Mr. Sunshine Episode 24 (Final) Recap

Mr. Sunshine Episode 24 (Final) Recap

Korea, 1907.


Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) claims it is an honor to take the picture of the current Korean ministers many who are traitors. He murmurs to himself, these traitors will be remembered for generations to come.


Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) pulls the list of rebels from Mr. Lee’s dead body. Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) enters and quips he knew someone would die in this room. Eugene retorts Dong Mae is now the owner of the establishment once again so clean up is on him. They hear shots.


Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) stares in horror as Japanese soldiers kill all the rebels, including her faithful savants, carrying the decoy palanquin. The soldiers find the palanquin empty and leave to search for Ae Shin. The faithful female servant opens her eyes to see the faithful male servant dead. She sees his hand outstretched to her. She murmurs that he won’t have to wait long before she joins him in the afterlife.

I thought Mrs. Ham was dead at the end of last episode. It was nice that she had her moment saying goodbye.

The Japanese Captain points is not happy to learn the palanquin did not contain Ae Shin. He yells at the soldiers for leaving the scene as is. He orders them back to hide what really happened.


Citizens see the bodies. Mrs. Ham isn’t dead and they help her to sit up. Ae Shin is among them and stares at the dead faithful male servant. She goes to Mrs. Ham and asks what they were doing. Mrs. Ham explains they wanted to give the rebels including Ae Shin the best chance to escape. Mrs. Ham admits caring for Ae Shin was the purpose of her life and one she couldn’t shirk. Seeing Ae Shin gives her the okay to move to the afterlife. She dies. Ae Shin sobs her grief.


The citizens hear the footsteps of the returning Japanese soldiers. Ae Shin stares in shock. Dong Mae and Eugene arrive. They watch the citizens form a human shield between the carnage, Ae Shin (covering her holding Mrs. Ham), and them. The Japanese soldiers aim their rifles. The citizens link arms with a single goal to protect Ae Shin. The Japanese captain orders them to set aside. In the poignant pause Eugene mentally tells Joseph (his surrogate missionary father killed in the cause of defending Korea) that the citizens won’t bow even when there is no hope. We flashback to the first episode when the Americans mowed down the village with superior fire power and soldiers but the citizens (Seung Goo and his father among them) refused to surrender and fought until they couldn’t fight anymore. Eugene remembers Ae Shin telling him that saving one woman was worth it because one day she could be in that situation. He murmurs today the citizens unite to save Ae Shin. The Japanese Captain can’t believe the solidarity by the citizens. He yells the citizens will die soon enough. He orders the soldiers to leave with him.

Writer Kim and Director Lee gives us a powerful opening scene full of defiance, solidarity, and the knowledge that futility isn’t a reason to quit fighting for what you believe in.


Eugene tells Dong Mae he’ll need a horse. Dong Mae says the Japanese soldiers have the best ones. They confront to soldiers. Dong Mae’s knife kills one of them. He tells Eugene he didn’t mean the blow to be deadly but his shoulder isn’t completely healed. Eugene opts to aim his gun and order the other solider to dismount. Dong Mae sends on of the horses back to the garrison with the soldiers on the back of the horse.


Eugene offers to take Ae Shin out of town. She refuses stating he’s safer alone. Tears fill her eyes. Ae Shin says they (the servants et all) weren’t supposed to die for her. She’s not sure she can watch more that she cares for die. Eugene is firm. Ae Shin must get a grip because more deaths will occur. Eugene asks if she knows where the new rebel camp is. Ae Shin states she knows the rendezvous point. Eugene tells her to go. He promises to give those that died a proper burial. Ae Shin thanks him.

The strength of this couple is acceptance and support. Eugene backs his woman up, without fail.


The rebels gather by the river. Grumbly rebel doesn’t believe their deaths will mean anything. Others point out fighting for their country until the bitter end is worth the sacrifice. They hear sounds of an approaching horse. Ae Shin reports to the potter rebel leader that the last mission was a success and those that died helped make the mission successful. She states that everyone died. Eugene is firm. Ae Shin must get a grip because those deaths were for the future of the citizens. He says it is now their turn to protect the future.


Eugene flashbacks to moments with Ae Shin’s faithful servants. Respectfully, he burns their shoes. He tells them if they meet his mother in the afterlife to give her his boomerang which he places in the flames.


In an opium haze Dong Mae murmurs, he has 5 days until the gang arrives to kill him.

Hee Sung reports that the Japanese framed 6 citizens for the slaughter. He calls the Japanese rule tyranny. He implores the citizens not to give up. He tells his coworker that he must report the truth even though the Japanese won’t like it. Hee Sung marvels at his brilliance in never naming his newspaper. His coworkers chide him and leaves.


Hee Sung is pleased when Eugene arrives. He returns what Eugene gave him to keep safe. He asks about the pawn broker owners. Hee Sung shares they aided Hee Na in the hotel explosion and are on temporary leave. Eugene surprises Hee Sung when he hands over the list of rebels. Eugene knows the Japanese execute those on it while Hee Sung will proclaim those on the list patriots. Eugene notes if Hee Sung sold it, he’d get big money. Hee Sung offers to buy Eugene a drink. Surprised, Eugene asks if he heard that correctly. Both men laugh.

Giving Hee Sung the list of rebels was a complete vote of respect from Eugene.

