Mr. Sunshine Episode 4 Recap

Mr. Sunshine Episode 4 Recap

Korea, 1902.

Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) and Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) face off beside the train. The other soldiers aim their shotguns at her. Eugene confirms a rifle was stolen from the weapons room. He warns her that American’s don’t see a difference between Korean nobility and slaves. He declares democracy is blind to that. Ae Shin stares at Eugene thinks “the man I thought was a comrade is a foreigner. Is he friend or foe?” Ae Shin declares she’ll cooperate. Hee Na (Kim Min Jung) approaches Ae Shin and offers to switch her western wear with Ae Shin’s period wear. Hee Na says a lady like Ae Shin cannot simply lift her skirts and be inspected. Hee Na introduces herself as the owner of the hotel in town. Hee Na welcomes the American soldiers in English. Her servant waves a Welcome sign. Ha! Hee Na asks Eugene for the VIP coach. He identifies where it is located. Ae Shin follows Hee Na.

Hee Na apologizes for the state of the country that forces this situation. She muses that profit is being made from it. Ae Shin asks how she became the hotel’s owner. Hee Na explains she inherited the hotel from her deceased Japanese husband. Ae Shin notes Hee Na’s English skills. Hee Na states Westerners like widows.

Eugene arrives to search Ae Shin. She sends her servant away. She turns in her western wear and states she’s not concealing the stole shotgun. Eugene asks if she wants to shoot him. He warns her to control herself. Ae Shin retorts her power is nothing compared to his. She accuses him of leading her to believe he was an ally. He counters that she needs more allies other than the Righteous Army/Bandits. He notes that it won’t do Korea any good if things go awry due to the missing rifle or the assassination. He leaves.

Hee Na examines Ae Shin’s clothing. Ae Shin’s female servant tells her they can switch clothing. Ae Shin’s servant is appalled to learn how much Hee Na’s western wear cost her.

Ae Shin’s male servant saves the female servant from oncoming traffic. She is goes on and on about Hee Na. Ae Shin doesn’t have the same opinion.

It’s a full house at the hotel. Hee Na can’t take her eyes off Eugene. She knows he has feelings for Ae Shin. She considers going after him.

Kyle (David McInnis) is a bit tipsy when he toasts the soldiers at the table. Kyle retorts he’s celebrating his day in Korea. They sit on the wall surrounding the city and drink more. Kyle asks if Eugene has found the nobles that killed his parents. Eugene admits he hasn’t sought them out yet. He knows when he finds them, he’ll kill them. Eugene says the political unrest will work to his advantage if/when he kills them. Kyle agrees but reminds Eugene finding the stolen rifle has a high priority.

While training Jang Seung Goo (Choi Moo Sung) overhears Ae Shin mutter about another woman (Hee Na). Ae Shin comments she saw someone that looked just like Seung Goo on the train yesterday. She mentions the missing rifle. Seung Goo presents her with the missing rifle. He scoffs that foreigners steal left and right from Koreans, it’s only fair they do the same. Ae Shin says she and Gwan Su are on the same side.

Ae Shin bring her servant to visit the school where the English teacher works. She shows off her English when she says the words gun, glory and sad endings (all words she heard at the train station yesterday). Ae Shin is unable to write in English.

Kyle visits the pawn shop owners (Il Sik and Choon Sik) to exchange money. He’s stunned at the volume of coins his American money garners.

Ae Shin’s aunt bemoans that her daughter is likely getting into trouble at the hotel. She implores Ae Shin to go get her. Sure enough, Ae Shin’s cousin is gambling and losing. She realizes the pawn shop owners were correct and she’s been hustled.

Hee Na is surprised when Ae Shin enters the hotel but greets her warmly. She asks were her cousin is. Hee Na suggests that Ae Shin have coffee. Eugene is surprised to see Ae Shin when he returns to the hotel. Ae Shin asks what women seek when they come to the hotel. Hee Na lists food, conversation, card, men and love. Ae Shin decides to leave and runs into Eugene. He explains he lives here along with the other American officers. He’s decidedly uncomfortable trying to justify being there. Ae Shin puts him out of his misery, tells him to enjoy his stay and leaves. Hee Na comments that Ae Shin talking to a Japanese Gang Leader that protects her hotel is interesting. Eugene watches them.

Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) bids Ae Shin a good day noting it has been awhile. Ae Shin’s female servant calls Dong Mae the butcher from long ago. Dong Mae corrects her that his parents were butchers but he is not. He says he butchers men not beasts. Ae Shin notes that she saw his skills on display yesterday. Dong Mae says Ae Shin must consider him a butcher. Ae Shin counters that she sees him as a traitor.  She leaves.

