09 March 2014

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Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 16 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by JoAnne on March 09, 2014
It's the last couple of days before Club Shanghai opens. Anticipation is building for everyone... for some, it's also an anxious time. Show time will be go time for the brewing battle, I think.  Is it too much to hope that off camera EVERYONE is plotting to take down Seul and Baek San?
kakashi: It's a very anxious time for me, JoAnne!! Remember episode 8? It's the carnage episode. 8+8=16+8=24. We are now 2/3 into the show and I fear something bad is coming. It's like that tension in the air before a powerful storm. That said, I apologize to all of you with slow internet connections. I had to gif the living bejeezus out of this episode, I couldn't help it. Also ... there's a lot of Mo. Cause he is #WhenAManIsMoBetta
Episode 16

JoAnne: Jung Tae attempts to defuse the situation peaceably but the thug leader isn't playing along. The subs are bit wonky I think, because at first he talks as though he's the 'new owner' demanding greeting from the 'old' owners - but then he goes on to say that rumor has it NO ONE owns Club Shanghai at the moment. He looks away for a moment and Jung Tae wastes no time in throwing a punch. So this is Seul's plan - a deadlier version of 'I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it' - a reminder that no matter which of the two men you're looking at, Jung Tae or Jae Hwa, they're only there because he says they can be there.
kakashi: In less serious moments, this whole "Club Shanghai is the Holy Grail" thing makes me giggle. Just open the damn club already! 
JoAnne: Both of our boys are really great fighters and take on multiple men each. I love how they literally have each other's backs, and I pray for the day the true bromance begins because I can SMELL it, it has to be there (I seeeee it!). There's this one huge guy dressed oddly like a flasher and carrying a mallet because that's not terrifying at all, and of course he's the one who sees the girls in the corner.
kakashi: Also, he cannot speak, he only grunts. A true Neanderthal. And finally, a little tip for you girls: next time, I'd pick a slightly bigger hideout.
 
JoAnne: He turns away at first but then grabs them and starts to drag them off. Jung Tae hears their screams and struggles to get to them but some guy with a bullwhip keeps tripping him up. No worries though! MO appears like magic from behind the giant. A few moves and then that cool shove to the ribs that sends people flying back like so much dust, and suddenly that huge guy isn't a problem anymore. Mo acknowledges the ladies with his little hello bow and grin and I just cannot stand how happy I am to see him. Plus I know all of you out there were squeeing too! He is so freaking cute.
kakashi: I particularly like the stiff half-bow. And I SO HOPE he and So-so can get a little happiness before ... you know ... the carnage. 
JoAnne: Mo makes short work of the few remaining men alongside Jung Tae and Jae Hwa, and then the old friends have a very happy reunion. (Side note: one of my favorite Jae Hwa mannerisms is how he will run his fingers through his hair at any given moment. I want to do it tooooooooo.) Song Jae Rim's smile of greeting to Kim Hyun Joong is so REAL, Kim Hyun Joong's returning smile is so PLEASED...I can't help feeling that the actors are just as thrilled as we are to be reunited. It makes me sad to think that they were sad to see all our other loves go, too.
kakashi: Haha, you're right. In their heads, they're "dude, I'm so glad they haven't written you/me out of the script like so many others".
JoAnne: Jae Hwa swaggers up and offers thanks in a way that isn't really very thankful at all. He's acting like the big man on campus, but Leader Mo ignores him and continues talking to Jung Tae. Oh dear. Ohhh, dear. One ignores Jae Hwa's ego at one's peril. Mo explains to Jung Tae that when he went to pay his respects to Young Chul's tablet he saw Seul, who told him that Club Shanghai didn't have a real owner. He figures it's not long before the wolves come.
kakashi: Is this logical? If Seul says Club Shanghai has no real owner, all the low-lives of Shanghai start to gather and try to  become the owner. But if Seul says XY is the owner, they're fine with it?
JoAnne: Jae Hwa is taken aback but Jung Tae demands to know if that means MO will also be coming for the club. This is the first that Jae Hwa has heard the name of the mysterious visitor, and there is an immediate look of recognition on his face. Mo doesn't answer, just responds that he will see Jung Tae on opening night. He looks at Jae Hwa and cautions him to prepare well, gives a smile (and a wink!) to Jung Tae, and makes his exit. Cool and mysterious as ever, you nappeun namja. We missed you so much! 
kakashi: Jae-hwa was first quite angry to be ignored, but when he found out who this guy was, he seemed quite relieved, lol. 
