is SO HOT, Gaya! Can't you see? Aoki has it all under control (he thinks). Grabbing the girl revealed all the major players - Jae-hwa, Seul ... and Jung-tae. It's Jung-tae they need and want. He set a trap and he will capture him tonight.
JoAnne: Dammit. I'm pretty sure this won't be good for Jung Tae.
kakashi: I so don't care. Look at him ....... (God, he's beautiful.)
The Prison-Breakers scale the walls ... yeah, well. Not how you would do it in real life, but hey, it's good enough. They overpower some guards and run to Ok-ryeon's cell, and ... she isn't there. Oh shit. Alarms start ringing. It's a trap! Aoki likens Jung-tae to a stupid fish, which makes me giggle cause it's totally true. Jung-tae still doesn't use his head - instead of thinking about WHY Aoki set a trap, he is only interested in his stupid girl. And now, he wants to see how good of a fighter Jung-tae is - and his men step forward.
JoAnne: Ah, shit.
Stop being a coward, says Jung-tae and fight me directly. Oh yes. Aoki is now pissed off and they will fight ... to death. Outside! Now! I'm so proud of Yoon Hyun-min! He is so good!
JoAnne: Death fights between two characters we continue to want to see on the screen are a PROBLEM Kakashi. Not something to cheer about.
Outside, it starts ... oh dear. This is serious. And I can't even say with certainty on whose side I'm on!
JoAnne: Repeat after me: Aoki is Evil, Jung Tae is Not Evil.
kakashi: Yeah, JoAnne ... where is Aka? 
JoAnne: IN MY HEART, KAKASHI. IN MY HEART.

Comments

Oh my. I really, really, REALLY want to see this show to the end. Sure, it's sometimes incredibly boring, cause what really happens? But it's not at all boring because LOOK AT THESE MEN! Objectively speaking, the script probably gets a 4 out of 10, or even a 3, but I simply do not care. I love them. I love them all.
JoAnne: I love them. I love them. I'd say the bones of the story are probably a 7 or an 8 but the handling of it is maybe a 4 or 5.  Everything else is a 9 or 10 or even sometimes an 11 though, so you won't hear any complaints out of me.
It's not Dobi but it's something, at least.

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