Shine or Go Crazy Episode 17 Recap. Wang So switches his tactics to woo Yeo Won and Wang Wook to join him. Sik Ryeom is feeling smug about how well things are going. Shin Yool struggles to recover from having the trading company stripped.
Wang So: Where’s the antidote?
Yeo Won: I don’t have it.
Wang So: I thought you were a human being. How could you do this? He is the King, my brother, your brother-in-law. How could you consider poisoning him? You are a beast wearing a human mask.
Yeo Won takes a moment, drinks her tea and flips the cup just like Wang So did…
Yeo Won: The King you want to protect, helped assassinate my half brother. The assassins that tried to kill Wang Wook were sent by your mother’s family. All the princes and princesses have to kill each other to survive. Like beasts. Didn’t you blame your father for abandoning you to the mountain? (she cries) You should have thanked him. We were raised like beasts. You were raised to be human. If you condemn me, you must condemn the King. You must condemn our father, the First King, for creating a situation where his children must kill each other to survive. If you hate the status quo, become King and change it. Become more powerful than Sik Ryeom. I want that kind of King…so much that it drives me crazy!
Wang So: How can a King devour his brothers and rise to the throne?
Wang So rises to leave.
Yeo Won: I tried to kill Shin Yool to save you. It was to cover up your marriage in Gaebong five years ago.
Wang So: Let’s put our cards on the table. The marriage in Gaebong, the poisoning of the King, let’s start over.
Wang So leaves. Yeo Won dissolves into tears.
That scene is terrific. Yeo Won was on the edge of crazy (love that she said the situation drove her crazy). Wang So assessed then suggested her hearts desire…that they start over. Our characters are smart and better understand other’s motivations more and more. It enriches the story.
At the trading company Wang Wook (Lim Ju Hwan) and Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo) return after their discussion about the forged ledger. Much to Shin Yool’s surprise Wang Wook declares the forged ledger real not forged. Blindside!
Gyu Dal (Heo Jeong Min), Baek Myo (Kim Sun Young) Gang Myeong (Ahn Kil Kang) and Gyeong (Jung Woo Sik) are stunned at the betrayal. Shin Yool faints. Wang Wook thinks “Hate me. As long I can protect you. Nothing else matters.”
Gyu Dal stamps the contract admitting fault and transferring assets of the trading company to a rival trading company. Nice touch how Gyu Dal, Gang Myeong, Gyeong, and Wang Woiok closed their eyes in pain as the stamp was pressed to the paper. This show is standout at this small details. Wang Wook stamps the contract. Gang Myeong shoots him a “if looks could kill” glance.
These scenes are excellent. I’m reacting to what is NOT said among the characters as much as what IS said. The actors have gelled into an ensemble delivering fine work. I appreciate it.
Cue opening credits…
Wang So finds the King slumped on the floor sleeping with his sword. He recalls Yeo Won’s words that the King assassinated her half brother to obtain the throne. He recalls Yeo Won’s words that his mother’s family tried to assassinate Wang Wook as a boy. Wang So has tears as he tells his brother his behavior was like so many others before him. He asks “What should I protect now? What should I believe in now?”
Wang So visits his father’s shrine with the King’s adviser Ji Mong. Wang So asks Ji Mong what kind of King his father was. A great one is the response. Wang So shares he thinks of his father as a hero, a man that followed the path he believed he had to follow, a man willing to sacrifice for what was right in his mind. But he notes, this is all a matter of perspective. His father’s “right” could have been another’s “wrong”.
Alone at the shrine, Wang So admits to his father that he now sees the shadow a lonely hero must walk. He tells his father though he promised he’d follow that path, now he wants to blaze his own based on his interpretation of right and wrong. “I’ll see at the end if is was the right road to take. Just like you did.”
Wow, another stellar scene from Jang Hyuk. Fabulous that the writing offers life lessons. How true that right and wrong is a matter of perspective. How true that hindsight offers perspective if you’ve made the right choice.
If he’s happy then I’m not…
Sik Ryeom taunts Se Won (Na Jong Chan) that Ye Won won’t trust him anymore (for not killing Shin Yool as expected). He demands Se Won be loyal only to him. Wang Wook arrives. He and Se Won give each other interesting looks. Hmm, something cooking between them on the side? Wang Wook gives Sik Ryeom the good news, the trading company is now all his. Sik Ryeom is giddy with joy. The other two guys do not look happy.
Wang So visits Yeo Won. He heard what she said and he wants to understand the competitive life she’s had to live. He does not condone her methodology. Wang So is thinking about ending the competitive life of the palace and driving Sik Ryeom out. Yeo Won notes his father could not do that. They can change the path. Fork in the road time Yeo Won. Let’s travel to a new destination together, though we will be on different paths. Interesting tactic, separate but together.
Shin Yool wakes from a bad dream about Yeo Won. Wang So is there holding her hand. When she admits she’s worried that her actions have backfired ruining everything. He tells her it’s ok. Ah, but that was a dream. It was Baek Myo in attendance.
