So far so good. This drama definitely put in the work with special effects and historical research. There is only one thing though. I consider Korean dramas my escapism dramas that have nothing to do with the US or the west in general, so it is kind of weird to see the stars and stripes so prominently displayed in the opening episodes. It’s kind of like the US got a TV machine, went into Kdrama sageuk land, and is destroying it. AKA my nightmare. Hopefully the US can start to fade away a bit and Korea can become the prominent focus in the later episodes.
Our criteria for dropping shows is at the bottom of this post!
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Shorthand: Shorthand character chart
Airing Time: July 8th, 21:00 Seoul, tvN
How to Watch: Netflix
Countdown: RECAPPING! …check twitter for updates.
MR. SUNSHINE LIVE RECAP EPISODE 2
Yesterday is far away, today is not familiar, tomorrow is scary. We all live in this changing Joseon in our own ways.
The cousin rumages through a lot of things grummbling about where she hid it. Eunnie needs it! She goes to her closet and finds a lot of letters. Then she happily yells, grandfather! and runs to find him.
The grandfather is looking for Ae-shin and asks where she is. Ae-shin is outside and about to go inside a room. It looks like she got caught so a woman tells her that she told her not to read it over there!
Ae-shin kneels in front of her grandfather as she is reprimanded by him and the ladies behind her. Ae-shin said she will never do it. But Halabogi says that she is lying, she cannot go out from today. All she can do it read the Chinese textbook and transcribe it. Put your studies in your heart.
Cut to Aeshin writing the Chinese assignment that her Grandfathe gave her as her servant woman hangs the papers to dry. Aeshin grumbles on why Confucius says so much. The woman tells her that she should have hid it well, I am going to break my arm making all this ink! Your arm will also break copying all of this. Lets go say good morning to Halabogi.
Aeshin brings all the copies to halabogi, he asks why she can’t just lose once! He asks why someone died early. Aeshin says it was because he was weak. But Halabogi says it is because he was close to western forces(?). They talk about how Joseon is changing, no, Joseon is collapsing. Aeshin and her grandfather have an ethical disagreement. He thinks she has had enough studies as a woman, so no more newspapers. But Aeshin disagrees, a lot of Western forces want to invade Korea.
Halabogi tells her that this is why he wants her to stop reading. They hav a King and High officials to take care of all this. your father and your oldest uncle are enough to think about Joseons fate. Just get married and live like a flower next to your husband. Is it that difficult?
Aeshin – I would rather die.
Halabogi – Then just die.
Aeshin goes to her room and refuses to eat. Her maid screams that her young lady is not eating and will die. She is throwing a 3 year old tempertantrum outside about it. But it is serious because Aeshin has not eaten in 4 days. Another servant tells Halabogi that they should bring the hunter.
The hunter comes in late and bows to Halabogi all the way to the ground. But then they eat together. Halabogi tells the hunter that they have all these new things coming in. The politicians are selling things just like a trader and the young scholars have no goal and just spread everywhere. Sorry young master but Joseon is getting worse everyday and she wants to be a hidden freedom fighter just like her father. I really wanted to stop her because she wants to be like her father. But I should teach her how to survive if she really can’t stop. I already lost two sons, I don’t want to lose my granddaughter. I won’t tell you to protect her, but can you make it so she can protect herself?
The hunter says he will do it, old master. He puts out his drink and we see the bad burn from when he fought on the island as a child.
Cut to The hunter (SG) taking AS to the countryside. AS talks to him in banmal and asks him if Grandfather wanted the hunter to kill her? She talks in banmal to him. He gives her water and tells her that he is her teacher from now on. She is shocked, what can he teach her? He tells her that he can teach her how to use a gun. That is her grandfathers owner, do not use banmal to me.
She asks her how she knows her grandfather. He switches to banmal and tells her to change her clothing in the hut. She switches to jongdaemal when talking to him.
She changes into clothing that makes her look just like a boy and starts cross country training. She runs over all the rocks and hills of the countryside and becomes faster than the old hunter.
