30 March 2014


Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 21 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by JoAnne on March 30, 2014
I have tried to prepare myself for this week's episodes, but I don't think I have done a good job of it. People are going to start dying tonight, I assume. Unless we lose a hateful princess, his minion, or an evil grandfather, there's really no one I want to give up. And I don't even have Kakashi to commiserate with because she's off doing grown up stuff until FRIDAY and then she has to do MORE grown up stuff on Saturday! Sigh. Might as well get started.
kakashi: I'm back. But I think I'll just ignore this episode. Skip! No more deaths! You don't need my comments anyway, seeing you already used up all the internet for this post :) Plus, I couldn't even watch 22 yet cause putting in the pictures for this post took all day (minus the one hour that was stolen as we switched to daylight savings)
Episode 21

It's chaos at Seolrak and we're back to Jung Tae jumping over the wall. Ok Ryeon watches from a distance as her man disables two guards, dresses himself in their clothing, and covers his face. It's Ninja Jung Tae! I make a mental note to revise a certain daydream involving Kim Hyun Joong...
kakashi: Oh. Care to share? 
Definitely no.
Back to the story. Once Jung Tae is all set, Ok Ryeon saunters up and says hey, Jung Tae, and he casually turns to greet her. WTF? Where's the ninja sense? Why didn't he hear her coming and turn in attack mode? Not that I want her to be attacked but shit, Jung Tae, don't you remember what Mo said to you way back when? BE ALERT.
kakashi: Now this is my daydream: Ok-ryeon was killed 12 episodes ago and all the time she took up on screen was taken up by either Mo, Shinichi, or Aoki. This actress really deserves her nickname (the "Broom"). 
Meanwhile, in another part of the compound, Gaya kicks ASS to save her beloved Shinichi. Oh thank God he's beloved, because man, these two had some troubles along the way. But if he's going to die, please let him die knowing that his princess forgave him and knew that he was a good man who only wanted to protect her in that quicksand den of lying liars known as Il Gookie. Well, known here as Il Gookie. Baek San the murderous weasel shows up (he is very persistently creepy-cautious-black), and Gaya announces that she's taking Shinichi. Um, no, Princess, that's not how this goes - Baek San definitely disagrees with her plan. Of course Shinichi objects to her doing anything even slightly risky and she tells him to shut the hell up. In those exact words. I love her.
kakashi: I'm now temporarily closing my eyes and turning the volume to mute, cause this does not look good.
Princess Seul shows up to state the obvious: if she takes Shinichi, it's the same as if Il Gookie declared war on HwangBang. Gaya doesn't seem fazed by this - wasn't that the plan anyway? Oh, but hold up, Gaya, says the evil princess to the awesome princess. If you're here alone, it means Denkai didn't give you permission... and if I let you guys GO, that makes ME look bad. He orders Baek San to sever their heads and just basically be an even more evil jerk than he already is.
kakashi: Gasp! Now this just got a bit serious, didn't it?! Are we in the middle-ages all of a sudden, when putting up heads on stakes was the fashion in town? Or is cutting off heads the new opium? 
Shinichi, ever the warrior, staggers up and shouts as he hobbles to attack in defense of Gaya. One push from Baek San's hands sends him flying half way across the court yard, of course. Points for trying, though, seriously. Gaya goes for Baek San next with her little swords - what does Kakashi call them? Jitte knives? It's a thing. She'll tell me in the comments, I'm sure.
kakashi: I do? I'm not sure. But I took issue with their bluntness a lot. 
We see a little movement off in the distance. It's Ninja Jung Tae out for an evening stroll with his little songbird girlfriend. He hears the knives and pulls Ok Ryeon into the shadows. Great, now we can't see him at all (lights cost money)
Back in the courtyard, Baek San manages to give Gaya one really solid shove and she goes flying into the wall. I bet Jung Tae won't like that. Sure enough, over Ok Ryeon's objections, he's going to jump in. Why does she even bother saying anything? Does she not know who Jung Tae is? (right. They could have saved so much money if they'd just written her OUT in time) Gaya is hunched over by the wall, gasping and spitting blood. Off screen we hear 'himenim' from Shinichi, and then we see him CRAWLING through a pool of blood to try and reach her. Baek San, that fucking toad of a man, kicks him in the face. Twice.
kakashi: JoAnne, this is terrible .... :-( This frigging show promised less violence and what does it do? It goes to its most extreme forms of violence with my Shinichi!!!! 
This spurs Gaya back into action, and she's definitely trying hard, but yeah... I'm deeply grateful that when Baek San completes his fancy little flying attack whirl, it's JUNG TAE facing him, and not her. Nice little switch, that was. Princess Seul has a fit and demands to know who the new guy is while Baek San helpfully stands there and does nothing, allowing Ninja Jung Tae to tell Gaya to grab Shinichi and go. Of course Gaya knows who he is right away (yeah and she even calls his name, great), but he tells her to hurry the hell up before they all die. The guards stand around and watch as she leaves with Shinichi, but then they all jump for Jung Tae at once. Ok Ryeon watches with concern on her face and then turns to leave. So I assume she has a plan.
kakashi: Wasn't Gaya some kind of fighting genius a few episodes ago? When she faced Mo that one time? Seriously, show. I hate it when you forget what you told us a while ago. 
Baek San comes out of his coma and tells the guards to go after Gaya. He'll fight the new guy. I'm guessing Baek San knows who it is -the only stupid thing HE ever did was marry Princess Seul. He does ask, but I still think he knows. Or he'll figure it out in the next 30 seconds, maybe. (PS. Baek San, greeting strangers by saying 'Who are you? I will kill you.' is not going to win you any new friends.) Jung Tae just wants to hang on long enough for Gaya to get away, and in the meantime he can use this as an opportunity to find out just how hard Baek San CAN hit. What the... Jung Tae, you have been hit in the head one time too many. This is not the time to do research.
kakashi: JoAnne, as a scholar, I must contradict you. It is ALWAYS time to do research. Especially when it's about Yummy Tummys in any way.
There is an abrupt cut to Aoki which makes me think now HE's there, too, but no, he's at Il Gookie with Denkai. It looks like he's trying to do some damage control for Gaya, maybe. Denkai calls him an idiot and asks if he doesn't know how powerful Princess Seul is. I guess it's because of his connection as a fundraiser for Chang Kai Shek - Denkai is of the opinion that fighting HwangBang while Seul is alive is the same as fighting all of China. Cool. Let's kill the little shit, I'm good with that.
kakashi: Yeah, well. About the killing. There's just one person being killed right now and I DON'T LIKE IT! 
Denkai wants to know if Aoki is planning to use their soldiers to rescue Gaya, and he replies that of course, he will. Evil Dad reminds Most Beautiful Son that he warned him to never let himself be caught cherishing Gaya in his heart. Aoki has taken a leaf from Gaya's book and takes the direct approach: Will Denkai kill him too, in that case? Denkai's response is that there are many other 'Aoki' in Il Gookie. Whoa (Clones! It's clones!!!). Then the cheapass show has Denkai yell to Aka that he's going to SeolRak and prepare the way. I don't get to see Aka. I know he's probably not even there. Curse you, cheapass show. Cutting corners with MY guy. I am distracted from my disgust, though, by the sight of Aoki standing alone in the room. His face says a lot: his girl loves another man, and his dad thinks of him as cannon fodder. Sad Aoki. Perhaps you should quit Il Gookie and go work for the good guys!
kakashi: I don't think he will make it to the end of this show. Just saying. 
We return to Fight Central, where... I could be wrong but... it seriously looks like Ninja Jung Tae has the upper hand. I see him landing some solid blows that shove Baek San around a bit, but I do NOT see Baek San doing the same. Oh dear and then all of a sudden there's a really BIG whirl and man, does Baek San hit Jung Tae hard. Helpfully, Jung Tae thinks out loud for us: Geez, it's good I wasn't all tensed up when he hit me like that! It might have shattered my ribs! I suddenly feel much better. Don't you?
kakashi: Come on, he is a genius, we have been told so many times, it's so boring. He always wins, he learns like Neo by downloading stuff into his brains, etc. Yawn