That’s one instance where Ae Shin’s chilly looks were misinterpreted by Dong Mae and clarified by Ae Shin. Would Dong Mae rather be considered a butcher or a traitor?

Eugene heads upstairs as Dong Mae enters the hotel. He asks Hee Na who the officer was. Hee Na comments they have something in common – Ae Shin. Hee Na wishes that the officer would look at her like that one day. Dong Mae’s men arrive.

Eugene finds his hotel room searched as things are moved about. He spies his mother’s tassel on the carpeted floor. He remembers Gwan Su telling him that the Black Dragon gang searched Logan Taylor’s home.

The black dragon lead asks Dong Mae if they should search the officer’s room.  Eugene enters and asks why they searched his room. Dong Mae assures him they planned to but hadn’t done it yet. Dong Mae quips Eugene must be popular. He wonders if the Righteous Army/Bandits searched his room. Eugene asks why Dong Mae or the Righteous Army/Bandits would search his room. Dong Mae tells him once he finds what he looking for, the person that has the item will die. He leaves.

Dong Mae purchases the treats that Ae Shin enjoyed from the bakery. The owner is shocked when Dong Mae pays for his treats instead of robbing him. Dong Mae eats the treats and remembers Ae Shin’s smile as she ate them yesterday.

Flashback…A young Dong Mae watches his mother beaten.  A young Ae Shin’s palanquin is stopped by the melee. Her servant goes to investigate. Both young people lock eyes. Her servant returns to report that the young butcher boy has run away. Ae Shin says he’s not gone. In the palanquin Dong Mae tells Ae Shin he’s fine. He doesn’t understand why she’s hiding him. Ae Shin says everyone is precious and she doesn’t want him to be caught. Dong Mae wipes the blood from his cut on her robe. He calls her silly. Tears fill his eyes. Ae Shin stares feeling the tension.

Dong Mae didn’t let Ae Shin’s “everyone is worthwhile” fantasy go unchallenged. The vibe between the two of them was interesting. Did Dong Mae wipe his blood to mark Ae Shin or prove to her that he wasn’t worthwhile?

Ae Shin recalls their first encounter. She grips her hands just like she did all those years ago.

Is she repulsed or drawn to Dong Mae?

Dong Mae offers the candy to his lover. He says he can’t chew it.

Eugene sees Kyle sporting a hat (aka gat) and long pipe. Eugene says Gwan Su is questioning passengers from the train. Eugene admits he is interested in noble associated with a certain woman.

Gwan Su questions the passengers while Eugene watches from his desk. The passengers are glad the mysterious man saved Ae Shin from the harassing Japanese soldiers. A sketch artist draws the mysterious man based on the passenger recollections. Gwan Su tells Eugene Ae Shin will come for an interview next. Eugene is dismayed.


As Ae Shin sits at his desk, Eugene apologizes for Gwan Su requesting her presence. He asks if she saw a suspicious man on the train. Ae Shin describes Eugene. He comments that she may have the gun, but without bullets it won’t fire. He mentions his room was searched. He wonders if Ae Shin or her comrades had anything to do with that. Ae Shin gets irritated. Eugene claims he’s trying to protect her. She asks why. He replies because he can. Eugene shows her the sketch artist’s drawing of the mystery man. Ae Shin says she’s seen the face but doesn’t know if the man is a noble. Ae Shin points out the drawing shows the Japanese solider that harassed her. That wasn’t what Eugene expected.

This couple is careful around each other. The distrust is there. The pull is there. But no romance is there.

The passengers chuckle that they pointed the finger at the Japanese solider.

The man presents a piece of pottery (from the potter that saved Eugene) to the rich Japanese man. He declares he’s ready to return to Korea. He notes that previously the Koreans claimed they would never sell this highly prized pottery to outsiders. The man tells the rich Japanese man that he looks forward to seeing him in Korea one day. Recall in episode one when the man told the rich Japanese man for $50K he’ll be able to deliver Korea into his hands. The rich Japanese man holds the pottery and declares his man must bring sorrow to Emperor Gojong. He urges his man to mess with Emperor Gojong’s head by not letting him forget his mother’s death or that he is targeted for death. The rich Japanese man states in 3 years he’ll come to Korea and be ready for the man to deliver Korea to him.

The servant girl that cares for Logan Taylor’s baby walks with her young brother. When the Japanese solider that harassed AE yesterday bumps into her, she apologizes profusely. Her brother doesn’t understand why she’s apologizing when the solider bumped her.

