Mr. Sunshine: Episode 6
The plot finally thickens, and the relationships in our love pentagon get a little more complicated. As Eugene discovers more about his parents’ deaths, he finds more enemies and struggles to reconcile his painful memories with the nation that exploited his family. He also becomes more aware of his relationship with Ae-shin, the intriguing noblewoman who challenges his perceptions of class and loyalty. Ae-shin is the center of attention, but we learn more about her admirers in this episode as they embark on a new bromance that could get one of them killed.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Ae-shin and Dong-mae pick up the mess caused by her maid running into the shelf, and Dong-mae notices the bottom of Ae-shin’s skirt brush his fingers. When Ae-shin sees him staring at her skirt, she stands up defensively, but Dong-mae grabs onto the end. He looks up to her and tells her that he came back to Joseon because of that one moment.
In a quick flashback montage, we see which moment he’s referring to — when young Ae-shin saved his life by hiding him in her carriage. Young Dong-mae was ungrateful, calling her a spoiled noble lavished in luxury and wiping his bloodied lip with the end of her dress. He’d clutched her skirt in the same tense way. It’s a striking parallel to this current moment, and present Dong-mae admits that no matter how many times he turns away, this is his only path.
Dong-mae finally lets go of Ae-shin’s skirt after a long beat and silently walks away in the rain, leaving Ae-shin on the verge of tears. When Dong-mae arrives at his tarot house hideout, his silent companion, the tarot card reader, hands him a cloth to dry himself. Dong-mae says that he forgot to run her errand, and she writes in his palm that he’s an idiot. She gently smacks him on the back as he walks by, and he says that it hurts.
Eugene meets a familiar servant who used to serve in Ignobleman’s home with his family. He recognizes this servant as the one who beat him in his youth at the command of their owner, so he doesn’t return the happy greeting from the servant. He demands to know where his parents were buried, but the servant only knows the general area. Eugene threatens him to find the exact location, if he doesn’t want to die.
That night, Ae-shin dumps her skirt outside and tells her maid to throw it away. The maid is confused that she would throw out such valuable clothing, but Ae-shin wants nothing to do with that contaminated fabric.
The next morning, Hee-sung secretly arrives at his home and quickly shushes his servants from greeting him too loudly. He stacks up boxes of gifts in his servant’s hands and proudly walks into his home, announcing his arrival to his mother and father. Hee-sung’s parents rush out and scold him for coming back when they explicitly told him not to, and Hee-sung can’t seem to gauge what’s going on.
A servant approaches the parents and shares that they were able to track down the old servant and send him to the U.S. embassy. But before the servant can finish his update, Hee-sung’s parents comically shush him and shoo him away. They embrace Hee-sung to distract him from the crisis in their household, and confused Hee-sung gladly accepts his parents’ warm welcome.
On horseback, Eugene follows the servant to the hills where his parents were buried. Nearby, Ae-shin’s teacher Seung-gu happens to be paying respects to his family and Eugene asks if he can borrow some of the alcohol, which is used to honor those who have passed. Seung-gu gladly agrees and generously offers the rest of his alcohol to Eugene without payment.
The servant scrambles to find the exact location where Eugene’s parents were buried, but he’s unable to determine the burial spot. He explains that it’s been 30 years since he buried them, so he doesn’t remember. That angers Eugene even more, and he grabs the servant by the collar, rebuking the man for not visiting the people he beat to death, not even once.
Eugene cries for his parents, who didn’t even get a proper burial, and the servant begs on his knees for forgiveness. People who were born as slaves were treated as such, so there wasn’t much that the servant man could do for his parents.
Eugene returns the alcohol bottle to Seung-gu and offers a handful of flowers for the burial site that Seung-gu is at. Seung-gu says that it’s his father, who died during the war against the Americans. He explains that this whole area is a burial site for all the victims of war and pillages. He notes that Eugene was coming from the burial area for slaves, and Eugene confirms that his parents were indeed slaves. Seung-gu seems surprised that the son of slaves became such a high-ranking American soldier, and he jokes that he may want to redeem payment for the alcohol.