 
When they arrive at the bar, Hee Sung is thrilled to see Dong Mae. In fact, his gushes ignoring Eugene who can’t get a word in edgewise. Dong Mae is surprised when Hee Sung offers to buy. Eugene tells Hee Sung to take out his wallet so he doesn’t dodge the bill like he’s done in the past. Hee Sung declares he wasn’t cheap he was waiting for them to become comrades. He lifts his glass. Eugene and Dong Mae clink their glasses to his. Hee Sung can’t believe it. He demands they do it again. Eugene can’t help but laugh. Dong Mae smirks. They clink glasses again. Eugene’s voiceover “the first three words she learned were gun, glory and sad ending. Our paths have been different but our destiny is together”.


Out trio watches the special edition delivery. Eugene muses that Hee Sung has turned out to be an honest voice in publishing while Dong Mae struggles with opium and he forever a foreigner in his own land. Their ending may not be a happy one but on that night true friendship blossomed.

General Ito is livid at Hee Sung’s special edition. He throws it at the Japanese Caption and traitorous Minister Lee. They divert him saying the citizens succumb to greed at the high bounty placed on the rebels.

The citizens are surprised by the cash reward for the rebels. Eugene and Gwan Su (Jo Woo Jin) listen to the citizens who marvel at the amount. Gwan Su reports that Do Mi’s sister under Emperor Gojong’s care per Hee Na’s final request. Gwan Su whispers she wants to join the rebels. Eugene promises to help.


Dong Mae startles with baker when he pays his debt with a huge amount left. Dong Mae tells the man he’s got no use for the money anymore. He stares at the red candy that was a favorite of Ae Shin. As he walks away, Dong Mae coughs and finds blood on his hand. He falls to the ground.


Dong Mae wakes to find Eugene with him. Eugene quips that Dong Mae is heavier than he looks. He says he changed the bandages but the festering wound cannot be reversed. Dong Mae thanks him for the care. There isn’t more to say so Eugene tells him to take care. Dong Mae returns the sentiments. Dong Mae admits he’s concerned for Eugene’s well being and emphasizes his sincerity. Eugene admits he genuinely cares for Dong Mae too. He leaves and Dong Mae smiles his crooked smile.

Bromance moment that was soft and as close to a love fest as these two will ever have. They both know the odds are stacked against them. They took the opportunity to admit their feelings.


A British war correspondent introduces himself to Eugene. He wants Eugene to take him to the rebels so he can tell their story. Eugene doesn’t trust him. The war correspondent utters a line that only Kyle could have known to tell Eugene.


Eugene takes the war correspondent to the rebels who aren’t thrilled. Eugene points out that getting their story into the world can only help. Ae Shin agrees. She declares they need to tell their struggle to regain sovereignty. The war correspondent hears their story. Eugene acts are interpreter. The rebels admit they are outgunned, outmanned, and hunted for slaughter. But Japan’s rule of Korea is unacceptable and must be revoked. They are willing to die to make that happen. They implore the war correspondent to tell their story. They agree to let him take the only photo ever taken of the rebels.

That was touching. How many struggles are ongoing that I’m ignorant of?


Ae Shin thanks Eugene for bringing the war correspondent. She promises to pay him back and smiles. Eugene says her smile is payment enough. He reminds her of retrieving her shoe long ago. She quips she cared about him long before that. She walks away but turns and looks at him. She remembers the first time they met both as snipers with the same target. That’s when she fell for him. She reveals she wears her wedding ring around her neck. Eugene joyous smile lights up his face. He waggles his hand displaying his wedding ring. Ae Shin smiles roundly.

Awk! Tears! That darn wedding ring gets me every time.


Dong Mae thinks about moments with Ae Shin. He’s surprised when she appears with another coin to repay him for protection for Do Mo’s sister. Dong Mae admits he’s surprised to see her. He picks up the coin and tells her the debt is paid in full. Ae Shin wants to help him. Dong Mae retorts she can’t help him. Ae Shin presses. He asks if she wants him in her palanquin. He tells her this time he declines her offer. He declares the moment he joined the gang; his fate was decided. He won’t put her in danger. He tells her to soar high in the sky. As he turns to leave Ae Shin says when he called her a spoiled noble lady so long ago, it haunted her. Dong Mae takes that in and leaves.

Awk! Tears! All these goodbyes. This was another good one. Full circle moment as they reference the words that Dong Mae spoke to hurt her and hit the mark so long ago. Those words entwined them but forced her to be forever wary of him while he desperately loved her. In that scene, he was more beautiful. Yes, I am biased.

The seamstress’s brother trains the new rebels just like Eugene trained him. He notes when one of them is killed another will have to step forward and take their place. Il Sik and Choon Sik give the potter rebel leader a letter of support from the south. Grumbly/traitor rebel watches.


That night grumbly traitor rebel steals the letter. He reads the letter that states “we must get rid of the spy”. Busted! Choon Sik appears. Il Sik appears. He claims they’ve got it wrong. Choon Sik kills him. They hear the footsteps of soldiers. They hide and watch the Japanese soldiers find the dead informer. Choon Sik presses his brother to run. Il Sik declines stating if they fight the sounds will warn the others. They decide to lure the soldiers away. They shout and run for their lives. The soldiers give chase and fire.

The gunfire wakes the rebels. The potter orders the snipers to ready themselves and the rest prepare to move to a new location.


The potter meets with Eugene and shares they had to move to a new location. Eugene notes pictures with high bounties are everywhere. The potter gives Eugene the money they survive on. Eugene quips that he’s being paid to leave. The potter chuckles and asks Eugene to purchase 12 train tickets. He must send the women, children and Ae Shin away as they are the future.


