Rating:
Average user rating 2.9
62

Age of Feeling: Episode 16

Remember that time everyone fought over the corpse of our hero’s father? Now it’s time to fight over the all-important club he left behind, which brings some new foes out of the woodwork, and some familiar ones too. That’s right—one of our fan favorites has returned from the brink of the character disposal bin to pit himself against Jung-tae for the right to claim a pivotal piece of architecture in an epic battle that’s bound to happen… at some point in time. For now, we wait.

Ratings-wise: Age of Feeling finally knows what first place feels like with 12.5%, which narrowly edged out new competitor Three Days at 11.1%, and Sly and Single Again at a more modest 8.9%.

SONG OF THE DAY

Rumble Fish – “Virulent Song (몹쓸 노래)” [ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 
EPISODE 16 RECAP

Ok-ryun and So-so are discovered by one of the thugs while Jung-tae and Jae-hwa are occupied fighting the rest, and can do nothing as the man starts dragging them toward the door.

Suddenly, a new player comes to the rescue: it’s Il-hwa. I love that he gives a small smile and nod to the girls, polite as ever, before he joins the fray on Team Jung-tae’s side.

After Team Jung-tae wins, Il-hwa and Jung-tae exchange a brotherly hug as a greeting, with Il-hwa wondering, “How long has it been?” (How long has it been?)

Il-hwa pointedly ignores Jae-hwa as he tells Jung-tae that he already stopped to pay respects to the late Daddy Shin. Apparently, he went to Leader Seol to ask that Club Shanghai to be entrusted to him, and the response the old man gave was that Club Shanghai was without an owner—meaning that it’s a free-for-all for whoever has the stones to claim it.

Jung-tae asks whether this means that Il-hwa will fight to have Club Shanghai under his control, a question Il-hwa purposefully avoids. But Jung-tae won’t give up and asks again, causing Il-hwa to put his hands on Jung-tae’s shoulders in a reassuring, yet almost regretful way.

“I’ll see you opening night,” Il-hwa says. “Prepare yourself.” Ack, so he is going to fight for ownership.

Il-hwa’s lackey seems nervous about fighting over Club Shanghai, since it means they’ll have to go head-to-head against Jung-tae, who’s kinda sorta their friend.

But Il-hwa merely offers his usual Cheshire smile as he muses, “Shanghai, and the streets of Bangsamtong… Will it be a place for us to live, or for us to die?” I suppose since Ilgookhwe destroyed his home base and Il-hwa’s just a wanderer, he’s got as good a reason as any to want to find a new home. (Because finding an actual home that doesn’t have to be conquered first is so passé.)

And finally, we get a legitimate flashback to the unspecified amount of time Jung-tae spent training under Il-hwa, replete with requisite montage music.

After actually besting Il-hwa in a fight, hardening his hands by punching hot coals, and doing shirtless pull-ups, Jung-tae had to say goodbye to Il-hwa, who inexplicably left to the faraway land of it-likely-doesn’t-matterville. Welp, at least that explains some of the five year gap.

Jung-tae wakes up with a start after he encounters Il-hwa in his Dream Battle Arena, in much the way he mentally planned for his encounter with Baek-san. He must be nervous about going up against his savior/mentor.

Meanwhile, Il-hwa tells Leader Seol that he’ll be facing off against Jung-tae on Club Shanghai’s opening night, and it’s almost funny how Leader Seol is just so bad at masking his emotions. He literally goes from the Comedy Mask (when he’s happy about the upcoming fight) to the Tragedy Mask (when he’s supposed to act like he’s not happy about that).

At least Il-hwa seems to see through Leader Seol, though it’s certainly not difficult with how obvious he’s being. Il-hwa seems to be using a metaphor to describe how Leader Seol is dealing with Jung-tae, and compares the latter to an elephant that the cowardly hunter must stab from afar and wait until it dies. Obviously, Leader Seol is the cowardly hunter.

In the end, Leader Seol warns Il-hwa to go easy on Jung-tae, who’s like a son to him. Il-hwa all but laughs that Jung-tae isn’t the same as when he saw him in Shineuijoo, so he’ll be bringing his A game to the fight.

He leaves Leader Seol wary and on edge before returning to his temporary home to find Jung-tae waiting for him. After a brief fight—which is just their way of saying hello—Jung-tae asks him if he’s really serious about taking over Club Shanghai.

Il-hwa says that Jae-hwa is his real target, and seems almost disappointed when Jung-tae’s response is: “He’s the one I’m serving.” To Il-hwa, Jae-hwa will always be Daddy Shin’s dog, and therefore unworthy to run the club of his former master.

But he still offers Jung-tae some advice in his own cryptic way, because he’s only been in Shanghai a day but has already read Jung-tae like a book. He even knows who Jung-tae is planning vengeance against, and warns him to be careful. Aw, I love friendly rivals.

Jung-tae and Jae-hwa powwow over how to handle the club’s opening, since Leader Seol has made it into an open season for anyone who thinks he’s strong enough to come and take the club for himself.

