Shine or Go Crazy Episode 21 Recap. Wang So is subjugated and Shin Yool walks around like a zombie. Sik Ryeom cannot seem to lose. They say pride goes before a fall. At least that is what I am hoping for.
Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo) is being fitted for her wedding gown. She is not happy. Instead she remembers her marriage to Wang So, then she smiles.
Wang Wook (Lim Ju Hwan) plans to live at the trading company during the time before the wedding. Yeo Won (Lee Ha Nui) asks if he wants to protect Shin Yool. Yes he does. He begs Yeo Won to find a cure for Shin Yool’s coldness.
Sik Ryeom (Lee Deok Hwa) complains to his son Poong that Wang Wook blew everything with his last minute request. Poong reminds his father trusting Wang Wook was stupid. Sik Ryeom says Wang So, Wang Wook, and the King conspired against him…even Yeo Won he realizes. I don’t need a puppet King. I will do what the first King did. I will rule after we construct the capital in the west. Poong laughs and tells him it’s about time his father realized this. Sik Ryeom changes his strategy instead of requisition under state of war, he will requisition under state of emergency. Hmm, what will this buy Sik Ryeom?
Sik Ryeom declares the requisition of all men 16 to 60. You can tell Sik Ryeom has got his mojo back.
Cue opening credits…
Our trading company family, Shin Yool, Baek Myo (Kim Sun Young), Gang Myeong (Ahn Kil Kang), and Gyu Dal (Heo Jeong Min) are not excited about Wang Wook living there. Shin Yool asks they welcome Wang Wook. Gyeong (Jung Woo Sik) bursts in and them to come outside. Christmas has come early! The ginseng is being delivered!
Wang Wook brings the ginseng. He flatters Gyu Dal by telling him as they will be family soon, he cannot treat him lower than himself. You know Gyu Dal, flattery will get you everywhere with him!
Shin Yool tells Wang Wook his quarters are ready. He is worried she is still not feeling well. She assures him she is getting better. He tells her they must rebuild the trading company. But before they do that…let’s eat! Wang Wook tells Shin Yool she must eat and regain her strength. He does not want her fainting at the wedding. Baek Myo and Wang Wook smile at each other when Shin Yool begins to eat. Gyu Dal admits Wang Wook care for and takes care of Shin Yool. Gang Myeong agrees BUT Wang So does a better job. Gyu Dal can only agree and wonders how Wang So is doing.
Yes, I have to credit Wang Wook for caring for the physical well being of Shin Yool now that he is engaged to her. Yes, he realizes rebuilding trading company is important to Shin Yool. But her heart, her happiness, they are tied to Wang So.
In the evil lair, the latest trio gathers…
Sik Ryeom tells Poong and Se Won (Na Jong Chan) that Wang So must be given the unenviable job of catching the requisition deserters. He admonishes Poong to be strict and harsh with Wang So. Poong salivates at the chance. Sik Ryeom assigns Se Won the task of watching Wang Wook. He will be busy with the wedding, but if he meets Wang So, Se Won must find out the details.
8 minutes in and we finally catch our first glimpse of Wang So (Jang Hyuk)…
Poong tells the men they must find every deserters of the requisition. 20 deserters a day is the quota. Wang So is meditating during the speech. Poong asks Wang So if he understands. Wang So opens his eyes as his only response.
As a man is taken away from his woman, Wang So watches the woman weep. Wang So orders the guards taking the man away to stop. The man pleads to marry first, then he will join. Wang So agrees. Get married, enjoy your first night then come back tomorrow. The guards protest. Wang So pulls his sword and says with fervor that the man has a wedding to attend.
Wow, that gets me. Wang So’s passion for another man to marry the woman he loves. Something Wang So wants desperately but cannot have.
Shin Yool and Gyu Dal have trade talks and Gyu Dal falls asleep. Afterword, she admonishes Gyu Dal to be prepared for the next trade talks. He asks why, you handle everything. I’m the figurehead! She tells him she won’t always be around. Gyu Dal notes if she’s not around the trading company won’t do as well without her. As Gyu Dal walks away to take a nap, she vows he will become the real head of the trading company.
