A 333-word Recap of R#1 Episode 3!
Trap fails. Pandemonium! Tae-Ho makes his first kill. Fierce gun-battle. Jang-Woo uses Molotov cocktails to impressive effect.
Hand-to-hand combat. North Koreans retreat. Tae-Ho knocked to ground; Jang-Woo extends hand but Tae-Ho won’t take it.
Sergeant Oh urges laggards be left, but Tae-Ho and Jang-Woo piggy-back wounded.
The Han River
Su-Hee weeps at Jang-Woo’s father’s grave. Su-Yeon is numb.
They take last boat across the river. Jang-Woo calls after them, “Carry on! Take care of Father!” but can’t hear Su-Yeon shout back “He’s dead!”. Ohnos.
2nd Company stranded north of river. Damn.
Kind Captain and Jang-Woo gentle the fretting wounded. Tae-Ho weeps as 2nd Platoon Leader dies in his arms (with flashback).
Rain. Tae-Ho distraught. “Captain, what am I to do?” “Just stay alive.”
Rising tetchiness among soldiery. Few boats found; can’t take both weapons and wounded.
Jang-Woo argues for “wounded first”, Sergeant Oh for weapons. Showdown!
Captain decides: bury weapons with their fallen. (No time to make two trips, but time to bury cache and hold funeral?!!!)
Sad burial scene. Stirring music. 2nd Company crosses river.
Tae-Ho flashback: Su-Yeon refused to accept his jade ring wedding gift because she had lodged Jang-Woo in her heart forever. (So, he’s known all along…)
But he couldn’t let her go, he shouted at her, because she reminded him of his mother (??!!)
Back to the present, Tae-Ho swears to Jang-Woo he will find out how Su-Yeon feels about him. (But didn’t she say already?)
Nightfall. Jang-Woo flashbacks to happier times. Sappy love song plays.
2nd Company rolls into town.
Sergeant Oh is abusive. Jang-Woo is disapproving, and tries to help a conscript escape.
Jang-Woo is hauled up by Tae-Ho, but based on his fighting record is sent by the General for platoon-leader training instead of detention!
Tae-Ho and Jang-Woo exchange barbed Words about staying alive, soldiers’ honour and patriotism.
Pensive waltz music accompanies interspersed scenes: Tae-Ho in trench warfare and Jang-Woo acing military training.
End of Episode and 333-word recap
Battle scenes pretty good. But marred by over-indulgence in sentimentality (as is the entire episode). And over-use of sappy / stirring soundtrack.
Less of the head-desking shouting and carrying on (and even, at times, less of the guy-liner). But still, watching this Episode was for me kinda boring. And there were two flashbacks to events within the same Episode. Self-referential, much?
And still a lot of “huh?” moments. The whole palavar of having to choose between their (few) wounded and (light) weaponry has enough logic holes to sink a ship. And, Su-Yeon had strenuously rejected Tae-Ho’s jade ring wedding gift and declared Jang-Woo was in her heart forever, and they were still going to get married the next day??!!! And, why when everyone else (including the righteous Captain and Tae-Ho) has no trouble carrying out conscription orders, does Jang-Woo have such a delicate conscious about it? (The answer, of course, is that he is our hero so he must look fine and compassionate, and also the show wants to set up some searing glares between Tae-Ho and Jang-Woo). How on earth did Jang-Woo know where to lie in wait for the runaway conscript? And Tae-Ho’s whole delusional obsession with Su-Yeon is just way beyond sense.
In any event, this episode and the carryings on at the river reminded me of a song. So here, with apologies to the Scots and O Waly Waly, is my R#1 bastardisation of The Water is Wide.
In case you’re not familiar with the song, here’s a rendition by Charlotte Church and Enya, with a lush sappy arrangement, set to pretty, sentimental images, but oh well this is R#1 after all so “sappy, pretty and sentimental” are quite appropriate. This is a somewhat sanitized version, leaving out one bleak verse*.
*I leaned my back up against an oak
Thinking that he was a trusty tree
But first he bended and then he broke
And so did my false love to me
My R#1 version:
The water is wide, I can not get o’er
I can not hear the words you cry
Our epic love alas is doomed
We store up ill, my love and I
Where love is planted, oh there it grows
But why it’s deathless love, who knows…
Like dandelion it drifts in the air
It knows not sense, it does not care
I leaned my back up against an oak
Thinking that he were a trusty tree
But my love he never, never wrote
And so I buried him in me
A war there is, and it sweeps the land
Its severs friends and loves and clan
My heart doth fail, my world grows dim
I know not if I sink or swim
O love is handsome and love is fine
And love’s a jewel while it is new
But when it is fraught, it shouts a lot
All reason fades like morning dew