40somethingahjumma

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  1. @Soleram and @triplem I don't see why being an agent has to mean that SW has to seduce women and/or sleep with them. That's the part that I'm having trouble with. Just because that was his specialty (according to his handler at least) and that's what we were shown with Anna Liebert and to some extent with DH, it doesn't mean that it was the only thing he ever did to achieve his missions. He certainly didn't have to for the second wood carving mission. Does it have to be an either or situation? Just because he's in a relationship with a woman now does it mean that intelligence work is out of the question altogether? The man is a multi-step thinker, I'm sure he can think of other ways to get the job done without pillow talk and couple rings. What about Jack Ryan... happily married man, hero of several Clancey novels supposedly only an analyst in The Hunt for Red October and he's running around making contact with a Russian sub? That said, I'm not against SW (if that's what he wants to do) retiring to instruct, play chess, be a consultant or rejoin the army. But him just being a bodyguard to UG without any other jobs on the side... it would break my heart. But that's just me. Prosecutor Lee's riff about his wife... it's become a running gag. Time and time again he is saying he's terrified about his wife finding out if he returns to being an agent but it doesn't stop him from going undercover and doing jobs for the NIS. Retired? It's the biggest joke in the entire show. @bobo11 Glad to hear that you're enjoying these discussions and geeking out with us.
  2. I think some people are misunderstanding where I'm coming from. I'm not talking about realism here. This discussion about the endgame has never been to me about what's realistic. To me this idea that the ending should be "realistic" is a confusion of categories. Man to Man is a carefully crafted television show with spy-civilian hijinks... i.e..spy comedy... so to me that kind of category doesn't exist when I'm having this conversation. A spy falls in love with a civilian while he's cozying up to her for an undercover assignment and then gets her and the actor he's supposed to be protecting embroiled in some mission that involves corruption in a spy organisation... so wanting a realistically happy ending is, well... odd to me. By being with DH and UG he's already endangering them. MSJ knows who he is although until the end of the episode, he thought Agent K was dead. But if SW is trying to deal himself back into the game then he will be putting DH and UG in jeopardy anyway. So if he's really that paranoid about their safety, he should be laying low and not brazenly sitting in MSJ's chair waiting for him to make his big reveal. None of these scenarios reflect any kind of "realism" to me. It isn't just that K has badass skills, it's much more than that. He is naturally drawn to danger and has a strong compulsion to finish things. That cannot be so easily changed. And again I'm not talking about realism but character consistency. Furthermore, just to be clear, I'm not saying either that what I want will happen but it is something that could happen because the show has already opened the way for that particular outcome to occur. The thing though is that K isn't the idealist that S was. While he feels duty-bound to complete his mission because he was deployed to execute it, he's not all that upset at being shot at and ordered to lay low. He is different to S in that he understands how the game is played and accepts it. In order to be as angry as S, angry enough to turn, the agent has to be an idealist at heart. However, because K accepts that he's a glorified clean-up guy that can be disposed of at any time, he doesn't get angry, his emotions don't get manipulated and he is (rather ironically) less likely to turn. When he says he doesn't trust anyone including himself, I imagine he includes the government in that too. The difference between the two agents are clear. S sees himself as a victim who made a choice. "They've taken advantage of me. Stuff them." K sees himself as someone who looks for opportunities and choices no matter what his position is. "How can I use this situation to my advantage?" Those are two fundamentally quite different approaches to the job and to life.
  3. Please don't. As one fellow geek to another. But we shouldn't annoy other people too much with our geek outs. But I do think that Chuck is a possible template as there are already some parallels. But a Matrix-type downloading device would be a stretch as there is no precedent for it here. I imagine she will go undercover with him at some point and they will tango!!! Yesssssss...
  4. The amnesia trope is such a staple K drama cliche and I'm not in favour of it either. No. I wasn't referring to that but to the husband and wife team-up scenario. My own view has always been that DH and UG will become his partners. That's how I've seen it from pretty much Week 1. He will go freelance or be contracted to the NIS. Or both. DH will manage his contracts and UG, his backup. They will provide the perfect cover with location shoots, fan meets and international press cons. That's the best-case scenario that I envisage because it means SW won't have to leave and everyone can pretty much go on doing whatever they were doing before. We already have hints of that in previous episodes so it's not really a stretch. DH has got some spy skills already... it's just a matter of time and training.