Eugene returns to Glory Hotel, and Hina greets him with a letter addressed to him. He looks excited as he opens up the letter and reads the message from the American man, Joseph, who saved him in his youth. Joseph welcomes him to Joseon and says that he’s currently in Hamgyeong, hoping to visit Eugene in Hanseong soon. He tells Eugene, who he calls Great and Noble One, that he’s living proof that God exists.
Hina notices Eugene smiling as he reads the letter and tells him that she rarely sees him smile. He thinks about the few moments he’s smiled during his time in Joseon, and they’ve all been with Ae-shin.
Then, Hina asks if Eugene would be willing to meet with some powerful folks who are curious about the black-haired American soldier. Eugene asks if her job as the hotel owner includes arranging meetings for powerful men, and Hina clarifies that whatever she asks of Eugene, she asks as a woman.
Cheekily prefacing that she’s asking as the hotel owner, Hina then asks if Eugene is still having a comfortable stay and mentions that she knows of his room being searched through. Eugene says that nothing was stolen, but Hina comments that if nothing was stolen, usually something’s been exposed.
Eugene walks up to his room and stares at himself in the mirror. He thinks back to the servant’s desperate explanation that slaves are born slaves, and there’s nothing they can do to change that. Then, he thinks about Ae-shin’s explanation of her noble status, and these two contrasting conversations haunt him.
Meeting Ae-shin at the inn, Seung-gu adorably confesses his love for the innkeeper, which makes Ae-shin thoroughly uncomfortable. Talking through the door, Ae-shin updates Seung-gu that the American consulate visited their hideout, and Hee-sung visited her home. Seung-gu says that temporarily avoiding their hideout is easy, but Ae-shin will be tied down in her marriage. Ae-shin refuses to accept her fate in marriage, and she says that she’ll run away to another country and figure out a way to help Joseon from abroad.
Then, Seung-gu hands her the stolen gun and tells her to return it to the U.S. embassy, since they’re not thieves. Ae-shin is so shocked that she falls out of the door before quickly collecting herself. She asks why this is an “us” situation when Seung-gu stole this gun on his own, and Seung-gu reminds her that she’s always on his side. Ha, well played.
While Eugene and Kyle ride on horseback, they encounter a passing carriage. Eugene recognizes the carriage as belonging to Ae-shin, and her maid mentions seeing Eugene from outside. Hearing this, Ae-shin opens her window to check. They pass by each other, looking on in silence. Kyle picks up that Ae-shin wants to see Eugene, and he teases Eugene for hiding something from him.
They eat chicken soup at the inn, and Eugene tells Kyle that this was the first meal he had in Joseon. He admits that it was his first time eating this because when he lived in Joseon as a child, he was a low-class slave and couldn’t afford such luxuries. Kyle suddenly feels bad for Eugene and tries to order more soup for his friend, but the innkeeper isn’t anywhere to be found.
As they eat, Eugene asks if Kyle has any more information on Logan Taylor, the American man who was assassinated for tarnishing America’s reputation. Eugene mentions that the Japanese are watching Logan’s family, and he suspects that Logan was involved in some secret exchange. Kyle finds this potential investigation dangerous and warns Eugene to stay out of it.
Minister Lee Se-hoon (the Japanese-siding foreign affairs minister) speaks to Emperor Gojong about a rampant rumor among the Joseon people regarding a slush fund and claims that this is
fake news false. But Gojong is astute and accuses Minister Lee of probing to figure out how much the emperor knows. Minister Lee tries to defend himself, but he’s quickly dismissed at the news that Wan-ik has arrived.
Wan-ik limps toward the emperor, dressed in western clothing and with a cane in hand. He respectfully greets him with a bow, and with a stern face, Gojong welcomes Wan-ik back from his work as the Korean consulate in Japan. He tells Wan-ik to rest up and recover from his long journey and quickly dismisses Wan-ik without any further discussion.
