Age of Feeling / Inspiring Generation - Episode 24 (FINAL SqueeCap)

kakashi: Dear squeeglets, you have waited long and have been overly-overall patient, but poor JoAnne has not been feeling well for many days and still isn't her true snarky self, so I am taking over the task of delivering the final (and real) squeecap to you so she doesn't have to carry that burden in addition to all the other burdens. Get well unni!!!!!!! It's an order!!!!! And let's get closure on this one.
I quickly need to check what happened in episode 23, because that damn FAKEcap is messing with my head - I can't remember what really happened in the drama and what was mary's crazy version. Oh wait ... they were kinda similar, were they not?! So Ok-ryeon is (finally!) dead, Princess Seul is batshit crazy (but still alive), Jae-hwa is back (why did he leave again? Does it matter? No? Good), Aoki, the hot piece of a$$, is out of prison (why was he in there again? Does it matter? No? Good), and MoSo is not happening (which I consider NOT good). Also: everybody is ready for the final war. Me too.
JoAnne: The rumors of my aging must be true, because whatever's going on with me has well and truly kicked my ass and rendered me both mute AND stupid. Quite literally. The other day I cried because I couldn't fit the 12-pack of toilet paper in the fridge. 
kakashi: Maybe you just need a bigger fridge? *starts searching the internet*

Episode 24 - Final Episode

People walk really fast, almost like war-robots, out of Seulrak - they escort the kid with the cute hairdo, named (help me out here ...) Ran-ran! Outside, about 9 men with hatchets are waiting and I guess guarding the place. Wut? That looks SO STUPID. In front of them, the cars go "boom" and they're all incinerated immediately. Oups. Baek-san and Ran-ran look at the flames for quite a while and then turn back. Baek-san doesn't even need to say anything, Princess Seul just KNOWS, telepathically, that it must haven been Shin Jung-tae! Who! blew! up! The cars! How dare he!!!
JoAnne: When you've been married a really long time, the way Princess and Baek San have, you don't really need words to communicate.
Seul is enraged. Attacking Bangsamtong is not an option - Jung-tae is too strong and Baek-san is too weak (btw: when Seul gets really angry, his voice gets very high and squeaky. It's funny! All in all, he was an awesome villain) Anyway, he wants all the troops there to defend him. No offensive stuff please.
JoAnne: I am almost entirely convinced that this guy decided he was going to just keep getting crazier and crazier, and see which ended first: his career, or this drama.
Mo Il-hwa! Squeeeeeeeeeee! He is watching the hatchet-men and he reports to the rest of his brethren who are standing almost right beside him that they have been able to buy a few days from themselves thanks to their terrorist tactics. And then, it's our favorite music! All the Bangsamtongers go and rob the Hwanbangers' casinos and banks. Because the respective section police cannot cross over into other territories, the Bangsamtongers are not caught. Shanghai is much more fun without the Hwangbangers, that's for sure! Also much more empty.
JoAnne: When I was little, the first time my father the cop tried to explain jurisdiction to me, I kept picturing invisible force fields that cars would crash into if they tried to go past their sphere of authority. Oh, how I wish they had made that happen JUST ONCE in this drama.
At Seulrak, the phone rings. Do-ggo answers. Yes, he is still around, but that's about it. On the phone, the anti-opium office (there is such a thing? You just made that up, writer, didn't you?!) - Seul is in deep shit. All his opium dealings have been made public by the Bangsamtongers. And when we say public, we MEAN public: they're pasted on some wall for everybody to see. Seul just walks over there and has a look himself - he is then told to take them down by Mr. WhatsHisName Security Director. Chiringbangers seem no longer overly fond of Seul Princess. 
JoAnne: I distinctly remember how clearly Do Ggoo showed on his face his deep regret for having picked up that phone, as he struggled with how to present the news to his troll boss.
kakashi: Good actor, terrible role he got. Ah, the potential ..........
