Shine or Go Crazy - Episode 21 (A SqueeCap)

"When you're behind, you're behind and you have to carry that behindness proudly like a crown". That's an old blogging/recapping maxim. Never heard of it? Impossible! In any case, we have fallen behind, which is both a sign of too-muchitis and of this drama's over length. I am to blame for the first (4 "recapping projects" at the same time? Are you insane?), but definitely not for the second. This drama is suffering the fate of so many before it and so many after it: it is TOO LONG. The story has run out of steam, the episodes get draggy and fillery, the actors are so tired they can barely stand, and the life-shoot takes away any prettiness we may have had in the beginning. It's a shame, really. It was good, but it could have been so much better.
JoAnne: I don't feel it dragging, exactly, although I DO think it would have been improved by some judicious cutting. In fact, it might have been amazing if held to 20 episodes.
Almost all dramas I've watched would have been perfect at 12, max 16 episodes. *sigh* 

Episode 21

As Shin-yool is being measured and her bridal dress prepared, she thinks of her first, her heart-wedding, and smile-cries. At the same time, Elf Prince informs his elder about the marriage and that he'll move to her house. Elder doesn't like that! She is a mere commoner! Wang Wook, who should have been king and not kind, is an idiot! Elder storms out. Of his sister, Wook then asks this: that she help him find a treatment for Shin-yool's illness.
JoAnne: I thought this was very, very decent of him. There's a good chance she's going to drop dead really soon, and he knows she'd want to be with her family. I know it's also to his advantage not to have her at court living near So, but I do believe it's mostly for her benefit that he does this. Good Elf Prince!
He is almost too good, if you know what I mean. 
Wang Sik-Ryeom is also angry at Elf - he considers it his fault that all went wrong. Everybody betrayed him! Hahahaaaaa! (that's him laughing) He now wants a different kind of king - a noble. What about Poong, his son? Ruler in the West! Shining light! Whatever. In any case, the Western castle must be built immediately and therefore, all able bodied men need to be drafted now (yes, you said that about 10000times before, drama).
Seriously, Fuckwit, why didn't you just do that from the beginning?
At Chunghae, they prepare for Wang Wook to move in. Haha, look at their faces! But then, hope! Ginseng is being delivered! Looooots of ginseng! By Wang Wook. Look who's a little bit welcome now? He is very concerned about Shin-yool's health and tries to tell her to embrace life: there is so much to do for her! Well, he might not be So So, but he is better than nothing.
He genuinely loves her and has acted with her well-being in mind for most of this story, I admit grudgingly. He has won me over. Of course I'd prefer SoSo since they adore each other... but Wook will try very hard to be a good husband for her and if she can at least treat him with affection and friendship and not cry every time he looks at her... it could work.
Wang Sik-Ryeom is plotting evil against Wang So: because of his punishment, he will be part of a group responsible for catching run-away men that resist the general conscription. Head of that group? Poong. Who is to treat him very harshly. Poong tells his father he will put his own private soldiers next to the troublesome prince to make sure he behaves. Se-won is asked to have an eye on the Elf in the meantime, just in case.
I won't be happy if he's not dead at the end of this. Dead and SCALPED.
Apprehender duty starts. Wang So just sits there next to the soldiers and meditates, but he does have to go out eventually...
in the streets, he crosses eyes with Eun-chun. Apprehension starts - and it's brutal, of course. Lots of crying and dragging and being mean. First chance he gets, Wang So interferes: The man they're dragging away just wanted to get married first! (cameo by Kim Seo-Kyung aka Roy Chang, forever) (heart-eu, heart-eu) - when he hears that, Wang So allows him to get married, even if it means drawing his sword at one of the other soldiers. Well, it's not a cheerful wedding, to say the least. But Wang So overhears some women talking about how there are only nobles and slaves now, no more common people. Just frigging become KING ALREADY, we've been waiting for So long!!!!
Seriously. Make it So. (hahahaha see what I did there? I know you did.)
Wang Wook is observing Shin-yool doing business with some foreign traders ... he looks grave. But it's going well, all things considering. Shin-yool tries to get her brother to take some more responsibility "when she's gone". He doesn't listen. She is still thinking about dying and even faints ... but Wang Wook is there to catch her. Watching this: Se-won. Being caught watching by: Wang Wook. Se-won admits that Uncle Wang sent him. Wang Wook voices his concern for Shin-yool (I guess since he has no other friends): both her body and her heart seem to be in pain.
Se-Won. *bows head* *heart cracks*
The Queen Mother is now all of a sudden very interested in whom Shin-yool marries, because she also wears that star-mark. The Seer babbles something about fate sorting it out (one of the women will die or disappear), and I say "whatever", cause he just says whatever he wants. He suggests the two most powerful families align themselves. That's also what Yeo-won is working towards: Consul Wang must be stopped and Wang So must be King or rather, Yeo-won must be Queen. It's win-win for everybody (but Wang Toad). Negotiations follow. In the Wang Toad camp, this leads to some nervousness, but Consul Wang thinks he has it all figured out.
Wang Toad is good. I like that. Can he be the kind of toad with ugly warts?
At Chunghae, Shin-yool realizes the one ledger with the information on the slaves is missing. That's pretty bad ... cause evil people are after nice slaves!
I keep wondering if it's illegal to free them. I mean, she bought them, right? So she can do whatever she wants with them?
The Apprehenders are stopping for something to eat - Wang So sits aside while the rest give him dirty looks. A chance for Eun-chun to sit down behind the Prince and update him on what is happening. We hear that Cheong-ok has won Poong's heart (and some other body parts) and Consul Wang is scheming to put somebody else but Wook on the throne. Yeah, guess who...
Every time I hear his name I think of this baby song: Poing poing, ah linga poing poing, ah linga poing poing, ah linga poing - I don't remember the rest. It's distracting.
Right then, Wang So sees Kyeong and Baek-Myo walk by, followed by that measly servant of Wang Sik-ryeom's. Wang So sends Eun-chun after them. They're leaving the city, to go to the slave village, where they're greeted happily. Baek-Myo is there to give back some coins that one of the slaves gave to them (is she lost Mommy? no, she seems to be just a court lady), and the Weasel overhears Baek-Myo mention a "Princess". Weasel also has a spy in the village who debriefs with Weasel (while being watched by Eun-chun, who sees that Weasel writes stuff down in a ledger)
Oh for crying out loud, come on. HOW DID NO ONE EVER NOTICE A WHOLE VILLAGE?
The fact that Shin-yool is a princess quickly makes its way to Consul Wang and Poong. Hahahaaaa, goes Consul Wang. That slave town, therefore, is treason! The Princess is trying to build up Balhae here, in Goryeo! How well he will use this knowledge!
I want to step on a toad.

