Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 12 (A SqueeCap)

JoAnne: We may be alone in our love for this show soon, Kakashi. It seems lots of fans are upset to lose their oppas and don't understand how a grown up man in one country might be surrounded by different people than he was as a boy in another. I'm still here, Show! Yes, I miss some of the pretties that are gone... but I'm ok. Tell me a good story! Despite the squeeing, that's all I really want from you.
kakashi: I've always liked to be in love with things that others don't appreciate. It makes me feel special. But ... I heard just now that Song Jae-rim might also no longer be part of the cast?! Come on! How many more awesome characters will we have to mourn, show?!
Episode 12

JoAnne: Yeah, buddy! Bangsamtong Boys have got the REAL coffin and they're storing it at the world's only hospital clinic/B&B. What the hell did they do at that mortuary that they didn't even wash the blood off his face? Although I guess technically it was a morgue, not a mortuary... and it looks like Jung Tae wasn't part of this twist because he's STILL standing in front of that mirror. (I know, it's only been about 10 minutes.)
kakashi: Yeah, and we still approve. It's his awakening. His awakening needs time.
JoAnne: Looks like he agrees with what So-So had to say. We get another view of the Yummy Tummy and then when he leaves the room we find that So-So had faith in our boy - she's waiting outside to take him home. He has 'something to do' first, though.
kakashi: Much appreciated, the fan service, PDnim. And we'll take more of this, thank you!
JoAnne: Gaya suspects it's not Young Chul in the coffin even though Yamamoto did confirm that he lost the body to Baek San; she asks again to view the deceased and Bang Joo again refuses to admit there's a problem. Just as she steps forward, they're interrupted by an urgent message to Bang Joo. It's from Jung Jae Ha to Seul Bang Joo - if he's seen the body in the coffin now, perhaps they could talk? Is Gaya is out of luck? Nope, she still insists. Everyone leaves, and it's just Baek San and Gaya. He suggests that she stop here, and in return, they'll forget the unfortunate incident that happened earlier, on the road. That's ok, she says, if we made a mistake I'll take responsibility. They do the special Cement Hands slap fighting and on one turn, Gaya manages to look into the coffin: as expected, it's not Young Chul. Satisfied, she leaves.
kakashi: That reminded me very much of that awesome photo-fight Gaya had with Shinichi in episode 8. Sigh ... I so miss Shinichi... sure, sure, I sound like a broken record.
JoAnne: Lady Doc Woo Jin is examining Young Chul's body while Gi Chi and Poodle Top wail irritatingly. Lady Doc tells them to shut up, but if you had any doubts? Gi Chi is clearly not cut out to be a gangster. The examination reveals something interesting to Woo Jin - although the sword cuts were the immediate cause of death, Young Chul would have died anyway as a result of his internal injuries from an earlier fight.
kakashi: I guess this was to make these gangster look dumb and nice? Succeeded in both, show. So now I'm no longer sure who is good and who is bad. How annoying.
JoAnne: Bang Joo enters his office to find Jung Jae Ha half naked, inspecting his bruised torso in the mirror (alright! This seems to become a habit among the Inspiring Generation in Shanghai). Bang Joo is way more irritated by this than we are and orders him to put some clothes on. Party Pooper. It seems that Jae Ha is a bit smarter than we give him credit for, though - before any of the Body Snatching Olympics started, he had already switched out Young Chul's body with that of some random corpse he obtained from Old Man Fly.
kakashi: I am somewhat glad this is the reason Jae-ha wanted to see Old Man Fly ... I had somewhat feared that he was some kind of crazy-secret killer or seomthing and that he would send him on Jung-tae's trail. Blame Warrior Baek Dong Soo for it!
JoAnne: The two men banter a bit and then Bang Joo gets down to brass tacks: what does Jae Ha want? He wants Club Shanghai, and he wants ChirinBang to know that he is the leader of Bangsamtong. If he gets those things, then HwangBang can have Young Chul's body to hold a funeral. The light tone continues but the atmosphere is getting frosty - Bang Joo wants to know what will happen if he can't deliver those things. That would really be too bad, says Jae Ha. How embarrassing is it going to be for HwangBang to have this story revealed? Wouldn't that affect Bang Joo's position as one of the seven ChirinBang? Hmmm.... Bang Joo considers this and then wonders aloud whether Jae Ha's club could be safe.
kakashi: I can't help but be intrigued by these power plays.
JoAnne: I like them too, and am fascinated by people who think this way.
JoAnne: Cut to Rome (I love the name of Jae Ha's club... every time I see it I think 'when in Rome...' ) where HwangBang thugs are trashing the place to find Young Chul's body.
kakashi: And I think "Roman Decadence".

