17 April 2014

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Bride Of The Century Episode 15 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by CM Shukmeister on April 17, 2014
Shuk:  The anger and angst of two rich families and a bunch of cityfolk get dumped on the shoulders of one abalone diver. Can she handle the pressure? And will our Kitten Prince be able to do anything as his world falls apart?
JoAnne:  It's Ep 15, Jo.  You know the drill. Just a little more dumbass before we return to the cute. Deep breathing, Self. We've been here before. We know what to do. 
Shuk:  This is JoAnne as a cat flipping a table. You have been warned.


EPISODE 15

Shuk:  Crazy biatch JangMa decides to go homicidal on Bubbles rather than go to the hospital with her daughter, but then I always thought her priorities were kind of messed up.  Bubbles morphs into our ChoiGhosty, who apparently has an axe to grind of her own.
JoAnne:  Warning, dear friends:  at this point, more than any other, you must suspend all critical thought and just swallow whatever crap they hand you.
The Suspension Bridge Of Disbelief
Shuk:  It appears JangMa was the ChoiGhosty murderer all those years ago (however many years, because, quite frankly I can’t tell if it was 400 years or 100 years ago anymore.  Darn hanboks.)
JoAnne:  This is the 100 years ghost.  I think there might not have been a 400 years ghost, just a subber with math issues.
Shuk:  It could be: it is a Drama Fever standard-sub-standard.

Shuk:  In a pre-strangling flashback, we see PastBubbles was part of the Choi household servants, along with PastJangMa and ChoiGhosty.  Based on the Master’s clothing, we are going to go with 100 years ago.  The household greets him, and we find out PastJangMa is PastBubble’s mother, and the Ahjumma of the estate, that Master appears to married to the kind of staid matron as CurrentChoiMother, and ChoiGhosty is a new servant at the estate.  Plus, she’s mute.  Does she have amnesia too?
JoAnne:  It's either amnesia or a birth secret, and don't they kind of boil down to the same thing?
Shuk:  Over tea, ChoiMistress, resplendent with creepy ghost/owl  binyeo, explains that the new deaf/mute servant  saved her in the mountains and was invited to join the household.  And the interactions start.  It turns out she knows acupuncture, and helps ChoiMaster’s headache.  He muses that needles can both help and harm.  He’s feeling magnanimous and names her “Star”.  Hmm, if she’s smart enough to learn the way of the needles, would she have learned the alphabet?  Maybe her real name was Mildred or something.  She’s happy with the name.
JoAnne:  Mildred means Star in the mountain dialect used where she comes from.
Shuk:  Later on, she’s hanging out the wash when ChoiMaster kisses her.  Clearly the “Kiss First Ask Questions Later” gene hasn't missed a generation all the way to the current one.  He gives her the carnelian bracelet while cherry blossoms fall, and ChoiMistress watches from a distance and seethes.
JoAnne:  So I'm supposed to feel sorry for a servant girl who slept with her married master, is that where we're going with this? Don't bother with the imbalance of power argument.  She clearly likes him and did from the start.

Shuk:  Later, ChoiGhosty untangles herself from ChoiMaster, and gets ready to give him a poison-needle thoracotomy.  He was responsible for the deaths of her parents, but she now loves him and can’t perform the deathpuncture.
JoAnne:  So he's a cheating murderous bastard, and she's a slutty assassin without conviction. Great.  Lovely couple.
Shuk:  Not long after, PastJangMa spills the beans to ChoiMaster of the assassin in his bed.  He’s upset, and gets ready to cut off ChoiGhosty’s head with a sword using the flimsiest excuse for proof I have ever seen in any KDrama ever. All she can do is shake her head and wait for the end.  He just slices the candles and declares her dead and nameless.  She’s wildly crying until the nausea starts. Cue the pregnant trope!
JoAnne:  I sometimes think that Korean sperm must only actually activate once sobbing is detected.
Shuk:  ChoiMistress is upset that the servant may give birth to the heir, but PastJangMa has a plan.
JoAnne:  I have seen and disliked this woman in something else.

Shuk:  In the old ancestor house, ChoiGhosty gives birth to a boy, and PastBubbles is bubbling.  PastJangMa asks her to get more hot water, which is, of course, the cue for the dum-dah-dum music.  PastJangMa tells her she going to die having a stillbirth.  And we are full circle with the flashback.
JoAnne:  I find it difficult to get worked up and be all supportive over the soon-to-be ghost's angst and desire for revenge, considering she's a homewrecking non-filial daughter. She doesn't keep her own promises and thinks nothing of the promises others have made.  This is the person whose tragic story began alllllllllllllllllllll the tragic stories?  I'm no longer interested.

Shuk:  Since Bubbles saved the baby, ChoiMistress decides to take the baby as her own; PastJangMa is tasked with disposing of the body and disappearing from the household.
JoAnne:  And so we have proof that FirstBubbles was an idiot.  Because why would her mother the servant care a fig about the child of another servant, unless someone else did first?  Someone important to her mother, like, say, the privileged child she raised for many years?
Shuk:  Later on, still in her bloody hanbok, she has a mental breakdown and screams at the white-shrouded figure.
JoAnne:  JangMa, right?  I'd call her Original Bitch but hey, to me the first bitch in this story turns out to be the ghost.

