Thursday, June 29, 2017

"Ruler: Master of the Mask" Episodes 31-32 recap

"Do you like living as the king?"
On the latest episode of the MBC drama "Ruler: Master of the Mask", Kim So-hyun attempted to restrain L with all her heart.
Ga-eun (Kim So-hyun) tried to stop Yi Seon (L) who had turned over to the dark side. Ga-eun met Yoo Seon (Park Hyeon-sook) and Kko-mool-i (Go Na-hee) and they hugged each other in joy. However, Yoo Seon was worried about Yi Seon and the consequences he would face if it got out that he wasn't the real king. Ga-eun went to meet him.
She told him how worried she and Yoo Seon were. She said, "Yoo Seon is very worried about you. What if you get caught..." However, Yi Seon jumped up from his seat and said, "Tell me anything you need. I am not the fellow I was before. I can do anything for you".
Ga-eun looked up and Yi Seon and said, "Yi Seon, do you like living as the king better than before? Isn't it hard living as Dae Mok's puppet?" Yi Seon raised his voice, "I am not his puppet. I know what you and mother are worried about but I am not who I was before". He emphasized that he was the real king.
Ga-eun looked at him with tears in her eyes and sighed. Yi Seon's eyes shined as he said, "I can avenge your father's death! I can make his wish come true". He was so confident that it surprised Ga-eun. He asked her, "Why do you look so surprised? Do you not think I can do what the Prince used to do? I can do anything for you!" He headed for Ga-eun and she pressed down his arms, telling him, "Yi Seon! Don't do this! Think about your mother and sister!" She was very strong and stern.
Source : news.nate.com/view/20...
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"Ruler: Master of the Mask" Episodes 31-32 recap

The opening scene of episode thirty-one features characters musing about how Prince Seon was their one great hope, and how dare anyone besmirch the man's good name. How or why Prince Seon is supposed to be the platonic ideal of a good monarch has never been clear to me, considering how the man fails at nearly every task he attempts, no matter how basic. And as if to emphasize this point, we cut from that to Prince Seon lying not quite dead in the middle of nowhere.
Oh, it gets better. Remember the prison camp, where Dae-mok has been exploiting child labor, which up until now no one has ever been able to find? Apparently, Dae-mok consolidates a lot of his evil schemes there to save on property costs. And lest Prince Seon seem too competent, the production team makes sure that he can't even get enough of a grasp of the situation to play dead, and is only saved through laziness on the part of Dae-mok's goons and the kindness of a random pathetic child.
Through the end of episode thirty-two Prince Seon continues to "succeed" through incomprehensible screenwriting luck. Even though there's apparently a small army on call near the camp, somehow Prince Seon is able to hide out long enough for Dae-mok to get a report and decide to send Hwa-goon over to just wander around at random. Urgh, wouldn't it have been easier to just have Hwa-goon already be at the camp for completely different reasons?
Or even better, a reason related to why Prince Seon's body was dumped there? This is why the plot in "Ruler: Master of the Mask" makes no sense. Rather than have the story be directed by breakthroughs on the part of the main characters, through information gained in victory and defeat, the production team just unceremoniously dumps the dramatis personae wherever they need to be next. Their victories are inherently unsatisfying because no work was done to accomplish them.
Scenes appear to be designed for shock value rather than storytelling coherence. Take what happens in the torture room. What was even the point of that? Yeah, OK, revenge, whatever. But since when did the other Seon have his own goons? I thought they all just worked for Dae-mok. So Dae-mok doesn't even care? That's another good summary of "Ruler: Master of the Mask"- Dae-mok is evil but lazy, and wins mostly through the sheer incompetence of the opposition.
Review by William Schwartz
"Ruler: Master of the Mask" is directed by Noh Do-cheol & Park Won-gook, written by Jeong Hae-ri & Park Hye-jin-II, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Kim So-hyun, L, Yoon So-hee, Heo Joon-ho and Park Chul-min.
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"Suspicious Partner" Episodes 29-30 recap

Noh Ji-wook (Ji Chang-wook) and Eun Bong-hee (Nam Ji-hyeon) were ill-fated.
On the latest episode of the SBS drama "Suspicious Partner", Bong-hee asked Ji-wook if he was hiding anything from her. He said no, but Bong-hee didn't believe him. She asked him if she did something wrong and Ji-wook said, "It's not about you, it's about me". Bong-hee asked, "Can't I ask what it's about?"
Ji-wook was after his parents' murder and he knew Bong-hee had something to do with it.
In the end, Bong-hee broke up with Ji-wook. She let go of his hand and said, "We should stop seeing each other".
Source : news.nate.com/view/20...
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"Queen for 7 Days" epsisode 9 recap

Yeon Woo-jin caressed Park Min-young's wounds.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Queen for 7 Days", Sin Chae-kyeong (Park Min-young) hugged Lee Yeok (Yeon Woo-jin) from the back.
When Lee Yeok came back alive, Sin Soo-geun (Jang Hyun-sung) told his daughter Sin Chae-kyeong about the tragic prophecy. Although she was scared and started keeping her distance from Lee Yeok, he claimed he needed her to fight against Lee Yoong (Lee Dong-gun) and promised to marry her.
Lee Yeok started following Sin Chae-kyeong around like she used to. He took her to a pawn shop and shook a secret book in her face, trying to stimulate her. He hid the book in his clothes and Sin Chae-kyeong accidentally pulled his shirt off trying to get the book.
She saw with her own eyes that he nearly died and in the dark lit room, she said, "I will just feel them with my fingers to see if they've healed properly". He moved closer to her with his shirt off and Sin Chae-kyeong cried touching his wounds. Then she hugged him.
Despite the prophecy, Sin Chae-kyeong couldn't turn away from Lee Yeok.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Ruler: Master of the Mask" Episodes 29-30 recap