Minister Lee insults Wan-ik as he walks out of the palace, calling him despicable and unworthy of a government position. He scolds Wan-ik for disregarding a respectful greeting and continues to taunt him until Wan-ik slaps him across the face with his gloves. Wan-ik says that this is his greeting and thanks him for his kind remarks. Then, he limps off and leaves Minister Lee speechless.
Kyle assigns Eugene to a new job of protecting Logan Taylor’s widow, and Eugene is clearly not excited to take on this job. Mrs. Taylor looks aggravated by her crying baby and orders her servant to quiet the baby. The young girl (the same girl Eugene saved from the Japanese soldiers) tries to explain that the baby has a fever, but Mrs. Taylor gets impatient and slaps the girl across the face. Eugene intervenes and tells Mrs. Taylor to show some dignity, but she isn’t willing to respect any filthy Joseon people, especially since she believes that they killed her husband.
Mrs. Taylor is escorted to her home by Eugene, and she meets with Wan-ik, who’s accompanied by Dong-mae’s gang. In Korean, Wan-ik asks Dong-mae what the Joseon bastard is doing in an American uniform, and Dong-mae responds that this “bastard” is an American who is also fluent in Korean.
Wan-ik sheepishly looks away and gets straight to business with Mrs. Taylor, speaking to her in broken English about his offer on the house. Mrs. Taylor calls his English trash and speaks back to him in Korean. She doesn’t care about his offer and tells him to just sign the contract, which Wan-ik does after a couple of grumbles about how rude Mrs. Taylor is. Mrs. Taylor signs the contract, cursing her husband for leaving her in this despicable country, and tells Wan-ik to send her the money quickly.
Eugene catches Dong-mae giving the house one more look as they leave, and he asks if the document they’re looking for is here. Dong-mae says that they’ve thoroughly searched the place, but he tells Eugene that he can look again. Eugene asks if he’s proposing a partnership, which Dong-mae rejected before, and Dong-mae rejects it again. He’s open to Eugene’s help, but only to find the document and not to share its secrets. Eugene claims that he has no interest in the document anyway, though he does seem curious.
Dong-mae’s right-hand man, Yujo, interrupts their conversation and informs Dong-mae that Hee-sung is staying at Glory Hotel. Dong-mae excuses himself for an appointment and tells Eugene to take care, and Eugene thanks him for always telling him to take care when they part. Dong-mae smiles at that snide comment and admits to Eugene that he’s starting to like him, even though he shouldn’t.
When Eugene arrives at Glory Hotel, he finds Dong-mae in the lobby and asks if they were waiting for him. Eugene offers to let them into his room if they’ve decided to search his room today. Their conversation is cut short by Hee-sung, who happily greets Eugene and introduces himself to Dong-mae. Hina watches the trio and adds that Hee-sung is Ae-shin’s fiancé. At that epithet, both Eugene and Dong-mae’s gazes sharpen, and they get on the defensive. Hee-sung mentions that he’s noticed Eugene summoning Ae-shin to the embassy and asks what’s going on. At that comment, Dong-mae’s eyes shift to his new prey.
Hina notices that Eugene and Dong-mae are reaching for their weapons, and she asks them to take it outside if they wish to use them. Both of them pull their hands away from their weapons, and Hee-sung suggests that they all have a drink together. Eugene rejects the offer, and Dong-mae also rejects it, saying that he may kill one or two people if he has a drink that night.
As both Eugene and Dong-mae leave, Hee-sung comments to Hina about the two men’s oscillating emotions. Hina predicts that someone will end up heartbroken, and they can only hope that neither of them will be that person. Hee-sung agrees and curiously asks where Hina fits in. Hina keeps it a mystery and smiles.
In his room, Eugene thinks back to Ae-shin explaining her relationship with Hee-sung. She’d claimed that they were friends, and Eugene scoffs at her lie.
