Mr. Sunshine: Episode 22
Whatever you’re expecting from this episode, heighten your expectations now because whether you’ve been following this show, dropped the show, or just picked this random episode to watch, you will be overwhelmed. The Righteous Army operations are in full swing in response to the Japanese invasion, and everyone is ready to sacrifice for the resistance. Fasten your seatbelts, everyone. This bulldozer doesn’t plan to stop until it reaches the end.
EPISODE 22 RECAP
After confronting Hotaru about her betrayal, Dong-mae determines that he must go to Japan. Yujo stands in his way, and Dong-mae tells Yujo to run away with the gang if he doesn’t come back in a month. Yujo won’t let Dong-mae sacrifice himself just for some woman, but Dong-mae tells Yujo that Ae-shin isn’t just some woman to him.
Yujo begs to accompany him, but Dong-mae yells that he just abandoned his people because he knows this is a suicide mission. Hotaru blocks his path, her tearful eyes pleading him to stay. Dong-mae turns away, unable to control his emotions at the sight of their desperation, and he takes a detour off the balcony to head for Japan.
In Japan, Eugene and Ae-shin sprint toward the American embassy as the Musin warriors chase them through the streets. With his last bullet, Eugene shoots the window of the embassy building, prompting the response of armed American soldiers rushing out to confront the attack. Eugene and Ae-shin kneel with their hands raised in surrender, and Eugene announces his identity and Ae-shin as his wife. The soldiers express suspicion about his claim, so Eugene asks for Kyle to confirm his identity.
The Musin warriors catch up to the embassy, and their attack on an American soldier opens fire against them. After a load of casualties, the Musin warriors retreat, and Kyle, looking confused, steps out of the gate to identify Eugene, who smiles in relief. But even with their identities confirmed, Eugene and Ae-shin are escorted in a jail cell.
Kyle argues with the ambassador to keep both Eugene and Ae-shin safe at the embassy, but the ambassador wants to release both of them, lest the Americans become enemies of the Musin Society. The ambassador expresses fear about meddling in diplomatic affairs, and Kyle indignantly asserts that the U.S. didn’t hesitate to involve themselves in diplomatic affairs when he lost his hand in the war. The ambassador agrees to be less of a hypocrite and allows both Eugene and Ae-shin to remain in custody.
In the cell, Ae-shin and Eugene sit side by side, and Eugene calmly tells her to get some rest. Ae-shin compliments his composure despite the chaos, but Eugene admits that his heart is racing because she’s sitting so close to him. Ae-shin apologizes for all these detours, and Eugene says that it’s unfair that she won’t ask him to stay even while knowing that he’s taken these detours for her. He offers his shoulder for her to sleep, and she gladly leans on him and asks that they stay like this until the morning. While she closes her eyes, Eugene looks at his ring tearfully.
As Dong-mae sails his way toward Japan, he thinks about his encounter with Sang-mok, the Righteous Army comrade who shot him. With his sword at Sang-mok’s neck, Dong-mae explained that he saw Ae-shin at Jemulpo and knew that she’s involved in the Righteous Army. He plans on saving Ae-shin, like he saved Sang-mok, and he demanded to know where Ae-shin is staying in Japan. He claimed that Ae-shin cannot be saved without the help of a Japanese person.
Dong-mae’s right about the need for a Japanese insider, as we see the Musin warriors report their failed mission to capture Ae-shin. Musin Boss knows that the Americans won’t protect a Joseon person and orders his lackeys to keep a watchful eye on the embassy for her release.
The next morning, Ae-shin wakes up leaning on Eugene and quickly scrambles to her feet, scolding herself for sleeping so well in this dire situation. Eugene says that he’ll help Ae-shin escape and that it’s time for his farewell, since he’ll be leaving for home. He embraces Ae-shin, and she cries on his shoulder, holding him tight.
They part, and Eugene gently wipes the tears on Ae-shin’s face. Instead of a goodbye, Ae-shin requests a “See you,” and Eugene says, “See you again.” The cell opens, and Eugene says that he’ll have her back — as he always did – and will trust that she can handle the rest of the escape on her own. She nods with her brave face as he leaves, but she breaks down into tears once she’s alone in the cell.
