DRAMA CLUB RECAP: The Night Watchman's Journal Episode 4 (2/2)
A crazy King, an evil Priest, a lost Prince, a girl on a mission, a knight in shining armor, and ghosts bring us to episode 4. I don’t know about you’ll, but I’m falling more in love with the drama with each episode. The supernatural element is hitting the right mark. The humor is all belly laughs, and do I smell a bit of romance in the air. Come on fellow Night Watchmen and join Unnichan and myself as we make contact with some ghosts.
Lovers fated to meet thanks to some ghost
Unnichan: Rin’s ghost ability brought him and Do Ha face to face and I wonder how often, that is going to happen before she figures out he can see them too. She’s lost Eonni’s bracelet so that alone will keep her tracking him down for the next few episodes. Now, there are two trinkets that connect them, I wonder what else will bond them, as they continue to meet.
Tiara: Do Ha can see ghosts so it is a good assumption her supernatural abilities will be what helps Rin fight for his right to party for the throne. Anyone else see a friendship blooming with Do Ha and our three ghosts. Her sister’s bracelet will be the thing which will keep Do Ha haunting down Rin, but it will be Rin’s father’s bracelet which will keep them connected.
Bringing Taoist Rites back to the Kingdom
Unnichan: I hate that Ki San is being duped by Sadam. Not because he doesn’t deserve it, but because it’s so easy. However, it does reveal a lot about Ki San and what is important to him. He hasn’t changed much from his despicable childhood ways. For, just like he was willing to sacrifice his brother for a pat on the back, he doesn’t bat an eye for his Kingdom when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. It’s true, there’s more going on there, but he has first hand knowledge of the turmoil Sogyukseo brought to his world and he could care less.
Tiara: Is it me or does Ki San come across as a bit weak compared to his child self? The look on the kid’s face as he did evil things was downright horrifying. Grown up Ki San has been just crazy mad. He talks to himself and has nightmares. Not exactly the stuff of nightmares. Agree Unnichan. Ki San has been already a puppet to the Ministers. The King has “easy prey” already written on his forehead.
Unnichan: To be honest, I'm much more satisfied with Ki San as an adult. Here, he's written with layers and a conscience (though minuscule), which makes the diabolical child of yore, work in his favor (which is shocking). I don't find him weak, but more so broken and beaten down by his previous malice. Again, he's still the same kid, with the same motives--- to protect himself at any cost. It's just now that he's King, he doesn't have to resort to the same tactics because he's ruler, with no one of consequence to seek approval (beyond himself). Which again, speaks to his current state of mind, and with that status, he must have done a few things, he regrets.
Tiara: Ki San isn’t a weak character as a whole. In truth, I enjoy the multi-layered character he continues to be with each episode. He is very compelling to watch and listen to. I just felt adult Ki San coming across weak in strength compared to his younger self. King Ki San is powerless, frail, and fearful as we see him in court with the Ministers, Sadam, and including himself. I agree with you Unnichan about Ki San feeling shame and guilt as he battles himself for the things he did to get the throne. It’s going to get to a point where Ki San will either let go of his demons or embrace them and the real monster will emerge.
Who cares about ghosts, dragon gods and sorcery, when there are love triangles and potential bromances in our midst. Let the irrational shipping commence!
Unnichan: I appreciate how our four square was formed this week, for though it started out typically, drama threw in a little social commentary as well. They took a moment that could have just been played one dimensionally to give our boys a chance to flaunt their heroic muscles or create a throw away scene designed to get our couples in one spot, noticing one another but chose to utilize each angle and made it tangible for most of the characters involved. In Joseon, the stench of discrimination due to class (and just about anything else) is suffocating and it seems Do Ha is just getting her first real whiff of the isolation of bullying. And while Rin swooped in to save her based on his ability to identify, Moo Seok took a calmer approach, venturing to not only salvage but school in the process. Making it pretty obvious, if these two aren't careful, they could be headed for a legendary bromance.