Eun-chun goes and asks that female slave about the Princess, pretending to be from Balhae himself. It's confirmed: Shin-yool is a Princess and she is fated to be the light of another country. And finally, after almost 21 hours of drama, Wang So also learns about Shin-yool's slave scheme - and her true identity. About the frozen lake and the killing of her family. He also learns about the ledger that weasel had and that most certainly belongs to the Chunghae Trading Company. 
Shin-yool is happy to hear from Baek-Myo that the people in Chunghae Town are well provided for and will be able to do their own trading (well, may dear, you should be a bit more concerned about that missing book I'd say). She distributes some other books with trading secrets and To Dos to her family - "in case she's not there". So she's tying up loose ends and it's so obvious, but she lies that she'll stop working in trade once she's married.
Ah, yes, because that manly Elf will keep her busy with ba---- no, I can't even say the rest.
Poor Wang Wook can't stop worrying, so he asks her what she is thinking.
Why? Is thinking dangerous? Will thinking kill her? If she thinks of cold places, will she die?
She is trying not to think at all, she says. But he knows this is about her dying - or thinking she's dying. He will save her! Only, she doesn't want to be saved. Observing this: Se-won.
Se Won. *sighs heavily* *heart cracks*
Wang Wook is not giving up hope though: he is going to see his sister, to ask for that cure again. Which she doesn't have yet. (Yeah, no wonder, cause what can you give for an imaginary illness?). Yeo-won knows very well what Shin-yool's intentions are: she wants to die. Just like his previous love. She will die so that no one will get hurt (yeah, sure, makes total sense).
That is honestly the most fucked up shit I have heard in a long time. Also:  you cure imaginary illness with random plants you pick in the garden that aren't poisonous. Also also: I would have had MUCH respect for this show if they just let Shin Yool want to die because she's TIRED of this mess and it's time for her to go, and nobody told bullshit lies to Wookie to spare his precious Elf feelings.
Wang So is pining outside the Trading Company ... thinking about Shin-yool's terrible fate, the cold water and that he has finally lost her, after all she had to go through. Well, that's definitely an occasion to go see her, right? They meet at the inn and it's very sad. Yeah, this drama is just sad sad sad, bleh. He calls her Assistant Head, which is just ... sad. She tells him to come back in the morning. Which is just ... sad. But he can't, he says, he is busy in the morning. And anyway, he has just come to confirm something: does she know that book that says "Humans In"? Of course she does - it's hers! He promises to bring it back and check what Weasel is up to with it.
You know, I'm tired of all the times they say Goodbye, we can't see each other anymore...and then just see each other the next day like it's NBD.
If he is doing this for her, stop it, Shin-yool demands. But no, he says, he is not doing it just for her. When she calls that "a relief", he looks even sadder. And then, she tells him that Wang Wook is about to return, so he better leave, cause Elf will be uncomfortable if he sees him. BLEH, Yool, that's really not nice of you. Before he does leave, Wang So, too, expresses worry about her health. It's something that can't be changed, she says: and don't look for me again. Our paths are different now. The end.
If I thought she would stick to any of that, I'd be proud of her... because it's the right thing to do. She's about to marry Wook, and if she's going to do that, then it's his feelings to be considered.  He knows SoYool will always exist in their hearts, but he's trying to be a thoughtful husband anyway, and there's no need to rub his nose in the fact that he's not her choice, at all. But I know tomorrow they'll just make another excuse to see each other and be sad, so the little speech is pointless.
Of course, the Elf DOES see them together - and hears how the Chunghae People talk about how sad they both are. Awwwww, Wook. He has a heart left! He is so troubled by all of this!! Meeting Wang So makes Shin-yool cry in secret, but she can't fool Wook. Shin-yool hands half of Chunghae over to him (that's a good idea, cause your brother? Nope, I wouldn't let him be in charge!) Elf --> Rage Fit. She has to stop this! Stop this! Force-hug: He'd do anything to protect her. To save her! What can he do? He has done enough, Shin-yool says.
I can understand her being tired and wanting to stop everything, really I can. And I can understand Wook holding out hope for a cure, really I can. But do we have to see it every five minutes?
Watching everything: Se-won.
Se Won. *tears up* *heart cracks*
Poong is being enthralled by Cheong-ok, the clever snake. Poong spills all his beans, including moving to the West. How is that news?! Well, it's news that Poong wants to visit Chunghae Town "if things are ripe". And that "his world will come". Wang So decides he'll go West and see the size of Consul Wang's army for himself.
When you said Poong spills all his beans, I thought you meant something else.
Yeah, well, sometimes I plant little misunderstanding deliberately.
Consul Wang plans to create some uprising in Chunghae Town, it seems, which will only happen once Shin-yool is dead. So Shin-yool must die (Yaaaawn, what's new?). chuckle, chuckle.
Maybe take her swimming? 

