Drama Recaps
Chuno: Episode 11
by | February 26, 2010 | 61 Comments


No, no, noooooooo! The ink on the Episode 7 recap (where we saw Un-Nyun dropping her beloved Choco) is barely dry when Un-Nyun has moved onto stroking Jagger, the zhanmadao saber favored by Song Tae-Ha. Well, that answers the question of how long “true love” lasts these days in epic sa-geuks – ohhhh, about 3 episodes. Grrr. Apparently, Choco is something that Koreans call 찬밥 (chan-bap) or, cold leftover rice. Hey, Un-Nyun! 찬밥 is food too! I write the rest of this recap under OTP protest. Still, if there was a doubt as to the awesome-sauce that is Chuno, then Episode 10 put it to rest. An absolutely BRILLIANT episode, recapped wonderfully by Dahee. So many powerful scenes, tour de force acting.


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We start Episode 11 with a drunk Dae-Gil babbling on about how he has the reputation of being the very worst man in all of Korea to Seol-Hwa, who tries to humor him despite her own issues. Seol-Hwa has already told Dae-Gil that she likes him, and Dae-Gil has pretty much ignored this confession as he stares into the abyss of unrequited love. Seol-Hwa has got nothing but mixed feelings about all of this end-of-the world “Un-Nyun is married to Song Tae-Ha” kind of sob story. Dae-Gil is both a sad drunk and a mean drunk, lashing out rather loudly at Seol-Hwa for urging him to forget Un-Nyun. Seol-Hwa then tells Dae-Gil to cry, to let it all out, but Dae-Gil can’t do that, and especially not in front of a woman. But Seol-Hwa, true to form, isn’t one to let Dae-Gil have the last word in anything.


Seol-Hwa: Do you think that I’ve never held back my tears before? But holding yourself out to be defiant doesn’t help either.
Dae-Gil: …
Seol-Hwa: A mountain… the higher you climb the steeper it gets. And water, the further you wade in, the deeper it gets. That’s just life what is.


It is a rather bleak attitude to take, one that turns a person to mush, because what difference does it make whether one tries hard or not at all? Despite Seol-Hwa’s worldly knowledge, it appears that all of her wisdom comes from negative history, and that has colored her perspective on things. Dae-Gil collapses in a drunken stupor with Seol-Hwa looking on.

Seol Hwa drags Dae-Gil under the covers and is about to let him sleep off his drunken stupor, but Dae-Gil grabs her and holds on tight, just not wanting to feel so alone. Seol-Hwa struggles to free herself initially, but as she hears the depair in Dae-Gil’s voice, she stops trying to free herself and takes Dae-Gil’s hand. As smart as Seol-Hwa is, she knows that all she is at this point is a talking electric blanket. And even as Dae-Gil hugs Seol-Hwa tight in his arms, Seol-Hwa knows that this mysterious Un-Nyun woman is closer still to Dae-Gil’s heart.


In a humble barn miles and miles away, where Hye-Won, Song Tae-Ha, his lieutenant Kwok Han-Seom, and the last surviving son of the late Crown Prince are spending the night. They have made it back from Jeju Island, and are on their way to meet more of Song Tae-Ha’s men, activated by the same secret messages that were sent by the late Left State Minister Im. Hye-Won (known as Un-Nyun to Dae-Gil, but Tae-Ha only knows her as Hye-Won) has taken over caring for the toddler son of the late Crown Prince.


Kwok Han-Seom stands guard outside the makeshift royal chamber, on his knees. Sort of like how any US Air Force plane that carries the U.S. President is known as “Air Force One,” even a barn becomes a royal chamber if a crown prince is sleeping inside, and so Kwok won’t stand guard on his feet.


More than just maintaining proper discipline though, it is obvious from the look on Kwok’s face that there isn’t enough penance that he can do to make up for living while the body of the woman he loved lies cold and unburied in some grassy field while he fled, and there isn’t enough penance that he can do to make up for living as a free man while his comrades-in-arms and his superior officer became forever branded as slaves. Without Kwok focus on maintaining discipline, there’s no doubt that he would have fallen apart.