So apparently Hwa-goon's bodyguard Gon (played by Kim Seo-kyung) isn't actually dead. I assumed that he was, considering that the last time we saw him the man had collapsed in a bloody unmoving slump on the floor. But ah, this is "Ruler: Master of the Mask" with characters so tough they won't die even if you kill them..! Actually no, it's just that the only way the production team knows how to produce an emotional reaction is through cheap kills, which inevitably have to be reversed since characters have to be alive in order for the plot to move forward.
Anyway! Gon was my favorite character in part because his loyalty to Hwa-goon was unexplained and generally mysterious. And even though Gon actually does something important here, his motivation still remains unexplained. But now rather than being mysterious, it's just sort of annoying, because Gon does get an emotional scene with Hwa-goon where Yoon So-hee once again demonstrates that she lacks acting talent.
It's not Totally Her fault. Hwa-goon has regressed from being the only character in "Ruler: Master of the Mask" capable of making well thought-out plans to a shrieky, whiny, clinger-on to Prince Seon. I might be able to understand even that much if Prince Seon had any kind of redeeming qualities, but no, he's still completely incompetent. The only twist in Prince Seon's plan to turn himself in to Dae-mok is unraveled almost immediately by Dae-mok's normal night watch.
Oh yeah, there's also another plot twist in here about who really killed Ga-eun's father. It had not, until this episode, ever occurred to me that the person who pretended to be Prince Seon that day was a named character. Any of Dae-mok's random goons could have pulled it off. And as for the person who did do it his motivation still doesn't make sense even now that it's been explained, nor is it clear why the big confession should have any dramatic impact.
But then so little of "Ruler: Master of the Mask" makes sense that could be the tagline for the entire drama. Consider how the other big plot twist, about Prince Seon discovering that his father was a fink in league with Dae-mok, is played out for major drama throughout the entire episode. I'm just sitting there thinking, he didn't already know that? How is it posssible that this late in the drama, main characters are still being surprised by basic backstory?
Review by William Schwartz
"Ruler: Master of the Mask" is directed by Noh Do-cheol & Park Won-gook, written by Jeong Hae-ri & Park Hye-jin-II, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Kim So-hyun, L, Yoon So-hee, Heo Joon-ho and Park Chul-min.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Lookout" episode 23-24 recap

Gong Kyeong-soo (SHINee Key) and Seo Bomi (Kim Seul-gi-I) slept together on the latest episode of the MBC drama "Lookout".
Gong Kyeong-soo was so tired he mistook Seo Bomi's room for his.
She screamed and Gong Kyeong-soo explained. He said he hadn't slept in days and Seo Bomi worried about him.
She told him, "You sleep here. I'll sleep on the sofa". He turned around saying she'll be uncomfortable but she held him back saying, "Sleep well tonight".
The next day, Jo Soo-ji (Lee Si-young) went into Seo Bomi's room asking if she knew where Kyeong-soo was and saw them sleeping together.
Jo Soo-ji yelled at them and yelled at Seo Bomi, "Didn't I tell you he shouldn't be hung around with?" Seo Bomi answered, "He's stupid but he's nice". Jo Soo-ji told Kyeong-soo, "I told you she was sassy". He answered back, "She's sassy but pretty".
Later, Kyeong-soo told Bomi, "Go somewhere with me. I need your 'girly' advice" and took her to a real estate agent.
Bomi said, "You're looking for a house? I've told you that I will get married when I'm over 30". Kyeong-soo said, "I'm living here with my family".
He then said, "I have something to give you" and took her to an arcade. He won lots of dolls for her.
Source : tvdaily.asiae.co.kr/r...
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"Circle" episode 12 (final) recap

It is closure o'clock and our characters have to work for it. With Dong-geon and Human B in pursuit, the team must come up with a plan for exposing his wrongdoings while keeping everyone safe. There are hugs, there are tears, there is punishment and redemption as the system of control collapses before everyone's eyes. It has been a long journey for everyone and who knows what the future still holds?
The final episode is essentially a big chase sequence and after so much has been established and resolved, this is more than enough. Our villains pay for their sins in "dramaproppriate" ways, the system collapses and the fight continues. History repeats itself because humanity changes slowly and needs every little push. We have those who cannot be saved, those who have seen the light and carry the torch forward and those who are just happy to have peace.
Ho-soo telling people the truthAnother arrival
I know many will be eager for a second season I am most certain will never come given the first one's lack of popularity, but I am actually okay with this ending. Byeol's (Gong Seung-yeon) nature as an alien has never really been the focus of the series. Even her technology is not the main idea. This is a drama about two brothers who love each other and about the value of our memories in who we are. It is also one about the importance of having the freedom of choice over our own lives.
The series continues to not pick a side on the argument of what makes us human and what makes each person themselves, and Jeong-yeon's words make this clear. This outcome is the journey of these characters and these characters feel like what they have now is enough. It does not matter who Woo-jin (Yeo Jin-goo) is or was. This is Woo-jin to them and they have defeated their own demons by doing what they have always felt is right, whether we like or accept it or not.
Dong-geon and our heroes have a showdownJeong-yeon, 2037-Woo-jin and Joon-hyeok
I do have my complaints with "Circle" and its antagonists are the biggest. Dong-geon's (Han Sang-jin) personality transplant when his villainous side surfaced was sudden and his new self so cartoonish that it feels as if he came straight out of another, lesser series. His ridiculous demise fit that cartoonish image a little too well, as I had flashbacks to Wile E. Coyote and had to remove myself from the episode and regain composure.
There are other, minor issues, such as the sudden development of Hyeon-seok (Min Seong-wook), which felt like a way to please viewers without having to kill him. As for the overall series, the only things I truly lament are the lack of interest from local audiences and how rare such a story still is. I hope we will see a day when something like this ranks low on the Korean drama quality bar.
"Circle" is directed by Min Jin-gi, written by Kim Jin-hee-III, Park Eun-mi-I, Ryoo Moon-sang and Yoo Hye-mi and features Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Kang-woo, Gong Seung-yeon and Lee Gi-kwang.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