Instead of confronting Leader Seol directly, Jung-tae comes up with a plan to invite everyone but Hwangbang and bribe the Chilinbang elders generously. Leader Seol can’t be obvious in sending his own people now that Jung-tae’s his son, so he knows that Hwangbang will send secret agents instead.

Regardless, Jung-tae promises Jae-hwa that he’ll take care of anyone who comes to claim the club, even if it means fighting his strong frenemy, Il-hwa. Jae-hwa marvels at Jung-tae’s confidence to his face, but once he’s alone he muses to himself that Jung-tae is still too naive to see the circumstances for what they really are.

Il-hwa doesn’t seem to think the same way, since he comments to his lackey that Jung-tae may turn out to be a scarier foe than Hwangbang. Even so, his plan remains the same: to take over Club Shanghai.

With freshly-bought flowers for his girlfriend (he actually said the word!) in hand, Jung-tae is forced to face off against Jae-hwa’s unruly lackeys, who want to establish the pecking order and do not want to call Jung-tae their hyung-nim.

I love that Jung-tae’s so used to people wanting a piece of him that he’s just over it. While he’s beating down the boys, he also gives them instructions on how to handle all the unwanted guests who’ll be coming to the club’s opening.

…Because they won’t come a minute before or a minute later. Seriously, this whole Battle For Club Shanghai is ridiculous—it’s like an army marching up to an enemy encampment and going, “Hey, so, yeah. We’ll just wait here to attack until you open your doors, if that works with you guys.”

After Jung-tae firmly establishes that he’s earned his hyung-nim title (and that Dokku hasn’t), So-so filches the prettiest dress in the singers’ dressing room for Ok-ryun to wear. She even drags Ok-ryun into the star singer’s personal dressing room to help her get ready for her big night.

They’re forced out when the star singer MEI LING (Kim Jae-kyung) shows up, and Ok-ryun is also forced to strip out of her fancy stolen dress when its bitchy owner comes to reclaim it.

After meeting again for the first time in a long time, Aoki takes Kaya out for a meal while he explains the political situation going on between China’s chief military commander, Chiang Kai-shek, and the biggest branch of the Imperial Japanese Army, the Kwangtung Army. (The conflict between Japan and China would have been at its apex at this time, as it was in the years just before World War II.)

And as he puts it, Ilgookhwe is the (extra) sword of the Kwangtung Army, in effect there to pave the way for Japan’s eventual domination. To that end, Aoki tells her that Ilgookhwe must gain control of Shanghai’s economy, which means taking over Club Shanghai and a casino owned by Leader Seol.

Though Aoki’s demeanor is nothing but friendly, his words aren’t as he tells her that her life is on the line unless she starts producing some results. “Take over Club Shanghai first,” he advises her. “Then you can seek revenge.” If she does that, he promises to help her with her revenge.

However, Aoki decides to take matters into his own hands as a backup in case Kaya fails, by dragging up every bit of information on Jung-tae he can before the club’s opening.

Ok-ryun’s been feeling under the weather since the dress-stripping incident, and reluctantly volunteers to get a shot in the butt from Doctor Jung*. It’s only after she’s on the table with her pants down that Jung-tae walks in, causing her to scream in embarrassment and run away. (*Her name is now officially Sun Woo-jin, and though I have NO idea where I got Doctor Jung from, we’re just gonna keep it that way for ease of use.)

Jung-tae has a literal non-reaction that’s hilarious, because when So-so asks him if he saw Ok-ryun’s naked butt, he’s just like, “Yeah. Why?” So-so is in shock: “Did you really see it?” Jung-tae: “Yeah.” Haha. He has no idea why that would be such a big deal, which is why it’s so funny.

When Ok-ryun asks him about it later, he explains his dismissiveness as due to him seeing her naked when they were small. Hah. She plays coy by asking him if he’s trying to ruin their future marriage (because he’s already seen the goods), only for him to joke back that it’s already too late.

Because Jung-tae was clueless about what kind of flowers to buy Ok-ryun, he asks her what kind of flowers she likes after handing her the half-trampled bouquet he saved from his earlier scuffle.

She gives him a list of flowers and their meanings, all of them tied to eternal love, and it’s hilarious to watch Jung-tae try to just memorize the different names without getting the fact that she’s just playing with him. D’aww.

Jung-tae stays up all night for a training montage, and concludes it by doing his pre-fight visualizations, this time trying to imagine how his fight with Il-hwa will go. In his mind, Jung-tae still loses. (Orrrr does he? It’s hard to tell when everyone punches everyone else in the solar plexus and calls it a day.)

While Club Shanghai undergoes extensive preparations for its grand opening, Leader Seol rages over not getting an invite while continuing to rub unlit cigars all over his face. He’s putting his hopes in Il-hwa to defeat Jung-tae, since their official dueling date is—wait for it—the club’s opening night.

Old Man Fly decides to enlist one of his lackeys to help Jung-tae learn how to better fight against Il-hwa’s Shaolin martial arts tactics. After Jung-tae stays up another whole night just practicing and learning, Old Man Fly wakes up to hang a funny lantern: “How can you learn to beat a Shaolin fighter of thirty years overnight?”

