dangermousie: (Faith OTP by vierran45)
[personal profile] dangermousie
Before I go into what will likely be a lengthy and emotional post, I just wanted to thank you - thank you everyone who commented on my livejournal or posted on their own (and not just lj - joonni is amazing and I had a ton of fun lurking at soompi), everyone who made vids, wrote fics. I don't remember the last time I was involved in a drama with that much fandom enthusiasm and fun...actually, I lied. I remember - it was last year's City Hunter :)

I was very happy with the way Faith ended (I should have known to trust the writer - she has yet to write a drama that disappointed me), but I still feel bereft. I've followed and obsessed over this drama for 12 nail-biting weeks. I've developed all sorts of ridiculous rituals, not to mention spent a giant chunk of my free time on it. And now I feel empty. I don't want to say goodbye to this drama's world and to its characters - I don't want to let go of Eun Soo, Choi Young, Gongmin, Nogook, the Woodalchi shippers, Lady Choi, Jang Bin *sob*, and even the bad guys.

I am not so consumed by my love for this drama that I will claim it was the best drama of 2012. But while it might not have been the best (though it was still damn good, by an objective standard), it was by far and away my favorite. It made me cry (bawl, actually), laugh, swoon, and transported me into another, hyper-real, emotional, gorgeous world. It gave me what has become my favorite kdrama OTP ever - who knew when this started that I would go so obsessively, desperately head-over-heels for a modern Gangnam plastic surgeon and a 14th-century warrior with a death wish? Both Eun Soo and Choi Young had wonderful, believable, moving character arcs - they made each other better, they made each other the best they could be. Their relationship was epic but also organic and real - their quiet moments stick with me as much as the big operatic ones. A lot of the credit has to go to Lee Min Ho and Kim Hee Sun who are both so gorgeous it's ridiculous and who burn up the screen to a degree I've rarely seen in a kdrama (or anywhere else). I would have never thought to put them together (though I've loved them individually long before Faith), but it was perfect casting. I cannot imagine anyone else in the roles. I keep thinking about what Choi Young and Eun Soo are doing now (well, now being 1350s) - I don't want to let them go.

And of course there is the writing. Song Jina has yet to write a drama that wasn't good. She has done many genres and types of stories over the years, but it's the first time I've seen her do a romance. Most of her dramas have romantic threads (while wonderfully done - see Legend) in the background of everything else. So going into Faith, I was expecting epic and battles and politics and some romance in the background, if I was lucky. Instead what I got was intimate, interpersonal and so swoonily romantic, I cannot think of a single period drama (Korean, Chinese, Japanese or other) that comes close in the degree and importance of romance.

By going on and on about Choi Young and Eun Soo, I don't mean to leave out all the other characters. Gongmin and Nogook get their own growth arc and their own love story, that moved me immensely. This drama gave me not just the perfect main OTP but a perfect secondary one.

(But enough blabber, on to the last episode itself)

I apologize for the caps not being as large as usual but there was no way I was going to wait to get 720p raws.

DB's death. It might sound odd, but righteously angry Choi Young is probably my favorite CY. When he demands someone gives him a sword, and proceeds to fight Gi Chul, despite the fact that, while his hands don't tremble, the sword feels heavy, I felt proud. Is it odd?

Eun Soo telling Lady Choi she is healed (Lady Choi is as awkward with affection as her nephew). And, once again, she kills me, because despite the fact she almost died and was so sick, her main concern is for Choi Young - because he must have been terrified when he tended to her all night. I just love that she loves him so utterly and selflessly, because this is exactly how he loves her. And they both deserve a person who loves them back to the same degree. I think the reason she guarded her heart so much in the past (and did I ever mention how much I love that this is the rare kdrama where the hero falls in love first?) is because once she fell, that was going to be it, always and forever.

Unknowingly, Gi Chul reenacts the scene of CY's teacher's death and that cures CY's psychological trauma about his sword - it confronts his fears, fears he didn't even know he had, and makes him make a choice - his trembling hands were because he was uncertain, because he didn't know. Now it is all done. Because that is who he is - the protector, the King's loyal warrior, the man who will do anything to protect Eun Soo. Thanks, bad guy!

Even in his torment over Eun Soo missing, I love that he ruffles the wild kid's hair when he sees his wounds. Awwww.

Why are they so perfect? I am so happy that this is our last image of them together. I know there is heartbreak and despair in their future, and there is nothing anyone can do, but for now they are together and they are happy. And that is all anyone can count on (and I take comfort in the fact that when Nogook dies and Gongmin pretty much goes insane and gives up any governing at all, Eun Soo will be there for Choi Young - so serving a King won't be all CY has. Because he will have ES and their children to live for).

The scene! I totally cried. Yes, the aforementioned bawling. Because he is so terrified/at the edge of his endurance, about whether Eun Soo is cured and relaxes only a fraction when he finds out she is, because she is still recovering and is missing and he has no idea where she is. When he screams, I just - CY has iron self-control, he has never yelled (I don't think he has screamed once the whole drama) and yet here he is. And then when he tells Lady Choi that this is killing him. Oh. my. God. He really couldn't live without her, or at least hope of her, could he? Not any more. He could not freeze himself again, not now that she has turned him human. And Lady Choi's face when she hears that because she realizes that too. And when he walks out he takes his sword (!!!!). Because now it has meaning - not just because his old certainties have been restored (actually made new - he never had certainties of his own before, he just became a warrior and followed his teacher at such a young age, I don't think he thought it through. And then his teacher died, his fiancee killed herself and he saw all he believed trampled into the mud and he became like the living dead). He takes the sword because he needs it to protect his Eun Soo.