Aeshin – How long should I ride the mountain?
Hunter – As soon as you shoot, your position will be revealed, so what should you do?
Aeshin – Shoot one more time?
Hunter – No, you run away. Your training has ended, but not….gun training.
Aeshin starts to learn how to shoot a gun. The hunter corrects her pose as she takes aim. She shoots several times, But she hits nothing. She keeps practicing for days and days and is able to hit the pottery.
She hears someone walking up on her and turns around, it is the hunter. He tells her she is too slow, she should just shoot .But she says that he might have been a comrade.
So he hits and she runs to his side. He says he couldnt’ get the pig, it was too big. Aeshin tells him that he used that excuse too much. But she tells him that she does not want him to die. One day, if he asks her if she can do it, she will tell him that she can do it. She is practicing hard. I hit 5 out of two.
he tells her that there are other ways to protect Joseon, you can teach kids in night school. But she says their Queen was murdered and their King ran away to another country. Due to that, the western forces are affecting Korean politics. She will use a rifle.
he tells her that she needs to practice hard, until she has 5 out of 5.
Cut to the city, there is breaking news. The former slave hunters are all like, breaking news again? They look at the news, America and Spain are in a war. But they have no clue what this will mean for Joseon.
Cut back to Aeshin, she hit 4 out of 5 bottles but only just barely missed the 5th one. She cocks her gun and shoots again.
EL CANNEY ORDER OF THE BATTLE 1898
Spain and the US are fighting. The US is running toward the Spanish forces and gns and cannons are going off everywhere. It is a tremendous battle scene. Eugene is there fighting hard for his country. He rescues officer Kyle and keeps fighting. Fire is everywhere and the US flag falls.
Later on, Eugene walks into the Presidents office and is told to speak softly and carry a big stick as he goes to Joseon.
Eugene looks at Joseon map. Kyle thinks if he goes to Joseon then he will be with a lot of people who look like him so that should be comforting. But Eugene does not think that. Kyle says that the guy in the picture smeared the name of America. I think that guy is the traitor. So Eugenes job is to go to Joseon and assasinate that traitor. They want Eugene to go because he will blend in easily.
Eugene packs in his office. Another person comes in and talks to Eugene in Japanese or maybe English. He has a pretty thick accent. they speak in Japanese to each other. This man tells Eugene to come to Tokyo to have a look around. The man tells him, if he goes to Hansun, you won’t welcome me toomuch. But you still have to buy me a drink right? Promise? Japanese guy gave Eugene a book. (It seems like this guy just gave us a signal that Japan will invade Korea soon).
Cut to nighttime, Eugene leaves in the cover of night and walks across the now finished bridge. The camera goes back to AS, she has returned home after many years? She is greated by a young woman. This woman asks her if she recognizes her? She went to her house a lot with a lot of fabric. But Aeshin did not recognize her because she is so tall now.
She is with a westerner though. The English woman is her teaher. The teacher asks if Aeshin is her friend, but the girl says no, she is a noble. Aeshin does not look like she speaks English but she tries to ask what the teacher does in Korean. The girl says she can’t translate these things, it is too difficult, but she will learn English so that seh can find love. She likes love more than an official position. Goodbye young lady.
She walks off. Aeshin looks like her mind has been expanded. She wonders why that girl said love is better than an official position. That must mean that she wants to do it. Her woman tells her that she can do anything so don’t think about it. But Aeshin wonders what “Love” is. She says that word in English.
Meanwhile, Eugene has arrived to Joseon. Cut to a meeting of a foreigner with a Korean (I think), but he might be Japanese. The two were speaking Korean but they switch to Japanese and start to talk about Korean Gisaengs and laugh. Eugene is there as well.
Cut to teh westerner going to a gisaeng house. he speaks in Japanese and asks them if they hear the sound of a generator, this is the sound of a merciful America(?). The gisaeng opens the door. But outside, Aeshin is in her hidden clothing and is about to shoot them. It looks like this gisaeng works for the resistance.
