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Mr. Sunshine: Episode 9

Eugene makes pivotal decisions that determine his alliances, and it’s a breath of fresh air to finally see a more decisive Eugene who’s ready to confront the consequences of his choices. Ae-shin’s assertive nature seems to be rubbing off on him, and it’s leading to some satisfying payoff. Dong-mae and Hee-sung still remain relatively idle, though they seem to be strategically inactive as they try to navigate the new knowledge of Ae-shin’s other identity.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

In the medicine shop, Ae-shin admits to Eugene that “love” is harder than she thought. He tells her that they can stop if it’s too difficult, but Ae-shin insists that they continue, since they can choose to stop any day. She asks what the next step is in “love,” and he shyly reckons that she won’t be able to do it. He says that the next step after introductions and a handshake is a hug, and Ae-shin runs to hug him, which surprises Eugene.

With her arms wrapped around Eugene, Ae-shin explains that she already learned the letter ‘H’ in her English class. When she steps out of the hug, she asks if she did it correctly, and Eugene jokingly scolds her for studying English too diligently.

Ae-shin asks Eugene to wait for her for a moment and suggests that they move locations, since they would inconvenience the medicine shop owner if they stayed too long. Then, she tells her loyal servants (her maid and sickle-wielding servant) to enter, and she formally introduces them to Eugene as her right- and left-hand sidekicks. Eugene looks at them suspiciously and asks if they’re on the same side as Ae-shin, and she quotes Seung-gu as she enigmatically says that it’s better for him not to know, just in case.

Ae-shin leaves Eugene with her trusted servants, who look like they’re about to mug him. Eugene asks sickle-wielding servant if he’s the right-hand, but he isn’t. The servant says that the maid is the right-hand, which is a part of their strategy, since everyone thinks the opposite (lol). The maid throws Eugene a bundle of medicine and says that he’ll need a reason to frequent the medicine shop to avoid looking suspicious.

Eugene mumbles that she’s setting him up with an alibi, and the maid chastises him for vocalizing their secret. She wonders if she’ll need to give him an actual reason to visit the medicine shop and prepares her fists.

Just in time, Ae-shin arrives in her disguise outfit to save Eugene from the wrath of her maid. Eugene looks relieved and informs Ae-shin that her servants have been threatening him the whole time she’s been gone. She doubts that the threats were real and says that they were just giving him a hard time, which he deserves. She ushers him to meet him outside, and the servants continue to glare at him.

Ae-shin and Eugene squeeze in a rickshaw together, and Eugene seems slightly nervous about their proximity. The rickshaw bumps over a rough patch, and Ae-shin sticks her arm out to protect Eugene from jerking forward. They laugh at her protective gesture, which breaks the awkward silence between the two.

Eugene asks where they’re going, and Ae-shin admits that she didn’t think that far. She just wanted to sit alongside him on this ride, since they’ve already walked beside each other last time. Eugene suggests that they go to Glory Hotel, saying that he can return her mask.

When the two arrive at Glory Hotel, Eugene awkwardly tells his “friend” to meet him upstairs in his room as they approach Hina at the front desk. Ae-shin covers her face and silently walks up the stairs. As Eugene checks in with Hina, he explains that his guest is an old friend from New York and that this friend will be heading home after they catch up. Noticing the medicine in his hand, Hina offers the hotel service of brewing and delivering it up to his room. Eugene accepts the offer and heads up, but Hina notices that he’s distracted.

Meanwhile, Hee-sung visits the tailor to track down Ae-shin’s tailored suits. Playing the part of doting fiancé, Hee-sung says that he would like to re-tailor the suit that Ae-shin had matched for him, since the one she requested was too small. The tailor shows him the cloth that the suit was made of, and Hee-sung takes note of this.

Ae-shin walks around Eugene’s hotel room, and Eugene says that he’s never let someone into his room — it’s always been rummaged through without his permission. Ae-shin presumes that he must have valuable things in his room, and Eugene flirts that he just let another valuable into his room.

Ae-shin asks about the music box, and Eugene explains that it plays a folk tune called “Greensleeves” (referred to as “What Child Is This?” in the first recap). He offers to play it for her, and Ae-shin’s excited expression transforms into a pensive one as she notices the somber tune. As they listen, Hina passes by the room and comments on how peculiar it is for friends to be listening to this music box together.

Eugene asks if Ae-shin likes the tune, and she admits that she expected a more cheerful melody. She asks if there’s a story to this music box, and Eugene tells her about his rough adjustment in the U.S. as a young boy. He was unfamiliar with the language, afraid, and hungry. His hands were freezing and his wounds stung – that’s when he heard this tune. He remembers crying heavily.

Ae-shin asks if he’s listened to the tune upon returning to Joseon, and he says that he only recently listened to the song because he heard that someone was hurt. He’s referring to Ae-shin, who he knows was shot in the leg by Dong-mae. He warns Ae-shin about Dong-mae knowing her identity, but Ae-shin assures Eugene that she’s already confronted Dong-mae about it. She knows that he recognized her before shooting her, but he still didn’t commit to killing her. She expects that he’ll act the same way in the future.

But Dong-mae isn’t one to fulfill expectations, and he tells his right-hand Yujo that they can report to Hayashi (the Japanese ambassador in Joseon) that they have their tail on one of the resistance shooters from Jemulpo.

Eugene asks if Ae-shin trusts Dong-mae, and she admits that she does because he’s indebted to her. She explains that she saved Dong-mae in their youth, and he tarnished her sincere gesture by clawing back at her. She expects that he’ll repay the favor by saving her this time.

Eugene isn’t satisfied with this trust in Dong-mae, but Ae-shin assures him that she’ll be the one to shoot first at Dong-mae if she meets him again in her disguise suit. She thanks him for the mask to continue her work, but Eugene requests that she stop utilizing her disguise, meaning she stop with the resistance work. He says that Joseon is becoming more precarious, which will put Ae-shin in further danger.

Ae-shin wonders why he only tells her not to do things — don’t stand out, don’t study English — but Eugene corrects her, saying that he told her that they could love. Ae-shin bashfully laughs at this, but Eugene still looks unsettled by Ae-shin’s commitment to the resistance. He remembers from his youth that noblewomen could live like flowers, and he asks why Ae-shin doesn’t defer to this life. Ae-shin says that she is living like a flower, except she’s a flame (in Korean bulkkot literally translated to “fire flower”).

She admits that she thinks about death every time she embarks on another insurrection, but that’s why she shoots accurately and flees quickly. She says that in her suit and mask — without a name or face — she’s just a soldier. And that’s why soldiers in the Righteous Army need each other. Although her reality is cruel for her grandfather, Ae-shin wants to burn bright as a flame before her defeat. She admits that she’s afraid of death, but she’s committed to this path.

Eugene looks with admiration at Ae-shin and wonders where his pathetic self lies in her spectrum from passionate to cruel. He ponders in his hypothetical letter to Joseph, “I thought I had reached my end, but I may need to go further into the flames — one step further. Joseph, I think I’m completely ruined.”

Ae-shin decides to head out, but Eugene tells her to wait for Hee-sung to return to his next-door room to avoid being caught. Eugene seems pleased when Ae-shin says that she didn’t know Hee-sung has been staying at the hotel this long, and Eugene says that he probably sees Hee-sung more than his fiancée. They table this conversation for another time, and Ae-shin swiftly makes her exit, jumping off the third floor of the hotel.

Eugene runs out the balcony and watches Ae-shin in awe. He notices a passerby try to follow Ae-shin after finding her suspicious, and he hurls a coin at the passerby to let Ae-shin escape smoothly. As she makes her way through the night, Ae-shin stops to take a break for her injured leg. She looks pensive as she thinks about her interaction with Eugene and breaks into a smile before heading on her way.

Dong-mae stops a seemingly innocent commoner on the street and accuses him of being a familiar face on their train to Jemulpo and on the streets by the port. After a beating from the gang, the Righteous Army soldier is brought to Dong-mae, who tries to make a deal with the soldier. Dong-mae tempts him to betry another comrade by saying that he only needs one captive, but the soldier demands that Dong-mae just kill him.

