Saturday, April 23, 2016

[DAEBAK REVIEW] The ahjumma and the new eel: Review, thoughts and impressions of Daebak drama episode 5

in chat mode....

By Esther Noloc and Beth Wagner.
Guest: Eme Zikzin
Collaboration: kittehkat

The favorite day for Jang Keun Suk’s Eels (fans) arrived! it’s Monday and SBS aired episode 5 today. We have mixed feelings because we saw him suffer a lot, but the show must go on. We have to make you laugh even with tears in our eyes. Let's start the journey now.

ESTHER: Hi Beth, I know how you feel after watching the drama. I felt like you, but what to do? We love that man,so we need to think of his superb acting and not of his suffering to survive. Our guest today is Eme, from Venezuela, but she lives in USA like you. Welcome Eme!

EME: Hi my dear eel mom Esther, and my fairy godmother Beth. It’s a true honor to share this space with you. And yes, I am also suffering... well, l really have mixed feelings. On the one hand I suffer and on the other hand I feel an immense pride for the amazing work that my beloved Suk is doing. Then sometimes I do not know whether to mourn or to stand and laugh at his triumph.

BETH: Hello again Esther, and welcome to our chat, Eme! Well, yes, it was a struggle for so many eels to watch this episode, as amazing as his acting is…. Actually, I think it is *because* his acting is so great-- he makes it so real, that we can hardly stand it! I kept worrying about his cuts and bruises being super painful, and then had to remind myself…. It’s makeup!! 

ESTHER: Yes, it's difficult for us to separate JKS from Dae Gil, kkk. Oh noo, right from the start, so sad…. Dae Gil woke up in the boat and asked his grandpa Eyepatch Num for his father. Eyepatch told  him the truth, that Man Geum died two hours ago. Too late to do anything...Ahhh, I am in pain watching him! His loud scream is still in my ears even now.

EME: The heartrending cry of Dae Gil touches my soul... his desperation… the disbelief in his eyes is too intense! You can really feel the pain of this wound, as if he could die of this despair. In fact, losing his father in this way did kill him-- it killed the naive and immature Gae Ddong. 

BETH: Oh gosh, one minute in and I am already reaching for the tissues… this pain of losing his father was so intense, I agree, it killed the innocence of Gae Ddong that still existed in him.  He might have gotten his name, Dae Gil, but inside, he was still Gae Ddong until that moment. 

ESTHER: Dam Seo is asking In Jwa why he killed Man Geum. He really is stuck in the past , that man, because he told her that Man Geum should have died 20 years ago. Omo, Dam Seo is really intense-- she  took the sword and put it in her own neck to make him tell her the truth!  In Jwa told her she should use that sword on him, not herself. I’m not sure if he cares about her, or just needs her. But he did just call her daughter…umm, so does this mean he has a heart beating inside? If so I think maybe..very,very,very,very deep in his chest, so deep it’s hard to find lol. She swung the blade at him, but he stopped her, and then told her the BIG SECRET…. that Baek Dae Gil was the king’s first son,  and that he is a card they can play. She fell on the ground crying.

EME: Dam Seo also thinks like Dae Gil, why sacrifice innocent to obtain one's own desires? to renounce your convictions and values for a just cause and what causes is? the eternal battle between what the heart says and what others think we should do. Catches my attention how In Jwa noticed that she still continues to get carried away by her feelings (despite the hatred he has inculcated in her), and then in a maneuver that I can not determine whether it is sincere or not…. manipulates her feelings saying that she is his daughter and that is his ‘cause’.

BETH: Oh that man!!  He really is infuriating….. I mean, it is possible that he does care a tiny bit about her, very deep down, but the fact that he would manipulate an orphan’s feelings like that, to keep her under his thumb. I really dislike this man more with every scene….. I guess that’s good since he’s the villain!

ESTHER: Now the thing I smelled before-- Dae Gil wants revenge.  He went back to the river where his father died and punched at the water, splashing and screaming, like he was fighting with someone. All I can think is how his wound is open and he can catch an infection! The next day, he took a scythe and told Eyepatch, “ Don't look for me”.   Aishhh, even though his father said not to, Dae Gil is going to search for the people who killed his father. My heart started beating so fast, I have to take two blood pills instead of one! This will be a hard episode.

EME: It is a folly that he be swayed by anger that way, is not in his right mind, hurt and alone how much can you do? There is just so much pain in his eyes.

