“Yesterday’s friend is today’s enemy. Today’s enemy is once again tomorrow’s friend. That’s politics, don’t you think?”
This quote is actually from Doctor Stranger, but it easily applies to other dramas as well. That’s what happened in the penultimate week of Noodles. I’ve smelled backstabbing and betrayal coming from the start, yet i was still surprised at the speed and amount it’s happening. I’m always skeptical whenever someone changes side without much thought, cuz they can switch back as quickly.
First up is Do-kkoo. I won’t call it changing sides though he does rat his former boss out, only because he’s betrayed first. Despite claiming to lay a finger only on those who harm him or his things, Gil-do sold his steadfastly loyal partner-in-crime out just to save his own ass, knowing and taking advantage of the latter’s commitment to never kill. Do-kkoo trades his freedom with the original copy of the document on the defense industry corruption. Yeo-kyung should be after So Tae-sub with that, yet she’s still hell bent on taking Gil-do down. She’s learned the truth behind her parents’ case, which according to Do-kkoo was instigated by none other but everybody’s enemy.
If this is the ultimate truth, that explains Gil-do’s deep knowledge about the event. But if it is, i’m so disappointed in Do-kkoo. How could he send his friend’s son to serve the man who made him an orphan? It’s arguably easier to crush your nemesis if you’re closer to the target, yet i question his indiscretion to Yeo-kyung when he’s so tight-lipped to Tae-ha. If anything, that means one more wounded puppy for him to protect and help. So, between Tae-sub and Gil-do, she trusts Do-kkoo after all?
The second sides-changer is Prosecutor Ahn. I’m not sure what to make out of his stance since he’s been standing on two boats since the beginning. Congressman So even called him a double dealer. He was as sketchy as Congressman Choi but in recent episodes seemed to side with Yeo-kyung, before fully declaring to help her nail his decade-long source of pocket-money. The reason is pretty reasonable — Gil-do stepping on his pride — albeit somewhat abrupt. Well, that’s what happened when we’re nearing the finale: the baddies have a change of heart at the slightest nudge. Nothing new.
Next, Seol Mi-ja. Now, this one was quite unexpected. Not because she turns her back on her longtime frenemies but because she teams up with the person she’s aiming to bring down. She’s obviously a lot craftier than Kang-sook, it’s not easy to read her mind or predict where her loyalty lies. As the female version of Gil-do, she doesn’t trust people easily and can’t forgive those who backstab her. Myung-yi’s mistake was in not giving her a heads up before following Gil-do, though if i were her or Kang-sook, i’d be more wary of his quick turnaround. Didn’t it feel strange that Myung-yi would suck up to Gil-do one moment and offered them scenario to oust him the next, sans explanation for his earlier behavior? Even i can’t fully fathom his roundabout way of exacting his revenge.
Mi-ja joining hands with Gil-do wasn’t shocking though. Her final goal is taking over Goongrakwon after all, and it was Gil-do who came to her and proposed the deal. It’s just funny that now it’s Kang-sook who’s giving full support to Myung-yi when he was Mi-ja’s nakasan to begin with. Bad news is, Mi-ja holds the trump card against Myung-yi, after the doctor readily tells her of his taste blindness like it’s the direst condition, which she oh-so-eagerly shares with her new partner-in-crime without missing a detail, including his real name. Wew, how did she know that far when Myung-yi’s friends were largely in the dark about his revenge? You better explain it, Show.
Nevertheless, that’s news as well as the clincher for Gil-do to confront Myung-yi with. Which, huh? I thought he figured it out with the photograph you saw on Tae-ha’s wallet? What’s the point of showing it to him if that wasn’t THE evidence to out his guise, Gil-do? Watching how easily overpowered he is, i guess age has gotten the better of him.
As more and more marbles are lost, the Master of Evil is forced to humble himself and approaches his oppositions. Mi-ja took the bait, and so does So Tae-sub. It’s always gratifying to see him tossed around by his lifetime nemesis, even though Congressman So is as sneaky a beast as him. I’m seriously torn between thanking him for toying with Gil-do and hating him for messing with Yeo-kyung. Because while Mi-ja is in the partnership for real, Congressman So is clearly having a hidden agenda. He isn’t after Gil-do for murdering his housemaid but for stealing his “Top Secret” document after all.
Although this week is plagued with “Huh?” moments and enigmatic turns, i like how everything has finally come to a head. It’s about time; there are only two more episodes left after all. Gil-do is pushed to the very edge sans any way out in sight that his inner monster finally re-emerges. Episode 18 marks the return of Hwang Sung-rok and murderous Kim Gil-do. Boy, never had i thought i would be so thrilled to see one of the baddies alive and well, yet i was squealing when the ex-assistant showed up as the incriminating witness. I knew he was gone too soon — there really was more to his last look, huh? Oh man, this gonna be so good!
Myung-yi has finally been appointed as the Noodle Master. What’s left in his plot is to reclaim his father’s name and tell the world that the royal pheasant buckwheat noodles was perfected by the real Ha Jung-tae. I hope he has a good explanation for it, because anyone can assume he learns, or steals, the recipe from Gil-do. Also, i hope he does something to recover his sense of taste, because it’s easy to tell something’s wrong with him when he keeps asking if there’s anything wrong in the noodles preparation, or green lights an overly salty food. Maybe Da-hae will come around and save the day again? On a side note, isn’t it weird that he botched the Father’s dish yet managed to whip up a perfect signature dish for Da-hae to taste?
Speaking of saving the day, the resident white knight is Tae-ha, hands down. He should have his own truth to pursue, yet is content with being the selfless hero all this time. How many times is he going to come to his friends’ rescue? How long is he gonna do it? Till the end? Oh well… I cannot really fault him, because he has a huge heart and great character, though i can’t believe how foolish he can be sometimes. Was he seriously baffled that Gil-do was possibly his father’s puppeteer? Did he trust him more than Do-kkoo? Did he forget that he killed Myung-yi’s parents, which was the reason he agreed to work under him in the first place? His noble intention aside, why did he feel the need to protect Da-hae from the father who barely harms her? Lastly, why did you think it’s a good idea to confess your plan to watch him go down to his drunk face? What a way to shoot yourself in the foot, Tae-ha.
That said, i’m excited for the finale. On the upside, every mystery is unlocked by now. On the downside, i wonder if two hours are enough to wrap up all subplots nicely. Because Noodles‘ pacing is never fast and only Da-hae’s has run its course; the rest are still in the open: Myung-yi/Yeo-kyung/Tae-ha’s retaliation, Gil-do/Tae-sub’s face off, the fight over Goongrakwon… not to mention, the love lines?