Tae-Ha recognizes that Kwok bears a special burden, but not the extent of it. Yet, who can say whether Kwok’s burden is any heavier than the one that Tae-Ha has had to bear? Being branded forever as an honorless no-bi, everywhere his picture is being reproduced and shown to people as a kill or capture on sight runaway slave, and worst of all, failing to protect his master, the late Crown Prince, and failing to stop the conspiracy that claimed the lives of two of the late Crown Prince’s young sons.


Tae-Ha enters the inner “room” of the barn, and makes his case to Hye-Won, promising never to leave her. He takes her hand and Hye-Won can see the earnestness in Tae-Ha. Still, rather than responding in-kind, Hye-Won’s playfulness begins to appear. She gently chastises Tae-Ha for his lack of romantic ability and takes back her hand from a befuddled Tae-Ha. Hye-Won smiles briefly to herself, and finally we are starting to see the alluring woman that made Dae-Gil search with single-minded devotion for 10 years all over Korea. But if this is the start of a romantic journey between Hye-Won and Tae-Ha, I am unable to send blessings to this ill-fated couple.


Back in Han-Yang (Korea’s capital city, to be known as Seoul a few hundred years later), it is another late night for the yang-ban (noble) revelers in the brothel club. Minister Lee’s favored gi-saeng, Chan, is enticing some nobles to stay a bit longer when suddenly a shot rings out and one of the nobles falls to the ground, shot in the head!


Chan screams in horror. Then another shot, and a second noble is shot and killed. Eop Bok has sniped two more in the moonlight from across the way. Now he has to get away! With constables running this way and that way, Eop Bok rushes to find his hiding place.


Eop Bok makes it over to his accomplice Cho-Bok, who helps hide the smoking gun. Eop Bok looks at Cho-Bok with eyes of wonderment, in awe at her intelligence and her internal fortitude. But there is also a hesitation in Eop Bok as well – might it be because Eop Bok is now a murderer and every time he kills another human being, he is that much further away from a being who can love and be loved? Or could it be that Eop Bok wonders whether he could ever grow to love a woman like Cho-Bok, who is as cold-blooded as they come when it’s time to kill?


The next morning, in an entirely different world than the one occupied by Eop Bok and Cho-Bok, the Left State Minister Lee Gyeong Shik is having a breakfast meeting the gi-saeng, Chan. Chan informs Minister Lee that the two yang-ban nobles who were shot and killed were none other than the subordinates of the Vice Minister who is Minister Lee’s right-hand man.


Some facts are dropped by the wily Chan: that makes three nobles murdered by gun, and all three nobles are connected to Minister Lee and his attempts to corner the water buffalo horn market. Minister Lee, the second highest ranking noble in all of Korea other than the Royal Family, is stunned by this ominous development – somebody is trying to block Minister Lee’s grab for more power.

(Note: I’m not sure what’s going on. After the first assassination, I thought Minister Lee was the mastermind. But it seems that Minister Lee has no clue. And so that leaves the Vice-Minister and Chan (since only those 3 knew abouit the 1,000 nyang draft note), but Chan appeared genuinely shocked at the deaths in front of her. And why would Vice-Minister Park shoot his own guys, using a slave marksman to do it? That leaves… nobody. I guess Chan is only pretending, but if so, I have no idea why.)

Which one is the mastermind behind the assassinations?

Morning comes in the early winter snow, and Tae-Ha, Han-Seom, Hye-Won and the baby Prince are on the move. Hye-Won seems to have fully embraced this “Save the Prince, Save the World” operation, and she advises Han-Seom to let her hold baby Prince to her and to stop calling Tae-Ha “General,” as it attracts attention that they don’t need. Han-Seom is bemused at taking orders from… who is this person again? But Tae-Ha sees the wisdom in Hye-Won’s words.