The westerner is all smiles, but he is shot right in the head. But it wasn’t by Aeshin, it was by another man on the rooftops .Aeshin turns and sees him. he runs away but Aeshin stays and shoots until all her bullets are gone.
The two see each other but they don’t shoot each other. They both run on the rooftops away from the scene. Eugene looks at Aeshin as they run. They finally wind up right in front of each other with their guns pointed at each other.
Aeshin – One target
Eugene – Two assassins
Aeshin – Are we on the same side?
The guns are still pointed at each other, but people are following them so they both turn away from each other and run away.
VO – Didn’t you hear a strange sound? A gun shot sound? Maybe it was a generator? Maybe not?
Two city people talk to each other about this. They wonder when the lighs will be up, they are so cold.
At the same night, Eugene and Aeshin walk the street in their normal clothing. But they stop when they walk past each other. They both smell the scent of gun powder and think, is it that man…is it that woman?
Their backs are still to each other as they are stopped int he street. They slowly turn at the same time and look at each other directly in the eye.
The lights come back on and illuminate then both in a rosy glow. Everyone is astonished at the lights and move to them like moths. it is an amazing scene as the people all move to the lights but Aeshin and Eugene keep looking at each other. Then the street car passes by, but they both don’ tmove, they jsut watch each other. However, Eugene dissapears toward the end of the streetcar. Aeshin wonders where he went.
But she notices people looking for the shooters and decides to quickly walk away. She is able to get far enough away, but then she turns around.
Eugene – If you are looking for me, I am here.
Aeshin – I never looked for you
EG – You were looking for me
AS – It was a mistake
EG – where are you going?
AS – Why are you asking?
EG – I want to walk the same way becaue we hae the same mercenaries around. We recognize each other.
AS – You mistaken the person, but you are a foreigner so you will save your life at least.
EG – Why do you think i am a foreigner?
AS – Your strang clothing, you are using jongdaemal, but it is not polite. and most of all, you are lookin gat me but you dont’ ‘recognize me. In Joseon, no Korean man will make me stand here like this.
Suddenly woman come up to AS and asks her how she is doing and what is she doing here this late? She says he is just running an errand. Her lady has come up to her with a few other people, they fill her in on the westerer that died, it’s a big deal. Aeshin tells her that this man is lost, can you take him where he wants to go? then AS leaves in her carrier (palanquin).
The two men asks Eugene where he is going. Eugene speaks in English and asks for the US consolate or something. The men have no idea and tell each other this must be why that young lady left. they run off.
In the palanquin, Aeshin thinks that if Eugene is their comrade then they should stay away quickly, if he is an enemy then he would avoid her quickly, but he wants to walk the same way? Is he a guy with no plan, or a brave guy?
Eugene goes back to his hotel room. he has his uniform in a box with the jewelry that his mother gave him all those years ago. He looks out the window and an English sond plays (the Day). Th esong keeps playing as morning comes. Eugene drinks tea and remembers what happened the night before. But he mostly thinks about the girl.
Later, he walks the grounds of a consolate building and is approached by someone who asks who he is. He says he is a diplomat from the mainland. This man thinks he is just like a Joseon person. Eugene gives this man his credentials. The man reads them but then realizes that Eugene is a very important person and apologizes profusely to this guy. He has never seen a Joseon person come here. But Eugene tells him that he is American.
Eugene asks where the funeral is. Cut to the funeral and the burial ground. There are a lot of foreigners at this funeral. The man tells Eugene who all these foreigners are. There are 227 foreigners from major countries. One American died and one american came, so there is no change in numbers.
Cut to Yakuza searching a house and destroying everything. A rvant girl carries a western baby on her back and goes outside. She sees Dong-mae and asks him who he is. He is dressed in Japanese clothing and tells her that he is with those guys inside. Are they doing a good job searching? they should do a good job and make a big mess. She says that everything is breaking inside. he tells her that this stuff is not hers anyway.