"My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 19-20 recap

By the end of episode twenty we get to the big exciting climax where Woo has figured out a way to expose a conspiracy. It's satisfying as expected, because even if there's no direct evidence implicating Gi-joon, his participation in the broader scheme can definitely be used to put his credibility into question somewhere down the line. But why did we need four episodes to get to this point? The conspiracy only had minimal exposition, and the remaining screentime has mostly just been about the love triangle.
Which does have its moments. Prince Darhan keeps breaking my heart with all these sincere emotional stories explaining his motivation. The scene with Prince Wonja (played by Choi Ro-woon) is especially good, because we can see that Woo is trying to make everything go smoothly. However, jealous little brother that he is, Prince Wonja doesn't want to give up his silly dream of seeing his awesome teacher marry his awesome sister.
While there are other good moments in other subplots as well, what makes these scenes stand out is their brevity. Sim Hyeong-tak barely has any scenes as Chung-joon yet manages to steal almost all of them through faux idiotic charm. Se-ho, of all people, gets a love interest. Hee is fighting a losing battle in Da-yeon's clique and annoying though Hee may be, I'm worried what will happen to her when Da-yeon realizes there really is no hope of her getting together with Woo.
...You know, maybe the pacing isn't off after all. It's just that "My Sassy Girl - Drama" has a lot to get through in terms of various subplots. And all of these are likely to be relevant in the long run one way or another. Well, it's hard to see how Se-ho's romance is going to be relevant to anything. It also seems likely that Prince Darhan will just go back to China. Although, geez, after that bromantic fight scene I really just want to watch Prince Darhan and Woo run off and fight the conspiracy together as a team.
On the other hand "My Sassy Girl - Drama" has been faltering in the teamwork department lately when it comes to Princess Hyeomhyeong. Lately all she does is brood. One attempt by Princess Hyeomhyeong to try to attack the conspiracy without Woo's help ends disastrously and geez, that more than anything else makes me want to see them get back together again. Their teamwork is where all the chemistry comes from.
Review by William Schwartz
"My Sassy Girl - Drama" is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Yoon Hyo-je and features Joo Won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Jung-shin, Kim Yoon-hye, Son Chang-min, and Yoon Se-ah.
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"Fight My Way" episode 12 recap

Song Ha-yoon broke up with Kim Joo-man and threw water on Pyo Ye-jin.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Fight My Way", Baek Seol-hee (Song Ha-yoon) broke up with Kim Joo-man (Ahn Jae-hong).
Kim Joo-man was helping Jang Ye-jin (Pyo Ye-jin) when hes went into her house. That's when he mother came by and he had to hide in her closet. Her mother didn't leave soon and Kim Joo-man fell asleep. Kim Joo-man ended up spending a night there and Baek Seol-hee cried in front of Choi Ae-ra (Kim Ji-won-I). Choi Ae-ra was furious that Kim Joo-man spent a night outside and went to Jang Ye-jin's apartment with Baek Seol-hee.
Baek Seol-hee said her dream was to become a good "Mother" and 'wife' ever since she was young. Choi Ae-ra asked her if she could be a good wife to someone else and not Kim Joo-man and Baek Seol-hee said, "He is my world".
However, when Baek Seol-hee witnessed Kim Joo-man coming out of Jang Ye-jin's apartment she flipped. He explained nothing happened, then right after Jang Ye-jin followed him out with his socks and Baek Seol-hee broke up with him.

Kim Joo-man cried as he cleared Baek Seol-hee's things. He tried to hold onto her but she said, "You always turned your phone on silent at night. Every time your phone blinked from her my heart fell to my feet. I knew you were going to see her and how do you think I felt? It's too late now".
"I couldn't ignore it. Joo-man, you let go of my hand, not me. I thought it was just a fling but you cheated on me". Joo-man begged her and she said, "It's your regret. Put my things outside". Kim Joo-man cried like a child.
Choi Ae-ra prepared a cake to comfort Baek Seol-hee but she couldn't blow out the candle. She started crying saying, "Joo-man cried". Jang Ye-jin visited Baek Seol-hee to apologize but she said she would like to continue seeing Joo-man. Baek Seol-hee said she didn't mind what they did as they were no longer together and sprayed water on Jang Ye-jin. She then told Jang Ye-jin that she would like her to feel how she felt later in life.
Source : biz.heraldcorp.com/vi...
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Monday, June 26, 2017