When Jung-tae refuses to give up, Old Man Fly recognizes his determination to win and says there is a way… but he’d have to be willing to sacrifice half his body, whatever that means. Jung-tae is willing to do it if it means he can defeat Il-hwa.

While dredging up information about all the VIPs set to attend Club Shanghai’s grand opening, Aoki comes across an interesting bit of data regarding Ok-ryun.

Not only is she one of the escapees from that night he chased down (and killed) Ajusshi Choi, but she’s also Jung-tae’s girlfriend. Aoki finds this verrry interesting.

Jung-tae and Ok-ryun are ready to head to work, with both their heads firmly up in their own lovey-dovey clouds. Perhaps to get back at Jung-tae for sneaking an unintentional peek at her butt and acting like it was uber-normal, Ok-ryun coos to him in a baby voice about how she’s sooo proud of him while she pats his bum. R-e-s-p-e-c-t.

He ends up chasing Ok-ryun out of the clinic playfully while Doctor Jung and So-so are left behind to shake their heads. Though Doctor Jung lies that she’s not only going to the opening but working there, the truth is that Jae-hwa didn’t send her an invite at all.

As Club Shanghai opens for the night, lead singer Mei Ling gives Ok-ryun and the girls a cheerful pep talk in Chinese backstage. Jae-hwa literally stages a fireworks show the second the club opens its doors. Man, this really is a grand opening for a club that was never really closed.

The fireworks can be seen through all of Bangsamtong, and while Old Man Fly sees them and prays to all the gods (including Jesus, whom he just recently found out about) that the club has many customers so it can have more human waste and corpses for him to clean up, Aoki just watches them through his office window.

Meanwhile, Kaya is content to just listen to the fireworks while Leader Seol cackles to himself that “It has finally begun.” Il-hwa remains true to himself by meditating before the big fight, and seems to be in good spirits until Baek-san pays him a (surprise?) visit.

Lines and lines of guests pour out of their fancy cars and onto the red carpet leading into Club Shanghai, where Jae-hwa, Jung-tae, and all his men are there to greet them with ninety-degree bows. Even Doctor Jung even shows up sans invite, and sticks her nose up in the air when Jae-hwa offers her a cavalier wink.

But Jung-tae soon notices a crowd of people standing across the street from the club, and when he asks about them, his fluffy lackey is all, “Oh, they’re not here for the opening. They’re here for your fight with Il-hwa!” Rumor got around quick. I wonder if Leader Seol had something to do with that.

When Aoki finally makes it to the opening, he shocks Dokku by acknowledging him as an agent of Kaya’s. Dokku bows deeply, which I guess means that he’s still working for Ilgookhwe and is in Jae-hwa’s gang as an undercover spy.

After Mei Ling greets the crowd in Chinese, Japanese, and English, the lights come on and the party officially begins.

But Baek-san hasn’t come to Il-hwa with good tidings, since he brings a message from Leader Seol: he wants control over Club Shanghai once Il-hwa takes it over, so that he can open an opium trading route.

Naturally this isn’t advantageous for Il-hwa (considering that he’d be doing all the work for that crotchety old man’s gain), but he’s forced to more or less deal when Baek-san reveals that they know where Il-hwa’s family is, the explicit threat being that Leader Seol will kill Il-hwa’s family if he refuses. (This is… new, isn’t it?)

Il-hwa loses his smile and his eyes go wide—he’s been cornered. Baek-san leaves him with a final warning: he can’t lose on purpose to Jung-tae, since that won’t save his family. “You have to win at all costs or die trying.”

Once he’s gone, Il-hwa is left to think about his choices, which are pretty bleak: “I must win. After I win, I must survive.”

 
COMMENTS

Welp, this was a wonderful hour of pure unadulterated filler if I’ve ever seen one. There is no reason for this episode to have taken as long as it did to get to a point it could’ve made in ten minutes or less, easily. Far be it from me to be against an episode using its time wisely to build up to a good cliffhanger, but this was so completely not that. There is a difference between delivering smaller episodic payoffs while creating an anticipatory atmosphere for the next episode and having every character literally wait around for an arbitrary date to come ‘round, because that’s the date where Everything That Will Ever Happen Will Happen.

It was a happy day when Daddy Shin’s body was finally cremated and the ashes spread, because it meant everyone could stop fighting over the one thing that was suddenly injected with inglorious significance. But since we don’t seem to have a firm grasp on the long-term goals regarding our core set of characters—in that revenge is a dish best served fifty years from now—what we get instead are just short-term distractions for everyone to focus all their time and energy on. Each goal is just a temporary creation which may tangentially serve what may be the overall plot, but in no world could anyone argue that it’s done with any level of efficiency.

Daddy Shin’s bodypalooza did not need the two episodes dedicated to it, especially when Jung-tae came to his own conclusions about his father absent of the behind the scenes coffin-snatching. Likewise, Club Shanghai is turning into the new corpse of Daddy Shin, in that it’s become the new vogue thing for everyone to fight over. Obviously these characters need things to do or else we wouldn’t have anything to watch, but so much of it lately feels exactly like they are just being given things to do for the sake of it, and not necessarily because their all-so-important tasks (which include waiting for more important things to happen later) are all that meaningful in the scheme of things. Whatever scheme that may be.