It’s the 10th day, Dong Mae waits at the harbor for the gang. When they disembark, Dong Mae stands ready. He chides them for being a day late. The leader retorts bad weather delayed their departure. Dong Mae muses that Hee Na must have helped him. They drag out his bloodied and dead second in command. They laugh. Dong Mae grips his sword and states he has one last thing to do. Dong Mae rushes towards the gang, swords flying, and the final battle takes place. Dong Mae fights with passion but cannot win. Mortally wounded he falls to the ground. As he laying dying he looks to the sky and thinks of Ae Shin. He remembers when she came to the dojo for the first payment. He remembers their encounter in the palanquin. He remembers her admission that his words “spoiled noble lady” haunted her. He thinks to Ae Shin that he’s a loser. But knowing his words haunted her means he mattered in her life. He thinks that is sufficient. He dies.

Awk! Tears! Another goodbye. If looks could kill, Dong Mae would have eviscerated the gang. I had a soft spot for the second in command. Dong Mae melted me with his bad boy with a heart way.


The gang declares it is time to do some damage. They pull Dong Mae’s body to town. Afterlife Dong Mae watches then disappears.

Director Lee framed that perfectly.


The potter explains to the rebels they’ve got guns waiting for them in China. But due to the Russia-Japan treaty they must personally retrieve the guns. He splits the rebels into three teams. He says team three lead by Ae Shin will leave first using the train tickets recently purchased. He outlines their journey and notes it will be difficult. He charges Ae Shin to do everything to maximize the safety of the team.  Lord Lee will meet them at the end of the journey. He assigns the young soldiers to steal Japanese uniforms. He states Team 1 and Team 2 will leave later and meet Team 3 at the end point.

Ae Shin offers her rations for the hungry children. She gets out the music box. Everyone listens. Ae Shin softly cries. She’s surprised when Eugene arrives and returns the Korean flag to the potter stating it is time for the rightful owner
to have it. The potter declares Team 4 will be led by Eugene. Smiling Eugene quips his vast team of one is ready. Everyone chuckles.

Awk! Tears! Eugene’s fate is decided. I love his quips!


Eugene sees Ae Shin. She smiles. He smiles.

The love between them is palpable.


The next day everyone admires the flag. A young child puts his handprint on the flag when he falls on it and promises to become a rebel. Inspired they all put their handprints on it.

Wonderful!


Ae Shin and Eugene look at the sun through their hands with a single painted nail. Ae Shin quips she’s never seen a man do this. Eugene retorts he’s secure enough to do so. Ae Shin teases that tomorrow she’ll be dressed like a woman and hopes he’s not blinded by her beauty. He laughs. She laughs.

They do have a cute factor!


The next day the young soldiers dressed in Japanese uniforms facilitate Team 2’s boarding process on the train. Ae Shin looks back at her homeland and wonders if she’ll ever return.


Do Mi’s sister, dressed as a young boy, thanks Gwan Su for helping her. Gwan Su assures her she’ll be fine and puts the hat on her head. He wishes her well.

The police chief is surprised to learn Hee Sung is suspected of running the newspaper. He’s excited to capture the editor and shut down the paper.


Hee Sung studies the photos he’s taken. He looks at the photos of the citizens and murmurs his life was meaningless before he found them. He gathers the photos that declare the truth of the Japanese occupation and buries them bidding them farewell until someone unearths them. He gives his co-worker the camera. He says someone gave him the camera to wish him well, now he’s paying it forward. He tells her to leave as he doesn’t want to put her in danger. He finishing up tidying up when the police arrive. He smiles knowing they were coming for him. They arrest him.

Hee Sung maturation over this series has been a winner.

The rebels watch the Japanese soldiers prepare to execute. They worry the team at the train station is in danger. But they don’t have the ability to warn them. They attack the soldiers and stop the execution.


At the train station, as Eugene walks toward Gwan Su and Do Mi’s sister, he overhears a Japanese solider declare rebels are on the train. He orders the trains delayed and all passengers searched. Eugene tells them now isn’t the time to escape. He hands Do Mi’s sister his bag and tells her to keep it safe. Everyone knows Eugene is saying goodbye. Eugene writes in Gwan Su’s hand. He sobs. Eugene wishes him well. Gwan Su hugs Eugene then leads the girl away.

Awk! Tears! So many goodbyes.

The young rebel soldiers dressed in Japanese uniforms tell Ae Shin that the train is delayed and things may be going awry. Ae Shin says they must force the train to move before more soldiers arrive.  They tell her two more must board. Ae Shin realizes the two are Eugene and Do Mi’s sister. Unwilling to let them be in danger she tells the soldiers to follow her. They’ve got to get the train moving.


Eugene watches the Japanese soldiers search all passengers. He’s got a pistol he must get on the train with. But how? When Eugene spots the rich man that Hee Sung told him about walking to the train, he engages him in conversation. He claims they have a mutual friend, the previous commander. The rich man informs him that the commander was killed. A Japanese solider informs the rich man that rebels are suspected of being on the train. He tells them to capture the rebels. Eugene walks toward the checkpoint and explains he’s getting on the train to follow the woman he loves. They both walk through the checkpoint without interference from the soldiers.

That was clever. Hee Sung comes through again.


The engineer is shocked when he’s told to get the training moving at gunpoint. Ae Shin tells the young solider they cannot stop the train for any reason. She exits the engine room.

Eugene and the rich man watch the train start moving. Eugene helps the man get on the train and follows suit. The rich man thanks Eugene. He demurs and leaves to take his seat in economy.


