Mr. Sunshine Episode 16 Recap
Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) states she’s told her Grandfather that she won’t be married. She declares another man has her heart. Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) says nothing. Ae Shin tells Hee Sung that she has no regrets about her decision and hopes he’ll meet a better woman than her one day. Hee Sung candidly states he’s had enough women in his life. Ae Shin quips her declaration had more bite. Hee Sung admits he’s known she loves another. He pulls out the formal marriage request from his father and tells Ae Shin what it is. He stares into Ae Shin’s eyes and confides he’s decided to do something very bad.
Ae Shin’s aunt tells her Grandfather that Hee Sung has come in person and now kneels with Ae Shin. She worries that the repeated postponement of the wedding and his time away in Japan have lessened Hee Sung’s sense of duty. Ae Shin recalls Hee Sung stating he doesn’t prefer Ae Shin. Her aunt tells him not to bend to the kneeling couple’s will.
Hee Sung chides Ae Shin’s reckless behavior in confronting her Grandfather. Why couldn’t she trust him to handle it? Ae Shin is surprised. Hee Sung admits he’s happy to see her happy without him. He declares he’ll call off the engagement. Ae Shin can scarcely believe what she’s hearing. He apologizes about taking so long to do so. He warns of the condemnation she’ll receive for making the first move in breaking the engagement. Then he asks for more time before he breaks the engagement. He claims he’s working on something and once it is done, he’ll break the engagement. He asks if she trusts that he’ll keep his word. Ae Shin nods her consent. Hee Sung smiles stating finally, he has her approval. Hee Sung’s parent’s servant rushes into the courtyard with orders to report status to his parents. Hee Sung tells the man to state he’s back at the hotel. He asks the man to say nothing else. The servant agrees and leaves. Ae Shin urges him to report to his parents. Ae Shin states he must get her as well as her trusted servants out of this mess. He beckons a servant girl over and tells her to announce it loudly when he passes out. He turns to Ae Shin and asks her to catch him. He slumps into her lap. The servant calls out. Ae Shin’s aunt stares at Hee Sung and orders Ae Shin’s faithful servants be released to assist Hee Sung. She reenters the house. Ae Shin whispers her thanks to Hee Sung.
Hee Sung is more than a useless fob!
Hee Sung tells Ae Shin’s faithful servants to eat with him. The trusted female servant muses that Ae Shin, Hee Sung, and Eugene sometimes are too lonely.
Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) and some soldiers take a delivery from the school. He spies the flyer Ae Shin penned about the school. Eugene asks the teacher if Ae Shin is around. The teacher says Ae Shin hasn’t attended classes in a while. Eugene goes to the apothecary hoping for a note in “their drawer”. But it is empty.
Back at the hotel, Hee Sung spies Eugene in the lobby as he enters. He notices the package from the apothecary in Eugene’s hand. He tells Eugene what he considers sad news, Eugene will consider good news. Hee Sung shares he knows what his family did to destroy Eugene’s family. Hee Sung says he won’t apologize today. Eugene accepts that. Hee Sung says he has news about Ae Shin that Eugene or Dong Mae don’t know but he won’t share it. Hee Sung tells him for once, he’s got the scoop before them. Hee Sung heads to his room.
Hee Na (Kim Min Jung) descends the stairs and hands Eugene his room tea. She offers to brew the medicine. Eugene says it is a foot bath for Do Mi’s sister. Hee Naasks what he brought her. Eugene tells her to split the foot bath. Hee Nacan’t help but smile. She apologizes for bringing him to Lord Lee without his knowledge. Eugene asks why Hee Naworks with Lord Lee. Hee Nawon’t offer details. She tells Eugene that Hee Sung had the formal marriage request from his family to solidify his engagement to Ae Shin. Eugene is taken aback but recovers stating he’d forgotten about their engagement.