Do you see the similar expressions on Wang So and Shin Yool’s faces in the two images just above? They are existing. Are they living?
She feels faints. She starts to wither but Wang Wook catches her. Instinctively she pulls away from him. Se Won observes. Wang Wook urges her not to over do. She tells him she’s behind and must catch up. She walk away. Wang Wook stares.
I want to ask Wang Wook…did you get what you wanted? He may have her physical being but her spirit…not his.
Wang Wook walks to where Se Won is hiding and asks if Sik Ryeom sent him. Se Won comes out and confirms Sik Ryeom sent him. Wang Wook asks Se Won how he thinks his sister (Shin Yool) is looking. Wang Wook is concerned that she is sick, in her body and her spirit.
While I like that Wang Wook directly talks to Se Won about Shin Yool and calls her his sister…the gall of being concerned about Shin Yool when he is complicit in the situation that is draining her…Oblivious to the Obvious.
The dowager Queen asks Ji Mong, the king’s adviser, if they can stand idly by when Shin Yool, born under Polaris, may be the destined woman for Wang So. Ji Mong intones that one will either die or leave. He stuns the her saying they need to work with the Hwang family.
Don’t worry the Hwang family elder is getting the same shock when Yeo Won tells him they must work with the Choong family. Yeo Won calmly points out family survival comes first. She knows the bronze mirror pieces are real evidence to Sik Ryeom’s assassination plot against the first King. She knows the next move is Sik Ryeom’s, though she does not have what he has planned. To stop him the families must work together. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…Wang So is King, Yeo Won is Queen, and the Choong family’s power is indisputable. She firmly states that’s why she married Wang So. Let’s stick with the original plan!
In the evil lair, the next trio gathers…
Sik Ryeom, Mok Won, Choong Hyun discuss the solidarity forming between the Hwang and Choong families. Sik Ryeom counsels patience. Soon the nation will be run by nobels. You see Mok Won and Choon Hyun look at each other and wonder “what exactly is he planning?”
Not scoring participation points with others…
Wang So eats alone. Eun Chun sits right behind him to chat. They discuss Sik Ryeom, Mok Won, Choong Hyun continuing to conspire. Wang So wonder who will be the next puppet king? He notices Baek Myo and Gyeong hurry by. Then he sees they are followed. Just as Eun Chun is about to eat his first bite of the soup, Wang So orders him to find out why one of Sik Ryeom’s men is following Baek Myo and Gyeong.
They visit the slave village. Baek Myo says the Princess (Shin Yool) wants to return the silver they provided for the trading company reboot. Sik Ryeom’s man, the crabby one from the take over investigation, perks up at the term princess. Eun Chun observes him talking to another. There is it…the slave ledger. Princess, slave ledge…this cannot be good!
In the evil lair, the next trio gathers…
Sik Ryeom is stunned. Shin Yool is the Princess of Balhae? Rats! Like this guy needs more ammunition against the good guys! Sik Ryeom mulls this over. He tells Poong the slave village will be the base for their next conspiracy. It represents “a village that a princess of a ruined nation built in dreams of rising to power again”. He laughs, delighted with the weapon dropped in his lap. Confirmed…this is not good!
Eun Chun does his own scoping in the village asking about the princess. He learns Shin Yool is the Princess of Balhae, and destined to be a light. Glad the good guys got the new intelligence quickly.
Eun Chun meets Wang So. He asks if Wang So ever saw a ledger with the Chinese character for “human” written on it. Wang So assumes the ledger must be associated with the village. Now for the big news…Shin Yool is the Princess of Balhae and according to legend destined to become the light of another nation. Baek Myo and Gang Myeong are the court lady and warrior that saved Shin Yool from the cold lake after her mother and brother were killed. Wang So utters “Gaebong, you’ve suffered just like I have, no, you’ve suffered more.”
