Shine or Go Crazy Episode 1 Recap
We start with the backstory of the banished prince and the two princesses in play. Which one does destiny designate for our prince? The one he is supposed to be with. Like 2 halves of a necklace, you will be with the one you are destined to be with.
Our prince, Wang So (Jang Hyuk) was removed from the palace and has grown up in Keum Gang mountain. When he returns home, carrying a boar, an emissary of the palace has arrived much to his displeasure.
The time has come to return to the palace and the family that banished him. Wang So remembers when his father, King Wang Gun (Nam Kyoung Eub), banished him from the palace. Not a happy day.
Nothing says welcome home like an attack from your father to see if you’ve got reflexes. The King says he’s readied Wang So’s old room. Wang So does not want to stay preferring to return to his mountain home. He demands to know why his father, the King, could not protect him. Wang So hates being labeled a cursed traitor due to his banishment.
The King explains when he built his power base he needed help. To maintain his power base, he needs to wipe the slate clean. He must go into battle and wants Wang So to help him fight. You must be nuts is Wang So’s response. The King tries to reel him in by telling him to change his fate he needs to accept some help. His father offers his hand to Wang So. Isn’t that the hand that abandoned me is Wang So’s response. During this conversation ninjas have been infiltrating the palace.
Douse the lights it is time for fight #1! Looks like 7 ninjas (dressed in red) versus 3 – the King, Wang So, and his trusted adviser Eun Chun (Kim Roe Ha). But wait, the palace ninjas (dressed in black) engage in the dark outer room first. Wang So decides to join the fight in the outer room. The swords and sparks fly in this fight. When the moon is freed from the clouds the fight hits it’s apex.
It is not a warm greeting as she slaps Wang So blaming him for the death of his older brother and now the King has been put at risk. The King tells her that is no way to treat her son. The Queen says get the cursed kid out of here. Before she leaves she tells the King, if Wang So stays, I will kill myself.
Eun Chun reports they killed 5 of the 7 ninja and 2 got away. The ninja were not local and look to be from China. The King directs Eun Chun to catch the remaining 2 ninjas. The King states they will pretend this incident never happened. Wang So is stunned. The King of the nation was almost killed. He vows to hunt down the remaining 2 ninjas and leaves. The King directs Eun Chun to accompany Wang So and take orders directly from him. Eun Chun leaves.
Wang So does not want Eun Chun’s help. Eun Chun’s simply states if you want to catch the remaining 2 ninjas, follow me. Turns out the King’s neck was nicked by the ninja star. He orders the room be straightened so no one knows there was an attack. And keep the Queen quiet too.
One of the surviving ninjas reports to Wang Sik Ryeom (Lee Deok Hwa) that the King was not killed. Sik Ryeom realizes the King is covering the incident up. Sik Ryeom says he’ll find out where the ninja stars went (were they poisoned?) and sends the ninja into hiding.
Eun Chun releases silkworm moths to find the remaining 2 ninjas. Just before the battle the ninja were covered in a powder that the moths will track. Ok, that is cool! Off they go on horseback following the moths.
Back at the palace the King says Wang So must finish his training and marry Yeo Won. It would be a royal wedding. Yeo Won’s father is interested in a different match for his daughter. The King tells him forget that, your daughter will marry my son Wang So. The King later asks his brother to look out for his nephews who will one day be king. His brother swears loyalty. I’m noticing he is wearing the same ring that those that plotted against the King were wearing. Yep, he sees the nick on the king’s neck and smiles.
Next up we meet Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo), a trader who speaks multiple languages. Her wheeling and dealing is interrupted by General Kwak who has her older brother, Yang Gyu Dal (Heo Jeong Min) dragged in. Turns out he insulted the General’s daughter and seems to be a bit of a trouble maker for his sister. Her brother promised her hand in marriage to General Kwak. Shin Yool tries to swap cash for her hand but the General refuses. Shin Yool won’t just give in and states that her brother must bear the punishment for the crime. If he dies during the punishment she promises to light a candle for him every year in memorial. LOL! I like her! She lies that she is to marry someone else in 15 days from a match made by her parents. This is news to everyone in the room. The General is skeptical.
After General Kwak leaves Gang Myeong (Ahn Kil Kang) and Baek Myo (Kim Sun Young) ask how will Shin Yool conjure a finance in 15 days? Her answer? Kidnap or buy a man to pretend to marry her. Wanna bet who the lucky man will be?
