Master of Revenge; God of Noodles Episode 4:
Someone plays the piano and laughter twinkles throughout. Child YeoKyung never thought that the beautiful sounds of happiness would one day leave her, until she saw her parents’ lifeless body. Just a young kid, she had skipped up the stairs happily, and froze when she saw the her parents’ murderer loom over their bodies. Their murderer had made for her, knife in his hand and all sounds went dead for the young child. But before he could stick the knife in her, a mobile phone had rung, chasing the murderer away and signalling the shattering of YeoKyung’s perception of the connection of every soul.
In the present, the dead director’s phone rings like a bell welcoming them to hell and terrifies them all.
Sometime later, YeoKyung wakes up in a hospital. She recalls the events of the fateful night and reels. She heads outside and overhears a very inconsiderate and insensitive cop arguing with a nurse, demanding that he see the witness, Chae YeoKyung. She’s stunned when GilYong sees her and he pushes her back into her room, speechless when she demands to know what they mean by her as the witness. If she’s the witness, then who’s the murderer?
Back to that night: Myeong carries her to bed and calms her, soon after which she falls unconscious from stress. TaeHa stands remaining in the director’s room and stares at the murder weapon in a way that make me very worried for his sanity.
In their room, GilYong advocates for calling the police but Myeong rejects the idea, telling him to watch over Yeokyung. You have every intention of turning into a noble, stupid idiot, don’t you?
He heads to the director’s office but sees the murder weapon missing, along with TaeHa. Oh, why do we have TWO idiots running around this place?
Idiot number 2 walks out into the rain, murder weapon in hand and idiot number 1 chases him, telling him to go back in. Of course, Myeong can’t let TaeHa go and ruin his own life and says that he can go only if he can get through him That’s a call for a fight, clear as anything, and both go at it, neither holding back. Arrrghh @#%^&$! I just want to whack both their heads. What about that law about self-defense?! But they’re penniless teen aged orphans who can’t afford a decent lawyer, urgh. *Punches pillows in frustration*
Policeman-wannabe-but-not-gonna-be wins it and heads off to ruin his own lifelong dream. TaeHa says that he owes YeoKyung one and that he’s the only one who can repay it. What the heck are you talking about now? Also, he tells Myeong to go on his path (I think he means revenge) and be at terms with it.
GilYong frets beside YeoKyung as TaeHa goes to the police station and Myeong visits the director’s office again, narrating that when the gates of hell open, there’s only one thing to do – fight and win.
Myeong picks up the director’s phone and gets a call from GilDo. He low-key panics at that, knowing that if no one answers GilDo, he’ll come to the orphanage and it’ll be the end of himself. He picks the phone up, answering that the number has changed owners.
We watch as TaeHa is handcuffed and whisked away, from his dream, his friends and his freedom.
GilDo reads his papers as his right hand man suggests actively hunting for Choi SoonSeok, asking what the difference between bearing it and searching is.
Myeong searches the director’s office frantically. He pulls out his own profile and rips it off. Why rip it off! Take it off properly so that no one gets suspicious! He creates yet another bonfire outside, with his profile and collected articles of GilDo. He hesitates when he sees a picture of YeoKyung and him, the only one of them together alone. YeoKyung watches from afar and turns to go with a sigh.
3 months later, which is also when our ragtag family’s allowed tenure at their orphanage ends, GilDo walks across a barren land, walking through the ghosts of his childhood. The land that was once simply pissed upon had become one of enormous monetary value and he concludes that that’s why land is great – it never changes and therefore never betrays.
He meets with another person who talks a bit too flamboyantly to be just another salesman on a rooftop and asks him to take good care of him. From the transfer of one apple box from one right hand man to another, I’m betting that the “salesman” is just yet another corrupt politician.
Goongrakwon’s lady boss KangSook shaves her unconscious father and tells him to wake up so that he can see for himself whether GilDo will succeed in Gangnam or not. She laments that if he relinquishes Goongrakwon so easily like this, then it’s no more than feeding a dog porridge.