The young rebel solider (seamstress’s brother) is surprised to see Eugene on board. Eugene tells him there’s a rich man in first class that may prove useful. Eugene states 5 or 6 more soldiers are on the train. He tells the solider this is it, they must prevail. The rebel agrees. Eugene says he’s proud of him and his missed him. Eugene walks away. The young rebel struggles to keep his emotions in check.

Awk! Tears! This practically screams almost everyone is going to die.

The Japanese soldiers search for Ae Shin. She sits and grips her gun in her purse. She’s wearing her wedding band.

Awk! Tears! That darn wedding ring gets me every time.

 
Someone sits next to her. Ae Shin can’t believe it when she sees Eugene. He asks if she’s surprised he wouldn’t let her leave without him or happy to see him. He tells her she did well getting the train going. Ae Shin says she’s the wife of a wonderful American man. The declaration warms his heart. Eugene spies the Japanese soldiers in the next car. He pulls out his pistol and loads it with a single bullet. He tells Ae Shin he must head to the first class. She grabs his hand. She asks what he’s doing with only a single bullet. He stares into her eyes. She stares into his eyes. He promises he’ll use the bullet wisely.  They clasp their hands (the ones with the wedding rings). They both stare at the entwined hands. He gets up and walks away. Ae Shin stares at him knowing it could be the last time she sees him.

Awk! Tears! Those darn wedding rings. It is obvious this is a “desperate times call for desperate measures” moment. Eugene is a hero. It doesn’t matter what happens next. He is a hero.

The potter order everyone to get ready to leave. But the sound of hooves and marching men freeze the rebels. They spot a line of Japanese solider on the rise of the hill. Oh dear, there’s a second line of soldiers. Not good, not good.

Awk! Tears!


The potter tells the vastly outnumbered rebels that victories aren’t the only things that make history. He declares this is there last stand. They will fight until the end for the country they love, the world they want for future generations, and this will not be in vain. They encourage each other. Today is a good day to die. One last time, the potter yells attack! The rebels attack.

Awk! Tears! The rebels are heroes.


Eugene returns to the rich man’s first-class compartment. He declares he must save the woman he loves. He asks who killed the commander. The rich man says rebels. Eugene pulls his pistol and says an American killed the commander. He aims it at the shocked rich man.


Hee Sung is beaten. The Japanese soldier demands he admit to publishing the newspaper, provide the list of rebels and photographs. Hee Sung won’t break. The solider bashes him in the head. Hee Sung tips over onto the floor and dies.

Hee Sung is a hero.


Ae Shin sees the soldiers entering the car searching for her. The young rebel solider blocks their view of her. One of the soldiers doesn’t recognize him and asks which unit he’s with. Ae Shin stands and reveals herself. She pulls her gun. She and the rebels dispatch the soldiers but are pinned when additional soldiers rush into the car. Ae Shin and the rebel soldier duck behind the seats. The soldiers come towards them, guns drawn, ready to apprehend them.


The rich man enters from the other door and yells at the soldiers to stop. Eugene stand behind him with a gun to his head. Eugene orders the soldiers to retreat. The rich man yells the same order. Eugene follows the soldiers as they back out of one car into the next. Ae Shin follows them her gun drawn on the soldiers.


Ae Shin asks what Eugene is doing. He retorts he is hoping to delay the destruction of Korea. Eugene says a tunnel is coming soon. He tells Ae Shin not to cry because what happens next is his fate and his love story. He says he must go. He wishes for their victory.

Awk! Tears!

Tears fill Eugene’s eyes in the moments he believes are his final ones. He turns and tells Ae Shin to take a step forward as he takes a step back. He stares at the woman he loves. Tears are evident.

As the tunnel looms, Eugene yells at the soldiers to move forward. They cross to the next car. Ae Shin realizes too late what Eugene intends to do. She runs toward him but he’s on the next car.


Eugene using his single bullet to shot the connector between the two cars. It’s a perfect shot. The cars separate. Eugene with the soldiers in one car and Ae Shin in the other car. She screams and watches Eugene watching her as the cars pull away from each other. She rushes to the edge of her car. He stares at her from the doorway of his car. The distance between them is a chasm between life and death.

Eugene is shot by the soldiers. He sags to the ground. Ae Shin sees it all and screams his Korean name “Choi Yu Jin”!


As the train exits the tunnel, Ae Shin sinks to her knees at sobs. We see her wedding ring.


Eugene sinks to his knees. We see his wedding ring. He looks to the sky. We see the young Eugene looking at the sky from the first episode. It is a full circle moment. Eugene dies.

One last shot of their wedding rings. One on Ae Shin’s hand and the other on Eugene’s hand the drips with blood and death.

Awk! Tears! Director Lee deserve an award for that sequence. Utterly compelling.

General Ito shrugs and tells the Japanese Captain to ensure none of the rebel names are circulated in the foreign press. It will be like they never existed.


Gwan Su sobs the names of those that died to Emperor Gojong. His eyes fill with tears.


Do Mi’s sister goes through Eugene’s bag. She finds his mother’s tassel and the picture of Eugene and Ae Shin. She sobs.


Gwan Su writes a letter to Kyle informing him of Eugene’s death. He asks Kyle (David McInnis) to request for approval for Eugene to be buried in the foreigner’s cemetery in Korea.


Il Sik and Choon Sik return to their store. They find Hee Sung’s editor in chief sign on the ground. They find the watch he left them with the note saying the watch is intended to cover his overdue rent. Customers begin to trickle on. One man has Dong Mae’s swords. Another has the chest Eugene and Ae Shin passed notes in.


Items are assembled – Hee Na’s fencing sword, Hee Sung’s watch, Dong Mae’s sword, Ae Shin’s shoes, the potter’s pottery.