Now in China, Wang So is tired of looking for the ninja. Why can’t those moths cross the sea he whines? But wait…there are dumplings, which elicits joy from Wang So. Eun Chun appears to be tired from dealing with Wang So. Eun Chun flicks the dumplings away from Wang So saying chasing your prey is more effective when you are hungry. They locate the manufacturer of the ninja star. When they walk the streets Eun Chun notices they are being followed. Wang So tries to look around and Eun Chun hisses for him to be discrete. With a clever move they switch places and follow the man following them. But the man figures it out and eludes them. But all is not lost as Wang So remembers the man exiting a building earlier.
Wang So and Eun Chun find the building and burst in only to find ladies of the night. Jackpot! Wang So yells. LOL! The ladies don’t think so and pursue them as they try to escape. It isn’t as easy as they hoped.
As Wang So and Eun Chun exit the building they run past Shin Yool, Gang Myeong and Baek Myo. Just has Shin Yool is about to be hit by a out of control horse, Wang So knocks her out of the way. They stare at each other as they whirl in the air. When Wang So asks if she is ok, Shin Yool realizes she has found her fake fiancee – he’s hot and he saved her. Wang So scampers off as the ladies of the night chase him.
Wang So and Eun Chun find each other after eluding the ladies of the night. Wang So complains he is tired and thirsty. Eun Chul knows there is a well up the street. Not that kind of thirst Wang So chides. In the bar, Wang So drinks but Eun Chun tells him he should not drink during a hunt. Eun Chun leaves to search for the ninja giving strict instructions for Wang So to stay put. Shin Yool, Gang Myeong and Baek Myo stare at Eun Chun. That’s my husband Shin Yool says with glee. Wang So notices them staring and wonders if they are associated with the ninja. He decides he’ll catch them and make Eun Chun proud.
Yeo Won is told it is time to return to the palace. We see her father was upset about the King picking her for Wang So but Yeo Won saw it as an opportunity. She told her father she might have an chance to make her husband King and herself Queen. Ok, she is striking me as the cold calculating type.
The King asks if Wang So marries Yeo Won, will the curse against Wang So be lifted?
Back in China it is wedding time. Shin Yool opens the bag with Wang So thinking she will find a drugged man ready to marry. Instead Wang So pops out with vigor. He asks if she is the leader. She tells him they will be married soon. He falls down in shock. She pleads with him to marry her. She offers 1000 coins for a one night marriage. He is frustrated she is not an ninja leader. She keeps upping the coin amount but he is focused on his failure to find the ninja leader. He blurts out to save her money and find another sucker to marry. LOL! He tries to leave. She blocks his path.
Oh no, General Kwak shows up. Shin Yool begs Wang So to participate in the fake wedding. He tells her she is ridiculous and makes to leave. She grabs his arm and says she can get him whatever he wants. He laughs in her face. Shin Yool hears General Kwak’s voice. She puts something on Wang So’s face, wraps him in a marital robe, and hugs him. General Kwak enters the room and asks if this is her fiancee. Wang So insults the General by saying he is so old he looks like a walking corpse. LOL! Lucky for Wang So, the General does not understand Korean and Shin Yool translates something benign. This goes on for a bit until the General states he will release her brother as promised. General Kwak tells Shin Yool her fiancee is a lucky man, glares at Wang So and leaves. Shin Yool is thrilled and falls to her knees. Wang So thinks he can leave. But no, he must participate in the ceremony.
During the ceremony he whines. She asks him to fake it with sincerity. He doesn’t care until she points out Gang Myeong and Baek Myo, the two people that raised her when she had no parents. This fake marriage will keep them safe and secure and together. He smiles and they continue the fake ceremony. It begins to rain. The guests scatter. Wang So holds a coat over Shin Yool. The music swells. They look at each other.
* Jang Hyuk is working this role like he works all his roles. His smile, his laugh, his intensity, they are all in play. Wang So is not a do gooder, not a warrior, not the most honorable man…yet.
* Yeon Seo scored with me from the start with her portray of Shin Yool who is smart, loyal, and persuasive. I look forward to her relationship with Wang Soo.
* All the other characters look good. The first episode you always feel like you need a scorecard to keep the characters straight.
* Looking forward to episode 2!
* The first song of the OST has been released. “So I Love You” by Ailee was released 19 January. Check it out via the link or the embedded video below: