Friday, October 19, 2012

DFR: Arang & the Magistrate Finale

Before I begin my review I want to say thank you to those of you that took time out of your busy schedules to read my posts about Arang.  I have had so much fun watching this show w/ all of you.  I just wanted you to know I appreciate every view, every comment, every "Like", every share.  I appreciate that you have supported & cared for TCA, for me & for this common addiKtion of ours.  Dongsaeng & I started this blog in April of this year & we had no idea whether anyone would ever be interested in what 2 stay at home moms in the burbs of the US had to say about Korean Dramas, Korean Pop Music or the world of everything "K".  Then you actually started visiting & we were tickled pink.  Followed by actual blog followers & Likes on our FB page, Twitter page & Pinterest Board?  Wow!!  We were blown away.  Now we get conversations with our readers & we love it!  We love being able to dish with you on our mutual passion.  It makes us all smiley & heart fluttery to know we aren't alone in this K World.  So thank you all so much!  You guys rock!    

Okay now that I got all the wishy washy touchy feely stuff out of the way...what do you guys say we get to the finale review of Arang?  Yeah, sounds good to me too.  ^.^

When episode 19 ended we got to see Moo Yeon kicked out of the magistrate's mom's body & she was running straight for Arang's body.

And that is exactly where this episode picks the story back up.

Moo Yeon runs toward Arang pushing her brother Moo Yeong out of her way as she goes but at the last second just before she reaches her goal, Arang let's out an ear piercing shriek & as she does so Moo Yeon is stopped & pushed away from Arang...

At this point the Grim Reaper grabs her from behind & He tells her that he's sorry for not being there for her & that they should be together.  Then he says... 

And he plunges Mr Beautiful's dagger into her & releases her to Hell.

But he wasn't done there.  Remember he wants to give her what she wanted which is him.  
So he then plunges the dagger into himself... 

You know as a couple Creepy Mommy Dearest & General Dead Dude just strike me as odd but yet oddly suited to each other.  Actually I hope that both Moo Yeong & Moo Yeon find happiness in the afterlife together.  I hope that this brings her satisfaction & closure.

What does this mean for Eun Oh's mother though?  Remember in order to kick Moo Yeon out of her body & destroy her evilness Eun Oh had to stab his mother with the Jade Emperor's hairpin.  It means that she is going to die but he gets his chance to say goodbye to her first.  He tries to piggyback her to help but she makes him put her down so she can say goodbye to him properly.

She thanks him & shakes her head at his apology for not being able to save her.  Then she turned & sweetly looked at Arang & nodded her & then quietly passed away in her son's arms.

It was a very sweet moment & you could see she was glad she got to be with Eun Oh & say goodbye to him.

Ju Wal who had witnessed all of this is alone in his room, remembering more & more details, vividly, of his role in Lee Seo Rim's death, including tossing her lifeless body off the cliff after she'd sacrificed her life for his.  Feeling massive amounts of shame, regret & guilt he sobs & wonders how many other memories are going to come to him now?

Up in heaven Yeom Ra & the Jade Emperor are discussing Moo Yeong's suicide as a Grim Reaper because of his love for Moo Yeon, the human feelings that never could get rid of completely.

But the Jade Emperor was very pleased with how helpful his training/preparing of Eun Oh turned out in the end.  But Yeom Ra points out that Arang, that child, will never figure out the truth behind all of this & therefore...

Which only makes Mr Beautiful smile & chuckle sardonically.  

Back on earth, the next day Eun Oh & Arang are visiting his mother's grave.  Where Eun Oh reveals that Moo Yeong confided to Eun Oh that there was a way to help Arang solve the cause of her death, & find the real culprit behind everything.  All he had to do was see the "Book of Life and Death" in the After World, which holds the account of every one's life & death within it's pages.  When Eun Oh asks how he can see that book GDD tells him The Book of Life & Death of living people is kept in Heaven & once they die the Book of Life & Death of the dead are kept in storage room in the Forest of  Hwang Chun.  Which is the forest that Arang walked through on her journey w/ the Grim Reaper right before she got her 2nd chance at life in an immortal body & is right next to the River Styx.  And that he is sure the details of Arang's death are written in that book.

