Drama Recaps
Hong Gil Dong: Episode 10
by | January 31, 2008 | 51 Comments

The cliffhangers at the ends of odd-numbered episodes never bother me, because I can wait a day to find out what happens next. The ones at the end of EVEN-numbered episodes, however! They are another beast altogether. And I do mean beast.


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Enok peers into the warehouse filled with young girls, one of whom is Shim Chung. Being brave and resourceful, Chung is the only one with the guts to stand up to Choi Chul Joo when he enters the room with his men to leer at his girls. Unfortunately, he spies Enok in the window and sends his men after her.

Enok puts up a good fight against the three henchmen, but she — just like Su Geun previously — is felled when Choi whacks his heavy walking stick against her back. Must be the all-powerful staff of doom or something, the way these skilled fighters are immediately incapacitated by one hit.

Choi intends to get rid of Enok (can’t have her endangering their operation) but he’s stopped by Chang Whe’s arrival. Chang Whe snarls that if Choi kills Enok, Chang Whe will kill him in turn. How romantic.

Enok assures Chang Whe she’ll call the authorities, and rushes off. While she’s away, Choi tells Chang Whe he’d better make sure Enok doesn’t talk. If she does, she’ll put Chang Whe at risk too, because he’s complicit in this. Chang Whe hears the girls screaming for help from within the warehouse, briefly battling his conscience before ignoring them and walking away. My hero.

By the time Enok returns with guardsmen, Choi has cleared out the warehouse and his watchman denies Enok’s story. It looks like she’s crying wolf, and the guards cart her off for punishment for making up stories. The punishment turns out to be spanking. Insert inappropriate joke here.

Speaking of…

Su Geun recovers from his beating and wails in horror to realize that he’s lost one of his testicles. Yep, you read that right. Partially castrated — a harsh pill for our Casanova. He’s half the man he used to be.

He staggers around yelling, “It’s gone!” while the others sigh, “Must hurt.” I’m surprised he even has the strength to stagger around.

Enok recalls hearing Shim Chung’s father’s name and goes to look for him — at the same time that Gil Dong does the same. As she makes her way there, a series of sequences toys with our expectations, making you think that at any turn, she may run right into Gil Dong — but they’re false alarms. But that shouldn’t surprise us — this is a Hong sisters drama. They’re gonna drag out the road to reunion in the most tension-filled way possible, naturally.

Gil Dong arrives first and talks to the guilt-ridden father about his debt to Choi Chul Joo. Gil Dong leaves as Enok is on her way toward the house, and they miss each other, not even aware they were so close.

Talking to the blind man confirms Enok’s suspicions of Choi’s evildoing. She assures the man that she’ll do whatever she can to bring his daughter home. She’ll find help from someone “smart, in a high position.”

Meaning Chang Whe, of course. She’s all fired up and rarin’ to go rescuing and assumes he’ll assist, and therefore can’t understand Chang Whe’s indifference. He says it’s none of his business; why should he help? Enok pleads, “You’re someone with power, and you’re a good person.”

That adds to Chang Whe’s guilt, and he snaps back at her, “I’m not a good person.” When Enok reminds him that he saved her, he shouts, “Yes! I saved you, so say your thank you and leave!”

Realizing something, Enok asks tentatively, “If I interfere, does that complicate matters for you? Are you… involved in that man’s business? Did you know everything when you lent him your warehouse?” Chang Whe answers, “Yes, I knew. I knew and did nothing, so I won’t save them either.”

Disillusioned, Enok backs away: “I can’t just leave this alone. I’m sorry.”

She leaves Chang Whe to his self-loathing — I imagine self-loathing must figure largely in his reaction. Having the girl you like realize you’re a coward, then walk away to do what you cannot, has got to feel emasculating. Even more than Lopsided Su Geun must be feeling about now.

Lady Noh, witnessing the exchange, decides Enok has too much influence over Chang Whe, and cannot allow the Puppet Prince to be corrupted by Enok’s morals. She must do something about the girl.

The bandits devise a plan to save the girls — they’ll need to locate Choi’s ship, contact the girls’ parents, and find sufficient bait with which to lure Choi into their scheme. (The scene on the bridge is, in my humble estimation, kinda lame with the bandits copying Gil Dong’s gestures in exaggerated synchronization — it’s the Hong sisters’ tendency to overdo the corny slapstick — but it’s saved by Gil Dong pointing out how cool their coordination looks. Guys thinking they’re cool when they’re not = dorky, but in a cute sort of way.)

At the gisaeng club, Mal Nyeo finds a rich patron, a ginseng merchant, to be their unknowing ally. She distracts him and copies his seal, which Gil Dong uses to obtain the key to his storeroom. Mal Nyeo keeps the man occupied with a lovers’ vacation until the operation is over.

Then, Gil Dong dresses like the ginseng merchant and goes to the gambling house, which Choi is known to frequent (looking for poor saps to lend money to). Gil Dong puts on a show of losing heavily and attracts Choi’s notice.

