Mr. Sunshine Episode 20 Recap
The river eatery proprietress has been murdered and hung from the bridge by the Japanese commander. He smiles knowing he has the power and the Korean citizens can do nothing. Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) and Kyle (David McInnis) arrive at the bridge. The Japanese command calls to Eugene. They urge their horses up onto the bridge. Eugene strides across the bridge and decks the commander. The Japanese soldiers aim their weapons at Eugene and Kyle. The commander is shocked and stands. Eugene hits him again. A soldier shoots Eugene in the arm. Eugene shoots the shoulder back. Kyle warns the solider to back off or he’ll add another bullet. The commander stands. Eugene yells that in war soldiers kill soldiers not civilians. The command is thrilled that Eugene just confirmed the importance of the murdered woman.
I LOVED the two, count them, two hits Eugene landed on the commander. Was that a tactical error? Wouldn’t Eugene be furious that any civilian was murdered by the Japanese? He has a track record of rescuing civilians (Do Mi and his sister) from Japanese soldiers.
Jang Seung Goo (Choi Moo Sung) and the palace soldiers arrive at the bridge. He hesitates and looks at the body hanging from the bridge. He looks away. He stares at her dangling. He yells to cut her down. Tears fill his eyes. Seung Goo declares she was his wife!
Eugene tells the commander to let the body down. The commander is thrilled that Eugene knows the head of the palace soldiers was her husband. Sick of the inhumanity, Eugene points his gun at the commander and yells to cut her down. The commander smiles an evil smile. He warns Eugene he’s made a stand for something that isn’t worth it. He wipes the blood away and tells him he’ll pay him back with interest. Eugene tells him he’s going to kill him and keep the promise.
Wow! Eugene is direct!
The big boss, direct from Japan, looks at the kneeling Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) and his men. He asks Dong Mae how much has been accomplished and how much blood has been shed.
Seung Goo holds his dead wife’s body. Seung Goo sobs. Eugene watches him sob.
Awk! Tears! Perfect song. Lee Byung Hun clinches his jaw to show suppressed emotion.
Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) avoids death from the approaching Japanese soldiers when shots ring out. Hee Sung turns to see the sniper that saved him on the temple’s rooftop. He stares at the masked sniper. It’s Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri)! The potter rebel leader and other rebels dispatches the remaining soldiers.
The potter explains to Ae Shin’s aunt that Ae Shin’s Grandfather funded the rebels. He urges her to come with them to a safe place. She asks about Ae Shin. The potter says she’ll come later. He leaves Ae Shin with her aunt and trusted servants. Ae Shin says she can’t come because she has things to do here. Ae Shin tells her trusted servants to take care of her aunt. Everyone knows this is goodbye. No one has a dry eye. Ae Shin’s aunt declares she’ll wait for her to join them. Ae Shin says she’ll come.
Ae Shin meets Hee Sung at the bridge. She thanks him for defending her family. He quips she’s sunk the eight ball. Ae Shin wishes him well in the newspaper business. She doesn’t believe in the power of the pen, but she believes in him. Hee Sung says the truth must be documented. He urges her to fight through her gun and he’ll document it with his pen. He tells her to stop by the hotel if she can when it is safe, noting the eight ball is sometimes hidden and in danger. They wish each other well.
I appreciated the mutual respect in that scene.
The Japanese commander tells the man that shot Eugene his act was useless. His voice goes icy and berates the man for not killing Eugene, he grabs the man’s wounded arm and squeezes. The commander tells the man to and shoots him dead. He shoots two other soldiers. He tells the remaining soldiers no one in his army has been defeated.
He’s nuts and VERY dangerous.
In all his bloody glory, the command arrives to meet the big boss. He tattles to the big boss that Dong Mae was recently shot. The big boss asks Dong Mae, who he calls Sho Ishida, for details. The commander chuckles that Dong Mae is unworthy of that name. He holds out his glass and tells Dong Mae to fill it. Dong Mae does though it costs him. The commander smiles. A solider arrives and tells the commander all the men sent to the temple have been killed. That wipes the smile off the commander’s face. He apologizes to the big boss for disappointing him.
He’s nuts and VERY dangerous.