In his hotel room, Eugene recalls Ae Shin telling him that when she breaks the engagement she might be ostracized and need to relocate to China. She doesn’t believe Eugene is an option as he’ll return to the US. In her room, Ae Shin reads Eugene’s words that after a handshake and hug comes longing.
Jang Seung Goo (Choi Moo Sung) visits Eugene in his hotel room. He teases Eugene that there was no need to teach Ae Shin how to shoot the new rifle because he was her mentor. Seung Goo admits that Ae Shin is determined to have Eugene in her life and he will support her. Eugene notes that Seung Goo didn’t always support them. Seung Goo counters that they’ll have enough folks against them, he’ll be in their corner.
The potter enjoys the last bottle of beer from Eugene. He believes Eugene won’t return and bring more.
Ae Shin’s Grandfather is not happy that her trusted servants didn’t stop her relationship to another man. Ae Shin says they only followed her orders. When her Grandfather reminds her of his flexibility with her, he points out it is her turn to give. Ae Shin refuses stating she wants to decide her own destiny. Grandfather orders her to bring her man. Ae Shin refuses stating she’s capable of standing alone and doesn’t need a man to shield her. She says that man will have her heart as long as she lives. Grandfather can’t believe her bold words. He confines her to the compound, no training with Seung Goo or classes at the school.
Ae Shin feels faint which worries her trusted servants. She asks them not to give details when Grandfather pressures them. They assure her they won’t.
Of course, they didn’t promise not to tell all to Eugene. They arrive at his office unannounced. They state that Ae Shin has told her Grandfather she loves someone other than her fiancé and won’t marry. Eugene recalls Hee Sung telling him that he knew something about Ae Shin that Eugene didn’t. The servants ask Eugene to tell Ae Shin’s Grandfather that he won’t be in Korea long.
Grandfather reels in shock when he realizes Eugene has come to see him because he’s the man Ae Shin loves. He orders everyone away so he can have a private conversation. Eugene confirms he is the man Ae Shin loves.
In Grandfather’s private quarters, Ae Shin joins them. Eugene confirms that Ae Shin loves him and he loves her. The pain on Grandfather’s face is evident. He tells Eugene that being an American in Korea means that he’s working against the country. He asks Ae Shin who she can be involved with an American. Eugene says he wants Korea to survive. Eugene informs him that they’ve met previously, when he told a young slave boy that he shouldn’t look to sky and keep his head down. Grandfather can’t believe that Eugene is a former slave. Ae Shin counters that Eugene’s birth wasn’t in his control. She tells Eugene he better leave. He does. Her Grandfather says it is bad enough that she loves another man other than her finance, but a former slave won’t be tolerated. He forbids her relationship with Eugene. He declares spinsterhood and loneliness is her future. Ae Shin leaves. She sees the guards at the gate.
Ae Shin jumps the fence and runs to find Eugene. He’s at his horse and hears her footsteps. She’s puffing when she reaches him. Eugene says he told her to leave. Ae Shin retorts he was quicker than she expected. Ha! Ae Shin says she had to see him to say goodbye. Eugene nods in understanding. He spies her slipper, retrieves it, and gently places it one her foot. Ae Shin struggles to keep it together. She asks him to understand her Grandfather’s position. Eugene is happy they had this opportunity to see each other again. He now knows who she takes after. Ae Shin realizes she must go. Eugene realizes she must return. Ae Shin tells him to take care and spins around to head back to the house. Eugene watches her retreating form.
That was effective. The longing, the understanding of their respective positions. There were no harsh words just acceptance and the wish to be together even though that cannot be.
When Eugene returns to his hotel room he stares at himself, an American soldier, in the mirror.
Back home, Ae Shin recalls walking with Eugene on the beach and daydreaming about living in New York, walking the streets together, picnicking, studying, and visiting the music box shop. At the end of the day, they have to say goodbye. But Eugene says “see you” would be more appropriate. Ae Shin agrees and states they’ll see each other again. The daydreams ends, Ae Shin is alone in her room, and cries.
