Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dramatic Friday Review: Rooftop Prince ep 19

Let me preface this recap/review by first saying that I really should have known better.  Every Mon & Wed night my eldest has Tae Kwon Do.  And this afternoon, when I saw that the Viki app on my iPad had loaded this episode & that it was completely subbed, I figured, "oh, well, that works out perfectly, I'll make sure & use my time wisely tonight & I'll watch the show at the Dojaeng".  Big mistake!  Huge!  I should have known going into the home stretch of a drama, that the emotional turmoil of the show would be upped quite a few notches.  I sat there in my son's Tae Kwon Do Dojaeng & tried really hard to hide my sniffling & watery eyes as allergies, instead of calling them what they were.  Me, an emotional wreck, at the ending of this episode, tearing up like a big baby.  Allowing myself to become the stereotypical woman crying over a K-Drama.  Not my proudest or smartest moment.  I'm not saying I was sobbing or making a fool of myself, but I definitely teared up a few times & had people wondering.  But as it is spring in Wisconsin I was able to pass it off as allergies.

{Suckers. ^^}

Okay so where to start or better yet....Ottake?

For me this episode was all over the place.  I loved the very end of the episode but I was not exactly pleased with how they got there.  It seems like they are ending the "how do they all go back to the past" story line reasonably well.  But the Joseon era murder mystery of the Crown Princess is still unsolved before they go back AND there were some majorly missing pieces in the modern day drama portion of the show as well.  So I guess I start at the beginning of the episode & try to unravel it as best I can.  But I really do have some moments where I was just frustrated by the writers.

So at the end of the last laughable episode...they had the whole Tae Mu/SeNa set up of Lee Gak going on, premeditated murder was in store...only Bak Ha showed up at the last second, of course, after being a majorly gullible fool, through most of the episode.  And not only does she show up but she pushes Lee Gak out of the way, of the set up/murder trap & ends up in the headlights of Tae Mu's car, as he is about to mow down the Crown Prince.  This is where this episode starts off...

Tae Mu, instead of running over Lee Gak hits Bak Ha, at what, is NOT full speed, & sends her flying into the lake.  The Crown Prince is in shock gets up & Tae Mu & SeNa in shock & absolute terror drive off.

Look familiar?

So far, other than the fact that Tae Mu's car was not going nearly fast enough to do this much damage or to send a human body flying out into the water, I was ok.  But really that bothered me, so I guess I'm not ok.  It just wasn't believable to me.  At first they show her rolling up over the front of the car towards the roof & back of the car & then she's flying forward into the water at least 20 ft in the air.  Bad choreography.  Whoever thought that was believable or even physically possible needs to study physics again.  But whatever...I can deal with this.

Then Bak Ha is being wheeled into the hospital on a gurney w/ Lee Gak following her & looking on anxiously.  K-Drama 101, I've said it before.

In the next scene we see this incredibly sweet, daydream(?) scene.  Bak Ha is laying on the bench w/ her head resting on the lap of Lee Gak.  Typical golden sunny afternoon, under {what I've come to associate as} "their" tree.  Everyone is healthy, there is no accident, no laying as still as death Bak Ha.  She is rosy & healthy & smiling into the eyes of the man she loves & who loves her back.  Wishing they could stop time...what young lovers don't wish for that same thing?
Oh sweetie we all wish we could.  Especially when we have just fallen in love with THE guy of our dreams.
Sigh..  Good memories.

Of course not all of us are lucky enough that Micky Yoochun is that "man".  

Before we know it this sweet scene is replaced by a terrified & guilt ridden SeNa...I say GOOD!  Finally it seems she actually may have a conscience after all.  Meanwhile Tae Mu is completely unrepentant & still trying to make good their escape.  Basically he tells her, what's done is done & to get over it all.  Then he informs her they are going abroad immediately.  He leaves to go buy food, because murdering someone & trying to skip town, on an empty stomach, is the worst.  Right after he leaves Lee Gak calls her phone & asks to meet with her.

She meets him at the hospital where she looks through the window into her sister's room & sees her baby sister on oxygen & lying motionless & looking helpless....sympathy vote anyone?  Anyone?  Hmmm....