Dae-Gil and Seol-Hwa are also on the move. Dae-Gil has gotten over his rough night rather remarkably, given the incredibly tragic occurrences and revelations of the day before. Seol-Hwa wants to eat, but Dae-Gil is fairly driven for a guy who keeps finding new reasons to be even sadder than he was the day before. The pestering of Seol-Hwa though, leads him to reminisce about how he came to partner up with Choi and Wang-Son.


Five or six years ago, Wang-Son was but a common thief making his living by pick-pocketing. His “mark” on that fateful day was Choi, a hopeful military applicant studying to take military service exam. Wang-Son grabs Choi’s money bag by bumping into Choi (seems to be about 100 nyang) and is off to find ways to spend it.


Of course, Wang-Son’s crowing about “found” wealth only attracts bigger fish, and Dae-Gil is one such bigger fish. Dae-Gil pulls his “let me see some Ho-Pae / ID” scam, but Wang-Son isn’t an idiot and knows full well that he’s being shaken down by Dae-Gil.


Wang-Son throws snow in Dae-Gil’s face and makes a break for it. Dae-Gil sighs but gives chase. Parkour skills abound as both Wang-Son and Dae-Gil exhibit some pretty nifty free-running skills through the narrow alleys and up and over buildings.


At the end of the chase, Wang-Son finally ends up…


… in front of a very mad Choi, who strips off his gear and gives Wang-Son an ass-whupping.


But as Choi gets back his money bag, Dae-Gil appears and takes it away, thinking that Choi was taking from Wang-Son what Dae-Gil rightfully tried to steal first. Hehe! It’s a three-way fight in the snow! Actually, it’s more of a two-way fight, with Wang-Son just getting pummeled every time he tries to escape with the money bag.


Dae-Gil has got the martial skills to keep this fight going a long time, and bargains for half of the money bag. Choi is incensed, since it really is his money and he needs it for his military examination application fee, but Dae-Gil responds that he has “worked” for it as well. Choi the Pragmatist gives in and gives Dae-Gil half. Dae-Gil isn’t quite finished though, and offers both street wisdom and opportunity to Choi – would he want to partner up with Dae-Gil? Choi isn’t quite ready to take on the life of Dae-Gil, who exhibits extraordinary martial skills for a guy who just goes around and beats up people for money. Dae-Gil calls out to Choi though, with one last offer:


Dae-Gil: Oy! Virtuous Man! If you get the desire later, come down to Dong-Dae-Moon in Han-Yang. I’ll even refer to you as General-nim.

Aha! So Choi isn’t a real General after all… and you can really see Chun Ji-Ho’s influence over Dae-Gil of 5 or 6 years ago, who even has Chun Ji-Ho’s sneer. Even if Choi will take further convincing, the street smart Wang-Son knows a good thing when he sees it. Wang-Son immediately refers to Dae-Gil as “unni” and Dae-Gil takes him under his wing.

Back to the present, Seol-Hwa is happy now, exclaiming that she knew all along that Wang-Son was a “bad guy” from the start. Dae-Gil has a slightly different perspective, asking why Wang-Son is a “bad guy,” when all he did was turn his back on the law.

Dae-Gil: Are all laws worthy of being respected?
Seol-Hwa: Of course! If you break the law, you’re a bad guy!


Not that we are talking about legal nullification, but Dae-Gil brings up an important point here. In this world of slavery co-existing with Neo-Confucian ideals of virtue, Good and Evil don’t really have meaning. In this world, maintenance of relationship integrity (Ruler to Ruled, Father to Son, Husband to Wife, Elder Brother to Younger Brother, Friend to Friend) is the highest virtue. Dae-Gil’s slightly twisted perspective is that some laws that don’t necessarily feed into one’s focus of maintaining certain relationships, and so not following those laws might not matter so much on the grand scheme of things.

Putting such perspective into practice is Wang-Son, who longs to create some relationship integrity with a lonely rich ahjumma. Sick of staying in taverns and hostels, Wang-Son instructs Choi on the art of seduction. They find a rich house where the Lord is away on business with all the men, leaving only women inside. Choi gets half-naked to play his part and Wang-Son goes all astrological to entice the Lady of the house.