Tiara: I see tragedy for these four in the near future. Soo Hyun has had her sights set on Rin since they were little. It seems her father (Prime Minister) has allowed her to be single all these years later in hope for daughter and father to get what they want. I see her becoming the new Queen as Ki San’s bride. It is something Dowager has already mentioned to the Prime Minister. I’m not sure if Soo Hyun will keep her sweetness once Rin’s feelings go to Do Ha.
Moo Seok is the quiet book nerd who can swing a mean sword. He is the first to help Do Ha to escape the cage. You can tell he is angry, but he is keeping his cool. Rin is passionate and emotional as he can relate to the people pointing fingers. Rin’s rescue made my heart flutter, but Moo Seok’s speech pointed out the wrongs everyone did. I don’t want to see Moo Seok become the second lead who can the girl. I feel bad towards Soo Hyun too, as we know she won’t get the guy. Granted, Rin shouldn’t get her hopes up. Fingers crossed, the drama goes in a different direction than the normal trope.
Unnichan: Don't hurt your fingers girl, I doubt normal tropes are off the table, however, there are ways to use tropes to their advantage which we've seen. There's no doubt Soo Hyun's trajectory is riddled with evil side-eyes but I wonder if she and Ki San will join hands in "Rin revenge." It was mentioned that she has passed her "prime" and that begs the question as to exactly why... Have they really been holding out for Rin? 'Cause that's just dumb.
Tiara: Oh my fingers might hurt if I get a dumb trope. I abhor it went a drama decides to overly use those tropes. Why can’t a drama put a twist in the trope? Is it too much to ask for the second lead to end up pinning over the lead? Or the second lead to not become a witch with a capital B? The Prime Minister and Soo Hyun are totally holding out hope for Rin to become their family. Remember, the Dowager told them both Ki San would marry first and took interest in Soo Hyun. Dumb but it seems Ministers are never smart in historical dramas.
Unnichan: I've seen tropes used very well in several dramas and this show has potential to do the same. And we all know what Dowager has itching beneath her bun, it's Minister that is irrational for leaving his daughter rife for political prey. After everything that's happened, believing he could pull a bait and switch, with a wedding to boot makes no sense. Guess, I was just hoping Soo Hyun played a larger role in her fate...
Tiara: Agree Unnichan. There are times tropes can be used well and this drama has the supernatural to help with those twists. Bwahaha!! That the Dowager does. Sons and Daughters are always political pieces to the game. Which makes me think Soo Hyun’s character might turn out like Chung Jo from Gu Family Book. Her character was important for a short time and became the normal trope, jealous second lead.
Rin’s new position as the Head of Sogyukseo and the real reasons for it to be open.
Tiara: What does Rin want? Does he even care about anything? He is living the life of a playboy, but without the will to do anything. He was kicked out of the palace and has learned to survive, but he doesn’t seem to do anything worthwhile. He’s got to know why two of the ghosts follow him daily. Do most of the ghosts who are following him from the past know who he is and want him to become King? Is this why he tries to pretend to not see them? Rin knows the reason why his brother wants to open up Sogyukseo, but it doesn’t change his feelings toward not wanting the post. Where is our Batman?
Unnichan: If by Batman, you mean Watchman, that's all I wanted to know this episode--- What is Sang Heon up to? As for Rin, he's been burnt badly and resorted to loving in denial.Therefore, it's not surprising he shies away from all things that remind him of his previous position or past. Denying his ability has just as much to do with his "philandering" as begging this cup be passed. He doesn't want to get involved, he doesn't want to be hurt and ostracized again. Embracing his friendly ghosts would only set him on that track and right now, he's too skittish to confront himself, let alone them. So does he care? Absolutely but not in the way we do, for caring puts him in danger of feeling and for a kid whose been through what he has, I'm positive he tries very hard to do neither.
Tiara: I understand his timidity about getting involved as he has been once bitten twice shy. At some point, Rin is gonna have to put his big boy panties on and make a choice to be a victim or to punish those who are doing wrong. He has the tragic past of a superhero. Maybe it is time for him to suit up and become
Batman Iljimae Watchman King.
Sadam has spotted his next spiritual prey. ASA!
