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Wind and Cloud and Rain: Episode 1 (Review)

It’s not easy to meet a sageuk that’s serious but not overkill, and fun but not dopey — and I really like the start that Wind and Cloud and Rain has taken. It opens with a rich backstory of love, rivalry, and a heroine with the gift of foretelling that must be kept a secret.

Note: This is an opening week review only.

 
EPISODES 1 REVIEW

Foretelling, foreshadowing, and capture are how we open our drama. Our heroine, LEE BONG-RYUN (Go Sung-hee) is in a drug-induced hallucination, telling her captor of his fate. The man he fears is coming soon, she warns, and we see him in her mind’s eye.

She wasn’t kidding about the soon part — that very man shows up in the next scene just as Bong-ryun is being secretly transported via palanquin. He’s our hero, CHOI CHUN-JOONG (Park Shi-hoo), but we don’t know that yet, and he seems like more of a foe. He stops the heavily guarded brigade from passing and demands that the woman come out to meet him. She’s shrouded in a veil and says no one is allowed to see her face… but she lifts it up and the two are eye to eye. He’s transfixed, confirms that she is the woman he’s been searching for, and a few ninja fighters later and they’ve absconded with her.

When Bong-ryun wakes up, Chun-joong is nearby. He tells her she’s under the influence of a drug that’s made her forget, and will slowly poison her unless they get it out of her body. She’s strangely receptive to him, and sees flashes of memories relating to him that seem to confirm what she’s feeling. Finally he tells her, “You’re my wife,” and asks that she listen to his story. And then, our drama begins.

I went into a bit of detail there because it’s such a fun and well-framed opening. Thanks to the story within a story setup, suddenly everything already feels more mythical and epic. We know the two share a story, that they’ve been pulled apart, and that there are powerful forces at work in the story. What’s their history exactly? Why do I already feel so committed to finding out? It’s just the right amount of action and intrigue to pull us in.

From here, we head into our couple’s backstory. The year is 1862. Though Bong-ryun and Chun-joong live in the same village, they’re from two different worlds. Chun-joong is the smart, sweet, and pure-hearted son of an official, whereas Bong-ryun is of a lower class, and the feisty (and wonderful) daughter of a shaman. The two are drawn together, and notice each other for a while, but it’s not until our antagonist is introduced that the two meet properly.

That antagonist is CHAE IN-GYU (Sung Hyuk). He’s the polar opposite of Chun-joong’s earnest goodness — he uses his social standing to his benefit and is unscrupulous and mean-spirited. He torments Bong-ryun (since he obviously likes her but isn’t evolved enough to realize it), and winds up using herg as target practice one day. She’s saved by Chun-joong, and it’s the start of a delightful, youthful romance.

Why does this backstory have to be so good?! I really love it when a young cast nails their part of the story, and all three of our main players really do that here. But it’s Chun-joong and Bong-ryun who are the most magical here in their youthful romance, meeting in a secret spot, and dancing together in the sunset. I’m not sure why this scene grabbed my heart quite as much as it did — there’s something so fleeting and innocent about their encounters that’s so well-captured.

Chun-joong and Bong-ryun make a perfect pair, and both seem to find a freedom in the other. For Chun-joong, it’s freedom from his overbearing family, and for Bong-ryun, it’s freedom from the oppressive secret she and her mother are striving to hide: Bong-ryun actually has a massive gift of foretelling (and specifically of foreseeing deaths). Her mother warns her, though, that though this is a gift from the gods, it will be a curse to her if others find out… so Bong-ryun hides it as best as she can.

This sweet romance is quickly shaken, though, when Bong-ryun is forced to reveal her secret in order to save her mother’s life. And it’s all downhill from there. As foreshadowed, the reveal of her abilities means she’s enslaved by others — quite literally, in fact.

We then jump to five years later, with our adult cast. They’re living very much in the shadow of their past. Chun-joong is unable to forget Bong-ryun, and Bong-ryun is basically a shaman slave for the high-ranking official who’s had her in his custody. When our lovers cross paths again, it’s because Chun-joong’s intelligence and Bong-ryun’s visions have led them both to the same place — and what’s going to happen now that they’re reunited?

The love story between our two leads is of course the main focus of the drama, but it looks like evil second lead In-gyu will be as important in the present as he was in the past. He’s still got his penchant for shooting people point-blank with his bow, and he looks like he’s got some serious evil up his sleeve.