Before they proceed, Dong-mae asks out of pure curiosity: Why do they do it? He’s curious why the Righteous Army fight to die rather than to live, and he tauntingly asks if they make a lot of money. Accepting that these may be his last words, the soldier says that he fights for his nation because the Joseon owns nothing. Everything Joseon belongs to the foreign forces — Japan, U.S., Russia, England, France — from train lines to the electricity. All the soldier can do is fight for whatever is left of his nation.

Dong-mae asks if there are many others in Joseon who are better than himself, and the soldier says that Dong-mae won’t hear another word about his comrades. With that, the soldier tries to kill himself with the sword intended to threaten him, but Dong-mae pushes him to the ground before he can do so. Dong-mae thinks the soldier is crazy, but the soldier says that all of his comrades will act by the same mantra: Flee if you’re discovered, die if you’re captured. Dong-mae isn’t satisfied with the soldier’s response and orders his gang to drag him away.

Dong-mae drags a man to Hayashi, but it’s not the soldier — it’s the geisha house Hwawollu’s owner. Hayashi isn’t pleased with this captive substituting the ones from Jemulpo, but Dong-mae argues that Hwawollu’s owner is the source of their grief anyway. Also, Hayashi misled the gang by pointing them in the wrong direction in the geisha chase, which resulted in injured gang members. Hayashi doesn’t argue with this compromise, and Dong-mae takes his leave.

That night, Dong-mae addresses the captured Righteous Army soldier and tells him to run away as far as he can from Hanseong. The soldier asks if he’s letting him free, but Dong-mae clarifies that he’s just not killing the soldier yet. Dong-mae vows to kills him if he sees the soldier again in Hanseong, and he cuts the ties on the soldier’s wrists. The soldier seems confused, but he takes the opportunity and runs for his life.

Dong-mae visits Hina while she’s taking a bath, and she isn’t fazed by his sudden appearance. She welcomes him into her room and puts on her bathrobe. Dong-mae notices the scars all over her body and asks how she has more scars on her body than a man who wields a sword. She responds with a question, asking how a Joseon woman must have lived in Japan.

Hina asks why he’s visiting, and Dong-mae admits that he’s in a bad mood because he let a soldier go free. She wonders why, and Dong-mae says that he thought the other soldiers would be saddened if he killed the soldier. Hina laughs at Dong-mae’s uncharacteristic mercy and says that’s the funniest thing she’s heard from him.

Dong-mae explains that most victims he captures beg him to save their lives, but this soldier insisted that Dong-mae kill him. He couldn’t fathom why this soldier would risk his life for this nation, and Hina agrees that there are some righteous and passionate hearts that you just can’t kill. She says that he did indeed lose this one, but she still says that it’s not too late to kill that soldier. Dong-mae says that he can’t do that now, since he’s one to keep his word. Hina laughs again, saying that’s the second funniest thing she’s heard from him.

Hina can see right through him and wonders what Dong-mae is risking his life for. Dong-mae thinks about shooting Ae-shin and claims to Hina that he doesn’t risk his life — he takes them.

At Glory Hotel, Hee-sung gambles away all his money with Ae-soon, and they both end up in front of pawnshop to fund their gambling habit. To break the awkwardness, Hee-sung suggests that they introduce each other, but that reveals that they’re soon to be in-laws.

Before Ae-soon barges into Ae-shin’s room, Ae-shin quickly hides any hints of her English learning with the help of her maid. Sitting in Ae-shin’s spot, Ae-soon describes to Ae-shin her fiancé’s gambling habits. Ae-shin points out that Ae-soon must also have been a part of the gambling, since she describes the hotel and pawnshop with such detail. Ae-shin calls for her aunt, which effectively kicks Ae-soon out of the room.

The worker at Glory Hotel delivers Eugene’s brewed medicine, and Eugene reluctantly drinks the bitter brew. As he takes the medicine, the worker tries to peer into his room, looking to make more money from selling intel to Dong-mae.

Eugene comes down to ask Hina for that drink she owes him, and she comments that she didn’t even need to switch his key for him come to her. They start out with small talk about the fixed music box before Eugene asks how long she’s been in the hotel business. Hina explains that it’s rare for a woman to run a hotel in Joseon, but she benefitted from her late Japanese husband, through whom she was exposed to the hotel business early on.

Eugene thinks about Ae-shin’s words about the faceless and nameless soldiers, and he seems to suspect Hina is also involved with the Righteous Army. He asks Hina why she advised that he use the interpreter when he was summoned by the emperor, and she correctly presumes that the interpreter mistranslated Eugene’s words to favor Japan. He wonders if she works for the government, but Hina claims that she’s just a businesswoman.

Hina says that Glory Hotel carries a lot of intel and that she’s also a curious person. She asks what he decided to do, and Eugene asks if she has any information in all that Glory Hotel intel about him ending up dead. She wonders if he made a choice that would put his life at risk, and he’s in the same boat, awaiting the consequences of his decision.

Minister Lee Jung-moon, the foreign affairs minister and trusted advisor to the emperor, secretly meets with the interpreter who mistranslated Eugene’s message to the emperor. The interpreter looks shocked to see Minister Lee, having expected a client for a private interpreting service. Minister Lee accuses the interpreter for his deliberate Japan-favoring mistranslation to the emperor, and the interpreter trembles as he admits that he was ordered by Wan-ik to do so. The interpreter offers to investigate further, but Minister Lee shows no mercy and slays the interpreter with his sword.

The next day, Il-shik meets with Eugene, who’s confused by the facial similarities to Gwan-soo (someone’s keeping a tally of this joke, right?). Eugene asked about his request, and Il-shik reports that Minister Lee Jung-moon made his move last night. We see that Il-shik and Choon-shik followed the minister and the interpreter, and they discovered the interpreter’s dead body. Eugene realizes the consequences of his decision and decides to make his next move.

Hina greets Ae-shin as she enters Glory Hotel, and Ae-shin announces that she’s here to meet her fiancé, Hee-sung. Hina informs her that Hee-sung is not yet awake but should be down soon for his morning coffee. Hina introduces Ae-shin to a sweeter coffee, but Ae-shin isn’t fond of its taste, wondering why people enjoy this bitter drink. Hina says that over time, the bitterness becomes sour, savory, and sweet. She says poetically, “It makes your heart race, makes you lose sleep, and above all, it’s expensive. Much like futile hope.”

Ae-shin asks if Hina is selling futile hope, and Hina responds that the more futile, the more expensive it is. People spend a lot of money on this hope, she claims, like people who hope to make it rich by selling their country, people who pitifully hope that their efforts will prevent their country from being sold away, people who effetely hope that they can break off their engagement.

Ae-shin’s face hardens at Hina’s pointed comment, and Hina explains that she just inferred this, since Ae-shin wouldn’t be visiting the hotel if her marriage plans were going smoothly. Ae-shin says that Hina must have a particular interest in her, but Hina responds that it’s only because Ae-shin is in the way of her interest (in Eugene). Hina wonders if she’ll have to cry or bite, but since she’s received a handkerchief, maybe she’ll cry. She holds Eugene’s handkerchief in her hand, the one he gave to her when she injured her hand while kicking out the repulsive customer.

Hee-sung interrupts their conversation before the tension builds any further, and he says his dream about a field of flowers must have indicated that Ae-shin was coming to visit him. Hee-sung tries to avoid the looming conversation by offering to teach her how to play pool, but Ae-shin gets straight to the point about breaking their engagement. Hee-sung says that this will be difficult because it’s a promise made between their families, but Ae-shin suggests that they attempt this feat.

Hee-sung asks if Ae-shin has another lover, and Ae-shin responds by asking if that would be reason enough to break off their engagement. Hee-sung doesn’t back down and says that he’ll need to fight whoever it is. She tells him not to, and Hee-sung gets in her face and warns her not to provoke him.