Despite all that, and especially despite the show’s flimsy reasoning regarding Il-hwa’s sudden reappearance, it’s so good to have him back. Even if he’s joining the herd in fighting over Club Shanghai, and even if his abrupt stake in the club’s ownership comes a little late considering that he pretty much admitted to having had nothing else to do during his time as a wanderer, he makes scenes better simply by virtue of being in them. And while that doesn’t make the battle for Daddy Shin’s structural stand-in any more exciting to watch, at least we’ve got one more person in the mix to care about—which really, really matters after weeks spent stuck with Leader Seol and Baek-san as villainous sounding boards. Not just because they’re the worst-… wait, never mind. It is just because they’re the worst.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

62

Required fields are marked *

This drama is in serious need of a tiny bit of romance to break up the fight scenes. I too am thankful for the return of Leader Mo because Song Jae rim is the man. Actually the drama is just stuffed with good looking men. I am literally beginning to fast forward through the fight scenes becuase I've had enough. I get it, everyone has a different "style" that our hero has to learn to counter. He will eventually end up dead or some kind of Yoda god dude that knows every martial arts move invented. He just needs a little nookie in his down time and I need to see him do something besides fight.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Although many Korean dramas are geared towards a female demographic, I think this drama has the potential to captivate a broader audience. I don't really think that having many fight scenes and lot title romance is a flaw, but more a matter of personal preference. I think this episode's fight scenes was one of the best because it consisted of analyzing the opponents' fighting styles instead of the flurry of untrained fists that went on in earlier episodes.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree. When he was fighting the police in an earlier episode, even the police horse looked bored.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Had read the recap... I really love Ok-ryun and Jung-tae together.. Can they just make a romance-comedy drama for them to be the lead?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mo Il Hwa is back!!!!!!!!!!! That was the best part of thus epi. Everything else fell flat. It still seems that our story has lost It's grandeur and devolved into a mere fight between gangs. They seem to completely forget about his search for his sister altogether. He also doesn't want to avenge the death of Poong Chan (sp). Seems to have forgotten him completely also.

SJT's training scenes seemed very "Eye of the Tiger" , especially when he figured out how to do one-arm push ups. Lol. Sorry, but he still can't seem run right.

Sadly, SJT also lacks in the romance dept, especially, with Ok-ryun. To me there's not much chemistry beyond what is written in the dialogue. He has more tension with Gaya with just one look than with Ok ryun. It's time they develop whichever romance along further by now .

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've discussed this issue of "chemistry" before on soompi, and I will just paste a part of my post to this issue. I also addressed why I don't think that a future romance between Gaya and Jungtae can no longer be developed, especially this late in the show, to know more - The rest of the post can be found here:
http://forums.soompi.com/discussion/comment/27072040/#Comment_27072040

"So much so with my critic to the apparent lack of romantic chemistry between JT and Gaya, I do however also acknowledge your critic on the same breathe for JT-OR’s. I think the main cause of the disinterest and divide amongst the respective shippers is that one side is expecting conflict and from the conflict, romance flourishes whilst on the other hand, some people expect a grounded love which grows from the small and mundane, everyday life interactions between a couple rather than life and death circumstances. In one hand, there is an immediate and apparent conflict between Gaya and Jungtae, however Jungtae and Okryeon’s are not devoid of conflicts either; rather it comes in different forms. Whereas it’s your father killed my father, no you killed my father, now we must duel! kind of thing between JT-Gaya, JT-OR tends to languish more on the simpler happenings of their lives, the best example which was JT-OR’s botched date on the earlier episodes when Jungtae was beat up and struggled to keep his promise and deliver his gift (ring) to her. It’s not an epic kind of declaration of love/hate but it’s poignant and equally powerful by its own merit. And THAT is what is missing between JT-OR for the past couple of episodes, there weren’t really any immediate threats or conflicts, so JT declaring his love to OR, wasn’t as pronounced or moving as to say Gaya revealing her lingering feelings to JT’s promise. It lacked a certain emotional punch, because it just happened, with no trouble at all..."

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed I'm not keen on his relationship with either girl. Somehow there are not enough scenes with interaction between the leads to even generate chemistry. We know he's capable of it because he's done it before this script is just off in the romance department.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love this ep!
So many Ilhwa hereeeee (I literally squealed at his scenes, kkk)
And the bromance between JT-IH... and actually I think there won't be JT-IH fight (is it just me, or?) because Leader Seol's threat to IH's family, IH now knows that he isn't really good.

andd... JT-OR, oh JT's dead face is too hilarious. There were more funny scenes lately, including the 'hyungnim' order within the gang, and of course Old Man Fly~

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm just HAPPY that Il hwa comeback so I start watching it again,cos after I lost KIM JAE WOOK n no sign of SEO JAE RIM,I'm ready to drop this drama ?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The butt patting scene. Nyahaha. Cuuuteeesiiieesss!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Heads ~

Thanks for the recap. The show needs to "just do it" when it comes to achieving the plot objective. Don't belabor a point, do it and get on with the story. That way you have more time to flesh out characters.

