Mr. Sunshine Episode 19 Recap
Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) reaches around Ae Shin’s head, grabs her braid and cuts it off. Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) stares at him in shock. Dong Mae recalls his deliberate harsh words to her years ago, now he does the same. He asks if she’s in pain. Ae Shin pulls his sword and puts it to his throat. She points out this hurtful behavior is a pattern. Dong Mae counters that her past kindness gave him hope, a horrible state of existence that has precipitated his actions today. Ae Shin points out she’d save him again. But now he’s on the “never want to see you again” list. She promises to kill him next time they meet. Ae Shin declares it’s time he think only of her as frivolous noble woman. Hee Na (Kim Min Jung) pulls the sword away from Dong Mae’s neck and out of Ae Shin’s hand. She states this public moment must end. Hee Na recalls Dong Mae stating that he shot a black bird (Ae Shin). She tells him his black bird won’t stay grounded. Hee Na pulls her away. Ae Shin snatches her hair out of Dong Mae’s hand leaving the covering in his.
The meaning of Dong Mae’s actions isn’t crystal clear. But their interchange was. “You gave me hope and I’m miserable because of it” (Dong Mae). “I’d save you again in the past but I’m done with you in the present” (Ae Shin).
Hee Na takes Eugene’s handkerchief and wraps Ae Shin’s hair. She says it was meant for her anyhow. Hee Na points out the obvious, hair will grow back and this isn’t the end of the world nor should it affect her fight for her country. Hee Na states that Ae Shin’s gun carrying has affected the men in her world. She believes Japan will make Korea its slave. Ae Shin counters that her view is different. This country and her hair from her parents are precious to her. She doesn’t want Hee Na’s patronizing view.
Tension between frenemies is important. Ae Shin believes the rebels can stop Japan’s assimilation of Korea. Hee Na claims not to. Big difference of opinion.
The Japanese commander holds the music box Eugene gave Ae Shin and his soldiers stole from Ae Shin’s house and points out this music box used to belong to Eugene. Pausing, Eugene decides to feign surprise that Ae Shin had the music box. The commander is openly disbelieving. The commander’s translator arrives with a message from Ae Shin that nothing was stolen from her house and if he wants to meet, the commander must come to her. He sends the interpreter away. Eugene suggests that Ae Shin purchased the stolen music box. He notes his room has been rifled many times. Eugene says the thief must have been a Japanese soldier. The commander says he can’t have the music box back. Eugene counters he didn’t expect him to return it. He heads up to his room.
These two are playing cat and mouse games.
Do Mi’s sister, a maid at hotel, believes Eugene needs to know that Ae Shin has been paying the debt to Dong Mae for the document she withheld. She reports the Dong Mae just cut off Ae Shin’s hair in the middle of town. She believes Eugene is the only one that can take on Dong Mae. Eugene mutters that everyone is vexing him. He tells her he’ll handle it.
The baker tells Ae Shin’s cousin that Dong Mae cut off Ae Shin’s hair. She can’t believe Ae Shin is taking a modern approach to her hairstyle. Ha!
Ae Shin’s cousin immediately tattles to Grandfather about Dong Mae chopping off Ae Shin’s hair and the continued shame Ae Shin heaps on their family. Grandfather reads her the riot act for enjoying Ae Shin’s situation instead of helping her cope.
Tell it like it is Grandpa!
Eugene strides through the town to find Dong Mae. He spies Ae Shin’s Grandfather striking Dong Mae with a broom. He warns Dong Mae if he continues to interact with his granddaughter he’ll treat him like the butcher’s son he is. Ae Shin’s Grandfather leaves.
Dong Mae tells Eugene it is his turn to thwack him. Eugene demands to know why Dong Mae did what he did. Dong Mae admits that Rinoie has been gathering intel on Ae Shin. Eugene realizes Dong Mae acted to protect Ae Shin. He says they are now even. Without preamble, a furious Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) arrives and hits Dong Mae.
Dong Mae admitted his rational to Eugene but Hee Sung was “act first, talk later”.
