Mr Sunshine episode 16 is uneventful, providing moments of clarity for the two lead characters but no progress elsewhere.
Mr. Sunshine Episode 16 had its moments, but it was a fitting example of why the series could be much shorter. There were scenes that could have easily fit into the other overlong episodes, showing how the Korean melodrama does enjoy overindulging in its own story.
Hui-seong decides to make the ultimate and noble sacrifice and break off the engagement. It appears that Hui-seong is feeling guilt-ridden of his family’s past, especially with the treatment of Eugene, and knowing full well that the American is in an unspoken romance with Lady Ae-sin, he at least provides that gift almost as an apology. This was a defining moment because for many episodes I have complained that Hui-seong offered very little to the story but his breakthrough came, in a moment that gained respect.
Lady Ae-sin was transparently grateful; she knows that for the man to break off the engagement saves her face, however, her grandfather, Lord Go, is still absolutely fuming that she stands by another man and demands that this person she speaks of faces him. For an episode that was a little dull and uneventful, this was the highlight of Episode 16. Witnessing Eugene and Lady Ae-sin take an earful for their romance is the kind of moment we were expecting since the start. Mr. Sunshine Episode 16 at least provided a sensible continuation of the repercussions of calling off the wedding.
The repercussions felt severe, but then I immediately reminded myself that even in today’s society families are precious over arranged weddings. When Lord Go uttered something along the lines of, “If I had known that my granddaughter would do this, I would have taken my life a long time ago,” that moment hit me, as both characters knew that their romance cannot continue. I felt like Lord Go’s words were exaggerated but he was probably serious, which shows the severity and the risk of both character’s actions to enter into this romance.
Mr. Sunshine Episode 16 then took an unusual turn, subjecting itself to absolute soppiness to a point that I could not abide. Lady Ae-sin runs after Eugene to say goodbye and acknowledge that this cannot continue. I completely understood the need for this scene but then it went into a dream state, with both characters reminiscing about their moments on the beach together, imagining a life that could have been. It faltered the flow of the episode.
The rest of Episode 16 focused on the slow demise of Joseon; Japan has shown a strong hand and decided to issue their currency anyway – Foreign minister Lee Wan-ik threatens there will be war if they are not used, highlighting that Japan have war ships ready, with the army on alert if Joseon does not accept this advancement of currency. The Emporer gives in almost immediately. It’s been abundantly obvious for a while that Lee Wan-ik has little interest in Joseon, and is essentially Japan’s puppet. His war rhetoric was feeble and exaggerated at best, making me wonder why the Emporer would concede so weakly.
Gu Dong-mae also pays Lord Go a visit, making him aware that the letters he sent to scholars regarding the attack to Joseon sovereignty were never delivered, forcing Lady Ae-sin’s grandfather to send out a task team in the middle of the night. Mr. Sunshine Episode 16 may have been a bit of a non-episode, but it still indicated that we are going to get more fireworks.
As Episode 16 closes, Hui-seong is seen building his own newspaper company. It made me think how bizarre all these characters are. Mr. Sunshine almost prides itself on its own weirdness at times. I’ll see you next week.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.