The Master’s Sun Delivers a Big Twist in Episode 12 Mashed Up from Three Other Dramas

I don’t know why I bothered, but over the Summer I read Dan Brown’s latest Inferno and it was as painstakingly researched as his prior hits like The Da Vinci Code but equally as soulless as the follow up to that The Lost Symbol. The man is a talented gripping writer for sure, but he’s sunk to the depths of what I call “milking it”, the shallow tide pool of warm waters and lots of money where he applies the same formula with slightly different ingredients and churns out another carbon copy hit. As popcorn entertainment its light years ahead of the dreck written by less talented writers, but as a reader I’m struck by the sense of disillusionment and a feeling of mild manipulation. Am I really that easy to sell things to that I’ll be offered a re-packaged same item and happily consume it? When episode 12 of The Master’s Sun ended, that very same feeling came over me. I’m sticking with this drama because of So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin, happy for their chance to work together, and pleased their hard work is garnering good ratings. But aside from them, TMS feels so empty to me – a sleek shell filled with re-packaged goods that are now stale from sitting too long on the shelf. The end of episode 12 might’ve worked better if it didn’t simultaneously mash together very important turning point plot developments in three other dramas, namely Secret Garden, the Hong Sisters own Best Love, and let’s not forget Who Are You just did it already. I fully understand TMS can be a very entertaining watch for viewers, and my issues are really with the Hong Sisters at this point and nothing else. I still think So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin’s chemistry is stuck at that sweet spot of just very good while their real life interactions seem to hint at the possibility for nuclear strike level heat. I almost wish I could stick the two of them in room and have them act out a one-act with no script and just the two of them ad-libbing a scene. In many respects, this coupling is turning out to be the redux of Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won in SG – solid but not spectacular chemistry but stuck with very shallowly constructed characters and asked to spit out dialogue that is mostly noise-filler, with all that potential untapped for something truly heartwrenchingly good and not derivative emotional bait.

So at the end of episode 12 – Joogun takes a knife to the back to protect Taeyang and he’s rushed to the hospital. As she waits in the corridor while he’s in surgery, a shadow walks up to her and she raises her head to see Joogun. She gets up in shock and starts repeating “no, no no no….” Joogun calmly notes that she was right, she does shine brightly (to a ghost). He asks if he’s dead, and says it’s such a waste. But then he is pleased hat his woman can see him. And then Joogun says “I love you” to Taeyang. I wish this scene could make me cry, because narratively it was seamless within the context of a drama where the heroine can see ghosts. Yes, at some point having her see the ghost of the guy she likes is wonderfully poignant. But unlike in Who Are You, where the entire time the heroine (and us) really thought the ghost is dead, here TMS has already introduced the ghost of the comatose woman so we know Joogun doesn’t have to be dead to spiritually appear before Taeyang. But it’s also without any stakes because Joogun can hardly die for real since there is still four more episodes to go. Not to mention the stabbing was just so manufactured a scenario and could be substituted for any type of injury that could be potentially life threatening.

Despite having issues with both Secret Garden and Best Love, when the life-and-death moment came in those two dramas I was sobbing like a loon. In SG, I didn’t necessarily think Joo Won would die in lieu of Ra Im, but I totally connected with his sacrifice to do so, the moment when he truly understood what it meant to love someone completely. The whole fairy dad hoodoo to undo it all was ridiculous, but the body switch in the convertible heading into the storm execution was incredible and absolutely gutwrenching. In Best Love, where Gong Hyo Jin already did her cry-while-my-guy-is-in-surgery bit, there really was the possibility that Dokko Jin would die. His heart condition was presented front and center since episode 1, and everything between led was predicated on it and led up to the big surgery. When she sat outside the hospital and sang for him while he was in surgery, I was sobbing and cursing the drama gods. That is a good execution of a high stakes moment, where even if the viewer knows that the lead can’t possibly die, the drama has already built up all the emotional connection and investment that even watching it onscreen can trigger the natural tear ducts. I think the Hong Sisters could have delivered this twist better by not blatantly ripping off other works (and even their own), even if it was nicely performed by So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin.


The Master’s Sun Delivers a Big Twist in Episode 12 Mashed Up from Three Other Dramas — 50 Comments

  1. l hope in the end, they wont be like the books of wolf and goat where they cant be together. Only 4 eps left in 2 weeks time and Hae Joo’s matter has not resolved yet. And Kang Woo and YR has no progression as yet. l hope the ending would be like SG or Best love, in other words, pls let them together so that l can smile when its end!!