As GilDo sits in a meeting discussing the design for Goongrakwon’s new headquarters in Gangnam, dog-nose DaHee infiltrates a certain office as a water delivery-girl. She not-so-inconspicuously searches a staff’s table for some papers but fails. She sighs as she sees the electronic paper shredder across the walkway.
GilDo calls an end to his meeting and meets alone with the director. He asks for a secret room to be made in the new building, one where time there will flow at a different pace as the outside world.
As he gets driven off, Hwang tells him to read the newspaper and directs him to the report on the director’s death. We learn that TaeHa was sentenced to three years of jail.
TaeHa’s not very interested in meeting all three of his friends together. Instead, he meets alone with YeoKyung, telling her not to speak and just to listen. He talks nonsense about getting fatter and growing taller because he’s still a teenager and about making friends in jail. He asks YeoKyung for a favour – become a prosecutor and look into the case of 1994 assessment 5094. That was the reason for his dream of becoming a policeman… and the reason why he’s in jail. What the heck are you even talking about? YeoKyung cries as she passes their old photo of the 4 of them as children to him and he walks off behind the bars.
He returns to his cell where we see the other inmates fawning upon one leader. Flashbacks show that his roommates weren’t as friendly as he had told YeoKyung, collectively beating him up and hazing him at the leader’s command. He’ll no longer stand for it though, as he tells the leader. He only let them do as they wished just so YeoKyung wouldn’t see a single scratch on his face. Aw, the boys really dote on her. *sniff*
The leader can’t believe the insolence and orders TaeHa beat, but now that he won’t see YeoKyung for a long, long time, he simply returns them everything that they’ve dished out to him and he gives the leader special attention, one hard punch after another till the guards come in to restrain him.
YeoKyung leaves the prison and collapses once she steps outside but picks herself up. She meets with the other guys and they prepare to part ways. YeoKyung will head off to take her high school leaving test while GilYong will learn how to weld in shipyards. Myeong doesn’t say what he’s going to do.
The agree to meet 3 years later on the day TaeHa is released and GilYong jokes that he won’t be friends with anyone who doesn’t come on that day. Yeah, you all better keep the friendship and come!
YeoKyung goes to the orphanage’s ex-director’s office which has now turned into a police crime scene, though it’s not really as restricted as it should be. She checks the computer and sees Myeong’s profile amongst the files. She tears the internal hard disk away and runs out and comes face to face with GilDo.
She orders him away but he just talks about the peculiar way the director had died. He lists the signs of fear that are apparent on YeoKyung and YeoKyung, bless her, holds her ground, even when the image of her parent’s murderer superimposes with the image of GilDo now stepping threateningly towards her.
She runs to the director’s office and attempts to lock it but GilDo’s too fast and slams the gate open.
YeoKyung’s teacher and orphanage unnie storms into the place just in time, stating firmly that only officials and past orphans can see the records, so GilDo better buzz off.
GilDo tells his man Hwang to search into the murder and Hwang has the guts to ask him the for reason he’s looking for SoonSeok and to tell him everything, right from the start. I guess once Hwang decided to be a dog, he decided to jump all in, crazy master or not.
YeoKyung’s teacher tries to persuade YeoKyung to just live with her but YeoKyung rejects it, swearing that she has to live determinedly. She passes an envelope to YeoKyung, saying that a certain Daddy-Long-Legs sends money at the end of every month. YeoKyung’s teacher is to use that for the other kids.
GilYong walks up to a grandma who’s struggling with her load of recyclables and helps her secure it and push it up a slope. He keeps staring at the grandma longingly from behind and when the grandma turns around, he’s missing and all that’s left is a bag of winter clothing and an envelope of money. She’s your grandma, isn’t she? GilYong cries around the corner that if she had abandoned him, then she should have gone off to lead a good life.
TaeHa sits in his isolation cell alone, and when he returns to his original cell, the others are stiff straight and the former leader bows 90 degrees at the waist. There’s a new head honcho in town.