Cut to a road outside of Shanghai, with a rather modern looking truck on it. On the truck, Hwangbangers? On the road, two of our favorites: Jae-hwa and Mo Il-hwa. Squeeeeeee! When Jae-hwa accidentally bumps into Mo, he gives him the side-eye. Buahahaha, I heart him. Jae-hwa puts on his toenail. Or tiger claw. Or whatever. It does NOT look better in daylight, let me tell you! But the people on the truck get VERY scared when they see and Jae-hwa cracks some joke about his popularity. Mo says: That's why I wanted to wear a mask - and puts on a mask. WHY?! Hahahaha. FAIL.
JoAnne: Like they wouldn't know him by the brooch, or the heels, or the black silk robe, or the haircut, or the general glimmer of glittery awesomeness sparkling the air that touches him.
They fight. The boys are having fun. Jae-hwa winks at one of his victims before he slashes him. Of course they're victorious. They mount the truck and open a box ... it's full of "little shit patties" (original JoAnne). They burn them. Mo is looking particularly hot and young when he does. So these are of course not shit patties, but very valuable opium patties. Now ash. Good riddance. I bet they got really high!!!
JoAnne: Having never seen opium, and (unfortunately) having seen many shit patties of varying sizes and consistencies, I remember that in my feverish state I was completely distraught over this. They burned them. They SNIFFED them. Since I didn't watch the episode in one go, it was some time before I realized what was actually happening. I spent many confused hours in between.
In the meantime, Jung-tae is worried for the Bangsamtong people and what will happen to them in the upcoming war between Japan and China. There may be a Safe Zone in Shanghai, he is told by government representative, but it's not sure the Bangsamtonger can go there (no IDs, remember?). Does he have to go and see Mighty Chinese General then, Jung-tae demands to know? Yes, says government official, that would probably be good - but also rather hard. Ha, says Jung-tae: but he has the Mori Strategy document. And he hands it over to the government official?! Uhm.... why? You just gave him your only bargaining chip?! Ack, whatever. Look how pretty he is.
JoAnne: No, that wasn't it. Or not all of it, anyway. I won't be sorry to see that stupid hair go, but I do very much miss the Yummy Tummy. It was just so warm and solid looking. I wanted to do things to it. One of the biggest travesties of this show is that they killed MokDan Ok Ryeon before she got to really taste the fruits of her wait for Jung Tae... if you know what I mean. I mean, could the girl not have gone out with a bang?
kakashi: (Note for mary: JoAnne does not mean a bomb)
Ran-ran is now in Hongkong all of a sudden. Seul is finally free to go all out: attack Bangsamtong at nightfall and get rid of it, he orders. So they go there with about 10 people and torches. Buahahaha, too funny! They have the order to kill everybody and burn everything, but nobody is there, so they forget about the burning, too. But suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the Bangsamtongers attack! Poor Hwangbangers ... completely outnumbered.
JoAnne: By 11 Bangsamtongers armed with dishclothes, spatulas, and woks.
Everybody fights, only Jae-hwa and Jung-tae stand around and just look at everything wisely. Oh, not true! Behind them, many others just stand around as well, watching. Old Man Fly has his probably last meaningful appearance, doing his somewhat awesome and funny non-fighting-fighting-thing. Jae-hwa then begs Jung-tae for the fight with Baek-san, Jung-tae allows it. Jae-hwa and Baek-san trade half-assed and lame insults; yes, even the insults are tired. They fight. It lasts about 5 seconds and then, Jae-hwa slashes Baek-san's back open with his toe-nail. Jung-tae adds the finishing touch - the fist of steel! Baek-san closes his evil eyes forever. What a relief!
JoAnne: Jae Hwa, oh ye of the sex hair. I miss you.
Next, for Seul's head! But first, Seul grieves over his ... partner's death. That's the correct term, righ? There's a lot of bodies at Seulrak all of a sudden, who brought them there? That's definitely more than went out, too! Scary. No more opium, no more money in the casinos and all his men dead. But Seul is not giving up ... he orders Mr. NationalSecurity Heo to kill Jung-tae and everybody else (he can do that because Mr. Heo took bribes and Seul threatens to expose that if Heo doesn't do his bidding). In the background, Do-ggo pulls all kinds of faces. To pay for the men that are needed to kill Jung-tae (yeah, 10 men with torches ... not enough) he wants to sell the opium that is at the agency. I have no clue what that means, but it seems to be a shocking thought, considering Heo's and Do-ggo's faces.