Ae-shin’s aunt meets with Hee-sung’s mother to discuss the upcoming marriage. Initially, Hee-sung’s mother denies that Hee-sung has returned, but Aunt tells her that Hee-sung already visited their home to see Ae-shin. Since they’re already ten years late, Aunt asks Hee-sung’s mother to send the letter confirming their engagement as soon as possible so that Ae-shin can get married in her prime. Hee-sung’s mother doesn’t seem to be in such a rush and compliments Ae-shin’s beauty and discretion.
Aunt takes pride in Ae-shin’s delicacy and discretion, and we jump to discreet Ae-shin in all black running along rooftops in attempts to return the stolen gun. She analyzes the various different entrances and makes her way to the most inconspicuous part of the embassy. As she sneaks through the quarters, she runs into two soldiers and quickly knocks them unconscious. She apologizes for hitting them too hard before quickly making her way to Eugene’s office to drop off the gun.
The soldiers realize that an intruder is among them and quickly search through the buildings to find Ae-shin, but she’s already on her way out. She jumps over the wall and lands safely outside the embassy, or so she thinks. The young embassy-loitering boy (who Eugene saved from the Japanese soldiers) points to disguised Ae-shin and explains to Eugene that this is exactly how he scales the wall. Ah, she’s been caught red-handed!
Ae-shin freezes in place, and Eugene congratulates the boy for being hired by the embassy. He tells the boy to forget what just happened, and the boy happily agrees before running off. Eugene crouches down next to Ae-shin and tries to look into her eyes, but she hides behind her hat. So Eugene pulls her face mask away, and Ae-shin raises her voice, fearful that she’ll be further exposed.
Eugene shushes her and pulls her up to walk beside him naturally until they get far enough. As they walk, Eugene asks about her fiancé, who she previously described as a friend. He asks if she’s getting married, and Ae-shin changes the topic by saying that they’ve walked far enough from the embassy. But Eugene repeats the question and says that he’s asking out of genuine curiosity. Ae-shin ignores his question again and says that she should head home soon.
Ae-shin says that she’s indebted to him once again and tries to leave, but Eugene steps in her way and offers to walk her home, since she’ll be safer with him. She says that she’ll stand out with him, but that’s the exact reason he’s offering to accompany her. He says, “The safest place in Joseon is by my side because I’m the one who stands out.”
As they walk side by side, Eugene narrates his letter to Joseph: “Dear Joseph, I worry about the cold weather where you are in Hamgyeong. I hope you are well. All my days in Joseon are peaceful.” While walking, Ae-shin asks him if he’s still considering her offer to be her partner in that thing called “love.” He stares at Ae-shin silently and continues to narrate: “My days are not peaceful. How is it that I want to respond to her?”
Ae-shin doesn’t seem bothered by his lack of response and thanks him for walking alongside her because this is a moment that she’ll never be able to relive as a noblewoman. She stops and says that she’ll continue on alone. Eugene narrates: “I almost caught her and told her not to leave, so that we could walk further, side by side.” Ae-shin heads on her way, and Eugene watches her leave with her mask in his hand.
In his hotel room, Eugene continues to write his letter: “I don’t even know where ‘there’ is in Joseon, but I keep going further away to ‘there.’ When do you come to Hanseong? I miss you.” Eugene signs off the letter and in voiceover, he admits that he probably won’t send this letter because it feels like a confession.
The next morning, Eugene finds the stolen gun on his desk and checks its function. He finds all the bullets in place, but the trigger is missing a piece that disables it from firing a bullet. We see that the small missing piece is on the ground at a metal shop belonging to Seung-gu’s friend.
Kyle enters the office spouting rudimentary Korean phrases with Gwan-soo, and Eugene shows them that the stolen gun has been returned. They’re interrupted by Ignobleman’s former servant, who has visited again to deliver something to Eugene. The servant hands him a piece of carved wood, which looks like a hairpiece belonging to his mother, and tells Eugene that his wife had saved that when they buried his parents. Eugene remembers carving that piece of wood in his youth, and he stares at the hairpiece in reminiscence.