JoAnne: Jae Hwa is thoroughly pissed now and starts complaining how everyone is coming after the Club; he moves on to yelling at the waiters cowering in the corner to get the place cleaned up and FINALLY notices that his two numbskulls aren't anywhere to be seen.
kakashi: Where did they go, anyway?! Half a town over? Missing all the fun, dudes.  

JoAnne: Mo's sidekick asks if they can actually take Club Shanghai, since it has turned out that Jung Tae is second in command. My take on this is that he means WILL they, considering their past relationship. Jae Hwa doesn't matter a fig to Mo, that's clear. But Jung Tae is his friend. Mo gives an inscrutable Mo response wondering whether they will live or die in Shanghai.
kakashi: No, no, no! You will not die!!! Noooooooo! 
JoAnne: Cut to a flashback, a montage of training scenes with Mo teaching Jung Tae better fighting skills (finally, it's here!). Comes the day when the student actually lands a blow that hurts enough to get the teacher to grunt in pain, but we continue on with glimpses of Jung Tae toughening his hands and (sigh) doing shirtless pull ups. No Yummy Tummy to be seen, but that is a back I would like to play games on. You know the one where you trace out a word with your finger and the person has to guess? That one. Plus kisses. Lots of kisses. Maybe a nibble or two. I'M SORRY BUT THIS CAMERA GUY...I mean come on. Our hero's skin is FLAWLESS and the camera guy just zooms in on him and then circles around like he knows exactly what we're hoping for how can I NOT squee?
kakashi: I am squeeeeeeing so hard my panties are about to fly off!!!! Excuse me while I make many, many gifs. Bless you for these.
JoAnne: Of course the next scene is Mo heading off on his journey of discovery to parts unknown, 'wanderer' that he is, and my squee dies down out of respect. Apparently we are not the only ones who dream of Mo. Jung Tae wakes up in a sweat, his teacher's words echoing in his ears: One movement, one attack.
kakashi: Mo always tried to teach Jung-tae to be en guard. Now he's even doing it in his sleep. Well done, teacher Mo. Also ... have you noticed Mo is wearing a suit in this farewell scene, while Jung-tae is wearing one of these KungFu garbs? I did, but I couldn't figure out something funny to say about it! Some kind of reversal of roles? I don't know.
JoAnne: Mo is at SeolRak asking Seul why he didn't tell him that Jung Tae was at Club Shanghai. Seul feigns the most smarmy innocence you can imagine when Mo shares that on opening night he'll be facing off against Jung Tae. 'What, not Jae Hwa? How did this get so MIXED UP?' Nasty old jerk. I cannot wait for you to get yours. Mo knows the deal, though, and likens Seul to a coward who can only fight an elephant from far off, waiting for the spears to drain its blood and weaken its strength.
kakashi: I'm not getting a good feeling about this .... unless it's Seul that dies, while somebody drains his blood. 
JoAnne: Seul immediately scoffs at the notion that a tadpole like Jung Tae could ever be an elephant (ok... I assume he knows that's not where elephants come from, right, unless by tadpole they mean...). Mo smiles. He was just waiting to see who the hunters were, but now it's clear to him that for Seul, at least, Jung Tae is indeed an elephant. Seul the weasel objects to the joke and asks for leniency for his son, but Mo says he intends to do his best: Jung Tae has come a long way since Shineuji.
kakashi: No, no, no. He is just pretending in front of Seul, right?! We know he has this huge debt to his father! He would never hurt Jung-tae, would he?!
JoAnne: Jung Tae has also come to SeolRak. He and Mo square off for a bit of sparring with lots of jumping off walls and cool stuff. I love them. We get lots of air wooshy, whip cracky, rock breaky sounds. The director is 9 years old.
kakashi: That's a problem, because I love this director. 
