Mr. Sunshine Episode 12 offers many good moments but as we approach halfway through the season, everything feels all too repetitive.
“There is no future where we can be together”. Those were the painful words delivered by Lady Ae-sin to Eugene in one of their usual secret hot spots. Those kinds of words would typically provide a dull end to an episode, but it somehow brought back their romance. It’s almost as if both characters felt the possibility of not spending time with each other again, which spurred them to act more romantically than ever before. Mr. Sunshine Episode 12 ends with a montage of both characters hand-writing letters to each other, having secret lessons on sniper rifles, and horse riding into the distance to watch the sunset over the ocean. It’s all very sweet, but you cannot help but feel that it is definitely going to end badly.
The latest instalment of Mr. Sunshine was not all soppy, in fact, the episode began with American and Japanese delegates enjoying a drink together, which descended into chaos as the political intentions merged within the fumes of the alcohol. Since the death of the second Minister of Foreign Affairs, foreign affairs have become even more intense.
As the season progresses, it seems Lee Wan-Ik is the man that looks to become pivotal in the destiny of Joseon. It’s abundantly clear that he does not have Joseon in his best interest; there is a tie into Eugene of course, who had one of Lee Wan-Ik’s men captured. Eugene reluctantly lets him go, and he is still not sure why his room was searched, or how he fits into the bigger picture. Mr. Sunshine Episode 12 confirms that there is a destination, but it wants to spend a lot of time conclusively getting there.
After the thrilling end to the last episode with Lady Ae-sin and the Glory Hotel owner Kudo Hina fighting, Mr. Sunshine Episode 12 offers a resolution. The two women decided to call it quits and both exchange what they are both battling over; Kudo Hina wants the autopsy report regarding her husband and Lady Ae-sin wants the letter addressed to Eugene. Later in the episode, both women decide to meet in a civilised location – a cafe where they serve delicious cakes, which was rather odd. It was confidently confirmed that Hina is the daughter of Lee Wan-Ik, which kind of makes sense, as she suspects that her father is responsible for her husband’s murder and the atmosphere between both characters is glaringly obvious. Lee Wan-Ik visits Hina in Episode 12, talking to her like an aggressive bulldog, stating that she needs another husband quickly.
But the best moment in Mr. Sunshine Episode 12 is the revelation of Eugene finding out that Lady Ae-sin has a letter addressed to him. Lady Ae-sin demands that he reads it out loud because it is written in English. Strangely enough, the letter is from his lifelong friend Josef, the missionary that guided Eugene’s life. He mumbled the letter but ended on, “how it is going with you and the woman”. Of course, Lady Ae-sin knew immediately what the letter was referring to.
Regardless of the good moments, there does not seem to be much recognisable progress in the series. Gu-Dong Mae is doing his usual sinister smile, getting involved with all the politicians. What is clear is that the Emporer of Joseon is slowly losing his grip; there was mention of the pressure to relieve the Joseon currency and allowing Japenese money to run the country’s finances – the Emporer looked against the idea but did not dismiss it completely, despite the attack to their sovereignty.
There are, apparently, 11 episodes left of Mr. Sunshine, so I can only hope something drastic happens to change the course of events, because it is slowly becoming repetitive.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.