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[2008] Huyền thoại Ijime - Nhất Chi Mai - Lee Joon Gi, Han Hyo Joo

Iljimae (Hangul일지매hanja一枝梅Romaja quốc ngữIljimae; hay còn có tên khác là Nhất Chi Mai) là bộ phim truyền hình kiếm hiệp Hàn Quốc phát hành vào năm 2008 và được phát sóng tại Việt Nam phim từng được phát sóng trên HTV3(TVM Corp.) và HTVC phim.
Tỉ suất người xem tại Hàn Quốc được SBS đánh giá là không thành công vì bộ phim này đã được làm sau bộ phim Iljimae do diễn viên Jang Dong Gun thủ vai phát hành vào năm 1993, tuy nhiên Iljimae được xem là một tên trộm trong truyền thuyết được nhiều nhà làm phim khắc họa chi tiết vào cốt truyện trong kịch bản cho cả thế giới thấy Hàn Quốc có rất nhiều truyện dân gian cổ tích được làm thành phim. Mặc dù vậy phim vẫn đạt rating trung bình khá ấn tượng 23.2%.

Diễn viên

Diễn viên chính

  • Lee Jun Ki: Gyeom / Yong / Iljimae - là người hay quan tâm gia đình, nhưng anh luôn tỏ ra quậy phá và gây ra bao nhiêu chuyện dở khóc dở cười cho dân làng và những người xung quanh, tuy nhiên sau khi quá khứ trong tâm trí anh dần được phục hồi, anh đã cải tranh thành một tên trộm bí ẩn để vừa bảo vệ những người nghèo khổ và cũng vừa trả mối hận năm xưa cho cha mình khi bị hung thủ giết chết.
Để thực hiện tốt vai diễn, Lee Jun Ki đã luyện công tới 8 tiếng mỗi ngày với những pha hành động và cả công phu ngâm mình trong nước. Anh cũng phải ăn đậu hũ trường kì. Kết quả là trong buổi giới thiệu phim, nhìn Lee Jun Ki gầy thấy rõ và các fan được dịp xót xa khi anh tâm sự mình đã giảm 7 kg.[1]
  • Han Hyo Joo: Eun Chae - Một cô gái đáng yêu và sống trong cao quý dường như được nối duyên với Gyeom và là người anh yêu mến nhất, cô là một người rất nhân hậu và luôn nhớ nhung về Gyeom, tuy nhiên Gyeom luôn tìm mọi cách tỏ ra là một người hay phá phách trước mặt cô để bắt cô dần dần quên Gyeom đi coi như xem Gyeom đã chết rồi.
  • Lee Young Ah: Bong Soon - kẻ lừa đảo, tính cách vui vẻ hoạt bát, ngớ ngẩn thành trẻ mồ côi và là một cô gái và cũng được kết nối với quá khứ Gyeom.
  • Park Si-Hoo: Cha Dol / Shi Hoo - Khi mới chín tuổi và còn nghèo khó, anh không hề biết cha mình là ai. Đột nhiên, một hôm, anh được gửi đến chỗ "cha đẻ" của mình, Thẩm phán Byun Shik và anh em cùng cha khác mẹ với con trai đẻ của Byun Shik rồi thành quân cấm vệ. Tuy nhiên, thẩm phán Byun Shik không phải là cha thật của anh. Anh và Iljimae có cùng một người cha sinh, Lee Won Ho. Ước mơ của anh là để đón Iljimae để anh cuối cùng có thể trở thành một nhà quý tộc.

Diễn viên phụ

  • Lee Moon Sik - Soe Dol
  • Kim Sung Ryung - Dani
  • Lee Il Hwa - Bà Han Bu Trong
  • Jo Min Gi - Lee Won Ho
  • Ahn Gil Kang - Kongkal Je
  • Mun Ji Yun - Dae Sik
  • Kim Hyun Sung - Hồng Kyeonsik
  • Jeong Jae Eun - Sim Deok
  • Seo Dong Won - Eun Bok
  • Ki Seok - Hee Bong
  • Kim Kwan Sik - Keok Du
  • Lee Won Jong - Byeon Sik
  • Kim Mu Yeol - Si Wan
  • Kim Chang Wan - Vua Injo / người đàn ông trong chiếc áo trắng
  • Kim Roe Ha - Sa Cheon
  • Jo Sang Ki - Mu Lee
  • Yang Jae Sung - Ki Shim Won
  • Lee Won Jae - Jang Po Kyo
  • Son Tae Yung - Lee Yeon
  • Yeo Jin Goo - Lee Gyeom (Hồi niên thiếu)
  • Kim Yoo Jung - Eun Chae (Hồi niên thiếu)
  • Jeong Da Bin - Bong Soon (Hồi niên thiếu)
  • Lee David - Cha Dol (Hồi niên thiếu)

Nội dung

Iljimae tên thật là Gyeom (겸), con trai của một đạo đức nhà quý tộc Lee Won Ho (이원호; Lý Nguyên Hồ), một người ủng hộ đáng tin cậy và người anh em với nhà vua và là một thành viên trung tâm của tổ chức bí mật Cheonwoohoe của quý tộc và quan trọng với nhà vua là lãnh đạo của họ, bao gồm. Ông đã sống một cách hòa bình trong một ngôi nhà với nhiều cây mai với vợ, con gái và con trai của mình. Tuy nhiên, nhà vua có một cuộc trò chuyện với một người đàn ông mù, người có thể tiên đoán được tương lại. Nhìn ra tại nhà Lee Won Ho, lão mù rằng ông thấy ngôi nhà đó như mặt trời, và sẽ được yêu mến bởi người dân. Nhà vua giết Lee Won Ho vì ông tin rằng đó là hai mặt trời không thể tồn tại trên cùng một bầu trời ". Gyeom lúc đó đang được cha giấu ở một nơi an toàn và đã chứng kiến toàn bộ sự việc. Sau đó, anh lưu lạc và được nuôi dưỡng bởi một tên trộm về vườn, Swe Dol (쇠돌), sau khi anh bị mất trí nhớ vì mất cha và bị buộc phải ném một hòn đá vào đầu của mẹ mình để chứng minh mình không là con trai của Lee Won Ho. 13 năm sau, Gyeom, bây giờ được gọi là Yong (용), bắt đầu nhớ lại quá khứ và bắt đầu tìm kiếm chị của mình, Yeon (연), nhưng rốt cục cô lại bị kết án và bị treo cổ. Cái chết chị gái khiến Yong đau lòng và tìm cách trả thù cũng như tìm ra sự thật. Với các biểu tượng trên thanh kiếm của kẻ giết người mà cách đây 13 năm là đầu mối duy nhất, anh thề rằng anh sẽ tìm thấy một trong những người đã giết cha của mình và sát hại chị gái. Để tìm kiếm chủ nhân của nó, anh cải trang mình như Iljimae và đi ăn trộm ở nhà quý tộc. Trong quá trình hành động của mình, anh dấy lên tinh thần đấu tranh không chỉ cho riêng mình, mà còn cho người dân, và do đó, anh trở thành một biểu tượng chiến đấu cho những người dân thường, hành động bất cứ khi nào người dân bị áp bức và bị khai thác vì lợi ích của các quý tộc, do đó trở thành người yêu mến của người dân.

Giải thưởng và Đề cử

NămGiảiThể loạiNgười nhậnKết quảNguồn
2008
SBS Drama Awards
Friendship AwardDo Ki-seokĐoạt giải
Netizen Popularity AwardLee Joon-giĐoạt giải
Best Child ActorYeo Jin-gooĐoạt giải
New Star AwardHan Hyo-jooĐoạt giải
Top 10 StarsLee Joon-giĐoạt giải
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama SpecialAhn Gil-kangĐề cử
Lee Moon-sikĐoạt giải
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama SpecialKim Sung-ryungĐề cử
Best Supporting Actress in a Special Planning DramaJo Mi-ryungĐề cử
Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama SpecialLee Young-ahĐề cử
Top Excellence Award, ActorLee Joon-giĐoạt giải
2009
45th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best Actor (TV)Lee Joon-giĐề cử

Iljimae Episode 1, recap

Iljimae csubs at the speed of light! Go thank the TSKS (天使) subbing team!

I tried to turn down the urge to mock, but I don’t think it worked. Bear with me.

Episode 1

We begin in the Lair of Darkness (aka We Didn’t Bother With Proper Suspenseful Lighting) and guttering torches. But it looks like they can apparently afford a pendulum map swinger. Go thieving priorities.

There is a map, and some plotting, and the usual male posturing.

Iljimae really wants to steal a bronze thing, which is just a Freudian symbol, but whatever. The rest of his gang tell him it’s impossible, which means he will naturally get it by the end of the episode. (And his gang – am I too used to the delicate beauty that is LJK, or are they especially ugly?)

We have the intro of the horrible iron mask. Iljimae’s motto is shockingly modern in its brazeness: There is nothing in this world safe from being stolen. For I am Iljimae. (What ego, forsooth?)

He gets into the city in disguise as an ice merchant because we all sell ice in the middle of the night. The guards have orders, since Iljimae sent his calling card in advance, that no one is to enter. Iljimae is privately amused. However, he and his alcoholic ice are so special, he gets in.

His excuse? Delivery for a banquet with Qing emissaries. Once inside, he shatters the frozen Kool-Aid to pieces because his equipment is in there. Woah fanservice. While changing into his special (5 million won hand-made) armour he does the whole sexy model hair flip thing. (Fans swoon.)

His mask is still ugly.

He flies up some secret storage room tunnel. Outside, there are of course patrols, but he’s not Iljimae for nothing – he can crawl in tunnels too. He comes out of a random vent statue. He’s so shiny, so of course he escapes the guards’ notice entirely and starts flying around on the roof, and NO ONE NOTICES, EVEN WHEN HE’S OUTLINED CLEARLY ON THE ROOF. BAD GUARDING, WOT.

More flying.

More flying.

And, guess what?

Flying.

Then he does a sword tossing trick to kill a guard and incapacitates all other guards. He shoots a grip hook into the main palace. (No flying this time? Aww. Go machinery.)

To show how stupid the palace guard are, all the guards reassure their chief that no one is there.

Iljimae begins the long, arduous journey to the inner sanctum by climbing with the rope attached to the hook, no one notices, again. (Puts new meaning to the phrase, “Solid mahogany from the neck up”.)

This might have even worked in the day because the man has a freaking INVISIBILITY CLOAK. (Sevenses takes a moment for WHAAAAAT-ness.)

And he’s in the palace.

We see, in rapid succession: A mystical place with smoke! A bronze brazier! Iljimae’s fearsome mask! Also, the bronze thing he’s after, but tons of people come out of trapdoors, and there is an okayish action sequence. (Yay waterfight.)

Of course the royal guards are getting their asses handed to them, and Iljimae takes the opportunity to towel fight with no candle. Finally the guard people get a light, and it’s like woah he’s not there anymore. In a different room, a guard fights him, and, to our lasting (read: 2 seconds) shock, Iljimae is defeated.

Except not. It was bait and switch – the poor captured dude’s not Iljimae at all.

The guard that ran out… was Iljimae.

There is a cry of fury as the theft is discovered. On the roof, Iljimae indulges in a moment of I’m so cool watch me prance by tossing his hat into the wind. He looks directly at the camera, winks, and says, “There is nothing safe in this world, because I’m Iljimae.”

(Sevenses: *headdesking, facepalming, and throwing stuff in amusement-ing*)

It’s corny as hell, but LJK is so pretteh! He runs like a deer. (A deer with twenty pounds of armour on, but still.) As if the over-the-top adventure sequence wasn’t enough, the guards finally remember that their necks are capable of turning their heads upwards and see him. While they shoot a year’s worth of arrows at him, Iljimae prances around some more and then escapes.

He stops in a courtyard full of plum trees. He takes one in his hand and gets a little teary.

Flashback, aka the rest of the episode because we needs us some backstory.

There is a cute noble kid, in a very nice flowery garden, admiring the plum blossoms. His father is duly concerned that his son is a little too into the flowers and asks him why he likes plum. The precocious cutie replies that plum flowers are the best because they are not showy like cherry blossoms (Oh, Japan just got dissed!) nor melancholy like pear blossoms.

They bond, and the father paints.

We switch scenes to see a few figures on top of a hill with semi-ominous background music. A blind soothsayer is showing off his sixth sense, and the nobles present with him are nervous and unhappy. The leader of the men order the blind man killed after the guy hobbles down the hill.

Switch back to the cutie, who is named Kyum. His mother and sister come and see him. While his father is chatting with his mother about their travel plans to Seoul, Kyum does a drawing of the flowers he likes so much. In reward for painting so much better than his father, he agrees to take his son to Seoul with him. In passing, Kyum can also sing to the birds and charm them. (Gary Stu, thy name is Iljimae.)

The noble from earlier is now seen on a killing spree of random villagers. It turns out that they’re looking for the blind man’s wife. She is running away, with her daughter and son. When they hear hoofbeats behind them, she urges her son to take his sister away and to never reveal who their father was. She is killed by the nobles.

(I think the little girl is Bong Soon, of the flowery hanbok and impish grin. But more on that later.)

Our genius child is looking at the very bright and shiny lanterns at a random stall when the little peasant girl from earlier runs up to him and demands money for food. Kyum, ever the proper little lady gentleman, wrinkles his nose at her smell and makes to push her away. Poor little girl is so hungry she falls over right away, and Kyum is aghast. Her older brother comes and berates him for being a noble snob. Just as Ryung makes to apologize, some random servant comes to chase them away. (This will not be significant in the future, at all. Nope. Can’t be. *headdesk* We can has glaring obviousness attached to a hammer? Check.)

In another stall nearby a very pretty but unhappy seamstress is called away to work. She tells her son to stay put and stay safe, not because he’s a raging pyro capable of burning the city down, but because he’s so simple-hearted and clueless he’s bound to get into some sort of trouble.

As he wanders away from his mother’s stall, he accidentally bumps into Noble Annoyance #1 (Shi Wan), who has a flunky. They are righteously indignant that someone from the lower classes would dare bump into their holy bodies, and plot revenge. When Noble Annoyance #2 tells #1 that the boy’s father is supposedly a thief, they decide to frame him for theft.

Meanwhile Kyum drags his father to a public performance. The two Noble Annoyances spot Kyum’s father, take his pendant and put it in clueless boy’s bag.

We cut to Clueless’s father, who is impostering dock inspection in order to do some petty stealing (so the rumour was right, for once). Except he’s not very good, so he falls into the water instead.

The Noble Annoyances set their plan in motion and point the finger at Clueless, who is … as his name indicates, mystified. His mother gets back from her job to hear from a neighbor that her son is in trouble.

In the meantime, Kyum shows us some more of that uncommon smartness by performing some forensics on the stolen pouch. It had sweet white powder on it from dried persimmons, and as everyone except Noble Annoyance #1 has clean hands, it is revealed that this kid is a scumbag. The previously groveling city guard is not amused.

We find out that Kyum’s father is Lord Lee, and that he knows Clueless’s mother, and is also blatantly in love with her. She rushes away as fast as possible with her son in tow, pausing only to have a case of the vapours near her own house.

Lord Lee and Kyum are happily enjoying lunch when Noble Annoyance #1 stomps back, accusing them of diminishing noble honour. (Um, hello, pot calling kettle.) When Noble Annoyance insults Lord Lee, Kyum leaps up and punches him. The other boy begins to cry. (In passing, Kyum looks two or three years younger than The Brat.)

Lord Lee visits an old acquaintance and they discuss politics – there is discontent and unrest among the populace because the old, deposed king Gwanghae (more familiarly as Chang Hui’s crazy brother) did a good job of governing the country but the new king doesn’t know a tax cut from a subsidy. However, the new king has shiny noble blood, so it’s all okay.

The snotty brat from earlier is the Seoul governor’s son. The mayor, along with another noble, has the king’s ear and doing absolutely bad things to the country.

To illustrate what they mean, we cut to a pig the snotty brat’s father playing Korean golf. He’s got a whole troop of gisaeng in attendance – playing music and the such.

GIMME A BREAK.

When the ball fails to go in, he beats up his caddy. Well. Karma is just going to have some fun with this one.

The snotty brat comes crying to dad. Dad is all panic! (Because Lord Lee saved the new king’s life at the time of revolution and is thus not someone to mess with.)

Eun Chae’s dad is this asshat??? *horrified* On second thought… she’s too smart to have parents like that. She’s probably adopted or an alien. Or both.

The seamstress from earlier is even unhappier than when we first met her. While washing her son’s feet, she flashes back to a time when a younger Lord Lee washed her foot. Her son is just grateful for such nice people, and the audience can totally tell his mother is trying not to tell him that the ‘nice man’ is his father.

(Note that Kyum’s dad is very egalitarian. Gil Dong would have liked him.)

Cut to Lord Idiot’s house. In an attempt to appease the almighty Lord Lee, he brings out the attack of the clone daughter. She lies like a … thing that lies well, and Lord Lee is appeased. Then Lord Idiot tries to bribe Kyum’s dad. He takes this badly.

The little Eun Chae charms Kyum and since they can both charm birds, we know that they are fated to be. She wants to hear the birdie sing so he climbs up and tugs her up.

(Kyum and Eun Chae, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Okay, they’re too young for that. But give them a few years.)

Kyum is not only smart, he is also deep. He explains that he feels bad for the bird because it only appears for a short time when the plum trees bloom. Their destiny is twined around that of the plum tree’s. (Very obvious foreshadowing of the next 19 episodes, where the girl just runs around the boy, would you say?) There is an inherent tragedy. It is hinted that he will tell her, but her daddy exits in a huff and puff, and… the house doesn’t blow down. Aww.

They leave, but the damage is done. Kyum and Eun Chae do the longing gaze thing.

Lord Lee meets with another old friend, who is in power, and they both agree that the old days with Gwanghae were better. However, this doesn’t mean that the other guy is willing to do anything, and after Lord Lee leaves, he tells his underlings to kill Lord Lee as a seditionist.

The next day, we see that Clueless is being picked on. His adoptive dad chases the other kids away but feels bad at being unable to provide him with a good home. We are meant to feel the depth of caring this man shows to someone who is not his own kid, but I just want to step on his self-pity. He promises to send Clueless to school so he won’t be a useless person like himself.

The mayor, who is one of the underlings, hires Clueless’s father to frame Lord Lee. He is told to bury something (looks like a curse parchment) under the Lee’s family home. In the night, when the thief turned agent goes to do his dastardly deed, Clueless follows him.

However, once inside the courtyard, he takes a good look at the paper he is supposed to bury and sees that it’s written in blood. He is creeped out and decides to not do it. Except that the Lord Idiot has him beaten for disobedience. Clueless is caught and used to frame the very people who helped him that afternoon.

Lord Lee’s daughter sees him crawling away.

Back at Lord Idiot’s house, he plans to kill them both. The mother hears of the events from the body servant of Lord Idiot, and rushes over to beg for their lives. Wow, this woman just gets around… apparently she also slept with Lord Idiot, and manages to convince him that Clueless is his son (not really – she was already pregnant when she slept with Lord Idiot – she was just trying to save Lord Lee from the embarrassment of having impregnated a servant, or something along those lines).

The next day, Clueless is dressed up as a noble scion. She gives him a speech about being good and not noticing her on the street even if he passed her by, because he has noble blood. Clueless is devastated.

(In passing, anticipating the spoiled brat’s face when he finds out! Ha!)

The adoptive father is sobbing away under a tree, sad at being a bad father.

In the Lee residence, everything seems great, but the audience knows the happiness and peace won’t last forever.

Kyum petitions his father to teach him how to use a sword, and his father tells him that there are two types of swords in the world – those used to kill and those used to save.

“In this life, I hope you never have to pick up a sword. But if you do, remember that you must always use your sword to save people, for that is the only type of sword tolerated in this world.”

Kyum is radiantly happy.

At night, the assassins move in. A dog barks in the yard, alerting Lord Lee to the intruders. Not having time to flee, he picks up Kyum, who has fallen asleep at his books, and puts him in a cabinet. He makes his son promise to stay alive no matter what happens to him and passes on the good luck pouch to him.

Then the father locks the cabinet, and goes out to face the three assassins.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Stuff we know: Kyum is Iljimae. Eun Chae is his future girlfriend/love interest. Bong Soon aka the blind man’s daughter, ditto. Clueless/Cha Dol is Iljimae’s unknown half-brother.

– First impressions are on the meh side. The beginning was overdone, though plus points for assiduous application of CGI. The introductory episode is on the clumsy side of things – drops everything in our laps like that.

– It strikes me that in going for cool, the people overshot and got ridiculously overdone instead. But the kiddies slay me with their cute, so I will keep watching. I know from right now, that my recaps are not going to be monstrous things at all.

– Stats: 2691 words!

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 2, recap

Enough of the mockery. The real recaps begin here.

I said before to iurgnotmis that I tend to watch dramas for two things – the quality or the eyecandy. I think by now it’s fairly obvious which category Iljimae falls in, yeah?

Also, Lee Junki is Yong/Ryung (depends on how you want to spell it) in the day, Iljimae in the night, and Lee Kyum in the past. Confused yet?

Let’s see if we have all the names straight, cause there’s a lot of name changing in this drama:

Cha Dol – the sweet clueless boy, later renamed Shi Hoo, assumed to be Byun Shik’s son, but he’s really Lee Won Ho’s, and thus Iljimae/Ryung/Kyum’s older half-brother
Swe Dol – the kindly thief who takes care of Dani (who also sucks a little at thieving)
Dani – that lovely servant girl who seems to have slept with everyone
Lee Won Ho – Iljimae’s dad, and presumed traitor
Byun Shik – annoying asshat noble person
Eun Chae – Byun Shik’s daughter (whom we all suspect to have been adopted or given by aliens, she’s too cute and smart by half), future love interest of Iljimae/Ryung/Kyum
Shi Wan – Byun Shik’s son, takes after him in more ways than one
Bong Soon – A girl who will get more airtime in the next recap

If you get past all the nonsense and the convoluted relationships they try to have in this show, it’s pretty enjoyable. If not, then… eh.

Episode 2

There’s a really long battle, and while Lord Lee puts up a good fight, there are three people trying to kill him. Poor Kyum has to watch his father gets slashed and stabbed (through a conveniently placed hole in the cabinet, may I add).

Lord Lee loses his weapon, and accepts defeat, but wants to know who would do this. His very good friend from last episode appears, and says (with no small amount of wood), that there cannot be two suns in one Earth (no, for one, the Earth would get totally fried)(but what a cliche!). He also says that he really did like Lord Lee, so he’s going to kill him personally.

Lord Lee is quite shocked but takes it stoically. (Kyum in the cabinet is dismayed.)

While Kyum is busy crying his thousand tears, one of the underlings makes it look like Lord Lee committed suicide.

Then the underling suddenly develops a spider sense and goes to the cabinet. He raises his sword to slice it in half, but happily for Kyum a superior comes and checks it first. At the same time, Swe Dol, feeling guilty for what he and his son were forced to do, comes to check on the family.

The underlings walk away after determining that there was nothing in the cabinets. One of them still has doubts.

Swe Dol discovers Lee’s body. He hears Kyum in the cabinet, and gets him out, but the audience has to be tortured a bit. The lock won’t give, and crown troops are here to denounce Lord Lee as a traitor. The forensics expert is puzzled at two things: the position of the wounds on the body, and the strange tattoo Lee has on his chest.

The thief dude has taken the entire cabinet home (making it over a garden, a wall, and a fair bit of the city, all before the crown troops enter the doorway – and he has a dislocated elbow from Lord Idiot – hmm). He smashes the lock and finds Kyum inside, passed out.

Just then, his wife returns home from escorting Cha Dol to Lord Idiot as his son (but, as we said, he’s really Kyum’s half-brother). I’m pretty sure she’s thinking, omg, you want a son so much you decided to bring one home?

At Lee’s house, the magistrate rules it a suicide after discovery by crown troops, but the forensics dude is still not convinced. His superior warns him (not too subtly) that his curiosity is getting troublesome again. (What do you bet this man is going to be significant later?)

The next morning, Dani goes to the police station, ostensibly to deliver some clothes, but she’s really just going to find out who died. (Oh boy, what a doozy when she finds out whose son she has in her hands.) She does some nifty and discreet (what passes for discreet in this drama anyway) inquiring and finds out that it’s Lee. There is devastation.

(I find it more interesting that the list planted and found under the Lee house is now leading to dozens more arrests. Talk of killing more than one bird with a stone.)

So now there are intensive search parties for Kyum – who is coming around, muttering for his father. His mother and sister are in trouble, but there’s nothing anyone can do about them, being branded traitors and all.

Dani shows more of her clearheadedness (going to sleep with Lord Idiot after discovering she was pregnant? Not the brightest idea in the world.) by returning home and trying to cart the still-unconscious Kyum to the authorities. She resents that her son was brought up and derided for being a peasant while he got the cream of the land, so to speak. To which I can only say, your fault.

The woman is bent on killing Kyum, so her husband drags her outside for some nice, fresh night air (go neighbours). She tells him that it’s Lee’s son in there, and the husband is shocked. She is overtaken by a burning thirst for revenge. The husband realizes what he and Cha Dol did and tries to remedy it by saving Kyum.

He tells her that she must not kill Kyum, if only for the sake of him being Cha Dol’s little brother. She falls to the ground and sobs – mostly grief for Lee, I think, with added frustration of being unable to voice her troubles.

We pan to the moon, for tragic effects and music.

Ten years ago:

Swe Dol was brought blindfolded to a noble residence. An old-ish noble woman in the corner leaves as soon as he arrives. He is told to kidnap someone (for money, woe, it makes the world go round). I think it’s Dani.

Yup. It is. Swe Dol meets Lee on the way out.

Their conversation is very strange, as Lee seems to know that she’s being kidnapped, and remarks some sort of relief that Swe Dol’s face is very kind. He gives the dude a lot of money, and tells him to give her happiness, because she is precious.

No offense, but that is just… illogical.

Or maybe I’m expecting some Romeo and Juliet-level sacrificing. Heck, even Hwang Jin Yi level sacrificing would have worked (though it seems that being an adult still doesn’t get you past mommy’s interference.)

Digressions aside, Swe Dol sits down to gleefully count his money as Dani is carried away. Then he realizes that the direction servant #1 is going in has no road. Lee’s instructions become clear now.

Swe Dol is enraged and gets a huge stone to kill the servant, but he pleads obedience to his masters (more blind obedience, I see) and he ends up throwing money at him. Something tells me that Lee wanted to keep her alive but was secretly overruled by his mother.

More un-logic: he doesn’t tell her that Lee wanted to keep her alive. (Cause he wanted her to looooooove him. Hmm.)

(Sevenses throws her hands in the air and gives up on making sense of this thing. From now onwards, ’twill only be eyecandy for this one.)

Back to the present – Swe Dol meets with friend who works at Lord Idiot’s – Cha Dol is now Master Shi Hoo of Lord Idiot’s house. Also, irreversible proof of Lee’s guilt turned out to be found by the foundation of the house – which means, to this particularly slow ajusshi, that Cha Dol killed his own father.

Oh scriptwriters, why so cold?

So now the only person who knows everything is this guy? He’s the reason ‘anti-heroes’ was invented!

The next morning, the assassins have archery practice, and the runner comes up to tell them that there’s a missing cabinet. Both guards realize at once what has happened. The one shooting (so-called Korea’s best archer) misses.

Switch shots to see Kyum wandering the streets, sobbing his heart out. He sees guards and avoids them, smart boy, though why he’s out at all mystifies me. Swe Dol is running around searching for him. In the center of a large crowd, his father’s body is torn in four pieces (each limb being attached to a horse) and Kyum runs away before they actually do it.

He wanders to where his house is, and sees that it’s been torn apart. He takes a nail that’s conveniently lying around and carves on a plum tree. He swears that he will not forget any of this (um, hold on to that thought). Just then, soldiers enter the courtyard.

They give chase, but Kyum is fast as the wind on his little legs, and he falls into a garbage heap in relief. Just then, Bong Soon and her brother come along to take stuff from the garbage. The older brother recognizes him and is about to give him over to the authorities when Kyum gives him his father’s medallion.

Bong Soon and her brother take him back to their settlement and feed him, but unfortunately Kyum’s stomach can only be termed as delicate. The brother goes out to buy some medication for Kyum by pawning the medallion. The soldiers manage to track down Bong Soon’s brother and follow him back to the village.

Kyum’s Iljimae sense jolts him into wakefulness. He gets up and asks after her brother. When she says that he’s gone off to buy stuff with the medallion, he knows they’re in trouble. So he drags a protesting Bong Soon after her brother, only to see him return safely to the village. Kyum and he exchange relieved smiles. But two stealth assassins come up and kill him.

Kyum takes Bong Soon and runs, but is chased up to the edge of a cliff by one of the guards (the kinder one, I think). He jumps into the water far below, but the guard catches Bong Soon. We see him struggling in the water. Meanwhile, the man goes to his partner and tells him that the boy drowned and the girl was killed.

Ho! Now we come to it! The blind soothsayer who was killed had predicted a brilliant sun for Korea (meaning a replacement king, and you know how well that usually goes down) and Lee Won Ho was there with his son while the blind dude was predicting away.

That’s why there’s all this ‘must kill them’ conspiring going on.

Kyum makes it out of the waters alive (increasing the number of improbable survivals by one) and wanders around town. He is recognized by the same sleazy officer who ran about obeying Noble Annoyance (aka Shi Wan).

Back at Lord Idiot’s house, his wife and friends gloat over the deaths of Lee Wan Ho and Kyum. Little Eun Chae, already fathoms deep in love at the tender age of 7 or so, drops her teacup in distress. Her mother, being possessed of slightly more brain cells than the average pea, doesn’t notice her distress.

Wee!Eun Chae goes off to angst by herself near a plum tree.

The kindly soldier, Jong Cha (?), quits his job, citing increasing stress and personal differences with the corporate vision. Anyway, he takes off. His ‘brother’ pays a visit to Lord Idiot aka Byun Shik and thanks him for helping them out.

Meanwhile Shi Wan has just smashed some pottery on the steps.

The pottery thing was expensive and Shi Hoo gets in some major trouble. Shi Wan watches gleefully. The swordsman (who is containing mounting irritation at Byun Shik’s brutishness) takes a look at the shards on the ground and determines that someone has cut him/herself on the shards. Shi Hoo has no such wound. (Again? Someone’s a little obsessed by this whole proof by innocent hands thing.)

The man, who is about to become an Imperial Guard, is impressed with Shi Hoo, and asks who he is. Byun Shik grudgingly acknowledges that it’s his son. (Eventually Shi Hoo will learn great things from this man and become an imperial guard, thereby fully integrating himself with the people who killed his father. I am slayed by the irony. Oho.)

A subordinate comes to report the sighting of Kyum. Shi Hoo is recruited to verify if it really was him. (So the assassins are really the secret police. They have medallions that can command crown troops to halt.)