JoAnne: Back in the office, though, Jae Ha smiles and asks if Bang Joo really thought he'd be stupid enough to bring the body there. Then it must be Daeha Restaurant, smiles Bang Joo. Jae Ha is a bit surprised he figured that out, but admits he's right, and says he chose that place because not even HwangBang would dare to go against an international agency like the Red Cross. (Remember, there's a clinic conveniently located at this restaurant.)
kakashi: It's a clinic, a hostel, a restaurant, and ... what else? A school? A church?
JoAnne: Bang Joo compliments Jae Ha - he'd thought all the Bangsamtong Boys had was fists, but they think, too. He says he doesn't care who has Bangsamtong, but he can't decide Club Shanghai by himself. I will admit that somewhere between episodes 10 and 11 I decided that I really don't like Bang Joo, and in 11 it occurred to me that if he's not the benevolent dictator that he first appeared to be... what if Young Chul figured that out, too? That tall shadow/short shadow duo that appeared behind the screen after Gaya left Young Chul's body could just as easily have been Bang Joo and Baek San as it could have been Evil Overlord and Shinichi.
kakashi: YES! I have no love for Bang-joo AT ALL (and a lot of love for Shinichi, even though I know he will probably die a painful death if he is not silently let go by the new writer first... DAMN.)
JoAnne: The show wants you to think that way too, apparently. Jae Ha has made a connection between the injuries he sustained fighting Baek San, and the injuries he saw on Young Chul's body. He has ordered an autopsy and plans to share those results with ChirinBang.
kakashi: So ... does he really think it could be Baek-san (I don't believe for a second that it was him. He is a nice, though dull person ... or isn't he?) or does he just says this to blackmail Bang-joo? 

JoAnne: Jung Tae arrives and Jae Ha greets him pleasantly - it's time to go! Bang Joo has graciously agreed that the funeral can be held in BangsamTong (haha, cheeky). Bang Joo is forced to play along, but it's clear he's furious. After the younger men leave he chops a poor little cigar to shreds. Nothing at all emasculating about what he wants to do to Jae Ha, nope.
kakashi: I would have taken that cigar, let it live!!!
JoAnne: As Jae Ha and Jung Tae stroll into Bangsamtong, GiChi the Powder Puff Girl rushes over to Jae Ha with his arms held out like a toddler, sobbing. Jae Ha gives him a hug and then addresses all the men, telling them they did a good job. They move farther into Bangsamtong and GiChi acts as a town crier, praising Jae Ha for bringing Ahjussi home and providing them a funeral they can be proud of. Jae Ha stands on some boxes and announces that anything they eat or drink at the funeral is on him, so eat up! The Bangsamtong Boys try to rally cheers for Jae Ha but strangely, the residents don't seem all that enthusiastic.
kakashi: And here I was, hoping that the Jae-ha gang could be the new Dobis (BROMANCE!), but nope. Doesn't seem like it.
JoAnne: Goichi was hiding around the corner and reported back to Gaya that she was right, Bangsamtong had the body. He worries that HwangBang will out them for Yamamoto's attack but Gaya isn't worried. If they do that, it just makes them look bad. She instructs Goichi to send word to Osaka that Jung Jae Ha is the new 'Shanghai owner' in Bangsamtong, and that Il Gook Hwa hasn't drawn its sword yet.
kakashi: Oh. Osaka. Will there be .......