"My Sassy Girl - Drama" Episodes 17-18 recap

Prince Darhan (played by Chris) is the main dominant presence here, and the man's bad news. He's really nice. Really, I just can't get enough of the guy smiling good-naturedly and engaging Princess Hyeomhyeong with all these corny pick-up lines. Best of all, Prince Darhan tends to just ignore Gi-joon, and doesn't especially care about the pomp and circumstances of royalty. Prince Darhan is quite the charming guy, save for the problem of Woo being Princess Hyeomhyeong's actual love interest.
And that's most of what the conflict is about. Woo is also acting as Princess Hyeomhyeong's personal translator, and struggles with admitting that he's jealous of the cool and powerful Prince Darhan. Woo wants Princess Hyeomhyeong all to himself, and she...isn't really that sure, because Woo isn't putting up much of a fight. This is all pretty standard romantic genre material, which works mainly because the main couple is appealing.
More dramatically interesting conflict comes up in the form of Gi-joon's reaction to being snubbed. It's the main ironic highlight. In terms of getting rid of Princess Hyeomhyeong to put a stop into any more investigation of his conspiracy, Gi-joon's plan is working perfectly. But because Gi-joon is not personally calling the play by play on Prince Darhan and Princess Hyeomhyeong's date, he gets grumpy and paranoid that something might be going terribly wrong.
Also note that for all Gi-joon's obsession over Princess Hyeomhyeong, he evidently has not noticed that Woo is an important part of her investigations. For further irony, note how Da-yeon's request to Gi-joon actually furthers his own goals, yet Gi-joon refuses it anyway out of personal petty spite. We've learned that for all his bravado, it's actually surprisingly easy to shake Gi-joon's confidence. That, and Woo's late discovery as to who actually initiated Prince Darhan's visit, will hopefully be enough to restart Princess Hyeomhyeong's investigations.
...But yeah, while the royal conspiracy remains the most dramatically interesting part of the story in "My Sassy Girl - Drama", for now we're just stuck with the generic romantic comedy/drama setpeices of the main couple being forced to think about each other when they don't want to. The way the date with Prince Darhan ends up replaying how Woo and Princess Hyeomhyeong first met was a nice touch. Really, the main immediate mystery is how Prince Darhan is going to leave the story on good terms. I'll be very sad if his feelings end up getting hurt.
Review by William Schwartz
"My Sassy Girl - Drama" is directed by Oh Jin-seok, written by Yoon Hyo-je and features Joo Won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Jung-shin, Kim Yoon-hye, Son Chang-min, and Yoon Se-ah.
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"Circle" episode 11 recap

"Circle" Yeo Jin-goo learned about Han Sang-jin's plan.
On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Circle", Kim Woo-jin (Yeo Jin-goo) was shocked to find out who Park Dong-gun (Han Sang-jin) was.
Park Dong-gun asked Kim Woo-jin why he made things so difficult and Kim Woo-jin asked, "Were you one of them?"
Park Dong-gun said, "Not at first and not anymore but I need those files. You should understand that anyone would want that skill".
Kim Woo-jin said, "You should know everything. I'm the only one who saw that. It's all in my head. You can find it at my old house. You can see it in video so please complete my brother's surgery. I will then show it to you. If I refuse you or die everything is over".
Park Dong-gun agreed to this but Kim Woo-jin felt so betrayed.
Source : news.nate.com/view/20...
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"Strong Family" Episodes 37-38 recap

We're nearly to the end of "Strong Family" and the main remaining conflict is over...open office space arrangements. You know, that's one of those things corporate likes to do to try and affect change is to modify the office culture somehow. I got uncomfortable just looking at those new digs. I mean really, imagine being one of the people having to sit in the middle of those tables. It would feel like someone is always looking over your shoulder. Which I imagine is a feature, not a bug, in the system.
The overall commentary about office culture is pretty good. I also rather liked how everything was being rationalized in terms of "because this is how the Americans do it", when in fact only some American companies run this kind of office set-up. Not always successfully. In what I can only assume is beautiful serendipity, today's Dilbert comic features the titular character musing about how they need to change back to the old cubicle system without looking like idiots.
In the context of "Strong Family", though, what's really interesting is that the office organization schema is not merely reset at the end of episode thirty-seven simply because Cheon-il happens to feel uncomfortable with it. Whether that system fails is beyond the scope of Cheon-il's life. The decision Cheon-il has to make is, does he really want to adapt to a completely new and obviously uncomfortable way of doing business, or does he want to take a strike at something new?
It's way, way too late for "Strong Family" to be attempting such a dynamic plot shift but whatever, the minor moments are enough of a highlight I didn't mind so much. I like the suspiciously upbeat proprietor of the covered wagon bar. This guy's business model relies on good customer service way more than the standard restaurant. Also, the whole scene at the bus stop was just plain adorable. Mostly irrelevant, granted, but adorable nonetheless.
While the small jokes in "Strong Family" are never brilliant or anything, they do tend to succeed in making me smile more often than not. Father/daughter comparison shots are always great especially in cases like this where they don't really look alike. And who doesn't love the occasional moment of interrupted romance? I am also looking forward to the inevitable reconciliation between Ra-yeon's family and the next door neighbors, when their relationship was never more than obligatory rivalry to begin with.
Review by William Schwartz
"Strong Family" is directed by Choi Moon-seok, written by Jin Yeong and features Park Hyuk-kwon, Park Seon-yeong, Kim Ji-min, Eom Hyo-seob, Park Hee-bon, Kim Ki-ri and Hoya.
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"Duel" Episode 8 recap