BETH: I know, that hurt and anguish… really clouding his judgement. And I don’t know how my own heart can take it either.  That pain is so real in his eyes, eels everywhere just want to take the scythe from him and hold him tight…..

ESTHER: Ahh, both brothers are back at the gambling house, but our boy Dae Gil worries me more. He was so desperate, and how can he dare go back there, with that witch Hong Mae in there?

EME: Dae Gil came out to take revenge without even thinking about who are his enemies, that was a mistake, he'll learn the hard way that brain is better than brawn.

BETH: He is in so much pain, he just followed his anger instead of thinking hard about how to make the evil people pay for their crime. Ahhhh…. I can hardly watch, I’m so afraid he will have more trouble coming his way now!
ESTHER: Dae Gil grabbed Hong Mae, with the scythe against her neck, and made her confess who killed his father. He is really losing his mind with anger….now he wants her to take him to the In Jwa! Poor boy, he will go straight into the lion’s den, and that lion is very hungry.

EME: It is amazing how In Jwa has all coldly calculated, he definitely plays God and HongMae is a viper that does whatever it takes to get out of any dilemma, she only has allegiance to money

BETH: Yes, I see In Jwa as truly evil, right down to his core…. I see Hong Mae as just an opportunist.  A jerk, but not good or evil...she could just as easily be swayed to do good (if the price was right, lol).

ESTHER: Dae Gil arrived at In Jwa’s home, still holding Hong Mae with the scythe, and when he saw that man sitting, just playing a game, like nothing happened… he got a real shock! Dae Gil suddenly knew him, and remembered their meeting in the gambling hall. He remembered In Jwa tossing the coin to him and saying, “when someone knows the value of one nyang, he is a true card shark.”  So In Jwa saw potential in him, even before he knew who he was. Very interesting.

EME:  For Dae Gil it took a couple of seconds to comprehend and believe that this man could be the murderer of his father, but his determination leads him to go ahead.  It angers me, seeing In Jwa’s smile of triumph-- to see that, what he thought would happen, actually did happen.

BETH: Ugh, yes!  So infuriating!  Both that this man can just sit there playing a game after coldly killing an innocent man…. And that he got exactly what he wanted out of it.  I really hate to see him rewarded like that!

ESTHER: Dae Gil released Hong Mae and went after In Jwa to tell him the truth, “why did you kill my father?”  But that man just smirked and said to come back when you are great tiger, when you are strong enough to take me on.

EME: Of course mom Esther! He knows who Dae Gil really is, knows what the boy is capable of,  and knows it is his best card to take the throne. In Jwa warns him that this is not the way to get revenge. Dae Gil must have already known that, but chose the hard way taken by his emotion and ingenuity. It is so hard to see Daegil struggle with his emotions like this, and do things that put him in such danger!

BETH: Why do I feel like In Jwa is treating Dae Gil like a lamb…. Fattening him up for the slaughter??  He just wants to build up Dae Gil’s anger, build up his determination to be strong, and fight, and win….. But only to help himself take the throne, with Dae Gil being the perfect pawn to sacrifice. 

ESTHER: Dae Gil tried to follow after In Jwa when he left to go inside,but Dam Seo stopped him cold! Wow, she hit him and knocked him down, and then threw her sword on the ground in front of him.  Waaaa, she is such a skilled fighter, and she knows he has no skill…. So even if she gives him a sword, he can’t even touch her. So sad he has to fight with the woman he likes! But when you are hurt like him, it is difficult to think of anything else, even love. Maybe it’s lucky for him that Hong Mae came and hit him on the head, but ahh, she will pay one day, I hope!

EME: It really bothers me that Dam Seo took this cold attitude with Dae Gil, I can understand that fight with him because she owes loyalty to the man who raised her, but, to be indifferent when Hong Mae hits him on the floor being now defenseless, honestly I found this an act rather low on her part.

BETH: I was glad for a moment to see Dam Seo showing him pity, and showing him-- this is what is wrong with your plan…  her line of “you can’t even touch the hem of my skirt now, how can you go after the scholar?”  Really powerful, and I think it will stick in Dae Gil’s head. Of course, then she went back to her cold demeanor when Hong Mae came, but I can’t tell if she is trying to hide her feelings for Dae Gil from others, or if she is still conflicted about him herself.

ESTHER: Uh oh...Yeoning is talking with In Jwa, and the atmosphere turned dark in a hurry because the prince knows all about his family tragedy. He suspects In Jwa has motives to destroy the King and take the throne, out of revenge against the king for killing his family.

