Tuesday, August 5, 2014

King of High School Episode 15 - Grandpa's Swan Song

There is so much to discuss with this episode, most of it was expected, but in true High School King fashion the writers take the expected and squeeze every bit of emotion they can into the situation.  So if you thought things were coming to a conclusion now that Min Seok's hyung has arrived, then you would be mistaken. Since I am very short on time because of the impending KCON trip, I will probably not get the chance to delve into every nook and cranny like I want to, but will try and hit the main points.
Hyung is BACK!
Let me just let my inner fangirl out for a moment.   SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!  Wow!  I knew that I would appreciate more Seo In Guk but I was not prepared for how amazingly sexy Hyung Seok actually is.  It truly is amazing how he can play two characters side by side and you can tell that they look similar but there is a totally different feel coming off of each.  They did a wonderful job of aging the older brother while keeping Min Seok clearly the younger brother.  Hyung Seok's cold and standoffish personality is a perfect contrast for Min Seok's more informal and open characteristics.  Seo In Guk plays opposite himself with great chemistry and enough hotness to send this fangirl into a coma of joy.
His plans for the destruction of Comfo surprise no one as we learn that Emotional Stunted CEO dad did indeed ruin Min Seok's father financially which led to him to his suicide (does anyone else kind of want to yell that maybe the dad should have manned up and dealt with life rather than taking the easy way out and ruining his families lives?)  Hyung Seok of course has spent his life working his way up to a point of power where he could take down ES CEO, but just when he was about to begin his plan, he was detained over a murder investigation.  (WHAT?  WHAT WAS THAT?   Did anyone else feel like this whole murder investigation thing seemed a bit out of left field?  Was this just a random mistaken suspect kind of thing, or is Hyung Seok a lot more evil than I was expecting?) Whatever the case, this whole detainee situation is what led to him telling Min Seok to cover for him.  
Hyung Seok worked behind the scene setting up a paper company (meaning a company that looks good on paper, but has no product or substance so anyone investing loses their money.) and getting Comfo to invest so much of their money that they would go bankrupt when Hyung Seok disappeared with the funds.  Big brother tells all this to Min Seok, expecting full brotherly support.  Instead Hyung Seok gets hit with a lot of questions on how is his revenge plan going to effect the people who work at the company?  Not to mention Hyung Seok himself becoming a criminal because of his illegal revenge schemes.  Would their father really condone his actions?  Hyung Seok refuses to listen to reason and goes forward with his plans, circumventing Min Seok's threats to reveal all by moving up the board meeting by a day.  Min Seok arrives too late and witnesses ES CEO collapsing as he realized that he had been duped (I personally don't feel too bad for him since he was a total egotistical jerk and refused to listen to his son or other naysayers because of his own greed). 
Hyung Seok's arrival was not really the focus of this episode, at least for me anyway.  The real character that got his moment to shine was Grandpa Choi Man Seok.  What a touching and heartfelt sendoff for a truly memorable character.  We watch as Grandpa spends all his time waiting for Hyung Seok to arrive, finally getting only a few minutes of his grandsons busy time.  However, Hyung Seok promises to take Grandpa to the aquarium and truly seems to have feelings for his adopted family (at least he is not a total cold snake.)  But when it arrives at the promised time Hyung Seok is nowhere to be found and Min Seok ends up convincing grandpa that "pretty unni" is a great 2nd choice.  I loved the aquarium date as we see Soo Young, Min Seok, and Grandpa run around looking at all the displays.   Nothing is more adorable than watching Grandpa constantly stealing Soo Young's attention and Min Seok is left playing third wheel, eventually sneaking into a picture with the other two.  
But ominous foreshadowing began as we saw grandpa fall asleep in his chair, a pair of angel wings upon his back.  Min Seok and Soo Young cutely flirting as they let grandpa sleep.  Soo Young learns that he is ticklish and Min Seok offers to let her touch literally anywhere else on his body except under his arms.  HEHEHE  Soo Young begins blushing and her mind obviously went where any good fangirls goes, and Min Seok again teases her for being a lustful grandma. 
Luckily grandpa's time is not up yet (I seriously thought he had died at the aquarium and breathed a sigh of relief when he woke up) and they end the date with Grandpa informing Min Seok that he planned on remarrying Pretty Unni.  AWWWWWWW  that is so adorable I can barely handle all the cuteness.  Especially when Min Seok objected and grandpa gave him a kiss on the cheek trying to get permission.  I was already starting to tear up since the foreshadowing kdrama gods had spoken and I knew that Grandpa's death was imminent. 
We get several more false final nap moments after which I am a total emotional wreck.  I keep thinking it is time for the "last" nap and keep getting tricked.  So by the time it actually occurs I am, stick a fork in me, done.  Grandpa escapes yet again and goes on a quest to find Hyung Seok who is currently avoiding his family because of his revenge scheme issues.  Grandpa makes it all the way to the lobby of Hyung Seok's apartment complex, carrying the Nemo fish doll he had bought for his grandson.  Father Choi, Soo Young, and Min Seok find him dozing on the lobby's couch waiting for his Hyung Seok.  Only this time when they try to arouse him from his sleep,  Grandpa's head falls back and his arms drop.  Grandpa passed away while awaiting his beloved grandson who was too busy to spend time with his family.  I also really enjoyed how instead of the usual loud break into the ending, we get a silent tribute to grandpa's scenes in the drama, similar to a remembrance video. 
I just want to thank the writers and the actor who played grandpa, for creating such a memorable and heart touching character.  He truly was a hidden gem within this drama.

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