JoAnne: Because the actor playing Seul has finally succumbed to the madness and is now just making shit up.
The opium is now in bags, no longer in boxes. There a LOT of it. Heo is worried about his neck, which is on the line, Seul just smiles his wacky smile. When they leave the compound, they are watched by Bongsamtongers. (I have to go back and check but I think you've spelled this subtly differently every single time this episode.) There seem to be two trucks - and Jung-tae realizes it's a trap. But not for him, for Jae-hwa and Mo, who are at the same road they were before, waiting for ... more opium? I guess so. There's a lot of people with them this time though. They also put nails into the middle of the road, to blow the truck's tires. Well done.
JoAnne: Jung Tae WHIPS out his cell phone and quick calls his bros... what? No? Not for another 50 years or so? Dammit.
Oh, not well done! Cause it's a trap. That's not opium on that truck, but people with guns! Including Do-goo! (So a dope, but no dope.) Song Jae-rim is making the funniest faces - he is probably thinking "this cannot get any worse than it already is, can it?" They start shooting, they HIT OUR BOYS!!! Mo Minion DOWN! Mo gets really vicious after that and for whatever reason, the people on the truck can no longer shoot, so nobody else gets killed, or rather, our boys do the killing again.
JoAnne: He was so upset about the minion that I actually thought to myself 'uhhh, I guess this means MoSo is a NoGo?'
kakashi: It's friendship JoAnne, only friendship.
All of a sudden, some dude with the weirdest eyebrows and hair appears - Mo is shocked. It's Park Chung Ga! Buahahaha, who the fuck is THAT? The fight coordinator, maybe? He is the most-awesome-of-most-awesome of fighters we have seen in this show yet and both Jae-hwa and Mo, even together, stand absolutely no chance against him. Do-goo just stands on the truck, not moving. I like his red suit though.
JoAnne: So THAT guy is one of the investors. He likes to fancy himself a martial artist, and they needed a leeeeeeeeeetle more money to finance the horse General BooJoo is about to ride in on, so...
Oh, but look! It's Jung-tae! Who just avoids that Park Chung-ah's attack (hehehe) to first check on his friends. They're alright, but that can't be said for the rest of the "boys", who are dead. Or so Jae-hwa claims. Mo minion too??!  Now there's a fight between Jung-tae and Biggest KungFu Master of All Times. 5 seconds later, Jung-tae has won. This is getting boooooooooooring. How can he always win?!
JoAnne: It's in the script?
Oh no, but Seul is now also there! He brought a lot of police with him, with guns. What's with all the guns recently?! (I know right? When I see them it's quite shocking to me now.) Seul claps mockingly - he has come to kill Jung-tae. He pulls out his revolver and aims it at Jung-tae. But before he can pull the trigger, elf horns sounds! Thousands of boots marching! Is it Elrond's army? No, unfortunately, it's only a General called Boo-joo. He is riding on that horse that Song Jae-rim fed. Hey, drama: maybe you should stop introducing new characters in your last episode? Next time, you say? Alright.
They are in a building next with camouflage inside. That's ... really original. (It makes the General feel all homey.) Seul lies about arresting the ones that stole the opium (i.e Jung-tae), but Boo-joo knows that's bullshit. He has proof (documents again) and it's clear that Seul sold opium to get funds for the military. The military doesn't like drug money. Seul is kicked out. Jung-tae on the other hand is treated in a civil way - mainly because he has the Mori document (ah, he didn't give the dude all of it - so he still has the rest). Boo-joo, who doesn't seem to be an actor at all, but is awesome nonetheless, promises all the Bangsamtongers/Bongsamtongers identity cards so that they can enter the Safety Zone when the war starts.
JoAnne: They were grabbing people off the streets at this point.
Awwwww, everybody is so happy! They have identities now!!!  

Seul and Heo and Do-goo ... bloody and in chains! He tries some "my son, my son!" crap in front of Jung-tae, but of course, nobody is falling for that anymore. Seul doesn't even understand what he did wrong, bleh, just disappear already. Jung-tae hits him GOOD (ah, that must have been satisfying). He tells him to remember the pain forever. It's a very short forever though: Out of nowhere, a man appears, asks Jung-tae whether he can finish Seul off - and slits his throat. Uhm .... oh well. Good riddance. But that was weird. I mean ... weirder even than the rest of this last episode.
