Drama Recaps
Chuno: Episode 10
by | February 23, 2010 | 69 Comments

Hi, Dahee here. Hjkomo asked me to fill in for her for recapping episode ten, as she really does like her beauty sleep and would like to get back to doing it. I happily agreed, so here I am. No worries – she’ll be back for episode twelve (and Samsooki for eleven).

Ten episodes in, Chuno has really hit its stride, and is showing signs of a major shift in focus and direction – especially in the relationships between characters. Episode ten is also easily the best episode that Chuno has had to offer so far. And considering that the previous nine episodes were amazing stuff, that can only mean one thing: GENIUS. We have GENIUS on our hands here, people.

SONG OF THE DAY

Kim Gwang Seok – “잊어야 한다는 마음으로” (With the Intention of Forgetting You)
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The episode begins with Dae-gil running towards Baek-ho, who stands there, knowing he can’t escape. He sets his knife against his neck, and Baek-ho goes onto his knees in silent surrender. Seeing this, Dae-gil laughs rather maniacally (he’s clearly not quite in his right mind at this stage!). Dae-gil begins the ass-whooping, interrogation-style. And he then asks the question that is always at the forefront of his mind: “Where is Un-nyun?”

Baek-ho isn’t going down without a fight, however, and he matter-of-factly tells Dae-gil to just go ahead and kill him. Dae-gil again sets his knife against his neck as though to do as he asks, but he hesitates. Baek-ho tauntingly asks why he’s hesitating, and reminds him that he’s the person who killed Dae-gil’s father. Tears are filling Dae-gil’s eyes now, even as he laughs again. And he gets his revenge at last, slicing into Baek-ho’s face and making a scar identical to the one Baek-ho gave Dae-gil ten years ago. An eye for an eye, quite literally. And it looks SO PAINFUL.

Meanwhile, Un-nyun and Tae-ha are where we left them at the end of episode nine, surrounded with seemingly nowhere to run. Tae-ha assures Un-nyun that everything will be alright, and she nods, her eyes full of trust. Tae-ha kneels down with his hands over his head, as though to surrender, and the soldiers go to tie his hands. But it was all a ruse – Tae-ha takes advantage of the moment to take the rope and begin fighting all of them at once. It is so cool.

But! In the midst of the fight, one of the soldiers aims his bow at Un-nyun, ready to shoot her. Tae-ha notices this, and runs to block it off, making it just in time to stop the arrow from hitting Un-nyun – instead, it pierces straight through his arm. Another major ouch moment.

The remaining soldier who shot the arrow runs away, and Tae-ha promptly pulls the arrow from his arm. Triple ouch! Un-nyun tells him to wait, and runs to gather something from an earthen jar, which apparently has something in it that would be useful medicinally.

Meanwhile, the palace maid is still chasing after Han-seom (aka Constable Kwok) and the prince. She sure is persistent! Han-seom finally stops, and hands the prince over, much to her relief. He then informs her that an assassin is coming after them to kill the prince. She now realizes exactly how dire the situation is, and goes along willingly.

Un-nyun and Tae-ha have also reached the same caves Han-seom and co. as well as Chul-woong, in pursuit of them, have gone through. Tae-ha wants to go on, but Un-nyun insists that they stop to tend to his wound. As she treats him, she asks him about the prince and palace maid. He answers all her questions honestly, letting her in on some real information for the first time – a sign of trust. She asks whether the prince will become king later on, and Tae-ha replies that he must. Un-nyun then flashes back to happier times with Dae-gil, when he gave her a piggyback ride and promised that he would change the country so that equality would exist and the two of them could be together. Lost in these memories, Un-nyun asks: “If we get a new king, will the world change?”

Tae-ha: It must.
Un-nyun: How will it change?
Tae-ha: It can’t get any worse than it is now.

It’s an almost humourous reply, and Un-nyun’s lips curve upwards ever so slightly in response to it. She finishes treating his wound, and Tae-ha suggests they leave. But Un-nyun surprises him with a negative, telling him to go on ahead alone, and that she doesn’t want to interfere in his important work. She tells him: “Be sure to succeed and create a good world.”

(Side note: I really love this about Un-nyun. She dares to dream of better things when, as a woman and a former slave, no one gives her the right to dream. These dreams of hers are so big that she longs for the very world she lives in to change. And if that must be gained through rebellion, then so be it. Isn’t that such a fascinating aspect of her character? Or am I the only one who thinks so?)

Tae-ha’s silent for a moment, digesting this. Then, very romantically, he replies, “Although it goes against our morals, I will continue to hold your hand…Because we must run.”

So saying, he extends his hand to her. It is an offer, and also a question. Wordlessly, Un-nyun puts her hand in his. The two of them look at each other, knowing without voicing it that they have finally openly acknowledged their unwillingness to part. They will now go on together no matter what, against all logic. (Sorry, Choco.)

Dae-gil is just about to begin his interrogations for real when he’s interrupted by a voice. Seol-hwa has been captured by two of Baek-ho’s henchmen, and one of them holds a sword to her neck, threatening to kill her if Dae-gil doesn’t release him.

But Dae-gil doesn’t really seem to care. He chides Seol-hwa for losing the horses, and that she should pay him back for them somehow. Seol-hwa’s terrified by this, and pleads with him not to come any closer even as he approaches her, shouting that they’ll kill her if he comes any nearer.

I’m going to be generous here and surmise that Dae-gil guesses that the henchmen are bluffing. It’s a big gamble he makes – but it’s a fruitful one, because the two henchmen rush at him, leaving Seol-hwa behind. She’s lost her use now that they know Dae-gil won’t be fooled by their tricks. Without preamble, Dae-gil smoothly puts both of them out of action. It’s actually kind of chilling.

Baek-ho asks whether Dae-gil isn’t curious why he did what he did ten years ago. Dae-gil retorts that he doesn’t give a damn, but Baek-ho tells him anyway. We get a flashback to ten years ago.