JoAnne: Shinichi! (Yaaaaaaaay!) He has a younger, shorter hair cut and is looking quite recovered from his injuries. I'm glad...we've lost so many to this damn war (shakes head.) Grandpa is pleased, and says that Gaya has really grown up. She was smart enough to realize what was going on between between the different factions, and she's biding her time because everything is about to blow up. Jae Ha may have won the battle but he signed his own death warrant in doing so, and Gaya just needs to sit back and wait while the work is being done for her.
kakashi: I am not sure I approve of Shinichi's new hair cut. And can Gaya's sitting back please be done with Shinichi by her side? I mean ... isn't he supposed to be her bodyguard and protect her with his life? New writer, do not mess with our characters!!
JoAnne: All unaware, Jae Ha, GiChi, Poodletop, and assorted drunk girls are having a little party at Rome and Jae Ha is making a self-congratulatory speech that reminds me very much of Do Ggoo (he'll be back in 13, I heard!) when Lady Doc Woo Jin shows up. It's funny how Jae Ha pushes the girls away and straightens up - he really has a thing for Woo Jin.
kakashi: Oh dear, do you think they'll kill off another awesome character - Jae-ha - soon? I don't have a good feeling about this ... too much hubris!
JoAnne: Woo Jin's investigation confirms Jae Ha's suspicions for him - HwangBang definitely had something to do with Young Chul's death. As Woo Jin gets up to leave Jae Ha asks if she remembers her promise to date him once he became the owner of Bangsamtong. She gives a short, derisive laugh and tells him to try becoming the REAL owner...then they can talk.
kakashi: I like him. A bit.
JoAnne: I do, too. I think he's got an inferiority complex (much like Do Ggoo) but I don't get the feeling that he's evil inside. I don't think he's a GOOD man... but I don't think he's a bad man, necessarily. Weak, limited... but not evil.
JoAnne: At the funeral, Jung Tae stands beside the shrine to his father wearing funereal garb while a very long line of Ahjussi fans come to pay their final respects. So-So is standing near and offers details about particular people - it's clear that Young Chul never met a problem he didn't want to solve or a stray kitten he didn't want to save. I guess that apple didn't fall too far from the tree. Jung Tae is quietly amazed, but on some level - I mean... I'M angry at Young Chul, particularly when the little kids come up and rub Jung Tae's hand and So-So explains that it's a local myth - if a sick child touched Ahjussi, he would get well. That's how strong he was. Ok, fine with all that but hello - he had two orphan kids back home in Shuneuiji. If he made Bangsamtong into this place of refuge why the hell weren't his kids there with him surrounded by people who would have gladly helped him to raise them?
kakashi: That was exactly Jung-tae's problem, wasn't it, when he first heard about his father's god-like status in these parts. Plus, he also abandoned his "second" family, for his revenge quest. No saint at all, Daddy-Shin, more like a hero against his will, I'd say. Exactly what Jung-tae will become.
JoAnne: There's a little throw-away bit with Old Man Fly and two local restaurateurs. I don't care about it but it paves the way for more interaction between Jung Tae and Fly later, further solidifies the idea that Fly has a bit more going on than people think, and raises a suspicion (at the very least) that So-So and Fly are related (Daddy!). He's a perceptive guy, that Fly, and he urges Jung Tae to let go of his Daddy Issues now.
kakashi: Yes. It's time we moved on.
JoAnne: Inside with the coffin, Fly offers up a prayer and Jung Tae finally loses his shit the way he did when he first found Chung Ah gone. There's not a dry eye in the room (that one OR mine.) Again I say: Kiss mine, KHJ haters! He could use some more practice, I'll give you that - but there's some talent there and it's definitely being shown to advantage, finally.
kakashi: Very moving. Yes, kiss my ass, too. But can we get rid of Ok-ryeon? She gets on my nerves  BIG TIME. Aka could kill her. (Trying to bribe me?)
JoAnne: The next day, a much more urbanely dressed Jung Tae is standing by the bay with Ok Ryeon, spreading his father's ashes. It's very touching, especially since he shares the ashes with her to allow her at least some sort of closure with her own mother. Standing behind them are HwangBang to the left and Bangsamtong Boys to the right. As HwangBang leave, Bangsamtong offer a very deep bow which looks thoroughly sarcastic, but perhaps that's just me. Baek San and Jae Ha give each other the evil eye.
kakashi: Yeah, alright, I was a bit moved by her sadness. A bit.
JoAnne: Back at SeolRok, Bang Joo and Baek San are talking. The gist of it is that Baek San maybe kinda sorta doesn't entirely support Bang Joo's method for solving his current problems by using Jung Tae - it feels to me like Baek San thinks a more direct, deadly approach would be in order. Hold your horses, Bang Joo says. That Jae Ha is no fool - he's made a connection between the type of injuries you gave HIM, and the type of injuries you gave Young Chul. We have to wait for any rumors to die down - and if anyone actually saw you fight Young Chul that day, you need to get rid of them. So I guess it's definite then. HwangBang is actually responsible for Young Chul's death. The only other thing we learn that's mildly interesting is that wayyyy back when Bang Joo 'gave' Club Shanghai to Young Chul, he didn't intend for it to be for the next twenty some odd years, anyway.
kakashi: I am not sure that HwangBang is responsible. We just heard that Baek-san indeed fought Daddy-Shin that day: we do not know why, though. If Baek-san is who cause the deadly bleeding, Baek-san would also be who killed Gaya's father, and we know that's not the case. That was Aka - Aka causes terrible injuries and let's people suffer terribly and die a slow, agonizing death. So I'm guessing there's at least three people that had a go at Shin-Daddy that day.
JoAnne: In the end, Baek San obtains Bang Joo's permission to 'test' Jung Tae, and he expressly confirms that it would be ok even if Jung Tae died. Oh well, says Bang Joo - if that happens, there's nothing we can do. *shoulder shrug, innocent smile*
kakashi: Alright, at least we have confirmation now: EVIL.

