Recently, I’ve noticed the actress, Jin Se Yeon, appearing in several dramas that I have watched and enjoyed. However, to me, she is like a doll. You can dress her up in different outfits, but at the end of the day, she is the same old doll you took from the shelf. What do I mean by this? I mean Jin Se Yeon seems to choose not only the same character type, but also similar character arc in many of the dramas she is in, namely Bridal Mask, Inspiring Generation, and now Doctor Stranger. Now, don’t get me wrong, I neither like nor dislike her. She is a fair actress and a great deal better than many others I have seen. However, her characters and their arc all seem to have these things in common:
The episode starts off with Ran Ran being taken by Baek San to Hong Kong. However, before they can get into the cars, the cars are blown up by JT’s gang. Leader Seul is shocked that JT would do that to a child. He decides to gather all the men and make layers of defense around Hwangbang. Leader Seul is freaking out. JT’s gang decide to let his gang rob all Hwangbang’s casinos since they are now defenseless. If the police appear, they are to cross into Bangsamtong so that the police can’t cross the border. Baek San reports back to Leader Seul that all their casinos are being robbed and asks Leader Seul to release a unit of men. However, Leader Seul knows this was JT’s technique for destroying Il Gook Hwae and is unwilling to fall for it.
The phone rings at Seolrak and Ggoo reports to Leader Seul that the anti-opium office called and that their all financial dealings have been made public for all the citizens to see. Leader Seul goes to the wall and finds the papers that JT had stolen from the Intelligence Office. He had given Hwangbang the originals, but had made copies. The Security Director forces Leader Seul to take down all the papers by themselves. Meanwhile Mo and Jae Hwa take out a unit of Hwangbang men by themselves. They find the opium in the back of the trucks and decide to light them on fire.
The episode starts with lovely romantic music playing during Jung Tae’s wedding proposal while Leader Seul watches sinisterly in the background. Ok Ryeon is incredibly happy and JT kisses her to seal the deal. Baek San is sent to prepare the celebratory drinks while JT takes Ok Ryeon to his father’s memorial to tell him of the good news. Leader Seul slowly opens the bottle of liquor and Ok Ryeon remembers the night where she saw Baek San handling the drink. Leader Seul shakes the bottle vigorously before pouring the last bit and gives that to JT. He gives one to Ok Ryeon and takes one himself while making a toast. Ok Ryeon stops JT from drinking and takes his cup. Leader Seul teases and provokes JT about him being suspicious that the drink is poisoned. While Leader Seul is distracted, Ok Ryeon switches hers and JT’s cups.
JT drinks his portion and so does everyone else. Ok Ryeon begs to leave quickly with JT while Leader Seul is smirking. JT and Ok Ryeon get into a car. Ok Ryeon is looking woozy while in the car and tells him to hurry home. JT carries her inside the restaurant, but Ok Ryeon already knows it is too late for her. She begs him not to go and he grasps her in his arms. She thanks him for everything and tells him to fight in moderation and to always win. She wonders who will treat him now? And she passes. JT is shocked and devastated. He is literally choking on his tears. THIS IS A GAKSITAL ENDING FOR JIN SE YEON AGAIN. The wedding curse has struck again!
EPISODE TWENTY TWO
Jung Tae gives his people a speech to prepare them for the upcoming war. Leader Seul goes with JT to the funeral while leaving Hwangbang in Baek San’s care. JT asks Leader Seul to return Ok Ryeon back to him after the war is over, but Leader Seul says to win over Il Gook Hwae first. JT says he will win and to keep that promise. Both are incredibly tense. They arrive at the funeral and JT sees Gaya. They exchange loaded stares. Gaya says if he returns, he will survive and to not die for Hwangbang. He says he won’t die and she tells him to stay alive so that he can meet who he longs for (Chung Ah?). Leader Seul insults Aoki by saying he will be eliminated soon. Aoki smirks and counters the verbal attack and says goodbye to JT.