Gil Dong pretends to be dull-witted and gambling-obsessed, making him an easy mark for the greedy Choi. Thus Choi believes he’s got the upper hand and asks for collateral. Gil Dong mentions his high-quality ginseng and shows the merchandise to Choi, who immediately recognizes their value.

Choi sees a great opportunity to make money off Gil Dong’s ginseng (especially since Gil Dong seems like a stupid merchant with no nose for business), and negotiates a deal. He’ll sell the ginseng in China (along with the slave girls) for a huge profit, and in exchange for a delayed payment, he promises to pay Gil Dong a generous interest rate. Choi figures that he’ll easily make back his money tenfold.


Without Chang Whe’s help, Enok doesn’t know how to rescue the captured girls, and takes to following Choi around unsuccessfully. Because of Chang Whe’s threat, Choi doesn’t hurt her, but Enok makes no headway.

She runs into Eun Hye, who has meanwhile tracked down the source of the bells that Gil Dong had been so interested in, which are linked to Choi Chul Joo. So when she sees Enok trying to deal with Choi, she pulls her aside and gives some seemingly wise advice about the problem. She suggests that Enok stay away from the dangerous Choi, and try instead to talk to a different, more sympathetic guard. Additionally, she promises to raise the issue with her father. Enok thanks Eun Hye for her help and rushes off to find a guardsman who will listen.

Eun Hye’s nanny asks if she’ll really tell Minister Seo about Enok’s problem, and Eun Hye answers (bitterly?), “Yes. But he won’t listen.” Her friendly manner drops and she says that if Enok keeps trying to get close to Choi, she might run into Gil Dong, and Eun Hye doesn’t want that.

I suspect most people can’t stand Eun Hye, but for some reason I really like her, in the same way that I like In Hyung despite his flaws. I’m probably the only one, but I’m okay with that. It must be their layered characters that appeal to me, or the knowledge that in the end they won’t be much of a match for either Enok or Gil Dong. They’ll be unsuccessful third wheels for a while, making the ride uncomfortable for the main couple, but they’ll most likely fall by the wayside in the end.

The other third wheel (fifth wheel?) still feels the sting of Gil Dong’s Big Question (“Why must you go so far? Why must you be king?”). The wails of his anguished citizens ring in his ears, and he tells himself, “I cannot doubt. I won’t be shaken.” But when Chang Whe takes aim, he (literally) misses the mark. Symbolism!

Minister Hong requests a meeting with Lady Noh, and asks her to look into the matter of weapons traffickers. Lady Noh asks why he would make this request of her, and Seo answers that her agency has contacts in high places. (The ministers, on the other hand, are bound by bribes and find their hands tied.)

Lady Noh answers that her agency doesn’t trade in weapons but will look into it. She senses that Hong is suspicious of her and resolves to be more careful. She reminds Chang Whe that with Hong on the alert, it’s even more imperative that their deal with Choi go smoothly. It’s in their best interest for Choi to leave for China without any problems, because if Choi is entangled in troubles, they will be dragged in.

Lady Noh senses Chang Whe’s unease and tells him there are many more citizens who need him, implying that this is a small sacrifice to pay. Well, just as long as there’s a reason for the sacrifice! I’d hate for all those people to die for nothing. I’m sure they’ll rest easier in their graves knowing their bodies could provide a nice footstool for Chang Whe to step upon on his way up to the throne.

Meanwhile, In Hyung has little to do this episode, but perhaps it’s worth noting that he’s now one of the royal guards, though he’s as immature as ever. He and his mother, along with Minister Seo, look forward to his upcoming marriage to Eun Hye.


The bandits’ scheme runs smoothly in all aspects but one — enlisting the aid of the girls’ parents. Su Geun goes to home after home, but the parents refuse to talk to him, denying selling their daughters.

Gil Dong proposes a different tactic, so Su Geun goes back to the parents to inform them that one of the girls died while running away. They have the girl’s body; it’s up to the parents to identify and claim their daughter.

Enok has done all she can to get people to listen to her about the captured girls, but ultimately is unsuccessful. She rages to her grandfather, “They’re all smart and powerful! Why are they pretending not to know anything?!” Her grandfather answers, “They pretend not to know anything because they’re smart.” She refuses to give up, even though Grandpa Heo tells her that there are some things that just cannot be helped.

Enok returns to Chung’s blind father, sorry and embarrassed at not being able to do anything. She explains, dissolving into tears:

“Even though I saw everything clearly with my own eyes, I couldn’t do anything. I’m so dumb that I don’t know what to do. I went to smarter, high-ranking people for help, but they all pretend not to know what I’m talking about. … I’m sorry.”

Chang Whe, who has heard of Enok’s fruitless attempts, watches from a distance as she cries with Chung’s father.

That night, the worried parents of the sold girls come to meet the bandits to identify the dead body. Yeon says, “At least they came to claim their daughter,” but Gil Dong is perhaps more insightful, if cynical (insinuating they came to appease their guilt):

“That’s not it. They came hoping it’s not their daughter, to confirm that this isn’t their child.”