JoAnne: Jung Tae and Ok Ryeon return to Bangsamtong. He tells her he's going to stay, figure out who killed his father, and pay them back. He wants to work for Ok Ryeon, and can she give him a place to stay, too? Ok Ryeon urges him to let go of the desire for revenge, but she doesn't answer his question. She's been acting a bit odd for someone who was so in love... can't wait to find out what's going on with her.
kakashi: Nooooooo, here goes our chance of him going back to Dobi!
JoAnne This is not the moment, I guess, because everyone is being rounded up by the territorial police - there are horses and whistles and screaming people and just general chaos everywhere. Ok, there might have been reasons to keep the kids in the countryside, especially if you had people lying about how great they were doing there. Jung Tae and Ok Ryeon hide behind a cart, although it takes immense willpower for Jung Tae not to jump in and try to save everyone. Ok Ryeon's face, though - this is clearly not the moment for Jung Tae to be a hero.
kakashi: Not almost paradise, this place!
JoAnne: Once everything dies down, Ok Ryeon explains that once a month, HwangBang and 'GongGong' (ChirinBang) take turns examining residency documents. In Bangsamtong, they have to lie - whichever side is examining, they say they belong to the other side. If they get caught in the lie, well... Jung Tae takes her hand and with deep tenderness in his voice asks her if she's ok. She looks at him with sadness and some disappointment and moves his hand off hers. After a moment she asks him why he didn't send news of himself, and why he didn't come back to Shineuiji. Didn't any of them matter to him at all? When she crossed the Yalu River and her mother died, the guy who helped them died, too. She had to bury him with her bare hands. (Does she mean Ahjussi, or does she mean Soo Ok? Because if she means Soo Ok, I will be pissed.)
kakashi: Yeah, I think this is finally it: The Soo-ok goodbye scene.
JoAnne: Even though she had no place to stay and no one who wanted her, Ok Ryeon returned to the torn apart Shineuiji and waited for six months, just in case Jung Tae returned. But he never even sent word. Jung Tae offers a sincere but completely inadequate apology, and Ok Ryeon admits that as much as she missed him, she's that angry with him, too, so he really shouldn't depend on her for much.
kakashi: His "I am sorry" was so lame!!! At least explain what happened to your for the love of Shinichi!
JoAnne: She returns to Daeha restaurant alone with a brave smile on her face. Girlfriend Woo Jin knows, though, and asks her if it hurts. She tells Ok Ryeon she should have screamed, but Ok Ryeon can't be like that. She confesses tearfully that even now, she feels like 'his' heart's blood is on her hands, and she feels that guilt. Ummm... who is she talking about?
kakashi: Uhm ... Soo-ok, I guess? No, maybe not ... sounds like she is talking about Jung-tae but whatever she means to say, it's beyond me. If it's Soo-ok, it's not entirely unclever: there is no way they can replace Kimmie boy, so if they still want some kind of love-triangle there, it has to be the memory that gets into the way of the lovers. And I was surprised to learn that this hostel-hospital thingy or whatever it is is actually Ok-ryeon's. I thought it was Woo-jin's. Or is it theirs? Together? Maybe they're in a relationship?
JoAnne: A very handsome Jung Tae overhears this, outside the restaurant, and sighs. I include the statement mainly because I hope for pictures and he looked like a model posed against the building, plus there's a lovely close up of his profile. Hint, hint.
kakashi: That goes without saying. Hmmm, the light on his face ...
JoAnne: Three nerdy types rush into Rome carrying papers of some sort, only to find GiChi and PoodleTop at make shift desks signing yet more paperwork with a happy couple. Are they dabbling in real estate or something? The men are suppliers, and their contracts have been cancelled without notice. Jae Ha enters and they plead with him, but their time is over. There is a new owner in town, and things are going to run his way.
kakashi: Haha, when he mixes in random English into his dialogue, I chuckle.
JoAnne: The Bangsamtong Boys stroll the avenue with a bit of a strut. It sounds to me like a few of them have had chips on their shoulder for a while, and that people didn't treat them as importantly as they might have liked, and that recent developments might be used as a way to rub their noses in it... hmm. That always makes friends.
kakashi: They're growing on me. In an almost Dobi-kinda way. 
JoAnne: Jae Ha is surprised to notice Jung Tae riding a bike up ahead. PoodleTop fills him in: Jung Tae is delivering water alongside Ok Ryeon, outside of Daeha Restaurant. Jae Ha absorbs the news with a thoughtful look. Jung Tae is back at Daeha and it appears that So-So works there, too. She realizes that he's looking around for Ok Ryeon and seems surprised to realize that he might actually like her - she'd assumed that he would be interested in herself, but she seems surprised, not hurt or upset.
kakashi: So so is funny. Though expendable. Expendable isn't good in this show.
JoAnne: Inside Club Shanghai, Gaya and Il Gook Hwa are receiving the brush off. Jae Ha is returning her silver and has asked them to leave. He wants to renovate, he says. Gaya expected this and offers a like amount of ingots in gold. How long could they stay with that? A year? Six months? Jae Ha is unmoved. Once the club reopens, they can make that much in a day. Fine, she says, then at least tell her one thing. How did the deceased die? Jae Ha spouts off the official autopsy report, which blames stab wounds from two swords. Gaya says she doesn't think that's all there is to it and asks if there might not have been internal injuries, too. This floors Jae Ha, who clearly either underestimates Gaya or overestimates himself, because he GRABS her. Of course she draws her little swords. Jae Ha looks at them in shock and starts to ask if she was the one responsible, but we don't hear the full question or the answer.
kakashi: She wanted him to see her double swords - and she wanted him to know that she killed Shin-Daddy.
JoAnne: Off on another delivery, Jung Tae had passed a stranger dressed in heavy western clothing, most of his face obscured. That same man now approaches Jung Tae with sword drawn. Jung Tae wasn't expecting this, of course, but recovers quickly. He fights back skillfully but the swordsman stabs him several times and finally, Jung Tae goes down hard enough that he struggles to get back up and stay up.
kakashi: Shinichi flashback!!! Jung-tae realizes that this man has a different style of swordsmanship and that's why he studies him very carefully. That tea kettle he kicks? To study the man's reactions. He is hurt, yes, but I think / hope he isn't as hurt as he pretends to be. Clearly, he will win this battle and "pass the test", but I also think he needs more training. I'd suggest Mo Il-hwa came to town and gave it to him.


