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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Night Watchman's Journal Episode 1&2 First Impression

1:12 PM Posted by ninja , No comments
My first impression? Where is my Jung Il Woo?!!!  Second impression? See my first impression.

Not to say the set up of the story wasn't done well.  It was, but I spent most of the time hoping Jung Il Woo would just show up. When I finally did get attached to the characters, then it all ends. It didn't help that they tricked me with the preview of episode two showing Jung Il Woo in it.  FYI: He didn't show up until middle of episode 3.  

Episode 1

The scene opens with bunch of eunuch and palace maid trying to make sure little Crown Prince Lee Rin doesn't get hurt as he plays tag with bunch of royal children. The prince bumps into another child and a eunuch hastily starts to yell at the child but quickly become quiet when he realize it's another prince. Prince Lee Rin quickly helps the other child pick up his book. Prince Lee Rin is obviously a child with kind heart.

 Just as Prince Lee Rin is showing his favorite beetle that his father, the King gave him along with the hand made cage also made by the king the sky darkens. Soon, burning rocks begins to fall from the sky making everyone running for cover.

Soon, Prince Lee Rin is left by himself when his palace guard become possessed and starts to kill each other.  Even his eunuch was trapped by a black smoke.  Running, the prince finally sees the king and tries to go to him, but the black smoke comes again and hoist the prince high up into the air, chocking him.  The distressed king was finally able to catch the prince falling from mid air when his guard used a spell slip to dispel the smoke.

The king meet with his guard who is obviously well versed in dealing with the supernatural side of things. The king is aware of everything but has to pretend that he doesn't believe in supernatural happenings and goes along with his adviser's view that some rebels got into the palace when there was a meteor shower. 

The king meets again with his guard and the head of royal treasury who really is the head of the night watchman specializing in dealing with the supernatural side of the nation. The two advises the king that the attack was initiated by a group of dragon god believers who are trying to help the dragon ascend to heaven. If the group achieves their goal, it would mean destruction for their nation. They also inform the king that in order to cure the sick prince who was attacked by the black smoke they would need a special flower from the White Head Mountain. The flower can only blossom with the help of the Holy Woman from the White Head Mountain tribe. 

The king immediately declares that he will go to the mountain and ask the tribe for the flower. Umm, the threat of your whole nation going to dust and you decide to ignore it and go off on a quest?

The king and his men are met with giant... um... things that pretty much beat them soundly until the magic spell slips comes out again. Why they didn't take those things out the first opportunity is beyond me. 

The king meets the leader of the White Head Mountain tribe who is willing to give him the flower for the prince but asks him to rescue their holy woman who has been kidnapped by the dragon god believers to be used as a sacrifice to the dragon god.

The tribe is not so cruel as to sent the king without something special to help him. The king is presented with a special bow that can only be used by the nation's king. Time is running out though, as we see the holy woman has already been branded with a hot iron on the back of her neck to symbolize her status as the dragon king's servant.

The King vs the Dragon God.
The king won at the very last second with the magic bow that found the smallest kill mark on the dragon.

The king saves the damsel in distress. Um...is that something special that passed between the damsel and the king? 

Episode 2
The Holy Woman is able to make the special flower bloom with her power, although her brand behind her neck mysteriously lit up during it. 
The Holy Woman goes to the king to present him with the flower that will save the prince. The king,very happy with finally getting the flower to save his son, opens the container to see a blue flower glowing with light. Something mysterious happens as the king all the sudden drops the lid to the container and when he raised his head, his eyes are hardened. The king looks at the Holy Woman for a few seconds then grabs her for a kiss. 
The prince recovering at the palace is surprisingly... well, recovering. I thought he needed the flower to recover? The triumphant king comes back to the palace, dragging along the stone body of the dragon god. (The dragon turned into stone when the king's arrow hit him.) When the king's treasury guard stops the cart with the dragon god statue and flips open the cloth that covers it, the king coldly kills the guard. The king's night watchman watches the king with mild shock.
The next morning the queen greets the king happily, glad that he is back. The king, who a second ago watched the queen thanking his guard for protecting him while they were away looks at the queen coldly. King "My queen has been busy while I have been away. All the men must have been flirting with you." Shocked the queen asked why the king would say such a thing. With a cold smile, the king said he was only joking.
Crown prince Lee Rin stops in the middle of a hall way and asks his eunuch what that black thing was. We see that he is pointing at a black smoke that was the same kind that attacked him before. The eunuch looks hard, but cannot see anything.
The holy woman sits with her little sister telling her that one day the little girl will grow up and marry a good man who will accomplish many great thing because of her help according to their mother's prophesy. The little girl asks her older sister to pray that she will really meet a good man, but her sister tells her that the gods won't listen to her prayer anymore because she has lost the right to be the holy woman. Flash back to the king and the holy woman's night together. 

