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 bag (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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Date: 2012-10-31 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] your-insomnia.livejournal.com
*wipes another round of tears*

Lee Min Ho looks hot as an ahjussi. That is all.

Date: 2012-10-31 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I have decided it is impossible to make that man look bad. It doesn't hurt that I've been brainwashed to like sageuk beards.

Date: 2012-10-31 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amandioka.livejournal.com
OMG this drama was so perfect! The ending was perfect!!! I mean, I'm greedy and of course I wanted more more more, but it made sense, it was really good writing and i loved it! I watched it unspoiled and my heart was in my throat all the time thinking something would happen... I couldn't breathe easy until she met the Woodalchis again in the ending...

I'm with you on this: this isn't the best drama of all time, but the pairing? It's the first drama I've watched that made me want to read fanfics! You know when you cannot get enough of reading/watching a couple? I want to know how their married life goes, I want to know if they have babies! Can you imagine Choi Young's face when Eun Soo gets pregnant? LOL, ok I'm going to stop now or I won't shut up about them today.

Thanks so much for the recaps!

Date: 2012-10-31 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Don't shut up! I want to talk about them forever!

I can totally imagine CY's face when ES gets pregnant. Awwww. He will totally be fussing over her and freaking out the whole pregnancy too :)

What this drama was (and too few dramas are, even objectively better ones) is consistent - consistent character-wise, thematically, narratively. It was like a visual novel, really.

And what a perfect perfect ending. The only reason I am not satisfied is because I want more more more of our couple.

Date: 2012-10-31 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] craxycat-76.livejournal.com
I got to give props to the acting in this ep too. LMH has seriously expressive eyes when he is going through Pain! Love! Leaving! Terror! etc. like in CH when he held the gun to his head Oh Em Gee! When he found her, the eyes were just a bunch of descriptive words that I don't have a good enough vocabulary to make a proper description, and KHS is no slouch in this department either. You could see how unkempt he was becoming trying to find her. He was always all over her hair, but it was almost like the more her being missing/poisoned/counter poisoned truly was "Killing him" as he said to Lady Choi he just got more haggard with his worry. I am glad that I watched this show a million times...lol kinda worried now that it is over *sniffle*

Date: 2012-10-31 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I am not sure what to do with myself either - sure, I am enjoying Nice Guy and Five Fingers, but I am not in love/obsessed over them. I can't see myself obsessing like this for a while.

Yes, I noticed that he was getting haggard and unkempt. And oh, his eyes are ridiculously expressive.

Hmm, what should I rewatch first, CH or this?

Date: 2012-10-31 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] your-insomnia.livejournal.com
Yup. It's impossible for him to look anything other than perfect gorgeousness.
But I actually find him more attractive as the years go on. He is maturing so well.

Also, I rewatched that scene (for like 20th time) and you are absolutely right when you say "That there is no surprise in his face - there is nothing but joyful certainty and love"

This is the kind of certainty and happiness that I really wished the story had given them. They've been through so much and just a promise of peace and happiness in the future is enough to make me content forever.

Date: 2012-10-31 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I think he is growing into his frame - I remember watching Mackerel Run and he was gawky - very tall but still too skinny/not fully grown into his body proportions, if that makes sense. Now that's gone.

He's got the bones/frame for a very manly look and as he ages, he grows into that and gets more and more scrumptuous.

I am so happy with where the drama ended - I can imagine them having years and years together, and family, and sharing their lives and just loving each other every day. It's more than I hoped for, but no more than they deserve.

Date: 2012-10-31 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] craxycat-76.livejournal.com
LOL well...I was already picking through city hunter lol and now I am picking through this show too. So obviously I am not someone that would be able to help ya choose lol. Oh I am also liking Nice Guy/Five Fingers although it works my nerves when the bad guys kept winning and winning etc, but they seem to be picking up with the good guys throwing their weight around. Still not an obsession though. *sigh* something will come up I just know it...or I'll get more productive with 'real life crap' doesn't sound as fun though.

Date: 2012-10-31 03:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I am hoping I will get obsessed over That Winter the Wind Blows (Jo In Sung was my obsession years before I fell for LMH) but that is not until 2013 and who knows if it will hit my buttons.

Jeon Woo Chi seems very up my alley (fantasy sageuk) but I dislike the lead actor.

Maybe IRIS 2, because I loved the first one and LDH/JH=onscreen OTP supreme, but Athena was awful so who knows...

Basically, it's all up in the air for me.

Date: 2012-10-31 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joonni.livejournal.com
So I come here searching for more love because I miss it so much already and of course, you are here with your post. Thank you!

I'm glad you also saw young's reaction as certainty that she was going to come back. He looked so calm when he saw here, so sure of her return. I was floored by this amazing faith he had that she would come back to him. And god, now I'm tearing up again.

And lucky you! You knew how it was going to end but I was doing a live-watch and I really thought for a moment that they were going to be separated forever and I was going crazy and gasping and screaming. Not a pretty sight at all.

