Shine or Go Crazy Episode 24 (Final) Recap


Shine or Go Crazy Episode 24 (Final) Recap. Good beats evil but the joy ebbs out of the last half of the episode.

At the icy cold creek…Wang So (Jang Hyuk) holds Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo) in his arms. She faints. He begs her to open her eyes. He calls her “Yool” “Yool, I love you.” He kisses her. No response. He wills her back to him “I said I love you Yool”. She stirs and opens her eyes. A big smile is plastered on Wang So’s face. “Do you feel better?”. Shin Yool musters a faint smile.

Loved that he finally called her “Yool”.

Back at the treatment hut…
The doctor declares Shin Yool’s circulation is improving! Baek Myo (Kim Sun Young) and Wang So are thrilled. The doctor states Shin Yool is on the upswing. Wang So drinks the warming medicine too.

sgc_ep24_3b sgc_ep24_3asgc_ep24_3csgc_ep24_3eAs our couple lay next to each other, Wang So opens the conversation with…
WS: I hear you are the princess of Balahae. How come you haven’t told me about your past? About your hardships? Now that I think about it, I don’t know much about you. 
SY: Baek Myo and Gang Myeong are always worried about me. I don’t want you to worry. I just wanted to be woman to you. A woman who spends every day with you. 
WS: So that’s why you always treated me like So So. Even you when found out I was the cursed prince. I was relieved that we only thought and lived in the present moment. I was happy.

Folks, I’m glad this plot point is concluded. Shin Yool lives. Wang So’s heart is happy. Shin Yool’s heart is happy. My heart is happy. Yeon Seo looked luminous staring at him with contentment. Jang Hyuk’s tender moments are simply superb.

I know this does not guarantee they will still be living at the end of the episode but I sure hope so.

Cue Opening Credits…

Our two escaped consigned men return to the capital and head to the slave village to fight with Wang So. Gil Book tells Cheong Ok and Eun Chun (Kim Roe Ha) the rumors the village is populated by ex-Balhae natives and Shin Yool, Wang So will fight there and Wang So is the rebel leader. Eun Chun guesses that  Sik Ryeom is spreading these rumors to stir people up.

Like a one man cavalry, Wang So rides back to the capital to face destiny.

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Sik Ryeom (Lee Deok Hwa) holds court and tells his supporters he has proof (he holds the slave ledger from the trading company) that the late Shin Yool and Wang So were buying slaves and secretly building an army in the slave village. Not to worry, Poong will lead a army to suppress the village which will soon try and take over the capital. Bonus, Sik Ryeom will lead the army against the village insurgents and Wang So. “How can I stand idle and just watch?” Sik Ryeom argues with passion. Then he drops the bomb. After the riot is suppressed, the next stop is the palace where the new King will be installed. And the next King is…Sik Ryeom! Puppet kings are passe. He will crush the village insurgents.  Sik Ryeom’s strategy is go big or go home!

Eun Chun reports to Wang So that Sik Ryeom has stirred up the slave village. Wang So assigns Gil Bok to go the trading company and get them to go to the slave village to spread the news that Shin Yool is alive. Wang So will speak with the King. Eun Chun says Poong is leading the soldiers into the capital and they will arrive tonight. We will fight them Wang So declares.

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Wang So tells the King about Sik Ryeom’s scheme to install himself as the next King. The King marvels that even at the throne with full mental capacity he is clueless. Wang So urges him to act. The King asks Wang So to leave and give him a minute. It’s not everyday you abdicate the throne, you need a moment to gather yourself.

Wang So asks the King’s adviser, Ji Mong, what’s with the King? Ji Mong says the King is preparing himself for a big decision.

The King stares at his father’s words. “Abdicate the throne to Wang So and the capital will flourish for 1000 years.”  He calls for Wang So.

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The time has come…
The King tells Wang So:
King: You once said you were not afraid of the dark. Find a path for this nation and lead us out of the dark.
WS: What do you mean?
King: The nation needs you, not me, to lead them. The throne is calling for you. I obtained the throne by killing my brother. Whenever I sat on the throne, it was burdensome and painful. I won’t give you that burden. Now the nation’s King is you.
WS: Your majesty.
King: What will you do? Will you refuse the throne? Will you give it to someone else?

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WS: (on his knees) I cannot obey the royal command! Until you live out your life, protect this nation!
King: I’m not fit to be King. You are the one fit to be King.
WS: I can’t object your royal command! I will protect the nation by your side!
King: You are the King of the nation. I have no power or ability to keep the throne. I am a puppet King. Protect the nation.
WS: I can’t accept the throne, your majesty!
King: I abdicate the throne to Wang So! This is a royal order. It is the will of the First King who wished for the nation to flourish for 1000 years. You will led the nation from the dark and into the light. 

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Holding out the First King’s sword…
King: I abdicate the throne to Wang So.
The men stare at each other. It is a poignant moment.
WS: Your majesty.
You know he’s accepted his brother’s wish. Wang So is the King.