The servant also reveals that there was another player who caused the death of Eugene’s parents. This person had favored Eugene’s mother and made a deal with Ignobleman, which led to the fatal sequence of events. That person is none other than the minister of foreign affairs, Minister Lee Se-hoon.
Minister Lee deals with his whining lover, who asks for money and complains that he only values mere porcelain pieces. Minister Lee scolds her for trivializing the porcelain, which he believes will bring him fame and success. She stomps out of the room in a fuss, and Minister Lee yells at his young servant for placing her dirty fingers on his garment. He kicks her to the ground and demands a new garment.
As Minster Lee passes through the town on his carriage, his entourage announces his presence, and the Joseon people clear the way. We hear the clatter of hooves and see that it’s Eugene on horseback right in the way of Minister Lee’s path. Rearing the horse, Eugene frightens the minister and smiles as he says that the horse doesn’t know how to go backwards. So Eugene rides his horse at full speed towards the minister and jumps over the carriage, causing the terrified minister to fall over.
Minister Lee falls into the puddles on the ground, and he screams at his soldiers to find out who that horse rider is. He’s thoroughly humiliated, and the Joseon people cover up their laughs as they watch him lose face.
Eugene sits alone at a restaurant for a drink, and American soldiers salute to him when the walk in. Dong-mae joins him and reminds Eugene that he claimed to not like alcohol. Eugene says that he also doesn’t like Dong-mae, but he still responds to him. Touché. Dong-mae says that he must not like a lot of people, including Minister Lee, who he humiliated earlier that day. Eugene denies this and lies that his horse was just misbehaving.
Hee-sung then enters the restaurant, and he’s elated to see his two “friends.” He squeezes into the seat between them and joins them, despite their refusal to welcome him. A few drinks in, Hee-sung is already drunk and asks how the two can drink in silence. He asks why the two friends haven’t reconciled, and Dong-mae insists that they aren’t friends. Hee-sung makes a joke out of this and acknowledges that Dong-mae isn’t dongmu (the term for “friends,” which sounds similar to Dong-mae’s name) and reintroduces himself by name, ha!
Hee-sung says that having a drink together means that they’re friends, and both Eugene and Dong-mae put down their cups. Hee-sung takes a drink alone and asks why the two fought. Eugene says that they didn’t fight… yet. Out of curiosity, Hee-sung asks who would win in a fight between the two, and Eugene says that Hee-sung won’t know the outcome of the fight because he’ll probably kill Hee-sung before either one of them dies. Dong-mae smiles in agreement.
Hee-sung chuckles at this joke and asks another question: Why are they always so angry? They just stare at Hee-sung in annoyance, and Hee-sung takes that as a cue to ask a string of more questions. He asks Eugene who he would save if a Joseon person and an American were drowning, and then he asks Dong-mae who he would save if a Japanese person and a Joseon person were drowning. What if it were Eugene and him, and what if it were Dong-mae and him? Eugene and Dong-mae talk over him and take bets on who’s going to kill Hee-sung first.
Hee-sung throws himself a pity party because no one is going to save him from drowning, and he takes one last drink before throwing up. Eugene and Dong-mae are utterly disgusted.
The next day, Gwan-soo interviews the new embassy hire, the young boy who Eugene saved. For his previous job, the boy, who we later know as Domi, claims to have shuttled buckets of water from wells over ten times per day. Gwan-soo doesn’t believe Domi and tries to figure out the logistics of the boy’s claim. Domi smiles at him despite all the suffering he’s gone through, and Gwan-soo gets emotional as he sympathizes with the boy’s misfortune. He walks out fanning his eyes, and Eugene jokingly scolds Domi for making Gwan-soo cry.