Lee Gak informs SeNa that Bak Ha is dying.  Her liver was very badly damaged when Tae Mu's car hit her & that she needs a transplant, asap!  And since she & SeNa are sisters after all, that means SeNa automatically qualifies for donor....did no one explain to the writers that even siblings don't automatically match in these situations?  They have to be tested first & unless Lee Gak got a hold of some SeNa DNA there is no way he can know for sure that she is the ONLY donor candidate for her sister.  Unless I learned my Jr High biology incorrectly.

He tells her he doesn't care about the fact that she & Tae Mu tried to kill him & have almost killed Bak Ha, he puts down the hard copy evidence he & the Power Rangers had been collecting against our dynamic duo villains & basically says, "Here, you get off scott free just save Bak HA!"  Okay so I am paraphrasing...putting words into his mouth....whatever...same thing!

In probably one of the first real moments of regret we see SeNa break down, how do I know it's real?  She's alone.  No audience.  No one is there watching her perform her Super Junior "Sorry Sorry" song & dance.  She goes home & Tae Mu is waiting for her.  She tells him that she isn't going to run away with him, because she is going to save her sister's life.

Then we see Tae Mu call Lee Gak & arrange a meeting.  Telling him that they'll save Bak Ha IF he gives all the company monies & stocks etc... signed over to Tae Mu.  Lee Gak is willing to do anything to save Bak Ha, so they meet in a parking garage, where ALL nefarious paper/ money/ contract handovers must take place.

Afterwards Tae Mu tells Lee Gak that if he hurries to the hospital he should get there just as they are starting the surgery.  And then we see Tae Mu hurrying SeNa into the car to take her to the hospital.  Only he isn't taking her to the hospital & as they go the wrong direction SeNa questions him.  He explains that they have all the money, which is what she really wanted all along, & that they are still leaving the country.  She actually wants to go help her sister, but he won't let her answer her cellphone when Lee Gak is trying to reach her & find out where she is.  Lee Gak sends his Power Rangers off to find SeNa, but then she comes up with the brilliant plan to very quietly & discreetly call Lee Gak's phone & then gets Tae Mu to tell her where he is taking her, how they are leaving the country & what time.  Cliche but effective & Lee Gak races to save the day.

Turns out they were going to take a ship to China at 9.  They get to the dock & SeNa fights Tae Mu, who is clearly losing his grip on reality & is, at this point basically kidnapping SeNa.  But Lee Gak shows up & there is a huge fight & he is yelling at SeNa to just get in his car & go to the hospital.  And he is holding Tae Mu back.  Then the Power Rangers show up & I got all excited at the idea of Yong Seul showing once again his mad fighting skills.  But alas, Lee Gak yells at the Power Rangers to take SeNa to Bak Ha.  NOW!!!  They leave & it's time for the showdown.

Lee Gak Vs. Tae Mu.  Who will reign supreme?!?!

Just when we think Tae Mu may win the Police....FINALLY.... show up.  {do you feel better dongsaeng?}

And it's Lee Gak FTW!!

And Lee Gak has Tae Mu's confession of killing his cousin recorded...looks like Tae Mu is finally getting to visit the big house.  It's about time!  But did you see all the holes in the modern day portion of the drama?!?! I explained my opinion like this to dongsaeng via textersation....

"It was like they got caught trying to untie the knots in a pair of tennis shoes, only instead of taking the time to properly untie the knots & retie the shoes properly they just took the shoes & sheepishly shoved them under the table and said, 'all better', & smiled innocently."  Uhm....not really guys.  But who cares right?  Tae Mu is going to jail.  That's all that matters.

And in probably one of my favorite scenes we see a repentant SeNa, laying next to her sister, prepared for surgery, and she silently looks at her baby sister & then gently clasped her hand & looks at her with the love of a real sister in her eyes.  It was nice to see SeNa's human side.