When the body is uncovered, her mother sobs over her daughter’s corpse, while Su Geun delivers a stirring speech:

Su Geun: “My sister was also sold off and died. So I know how you feel — that you couldn’t do anything about it, that you might have died too. That you had no power to stop it. That no matter what excuse I gave, the one who died was that child and not me, a fact that would never change. That for the rest of my life I could never forgive myself for selling my sister away.”

And then Gil Dong cuts in, his voice hard (tough love time), telling them not to collapse into self-pity:

“So for the sake of your daughters, act. There’s no point in giving up on everything using the excuse that you’re poor and weak. If you step on a worm, it’ll squirm. That worm may seem silly and insignificant, but there’s a chance it could knock someone down in fright and kill them. I’m helping you because you’re weak. But we’re not that strong either. Which is why we must do it together. If we don’t do something now, you’ll live like this guy, wrapped in your guilt for the rest of your lives. His sister and this child here are dead, but your daughters are still alive. So they can be saved.”

It’s a pretty good speech, with stirring background music as well. The parents pledge their help, and Gil Dong lays out their goal — to prevent the boat from leaving.

The daughters, bless their hearts, are doing their best to save themselves in the meantime. Following Chung’s brave lead, they use the broken glass from Enok’s (Gil Dong’s) sunglasses to try to cut out of their bonds.

Obligatory Crazy Kwang Whe scene. He asks Minister Hong if he regrets helping Kwang Whe claim the throne. Kwang Whe says Hong mustn’t regret it, not after all the people they killed to get there: “But I’ve forgotten what this throne even means.”

He continues, skipping along unsteadily, “When I’ve forgotten everything, you may regret it then.”

Chang Whe also talks of regrets, to Chisu — how he’d done whatever he could to get where he is. But then he saw Enok crying, and her tears seemed to rebuke him: “If I continue along like this, what will remain of me?” Perhaps the two brothers aren’t so different after all. They’re like a Before and After comparison, one a cautionary tale to the other.

In her creepily observant manner, Lady Noh sees this and goes to Choi, telling him to take Enok with him on the boat to China.

Enok is with Chung’s blind father when Chung herself stumbles home. She and a few other girls managed to escape, although the other girls were caught. She was the only one to make it out, and assured the girls she would get help.

Enok realizes that Choi will know Chung would head home, and are likely on their way. With no time to escape, Enok tells them to hide while she acts as decoy. She assures them she can run faster than an arrow, and takes off to give the father and daughter time to escape.

Gil Dong (masquerading as the ginseng merchant) meets with Choi and overhears that the blind man’s daughter escaped. Gil Dong rushes to their house and finds them hiding, and tries to usher them away. When they mention the girl that helped them, he’s struck by Chung’s description — the girl ran off saying she was faster than an arrow, that she’d hunted tigers. The blind man adds that she’s a kind girl who sells medicine, and Gil Dong asks, “Her name… what’s her name?”

The man identifies their helper as Heo Enok, and Gil Dong races off after her.

Enok has managed to elude capture, but she’s tiring and outnumbered. She races through the village, followed closely by Choi’s men, when out of nowhere, she’s grabbed and pulled aside —

Gil Dong holds his hand over her mouth to keep her quiet. Enok senses something about him, and tries to turn to face him. Hurriedly, Gil Dong covers Enok’s eyes (yeah, that’s not suspicious at all) as she asks: “Who are you?”


Episode 10 was better than Episode 9, although I still think it was a little choppy. The promise of Enok/Gil Dong’s upcoming reunion, though, makes up for its flaws — just as long as they actually DO meet! There’d better be nothing keeping them apart after this close encounter, or I’m calling shenanigans.

Chang Whe’s struggle with his conscience is interesting, and necessary. Right now he’s falling woefully short of the qualifications of a good leader, and I really like that Enok has realized this. Her ideal of the handsome Bamboo Hat Gentleman has taken a strong dose of reality, and it’s not pretty. I think Enok’s compassionate enough that she won’t turn on Chang Whe (pity him, maybe), but it highlights the difference in their values. Of course it’s significant that she and Gil Dong have the same reaction and same impulse to help, even if they go about it in different ways. It’s not that they’re right for each other merely because they’ve grown fond of each other (although that’s true) — they’re right for each other because they complement each other’s values and will, hopefully, bring out the best in one another. Chang Whe, on the other hand, needs Enok far more than she needs him. It’s a lopsided relationship dynamic.

Choi is pretty good as a new source of The Evil, even if he’s a little TOO evil. I like my villains with a healthy dose of humanism (like Kwang Whe), and Choi Chul Joo is a caricature. You could argue that traffickers of underage girls into prostitution aren’t redeemable material, but hey, I can ask for a little nuance.