In the marketplace, Kyum’s mother is on the way to being exiled as a slave, and Kyum is forced to prove he’s not who they think he is. His mother tries to help by acting crazy and not recognizing him. Dani watches off to the side, horrified at what she’s willing to do to protect Kyum. Then Mr. Secret Service tells him to throw a rock at his mom. Kyum hesitates for a long time, but eyepathy with his mother spurs him to do it.

Kyum is deemed as not Lee’s son, after passing the Rock throw test, and the Recognition test by Shi Hoo. There is a moment of relief and triumph for his mother, while Shi Hoo is determined to return the favour Kyum and his father did for him.

Poor Kyum stands alone, having had to throw a goddamn stone at his mother’s head.

Bong Soon’s brother’s body is brought forward, and Kyum’s mother falls on it, keening her ‘grief’. Then she faints.

Meanwhile, Kyum staggers his way through the marketplace. Dani comes upon him and walks with him, but he collapses midway home. When he wakes up, the stress of the day’s events have been too much for him, and he thinks Swe Dol and Dani are his parents.

Swe Dol wants to keep him, and while Dani objects, she’s really not that cruel. Swe Dol names him Yong – for bravery.

Bong Soon, as it turns out, is fine. (Well of course she is, if they’re going to keep us in suspense about her fate, how about not showing us trailers with her leaping around as an adult? Just a tip.) The ex-Secret Service dude has put her in the keeping of the owner of an inn. He gives a large sum for her to keep Bong Soon with, but the woman wants to sell her for more profit. Poor Bong Soon overhears their plans and cries for her brother (or Kyum/Yong – if wee! Eun Chae can fall in love at 7, why can’t Bong Soon?).

The dude gives her some pancakes, which was what her brother bought for her the day he got killed, but Bong Soon insists on following him, duckling like. He lets her do so after he hears she is afraid to be sold.

(Say what you like about the plot holes in this one, the scenery is great.)

13 years later:

Yong is being tied to a tree while other nobles make fun of him. (Um, the guy needs to work on his groaning. Still, return of the pretteh!) While passing out, he remembers his father’s last words. Which is great, but there’s the more immediate problem of being tied to a tree in the middle of nowhere and unconscious to boot.

Fortunately for continuity, a random hunter comes along and brings Yong home. While there, the unconscious but obviously tortured guy mutters in his sleep, thereby revealing that he is indeed the missing Kyum. The hunter seems to know what he’s about, and is set to betray Yong/Kyum.

The next morning, Swe Dol comes in with a broomstick to get Yong to get up and go to school. Yong pleads with Dani for leniency, but she shrugs him off. At his joke that people might think he was adopted by her attitude, Swe Dol looks awkward.

Lols. Yong goes to school in the olden version of backpack + blazer. He’s even got fake headphones.

He is stopped by a peddler who sells porn. Teenage boy + porn = automatic customer.

This Yong =/= Kyum at all. He’s giddy, easily excited, a slacker, and a bit on the dense side too.

Anyway, the peddler (who turns out to be the ex-Secret Service guy) and Bong Soon run a little side operation. However, Yong has already read all the porn they sell, so she sells him a fake one. In obvious distaste of porn, I guess, she’s trying to discourage it in her own way.

Yong demands a refund when he finds out, but is caught by his father, who brings him back to school.

Meanwhile, the hunt for him is on again. Kid never catches a break, does he? (Though with his hapless way of doing things – and no courage at all – he may not be considered as a noble scion at all.)

This time the noble students throw him into a well. And then Shi Wan, not one to do things halfheartedly, hits him really hard with a rock. With any luck, this will make him remember who he really is.

End

Commentary/Rambling:

– Given the prophecy (hmm, Harry Potter or Hong Gil Dong, anyone?), and the fact that Iljimae’s last name is Lee, it’s quite possible that he is descended from the royal family. Not directly, but cousin of cousin ish. He’s noble anyway, so whatevers.

– Silliness quotient significantly down for this ep, and thank goodness.

– It’s getting a little interesting, though I daresay the ending is pretty much predictable.

– Stats: 2935 words! We’re creeping up there again.

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 3, recap

Hey dudes! Things are looking to get super busy soon… Will continue to do recaps as fast as I am able.

In passing, Gossip Girl is interesting. (Sort of ashamed to admit it, but it seems better than the books…)

Episode 3

Swe Dol can send Yong to school because he takes beatings for the schoolmaster, who’s really into harassing women. Poor man has to support Yong somehow.

Meanwhile, Yong is unconscious and bleeding about the head after being bashed by Shi Wan. The nobles drag him out to nowhere again and throw him into a hunting pit. Swe Dol is worried at his disappearance, but Dani is not really caring. Cute moment as she takes care of Swe Dol’s sore butt.

Swe Dol asks after the young eagles (aka noble students) if they’ve seen Yong, but they pretend not to know that he’s not noble and tell him Yong snuck off early. Yay for skivving class. It’s not the first time, so unfortunately for Yong, Swe Dol only gets annoyed.

Yong wakes up in a pit. Those nobles tied him very loosely, or the ropes loosened by themselves suddenly (like magic). All this head trauma will either render him an idiot or jolt his memory. I vote for the second one. And I think Mr. Hunter will come upon him again. In the pit, he shows a bit of claustrophobia induced by childhood trauma – and calls for his father. But he spots a handy shovel, oh so casually abandoned, and gets himself out. Except he doesn’t, and totally twists his ankle.

Then he uses the long length of rope and creates a lever system to get himself out, sacrificing a nice coat to the cause. So now he’s out, but he still has a busted ankle. As if all this hardship isn’t enough, someone comes and knocks him out, leaving him tied up, for real this time, in the middle of a snow storm. (And he’ll survive, because he’s Iljimae.)

Oh wait. Secret Service guy wants to know if he’s Lee Kyum. And he’s on really thin ice in the middle of a lake with a rock tied to his feet, so, uh. Yeah. The guy interrogates him while drawing a circle around Yong, who’s really petrified with terror (and how these guys survive in the snowstorm with whatever meagre clothing they have on… I leave to you to devise) and he admits to being Kyum to survive. Wtf.

But SS dude is killing him anyway. Yong plunges into sub zero water as the ice breaks. Of course he manages to untie himself, hands, feet and arms, to see that SS was still up there and pause, all in one breath. And we can see that the ice is really really thick, so from what I know of human physiology, his brain and vital organs should be shutting down right about when he was untying the ropes. But we’re not watching this for reality, all the better – there would be no show.

SS dude leaves in satisfaction even as Swe Dol and Yong’s street friends wait up for Yong. One of them remarks that Yong didn’t show up to the brothels or casinos at all that day so something bad must have happened to him. Swe Dol realizes that one of the noble eagles was being shifty this afternoon. Oish, he is really slow.

In the (very very cold) water, Yong is floating about, but he suddenly hears his father’s voice, and this jolts him out of his icy death. (I can’t believe he still has air left in his lungs.) He punches through the thin film of ice that’s formed, seal-like, and scrabbles for purchase on the ice so he can get out. Go inspiring theme music.

Shi Wan has gotten so drunk he has to be carried home.

Yong does his Death of the Frozen Crab crawl on the ice. Alas, the elements prove too much for him, and he begins falling back down the ice hole. Then, a hunter (the same one from ep 1, I suspect) saves him. He and this hunter always meet when he’s unconscious. Is this fate?? Or just really clumsy scriptwriting?

The hunter has some fun dragging Mr. Frozen Corpse home – his face says, “What kind of wimpy seal is this?!” (And of course his shoes grip like octopus suckers on the ice.)

Meanwhile, Swe Dol and Yong’s friends have got Shi Wan in the woods, having pretended to be palanquin carriers.

LOL. Eun Chae is the useful one in the house, as she oversees the building of a new hotel. And, unlike her idiot father, she actually has scruples and isn’t afraid to use them. (That thing about noble beauties having to cover their faces and hair in modesty? Totally unneeded for the perfect, intelligent, beautiful Eun Chae.) The crewmen all worship the ground she walks on. Two of them make ribald jokes about her, and Shi Hoo bursts in, with brotherly/loverly (sorry, in kdrama the distinction is unfortunately blurred) wrath, and throw the two out. Turns out the entire crew are people she recruited to save from poverty.

Snaps for Miss Eun Chae. (I changed my mind. The Mary Sue/Gary Stu in this show is Eun Chae and not Iljimae as previously thought. Obviously Iljimae at least has a backstory. This girl just appeared on earth one day, perfectly formed and gorgeous to boot.)

Shi Hoo is so in love with her he follows her home. Oh man. That’s called stalking, dude.

Eun Chae is so nice she lets her servant ride in the carriage because she’s afraid her servant will get too cold. Um.

Shi Hoo flashes back to time when he was small. Shi Wan told him to shoot slingshots at a random servant girl – if he hits her, then he admits him as a brother. Small, cute Eun Chae rushes out but is stopped by Shi Wan’s bigger friends. Shi Hoo hesitates. Then he shoots Shi Wan in the face.

Obviously he’s beaten. Eun Chae comes to help him and he is hopelessly smitten. (Ha. Perceived incest AND kiddie love. Ouch. This show totally doesn’t pull the punches.) Aww. Baby sister stepping up for big bro!

Eun Chae gets home and Shi Hoo does his gruff brotherly pretence, but he actually escorted her all the way through to keep her safe. Her mother, however, is still an ignorant and arrogant woman. Poor Shi Hoo, stuck between two worlds. He’s apparently been made an Imperial Guard after passing exams. Snaps for Shi Hoo, too. It can’t have been easy, in such a household, to make it so far.

Shi Hoo is sent after Shi Wan, where he learns that big bro apparently already went home. In fact, he’s hunting for Yong, under the watchful dragging of Swe Dol and co. He leads them to the pit, but obviously Yong’s not there anymore – and while the three are busy looking down the pit, Shi Wan runs away.

While Swe Dol and friends chase him down (and administering some righteous beating, may I add), Shi Hoo jumps out of a tree and dispatches the three distraught men. (We can tell who’s turned out for the better, yep.) Swe Dol recognizes him, and in turn Shi Hoo recognizes his ex-stepfather, and Swe Dol stops the other two from attacking him. Shi Hoo helps his purported brother home.

As soon as they’re out of range, Shi Wan pushes Shi Hoo away. The other lets him, as he’s feeling down from having just kicked someone who’s never done anything but good for him. (Honestly, wouldn’t dump water on Shi Wan if he was on fire.)

Shi Hoo here is almost put in the position of Hong Gil Dong – capable but illegitimate, the best he can hope for is a quiet life in the military. Whereas Shi Wan gets the recognition (and the back of his father’s hand, lol) when he misbehaves, which is basically every day. It saddens me to observe that right now, Yong has more in common with his tormentor than with Shi Hoo.

Shi Wan, in an attempt to stop his father from berating him, brings up the issue of his father’s ‘bought’ noble heritage (so the blood Mrs. Byun Shik so proudly boasts is much lower than that of Yong’s or Shi Hoo’s – they are Lord Lee’s sons, and possibly related to the royal family, after all…). His father is not amused. He continues in his rant (and we observe that his way of running a family is highly unconventional – letting his daughter do work while taking in an illegitimate son, but ironically, having a loafer heir is all too common). He compares Shi Hoo and Shi Wan (we get the feeling that this isn’t the first time, and figures largely in Mrs. Byun Shik’s mistreatment of Shi Hoo), to his own heir’s detriment, and we appreciate the irony of him praising Shi Hoo as the true inheritor of his brains and talent.

I guess Eun Chae is just a biological sport.

Why doesn’t Shi Hoo slink away? He’s good at hiding, as seen previously, and obviously this sort of scene is bad for his own standing with his adoptive parents… but nooo. He has to be here to witness the scene and quietly angst with the audience’s sympathy.

Back in the police archives, Lord Lee’s good friend (the one that didn’t betray him to his death) breaks the royal seal on the documents that prove Lee’s guilt and thinks things are fishy. He tucks away Lee’s medallion for later use. This is probably only because rumours of Lee Kyum surviving are surfacing amongst the elite again.

Meanwhile, Yong wakes up, all thawed and defrosted (ready for consumption!) – he’s being tended to by a servant, and the guy who was investigating the archives (Prime minister of the left, wow) asks him if he’s Kyum. Yong is like, again? Also, due to amnesia, he tells what he perceives to be the truth and misses a prime opportunity for help. In passing, his mother and sister are alive! (I hope PM dude doesn’t die. That would complicate things.)

PM of the left is basically setting Yong under watch until further notice, and I bet the reports will make him laugh/migraine. He knew, from inspecting the corpse that it wasn’t Kyum. So he knews the guy is definitely alive.

Yong’s friends return from a night of searching and find him in their room. Needless to say, they’re a little shocked. In passing, I love how Yong’s hair went through all that it did and still stay so nice and coiffed. I want what he’s using.

He lies to his father, telling him that he was at the casino all night. His father comes after him, face like a zombie, with a shovel. ZOMG DED OF LAUGHING AT HIS BEGGING DOGGY FACE. (LJK really knows how to use his eyes, oh, those eyelashes. XD XD XD)

I think I know why Yong is so carefree and stupid. He’s been hit on the head too many times by despairing adults.

Anyway, Swe Dol, with that big heart of his, forgives the errant Yong, though he seems to almost not believe Yong’s cover story. They bump into Bong Soon’s adoptive father aka random peddler of … random stuff. Yong is reminded of the ‘Viagra’ he bought for his father, and chases after the peddler after hearing that his father threw the stuff away. Swe Dol actually kept it, and he drinks it.

Yong goes off to harass Bong Soon, who’s impressing customers with her stories so she can sell medication. He forces her to drink a bottle of her own medication. Her ‘father’ arrives just as Yong is causing a mess, and it’s overplayed but funny to see Yong beg like that. Then Bong Soon’s father goes off to beat up some bullies – Yong is cowardly like anything, *smacks*. He runs away, after telling the local hooligans to continue whatever they were doing.

Fortunately Bong Soon’s dad hasn’t forgotten his skills as the nation’s former top martial artist and he totally fells all of them with one punch. The person he rescued is very grateful.

Swe Dol tries to get Dani jealous by talking about a restaurant owner’s advances. Dani just sews. As he continues talking and persuading her to leave Lee behind, she gets more and more irritated with him (dude, she’s holding a needle – cardinal rule of life: do not irritate women holding needles.)

However, the ‘medication’ that’s supposed to have a Viagra effect? Is actually a laxative. As Bong Soon and Swe Dol suffer in their respective privies, they swear to kill Yong. When Swe Dol spots him coming home, he chases Yong around the yard, promising retribution.

But then guards come to arrest Swe Dol for violence against a noble – Byun Shik heard about his son beating and ‘killing’ Yong, and instead of getting angry, sets out to punish the people who gave his son a black eye. So now Swe Dol will get his hand chopped off unless Yong begs for clemency from Shi Wan. And pigs will fly if Shi Wan actually forgives him… not that there’s anything to forgive, imho.

Dani visits Swe Dol in jail and takes the time to air her grievances on Yong’s subject again. Swe Dol really is very nice to a boy who’s not even his own flesh and blood. She meets Yong on the way out and snarls at him that he must be really happy now that he’s made his father into a cripple. Ouch. Yong has manly tears of distress.

Shi Wan, in some random casino, is getting his ass handed to him by the other gamblers. Yong makes an appearance to beg for clemency, but Shi Wan uses him for more money – not that Yong has any, but I get the feeling he’s going to start his career in stealing.

As it’s night, Bong Soon and her father settle down. He asks her if she ever regretted following him, and she replies that he saved her life and then raised her – what’s there to regret? However, he’s got a ton of guilt going on, starting with the killing of her older brother, her ‘friend’ Kyum (who jumped off the cliff) and, of course, Lord Lee.

Bong Soon is so quirky and alive, as opposed to Eun Chae the perfect goddess. One prefers someone real, I would assume. Rooting for Bong Soon, but I know Eun Chae will get Iljimae in the end, if one of them does indeed get him.

The next morning, as Shi Wan walks out of the house with more money, Shi Hoo drags him off to the side and just barely restrains himself from beating the other guy up. Barely. However, Shi Wan has got the upper hand on both Yong and Shi Hoo, so they can’t do anything. Eun Chae has overheard and wants to help Shi Hoo, but he’s super angry.

Eun Chae beards the lion in his den and talks with her father. She knows as well as anyone how unpredictable her father’s temper is, but she has to try for her beloved brother.

Poor Yong’s contemplating the gates to Seoul’s underside, with fights everywhere and just plain unpleasantness. Oh. In return for being sold to a boxing manager, Shi Wan gets money and will let his father go (ha, as if, more like Eun Chae wearing her father down). And Shi Wan arranges for Yong to get killed in his first fight (but I bet he learns from either Bong Soon’s dad or an unknown wise man so he doesn’t die, wait, he doesn’t die anyway…).

Shi Wan, to Yong’s face, tells a different story. If he wins the prize money, his father goes free.

And it ends there.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Honestly? Just sit back and enjoy whatever dramatic show these people put on. LJK’s cute enough to distract you from the bad plotholes for a while. And then you can get lost in the mockery.

– On that note, improbable survivals up to three: not getting hit by those bazillion arrows, jumping off cliff and ending up relatively sane and in one piece, and now defrosting after time in Siberian conditions.

– Felt slightly fillerish to me, but could have been the fact that this is the first of two weekly episodes.

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 4, recap

So, folks. Just started reading Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides – it is one heck of a book. I haven’t finished it, but I feel confident in saying that it’s a great book. It’s the vibes one gets.

Anyway, you’re probably about to beat me over the head with Gil Dong’s stick or something… so here it is.

Episode 4

Last episode ended on a stressful note.

Yong is trying to keep his father’s hand attached to his wrist, and after being shown Shi Wan threatening Yong, we flash to a dogfight. *headdesks* They better not have been hurt during filming. Shi Wan comments that the two dogs look alike and could be taken for brothers. His clear enjoyment of the fight disturbs even his friend.

At the jail place, Shi Hoo has requested a meeting with Swe Dol. They enjoy a father-son moment together. Swe Dol tells him that Yong is just an adoptee (who is, I think, also younger than Shi Hoo – he calls him ‘child’ – but it could also just be because Shi Hoo is miles ahead in the maturity department). He urges Shi Hoo to stay and meet Dani, who’s coming to visit, but Shi Hoo reiterates her words at their parting and upholds his promise to her to never recognize her anymore. (What will he do if/when he finds out he’s Lee’s son and Kyum/Yong’s brother? Hmm.) Poor guy’s obviously unhappy. Oh, Mr. Kicked Angst Puppy, let Eun Chae give you a hug already.

Flashback:

Young Shi Hoo, shortly after being absorbed into Byun Shik’s household, decides that he doesn’t want the glitzy riches and wants to come back to their family, but Dani pretends to not recognize him. She doesn’t even see/pretends to not see the bruise at Shi Hoo’s mouth, and ignores his tears. (Fails as a mother! Just really don’t like her, sorry, but what sane mother doesn’t notice these things??) (But then, her behaviour hardly shows her up as sane…)

Back to the present, Yong is desperately practicing for the upcoming fight. The boxing manager (who is also in charge of the betting, what a conflict of interest) introduces him to his opponent, who’s got at least 60 lbs on him (for the metrics amongst us, that would be 27.18 kg). Yong snarks to his friends (one of whom looks like Ji-Hyuk from Choon Hyang) that fighting is about brains, not brawn (yes, but if you have no brawn your brains risk being squished before being put to use).

We change shots to Shi Hoo practicing diligently (they’re really playing up the differences between our two main male leads, aren’t they?). Shi Wan says the same thing he did to Yong, but this time he’s making Shi Hoo win the prize money. (Audience: We hope you reincarnate as a fly.)

Shi Wan totally knows they’ll both do it because both boys love Swe Dol.

Yong, in the meantime, has asked someone to make armour for him – specifically, clothing with nails affixed on the outside. (And he’s supposed to be smart? No one sees those bits of metal, nope.) Outside the shop, he bumps into Bong Soon and her father and is forced to down a bottle of laxative. Lols at Yong being weaker than Bong Soon.

The person responsible for framing and killing Lord Lee (not Byun Shik, who was just a tool) has noticed the PM of the left’s interest in the case. (Btw, it was all 13 years ago.) He tells his underlings to watch the PM. And, of course, to get rid of the irrepressible Yong.

At night, right before the match, Bong Soon and her father do some betting on the outcome, and the father recognizes that one of the contestants is in fact Yong (who they both know can’t fight to save his own life, let alone other people’s hands). Shi Wan and his bratty friends also attend. Shi Hoo is here too, albeit reluctantly.

I’m expecting some miraculous event, or at least some good slapstick in this one.

This match thing is more like the WWE than … anything historical that they might have had. Go fusion. Go sneaky. Go really random script.

Eun Chae is bringing tea out to Shi Hoo, in a manner that suggests this is habit, when she hears from the servant (he who is friends with Swe Dol) where he’s gone. Not one to do things halfway, she gets out the riding gear and mounts a horse to chase after her errant brother(s). (Koreans in the audience, tell me, were women allowed to ride horses with their legs split? I know the Chinese weren’t, unless it was a very very very special case.)

At the match, team red aka the Hulking Beast of Baldness is beating everyone into silly pudding. Bong Soon is super into it, but her father’s bored. Yong awaits his turn, dressed and masked like Zorro.

Eun Chae bursts in, heart in her mouth, and sees Yong lounging there. (OMG THEY MEET. AGAIN. BUT REALLY IT IS THE FIRST TIME.) Lols. In order to demonstrate their shared blood, Eun Chae mistakes Yong for Shi Hoo – and she should be trusted to make the right decision, since she only sees Shi Hoo every day.

The servant runs up (kept up with a horse on all those mountain roads? Bravo.) and tells her Shi Hoo is actually inside the room. Eun Chae slaps Yong for daring to keep holding her hand, then flounces away.

(Wow. Yong even gets beaten by his future girlfriend. Does this guy have no pain threshold levels or something?)

Yong preps for the fight and starts… dancing onstage. (Um, honey. That’s really not what fighting looks like. Looks like we’re going for the ridiculous again.) But his experience in running away from his father comes in handy as he dodges and weaves like mad. Very flexible man, that Lee Jun Ki.

Aha. Yong put the laxative in some buns, which he then fed to Man Mountain. I see where he’s going. Yong wins. (We garner a few lols. One rare thing Iljimae does better than Hong Gil Dong would be the toilet jokes, I suppose.)

Next up? Yong vs. Shi Hoo. Ouch. Conditions are that one must raise the defeat flag before the hourglass runs out or both lose – which means Shi Wan wins. *I smack me some Shi Wan*

Dani hears of Yong being at the gambling pit but not why, and is incensed. She, like Eun Chae, goes after her annoying male ‘relative’.

Aww, Shi Hoo and Yong, both doing this for their father. *sigh* Woah! Shi Hoo took his shirt off! *fans self*

Gah.

Anyway, not looking at his chest, nope. Shi Hoo is beating Yong pretty soundly, but it’s obvious his heart’s not in it. Yong refuses to give up, even when he’s going into the dizzy, concussed stage of beaten up. (*kills Shi Wan*)

As he gets beaten more and more, he starts to remember his past. Uh-oh, because secret assassins just set out for him. Dani and Eun Chae both burst in, and when Shi Hoo sees Dani, he stops beating Yong into the ground.

They communicate via eyepathy, and she finally understands that his life isn’t all roses.

Dani looks up and recognizes Yong as the other combatant. Yong stops beating Shi Hoo, now that Dani’s told him to stop, but Shi Hoo jumps up and starts KO-ing him instead. She shows that she does care for him (raising a kid like Yong for 13 years, I suppose you have to love him a little to be able to stand his shenanigans) by screaming for the both of them to stop (oh the irony of brother against brother). She is dragged out.

As Dani is dragged out screaming, Yong remembers his final glimpse of his real mother.

But Shi Hoo is drawing tons of blood now, and he begs Yong to surrender. Yong screams that he can’t, or his father’s hand will be cut off. Shi Hoo, being a sharp cookie, catches on. He asks if his opponent is really Yong, and then raises the defeat flag. There is also some male bonding, of the bloody fighting kind.

It’s morning now, and Yong anxiously awaits Shi Wan to give him the money. Eun Chae is waiting for Shi Hoo, I think, and Yong spares a few glances for her. But his main focus is on finding Shi Wan – who has run off, so Yong gives chase.

Eun Chae finds Shi Hoo inside. (Hey, if I had a caring sister like that, I wouldn’t push her away. Just saying. They’re pushing the angst real hard on this one.) Disappointed woman #2, aka Dani, asks him what he was doing in such a place, but he just walks off.

In his shoes, I guess I would feel pretty crappy too. Scratch that. I would find that bastard half-brother of mine and kill him very dead.

Yong rushes downhill to the city, but is felled by several really bad migraines. (The past, it is upon us!) His luck seems to have run out, for this is when the four horsemen of doom come by to kill him, once and for all. Poor Swe Dol.

If Yong doesn’t make it, then this gives a very good reason for Shi Hoo to hate him, and this time it’s not his fault.

Anyway, by some improbable twists involving a spear, a whip, a horse and a cliff, Yong ends up saving the life of his assassin. (Even with his memories re-integrating themselves, he still doesn’t remember being Lord Lee’s son.) His assassin spares him, but he is rendered unconscious in the duration. His father’s … in a bit of trouble, I’d say.

On the way home, Bong Soon finds the sack of money Yong dropped. After an amusing fight for the money that sends them both rolling, the father and daughter find Yong’s prone body (I’d say this was a bit too convenient, but I did want this to happen, so no mockery this time).

But they don’t give him the money, as he doesn’t recognize them. Damn.

Lord Wossface is convinced, once and for all, that Yong is dead, by the ponytail his subordinate gives him. He gets in trouble for telling Lord Wossface that Yong was innocent. I foresee another resignation in the future.

Yong runs to the jail, only to see that he’s too late. His father is being helped out by Dani and a friend of his.

But his hands are fine! After some frantic double checking, we see that Lord Byun Shik actually stopped the hand-chopping in the end. Instead, he opts for… a root canal? Swe Dol is now gap-toothed.

Byun Shik goes to inspect his new luxury hotel, only to find that Eun Chae has ordered a stop in construction. He is angry because her word is worth more than his. Lols, and so it should be. Shi Hoo hears of Eun Chae’s threats to stop working if her father chopped Swe Dol’s hand off.

On the way home, Yong has more headaches accompanied by his memories. (I take it we should violently beat more of our amnesiac people? Public might not take well to that.) He remembers meeting with the PM of the left, and rushes for his house. There, the older man tells him that his name is Lee Kyum and that his father was framed and killed.

Unfortunately, the other side has made moves to label him as a traitor, and Yong, hiding behind the screen, so like what he did that fateful night, recovers his memory.

He breaks down and does crazy dances through the streets. Luckily this is night, in Seoul, and no one notices. Screaming and crying, he finds his way back to his old house, still full of plum blossoms from spring. (Note to self, get OST asap and post it.)

At the tree where he once carved, “I will not forget”, he weeps for the father he never got to mourn, and for forgetting, and just for himself.

Just then, Eun Chae enters with her aunt, who plans to renovate the Lees’ house into her own home. She sees the plum tree and goes over to see it, not noticing Yong on the other side of the tree (*headdesks*). Very nice shot with all the flower petals flying around.

Yong goes home, and Dani comes at him with a broom. For once, he just takes the beating. Swe Dol comes out to stop her and tells him to shoo. So he does.

Meanwhile, Shi Hoo is still doing his ‘I am carved from rock’ thing, and infuriates Shi Wan.

Yong wanders the streets, angsting.

End

Commentary/Rambling:

– Despite its moments of obvious insanity/WTF/woe-ness, the series is growing on me.

– Anyone else think it’s interesting that we’re starting the series with Eun Chan/Shi Hoo, Bong Soon/Iljimae but will almost certainly switch? Or is it boring for you?

– Interesting factoid: the actor for Shi Hoo is also named Shi Hoo.

– Yay for things looking up!

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 5, recap

Finally! Wonder why the release was delayed… anyway. It’s a depressing week all around, methinks.

I’m not sure which name to use now, since Yong now knows he’s also Kyum… I think I’ll stick to Yong, atm.

Episode 5

We begin with Swe Dol tossing his pried-out tooth onto his roof, praying to the tooth fairy (or the Korean spiritual equivalent) to give him his tooth back. Yong rolls his eyes at the childishness and avers that it won’t work. As can be seen, the return of his memories renders Yong more mature and intelligent. (so he peaked at age 6? Doesn’t say much about his eventual intelligence…) As Swe Dol blabbers on about him making the annual exams and succeeding, Yong tries not to cry at the generous support this man’s always given him, even if he isn’t a blood-and-flesh son.

The next morning, when Swe Dol comes to wake him, he plays the usual charade. (I get the feeling that he stayed up the entire night.)

Byun Shik sneaks into a dinner for nobles who have passed the entrance exams (in the past) and tries to convince the ministers assembled that the prime minister (who tried to help Yong) should have his heart cut out. The man is obviously a little deranged from all that inbreeding.

Yong sees the jail guard procession escorting the prime minister to be executed, but cannot get close enough to do any talking.

Meanwhile, Bong Soon has set up a ‘fishing’ game to attract customers. They pay a certain amount of money and whatever they fish out they get to keep.

Bong Soon’s father has gone shopping for wines, and when Yong goes there to beg for some money, he sees that his pouch of winnings is in the other man’s hands. Yong is asked to prove it, and he shows that he has put little black labels everywhere on his possessions, which naturally includes the money pouch. Lol.

The hunter who’s stumbled upon Yong several times is accosted by loan sharks, who are about to take away his son and sell him into slavery. Making connections, we see that he’ll probably try to use Yong to earn enough to release his son. He has ten days.

Bong Soon sees her father in the street and knows he’s gone off with her money. She gives chase, which leads into a little restaurant. She sees that the bathroom door is locked and wrenches it open, only to see Yong without his trousers on. Oops. He threatens bodily harm, then retreats back into the stall.

Yong has asked the local detectives to find his sister. Bong Soon and father plot to get money back by pretending to be also working for the detectives. She swindles all his money away.

Byun Shik reports to his superior in plotting that everything moves according to plan. It is revealed that there is another target, and if Byun Shik stumbles even once in his duties, he will also be done away with.

The hunter dude investigates Yong’ background, asking his friend who works at the restaurant. (This one’s not too fast, but the other ones save the day.) The hunter’s suspicions are not alleviated. When Swe Dol comes after him for snooping, he turns the tables around by asking him the questions. (Oh Swe Dol. A brave tough warrior you are not.) Dani firmly asserts that Yong is her son, and also adds that the little bastard took ten months before coming out of her womb.

Bong Soon’s source says he can’t go into the place where the files on Lee Kyum’s mother and sister are placed – it’s top secret, and even ordinary ministers cannot go in. The two flee, and when Yong finds out, he’s too late.

Shi Hoo is in preparation for the military exam, while Swe Dol hopes that Yong will succeed in the civil exam. The schoolmaster applauds his dedication to Yong. (Yes, we get the point, he’s a weakling but he’ll protect those he cares about, can we move on? Thanks.)

