Friday, June 27, 2014

The Joseon Gunman Episode 2 - No Sword, No Gun, & Up a Creek.

Sweet!  A whole episode full or couple cuteness with a little action and political shenanigans thrown in for effect.  Could a kdrama viewer ask for anything more?  Episode 2 continued with the same mix of epic storytelling mixed with amazing cinematography.  And if our leading characters are a little on the naive side, well, I am sure it is  only a matter of time before the cruel world takes care of that.
We left off with our OTP (One True Pairing) facing off, gun vs, sword, cross dresser vs. historical hottie,  Jung Soo In vs Park Yoon Kang.  Yoon Kang rushes forward with his sword raised and Soo In shoots, luckily towards the sword and not Yoon Kang's head.  As his sword shatters in half, Yoon Kang gapes at the broken shaft.  "This is why I told you to leave me alone.  A sword can never win against a gun" Soo In yells.  Finally, realizing that the person crying in front of him is not the assassin, he tells Soo In to stop crying like a girl.  Oh my goodness, the guy is a tad bit dense.  I would understand not making the connection if he had not seen Soo In recently as a girl, but there is no excusing his lack of recognition.  Her hair is just pulled back, she is not even trying to change her voice, or fake facial hair.  This is not rocket science people! He lets her pass on her way still stunned at the destruction of his sword.
Further down the road the real assassin lines up his gun's scope on the last remaining scholar, pulls the trigger, but misses due to Yoon Kang's father throwing him out of the way.  He tells the scholar to run, and then pursues the gunman yet again.  Poor Bad Ass Daddy, every time he gets into a fight I brace myself for his tragic death.  Sometimes knowing a synopsis can be a curse.  But of course this is a Sageuk (historical drama) which means that people are going to be dying right and left.  The trial of the Sageuk is being able to absorb and overcome the emotional crippling depression you get when a character you like dies.  I still mourn for a few characters (won't say from which dramas since that would ruin the tragic surprise) years later.
But it is not BAD's (bad ass daddy) time yet, and he magically manages to run down the gunman who is trying to escape on a horse (Yup, running upon the rooftops, trumps traveling by horse in Asian film.  It's  a proven hypothesis.) and is able to capture the assassin.
FINALLY, we have some movement on the whole guy is really a girl situation (thank goodness since I don't want to spend all of the remaining happy times in the bromance zone).  Yoon Kang asks Soo In to please put on his hat, and when she over enthusiastically refuses, he questions if she thought he was stupid or something (hmmmmm maybe for a minute) and that he would not figure out that the face is the same on both people.  Soo In again denies, and Yoon Kang says, "Ahhhh the voices are the same as well"  He continues to tease Soo In about calling the police since such a dangerous criminal lived at the house.  She just huffs off, eager to hide her gun where the police won't find it.  As Soo In finally decides on a good hiding place in the yard, we hear Yoon Kang's voice call out if that is really a good place to hide such a dangerous weapon.  Our poor heroine is caught between a rock and a romantic lothario.  
Yoon Kang announces that he will keep her secret........if she brings him tea in the morning.  And the next morning as Soo In brings him his requested tea, Yoon Kang changes his mind and decides he needs a different tea (all the while grinning).  Poor Soo In is ready to bean him with a tea pot when he then declares that he no longer feels like tea, and to bring it to him tomorrow instead.  HAHAHA.
Finding out the reason for Soo In's manly disguise, Yoon Kang offers to help her with her clandestine meetings (and then ruins it by telling his bestie about the professors departure).  She tries to fob him off but Yoon Kang points out that the port is a long distance to travel and going alone, she would be stuck out of town overnight.  By using a horse they would be there and back before anyone noticed.  Soo In reluctantly agrees and they set off the next morning.
For those of you who have forgotten, the book that our heroic couple is transporting, is the last works of the assassinated professor from episode 1.  He wrote it in an effort to let people know the steps needed to create an society of enlightenment, the very thing that the bad guys want to stop.  As the leader of the conservative party says "Sometimes a book can flip a world." which is why they must keep this book from being spread to the masses at all costs.  If the book exists then the professor lives on with his ideals..
It is funny how Yoon Kang,while reading the all important book, just mumbles "how can it say equality for everyone on every single page."  Phtttt the boy is obviously not a scholar.  He then tells Soo In to be careful since this kind of thing can get her arrested for treason.

