Friday, September 7, 2012

DFR: Faith ep 8

I wanted to start today's review with a brief apology for the tardiness of it.  Life tossed in a few speed bumps last night and this morning that slowed me down a bit.  But, I'm here now and ready to tackle episode 8 with all of my fellow Faithfuls - hooray!

Episode 8 begins with a cornered General Choi surrendering and being imprisoned.

So sad, yet we get this nice little scene where he and Eun Soo lock eyes from across the way.

I can't wait until these two finally make something happen.  Surely I'm not the only one ;)
Well, I don't think he is.  He does like Choi Young's fancy schmancy sword though.
It looks like just about everybody is imprisoned in some way or another.  The Woodalchi are locked in their barracks.  Choi Young is chained up in prison.

{Did anyone else get mental images of Daesung in Fantastic Baby seeing him chained to the wall in the dungeon like that, or was that just me?}  Eun Soo is locked in her room at Gi Cheol's place.  The king is being guarded not only by his own guards but by Gi Cheol's men as well and cannot leave his room.  It looks like Gi Cheol is winning this game and that's just not cool.

While sitting there in his prison cell {complete with a little mouse that reminded me of Mr Jingles in The Green Mile,

an especially fitting reference in honor of the very talented actor Michael Clarke Duncan who sadly passed away this week},
You will be missed Mr Duncan.
Young is remembering.

He's remembering Prince Kyeong Chang's last moments.  He's remembering times with Eun Soo.
Look!  He saved the flower in the aspirin bottle.  Awww!  I heart him so much.
He's also sleeping.  He's apparently pulling off another one of his marathon sleep sessions and the guards are talking and in awe - he's been sleeping for a long time, never waking to eat or poo or anything.  While he is sleeping, he's dreaming.  He starts off in the frozen ice world with his father.
Dad asks him again, "Have you found it yet."  This time, Choi Young's response is "I forgot what I was looking for".  He then falls through the ice, and when he reemerges, the ice is gone and he's in a colorful garden.  When he asks his father where all the ice went, his father tells him that there was never ice, that world has always been the way he is seeing it now.

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be symbolic.  If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that his heart is healing - he is learning to trust and love again, first in the friendship and ultimate sacrifice from Kyeong Chang and second in the care and Eun Soo-iness of the High Doctor.  He's starting to live again, instead of merely surviving.  At least that's my take away from the dream and episode as a whole.

So we need to talk about all of these people under Gi Cheol's control.  I'm going to start with Eun Soo.  Remember the wager made between Gi Cheol and the king?  He has 7 days to win her heart.  I'm still a little unclear on what exactly "winning her heart" entails.  I thought that it just meant that she would join his team and be his magical doctor from the heavens.  But then she plays bartender and tries to get he and Fire Lady drunk.

And then they  Wha?  I don't get what she's trying to do here.  It's obviously her idea, this whole date thing.  She's teaching him how a guy wins a girl's heart back where she hails from.  Now, I don't really think she wants him to win her heart, but I don't exactly understand her plan of action.  Is she just playing along?  Trying to fool him somehow for some reason?  It might having something to do with getting him to spill the beans on the mysterious tools of Hwata he has rusting in a box and the unseen 2 items he still hasn't shown her.

Maybe she is trying to use her feminine wiles to get him to talk.  There's also some vague promise to save Choi Young's life if she cooperates.  I don't know.  All I know is, they go on a "date".  She convinces him to leave everyone behind, they go to a lovely spot, she sees the same yellow flower that she had given Choi Young, and then the moment Gi Cheol's attention is elsewhere with one of his men that has suddenly shown up, she bolts.  Runs off into the woods.  Where she slips and almost falls down an embankment, but is heroically saved by Choi Young, who we can see but she can't as he is behind her.  She mistakes him for Gi Cheol, shakes him off, and he disappears before she can see him.

So, was she into the date until distracted and reminded by the flower?  I don't know.  Your guess is as good as mine.  Probably better.

Okay, now let's talk about the king.  He's locked up, under a kingly form of house arrest.

He's trying to pass the time by painting but it's obvious he is distracted, judging by the massive pile of crumpled up art attempts littering the floor.  In comes Dr Jang under the pretense that it is time for the king's medicine.  With him is another man who turns out to be the Woodalchi man sent by the 2nd in command to find Choi Young.

He has a message from Young to deliver to the king.  At first the king is outraged, railing against this man and Young both for Young's betrayal.  Gosh, why doesn't he let anyone get a word in edgewise?  He just starts spouting off, eventually tossing down a sword and ordering the Woodalchi man to kill himself for his crimes.  The Woodalchi picks up the sword, holds it to his own neck and swears to do as the king commands after his message is delivered.