That a measure of the man moment. Wang So’s concern was for her. Not what the news means to the chess board they are all playing on.
The trading family, including Wang Wook, gathers. Shin Yool asks Baek Myo if the trip to the village went well. Yes, as she requested the villagers can now trade directly without the trading company involved. She hands Baek Myo, Gyu Dal, and Gang Myeong each a ledger about running a different aspect of the trading company. She says it is to prepare them for when she is not there. She declares that before she marries she’s turning over operation of the trading company to them. Gyu Dal is petulant. No, no, no….she’s living there after she’s married and will continue running the company.
Wang Wook asks if she’s turning over the company because she’s planning on dying soon. He assures her that he’s doing everything he can to find a way to save her. Shin Yool’s response…don’t bother…shocks him. In that, Wang Wook is not alone. I don’t like the resigned aura Shin Yool has about her either.
Bad news bro…
Yeo Won tells Wang Wook, she has dug deep, asked all her contacts but there is no total cure for the coldness Shin Yool suffers from. Wang Wook is forlorn and shares Shin Yool’s desire to die. Yeo Won notes Shin Yool’s frame of mind is just like his first love’s, Dan Young, frame of mind before her suicide. Dan Young choose her own death so others would not be hurt. Shin Yool is choosing death so Wang Wook and Wang So will not get hurt. Yeo Won’s frank words upset Wang Wook.
I like that Yeo Won clearly understands what Shin Yool is doing and why. Stopping her does not help her agenda, yet she has made the attempt for her brother. Wang Wook…this guy is so blind to Shin Yool’s heart. He simply does not “get her”. He was stunned at the analogy between Dan Young and Shin Yool.
Wang So stands out the trading company the longing for Shin Yool clear on his face. Wang So says “you survived the icy lake and came to me as if it was destiny, but I lost you. I’m an idiot.”
Wang So tells Gyu Dal he needs to see Shin Yool. Gyu Dal tells Shin Yool Wang So needs to see her.
Shin Yool sees Wang So sitting at the table. She tells herself she can do this. She bows to Wang So and welcomes him.
WS: Shouldn’t people make eye contact?
Their gazes lock onto each other.
WS: It’s been awhile Shin Yool.
SY: It’s late. If you have business with me, come back tomorrow.
WS: I’d like to but I’m busy in the afternoon these days. I have something to confirm with you. Please sit.
Shin Yool acquiesces and sits down at the table.
WS: Do you know about a book with the Chinese character for human?
SY: That’s a trading company ledger.
WS: Does the ledger record your slave purchases?
SY: Yes. I was looking for the ledger. If you took it, please return it.
WS: I did not take it. One of the investigators took it. I’m going to find out why.
SY: If your interest is because of me, then don’t involve yourself in this matter.
WS: Do you think I’m doing this for you?
SY: If not, then I’m glad.
WS: I’m glad…I’m glad.
SY: Wang Wook will return soon. He’ll feel uncomfortable running into you. Please leave.
Shin Yool rises from the table and turns to leave.
WS: You look weak. Are you feeling better?
Shin Yool braces herself and turns to Wang So.
SY: What happened cannot and should not be changed. Now you and I are on different paths. Don’t come here again.
Wang So nods his concurrence. Shin Yool leaves.
Ouch, it hurts to watch Shin Yool pull away by choice. Yeon Seo hit the mark on that scene. She forced herself to be controlled and cold.
In her room, Shin Yool cries. She wipes away the tears and begins to work. Wang Wook finds her and asks what she’s doing. Shin Yool says she is reorganizing the management so he can understand it even if she’s not around. Wang Wook hears Yeo Won’s voice “She wants to die.” Wang Wook tells her to stop, then throws the ledger across the room. She stands startled. He pulls her to him.
WW: How can I protect you? How can I save you?
SY: You’ve already protected and saved me in many ways.
WW: Is there nothing I can do?
Shin Yool says nothing.