Wang Wook has something to discuss with Se-won. And then, he leads Se-won into Shin-yool's room. She is sleeping upright ... or dying? A bit of both? She greets Se-won friendly (... uhm, Shin-yool? This is the guy who chased you through the woods?!)
She even MENTIONS it like they all were out there playing games and someone got a little rough because of excitement. No biggie.
Wook says they have a lot in common so they should have a chat over tea. Se-won isn't very talkative though. Just like Kyeong! Wook goes "hint, hint", Se-won also lost his mother and siblings. But at least he has memories of his mother, which she does not. Why don't you talk about your mother, Se-won? (Yaaaaawn, come ON, drama) So he does. He tells her how beautiful his (her) mother was, inside and outside. How she was always there for him. And his mother told him that there is a right time for everything, including dying. Which means you have to enjoy being alive as long as you are.
I liked that you could see that he acknowledges, at least for himself, that she is his sister and that he is moved by that knowledge. But why can't they know it together?
Very moving, yes. But why can't she know he is her brother?
Exactly. Why can't they? Is it because they would try to kill her for being the Last Princess, Light of Another Country? Toooooooooooo Dangerous to LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE.
Wang So demands to be sent to Seokyung immediately (letting the Wangs think it's because of the upcoming marriage that he can't bear to see). Consul Wang likes the idea of his son there, because he can gather the army and then crush all the opponents. But he does not like the idea of Wang So there - he is too dangerous. So he must die.
If you KILL everyone, Toad, who will King Poong RULE?