Il Sik finds the stacking Russian dolls in the drawer Eugene and Ae Shin passed notes in. In a flashback we see that Eugene put a letter in the Russian dolls before he and Ae Shin went to Japan. His note tells Ae Shin that he wanted to be with her always but knew they would have to part ways.


We see a flashback of Eugene exiting the Tokyo photo shop with the picture of himself and Ae Shin. Eugene’s voiceover states every step moment he was with her was like a picnic.

Eugene and Ae Shin eat fish he caught on the river. He teases her that she didn’t even try and catch any fish. She just held his hand. Ae Shin how to say fish in English. She pronounces it “phish” and believes it starts with the letter P.  Eugene correct her and pronounces it “fish” and believes it starts with the letter F. She makes a joke with the word fish and Eugene laughs. Ae Shin laughs.

China, 1909.


Ae Shin walks to the band of rebels.

Eugene’s voice over says Ae Shin was the woman he loved. He says goodbye.

Ae Shin trains the rebels.

Ae Shin’s voice over says “those were the glory days. Each of us were a flame. We burned brightly for a short burst. We will ignite the embers. My English isn’t much better so my goodbye is short. Goodbye my comrades. When our country is independent once more, I’ll see you again.”

Korea, 1919.


A grown up Do Mi visits Eugene’s grave at the foreign cemetery. He flashes back to Eugene imploring him to not give up. Do Mi promises they will continue to fight the fight.

The final shot is Eugene’s grave stone as a bird flutters by. Is it Eugene’s spirit?

My Thoughts

Writer Kim delivered the emotional punch. Director Lee perfectly staged final scenes for each character. This was a completely satisfying finale. It was emotionally draining but uplifting too. Writer Kim and Director Lee gave us powerful scene after powerful scene that were full of defiance, solidarity, and drove home the point – futility isn’t a reason to quit fighting for what you believe in.

Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) protected Ae Shin to the end. Eugene’s acceptance and support of Ae Shin’s path was my favorite component of this warrior character. He was a true hero.  I loved him. I loved them.

Go Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri) lived as Eugene intended. Ae Shin’s priority was fighting the fight. Female characters tend to prioritize love over everything else. Ae Shin did not. I loved that about her. She was a true hero. Eugene and Ae Shin had some lovely moments in the final episode. They snatched what life offered them; joy at being together, support of the other’s path, gentle teasing, all while sporting their wedding rings which declared beyond a shadow of a doubt they were husband and wife in their hearts.

Goo Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok) died a warrior.  As he lay dying on the ground he thought of the woman he loved. He was satisfied that he mattered in Ae Shin’s life. Dong Mae was a compelling character that I adored.

Kim Hee Sung (Byun Yo Han) died a hero. Hee Sung’s evolution was a wonderful addition to this series. His charm and smile covered the intelligence that he showed to very few.

What’s my wish list for the final episode?
* NOT GRANTED – I would like Eugene and Ae Shin to survive. I’m not sure this is possible considering the dire situation of this timeframe. In my heart I knew they both would not survive. Eugene’s sacrifice for Ae Shin was perfection.
* GRANTED – I expect Dong Mae to die a noble death. He met the gang at the dock ready to fight to the end.
* NOT GRANTED – Hee Sung marries the seamstress and lives a life that he’s capable of. Hee Sung’s legacy of the photos and his willingness to die protecting them, touched my heart.
* GRANTED – The rebels have one final stand against the Japanese. If they taste victory, it won’t be permanent as this timeframe dictates. If they die in defeat, I’ll sob my eyes out. While all the rebels died, they weren’t defeated. Their deaths mattered. Their hearts weren’t broken. The cause of an Independent Korea was worth dying for.

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

The fifteenth song of the OST “ How Can I Forget You” is the signature ballad sung by Hwang Chi Yeul:

 

Asian drama fan

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44 comments on “Mr. Sunshine Episode 24 (Final) Recap
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    I was DEVASTATED when Eugene 🎖️ chose to stay on the portion of the train 🚆 with the Japanese 🇯🇵. He sealed his doom by failing to jump on the portion of the train 🚆 with Ae Shin 🔫👸. If he had jumped, he still may have been shot, but would have increased his chance of living … one thing is CERTAIN … Eugene’s 🎖️ sacrifice PROTECTED his love 💕 Ae Shin 🔫👸 … his death was DEVASTINGLY SAD, but not in vain … I SOBBED 💦

    • He sealed his doom by failing to jump on the portion of the train 🚆 with Ae Shin 🔫👸. If he had jumped, he still may have been shot, but would have increased his chance of living … one thing is CERTAIN … Eugene’s 🎖️ sacrifice PROTECTED his love 💕 Ae Shin 🔫👸 … his death was DEVASTINGLY SAD, but not in vain
      I don’t think Eugene ever considered jumping. His single purpose was to protect her with his life.

      When I sat down to watch the final episode, I had the makeup off and a box of tissues at the ready. Tons of tears from me these last two episode. This finale was a long episode. It took forever to recap, but it was worth it.

      • Jane Tilly says:

        I concur that Eugene 🎖️ ONLY considered the best way to protect his love 💕 Ae Shin 🔫 👸.

        KJT, I’m glad you took your time with the recap, it was excellently done and worth the wait.

  2. Jane Tilly says:

    Yu Jo’s tortured, bloodied corpse was the catalyst for Dong Mae’s 🗡️ ferociety to be unleashed on Musin Society. Retaliation against Dong Mae 🗡️ was expected as he attacked Musin Society alerting them to his survival. Dong Mae 🗡️ didn’t have much of a chance against the sheer number of enemies. “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword”. Nevertheless, I was GREATLY SADDENED by his death and ANGERED that they dragged his body through the streets.

