Welcome back to Six Flying Dragons! Has this show got everything: Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants (of intellect), monsters (morally), chases, escapes, true love, miracles (they call it Heaven's Rain).  It also has political manuevering, reveals, and fabulous purple eyeshadow. Let's get chatting!

Watch episode 11:

Taleena: There is an old serial called “The Shadow” - (side note: Oh Boy am I showing some age, don’t hate me for it. [side side note - should I even be writing side notes in the first paragraph? Probably not, I better figure something out].) and the tagline was, “What Evil Lurks in the hearts of men? Only the Shadow Knows!” Every since Councillor Baddie started calling Do Jeon “The Shadow” I started shouting out “Only the Shadow Knows!” at random, appropriate intervals in this show. Do Jeon is such a magnificent b*stard I have no words to express how awesome he is.

Unnichan: I like the “shadow” reference to Sambong because shadows evoke several ideas that all ring true of him as a character in one avenue or another. And while PM Lee In Gyeom is determined to cast light in the Shadow’s direction, he also can't help but respect, admire and fear him. I just wonder which will win out in the long run. Will he just get bamboozled and played, time after time, until he’s rendered moot? Insane? This last flip was just marvelous and is exactly the reason Sambong continues to lead. He takes skillful and deliberate risks. And though his wiggling worms give him trouble, they keep us glued to his next move. 

General Dad is Mad

Amy: He really is. I did like that he wasn’t right about General Dad though. Ha ha! Yes, be wrong for once! I think I’m a little jealous of his good brain. Anyway, I was also kind of impressed with Bang Won. Even when he was being tortured to the point of, I would think, delirium he still figured out that he was being tricked. Did not fold at all. Quite impressive.

Taleena: Bang Won proved a number of things and learned a number of things these last two episodes.  He faced the non idealized, non romanticized reality of responsibility without the shield of father, bodyguard, brother or teacher. Well, he actually DID have a shield but didn’t know it. Psychologically, he was stripped of everything but his convictions and he bore up admirably. It was nice to see that even though, he thought he was hung out to dry by Do Jeon, he remained true to his convictions when Do Jeon was toppled from his pedestal.

Unnichan: Bang Won’s determination to rectify himself, while also ridding himself of all things Hong In Bang was truly something to behold. It was a narratively nice way to redeem him or at the very least, clean his slate. What I enjoyed most about Bang Won’s interrogation was something we rarely see in torture sequences--- a sustained sense of self. He certainly had mental meltdowns and ran through the gamut of emotions from fear to guilt, but there was no real shift or change in character.  There was no rising from the abyss or delving into depravity. Lee Bang Won remained, Lee Bang Won. We didn't even get a glimpse of the ruthless steeliness we know lurks inside. Sure, perhaps he has a greater sense of the weight of responsibility, but the true effects of his time are yet to be seen. 

Amy: Yes. I was surprised by his stickiness because I thought he seemed flip floppy. Such a good boy. Ha ha! He also found out that Boon Yi likes him. I guess that isn’t really a valuable lesson but it was cute despite the fact that he was in prison and worse for the wear. Also, I would really like to know how his teeth stayed so white.


Minty Fresh I'll bet.

Taleena: Something to add to the life lessons learned list those teeth! I must admit I thought Boon Yi going to see him was kind of stupid, even if her confession gave him something to hold onto. “I like you because I don’t think you’ll die on me?” That’s some sweet, sweet nothings whispered in your ear in a torture chamber!

Unnichan: I admit her “stopping by” was invariably pointless, for her relayed information was rather intuitive but Bang Won did receive some fairly substantial items from Boon Yi. For not only did she smuggle in untainted contraband (food and water) and give him a good old-fashioned HWAITING! and a smile, she revealed that she trusts him and dare I say, that is some huge stuff right there, on so many levels, for both of them. 


Keeping the Romance Alive - Literally.

Amy: I was so distracted by his teeth that I had to keep backing up because I would miss what he said. Just don’t die, Bang Won, or Boon Yi won’t like you anymore. Boon Yi is really good at talking though. She got Do Jeon to start thinking about the right thing to do with Bang Won and she even convinced Hong In Bang to help her.

Taleena: Let’s move on to some interesting revelations: Do Jeon has put 2+2 together and realized that not only is the answer 4, but that 2 is the prime factorization of four and other math like analogies to discover the connections between Boon Yi, Ddang Sae (as Magpie), and Yeon Hee. Furthermore he is content to sit on the knowledge. 

Unnichan: That addition was both interesting and not at all surprising. However, I think it's great that he has an inkling about Yeon Hee because it will give him more insight into some of her advice or should I say... strategical suggestions? She was on my nerves hard these episodes pushing her own agenda and with Sambong deducing her connections to some of these key players, it helps him to better know and suss out the motives behind her supposed unbiased opinions. For now, I'm sure he doesn't think her past has much bearing on their immediate future, but given some later developments, one can never be so sure.