Our little rascal, in the meanwhile, has decided to retrieve the records himself. He’s still mostly the blustery Yong, but we can see, emerging, bits of the focused and mature Kyum.

Yong isn’t the only one who wants to see the extensive files on the investigation of the treason cases. Two ministers have come, flanked by supporters, to retrieve the files. Byun Shik demands permission, and the two say they will bring the king’s own command tomorrow. (But there ain’t gonna be a tomorrow, babe, Byun Shik don’t love you no more …)

I’d say that Byun Shik needs to watch his steps a little, as everyone and their cousin is getting suspicious of his ham-handed ways, but that is how the man operates, more’s the pity. He’s probably also going to get rid of the investigating minister in charge at the time of Lee Won Ho’s (Kyum’s dad) conviction.

Unbeknownst to Yong, his friends are all scurrying to concoct cover stories for him in face of the hunter’s investigations. The boy is doing some intensive training (and become really good at martial arts eventually because that is how the show’s logic apparently works. Woohoo for convenient plot devices.)

Meanwhile, he incurs some really painful bruises trying to pole-vault over the walls. Inside, Byun Shik taunts the condemned former investigator with his intention to reveal the truth all those years ago. He says nothing to Byun Shik, but asks for a change of clothing – he does not want to go to audience with the king in dirty clothes that he’s bled on. (I suspect, from the expression on his face as his old clothes are taken away, that they contain a bit more than just blood from being beaten.)

Byun Shik receives his orders to cover up for the fake documents by burning them. The person whom Yong saved flies in and systematically lights all the documents on fire. Yong gets in by pretending to be part of the fire-fighting force.

Once in, he looks around, but he can’t find what he’s looking for. (And the books are blank. Either this was a budget-saving attempt or they were replaced, we’ll see.) The soldiers finally notice that he’s not one of them, and chase him around the different yards. Yong runs into the place where the former investigator is being choked to death by someone in black.

The crown soldiers must be having fun, chasing around two different people and combatting fire.

At the end of the day, Yong doesn’t get what he’s after.

The next morning, we see that Shi Hoo has been ordered by his stepmother to bring clothes to his ‘father’. Byun Shik, at the scene, is almost callous about the incident that may cost him his job if he’s not careful. (I suppose one must make use of stupid people, as the smart people have a tendency to crawl over their superior’s heads, but he’s irksome.)

The ministers from yesterday come to get their records, but since the place burnt down, they get a sum total of nothing. To add insult to injury, their witness also died. The doctor is of the opinion that he’s swallowed his own tongue and committed suicide. Byun Shik looks relieved as the other two ministers are increasingly irritated. Shi Hoo arrives.

After the two higher ministers leave, the man in charge of the prisoner voices his doubts, pointing out the drag tracks in the hay that covers the ground. Byun Shik bullies the other man with the fact that he’s the only one to have keys, to silence him. Shi Hoo watches thoughtfully, then points out the triangular point wounds on the man’s chest (he, coincidentally, also has the same tattoo Kyum’s dad did). This new wound, combined with the drag marks, are enough to prove that some one could have dragged him to the door and forced him to swallow his own tongue all without opening the door.

Byun Shik rounds on his son, and tells him to shut up, in obvious displeasure.

(One of these days, the plot is going to become really obvious, and then he’ll be in trouble.)

Yong takes the opportunity to crawl into the wagon delivering the man’s corpse and escape the place. En route, the guards and lone official discuss the evidence, so at odds with the conclusion. Yong overhears this, and when they are ambushed by other two guards, he discovers a scrap of cloth on the dead man’s head. Unfortunately, in getting away from the new guards, Yong drops the fabric and runs off.

In a none-too-subtle gesture, the scrap Yong holds says, “I have this to tell Kyum…” while the guards hold a piece that says, “… I have little time to do this, and so I can only write, the person who killed your father is none other than …” At this, the guards look at each other in shock and dismay. (I hope they’re allies, goshdarn. Yong’s had more than his share of trouble of late. Follows the pattern of sagueks, though, what with insurmountable odds and a crapload of conspiracy.)

Byun Shik, while grooming his scraggly mustache, gloats. This is when we hear that the documents burnt in the fire were all fake (yes! knew it!) and the real ones are somewhere ‘secure’. The lack of physical evidence also dooms the other side’s investigations. (Um, if only you knew.) His partner in crime, the secret service dude who tried to kill Yong many times, is suspicious of the fact that the man changed clothing before he died. Byun Shik, brain capacity about equal to that of a mole, doesn’t seem to grasp the facts, and chuckles away.

Shi Hoo looks pretty, and angsts. He watches Swe Dol chase Yong around the yard with a broom for not coming home the entire night, musing that he’d much prefer this life (not that he’d be a layabout like Yong, I don’t think) to the one he is living now, conscious only of a torturous inferiority that he is reminded of every second.

Yong is still pretending to be his no-good gambler self.

The secret service dude and Byun Shik make their way to where the man’s clothes are being burnt, and they discover a missing square in the fabric. Just then, a subordinate comes up with the news that the body has been stolen. Byun Shik’s dismay and the secret service person’s expression tell us that this was not planned, and those people were presumably allies to Yong, even if neither side knows it yet.

When Yong comes back from escaping his father’s bristled wrath, his mother tells him that someone came for him, and is willing to wait on a bridge until he arrives. Yong ignores her worry at the possibility that he has incurred debts, and runs off. It is the servant/friend (he looks noble, so probably not servant) of the prime minister, who was executed.

Yong approaches with a sense of purpose. (Me: Finally! Some plot progression!)

End.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Draggety drag drag. What the hell is up with all the filler episodes??! The editor needs to learn some compression skills.

– When Shi Hoo finds out who his real father is, and with the pieces of knowledge he has – the roof in Byun Shik’s house will come off.

– Speaking of Shi Hoo’s real father, it’s tentatively confirmed that Lee Won Ho, father of Kyum and Shi Hoo, is in fact the younger brother of the king. (Who is evil, but you knew that.)

– Not liking either of the female leads very much, as Eun Chae’s frank perfection and Bong Soon’s overacting are both kind of annoying.

– Will post recap of next episode as soon as I can find episode 6 in csubs!

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 6, recap

Waaaaaaah, the badness of this show is making me laugh. Do not, under any circumstance, take this too seriously, and you will have lots of fun. (Like, for example, instead of scoffing at his improbable survival of falling into a body of frozen water in the middle of a freak storm while the rest of the series is happily spring, marvel at Shi Hoo’s abs. Or something. :D)

My new motto when watching Iljimae? Stop using logic!!

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you…

Episode 6

Yong walks purposefully, in manner of a cowboy meeting his opponent for a duel, towards the two people he recognizes from the now-convicted prime minister’s house. The other man shakes his head ever so subtly and they pass each other by. Yong sees that the other guy actually has a shadow (same guy who tried to kill him three times, whaddya bet?) and follows them. Alas, they are lost to sight.

Shi Hoo is practicing for his military exam, but he has a shoulder injury, and stops, Tezuka-like, in pain. As it turns out, he’s rushing out to escort his beloved sister home. (He’s a little late today.)

In the woods, the man who was to meet up with Yong hides behind a tree while his subordinate and the guy in black fight it out. His servant is knocked out, but he survives. He runs in the woods (and suddenly, night came!), with the guy in black chasing close behind. He startles Eun Chae’s servant as he crosses the street in rapid retreat.

The man in black is very skilled, however, and pins down Yong’s potential ally. Right at this moment, a fortuitous, if not entirely unwelcome Shi Hoo comes upon them and demands to know what’s going on. He proves absolutely no match for the guy in black, but fights anyway. The man in black recognizes Shi Hoo and only gives him a slash on the arm before chasing after the servant dude.

Eun Chae finds her brother and takes him home to bandage the poor guy up.

The man in black hands over the scrap of fabric denouncing whoever it is to his boss, who is all, hmm, Shi Hoo may have seen you, I must kill you both… (But of course he doesn’t show it.)

At home, Shi Wan reminds us once more that he is the current title holder of Most Annoying Noble Git in Universe by picking on Shi Hoo some more.

The next morning, Yong and co. witness a wife beating up her errant husband (who ran away with another lady) – apparently someone managed to track the husband all the way across the country. He asks the person who did it for help, and the hunter dude overhears. (Where is a convenient lightning bolt when you need it, yo?)

The person will track down his mother and sister, but only for a price, which is where Bong Soon and her father come it. They’ve been swindled by a mother-son duo pretending to be matchmakers. Yong faithfully awaits outside their new quarters.

Shi Hoo tries really hard, but his injured arm makes everything totally impossible. Just then, one of the assassins who routinely meet with Byun Shik come by and tell him to train with the other hand. (Thus making Shi Hoo into an ambidextrous, super-capable martial arts god, I presume.)

Yay! Shi Hoo gets his own theme song. Whatever else you want to say about this over-angsted silent Tezuka wannabe, he’s hardworking. He practices in the day! In the night! With his other arm! With his shirt off! For three days and three nights, come rain or shine, he’s practicing his archery. (All traces of frustration has disappeared, and he smiles – facial expressions! I am so totally floored by the fact that his facial muscles can actually move.)

Yum. Am temporarily distracted by the gleaming, half-naked fitness that is Shi Hoo.

Both Eun Chae and Shi Wan have come to watch, with very different reactions.

Across town, Yong has finally caught up with Bong Soon and her father. He has her thrown into jail for fraud, and only the fact that Swe Dol is a softhearted sap saves her from being incarcerated until her father can rustle up the 200 dollars (actually ounces of silver, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s use dollars). They are both obligated to work for Yong for 50 days to pay off their debts.

Yong brings the money he made from selling their wares to the local mafia head (really seems that way, what with him loan sharking, holding illegal boxing matches and doing a bit of investigating off the side). The mafia head promptly goes to the hunter and asks for the money he owes. The hunter dude tells him the truth about Yong, and is promptly rebuffed for telling lies.

In fact, the mafia dude just doesn’t want to split profits. He gives the hunter another half month to gather up money.

(Yong’s still in danger, huh. Wish the show would decide between comedy and thriller, but then, I’m not complaining. Much. Moving the pace a bit faster would not come amiss either.)

Aww. That night, while Eun Chae’s coming home in the dark from the almost completed inn, Shi Hoo sets up two strings of lanterns on the trees that line the road. Then he uses his new-found archery skills to light them all up by fire-arrow (nevermind that the lanterns are not all at the same height, nor the fact that, hello, forest + fire = bad). The little sister is duly touched by this totally unnecessary and sappy gesture.

(I would be too. Then I would make him take it down and escort me in person, but then I am not the perfect Miss Eun Chae. :D)

Shi Wan throws a hissy fit because he wants lanterns too. (Aww.)

Yong, coming home from a long day, finds the as-of-yet undead person in the bushes. At the same time, he receives news from his friend that the people he’s been asking after have been found. He goes off to meet the mafia boss – yo, dude, it’s a trap. Even I can tell.

Somewhere, somehow, peasant Yong learned how to ride horses. Not questioning drama logic at all.

The scrap of fabric now in Byun Shik and unnamed villain’s hands turns out to be fake. However, the only one who can give an answer, the man who has the original, the one who’s gravely injured, dies. (He keeps pointing to his socks though. What are the odds? *sigh* When will you make sense, Iljimae?)

The autopsy reveals nothing, except that he was related to an ally of Lee Won Ho’s – then one of the two superior investigators Byun Shik pissed off earlier come, and the correct scrap falls into his hands. (He seems to be not part of the conspiracy, and the expression on his face when he reads it is pretty telling too. In passing, I love being able to understand what’s written on the scrolls… yay for ancient Chinese!)

OMG. WE HAVE KYUM’S SISTER!

She’s alive! However, rather inconveniently, two authorized thugs (aka people with uniform, who need to be tied to rocks and then thrown into a river, especially if I were their superior) come and flaunt their authority. They want to see the serving girls take their clothes off, and concoct some weak excuse about seeing one of them steal. Kyum’s sister, being less cowed than most, speak up against them.

Meanwhile, Kyum/Yong is galloping with all speed to where she is.

The person Kyum sent to find his sister tries to get her out, but being the sort who’s easily riled, he beats some idiot officers, and is set upon by what seems like all the blue-uniformed guards in the kingdom. Which, needless to say, is bad.

But, hey, the girl stands up for him at the end, and cows the other guards away with her words. (The scorned one vows revenge and my fingers itch for a good baseball bat.) Go logic!

MAJOR LOLS. Mafia dude has officially fallen for Kyum’s sister

*headdesk* Watching this show is starting to shorten my life. So frustrating

Kyum’s sister makes it out, but ducks into hiding at the sight of someone on a horse – that person is Kyum! So she runs off to where the mafia dude is telling her to go, and there are hordes of people chasing after her… (How I long for some good keymashing.)

Yong meets up with mafia dude, who has changed his mind and will no longer turn him into the authorities. They bond. Finally, the pieces are falling into place. Took them long enough.

Just as she runs up to where Yong and mafia dude are waiting, the guards come, with their dogs, and chase her down. They can only watch.

The next morning, mafia dude waxes optimistic about finding her, while Kyum just feels useless.

(Sorry, am using Kyum and Yong interchangeably, hope you don’t mind – they’re the same person, in case you’re confused.)

Yong rushes back home, only to face impending doom in the face of exams. Dani, not as mean or cold as she appears, goes shopping for materials that Yong is going to use in the exams. She, in spite of working her hands off on sewing, buys the most expensive type of paper for Yong. Hope he does well, but I doubt it. Even child geniuses have to do some studying.

In fact, he’s anxiously awaiting news from his sister.

Meanwhile, Shi Hoo has been practicing super hard. It shows. Swe Dol remembers that his other adopted son is also going through exams, and sneaks off to give him some goodies. Shi Hoo is touched. (But don’t eat all those sweets! It’ll ruin your svelte figure, for one.)

Byun Shik, not one to miss opportunities, warns Shi Wan about not making the cutoff for the exams. If Shi Hoo does, and he doesn’t, Shi Wan’s going to be erased from the family tree (with the implication that Shi Hoo will take his place). Not one to honourably figure things out, Shi Wan bribes the hostelry to give Shi Hoo a really bad horse.

The night before the exam, Dani stays up all night praying. I’m not sure for whom, and I think she’s not sure either.

Eun Chae gives Shi Hoo a thumbguard for archery, which he rebuffs, but the servant and Eun Chae both know he’s just being a cold bastard again. (Has a lot in common with his mom in that area.)

At the entrance, Yong is exceedingly embarrassed by his friends (four, count’em, four! Swe Dol, his two friends, and the hunter, who somehow got dragged into this) and father cheering him on. They do a cheerleading dance reminiscent of DBSK and embarrass the hell out of Yong. (Dude, I wish I had four people cheerleading me before my med interviews.)

Just as Yong’s about to enter the exam site, mafia dude comes up and tells him that he’s found his sister. (Um, bad timing, imho.)

At the military exams, we are once more shown the unfairness that permeates – nobles use horses, sit in the shade, non-nobles use cows and have to stand. Shi Hoo’s horse is perfectly fine, the hostler has elected for the age-old tradition of sticking a burr in the saddle. Poor horsie. Which also means that even with perfect scores for ground archery, Shi Hoo fails the exam. Shi Wan gloats

Kyum’s sister got to Seoul, but since she also needs to find her mother and a job, she became a prostitute. Yong is saddened. He also skips his exams and rushes out at night to find her.

Shi Wan, in the meantime, has gone back to his bad old habits.

(I have a feeling their lives are about to collide. F***)

Yong walks by the place his sister is selling stuff at, because it looks like it’s closed. (Directors! Enough with the near misses already!) Incidentally, Shi Hoo is here, waiting for Shi Wan to leave his habitual haunt. When Kyum’s sister hides upon hearing guards’ voices, Shi Hoo figures out that she’s an escapee, and Shi Wan’s taunts make him turn her in.

WTF. That makes Shi Hoo responsible for his father and sister’s death. I understand what he’s feeling, but sheesh. That’s a bit too much.

So, having made it all the way to Seoul, she gets caught, and will probably die. *clubs Shi Hoo*

Commentary/Rambling:

– I don’t know about you, but this show is trying to be James Bond/Harry Potter/wuxia at the same time… Go guilty summer pleasures? At least I didn’t fast-forward Time Between Dog and Wolf. But then, Nam Sang Mi was very fetching.

– The pairings are still holding strong at Eun Chae/Shi Hoo (sibling love, ahaha, who are you trying to kid?) and Bong Soon/Yong (we all know what glaring dislike between a guy and a girl leads to in kdramas).

– Somehow, I don’t think Shi Hoo’s going to be too happy finding out who he really is. And if only Dani knew.

Sevenses

It’s funny you should say that…

Or do that, or just about miss meeting your long-lost sister three times in the span of one episode. Hellooooo, directors. We do not appreciate being dragged around by the noses only to find that, 6 hours later, nothing much has happened.

Currently, Yong has recovered his memory and knows he’s Kyum. He’s still helpless and weak as a kitten – and no director, no matter how ingenious, is going to be able to convince me that Kyum suddenly discovers/gains super martial arts skills from the age of 19. Nuh-uh. Things like that take time and planning.

We are still, for all intents and purposes, on square one. (Okay, I concede two if you count the memory recovery.)

  • Kyum still doesn’t know who killed his father.
  • No sign of martial arts skills.
  • No sign of love geometry (which almost disturbs me more than the lack of progression.)
  • Made slight beginning on official recognition of Lee Won Ho’s innocence.
  • Also slight beginning in direction of ties to thievery.

Anyway, I just felt like the past six episodes were all fillers, and I need something to happen. It could have all been said in 4, with a more skillful – but there. I shouldn’t complain.

Imagine what would happen when/if Shi Hoo realizes who he is…

Shi Hoo: What? I’m .. who?
Kyum: YOU BASTARD!
Shi Hoo: *angsts* I killed my father …
Kyum: My name is Lee Kyum. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
Shi Hoo: … and my sister …
Kyum: AAAAAAAA!!! *is restrained by Eun Chae* Wtf?
Eun Chae: I am the voice of reason.
Shi Hoo: … and caused so much harm!
Eun Chae: He didn’t know. Relax.
Kyum: Okay, fine.
Shi Hoo: But wait. This means I’m not related to Eun Chae. I can totally date her!
Eun Chae: …
Kyum: That’s it. You die.

Enjoy!

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 7, recap

Ye gods, the tragedy. On the other hand, plot progression!

Am still interchanging Kyum and Yong as names – until he settles permanently back into Kyum, I will continue to use Yong.

Episode 7

Kyum’s sister is taken away by soldiers. Shi Hoo watches her being towed away.

Coincidentally, Yong is also captured for selling pornography – but really he was using them to bribe the prostitutes to tell him where his sister was. He’s in the same cell as his sister (no sex separation in the prisons = bad idea) and another random guy (or should that be randy?). Yong stops the man from coming on to his sister, but not recognizing her for who she is, he walks away.

In the morning Swe Dol visits and deals out some blows in anger. (I’m seriously not sure why all this beating round the head is necessary to the development of his character. I mean, 13 years of it hasn’t worked, so why should it now?)

Shi Hoo, meanwhile, is reassured that the girl he reported will just be beaten and sent back home. (Um, so not.) It appears that he did this to advance himself. (Am just waiting for the guilt that awaits him.)

However, Kyum’s sister is in trouble, and going to be used as bait for her brother, whose existence continues to worry Lee Myung Bak (evil ‘brother’ of the erstwhile Lee Won Ho).

Swe Dol, who has stayed at the cell the entire day and now deep into the night, calls the sleeping boy ‘Yong’, which tips off his sister. She realizes that this boy is her brother. However, before she can do anything about it, guards take her away to be interrogated.

Obviously Byun Shik is a disciple of the CIA method of interrogation – the poor girl’s half beaten to death, but she won’t say where her brother is, repeating that Kyum was killed the night her father was too.

When she’s thrown back into the cell, she sits right next to the sleeping Yong and watches him all night long. When she tries to snuggle with him, Yong wakes up and thinks she’s trying to harass him, so pushes her away. (Ah, the cruelty of the writers!)

She gets back up and tries to touch his hair, even just a little bit of petting, but she’s afraid to wake him up again, or to attract attention to her affection for him (which may really put him in danger). Yong is awake and worried about his sister, while that sister is sitting just behind him, looking at him with lots of misery in her eyes.

Yong is released in the morning, and his sister can only sob (with her destroyed throat, poor thing) at his leaving. When he breakfasts with the guards, they discuss her in terms that make it obvious she’s his sister. Yong drops his bowl in shock.

Then he demonstrates some of that quick thinking and moves to smear the rope (the one that they’re going to hang his sister with) with honey and blood – to attract mice.

Then the mafia dude gets himself in prison to tell Kyum’s sister that he’s thinking of a way to get her out. Meanwhile, Yong releases mice into the rope storage room. Then he steals a uniform and runs off.

In the morning, he disguises himself as a soldier and butcher in succession, in order to borrow a cow and break his sister out – however, as the hanging has been pushed forward by one day, his sister is already taken away.

As she looks at the noose in front of her, Yeon (Kyum’s sister) muses that she is soon going to rejoin her father, and hopes that he will find their mother. She thanks the heavens for being able to at least see Kyum once more, and resigns herself to her own death.

The officials’ real goal is to capture Kyum, and so they announce that if the younger brother of the accused stands forward, they will spare her life. As the official counts to three, Shi Hoo jumps out from the crowd and angrily shouts that he understood that she wasn’t to be killed. (Well, he is a brother, but not the one they’re looking for. Again, this dramatic irony.)

The crowd watches, murmuring their sympathy at this beautiful young woman, and Shi Hoo is dragged away.

Just then, Yong runs up, and tells her via eyepathy that he is here to rescue her. (Remember that rope he smeared with honey and blood? If the rope is frayed enough, it will break.) She smiles at him and the stepping block is taken away. In the back alley nearby, mafia dude is on a horse, ready to rush in and take her away.

However, as we have seen, the rope is a new one. Yeon dies, and Kyum can only watch. He cries, and tries to suppress his emotions. Just as well, because the hunter guy comes up and hints at his coldheartedness at watching his own sister die, and then remarks that he did toss rocks at his own mother when he was small. (I’m not small, but I’d like to toss a rock at your head right now.)

Yong walks away, feigning nonchalance. The leader of the secret assassins lined up notes that he really isn’t Lee Kyum, if he could watch this and walk away unaffected.

At home, Swe Dol and Dani are both saddened by Yeon’s death, as they know she is Yong’s sister. Swe Dol wants to go and gather her corpse, but Dani stops him, rightly, as this would bring suspicion upon their little family. Yong bursts in, demanding food, and giving no hint of what has just happened to him (which satisfies the assassin who followed him home).

He stuffs his face with pastry and then takes the opportunity to run inside for ‘water’. In fact, he’s crying in there, his real grief at his sister’s death and regret for his actions the night before racking him with sobs. (He’s still watchful enough to keep the volume down.)

At night, unwatched by anyone, he runs off to his old courtyard and crouches before the plum tree there, swearing again, to never forget.

Recalling the pattern on the sword of his father’s killer, Kyum recopies the design and has it tattooed to his chest (left pectoral, I believe). He swears that he will not be clueless any longer and resolves to find the person responsible for his family’s suffering, so that he can pay it back tenfold.

The next morning, Eun Chae gives a bouquet of flowers to Shi Hoo and suggests that he might go and pay his respects to the dead. In a move worthy of most five year olds (which I suspect all of them are, at heart, this being a show heavily focused on the past), he takes the flowers and stomps them underfoot. He then says to the astonished Eun Chae that she was a runaway, deserving of death to whomever saw her, and that his actions should be lauded as a service to the country. (Yeah, that’s why you’re sitting here at 6 in the morning, brooding. Sure.)

Byun Shik, a member of Team Kill Kyum, muses with his fellow conspirators on what to do next, and they hit on the solution of looking for Kyum’s mother too. However, she is presumed dead after a large fire at the magistrate where she worked. Dead end for them.

The mafia dude visits Yong, hoping to comfort him and to offer his services in locating his mother, but Yong has decided not to do it. He reasons that if he hadn’t looked for his sister, she would still be alive, so he doesn’t want to lead his mother to death either.

Yong: She must be in some corner of the world, still living happily. I must believe that, and move on.

Shi Hoo is sent out to fetch Shi Wan again, but the other has gathered a group of nobles and prostitutes together to mock him. At the end of his rope, Shi Hoo lets loose on the anger he’s been feeling all day, towards himself, and starts a fight. Unfortunately, there’s six of them, so he ends up being beaten instead. Shi Wan, being an asshat, only watches and taunts him for his aspiration to become a noble officer.

A servant finds Shi Hoo all crumpled up against the side of the road, and brings him home. While asleep or unconscious, Shi Hoo blurts out that he’s killed someone unintentionally, and blames his mother for ever sending him to another household. The woman (somewhat familiar, I trust), mops his face and muses that her son, Kyum, must be about the same age. (And we have, anticlimatically, Kyum’s mother.)

Kyum, in the meanwhile, is combing all the blacksmiths of the city for a sword that has the design (or at least people who remember forging swords like that). The blacksmith gives him a tip in leaving – that type of sword is generally kept safe deep inside noble houses, and rarely sees the light of day.

Swe Dol, checking the exam results, notes that Yong didn’t make it. (Um, well, considering he didn’t sit for the exam, small wonder.) Shi Wan has made it, due only to his money, I suspect, while Shi Hoo scraped by with a pass, due to his injured shoulder and that incident with the horse.

Shi Wan, knowing this, used Shi Hoo’s ‘pass notification’ (a very pretty piece of silk with red paper on it) to wrap pig liver in. Shi Hoo is infuriated, and they exchange some heated words.

Kyum comes to visit his ‘hyung’ (older brother) aka the mafia person, and discovers everyone in a dogfight. And I mean a dogfight, with dirt flying, people biting each other, random kicking and the odd bit of jump kick. It turns out that this was over the voluntary tax collection service each gang offered (right now his bro’s collects for nearly all the ministers).

Shi Hoo signs up as a lowly guard in the royal archives, which is really really not for nobles. His ‘father’ is angry, but he can’t do anything about it.

Yong asks to join the gang, reasoning that if he wanted to check out if the sword was in the possession of the noble households, then working for the very people he wants to check would be ideal. His bro, not unkindly, tells him to go for better work elsewhere. However, Yong is a step ahead of him, and asks an even bigger boss and is granted permission. (Ah, kids these days.)

To celebrate, he wears a bizarre bubblegum pink and aqua outfit that is only rivaled by his bad hair. Aish.

As the writers are not happy enough with the layers of love and hate that our main leads have, they put Shi Wan in control of the royal archives. Yep.

A family friend delivers this news to Dani, who is surprised, but she is even more devastated when she finds out that Shi Hoo is the one who reported Yeon. That hits Swe Dol harder, because he knows what Shi Hoo did to condemn his whole family.

Anyway, Yong starts work in the mafia industry, but is too softhearted, and ends up helping the man they’re currently extorting ‘tax money’ from. Of course, he can’t be seen doing so, and leaves after smashing some veggies. Bong Soon happens to see this, and is about to excoriate him when the stall owner’s daughter says she’ll marry him when she grows up. Bong Soon thinks she just cares about the appearance of her future husband (lol, so she does admit that Yong looks good?).

That night, making deliveries to the house of Lee Myung, minister of Something Important, Yong finds his true calling. That is, rifling through noble houses to find swords.

In the daytime, he goes home, all bouncy as usual, and startle his parents with his intention of becoming a police officer, specializing in thieves. (Speak of irony.) Here his overacting is intentional and kind of endearing.

Swe Dol is having none of it, and drags Yong off to re-register for schooling until the next general examination, which is in three years. (What do you bet that in this show’s chronology, three years will see Yong happy and settled? Or dead, but I don’t think this is that type of show – unless they pull another Hong Gil Dong on us.) Just then, a thief comes and steals several things from different people. Yong gives chase and catches him.

His father is overjoyed, and agrees as long as Yong promises to retake the exams in three years’ time. He also agrees to teach Yong the rudiments of thievery, and tells him not to grab the small, pitiful thieves, instead going for the big robbers instead.

That night, at the wish tree, Yong changes into his Iljimae night clothes, and gazes meaningfully into the horizon.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Shi Hoo is older than all of them, as Dani says – Yeon is his little sister, not his older one. (Which means this whole sorry affair with Dani/Lee Won Ho happened before he got married.)

– Ach. Iljimae is turning out to be about revenge, while HGD was always about finding himself in the world. But I suppose Kyum is finding himself too, in his own way, and doing something about the situation he finds himself in.

– Eun Chae and Kyum are meeting next ep. For that, my thanks. But this episode was truly wretched.

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 8, recap

I’m holding back from fully fangirling (read: love without all bounds – look how well that turned out last time) this series, but it looks so much more promising now.

Episode 8

Swe Dol teaches Yong the basics of theft – vaulting over walls, stealthy steps, lockpicking, among other things. (Um, and Yong gets this in one day. Dunno about you, but that looks like extraordinary talent to me.) Of course, he incurs a lot of bruises and undignified sprawls in the training, but he’s taking to this like a duck to water.

(We’re proud of you, Kyumi.)

So he does a little night exercise to test his skills.

While Yong is diligently picking away at the warehouse lock, three nobles are discussing how to handle Lee Myung Bak’s treachery. They agree to lie low until there is more proof to take him down.

In the midst of looking at the sword display, Yong hears people entering the warehouse. He finds a handy corner to hide in, and we are left to witness the corruption that has seeped into the highest levels of bureaucracy – that it’s common practice for nobles to have hidden stores of wealth.

Yong takes a valuable-looking container that has a painting inside. Someone spots Yong’s footsteps on the outside wall and calls in the royal guard. Yong goes home and opens the container, but the painting inside isn’t what he’s after, and he tosses it aside in disgust.

The next morning, Shi Wan picks on Shi Hoo while the others go search for the thief.

Swe Dol, doing housework, finds Yong’s stolen set of police uniform in the warehouse and is delighted. Meanwhile, his son is running around with the mafia.

Shi Hoo finds the container of the painting by accident (while avoiding Shi Wan, in fact). Poor Swe Dol gets captured because Shi Wan is searching everyone with a history of theft first. Shi Hoo sees the overturned house that Dani is cleaning up after Shi Wan’s search and feels really bad.

Eun Chae, not one to waste good daylight, is actually helping the people building houses. Her father comes and scolds her a little for building the inn on sturdy and not elegant lines, but since this is actually Eun Chae’s business (all hers!), he doesn’t get much say. He lets her know of the theft at Lee Myung’s house, and she muses that the thief should stay uncaught for a little while, so the nobles could get nervous about their illicit riches. (She’s so perfect it makes me want to roll my eyes.)