Back then, Dae-gil had begged his father to allow him to marry Un-nyun, saying that he couldn’t live without her. Furious, his father had ordered that Un-nyun be locked up in the storage room, where she would be left to die from dehydration. As she was dying, Dae-gil could do nothing but cry in his room. Baek-ho was the one who took action. He begged Dae-gil’s father to save her. And here is where a major bomb is dropped: He brought up the fact that he knows that his mother, a slave, was impregnated by him, which means that Baek-ho and Dae-gil are half-brothers. And Baek-ho’s mother later married another slave, and gave birth to Un-nyun. This means that Un-nyun and Baek-ho are half-siblings as well. So in a weird, twisted sense, Un-nyun and Dae-gil are related through Baek-ho…except not really, since they don’t have any actual blood ties. It’s so twisted.

Ahhh. Where would a K-drama be without at least the hints of incest?

Even with Baek-ho begging him to listen to him as a son and to let Un-nyun live, his father was unmoved. Baek-ho thus grew steely with resolve, and later entered his father’s rooms with a scythe and killed him. Of course he set fire to the house as well.

Baek-ho sums up his story with this awful truth: “That day, I didn’t kill your father. I killed mine.”

Dae-gil, who’s been shocked throughout this story, screams at him to shut up. As Dae-gil sets his knife against his throat one more time, trying to work up the nerve to kill him, Baek-ho asks, “Do you still love Un-nyun? Then forget her now. Un-nyun has already gotten married. With former Commissioner Song Tae-ha.”

At these words, a tear drops from Dae-gil’s eye, and he releases Baek-ho in shock. He remembers the moment when he threw his knife and hit the woman riding behind Tae-ha, and seeing the side of her face. Not quite able to register what he’s just said, he asks pathetically, “Did you say Song Tae-ha? She’s married to Song Tae-ha?” He doesn’t even really seem to hear Baek-ho as he says:

“That day, Un-nyun didn’t want to run away. She wanted to die in the house you lived in. I dragged her away by force. Un-nyun has committed no sin except the one of daring to look at you lovingly. I am the one who has committed all the sins. So don’t look for her anymore. That is true love. I will leave now while trusting you (will fulfill my wish).”

He then takes Dae-gil’s sword and stabs himself in the stomach. As he dies, he looks at Dae-gil and in a wonderfully heartbreaking beat, stammers, “My…brother…”

Dae-gil slowly breaks down, at first not really seeming to register what’s happened, wondering why it had to be Song Tae-ha, of all people. Why did she have to marry a runaway slave? The tears flowing down his face, he collapses and grabs the dead Baek-ho by the collar, screaming at him that he must open his eyes, that he wasn’t given permission to die.

Eventually he stops screaming, and simply sits there, dumb. What follows is a scene that hurts just to write about. Seol-hwa, who has been watching this entire exchange, silently kneels next to him, crying with her sympathy. She holds his blood-stained hand in hers in an attempt at comforting him, as miles away, Tae-ha extends his hand to Un-nyun, and the two of them run up the cliffs together in the darkness.

May I just say how amazing this scene is? It is truly an emotional tour de force, and must be seen to be understood – mere words could never convey how beautiful it is. And the best part is Jang Hyuk’s acting. Dae-gil’s world, everything that his life has been built on for the past ten years, has just collapsed around him, and Jang Hyuk portrays all of that incredible despair with amazing heart and power and detail. My heart aches for him so.

Back to Han-seom and co. The three of them pause to rest in a cave, and Han-seom reveals that all this time, he had been playing the part of the bad guy in order to be able to stay close to the prince to save him should a situation just like this one ever arise. Thus we get a flashback to Tae-ha and his comrades in jail, and Tae-ha ordering Han-seom to betray them and live a life of lies until the time came when he would receive his next orders.

The three of them continue on their way, not knowing that Chul-woong is hot on their trail. Han-seom continues to propose to the palace maid, promising her they’ll live a decent life together. The two banter with each other, their conversation light and easy. It’s a lovely moment because it’s the first time she’s really opened up to him, and there’s so much raw hope for the future. Han-seom asks her what her name is, and where she’s from, and she seems reluctant to answer, avoiding the question. He keeps pressing her for the answer, and she stops, saying slowly, “My name is…”

However! Chul-woong has spotted them at last from a distance, and he throws a hastily made makeshift spear at them, piercing her straight through the back. No! As she sits dying, she makes Han-seom promise to take care of the prince, and says: “My name is…Jang…Pil-soon…”

(This explains why she was reluctant to tell him her name. It’s not exactly a pretty one.)

Crying, she and Han-seom touch each other’s faces. She dies, and he screams with agony. But he can’t mourn for long, and he wrenches himself away from her body in order to save the prince’s life. Chul-woong runs after him in pursuit.

Eventually, Chul-woong finally catches up to him, and the two of them exchange ironic greetings as former comrades who know each other well. The dialogue is rather darkly comical.

Thus follows an AWESOME fight scene between the two, with Chul-woong trying to kill the prince, and Han-seom repeatedly blocking him off. (Note: When I first watched this scene, the prince struck me as being a rather useless sack of potatoes without the brains to even try to run away from the scary sword. But upon multiple watches and deeper reflection, I’ve realized that he may very well end up fulfilling the role of the silent observer, and that his steady, unflinching gaze may be a reflection of that.)

The fight moves to an even more gorgeous locale, with wet rocks and the tide so thrillingly close by. Just when it seems that Chul-woong has gained the upper hand and is about to kill Han-seom, the two of them hear a voice shout from above, “Stop!”. It’s Tae-ha to the rescue! He’s alone (Un-nyun gave him silent permission to go on ahead since she was slowing him down) and swordless, and he jumps down and grabs Han-seom’s dropped sword. WOOT WOOT.

Tae-ha: Stop it. Aren’t we friends who shed blood together on the battlefield?
Chul-woong: Friends? Have you ever thought of me as a friend? Didn’t you always look down on me and give me orders?
Tae-ha: If you continue, I will kill you.
Chul-woong: Do you think that just because you saved me once, that makes my life yours?

Tae-ha doesn’t bother to reply, and tells Han-seom to go on ahead with the prince. He obeys.

Meanwhile, Un-nyun is continuing down the path that Tae-ha has come, struggling to hurry. As she goes, she suddenly stops. She’s spotted Tae-ha’s sword, which he has left behind for her on a stone on a clifftop, signifying that he will come back for her. Realizing the implications, Un-nyun sits and cradles the sword like one would hold an instrument, caressing it. (And my terrible brain chooses this unfortunate moment to scream, “PHALLIC SYMBOL!”.)

