Mr. Sunshine episode 4 feels more complicated yet the story arcs deepen to deliver a satisfying dramatic addition to season 1.
This review of Mr. Sunshine Episode 4 contains spoilers.
Is it me or is this melodrama getting unnecessarily complicated with each episode? It feels like every man that is introduced into the story has a peculiar interest in Lady Ae-sin. Mr. Sunshine Episode 4 raises in temperature in terms of drama but it is clear that this is a story that will try and resolve many loose ends.
Episode 4 begins with Ae-sin withdrawn by the fact that Eugene does not appear to be on her side, as he sidetracks her into an investigation. Eugene appears to be playing a cool game, where he keeps the aura of his authority but at the same time can use his power to keep having these riddle-infected conversations with Ae-sin. He once again vaguely hints that he is on her side, but she appears dismayed and understandably confused by his intentions. I understand the obvious display of politics and due consideration of the era this resides in, but I do wish these two characters stated what they actually want to say.
Mr. Sunshine episode 4 takes a weird curveball in introducing another character – the owner of Glory Hotel. She has taken a fancy to Eugene and she spends most of the time trying to undermine his connection with Ae-sin. Mr. Sunshine appears to pride itself on throwing every scenario at these characters, to see how they handle the pressure situations. By introducing this hotel, you understand where Eugene lives whilst he is based in Joseon. The men he surrounds himself with smoke, drink and entertain themselves with women. Ae-sin is clearly emotionally moved by the events that occur in this hotel for blatant reasons, however, the most important story arc is seeing a window into Eugene’s life, where he has had to dilute his culture almost entirely to fit into the American way.
The love triangle deepens with Gu Dong-mae still sniffing around. He appears to have softened slightly, buying sweets at the market and conveniently trying out the exact same ones Ae-sin was trying in episode 3. I am still unsure where his character is heading, but you can sense that he will end up in a verbal and physical battle with Eugene soon. In the context of the story, Gu Dong-mae is the opposite of Eugene, who after suffering has manifested himself into a cold-blooded killer to adjust. Whereas, Eugene has enabled himself to grow into a useful citizen of the United States and returns to Joseon with an element of respect. Mr. Sunshine episode 4 shows the parallels clearly, with Ae-sin feeling curious about both men.
Eugene does spend some time away from Ae-sin in episode 4, finding himself face to face with his former slave owners with an opportunity to point a gun in their face, however, in the same moment Mr. Sunshine provides complexity to the story, with Ae-sin’s fiance returning from Japan to everyone’s surprise. Until now, the series did not reveal the arranged marriage. There are clearly many story threads building which will meet in the middle by the end of the season. Mr. Sunshine episode 4 could be criticised for trying to manage many elements but it somehow pulls it off to deliver another appealing and well-made addition to season 1.