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Mr. Sunshine: Episode 11

Ae-shin attempts to reconcile her desires as a fighter for Joseon with the reality of her identity as a noblewoman, but her brave step forward isn’t accompanied by Eugene. While Eugene takes a step back, Dong-mae and Hee-sung take a step forward to protect Ae-shin from her own stubborn flame and those who try to extinguish it. All this attention for Ae-shin leaves Hina alone in facing her biggest demon: She can sense his looming threats, but she’s learned to how to defy his ominous desires and protect herself.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

Walking through the snowy night from her English lesson, Ae-shin reviews the words she learned: “moonlight, stranger, music, sunshine.” She associates each word with a memory of Eugene, and she remembers his rhetorical question about who can live in the Joseon she’s fighting to save.

As the trolley passes by her, Eugene watches Ae-shin longingly from the other side of the tracks. Ae-shin repeats words in her head: “Sunshine… mister, sunshine.” Once the trolley passes, Ae-shin sees Eugene and tears up at the sight of him. On the train, Hina watches the two with a sad look.

Keeping their distance, Eugene tells Ae-shin to be careful of walking in the snow, and Ae-shin asks that they talk somewhere out of plain sight.

Hina reaches her hand out to admire the snow and wonders if it’s the last snow of the season. A hand suddenly pulls her off the trolley, pulling Hina into an unexpected embrace. It’s Dong-mae, and he flirts saying that her hand looked cold. Then, he notices that Hina is holding a gun against his torso and slowly raises his hands in surrender.

Hina warns him that he should be careful when taking a woman’s hand, since she may not always be holding delicate things. Dong-mae wonders why there are so many dangerous women around him, and Hina explains that like attracts like. He asks why she was out, and Hina says that she spontaneously wanted to escape the bustling hotel to enjoy the snow in her new coat. He offers to escort her back to the hotel, but Hina suggests that they walk in the opposite direction because the other side has a poor view (in reference to Eugene and Ae-shin).

On a quieter street, Eugene notices Ae-shin’s cold hands and offers his gloves to her. She takes them and remembers when Eugene last held her hand, on the frozen river after he explained his backstory. Ae-shin apologizes for her unintentionally hurtful reaction to Eugene’s personal story.

She admits that she committed to be a fighter because she believed she was doing the right thing, despite the worry she burdened her family with. But the justifications for her world were invalidated by the end of Eugene’s story. She realizes that she never questioned Eugene’s identity because she assumed that he was also a noble.

Overwhelmed with guilt, Ae-shin cries as she admits that she thought herself as different from other nobles, but she realized that she was just a privileged noblewoman spoiled in luxuries. With this confession, she pleads that Eugene not be hurt by her reaction to his backstory.

Eugene steps forward and puts the gloves on Ae-shin’s hands. He holds her hand for a little longer, and he assures her that she’s improving and that this was just a bump in the road. Eugene tells her to continue improving while he literally and figuratively takes a step back.

He admires Ae-shin’s tearful response since she could have easily chosen silence or ignorance. But he says that clear disparities exist in this world — of heart, of opinion, and of social status. He says neither of them are to blame and that they’ve merely met in this world of disparities.

Eugene reminds Ae-shin that the lower class — like her servants, the innkeeper, and errand boys — live in her Joseon. He insists that she continue to live as a fighter while also living as a noblewoman, since that’s the smart and safe thing to do. He wishes that she lives a long life to protect her Joseon. He tells her to keep the gloves and not fall again like she did on the ice. With that, he walks away with a sense of finality.

Walking beside each other, Hina asks why Dong-mae got slapped. He cryptically says that he shot a black bird (Ae-shin) so that it won’t fly again, and he offers to get slapped by Hina for using her fired worker to spy on Eugene. He expresses sympathy for her worker, who betrayed Hina’s trust out of desperation to save her mother’s life, but Hina sternly warns him not manipulate her workers again. Dong-mae says that he can’t even if he wanted to, since the boys suck at their job and the new hotel worker seems to be loyal to another noble.

Hina returns to Glory Hotel after her outing, and at the sound of the door, she turns around to welcome a new guest. But her face turns cold when she recognizes the man, Dr. Machiyama, who greets Hina as Kudo’s wife.

Dr. Machiyama says that Wan-ik summoned him to work at the Hanseong Hospital, but Hina knows that there’s more to Wan-ik’s scheme. Dr. Machiyama reveals that Wan-ik is seeking the truth behind Kudo’s death, and Dr. Machiyama has the autopsy report for Hina’s husband. Hina looks a little shaken and says that this is distressing news.

At the hospital Dr. Machiyama checks on the young girl who was accidentally shot by the late Minister Lee Se-hoon, who was killed for treason. By her bedside, Il-shik and Choon-shik celebrate the girl’s quick recovery, but the girl looks frightened by these strangers looking over her. The pawnshop duo assures her that a noble paid for her treatment, but the girl expresses concern about any ulterior motives for saving her life.

Il-shik looks heartbroken by this young girl’s understanding of the world, and he says that adults are supposed to care for children without expecting anything in return. The girl asks who her savior is, and we jump to Il-shik and Choon-shik assuring Eugene that they kept everything a secret to preserve his humility.

As he buys yeot, Eugene asks why they had to keep this a secret and deadpans that he saved the girl so that he could show off his generosity. The duo watch Eugene walk away, and Il-shik presumes that Eugene’s deadpan is an American “joke.”

At the embassy, Eugene hands Domi the yeot and thanks him for teaching him Korean. Their lessons continue in his office, and instructor Domi strictly refuses to teach student Eugene more advanced writing until Eugene solidifies his basics. When Gwan-soo enters the office, Domi quickly adopts the role of the student to hide Eugene’s secret, and Eugene looks at the kid with a grateful smile.

Gwan-soo scolds Domi for still being stuck in the basics and says that he’s too old to be at this level. He rambles that Domi needs to know learn quickly to write letters to his lover and understand phrases like “I miss you” and “Let’s meet.” Eugene realizes that Gwan-soo knows his secret and must be indirectly dissing him. Eugene says that he’s offended, and Gwan-soo scampers away before he’s scolded any further.

Domi apologizes to Eugene for his poor cover-up, and Eugene childishly blames Domi for his disclosed secret. But he softens up and warmly says that he’ll probably miss Domi a lot.

Lee Se-hoon’s mistress meets with Wan-ik and begs him to take her in, since she was sold to him anyway before the minister was killed. Wan-ik doesn’t trust the mistress because she ran away with Lee Se-hoon’s gold before he passed, and she claims that she’s learned from her mistakes. She shares that the wretched hotel owner took all her gold anyway, and Wan-ik ears perk up at her curses at Hina. He reveals that Hina is his daughter, and he calls the police to take her away.

The police drag the mistress to an enclosed room, where Hina is waiting. She pays the police a bar of gold each for their services, and the mistress looks annoyed at her quickly depleting wealth. Hina reminds her that the gold is the cost of the mistress’ life and tells her to report everything she saw at Wan-ik’s house. Aha, so this was a scheme by Hina all along.

When Hina returns to the hotel, she finds her worker girl burning a cloth. The girl says that she realized that she wasn’t being smart, so she’s belatedly burning the cloth now. Hina lights her cigarette with the fire and admits that she should have done the same, but she wasn’t smart and now she’s facing a complicated situation.

Eugene visits Seung-gu at the shooting practice hideout to deliver the broken bowls and thank him. Seung-gu infers that Eugene is here for Ae-shin and says that she’s not here, which is a relief to Eugene. Seung-gu says that Ae-shin has been exceptionally accurate with her shooting recently, as if she’s determined to stand by Eugene. But Seung-gu tells him that their relationship is not possible in Joseon.