JoAnne: They didn't even show us the guy's face, come on. Talk about your last minute character addition!
Jung-tae goes to pray at the temple with the nice lotus lamps - he tells his father that the revenge is done;  now, the good stuff can start. He, Jung-tae, will become a Good Father to all the Bangsamtongers. Hey, amidst the weirdness that is this last episode, I actually SEE that Jung-tae has become a much bigger man - I mean BETTER man. He is now ready to be that kind of hero.
JoAnne: *sniff* our little hothead, all grown up ...
Il Gookie! Hey, I almost forgot about them! Aoki is cleaning a sword *gulp, the symbolism* - the war is starting and Il Gookie has a new mission. Il Gookie is dead, long live Il Gookie? Gaya tells him that Bangsamtong will be declared a Safety Zone, has he not heard? But Aoki, the smart a$$, wants to seize control there BEFORE it's declared such and turn it into a military headquarters. If they fail in this, Il Gookie will cease to exist (again? or for all times?).
JoAnne: I am curious about this Safety Zone they all pin their hopes and dreams on. I mean, you shoot a bullet, it's gonna zoom right down that street, right? You throw a bomb, it's going to rain bricks down on soft heads, right? How is it  a Safety Zone? Does everyone just aim in a different direction from there?
kakashi: It's like magic, JoAnne. A force field of Peace
And repeat, because they look So Goooooood:
She wants to sneak out at night, but dearest Aoki expects that and looks really disappointed. In fact, he's almost crying!!! D'awwwwwwwwwz, she loves another ... still, forever? So sorry, Aoki.
JoAnne: I laugh when I think of the people who thought his feelings were all simply part of a grand plan.
Oh, but then, he hugs her ... and says to meet him first in their next life. And he lets her go. D'awwwwwwwz, drama, now you made me cry a little. And I'm in super-snark mode right now. Well done.
JoAnne: He genuinely loved her. Not as an extension of himself, but as her own person. He tried to protect her sometimes, but he also was happy to rely on her badass self at others. Poor Aoki, who turned out to be a decent fellow in a weird way.
Il Gookie is marching towards Bangsamtong! They're there! They're many! Relatively speaking. Elsewhere, Bangsamtongers are having a demonstration, demanding to become a safety zone. Boo-joo comes out! Jung-tae is wearing his sexy hat, but takes it off for Boo-joo. Boo-joo smiles and goes IN again. Into another building.
JoAnne: Wouldn't you think being loud and annoying would be counterproductive?
Thank you, Aoki, for dressing so FINELY while going to take over Bangsamtong. Jae-hwa isn't happy about that "taking over" part, so he undresses (a little bit) and tells his redundant Doctor Lady to go tell Big Brother. And then, it's ALL against just one. Jae-hwa is channelling his Big Brother, but for how long? Jae-hwa is awesome, but he is hurt severely and the fight choreo HAS been better before. Much better. Jae-hwa is down, at least six swords are directed at his tummy. Is it also a Yummy Tummy? We haven't even seen it.
JoAnne: He's a boxer. They tend to have strong cores. I'm going with yes, but the closest I got to a picture was his very nice arms and shoulders in the hot tub scene in The Man from Nowhere. Which I need to watch again, it's been about a year.
With a little help from Gaya, Doctor Lady makes it to Jung-tae - and here comes Jung-tae! Pissed, because the Japanese did not attend that safety zone meeting, which probably means they will not be able to decide on anything. KHJ was really good in this drama - but you know what he does best? The fights! With a "hwaiting" from Jae-hwa, Jung-tae takes on Aoki. Hahaha, in the background, Jae-hwa watches it all, leaning against a pillar, looking quite relaxed. We get to admire Yoon Hyun-min's wonderfully perfect ass, thank you, thank you, thank you. I want this man to be the lead in something soon, hear me, KDrama Gods?! For next time though, drama ... please try to time the sound of people hitting other people with the actual movement of their heads. It makes it more believable, overall.  
JoAnne: They couldn't give us the tummy touch of the day with Aoki, but they did give us pretty much unlimited views of his tushie.