Ae-shin tells him not to waste time on her, as he must have dreams of his own. But Hee-sung claims that he has no dreams. He says that he can’t work in government because he’s not a morning person; he won’t protest because it’s too physically straining; he won’t side with the Japanese because it’ll wear on his heart. He claims that he likes useless things like the moon, stars, flowers, the wind, laughter, and jokes. He wants to die enjoying these things.

Ae-shin thinks that he’ll end up like that, but she doesn’t support him because they’re destinations are different. Hee-sung says that it’s okay because no one is rooting for him in this life anyway. Since they can neither get married nor break off their engagement, Hee-sung suggests that for today, they remain friends.

Taking him up on that offer, Ae-shin asks Hee-sung to teach her how to play pool. A sharp shooter, Ae-shin learns quickly and sinks consecutive balls into the holes. Before she can catch herself, Ae-shin limps around the table, and Hee-sung notices but doesn’t make it known. Ae-shin continues to play while Hee-sung cheers her on from the other side.

Dong-mae enters the local bar, and he reluctantly joins Hee-sung’s table because the house is full. Hee-sung offers his glass for cheers, but Dong-mae tells him that he prefers to drink along. Hee-sung explains that the cheers gesture is one to inform the other party that they have not poisoned their drink, since the drinks flow into each other when they clink. Dong-mae says that’s further reason not to join their glasses.

Hee-sung asks if everything is going well with Dong-mae’s work, which he vaguely understands as capturing people, beating up people, and killing people. Based on that job description, Dong-mae admits that work isn’t going well and takes a drink. Hee-sung asks why he does such work, and Dong-mae responds by asking why Hee-sung doesn’t do any work. Hee-sung says that he’s been getting that question a lot recently, and he claims that if he does something, he’ll become someone great. At that, Dong-mae mutters that he should really carry around poison. Ha!

Eugene enters the full bar, and Dong-mae kicks an open seat as a gruff invite to their table. Hee-sung looks less enthusiastic than usual about their trio, mainly due to his confrontation with Eugene about his family. Hee-sung belatedly welcomes Eugene back to Joseon, and Eugene responds that it sounds like he’s ushering him to leave. Dong-mae quite enjoys this tension between the two and asks if there are any more developments in their rivalry, but Hee-sung says that they’ve got plenty as it is.

Eugene asks Dong-mae if he’s found the limping man he was seeking, and Hee-sung immediately thinks to Ae-shin limping during their game of pool but remains silent. Eugene claims that he saw a limping person: Wan-ik. He wonders if Dong-mae is close with Wan-ik, but Dong-mae refutes this by claiming that he’s long parted ways with Wan-ik. Besides, he’s looking for a young limping man, Dong-mae says.

The waiter comes to their table to refill their alcohol, and he comments that they must be friends. They all deny this, and Hee-sung says that the three of them all just joined this table out of coincidence, describing their group as: the American Joseon person, the Japanese Joseon person, and the handsome Joseon person. With that Hee-sung announces that the handsome Joseon person is taking his leave. He limps on his way out, and when Dong-mae comments that it’s the other leg, Hee-sung switches his limp. Haaa.

Dong-mae wonders if Hee-sung actually knows what’s going on, and Eugene presumes that he does because he always acts out of sincerity. Dong-mae suspects that Eugene also knows, and Eugene claims that he does — it’s Wan-ik, he says. Eugene says cryptically that for the sake of all three of them, the limping man must be Wan-ik, and Dong-mae’s silence seems to indicate agreement.

Ae-shin waits for all the lights at her home to turn off before hiding in her closet to listen to the music box that Eugene lent her. She listens to the sad tune, smiling as she thinks about Eugene.

Eugene meets with Seung-gu the next day, and they talk ambiguously using their exchange currency of alcohol as their topic of conversation. Since Seung-gu received an ample payment — sneaking their comrade So-ah out to Shanghai — for the alcohol, Eugene requests that Seung-gu support his alcohol cost this time. Seung-gu immediately puts down his alcohol and does the whole “oh no, I just quit drinking, sorry.” But Eugene says that Seung-gu will support this next mission, which targets foreign affairs minister Lee Se-hoon (who sides with the Japanese).

Ae-shin waits in front of the U.S. embassy and fakes her exhaustion about being constantly summoned to the embassy. Little Domi tells Ae-shin that Eugene is out and asks who she is. Ae-shin takes offense that he’s the second person to not recognize her and keep her waiting. Then, Eugene arrives and tries his best to hide his smile at the sight of Ae-shin.

Ae-shin takes her rightful seat at Eugene’s desk, and Eugene smiles as he says that he doesn’t recall summoning her to the embassy. He wonders if she’s here to return the music box, but Ae-shin says that she’s saved that excuse for a later time. This time, she’s here to ask about how to translate a phrase to English. She shows off her notebook with her name in English, and then she shows him the written phrase in Korean. It reads: I missed you.

Unfortunately, Eugene can’t read Korean, so he just laughs off the phrase, saying that it’s so easy that she shouldn’t ask him about it. That’s not the reaction that Ae-shin was hoping for, and she tries to leave in a hurry. Eugene asks her when she’s going to pick up bowls next, hoping that she’ll need someone to row the boat. Ae-shin begins to tell him the time, and then it dawns on her that Eugene didn’t, or maybe couldn’t, read her last letter.

Ae-shin shows him the page with her written Korean phrase again and tells Eugene to read it, but Eugene tries to avoid this by greeting his fellow soldiers passing by the halls. He mumbles that he’s good at English and walks away, leaving Ae-shin thoroughly amused that Eugene can’t read Korean.

Eugene looks slightly mortified as Ae-shin enters her carriage, throwing him a look. The carriage takes off, and Eugene stops the servant to ask him about the medicine that they gave him. The servant explains that the medicine should be brewed in water and then used to soak one’s feet in to rid the body of any toxins. He warns Eugene to never drink the brew, and after he leaves, Eugene gags at the thought of the drunken medicine.

The interpreters all gather to share the news about their American interpreter colleague being found dead. They call each other by the country they represent, and all of them flee to Wan-ik except for France, who reports to Minister Lee Se-hoon.

When only France shows up to report to Minister Lee, the minister curses all the interpreters who flocked to a lowly person like Wan-ik. France tells Minister Lee that the rumors have been swaying more government officials to follow Wan-ik, since Minister Lee is losing the favor of Japanese prime minister Ito Hirobumi. Furthermore, the rumors claim that Minister Lee was slapped in the face by Wan-ik, which is true.

Minister Lee visits Wan-ik with his mistress and flinches when Wan-ik raises his hand in greeting. Minister Lee says that he’s been informed that Wan-ik is Ito Hirobumi’s right hand, and he gets on his knees to offer to be the prime minister’s left hand. Wan-ik looks surprised by this turn of events and asks Minister Lee if he knows that the prime minister comes from a low class. Minister Lee lowers his pride and claims that it doesn’t matter, though the information does seem to pain him a bit.

Minister Lee says that he’s brought a gift, and Wan-ik looks around for an item. Then, Minister Lee presents his mistress (ICK, NO!) and orders her to bow to Wan-ik. But Wan-ik demands that Minister Lee bow, since he’s the one making the request. Wan-ik can barely hold himself together, smiling with glee at the sight of the minister surrendering his pride.

Eugene claims his banknote from the pawnshop and thanks the duo for endangering their lives. Next, Eugene confronts Minister Lee Se-hoon once again blocking the road on horseback. The minister’s carriage bearers recognize Eugene and immediately make a run for it, leaving the minister with a weaker defense. Eugene jumps off his horse and tells the minister’s guards that he has no hard feelings towards them, only the minister.

Upon the minister’s orders, the guards all attack Eugene, but Eugene expertly defends himself. He knocks out all the guards with only a scratch on his face, and he approaches Minister Lee with one of the guard’s swords. He strikes the sword through the wooden seat and cuts the minister’s neck, vowing to kill the minister today.

