DRAMA CLUB RECAP: The Night Watchman's Journal Episode 8
Hello, good evening! In this episode of Night Watchman's Journal, we need some firefighters. If you think you're brave enough to battle some smoke and fire, please sign up. Come join the Firefighters Unnichan and myself as we try to contain these wildfires from spreading to the rest of the kingdom.
A Grandmother forgives her nervous grandson, but the King becomes suspicious of the Dowager’s reasons.
Tiara: Please tell me the Dowager isn’t going to let Ki San get away with him, pointing a sword at her and killing her maid. I’m kind of happy the Prime Minister is looking into what happen, but on the other hand why is she protecting her crazy grandson? She didn’t protect her son when he went bat sh*t crazy. Anyone else believes Ki San is suffering from bipolar disorder. One minute he is worried, scared of what his grandma will do to him and the next he thinks he is Superman and can say and do whatever he wants. His mood swings are giving me whiplash. I think he needs to get some therapy and I know some doctors who could help from It’s Okay, That’s Love.
Unnichan: Honestly, I have nothing for the Dowager at this point, for she had 12 years to hold Ki San’s hands and comfort his fragile psyche. Eventhough, Ki San is being paranoid and irrational, this is coming from a man who most likely never got a sincere, loving word from his grandmother, his entire life--- then after he kills her maid she’s racking her brain of what to do and decides on an awkward hand pat?! Come on Lady! Get that together. It’s a little too late to switch up the game now, even if you are genuine. She’s not wrong in thinking things need to change and so does her approach, but going from the stern dogmatic matriarch to coldly comforting Halmoni isn’t where to start. Baby steps. Baby steps. Ki San didn’t lose his mind overnight, nor did your relationship sour in a day. Start small but remain consistent, that’s the best you can do when working with a fragile mind.
Tiara: I agree with you Unnichan about the Dowager trying to be Ki San’s loving grandma. It’s too late to try to get the King’s affections. Heck, the last 12 years she could have been giving love to the boy and coaching him on how to be a good King. Then again, I wonder if the Dowager is a tiny bit afraid of him. Something happened 12 years ago the night the Mad King killed everyone. Rin saw the palace maid and it sounded like Ki San may have been involved. A way out there theory, I know.
Unnichan: It's definitely possible she's afraid of him now but regardless of his hand in deaths 12 years ago, he was a child. And I'm still hard pressed to believe she couldn't have taken some real interest in Ki San the person, not just the position and steered him in the right direction, with a kind but stern hand.
Tiara: If she isn’t afraid of Ki San now, she is dumb.
Ki San’s imaginary self knows may know more than we think. While Sadam gets another slap to put him in his place.
Tiara: His imaginary self is growing on me. The dude has a point if the other ministers find out he tried to kill the Dowager it will not end well for him. I wonder if the Prime Minister’s words to him before he had something left to do with him thinking Sadam not being so good for his health. I was a bit proud of the insane King for laying the smack down on Sadam’s candy a**. Ki San has been giving too much power to Sadam and letting him do whatever he wants. Sadly, this new control Ki San was commanding didn’t last nearly as long as I was hoping it would. If Ki San is smart like he says he is, I hope if his troubles of the past night come out he will use Sadam as an escape goat. Ki San needs to be punished, but for him to get his day, Sadam first needs to be taken care of.
Unnichan: Ki San’s conscience is the most sane, but sinister part of him and I love it. Kim Heung Soo continues to be amazing with his dual portrayal, and I wish we saw more of it. I’d love to believe sane and sinister Ki San was the real him, but he’s just an array of his hang-ups, insecurities and uninhibited thinking, gobbled and smashed together. Yet, somehow still manages to guide him in the right direction with enough backhanded goading. I was pleased he took a step forward concerning Sadam but it wasn’t in the right direction, for it was just another way for him to cover up his own mean-spirited misdeeds. Taking down Sadam is important, but coming to terms with his own nature is the only way Ki San can rid himself of the evil forces around him.
Tiara: Hahaha!! Ki San needs to take a piece of advice from Jimmy Cricket and “let your conscience be your guide”. The conscience is the smarter of the two despite when he is suggesting murder.
The Little Girl ghost has someone to protect. Who is she and whom is she trying to protect?
Tiara: Finally, some information on who the little girl ghost could be. She has someone she wants to protect in this world which is why she hasn’t left. I’m going to say the person she wants to protect is Ki San. He is conflicted as he wasn’t much loved as a young child. I bet she was the only one who he called friend. She knows Rin can see ghosts and stays with the other ghosts in hope she can see her Prince again. Watch, I’m completely wrong.
Unnichan: I’m so glad that we got a clue that our other ghosts aren’t quite sure who on earth she is either. But she certainly knows why she’s chosen them to tag along with and ultimately only time with tell. I’ve always believed that she was connected to Rin, therefore, Ki San being her “person” isn’t that bad of a theory. And hanging with this gang, gives her community, but can also help her meet her goal. Poor thing was so relieved that she spotted Rin, I felt bad for her. Since, she isn’t too keen on going it alone, could it be fear? Who knows, she may have tried to investigate and realized that Ki San is snuggled up with Sadam and with that being the case, she’s much better off finding another method than just haunting the palace.