The message from Choi Young?  "I couldn't finish the mission Your Majesty gave yet".  This finally strikes a chord with the king.  He okays Dr Jang to stop the Woodalchi guard from slitting his throat,
Phew!  I was cringing at this part, worried that he'd actually do it.
and finally, FINALLY, figures out that Choi Young is not the traitor he is accused of being.  Gosh, took him long enough.  Next thing we know, he's decided and announced that he will go speak to the "traitor" himself.  Everyone tries to talk him out of it since Young is oh so dangerous, but he insists that as king it is his right (there's even a fancy word for it) and he will do it regardless.

He goes to the prison and enters Choi Young's cell.

He talks about the two missions that were given.  The first was to find evidence relating to the 24 subjects who were killed in Seon Hwe Jeong.  Check.  Evidence found.  The second was to figure out who the king needs to fight with and why.  The who is obvious by this point (Gi Cheol), but the why has still not been figured out.  The king says that he knows why he has to fight - in order to become king.  A king that is respected.  He requests that Choi Young teach him to fight.  He also explains why he sent Eun Soo to Gi Cheol in the first place, to keep her safe because she wouldn't have been safe if she had stayed by his side since he has no strength.

The next time we come back to the prison cell, Choi Young escapes.  He fools the guards into thinking that he slit his wrist (it was actually poor Mr Jingles the mouse)

and then takes them out.  First stop?   Gi Cheol's place where he sees his woman (yes, I'm going to go ahead and call her that now - I think it's pretty safe to say that she has earned a spot in his heart and he in hers) on a date with Mr Creepy.

He saves her life and then disappears.

Meanwhile, Gi Cheol gets word that Choi Young has escaped.  He's a little peeved and runs off to find him.  He wrongly assumes that Young has headed to the Woodalchi barracks to set his comrades free.  But that's not where Young is.

After his pitstop at Gi Cheol's, Choi Young has come to see the king with a little help from Dr Jang who walks around with a smoking concoction that causes all the guards to pass out instantly.

Cool.  CY enters draped in a hooded black cloak.

Lee Min Ho in a hooded black cape.  *shudder of delight*  Pardon me while I mop up the drool.  In his meeting with the king, instead of teaching the king to fight, he offers to do the fighting for him.

By this time, the Woodalchi barracks have been searched, CY not found, and Gi Cheol realizes that he must have gone to the king instead.  But when he arrives at the king's quarters, he is alone, painting.

Where's CY?  Why, sitting in his cell like a good boy.

Too bad it doesn't fool GC.  He knows CY had escaped.  We then have an interesting conversation.  Young tells Gi Cheol:  "[using] 'all of these' means you made me a traitor.  I'm dying.  I was making my mind to die as decently and quietly as possible.  However, you , My Lord, kept provoking me who was good and obedient to wake up from my sleep, to get up.  To try living."

In other words, GC poked and woke the sleeping dragon.  Now he better watch his back.  CY is back and with a renewed drive for living.  Ooh!  I can't wait to see what this looks like!

And then, the closing scene.  Oh how I loved the closing scene.  The king goes to the queen and asks of her a favor.  The next we see, he's in his court appearing before the nobles.  And he starts stripping.  Off come his robes of Yuan and on go his robes of Goryeo.  Then the queen enters, also robed in Goryeo clothes instead of her Yuan garb.

He then says, and I'm going to have to quote it directly from the subs that I read as I didn't understand it fully enough to paraphrase, "I've ordered to investigate Goryeo's life secretly and dealt with it as I didn't know well.  So, I'm going to give a proper prize to those people who have carried on that mission."  Enter the Woodalchi, also dressed in new threads, walking dramatically down the catwalk room.

They kneel before the king.  Obviously the king is making a strong statement here - having released the Woodalchi and allowing the "traitor" Choi Young to once again resume his post as commander and general.

All of this with Gi Cheol right there.  The king said he was going to be more courageous.  This was definitely a step in the right direction and might as well be an outright declaration of war against Gi Cheol.  I cheered.  And clapped.  And squeeeed.  It was an awesome moment.  I can't wait to see what next week brings!

And there we have it.  Episode 8.  I hope that all of you Faithfuls enjoyed it - the actual episode and maybe even this recap and review.  I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend.  Go watch some dramas, spend time with friends and/or family, and I'll see you back here next week!

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