My ride on the Tamra boat had been smooth sailing, for the most part, until it docked at Hanyang, the Capital of Angst. Although while on Tamra, there was plotting and other dark stuff going on in addition to all the fun and games, I was really enjoying the interactions between the characters because of the nice balance of the serious and the humor. So, when our main characters arrived at Hanyang and they were angsting and crying in what seemed like every episode, it took me some time to get used to all that drama. I like angst, don’t get me wrong, but not when character consistency is sacrificed for the sake of angst.
And the crying. Beo Jin cried. William (looked like he was straining to) shed tears. And Park Kyu… In the Progress Update post, I talked about how I felt whenever Park Kyu smile or cry. So, imagine how it was like for me to watch him doing more of the latter than the former. It wasn’t pretty (on my part), I’ll say that much.
Anyway, I finished the show a couple days ago, and since then have been thinking about how to write up my thoughts on the finale. Aside from being frustrated with my laptop’s hard drive going kaput on me all of a sudden (data backup? what is this “foreign concept” that you speak of?), I was also hit with that dreaded block, the writer’s block. (Seems like it’s going around the blogosphere as several of my blogging buddies have caught it as well.) So, with creative juices running low, I’ve decided to take the straightforward approach and am going to organize my thoughts on the finale in the form of recap/commentary on major events in episodes 20 and 21. (Spoiler alert)
Dark Lady – Tamra the Island OST
Seo Rin and her minions continue their plan to take over Joseon. Basically, the gist of the plan, as I understand it, is to trade silver for weapons and ammunitions from the East India Trading Company at Tamra and use said purchase to dominate Tamra first, then Joseon. Ambitious much?
Seo Rin’s plan has been in the works for ages now. And as I watch her plotting and scheming since the beginning, I’d find myself asking two questions: 1) How is she able to control and off several high ranking officials without any consequences? and 2) Is she really that powerful?
Anyway, back to our main trio.
By the lake, Beo Jin tells William that she cannot leave with him and apologizes. She says that he can go to England first and then she’ll come to him later, but William and we (the viewers) know that that ain’t gonna happen.
Now that we’re in the final stretch of the drama, I can firmly say that I’m on the Park Kyu/Beo Jin ship, so I welcome this decision of hers. But more than shipping, I really appreciate the fact that Beo Jin realizes on her own how much Tamra and the sea mean to her because sometimes, the only lessons that really stays with you are the ones that you learn on your own, not the ones that other people nag and preach to you about. It’s also ironic that when Beo Jin was on Tamra, she felt suffocated and dreamt of leaving little Tamra to be free in a bigger city; but when life in Hanyang isn’t at all like what she has expected, she actually misses Tamra. I guess there’s no place like home.
William walks Beo Jin home and as she is about to leave, he pulls her back for a peck on the forehead, which… is also when Park Kyu arrives at Beo Jin’s house. Park Kyu is shocked but relieved that William is alive, but he is also hurt that Beo Jin has hidden this fact from him, especially when she saw how much guilt and agony he felt about William’s supposed death.
And William, haven’t you been around Park Kyu long enough to know that he’s not the type of person to abandon his friends and leave them for dead? Does he really have to verbalize it for you to understand? What the hey are you saying? Don’t you know that your words are cutting, rubbing salt on his fresh emotional wound?
Don’t cry, Kyu. Don’t cry!
Gawd, your tears get me e-v-e-r-y-t-i-m-e.
Well, at least Beo Jin is aware that her actions hurt Park Kyu and is feeling pretty bad about it.
Although the chemistry between Beo Jin and Park Kyu, like Tofu said, is definitely electrifying, it seems that the sparks mostly come from Park Kyu’s side more than Beo Jin’s. So, at this point, I’m still not 100% certain who Beo Jin likes more, William or Park Kyu.
Okay, back to business.
Park Kyu meets up with Yann, who, despite his outward grumbles and indifference, is giving tips to Park Kyu about Seo Rin’s upcoming scheme. Yann, you big softie.
Ooh, finally some background info on Yann. Apparently, Yann has some unresolved issues with his father, who currently lives in Japan. He’s angry at his father, who is Korean, for selling himself out for a better life in Japan. So technically, Yann is ethnically Korean, who lived in Japan for some time, is currently working for the East India Trading Company, and is nationally Dutch.
William has a new pet puppy!
Yann sees William play with Puppy and comments that since William can’t even take care of himself, how can he take care of Puppy. William replies that he adopted Puppy because they both have no family and have been abandoned. Aw, William… Please stop believing that you have no friends because you do have people that care about you.
It’s the big day at Seo Rin’s lair because they are preparing to transport their silver to Tamra to make the trade with the Dutch.
Seo Rin’s right-hand man is talking with her left-hand man about their plan to fool the police force and eliminate Park Kyu, while Beo Jin eavesdrops on their conversation.
Beo Jin, you are the worst spy ever. Way to be stealth (not).
So obviously, she is noticed by Seo Rin’s bodyguard. And in her attempt to warn Park Kyu, she gets cornered and is kidnapped.
Beo Jin’s mother and Co. is waiting for Beo Jin to meet up with them before they leave Hanyang to go back to Tamra. When Park Kyu arrives, Keut Boon tells him that Beo Jin has something important to tell him so that was why they didn’t leave the merchant headquarter together. Assuming that Beo Jin is with his servant Bong Sam, Park Kyu assures Mama Jang that he will make sure that she is okay so Mama Jang can leave with peace of mind.
I love the bond between Park Kyu and Mama Jang. Usually, not much is said during their scenes together but her trust and understanding of his character is really touching to watch.
As expected, Seo Rin holds Beo Jin hostage to force William to do her bidding. We are not yet privy to what it is exactly that she wants him to do, but we will find out soon enough.
Park Kyu, with the Crown Prince’s seal, raids Seo Rin’s lair but comes up empty-handed because all the incriminating stuff has been cleared out ahead of time. He’s also unable to find Beo Jin, so he is constantly worrying about her, always thinking about her well-being.
Now, the headquarter is vacant, except for Yann and Puppy. Yann sees Puppy and is reminded of William, which in turn, reminds him of how much Beo Jin means to William.
As Park Kyu informs the King of the details of his investigation, the Prime Minister brings in William as his witness to counter Park Kyu’s report. And now, Seo Rin’s purpose for keeping William becomes clear. The Prime Minister tells the King that William is a spy working in cahoots with Park Kyu and the Crown Prince to overthrow the King. Almost instantly, Park Kyu realizes that something must have happened to Beo Jin to make William admit to such absurdity.
And this is the expression on the King’s face. Oh dear, he is crazy and scary.
Thus, Park Kyu is framed as a traitor and both Wililam and him are charged with high treason and sent to jail to await their fate.
On a slightly happier note, Yann is able to find the location where Beo Jin is being held captive and successfully rescues her. Yann, I knew we could count on you.
So Park Kyu and William are locked up in jail and one guess as to what (or more like whom) they’re both worrying about.
As I watch this scene, a couple of thoughts came to mind, namely:
– You both might be executed and you’re concerned about Beo Jin?! Stop worrying about her and worry about yourselves, you self-sacrificing idiots.
– Park Kyu, please don’t blame yourself.
– Yay! William and Park Kyu reconciled and are friends again.
– Don’t cry, Kyu. Whenever you cry, it breaks my heart.
– And what’s all this talk about meeting in the next life? Stop the crazy talk!
So things are looking pretty bleak for our duo right now, but I hope, hope that we’ll get a happy ending.