Shine or Go Crazy - Episode 19 (A SqueeCap)

Things go quite wrong in this episode. Wang So is still not King. In fact, far from it. Oh well, maybe in the next episode. Quite unfortunately, Wang So has a very bad hair day that continues for large parts of this episode. I had a look: doesn't get better in the next episode. But there is hope! There always is!
Well, he looks good right here.  A bit worried, maybe - and if you've seen the episode, Squeeglets, that is TOTALLY justified - but he does still look good.
Yes, that is a picture BEFORE his bad hair day.
Episode 19 verdict: This episode is baaaaaaad. There's too much bad writing stuff that really bugs me. It's also draggy as hell.  Next!
So it wasn't just me being tired and cranky, then.

Episode 19

Show-down in the throne room! Secret, what secret? goes Uncle Hairline, King Taejo lived a long and prosperous life and died a natural death. Wang So just laughs at him and tells him there's evidence. The King confirms this and makes his way down to a brazier that has been brought. He is about to take the mirror pieces out of his robe when ...
How long does the medicine last? This is what I start to wonder right now.
... Wang Sik-Ryeom goes on the offensive. Of course he would! Manipulative meanie. He starts by telling everybody that the Righteous Men are neither thieves nor righteous, but King Taejo's secret warriors. All they ever did was kill nobles opposed to the King. Is the current King Jeongjong claiming that they are his now? So it was him that had those nobles killed recently? And he is now trying to use fabricated evidence against him?
One of the hardest things to adjust to for me is that Goryeo is so LOOSE, at least in this drama. Would anyone have dared to interrupt the king this way in Joseon?
Joseon was more Confucian and formal, but the king there was still a first among equals more than a monarch. There was some link, I think A Korean in America had that, explaining. 
You are SO LAME, Wang Sik-Ryeom! But unfortunately, the others are even lamer. Uncle Wang scores by exclaiming that obviously, the nobles are seen as threats by those in power and treated like dogs. Yaddayaddayadda. Damn, it sounds very reasonable what he's saying.
Haha, I had sort of the same thought - when they described themselves as the heart and soul of the country, which was built from their blood and tears, I thought, 'Wow, they really believe this stuff. How delusional!' Sure, they contribute - but if the country was built from blood and tears I'd say it was the general population more than the nobility.
A noble who goes to battle and fights with his men also sheds blood and tears. 
And if he's responsible, then people under him have less responsibility and more protection than without him. 
Of course they shed blood and tears.  Did you think I hadn't realized that they were also human? But if they went into battle alone, they'd be completely useless. The reverse - masses of commoners going into battle without nobility to lead them - is not necessarily true. They don't seem to understand that fact; they take all the credit and are portrayed show after show in this culture and in others as hell-bent on preserving laws which benefit them even when they drain a country dry. This detail has some basis in truth, and I'm suggesting that they lack perspective.  
I hate Uncle Hairline!!!
And double DAMN, he has more up his sleeve. He asks the King whether he remembers the night before the First King died. Of course he does: in return for a promise to become the next King, Wang Sik-Ryeom made him sign a document with this name pledging his support to his fraction. He then pretended to burn it in front of the not-yet King (as a sign of trust), but secretly exchanged it for another document. Yeah, dear King: You've been had.
At first I thought oh wow, I forgot about this - but then I remembered that it happened in another drama recently, NOT this one. Can't remember if it was the one with SIG or the other one that was running aroun the same time, though. I think it was SIG's drama.
Did the King agree to his dad's murder? 
Yes. Or at least, he didn't object. It was the whole "the throne has to be empty first" line he later used with Yeo-won too.
The King is greatly shocked by this and has some kind of mild relapse. Wang So escorts him up to his throne and promises to take care of things, but .... well. Wang So starts holding this marvelous speech about 5 nobles who plotted to kill the king in order to gain control of Goryeo. And he names each and every one of them right there and then. Punishing those evil traitors is necessary to make Goryeo shine again.
Wang So, can you not read a room? Or your brother? If ever there was a time to abort, this was it.
It's a great speech, but when Wang So turns to the King and asks him for the evidence, the King is in wackoville once again (brought on by the stress, as we learn from Yeo-won) and the nobles implicated shout that this is all fabricated, what kinda proof is a mirror? (so ... that's just stupid, because if it doesn't hold any power over them, why did they protect it so much?)
Well I always thought the mirror was stupid, myself.
I was laughing at this whole, "Anyone can get a mirror."
