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Descended From the Sun: Episode 5

It’s difficult enough to settle into a strange new place without confusing feelings getting into the mix, and Mo-yeon especially struggles to come to terms with all of the changes in her life. Shi-jin would love nothing more than to help her with that, but he finds himself facing unexpected challenges which could threaten his commitment to his career. They both have a lot to worry about, not least of which is their growing attraction, and what to do about it.

EPISODE 5 RECAP

Shi-jin watches Mo-yeon drinking the cooking wine, and she misinterprets his stare and offers him a drink. “I can find a way to drink,” he says in a low voice, and quickly closes the distance between them. He kisses her, long and slow, and Mo-yeon’s eyes flutter closed.

Shi-jin backs up, looking a little flustered himself. He leans in to kiss her again, but this time Mo-yeon turns her head away. He steps back and Mo-yeon mutters a quick goodnight, and retreats to her tent, taking the wine bottle with her.

The UN nurse, Ye-hwa, wakes that night to find her husband Daniel, back from some mysterious errand in Libya. She asks about their friend, Chen Gang, but Daniel just says vaguely, “Chen Gang has gone back to the place he came from.”

Haesung Group (owner of the hospital where Mo-yeon and her team work) nears completion of their solar energy power plant, and the medical team are introduced to JIN YOUNG-SOO (Jo Jae-yoon), Chief Manager of the power plant. He’s amusingly quirky, and makes it clear that he’s the head man in charge here.

Chi-hoon calls Mo-yeon with the news that the little boy with lead poisoning has left the hospital. He did leave behind a drawing which sort of looks like a map, which Chi-hoon assumes means he went home. Mo-yeon overreacts when it’s suggested they ask Shi-jin for help finding the boy.

But Shi-jin is here already, and of course that kiss is all Mo-yeon can think about. Heh, she can barely look Shi-jin in the face, but she’s worried enough about the boy to ask Shi-jin to take her to the village to check on him.

She has to remind Shi-jin to watch the road as they drive — he’s not even hiding the fact that he can’t stop staring at her. He tries to talk about the kiss, but Mo-yeon honestly admits that she’s purposely not talking about it, because she’s confused.

Shi-jin says that he doesn’t mind if she’s confused or angry at him, but asks her not to feel bad about it. He admits that he’s wanted to kiss her many times before, and that admission makes Mo-yeon finally look at him.

They find the boy on the road to the village, and Mo-yeon takes some medicine for him to his mother. Mo-yeon recognizes the other kids who were playing with the scrap metal, and when Shi-jin compliments her memory, she tells him that she never forgets anything… “So don’t do or say anything too impressive.”

Shi-jin’s commander, Lieutenant Kwak, welcomes Myung-joo to the base and immediately starts kissing up to her, exaggerating how close he is with her father. She rushes off when she receives a “very important call,” which is actually just a spy of hers reporting on Dae-young’s activities back home.

They’re busted when Dae-young overhears the man, and Myung-joo smiles just to hear Dae-young’s voice. The poor soldier shakes as he explains to the fuming Dae-young that he had to obey her orders, as she’s the higher-ranking officer over Dae-young.

Shi-jin and Mo-yeon stop at the bar to eat, and the scantily-clad waitress flirts shamelessly while Shi-jin valiantly avoids looking at the cleavage right in his face. HAHA, his relieved slump when she finally leaves is hilarious.

Mo-yeon lets him off the hook, and asks why he became a soldier. He answers vaguely that someone has to do it, and notes that she doesn’t seem to like his job, figuring that that’s why she’s confused about his kissing her. She says that she thinks that he’s just so patriotic that he’s willing to risk his life for his country.

Shi-jin asks what she means by patriotic, and Mo-yeon clarifies: he loves his country, so he’s loyal to it and its people. He points out that you don’t have to be a soldier for that, and tells her his idea of patriotism:

“The faith that I have to protect children, beauties, and the elderly. And the courage to meddle in when I see high schoolers smoking cigarettes. The belief that I wouldn’t change even in front of a gun. The honor of a soldier you save that way. That’s patriotism in my mind.”

Shi-jin has a question for Mo-yeon in return: What if he weren’t a soldier, but an ordinary man from a rich family? Mo-yeon says that sounds too ordinary for her, and Shi-jin quips that he should have said a handsome man from a rich family. Always the jokester, this guy.

Later Shi-jin recognizes a man on the street as the smuggler that he (thought he) turned over to the police. The guy sees Shi-jin and just salutes him with his beer, smiling smugly. When Mo-yeon catches up Shi-jin plays it cool and tells her to go on ahead to Ye-hwa’s hardware store and borrow a car to get back to base, making the excuse that he needs to go make a report to Corps Command.

Once Mo-yeon is safely away, Shi-jin walks right up to the smuggler with his gun drawn, and when he’s accused of threatening an unarmed civilian, he shoots out a car tire. The smuggler and his friend both pull their own guns at that, proving that they’re neither civilians nor unarmed.

Unfortunately they’re joined by several more armed smugglers, and Shi-jin is woefully outnumbered. He’s further shocked when his old friend Argus shows up (the man who he used to serve with on special assignments), clearly in charge of the smugglers, and casually says hello like they’re not all aiming loaded weapons at each other.

Mo-yeon runs into Daniel at the hardware store, who is also a doctor and part-time mechanic, and they hear the gunshot when Shi-jin shoots the tire. Daniel makes a call and tells Mo-yeon that it’s just a local gang causing trouble, but that nobody was hurt.

When asked, Daniel says that he knows Shi-jin, but mostly from funerals. Mo-yeon figures she might be able to get some information, and asks Daniel if he knows what Shi-jin does, exactly. Daniel goes scarily still at that.

We see a flash of a memory: Shi-jin in chains, repeating only his name, rank, and serial number as he’s tortured and beaten. He’s eventually rescued (the commander of the rescue team is a cameo by Lee Jong-hyuk), but he refuses to leave until the other prisoner, Argus, is also freed. Just as they get safely to the helicopter, a sniper shot rings out, and the commander collapses into Shi-jin’s arms.

Out in the street, Argus breezily tells the stunned Shi-jin that he changed jobs. He basically does the same thing, he just makes more money now. He warns Shi-jin to mind his own business, saying that he’s always been too empathetic. Angry now, Shi-jin spits that Argus is right, and he should have left a dying man to die. He issues his own warning — stay away from him, or pay.

We don’t hear Daniel’s answer to Mo-yeon’s question, but whatever it is, it seems to have shaken her. He asks if she plans to use the knowledge to stay, or to leave… but again, we don’t hear the answer.

She borrows a car and drives alone back to the base, but she’s so distracted that she nearly hits an oncoming truck, and the dust kicked up causes her to swerve off the road. She careens down a hill and the car barely stops just before it goes off a cliff, with the front wheels dangling precariously over the ocean below.

Her phone accidentally dials Shi-jin during the accident, and when he answers, Mo-yeon screams for help. He tells her that he’s on his way, and speeds in her direction. Panicking and scared for her life, Mo-yeon records a message to her mother on her phone.

Just as the car begins to roll further off the cliff, the back hatch opens and Shi-jin jumps in. He joins her in the front seat, telling her to open the windows and leaning her seat back. He quickly says that he’s going to let the car drop, and when she freaks out that they’ll die, he tells her to look into his eyes. He tells her to trust him, and to close her eyes. Ha, I sort of love how Mo-yeon refuses to obey — she’s so spunky.

Before she can even think about what’s happening, Shi-jin hits the wheel hard enough to set off the airbag, releases the brakes, and the car — with them inside — plummets into thin air.

As soon as it hits the water Shi-jin pulls himself and Mo-yeon out the open windows, and gets her safely onto dry land. He administers CPR until Mo-yeon responds, and the moment she can breathe she calls him a lunatic and smacks him. It’s so cute how Shi-jin just grins and lets her rant at him… he even jokes that he can’t leave her alone for a second.