The fight is ON between Tae-ha and Chul-woong, and it is MIND-BLOWING. I know I need to try and describe it for you guys, but it is indescribable. It must be seen to be understood. It veritably pulses with life. Enjoy it now, because I doubt we’ll see this level of technical proficiency in a Korean drama again until Kwak Jung Hwan’s next drama, at least. WE ARE NOT WORTHY.

The exquisite thing about this scene is the way water is used as a visual device, with the swords slicing through the puddles and the camera capturing each tiny droplet of water in all its miniscule beauty. It’s cinematic poetry, it really is. And then there’s the actual fighting between the men, with intriguingly frequent touching between the two of them (ooh, that sounded wrong) – at one point it’s almost like they’re embracing, and at another, they’re standing back to back, bringing to mind the past when they once fought together as soldiers, protecting each other. It’s like one big metaphor for their relationship. It’s BRILLIANT.

Finally, after much sword clashing, Tae-ha succeeds in slicing Chul-woong’s side with his blade. The fight is over. Chul-woong tries desperately to continue the fight anyway, even as his strength wanes, but Tae-ha easily knocks his sword aside and holds his own to Chul-woong’s neck.

Tae-ha: Stop chasing me now.
Chul-woong: Don’t talk to me as though you’re giving me orders.
Tae-ha: I trust you will.

As Tae-ha runs off, Chul-woong shouts after him, telling him to come back and fight to the death. His desperation here is rather pitiful. (Lee Jong Hyuk is so wonderful in this scene.) He’s stopped from following him, however, by the arrival of soldiers. But even in his weakened state, he manages to single-handedly kill all of them. Anyone wanna bet that Chul-woong is reborn as Superman in another life?

Tae-ha soon joins Han-seom and the prince, and the three of them reach a raft that’s been prepared beforehand for their escape. Tae-ha tells Han-seom that he needs to go back and get someone, and off he goes to retrieve Un-nyun.

Left alone, Han-seom thinks aloud to the prince:

“I learned that a person who can’t save one life, cannot save their nation, Your Highness. I…did nothing but run away…but General…is going off to save yet another person. Is that not the kind of man who can raise an entire nation? Isn’t that right, Your Highness?”

Meanwhile, Dae-gil, drunk out of his mind, is walking slowly along a leaf-strewn path, with Seol-hwa desperately trying to cheer him up beside him. She even sings and dances (the popular folk song “Arirang”), and the lyrics seem to echo her own feelings: “Look at me, look at me.” When Dae-gil doesn’t respond, she calls after his retreating back:

“Just live with me, Orabeoni. It’s better to live with a fun woman than a pretty one.”

It’s an outright confession of her feelings, and Dae-gil stops, making me think for a second that her words have pierced his armour of pain. But no – in front of him, he suddenly sees a vision of Un-nyun, breathtakingly beautiful, with her hair tied up signifying that she’s married, and a deep look of sorrow on her face. It’s as though she’s saying goodbye. And she’s sorry. And she loves him.

As he starts to walk towards her, she starts walking away, her face continually turned towards him. She’s leaving, and yet she can’t stop looking at him.

At the same time, Tae-ha reaches (the real) Un-nyun, who rises to meet him. The two of them walk towards each other.

Tae-ha: You waited for me?
Un-nyun: You left your sword behind.

Ah, ze romance! Overcome by his feelings, Tae-ha pulls her to him in a hug. He then pulls away…to kiss her. Un-nyun looks conflicted for half a second before she closes her eyes and accepts his kiss.

And the view? Is BEAUTIFUL. Now that’s one memorable kiss.

As all of this happens, the vision of Un-nyun that Dae-gil sees finally turns her back on him and walks away.

…And she disappears, like the illusion she is.

Dae-gil is left to stare at an empty path. And his heartbroken expression changes to one that sets my very laptop on fire.

DO YOU SEE THESE GOOSEBUMPS ON MAH ARMS, JANG HYUK?

 
COMMENTS

Phew! A lot of deaths/mourning this episode, huh? Farewells seem to be the theme of this episode. And I’m not just talking about farewells through death. With these goodbyes, Chuno closes one chapter of its story, and readies itself to open the next.

Chuno is a drama about slavery. Not just physical slavery, either, but mental and emotional slavery as well. Dae-gil has been a slave to his love for Un-nyun for ten years, and vice versa. Chul-woong is a slave to his ambitions and desire to defeat Tae-ha. Tae-ha is a slave to his past life and his desire for a better world. Etc, etc. All of them are searching for some kind of freedom, something that will release them from their shackles. They’re fighting for the right to be happy.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Chuno’s women. It’s becoming clearer by the episode that writer Chun Sung Il is trying to show that, back in the good ol’ Joseon days, to be a woman meant that you were a kind of slave. He and PD Kwak Jung Hwan are taking great pains to show a deep consciousness of history (down to the tiniest details) and an understanding of what it was like to live in that time. They are also taking pains to create a commentary and dialogue on that life within the framework of the drama itself.

Take Un-nyun, for instance. She’s the perfect example of the way women in this era were systematically trained to be weak and helpless. Even as she moved from slave to noblewoman, she was never free from such treatment. Nothing was ever expected of her. Hell, I doubt that, in the past ten years, she’s ever used her legs for anything faster than a brisk walk. And yet I hesitate to label her as helpless. She isn’t. Despite being told from birth that she is worthless, and below even fellow slaves who are male, she has maintained a simmering longing for rebellion and a hope for happiness deep inside her. And all of that is slowly bubbling to the surface, and sneaking out in subtle words and glances. She’s intelligent, passionate, and takes direct action to obtain happiness. She’s one character I can’t wait to see develop more and more.

For the past ten years and more Un-nyun has been waiting for Dae-gil, the one person who promised her even a hint of hope for a good life. For a long time even before he “died”, she waited for the impossible chance that the two of them could get married as Dae-gil had promised (words that were so foolish and empty even back then. He never could protect her). Even after his “death” she waited for him. She couldn’t help it. For ten years she lived in the past, forgetting what it meant to live in the present, to enjoy life to the fullest. Even when she was technically free from her history of slavery, she wasn’t truly free. She was imprisoned by the past, by the love and the guilt that haunted her still.