EME: The prince is not a fool-- he has inherited his father’s cunning. I love how this unmasks In Jwa’s intentions regarding Dam Seo, and the danger he poses to the throne. As for In Jwa, it’s clear to him now, that he is undoubtedly facing the other tiger with whom he will battle for the throne.

BETH: Oh! The prince just saw the commotion with Dae Gil, Dam Seo, and Hong Mae, and came over to assist.  Well, probably came to assist pretty Dam Seo, but if that means he can make Hong Mae stop kicking our unconscious boy…. I’ll take it.

ESTHER: Thanks God that Yeoning showed up! He helped Dae Gil without even knowing their family ties. He will take him to a doctor at the palace even, to help him heal.

EME: Kind of like the call of the blood, he feels like there's something?

BETH: Yes, I wonder! Their shared blood and fate bringing them together at every turn!

ESTHER: Yeoning and his older brother, the Crown Prince, are now talking to their father. It’s a very interesting metaphor the king used in his story, about a beast that regulates the rain, but people become afraid of it and blames it for bad things...he is very wise. He is using the story to see which of his sons is the smart one who can see the truth behind the story…

EME:  Yes! The king is very wise, I love this character, I really enjoy it very much. He tests the two princes to see who has the sagacity to replace him.

BETH: The Crown Prince just looked shocked, when his younger brother figured out the story, and then the King tossed down the Inspector General papers for him.  Yeoning will learn a lot in this new position, I think!

ESTHER: Oops, Lady Choi is upset…. she scolded Yeoning for showing off his intelligence, and gaining work in the general inspector office. He is supposed to be pretending to be a dumb playboy, only concerned with his pleasures. But... he said he is an adult now and he will find his path by himself. Ahhh, it is universal, these words. I have heard those words before here in my own home, even!

EME: Oh! a tough time for any mother and of course although she wants desperately to keep him safe and quiet, the prince has turned a corner into adulthood. He wants to think for himself, and Lady Choi realizes that from now on she will have to find other ways to protect him.

BETH: The moment she dreaded all these years has arrived…. Her son can’t be a child, pretending to be something he’s not anymore. This is the most dangerous time for him, because although he has the strength of his convictions, he doesn’t have the skill to back them up yet.  

ESTHER: The maid informed Lady Choi that Yeoning brought someone to the royal doctors office, and she wondered….who? Yess, go there!! Oops, she arrived and looked around, but Dae Gil wasn't there. Sigh... so it's not time yet for the mother to meet her lost son.

EME: Oh! Dae Gil, didn’t you know? That was your mother you just glimpsed before you hid! Ahhhh, you shouldn’t have hidden yourself…..

BETH: Oh so close, they both were!  But I if he met her now, I guess he couldn’t have the strength to become a tiger, and then In Jwa would have an easy road to the throne.  I suppose the writers know what they are doing, even if we just want to scream at the TV, “It’s your mother!!  It’s your son!!”

ESTHER: Oh, it’s so sad now…. Dae Gil and his grandpa finally found Man Geum’s grave and can now pay their respects to him. I guess at least In Jwa told him where his father was  buried. Aww, crying tons in that scene! Both Dae Gil and me! Then they prepare the funeral meal, and oh, my crying just keeps on going.

EME: I die see him mourn at the grave of his father. But he looks so handsome while talking with his father despite the face of pain, OMG how can it be so handsome?

ESTHER: Hahaha, I noticed that too.

BETH: There was a grave?  Sorry, I just could see someone’s handsome, handsome face….. Sigh.

ESTHER: Aishh, our brash boy! Dae Gil went to In Jwa home again, this time with a bow and arrow! The pain might be giving him strength, but he still doesn’t have the skill to do what he needs to do… and I am more weak now, looking at the way he is suffering.

EME: Ohhhh no! Anger is so bad Dae Gil!! You can not act with such nonsense... it hurts me so much to see his despair and his lips white with rage, but know that his physical weakness will lead him to more failure. He has to understand that you must at least be at the same height as your opponent.

BETH: I can barely stand to watch, knowing that he must fail this time too… but ahhhh, his determination really shines in his eyes and face.  So amazing that I also can’t look away! 

ESTHER: Oh my God, when Dae Gil failed in his first shot, In Jwa almost makes fun of him-- “teaching” him how to shoot the right way. Hey teacher, you are in the wrong room, you shouldn’t provoke a young man full of adrenaline like this, because he will continue until the end. Wait, what he did to him? I got so scared I couldn’t look-- had to close my eyes and just heard the noises!