He gives Mo-yeon his uniform shirt when they get back to base, only now telling her that her wet shirt is transparent. She gapes at him when he says that he saw everything, and he walks away grinning, shooting her a wave over his shoulder.

Argus has gotten ahold of a couple of men from the power plant, including Chief Manager Young-soo. He demands to know where their boss is, and shoots the other man dead where he stands. He tells Young-soo that their deal, whatever it is, hasn’t changed, but Young-soo doesn’t care as long as he gets paid as agreed.

He hands over a small packet of diamonds, which pleases Argus — for now. Argus gives him a week to produce the next delivery, threatening Young-soo when he complains that it used to be ten days. Young-soo looks a little pale when he gets back to the construction site, and only says that his driver “left the company.” But one of his workers notices blood on his ankle where the driver clutched him as he died.

Mo-yeon is still fuming at Shi-jin’s peeking at her underthings when he brings her coffee later that evening. But she can’t help but be worried about him and offers a sedative if his nerves are rattled from going off the cliff with her, though she hurts his feelings a bit by saying that it’s only that she’s thankful he saved her life.

Mo-yeon points out that he could have lost his own life saving hers, and Shi-jin just says that she asked him to save her. She remembers him telling her that he braved a shower of bullets to save a friend, and she’d teased that that was a scene from Saving Private Ryan. Now she knows that it wasn’t a joke.

She asks if he succeeded in saving his friend, which triggers his memory of catching his shot commander in his arms. He’d begged his friend not to die, but it was too late. But Argus had been saved that day, and Shi-jin says that today, for the first time, he regretted it.

Mo-yeon also knows that Shi-jin lied to her today when he sent her back alone, and figures that the gunshot she heard was him. Shi-jin asks if she can just trust him, and Mo-yeon sighs that this is all so complicated.

The power goes out just then, and an awkward silence stretches between them — until Shi-jin threatens to scream if Mo-yeon tries anything. Heh. She genuinely thanks him for saving her today, and Shi-jin deadpans, “But you still can’t do anything weird to me.”

The lights come back on and Shi-jin catches Mo-yeon staring at him, claiming that it makes him blush. She quips that funny men always have a lot of beautiful women around, so he must know a lot of them. Shi-jin counters that all he knows are cheerless men, pointing out that she ogles them every morning. Mo-yeon shoots back, “That’s what I live for these days.”

Shi-jin has Daniel’s car recovered and towed to his store the next day, and Mo-yeon feels so bad about it that she offers to pay for it. Shi-jin tells her that Daniel can fix anything… and the bumper falls off. Then the door. Oops.

Shi-jin borrows a walkie-talkie for Mo-yeon, since phones out here are unreliable and he worries about her. He teaches Mo-yeon to use it, and she realizes that “Big Boss” isn’t just his name in Dae-young’s phone, it’s also Shi-jin’s call sign. He suggests “Beauty” for hers, teasing that occasionally she’s pretty. Neither of them notices that Myung-joo is right there in the room watching them flirt, ha.

Shi-jin asks why she’s here, and her answer, “I’m here to marry you,” makes Shi-jin gulp and Mo-yeon’s eyes go wide. But she’s just been assigned to the medical team, and has come to report in. Mo-yeon isn’t happy about it and beats a hasty retreat, refusing to play nice with Myung-joo.

After she’s gone, Shi-jin asks Myung-joo why she and Mo-yeon don’t get along. Myung-joo skirts the question, wondering if they’re dating and voicing her objection. HAHA, Mo-yeon is outside the door trying to eavesdrop with her stethoscope, which is where Chi-hoon catches her. She shushes him and yanks him away.

Shi-jin and Myung-joo catch up, and we learn a bit about Shi-jin — his father is apparently also in the army, and Shi-jin will be going home early to attend his discharge ceremony. Myung-joo jokes that maybe she really should marry him for the job perks (Shi-jin: “Are you threatening me??”).

He brings up Dae-young first, and Myung-joo admits that he won’t answer her calls. So Shi-jin calls himself, complaining that Dae-young calls him all the time and bothers him, and always picks up… only to get his voicemail, hee.

Dae-young is busy leading a shooting exercise, and he fearlessly walks between his men and their targets as they fire live ammo. He tells them that the attack command only allows for action, not hesitation, and doesn’t even flinch as a bullet comes so close it tears a hole in his uniform. Okay, Dae-young is officially a badass.

He’s called before Lieutenant General Yoon (Myung-joo’s father), who asks him for recommendations for Team Alpha. He tells Dae-young that Shi-jin in in trouble and will no longer be given overseas assignments, that he’ll be sent to the Ministry of Defense for experience and to make connections.

He addresses Dae-young’s reassignment as well, admitting that Myung-joo is angry with him. He asks what Dae-young thinks, willing to be investigated for abusing his power. Dae-young replies that he agrees with Myung-joo, but that he’s lost this fight. He can’t win against a father’s sincere heart.

He holds his head up even as he leaves, and memories of Myung-joo race through his mind. Aww, they were so cute together. She calls him again, and he hesitates for a minute, but doesn’t answer.

Chi-hoon runs across Myung-joo and stops to ask her a question, as someone who’s about to do his army duty soon — do army doctors get a gun? She confirms that army doctors are still soldiers, and blinks a little at Chi-hoon’s blinding grin. She misinterprets him as flirting with her, and he honestly says that no, she’s not that pretty. HAHAHA.

Mo-yeon overhears and loudly congratulates Chi-hoon on his excellent eye, which irritates Myung-joo, and the two ladies trade barbs while Chi-hoon looks like he’d love to find a nice hole to crawl into. Myung-joo finally walks away, and Mo-yeon declares herself the winner.

During a doctor’s meeting, Mo-yeon gets a call on her walkie-talkie, and the person calls her “Beauty.” That’s hilarious. Even more hilarious is her face when she realizes that Shi-jin was right behind her and heard it. He wants to talk to her, but she’s so embarrassed that she snaps that his “fiancee” wouldn’t like it, and runs out.

Chi-hoon and Sang-hyun get silly that night with the walkie-talkies, pretending to be under attack and calling each other “Mr. Handsome” and “Chicken Lover.” Shi-jin laughs as he listens in while he’s packing to leave, and when they call in “Beauty” to sing for them, he stills. He finds the stone they took from the secluded beach, growing serious as he listens to Mo-yeon singing.

The next day Mo-yeon is surprised to find the men throwing a farewell party for Shi-jin — she didn’t know he was leaving. Fuming, she tries to work up the courage to call him, but chickens out and just directs her lecture to the walkie-talkie even though it’s off. She drops it in surprise when his voice comes through, and hears him asking everyone to let him know if they run into her.

She barks that she’s here, and Shi-jin asks why she’s listening in on the military channel. Oops. He finds her and tells her that he’s going home tomorrow, and Mo-yeon is upset that she was the last one to know. He points out that he tried to talk to her yesterday but she stormed off, but she just says that he should have chased after her.

Shi-jin thinks that her being angry gives him the upper hand for once, and asks if Mo-yeon’s still feeling complicated. She doesn’t answer, so he asks a question: About the kiss… what should he do? Should he apologize, or confess?

COMMENTS

It’s a testament to Song Joong-ki’s acting skill that, even though I saw that line on a teaser ages ago and knew it was coming, that I still found my heart in my throat when he asked Mo-yeon what he should do. He really can emote like nobody’s business, and those tears welling up in his eyes just about killed me. I love the way he portrays Shi-jin, with so much heart and open emotion, and that dry sense of humor that takes me by surprise every time. I love how Shi-jin falls back on jokes to take the sting out of his frightening job for Mo-yeon, using his natural sense of humor to help her feel a little more comfortable in such an alien place.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, that I simply love how honest and open Mo-yeon and Shi-jin are with each other and their feelings. They don’t try to dance around their attraction or pretend it doesn’t exist, because it’s so obvious and strong that pretending would just be silly. I like that they bring up things like The Kiss right away, admit their conflicted emotions, and discuss them like grown adults. It’s refreshing to see someone say, “Yes it happened, but I’m confused about it, so let’s talk.” Or even, “It happened but I’m confused, I need more time.” I’m also enjoying how their banter is slowly syncing up, with Mo-yeon starting to join in Shi-jin’s teasing and flirting. They’re so cute together.