What a terrific scene. What set it apart was the intimacy and intensity.

The former King tells his mother and uncle he has abdicated the throne. The former King asks that they spread the word among the supporters but keep the news from Sik Ryeom.

I love the Dowager Queen reaches out and touches his hand to show her support to her son. She’s come a long way.

The former King urges the sympathetic nobles to become as one in support of Wang So.

Party at Yeo Won’s house…
With a smile Yeo Won blackmails the remaining 2 conspirators, Mok Won and Choong Hyun, to support Wang So’s rise to the throne and to abandon Sik Ryeom. If they don’t a painful death awaits them. That’s playing hardball!

The two men ponder what to do and who to choose to support.

Eun Chun and Cheong Ok ask the trading family men to go to the slave village and calm things down. Gyu Dal is cute when he gets flirty to Cheong Ok.

The rumor that the slave village was founded by Shin Yool and Wang So, swells the ranks of the village. Wang So and the trading company men are surprised at the outpouring of support.

Show Down at the village…
Sik Ryeom and his men go to the slave village. The red assassins really pop.

Wang So and the black assassins are waiting for them at the village. I could watch Jang Hyuk stare all day long.

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Poong asks Sik Ryeom where are the supporting nobles. Sik Ryeom says they are being cautious and will join them once they defeat the village. Poong asks, what if we lose? Sik Ryeom is livid declaring Poong a pathetic fool.

Wang So asks why do men of the same nation fight against each other. The consigned men agree. Why do they fight each other? Wang So orders everyone to drop their swords and weapons. Sik Ryeom’s men are gobsmacked. Wang So urges them to work together for the nation not tear each other apart. The consigned men ask why must they be slaves to nobles. Wang So promises those that walk away will be able to return to their families. Sik Ryeom’s guards, the ones that let the consigned men go, decide their families are more important than dying for Sik Ryeom and throw their swords down. Many walk away from the fight.

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Sik Ryeom must stem the side and strikes down on of his own men. He orders the red assassins to attack. The red and black assassins fight. Sik Ryeom and Wang So clash swords. Wang So tells Sik Ryeom he won’t kill him but the people behind him will. For the first time, Sik Ryeom is uncertain. Dare I say he has tilted into the nightmare realm? Sik Ryeom whips his sword around and into the ground. He spits out his methods were to save the nation too.

Wang So announces everyone should disperse to their families. The conflict is over. Everyone cheers and Wang So exits the battleground or should I say skirmish area?

I must say if that is all the battle we get, that was anti climatic. But hey we are only half way through the episode. I’m sure the writer has more up their sleeve.

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Wang So tells the King that the rebellion has been squashed. The King wants to celebrate. Wang So says, later, I’ve got to meet someone.

Shin Yool and Wang So meet. She guesses he successfully defended the village. Wang So says he protected their family. Sweet!

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He picks her up. Shin Yool is shocked. Baek Myo titters. She calls him brother. He puts the kabash on that endearment. He carries her to the treatment hut.

Baek Myo surprises Shin Yool (and me) when she reveals she brought her wedding dress.

Aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves? What about Yeo Won? The King nullified the engagement between Wang Wook and Shin Yool, but Wang So is still married.

Wang So teases Baek Myo not to hit him with a kettle this time. At the door to the hut, he turns and thanks Baek Myo for her unwavering support of Shin Yool. After he enters Baek Myo apologizes for not recognizing his love for Shin Yool.

Wang So sees Shin Yool in her wedding dress. We get a trip down memory lane with flashbacks. When he lifts her veil he comments that if he’d seen her face in Gaebong, he would have recognized her years later. He chides her that the first marriage he spoke of was to her. He puts a ring on her finger. They kiss. The self serve marriage is complete!

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He tells her the throne was abdicated. She congratulates him. He asks her to move into the palace. The trading company family can come and go as they please. He dreams of the people trust in him. He dreams of the most important person, her, by his side. She wants him to dream and lead the nation. He asks her to help him.

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Shin Yool watches Wang So sleep. She tells him she loves him….her husband.

Why does that sound like goodbye?

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Our trading company family  is reunited. Baek Myo comments that Shin Yool will soon be moving into the palace. Shin Yool counters that saying she will not move into the palace. She wants to move to west China. From there she will travel and test new trading methods. They all joke that no one can stop her.

What a minute, their reaction was subdued.

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Shin Yool tells Wang So he must concentrate on winning the hearts of the people. He asks what she wants to tell him. She states she is leaving. She won’t live in the palace. He asks why she made that choice. She counters that he won’t give up the throne or the people that need him. He has dreams, she has dreams. Wang So asks shouldn’t two people in love face life together? She says their road splits now but may join again later. Wang So takes a moment. Then he asks when they meet again how should they greet each other. Shin Yool tells him to ask how’s she’s been and be happy to see her.