Much like with the big and little jumo’s back in Han-Yang, Choi is an instant hit after revealing his sculpted body by chopping wood. Hehe! And Wang-Son, well, he gets what he is looking for.


Of course, it doesn’t last, however, as the Lord of the House returns and Wang-Son and Choi must make an early exit!


Back to Dae-Gil and Seol-Hwa, the latter of which is hungry and a little annoyed that Dae-Gil’s plan is to walk along until they meet up with Choi and Wang-Son. What kind of a plan is that? Of course, it turns out to be a great plan since Choi and Wang-Son are headed right toward them and they meet in a really happy reunion.

Seol-Hwa: Oh?! Orabeoni’s!
Wang-Son: Oh?! Unni!

Seol-Hwa is overjoyed and runs over to an equally happy Wang-Son and Choi. The cool Dae-Gil merely smirks, but he has got to be happy after the last few days. They converge on the screen. Dae-Gil is the leader, and he speaks first.


Dae-Gil: You guys free of trouble?
Choi (beaming): Free as ever.
Dae-Gil: What about you?
Wang-Son (gesturing): What is life, anyway? Last night we had bit of excitement! Haha!
Dae-Gil: With this guy, what else but that you guys went to some lady’s house and caused an incident!
Seol-Hwa (interjecting): Orabeoni’s, didn’t you guys miss me?
Wang-Son (joking): No.
Choi (very oppa-ly): Did you take care of yourself in a discrete manner this time around?
Seol-Hwa: Naturally!! In this whole world who is better at being discrete than me?!
Wang-Son: Aigoo, is that right?
Seol-Hwa: That’s right!


Oh, what a fun scene! Chuno takes a break from all the heaviness and lightens the mood considerable with this mid-series reunion. This is about as close to a nuclear family as you can get, for four odd-balls like them; Seol-Hwa is now part of the Dae-Gil family!

Choi passes to Dae-Gil the secret note that was found at Minister Im’s home. Dae-Gil reads it outloud:

Dae-Gil: “For a man whose path couldn’t be opened, his poor ability lies dormant.
Choi: It seems to be some kind of code that only they can interpret…
Dae-Gil: “his poor ability lies dormant”… Wah-Bool…


That’s some fancy detective work, Dae-Gil! From that simple statement, Dae-Gil has interpreted “dormant” to mean “sleeping,” and “sleeping” to then mean “Wah-Bool.” By the by, Wah-Bool is a gigantic stone sculpture of a Buddhist who is portrayed lying down as if sleeping. The famous Sleeping Buddha statue… which appears in only one place in Korea: Un-Joo Buddhist Temple! It is a stretch and a half, but this is a drama series, and I am willing to suspend disbelief for Encyclopedia Lee.

Dae-Gil starts calculating time and distance, and knows that they are 2 days away on foot – a day and a half at best if they hurry. Still, that’s about 30 miles away! For whatever reason, Dae-Gil understands that even taking a full day would be too late to catch up. Dae-Gil has that look in his eyes, and Choi grabs him to stop him before Dae-Gil does something dangerously stupid. But Dae-Gil smacks Choi in the solar plexus and takes off running back towards an Army Guard post where he saw horses. Dae-Gil immediately takes on ten soldiers at once and beats them all without a weapon! More fantastic Matrix-like fight scenes, complete with musical score.


Dae-Gil then grabs a horse and he is off! Choi, Wang-Son and Seol-Hwa run after Dae-Gil, reach the soldiers lying on the ground. Wang-Son and Choi cannot believe the risks that Dae-Gil is taking now, and think that he’s gone crazy until Seol-Hwa lets them know that they found out Un-Nyun got married, and her newly-wed husband is some guy called Song Tae-Ha… Wang-Son and Choi look at each other and immediately grab the remaining horses and follow after Dae-Gil.