    I found tragic irony in the juxtaposition of Dong Mae’s 🗡️ spirit depicted as the younger Dong Mae 🗡️ sauntering to the afterlife, barely taking note of his lacerated, bloodied and drug-ravaged body being dragged down the road … I SOBBED 💦

    • Yu Jo’s tortured, bloodied corpse was the catalyst for Dong Mae’s 🗡️ ferociety to be unleashed on Musin Society…Dong Mae 🗡️ didn’t have much of a chance against the sheer number of enemies.
      I appreciated that Writer Kim closed the loop on the strikingly loyal (and hot) second in command Yu Jo. Dong Mae’s response proved their relationship was important to him.

      • Jane Tilly says:

        I concur that Writer Kim did an excellent job of being consistent AND wrapping up the loose ends …

        I now have 6 ALL TIME FAVORITE Kdramas, 3 them (Descendants of the Sun, Goblin and Mr Sunshine) were written by Writer Kim Eun Sook AND directed by PD Lee Eung Bok. This team seems to produce Kdrama PLATINUM❗ I look forward to any projects they do in the future.

        • What are the other 3 kdramas?

        • Beez says:

          Ditto and I would add the writer’s Secret Garden to my list. She’s written a few others that I hear were big hits. I watched The Heirs which suffered as Lee Min ho and Park Hye shin were not the right fit (imo).
          I tried watching Gentlemen’s Dignity but, as much as I love alpha males, the over abundance of testosterone stank so bad, I could never get past the first episode. (I suppose had the guys been hotter, I would’ve made it. But add to the misogyny – middle-aged soft bellies – the fact that I don’t care for Kim Ha neul…) Boy, that sounds bad, but y’all know what makes me watch a show.

          Had the guys been the likes of Choi Min-Soo, Cha Seung-Won, Joo Jin mo and/or Song Seung heon, I think I could’ve watched it.

          • I loved Secret Garden, was neutral on Gentlemen’s Dignity, and disliked The Heirs. No writer can hit a home run every time. But Writer Kim has had a string of stellar series. I can’t wait to see what she dreams up next.

  3. Jane Tilly says:

    Hee Sung’s 🃏 story is another example of a bildungsroman; his character really grew throughout the series. He gradually evolved from a gambling, boozing womanizer mooning over Ae Shin 🔫👸 to a stalwart Joseon 🇰🇷 patriot, who let Ae Shin 🔫👸 go. Ironically he was Grandpa Go’s 👴 candidate to be Ae Shin’s 🔫👸 husband, who did not adhere to Grandpa’s prescribed method of marriage, but ended up protecting Ae Shin 🔫👸 in his own way.

    I was proud of Hee Sung 🃏 to remain silent while he was tortured, but color 🖍️ me 🎊surprised🎉 he died so quickly … I thought he would be quickly released, I choked back tears as he gasped his final breaths … I SOBBED 💦

    I wonder if Hee Sung 🃏 REALLY thought his family’s wealth would protect him against the Japanese 🇯🇵. Did “Mr Teflon” think that his life was safe or did he just hope. His secretary knew where his photographic evidence against the Japanese 🇯🇵 was buried. It made me wonder if photographic evidence of Japanese 🇯🇵 brutality of the Joseon 🇰🇷 citizens existed.

    I got the impression he developed a friendship with the noble seamstress over time. I don’t think he was in love 💕 with her, but respected and cared for her. I think he intended to marry her to fulfill his parents wish AND to protect the seamstress he cared for; I did not get the impression that he was trying to protect a random Joseon 🇰🇷 citizens. I’d think yo think Hee Sung’s 🃏 parents adopted the seamstress and her brother so they could fulfill Hee Sung’s 🃏 wishes AND procure a noble heir.

    • He gradually evolved from a gambling, boozing womanizer mooning over Ae Shin 🔫👸 to a stalwart Joseon 🇰🇷 patriot, who let Ae Shin 🔫👸 go…. ended up protecting Ae Shin 🔫👸 in his own way.
      Hard to believe he was once considered a useless fop but evolved to be a documentarian of the truth. I loved how he gave Eugene the intel how to use the rich Japanese man to get on the train with the pistol.

      • I hit post before I meant to…
        I wonder if Hee Sung 🃏 REALLY thought his family’s wealth would protect him against the Japanese 🇯🇵. Did “Mr Teflon” think that his life was safe or did he just hope.
        In the end I think that was a standard line, part of his charming stance, but he knew his actions would have consequences.

        but respected and cared for her. I think he intended to marry her to fulfill his parents wish AND to protect the seamstress he cared for; I did not get the impression that he was trying to protect a random Joseon 🇰🇷 citizens.
        I agree the seamstress’s story touched his protective heart.

      • Jane Tilly says:

        Hee Sung 🃏 finding his purpose transformed from a useless fop into a desirable man, who made a difference. The irony is that giving up Ae Shin 🔫 👸 is one of the things he did that actually made him worthy of becoming her husband, although he never won her heart 💗.

        Now that I have pondered about it, Hee Sung’s 🃏 actions of sending his secretary into hiding and burying his photographic evidence against the Japanese 🇯🇵 and Joseon 🇰🇷 traitors are indications that he considered being caught as a distinct possibility.

