19 February 2015


Shine or Go Crazy - Episode 6 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on February 19, 2015
Attentive readers might have realized the change in Cap-titles ... yes, we have reached SqueeCap territory! Don't make me define it please, but after putting a gazillion gifs into the last recap I might as well admit they're no longer short but quite long. Which is good, cause things are getting more serious as Prince Wang So struggles to keep his true nature secret - and ultimately fails. Don't hurt him please :(
I did not think it was possible to love the essential Jang Hyukness of any character he plays more than Gun, but I was wrong. So wrong. Ha. 'So' wrong.
S@ki6: You can't keep a good Wang down.

Episode 6 verdict: loved it. The Chunghae scenes are funny as hell (it's because So So is such a funny character, too) and the intrigue/court politics become more interesting by the minute.

Episode 6

Fake out! Wang So might have said "Goddess" and reached across the table, but he is now outside and then inside, with Eun-chun and not Shin-yool. He tells him everything about the nobles that received vases. It's all the Nobles from the West. "The Nobles from the West" would be an awesome movie title, don't you think? Eun-chun gets the order to investigate them all, while Wang So wants to track down the maker of the bronze mirror. Cause that Kim Jong-sik ornament? Exactly the same pattern as the assistant head's bronze mirror has.
For a minute I was terribly afraid we were moving into angsty suspicion territory, but no. Thanks, So!
Politics seems to come down to where your main source of cash is.  If your land and serfs are to the west, then you want everything to the west so you can keep an eye on things.
And then, haha, Kil-bok slams his hands down on the table ... caught them! Eun-chun manages to twist his arm and then quickly disappears into the shadows behind him, but it's not enough. Kil-bok only appears to be a bit dumb ... he actually isn't. He asked his master straight out whether he belongs to the "righteous outlaws" and Wang So can't deny it.
This is where declaring the men in black as members of Fight Club would have been useful.  He would HAVE to deny it.
Damn, they're all onto him! Uncle Wang hears from Hot Assassin that Wang So is at the Chunghae Trading Company and they lead the Chinese assassin there to identify whether he is the Prince in question. While waiting for a good opportunity to go in, Chinese assassin sees and identifies Eun-chun! Hot Assassin tells him to stay put and follows Eun-chun, but is spotted by Wang So, who is now on guard. Which is good, cause Chinese assassin? He not listening to Hot Assassin, no. He goes after Wang So.
I vote for him to die. Chinese Assassin is a pain in my butt.
First rule of anything on tv: be goodlooking. 
He follows Wang So up to his room and attacks him. As Wang So said before, the rooms are tiny and the fight that follows is pretty awesome, going from one room into the other. Shin-yool, who had an urge to see Wang So, witnesses the fight, but Wang So makes sure she doesn't get hurt and takes it outside, where he leads the Chinese Assassin into a dark corner. They fight (awesome! I love Jang Hyuk fighting! I love Jang Hyuk!) ... and then, Kaebong and hung Kyeong catch up to them. Quickly, Wang So dislocates.
I don't remember this
becca: I loved this scene! More fighting Jang Hyuk, please! I watch for moments like this.
This time, he hides and when Eun-chun joins him a short while later, Snake Eyes Chinese Assassin is already dead. But he did call Wang So "Prince" mockingly before he died, which makes Eun-chun very nervous - Wang So has to wrap up things at the Trading Company and come home to Mama. That's a no-go for the Prince, though, since he still needs to find out who made that mirror first. In all honesty, this is making me a bit nervous.
Ok I must have missed this part. But I got my wish!
JoAnne, you missed an absolutely wonderful fight scene
Why a mirror?  This I've never understood.  They could all have signed multiple documents instead.
Shh. The writer said so. We must not question the writer, lest we get hurt.
When he gets back to the room - quickly switching back to Goryeo Gun - Kaebong, who went looking for him, is extremely worried for him. But he lies, saying that he just practiced with his "fat buddy", and when she doesn't believe him, quickly asserts her he wants to become a trader, a trader of bronze mirrors. Mollified, she promises to tell him where the craftsman lives after he passes the promotion exam.
You know, I did wonder where all that mirror talk came from, later. 
When Hot Assassin comes for the corpse, he finds a Chinese dagger in his chest with a ribbon attached that reads: "I know who killed the first king". Well, Hot Assassin Se-won also knows who the "I" is: Prince Wang So. He saw him kill Snake Eye. Let's just say Uncle Wang isn't overly pleased to hear that - especially not about being fooled by Wang So for over 5 years. His order is to separate Wang So from the king (easy: just tell the widowed queen that Wang So has been seeing the King a lot lately, and that that has a bad influence on the king), but not to kill him. Fool. I mean ... I don't want Wang So dead, but if I were his enemy, I'd try to kill him right away.
THIS WAS SO KEY to things that happened later that I thought just came out of nowhere!
Evil villains can be so dumb.  Just kill So&So already and you'll be on your way, easypeasy.  And Hot Assassin makes everything better, dreamy sigh. 
The poor king ... now is the time he needs his brother the most, because Uncle Wang presses hard to move the whole capital to the West (his sphere of influence). The King resists, but it seems futile. After that, Uncle Wang says he wants to hold a "Princes Competition" in celebration of moving the Capital: A fighting competition among all the son's of the First King. The money to pay for it will be sponsored by the Hwang family. And the Pyung family. And the Dong family. And the Taepyung family. Mean nobles from the West: 1 - King: 0. (who else constantly sings "Go Weeeeeeest, Life is Peacful there" in their heads? No?)
Can you hum a few bars?
Here we go. 
After the near-fiasco with Kil-bok, Eun-chun has taken to wearing disguises and meeting Wang So in the most inconspicuous locations. Haha, those two are very funny. But the most crucial intel - Go Weeeeeeest, Life is ... yeah - he gets to hear from Gang-Myeon during a "Director's" meeting. Hearing about the troubles his Bro is in makes Wang So's face fall. Shin-yool is immediately on it though, smelling a great business opportunity" and starts planning to buy goods that will go up in price if the move is really going to happen. (love how her brother keeps saying: "exactly what I wanted to say" :) She has a very good grasp on the situation and thinks the biggest question mark in all of this is the Choon family - the current King's maternal family. Since we have discussed this at length on Twitter the other day: Wang So is also of the Choon family.
Yes folks! We live and breathe K-Drama! Since we also live and breathe real life, things get hectic! This explains why I sometimes fall asleep for a few minutes and miss important scenes and then spend an episode or two wondering where random shit that everyone seems to just accept came from. It is a mark of the general plotty looseness of KDrama that I just figure it's more of the same and don't worry about it much.
