Shine or Go Crazy Episode 22 Recap. This episode provided a re-balance. Wang So and Shin Yool get their power back. Sik Ryeom feels the sting of the not everything going his way. Wang Wook undergoes an personality reboot. The King agrees that Wang So may the best man to be King.
Though everyone should be sleeping after a long ride to the west, Sik Ryeom’s men attack Wang So (Jang Hyuk). He has a sword but is quickly surrounded. Poong adds his sword too. He tells Wang So, he will soon be dead. Wang So deftly fights and eliminates the men one by one. He even retrieves a knife he had as a hair accessory. Wang So is a one man terminator when cornered again outside. But this time the black assassins engage and the fight is short and ends with Wang So and the black assassins. Poong yells after the men to catch Wang So.
Wang So, Eun Chun (Kim Roe Ha) and the black assassins regroup. Wang So correctly assumes the plan to kill him was in place before arrival. Wang So guesses there is something here they should not observe. He directs them to head to Sik Ryeom’s house and see if they can determine his plan.
Cue opening credits…
Se Won (Na Jong Chan) visits Yeo Won (Lee Ha Nui). He asks for tea noting in all their years they have not shared a cup of tea. Se Won drinks his tea first.
YW: Aren’t you on my side anymore?
SW: Aren’t you on Wang So’s side?
YW: Wang So is who the Hwang family needs.
Yeo Won drinks her tea.
SW: The day I met you I became one of your people. I have lived as one of your people. I will die as one of your people.
Seo Won removes the flying fish ornament from his sword and pushes it across the table to Yeo Won. He stands. Yeo Won buys a clue that this was important and asks “What do you mean?” He bows and starts to leave. Yeo Won calls his name with a sense of urgency. He stops, turns and says “I will always be my your side.” He smiles and leaves.
The emotional impact of this scene surprised me. Was this goodbye from Se Won? Does Yeo Won recognize the significance of Se Won returning her gift to him? OST 5, “If you come to me” swelled in the background during this scene. This is my favorite song off the slowest released OST ever.
While Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo) 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. They fight in the room and then take off.
The trading company family, Baek Myo (Kim Sun Young), Gang Myeong (Ahn Kil Kang), Gyu Dal (Heo Jeong Min), and Gyeong (Jung Woo Sik), rushes into Shin Yool’s room. Gyu Dal asks if an assassination. Shin Yool confirms and asks Gang Myeong and Gyeong to find Wang Wook who took off after the assassin.
Wang Wook (Lim Ju Hwan)and Se Won chase, fight, chase, then it all ends. This is real, they are not pretending to fight. Wang Wook drops his sword and Se Won goes to make a move. Wang Wook grabs his sword and thrusts up and through Se Won.
Se Won removed his mask and Wang Wook see with horror who he has impaled. Se Won falls to his knees.
SW: Sik Ryeom ordered the death of Shin Yool.
WW: Was this really the only way? You could have lived a new life with your sister.
SW: By my sword, many people have shed their blood. A brother like me would only be a burden to her.
WW: You need to tell her.
SW: No. Please keep this a secret until the end.
Se Won utters his final words…
SW: Princess, my Princess Yeo Won. When I first saw you it felt like seeing snow in the spring. The stars in the night sky look like snow. I want to show this to the Princess.
It’s like I could hear Wang Wook saying “you big dumb lug” to Se Won. My gut reaction is this character was wasted at the end and tossed aside. My nitpick is Wang Wook not recognizing that he was fighting Se Won who taught him how to fight. Sad that the warrior protector to Wang Wook and more importantly Yeo Won died on a mission to kill his own sister. Shin Yool will never know about her brother. Yeo Won felt adrift when Se Won left her room. Now that he is no longer there, will anything change? Could have have helped Shin Yool?
The trading company family is worried about Wang Wook. When he returns he side steps answer what happened to the assassin. When Shin Yool asks who sent the assassin, Wang Wook is direct saying it was Sik Ryeom for reasons unknown. He tells the family that another assassin will be sent if it is known this attempt failed. Wang Wook tells Shin Yool, “today you died”.
Shin Yool says thanks but no thanks to Wang Wook’s plan. She can’t waste her precious time left faking her death. Wang Wook gets her attention when he tells her she must stay dead until Wang So returns so he can have the royal marriage annulled. What? Is he suggesting what I think he’s suggesting? “I’m going to kill you to save you.” He tells her tricking Sik Ryeom will be difficult and they must work together. Shin Yool stares into his eyes. He seems earnest.
