Soju Nightcaps: The Night Watchman's Journal episode 1 [Recap]

Welcome drama fans!! Are you prepared to enter the minds of 5 women who've become slightly obsessed with the glorious wonder that is the world of Kdramas? Well I hope so, because we've decided to tackle yet another currently airing drama for your recapping pleasure . . . The Night Watchman's Journal. Join Aunnie, Miri, Taleena, Wendilynn and myself as we journey through this drama filled with suspense, fantasy and romance. We're quite a few weeks behind the episode curve so let’s get started--shall we?

Aunnie: Holy--Hello, Creepy-voice-without-the-usual-Kdrama-”15”-preamble!

Miri: Yes, Yes, Yes! The first episode provides everything a great adventure story needs. Brave king, check! Evil snake worshiping bad guys, check. A quest for a rare flower, check. Human sacrifices and the kidnapping of a beautiful shaman girl, check! AND Stop action monsters straight from the old Jason and the Argonauts movie, CHECK!!! All this and more, I hope that this drama continues to please and live up to the expectations episode one throws out. Don’t you girls?

Taleena: I love this drama with the burning love of a 1000% suns. I think I laughed and hooted and fist pumped at least 20 times. This really had every action movie trope in it.

Wendilynn: I loved those stop action movies. There was excitement and adventure. I’m so ready for this show. 

Firnlambe: It is shaping up to be a really great drama isn't it. There was so much going on in this episode that we might as well dive right into it ^-^


Miri: If I were making a Kdrama historical stew I would definitely add the spice of sibling rivalry, loyal servants, bickering noblemen, and a royal household. This “stew” has all that and a solar eclipse with flaming meteors!

Taleena: Meteors! Meteors! I predict that they will find some special ore to make a special weapon that will be the Uber killing sword.

Aunnie: Gotta give props to the Eunuch for taking charge and not being the sissy I assumed to him to be in his opening scene. (Glad he didn't bite the dust in the beginning)

Miri: No Joke! Just because he doesn't have balls, doesn't mean he can’t act like he has a pair. Thank goodness that all loyal retainers are actually loyal, and thank you writers for sparing his life because you did make me like him a bit.

Wendilynn: I was very impressed by the Eunuch. He was good people. 

Taleena: OK. If you have a snake on your staff you are bad ass or just bad. OOH BAD! Smoke monsters! I thought I left you behind on the island with Ben, Jack, and Kate. 

Aunnie: I take back my thoughts about the graphics . . . those black wisps are terrifying. Very death eater-esque. 

Firnlambe: These graphics are very well done in my book, and yes . . . very death eater-esque on the black wisps. I also like how when you’re viewing the world through the ghosts perspective everything is an eerie green.

Wendilynn: Just because the meteor shower was hokey doesn't mean they all are. I like the way they are doing ghosts in this show. Its very effective and creepy looking. 

Taleena: Epic dude throwing knives, amulet papers, rocking a face veil? I hereby dub you Jack Burton - as the quote goes, “Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it.” 

Miri: I just got to love the Jack Burton Quote!!! 

Aunnie: I hope those paper amulets are reusable. Think they can be knifed into ghosts more than once?

Firnlambe: If not, those are some shitty amulets. Good grief, I'd hate to be the one responsible for making them all.

Wendilynn: Jack Burton? bwhahahahahaha!! I love it. 

Taleena: Stealing scrolls! stealing scrolls! Arcane knowledge of bad news, things should not be kept in a box just hanging on a shelf. Not even locked in four layers and sunk deep in wax. Staff of Snakes baddie leaving a knife? That’s just BALLZ.

Aunnie: It must not have been well hidden if it was found and removed from the premises within a few minutes . . .

Miri: No Joke! Who does that? You keep cosmic life ending artifacts carefully locked away in golden chests OR like in Indiana Jones carefully stacked in identical boxes in a warehouse so that bad guys can’t walk in your front door and ruin the whole world. 

Firnlambe: Note to self future royal line! Do not attempt the “Hidden in plain sight” method . . . it’s been tried . . . and it has failed. 

