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Moonshine: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread

Move over bad guys! There’s no room for your watered down booze in this town! Our favorite bootlegger has teamed up with a bunch of entrepreneurial women, and they’re about to prove that they’re resourceful and capable. The men… not so much.

 
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP

We begin this week’s episodes not where we left off last week, but a few hours earlier. Ae-jin’s sticky fingers are poised to steal another hairpin, but Pyo steps in, buys it for her, and engrains himself in her heart. Lest we forget, though, Ae-jin is engaged to Young, and his father is eager to expedite the wedding. A fortune teller warned that they need to be wed before the summer or else bad luck (a.k.a. Ro-seo and Pyo) will ruin Young’s future. Ae-jin wishes to follow her feelings and cancel the wedding, but Young would rather ignore his growing affection for Ro-seo and plow forward to fulfill his duty to his family and society.

Ro-seo, on the other hand, has a duty to herself. She’s aware that she has feelings for Young, but she also knows that she’s better off building her own future than fantasizing about a life she can never have with him. However, her late night encounter with him after returning from Gwangju did make her realize one thing: she’s tired of lying.

She strikes one final deal with Woon-shim and Dae-mo, and after that she intends to retire from the bootlegging business. The quiet life Chun-geum dreams of sounds appealing… Or does it? Ro-seo now finds herself untethered by her family’s debt, and the idea of managing a business in order to make a profit — not out of survival — is appealing. Woon-shim senses Ro-seo’s desire to make something of herself, and extends an offer to be permanent business partners.

Woon-shim’s alliances may be murky, but I enjoyed seeing her and the other women team up to create, smuggle, and distribute their illegal alcohol. Even Ae-jin, who has a surprising knowledge of firearms, joined in and proved herself to be an unlikely ally among the bunch, and it was her inclusion that I appreciated the most.

Ro-seo’s struggle as a poor, indebted noble woman is relatable, but Ae-jin’s presence reveals that, even in the best case scenario, the life of a woman in this era is unfulfilling. If her family had not fallen on hard times, Ro-seo would still be caged, restricted to where she can go and whom she can meet. Creating her own — albeit illegal — business would give her an independence and importance in a society she’d otherwise never have. It’s no surprise, then, that all signs point towards her choosing the harder — but more fulfilling — path and teaming up with Woon-shim long-term.

While the women seem to have their shit together and work in harmony, the men are still at odds with each other. Intentional or not, I can’t help but see the dichotomy as a commentary on how much better society would be if it wasn’t patriarchal. On a macro level, we have all the political figures who are failing their subjects because they can’t seem to look past their own selfish interests to work together, and on a smaller scale we have Young and Pyo who are constantly at odds with each other because they’re both in love with the same woman.

At least Young and Pyo know when to set aside their differences when needed. One minute Young is showing up to read Pyo a bedtime story in order to — cough — “roosterblock” him from having a clandestine meeting with Ro-seo, and the next they are performing an elaborate heist to break a man out of jail in order to identify the murderous bootlegger who also has ties to Young’s past.

Young gets close to catching Merchant Shim, but Sang-mok isn’t the only bad guy with extra lives. Despite it being a two-against-twenty fight, with Young’s archer buddies having the high ground, Merchant Shim and his sidekick escape. Then, unsurprisingly, we learn that Merchant Shim has some powerful political backers who don’t want their money-and-booze-maker to go out of business. They also want Young to stop asking questions about the night that he has slowly been remembering.

Young had chalked up the events of his memory as either a dream or a story that his childhood brain mistook for reality. It seemed too fantastical that a tiger would come to his rescue, but after seeing the mark on Merchant Shim’s forearm, he’s starting to reevaluate everything. Was there really a tiger, though, or was the tiger a metaphorical stand-in for a man — Ro-seo’s father, perhaps — who came to his rescue?

Another big reveal about Young’s past this week is that the man who raised him is not his biological father, so Young’s uptight personality is not only the result of his upbringing. He’s duty-bound to return his adoptive father’s kindness and help elevate the family’s status though a strong marriage alliance.

But Ae-jin may not have to marry boring ol’ Young after all! A palace maid saw her with Pyo, inciting rumors of an illicit romance between the two. Shi-heum also whispered in her father’s ear and not-so-subtly insinuated that Ae-jin would make a grand match for the Crown Prince. It’s only a matter of time before her engagement is called off, but Pyo will not be happy about Young’s changed relationship status. He’s determined to swoop in and make Ro-seo his queen, but there were hints this week — in the form of matching tiger toys — that Ro-seo and Young have a childhood connection. In dramaland, not even a prince can win against a childhood friend romance trope.

I was starting to feel a little fatigued by all the palace politics, so I appreciate that this week’s episodes took a slight step back from the royal power struggle and focused more on the members of our main quartet. The love threads tying our four leads together are becoming more and more entangled, but as they struggle individually with the decision to either follow their hearts or their obligations, it becomes more and more apparent that their conflicts are a reflection of the society around them.


 
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"In dramaland, not even a prince can win against a childhood friend romance trope".. LOL.. and btw this is the trope I hated the most, why must the writers insert this trope when it is not needed? People who meet as adults can still have a deep connection...

