Soldier: Eps 17-20
Soldier has gotten so good that I seriously wanted to just plow right through episode 21 and include it in this post. Even 20 episodes in, Soldier continues to be a solid drama. I’ve probably used this word in every post about Soldier but…it is just epic. There’s no other word to describe it. After episodes 17 and 18, we get into the real meat of the drama–it’s not called God of War for nothing. After several episodes of setting up the tensions between the Mongols & Goryeo, the Mongol invasion finally goes into full swing.
Wol Ah’s death hits Gim Jun and Kun Sunim hard. Gim Jun, despite his usual stoic composure, reveals his sorrow to Yang Baek over a few drinks. He emphasizes that even if Yang Baek can move on with his life, HE can’t because Wol Ah was like a sister to him. Yet another great scene of camaraderie as Yang Baek just sits there listening to Gim Jun’s woes in silence.
“From the beginning, she was not suited for this world.”
These episodes make it clear that Song Yi knows very well she could’ve prevented this incident from happening. She thinks to herself that she saw all the signs..if only she had stopped Chun Sim right when she realized something was wrong, maybe this tragedy wouldn’t have happened. All of the what if’s trouble Song Yi, especially because her own inaction contributed to Wol Ah’s death. Song Yi finds herself perplexed by her own actions and thoughts, as she wonders why she didn’t intervene.
“This thing wouldn’t have happened. However, I didn’t do it..I didn’t..”
However Song Yi’s conflicted thoughts don’t stop her from pursuing Gim Jun. She’s so serious about him that she admits to her parents she wants to marry him in the future. This is basically the equivalent of blasphemy to her parents. They smack down Song Yi’s dream immediately, harshly reprimanding her and warning her not to even think of it. This scene was pretty saddening because it took a lot of courage for Song Yi to tell her parents she loves a slave, but they instantly labelled her love as absurd. Also as awesome as the new Hapha is, he too views slaves as lowly and separate because of their status. The First Lord/Hapha isn’t without his prejudices either, even though he is known as a righteous leader.
“I’m going to bet everything on you.”
Song Yi’s marriage begins creeping up on her as the date draws nearer and nearer. Song Yi feels trapped and unhappy and so…she decides to run away. With Gim Jun. Song Yi is incredibly smart and yet this is a really dumb move. This is where I was trying to figure out what in the world Song Yi was thinking. Her confession to her parents already implicated Gim Jun, why does she have to implicate him even further? Does she not understand that there have to be mutual feelings for a romantic relationship?
I guess my only explanation for why Song Yi chose such a drastic escape is that she’s desperate. Really desperate. She’ll do anything to just get out of her marriage with Yak Seon, to get to be with the real man she loves…to escape her parents’ expectations. Song Yi feels suffocated by society and I think this is really her breaking point where she just wants out.
So, Gim Jun, Song Yi, and her maid all escape on horseback. I thought it was really funny when it showed Song Yi leading the way with Gim Jun & her maid trailing behind. Heheheh.
When she’s finally far away from home, Song Yi looks so incredibly happy that it scares me. This is such a change from her reserved, unhappy self at home. Song Yi has pinned all of her hopes and dreams on Gim Jun, and she expects him to fulfill them. Even though she knows her dreams are unrealistic and perhaps even impossible in this society, Song Yi desperately tries to hold onto them. I think that Song Yi actually wants to be free from society more than anything else, even more than Gim Jun’s love. She dreams about a place where there will be no social class barriers, where she can live freely and happily.
Part of me really wonders…does Song Yi know that there’s no way she’ll really get away with escaping? Perhaps she does, because Song Yi rambles on and on about how they can run away and live happily ever after in a place where no one knows them. Even when Gim Jun breaks the news that he can’t be her man, she still tries to grasp at straws to convince him to run away with her. The look on her face when Yang Baek comes to escort her home is so stricken…it’s at this moment when her hope of freedom is completely taken away from her.
Song Yi ends up marrying Yak Seon to placate her mother and to save Gim Jun’s life. I really wonder if she knew this is the way it would turn out all along. Poor Gim Jun, he shouldn’t have gone with her because this ruined his future as a private soldier for Hapha. I was really frustrated with him because he willingly went along with Song Yi…he even figured out her intentions and yet he didn’t stop her. At times Gim Jun has a passive attitude, and this was one of them. I really thought he might just get on the boat with her and leave. Thankfully he spoke up and rejected her plain and clear.
Finally, time for the time jump! 6 years! Yak Seon & Song Yi are married,with 2 kids! Yak Seon actually has a backbone! Hapha ages! Yak Seon is beginning to look like the young Hapha! And Song Yi is happily in love with Yak Seon right?
HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah right. Song Yi STILL cannot get Gim Jun out of her head. This is where Song Yi really got on my nerves because I don’t think she even gave Yak Seon a chance. She’s still harping on Gim Jun when she has a husband. Even if she didn’t love Yak Seon at first, she could’ve tried to accept him with an open mind. And even if it is a loveless marriage, there should be some sort of mutual respect/understanding between the two. Yak Seon KNOWS Song Yi still loves someone else and it’s hurting him.
Up until now Yak Seon has been a very 2d character. He’s been the “good guy,” kind and more inclined to peace than politics. Now he’s grown into a more complex character, because we see he’s not as clueless as you’d think. I love the scene when someone tells him about all of the rumors circulating about Song Yi loving another man. Yak Seon gives the guy the death glare and plays his cards very well. He’s calm and dignified, yet very intimidating when he smacks down the guy’s insinuations.
“I’m the person who’s in charge of the secrets in the country, Gim Yak Seon.”
YAK SEON, FOR THE WIN.
Now that the Wol Ah arc and Song Yi-marriage arc are over, it’s time to get into the Mongol invasion. Gim Jun is stationed at the border, along with his former gyeokgu buddies. They are in charge of observing the conditions on the border. Once the Mongols invade, Gim Jun’s unit literally fights to the death to protect the border.
Tons of awesome new characters are introduced in this arc. Their roles are short yet SO SO GOOD. OMGGGGGGGGGGG. GENERAL YI AND GENERAL WENDA. THEY ARE EPIC. Commander Yi is my favorite out of the 3 generals who were brought into the story..only to die shortly after. Commander Yi owns groups of charging soldiers single handedly. He treats the villagers with warmth and a good humor. He is just awesome.
“Today this old fool will fight to the end.”
“To be a part of the plan and survive isn’t a disgrace!”
General Wenda had one short scene and yet it got me right in the heart. To preserve his family’s honor, he sends them away (as in, to death) himself. He says that now his family is gone, he can fight to his fullest on the very last day.
“I want you to go as the great Goryeo general’s wife. I will follow you soon.”
I think episode 20 is where my Soldier addiction just gets even worse. I MUST watch the next episodes because Soldier is getting better and better. I think I said this before, but the romance isn’t the main part of Soldier. There’s so much more to Soldier than just a love story. Gim Jun is the main character but not necessarily the most major one. All of the supporting characters are awesome and noteworthy.