The scene with Gongmin and Choi Young. Where he tells Gongmin he won't follow Eun Soo to heaven because he found the answer to the heaviness of the sword (and CY clearly views ES's 'heavenly' world as equivalent to death - it is heaven after all. He is a very straightforward warrior after all). Instead, he will go and bring her back. Oh God, I love you so much right now!

Eun Soo discovering the third item, a cell phone. No wonder Gi Chul couldn't describe it.

Setting out to find her. I love how grimly determined he is. Because this time the reason for his quest isn't duty but love.

One of the things that strikes me about Gi Chul and Eun Soo's interactions, is that even with this man who is evil to the core, she still tries to treat him. She is a a doctor, after all.

She leaves a note for him in the inn in Hangul. I love that she doesn't even question that he will be able to find her trail, and that he will remember what that phrase means from her notes to him (because he remembers everything she has ever said or done, I bet). And the way he just closes his eyes, his relief to know she is alive and OK overwhelming him.

They find each other again! I love the way he takes out all of Gi Chul's underlings. I love almost as much that she uses her knife to slash Gi Chul so as to escape. But it's this scene and their deep emotion, and the way he almost cannot believe his eyes, and the way he asks her if she is OK and not sick any more, as if not daring to believe it. And then he asks her if she is going to be with him? Sounding so emotional and uncertain and grateful all at once. And then that hug. That hug. They give the best hugs.

I have no words for this scene. None. And yet I am still going to talk about it. I love that he is still going to take her to the portal, even though Gi Chul will be there, because she should say good bye to those she loves. And I love that she asks him if he can defeat Gi Chul (a theme that runs through the drama, her questions) because she knows he won't lie and what he says is good enough for her. And he says he can probably defeat him because he now has something to live for. She is the reason he lives, you guys! You know, I've seen complaints that Faith doesn't have enough make-outs but I do not get that - the amount of touching this couple does is huge by any kdrama standards, and unheard of by sageuk ones. I don't need to see them do the beast with two backs on screen (that's what fanfic is for :P) to believe they love each other and want each other. In my head canon, they have long ago made love, anyway. (Also, speaking from personal experience, when you are sick, no matter how much you love your guy, you don't really want sexy times :P Though for all I know, Eun Soo is different and they just finished sexy times and put their clothes on. The below moment is about tenderness, not passion. Passion is implied in every glance of theirs anyway)

Their happiness is short-lived when they see Gi Chul. Of course, Choi Young does his best to protect Eun Soo but it looks like it's the end for him. And as he lies there dying, remembering his moments with her, his voiceover kills me. Especially the part where he answers his father's question from the beginning of the drama - whether he found a reason to live. Yes - his reason to live is Eun Soo. Oh my God. You guys, I must have been cutting onions or something because tears tears tears. Even writing this, tears come again. And Eun Soo frantically tries to revive him but Gi Chul drags her away. And it's a good thing I was spoiled that this has a happy ending or I would be having a coronary right about now.

Fitting punishment for Gi Chul, frozen seconds away from the portal - he was unable to go through even as Eun Soo went through. The fact that GC wasn't able to go through really goes with my theory that the reason Choi Young was able to go through in the first place to bring Eun Soo, and was able to come back with Eun Soo, because she was always predestined to come back to Goreyo, because she was always needed to keep the history the way it was - to keep Nogook from dying, to keep Choi Young from dying or giving up, etc. And I think this is also the reason she later wasn't able to come back right away but went 100 years before - because she was predestined to leave those notes to past/future Eun Soo, to protect her past/future self and Choi Young. It's significant that once she was able to do that, she could go to CY.

She is back in Seoul only long enough to grab her back (with cell and notebook - aha!) and a ton of medical supplies because she is desperate to go back to Choi Young and try to save him). And she runs and jumps through the portal only to discover she is 100 years too early. My heart! My heart! The last time I cried so hard was at Queen In Hyun's Man - clearly the theme of lovers separated by centuries evokes waterworks in me. But I love how through it all she keeps faith. She keeps faith that Choi Young will survive somehow (and she is right - he will not let himself die when there is yet hope of her). Oh, and the scene with the video of her parents :(

And then the portal opens again and she jumps through without a second thought (what a huge leap of faith - she has no idea where she will end up), is back in modern Seoul and steps back again (once again, she has no idea where it leads, but she will try and try and try on the off chance it will lead her back to Choi Young).

And she discovers that she has jumped to the time that is 5 years from Gongmin's crowning (so it means it's over four years since Choi Young has seen her. It's unclear how much time has passed for Eun Soo). And you know what gets me - Eun Soo wonders whether it's OK for Goryeo soldiers to be in Yuan territory to be informed that Choi Young has conquered this territory from Yuan some time ago. And it hits me - he has conquered this so he could come and search and wait for her. oh my God. And she finds out that CY is camped out by that tree where they last saw each other, because he does this every year for 4-5 days (and yes, so predestined - seeing that the portal brought her to this area on one of the few days a year CY comes here). And it hits me again - he is waiting for her. He has utter faith and hope and trust in her. The amount of belief it must take, to come every year, especially when year after year the wait is fruitless, the amount of love for her, the amount of certainty of hope. My God. My God. I can't even imagine how he and she survived this time apart, but their love and faith (I get why this drama is named this now) in each other is so boundless. Time must bend for them.

And she runs...

And then. And then. I was crying so hard I barely saw the screen. You know what gets me the most in this scene? That there is no surprise in his face - there is nothing but joyful certainty and love.

And yes, the reunion was the one scene I capped in 720p.

This was my perfect drama, from beginning to end. I will miss it but I am forever grateful for the ride.
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