And then, Gang-Myeon mentions the Princes Competition. Everybody around the table has no clue what that is, but of course, Wang So knows. He fills us all in that the Princes Competition was meant to be a simple sparring exercise but soon got out of hand, to become a violent competition to pick the next successor. Why don't you just do it like other people, by age/birth, Goryeo Kings?! But for that to work, the throne must be empty first. And in the land of the thousand weird poisons, they poison one of the scrolls that goes to the king (that poison was made by Witchy Princess Yeo Won).
I don't understand how they can openly talk about 'the next crown prince' when the current crown prince is still alive and kicking (thus far, and continuing on for as much as most people know.) Is the position term-limited? Of course not! But basically they just boldly walk around going 'Oh, I know there's someone on the throne but he'll die someday (pause for meaningful wink and nudge) so we should be ready.' Actually, that does sound sort of logical.
Assassination is death by natural causes for kings.
*chanting* Prince fight! Prince fight! Prince FIGHT! Let's do this thing!!
At about the same time, Wang So tries to go see the king, but the guards prevent him from entering the palace. Queen's orders! Does anyone else think the Queen needs to get her groove back? The scrolls are delivered to the king (he is sad that Wang So hasn't come) - and when he opens the poisoned one, the little poison particles infest his respiratory system. Damn - I liked him and his furrowed brow.
He was a sweetheart, and I hope that he doesn't die without getting to see Wang So. To be ignored by his brother is just too much after everything else.
Wang So is going to feel so guilty. Maybe he'll just get too ill to rule and retire to the country? No? Yeah, I thought not.
Prince Wang Wook is a bit troubled about the upcoming competition - especially about fighting against his younger brothers. Oh, but it won't only be his younger brothers, says Princess Yeo Won. Beware of Wang So, who is most likely the leader of the assassins and is doing strange stuff at the Chunghae Trading Company. You better practice, elf prince, but not too hard! 
Pfft, Goryeo Ken Doll would NEVER be a match for Goryeo Gun.
I think this scene is where I fell deeply, madly in crush on my weird little (but taller than Gun) Elf Prince.
Wang So should lend him one of his blindfolds.
After hearing what his mother did to him again, Wang So is just sad (find her a hot bodyguard) (killing her would be more effective - and fun - methinks) - and drinks alone at the Company inn. There, he is joined by Kaebong who asks whether he is sad that he must leave the Company tomorrow: it's his last day. He has completely forgotten about that, in fact - but covers it up by saying that he hopes that Kaebong is very sad about HIM leaving. He hopes for at least one person in this world with sentiments for him like that. (Staaaaap it, Jang Hyuk! You are making ME sad). After he has left, Shin-yool says to herself: I am very sad. Very very sad. :((( And to make it even sadder, Wang So goes to look up to the sky and talk to his father about his fate that never changes after all.
This all was very sad to me, I cry.
I think I wasn't that interested and I skipped this bit.
Ahahaha! Sometimes I wonder if we will ever agree about a character, S@ki6! Until then, I liked this scene. Jang Hyuk's heartbreak was… uh, heartbreaking.
It's time for the promotion exam! Hung Kyeong is also there (trying to cheat, hehe). Wang So remarks to Shin-yool how unique a place the Trading Company is, as it does not distinguish between sex or rank and bases rewards solely on performance. The world would be an unfair place if you had to live solely by what you were born with, answers Shin-yool. Hear, hear! What a little rebel. He really likes it: and thinks aloud about using a similar system to appoint government officials. Competent ones. Him, he has to take a level 1 exam - together with a slave and her kid.
I'm pretty much resigned to her dying but being the starting point for democracy, of sorts.
I'm a So So fan, but boy, that would be warping history...
While he sits the exam, Wang Wook comes to the Company. He is beginning to annoy me. Don't you know you're 2nd lead? Thank you, Gang-Myeon, for being annoyed with me. Wang Wook has come to check what Wang So is doing at the Company - and seems very happy to hear that So doesn't know the "assistant head". He listens very carefully to Baek-Myo's babble about bronze mirrors. And then, he realizes WHY Wang So doesn't know the Assistant Head, as he sees Shin-yool in her male disguise.
Wang So, it's an issue for me that the most fey of all your brothers can sniff out a woman in 5 seconds flat and yet you can spend months and not catch on.
Seriously, So&So needs his eyes checked.
His second reason for coming to the Company is to ask Shin-yool to make the Princes' embellishments for the upcoming competition. And he wants to make one of her wishes come true. Her wish? See the royal library - she has heard about all the great books there. He promises to take her ... right when Goryeo Gun starts screaming in the corridor. He has passed, he has passed! Shin-yool runs to see him and Wang Wook, who secretly watches them together, almost dies of jealousy.
His fussy little knickers really WERE in a twist, weren't they!
Ahem, fabulous fussy little knickers. 
He is strangely possessive of her when they're not officially a couple AND she's never shown that kind of interest in him. I get that she looks like your first love/step mom, but, dude, she's not her. How can you think you're in love with her when you don't even know her??
It's time to let Wang So go now ... farewells are said and Shin-yool takes Wang So outside, to see the mirror master. On the way, she talks about the righteous outlaws and how they give out salt for a good price and punish the bad guys, but also about how the rights to salt have now gone to the Hwangs and how things will turn bad again because of that. Still, she believes that the Outlaws will make it right again. He hears her alright, of course ... as he realizes that the rotten roots that need to be cut are the noblemen. I think there will be blood.
Somehow all of this just keeps making me think of the House of Hanbok and how deadly serious Hanbokery is.
Yes, Wang So, find the roots of evil and cut them out!
They part on the streets, after she gives him the address of the swordsman. But he can't let her go ... he declares that has to turn her into one of his people. I love how there's not a single trace of Goryeo Gun in him during this scene - he is dead serious. He drags her to one of those stone shrines outside (I have no clue what they are called, help me!) and wants her to become blood brothers with him. Of course, she appalled, and he is "why? Do you hate me?" (awwwwww). Still, she is reluctant, but when he tells her the reason why he wants to become blood brothers, refusing becomes hard: It's because s/he is like a door to him. She taught him about other worlds besides his own and shines the way he is supposed to go when it's dark. Ah, the prophecy ... and I'm SOLD. SOLD. I'll be your brother, Jang Hyuk!!!! But she ISN'T, the stupid woman ... until he calls after her that it's because he is very sad. He can't live with the thought of not seeing her. It hurts his heart.
And MINE. Oh God, so much.
Look at his face. Look at that face, Shin-yool. How could you be mad at that face?
Awww, this scene is cute and sad at the same time. To her, it's the next best thing after being married to him, though it requires lying - and to him, it's salvation in a dark, dark world. Only ... it doesn't really seem like these two can be together forever, doesn't it? Even if they hug for a small eternity.
Oh, I'm completely resigned to one of them dying. Probably her.
Make it quick, too.  Oh, I just thought of something: how did he not feel  she was a woman? There's a reason why Asian people side-hug between the sexes.