Eugene acknowledges this and expresses his wishes that Ae-shin will smile without his presence instead of crying in his presence. He asks to practice with the gun that Ae-shin uses, and he goes to the river to shoot. He thinks about Ae-shin’s delight in meeting him as a comrade on their first boat ride together, and looking at her gun, he says that he was pleased to have met her as well. He shoots the gun into the distance and holds the gun by his side.

Next, Eugene meets with Ae-shin’s right- and left-hand servants and buys them delicious jjajangmyun. The servants can’t take their eyes off the food but vow not to share anything about Ae-shin to Eugene. But the maid accidently lets slip that Ae-shin can barely sleep and wets her pillows every night from her tears. That’s so sad.

Overcome by the temptation, the servants decide that it would be wasteful to not eat the food, and they happily dig into their meals. Eugene hands them a box wrapped in a cloth and tells the two to stay healthy.

Afterward, the servants discuss Eugene’s farewell and figure that they should give the box to Ae-shin after Eugene leaves, since she’s already having a rough time. They wonder if it’s something that will rot, and they worry about where to store this mysterious item.

Ae-shin sits on the terrace and stares at the message she wrote to Eugene: “I missed you.” She remembers Eugene’s farewell and strokes the letters on the page. She covers up one character, and the message reads: “I miss you.”

The lights turn off for the night, and Eugene looks out at a dark Joseon from the hotel as he prepares to leave the land.

At the English school, Ae-shin stares blankly in the distance with Eugene’s gloves in her hands. Her thoughts are interrupted by a familiar voice asking to meet his fiancée, and Ae-shin rushes to the door to find Hee-sung waiting for her.

Ae-shin scans Hee-sung’s familiar outfit, the one he fitted with the tailor to match Ae-shin’s coat. Ae-shin says that it’s nice to see him wear the outfit that she sent him, but Hee-sung says that he knows her plan. He tells her to meet him at the trolley if she’s curious about how much more he knows, and Ae-shin grabs his arm to warn him not to wear this dangerous outfit.

Hee-sung reacts nervously to Ae-shin grabbing his arm and says that he must wear this outfit. He says that she’ll find out what he means when she comes to the ride the trolley, and he runs off.

On her way to ride the trolley, Ae-shin notices all the men on the streets wearing the Hee-sung’s same outfit. She’s astonished and wonders if her fiancé is sending her a gift or a warning.

Walking down the street, Dong-mae overhears a ticket vendor explaining to an angry customer that Hee-sung had bought out the trolley. Dong-mae’s eyes sharpen at this news, and he stands with his arms crossed right in the middle of the tracks to stop the trolley. He jumps on board after just nearly getting hit, and Hee-sung scolds him for dangerously standing in the tracks.

In the trolley, Dong-mae warns Hee-sung that he could get shot if he wears this outfit around, and Hee-sung reminds him that the trio decided to approach this matter separately. He proudly states that everyone is wearing the same outfit and boasts of his usefulness. Hee-sung tells Dong-mae to leave or pay for the trolley, and Dong-mae comments that he’s usually the one saying those words.

They’re interrupted by the arrival of Ae-shin, and Hee-sung lends his hand, which she doesn’t take. Hee-sung tells Ae-shin’s servants to wait as they take a ride around, and her servants are offended by his refusal to invite them for a ride. The maid compares Hee-sung to Eugene, who so generously bought them jjajangmyun, and she’s clearly bitter about not being invited to ride on the fun trolley.

Hee-sung explains to Ae-shin that it’s just them on the trolley — in addition to Dong-mae — because he bought out all the seats. Dong-mae interrupts to ask Ae-shin if she’s prepared the money (for their deal about the banknote that the girl hid from him), and she assures him that she’ll keep her promise. Hee-sung reminds Dong-mae that he comes from the wealthiest family in Joseon, so Dong-mae need not worry about Ae-shin paying back her debt.

Dong-mae stands up to leave and asks the trolley driver to stop. Hee-sung flies forward at the abrupt stop and ends up tightly hugging Dong-mae at their impact. They both freeze at their uncomfortable proximity, and Ae-shin struggles to hold in her laughter. Dong-mae considers killing Hee-sung again and hops off the trolley before they embarrass themselves any further.

Hee-sung asks how much she owes Dong-mae, and Ae-shin says that she’ll take care of it herself. Ae-shin asks why he bought out the whole trolley, and Hee-sung responds that he wanted to exclusively hear her explanation for her injured leg and where all his tailored clothes are.

Ae-shin responds that she sent his clothes to Japan, and Hee-sung says that he wore them well, though he both seem to be reading through each other’s lies. Hee-sung suggests that they go for a boat ride next time, and Ae-shin suggests that they go hunting instead. Hee-sung wonders if she’ll benefit from them going to the mountains and if she’ll kill him.

Ae-shin remains silent, and Hee-sung proposes a deal — that he’ll remain as her fiancé and her shadow. He doesn’t care if she fights for or against this nation wearing his clothes, and he tells her to hide in his shadow if she finds herself in danger. If this is the reason for his return to Joseon, he considers it an honor.

Realizing that her fiancé was sending her a gift, Ae-shin says that this is better than going to the mountains, where she’ll have a large advantage over him. Hee-sung smiles and considers it an honor that she doesn’t plan to kill him.

The American ambassador, Allen, returns from Shanghai, and Wan-ik’s assistant, Lee Duk-moon, reports to Wan-ik that the emperor has solicited Allen multiple times to borrow money, so Allen escaped to Shanghai. Wan-ik finds it amusing that the emperor thinks America is such a righteous country that they’re turning on Japan.

Duk-moon hands him the reports by all the interpreters who they’ve won onto their side, and Wan-ik says that their support will make the emperor waver. He puts the reports into his drawer, which also holds the Kudo’s autopsy report, and asks who’s been helping the emperor connect with the American ambassador. Duk-moon reports that he’s heard of a few consulates, and Wan-ik scolds him for not knowing any names.

At Glory Hotel, Hina thinks back to the mistress’ report that Wan-ik seemed to have a guest that he was looking to house. She looks through her register book and notices the name listed for room 205: Lee Duk-moon, Wan-ik’s assistant. Then, a man throws his key at her desk and walks out. It’s the key for room 205, but the man isn’t Lee Duk-moon — it’s the traitor that Wan-ik summoned from Manchuria.

The new foreign affairs minister Park Shi-deok rudely rebukes his rickshaw runner for moving so slowly, and another rickshaw catches up to them. A gun points at him from the covered rickshaw and shoots him dead. The shocked rickshaw runner stops and abandons the cart, yelling for help.

The ministers discuss the death of the newly-appointed foreign affairs minister and realize that this position is a grave. They wonder who will need to risk their life next, but they strategize that they could appoint their prime suspect to the position and see if this person gets killed.

Emperor Gojong announces to his ministers that Wan-ik has struck with a cruel response to his appointment. The ministers lay prostrate and plead that the emperor appoint Wan-ik to the foreign affairs minister position. Minister Lee Jung-moon bravely offers to take the position, but Gojong doesn’t allow it because he couldn’t fathom losing Minister Lee and enduring his role alone.

While Dong-mae spars in the dojo, one of his scouts shares information about a strange man asking about Ae-shin’s house. He’s eager to earn money for his intel and shares that this man is also staying at Glory Hotel. Dong-mae flips his sparring partner and tells his scout that he’ll earn his money if he can identify the man.

Camped outside Glory Hotel, the scout points out man, the traitor from Manchuria, as he passes by, and Dong-mae signals his lackies to follow him. He pays the scout for the intel and heads inside Glory Hotel to investigate further through Hina.

Dong-mae asks for the hotel register book, but Hina refuses to share information about her guests. He aggressively takes the book from her, and Hina notes that his aggression indicates that this is associated with Ae-shin. She warns him not to make this girl his weakness, and Dong-mae puts his arms on her shoulders and softens his gaze. He thanks her for her concern but admits that it’s too late.

Wan-ik’s assistant, Duk-moon, interrupts Wan-ik’s breakfast to report that he’s found evidence that the emperor is seeking correspondence with the Americans. He delivers an intercepted letter addressed to Eugene from Joseph, and Wan-ik curses the missionary for getting involved in Joseon politics. Wan-ik orders his Duk-moon to search Eugene’s room and break a few limbs while he’s at it. He wonders if God is on Joseon’s side or not.

The hotel worker girl provides room service for the guests and hesitates to knock on Eugene’s door. She remembers her promise with Ae-shin to keep their interaction with Dong-mae a secret, and she steps away from the door. She sees the shadow of footsteps shining through the bottom of the door and heads downstairs.

When she comes downstairs, she sees Eugene’s room keys still at the check-in desk and informs Hina that someone seemed to be in Eugene’s room. Suspecting that the culprit may be man from room 205, she sends the worker to deliver a free drink to 205. Then, Eugene enters the hotel, and Hina hands him the wrong key. He turns around to ask if she deliberately gave him the wrong key again, and she nods.

Eugene enters through Hee-sung’s room and jumps over to his balcony with his gun ready. He silently approaches the intruder from behind and cocks his gun. The man raises his hands and immediately grabs for his gun. Their guns fire as they fight, and the man runs down the hall, where the hotel guests have gathered at the sound of their gunshots.

With the crowd of guests in his way, Eugene can’t shoot at the escaping intruder, but the intruder reappears holding the young hotel worker hostage. Eugene slowly approaches them and orders in English to move left. As soon as she moves, Eugene shoots the man’s left shoulder, and the girl runs to hide behind Eugene.

Eugene brings the intruder in for questioning and orders his soldiers to empty all the man’s pockets. He finds a picture of the intruder with his former comrades (Ae-shin’s parents), and Eugene demands to know who those people are. But the intruder shakes in pain from his wound and yells for drugs, so Eugene decides to revisit the interrogation once the man comes to his senses.

Investigating this incident, Eugene meets with Hina, who tells him that this intruder was listed as guest Lee Duk-moon, who happens to be Wan-ik’s assistant and Minister Lee Jung-moon’s younger cousin. Hina adds that Lee Duk-moon’s in-laws are Ae-shin’s family, which means that he’s Ae-soon’s husband. Eugene asks if there’s anything else he should know, and Hina thinks to Dong-mae’s aggressive suspicions about the guest in room 205. But she doesn’t share this information.

Eugene meets with the real Lee Duk-moon and asks why he put the room under his name. Duk-moon vaguely answers that he owed the intruder a favor from Manchuria and requests medical care for the intruder. Eugene tries to pry further details about this favor, but Duk-moon doesn’t cooperate with the investigation. Eugene offers a strict deal for only Dr. Machiyama to interact with the intruder without any other form of communication.

In the hotel courtyard, Hina fences with the German guest and think about her menacing interactions with Wan-ik and Dr. Machiyama. She aggressively wins the match, and the German guests seems surprised by her aggression. She explains that she enjoys fencing because it requires a quick attack and allows her to defeat her opponent with brevity and accuracy. The guest reminds her that her opponent also holds the same blade, and being too wild can reveal her weaknesses. He suggests that she try to maintain her elegance, but Hina says that the world doesn’t seem to allow it.

Hina slips her gun under her pillow before she sleeps and thinks about Eugene announcing that he’ll be leaving Joseon soon.

Minister Lee Jung-moon eats at the inn and asks the innkeeper to inform Eun-san across the river that he wishes to meet with the missionary sooner. He also requests to see the interpreters’ reports that Wan-ik has within the next few days. The innkeeper nods and shoots an arrow with a yellow cloth at Eun-san’s home. Eun-san seems to understand this arrow message, though we don’t know what it means yet.

Seung-gu reports to Eun-san that he went to check up on a comrade after not hearing from him, and he found the comrade’s home abandoned with a shoe hanging from the roof. That seems to indicate that he’s been discovered, and Seung-gu wonders if they’re being targeted by the Musin Society, since that was the last mission that their comrade worked in Jemulpo.

Eun-san disagrees and says that the Righteous Army hasn’t been targeted by the Musin Society thus far, and antagonizing them based on speculation is too risky. He suggests that they focus on their work and shows Seung-gu the yellow cloth, which seems to indicate a summoning from the royal court. Eun-san worries how they’ll fill the empty spot of their discovered comrade, and Seung-gu thinks back to Grandfather’s request that Ae-shin be used infrequently for their missions.

Thinking about Grandfather’s request, Seung-gu offers to take their comrade’s place, but Eun-san refuses to allow this because of Seung-gu’s history with Wan-ik. He says that he trusts Seung-gu’s shooting skills, but not Seung-gu himself.

Ae-shin climbs up the mountain, thinking about Eugene. She wanders to the hideout, where she hears the familiar tune of the music box. Ae-shin runs into the hut, where her maid struggles to turn off the noise, and she asks how her maid got the music box. Her maid admits that she met Eugene a few days ago, and he asked that they deliver this box to her as payment for allowing him to ride on the boat. She also adds that Eugene seemed like he was about to leave, and Ae-shin looks devastated.

On the verge of tears, Ae-shin grabs the music box and barges out of the hut. She’s overwhelmed with emotion but stops when she sees Seung-gu, who reluctantly asks her to sub in for their next mission. She tearfully agrees to take on the mission, and Seung-gu instructs her to finish shooting the bowls before she leaves.

Eugene looks at the picture of the comrades found from the intruder’s belongings and notices the writing on the back. As he walks through the town, he sees a red pinwheel, which was a secret sign that he and Ae-shin agreed on to indicate that she was out on a mission.

That night, Ae-shin jumps over walls to reach her destination, and Hina also seems to be on a mission to the same destination: Wan-ik’s house. She picks the lock with her hairpiece and enters the house to search for the autopsy report. Both Hina and Ae-shin search different parts of the house, but Ae-shin finds something first. It’s the letter from Joseph to Eugene, and she recognizes Eugene’s name written in English.

Ae-shin’s gun falls to the ground, alarming Hina that someone else is in the house. She grabs a mask and a sword and slowly descends the stairs to meet her match. She waits behind the wall, and on the other side, Ae-shin waits for her opponent to make a move. They simultaneously come out of hiding and attack each other with their weapons, expertly wielding the sword and the gun.

Hina aggressively attacks Ae-shin, who narrowly avoids the blade directed at her face. They continue to attack and block each other’s blows, until Hina pins the mask off of Ae-shin’s face and Ae-shin knocks the mask off of Hina’s face. They end up in a stand-off, staring at each other with their faces revealed.

 
COMMENTS

I like this development between Hina and Ae-shin, since it finally brings Hina into the loop and complicates her relationship with Ae-shin. Hina is so done with all the guys pouring everything into Ae-shin, and I’m curious to see how Hina’s attitude about Ae-shin will change with this new revelation. When talking to Dong-mae, she described Ae-shin as a mere girl dressed in fine clothing, and her disdain for Ae-shin was never clearer. Now that she knows that Ae-shin is more than a simple noblewoman, I hope they develop a relationship that reaches beyond formalities.

