July 13, 2013
Episode 13 of Damo opens with a still unconscious Jang Sung Baek being tended by a doctor. Soo Myung, the Magistrate, and another conspirator look on. The doctor tells them he will recover, and leaves. The Magistrate tries to dismiss Soo Myung, but she refuses to go. The other man wonders whether it was worth risking so many lives to save one man. Soo Myung breaks in to pronounce that Jang Sung Baek is the heart of the people. The Magistrate tells her to shut up and do as she’s told.
Boss Jang wakes up. Dark veins are showing in his face. The Magistrate tells him how close to death he came, and asks him how he could let that damo use such a powerful poison on him. Jang Sung Baek suppresses a smile. MORE…
March 19, 2013
Episode 12 of Damo opens in the mountain forest. It’s daylight, and soldiers are nodding off all over the camp. Hwangbo announces that he’s taking over the search and starts to rouse them, but the local commander demands that he allow the soldiers some rest after searching all night. Hwangbo starts to argue, but Officer Lee intervenes and takes him aside for a private talk. He agrees with the local commander, and accuses Hwangbo of being obsessed with Chae Ohk, not Jang Sung Baek, and running his men into the ground because of it. Officer Baek, looking on, is shocked at Officer Lee’s audacity. Hwangbo doesn’t deny obsession, but insists it’s all about Jang Sung Baek.
Hwangbo has just questioned whether Officer Lee has enough faith in Hwangbo to serve under him when MORE…
February 1, 2013
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to Episode 11 of Damo. I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like what comes next, so I’ve been dragging my feet.
The episode opens with the former thief instructing his borrowed troops to masquerade as a rebel band, under the supervision of Jang Sung Baek’s younger sister (so much truer than he and the damo know!). They scare villagers and bully travelers to establish their false identities.
Meanwhile, Chief Joh’s investigation is at a standstill, since his suspects are too high in the court hierarchy to touch. When he receives the letter Chae Ohk faked for the police chief who lent them the soldiers, he knows right away who to blame, and what they are up to. If they can capture the rebel leader, that will move the investigation forward. Chief Joh sends Hwangbo after Chae Ohk.
At a rebel meeting, a captain crows with delight over their successful misdirection of the forces that are hunting them. Then he reports that another band claims to be led by Boss Jang’s younger sister. Jang abruptly leaves the meeting. MORE…
January 3, 2013
As Damo Episode 10 opens, Hwangbo (Lee Seo Jin) and the old monk rush into Chae Ohk’s room. She is gasping, and falls over when Hwangbo touches her arm. Then her eyes open. Hwangbo smiles, the monk says a prayer and Hwangbo walks out into the grounds to drink from a fountain. There is a sudden sprinkle of spring rain. In this moment, all is well. If Hwangbo’s smile momentarily dims now and then when he thinks of his job, it soon returns. Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won) will live.
December 28, 2012
Arang and the Magistrate (아랑사또전) is a 20-episode MBC drama that aired in the fall of 2012. I LOVED the first few episodes. Arang the amnesiac ghost (Shin Min Ah) is an agile imp with absolutely no respect whatsoever for authority – in short, my kind of gal :)
The drama is a sageuk-fantasy fusion – my first. The fantasy element manifests as a whimsical, eclectic melange of religious and folk traditions. Upon a floating island in the clouds, traditional Asian (Yoo Seung Ho) and Greek (Park Joon Gyu) deities play Go (바둑 or baduk in Korean) with the lives of mortals. Yeah, Ingmar Bergman did it first, but did he think to embellish the scene with a flower-backed goat? He did not. MORE…
December 24, 2012
The damo (Ha Ji Won) does not, of course, give up her plan of seeing the King to plead Hwangbo’s case. But first she writes Hwangbo a letter, telling him how much he has meant to her, and how much she regrets her baffling inability to kill Boss Jang, even to save Hwangbo’s life. Then, it’s off to the palace.
After a lot of swooping, slinking, swimming, and close calls, Chae Ohk finds the King. His guards pounce on her, and she is severely wounded. Her battered body is dumped at his feet. He is amazed that such a low ranking woman has gone to such lengths to meet him. The damo manages to gasp out the story of a conspiracy against the throne, insisting that Chief Joh and Hwangbo are innocent, and demanding their release.
November 29, 2012
In Episode 8 of Damo, we learn that the general has left a suicide note, swearing his loyalty to the King. The King is upset, and berates Chief Joh and Hwangbo. MORE…
November 4, 2012
Episode 7 of Damo opens with a recap, preparing us for an eventful episode. As you will recall, Episode 6 closed with Boss Jang (Kim Min Joon) racing into a crowd of soldiers armed with guns to rescue the wounded Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won).
SPOILER ALERT: Stop here if you haven’t watched yet.
November 1, 2012
Masquerade is a costume drama set in the royal court of 17th century Korea. Although the film was supposedly inspired by Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, it’s more nearly a remake of the American 1993 Kevin Kline/Sigourney Weaver film, Dave.
A jaded leader, surrounded by political intrigue and assassination threats, hires a working-class lookalike to cover more frequent visits to a favorite concubine than his neglected queen would approve of. He suddenly falls ill, and his stand-in has to go full-time while he recovers. MORE…
October 24, 2012
Episode 6 of Damo is packed tight with the back story of Boss Jang (Kim Min Joon), as well as developments in Hwangbo’s (Lee Seo Jin) status. Watch it carefully or watch it twice to make sure you catch all the details.
Stop here if you haven’t watched yet.