EME: I’m with you Esther, I cannot watch either! Beth, tell us what is happening??

BETH: Ok…. I will do it, but only for you guys-- this is SO HARD to watch! Crying……..   Ok, so after Dae Gil failed with shooting the arrows, even at point blank range, In Jwa just started using martial arts to really kick him down to the dirt and hurt him so bad…. He broke his leg by twisting his knee, broke his hand, and poor Dae Gil is just lying in the dirt, bleeding, unable to stand or walk.  OH! Even though In Jwa thought he can walk away now, he didn’t count on our boy’s strong heart… even though Dae Gil can’t walk, he is pushing himself across the courtyard, even using his chin to pull himself toward In Jwa. When he insists that In Jwa take it all the way, because he will never stop coming back otherwise…. In Jwa takes him out to a cliff and ties him to a tree…..

BETH: Girls, I am hitting pause for a second, because I need to wipe away all these tears and breathe for a minute…. Oh…. how can I take this?? How much worse can it get?? Ok…. I think I can start again.    So, Dae Gil is tied to the tree, and In Jwa says he will shoot him with an arrow and end it. And that Dam Seo, she is standing right there, and she’s not really saying anything about it!!  Is she not that certain of her feelings yet? Or just too scared of the scholar to go against him?  I guess we will find out someday.

BETH: Ummm…. Keep your eyes closed girls. In Jwa just shot Dae Gil, right in the heart. The arrow is in there and our boy is slumped over! How can this be?? But one of that man’s minions just went over, and the arrow came out easily…. It didn’t pierce him!  Remember the coin girls? THe one his dad gave him, and then both Yeoning and In Jwa tossed back to him?  Waaaaa that is his lucky coin! The arrow went right into it and it stopped the arrow from piercing him!  Wow, that coin is very bent now from the force of that arrow… if not for the coin in his pocket, our boy would surely be dead.

ESTHER: Wow, that same coin saved him? and In Jwa couldn't believe it, but haha, better believe it baby! The music of triumph started to play, even! Oh no, they shoved the coin down his throat and made him swallow it?? Said it is his money to pay his way to hell…. I can’t look again. Ahhhhhhhh, noooooo, nooooo, why? He is hurting him, but I keep peeking, because I’m so worried!

EME: The determination of DaeGil verges on madness. I looked because you did too, but I can hardly bear this scene! Suk’s face is so convincing, so much pain, and yet his eyes still so fierce!  But I’m so relieved the arrow didn’t kill him! As long as DaeGil is alive, I feel a win in my chest!

BETH: But that hateful man In Jwa is just laughing about this boy’s luck now… and threatening to just pitch him off the cliff.  Dae Gil says he will jump off himself if In Jwa makes a promise:  Since there is a 100% chance of him dying in a fall off that cliff, In Jwa must promise to go bow down at Baek Man Geum’s grave and ask forgiveness, if Dae Gil manages to survive. Are you girls seeing this? Or covering your eyes again?

EME: I confess that what is happening with the coin, I’m mostly just hearing, and yet, when I peek, in that scene of such a solemn and bleak moment, he can be so handsome! But we don’t even need words-- his lopsided smile is so strong, it says it all: I will return and I will take vengeance!

BETH: Oh no!! Don’t look!!  In Jwa says he thinks he will stab him first. WHAT??! That crazy man!!  WHY?????  He just walked over and--

ESTHER: Crap! When I heard his laugh, I had hope, so I uncovered my eyes, and IN JWA STABBED HIM IN THE STOMACH! Noooo!! Huhuhu(Esther crying) I feel so guilty, I was nagging our Prince Jang Keun Suk to make a drama like this, and now that he made it, I can hardly bear it! Look at me a crying mess to see our boy hurting like this! Please go rest now, go to do concerts alone and with Team H, even go to MS for two years, because it’s better than seeing you hurting like this!

EME: Nooo!  Omo…. mom Esther, I can not, it is so hard, so insane, oh my heart hurts so much...

BETH: Our dear boy just stumbled backwards, and let himself fall off the cliff…. Even with blood from the stab wound dripping from his mouth, he smiled slightly, and fell.  Waaaa…. It was beautiful and yet sooooo sad.  I’m crying so hard for our boy!!  At least Dam Seo had the kindness to try to watch for his body down stream…. But she only found his straw shoes floating.  You can open your eyes now, girls…. She is just returning the shoes to Dae Gil’s house.
By the way.... did anyone else about have a heart attack seeing our Prince standing on the edge of that cliff, stumbling around??  I hope that was not for real.....