Am I in the twilight zone? Barely a whimper from the Wang So about Shin Yool leaving.

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Looks like Wang Wook is packing up too…
Yeo Won asks Wang Wook if he’s done packing. Yes he is. He doesn’t know where he is going and that is freeing. He asks Yeo Won if she will consider living for herself instead of her family. Yeo Won says she does not know how and won’t start now. Wang Wook declares now he will learn to live for himself.

Dressed as Gaebong, Shin Yool prepares to leaving admitting she will miss Wang So.  She decides her memories will bring her happiness. She tells Gyeong to buck up, sea sickness improves with each boat ride.

Ok, for a second I though she might be going solo, so I’m glad Gyeong is going with her. I’m still in shock that she’s leaving and no one fussed about this choice.

Wouldn’t you know…
Wang Wook enters the same road and pauses to look at the village. He feels the wind blow through his hands. He will go where the wind takes him. He goes in the opposite direction from Shin Yool.

Wang So is decked out to be enthroned.

Flashback to a disheveled Sik Ryeom “now you will be King. Will you rise above the nation?” Wang So says Sik Ryeom is a relic of the past. He vows to wait for the nobles to bow to the King.

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Flashback to a bummed out Yeo Won. She’s alone without a friend. The camera shows Wang So is with her. She vows she can and will get behind helping the new King make this nation great. It will be a long battle she warns. Wang So vows to fight to make the nation strong.

Back to the present and Wang So’s enthronement…
Wang So looks bored as the nobles bow to him and Yeo Won on the throne. Uncle looks happy.

Time jump 7 years…Slaves are emancipated. Wang So looks bored.

Time jump 9 years…Government systems are reformed.

Time jump 16 years…National relief system is established.

In the evil lair now re purposed as the King’s private lair…
Alone with Shin Yool’s wedding dress, Wang So stares the the butterfly talisman. He leaves the room.

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As we saw in episode 1, the Wang So’s children scamper to the private lair.  It’s a treasure trove of by gone days. An ancient Ji Mong tells the children they should not play in here, it is the King’s private space. The children fret the butterfly necklace was broken into 2 parts. He tells them the necklace was designed to be in 2 pieces.

He tells the children the story of the prince and the two princesses. As in episode 1 the children ask which princess did destiny designate for the prince? Ji Mong answers you are destined to be with the one you are meant to be with even if you try not to be with them. That is the destiny from heaven.

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As the credits roll we see a dream sequence of Wang So finding Shin Yool.
WS: I’m sorry it took me a while to find this place.
SY: It’s ok brother.
WS: Have you been well? It’s good to see you.
SY: Yes, me too.

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They hug.

The shows thanks us for watching.

* One word resonates about this final episode – anticlimactic. The good news – every good character did not die. In fact, no one died. How weird is that in this genre? The bad news – once we hit the midpoint and the slave village confrontation was a thrown down your weapons and walk away moment, everything seemed muted. The private wedding was sweet but subdued. I was surprised when Shin Yool announced she was leaving. No one countered her decision. Wang So quickly acquiesced to her wish to leave. On the one hand I respect him for letting her be her own person as he did throughout the series, so that was in character. However, this is the man that put her before everything many times, so I expected a bit more of the “how will I live without you, you complete me, don’t leave me” sentiment. What hurt me, is Wang So seemed to live like a zombie after Shin Yool left. Yes, he stayed to fulfill is destiny and duty but her departure seemed to sap the joy from him. I wish the show had thrown me a bone, like a scene with Wang So playing and enjoying being with his children even if he never loved their mother. 
* Let’s review the list for this episode.
1. Will Shin Yool live or die? She lived. This was resolved early in the episode.
2. Will Wang So defeat Sik Ryeom? Yes, and in a particularly nonviolent way. The show had telegraphed a big face off at the slave village. I did not mind the battle of wills between Wang So and Sik Ryeom. However after 23 episodes, I expected more of a crushing of Sik Ryeom.
3. Will Wang So “shine” and become King or “go crazy” with grief if Shin Yool dies? Hmm, good question. He shined as a forward thinking King and did much good for the nation. However, the zest seemed to be gone from his life. For such a vibrant character, it was painful to watch this muted version of Wang So.
4. How will Wang So and Shin Yool be together with Yeo Won in the picture? Only in their hearts and dreams were they together. I was not completely satisfied with how this was done.
5. Will Sik Ryeom live or die? He lived but “went crazy” and at least was a ranting shadow of his former self.
6. Anything else? It was lovely to see Baek Myo finally acknowledge and accept Wang So. Gyu Dal’s childish but supportive ways were fun. Loved his flirting with Cheong Ok and being ready to hit the bad guys with his umbrella. Why so much Gil Bok in this last episode? While it was nice that Wang Wook gave himself permission to find himself, this character petered out in the last 2 episodes. Such is the fate of the second lead.
* Jang Hyuk as Wang So embodied a man that had to choose destiny of a nation over his personal happiness. Jang Hyuk stares down opponents better than anyone. Jang Hyuk’s looks of love are wonderful. Jang Hyuk’s vibrant performance was compelling in this series. 
* Yeon Seo’s portrayal of Shin Yool made her a heroine to like and respect. She was smart and capable. She was selfless, putting others in front her own needs. Her choice to leave Wang So was reasonable if she could not take being the other woman but the ripple effect was a muted Wang So. 
* The final scene. Whether that was a dream or them meeting in the after life, it got me. I connected with their simple joy of seeing each other again. Yet I mourned their limited togetherness in their real lives. It was lovely and sad.
* Final thoughts. I will write a series review but here’s some quick thoughts:
1. This series was not a boring historical. The personal relationships were compelling. The villain did not have it easy all the time. The hero did not die! This show hooked me and I looked forward to each episode.
2. I watched this series for Jang Hyuk. He delivered and the show rode on his shoulders. He is one fine actor. I should stand up and admit that I’m a hyuk-aholic. He is superb.
3. The characters were strong and for the most part, likable, or at least you understood their motivations. I relished the smart and capable women in this show. Girl power! The chess game of moves and counter moves were rich and interesting.
4. I enjoyed recapping this series. I wrote while I watched each episode so my thoughts and reactions were unfiltered.
5. I appreciate you experiencing this series with me. It was an enjoyable journey. To those that commented and shared their thoughts, thank you. You expanded my perspective of this superior show.