Wang Wook and Yeo Won honor Se Won. Yeo Won sends Wang Wook away. She can’t hold it together. This man adorded her, protected her, and was her touchstone. She stares at the stars and comments that it looks like it is snowing. She imagines she sees Se Won. She reaches out to touch him. Then the grief overwhelms her. She hits her heart with her fist. Pure love…only for her…is gone.
Awk! That scene got me. When a controlled character like Yeo Won shatters, it has impact. Ha Nui nailed that scene. Yeo Won’s reaction to Se Won’s death had a greater impact than Se Won’s death itself. My fantasy had been Se Won would support Yeo Won when Wang So and Shin Yool rode of into the sunset together. That’s not going to happen. Good grief, I’m going to be shredded if Shin Yool dies. Appropriately “Missing You” OST 3 plays in the background.
Evil lair, round 1…
Sik Ryeom’s man tells him that Shin Yool’s death is confirmed. He finds it odd the family is not accepting condolences. Sik Ryeom (Lee Deok Hwa) also learns that Wang So was not killed. Fools! He declares that Wang So must be killed before he returns to the captial.
Yes, I’m feeling a bit childish. Ha, ha Sik Ryeom. You deserve a blip in your master plan.
Wang So’s wields that ginormous sword effortlessly. Jang Hyuk could probably give lessons in swordsmanship.
Eun Chun tells Wang So Sik Ryeom’s house has many new soldiers. They only know each other by the pass card. Wang So shows the pass card he stole. He tells the black assassins to each get one. Cheong Ok tells Wang So she’ll check out the layout of the house using her brothel connections. Wang So suggests that is too dangerous but she insists. Wang So agrees and will provide cover. Eun Chun notes it will be difficult the return home. Wang So tells them they are surrounded but they will not run. Their new tactic is don’t hide and confront.
I’m enjoying seeing the authoritative Wang So!
Sik Ryeom’s man asks Gang Myeong if Shin Yool is really dead. Gang Myeong cofirms her sudden death. Condolences are offered. Gang Myeong declines the items. Sik Ryeom’s man gets prissy and Gang Myeong admits them.
Wang Wook and the trading company are dress in white robes with black trim. Wang Wook tells Sik Ryeom’s man that Shin Yool was killed by an assassin and there has been too little time to prepare a coffin. After a stare off, Wang Wook offers to show the man Shin Yool’s body so he can report to Sik Ryeom she is dead.
In Shin Yool’s bedroom she is covered by white sheets. Sik Ryeom’s man insists on seeing her face. Wang Wook notes the suspicious nature of Sik Ryeom. He asks if Sik Ryeom sent the assassin that killed Shin Yool. Why is he so interested in her death? Another one of Sik Ryeom’s men flips the sheet back and check Shin Yool for a pulse. He is satisfied she is dead. They leave. Wang Wook revives Shin Yool with a vapor. The family is grateful that Wang Wook prepared for this scenario. Wang Wook tells them they cannot let their guard down. They agree to prepare to leave inconspicuously.
You have to give it to Wang Wook, he does the imperious attitude well and he was ready for Sik Ryeom’s men.
The King stares at the plaque for a clue to the 1000 year prophecy for the capital. The King peels back the top message and find another underneath that reads “Abidicate the throne to Wang So so the capital can live a 1000 years”. Bam! That a dozy of a message from their father.
Wang Wook arrives to see the King. He asks the King to nullify the royal marriage. He candidly states Shin Yool was almost killed last night. The King asks if the attempt was from Sik Ryeom. Wang Wook confirms this and states the to trick Sik Ryeom they are pretending Shin Yool is dead. The King agrees. If the bride is dead, the royal marriage is annulled. The King asks if Wang So knows. Wang Wook no because Shin Yool wants to keep it a secret to protect Wang So.
The King surprises Wang Wook by asking what kind of man Wang So is. Wang Wook recalls Wang So’s words on the duties of the King. Wang Wook says “I don’t want to admit it, but he’s the one that dares to do what I cannot do.” Holy smokes! Wang Wook endorsed Wang So as the better candidate for King! The King asks if Wang So’s spirited mode of leadership is good. Wang Wook admits he doubted it but realized it was his jealousy talking. Wow! The word jealousy resonates with the King too. Double Wow!
