Monday, July 28, 2014

The Joseon Gunman Episode 9 & 10 - Suffering and Secrets.

This week we played more of  the "I know who you are, and I know that you know I know" game.  We of course still got some misleading tricks thrown in to create doubt, since Yoon Kang is toying with his prey, but for the most part the secret is out.  I feel that we have been going in circles the last few episodes, but at least we get to watch Lee Joon Gi do his trademarked, I just outwitted you, smirk which is always a pleasure.  But what I am really waiting for is seeing Yoon Kang enter into the political arena which was the real killer of his father.  We are slowly (very very slowly) getting there, but I am starting to get impatient for the payoff. 
The big bad conservative faction is laying low as the fallout from the death of one of their members is felt.  Merchant Choi is reprimanded for moving his gunman without direct permission from the creepy Noble Ahjussi.  He is told that he is nothing but a "hunting dog" who follows commands and does not think for himself.  Merchant Choi is obviously pissed off but backs off, although I notice that he doesn't mention his concerns about Yoon Kang's identity.  Obviously this "hunting dog" has ideas of his own that do not include being under the Noble Ahjussi's thumb forever.  We also learn that not only was Hye Won a former slave (until this week I was under the impression that maybe she was an adoptive daughter of some sort, or a illegitimate child), but her father also was a slave until he was raised up by creepy ahjussi to become his hidden mercenary.  A lot of the threat against them, and the reason he is following the conservative party's orders, is due to the fact that he could be dragged down (along with his daughter) back to the rank of a slave.  It is an interesting dynamic which makes the whole situation much more interesting.  Not to mention the writers have really done a good job of not making me detest the Choi's.  They are boxed in by outside forces, just like Yoon Kang.  It is tragic that Merchant Choi was the actual killer of Yoon Kang's father, or else I would be thrilled to see these two team up and kick some creepy nobleman's butt.
Soo In finally was able to really shine this week.  All I can say is "THANK GOODNESS!" and "It is about time."  I was really starting to worry that they were going to keep her in the cute true love bubble that held her personality in check.  The added depth and strength to Soo In's character is greatly appreciated.  

 Being the daughter of a politician and the true love of a traitor can really suck sometimes.  Especially if different factions want to use your identity to further their political agenda.  Just as Soo In finally confirms Yoon Kang's identity, she is arrested for the production of gunpowder which was used in last weeks murder.  Realizing that Yoon Kang must be the gunman, Soo In refuses to say anything in order to protect him.  It probably would not have gone very far but Kim Byung-Je (hmmm need to think of a nickname for him.  He is usually the creepy nobleman ahjussi in Sageuks, but has been supplanted by an even more annoying creepy voiced character.  Maybe Political Ahjussi?) finds out that she is the daughter of his political rival and decides that this is the leverage he needed to destroy him.  He actually takes great pleasure in torturing her (Kudos on the director for once actually making it look like the girl was being tortured.  Usually I have noticed that directors tend to sprinkle some pink kool-aid on the white dress, make the girls grunt a bit, and it ends up having them look more constipated than in pain) and arrests her father on grounds of a conspiracy against the opposing political party.  Then takes turn torturing them in front of each other until they "confess" to their supposed crimes. 
If Soo in had not already figured out Yoon Kang's identity, I think that his reaction to her incarceration would have been a huge giveaway.  To say he loses it is an understatement, as he fights policeman, officials, and pretty much anyone he can, trying to take responsibility for the gunpowder.  To put it in perspective you have to realize that Yoon Kang is pretending to be a Japanese citizen (a country that is only grudgingly accepted in a commerce only capacity).  If Yoon Kang, as Hanjo, was found guilty of a crime he would immediately be sentenced to death.  Yet he was willing to chance that outcome to save Soo In from suffering on his behalf.  Unfortunately for our wannabe hero, political ahjussi was determined to use Soo In as leverage so his claims of guilt were immediately ignored.  It is only due to the actions of Kim Ho-Kyung (our vanilla second leading male) stepping up and going toe to toe with his father, that Yoon Kang is able to save Soo In and her father.
I find it fascinating how the writers return again and again to the theme of children (our 4 leads) being shaped and molded by their father's actions.  Whether it is for the best, like in the case of Yoon Kang and his father, or in rebellion like Ho Kyung and Political Ahjussi, all of the younger cast are moved through the fated lines that were created before they were old enough to choose their own destinies.   There is no better way of showing this than between Ho Kyung and his father.  Not only are they on opposite sides of the ideological debate, but morally neither is able to understand the other.  Political Ahjussi sees nothing wrong in framing Soo In's father (and Soo In is thrown in as collateral damage) and looks at the world through jaded eyes.  Ho Kyung on the other hand is young and filled with ideals of the new era and refuses to compromise those ideals.  When he finds out that his father is framing Soo In and his mentor, he goes over his father's head and informs the king.  When the king finds out what is going on, and that there is a witness (Yoon Kang) who provided an alibi for Soo In, he reigns down kingly hellfire on Political Ahjussi.  Not only does the king openly berates him, but he frees Soo In and her father, and orders Political Ahjussi to be imprisoned for falsely trying to get rid of his political rivals.  This was obviously not what Ho Kyung had in mind and he is obviously upset to see his father's fall from power.  It will be interesting to see if Ho Kyung continues on his path, or if filial duty will eventually chip away at his will. 
With the conclusion of this episode we finally see all the pieces begin to come together for Yoon Kang's move towards justice for his father.  He is now tentatively on the radar of not only the king, but of the political bad guys.  He also will have a new goal of keeping Soo In's father safe from the same factions that killed his own father which will provide some forward movement plot wise.  And while we still have no open confession between our two lovebirds, it is pretty obvious that each of them realizes that the secret is out of the bag and is just being kept silent because of some idea that by not saying anything out loud they will be protecting the other.  It will be interesting how long this vow of silence will last.  If i had to make a prediction, I would guess that it is not going to be long since we are due some uber romantic gazing at the least and more then likely Soo In will not be able to resist in helping Yoon Kang with his quest of vengeance.
Random Thoughts:
Is anyone else amused that the conservatives enforce their anti-gun and anti-army stand point by a secret militia of gunman.  A little bit of a hypocritical moment there. 
I am really starting to enjoy Yoon Kang's cooky maid.  The girl has a thing for the bad boys and accidentally getting to the bottom of the households secrets (even if she is not aware she came across them).

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1 comment:

  1. The second male lead certainly is vanilla; the king certainly had a moment of badassery; and I really like how people talk in sageuks. (Every time Shady Hypocrit/Political Ahjussi said, "전하," I just felt giddy and giggly. I just love that word sometimes...Also, I love what is announced when an important person enters an imperial place "__ 납시요!" *sighs*)


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