And they talk about the hard stuff too, about life and death and the choices they have to make. In any other circumstances, this honesty would make them the perfect couple, but here in this dangerous place it somehow manages to create a wall between them. Even as their honesty draws them closer together emotionally, it also scares Mo-yeon, because she’s realizing that Shi-jin could die at any moment. Rather than let herself fall in love with him, it’s easier for her to back away, and not risk her own heart. Not to mention that his job necessitates that he lie to her, and even if it’s to protect her, she’s not the kind of person to accept that easily. It’s another way that honesty comes back to bite them both, because while Shi-jin can be honest with her about how he’s feeling, he can rarely be honest about much else in his life. I also think that he’s purposely holding back a lot of personal information for a reason, and being such an open person normally, it feels as though his reasons for not talking about his personal life could be huge. I worry that when Mo-yeon finally notices, it will cause another rift between them.

Ratings aside, because we all know Descended is killing it right now, I think the show is doing well for itself so far — it’s not perfect, but it’s extremely entertaining and very well-crafted. But I do have one small criticism, and that’s the car/cliff scene. It felt rushed, which took some of the suspense away from me as a viewer, because it all just happened so fast that I didn’t have time to feel scared or worried for Mo-yeon and Shi-jin’s safety. The frightening moments weren’t allowed to breathe, so it never really felt like they were in much danger. Given that the show is all about war and conflict, and it’s shown that it has the ability to create some gripping suspense in the Arab prince’s surgery scene, I hope this is just a one-time directing gaff. It could be possible, given the lightness of the scene immediately after that, that it was a deliberate choice — but still, the fact that it wasn’t obviously one or the other was a bit confusing. But if I’m honest, I’m mostly here for the romance, and on that front the show is exceeding all my expectations.

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Thank you very much for the recap! I was not sure what to make of the kiss in this ep., especially after SJ admitted that he took him some courage to finally do it. I felt that when MY indirectly confessed her feelings (that she still had after 8 months) to SJ, she was also indirectly giving him a go ahead to make a move, or was she not? I was not sure how to read that. Had SJ been to bold, and forward to have tried to kiss her then? Without her permission, as he said at the end of the ep?

I kind of felt bad for him, because we know (and MY knows) that he really likes her, that he is falling in love with her, and that he is serious about her. So when she told him that she had been thinking (a lot) about him (since the movie had been talked about a lot), I saw him take that info in, sit with it for a minute, and as he said, “get the courage to kiss her.” I loved how SJK portrayed SJ realizing that MY was not kissing him back. He tried a 2nd time, and I wondered why he tried a 3d time, after putting the bottle down. Was he hoping she might have changed her mind? And why didn’t she put her hands on his chest to stop him then, or say something? Maybe she still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do? It was painful to watch (for SJ), since based on what I have seen of him since ep.1, I like him so far. I also felt that he had had a hard day as it was, and being rejected (again) in that way, had to have stung badly. Yet he took it in stride, so good for him.

And btw, I am not trying to imply that I do not understand MY’s hesitations, because I do. I would have the same thoughts, if I were in her shoes. I just feel that she is doing a push and pull with SJ, and that maybe she should not give him any hope while she is figuring her feelings out. I hope I am making sense.

I LOVED how embarrassed SJ was around the waitress, in MY’s presence. I felt that he was disingenuous about liking that café/restaurant, maybe because MY was with him. After all, he would always flirt with her when he would visit with DY. Also, was I the only one who was bothered by scantily clad that waitress was dressed (her upper body). She can wear what she wants, however it was just a reminder to me of how KES seems to want to portray Westerners in her dramas. She has done it with Americans. Am I the only one to think this way?

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omg the embarrassed face SJ had around the waitress-- the desperate "i'm not looking at anything" face was so priceless... one of my favorite scenes. also i loved when he gave MY his jacket /after/ he had already driven her back to the base with the "i already saw everything, but i don't want others to see". and then he walks off waving a peace sign lol... it's cheesy af, but somehow coming out of song joongki's mouth, every line feels so... right...? *is totally biased*

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File this post under "Well, you asked" :-) :

It seems like some people think there needs to be a big lead-up to whether or not someone can attempt a kiss. As though it needs to be pre-negotiated like some sort of formal contract. In my mind, as long as there's no force and some reciprocal interest has been shown - nor harm, no foul for making an attempt. Like you say, the recipient can always pull back and avoid it if it isn't something they want. And in that case, a simple apology from the one who made the advances is always the right thing to do. I liked that the drama did that.

I'm also with you on the tendency to use of Westerners in a negative way. It's as odd as it is off-putting. The truth is it's the expansionist ambitions of other Asian nations which have been the longstanding source of Korea's hardships. (Its neighbor to the west more-so than its neighbors to the east and far north.) And in that regard the country that's been the biggest help to South Korea hasn't been other Asian nations, it's been the US. This, by providing direct aid in ousting said neighbors and thereafter by being a stabilizing influence in Asia. (Mainly by helping to subdue the seemingly intractable expansionist tendencies of said neighbors to west and far north.) Yet Americans are routinely played as the originators of problems in dramas. It's an absolutely upside down view of things.

On a lighter note, loving this drama. It's such an easy watch.

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I don't think the "western" waitress was American as the drama is set in an imaginary Balkan country. Even if she was, there's no reason not to describe an American character as negative (just as much as no reason not to make one positive) if the story calls for it. Especially considering the main audience of this drama are Korean and Chinese. Hollywood does not exactly do a marvelous job promoting positive images of Asians, either.

Also the "longstanding source of Korean hardships" has been pretty much all its neighbors - China, Japan, Russia, America - not just China (and in the more recent history, its Eastern neighbor, i. e. Japan, rather than its western neighbor). Koreans consciously and subconsciously lay a part of the blame (not all, but part) of the North-South division of the country against the people's will on America and Russia. Koreans feel that it was Japan who invaded and inflicted extreme pain on neighboring countries including Pearl Harbor, America, but it was Korea which got punished when the world powers divided up the country whichever way they wanted. That being said, Korea is one of the most US-friendly countries in the world. To this day, most Koreans thank the US for all its help during and after the Korean War and regard Americans as good friends.

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It wasn't a commentary on the Korean people. The response was aimed at the fact that too frequently the villains in dramas - if foreign - are American. Agree that the waitress is Urukian (or whatever). But the arms dealer is the big baddie and he is clearly American.

I do disagree that the US has been a longstanding source of Korean problems. The US didn't have unilateral control over post WWII Korea. But in the sphere of influence it was able to achieve, it's tried to help the people as much as possible. The 'longstanding problem' has been with the sponsors of the northern half of the country. They've created a failed and hostile state, and continue to prop it up so as not to lose regional influence. This conscripts the people of the north to poverty and abysmal human rights, and also prevents reunification.

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While this is not the forum to debate on politics, I have to say this: Pardon me for saying this but Americans had fought more wars in the last century than any other countries. Yet none of the wars were fought in its own land, causing untold damages and pains to innocent people and tearing up nations leaving them with instability. I need to mention which countries in the recent times. So I will go along with O_o opinions on this issue. Having said all that, I will also say Americans are also the most proactive when comes to humanitarian aids and humantairan views are utmost outstanding.

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It's disingenuous to say it's not the forum for politics and then try to close the dialogue with a false and inflammatory comment. So let's file this one under 'world history lesson.'

With only one exception the 20th century wars the US fought in were at the request of its allies. And to defend said allies against aggressors and invaders. Furthermore all of those aggressors were tyrannical regimes that would strip the people they conquered of basic human rights.