I’m going to fall out of my chair…
The King asks Wang Wook if Wang So is ready to be King. Wang Wook recoils at answering. The King assures him candor is good. “Wang So wants to be King more than anyone, but he does not know if yet.” The King repeats “Wang So wants to be King more than anyone, but he does not know if yet.”
Wang Wook, the scales have fallen from your eyes. King, you are accepting that your time in the throne is likely up. I’m still stunned at that these two jealous (and that is the perfect word) men are calling a spade a spade and admitting Wang So has the moxy, drive, and ability to be a better King than either or them. Man, I did not see this coming!
Cheong Ok flatters Poong by saying she came from the capital to visit a friend in the local brother and just had to see him. Oh no, the man she and Wang So lifted the identification tag from recognizes her. Poong invites her in for tea. The man whispers in Poong’s ear. Cheong Ok does not see this. Not good for our girl assassin!
Poong and Cheong Ok chat. A woman, no doubt from the local brothel, enters. She does not recognize Cheong Ok. Poong draws his sword. Cheong Ok draw a dagger. Advantage, Poong. Wang So observes from the window. The tagless man demands to know where his identification tag is. He realizes Wang So took it. Poong reazlies Cheong Ok is a black assassin. She is arrested and will be bait to trap Wang So. Thank goodness, Wang So is aware and this is not a blind trap.
Poong receives a letter from Sik Ryeom. He puts the letter in a box and leaves the room. Wang So breaks into the room and reads the letter. It orders Poong to get rid of Wang So as soon as possible, prepare the soldiers, a riot will occur in the capital soon. And in that moment, the balance between good and evil starts to even out again.
As promised, Wang So is not hiding and confronting. He puts a sword to Poong’s neck as the men escort Cheong Ok. Wang So tells the men if they want Poong to live, they must untie her and lay down their swords. After a pause, Poong orders them to comply. Wang So gets Cheong Ok a look. A fight ensues. Cheong Ok has some nice spin moves. They escape.
Wang So order the black assassin to split up and make their way to the capital. He and Eun Chun will return to the capital through the requisitioned men.
Evil lair, now he’s getting mad…
Sik Ryeom is livid that Wang So has escaped his clutches again. His lackey tells him that the roads to the capital are heavily guarded. He informs him that Wang Wook asks the King to nullify the royal marriage. Sik Ryeom asks if there has been any words from Se Won. He wonders if Wang Wook killed Se Won after he killed Shin Yool. He rejects that thought. Wang Wook does not have the swordsmanship to best Se Won.
Wang Wook tells Shin Yool their marriage is annulled. She stares. He asks if he did something wrong. She tells him she is thankful and sorry. Wang Wook states he wants her to see him as a man. He wants her to know that she made his heart flutter, his emotions surge and put a spring in his step. He asks her to remember that she did that for him. He gently kisses her forehead. He tells her he’s glad that he met her. She agrees that she’s glad she met him. They smile at each other. He leaves.
Who is this guy? Did someone slip Wang Wook a grow up now pill? When he’s not being a jerk, Wang Wook does have a certain degree of charm.
Shin Yool is leaving to work on getting better. She gives Gyu Dal a ledger from Yeo Won. She asks her family not to tell Wang So she is alive when he returns to the capital. No, no, no! Do NOT cut out the heart of the man you love that way! Her family looks shocked at this cruel request. Her justification? When Wang So returns from the west, his war with Sik Ryeom will begin in earnest. She cannot be an obstacle in that war. She states until the war is over, she will remain dead.
This kind of logic kills me every time. I don’t want to get involved in the war. So I’ll crush the heart and soul of the man I love who must fight in the war. Do you think that will give Wang So an advantage? The logic that I can withdraw from someone’s life for their own good…bogus…prevalent…annoying.
We’ve come full circle…
Shin Yool in a veil leaves with Wang Wook in the middle of the night. Sik Ryeom’s men watch them go. But wait…Shin Yool dressed as Gaebong exits the trading company with Baek Myo and go in the opposite direction.
At the medical retreat…
Shin Yool tells Baek Myo words she heard (from Se Won): 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. Shin Yool admits when she heard those words, she suddenly wanted to live. “I don’t know how much time I have, but I won’t wait for death to come. I’m alive and I want to enjoy life.” Baek Myo says “Now you seem like yourself.”