Asian drama fan

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Posted in Episode Musings, Recaps, Shine or Go Crazy
42 comments on “Shine or Go Crazy Episode 24 (Final) Recap
  1. dawnshine says:

    Thank you for all the SOGC recaps. I am still devastated from this ending. I couldn’t accept she just left him although I could kind of guess her reason of doing so. It wasn’t convincing and out of her character. I’m impressed with the performance of YeonSeo and Jang Hyuk in this series. Have enjoyed most part of the show especially the OTP moments and the Chunghae people. If only the ending could be different (ie she didn’t leave), I would highly recommend this to others.

    • kjtamuser says:

      I’m going with the thought Shin Yool could not accept being the palace mistress and for the good of all, she left. She did give him up for his own good during the series, so this behavior was established. So bummed they never met again. So bummed Wang So did not seem to have joy in his life. You could recommend the series with the caveat the last 20 minutes could be skipped. Thank you for engaging during this series!

  2. snow says:

    Again a bad ending! Why do dramas do this to us! I didn’t watch the show. Just wanted to know the ending…
    Thanks for the recap…LOL…you’ve become a hyuk-aholic… 😀

  3. nana says:

    my yool and my WS. i was crying like mad for Shinyool and him. Anyway through this drama i fell in love with Oh Yeon Seo and Jang hyuk. Beautiful story….incredible acting…bad ending

  4. Nao says:

    I was also disappointed in the ending. But it’s more of a mixed feeling. And some confusion too. Was the last scene supposed to be in the afterlife? That would make the most sense I guess. I am really disappointed that wang so and shin Yool didn’t end up together. Yet at the same time, I also get it. If he’s going to be king and that is his fate, he couldn’t realistically stay with shin Yool when yeo won is around. My guess is the logic of the show is that he and shin Yool consummated their marriage finally to show that she is his one true love, but she still leaves because she knows that her presence would prevent him from truly embracing his destiny. Which makes sense and I think he knows it too. Once he chose to accept the throne he can’t really have her. And it’s not like her character to stay around. But I agree, wang so should have shown more grief or pain at the separation. If there were more heartfelt words that emphasized the pain but also reality of their situation, I think I could be satisfied.

    I’ve been a jang Hyuk fan since fated to love you. I’m so sad I won’t have a weekly dose of him from now on. I think I’m gonna have to tackle one of his movies or older dramas. Thanks for recapping and providing us with a space to discuss the show. I really enjoyed it and looked forward to your recaps every week.

    • kjtamuser says:

      I agree with your thoughts. Shin Yool could not have been the mistress in the palace, that was unacceptable to her. I would have appreciated if that had been articulated by both of them. That dialog would have been helpful from the writer.
      I’m thinking it was the afterlife but there is no right answer.
      I enjoyed Chuno, that was my first Jang Hyuk show. Stuck on Hyuk is a good blog to check out:
      Thanks for watching and engaging! It was fun!

      • Tjhin says:

        I really enjoy this series, the ending is not so bad.
        I prefer to think that SY and WS finally are together in the real life – not the afterlife. I remember a dialog between the two when WS ask SY to go deep into the mountain and be together, then SY refuse, she say ‘when i have finish what i need to do, and you have finish what you have to do then lets live together in the mountain’. This is the promise between WS and SY, and I believe the last scene is about them meeting up in the mountain and finally live together happily!!!!!