And 30 miles away, at Wah-Bool, the giant Sleeping Buddha statue at Un-Joo Temple, Song Tae-Ha and company have indeed arrived and are waiting for Song Tae-Ha’s men to arrive. And sure enough, they come. (Again, you really have to suspend disbelief that Song Tae-Ha, with toddler Prince and helpless Hye-Won in tow, coming all the way from Jeju Island, would arrive on foot at Un-Joo Temple within hours of Tae-Ha’s men, also arriving by foot).


It is a happy reunion for Kwok Han-Seom, who is finally reunited with his brothers-in-arms, but also emotional, as they reveal their no-bi tattoos on their faces just like Tae-Ha. Every one of them has given up his life for the sake of the little boy Prince who is in Hye-Won’s arms. Tae-Ha, even knowing what they are now, is still stunned to actually see his fellow soldiers disfigured for life, with huge no-bi tattoos on their foreheads. The shame alone would have made them kill themselves, if not for the higher purpose that they took oaths to keep.


Less than 10 miles away now, Dae-Gil and his band get off their horses and discard them. It would do no good to get this far and get caught riding stolen military horses.

And after trail-running for miles, Dae-Gil, Choi and Wang-Son finally arrive at the base of Un-Joo mountain where the temple is set at the top. They set their compasses and their plans of attack. They will approach Un-Joo Temple from three directions to maximize their chances of finding Song Tae-Ha and Un-Nyun.


At that moment, Tae-Ha and his men now give formal greetings to the toddler Prince. For Song Tae-Ha and his men, this is their sole raison d’être. This is why they did not continue to deny being thieves, and this is why they did not willingly go to their deaths to avoid the stain of dishonor. This toddler Prince is the reason they accepted sub-human living, and with that understanding, they bow to their Prince.


And now, maybe minutes away, Dae-Gil is running at full speed, his head full of memories of his love, and yet he pulls out his dagger…



For good and for bad, Chuno has sucked me in good now. After an absolultely brilliant Episode 10, this episode is the set-up for some pretty angsty moments to follow, I’m sure.

Un-Nyun has become Hye-Won, and has taken up the cause of living for something other than just trying not to be a slave. And with that, she has come to appreciate and admire and love Song Tae-Ha.  No, I won’t say it’s love, but certainly Hye-Won has got no better options and with slave hunters and assassins out to kill or capture her, she really doesn’t have much of a choice right now. She is opening her eyes to the possibility of a life post Dae-Gil, and with that life, comes the hope for happiness with another man.

Of course, Dae-Gil isn’t dead, and is about 10 mins away, running hard for them!


61 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. lsk4020

    I wonder how many more times they’re going to end episodes with Dae Gil running with a fierce look in his eyes…

  2. snow

    thanks for the lovely recap, samsooki! the reunion scene was great, love these gem moments where the camaraderie among the slave-hunters and now seolhwa comes out in full force.

    and i really felt for daegil and seolhwa in the drunken stupor scenes. they’re both feeling so awful… need a giant hug!

  3. goldenlotus

    I’m sooooo sucked into this drama too! I keep recapping with you even after watching the episode already. I can’t wait to read your future caps.

  4. Jill4675

    Another nice recap! Thanks… 🙂

  5. Lenrasoon

    Thanks for the recap! i’m loving Chuno and i think episode 11 was great *episode 10 was my favorite though*

    “But if this is the start of a romantic journey between Hye-Won and Tae-Ha, I am unable to send blessings to this ill-fated couple.”

    Lol why so mean samsooki? i love Tae Ha and Un-Nyun ship and I’m worried that Dae Gil and UN meeting will not be pleasant as people are expecting to be.

  6. langdon813

    This was such a great episode! After all the heart-stabbing events in Ep 10; Ep 11 was still plenty angsty, but also had lots of action, camaraderie, hilarious scenes and fun flashbacks. It was nice to be able to get through an hour without crying my eyes out or screaming out in fear. Great recap, samsooki! Love the song choice! 😀

    Stay strong, you’ve got a doozy of an episode when it’s your turn to recap again. FIGHTING!!