JoAnne: Mo praises his former student, who asks earnestly if he really must have Club Shanghai. Mo asks Jung Tae in return: Would you be able to step away? Jung Tae explains that he needs Club Shanghai while he takes care of some things. Mo admits that it's true he thought he would be going up against Jae Hwa and Jung Tae interrupts to say that's who he is serving, now. Mo shakes his head in dismay that Jung Tae would 'serve' Jae Hwa, or hand his father's club to his father's dog. Mo warns Jung Tae that his eyesight has become bad. He needs to see better, hear better, use his instincts more. It only took Mo one day to understand everything Jung Tae was doing or planning - what does he suppose would happen if Mo took that information to Seul? He leaves his friend with the advice that a tiger hunts when the wind is still, because if the breeze carries the tiger's scent, the hunt is ruined.
kakashi: That's good advice, and uri Jung-tae needs advice like this. Cause ... he may be the sweetest cookie, but he definitely isn't the brightest candle. 
JoAnne: Jung Tae takes his worries back to his hyung, and they drink as they work their way through the situation. HwangBang is testing them - if they can't handle their business, then HwangBang will take Club Shanghai. Jung Tae's worried face is almost amusing, but Jae Hwa reassures him - he is Jung! Jae! Hwa! and Jung Tae has nothing to worry about. He will take care of that old bastard once and for all, he says as he puts on his hat to go.
kakashi: Jung-tae needs a hat, too. 
JoAnne: Noooooooot so fast, Hyungnim! It's new and improved Stratego-JungTae with an idea! How about they isolate HwangBang? Don't invite them to the party for opening night, and make a biiiiiiiig big deal of the invited guests? Jae Hwa is intrigued, but wonders what will happen if HwangBang strikes first. Jung Tae says they can't do anything now, because of the whole Father/Son bit. Instead, Seul will have to send others. And if he does...Jung Tae will catch them all. They are in agreement that Mo Il Hwa is first, but Jung Tae looks concerned about that. Not to worry though, he'll figure out a way.
kakashi: Not invite someone to a party? How is this a plan?

JoAnne: Jae Hwa approves the plan and warns Jung Tae that it's not going to be just a few. He cautions Jung Tae about his confidence, so like his late father's. Still, he promises his support, and Jung Tae leaves to begin preparations. Remember that look on Jae Hwa's face the first time we met him, after Young Chul left the room? It's back, and I'm worried. Jae Hwa murmurs to himself that it's too bad Jung Tae still can't see the world.
kakashi: Uhm .... what, what, what??! What? Jeez, this is getting uncomfortable. Now everybody is out to get Jung-tae again?! What about your bromance?!
JoAnne: Back with Mo, Sidekick wonders aloud if Seul isn't indeed a very scary person, but Mo corrects him. Shin Jung Tae, who would bond with a man as a son to his father in order to hide his plans for revenge, might just turn out to be even scarier. No matter, though, they will continue with their plans to take over Club Shanghai.
kakashi: Not convinced. I don't find Jung-tae scary at all. 
JoAnne: Preparations for opening night are in full swing, but Jung Tae notices the girl selling flowers in the lane and buys a bouquet for his girlfriend - awwwwww. He immediately gets called away by the Two Idiots and sizes up the situation immediately when he enters the alley and sees Do Ggoo trussed up like Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Grey. (What-of course I read it. I had to see what all the fuss was about! It was terrible...really badly written. It was the USBoFiasco of erotic literature, I'm telling you.)
kakashi: There are several clones of you, right?! You knit, you watch every single show there is, AND you also read? Plus ... why do these guys line up to be beaten by Jung-tae??! 
JoAnne: Ok, he says, but he's busy, so send everybody at him at once, come on, let's get this over with, he's a man with things to do. Chubs and Poodle object to his attitude but whatever, because of course Jung Tae kicks all asses. When he goes for Chubs, the last hold out, the guy squeeks like a mouse and immediately starts calling him Hyungnim. Do Ggoo is all smiles, but that changes when Jung Tae reassures the two vets that yes, they do come before at least one new guy in the rankings.
kakashi: Glad that's sorted. But ... haven't we all forgotten about something, including Jung-tae? Where is Chung-ah???! oh yeah! I forgot about that!
JoAnne: Inside the club, So So's enthusiastic brashness and Ok Ryeon's naivete pretty much guarantee they'll step wrong, and sure enough, So So has borrowed an 'extra' dress that actually belongs to one of the main singers, and encourages Ok Ryeon to try it on in an empty room that turns out to belong to Mei Ling, the most famous singer in Shanghai. Mei Ling has a bit of class, but that other singer is a Mean Girl for sure, and insists that Ok Ryeon strip to her underthings right there in the hall to return the dress. Ok Ryeon shows she's still got that spine, but she apologizes sincerely - she is in the wrong, after all, even if the girl is going too far.
kakashi: Yes. If only I were a bit more interested in Ok-ryeon. Yeah, yeah, I know, she's sweet and all but ... I'm also not quite sure what purpose this scene served. Filling time?
JoAnne: Gaya comes home from somewhere to find a strange man lounging against her door. He lifts the hat and she is truly pleased to see that it's Aoki. As would anyone, really, because he gets better looking every day, and the fedora he sports suits him to a T. He tells her he came to Shanghai because it doesn't seem she's in the best condition these days and invites her out to dinner.
kakashi: Do they need to save money and have cut the lighting director's budget? So many scenes are really dark! I want to see our beautiful boys shine! 
JoAnne: While they enjoy their steak in a Western-style restaurant, Aoki lays out the facts for Gaya: Things are heating up between China and Japan and Il Gook Hwae is Japan's leading knife edge. Shanghai is going to be the center of the coming battle and in order to take Shanghai, Il Gook Hwae must control its economy. That includes both Club Shanghai and HwangBang's casino (which must be SeolRak.)
kakashi: Sigh. That's old news. But it is true that Gaya has been doing absolutely zilch while in town. She just struts about purposefully and eats slimy stuff. 
JoAnne: Aoki offers his help to Gaya at any time, and his face falls when she smiles and says she's fine, everything is under control. Not because she is refusing his help, but because she is out of touch with the situation. He warns her, as an old friend, that if she doesn't start showing progress immediately it might cost her her life. Gaya looks a little stunned, I think. He advises her to take Club Shanghai first and worry about her revenge later. Later, he will even help her. His smile and concern seem very genuine (and heartstoppingly gorgeous - oh my goodness, this man ... and he has the most amazing eyes!) She stares at him silently as he wishes that next time, they might have a warmer meal together. Leaving the club, Aoki instructs his driver to obtain the guest list for opening night at the club (now just two days away) and tells him further to thoroughly investigate anyone connected with Jung Tae.
kakashi: Aoki is indeed like a tiger ... so incredibly beautiful, but also very, very deadly. I'm maybe most afraid of him among all the characters. 
JoAnne: Spine or not, Ok Ryeon is subject to that most Korean of maladies: the opportunistic cold (ah, was that the purpose of that scene with the dress?). Because she spent 5 minutes in a hallway in her underwear, she is now sick. Of course So So demands Lady Doc give her a shot, and of course Ok Ryeon is lying on the table with tushie bared when Jung Tae walks in with his now somewhat bedraggled floral offering. She runs away screaming like a virgin and not a woman who should have been all over that yumminess something like 10 years ago and every chance she could get since then.
kakashi: Oh yes ... Korean virgins. We love them so! NOT. 
JoAnne: Jung Tae doesn't even try to pretend he didn't see, and when Ok Ryeon grabs him to go outside he reminds her that he's been seeing her bare ass since they were little kids. She plays coy and asks if he's trying to keep her from getting married, to which (sigh) Jung Tae grins and says he thought he'd already taken care of that. Ok Ryeon swoons with happiness, as would anyone with half a brain.
kakashi: Still. He is SO not interested in her ass. I would worry, girl. 
JoAnne: She asks if the flowers aren't for her and he says no and hides them behind his back, which prompts a tiny tussle. She smells the flowers happily (that's nice of her cause they do look a "little" roughed up) and Jung Tae asks her earnestly if there isn't a particular kind she likes - let him buy her another bouquet, and he'll make sure it's exactly what she wants. Ok Ryeon lists her favorites and the meanings behind them. Red dahlia: your love is making me happy; red geranium; I'm happy to be next to you; forget-me-not: a pure love. He repeats the unfamiliar names after her and I'm dying, he's so delicious. There is NOTHING in the world like that really cute tough boy who turns out to be awkward and earnest and focused on making you happy. So So and Lady Doc watching from the door agree with me.
kakashi: Oh, cuuuuuuuuteness overload! 