They arrive at the port just in time to give the scholar the book.  But sadly, for them everyone knows that the scholar is trying to escape and the gunman assassinates him in front of Soo In's eyes.  A very cool gun/arrow fight occurs while our OTP try to escape (with the book), which causes the big bad to follow after them.  Did anyone else get a "Terminator" vibe as the head assassin came up out of the water? 
As they run for their lives with Terminator Assassin on their trail, Yoon Kang tells Soo In to hand him her gun, to which she sheepishly replies "I don't have it".  HAHAHA  Looking at her incredulously, she rushes to say that since she almost shot someone, and is too afraid to use it.  What about Yoon Kang's sword?  "You broke my sword, what do you think, that I am a sword merchant with a lot of extras?" is our hero's reply. Ha, these two crack me up.  They struggle to stay ahead of the bad guy, but eventually Soo In's strength gives out and they pause at an abandoned house.   
These two have obviously never watched a horror movie.  When the bad guy is hunting you down, avoid places such as conveniently deserted houses (especially when it is the only shelter for miles around).  Sure enough our hunter discovers the creepy building and begins searching room by room for our couple.  Having seen his arrival, our OTP quickly wiggles under the floor and stayed silent as the assassin searched.  He shoots into the floor just inches from their faces, but some stray rats come scurrying out which assures him that they are not there.
Nothing like a near death experience to create the right mood for love.  At least that seems to be the case with our hero.  Yoon Kang wakes up the following morning with his arms around Soo In.  They each fake sleep and casually separate before going to the river to wash the sleep from their eyes.  Yet another mistake since a good hunter knows that prey always comes to water sources at dawn and dusk.  Although this time it looks like just bad luck that they all arrived at the river at the same time.  The chase begins yet again, with our OTP running into a dead end.  Deadly assassin in front of them and a huge cliff behind.  Yet another great cliffhanger (pun intended hehehe) that leaves me wishing it was already next week.

Random Thoughts.
Yoon Kang is just so open and likable that it is impossible not to smile when he is onscreen.  He looks at the gunman and current dangers almost in an abstract way, they exist, yet don't really touch his world.  It is not a real for him even though his father is involved with catching the gunman.  You can see this when he tells his best friend about the professors departure and also his disbelief that a gun could defeat a sword.  It is not that he is not aware that the danger is there, it is just that he has been sheltered and not had to deal with that type of reality yet.
Soo In is very similar to Yoon Kang.  She wants to do these important things and support the enlightenment movement, but at the same time her families lifestyle and standing have left her very sheltered.  Soo In does not question that she can take care of herself, even though her actual skill levels are not up to par.  We see this with her reactions to her gun, horses, and of course Yoon Kang as a man.  The poor girl is just in over her head.  Luckily she does not come across as stupid and annoying, just innocent and naive.
Choi Hye Won is one super scary lady.  It is rare that you have this strong of a B leading lady in a Sageuk.  Sure they might have some type of power from their families position, but for the most part the 2nd leads tend to be innocent and sweet.  Hye Won is none of those things as she strikes terror into the hearts of those that oppose her.  I find it very interesting that even when her father is present, she takes command of the situation.  I truly hope that she continues to be a worthy adversary for our main couple.
We know that our leads are going to make it off that cliff alive, but how?  When is BAD's time going to be up?  Will we get more romantic cuteness next week before reality comes crashing down on all those involved?  Be sure to come back for those answers and more next week.

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