Shine or Go Crazy episode 23 – A Sweet Dream or a Beautiful Nightmare
An hour of drama never flew by so fast. We open to a sweeping action scene with Wang So (Jang Hyuk) and his men in black (Virtuous Men) versus Sik Ryeom’s men with his son Poong leading them.
Wang So fights to protect his people, and they’re so grateful knowing their prince is being there for them.
So in turn they protect him and help him escape back to the Capital so he can stop the evil Sik Ryeom and the other nobles.
He promises ‘I’ll be back’ Arnold-style and ordered that they must stay alive. They must.
Wang So cuts through the woods back to the city and on his way back he figures out what Sik Ryeom is up to and how it affects the assistant head of the Chunghae trading company (Shin Yool/Gaebong). He spares a few moments to think about Shin Yool and hopes she’s going to be okay.
In the mountains. Lying within a cabin heated by coal fires is our princess Shin Yool. She has taken a turn for the worse.
Can she make it through this? Especially without Wang So close by?
The physician gives a meaningful shake of his head to Shin Yool’s lady in waiting Baek Myo and you know there’s hardly any hope left.
Outside, handsome Wang Wook appears with more medicine. He never shows himself to Shin Yool but this time, the physician advises that WW should at least once go in to see her as this might be the last time.
This only makes WW even more frozen in spot.
He unintentionally eavesdrops on the conversation inside. Then come the words I’d never have dreamed I’ll hear Baek Myo say.
At this point Baek Myo would gladly be more accepting of WS if he could be of any true help to her princess’ recovery.
Shin Yool refuses for all sorts of reasons. Mainly because she wouldn’t want to trouble Wang So. He has enough on his plate and seeing her look so poorly wouldn’t help. I don’t think it’s vanity on her part since she hardly looking her best, but a true despair that she needn’t worry others much longer
Wang Wook listens on sadly from outside. It’s getting painful to watch him face so much anguish of his own over a woman he loves but can never claim as his.
Princess Yeo Won (WW’s sister and WS’s wife) gets some feedback on what’s about to go down in the Capital with the nobles. It’s time for her to swing into action in her own way. She’d always known Wang Sik Ryeom wouldn’t be satisfied with just having a scarecrow king behind him but would want all the power for himself.
At Chunghae Village the villagers are mourning their Balhae Princess as they believe she is dead. A couple planted by Sik Ryeom’s men stir disquiet when they reveal she was murdered by an assassin. And that the people of Balhae (who live in Chunghae village) were being targeted which strikes fear in everyone.
It’s hoped that an uprising will be orchestrated and the ensuing unrest will be the perfect chance for Wang Sik Ryeom to take over.
At night two assassins appear and carry out the next phase of the plan, by killing a villager. Now everyone is really aware that they are all in grave danger if they didn’t do something fast to protect themselves. They believe the king is the one trying to eliminate Balhae folk and they feel they must fight back.
The first place Wang So rushes to on his return to the Capital is the Chunghae Trading co. to see Shin Yool/Gaebong.
He finds the sign at the entrance and for a moment he pauses and then staggers back. In mourning.
It’s as if he’s almost afraid to go in and find out.
Inside the members of the Chunghae Trading fam are with Prince Wook having a powwow over Shin Yool’s deteriorating health.
In bursts the irate Wang So. Everyone else jumps back in shock. He asks them what’s the sign outside about, who’s being mourned? He’s practically like so you all are here and I’ve been yelling Gaebong like an escaped mad man. So where the devil is she? And all that.
Everyone seems hesitant but at last they have to tell Wang So that Gaebong was murdered in her bed by an assassin – sent by Wang Sik Ryeom no less.
Wang So starts off disbelieving, then murderous and vengeful. He’ll rip those responsible apart!
But first he goes through different stages of earth-quaking emotions. Thank you Jang Hyuk for giving us such a sentimental scene that’s done just right. We feel his shock, disbelief, agony and dismay all at once. How is he ever going to get through this?
They tell him they’ve already had the funeral and cremated her body.
Tears are streaming down his face. He just can’t deal. No. No! Not Gaebong. Come out, you fool! Where are you hiding? You must still be alive.
But he can tell from their faces that he’s just being wishful. She’s gone.
For some moments his head is bowed and then he suddenly comes to life, grabbing his sword with a swooosh.
He’s off to kill Wang Shik Ryeom.