The dragon god's people interrupts the sisters by dragging the holy woman away to meet their leader. The leader tells the holy woman that it's time for her to heal him so she could finish her final end of the deal. The man rips the holy woman's cloth on her back and starts to suck her energy through his palms. Before the holy woman falls to the ground she says "I will give all my energy to you for the rise of the dragon gods." I had a guess she might not be good, but I was hoping she wasn't a willing participant. Nothing like a damsel in distress turning into a viper.
The king and his night watchman goes to admire his dragon god statue. The watchman asks the king if he really think it's a wise decision to keep the dragon in the palace, but the king tells him that the statue is his trophy. 

Standing behind the king, the watchman all the sudden feels his compass vibrating. With trembling hands, he takes out the compass to see the needle pointing at the king. The watchman meets with the head of the royal treasury to tell him that they have a big concern as the compass that detects dead spirit's presence points straight at the king.

Things are obviously going down hill fast for the king as he loses control at the crowning ceremony for the crown prince by pointing a sword at his son when Lee Rin refuses to kill his pet beetle to show he has the ruthless streak in him to be a good king.   In front of all the advisers, the king wields the sword at the prince, almost killing him if not for the prince's faithful eunuch who dives in to take the hit in his place and dies for him.

Prince Lee Rin sits alone by the pound looking at his precious beetle and with a deep breath he takes out the beetle and set it free.  The Queen Mother (the prince's grandmother) comes to comfort Prince Lee Rin but gets stern with the prince when Lee Rin pleas with her to get the royal physicians to see the king.  The prince protest there is something different with his father, but the Queen Mother tells him to never mention it again, especially in front of the king.

Standing on the other side of the pond, is the other prince that Lee Rin had a collision with in episode one.  With a dark look on his face, the prince deliberately raise his foot and steps on Prince Lee Rin's beetle that is crawling by.  Not missing a good opportunity to put Prince Lee Rin in a bad light, the other prince then goes to the king to tell him that Lee Rin has been spreading rumor about the king's health.

Angered, the king yells at Prince Lee Rin that he is not fit to be a prince since he comes from a questionable origin.  The Queen rushes in, incensed at the accusation only to be met with the king's cold content that he will investigate every men that has been in her presence to find out who the prince's real father is.

The tension and mounting suspicion finally comes to a climax when the king marches to Prince Lee Rin's quarters one night with a sword.  After killing all the eunuch and palace maids, the king turns the sword towards his son.  

As I said in the beginning I will be honest with the fact that I spent majority of these two episode saying "where is my Jung Il Woo??" I know they have to give you all the back ground stories first, but with this particular show I was just impatient to get there.  Having said that, I did start getting into the story and liking the king who seems to care about his son very much, so it was especially sad to watch for a full episode that same loving father turning into a monster.  

I am a bit concerned that Jung Il Woo will be playing the role of Prince Lee Rin, because as a child he was not an interesting character to me.  The child Lee Rin certainly had a kind heart, but that was about it.  I am hoping all these things will eventually push him to become someone great.  

As for the king, at first I thought he was possessed by the dragon god, but as the story progressed I wonder if it's not so much possession but something to bring out the worst of every human being.  ie. jealousy, suspicion and violence.  

I am not hooked on this show yet, but am willing to hold on until Jung Il Woo graces my screen. 


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