Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

Master–God of Noodles: on episode 15~16

Not long after awakened, the beast is cornered. But he won’t wave the white flag just yet. This is Gil-do we’re talking about. There are four more episodes to strike back, and who has the upper hand remains unclear. Because while it’s not easy to catch him in a trap, it’s not difficult to fall into one of his.

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Now that Gil-young works as the kitchen’s dishwasher, all players are officially working in or around Goongrakwon. I’m not sure what his role is yet, hopefully it’s a pretty significant one. Having all four friends converging in one place unfortunately doesn’t bring them closer together. Instead, they’re drifting further apart. Even after 16 episodes, they’re still fighting their own wars despite sharing a common enemy. Their bond as friends may not break that easily, even after several rounds of hurtful remarks, it’s a shame the same can’t be said about their bond as allies. And by the end of the week, three of the foursome have fallen into the beast’s clutches. Willingly.

Tae-ha was the first to step into the dark side to protect Myung-yi. Myung-yi was half-forced to play into Gil-do’s hands to earn his trust. Yeo-kyung was readily lured into sketchy territory by the mention of her parents. Somehow i felt cheated by how easily converted the other two were. Noodles spent around half its length toying with the possibility of Tae-ha’s crossing to the dark side, giving him a lot of reasons to do so and causing me to continuously pray for him to resist the temptation and for his good side to prevail. I want the good guys to remain largely good albeit the flaws, missteps, and bad decisions. But we watch Myung-yi slowly turning into the very monster he hates all his life without reservations or objections from those around him. (Okay, Yeo-kyung did, and i truly hope her admonition served as a wake-up call for Myung-yi that he would really end up laughing and crying alone after he’s done revenging if he kept severing ties with his friends.) And then there’s Yeo-kyung who barely hesitates before agreeing to dirty her hands. Sigh. I love her spunk as the rookie prosecutor; who knew her stance is easily swayed when it comes to the murder case?

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Well, i guess we can’t fully blame her. Like Tae-ha and Gil-young, she’s been doing things for other people’s sake. She became a prosecutor in order to ease her guilt towards Tae-ha’s sacrifice, and now she tries to incriminate Do-kkoo and eventually Gil-do to free her two buddies. Yet the two keeps failing her. The one who saved her life pushed her away, claiming that friends mean nothing to him and he has repaid his father’s debt in full. The one who’s as precious as her life evaded her for years, and despite agreeing to join forces, betrayed her, deeming it wasn’t the time to nab their nemesis yet. Alas. It was such a gratifying moment watching the prosecutors strode into Goongrakwon and eventually discovering the way into the secret lair. Gil-do’s way smarter than expected dammit!

Seemingly at wit’s end, understandably she’d grasp at any straws to keep herself going. If she’s desperate enough to barge into the room with the wanted poster, as if Gil-do would admit he was THE young man, her split-second decision to trade her principles with the report which cost her parents their lives seems way more reasonable. Still, it’s strange that she readily buys his every statement about the instigator despite aware of his foxy nature. Does she forget that he killed Myung-yi’s parents? Wait, she doesn’t know that, does she? So far we only saw Myung-yi divulging it to Tae-ha and Da-hae. Nevertheless, is it not possible to dig into the whistle-blowing case without resorting to a third-party’s ‘aid’?

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So Tae-sub may lie about her father being his comrade, but that doesn’t mean he’s the culprit. He hardly gives me good impressions, and i do think he’s more likely the perp than Gil-do (because the latter can’t be committing every crime in this drama). However, the fact that Gil-do knows the minute details about the case and possesses the evidence against Congressman So is bizarre to me. I don’t see a reason for the monster to fear the other monster if he gets hold of the enemy’s weakness. He could definitely use it as weapon, right? (I’ve also skimmed through the pages shown on screen, and didn’t spot any implicating info.)

I was also too quick to get thrilled by the prospect of her double-dealing, because she quickly proceeds to confront Congressman So point-blank about his lie and the hit order. The seasoned politician dodges the bullet and deftly turns the situation around by revealing that Park Moo-taek (Tae-ha’s father) was Gil-do’s minion. Dun dun dun. Whose words you trust more, Girl?

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Yeo-kyung isn’t the only one blinded by the quest of pursuing the truth though. Myung-yi is too. It’s foolish of him to believe Gil-do would trust him after eyeing him suspiciously all this time. He manages to run Chimyeon successfully, returns to Goongrakwon as its successor, and dethrones the current Noodle Master. I still can’t see the end of his plot but Gil-do promises it won’t end the way he planned it. He also reverts to suspect that Myung-yi is Choi Soon-seok again, basically confesses to claiming Ha Jung-tae’s life and identity, yet cannot find conclusive evidence for this recurring hunch as Myung-yi manages not to betray his rage before him. One crisis evaded, another looms: he loses his sense of taste. The news was too much for him to handle, i guess?

As for Gil-do, being pushed to the edge prompts him to unleash the monster in him. The one no one has seen. He’s either halfway to lose his mind or wreak havoc. Either way, i’m starting to really fear for the good guys’ lives. The most dangerous one is Do-kkoo. His presence has diminished significantly in recent weeks and appears only when the plot calls for it. As the key to Goongrak Foundation’s money laundering business, he’s the first to get cut. Although not playing an important role in the grand scheme of things, i still wish he won’t die…in vain. It’s interesting, however, how hearing him chased could elicit conflicted expressions on Gil-do. Was it contrite?

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Like episode 14, episode 16 felt disorganized and all over the place with rather rushed cliffhangers. As we’re set to the enter the final two weeks of the show, i wish the plot points begin to take shape soon. I know revenge is the main dish of Noodles, but it’s weird to notice the side dishes brought up and then discarded soon after. For instance, what happens to Tae-ha/Da-hae’s budding relationship? We’re given cute moments for a few episodes and no follow-up in recent ones. The same goes to the informants. Not to mention Da-hae who seems to have served her purpose and now dulls down as one the of shareholders.

Above all, i’m curious to know what kind of tragic end the writer had in mind for Gil-do, and how he’s gonna pay for all of his crimes. Most of it happened in the past and must’ve exceeded the statute of limitations. He may get convicted for money laundering and bribery, but they aren’t half as offensive a criminal case as premeditated murder. After watching so many anticlimactic punishments for the bad guys, i frankly don’t have high hopes of a satisfying comeuppance…but boy, do i want to see one.

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