Another effective scene. The fantasy that they can be together was granted for that one moment. You saw it, I saw it, whether or not it ends up that way, they both dreamed it together.
Hee Na stares at a picture of herself and her mother. She recalls Lord Lee dangling the possibility of information about her mother, information he has been withholding.
Emperor Gojong’s wife (?) summons Hee Naand asks Hee Nato explain what others won’t. What’s the deal with the bank notes? Why is Japan pressing Emperor Gojong? Hee Nastates the Japanese bank notes are money only valid in Korea. If they are placed in circulation in Korea, Japan’s power and wealth in Korea increases, effectively making Japan the central bank of Korea. Emperor Gojong’s wife calls Rinoie a venomous snake pushing Emperor Gojong to utilize the Japanese bank notes.
I appreciated that explanation!
The pressure to put Japanese bank notes in circulation in Korea ramps up. Rinoie warns if they don’t do so, the Japanese army could invade next. Emperor Gojong caves. Lord Lee is horrified, while Rinoie can’t hide his smile.
The police chief is brought to Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok). Dong Mae asks why Rinoie ordered him to frame Ae Shin’s Grandfather for the murder of the American missionary. The police chief admits he doesn’t know. Dong Mae isn’t happy that he was tortured without a clear reason. Anxious to save himself, the police chief offers that Ae Shin’s Grandfather wanted to send a batch of letters, he guesses that was the reason. The postmaster is brought to Dong Mae. He sees the bruised face of the police chief. He offers that Ae Shin’s Grandfather wanted to send a batch of letters to scholars across the country. He told Rinoie who ordered him to burn the letters. He clarifies he kept a single letter. Dong Mae has both been sign (outline their hand) a blank document.
Dong Mae strikes fear! 39 minutes into the episode before my favorite bad boy appears.
The baker doesn’t want to take the Japanese bank notes from a shopper. He calls to Dong Mae as he passes by. Dong Mae isn’t pleased to be bothered and draws his sword. The shopper flees. The baker thanks him. Dong Mae tells the baker he doesn’t joke when he draws his sword. The baker falls backs. Dong Mae smirks.
Eugene brushes past a young noble when he enters the pawn shop to pay the price for tracking down Joseph’s belongings. The pawn broker brothers (Il Sik and Choon Sik) asks that Eugene sign a forged paper to allow the young noble that just left to join the military academy. They explain that Rinoie framed his parents as instigators and the boy and sister live on next to nothing. Eugene knows they’ll get caught. The brothers call him chicken.
The young noble tells his friends that also want to join the military academy he’s made a deal with skilled forgers. Hope is raised among the group who want to fight the growing foreign influence.
Lord Lee tells the potter he needs a replacement for the head of security that cannot be bribed by Rinoie. He wants Seung Goo. The potter realizes that Seung Goo might like the challenge. The potter asks what is happening with Eugene. Lord Lee says he pressured Eugene to accept the training lead role by using them. The potter calls him shameless. Lord Lee quips that not the first time he’s been called that.
Dong Mae jumps Ae Shin’s Grandfather’s wall to speak with him. Ae Shin’s trusted male servant calls for support. Everyone comes running. Ae Shin can’t believe that Dong Mae is in the compound. Her Grandfather demands to know why Dong Mae is there. Dong Mae returns the single letter from the postmaster. That gets Ae Shin’s Grandfather’s attention. He demands to know why Dong Mae has the letter. Dong Mae informs him none of the letters were ever delivered, instead they were burn except that one. He warns that someone is after the family. Ae Shin’s Grandfather asks Dong Mae, who is loyal to the Japanese, is telling him this. Dong Mae says he’s here to support Korea not Japan. He leaves.
Ae Shin’s Grandfather muses that two men, Eugene and Dong Mae, have alerted him to danger. He wonders who the source of the danger is. He tells the trusted male servant he’s glad to know why no one has responded to his letters. That means there is still hope that the scholars can be rallied. He tells the trusted servant to fetch Seung Goo.