I enjoy a good love story just as much as the next girl, but I also have a strange soft spot for the evil third wheel. You know, the guy that didn’t quite make it to the other end of the love triangle. In a different drama he would be SLS material, but in a drama like this, he can’t process or admit (at least yet) his attraction to our heroine. So instead he just stews in hate, torments her when he can, and rips our pair apart at every opportunity. This sort of character can be flatter than flat, orrrr it can be interesting and nuanced, full of the inner conflict of loving someone who hates your guts. I’m hopeful this will be the latter.

After such a (surprisingly) strong start to the drama, I have to admit that the only downside for me is the fact that Park Shi-hoo plays our hero. I wasn’t a huge fan to begin with, but his real-life scandals are so big that they cloud over my ability to see him as grown-up Chun-joong. Young Chun-joong was the epitome of the pure-hearted, adventurous young hero — a character worthy of a fairy tale. So, when we do our five-year jump to the present day, not only is Park Shi-hoo a little too old for a proper replacement, but he doesn’t have the same magic about him, and that’s a shame.

Rather than torture myself by thinking of the string of actors that would have been better suited for this role in terms of their age and their real-life sparkle, we’ll have to take the drama as it is — whether that means grinding our teeth, or trying to ignore an actor’s scandals and focus on his performance instead (since he’s still getting cast).

Wind and Cloud and Rain really nailed its opening episode. We’ve covered a lot of ground and gotten to know our leads, but we’re still in the thick of the story, and finding out what happened between them just as the present-day Bong-ryun is learning the same.

The rescue scene that opens our drama adds a great level of storytelling dimension, but the drama also uses other means to create this rich and almost mythical feeling in its opening episode. We’re in a world where the high-ranking young men go gumiho hunting in the forest for fun, where potions and tinctures can capture a person better than any chains, and where supernatural visions and insight are the greatest asset one can have.

I admit it takes a lot to get me excited about a sageuk, just because I struggle with the odd balance of swashbuckling epic and cheesy theatricality. Wind and Cloud and Rain, though, struck all the right chords for me in that respect, and with some strong world-building under our feet, we’ll see where the story goes from here.

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Hmm! I’ve been way out of the loop. Thank you for this lovely first recap! Time to go find it and watch it!

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Thank you for the review, @missvictrix 😘😘 *finger hearts*

For the sake of not tainting @missvictrix ‘s work, I really, REALLY hope that the comments will remain civil and nice, and not go off the rails and off topic from the drama into a Park Shi Hoo witch hunt 😒😒

Agree to disagree in a timely and civil manner, and leave it at that. We are better than this, dear Beanies ~!!! 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

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Hating on rapists who not only don't get the punishment they deserve, but also keep getting more work while continuing to unchangingly be disgusting towards women (as witnessed recently), is not a "witch hunt" :) Actors here get hate left and right for much less. So actually rapists are, and should be, fair game :) Being civil is good. But there is a time and place for diplomacy and this isn't it 🤷🏻‍♀️

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But ripping into the actor for the sake of ripping into the actor in the comments of a drama recap 🤔

Maybe I just don’t understand it, because I usually also stay away from the other types of comment threads that rip into other actors/actresses for other things that take place on Dramabeans, like you mentioned

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@windsun33 @bcampbell1662

My curiosity is just whether or not such debates and ripping into an actor/actress is necessary and if it’s necessary to have it be done in the comments of a drama recap 🤔
The recappers work hard to give us recaps for different dramas to give us a variety of choices to read about and to consider if we want to continue on reading the recaps (of there’s more to come) and/or if we want to switch to actually watching the drama (which, no one is forcing anyone to do either if there’s an actor/actress a Beanie doesn’t agree with)....
My heart just hurts for the recappers as it seems like almost 90% of the time a drama that has an actor/actress people disagree with, the actual recap—and therefore, the work— of the recapper Beanie is just completely ignored and there’s no (civil) discussion about the drama itself, but the attention is completely turned over to the ripping apart of the actor/actress...

Is it really that difficult to just choose to stay completely clear of a drama/drama recap that has an actor/actress you disagree with??