Wendilynn: Oh, just because it fails repeatedly doesn't mean its a bad thing or kdramas would change, right? Frankly, what they need to do is put it in a “safe spot” because then everyone will automatically forget about it. 

Taleena: Queen’s giving the king a special ribbon will it : A) become magical, B) bind a wound, C) be returned off of his dead body, D) be a talisman of hope?

Firnlambe: My vote is on D) it becomes a talisman of sorts . . . not sure if it’s for hope just yet or what . . . . but it will prove significant later in the drama that’s for sure. 

Aunnie: I’m going with C--removed from his cold, broken body as identification, which will then be brought home and grieved over. 

Wendilynn: I’m voting D, just it won’t be for him. It’ll give hope to someone else. 

Aunnie: Okay . . . are we trusting mysterious little kids now? I mean, after that fight, I guess there are worse things to put your trust in but still . . . 

Taleena: Right? I am always suspicious of random children who show up after giant rock sentinels are defeated. 

Miri: Yeah I was thinking Children of the Corn not spirit guide safe innocent child. 

Aunnie: I thought the same thing--Children of the Corn. haha 

Miri: Specially because there was no path through the rocks before and now there was one; also because the King’s men had to file through one at a time. Maybe I’m just devious minded because all I saw was a trap. 

Firnlambe: No it's not just you Miri . . . I thought “It’s a Trap!” too. 

Wendilynn: Definitely though it was a trap too. 

Aunnie: Is . . . are we gonna call this the Bow of Destiny? 

Miri: Bow of Divinity? 

Aunnie: Bow of Awesome Serpent God Killing Abilities? 

Firnlambe: Divine Bow of Destiny for Awesome Serpent God Killing People? 

Miri: Perfect! 

Aunnie: All in favor say ‘Aye’.

Taleena: Aye. 

Wendilynn: Aye

Aunnie: That was one hell of a branding, oh my god . . . modern day Koreans would have a field day putting ointment on THAT wound . . . wow . . .

Miri: And don’t forget the 6 week hospital stay and out of court financial settlement! Oh and a humidifier! How can you get well without the humidifier? 

Firnlambe: Good grief I was cringing like there was no tomorrow when I watched this scene . . . I’m even cringing thinking about it while I type this out. Ugh--that had to have been so horrible for her, I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like. 

Wendilynn: Don’t forget that branding also meant he had control of her body as well. Somehow, I’m thinking that’s worse. 

Miri: Commence playing Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Sorry, that was the first thought that crossed my mind the second I saw the stomp stomp chant. My brain subconsciously filled in the song and for a second there the bad guys became a part of my Mind Palace music video.

Taleena: That dude must have a whole extra cave just for his wardrobe. Did I see G-Dragon wear that outfit somewhere? G-Dragon! You can’t be secretly evil. *crying in despair* G-Dragon = Dragon NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Aunnie: hahahaha, it’d be cool if he got into acting though . . . I’d like to see him pretend to be a Serpent God.

Firnlambe: ooooo GD as an actor //ponders// Yeah . . . I can totally see him rocking a few of those stereotypical self absorbed characters.

Wendilynn: I’m so glad I was not the only one who thought of Queen when that started. And as for GD being a possible bad guy, you mean you didn't know?!! 

Taleena: Har. har. I know it’s not G-dragon, but the guy blonded it up and wore a crazy G-dragon-ish outfit. Come on you know GD would wear that humongous hat.

Wendilynn: (Goes find the picture of GD in the big black hat)

Aunnie: Makes me think of SHINee in big black hats . . . that album wasn’t my favorite . . .

Miri: Oh I saw it! Did you? I didn't research the actors before but I recognized the eyes and lips of the evil shaman. You know who I saw behind the mask? The sweet secretary of Hyun Bin in Secret Garden!!!! Now I don’t know if I’m ruined for this drama. I will still give the actor a fighting (fighting!) chance to convince me he is bad, but I still see him giving his crush Ugg boots. LOL, love. 