Not for long though, because he continues to telepathically share his thoughts. He sees no escape. If he doesn't escape, they'll figure out who he is. If they figure out who he is, Ok Ryeon will be in danger. Oh right, her (I hope they find out who he is!!). He decides a direct attack to open the way is his only option. Conveniently, Baek San announces that he's going to finish things up now and moves in for what he thinks will be the kill. He grabs Ninja Jung Tae by the throat, shoves him up against the wall, reaches for the material covering Jung Tae's face, and... Ok Ryeon turns off the electricity! Wow. That is EXACTLY what I would have had as a plan, too. Although if you think about it, now that Jung Tae is a ninja... no one can see him in the dark. He literally sneaks away while Baek San screams for the lights to be turned back on. One might almost think that he's scared of the dark, like a widdle baby.
kakashi: Yeah, okay. Maybe Ok-ryeon has some use. Still. Imagine what we could have done instead in the time she was on screen! 
Ok Ryeon sneaks into that big room that Seul and Baek San always use. She's got a very pleased little smile on her face, but it disappears as she's startled by the sight of someone lying on the divan with - a piece of paper over their face? Ah. It's Do Ggoo, and I'm guessing that's the Mori Strategy document.
kakashi: You are wrong. The Mori Strategy document was en vogue in the last episode. In this one, it's something else and everybody has forgotten about it. Like about so many things before it.  
Gaya is staggering under the weight of Shinichi as they slowly, slowly make their way through the deserted streets. She offers encouragement, he offers resistance. Man he looks bad. (Deep calming breaths, Kashi. Go to your happy place. *sobs*) He collapses into an alleyway where Gaya hovers over him anxiously.
He wants to know if she read the letter, and she assures him that yes, she did - she read the whole thing. With the saddest eyes in the world, Shinichi wonders that she still came for him, even after having read the whole thing. He can barely speak through his tears. You read the whole thing? The one who killed your mother, this bodyguard? Gaya is sobbing. She cries that there is no one like him in the world.
kakashi: There were two very well done, very painful-to-watch deaths in this show. One was Poong-cha. The other one is this. 
Through gasps of pain, Shinichi tells Gaya that he will go before her to let Ryoko know that like Ryoko, Gaya grew up to be beautiful. He screams in agony as he forces himself up to kneel before his princess. Gaya is beside herself and so am I. He tells her to become Il Gook Hwae's star, says that he's sorry, and then... then his head just drops, and Shinichi is gone.
kakashi: ........
Take your time. I did. He was a mysterious, gorgeous, sometimes asshole-ish man, but he was always and forever loyal to his princesses, and I loved him.
kakashi: I know I said it before, but RL got to me first. He will get a special post. Soon! 

Gaya cries and strokes his face, begging him to open his eyes. He promised to die by her sword, she reminds him. She pleads with him over and over as she embraces him, patting his back as her sobs grow harder, but she is aware enough of her surroundings to notice a crowd of men racing through the streets, and draws back in alarm. Are they HwangBangers or Gookies? I need more time for Shinichi. I can't deal with those men right now.
From a completely different direction, Aoki runs up and grabs her arm. He is accompanied by an extremely sad and possibly worried looking Aka. It is NOT my imagination. This guy is torn up, I swear it. Gaya screams at Aoki. Did you come because the leader told you to? Did you come to kill me? Puppy Eyes Aoki - we know his answer before he even says it out loud: I came to save you! Wait... and Aka is with him? I KNEW IT. I KNEW HE WAS GOOD. Haaaa, suckers! None of you liked him but me and he's alllllllllll mine.
kakashi: What is this? Silence. Nobody, absolutely nobody wants to take him away from you. 
Really? Because there was a whole lot of interest in his abs while you were lounging around in Hungary the other day.
Aoki assures Gaya that he will take care of Shinichi, but they have to go now. She wants to know what Denkai said, and learns that Gramps is on his way to SeolRak... where, at this very moment, Princess Seul and Baek San are being informed by Shithead Do Ggoo that the masked man was definitely Jung Tae. He has a worried Ok Ryeon by the arm. Ohhh, because he DOESN'T have that strategy document: he has her hand-drawn maps. Do Ggoo tells the Evil Princess Troll that Ok Ryeon drew these maps by order of Jung Tae, but Ok Ryeon insists she did it on her own, and that she was just out for a stroll in the evening air earlier. When Do Ggoo tells her to shut up because he knows she's spying, Ok Ryeon slaps him HARD and fires him as her manager. You know, at first I thought her expression was out of place - she looked like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar, NOT a woman caught in a life or death situation. But now I think she picked exactly the right approach, which is yeah, she did some dumb stuff, but she's not a THREAT. You could interpret it that way, sure, but that's not how it is.
kakashi: My dislike of this character and this actress has reached new heights. I guess I'm really not in a good mood right now. Also, Do-ggo ... what's going on here? So is he really just out to destroy everybody and everything? Or is it just bad writing (again), them not really knowing what to do with him? 
She turns to Princess Seul, who is smiling, and indignantly (but politely) asks him if she's a hostage or a singer. And if she's a singer, why is she being treated like a hostage? Seul chuckles and compliments her for being a sly wench. He says she's a lot like Jung Tae. He goes on to say that if Do Ggoo is right, then Jung Tae (his son) has protected HwangBang's enemy and used his girlfriend to spy on them. He instructs Baek San to find out who the intruder was - and if it was Jung Tae, he should kill both Jung Tae and Ok Ryeon. I guess her plan didn't work so well after all. But it was a nice try!
kakashi: Off with her head!
I'm a little worried. We're not even 20 minutes in. Maybe the rest will be stuff I can condense a lot. It's just so good it's like it's my baby how can I leave any of it OUT? Here, look at when she blew a spit bubble for the first time! No really, it's the cutest thing ever!
kakashi: Don't worry, JoAnne. At this moment, the internet hasn't run out yet. 
It would have been better if I reached the end before Shinichi died,  huh?
Denkai has arrived and is granted his request for an audience with Seul. They face each other across the coffee table. Seul with Baek San standing tall behind him, and Denkai with... Aka? WTF. Ok. There's a plan, I know it. The concentration of evil in the room is so thick it almost looks foggy as Seul insists it was nothing, just some Jap trying to imitate an old Chinese assassination attempt and his female owner. He was going to teach them a lesson, no biggie. Denkai smiles at immature youth that doesn't know how the world works and cheerfully suggests that maybe Seul could cut them some slack, as a token of celebration now that they've met? Princess chuckles at old enemies becoming friends, and Denkai smiles agreement.
kakashi: I shudder at this scene. They are really, really evil, these two. Well done, veterans. 
The great Denkai, coming in such a rush in the middle of the night... Seul supposes that means he's not ready to fight? Denkai assures him that's not the case. He's got enough swords - he just wanted to apologize for the mishap and see how Seul was doing, that's all. (Side note: evil or not, Kim Gap Soo is looking mighty fine in this scene. Yay for the occasional age-appropriate hottie!)
kakashi: Oh, he does! And he totally reminds me of Vincent Cassel in this scene. YES