Yunno, instead of putting in that extra effort to go out of your way to click on the drama/drama recap just to add that one extra mean/negative comment that just completely brings down the mood for everyone else who do choose to read the recap/watch the drama 😕

If someone/something doesn’t interest you, is it really necessary to still run to it (instead of staying clear of it) to rip into it and try to stop others from trying it out/enjoying it just so that others agree with you?

I can say that there are a few shows that are currently being recapped here that I just can’t get into—be it because of the cast or writing— but I’m not choosing to go and leave comments just for the sake of ripping into the actors/actresses/writing/plot, etc.

😕😕😕 Again, this is all just my curiosity

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It's not the same as people jumping on Suzy post because they find her a bad actress.

He is not a bad actor he is a rapist. In my opinion. So labeling him such is not mean or negative.

Filling up a comment sections with hateful comments against LMH because you think he is a bad actor is different.

Being a bad actor and being someone that raped someone are two completely different things.

I dont think that anyone here is being disrespectful towards missvictrix or her work.
I would assume that she and the rest of the Dramabeans staff would know that this post could potentially bring out strong emotions and were prepared for that.

Also, if any Beanie clicks on the title of the post not knowing who stars in it (my scenario) or purposefully clicking on it and then remarking that they can not watch because they do not like care for the actors, writers, or whatever is ok, especially if they feel like they find the content of the post or the drama could be triggering. And that is not disrespectful towards this site and the work that they do.

Now I should probably take a break from here for a while, because I'm feeling slightly confrontational and emotional and feel like that is how I'm sounding and I hate that feeling.

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The problem I have is that much/most of the rape stories come from the South Korean media and social sites. Hard to tell what is really true - and I would note that the woman that accused him dropped the charges after several inconsistencies were found in her original testimony. I cannot help but wonder if this was more of a trial by social media than anything else.

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But it is on video that he and another man carried her into his house because she was either unconscious or unable to walk. That part is true.
For many people they can not define anything after that as consent.

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I think many testimonies of rape victims are not completely consistent, because of the trauma.

Honestly, I doubt I'd be able to give a completely calm, consistent testimony after being raped.

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During a traumatic event your brain often cannot register important details because it is only focused on survival (This happened to me personally and it is extremely frustrating) . Inconsitencies in testimonies of victims (of sexual violence) is very common and doesn't mean it has to be a made up story. The percentage of proven fake accusations of sexual assault is only around 9%, the percentage of women who have experienced sexual assault and haven't reported it is much higher than this often for the reason that they think they won't be believed or that they will be blamed for what happened. In this case the woman was carried unconciously into his house, which was even caught on video. I think questioning whether after that she consented or not shouldn't even be considered at all.

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He had intercourse with somebody who could not give consent due to heavy drinking...she may have settled in court but this much is established fact...its called rape...on top of that he made crude jokes in press briefing for this drama about female leads intimate scenes...I am sorry but I don't think a lot of us can stomach him given his track record. Shame, drama seems interesting.

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First glance -- Oh, interesting! Maybe I should take a look.

Second glance -- Oh, Park Shi-hoo. No, thank you. Apart from his past, I somehow feel that he is always trying harder to look good on camera than he is to interact with the other actors in the scene. Sorry for Go Sung-hee that she would up with him as ML. She deserves better.

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He actually made some really weird comments about being excited to film romantic scenes with her in the promotional press conference. Girl must have been so weirded out

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That is exactly how I felt about him in Prosecutor Princess. He was much better in Princess's Man which I think had a lot to do with a very strong director.

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FIVE YEARS? My personal vendetta against PSH aside, who on earth could buy that he's only five years older than that teen lmao

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On Viki this sageuk is titled KINGMAKER: THE CHANGE OF DESTINY. My wife stumbled upon it and watched the first episode- and it is apparently very very good. She can hardly wait for the subtitles to complete on the next episode. Given that there is still a day to go for the second episode to even be broadcast this show is likely to test her patience.

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Thank you! I've been trying to find this.

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Thanks for the review @missvictrix! I tuned into the first episode, and misgivings about the male lead aside, it was very well-crafted. I also enjoyed the young characters' backstory, so much that I was sorry we had to see their adult versions so soon. That dancing scene was lovely, I agree.

I have one question though (SPOILET alert if you haven't seen it yet): if she is indeed the king's daughter, why did he hand her over to a noble family instead of keeping her at the palace? It seemed that the Kim family (and the queen) are more powerful than the king... wait. Is this the Kim family of the last years of Joseon? 1862-1867... I know very little about this period of Korea's history. It's all a muddle of aristocratic factions, so this should be interesting to watch.

