Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Joseon Gunman Episodes 15 & 16 - Rioting and Regrets

Episode 15
I remember hearing somewhere that when people attempt suicide by jumping off bridges, it is not necessarily the drowning that kills you, but the impact on the water from such a high starting point.  In other words, the water impact is the same as hitting cement and then after the initial impact the body sinks into the water and you drown if you are already not dead.  Obviously this does not matter from the Korean cliff of death, where everyone (seriously I do mean everyone) somehow manages to survive regardless of previous injuries (such as gun or knife wounds), blood loss, or lack of swimming skills.  I am pretty sure that no one EVER dies from this cliff face.  You can add one more survivor to that list as Merchant Choi manages to escape deaths grasp by wearing a historic bullet proof vest, protecting his heart from the final gunshot fired by Yoon Kang.  Of course we will just ignore the other two bullet wounds, the blood loss, and the massive fall since they don't really count.  On one hand, YAY!  Merchant Choi is alive and has a chance for redemption or mayhem (fine with either).  But on the other, boo for the writers not jumping outside of the box and surprising us with a mid drama character death.  Sometimes I would really welcome the surprise. 
The slap of finality has occurred and Hye Won and Soo In's friendship is officially over.  This is no surprise to me the viewer. I think we saw the writing on the wall back when Hye Won oh so subtly told Soo In to back off her guy, although I am pretty sure that Soo In did not notice the warning signs.  So it comes as a huge shock when she gets slapped for not knowing/admitting where her boyfriend is when confronted by a distraught Hye Won.  What did she expect?  Tea and crumpets with her friend who's father just got murdered by her boyfriend due to revenge over the father killing boyfriends father?   Oh and let's not forget the attempted murder of Soo In's own father by said father Choi.  Let's just call this friendship DOA and move on with the fallout from the cliff.
Yoon Kang is starting to feel some regret over his murdering Merchant Choi moment.  Not sure if it was for the actual murder itself, or more for the need for the murder.  Either way the writers are starting to give us a less hot headed lead as he goes forth with a less shoot first and think later revenge plan for the Creepy Political Ahjussi.  He pretends to be Yamoto and goes to Creepy Ahjussi's house to get some recon on both the layout of his home as well as trying to see into CA's psyche.  I personally think that this scene was put in so the stylists could yet again give Lee Joon Gi another makeover (he even looks good in a pervestache.) Or the director wanted to bring back the terminator vibe as Merchant Choi goes all crazy eyed and wakes from his "coma" when he hears Yoon Kang's voice.  Either way, all the evil players in our political board game have finally met Yoon Kang so that is progress right?
Oh Vanilla Boy why are you just so, well, vanilla.  Even being put in charge of the cities militia does nothing for your sexy romantic lead level.  You are just the vanilla wafer of the combo pack, perfectly adequate, yet always picked last.  I did have one surprise regarding his storyline.  When Soo In found out who his father was she was actually pissed off and treated him poorly.  REALLY?  You are willing to be Besties Forever with Hye Won whose father is a known murderer (and attempted to kill your father), but you condemn Vanilla his parentage when all he has done is actually support you and your father, even when it puts him at odds from his own?  Lets work on our character consistency Soo In.
Soo In continues to be a burden when it comes to Yoon Kang's safety.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you want to find Yoon Kang then just follow an oblivious Soo In to his "secret" hideout.   This is exactly how Hye Won finds him........twice...........unfortunately just as I was starting to think that Hye Won is the perfectly developed character, the writers start to write her as a Bond Villain.  You know the kind, the one's that spend more time telling you they are going to kill you, then actually killing you.  I don't know if it is the extension curse coming into play or just the writers have run out of plot and need to drag things out, but two scenes with Hye Won staring crazy eyed and telling Yoon Kang why he needs to die was overkill.
Episode 16
I am sure that it will not come as a surprise that no one dies after episode 15's cliffhanger.  Lots of posturing, threats, and tears ensued ended in a stalemate, as Yoon Kang and Soo In escape after disarming the gun toting duo.  Although I would like to point out that if you are going to disarm your opponent, then don't leave the guns on the ground for them to recover. Smart villains would have picked up those guns quickly and shot the couple in the back.  However no one is accusing the 2nd in command gunman of being smart.  How many times has he been between by Yoon Kang so far?  At some point you would think he would be smart and take a step back when pointing a gun at our hero.
In despair over her failure in the revenge department, Hye Won raises her derringer (that she recovered from the ground where it had been thrown) and attempts to kill herself...........again......... this girl really is wanting to die over any failure. At the last moment her father, who of course is alive, stops her hand and tells her that even if he had died she must go on and be strong.  YAY the Choi's are reunited and are also united in their hatred of Yoon Kang.  Hye Won was just not pulling her weight as the big bad without the support of her father.
We finally begin to focus on the political aspects of the drama.  I am so happy since I feel that we have been going in circles for a while now.  The conservative faction lead by Creepy Political Ahjussi come together in a historical version of a frat initiation ceremony.  Their plan?  To displace the king and kill off the Queen and her family who were sprinkled strategically throughout the government.  An ambitious plan that actually is overshadowed by their need to put it in writing, not only in writing, but in a cute visually stunning way that is oh so fancy.  I was amused and thought it ended up looking kind of like a flower.  Hiding in the shadows, lurks Yoon Kang in his gunman garb (how did he get in there without anyone noticing?) and as soon as everyone leaves he confronts Creepy Ahjussi and steels the damning document.  
Yoon Kang quickly races it to the king, but it is too late as the conservatives start their rioting ahead of schedule and start butchering all the progressive leaders and queens family members.  Luckily the queen is smuggled outside of the palace thanks to the quick thinking of Yoon Kang and Soo In.  At least someone noticed the stupidity of escaping in a slow moving carrier, although escaping with a massive entourage in tow is still really dumb.  And could you have not thought of somewhere safer than a known relatives house?  Pick a random shack, is it more important to be comfortable or alive?
So here we stand.  Bad guys trying to kill the queen, Yoon Kang trying to use justice to imprison Creepy Political Ahjussi, Soo In and Vanilla boy being kind of pointlessly thrown into the action.  What will happen?  Will Vanilla lead become interesting?  Will Yoon Kang receive justice?  Will the plot start moving faster (luckily I have it on good authority that the next several episodes are exciting, so I have high hopes)? Stay tuned and check back soon for my next recap.
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