Hina and Dong-mae are such a tease, and I love watching their dynamic. Hina always lowers her guard around Dong-mae, and that’s when we get to see the less elegant and glamorous side of Hina. She’s full of flaws and scars, but Dong-mae embraces everything about Hina even though he may not fully understand her. It’s funny that Hina can totally read Dong-mae and understand what he’s feeling without him explicitly admitting anything, but that’s not fully reciprocated. Dong-mae can’t always grasp Hina’s inner turmoil, but her vulnerability around him indicates that she’s trusts him regardless. They’re definitely kindred souls, though I’m sure they would kill each other if they ever ended up together.

Kim Tae-ri’s acting feels really full in this show, and even though Ae-shin was mostly miserable and heartbroken through the whole episode, her sadness didn’t feel repetitive. Maybe it’s because this is the first time I’m watching her on screen, but I think she’s amazing and brings this fresh emotional sincerity to her scenes. Her heartbreak and despair feel palpable, and it always seems like she’s trying so hard to hold back all her brimming emotions.

I’m glad the show explored the conflict of Ae-shin’s social class in the movement for the people, and I hope that they continue to develop this conflict through the rest of the show. While she has all the right motivations, she’ll never need to face the consequences to the full extent as long as she holds onto her identity as a noblewoman. And so far, it doesn’t look like Ae-shin is willing to sacrifice that privilege. I think it’s an ambitious feat to address this alongside the love pentagon, but I think this conflict has developed as an intrinsic part of Ae-shin’s relationship with Eugene. It’s been weaved together nicely, and I’m looking forward to how Ae-shin navigates her double identity.

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Somethings that I actually like about this drama: Kudo Hina, Dong-Mae. The actors are killing it every time they are on the screen. And their dresses! WOW!

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A 'power' couple indeed!!

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In any kdrama, it will be the lady who falls in the arms of the man and it will be romantic. But in this case, it was so funny to see Hee Sung holding Dong Mae :D

I really like the character of Dong Mae, he has a lot of humour even when he's serious. He has a great chemistry with all the characters, women and men.

I'm happy to see Ae Shin starting to see her country as it really is and not anymore as romantic ideal. She's a very smart woman who wants to learn and evolve, I really like it.

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I just loved that scene it was so funny and yet ... kinda hot. I don't normally have the hots for Yoo Yeon Suk (I mean I think he's nice but like that boy next door you don't think of as a man) but Dong Mae is like RRAAWAWRRR for me. When he stopped Hee Sung from going flying all I could think of was "Hee Sung seems impressed by how *sturdy* Dong Mae is..."

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It's seems KES has a great story to tell us about Kudo Hina after all. (Note to self: learn to be more patient in k-dramas, especially ones with 20+ episodes.) In my opinion, Hina was the standout of this episode, and Kim Min-jung's performance was a big reason why. Hina is finally getting the attention her character deserves. All her scenes were fascinating, but her fight with Ae-shin was my favorite. The OST, lighting, stunt choreography, and camera angles had me reminiscing of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Super exciting!

My attention was glued to the scene of Hee-sung and Ae-Shin on the trolley. The deal he proposed to her is what I thought might happen, I just wasn't sure who would propose it first. I think Ae-Shin needs time to consider it, but she will come to realize it is her best and only option to continue in the Righteous Army. I also think her decision to agree to this will draw her closer to Hee-sung, and eventually her affection towards him will manifest. This is why I think he'll win her hand in the end.

I know some of you think Hee-sung may be a secret leader in the Righteous Army, and that is certainly a possibility, but I think instead he is just a rich boy who has been rudderless and adrift too long. He was looking for a purpose in life, and he has found it in protecting Ae-Shin. She has unwittingly nurtured a spark of goodness in his heart that is starting to grow.

Although the final fight scene of the episode was the highlight, I want to draw your attention to the scene where Eugene returns to the hotel when the intruder is searching his room. In my opinion, that could be the best written, filmed, and edited sequence we have seen thus far. I have watched it 10 times now and each time I see another marvelous nuance. It's masterful how the scene is explained in part by camera shots without dialogue. For example, the shots showing which room keys are at the front desk and which are not tells us which characters are there (or not) without anyone having to tell us. Another is the maid Su-mi returning down the stairs sill holding the bottle of Budweiser that Hina told her to give to the guest in 205, which explains that guest was not in his room when she tried to deliver it (but he's probably is loose in the Glory somewhere). Then Hina purposely gives Eugene the wrong key to tip him off to the danger. The power of all these non-verbal visuals is enhanced by the exquisite editing that was done with them, such as the intermittent camera cuts to Kim Min-jung processing each of these clues and making her quick decisions on how to manage this situation. Just outstanding cinema (I won't call it television, it's too good). I have been remiss for too long in giving credit to the outstanding direction of Lee Eung-bok.

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I love how confident you are about Hee-Sung's chances. I am on board the Third Lead Tram, but I expect to pay in tears later. That hotel action scene was brilliant, really like something out of a film, as you said.

The web of character relationships is getting complicated. I got whiplash from learning that Ae-Soon the Gambling Cousin's husband is Lee Dok-Mun, Wan Ik's no-good assistant. I knew she was married because she wore her hair up, but I didn't remember hearing about her husband before. Yikes. I didn't know Ae-Shin's family had such close ties with the Evils Dudes.

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"All aboard! The Third Lead Tram is about to leave the station! Yes, we will probably end up crying but let's stay the course!

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Happily boarded long time back! The journey is what matters, not the destination.

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I know the OTP (Eugene/Aeshin) is impossible, and if this show retains it's cinema-like quality (as you pointed out) things may end bittersweetly for them, but I still stand by Sparta. 😉

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I think Lee Dok-Mun is more nefarious than we think, I would be surprised if he wasn't involved in the betrayal and death of his brother-in-law (?,) Ae-shin's father.

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I, on the other hand, think Lee Deok Mun could possibly be the spy Lee Jeong Mun said to the King that he had placed to monitor Lee Wan Ik since they're cousins.

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Sorry I'm going to interrupt. Third Lead Tram? HAHAHA - is this Dong Mae or Hee Sung? ^^;

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We're calling Hee-sung 3rd lead, but I agree it's hard to tell between those two!

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Hehehe thanks!

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I am totally on team Eugene, but I must admit that when Hee-Sung offered to shield her in his shadow my heart fluttered. Very swoony. But, I don't think protection makes AS swoon. She's drawn to someone who will fight beside her.

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Also, it shows that even though his heart was in the right place, he still doesn't make an effort to get to know Ae Shin.

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but I think instead he is just a rich boy who has been rudderless and adrift too long. He was looking for a purpose in life, and he has found it in protecting Ae-Shin. She has unwittingly nurtured a spark of goodness in his heart that is starting to grow.

This! I agree with this 110%. And the cinematography and storytelling too. Very old Hollywood mystery, that scene you just described.

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Also, a testament to KES’s writing, what is not said is just as impressive and important as what is.

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Some story elements are obviously going to be revisited (like the allegedly deaf acupuncturist), but I wasn't expecting Eugene's getting the wrong key to appear again, because it already served a plausible story that played out. Either KES got some help, or she's doing a better job of foreplanning than she has in the past.

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I agree with you- that was my fav scene as well. And finally you see Eugene is a marine corp. Great presence of mind there talking to the maid in English with such calmness and not an ounce of doubt.
brilliant execution!

And Hee-Sung - gotta love the handsome Joseon.

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That was one of my favorite moments as well.

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Smart move speaking in English.

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Thank goodness it wasn't one of those "You said to move left!"-"I meant my left!" moments.

If multilingualism were a product, this drama would be doing some very effective PPL. (Learn another language-- it might save your life! It can help you have a cute romance, and outwit your enemies to boot!)