Which, as you may have guessed, isn’t exactly the Hong sisters’ forte. Nuance, I mean. The writers are great at twisty-turny, fast-moving plots, and they have a lively sense of humor, even if it’s kind of lowbrow and unsophisticated at times. But subtle they are not. I wish they’d trust their audience more, because they tend to hammer in their points repeatedly rather than allowing you to draw your own conclusions. For instance, when Gil Dong finds out Enok helped the blind man, we could’ve guessed with the “faster than an arrow” comment. But then they had to add the line about the girl hunting tigers. If that isn’t enough, they further identify her as a medicine peddler. I’d like to think Gil Dong’s a smart guy who doesn’t need to then ask for her name on top of that. Would Sir like a picture too? Mayhap some surveillance video, or DNA verification?


51 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. alynizzle

    FIRST COMMENT! w00t, thanks for having this up so quickly! LOVE YA JAVABEANS, you make kdramas enjoyable for me.

  2. V

    It’s here!
    I clicked refresh so many times. Can’t wait to see what happened in this episode.

  3. elisa

    I kept refreshing til it showeeed hehehe :D!
    this isn’t fair, another week til the next episode?
    god, please let them meet! the anxiety is going to kill me if they don’t.
    chang hwe gets more and more interesting :D! but i hope he starts acting instead of just thinking, madame noh is much more manipulative than yinok geez v_v..

  4. bethany

    still waiting for it to download from clubbox, but tense tense tense. oh, how i wonder how things will turn out… thank you for your speedy updates 🙂

  5. alynizzle

    You’re right, this episode was a bit more fast-paced than the last. That whole scene with Team Gil Dong posing sounds hilarious; can’t wait to watch!

    “The writers are great at twisty-turny, fast-moving plots, and they have a lively sense of humor, even if it’s kind of lowbrow and unsophisticated at times. But subtle they are not.”

    I really agree with this statement. The Hong Sisters are great writers, but a lot of times throughout My Girl and Choon Hyang, I felt like the obviousness of certain situations and the overuse of the whole “walking past but never meeting” thing got tiring (I lost count of how many times this happened in Choon Hyang!).

    I also agree with you on Eun Hye. Even though she causes my teeth to grind together, I still find her character interesting and sadly deprived, albeit annoying.

    I hope that the story begins to pick up after this, and that Gil Dong and Yi Enok will FINALLY REUNITE! They can’t honestly think they can drag out their separation for more than 3 episodes?

  6. Baobao

    I agree with you javabeans about the even numbered episodes they totally kill me with their cliffhanger episodes =( I’m just waiting for them to see eachother but alas… we must wait till next week *sigh* but thanks again for your thoughts and summaries!!! You rock!

  7. rtan

    wow! i’m seventh! where are all the other readers?

    thanks for your summary, javabeans! enjoyed your side comments and reactions! =p

  8. Anonymous

    instance, when Gil Dong finds out Enok helped the blind man, we could’ve guessed with the “faster than an arrow” comment

    Very true, i mean i think the audiences have that arrow line pretty deep because it was a very important scene but i don’t see why adding a few more details can cause harm ?

    And BTW were you being sarcastic saying
    briefly battling his conscience before ignoring them and walking away. My hero.
    and actually i was reading in soompi and there were hints that they might actually drag it out longer for the couple reunion

  9. yeli

    “For instance, when Gil Dong finds out Enok helped the blind man, we could’ve guessed with the “faster than an arrow” comment. But then they had to add the line about the girl hunting tigers. If that isn’t enough, they further identify her as a medicine peddler. I’d like to think Gil Dong’s a smart guy who doesn’t need to then ask for her name on top of that. Would Sir like a picture too? Mayhap some surveillance video, or DNA verification?”
    ^HAHAHA! I kind of had the same thought when reading your summary..the “faster than an arrow” should have been enough for him to figure it out…wasn’t that the last thing he said to her right before his “death?”…Anyways, i really hope the cliffhanger means they will meet in the next episode because if they don’t i will not be a happy camper. One of the things that really bothered me about My Girl was how many times the characters kept missing each other by a second. Those freaking elevators were almost part of the cast i tell you…there was always some elevator scene in which the doors closed RIGHT when the other person arrived…i HATE that!

    Thanks for your recap javabeans…as always i enjoy reading your fun take on each episode. I am so addicted to this drama that it brings me back to the Que Sera Sera and Coffee Prince days…good times, good times XD

  10. 10 yeli

    oops! i meant “the last thing SHE said to HIM right before his ‘death'”

  11. 11 javabeans

    alynizzle, yeah there really were an overabundance of Choon Hyang near-misses! they worked very well sometimes, but other times… yeeaarrgh.

    #8, it’s not that the excessive details are BAD, per se. It’s more that there are ways a fun, goofy series can elevate itself into actually clever, dare I say artistic, levels of writing. Mixed-up Investigative Agency is one great example of that. Part of my approach to kdramas is to treat them with the same respect that other people treat Western dramas, because I was tired of feeling like my Korean drama habit was something to be embarrassed about. (And fans of American television are extremely savvy and don’t let it slide when their intelligence is underestimated. Well, not ALL fans, but the thinking fans are.) So part of that approach goes with pointing out ways the series could be better — and I think Gil Dong’s realization that Enok was in danger could have been finessed to a more elegant moment.