Shi Hoo’s discovery of the tube leads Shi Wan to Dae Shi, Yong’s particular friend. While Shi Wan polishes up on his torture skills, Shi Hoo knows that the footsteps left on the wall have been made by someone of much smaller girth than the solidly built Dae Shi. (But Shi Wan is an arrogant ass, so they can’t say anything.)

When he hears of it, Yong rushes over, guilt written all over his face. Having gotten his best friend into possibly fatal trouble, Yong formulates many plots to get him free.

Plan number 1: Complain at the gates of the palace. Enlisting Bong Soon and many other peasants who are already there.

Incidentally, here’s where Yong gets a good look at the plight of the rest of the Korean peasants. His friend tells him to take more concern in the affairs of the country, but at the moment, Yong only cares about finding out what happened to himself.

All the protesting peasants rush the gates at once, creating bedlam, which allows Yong to slip past and vault some walls (this is not going to get anyone to notice your unusual skill in leaping over walls, idiot). Inside the walls, the noblemen are indulging in some soccer. But nothing like the world cup, since they’re all old and wearing way too much clothing.

Then, Yong sets up his giant banner and starts complaining. Assassin dude in purple (an intimate guard to the king, it appears) notices and escorts Yong to the king. (Byun Shik and a noble who knows the truth behind Lee Won Ho’s death take notice of Yong.) The curtain is rolled up … to reveal a really jolly man.

He’s like … giving off Santa Claus vibes, I swear.

Yong is so disconcerted he has trouble speaking. But once he gets the story out, it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there. The king is so nice that I think the guy has a hidden agenda – but for the moment, he comments on Yong’s uncommon vivacity and promises to help his friend prove his innocence.

Satisfied to have gained what he wanted, Yong gets up to leave, then remembers the other peasants and tells the king also. (Not solely concerned with himself, I see.) The nobles are annoyed at being caught relaxing when they should have told the king, and the king agrees to see the others too.

The king actually gets up close and personal with the peasants, which makes me feel better about him – it’s obvious he cares about his people, and he cancels all the other things scheduled that day to deal with their problems.

Yong drops his father’s medallion (these accidents, oish) in the dirt outside the palace, and Bong Soon picks it up. Having never suffered a memory impediment (see? hitting your kids is bad), Bong Soon remembers right away who it belonged to and wants to find out.

The king orders that all the pleas be tended to right away, full stop, no questions. The nobles grouse, but he’s the king, and they can’t outright contradict him. So the rest of the peasants get their pleas granted, but Yong’s friend, Dae Shi, remains the main suspect, and as such, will get his head cut off. Dang.

Yong gets super angry at the bastard ministers, and vows to do things his own way. Meanwhile, back at where Dae Shi works, a general atmosphere of gloom pervades. Yong takes a little axe and goes about stealing all the previous goods at Lee Myung’s house, which forces him to release Dae Shi.

Swe Dol was asked to make an unpickable lock for Lee Myung’s house, which impedes this plan somewhat. However, Yong waits until the minister moves his stuff out to strike. He manages to block the road and blow off smoke bombs (well if it worked in HGD, then it would work here). While all the servants are staggering around blinded, he makes off with the goods. And, to Lee Myung’s dismay, he also broke into the warehouse (take that, unpickable lock!) and leaves a few marks on a painting, of plum blossoms (thus destroying a doubtlessly priceless piece of art, but we don’t care as much), so as to demonstrate that it’s not Dae Shi.

Though I find it rather unbelievable that he managed to cart an entire wagon, cow and all, away into unseen distance within the space it takes for the smoke bombs to disperse. Oh well. Take him as he comes.

At the execution site, Dae Shi recalls the days when his father was still with him with tears. Bong Soon comforts his boss/mother substitute, while Bong Soon’s father gets ready to break the boy out, but an order comes for Dae Shi’s release.

Yong rushes up from hiding away the cart full of valuables, I presume, and cries in gladness that this rescue was not botched.

Meanwhile, Shi Hoo uses the brains that he inherited from his real father and figures everything out, just not the identity of the thief. More opportunities for him to kill some half-siblings and family, gosh.

Bong Soon purposely lets slip that Yong is in fact part of the mafia wannabe, which gets Swe Dol angry. However, Yong tells his father that, with the way things are, Yong the peasant will never make the exams, honestly or otherwise, because the world works in favour of the nobles. (Oh, so he does know. Good.)

Dani comes up while he’s having these revelations with Swe Dol and beats him for being so disparaging to the father who raised him like his own son (indeed, and has tried harder than many real fathers). Swe Dol is honestly worried about Yong, who is of noble birth, becoming a street person. He thinks that he’s failed this son too, and Dani tries to persuade him otherwise. She finally admits her own role in the disaster.

Yong has escaped to the plum trees in his old home and seeks comfort there.

Shi Hoo goes back to the warehouse that night and wonders at the use of red plum blossoms. Both he and his mentor admit that the thief was decent enough to not allow his own crimes kill someone else. (But that won’t stop Shi Hoo from handing him in when the time comes, I bet.)

Kyum, or Yong, stares unhappily at the plum blossoms in his yard and hopes his father knows what he’s trying to do. (I don’t care if Byun Shik’s sister-in-law owns it now, it’s his in spirit.)

The next morning, Eun Chae hands the villa over to her aunt, but takes a final walk in the courtyard to immerse herself in memories, especially of that really nice boy she met there. She manages to lever herself up on the same branch Kyum once helped her on, and sees Yong stretched out and sleeping on the wall right next to the tree.

She is captivated by his beautiful face (you and 28196361510 other girls, hon). Eun Chae inches in for a closer look and is startled when Yong wakes up. She is about to fall, but Yong catches her arm and steadies her.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– God, Shi Wan is such an ass. And Shi Hoo wouldn’t be making bad decisions all the time if he could just get over himself. Either that, or the writers need to find themselves a new whipping boy for their plot devices. Sheesh.

– Yay! They meet.

– And Yong is fully ready to step into Iljimae’s shoes now. Hurrah for him!

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 9, recap

YAY THE EUN CHAE x ILJIMAE FAN IN ME REJOICES! *glee*

Just a warning, this one is probably monstrously detailed.

Iljimae Episode 9

So Eun Chae gets up on the tree and sees Yong perched on the roof edge. She edges closer to him, and wakes him up, and nearly falls off. Then he reaches out to steady her. She gets off in a hurry and puts on her ‘assi’ face. Yong quickly invents an excuse for being on (what is now) her aunt’s wall, saying that he was here to listen to the warbler’s song.

They end up together in the tree (WILL RESIST ALL JOKES).

Eun Chae expresses regret that she’s never heard the story that goes along with the warbler, and Yong offers to tell it to her.

“A long time ago, a peasant had a very beautiful fiancee, who died before they could get married. The peasant would visit her grave everyday, and think of his beloved.”

As he tells the story, Eun Chae imagines little Kyum telling it to her (and falling in like with Yong, yays!) and we have wee kidlets in the tree.

“In time, a plum tree grew by his dead fiancee’s grave, and he took it to be her deceased spirit. So he took very good care of it. But as the years went by and the man grew older, he began to worry: who would look after the tree after he dies? And then one day, the old man disappeared.”

Eun Chae: Where did he go?

In the light of morning, Bong Soon visits her death brother’s grave. Aww. She brings food and flowers to him. (The monk dude looks on in sadness.)

Back to the two lovers.

“The villagers looked and looked for him, but all they could find was a porcelain cup. And as they looked, a little warbler flew out of the cup towards the plum tree.”

Eun Chae: The old man died and became the warbler? (You know, usually this girl’s sharper than a bucket of nails. What’s up with her being slow all of a sudden?)

“Even after death, it cannot leave the plum tree. That is its fate.”

The two look at the bird.

Eun Chae: Do you believe in fate?

Cut to Bong Soon holding Kyum’s medallion/amulet in her hands. She still talking to her brother’s grave.

Bong Soon: Do you remember that nice boy? I wonder if he is still alive.

Cut back to Eun Chae and Yong, in the tree. A servant is calling for Eun Chae in the distance. She jumps off the tree, and when she’s done talking to her servant, Yong is gone.

Shi Hoo braves the rain to figure out just what happened in the field where all the reasures disappeared. Omg, he finds a secret trapdoor in the field!

He remembers the remnants of two rocks he found, and realizes they were used to light something. Then we cut to Yong making gunpowder in his mini-lab (where it came from, out of nowhere, I don’t really want to know, by the looks of it, he has a lot of supplies lying around).

How ingenious. First Yong pretends to be a farmer planting lettuce in the field. He sets up a fuse for the various smoke bombs located in the field as soon as he sees the soldiers approach. Once they’re all blinded, he cuts the cart loose from the horse (not cow, as he says, unless biology’s taken a grave turn to the left). Somehow, illogically, the cart now weighs more with the horse cut loose, and they fall in the secret trapdoor that he built earlier. Then all Yong has to do is pull the trapdoor over his head and wait for the chaos to subside before going back home.

Shi Hoo explains this to Shi Wan and his superior, who are pissed, because all that’s left of the treasure is a single sheet of paper with a branch of red plum blossoms on it and one silver coin. (Ha.)

Lol, after wasting a lot of paper (bad!@#!!), the police and locals finally agree on a portrait of Iljimae.

As Swe Dol and a friend are admiring/arguing about the ‘Wanted’ poster of Iljimae, Yong swaggers up and tries to convince them that he looks like the thief. His father refutes this, saying that the other man looks like a born thief (ha) and that Yong’s eyes are so pretty they are a national treasure, unlike the thief’s (more ha).

Swe Dol becomes a locksmith – because he wants to earn enough money that Yong doesn’t have to be a ruffian.

The guy whose things were stolen doesn’t really care about the money. He just wants the black pearl that was meant for the king. (Yo, embezzlement much?) The thing is called ‘Tear of the Ocean’. Yong gets it evaluated, and the other guy gets shaky hands as he realizes what it is.

Eun Chae goes to look for Yong. (LOL SOMEONE HAS A CRUUUUUSH.)

Yong is about to go home, but he sees a checkpoint ahead and has the pearl on him, so he turns tail and runs (not the smartest thing, as Shi Hoo spots him and runs after). Just then, Eun Chae is stopped by some randomly lecherous noble kid.

Yong tries to stop the dude from harassing her, but gets beaten up as a result. (It’s too bad he doesn’t know how to fight at this point yet.) Shi Hoo uses detainment under suspicion of theft to get rid of the nobleman, and leaves. Eun Chae is so grateful she gives him her handkerchief. Shi Hoo sees and is jealous.

Back at the police station, Swe Dol attempts to persuade Shi Hoo to go easy on Yong, if ever he catches him. (He cites some wrongdoing, but Shi Hoo for the life of him, can’t fathom what he did wrong.) Swe Dol sees Shi Wan bullying Shi Hoo and gets angry.

Dani finds Swe Dol super unhappy, and is puzzled. She’s even more puzzled when Yong brings food home.

That night, Eun Chae asks after Yong, and Shi Hoo gets bitten by the green bug of jealousy again. Yong looks at the handkerchief, almost burns it, then keeps it as he remembers his times with her.

Shi Hoo gets slapped around for letting some guy sleeze off his sister, but Shi Wan forgets to mention that it was the son of a very high official, lol, and Byun Shik gets to look awkward as Eun Chae protests. Shi Hoo, wounds still smarting, goes to visit Kyum’s mom. (Aww, good to see he’s not completely unhappy.) He really likes her cooking. And I think they’re using each other as substitutes.

Lol. Kyum is absolutely rebuffed when he tries to look for Eun Chae. He follows the servant inside to see Shi Wan, and realizes that Eun Chae is the sister of a major asshat.

Meanwhile, Shi Hoo is hot on the trail of Iljimae. He tries to question the little girl that Yong helped – turns out the box he used to hold veggies was used by this particular merchant – and, wait for it, someone forgot to take off the label, so all Shi Hoo had to do was to find the person.

The merchant lets slip that tons of people send boxes to the minister as a bribe, and this gets Lee Myung into lots of hot water. The king decides to punish him according to statutes, even though Lee Myung was one of the people who helped him get on the throne.

Yong goes to bother the police chief again. He bumps into Byun Shik and begs him to let the vegetable seller’s wife in to see him. Byun Shik is afraid that Yong will cause more ruckus and lets him through.

He then goes straight to the king’s audience chamber, and in broad daylight, accompanied by a bewildered Shi Hoo, begins to lament outside the doors of the chamber. The strong showing of opposition by most nobles leaves the king no choice – he releases the minister in question.

It’s the vegetable seller that gets beaten up and his store license revoked.

Yong goes on a crusade again, especially after discovering the names of various stores on the bottom of the containers. The next morning, all the store who’ve been extorted have had their money returned.

Swe Dol’s store opening makes everyone really happy, and uses a pig head thing (could someone please tell me more about this custom?) Both Yong and Bong Soon are busy. Yong’s off being busy with the hooligans, and Bong Soon is looking for the owner of the medallion.

Omg. Mafia dude is going after Swe Dol and Dani’s new store. Yong goes off and gets Shi Hoo. Who is dashing, tall, and yeah. But he doesn’t appear to recognize Swe Dol or Dani (who goes off and cries, but it’s her own fault, aww, there’s a hug for the pms lady).

As mafia dude is facing off with Shi Hoo, Yong comes up and separates the two. Then he finds out that Shi Hoo’s the one who reported his sister. (Crazy Yong, aka personality #1298371901, makes an appearance.)

Mafia dude and Yong lick their wounds in a random restaurant, and bump into Shi Wan, also in the mood to be crazy. (I think, at this point, Shi Wan is mostly bluster and frustration at being useless and outdone all the time.) He loses at gambling, and is about to get his hand chopped off when Yong intervenes.

The result of Yong vs. hooligan will determine whether or not both their wrists come off. Huh. At first Yong holds off the suspense a little, makes Shi Wan suffer, etc, but then he calls out the right card number.

Thus Shi Wan is saved, and Yong has his favour. (Even better, Shi Wan seems to have found a soulmate in personality #1, the street hooligan who doesn’t care about anything.) Shi Wan is the perfect dumb friend for Yong – he gives news without even seeming to realize it. (Gosh, they’re eating sushi?? Now I’m hungry.)

Yong mentions that he thought his mother’s cooking was the best in the world, but he thinks that this is even better – AND IT IS HIS MOTHER’S COOKING. ZOMG. And she makes it really well because it’s her son’s favourite dish. AAAAAAAAA DIRECTOR STOP TORTURING US!!!

Meanwhile, Dani and Swe Dol have just about had it with Yong associating with riffraff and go off to donate body parts so the mafia dude can let him go. Except he doesn’t know who they are, and nearly dislocates his jaw when he finds out.

And Kyum’s mom goes to deliver food to Shi Wan and Yong, they’re gone. *headdesk* DIRECTOR, WE HATES YOU.

Ahaha, mafia dude is so polite to Dani and Swe Dol now that he knows who they are. He agrees with them that Yong shouldn’t be a hoodlum either, and promises to help. 😀 😀 😀

That night, the king (definitely he who ordered the death of Lee Won Ho) listens to the minister who wanted to put corrupt government in jail and muses that he too thinks the former king was better than he is.

Yong, dressed all in black, looks over at a minister, and remembers the night his father died.

End episode

Commentary/Rambling:

– Well, who’da thunk it? Shi Wan as an ally and Shi Hoo as an opponent. Props to Yong for using the resources at hand and grabbing opportunities. Shi Wan will be enormously useful, as he’s set in his own (admittedly bad) ways but is quite stubborn and stupid-smart. Yong will have no problems staying one step ahead of him. It’s Shi Hoo who’s more dangerous, especially as he’s not really feeling all that nice towards Yong after Eun Chae.

– Nice of the writers to set up a brother vs. brother situation here.

– Awww. Eun Chae. Yong. But next episode looks like there’s some conflict going on.

– WHEN WILL THE NEAR-MISSES STOP?!?@!#!@?

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 10, recap

In passing, have I mentioned how much I love the csubbers yet? They’re so amazingly fast!

Episode 10

Lol, that’s hilarious. To prevent Iljimae from doing anything, they set 50 people on outer patrol, 30 on inner, and random checkpoints everywhere. Why all this excessive vigilance? Ministry party. (Go Shi Wan for info.)

Yong returns to the restaurant after scouting out the premises. There, he discovers Bong Soon’s dad, the monk, in drag. (It’s a scary sight indeed.) It’s because she’s also running a makeup business on the side. Yong steals a – that thing that you use to draw eyebrows with – and then discovers that he’s lost his medallion. (About time.)

He goes looking for the medallion where he first lost it, and Bong Soon returns it to him. She realizes that Yong, of all people, is the person she’s been looking for. (Aww, interlude for cute wee kidlets.)

She remembers the day her brother died:

Bong Soon: I’m afraid.
Kyum: It’s okay! I’m right here, so just hold on. I won’t let go of you.

(Go crazy, Bong Soon/Yong shippers.)

Swe Dol rushes in with the lipstick, all happy to give his wife a gift.

At the gangsters’ headquarters, Yong hears about the legend of two fearsome swordsmen, the best in all of Korea, who could defeat 40 opponents just by rattling their swords. (lols, someone’s been reading too much Jin Yong.) Rumour has it that one of them entered the palace in service to the king, and the other vanished one day. Then, as if that wasn’t obvious enough, we cut to the monk stuffing his face and acting like a general pig.

That night, as the ladies prepare for the festivities, Eun Chae’s mind is elsewhere. (As in, thinking of Yong.)

Shi Wan tries to warn his sister about ‘that hooligan’ but only succeeds in making her super happy. He walks away super frustrated. Eun Chae thinks that Kyum is dead, alas.

At that night’s party, the nobles’ fraternity party (it’s kind of like an old-boy’s club), Iljimae makes use of his newly found skills in making face masks to infiltrate (good thing most of his friends are dumb). (Also very convenient that one of his friends has a dad who’s an expert mask maker, and the other one is a leatherworker. Also, what are the chances? His dad used to be a thief.)

There is a great honking golden toad, embedded with jewels, probably worth a lot, on display at the party. Iljimae, after checking out the swords, make away with the toad.

Once the theft is discovered, everyone submits to a body search. Shi Wan lets Yong pass, but Shi Hoo notices that Iljimae’s face is melting off.

Meanwhile, the king’s agents are chasing down someone, I think it’s a messenger of some sort. He tosses his message scroll down a waterfall.

Just as Shi Hoo gets ready to closely examine Iljimae’s face, someone shouts that Iljimae’s been spotted. The real one gets away and peels off his face (good, because in another second the glue he was using would have melted his face off). The fake one is shot down (by Shi Hoo, go shows of confidence in skill) and revealed to be a stuffed dummy.

(Unfortunately Yong’s left a trail of gloopy glue stuff for Shi Hoo to follow. Well, just til the place where he took it off, anyway.)

Yong gets back to his lair. (Which is nicely clean, but I presume entirely underground/off limits?) He picks up an invitation he used to clean his face and reads it. It says, Meeting for the Friends of Heaven (100% fraternity behaviour and rhetoric). He realizes that whoever he is after is probably part of this group, as the old noble who tried to help him told him that his father was betrayed by people he considered his own friends.

And it is confirmed beyond a doubt that the soft-spoken, teddybear-like king is indeed the person behind Lee Won Ho’s death. (Why are all the teddybear people evil? First Lord Ryu from HGD, and now this king dude.) He knows that the nobles are still discussing and unsettled by last time’s treason trials for the old prime minister, and doesn’t want to raise a huge ruckus.

The message, however, was not for Kyum, it was for another noble in the court, who has also done a lot in his time. (King’s good at plotting but absolute crap at ruling, is that it?)

On the other side of town, Bong Soon tries and fails to see a resemblance between Yong and Swe Dol. At lunch, Dani bumps into Dae Shi, who mentions that Bong Soon’s been at him all day for stealing her lipstick. Dani leaps to conclusions, but I think Yong’s the one who has it. (The next day, Dani returns it and finds out that it’s actually a really expensive type that Bong Soon would never use.)

Incidentally, today is also the day of Lee Won Ho’s death. Dani observes the mourning, and the king washes his sword at the river (this is the sword Yong’s after, which means he won’t find anything even if he robs all the noble households. *sigh*)

Bong Soon finds out from one of her customers that the girl Yong was looking for escaped and died soon after. She goes to the grave of her brother to talk things out.

Just then, screaming breaks out and it’s mafia dude’s gang, beating up the destitute for money. He’s trying to make Yong quit. He tells Yong to beat up a little girl, with a stick.

Eun Chae brings food to the people building the hotel and hears of the incident, and goes there.

Bong Soon gets there too.

They both see Yong beating the girl, but only Bong Soon sees that he’s beating his own leg. Eun Chae rushes up, and takes things at their face value. Both Yong and Eun Chae are disappointed in the other.

Bong Soon takes care of Yong, and they hiss at each other. It’s so cute.

Dani brings food to Swe Dol as an apology. Dani asks after business, and he jokingly replies that Iljimae must be their loyal son, and that he’s much more useful than Yong is. (It’s the kind of joke they like, indulge the directors and laugh at the dramatic irony. Even if it is the 97th time.)

Shi Wan brings Yong in for a visit, and this only strengthens Eun Chae’s dislike for him. He’s actually here for business, and takes back the pearl he slipped into Eun Chae’s rooms, and finds the list of nobles he’s after. Eun Chae, of course, finds him in the room.

Lol, Eun Chae is a fan of Iljimae.

It’s like fate doesn’t rest or something. Yong also bumps into Shi Hoo. He does personality #1 (street clown) to confirm that Shi Hoo really did turn his sister in.

Then he manages to weasel out information about Eun Chae, and incidentally finds out that she’s the one who manages all the important stuff in the family.

Shi Hoo goes out to drink himself into oblivion. Kyum’s mother, the poor thing, prays for her children.

Bong Soon stays up watching her father sleep, saddened that her hardworking father is aging so fast.

Eun Chae goes out to see the beggars helping out with the hotel. In her absence, Iljimae comes and looks for the list of members to the Noble Fraternity (aka Friends of Heaven). It’s not there, however, and he comes out in plainclothes just in time to meet his ‘brother’, who is under orders to fetch Eun Chae back from nursing the beggars.

Iljimae strikes on the way back, and kidnaps Eun Chae. (Lol, kind of a cliched date, but whatever.) The servants and people don’t actually notice until they get home.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Hm. So now Eun Chae hates Yong, but only because she thinks he’s a bastard. Okay. I can live with that. On the other hand I think Bong Soon is ready to give her life for Yong. Ahh, young love. Lol, I think Eun Chae will have two watchers when she next goes on night expeditions – if her father lets her out of the house, that is.

– Wonder how long it takes for Miss Brainchild to realize that Yong has several personalities.

– From the looks of the preview, the king is going to be more active in the next few episodes – essentially leading all the nobles who are trying to dig up the matter of Lee Won Ho’s death into a trap.

– Well, that was it. The halfway mark for the show. We’ve had our share of revelations and character progression. I still do feel that the first six episodes were waaaay too slow, and that we’ve wasted too much time letting things ferment. However, it is picking up very quickly. Yayness.

Sevenses

A word on character schizophrenia

Or, um, maybe several hundred.

Has anyone else noticed that Iljimae/Yong/Kyum has more personalities than he does names? We’ve got tons.

– Idiot (mainly in class with nobles)
– Victim (again, mainly with stronger authority)
– Street boy (usually seen with mafia dude)
– Crazed avenger (whenever his sister comes up into the conversation)
– Soulful loverboy (Eun Chae! Eun Chae!)
– Schemer (um, all the time, really)
– Slick thief guy (Iljimae time)
– Genteel guy (with Eun Chae, and when he has to beat up people, residue of Kyum)
– Angst broody guy (whenever the past comes up)
– Insouciant playboy (also with Eun Chae, after she starts to dislike him, and when off-duty from mafia)

The only other person I can think of who approaches this type of personality count, who isn’t supposed to have clinical schizophrenia, would be Cedric Edward Cullen. And he’s pretty much a wish-fulfillment female fantasy character. I’d say Iljimae is a cut above that. Several, as I have pretty strident views on Twilight. Anyway, I’m not sure what this is supposed to say about him – he’s smart enough to react at the blink of an eye and put tons of masks on and off? (Makes for terribly complicated living, but then his life is pretty messed up already.)

Additionally, despite having 10 episodes, I don’t feel as close as I should to the people in the drama. That isn’t to say I don’t like them. I do. I find Swe Dol terribly sweet and self-effacing, I think Dani needs a good weekend at a spa, I want the monk dude to impart his wisdom to Yong. I love Bong Soon, even if she is too loud (kind of like me, actually) and very impulsive. I feel like giving Kyum a hug, or maybe the king’s head on a silver platter. Sometimes I’d like to hug Shi Hoo, and sometimes I think I should sign him up for a yoga session (and slip him some psychiatry appointments when he can’t get away). Shi Wan I think I shall hang upside down in a tree for a year with bread and water once a day.

Eun Chae I can’t do anything with, she’s too perfect, but you know, I’m starting to like this fangirly side of her. It’s like her entire family is crazy (yes, that includes moody older bro Shi Hoo) so she has to hold everything together, and that’s just turned her into a human robot.

I remember watching Hong Gil Dong: by episode 12 I was head over heels in love with Chang Hui, very concerned for Enok and Gil Dong, and wishful of my own Chisu. But here, I don’t get the same vibe at all. It’s a great deal like work, trying to love the characters. And like Josephine Barry from Anne of Green Gables, I do like for other people to make us love them, because it save the work of having to try yourself.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m afraid to commit myself to another drama after what happened in HGD, or if it’s because these people are two-dimensional, or whatever. It’s still an enjoyable experience, but less intense and more goof. (They still haven’t gotten rid of the random impossible things – I mean, the only way to logically accept all this is to stop thinking and go along with it, but when I don’t think, I don’t bond with the characters either. It’s kind of like a Jackie Chan movie that way.)

Oh well. It’s summer. What was I expecting?

Sevenses

Iljimae Question Time

I was going to reply to the questions in the comments section, and I realized, once again, that I would end up talking too much to be acceptable – so here I am – question and answer time!

Joy: Also, when Yong was telling the warbler story, do you think the writers are hinting the Eun Chae will die?

– I hope not. I have had enough of main leads dying off in my favourite dramas. Thinking objectively, her dad is this super powerful noble who’s obeying the king and quite close to him, she’s fairly smart and astute, she’s got one heck of a protective older brother (who will probably try really hard to kill Iljimae at the same time) and another fairly useless but also protective one. And if she dies, we know Iljimae does too, go drama logic. However, if you think about it – Kyum is the tree. Eun Chae thinks that Kyum is dead, remember? So she’s like the warbler, forever circling the tree and thinking of her dead love. One day a plum tree, aka Yong, pops up, and she is so happy. When she discovers that Yong = Iljimae, she’ll probably have to change herself to better protect the one she loves, and they’ll live with each other happily ever after. It’s my theory. (No dashing cold water on Sevenses, please.)

Emilia: the messenger was the dude trying to deliver the message that kyum’s dad’s friend wrote to kyum?

– No. The king remarks that the messenger was not in fact trying to get to Kyum. He thinks that he made a mistake in the beginning, assuming that Kyum was alive. He is now going to focus his attention on the nobles who have noticed Lee Won Ho’s strange death. The messenger was headed for, I believe, the person Kyum impersonated at the party (didn’t quite catch his name, Minister Kim something or other).

Everyone: What happens to him in the end??

– Lols. No clue. Assuming they don’t go down the HGD road, Eun Chae and Yong will probably get together and pretend to be prosperous hotel owners or something.

Really really itching for Wednesday,

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 11, recap

It’s heeeeeere, spent forever waiting for it!! Anyone else have really slow downloading speeds from China?

Episode 11

They open with a pretty complete collage of everything that’s happened so far in the series. I don’t really need a refresher.

So, his date with Eun Chae? Turned out to be escorting her back to the village of the poor. At home, she is revealed to be absent from the carriage. Shi Hoo is super worried, but Eun Chae is having fun at the village. The girl actually has the courage to go home in the dark, alone. Through a bloody forest. *headdesk*

Aww. Iljimae walks her back home. (Not that he can fight or anything, but I guess it’s good not to be alone.) They do the whole ‘I look at you, you look at me’ thing. They evade the patrol, led by a very anxious Shi Hoo, and go on their merry way together.

Eun Chae does most of the talking. It’s cute, how her confidence is rattled by him.

Shi Hoo rushes back, right on Eun Chae’s steps, but she’s very happy and dreamy. Her brother knows something about her escape doesn’t square, but he’s fine with her being fine, so major disaster is avoided for the moment being.

Iljimae returns to his lair (using a very intricately built system of rollers and a slide). He gives money from his most recent heist to the villagers Eun Chae’s been visiting.

In the morning, Dani comes after him with a major broom. She thinks he beat up beggar children, but he’s still limping from the day before. Bong Soon comes up and tries to help, but he holds her off. He yells at her, even though she’s really good to him. Brought him a really yummy breakfast, ohh, I am super hungry.

Eun Chae’s people are happy at receiving a jump start to their new lives, and tells her the news. Which endears her to Iljimae, but not Yong. He shows up right after they leave, and acts his hooligan self. Milady is annoyed. He does, however, drop a few hints about how to make her hotel more habitable.

As a direct result, she asks for heaters. (Hee, she’s secretly amused, it shows.) And she explains the reasoning so well that her father is able to gain brownie points for coming up with a good idea – install heaters, use up potential for forest fires. The king permits this, and Byun Shik lays it on super thick.

Yong runs around annoying Eun Chae, again, when she starts installing the heated floor tiles.

That night, he wounds himself for an excuse to see her, and she bandages him, in her own room, no less. He teases information about the various noble families’ guard numbers out of her – and when her servant arrives with tea, he snuffs out the candle and goes, taking the book of Friends of Heaven members with him. Still all about the revenge, I see. (His priorities are about equal, but he’s not going to miss an opportunity for info, ever, if he can help it.)

Omg. One noble, in an attempt to fend off Iljimae, has installed all spikes on his floor. (He took procelainware and stuff by fishing hook, I think.)

The next day, Yong and Shi Wan go fishing (if they weren’t good friends, I’d suspect them of dating). Err, instead of eating an octopus for lunch, Yong and Shi Wan almost gets ‘strangled’ by the octopus. (Hope it wasn’t alive, or there’s going to be another animal rights suit.) In fact, this was on purpose, to help Shi Wan figure the robbery out and gain brownie points.

Shi Hoo, investigating, notice the abnormal salt deposits on a sword lying around in the denuded treasury. He comes to the conclusion of octopus too, but a step behind Shi Wan. He notices Yong, ubiquitous hanger-on, and rather more smart albeit shamelessly annoying, and begins to get ideas.

(Where does Yong find buyers for his stuff, I wonder? It’s not like people are willing to take expensive vases on trust or anything. Unless he keeps the big pieces and sells what he can, or he takes coin – the toad could have been melted down, I know, but porcelain’s another deal.)

Iljimae actually starts giving warning to the people he’s going to rob now. (Though I wish he’d leave less clues behind.) (And he has a fancy stiletto thing with a handle in the shape of a plum branch. I hope he made it himself, because it’s going to be mighty obvious if the blacksmith blabs.)

