Master of Revenge; God of Noodles Episode 12:
“When you’re face to face with a monster, you should never show your true self.”
GilDo narrates that monsters pounce on any weaknesses or desires that you show, therefore, when facing one, you should always beware and hide your claws. A monster fights another monster like that – a sentence that Myeong repeats.
TaeHa comes face to face with YeoKyung and though she’s shocked, she pretends not to know him at a small but firm shake of his head. They fight words before the manager of restaurant and DaHae who’s hiding nearby. TaeHa successfully drives her away but before she leaves, she shoots him a betrayed look.
In her car, TaeHa sits with YeoKyung, where she reminds him of the honest way he had planned to live. She demands to know why he’s right next to the person he called dangerous himself and sees through his lies. Liar TaeHa simply gives the vague reason that there’s just something he has to do there and without recourse, YeoKyung hangs on to his debt as the son of her parents’ murderer and demands that he leave Goongrakwon.
She gets worked up as she tells him that GilDo only got to where he is by committing crimes and that by being by his side, TaeHa is bound to commit a crime some sooner or later. TaeHa the idiot then takes her guilt hostage and tells her that he has never committed any crime. She should know that better than anyone else.
At her wits end, YeoKyung lays down the ultimatum that he either leaves the place or loses her as a friend and TaeHa goes all smart-mouth and says that all it takes to feel hunger is to miss one meal. However, he didn’t meet his friends for six years and he’s still okay. Friends – they’re not anything as important as he’d thought they were. *Heart. Break.*
At his all-important meeting, GilDo lies plainly that he’s never met Senator So before and that had wanted to meet Senator So simply so that he could help him in his nation-moving, meaningful work. Senator So spouts nonsense about the Hanja word for noodles representing the grabbing of water (more on this later) and it’s the same for politics. However, one can’t simply grab water with one’s own bare hands and instead has to cup them together and move water bit by bit over time (isn’t that still bare hands?). Soon thereafter can one then make meaningful things like noodles and rice (he means the cooked version). I got a little lost at this analogy, but I think he means that politics takes time and GilDo’s rushing it.
All these noodle talk makes him hungry and he asks for Banquet Noodles on this nice day.
As GilDo sends him off later, Senator So invites himself to Gongrakwon’s competition for the position of Head of Noodles, telling GilDo that he’s only free the day after tomorrow and that procrastination never works when GilDo tries to defer the date. He advises him that competitions should be fair, not taking “no” as an answer. Haha, and this is how one gets to stay in office for six consecutive terms.
Myeong walks with GilDo after that, where GilDo laments at how he’s gained a mother-in-law instead of an ally like he had wished. When Myeong tells him that he should just regroup and restart, GilDo bares his fangs and warns Myeong to stay beside him and never to stand before him. If he does, he’ll just become another enemy that GilDo will fell.
The timing for the competition gets relayed to both chefs, along with the theme. MiJa tells them that they’ll have to make a noodle dish with 5 different herbs and to pay attention to the harmony of broth, garnish and noodles in order to make one that’s delightfully edible instead of cruelly bitter.
Myeong chooses DaHae as his assistant chef and after they leave, KangSuk notes that all that’s required now is that the competition is fair. GilDo replies that it will be, for he will be overseeing the entire process from start to finish. Well, that’s like asking a cat to look after a piece of fish.
Good ol’ DongBae goes beside Grandpa Go and mixes some sort of brownish powder with water. He feeds that to Gramps and gets the bejeezus scared out of him when Gramps suddenly opens his eyes.
He runs to GilDo’s office, flinging TaeHa around like a limp stuffed rabbit when TaeHa tries to keep him out. GilDo comes out and rushes off the moment he sees DongBae’s anxious state.
Grandpa Go’s daughter is reviewing the video of DaHae’s confrontation with her husband and storms towards her husband’s office, ignoring TaeHa’s attempts to stop her. He therefore mimics what they’d called a fart-catcher back in England’s middle-ages and follows her around.
In Grandpa Go’s room, GilDo is manhandling the old man, blaming him for always creating a fuss whenever he’s about to do something great.
KangSuk spots a remote control on GilDo’s table, an object that’s completely out of place in the very room that doesn’t even have a single TV. Her random presses reveal GilDo’s rows of monitoring screens where GilDo is caught on screen seemingly strangling her father. She runs off to save her father and TaeHa takes his phone out to call GilDo.
KangSuk pushes GilDo and demands to know what the heck he had been doing to her father, beside herself with anger, worry and disgust. When she accuses him of strangling her father, GilDo knows for sure that she’s seen something, since he wasn’t even touching his father-in-law when she came in. Gramps chooses that moment to groan and moan.