  2. I find that funny that the 2 groups of viewers for WAY and MS reacted differently at the same scene. For WAY, we were all “Whatever. What is there to eat tonight? Oh, the actress reaction is a bit exagerated by the way…” while the MS watchers seem to be all panicked and angry at the “cliffhanger”.
    That trick is just so mechanical, overdone and predictable. Boring basically. That won’t disturb my sleep. Lol.

  3. THANK YOU! I have not been able to put my finger on why I am frustrated with this show, even as I admire the work that SJS and GHJ are doing. That kiss was the last straw, I was so annoyed with it, and now I know why: lazy storytelling is allowing these fine actors to phone it in instead of peeling away the layers and giving us something open and honest that really demonstrates some nuggets of truth about love and hopefully the human condition. It does feel like there’s a great story to tell with these two characters – but it is around the corner, in the other room, while we get the laugh-track version you tell the visiting grannies in the parlor.

    • I hated the kiss at the end of episode 11. WTF was that? I can’t believe TMS wasted hot kisser SJS so that he could basically do an anemic Boys Before Flowers or You’re Beautiful teeny bopper lip press kisses. A million times ANDWE!

      • Hong sister kissing scene history is not that impressive though. Hong sister should watch several so ji sub past project

    • Yeah the kissing scenes are a little grade school in Hong Sister dramas, but of all their dramas I thought that Best Love had some of the best kissing scenes.

    • I don’t understand why some shows give us good kissing, but not ALL shows?
      It’s not just a cable thing, because M2F had at least one really good kiss.
      I don’t understand. This means they CHOOSE to have a bad kiss?
      On purpose? What does this tell us about the characters? They have no sex drive? Why do I want to see sexless people have not sex?

      The best kisses are soft and tender and sweet and stop time.
      Remember the little peck in the car in Queen In-hyun’s man? I think I will go watch it for the millionth time.

      • last year, QIHM honest simple kiss warm my heart. this year, YTBLSS JoU simple and meaningful kiss catch my attention. i dont need longer kiss just simple and sweet like JJS-IU have in the car. and the scene is ad-lib.

      • QIHM was just Yoo In Na and Ji Hyun Woo kissing. I don’t even see their characters anymore when I re-watch it, LOL.

  4. I have to say I was like; When, why, noooooo…
    It is basically drama cliche, would be better if we didn’t see the water ghost or not…
    Now, I am wondering can he possess GS.., it would be fun to see, and can he meet CHJ in spiritual world now?.

  5. I’ve watched so many K-dramas now that sometimes the plots all kind of blend together, so I’m okay with the recycled plot of the hero getting hurt while protecting his girl. I just enjoyed watching the performances of So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin in the last scene of Ep. 12. But now I’m left wondering what the Hong sisters will do with Joogun in the next episode. Will he be able to see ghosts now, will he remember his out of body experience, or will nothing really come of this plot twist? All I ask of the Hong sisters is to please not give Joong Won some kind of amnesia and don’t let Gong Shil do the whole noble idiocracy and start pushing him away because she thinks she’ll be endangering his life with her ghosty missions. I would love to see them just acknowledge that they love each other and her nursing him back to health.

  6. Oh god… We know hong sister is not so good write something angst. They should realise that’s not their main strength and learn to write a story with angst free from start to finish.

    • That’s what they are doing. Hello….”horror comedy”. ..didn’t anyone get the memo? This drama is for enjoyment only, not to be taken to heart. I know where the whole ghost thing at the end of 12 is going; he’s gonna solve his past and then for the last week of the show, she may finally have a bad ghost trying to take over her body permanently.

  7. I don’t get Best love and Secret garden love tbh.

    I dislike both dramas and yet you say it is like MS.

    I disagre, at least with MS I can understand why both fell in love, and understand why Taeyang would fall for JW.

    On secret garden and Best love I couldn’t tbh. I hated them with passion…. secret garden was the drama that reeally annoyed me.

    • You missed my point completely. I did not say TMS is like Best Love or Secret Garden the dramas as a whole. I said it lifted entire plot twists from both those dramas, in a mash-up that didn’t effectively deliver the emotional angst, unlike those two dramas which did for that particular plot twist. I don’t like SG either and BL was a drama that worked in the moment but not on rewatch. But ultimately the Sisters are just coming off as insincere AND repetitive in TMS which is buoyed only by having two fantastic lead actors.