Hee Na (Kim Min Jung) asks if the French secretary wants to take her to France. He does and promises to wait for her to come to him. After he leaves, Hee Na goes behind the screen where Mrs. Kang has been listening. She’s not happy that Hee Na got the invitation to France she wanted. Hee Na frightens Mrs. Kang with the news that Rinoie suspects her of being a traitor. Hee Na offers her escape if she details what she knows. Otherwise it is death. Mrs. Kang doesn’t understand why she’s giving her the option to live. Hee Na admits torqueing off Rinoie makes her happy. Mrs. Kang share what she’s divulged including the news that someone arriving from Japan wants the names of Emperor Gojong’s agents. Mrs. Kang says she doesn’t know who the man from Japan is nor could she supply the agent’s names. Hee Na summons Dong Mae’s men. She tells the unhappy woman her offer is rescinded. Hee Na heads to Rinoie’s house to verify Mrs. Kang’s story.
Eugene spies the pinwheel as he walks through town. He runs in the opposite direction.
Dong Mae finds a bag of money from Ae Shin. He realizes she’s paid for Do Mi’s sister’s safety for many months in advance. He guesses Ae Shin will try and kill Rinoie. He runs.
Ae Shin jumps a wall.
Rinoie loves that the commander’s men were killed. Rinoie turns out the lights in the bedroom. Ae Shin enters and cocks the shotgun at him. Rinoie demands to know who it is. Ae Shin pulls off her mask. Rinoie is shocked. Ae Shin says she’s here to kill him. She says she’s later than she wanted to be. Rinoie hears Ae Shin’s mother’s final words that his actions would cost him his life.
Eugene runs to Rinoie’s house. Dong Mae runs to Rinoie’s house. Hee Na rickshaws to Rinoie’s house.
Rinoie says his death won’t save Korea. Ae Shin retorts if it adds one more day to their sovereignty, it’s enough. He throws his pillow at her. She instinctively fires.
Hee Na hears the shot. Eugene hears the shot. Dong Mae runs harder.
Rinoie makes the rifle on the table. Ae Shin shoots in him the shoulder.
Eugene arrives at the house and draws his gun.
Rinoie stares at Ae Shin calls her an unkind name. She shoots in in the heart. He dies.
He deserved that. Actually, one death almost isn’t enough for him.
Eugene enters the bedroom his gun drawn and finds Rinoie dead. Ae Shin isn’t there. Dong Mae bursts in the room. He asks if Eugene caught the killer. Eugene acknowledges they came for the same reason. He says her blood isn’t here. Dong Mae states the Eugene should become the culprit. Dong Mae points out he was given the protector job by her Grandfather. Eugene quips Dong Mae that honor would protect her. Dong Mae retorts witness is his role. Hee Na bursts into the room. Dong Mae blocks her view. He asks why she’s here. Hee Na says she was coming to speak with Rinoie. She tells her man to get the pawn broker brother and the Japanese doctor her father was blackmailing. She tells them she’ll clean up this mess.
I love the Eugene and Dong Mae don’t hide their common goal to protect Ae Shin. Writer Kim delivers beautiful bromance moments.
As she waits, Hee Na tells her father this is his chance to do something right. The doctor arrives. He’s shocked to find Rinoie dead in the bedroom. Hee Na puts a gun to his head. She tosses a piece of paper on the floor and orders him to pick it up. He does. She sees he is right handed. She shoots him in the head! She puts the gun in the dead doctor’s hand. His will is laid out on his desk.
Hee Na is impressive.
The Japanese commander finds Eugene walking through the streets. He says Korea will feel despair. He asks if Ae Shin knows Eugene was born a lowly slave. Eugene sees the blood on him and guesses the soldiers that interacted with him are dead. The commander chuckles that he killed them. The commander reveals his soldiers at the temple were killed. He wonders who was responsible for that. The commander tells him to watch out. It’s not clear is Eugene is American or Korean by his actions.
The commander looks at the list of rebels. He signs Eugene’s name at the bottom.
He’s VERY dangerous.
Rinoie’s assistant freaks when he finds the dead bodies. He calls for the police.
The pawn broker brothers (Il Sik and Choon Sik) are happy to see Rinoie’s obituary. They congratulate themselves on the forged will for the doctor. They guess Hee Na knows who really killed Rinoie. They stare at Hee Sung and assume he knows too.
Hee Sung wonders if Ae Shin will return.
The commander learns Rinoie was murdered. He smiles knowing he warned Rinoie. He could care less about how Rinoie died because he was Korean.
The police chief reports the details of Rinoie’s death to Lord Lee. He states that because Rinoie was a traitor working for Japan, it is their problem.