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I did love the shots of the room keys that were there and not there. This show knows how to do its action sequences and I am never disappointed by the way scenes are put together. Wonderful insight, as usual, Tim!

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Tim, sorry but I doubt they will end up together, DoTs and Goblin had happy endings for the leads, so this is what I think will happen:

Hee Sung sacrifices his life for Eugene, effectively paying for the sins of his father and grandfather. A life for a life.

Dong Mae sacrifices his life for Ae Shin, and as he lies in her arms, with his dying breath, he whispers, "I love you..." and she smooths back his hair, and weeps, saying, "I know. I have always known."

Hina survives, and become close friends with Ae Shin.

Eugene survives, but he and Ae Shin can't be together, so he returns to America. Time leap to 20 years. 1922. He returns to Joseon, or Korea, at the age of 60. He goes to the lake. There he meets Ae Shin, 48 years old, still beautiful. We realise they have been writing letters to each other through the years as they grow old, to sustain each other, and the only way to keep living. Neither has ever married. The drama ens with both of them, hand in hand, walking slowly over the frozen ice, and this time, they reach the other side.

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*Insert anguished cry over Hee-Sung's predicted end* "NOOOOOOO!!!"

The only difficulty I see with your ending is that I doubt Ae Shin will survive under Japanese Occupation...
Can you make it a time skip of 40 years? Like 1945? They'll be old... very old. They both walk slowly over the frozen ice and (if they don't slip before) they reach the other side and die together. :D

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Okay, 1945 it is:

80-year-old Eugene and 68-year-old Ae Shin meet at the lake. They walk slowly across the ice, hand in hand.

Eugene slips and falls, and lies there, very still.

No, he is not dead. He just broke his hip.

It's hard to be 80 and in love. 😁😁😁😁

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"they reach the other side and die together."

Laughing my head off. That's an ending to remember.

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I CAN'T. xD

But I somehow think both of them will get a happy ending with them escaping to America and build a new life there. But as for the other folks, they probably won't survive ;_____;

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Wow, this is very creative and good writing. I like it. I would be happy with that ending for the show. But in a way you have written what I'm saying too, in that Eugene and Ae-Shin can't be together for a normal romantic life together. They can only find each other much later (1922) , after the social barriers in Joseon have come down more.

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I feel like they are going to have an ending like Goblin. Goblin was only an happy ending for a short time. If we remember, she as a human only gets a set number of lives where as he is still immortal. I think in this case, there is only so much creative licenses that the writers can take. Korea was annexed in like 1909 and were under occupation for decades. Also, I don't even think Western influences like America were in Korea. I'm also wondering how much time this will span and if they will show Ae shin staying and fighting the occupation or be forced to leave.

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With the ending of this episode, I feel the storyline finally amped up. I loved the face off (literally) at tthe end between Ae Shin and Hina. I'm holding onto hope that these two become allies rather than enemies. (In fact, the whole "pentagon" working together would be amazing....but probably a long shot)

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Thanks for the recap @dramallama! There is so much to discuss, so I'll just concentrate on Hee-Sung, because he's my favourite character.

I LOVED the tram/trolley scene because it finally allowed Ae-Shin to see the serious and as comical sides of Hee-Sung. Until now she had just seen the dandy facade. I love that he supports her although he has a different aim in life. He’s a poet at heart, who loves beauty and hates activity, but he’s willing to get involved for her sake.

Breaking it down:
- First, Hee-Sung showed up at the girls’ school yelling for his fiancée, and then completed the spoiled chaebol routine by buying out the entire tram (I wonder what he pawned to buy those tickets?). Ae-Shin was not impressed, but she was concerned about seeing The Suit, which is what he was hoping for. I had not contemplated that she might kill Hee-Sung for knowing her secret, so it was brave of him to step out of the shadows like this.

- Reluctant bromance for the win: Hee Sung experienced the hazards of modern transportation by falling into Dong-Mae’s arms. (And I died laughing). The fact that DM didn’t wrestle, kick or stab him suggests that in spite of all his talk about killing him, Dong-Mae...maybe... actually likes Hee-Sung? (As you might like an annoying cricket that keeps you company but also keeps you awake at night). Maybe he has never been hugged before? (Aww). I’m glad Ae-Shin got to see both guys in their glorious awkwardness.

- "I will be your shadow": Turning serious, Ae-Shin refused to be honest about her double-life, naturally, so Hee-Sung opened up and offered to be her refuge if she ever needed it. She finally looked at him differently when she realised that he is more than what he seems - he knows things and is on her side. He’s willing to help her be the Scarlet Pimpernel. And then he smiled sadly with the sun shining on his face. I. cant.

So yeah, I’ve only analysed 5 minutes of this episode. Nothing much happens to move the story forward in this drama but a lot of little things happen to our characters (a KES formula that frustrated me in Goblin but is working for me here).

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Every now and then a scene will catch me by surprise and even thought we've seen something similar, HS falling into DM's arms was hilarious. I liked that you called it the reluctant bromance.

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I loved your analysis here. *insert hug from beanie Tim*

You had me chuckling and nodding in agreement. Crossing my fingers and praying for "Team Hee-sung".

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"Hazards of modern transportation." 😂 I agree with all your great points!

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"annoying cricket" :)

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Hehe, I didn't think too much when I wrote that... He likes to dress in brown/earthy colours so it kind of fits?

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Hee Sung keeps breaking my heart. He's just so sad and hurt inside, but he hides it with that sunny front. He's Mr. Sunshine for me, and every time I see him, I just feel he's going to die in a blaze of glory. *cries* There's so much chemistry between him and Ae Shin...why can't I feel that for Eugene and Ae Shin? Sigh.

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Same here! Hee Sung is Mr. Sunshine for me too. He has chemistry with everyone hehe. I actually wrote a song for him today (pardon the cringey lyrics):

Hee-Sung's Tram Song

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
My, oh, my, what a wonderful day!
Ae-Shin is coming! Sunshine is headin' my way.
We'll go at 5 miles per hour, zip-a-dee-ay!

Gu Dong Mae is on my shoulder.
It's the truth, it's actual
Everything is satisfactual.
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Did you like my hug bro? Have a wonderful day!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!
My, oh my, I'm such a fashion icon.
Ae-Shin, don't worry, I'll be your star.
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!

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Gu Dong Mae is on my shoulder... Everything is satisfactual. 😋

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Hours after first singing it, I'm still laughing at that, @yyishere🤣

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I'm singing at the top of my voice. I don't want to brag here, but they actually offered me the role of the tram, which I turned down, to my eternal regret. Or I could be singing your song, and chug-chug-chugging along. *cries*

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Hehe, I see Hee-sung didn't let you stay holed up for too long. I don't blame you, he deserves props for all that he accomplished in those 5 min (and he did it so charmingly).

The fact that DM didn’t wrestle, kick or stab him suggests that in spite of all his talk about killing him, Dong-Mae...maybe... actually likes Hee-Sung? Haha, good point! And it's an interesting observation that Hee-sung is a poet at heart.

I admit that I was (most likely) wrong about Hee-sung already being a secret hero-cum-Scarlet Pimpernel-- I was being too much of a wishfulrisa. I do love that a woman is in the Scarlet Pimpernel role this time, but now I'm having fantasies of another drama in which the woman is the secret hero, but the other half of the OTP doesn't know that for much of the drama (like a real Scarlet Pimpernel).

I still think there's a decent chance that Hee-sung has been up to some serreptitious do-gooding-- perhaps he's secretly been making reparations for his family's sins.

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No harm in being wishfulrisa! Hehe, now I want to see that Scarlet Pimpernela drama too.