Shuk:  And now full full circle back to the present.  ChoiGhosty warns JangMa she can never get free of the bad karma.  JangMa freaks and runs, and the ghost vacates Bubbles body, and releases Kitten Prince from his sleep.  He runs inside, sees his love prone on the floor, and shakes her until she opens her eyes.
JoAnne: I hope she gets all Ophelia-dramatic, JangMa. That would actually be funny.
Shuk:  JangMa has gone into thumb-biting mode at her house, going over the events of the night, and justifies both past and present actions as being something anyone would have done to survive.
JoAnne:  Well yes, if you're the anyone, repeating your one decision through the years.

Shuk:  AwesomeOppa is at vigil with Smirky, asking her to come back and rejoin the living; he will be on her side no matter what.   When he goes downstairs, JangMa is eating a full course steak dinner likes it’s nothing.  The steak is a little tough, so she starts stuffing her face with her fingers, until blood smears her face.  She wipes it with a napkin and picks up a wine glass with a shaky hand, still planning vengeance.
JoAnne:  Creepy, both.

Shuk:  Which starts the next day.  The entire story is released and goes viral:  Na Doo-rim used coercion and blackmail to seduce the chaebol heir away from the poor defenseless Construction Princess, who then attempts suicide and is now catatonic.  The company website was shut down due to the negative comments, and anything the company posts sounds like an excuse or cover-up.

Shuk:  Kitten Prince shows up at JangHouse, and a newly-haughty JangMa greets him. He offers an investment in her company in exchange for her retraction.  She gives her Maleficent Laugh and shrieks dire consequences. AwesomeOppa overhears, and when KP leaves, tells his mom this won’t help. Mom don’t care, though.
JoAnne:  Of course not. When do we get to see what AwesomeOppa has done to right the course of this ship through the years?

Shuk:  Bubbles has tea with the Choi Family, but it’s a very strained affair.  ChoiMother starts right in: TaeYang is the laughingstock of the business world, and she will never be accepted as daughter-in-law.  She also drops the bombshell that she plans to leave the ChoiEstate.
JoAnne: I actually appreciate the small injection of reality.  Especially since no other injections appear to be forthcoming.

Shuk:  When our couple is alone, Bubbles feels the weight of everything that’s happened, and tells Kitten that she cannot stay in the household if his mother doesn't.
JoAnne:  I'm sorry, dear, it just wouldn't feel right to have sex with you unless your mother were nearby to hear us through the paper screen doors.
Shuk:  All the clothes dampen the...uh...sounds.
Shuk:  While preparing to leave, ChoiMother removes the items from the ancestor table and locks the house.  ChoiDad is outside watching, and she gets defensive, stating she wanted to shut down that building with her own hands before leaving. As she walks past her husband, he tells her to do what she wants, since there is nothing he can do for her.
JoAnne:  Because of course he's had an epiphany and realizes that he's been in love with her all along?

Shuk:  The servants try to prevent her from leaving, but she doesn't stop until Kitten Prince shows up.  He tells her to stay, but she refuses.  She tells him to bring that girl to the estate once she leaves, because she can’t see her without remembering her own belief in the curse and how Bubbles created chaos and unhappiness there.  Wait, who caused it?  I guess both Moms are still using Delusional Rollerskates to move along. She asks Ahjumma to take care of the family, and then sails out of the compound.
JoAnne:  Yes.  The ability to reason critically does seem to have no place in KDrama tragedy, where blame is assigned according to wealth.  Or lack thereof.

Shuk:  Things aren't going well for Bubbles.  Her restaurant is surrounded by a media scrum, the local old biddies are shouting and throwing eggs, and Grandma’s about to have an aneurysm trying to fight the women.  In the middle of this, Kitten Prince arrives, and publicly warns off both the crowds and the reporters.
JoAnne: Because of course that is EXACTLY the thing that's going to help calm everyone down.
Shuk:  Inside, he quietly asks Bubbles if it wouldn't be better to close the restaurant for a short time, but she refuses.  He takes her hand and asks her to do it.
JoAnne: No!  I must serve the people their kimchi!

Shuk:  At JangHouse, Bubbles goes to see Smirky, who is still abed and refuses to see her.  At the restaurant, she goes back other the negative statements directed to her from both Moms and the egg-throwing old ladies.  She wonders why she can’t have the one thing she wants, which is her man.
JoAnne:  Well, technically, the thing she wants is Yi Kyung's man.
Shuk: [waves a hand]  Details details!

Shuk:  ChoiGhosty shows up in black regalia, and tells her to go ahead and resent everyone.  If she doesn't leave Kitten Prince, her other half will always live in shadow.  She needs to ignore everyone else and just focus on her own desires.  But all Bubbles can do is shake her head until the ghost dissolves.
JoAnne:  Add this to the list of items which confuse my understanding of ghostly motivation.