The are new Japanese men in town, Gwon Jung Hyeon, director of the archives, and Lee Guen Taek, director of audits. The both agree Rinoie was a horrible person and traitor.
Seung Goo puts rocks at his wife’s grave. Eugene pours the alcohol on the rocks. Seung Goo thanks her for all she did. He says he’ll take it from her. He sobs his grief.
As they walk through the woods, Seung Goo stops and puts his wife’s ribbon on his gun. He tells Eugene they must go their separate paths. Eugene tells him they should walk that path together. He reveals the commander has a list of rebels. Eugene points out they must find out who the traitor is before the commander dies. He invites Seung Goo for a drink.
Lord Lee finds Hee Na with her father’s body. He offers to take care of the funeral. She offers to find out the French Secretary’s boss. In exchange she’ll want the coveted information about her mother. Lord Lee reveals Hee Na’s mother is in a Catholic convent. Hee Na reels in shock. Lord Lee states he found her after she was buried and left for dead. Hee Na vows this better be true or she’ll kill him. Lord Lee says he kept the truth from her to give her hope. Outraged Hee Na yells that she was barely alive emotionally and he used her pain for his own agenda. Tears fill her eyes. She vows to kill him.
The timing of that reveal surprised me.
Per his request, Dong Mae and his men meet Eugene at the post office. Eugene asks Dong Mae to help him search the post office. Dong Mae declines until Eugene comments they have a mutual enemy in the commander. As they review books of telegrams Eugene states he believes the commander has a spy. Dong Mae says someone like Eugene would fit the bill. He ignores the jibe and gives Dong Mae another book to review. He finds a suspicious telegram to the French secretary. Eugene agrees and declares they may have found the spy.
Eugene delivers the French secretary to Lord Lee with accusation that he’s the commander’s spy. Lord Lee who asks why Eugene is helping Korea again. Eugene quips Korea owes him for the many times he’s helped. Eugene asks Lord Lee not to give away Korea even if pressured. Then he zings Lord Lee with the fact that he doesn’t own a mountain. Ha! Lord Lee signals his men to take the French secretary away.
Lord Lee advises Emperor Gojong not to give Korea freely away without a fight. Lord Lee vows to fight. He asks Emperor Gojong to let him fight for Korea.
The commander views the dead French secretary pulled from the river. The commander wonders if Eugene or Ae Shin killed him.
The commander tortures the rebels to divulge where the potter and Ae Shin are but they won’t crack while being beaten. He starts shooting them dead but they still won’t crack. Inspired he tells his men to cripple them instead.
The commander searches the Japanese doctor’s office. A hood is placed over his head. A masked Seung Goo chokes him until he passes out. A masked Eugene is there too. As they start to leave the nurse finds them. Eugene pulls a gun and recommends she not remember this. The nurse offers to help them escape.
They hang the commander from the bridge. His men come and untie him. He’s wearing a sign that the rebels spared him. He freaks out. He hears shots and realizes the rebels are taking back their comrades from prison. Seung Goo, Ae Shin, the potter, Eugene, et all free the rebels from prison. The commander arrives to find an empty prison. He’s not happy.
Like that Eugene is “openly” supporting the rebels.
The commander strides to Emperor Gojong and accuses Seung Goo freeing prisoners from the Japanese. Emperor Gojong schools him in etiquette and claims that Seung Goo guarded him all night. The commander declares that impossible. Emperor Gojong asks if he’s being accused of lying. The commander backs down. Emperor Gojong says Korea may be weak but he’s got more power in this moment that the commander does. Seething the commander stares at Seung Goo who stares back.
Nice to see Emperor Gojong show a bit of moxy. Does he sleep better with Rinoie dead?
Emperor Gojong points out that Seung Goo’s actions guarded the country though he wasn’t personally by his side. Emperor Gojong admits that in the past when he let the Japanese and Americans over run the village, he failed his country. His frustration at his politically shackled hands is clear. Seung Goo sees Emperor Gojong in a new light.
Nice moment! Featuring the strong Seung Goo adds much to this struggle.
Eugene visits the bakery. He sees the marks on the baker. He realizes the baker is a rebel. Eugene asks that the lady be told he’s waiting to hear from her. He recalls Ae Shin speaking about burning brightly as rebel. Eugene recalls Seung Goo telling him to be there for Ae Shin as she does what she must.