Of course after this Bak ha, lives.  And recovers nicely.  Lee Gak visits her in the hospital & tells her to stop worrying about him & focus on herself.  He promises that from now on he'll do everything for her.  Uhm...guess he forgot he'll be disappearing soon.  Then we see him talking to Harry Potter / Bow Tie man & handing over the company, metaphorically of course.  Telling HP/BT man to take care of the company until the real Tae Yong recovers.  And then SeNa is back & already recovered from donating a portion of her liver to her little sis.  She tells Bak Ha she is sorry & that she is going to go turn herself in, like the good reformed criminal that she is.  Actually I was quite proud of her for reforming so completely.  She could have just said, "Hey I saved your life sis.  Don't I deserve a 'get out of jail free' card?  But no she is going to go confess & I found myself hoping the Police go easy on her.  And then we see her saying goodbye to her mothers.  Yes plural, both Chairwoman Jang & Man Ok Unnie are there & have both forgiven SeNa, because she saved Bak Ha & because she is their daughter.  Lots of hugging & crying.  I was also touched. I was hoping that SeNa would reform & get a second chance & I am still hoping for her second chance.

So now we know that Bak Ha will live but w/ Lee Gak no longer needing to pretend to be Tae Yong, he is no longer rich.  And Bak Ha has hospital bills.  What can a set of Joseon Power Rangers do in this situation?!?!

Why go out & play to their strengths & abilities of course.  Yong Seul becomes an overnight sensation as a stunt man in period shows, Chi San plays the Guyageum on the street & gets tons of cash & flowers, & Man Bo writes a memoir & turns it into a sold screenplay for, what else a K-Drama, duh!  In one montage they earn all sorts of cash & buy Bak Ha her little fruit stand/juice store.   And as much as I loved seeing my Power Rangers be all gallant & save the day here is my problem...just how long a time period was this montage supposed to take place in, because as soon as it ends they are bringing Bak Ha home from the hospital.  Which tells me maybe 4  or 5 days, maybe a whole week to 10 days if I give them the benefit of the doubt.  How is that even possible, time wise, to become a stuntman?  A street popular street musician?  And a screenplay writer?  And to be successful at each career as well?!?!  DANG!!!  Who is their manager?!?!  And how can we get one like him?!?!  Plus, since it was Tae Mu who almost killed her shouldn't the company be footing her hospital bill at the very least?  And one more question the writers glossed over....the rooftop house?  Lee Gak had Halmoni buy the Rooftop House, & renovate it for Tae Yong to live in.  Since everyone knows he is not Tae Yong & Halmoni is dead, who the heck does the rooftop house belong to?   The company will let Bak Ha continue to live there but won't front her the money to pay her bills, buy her store etc....?  So many plot holes!!! Can't handle the holes!!!!

But the most important part is that Bak Ha is alive, Tae Mu has been caught, SeNa reformed & I am guessing; we, the audience, are supposed to be distracted by the happy.  Which I actually am. Until, that is, on the way home from the hospital, Chi San fades away in the blink of an eye.  Everyone is in shock.

One minute he is there eating a burger....

And then he is just....gone. 

They get home & discover he is even gone from the picture.
  And then we see Bak Ha alone in the park & Lee Gak alone at the house.  She sends him a really cool message w/ her cellphone, to meet her at "their" tree.  Where she then proposes to a shocked Lee Gak.  It would seem she wants to get married.  He makes her follow him to her new store & tells her he wants her to live well.  He doesn't want to get married to her & leave her with memories of missing him....uh I seriously think that it's too late for that Lee Gak-ssi...  She counters him & says she doesn't want to live a coward, that even one moment as his wife would be worth it, even if {WHEN} he disappears.  This conversation does not end well.  He is too afraid & she sees it as rejection, so she leaves crying.

The next day, the remaining Power Rangers, confront the Crown Prince & tell him he is a big meanie.  After he thinks about it he runs to find her & tell her he wants to grant her request.  Then she runs to him & hugs him.  Awwww...  Next thing you know they are wandering the palace he lived in all those years ago & he's telling her that parts of the palace are still the same now, as it was then.  Then he takes her to where, 300 years ago, he hid something as a child.  A very pretty piece of jade.  At least it looks like jade to me, in the shape & size of a life saver candy.  He gives it to her as his wedding present to her.  She puts it on her necklace.

They are officially plannning the wedding & the Power Rangers think they have found the perfect place, but as nice as it is, it's not where Bak Ha wants the wedding to take place.  They are leaving the building when the power in the elevator goes off & on a couple of times & when Lee Gak & Bak Ha turn to look at Yong Seul & Man Bo discover, they too, have disappeared.  This raises the alarm for our leads.  Who quickly clasp hands & looking shell shocked walk off the elevator.