The Musin warriors watch Eugene leave in handcuffs, and they also see another carriage with a casket leaving with Kyle. Suspecting that Ae-shin is hiding in the casket, the Musin warriors stop Kyle’s carriage and open the casket, but it carries the body of an American soldier. Kyle smacks the Musin leader across the face for disrespecting a fallen American soldier and says that the Musin leader will die for this. In a quick flashback, we see that Eugene requested to Kyle that the casket leave with him because he knew the Musin warriors would take the bait. Kyle looks at toward the port and wishes Eugene good luck.
Thanks to the distraction, Ae-shin successfully escaped the American embassy, and she meets with Apprentice, who informs her that a bearded American soldier (Kyle) stopped by. Apprentice warns her of the dangers of returning to Joseon, as masses of Musin warriors are scouring the streets for her. Ae-shin opts to stay at their hideout and asks Apprentice to send a telegram for her.
Japanese ambassador Hayashi and Duk-moon, the former assistant to Wan-ik, wait at the port for Ito Hirobumi’s arrival. Hayashi says that Emperor Ito likes white porcelain, and Duk-moon assures him that he has all the white porcelain that he inherited from Wan-ik, who pillaged them from Nobleman Go. Hayashi comments that there must be a mourning ceremony in the Mori family, since they haven’t seen Takashi, so it seems that they don’t know about his death yet. Emperor Ito arrives and admires how Joseon has become a more civilized nation, thanks to Japan.
Japanese Emperor Ito meets with Joseon Emperor Gojong and commends him for allowing Japan to be the bridge to the Western world. Emperor Gojong looks disappointed at his inferiority and orders his minister, Lee Wan-yong (later one of the five Eulsa Treaty traitor), to assist the Japanese emperor during his stay.
Hee-sung receives a telegram from a Japanese stranger, and the telegram reads: “I hope to meet you on that day at that place.” He’s confused by the telegram, and he returns to the hotel to find Hina holding an 8-ball from the pool table. Hina asks him the meaning of a ball behind the 8-ball, and Hee-sung says that it means that you’re in danger. Remembering the significance of this phrase, Hee-sung asks if Hina received a telegram that day. He shows his telegram to Hina, and she immediately understands the message. The telegrams were switched, but they’re both a call for help from Ae-shin.
Hina immediately informs Emperor Gojong via telephone speed dial that Ae-shin is in danger, and he orders Minister Lee Wan-yong to prepare a diplomatic trip to Japan. Once the pleased minister leaves, Emperor Gojong returns to his phone call with Hina and asks her to send word to Ae-shin about the emperor’s rescue mission. Hina says that she knows a man who just left for Japan and another man with connections in Japan to reach him.
Once Dong-mae arrives at Shimonoseki port, he’s approached by a lady who flirts that she needs a handsome man to go to the beach with. He shakes her off and walks away, but he stops when she reveals that Hee-sung sent her.
Ae-shin packs the items that Kyle left her — the passport, money, and bullets — and she wears the ring on her neck with a shoelace. Then, she hears the Musin warriors downstairs and shoots them as she tries to escape the shop. It’s an unfair battle, and she hides behind a counter in desperation until she hears another person fighting off the Musin warriors. She stands up and can’t believe her eyes when she sees Dong-mae fighting off the enemy, and she helps him until they defeat their attackers.
Dong-mae leads Ae-shin and Apprentice to Hee-sung’s Tokyo house, and Ae-shin expresses relief that they’ve found another route to survive. But Apprentice takes a step back and reminds her that he’s a Japanese person with family waiting for him in the countryside. He won’t be accompanying Ae-shin any further and tearfully asks that she send Eun-san his respects. Ae-shin thanks him sincerely for everything, and before he leaves, Apprentice orders Dong-mae to protect Ae-shin well.