  5. […] Episode 24 (finale)  Episode 23   Episode 22   Episode 21   Episode 20   Episode 19   Episode 18    Episode 17   Episode 16   Episode 15   Episode 14   Episode 13   Episode 12   Episode 11   Episode 10   Episode 09   Episode 08   Episode 07   Episode 06   Episode 05   Episode 04   Episode 03   Episode 02   Episode 01 […]

  6. pohyoke says:

    Wouldn’t it have filled our hearts with joy and anticipation if Wang So had said to Shin Yool…’Go but be back here every year/two years at this time.’ ? Just as I now say to you, ‘My anonymous friend, let us meet again during the next Jang Hyuk drama.’

    With every one fading into the background during the last two episodes, Jang Hyuk owned those episodes. At the end, it seems to me, everyone lost and became people wandering around with ‘holes’ in their hearts:

    -Wang Wook left to be a gypsy of the world. I wished the writers had given him some steel in his backbone,since he was brought up as a prince ( as ‘beast’) and was second only to Wang So in fighting, and he was smart enough to plan his escape to give the king the antidote and even the ‘death’ of Shin Yool. Whilst his sister was blackmailing the nobles, in preparation for war, he was drinking tea and reminiscing like a romantic poet. It would have been nice if he had at least stood shoulder to shoulder with Wang So at the show down with Sik Ryeom (small fight though it was).

    -Wang So, whose heart is ‘broken into pieces every day’ if he did not see Shin Yool, let her go without any clear arrangement to meet, for the sake of power(though it is supposedly for the country). It is hard to imagine what kind of king he became when he was too tired of his life to even to have his bloodied sword cleaned before putting it back on the rack.

    – Yeo Won, a queen living for power to preserve her ‘family'( we have only seen grandfather and Wang Wook), with no one who loved her for herself. Could she have worked with Shin Yool?I think it was possible, since often she was stunned by Shin Yool’s arguments. intelligence and information. She would have gained a bosom friend in Shin Yool, especially since the latter was not interested in the power and politics of the palace. Perhaps it is not unimaginable for Shin Yool to be the contented successful second wife of a happy Wang So(who did well, when he had both Shin Yool and Yeo Won around)

    -Shin Yool, supposedly left to wonder around for the sake of business and profits, when before she was happy everyday when she woke up thinking of seeing Wang So. That choice to leave all she loved and worked for,seems a bit superficial especially since she has some near death experiences i.e. knowing the sadness and sorrow of those one leaves behind and the value and frailty of life . Although it was commendable of the body guard to followed her, I cannot forget how he was felled by a punch from Sik Ryeom’s son..I fear for her safety.

    Till we meet again, during the next Jang Hyuk drama..take care my friend. BTW Jang Hyuk’s kissing has improved over the years and in this drama, I think is his best yet. Similarly with Oh Yeon Seo.

    • kjtamuser says:

      Lovely thought that Wang So and Shin Yool would agree to meet at the overlook every couple of years. And yes, we should meet again too.
      * Wang Wook – LOL on your line “drinking tea…like a poet”. This character did fade away without any acknowledgement. Hate him for his single mindedness of Shin Yool for most of the series, but he did help and accept their relationship at the end. When I think of this character I see wasted potential.
      * Yeo Won – Love the idea that she and Shin Yool could have been BFFs, it could have worked.
      * Wang So – I was bummed seeing his spirit sapped like that. I would have preferred that he was able to find joy in his destiny and his children while missing her.
      * Shin Yool – You amuse with your comment about Gyeong. I don’t think Shin Yool could accept being the palace mistress and that was a huge driver for her to give up him so he could fulfill his destiny. This was Shin Yool’s methodology – his needs above hers. She never grasped the ripple effect on his heart. I was the writer had offered a better explanation for the WHY of the departure. It would have helped the viewers and strengthened the episode.
      Pohyoke, I have enjoy our exchanges during this series and I agree that we should meet again during the next Jang Hyuk drama.

      • pohyoke says:

        I don’t know about Korean culture but in the Chinese culture in those days, especially for kings, second wives didn’t carry the stigma of ‘mistresses’ as in modern monogamous societies ( my step grand father had thirteen wives, eleven of whom were chosen for him by the first wife and all except for the last, lived under one roof) I think the only condition is that second or third wives don’t mess with the first wife and be respectful. Anyway it would have done Yeo Won good to chill a bit ..took herself too seriously..poor girl.

        One of the attractive vibe of the show is attributable to Gaebong-So So’s (and even the Chung Hae family’s) ‘joie de vie’, That seemed to have disappeared slowly and especially in the last two episodes with everyone else fading away except Jang Hyuk acting in the central stage, show casing his acting. Somehow, to me, the loss of balance, feels regrettable.

        Well…here we go again…Bye. See.. our good byes took more time than Wang So and Shin Yool.