Noble household #2 has bells attached to ropes attached to the door. He still pulls it off successfully by ringing the bells like mad after he’s stolen the stuff.

Meanwhile, Swe Dol boasts that Iljimae, no, Iljimae’s father would have trouble picking the locks he makes. (Probably Lee Won Ho would need help lock-picking, but his son the stupendous wonder? Nah.)

While peeing at a random tree, he sees Iljimae fighting with two guards on the roof. Then he magically disappears. (The truth is probably less glorious and more painful.) When Swe Dol tells this story amongst his friends, they laugh, but the monk disdainfully says he can do at least five turns in the air from one leap. Yong limps off, to Swe Dol’s dismay, because he thinks Yong’s been fighting again. (If he doesn’t give his leg a rest he’s going to be pegged.)

Dear Eun Chae raises a veritable storm in her house when she announces her intentions to donate most of her jewelry for a village of sick people, pleading the prevention of epidemics. Her parents are bug-eyed and obviously disagree. She suggests donating food, and money, but her parents disagree too, and she marches off to nurse the sick.

Obviously Yong picks this moment to walk up with Shi Wan, and they hear about her impassioned dash to nurse the sick (not caring about her own health). That night, Iljimae worries, and takes out what he can to help too. (So his little lair is turning into a freaking treasure trove.)

But wait, it’s already affected 5000, that’s serious enough to warrant national attention, no?

Yong gets in under the guise of a corpse carrier, and sees the people lying on the ground being sick… he’s so heartsick, but we know he’s got something up his sleeve – he pulls back a grass mat and reveals stores of medicine, clothing and money for the sick people.

The king issues a writ that anyone who catches him will be elevated one in rank. Shi Hoo is now super determined to catch him.

Bong Soon is so eager to help Yong, but he always pushes her away.

At the store, the owner of the restaurant is depressed at seeing Dani and Swe Dol being happy together. She’s so depressed that she gets drunk with the monk and they end up um. Yeah. That.

Poor Bong Soon has acquired a fear of heights from her childhood. Yong literally carries her across a bridge, complaining all the way. He’s so mean to her!! Even I’m sad for her, and I’m not even a shipper.

Swe Dol does a roaring trade, due to Iljimae’s latest hijinks. (The monk is called Kunghe? I always assumed it was an epithet, but okay. Note: kung he in Chinese = to scare to the nth degree.)

Iljimae comes to return the booklet to Eun Chae but is caught escaping. (He’s sitting in a huge banana tree. Won’t ask.) They have a friendly conversation, but are interrupted by Shi Hoo appearing. There is a chase, and Iljimae really needs to learn how to fight.

Shi Hoo slashes Iljimae across the back, but before he can unmask him, Iljimae slashes him on the arm. I’d say Iljimae’s injury is worse. (Please to be not leaving a trail of blood for him to follow, thanks.)

Eun Chae is waiting for Shi Hoo, but when she sees the blood on his blade, she rushes off, and is stopped. First time I’ve seen her give him an outright glare. He’s all hurt that she didn’t notice he was injured first.

The poor guy rushes off to his lair, and bleeds fake blood profusely. Bong Soon waits for him at his door with a box of goodies in her lap, and sees him fall down. She cradles Yong in her arms, crying and … thinking that he’s going to die.

Shi Hoo bandages himself. Eun Chae is outside, but he won’t let her in. Aww.

Bong Soon surprises her father taking share in the alcohol, and makes him heal Yong – if he can.

Eun Chae sets off too, but not after Yong, not literally, just through the woods where they first met. (She thinks he’s dead? I mean, her expression is just so ‘woe’.)

Kunghe monk tries his best. (So he’s good at healing as well as fighting.) While washing his wounds, the monk sees Kyum’s tattoo, and realizes just who this is. The guy has convulsions but we know he’s going to pull through, or the 9 episodes that remain are going to be super boring.

End episodel

Commentary/Rambling:

– Yay for plot! Yay for lots of things, but not the profusion of fake blood. I’ve had enough over at Sweeney, thanks.

– Hopefully Yong will be nicer to Bong Soon. And the Eun Chae/Shi Hoo relationship is definitely breaking down. At the moment Shi Hoo is still trying his hardest to fulfill his mother’s wishes, which is to be a noble, but it’s pitting him directly against Yong.

– All my thanks to Camel, who taught me how to torrent and so you guys didn’t have as much of a torturous wait this time. And of course, eternal gratitude to TSKS for being fantastic with the subs.

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 12, recap

I’m so giddy, ooh, and not from the heat or lack of food. It’s so hoooooooooooooooot. I wouldn’t mind either, but the humidity hangs all over like particularly unwanted attention.

Episode 12

Kyum’s tattoo, in passing, looks like an amalgamation of the words ‘heaven’ and ‘friend’ in Chinese.

Bong Soon nurses Yong through the night. He wakes up and hears from her (unintentionally) that a noble he’s targeted is going off to Japan on diplomatic/spy related issues.

Byun Shik is admonishing his underlings for failing to capture Iljimae. Eun Chae, at home, is worried about Iljimae’s safety. While getting stuff for Byun Shik, Shi Hoo notices that Eun Chae’s stuff are being displaced, and cottons on to the fact that Iljimae is working from the list of Friends of Heaven.

So now guards are stationed at potential households. Except that Shi Wan walks off with a gisaeng.

(Woah, Iljimae can search places when there’s someone sleeping there?? Nerves of steel, dude.)

Lols, Shi Wan gets tied up and hung on top of a well, like he did to Iljimae. His screams bring a bunch of soldiers, who give chase. Iljimae gets sandwiched, after which he escapes, and Shi Hoo manages to be the only one who can keep up with him. Even after getting slashed in the leg by Shi Hoo, he still gets away.

Iljimae: 2; Shi Hoo: 1 (give concession for two injuries)

Lol, he disguised himself as a noble lady and escaped via her carriage. Somehow the chase through the night was so long it turned to day. Luckily for Yong, Shi Wan is the one who leads the search troops this time and they get shut in a warehouse for their troubles. It’s an icy warehouse too.

Shi Wan and his people end up having to crawl through ventilation, and when they come to the opening, Iljimae’s already put a huge rock on top of the vent.

They wait in shivering agony for Shi Hoo’s rescue troops, lol. Humiliation x2 for Shi Wan.

Eun Chae hears the news that he’s still alive with joy, but Shi Hoo cautions her that he’s just using her, and vows to make her see the truth.

Yong gets home and has a lie-in, but hears that random young men are being forced to strip and show themselves. (Must. Not. Insert. Slash. Joke.) He runs out and gets involved in the first street fight he can see. He blends in with most of the roughs, but Shi Hoo and his people come upon the fight and inspects him.

Kunghe monk, just walking through the market, sees Yong fighting and is all annoyed at his patient. He joins in the fight and pretty much dismantles the others with a few moves. Yong is awed.

When everyone is shown as having a leg wound (wow, what a lucky coincidence), Shi Hoo asks for them to take their clothes off and check for back wounds as well. Kunghe monk notices Yong looking awkward and creates a diversion, which doesn’t fool the organized Shi Hoo, more’s the pity, and just as Yong is about to be forced to undress, Shi Wan comes up.

Shi Wan, twice humiliated and an enormous asshat, is still very loyal to his friends, and brings Yong away for treatment, against Shi Hoo’s wishes. (Omg, thank god.) Eun Chae sees his wounded leg and remembers to be annoyed before she shows concern. (Good acting here by Han Hyo Joo.)

Byun Shik meets with the Qing ambassador. There is mutual boot-licking. Remember the yangban who tried to harass Eun Chae? His son. There’s some issues about the king giving tribute to the Qing emperor. (Also, the good noble, the one who may potentially help Yong, Kim smtg smtg, is mentioned. He’s also considered super upright.)

Hilariously, Yong remembers Kunghe monk beating the crabapples out of other people, and decides to ask him to teach himself. Bong Soon and the tea/alehouse mistress have a conversation and come up with the idea that Bong Soon is in love. Bong Soon runs off in distress.

Byun Shik sees Shi Hoo being all moody and frustrated over not being able to capture Iljimae, and takes him to the other really good swordsman in the town – the king’s guard. He also gets a request to teach martial arts.

(It rains, days without end, and Byun Shik is distressed that minister Kim is doing stuff. He requests an audience with the king.)

Shi Hoo’s been kneeling for a long time in the rain. He says to the king’s guard:

I must capture someone. For he is my path to living like a human being, a way for me to climb high.

We switch back and forth between scenes – between these four men who have chosen different paths but are linked irrevocably – the two older ones were companions in battle, and Yong and Shi Hoo are half brothers.

Kunghe monk makes to run away, but Yong adamantly does not let him go. The monk throws him around many times, and he holds on, despite his injuries. When asked why he wants to learn, he says:

There is something I must do before I die.

(I’d say that Yong has a better starting point. He isn’t blinded by himself, he’s clear on what he’s supposed to do and where he will go after accomplishing his goals. Not so sure about Shi Hoo, who may find being a noble less than satisfying – after all, people will always whisper about his ‘inferior’ blood.)

In the morning, Yong says goodbye to Yangsoon, the little daughter of the vegetable seller, and gives her the nice pink ribbon he bought the other day (which Bong Soon thought was for her). He only mentions that he’s going away somewhere to train his body. (Hope he tells his parents, or they’re going to be mighty worried.) (What am I saying? They’re going to be worried anyway.)

Bong Soon experiences some jealousy upon seeing the scene.

Yong goes to the plum tree and says his goodbyes. Bong Soon follows him to his old house, and watches him commune with his and Eun Chae’s tree.

He leaves a note to his parents, telling them he’s in training for the exams. Dani is cold, as usual, but we know her now, and can tell she’s also worried.

Upon getting to an unknown island, Kunghe gives him all sorts of difficulties. Not an easy master, this one. Yong gives as good as he’s got, though. Throwing stuff in the ocean and making him carry it builds strength, for all Yong’s complaints and staggering around.

He’s quite good at this teaching, if not conventional in his methods.

The king sets bait for minister Kim and his compatriots, using Kyum. (So they DO plan to put Kyum on the throne. That means he’s royalty. Yay for being right. I think I’ll reward myself with some ice cream.)

The monk slyly insinuates that Iljimae’s been awfully quiet since he and Yong have left for the island, but Yong refuses to rise to the bait. Kunghe is just like, be careful, dude.

Yong does menial labour all the time. Like all disciples, he understands not his master’s ways. Lol, he actually throws a tantrum in front of Kunghe and thus the mop-throwing war begins. If he can dodge the mop when Kunghe throws it, he gets to start learning martial arts. (At least he didn’t learn this right away, like with the thieving. But certain stereotype conventions have to be observed.)

Meanwhile, in the palace of evil, the king has set the trap. All he has to do is wait for the nobles to find Lee Won Ho’s son, and then they’ll all be killed.

Hee. Bong Soon comes for a visit, and the first thing she says after setting foot on the island is “YONG!!!” She brings him all sorts of goodies, and as the only person Kunghe is actually afraid of, she gives him a break for the afternoon too. She’s soooooooo good to Yong. I want a boyfriend like that. (Only, you know, less shrill.)

And it’s so amusing to see Bong Soon effortlessly dodge mops. Poor Yong. Or should I say, poor Yong’s face?

OMG YOU SHOULD ALL SEE THIS. BONG SOON BEATS YONG INTO THE GROUND.

AND THEN SOME MORE.

You go, girl! Show him that you’re not a doormat!!

After that session of ‘So You Fight Better Than Yong’ (doesn’t everyone?), they share a rare companionable moment. Bong Soon actually didn’t learn from her dad, she learned herself, to one day avenge her dead brother. Her dad hears and looks heartbroken, and guilty.

That night, all three of them lie on the bed, awake.

(If you think about it, the king caused all this, so they should all gang up and kill him instead. Wonder how Yong’ll react when he finds out he needs to kill the king. That’ll be an interesting episode.)

Shi Hoo and Yong learn the basics of swordfighting, though using different principles.

The common people gossip about Iljimae’s absence, some say that he escaped to China, some say he was crippled after that last raid and killed himself, and one school of thought even holds that Iljimae is in fact a girl, and got married.

Swe Dol, of course, mixes everything up: Iljimae escaped to China, couldn’t bear married life as a cripple and killed herself. When he tells Dani, she only tells him to be quiet and goes off to worry about Yong.

(Lol if Shi Hoo heard this version he’d laugh himself silly.)

On the beaches, everyday, Yong practices with Kunghe. Not that he’s any good, as he ends up sprawling face first into the sand a lot. Kunghe tells him to stop being silly and wave his fake sword around with purpose – there are nine types of basic strokes: vertical, diagonal, horizontal, thrust, etc.

He teaches Yong defensive swordfighting, whereas the other teaches Shi Hoo offensive.

As Yong learns to fight, Kunghe settles him down one night for a good talk about morals, ethics, and what to do with his newfound skill. (I’m guessing he learned other stuff too, like hand-to-hand. Don’t have time to show us all of it, more’s the pity.) He regrets his past, fighting and killing all those in his way for what he thought was right. He cautions Yong that in the midst of killing someone, having the moral upper hand means about as much as being insane – he’s still a person, under it all, not special, not inferior, just another person.

The king’s guard imparts his own wisdom, but it’s the opposite of Kunghe’s (actually what he held before leaving the king’s service) – kill all those who block his way.

More time passes, both Shi Hoo and Yong improve enormously. Bong Soon wastes away waiting for Yong, and Eun Chae does the same. Falling leaves signify… a year’s progress. (I’m pulling timelines out of a hat here. Any help?)

Oh, now they show us the hand-to-hand. It’s a long and arduous process, and poor Yong’s probably got a nice collection of bruises from Kunghe’s training.

Swe Dol sweeps the snow in his courtyard (this is definitely one year later – show starts in middle of fall) and thinks of all the times he’s beaten Yong with it. He misses his child.

The king’s in his palace, awaiting for the time to set his plan in motion, but nothing’s moving, so he vents frustration by crushing small, harmless flowers. Yea, go red-eyed demon kings.

The main theme plays as we see Yong’s vast (I mean vast, as in can-match-Kunghe vast) improvement over the course of the year.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– What?? No preview for next episode??? Well, be on the lookout for that next week. Where are the subs right now?

– Well, Kunghe is stronger and better than the king’s guard – that’s what they said in the beginning between themselves. He also has a conscience, which is why he left the king’s service in the first place.

– I think I get the prophecy now. Remember? It was something like, a new era for Korea, something red, like the sun. (That’s not too vague for you, is it? Go soothsayers.) The king thinks this means he’ll get supplanted, but possibly it just means Iljimae. You know, the red blossoms? Talk of self-fulfilling.

– I wonder if Shi Hoo has thought of suspecting Yong yet. He’s there at all the right times. The guy should be sharp enough to piece together the absence, his close friendship with Shi Wan, his hankering after Eun Chae, and a few other things. Still leaves the question of whether his loyalty to Dani and Swe Dol will outweigh his desire to be a noble. Also, half-brother subplot that is in the hands of the aforementioned parents.

– We haven’t seen Kyum’s mom in a while, come to think of it.

Sevenses

Character Guide for Iljimae

So Lyn dearest asked for a clarification on the maze that is the relationship between people in Iljimae – I remember drawing charts for a friend about Hong Gil Dong, and uh, being deprived of a scanner, I shall have to explain in words. (It helps me keep things clear too.)

Okay, first off, we’ll start with the person the show’s named after:

Iljimae

  • He’s more commonly known as Yong, son of Dani and Swe Dol. To those in the know, he’s actually the adopted son of Dani and Swe Dol. His real name is Lee Kyum and his father was Lord Lee Won Ho. He also had an older sister named Yeon. He lost his memory at a young age due to the trauma of watching his father die and then having to save himself by injuring his mother – Dani comes upon him and takes him home. When he grows up, he has no memory of who he really is, and is constantly picked on by a pack of young nobles he goes to school with. One day, in desperation to save Swe Dol’s hand from being chopped off, he accepts to fight. While being beaten into the ground, he remembers his past. As he doesn’t know who killed his father but does recall an etching on the man’s sword, he becomes Iljimae to search the houses of nobles who are part of an association called Friends of Heaven. He learns his thieving skills from Swe Dol and has mastered impressive martial arts skills from Kunghe monk. On the romance side of things, Bong Soon is helplessly in love with him, while Eun Chae only loves Iljimae, thinking Yong to be an uncouth thug and mourning Kyum as her dead love. (Interestingly, she’s the only character who’s met all three personifications – Bong Soon came too late for Kyum and has yet to come face to face with Iljimae.) He shows a partiality for Eun Chae but sees Bong Soon like a friend (and treats her like an annoyance). In daily life, he acts as a useless hooligan and frustrates the life out of his adoptive parents.

The Main Protagonists (aka, people who help Yong)

Swe Dol:

  • A kindhearted and somewhat failed thief who raises Shi Hoo (until he was 9) and Yong like his own sons. He was hired by Lee Won Ho’s mother to get rid of Dani (see below), who was by then pregnant with Lee Won Ho’s child. LWH himself pays Swe Dol to take Dani away and keep her and her child safe. He does so. Later, Byun Shik forces him to plant evidence of treason in LWH’s yard, and in a strange twist of fate, Shi Hoo does so, to save Swe Dol. He’s felt guilty towards Yong ever since, and considers nothing too much for the repayment of his deeds against Yong.

Prime Minister and servants

  • Close friend of Lee Won Ho. He never accepted the fact that LWH was conspiring against the king and discovered that his friend was actually framed. This leads to the annihilation of himself as well as his family at the hands of the people who plotted LWH’s murder.

Minister Kim

  • A famously upright minister in the king’s cabinet who keeps an eye out for the frequent nonsense that occurs in court. When he hears of the prime minister’s death, he begins investigating (but is frustrated at every turn by Byun Shik) and eventually comes to the conclusion that LWH’s death was the result of foul play, not suicide, and rallies nobles behind him to put his surviving son, Lee Kyum, on the throne.

Eun Chae

  • She who is perfect, the daughter of Byun Shik, but so radically different in temperament and mental capacity that many fans have proposed theories ranging from adoption to androids. She met Lee Kyum at a young age and has been in love with him ever since, and even at the news of his untimely ‘death’, has never forgotten him. Later on, she meets Yong and is enchanted at first, but due to a misunderstanding, is disgusted with him for being a common street hooligan. She admires Iljimae’s work and has met with him several times. Within her own family, her father lets her handle all the important documents and allows her an unprecedented amount of freedom in regards to a hotel she is building. She’s known for being kind to the poor and does whatever she can to help, even going to an epidemic-striken village and nursing the sick there. (Also, very pretty.)

Bong Soon

  • Her father was a soothsayer who predicted a glorious new era for Korea under the reign of a red sun – the king takes this as a prediction that Lee Won Ho will take his place. In addition to killing LWH, the king also has her mother and father killed. She and her brother escape, not knowing the cause of their parents’ deaths. They later bump into Lee Kyum while he’s being hunted down by assassins and this indirectly causes both her brother’s death and her own adoption by one of the assassins. While running from the killers, Kyum promised to never let go of her hand – she remembers this kindness with clarity, and when she realizes that the ‘oppa’ who helped her is Yong, she does everything in her power to be of use to him. (It is hinted that she will sacrifice her life for him.) She also learns fighting in hopes of avenging her older brother’s death, not knowing that her adoptive father is the one who killed him.

Kunghe monk

  • As one of the three assassins (the best, according to the other two) who served the king, he was partly responsible for LWH’s death (actually, this reminds me, LWH was amazing, withstanding attack from three of the best fighters in Korea for as long as he did). However, after chasing down Kyum and Bong Soon, and killing Bong Soon’s brother, he tires of life as a killer, and quits. He saves Bong Soon’s life by preventing her from jumping off the cliff after Kyum. At her request, he also adopts her and raises her as his own daughter. Now he’s an eccentric monk who peddles in sexualized products, and through a series of coincidences, ends up working for Yong. One day, caring for Yong’s wounds, he notices the tattoo of the etching on the king’s sword and realizes just who Yong is. He decides to leave, but is nabbed by Yong and teaches his skills to the young man. He feels enormous guilt for his past deeds and decides to reap his harvest (so to speak) as it comes. From his attitude regarding Bong Soon, it’s clear that he loves her.

Shi Wan (for now)

  • Before you all go WUH?!, let me explain: he’s helping Yong and thus Iljimae, and he’s far too stupid to be of any use capturing the latter, so net result on Iljimae = help, not detriment. He’s an asshat who believes every piece of elitist spew that comes out of his own mouth. He frequently mistreats both Shi Hoo and picked on Yong in the past. Now that Yong saved him in a gambling incident, he treats Yong as a very close friend and indeed, better than he treats his social equals. He is the unwitting source of much information for Yong.

The Main Antagonists (aka, people who most likely want to kill Yong)

The king (real name Lee Myung Bak, but you’re not allowed to call him that, on pain of death)

  • Formerly sworn brothers with Lee Won Ho (well, still is, but having killed him personally, d’you really think that still applies?), dastardly coward who doesn’t rule his country properly and lets his greedy nobles run wild. He’s very quick to defend himself, however, and is not a person to cross, especially as he still retains the services of two very deadly assassins and a bevy of bootlicking nobles with power. He struck the death blow to Lee Won Ho and is in possession of the sword Iljimae is looking for.

Byun Shik

  • A brutish sycophant to the king, who hops to when he’s told to and throws rages at anyone who is inferior in rank. Offspring: the lovely Eun Chae and the idiotic Shi Wan, assumed offspring the dashing Shi Hoo. Married to someone who is just as idiotic he is. Responsible for planting evidence that condemned Lee Won Ho as a traitor in the public eye, by using Swe Dol and then Shi Hoo.

Shi Hoo (also for now)

  • He used to be called Cha Dol when he was still living with Dani and Swe Dol. He’s actually the son of Dani and Lee Won Ho, but Dani passed him off as Byun Shik’s son to save his life after Byun Shik used him to plant fake evidence in Lee Won Ho’s yard (and was presumably going to kill him to silence him). As an illegitimate son, the best he can hope for is a lowly position in the imperial guards, but he wants to make his mother happy (she wanted him to attain nobility and not suffer like she did) so he tries his hardest to climb up the social ladder. Constantly picked on at home by Shi Wan and his stepmother, his only source of comfort is Eun Chae, his kind little sister. (Although the audience notes a disturbing trend in his somewhat unconventional affection for her. We know they’re not related, but he doesn’t, and he is still in love with her?!) As part of the king’s special police force, albeit as a foot soldier, he uses his brain to solve many of Iljimae’s heists and has come close to capturing him twice. He’s also concerned by Iljimae’s attention to Eun Chae. If he captures Iljimae, the king will bestow noble status upon him, and that is his ultimate goal. He doesn’t know anything about his real heritage. (Brother vs brother, thanks, writers.) Also unofficial king of angstmuffins in the show.

The king’s assassin (Sa Cheon)

  • The second of three assassins and leader of the king’s imperial palace guards. He passes on his skills to Shi Hoo because he sees the young man’s promise and because they have similar philosophies in life: to obliterate all obstacles in the view of their own goals. (Needless to say, this makes them less than stellar friends.)

The Side Characters (the ones that hang around and make the show sparkly)

Lord Lee Won Ho (who didn’t hang around for that long)

  • Possibly younger brother to the king, thus carrier of royal blood. He helped Lee Myung Bak ascend to the throne after a coup overthrowing the former king, Gwanghaegun, who was illegitimate, and thus less worthy. Was killed because the king’s a paranoid creep who believes prophecies rather than his own ability to govern. Offspring: Lee Kyum, Lee Yeon, and Shi Hoo.

Dani

  • Bitter but beautiful, Dani once loved (and still does) Lee Won Ho but believes him responsible for trying to kill her (Swe Dol, you liar, you). She raises her son(s) as best as she can, but gives Cha Dol up to Byun Shik in order for him to have a better life. She takes in Kyum because she feels sorry for him and also because he’s Lee Won Ho’s son (though she’ll never admit this). She has hidden Yong’s past as Kyum from the rest of the world with Swe Dol and continues to protect him ferociously, disappointment in him not withstanding.

Yong’s mother

  • A noblewoman of some fortitude, she bore the death of her husband remarkably well. She urged little Kyum to throw and rock at her to convince the investigators that he was not her son. Since then, she has been doing menial labour as an indentured slave. When fire broke out at her workplace, she took the opportunity to escape. Assumed as dead, she makes a living cooking at a brothel. Shi Hoo visits her occasionally as she helped him in a brawl. Both Shi Hoo and Yong have tasted of her cooking and really love it. She and Yong have yet to meet.

Lee Yeon (didn’t hang around that long either)

  • Older sister of Yong, worked as indentured slave somewhere far away from Seoul. When she heard that her brother was still alive from the mafia dude, she rushed to run away. She escaped to Seoul successfully, but was reported by Shi Hoo (cause of eternal hatred for Shi Hoo on Yong’s side of things) for his own personal gain. She spent a night in jail with Yong, but he didn’t know who she was, so he pushed her away. The next morning, he figured it out and rushed to try to save her. However, he was too late and she was hung to death, after refusing to say where her brother was under torture.

Daeshi

  • Kyum’s best friend. Was accidentally implicated when Yong tried out his thieving skills and abandoned a valuable painting near his house. Yong’s subsequent actions trying to free him led to the creation of the character of Iljimae.

Leatherworker dude and father (Heung Kyeong and Kyeok Doo)

  • Another friend of Yong, mainly due to his father’s friendship with Swe Dol. They are smarter than Daeshi (or, should I say, he is smarter than his father and Daeshi) and help keep Yong’s secret.

Mafia dude (Hwa Bong)

  • One of the most powerful gang leaders in Seoul, he serves mainly to gather ‘tax money’ for the different nobles. Yong hired him to look for his sister, and he fell in love with Yeon as a result. After her death, he vows to help Yong however he can.

Alehouse owner (Shim Deok)

  • Lascivious older woman who lusts after Swe Dol and employs Daeshi.

Hunter dude (Chang Po Kyo)

  • A fur trapper who lives in the middle of nowhere. He rescued Yong twice, the first time after being tied on a tree and the second time because assassins dumped him in a frozen lake. He’s convinced that Yong is Lee Kyum, and looked poised to reveal him for the reward money. He hung around for a long time, making everyone jittery, but he seems to have dropped into the background for now. (With the hunt for Kyum renewing under the leadership of minister Kim, there’s no saying he won’t be back.)

Friends of Heaven:

  • A political organization that gets together to boast once in a while. Lee Won Ho was part of this organization, and Yong’s convinced that one of them killed his father. He robs nobles on the list and inspects their swords, and he even takes the trouble of taking the list of members from Eun Chae’s room and copying it.

Pictures of who I’m talking about:

I assume you know what Yong, Eun Chae, Bong Soon and Shi Hoo look like. If not, leave me a note.

In order of appearance: Byun Shik, Shi Wan, Prime minister, the king, the king’s assassin (Sa Cheon) and another assassin (Mui).

Kunghe monk, Daeshi, Mr. Leatherworker (Heung Kyeong), the alehouse owner (Shim Deok), the hunter (Chang Po Kyo), the hunter’s son (Eun Bok), the mafia dude (Hwa Bong), and Mr. Leatherworker’s father (Kyeok Doo).

Swe Dol (sans tooth), Dani, Kyum’s mother, Lee Won Ho, and Lee Yeon.

Name romanizations courtesy of Frequentflyer120.

Uncertainties (plot threads that the writers have tossed at us)

  1. Shi Hoo and Yong – when will they find out their relationship? Or if? How with each react?
  2. How will Yong react to his adoptive parents knowing, and how will they react to him knowing his past?
  3. What will Bong Soon and Yong do when they discover Kunghe’s role in both their loved ones’ deaths?
  4. What are Yong’s intentions regarding Shi Wan?
  5. When, if ever, will Yong meet his mother? (and tell her of Yeon’s death?)
  6. Will Eun Chae and Yong get together? Will he mind that she’s Byun Shik’s daughter? Corollary, will he end up with Bong Soon?
  7. What will Yong do about the king once he finds out?

Let’s have a group discussion. 😀

(Um… that’s it for now, though I may update as new information comes to light. Hope that helped, lyn!)

Sevenses

P.S. I’ve got to learn how to respond to comments without writing a whole crabapple of posts.

Iljimae Episode 13, recap

Good episode, I think, given the overall tone. But! BT WAS SO SLOOOOOOOOOW. (Found a thingy, whatsitcalled, and watched it online. Am still feeling guilty doing this in a library, surrounded by all these studious people. It’s July! Why are you all studying?!)

Episode 13

Yongi gets a lot better, and so does Shi Hoo!! They can both beat their masters in a fair fight now.

Lol, Byun Shik and Eun Chae host the opening of their inn. (Technically Eun Chae’s.) Miss Eun Chae explains everything about her inn and expounds upon its perfections (apparently you can just bring yourself to the hotel and not drag a whole host of pots and pans etc). The Chinese ambassador is running around being ugly, and his son is being sleazy. Eun Chae likes his horses, but not the owner.

He makes a rude joke about riding horses and Eun Chae gives him the evil eye. He goes away. Her servant remarks that the hooligans who hang around are better than that dude, and slyly insinuates that her mistress actually misses having Yong underfoot. Eun Chae laughs and turns the conversation to Iljimae…

… who is still getting trained by Kunghe. Both he and Shi Hoo are basically learning the same set of skills, but with different intents. (LJK does lots of pretty jumps.)

As he learns, he remembers his father’s words: to use his sword for the life, and not death.

At night, Eun Chae approaches the taciturn Shi Hoo, and she asks him to teach her how to do archery… which I think is a ploy to get him to speak to her again, but you can think of it however you want. (Oh, so he was the one who taught her how to ride. Speak of spoiling perfect little sisters.)

Shi Hoo doesn’t refuse as much as ignore her, and she grab a bow and arrow to do it herself. Not surprisingly, she hurts herself, and he has to teach her the right way after all. There’s a lot of happiness when she gets her first shot. First time I’ve seen Shi Hoo smile in a long time. 😀

Yong, too, learns archery, but with dulled arrows and live rabbits. (Poor guy gets shot in the butt alot by Kunghe.) Actually, the monk is trying to teach him how to shoot arrows without giving his own position away, which is important, giving both their side jobs.

Ugh. Shi Hoo is actually killing the rabbits. (Yo, animal rights people, look the other way.)

At the end of training, Shi Hoo’s master gives him an unsheathed sword, and tells him:

This is the sword I used when I first started out. Use it to strike down anyone who stands in your way, be they gods or friends. Use it.

Whereas Kunghe gives Yong a sheathed sword (so pretty!). He takes off the sheathe only to discover a blade that has got the edge taken off. After a lot of shouting, they settle down and Kunghe gives him the lesson inherent in the blade (which is actually a treasure of his and a really good sword, I bet):

There are two types of swords in this world. The sword of death, used to kill people, and the sword of life, used to save people.