Dong-mae informs Ae-shin that many people in Joseon are trying to save her: Hina planned the mission, Hee-sung offered his house, and Emperor Gojong is sending a diplomatic procession that Ae-shin will join to return to Joseon. Ae-shin adds that Dong-mae came to Japan to save her as well and asks if he’ll be joining them back to Joseon. Dong-mae reminds her that he’s a traitor and assures her that he knows how to survive in Japan, having spent more time here.
Then, Ae-shin notices his bloody arm and rips a cloth to wrap around his wound. Dong-mae looks at her with angsty gratitude, and she promises to deliver her payment in three months. She demands that Dong-mae receive the payment directly, and he comments that she’s saved him once again. He leaves the room to let her rest, and outside, Dong-mae sits against the building, looking at the bloody cloth that Ae-shin wrapped around his arm.
The Joseon procession arrives in Japan the next morning and makes its way through the streets. Ae-shin picks up a book written by poet Heo Nanseolheon and reads a poem about falling flowers feeling cold in the moonlight. She says that Hee-sung was right about words having power.
Ae-shin hears footsteps approaching and immediately grabs her gun. An unknown woman enters, and Ae-shin points her gun at the woman but quickly lowers her gun when she realizes that the woman was sent by Emperor Gojong. Ae-shin joins the Joseon procession as a court lady, and Dong-mae watches her from afar.
Eugene is brought to court to testify about his reckless actions in Japan. He reveals that he was helping a Joseon woman who was fighting for her country, and he expresses gratitude for the U.S. legation in Japan for protecting him and Ae-shin. The judge accuses Eugene of treason, but a letter from Kyle revealed some mitigating circumstances.
Surrounded by the Musin warriors on the beach, Dong-mae prepares to fight to death and wields his sword. In the U.S., Eugene is escorted out of the court in handcuffs, as we hear the judge’s ruling of Eugene’s sentence for three years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.
Back to Japan, Dong-mae fights off the last warrior, looking close to death himself. But he’s approached by another fleet of warriors escorting Musin Boss. With a disappointed look, Musin Boss calls Dong-mae arrogant for valuing someone more than his own self, when he never truly owned himself. Musin Boss strikes his sword, and Dong-mae sinks into the ocean with his sword.
Eugene sits solemnly in his prison cell while his package from Tokyo arrives at Glory Hotel. Hina delivers the box to Hee-sung, and he opens it to find a camera. Hina informs him that Takashi was murdered in Japan by an unidentified assassin and comments that a black-haired American must have lingered in Japan. Hee-sung says that Eugene’s gun was always pointed in the right direction and looks touched at Eugene’s gift and support for his newspaper.
Yujo and the gang wait at the dojo for Dong-mae, but he doesn’t return. Following Dong-mae’s orders, Yujo order the gang to evacuate the dojo and leave Hanseong.
Ae-shin arrives in Joseon safely and thanks Emperor Gojong for his help. He informs her that Song Young and the other comrades arrived safely in Shanghai, and he now intends to utilize the banknote funds. He offers a gift to Ae-shin hidden in a box with a layer of Western dress, and she looks delighted to see it’s a gun. As the emperor who’s experienced the sorrow of losing his son, wife, and country, he orders Ae-shin to stay alive with this gun.
Ae-shin meets with Hina at the bakery, their rendezvous location, thanks Hina for her help. Hina tells Ae-shin to save her gratitude, since she lost her father, but Ae-shin lost both her parents. Hina reveals that Wan-ik was her father and further explains that Wan-ik was the man who killed Ae-shin’s parents. Ae-shin realizes that her and Hina couldn’t be on the same side from the beginning. Hina tells Ae-shin to visit the foreigner’s graveyard and says that this is her last repayment to Ae-shin.
When Ae-shin arrives at the graveyard, she finds her maid and servant waiting for her. Yay! She runs into her maid’s arms, and her servant explains that they came back from Ae-shin after safely escorting Aunt and Ae-soon to Manchuria. Ae-shin looks relieved to have them there, and they savor their happy reunion… at the graveyard.