  5. At the end of the day for me it is DH"s choice. The pain, the anxiety and the loneliness from being in love with a spy is hers to live with. As SW has said he's happy to continue their relationship as long as she wants it, the onus is on her to keep it going or make that decisive break. As long as she is willing to share that risk/gamble, he will do whatever it takes to be with her and make it work for them. I honestly cannot see how SW can ever walk away from what he's doing right now as long as there are threats to public safety. The impulse is just too strong. As long as he has the ability to stop bad stuff from happening he will be out there on the frontline dealing with it. That was clearly established from the first episode where he goes against orders to take out a suicide bomber in a school bus. Although he does it in a cocky fashion, fundamentally the man at his core is very sound. As @Dhakra has already intimated, there is an element of the superhero in him. Since @Dhakra referenced Spiderman indirectly, I'd add that there's definitely an element of "With great power comes great responsibility" in all of that. Contrast that for example with Mo Sung-jae who was born into wealth and power. I'm quite relieved that he didn't get to keep the slush fund. Think of the serious damage that money could have done. Unlike a Bruce Wayne, his wealth breeds entitlement and a megalomania. Perhaps this is what Grandpa was really concerned as @Lady_Fay has wonderfully observed. Grandpa may have done under the table deals but he was strictly a businessman. So what does a woman who's in love with a spy do? She could walk away and save herself from a world full of hurt. It would be logical and sensible. But it hurts just as much to contemplate her world without that man now that he's intruded into it. But the beauty of CDH is that her love for him isn't about trying to tie him down to some kind regular life but to insert herself into his world with her eyes wide open to the dangers. Hence, the lover's tactic. DH will never ask SW to walk away from his job because she knows firstly, how good he is at it and secondly, the world needs people like him. There are thousands upon thousands of people around the world in the armed services who are married or are in long-term relationships even with children. I'm sure navigating the day-to-day stuff is hard too much less if they're deployed to the front lines. DH is made of much sterner stuff than most. She's lived with uncertainty most of her life with her con-artist father, kidnapped and hounded by loan sharks so she's no stranger to danger. Plus she was raised by men (not sure where the women in her life went to) She had been possibly contemplating suicide when her grandfather died. Her life hasn't be easy at all. The only stability she's only really experienced has been with UG so she's certainly had that mental preparation. On his side SW wants her very much. That much is clear if he's even contemplating living like a regular guy... That and the fact he can't get enough of the smooching. However, he is only too aware that what he does poses dangers not just to him but to her. If he refuses to go the noble idiocy route... something that I applaud... he must then do whatever he can to destroy any existential threats to their relationship. There's a new motivation to take down the baddies. It doesn't matter even if he walks away from DH and UG now, as he has already formed attachments on that front. They will always be his weakness because even if he disappears for good, someone will come along and find a way of using them to get to him. What held him back initially was that he couldn't ask DH to be with him because of all the dangers inherent to the job. But knowing that she's willing to be with him no matter what... he's found someone that is willing to share that kind of uncertainty with him, I'm not convinced that he will give that up so easily either. While I enjoyed reading everyone's perspective on the ending, I just cannot see SW getting out of the game in a hurry. He may leave the NIS... that's certainly possible but he won't stop saving lives or saving the world... that impulse is too strong. Happily ever after comes in different shapes and forms... it doesn't have to be about SW giving up the spy game entirely or DH walking away from him. On a personal note, aside from True Lies or Chuck type outcomes, I wouldn't mind it if he became something similar to The Equalizer... the 80s tv show starring Edward Woodward... which featured an ex-CIA agent who on retirement had become a troubleshooter for people in NY who are in desperate straits. That could be S2 of Man to Man.
  6. True. But if our daughters were dating spies, and if they were any good at it, I doubt we'd even know. I think @Kasmic was talking to us. I'm the one who used the word "fetish". I was specifically referring to PHJ's hands but I don't disagree that KMJ has lovely hands. Yay! for an indoor couch kiss. Temperatures rose sufficiently I imagine to leave little need for defrosting. Of course there are many things to like about this BUT my favourite thing about Couch Injury Kiss is how boy-next-door SW looks. He's pale, vulnerable... and just a man in love.
  7. I'm still hoping those rings have a practical use to them. Some thing to pick locks with perhaps? I think I saw it in a movie or tv show once. Wow... the price tag... one of them alone is more expensive than the cost of our wedding rings combined. How practical is it for a man... and an action man at that... to be wearing such a nice ring like that? Yeah, SW is just too good at what he does even if he craves to do ordinary things with her from time to time. He will never be a regular husband with a 9 to 5 job (if we even get that far) but I think she'll be fine because it's what she wants even if it hurts. Yeah, me too. Even though I'd do and say exactly the same thing to my girls that UG did. But it's adorable how much SW loves kissing DH.