At the moment, Wang So is meeting with his Righteous Men: they have to follow him to Seokyung and hide there. He expects a disturbance. But before leaving, he stares into the air for a bit, thinking sadly about Shin-yool's last words. Ah, he has come to inform Wook about leaving. And to warn him about Consul Wang's next move, which certainly involves Chunghae Town and Shin-yool. Wook must protect her. And Wook will.
It's not like Wook needed to be told that, you know?
Se-won gets the order to kill Shin-yool. To give this emphasis, Consul Wang promises not to hurt Yeo-won's family if things go as planned. It's Se-won's last chance, so to speak. And obviously, this is enough  of a threat? Whatever, drama.
Se Won. *tiny sob* but in reality at this point I'm thinking well of course he's not going to DO it, he'll have something worked out with So and Wook and Yeo Won, right?
Poong and the Enforcers leave town with the conscripts - Yool hears about it, but she doesn't budge. She walks around like a corpse (in a wedding dress) and gets on my nerves greatly.
Seriously. You made a decision, get over the moping and get on with it. Also: you need to be the drummer in that band. Poong and the Enforcers. (I LOVE IT!)

The King is staring at the inscription above the door when he hears of So leaving. He is certain that the Righteous Men will protect him on that journey. By the way, when was So given the leader position? Right at the time he wrote the inscription, says Ji-mong. Well, that gets the King thinking ... about Wang So being called down from the mountain and that inscription (Thousand Years of Goryeo) ... what does it mean?
It means Goryeo will live on for a thousand years, ya numbskull. It's a way of saying forever, sort of. Honestly, these Wangs are not that bright.
We're in Seokyung (=the West), where the new citadel is already quite enhanced. They've been working hard! The soldiers rest in a hut ... the Righteous Men are nearby. Everybody seems to be sleeping, when suddenly ..... Wang So is attacked! Swords are drawn ... is this the end?
Of the episode? Almost.
In Shin-yool's room, Se-won enters, masked and sword in hand. Sure, why don't you kill your own sister. But when he lifts his sword to strike, somebody is there to intercept it: Wook. Who will win this epic battle?


A looooooooong episode preparing us for Shin-yool's death. Looooooooooong. And I want to smack her. This self-pity is getting on my nerves BIG TIME. You're not dead yet!!!! Stop pretending that you are and get OVER IT.
I HATE THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR. It makes me want to pinch people. Hard.

Wook also got on my nerves with his constant worrying (yeah, sure, I understand that he was worrying, I would be worrying too, but still! On my nerves).
I am less irritated by Wook's worrying, because the one thing he is NOT worrying about is will she run off secretly to meet with So? No. He's not worrying about the fact that she loves someone else. He's worrying about easing her pain, both physical and mental. He's worrying about curing her. He's worrying about her over-exerting herself. He's worrying about whether moping will kill her. It might. I can tell you it WILL kill us.

And Se-won! He got on my nerves the most!!! All that stupid hiding and watching and then, in the end, following Consul Wang's order to kill his sister?! WHY??! He could just protect Yeo-won by running away from her. He is so STUPID.
Se Won. Se Won-ah. I was so surprised that you would go through with this. *heart crumbles to dust*

Wang Sik-Ryeom gets on my nerves with his stupid chuckling and scheming, because he schemes the same shit over and over and pretends it's news to us. No, we're not stupid! We know you're just turning in circles, you stupid drama!
Pull his weave out, strand by strand. Wanna?

Wang So didn't get on my nerves, because there was hardly any Wang So in the episode and because he really didn't do much. Well, he could finally BECOME KING, but we're running out of episodes, so he will probably never be king in this stupid drama.
I know he's moving toward that decision and I'm still curious about how he plans to reconcile the decision with the fact that his brother is on the throne, because that still matters to him.