Drama Recaps
Hong Gil Dong: Episode 17
by | February 27, 2008 | 43 Comments

Just when I’d thought we’d settled into a pattern of plots and bad guys, trust the Hong sisters to mix things up. Yay for unpredictability.


Sorri (소히) – “누구에게” (To whom) [ zShare download ]

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Shot. The Hwal Bin Dang members quickly retreat to get Chang Whe to safety, while the Yongmun guys look on in shock and the government officials try to figure out who’s whom and on which side. Minister Seo, for instance, is blithely unaware of the significance of what just happened until Minister Hong, shrewd as he is, identifies the shot man as the prince. He’s also recognized Enok as part of Gil Dong’s group.

Gil Dong and Enok tend to Chang Whe, fading fast — the wound was fairly shallow, but the arrow was tipped in poison, and he’s wracked with chills. Gil Dong rushes off to retrieve its antidote, leaving Enok to watch over Chang Whe.


Lady Noh and Minister Choi know time is ticking for Chang Whe, but their hands are tied by Minister Hong, who’s determined to get to the bottom of everything.

A subtle power play ensues; Lady Noh is forced to remain in Hong’s presence while he interrogates her men, unable to leave or have a private word with anyone. After all, to the outside world, Yongmun and Hwal Bin Dang are unrelated. Nobody knows they’ve been working together, so Yongmun’s official position is that Gil Dong has nothing to do with them. Therefore Lady Noh is coerced into cooperation with Hong to avoid looking guilty or suspicious.

Overcome with worry, Enok tries to keep Chang Whe conscious, babbling that he must stay awake, that he mustn’t die. Chang Whe reminds her of the last time they were in these circumstances, when she tended to his stab wound in Episode 5. He admits that he’d almost killed her while she slept — she doesn’t care, she forgives him — but realized that day that he wouldn’t be able to kill her:

Chang Whe: “With you by my side, I became a true person.”

She tells him her luck is good, so by extension:

Enok: “With you by my side, your luck will be good, and you’ll live.”

Chang Whe registers the meaning of that, and tells her to stay with him, then — it’s a promise.

Hong’s divide-and-conquer strategy throws everyone at Yongmun into chaos. Lady Noh is the only one with access to the antidote, but she’s not allowed to interact with anyone. Chisu and the subordinates are running around trying to find Chang Whe, but even if they could find him they have no access to the antidote, and Hong’s soldiers bar them from entry to the building. Likewise, Gil Dong has no access to the building either, and with time running out, fighting would take too much time. He needs a way to slip inside quietly, without suspicion.


…which leads him to Eun Hye, who’s surprised but not necessarily displeased to see Gil Dong sneak into her room in the middle of the night. Really, there are worse ways to be woken up.

She cheers to hear Gil Dong say he’s come for her help, and asks: “You’re here because you need me?” Those words are particularly welcome given how he’d previously turned her away, saying he didn’t need her when he was imprisoned at the palace.

Eun Hye’s arrival at the Yongmun headquarters comes just in the nick of time — both Chisu and Lady Noh had come to the conclusion, separately, to resort to desperate measures. That would have ended in violence and also blown their cover, endangering their plans and their lives.

Luckily, Eun Hye is admitted inside, and her story is good enough to allay Minister Hong’s suspicions. She tells Lady Noh that she’s come to collect the “medicine” she’d promised to deliver earlier. If it wouldn’t be any trouble, would it be all right if Lady Noh stepped aside for just a short moment to give her the medicine? Minister Hong consents, after his inquiry over the nature of the medicine is answered with that response guaranteed to make all men shudder and quickly dismiss the topic: It’s for “women’s cramps.”

Eun Hye gives the antidote to Gil Dong after first using it to blackmail him into acknowledging her as “one of them.” (She doesn’t mean to join Hwal Bin Dang; just to be allowed with them instead of constantly dismissed.) Left with no choice, Gil Dong assents, and the antidote is administered.

Though Chang Whe improves, he’s still weak and in pain, requiring them to devise a cautious ploy to remove him to safety. Eun Hye once again offers her aid, which is again grudgingly accepted, as her presence offers them what no disguise can provide: a cloak of legitimacy.