Shin Yool has tea and snacks prepared for Wang Wook. She asks if Wang Wook is doing this to protect her. Our girl is smart! She tells him she does not know his rational but believes he has made the incorrect choice. She tells him if you hurt my family, my company, you hurt me. Wang Wook vows if anyone threaten her, he will protect her. He understand her heart belongs to another. He will simply protect her life. Shin Yool urges Baek Myo not to judge Wang Wook too harshly.
Good scene for Wang Wook. The writer gave this him the dignity to admit his feelings while recognizing hers were not the same. I also like that Shin Yool and Wang So are taking the same tack, seeing things from the other’s person’s point of view. Another life lesson, empathy improves relationships.
Wang Wook is livid with Yeo Won’s tactics to kill Shin Yool. She counters if Shin Yool was his girlfriend, this situation could have been avoided. She asks if Wang Wook is Sik Ryeom’s puppet. Wang Wook says if you can’t win, surrender. He reminds her this is a tried and true survival tactic. Yeo Won notes that not all behave that way. Wang Wook fervently states once Wang So has been beaten down, he too will behave as they do. Yeo Won points out that Wang Wook only cares about a world with only Shin Yool. Wang Wook does not disagree. He asks if they will be able to beat Sik Ryeom. Yeo Won wonders if Wang So can defeat Sik Ryeom by himself.
Yeo Won remembers Wang So’s words of unity of purpose. In contrast Wang Wook’s words were of Wang So’s ideals being crushed. Yeo Won pulls out the 2 bronze mirror pieces she took from Wang So. With purpose she says “Shall we start, your highness?”
She’s back in my good graces! Shout out to those that saw the bronze pieces as crucial to turn the tide. Just like the proverb: It is easier to get what you want by flattering people and being polite to them than by making demands.
Shin Yool tries to release her employees. Gyeong eloquently states they are family and stick together. They declare they believe in Shin Yool. Sweet! Shin Yool admits she is at a loss what to do.
Wang So bursts in declaring they must eat at times like this to free their minds and allow creativity. Gosh he is charming! He and Gil Book cook everyone a meal. They are cute together and achieve their goal of lifting everyone’s spirits.
Gyu Dal frets that he’s never been cash poor. Baek Myo tells him to sell his clothes and accessories for cash. Like the fashionista he is, he declares he cannot part with his limited edition furs. But he relents. Shin Yool puts her earrings in the sell pile. Gil Book recognizes Gyu Dal from the gambling house on the day of the princes fighting competition. They talk about hard times they’ve survived. Just as Wang So predicted, Shin Yool sees that adversity can be overcome.
Wang So tells her that Yeo Won has agreed to bury their marriage and her poisoning of the King. Shin Yool is surprised that Yeo Won does not have the antidote and surmises someone else has it. Wang So realizes Wang Wook had the easiest access to the antidote. He tells Shin Yool not to worry, trust in him. He will save her and the royal family too. She agrees to wait.
Wang So’s support of her family was perfect and completely opposite of Wang Wook’s misguided approach to only protect Shin Yool. Also it is refreshing to have characters with brains. All of them are smart and figure things out. It isn’t blind luck.
Wang So tries kindness with Wang Wook…
Wang So has Wang Wook meet him at his father’s shrine. Wang So drops the bomb that their father was poisoned and he did not die of natural causes. Wang Wook is surprised. Wang So names Sik Ryeom as their father’s poisoner. Wang Wook states that enemies of the past become allies of the present. Wang So points out that their father created the combustible atmosphere but Sik Ryeom lit it up. Wang So states Sik Ryeom is using them as pawns pitting them against each other for his benefit.
Wang So: You and I can end this war. I think you have the antidote. Give it to me.
Wang Wook: I do not have it.
Wang So: You want to side with a traitor? Sik Ryeom’s crimes will be exposed. There is evidence of his crimes.
Wang Wook: What evidence?
Wang So: It’s the bronze mirror. Give me the antidote. Let’s take down Sik Ryeom together.
Wang Wook: What’s the difference between me working with Sik Ryeom and you against just to protect the King?
Wang So: I don’t just want to protect the King. I want to protect you too! (Bam! Love it!)
Wang Wook: Even if I have the antidote I must see the evidence. Bring it to me.
Wang So tells Eun Chun (Kim Roe Ha) while Sik Ryeom is out, they will search for the bronze mirror pieces. Wang So recalls movement behind the office area. He believes there is a secret area that holds the bronze mirror pieces.
The guard brings Sik Ryeom the records of Shin Yool’s slave purchases but notes only 3 remain. That means 200 slaves are missing. Sik Ryeom is interested and orders an investigation to find the location of the missing slaves.
Time for operation search and seizure…
Wang So imperiously tells the servant he will wait for Sik Ryeom in his quarters until he returns from his errand. They take him to the office. They wait with Wang So. Sik Ryeom is informed that Wang So waits for him. Eun Chun creates the distraction. Wang So finds the door to the secret room. But wait…he hears Sik Ryeom return thwarting his access.