The men are smiling and laughing, but the barbs are getting sharper. Seul figures that Denkai's concern for his well being is what led him to direct Aoki, that rat, to find out how he was doing? Denkai allows that seeing as how it IS the great Seul that's involved, the rumor of selling opium to finance General Chang Kai Shek must be true. He worries aloud that if that rumor were to be proved, Seul would be kicked out of Chirinbang. Seul's smile is starting to look a little pasted in place as he replies that before that happens, he'll have to catch Denkai's rat. But once he's taken care of that piece of business, he'll have nothing on his mind but taking down Il Gook Hwae. I knew he couldn't play nice for long.
kakashi: This is not going in directions that I like. Leave some of our hotties there until the end!!! 
Denkai leans forward, all serious business now. He wants confirmation that if that rat disappears, it means that Seul prefers to gloss over this recent incident? Oh, you bastard. Even Seul is a little surprised, I think. He asks straight out: I heard that rat was your adopted son. You're willing to kill him? Denkai basically says that's the best option, and the two worst fathers in existence chuckle together, satisfied with their days work. But Seul is not willing to leave well enough alone, I guess, because he muses out loud that he remembers 20 years ago, when Denkai was willing to sacrifice his own daughter to avoid fighting. Things haven't changed much, it appears. That sure wipes the smile off Denkai's face fast, but Evil Gramps manages to join Seul on the trip down Memory Lane: wasn't that the night that Seul's own son died?
kakashi: Oh! Oh. I completely forgot about the son. (We have heard about him before, right?)
Well I assumed he had some family because remember the rude little grand-daughter we've never seen or heard from again?
Seul has to work REALLY hard to get even the tiniest of smiles on his face as he asks Denkai if he came to prevent a war or start one, but Denkai's grin comes easy as he answers that it all depends on Seul's response; didn't he say that earlier? Seul gives in. Send me the head of Aoki, he says. Then I'll consider the attack a non-event. I will give Denkai a tiny bit of credit: he does look like it won't exactly be EASY to comply with the request.
We've covered four minutes since I last worried about the time. I don't think this model is supportable.
kakashi: 26 days later, JoAnne arrives at minute 58 but is so tired she cannot finish it all. 
That was actually true.

Jung Tae is at the restaurant/clinic/martial arts training studio/hotel staring at the crayon map of Shanghai intently when Mo saunters in. He never walks. He just saunters (maybe he glides. He could be an alien life-form). We should acknowledge that. Mo observes that Jung Tae has a lot on his mind and suggests that if he's worried about Ok Ryeon he could get her back just by trading some of those documents Jae Hwae left behind expressly for the purpose of lording it over HwangBang when necessary. Jung Tae says those documents are for Bamsangtong only, and that HE will rescue Ok Ryeon.
He points out the location of various territories on the map and observes that Bamsangtong is positioned exactly like Joseon, sandwiched between China and Japan. He further points out that Joseon has never invaded another country, ever, and that's why it was so easily overtaken. From that, he deduces that the only hope Bamsangtong has is to attack first. Ok this boy can fight but he definitely needs to attend a class on logical thinking.
Mo perks up (yay! a fight!) and asks Jung Tae which he plans to attack first: HwangBang or Il Gookie? We both start to laugh when Jung Tae responds that he intends to attack both simultaneously. Jung Tae asks for Mo's help, and Mo observes that there needs to be a reason for a fight. He does that hand thing like you think he's going to do a magic trick but he just covers his face (I think he means to brush that annoying hair out of his eye!), and Jung Tae says that he intends to make the streets safe for DanDong people, whether it's at Bamsangtong or anywhere else. Mo smiles. Ohhhhh, he meant a reason for HIM to join the fight. He responds that if that's the case, he's got no reason to deny the request. And Crazy Mo eyes are back!
kakashi: I'm happy Mo has appeared cause I really like to take/make pictures of him. 
Aoki receives a copy of a message that Denkai prepared for Osaka. He looks concerned and recalls Denkai saying that there are many Aokis, so we know what this is. He confirms with his minion that the message did get sent to Osaka already and then (sorry, subbers, no clue what you mean here) he says 'From Osaka to Shanghai, everything must be taken care of within there.' He's very very beautiful so I'm slightly distracted but I think he could mean either he needs to make sure the approval doesn't reach Denkai, OR he could mean he needs take care of his own business and get away before then, or you take a stab at it.
kakashi: I think my subs didn't say this, but it doesn't matter. Aoki's handsomeness is all that matters. 
I'm never going to argue against that.  He gets a leading role next, you think? What would you do if the news was Aoki and Kim Ji Hoon competing for the female lead in a drama?

