Joseon reaches boiling point and Eugene and Lady Ae-sin debate over political and romantic matters; Mr. Sunshine episode 7 delivers the most explosive episode so far.
At one point during Mr. Sunshine episode 7, Lady Ae-sin is seen learning the English alphabet, using that rhyme that we became accustomed to at school. There is a blatant attempt by Ae-sin to impress Eugene by being able to understand the letters at the beginning of each word. What a purposeful contrast this forms; in previous episodes, we have seen the same character hop roofs late at night in Joseon and use old pots for target practice. Learning each letter serves a purpose because then she begins to understand that the world love begins with “L”, which gives her some kind of breakdown when she considers what the word actually means.
At the end of episode 6 and the start of 7, Eugene takes Lady Ae-sin’s offer to do “love”. Saying that out loud sounds absurdly childish, however, in the cultural landscape we are witnessing, an American courting a noblewoman is a dangerous scenario – especially with the surrounding politics that Joseon is strangled with. The definition of love causes Ae-sin to have a sudden fluttery moment, and she begins to understand that love is more difficult than using a weapon. The contrast begins to make sense.
Mr. Sunshine episode 7 continues to account for the many elements the story possesses. Joseon continues to be held by forces trying to colonise, with America sitting at the side looking arrogantly pretty. The hotel owner continues to observe, gossip and plot her own story and the three men (Eugene, Hui-Seong and Gu Dong-mae) spend most of their moments thinking about the woman they love. Despite movements being made on all three, with little progress, it turns out that Mr. Sunshine episode 7 is the best episode in the series so far, with the most significant moments.
Remember in episode 5 when the Japanese army came knocking on Eugene’s base to potentially start a battle? The leading instigator of this small revolution is overwhelmingly bitter and decides to go on a shooting rampage after finding out that a young lady at an expensive bar is not Japanese, and is actually from Joseon, giving the young Japanese soldier an excuse to accuse her of being a spy and dragging her out by her hair onto the streets whilst shooting dead anyone who decides to defend her.
Meanwhile, Eugene and Ae-sin are arguing about what love means, which becomes sidetracked by the commotion out in the streets. These two moments form the benchmark scene of Mr. Sunshine so far, as Lady Ae-sin quickly reverts back to her vigilante attire and stops the Japanese man with two bullets. Eugene then shoots himself and approaches the shooter. By doing this, he created a political situation whereby a Japanese soldier shot an American, which falls into his hands.
This moment serves a turning point stronger than any other moment in the series so far, as it succeeds in politically and romantically tying Eugene and Lady Ae-sin together. Up until this point, both characters subjected themselves to leading, riddled questions, but no actions were demonstrated to prove their point. These scenes were brought together with such a precise flow that it gave the entire episode meaningful context.
The ending to Mr. Sunshine episode 7 provided a stand-off, where Eugene, Hui-Seong and Gu Dong-mae happen to stand near each other in the streets. If there is one directorial element Mr. Sunshine is obsessed with, it is shots of characters standing apart from each other and remaining still for a long period of time. Hui-Seong figures out why all three men hate each other based on one anomaly – Lady Ae-sin, his fiance. He then arrogantly threatens both of them. At this point, anything could happen; the tensions are reaching boiling point and Joseon is slowly coming under more threat as the series progresses. Mr. Sunshine episode 7 offered an explosive episode, showing us there is much more to come.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.