Moorim School: Saga of the Brave 무림학교
“Action!” This is my favorite episode so far with plenty of meaty reveals and action scenes that don’t disappoint. I’m sure no one is complaining that episode 8 replays the kiss scene between Shi Woo and Soon Deok and the bromance fallout that follows.
I’m positive that Chairman Wang Hao is the bad guy here. He arranges a place to stay for Chae Yoon. When he asks how the search for the children is going, he finds out that Chae Yoon’s son (Shi Woo) is at Moorim (where his son, Chi Ang, also attends). He is up to no good.
Soon Deok is confused about last night’s kiss. Why did Shi Woo say “sorry”?” When he knocks at her dorm room, she doesn’t answer. He sends a text telling to not skip meals and dress warm. Her first kiss, how should she think of it? Was it no big deal to him?
Chi Ang didn’t sleep in their dorm room last night. When Sun Ah joins him for breakfast he has little to say and she guesses that he fought with Shi Woo. It’s a tense atmosphere between the two roommates as everyone gets ready for the retreat to Seoul. Chairman Wang Hao is behind the retreat and has arranged for the students to stay at a hotel that his company, Sang Hae Group, owns. Chi Ang is caught off guard but hides that he wasn’t aware of those arrangements and adds that the family’s company owns the aquariums, amusement parks and more, and to let him know if there is anything they want to do. When Soon Deok arrives, the students are saddened to hear that she won’t be able to make the retreat due to her job and taking care of her father.
This gets the gears in Chi Ang’s head turning as he thinks of a way for Soon Deok to attend the retreat. He arranges for his mother to give Bang Duk (who works as her housekeeper) a “thank you” coupon for a cruise to get her and Soon Deok’s father away for the weekend. That way Soon Deok doesn’t have to take care of him and can go on the retreat. Stubborn Father is finally convinced to go because 1) the coupon is from Chi Ang’s mother as a thank you that his daughter, Soon Deok, saved her son, and 2) Soon Deok has never had a break to be able to go on a trip with her friends and his is sorry to her for that. In the end, Bang Duk gets her way and couldn’t be happier to get a luxurious all-paid-for weekend, and Soon Deok is free to go on the retreat.
The first thing Chae Yoon wants to do is visit the Chairman – the old, ill man who, eighteen years ago, gave him the keys to the Chintamani. In a backstory segment, there is a board meeting with Chae Yoon, Moo Song Hwang, and others in attendance. Publicly, the Chairman discusses what should be done about the safe-keeping of the Chintamani keys, but privately he tells Chae Yoon to secretly leave with the key. Publicly, the Chairman tells the board that one person should keep all three keys. Moo Song Hwang sits quietly during the discussion. He glances over at the Chairman when he makes that comment as if he realizes that person will be Chae Yoon, although the name is not actually mentioned. *Note: The old Chairman made a comment to Chae Yoon not to trust his friend and colleague, Hwang Moo Song, too much. Since he woke from a coma, Chairman Wang Hao has also made comments about the un-trustworthiness of Dean Hwang. Both comments play on Chae Yoon who is being led to believe whether it’s true or not -that Moo Song Hwang betrayed him and is the problem. It seems like a deliberate attempt, at least on the part of Chairman Wang Hao, to divert Chae Yoon and influence his memory of the attack 18 years ago.
With all those thoughts, Chae Yoon kneels at the wheelchair of the Chairman who is old and feeble. Chae Yoon grasps his hand, but the Chairman can barely open his eyes. Meanwhile, Dean Kwang sits in his office and contemplatively opens a box in which appears to be a key. “Why do I keep feeling like something bad is about to happen?” he wonders.
Oh, no! Monk is the inside informant and brings news to Chi Ang’s father, Chairman Wang Hao, about Hwang Moo Song’s daughter, Sun Ah. Monk sheds light on the fact that after Chae Yoon’s house was burnt, Hwang Moo Song went AWOL for three years. Putting two and two together, he speculates that Sun Ah is Chae Yoon’s daughter. This is all new and helpful information for Chairman Hao.
Indeed, Chi Ang’s plan works and Soon Deok meets up with the students and staff for the retreat. It’s all fun and games as the students head out for a night on the town, everyone, that is, except Sun Ah. Dad Dean asked tech genius Nadet to put together a GPS and drone system to keep track of Sun Ah. He has forbidden her to leave the hotel and has asked the staff to make sure his wishes are obeyed. Although she is very disappointed and her protests fall on deaf ears when she calls him to complain, she knows her dad must have a reason. Sure enough, Dad Dean has kept Sun Ah hidden away ever sincc the day he rescued her from the fire.
