DRAMA CLUB RECAP: The Night Watchman's Journal 5 (1/1)
Welcome back Night Watchman Scribes! Tiara, Deborah and I are settling in for an exciting ride, as each episode increases in enjoyment and our characters flesh out their place in the protection of Joseon. Will Rin succeed in his position over Sogyukseo? Can Do Ha become a shaman without a proper understanding of the world around her? Why was Ki San really chosen as King?
Open up your tablets guys, it's time to review your notes with another look at The Night Watchman's Journal.
Moo Seok is appointed Rin’s personal bodyguard
Unnichan: All great romances begin with proximity; therefore, bromances are no exception. I can’t wait to see how these two bicker their way into bromance bliss. But I can’t help but wonder why exactly Ki San was so completely sold on Moo Seok for the job. He said he felt safe with his choice and while I understand that’s because he knows Moo Seok is a loyal straight arrow, I don’t think he’s taken into consideration the fact that he’s going bonkers and he’s a murderer which changes everything. Once Moo Seok is privy to anything that proves the King’s past treason, his loyalties will shift because his commitment is to the Throne, not the man that sits on it--- not yet anyway.
Tiara: You can tell Ki San and Moo Seok have been friends for years. The trust the King gives to his loyal subject. I agree this is why Ki San gave the assignment of protecting Rin to him. Unfortunately, Moo Seok doesn’t know how insane and crazy his King has become. I’m beginning to think Moo Seok will see his King in a new light soon, but it is Ki San’s fault. If he didn’t send Moo Seok to Rin, he would have kept his loyal guard. Yet on the other side, I’m not sure if Moo Seok would have liked Sadam if he stayed by the King’s side. I mean the dude is creepy.
Deborah: It really was not a good idea for Ki San to send Moo Seok to be Rin’s bodygaurd, honestly, yes Moo Seok is committed to the throne but he seems to be the only one who actually cares about Ki San’s well being (even if it is only because he is the king). Ki San’s just going to go more and more crazy especially now that the only people surrounding him are toxic (literally) characters that will honestly just fuck him up so much
Soo Ryeon’s matchmaking father and her great escape.
Tiara: I have mixed feelings when it comes to Soo Ryeon. She seems like a nice enough girl. She escapes her house to go heal the sick. I can’t fault someone for doing volunteer work, but I’m not sure if this is a mask she wears. She is waiting for Rin, but we know Rin won’t accept her feelings. He won’t be a pawn for her father. Despite, her father wanting to get her married to anyone, but the King. Don’t forget she also misunderstood Rin not wanting to build any type of political power. I want to be fond of Soo Ryeon, but I’m not sure how much of the nice girl she truly is or if she’s a fake and it is all an act... I guess I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Deborah: That is an interesting interpretation of Soo Ryeon’s character, Tiara. Personally I don’t feel like it is a front, it is who she is. She is a nice girl and I feel like that is all she will be both to Rin and also to the audience. She might do something “evil” and backstabbing towards the middle of the show out of jealousy to try to get Rin back, especially given that I think he and Do Ha will probably get together sometime in someway; however, deep down I feel like she is a good person who just happens to be in love with someone she has no chance with. I doubt Rin will ever see her as more than a background character in his life, yes, as a close friend, but nothing more than that. It reminds me of “Bad” by The Cab where it goes “Yeah baby, I know that you’re good/But I don’t want a good girl no, not today.” If Rin chooses someone he will probably choose Do Ha over Soo Ryeon, because although she is loud and pushes the boundaries she truly sticks out in his mind.
Unnichan: I have no real ideas about Soo Ryeon besides the fact I was glad she told her father what she thinks about her situation. I'm not sure if she personally has eyes for politics but she's certainly always believed she'd marry a King, so there's some deep-seeded prep on her part. Ultimately, she like everyone else, has a dark side, and I think we all just have to wait and see how far from the light she's willing to wander.
Sang Heon needs to forgive himself to move on from the past, but he will only forgive himself when the scar vanishes.
Unnichan: All things Sang Heon pique my interest and his reticence is not only sexy but understandable. He has every right and reason to never forget the past, for though our scars may fade, they never vanish. And given his personality and position, his guilt is ingrained much deeper than any physical scar and no matter what happens or how he is able to rectify the events of the past, he will carry that for the rest of his life.