YeoKyung finally leaves the place she grew up in with a last glance and pawns her father’s watch off.
She reaches her new lodgings and opens her luggage to find the picture of her and Myeong.
GilDo sits in his chair, deep in thought. He narrates lies about the day SoonSeok’s family got torn apart as we see Myeong wait for a bus. In GilDo’s version, the fire had started on its own. The authorities had only found two bodies despite three people having lived in that house. Ha JungTae was his friend and SoonSeok was like a son to him, that’s why he wants to find SoonSeok so bad. Someone find me a bucket, I’m about to puke.
Myeong’s bus leaves, a broken hand phone left on the road behind it.
GilDo tells his curious right hand man that that’s the start and the beginning and commands him to tell him of his plans.
Myeong arrives at some dilapidated town, map in hand.
GilDo is informed that burnt bodies are hard to identify and are most likely used for medical anatomy classes. Myeong is exactly at the place that stores the ashes of those bodies but is not welcomed even when he poses as a college student on research until he offers a small bribe of cigarette cash and suddenly the old man there is all, “oh, how can I ignore someone who wants to study.”
Myeong finds the ashes of his own parents and lets loose a few tears. His emotional breakdown is seen by the old man, who expresses some sort of shock of his own and runs to lock Myeong in. Despite being younger and fitter, Myeong can’t open the door the old keeper struggles to close. Myeong needs some gym lessons and also, what the heck, old man?!
Hwang’s apparently a smart dog, since we see that it’s a trap that he’s set for SoonSeok. The old keeper calls Hwang, addressing him as “detective” and saying that he’s caught the criminal. Someone call the cops – someone is deceiving poor, naive old people.
Night falls and Myeong is still in the storage area, climbing bars like a monkey and attempting to break them as if he were hulk. He hears Hwang and his men arrive and Myeong grabs his parents’ ashes and smashes all the lights in the room.
The door to the storage area opens and Hwang orders his men in. Since he’s been in the dark longer, Myeong can see them but they can’t. With that to his advantage, he beats the goons up and Hwang simply watches from outside, steel pipe in hand. Still, Myeong whacks him down and escapes, hiding at the bottom of a hill among the foliage. He loses his step and rolls down a hill, letting out a yelp in the process. His parents’ ashes spill out of their cans and he barely manages to hide from the goons.. once they leave, Myeong grabs as much of his parents as he can.
Day breaks and he walks to a nearby stream to wash his face. The river reminds him of happier days with his parents and he stays there a good while as he imagines them eating noodles happily across the stream. He goes crazy with grief, asking them to wait for him as their images fade. On land, he places a bunch of flowers on a nearby structure.
Hwang the red-nosed not-reindeer and his goons see the flowers and he orders SoonSeok found.
From a nearby clifftop, Myeong watches them, saying that he’ll enter their stomachs since they wanted to find him so bad but he tells them to find him soon or he’ll rip their stomachs that he’d entered to come out. He means that figuratively in revenge-speak but the imagery is perfectly violent and angry. Myeong scatters his parents ashes as below, Hwang answers a call from GilDo, saying that SoonSeok is dead and asking if he’d like to see confirmation.
Sometime later, GilDo checks a dead body for a burn scar and leaves, satisfied. Who did you kill and burn this time for this, Hwang? Also, maybe he’s grown a lot smarter after realising what his master is really like.
YeoKyung is living on as determinedly as ever, with the picture of her and Myeong stuck on the well right before her table as does a post it with the title of the case TaeHa wants investigated. So does soy sauce thief DaHee, on whose table we see a new shredded paper article painfully stuck back together. TaeHa lives fine in jail and GilYong is delightfully smiling at his workplace that doesn’t look like a shipyard. Myeong the bum stands before the gates of Goongrakwon, swearing to become fiercer and colder, like a wild beast.
This episode was clearly a set up for the second act of Master/ Noodles and I’m eager to see what will come next. For a drama that has Noodles in it’s title, there hasn’t been much about noodles and I think that’s about to change. May the noodlest noodle noodle!