The Hwal Bin Dang bandits dress as servants and carry Eun Hye inside a palanquin, inside which Chang Whe is hidden. When they’re stopped at a checkpoint, Eun Hye asserts her coldest, haughtiest demeanor to cow the guard into letting them pass, and the group makes it to Hwal Bin Dang’s mountain headquarters without further incident.

Gil Dong faces Lady Noh, and there’s no love lost between either of them. He calls her out for acting outside of Chang Whe’s orders, and she reminds him of their cross-purposes:

Lady Noh: “The world you fight is the world he is to rule.”

She insists she’ll get rid of anyone who endangers Chang Whe; Gil Dong asks if she thinks her way is keeping Chang Whe safe. Touché. Gil Dong warns her that if Chang Whe stomps over everything in his path to get to the throne he is supposedly meant to inherit, he may end up as crazed as the current king: “To be different from him, he wants to become the kind of king that the people he protects would want him to be.” Gil Dong tells Lady Noh to get her act together, else there’ll be trouble all around.

At the mountain stronghold, Enok tends to Chang Whe, who wonders if he can protect “those he holds dearest” and become the person they want him to be. She asks who those “dear” people are, and he says he means it in a general sense (i.e., his citizens), and one special person in particular. Puzzled, she guesses, “Gil Dong?” HAHA. Chang Whe answers, “He’s someone to work alongside, not protect. …In truth, he’s someone I’m afraid of losing to.” Thick-headed as she is, Enok has no idea what he fears losing, and Chang Whe sighs, “You’re the same as ever.”

She intends to leave him to his sleep, but Chang Whe asks her to stay, reminding her of the promise not to leave his side. Enok says she meant that in a metaphorical sense, in the sense that she wanted him not to die, but stays until he falls asleep.

She then remembers that Gil Dong was also injured in his fight, and mixes a remedy while wondering why he’s spending so much time talking to Eun Hye. Not that she need worry, since the answer’s a lot less sexy than her fears.

Gil Dong shows Eun Hye to her room for the night, warning her that they won’t put up with her extravagant demands here. Eun Hye tells him she won’t issue ridiculous orders anymore, prompting him to reply that at least she recognizes that they were ridiculous. Eun Hye admits she only spoke that way because she didn’t know how to talk to him, and he tells her to be honest, like now. Eun Hye muses how great it would’ve been if they could’ve started off on the right foot — she’d speak honestly, and he’d be nicer, like he is now.

But Gil Dong quickly bursts her bubble, telling her this is their last time talking like this — she needs to return to her side of the line. He tries help her get over him by explaining he’s a bad guy (which, dude, is a tactic that NEVER works). For instance, knowing she was his brother’s fiancée, part of why he didn’t turn her away immediately was to get back at his brother: “Don’t let yourself be used by a thief like me.”

Her hurt turns Eun Hye cold, and she tells him, “I knew. I’m not stupid.” After he leaves, she tells herself:

Eun Hye: “I’ll return — I can’t cross the line and come here. Instead, I’ll pull you over the line to my side, so I can have you.”

Minister Hong orders his man to find out everything he can about Enok — her identity, her background, her family. Boy, is he in for a rude awakening or what?


Gil Dong finally makes his way back to check on Enok, who’s fallen asleep mixing her medicinal concoction. Immediately he reverts to his adorable, immature-boy behavior, sad that his injuries were neglected in light of Chang Whe’s graver ones.

“I hurt here too,” he pouts like an ignored child. Touching his bloody lip:

Gil Dong: “It really hurts all over. If I don’t get treated immediately, I might be in big trouble. I need emergency CPR.”

He draws back: “All better.”


In the morning, however, his attitude with awake Enok is the complete reverse: she comments on him getting beat up by the giant, and Gil Dong says defensively, “Beat up? I beat him up more!”