Leader Seul is shocked and angry at JT for his plan. The whisper about it while surrounded by samurais. JT explains that he and Leader Seul went to the funeral so that Hwangbang and Club Shanghai will be empty for Aoki to mobilize his troops against. JT says he will take care of what is going on here. They stand back to back and JT looks like he is ready for a fight. Aka walks in and Gaya says the war has started. Gaya commands Aka to kill Leader Seul and Leader Seul hides behind JT asking his “son” to defend him. Aka attacks and though JT blocks that blow, he let Leader Seul feel fear for a second when he did not act as quick as he would have. JT tells Aka that he will fight him.
The episode starts with Ok Ryeon finding Jung Tae in Hwangbang. JT masks himself and decides to get Ok Ryeon out of the place first. Meanwhile Shinichii is about to die before Gaya rushes in to kill off all the other attackers. Baek San refuses to let her take him alive. However, Gaya says Shinichii is her swordsman and she will protect him. Leader Seul takes this as a declaration of war from Il Gook Hwae to Hwangbang, but knows that Denkai doesn’t approve. He commands Baek San to take their heads.
Shinichii tries to attack, but is shot down quickly by Baek San. Gaya tries her hand. While JT is trying to get Ok Ryeon out, he sees the battle between Baek San and Gaya. Gaya is faring very badly against Baek San and is coughing up blood from his harsh blows. JT lets go of Ok Ryeon’s hands. Ok Ryeon tells him that he will die if he goes. JT goes, anyways. Gaya tries her last attempt and JT punches Baek San. JT tells Gaya to take Shinichii and go quickly. He starts fighting the people instead. She knows its JT, but somehow Baek San and Leader Seul have no idea who he is.
Club Shanghai opens again for the fight between JT and Jae Hwa. Even Chiringbang comes to watch. Hwangbang is wondering where there Mongolian missionaries went. Leader Seul only now learns that Mo met the missionaries and he decides to send out people to find them. Hwangbang soon stroll in with Ok Ryeon and co. Mo seems to planning something as he watches from above. Jae Hwa’s lackeys come to get him. Sun Woo gives Jae Hwa her half-supportive comments and Jae Hwa is pleased with even that before he goes off to fight. Jung Tae walks in to the cheers of the crowd and takes in the crowd. Jae Hwa also receives a warm welcome.
Jae Hwa arms himself with his tiger claws. Meanwhile Leader Seul figures out that Mo has the mercenaries and plans to expose them to the Bangsamtong as the murderers. He orders Baek San to go kill the mercenaries. JT and Jae Hwa circle each other and Jae Hwa says that it’s a duel to the death. Although Jae Hwa attacks first, JT is doing a decent job avoiding and even landing a few punches. However, Jae Hwa is too quick with his claws and manages to get a few strikes in. Ok Ryeon and So-So go to see Sun Woo, unable to take it anymore. Jae Hwa finds out about JT’s injured shoulder while forcing him to the ground.
The episode starts off with Leader Seul trying to convince Jung Tae to kill Jae Hwa. Meanwhile, Aoki serves up a deal where if Jae Hwa sides with him, he will pay back the debts and even forgive the escapee. He even offers up 10% of the Il Gook Hwa’s casino club’s profits and to help attack Hwangbang. Jae Hwa looks interested, but is suspicious. Aoki also reminds him that Jung Tae will stage him up and that even Soo Won is watching. Jung Tae meets Ok Ryeon on his way back and she reassures him. He asks Ggoo to protect her well and Ggoo replies that Ok Ryeon is his singer before Jung Tae’s girlfriend. Ggoo says even he is learning how to fight these days. Haha.
Aoki is positive that Jae Hwa will accept the offer since the “stray dog” will bite everyone when it feels threatened. Their musings are cut short by the arrival of Yakuza boss and his posse. Everyone is told to gather and recount for their sins. Uh Oh. Jae Hwa is waiting for Jung Tae, seemingly drunk and tells him that the intelligence officer made an offer to him. Jung Tae surprises Jae Hwa by saying to crush Hwangbang now, but Jae Hwa is still cautious that Hwangbang is too powerful. Jae Hwa reminds him of his promise that Jung Tae will only follow his actions. Jung Tae apologizes that he may have to dethrone Jae Hwa.