Hee-sung’s mother continues to search for a satisfactory wife for her son, but her lady friends comment that Ae-shin is too beautiful to beat. A seamstress bows to the lady of the house before leaving, and Hee-sung’s mother looks at her curiously. The lady explains that the seamstress was hired to help with the newborn twins in the house, but they discovered that she was the daughter of a noble. Now, she’s working as a seamstress to support her two younger siblings.
The seamstress goes to the pawnshop and asks the duo to help her marry, since the matchmaker services are too expensive. She points to Hee-sung at the back of the shop and asks to set her up with him, knowing that his mother is searching for a proper wife. Hee-sung blames his own charm for this inconvenience and turns down the offer because he has no intention to marry. The seamstress pleads him to help her because she needs someone to sponsor her younger brother in the military academy.
The pawnshop duo asks if her brother’s former sponsor was an American soldier, and they realize that the seamstress is Joon-young’s older sister. They quickly agree to forge Hee-sung’s signature for the sponsorship documents without his permission, and Hee-sung finds the seamstress calmly embroidering at the shop. She noticed the shriveled flower on his sign, and she offers the finished embroidered flower to him, saying that it won’t wither.
Hina practices fencing in her hotel courtyard after receiving news about Dong-mae’s gang fleeing Jingogae. She remembers Dong-mae’s parting words at the beach and how he said them like his will. She hears a march of soldiers approaching, and she finds a new fleet of Japanese soldiers at her hotel. The leader demands that Hina clear out the entire second floor for the soldiers, as a service to her nation. The Japanese flag on the hotel replaces with the Joseon flag, and Hina wonders if she should bite after losing this much. She ponders if she should dip her toes in the Righteous Army.
Three years later, in the early summer of 1907, we see Ae-shin sitting on a wall in the hills with her gun. She reaches for the ring, which still hangs around her neck. The Joseon streets are lined with Japanese flags, and a young boy runs through the streets with a newspaper extra. The baker picks up the paper and reads the shocking news that a Tokyo exhibition charging adults 10 jeon and children/soldiers 5 jeon to see a locked up Joseon man and woman. The paper also exposes the Tokyo Asahi Newspaper for their review, which reads: “It’s very amusing to see two Joseon animals caged up at the exhibition.”
Japanese soldiers march through the palace, and Joseon people are captured and beaten for calling the Eulsa Treaty (the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905) a forced agreement. One of the five Eulsa Treaty traitors, Minister Lee Wan-yong, tells Emperor Gojong that Joseon is still an independent nation temporarily under the control of a foreign nation. We see the future seven traitors of the 1907 treaty, including Minister Lee Wan-yong, who expresses outrage about Emperor Gojong betraying Japan by sending secret agents into the country.
The Minister of Agriculture, Song Byung-joon, demands that Emperor Gojong take his life to save his country, and the other traitors agree that the emperor must take responsibility for jeopardizing the country. Hee-sung reads the traitor’s bold statement in a Japanese newspaper — that if the emperor doesn’t take his own life, then he should beg forgiveness from the Japanese Emperor or surrender in a war against Japan.
Hee-sung crumbles the newspaper in rage, and a staff writer (Ae-shin’s friend from the language school) urgently reports that the pro-Japanese forces have surrounded the palace, with all the ministers already inside. At this news, Hee-sung presumes that the ministers are planning to dethrone the emperor. Hee-sung guessed right, as we see the ministers inside the royal court demanding that Emperor Gojong give up the throne to the prince.
The emperor yells at the traitors for siding with Japan, and Minister Lee Wan-yong steps in front of the emperor and points his gun at the emperor, reminding him of the times they’re living through. Seung-gu steps in, and aiming his gun at the traitor, he asks Emperor Gojong for his command. That prompts another minister to point his gun at Seung-gu, along with a group of soldiers, who enter the court with their dirty boots on.
Recognizing his lost battle, Emperor Gojong abdicates his throne. When the Japanese soldiers approach Seung-gu to capture him, Emperor Gojong commands the traitors to lower their guns that point to Seung-gu. Though he gave up the throne, he’s unwilling to give up Seung-gu.
