Soldier: Eps 21-23

Drama ReviewsKorean Dramas

Yes, I’m gonna say it again.  One word: EPIC.  Soldier always boggles my mind because it is just THAT GOOD.

Episode 21 was by far my favorite episode out of eps 21-23.  It is full of awesomeness.  Gim Jun has really taken a back seat ever since the time jump, which I’m actually ok with.  The other generals are so awesome that I don’t mind Gim Jun not being around all the time.  Gim Jun is not necessarily the superhero everyone depends upon.  The supporting characters are just as (and if not more) heroic than Gim Jun.  They are seasoned experienced generals, full of pride and devotion to their country.  It’s great because Gim Jun is not automatically the top dog..he has lots of mentors to admire and learn from. 

However Gim Jun does play a significant role in strategizing against the Mongols.  I love that ep21 shows Gim Jun’s potential to be a successful, prudent general.  He has what it takes to be a good leader.  So, Gim Jun takes his gyeokgu buddies and some other soldiers (along with a very awesome general who just so happens to be Yak Seon’s brother.  I do not see the resemblance.) to INFILTRATE THE MONGOL’S CAMP DURING THE NIGHT FOR A SNEAK ATTACK.

It was awesome.

THE MONKS!!!!!!!! THEY’RE BACK, STILL KICKING BUTT AS ALWAYS.  I loved their very short yet meaningful return.  They reenter the scene, simply by fending off the Mongols from a surprise attack on the main Goryeo army.  I just had to put one of the monks as my featured image because I LOVE THEM.

The difference between the main army generals (who are old, overly confident, unpatriotic guys completely unfit for the job) and the generals on the border is so huge and obvious that it’s laughable.  The main army generals clearly do not understand the price the border patrol soldiers are paying.  They bluster about how powerful and great they are and yet they brush off the urgency of their mission.  Also, they ignore the advice of Yang Baek (and one of Hapha’s generals…forgot his name) and walk straight into an ambush.  T___T  When they actually get attacked, the generals are utterly helpless.

I thought it was really funny when the monks saw how frustrating and incompetent the generals are, and then they tell Yang Baek they feel sorry for him for having to put up with his superiors.  HAHAHAHA.  And then they leave Yang Baek there, to hit the road and fight some more Mongols.  Typical monks, you know.

Leave it to Yang Baek to take on one of the Mongol officers and WIN.  I LOVE YANG BAEK. 

Long story short, episodes 22-23 are all about the dilemma over whether to surrender or not.  Hapha eventually decides to surrender despite his undying pride.  The aftermath of such a decision is horrible.  How sad is it to see the border patrol generals have to swallow the news that they’re ordered to surrender after they’ve fought for 4 months straight.  They were ready to defend their country til their dying breath.  They too have unwavering pride in their country even though they are hopelessly outnumbered by the Mongols.  The reaction of the border patrol generals was heartbreaking. 

i.e. One of the generals threatens to shoot one of the main army generals after he orders him to surrender.  He doesn’t just threaten, he ACTUALLY SHOOTS and then orders his archers to follow his lead. (middle left pic)

“You dare to say that you’re a general?”

^EPIC LINE.  It’s what we all were thinking when the main army generals DID NOTHING. 

Episodes 22-23 felt a bit slow to me but the scenes with these generals were great.  One great ending scene in ep23 is with the general who infiltrated the Mongol camp with Gim Jun.  (I seriously don’t remember his name, if you remember please tell me.) He finally decides to obey Hapha’s order and surrenders, bowing before Salita. To make it even more heartwrenching, Salita has a spark of compassion and allows the general to have some dignity.  I love that Salita isn’t portrayed as just a ruthless barbarian..they show that he has a certain level of respect for Goryeo’s great generals.

“Please get up.  You’re not defeated. “

And his response, while he’s kneeling before Salita WITH MANLY TEARS IN HIS EYES…

“We did not lose.  Now I kneel down on both knees…it is not for you.  But I kneel down today for the people and for the soldiers we’ve fought with.”

“Our Hapha, is he really not aware of our Goryeo’s situation…or does he know but pretend he doesn’t?”

Yak Seon is AWESOME.  He’s following in Hapha’s footsteps (as planned) and is so calculating and smart.  I think he’s the kind of character that really grows on you. 

And of course, the Yak Seon/Song Yi scenes are some of my favorites.  They’re so filled with tension that you can feel they’re on the brink of exploding.  And to think that they’ve been acting this way for over 5 years.  You’ve got to hand it to them, they are great matches for each other.  Every conversation feels like a power play.  Their discomfort with each other is masked by a front of civility and responsibility towards each other as husband/wife.  They act politely to each other and yet you can see they’re holding themselves back.  So instead Yak Seon & Song Yi calmly deal with their unhappiness by having scarily polite and icy conversations in which they trade underhanded, pointed remarks. 

^I love Song Yi’s new hairstyle ever since the time jump. 

Oh no, Gim Jun is back to steal Song Yi’s heart yet again.  I really wonder why she held onto her dream all these years.  I really wish she and Yak Seon could just get along and live happily ever after.  Clearly this is not the case because I doubt Song Yi will ever let go of Gim Jun.  He still symbolizes that unattained freedom she’s always desired.  However things are even MORE complicated now that Song Yi is married.  I really don’t want her to get divorced (or how else would she get with Gim Jun?  ) or have something happen to Yak Seon.  I have no idea how the romance plotline will work out. 

Anyway, I love how Song Yi has stepped up to her responsibility as the new lady of the household.  Like when she helps out in the kitchen when the servants are all preparing food for the Mongols.  Despite her flaws, I think Song Yi is still an admirable woman because of her strength and intelligence.  I think it’s been hard for her to cope with always fulfilling her parents’ expectations, which is why she tried to run away in the past.  However now she’s not running away, she’s led the household affairs and become a wife and mother.  Song Yi is a character caught between her desires and her duties, her views and society’s beliefs.  Although she’s decided to go along with society’s expectations, you can tell Song Yi is still sheltering her own dreams. 

The last couple episodes felt a lot slower in comparison to ep21.  However they still had some great scenes that left a lasting impression on me.  IMO Soldier is still going strong.  I was surprised to find that a lot of people are reading my Soldier reviews…I was under the impression that Soldier didn’t have a very large following.  Apparently I was wrong, it’s just that not as many people are spazzing out as much about it?  I don’t know about you but everytime I watch Soldier I swoon, spazz out, and remind myself how glad I am that I started this drama. 


I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
Love Forward: Ep 12
Soldier: Ep 24

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