02 April 2014

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Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 23 and 24 FINAL (A SqueeCap)

Posted by mary on April 02, 2014
Mary: We finally get an explanation for this show's title, and it is NOT what you expected (DAMN!). Be prepared for a load of WTFery as Age of Feeling scrambles to give everyone in its mammoth cast *snerk* a send-off. Whether that send-off is actually fitting, I'll leave for you to decide. Will your favorites survive in the final week's carnage?
kakashi: Hell yeah - the carnage episode is here!!!! Die, evil people, die! Live, good people, live! (the evil people are the ugly ones, by the way)
JoAnne: I just want My Aka to get his happy ending (Yes, Mary, that's exactly what I meant) (Now when you say that I'm not sure if you want me to read plain English or JoAnne English.)

Episode 23-24 (Final)
We resume from last episode, where the newly-engaged couple is happily bumping lips in front of the Chirinbang elders. (I refuse to call that a kiss - yeah, that's REALLY was an abomination.) Suddenly, there's a commotion outside. Gaya has come to crash the party! Even without bodyguards, she struts into town again like the badass Princess that she is and requests an audience with Jung Tae immediately. Naturally, Jung Tae agrees to see her, engagement be damned. *sigh* Some things never change...
kakashi: Hey, I've always shipped him with Gaya. Before they completely destroyed her character, that is. I bet Im Soo-hyang is glad though it wasn't quite as bad as in IRIS2: She was so cool and tough in there until they turned her into a lovesick fool! Sure, she has done a fair bit of crying in the last few episodes, but she still pulls out blunt knives and tries to stick them into men. That's something.  
JoAnne: Best part of the entire series, for me, is when they replayed that scene right below here, but as a song and dance number. I can't stop humming the song!
kakashi: I have heard rumors they want to turn this into a muscial in Korea! Would be awesome! 
In a private meeting, Gaya tearfully admits that Il Gook Hwae has been hiding his sister, Chung Ah (do we remember who that is?!). She survived the fall but lost her memories, and that was how Il Gookie (through Do-Ggoo), found her. Denkai raised Chung Ah as another Gaya-in-training. Now that Denkai is dead, Chung Ah has been rebelling. "I need your help to bring her back" says Gaya.
kakashi: Hahaha, they seriously managed to sneak in amnesia!!! I'm dying laughing here. Is Chung-ah going to challenge Gaya? Oh, and will she fall in love with Jung-tae?! Incest! Incest! Incest-alaaaaaaarm! Unless she is NOT Jung-tae's real sister ... which is possible. 
JoAnne: oooh, but what if GAYA is his sister?

They meet later that night at a slightly more modern bar in Shanghai. Gaya points to a schoolgirl dancing onstage. "I don't think that's my sister" says Jung Tae. "Are you sure?" says Gaya "Look closely. The resemblance is striking."
"Oh. You meant the long-haired one. She does kind of look like me from certain angles..." admits Jung Tae. Apparently, Chung Ah only follows orders if you beat her up. But she inherited their father's fighting skills. No one in Il Gook Hwae can defeat her, which is why Gaya asked for Jung Tae's help.
kakashi: Oh shit, so it's genetic? There's a fighter genius gene?! I WANT IT! *starts making plans for whom to beat up in what way and in what order*
JoAnne: *Starts making cookies for Kakashi*

Jung Tae agrees and rushes forward to beat the crap out of his sister when someone slashes him down from behind. (Oooh~ I know that slasher-guy! But didn't he die last week?) Down Jung Tae goes. As his consciousness fades, we hear Gaya apologize for tricking him, but this is all for his own good.
kakashi: What a biatch! Pretends to love him and then .... ah, poor Jung-tae. Too nice, too trusting. 
JoAnne: Wait, so that WASN'T Chung Ah?
The next day, Ok Ryeon is worried when Jung Tae doesn't visit her in Princess Seul's headquarters. (Is she still being held not-a-hostage?) Ok Ryeon tells Soso about the mysterious vial she saw Baek-san purchasing the other night and asks her to look into it, in case it's another plot to hurt Jung Tae.
kakashi: Can she die already??!!?
JoAnne: I don't know if she CAN, but she MAY.
After Soso leaves, a couple of ladies enter Ok Ryeon's room. They've been sent by Princess Seul to "prepare" her for an engagement ceremony. One that all wives of the leader of Bamsamtong must go through. She squees in excitement and I facepalm like Mo. Seriously, how can you believe anything that comes out of that little toad's mouth?
kakashi: Since we're boycotting Ok-ryeon on this blog (as much as we can, anyway) we give you a gif of the MO-Facepalm. 
JoAnne: He's so dramatic, that boy. And he dresses so flamboyantly, too. That big silver spangly dangly pin, and the heels...
Soso goes to her dad and describes that strange-looking object Baek-san bought, asking what it's for. Old Man Fly is visibly scared. It's a Battu Peuraggu. A most potent poison that weakens a person before giving them excruciating pain. It's deadliness is offset by the fact that it's difficult to introduce into the human body, and can only have negative effects if administered through the butt (OMG). Cut to:
Ok Ryeon being held down by her fake ladies-in-waiting as she's being poisoned. Nuuuuuuuuuu! I didn't like her, butt this is a horrible way to die. Is no one going to help her? Jung Tae! Where are you?
kakashi: I feel bad now. I really wished horrible things upon her, but this?! No. Not for my worst enemy. 
JoAnne: What if your worst enema is into that kind of thing? Poops, I mean Enemy. Oops, I mean.. oh you know what I mean.