But here's the catch; because of her current state Arang cannot go anywhere near the After World until her time is up.  Which means she can't be the one to go to the After World, so he decides he is going to go in her place.  Needless to say Arang is not happy about this announcement.  She's worried that if he goes there that he'll die for real.  So she tells him she is fine with not going to Heaven.  Which shocks him, she tells him that if she goes to Hell that he'll be able to forget about her but she won't forget about him which is what she wants.  She does not want to forget about him at all.  So she'd rather go to Hell anyway.  And then she just leaves him there & has a nice long contemplative walk through the town again.

Meanwhile Eun Oh is getting the finer details on what he needs to do from the Shaman in order to send Arang to Heaven.  Bang Ui Ri has a lot of theories.  And they are that yes, in theory, it is possible to pull a soul out of a body & send only the soul to the Forest of Hwang Chun.  But the problem is that they don't really know the way once they send the soul & his soul could easily get lost on the road & if it does his body will die & he'll trapped there.  It's the Grim Reaper's job to guide souls on that road through the Forest.  Although, again in theory, Arang has been there & could lead the way, IF they send her consciousness only.

That night he scolds her for wanting to go to hell instead of Heaven so that she could remember him,  Explaining that she is very kind person & he is sure she could find a way to keep remembering him in heaven.      He wants her to find out the truth & then figure out the rest of her problem later.  And she remembers the night she visited her corpse & was so desperate to know how & why Lee Seo Rim died & tells LSR to wait she would find the answers.

But before anything regarding Arang can be solved the Magistrate has official business to tend to.  I loved that they made sure & had Eun Oh help the ghosts w/ their unfinished business.  It was so sweet.  And they all wanted just the simplest of things.  Well mostly they wanted the simplest things.

This one died just before his wife gave birth to their son & his son is made fun of because he hasn't been given a name.  So all he wants is for the Magistrate to give him a good honorable name.

This one drowned & they never found his body but he has no where he can go to the After World from so he wants a tomb erected with his name next to the river. 

This one died trying to pick his blind, sickly mother a persimmon when a Tiger attacked him, & to this day has no idea that her son is actually dead.   He just wants someone to take care of his mother & let her know he passed on & is at peace  

All very simple sweet requests & then we get to the last guy & I just laughed like a crazy person at his request & even more so at Eun Oh's facial expression....

True to his word he helps them all...

 And after bowing respectfully their thanks to the Magistrate they all disappeared.  I felt so happy for the ghosts.

Now that he has completed all of his chores & requests & taken care of the town so well he & Arang take a nice romantic walk together.  

They hold hands....
 Then Eun Oh very intently {{Read = Romantically}} expresses his feelings for her...

EO:  Arang....  I hated the words "time flies like an arrow" the most.  Because the hard time always went so slowly, slowly.  But...  this moment with you, the time flying so fast, I'm so resentful.  I can't believe the time left to us is so short.

Then Arang turns to him & we hear her voice over say...

A: Where a flower fell, another flower will bloom again.  And where the wind blew another wind will come too.  But I'm going to hold on to that first feeling forever.  If I go to Heaven, I will forget about you, and if I go to hell, you will forget about me, so anywhere, we would not recognize each other, but still...

Then we hear Eun Oh's voice over...

EO: With this heart, I'm going to find you.  If you see a guy who stops suddenly when brushing each other on the street, when he sees you, when the tears well up, when the heart beats again, then, please recognize it's me.

 Then the voice over stops, the two face each other with their eyes full of intensity & Eun Oh says...

And then he moves in for a really wonderfully sweet romantic kiss standing in the sun & breeze along the banks of the river amid the wild flowers.  It was so swoon worthy.  Just writing about it I am all teary eyed again.  Just the perfect moment.  And you can see that the end of the show was coming soon & at this point I was crying at the thought of their separation & the end.  

But this beautiful romantic moment is not the end of the show.  For one thing we still haven't seen what happens to Ju Wal.

Alone in his room in the dark he dresses & solemnly leaves the home that gave him peace & yet filled him with regret.  As he walks away, the kindly servant, who looked after him all those years, softly whispers to himself as he watches Ju Wal walk away, "Young Master, please be healthy".  Then bows & walks in the other direction.  Following on w/ Ju Wal we hear his voice over as he heads to the cliffs...

JW: The days were dark even though my eyes were open.  Life had come to an end during those days. The cowardly steps I took with a shaken heart.  Have now come to an end.  I was the person who was perfectly fine even after stabbing a  dagger in a person's chest.  That person I was is the one I cannot forgive.