In New York, Eugene is released from prison and walks to the music shop, where he spent his childhood crying at the sad tune of the music box. We see that he still wears his ring. He visits Joseph’s church to deliver the bible from Joseph’s belongings, and he asks God if there was a reason why his whole life was shaken. Eugene oversees the water deep in thought, when a stranger solicits him for directions to Columbia University. Eugene recognizes the intonation of the stranger’s English and speaks to him in Korean, offering to walk him to his destination.
As they walk to the university, Eugene asks the stranger about news on Joseon and the Russo-Japanese war. Stranger shares that Japan won the war, and Joseon is now forced under Japanese rule through the Eulsa Treaty. He comments on that the U.S. was the first ally to Joseon and also the first to retreat from Joseon. With Japan seeking to annex Joseon, Stranger says that many of his compatriots are trying to spread word about this invasion.
Upon reaching their destination, Stranger asks for Eugene’s name, and he introduces himself as Choi Yoo-jin. Stranger introduces himself to be Ahn Chang-ho (a historical Korean independence activist), and they shake hands. Eugene assures Chang-ho that Joseon will not surrender easily because the people of the Righteous Army are protecting the nation. Chang-ho knows this and reveals that he’s a Righteous Army comrade.
As Eugene walks through the night, he tells God, addressing him as Joseph’s father, that he will live out the rest of his life. Since he lived his entire life relying on futile hope, he hopes for Ae-shin to remain alive.
In Joseon, two Righteous Army comrades blow up a building, and flee from the scene. The police chief arrives with his forces, but they’re blocked by gunshots from Ae-shin on the rooftops. The police chief is then urgently summoned to the bombing at Minister Lee Wan-yong’s house, and he directs his soldiers the opposite direction to search for the Righteous Army rebels while he goes to save the minister himself. The fallen sign reveals that this was burning building belonged to the pro-Japanese newspaper.
Hee-sung looks at the sketches of the wanted Righteous Army members, and he fixates on the one of Ae-shin. Seamstress is with him and calls him by his name, though Hee-sung insists that she call him older brother. She notices him staring at Ae-shin’s sketch and says that she must be the woman in his heart.
Hee-sung remembers his confession to Ae-shin that he knew about her other lover, and he says that she must have felt how he’s feeling now toward Seamstress. Aww, she likes him.
As Joon-young and his fellow soldiers run toward the palace, Joon-young stops to tell his sister and Hee-sung the news about the emperor’s abdication. The Joseon people hang signs of mourning and they lay prostrate on the ground, crying for their lost emperor and nation.
Hina watches the mourning on the bridge with a real estate agent, who then brings her to Dong-mae’s hideout. It’s been empty for a while, but no one dared to touch it because it belonged to Dong-mae. Hina offers to buy it, and she walks over to the robe hanging on the chair. She remembers telling Dong-mae not to die before her, and she cries with the robe in her hand.
In Manchuria among homeless strangers, we see a familiar hand rubbing a coin. It’s Dong-mae, and he sits limp, barely alive. But he’s alive!
Eugene visits the American embassy in Japan, and Kyle welcomes him with a warm embrace. Over beers, Kyle asks why Eugene is in Japan, and Eugene says that he plans on going on another picnic to Joseon, where he’ll be a true foreigner. Kyle asks if Joseon is his true homeland (yes, asking the real questions!), and Eugene claims that his homeland is America, even without his uniform. He’s leaving his homeland again, but not to run away. This time, he’s leaving to move forward, he says. (not a clear answer but ok.)
Kyle makes Eugene promise to come back, and Eugene asks why Kyle wanted to be his friend, even fighting with other Americans to defend him. Kyle says that Eugene was a good soldier while the other bullies were idiots, and he believes in God. Chocking up, Eugene thanks Kyle, “My boss, my friend, my honor. May God be with you always.” They raise their beers, and Kyle wishes him luck.
Ito Hirobumi expresses his sympathy for Minister Lee Wan-yong, who lost his home in the Righteous Army attack. He decides that these seeds of resistance must be eliminated and orders the minister to dissolve the royal military.
This command is carried out the next morning, with the Japanese army dismissing the military trainees and offering them a small severance for their service. They announce the dissolution of the royal military, and the commander shoots himself in front of the Joseon flag in his office, having failed to serve his country.
Joon-young and his comrades stand surrounded by Japanese soldiers, when they hear about the commander’s suicide. Joon-young remembers Eugene’s warning that the Japanese forces will first target the royal military. Joon-young realizes why they’re surrounded and yells at his fellow soldiers to make a run for it, as the military is being disbanded. While being attacked by the Japanese soldiers, they all head toward the storage closet to grab artillery and whatever bullets they can grab.
Emperor Gojong helplessly listens to the chaos outside, and Seung-gu enters the emperor’s quarters to announce his leave from his position to fight alongside his comrades. We see that Seung-gu still carries his gun with the innkeeper’s red ribbon tied to the muzzle. The emperor understands Seung-gu’s resolve, but he refuses to let Seung-gu die. Seung-gu says that his dream was to be a rebel, and he intends on becoming a rebel. Emperor Gojong cries in desperation to keep Seung-gu alive, but he knows that can’t stop Seung-gu.
The Japanese soldiers have slaughtered almost the entirety of the royal military, and Joon-young quickly drags his injured friend to shelter. He checks his gun and realizes that he’s out of bullets, but suddenly, the Japanese soldiers above them are shot dead. Seung-gu comes running toward them, and he joins Joon-young to help them fight. He orders Joon-young to run for his life while Seung-gu shoots at the enemy.
When Joon-young asks if Seung-gu will join them, Seung-gu remembers his father’s stubborn loyalty in a losing battle. Echoing his father’s words, Seung-gu says no one will be left to protect the post if he leaves with them. He delivers his last command that Joon-young and the remain forces flee the area. Surviving is winning, he says. Tears falling at Seung-gu’s willing sacrifice, Joon-young takes the command and orders the surviving soldiers to move swiftly and help any injured soldiers.
With a last nod to Joon-young, Seung-gu runs toward the palace with his gun, the innkeeper’s red ribbon guiding his muzzle, while Joon-young and the surviving soldiers escape in the opposite direction.
When Seung-gu enters the palace courtyard, he’s shot in the back and stumbles toward the fire. He takes out the bomb in his uniform and falls to his knees at another gunshot. The Japanese soldiers surround him, and Seung-gu crawls toward the fire, reaching for a piece of wood the light the bomb. He remembers the war in his youth, when he brought the flame to soldiers with guns. He lights the bomb with a smile, and the courtyard explodes into flames.
Joon-young’s friends look back at the smoke and yell for Seung-gu, but Joon-young remains focused and instructs his friends not to turn back.
In the village, dead royal military soldiers line the streets and surviving soldiers surrender to the Japanese soldiers. A Joseon soldier tries to board to trolley, but he’s pushed off by a passenger. A Japanese soldier aims his gun at this Joseon soldier, but the tailor runs to tackle the Japanese solder. The tailor is beaten to the ground, and just as the Japanese soldier aims his gun at the tailor, he’s shot dead. The gunshot came from the trolley, where Hina shoots at the Japanese soldiers like a total badass.
Joon-young carries his injured friend to the hideout with the baker, and Ae-shin quickly collects them for treatment. The baker tells Eun-san that the decision to dissolve the Joseon royal military was determined last night and executed this morning. The Japanese forces expected this revolt and prepared to massacre the masses of Joseon soldiers. He also delivers the news of Seung-gu’s death, to which Eun-san and Ae-shin respond with disbelief.
That night, families of the fallen soldiers and rebels mourn the death of their loved ones. Seung-gu also lays among the dead. Meanwhile, the Japanese soldiers celebrate their victory at Glory Hotel, and Hina instructs her worker to fill their tables with enough beer and food to last them until morning. Hearing the news of the celebration at the hotel, Ae-shin heads there with her gun for revenge.
A man in dress shoes and another person in sandals walk through the masses of dead bodies, and they stop simultaneously. We see that the man in the dress shoes is Eugene, and his counterpart is Dong-mae. They both comment that the other looks like they’ve returned from a long journey — a true statement for both men. Eugene confirms that Ae-shin wasn’t on his side, and Dong-mae reports the same for his side. Then, they hear a gunshot.
The Japanese general pulls Hina’s hair as she tries to escape the hotel, and he demands to know where the gunshot came from. Then, he’s shot dead, and Ae-shin grabs Hina to run away before the bombs explode the hotel. Eugene and Dong-mae arrive at the hotel just in time to see Ae-shin and Hina running from the hotel. Then, the hotel explodes, and the two men watch the monstrous burst of flames in shock.
Show, you can’t give us alllll the emotions at once like this! I’m overwhelmed with emotions, but I think it’s kind of in a good way. The ending sequence with Joon-young and Seung-gu was extremely powerful, and I was distraught as soon as that moment happened because I knew this would be Seung-gu’s end. But I appreciate how we saw reflections of Seung-gu’s youth as he crawled toward the flame to complete his mission as a rebel, and I love that the innkeeper’s red ribbon was highlighted as he bravely protected his post as a Righteous Army comrade. In continuation of the red ribbon, Seung-gu’s last moments were almost symbolic of him passing the torch to the next generation of resistance fighters who will stand on his shoulders.
Then, we were shown the genocide of the Joseon soldiers in the streets, and my heart just dropped. It was such a demoralizing sight, and I was bracing myself to see the blind courage of the tailor be punished by the relentless violence, when Hina showed up and ruined me. There was something so unexpectedly moving about Hina stepping into the resistance, and her characteristic badassery from the trolley almost moved me to tears. Hina’s commitment to the resistance was incredibly timed, and it showed that the oppression had become so unbearable that apathy was no longer an option. Hina was a character who was always deliberately distant from allegiances and calculating to a fault, but her deep dive into the resistance shows that no calculation was necessary here, that she had something to fight for. But goodness gracious, I needed a break as soon as I saw Hina on screen because damn, someone was cutting onions!
Dong-mae was another highlight for me, especially in the irony of him claiming to be saved by Ae-shin, when he’s always the one protecting and saving her. Dong-mae’s words always carry more weight and baggage, and I love how the simplicity of his repeated phrases encompass everything he’s feeling. So when Ae-shin told him to meet him directly to receive her payment, his simple response that she once again saved him conveyed his gratitude, love, and a promise. Ae-shin’s hope for his survival was more than just futile hope — it was almost a command for his survival, and that was enough for him to fulfill the promise of survival. After faking Dong-mae’s death twice, the show is making me expect great things for his death. Until then, Ohyabong lives to see another day in Joseon.
This episode was chock full of history and emotions, and I wish we had more time to digest this hearty content. I can’t understand how you squish all this history and a three-year time jump into this episode when you had so many episodes prior to fill with substantial content. The Eulsa Treaty traitors and the mention of Ahn Chang-ho were so full of dramatic potential, and while I know this isn’t a historical drama, there was more to work with than just brief captions and name drops. Like with Ahn Chang-ho — even a quick Google search led to a fascinating read about his role in the Korean Independence as an immigrant in the U.S., and I’m bummed that there were no further interactions with him and Eugene. Though the pacing was unfortunate, this show knows how to drumroll crescendo towards an epic finale. More steamrolling through the ending, here we go!
- Premiere Watch: Your House Helper, Mr. Sunshine
- The epic battle for Joseon in tvN’s Mr. Sunshine
- Lee Byung-heon’s period drama Mr. Sunshine gets delayed
- Period drama Mr. Sunshine secures slot on tvN’s early 2018 schedule
- Byun Yo-han added to Mr. Sunshine’s star lineup
- Yoo Yeon-seok joins Mr. Sunshine as tragic second lead
- Film ingenue Kim Tae-ri cast opposite Lee Byung-heon for Mr. Sunshine
- Lee Byung-heon makes drama comeback with Goblin writer’s Mr. Sunshine
- Goblin writer Kim Eun-sook returns with period drama Mr. Sunshine
- Goblin writer Kim Eun-sook discusses her next project