Wang So slowly walks away from the trading company. Se Won watches him go.
Thank goodness…a change of scenary…we haven’t seen Cheong Ok since episode 16…
Cheong Ok pumps Poong for information. He says he will visit the slave village soon. He’ll build a new home in the west soon. His father’s army is so powerful, his father will be the power soon.
Cheong Ok tells Wang So Poong is planning to visit the slave village. She continues that he boosted of his immanent power and how powerful his father’s army. Wang So decides he must visit the west and see the power of Sik Ryeom’s army.
Sik Ryeom’s man states creating unrest in the slave village will be difficult while she is still alive as the population is loyal to her. Sik Ryeom asks if Shin Yool dies tragically how will the villagers respond? That question is theoretical. Sik Ryeom declares chaos would reign.
It’s tipped too much to Sik Ryeom’s advantage. I need the balance restored between good and evil. Ok, just tip the other direction is actually what I want.
Wang Wook tells Se Won to follow him. He takes him to Shin Yool.
Is Wang Wook going to introduce the siblings?
Shin Yool is napping and Wang Wook gently wakes her. She recognizes Se Won. Wang Wook states they have much in common and should chat over tea.
Shin Yool notes that Se Won is quiet. Just like Gyeong. She and Wang Wook chuckle that Gyeong only talks in emergencies.
WW: He also lost his mother and sister when he was young.
SW: Your highness!
WW: He’s luckier than you. He has memories of times with his mother.
SY: That’s right I don’t.
WW: Tell us about your mother.
SY: Yes, tell us about her.
Se Won looks like a dear caught in the headlights.
SW: She was beautiful on the inside and outside. There were flowers. She’d watch me eat. She’d pray for me. I remember her stroking me with those cold hands. They were cold but warm. When I see you, I remember what she said to me.
SY: What was it?
SW: Everything has it’s time. In Birth there is time for death. In encounters there is time for farewells. In laughter there is time for sadness. Enjoy life while you can. That is the only reason to survive.
SY: Your mother was a wonderful person. Do you miss her? How did you handle it?
SW: I ran to the river. People told me I looked like my mother. So when I looked in the water I thought I could see my mother in the reflection. But now I see you look like my mother.
Sweet conversation, but rats, we only took the first step in reuniting the siblings.
Evil lair, father and son bonding…
Sik Ryeom notes it will be hard for Wang So to watch the wedding. Wang So is trouble. Sik Ryeom states when the slave village riots the soldiers from the west will enter the capital to suppress it and while they are it, will destroy the Hwang family and all that support the current King. Poong asks, “Then take out the King?” Sik Ryeom confirms. Sik Ryeom worries Wang So will slow down building his army. Poong assures his father, he will eliminate Wang So once he reaches the west.
Two thoughts on this: 1. Like father like son. 2. Bold plan Sik Ryeom!
Wang So reflects on Shin Yool telling him they are on different paths. As requested, Wang Wook shows. Wang So tells Wang Wook he’s leaving for the west. Wang Wook knows this. Wang So tells Wang Wook Sik Ryeom is plotting to use the slave village somehow. He asks Wang Wook to looks after Shin Yool. Wang Wook tells him he will look after Shin Yool in his way.
I was a bit surprised Wang Wook didn’t tells Wang So that Shin Yool was his woman and to not involve himself.
The evil lair sure is popular…
Sik Ryeom tells Se Won the time as come. Tomorrow night, he is to kill Shin Yool. That raises Se Won’s eyebrow. Sik Ryeom continues, the army will come. This time I will not raise a hand against the Hwang family. What he does not say it that the hand that will be raised against the Hwang family is Se Won’s hand or shall we say sword. He warns Se Won this is his last chance. Se Won looks at him like he is nuts.
Gyu Dal races to find Shin Yool. He finds her modeling her wedding attire for Wang Wook. He gently tells Shin Yool Wang So is passing the trading company on his way to the west. He sweetly tells her she looks beautiful. Wang Wook asks if she wants to see Wang So. Shin Yool ignores that and says if he likes this dress, she’ll approve it.