  7. pohyoke says:

    sorry..wrong should be ‘joie de vivre’

    • kjtamuser says:

      Good point about the culture not having a stigma of mistress and multiple wives were common. That negates my thought that Shin Yool found being a mistress unacceptable.

      I read one comment on the soompi forum that original script had Shin Yool taking off for a few years to let the dust settle and continue pursuing her career. Wang So was accepting of that. Then she would return later. The ending was changed by the Shine or Go Crazy director.

      What interests me…what is the ending in the web novel? Asian Wiki provides the link to the web novel “Bitnageona Michigeona” by Hyun Go-Woon:
      I cannot read the text for the web novel 20th episode to determine the ending or if the kdrama followed the web novel.

      Certainly the writer funneled the crux of the story to Wang So and Shin Yool in the final 2 episodes. Shin Yool’s illness and death took her out of the active story until Wang So found her at the treatment hut. I understand your reaction to this as loss of balance as the other characters did indeed recede.

      It’s not goodbye but until we meet again!

      • kjtamuser says:

        Dawnshine provided the ending from the web novel in the soompi forum:

        “The ending of the web novel is: SYwas previously poisoned by YW and she nearly died. She went to Gaeumkang mountain to treat her disease and she recovered there. WS went to the mountain and they had their nuptial night there. In the end, YW became queen but her relationship with WS didn’t improve yet didn’t get worse. SY continued running her Chunghae; WS went to see her frequently and they had a family outside the palace. She was even pregnant with his baby.

        Obviously the ending of the drama was completely different from the novel. There was also a lot less of political conflict mentioned in the novel and focused mainly on the love story between WS and SY. Many who have read really anticipated the drama to be as good if not better and have a happy ending.”

  8. squstar9 says:

    Hi I’m a newcomer to the blogging world of kdramas.

    I enjoyed reading the recap of the latest eps of this drama. Thank you ktjamusers for all the recaps.

    I caught on this drama much later in time. I became addictive. I binge watched it over a weekend.

    The show is some muchh fun, from the main and second leads [displaying so beautifully their emotions of loss, love, jealous,angry and strong portrayals of strengths, esp the female leads is uncommon in dramaland] to the minor characters’ [comical support that made u cheer for them when they stood up for themselves. Here’s looking at you, Gyu Dal] to our villains [with reasons for their villainous to their childish antics] (haha)

    The story was told well. It reminded me of a good fantasy tale.

    However, I do admit, as much I tried to accept the ending, I was disappointed. I get that in the prophecy one of the star tattooed princess had to either die or leave. If Shin Yool had died then our So So would not shine but go crazy. Since historically, Wang So becomes king, he is not demeaned, at least his beginning years, as crazy, so they still needed Shin Yool to keep that balance. However, their separation or mere scene of Shin Yool: “I’m leaving.”, Wang So, “Ok”. did not speak true to where they were at that moment for their characters. It was too abrupt and trying too hard to tie the story in a bow. I would have loved a twist at the end, e.g. Yeo Won dying as result of making him king thus reuniting her with Se-Won, and Shin Yool becoming his queen. It would be okay to shake up history a bit. It is a drama after all.
    So all in all, I agree that the ending did feel anti-climatic.

    In terms of main characters:

    Wang Wook – For an actor who can act, this character unfortunately got the short end of the stick if you look it in retrospective of all four leads. They could have done a bit more with his character. And really, I did not get why his first love had to look exactly like Shin Yool. Made me wonder if she had a twin…(that would complicate the story).I did like the fact how he beautiful let her go with that Arabian dish.

    Yeo Won – She was a strong and elegant character that was the most consistent all the way through. I can see her reason to becoming queen:Not for selfish reasons, but for Goryeo to be not the feeding ground for the nobles and for there to be a strong king, so princes and princesses do not fight viciously for the crown. Her character seemed strong enough on its own and can make things happens which is why when it comes to…. Shin Yool her character with So So was a supportive and wise one, which is why I do not see him carrying on without her. He relied on her so much. Was she merely satisfied with that one night. I know she finally found the will to live instead of dying, but to only explore the world and not be in our So So life? No matter how much I try to make sense of this finale, it does not feel true to the story as a whole and how it began to the characters we saw developing over the 23 eps. What if the prophecy was wrongly interpreted again and our So So needs both star tattooed queen. I mean he needed them to get to the throne, why not keep them both while is on the throne Plus it seemed to Ji-Mong that Shin Yool appeared to be the more legit star-tattooed princess in So So star destiny.

    Ok I’m going to stop ranting…. just one more thing…

    Wang So – Oh so I adore Jang Hyuk portrayal of this character. I wish to see him soon again in his next drama. Let’s hope it’s a good one!

    Thank you all for giving me the space to share my thoughts/rants!!!!