  12. 12 rtan

    “I was tired of feeling like my Korean drama habit was something to be embarrassed about.”
    Hey javabeans, why do i feel the same way sometimes? =( I know there’s nothing to be embarrased about. Watching K-drama is fun and entertaining! But some people are just narrow-minded. =p

  13. 13 hjk

    Yay! I’ve been staying up to wait for your recap (woke up waaayy too early this morning to watch the live stream and then was repeatedly schmocked by the Buffering Demon — Die, buffering, die!!) Thanks for filling in the blanks!

    “Perhaps the two brothers aren’t so different after all. They’re like a Before and After comparison, one a cautionary tale to the other.” – Yeah, I felt an eery resemblance, too, between the brothers while watching those two scenes. Still loving Kwang Hwe’s insanity (or, is he really?)…and kinda still pitying Chang Hwe. Should we name him Lopsided, Jr.?

    “Of course it’s significant that she and Gil Dong have the same reaction and same impulse to help, even if they go about it in different ways. It’s not that they’re right for each other merely because they’ve grown fond of each other (although that’s true) — they’re right for each other because they complement each other’s values and will, hopefully, bring out the best in one another.” I love your description of Enok & Gil Dong. They are destined for each other. <3

    My money's still on Enok recognizing Gil Dong (I'm sure she saw him for a split-second), or at the very least, sparks of hope that he's alive re-igniting. Please, give us something, Hong sisters! It's torture enough to have to wait for Wednesday....okay, I think I'll go pass out now...

  14. 14 tealeaf

    Now that i have shelved HGD (temporarily) for real life drama, your summaries have become a staple for my addiction. Thank you for the lightning fast recap.

    I’m still holding out hope for Chang Whe and Eun Hye. I think i could be the only one who has not associated her name with any colorful adjective :). Not so unlike Gil Dong and Enok, both are in the process of personal discoveries. I find it refreshing that both started out as deficient and flawed characters, but not unintelligent. It makes their evolutions so much more interesting. Even with the said unrequited love premise, i’ll remain hopeful that they’ll both come out as better people by the end of series.

    Anyway, i just wish that the next episode is a bit more emotional satisfying since the last two were a little … off ?

  15. 15 V

    I am kinda curious about how CW’s character will develop. He too seems to be on the journey to self awareness. I wonder how JGS will act CW from this point on.
    I hope better than smiling like an idiot.
    It looks like Enok and Gil Dong’s meeting will be dragged on.
    Gotta love the mole! I was laughing so hard.

  16. 16 Nicole

    thank you for this. I was staying up for this… lol

  17. 17 asianromance

    i love your summaries! they always make me laugh. And poor Su Geun!

    I don’t think the Hong sisters are underestimating the audience’s attention. I think it’s more like a heavy-handed way into trying to prolong the suspense. All the while, I couldn’t help but want to scream at Gil Dong that he was losing time by just standing there.

    Another way to look at this part would be that perhaps Gil Dong was a bit in denial and really hoped that it was all just a wacky coincidence that their savior was also a faster-than-an-arrow, tiger-catching girl, medicine-peddling girl like Yi Nok. Weirder coincidences have happened in the show.

    But my final point is: He should have rushed to save the girl-whether she’s Yi Nok or not- who was in danger because she was using herself as a decoy to save the Shims. He shouldn’t be patiently listening to the details.

  18. 18 sapeater

    Well, even though there are the near reunions for the main couple and the dragging out of their reunion; what’s a Hong sisters’ drama without it? They just better not drag too much because it just kills time and slows down the pace of the story. The Hong sisters are probably trying to build on the relationship between Chang Whe and Enok since they have had less than two episodes worth of interaction on the screen. Knowing the Hong’s writing style, Chang Whe will become more compassionate and reliant on her. Then when he discovers that HGD is alive, he’ll keep it a secret from her. After that, when it seems he is on the verge of becoming king he’ll probably ask her to marry him. Meanwhile, HGD will become alarmed after learning “somehow” that Chang Whe has been courting Enok. This is like two weeks worth of episodes in a nut shell. If it turns out otherwise, all the merrier. Can’t complain about that.

  19. 19 jennyo88

    I totally agree with the comment of Episode 10 being better than Episode 9. But i wish that they stopped with the not seeing each other part, its killing me. And what you said about Eun Hye, totally agree, I like her too. Especially because you know that at the end she is the one that will end up heartbroken and she will be the girl that cannot get the guy even if she tries. You have to love the loser because at the end they lose.

  20. 20 jennyo88

    OMG, I was number 19, like my age, AWESOME

  21. 21 YM

    Thank you so much javabeans!!!Hong gil Dong is my new k-drama obssesion!!!!Thanks for sastified me with your wonderful sumarry….