Why is there an attraction between Jae-hwa and Doctor Jung ? It's a minor side story but can't you give us a hint as to why? Y'know, five seconds to explain why.

Is Old Man Fly a kung-fu master? Dunno, but too much of his screen time is spent talking shit, literally.

Il-hwa comes back with a lackey, who to be honest, doesn't appear to be a bad ass at all. Heck, he doesn't even have a name.

Jae-hwa's boys are too busy in the alley with a pissing contest to defend their turf from invading gangs. Didn't Jae-hwa already lay down the pecking order? Again, too much screen time spent on stupid stuff.

Yay for some kind of cuteness between Ok-ryun and Jung-tae.

So-so needs to avoid putting Ok-ryun in hot water with the other girls. Jung-tae, buy your girl a dress rather than some stepped on flowers.

I see that the director has done cute rom coms but also the train wreck known as YTBLSS. Something tells me that "drama" isn't his forte. He hasn't delivered a smooth product. Clunky at best. They may have changed writers but this one is on him.

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jae -hwa apparently never grasped the maxim that good leaders surround themselves with the best/smartest people they can find. Way, way too much stupid nothing in the alley. Snooze.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mo Il Hwa's lackey was always with him since the beginning of the drama.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Old Man Fly is Mo's martial arts master. That's why he knows so much about Mo's fight style and abilities (such as "Mo is three times faster than so-and-so").

If Old Man Fly has been in Bangsamtong so long and Mo has supposedly been training in martial arts for 30 years (which means he pretty much started training from birth), does that mean he grew up or at least spent a good part of his childhood in Bangsamtong?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I could do without Old Man Fly. I've not seen the point of him except as Yet Another Super Friend. Yawn.

Not shipping here, because that's not my thing except for Gaya & IlHwa, but, as a practical, and as a decency matter, shouldn't JT and OR have married now? They live in the same place and have been working together. It seems off that this is okay in those times in China.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think Old Man Fly is a very important person in the drama because he is the only one who really know the truth about Gaya's mother an Jung Tae's father 's death. it mentions that he lived in Bamsangton area for long time.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

You wrote: --> "Each goal is just a temporary creation which may tangentially serve what may be the overall plot, but in no world could anyone argue that it’s done with any level of efficiency."

YEP!

I suspect this is yet another drama which is aiming for a "great" ending. I wish the fight scenes didn't bore me so much because obviously the writer thinks we want all that fighting --like the fight j-drama or wuxia fight scenes-- but I'm so uninterested. Only Il Hwa grabs me. Let me go scroll back up and look at his gorgeousness one more time. I am really way too shallow at my age but it's as if I only watch this drama for him. (And I always like KHJ..so not sure what all this is about.)

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sometimes a little shallowness is called for...especially when dealing with such a frustrating show, lol. I love both Ilhwa and Jaehwa :).

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is an action drama based on a manga and i'm loving all the fist- fight scenes. I bet in the manga series it's even more brutal in there. It's a breath of fresh air after watching action dramas with a lot of gun fights in it.
I'm hoping leader Mo and JT would team up against Hwangbang instead of fighting each other.
Can't wait for nxt week.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me too dina,I wish they team up!!!They are a good man...they need each other.Jung Tae daebak!!! Hold on mo il hwa hand.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Heads, the Chinese subs put Doc Jung's name as Sunwoo Jin, a two-syllable family name.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm still shipping Ilhwa and Gaya...let's make this happen new writer...

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me Too!!!

That's the one ship I want from this show: IlGaya.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I share heads' apprehension with the current pace that this show is running along. It's definitely taking it's leisurely time on setting up these conflicts and deferring any development for it one episode after the other. The only things that really gets resolved are as what Head's mentioned - smaller episodic payoffs among smaller, if not trivial plot devices that are eating so much of the episode time, when they should be merely grazed upon sparingly within the bigger scheme of things. This is exactly what I was afraid of and has continued to be the trend ever since ep 11. The whole corpse fiasco in itself should have been resolved in no more than one episode, comparatively, the grand opening of Club Shanghai should also have been done in the same manner. Instead, we get all these training montages of Jungtae imagining his fight with Ilhwa, which in itself is a neat device to know that Jungtae is actually putting an effort, but these things shouldn't be eating more than a minute (at most) of the episode time. I realize that this is an action drama so these things do tend to get emphasized more, but then we're not reading Shounen manga here which could span for hundreds upon hundreds of chapters to show all these developments. The show does not have the luxury of that, and given the restrictive format of the drama, we should instead focus on the main conflicts, and just get to the crux of the show already. We're 8 episodes away, and none of the primary plot points have been addressed yet, the show is in dire need of stepping up.

Having said that, had the show spent less time on conniving and repeating the same scheming over and over again (I'm looking at you Leader Seul and Baek San), then perhaps we could have dedicated more of the time exploring the other characters, while may not be as important, but is in need of a much deserved characterization. Just as it was on the pre writer change, side characters were treated with such delicate attention and I loved it. Remember the death scene of the gangster that raised Dok Gu? That was such a beautiful scene, never have I thought that such a trivial character would have been given that much nuance and backstory, and it has in effect, made Dok Gu himself seemed more important to the story, although he's merely a comic relief and and a caricature underling spy nowadays.