Aunnie: I thought he looked familiar!! Wow . . . his lower jaw kind of resembles Jonghyun’s lower jaw so all I could really see behind the mask was Jonghyun--and I don’t know if I’ll be able to change that around but damn, he has some seriously good looking shoulders . . .

Wendilynn: Darnit. once you said that I had to go check and sure enough, its the same guy.

Firnlambe: I honestly never would have pieced that together. I mean--I see it now . . . but before you brought it up I just thought it was a random actor I’d never seen before. Though, I won’t have a hard time being convinced he’s bad lol he’s selling the evil look pretty well to me. 

Aunnie: Yes . . . Yes . . . those shoulders have ‘Bad Boy’ written all over his contours, and his deltoid muscles . . . shaded, smooth, tan . . . I’m sorry . . . I got lost for a minute . . .

Miri: Yes, Oh Yes! A dragon! I guess I did grow up in the era of wonderful stop action monster flicks, my soul laughs in delight to see a monster take flight on screen. And this is no European idea of a dragon. No Smaug here. It is a great rendering of Asian dragon art. And then our favorite secretary proves he can be an evil villain by hissing at the dragon! Love it, what a great way to show that he is really bad. Of course silver hair decorations would have done it too!

Taleena: I think I flung some red beans at my TV and hissed, “You shall come out NO More!” Then waited for someone else to yell, “What will come out no more?!” but there was only silence. 

Aunnie: LMAO *tries to comment and fails*

Miri: That’s because we aren't watching this drama in your living room like normal Tee! The little Jack Burton in my heart flicks the sign of invincibility! 

Firnlambe: Pretty sure the words that came out of my mouth when I watched this scene for the first time was “I am watching a drama?--right?” I mean, damn . . . the graphics for this dragon was top shelf quality. I felt like I was watching a scene from a movie, not a television drama. 

Wendilynn: The Dragon rocks. Hands down. But then you can’t give the Dragon God second banana graphics. He’s not a hokey meteor. 

Aunnie: Dude!!! Shoot the damn bow you don’t have all day. You think this guy is just gonna . . . ugh . . . yup there he goes . . . stupid stupid stupid stupid . . .

Miri: No, no don’t be so hasty to judge sometimes when you are the hero king you just have to take a minute to “vogue.” I mean what is a dragon slaying without a noble pose and your hair artfully flying in the wind? 

Firnlambe: I'm glad I wasn't the only one so upset at the damn King during this scene. Here he is . . . just gawking at the flying dragon as it's about to devour this poor girl whole . . . at this point I’d say artfully flying hair be damned lol 

Wendilynn: Dude, you do want the dragon killed? right? They haven’t taken over your body yet . . . right?

Aunnie: I mean, granted, I doubt we’ve seen the last of him but still . . that was pretty awesome. There are quite a few awesome scenes in this first episode so I’m excited to see how this progresses. 

Miri: All I saw was beautiful collar bones! Is it wrong to hope for a wardrobe malfunction? I want chocolate abs! 

Aunnie: I was really impressed with this man’s shoulders . . . Korean Collarbones though . . . highly impressive pieces of art. 

Firnlambe: Oh you mean like Bang Yongguk's? Yes . . . tis true--you can hold water in those things . . . it's like a cup . . . or a bowl.

Aunnie: I could totally dig sucking out of those cuppybowls. That man . . . its unfair . . .

Miri: Oh I am laughing so hard I might have to run to the bathroom! LOL.

Wendilynn: You guys are killing me. LOL!

Aunnie: The eye contact between the shaman and the King is worrisome. Uh, King, you took down a Serpent God, and yes you’re more than entitled to take a concubine but something tells me the laws of shamanism should still be observed and she should stay celibate . . . And also, that serpent statue . . . destroy it. If it can’t be destroyed, bring it to your palace immediately. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT let it stay where it is unless it is physically immobile in which case . . . move your palace to accommodate it. 

Taleena: Who ever said shamans are celibate? I’m thinking that wasn’t exactly the case in Arang and the Magistrate. The shaman was certainly drooling over the Magistrate’s manservant. they got married in that one. 