Jung Tae is busy being dragged by Gaya's new lackey into an unknown location. New Lackey then reports that Jung Tae is safely hidden for now and the camera finally gives us a good view of him. It's Shinichi! Back from the dead! Looking better than ever!
kakashi: Incredible HAPPY DANCE! Ohhhhh, look at that wonderful facial hair!!! He looks awesome. I missed him! I love him! I want to marry him! Him and Mo! I want a harem!! (You'd need to cross-dress and act incredibly careless and stupid.) I don't CARE!
JoAnne: There is more to this Shinichi than than there used to be. I am very impressed.  I would like to watch more of this Shinichi.
After Aoki convinced Gaya to run away last episode, Aka brought Shinichi's body to the temple where he used to train. The monks revived Shinichi via Eel Tail Technique. A treatment that fast forwards your body clock to hasten the healing (thus, the long hair). It also increases your stamina but numbs you to pain, leaving you unable to tell if your body is hurting (like Aka). But who cares, right? As long as Shinichi is back and better than ever. Plus with Denkai gone, he's also free to do whatever pleases his Princess Gaya!
kakashi: Oh! So Aka is ... also risen from the dead?? That explains a lot! So cool. Necromancy. I've always been into that. Apropos "pleases his Princess Gaya" ... I mean ... would she .... you know?
JoAnne: She would if she has any wits about her. Just sayin.

Gaya tells Shinichi to clean himself up and follow her, they must talk to Leader My Il Hwa. Talk. Talk, ok? Don't do fighty-fighty hurty stuff. If you kill My Il Hwa I will kill you for a second time, Shinichi! Mo welcomes Gaya but not Shinichi. Fine. Wait outside Shinichi ver2.0. Once Gaya and Mo are alone, she pleads with Mo "Please save Jung Tae!" Leader Mo is surprised. Wasn't Gaya the one hiding Jung Tae right now?
kakashi: Uhm .... seriously. These writers .... they have really lost it. By the way, don't you think Mo looks at Gaya with MUCH more interest than he used to? What's going on in his head? Or ... is she maybe using some special pheromone to entice men?! That would explain a lot!!! 
JoAnne: Actually, he's impressed by Shinichi 2.0. Apparently Gaya has more to recommend her than he first thought.
No, she says, Gaya was hiding Jung Tae to protect him from Seul. Apparently, Seul suffers from an evil curse that can only be cured by absorbing the energy of an inspiring, youthful man. He must find such a man for every generation. Otherwise, his face will rot off. Leader Mo just laughs. "That's not possible. Seul is just a normal, greedy human being. Can't you come up with a better story than that?"
kakashi: Mo .... be careful with this one. She might just feed you a weird story in order to make you believe she is trying to fool you when in fact, she is saying the truth and you are doomed because you didn't believe her?!
JoAnne: OR she banks on his strategery-type thinking, and tells him a wild story that isn't true, because he'll know it's not true but then decide she's trying to fool him into thinking it's not true when it really is, so obviously it can't be.. Wait now I'm confused.   

Gaya slides over a photo of Seul from a different time with his face full of dark marks. Mo reels in shock. "It... it cannot be" he says, but you see him starting to piece things together. Now that Gaya has his attention, she explains that the previous generation's "Inspiring Youth" was Baek-san. This explains the unwavering loyalty and attachment Baek-san feels for Seul, despite all the evility of that evil toad.
kakashi: See? See? Mo! Be careful!!!!! 
JoAnne: He's already got the outfit, though. *shrugs* nothing you can do now.
Mo asks how they can kill Seul then. "You can't" says Gaya. All you can do is offer up someone else in Jung Tae's place. My Il Hwa doesn't understand the point of approaching him. "So why not order your Shinichi to do it?" Ah! But Shinichi's Eel Tail Treatment has aged him and given him the body and face of a grown man. (Dangit! I knew that treatment had a downside!)
kakashi: Oh no no no, I don't like where this is going .... :-( I mean ... YES, I like where this (below) is going, but not where that thing with MO is going.
This picture has downsides
Uhm..... no? 
The only 'downside' here is hidden from view. Please put the downside outside so it can be upside and inside.
"The reason I told you all of this is because the only other inspiring youth in this generation... is you, Leader Mo."