But with this episode, she’s managed to finally let it all(?) go. Fate took a hand in her release of Choco back in episode seven, and now she’s made the conscious decision to let go of the ghosts that have been haunting her, and truly LIVE. Yes, she still thinks about Dae-gil, and some of her actions and motivations can be explained by her love for him. But she’s chosen to move on now.

Significantly, when she sees Tae-ha’s sword, she picks it up, sits down and waits for him. The stone has been replaced by the sword. And as she waits, her face betrays her sense of peace and anticipation. She has something – someone – to believe in again. Love, which she believed was lost to her forever, has snuck up on her and caught her by surprise. And this time, the waiting is not futile. Tae-ha does not abandon her as Dae-gil unwittingly did through death, at least in her mind. Tae-ha comes back for her. And when he sees her, he realizes the significance of her waiting for him, of her holding his sword – a silent form of acceptance of his feelings. And thus the two finally come together and kiss, standing on the threatening cliffs that hint that this is a dangerous love, but a breathtaking, inevitable one as well.

Now it is Dae-gil’s turn to let go. Yet he isn’t quite ready to do so yet. He has been chasing after a shadow for the past ten years (a shadow that literally materialized into his hallucination by the end of this episode), and the realization that all of that chasing was futile is an agonizingly bitter pill to swallow. As he stands there, he sees the ghostly figure of Un-nyun turn away from him and walk away, disappearing forever. It’s as good as an abandonment. And yet their love was always an impossible one. It was always hopeless. It’s as though fate itself is not on their side. But perhaps that is what makes it even harder to let go.

Now, the question is: What happens when Un-nyun finds out that Dae-gil is alive? Will her heart sway? And Seol-hwa stands behind Dae-gil, calling desperately for him to notice her, to SEE her. Will he realize this presence, or will he continue to cling onto the past?

And what about the steadily growing theme of “changing the world”, of destroying social boundaries and fighting for equality and freedom? Where will that be taken?

I honestly can’t foresee Chuno ending without something truly tragic happening to one or more of the main characters. Still, I know that we’re going to have one hell of a good ride going towards that ending. I can’t effing wait.

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69 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. casey

    :O
    wow. his face is on fire.
    can’t tell if he’s mad or he’s going crazy because of sadness.
    great recap though!

  2. samsooki

    Wonderful recap!

    I hate the fact that I have to follow your recap…. dang it!

    But I do have to disagree with one part.

    Significantly, when she sees Tae-ha’s sword, she picks it up, sits down and waits for him. The stone has been replaced by the sword. And as she waits, her face betrays her sense of peace and anticipation. She has something – someone – to believe in again. Love, which she believed was lost to her forever, has snuck up on her and caught her by surprise.

    I think Un-Nyun waits for Tae-Ha because she has no choice. She is a runaway slave, with no skills, no money, not even a change of clothes. I think she knows that Tae-Ha is her only chance to survive, not to be re-captured and turned back into a slave and not to be preyed upon by other men who just want to rape her.

    Is it love? No, not yet anyway. It may never be “love” in fact, but at this point in her life, I don’t think that Un-Nyun has the luxury of that.

    .

  3. Bunde

    While watching this episode, I was hoping they would spend more time in the Jeju island because it’s a great location. The fight scene between Tae Ha and Chul Woong was not just a filler fight scene but had a lot of anticipation built up for it, action was fun and it was beautifully shot. The kissing scene at the cliffs was verrry beautiful.

    It’s interesting to note that Tae Ha didn’t have his sword when he was fighting Chul Woong. I think he knows Chul Woong is coming but he didn’t mind fighting him without his trusty sword. He gave it to some chick. Just kidding.

    Chul Woong probably knows Tae Ha quite well that Tae Ha thinks of himself as morally righteous and very proud, e.g. he doesn’t think he is a slave and he doubted his prince. So, CW tells TH ” Didn’t you always look down on me and give me orders?”. It also tells you how much insecurity CW has – in many facets of his life.

    This is why I think Un-Yun might come back to Dae Gil much later. TH might forsake Unyun for the sake of his country, as did Kim Yoo Shin in Queen Seonduk. Besides, there are many episodes to go and the main verhicle of this drama – the love triangle – have much to be played out.

  4. Oranges

    Wow…thanks for this marvelous recap. I’m really impressed by your insightful and inspirational writing. ^^ I’ve been hearing complaints about how boring Un-hyun is…but you’re showing the quietly powerful and symbolic side of her. Thank you allowing me to appreciate this drama a lot more! haha.

  5. Ed

    i just wanted to point out the fact that you’ve mistaken the elder brother of Un Nyun to be BAEK HO.

    BAEK HO = DANNY AHN’S CHARACTER. (the loyal bodyguard dude)
    UN NYUN’s OLDER BROTHER IS GEUNNOMMIE.
    :D

  6. Anonymous

    I agree with the comment that chuno will probably end tragically. Song tae ha’s rebellion has to fail-historically speaking So Hyeon seja’s son does not become the next king. So hyeon seja’s younger brother does. And obviously Joseon does not give way to a class-less, democractic, more fair, less rigid world. It remains a monarchy for the next few hundreds years. And I see a pattern with these beautiful, cinematic, historically set kdramas like Damo, Conspiracy in the Court, and now Chuno. Often times it involves people who want to change the world, make it better, but we know from the very first episode that they fail and so the story is meant to end tragically.

  7. Sorcy79au

    Love, love, LOVE this episode. The fight scene between Han-Seom and Chul-Woong and then Tae Ha and Chul Woong was absolutely fantastic!
    I have to say, though, that I find it unbelievable that Chul-Woong was able to fight off a whole troop of soldiers after basically running non-stop for 2 days, fighting one guy, fighting another guy and then being injured by him.
    Do I really have to suspend my belief THAT much?
    I also found it unbelievable that the prince didn’t cry or anything when grown men were yelling and sword fighting, or when his nanny (court lady) was killed or when Han-seom was yelling as she was dying…that’s one GOOD kid (though he’s probably a bugger at night!)