Minister Lee says that an American soldier dare not kill the foreign affairs minister of Joseon, but Eugene says that the minister will die in the hands of a Joseon person today. Tearing up, Eugene recalls his mother who threw herself in the well, his father who was beaten to death, and his younger self escaping for sins unrightfully bestowed on him.

This stirs Minister Lee’s memory, and he laughs that this must be a joke. But he quickly realizes Eugene’s identity and begs that Eugene save his life. Eugene tells him to stop begging lest he kill him now, since Minister Lee’s death is planned elsewhere.

Minister Lee returns home to find his room rummaged through and his gold all gone. He screams for his stolen wealth, and then shots began to fire towards his room. They’re from Eugene and Seung-gu, and Minister Lee frantically crawls through his room to find his gun.

With his gun in hand, Minister Lee runs out of his room and orders his servants to call the Joseon forces. He can’t seem to figure out the gun and accidently shoots a young servant girl, who falls with a fatal injury. He feels no remorse for his fatal shot and blames to girl for being at the wrong place. Meanwhile, Eugene sneaks into the minister’s room and slips a paper into a vase.

The servants try to carry this young girl out to seek treatment, but Minister Lee points his gun at the servants, threatening to shoot again if they don’t call back-up forces first. Then, a shot fires and hits Minister Lee in the arm. It’s Seung-gu, and he reloads his gun to aim at the minister again.

Then, the Joseon forces enter Minister Lee’s home, and the minister looks relieved until he realizes that they’re lead by Minister Lee Jung-moon, his rival foreign affairs minister. Minister Lee Jung-moon orders his forces to thoroughly search through Minister Lee Se-hoon’s home and calls the minister a criminal.

The soldiers bring Minister Lee Se-hoon to his knees, and in a flashback, we see that Eugene visited Minister Lee Jung-moon to set up this situation. Eugene offered to return the banknote to its rightful owner, but they would have to do this his way. He told Minister Lee Jung-moon that he would plant the banknote in Lee Se-hoon’s home and asks what his punishment would be. The minister told him that Lee Se-hoon would be sentenced to death, and Eugene seemed pleased with that answer.

Back at Lee Se-hoon’s home, a solider finds the banknote in the vase, which proves Minister Lee Se-hoon’s crime. The emperor arrives, and all the servants lay prostrate at his entrance. But from above, Seung-gu thinks back to his youth when Wan-ik informed the war captives that the emperor had abandoned them. Seung-gu cocks his gun and aims it at the emperor, but Eugene stops him. He tells him to save it for another time, as one traitor is enough for tonight.

The emperor receives the banknote that was discovered in Lee Se-hoon’s home, and despite Lee Se-hoon’s insistent pleas that this was a set-up, the emperor declares him guilty of treason. The emperor orders that Lee Se-hoon be sentenced to death, and Minister Lee Jung-moon kills him with his sword without a moment of hesitation. The servants spit on this wretched minister’s dead body, and Eugene watches the death of his enemy from above.

Eugene waits for Ae-shin at the dock by the inn, but the river has frozen over. When Ae-shin arrives, she notices the cut on his face, and Eugene lies that it was from training. He says that she no longer needs someone to row the boat, but Ae-shin says that now they can just walk together beside each other.

Walking on the frozen river, Ae-shin tells Eugene about the commotion over Minister Lee Se-hoon’s death. Eugene feigns ignorance and asks more about the minister, since he’s not familiar with Joseon politics. Ae-shin says that she was merely wary of the minister but had no significant interaction with him. She adds that no one is mourning his death.

Ae-shin asks Eugene to tell the story of how he ended up in the U.S., as she’s curious about his long backstory. Eugene says that when he’s finished with his story, they’ll need to part ways. She wonders why, but he continues with his story: He ran away from Joseon when he was nine years old, and with the help of an American stranger, he sailed to the U.S. for a month as a stowaway.

Ae-shin asks why a nine-year-old ran away to the U.S., and Eugene quotes Ignobleman’s command to kill young Eugene, as it will be a good lesson for his fellow slaves. Eugene says that this is his last memory of Joseon — the words from his owner.

Shocked and speechless, Ae-shin’s eyes fill with tears as she realizes the truth that Eugene was a slave in Joseon. Eugene asks what she’s surprised about — the cruel words of the noble or his real identity? He asks, “Who lives in the Joseon that you’re trying to save? Can butchers live? Can slaves live?”

 
COMMENTS

It’s so satisfying to finally see Eugene take some action and be willing to face the consequences. It was refreshing to see him take the reins in this episode, since he’s mainly been the quiet observer to Ae-shin’s action. While the decisions he made happened to overlap with the resistance efforts, I think his main motivations were still rooted in revenge. He’s still fairly distant from the resistance that Ae-shin so deeply believes in, and I think the final scene really addressed his reasons for his hesitation. He doesn’t believe that Joseon has a place for outsiders like himself or Dong-mae, since he’s only experienced a Joseon that embraces wealthy nobles. I hope that his confession to Ae-shin about his background will spark some reflection in Ae-shin and give us more about the resistance than her naïve perspective as a noblewoman. There are reasons why people have betrayed their nation, and I would love to see Ae-shin come to terms with those valid reasons.

As always, I enjoy watching these three admirers interact because they’re so wary and reluctantly friendly with each other. It’s funny that the person that brings them together is also the person that makes them enemies, and watching this three-way game of chess between these guys is so entertaining. They’re calling each other out without explicitly doing so, and I’m holding my breath waiting to find out who will break this silence first. I’m interested to find out how Dong-mae and Hee-sung will respond to catch Ae-shin’s attention, since they do have the potential to wield a significant amount of power for or against her movement.

Ae-shin’s blooming relationship with Eugene is sweet, and I think I’ll be satisfied if the relationship continues to give us adorable moments without forcing us invest in the romance too much. The romance lost in translation is actually quite enjoyable, and I found it so adorably tragic that Ae-shin’s romantic gesture was totally lost on Eugene because he’s illiterate. It probably touched me more than it did him, and that irony is just wonderful. I feel like this show is finally reaching a nice balance without anything feeling forced, and I hope they continue with this pace. Please take this affirmation to heart, show — I’m rooting for you!

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Is there any Indian beanies here? I was chatting with my friend and we were relating Kim Eun Suk with the Indian film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. His films are of extremely large scale, huge budget, very beautiful to look at, gorgeous costume and star studded cast. However, the stories are..... I am not saying they are bad, but they could have been more. But the actions and romance are spot on.
Do the Indian beanies think so as well?

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This is an interesting comparison. The dramas that Kim Eun Sook writes vs the movies that Sanjay Leela Bhansali directs. I see the parallels you refer to though I'm MUCH more familiar with the dramas.

However, I think the dramas have more plot. Despite a number of complaints about Mr Sunshine's/Goblin's pacing, I had no issues with the story taking it's time because the characters & landscapes were beautiful. The characters are incredibly well fleshed out - a rarity in movies & television - and it's fun to see their interactions.

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That's because Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Kim Eun Sook know how to create a world which draws, no, demands attention. they are full of details and highly thought out that without realizing we are drawn into. After which, even if the plot is not much, you enjoy the movie/drama.

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Hmmm I see where the comparison may lie and I think it is somewhat true for his most recent movies.
However, if you look at his older movies like Devdas and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, it was the story that really amplified the cinematography and thats the reasons why these movies are iconic.
I think like Kim Eun-sook it totally depends on the project like DoS imo wasn't that great but Mr Sunshine is shaping to BE great.

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I definitely get that and agree! Even if the plot leaves something to be desired, a lot of the joy in watching comes from the production value, and makes it a worthwhile commitment. It reminds me also a lot of Baz Luhrman, who has a lot of the qualities that you said.

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I’M not indian but SLB maestro is one of a kind. Tbh I love Bajirao mastani more than padmavaat (also, I’m shamelessy team kashibai)

I wouldn’t say KES is SLB (coz SLB is amazing duh), but I get what you mean. I hope Mr. Sunshine is not Devdas kinda tragic. I never got over that one.