Ae Shin and her trusted female servant try and guess why Dong Mae visited. Recalling Dong Mae’s influence, Ae Shin decides she needs to speak with the peddler in the morning.
The peddler delivers a letter to Hee Narequesting she find out why Dong Mae visited her Grandfather. Hee Naquips she can’t know everything.
Dong Mae arrives to take Hee Na shopping. She counters she doesn’t need things she needs to know why he visited Ae Shin’s Grandfather. He quips she knows everything. Hee Na asks the contents of the letter. Hee Nas ays Ae Shin wants to know. That gets Dong Mae’s attention. He says Ae Shin has to ask him in person to get the details. Hee Na ecounters she wants to know. Dong Mae asks if Ae Shin is still engaged. Hee Na wonders if Dong Mae would like that. Dong Mae retorts that if the engagement is off, then Ae Shin is further out of reach. Hee Na retorts that Hee Sung is looking sad, which she takes to mean the engagement is off. Dong Mae is happy and Hee Na notices.
Good pace of conversation between them.
Hee Sung visits his parents who aren’t happy he took the formal marriage request and didn’t deliver it. They want it back. Hee Sung tells them he wants to start a newspaper. His parents are surprised. His father asks where he’s getting the cash. Hee Sung replies he is blackmailing Grandfather’s former victims. His parents didn’t even know his Grandfather had a little black book. Hee Sung replies Grandfather passed it to him. Hee Sung returns to the topic of marrying Ae Shin. He states he wants to break the engagement. His parents are stunned. Hee Sung states protocol demands the groom’s family annuls the engagement. His parents reel with the request and tell him that the engagement was the best thing Grandfather ever did for Hee Sung. He concurs stating he wanted to marry Ae Shin. His parents don’t understand. Why is he not pursuing the one thing he truly wants? Hee Sung tells his parents he knows what happened to Eugene their former slave and his family. He knows they hid it from him. His parents are upset that their efforts to shield their son have failed. Hee Sung asks his mother to save him once more. She sobs recalling the past and knowing the effect on her son.
WOW! That scene gave me goose bumps! Hee Sung you are officially on my list of characters I like! He IS more than a useless fob!
Hee Sung sets up his desk at the pawn brokers shop complete with editor in chief nameplate. He wonders what to call the newspaper.
Loved the cinematography when Hee Sung put the flower out the pawn broker shop.
Hee Sung returns to the tables and plays cards with “the ladies”. He announces his plan to start a newspaper. Ae Shin’s cousin snipes that Ae Shin doesn’t paint or embroider like a normal girl. Hee Sung counters he doesn’t embroider either. Ae Shin’s cousin is forced to chuckles as the other ladies laugh. She continues to insult Ae Shin until Hee Na interrupts. She whispers to Ae Shin’s cousin that her husband’s reservation to gamble was cancelled and he’s headed home. Ae Shin’s cousin quickly exits so her husband doesn’t learn of her activities. Hee Na offers to replace her and sits down at the table. She “accidently” spills a drink on Mrs. Kang whom she suspects of being a spy. She offers a fresh change of clothes for Mrs. Kang in her room.
Hee Sung continues to inch up in my esteem.
In Hee Na’s room, Mrs. Kang rejects Hee Na’s offer of clothing and alcohol. But she is fascinating by the fencing sword muses that blade allows an opponent to be eliminated quickly and accurately. Hee Na smiles recalling articulating similar sentiments. She tells Mrs. Kang the Japanese minister’s son and the French minister’s secretary are the only fencers in town. She offers to arrange lessons. Mrs. Kang declares she can do that herself and takes her leave. Hee Na muses that Mrs. Kang is jealous.
Hee Na continues to inch up in my esteem.
Ae Shin’s grandfather isn’t happy when the palace invites Ae Shin to a discussion about her classes at the school. He grouses that she’s grounded. Ae Shin’s aunt pleads with him to allow the visit which an honor.