Then he comes to the edge of the cliff & stops, looks around & remembers all those moments he had w/ Arang.  Her smiling face, stabbing her himself, her saving his life, his throwing her off the very cliff he is standing at, and one moment when he remembers Lee Seo Rim herself.  Then, with tears falling quietly down his face we hear his voice over go on...

JW: Lady.  If by chance I come to meet you again, if that kind of life is allowed to me, I will stay right behind you this time.  From afar as a black shadow, I will just watch you, and endure the pain.  I will not dare to love you.

And then he steps off the edge of the cliff into the void.  
No, I did not get a screen shot of his suicide.  

While I can understand his need to commit suicide & the poignancy of this part of the plot, I lament the loss of life.  He was not a bad man, not really.  He made horrifying choices & he most definitely deserves punishment.  In fact, I would have preferred he had done the courageous thing & chosen to accept his punishment rather than commit suicide.  I abhor suicide, it destroys the lives of those left behind as the person takes their life.  I have a childhood friend that committed suicide, so I feel very strongly about this issue. 

Sorry, I'll step down off my soapbox & continue on with the review.  

I really & truly feel so much sympathy & pity for the little boy who was neglected, cast off, tormented & ignored by the town; leaving him so desperate for love, he was willing to accept false love from evil & in return was lead down a path of murder & mendacity. I just wanted to hug him, as he sobbed about the horrors & atrocities he had committed & the shame & guilt he felt as a result.  

Special Note:
During the filming of Arang & the Magistrate, Yeon Woo Jin's {{"Choi Ju Wal"}} father was very ill & right before episode 17 or 18 aired, he lost his father to complications from surgery to remove cancer.  According to news reports he was unable to be with his father during the surgery, due to the work schedule for Arang, so he was unable to say his goodbyes in person.  We offered our condolences on the TCA FB page but I never did offer them in my reviews.  So I am going to take this moment to express my heart felt & deep sorrow at his loss.  I know how painful it is when you lose a parent so young.  My mother passed away from lung cancer when I was 17, during my senior year of high school, so you can imagine how much sadness I felt on Yeon Woo Jin's behalf.    I hope he felt the love & prayers of his fans during this challenging time & that those prayers brought him some peace.   And I wanted to say he did such a good job as Choi Ju Wal in this drama that I am looking forward to his future dramas & movies.  I am sure he has a bright future ahead of him.  

Yeon Woo Jin, Hwaiting!  

It's now time to wrap up the story, tie up the loose ends etc....

After Eun Oh takes care of & sets the process in motion for the town of Miryang to be cared for, Lord Choi is gone, Ju Wal is gone, CMD is gone, the town is safe & protected & prospering finally, he tries to explain to the three stooges that his job there is done & when Dol Seo asks if it's time to move on he tells him to listen to what he is about to say...

Then we see a notice has been placed in town to all of it's residents letting them know that from here on out, with permission from the head of the country, that any man may apply for & try to become the magistrate Of Miryang.  Not just noblemen.  The town laughs & doesn't believe it...

As for Dol Seo & Bang Ui Ri, they spend the day walking through town holding hands...gasp!  {{giggle}} and getting their portraits drawn & shopping.  That night Dol Seo surprises Bang Ui Ri w/ a pretty ring & then pulls out a ring he bought for her to give to him...

Making it official.  They are a couple.  I was so happy & they are so cute together.  

And now it's time for the journey through the forest.

Bang Ui Ri, will watch over Eun Oh & Arang's body while their subconscious selves are wandering through Hwang Chun looking for the Book of Life & Death.  She ties their hands together & adds bells that she will use to help bring them back, BUT they must come back before morning or their souls will stay lost in the after life.  She also warns them not to pay attention to the ghosts that are going to be there as they will try to lead them astray.

Once there they run through the forest but are separated once when LSR's Nanny appears & leads Arang off to see "Something".  What does she show her?  She shows her the death, due to complications from her pregnancy, of LSR's mom, when she was just a child.  Eventually she wakes up & Eun Oh is there waiting for her, they run off together & find the storage room & Arang waits outside while Eun Oh goes in alone.  After getting the warning that he only gets a small amount of time in there or else he will die.  Once inside the ghost who let him in tells him that he only has till the 5 dots on the back of his hand disappear before he must have found his answer or ... you know the rest.