Sik Ryeom finds him patiently waiting in his office. Wang So tells Sik Ryeom that the trading company assets have been plundered by a rival trading company. Wang So notes Sik Ryeom owns the rival trading company. Sik Ryeom feigns ignorance. Wang So asks how Sik Ryeom could ruin a trading company and not their common enemy. Sik Ryeom advises him to watch his words. Wang So remembers his father and Sik Ryeom united against their enemies and both of them heros to him when he was young.
Wang So: But that hero is gone. All that is left is a wolf’s head, full of greed and disgust. (Bam!)
Sik Ryeom: Your highness!
Wang So: You should have laid your sword down. You might still be a hero instead of a wolf with shiny greedy eyes. Look in the mirror. See who is there. A hero or a greedy wolf?
Wow! Superb scene by Jang Hyuk. Wang So sliced Sik Ryeom with his former self, something I didn’t think Sik Ryeom held dear. I love the Achilles heel sparring all the characters employ.
Shin Yool and the trading company elected to restart the business on their high credit, purchasing what they need for the first trade on credit. Unfortunately they been ostracized by Sik Ryeom and no one will do business with them. But don’t count out the decency of people just yet. There is a small group of former slaves that bring goods for trading. They tell Shin Yool, she set them free to make a new life and they wanted to repay her. They even offer themselves to be traded again. Wow! Shin Yool hugs them and tells them to stop talking nonsense. They will not be traded as slaves ever again. She thanks them and says she will cherish their gifts. With passion she declares the trading company may be down but they are not out.
Loving that Shin Yool is getting her trading mojo back! Of course, freeing slaves will bite her.
As the slaves leave one of Sik Ryeom’s guards overhears them talking and recognizes a name from the trade book. Se Won watches the trading company.
Wang Wook asks Se Won why he didn’t kill Shin Yool. Se Won lies and says Sik Ryeom ordered it so. Wang Wook does not believe him. He says Shin Yool being Se Won’s sister is what altered his path. Se Won will not admit to that. Changing the topic, Se Won tells Wang Wook there are 3 potential locations for the black assassins headquarters. He will have them watched to determine which of the 3 it is.
Eun Chun spots the guard and grabs Wang So on his way to their headquarters. He says their headquarters have been located. They agree retrieving the bronze pieces from Sik Ryeom’s secret room will be difficult. But maybe they can use the fact that their hideout has been ascertained to their benefit. They agree to gather the black assassins to lure the red assassins. Then they will break into Sik Ryeom’s secret room and retrieve the bronze mirror pieces. Wang So is firm that Sik Ryeom cannot be killed…yet…to avoid unifying the nobles to install a new leader. Once the bronze mirror pieces are found, they can kill Sik Ryeom and the red assassins in one fell swoop. Time is of the essence.
Knowing the guard is listening Eun Chun tells one of his men they will gather their that evening. The guard reports the news. Sik Ryeom declares this is their opportunity to wipe out the black assassins. He tells Wang Wook to kill them however he likes. Wang Wook says he will stay in the evil lair.
Wang So and his black assassins prepare to move on Sik Ryeom’s house.
Wang So enters solo. He finds the evil lair and begins to search. He finds them. Jackpot! He gets pockets the bronze mirror pieces and starts to leave. A red assassin appears. I believe that is Wang Wook behind the veil. Wang So recognizes Wang Wook behind the veil. He pulls off his veil and utters “Wook”.
* In another excellent episode, Wang So changed his methodology from threats to inclusion and focusing on a common goal to work towards. With Yeo Won that was changing the culture of the palace. With Wang Wook it was punishing their father’s poisoner that seemed to resonate.
* I may only say this once…Gil Bok was NOT annoying at the cookout Wang So gave the trading company to lift their spirits.
* Sik Ryeom practically preened with glee over acquiring the trading company. He relished his power over Wang Wook. He pushed Se Won around a bit too. Anyone out there not anticipating Sik Ryeom’s fall from grace?
* Wang Wook’s strategy is to join Sik Ryeom and strike him down unexpectedly later. Wang So’s offer of join me to destroy our father’s murderer seemed to resonate with Wang Wook. If so, will Wang Wook NOT try and kill Wang So in the evil lair? If Wang So shows Wang Wook the bronze pieces will that spare his life? Shout out to those thinking a Wang So and Wang Wook pairing could take down Sik Ryeom. Will Wang Wook join Wang So?
* Yeo Won and Wang So seemed to connect with a shared vision of a better life for the royals. Will she give Wang So the bronze pieces? I found her conversation with Wang Wook telling. They are not mortal enemies but they do have separate goals creating an fissure between them.
* Jang Hyuk as Wang So was the standout performer of this episode. Almost every scene was fabulous. His confrontation with Wang Wook at their father’s shrine, his interactions with Yeo Won were excelletn (now who is the spider and who is the fly?), and his tender care of Shin Yool and her trading company family – marvelous, simply marvelous.
* Yeon Seo’s portrayal of Shin Yool showed that her Achilles heel was the company and it’s people. I found Wang So’s interactions with Shin Yool sensitive and touching. I loved that Shin Yool understood that Wang Wook was acting to protect her. The freed slaves, that will come back to haunt her.