It is a rare, slightly creepy, but also satisfying feeling when a show seems to be right behind you and your complaints and wishes. I asked for the villains' motivation and scientific explanation and "Duel" delivers. Deuk-cheon starts creating his own plans while Seong-joon and Mi-rae find some important answers. Things become tense as the past comes back to haunt several characters.
The clone mystery is solved just as I was losing my investment. I had been wondering why Seong-hoon and Seong-joon (Yang Se-jong) grew up so differently and Seong-joon's recovery of his previous self explains it. One was left behind by the other, intentionally or not. This also explains Seong-hoon's resentment for Seong-joon. I do wonder how Seong-joon kept healthy without the medicine all this time, but perhaps Seong-hoon's body deteriorates faster due to his continued abuse.
Seong-joon and Gi-dongHye-jin triggered by Seong-joon's presence
Thankfully my theory that Lee Yong-seob was special stands and this explains everyone's motivation on the villain side. It seems his way is only one method, but perhaps the most stable or profitable one. It is also good to know that Soo-yeon (Lee Na-yoon) is being cured. While I do not hold the series capable of killing a child the rescuing of who is right in the premise, this leaves medical drama over her condition out for now.
Aside from Seong-hoon's goal, we find out what our mysterious chaebol heiress type wants. She is clearly in a hospital for herself or someone and survival is a strong motivator. My question is, who started this research before her? Is the "elder" Seong-hoon's handler refers to her possibly ill father? I just hope that the series is not about to jump the shark and give us an ageless villainess after immortality. "Duel" has been pretty down to Earth within its own scope so far.
Soo-yeon's drawing of Seong-hoonDeuk-cheon bargaining with Seong-hoon
Seong-hoon's reasons for choosing Deuk-cheon (Jeong Jae-yeong) have been bothering me and the series delivers once more. His personal dislike and the possibility of his choice not being random have been established and I had suspected that Deuk-cheon or his wife may have had a transplant. Hearing the rejection of a young Seong-hoon's pleas, however, let us know that the child was either not taken seriously or betrayed by Deuk-cheon for his first bribe.
Soo-yeon is eleven, so Seong-hoon would have been thirteen when her mother was attacked for it. However, the time of the incident buried could still be when Seong-hoon was a child. If this is the case, who was killed and who was the framed man? Most importantly, does this mean that Jo-hye (Kim Jung-eun) could still be working with and be willing to cause harm for the institute?
"Duel" is directed by Lee Jong-jae, written by Kim Yoon-joo and features Jeong Jae-yeong, Kim Jung-eun, Yang Se-jong and Seo Eun-su.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

"Radiant Office" Episode 11 recap

The gumption that Ho-won found when she thought she was terminally ill continues to show itself, protecting her from the twisted workings of selfish people at the work place. That quality earns her the respect of Woo-jin, her friends, and most of her co-workers. In Korean society her behavior is unusual and I'm proud of her despite the fact that she's a fictional character. We need women like her standing up for women's rights, company worker rights, and people's rights in general.

Ho-won's outspoken nature wins her the admiration and respect of her boss, Woo-jin. He admires her honestly and her ability to learn from her mistakes. His strengths in talking straight don't earn him friends on the management level, but Ho-won very much respects not having to read into everything he says. The two have a mutual understanding of one another, and it's a beautiful start to a slow blooming romance. Woo-jin's understanding goes farther than his romantic interest -- he also takes care of Gi-taek and Kang-ho, two hard working young men. He works with integrity unlike many of the people in the company. His fellow manager, Park Sang-man, sucks up to earn points with the higher ups and just as quickly betrays to ensure his place in the company power rankings. He drags Jo Seok-kyeong, the hard-working female team lead, into his antics because he convinces her there is no other way for her to move up than to work in shady dealings. It is sad because her strength early on was her key point. But it is reflective of what women have to do to stay in the game in a money, power, and male driven society.
Radiant Office 1Radiant Office 2
Ji-na, the character I've been enjoying immensely the past few episodes, is similar to Woo-jin in that she is starting to really see Gi-taek (and the others) for who they really are. She sees what she had with Gi-taek: a solid, supportive man who respected her intelligence rather than be intimidated by it. Like Seok-kyeong, she suffers as a woman in the work place, especially at the hands of loudmouth Lee Yong-jae, but she is a fighter and doesn't take any of his flack. Kang-ho, however, is timid as ever and takes the brunt of Yong-jae's nasty bullying. This character is necessary as an office stereotype, but he's hard to relate to in his curelty.

The scariest person is Hyeon and he is described as such by many people. He uses the friendship he's built with Ho-won to try and manipulate her on top of writing a book about the trio and publicly exposing them as the topics of his book. He also exposed that he got them into his father's company (which he aims to make his own to prove his worthiness as a son.) Despite the fact that he does genuinely seem to care for Ho-won, he will quash that feeling in order to get what he wants. Ho-won is disgusted by him and the higher-ups at the company rightly fear him. Luckily, Ho-won is who she is and decides not to take any of his excuses -- she decides to sue him for defamation. I'm not sure how far this will go, but the fact that she approached with him says a lot about her.
Radiant Office 3Radiant Office 4
"Radiant Office" has surprised me in a good way -- I usually don't enjoy office dramas. It's enjoyable and not too grating with the office politics because each person is humanized and easy to understand. Let's venture on to see what happens!
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Radiant Office" is directed by Jeong Ji-in and Park Sang-hoon-III, written by Jeong Hee-hyeon, and features Go Ah-seong, Ha Seok-jin, Lee Dong-hwi, and Hoya.

"Lookout" Episodes 21-22 recap

Do-han has a lot to take care of in this pair of episodes of "Lookout". Soo-ji's headstrong influence is powerful enough to convince even the skeptical Bo-mi that what's right needs to be done. This pits our justice fighters directly against Chief Prosecutor Yoon who is wily enough to be a worthy opponent.