JoAnne: So either I'm just really paying attention and my curiosity is leading me down the same paths the author is taking, OR the hints are heavy enough that I don't even realize they're hints, because these new developments are right in line with my thinking. I will admit that I thought that this episode was not very exciting, but I was completely surprised that the hour was up already, too. Take from that what you will.
kakashi: Oh, but I thought it was VERY exciting. Granted, there were some draggy bits (mainily the quiet bits, to be honest), but especially towards the end, things picked up speed again! This makes me VERY excited for episode 13.

JoAnne: Obviously, the swordsman is from HwangBang, and just as obviously, Jung Tae will survive and figure this out. Jae Ha has a vested interest in getting Jung Tae OUT of the picture, since in the public's eyes (and possibly in ChirinBangs) the rightful owner of Shanghai is the son of the previous owner. HwangBang was willing to use Jung Tae, but they can easily move ahead without him if he's not the right mix of powerful-but-easily-controlled. Will Jae Hae attempt to pit Jung Tae against HwangBang and do the same? I'm guessing Old Man Fly has a role to play in all this, too, and of COURSE we have yet to see what Gaya might pull with him. I don't see how Il Gook Hwa and Jung Tae are ever going to coexist peacefully.
kakashi: Jung-tae is still not taking things into his own hands - but he has to, sooner or later. He also seems to have forgotten about his sister completely (as he is now looking for his father's killer). Not that I mind, never liked that story line.

JoAnne: I also have questions about this GongGong organization. Is it essentially ChirinBang? If Bang Joo is a member of ChirinBang does that mean that there are 7 'important' Chinese gangs in Shanghai and we might see more of them coming up? WHO was Ok Ryeon talking about with the blood on the hands? Is she feeling guilty about Ahjussi's death, which we knew about? Or did she in fact inform us that Soo Ok is now dead, and she feels guilty about THAT? (If so, boo.)
kakashi: As said above, I think that's indeed what she did. Soo-ok is gone, bye bye, farewell, tschüss. The best he can get is a bit of guilt from one of the characters. It's a hard world.