Which leads to my other point, I believe among the many changes the writer has brought to the story, the one thing that was lost from eps 1-10 was this attention to character arcs, that I believe is where the magical spark came from. These days all we have are plot devices and caricatures of villains and other random people, which just so happens to populate Shanghai. I get that the writer probably felt that the show simply had not enough time to do the same approach the old writer had but with that price of robbing characters of a layered depiction, that we will get instead more development on the main plot. But, as dramagods will have it, we're 8 laps away from the finishing line, but the show is limping on the sidelines.

C'mon Age, let's get it on!

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

"caricature" <-- perfect word.

And yes re the fighting. I generally don't mind the Japanese fighting drama. I could watch hot guys fight for no good reason forever. But whereas j-drama fighting dramas kinda distil emotion/character/plot/meaning/scheming to a tense minimalism, this drama is in a weird middle. And being in the middle between fighting drama and story with meaning/plot/emotion it just flounders until it gets to the next fight.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Bad Boys J, remember, Carole?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

YES!!!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with your comments about character development in the earlier portion of the show. In a past post, I asked about what happened to the characters of Shinichi and Dokgu. They are not even shadows of their earlier selves. And both actors are very talented; it's a shame that such talent is being wasted. Now, all we get are meaningless fight scenes and plot filler.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's the thing...everyone is so ..reduced. I'm even thinking Dokgu might suddenly --gasp!-- be turned into a hero who saves the day.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hi headsno2 " After a brief fight—which is just their way of saying hello—" So cool, kind of old school high-five you might say.

Looks like Jung tae is collecting the best of all fighting styles and developing his own bomb style.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I find the importance of Club Shanghai almost hilarious. I get it, it's Prestigious, a Money Making Machine, a Vogue place for anyone worth their salt etc. But at the same time it's like you mean there's no other building in Shanghai to establish a club? With a good marketing strategy, another place can give Club Shanghai a run for its money.

But yay Il Hwa is back on screen, who really needs plot when you have more eyecandies! (Kinda)

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I gave that some thought, too, momo. I'm guessing it would be a symbolic strategic power location because of what goes down in the back rooms (opium trade, betting, a place of distribution of power and wealth). The entertainment stage is just a front. Whoever can command control of Club Shanghai holds the seat of power/status in the eyes of competitors. That seat of power is always up for grabs for who' top dog. Gangster style.

Oh, Il Hwa is back on screen...(never mind my theory, either).

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show is making me think that "Somewhere over the Rainbow" is the only song that Okryun knows. As she was preparing to audition, I kept repeating, "please don't let it be Somewhere over the Rainbow." I must have cursed myself, lol! Never mind the blatant anachronism.

Who else is disappointed by the costuming and makeup of the female characters? I'm not saying this to be rude; I'm just curious as to why it's so hard to be more historically accurate when it comes to depicting that era.

0
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

product placement.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

LOL! Re: Somewhere over the rainbow!

I wish it had some reason to resonate with the viewer but nah...I'm not getting it. Is it about "home" and looking forward to when Kansas/Korea is free? Then why not sing an arirang?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

When I first heard this actress singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and another song in IG press video on viki.com, definitely not a night club singer. Her voice was ok but she lacked lung capacity and vocal range.

She took more lessons since. IF she couldn't improve enough, it could explain why her character didn't become a professional singer sooner in the show.

Just put KHJ in drags already! He can sing and he may still have a little "girl pretty" left.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Not that mei ling is any better - she literally lip synced her entire performance. So within the story's context, it's not farfetched at all.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

the ironic thing is that...the actress playing Mei Ling can actually sing live, with quite strong performance since she's a singer anyway n one of the lead vocals. if it's in story context, it's most probly her character that can't sing or whatever.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm guessing it's because the song came out in 1939 so it was modern and trendy to have come to Shanghai in the early 1940s.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm enjoying this drama for what it currently is: entertainment. There are still some strong characters left. (This drama is NOT the drama of eps 1-8/10.) Within this context, I liked the episode. And this episode did not feel like a filler because I bought into the importance of Club Shanghai for the plot. I'm looking forward to next week when the fighting begins.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I just realized that Mo Il Hwa is my favorite character in this show due to my (very) embarrassing squeal coupled with fist pumpin' glory when he appeared on screen, bad-ass entrance to boot. I had almost forgotten how much i missed him.
Song Jae Rim is a scene stealer in every shot oozing charisma. The show could focus on his story entirely and i would watch it.
But how is able to fight let alone see when half his eyes are covered up by his hair all the time? What a mofo badass.
Yes, this entire post will be shallow and dedicated to my love.
*sigh* he would make a really awesome vampire scholar..

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Y'know I used to wonder about that too. But try standing in front of a mirror and covering part of your face with your hair.

In the mirror, your eye isn't visible. You look like you can't see out of that eye (like Master Mo). But your actual view is unobstructed. Teehee.