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🔲 yep, here is a towel and I am throwing it in on Hee Sung being what we hoped for, so here also is the Scarlet Pimpernel wish going up in flames 🔥 🌺🔥. This is notthatshow and Hee Sung is notthatguy. It was fun hoping for that with you guys!

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At least he hasn’t gone villain😅. I’ll keep hoping he doesn’t go down that route ⚔️

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Ah, you're right. An excellent point.

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The flight scene with AS and Hina was amazing. We really need to see more female action scenes.

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I'm starting to think the most action we'll get in this show will come from the ladies, not the guys. Hina was phenomenal this episode.

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I've always wanted to learn fencing since I was a little kid, but never found the chance to. I also wish I could look as gorgeous as Hina does while sparring, but that's pretty much 100% not ever going to happen. (Also, did you SEE the SHOES she was wearing?! Hina has the best outfits on this show. And she can kick butt in heels, too!)

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Yasss-- that fight scene! (Though I did lol @ there just happening to be a sword and a discarded mask right there, ready for Hina to grab.) I am so digging these badass heroines! I was excited to see the innkeeper getting in the action with her archery skills. Even Haman-daek (aka Aeshin's right hand) was pretty badass when she decided to suture Ae-shin's wound herself.

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The mask is quite intriguing, would be keen to know if any Beanies can identify it.

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It reminds me of the mask in Happy Death Day. *shivers*

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@pakalanapikake had a link about these masks in another thread. Maybe Rebel?

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You have a great memory, @ally-le. I had done research into Korean Hahoe masks after watching THE KING AND THE CLOWN, and posted the still-extant links in the REBEL comments, methinks in relation to Yeonsangun's mask dances with his court musicians.

My immediate impression of the mask in MR. SUNSHINE was that it was Japanese, which I would expect because of Hina's past.

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If we see Hina wearing it again I will try to dig into it.

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Kyogen Mask Oto?
I looked up korean masks when I was going to do a parody of "Phantom of the Opera" and call is "Phantom of the Oppa" when I used to draw toons for DramaFever. (But I was fired before finishing it.) HOWEVER--and back on topic. I believe it isn't a Korean mask, but a Japanese mask.

https://nohmask21.com/eu/oto.html

is the link. (I'm okay if I'm wrong. But I thought I'd try.)

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Did you do a drawing for the stages of a drama fan for Dramafever?

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I'll reply here, C.Lo. (Since I can't reply to your comment.) For two years I was on staff as a cartoonist for DramaFever.
https://ktoonsbyfox.wordpress.com/
is my blog with some of the cartoons I drew for them. When Warner Bros. bought them out I was fired. (Yeah, I wasn't real happy about it. I enjoyed doing it and got a lot of positive feedback.)

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I'm a fan. I love your cartoons.

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@barbara-fox Wag-a-muffin,

ROFLMAO at "Phantom of the Oppa."

I agree with you that it looks like a Japanese mask.

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Is there a way to post a picture here? I found my cover drawing for Phantom of the Oppa and would like to show the mask I drew--copying a traditional Korean mask.

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Replying to your above comment, would you be able to post it on your fan wall? Would love to see it!

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Thanks ren, I'll try that

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I am loving these badass women! Hina and Ae Shin in a duel was everything I never knew I wanted. I need them to form a secret alliance. They would be excellent support for one another and no one would ever suspect it.

The chemistry between Hina and Dong Mae is so electric you can hear it crackle. Like, to compliment a woman who's holding a gun on you is bold. He respects her hustle and badassery, that is sexy. And Hina's line "We don't always carry rainbows and sunshine." , delivered with an innocent look while sticking a gun in a man's gut shows she will not hesitate to defend herself. How can you not love her?

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You know what? I don't sense that electricity between Hina and Dong-mae. Instead, I sense some angst about an old romance that was, but is now gone. I think they have a history in Japan. I may be wrong, but if I'm not I hope we get to see some flashback scenes about it.

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I think whatever electricity I sense between them is really me living vicariously though Hina, so yeah, it was crazy charged in my world.

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My thought as well! I think that something must have happened back in Japan that made them ended up just friends. She may have had feelings for him before she knew he holds someone else in his heart cue ep. 12...

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DM & Hina: I see them having a shared past. Like they know each others secret and are protecting each other in the present. And they both have no-one else to trust and have formed this bond over a period of time.

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Yes, I get that same vibe from them.

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If only kdramas made prequels because I would totally be down for Hina and Dong-mae in Japan adventures. These two be all about cashing cheques and breaking necks.

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Like reincarnation of Mr. And Mrs. Smith?

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Let’s Eat 3 is a prequel and a sequel all- in-one right now. And it’s great! So, never say never.

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Six Flying Dragons is a prequel - the second or third best saeguk ever! Although I recommend watching Tree With Deep Roots (I can't decide if it's second or third) first as I'm a proponent that films should be watched in the order they were written and aired. IMO you watch for certain things in the prequel BECAUSE you've already gotten to know the older version of the characters and you watch for what made them that way in the prequel. I think you miss things when watching a prequel first because the prequel is informed and exists because of the first existing sequel.

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Even though the drama is very slow, I still feel 24 epi is too short. There are so many story to tell, with the amazing acting and cinematography, people can watch it for at least another 10 episodes.

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You must register as a beanie immediately! Your perception is too good!

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I'd appreciate a spin-off with Gwan-su and Kyle! Or at least having their own episode dedicated solely to their humorous adventures! I'd watch the heck out of that!

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I might be the minority here but i dont see a connection bt the two leads at all. I'm invested in the storyline, although it drags a little. And im invested in each of the characters. Im starting to warm up to Eugene character now that he's a had a little more character development. But i cringed watching him and Ae shin when they are together making goo goo eyes at each other and saying things like "love, lets do love." I dont think there should be a love story between the two characters. I think Eugene story as trying to help the people of joseon is suffice. Ae shin has enough on her plate trying to fight for the people of joseon. She's smart, independent, and a strong willed woman. She does not need a man in her life right now.

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I find them exploded with chemistry though haha. Their eyes literally speaks thousand words.

That "Love" part has more into it than literally.

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I died when Dong-mae admitted that it was too late, Ae-shin was already his weakness. Died.

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I'm dead, too. (But I've been dead for a long time already.)

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Are you gracing us from heaven now? Hehehe...

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He always breaks my heart...every time they show him alone, I'd go, uh, oh, he's going to think about her, and I've got to not cry, but I always end up crying....*cries*

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He is going to be bloodied next week so get your tissues ready.

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Yeah and this time it looks like it might be his own blood (for a change). :(

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That man always makes me cry. And this time is no exception.

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Hina and Hee-sung are the standouts in this episode for me at least. Whew at long last! The Kudo Hina Line is finally catching up with the rest of the Character train. This show has been delivering scenes that are such a visual feast but they seem to have packed quite a few really tense ones in this episode compared to the others. And I'm definitely not complaining. Heh

First stop Hee-sung. I have to admire his intelligence. Dong-mae and Eugene both witnessed Ae-shin in action but Hee-sung has only seen subtle clues here and there but was able to infer about his fiancee's clandestine operations, that's intel gathering right there. One can tell that his heart is in the right place, though his methods need to be more covert. (Yes, I ship Hee-sung and Ae-shin far more than I ship Eugene and Ae-shin.)