    Oh and Baek-Ho isn’t the brother, he was killed in the last episode

  8. Biscuit

    This episode? EPIC!

    By the end of the episode, this episode alone beat out all those K-melodramas put together. It touched every single part of the heart. Each character, even minor ones, left a big impact. They don’t feel like “side-characters” or minor ones, everyone in this drama affects one another in SOME way.

    “The stone has been replaced by the sword.”

    The sword can protect, the stone can’t do anything. Pretty much summarizes Tae Ha and Dae Gil.

    Dae Gil made pretty big words in the past, but he’s was the same as the rock he gave Un Nyun. Tae Ha, on the other hand, has been protecting Un Nyun (even risking his life). Whether or not there’s true love between Tae Ha and Un-Nyun, Tae Ha is the one that can actually be of benefit to Un Nyun.

    Btw, great recap. LOVE IT.

    • 8.1 Gasenadi

      IMO, the one who could’ve been “of benefit” to UN was her husband, the one she ran away from. Depends on what you mean by benefit.

      Choco, the rock, meant something of real significance to UN for her to carry it for 10 years. I just hope the sword will last that long.

  9. Dahee_Fanel

    Ed: ACK! Thanks for pointing that out! I can’t believe I made that mistake! O_O Sarahbeans, can you edit this, pwease?

    Samsooki, I really have to disagree. I think Un-nyun does love Tae-ha – why else would she let him kiss her? – although the question right now is whether she loves him more than Dae-gil. I don’t think Un-nyun’s the kind of girl who would settle for a guy she doesn’t love, even if she doesn’t have many choices. She would head out on her own anyway. Remember how she ran away from her first marriage, dressed as a man? She was determined to make her own fate, and she still is.

  10. 10 Biscuit

    Btw, (I hate double posting right after my last, but as there’s no edit… and THIS had to be mentioned!) THE JH STARE!

    If it creeps you out just by looking at an image, it’s even more so when you watch it. *shivers*

    I wonder what happens in the future? That stare pretty much opens the door to a whole new possibilities of directions this drama can take. Can’t believe there’s still more 14 episodes left!

    In the guess that one of the leads will die, I say all three. Un Nyun to be completely free from slavery, Tae Ha dying out of loyalty to the Prince, and Dae Gil for being a bloody murderer.

  11. 11 samsooki

    I think Un-nyun does love Tae-ha – why else would she let him kiss her? – although the question right now is whether she loves him more than Dae-gil.

    Well, we are coming at this from two different perspectives. I see a woman who has no choice. You see it as a choice that she is making.

    I don’t think Un-nyun’s the kind of girl who would settle for a guy she doesn’t love, even if she doesn’t have many choices. She would head out on her own anyway. Remember how she ran away from her first marriage, dressed as a man? She was determined to make her own fate, and she still is.

    I would take that example as Exhibit #1 as to why she should, and thus chooses to, stick close to Tae-Ha. Her last attempt at making her own fate would have ended in her being gang-raped and murdered. In her life, she will never ever find a better person for husband-material. A good looking, tall, gentle, well-educated, former General with martial arts skills better than practically anyone the whole country? Most unmarried women her age who AREN’T runaway slaves with bounty hunters and assassins trying to capture or kill them would jump at the chance to marry Tae-Ha. And so, throw in the fact that Un-Nyun can’t really walk into a bank to secure a small business loan and start her own business… and Un-Nyun really has no choice. Tae-Ha kisses her, and she lets him.

    Still, it is up in the air. Un-Nyun might end up loving Tae-Ha. But I don’t think that has happened yet, not through Ep 10.

  12. 12 Sorcy79au

    Yeah but if that happens, Biscuit, what would happen to Soel Hwa, General Choi and Wangson, I wonder?

  13. 13 Dahee_Fanel

    Samsooki: I think the episodes until episode ten have been steadily making a great case for the sexual tension and mutual attraction between Tae-ha and Un-nyun. I really don’t see where the proof is that she doesn’t love him. And the next few episodes after 10, too, have shown abundant proof that she loves him. (Note: This does not mean she doesn’t love Dae-gil, however. Who says you can’t love two people at the same time?)

    Also, Un-nyun has repeatedly, in the past nine episodes, tried to leave Tae-ha and venture out on her own. It was always Tae-ha who stopped her. And Tae-ha’s not exactly a secure choice! The guy’s an ex-slave who’s running away from assassins and plotting on changing the country. How is that great husband material?

  14. 14 hjkomo

    THANK YOU, DAHEE, for a terrific recap and for stepping in to help this poor, sleep-deprived Chunojumma. I didn’t get to catch up on the beauty sleep, but thanks to you, I didn’t have to forgo all of it completely, either. :D

    This episode was EPIC. Fantastic performances all around, especially Jang Hyuk. Must give Jo Jin Woong (Han Seom) props for his performance as well.

    The fight scene was pure awesomesauce!!! PD Kwak, we are not worthy!

    As for Choco (Poor Choco!), he may have been temporarily replaced by Jagger (TH’s sword)…but that’s exactly the problem, isn’t it? UN is falling for someone who reminds her of DG – someone who wants to change the world. And in Ep.9, we saw her compassion for him – someone who had experienced being a slave just like her. Is it enough to completely replace her love for DG? We shall have to wait and see… ;)

  15. 15 langdon813

    Great recap, dahee! I’m constantly in awe of samsooki and hjkomo, and now you, and how you all manage to be so eloquent. I end each episode slack-jawed, an emotional wreck with no vocabulary to speak of. You guys are amazing.

    I don’t really know if it’s love for Un-hyun yet either, but it IS hope…and we can tell just by looking at that screencap of Dae-gil’s face just how terrifying a person becomes when hope, which is all you’ve had for the last 10 years, buried deep inside, is cruelly taken away.
    :-(

  16. 16 JJ

    Dahee, what a great recap with so much insight and emotion. You made me feel this episode in a brand new way. Thank you for that!

    Sorry samsooki, I agree with Dahee_Fanel. Yes she isn’t exactly in a position to leave on her own but she was going to just that earlier when she told him to leave her behind and go change the world.
    I don’t see a woman like her giving herself to TH in exchange for protection. She wouldn’t have been intimate with him in any way if she didn’t feel the same way.