Since he cannot officially go see his brother, Wang So plans to use the Merchants as cover - they're about to deliver goods to the royal family. But before that, he goes to see his wife. Both dance around each other wearily, checking the waters. They start speaking of the Princes Competition and she tells him quite frankly that she sees it as a competition for the next king. That's a huge offense to him and he tells her off - but she says it's to keep the Choon family in check, of course. Yeah, she is on to you, Wang So. Very on. Careful!!!!!
I think she's starting to like him, though.
Honey Lee rocked this scene!  She was mesmerizing. 
She is doing a good job, it's true. Creepy as all get out, too.
Time to deliver goods to the palace and look who's here, shouting for his Kaebong-aaaaaa! He flatters Gyu-Dal a bit and is in immediately, even against the explicit wish of Baek-Myo. Well, it helps that Shin-yool comes running, screeching "hyungnim, hyungnim!" from the top of her lungs. Disguised as a helper, Wang So gets into the palace without a problem. When he wants to separate from the merchants though, he's followed by Shin-yool. Who tells him she wants to see the palace library. By coincidence, this is where he is to meet the King's Aide as well! When he hears that she was promised by the "most handsome" of the royal family to be taken there, he gets veeeery jealous. Especially since he is only the 2nd most handsome man she knows. Awwwww.
All that cold water affected her eyesight, too?
The next opportunity to get away from the group presents itself a bit later ... but she follows him again. He steals clothes out there for washing and gives her one of the gowns to change into ... it's from a court lady, though. He offers to put it on himself, but of course, he wouldn't fit. So she puts them on (right behind his back). And lets down her hair. When he turns around and sees her, his eyes grow large like saucers. Here is his goddess. 
This is Wang So's sexuality, apparently:  If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, you will eventually want to F the duck.
The inane part is, he still doesn't get it. And he's done a full frontal hug too.