WHAT. THE. FUCK. You can't seriously be saying that Mo will become Seul's next slave?! NOOOOOOOO. That's wrong! That's... slavery! Mo seems to think so too. He is stunned. My poor, lovely Il Hwa.
kakashi: What an awful way to go .... :((
JoAnne: Is there ANY benefit? At all? I mean what would possess anyone to do this?

"I have told you everything you need to know. The rest is for you to decide. Please remember who Jung Tae is. Who his father is. And how much they mean to the people of Bamsamtong." and with that final guilt-trip, Princess Gaya leaves.
kakashi: Yeah, foook. We all know how much Mo owes the Shins. She really knows how to manipulate people... :(( Also ... I always cheer when Mo's second eye appears. It's so lovely. 
JoAnne: That big poofy mushroom head of hair. He looks like a cat sat on his head. MO DO NOT DO IT.
That night, Mo goes for a stroll with his sidekick. He seems to be walking aimlessly, just enjoying the moon and the night air and the fact that he can go anywhere he wanted and say anything he wanted. OH GOD. I'm crying. I AM CRYING. He's gonna do it, is he?! He's gonna sacrifice his lovely, inspiring youthfulness for that lunkhead Jung Tae?!
kakashi: Stupid, stupid people and your stupid, stupid sacrifices :((((
JoAnne: Noble Idiocy, how I loathe thee. I mean, I like Jung Tae but dammit Mo is way too cool to get sucked in by Seul. 

He leaves reminders for lackey, how to contact the surviving Dandong residents and build their own Dandong beside Bamsamtong once Jung Tae is free. Lackey is clueless why Mo is telling him everything. My Il Hwa just smiles and tells lackey not to wait up for him, he has somewhere to go.
kakashi: This is like Poong-cha all over again. I'm switching off my computer now. Goodbye (look how lovely he is:) 
JoAnne: Ah, crap, I forgot about the Dandongers. Of course he has to do it. Son of a bitch, I hate Seul.
FUCK YOU, SEUL. FUCK YOU, GAYA. FUCK YOU, JUNG TAE. FUCK EVERYONE IN THIS UNIVERSE.
kakashi: Yeah, FUCK YOU, drama. 
JoAnne: I think I want on this big ball of fuck. Fuck you, Aka!  *winks* *makes 'call me' gesture*

We cut to Seul the morning after Mo's sacrifice. Because this fooking show can't even give My Il Hwa the full 120 minutes of airtime he deserves this week. Baek-san visits his Princess Seul for their breakfast couple chat. But Seul isn't in the mood for him. He's back on his rocking chair, peacefully napping.
kakashi: Gaaaaaaaaaaah, I HATE HIM!!
JoAnne: Ladies, he looks really, you know, satisfied. Happy. Worn out. Relaxed.
Baek-san looks at him differently today. Like he's not the center of his universe anymore. Suddenly, his face changes like he realized something. He sneaks in to Seul's bedroom to check, and OH EM FOOKING GOTT.
kakashi: O______o. Oh. I'm GLAD I didn't switch off the computer yet! He is ... THAT kind of slave???!!
JoAnne: I knew it. I recognized that look on Seul's face.
He finds Mo on Seul's bed, already looking different and meek.
kakashi: Hell. But .... oh. What .... oh. 