Enok says she’ll mix him a medicinal brew too, but Gil Dong dismisses it, smiling and touching a finger to his lips: “Let him have the bitter medicine. I’ve got a different prescription. It’s pretty effective, so I don’t hurt at all.” Enok doesn’t get his implication, and tells him to share with Chang Whe if it’s so good. Gil Dong, possessively: “No way! It’s mine!”

Gil Dong thanks Chang Whe for intercepting the arrow and saving his life. Amusingly, the two men engage in their own jostling for position — it’s like a good-natured unwillingness to let the other have the upper hand.

Chang Whe says that his act gained him something more — Gil Dong’s support: “You can’t betray me now.” Gil Dong contradicts him, saying that since Chang Whe risked himself to help Gil Dong, it’s in fact Gil Dong who has earned Chang Whe’s support. They wonder: “Have we both earned each other’s support then?”

Hilariously, the exchange makes both uncomfortable, so Gil Dong awkwardly tells Chang Whe to return home. Chang Whe retorts: “I was gonna go anyway.” Ah, they’re such little boys — first fighting over toys, then fighting to be the bigger man and share their toys.

Chang Whe seems to have come to the understanding that his leg of the love triangle is the unrequited one, and seems (to me) to be taking a step back. It’s not that he’s giving her up, but he knows a useless fight when he sees one. Still, he’s found a new way to frame their relationship, which makes his position seem less pitiful:

Chang Whe: “You said you had to be with [Gil Dong]. But I’ve decided to travel with him as well, which means you and I are going together too. … So don’t forget that I’m here by your side. Thank you for telling me I’m important to you. With those words, I’ll be able to hold on for a good while.”

The Lady Noh/Chang Whe confrontation, to my disappointment, does not result in a richly deserved Lady Noh bitchslap. True, she does seem genuinely horrified at having nearly killed Chang Whe, but she’s got a lot of attempted murdering to make up for and one measly conversation won’t erase all that. But I suppose I’ll have to be satisfied with her teary assurance that she will no longer overstep Chang Whe, or act without his orders. Perhaps we are to note that her normally dark blood-red lipstick has been muted to a lighter pink — a sign of softening?

Chang Whe is firm with her, but not angry — he merely says that he wants to earn the right to rule from his people, not merely through the decree of the sword.

The Hwal Bin Dang guys recognize that same integrity in Chang Whe, conceding that the guy does seem different from your usual nobleman. Gom asks, “If a person like him becomes king, would the world change?” Su Geun asks if Gil Dong trusts him, to which Gil Dong answers: “He says he’s with us without hesitation, so we have to trust him.”

The citizenry arrive at similar conclusions, figuring that if the long-lost prince is on Gil Dong’s side, perhaps he’ll be a king who’ll save the people. The problem, then, is that the same principle that makes Chang Whe popular with the people raises disapproval with the nobility.

In Hyung (poor sap!) is as misguided as ever — in the absence of wisdom or skill, he clings to his anger at Gil Dong, foolishly believing that killing Gil Dong will solve his problems and win Eun Hye’s heart. She tells him that In Hyung will never have her affections — the day she fell for Gil Dong was the day In Hyung betrayed him (Episode 5, in the gisaeng club when he stabbed him in the arm). In Hyung, who never learns, vows: “I will catch him, and your heart too.”

You know what’s so sad about In Hyung? With the affection and faith of a good woman, he could really be a good man. But he’s so weak that when he’s surrounded by corruption and weakness, he is his own downfall.

Gil Dong’s legend continues to grow, to the point where everything is attributed to him. For instance, the latest strangeness is a series of deaths committed by ghosts — which are then attributed to Gil Dong, despite the fact that there’s nothing connecting him to the deaths.

Gil Dong puts no store in ghosts, though, and explains that he’ll have to find out more about the dead nobleman: “If you find out more about the dead guy, you’ll find the killer.”

So, Gil Dong heads to the gisaeng club to ask about the latest dead guy. Ridiculous Minister Seo is also there, scoping out prospective new husbands for Eun Hye. Having seen how stubbornly she’s fixated on Gil Dong, Seo figures that he’ll find someone who looks like Gil Dong to replace her infatuation. Seo sighs over the young, well-dressed noblemen there and wonders why Eun Hye couldn’t fall for any of them instead.