Do-han manipulated Chief Oh who is discarded by Chief Prosecutor Yoon with very little fanfare. Yoon covered up all of Oh's wrongdoing, a show of his power. Now Do-han is taken in by Yoon who believes Do-han's vows of loyalty. This new role has Do-han working hard to maintain his smarmy persona as well as his role as Leader. Until now, we've understood his motivations, but he's been hard to like. But when we see him tearfully empathize with Soo-jin in secret, he becomes a human; a very, very fallible human. My hope is that he will reveal himself to the justice fighters and that they will all actively work together. It would be good for him to have people on which he can rely.
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Those people, the justice fighters as I call them, are starting to stray from their leader's desires. Although explicitly told not to stray from his orders, they do so anyway in order to protect another potential sexual assault victim. This is an especially important moment for Bo-mi who, until now, followed orders strictly in order to take revenge for the tragedy of her past. From what I can gather, her happy family was murdered and that was the cause of her trauma and inability to leave her apartment. Kyeong-soo's past was also revealed in part; he had been in jail, presumably for cyber related crimes. He has yet to be focused on as something more than a cheerful hacking genius.

The events of the episode cause Soo-jin to further doubt Leader as he was indubitably the person who blew their cover. Bo-mi and Kyeong-soo aren't quite as sure as Leader warned them of the police raid. The entire situation is tightly put together as we, the omniscient audience, see what the characters cannot. Soo-jin is the most savvy of the three and realizes that the priest she's run into several times has a role to play as well as the fact that Leader has to be a prosecutor or someone similar. While she is dead set on revealing his identity, Kyeong-soo and Bo-mi seem less curious and more trusting in spite of everything that has happened.
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Si-wan had a moment on screen after not much airtime during the moment he realizes that a classmate is police team lead Soon-ae's daughter. This can't be good news for Soon-ae who is currently working with the recently transferred Eun-joong to catch Soo-ji. Even Si-wan's mother knows that he is off. It's revealed that she saw him smirk at Soo-ji's pain when he was being questioned about Yu-na's death. Perhaps this mother will break the case or perhaps not. Her duties to family may continue to overwhelm her duties to justice.

Until the next exciting episode!
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Lookout" is directed by Son Hyeong-seok, written Kim Soo-eun, and features Lee Si-young, Kim Young-kwang, Kim Tae-hoon, Kim Seul-gi-I, Key, and Choi Moo-sung.
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"Fight My Way" episode 11 recap

Ko Dong-man (Park Seo-joon) and Choi Ae-ra (Kim Ji-won-I) started seeing each other seriously.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Fight My Way", Ko Dong-man and Choi Ae-ra couldn't help that they were falling for each other more every day.
Ko Dong-man and Choi Ae-ra were friends before they kissed. Ko Dong-man was jealous of Choi Ae-ra's first love so she said, "It's you. My first love who didn't know anything for the last 20 years it's you. You're like a pimple to me".
She continued, "My feelings for you get bigger and smaller. It hurts and doesn't hurt. I've been feeling like this for the past 20 years. If we were to become friends again after that kiss, I wouldn't have been able to survive".
Ko Dong-man was mad when she went to throw the trash with her midriff showing. She then asked him to come to her house and he said, "We are young and energetic. We are animals. We might cause trouble at any moment" and refused to go.
Choi Ae-ra said, "You're so conservative".
Source : stoo.asiae.co.kr/news...
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"Father is Strange" episode 34 recap

On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Father is Strange", Kang Seok-woo found out his wife was wearing a fake cast.
Byeon Hye-yeong (Lee Yu-ri) checked the neighbor's black box and saw that Oh Bok-nyeo (Song Ok-sook) was wearing a fake cast. She was mad and called her parents-in-law as well as Cha Jeong-hwan (Ryoo Soo-yeong) who hid this fact.
Byeon Hye-yeong showed them the black box footage and it showed Oh Bok-nyeo driving without her cast. Cha Kyu-taek (Kang Seok-woo) became angry and asked her what she was doing. While Oh Bok-nyeo tried to explain, Byeon Hye-yeong said, "I can't work anymore" and left the scene.
Cha Jeong-hwan followed Byeon Hye-yeong out and Cha Kyu-taek said to Oh Bok-nyeo, "I have been embarrassed in front of my daughter-in-law. How could you be so wicked? I am embarrassed to say I've been married to you for 38 years. I don't want to be with you anymore. Let's end things".
Oh Bok-nyeo asked if he wanted a divorce and he said, "Yes" and left the scene.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Secret Forest" episode 6 recap

Bae Doona asked Cho Seung-woo to eat with her.
On the latest episode of the tvN drama "Secret Forest", Han Yeo-jin (Bae Doona) spotted Hwang Si-mok (Cho Seung-woo) while she was driving past.
She followed him into a cosmetics store and recalled what her witnesses said seeing him sniffing perfume.
Just then, his stomach sounded and Han Yeo-jin approached him. "Let's Eat" she said.
Maybe you were too hungry to speak back there. I felt betrayed in front of my colleagues. Still, I will buy you something to eat".
On their way to eat, Hwang Si-mok stopped when he heard Twice's song. He remembered he heard this song when he called Kim Ga-yeong. Han Yeo-jin said, "This is the ringing sound of Seo Dong-jae's phone.
Later, when they had to suspect each other, Han Yeo-jin said, "Crime is a bittersweet thing, we can't even trust each other". Hwang Si-mok smiled at the words, 'each other'. When Hwang Si-mok got out of the car, Han Yeo-jin said, "Straighten up your back. Why do you wall like that? Is it like you did something wrong?"
Source : tvdaily.asiae.co.kr/r...
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"You're Too Much" episode 32 recap