  8. I really enjoyed the drama between episodes 6-10. The past two episodes I feel like there’s something missing.. Or maybe I just enjoyed watching the BTS too much. Is SJS really a good kisser? I kinda lowered my expectations after reading several people voicing their concern about his kissing abilities (heh), but after watching him in action (or rather his inaction) in the drama, I still got more than just a little disappointed..

    As for the ending scene of Episode 12, having not read Inferno, nor watched Secret Garden or Who Are You, I was effectively crying out “Noooooo!” during that whole ordeal. I guess whatever the issues i have with the failed romantic scenes, GHJ is still effective in the dramatic ones so she never fails to bring out the sobs out of me.

  9. In SG, I was most affected by the scene between Jo Won and Oska, when JW gave away all his possessions that Oska lasted after. At times I thought cousins’ chemistry was more powerful than chemistry between Ra Im and JW.

    In TMS, I feel like I was groomed for this twist throughout the show, so it was not unexpected. So many possibilities! He now can talk to the ghost of the dead girlfriend and find out the truth about kidnapping. Of course, there will be amnesia, the required turn in every kdrama.

    I know I have to eat healthy, wholesome foods with proper nutrition but I do love Death by Chocolate cake and TMS is that kdrama cake for me. I love it, predictable or not, it flows, it’s pretty, and it’s fun to watch.

  10. I cried, even though I am pretty sure she fell asleep outside the Operation Room (That’s a thing?) and dreamt it.
    Meaning, JW as Coma-ghost, visited her in a dream to tell her he loves her, no hedging this time.

    It was touching to me because this was the first time she considered that he could really die. Having spent the last years comforting the souls that past, and trying to communicate to the loved ones left behind the very thing Coma-JW just told her. Remember how choked up she got watching them all poof away up to the clouds.

    When she wakes up, and sees he’s not dead yet, she will finally admit her feelings.

    • I cried too Jomo. The first time I cried in the whole 12 episodes.
      I agree with you I think she was just dreaming. Nonetheless it’s an important moment because she’ll finally realize that he really loves her and at the same time learning how much he really means to her. No more denial please.

      On a side note: I kind of understand what Koala says. Episode 11 felt flat to me and I was rather annoyed with it. But this episode reminds me again that I do love the Master’s Sun even with the sometimes good and not so goo episodes.

      • Almost never saw you replying to comments so much. Koala, did you see a comment section for this episode on dramabeans? It exploded, more than 600, and keeps going. I don’t remember even finale generating such strong response.

        On a side note, your memory is too good! Wait a few decades, and everything would be fresh and new, lol.

      • That is why I need a good T drama to watch soon!

        Do you remember in Sleepless in Seattle Meg Ryan’s friend yells at her about how she wants to be in love:

        “A movie! That’s your problem! You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.”

        It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to fall in love…with a drama and that feelings lasts and lasts…well, at least until a new one comes along, then another, and another…SIGH…
        Basically, we get to re-read and re-experience our favorite book for ever…
        These dramas are just different enough where you don’t know exactly everything that is going to happen, and each OTP has their own elements we love, too.

  11. I see your point but I’ve come to realize that I don’t particularly watch k-dramas for originality. Most of these shows have the same basic cliches and sure, it’s great when they have a spin on it (which I feel MS has done in certain instances). If I wanted some shock-value, I’d probably stick to American shows. I like the predictability and giggly feels I get from these shows. But again, that’s what drew me to k-dramas and it’s not the same for everyone. Plus I don’t recall the Hong sisters claiming that they would change up their tried and (mostly) true storytelling tactics.

    I love this show and perhaps that hinges on the chemistry between GHJ and SJS (who are phenomenal!). I’m not too concerned about picking apart the cliches and moments, just enjoying how silly they make me feel lol. But, I do appreciate learning things I didn’t notice. The dramabeans comments also have long analysis of each episode, it’s awesome! 😀

  12. As i was watching this drama (I was like What the F just happened to my freaking main lead) Then again, he couldn’t have possibly died because if he did the drama pretty much is over and we still have 6 more episodes to go. I do like the show, although at the beginning I was a little hesitant because of the ghost premise. However, I continued to watch as they are the Hong sisters drama. I find it not so bad. However, I do see the resemblance of the main male lead (SJS)to be similar to Best Love’s male lead. However, I would hate it if the ending of this drama became weird.

  13. Miss Koala…I really think you need to let go of your animosity towards the Hong Sisters. It’s really keeping you from enjoying a great show. It’s really fun and even if it’s predictable at times watching how it’s played out is fun to do.