Taleena: Right, 'cause even FURTHERmore, Gil Tae Mi, of the continuing fabulous stylings, is also making the connection between Do Jeon, Magpie, and Ddang Sae’s storyteller cover. (Side Note - it was kind of stupid for Ddang Sae to let a clue to his cover Identity slip. Batman, “By the way I am also a playboy billionaire on the Gotham Scene - but you’ll never guess who I am!”)

Amy: Yeah. I thought that Ddang Sae had gotten smarter but I guess he slipped up. I’m curious about what Tae Mi will do with this information since I’m not quite sure what side he is on. I guess the side that benefits him the most.

Taleena: Ya. Pretty sure Gil Tae Mi is on his own side, but he is an honest scoundrel it seems, not making moves for the sheer power trip involved. I am kind of glad that he has his own resources and is keeping some cards close to his chest. Somewhere deep in my heart I am hoping for an epic sword fight with Gil Tae Mi, Jukryong, Ddang Sae, Moo Hyul, and Bang Won all mixing it up. And Dad’s eldest Son Wearing Tan was pretty awesome deflecting the assassin’s knife.

Unnichan: The General has raised some pretty righteous sons, which is a wonderful reflection of himself. And I have to admit, Bang Woo is certainly my favorite son at the moment, mainly due to level-headed intelligence. He isn't some dumb soldier, sitting post, blindly following Daddy's orders but he understands the heart and reason behind honor, family and command. 

Amy: Yeah he was! I was impressed with Dad’s eldest because he stuck to his guns even when his brother was opposed. I’ve been wanting a good fight with Bang Won involved for a while. I’m curious to see if he has some skills. Also, I just really like fight scenes.


You never mess with the whole family.

Taleena: When the older brother made the decision to not withdraw the plan, but go see Dad I had a Bad Boys, “Sh*t got real” moment. I knew, KNEW that this was the stable, “not involved in sketchy rebellious plots”, careful son that the dad would actually listen to. So when he started with the whole conversations saying, “Lee In Gyeom is out to get our family.” Whoo boy! That got Dad going!

Unnichan: I was thankful the push came in a way that was fitting for all involved. In that, ultimately Bang Woo being the eldest, makes him very similar to his father in character makeup and position. Therefore, his primary focus is always more centered on their people, their family and their mission (what they stand for and represent) and that is where he drew the focus of his argument. To me, that is what made the greatest difference--- speaking to General Lee in terms he understands and agrees. We can be sure Bang Woo knows nothing of his father’s inner turmoil, but one thing he does know is how the rules should be applied. Submitting the rescission was a no-brainer once Bang Won was carted away because there are some lines you just don’t cross. And Bang Woo had no doubt his General and his father would follow the same protocol. My favorite moment was when he said that if Bang Won was to be disciplined or even killed it should be by their hands. And all I could do was pump my fist and say, “I see you, Bang Woo. I see you.”  

Amy: I loved it! Dad needs someone to tell him what is really going on. I was really proud of Dad when he stood up to In Gyeom and said he was going to protect his people. Finally! Get yourself out there and take care of your people, Dad! Don’t let the past hold you back anymore!

Taleena: I was glad to see Do Jeon wrestle with Ddang Sae’s hard truths about political ends being prioritized over suffering people and examining whether he was letting his own ambitions and political expediency blossom into something ugly in his own heart.

Unnichan: It was definitely refreshing to witness Sambong wrestle with more than his memories. I was concerned about how easy it is to justify the compulsion to be like all the rest as well. We knew Ddang Sae had pricked a nerve, so it was nice to know that he does feel some sort of remorseful obligation to him in a way. Bang Won, Ddang Sae and Sambong create with triangle that I'm not quite sure what to name yet. Their correlation to one another may appear to have (borrowing from the analogy last week) Sambong at the top of the mountain looking down at the forest selecting his trees but both men have created variables he wasn't initially banking on and I look forward to witnessing them do it again.

Life Lessons Learned:

  • Pearly whites glisten even through the worst torture
  • They always come to untie you as soon as you make progress freeing yourself
  • Never talk about your cover identity to a master spy
  • Wise snakes never eat wild boars
  • When examining your motives, it’s best to walk in as many picturesque previous scenes as possible
  • Always double check your forged evidence before presenting it to the public
  • Acorn taffy looks amazing
  • Giant Turtle Door Knockers = Giant Hidden Door. Noted.

Want more Drama Club?

Episodes 1&2: The Beginning

Episodes 3&4: When dragons start feeding wolves

Episodes 5&6: Destiny Beckons

Episodes 7&8: Sambong’s Plan

Episodes 9&10: Back At One

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Taleena: As the Kimchi Turns|Past Drama Clubs

Unnichan: with.subtitles.please (Blog|Instagram|Tumblr) |@withunnichan|Drama Club