Hee Na reflects that the three men in Ae Shin’s life are all hurting because of her, but who will pay the biggest price for loving Ae Shin?
His anger spent, Hee Sung stops hitting Dong Mae. Eugene leaves.
Ae Shin’s trusted female servant tells Ae Shin the hair will grow back and avoiding Grandfather for the time being is wise. Grandfather bursts through the door and pulls Eugene’s handkerchief out of Ae Shin’s hair. She apologizes to her Grandfather. He says it is only hair. The important thing is that she’s alive and well, unlike her parents.
That was a burst of energy from her Grandfather. He seemed to struggle to speak to Dong Mae after whacking him but he was back to vigor and more importantly understanding with his precious granddaughter.
Rinoie’s assistant states the report from Japan hasn’t arrive. Rinoie realizes there’s more to the story. He states the report was intercepted. Now he’s sure there was a name someone didn’t want him to see in the report. Rinoie asks what Ae Shin’s father’s name was. Suddenly he realizes that Ae Shin’s mother spoke that name before dying. He knows that name was in the report. The puzzle pieces click in place as Rinoie realizes he killed Ae Shin’s parents. Rinoie ask if Ae Shin really ended her engagement. His assistant confirms this.
Hee Sung strides into the hotel lobby only to see his father and Rinoie waiting for him in the dining room. Hee Sung’s father tells him to join them. Hee Na enters the lobby. Rinoie tells her to join them. Hee Na declines. Hee Sung asks her to take pity on him and help him out with the guy on the right who is his father. Hee Na counters she’s had a bad day too and the guy on the left is her father. That surprises Hee Sung. Ha!
Writer Kim excels at that kind of dialog.
Rinoie is patently obvious has he feigns caring about Hee Sung’s broken engagement while eyeing his daughter saying there’s another woman just around the corner. Hee Sung’s father is patently obvious has claims that Hee Sung’s desire is to work in the railroad industry. Rinoie agrees he could make introductions given Hee Sung’s father’s wealth. He confides that being rich in a rising industry is better than being rich in a failing country. The two fathers chuckle in agreement and their shared intent to match their children. Hee Sung and Hee Na suffer in silence.
Afterwards, Hee Na tells her father she could poison him. Rinoie retorts poisoning the new Japanese commander would be better use for the poison. He warns her to keep her distance from Ae Shin. Rinoie admits he killed Ae Shin’s parents. He walks away. Hee Na grapples with the magnitude of his words.
Wow! That admission caught me by surprise (Hee Na too)!
Eugene finds Hee Na trying to regroup. He asks if everything is okay. Hee Na says she just completed a blind date with Hee Sung. Eugene quips that Hee Sung isn’t an unsettling man. Ha! Hee Na chuckles. Eugene asks Hee Na if she’d be willing to provide the wrong key for the Japanese commander’s room. Hee Na offers the master key. Eugene thanks her.
It seems like Hee Na isn’t as enamored of Eugene. I hope so. That’s futile.
Eugene searches the Japanese commanders’ room and finds his music box. He also finds a list of the rebels that includes the names on the back of the old picture. The signal is raised letting him know his time is up in the room. He replaces the box and hides as the commander enters the room. The commander checks to confirm the list is still there. But he knows someone was in his room. He dashes downstairs. Eugene strolls into the lobby. The commander notes he didn’t see Eugene walking back to the hotel. Eugene points out they are on different paths. He requests his key from Hee Na and asks dinner be sent to his room. The commander seethes. He demands to know the paths to the hotel. Hee Na points out there are two different paths.
Love the symbolism of Eugene’s statement regarding the different paths he and the commander are one. Their cat and mouse games are escalating. The commander KNOWS Eugene was in his room but can’t prove it. His frustration was gratifying. But I worry how he’ll retaliate.
Eugene dashes into his room and puts pens to paper to reproduce the list of names from the commander’s room.
Who knew that Director Lee could make that scene interesting?