Tiara: I I’m curious about what happen after the Mad King killed everyone. I get the feeling there is more to the story that what we’ve been told. Sang Heon is alive when we thought he was dead. How did he still alive? The sword was in his chest. This isn’t a wound you can walk away from. From the looks of it, he still has issues with the wound. I agree Unnichan. What happens in the past isn’t something he can forget more so since it isn’t over with.
The test to become head priest of Sogyukseo.
Unnichan: I found Rin’s test very clever and unprecedented. It was a refreshing way to take on his position, regardless of how it was viewed by those around him.
Tiara: Oh, look at Rin using his brain. I knew there was more to him than just a playboy. This is why I think he is Batman. Granted, he does have a bit of a superpower being able to see Ghosts, but he acts like a playboy to distract people from thinking he really bright and clever.
Speaking about the test, Do Ha isn’t safe from Sadam. They way he keeps looking at Do Ha is disturbing. Who knew a palace maiden was poking the man in the head with needles. Hmm, I wonder if this could explain some of my headaches? Getting back to the point, the palace maiden was assassinated. Anyone else smell a King trying to cover the truth of the night the Mad King went crazy?
Deborah:It was nice to see Rin using his brain and stop being the silly playboy I had always pegged him to be. It was actually a really wonderful test that I was personally very impressed with, I think it was super interesting how they instantly jumped to the idea that since the man’s illness could not be cured by medicine it must have to be because of magical or the spiritual aspect of life.
Rin is failing at keeping his ghost seeing secret, secret.
Unnichan: Not only was Rin unable to keep his composure during his “spirit” testing of potential Sogyukseo candidates but then he goes to the palace and tries to conjure Handmaiden's ghost. Even I don’t blame Ki San for freaking out on him for lying to him, if he’s going to be that careless. The first slip up [when he stopped Handmaid ghost] was understandable but even Moo Seok had to warn him at the grave site. At this point it seems like a lost cause to keep denying what we all know to be true.
Tiara: Poor Rin. He has been trying to deny the ability to see ghosts for years to hope the King won’t kill him. I believe this to be rinsed downfall by not accepting his gifts and using them. Heck, I don’t blame Rin for lying to his brother. He’s a bit irrational and crazy. It was only a matter of time before his brother found out. I don’t think Ki San would have been reasonable if Rin came out and told the truth. The King would have been just as freaked out. There was no winning solution for Rin.
Deborah: Personally, I thought that Rin has been horrible at keeping his ghost sight a secret. It has been fairly obvious from the beginning. However, maybe that’s just because it’s obvious to the audience. I do wish there was more about Rin and his mother while he was a kid because all of those flashback scenes that flashed through in this scene did not make me feel anything at all because I was not able to witness much interaction between mother and son. There could have been so much emotion that could have been invoked that was not.
After Ki San frames Rin, looks like the Dowager isn't fooling anyone about her loyalties... [except Rin of course]
Unnichan: It comes as no surprise whatthe Dowager has been up to all these years, for we’ve always known who she valued. I just hope now, she has a clearer view of what that difference has done to her grandchildren. In royal families, everyone chooses sides and tends to hide their true intentions for political salvage, whilst forgetting that whether you are Royal or paupers, a family is still made up of human beings. And what I find the saddest is that she’s aided in damaging two children, who have become emotionally and mentally weak adults, over the throne.
Tiara: What is the Dowager’s true plan? I comprehend her trying to protect Rin, but why did she give power to Ki San by making him King? Was she hoping he would step down or die? I'm not sure I follow her logic here.The Dowager isn’t the only one who damaged the relationship of these two boys. The King clearly favorited Rin as he was the son of his Queen. If Ki San is a son of a concubine, he is still the son of a King and has a chance to become king just like Rin. I’ve watched enough historical dramas to know that royal sons are pawns in the political chess game. Yet in this drama, it would seem all political sides were favoring Rin as Crown Prince too. Did everyone think Ki San wouldn’t get revenge on those who treated him wrong as kid?