The US spent mountains of its own money to help its allies.
After helping the allies win, the only time the US took anything for itself was to collect reparations from the nations that initiated the conflict. Yet even that was only done after the US did what it could to help the people of that nation form a stable government and get back in their feet economically.

Iraq was the only exception. That regime was making direct threats to the US and appeared to be building the capacity to carry them out. The intelligence was confirmed by multiple nations. However it turned out to be false information generated by the nation that did profit from the war. They ended up tracing the bad intelligence to the Ahmadinejad regime in Iran.

It was also one of two examples of when defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory by political and media cohorts within the US which had deep ideological ties communism and/or financial ties to its foreign sponsors. It was this internal treachery that caused the seemingly intractable problems those wars yielded. If not for that, the people of those nations would be experiencing the only outcome the US ever wants: the restoration of an independent economy, stable self governance, and the full restoration of human rights.

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@Gidget...if we want to discuss world history, how about the fact that the US has supported quite a few authoritarian and undemocratic regimes that did not care about human rights, from Batista to Pinochet to Noriega?

You mentioned Iraq. Well, the US once propped up Saddam Hussein.

You mentioned Iran. Well, in the 1950s, the US backed a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government and install the monarchy.

Even in South Korea, the US backed strongman Syngman Rhee as its first president.

I think that overall, the US has been the greatest force for freedom in the world. But I point these examples out because your depiction of the US in world history is too one sided. Like any other country, the US is not perfect and has made errors in foreign policy.

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So again, I fail to understand why any foreign villain character must be Russian, Eastern European or even Middle Eastern but should not be American?

When I said Korea's longstanding hardships were caused by all its neighbors, I wasn't singling out those countries, but I rather meant the geopolitics, the dynamics among these neighbors. You will have a hard time finding another country in the world trying to survive while being pressed up on all sides by bigger, stronger countries like China, Russia and America (superpowers, no less) plus Japan. Korea, trying to please one of the neighbors, will invariably end up offending another. And that has been the history of this small country trying to preserve its identity among giant neighbors for many centuries.

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Ditto on your comments re Hollywood's portray of Asians.

Let's face it - it is the perogative of those who tells the story to tell it the way he or she likes it. Asians also suffers indignation when that happens in American show. And it still does. Just look at RED 2 for the recent movie or those movies filmed by Jet Li. Despite him speaking perfectly English, the character written for him have him speaking broken English. If that is not stereotyping then what is.

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I'm disregarding the "deeper" arguments here on politics and just want to say, just like I can stereotype that many Korean women wear extremely short skirts snd that is a fact - it is also a fact that many Americans dress scantily (and inappropriately, imo) therefore I, myself, as an ahjumma American, also assumed the waitress was American. lol

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Isn't it a bit presumptuous to tell Koreans how they should feel about Westerners? The United States did rescue SK in the Korean War. But it's been over 60 years and a lot has changed since then. The US has its own interests in continuing its military presence in SK. SK is more capable of defending itself against the weaker and poorer North. So what exactly is the US still doing there? The thought of "the US is only there to help, why aren't Koreans more grateful?" is patronizing and reflects the "people of other countries need to be babysat by the US" view that has unfortunately dominated US foreign policy for years.

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So it's been sixty years since they saved the Korean's is what you're saying.. and that's a long time is what you're saying? However, when it comes to war crimes against Koreans they cannot let that go?? That was a long time as well! I don't know any continent where it's inhabitants have not suffered severely, or overthrown by another. But yet they've managed to make peace with history and move forward?

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The comment presupposes that the US is in control of the decision. It isn't. Korea is an independent country. If the US was asked to leave it would. Reluctantly, but it would.

History confirms that North Korea isn't South Korea's greatest threat. By a long shot.

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So who would be the threat if the US left, Japan and China? Because history confirms it?? Just because Imperial Japan invaded Korea 70 years ago does not mean this current government is planning to do it again. Similarly, just because some Chinese dynasty invaded Korea (I don't even know when, 300 years ago?) doesn't mean the current Chinese government plans to do it again, if that's what you're implying. Times have changed, and governments have changed, so history says very little about what could happen in the future.

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The US is there for a strategic reason because of the neighbors to the west and of course the North. South Koreans do not have to hold westerners in any light plus they seem to be wary of foreigners but still SK and the US are Allies. The US has to tap dance around the SK/JPN issues since JPN and the US are strong Allies too. Anyways what I noticed in this drama and in most Kdramas is that the English speakers never have an American accent. In this drama Argus could be American or Canadian. As a westerner myself I think its laughable how westerners are always portrayed negatively but on the same note Hollywood does not portray Asians accurately as well.

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@Dee idk, but other than NK threats, I really don't think anyone thinks China or Japan have empire building on their minds involving the Korean Peninsula. The US is not there to babysit SK. It is there as a presence in the Asian theater for threats against its own national security and interests by the countries near SK. Those countries do have the military might to be a formidable foe. Just like the US still has a presence in Germany (we are Allies and its not to babysit there either) because the location is advantageous for the US strategically. People may not like the global reach of the US military but because the US is using another sovereign nation's land they have to support that nation's security interests as well so they are welcomed by that nation to stay. SK government allows it and I would hope the SK people would have a strong enough voice to change it if that is what was truly wanted.

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Believe me, the Aamerican military still needs to be there with its 28,000 servicemen and women serving side by side with the ROK military. I am attached to that military and have returned from Kunsan Air Force Base and also OSAN AFB last year. People have no idea how dangerous the situation is - and how volatile. It appears bad in the press but when you're in the military and privy to what's REALLY going on and the preparedness level needed every day - you realize how much worse it really is. The sad thing is that North Korea has thousands of missiles aimed at Seoul and at the U.S. air force and army bases close by. Those missiles could launch and wipe out 25 million people within ten minutes - just about as quickly as American fighter planes could get OFF the ground. I know many Koreans personally and every single one of them have told me how grateful they are for ongoing American presence. I don't mean to throw a downer on things - I really do love Descendants of the Sun (except for the scene in episode 6 where the medical team stood around for several minutes doing nothing when they came upon the scene with wounded. That drove me NUTS!!) But I love the portrayal of the military scenes. It feels as real as a romantic drama can be. Can't wait for the rest!!

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(except for the scene in episode 6 where the medical team stood around for several minutes doing nothing when they came upon the scene with wounded. That drove me NUTS!!)---This. (By any chance, are you in the medical field or somehow related to it?) I thought I was the only one cringing about the medical aspect of the show. Yeesh. Well, It' only ep. 5-6. There's more episode to look out for and so far I'm liking the dae young and myung joo loveline.

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+1 (and I am an American)

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Thanks LollyPip for the recap. You know after watching this episode my thoughts were scattered but your recap helped in recollecting them.

It is not surprising that this show's rating are escalating at that rate because every week they give us something that is fresh. I have to agree with you that i love the romance most in this show and in this episode we were able to get all love relations from almost all the cast. Some of the things are starting to come up which we were asking in the first episode.

Now it makes sense that the General would want SJ to marry his daughter because SJ is also from a military background.

The most scene that i enjoyed is when SJ tried his level best to avoid the waitress at the bar, that was hilarious and the good thing is that MY ignored it. then the last scene did something to me. I watched it for the fourth time and i still get the same emotions i had the first time i watched it. SJ's voice is even deeper, his teary eyes and the last question...damn this guy is talented in his acting.

I totally agree with you again LollyPip on the car/cliff scene, it was too fast and they should have let it reveal a lot because when people are frightened they tend to let cats out of the box. I expected more that just MY apologising to her mum. However sisnce the car was about to roll off maybe that is why they had to rush it..maybe.

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While I get your POV, however I believe the waitress was Russian, an Easterner for sure if I fail in recognition. Bar maids everywhere look scantily clad, in gross better term, not uncommon at all. I'm not uncomfortable seeing such stereotype, since there are far worst scenarios like say pop-up coffee shops where all the waitresses wear only thong bikinis to attract their regulars. Now that, I'd be uncomfortable to watch and yet it's a fact of life, a reality, I want to stay oblivious to but can't.