Kyle and Eugene stroll though town. The girl’s brother enters the street and asks someone to help his sister. Kyle spies the Japanese soldiers bothering the girl and decides to intervene. Eugene doesn’t want to get involved but the boy’s cries remind him of himself long ago. Eugene tells the boy this is his fight but he’ll help. The boy grabs a rock.

The Japanese soldiers try and take the girl’s money. She’s adamant the money is survival. The Japanese soldier hits her and pilfers her purse. The boy bashes the Japanese soldier with the rock. He runs to Eugene when the solider looks around while grasping his head. Eugene tells the girl and the boy to step aside. Eugene recognizes the soldier from the artist’s sketch. Eugene murmurs his apology for doubting the artist’s abilities. Ha! The Japanese soldier pulls a knife. Eugene sighs that everyone likes swords or knifes. He dispatches both soldiers with his firsts. Kyle arrives with a baseball bat. He notes he was too late to join in. He asks if the boy and girl are okay. The boy complains to his sister about this stranger talking to him. Ha! The girl thanks Kyle in English. The boy and girl thank Eugene.

Eugene is stunned when he recognizes the noble’s son walking the street. He tells Kyle he’s recognized the son of the noble that killed his parents.

Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) returns to Korea. He hits on Hee Na when he checks into the hotel. She warms when she learns who his family is.

As Eugene ponders the nobles on his balcony, Hee Sung introduces himself citing his family from his balcony. Eugene isn’t interested and returns to his room. Hee Sung wonders why other men always hate him. He looks at his watch and declares he has somewhere to be. Hee Sung drinks and gambles at the hotel. Eugene ponders the day his parents were killed. The tassel sits on his desk.

Leaving the pawn shop, Hee Sung spies Eugene with Gwan Su the next day and greets him. Eugene ignores him. Gwan Su isn’t interested when Hee Sung declares he is off to greet his fiancé. The pawn shop owners spy Eugene as he enters the shop. When Eugene explains he wants to find a particular noble family, they look like deers caught in headlights. They ask if he wants to kill the noble family. Eugene says they can bring the nobles to him dead. They tell Eugene no search is needed. That noble family is still powerful and still rob the poor and take bribes from the government. Eugene asks for more details. They say when they were bounty hunters they were sent by that family to catch a slave boy. The bounty hunter recalls when they didn’t catch the boy even though they knew he was in the box. Eugene thanks them for that. They tell Eugene where the family lives. Hopping on a horse, Eugene tells Gwan Su this is a solo errand of revenge. He gallops away.

Hee Sung brings flowers and approaches Ae Shin’s family home. He smiles confidently.

Eugene goes to the noble’s house. He stares at the son and wife. He sees the scar on the wife’s neck. He remembers his mother putting that scar on her neck. He learns the noble that ordered his parent’s death died 10 years ago.

Hee Sung looks over the wall and sees Ae Shin. He’s taken by her beauty. Little does he know that Ae Shin is consumed by thoughts of Eugene. The male servant spies him looking over the wall and asks what he’s doing.

The noble’s son and wife wonder who the man in the uniform is. Eugene approaches them. He holds out his mother’s tassel. The wife takes it. She drops it like a hot potato. She falls to the ground. She tells her husband the officer is the slave boy that ran away. Eugene asks where his parent’s bodies are. He pulls his gun and aims it at them. He demands to know where they are buried.

Holy smokes! That was jarring and exciting! Eugene Choi man of action!

The male servant recognizes Hee Sung and greet him warmly. Ae Shin stares at him like he’s a ghost. The male servant introduces her as his fiancé. Hee Sung apologizes for not coming sooner.

Eugene stares at the noble’s son and wife.

Hee Sung steps forward to greet Ae Shin.

My Thoughts

Another languid episode. Director Lee Eung Bok’s cinematography cannot be faulted.  Writer Kim Eun Sook’s slow build story is taking its own sweet time. Again, things happen but the episode feels like it is running in first gear. There were occasional moments (Eugene taking on the Japanese soldiers and Eugene pulling the gun on the nobles) where it got out of first gear. I’m not bored BUT I want the pace to pick up.

Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) finds the nobles and takes aim. He admitted to Kyle that if he found the nobles he’d want to kill them. He got that correct. The episode ends with Eugene aiming the gun at the son and wife. Eugene knows he begged the son for help but was pushed away so you can’t say that Eugene has no issues with the son. The setup is perfect. Their son is Ae Shin’s finance. Can’t wait until Eugene finds that out.

Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) feels the pull of Eugene. She was intrigued by Eugene’s admission of jealousy. She can’t get him out of her mind. But Dong Mae also approached her. She recalled helping him when he was a boy. His touch then caused a reaction. What kind of reaction was it? Filling out the trio of suitors, Hee Sung returns home not really stoked about his finance, until he saw her. Ae Shin knows who he is and what their future is pledged to be. Will she acquiesce to the agreements made long ago? I’ve never seen a series with Tae Ri. Is she normally this subdued?

Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) feels the pull of Ae Shin. I liked the additional detail of their encounter in the palanquin. I’m still unsure what wiping his blood on her dress signified. He was surprised when Ae Shin explained her negative reaction to him wasn’t because of his origins but rather his decision to betray his country.

Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) seems like a charming loser I’ll want to smack. He relies on his smile, his families’ wealth to get what he wants. Telling that he gambled the first day in the country and had to pawn belongings the next to raise cash.

I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as very good. My episode ranking chart is below.


Asian drama fan

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Posted in Mr_Sunshine, Recaps
7 comments on “Mr. Sunshine Episode 4 Recap
  1. Beez says:

    The popping in the air when Dong Mae and Ae Shin share the screen, both as adults and as kids was full of tension. I hesitate to use the word “chemistry” because it was moreso about the writing, I think.

  2. Jane Tilly says:

    Didn’t Ae Shin 🔫👸 look STUNNING when she wore Hee Na’s 👘 exquisite Western clothing❓⁉️ I had a couple of historical knit-picks: 🔹Hina’s 👘 Western ensemble didn’t seem quite right for the time period. Early Edwardian fashion typically had a “S” shaped silhouette and monobosom. While an evening dress could have a lower neckline, day dresses would have a high neckline. The stunning dress would have looked closer to 1902 with a monobosom and small bustle to give the “S” shape silhouette.
    🔹While the ragtime piano music playing on the hotel piano was not unusual for that time period, “The Entertainer” was a musical piece written in the 1974 by Marvin Hamlish; admittedly it did give off the intended modern (1900s) flair.

    Did Eugene 🎖️ recognize Hee Sung’s 🃏 family name when HS 🃏 mentioned his grandfather used to own the land that the hotel 🏨 was built on. Will Eugene 🎖️ feel compelled to take revenge on Hee Sung 🃏 too❓⁉️ I find it ironic that Hee Sung 🃏 (Byun Yo Han) relies on his smile; it looks so odd to me as he was constantly somber when he played Ddangsae in “Six Flying Dragons”.

    I had to chuckle that Master Seung Goo 🥋 was the one who stole the gun, which ended up causing chaos for Ae Shin 🔫 👸.

    I concur there was something in the air between Ae Shin 🔫 👸 and Dong Mae 🗡️. I was pleased when she explained that she treated him with disdain due to him being a traitor 🇯🇵🚫🇰🇷 not a butcher 🔪. While we haven’t seen much emotion from Ae Shin 🔫 👸 (Kim Tae Ri) besides anger and betrayal a noblewoman would have been expected to be reserved, AT LEAST in public. I hope we will see a wider range of emotion before too long.

    As the scarred noblewoman recognized the norigae Eugene 🎖️ handed her, her angst and terror was palpable. With each step Eugene 🎖️ took to ascend the stairs of the nobleman’s house, he rose higher and higher as he towered over the nobleman. Will Eugene 🎖️ exact his revenge❓⁉️ For his own sake, I hope 🙏 not.

    • The stunning dress would have looked closer to 1902 with a monobosom and small bustle to give the “S” shape silhouette
      Appreciate that google image and detail. Makes me glad I don’t have to wear that kind of ensemble on a daily basis.

      With each step Eugene 🎖️ took to ascend the stairs of the nobleman’s house, he rose higher and higher as he towered over the nobleman. Will Eugene 🎖️ exact his revenge❓⁉️ For his own sake, I hope 🙏 not.
      Well written. Eugene has every right, but will his humanity allow him do so?

      • Beez says:

        “Makes me glad I don’t have to wear that kind of ensemble on a daily basis.” kjt

        FOR REELZ! I once had to do a report on the history of falsies-underwear and the bustles were made out of all types of crazy things including metal!

    • Beez says:

      Thanks for the link, JT. I noticed Hina’s clothing did look more like 1930’s than like turn of the 20th century.

  3. Titus Leung says:

    “I’ve never seen a series with Tae Ri”

    Kim Tae-ri break-out role is in movie, in case you don’t know: It’s Park Chan-wook’s «The Handmaiden». Imgine your first career took all the prize you can take in town and bring you straight out to Canne Film Festival. She’s that good.

    For the time being, she has only 3 movies under her belt, all of them having great reviews. In «Little Forest» she is a girl lost her way career-wise as well her relationship with boyfriend, going back to countryside to find her meaning of life. In «1987» she is one of the key characters that leads to the democratic movement of South Korea, based on true event.

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