It’s no secret that I was running rather lukewarm on The Master’s Sun when it first started airing. Was, being the operative word because after this week, I’m officially on board this train. Like, fist-pumping-in-the-air, grinning-ear-to-ear, heart-in-melty-puddle levels of on board this train.
The train sure took it’s own sweet time to get going, but golly, it’s now full steam ahead!
And as I suspected, it IS ALL about Gong Hyo Jin and So Ji Sub together. And the fact that their characters are moving delightfully closer towards each other in ways that are completely unexpected.
Like, the chaebol asshat a.k.a. Joong Won actually is HONEST about his feelings for Gong Shil! How about that. He totally cops to telling her he has feelings, that he isn’t made of stone, and all of her incessant touching makes him feel like how any man would, so to speak. (In a way, he just told her she turns him on, isn’t it?). That earned a fist-pump from me.
And how about this for more unexpected honesty, and a whole lot of subversion while we’re at it: the whole of episode 8 is just a prime set-up for a you-used-me, how-could-you situation. Our OTP go on a nice dinner except that Joong Won has an ulterior motive which you think is going to end in Gong Shil’s crying and crushed. But nope!
Joong Won realises–unbidden–that Gong Shil misunderstood everything and that she’s upset. Then he explains himself by saying he only did all this because he felt guilty about forcing her into situation in which she would be scared. He is after all, her ‘safety hideout’, a role he takes very seriously it seems.
Unbelievable! First, he registers her feelings. Second, he registers his feelings. Third, he’s able to articulate all this and then, he even says sorry!
And she goes, oh is that so? I feel better now. Let’s go catch ghosts. Done. No fuss!
And then the cherry on top–it’s resolved in a big fat swoony moment! They smile at each other, and in front of the whole world, he holds her hand tightly and says daringly, “Let go of my hand if you can. I don’t care.” Another fist-pump–after I picked myself off from the floor.
And the swoony hand-holding moment happens again! Are you all getting why I’m blown away by all this??
So it’s clear that Joong Won is no dummy when it comes to his feelings for her. She might have a ghost ‘radar’, but he’s got a Gong Shil ‘radar’–he’s in-tuned to her emotions, picking up all her hurts, radiating concern and totally owning it.
I love that he’s all but given up on resisting the physical boundaries that he himself set. Because again, he actually tells her that he’s already gone so far deep in this relationship. And he knows it’s crazy too. I love that moment when he bewilderingly realises that he doesn’t even find her talking to thin air strange anymore. But does he care? Not one bit.
Their ghost-catching exploits have not only brought them closer together but have made them grow as people. His relationship with Gong Shil may not be romantic at this point, but she’s no mere contractual obligation either, and he’s now willing to put her comfort ahead of his own concerns for the bottom line. That’s a huge step for Mr CEO.
And with him in her corner, she’s starting to face her fears of ghosts and sees a real chance at having her life back.
All these steps feel like the beginnings of real, hard-earned partnership that’s gonna stick. This show may have had it’s missteps getting to this point, but I’m happy with where these two are at the moment. It’s been such a delicious, incremental slow burn that I’m now savouring it. I’m invested.
Which brings me back to Gong Hyo Jin and So Ji Sub. In a word–MAGIC. So much so that for the first time in my drama-watching life, I’m shipping them as actual people. I mean, come on now. These two are made for each other. Have you seen their behind-the-scenes interviews? It’s crazy! Look how happy they are next to each other. You can’t fake that, right? Right?
And people need to stop raggin’ on So Ji Sub. Yes, he started out a little stiff but he’s relaxed into it some. Joong Won’s moments of vulnerability play so subtly in his face, it kills me.
I’m head over heels for them. And for this show.