On a lighter note, that scene was sensational. How MY kept hawk eyeing the bar maid's every motion, and affirming SJ's subtle reactions. Hilarious. Takes a lot of will power for any man not to stare.

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I think the waitress adheres to the Western women are loose stereotype. She's literally sashaying around and winking at everyone.

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Oh I love it here so much. So many people who can appreciate a good drama. I totally agree that this drama is killing it. The bad obvious CG is killing me but we can't possibly have it all and I am willing to close one eye since the writing is fantastic. I love the scriptwriter so much!! I never expected that after that kiss and Moyeon would run off. It is a great move because it really shows her character and make the drama even more realistic! While the Song Jong Ki fangirl in me was like "KISS HIM BACK", the rational part of me was like but but he comes with so much baggage. He is very very easy to love, very very dreamy and Moyeon admitted that by her decree of not saying or doing impressionable stuff because she is affected by them (so are we). Her is a girl who have lots of dreams and want to do big things but here is the guy that makes her want to give it up all. She struggles with being made weak by loving him because it puts her in a very vulnerable place emotionally. I think her confusion and hesitance is the drama in the sense that it is a realistic struggle. He will always be placed in dangerous situation and she will always be left behind. The screenwriting is approaching the life-and-death drama in the persepective of love, people and relationship. It is a romantic drama. I know there are some that find it a little lacking but I like that it is more about the characters themselves. The distribution of story between characters is fair and the light-hearted moments are well placed between the more heavy ones.

The cliff car scene does feel rush, which is more of a producer issue but the scene prove that Shi Jin is used to dangerous situations and she isn't (she offered him sleeping pills for this?! Really? Does she think he just walks around ordering people prettily as his day job? It is a marvel that he didn't laugh in her face). The rushness of it gave less weight to the main drama where she refused to trust him. I think that says a lot. As much as she needs his help her, she wants the saving to be done on her terms. It has to be a plan she agrees with. And her lack of trust shows that he is still some way off from having her heart. Even in situation so dire, she guards her heart and refuse to put her life in his. As a doctor she could envision a thousand ways that this would be dangerous but as an army commander, he saw that it was the best option.

It is interesting that people feel that they are lacking the chemistry, they don't have as much chemistry as Myung Joo and Daeyoung but it is definitely there. They are a new couple unlike the other two and given that Moyeon has her reservation, I think she played it well since you do feel that there is a huge invisible tall wall that is between them. It is easier for her to just give in but I don't think any self respecting girl would do so given that there is so much potential to be hurt. I love how jealous she got of Myung Joo. In all aspect, she is a better match for...

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(Too long and I got cut off :\)

As I was saying, in all aspect, she is a better match for Shi Jin (Army too, pretty, young, a doctor, high-ranked army dad). But Myung Joo and Daeyoung are meant for each other, that letter scene killed me. It was as if they were time-travelers who are on different timeline. SO TRAGIC. But I think Daeyoung has a chance! Dad seemed moved by the sincere heart comment.

The blackout moment was great since I really like that he admitted having regrets about saving the captain. I thought that it was a good reference back to episode 2 where they "broke up" because of the difference between saving of lives in their jobs. The crux of the issue was how do you decide whose life is more worthy to save? Moyeon thinks because of that everyone should be saved but Shi Jin has to follow orders and make decisions that puts lives of one over another. He had been comfortable with that till now. In this episode, he discovered that he had inadvertently trade to life of one "good" person (Lee Jong Hyuk) for a "bad" one. Moyeon knew that good or bad, as a doctor, your job is to help all in your ability to but Shi Jin had never realized that in putting one person's life at risk (regardless of rank) could lead to unsavory situation where the life you saved might end up doing something terrible. He is not quite at the 'save everyone' place but at least, he is realizing that one cannot judge whose life is more worthy to save.

It doesn't seem like Song Hye Kyo is given enough credit for her acting though. I think she plays Moyeon very well. She makes her internal conflict very obvious through the subtleties in her acting and body language. Even at the kiss scene, her lack of movement indicated that she wasn't all that keen in the kiss. Then later on, the stunned, confused look she gave when Danny (what is with the endless good-looking people in this show) told her about his job said so much. She is caught between running and staying. Yet, there are moments where she would stare at him in awe, like he does at her. Song Jong Ki has more memorable lines but Song Hye Kyo is doing a good job portraying the complexity of her character without being overly dramatic. She wants to run to him so badly but she can't bring herself too. Shi Jin said it took him a thousand tries to take that courageous one step, she needs that courage to step forward and meet him. It is easy to write it off and say it is a fiction, they could just ignore it and be together but I appreciate that they center the drama around this step since it is a difficult and life-changing one.

So far, so good. Hopefully the drama holds up till the end.

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Your analysis is spot on. I loved reading it. :)

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A true and justifiable statement on SHK's acting!.Its exactly whay i wanted to say to those who has been bringing her down.Great spot on!

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Well put together. *high five*

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And this is precisely why I enjoy reading beanies' comments a whole lot. thank you!

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Your thoughts are really well put together (:

I have to agree with you with regard to Song Hye-kyo's acting and her portrayal of Kang Mo-yeon. I don't quite understand why other viewers aren't connecting to her because SHK is really winning me over in this role.

Many might say the character is self-righteous or self-absorbed. I say she's flawed and has a lot of conflicting feelings, to put it simply. And I LOVE that about her. I don't want my heroine to be so overt that I know all her thoughts, opinions and ideals from the get-go. That's not at all interesting. She's not perfect and she doesn't need to be. Some do dislike the way she deals with situations, her reactions, her responses. Two words: Character Development. I think we'll get some as the drama continues.

SHK's acting performance is obviously subjective. But I seem like one of the few who really appreciate her 'reserved' acting. There are actors who are really emotive and show a lot of expressions. Her acting is not overstated, but at the same time it's not so withdrawn to the point where it's dull and unemotional. I'm so moved by MY, I think she's really refreshing. And as you said SHK is doing well at portraying the complexity of her character, through her subtle acting and body language.

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Aww thanks guys for being so nice and ignoring all my grammatical/spelling mistakes ahhaha

Yes yes, I love that she has flaw. Perfect characters are deathly boring. I would argue that Shi Jin is a little too lovable but he does have his flaws here and there. He actually reminds me a great deal of McDreamy from Grey's.

Apparently, a news article just came out and mentioned how Moyeon's character is well-loved. That's really great because there are times when Koreans react the opposite way with strong female characters. If it wasn't for Song Hye Kyo's measure acting, it could really swing the other way. This is probably a testimony to her acting skill.

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SHK was amazing in episode 6 imo. I think SJK has the flashier character, but SHK balances him out well. Without MY there would be no SJ to say his terrible lines to.

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HAHHAHA...no MY for SJ to say his terrible line to...HAHA Totally true.

Episode 6 was so fabulous for Moyeon as a character and Song Hye Kyo as an actor. That sad look as she thought about the times he left her alone but firmness in the way she asked for more time and an apology completed with slight despondent look when he left, then later that hurt look when she found out he left in the middle of the night (it looked like she was slapped in the face), her insistence on staying without appearing petulant, her heartache and complete understanding for what Onew was going through...there were too many great moments but I think she played it all impressively well. Just the right amount of dramatic flairs. It made her very related-able and real.

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I agree with everything you say about their romance and why it is logical for her to hesitate.

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The sex appeal of Joon ki which makes the hearts of women flutter all across Asia. Plus THAT EXPLOSIVE SPARK with Song Hye Kyo just the poster alone w/ him trying to tie her boots is sending ripples through your spine. There is something whimsical about them - just like that island where the boat was stuck. It's like a glittering blue water of the Aegean sea and the stars just align perfectly. Both Songs are just beautiful. It's no surprise the mega hit ratings. I am enamored and infatuated with this k-drama couple.