Jung Tae and Mo arrive at the club just in time to see Poodle Top (and others) dragged off in ropes by the Soon Po (police). He helpfully explains that these Soon Po are from the French side (so it's HwangBang) and that they came INTO the club and arrested everybody. Jung Tae rushes inside and asks what the hell is happening - the Soon Po can't come in unless they've been requested, since this is a protected public space.
As bodies shift to make a path, we hear Do Ggoo's voice agreeing: that's why they requested a change. Doesn't he know that ChirinBang is Club Shanghai's owner? And there sits Baek San with his legs crossed and one finger holding up his head, doing his best to look half as cool as Mo. It's not working, NotMo. Do Ggoo goes on to explain that the elders themselves made this request, since they want to find out who helped the girl at SeolRak last night. In fact, they specifically asked Do Ggoo and Baek San to find the answer.
kakashi: he is NotMo for sure, but in a weird way, I have respect for Baek-san's unwavering loyalty. He is one of the most persistent characters in the whole show. 
Apparently, they're having all the men remove their shirts so they can look for Baek San bruises. Do Ggoo orders Jung Tae to remove his shirt - he's the lead suspect anyway. There's some back and forth that results in Do Ggoo shaking a finger at Jung Tae and Jung Tae grabbing said finger. More back and forth and Do Ggoo, who is clever but not SMART, orders Jung Tae to quit his bullshit and get moving. Jung Tae never even breaks his stare at Baek San as he whips Do Ggoo around by the digits. We can hear a few things break even over Do Ggoo's screams, and I laugh in delight because I'm a bad person.
kakashi: I started giggling when they started to talk about removing shirts and indeed didn't stop until way after this scene.  
Progress. We're half way there, but I worry we're going to run out of blog before I finish this thing.

While Do Ggoo flops around on the grown crying like the big fat baby that he is, Jung Tae tells Baek San to cut the crap; if he wants something, just come out with it. Threaten HIM, not innocent people. Fine, Baek San says. I'll threaten you. He gets up and tosses a folded up piece of paper in Jung Tae's face. He explains that this is the map of Seol Rak that Ok Ryeon drew. The look on Mo's face, watching from the sidelines, can be best be described as 'whaaaaaaaaa...?'
kakashi: Ah, an opportunity to insert some Mo pics. 
Baek San continues. Jung Tae has two days to bring the documents that will ruin Il Gook Hwae. If he doesn't the next thing he sees will be his woman's head, hanging from the rafters of SeolRak. (Psst, Kakashi: I am pretty sure that Jung Tae has documents that will ruin HWANGBANG, not Il Gookie. Or is he supposed to go FIND these documents? - uhm, yes ... Aoki has them, right? )
Jung Tae promises that if that happens, Baek San will not be safe. Baek San is not particularly impressed: for a guy who can't even avoid my hits, you sure are arrogant, he says. Then he tries to cement hands Jung Tae, who, ah, neatly avoids the hit. I giggle. They fight some more and I'm not sure if Baek San is hitting him or just coming close, but somehow during one of the twirls he starts undressing Jung Tae. I approve of this in general, but I don't really want images of Baek San clouding my view of the Yummy Tummy if it appears.
kakashi: NOT hitting him. All near-misses. 

Sure enough, when the shirt comes off, it's all Yummy Tummy, no bruise, and the guy doing the filming is careful not to put Baek San anywhere near the shot of that glorious skin. Jung Tae asks if Baek San is satisfied. No one asks me but I murmer that I am not. I am not satisfied, because the shirt is not entirely off.
kakashi: Oh, it's still very lovely. I pause and admire (like everybody else there). I will miss this.  
I find his lovely skin is best set off by those tiny dark nipples, though.  And my preference is for a neat happy trail, not a completely hairless torso. So this  good, because there's the pack, yes. But the snacks are missing.
Jung Tae tells Baek San to get lost and take his cops with him. If he does that, in two days Jung Tae will bring him the document that he wants. Ohh, NOW the Mori strategy thing? But if he doesn't... well then, Jung Tae supposes he'll have to take these other documents he has, the ones that detail all the HwangBang mischief, to the government. Baek San's like oh ok, in that case, yeah, sure, we're outta here!
kakashi: Is this about the Mori thing? I think I feel asleep a little after the Yummy Tummy.