It’s painful to watch Chi Ang and Soon Deok be on such different pages. He wants to take Ariel to the aquarium to visit her relatives 🙂 and to get to spend some time with her. She tries to nip it in the bud, saying his generosity (for sending her father and Bang Duk on a cruise so she could come) is burdensome. He ignores her comments and makes like it was his mother’s doing. Soon Deok wants this to be the last time – she is distancing herself from him and doesn’t want to feel in debt – but Chi Ang is more determined than ever to win her now that he knows there is something between her and Shi Woo. “Don’t draw the line yet,” he tells her, and stops her from saying any more. He doesn’t want to hear her say that she and Shi Woo are an item.
It’s bromance breakup when Shi Woo walks in and says to Chi Ang, “Let’s talk.” In his anger, Chi Ang shatters a glass and cuts his hand, “Talk about what?” He confronts Shi Woo, asking how he could let something happen between him and Soon Deok when he knows how he feels about her. Did Shi Woo really think he would walk away because they were friends and let him take his girl? An awkward, “I’m sorry,” lands Shi Woo a punch to the jaw.
Soon Deok has her own problems and complains to Sun Ah in their hotel room. When Sun Ah realizes that Soon Deok is just going to laze around the hotel anyway, she asks to change places because she is dying to see Seoul. They exchange clothes and Soon Deok puts on the GPS wristwatch to make it look like Sun Ah is still in the hotel.
With her face covered with Soon Deok’s scarf, Sun Ah tiptoes to the lobby to sneak out when suddenly, Chi Ang grabs her wrist from behind and they get on his motorcycle for a ride on the town. The only thing is, he thinks she is Soon Deok because she has on her clothes. Believing that he is talking to Soon Deok, he tells her that he is just getting started and to come with him. Because she wants to get out so badly, Sun Ah doesn’t let him know right away that it’s not Soon Deok he is with. When they get to the bridge with a beautiful view of Seoul, he stops, gets off the motorcycle, and confesses to her with her helmet still on. “I was thinking about renting out an amusement part to confess. Or renting a yacht at the Han River with a firework display. I was thinking about just kidnapping you to China…they all seemed like they would backfire. Tonight I just want you to know how I feel.” As he moves in close, Sun Ah takes off the helmet. Chi Ang is speechless. She apologizes and offers to relay his confession to Soon Deok. Major backfire.
Shi Woo hasn’t talked to Soon Deok since the kiss and tries to text, but nothing sounds right. He ends up sending her the song he wrote and tells her to listen to it when she’s stressed. As they listen to the song at the same time but apart, each thinks about the fluttery moments they’ve had together and smile.
Students Choi Ho and Sang Man meet up with some unsavory characters who happen to recognize Choi Ho from school. One calls out, “Hey Choi Shuttle,” and wonders where he’s been the last three years after he suddenly disappeared. Choi Ho wants to quietly leave, but the gang gives him a hard time and takes his wallet, egging him on for being cowardly and a pushover just like the old days. When they start to rough them up, Yub Jung appears from nowhere and gives the gang members a one-two-left-right that sends them running. Instead of chumming with Choi Ho and Sang Man and acting like he did them a favor as a pal, Yub Jung retains his loner aura, tells them they’re a disgrace to Moorim School, and strides off.
Since Chi Ang and Sun Ah are at the bridge anyway, they linger over a cup of coffee and talk. Like a gentleman, Chi Ang gives her his coat to warm her up. She takes a good, long look at him, perhaps wishing that the words she heard tonight had really been meant for her. She asks about his wrapped hand, and there is a double meaning in his response, ‘It hurts.” Like a bro.
Now it’s Soon Deok’s turn to wander around the hotel. She runs into Shi Woo and explains why she is pretending to be Sun Ah. Shi Woo admits he was laying low to stay out of her way in case she was upset over last night. With the subject in the open, they hem and haw a bit, but he finally gets it out that he’s sorry for saying sorry after the kiss and making it awkward. Because he really did mean it.
On their way to the movies, the teachers are trapped in the elevator. Chairman Wang Hao is behind the whole retreat set up for a bigger reason – to kidnap Sun Ah for collateral and to isolate Dean Hwang at Moorim to get those Chintamani keys. With the students out and the teachers trapped, Luna enters the hotel, knocks out Soon Deok (who she thinks is Sun Ah) in the restroom, and throws her in a car. After a few minutes, Shi Woo wonders why Soon Deok is taking so long. He calls her phone and can hear it ringing in the bathroom – it’s been left behind – and Soon Deok is missing. He frantically calls Sun Ah and asks if she is with Soon Deok. When Chi Ang overhears, grabs the phone, and angrily asks Shi Woo what happened.