While talking to the gisaengs, Gil Dong overhears a scuffle, and sees a young nobleman beating a gisaeng, cursing at her and kicking her to the ground. Clearly something must be done about the matter.

Disgusted with the woman-beater, Gil Dong barges into the man’s room. A few blows later, the matter is concluded swiftly, and in no time Gil Dong is drinking their liquor and scolding them. The men fearfully cower, asking why he — a fellow nobleman — is behaving thus with them. (Gil Dong: “Calling me your fellow nobleman just embarrasses me.”)

They ask who he is. Gil Dong answers that everything these days is pinned on Hwal Bin Dang: “Just consider me Hwal Bin Dang.”

As Gil Dong exits the club, Seo immediately takes notice of the man — he’s well-dressed (therefore must be a nobleman):

Seo: “Plus, he looks just like that thief — he’s just Eun Hye’s type! He’ll do. Ah, my son-in-law!”


On Gil Dong’s walk home, he senses something strange. Figuring he’s probably being followed, he ducks into a building, but his uneasiness just grows. He looks around, always a half-second too late to see the creepy figure moving behind him, wondering what’s out there.

Gil Dong: “Aw, dammit. They’re scary.”


Yikes. Ghosts, for real? Let me tell ya, these are the freakiest types of ghosts — the traditional Korean kind, with their white shroud-y-looking dresses and black hair and all that creepy flying-floating in the air. I couldn’t look at a television properly for a month after I saw The Ring (which plays on the same kind of old-school ghost imagery). And yet, I have to give them credit for laying in early what seemed like a silly throwaway joke at the time — remember the absurd ghost/zombie argument from Episode 2?


43 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Anonymous

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was waiting all morning for this and kept refreshing your page. =) And yes, I will do the same again tomorrow, next Thursday, next Friday and so on, until Hong Gil Dong ends. You are such a God sent! =)

  2. Anonymous

    omgosh, it came out a little early today~ thanks, and i know i’ll enjoy reading it =)

  3. Linda

    “Hilariously, the exchange makes both uncomfortable, so Gil Dong awkwardly tells Chang Whe to return home. Chang Whe retorts: “I was gonna go anyway.” Ah, they’re such little boys — first fighting over toys, then fighting to be the bigger man and share their toys.”

    Gil Dong: “Aw, dammit. They’re scary.”

    wow.. none of the spoilers in soompi mentioned the stuff above. ^_^ it’s pretty hilarious.. thank u javabeans!

  4. canyayasis

    What fun! it’s the Grudge meets The Eye meets – I see dead people they’re all around me, and they don’t know they’re dead~! (a repeat of my SOOMPI conclusion) but DANG ! this was one fun episode ! BOO!

  5. alynizzle

    AWESOME! Thanks for having this up so freaking early! Usually it’s not up till about what? 10:00? Hilarious and the kiss scene was SO FREAKING WORTH IT!

  6. Jen

    omgod, he kisses her, whoo!! Now if only they’d do that when they’re both awake…

    and your comment about Madam Noh “Perhaps we are to note that her normally dark blood-red lipstick has been muted to a lighter pink — a sign of softening?” was hilarious lol

  7. yeoreum

    me too…. thank you very much….

  8. nixxochick

    Thanks for posting this up! you are awesome

    i totally loved that gil dong kissed enok, even if it was just a peck on the lips…i couldnt stop smiling :p
    and his “No way! It’s mine!” line was so cute

  9. Auntie Mame

    As usual, you’re fabulous!
    I laughed because it seem like GD needed a reason to kiss YN . “Awwww … Mommy will kiss the ow-wee and make it all better.” (Gee, I haven’t use that line in years … my son is 21.)
    With CH’s acceptance that his love is unrequited, perhaps, that’s how the love triangle has been resolved.
    I wonder who the four ghosts are. It has to be people who have important things to tell GD. Perhaps, CH’s mother, GD’s mother, YN’s mother and the girl who died running away from the slave traders???