  8. Well, I don't know about the "boy thingy" part but I love the agent stuff too. It's a genre that I've always had a soft spot for (having been raised on the Bond franchise and read some Alistair MacLean in my younger years) but I am quite fascinated with where this show is taking all that beyond a cosmic struggle between good guys and villains. I'm actually surprised and impressed at how much deeper that spy stuff has become in recent days. It seemed initially to be just about wooden sculptures, slush funds and corruption in high places but now it's more like a bigger thing about the plight of deep undercover operatives... like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. People who sacrifice everything for their country but they can't be acknowledged because of the nature of their job. When they've outlived their usefulness or become a liability, they're discarded like yesterday's takeaway containers. For the show to have evolved into that kind of commentary from being an action adventure about procuring wooden statues is quite remarkable to my mind. I have to say I am super impressed with what they've done with former agent Seo. Despite his small role, they've given him a lot more depth now that he's no longer a pawn for MSJ and Congressman Baek. I appreciate that he understands that it is a choice he's made to take back some measure of control over his own fate. Haha, I'm pretty sure both of them knew individually that there was never such a think like a "lovers tactic". I'm pretty sure it was an excuse from both to be actually together without the need to reveal any feelings towards the other partner. There was never an intention from his side to actually perform this thing as a tactic, he doesn't even use it. he just pretends and hides everything behind it to keep this going. He enjoys it more than her I think. I think the romance is necessary, because without it they had to extend the missions are make everything more complicated. With the addition of a love-story, problems and twists are created more naturally. If they would have passed on a love story, the story elements had to be more complicated and the whole drama had to contain more crime and action parts. You have a lot more to do as a writer of you focus your whole drama on just one aspect. On top of that the romance brings an added layer to a rather enigmatic male lead who lives largely from mission to mission pretending to be different people. Romance would certainly complicate his choices of how best to make his next move and disrupt the trajectory he's on by forcing him to deal with the tension of wanting things he shouldn't be craving for if he cares about his safety and the safety of others. Taking down the bad guys is only a small part of what the endgame is. SW's relationships with DH and UG is making him re-evaluate what's important to him in terms of how he intends to reshape his future. It makes him care about things he shouldn't and reprioritise in a way that could potentially jeopardise some big picture issues. It's also made him question things in a way that he's never done before. The Love Tactic is really about DH's heart. It's an olive branch and a significant gesture of trust. The lovers tactic was primarily her way of persuading him to stay but also for her to tell him that she will do whatever it takes to make it work for them despite the odds stacked against them. At the time she suggested it, she couldn't be sure if he really cared about her but it didn't matter because her desire for him to remain was far greater than her anger or fear at being fooled again. It signalled her willingness to be part of his world because she understood that the thing keeping them apart was "the job".
  9. At the end of the day... underneath all that spy stuff and even with all the progression with the romance... Man to Man is all about family. I will say for the umpteenth time that I revel in the way SW, DH and UG are building their family. It's just wonderful how there's so much unspoken affection among them and they're able to read one another's thoughts and reassure each other. I teared up in those scenes where our trio talk one-on-one and say what's really on their heart. I love how UG wants to protect his dongsaeng and provide them a place of refuge under his care. Yesterday I called DH the military wife and in this latest episode we say that played out even further when UG tries to dissuade her from getting in too deep. But DH, the wonderful brave soul who knows that giving herself completely over to SW would in all probability end in tears, is going into everything with her eyes wide open. It is her choice to walk in that path of thorns and thistles because she knows that to have the man, she will have to embrace all the baggage that comes with the man. The whole package. We keep getting told that Ghost Agents can't have families and survive the game. It's a recurring riff in this drama. Even now SW is at war with himself. He has fallen in love and he's enjoying being with a woman for real. But he is well aware that she could potentially be his Achilles' heel and/or the fact he will end up being responsible for killing her. For that reason, he may choose to forego his past and enter into civilian life. The temptation is palpably there. However, you can take the ghost agent out of the mission, but you can't take the mission out of the ghost agent. He has such a good brain, our guy. Even while he's nursing an injury and cozying up to Do Ha, he's