Mini spazz about the secondary cast: I was excited to see a JUMONG reunion. First,we see Jeon Kwang-ryul in the opening scene, playing the role of Heungseon Daewongun. In a deja vu of JACKPOT, I yelled LEE IN-JWAA!! Later in the episode we meet Kim Seung-soo, also playing a villain. If you've seen JUMONG, you may remember that JKR played the role of King Geumwa of Buyeo, and KSS was his eldest son Daeso.

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97% sure, yes it is those famously powerful Kims. And having a top-notch fortune teller won't make them less powerful in the short term. Once the ML catches up to them that may change?

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I completely agree with you @missvictrix. I really wanna watch this drama cause it seems interesting but the only problem is Park Shi Hoo. I know I won't be able to root for the his character because of him. It's a shame because Go Sung Hee has been on my radar and she's steadily improving. While i know that a drama is much more than the actors involved in it, it still isn't easy for me to be very invested in it.

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There are so many excellent dramas with less problematic actors...I'll pass, thank you.

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I have to admit the whole PSH scandal is one of the most confusing piece of K entertainment news. The circumstances were so complicated that I cannot trust either side of the story.
If this show is continuing to have good reviews in later episodes, I will give it a try. There are quite a few well-received modern dramas recently, but Sageuk has its own charms that I dearly miss.

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It's rough, isn't it? Considering how little come out these days, it's really hard to refuse the sageuks we're given.

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There have been reports of Shin Hye-sun appearing in QUEEN CHEORIN later this year.
It is difficult to nail down anything definitive about this project.
DramaBeans carried this post back in March:
http://www.dramabeans.com/2020/03/shin-hye-sun-considers-becoming-a-queen-for-tvn-fusion-sageuk/
FWIW you can check this piece out also:
https://www.kpopmap.com/queen-cheorin-2020-drama-cast-summary/

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Separate from the ML's past, the FL isn't exactly a top star and the writer doesn't have much of a track record (no Asianwiki entry). I guess TV Chosun isn't exactly a big fish in the kdrama pond and they have to settle for what they can afford.

FWIW, their previous show in this time slot also had a writer do didn't even rate an entry in Asianwiki, and an FL who wasn't exactly A-list, but it turn out ok. There may be something to be said for giving new writers a chance (???)

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I haven’t seen episode one of KING MAKER (to differentiate from THE KING) but I plan to watch today and I am pleased at the early returns.
A couple general thoughts concerning TV CHOSUN. As far as I know (and I don’t go back all that far) KING MAKER is their third Sat/Sun night sageuk. I am please that KM is a two episode a week drama because for awhile it looked like KM’s 24 (real sageuk) episodes would run until October.
As a reminder TV CHOSUN’s previous sageuks were SELECTION: THE WAR BETWEEN WOMEN/QUEEN:LOVE AND WAR (2019/20) and GRAND PRINCE (2018).
Speaking of the writers of the last two. Q:L&W’s writer Choi Soo Mi has that drama has her/his only entry on MyDramaList.
At the time of broadcast GP’s writer Jo Hyun Kyung had 2 entries on MyDramaList: the movie HOLLY (2013) and the sageuk MAIDS (2014).
Let me put it this way. Both GRAND PRINCE and QUEEN: LOVE AND WAR were fine dramas/sageuks. All time greats maybe not. TV CHOSUN is producing decent sageuks.
I am grateful to GRAND PRINCE for introducing me to Yoon Shi-yoon and I have fond memories of GP fans here at DB commenting on a DIY hijacked post that was necessary because of the unfortunate circumstances here at the time.
QUEEN: LOVE AND WAR concluded THE GREAT SAGEUK YEAR OF 2019.

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Oh man, this actually sounds fantastic - I'm really glad you reviewed this, @missvictrix. If I could get over you-know-what, I would definitely be watching.

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There's another way to view this and that is that the production company ruined a perfectly good drama by letting Park Si-hoo's family buy him the lead role. If nobody watches it then production companies will get the message and no amount of money will entice them.