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Hee Sung and his playing innocence and not showing concern to his fiancee in public is making my heart flutter. By hook or crook he is in love with her. That thought and reaction that comes when the other two talked about the man who walks limping and pretending to have limp are just unexpected. Way to go, Hee Sung! Who knows you might win her heart. Hehe

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dear ae-shin,

PLEASE TEACH ME HOW TO FLIRT to a guy just like you do?!?!?!?! XD
I really do wonder where Hina's loyalty is.....but somehow at the moment i feel her alliance is in between unless somethings provokes her to go the other side & knowing she really kinda hates her father that much.

I also wonder what actions/plans will Dong-Mae & Hee-Sung willl make since they are having ideas now already on what Ae-Shin does when evening comes (aka killing/shooting bad guys etc).
WIll the emperor be found guilty by the end of this kdrama? since he did a bad thing.

and yes i wish for more Kyle & Gwang-Soo moments + kinda keep adding up HOW MANY TIMES Il-Sook is mistaken as Gwang-Soo.... LMAO... man they are so alike!!!!!!! but they are different actors in terms of reality/appearance!!!! XD

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I believe Hina's loyalty is based on what is best for her at any given moment, although so far it looks like she floats above it all. But it would be neat if she actually ends up being the Scarlet Pimpernel figure that some of us were hoping for from Hee Sung.

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Hina is an opportunist. She's a businesswoman anyways! :)

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Oh Hina is a survivor. And she will survive. The only time she will take a side is when she figures what happened to her mother. And if the father is connected to it, she will do anything to ruin him.
Until then she is keep all her cards close to her chest.

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Hina is all for herself. After receiving so many betrayals, I can understand.

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Show you tricked me! This was like the calm before a storm!
However a much needed and much awaited storm indeed so I can't really complain...drat! It still hurts though! :(

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Hee-sung's character is excellent. Hee-Sung is highly perceptive of situations and knows how to wheedle out information(Limping scene). Rather, than barrelling his way through courting Ae Shin. He stopped, listened and thought about what makes her not to want the marriage and he is now making her life easier to win her heart. That's one skillful contender for Ae shins affections, unlike Dong Mae who just barrels and doesn't know how to court Ae shin(still pending judgment since his interactions between Kina & fortune reader have been sweet). I wonder what Hee Sung will become in future if he puts his skills to good use? An excellent spy/ a crafty politician? He knows it just doesn't act. I am waiting for Ae shin's friendship to propel him forward (Even though Hee Sung is excellent at courting, Ae shin's heart is already Eugene's. He will never win Ae shin's love but IMO Ae shin and Hee-sung will become lifelong friends. )

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"Lifelong friends" may be only about 3 weeks

I expect our 5 main characters will have at least a 40% mortality rate. Enjoy it while you can.

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It's a 24 ep drama, right? Since we've made it to eps 9 & 10, there's 7 weeks to go. I think "lifelong friends" may last another six weeks at least.

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Oops

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Yep, I'm with you on this one, but I may boost it to 60% (3 out of 5).

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One can hope.... and I expect Hee-Sung and Ae Shin to survive not the other two :P

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I love Hee-Sung the best. The handsome Joseon always :))

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I keep saying this, but this was my favorite episode so far. The layers are peeling back like an onion and I must have been cutting onions because that last scene made my eyes water a bit. I was shocked! SHOCKED! that we’ve lost a character deserving of death. That never happens. So one down, one to go. And Eugene may have won me over this episode. But I think it was because Dong Mae didn’t get much screen time. And Hee-sung being utterly flabbergasted at how quick a study Ae-shin was to that game of pool. This actually was my favorite scene for he juxtaposition of the old Korea with Ae-shin in her beautiful hanbok to the new western world with everything else around her: the pool table, Hee-sung’s suit, and all the furnishings around them. The streaming light though the window behind Hee-sung made this scene so aesthetically pleasing as well.

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She was dressed in a traditional hanbok in the colours of the Korean flag - so she personifies Old Joseon, the motherland, on the brink of change, walking hand in hand with New Joseon, personified by Eugene, in his Western clothes.

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the wardrobe designer deserves an OSCAR (level) award -- the traditional and period clothing designs, fabrics, and tailoring are absolutely STUNNING!!

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I was very taken with Ae Sin's ramrod posture and controlled body language as she informed Hee Sung that their engagement needed to end, as contrasted with his disheveled hair, collarless shirt and sloppy dressing gown (just crawled out of bed look). They couldn't have presented more differently. But of course he is accustomed to being a Young Master and getting away with anything and everything.

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It's funny how the start of the episode makes your heart flutter and the ending gives you heartbreak :') UGH.

When Ae-shin said about her wanting to become a "fire flower", There were two things on my mind:
1. Ae-shin might play a key role in an important mission and sacrifice herself
2. Since Eugene knows, he might go down to the same path (perhaps a hidden mission which Ae-shin isn't notified), and Eugene might sacrifice himself to protect Ae-shin and ultimately Joseon. It could also happen to Dong-Mae or Hui-seung.

Either way, none of my thoughts were good. I truly hope it won't be a sad ending *crossesfingers*, but I'm predicting that one of the three guys will die.

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YEESSSSS! One Evil Minister down, errrrr…many more to go. Honestly, it's like weeding the lawn or the back garden—they just won't die. But this time around we've been shown that nope, he's not gonna be carted off to jail just to escape, HE DEAD. Now Wan-ik is the Evil One to keep an eye on.

The show is seemingly pitting Ae-shin and Hina against each other. Personally, even if I know they wouldn’t be the best of friends, I’d like them to have a sort of ‘the enemy of my enemy’ relationship—they both have a common enemy in Wan-ik, and I’d like the two to realise that they can work with each other in bringing down this man.

After the tense Go Ae-shin Fanboys Club AGM, I was bracing myself that the next time these fanboys meet again, it'll probably be a three-way Mexican standoff a la The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—or the Good, the Bad, and the Good-looking in this case? But whew, thankfully, these guys aren't at each other's throats…yet. It looks like they have begrudgingly agreed to disagree with each other for the meantime.

I dunno whether the Korean language allows it, but I liked that Dong-mae asked Hee-sung why he does nothing as opposed to why doesn't he do anything. I've once read that doing nothing is active—the person chooses to do nothing—whereas the other one is passive. And Hee-sung's answer indeed confirms this—he chooses to do nothing. Many will probably see Hee-sung as a hedonistic fellow and by extension a waste of humanity, but based on his exchange with both Ae-shin and Dong-mae, he's probably a wee bit more epicurean rather than hedonistic (though there a very fine line that separates the two)—for him living without worries, enjoying the simple useless things, and having peace of mind are lofty goals already.

Finally, the running Gwan-soo/Il-shik confusion gag has been put into good use! Heh. Also, I dunno why Minister Lee Jeong-mun scares me, but there's something quite dodgy about him.

And yes! Questions are being asked—questions we viewers have been dying to ask too. What motivates these people? Why do they do the things they do? It's not just Ae-shin who gets confronted with the hard truths, and I like that their beliefs are being questioned.

Dong-mae, the guy who would not die for his principles but would let others die for theirs, finally meets someone who truly will die for what they believe in, and it baffles him—what do they gain from this? In such a precarious time, shouldn't survival be first and foremost? In his view, this sort of idealism is crazy, but it’s telling that he finds such idealism admirable at the same time.

As for Ae-shin, she did say during her exchange with Seung-gu where she told him that she’s on his side, that Joseon doesn’t treat women well—despite being in a place of privilege she also has a gripe with Joseon society—the question was side-stepped at the time, but now it’s high time she figure out what she is truly fighting for, and how the country she fights for...

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can be a place for everyone.

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I also still question Seung-gu's motive...I remembered him hating Joseon and the king because Joseon "abandoned" him when he was a child. So what's his motivation to protect Joseon...killing the king and build a new Joseon?

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He said he needs there to still be a Joseon so that he can fulfill his desire to be a rebel against it.

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Looks like our gunner has a love hate relationship with the country. He loves the country but hates the politics!?