  14. I kind of see your point but I think the majority of people who enjoy the Hong sisters work aren’t looking for a profound statement about love and life.
    I love this drama because I don’t hate any of the characters and it consistently makes me laugh. I think I could watch that scene of the 3 men singing that ridiculous song 100 times. There are a lot of dramas I just quit watching because the villains where taking too much screen time and stressing me out. Sometimes I just don’t want to watch annoying people indulging in self-destructive behaviour no matter how well written the drama is. I love all the characters in this drama because they all seem to be pragmatic cool people who don’t go psycho when things don’t work out the way they want and make me laugh instead. And I love how the OTP is not just about themselves but helping others while their relationship grows in the process. So many relationships in romcoms don’t seem to have any connection to the world outside their little bubble to the point where I wonder what they talk about when they date.
    I see people complaining about how the kiss was too tame but I think it would be totally weird if JW started to really make out with a girl could be possessed by a ghost.
    Maybe I’m shallow or my hormones are making me crave stuff like this but I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a drama this much for a long time.

    • I agree…Hong sisters aren’t trying to revolutionarize K-dramas or change their design. I kinda applaud them for sticking to what they know and I get the feeling that after they tried (and failed) to do something different with BIG last year, they’re keeping MS closer to home. The writing of a show like PK was nowhere near good but I absolutely loved that show (while my best friend loathed it lol) and have since rewatched it. To me, K-drama watching isn’t really logical…it mostly about going with the flow and jumping off when the ride stops (then getting back on for another go lol).

  15. The use of book as meta in this drama reminds me of the book (Little Mermaid) meta in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. I loved it in MGIG, but I don’t feel the same impact in MS because I know it’s a recycle from Hong Sisters previous work. I still love MS for the OTP, though.

    • Most all drama scenes are recycled; so I can’t complain then I would have to do that every drama instead of letting go and enjoying!

    • The entire star reference that kept going through You’re Beautiful as well, which they lifted from A Star in My Heart, including the very same ending scene.

      Recycling is fine, but I feel that TMS simply recycles without adding anything unique or emotionally sincere, hence it falls flat.

  16. I enjoy the show but part of the writting feels like a video game rpg. like who is going to be the final boss to battle in end ? They have a lot to wrap up in short time.

  17. I Love this drama especially the chemistry between SJS and GHJ,the story is like a lot of the K-dramas, predictable but at the same time enjoyable to watch. Can’t wait for next weeks episode to see which way the story is going to go.

  18. I watched Secret Garden and Best Love and not once watching Master’s Sun was I reminded of those 2 dramas. While I have to say that this drama does not touch me as much as say TK2H or even the silly LTM, but to say it is soulless would really be too harsh.

    I’m not enamoured with MS but I care very much about what will happen to the OTP and this alone is enough for me to keep myself watching and be invested in the drama. Sometimes the enjoyment of a drama is simply not think too much or try to connect too many dots to make sense of it or have pre-conceived notions of how the drama should be.

    • I agree. I think you’re way too harsh on Master’s Sun, koala.

      I don’t get it why you could find Master’s Sun so distasteful yet was able to love Lie to me, Playful Kiss or M3. Those were awful dramas! But again, we all have different taste and we love the dramas that we connect with the most.

    • I understand where you are coming from but you can’t really dictate how another person is supposed to consume entertainment. Noone can force themselves to like a product. I think she did a pretty good job explaining why she doesn’t care for the show and at the same time, there might be reasons that are just innate and unexplainable. Nothing wrong with that. I really like that she can go against the grain in liking or not caring for dramas.

      It’s refreshing and gives a different point of view when everyone else seems to be hating or loving the same current dramas. I’m not trying to defend her like noone can say anything negative against her because she’s untouchable or always right cause noone is (some people take things that way), just offering an opinion.

  19. Don’t understand it. Not every drama has to be seemless and perfect and deep. Dramas are meant for superficial enjoyment, not for you to try and discover yourself. Secret Garden, Boys Over Flowers, and The Master’s Sun arr all amazing dramas. Why? Because I had fun.

  20. I really thank you for giving your perspective on this drama. I enjoy your perspective. And yeah, I love this drama even more. Just realized that Gong Hyo Jin is such a brilliant artist. One of the best, I think.

  21. Queen In-hyun man didn’t just have the best kisses that crying scence was gut wrechiting I kind of thought in Master son’s it should have been on that level but I love the drama minus the gay/lesbian kiss I had to endure…

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