Next stop Hina. Oh my good Lord. Hina's story is like a hank of yarn that one is trying to wind into a neat ball but instead ends up getting knotted. And the more one tugs at the knots to unravel them the more complicated each knot seems. Quite frankly, I am scared for Hina for she is quite alone in her battle with Wan-ik, and we all know how slimy and formidable Wan-ik can get (Narcos reference: slimy as a hagfish with none of the charm). Ae-shin has her Fanboys in the sidelines, but Hina has just her wits. Although Hina usually has that composed, calm and collected, cool as a cucumber air about her, her scene with the doctor gave us those few hints that she too can get rattled (despite being able to mask it). I want her to have something more solid she can completely trust for backup, but trust unfortunately is such a valuable commodity in that era.

Also, nothing is quite coincidental in this show eh? Lee Deok-mun, Minister Lee Jeong-mun's cousin and Wan-ik's lackey is married to Ae-shin's cousin, and knows the traitor dude who got Ae-shin's parents killed. I don't think that that's purely coincidental.

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What I like about Ae-Shin, Dong-Mae, Hee-Sung and Hina (am excluding Eugene for good reason) is because of how self-aware the characters are. They have a good grasp of their personalities, their thoughts, their situation etc.
Eugene on the other hand I feel the writers have failed to write his character. Or they built his character this way because he was a man who could not let go of the past, nor fully embrace the present, add to that he is a military person. Even though his emotions were bared, I never connected with his thoughts. I don't thing am biased here, because I do like Eugene.

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But his are the thoughts we are connected to the most, as we hear his letters to Joseph... which reveal what he's thinking under what seems like an untroubled surface. He's a man who feels boxed into the definitions labeled at him, which include Hina's: "a lonely foreigner".

Eugene is always taking steps in the right direction, even when his choices feel cold or distant. He shot himself in the arm for Aeshin, for crying outloud. That's a man who would do ANYTHING for the sake of a person he admires, hold in high regard and holds dear. It tells us so much about him, that one moment. Eugene's actions speak so much about a very complex character. We only have to pay attention.

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Eugene is the keep-your-cards-close type of person. Prior to this, he was careful not to show even Ae-shin, whom he admires so much, any hint that he does, but his feelings run deep. Him tearing up when he sees her in the snow in the street, and his short little lines to her expressing his concern also show us the depth of his feeling—as well as shooting himself in the arm—if that's not love... For him, actions, small but very deliberate ones, are the basis of love, not grand gestures or physical proximity.

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Hina's fencing partner is not German, he is French.

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Some observations:
- Eugene learning English had me CRACKING UP. His relationship with Domi is one of my favorites, it's so genuine and so cute.
- When Hee Sung fell into Dong Mae's arms I gained 10 years of my life. I had to pause it because I was laughing so hard. That was perfection. Artwork. Everything I've ever wanted.
- The fight scene between Hina and Ae Shin was amazing but I would just like to draw attention to Hina's LEG. Wow. I know this is so minor, but honestly, not only is she fighting she's fighting in a slitted dress. That's a boss lady right there. She is so beautiful I am honestly taken aback sometimes.

Anyway I'm glad I stuck it out because this is one of the most complex and well filmed dramas I've ever watched and I look forward to weekends because I can't wait for new episodes.

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I always get a kick out of Domi and Eugene’s English lessons, too. Lol @ Gwan-soo telling Eugene “I’d better skedaddle now that you know I was mocking you”. Here’s hoping that Eugene and Domi live long enough for them to have the kind of relationship that Eugene shares with Joseph.

…this is one of the most… well filmed dramas I’ve ever watched I know, we’re 11 episodes in, and I still keep getting blown away by the cinematography. This is the most beautifully shot drama I’ve ever seen— it’s like my eyes are having orgasms every episode. It frustrates the heck out of me that with such a plethora of jaw-droppingly gorgeous shots they could’ve used, they went with that ridiculous poster (which I still think of as the “Shut up—no, you shut-up!” poster ‘cause that was my interpretation when I first saw it)— and unfortunately, that image is the main one being used to represent the drama.

As for DM and HS’s hug, and AS and H’s daebak showdown— I’m sure someone, somewhere is writing some new fanfic…

I look forward to weekends because I can't wait for new episodes Yes, and the enjoyment is deepened knowing that the experience is being shared by fellow Sunshiny Beanies. I always get a kick out of Domi and Eugene’s English lessons, too. Lol @ Gwan-soo telling Eugene “I’d better skedaddle now that you know I was mocking you”. Here’s hoping that Eugene and Domi live long enough for them to have the kind of relationship that Eugene shares with Joseph.

…this is one of the most… well filmed dramas I’ve ever watched I know, we’re 11 episodes in, and I still keep getting blown away by the cinematography. This is the most beautifully shot drama I’ve ever seen— it’s like my eyes are having orgasms every episode. It frustrates the heck out of me that with such a plethora of jaw-droppingly gorgeous shots they could’ve used, they went with that ridiculous poster (which I still think of as the “Shut up—no, you shut-up!” poster ‘cause that was my interpretation when I first saw it)— and unfortunately, that image is the main one being used to represent the drama.

As for DM and HS’s hug, and AS and H’s daebak showdown— I’m sure someone, somewhere is writing some new fanfic…

I look forward to weekends because I can't wait for new episodes Yes, and the enjoyment is deepened knowing that the experience is being shared by fellow Sunshiny Beanies. I always get a kick out of Domi and Eugene’s English lessons, too. Lol @ Gwan-soo telling Eugene “I’d better skedaddle now that you know I was mocking you”. Here’s hoping that Eugene and Domi live long enough for them to have the kind of relationship that Eugene shares with Joseph.

…this is one of the most… well filmed dramas I’ve ever watched I know, we’re 11 episodes in, and I still keep getting blown away by the cinematography. This is the most beautifully shot drama I’ve ever seen— it’s like my eyes are having orgasms every episode. It frustrates the...

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The new foreign affairs minister Park Shi-deok rudely rebukes his rickshaw runner for moving so slowly, and another rickshaw catches up to them.

Of course they had to have the new FM acting like a jerk, because Bad Things Happen To Bad People.

But he had a point. A *MUCH* faster rickshaw would have come in handy about then :)

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A gun points at him from the covered rickshaw and shoots him dead.

But what kind of drive-by shooter depends on a rickshaw as his getaway car?

#panickedrickshawguycouldrunawayfasterbyhimself

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I really think that there was more to Eugene’s and Ae-shin’s conversation with the gloves than what was translated. In the NETFLIX subs Eugene says “don’t trip again” which I took to mean “don’t let me or your feelings for me or anyone else derail you from your future and Righteous Army mission.” He firstly respects her as a comrade, someone who is mentally and physically strong, someone he could serve with, but he understands that her role is life and death, much like his military career has taken him into wars, she is fighting for her country too. She needs to keep her focus there and not on him or anyone else which is why he takes that step back. He harbors no ill will about who she is or what she came from or her predudices that she was taught. He knows that she will be great and maybe even a legend for what she is doing. He will not be that stumbling block for her to fall over in her destiny to be great.

Hee-Sung and Ae-shin’s scene in the trolly was so good. He’s so sincere but realizes the same thing Eugene does, that he would just be in the way of he asked her to love him; he knows that her role in Joseon is greater than his and is willing to protect her by being a sham fiancé and likely husband if it came to that.

I still don’t know Dong Mae’s angle yet but he can’t be the odd man out protecting Ae-shin. I need more obvious signs that he’ll risk his life for her. I just don’t really see it yet.

Ae-shin is so cool. She scales mountains and rooftops, and I can barely scale a fence. Her emotion when she found her maid with the music box...Kim Tae-Ri is amazing.

Hina is finally on the limelight! But I have to admit, I nearly fell asleep until the girls started brandishing their weapons! Then I was wide awake! So good. I can’t wait to see what happens now!