During the speech, Yong flashes back to his younger days with his dad and remembers the exact same speech.

Even without an edge, a person who has killing in his heart will bring death with a blade. The thing that kills is not the weapon, but the heart.

Yong stares at the dull sword for a long time.

When it’s time to leave the island, Kunghe monk decides to stay a few more days. He also lets Yong know, via circuitous conversation with the boatman, that he knows he’s Iljimae (and that his real goal isn’t to assuage the poor). Awww, they’ve grown so close together.

Lol. Bong Soon hears the news with joy and immediately sets out to buy food to cook yummy things for him (she’ll have to nudge Dani aside for that one). She meets Yang Soon, the veggie seller’s daughter, and is annoyed at her for showing off her ribbon from Yong.

Mr. My Dad is the Ambassador So I Can Be As Much of an Ass as I Want is drunk and races down a crowded street. As in, racing on horses.

Yang Soon and Bong Soon have a little spat in the middle of the street about who’s going to marry Yong (my answer: if anyone, it’d be Eun Chae). It’s like a Mexican standoff, but cuter and more Korean.

Meanwhile, the nobles gallop down several really crowded streets, forcing everyone to scatter in every direction, and generally causing lots of mayhem.

Yang Soon drops her ribbon, so she goes to pick it us, but the ambassador’s son has already gotten to the street. When he sees the little girl in the middle of the street, he spurs his horse on, intending to make it jump over her. The other nobles rein up their steeds, while noble dude gallops and runs Yang Soon over.

She lies prone in the streets, and Bong Soon drops everything, but it’s too late, she’s dead.

The noble dude gallops away, aware that he’s in trouble. Bong Soon gives chase. (I’m amazed that she can keep up with galloping horses, but then this show is not to be taken seriously. Eh.)

Yong sets foot on his native land again. Since everyone is off with Yang Soon’s parents, his welcome is decidedly cool. He walks up to where the crowd of people are and sees the ribbon lying on the ground. When he sees the corpse, Yong loses it, and chases off after the evil nobles too. (How he knows to go there, I won’t ask either. It save time.)

Noble dude gets home just in time to slam the doors on an infuriated Bong Soon.

Yong gets there to see Bong Soon tussling with the guards on the ambassadorial residence (which looks a lot like the palace, actually). Yong puts on his street boy mask and tries to get Bong Soon away, but the girl’s hot tempered. Yong drags her away by the scruff of her neck (where is Bong Soon’s kung fu?), even after hearing that Yang Soon died for the ribbon he gave her. The guy’s just trying to contain his grief, really. Yong lets her go back, and Bong Soon sits down in front of the doorway in protest.

Bong Soon stays there for the night. People from nearby houses give her things to eat and drink, but she doesn’t take them. A very worried Yong sits at a house just out of sight of the main door and chews on his nails. Oh Yong. Why so two-faced?

Just as he’s worrying about how ignored she is, Yang Soon’s parents, Daeshi, the alehouse owner, Mr. Leatherworker and father come up and sit down with her. They don’t even want him to go to jail or get his head chopped off, just an apology, which makes it sadder, as we all know that nobles wouldn’t get even a slap on the wrist for a crime like this. (Equivalent to criminal recklessness, I believe.)

So they sit. And they wait.

Yong walks off, assured that Bong Soon is safe for the moment.

Swe Dol is at home, holding a different vigil. He knows that his son got back yesterday, so why didn’t he come home? Yong sneaks up on him and announces his arrival in typical flamboyant Yong fashion. Dani is conspicuous by her absence, but only because she is furiously making all his favourite eats in the kitchen. Her greeting is curt, but we know she love shim really. Swe Dol teases him about the pink ribbon he has tied on his belt and a possible girlfriend, but Yong changes the topic really, really fast.

His parents hurry off to the protest too, and Yong puts down his chopsticks, deep in (angsty) thought.

From a different part of town, Eun Chae comes too, trailing her protesting servant. When another peasant objects, Eun Chae takes some dirt and smears it on her lovely hanbok, and gives a speech about yangban being part of society too.

She is dragged to the back by her servants, but refuses to leave.

Inside, noble idiot is panicking, but his dad goes out the back door and uses his influence with Byun Shik to get something done about the people sitting at his front door. The ambassador has Byun Shik by the short and curlies, to use a vulgar expression, as he helped Byun Shik cover up some embarrassing events while he was on duty in China. Byun Shik delicately bring up the issue of riding while under the influence (lol) but is too cowed to actually refuse.

So the troops are set to disperse the crowd, but they’re all very angry and refuse to scatter. Bong Soon rushes up with a cry of, “We pay our taxes for you to protect murderers? Everyone, go!” When the people are shoved away, Eun Chae rushes up and gives the soldiers a good scolding. They recognize her expensive clothes and there is a lull in the attack.

My favourite moment by far: Bong Soon and Eun Chae stand together, facing the soldiers with their wrath. (Yay! They totally have this kindred acknowledgment thing going on.)

Inside, Shi Wan and Shi Hoo are both going, liek what? at the noble idiots, who are playing mahjong. Byun Shik gives orders for his subordinate to drag a few of the instigators and beat them up. The subordinate doesn’t want to, but he obeys.

It turns into an all-out brawl and the unarmed peasants are at an obvious disadvantage. Eun Chae is in there somewhere, to the distress of her servants, but the girl refuses, absolutely refuses, to leave.

Yong comes up, after gazing sadly at his ribbon, and sees Bong Soon, his father, the leatherworkers and others tied up and bloody. Just then, his mother and the alehouse owner come up with the cart that contained Yang Soon’s body but is now full of pots, pans and brooms. Yong is compelled to help by his mother’s command. With their improvised weapons, they beat away the soldiers, who don’t really want to hurt them anyway.

The demonstrators are untied. Yong keeps Yang Soon’s parents back, but the rest of them rush up with ‘weapons’.

Yong sees the melee and knows that it cannot end well, so he rushes back to his lair in the mountains and starts making his own armour. (Oh, so that ugly mouthpiece was homemade? Okay, I forgive him for having a horrible sense of armour fashion. Perish the thought that Yong never learned how to do all this blacksmithing. He’s obviously a genius.)

Oops, Yong is missing something to beat with, so he goes to the mafia headquarters, where they have just received orders from Byun Shik to go and beat the stuffing out of the protesters. Mafia dude welcomes him back with open arms, and he is the only one to notice that Yong didn’t do much studying, but got a lot fitter.

While Yong is retrieving the hammer, he hears about the order to disperse the assembled protesters and follows.

In front of the gate, a quite impressive crowd has built up. The soldiers are tired and the people are too, which makes Swe Dol extra panicked when he sees all the local thugs coming for them.

Which makes it all the better when parents in the crowd of protesters spot their offspring and drag them by the ear to the ‘good’ side. 😀 😀 😀

When mafia dude hears the truth (he thought he was here to calm a rebel riot), he decides to merge with the protesters. Which leaves Yong alone, and he truly shines as a shameless street kid as he refuses to join. Dani may just kill him with the mallet he’s holding, but thankfully she’s too far back in the crowd to do any damage.

Byun Shik responds to this new change by adding soldiers. Yong gets into the embassy via the back door and scouts around for a later mission. The reserve troops come out for another round of beating, and everyone scatters for cover. Swe Dol covers Dani while Bong Soon and mafia dude do some beating back.

Yong realizes that all the extra soldiers have been called off for something and he rushes outside in time to singlehandedly beat off half the soldiers. (Don’t think anyone saw him though.) Everyone leaves the area for some regrouping. But they’re coming back for sure.

In some random warehouse (I suspect it’s Eun Chae’s hotel), everyone lies around getting treated. Dani treats Swe Dol, as he bashfully tries to hide the extent of the damage. She says the sweetest thing that’s come out of her mouth so far: If you died, I wouldn’t be able to go on living either.

Swe Dol’s endorphins kick in and he looks like he’s forgotten his injuries.

Dani walks away to help Eun Chae, who wants to wear something slightly less encumbering than her silk hanbok. Daeshi and co. complain about Yong’s cowardice.

On the island, the monk walks around alone. He notices Yong’s mania for putting his name on everything he owns, and chuckles at this quirk. Then he notices that on the other side of a vest, Bong Soon wrote “Yong is Bong Soon’s”. His face grows sombre. Then he sets off across the deserted island.

Back home, Yong is almost done making his own armour. (If ever there is a nuclear explosion, go to Yong’s lair. He has everything there.)

Swe Dol plans, along with Bong Soon and his friends, a reprisal of today’s protests.

Byun Shik and the ambassador gloat together, little knowing that the new and improved version of Iljimae is about to strike. (Not sure who I dislike more, the sycophant or the cruel bastard.)

Yong gets ready, putting on his armour. (So rare to hear his own, serious voice.)

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Yo, flyingcrispi, pls to be explaining the abundance of evil Chinese people. It’s kind of getting irritating at this point. We fought, we conquered, we got taxes in return for protecting/lending the army against the Japanese and all of a sudden we’re evil. I don’t see any Japanese people being lampooned. But then, the Korean government officials aren’t any better, so I’d better not complain 😛

– Now, I’ve noticed that Korean swords are more akin to the katana than the broadsword of Europe or the straight sword used in China (let’s not get into scimitars, yea?), so … which one came first?

– And the baddie is called Zheng, but I think I’ll keep with the ‘noble idiot’ stuff. It’s fun. 😀

– I’m not sure why Yong is keeping up this facade thing so thoroughly, I mean, even regular roughs (like that mafia dude) will object to something like this, so why pretend he’s so heartless? Unless he means to keep under the radar, but you know, he stands out more like this than amongst a crowd. Oh well. I’m sure Iljimae will do something.

– Word count: 2550. Am approaching HGD levels of epic again. Don’t worry until you see 3500. Then you can worry. 😀

Sevenses

ETA: Not sure if you noticed, but as I’ve said, am busy working till the next week, go Montreal and its love affair with sidewalk sales… Iljimae episode 14 and 16 might be a bit delayed (I managed to wrangle a break day out when 15 is released). Hope you guys are okay with that.

Iljimae Episode 14, recap

Can barely prop eyelids open, but here’s the recap. Still working 12+ hours a day, so prease to be forgiving all spelling mistakes. Also, fangirlism abounds.

Love you all, and hope you found this episode as good as I did. (Actually, you better had, because I did, and I was super tired to boot!)

Oh! One last thing (don’t kill me, lol, you can just scroll down) everyone go over and wish flyingcrispi a good time in Greece!

Episode 14

Aww. Everyone is still holding firm in front of the palace gates, to the point of working out a food distribution system. Byun Shik and the ambassador dude look over at the assembled peasants… and the ambassador goes to the king. He demands that the king solve the problem.

When the king suggests (not demand, mind you) that the ambassador’s son might be slightly responsible, the guy puffs up like one of those fish and brings the king’s own son into the fray, hinting that the crown prince might find China less than hospitable if the king doesn’t make Mr. Ambassador happy. What a toad.

(Btw, the guy’s wearing the wrong clothes for the Qing dynasty, and even wronger clothes for the Choseon… I would lol, but I’m tired of evil Chinese people showing up all the time. If you’re going to impugn, at least do it accurately. Otherwise check your intentions. So fucking tired of propaganda.)

The king must have watched Hong Gil Dong, because he’s doing the Chang-Hui-is-pained thing. He’s weak so he obeys the ambassador’s wishes, and calls Byun Shik over.

Eun Chae’s mom is super worried at her not coming home, and sends the family servants to search.

Once he’s received the king’s orders, Shi Wan hands the faked results of the investigation exonerating Zheng over to Shi Hoo, who doesn’t like giving lies to the people, but has to do it. He reads it out loud to the crowd. Dani, Swe Dol, Eun Chae and co are disappointed. Bong Soon is furious.

Yong rushes into the crowd of protesting people, and does his thoughtless street boy thing by chatting Eun Chae up, earning absolutely no points with Eun Chae and making Bong Soon sad.

Lols, the people are planning to use wet horse manure to bombard wossface. The king gathers his ministers and does his fake good guy thing, but Byun Shik mentions the use of dry manure as an explosive (when mixed with things that will explode, you idiot). The ministers fall for it. Pre-emptive measures, anyone?

Kunghe monk goes to visit Bong Soon’s family’s grave markers (the real bodies are elsewhere). He offers them the proper mourning. (Noo, don’t go away, we need you to explain all the plot threads to Yong at the 11th hour!) This is an annual expedition for the monk.

Yang Soon’s mother is hanging on after not eating for about three days. The others prepare to throw manure at the palace door.

Shi Wan has received orders to shoot everyone at the gates, and after seeing Yong, warns him away. (Awwwwww. Starting to warm to him.) Then, gazing after Yong, he spots Eun Chae, and both brothers come and run for their little sis, knowing that being a second late would mean her being killed. She’s dragged away under protest.

The soldiers come out as the protesters move forward. Swe Dol and Dani realize that Yong is missing and look for him.

OMG, THEY’RE SERIOUS ABOUT THE ARROWS. WTF, KING. SHOOTING INNOCENT PEOPLE?! I KEEEEEEL YOU WITH MY BASEBALL BAT!

Just as the guard in charge gives orders for the soldiers to shoot, Iljimae appears and shouts “Wait!”

He’s got Zheng by the scruff of the neck and tied up too. The people cheer really hard, and the archers readjust their aim. But Byun Shik tells them to put their arrows down, as the ambassador’s son is in his hands.

Eun Chae gazes up with admiration, sparking jealousy in Shi Hoo, but then she notices an assassin archer climbing up to the roof. She grabs Shi Hoo’s bow and shoots the guy (astonishing all with her good aim, but then, archery is easy). Iljimae sees her and acknowledges her help by nodding, and she nods back.

About five million soldiers come for Iljimae, but the staircase is super narrow so we get a few moments of LJK showing off his martial arts skills instead. Zheng aka wossface is trying to get away, and ends up falling outside the castle wall. But he’s tied to a post, so he’s fine, atm.

Iljimae fights the soldiers with his dull blade and some sticks, not killing anyone. Which backfires on him because the others recover and surround him. But good on him for obeying the Do Not Kill rule.

Anyway, he fires an escape arrow to a distant roof and gets away with Zheng, but not before Swe Dol sees the pink ribbon tied to his wrist. There is astonishment, and some good fighting.

The next morning, Zheng is hanging from a gate somewhere, being bombarded by horse manure. He confesses to everything. The parents, surprisingly, don’t demand his life in return. The people are unhappy, and know that the king planned to kill them. In the heat of fury and enthusiasm, they support Iljimae as king. The ministers urge the king to calm the people down or risk a revolution in his hands.

He gives a decree awarding some stuff to Yang Soon’s parents and spouts some BS about being sorry. However, mostly everyone is more intelligent than that, and refuse his lies for what they are.

Swe Dol totally knows that Yong is Iljimae now and has the shell-shocked expression of someone who survived a war. He runs to his abandoned mountain workshop, and discovers the hidden mechanism that allows him to enter Iljimae’s lair. I must say, very nicely constructed pulley/trapdoor system.

Meanwhile, everyone else gathers at the bay to send Yang Soon off. Yong is given the honour of setting her coffin on fire, which they then send drifting down a river. (Kleenex moment.) Yong throws the pink ribbon after her coffin. Bong Soon watches him cry and cries herself.

Swe Dol makes his way inside the lair and sees all the maps and plans of the noble residences. He imagines Yong (very handsomely, zomg he is so cute in this episode!!) drawing scenes of his former family life while crying. (But Yong would never cry like that… too girly.) Swe Dol then sees the painting Yong’s done of his courtyard full of plum blossoms with his family there.

Swe Dol sees Iljimae’s armour and doesn’t know what to do with his knowledge. He’s sad that Yong’s recovered his memory, then panicked at his own and Shi Hoo’s role in the events, should they become clear. He sobs on the floor and still has time to hide when Iljimae enters and sees the paper slips announcing three new targets on the wall.

I bet the targets are the ones currently dining with the ambassador, each trying to out-brownnose each other. (Lords Kim, Cheong and Oh, I think.)

Swe Dol gets out and copies the three names, because he can’t read them. (You think Iljimae’s not going to notice someone’s been using his paper, pen and ink?)

Btw, Iljimae’s getting more and more popular, with people recognizing him as far more kinglier than the current one. The nobles squabble amongst themselves to avoid blame, which makes the king angry.

(Lol, Byun Shik calls Iljimae a black shadowed bat. 😀 )

The king indulges in a moment of anger and throws an inkstand at the assassin’s head. The guy ends up bleeding, and the nobles quiet down, as they are scared by the man’s blatant cheery manner while BEATING ON HIS OWN SERVANT. (The guy has his blind spots, but he is very loyal to his king. I’d tell him to leave his job.) What a sick power hog.

If he wanted their attention, honestly, he could have just told the guy to shout.

Anyway, his orders are to capture Iljimae alive and bring him to see the king. (Which sets up a convenient plot device to allow him to survive.)

Byun Shik goes home and tries to scold and beat Eun Chae with his shoe in hand, but her glare makes him drop his shoe. He denies that he gave the orders to shoot the protesters. (Lol, Shi Wan tried to shield his baby sister.) Shi Hoo and Byun Shik discuss the details, with Shi Wan listening on.

Swe Dol gets Mr. Leatherworker to read the names he’s copied down, and it is indeed the three (Kim, Oh and Cheong) nobles we met earlier.

Uh oh. Swe Dol is going to do something stupid, isn’t he?

Yup. His newly invented lock is unopenable, besides being super pretty and shiny. He even installs them all for free (which, I think, is going to get him in trouble later).

The soldiers get ready for another night stationed outside noble houses that belong to members of Friends of Heaven.

AHAHAHA. DED OF LAUGHING, ZOMG.

Swe Dol is determined to sleep with Yong and make sure he doesn’t go anywhere during the night, thus sparking the reaction: This is Yongi here! Not Dani! Nooooooo!

The performance is kind of scary, actually. Swe Dol ends up sleeping on Yong, with his arms around his waist (lol now I envy Swe Dol) and their feet tied together. Yong escapes anyway.

Shi Hoo’s super alert. (It has occured to me that the new Iljimae costume, being a lot shinier and floofy and skirty with red silk sashes… is rather conspicuous and not really suited for a night cat-theif, you know. Plus, air drag.)

Iljimae indeed cannot get into the door that his father locked. But he has more than one trick up his sleeve and gets in by the roof. After stealing the ginseng (which he mysterious could pinpoint as 300 year old ones), he makes to climb back out, but someone comes!

Our thief has no choice but to burn up the rope. Um. That’s really fast. Must have been alcohol assisted burning.

The lord of the house comes in to make sure nothing is amiss and goes out again, not having noticed anything wrong.

Now Iljimae’s locked in. By his own father. Wtf, Swe Dol.

And more WTF for Swe Dol, because the door actually opens on the side, as in, he sawed a part of the door off the hinges, so it opens if it actually is leaned on. *sigh* Swe Dol, why go to so much trouble?

(Aww, he just doesn’t want his son to also be a thief.)

Iljimae moves on to the next noble house, which is being patrolled by Shi Hoo. Who, being possessed of a fine radar and new skills, can see him as soon as he appeared. Or not. A cat jumps out and Shi Hoo is disappointed.

Iljimae’s ambushed anyway, by household guards. Another action sequence with lots of spinning and totally impossible odds, lalala.

He gets away in the nick of time in the rain (his armour doesn’t rust? Oh good.) and perches triumphantly on the roof.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– No preview again. Either they’re really pressed for time on this scripting/filming thing, or that was an annoying mixup.

– Yang Soon! 白菜妹!! Rest in peace, baby girl.

– And now Swe Dol knows. Well… we know from episode one that Hwa Bong, Daeshi and Hyeun Kyeong know and help him. There’s all these issues to be resolved and there’s only 6 episodes left! (Confirmed that no extensions will be made for this wildly popular show.)

– Am too tired to do anything so strenuous as thinking, so will leave off speculating to the happy folks over at baidu. I want my romantic progression, darn it.

Sevenses

ETA: I think I managed to mess up the time siggy on this thing. Oh well. Enjoy reading.

Iljimae 15/16 Pictures

OMG OMG A KISSING SCENE. AND NOT ONE, BUT LIKE, TWO!!! (Sorry, can’t turn the fangirl off.)

Obviously spoilery, so don’t click on the cut unless you’re ready to be spoiled. Also, picture heavy.

Credits to bashful_harmony and Wendy over at soompi. Thank you darlings!

So Yong apparently gets it on with not only Bong Soon (who forces a kiss on him, lols) but also Eun Chae, but slightly more romantically. 😀 Hopefully with more chemistry than we see here though.

They’ve been filming on a super tight schedule and it has been officially confirmed that there will be no extensions, just 20 episodes, so get your fill while you still can, folks!

Okays. That’s it for the Eun Chae and Iljimae action. But seriously, aren’t you people a little worried for Eun Chae? (First of all, that kind of scene in a sageuk invariably guarantees an interruption, but we’ll see.) She’s smart and capable but she falls for someone she doesn’t even know… makes you wonder… but she’s human after all.

And this is my personal favourite, so cuuuuuuuuuuuute: Swe Dol and Dani getting married officially. 😀

Lalala, hope you enjoyed that!

Sevenses

Iljimae 15 text preview

Hey, got this from baidu:

第15集

睡梦中的铁石被自己的鼾声惊醒后深切地望着旁边的勇儿,抚摸着他的头.这时微微张开双眼的勇儿心通地看着铁石.

第2天市井街道上到处 都是一支梅的甲衣,木剑和弓箭等物品在人们称瓒声中叫卖,得到这些东西的孩子闷相互骄傲地称自己是一支梅.看到这些孩子们的勇儿批判着说那帮孩子们不懂 事,结果被孩子们的木剑刺到屁股.

稍后,和时苑一同走进深夜被盗的郑大人家的勇儿发现灰沐后立即檫掉,被时菀问到时狂妄地说一支梅可能是从屋顶上下来的. 但是此时,时厚指着门缝处被截的痕迹说一支梅是从外面进来的,勇儿听后大惊.

另一面恩彩从下植那里得到作为礼物的一匹马吧,恩彩听听罢便笑.

夜来临,勇儿找到沈德酒铺说要给风顺自由,风顺更加主动贴近,并立即预亲吻勇儿的唇.

稍后边身为一支梅的勇儿找到恩彩与她一同走向自己儿时的家.在那颗梅花树出,听 到恩彩说儿时遇到自己的初恋的告白后大惊.接着,恩彩对一支梅说想看看他的真面目,勇儿摘下额头上的黑带挡住她的双眼,吻向他的唇…

Translation:

Swe Dol awakens and sees Yong still sleeping next to him. At the same time, Yong is pretending to be asleep, but he’s also watching Swe Dol. In the morning, all the little kids in the street are wearing the Iljimae costume and carrying mock bows, arrows and swords. When Yong says they’re just immature brats he gets poked in the butt with a wooden sword.

A short while later he goes to see the household that was robbed with Shi Wan. He wipes away evidence from the night before and says Iljimae probably came from the ceiling when asked by his companion. However, Shi Hoo points to the lines in the door and says that Iljimae probably entered from the outside. Yong is shocked. (Sounds like Swe Dol might get into trouble after all.)

Eun Chae gets a horse from her father, called Il Ji Mare, and smiles.

At night, Yong goes to Shim Deok’s alehouse and decides to let Bong Soon free from the contract, but she grabs him and kisses him.

Yong changes into Iljimae and goes to visit his old home, bumping into Eun Chae on the way there. Upon hearing her account of meeting her first love (at age 8, let’s not forget =.=), Iljimae is very shocked. When they’re both in the tree, Eun Chae asks to see his real face, but Iljimae takes off the black cloth around his forehead and covers her eyes, then leans in to kiss her…

Whoo! *fans self* Doesn’t that sound exciting!

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 15, recap

Sooooo excited! Without further ado, ladies (and gentlemen)…

Episode 15

Swe Dol snores so hard he wakes himself up, and he sees Yong lying asleep next to him. He pats Yong’s head then goes back to sleep. Yong was actually awake (having just come from robbing the noble of his ginseng) and looks at the sleeping Swe Dol.

The next morning, Shi Wan comes to gloat, because Shi Hoo’s theory of Iljimae robbing only the members of Friends of Heaven prove false. None of the three robbed nobles are on that list.

Anyway, Yong makes his way to the neighbourhood clinic and sees that the doctor is brewing the 300 year old ginseng for those who were injured in the fight. He tries to get a taste but is stopped by Bong Soon, who proudly claims that those are for the injured, as per instructed by Iljimae. On the way to Shim Deok’s alehouse, he sees a pack of kids running around in Iljimae costumes. He scolds them for spending money uselessly and gets poked in the butt repeatedly. But height and age give him the advantage and he manages to chase the kids off.

When he gets there, the alehouse is making a huge profit on the theme of Iljimae, serving plum blossom wine and having all its wine servers dress like Iljimae. Kunghe monk makes a return and Shim Deok is overjoyed.

Yong goes off with Shi Wan to the crime scene of one of the robberies. Shi Hoo is like, wtf are you doing. Yong notices, while looking at the room, that there are ashes left from the day before (from the rope he burned) and tries to wipe them away. Shi Wan notices, and Yong reacts really quickly by telling him that Iljimae must have come in by the roof.

(It’s so cute, in this scene, Yong mimics Shi Wan’s moves while he’s acting all smart and detective-y.)

Shi Hoo and his boss are like, what about the door? And Shi Hoo refutes Shi Wan’s theory because the door is so obviously broken, thereby missing the truth by a few centimetres.

Shi Hoo can tell that the door was sawed from the outside – and Yong is super alarmed because Shi Hoo’s deductions will harm Swe Dol.

Speaking of whom, Swe Dol looks a bit ill after a night of no sleep. Mr. Leatherworker needs to deliver something for one of the nobles, but his dad is doing his side job and thus unavailable – what side job? replacing roofing tiles so that they are not slippery and provide no harm to Iljimae. 😀

Eun Chae gets a horse from her father, and her servant names it Iljimare (for ‘a horse’). She’s totally spoiled… and when Shi Hoo comes to see her, she also mentions that the robbed houses did not belong to members of Friends of Heaven. Arguably tired everyone harping him about it and Eun Chae’s defending Iljimae, he snaps at her. She looks hurt and he walks off.

Hunter dude (disappeared five episodes ago) is teaching his son to make traps. His son is tender-hearted and feels sorry for the rabbit. Minister Kim meets with the hunter and confirms Kyum’s existence. Byun Shik waylays him and tries to trick him into revealing Kyum’s existence – but Kim is too wily for that, and tells him that Kyum was killed in a fight with ruffians.

The king comes to meet the assassin, and apologizes for hitting him with the inkstand. (He’s super devoted, ahhhhh. Stupid.) Byun Shik brings the news that Kyum is dead, from minister Kim, and he’s confirmed from his own people’s reports too. (How they confirmed, is a mystery, since Kyum is obviously alive.) The king suggests a ‘hunt’ the next day.

The hunter delivers the news to Yong, who pretends not to care, but does some research.

Swe Dol waits outside for Yong to come home, and Dani comes out, all concerned for her husband. When she hears that he’s waiting for Yong, she goes all cold again, but goes inside to wait. (Aww. She’s missed sleeping next to him! And she put lipstick on! AWWWWWWWWWW.)

Yong’s watching Bong Soon work really hard at the alehouse. He sets her free from her contract. She’s not happy that he’s telling her to go, because she wants to stay his servant forever. The next scene is so funny because Bong Soon drags him somewhere and forces him against a wall – but we know he can knock her over if he wanted to. Anyway, she plants one on him – and is all gleeful that it was his first kiss.

Poor guy runs off after spitting a bit. He’s so dismayed, his face just asks for a caption. 😀

Yong goes to his hideout and is determined to visit minister Kim, after which his crusade may be over.

Eun Chae goes out again, putting her servant in the carriage. She gets on the horse, but notices plum blossom petals fluttering around in the air. He thanks her for saving his life, but she’s angry that she’s had no news from him for so long and rides off in a huff. (Where’s her entourage??) Yong feels all bad and sits on the roof alone.

But! She comes back! And he jumps on the horse too, and they ride off to his old house. (Iljimae be damned, where did he learn how to ride?)

They climb up to the old plum tree, and she tells him about her encounter with Kyum, shocking him that he was her first love.

Eun Chae: When I was little, I met my first love here, but he died. Still, I remember him deeply.
Iljimae: He is in heaven now, but he must be happy to hear that.
Eun Chae: And then, later, I met a young man here. I thought it was that boy come back to life, but I was stupid, and wrong.
Iljimae: *looking off into the distance*
Eun Chae: Your face, can I look at it? (Her hand actually touches his face…)
Iljmae: *grabs her hand and stops it*
Eun Chae: *is hurt and looks away*
Iljimae: We might not meet again.
Eun Chae: What? Why?
Iljimae: *takes off his headband and tries to cover her eyes*
Eun Chae: *accepts it after some hesitation*
Iljimae: *takes off his mask and leans in for a kiss*

(I don’t know, it was such a typically kdrama kiss – and then we get a montage of the plum trees. But the intention is romantic enough, I guess, even if the intimation that Iljimae and Eun Chae will not meet again is a bit worrying – I suppose he’s referring to his retirement after he figures out his father’s death – but things are never as easy as that.)

Bong Soon tries to buy Kyum’s old house, and then hears that Eun Chae’s aunt is going to chop off the plum tree. Bong Soon comes and buys the tree. Eun Chae, also having heard her intentions, gets here to protect the tree. Of course, she gets here too late, and Bong Soon has already bought the tree.

She gloats and generally disturbs Eun Chae’s usual genteel demeanor.

Before he can meet Kyum, minister Kim is called away on a hunt, supposedly in honour of the Chinese ambassador, but in reality just trying to kill minister Kim. Shi Hoo (and others) is there as security personnel and animal disturber, serving a function usually left to foxhounds in the UK. (Shi Hoo almost gets hit by an arrow, loosed by Shi Wan. I’m going to say this – I don’t think Shi Wan wanted to hurt Shi Hoo. He’s just the nasty boy type who doesn’t really know the difference between a joke and going too far. Besides, he doesn’t kill. He tricks and beats, but his psyche isn’t the killer type.) The hunt is plentiful, and the king is still pretty good at archery.

The hunter spies on Yong, who waits impatiently.

Shi Wan comes with news of the recently deceased minister Kim, who was obviously killed but Byun Shik covers it up as an accident. Shi Hoo notices an identical tattoo on the dead man’s chest as the prosecutor in much earlier episodes (and as Lee Won Ho himself, if you remember)… people in Kim’s own household are bewildered at his death, and Shi Hoo is suspicious.

Yong waits until night, then goes to Kim’s household, where he hears the news of his death with dismay. Now he knows there is someone actively trying to stop his father’s death from coming into light.