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In a perfect world, yes, but his other recent dramas weren't exactly popular were they? I don't really remember there being any buzz for Lovely Horribly or Babel. I'm worried that his persistence is going to keep him around. You know Park Yoo-chun has basically been cancelled in Korea for the same things that Park Shi-hoo has had glossed over. I can't understand the inconsistency of it at all.

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@frabbycrabsis It seems to me that inconsistency should be expected because each case is different and they can't be rubber stamped. I actually forget when Park Shi-hoo did or was accused of doing but still remember Park Yoo-chun's headlines. This topic is so complex and definitely depends on so much more than just what we believe we know about the situation. For instance, I detest Michael Jackson passionately. I can barely stand to even look at any photos of him. But I have to admit, his music was sometimes outstanding and he had an ability to entertain his audiences. Some people believe the accusations and some people don't. Some people practically worship Michael Jackson and some detest him and some in a spectrum in between. There is so much involved and so much that the general public just simply does not know. Fans (and antifans) are a strange breed. But I am not sure they make the best judges of a person's value in society.

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Park Yoo-chun has been cancelled because of drugs. That's the inconsistency here - that a drug charge can ruin your career but rape can't. It says a lot. Yoo-chun's career was doing fine post assault accusations until the drug charges.

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That's true, the drugs were the nail in the coffin. Says a lot, really.

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I really wish this drama was added to the currently airing drama list here! It's because I like having the complete picture of dramas airing at the moment. That's why I felt sorry for other dramas not included in the list, Chef Moon being the last one

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When saeguk is rare and they turn up with Park Si Hoo

sigh,

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The situation poses an interesting moral dilemma, which I've had in the back of my mind for a while. Korea requires such high standards of its actors--any little scandal will ruin their reputation and possibly their career for life. And yet, Korea's entertainment industry is proverbially rife with abuse, sexual and otherwise. As long as a public figure isn't openly charged with something, it is all swept under the rug and ignored. Look at how many Korean celebrities commit suicide... The companies they work for minimize the victims by saying, "Oh, they were overworked and under a lot of pressure." It takes a lot for a human being to lose the will to live. Just being overworked and pressured doesn't make someone want to die. We have no idea how much abuse they may have been going through. And yet we still consume the content these companies produce.

On the other hand, the same culture of abuse exists in Hollywood and while some public figures take the fall for it, most are left unscathed even when openly accused. How many Hollywood actors and other western celebrities can you name that have been arrested for drugs or DUI or prostitution (Hugh Grant), accused of rape, child molestation, etc., (Kobe Bryant, Kevin Spacey, Roman Polanski) with no appreciable effect on their career?

Do k-drama fans hold Korean actors to a higher standard than Hollywood? Do we hold the people we see on the screen to a higher standard than the anonymous people they work for?

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2 of the 3 guys you mentioned are cancelked ..the first one, try speaking out against it, and a legion of fsns will condemn you to fiery pits of hell. Did you not see what happened to Gayle King??

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Oooh, I was going to pass on this show but got intrigued from reading this episode review🤔💭. Maybe I'll wait till completed and then marathon.
Thank you @missvictrix!

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I may end up watching this, though I generally cannot stand sageuks. Most have too much of the old men in beards and funny hats sitting around discussing the best way to screw over their subjects and over the top stunts.

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Thank you for the first episode review, missvictrix!!
lead actress was hyena's mom in Mother. She did really well in that drama along with her partner. She deserves better than this. Really sad to hear that the not a gentle man is the lead opposite her.
I can watch a bad actor for many hours but not a bad human. Not for a second. Those like him should not be given a chance. And this is where south korea is lacking. If only such criminals are punished properly.. but then again I know there are many who will not mind his personal life and watch the drama. It should not be like this not when he is not wrongly accused

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I watched the first episode and quite liked it--some inconsistencies aside. It seems like a good show to watch through the long, hot, quarantine summer.

And then I read the comments; I don't know the actor, and had no idea what everybody was talking about. That's not good.

So this is a later period than most historical dramas, isn't it? The lead's guest room (very western and a globe, too--nice detail) gave that away for me. But the one thing that never seems to change are the costumes. As a westerner, perhaps there are tiny details over the centuries that I don't see? I can definitely pin-point the Century (and sometimes the decade) in western dress. And even in Chinese costume, I think? But the Korean costumes seem eternal. An added plus for the budget-conscious?

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Where can I watch this? It’s not in Netflix Nor Viu.

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Thanks for the review.

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