MiJa rushes straight to Grandpa Go’s bedside, interestingly calling him “orabeoni” (the old version of “oppa”). The doctor doesn’t deliver a very good prognosis and even tells them that Grandpa Go shows signs of having been poisoned, leading to a paralysis of his nervous system. KangSuk refuses to let her father be admitted into the hospital on the doctor’s advice, afraid that he’ll be killed the moment he’s out of her sight.
While KangSuk assures her father that she has evidence to pin GilDo down, GilDo is outside telling DongBae to clean up and to never reveal anything. He then goes straight to slap TaeHa for letting KangSuk into his room and KangSuk appears soon after, detective in tow, to completely crush him on the basis of his invasion of privacy.
She enters his room and uses the remote to reveal his multiple screens… that only show the various TV channels broadcasted in Korea. She glares daggers at TaeHa and snipes that GilDo sure got a good assistant on his side. When the detective offers to investigate further, she gives up, knowing that she’s lost this fight.
His hide saved, GilDo starts to address the slap he’d given to TaeHa earlier but is cut off by TaeHa’s curt understanding and promise to never repeat the same mistake. GilDo asks how he’d changed all those screens so fast and TaeHa answers that he got a certificate for Information Technology Engineering, ha! GilDo’s very pleased with his performance and throws down his entire wallet and commands TaeHa to use all the money in there by the end of the day.
Outside, TaeHa looks at the wallet then turns his hand to look at the open cut on his knuckle.
YeoKyung orders her investigator to look for black boxes of the cars that were around the area where her injured person-of-interest got hurt. Noooooo…
GilDo enters his secret vault and pulls out the same brown stuff DongBae had fed Grandpa Go. Once eaten, that powder renders one unable to feel a thing, even when a fire engulfs him, and a short flashback brings GilDo back into SoonSeok’s burning shack.
Go GilYong arrives at Goongrakwon to deliver supplies and tells DaHae to stay away from him in case Go KangSuk sees them. He gripes that though they share the same surname, KangSuk’s so mean to him. DaHae offers to make some noodles for him as a Noodle maker and they hug in excitement once he realises what that means. Heh, she scolds him for hugging her and he just offers to give her a kiss if she makes it all the way to Head of Noodles. Myeong watches all this from a balcony one level up.
GilYong eyes go wide when Myeong appears before him. They relocate to some area full of vegetation and Myeong infuriatingly answers that since GilYong keeps coming and will keep coming to Goongrakwon anyway, they’re bound to meet and therefore, he’s just revealing himself to make sure that GilYong doesn’t ever get caught by surprise and gives his act away. Wow, thank you for being soooooo ~generous~.
Gilyong demands to know what the heck is there at Goongrakwon that all four of them are involved with it and scoffs that he’s there just because Myeong told him to deliver vegetables to this place since a long time ago. Huh?
When Myeong brings up YeoKyung, GilYong gets angry when Myeong tells him to keep knowledge of his existence from YeoKyung. He tells Myeong to inform YeoKyung about his whereabouts himself, if not face to face then at least through a call, screaming that she’s been worried sick since the day he got stabbed. I’m with GilYong on this one.
YeoKyung receives the black box recording that she’d requested and is completely floored to see TaeHa’s face staring right back at her, clear as anything. She keeps that information to herself and deletes the entire recording. And this is how corruption starts, no matter the reason.
She meets with Senator So when he calls and he notes that she looks a little tired. He gives her a hint in the form of the name Kim GilDo and tells her to search him out.
KangSuk enters her father’s room and sees that the surveillance camera that should have been there has been ripped out. She sits next to MiJa who’s by Grandpa Go’s side and pleads for the competition to choose the next Head of Noodles to be postponed till her father wakes up. MiJa rightly asks when that would be and while KangSuk is upset, she tells her that this is not the time to be greedy but to make a clear choice. MiJa asks what KangSuk’s decision will be – her or GilDo?
Gramps comes to and the first name he ekes out since he got hit six years ago is DaHae’s name. Wow, that’s got to sting. DaHae comes but he doesn’t say anything, implying that he wants the others out. That’s gotta hurt.
Gramps doesn’t go any further than “Cho” before he’s overcome by spasms and the nurse administers a relaxant to calm his light stroke.
DaHae leaves Gramps’ room and something about DongBae’s hands stops her. She tells KangSuk that she didn’t get anything from Grandpa Go.