Dong Mae’s second in command informs Dong Mae who the new Japanese commander is. He relays that the commander waiting for him at his dojo and is sticking his nose into the business district. He warns Dong Mae not to speak Korean around the commander because he’s fluent.
The commander literally laughs when Dong Mae arrives at his dojo and introduces himself. The commander laughs that things were a mess when he arrived in town. The commander doesn’t like that the Japanese currency isn’t accepted in the business district. Dong Mae points out that currency can’t be converted to cash. The commander plays the low born card identifying Dong Mae as the son of a butcher, a traitor to Korea, and thug for Japan. Dong Mae counters that the commander is a noble and soldier, two things he hates. Dong Mae warns him not to go to his part of town without his permission or bad things could happen. The commander bristles that he’s the most powerful Japanese man in Korea. Dong Mae counters that he is loyal to his gang not Japan. Livid, the commander draws his pistol. Dong Mae flips him to the ground. Dong Mae grabs his shoulder in pain. Dong Mae’s men race in. The commander goes to pick up the pistol. Dong Mae points out he lost and the pistol won’t erase that. He walks past the commander. Dong Mae adds insult to injury and asks the commander to remove his boots when he enters the dojo. Dong Mae leaves. The commander seethes.
WOW! Dong Mae chewed up the command and spit him out. I worry about the retaliation. As the command brays about his power, you know he WILL use it.
The potter (rebel leader) and his apprentice leave. Eugene tells the river eatery proprietress that she should go into hiding too. She counters she must stay so not to draw attention to the potter’s absence. She admits she’s waiting for word from a man that has been radio silent. She turns and thanks him. Eugene remembers moments with the potter, the man that saved him from the bounty hunters.
Eugene has been supportive.
Rinoie catches a man trailing him. He demands to know why the man is following him. The man declares he will avenge the deaths Rinoie was responsible years ago. Rinoie realizes the next generation of the rebels are functional. He wants to know who the man’s cohorts are.
Hee Na delivers the suit Hee Sung had made (for Ae Shin) to his hotel room. Hee Sung invites her in citing their blind date has advanced their relationship. Hee Na asks what his father said about her. Hee Sung asks if she’ll marry him if the opinion was favorable. Hee Sung retorts she’s not the one that has suits made for a woman. Hee Sung feigns ignorance. He asks if she knows something. Thinking of her father’s admission that he killed Ae Shin’s parents, Hee Na retorts she knows more than she wants to know.
I’m lovely almost every scene in this episode! There’s more than meet the eye to every scene.
Ae Shin practices with her gun and recalls moments training with Eugene. She looks at her pinwheel. She sees Eugene go by on horseback. The stare at each other. She asks how he’s been. Eugene says her hair is shorter. Ae Shin touches his handkerchief wrapped around her shortened locks and asks if she’s pretty. Eugene says she looks strong and brave. Ae Shin chuckles and says she’d expected to hear a word that starts with “l”. Eugene declares he misses her. He guesses that isn’t the word. Ha! Ae Shin confirms that’s not the word. They both smile. Someone calls to Ae Shin. Knowing their time is at an end, Ae Shin waves to Eugene and he returns the wave. He says he’ll see her again. He stares as long as he can as he goes. Ae Shin watches him go.
Nice moment. They are a committed couple within the limits allowed to them.
Eugene catches the noble academy trainee breaking into the firearms storehouse. The trainee asks Eugene to look the other way. Eugene throws him the key to the storehouse. The trainee says Eugene shouldn’t do this. Eugene remarks he’s walking the same direction.
Eugene walks behind the trainee with the rifle. He spies the person the trainee is to meet. Eugene senses danger and pulls him back. He points out the person has a dropping left shoulder. Eugene says they’ve been compromised. The trainee refuses to believe this. He starts towards his friend. But when his friend calls that Rinoie is watching him as they speak, he didn’t compromise any names, and he must save himself, he’s shot. The trainee calls out. Eugene covers his mouth. He says his friend just sacrificed his life for him. Eugene declares he must save the others in the group by not revealing himself. Eugene leads the way.