Kang Tae-oh and Jeong Kyeo-woon fought over Jang Hee-jin.
On the latest episode of the MBC drama "You're Too Much", Lee Kyeong-soo (Kang Tae-oh) asked Jeong Hae-dang (Jang Hee-jin) who was standing in front of Park Hyeon-joon (Jung Gyu-woon) to leave with him.
Park Seong-hwan (Jun Kwang-ryul) demanded Lee Kyeong-soo for his dead wife Choi Kyeong-ae's letter and used Yoo Jina (Uhm Jung-hwa) as bait. Seong Kyeong-ja (Jung Hye-sun) put Jeong Hae-dang forward for the same letter. Lee Kyeong-soo was exhausted but Seong Kyeong-ja and Park Seong-hwan asked him to leave the house.
Lee Kyeong-soo pulled off the extreme and said to Jeong Hae-dang who was about to get married to Park Hyeon-joon, "What are you doing Hae-dang? Get up, what are you doing? I can't stay here anymore. Let's leave with me. I don't need anything else. Just come with me".
Park Hyeon-joon asked what he was doing and Lee Kyeong-soo said, "Hae-dang, we don't belong here. Come with me".
Jeong Hae-dang was stuck between them, not knowing what to do.
Source : www.newsen.com/news_v...
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"Bad Thief, Good Thief" episode 14 recap

Ji Hyeon-woo opened up his heart to Seohyun.
On the latest episode of the MBC weekend drama "Bad Thief, Good Thief", Jang Dol-mok (Ji Hyeon-woo) and Jang Pan-soo (Ahn Kil-kang) chatted before going to bed.
Jang Pan-soo asked Jang Dol-mok, "Do you like Kang So-joo?" and Jang Dol-mok asked, "Is it that obvious?"
Jang Pan-soo said it was and Jang Dol-mok said, "Why doesn't she know that I like her when even you know?"
Jang Pan-soo asked, "She doesn't? Then doesn't she like you?" Jang Dol-mok answered, "She likes someone else".
Jang Pan-soo brought up the past. He said, "You should have held onto her when she liked you. She didn't even go home on your birthday and prepared a feast for you. I sent her out to have fun with her friends but she came back drenched in rain".
He then asked Jang Dol-mok what he was going to do and he said, "I am going to make her fall for me".
Source : tvdaily.asiae.co.kr/r...
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"Lookout" Episodes 7 and 8 recap

"Lookout" is barreling forward with Soo-jin at the lead. This grieving mother is brave, intelligent, and determined to bring her daughter's killer to justice. Her independence throws a wrench in the plans of Do-han and keeps everyone else on their toes. It's hard not to love such a driven heroine who keeps us guessing at how she will escape each new situation.

The focus of this pair of episodes is the search for Woo-sung, the man whose case incited cover ups and began Soo-jin's involvement with Chief Prosecutor Yoon and Chief Oh. Woo-sung is a lowlife, having taken the life of a man and then living free while an innocent young man took the fall for his crime. It is only Soo-jin's dogged hunt for him that brings him back to prison after Yoon releases him. In general, it is the chase and capture of Woo-sung that drives the episode, shows off how amazing Lee Si-young is at being a badass woman, and allows for Team Justice (Soo-jin, Bo-mi, and Kyeong-soo) to really get to know each other and reveal some of their stories to us. Mostly it is Bo-mi, the closeted woman who monitors the CCTV feeds of the city, who reveals herself to us. A cranky nay-sayer and the primary person who thinks Soo-jin should strickly follow their Leader's orders, Bo-mi has a trauma that keeps her shut up 100% of the time. She alludes to it when she decides to go against their Leader's orders and help Soo-jin find and apprehend Woo-sung, who kidnapped his daughter to get revenge on his ex-wife. She mentions not wanting any other children to live in fear. Both she and Kyeong-soo have backstories that I want to unearth.
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The events of this episode are those of the very first scene with Soo-jin chasing Woo-sung and I do very much appreciate the show coming full circle and then spinning us into new territory. We now clearly see Do-han's involvement, both as his coverup as a smarmy, ladder-climbing prosecutor, and as the leader of a secret group that he uses for punishing the corrupt people protected by money and power. While he's a fascinating character to watch (and I'm sure for Kim Young-kwang to play), he is not very likable. I hope this changes soon because a anti-hero one understands but does not empathize with is not going to stay in the good graces of the viewership for long. For now, Do-han is interesting because of his dual role and because of how brilliant and flexible he is, playing both roles with extreme dexterity.

Another solid aspect of the show is the corrupt prosecutors played by Choi Moo-sung and Kim Sang-ho. These men usually don't fill roles quite like these. Choi is chilling as the ruthless Chief Prosecutor Yoon, a role much different than his usual kindly father figure. I'm glad to see such a talented man make use of his wide variety of acting skills. The same is true for Kim as Chief Oh, whose nervousness and supplicating behavior takes finesse to execute convincingly. Kim Sang-ho and Kim Young-kwang have remarkable chemistry that makes Do-han's manipulation of Chief Oh much more real and grounded.
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But in the end, the story is about Soo-jin and the emtpiness she feels at the loss of her daughter. She goes on eating and sleeping each day despite her loss and grief. Will she be able to capture Yoon and his sociopath son Si-wan?

Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Lookout" is directed by Son Hyeong-seok, written Kim Soo-eun, and features Lee Si-young, Kim Young-kwang, Kim Tae-hoon, Kim Seul-gi-I, Key, and Choi Moo-sung.
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"Man to Man" Episode 8 recap

Halfway through "Man to Man" the requisite separation begins. Seol-woo extricates himself from the woman he fell in love with and from his bromance with Woon-gwang in order to return to his ghost agent duties. While sad, he seems ready to deal with the separation until, of course, circumstances brings them all back together again.

