First of all, I’d like to apologize for the lateness of these recaps. Things are rather busy with school at the moment, and unfortunately, my education comes first. (Trust me, though, I would much rather be writing these recaps than writing a paper on Thomas King. My heart is with youuuuu!)
Anyway. This episode was: More lesbian action + feminist themes = one happy Dahee.
SONG OF THE DAY
Ani DiFranco – “Not A Pretty Girl” – I often listen to dear Ani whenever I write – she tends to get the creative juices flowing for me. This song in particular inspires me to write angry feminist poetry. Lol.
[ Download ]
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Everyone’s shocked by this sudden turn of events (although I wasn’t shocked, to be honest), and, in a flashback, we’re shown how it came to be that Jeong-jo passed Yoon-bok.
The official is showing Jeong-jo the various paintings, and when Jeong-jo sees Yoon-bok’s submission, he mentions that he can see why the judges rejected it. The official, relieved, prepares to put it away, but Jeong-jo stops him, and continues his appraisal of the painting. He gets more and more excited, talking about how natural it is, and how the painter must have seen this event with his own eyes in order to paint such a scene. He’s amazed at the talent and the honesty embedded in the painting. And that is how he came to pass Yoon-bok. (Side note: Gawd, Bae Soo Bin is sooooooo hot. Every time I see him, I’m like, “Can lick plz?”.)
Thus, Yoon-bok becomes an official painter. After the ceremony, everyone gets together to celebrate, including Young-bok. Yoon-bok takes Young-bok aside, and gives him one of the prizes she got for becoming a painter. She tells him that she couldn’t have done it without him, and says “Hyung. I’m sorry. And…thank you.”
Yoon-bok: “I’m not even your real sibling, but because of me, you…”
Young-bok: “Don’t say that. I’ve never once thought of you as anything but a real sibling.”
Yoon-bok: “I know. That’s why I feel sorrier, and more grateful.”
Young-bok: “Yoon-bok. I’m very happy that you’re my sibling.”
Young-bok: “If you ever say that again, I’m going to get mad.”
And then we get a lovely little moment, as we get a flashback of young Yoon-bok and Young-bok, back when Yoon-bok first joined his family. Young-bok’s told that Yoon-bok is his new sibling, and Yoon-bok is instructed to call him “hyung” – not “oppa”, which is what a girl would call her older brother. So with one flashback, we see her transition into a boy, and her introduction to Young-bok, all at the same time. Now that’s good writing.
Meanwhile, Han-pyeong and his wife (in other words, Young-bok’s mom) are having a conversation, in which it becomes clear that the wife is upset that Young-bok’s having to go through such hardship while Yoon-bok succeeds. She doesn’t appear to have any maternal feelings towards Yoon-bok at all. She hasn’t forgotten that she’s adopted, anyway.
Han-pyeong argues with her, telling her that Yoon-bok will be bringing great fame and honour to their family. He tells her that she, too, will understand someday. Yeah, because using orphaned little girls for your own ambitions is TOTALLY okay. NOT.
And then we get another flashback! What is this, the episode of flashbacks? We see how Han-pyeong saw Yoon-bok’s talent when she was a little girl – he visited Jing, and happened to see Yoon-bok’s drawings of some chicks nearby. We don’t get to find out how exactly he came to adopt her, however. All in good time, I suppose.
Hong-do goes to the celebration, and tells Yoon-bok, all secretive-like, to meet him that night by some bridge. Their exchange, however, is interrupted by Yin-moon coming and telling him that they’ve found Jing’s daughter. YES YOU HAVE SHE’S STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU. Yoon-bok’s curious, but Hong-do goes off with Yin-moon without much of a farewell.
Han-pyeong overhears all this, and mutters to himself that Hong-do could eventually find out Yoon-bok’s true identity. And that, of course, would be Very Bad for his plans of grandeur.
And the girl Hong-do goes to see, of course, turns out to be a fake, and he leaves, disgusted. HOW ANNOYING.
We get to see the guy that Hong-do visited before, who told him that Yoon-bok was alive – Dok-bu, his name was. It turns out he was a former painting student, and now makes simple drawings to sell in the marketplace. Byeok-soo finds him, and has him cornered in the requisite marketplace cranny by the painter who was stalking Yoon-bok last episode. Turns out they’ve found out about his visit with Hong-do, and they threaten him, eventually making him tell them what he knows – that Yoon-bok is alive.