JoAnne: And now it's time to watch Jung Tae exercise! Yay! But I wish he would take off his shirt more often. All the shots from odd angles that focus on his bum or his crotch or hands are fine, and there is this one bit where you get to see exactly what it would look like if he was...ahh...looming over you in a horizontal position while holding himself up by his arms (like the gentleman he is) but there's a decidedly lamentable lack of SKIN in this segment, folks. After he exercises he does that thing where he teaches himself a new style of fighting by remembering times when people kicked his ass, but even in his imagination, his ass still gets kicked.
kakashi: I am just loving this too much, I didn't even think about the skin. I mean I think of his skin often, but I was so mesmerized by the exercising I didn't think it was lacking anything. But you're right. 
JoAnne: It's Day Minus One for Club Shanghai and they are literally rolling out the red carpet. They've also hung a completely unnecessary sign that says Club Shanghai in big orange Comic Sans letters right under the lovely actual sign, but whatever, they're excited. Everyone on the street is being handed a flyer with the details, which leaves me to wonder about the exclusivity of these invitations that HwangBang is not going to be getting.
kakashi: It was a stupid idea anyway. And how many people actually fit into that club? 
JoAnne: The practicing that is going on among the employees is amusing, but I have to say that the thing which catches my eye is Jung Tae in his dark suit leaning up against the bar next to Jae Hwa, who is sporting a white double-breast with a black fedora. Gangster chic, y'all. They knows it. Meanwhile Seul is fronting to his friends big time, because everyone wants to talk to him about the opening and he knows zilch about it. He is absolutely furious and I love it.
kakashi: When I see someone wearing white, I immediately look for sources of dirt that will ruin that beautiful color. In Shanghai ... plenty of things that could ruin it.  
JoAnne: It's the night before the day of, and Jung Tae has on his work out clothes when Old Man Fly arrives and offers his help. Everyone knows that he's going to fight Mo Il Hwa on opening night, it seems. Jung Tae is thankful but turns him down, so Fly has his worker do a demonstration of Shaolin fighting to sway his mind and then when even that isn't enough Fly literally slaps some sense into him.
kakashi: Haha. That was funny. 
JoAnne: JT and the other guy practice for hours, long after Fly has fallen asleep...and then Jung Tae practices alone once the worker falls asleep, too. How is he going to stay awake for the opening?
kakashi: He doesn't need sleep, cause he's SuperMan. 
JoAnne: Fly wakes up the next morning to find Jung Tae still practicing and calls him a fool for thinking one night could make up for 30 years of training. Jung Tae replies that there has to be a way for him to win, and Fly admits there might be one chance: would he be willing to throw away half his body?
kakashi: I thought it could mean he needs to be paralyzed or something. My anxiety is suddenly back. 
JoAnne: We don't hear what means, because we're in Aoki's office with the guest list for tonight now. It's an international list indeed, but the man presenting it to Aoki thinks the most interesting thing is actually a girl near Jung Tae - Ok Ryeon, who they suspected in that murder five years ago. She's near Jung Tae, and the rumor is that they're dating. Aoki muses that things are becoming fun.
kakashi: He will be going after the girl?! That's a dick move, Aoki. But I forgive you. Cause you are so beautiful.  
JoAnne: Said couple is preparing to leave for work together.  They're full of compliments and good wishes and then Ok Ryeon claims this episode's moment of Fondling Kim Hyun Joong when she pats his butt and praises him for growing up well.  Yes.  Those photos all over twitter and tumblr are not BTS, they are in fact part of the script. I feel like Writer-nim is one of our people, don't you?
kakashi: Writer-nim! We will add you to the illustrious circle of SqueeCappers if you want! 
JoAnne: When Jung Tae objects, Ok Ryeon pats him again and takes off running. He chases after her while So So and Lady Doc watch in envy. So So snaps out of her revery with the reminder that she too needs to get to work, and Lady Doc shares that she's in charge of the club's office so she'll be there later, also. Once So So leaves though, Doc mutters that Jung Jae Hwa is a rotten bastard for not even sending her an invitation.
kakashi: Lady Doc is very redundant. 