Honestly, this was the episode that drew me in. With earlier episodes, I didn’t really have much to say other than the obvious, which was so obvious that I didn’t even bother writing much down.
Before, sure, it was hard to see Myeong suffer from losing his family in the most horrible way ever but he had his rag tag family that was even closer than some other biological families. This episode though, we see him lose even that family and all because of an action of self-defense against an appalling excuse for a man and some noble idiots who may be noble and are idiots but may not really be idiots but are forced to be idiots, given their limited choices as penniless orphans. T_T
I understand why YeoKyung didn’t right TaeHa’s confession. It was already too late and he’s already in jail. They don’t have the resources to fight the prosecutors in court and before that, as penniless, under-aged orphans, they might not be seen in sympathetic light enough to get them off based on self-defense, if at all. It’s a bunch of orphans versus a “valuable person of society”. That was a time when the justice system was still terribly immature and when orphans were heavily discriminated against, given that they were not part of the perfect-image-of-society-circle. And orphans are still sometimes discriminated against today, with the reasoning that they’re of bad character since there was no one to teach them well while they grew up (which is complete bullshit in my opinion).
Also, the backlash as a victim of sexual assault (it’s not rape but it’s still sexual assault) may harm and stifle YeoKyung’s future much more than just having her labeled as a murderer. If the reason for the act of defense is revealed, she might be scorned (Korea’s track record doesn’t inspire much optimism in me). If sex crimes are still woefully dealt with today, what more back then? Honestly, they’re all excuses, since she could have turned her own self in any time but I understand the fear and the helplessness behind it. And the overwhelming guilt that she’ll have to carry for the rest of her life.
Furthermore, I don’t know if this was his plan (if it is, it’s a terrible plan) but TaeHa might be sacrificing himself to improve his chances of getting his father’s(?) case re-investigated since a prosecutor has much more power than a mere policeman/ detective and YeoKyung has the aptitude to become one while I guess he doesn’t. The condition for becoming a prosecutor is to not have a criminal record though, so TaeHa might be taking one for her for this reason in addition to payback for whatever he owes her.
This episode, we also see a crazy dog’s obsession with killing Myeong and it makes for a fantastic revenge-y tale. I don’t understand why he has to be so cruel but I guess he just likes tying all ends up and leaving nothing to chance. Ironically, that’s him making Myeong even more determined to bring him down.
To see the four friends go their separate ways breaks my heart in so many pieces that I can’t count but that’s part of growing up. Of course, I want them to stay together but their professional roads take them far from each other – Myeong off to learn all about his nemesis, YeoKyung needed ample me-time to study for the bar and GilYong basically needed to be far for his work – and I understand that perhaps they needed to be free from obligations in order to succeed in whatever they needed to in the shortest amount of time. People who can only rely on themselves have no time to waste.
And that’s what Myeong is right now – alone and chased, which may be the reason why I connected somewhat with his need for revenge this episode, since he had nothing left to lose or protect. Going after his parents’ murderer and the person who stole his happiness then becomes his reason for existing and going on when there’s nothing else he should live for and I can accept that.
Basically, stakes were raised this episode, which was what I needed. I could honestly see the events of this drama play out in real life, meaning that nothing is actually very much exaggerated or requires much suspension of belief. (Let’s try to forget about the ridiculous title.) It’s a wonderful place to be as a drama, but it also makes for a very sobering reminder of the evils of our society too.
I don’t know if you’ve realised it but I’m not part of Dramabeans (O holey site!) and am not affiliated to Dramabeans and therefore don’t write like they do at Dramabeans. I’m a bit more crass and snarky and I apologize if I’ve offended anyone here. It’s just my drama-excited self speaking. Yes, this website is called Variety Recaps (so unimaginative) but who said that I could be limited only to Variety-Entertainment? I could do a Variety of Dramas too. *Badum-tishhh* *Is whacked*