Now smirk a little bit and make do some weird kung fu moves and you've just started Lesson 1 of Master Mo's Look Cool While Fake Fighting In Front Of The Bathroom Mirror.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

LOL! Oh my gosh! You sound like me!!!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't mind about the plot around shanghai club. the main purpose of the the gangsters are fighting for territories. It is for survival. I think the drama is accurately portrait it.
As one of comment about the love triangle. with OK, there is no much chemistry beyond what is written in the dialogue. However the tension and chemistry JT with Gaya is beyond what is written. I totally agree with it. The scene at the temple and the one they meet at the shanghai club before Gaya moved out. The Romance between JT and Gaya is unspeakable. They don't need to tell each other. They know how they feel for each other. He never had to say sorry to her about he mistakenly thinks that she kill his father. she never need him to say sorry. Just like when they were young. But the situation is not allow them to show their love for each other. Ok is constantly need the assurance form JT and constantly tell JT what she want him to do. I agree with that it is time for writer to develop more romance between JT and Gaya. JT and OK are totally difference person and there are no much common in their life and outlook. It is time for OK to have another lover someone like Soo-Ok.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the original plan was to have Soo-Ok as OK's man or even husband at the end of the story. OK loves JT but she hates fighting so she picked Soo-Ok who can give her peace. Ok escaped with Soo-Ok and they started to have new life in Shanghai or even engage with Soo-Ok then JT showed up later.... OK, it is my imagination. I wonder what was the real story in the original one.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think in the original script. Soo-ok was a freedom fighter and was lover of OR when they are teeager, but died. JT start to show interest to OR and later to Gaya. However, when the production get Kim Jae-wook sign up for the drama. The script was change that Soo-Ok will be end up with OR at the end of the story. When the new writer coming in, he does not like the soo-ok character and think OR character is too bright and does not fit in the drama. So the new writer write Soo-0k character out. The new writer wants a tragedy ending for the drama.
I am not sure what the old writer wants the ending of the drama. I guest the old writer may want a more brighter ending.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I HAVEN'T EVEN WATCHED EP 14 YET

BUT I SEE MO IL HWA

OMG I DON'T EVEN LIKE HIM THAT MUCH BUT I'M SO EXCITED

I can't believe how much I missed him omg. I literally gave out a squeal when I saw the picture at the top omgggg.

I need to catch up on Age of Feeling! Hopefully the quality increased after the horrible two episodes that made me quit the drama.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I saw some comment about what war Shinichi and Aoki talking about. I don't know either. so I google about the Sino-japanese war and opium war and shanghai history. I am not sure I am right. Feel free to correct me because it will help me to understand what is the war they are talking about, and the background of the story.

The First Sino-Japanese War was happened between 1894 and 95. the conflict was between China and Japan to control Korea. Then the Korea is a puppet state of Japan. The is the reason in the Drama, Daddy shin and Gaya's father were comrade to fight the Japanese. I think Gaya's father fell in love with Gaya's mother who got kill by her own father or someone in the IIgwohwa
Around 1917 to 1922, after the Russia Revolution, the White Russia refugee escaped to shanghai. That was the part when the funeral held at Bamsangton. The Russia came to pay respect to Daddy Shin.
the Opium Was was happened between England and China from 1842 to 1860's. After opium war, Shanghai became the biggest city in East Asia. Part of shanghai is occupied by the European countries and part by Chinese ,and part by the refugees. in the drama, it mention the French, German, English quarters etc. However, Opium was still smuggling to Shanghai to other part of China, and Shanghai was control by a power Chinese Gangster group. so Aoki talking about the Opium smuggling and get control of the Financial part of Shanghai because Ilgwohwa was the knife of the Japanese power. so if Gaya can get control of the Casino and the shanghai club, they will control the Shanghai and China. In the drama,When Jung Tae came to Shanghai, it was 1936. It was one year before the second Sino-Japanese war (this war was from 1937 to 1945, It is part of the second world war.)

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

WWI, "a family tiff between Queen Victoria's descents" as Masterpiece Theater puts it, was between 1914 and 1918. "About 20 years" before 1936, that time of great importance in the show, would be around 1915-1917. "Over 20 years ago" would be before 1915-16. The show is very vague on timeline.

Foreign control of Shanghai seemed to officially involve foreign governments. Not sure how they coexisted there during WWI. Republic of China came into existence in 1911. One of the main goals of the new government was to reclaim all the territories that Qing/Manchu Dynasty lost to foreign Imperialists.

During WWI, France was pretty much the war front.

Assumptions:
1. France was in too much crap fighting the war and keeping its African colonies under control, it officially gave up its portion of Shanghai around 1915-16.
2. Bamsangton was the literal dividing line between the Chinese-controlled and foreign-controlled parts of Shanghai.
3. 1915-16, Hwangbang, symbolizing Chinese, and Ilgookhwe, symbolizing Japanese, started fighting for formally French territory. Hwangbang doing it for national (shame?) pride and money. Ilgookhwe doing it for national (imperialist?) pride and money. Or because everything just sounds better in French, it was prime real estate. The Hwangbang-Ilgookhwe fight- Organized Crime Syndicates War- could have lasted many months. Anyway, Hwangbang won, with the help of Daddy Shin, so some Chinese relocated to real estate forbidden to them for decades.