He finally finds her book & finds out that the one responsible for all of this is none other than...

{{o.O???  Yeah I wasn't quite sure about that either.  It really didn't make a lot of sense to me either.  All I could gather was that because Lee Seo Rim sacrificed her life for her love {{aka Ju Wal}} that she is the one who is responsible, she - alone - made the choice that ultimately lead to her death.}}  Which seems kind of eh to me as an explanation.  But that isn't all Eun Oh sees there.  

He also finds a book with his name on it as well stating that he died at the age of 6.  Then he flashes on the memory of his death & how the Jade Emperor saved his life in return for training him to be a powerful enemy to CMD.  

 Oh he has serious questions now.  And he calls out to Mr Beautiful.  And the next thing he knows he is in Heaven before Yeom Ra & MB. 

Where he tells them they didn't use him like they wanted to in their plan, he CHOSE to stick that hairpin in his mother's chest.  

But he also tells them he gets it now.  They knew Arang would never be able to solve this riddle.  And since she is human she can ring the "bell of truth" anyway.  That it's really unfair & cruel of them to use Arang as though she were a game piece.  

But Mr Beautiful stops him & says.... "Originally Arang didn't come here to go to Heaven.  Knowing the truth to her death, and knowing who she herself is was her purpose.  So I just let it be known to that child what she wants to know.  If Arang would know that it was means she receives the reward anyway."

In other words if she figures it out on her own she gets to go to heaven.

It was a kind of "When Dorothy finally realizes that there is no place like home" moment.

Then he asks Kim Eun Oh what is the real reason he came to him?

And then the story jumps forward to Eun Oh bursting through the storage room door & grabbing Arang & trying to get back out through the forest so that they can go home.  Refusing to answer her question as to what he found out.  Meanwhile the Shaman is desperately trying to shake them awake as morning is upon them.  

As they run through the forest Arang trips & falls & then when Eun Oh turns back to help her, she has disappeared.  We find out what happened when back with the Shaman Arang wakes up but Eun Oh is still asleep.  Then suddenly Arang starts to fade & disappear.  And then just as suddenly she appears outside & a portal to hell appears before her, sucking her in to the After World.  

As soon as she figures it all out on her own Eun Oh wakes up...

Runs outside & sees Arang being pulled into the portal & runs in between her & the portal...
knocking her clear & getting sucked in himself  ... 

Which was the arrangement he made w/ Mr Beautiful in Heaven.  He would sacrifice his life so that Arang could go to Heaven.  But then Yeom Ra never to be satisfied interjected that dying in her place was not enough, he would have to be willing to go to hell in her place as well, to which Eun Oh agreed...obviously.  Even though he goes to Hell & saves her...she still disappears.  

And the next thing we know we see Dol Seo walking around in the Magistrate robes.  Talking w/ Larry Moe & Curly as they sycophant like suck up to their new magistrate.  And then we see Bang Ui Ri, & the Inn Keeper lady have opened a successful restaurant in town.  And yes she can still see & hear the dead because she takes a tribute out to the ghosts waiting outside the restaurant.  And among the ghosts?  Lord Choi & Geo Deol.  Where they are equally fighting over the food offering, just as Arang once had to do.  Geo Deol won btw.  hehehehehe...

In heaven we see a wrap up there as well...
Yeom Ra is given a new pet from Mr Beautiful, a goat.  Named Moo Yeong & we are led to believe that MB decided to allow Moo Yeong to reincarnate because Yeom Ra missed him so much.  Allowing Moo Yeong to pay for sins of not being able to say goodbye to his human feelings in heaven.  

Then we see the newest Grim Reapers arrive & guess who is among them...
That would be Ju Wal under that Reaper hat.  A rather fitting end to his story I thought. 

But what happened to Eun Oh & Arang?

It would seem Moo Yeng is not the only one allowed to reincarnate.  

In a field of flowers we see a pretty little girl sitting & a little boy notices her & comes over to her.  His mother is looking for him & he ignores her as she continuously calls out, "Eun Oh-yah!" His mother BTW is Bang Ui Ri.  

He sits down with the little girl...

this is how the conversation goes...

EO: It may be a bit rude but it feels like it's not the first time we've met.  That's why I'm talking to you.  I have met a lot of girls, but I have never seen such a pretty girl like you, My Lady.  So can I ask what is your name?  I'm asking what is your name!