Eugene is surprised when Ae Shin appears in front of him as he strolls. Eugene admits he misses her. Ae Shin says he can forget about her if he wants. Eugene isn’t happy to hear that. Ae Shin counters that the country is in great danger, her family is gone, and she can no longer take part in a romance. They can no longer walk side by side. They must part ways. Hurt, Eugene asks if it means anything that he’s waiting for her. He declares they will walk the same path. Ae Shin doesn’t want him hurt. Eugene snaps that not seeing her hurts him. He reminds her that she owes him. He vows to track her until she repays her debt to him. Ae Shin promises to repay him. She tells him to collect her debt. She leaves.
Wow! Passion from Eugene. No stoic words, no quips, only pure need to be with the woman he loves. Their “accounting” talk was subtle but strongly rang with a declaration and acceptance of that declaration.
When Eugene arrives at the hotel, the desk clerk asks him to check his room to see if anything is missing. He states the many guests including the commander lost items from their rooms. The commander says the music box was removed and bets that nothing is missing from Eugene’s room. Eugene shakes his head and says the commander doesn’t get it, precious things have already been taken.
Ae Shin stares at the music box. She places it in her traveling gear. She leaves.
Hee Na asks Do Mi’s sister if she took the music box. We see that Do Mi’s sister took many items to create a situation among multiple rooms. She won’t say who took the music box. Hee Na declares they must burn the items to cover their tracks.
Hee Na burns the items. Eugene finds her and offer the autopsy report for inclusion in the burn pile. Hee Na thanks him. Eugene offers condolences for her father. Hee Na says her father died a traitor without a country or respect. She’ll forever be ashamed. It’s not a happy ending. Hee Na asks if Eugene saw Ae Shin. He replies that she’s left town. Hee Na says that’s not a happy ending. She burns the autopsy report.
The trainees ask Eugene to take them back to the royal academy. They know there are more enemies in Korea than Rinoie. Eugene considers, then agrees. He makes them run laps with gear on.
While they train Eugene trains himself in the written Korean language. Guess what? The more the train, the better they get. Eugene smiles.
Korea, January 1903.
Dong Mae misses Ae Shin and realizes she gave him enough money for three more months.
At night Eugene stands on his balcony and thinks of Ae Shin and the night she leaped from the balcony, they walked the streets, and their time on the beach.
The Japanese minister returns to Korea. The commander is there to greet him. The minister is thrilled to the war with Russia begins. They shake hands.
Per Wikipedia “The Russo–Japanese (1904–05) was fought between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over rival imperial ambitions in Manchuria and Korea”.
The citizens notice foreign families leaving and wonder if the rumors of Russia and Japan at war are true.
The newspaper reports a battleship skirmish between Japan and Russia.
Hee Na reads the newspaper. Hee Sung and Hee Na agree Korea will suffer no matter who wins in a war between Japan and Russia. Hee Sung believes that America will tip the balance depending on which country they side with.
Eugene tells Kyle with the Russian minister’s departure, war seems imminent. Kyle agrees. He gives Eugene orders to return to America. Kyle will transfer to Japan. Kyle is blunt, if he allowed Eugene to stay in Korea, he’d side with his birth country. He orders Eugene to go to America.
Dong Mae isn’t happy to see the boss left men to watch him and observe if his loyalty is to Japan or Korea. The men say the boss will pass through Korea before returning to Japan.
The boss, the Japanese minister and the commander tell the boss’s men tonight they kill Lord Lee.
Smirks all around from Team Japan.
Lord Lee accosts the latest foreign affairs minister and declares signing the Japan-Korea Treaty ruins the country. He’s livid to learn the minister took a bribe from the Japanese. He orders the minister to leave the country. The minister smiles as the boss’s men surround Lord Lee.
Flashback to the foreign affairs minister being told to sign the Japan-Korea Treaty at sword point. The Japanese minister laughs in pleasure.
Dong Mae tells his second in command if the boss is in Korea, someone will disappear. The second in command tells Dong Mae to stay out of it. Dong Mae says the boss is personally doing the job, therefore he’s no longer trusted. The Korean police chief reports Lord Lee was taken at sword point. Dong Mae tells his second in command to stay put. He moves in front of Dong Mae to stop him. Dong Mae says if he ends up dying to save those in need, so be it.
That was a bromance moment for me.
Dong Mae barges into Hee Na’s room and reports that Lord Lee has been taken to Japan by his boss. He warns her they may come after her too. He wants her to stay safe. Hee Na recalls her vow that Lord Lee would die. She considers. She tells Dong Mae she has to let others know. He warns this is dangerous. She says being an undercover agent for Korea has always been dangerous. She notifies Emperor Gojong.