still manoeuvring behind the scenes for Prosecutor Lee to get back into the game. With such intelligence in mind, I want to see him defy conventional wisdom and all the critics... and turn his Achille's heel into his greatest asset. He has such a brave woman by his side and it should be transformed into not just his... but their joint advantage. On a shallow note... I have a bit of a fetish for PHJ's hands. I remember while watching Cheese, I took screen shots of his hands at different times and I see here the PD loves zooming in on his hands too. Especially now that he's a man with extracurricular commitments. Those rings are really pretty... and it makes them look married. And can I say PHJ rocks those glasses... I didn't think the man could be even hotter than he is but in those glasses, the thermometer in the room just went berserk. (He looks so much like the male lead in the C-dramaI Love My President too)
  10. There was more going on in that episode than the romance but I got caught up with the discussions here about the romance that I didn't get to all the other things. I know a lot of people don't really enjoy the spy stuff in this show and that the villainy seems to be far removed from the dynamics of our trio. But while I agree the villains are uni-dimensional, they do service the cloak and dagger stuff and provide Agent K with the necessary rationale to hang around DH and UG. I am sure UG knows that SW and DH really like each other. He might like to play dumb but he isn't. He's always known... "it's in the eyes" but he doesn't believe that things will end well for them which is why he's set himself up as the overbearing Big Brother keeping them on their toes. In the monkey suit scene, I enjoyed rather too much watching DH and UG trying not very hard to suppress giggles and guffaws while SW eyes them sternly. I'm also enjoying UG's ongoing "woodmance" relationship with the statues. All in all a great touch by the writer. It started with him taking them to bed. It's been such a hoot watching him grooming them in his free time LOL and having little chats with them. The latest one was probably the most hilarious... trying to placate them before heading off to the cathedral. I will miss his interactions with them and around them when SW off loads them and I rather suspect he will too. Honestly that guy can be such an endearing man-child. I still think like most people here that TL Jang is one of the good guys. He does feel responsible for his subordinates and his first instinct seems to be to protect his people. He's not asked anything for himself in his negotiations with MSJ but for LDH to be set free first. Shooting K was probably his way of protecting him and telling him to lay low while he takes care of things. I think he felt guilty about letting everyone else carry the can while he sat around and watched them get the job done. Whatever people think about MSJ as a villain, I really do like Yeon Jung Hoon in this. He has an incredible smile which can come across as being rather terrifying. Maybe it's the way he darkens his eyes. I was so impressed with his English that I did a bit of research and discovered that he studied art in the US in his younger days so that confirmed what I thought about him having lived overseas at some point. I believe we do need to factor Father Michael in our thinking about who betrayed Robert Yoon. However, I had another thought... the nun that brought SW and DH to see Father Michael... there was definitely something off about her. But maybe I'm just paranoid now and suspecting everyone. Aside from romancing DH, I like how Agent K is mentoring her and explaining trade secrets. Personally it's quite clever how the two things are conflated. And while he's teaching her how he does things, she's teaching him what regular people do. I like it!
  11. Like me, you probably think the writing is good. The writer has given us three characters that we like and want to root for. Far too many dramas rely completely on the chemistry of the actors to make it work without fleshing things out. This is what makes this show so good IMO that SW, DH and UG are multi-layered individuals not just romantic-bromantic stick figures that have no lives outside of the pairings that they're in. UG isn't just defined by his relationship to SW, in the same way DH isn't just defined by her relationship to SW. SW has his other relationships with his superior officer and handler which bring out another side to who he is. That's why whether SW and DH sizzles doesn't matter that much. On some level I don't think it's relevant. The way the characters are defined is so good that we can root for them just because we care what happens to them, having been on the journey with them. It was the same in Tunnel, there was a "minor" romance and it didn't sizzle either but it worked for me because two people in question were both smart people and had a quiet connection that was gradually developed as the show progressed. In such cases the romance doesn't define the couple in question, they define the romance. Or should I say, redefine the romance. This writer has taken care of the little things so that's why the big things in the long run take care of themselves. For me there's also a personal quirk. I like rooting for underdogs. To me CDH fits the bill. She's not conventionally pretty but she's competent and smart. The fact that a good-looking suave spy like SW ends up falling for an ordinary woman appeals to my sense of justice and humour.
