Monday, July 6, 2015

Orange Marmalade Episode 7 and 8 - Sageuk Mashup

Those of you who have been following my recaps know that I have had a hard time getting through the historical episodes.  However, I don't want to quit the recaps so in order to catch up, I am going to create a recap combining episodes 7 and 8 so I will be all ready for the return to the present.

In order to keep it all as organized as possible I am just going to do a quick note on what is going on with each character.  I think that will be the most concise and easiest format to use.  So with that said, let's churn this baby out and pray that we will be seeing more school uniform and less hanbok in ep 9.

-Jae Min-
Oh Jae Min.... you are just so pretty.  I want to love your storyline, I want to be invested in your romance, but there is just something that keeps me from really caring. However I will say that I enjoy how the writers kept the storyline consistent in the fact that the actions of our cast, especially Jae Min, are those of a young inexperienced boy.  The teenage angsty emotions continue strong, even though they are talking about marriage rather than just dating.
Jae Min decides that Ma Ri is the girl for him, regardless of her poor background.  However his father is not impressed with his sons epic love.  Especially when it causes him to lose face in front of his political cronies.  He informs his son, graphically, that if Jae Min continues to rebel he will kill Ma Ri's family then send Ma Ri into slavery to be "used" by other men.  
In despair over having to break up with Ma Ri (for her own good), Jae Min goes to her house, but instead of Ma Ri, he talks to the blind vampire elder.  The elder tells Jae Min --  "Don't put off seeing the one you love today since you don't know what will happen tomorrow."  This is all Jae Min needs to hear, and inspires him to propose to Ma Ri and run away to live the way of the commoner.

-Ma Ri-
Ma Ri has pretty much been relegated to a token pretty girl who's character is dragged around by the men around her.  Especially in these last two episodes.  When Jae Min is gaga over her and saying he wants "to run away with her" she goes along with it.  When Jae Min decides that he needs to focus on saving his bestie Shi Hoon (will discuss more later on) over his epic romance, Ma Ri sits back, cries, and accepts his decision with not a peep of question.
It seems the biggest conflict for Ma Ri's character is wondering -- "I am not a human. Will he still love me?"  
I don't in anyway dislike this character, it just makes me sad that she seems to be lacking in gumption.

-Shi Hoo-
WOOT!  Shi Hoo continues to be the shining example of a well developed character.  Not only does Shi Hoo continue to be proactive, a nice change from our OTP (one true pairing), but also helps connect the larger vampire war arc to the romance.  

In an effort to move up in the military (his dream instead of being a scholar) Shi Hoo asks Jae Min's father to join the secret hunt for vampires.  If he was successful Shi Hoo requested the fathers support towards his ambitions.  Thanks to some hypothetical discussion with Jae Min, Shi Hoo realized that he could make silver weapons to hunt them.  Through his skills, Shi Hoo joins the anti-vampire army which, thanks to his creative thinking, are armed with silver tipped arrows and made to annihilate the vamps that threaten the country.

There was lots of vamp stalking and fighting, but thanks to a selfish snot of a girl, they were betrayed and Shi Hoo ends up bit by a vampire.  He is found by Jae Min who becomes determined to save his friend in any way possible.

-Annoying 2nd Lead-
*Let's all admit we don't care about this girl one iota.  However, her extreme selfish behavior sets off several important plot points so we have to at least acknowledge her existence.
Upon finding out that she is being ditched for a butcher's daughter, annoying girl decides to make a deal with the devil (or at least a vicious vampire queen) in order to have Ma Ri killed.  Let's not forget that her actions are also betraying her father and the vampire army, all because she has been rejected.
I feel no sympathy whatsoever.  The snot.

-Vamp-Human Couple for the Win-
Awww..... I like that we are starting to get the basis for our future reincarnation relationships.  I am specifically referring to the right hand man evil vamp and Jae Min's nanny.  The nanny is out in the woods searching for Jae Min and the vamp is out being an evil minion.  One look and he is a goner.  Not sure if they will actually hook up in this time, but it sets up the story for their romance in future.  *Whispers*  she still looks like his mother....or, at the least, a older sister.

-Vampire vs Vampires-
I have to admit that I am being greatly underwhelmed with the evil vampires world domination plans.  The head evil vampire lady can't seem to stay focused on what she wants.  First she wants to make Ma Ri's dad pay and then when the plan doesn't work she just kind of lets it go.  Then she wants to cause problems with the government and then kind of loses focus on that.  Then it is "kill the vampire hunters" which she does, but then goes back to her world domination plan.  From what I gather, she wants to take the unborn baby of the queen and make it a vampire?  That seems like a very convoluted way to take over the world.  Evil mastermind, she is not.

The bromance experiences its first strain as both men discover the other's feelings for Ma Ri.  Shi Hoo is especially upset with Jae Min for bringing her to the attention of Jae Min's father -- "If you can't protect her, leave her alone like I am".  Thankfully this did not break the two boys friendship.
When Jae Min realizes that Shi Hoo is in danger (fighting the vampires) he rushes in to save his friend.  Even when all the vamps are dead and Shi Hoo is injured with a vamp bite, Jae Min fights his phobia and drags the bleeding Shi Hoo to safety.
Through a book he finds that the only way to save Shi Hoo is to feed him vampire blood since he is slowly dying from the deadly bite.  And since Jae Min can't possibly focus on saving Shi Hoo and romance at the same time, he dumps Ma Ri.  
Dude............just tell her that you are fighting vampires in order to make a blood cocktail for your bestie.  She would understand and probably help you by opening a vein for the cause.  Instead we get a scene where he tells her he must leave her forever, but take this silver knife and don't walk around at night.  No reason.  Just because.

And what is up with Ma Ri staring at him blankly and saying OK?  Put silver and night together and thing vamp hunter.  It's not that hard.
Shi Hoo, realizing that he is at deaths door, travels to Ma Ri's house to see her one last time.  After scaring the bejeebies out of our heroine, Shi Hoo collapses. Seeing the bites on Shi Hoo's neck, and knowing what they mean, Ma Ri cuts her wrist and feeds the dying man.  As you can imagine, Shi Hoo is not exactly thrilled to find himself a member of the undead.  Will be interesting to see what he does in the future.
My Thoughts:  
I am excited to see what happens with the friendship now that Shi Hoo is a vampire.  Sadly, for the most of the other plot lines, I remain non-invested.   From what I hear through the grapevine....we still have one Sageuk episode to go.  Am prepared to get through it and am hoping my interest sparks again in the modern days.
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