ESTHER: Eyepatch heard a noise and went outside his house, and he found Dae Gil’s
Shoes where Dam Seo left them on the porch.  Another heartbreaking scene.

EME: For me those shoes symbolize the death of guileless Gae Ddong.  Even the first incarnation of Dae Gil is now dead. The man who comes back will not be the same.

BETH: That’s a really moving way to see this part, Eme.  In so many ways, all of the things that should have killed him have served only to kill the part of him that was innocent and irresponsible and carefree, and recreate him as a strong and skilled opponent. The shoes are a perfect symbol of that, you’re right! 

ESTHER: In Jwa is very pretentious. When Dam Seo said that Dae Gil must be dead, In Jwa said that until he allows him to die, he won’t die. He really thinks he holds the key to life and death like this?

EME: I have said it before, this man plays God, he feels he can control everyone’s destiny! So angry!

BETH: I am so exhausted after watching those grueling scenes, I can hardly even pay attention to this scene… I might have to watch that part again, after I can shake off those images of our hurting boy….

ESTHER: Wait, what’s this? A ghost in the gambling house? Someone with a double sided mask was there searching for something,but…

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EME: Ohh! Yeoning! He is investigating the money trail that In Jwa has in the basement of the gambling house. He is as astute as the king definitely, undoubtedly he’s another tiger.

BETH: And Dam Seo caught him, so now we will see the real love triangle start. Grrrr….. I like you, Prince…. You’re a good guy, but that’s Gae Ddong’s wife you’re after! Lol.

ESTHER: Lady Choi met that scary shaman lady again,  and that lady brought Dam Seo along.

EME: I love the costumes of Lady Choi!

BETH: They are so gorgeous…! Gosh, how can she trust that shaman lady?? I guess she doesn’t realize that she works for In Jwa!

ESTHER: Now Dam Seo is sneaking through the palace because In Jwa instructed her to do it. The reason? She is to steal the inspector general book that the King gave to Yeoning. She is risking her life doing that.

EME: She is not at risk with "Mr. Destiny"/In Jwa calling the shots! He knows that the prince was in love with her I think lol!

BETH: Gotta wonder what is in that book that In Jwa wanted it so bad?? Or was it just another of his ploys, to get the Prince more infatuated with Dam Seo?

ESTHER: Well, we saw it coming. In Jwa spoke with the shaman about the reading done for Lady Choi. He was dying to know what reading she wanted.  Gosh, lol, I think he needs a woman in his life! He’s been alone for too long, and just meddles with everyone else’s life because he doesn’t have any real problems, kkkkk. But the important thing is that, the shaman says: he is alive!! Our boy survived!!

EME: LOL mom Esther! definitely, this Mr. has to find a couple!

BETH: hahaha omg yes. And I’m soooo happy the shaman said our boy LIVED!!!!  I mean we knew he would, but still….. So scared for him! And she says he was born a monarch with three swords, so he could meet a bad fate and go out like a candle flame, or he could meet a good fate and become King himself!  In Jwa’s icy demeanor cracked a little bit there, when she looked into her visions and said…. “He met a good fate… and imperial swordsman”. Oh boy…. Now In Jwa will be going after him even harder.  HOW CAN WE TAKE IT????

ESTHER: found Dae Gil buried in mud up to his chin, starving so much he was trying to eat a little dried up crab in the mud. I suffered the first time I watched this scene, but the second time, I just imagined our Prince was in a spa, in a mud treatment.

BETH: Esther! KKKKKKK! Yes, that’s a much better way to think of it lolllll.   I was so surprised by the swordsman picking up the little bitty crab that Dae Gil was trying to get to-- he popped it into the starving boy’s mouth, and our AP just crunched right down and ATE IT! Wow… I think I have texture issues… I can’t eat something so crunchy like that…. So that was pretty impressive to me lol. 

EME: Oh my Dae Gil! Cinematically this scene is beautiful, spotless, all these shades of gray and impressive characterization of JKS seems to me like a visual jewel. But oh! My dear prince who works so hard to portray Dae Gil’s suffering! How many more tests, how much longer do we and he have to endure it?

ESTHER: Well girls, the roller coaster will continue in the 6th episode, be prepared with your tissues and a pillow to hide behind…..until next time!


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Thank you for sharing with us, Cri!