Byeok-soo, not one to lose an opportunity, goes to Jo-nyeon and tells him what he’s learned, subtly threatening to let this news reach their “boss” (the eldest of the Evil Trio). Jo-nyeon knows when he’s being blackmailed, and coolly agrees to Byeok-soo’s demands of helping out his son, Hyo-won, in becoming an Honour Artist (he needs some financial backing). And thus Byeok-soo’s lips are sealed. Doesn’t seem like either of them are very worried about Yoon-bok being alive – underestimating her because she’s a woman, no doubt.
Jo-nyeon, however, is a little worried about whoever else might know this secret, and asks Byeok-soo for some names.
And so, Jo-nyeon’s female lackey (who, I must agree with Sevenses, totally looks like Sasuke from Naruto) finds Dok-bu in the marketplace, and, casually walking by him, manages to stab a dart into his neck without anyone noticing. And he falls down, presumably dead.
Yoon-bok is standing nearby, buying an ornament, but she doesn’t realize what’s happened, and simply walks away. Aarrrggghhh!!!
Turns out she’s on her way to visit Jeong-hyang. She has something to tell her, and to give her. Jeong-hyang asks her to wait a little while, because she has a customer to entertain. Yoon-bok agrees, although she says at first “Must you go?”. They are acting like two giddy young lovers, and it’s pretty damn adorable. WHY can’t these two get together? WHY must we be given only these sly little hints? WHY? I want MORE, dammit!
Jeong-hyang’s customer is none other than Jo-nyeon the Pervert himself. As soon as she sits down, he asks her if he can buy her “services” for the night – in other words, have sex with her. The creep doesn’t waste any time, does he? Jeong-hyang, of course, is having none of that. When he says that he’ll pay whatever price, Jeong-hyang says, “Give me your entire fortune. Then I’ll permit it.” Jo-nyeon laughs, amused, and Jeong-hyang says bitingly, “…Of course, it’s too precious for you to give away. You gathered your fortune with such difficulty, by extorting from the poor and the weak.”
Jo-nyeon: “It seems that I really hurt you.”
Jeong-hyang: “I am touched that such an important person as yourself shows such consideration for a lowly one’s feelings.”
OH BURN. Jeong-hyang leaves, victorious.
Unfortunately, Jo-nyeon doesn’t seem insulted. In fact, he’s even more titillated (you can just tell he’s a sadist), and he says “I’ll turn you into the most beautiful flower.” DUDE, GET A LIFE.
Yoon-bok’s prepared a butterly ornament to give to Jeong-hyang as a gift, but seeing as how she needs to go see Hong-do, she leaves, leaving behind an outline of her gift, and a message saying she’ll be back. Jeong-hyang’s touched, but disappointed. How anyone can argue against their being a couple, I do not understand.
Yoon-bok and Hong-do meet up, and Hong-do tells her that they’re off to see the king himself. It seems Jeong-jo wanted to see them. When they get there, Yoon-bok bows very low, terrified to lift her face in his presence. Even when Jeong-jo instructs her to lift her face so that he can see her eyes, she does so reluctantly, and tries not to look him in the face (she’s not supposed to, but she’s taking this to extremes). Jeong-jo and Hong-do are both amused. (And I melt over Moon Geun Young’s adorableness. Awww, I just want to pinch her pretty cheeks.)
Jeong-jo tells them that he wants them to paint for him. They should both pick the same subject, and make their own separate paintings about it. It’s a painting competition, in essence. The winner even gets a prize. Jeong-jo wants them to do this because he wants to see what the outside world looks like, but he can’t see it for himself, since he’s stuck in the palace. They’ll be his eyes for him. They have two days to do it – and they have to keep it a secret.
On the walk home, Hong-do and Yoon-bok are cheerfully joking with each other, talking about their assignment. This scene illustrates their nice chemistry and their comfortable, almost brotherly relationship. They’re teacher and student, yes, but they tease each other freely, and aren’t afraid to touch each other in a brotherly kind of way. It’s pretty fun to see.
Anyway, they decide to meet before dawn, to choose a subject together.