While Do Ha needlessly sacrifices herself for Joseon, Rin and learns how to save a life.
Unnichan: Um, so since when, is Do Ha the to type of gal,to think ahead, process a problem, then set out to solve it? Would the Do Ha from just a measly two episodes ago have put two and two together and sacrificed herself for a village? I mean, this is the girl that found Rin in a burning storehouse pinned, inhaling fumes, struggling, yet still found time to stare blankly and ask--- "What are you doing here?" --- instead of immediately reaching to his rescue. However, I can’t be too upset with her, ‘cause it seems hers isn’t the only head full of feathers, for Rin does no better; taking his sweet time to save the amo and run in to rescue her. And though I’m certain, Jung Il Woo stopped short for a mini pose after his drench, Rin tried to pull audience emotional strings, with a teary monologue as Do Ha lay passed out in a room with zero oxygen! Kids, this isn’t how it’s done. I can’t say we all make the best decisions when caught off guard, but this moment comes down to the Show’s inability to be subtle and push all our characters into saying and doing things that given the current pacing, wouldn’t occur for another two episodes.
Tiara: Unnichan, I would call the whole scene sloppy writing. I got the water, but why didn’t Rin just take off his outer robe/overcoat? I’m surprised Rin didn’t catch on fire with how much his sleeves flap in the wind and I doubt the water covered all his clothes. Oh the oxygen, ha-ha!!! I had to laugh as he is sitting next to Do Ha begging her to wake up and not to leave him alone again, because where is he getting the oxygen to speak? Apparently, he doesn’t need it. As for Do Ha, I’m not surprised she was going to self sacrifice herself. Her character is written as young, innocent, and naive with a heart of gold and no sense.
Unnichan: I think my problem with the scene stems back to the previous episode, when it seems Show decided to have Do Ha to begin to act or say rational things that, up till then, her characterization, didn't support. It's not just that she was willing to wait in a BURNING BUILDING to die, but moreso, what got her there in the first place.
Tiara: True. This is the girl who just remember to find the Night Watchman. You would think this would’ve been the first step when she got to the city.
Yun Ha wants an herbal monopoly and cashes in her Sadam chit, while Soo Ryun makes a plea for a previous promise renewal
Unnichan: It was no mistake the Fire god was on the loose and focused on herbal medicine, because once Soo Ryun gave Yun Ha “the hand,” dismissed her threat and ushered her from her presence, Yun Ha went straight to Sadam to make some things happen. And I, honestly, can’t blame the girl. However, Soo Ryun was pretty clear that she was just following her lead and not keeping her side of their previous bargain as well. And how I wish her reason for later running over and handing Yun Ha the herbal rights was actually about the betterment and well-being of the community she treats, (you know, since their storehouse just burned to the ground and all…), however, it was fueled by nothing but her boiling jealousy. I get that this was a part of her initial agreement with Yun Ha, who proceeded to never make good on it, and she was destined for the dark side, from the very beginning. It’s just sad this is all drama has decided she amounts to. And, I wonder how she thinks things will miraculously change this time around? I suppose her train of thought could be--- now that Yun Ha is in control and Soo Ryun’s the one beholding or in need, she’ll be more inclined to get up off some magical love potion? I don’t really see how that would work, but I’m sure Show will find a way.
Tiara: The fire ghost had two purposes in this episode. Sadam was losing control over the King as he didn’t believe there was hot energy building up in the city. The second is to give Yun Ha what she wanted. Apparently, they made a deal for her to save him and her to become a rich evil woman. Huh? Did I miss something important? Who doesn’t want to have money to not worry about it, but I still don’t understand how she didn’t want to work for Sadam to working for him. Yay, there is the burned tattoo he used to control her. Yet, she gave all her gifts/power to him. Doesn’t this mean his control over her is gone too? As for Soo Ryun, some hit the trope button as jealousy just landed. I may have to recall Do Ha being stupid because Soo Ryun should claim the title. Where in her right mind does she think Rin will come to her? He hasn’t in the last 12 years confessed his love. How is shaking hands with evil going to make him fall in love with her? Hello, this is kidnapping not love.
Unnichan: Am I the only one missing the "mind control tattoo" or "essence lifting brand?" And perhaps, there's been no companion-partnership after all, but free will is certainly at work here. Seriously, Sadam's gaze when she retorted she wasn't interested in listening to his troubles beyond what she can receive was... priceless! Sadam isn't the "mastermind" for nothing, however, I too wonder if her brand was a one shot deal and the last of his "Tuck" experience; meaning once used, was the end of his spiritual control over her. It appears that way and to Sadam's intriguing (?) disappointment, but who can really blame the man?
Tiara: You aren’t the only one missing the tattoo. Isn’t it a bit funny the mind controlling tattoo has an expiration date? Who would have thought it would be like a coupon? Yes, it was priceless Yeon Ha told Sadam she didn’t want to hear his complaining. Saving him means you can mouth off to him.