The King ask Ji Mong if Wang So has left for the west. He confirms. The King notes the black assassins must go the west and protect him. The King asks Ji Mong when their father gave Wang So control of the black assassins. Ji Mong tells him when the King wrote on the plaque. The King recalls that happened when Wang So returned from the mountain. He asks Ji Mong if the kingdom will last 1000 years. Ji Mong tells him the answer is on the plaque.
Wang So, Poong and the men make camp for the night. The black assassins are there ready to protect Wang So.
While Shin Yool sleeps, Se Won enters sword in hand. He’s not there for more tea. Can he kill his own sister? The answer is yes. Se Won raises the sword. Just as he brings it down on Shin Yool, Wang Wook’s sword stops Se Won’s sword. Shin Yool wakes. She stares as the two men face off next to her bed.
* With our leading characters depressed, it threw a pall over the whole episode. Tangential point, but if you’ve ever seen 49 Days (which is excellent) the leading lady was depressed and the show seemed to sag at times. Back to Shine or Go Crazy, the pace of the episode seemed slow. Was the only happy character Sik Ryeom? Many characters seems trapped in their private pain.
* Shin Yool is actively preparing for her death. I was upset last episode at how casually her death was being discussed as a forgone conclusion. This episode I felt her death was a club we were beaten with. I understand that in this genre “only the good die young.” But gosh, this was difficult to watch.
* Wang Wook…what is there to say? He was shocked when Yeo Won told him Shin Yool was picking death just like his first love. He tried to lift Shin Yool’s spirits with introducing her to Se Won. Wang So asked Wang Wook to care for Shin Yool. That is the only thing Wang Wook is dedicated to do. Keep her alive. The quality of her life, her happiness, is secondary.
* Se Won, Se Won, you disappoint me bro. You are willing to kill your only sister because power hungry Sik Ryeom tells you not to miss the mark this time? I shake my head.
* It’s getting too easy for Sik Ryeom I’ve said it before, there must be a balance between good and evil. When the scales tip to everything evil, the story loses, the characters lose, the audience loses. The scales tipped in episode 19 when the plan to expose Sik Ryeom at the assembly imploded and the opportunity slipped through Wang So’s fingers. After that the good guys have played catch up or have been reactionary not proactive.
* Where was the big reaction that Shin Yool is a princess? Why wasn’t Ji Mong jumping up and down with this news? Why didn’t someone tell her? This is a big reveal but it had the fanfare of changing a light bulb.
* Why wasn’t the slave village warned that they could be pawns? Why wasn’t the trading company notified? The villagers are loyal to Shin Yool. They would go to the mat for her if they knew they would be manipulated. Part of me is surprised Sik Ryeom is electing to portray Shin Yool as a princess scheming to rise to power again. I thought he’d go after Shin Yool with the charge of illegally setting slaves free. I guess he can eliminate her based on protecting his power base avoiding other parties like the King who might be involved if Shin Yool were arrested and charged with freeing the slaves .
* Jang Hyuk as Wang So was a shadow of his former self. His reaction to Shin Yool being a princess was surprisingly subdued. His visit to her at the trading company was tough to watch. Shin Yool was like a zombie keeping a wall between herself and Wang So. Even so Wang So maintained tenderness in his interaction with her. If Wang So knew Shin Yool was preparing to die…
* Yeon Seo’s portrayal of Shin Yool reminded me of a zombie. Her interaction with Wang So was perfect. You saw her toughen up to face and interact with Wang So. You felt her forcing herself to control her emotions of pain and longing. Embracing her own death is frankly depressing to watch. Yeon Seo is playing the depression so well, I’m getting depressed too.
* We are barreling down to the last 3 episodes. Sik Ryeom is ready for his power move. A direct strike against Wang So, Shin Yool, and the Hwang family. Will good triumph over evil? Is Shin Yool’s death a foregone conclusion?