Aunnie: Of all the dramas I've watched, shamans are always celibate. But in particular . . . *thinks about what drama it was* ugh . . of course I can’t think of the drama . . . (Later on:) I think it was The Great Seer. I never finished that drama but in the beginning, I think they talk about how Shamans are meant to be celibate . . . I think.

Taleena: Yes but were they shaman/monks? Maybe shaman dudes are celibate because otherwise they’d, pardon the crudity, bone away their shaman-ing time. 

Wendilynn: Shamans are supposed to be celibate. Especially the girls because apparently ghosts don’t talk to girls who are getting it on.

Firnlambe: Those damn ghosts . . . always so jealous . . . trying to keep the “pure” females all to themselves.

Firnlambe: Are they taking the stone dragon back with them?!?! seriously? And then they don’t even attempt to find the evil shaman’s body?! Amateurs! Kdrama rule #565 Always double check the baddies to make sure they are dead dead. 

Aunnie: I’m glad we had this same thought, like . . . what are you planning on doing with the stone dragon? And . . . have you watch any Kdramas ever, pal? I also agree with the checking for dead bodies . . . when will they ever learn? 

Miri: I say “nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure” as one of my favorite heroes says when trying to effectively kill the evil monsters.

Taleena: How did I miss that?! Don’t take the dragon with you! It’s only going to come to life again a wreak havoc. *Face palm*

Wendilynn: Taking the Dragon God as a trophy is always a sure way to screw yourself over. The fact that he didn't break that thing into smithereens should have alerted his Watchman that something was up. 

Miri: Remember when you are the king there is no such thing as monogamy. Are we seeing a future wife or concubine?

Taleena: Yeeeaahh, 12th century Korean kings are gonna have as much som’pin som’pin as they want. And to be honest. Getting saved from a dragon that was coming to eat you off of the giant weird tree you’ve been chained to is a heck of a way to meet a guy. 

Aunnie: I have never wished for love to be one-sided so much as I am right now. King, please keep your distance and forget this girl. I just have a bad feeling about this “love” she’s feeling. 

Firnlambe: She is giving off the “I’m gonna cause you much pain and grief” vibe isn't she. 

Wendilynn: There is definitely something wrong with the looks she’s giving him. That’s not just lust. That’s “I’m gonna mess you up”. 

Miri: So end of episode one and personally that was a mighty big backstory for one little prince to live up to! I mean his dad personally created a dragon statue from a real live dragon by using a heavenly bow. I think poor prince better brush up on his archery skills and watch out for jealous brothers and sweet secretaries wearing evil snake masks!

Taleena: Wait backstory? BACKSTORY? I somehow missed this as backstory. Uh oh.

Firnlambe: Yeah . . . . that was an intense backstory episode. I can’t wait to see where they are gonna take it before we get thrust into the “present” day story line. 

Aunnie: That was all kinds of awesome for a backstory. It beats Disney’s version of backstories where someone always dies. The king got to save his son, feel like a hero and his right-hand bodyguard got to shove his pole-arm into the bad guy. If we’re talking about grabbing people’s attention and saying “You should watch this drama” . . . . . thaaaaat was a pretty successful episode.

Wendilynn: We have to know why Rin is living the way he is as an adult. This backstory is pretty heavy as backstories go. No pressure Rin. I’m sure you can live up to your Dad’s legacy. Just be wary of pretty shaman girls with neck brands.

Well folks? Was everyone else as pumped up and ready for the rest of this series after watching that episode as we were? We were given lots to think about. Does Rin’s awakening mean the King’s trip was all in vain? Will the King take Yeon Ha as his concubine and is our evil secretary truly dead? Stick around for episode two to find out more.

Want more from the Soju Nightcaps crew? Check out our blogs or follow us on the social network of your choice; Twitter, Google + or Facebook

Taleena - As the Kimchi Turns
Firnlambe - @firnlambe | Google +
Aunnie - Words of Aunnie | @asherette06 | Google +
Wendilynn - As the Kimchi Turns | facebook | Google +

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