That's quite a beating you're getting, Aoki! When he is as down as down can get, Jung-tae lifts his fist for the final, deadly strike, but ... Gaya jumps in front of Aoki and shields him with her body. "Let's stop it now", says Jung-tae. And with that, he means everything.
JoAnne: I can't decide if Aoki would hate her for seeing him like that, or love her for caring enough to do anything.
Behind them, the Bangsamtongers come running excitedly - they are designated as a safety zone! Victory! Amidst the joyfulness, Gaya and Jung-tae exchange very sad looks.
JoAnne: Gaya's look says this: Did your direct deposit show up last night? Jung Tae's says this: Shit... should I tell her that I got paid cash up front?
Next, everybody is saying goodbye. Jae-hwa and Doctor Lady are leaving (why?) (Because there's going to be a WAR?) And Mo is leaving. *Sadface*. Soso sighs and waves a little. There's room for fanfic there! Mary, are you reading this?
JoAnne: We will not speak of that sad little wave, which is proof that they KNEW. THEY KNEW WHAT WE WANTED. And they refused to give it to us.
Aoki, Gaya, and Jung-tae are outside of Shanghai, at the river. Aoki wants to know how many lives Jung-tae has - I would say about 15? He survived 24 episodes because he wanted to protect people, says Jung-tae. They promise to fight each other again and shake hands ... but they smile. Boys, are you friends now?! Awwwwwwwww, a dream come true! Aoki walks away and leaves Gaya and Jung-tae alone: it's the final-final-final goodbye. Where will she go? he asks. Who knows, she says - she has no place to return to and no people that are waiting for her. So she is going anywhere and nowhere and maybe somewhere to forget all the painful memories. Why, she finally asks herself, why did they had to fight like this? That's a good question.
JoAnne: I got nuthin.
They shake hands, but before they part forever, she hands him a note and tells him to read it. When the car with her and Aoki in it drives away (what do you mean, woman, you have nobody waiting for you???), a woman is standing there. Could it be ...? Yes it is! An ugly definitely not 1930s power pole in the background! The woman starts running - it's Chung-ah. All is well now. In the note, Gaya tells Jung-tae that the Fortune Teller took her to a German mission doctor (without telling Jung-tae, because .... I don't know, he forgot?). After the successful surgery, Gaya found out that she was Jung-tae's sister. To keep her safe from Shinichi, she sent her off to a quiet and remote place in Japan. She ends the note with the wish for a next life which is much more peaceful, happy, and prosperous. But then, maybe, the one they are having - was it inspiration for her and Jung-tae?
JoAnne: You have got to be shitting me.



We're doooooooooooone! And I'm not happy about it. No, I'm not. Yes, this drama became more and more WTF the longer it aired (remember the first 9 episodes?!) and yes, there were at least 59023098 characters too many, but there also were some of the bestestest characters I've seen in a long time, maybe EVER in Kdrama. Sure, sure, many of them were destroyed in the course of this drama (they turned Mo Il-hwa into one of Jung-tae's lackeys!!! Jung-tae quasi didn't get any character-development, well, only a little! Gaya was awesome until she wasn't! Shinichi died a stupid death and was a dick most of the time! Aoki was great I love him! Jae-hwa left, came back, and left again and we don't have a clue why!) BUT I DON'T CARE! This will forever have a special place in my heart. I'm crying now. I hate to say goodbye. Goodbye, everyone! 
JoAnne: If you could accept the warts, this drama was a world just LITTERED with awesome people and I don't know about you guys, but if you give me people I can genuinely care about, I don't much care how nuts the story gets. There are characters here I will never forget. But it makes me wonder... is the problem that there are writers who can create memorable people, and writers who can create well-plotted stories, but NO writers who can do both? Oh well. It's over. 
kakashi: *sobbing uncontrollably*
JoAnne: I'm sorry it took so much extra time to get to the real squeecap. Thank you for waiting patiently. And thank you Kashi for jumping in to help when it was clear I was just going to continue to sit in my corner and drool for a while.
kakashi: You get well now real quick, hear me? And then, we're going to find us another awesome drama to do awesome squeecaps because ... I feel so empty!!!!! *sobs even more*