The men come out, but the letter they are looking for is not aroun. DOng-mae says that letter don’t have legs, so someone must have walked out with it. DM asks the little baby if he is sad because his father died? Look at this boy, maybe he understands. then he asks the girl why she is scared of him? I don’t kill anyone without money. The Yakuza go to the funeral to see if the widow has the letter.
The widow is distraught and comfortad by another Western person. This Western person talks to the King of Joseon and tells him that these attacks on foreigners are terrorist attacks on them. the foreigners are worried so we need our own army. But the Joseon people are all like, no, we have a Joseon Army, we dont’ need the American army here. Someone else brings up japan and says that Japan is closer, japan can help us. Someone else brings up Russia, they should be the one to help. But the Westerner says that Russia can’t even help itself at the moment.
the King asks one of the men why he is so quiet when this Westerner makes all Joseon people into terrorists. Then he tells the Westerner that he is sad that he came from a funeral, but why does he look so happy? Leave.
Outside in the city, Eugene is riding a horse around the city as the Interpreter walks around with him (GS). GS explains what happened last night to Eugene. There were a lot of witnesses as well. Eugene tells the interpreter to bring these witnesses to the office. Then he rides off. GS is all like, umm, but its the end of the day….
Eugene goes to a small boat on a river and remembers what happened that day he had to run away. He hid in the boat as a child and covered himself with a mat.
Cut to the hunter going to a restaurant with some meat. Eugene is at the restaurant also. The owner comes out and talks to the hunter but looks at Eugene in a suspicious way. She brings out the chicken to the hunter. Eugene looks at the Hunter eating the chicken, he actuallu does not look like he knows how to eat this food.
Cut to the hunter on the mountain with Aeshin. Aeshin tellshim that another freedom fighter group sent another assasin because they could not trust her…seh is okay, just tell her. He says that having the same target does not mean that they are comrades, and todays comrade isn’t tomorrows comrade. So don’t trust anyone…including me. She tells him that she hasn’t trusted him for a long time already, how can she trust him, he doesnt’ have a house or anything.
He tells her he is tired all of a sudden, just leave, he does not have enough bottles for her to shoot. She tells him that she will leave and she does. He looks at her as she walks off.
In the city, several foreigners are about. It looks like a lot of the Koreans werre called to the foreign embassy to talk about what happened. Eugene interviews them all. Koreans and Japanese.
the guy was assassinated so I closed my eyes and ears (Japanese)….It was too dark…I am only good at Engish….I heard a foreigner died so I went to see what happened and I saw a young lady….it is a lady that everyone knows, she wanted to pick up medicine, stupid girl.
EC – no one saw anything so…
Lady – You were there as well.
GS – You were there?
EC – was I?
Lady – That lady should not go there
GS – Should we ask her to come?
GS says that they should not discriminate the witnesses, she will undertand, don’t worry master, I will bring her here. he runs off to find the young lady, but it seems like it is a big ask since she is a noble. The servant does not want to let GS into the house. he will pluck the eyes out of that person that told him he saw the young lady!
the young lady is right behind them and says that she will come the day after tomorrow. GS apologizes to her, she tells them not to tell her grandfather and walks off.
Aeshin – Someone saw me…(not sure)
She thinks back to EC telling her that he wants to walk the same way as her, there are a lot of mercinaries around. She thinks EC must have said that he saw her. She’s pissed.
Two men are in a restaunt drinking coffee. One of them says that this coffee tastes like death medicine, yuck! But the other one says that Joseon is opening up so you need to get used to drinking coffee. The man drinking it says he does not know these things, but he wants to be close to Japan. Then this man runs off and asks how much the servant is a night. She says that she is not a prostitute, she is a servant.
Hae-na tells him to let her go. he asks, if I let her go, will you give me your hand…you are better. She says that he has good eyes, but he won’t be holding onto anyone. Then she cuts his hand and draws blood.
the Man from earlier apologizes to HN and tells the other man that he needs to apologize, she owns the hotel! He drags this man away. The maid kneels and apologizes to HN. HN tells her, instead of crying, you need to fight back if somone wants to harm you.