  10. 10 godzillaicecream

    Ever since Enok came to stay with Gil Dong, I feel as if the plot has taken a giant pause and waiting to fast forward any second. Wonder what will happen next.

    Thanks for the summary, great as always!

  11. 11 Guest


    I like light, implied romance. The sappiness is killing me. From the point where two characters kiss, it all goes downhill. For me, anyway.

    Poor Chang Whe. Poor In Hyung. Poor unrequited love legs of the infamous love triangles. Love triangles suck.

  12. 12 rtan

    Finally, they kissed! Hooray! But Enok doesn’t know it. 🙁

  13. 13 Iranian Espresso

    Thank You Dear Javabeans.

  14. 14 tealeaf

    Thanks for the awesome summary. I laughed out loud reading this post. How on earth can someone recover from a serious chest injury (by a poisoned arrow shot from a crossbow) that fast? hahaha. Oh well, gotta love those K-drama miracle cure-it-all antidote.

    I agree. Chang Whe has not given up on Enok. He respected her decision (which totally earned him brownie points in my eyes). For now, he’s still able to overcome his personal feelings to pursue his goal. How long will that last, I wonder? Chang Whe once commented that Enok brings out the best in him. That when he is with her, he could be a better man. Maybe, somehow, she did appeal to his goodness. Seriously, Chang Whe, dude, i’m glad that you took it well ya know. Cause these matters of the heart – they can never be forced. BTW, I really appreciate the mature treatment by the writers on this love triangle. I hope it remains the same for the rest of the series.

    Gil Dong aspires Chang Whe to be a better king. To rule with his heart as well as mind. Gil Dong lends a voice to the people; those that Chang Whe is meant to serve. I think Gil Dong (despite his pessimistic nature) has lots of faith in Chang Whe. I just hope that it is not wasted. Both men seem to undergo symbolic changes after their near-death incidents. Gil Dong matured for the better, will Change Whe do the same?

  15. 15 jinkzzmec

    thanks for another wonderful recap, javabeans…this was such a fun episode…love it…and kiss…i would have preferred YN to be awake but they kissed!!! so happy it happened and those close up shots during the kiss, amazing!!! whoa …Ji Hwan’s and Yuri’s skin looked so good up close…hehehe

  16. 16 E

    Ah I was so creeped out when I saw the ghosts…almost fell out of my seat >.>

  17. 17 trese

    Thank you, dramabeans.

    I have been following this drama, and reading here seemed like I was really watching TV. I also cried and laughed at several scenes. And felt scared, too, for this episode because of the white ladies.

    And I love Kang Ji whan.

    I also had recently read Coffee Prince and Mixed-up Investigative Agency. You really did a great job. Mixed-up got me really laughing and crying and laughing and crying again.

    Thanks again. I guess I could still continue living even with my TV broken.

  18. 18 hjk

    Thank you!!

    Eun Hye meeting with Noh to get the antidote….now, that was CREEPY….
    …yeah, and the ghosts, too… 😉

  19. 19 maltesers

    “Plus, he looks just like that thief — he’s just Eun Hye’s type! He’ll do. Ah, my son-in-law!” — hahahaha! what a dad!

  20. 20 Guest

    How can Enok sleep like that? o.o

  21. 21 teokong

    This is a hilarious episode. Thank you very much for your antidote, Javabeans. Till tomorrow, Cheers!!!

  22. 22 L4E

    “Wakeupwakeupwakeup. I looooooove you!”


  23. 23 Cat

    “Amusingly, the two men engage in their own jostling for position — it’s like a good-natured unwillingness to let the other have the upper hand.”

    That is so Asian. It’s like Asian parents fighting over the bill or the giving of red envelopes. Ahhhhhh. Politeness. Lawl.

  24. 24 vrosemarie

    Hahahaha, where did those ghosties come from? I don’t really like watching movies with long haired ladies which is probably why I avoid horror movies like the plague! Really sweet episode up to the part before the ghosties made their appearance…. Lady Noh is like a motherly figure to Chang Hwe however deranged her tactics may be… I think it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t speak to her respectfully… I’m liking Eun Hye a lot more these days! 🙂

  25. 25 kishaleigh

    i like the 18th episode, it makes me giggle. At last Gildong and enok kiss each other at the last part.
    Hope this drama will end as a happy ending.
    By the way javabeans, thank you so much for the recap! God Bless….