Deborah:Honestly Ki San is the only character I currently am invested in. Everything about him just screams broken and I actually feel bad for him. He’s doing all of this shitty and spiteful things because he is truthfully lacking in affection and love. All those around him don’t honestly care about him at all from a child till now and it is interesting to see just how damaging that has been to him.
Unnichan: Sang Heon. Sang Heon. Sang Heon. Out of everyone, his story is the one I find most compelling. And though I understand and believe there’s no need to see or know too much too soon where he’s concerned, I have to admit, I’m becoming more and more greedy for his presence. I also greatly enjoyed Rin’s conversation with Soo Ryeon. Her crush on him needs to be squashed but that isn’t happening anytime soon, so in the mean time, if she can focus on who he is, and why he’s chosen this path, I’d be ever so grateful.
Tiara: I’m right there with you on Soo Ryeon’s crush needing to be put down. I’m glad he told her not to wait for him. I was worried Rin wouldn’t let her know her silly crush isn’t going anywhere. I’m very happy he told Soo Ryeon not to wait for him on top of telling her what you see if what you get. There is no political thinking from him.
Love Moo Seok and Rin together. These two being put together is just making me belly laugh. I smell a bromance blooming. Anyone with me about these two being BFFs?
On a side note, I’m enjoying how the drama is weaving in the thread of mystery with the supernatural elements. The hour goes by very quickly it makes me sad when the hour is up.
Deborah:Haha. I can see the bromance between them. As stated above, I am strangely very attached to Rin right now.
Unnichan: What I didn’t care for was Do Ha’s attitude and reaction during the Sogyukseo assessment. I understand that she’s young but she’s terribly disrespectful. I don’t think she needs to treat Rin any better than a stranger, or a bum on the street, however, she shouldn’t treat him worse. Perhaps, this is Show’s way of driving home she and Rin's bickering nature or the fact she’s been living in a tree all her life, but there are much better ways. I don’t mind making exception for her uncouth behavior, their budding relationship or her lack of education, for those things are easily understood. And though there’s no need for her to feel subservient or kowtow due to anyone’s station, she most certainly doesn’t have to be intentionally rude.
Tiara: I can’t stand the lack of emotions on Moo Seok’s face. I’ve never seen a drama with Jung Yun Ho, but I’m not buying his acting. Yes, he is supposed to be the straight guy, but there has just been something missing. Song Jae Rim played a similar role in Moon that Embraces the Sun, but I found his acting as the quite muscle compelling in wanting to know his story. Can’t stay the same for Yun Ho.
I agree Unnichan about Do Ha is driving me insane with her naive innocent country girl act. She isn’t in Kansas anymore and should learn how to behave in her new setting. She may not agree with the rules, but if an outsider came to her tribe and did something against the rules, she would be angry at the person. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Another problem is apparently Do Ha is dumb. I leave this picture to explain.
Deborah:I agree with both of you especially Do Ha and Moo Seok. And I hate how Sadam is just conducting his evilness so blatantly and no one notices. How do they not notice his creepy stares??
Unnichan: There’s no way Sadam is letting go of Do Ha now that he has her. For he believes she carries the power to locate and resurrect the dragon. Moo Seok will continue to be a thorn in Sadam’s side, by doing his job and blocking the King’s murderous outbursts.
Tiara: Agree about Do Ha will become the new Shaman for Sadam to help bring the Dragon God alive. Soo Ryeon is going to be pushed into becoming the Queen to Ki San’s King. I’m still holding to this being the case. Sadam will get Soo Ryeon to the darkside. Moo Seok will become BFFs with Rin after a few episodes. Do Ha will finally learn to be respectful to others which will bring Rin and her closer. Ki San will continue to go insane due to Sadam. It will come out Ki San killed the Queen, but made it look like his father was the one.
The sun has set on another episode of TNWJ and it's time to snuff our lights and tuck away our pens, but we'll be back soon with more burning questions and commentary as Rin and Do Ha share a bicker over blankets and breakfast, Sang Heon wields a set of kitchen cutlery and Sadam wafts sadonic smoke into Ki San's ears.
Watch episode 5:
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Episodes 5-6 [Part 1]