Ah dangermousie! It's over!!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!

Date: 2012-10-31 03:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I tried to be unspoiled but I was literally having nightmares about the ending last night so I had to peek.

I don't know what I am going to do with my time now. I spent an inordinate amount of time Faith-obsessed.

I cannot even imagine the amount of trust and love it took for him to be the way he was. Or the amount of love and hope it took for ES to keep going through the portal.

Quick question - I know back way when ES said that the portal would only open when it did in the beginning of ep 24 or 60+ years from now. But that is obviously not the case as she came out a bit under 5 years from when she left. My personal explanation is that ES who wrote the times down didn't yet know about the 5 year thing (because it was in her future) but also because the dates signified when it opened on one end to go through (thus it would have opened for her to go to the future 60+ years from then, but opened as an exit for her to come from the past when it did at the end of the drama). Time travel makes my head hurt.

And joonni, your blog often kept me sane, thank you so much!

Date: 2012-10-31 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-klove.livejournal.com
Hey, Joonni. Since I caught you here, I just wanted to say huge thanks for all the recaps, and also the kind help and suggestions you gave, especially to join lifejournal. It made a big difference for me to be a part of the community and to share with everybody who is in love with Faith. I know you are no longer active here, but it's still great that you are stopping to check in. I actually had the same experience. I woke up at 5 and did my first ever live watch, because I could not handle the wait. It was amazing, because I did not really require much translation, everything was conveyed in acting. And I thought a few times they would be separated, too, but held it together, because I am still an optimist at heart. Oh, my heart was breaking into pieces and then at the end I could not believe how happy I was for them. They feel like real people! It's over, but I hope we all can talk about Faith a bit longer, maybe at least for a few weeks or months?? Wishful thinking.

Date: 2012-10-31 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-klove.livejournal.com
I was so obsessed lately, that I can barely find myself interested in anything else or want to spend time on anything else. With such a severe addiction, withdrawl symptoms will be severe! So I propose to have a support group. I was even thinking to create a place (not sure how, but you might know), where he can all still post and write about Faith and link all of our old entries there. Because I think it is really cool to look back and reflect and see the progression. What do you think?

Date: 2012-10-31 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I plan to talk Faith for a while. ;)

Also, so impressed you watched it live. My heart would not have been able to stand it.

Date: 2012-10-31 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
You can do a livejournal community - that way people can post and link :)

And yes, I don't know what I will do with my free time now.

Date: 2012-10-31 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-klove.livejournal.com
Do you know how? Maybe you can start it, since you have a lot more people who check your page. I just can't let go of Faith. I feel like there will be a big hole in my heart, I was so invested, it's just unbelievable.

Date: 2012-10-31 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wasabi-girl1.livejournal.com
The passion and enthusiasm with which you describe this drama is making me enjoy it vicariously through you (an screencaps!) I'm so glad you got the ending you wanted :)

Date: 2012-10-31 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottishlass.livejournal.com
That ending was so perfect!!! And you are right, while production and directing was flawed, the characters were not. I loved that it was just the love story between CY and Es and GM and NG was made the focus and that the political upheaval was the obstacle they had to overcome (instead of evil parents/parents in law etc.). They very much avoided most kdrama/sageuk tropes which I find both refreshing and soothing.
What an amazing journey not only for our two couples but for us viewers as well.

Date: 2012-10-31 09:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] algelic.livejournal.com
I keep forgetting that "Faith" is supposed to be some kind of sageuk so I keep judging it by romance genre's standards.

I guess that compared to sageuks, this drama had loads more skinship and whatnot. BUT I DON'T LIKE SAGEUKS!

Ah Mousie~ I'm soooooo relieved that "Faith" is over. Usually dramas seem to fly by... one minute they're premiering, the next they're ending. But "Faith" felt endless to me... I was just wishing it was over so I could know the ending.

Even though I wasn't emotionally invested in the drama or couple... I was somewhat dragged by the bandwagon because you and everyone around me was so into it. This drama won't make it to my favorites' list this year, but it's been a very memorable experience because of the fandom.

Date: 2012-10-31 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Heee, see, I am a sageuk fan so for me even 1/3 of the shippiness that this had would have made me agog :P

Date: 2012-10-31 11:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Yes, normally I love epic and political and all (you know my love of Legend), but I never realized that such an intimate romantic character study could be so amazing.

Date: 2012-10-31 11:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Oh wow, thank you!

Date: 2012-10-31 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
You just look into lj help section - that will help you to create a comm. If you do, I will promote it :)

Let me know if you are having problems and then I can help with creating too.

Date: 2012-10-31 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] usisblog.livejournal.com
I liked Faith for the royal couple and all that Fan service. The story was a bit...um...boring. The writer had a bunch full of strong characters, time travel, supernarural powers and possible interesting evils. At the end I felt sorry for our evil trio and for all that wasted opurnities. I liked how it ended for CY and ES.
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