Panicked nobles plead to the king that they weren’t participants to Kim’s plans – and we learn a bit more about the history of the Friends of Heaven. There were seven (go numerology) in the beginning, Lee Won Ho, the king, minister Kim, the dead prosecutor, the dead prime minister and the two nobles pleading innocence. They formed the core group which vowed to remove Gwanghaegun from the throne. Then the organization expanded, but the original members were all quite important to the king.

The next day, the ambassador sets up a trap for Iljimae, tired of always having no news from the official channels. The hunter’s rather cowardly son is caught in the middle.

Yong comes to meet with Daeshi and sees him hiding in a soya container – apparently soldiers have been catching all the young men they can find. He finds the hunter’s son being bullied and tries to help, but gets caught too. Yong is there, with about thirty other young men, and is super angry that the ambassador’s son would dare do this to catch Iljimae.

Swe Dol experiences a lull in his business, and is despondent – those two things not being related at all, but everyone else thinks it is. He’s reflected for a long time, and decides to side with Iljimae, and not make locks that may impede Iljimae’s work. An old acquaintance, the family servant who worked for Lee Won Ho’s family, shows up, looking for Swe Dol, and spots both he and Dani.

Just then, Bong Soon runs up with the distressing news that Yong has been captured. More peasants cluster at the front of the gates. Mr. Leatherworker’s dad says what’s on all their minds – Iljimae will come here and rescue the young men. Swe Dol looks on sadly and says, “Iljimae is there.” Kunghe monk looks worried too.

The ambassador’s son is shooting arrows at one of the papers Iljimae has left behind, but there’s someone standing right under the paper – if the person is short, so much the better, but if they’re tall like the hunter’s son or Yong, uh… watch out.

Shi Hoo is disgusted – even he doesn’t condone this way of catching Iljimae. Shi Wan looks on, and spots Yong. He rushes to rescue him, but is blocked by his superior. Shi Hoo spots his brother by adoption and tries to do it too, and is also blocked. (Aww, both of them are so cute, doing the “OH NOES MUST RESCUE YONGI” face. Brownie points to Shi Hoo for showing us that he cares about his adoptive brother and recognizes their bond – which means he may go easier on him if he knows who’s really Iljimae.)

Zheng gets drunk and aims at the hunter’s son. Yong can tell that the arrow went wide (as in, may hint the target) this time and leaps in front of the hunter’s son, taking an arrow in the back – right where his heart would have been, had the arrow hit him in the front. Shi Hoo doesn’t care any longer and rushes forward, carrying him away to his concerned parents beyond the closed gates.

Kunghe carries the unconscious Yong home, while Bong Soon, Dani, Swe Dol, Leatherworker & dad, mafia dude & lackeys look on in panic. Aww, our Yongi has so many friends. Dani would like to stay with Shi Hoo, but decides that Yong is more important at the moment. Poor guy.

The hunter bugs Yong about his precious son, but no one lets him in. Yong wakes up in considerable pain but a lot of determination. Apparently until Iljimae appears, none of the captured people will be released, and if he does not after three days, then they’ll all be killed.

The hunter’s son is a useless, snivelling wreck (I swear, I know it’s for yuck factor, but he has snot hanging out his nose. YUCK). Shi Wan doesn’t want to kill these men, but his father doesn’t care.

Iljimae waits on the roof of the ambassadorial residence, with a large bag next to him. Iljimae’s signature note floats to the imprisoned men, and they barge out according to his instructions. They make it out, as Iljimae creates a big, attention-getting diversion in the shape of himself.

There’s like five hundred people ambushing him. The guy gets beaten a little, but he’s fine and gets out.

The next day, shipping officials discover the Chinese ambassador and his son tied up in black bags, and then enclosed in a big black box. Iljimae appears on a roof right next to the port and looks on.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– I think that Dani and Swe Dol’s little arc of history with Lee Won Ho will be resolved next episode, but there’s a chance that Swe Dol might die due to narrative justice for what he did to LWH, and his sawing the door open and then installing the locks at the nobleman’s house. He’ll never tell on Yong, and the king will probably have him tortured to death. It’s not a nice end, and I hope Yong saves him from it.

– OMG. THEY’RE GOING TO DO THAT THING, AREN’T THEY??? Old servant of LWH shows up, thinks Yong is Dani’s son, which means he’s Lee Won Ho’s son, and they can’t refute it, because hunter dude is still hanging around, and they can’t exactly say, no, we were lying, Yong is actually adopted. So the king catches news that Lee Won Ho actually had another son, and goes after Yong in a big way. Except Shi Hoo knows his mother is Dani, and figures it out. Then he tries to investigate LWH’s death, which he’s in a position to do, what with having a more complete piece of the puzzle than anyone, and then he’ll figure out that Yong is Kyum and contact him? It looks slightly more possible than the endings being thrown around on Baidu.

– Still worried for Kyum and Shi Hoo when they do join forces, as the king is not someone to be trifled with, as his own nobles know. He pretends to be useless and nice but is quite sharp when he wants to be, which makes it an even bigger shame that he is okay with making his own people miserable in favour of staying in power.

– Where the heck is Kyum’s mommy? At least the hunter’s made a reappearance now.

– Am really liking Shi Hoo and Shi Wan, even though they’re so different. I think it’s just because they’re both nice people, one under a mask of coldness, and the other under about ten layers of assholedom.

– Whoo. I’ve said a lot, haven’t I? Sorry guys. Episode 16 as soon as I can get it!

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 16 sneak peek

Once again, thanks to the people over at Baidu. Translation below.

第16集当中,仁祖的儿子从清朝归来,但是这个狠毒的父亲竟然怕自己的儿子夺走王位而派人在药中下毒,对比之下铁石和勇儿的父子之情显得多么的高尚,接着 一片丹儿和铁石在恩彩的旅馆举行了婚礼并且圆房了HOHO,大家沉浸在一片喜悦当中.

这时候当年想杀死一片丹儿的李元浩家仆找到时厚并告诉他他的亲生父亲 另有其人,时厚跑去质问母亲,丹儿就是不说出真相.

铁石在山上的石屋中教梅开锁,并在锁开前从箱子中出去,得知时厚也知道了自己父亲另有其人的真相.万念 俱灰的他穿上了梅哥以前的装备出现在已经部满官兵的现场,他本可以逃脱但是为了时厚和梅哥而故意被时厚所擒,接着便是严刑拷打估计会在17集中挂掉.

Translation:

In episode 16, the king’s son, the crown prince, comes home from China. The king, being evil, poisons his own child because he’s afraid his son will steal his throne. (WTF, YOU WON’T LIVE FOREVER. AND IF YOU ACT LIKE THAT, YOU CERTAINLY WON’T IF I CAN HELP IT.)

Yong kidnaps Swe Dol and arranges a formal marriage ceremony at Eun Chae’s hotel for his parents. Everyone is really happy.

The servant who reappeared after so many years finds Shi Hoo and tells him the truth about his father by blood, and Shi Hoo is distressed. Dani won’t tell him the truth.

Swe Dol teaches Yong how to lockpick a particular difficult creation of his by locking himself in a box, but escapes the box before Yong can open it – it was a ruse to distract him. Poor Yong, believing that his father was suffocating in the box, he had shaking hands and called out father in fear so many times. When the box was opened, there was no one inside.

Swe Dol goes to the nobleman’s house dressed as Iljimae v1.0, without the armour. He had the opportunity to escape, but faces the soldiers for the sake of Yong and Shi Hoo. Shi Wan catches him, but it is Shi Hoo who triumphantly unmasks Iljimae, only to find his adoptive father.

Speculation gives that he will probably die in 17 after heavy torture by the king and his assassin.

That’s all for today,

Sevenses

The Adventures of Iljimae and Panda

OMG. I AM… I AM GOING TO DIE OF LAUGHTER. All credits to the ingenious 秀秀的笑容 at baidu forums. I only translated the captions. 😀

Oh yeah, picture heavy.

(People over at TSKS have said there will be a slight delay in csub release of 16. Please await patiently. 🙂 )

Both: Ruining my image, here.

More pictures behind the link.

Iljimae’s side: Ah! He’s so hot! Wow!
Panda: ??????

Iljimae: Your majesty, live ten thousand years!
Panda: Iljimae, live a hundred million years!

People: Yongi, full marks on your test!!
Pandas: Iljimae; jiayou; you’ll win; must drink water. (I assume you HGD fans know what jiayou means? Add oil, or the Korean equivalent: hwaiting!)

Yongi: …
Panda: Yongi! Wait for me, I shall save you!

Yong: My big stick brings all the girls to the yard, damn right, it’s bigger than yours…
Panda: Huh?

Panda: One panda, sweetheart of Iljimae.

Panda: ???
Yong: !!!

Iljimae: You’re stealing… my food…
Panda: *chews* Wha?

Self-explanatory, I believe.

Yong: Urg, can’t get on.
Panda: Huh?

ISN’T IT SO CUTE???

Sevenses

P.S. Iljimae seems to be really good at getting me to abuse my capslock. Sorry if I incurred any injuries.

Iljimae Episode 16, recap

Woah. This one is uh… slightly intense. TT

Episode 16

Shi Hoo discovers the pipe that was prominently featured in the last episode, illuminating the escape route – the water weakened the walls so that everyone could push the wall aside.

Everyone receives the news of Iljimae’s latest exploits with joy (except maybe the noble court). The hunter in particular is very grateful. Swe Dol rushes home, where the doctor is tending to Yong, and he remarks that his wound has worsened. Swe Dol is so touched he cries, though the doctor misinterprets this and tells him that his son isn’t going to die.

The king receives the news of the ambassador and his son being stuffed into a shipping crate bound for China with ill grace. The news has gotten so widespread that it’s no longer wise to keep shielding the two. The king exiles the father-son duo, while stripping five other nobles of their assets to pay the families of the wronged. He’s not happy though. He curses Iljimae for forcing him to do this.

And in the streets, even while everyone else is celebrating the exile, Shim Deok points out that the one who chased away the two idiots isn’t the king, but Iljimae. If it weren’t for him, she says, the king would have done his usual one eye open/one eye shut policy.

Mr. Leatherworker’s dad makes an exuberant remark about Iljimae being the people’s sun, and Kunghe monk remembers the old prophecy, connecting all the dots at last.

The crown prince of Korea (or is it Chosun?) returns home, meriting a full-out run on the king’s part. The king’s eyes are doing that shifty thing again, which means trouble (but I find it hard to believe that he would harm his own son). He takes the return of his son, so soon on the heels of the ambassador’s exile, to be a signal from Qing that they want his son on the throne. He feels threatened.

(OMG. NO. There’s an old Chinese saying, that savage as a tiger is, it does not harm its own young – but the king, kfjsa;lfjdsa;fsajflsakfksadlj! EVIL.)

Mr. Leatherworker, aka He of Many Braids, has been commissioned as the royal shoemaker. Everyone’s having a drink for him. The proud father of Mr. Braids (it’s easier than his real name and the other nicknames) also mentions the upcoming nuptials of Shim Deok and Kunghe (we seriously need to stop calling him a monk, yo). Yong gets all disgusted at them marrying at such an old age.

Mr. Braid’s dad mentions that his own parents have never had a formal marriage ceremony, and Yong gets into action…

He goes to see Dani, who is concerned that he is running around without having healed his shoulder first. He mentions the marriage thing to Dani, who rejects Yong’s wages as a hooligan, thinking it to be dirty money. Yong makes to leave, all dejected, and then Dani brings out a small fortune that she’s saved, and he goes ahead (as soon has his shoulder is healed, of course). Dani is still sour-faced, but she’s happy inside, we can all tell.

The other half of this happy union, Swe Dol, is off crying by himself in the kitchen. He blames himself for starting this whole sorry mess in the first place (and while he does have some fault, I have to say, I’d blame the king first). Swe Dol tells Yong to stop being useless and walks away, muttering that he doesn’t even know how tomorrow is going to be yet. Yong keeps up his facade, but he’s also worried about his own future. However, he wants to give them this marriage first.

Yong’s request for Shim Deok and Kunghe to postpone their wedding for Swe Dol and Dani goes through, and people agree to their different tasks. Just then Swe Dol arrives, and all the conspirators walk off, each loudly proclaiming chores. The old man is puzzled.

Two noblemen visit Eun Chae’s hotel, but are put off by the poor people queuing up to get food. Then her servant runs in with the news that Swe Dol and Dani are getting married (her father is a good friend of Swe Dol’s). Eun Chae offers her own hotel as a marriage site.

Poor Swe Dol thinks he’s smelly, and that’s why everyone is avoiding him. (Including Dani, which makes him really sad.)

Shim Deok is preparing the spread, Yong for organizing, Dani for clothing, and even the hunter and his son have pitched in some game – the only person in the dark is Swe Dol. Well, and Shi Hoo, but he hears about it from Swe Dol’s friend working in his home. He’s sad that Yong can do this for his parents but he can’t and walks off in a huff.

Swe Dol, in the meantime, is complaining about everyone running away from him like he has the plague. Yong intercepts him before he goes inside the house, and drags him in for a bath – which only further confirms his belief about the smell. Yong actually bodily picks up Swe Dol, which is kind of funny, and dumps him into the bath.

Mr. Braids, the one who’s now the royal shoemaker, is making shoes, deep into the night, except he cuts himself. So he creeps into the royal apothecary to get something to wrap his finger with. He’s not supposed to be in there, so when someone else enters, he dodges aside. It’s a doctor, taking medication from a cabinet, but he’s furtive, so we know he’s not supposed to do that either.

Mr. Braids is curious and checks out what he was taking, since he knows the crown prince has been ill. (I know the show’s kind of bad with showing the passage of time, but it has been some days since the crown prince has returned.) But whatever he discovers seems to be disturbing.

(I whipped out my internet and checked what the stuff actually is, and it’s called Aconitum carmichaeli Debx – and Harry Potter readers will be familiar with aconite, aka monkshood or wolfsbane, a poison in large doses. In traditional Chinese medicine it is treated with ginger and then used to supply ‘yang’ energy, but only in very small doses. May I remind you that the guy took a handful?)

Meanwhile, Yong is giving his father a relaxing scrub. His father remarks on the turbidity of the water, but Yong replies that it’s because he put herbs and stuff in it to help his skin. There’s a touching father-son interlude.

Yong: Father, why are you so skinny?
Swe Dol: Me? Skinny? Not at all. Don’t I have back muscles? See?
Yong: Father…
Swe Dol: What?
Yong: Raising me… it must have been hard.
Swe Dol: Why so sappy all of a sudden? See the goosebumps you caused?
Yong: Father.
Swe Dol: Yeah?
Yong: If ever I disappear, you have to live happily with Dani, okay?
Swe Dol: Are you going to die, idiot boy? It’s more likely that you have to continue living happily with your mother without me.
Yong: You know that I can’t live without you, dad.
Swe Dol: Well I can’t live without Yongi either, you know that too! *Yong hits him on the shoulder* Ow! Hey, what are you hitting me for?

They’re both trying not to cry at this point. Awww. And they both start crying…

Yong: Sorry, dad.

Swe Dol, thinking to himself: My Yongi must be suffering so much. It’s okay, my son, dad is fine. Don’t feel that you have to forgive me.

Everything is readied at Eun Chae’s hotel. Yong comes and kidnaps Swe Dol with the help of his mafia bro, carrying him through the streets with a black bag over his head. When they get there, Yong unmasks him, forgetting the headband Swe Dol always wears on his head. (I think Yong counts in English, though I could be wrong.)

Dani is all shy now that the actual ceremony is taking place, and Swe Dol settles for dazed joy. Awwwww. Shi Hoo is standing just outside the door, trying to look past the crowd of well-wishers. Swe Dol makes some gaffes during the ceremony, while everyone is clapping in sincere joy.

Shi Hoo leaves before anyone notices him, but the old servant of the Lee family comes and looks at him smugly. Shi Hoo files the man as ‘clearly nuts’ and goes on his own way.

At night, the conspirators are debating where to place the aphrodisiac wine so the newlyweds can uh… get inspired on their wedding night. As Kunghe is putting in the ancient equivalent of Viagra (copyright to the big evil corporation that owns it), his action is mirrored by that of the palace doctor shaking powdered aconite into a medicinal brew meant for the prince.

(I sure hope the king has other sons, if not, after he dies, there’s going to be some civil war going on.)

Back to Swe Dol and Dani. The former is awkward, now that they’re all alone. Dani, for once, opens up and thanks him for sticking to her all these years, while he is just grateful she didn’t kick away an idiot like him. Dani pours him the spiked wine and he takes a drink…

… and we see the ailing crown prince take his medication, with the king looking on. The crown princess notes that her husband became worse after taking the medication for his cold, but the king attributes it to mental factors and looks sinister – neither of them suspect him of poisoning the crown prince. *sigh* I hope he dies by one of his own plots.

Swe Dol and Dani agree to live as a happy family with Yong from now on. (You know, we have four more episodes… and this is too good to be true, so expect disaster. Prepare your handkerchiefs and kleenex, people.)

LOL. As Swe Dol and Dani prepare for the ‘business’ part of the wedding night, she notices moving shadows outside the door and asks Swe Dol to blow out the candle. Just as well, as six people are outside, trying to get a glimpse (thankfully, Yong not among them). Swe Dol chases them away, only to have them poking holes everywhere in the door (Eun Chae is going to have fits when she sees her doors). Dani blows out the candle, and they get down to it.

Wow. Even on his parents’ wedding night, Iljimae doesn’t rest. He’s out picking locks again, and is set upon by household guards. Funny thing is, two servants get their brooms and deliberately sweep in the way of the guards, so that Iljimae has time to get away. They feel honoured to be able to help him. Kinda twisted, but hey, he’s popular.

Everyone is eating, the next morning, at the newlyweds’ house. Err, Dani has to get up super early the day after and cook? That’s not right, dude. The servant who works at Byun Shik’s mentions that Iljimae was almost caught last night, wiping the smile off Swe Dol and Kunghe’s faces. He mentions that the lord of the house bought a new, Western style lock that delayed Iljimae until he was discovered by the guards.

Swe Dol looks super worried. He then has an abrupt change of manners and tells his guests to go away after eating.

One can guess what he’s going to do. Yup. The servants at the noble house notice that the lock is gone – but nothing inside is stolen.

Yong slyly insinuates his way home, and Dani isn’t as ferocious as usual, even after hearing that he spent the night playing cards (oh gambling king of Seoul). She adds that Swe Dol wants to see him in the old forge. Yong looks kind of panicked. When he arrives at the forge, no one’s there. He even checks the hidden part.

As he hides the traces of the secret room, he looks up, and sees Swe Dol there. Yong has a deer in the headlights look. Swe Dol just looks solemn. I bet Yong thinks his father found out.

Swe Dol: You listen to what I have to say. Every man needs a livelihood, and since there’s no hope of you succeeding at the exams, I can only teach you what little I know. I want you to take over my lock shop.

Yong is relieved and bluffs it away.

Shi Hoo meets up with the smugly ancient servant. (Once, again, experiencing sharp desire to bring my foot in contact with a character’s face.) He hints that he knows about his past (how he figured out Shi Hoo is the son and not Yong, despite all appearances, is totally beyond me) and he is willing to keep quiet for Shi Hoo’s money. Shi Hoo isn’t the type to take BS from people, plus he doesn’t know what the guy is talking about, so he decides to send the guy packing.

The thing is, this servant (dressed shabbily and dirty besides) is probably really hard up for money and won’t let it go. He tells Shi Hoo his family history, and threatens to go to Byun Shik with the truth (though I’m sure they’re more likely to believe Dani, no? She actually slept with Byun Shik, for one). Shi Hoo is angry and very suspicious, but a small part of him believes.

Back at the forge, Swe Dol takes Yong in front of a box and shows him the lock he wasn’t able to open yesterday. He takes a very roundabout way of teaching Yong how to pick the lock, spouting how lock-makers have to be able to open something before making it… (What a dedicated father.)

Swe Dol makes short work of the lock, with his secret weapon, which looks like two iron wires. He explains it, using cool lock dynamics, and Yong lets slip that it’s pretty easy. Swe Dol takes him at his word and makes him try, only with Swe Dol locked inside the crate.

After telling him that if he doesn’t open the crate, he’ll suffocate to death, Yong gets to work. At first, Yong doesn’t take Swe Dol very seriously, but he gets more nervous as he goes along, unable to manage two wires at the same time.

Switch to Dani calmly hanging clothes in the yard. Shi Hoo rushes, very emotional and well-dressed. Dani is happy to see him, but he’s not really in the mood to be mannerly and demands to know who his father really is. Poor Dani sits down, she’s so shocked.

Swe Dol fakes panting to make Yong more nervous.

DANI. WHY DON’T YOU TELL THE TRUTH. FOR ONCE?!?!?!!? She tells him that he’s actually Swe Dol’s son. (Oh God. The poor kid is so going to have an identity complex when he grows up.) Shi Hoo can’t take it, he actually looks like he’s going to have apoplexy, and they’re both crying again.

Dani: Then… will you come back? Can you?
Shi Hoo: WHY SHOULD I?? You ask me to come back now? When I begged you, you kicked me away coldly, but now you ask me to come back? Why should I? You were the ones who abandoned me.

Awwww. Dani is crying and biting her lips to stop but she can’t. Shi Hoo cries and stomps away. *sniffs*

(But she lied to him! Again! Dani needs to get her brain screwed on right… she still can’t face Lee Won Ho, face up to her love for him, and denies anything to do with him… *sigh*)

Yong’s dying of pressure. He talks to Swe Dol, but he’s not answering, and Yong panics. Then we see Swe Dol walking around like nothing happened. He bumps into Shi Hoo, who brushes him by, and comes home to comfort Dani, who’s crying her heart out.

Byun Shik is scolding his daughter for being so charitable that noble guests are actually fleeing because they see the poor around too much. He gives up trying to persuade her otherwise, and leaves it all in her hands, it’s not like she’s not already handling the entire family’s finances… and then he lets slip that the entire noble area is surrounded by soldiers and guards, which means that Iljimae can fight until sunrise, and not be clear.

Swe Dol is begging Shi Hoo’s coworkers, but Shi Hoo’s off setting up for another round of ambushing Iljimae. (Swe Dol is almost comically panicked at hearing this.) He gets tossed from the front door. What brutes.

Shi Hoo is stationed outside some random noble’s house, Choi something. Swe Dol watches him from behind a tree. Eun Chae, oddly enough, is evacuating her guest house.

Shi Hoo is certain that Iljimae will come to Choi’s house, but Yong’s still busy trying to open the accursed lock. He opens the crate and discovers that his father has long gone.

Swe Dol runs towards the old forge. Yong puts his Iljimae gear in his backpack, the night’s target already set. In taking a shortcut, Swe Dol and Yong miss each other by meters in the night.

OMG. Eun Chae set her guest house on fire?!?!?!

Swe Dol goes into the lair and puts on the old version of the Iljimae costume. (Hey, for someone who’s never seriously studied, Yong has very nice handwriting. But then, that’s the genius at work.)

Yong hears that Eun Chae’s guest house is on fire, and goes off on a detour. He gets there to see her frantic servant yelling that Eun Chae is still inside. Yong rushes inside to a waiting Eun Chae, who’s disappointed to see him. He carries her out after her assertions that she’ll stay. (Kind of a desperate move, but quite a good one to save Iljimae if he showed up, which he did, so no complaints, though Eun Chae doesn’t know this. If only she’d checked his backpack.)

Meanwhile, Swe Dol rushes to get the night’s slip read by Mr. Braids, and rushes off before Mr. Braids can tell/ask him something about Yong.

Lol, Swe Dol’s Iljimae is all about the hanks of loose hair. After someone’s report that Iljimae has made an entrance, Shi Wan and Shi Hoo lead their troops in. (Technically they’re Shi Wan’s, but I think they all know their commander doesn’t have the brains God gave to a bird.)

The two nobles inside discuss the crown prince’s illness as strange. One remarks that if he can kill his own brother, then it would be easy for him to kill a son. (Confirmation that Lee Won Ho was royal!) One of the nobles has decided to go the Qing for help, while the other (naively) believes that the king will let things be since they’ve promised to behave.

Swe Dol, on a beam on top of the two nobles, misses the excitement because he’s asleep. What a man.

The real Iljimae is standing on top of a nearby roof, really puzzled at what’s going on below.

Swe Dol runs out, clutching a box, and is immediately surrounded. (I think, just judging by fighting style, that they can tell this one isn’t Iljimae, right??)

Swe Dol tells himself: If I’m going to get caught, then I might as well as get caught by my son, and I can even give him yangban status.

Darn it. Darn it. Darn it.

Shi Hoo triumphantly lifts Iljimae’s mask, only to see his own father smiling back at him. He says, “Surprised to see me? I’m Iljimae.”

Yong, still on the rooftop, is really puzzled now. He leaves before he can see the troops take Swe Dol away.

In prison, Shi Hoo asks him why he impersonated Iljimae, and Swe Dol brings up the issue of his gaining more status. Shi Hoo tearily asks why he’s so good to him, when his mother threw him away, and Swe Dol is silent. He apologizes for being a useless dad, and Shi Hoo stomps away while crying. (The amount of manly tears in this episode, dude.)

I think anyone with half a brain can tell this Iljimae is fake… which means that there is more trouble for Swe Dol, but they’ll keep him alive since he’s a line to the real one. Really hope Yong can rescue him in time.

Uh-oh. Shi Wan gets here, and has him taken outside for a beating.

Eun Chae bumps into a disappointed Iljimae, who warns her not to do stupid stuff like that in the future. She’s just glad he’s safe. (What a strange relationship.)

Shi Hoo goes to meet the old servant dude. He then unsheathes his sword and makes all the fangirls faint at his manliness when he threatens to kill the servant if he appears again.

Poor Swe Dol is being interrogated by the king’s assassin. He doesn’t care about him being Iljimae, since even Byun Shik could tell he wasn’t the real one, but what is important is what he might have overheard from the two nobles. (He was asleep!) The assassin hints that ‘he’ doesn’t like loose ends, and leaves the rest to Byun Shik.

The king goes to see his son, who seems to be sicker than ever from the cries of his wife, and calls for the imperial doctors.

Dani is putting on makeup at home, waiting for Swe Dol to come. (This is when I start crying. Omg. So sad.)

We see Yong on one side of the screen, walking home in the woods, alert in the moonlight. Swe Dol is at the centre of the screen, half his face unrecognizable from the brutal interrogations, set to get another beating. Dani, at home, happy face lit by candlelight, waiting for her husband.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– I still have tears in my eyes. I don’t think Swe Dol will live. It will harden Yong’s resolve. I believe Swe Dol’s death may unite Dani, Yong and Shi Hoo. But the poor old man, who’s been so kind all his life… it’s a noble but wretched death.

– Mr. Braids, who now wears a tall hat, is actually inside the palace and knows that there was something skeevy going on with the crown prince’s death. What’s to say that he won’t tell Yong in confidence?

– Again, where is Kyumi’s mother? With 4 more episodes left to go, dude, resolution nowhere in sight. But then, that’s how we like it. 😀

– Also, have broken the word limit – 3750 words. *headdesk*

Sevenses

Iljimae 17 text preview

Sorry guys, this was all I could find…

Translation below:

勇儿听到铁石被误认为是一枝梅而被抓到官衙的消息后非常的生气.为了把铁石给救出,勇儿做好了万全准备.和喜峯.大植等一起行动…

另一方面.恩彩也得知一枝梅被抓的消息,对於那位被误认为一枝梅而将要被处死的人感到非常的伤心难过.
某个晚上,恩彩偶然间来到姑母的家,在梅花树下遇见一个悲伤地哭泣著的男子……..

Yong hears about Swe Dol being captured as Iljimae and is furious. He prepares everything he can think of to get his father out. Daeshi and Mr. Braids are going to help him…

On the other hand, Eun Chae hears about Iljimae’s capture (so they’re still telling everyone that they’ve caught Iljimae, but not that their person is fake?). She is devastated. A few days later she goes to her plum tree to mourn. There, she meets a man sobbing sadly under the tree…

It may be false, but here are some BTS pictures.

(I hope the boy is Yong, and not Shi Hoo. But why would Shi Hoo be there anyway? *is protective of her ship*)

Till tomorrow!

Sevenses

Iljimae 18 spoiler

Well, 17 was one intense thing after another. And uh.. predictions for 18 seem pretty dire and action packed too. (Recap for 18 up as soon as they release the csubs.)

Sooo, spoilers ahead, do not read if you are the type to shriek and run away at spoilers.

Preview gave us glimpses of Yongi looking furious, Bong Soon pretending to be Iljimae, and Shi Hoo holding down a crying Eun Chae’s arm with his teacher looking on… a bit more context gives that:

The king’s people send a message to Iljimae, saying that if he doesn’t give himself in, then Eun Chae will die. There’s a severed finger with the message. (Errrr. Yuck. Also, poor Eun Chae.)

He rushes off to save her but Bong Soon stops him because she knows it’s probably a trap for him. She reminds him of a promise made to go away with his mother and her, but he says sorry because it’s more important to save Eun Chae.

Iljimae goes to rescue her anyway, and Bong Soon decoys people away. Lots of complicated stuff, but I’ll have to wait for the Chinese subs to explain any of it.

Pictures!!

(Credit to various baidu forums.)

Iljimae Episode 17, recap

Okay, so get your chocolate, alcohol, teddy bears, kleenex and whatever comforts you ready. Super intense stuff ahead.

Episode 17

Deep into the night, Shi Wan leads people with a stretcher. He tells Shi Hoo to take care of the rest. He comments that he doesn’t know what this guy overheard, to do this to him… Shi Hoo lifts the cloth cover and sees his father. He gets emotional. Shi Wan solidly avers that he doesn’t know what’s going on. (Looks as apologetic as he ever will.)

Shi Hoo carries his father home on his back. Shi Wan helps a bit.

Yong is in his lair, putting his armour and stuff away. He realizes that there’s something not quite right about his room, and notices that the paper is gone, and so’s his other costume. He sees the lockpick on his table and recalls all the weird stuff that’s gone on, and realizes his father was helping him.

Shi Hoo carries Swe Dol home, to Swe Dol’s own request. He asks Shi Hoo not to blame his mother, that it’s all his fault. Shi Hoo doesn’t want him to use more energy to talk, but Swe Dol goes on to ask him to take care of Yong, to see him as a brother, to not fight with each other.

Yong goes back to the noble’s house to check what went on, and overhears two servants gossiping about the fake Iljimae. Their descriptions confirm that it is indeed Swe Dol…

So he dashes to Shi Wan, who looks really awkward. He tells Yong to hurry home and see.

Swe Dol is on his last legs. Dani gets up to find a doctor, but Shi Hoo looks at her and shakes his head. Shi Hoo looks super sad, he’s crying, he promises to come back the next day, knowing that Swe Dol will be dead by then. Swe Dol is left with Dani alone, as he requested.

He apologizes that he’s broken his promise to live happily with her and Yong. Dani brushes him aside, apologizes to him for treating him coldly all these years. Swe Dol tells her the truth about Lee Won Ho sending her away with care, and his own fears of her never accepting him, and he apologizes for this deception too. Dani says she doesn’t care, and that she only has him in her heart, and for a long time now.