  26. 26 sils

    I wonder how CW will react once he learns that YN was meant to be his bride. I’m hoping that they don’t turn him all psycho like Byun Hak-do in DGCH. And wow, never noticed how tall Kang Ji Hwan really is until I saw him in Save the Last Dance. He has totally grown in hotness for me. Thanks for the recap!

  27. 27 peachie

    finally, a kiss! gil dong is so adorable and so is enok!

  28. 28 kishaleigh

    yah, but i think it will be hurt at the part of enok and gildong when they know that enok was bethrothed to chang hwe. How sad…..!! I hope they will end up each other.

  29. 29 nadseventh

    aww….sweet kiss

    not to be shared!

  30. 30 me

    aww i really want yi-nok to be with chang-hwui.. >_

  31. 31 hermes173

    I’m also rooting for enok to be with chang hui but I fear that is not to be, their betrothal notwithstanding because if you remember the opening of the first episode (which was cast to be in the future), she was with HGD. Sigh. So I guess it’s going to be a happy ending for the main couple.

  32. 32 Anonymous

    u are so detail.. the pink lipsticks.. 🙂

  33. 33 anner

    a bajillion thanks, javabeans!

    I love how Chang Hwe accepted the fact that Enok is gonna be with Gil Dong, but does not entirely back away and withdraw from the triangle. He’s so cute 😀

  34. 34 Jo

    lol, when I was younger I didnt imagine a monster in my closet, but a woman with a pale face, white hanbok, LOOOOOONG hair, and blood red lips. (shudder)
    Lol, aww dammit they’re scary.

  35. 35 nobody

    awww…..i really don’t know who to root for….i love both guys! this episode is awesome! thanks javabean!

  36. 36 MiscellaneousJo

    강지환 is way too fitting for this role! He was way too cute in the scene where he says his medicine (이녹) is all his……ㅋㅋㅋ. 홍길동 짜이유!

  37. 37 mabelypl

    I really enjoy reading this site especially when my internet connection is not so strong n i have to wait a week or so to watch the latest episode. This way i will not be kept in suspense and i really do hate waiting for so long to know what happens next. Keep up the good work javabeans

  38. 38 >gil dong

    oh shoot! now i’m in lovw with kang ji hwan!

  39. 39 >gil dong

    oh shoot! now i’m in love with kang ji hwan!

  40. 40 >gil dong

    where can i find english-subbed episodes? the ones on youtube isn’t yet subbed. waahhh! totally in love with kang ji hwan!
    ~ kbs world here in the philippines has english subs though, the drama runs on it’s 11 episode! i badly wanna see the rest! thanks!

  41. 41 Skina

    to H the ghosts!i watched this episode at 3.00 freaking a.m!
    at first i was all worked out for the cutest kiss scene ever,then all of the sudden i freaking covered my face (well,eyes) from watching those damn frightening ghosts!heish.even when in episode 2,i stayed up all night just because i accidentally watched that no-need zombie scene.ha.
    anyway,thanks for the summaries!
    (dang,its almost 3a.m.my my do i need to prepare myself spiritually..) xD

  42. 42 Esther

    i used to dislike eun hye very much for just simply “crossing the boundaries” and acting all innocent…but now i think her plots are really witting, and she really starts to help move the whole action about yi nok.
    she and hong gil dong were never fated to be one…but i’m starting to like her 🙂 power of the hong sisters!!!

  43. 43 A-M

    I’m guessing the servant boy in the brothel house has something to do with the freaky ghosties.

    I’d love for this to some how end with him telling Eunok ‘See, I told you ghosts were scarier than those bouncing zombies.’

    I also really love how devoted of a father that Minister Seo is… he’s a weasel otherwise, but he is something that Papa Hong really isn’t: a good father.

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