As Baek San walks out, Jung Tae tells him to hold up for a minute. Baek San turns back and Jung Tae springs an attack on him. They go through some moves so quickly it's all just blurry but in the end, Baek San is standing with his hands at his sides and Jung Tae's fist in his gut, looking pretty surprised. Jung Tae says to tell father that his son Jung Tae will be sure to repay exactly what he has received.
kakashi: Agreed. Pay them back. 
Mo and the minion watch Jung Tae with interest. The minion is certain that Jung Tae got hit - but no bruise? Mo smiles his Mo smile. Yes, he says. What took me ten years to learn at Shaolin Temple, Jung Tae has learned naturally. Hwa Kyung, the art of neutralizing an opponent's attack. And there's our mystical martial arts technique of the week, folks!
kakashi: Sigh. That bit made me snort angrily. It's just silly to make Jung-tae into such a fighting genius. It's not even necessary. He has the Yummy Tummy. That's enough. 
In his office (I miss Jae Hwa! I won't forget you! - at least he didn't die! just sayin!) Jung Tae instructs Chubby and PoodleTop to find out how much Il Gook Hwae has invested in the club as well as how many men are at their disposal. He turns to Kwang Pae, Old Man Fly's guy, and confirms that he knows the intelligence building like the back of his hand. His job is to get inside and grab the documents that Aoki has collected about Hwang Bang and Club Shanghai. Lady Doc's job is to look into any contracts or dealings of ChirinBang or Il Gook Hwae. Because that's the kind of thing a doctor normally has access to, of course. Jung Tae turns to Old Man Fly, who tries hard to remember how to speak politely and finally just settles for calling Jung Tae Hyung (that was funny!). He requests the most critical job. Jung Tae smiles and says that the number of men in Il Gookie will be easy enough for the two younger guys to pull together, but he needs Fly's expertise to determine the number of men who secretly support the organization, as well.
Alone with Jung Tae now, Mo asks if he really intends to attack both at once, and what's his plan, in that case? Jung Tae offers up a title and I assume briefly that we're getting TWO mystical martial arts techniques tonight but no, it's a Chinese says: Let the two tigers tire themselves out by fighting. He'll use HwangBang's soldiers to attack Il Gookie, in other words. He further explains he'll get them fighting by creating confusion -and to do that, he'll use the telephone. Gasp!
kakashi: hehehehe, that was a real WTF moment :D
Mo pays a visit to that tall ChirinBang guy with a big briefcase full of money. He promises to pay twice what Jae Hwa used to pay, but first, he has a favor to ask: let them occupy the phone company for a day.
kakashi: This sounds interesting. Mo, wanna come over to let me in on your secret?
Across town Aoki is beating the crap out of his minion - Kwang Pae was successful in his mission! Well ok actually I am worried for Aoki because we want him to be ok, and now he has nothing to use against Hwang Bang or Club Shanghai - which means he has no leverage with anyone.
kakashi: Yeah ... but he is still evil, isn't he? 
There are levels, and his is acceptable to me, especially if he could break ranks and align with Jung Tae and Mo. Ok it won't happen because of Gaya, I know. But in my dreams...
The Chi Bros have collected their information successfully, too, and lay out personnel locations on the crayon map for Jung Tae. Their next task is to find out how long it takes to get to the Gookie Bank to the Gookie Branches and to the Gookie Casino.

Jung Tae goes to SeolRak and lays out his plan of attack against Il Gookie. He wants to attack their HQ and their branches all at the same time. Seul laughs. Me too because seriously, Jung Tae, how stupid are these people? You're in a life and death struggle with them and there are NO secrets between you and Seul anymore, and yet he's supposed to believe that you want to work with him on this? But apparently Seul really is an idiot because he's thinking about it (sigh .... it's not Seul that's the idiot but the writers).
Baek San sees it clearly and tries to warn Seul, but then Jung Tae flashes two huge piles of documents - the ones about HwangBang opium trade that he stole from Il Gookie. That's the end of that debate, although tries to act like he hasn't made up his mind. He wants to know if Jung Tae is making a threat against him, but Jung Tae says he wouldn't have actually brought the documents with him if that were the case. Seul can burn the documents or not, whatever he likes, but Jung Tae figures that these documents were the only thing Aoki had that he could use to protect himself from Il Gookie so he'll try to attack HwangBang to get them back... but if Il Gookie is under attack, then Aoki will have no choice but to use his soldiers to defend that organization. Seul can use the opportunity to get rid of Aoki. So what do you think, Jung Tae asks. Will you let me use your soldiers to attack Il Gookie?
Princess Seul and Baek San do that eye-talk thing that long-married couples do and Seul promises to support Jung Tae. He can have 300 of HwangBang's men, but the rest he has to come up with himself. Baek San is not pleased, but his princess has spoken. Once Jung Tae leaves, though, Seul says that once they've taken care of Aoki, Jung Tae is next.
kakashi: I guess we'll just go with this, err, new "twist", as we have gone with so many before it. 

Be strong, I tell myself. 15 minutes left. This post WILL end.
kakashi: Don't worry. At this point, everybody has stopped reading. 
It was all IMPORTANT.