Alone, MiJa tells her to come clean. She sneers to DaHae that she’s sure she’s hiding something and that there’s something between her and GilDo. She warns DaHae to choose a side quickly or die in this war between the adults.
With Myeong, she’s a little less uppity and shares the additional unpredictable variables in their situation – Grandpa Go’s return to consciousness and DaHae. MiJa shares her reservations about the girl, disliking the fact that DaHae’s an important figure to both Gramps and GilDo but she’s unsure whether DaHae’s even on her side or not. She instructs Myeong to find out what DaHae’s hiding.
Myeong announces his revenge plans as going on TV and showing the world just how lousy GilDo’s skills are, making him lose his job the moment he becomes Head of Noodles. After that, he’ll go after Goongrakwon Foundation, the cesspool that contains all of GilDo’s crimes and greed.
He later finds DaHae sitting by herself and informs her of her status as his assistant in the competition tomorrow. People here like to do things first then tell others later. DaHae complains but he manages to persuade her by offering to help her out in her test and helping her out whenever there are difficult orders.
TaeHa is still eyeing GilDo’s wallet and he drops it like it’s hot when he sees the disgustingly large amount in there. He heads to DaHae’s room and is thoroughly and rudely questioned by her roommate. Haha, she totally changes the moment he replies that he’s GilDo’s assistant. DaHae comes around and calls out for him, which is when Roommate teases them for dating at work.
TaeHa tries to ask her out and stops right at “what are you doing after work?” Lol, he denies that it’s a lead-on to a request for a date so she just throws that same question back at him and he answers it with “I just eat, wash up and sleep”. DaHae’s roommate is me because she comes out to tell DaHae to just dine with him, and that they’ll be getting nowhere the way they are now. Too bad the competition’s tomorrow though, since DaHae can’t stay up late and the not-date falls through.
TaeHa reports back to GilDo and returns his wallet with every single bill intact. GilDo is obviously drawing TaeHa into his circle of trust and orders him to watch Myeong and look into his background.
In his evil lair, GilDo concocts a potion with that brown powder of doom and draws it into a syringe. He wakes up messy haired, like a looney ready to kill and walks out of his secret room, impeccable and syringe of doom in his suit pocket.
He welcomes Senator So and guides him to the inner offices. DaHae runs into them and takes note of the odd smell that doesn’t even come from the food she’s holding.
The smell continues to bother her even to the moment leading right up to the competition. It’s not a common smell and yet, she’s already smelt it on three people. She almost tells Myeong who they are but Senator So and the others’ entrance cuts her off.
Down in some police branch, YeoKyung’s investigator searches the shelves.
Senator So and Goongrakwon’s three fighters sit and make small talk. Apparently, KangSuk majored in Fashion Design, which explains how she’s so ill-equipped at managing Goongrakwon and playing among sharks. Senator So looks pointedly at GilDo and asks that for a person who graduated from Seoul University, where did he get the time to learn about noodles? GilDo replies that he didn’t do everything at the same time, while constantly rubbing that area where the syringe is. That’s why people don’t put syringes of poison in their pockets.
GilDo excuses himself as KangSuk glares after him.
DaHae questions the five coloured doughs Myeong has made and he replies that Five-Coloured Noodles was the only dish his mother ever made for him. He pulls out a bottle of brown powdered herb and tells DaHae that it’s both poison and medicine. He had wanted to show someone that the same herb can be a medicine too and not just a poison as that person had used it as.
DaHae takes one smell of it and demands to know the name of the herb. Myeong replies that it’s “Cho”, from the root of the alpine monkshood, used in the Joseon times to kill people.
DaHae connects the dots and peels out of there, on a mission to save our resident invalid.
Yeokyung gets a call from her investigator about Kim GilDo, promising to send a fax of it over.
In Gramps’ room, GilDo pulls out his syringe and prepares to inject it into Gramps’ IV. Gramps wakes up just then and cries out, “GilDo-ya, stop it.” He lets loose a single tear, resigned to his inevitable fate.
YeoKyung reads off the fax, detailing the 3, 000, 000 won reward for the capture of thief and murderer Kim GilDo.
This show is very well back on track. At least, that’s the feeling I got when it was revealed that GilYong had been delivering supplies to Goongrakwon for years under Myeong’s instruction. That simple revelation shows that Myeong’s been at this for years and it isn’t some haphazard school kid’s fight back. With that, I’m starting to think that Myeong the better manipulator and monster than GilDo will ever or is ever going to be. If GilDo’s the ugly monster, he’s the pretty monster.