    • kjtamuser says:

      I’ll comment on 2 of interesting points your raised:

      1. Concur that the writer wrote Wang Wook as a love sick jealous fool for too long, then his transformation to accepting and supportive was abrupt. Wang Wook did get the short end of the stick. “I did not get why his first love had to look exactly like Shin Yool”. Yes, I thought they were going to have some relationship between the two women but all we got were the passing comments “you look so much like her”, her being Wang Wook’s first love.

      2. The prophecy interpretation “What if the prophecy was wrongly interpreted again and our So So needs both star tattooed queens…he needed them to get to the throne, why not keep them both while is on the throne Plus it seemed to Ji-Mong that Shin Yool appeared to be the more legit star-tattooed princess in So So star destiny.” The prophecy interpretation or reinterpretation would be a legit way to twist the story. I like that!

      Appreciate your comments!

  9. star says:

    The ending didnt sit well with me. I thought about it all day because it wasn’t right! Something about finding the love of your life and not being with that person is so SAD. Although I can understand why she didnt stay, but it’s somewhat not realistic in that when you find someone you love, you just dont walk away and not see them for the rest of your life. No one would do that. Ever.

    • kjtamuser says:

      Check out my comment about the original script ending and wondering what the web novel ending was:

      You captured what all of us are reacting to “but it’s somewhat not realistic in that when you find someone you love, you just dont walk away and not see them for the rest of your life. No one would do that”

      Originally I thought being a mistress was why Shin Yool left, but that was common so that was not the issue.

      I concur that Wang So and Shin Yool fought to be together or were unable to stay apart for 99% of the series so it rings false that she would walk away and he would accept that.

  10. Drama Fan says:

    I’m so bummed by this ending. I do not understand why SY left WS. I didn’t expect her to live in the palace but why remove herself from his life completely, so suddenly and right after their first night together? It didn’t even look like she hesitated. To me, the way it was done was not in character. She was breaking up forever with the supposed love of her life! And then to make things worse he looked like he lost his joy for life completely. I simply don’t understand what this drama was trying to show. I understand all the theories, the idea that she was independent and that he chose his duty over his love but on screen this was so sudden and rushed, it made no sense! Why was she smiling like that? She was so casual about it! He didn’t react like the So we knew but his loss of joy indicated he suffered greatly so at least he remained in character. But still, I wonder what was the point of seeing him like this. Poor guy had been abandoned as a child and abandoned by his love later. It was excessively and unnecessarily cruel. Anyway, I love your recaps kjtamuser 🙂 may we meet in the next Jang Hyuk drama as well.

    • kjtamuser says:

      The writer and/or director dropped the ball on their final choice for this wonderful couple. It besmirched their essence together and individually.
      Excellent point that Wang So was abandoned as a child then by Shin Yool. That indeed was cruel and difficult to watch.
      I know you’ll be suffering Hyuk withdrawal. Be strong until the next drama or movie!
      Thanks for the positive feedback. When you recap jang Hyuk, it just flows!

  11. gasenadi says:

    Thanks again, kjtamuser, for the tremendous job recapping.

    At first, I was going to give the ending a pass. That final scene did move me – so SAD to think they only met again in the afterlife!

    Then I realized – thanks to the previous comments, also – that the separation/trip WAS absolutely INCONSISTENT with the previous characterization of that OTP’s relationship. What? Was the trip supposed to be SY’s character maturing and developing from the impetuous, love-sick young woman who stalked her true love to another country? Then consistently put his needs and dreams before hers? What? Now WS tones down his existential NEED for Gaebong in his life, illuminating his path with her words of wisdom? Why go through the trouble of painting these characters with those specific traits for 23 episodes, then NOT show the why of the last-minute “make-over”?

    Now that you guys have made me think about it, all their previous separations were heartrending! That farewell, when they broke their blood brother pact was sooo poignant.

    But that last separation? A DUD, in comparison…

    Could it have been the pressures of the live shoot? Who knows. Then again, I really wasn’t expecting too much from the scriptwriters. From the director, a bit.

    However, I did enjoy most of the drama. Especially the acting. I’ve been a Jang Hyuk fan from the very beginning of my kdrama addiction. After Chuno, I was hooked and watched everything he was ever in up to that point.

    See you in the next Jang Hyuk drama!

  12. cipolla says:

    I think SOGC peaked around episodes 12 to 16 and got downhill from there. 18 or 20 episodes would have been the right length. They played out so many plot points over many episodes, like Wang So not knowing that Gaebong was a female and the king being poisoned and inept to rule. If the pacing had been tighter and the editing in the last few episodes better, it would have ranked up there along with The Moon that Embraces the Sun as one of the more noteworthy historical romance dramas of the past few years. Instead it started with a bang and ended with a limp fizzle.

    Despite the lengthy 24 episodes, certain plot elements could have been refined, such as the importance of the 5 badges. It seemed like such a crucial piece of the puzzle in the beginning, but in the end Wang Sik Ryeom was taken down so easily, without any effort.