A: I am Arang.  

EO: A-Arang?

A: Look here, Magistrate!  I told you not to drink the water of "Forgetfulness Well", but did you drink that? SIGH I really can't live.  What are you going to do?  What's the use if I'm the only one who remembers? What's the use?  You don't remember?  You really don't?  What are you going to do, you memory Loss!  

He falls back when she yells at him & she collects herself & sighs & begins again...

A: A long, long time ago, there lived a female ghost named Arang and...  a Magistrate named Eun Oh.  

Then she loudly says, 
"OOOOOHHHHHH!!!!  Irritating!!  Irritating!!  Irritating!!"  And begins pounding on her chest at the same time.  

{{I was cracking up at this point she was so stinking cute & she did such a great job impersonating Arang (Shin Min Ah).  I loved how they were wrapping it all up w/ these 2 adorable little kids!}}

A: This long story, where & how should I start?!?!  What are you going to do?  Why did you drink it? 

The camera pans away from above & we see the little kids morph into the grown up Arang & Eun Oh...

And Arang continues to lecture Eun Oh...

A: What are you going to do?  Do you still not remember?  

And while she is asking what's going to happen etc..  we see an amused & exceptionally cute Eun Oh staring back at her, w/ a slight smile/smirk on his face...

Seriously he is so cute in this scene.  I just wanted to snuggle him so much.  What can I say I heart the cutie patootie guy the most.  That smile just makes you want to reach across & kiss him.  
 She asks him how many times did I tell you not to drink the she's hitting his shoulder until finally he says...

EO: I know!  You've told me so many times, so I memorized it all. 

A: Is remembering & memorizing the same thing?

He smiles his cute/playful smile again at her & continues...

EO: In any case, what's important for us is this moment, right now.  

And I was all "awwww"

& Arang was all...

Then she leaned forward & kissed him.

And they lived {{reincarnated}} happily ever after.

{{Big Happy Sigh Here}}

Awwww what a sweet, cute, funny, lovely ending to a fun, different, K Drama.  I hearted this show so much.  I had already liked Shin Min Ah from her Gumiho days as cute & strong & talented.  But now I have a huge crush on the ever SO sexy, cute, manly, amazing fighting machine that is Lee Joon Gi.  I hope you guys enjoyed watching Arang & Eun Oh fight, make up & eventually fall in love, with me as much as I have enjoyed watching it all with you.  

And now I am going to make an announcement regarding my next DFR candidate.

I don't have one.  


Seriously, we are going into the time of the year for me that is insanely busy.  With 4 kids, 4 major holidays & 2 of my kids birthdays as well as a Girls Only trip for me, to California, the beginning of Nov, w/ Dongsaeng to see Big Bang Live?  Yeah I'll be happy if I just make it through all of that without anything extra thrown in to make it more insane.  So for the rest of this year I will be on hiatus.  I will still be here & still producing WWU's.  And I'll probably do other small little articles to help fill in the gaps.  But I can't handle the stress of trying to write these long reviews through the biggest holidays of the year.  My family has to come first at the holidays, I hope you understand.  Of course you may be heaving huge sighs of relief you don't have to sit through any more of my lame, L O N G winded reviews for the rest of the year!    

If you want to talk K dramas, because I may not be reviewing them but you KNOW I will be watching them, then just head on over to the TCA FB page, the Jess Unnie FB page or the JessUnnie Twitter page.  All of the links to those sites can be found on my Unnie page up above.  

I will be back w/ DFR's, if you guys still want them, at the beginning of 2013.  I am sincerely super duper excited that sometime early next year Kim Hyun Joong's newest K Drama, City Conquest, will be airing & I will totally be covering that review.  Unless you guys all write in & tell me, "No please Unnie!!?!?!  No more DFRS!!!  Oh the humanity!!"  In which case I will spare you.  Giggle.  

When will CQ be airing?  Your guess is as good as mine.  So far the official release date hasn't been announced.  Just "early 2013".  I've heard maybe March but who knows?  

No, Seriously!  O.O  If one of you guys can get me THAT information, I will be your best friend!!  Chincha!! ;)

And that is it for me Addikts.  It's time to spend some time with my family.  Have a wonderful weekend & I'll see you all on Wednesday in my WWU.  


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to write this review^_^ really answered all my queries^^...Kamsahamnidha<3


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