They look at each other. (I really want the music they play here. It totally breaks my heart. Ah, Swe Dol, don’t die!!) Dani reveals that she was cold to him because she was afraid he would leave and she would be left all alone. So she never allowed herself to love him.

Swe Dol thanks her for loving him. (All his life he’s felt useless… awww.) Swe Dol falls silent. Dani puts on her lipstick and begs him to look at her, remember her as pretty. He raises a hand to her face and says she’s so pretty, he’s gone blind from it. His last words are for Yong, and he reminds her that when Yong comes home in the morning, he’ll ask for his favourite kind of rice snack.

Dani promises to make it.

(Writers, you’re evil.)

Swe Dol dies, thinking of his children and his mistakes.

Dani can only sob.

The next morning, Shi Hoo comes out of the house (I think he stayed there all night), also sobbing. He hears someone approaching and ducks away. It’s Yong.

He takes a moment to catch his breath after furiously running, and calls out, hoarsely, “Yong’s dad, Dani. I’m hungry! Give me something to eat!”

(His voice is really hoarse. The guy needs to take care of himself or LJK is going to be the next celebrity to collapse under the stress of working.)

Yong rushes in and tries to wake his father up, demanding bewilderedly why. Shi Hoo, outside, hears him and cries. Yong throws himself on Swe Dol’s body and weeps. Dani gathers him in her arms, comforting him and weeping at the same time.

In the palace, the king mourns his son’s death. (Well, fake tearing 101.)

Yongi pulls the cart that had Swe Dol’s body in it. He and Dani are both wearing mourning white, in the rain. A small crowd of good friends have also come to send Swe Dol off.

(If LJK’s sick, he really shouldn’t be walking around being doused in water.)

As a traitor, Swe Dol is not granted a grave, nor even a coffin. Shim Deok falls to the ground, the others cry helplessly. Even Kunghe looks red-eyed. Shi Hoo walks out from behind, keeping his distance, not caring that his clothes are getting drenched, crying too.

The king looks at the rain and feels refreshed. The assassin, wearing mourning with the rest of the court, looks kind of surprised at the king’s words.

Dani’s too proud to cry in front of other people, so her neighbours go away in gossiping droves. She sits down when they’re all gone and weeps. Shi Hoo lingers outside the house but doesn’t go in to comfort him.

Shi Wan is treating Yong to all the alcohol he can take. He apologizes for not being a large enough official to save his father. Shi Wan wonders why his father had to dress up as Iljimae anyway, and this sends Yong into a fresh wave of tears.

Kyumi’s mother comes in with more alcohol, but he’s too busy crying to look up. (Dammit writers!)

In the same restaurant, Shi Hoo is also crying into his meal. She asks him what was wrong, and he only apologizes to his father. Kyum’s mother walks away and leaves him to his grief.

Shi Wan forgot to bring money! Wow. So now he has to pay, and he searches for money on Yong, giving the tiger claw medallion to the prostitute as payment. Shi Wan piggybacks Yong home, and Kyum’s mother covers him with her apron, to prevent against chills. (Unfortunately, this means she doesn’t see his face.)

He wakes up with one heck of a hangover, and lifts the covering on a tray of food to see dried rice crackers. He remembers Swe Dol feeding this to him when he first woke up as Yong. He tries to eat it but ends up crying on it. (LJK sounds like he’s trying to cry, but his throat is too damaged to make the proper sounds.)

Yong goes back to his lair. He swears revenge on the people who killed Swe Dol – and goes off to the noble he was going to rob that fateful night. (Third time he’s tried.)

He marches in with his sword out, but Lord Suh is dead already. Iljimae is framed for his death. Yong’s been itching for a good fight anyway, so he jumps into the melee of men trying to get him. (How he does it without harming anyone is a wonder.)

The next morning, he sees proclamation saying that Iljimae murdered lord Suh. Kunghe notices Iljimae running off, frustrated at all the deterrences he’s encountered so far.

They do an autopsy on the man’s body, with both Yong and Shi Hoo noticing another tattoo on his chest. The doctor on the case determines that the c.o.d. was a finger to the death acupoint while being held paralysed. Which rather rules out everyone except the very skilled fighters.

Byun Shik frames Iljimae, and is gleeful. The king tells him to spread the news far and wide so the people lose faith in him. Meanwhile, he summons Lord Lee, the last member of their august fraternity who’s still alive.

At night, Shi Hoo overtimes on his job, studying the tattoos on all the dead men so far. He only has three of them, so not a complete picture, but bless him, he tries. Shi Wan walks in and sees him studying the tattoos. Shi Hoo is called away, and Shi Wan takes the opportunity to sneak a peek at what he was working on.

The minister is terrified of the king. He says that he killed the others because they betrayed him, and asks for his help catching Iljimae. Well, it’s not like he can refuse. The trap is laid, Mr. Assassin prepares.

Shi Wan calls Yong over to help him solve the case of the weird tattoos, but Yong can’t reveal anything without information the police currently don’t have (like, say, the guy who’s still alive has a tattoo, and LWH’s passed into oblivion).

Lord Lee the walking dead (let’s face it, the king is still going to kill him) finds a slip of paper left on the door. Ostensibly, it’s from Iljimae, but I’ll believe that the day I start producing chlorophyll. Our dear housethief never leaves warning messages. It’s the Hwal Bin Dang who do that.

Iljimae raids the noble house that night, first checking all the swords. He then notices a noble in the suit of armour, but he pretends not to see him.

Shi Hoo sits in the man’s living room (or his own room, lack of distinguishing characteristics, can’t tell apart), also waiting. He gets up and leaves for the warehouse.

Iljimae pretends to have gone, and comes out raging at his servant for not opening the cabinet doors when Iljimae holds a sword at his throat and does the whole threatening thing. The two fight a bit. Iljimae easily beats him.

The traitor servant dude, who serves the king’s assassin, runs out and is like, the real Iljimae is here. The assassin dude is like, wtf, but he goes to investigate. Meanwhile, Iljimae kicks the heck out of the noble – cutting open his robe to reveal his chest tattoo. (Good thing no one is there to hear him shout who the killed thief was to him, otherwise they would have figured out who he was.)

Iljimae stands transfixed. He reveals his own tattoo to the noble, who shouts out that he must be Lee Won Ho’s son, but then the assassin throws a dart at the noble and kills him. Iljimae chases after the assassin and beats him pretty thoroughly. But the guy throws a bit of leaves at him and vanishes into the woods for cover. Shi Hoo jumps out of nowhere, having followed Iljimae out of Lee’s house.

Shi Hoo pretty much hates Iljimae for causing Swe Dol’s death right now. Very pretty fighting sequence. The two seem pretty much even in levels of skill, but Iljimae is just slightly better and throws Shi Hoo against a tree, his sword wrenched out of his hand.

He remembers Shi Hoo being responsible for his sister’s death, but spares him a death blow. (Or any blow at all.) He walks away.

Shi Hoo, that bastard, grabs a sword and attacks Iljimae from the back. WTF! Anyway, Iljimae gets slashed twice. He kicks Shi Hoo and runs off.

The hunter is happily cleaning his traps when Iljimae staggers to his hut, mask off. He recognizes Yong, Kyum and connects the dots to him being Ilijmae, but promises not to tell. He sends Iljimae off to the right road.

Shi Hoo chases up, and the hunter sends him in the wrong direction, but his son accidentally reveals the real path… his son is dumb.

Iljimae falls to the ground, the wounds overcoming him. He hallucinates Dani telling him that he can’t die here, and musters strength to get up. Such is the strength of mother love. Shi Hoo follows him … straight to his house.

Daylight comes, super fast, and Yong sprawls on the front table, all injured and unconscious. Dani carts him inside, not caring if he is Iljimae. Shi Hoo witnesses all this, and is super shocked. She dresses his wounds and calls the doctor, but has the presence of mind to hide the armour first. She meets Shi Hoo outside, with armour in her arms.

He’s holding a bloody sword in his hands, shaking with fury. Shi Hoo carts an unconscious Yong outside. Dani begs him to stop, but he gets angrier and decides to kill Yong on the spot. Dani shrieks out that Yong is also his brother by blood.

Shi Hoo puts down his sword, but is super bewildered.

The doctor says that had the wound be a little deeper, Yong would have died. But he assumes it’s because Yong is running around being a mafia follower.

Dani tells him the truth v. LWH, finally, but Shi Hoo doesn’t want to believe her. Besides, she’s already lied so much to him. He’s also jealous that Swe Dol and her seem so hung up about Yong, while he’s uncared for.

“Protect him? Please realize that he is Chosun’s biggest thief, and I, an officer of the peace. Only by killing him do I have a chance at becoming the noble you so want me to be.”

Dani only repeats that he is his brother, that he cannot begin to kill those of his own blood. Shi Hoo refutes that, saying that the day she sent him to Byun Shik was the day he became his son. He leaves for now, but if Yong steals again and he catches him, Shi Hoo will be absolutely merciless.

Poor Dani. Poor Shi Hoo.

The king is annoyed that they didn’t manage to catch Iljimae. He sends the assassin duo out to detect the people’s hearts. The assassin hears the people gossiping and surmising that Iljimae, being the saviour of all people, couldn’t possibly have killed anyone. They also mention that the king inside the palace isn’t kingly at all, that they much prefer Iljimae. The assassin is hard hit by this.

Assassin #2 follows the shadow of Kunghe. (Somehow recognized him from the back, do not ask – if he can recognize someone from the back, why can’t he recognize Yong from the Iljimae mask? The eyes are often the most revealing part of the face, esp in the case of LJK.)

He asks if Kunghe left the king’s service just to muck out stables all day, but Kunghe replies that to him, this is the palace. Bong Soon calls for him, and the other one figures out that she was the little kid of that day. He wants to know if she was the sister of the kid they killed. Kunghe sends him away.

Unfortunately, Bong Soon heard everything, and questions him in distress. He looks down in silence admittance. She takes a rake to hit him, but she can’t. Poor Kunghe.

The assassin dude kills the people who made fun of the king, but discreetly.

Yong wakes up and realizes that the dude who killed both nobles is the assassin from waaaaaay back. Dani comes in, not saying anything except telling him to sleep well. She does tell him that his night clothes are being washed and dried, and not to let anyone see him.

Yong hangs around Shi Wan and pretends to solve the mystery for him. Since Iljimae has been accused of killing the noble by using a dagger at close quarters (plus eyewitness servant), Yong proceeds to undeceive Shi Wan. Using a hanging ham, he demonstrates the difference between a thrust dagger and a thrown dagger. Shi Wan is enlightened.

At the meeting of all the detectives, Shi Wan reveals that the servant was lying, and that Iljimae was innocent.

Shi Hoo balefully glares at Iljimae.

Before the servant can confess, someone tosses a dagger at the servant too, and all staff evacuates in chase of this mysterious killer person. Yong stays behind and shakes the answer out of the servant, and he says that it was on Byun Shik’s orders.

Oh. Bad.

Yong goes back to his lair and burns Eun Chae’s handkerchief, chastising himself for having feelings for the enemy’s daughter. Sins of the father, indeed.

A fake message from Iljimae arrives (so the king has decided to kill off Byun Shik too?). Byun Shik is all like, wtf, why attack when neither of my sons are here??

Iljimae stands at the plum tree, mourning his relationship with Eun Chae. Who arrives, having extremely good instincts for Iljimae.

She’s all happy at getting a message from him. GAH, NO DO NOT BE CRUEL TO HER, SHE LOVES YOU REALLY. (Wait, he’s hurting her so she won’t be hurt at his killing her father, or is he just being mean, cause I didn’t think he could be that mean.)

Iljimae: After we have no need of meeting.
Eun Chae: What? Again?
Iljimae: I thought you were pretty smart for a noble girl. Don’t you understand what I just said? I just told you that you’re of no more use.
Eun Chae: *hurt* Why are you like this all of a sudden?
Iljimae: You didn’t really believe I was hero, did you? That arm… I cut myself. I borrowed your lists. I only really needed someone who was in your position.
Eun Chae: Even your heart was false? (Aww, she’s crying now.)
Iljimae: *looks all kinds of shifty* Nothing was real from the beginning. It was just for fun. I’d heard that you were very smart, but you were easily fooled anyway. I was going to play with you longer, but I do have a bit of conscious. Thanks to you, I earned a lot of money.

He goes off, and Eun Chae cries, but not very much. She’s more the type to go into a cold rage.

Meanwhile, Byun Shik’s house is like a kicked anthill, it’s so full of lanterns and people.

He goes in to view his treasures and glees that they’re all there. Lol. He climbs to the roof of his house and watches there. He gloats that there’s not way Iljimae would know about his secret warehouses, but um, this is the Iljimae who’s been dating your daughter and hanging around your son we’re talking about, right? He knows, dude.

Shi Wan swaggers in, then chases after some perceived intruder. It’s Eun Chae, who looks super shocked. She knows that there’s no chance without Shi Hoo, but he’s away at headquarters, overtiming, again.

Eun Chae knows that she’s the only shield between her father and Iljimae, and looks disturbed.

Iljimae comes in, Byun Shik hides behind a secret screen door, holding his most valuable vase close. Since Yong knows the house pretty well, he’s just walking around. By a certain breeze on his candle, he figures out the way to the secret warehouse.

Byun Shik is surprised, and ends up smashing his vase. But he has other worries, like the sword Iljimae is holding to his neck. He begs Iljimae to leave him alive, if only to steal everything in the room, he’s fine with that, just don’t kill him!

Eun Chae looks for her dad but only finds an empty room. She flashes back to all her times with Iljimae. She takes her dad’s sword and goes to the secret storeroom.

Iljimae, meanwhile, is kicking Byun Shik around. He asks why he killed all those people (the five other members of heaven), including Lee Won Ho. Byun Shik is like, who the hell are you??

He admits his role, but says that he was also following orders. But then, Eun Chae comes and props a sword on his neck too. Iljimae looks around, all betrayed.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– The next episode looks waaaaaay intense too. The plot is unfurling nicely, so I actually don’t need to say anything, beyond beating my chest at the angst and the near misses.

Sevenses

Iljimae Episode 18, recap

Woke up at unholy hour to listen to a long thunderstorm. Brain now scrambled beyond belief. Don’t worry, this episode isn’t as bad as the last one for tears, though um… I think you’ll agree with me when you say, “Wah?”.

Episode 18

Byun Shik: I may be greedy, but I never lie!

Lol. Just as Iljimae is about to get the truth of his father’s murderer out of Byun Shik, Eun Chae comes up with a sword in her hand. She tells Iljimae that she’ll never forgive him, that she’ll kill him now. (Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, yo.)

Byun Shik’s brain is ringing alarm bells because his precious baby daughter is also in danger. Eun Chae moves to chop Iljimae in half (um, skull usually not best point of entry for sword) but Iljimae has the superior fighter skillz so he ends up holding Eun Chae by swordpoint. Lots of shrieking from Byun Shik, less shrieking from Eun Chae.

Byun Shik begs him to spare Eun Chae. Under threat, he tells Iljimae that he was under orders from the Lee person, who is dead. He also says that the fake Iljimae was killed because he overheard stuff from the two nobles. (He’s lying about the former.) Iljimae is like, do I look dumb?

He slices open Byun Shik’s shirt and lets Eun Chae go, and since they both thought he was going to kill Byun Shik, the two are gasping on the floor. There is no tattoo on Byun Shik’s chest. Iljimae wants to know who else was in the group, but Byun Shik lies through his teeth and says he doesn’t know.

Then the direction of the questions become clear to him and he realizes that this furious Iljimae person is probably Lee Kyum. Eun Chae looks shocked and mulls over this new piece of info.

Iljimae makes to kill Byun Shik again, angry that he planted papers and framed Lee Won Ho, but Byun Shik begs for his life, saying that if he had not, his family would have been the one to die. Eun Chae joins in on the begging, and he decides not to kill Byun Shik after all. He does threaten him with Eun Chae’s death if Byun Shik says anything, and gets the promise of silence.

He leaves.

Byun Shik’s first reaction is to make sure his baby daughter is okay. She starts crying, from a combination of stress and sadness and finally understanding of what her family has done to the person she loves.

Kyum is resignedly burning papers and that book of names – since the person who was responsible for his father’s death is dead (erroneous thought!), he’s giving up on his quest. He’s really sorry he can’t right things for his father now. He packs up his armour and family paintings in a box and buries them.

(Of course, he doesn’t bury them very deeply, so that someone can totally discover them later.)

Bong Soon is watering the plum tree and crying at the same time. Yong comes in to the courtyard to pay his respects to his father, also not in a very uplifted mood. Bong Soon watches him cry. (Dude, that plum tree is just an all-purpose hiding spot.)

Yong comes to the tree and notices a red wooden plaque that says, “This tree belongs to Yong, stay away.” He finds Bong Soon behind the tree and they sit down under it for a talk.

Bong Soon: Honestly, I was going to buy you the house, but what kind of price is that? I don’t have enough money yet, so I bought the tree first.
Yong: How did you know about the house anyway?
Bong Soon: I followed you…
Yong: But why did you buy this tree?
Bong Soon: Because it was special to you! I saw you hugging it like crazy the other day…
Yong: What? I didn’t.
Bong Soon: No? Okay, I’ll sell it then.
Yong: Seriously, why are you so good to me?
Bong Soon clasps his hand: Never let go of this hand. I’ll take care of you.
Yong looks down at their hands.
Bong Soon: Don’t you remember? I knew who you were the moment I saw your medallion.
Yong thinks and looks at her with wide eyes: You..
.

They smile at each other. Pan out to above the tree.

(AWWWWWWWWWW.)

Yong takes her to the old forge to live in until she makes up with her dad. He says he’ll sneak food from his mother. He mentions her issue of revenge, but she says she will do it, and soon.

Meanwhile, poor Kunghe is running around, looking for her. He goes to her parents’ graves and sees a bouquet she’s left there.

Danger music.

Byun Shik is debating whether or not to tell the king about Iljimae’s real identity when the king sends a message to him. Shi Wan and Shi Hoo get promoted to leaders of inner palace guards. Shi Wan is the same as his dad, meaning he sucks up like crazy, and this amuses the king. Shi Hoo gets special notice because he’s the assassin dude’s protege and Shi Wan gets sort of jealous.

Oooh. The ambassador is back. They make veiled threatening eyes at each other. The ambassador hints that the crown prince’s death was unnatural, which discomfits a lot of people. (I’ve been told that the ambassador, Zheng smtg, is actually Korean, but um. It kind of makes no sense – blame the writers for the plot hole.)

Yong comes to the forge with food and stuff to see that Bong Soon’s wasted no time setting up a cozy home. He’s amused because it looks like she’s planning to live there permanently. (She actually is. Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

The king’s worried about possible threats from Qing, but one minister is like, the emperor just really liked the crown prince. Byun Shik suggests that they’re probably here for support troops and stuff in their wars on the borders. (But they didn’t ask for any, so why pre-empt?)

The king is like, our country doesn’t have the strength yet and most of the common people are going through a hard time, so we’ll let the people decide for themselves.

The proclamation he puts out says that each volunteer will get ten sacks of rice and other stuff, which will tempt people into going, but like, it’s not for their country, so why should they contribute troops? (Note that the notion of United Nations peacekeeping has not come into being yet.)

Yong walks around and meets Kunghe drinking himself into oblivion out of worry for Bong Soon. He hints that he knows where she is and asks him in a joking manner whether he wants to make up with her. Kunghe monk looks awkward. Yong looks around to ask Daeshi what actually went on between the two, but he’s gone.

The assassin reports to the king that there aren’t enough volunteers, and that in any case, the amount of grain isn’t enough either. (He doubles as secretary. Hurrah for him.) In the dark of night, the assassin takes his people to kidnap some men.

The next day, people discuss the surprising number of people who’ve actually volunteered, and Shim Deok runs up with the news that Daeshi actually enlisted. He wants to go find his father, but um, does this guy think?? He’s not going to get there before he gets killed.

(Also, LJK’s voice is super hoarse, aww. He needs rest.)

The shoemaker comes out to discuss Daeshi with Yong, and the two overhear of the real reason so many people have ‘volunteered’. There’s a banquet in half a month, and that’s when the people will be shipped off to war. (Does that ring a bell with the beginning, anyone?)

Bong Soon decides to make her own garden and uh… digs up his chest. She sits at the forge looking at the armour, and Yong comes in. She helps him set up shop again. They indulge in a moment of recollection.

Yong tells her that he wants a moment alone, and also that her dad is really worried about her. He tells both his fathers that he still has some unfinished business (really, he always will, as long as this king is on the throne). His next target: the palace.

He also sends a message via paper and arrow to the king, but the king refuses to postpone the banquet.

In briefing the assassin on the movements of Iljimae, Shi Hoo’s boss lets slip that Eun Chae saved Iljimae’s life. The assassin makes plans. Shi Hoo just looks grave. Uh oh.

The assassin tells his sidekick to check up on Eun Chae. (Fudge.)

Lol. The mafia dude is taking advantage of the situation to set up a betting booth. Those who think he’ll succeed pick the sprig of red blossoms, while those who don’t pick the white – more destruction of living things that aren’t humans. *sigh*

Everyone takes the red ones, but Yong comes up and takes a white sprig, reminding them that the palace is not easy pickings. The enthusiasts refute that, and start chanting ‘Super cool’, which to my untutored ears sound like ‘Iljimae’, and then they really start chanting Iljimae.

Yong walks away.

The king and the assassin use Eun Chae’s relationship with Iljimae to lure him in. The king also decides that having her dad in power while this happens would be a bit tricky, so he demotes Byun Shik. A lot. Byun Shik throws a fit, but nothing changes.

The assassin rebukes him for not raising his daughter properly, and reminds him that his sons are in the palace. Shi Hoo comes up and tells the assassin that Byun Shik is no relation of his, and thus he doesn’t feel badly over this demotion.

The shoemaker goes to Yong’s house and reflects on the funny coincidences of Swe Dol’s knowing the people who will get robbed, and also the fact that no one outside the palace knows the date of the banquet. Yong comes up the hill. Obviously they have a revelation about him being Iljimae.

Yong goes back to headquarters, and Bong Soon’s made him a pass for the palace. (Wow, it actually looks like one.) Anyway, he’s making arrows & bombs and she’s working on woodcraft (lol taking an opportunity to blow ashes in his face).

He feels responsible for Bong Soon and her brother’s death, once again renewing his promise to protect her. When she’s asleep, he takes her hand and tells himself to never let go.

Awww. He makes her a lantern/slideshow thing, that shows different scenes of their acquaintance. It’s so cute! (Also modern and involves things called ball bearings that would have been hard to make, but this is Iljimae, people. Recognize.)

Yong/Kyum sure knows how to charm the ladies.

He tells her that after robbing the palace and freeing the captives, he’ll look for his real mother and take Dani away from Seoul. He asks her if she wants to go with him. He tells her that he hasn’t forgotten the person he loves, and still needs time, and he may never forget – does she still want to go with him?

Oh Yong. Bong Soon’s answer for you is always yes.

The shoemaker brings a map of the palace he’s stolen off the king’s chief of security, and the two study it in detail. Bong Soon brings in a dish of freshly washed fruits (with medicinal water, no less!), which drips, thus annoying Yong.

Uh oh. The assassin is polishing his sword. He’s talking about Eun Chae. djfal;js;lfajsldkfjaklsdjfkl;as *shivers*

Yong hangs the slightly drier map on the wall and notices that the corner has a funny symbol on it. Oh look, it’s a tattoo! Anyway, he does some market research, and figures that by spreading treated water on the paper, he can reveal the hidden message in the map.

Eun Chae leads her horse out of the stable, looking yearningly at where Iljimae used to sit and talk to her. Then she looks up and is all shocked.

Back to the lair of doom. Oh gosh, look, the medicinal water reveals all six tattoos. And Yong finally gets that pieced together, the tattoos form the mark he’s looking for. (Poor LJK. He’s super sweaty in his costume.) Yay! Mission to the palace ftw!

Shi Hoo asks his mentor to do whatever it is to Eun Chae, involving a really sharp dagger. The poor girl’s been beaten and tied up. OMG. Shi Hoo holds Eun Chae’s hand down, and his master asks her where Iljimae is. She doesn’t know (she really doesn’t) and she says so.

Shi Hoo swings down and uh… the knife falls. (NOOOOO! Eun Chae’s hand!)

Yong takes a walk in the night, and overhears Byun Shik’s servant talking to his friends about Eun Chae’s disappearance. He laments that her relationship with Iljimae has landed her in trouble and the people who’ve taken her will kill her. Yong takes off in alarm.

Bong Soon is sneaking up to Kunghe, a dagger in her hand. He actually stays still and is probably willing to let her do it. Aww. (She’s breathing loudly enough for people in a kilometre radius to hear.)

Yong rushes to where Eun Chae’s horse is and finds a message plus pouch waiting for him. It says, “Did you like your present? Next time we’ll send her head. If you want her to live, come to _____ paper mill.” Euuuu, the pouch contains a finger. (It’s a fake one, don’t worry, no one did a Swe Dol and actually cut off their finger.)

My poor Eun Chae.

Yong nearly throws up at the sight of the finger and dashes off.

Bong Soon blocks him, telling him that it’s a trap. He tells her that she won’t die since she’s being used as bait, and he shows her the finger. (Err, literally, not rudely.) Bong Soon reminds him of his promise about his going away with her and his mother, she tells him that he’ll die for sure, but Yong isn’t moving… and then she offers to help him, and tells him that she is willing to give up her life to him.

Why so cruel, writers?

He tells her to stay alive, for him, but she only wants to know who that girl is to him. Yong touches his heart. Bong Soon, spilling saline spectacularly, lets him go.

He runs off super fast. Bong Soon cries to herself.

Iljimae makes an appearance at the appointed spot. He is immediately surrounded by a bazillion soldiers. (I exaggerate. But not by much.)

The assassin dude has come in person, oho. He rips aside sheets of hanging paper to reveal Eun Chae being hung up by an elaborate pulley system, right on top of a burning cauldron. (There’s no other word for it – it’s not a pot. Also, hello, dry ice.)

Iljimae is le alarmed. He quietly submits, and kneels down.

The assassin unmasks him (ooh, LJK has nice hair) with glee, and orders his people to hang him up. Shi Hoo moves to hang him, and acquiesces to his request to remask him so Eun Chae doesn’t see who he is. (No tying of the mask? How clumsy.)

Eun Chae wakes up way up near the ceiling and sees Iljimae.

The assassin questions him, and at first, Iljimae answers him circuitously. The assassin, obviously not having enough of this sadistic fun, orders his men to tie Iljimae up.

Bong Soon is willing to put aside her vengeance for Yong – she calls her dad for help.

Meanwhile, Iljimae is tied up to counterbalance Eun Chae, plus some sandbags. If they pull all the weights off him, Eun Chae will plunge into the boiling water below… um, yeah. So he really has to answer all the questions.

(And the assassin’s seen his face, so he has to be extra careful.)

Iljimae has three chances – he asks why they can’t just question him; then he demands that they untie her. All this just results in Eun Chae getting closer and closer to the water.

Wow, Kunghe is effective, he goes straight to the palace – asks where the assassin is… he tells Bong Soon to be a good girl, to wait at the alehouse until everything is over. (Um, she’s not going to do that, is she?)

Eun Chae is a centimetre away from being boiled. She’s got her eyes closed in acceptance and everything. The assassin keeps asking him what he’s planning to steal, and tells him that what he’s planning to steal is right on his chest.

They pull Iljimae down, but he totally bashes the people pulling him down.

Eun Chae’s swinging around, oh. The assassin approaches Iljimae, who’s got a hostage now. Shi Hoo stops the assassin, stepping in for his baby sister in time. Oh. The assassin’s got a live capture order, good, they won’t kill Iljimae too hard.

Iljimae gets loose and fights. Shi Hoo just holds his mentor immobile with his sword.

The rope frays.

There’s lots of fighting, Eun Chae’s all interested, but she’s only watching Iljimae. The rope is cut, but Shi Hoo catches it in time. His mentor grabs a stray sword and fights with Shi Hoo, who’s hampered by holding on to the rope. Iljimae makes a giant leap and brings Eun Chae to the ground.

All the fighting stops for a moment, and then the two run away.

Everyone else chases.

Kunghe makes it to the paper mill a moment after everyone’s gone, and he fights with the people who’ve stayed behind.

Iljimae hides with Eun Chae under a tree, evading most of the troops. Shi Hoo comes up and tries to chop Iljimae in half, but uh, our Yongi is the better fighter. They trade some macho words. Eun Chae rushes up and begs him to not kill her brother.

But hey, we know that Iljimae is totally committed to his way of the living sword – and he even says to Shi Hoo that his father taught him to use the sword to save lives. Shi Hoo shouts at the retreating lovers that he should never turn his back, unless he wants to be attacked from the behind. He adds, somewhat unsubtly, that anyone who stands in his path will be cut down.

Eun Chae looks back, but Iljimae doesn’t.

Shi Hoo repeats his mentor’s words, almost as if to make himself follow them.

Iljimae cleans Eun Chae’s forehead wound.

Iljimae: It’s probably going to scar.
Eun Chae: I’ve given you scars too. Something fearsome that should be hidden. For that, I deserve some scars too.

He takes out the pouch with her finger inside, but notices that all her fingers are there. (Oh good, I didn’t want to think that Shi Hoo chopped his helpless sister’s finger off – wait, whose finger is that?)

We see Shi Hoo falling to his knees in the woods, it’s now day, and we can clearly see his bandaged pinky. Ow. Poor baby.

Eun Chae’s voiceover: My brother’s hand is prettier than a woman’s.

The assassin comes up, all enraged that Shi Hoo dared defy him, and prepares to chop Shi Hoo down. (Damn. All the side characters are just dropping like flies.) Bong Soon takes her turn dressing as Iljimae and leads the troops away from the mountain hideout. Kunghe comes on their heels and give chase.

Eun Chae, inside, tucks the pouch inside a pocket. (It looks like she’s putting it in her bra, but obviously not. And ew.)

Iljimae, seeing that she’s alright, decides to leave her in the safety of the room. He needs to go on his mission, to find things!

Aaaaaaaand, Eun Chae whips out the traditional hug from behind! Lol.

Eun Chae: You were my first love, and you will be my last. Please, just this once, can I see your face? Even if I must only think of you all my life, at least let me live with the memory.

Aww. What can you say to that? (Although it does sound a bit ominous.) He turns around and her hands touch the mask.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Gosh, I hope they don’t kill Shi Hoo. Or Bong Soon. Or Kunghe. Apparently the article isn’t well translated – they might not die!!

– Also, now the only person who doesn’t know Yong = Iljimae is Daeshi. And Eun Chae. And Shi Wan. (The others aren’t too too important.)

– What do you think Eun Chae is going to say when she sees that Iljimae = Yong = Kyum? (GIven, she might not see his face at all, but like, they’ve tried that a few times already and I think the fans may lynch the writers, so no.)
“It was you?”
“You think I’ll like yo