Wang Wook jumps forward and blocks his way. They all hold him back and somehow get him to see reason. He’s yelling and straining against them but thankfully it takes four grown men to stop him charging out with his longblade.
He’s taken to Shin Yool’s bedroom and a much calmer Wang So is seen seated on the edge of her bed smoothing his hand over the sheets.
Slowly, out of nowhere Wang So begins to see clues that hint at Gaebong still possibly being alive. The sheets and bed don’t seem to have any marks or stains of blood from an attack. He searches her things and things and finds the other half of the butterfly pendant. She always wore that. Wouldn’t it be cremated with her since she always had it on?
Most importantly, Baek Myo her trusted sidekick is nowhere to be seen. Bingo.
Is he just wishing for the moon or could his deductions be correct? He’s not going to be sitting around trying to figure it out.
It doesn’t take long to get the whole truth thanks to Mr. Yang and Gyeong.
Wang So goes off to find Wang Wook.
Wang Wook is drinking at the inn, suffering indecision over what to do next. He knows Shin Yool misses Wang So, and he also can tell Wang So is in pain over Gaebong/Shin Yool.
Suddenly Wang So appears. Both men sit facing each other.
Wang So stares at Wang Wook and tells him a few deep words. He’s thankful to Wang Wook for all he’s done but now it was time for him to let Wang So take responsibility.
You saved that woman. And tricked Wang Sik Ryeom. I know that you faked her death in order to nullify the royal marriage
Thank you, and I’m sorry.
Now give me your burdens.
Wang Wook in turn tells him that though Shin Yool gave many reasons why she couldn’t see Wang So, Wang Wook could hear what she was really saying to Wang So beneath her denials. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you.
Wang Wook hands over a paper detailing Shin Yool’s location.
Wang So thanks him and rises to leave. Wang Wook warns him that Wang So shouldn’t be surprised when he sees Shin Yool. She’s not like she used to be, says Wang Wook.
Wang So tells him it doesn’t matter. She just has to be alive,
The King is busy wondering if he should abdicate to his brother Wang So.
For Goryeo to live a thousand years, Wang So must rule. But will the King make that sacrifice and give up the throne to his younger brother?
He admits that his father’s wishes were correct but that it still hurts that the First King favored Wang So this highly.
Evil mastermind Wang Sik Ryeom is making his way through the Capital with his hefty bodyguards when he has a face-off with Wang So and his black assassins.
Sik Ryeom says Wang So is now flaunting that he is actually the leader of the Virtuous Men. Yep, the kid gloves are off and the cards are all on the table.
Wang So begins to list Wang Sik Ryeom’s crimes against the people and the Capital. Wang So says he’s here to punish Sik Ryeom. But first, Wang So asks, why did you kill the assistant head of Chunghae Trading co.?
Sik Ryeom denies it of course. Wang So tells him that nevertheless he make Sik Ryeom pay.
Later we see Sik Ryeom losing it over Wang So’s behavior. He orders his man to mobilize his soldiers at the west gate of the Capital.
He asks about Chunghae village and his man tells him all is going as planned. After the killing, the people were now all stirred up.
Wang Sik Ryeom wants to turn the villagers into a mob against Wang So. Sik Ryeom will then use the uprising as an excuse for his mobilized army to enter the city in the name of suppressing the crisis.
But that’s not all. Once the army is done they will then march on the palace. Aaah.
The ruthless mastermind is planning a coup, intent to take power for himself.
Wang So is in the forest telling his men they are no longer secret assassins playing Robin Hood and punishing the nobles. They have a higher purpose and will now fight in the open, helping Wang So win victory for all.
Sik Ryeom’s son Poong is furious to hear that Wang So made it into the Capital despite all efforts to keep him out. So he vows to definitely meet Wang So in the capital and finish this. He prepares to gather the army and storm the Capital as per his evil dad’s orders.
Wang So gives order for a situation report from Chunghae village will he heads for where his heart lies, with Shin Yool. Yippee finally!! He gets some ‘me-time’.
The physician is busy telling Baek Myo that Shin Yool has one other chance of recovery. If she was to wade in the ice-cold “Ice creek” then perhaps her vitals would be re-energized. Cold to war against cold.
The colder temperature of the creek will drive out the coldness in her and open up the clogged blood vessels.
Oookay. Sounds doable?