Seung-jae is to blame for the reunification of Seol-woo with Do-ha and Woon-gwang, but not in a good way. He is the mastermind behind the manipulation of funds and government in order to secure his power in Seoul politics. He cuts off Jang's access to NIS funds, has him suspended, and threatens his girlfriend, causing Seol-woo to search elsewhere for support and funds. Where better to look than with rich and famous actor Woon-gwang and his crafty manager Do-ha? While the bromance is wonderfully reinvigorated, Do-ha still aching from her recent heartbreak is much more reticent. But this is the stuff that drama lovers adore and Park Hae-jin and Kim Min-jeong work the separation angst to the fullest. Perhaps the most effective part of the separation is how mercilessly Laywer Lee teases Seol-woo for his lovelorn behavior and how Woon-gwang's crew things that he and Guard Kim got into a fight. It's the silly things that really propel this drama forward. The actual intrigue with the missions and bad guys is not as neatly wrought.
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Rogue ghost agent Seo Gi-cheol has betrayed Seung-jae and Congressman Baek and is currently in jail. He's given Seol-woo the location of Agent Yoon, the deceased agent who stashed the items Seung-jae is so desperately searching for. His lack of loyalty to any person or cause makes Gi-cheol a wild card. I wonder if he'll begin to work with Seol-woo.

Mi-eun finally got a bit more exciting. She quits working with Jang and the NIS to side with her husband - she also completely gives up on Woon-gwang. The reasoning is a little vague, but from what I gather it's because deep down somewhere she loves Seung-jae and because she's worried about being with her son. Seung-jae has threatened her time with her son using his power, and that scared her, and me! He will even toy with his child to get what he wants.
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As for the reunification of Woong-gwang, Do-ha, and Seol-woo, Woon-gwang hires Seol-woo back as his body guard in exchange for loaning him and NIS the money for an upcoming mission to acquire the next artifact that Agent Yoon hid. I'm glad for the reinstatement of this trio in the format in which we originally fell in love with them. Now, let's see how this mission goes.
Written by: Lisa Espinosa AKA Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
"Man to Man" is directed by Kim Sang-ho-I and Lee Chang-min-I, written by Kim Won-seok-II, and features Park Hae-jin, Kim Min-jeong, Park Sung-woon, and Yeon Jeong-hoon.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Suspicious Partner" episode 27-28 recap

Nam Ji-hyeon charmed Ji Chang-wook.
Noh Ji-wook and Eun Bong-hee (Nam Ji-hyeon) had a sweet relationship.
Eun Bong-hee was drinking beer with Noh Ji-wook and comforted him.
Noh Ji-wook said, "I had a rough time. Because of my girlfriend who calls me 'laywer'".
Eun Bong-hee then said, "Should I call you something else? Honey?" Noh Ji-wook smiled.
Source : www.asiatoday.co.kr/v...
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"Queen for 7 Days" episode 8 recap

Yeon Woo-jin cried looking at Park Min-young who was hanging on a cross.
On the latest episode of the KBS 2TV drama "Queen for 7 Days", Lee Yeok (Yeon Woo-jin) cried at the sight of Sin Chae-kyeong (Park Min-young) hanging from a cross.
Lee Yeok knew the arrow that hit him was poisonous and asked a doctor for an antidote. Sin Chae-kyeong was also brushed with it. Lee Yeok then heard from Seo No (Hwang Chan-sung) that she was tied up on a cross and wanted to go see her but his friends stopped him.
The next day, Lee Yeok disguised himself and saw her. He thought of the times he had with Sin Chae-kyeong and headed somewhere thinking of Lee Yoong (Lee Dong-geon). He aimed an angry arrow at Lee Yoong.
Source : biz.heraldcorp.com/vi...
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"Ruler: Master of the Mask" Episodes 27-28 recap

A lot of my confusion with "Ruler: Master of the Mask" comes from how I keep assuming stuff is happening off-screen. I thought, maybe during one of those romantic backdrops, that Ga-eun learned of Prince Seon's true identity. Literally every other single character in the drama already knows by now. But apparently not. I also figured that the other Seon had already drank the antidote on account of how he's not visibly sick anymore. Again, apparently not.
These two plot points are brought up solely to destroy Prince Seon's existing plan. Not that this was ever much of a plan in the first place, since Dae-mok didn't really seem to care about it and indeed, has managed to work it into his larger conspiracy. Considering how bad Prince Seon is at all this cloak and dagger stuff I'm left wondering whether the general's offer to destroy Dae-mok with the army is still open.
In a way it's impressive. No matter how many characters with wildly conflicting motives there are, no matter how badly they communicate, no matter how everyone is always working under incomplete inaccurate information, the main characters can always be relied upon to interpret erratic events exactly the way Dae-mok wants them to and Dae-mok's own assumptions are always one hundred percent correct. That's how "Ruler: Master of the Mask" ends up killing off one of my favorite characters- who I've never actually mentioned by name since his role in the story is fairly ancillary.
It's easy to get hung up on the implausibilites of Dae-mok's plan because we never get to see his thought process. The reason "Ruler: Master of the Mask" is scripted like this is so that we're surprised when Dae-mok wins again, but without better context everything just comes as very contrived. Plot twists work best when we're expecting a different twist to defeat expectations. But the expectations in "Ruler: Master of the Mask" are so poorly defined there's nothing for the plot twist to defeat.
Consider how the exposure of a spy mucking up the actions of the main heroes would have been so, so much more satisfying if we had any inkling there was a spy in the first place. I was under the impression from the revelation of Queen Mother Joongjeon's role in previous poisonings that this was her department, yet the bad guy ends up being someone who...doesn't even work for her? Huh? And when did this person have sole access to the antidote?
Review by William Schwartz
"Ruler: Master of the Mask" is directed by Noh Do-cheol & Park Won-gook, written by Jeong Hae-ri & Park Hye-jin-II, and features Yoo Seung-ho, Kim So-hyun, L, Yoon So-hee, Heo Joon-ho and Park Chul-min.
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