Unnichan: Once Sadam has his eyes on you, there's no escape. I'm not sure what he has in mind for Do Ha but rest assured it's nothing glorious... Not for our heroes, that is. However, that gleam in his eye is priceless and though it will bring hardships to those we should be rooting for, I'm very interested in what he has been churning in that sadistic mind of his. Plus, if he pursues Do Ha, perhaps that will reveal more about what he did to (or with) Priestess.
Tiara: Run, Do Ha, Run!!!! Heck, flip him over your shoulder like you did with Rin. Just don’t fall under Sadam’s spell. The way he stared at Do Ha gave me chills. He sees her as another vessel to be used much like her sister. No good intentions are coming from Sadam.
Whatever is done in the dark, always comes to light.
Unnichan: Is Ki San a murderer? The flashback with him, Rin and the Handmaiden ghost, brought back one of the major questions I had last episode--- What really happened to the Queen? 'Cause it sure sounds like he had something to do with the events of that fateful night 12 years ago. And I know he thinks he's being cunning by bringing Rin back on his own terms, but surely he will be the one up for a very rude awakening [no pun intended].
Tiara: The psycho little kid is totally a murderer. I’m putting a bet on him being the one who actually killed the Queen. It makes sense why he is haunted by his demons and can’t sleep. Plus, his own self tells him repeatedly he isn’t the true King. He knows he shouldn’t be on the throne, yet continues to hold court. Ki San doesn’t seem to be as sadistic as Sadam if his conscience is getting the better at him, but we are only at episode 4. There is enough time for the true monster to surface.
Unnichan: This episode accomplished one thing we knew was inevitable and another I wasn't sure would happen until the middle of the series; Rin's ghost secret and his reentry into the palace. I liked that these two things are intertwined and will most likely be his segue to his proper place as King. Also, Kim Heung Soo is superb as Ki San and his fragile psyche. I'm enjoying his spiral of mental health because again, it's a state created by himself, Sadam's machinations are just an added bonus.
Tiara: The drama has found it has depth with some rich characters and plot lines. I’m digging Ki San and the battle of demons by his own making. He may have seen like a creepy kid with evil intentions, but it’s beginning to look like the little boy/King has a conscience. It might be too early to tell where Ki San will end up.
The drama is doing a fantastic job of being able to balance the humor and drama. By far, the ghosts are hands down the best. I can’t wait to see how these three fit into the overall story. It’s a bit sad to realize the hour is up as the flow of the drama is timed right.
Unnichan: The biggest issue I had was Go Sung Hee. After such a solid performance in Miss Korea, I was thinking I’d be able to gush about her improvement here, but alas, that isn’t the case. There wasn’t much need for continuum from the childhood portion, therefore, Do Ha 12 years later is virtually her creation and she just doesn’t seem to have found her footing yet.
Tiara: First, not enough of the three ghosts. My second issue is Kim Sung Oh tends to go a tad over the top with his performance. I get he is the evil mustache twirling villain, but the acting doesn’t need to reflect it. He is the best as Sadam when he is softer at his performance. Less is more as we already know how wicked a villain he happens to be.
Unnichan: Do Ha and Rin have butted heads, and while she has piqued Moo Seok’s interest, she’s also furrowed Soo Ryun’s brows, which means our love square is complete. There will certainly be more and more encounters between the four and sadly, I foresee Moo Seok being a better match for Do Ha but with that talisman still in her possession, we know we’re in store for a few unrequited loves.
Tiara: Rin and Do Ha will hate each other for the next couple of episodes before they start to fall for one another. Moo Seok will fall for Do Ha’s girl next door charm, but be put into the Friendzone pretty fast. Soo Ryun may turn to the dark side with Sadam since her man Rin will be taken away from her. I see maybe her becoming Queen in her future and a side of evil in six episodes.
Each episode is getting better and better. Do you, fellow Night Watchmen, agree or disagree? What did you like about the episode or hate? Is Do Ha safe from Sadam? How long do you think our love birds will take until they get together? Why was Rin in a boat? Is Ki San crazy or possessed? Be the first to get the discussion started.
Watch episode 4:
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Catch up on our past Drama Club posts!
Episodes 3-4 [Part 1] [Part 2]