    The writer had been building us up for this climax for so long, we were all anticipating the downfall of Wang Sik Ryeom and all he did was surrender without a fight. That scene in particular was laughable, when he slashed the air several times with his sword before sinking to his knees, with the villagers cheering.

    The last episode was an absolute yawn. Shin Yool has always been so feisty and gutsy, but she suddenly became docile. Wang So has always loved and fought for Shin Yool, but when she told him she wanted to travel to China, he didn’t so much as try to convince her to stay by his side.

    The protagonists went out of character all of a sudden, for no apparent reason. And this is entirely the writer’s fault, because the actors themselves were amazing. Jang Hyuk and Oh Yeon Seo were absolutely convincing in their roles, and Honey Lee did a competent portrayal of her role as well. It isn’t their fault if the last part of the script was hastily written and the editing so choppy.

    Meeting in the afterlife? Oh, c’mon, this isn’t Twilight.

    • kjtamuser says:

      Like you I’ll group the episodes and see the peaks and valleys of the show when write my review.

      You make good points.
      * The 5 badges evidence while explosive, never exploded.
      * The big bad Sik Ryeom never faced justice and went out with a whimper.
      * Who can defend the personality transplants of Shin Yool and Wang So in the last 20 minutes of the final episode?
      * The personality transplants of Yeo Won and Wang Wook were abrupt too.

      Frankly I’m still processing this show. It excelled and failed. When it excelled it was wonderful. When it failed at various points in the first 23 episodes, it was annoying. When it failed in the last 20 minutes of the final episode, it left a bad taste. Too bad.

      The show had good actors that made the good writing sing, the subpar writing passable, but could not save the last 20 minutes.

      Thanks for commenting!

  13. prettysup says:

    I just finished marathoning this series. I have put it on hold for so long coz I thought it was a silly madcap comedy fromt the title, which isnt my cup of tea at all. Then someone told me its not a comedy so I went to have a try at ep1 and was hooked all the way!! Agree that Jang Hyuk put up a superb showing but the entire cast was fabulous too!! Overall a very enjoyable and engaging show, thanks for the recaps !!

  14. Gillian says:

    I can’t accept the ending! It’s too inconsistent with the show. I wouldn’t think Yool would mind being palace mistress what not! They both loved each other so much neither would choose to separate from each other. Poor Wang So just looked so broken after she left. I am so so depressed by this ending. I rather they killed Yool off than make her leave him. Sigh. Anyway, thanks for the recaps, I enjoyed them. Although now I’m just in a lousy mood because of the unexpected ending.

    • kjtamuser says:

      I hear you. I have yet to write a series review. I needed a break from the disappointment of the final episode. Glad you enjoyed the show until the dumb ending. Thanks for commenting.

      • Gillian says:

        The decision she made at the end was baffling. When Wang So initially found out that she was a girl and she knew he had a wife, she seemed so happy to be with him without wanting a title or anything. I wish the last 20 minutes of the show did not exist. Too sad for me 😦 Anyway, time to find a new drama so I can get over this sadness!

  15. Afygirl says:

    O my God y did dis drama ended this way oh my Wang so is a pity i dnt like the ending of this drama

  16. mosta kun says:

    I have a Question !! Whats happened in the ending when they show shin yool with prince so so thats means they met again or they never met and died and met once again in heaven ?? can you explain ?

    • kjtamuser says:

      That’s open to your interpretation as the director left it unclear. What do you think?

      • Jane Tilly says:

        I think they continued to rendezvous outside the palace until one of them died. Shin Yeon didn’t want the constraints of palace life under Yeon Ha’s watchful eyes. Being outside the palace allowed Wang So respite from his stress of being King and being in a loveless marriage.

        Both Scarlet Heart Ryeo and Shine or Go Crazy are about Goryeo’s fourth monarch Wang So’s journey to become Gwangjong – each story taking creative license to Gwangjong’s dynasty. You can see the similarities between SOGC’s Shin Yeon and SHR’s Hae Soo. Both characters started out spunky and outspoken were beaten down by palace intrigues which resulted in poor health, separation from their OTP, leaving Wang So alone to deal with being King and the constant threat of coup d’etat.

        • kjtamuser says:

          Agreed there are similarities between SOGC and Scarlet Heart Ryeo. It’s so interesting how both dramas took different paths and takes on the leading couple’s romance. I enjoyed both dramas. I liked the ending of Scarlet Heart Ryeo better than SOGC.

          SHR’s Lee Joon Gi was as compelling as SOGC’s Jang Hyuk in the title role. Never thought another actor could match Jang Hyuk’s impact on a drama but Lee Joon Gi did.

          SOGC had the stronger actress in Oh Yeon Seo for the female lead. SHR’s IU acquitted herself as well as she could but had limitations.

      • Jane Tilly says:

        I completely agree! 😻

  17. Kali says:

    why is it name shine or go crazy?

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