  17. 17 song4u2

    Nice recap, thanks.

    I just caught myself up tonight and I must say I am lovig the TH/HW relationship. I thought her feelings for him began when she insisted in treating his arm [helped by hearing his decision to become a slave for a vision of the future]….The same vision DG had long, long, long ago.

    I really get the feeling that his feelings for her turned from love to obsession and now may range in the murderous category if he finds her. Deep down he makes me believe that DG thinks of her as vermin, a non-person, as he does all slaves….How would she allow herself to love him is my question. The new HW would not allow herself to be loved or enslaved by a man who sends people back to hell, but I am looking forward to their meeting and her eyes being opened to the futility of hanging on to someone who no longer exists–literally so he may as well be dead.

    • 17.1 Gasenadi

      I’m going to have to watch this a fourth time to see exactly how DG considers UN vermin. I recall him rescuing a slave mother and child early on in the series, giving them money and directing them to a mountain hideout where they’d be safe.

      True, adolescent DG is vastly different from Chuno DG and UN probably would have difficulty loving him, all scarred and twisted by what he’s done. But DG’s not JUST that. He urges his partners to save for the future, buy land and farm because they can’t chase slaves forever.

      He was obsessed from the very beginning, expressed by Gen. Choi in Ep. 1 where he begs DG to let go, already.

      I guess I have difficulty distinguishing between “murderous” DG and murderous military general TH.

  18. 18 samsooki

    @JJ and @dahee,

    I think where we differ is in the presumption of Un-Nyun’s character.

    You see Un-Nyun as one way, and I see her as another. Your conclusion, that Un-Nyun wouldn’t have allowed Tae-Ha to kiss her if she didn’t love him, is sort of circular.

    That doesn’t mean that you guys aren’t right, as I’m not sure if the answer is so cut and dried that differing opinions cannot both be found reasonable.

  19. 19 Biscuit

    Sorcy79au: Seol Hwa lives the terrible fate of being in Dae Gil’s shadows? General Choi dies too… he seems like the type that will die in the finale grand battle/climax. Wangson? Hmm….

    Than again, there’s also that story of slave’s rebelling… so that can change the relationships of everyone. Gah, I don’t know. All I know is someone IS going to have an unfortunate death, and it’s gonna be more than one!


    I don’t believe Un Nyun LOVES Tae Ha. I say “love” is too much of a strong word to describe the degree of her affection/care for Tae Ha right now.

    From my viewpoint, I see that Tae Ha has given much reasons for her to be with him. They are too entangled to be broken apart, so at this point, it only seems natural that a single man and woman that are traveling together be married. It would seem the most moral/proper thing to do in their relationship.

    While I don’t think Un Nyun has completely given her heart to Tae Ha, I suppose that she feels a sense of responsibility to stick with him and that she has opened her heart to him- to move on from her last love and to love him.

    I think both Samsooki and Dahee are correct :)
    She has both a sense of responsibility, yet it is not by force, as I do believe she does care about Tae Ha.

  20. 20 msim

    I’m with Biscuit on this one: it’s the sword vs the rock (pebble really).
    Tae In delivers protection while Dae Gil, in his youth, couldn’t, or worse wouldn’t, grasp the gravity of her situation. He failed numerous times his exams which would have allowed him to make a living and be independent of his father.

    This episode is so well written, and acted that it made me start liking Dae Gil despite his murderous career choices; it made me care for Un Nyun who almost, almost, appeared as a real character.

    The fight scene between Tae In and Chul-woong was cinematic. The colours, the flying fabrics, the feet movements, the water. I forgot I was watching a tv show.

    On a total and spazzy fangirl note: Tae In!!! How beyond gorgeous is that man?

  21. 21 msim

    @ song4u2

    Perfectly put. It describes exactly my feelings, and fears, about the Dae Gil and Un Nyun pairing.

  22. 22 Chuck

    “Chuno is a drama about slavery. Not just physical slavery, either, but mental and emotional slavery as well. Dae-gil has been a slave to his love for Un-nyun for ten years, and vice versa. Chul-woong is a slave to his ambitions and desire to defeat Tae-ha. Tae-ha is a slave to his past life and his desire for a better world. Etc, etc. All of them are searching for some kind of freedom, something that will release them from their shackles. They’re fighting for the right to be happy.”

    Now that is an outstanding summary of the possible theme of this drama. Fighting for the right to be happy, I like that. Thank you, Dahee Fanel.

    @3 Bunde

    “TH might forsake Unyun for the sake of his country, as did Kim Yoo Shin in Queen Seonduk. ”

    I think it was the other way around—Deokman/Queen Seonduk forsook Kim Yushin, he did not forsake her.

    This is the episode that made me think Hwang wanted to die, because he knows he is, basically, a rabid dog. He wanted Song Tae Ha to kill him, and we’ll all rue the day he didn’t!

  23. 23 Ladymoonstone143

    Wonderful recap!!! thank you so much…

    This episode is so amazing…so many squells and squeak moment for me..esp the kiss between OJH and LDH….very panoramic view.

    The fighting scenes were a beauty…and JH raw emotions made me cry. Looking forward to Wed and Thurs these past couple of weeks because of Chuno.

  24. 24 pixie

    thank you for a wonderful recap dahee!

    this episode is packed with emotions, but my brain can’t reconcile with how the wounded CW defeated all the soldiers. ah, the power of a writer lol!

    i like the TH/UN pairing but i don’t think UN’s feelings towards TH is that deep yet, but there’s something there. Her love for TH may never equal or surpass DG’s but i think she’ll remain with TH no matter what. if in fact a tragic ending awaits TH, i doubt UN and DG will reunite in the end.

  25. 25 hjkomo

    @ msim
    “He failed numerous times his exams which would have allowed him to make a living and be independent of his father.”

    Even if DG had passed his exams, he would not be independent of his father. He would still be living at his father’s house (this is a Confucian society, after all), and most likely, be forced to marry (someone else – a noble lady) even earlier. ;)

    @ Biscuit
    “While I don’t think Un Nyun has completely given her heart to Tae Ha, I suppose that she feels a sense of responsibility to stick with him and that she has opened her heart to him- to move on from her last love and to love him.