  12. @charray Why should you have to run and hide? At the end of the day this is a forum where everyone, within reason, is allowed to say how they feel about the dramas they watch without feeling targeted. I once said that I preferred the bromance over the romance in Healer and lived to tell the tale. The much vaunted OTP that almost everyone loved in Healer was just okay to me. I was undoubtedly in the minority but that's life. The thing is I kind of agree with you... I don't think PHJ and KMJ sizzle either BUT the difference is I don't need them to and it's not a problem for me. It doesn't hinder my enjoyment of their romance because their cute relationship is exactly what the show runners are going for. Cue: DH's hair. And I wouldn't say just because they don't sizzle, they don't have chemistry. To me it's a different kind of chemistry. Especially when what we have are two people are very inexperienced with real-life dating and are trying to figure their way around each other. We can't expect much from two people who are still exploring their feelings. Speaking for myself, what I am excited about is progression. Compared to where they were even one episode ago, they've made strides especially in honesty. For the first time in his career, SW is being authentic with a woman and gradually dropping his mask with her and the new brother-figure in his life. Perhaps when they've both changed a bit more, the dynamic might evolve again and that naiveté that currently underpins their relationship will be subsumed by something much more mature. That said, I think I saw the potential for the kind of dynamic that you're looking for in the Russian mission when he grabs her and uses her as cover. It's not outside the realm of possibility at all. @bebebisous33 -- I thought exactly the same thing as you... why not Father Michael? Why restrict ourselves to just TL Jang or Prosecutor Lee? There was one other person in the room. I have a lot of problems pinning it on TL Jang or Pros Lee because they seem so utterly loyal to their colleagues.
  13. Have I said before how impressed I am with how this show does romance? It's so respectful not just of the characters but of the audience as well. I love not just the unconventionality of it but how beautifully nuanced it can be. It's the little things, the way they're integrated into the spy stuff that makes the magic sparkle all the more brightly. It's so wonderful to me how those two are gradually finding their middle ground. She's learning more about the way he thinks and he's learning how to be a real lover. But it isn't about leaping across but taking slow steps. They're finally learning to tango properly after initial missteps. I don't know how many times I swooned today just watching Agent K demonstrate clearly how much he's into DH. The way he looked at her at the cathedral made my heart sing. It was as if he was looking at her in a new way... looking to her as a guide to seeing the world in a new way, from a different perspective. Learning to see the world through her eyes. But what really slayed me was that fairly ordinary conversation they had about what he's done, what he likes. It was delightful watching these two people getting to know each other all over again and to see Agent K for the first time in his life craving for something ordinary... like chatting with a woman he genuinely likes and wanting to do normal couple type things with her. It's so sweet. Then he goes off and gets himself shot. Netizens be damned but I adore DH. To me she's an amazing female lead even with that much maligned hairdo but it's so clear to me why Agent K is quietly falling, falling ever more deeply with her. She's so downright gutsy. And so generous. There's a part of her that believes that for him it's all an act but she doesn't mind or care because she's just happy to be with him in any way. For someone like me it's admirable. What's more she's okay about sharing him with the country's pressing concerns as long as she gets to have him some of the time. Even if it means she's play acting, she's play acting with him. Wow. There's someone I know who's a military wife and DH has that same kind of attitude in a K drama sort of way. Ack! I love this show so so much.
  14. Yes, of course, he is wearing the same turtle-neck pullover in both scenes. I'm chalking it up to middle-aged blindness. I'd be very disappointed of course if Chief Jang did really turn to gain power for its own sake. Of course it's possible for a man to give up on his principles if things get too hard but the story has already established with some degree of clarity that he is a lifelong patriot so for him to "go bad" this late into the show would be entirely unconvincing. I'm not concerned about multiple villains but with glaring inconsistencies in the storyline. Unless I see otherwise, I am still of the opinion that SME is manoeuvring Chief Jang into a position where he can deal directly with MSJ rather than go through Congressman Baek. She is, I believe, buying him a seat at the negotiating table and if he plays his cards right, he could even jostle Baek out of his privileged position of being MSJ's righthand man, weaken and sever that relationship permanently. Right now, Chief Jang can't do much from where he is. He said as much to LDH... all he can do is sit around haplessly worrying about his subordinates. The NIS has been infiltrated by the Baek Infantry so the organised is hopelessly compromised with few exceptions. Sitting at the table with MSJ will give him some power and at the very least buy some time to shift the balance of power.
  15. Yup... this show really knows how to turn up the heat and get those pre-airing conversations going. It's always interesting to hear other people's perspective on these things. My first thought was that it was a flashback to something that happened in the past... I don't know why... but maybe it's the hair. My imagination leads me to speculate that he was betrayed in the past which is why he doesn't get close to anyone because he can't trust anyone. Yeah, anyway... it's the stuff of fan fiction. But the abs look like an unholy mess... I guess they'll find any kind of excuse to show a bit of skin... tsk, tsk. If it were Chief Jang as @Kasmic surmises, it is possible that he shot him in such a way as to look like he's killed him but not really. Just inches away from hitting any vital organs. I still can't find Aurora in my iTunes store which is a pain so it's only YT for now. I've been looking high and low practically since this morning.