Nooooooooooooooooooo.
We see Baek-san's memories in a flashback, of how he was spotted as the past generation's Inspiring Youth, and how he too was chosen to be Seul's slave. (Not gonna post pics of THAT - yeah, thanks, cause it's disgusting) I'm guessing Il Hwa's sacrifice breaks whatever hold Seul has on Baek-san's mind, because he suddenly looks nicer and freer. He high-tails it out of there and hails a cab. Probably to go somewhere where he can purge those horrible memories of Seul.
kakashi: Come ON, show. You cannot suddenly turn this guy into a good guy! We want bloooooood! 
JoAnne: I like to think he meets up with Do Ggoo (good call. They seem to have completely forgot about Do-ggoo). All that time at SeolRak, he couldn't do anything - but  you know he noticed that handsome smoky voiced man in the sharp suits.  It all goes well for a bit but then...it IS Do Ggoo, and Baek San ends up beaten to death by the side of the road in some deserted corner of the countryside.
Now that Seul isn't on the prowl for an Inspiring Youth, Gaya releases Jung Tae. I was half-expecting her to make another pass at him, but no. She sets him free physically AND emotionally. She watches him go with a sad look on her face. How come everyone gets a fooking neat ending except Mo? Even Seul got his youthfulness back!
kakashi: See? I think Gaya has found happiness with Shinichi. I mean ... look at him. He probably smells like leather, smoke, and a tiny bit of sweat. 
JoAnne: And he's totally into being bossed around. This could work.
Well, not everyone is happy, it looks like. Ok Ryeon is starting to suffer from the effects of the Battu Peuraggu. (oh. completely forgot about her) Doctor Jung can only slow down the poison, not cure it completely. But as with all Stupid Tragic Heroines, The Broom asks the doctor to keep this a secret from everyone. She wants to marry Jung Tae happily before she dies.
kakashi: I throw up a little into my mouth. 
JoAnne: This scene was hard to watch. I mean, there's Ok Ryeon struggling with... you know, and it's horrible and gross and all, and that Doc has to be not just in the room, but hugging her and consoling her and... I could never do that without gagging. (Then you can never be my friend, Jo. Because I have a really weak stomach.)
Wedding it is! The Lunkhead For Whom My Il Hwa Gave Up His Youth goes back to Club Shanghai none the wiser. He's a bit surprised when Ok Ryeon wants to get married within the week, but he gladly agrees (Have they ... done the beast with the double backs? could he think she is pregnant, maybe?!) (You don't remember that scene? So awkward. He just sort of rested himself on or near her and neither of them moved, but the camera did a 360 around them - I must have dozed off?!) They hold this garden wedding blah blah blah... Did no one notice that the bride has difficulty walking and sitting down?!

All the guests are from Bamsamtong (so everyone we don't care about). There's no trace of Seul. Ergo, no trace of Mo. I... think I'm glad about that. I don't wanna see this dead-eyed version of Mo fetching him wine and feeding him hors d'oeuvres.
kakashi: Do we know the details of this ... slave thing? Or ... okay. We don't want to know. You're right. 
JoAnne: Baek San never seemed particularly dead-eyed to me, though.
kakashi: Maybe because it's been years and years of slavery. 

After the wedding vows, the Battu Peuraggu which took its damned sweet time poisoning Ok Ryeon finally finishes its Operation: Kill The Broom. But not before she cries and tells Jung Tae she loves him, she was happy. She reminds him to always dress nicely, because he'd have a hard time finding another woman like her who would love his gritty, bloody look.
kakashi: I'm a little bit moved. A little bit. About 5 centimeters to the right. 
JoAnne: Did anyone else notice how long his hair got?
She reminds him to be patient with Chung Ah (do we care at this point?) and understand that it's difficult to be transplanted from a place and group of people you call home. Then she takes one final gasp and The Broom dies in the groom's arms.
kakashi: Alright. It's done. Where's Chung-ah, though?! Man, the show has dementia again....
JoAnne: I'm confused, because did we EVER see her? That other time was a fake out, I thought. Or did she trick him BUT show him his real sister? (I finished watching and still not sure if that party girl in Shanghai was Chung Ah. Points for finding a Kim Hyun Joong look-alike though. Maybe they made the young Jung Tae cross-dress?)

You know, I'd feel more sympathetic if my mind didn't keep thinking, "There are worse things than death. You could be Seul's Inspiring Youth Slave, for instance." But Jung Tae cries and cries and hulk-smashes things in misery and I feel a teeny tiny bit of sympathy for his bride's tragic death. Partly because it was such a waste of Mo's bromancrifice when Jung Tae still ended up losing everything important to him in the end.
kakashi: Ten more minutes to go and this is a truly miserable ending! Dont' make me cry, show. 
JoAnne: He's thinking about the sex he didn't get to have, come on. (He got his metaphorical kdrama sex, complete with 360-degree camera thing while they're both fully dressed in bed.)
Jung Tae presides over Ok Ryeon's funeral and the people of Bamsamtong are in complete attendance. They accord her the same reverence and respect as Jung Tae, giving her the title "Lady of Bamsamtong". Jung Tae lifelessly goes through the ceremony. It's only after everyone leaves that he talks to Ok Ryeon.
"Ok Ryeon-ah, your husband is sorry. He is sorry for always being late. For being stupid and not remembering the difference between daffodils and dahlias. For not being able to afford a better ring. This stupid husband of yours who wasn't able to protect you and didn't know how much you suffered... this stupid husband is sorry for not showing you how much he loves you."
(*sniff* I refuse to shed a tear for anyone who doesn't have as crappy an ending as My Il Hwa.)
kakashi: Come on, that was really, really moving...
JoAnne: Well I never disliked her the way you guys did, so I'll admit that I genuinely cried here.