Ki San realizes the error of his ways and allows Sadam to release Hell on earth.
Unnichan: If Ki San had actually garnered some goodwill with his Sadam slappy hands earlier in the episode, I suppose his renege and virtual coddling, less than 60 drama minutes later, would be disappointing. But since, he’s such an easy dupable prey, this was inevitable in order to keep Sadam on a roll. Seems for now, we can only sit back and watch the damage unfold, while Joseongets taken over by the dark ones, as entrances are blocked for living citizens, so vengeful spirits can have free reign.
Tiara: I'm blaming on the writing. It is frustrating to have a character who is insane and crazy, but when the writing is galling and disappointing it’s hard to enjoy the good moments. It seems like anything decent which happens in the drama will be contradicted by the end of the episode. This doesn’t show Sadam as a mastermind mind controller, but the lack of clever narration. This lazy writing will end up biting the drama in the butt as it continues. Already, I can’t cheer for the good guys nor the insane one as I know they just can’t win against the all and super powerful Zod. Hurry up drama and just tell everyone to “kneel before Zod.” *eyeroll*
Unnichan: Ha! Why Tiara, tell us how you really feel? Our sentiments are no doubt similar but hopefully after this thrust in rapid character growth, we can settle down for more consistency. I’m sure that means plenty of Sadam world domination in ridiculous proportions but for our heroes, I hope we get some decent and logical fantasy storytelling.
Tiara: The incoherent narration isn’t going to fix easily. The mystery of the past isn’t honestly remarkable. Sure, we the viewer know half of what is going on but the other half is still hidden. The drama wants us to go along for the ride with the kids, but dude, we’ve been on the journey and still haven’t a clue to what the heck is going on. I agree Sadam will continue his world domination, but where is his Kryptonite? With the evil energy he is brought into the city, he is becoming an unstoppable train.
Tiara: Sang Heon is an interesting character. Learning he is back from the dead to live as human is odd for him to be given the chance to live life again. I have so many questions on what his purpose in life is supposed to be and who is the man behind the curtains allowing him to return? With Rin and Sang Heon recognizing each other, this will bring the past and present closer to finding out what the heck is really going on in this world and why the Emperor Jade is allowing these things to happen.
I like how our leads are falling for one another. They both share a painful past of feeling like the reason for all the bad things which have befallen them. Rin has always felt alone in the world and Do Ha will be the one who won’t let him be alone. They have common emotions and pain to bring them together. I’m all on board for them to become friends and than lovers. Of course, she gave Rin permission to still have a bromance with Moo Seok.
Unnichan: My one take away this episode is my delight that Sang Heonhas recognized Rin and there’s a possibility Rin has done the same. Their bond is a special one, for they share similar memories. Unlike Rin’s Ghost friends, Sang Heon is a living and breathing confidant, just as emotionally complicated as he. The development of this pair is something I hope drama can be trusted to deliver, for once they both put their hats in the ring, I believe there will be no stopping them.
Tiara: Green eyed monster of Soo Hyung. Grrr!!! She is making me a little frustrated. I hate this dumb trope of I can’t get the guy and will do anything to get him. Bird brain, Rin ever loved her and the ship sailed for it to happen when she picked her family. Dumb trope of blindness love. I really hate how wishy washy Ki San continues to be. I had hoped his imaginary self was going to convince himself to bring Sadam down to his knees. By the end of the episode, he allowed Sadam to be more cunning and agreed to his demands.
Unnichan: There were so many things that irritated me, with the combination of both of these episodes, I truly don’t know where to begin. Show has definitely decided to trade crucial steps of character growth for expositional sentimentality and convoluted schemes to fast-forward the development of every character, except those relegated to one dimensional status. And though I get, that in Kdramaland, bickering brings butterflies, danger creates attachment, unrequited love breeds crazy eyed screamfests and piggyback rides are deemed the roadway to romance--- Show has failed to lay a substantive narrative brick to get me there.
Tiara: Rin’s heart will be broken when he finds out Moo Seok joins team Night Watchman is all a fake. Do Ha and Rin will share their first kiss in two more episodes, but won’t confess their feelings for 6 more episodes. Soo Hyun will end up married to Ki San as she learns she can’t have Rin’s heart so she will destroy him instead. Sang Hyun might give a chance to tavern lady.
Unnichan: The Night Watchman’s Journal has already seemed to turn Rin into a super sleuth overnight, therefore, in no time he will go toe to toe with Sadam, enlist the help of Sang Heon and make a love confession to Do Ha. All whilst revealing his secret plans to his ghostly followers and keeping Soo Ryun at arm’s length. Who will cry on Oraeboni Moo Seok’s shoulder and brew “you’re gonna love me” juice in her room.
Fantastic Job Officers for controlling those fires. It was a tough job, but someone has to do. Thanks for volunteering to help us other firefighters. It was a rough day as I heard it wasn’t a person starting those fires, but a fire ghost. In this Officer's opinion, I hope for the Night Watchman to go back on duty soon to control these ghosts. Don’t forget on your way out to leave a report in the comments below. Take care until the next time.
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[Episode 7] [Episode 8]