Sure, GilDo doesn’t shy away from the dirty stuff and he theoretically keeps his hands clean by making others do the beating up, but, Myeong’s the scarier monster in that he doesn’t show that he’s a monster. Case in point, when GilDo shows his fangs right after sending off Senator So. GilDo warns and outright threatens but Myeong simply keeps deferring to GilDo or gets close to DaHae, seemingly as a friend, and it is these kinds of people that you have to beware of.
Also, GilDo’s getting careless and showing everyone that he’s a danger.
Maybe rather than naming itself “Master – God of Noodles” and shooting itself in the foot, this show should have been titled “A Thousand Masks” because every single one of our main characters wears one or several each.
Myeong wears one constantly in Goongrakwon, unable to call his friends his friends and unable to lash out at GilDo like he dearly wants to. GilDo’s not even wearing a mask – he wearing a full body suit, having taken on someone else’s perfect identity. TaeHa wears a mask of idiocy in front of his friends and stupidly lets it slip every time he’s before a monster. MiJa and KangSuk wear masks too. DaHae… wears a mask too, with all the secrets she’s keeping, but let’s just say that she doesn’t know how to wear one and that her mask is lopsided. The only ones who are fresh faced for now are GilYong and YeoKyung, though I think the latter’s about to put on one pretty soon.
The people in this show can also be categorised under “snakes” and “bunnies” in relation to how well they take to going down and getting dirty. GilDo and associates are definitely snakes, along with MiJa and Myeong. Bunnies TaeHa, DaHae and KangSuk are just mired in this mess and I think, of the three of them, I pity KangSuk the most for she’s been struggling in that arena for years and she can’t even get out even if she wants to, since her own father’s life’s at stake, even if she forgets about Goongrakwon.
Also, this show is a little different compared to others in that even though the main fight is between 2 main leads, the others are getting sucked into their fight, whether they know it or not. Therefore, the main lead of the show is not actually any character but the “revenge” and the characters form the ensemble cast that serve to prop up this “revenge”. Everyone’s just as important, because that’s a web so complicated that several lines and ties will fray if just one character is uprooted.
It’s interesting that MiJa calls Gramps “Orabeoni”, because that’s like calling your same-aged friend’s father “bro”. I think because of that, it’s strengthened my belief that she wants Goongrakwon for its own rather than for herself. I mean, sure, there is some greed there but as a core member of Goongrakwon, it must pain her so much to see it fall so badly and we all know that GilDo doesn’t really care about it save for the power it brings him and KangSuk is so terribly ill-equipped to run it. (No, seriously, I have nothing against managers who have a degree in fashion design but when you don’t even know that your sales are falling because your product is getting compromised and even when you do, you don’t do anything about it, I’m gonna call you incompetent.) Having played the game longer than anyone else on Goongrakwon’s side, she’s well suitable for the role.
With regards to the Hanja character of Noodles that Senator So was talking about, I have no idea what prompted him to say that it implies the grabbing of water. The character, 麵, has nothing to do with water to my ordinary human eyes. The part-character on the left refers to wheat as in wheat flour whereas the part-character on the right refers to a round or cylindrical shaped object. You can read more here if you know how to read Chinese. http://www.vividict.com/WordInfo.aspx?id=1149
To give credit to the writer, maybe he/she was referring to noodles’ old name of “soup biscuit” because it had to be cooked in water.
There are also some things that I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify:
First off, cheers to Master – God of Noodles (or Master of Revenge) for being the top show yesterday as compared to its direct competition. But since I never really cared for that and also because it only achieved it on AGB Nielsen with a viewer rating of 8.6% but not also on TNmS Korea (where Lucky Romance reigns supreme), I’ll just leave it at that. Also the differences between the ratings are so small that it seems so insignificant, like comparing the heights of acorns. Sorry to be a spoil sport. That said, this IS the perfect episode to record such an achievement and I can only hope that Noodles continues on this windy, bloodthirsty path and takes us along with it. Don’t leave us by the road again, please? It certainly has the potential to be a cut above the rest even in viewership ratings.
Secondly, Senator So may not actually be a senator, hur hur… I have no idea where I got that idea, but ever since I started using it, I just continued, since there’s another congressman on this show too (and I will continue to use it). For SURE, he’s a congressman, since that’s what he’s labelled on the drama’s official website. The character description even writes that he’s an “over-sophisticated congressman (의원) who’s served 5 consecutive terms (well, now serving his sixth)”. I just don’t know if he’s a senator (상원 의원). I actually cannot tell the difference between the two and if I can’t even get my own country’s political system right, don’t expect me to be perfect at Korea’s. Sorry.