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He wants to Make Joseon Great Again

sorry, I just could not resist.

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He probably doesn't like the system, so he wants to do away with the king, but the country itself he does love...errrr something like that? :) Lol at the Great Again. :D

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This drama reminds me of just how ridiculous Korean's idolatry of 'yang-bahn' is. Seriously, it is the Korean nobility that are the true traitors to Korea. It still exists today as many Koreans are proud that they can trace their origins to nobility. In this drama, the Korean pro-Japanese character, Dong-Mae became that way because of the cruelty of Korean nobility. Indeed, even the main character, Eugene, is the result of Korean nobility cruelty. When Eugene basically asks who/why Ae-Shin is fighting for, THAT is the apex (and food for thought) of this drama, IMHO...

It's good to think sometimes...you know?

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yes, exactly -- the answer to eugene's question (directed at ae shin and the rebels) is more about his personal dichotomy about returning to joseon, wanting revenge as the son of slaves yet learning about what's happening to the people of joseon... and his role in this point in history (is he the black bird or the sky)...

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When Joseon is being sold in parts to Russians, Japanese and others - most nobles are just going with the flow or escaping to other countries with the wealth.
It's the low class people who are putting their life on the line, isn't it?
Only Ae-Shins family seems to be an exception (Grandfather, sons and grand daughter)
Question is what are they fighting for. For one, you need a country to be yours to fight the system. Without a country you lose your identity. Even if you are lower class everyone wants to keep the land/culture that is theirs. I think that's how gunner Jang is. First he needs to safe guard the country and then he can rebel and fight the class system.

Question is AS still hasn't through that far. Can she handle a free class-less Korea. So Eugene planted that seed and am excited to see how it grows.

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I don't think Gunner Jang would fight the Korean class system. He only wanted to kill the emperor because he felt betrayed by him for abandoning his people and his father got killed.

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It's so odd to see the King/Emperor of Joseon (*insert loud, high voice* Pehaaaaa!") in Western attire. Hair parted, wearing a hat, dressed in a suit under that fur - but with his distinctly Joseon-ian beard, giving orders. It was easily my favorite scene in the episode. A true sign of the changing times and how jarring the appear to be.

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I thought that was odd, that the court would have kept their beards but followed the Japanese directive to cut off their topknots. I suppose it's true.

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Actually I've been researching the court dress and there are alot of actual photos of Emperor Gojong wearing western clothes even before the Japanese annexation. The Gwangmu reforms did mandate that court officials adopt western style clothes. I was going to bring this up at some point, because I figured KES was purposely not showing us this to add a certain shock value later in the show, such as telling us the Japanese forced the Korean court to begin wearing western clothes. However, we saw Gojong wear western clothes in this episode. It will still be interesting to see how prevalent western clothing begins to appear in future scenes of Gojong and his court.

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Cool, thanks!

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I wanted to research that myself but I'm super busy, so thank you for that!

I know that it's hard to make a drama set in this period because it's such a painful part of Korean history and people are naturally still sensitive about it, but how I wish there were lots more dramas exploring this history because it's so fascinating and rich with conflict. We're witnessing the tail end of the Joseon Dynasty that had endured for over 500 years! King Gojong enacted massive reforms, declared himself Emporer, renamed Joseon "Daehan Jeguk", started wearing western clothing (and ordered his court, soldiers, and police to do so as well), dealt with multiple foreign empires trying to get a piece of Korea, and became the last royal as he lived through the beginning of the Japanese Occupation. There are so many dramas just asking to be written about this time period!

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This is my interpretation of the last scene:

1. Eugene and Ae Shin cross the frozen lake together. He slips and almost falls, but she saves him from falling. She will save him from himself, from destroying himself through the vicious cycle of revenge. She will redeem him and make him a better man, to forget, and let go of the past.

2. Eugene lies to her about the traitor with a straight face. This will have repercussions later, and I listened to him lie with dread.

3. The surface of the lake is frozen solid with ice. But this is temporary, and soon, the ice will melt and the waters will flow again. The solid ice is the facade of calm and peace, which will come to an end soon, and will change to liquid water again, symbolising turbulent times ahead, but approaching, soon. It is a matter of time before danger becomes a reality.

4. Eugene and Ae Shin walk on the frozen lake together, the two players at the core of the drama. Together, they will face the dangers head on, but Ae Shin will be the stronger one, despite Eugene offering to protect her.

5. The other side is safety, and it is a long, and slippery walk across. The journey to safety is fraught with obstacles, but both of them will face it together.

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omg, there is NOTHING BETTER than when the three of those men are in the same space at the same time....

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Their banter is the best, they feed off of each other really well.

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This episode was bittersweet. I was happy to see AS and Eugene spending more time together but as more people know that they have been spending time together its probably best they part ways, at least for now.

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In one episode, Kim Eun-sook manages to set my ship on sail, and then sink it *sniffles*.

But Eugene and Dong-mae asked the hard questions in this episode. This Joseon that the resistance is fighting for is really only worthy for the nobility, who have always lived in luxury. But for the outcasts of society - the slaves and the butchers, Joseon is a place of nightmares and not worth that much loyalty. I am so impressed with Kim Eun-sook for pointing this out (freedom movements across the world always ignore this fact, so I am so pleased it's being pointed out here).

Like dramallama, seeing Eugene in motion is so satisfying to me. And the actor does such a great job of showing when Eugene's emotions spill out of his carefully controlled exterior. His grief, pain, and anger fill my screen, and the emotions get through to me. I feel it so keenly.

The actor who plays Hee-sung is killing he comic relief. His timing is so impeccable.

Also, this reluctant bromance will never not be funny. They give me so much joke together!

(Did anyone notice in that scene with Lord Lee Se-hun that the blood spatter on his collar was wrong? I looove that scene to bits, but that one detail bothered me, looooool)

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that actor playing Hee Sung is Byun Yo Han and he is fabulous!! he was fabulous in Misaeng and Six Flying Dragons...

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Yes, he is and he was, although I had not recognised him from Misaeng. And I was feeling so proud of myself that I had recognised the King as the nice doctor from Descendants of the Sun...

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OMG YOU'RE RIGHT! THE KING IS THE DOCTOR FROM DOTS!!!

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And the minister who was just killed is the mean Dr. Do from Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, if I’m not mistaken.

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Wasn't the blood on the same side as Eugene nicked his throat? But yes, how does a small slice of the neck cause a small dot at the bottom of your collar?

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No, not Eugene. Lee Se-hun. Eugene held the sword to his neck, but in the other direction from the blood on Lee Stephen's collar.

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Thanks.

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The three reluctant amigos never fail to crack me up. I’m more invested in them than I am in the OTP at this point. It’s good to see Eugene and Dong-mae starting to form an alliance even though they’re more motivated to protect Ae-shin than Joseon right now. I’m glad Eugene got the satisfaction of being able to tell Minister Lee why he was going to be killed later that day. Eugene’s plan was clever-- but man, that poor little girl!

When Hee-sung said that if he does something, he’ll become something great, was that just hubris for a laugh, or was it a veiled reference to secret Scarlet Pimpernel activities? (I obviously haven’t given up hope yet.) His limping (which was more like dragging) was hysterical. Hee-sung obviously ain’t gonna get the girl, but I hope to see Byun Yo-han as a romantic lead who does in the not-too-distant future.

Ae-shin must’ve gotten a ton of endorphins from that hug-- she was limping badly just before it, then she barely limped after it, and not too long after that, she was able to leap off of a third-story balcony and then bound up the stairs before it started hurting again.☺️ There were also some continuity problems with the music box disappearing from the table (and it didn’t look like Ae-shin took it with her), and with her hand suddenly being gloved once she put her hat on— but those are just little blips and I continue to be awed by the production values.

Thanks for the recap!

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Good catch on the disappearing music box.

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...I believe there is an explanation for the missing music box -- stay tuned...

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Did anyone have DotS flashbacks when Ae-Shin jumped down from the 3 storey building?