Gaya and Aoki are at the shrine. There's a tablet for Shinichi now (NOT COOL). Aoki hands Gaya a letter but she doesn't understand what she's seeing. Aoki explains. Since they are now worthless to Denkai, he plans to replace them with new models (clones). Gaya is shocked, although I have no idea why this is surprising to her.
kakashi: Because the writer is an idiot.
Aoki doesn't understand that either, and goes on to explain that soon, Denkai will call for them. He'll probably denounce them in front of everyone - so what is Gaya going to do? Will she join Aoki or not? Gaya hesitates (WHY?) and Aoki pleads with her. She swallows hard and tells Aoki to start without her, because she has somewhere to go, first. Sounds suspiciously like Jung Tae to me, but Aoki agrees. He steps forward and takes Gaya's shoulders in his hands. They're in the same boat now. Soon, he will show her a good world. His eyes are so honest and hopeful, gah. Gaya can't even look him straight in the face. As she walks away, Aoki turns to watch her. He looks thoughtful. That's never a good sign.
kakashi: Aoki, you should try kissing her. Shoulder-holding - and hand-holding - isn't going to win her over. 
Back at Jung Tae Central, Poodle Top is teaching So So to poke holes in something. I have no idea why. So So has no idea why. I don't even think PoodleTop knows why, he just knows this is what he needs to do. Leader Mo is watching and face palms in disgust.
kakashi: AWESOME. 
Chubby announces a visitor, and Jung Tae enters the salon to find Gaya, who's there to plead with him to align with Il Gookie. What? Jung Tae says not only no, but hell no. I'm still reeling. What the hell, Gaya. Are you not with Aoki on the plan to save your lives? I mean, I kind of expected you to go to Jung Tae, make a confession, cry a little, maybe have a bit of nap with the boy, and then head off to what you assume is certain death with Aoki but of course you both live and raise a passel of babies in the mountains somewhere. Because we need that, Gaya. This is not cool.
kakashi: what KDramas are best at is destroying awesome female characters. They do it again and again and again. That said, Gaya can be glad she hasn't been reduced to a sobbing, love-sick idiot. 
Gaya asks Jung Tae if their only choice is to be enemies, since he won't join with Il Gookie. Um, no, Gaya. There's another option. You could not be an ass here and YOU could align yourself with some decent folks for a change. But I guess that's not going to happen. She swallows hard and tells Jung Tae 'let's not be born this way in our next life.' She heads out of the room sadly, but Jung Tae stops her. They look soulfully at each other and I'm pretty sure that's Kim Hyun Joong himself crooning softly in the background. It feels a bit weird to remember that he's actually quite a bit different from Jung Tae in real life. He apologizes to her tearfully and she strokes his face.
kakashi: He is different? Oh ... then that means he really, REALLY learned how to act?! I keep forgetting. 
As the music swells, Gaya leans in - they finally get their first real kiss. Except... it doesn't look like he kisses back? Loyal to Ok Ryeon in the clutch? Gaya backs away slowly and says that this time, it's really the end for them. She thanks him and says that now, she thinks she'll be able to wield her sword against him. WHAT THE HELL, GAYA. The lyrics of the song helpfully play across the screen - Say I love you, I love you/Say I hate you, I hate you/I'm by your side./After today passes, tomorrow will come/if you would know me... Once the door closes, Jung Tae lets out his breath. I hadn't realized he was holding it, but that was tough for the boy, I guess. His last words to Gaya were a quiet request to live well. He sighs and looks around the room. What's that? Gaya left an envelope on the table...
kakashi: Sigh ... this could have been so awesome. You know, have Jung-tae really conflicted about his two women. Have him love both, have him being torn apart by it, all agony. THAT would have been a good drama. But alas ... 
Denkai is cleaning his sword. A bit too lovingly, if you ask me. The doors open, and Aoki marches in. I have something to tell you, he says. Denkai responds with a question. Does Aoki know why a samurai carries many swords? Sure, it's so they can kill many enemies - but the REAL reason is because swords break easily and have to be replaced often. He continues on. Japanese steel is inferior to Joseon steel (sorry, but I'm pretty sure that's complete bullshit), and for this reason, to find the best steel, each one has to be broken by a hammer. (Is he talking about the forging process? It's hard to say.)
Aoki responds by asking if even a sword made from the best steel has to be thrown away, and Denkai replies that if it's already broken, yes. A sword is made to be used, not served. Thank God Aoki is tired of the double talk. He cuts right to the chase (well, I kinda liked the metaphors!). Are you saying you're going to abandon Gaya and me, he asks? Robot Denkai responds that if it is useless, it must be thrown away. Aoki, that soft-hearted optimist, asks Denkai if he doesn't know that a broken sword, melted in a steel furnace, can then become new again in the hands of the right person. Denkai scoffs; he supposes Aoki means that with Gaya, he will be reborn.
kakashi: OMG that's so cheesy.

