“This is how monsters fight against each other.”
Oooh, won’t that be a sight to behold? Can’t we get there already?
The battle between these self-proclaimed monsters doesn’t include our hero. It’s between Gil-do and Congressman So instead, as Myung-yi stands at the side and watches with a stern face. They know their opponent’s real identity but both decide to play dumb. For now. Let’s find out who strikes first, and who’ll get out alive. I expect nothing but a bloody brawl, Show, so don’t disappoint me.
In recent episodes, i thought i’ve warmed up to Gil-do as a character since i don’t find him as menacing as his presence in the drama’s early run. It’s not until episode 12’s cliffhanger did i realize that’s because he hasn’t activated his murderous instinct for a while. No one has really posed as a threat to out Gil-do that he sits idly on the throne, unaware of the many pawns closing in on him from all directions. He has also moved up the ranks that he’s no longer the executor but merely the instigator. Dae-chun’s (Kang-sook’s father) consciousness finally awakens the sleeping beast, who quickly springs to action.
It frankly baffles me that it took him this long to be aware of his father-in-law’s progress with all those CCTVs he planted around the premise (also elsewhere) and monitors intently every day. In the end, he finds this out through the deaf-mute guard. I’ve long questioned Kang-sook’s (it’s hers, isn’t it?) decision to hire Dong-bae. Besides his large frame, he’s hardly special. Plus, how is he gonna know what happens inside the room if he can’t hear? And the worst thing is, he isn’t loyal. This drama is full of double agents (triple, even) anyway that adding one more to the list doesn’t hurt.
That’s why it’s surprising that there is one person in Goongrakwon who remains upright and can’t be bought easily: the deputy head of noodles. Double surprise? Not that he’s dishonest before, but he’s portrayed to be prideful and scheming that it’s puzzling to see him turning 180 degree to be this nice and accommodating superior who readily green-lights newbies’ ideas and refuses to take credit for the favorable outcomes. He even turns down Gil-do’s support for the head-chef duel, wishing to play fair, until Gil-do points out that it ain’t an offer but a
We have yet to know the result as Da-hae, selected as Myung-yi’s assistant, dashes out mid-competition and rushes to Dae-chun’s pavilion after sniffing Myung-yi’s secret ingredient, the cho powder, which she recognizes as the mysterious herb smell on Dae-chun, Dong-bae, and Gil-do. It can serve as medicine or poison depending on the amount used, the solution Dong-bae feeds Dae-chun with, the potion Gil-do taps into his inner Harry Potter to concoct. Here’s hoping Da-hae arrives in time to stop her dad from injecting the content into harabeoji’s IV drip, cuz albeit looking like she can make it, ofttimes it’s just the editing’s trick. I hope she will though; otherwise, there really is no point in keeping him alive all these years if he ends up dying.
Moving on to the four friends. I hate having to take back what i said about their bonds just a week ago, so i won’t. I understand why they all become noble idiots, still i hate that it has to lead to the friendship angst. Myung-yi keeps the others at arm’s length to avoid dragging them into the mess; Tae-ha sells half of his soul to the devil to protect Myung-yi; Yeo-kyung pursues the murder case to give closure to both her and Tae-ha. Not sure about Gil-young yet, but the others are in it for themselves, so why can’t Tae-ha live for himself? Nobody asks him to the white knight so why he has to keep sacrificing himself for his buddies? He knows what this current position entails, and does the dirty jobs unquestioningly, yet it pains me to see how shaken he is afterwards. The more when Da-hae says that he gives off old letters scent which smells like a piece of memory. Oof.
Still, it breaks my heart seeing him severing the treasured friendship to keep his noble intention to himself. I’m okay with him lying through his teeth to protect his friends; i’m not okay with him saying hurtful things for that same reason. At this rate, i’d rather have them covering for the other’s crimes than them hurting one another like this. For the sake of his character and my sanity, i hope somebody will save him from himself, before it’s too late. At the very least, i hope his cute innocent budding relationship with Da-hae will be the anchor to prevent the bad smells from taking over him.
I appreciate these little moments where Da-hae’s perfect sense of smell isn’t just a gimmick but an important part of the plot, be it to point out the poignancy of Tae-ha’s character or to spot potential problems. She isn’t that bright of a character that it’s nice that she can serve the plot through this gift. That doesn’t mean i don’t want her to be a better spy.
Both she and Kang-sook would benefit a lot from better planning and preparation as their executions are messy. Da-hae left traces behind for Gil-do to deduce she’s broken into his secret lair; Kang-sook dived head-first into the face-off without plan-B. Isn’t it weird that she drops the accusation of installing CCTVs without permission just like that, after barging in like she has all the cards? Even if the monitors don’t show the expected images, it’s easy to have the premise investigated, prove the presence of those hidden cameras, and press on with the charges. I guess i expected too much of her vow that she’ll become the monster and crushes Gil-do down. That seems beyond her reach. Though i’m always happy to be proven wrong.