Aside from the chemistry, the story and characters alone are interesting. I love how Si Jin treats her like a grown woman despite their different opinions- he's not overly protective like other k-drama men but as a woman you still can sense that Si Jin is ready to die for her if needed by the situation. I agree with Lolly - they talk over a lot of things like grown adults. Ok we are in love, now what? the world doesn't end there. I am glad that this is not about another chaebol-poor doctor story. But rather the focus is about two passionate working class people who both love their complicated jobs.. There will be no evil mom or stepsisters instead the main conflict of their relationship are their life and career choices.

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Man, the army has done great things things for Song Joong-ki ,he's hotter and more magentising than ever. This drama has all the elements of a dated romance novel with the hunky over confident Captain serendipitously meeting the fiery doctor in a war torn nation. It's a huge credit to Song Joong-ki's acting that his character appears fresh and modern and doesn't come across as smarmy at all.

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Agreed, SJK is really hot and load of charm.

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SJK will be the death of me. His acting is so on point in this show. SHK is doing great as well.
I am loving everything about this show right now. So Good!!!

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Given the way we were all kind of dreading the entire apologize/confess moment, I have to think that SJK's delivery of his lines are a huge, huge reason that Si Jin is coming across so incredibly well.

He could be slimy-charming with some of those lines, but he's coming off as nice-charming. And like he actually understands boundaries and respects them. The entire power cut "don't do weird things to me" exchange was both well-written and well-acted, given that yes, that could have been a nerve-wracking situation and instead flipped it into a place where HE is faux-wary that she'll take advantage of him. The script sets it up, but an actor who put any sort of seductive spin on those lines could've come right back round to sleazy. SJK is nailing every line read, really well done.

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So true about the slimy charming vs nice charming. Great point!

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Ahaa....that power-cut scene, i would say it has a big role in this show. I think it was the first time for SJ to see that charming expression from MY hence he was blushing. It just re-confirmed that she has feelings for him.

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I agree whole-heartedly with this comment. When I saw the "confess or apologize" scene in the trailers for the series, I was so sad because I thought SJK was going to be portraying a controlling/sexist character (kind of how I felt about LMH's character, Kim Tan, in Heirs, by the same writer). However, seeing the scene a) in context and b) with the nuance that SJK has given this role in his performance, my fears have been laid to rest in a major way.

And I completely credit the acting & directing for not making a major misstep with the character. SJK is completely talented, and I'm happy to see him prove it once again.

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yes I have a lot of concerns about this writer and her pushy male characters but Sijini really refreshing. He is honest about his interest without being controlling or stalking.

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OMG I couldn't stand Kim Tan. I am so glad that SJK's acting makes me love SJ

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Song joong ki I have missed you!

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Song joong ki is love <3

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luvv this drama..luv captain yoo

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This drama is luv. Ep 5 reaches/passes 30% in ratings!
I'm happy for all involved, writer, stars and director, etc.

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"The child's name is Blackie..."

NOOOOOOOOOOO! Oh my god, no! NO! The child with the darkest complexion? NOOO.

"...actually, the town is called Blackie."

Not much better, but I will take it given the alternative.

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LOL i had the same reaction. At first I thought i didn't hear correctly

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Ha! My mind automatically twisted it. I thought it was called Balkie.

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/ facepalm

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I thought it was Blakie.

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yes the subs I read said Bleqie but it was definitely pronounced Blackie and I was so concerned

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Like out of everything and anything to call him, it had to be something related to color?

I really wish it isn't on purpose but I feel like it is from a writer's standpoint...

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So after 6 episodes, i can safely say that if it was not for SKJ i wouldn't wait for this show every week. He is all charm but when he is actually serious, it hits all your emotional buttons. He is fabulous.

About the 2nd couple - I adore them but i honestly don't know of any girl who will run after a guy after he rejects her at every turn. He even refuses to pick her calls while she is happy to hear his voice when he is talking to others. Thats kind of becoming ........ pathetic

Btw, can everyone pls stop speaking in english. Does it really add to the authenticity ? Bec it is just painful to watch.

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same. i don't think i would be watching this if it were not for him. this isn't to say that he's the only good thing about this show, but all the other good things aren't enough for me to overlook the... airy plot? the cheesy lines (that only sound good bc sjk)? and the english lmao, i digress. it's decent enough for me, i don't really hold high standards for the english in kdramas.

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"airy plot"

Exactly. It doesn't feel substantial. Nobody is bad, infact all are good. But sjk is carying the show for me

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honestly, i'm so impressed by him. i guess it's been a while since i've watched his other stuff, esp werewolf boy, but damn, i am so feeling him. so glad he's back in dramaland.

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"airy plot"

This drama is typical of a character-driven story, not a plot-driven one. The docs and soldiers have such strong characters, loves and clashes that it's their interactions that drive the story. If you are looking for plot, Signal is really fantastic for that.

Plus the production value is near USD700,000 per episode. So there is a lot to please the eyes, besides the leads being eye candies. For once, I linger on the scenery, the cinematography, the ariel shots, the atmosphere, etc. and not mind the "airy plot".

They are obviously trying to create a movie-like feeling. Many movies aren't plot-heavy either. Take for instance, a classic like Out of Africa. It's just two strong personalities, falling in love and not quite being able to live under one roof. That plot is airy too.

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lmao i don't think it's a tall order to expect a drama to have some substance that isn't character introspection or interpersonal relationships though. and i do understand that the production value is great; i appreciate the beautiful scenes that result from it. i'm distracted by them plenty. i'm just saying, while it is beautiful, it's only because of sjk's acting in addition to that polished production, that i'm not turned away by the airy plot.

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true; i think kim eun seok just loves romcom, character-driven plots with snarky male leads

as for what you said about signal, i entirely agree as well. amazing drama, which i believe can be partially attributed to its talented director, who also directed misaeng, another personal favorite

not that i have anything against cheesy romance but while the main core of many of our writer's works, i believe, is just kind, sassy female lead, and the kind of male lead i mentioned before, to make a typical chick-flick-like, feel-good drama. tweaks to things like character background, occupation, etc etc just occur here and there; i personally dont think the heirs and dots are very different productions overall

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The english scenes are painful to watch and the workshop couple also painful to watch..

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Agreed. I appreciate the show for what it is. The story is intriguing; though, there are too many "shining moments" for my taste. For a 16 episode high stakes show, I feel the writer spent way too much time on the relationship arcs.

This "will they, won't they'' angst feels a bit contrived especially when you consider the situation they are facing. Honestly, there's much more story to work with by getting both couples together and letting the bad guys and nature be the antagonist. A dad with ideas of the perfect son-in-laws seems so small in comparison to everything else around them.

After 6 episodes, I can officially say Mo-Yeon gets on my nerves. To my earlier point, they're in a war torn country with malnourished children, gun fire and earthquakes. She has known, from their first encounter, that he's a solider that goes into dangerous situations regularly and can't discuss it. As a doctor, she should have an appreciation for discretion because doctors have something called doctor-patient privilege. So the nature of her work prevents her from sharing information as well. But she insists on wanting him to jump through hoops and working on her time schedule. Mo-Yeon comes off very self-righteous and self-absorbed. Arguably, she's wants to protect herself from being hurt. But there are better ways to do so besides her current method.

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well said. the drama is really missing out on not capitalizing on their war-torn environment. aside form sjk in uniform, everything else seems pedestrian.

and mb if mo yeon was played by a stronger actress, it would be easier to like her - just like how shi jin is saved from being sleazy because hes played by sjk.