Thus, Leader Seol's reference to war could be (huge) WWI or their (little) Organized Crime Syndicates War.

Placing Gaya's mother Ryoko in the timeline is tricky. Gaya is definitely older than 20, probably mid-20's. I'm picking 1912 as her birth year. It seemed unlikely that Ryoko would have started internal Ilgookhwe war with her father while battling Hwangbang circa 1916. Gaya would have been born already. Ryoko should have been ousted before Hwangbang-Ilgookhwe war. However, Gaya's grandfather said that Daddy Shin was there around the time Gaya's mother died, 1916-ish. Daddy Shin's last words also didn't refute it. Of course, Ryoko could have been ousted first then killed some time later. Gaya's seemingly having absolutely no recollection of her mother meant that her father took her on the run before 1916.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Assumption 2: Bamsangton was the literal dividing line...

For a long time, Chinese people's presence in the foreign-controlled area of Shanghai was severely restricted. Guess the same for foreigners in Chinese-controlled area. However, "money makes the world go 'round." Bamsangton acted as the Neutral Zone where wheeling and dealing between Chinese and foreigners happened.

Either side overtly seizing control of the Neutral Zone would ruin business relationships at the least. An outside party seizing control...

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

thanks for the explanation. I know it may not be important for some viewers. however, I do like to know the historical background. It helped me understand the drama. thanks.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The hitch in this plan is if the Chinese gangsters just find another base. My guess is the Club Shanghai is very central, so whoever sits there has easy access to all turf. Add prestige, and officials will turn blind eyes to things like drugs.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Verytime JT buys a gift for OKR, it gets ruined or lost. ><

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Writer- nim . Don't kill OR and make OR become JT' weakness . Please show us how ordinary women can be strong in the difficult circumstanced. If OR have to die show us first how determine and strong she can be.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

OR is weak and boring. she's not strong and exciting as gaya is.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

JT starts to be smarter in this ep. Instead of just fighting as gangster for living, he got trained by other experts like the old man, the Shanghai club's owner and even from Gaya that using brain is better that just fist in order to win the battle. I'm glad they bring back most the characters from Korea.
To me, this type of TV series is fiction and nothing is base on real facts so I always use my imagination while I watch it, no need to check about the reality of the details.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

ilgaya...... pleeeeeez

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can we have a Mo Il-hwa drama ?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hmm, yes, how about the adventures of Mo Il Hwa and his faithful lackey as they wander the lands of China, encountering, fighting and recruiting the strongest of the land as they rebuild their forces in preparation for taking revenge on Ilgookhwe? Heck, let's set this in the fabled Jianghu of wuxia and throw in some star-crossed lovers for a true martial arts epic, lol. I'd watch that.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh Lord ... heart be still..MIH is back. He is the epitome of a sensual sexy man. I like his coolness and what seems like no effort when in defense mode. Keep the episodes coming and keep him in the mix.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

gaya's fate is really heart broken. traumatic childhood, dramatic youth, poverty during both periods, hell while trained in il gook hwae, now saving JT so many times by putting her life at risk and she gets nothing from JT (who only kisses and smooch OR a singer who has been doing nothing important, wonder if turtle-like male lead will ever find out who is guiding him and protecting him) and even the OR followers don't mention/recognize a bit about gaya saving the prince of their beloved OR. The depth of her confession yesterday making the same mistake as her mother for loving a joseon man has completely lost its dimensions after the change of the script etc. at least, live a happy life gaya :'( with the one that loves you truly and can make you happy. What a fate of a very well written char cos she just doesn't fit into the viewers who fancy typical kdrama femaleroles (weak, innocent, cute etc.) without them realizing this drama is not a typical kdrama. OR fanatics are just bashing gaya without strong reasons and if she does good things they don't care. and they don't even see OR's weakness. since they were young looked down at gaya. at least OR has been developed from JT's fangirl to girlfriend now to a singer at a club. Wow. such a pity that the producer+writer aime for higher rating among those female viewers, instead of sticking to the initial story, whihc would have been really awesome. gaya as the female elad doesn't deserve all this. I truly like gaya since she is so different as first female lead than in other kdramas.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hero, my arse. Jung-Tae always needed to be saved by someone, this time by one who looked gay and with a bang haircut (Il-Hwa). I really hate this haircut for men, it make them look so girly, men with small penises.

Must they have these haircut and why do they pick effeminate men and make them looked more effeminate?

"... Old Man Fly recognizes his determination to win and says there is a way… but he’d have to be willing to sacrifice half his body, whatever that means. Jung-tae is willing to do it if it means he can defeat Il-hwa.".

Get a gun, you know, gun! Have you heard or seen one? Your martial arts cannot match your top adversaries, dude. Use your brains and do things the most effective way. Oops! You lack in gray matter, that is why you are a loser.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Currently Airing

Prime-Time Shows This Week
Monday-Tuesday (May 25-26) Wednesday-Thursday (May 27-28) Weekend (May 29-31)