Ae-shin practices the alphabet in her room, and she quickly hides her books when her cousin, Ae-soon, enters. Ae-shin respectfully offers her seat, and Ae-soon asks her to sneak some rice from storage without letting Aunt know. Ae-shin refuses, so Ae-soon belittles her by saying that Ae-shin’s parents didn’t even have a proper marriage, so she’s much lower in the hierarchy than the almighty Ae-soon.
Ae-shin doesn’t let her walk over her, and she calls out Ae-soon on her bluff, saying that the almighty Ae-soon is requesting for her to do something she can’t even do. Ae-shin threatens to tell Grandfather and Aunt about Ae-soon’s frivolous spending habits at the hotel if she dares to speak disrespectfully about her parents again. Ae-soon walks out in a fit, acquiescing to Ae-shin’s terms.
Ae-shin returns to her English studies, and in her book, she finds a pressed flower from the bunch that Hee-sung gave her. Ae-shin’s maid says that she couldn’t just throw away the flowers, so she saved one. Ae-shin looks at the flowers and wonders how this flower reminds her of the person who gave them to her (Hee-sung) and the person who didn’t (Eugene). She sticks the flower back into the book, where we see her practicing the alphabet along with Eugene’s name.
As Eugene leaves the embassy, he finds Domi’s older sister waiting at the entrance. He invites her inside and asks her what she’s holding. It’s the old swaddle for Logan Taylor’s baby, and she says that Mrs. Taylor threw it out to get a new one. She says that she coincidentally found out that Logan hid important documents in the swaddle after sewing up the cloth on multiple occasions. She rips open the swaddle and hands Eugene an envelope, which reads “Banque Russo-Asiatique.” This is the evidence of the slush fund that Dong-mae has been looking for.
Eugene opens up the envelope and reads the document, which exposes Emperor Gojong as the owner of the deposit. The girl asks if this document is worth a lot of money, and Eugene confirms this. The girl happily offers this document to Eugene as payment for saving the siblings’ lives, but Eugene seems more worried that this document could get him killed. He says ominously that the fate of Joseon could be in his hands.
Gojong tells his trusted minister that their ally, Russia, has lost power; their enemy, Japan, is more mistrustful; and their new visitors, the U.S., are just observers. On top of that, the receipt of their deposit is missing. He wonders if this is a punishment from his passed queen.
Gojong asks the minister if they know anything about Wan-ik’s tracking of the document. He knows that Wan-ik is a clever man who is fully aware that he’s being summoned to do nothing and also aware that he’s being watched. The minister assures him that if Wan-ik makes a move, then they’ll know where his allegiances lie.
Eugene picks at his food as he thinks about Dong-mae’s threat to kill whoever holds the document. Hina checks up on his meal, and Eugene takes that opportunity to ask about Dong-mae. She asks where to start, since Dong-mae has such a complicated story, and Eugene asks her to start with the Mushin Society.
Hee-sung invites himself to this story time and asks Eugene if he’s okay after all that drinking. Eugene reminds him that Hee-sung did most of drinking, and Hina reminds him that he kept blabbering on about drowning. Eugene excuses himself and says he’ll listen to the story another time, but they’re interrupted by a servant who has come to escort Hee-sung. Eugene recognizes this servant as the one accompanying Hee-sung’s father, and he comes to a sudden realization.
Eugene confirms Hee-sung’s birth year and the name of Hee-sung’s father. Hee-sung is all smiles until he notices the change of expression on Eugene’s face. His smile fades, and he tells Eugene that he’s used to people holding grudges against his family. He asks if it was his father or his grandfather who wronged him, but Eugene stays silent, brimming with anger.
Hee-sung’s father bursts into the pawnshop and blames the two former slave hunters for his current predicament. The runaway slave that they failed to capture has now returned as an American soldier to seek revenge, and it takes a moment for Il-shik and Choon-shik to realize that Eugene is that runaway slave. Hee-sung’s father throws the cursed ornament to them that Eugene left behind, and demands that they give him a high rate for putting him through this misery.