        • Hee Sung’s 🃏 actions of sending his secretary into hiding and burying his photographic evidence … are indications that he considered being caught as a distinct possibility.
          Agreed. As a hero, he made sure that the truth with evidence would be revealed one day. He gave his life for that.

        • Beez says:

          “The irony is that giving up Ae Shin 🔫 👸 is one of the things he did that actually made him worthy of becoming her husband, although he never won her heart 💗” Jane Tilly

          Yessss. It’s a shame though that Hui sun lived his life repaying debts that were not his. That included feeling like he needed to concede Ae shin to Eugene (although, Ae shin’s feelings on the matter also had a lot to do with that. But how many second (third?) leads have we seen that a little thing like the heroine’s feelings made no difference.)

  4. Jane Tilly says:

    I’m sorry for making so many posts, but I had so much to say. This final episode didn’t just have an emotional punch, it was an EMOTIONAL 🥊💢 PUMMELING 💢🥊❗ My biggest fear of losing our main characters came to fruition, with the exception of Ae Shin 🔫 👸 who was spared. I don’t think I’ve cried 😭 this much since the Goblin’s bride sacrificed herself for a bus load of kids.

    I 💗 Hee Sung 🃏 for using his photojournalism 📷 to incriminate the traitorous Joseon 🇰🇷 ministers. I wondered if there was a real life photojournalist who Hee Sung’s 🃏 character was modeled after. I wondered if the British journalist’s story of the Joseon 🇰🇷 rebels ever made it to print.

    I was grateful Ae Shin 🔫 👸 had the opportunity to say goodbye to Mrs Haman, her faithful servant. It was heartwarming 💗♨️ for the citizens to stand as human 🛡️ shields between the ladies bidding farewell and the Japanese 🇯🇵 Army. I suspect that the citizens were inspired by learning Ae Shin 🔫 👸, a noble lady, was a rebel who had been fighting for Joseon 🇰🇷 sovereignty. It was a beautiful scene of solidarity and defiance against the foreign 🇯🇵 invaders.

    I’m amazed at the dynamic between Ae Shin 🔫 👸 and Eugene 🎖️; he wants to love 💕 and protect her, but does NOT force his point and she tries to find a compromise with fulfilling her mission and bring true to herself. They are the TRUEST OTP I’ve seen in years❣️ It was probably hard for Ae Shin 🔫 👸 to walk away from the martyred patriots who were her trusted friends, but she had Eugene’s 🎖️ comforting assurance that he would give them a proper burial ⚰️.

    Dong Mae 🗡️ KNEW his days were numbered … whether he subcombed to his festering wounds or the swords of Musin Society would do him in was the question … but he made the most of his final days: one last visit with Ae Shin 🔫 👸, absolving her of her “debt” and solidifying his bromance 💙 with Eugene 🎖️ and Hee Sung 🃏.

    I 💖, 💟, 💗 our trio of former frenemies gathering together for what turned out to be their final drink together and the FIRST TIME Hee Sung 🃏 paid, signifying it as the FIRST TIME they drank as comrades❗ It was the true bromance 💙 moment I’ve been waiting for❣️

    Eugene’s 🎖️ quick thinking got his on board the train 🚆 … I was disappointed his reunion with his “bride” 🔫👰 was short-lived thanks to the Japanese 🇯🇵 soldiers searching for her 🔫 👸. Once again, Eugene 🎖️ to the rescue … this man would do ANYTHING to protect his Ae Shin 🔫 👸 … and he GAVE HIS LIFE … I SOBBED 💦

    My throat constricted and I SOBBED 💦 as Gwan Soo listed the names of those who died fighting for Joseon’s 🇰🇷 sovereignty to the deposed Emperor 👑. It was great to see So Mi eventually made it to Manchuria to be a rebel and the that her brother Do Mi joined the cause and Ae Shin 🔫 👸 continued to train young rebels. Was that Kim Min Jae who played the adult Do Mi❓⁉️

    This was a bitter sweet series that lived up to “Guns 🔫, Glory 🎆 and Sad Ending 💦”

    • Love all your thoughts, this series merits it.

      This final episode didn’t just have an emotional punch, it was an EMOTIONAL 🥊💢 PUMMELING 💢🥊❗ My biggest fear of losing our main characters came to fruition,
      Writer Kim proved she’s a master at building to a climax. The train sequence was riveting. But every step the story took before that fateful sequence, made that sequence matter even more. The servants died, Dong Mae died, the rebels died, it all built upon each moment.

      I wondered if the British journalist’s story of the Joseon 🇰🇷 rebels ever made it to print.
      I liked the idea that one journalist’s story could document the truth forever. There was a strong parallel between the British journalist and Hee Sung. I ignored the actor didn’t even fake a British accent. Most English speaking actors in are dreadful but in this series they weren’t awful.

      I suspect that the citizens were inspired by learning Ae Shin 🔫 👸, a noble lady, was a rebel who had been fighting for Joseon 🇰🇷 sovereignty. It was a beautiful scene of solidarity and defiance against the foreign 🇯🇵 invaders.
      It was moving and worth the time and camera angles Director Lee lavished on that scene.