An unspecified time later.

Jae Hwa is running Club Shanghai with the old gang (hell yeah! He's back!!!). They're raking in the profits from a new invention called television. It allows their rich patrons to watch people fall in love and beat each other up without sound on a black-and-white screen. The Chi brothers watch Jae Hwa counting money and suck up to him by calling him Bamsamtong-hyung. Jae Hwa hits them both and says "Yah! I'm not the leader of Bamsamtong! I'm just taking care of this place for Jung Tae the same way I did for Young Chul Hyung."
kakashi: Glad to see these old faces. Really glad. 
JoAnne: The only thing better would have been to see our Dobi Boys hooked up with the Bamsangtongers.
kakashi: *crying*
Dok Ggoo visits Aoki on his last day in prison and gives him a letter from Gaya. She's with Shinichi in a place where "they can forget about Il Gook Hwae and ruling the world, and just focus on ruling their own lives". Gaya says in the letter that if he wants that kind of boring life, to come to this address and try to beat her in a fight. She's been training with Shinichi all this time. Aoki smirks at the invitation, the sexy bastard, and we see him the next morning walking out of prison with a lighter heart (and looking very spiffy). They show Gaya and Shinichi in that temple watching the sunset, maybe waiting for Aoki?
kakashi: Oh this woman!!!!! She doesn't believe in choice, does she? She just wants them both. Well done, Gaya. Well done. 
JoAnne: I don't blame her one bit.
We cut to Mo. MO! My Mo! *cries* Do I want to know what's happened to you? *biting fingers* He seems lifeless at first, but he clutches his head in pain and gets a flashback to Jung Tae's engagement party: He's enjoying the food when something catches his attention. *please let it be Soso please let it be Soso* He looks up and.......... YES! It's Soso! *I'm crying again*
kakashi: Is he ... is he alright?! (are you sure he isn't looking at Ok-ryeon though?) (Show used that shot where Ok-ryeon is blurred and Soso is in focus.)
JoAnne: He'd never look at his brother's woman.
Back to the present, Mo seems to be reeling from his memories, and we get a fanservicey montage of his bromance with Jung Tae too. His memories are interrupted by Princess Seul calling for him. My Il Hwa seems to struggle a little bit, forced to meekly follow Seul's orders, but then his face clears and his expression changes, and we get Crazy Mo back.
kakashi: He has been playing all this time?! Oh, you crazy, cheeky bastard!!! Wait .... does that mean ... he is ENJOYING being a slave?! 
JoAnne: He's a FREAK! I knew it! Remember when we first met him on that bridge? Remember the way he was with Jung Tae that first time?  Oh, Moe, you sly devil. 
His memories of his friends and Soso seem to stick with him as he answers Seul "Yes, I'll be there". He smirks and I really really hope that smirk means Seul Dies Today. If anyone can kill that unkillable toad AND break free from the curse, it's My Il Hwa.
kakashi: He will, mary. He will!!!!!
JoAnne: And then he'll be in charge of HwangBang!

End of Episode 24.

Epilogue
Jung Tae is in an unknown city, looking spiffy and hawt (aww... did he listen to his wife and dress nicely since their wedding?) He checks a list of names in his hand. It's full of the names of all surviving, actively evil Il Gook Hwae members. All the names on the list have been crossed out except one: Aka. He seems to have taken the lead after Gaya stepped down. Jung Tae is here to end Aka and Il Gook Hwae for good. We get a shot of Aka somewhere in the same city.
JoAnne: You cannot kill the undead. My Aka will live forever. And he's coming for ME.

End of epilogue.

Comments

Done. I am done. I have no words. This show is AMAZING.
kakashi: That was a REALLY satisfying ending!!! Man, not many shows manage to end in such a way. In fact, I bet about 86% of all KDramas have terrible endings. The writers did well in the end! Ah, I'm so glad. I can let this one go now. My heart rests easy.  
JoAnne: My Aka :) I did love this show. I maybe didn't love the characters QUITE as much as I loved Baksa Adeul, but I loved the SHOW more than Heartless City. Is that weird?  Like... my perfect show is this show minus the dangling plot lines, plus Baksa and Safari.

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