Hee-sung stands on a ledge, deep in thought, and takes a swig from his flask. He thinks about Eugene’s indignant tone as he confirmed the identity of his father, and he sighs. Next to him, Domi also sighs and asks Hee-sung if he’s found a job (lol is this Misaeng?). The boy shares that he’s frustrated because he’s so indebted that he doesn’t know how to repay the kindness he’s been afforded. Hee-sung smiles at the precocious boy and admits that he’s the opposite, with plenty of retribution to fulfill. He takes another swig from his flask and looks out into the dusk.
Eugene waits at the ceramist Eun-san’s home and thinks about his new enemy, Hee-sung. Ae-shin approaches the home and asks the apprentice to set her up with the usual haul of broken ceramic. She notices Eugene there and greets him, saying that it’s nice to see him in the daylight.
Eugene walks towards her with thoughts racing through his mind. He compares his miserable past as a slave with Ae-shin’s comfortable life as a noble. He thinks about Hee-sung and his vow to destroy the family that killed his parents. He asks Ae-shin if her offer about love still stands, and agrees to be her partner in love. Then, he takes a step forward.
Now, this is what I needed! I was really starting to invest in the relationship between Eugene and Ae-shin, especially after the narration of the letter to Joseph. That letter was essentially a love letter to Ae-shin, and I found it poignantly honest about his uncertainty with his attraction to Ae-shin. He’s admitted that he’s curious about her, but I think he’s always been aware of class being an obstacle in their relationship. He was born into slavery, and she was born into nobility. Multiple times, Eugene has been reminded that he can’t change his class if he was born into it. But his whole existence refutes that concept, and now he’s trying to disprove that concept again by courting Ae-shin. What started out as genuine curiosity and innocent admiration has turned into a manipulative ploy to destroy the noble family (or maybe even the noble class in general?) that killed his parents.
I don’t think Eugene’s manipulative intentions are acceptable — they’re completely wrong and hurtful — but I do think that this creates an interesting inner turmoil for Eugene as a character. He’s been a bit bland so far, with his boo-hoo backstory being the only spine to his existence. I did appreciate the nuances shared about Eugene experiencing life as an immigrant and as a stranger in his own country. But Eugene’s screen time was starting to get repetitive, and it doesn’t help that Lee Byung-heon can’t enunciate and isn’t as exciting of an actor to me as the others. Luckily, this episode made me more interested in Eugene as a character, and I need this show to sustain my interest. Please.
I know that Eugene and Ae-shin took some significant steps forward in this episode, but I want to see more of Ae-shin and Dong-mae. I’m curious to explore why they find their past so charged and how that’s influenced the people they are now. There’s this strong tension and hatred between the two, but layered under that for Dong-mae is this concealed admiration for Ae-shin. I’m looking forward to how Dong-mae will react to Ae-shin’s secret identity and how that will change his perceptions of this noblewoman bathing in luxuries. I think that Dong-mae has a similar perspective to Eugene, that these noble people have been the bane of their past existence, so they don’t want any part of it. I can see the parallels between Dong-mae and Eugene, and I can see the potential bromance with both of them wanting to kill Hee-sung.
I looooved Hee-sung in this episode. What a delight it is to have such a fun character third-wheeling this tense, life-threatening bromance. He was undoubtedly my favorite part of this episode, with his shameless ability to insert himself into any situation. His light-hearted nature makes him so refreshing in the midst of many people who take themselves too seriously. But that carefree nature is also juxtaposed with his self-awareness and guilt associated with his family. The way his face transformed in response to Eugene’s distaste for his father was wonderful. You could see the façade fading and his deep understanding of his family’s sins being very sobering. That explains his drinking behavior and his flask, but he’ll surely need to face his demons eventually. Hopefully facing his demons doesn’t include him getting killed, but I will be taking bets on who’s going to kill Hee-sung first: Dong-mae or Eugene?
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