So if Se Won’s legacy for Shin Yool is providing her a desire to live, then so be it. I’m loving Shin Yool getting her mojo back.
Wang Wook gives Yeo Won the ledger from Shin Yool. She looks at the ledger and raises her eyes to Wang Wook in surprise. He tells her this ledger records all the transaction of the noblemen for the last 5 years. Yeo Won says this information combined with the brothel information is a powerful weapon. Yeo Won asks about Shin Yool. Wang Wook says the doctors she sent are working with her day and night. Yeo Won tells him to keep his expectations low.
I’m pleased that Shin Yool offered her own weapon in the war of the status quo power of the nobels. I’m pleased that Yeo Won realized she could add more firepower with her information from the brothel. I’m pleased that Yeo Won provided the doctors that are treating Shin Yool. This brother and sister duo certainly experienced the light switch flip of their personalities in this series. One second Yeo Won is ordering Shin Yool’s death and now she’s got doctors treating her for a longer life. One second Wang Wook is blundering with a single goal of Shin Yool body living and jealously rampant with Wang Wo and now he’s released her from the royal marriage and endorsed Wang So to be King.
Wang So and Eun Chun walk with the rest of the consigned men. The man that Wang So allowed to marry recognizes him. Wang So asks what those in shackles did. They tried to escape is the answer. During a break Wang So asks a man in shackles why he tried to escape. I was tried and hungry is the answer. The man says Sik Ryeom has their food at his house. The other man asks what is the King doing to help his people?
Poong strides down the street and the men make room for his procession. Oh no, the man approaches Poong and tells him their food, clothing, and tools have been confiscated by Sik Ryeom. Poong gives his men a look and walks on. The men start hitting the man.
Wang So cannot watch it happen. He yells at the men to stop. Poong turns. The guards go after Wang So. He dispenses with them easily. He strides to the hurt man. Poong orders his men to capture him offering a reward.
Furious, Wang So yells to everyone that he is the son of the First King who founded this nation. He declares he will protect the people now. Eun Chun comes forward and bows offering the sword. The consigned men recognize Wang So as the Prince that won the fighting contest. Wang So lifts the sword and yells with his heart.
We’ve just witnessed a King be born.
Wang So sees he can no longer stand by the throne but must be in the throne.
* Superb episode. The stranglehold of depression is broken. Our leads get their mojo back. Lots of positive points in this episode. It was a pleasure to watch.
* Shin Yool decides living is the right option. I’m happy she has decided to fight to live. Whether or not the treatment will mitigate her coldness episode is unsure. I’m not happy with her choice to keep Wang So in the dark that she is alive.
* Wang Wook…what is there to say? This guy flip flopped in one episode from jealous selfish jerk to a man that cared about Shin Yool, his sister Yeo Won, and the best ruler for that nation. The change is unbelievable. It is welcome. But the change was abrupt.
* Se Won, Se Won, you die and leave behind a sister that never knew you, a woman that loved and relied on you more than she knew, and her brother that killed you. Se Won had a softness to him that could have turned him to the good side just like Wang Wook experienced. I liked Se Won but felt the character was short changed and could have played a more prominent role than quiet muscle for others.
* The balance between good and evil is starting to even out and Sik Ryeom is not happy. Ha! It’s about time.
* Yeo Won’s mourning of Se Won was touching. Yeo Won finding doctors for Shin Yool was a nice surprise. Yeo Won realizing that Shin Yool’s ledgers combined with her own as a weapon against the nobles was a welcomed addition to the re balancing between good and evil.
* Jang Hyuk as Wang So was like the phoenix rising from the ashes. He got his power back. I can’t get his ending scenes out of my head as he rises and declares himself protector of the people. Jang Hyuk embodied the righteous indignation and declaration that the time for change. You already know this, but Jang Hyuk is a superb actor.
* Yeon Seo’s portrayal of Shin Yool made me glad she decided to engage in life and fight for it. Her interaction with Wang Wook when he set her free – lovely. She supported him and validated his choices. He did not walk away from that relationship broken and vengeful. Bully for her to have the ledgers of the noblemen.
* Only 2 episodes to go. You can see the possibility that Shin Yool and Wang So might live and have a chance. You see the possibility that Sik Ryeom will lose. You can see the possibility of this series having a satisfying ending not a gut wrenching one.