Back at the firearms storehouse, the trainee sinks to his knees overcome by what just happened. The other young nobles arrive and ask what happened. They ask why Eugene is there and where the other member of their group is. They see their sobbing friend and know something dreadful has happened. Eugene advises them to use their revenge to fuel building their skill and ability to defeat their enemy. They sob their pain.
Staring at the dead body, Rinoie is disgusted his plan to capture the next generation rebels failed. He asks who runs the railroad. His assistant identifies Mr. Park is the president but he’s the Japanese minister’s lackey. Rinoie wants to meet him. He suggests that a war with Russia will require a well built railroad. Rinoie tells his assistant he will destroy his wife’s family. He tells his assistant the time has come for him to declare his loyalty over his family. Rinoie tell his assistant that betraying his family is less egregious than betraying his country.
Rinoie arrives at Ae Shin’s Grandfather’s compound. He brings men. Ae Shin’s Grandfather demands to know why Rinoie is there. Rinoie offers a way for him to help Korea. He puts a map on the table and draws a line that cuts through his compound. As the foreign affairs minister he can appropriate the compound for the railroad. Ae Shin’s Grandfather declares he can’t do this. Rinoie motions the men to begin destroying the compound structures. Rinoie smiles in pleasure. Ae Shin’s Grandfather suffers heart palpitations watching his home destroyed. The pinwheel falls to the ground. Ae Shin and her aunt run to Grandfather. Rinoie declares he’ll stop his men for the moment. He warns the household to be gone when they return tomorrow. Ae Shin stares daggers at Rinoie. He vows the compound will be razed the next day. Ae Shin’s Grandfather manages to order Ae Shin locked in the shed. Ae Shin struggles against the hands that grab her.
Wow! Rinoie is EVIL in pursuit of his power. How long until Ae Shin’s Grandfather’s body fails him?
Ae Shin’s Grandfather tells his tenant farmers their relationship must end. He gives away his land to the faithful farmers where the train will not go. He makes them promise they won’t cave to the Japanese and sell the land he just bequeathed them.
Rinoie’s assistant hits Ae Shin’s cousin (his second wife) for not grabbing land from her Grandfather. But she shows backbone and refuses. Grandfather arrives and tells him to stop. The assistant lie that he was disciplining her for bad behavior but Grandfather doesn’t buy it. He wanted to tell him to treat her well but now sees hitting a defenseless woman is acceptable. He grabs his niece and drags her away. Rinoie’s assistant declares his choice (Rinoie or family) has just been made.
The informant tells Dong Mae that Ae Shin’s Grandfather is giving away his land to his tenant farmers and servants. He offers Dong Mae the war bond he found at the compound noting it would get Ae Shin’s Grandfather in major trouble. Dong Mae is pleased when the informant assures him he’s told no one else. Dong Mae’s second in command slits the man’s throat. Dong Mae stands and sees that Ae Shin’s Grandfather’s trusted male servant observed what just happened. The servant recalls Eugene’s advice that the informant must be silenced.
Dong Mae is a problem solution kind of guy. Informant (problem), kill informant (solution).
Terrific photography in that scene. Dong Mae’s second in command is hot in his ferocity.
Eugene is surprised to find Dong Mae was also summoned by Ae Shin’s Grandfather. He offers Dong Mae some of his holdings with the request that he protect Ae Shin. He turns his attention to Eugene and asks him to kill the Japanese commander. Dong Mae asks why he gets the protection role while Eugene gets to kill. Grandfather says Dong Mae will protect at any cost and Eugene won’t make any mistakes. Eugene asks why the commander not Rinoie is the choice. Grandfather says that if a Korean man kills the commander (he considers Eugene American) then Japan will be justified to exert more force. Eugene isn’t happy with the request. Grandfather promises to become the black bird that flies above Eugene.
Outside the compound, Dong Mae notes that Grandfather’s request pushes both of them away from Ae Shin.
Eugene’s voiceover says it doesn’t matter which of the three that loved Ae Shin had to suffer in a moment, they would all suffer in the end. He declares his love to Ae Shin and desires she lives above all. He knows happy endings won’t happen.