      Eugene 🎖️; he wants to love 💕 and protect her, but does NOT force his point and she tries to find a compromise with fulfilling her mission and bring true to herself. They are the TRUEST OTP I’ve seen in years❣️
      Gosh you put that well. I found Eugene to be the most “forward thinking” male character in terms of his view of love, what he expected from her and what he gave to the relationship I’ve ever seen. Aside from the relationship, Eugene was a wonderfully caring man. He saved Do Mi like Joseph the missionary saved him. He supported his homeland every episode. Ae Shin understood her purpose in life and at times desperately wanted to chuck it to be with him, but she couldn’t. Ae Shin learned the true meaning of being a rebel during this series. Her heritage of rebel parents and a Grandfather that allowed her to follow her bliss made it all possible. She wasn’t just a pretty woman three men loved. She found her voice, her place, and respected all that loved her.

      he made the most of his final days: one last visit with Ae Shin 🔫 👸, absolving her of her “debt” and solidifying his bromance 💙 with Eugene 🎖️ and Hee Sung 🃏….I 💖, 💟, 💗 our trio of former frenemies gathering together for what turned out to be their final drink together and the FIRST TIME Hee Sung 🃏 paid, signifying it as the FIRST TIME they drank as comrades
      So true. Ae Shin barred her soul to him which proved she trusted him. The bar scene between our trio was a full circle moment. The scene were Eugene tended him and admitted he cared for Dong Mae was a quiet but important moment. In this episode, there was no need for pretense because it was about saying goodbye.

      It was great to see So Mi eventually made it to Manchuria to be a rebel and the that her brother Do Mi joined the cause and Ae Shin 🔫 👸 continued to train young rebels. Was that Kim Min Jae who played the adult Do Mi❓⁉️
      Agree that Writer Kim wove the brother and sister into the “after” perfectly. Yes, Kim Min Jae was adult Do Mi.

      This was a bitter sweet series that lived up to “Guns 🔫, Glory 🎆 and Sad Ending 💦”
      Writer Kim demonstrated her mastery in this series. One day I’ll watch it again. I’m betting it will be better on a second viewing.

      • Jane Tilly says:

        Writer Kim MASTERFULLY wove dialog and actions of minor characters, such as the servants, siblings So Mi and Do Mi and even the nurse who had her fill of Japanese 🇯🇵 oppression, into the story with MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTIONS to the storyline. Every scene contributed to the next in building to full circle moments or a climax and the SUPERB cinematography was EPIC for a Kdrama.

        Writer Kim and PD Lee have an unparalleled synergy for creating AMAZING dramas❣️

    • Beez says:

      “I wondered if the British journalist’s story of the Joseon 🇰🇷 rebels ever made it to print.” Jane Tilly
      I saw the original real life picture on Dramabeans. The author said that the rebels were posed similarly to the real life photo.

  5. cynkdf says:

    KJT – thanks very much for your wonderful recaps. First time watching a KES drama – I chose a good one, didn’t I? 🙂 Didn’t think I’d cry so much watching a Kdrama (admittedly I watch very few of them).

    I have enjoyed reading the thoughtful, eloquent comments by Jane Tilly, Beez etc – so readers of thsi blog, please comment as much as you wish to.

    Loved the MV for HCY’s OST (especially the parts where he’s shown recording the song). “Kanako Horikoshi”, a Korean who has lived in Japan for a long time made this beautiful FMV for the OST:

    • Jane Tilly says:

      cynkdf, thanks for sharing the video, it was a stirring montage of the sacrifices made for Joseon 🇰🇷 sovereignty. Unfortunately, it left me in tears in my office cubicle … I hope I regain composure before anyone comes by …

    • cynkdf, thank you for sharing that beautiful video. It brought tears to my eyes. The song “How Can I Forget You” and Hwang Chi Yeul’s vocals lend it an underlying emotion that gets me every time.

      I chose a good one, didn’t I? 🙂 Didn’t think I’d cry so much watching a Kdrama (admittedly I watch very few of them).
      You chose well. You can’t go wrong with the winning combo of Writer Kim and Director Lee.

      I hope when you watch another kdrama, I’m recapping it. If not, there are so many terrific recappers out there. The internet is a wonderful place for those that love kdramas.

      • cynkdf says:

        Nowadays the only K-dramas I watch are dramas that HCY sings OSTs for. Which means I started watching Hwayugi half way after it started. Watched “Moonlight Drawn By Clouds” right from the start and loved it. Hopefully you will be recapping the next drama that HCY sings for 🙂

        I’ll also watch an upcoming weekend drama that Bae Soo Bin, my favourite Korean actor, will be in.

    • Beez says:

      Wow. That video… I’m still not ready. For some reason Ae shin’s Trainer’s pain stands out the most for me right now.

      I know I’ll have different feelings every time I revisit this show.

  6. cynkdf says:

    KJT Frederick McKenzie, according to his Wikipedia entry, was born in Quebec. Hence the actor didn’t speak with a British accent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Arthur_McKenzie

    • Jane Tilly says:

      Yep, if an accent cannot be done well, I’d rather they don’t even bother to try.

      Kevin Costner in “Robin Hood” was a prime example of a HORRIBLE English accent … SO BAD that 15-20 minutes into the film, he gave up trying to have an English accent, which made the movie a bit more bearable.

  7. Jane Tilly says:

    Just came across a clip of Bromance moments that I thought was well done:

  8. Snow Flower says:

    My favorite drama of 2018. Watched it twice in one month.

  9. Jane Tilly says:

    Just received my Mr Sunshine OST after finally getting around to it. I absolutely 💗 it❣️ So much good music, even the instrumentals❣️

  10. Snow Flower says:

    My favorite tracks are Days Without Tears and Sad Waltz (instrumental).

  11. Elizabeth Anne Parke says:

    I just watched Mr Sunshine for the second time and am so impressed with this production. I live in Atlanta and I don’t know anyone who has watched it, so I’ve been telling everyone I know about it. It is truly one of the most beautiful shows I’ve seen in a long long time. I listen to the sound track at work which is also lovely. LOVE this show!

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