And now, the final and decisive blow: Wang Sik-Ryeom says that the person to be charged with high treason here is not him, but Wang So. Gwak steps up and confirms that Wang So married a woman unlawfully. And in they lead Shin-yool, hands bound. Wang So gets the chance to denounce her and his marriage, but of course he doesn't.
Wang So! Just tell them to prove it! Gwak can't back it up, it's not like he instagrammed it.
Didn't even get preliminary sketches...
The King goes and cowers in one of the corners of his thrones (I actually expected him to start sucking his thumb!), which puts Wang Sik-Ryeom in charge and leads to the arrest of Wang So and Shin-yool. Hey, at least they can be together in prison!
I have a friend who had a male and a female rabbit that she kept in separate cages, but right up next to each other. She ended up pregnant. The rabbit, not the friend. I wonder how long they'll be cooped up in jail...
So they somehow got through the wires of the cage?
Ah, but then, Gyu-Dal has the marvelous idea that it was all pretense anyway! If it wasn't real, it's no crime. Duh, this doesn't make sense at all. They had a ceremony and all, so why is this more pretense than Wang So's 2nd marriage? Gang-Myeong agrees with me: it's not as easy as that.
I always wondered if it was an actual, legit marriage or just a show, but then they acted like it was real so I accepted that. I mean, why would you do that? Why wouldn't you just get dressed up and put on a play? Why would you ACTUALLY MARRY the stranger you met on the street, when it's only to get Gwak off your back? Yes, I remember, she was star-struck from the beginning. But HE wasn't.
I don't know what the definiting of "pretense marriage" is. They had a ceremony and all, no? 
Claiming pretense and ignorance of the law isn't going to work here. 
Consul Wang attempts to get back the mirror pieces from the crazy King (in exchange for that letter), but he doesn't give it to him (just?) yet. That's a relief.
"Operation Save Wang So" is commencing. First, we get to see the constantly overacting Queen Mother again. I completely forgot about her. She goes to see the King (who hides underneath his blanket). Nope, he's not gonna help.
I was wondering where she wandered off to, the last couple of episodes. Maybe she just went to her room to reflect on her behavior.
Tis okay since she returned with a more mature image and greater charms. 
The Elf (who is VERY upset with General Gwak for betraying his little "pact") is also upset with Uncle Wang for not letting him in on the plan to bring down Wang So. Now ... Wook. Wook-a. Do you think your uncle is that stupid?! Wang Sik-Ryeom tells Wook to forget that wench now - cause she's going to be beheaded, as is Wang So. Especially since Uncle Hairline will be the one to lead the secret interrogation.
Wook cannot even. He is so full of no about that.
All this Elven hissy fitsing was only saved by Wook looking handsome. 
For once, Wook does something useful: he goes to Chunghae Trading Company and hears all about the groom-stealing and the pretend marriage. The only chance they have for the family to become witnesses is if the King is fit enough to be the Chief Interrogator. Ha! Antidote! Ha!
Wook genuinely cares about Shin Yool so I've always assumed that no matter what, he'd come through for her - and in general, the only reason for him to have the antidote is so that he can help Wang So unwillingly, but in order to help Shin Yool. Yes, I'm ignoring the fact that we're supposed to think he loves her simply because she looks like a dead woman, but whatever... his actions are generally intended to benefit her.
If he'd married her as YeoWon had insisted before, instead of resisting, then this whole sitch could've been avoided. 
I don't know what everybody is so worried about though, the two prisoners are having a good time! They stare and smile at each other. Well, Wang So is having a bad hair day, but that's not so bad. Time for her to apologize for bringing all of this upon him: by kidnapping him and by not forgetting him, even finding him. Time for him to apologize for not realizing she's a woman right away (yeah ..... that) and for not protecting her.
Whatever, they were both kind of stupid at various points but damn, they're cute together.
Cue Saki :) --> Sorry, I got bored and drained pasta then. 
The fact that he is completely powerless in the palace is making him feel bad. It's the reason why he wants to leave ... with her. Right after he punishes all the traitors. And how will they get out? By pretending their marriage was a pretense. And they don't mean anything to each other. Yeah ... like not caring at all if the other is tortured? That kinda stuff?
'I have no power, but I'm totally going to make them all pay. And then we're going to run away and live in the woods and make organic soap and be vegans - it's too bad we can't make a blog about it and inspire people with our resourcefulness.'
I hate those sorts of blogs. 
Mommy is coming to see Wang So! She tells him how great he did during the council meeting - well, he failed, but he did more than any other prince ever could have. Awwww, mommy is proud. Wang So has a request: that she goes to an uncle of one of the factions (can't be Wang, right?) and tells him to secretly make a letter of appeal to the King, exactly like he dictates. 
Hmmm. But yeah for Mom finally stepping up and momming.
She returned with a more mature image and greater charms. 