At home, Yoon-bok prepares all her painting supplies together, and is interrupted by Han-pyeong, who sits her down and tells her not to be too friendly with Hong-do – he’s not as a good a guy as she thinks he is. Yoon-bok’s a little worried by this warning, but she manages to brush it off, having too much faith in Hong-do to be particularly struck by this. It also illustrates, I think, the lack of closeness between her and her adoptive father.
Hong-do and Yoon-bok meet, and Hong-do takes her to a house on a mountain (is it the same one that we saw in the opening in episode one?). I really like the lighting in this scene, and the way Yoon-bok looks around curiously. It seems to hint at things deeper than what’s seen on the surface.
Yoon-bok asks Hong-do if this is the home of that woman that he and Yin-moon were talking about before, when they said they were looking for someone.
Hong-do: “Woman, huh? …Well, I guess, since so much time has passed…”
Yoon-bok: “Don’t be embarrassed. The feelings must have been very deep, for you to look for her for so many years.”
(Hong-do smiles, not responding.)
Yoon-bok: “What kind of person is that woman to you?”
Hong-do: “She’s someone I have to protect until the very end. A person I have to protect at all costs, even if it means I have to give up my life.”
Yoon-bok’s taken aback a little by his words, and, I’m pretty sure, is thinking what a cool guy he is. I also think she’s a little bit envious. I love the way Painter makes these little hints in the most subtle of ways.
Jeong-hyang may have pwned Jo-nyeon in their previous meeting, but this time, it’s Jo-nyeon’s turn to pwn Jeong-hyang. The head kisaeng and Jo-nyeon are bargaining over and examining her, treating her like an object to be sold. She’s instructed to show him her wrists, ankles, teeth, etc – all proof of her “beauty” and good luck. The head kisaeng lists off her good qualities, doing her best to get her sold off. Jo-nyeon instructs her to be brought to his home in two days, and hands over the money. Jeong-hyang, heartbroken, her pride terribly wounded, silently sheds a tear.
This is a heartbreaking scene, and made the feminist in me rear its head and roar with fury. It also made me realize that, while Moon Chae Won’s acting isn’t exactly stellar, it doesn’t really need to be – in terms of looks, she’s pretty much perfect for this role. And really, it’s Jeong-hyang’s looks, her beauty, and the atmosphere she has around her, that’s most important for this character.
Meanwhile, Yoon-bok and Hong-do are happily walking around, looking for a subject for their paintings. They spot one particular nobleman, and decide to follow him, hoping for inspiration. They wind up at a drinking place, where they start arguing over how, exactly, they would wind up painting this scene. Hong-do argues that you only need a person’s facial expressions and body in order to know what the person’s feeling and thinking. Yoon-bok, however, disagrees, and says that you need to see where the person is, and what the person is surrounded by, in order to know what they want, and are feeling. Their disagreement escalates into a shouting match, eventually embarrassing them in front of the very people whom they were planning on making their subjects.
I love these scenes for the way they use mundane objects to create makeshift “frames” around whatever they’re looking at, envisioning what the finished painting would look like. Painter is really quite wonderful at displaying imagination and inspiration in a very tangible, visual way.
Jeong-hyang’s maid visits the Dohwaseo with a message for Yoon-bok, and she passes it on to Hyo-won’s friend/lackey, mistakenly thinking it’ll be delivered to Yoon-bok. The message is given to Hyo-won instead, and he decides to take (evil) action.
It’s night now, and Hong-do and Yoon-bok are at a drinking place, still arguing their respective points. Dipping some sticks into some sort of sticky liquid, they draw on the wood on which they’re sitting, drawing examples of what they mean. Hong-do draws a man, showing Yoon-bok that, with just his expression and body, you can tell what his personality’s like. Yoon-bok, however, has her turn as well, and draws a bird, saying:
“If a bird is just here, like this, it’s just a bird. But if you draw a cage around it, then you can see what it wants…A bird should be able to fly, but this cage restricts it. Thus, the bird wishes to escape from it. For people, too, you need to draw where that person is in order to know what they’re feeling.”
Hong-do realizes her point, but is unwilling to admit that she’s right. And, again, we see the theme of flight, of freedom and imprisonment. Nicely done.
They then realize that they’ve been so busy arguing that they forgot to pick a subject. Since they have no time, Hong-do decides that they should just paint the drinking place that they saw earlier, even though Yoon-bok argues that it’s too lowly a subject for the likes of the king.