 As if eating while holding hands is just not enough we see them determined to not let go of each other...just in case...not that I blame them...I wouldn't be letting go of Micky either.  Ok to be fair I wouldn't let go of him even if fading away wasn't a possibility. ^^

And in this most beautiful scene we see Lee Gak as he tells Bak Ha he loves her.  She looks at him solemnly & asks him to repeat that again....and again....  

Which he does, as he looks deeply into her eyes.

Honestly, we are finally at a point in the show where it feels organic & not forced & is very moving & least to me.  The rest of the story line is full of confusion & head scratchers & questions that do not have good endings but this part of the episode I loved & is what had me tearing up during my son's Tae Kwon Do class.  I really do enjoy Bak Ha & Lee Gak together.  They have really nice chemistry...not sizzling hot kind of chemistry, more of the sweet innocent, heart melting & tummy fluttery kind of a first love feel to it.  They have been through so much & yet all they can see is each other.  Very romantic in a soft way.  But who wouldn't have good chemistry with our Micky?  He's got the whole sweet, romantic male lead thing down.

But now fellow addiKts it gets so sad.

Its their wedding day, she looks lovely, he looks handsome.  She gives him a necklace too.  She has his necklace, so he should have hers...seems fair, right?  The place she wanted to get married was the rooftop.  Rather appropo I think.  And we see them walk down "the aisle".  At the end though it is just the 2 of them.. No other witnesses or guests as they pledge their love to each other. And have a beautiful kiss moment.  And it really was a great kiss.  Totally SWAK worthy.  Not sexy & hot but definitely a great end of the story kiss.  Lips lined up perfectly, not just pressed against each other & heads moving.  All 4 lips are involved in this romantic & perfect moment kiss.

 Their necklaces...

See?  Sigh.  I am completely satisfied with this SWAK kiss.  Chincha.  My romantic loving heart is completely at rest.  I was so happy & so sad witnessing this perfect moment.  And then he starts to fade.

 Ever.  So.  Slowly.  It was sad to watch as they realize that it's time, nod their heads at each other, tears go down both leads cheeks, and he slowly fades away from her.

And then she is left crying & wishing she had said a proper goodbye to him.  I think no matter how she had said goodbye or I love you or anything she wouldn't have been happy though.  How could she when the end result is the same?  The man of her dreams, the one who has her heart in his hand has just faded away & left her to return 300 years in the past?  There is no way on earth you can have a proper goodbye or closure from that!

And that is all she wrote.  For this episode.  Only one more to go.  Will they wrap up the Joseon mystery of the Crown Princesses death?  Will he fall into the arms of Bu Young, the one he was supposed to marry to begin with?  What happens to Bak Ha in this century?  I really hope the answers make sense & that it gives me closure.  But no matter what the SWAK ending for this episode, though sad, was perfect.  Thank you writers for a good kiss.

Now its time for Dongsaeng to tell you her 2 cents...meanwhile I'm gonna go watch episode 19 of The King 2 Hearts.


Dongsaeng's 2 cents:

Overall a great episode.

A couple little awkward "that doesn't make sense" moments, but other than that, totally enjoyable and even a little sad.

I was glad that SeNa finally came around.  I knew my trust in her that she'd eventually stand up and do the right thing wasn't in vain.  The real evildoer all along has been TaeMu.  SeNa certainly isn't innocent, but at least she still has a sliver of conscience and does the right thing in the end.  Took her a while to get there, but she did.  What do you think though?  Too little too late?

Unnie was right on with her plot holes. Sorry, it's true.  Even if you like the show you have to admit that there are some gaping holes so big you can drive a Mack truck through them.  And she's also right, I think, about trying to patch those holes with a whole lot of happy and cute.  While I appreciate the happy and cute, I can still see the holes.  But whatever, we're at the end, I'm tired of picking it to pieces.  I'll just accept the fact that there are issues with the plot, but that in general, it's a great story and the actors are a talented group of people that kept me coming back, week after week, despite the few flaws.

I am very curious to see this last episode.  There's a whole lot of wrap-up to do and not a lot of time to do it.  I can't wait to see where they go with this.  Crossing my fingers and toes that these last 10 weeks have not been in vain - that I will get my happy ending.

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