While the trader family grieves for Shin-yool at home, the Righteous Men break into the prison compound to free Wang So and his bride. Only ... Wang So is not at all interested in being busted free. He'd have to admit he's the Leader of the Righteous Men. And it would make the King a target for the nobles. And him and Shin-yool would be fugitives for the rest of their lives. Be patient and trust him.
'I may not have power, but I have a PLAN.'
The next visitor is for Shin-yool, not Wang So - it's Wook! He brings her medicine against the cold (why no blanket?). All she cares about (so braaaaaave) is the ginseng she wants to buy from Yeo-won to save Chunghae Trading Company. Wang So also wants to see his Elf brother - to discuss his plans to save Shin-yool with him. Let's repeat: Pretense marriage, King as Interrogator, Traders as Witnesses, Making Sure General Gwak is Somehow made a Fool.
That shouldn't be hard. He looks silly. I'm oddly fascinated with his hair, which looks somehow much silkier than the wigs on other men.
Silly Elf: Shin Yool is all about her legacy, not her health. 
And then, Wang So kneels down in front of a completely surprised Wang Wook and begs him to help him. Say no to THAT, Elf! He also tells Wang So about Shin-yool's health issues. Or rather, her brink-of-death issues.
Which Wang So has witnessed on many occasions, has he not? Why is this a surprise? Although it does feel like they forgot about it for a long time.
And indeed, now Shin-yool's condition rapidly detoriates.
Because they talked about it. Wook should have kept his mouth shut. The writer never would have remembered.
Wang So is trying to cheer her up with funny stories from Geumgang Mountain. Celestial fairies and stuff. Haha. He tells her he wants to go live there with her, but she doesn't want to go ... yet. Only after they have finished all their duties.
I think either of them could just step through those bars, don't you?
He told her this story:  
Trying something new: Princess Yeo-won. She goes to see Uncle Wang to tell him she really doesn't want to be known to the world as Second Wife. But there is nothing he wants from her. All is well. Wook will be puppet King, everyone is happy. Or so it seems.
Oh, I so hope it is her that brings Fuckwit down.
Me too. And she looks pretty here. 
Wang So keeps talking and talking ... but Shin-yool is not doing well. She collapses. So ...what about moving much closer to where he is sitting so that he can put his arms around her?! Why can't he give her his robe?! He keeps shouting at the guards to get her a doctor but they completely ignore him. She says "You are loud". ahahaha. But her saying that means she is not dead yet!
I've never been able to explain how her symptoms match her illness, but then, that's true of pretty much every KDrama ever so I don't pay much attention. Here's how it goes: Actress is happy and radiant, ergo healthy. Actress looks slightly off in some way, ergo deathly ill. I check episode number and episode count, and depending on how much drama is left, I calculate odds of survival. No point in thinking about the logic of any of it.
Some kind of heart condition?
She cries as she tells him she wants to go back to when they were happy. Or rather back to a dream of them being happy and together. So he tells her to close her eyes (she does) and narrates how they're going inside the house. All her family is there. And with that, she takes three shuddering breaths ... and stops breathing.
It appears my calculations were slightly off.
We can has ending naow?


84% of this episode bored me immensely. The highlights were General Gwak's evil grin when he tells Wook he just went for the person with more power and the ending, cause an emotional, crying Jang Hyuk is just OOF.

People on Twitter have been discussing the "pretense wedding" thing and why it only popped up now. Well, I don't take too much issue with it. He didn't want to lie that they weren't married in front of everyone (because that would have endangered her most likely). And then, he formed a plan to bring down Uncle Wang another way - by discrediting him (and probably turn him into a liar). For him and Shin-yool, their marriage wasn't pretense at all. It's very real - so it never came up before. But now, it's their only chance, so that what they'll use. Makes sense!
Yeah, I'm okay with it. In a drama where a woman is going to die because she got wet 25 years ago, this is far from the least logical thing.
Yes, what does not make ANY sense whatsoever are those ... chills.
They're so SILLY. Why would you get extreme hypothermia at random intervals (and after being exposed to the cold) just because you fell into a river as a baby?! Also, why does she usually sweat when she is lying on her bed if she is extremely cold? WTF? It's just stupid.
I think it's that the family thinks it's from the cold, but really, she has congenital heart disease. And with each attack, she gets weaker. I remember learning about this in medical malpractice in law school. 
Saki! You're good!

Anyway, have a Behind the scene video from the emotional prison scene! It is quite funny how Jang Hyuk struggles with the bars and where to put his arms through :D