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I agree! It's a tiresome trope, but I will give Moonshine some credit for not showing us what that connection is yet, unlike a lot of sageuks that spend their premiere week detailing the childhood backstory.

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I second that with all my heart,they put way too much into this troupe that makes me hate it so much by now.Like u said,people who just meet aren't capable of forging a deep connection without that or what...And usually we see this span after they meet and know for a few days but treat it as the biggest deal...
Hope Moonshine doesn't go this route and their connection is more about her father than anything else...

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My Intuition is telling me that she will end up as a business partner with Gye monk syok that is why he is still alive after an unacceptable cliff fall hehe. And she showed a bit of interest when he offered her a partnership, well that makes sense because monk syok also hate that so good in martial arts bad guy. Lastly to our Nam young your bow and arrow are quite useless Idk why don't you just shoot a couple of random arrows towards him that may hit him, you surely love bow and arrow so much b'cause you are not wasting it. Better opt for swords next time lol.

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Thanks for the fun weecap @daebakgrits! I chuckled a few times, especially regarding the childhood connection. I wouldn't be surprised if Ro-Seo's dad was the one killed at that temple, and likewise, I wouldn't be surprised if it has to do with the death of the previous Crown Prince.

Re, the strong women in this show, I see the gisaeng and the Lady with the Gun as resourceful and capable women, but the girls are still young and naive. Ro-seo doesn't know the extent to which she is being manipulated by the gisaeng (We don't know either - what is her deal?). Ae-jin was willing to run away with a guy whose name she doesn't know, just because he's handsome. That would be the ultimate shame for her family.

Both girls will soon have to face the consequences of their lack of propriety, for lack of better words, because the palace is gossipping about their meetings with the Crown Prince. I'm certain none of them would like to end up trapped in the palace as the wife or concubine of Pyo.

I have to say, Gye Sang-mok (not Ssang!) is becoming my favorite character. He was the victim of the amnesia trope, so naturally, then he assumed that his heart beat faster when he saw Ro-seo because he likes her. 😂😂😂 If he's joining the bootlegging troupe things will be fun for sure. The only thing I don't like is that he's played mainly for laughs now but is actually a disabled person with slurred speech.

Well, Ro-seo has admitted that she likes money. It was becoming tiresome to see her running from the authorities and arguing that she was doing it for survival. Girl loves her soju and money, so all that talk about warming people's hearts wasn't convincing me at all. If she wants a future like the lady with the gun, she's on the right track.

Are we going to talk about her good-for-nothing brother who finally got himself a job, and is digging a well tunnel for the Handsome Bad Guy With A Scar no less?

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Quite sure.if the writer doesn't suprise us on that,Pyo will be forced to marry Ae-jin...Now i'm more than sure she will be in heaven to find that she will not become crowned princess but also with the one she wants but will she be happy having just a handsome face...That is if he doesn't start to like her as well...
Will the brother exit that tunnel alive or not?

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@wishfultoki Glad you enjoyed the weecap!

Ah, yes. The brother. I don't know what to make of him anymore. Just when I thought he was becoming more interesting, he gets roped into questionable circumstances by the his "friend." He's one of many flat characters who pop in, create a minor inconvenience, and then pop out after Ro-seo overcomes (often accidentally) whatever chaos they created. It's a formula I hope they break out of as the drama moves into its second half.

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Might have glided my raded but was it ever mentioned who Young’s father was? If not guess there are to reasons:he's not important to the story or we'll get a reveal later on...

Confess that i wouldn't have minded at all if we had the story of this different people aka Ae-jin,the noble lady and Pyo, un undercover prince joining Ro-seo band in her journey to create her alchool business,that would have been fun including heist and all tossing aside the Palace usual drama as this is the most fun part of the story...
Now as we still have past and Palace drama we are starting to see the big picture with the little crumbs given each week...I'm curious if indeed Ro-seo father was actually more than a nobleman in love with liqueur and was a secret agent that saved Young back then as seen by that tiger toy(curious what the latter on it means)
Minor thing but 'em I the only one who is a bit uncomfortable each time i see Scar's bony arm,don't know why but i find it unpleasent seeing almost her bones when Young looked at his arm(aside from the veins)
Will Useless Bro create even more problems for Ro Seo being used as leverage against her or end up dead in that well/tunnel and create a reason for her revenge against Scar and his people...
For now my main villain in the Temple seems to be Chief Royal Secretary Lee Shi-Heum and the one who created all the chaos in the past or the King Himself but that would be too farfetched i guess...
Now i guess we'll need to find out the why and how of what happened then...
What can i say about Pyo,i felt sad for him when he realized it wasn't Ro Seo who sent him that love letter but found him quite a hypocrite when he said he wanted to investigate Ro Seo to bring her as his Crown Princess after he told Ae-jin not to force a love not meant to be...I'm sure this two will end up being forced to marry because of the new created rumor but i guess it will be intresting to see how their relationship will be tacked after...Will they make him fall for her or Ae Jin realize having by her side a beautiful empty vessel is not the happiness she thinks....
I actually think the best for Pyo would be to leave the Palace and be free and if he has Ae Jin by his side why not,exploring both the world...

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Thanks for the weecap, @daebakgrits! I've seen only up to episode 6 but plans to watch these 2 episodes asap. I like our OTP very much but the crown prince is also something.

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