Shuk:  That night, she talks to Grandma, and they decide to return to Namhae.  Bubbles starts crying: she can’t live without Kitten, but she can’t live with him and make all the other people unhappy.
JoAnne:  I actually agree with her on this.

Shuk:  At ChoiEstate, ChoiDad remarks that she looks exhausted. Over tea, she tells him that Kang Ju appeared cold and unapproachable when she first met him, and wonders if ChoiMother had felt the same way her entire married life.  She asks that he make a place for his wife to return to.

Shuk:  Ahjussi walks her back out to the gate, and mentions that President Choi would be back soon if she wanted to wait.  She demurs, though, citing errands, and take her goodbyes.  Please don’t tell me she’s going to disappear without informing her husband.
JoAnne:  Well of course she is. It wouldn't be a romcom without it.
Shuk:  Kitten Prince is in bed talking to Bubbles.  She’s in the darkened restaurant trying to hold back her emotions.  He tells her he wanted to talk to her even though he’s tired from work, and takes her silence for being happy that he honored her with a call.  Through the lump in her throat she teases him with kingly honorifics.  He asks her to go with him that weekend to see his mother, who is staying at his aunt’s house.  She wants to hang up, but he wants her to sing to him.  As she sings, we get a rundown of meetings, until we see our Prince asleep at the end of the song.
JoAnne:  Sure, fine, that was touching. (No, really, it was. And I do like them together. I'm just so over the angst. And the ghost story just pissed me off so now I'm in a bad mood.)
Shuk:  Really???  I couldn't tell. ;)
Shuk:  He drives over to the restaurant the next day, alarm showing on his face, but only a worried Mouse and a note are there. In it, she tells him that their love isn't over, but she needs to leave to protect him and the people she loves. He stands there with bruised eyes.
JoAnne:  Before you watch the rest of this, it's important to remember that she's returning to Namhae, where at least half of these people know how to find her.

Shuk:  She also sends Smirky a text, telling her to find happiness and peace.  Smirky gets out of bed and goes to see her mother.  JangMa is happy to see her, until she asks her why Ma treated Na Doo-rim so shabbily. She tells her mom that this whole fiasco was just to fulfill her ambitions; Mom alternately thinks her daughter is Doo-rim, or ChoiGhost. She screams for her daughter to run away from her.
JoAnne:  So in the end, it didn't take much with Yi Kyung. Just a wish for happiness and peace. Too bad that didn't come 14 episodes ago.
Shuk:  JangMa ends up in a hospital in matching pink and purple and psychosis all swirled together.
JoAnne:  I love you, my daughter!  You're not my daughter!  Oh, my daughter, I've missed you!

Shuk:  Kitten Prince is flipping through the few photos he has of his wife, and going through all sorts of anger and hurt emotions, wondering why they ever met if they were destined to end up apart. That night, in his sleep, ChoiGhosty in white visits him, and gives him the flashback emotions from his ancestors. He begs for his love not to have their sad ending. She disappears as dawn approaches.
JoAnne:  For this to make SENSE, the girl who wins young master's heart should be descended from the GHOST.

Shuk:  Once he’s fully awake, he heads to the ancestor house, dropping the ancient lock with ease.  At the altar, we get a soliloquy:  His reason for being born was to meet her, and, even if they are never together again in this life, the bond can’t and won’t be broken.
JoAnne:  That whole 'it's also love that sits and waits' baloney. Yes. Well it's also love that goes out to buy groceries, but we don't see you making a drama about that, do we.
Shuk:  Bubbles ends up by the windmill on Geoje Island, which is in South Gyeongsang Province along with Namhae, so let’s call it the same place. At the edge of the cliff, she closes her eyes and remembers PastBubbles, who was besties with HumanChoiGhosty.  PastBubbles promises to tell ChoiMaster of Ghosty’s love, and leans down to listen to the baby. And then the fateful day when HumanChoiGhosty was murdered, but this time we hear the spirit thanking her for saving the baby.  Back to herself, Bubbles places her hands protectively over her abdomen.  Hmm, so that fully-clothed non-existent bubblepop session on their honeymoon bore fruit, so to speak.
JoAnne:  Tiny bubbles, http://youtu.be/mlCiDEXuxxA

Shuk:  ChoiGhosty, now in white, promises that this is the beginning, and places her own hand there.
JoAnne:  Saying that something is the beginning doesn't make it the beginning.  Just, you know...in case anyone was wondering.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Shuk:  I really didn't think we would have another separation of our couple, especially this late in the story. I wonder what was cut out when they shaved from 20 to 16 episodes.  That’s probably where we lost the stories of the side characters: Mouse and Cookie, Flunkette and our hair-color-changing dongsaeng.  They could have cut out some of the screaming madness to make a bit of room for our little guys.
JoAnne: Coulda, woulda....SHOULDA.

Shuk:  Still, the separation makes sense.  There is so much anger and hurt feelings among almost everyone that it would be hard to live in that seething maelstrom of ugly.  Since she’s pregnant, I’m guessing we get a time skip for the final episode, but hopefully our baby won’t be a teenager before we get our OTP back together.
JoAnne:  Although no matter what, this is true.  They really can't be together at this point.  Not for a while, anyway.

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