I See Dead People… Dragon Gods and Bows in the Stone: The Night Watchman’s Journal First Impressions

This week The Night Watchman’s Journal premiered taking the spot of Triangle. It also is off to a good start taking over it’s currently running foes, Trot Lovers and Temptation, with a 10.9% lead in viewers tuning in. With that being said, let’s get down to the get down:

Jung Il Woo as Lee Rin

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Jung Yoon Ho as Moon Suk

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Go Sung Hee as Do Ha

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So Ye Ji as Park Soo Ryun

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So none of these actors have actually made an appearance since the story is still trying to give us the setup. Let’s examine what has been going on thus far. The Joseon we are introduced to is one with ghosts, sketchy witch doctors, and a soon to be crown prince’s play date with his friends.

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Suddenly the whole sky turns black and and meteors from the sky descend destroying Joseon and the palace. A man slams the ground with a serpent staff, releasing dark clouds of smoke– that turn out to be ghosts looking specifically for Crown Prince Rin (Kim Hwi Soo).

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They almost catch a hold of him until a mysterious swordsman comes to his rescue. At the same time, the king Hae Jong (Choi Won Young) is frantically looking for Rin once he discovers the ghost were in the prince’s residence.

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The same man that cause the ruckus with ghost, sneaks into the palace and steals some ancient scripts and leaves a knife behind indicating his mark.

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Poor little Rin is caught by the ghost being choked to death; then once again the swordsman and Hae Jong come to the rescue. Rin is released but is gravely sick.

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Hae Jong’s next mission is to find a way to cure the crown prince. He and his special ghost task force, under the guise of protectors of the nation’s treasure, set out to find the Mystical Flower that can cure the Rin.

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The man who released the ghost, reports to his leader aka sketchy witch doctor (Kim Seung Oh). They send a black ghost horse that turn into stones to destroy Hae Jong and his cavalry.  Then out of the stone wall, stoney bones giants attack them. After they defeat the giants, a young Do Ha (Lee Chae Mi) appears offering assistance.

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An elderly woman appears saying she is the leader of the Mapo Tribe; and the only way to get the needed flower is to save the Shaman stolen by the neighboring evil Youngshin tribe that worships the dragon god. They don’t have women in that tribe so they steal one to serve their purposes and sacrifice to the dragon god.

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They had to make one stop to get the weapon that can kill or seal the dragon god– or as I call it “The Bow in the Stone”. Only the one true king of Joseon is able to remove the bow (reminds you of something doesn’t it?) from the stone.

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Finally we get to the sacrificing of the Mapo Shaman (Yoo Da In) to wake the dragon god (all these dudes and one girl? Totally creepy). Just before witch doctor could stab the Mapo Shaman– Hae Jong and the cavalry arrive. Still the Shaman is cut with the special dagger and it goes flying in the water!

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A few minutes later, the dragon god is awake and kicking! More fighting, more, fighting, more fighting, then finally as Hae Jong was fighting the witch doctor, and about to lose his life, the leader of the ghost task force Sang Heon (Yoon Tae Young) spears the witch doctor in the chest! He falls into the water.

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Hae Jong defeats the dragon god and saves the Mapo Shaman. The Mapo Shaman prays for the mystic flower that can heal the crown prince, Rin. But we see something flow out of the tattoo branded on her neck by the YoungShin tribe go into the flower.

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Meanwhile at the palace, a young Park Soo Ryun (Kang Joo Eun) sits at the bedside of Rin with his mother the Queen (Song Yi Woo) and her grandfather/father Park Soo Jong (Lee Jae Yong). The Queen Dowager (Seo Yi Sook) enters upset that unwanted people are by Rin’s bedside.

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Once the Mapo Shaman presents the Mystic Flower to Hae Jong, whatever went into the flower took over Hae Jong. Hae Jong proceeds to sleep with the shaman causing her to lose her powers.

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Hae Jong returns, everyone notices how he is not the same. He is mean, course, abrasive, etc. Rin has finally gotten better and runs to see his father. Hae Jong scolds him about being immature and how he will be the leader of the country.

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Back at the Mapo mountains, creepy witch doctor (apparently he is immortal or something) has the shaman kidnapped based on the agreement she made to give her all to Youngshin. When he tries to absorb her powers, he discovers that she no longer had them because she was no longer a virgin. He says he is going to kill everyone close to Hae Jong.

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The time has come for Rin’s inauguration ceremony. The king is still displaying his evil side by requesting Rin kill the thing he loves most, his beetle Gab. When Rin refuses to kill Gab, Hae Jong raises a sword and ends up slashing Rin’s eunuch (Lee Se Chang).

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Later as Rin is talking with the Queen Dowager, he reveals how his father is sick and how he needs to see a doctor. His grandmother tells him not to repeat those words to anyone. Unfortunately, Ki San, the illegitimate older brother, overheard this conversation and ran to tell Hae Jong.

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Skipping ahead to the end of the episode, whatever ghost of spirit that has taken a hold of Hae Jong is compelling him to kill Rin. Sang Heon comes and tries to stop him. The episode ends with the two of them fighting.

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ExtraKun Thoughts: Well… Umm.. That was something. This is one of those times where not reading the synopsis can get you in T. R. O. U. B. L. E. Damn my obsession with Jung Il Woo in Sageuk attire! Imagine my disappointment when he has yet to show his face. These first 2 episodes were all setup and weird in my opinion. I loved seeing Kim Sung Oh and Choi Won Young do what they do so well. Outside of that, I had a lot of question marks in eyes and irritation on my brain. I think because I have zero interested in the kids and their stories. I do not like when shows try to brand children with characteristic of good or evil right off the bat. People develop over time, and the fact that they are trying to make Ki San cunning and evil when he is such a young child annoys me. What child wouldn’t be jealous if their younger sibling is constantly catered to while they are neglected? I can tell you I do not like Park Soo Ryun, Do Ha seemed creepy, and Rin was laying in bed for the majority of the episodes. I can see how he will become a bit of a carefree “playboy” and I will be okay with that. I am waiting for us to get into the heart of the story. The jury is still out at this point, and I am not all that excited with some of the casting, but I will continue to watch– even if it is glimpse of Jung Il Woo in Sageuk attire…
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