Baek Myo fears the notoriously freezing creek will kill Shin Yool the moment she steps in. It has been known to be fatal to even the strongest men and it never melts even in the hottest summer.
Still, it’s a lifeline and I hope they take it.
Wang So arrives at the mountain wood cabin.
Baek Myo comes outside and is shocked to see Wang So. How did he find them? He says he needs to see Gaebong.
He calls loudly for her and Shin Yool looks shocked when Baek Myo announces Wang So’s presence.
She instantly panics and rushes to barricade the door. She tells him to please go back. There is no Gaebong here.
Wang So says then there must be the assistant head.
I know why you’re doing this, Wang So says. You don’t want to let me see you sick. Do you still not know me you fool?
No matter what condition you’re in, in my eyes you’re always so lovely and beautiful.
There won’t be anyone like you anymore, and no one will be able to take your place.
Wang So’s words make Shin Yool start to sob as she breaks down in tears.
He tells her he will wipe away her tears with his hands. Wang So lets her know that he can tell she needs him and he’s here for her.
If you open this door, Gaebong, the one who’s missed you so much will be standing right here.
Double triple awwwww. No sane woman could hold back after that.
He goes on to tell her that each day he didn’t see her broke his heart.
And there I was thinking he was too busy to truly worry about her.
Now that you’re right before me…Will you keep breaking my heart, leaving no pieces to spare? asks Wang So.
Okay, now by this time I’m yelling in my head for Shin Yool to open that door and let our teary-eyed hero in.
Taking a few heaving breaths for courage, Shin Yool finally unbolts the door.
You can see the stars mirrored in their eyes when they finally face each other. They embrace and the soft music plays to envelop this perfect reunion scene.
Here is interestingly my favorite scene in this episode. A reminiscent Wang Wook sits looking at the glass magic bowl, remembering his times with Shin Yool. He thinks back on that moment where she waved away his troubles. This time, he does it for her instead. And tells himself he no longer needs to worry about her. He knows she’ll always be safer – not to mention happier – with Wang So.
I’m amazed how Wang Wook’s character evolved. From love-sick bae to petulant sore loser and then this whole reset in his character as he does the noble thing and steps back for Wang So in Shin Yool’s life.
Wang So is seen nursing our Shin Yool. It’s a tender moment and we see how happy they are to be together. Even Baek Myo notes that Shin Yool could never keep down spoons of her medicine when Baek Myo gives her but now seems to drink it by the bowlful when it’s Wang So administering it.
Then the hovering physician asks if Shin Yool has decided.
Decided what, asks Wang So.
He finds out about the cold spa treatment our Shin Yool should receive from the Ice Creek. The physician said it’s the last hope to eliminate the coldness within her.
Wang So can see Shin Yool is frightened and he vows to die with her or live with her, and promises to take her in the pool himself.
When I’m done swooning I find Wang So with Shin Yool cradled in his strong arms as he leads her into the Ice Creek. A rushing waterfall cascades from above. Will this be the site of Shin Yool’s grave or her rebirth?
Much as I love this episode, I don’t see how any of this can end perfectly for everyone. We have to remember that Wang So is a legally married dude! And his faithful hardworking Princess Yeo Won is very much still in the picture.
So Wang So has no call saving a damsel in distress but we’re all for true love and romance! So I’m happy Wang So got this scenario with Shin Yool and I hope he helps her survive.
I’m still waiting on the part where he either gets to shine or go bonkers. I just might go crazy myself if the ending doesn’t suit what I anticipate as I’m already suspecting it mightn’t.
Still, it’s been a joyous 23 episodes so I won’t put too much stock on the finale and just take it at face value. Wang So and Shin Yool aka Gaebong will always be a dream couple in my mind.
I never dreamed I’d like this actress Oh Yeon Seo’s pairing with Jang Hyuk but she surpassed every expectation. In fact I admired her as much as Jang Hyuk which is saying a lot! Kudos to all that worked on the team and I’m glad to have discovered this gorgeously shot sageuk.
Will now be looking forward to the upcoming one titled Hwajung (starting April 13). Wow, back-to-back sageuks from MBC network is making the next several weeks look promising in terms of viewing choices. I only hope they don’t rush through the final 2-3 episodes like they seem to have done with Shine or Go Crazy.
It was still worth the watch and look forward to more dramas from both leads Oh Yeon-Seo and Jang Hyuk in the nearest future. Maybe even together!