I agree. The direr things get, the more unlikely that anyone will waltz into the sunset happy and healthy.
Ae Shin’s aunt finds Grandfather dead the next morning. His will choices are in voiceover. The household is stunned. Ae Shin is informed by her trusted female servant.
The household mourns. Ae Shin is stunned and holds a picture of her parents. Ae Shin isn’t allowed to leave the woman’s mourning area as it isn’t proper.
Flashback…Ae Shin recalls her Grandfather coming to her his last night and telling her that she’d be released from the shed the next day. Her Grandfather doesn’t want to weld a gun in anger but rather be like her mother. He offers her the picture of her parents. He asks that she forgive him for the harsh words they had. He tells her not to die. He tells her to live.
Ae Shin breaks down in tears while her servant comforts her and mourns too.
Eugene arrives and watches the family mourn. Rinoie arrives. Emperor Gojong arrives much to Rinoie’s surprise. Emperor Gojong dressed in funeral attire along with Lord Lee and Jang Seung Goo (Choi Moo Sung) arrive and join the mourners. As Emperor Gojong leaves Rinoie tells him it was shameful for him to bow to a lowly noble. Emperor Gojong grabs a whip and strikes Rinoie. He can’t believe it. Emperor Gojong fires Rinoie. Outraged Rinoie yells that he doesn’t need a job in a government that will soon collapse. Seung Goo strikes Rinoie down and holds a cane at his throat. Rinoie promises to kill him. Seung Goo tells him to bring it. Recalls Rinoie betrayed the village years ago and Seung Goo’s father and many other died because of this.
Wow! Superb scene! Emperor Gojong was honorable and gave Rinoie a well deserved kick. Seung Goo has been ready to kill Rinoie for a lifetime. Will he achieve that dream?
The procession to burn the body is held. Rinoie blocks the path with his thugs. He sends his men to attack the mourners. Rinoie smiles in pleasure at the chaos and ruined solemnity.
Rinoie won’t ever forget a slight and will weld all his power to make others pay.
Eugene walks the deserted compound knowing that the family went to relatives in another town but Ae Shin disappeared. Her whereabout are unknown.
Awk! Tears! The destruction of this family mirrors the pending destruction of the country. It is dreadfully sad.
Do Mi tells his sister that Eugene doesn’t eat much. His sister knows Eugene is worried about Ae Shin and tells her brother to take care of Eugene. Hee Na sits next to them. She asks what serious matter they were discussing. Do Mi’s sister declares that Rinoie destroyed Ae Shin’s family. Hee Na notes that even children know Rinoie is evil. She sends them away. She cries knowing that horrible man is her father.
The Japanese commander compliments Rinoie’s tactics and results. Rinoie demurs he took the same hard line the commander would have taken. The commander notes he has something that beloved to the missing Ae Shin. Rinoie declares Ae Shin will return for the 49th day memorial tomorrow and he’ll catch her. The commander says he’ll clean up other matters.
The river eatery proprietress has a man hold a pistol to her head. He demands she take him to the potter. She says he’s across the river. She tells him they must take the boat. In the middle of the river, she tips the boat and they both go over. She exits the river with a knife in her hand.
Unfortunately, the commander and other soldiers are waiting for her. The commander shoots her dead. She falls into the river. He regrets not interrogating her first. He decides he’ll have to find the answer another way.
Dong Mae tells his men, he’ll visit the temple solo. His second in command says it isn’t safe. Everyone’s eyes widen in shock when the gang’s boss and his men arrive. Dong Mae and his men kneel before their boss.
That was a surprise. Did the commander send for him?
The river eatery proprietress is hung from the bridge by the Japanese commander. He smiles knowing he has the power and the Korean citizens can do nothing.
That guy is EVIL.
Kyle (David McInnis) reports the incident to Eugene.
Seung Goo and the palace guards head at the bridge. Eugene and Kyle arrive at the bridge. The Japanese command calls to Eugene. They urge their horses up onto the bridge.