Then HN apologizes to the Japanese in Japanese and tells the Americans, “It sure was noisy (roudy?), but was it fun?” she smiles and walks away.
She gets to the stairs and EC tells her the same thing she said. It was noisy, but it was fun. She looks at him and says that he looks familier to her, what room does he stay in? He tells her 304, she says that she thought an American stayed in that room. He tells her that he thought Japanese person owned the hotel. She smiles and tells him that she will send him a free drink since they mae some noise. She is the owner of this hotel.
She wants to handshake since foreigners met in Joseon. She puts out her hand, but he gives her a hankerchief and tells her to take care of her wound firlst, She can put the handshake to his room as well.
Dong-mae shows up at that time. Hee-na asks if anything happened? DM tells her that thet man is strange, then he sees the commotion. She pulls him to another room. The two start to talk in banmal to each other. He asks her what happened, she says she was helping a girl.
DM asks her if she sees the dead guys widow come in and out of there? If seh meets someon then he wants to know about it. But she tells him that their principle is to keep quiet about their customers. He kind of smilesand tells her that she should take care of her wound. Scars are not good on hands.
Eugene drinks a tea in his office. GS comes up and asks him if that cup is popular now, but he says nevermind. Eugene is looking out the gate and sees AS show up in her palanquine. GS tells him to just trust him.
Aeshin walks into the garden and to the diplomats office. Her servants think that this place is huge. GS runs out and greets her. But then AS stops when she sees EC thorugh the window. The woman tells her that this guy is from that night, is he there for an interview as well? But GS says he works here, he is the deputy council, he does the interview.
the maid (HD) says that he might be the Korean diplomat. WI also works in the diplomats office. They are trying to figure out what American Diplomat Council means.
Aeshin goes into Eugene’s office. But instead of sitting at the interview seat, she sits in the office chair. GS is all like….well, I feel like you could sit there. She tells GS to ask him what he wants with her. GS asks them the questions.
The maid says that she saw something that night. Aeshin tells him that Joseon is full of strange things now and one is in front of her, so what did she see? Ask him.
he maid tells them that her young lady is not the kind of person thta will see those things, she only sees in front, she is like picture or a baby, she does not see things or know things like that.
Eugene tells GS to send the servants away for some water and ask them if they know anything. GS tells the two to leave, but the maid is all like, no, I won’t leave my lady here. She does not know English. But Aeshin makes eyecontact with her so the maid understands, does a 180, and tells the other servant, lets go!
The two are left alone.
Eugene tells AS that she does not need to worry. He does not look at her as stupid or uneducated. On the day of the shooting, there was a lighting ceremony. Due to the generator, the gun sound should hae been easily hidden. There was also a lot of crowds. That is why you picked that day right?
She asks why he is asking her. He is asking her for a favor. She does not want to help him. He says the direction of the gun fire came from two places. Did you see something? She did not see anything.
he goes up to her and puts his hand over her face to only see her eyes.
Eugene – I think I saw something.
She puts her hand in front of his face.
She thinks back to the man.
AS – Maybe I also say something.
They stand with their hands in front of the other faces as they scope out the other.
Wow, this episode got my heart going. I loved the rooftop shooter scene and everything that came afterwards. This drama is starting to remind me of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets 300 but in Korea. Not only in the noble woman with secret combat skills, but also in the grand and melodramatic cinematography that this show is implementing.
Still strange to see all the foreigners, but I actually think it’s a good thing that I am so taken aback by all of them, because I am assuming that is what all the Koreans were feeling as well, but like times 100. The freedom fighters want all these foreigners to stop messing up their country and for their countrymen to stop normalizing all the crazy.
I can definitely relate to people trying to normalize craziness, especially as it relates to all the craziness going on in the West right now. I’m looking forward to next week!
Eugene – What is your identity?
Aeshin – None of a foreigners business.
Aeshin – What is your identity?
Gwan-soo – My master looks like that, but he is American
Diplomat – American?
Dong-mae – What is today’s luck?
Haman-daek – He is that guy that you saved
(might have missed the end of the preview)
Top Image by tvN