  22. 22 Bobbie

    From the previews, I think next weeks episodes are going to be very Chang Whe-centric. I’m not entirely convinced the Hong sisters are going to give us a Enok-Gil Dong reunion either (just my thoughts and not so much from the preview).

  23. 23 smiley6yrl

    thanks for the recap of ep 10 javabeans~! i’m glad ep 10 is picking up.. i was a bit worried,… cuz most of the drama, it usually drags hella bad towards the middle.. i really hope that more people are tuning in to watch this incredible drama, and hopefully, just hopefully they would extend it to more episodes~!!! 24 eps of HGD is NOT enough for me especially since there arent that many great and addictive drama out lately.. how about 50 eps? LOL and its a pity that Golden Bride is also coming to an end… :[

  24. 24 Ariel

    Hong Gil Dong rocks, isn’t this the series that Jo Ji-hoon turned down? Well I’m glad he did because Kang Ji-hwan has completely morphed into the character. But there is a little part of me asking how Jo Ji-hoon would have played it, would he have carried the silly scenes with flair and aplomb? Yun Eun-hye was able to do it as Eun Chan. Anyway I’ve watched this guy before in Fireworks and I thought he was good but I hated the story line and gave up after watching the first 2 episodes fickle me, I think I’ll revisit that landscape once I finish this series. Thanks your comments are hilarious and the rantings are totally understandable.

  25. 25 teokong

    Thanks for episode 10 recap. It’s getting to be more interesting. Had a good laugh over HGD’s make-up as a ginseng merchant, looking like a dork.

  26. 26 bjharm

    ok about the prince, let face it in those days it was expected for those under him or or lesser station to give their lives to protect someone of his station. The fact that he is feeling bad about it, speak well for him, I mean is there really anything such as a good ‘kind’ king?. Kings do horrid things everyday from a normal persons view.
    From what I can see I think it very likely that ‘Stupid Girl ‘ thinks it is the prince that help the slave girls so perhaps a reunion not to be in 11. I would love to see Hong dil dong be the one to come to the awakening that he can no do without her and appraoch her first rather than a ‘chance’ meeting. I get really antsy with the girl alway running after the guy all the time in these things.

  27. 27 javabeans

    I think it’s a very different thing for subordinates to die in the line of duty to protect a king — or for soldiers in war to fight on frontlines while generals, more valuable as strategists, remain in safer locales. But this is different. Chang Whe is willingly COMPLICIT in the slavery acts because he is aiding and abetting. And while his overall goal is to reclaim his throne, his immediate goal right now is procuring weapons. So sending women to their deaths and/or degradations with full knowledge, and in fact helping their captor and thwarting the authorities, all for a crate of ammo or whatever, is not kingly behavior. In my book, these ends don’t justify these means by a long shot.

  28. 28 eogpioo

    I have never been so hooked. I really don’t know Korean so have to rely on your summaries and soompi for a much elaborate understanding of the drama. Chang Whe is too weak to become King, esp when he do not even know how to differentiate the conscience of a human being. How could he be king when other people’s blood is flooding the journey to his so called throne? Anyway, back to Gil Dong and Enok at the very last part, my heart was like being crushing to pieces… OMG! I like your lines javabeans, the EVEN-numbered episodes is killing me too… till next Wed! Thanks again for the nice summaries.

  29. 29 canyayasis

    I wouldn’t mind if Hong Gil Dong and YiNok didn’t reunite for 10 years.
    But spare me the near misses.
    My grandfather used to say –
    ” ‘Close’ only counts in hand grenades and horse shoes”
    In other words – “woulda, coulda, shoulda” doesn’t mean diddly squat.
    Much like Cheng Whe’s target practice – let your arrow hit your mark.
    Error increasing with distance – the first near miss – leads to wider less meaningful near misses –
    I get enough of that mantra in real life – I just don’t want too much of it in my fantasy life of KDramas.
    YiNok thinks HGD is dead……but the guy is ALL OVER THE VILLAGE –
    asking questions – looking for bells – interviewing witnesses –
    wasn’t his picture posted everywhere when he was a “WANTED MAN” and Yi Nok said “meet me where you gave me air to breath” (paraphrase)
    YiNok has shown bravery, kindness and cleverness in this past year.
    She’s willing to speak truth to power – never easy to do – but she has the courage –
    She will look stupid – if they drag out their reunion (HGD and YN)
    And the villagers will look stupid not to notice that it’s HGD wandering around asking questions.
    His long bangs are not a disguise – his same blue/gray attire – hasn’t changed.
    He’s still got his long staff that YiNok described when she was deperately looking for him a year earlier – it’s HIM still amongst them.
    Everyone knows it’s Hong Gil Dong – just let YiNok realize it and get on with it.
    There’s still plenty of story to tell –

  30. 30 EEvEE

    Recently, a friend of mine suggested ur website to me. so i feel obligated to write something for all the wonderful posts u’ve put up. because of reading ur HGD episode summaries, i got hooked on it! so thanks a bunches because now i dont have to feel like i needed to watch the entire drama to get to the good parts. i always watch it the night before and then come to ur site to read ur comments. u make some great points! for this episode, i love how u said that Enok and GD compliment each other but for CW and Enok, its lopsided. sooo true! haha but JGS is sooo cute 😛 i cant wait for the next episode. but im guessing they are not going to meet yet from the looks of it. probably next next episode? hopefully! i cant wait that long!!!!!!