JoAnne: It is a sunny, breezy day outside, with maybe a bit of dust kicking up in the empty streets. Around the corner comes Jae Hwa, resplendent in white and backed up by Jung Tae, the idiots, Do Ggoo, and assorted random henchmen. The pimp walk is really something to see, and everyone passing them on the street does a double take. Personally, I am ALL about Jae Hwa's suit and hat and sunglasses. RAWR. Just tacky enough to mean he's a bad boy...and bad boys are the best boys.
kakashi: I have recently become VERY fond of strutting men. And the prize for the best suit goes to ...... Do-goo! 
JoAnne: It's TIME! Jae Hwa counts down the final seconds and then decrees, 'It's SHOWTIME!' as fireworks explode in the sky. He throws his arms up in the air and leaves them there, legs spread wide, and I am reminded of NOTHING so much as Scarface. He's just so proud, though.  Jung Tae watches the fireworks with enjoyment, while Do Ggoo displays his country roots in complete awe and Old Man Fly offers up a prayer for the club to produce lots of shit and plenty of dead bodies.
kakashi: Oh please, no. No dead bodies. 
JoAnne: Aoki is in his office and watches the fireworks from the window. His face is both thoughtful and scary. Gaya is reading at home; when she hears the fireworks she looks toward the skies and offers a hopeful smile - I assume for things to go well for Jung Tae. Seul is pacing in his room; when the fireworks start he smiles and acknowledges that things have finally begun (THANK GOD FOR THAT), and finally, Mo is watching the display from a peaceful garden.
kakashi ... with a HUGE ceramic vase. Huh? 
JoAnne: He's been meditating, but now his sidekick asks if he's ready to go. Mo smiles and comments that with the fireworks and the smell of gunpowder they bring, it feels like a banquet day. The sidekick says that he should make it a banquet day for their Dandong family and I'm reminded that Mo's got some revenge of his own to take care of, somewhere in here. They turn to leave and discover Baek San standing there.
kakashi: Fuck. My exact response when I saw it for the first time!
JoAnne: People are showing up at the club in droves, although not everyone is there for the opening. To his dismay, Jung Tae discovers that some of the people gathered on the street are there strictly to see the rumored fight between him and Mo.
kakashi: Fuck. Also ... Aoki in da house!!! 
JoAnne: In the garden, Baek San lays out the situation for Mo: HwangBang wants the contracts to supply the club. Mo assumes that means opium too, but Baek San says he has nothing to say. In that case, Mo replies, he has nothing to say, either. Decisions will be made once he takes over. Baek San seems prepared for this, and mentions that he heard that Mo has family in QuingDao. Oh, Mo says... so you're saying you'll make a deal with me? Baek San says he's not in a position to make deals, and Mo asks what HwangBang wants from him, then. Baek San immediately replies that they want control over Club Shanghai and a route to trade opium.
kakashi: Not good, not good, not good! 
JoAnne: Mo's eyes start to do the crazy thing as he asks if the leader of HwangBang and member of ChirinBang is delivering a message that if he doesn't get these things, he'll kill Mo's family. Baek San demurs. It's war time, he says innocently. Stuff happens. As he turns to leave he warns Mo that pretending to lose tonight won't help his family, either. It's either win or die trying, no other option. Gone is friendly Mo-face. He mutters that these people aren't human, and when sidekick asks what they're going to do, he says resolutely that he must win, and after he wins, he must survive.
kakashi: I didn't see this twist coming and I completely don't like it. 

Comments

JoAnne:  Mo will figure a way out of this, right?  Or Jung Tae will?  Right? I have no comments, I'm too worried. Ok but I'm glad we're IN it now, because we are, right? I still want to know where New and Improved Smart Thinker Jung Tae came from though.
kakashi: Maybe something he ate? Ah, JoAnne ... finally that stupid club opens. But who will live and who will die? There is a battle coming. Or several battles. Ready the tissue. Though if it takes equally long to start the battle than it took to open Club Shanghai, the battle will be right at the end of this show. 

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