Shi Woo has enough of the Sun Ah/Soon Deok switcheroo story to call Nadet and ask him to trace the GPS with a drone. With Soon Deok unconscious, the Chairman’s yes-man rings him up and asks what he should do with the girl. Chairman Wang Hao coldly says, “Get rid of her.” Yikes! At that moment Soon Deok comes to and overhears that her captors plan to get rid of her.
Shi Woo runs down the street with information from Nadet as to Soon Deok’s whereabouts. He is stopped by a group of fans who recognize him, crowd around, and yell, “Yoon Shi Woo!” The confusion and chaos cause his ears to ring and he loses his balance. Chae Yoon walks by and notices the young man in trouble. He places his hands on Shi Woo’s head and says , “The heat inside your body is the same as that in this world,” the very words Dean Hwang spoke over him that time when he first arrived at Moorim. Shi Woo is stunned as the man (Chae Yoon is his father although neither knows that, yet) talks to him about inner pain and trauma. Hearing the same things that Dean Hwang had said to him, Shi Woo asks, “Are you a member of the Moorim Association?” Before the conversation can continue, Shi Woo gets a call from Sun Ah that she and Chi Ang are at the location where Soon Deok is being held. When he looks up, the man is gone. He takes off running to Soon Deok’s aid.
Soon Deok is dragged off by a couple of the thugs just as Chi Ang and Sun Ah arrive. A bad guy attacks Chi Ang. He quickly tells Sun Ah to go and find Soon Deok. With his marial arts skills in top shape, Chi Ang takes on the attacker and, with the adrenaline of someone who is protecting a loved one, holds his own.
Shi Woo sees Soon Deok tied up in a passing car, jumps on Chi Ang’s motorcycle, and follows in hot pursuit. He weaves in and out of traffic, cuts off the car head on, and rams into it. The driver flees, and Shi Woo finds a shaken, but unhurt, Soon Dook in the back. He holds her tight.
Chi Ang fights a good fight, but in the end, the attacker is too much for him. He takes a knife slash to the side and collapses. Finding Chi Ang wounded, Sun Ah calls an ambulance and rides with him to the hospital. It looks bad.
- Augh! Episode 10 is preempted next week and won’t air until Monday, Feb. 15!
- I suspect that the old Chairman who, eighteen years ago, told Chae Yoon not to trust Hwang Moo Song, has found out otherwise over the years. Although we didn’t see them speak, I am guessing that he told Chae Yoon that Dean Hwang is not the bad guy after all. Rather, the one he needs to be wary of is Chairman Wang Hao. That’s my guess.
- I loved the encounter between Shi Woo and Chae Yoon, son and father, although they don’t know it yet. But, they know there is a Moorim connection. I think Chae Yoon left quickly to protect Shi Woo since he knows the dangers of being associated with the awakening powers of the Cintamani.
- Monk surprised me, I didn’t have him pegged as an insider traitor to Dean Kwang. Unfortunately, he probably has the most useful information about the Dean and will use it against him to get whatever it is he wants out of this. Power, in some form, we know that. Ss they say – it doesn’t matter what the issue is – the issue is always power.
- I like what’s happening romantic-wise between Sun Ah and Chi Ang. I was on Chi Ang’s side in the bromance brawl when he slugged Shi Woo. Well, that might not be quite what I mean, it’s just that I get where he is coming from at that moment and can understand why he’d throw a punch. It’s a no-win situation, Shi Woo feels bad but not bad enough to step back from liking Soon Deok. After all, Soon Deok gets some say in this – ahem – and she tried to make it clear to Chi Ang that she didn’t have feelings for him, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, he’s making it his fight between him and Shi Woo, which is misguided and unfair to both Shi Woo and Soon Deok. But, that is something that he has to work through, and right now, he’s feeling betrayed by his best friend and wanting to win over the girl he likes.
- I am so looking forward to when Chae Yoon meets Joon and Young (Shi Woo and Sun Ah). I also think Dean Hwang will be heartbroken to return Sun Ah to her father, but will remain in her life as the close uncle who saved and raised her.
- I am still wondering who Luna and Dong Goo – Chairman Wang Hao’s yes-team- are. (Dong Goo orchestrated the power-out in the hotel and Luna knocked out and kidnapped Soon Deok.)
- Rushing Chi Ang to the OR is a heart-stopping cliffhanger and we have to wait TWO WEEKS for to find out what happens!!
- Finally, I just realized that Chae Yoon is Shin Sung Woo – Mama Shin from Roommate, season 1!
- Have there been any surprises for you? Leave a comment!