Yes, Aoki affirms. That's right. And the sword that makes Gaya reborn? Aoki will show Denkai how sharp that is. Shit shit shit shit. Oh, Aoki. Damn. This is going to hurt me as much as it hurts you. Denkai is shocked! (uh, why?) Aoki is defiant. He's going to pursue his dream! He longs to DANCE! No, not really. He wants to live, not as something that can be thrown away, but as a swordsman who dreams of a NEW Il Gookie. Oh shit. He really was that starry eyed and idealistic all along? Oh man. This could possibly be worse than Shinichi.
kakashi: Uhm, NO, he wasn't like that from the beginning. But the writers suddenly decided that he was going to be that way, maybe half an episode ago. I think they just randomly have characters to this and that, whatever suits the idea of the week. 
I actually think he was. He was taken with Gaya immediately,always warned her about the treachery within the organization, and has been talking about a new Il Gookie for a long time. His viciousness against Jung Tae was jealousy.
Very dramatically, Aoki pulls out... a (un-blurred) steak knife? Come ON. Denkai was just practically having sex with a sword as long as he is tall! But he doesn't go for that. He yells for Aka. The doors open and my boy walks in very dramatically. PLEASE please please be aligned with Aoki PLEASE.
Denkai tells Aka that Aoki is trying to overtake the leader - kill him! Aka stands still. God, my heart is pounding. Denkai is confused and orders Aka to kill Aoki again. Aka, my beautiful beautiful wall of a man, remains still. I will kiss his freaky eye, I swear it.
Aoki steps toward Denkai, who can only repeat Aka's name in confusion. Aoki continues forward, resolute. Denkai is reduced to a quivering ball of old man (yeah, cause he didn't just have a sword in his hand). Aoki stabs him in the gut, holding him close. This is for the ones who died before me, he says. The many Aokis. He stabs again. This is for the one who couldn't fight back. The many Gayas.
kakashi: Yes! Avenge the clones! 
Oh my God, I love him.

Denkai throws Aoki off, blood pouring from his mouth. He staggers towards Aoki (whose knife is clean as spring air) and Aka, trying to say something, but falls. He tries again, but as Gaya walks into the room he switches tactics, calling her name. She watches impassively. He gathers his remaining strength and berates them. You people! How could you! (What the hell, old man. How could they NOT?) Aoki stabs him one more time. He looks at Aoki, enraged, grits out something that sounds sort of like Aoki's name, and falls dead. Good riddance, I say. Plus, I am very relieved that Gaya is not betraying Aoki, after all. When she was warning Jung Tae, I didn't realize that Gaya and Aoki were going to kill Denkai. I thought they were going to run away.
kakashi: To make babies? Not a bad idea. 
Aoki falls to his knees, overcome. Gaya cries and wonders that he didn't say anything even to the end, not even to apologize for killing her mother (cause he was an evil bastard). Even to the end, he couldn't let go of his greed. Sadly, she whispers the word 'Grandfather.' Aoki swallows hard and thanks Aka for his help. Aka tells him not to misunderstand - from this point on, he serves Gaya.
News travels fast among the Evil, and it's not long before the Troll Princess knows that Denkai is dead. Since both Baek San and Seul believe that the Il Gookie are up to something, Baek San wonders if it wouldn't be prudent to skip the funeral for Denkai. Seul smiles and asks what would people think of them if they DIDN'T go. Man, I hope his love of appearances is what does him in, in the end. Seul informs Baek San that he intends to bring Jung Tae to the funeral. And yes, of course, he intends to use him as a shield.

Five more minutes. I have been typing for ten years, I know.

Gaya and Aoki stand before an assembled group of henchmen. Gaya is wearing a tire around her waist, for some reason (that must be for protection? Or is it a chastity belt?). Aoki says that from now on, Gaya is the leader, but for this fight, he's going to be in charge. She points out that she is still Shanghai's leader and he questions her: Can she really kill Jung Tae?
Try me, she says. Oh, no, says Aoki. I know you're strong. You can definitely do it. But if you do, he'll be in your heart for a really long time - and THAT, I can't watch anymore. He turns to the men and tells Yamamoto (why is he still around???) to protect the HQ. Aka should go meet up with Jung Tae and Seul. He gives the rest of the men a quick pep talk, which is exactly what Jung Tae is doing in his camp.
Right now, he says, we're doing what Joseon people have never done! We're attacking first! In order to be strong in the fight against Il Gookie, we're wearing HwangBang clothes. But once we have gathered our strength, we'll return to attack them, too! They will be the thorn between HwangBang and Il Gook Hwae - it's time now to go show them how strong that thorn can be! Everyone cheers!
kakashi: Me too! We're done!  


So you can probably tell that I was very into this episode. I am really dying to know how things end, plus I knew it was Shinichi's night (that's a mean thing to say, because it was HIS NIGHT TO DIE!!!!).... and then there was the potential of Aka being a good-ish guy (YES!!!) I am definitely pleased with how things are going.  I have no hope at all that Aoki will live, and at this point I probably wouldn't bet on Gaya or Aka, either. But I am ok with this, somehow. The show is doing things just right for me lately.
kakashi: Yeah, my emotions died with Shinichi. May everybody die, I don't care. 

You weren't around, Kashi, so I'll tell you: I had a brief moment where, clouded by Shinichi grief and the early morning hour, I thought that we just discovered that Denkai's daughter was married to Seul's son (who died 20 years ago) and that meant Gaya was granddaughter to BOTH sources of evil and misery, but once I had a full allotment of coffee I realized that the math didn't work, plus we MET her father.  Wouldn't it have been an awesome reveal though?
kakashi: I wish you had been the main writer for this show, I really do.

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