A solar eclipse freaks out Emperor Gojong. He believes it is punishment because he agreed with Rinoie’s request. Lord Lee tells him to buck up. Eugene’s arrival is announced. Lord Lee states Eugene is a nominee to train at Emperor Gojong’s military academy. That lifts Emperor Gojong’s spirits.
Emperor Gojong appoints Emperor Gojong as the trainer for his military academy. Lord Lee has to prompt Eugene to address Emperor Gojong properly while accepting the offer and a gift. Emperor Gojong asks why Eugene is accepting the position he once rejected. Eugene states that Lord Lee is giving him a mountain in return. Emperor Gojong asks if that is the real reason. Eugene deadpans is was a big mountain. Ha!
As Ae Shin walks to her meeting with Emperor Gojong, Eugene is leaving his meeting with Emperor Gojong. Eugene introduces himself to Emperor Gojong’s wife stating he’s the new trainer at the military academy. She’s pleased to meet him. Eugene’s eyes go to Ae Shin as he states he could be training comrades. She doesn’t look at him. While he stares at Ae Shin, Eugene tells Emperor Gojong’s wife that she’s beautiful. Emperor Gojong’s wife is pleased. Eugene states he wishes he could see the plum tree blossoms all year. The ladies walk past him. Even though she never makes eye contact, Ae Shin understands his personal messages in his statements.
Hee Sung stares at the solar eclipse.
Dong Mae stares at the solar eclipse.
Hee Na stares at the solar eclipse.
Ae Shin’s grandfather meets with the rebels and thanks them for their support. Seung Goo declares they’ll get the letters in the scholars’ hands and return soon. They bow to Ae Shin’s Grandfather. They walk through the wood under the darkness of the solar eclipse.
Hee Sung watches at the solar eclipse.
Dong Mae watches at the solar eclipse.
Hee Na watches at the solar eclipse.
You know big events are in the offing!
Writer Kim Eun Sook hit a home run in this superb episode. The political machinations were fascinating. The trio of men that work to protect Ae Shin laid their cards on the table. Ae Shin boldly rejected the engagement. Hee Sung demanded his parents officially break the engagement. Director Lee’s cinematography was excellent. I LOVED THIS EPISODE!!!
Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) met Ae Shin’s Grandfather as the man Ae Shin loved. Eugene was deferential and left when Ae Shin advised him to. He knows Ae Shin is on lock-down due to her defiance. He loves her for her willingness to go the wall for them. Eugene accepted the military academy position in exchange for the mountain his parents are buried. Loved his deadpan explanation to Emperor Gojong while Lord Lee watched in exasperation.
Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) battled with her Grandfather, but in a respectful manner. It didn’t go over well. The power struggle ended in house detention. But Eugene was summoned. Ae Shin clearly stated Eugene was the man she loved to her appalled Grandfather. Hee Na helped Ae Shin when she requested. I’m loving the increased connection between these two. Finally, the longing between Eugene and Ae Shin was palpable and utterly perfect.
Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) went to Ae Shin’s Grandfather. He couldn’t believe the Dong Mae darkened his door to inform him that he was under surveillance. But after that visit he knew his letters to the scholars were never sent. His hope revived, Ae Shin’s Grandfather sent the rebels to deliver the letters. I love Dong Mae. Any scene he is in, I’m riveted.
Hee Na (Kim Min Jung) suspected Mrs. Kang was a spy for her father. Her fencing sword bonded the women but Mrs. Kang avoided Hee Na’s offers and fled. Hee Na is fascinating. More please.
Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) clearly showed his intent to support Ae Shin out of love. His parents were gob smacked that he was willing to break the engagement, that he knew about his family’s actions in regard to Eugene’s family, that he had Grandfather’s little black book and was blackmailing folks with it. Yep, this was THE BEST episode for Hee Sung to far! I’m thrilled have his murkiness clarified.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as excellent. My episode ranking chart is below.