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i agree. on one hand, you have these characters that are so honest with each other, but on the other hand, you somehow still end up with such contrived angst? i guess it plays into this writer's theme of really dramatic love lines, but i wish it weren't so.
+1 about your mo-yeon points, i couldn't find a way to say it without literally sounding like im unjustifiably pissed by her, but yes, she gets on my nerves for all of the reasons you've stated

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You know MY lack of understanding pissed me off since episode 1 and i thought by now she should be understanding since she is in his field, and has seen some of the things he has to do. I mean if she wants to protect herself or her heart, whatever her reason, she should not send mix signals to SJ, its confusing not only to SJ but also to us. Can this girl grow or or get out of the adults'game. Apologises for sounding pissed. This girl can even make you mess up your hair.

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If I were SJ, I would get confused too. MY kept sending her yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.... Girl, just avoid him, ignore him, if you really want to save your very precious life, alone. Don't send him that 'yellow light' because male's life is simple; red or green, but not in between. It makes them tired. And, da*n, take this very chance before it's too late...

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+1000

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Which mixed signals?

The one where she clearly tells him their meeting was not as she expected, when they had that honest conversation in Korea? Perhaps, when she told him she needs to figure out her confused feelings after he kissed her?

I see her conflicting feelings in relation to SJ, but not so much where she's pushing and pulling him?

Maybe she shouldn't have told him that she thought about him a lot because of that movie? She was being honest, it could have been interpreted as a confession. But that doesn't imply that she wanted him to make a move.

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I suppose it is safe to say that the war zone setting is just a wallpaper to this drama. The story is not about war but the romance, with a few war events thrown in to push the development. This is a melodrama, not a thriller after all.

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***** SPOILER TO E06, SKIP BELOW IF NOT INTERESTED *****

Ladies, do take into account how MY works really hard to earn all the things she gets. Like her career, her positions climbing the ladder, and everything else in her life she seems to hurdle through obstacles to get any credit or recognition... being a noble idiot, true that. If you watch e06 again, SJ's bus scene, you may turn a new page when MY narrates how she keeps doubting herself whether she's worthy of this love, or will it be taken away from her working so hard to keep? It's a painful shadow in all her failures, although she gains much more in the outcome but that doesn't nullify how much emotions she had invested in optimism yet somehow that hope she carries gets overshadowed by fate. Like say when SJ and MY attempts two dates however each time those dates never end well, and well, you've figured it out already while they stay in Urk, she relents a little while they enjoyed that secluded wreckage yard date, he now returns to their homeland stumping their courtship progress. No matter how great the reason for separation, answer me this, how far would you go in this courtship if you were in her shoes?

I sometimes applaud her for her courage and greatness, and then I want to be that friend able to persuade her to cut off the dead weight. How can you say she doesn't understand SJ's position? All those times when SJ had to end their date short, she doesn't go whining to him, she understands. I get your POV, however you have to understand, once a person falls in love with a partner, it's just natural for one to want to know everything about your partner even if those things are classified information. It's only natural because in essence that's what caring for someone bizzarly means. There's really no right or wrong here, just their timing isn't there yet.

Yes, I agree MY blatantly wants to protect herself from hurt, however you can't turn a blind eye not seeing SJ's subtle ways protecting himself from hurt too. It's there. Besides, she wants to prevent being hurt however those decisions always end in regrets she now subtly confess to SJ about, and here SJ blatantly does go and tell her about his regretful subtle decisions. So you see, they've both invested near equally in this courtship.

I tell ya, these two are made for each other. Opposite attraction is in full force for these two.

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LOL. Like what you said. But what keeps coming to mind is the theme song of their love line "You Are My Everything". Could anything be further from the truth? Or would it even be a desirable outcome of their relationship?

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why not just wait for the episode 6 recap to post all this?!

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+ 1

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There aren't really any spoilers for episode 6??

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The moment I officially hated Moyeon came last week, when she drove off and left Shijin on that cliff. I don't care how embarrassed you are, you don't leave a compatriot stranded in the middle of nowhere in a conflict zone. WTF, woman. And WTF, show. Moyeon really needs to grow up.

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Me too. If he was a self serving jerk I could understand. But it was an incredibly jerky thing to do in light of how good he's been to her.

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Oh please. He can walk. He was being self righteous and putting her in her place. It didn't kill him and they forgave each other.

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I agree, if the area was that dangerous SJ wouldn't even take MY into town.

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Seriously? "It didn't kill him" so that makes what she did okay? Do you really believe that punishing self-righteousness trumps safety?

It's a conflict zone. Conditions are volatile. That's why they have UN peacekeepers there in the first place.

And, he can walk? In a country where they show soldiers doing regular sweeps for unexploded ordnance, which means that not all the weapon-contaminated areas have been identified and marked? Surely you jest.

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Yes, Song Joong Ki is perfect in almost every way, except I just want him not to speak English. It's not that his pronunciation is terrible, in fact, it's credible enough. It's just he goes from being completely natural and at ease, to just feeling like he's faking it. It is really jarring.

It mars otherwise the fantasy that there is an alpha, gun-toting male out in the world that has a wicked sense of humour and a heart of gold. And is respectful of women.

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I had the same reaction as you, but then I tried to construct the same lines (vaguely) in Korean and realized I sound just as stilted. It's very weird, because you know where you would put the pauses in your own language, but Korean and English are structurally so different that I think it throws off the way you deliver them, especially while also expressing emotion.

But with Argus and Daniel around, maybe the cadence will start to catch on when SJK speaks English?

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Yes, it is partly the difference in cadence. I have also noted that Korean sentence structures are interestingly quite simple compared to English, and they often say things in reverse subject object order.

I think it is however, also that thing about whether you are thinking in that language or not. SJK is such a good actor because when he speaks or does anything, he makes it flow with his thoughts - so you don't ever see a break between thought and action. But as he has to think about what he says in English, that break becomes all the more jarring.

To be fair, if I were to try and speak French or any of my second languages I would do the same - except he's not acknowledging he's struggling with the language because his character isn't allowed to to retain that sense of control. It'd be more natural in character if he could somehow acknowledge it.

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You're right - that is the missing bit. The uncertainty about exactly what you're going to say and the hesitation.

He does say it very slowly and deliberately, which helps... But it would be better to register that he's having a little trouble reformatting his thoughts into English.

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That's the way I've seen it too. It's a second language but he's not wholly fluent, to the point that he can also think in that language.

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I think English here is acceptable. As a person that born in the country when English not my first language I can relate with them. We speak English sometimes but at the same time we have our own slang. Most people here speak with simple English or broken English either in the country or outside. It's not cringeworthy like other drama which trying too hard with their Korean tongue.
I like how the cast try to speak English but at the same time they seem to think what they want to say in English. It's always happen here. LOL

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If you've ever flown Korean Air and heard the captain speak, or have had a Korean professor in an American university (usually in math, science or engineering), you'd know that the English is A LOT worse than this. There are times when Koreans in certain jobs need to speak English, even in a drama. So they speak with a Korean accent. Why is that so unacceptable? They are not pretending to be fluent in English, are they?

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So agree with this.

The only thing that's jarring to me is when supposedly American characters speak broken English. Those are LOLs.

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I agree, none of the characters are language experts so their accent and cadence is acceptable

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Agreed. No idea why this issue comes up so often.

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I think I may be dropping this drama. I just don't see a lot of chemistry in the OTP. It's working for other viewers, but a lot of the scenes that are supposed to sizzle make me cringe in embarrassment. Contrast that to Healer where I would actually shriek and have my heart race when they kissed (or almost kissed, or leaned near each other). I digress.

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Interesting. I agree on you on this. I actually think Joong Ki and Kim Ji won has better chemistry. :))

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+1

i have tunnel vision when it comes to the OTP scenes where i gloss over shk and i'm just focusing on sjk, but even then its starting to wear thin. sooo... i'm marathoning Nice Guy and now i'm kind of getting excited for moon chae won and her revenge drama, ha.

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Omg, you're so right... Now, I'm imagining Moon Chae Won as Mo Yeon.. I think the chemistry would explode haha

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Agree about the chemistry....I really don't feel it between the OTP...

I might get flak for this but my main problem is Song Hye Kyo looks too old and Song Joong Ki looks too baby faced for me to really get into this pairing.