The trusted servants wonder if Ae Shin will show to the 49th day memorial underway at the temple. Hee Sung and the other mourners watch the Japanese soldiers march up the stairs to the temple. Hee Sung approaches the soldiers. They demand to know where Ae Shin is. The mourners try to flee. The Japanese soldiers fire then charge the mourners. A massacre of mourner ensues. Hee Sung sees the trusted male servant will be shot and intervenes. He fights and kills a soldier.
The temple reveals a stockpile of shotguns and the mourners fight back against the soldiers. Ae Shin’s aunt welds a mean arrow. When the trusted female servant is shot, the male servant rushes to her side. A solider takes aim but Hee Sung fires and kills him.
Oh no! Awk! Tears!
Hee Sung sees the soldiers behind him. He stares at them and knows his time is up.
The carnage of the soldiers killing mourners continues.
Hee Sung watches the soldiers approach. He bows his head. We see the flowers on the sign of the newspaper.
That was a brilliant moment by Director Lee.
Shots ring out. Japanese soldiers drop like flies. It’s the potter and the rebels!
Hee Sung turns to see the sniper that saved him on the temple’s rooftop. He stares at the masked sniper. It’s Ae Shin!
Writer Kim Eun Sook and Director Lee both hit home runs in this gripping, emotional, exceptional episode. I’m going to quote last episode’s recap “Things aren’t sunshine and roses anymore. Characters we like will be dying. You know and I know it.” Bingo. Granted I didn’t foresee the stunning cruelty that Rinoie and the commander would weld. I knew these two guys were evil but this was Evil Empire crushing a town still under a functional government without a care. Rinoie’s ego demands harsh payment. But the commander is evil incarnate. His fanatical view that Korea should be enslaved was unleashed with the power of his soldiers.
Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) got the job to kill the commander. Eugene protested Ae Shin’s Grandfather giving him the job to murder. Grandfather’s logic was sound. Eugene would handle the job with cold precision. After the actions today, will Eugene step aside from his uniform and take out the commander as a sniper? It was a tense moment when he searched the commander’s room and he used Ae Shin’s trick to leap from the deck and then entered the hotel like he was just getting there. Even though the moment was brief, Eugene and Ae Shin’s communication over the wall was a sweet moment. He couldn’t bring himself to verbalize his love though he thought it later.
Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) watched her family implode due to Rinoie’s cruel machinations. Rinoie was a bully when he announced the Government was taking over the family land for the railroad. But when he and the men return on the day of the funeral that was downright evil. But it got even worse when he had his men attack the mourner’s procession. Ae Shin saw it happen and knew her life was forever changed. Her world was crushed and her rebel persona was all that was left. I respect her choice. Fleeing was never an option for Ae Shin. She saved Hee Sung in a moment when I thought he was a goner. Ae Shin swallowed bitter pills this episode but refused to bend to the evil empire. I love her for it.
Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) got the job to protect Ae Shin. Ae Shin’s Grandfather gave him the job to protect Ae Shin because he knew that Dong Mae would sacrifice himself to save her. That may foretell the ending for this bad boy with a heart character. I love Dong Mae. His exchange where he bested the Japanese commander was perfection. I love the fierce loyalty of Dong Mae’s second in command. But they both got a shock when the gang’s big boss arrived. Who summoned him?
Hee Na (Kim Min Jung) broke down knowing how cruel her father was. Her father is a horrible man and everyone knows it. The scene in the dining room with Hee Sung and their fathers was a wonderful light moment before the harsh reality of the Japanese power move revealed itself.
Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) faced death but Ae Shin saved his life. I was proud when Hee Sung decided to save the servant’s life. I was proud when he faced his own death with acceptance and a bravery. His black bird above him was Ae Shin as she killed the three soldiers that had the guns trained on Hee Sung.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as excellent. My episode ranking chart is below.
The twelfth song of the OST “As Beautiful as Fireworks” by Shin Seung Hun is a ballad featured during Ae Shin and Eugene’s sweet moment at the wall.