They’re preparing to leave when Yoon-bok overhears two men talking about the fact that Jeong-hyang has finally been sold off. Yoon-bok goes nuts, demanding when she’s being sold, and Hong-do has to drag her away. (He grabs her by her wrist at one point, too. He keeps doing this, doesn’t he? Very romantic-like.) Yoon-bok then begs Hong-do to let her go see Jeong-hyang, her desperation and earnesty standing out on her face. Hong-do’s shocked to see the intensity of her emotions, and, I think, a little jealous as well. He lets her go. But he definitely doesn’t feel good about it.
Hyo-won has brought the message to his father, who realizes that this is another chance to implicate Hong-do – a painter is supposed to keep himself “clean and pure” for at least three days after getting promoted. But, of course, consorting with a kisaeng violates this rule. Outside, Yin-moon overhears, and runs off to tell Han-pyeong, who brushes off the information, saying it’s impossible. (Dude, who says Yoon-bok’s not into girls, huh? Talk about being heterocentric.) But they decide to go too, just in case. Oy vey.
Yoon-bok arrives at the kisaeng house, and begs Jeong-hyang not to go. Tearfully, Jeong-hyang tells her that go she must, but that she wanted to spend this last night with her. She also wants to play the gayageum for her one last time.
As she plays, we see Hong-do, alone in the house where he and Yoon-bok were to paint together. His jealousy is even more obvious, and after some internal struggling, he finally decides to get up and go get her himself.
Jeong-hyang finishes playing, and she tells Yoon-bok that, before she gets sold off as an object, she wants to experience the feeling of being in the arms of the person she loves. To be blunt: She wants to experience what sex is like when love is involved. Girl doesn’t beat around the bush, does she?
And so she takes off her clothes, for the second time in the entire drama. (Poor Moon Chae Won must be getting tired of this.) Yoon-bok can do nothing but silently sit, unable to look at her, struggling silently. I can’t help wanting to yell at the screen, “Just tell her you’re female! She won’t care! Do it like they do on the Discovery Channel!”.
As Jeong-hyang starts to lie down (always a sign of sageuk of some fun, sexy times), Yoon-bok tells her to stop, that she can’t do this.
Jeong-hyang: “Are you rejecting me because I am a lowly kisaeng?”
Yoon-bok: “No. That’s not it.”
Jeong-hyang: “Then what is it?”
Yoon-bok: “For me as well, you are a unique love. However, I cannot hold you.” (Dahee: WHY NOT?)
Jeong-hyang: “I have always been the entertainment of drinking parties, but I have never given anyone my heart. I have been waiting for the one person who would see my music, and my soul. I have finally found that person, and I may never be able to see him again. Is this an impossible wish for the lowly kisaeng?”
Yoon-bok protests that that’s not what’s the matter, and Jeong-hyang demands what’s wrong, then. The Truth Must Be Revealed.
Meanwhile, outside, the mob is gathering – the mob being Byeok-soo and his lackey, Yin-moon, Han-pyeong, and Hong-do. Oy vey. I didn’t know this was going to be a public experience. These old perverts.
Yoon-bok, finally coming to a decision, starts to take off her clothes, just as Hong-do arrives outside the door of the room. She takes hold of the tie on her shirt, preparing to undo it, and reveal the truth (otherwise known as her breasts). Dun dun dun! End episode.
Ah, it makes my heart sing every time I catch a drama making subtle little feminist statements. LOVE IT!
I will say, though, that, while the ending sequence was poignant in the development of the “love triangle” and of Yoon-bok’s sex, it was really quite overdone with all the other painters who came running to catch the lovebirds in the act. Hong-do alone going to the kisaeng house would have been more than sufficient in carrying out that sense of tension. Or even just Hong-do and Han-pyeong. So what, exactly, was the point of everyone and his dog coming along for the ride? It was yet another example of Painter momentarily slipping into cliched, overdramatic tropes.
I’m thinking this episode really highlighted Moon Chae Won’s good points, which was nice. I think I can watch her without being too annoyed in future. Hurray!
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 5
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 4
- Production hopes for speedy recovery for “Painter” star
- “Painter” delayed due to more injury
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 3
- Falling down on the job
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 2
- Take two: Painter of the Wind, Episode 1
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 1
- The current drama landscape: An overview