This episode starts off showing Ok Ryeon being released to Ggoo. He gives her a meal and makes some pervy comments. Ggoo wants her to sign a contract in order to release Jung Tae. He tells her that it holds Jung Tae’s life and she better sign it now. He drives her to the prison and shows her that Jung Tae and co are scaling the wall to go save her. She wants to warn them, but if she does, Jung Tae will get shot. We see that Gaya has just entered the complex as well. She wants to go interfere with the fight between Jung Tae and Aoki. Jung Tae figures that Aoki’s weakness is his pride and provokes him by making insults about his fighting skill. Aoki gets more emotional as he fights and Jung Tae bides his time. Jung Tae lands several hard punches bringing Aoki to the ground. Aoki brings the firing squad instead.
Leader Seul uses this chance to confirm how good Aoki is and how much Ok Ryeon matters to Jung Tae. Baek San is still massively suspicious of Jung Tae and thinks the boy is sly like his father. However, Leader Seul has a twisted hope in Jung Tae’s survival. Gaya saves Jung Tae’s live by setting a fire to distract the prison. Aoki gives the signal to shoot, but the explosion stops his order. He releases Jung Tae for now. Jung Tae is still focused on Ok Ryeon’s location and almost gets shot again. Gaya comes back from her deed and Yamamoto warns her that this deed may block her career.
While the party is underway, Jae Hwa is busy kissing up to all the guests. He brings Jung Tae to the Chiringbang table and shows him off. We see Ok Ryeon has taken up backstage singing for that dreaded JingJing while the other girl performs on stage. Jung Tae visits her as a show of support. Both of her friends are so proud of Ok Ryeon’s singing talent. Her excitement as she exists off stage is seen by Aoki. Meanwhile Jung Tae spies Leader Seul strolling in. Jae Hwa blocks Jung Tae’s advances, but Jung Tae drags him off to talk. Ok Ryeon is “recruited” for her singing talent by a record producer, but we see Aoki sitting at the table as well. Ok Ryeon wants to go for the testing, but knows that Jung Tae wouldn’t like it. The “producer” reveals his true colors and threatens her with a gun. So-so and Ok Ryeon are forced outside.
Jung Tae feels betrayed that Jae Hwa sent the invitations to Hwangbang. Jae Hwa replies that he has to pay taxes to Hwangbang to survive. He has to protect Bangsamtong with whatever he can. He tells Jung Tae that Leader Seul is too powerful to hit right now. Jae Hwa embarrassedly confesses that he has to live as a dog for Hwangbang in order to keep things running. Jung Tae refuses to be like Jae Hwa and chooses to follow the path of his father. He won’t give in to Hwangbang. Instead, he aims to make Club Shanghai and Bangsamtong his while destroying the organization that pulled down his father.
Episode sixteen starts with the muggers trashing Club Shanghai. Jung Tae steps up to block the muggers and they start fighitng. Jae Hwa and Jung Tae fight back to back. Ok Ryeon and So-So hide in the back before they get discovered by one of the muggers. Jung Tae is blocked from saving her, but luckily WHO SHOULD APPEAR BUT MO IL HWA. YES YES! Using his awesome skills Mo takes out the muggers with ease. Jung Tae is surprised to see Mo here. They greet each other like brothers and hug. Jae Hwa feels left out and comes to say hello. Mo concentrates on Jung Tae and says he came to greet Bangsamtong’s new owner. He heard from Hwangbang that the place has no owner. Jae Hwa is pissed at being ignored. Mo comes to warn the group that there will be blood soon. Jung Tae asks him if he is here to attack and take over Club Shanghai. Mo becomes evasive and just says for them to prepare well for opening night. Jung Tae is frustrated with this answer.
Mo and his servant walk the street and wonder if this will be the new place they will live or will they die here. We finally get to see Mo training Jung Tae in the past. Jung Tae is visibly improving and getting faster and faster, even landing a punch that makes Mo gasp. They parted on good terms, with a handshake and hug. Mo, meanwhile, is paying respects to Jung Tae’s father with Hwangbang watching. Mo tells Leader Seul that he will face off Shin Jung Tae at opening day since Jung Tae instigated it. Mo sees right through Leader Seul’s plans and wants to take out Jung Tae as a stab against Hwangbang. Mo smirks and walks away. I LOVE THIS. He is so mysterious.