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Hi Ally! Yes! I agree with everything you say, and I also loved that cliffhanger! Wow, I was so surprised and I wanted to replay that scene. I will wait until it is downloaded in nexflix and watch it over again.

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Great comment! You're interpretation of Eugene's "don't trip again" comment makes a lot of sense.

Your comment got me thinking about some parallels between Mister Sunshine and Descendants of the Sun. In both dramas, the OTPs are actively involved in international conflicts that have resulted in armed missions, with life-or-death stakes. In both OTPs, the partners respect one another for being smart and highly skilled, and they understand that the mission comes first. Each partner gets an opportunity to show the right stuff individually, then (presumably, in MS's case), they need to work as a team for the greater good.

However, in DOTS, the mission in Uruk was just the backdrop for the romance. We didn’t care about the mission (we just wanted the bad English to stop). But in MS, we do care about the mission. Like Ae-shin, we’re passionate about the mission, and soon, all the characters will be, too. In fact I think the real OTP of MS is the people of Joseon (including those who’ve traveled far from their roots: Eugene, Dong-mae, Hee-sun and Hina) and a positive future for their country.

This is a KES drama, so of course there’s going to be a prominent love story, but unlike most KES dramas, this doesn’t appear to be a You Are My Everything drama. (I thought it might be, when the first time Eugene and Ae-shin laid eyes on each other without their masks was the exact moment that those 600 lights went on for the first time.) But so far, even though I wish KES wasn’t glossing over important historical events like the Gabo reforms, I’m really pleased that she’s telling a larger-than-romance story this time. And I'm very impressed that she's showing the good, the bad, the ugly (and the handsome!) of Joseon-- there's social commentary, and the story isn't coming from a victim mentality.

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Maybe I should grit my teeth and try to watch DOTS again. It was one of the first things I tried seeing kdrama-wise and the lead has such a baby’s face that I couldn’t take him seriously in his very serious role. And it was set in the medical field and I’m way too picky when it comes to those. And it’s also set in the military and when you’ve done that too, I just couldn’t do both in one one drama. But what you just said sounds like it would be an emotionally satisfying watch.

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YES. Great comparison you've written here! I just finished writing a summary of what I will post in the Ep 12. recap comments, and I also said something about MS not having a traditional OTP.

And @ally-le , please make time to watch DoTS. You will get over SJK's baby face quickly enough, lol.

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@ally-le I think you are spot-on correct on how Eugene sees Ae-shin, and how he must now fit into her life. Very nicely written.

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Is Hina's fencing partner German? Because the actor is definitely French (and they are speaking French as well). Did I miss something? Did it get explained?

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He's French, they made a mistake, I think. Even Mr.Sunshine's official FB account said he was French.

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Aaah got it. I had a moment of "Wait, even Germany got in on this? How many people want a piece of this country?" Answer: everyone apparently.

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Yeeeeep. At the time, every other foreign power had something of Joseon's. Their electricity, their railroads, their mines, even their rice. This includes Germany and France, whose products were also coveted by the people, including their fashion, food and custums. But the dude's absolutely French.

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So far I am loving the five of them! I was even surprised that Hee-sung almost made me cry today with his selfless attitude and willingness to sacrifice. To become a shield for Ae shin, knowing that she doesn't want to marry him. Wow. Isn't it like... atypical? I really really liked him. 🙂
I also liked the conversation between Ae shin and Eugene. They were saying good bye, kind of, and yet, she begged him not to get hurt. Showing love for him. 😍

Dong mae and Hina, I also like them more and more each episode.
And I like the friends (Kyle) and side kicks (Ae shin's servants). I don't feel there is a waste.
This show!
I know that some people have complained that it is slow, some may be bored. But I don't get it, I feel the pace is ok, because this is a historical novel (let me use this term, for it feels like an adaptation of a written piece of literature), and as such, you need to establish a lot of setting and context so that we (the audience) can understand.
And yet, I still don't understand much of the politics! I would understand less if they would speed up the action parts.

I am enjoying very much just like it is 😅😄

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If you need help with the politics, think of it this way. It's just before the war between Japan and Russia, which Japan used as an excuse to fully occupy Joseon. They're trying to remove Joseon's autonamy by making them use their currency and taxing them in bags of rice. The world is watching (Britain, America, France, Germany) because they've all come in to reap what they can from Joseon.

Hence the predicament Joseon is in. Nothing belongs to them, the money that goes into their society belongs to someone else. The people get poorer and poorer, without an end in sight. In the end, Joseon's fate will depend on the Japanese... unfortunately.

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I suppose Japan won this time. But eventually Korea went independent. When then?? That will be my homework.
Thanks for your history lesson anyways. It has awaken my desire to know more

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It depends on what you mean by 'independent'. The Japanese were removed in 1945 at the end of WWII, but at that same time Korea was divided into north and south. More details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Division_of_Korea

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Yes, Tim. Thank you. Ironically after reading Lukeswerrthing's answer I ended up in Wikipedia! 😂 And yes, I thought, wow, the Japanese thing "ended" in 1945 but then with the division of Korea into north and south, I feel there is still a lingering conflict (probably more than one) until today. This whole region that used to be Joseon is still suffering the consequences of powerful people's lust and greed.
I hate it, because like in the past also today is poor people who suffer, but there is not much we can do.
There is hope, of course, but not in the hands of mankind.

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Thanks for adding this. Hee-sung is a sweetie and definitely atypical. He’s averylauered character and much more than meets the eye. Of the three men, he has the most chivalrous in my opinion.

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You seem to have two misconceptions here in your recap. One: Eugene chose to step back from Aeshin, precisely because she proved to him exactly how precious she is. If they were to attempt to be together, her reputation as a noblewoman would be ruined. She'd have to leave Joseon, a country she loves and would die for. He's saying they're on entirely different paths.

And two: Aeshin and Eugene never agreed to the pinwheel. She was thinking about talking to him about it and using it, but never got the chance to. In fact, in episode 12, Aeshin tells him what it means. It reminded Eugene of Aeshin, because it looked like a red flame. But he didn't know it was a message for him.

I am very excited as to what Hina and Aeshin's relationship will turn out to be. In Ep 12, they reach an impasse, but they're so feisty. I love that the best fight scene of this series is between two women.

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I'm not watching this show, but I am here for Kim Min-jung/Kudo Hina's lewks. So good

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You better check out my fan wall then, I have to restrain myself from putting up too many images of KMJ. ;)

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Hina was her usual cool, collected self when she unmasked Ae-shin, but I'm sure inside, she was all, "Oh! Now I see what all the fuss was about!".

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I thought the same thing, and I think Hina will be crushing over Ae-shin now too!

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I am warming to the idea of an endgame where Eugene and Ae Shin love and support each other forever without ever being an official, publicly-acknowledged couple. I'm relatively new to Korean dramas. Is this kind of ending a feasible one in the Korean drama world? Or must the first leads always get married?

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I feel the same way. I think it is feasible, but rare. Especially with this writer, Kim Eun-sook (or KES as we abbreviate). However, I am starting to read comments here that show evidence she is throwing in some new wrinkles to her writing, so maybe she will surprise us with the end-game.

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The end of dramas can be very open in kdramas. For the time period, where class distinctions are important, it’s very possible that the OTP will never be married. The last KES drama, although the OTP technically did get married in the girl’s first life, the end was a beginning again of sorts when she meets him for the first time in her second life and we just end there.

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Sorry, I'm going to have to lift one of your recap pictures for a profile picture. Which one should be obvious .

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The guest Hina is fencing with is not German, he's French, they speak in french although we cannot say that what Hina is saying is french haha ^^

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What cloth was the maid girl burning? And what was Hina talking abt?

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the german guest is french though

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