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How appropriate that last scene, on the ice, where Eugene finally reveals his story to Ae-shin. While they aren't necessarily standing on thin ice, they stand on fragile ice ...... fragile like their hearts and fragile like the daily existence for so many in this Joseon.

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Love your metaphor. Grade A for that.

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This was definitely a romantic and sad episode. I think the relationship between Eugene and Ae-Shin is being handled really well. Eugene is taking baby steps emotionally, but he is taking them. I counted his smiles, and in this episode he smiled at least 7 times. That might be more than the total of all his smiles combined from previous episodes, which we must acknowledge as an emotional avalanche for the character. I was happy to see the catalyst for his smiles was Ae-Shin, and not darker aspects of his return to Joseon (e.g., his successful revenge against Minister Lee Se-hun). Oh, in this episode we also learned that Eugene can wield a mean samurai sword when necessary (much like we learned last week that Gu Dong-mae is also a skilled marksman). I like flexible fighting men.

I got my wish with more scenes featuring Kim Min-jung. Her bath scene was fantastic. However, why is it that most every scene with her only seems to reveal more mystery without explaining anything? My only criticism of this scene is the fact that the make-up team and/or editing crew failed to show her back scars in the first tub shot, yet they magically appeared seconds later (see my fan wall for the shot sequence). I did love her later scene with Ae-Shin in the hotel dining room; it was delicious to see her show her claws to Ae-Shin (and it wasn't spoiled by the background PPL). Although this episode did address my chief complaint of a lack of screen time for Kim Min-jung, I still felt more teased than pleased - if that makes sense.

Yoo Yeon-seok continues to smolder on the screen with his portrayal of Gu Dong-mae. I find myself rooting for an obvious evil character at a level I can't remember doing since Darth Vader in the Star Wars films. This episode in particular boosted my enamor with Dong-mae because it showed us several positive qualities of the character. Hold on, beanies, it's possible we might see a huge shift in this character's path. Let the rampant speculation begin!

Byun Yo-han is doing all he can with the character of Hee-sung at this point in the story. It's just that Hee-sung is rather hapless right now; he's trying to play catch-up with everything around him. Right now, we see him putting together the clues to unravel the secrets of Ae-Shin. He's on track to solve that mystery, and perhaps even guesses at the truth. Byun Yo-han is doing fine work, and it distracts me from other mysteries I would like to solve about Hee-sung, such as how he can smoke futuristic Camel cigarettes in 1903 (see my fan wall for details).

Kim Tae-ri is superb as our lovely bulkkot. She continues to impress, both with her beauty and acting.

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I also noticed the amount of smiles Eugene gave this episode, he seems like a such a different person when he lets go of his stoic demeanor. It was wonderful to see him and Ae-shin enjoying their time together and being lighthearted for a change.

Flexible men are great. It's obvious Eugene prefers a gun and Dong-mae prefers a sword, but they're capable fighters regardless of their weapon -- which makes them both much more dangerous. I like this very much.

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Good catch on the scars-- I'm sure you had to rewatch that scene purely for research purposes, right? I guess the person in charge of continuity was sick during the filming of this episode. I don't really mind the mistakes though-- it's kind of fun to spot them, and I like things that are perfectly imperfect anyway.

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P u r e l y f o r r e s e a r c h.

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Tim -- have you ever been told that your English grammar is simply beyond compare...?

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Hmmmm, not recently. I am born and raised American, so my grammar should probably be better than it is. My excuse is that after working over 34 years in the Information Technology field, my grammar has been eroded by a long and constant bombardment of acronyms, abbreviations, and programming language syntax.

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...just nice to see proper English written... such a rarity nowadays...

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I have come to seriously believe Hee Sung is the one backing and giving orders to the Rebels. I think his air of bon vivant is an act to disguise his true determinations. His comment to Dong Mea that he prefers to be nothing because if he chose to be something he would be quite good at it was actually a confession. He picked up on the relationship of DM looking for someone w/a limp to Ae Sin's stumble at the pool table very quickly and made a clever joke out of it as he fake limped out of the bar. He was covering for her. He has more steel than his character development has so far let on. These are just my thoughts, I could be crazy off mark.

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Your theory would definitely be quite the plot twist! I applaud your imagination, don't stop.

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I am hoping this too. (And as a voluntary sacrificial character, I believe he will give his life before the drama is over--and I will cry my eyes out when that happens.)

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I would applaud Kim Eun-sook so much if she actually planned what you suggested, which is brilliant, by the way.

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Ah! I thought the AS-grandfather is the head ; )) Or the 2 characters who dropped off Ae-Shin baby and disappeared. They were rebels working along side AS's parents. Now probably working in Japan and helping rebels in Josean.

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Oooh. I'm loving this idea about grandpa. 🤔

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This is the only comment on this drama that has intrigued me and made me want to watch it. I hope you are right!

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I so hope that you're right! The clever @wishfultoki brought up this possibility-- that Hee-sung is basically a Korean Scarlet Pimpernel-- back in the ep. 3 recap, and discussed it with @bbstl. I've had my heart set on this being true ever since. (The Scarlet Pimpernel was the prototype for heroes with a secret double life such as Zorro, Batman, Superman, and uri Healer.)

I keep seeing signs that make me hopeful, though they may just be wishful thinking. At first I thought Hee-sung's gambling was just part of the cover he's been cultivating as a wastrel, but now I think it's also giving him an excuse to visit the pawn shop regularly, which is likely a hub for the Righteous Army. It's also quite possible that he knew who Ae-soon was before their conversation at the pawn shop, and he wants to be her confidant.

As @RLD pointed out, his comment to Dong-mae was likely a confession, and showing Ae-shin his disheveled self who's "only interested in useless things" certainly fits the profile. He was able to see what a good shot Ae-shin is when they played pool-- he probably already knew about Ae-shin being a shooter, or at least suspected it. A couple episodes back, he was wondering why Ae-shin was having a suit made each year in her size, and in the next ep., we learn why, in this episode, he ordered a duplicate in his size of Ae-shin's most recent suit.

It's gotta be true, right? "H" is for "hug", but also for "Hee-sung", "Hina", and "hidden heroes", right?

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This is a great theory. I never read The Scarlet Pimpernel, so I wikipedia'd it and found this description
"leads a double life: apparently nothing more than a wealthy fop" - which perfectly described Hee Sung. (well, for now, at least the part about the 'wealthy fop' does!)
I hope this is where it goes! (And if we are wrong, then it must be Hina, but my money is still on Hee Sung!)

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Yes, @wishfultoki, @risaa and I have been nurturing this Scarlet Pimpernel fantasy since before Hee Sung even showed his face and I must say, the wait grows rather loooong 🙄. To the point that I'm just about ready to think the real S.P. might turn out to be - Hina! Although I suppose both AS and Eugene could be modified Pimpernels. (But they definitely don't ever appear to be wastrels in any way.)

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Wishful thinking is my specialty. I do not think Hee Sung is a handsome Joseon Pimpernel... yet. 😉 But he is aware of the failings of Joseon caste system and he has in-depth knowledge of Japanese affairs, plus connections at court and at Glory Hotel, and most importantly, he has a reputation as an inoffensive useless gambler. In sum, he has the makings of a Pimpernel IF he finds a reason to become (and doesn’t become a villain, but let’s not think about that)... either way Ae Shin and his drinking buddies might be the catalyst.

Oh. For a extra dose of tragedy, and in line with the Scarlet Pinpernel book...if he DOES decide to don a freedom-fighter suut, how ironically tragic would it be if his lady love does not know he is a hero until almost too late? —> tears.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We have 14 more episodes LOL. This Third Lead Syndrome is serious. 😂

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Ooo! That’s clever. I could see that. Especially since he insists on staying at the Glory Hotel which is a revolving door of information. I am now really hoping that this turns out to be true!

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I would be entirely thrilled if this were the case. Please, show, please!!!!!!!