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It's not necessarily the age difference for me- I was all about Secret Love Affair and that age difference was much greater. I find a stoicism/distance to SHK's acting that pulls me out of the moment. And without immediate strong attraction, none of their interactions make sense.

"Why is that single sexy man chasing after an indifferent woman who has rejected him 5 different times. Move on!"

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ohmyG! My thoughts exactly!

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Hmm I agree that the chemistry isn't all that explosive, but I pin that down to SHK's acting, not the age gap. I do like her character, and I think she's trying ever so hard to portray the right emotions, but I still don't find her nuanced enough during those more emotionally charged moments. How to put it...she comes across a tad bit too cold?

Still, it's not enough to put me off the drama, since I actually find the whole thing rather well written. It's certainly got the entertainment factor. Then again, I said that about Yong Pal and then it dwindled into nothingness after 8 eps - let's hope this churns out to be one of KES's better dramas!

Though SHK's acting may not be up to par with SJK, I've never gotten the impression that her character was "indifferent" - she clearly cares, but is conflicted re her feelings to take it any further. And really, one can't really blame her. She admits to being swept off her feet, but is equally afraid of committing to something which will cause her pain in the long run. I think the show's done well to highlight their contrasting personalities with regards to how they handle feelings/situations.

With SJ there's no turning back, nor is there time to keep feelings at bay. He approaches matters of love with a soldier's mind - immediate and assured, so long as he receives the right signal. Whereas MY's hesitancy is displayed through her mixed signalling; she needs time, and space, and is restricted by her own fears - fears that are natural for any citizen.

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i agree her character has never come across as 'indifferent', in fact we're given a lot of her thoughts to SAY how conflicted she is and are TOLD she's so attracted.

but SHK's cold acting mulls it all. i think it's part her monotone voice and stiff facial expressions where her eyes are usually just wide eyed and her eyebrows unmoving. i feel like the scenes where she really comes alive are when she's with her doctor friend in Korea and when she was pulling out the hair of that other doctor. maybe she's a better actress when she gets to be just one of the girls instead of a romantic interest.

i'm sorry to sound rude but i just can't engage with her despite really liking her character's conflict and this is what i've pinpointed it down to.

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And that's just the problem! She says how much she likes him- but the facial acting doesn't line up for me. So there's this total cognitive dissonance that pulls me right out. I don't relate to her as the character. Contrast that with Dae Young whose small facial expression changes hits me right in the gut. (Reminds me a bit of So Ji Sub) That's why I dont attribute it to directing or script. His quick beats are very emotionally effective.

When I think about characters in other shows I generally talk and think about their actions, personalities and motivations in the character name (Hong Seul, Gil Ra Im) but here I only see SHK.

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Exactly my thoughts too.

But like the other aspects of the drama well enough not to drop it.

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MY isn't even close to being indifferent to him though.

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I feel u too. I cant feel the chemistry. I think SHK can do better than this. It is the director? Or the script?

Weird enough, why the leads in this drama have similar personality. The way they talked, the language they used. Are all army act similarly? Are sarcasm and wity remarks considered normal to all military officers (at least the leads ) and doctors too. It almost too poeitic. I dont know the Korean language. But the subs appeared so. It almost unnatural. I really watch this just for the casts...

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Humor is greatly used in the military!! I have first-hand experience. It's mostly because most officers and professional military are very self-confident people and relaxed in their personal lives. A great sense of humor is part of that. I know hundreds of military men and women and they are all funny, easy-going people. Easy humor and wit is a great way to survive in this often dark world.

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+1

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I have to watch this on Viki late because I don't pay and Drama Fever just started it and between the two the subs are never exactly the same in English but I use this site to clear up my confusion. I get the chemistry of the OTP because I am affiliated with the US military and process the sarcasm and witty remarks with that experience. I am not close friends to doctors (only med techs) so I cannot speak smartly on how doctors speak. So I can only relate that MY is attracted and has stated many times that she was but is being cautious. She is quite lucky that SJ is so smitten that he has patience cuz we all know for both of them they are so pretty they could fill any void with anybody else. But they both don't do that and they both are pretty honest with each other and they don't try to change each other and its refreshing and I like it

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+1
I agree. I don't find any chemistry between the OTP that people are drooling over.

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I agree about the overall chemistry. I think SJK is completely selling it on his end, but I'm not getting quite enough from her to feel the electricity/chemistry like I did with shows like Healer. However, I'm hopeful that as the characters start up a relationship, that the chemistry will grow.

If it wasn't for SJK, though, I would have given this up around episode 2. Now, I'm honestly in it for the bromance just as much as the OTP haha.

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agree! hoping more of the bromance than the romance.

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I'm having moon/sun feels all over again in some scenes of SJK and SHK...still remember vividly how KSH acted his butt off to get the chemistry going only to be responded by a deer in headlights HGI. lmao

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DUDDDEEEE on point with that comparison. man, can we get an example of when an actress acted her butt off and her male lead sucked? i'm feeling feminist about this.

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Great question? Hmmm. Has Gong Hyo Jin ever acted with a dud? She's amazing and always sells me on the chemistry on her side.

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no one is as bad as Han GaIn

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It's a credit to the actors that they can deliver such cheesy lines. I hate that line but SJk makes it palatable. Anyone else and I probably would have shut it off from too much 2nd hand embarrassment

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The reason why I dropped The Heirs was because the lines were too cheesy too corny for me to handle... So far I still can tolerate the level of cheesiness in this drama.

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SJK alone enough to draw my attention. Enjoying this, but I wish i can see more of Jin Goo & Kim Ji Won.

But tbh, if you are looking something else aside from romance, this drama may not be your choice. I was actually expecting something else, and to see this drama going into dark, but maybe still too early. Will see how it goes.

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Me too. Despite the teasers, i kept thinking the show would be more dark and gritty - bec of the basic premise

But its obviously just a romance. So even life-death situations like that cliff scene, don't really touch you. You don't feel that the stakes are high or real. There is no real tension or urgency

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I am actually quite disappointed because i was expecting something else. But never mind, I will see how it goes first. Maybe until few more episodes.

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Despite the teasers, i kept thinking the show would be more dark and gritty – bec of the basic premise

And the title! Descendants of the Sun sounds too epic for a melodrama.

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Looked at another way, it's the lack of tension / urgency that makes it an easy watch.

I like it as a 'turn your brain off and watch' kind of show.

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+1

"You don’t feel that the stakes are high or real. There is no real tension or urgency"

I think that might be my main issue with this show. The previews indicates conflict and more plot than there actually is. I don't find the bad guys antagonistic and the 'war-torn' country just seems to be a set up for getting Mo Yeon in danger so SJK can go and save her.

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Something was off in this episode... I don't know what but my excitement level is lowered...

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I had a really hard time with the car-off-the-cliff. And then the plunge into the sea. Oh, and the CPR (people, you do that when the heart stops beating, it's really far more serious than dramas frame it).

I don't need Shi Jin to be running around saving MY every other second. That entire thing just felt dumb.

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seconded. i actually fast forwarded through her crying parts lol. i guess i don't have patience when it comes to these scenes. it's expected from this writer though, so i can't say i'm too surprised.

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On the contrary, I love these scenes and keep rewatching them.

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MASK had similar scene... I didn't feel half fear as compared to MASK ....

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My thought exactly.
and the female lead in Mask had a phone will too.

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For some perverse reason, I didn't mind the car going off the cliff. I was thinking that he would come with the whole rope-tying, last minute yank to safety thing, so it was a surprise that didn't happen. The car going into the sea was of course totally ludicrous - like how could they be sure it had enough water depth or that the car wouldn't hit anything else on the way down. But still. it was silly enough and SJK did it with enough casual panache that I had a slight Thelma and Louise vibe and went with it.

But yeah, I'm over the CPR stuff - she wasn't in the water long enough for her heart to have stopped. And if she really did - she wouldn't just suddenly recover enough to smack him.

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