Mr.Sunshine Episode 5 crafts all the loose ends with care and balance, offering the best episode in the series so far.
Last week we were surprised with Lady Ae-sin’s fiance, who after 10 years appeared out of nowhere and returned to Joseon. Hui-Seong has one of those smug faces that you would just like to punch. However, he still fancies himself to marry Ae-sin, who is transparently horrified at the prospect. Mr. Sunshine episode 5 provides a memorable moment from Ae-sin, where she describes him in a few words and ends the sentence with “weakling”. I found it hilarious, and if it was me I would have accepted the loss and walked away. Not Hui-Seong, though, no. He is determined to remain in Joseon and flash around in his fancier attire. It is not that I do not like the character, but he made the love triangle a square, and within the context of the story he feels the least impactful. There is an issue, though, and that is his family.
Mr. Sunshine confirmed that he is the son of the slave owners that ruined Eugene’s childhood. Awkward. I expect this story to be explosive once it comes to fruition. Mr. Sunshine is handling all these problems at a slow rate, allowing them to circle endlessly like spinning plates, ready to smash at any moment.
Meanwhile, Eugene is quite calm in Mr. Sunshine episode 5. Up until now, he has wandered around Joseon almost panicked and not daring to break down his American persona. This episode was the character’s strongest test; the Japanese army comes knocking on his door for a battle. Oh, how they scoffed. This scene showed the real strength of the Americans when Eugene coolly asks the Japanese if they are declaring war on the US, which resulted in them marching back to their own base with their pants down.
Eugene is conflicted, which shows when he finally speaks to Lady Ae-sin whilst she is partaking in shooting practice. His entire character is built upon the pain he suffered as a child from Joseon, which inherits a community that does not look after their own. Politically, he returns to Joseon with American intentions, which is to colonize the kingdom. Japan also has similar intentions, creating a political conundrum for all involved. As a character, you fully expect Eugene to carry out the American objectives because Joseon has only ever caused him terror. Mr. Sunshine episode 5 sees his conflict revealed, as he openly admits to Ae-sin why he is protecting her, but at the same time asks why she is so determined to protect Joseon. It is love and politics entwined and battling in his mind, coupled with the depressing objective, which is to find his family’s dead corpses by threatening the ex-slave owners. Despite all this unrest, it feels obvious who Eugene will eventually ally with.
Gu Dong-mae shows the differences between both men in Mr. Sunshine episode 5. After learning that Lady Ae-sin’s fiance has returned, he spends most of the episode taking it out on unsuspecting citizens and even his own people. Despite Lady Ae-sin seemingly being the center of all these characters’ intentions, it is the politics that will be the driver for them to collide, and this well-balanced episode kind of gave us a flavor of what is to come. Gu Dong-mae appears to trade threats with just violence, whilst Eugene shows intelligence in all his confrontations. We are yet to be treated with a heated confrontation between the two men.
As all this unfolds Lady Ae-sin continues to mind her own business, whilst continuing to maintain the image of the aristocrat’s daughter. She must have realized by now that she has three men fighting over her at three different ends of the spectrum. It is impressive how well she is handling it all, especially as her supporting acquaintances seem very unaware, despite it looking glaringly obvious.
Mr. Sunshine episode 5 is the strongest in the series so far, crafting the loose ends tentatively for the episodes to come.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.