    I think both Samsooki and Dahee are correct
    She has both a sense of responsibility, yet it is not by force, as I do believe she does care about Tae Ha.”

    Well said. :D

  26. 26 Amg1

    In order to understand Un-nyun’s situation we need to remember that up to this point Un-nyun believes that Dae-gil is dead.
    We do not know how many weeks or months Un-nyun and Tae-ha’s have been on the run but I presume that being that close almost 24/7 is bound to crate some type of feelings for each other, is it a full blown romantic love?, Or a love born out of gratitude as in Un-nyun’s part, Or one born out loneliness as Tae-ha’s has lost his former wife, or as Samsooki, has stated one born out of survival and convenience in the part of Un-nyun, I do not think the writers have made that clear, but my guess is that both Samsooki and Dahee_Fanel, are both right at this moment even tough their observations may seem diametrically opposed at the moment!!
    @Dahee_Fanel, Girl I love your writing style lovely all the way around, thank you for such a nice work!!!!!!!!

  27. 27 giddygirl108

    LOVE.the.commentary! Man…this indeed a blogsite to behold with so many talented writers with wonderful, witty, intelligent and moving insights to all of these dramas! Loving it! Love your analysis at the very end of the episode.

    Just loving everything. Love love love love love.

  28. 28 Annie

    i watched ep 15, and all i can say is OMG

  29. 29 kpm1111

    what makes chuno interesting is not just the story, locales, acting, costumes, music and action… but its the meaning of it all and its interpretation. These ep recaps, the discussion in the comments section and the small tidbits of information that are offered, are the MAIN reasons i why started watching this series. i was not even gonna watch it, but on a rather boring afternoon i started reading the recaps and at about the third episode (or the fourt?? where DG loses TH at the river… samsooki’s explanation on using short arrows etc etc), i said to myself “Stop. Download. Watch. Then Get back.”

    I love the way each author has recapped the episode and their interpretations and insights into the meaning of the story. esp todays interpretation of this being an series about slavery and how the character are enslaved by one thing or the other.
    Thanks!

    I really think unnyun accepts the kiss not because she is “in love” with him, but cos she has feelings for him. While i don’t think its out of ‘convenience’ , but adding and agreeing to all that has been said in earlier comments… i’d say its also cos she has come out of her little ‘well’ and seen the bigger world. Its new way of life and is taking a step ahead in trying to get over/away her past. Changes in physical environment does wonders to changing the way we think and feel.
    How many of us haven’t changed our wardrobe/hairstyle or gone for a trip somewhere after a bad breakup/sad event???

    sigh….

    oh btw.. almost every ep ends with a close up of JH face and his stare… doesn’t it remind u of a lion with a majestic mane staring at you through the screen?? aahh such power!!

  30. 30 kpm1111

    @annie
    How did u watch ep 15?? isnt it supposed to air today? still a few hours untill airing time in korea… isnt it?

    or did i get the world clock / schedule wrong??

  31. 31 firewife

    Wonderful recap! I especially enjoyed your comments regarding UN.
    This episode was definitely the best so far in this series. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster ride! From agony to ecstasy to agony and then back again. Jang Hyuk just rocked it! I hope he’s the type of actor that can leave his character on set when he heads home, otherwise I’m worried the guy’s gonna need some serious anti-depressants before it’s all over.

    I’m glad that we’re beginning to see the hidden depths to UN. I haven’t always agreed with the criticism aimed at this character, and LDH.

    I just have to put my two cents in regarding the TH/UN relationship. I do think that UN is falling in love with TH. It’s just not the same intense, passionate, even reckless, love she had for DG. She’s not the same girl she was 10 years ago. Time, life, and circumstances have changed her and the feelings she’s developing for TH are a reflection of those changes. This time around her love is more measured and mature. Will it withstand the test of DG’s reappearance in her life is the big question.

  32. 32 serendipity

    @ firewife

    “Jang Hyuk … I’m worried the guy’s gonna need some serious anti-depressants before it’s all over.”

    Too true! The man and the actor are just being fed through the wringer, repeatedly.

    Ep 14 rocked. Ep 15 starts airing in a few hours! Hang on to your hats (and your hankies), everyone!

  33. 33 dw4p

    wow… what a great recap of a fabulous episode. I got chocked up reading it…

    As for Un Nyun and Song Tae Ha… As many have said, I do think she loves STH and has made a conscious choice to love him, in contrast to the kind of love she had for Dae Gil – one that was probably based on emotional/physical attraction/attachment.

    I’ve had mixed feelings about Un Nyun, seeing her as weaksauce one minute and brave as heck the next. It has bothered me quite a bit but I’m resolved with the fact that this is who she is. Embracing that has made me understand her more, especially in the last couple of episodes.

    And the STH/HCW fight scene gave me Duelist flashbacks! *runs to watch Duelist*

  34. 34 Mei

    Jang Hyuk is the most amazing thing in Chuno. Next to the cinematography, of course.

  35. 35 budsdiana

    WOW!! This blog is full of eloquent people, how amazing is that. It is so healthy to agree to disagree.

    BUT MOST OF ALL THIS DRAMA IS BEING RECAPPED BY SUCH ELOQUENT AND AMAZING (bowing with my hands up) PEOPLE.

    Lets not forget its hosted by the ALPHA RECAPPER , JAVABEANS.

    Thanks a lot you guys (this include the posters).

  36. 36 Sakura

    Dahee_ Fanel,
    Thanks for all the hard work.

    I am only watching Chuno with S2 sub till episode 10.
    About DG, I noticed every time he found out something about Un Nyun then his eyes will have full power of energy that it look kind of prey on his mind that he is going into action (not scary) but put us on alert what is he going to do next to kill or to apprehend because his job is a slave hunter. Could be this reaction was from his trauma experienced from the fire and the sickle and also to keep the slave alive he will get more money from the corrupt patrol policeman and also accept some advance pay from CW’s father- in- law to apprehend STH and had one month grace to finish the job, So we take it STH and Un Nyun are about a month together.

    STH gave his confession to Un Nyun but I am not seeing any acceptance from
    Un Nyun yet. STH make a few moves to Un Nyun but she is passive but from the hug and kissed, I think she accept the physical attraction and his character but as for her heart maybe 50% at the moment look at Un Nyun’s face and eyes, from the panaromic view a blank look – no expression and the eyes is like looking afar maybe trying to get the “late” DG permission that she is now moving on.