Emperor Gojong tells Seung Goo they must get Lord Lee back or he’ll be used as a pawn which Lord Lee won’t allow and opt instead to commit suicide. Seung Goo notes that Emperor Gojong is once again trying to save his people. Emperor Gojong asks if Seung Goo will help. Seung Goo kneels and swears to do his bidding.
The rebels listen to the potter leader who states saving Lord Lee is an imperative. He shows them the bank certificate which has funds in a Chinese bank for the rebels, but Lord Lee must be the one to make the withdrawal. He warns that their trip to Japan will lead to certain death for some that take this mission. He asks for volunteers. Ae Shin offers noting as a woman, she has an advantage. The potter says a woman on the boat won’t be allowed. Ae Shin recalls Eugene telling her there is always a way. She tells the potter there is a way to get the certificate into Japan undetected and she knows it.
Hmm, is she planning to marry Eugene?
Eugene finds Ae Shin in his room when he returns. Eugene notes she hasn’t kept her part of the bargain to let him know how she’s faring. Ae Shin says that why she is here. She knows he’s returning to America. Eugene asks if she there to say goodbye. She asks him to take her with him.
Eugene’s voiceover “She is cruel. Where do I stand between her passion and cruelty? I thought I was close but I might have to go even further. One more step into the flame.”
Writer Kim Eun Sook positions the series for the final 20%. Looks like an undercover mission to Japan for Eugene and Ae Shin is coming our way. I like the idea of Ae Shin returning to Japan where her parents died and thwarting the Japanese. Rinoie died by Ae Shin’s gun. Japan didn’t want his body and neither did Korea both considering him a traitor. The commander is evil incarnate; killing his own men, torturing the rebels, etc. He makes me nervous. As promised, he Japanese minister returned to Korea with the Japan-Korea Treaty that he forced the foreign affairs minister to sign at sword point. The commander’s dream of a subservient Korea came closer to reality.
Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) didn’t kill the commander. Eugene and Seung Goo kidnapped him and humiliated him by hanging him just like the commander did to Seung Goo’s wife. I didn’t realize the murdered river eatery proprietress was Seung Goo’s wife which only added to the emotional impact. I love Eugene’s direct manner. When he punched the commander twice, I reveled. When he told Ae Shin that he’d support her no matter what, I loved his declaration. When he and Dong Mae agreed to cover up Ae Shin’s murder of Rinoie, their single-minded support of the woman they both loved was evident. Eugene’s eyes burned with intensity when he refused to let Ae Shin walk out of his life. His willingness to take her on any terms and do whatever he must for her was evident at the end of the episode. The commander still has the rebel list with Eugene’s forged signature. How will that come into play?
Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) killed Rinoie. He deserved it. She didn’t quaver. Nor did she wait to be found at the scene. I respect that Ae Shin loves Eugene but she doesn’t let her emotions rule when being a rebel is the priority. I like this determined woman. It makes her the perfect match for the equally determined Eugene. Will she offer to marry him? Will Eugene request a transfer to Japan?
Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) was downgraded. The gang’s big boss didn’t trust Dong Mae and kidnapped Lord Lee with his own men. Dong Mae could do nothing but instead he went to Hee Na with the news. Dong Mae cares for Hee Na. This was evident by his concern for her safety. But Dong Mae longs for Ae Shin. The simple scene of counting the coins she left, proved his heart still belongs to Ae Shin. Now that Dong Mae isn’t trusted, what will he do?
Hee Na (Kim Min Jung) learned where her mother was. Lord Lee surprised Hee Na by revealing that her mother was in a Catholic convent. Wisely she didn’t go to find her though part of me wondered if she’d send the pawn broker brother to verify. Hee Na knew Do Mi’s sister was lying and burned the evidence. Eugene respectfully offered his condolences and gave her the autopsy report he took from the doctor’s office. Her quick killing of the doctor was coldly efficient. The women were NOT passive this episode.
Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) thanked Ae Shin for saving his life. Other than that moment, Hee Sung wasn’t part of the episode until his newspaper published the article about the upcoming Russian Japan war. Then he had a scene with Hee Na.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as almost terrific. My episode ranking chart is below.
The teaser for the thirteenth song of the OST “You’re The Sunlight” by Hwang Chi Yeul is a ballad with an emotional vibe. I love this OST.