  31. 31 Linda

    I’m thinking that maybe one of the reasons why HGD had to ask for the name of the person even after the grandfather & daughter told him about the characteristics of Yi Nok is that… Well, he’s partially in shock. For the past year, he’s probably never seen her, finding out information on Yi Nok only from her grandfather. He’s probably surprised to find out that she has been helping them too. So he probably wants/needs to hear the actual name to lets things settle in.

  32. 32 Koalablue6

    Well…I think HGD will do some sort of fancy mumbo jumbo that makes Enok lose a year’s worth of memories so that the last thing she remembers is CH telling her that he’ll break both of her legs if he sees her again so that’s why she tries to hide her face in Chapter 11 preview.

    Now….don’t beat me up for what I’m about to say…….

    If that does happen, my best bet is Enok will recover her memories and in some way beats HGD up for underestimating her and making her suffer in thinking that he was dead. She’s determined to help the less fortunate even if it meant groveling to rich, powerful people and putting herself in danger and that’s what makes her character more interesting to me instead of that bland “Oooh, I love chicken and you got me another cobra” act. I hope to see her grow a little bit more before she runs into HGD again because in a way, I want to see her develop more of that strong independence she has within herself and perhaps discover she’s royal and then reject this station in life because she worked too hard to be the person that she wants to be as shown in beginning of episode 1.

    That’s my take on it….just don’t hurt me!

  33. 33 giddygirl108

    lol I love your last few sentences under your “Additionally…” section. I agree with you there on the power of subtlety!

  34. 34 hyunibunny

    ” Would Sir like a picture too? Mayhap some surveillance video, or DNA verification? ”

    I almost woke a sleeping baby! Funny ish, Sarah, fiunny ish.

  35. 35 Berz

    LOL I was right! They do meet! but in a different way =P Ohhh this is getting a lot better! Enok so sentimental =) cries a lot, CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT EP!!! Thanks a lot Javabeans! Love the part where you gave a new name for Su Geun LOL Lopsided =/

  36. 36 Skangrrl

    Yeah, I used “Lopsided” at soompi re the pix of the birthday cake. And after that I thought I should have said his name in case peeps did not read here. Hah, but everyone seemed to know that’s his nickname now. Which means everyone there mostly likely comes here. Heh, Lopsided it is then.

  37. 37 Rong

    I really enjoyed today’s expisode cos it showed the humane side of Kwang Hwee. just like what Javabeans said, it’s like a before and after. sooner or later, CH is going to realise that what’s he’s doing is really not right. and i’m starting to sympathise CH. he’s just a puppet held by Lady Noh isn’t it?

    actually, i don’t mind them dragging the meeting between YN and GD. seriously speaking, what harm can it do if they drag it IF the storylines are good? these 2 eps’ storyline is really quite good, given the trafficking of females and selling of ginsengs. haha… and of cos, GD and his powerful speeches. come to think of it, if the 2 of them unite, you can be sure another problem will crop up and break them up again. might as well let them be beside each other, without seeing one another. heh… i know i’m being evil here but then i can’t help it. i’d rather see them working beside one another and growing wiser with each experience.

    come on, My Girl, DGCH, FC only got their couples together near eps 13/14 and in the next eps, they are separated again by some “divine and unseen” interventions. it’s irritating isn’t it? so might as well enjoy all that the Hong Sisters are giving us…

    Of course, i would love to see YN’s expression when she realised that GD’s still alive. i wan to see how outrageous the expression can be… heh…

  38. 38 Suzy

    Yeah, I don’t mind HGD and YN being apart awhile longer either. It seems to me there won’t be a reunion til there’s something more to keep them apart aside from HGD not wanting to have YN in danger. Errr.. she’s in plenty of danger now and is safer with HGD – lol! Or maybe I want them to be apart longer because I dread all the possible cliche scenarios that come to mind if they get back together quickly. Gotta trust the writers, huh!
    One thing that was nice about HGD & YN’s interaction’s before was that even though YN wasn’t so clever let’s say, she was honest and open and gave HGD something he needed but got from no one else. So I really hope that dynamic remains and we see that HGD needs her as much as she needs him.
    I always thought they’d meet again when HGD saved her from some danger. AND I thought it would be even better if he saved her when CH was unable to. So maybe YN ends up on the boat to China and even though CH tries to save her, HGD beats him to it. But NOW I think it would be even better if CH grows a pair (tee hee… poor Su Geun) and swoops in to save YN before HGD does. That’d torture some viewers. Oh no….BEST OF ALL, YN should save HGD! HAHAHA! Oh gawd, javabeans, methinks you have drawn me into your k-drama obsession!