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Love that the writer made the attempt to address GAS motivation to fight for her nation. Actually, I’m one of those that’s fine if her motivation rooted from the good-natured upbringing she received or from the newspaper that she read secretly. However, it will be nice if the dilemma that she faced now will add extra depth to her motivation. If I recalled correctly, I doubt that she knows her parents die as freedom fighters, so that might not be the motivation. So I'm interested to know what kind of realisations that are in store for uri petite yet strong-willed GAS.

I have a feeling that the actions were saved for the final weeks, so show, bring in the three ways bromance in the mean time.

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I hold my breath through Yoo-Jin’s revelations on the ice (beautiful scene also) and gasped when the realization hit Ae-Shin. An amazing, heartfelt piece of acting.

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Hee-sung ain't no slouch, he's a smarty, putting together what Dong-mae and Eugene were talking about and realizing Ae-shin isn't the perfect, pretty flower he believes her to be. Hee-sung is growing on me very rapidly.

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I think we need to spend more time with Hee-Sung. What is he doing with all of the information he is collecting? Who else is he socializing with?

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Well, one unexpected person he's socializing with is Domi, and they seemed to be close.

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For all of us who patiently watched this show, we finally got the plot moving. And what a great episode it was.
Loved Eugene’s revenge which was a calculated move and ended up benefiting everyone.
Am glad that foreign minister is dead.

And AS - after DongMae now it’s Eugene’s turn to ask her the profound question. Why? Who are you fighting for?. I think this question is going to eat her away for a few more episodes. She has time to think until her leg heals.
And I can’t wait for HeeSung to change. He is already in the cusp. He already knows AS is the limping one - but doesn’t know how she got hurt - not yet.

Time for Hina’s story! Am ready.

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I'm sorely tempted to pick this show back up again and just swallow all my discomfort with the age gap and potential romance between the leads, for the simple fact that I am loathe to miss out on another Kim Eun-sook woman to add to my list of awesome Kim Eun-sook women.

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Hmmm, how to say this...Go ahead and give in to your temptation because you may soon not have that discomfort.

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I don't like it when those in power put a very young woman with an older man--just because of arbitrary reasons. Especially when there are a number of actresses who could fill the role better than the teen/idol/too young girls that are sometimes cast.
But the backstory of this drama mandates that Eugene be older--and that AS and her financee be the same approximate age. That's why I can accept the age difference of the two leads. It is an integral part of the story--not because some (projecting) producer wants to have an old geezer look attractive to a sweet young thing. (And no, I'm not inferring that the actor who plays Eugene is a geezer.)

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I'm not normally put off by age differences, I was able to enjoy Goblin in spite of that, it's just because combined with the age difference, I'm creeped out by Lee Byung-hun's real life character so it's a little hard for me to get past the whole thing.

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Valid point.

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If that is how you feel, would advise that you skip the drama as you would probably not enjoy it as the character played by LBH is an integral part of the story.

Although there are people who do not like the drama, there are also many comments saying that this may be turn out to be Kim Eun Seok’s best piece of work.

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I would agree with you... in K-dramas, Descendants of the Sun is in 1st place from the revenue standpoint (400,000,000 Chinese viewers watched it; that's 1/3 the population of China -- not to mention the rest of the world...), it was very highly rated, but I think that Mr. Sunshine will surpass it...

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LBH is too old, i agree - tho he looks younger than his actual age...

however, there is no other actor (who would be actually 39 or 40) who can speak such good english, unfortunately... well, daniel henney, but he's half-half, so he doesn't look the part...

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...way too pretty...

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I’m not a fan of Lee Byung Heon myself, but Kim Tae Ri is a queen in this and I can’t stop staring at her.

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I love how the show is (finally) addressing the issues of class and loyalty. Things are ramping up and Hina is actually getting screen time. Good things do happen!

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Kim Eun Suk is brilliant in making interesting worlds and set-ups, but her plots and pacing really suck. Im having the same problems as I had with Goblin, where I'm struggling to stay interested. There is a lot of promise in the characters that she has built up, but its ep 9 and I feel like there should be more happening by now, but nothing is happening. I wish the show would figure out if it wants to focus on the romance or the resistance piece of it, because it's not doing either really well. Lee Byun Hun is not delivering his role as much as I had expected from him. IDK, this like Hwarang, where there is so much things that could be done, but the cast and the set ups are really wasted through her writing.

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Yes, the pacing is slow but I think very deliberate. It gives you time to left every word sink in and marinate, Let’s to pay attention to every frame and how they are composed. Every frame is a portrait, and we noticed a few mistakes here and there because if this fact. I feel like I’m watching a movie every episode.

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I'm okay with the slow pace, there is a lot to take in. Plus you have time to enjoy the cinematography.

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I don't mind the pacing either. Plot points are happening--unlike other dramas where they would have waited until the second to last episode for Eugene to tell his reason for leaving Josan. I'm good with slow. I don't mind when relationships develop slowly. (And at this time in history, that's how it was.)

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Joseon

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Im okay with slow, i loved Rain or Shine which was an incredibly slow paced story (i think). But in those stories, I felt like I'm getting to know the characters and their psyche more. In Mr Sunshine (and Goblin) I'm getting to know their history but i don't know what they are thinking. And when they do share, it seems more shallow than what their character had been built up for. The frames are solely the skill of the cinematographer and the director which i highly appreciate, but seems wasted for an unmoving plot.

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I watched this show on my laptop until ep. 7 and suffered from the slow pace, long stares and dramatic frames...but I watched ep. 8-10 on a large TV screen and it was a different experience. I kept holding my breath at how beautiful it was. It helped that the action increased a bit. Ae Shin flying through rooftops, Dong-Mae running through narrow lanes. Minister meeting Interpreter in the foggy forest and AS and Eugene walking on ice... I am never going back to watching this show on my 13” laptop!

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It is a romantic episode and I do enjoy the hug, rickshaw date and all the flirting between Ae Shin and Eugene when she visited his office on her own but under the excuse that he had summoned her again. Aegishi, you even fake somehow unconvincingly your annoyance for being summoned again........I do not know what to say about you except that you are an expert.

But what really stands out more for me in this episode are:

1) The way Eugene planned and executed his plan (with the help of Seung Gu) to bring down Lee Se Hun and returned the banknote certificate to Joseon, the rightful owner at the same time while helping Joseon to get rid of a traitor. It is more than killing 2 birds with one stone. I think he would make a good leader for the Righteous Army.
2) The scene when Eugene revealed that he was born a slave in Joseon to Ae Shin and asked her what exactly is she fighting for and if there is a place for Butchers or slaves in the Joseon that she is fighting for. Eugene gained some respect from me for still being able to question her even though he is in love with her.

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3) How Dong Mae is surprised and affected by the conviction of the member of the Righteous Army (that his minions had caught) in their cause and how willing he is to die for their cause. So much do that he release the guy and let him go. First time I see him hesitated to kill someone who is not Ae Shin. First time that I can see possibility of redemption arc for Dong Mae. So good development here too.

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Ae Shin has weird taste in men. She's got two hot guys pining over her and she likes her "appa"

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...all I can say is "the heart wants what the heart wants"...

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...how come your comment was deleted..?

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I deleted it I wanted to know if at some point they would be able to do a recap of my id is gangnam beauty

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...thanks for the clarification...

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This was a great episode. Things actually happen! Watching the big bad asshat get his comeuppance was joyous (though a little gore-y) and Eugene beginning to sort through his pain is definitely a step up.

Episode highlight (one of many, though this one cracked me up the most): Eugene drinking the medicinal brew that was meant for his feet. LOL.

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And how hilarious that Hina had it prepared that way and sent up. Very interesting.

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Was it though? Or was the sickle-wielding servant pulling his leg and it was in fact meant to be drunk?

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Tee hee that guy is what I'd call a real sh*t disturber, so you're probably right 🤣

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Come on, Eugene: any foreigner can learn Hangul in one week -two if we are being very lazy-, and we do not even know what the words mean. You can do it!

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Im just enjoying the "sweet" interaction between the 3 suitors while i can..

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