Let's not repeat what we said before. The cross dressing (and him not getting it) takes a lot of goodwill from the watchers, but in all honesty, that Blood Brothers scene made up for it for me. Him spilling his heart out, twice in fact, was incredibly beautiful. Here is this man, hated all his life, believing himself what a vile, dangerous creature he was to others. And here is this wo/man, who is the light to him, but who didn't know that until now. In fact, she keeps feeling hurt by his neglect of their past, which is stupid, but actually quite human. She is in love with him and has been since that first night - of course it would hurt her to just be a footnote in this man's life. A forgotten footnote at that. For the first time, he is very frank about his feelings - and even though he addresses them to a person he thinks is a man, it's as lovely a love confession as you can get.
Agreed. 100%. I'm tired of the jokes, and I just want them to have their passionate love affair.
The blood brothers thing made me throw up a little in my mouth. I just don't feel the chemistry here, sorry.
…. And of course, I like it. The one good thing about this whole cross-dressing thing is that their relationship is based on friendship and respect first, then love. I like that very much.
Ha, mianeh Becca.  One day, we will intersect, I know it! 
Their joy of being together is almost palpable - no wonder Wang Wook got so jealous. Wang So will soon have to face his feelings for a man, of course, but apart from that, his feelings are so strong he will not be able to deny or suppress them. He seeks her out like a moth rushes towards the light and she wants to shine her light onto the darkness around him to make his hurts go away. I absolutely love this relationship.
We are really getting some good OTPs so far in 2015, have you noticed that? First, of course, there's Healer.  But there's also Wang So and Shin-Yool, Ho Gu and Do Hee, Hyung and What's her face from Persevere, Gu Hae Ra - oh, ok - Hyung and Hae Ra.
The trouble I'm having, though, is that the actors in the OTP look better than they sound.  They open their mouths and wham, my ears hurt. Oh well, I'll keep focusing on the other beautiful people. 

I also like that Yeo Wol keeps being so damn smart and calculating. She has a lot of power, already, and she knows how to use it. At the moment, I think she isn't quite sure what to do with that (almost certain) knowledge of hers regarding Wang So. She will likely seek to get 100% certainty, which scares me (because she will get it - she always gets what she wants). But what will she do then? She wants power - for her family, mainly, but what if he offers her her own power as Queen? She may be swayed. I don't think she is completely cold towards her husband, even though the signs are subtle. I think she can get quite possessive and I'm sure we'll get to know more about her character soon.
Oh I think the minute she really realizes that Wang So is a smart, capable man she is going to have a WHOLE set of feelings for him that take her by surprise, yes. And may I say that Honey Lee is KILLING it here. She makes drinking tea look terrifying.
Honey Lee makes me fangirl. I hope they keep her character Lady Mishal-ish, and thus awesome, otherwise, I will be mad.

Wang So has been weary ever since the Old King made him head of the secret guards, waiting for the right moment to strike. Killing Kim Jong-sik was only a partial move at the right time, exposing the organization to new scrutiny. The real goal is to get all the Men of the West, of course ... and that will be very bloody. The king is poisoned and will most likely die, and that might be the moment when Wang So will reveal his true identity to the rest of the noblemen. I can't wait!
I'm so happy I decided to go with this one. I maybe would not choose necessarily to write 6 recaps in 3 days but you are Wonder Woman, and you went for it! (thanks, but it was more thatn 3 days due to fooking Blodeu) I had to marathon the back episodes just to keep up - it didn't seem right to take a BoaB approach to this one and just comment without watching.

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