  39. 39 Gypsymm7

    I’m addicted to this drama also. Sad, I’ve only seen up to ep 8. But I am looking forward for ep 9. The drama is great because it has a balance of comedy, action, and drama. The directors and writers are going a great job. As for the actors, well I think their actions says it all. 🙂

  40. 40 ohhcee

    It’s incredibly addicting watching HGD but just as addicting to check on your great recaps!

    I love the way CW is struggling with his conscience. I’ve become much more sympathetic to his situation. He had only one pathway, one destiny… to take his birth right and take back the throne at ALL cost. But now because of GD and especially Enok, he is now having serious doubts whether he should be king and questioning what the cost will be. He wonders what he will lose and what would be left with at the end of this path. Enok has awakened CW’s conscience, let’s see what he does with it…

    I totally agree with you about the lack of nuance, some parts felt like a middle school play but I still find great pleasure watching all the silliness.

    The wait is just too long for the Episode 11. I guess I’ll just have to keep watching the aired episodes over and over until then….

  41. 41 hachiko

    I know….it feels years for another episode!
    Well, maybe it’s part of the joy ^^

  42. 42 E

    aiyooo this is impossible…it’s already killing me that she thought he was dead for a year ~ I’m jumping in my seat waiting for the next episode!

  43. 43 Nameless

    I can’t wait for the next episode so I’m getting my Hong Gil Dong dosage from reading your synopsis/reviews. ^_^

    canyayasis: I so agree with you about Gil Dong being all over the village! I’m surprised that NO ONE recognized him when he goes around asking for information and what not, considering how popular he was among the villagers. And it’s not like Yi Nok isn’t there either. She runs around it like crazy.

    I can’t wait for Gil Dong and Yi Nok’s reunion! Ah, but something tells me that he’s going to run away before she gets a chance to look at her face in the next episode. Please no! Don’t do it!

  44. 44 nk

    Lol! I agree. We all got the point at the “faster than an arrow” comment and maybe adding that she hunted tigers was for good measure for the viewers that aren’t paying attention. But they beat that one to death and I was wondering when Gil Dong was actually going to run off and save the love of his life. Time is of the essence here!!! Hello! She is being chased! And for Choi Chul Joo, I can forgive his caricature nature if he doesn’t remain a permanent cast member. Just to forward the education of our hero. As for Eun Hye, sorry I have to disagree with you there. I find her just as flat as Chang Whe. But I don’t really believe that it is the fault of the actress. I think for me, it’s just the way she’s written. On the otherhand, In Hyung can be thoroughly entertaining and the actor adds a lot of depth and honesty to his role. And in that same vein, I enjoy watching Minister Seo. He can go from being funny to being pretty insightful. Can’t wait for your next summary!

  45. 45 Kiongna

    Oh FINALLY Gildong and Enok “looks” like they are going to “meet” one another!!!
    Javabeans wrote ” The promise of Enok/Gil Dong’s upcoming reunion, though, makes up for its flaws — just as long as they actually DO meet! There’d better be nothing keeping them apart after this close encounter, or I’m calling shenanigans. ” I ditto this x 1000 x infinity! I have my boinking machine ready aigoooo – With the HONG Sisters there is hope – by looking at Lovers Series – Paris/Prague/Hainan Island…!

    I’m at Ep. 4 at the moment, love your summaries as usual! I am enjoying how the characters are developing, Enok finding the “noble/powerful” guy actually lacking in values befitting a real King and there we have our darling Gil Dong ala Robin Hood style – MY HERO *sighs bimbotically* LOL

  46. 46 appreciativeblogreader

    “For instance, when Gil Dong finds out Enok helped the blind man, we could’ve guessed with the “faster than an arrow” comment. But then they had to add the line about the girl hunting tigers. If that isn’t enough, they further identify her as a medicine peddler. I’d like to think Gil Dong’s a smart guy who doesn’t need to then ask for her name on top of that. Would Sir like a picture too? Mayhap some surveillance video, or DNA verification? ”
    I understand your point..but when i was watching the scene..I thought that was just how much he was umm shocked? it was pretty shocking to hong gil dong..here he is living his life as a bandit and much time gone by since hes seen enok and now he hears about enok in this situation? do you get what i mean? yeahh//

  47. 47 Sue

    I think Kwang Hwe was actually playing hop-scotch in that scene! love it!
    and ditto on your last sentiments… gildong should’ve gotten it at “faster than an arrow”

  48. 48 Anna

    I was wondering why the hell the writers put all that crap in. If Gil Dong is clever enough to devise a plan that guaranteed the ministers would hand over their goods willingly, why would he need all that excess information after “faster than an arrow”? What a waste of time.

  49. 49 nodi

    i love you cang vee

  50. 50 A-M

    I was less interested in this one than the last episode for some reason. Maybe I am annoyed with Hong Gil Dong keeping himself from Enok but then prancing around in the open of the village and with a whole TOWN of bandits now and the annoying dead bird girl. Seriously. Grr.

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