    One very big mistake from STH, he didn’t finish off CW so what is CW next move ?. I think Choi and Wangson is kidnapped by CW after badly wounding them, why dragged a dead body unless you have a plan that is to bait choi and and DG. Did wangson wear the protective gear when he decide on his own to apprehend STH ?, I hope so.

    As for DG’s conversation with Choi at the riverbank I think he has decided on something important maybe to leave the place. And the most important is the prayer at Un jung temple that is his turning point or fate comes again
    the secong time round ( from episode 11-14 I watched it raw).

  37. 37 Sakura

    From Sakura,

    As for the prince reaction during the fight
    scene , I think he will be a king sitting on the fence, not powerful.

  38. 38 song4u2

    @31 agreed about her feelings for TH vs DG at this point in her life….the way she caresse the sword and held it….she just could have kept on going, but she knew what it meant for him to leave it behind and she is making the decision to stay by its [TH] side. good girl…..

    i hope they make it but me thinks they will end up sorrowful because of HW [i had not really considered her death until now] where she tries to save TH from a knife or bullet and dies…

  39. 39 Chuck

    I think HCW’s theme song should be, appropriately, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, by Blue Oyster Cult.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ycOp67eLoM

  40. 40 song4u2

    Oh, and i’m really hating the sob father-in-law about now…sheez.

    why keep poisoning all those slaves with the wine as though the table is too good for them …bad man…very bad man. he’ll be an albatrose around this series neck until the end….ugh!

  41. 41 Alan Lugh

    Okay… So…

    I believe it’s the first time I’m actually posting a comment.

    Therefore : Thanks a lot Javabeans for everything this blog brought me (mainly gossips, recaps and news ’bout dramas, but that’s not the point) and Dahee for the recaps of this specific drama.

    Anywho, since a few episode, I keep wondering :

    Am I the only one who believes that drama is great, but that the main character -Dae-gil- should just *not* be the main character ?

    Let me explain that more thoroughly. Every time we have to watch what is happening to him, it is cliché/boring/annoying (“I mean, come on ! We know you like Un-nyun, we know her brother betrayed you, enough already ! Your life should not only revolve around those two things. We got it at the first flashback, it’s just not interesting anymore”). He is just shallow ! Any other character is more interesting for the moment.

    It came to the point where I actually enjoy more the young Prince than Dae-gil, and God knows that kid’s only a prop (well yeah, he still didn’t utter a word in a few episode…)

    Would really the Drama become worse if Dae-gil was a support character behind the rest of the cast ?

    Thank you,
    Alan Lugh

    NB : I don’t say that the actor is bad, right ? He’s doing just fine. However I find the character simply annoying and was wondering if it was me or if it was really the case… *ponders*

  42. 42 song4u2

    well, i think his character is as much a slave as those he chases/captures although he has not acknowledged it yet. i sway betw his character being a vile pos, and human thru short glimpses of his humanity s.e.e.p.i.n.g thru with single instances of grace bestowed upon others, which i hate becz i want to dislike DG soooooo much, but i digress.

    back to your quandry…hmmmm. i think he is/should be the main character being this particular drama is about /slave hunters/ and he is definitely trained and hardened for the job. i hope they get into the hunters become *h[a]unted* by their past misdeeds and misgivings….perhaps that is why none of them have settled down to a “normal” life….guilty feelings are being covered up with all kinds of hot messes and colateral damage strewn along their paths…..their lives are a messy as they are….

    whereas, TH/HW are cleaning up together [before it was just her, now it's him too]….nice.

  43. 43 Mathew Kraft

    Thanks for the recap Dahee_Fanel,

    Don’t think they have time to take anti depressant, they are workaholic and funny .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk4EyJCR_wk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-KOl0y_6yE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgRBtey2w1Y

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxg4vk0MgVY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO4kfWaM6uQ

  44. 44 cathy

    Excellent comments , through your well-analysed comments i can understand
    women position at that time , under influences of stupid Confucius philosophy ,
    thanks again .I always like HW/UN ending up with STH , my favorite character .

  45. 45 lenrasoon

    wow awesome recaps Dahee_ Fanel!! Thank you :)
    i don’t comment much on Chuno recaps but i really like what you wrote about UN and TH, i think she started loving him from this point on and not just because she have no choice (since Un Nyun tried to part ways with Tae Ha many times before) but imo i think Tae Ha gives her the same hope [to change the world] she felt in the past with Dae Gil and that is leading her to love him.

  46. 46 LadyIgraine

    “Too much love can make a person crazy.” And that will eventually happen to Daegil…

  47. 47 ellen

    Thank you for this enjoyable recap. LOL I was puzzled that Baek Ho became UY bro. LOL
    I believe that HW & TH have gradually fallen in love as they travel along. As they get to know each other more they also begin to trust each other. HW didn’t want to be a burden so she tried to separate herself from TH who’d rather have her beside him to protect. They’ve touching & gazing at each other quietly conveying passion without words.
    I think that she still has DG in her heart but TH is the one with her now who seems to really care for her. But wait till she sees DG!

    HW lovingly caresses TH precious sword which he left behind for her as a sign he’ll be back…its a sign of promise & trust between them. Could it also signify that HW will also embrace TH’s mission to fight for a new world that she passionately long for.
    LOL I was also imagining something else as HW adoringly caresses TH’s precious sword.

  48. 48 deeta

    Phallic Symbol FTW! LOL, I laughed so hard when I read that.

  49. 49 margie.k

    Your recaps are hilarious!
    thank you~

  50. 50 Yuri

    I love you, Dramabeans. :D I check this site like, everyday.

    Nice recap and interesting comments here. First time I’ve seen LDH’s character from a positive view. I’d just like to add, though..

    WTF IS UP WITH THE KID? Get a better child artist, gosh. People are dying infront of you and are swinging blades towards you that might just slice you in hald right away before you could go “mama”. What kind of a toddler just stands there, blinking throughout the horrifying scene!? Normal children would just cry or run away, or /something/. The kid pissed me off more than the random kiss.

    Yes, I felt like I had to say that.

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