  7. mimi

    Great recap but I’m at the other end, sorry to say. My interest in this drama waned with the icky lovey dovey scenes between TaeHa and UnNyun. Although she had no idea that DaeGil was still alive, I see her character as being this unfaithful, spineless filler character. I see her as unfaithful compared to DaeGil and his 10 yr quest to find her. “Not fair”, some may say. Well, this is a place for opinions so I am including mine.
    The writers could have done so much better w/ DaeGil’s character… Sigh. He should be the hero, not TaeHa. But there’s still time!…

    Last, I really don’t like how the writers are handling the disability of Chul-Woong’s wife. Movies and dramas don’t only have to show grim realities: Chul Woong and others being cruel to a defenseless woman. In the harsh reality of what people with disabilities go through, they can be more responsible in using their tools and skills to bring about social good. Take Shining Inheritance (kdrama) or Hollywood hits as Rainman and I Am Sam, for instance. They didn’t just leave it at the cruelty and taunts but there was always someone who showed sympathy and conveyed the message that people with disabilities matter. As someone w/ a family member with special needs, I really feel this drama hasn’t thought out this issue carefully. For now at least – up to ep.16- this issue seems to have just been thrown into the script.

  8. ltahk

    I’m not sure it’s love for Hye-Won either, but I’m rooting for Hye-Won/Tae-Ha. Overall seems to be a much more mature relationship. The whole Dae-Gil/Un-yon angle was too tragic and melo for me to really believe in it. They were young, he treated her like a person and gave the poor (literally) girl the equivalent of Louboutin’s. What’s not for her to like? Then he dies (so she thinks) in a terrible way indirectly related to her, and of course she’s going to hold on to her emotions/guilt. I’m not going to argue that the relationship with Tae-Ha is “realistic” – we’re in kdrama land. I will say that both have had some serious hard knocks in life and yet they’re choosing to make a human connection. I sorta see them coming together as an affirmation that life doesn’t have to be all slavery, degradation and conspiracy.

    ….and ok, ackward accent and all, I heart Oh Ji Ho. He’s so much more manly to me. (keekee)

    Last thought – I like how distinct each of the women characters are and that it’s becoming apparent that their roles are just as important as the men.

  9. Sere

    Thanks for the recap 🙂

    I’m more and more sure it’s Chan the mastermind behind the murders and the slave revolt. I still don’t know why she’s doing it, but I’m fairly sure it’s her. And did she seem that surprised to you when the 2 men were murdered? She screamed for the sudden sound, but that’s it. Everything else can be faked imho.

    Seol-Hwa is now part of the Dae-Gil family!
    Loved that scene. Of course DG would act all tough. ^^

    As for the pairings, guys, am I the only one who, as the drama progresses, keeps rooting more and more for Dae-gil/Seol-hwa and Tae-ha/UN? Because I’m starting to get worried. If the writer and PD imagined DG/SH and TH/UN as the canon pairings, I’m good, but if they’re not, the OTP is DG/UN and I’m supposed to switch teams at some point, then they should hurry up because we’re halfway through the drama and IDK if I can change my mind. I mean, usually, I like the wrong pairings for a few eps and start liking the OTP pretty early on and this is not happening with Chuno, provided that DG&UN is really the intended OTP, that is. And Samsooki, yes, yes, I still have faith in my favorite pairings. It’s the writer and PD I don’t trust much 😉

  10. 10 serendipity

    Nice recap, S!

    I think that by the end of the series Jang Hyuk will have sole moral right (if not solid intellectual property rights) to the “run towards camera with eyes on fire, dagger in hand and soul aflame” look. I *ought* to be sighing and rolling my eyes the nth time it happens — but instead I’m just lapping it all up! I don’t think I would be half as invested in Chuno as I am if not for Jang Hyuk. I mean, I’d still watch – it’s beautifully shot and all. But it’s Jang Hyuk who makes me feel for it. Imagine if they had cast OJH as DG – shudder…

    • 10.1 Gasenadi

      Exactly! And “shudder” is right!

  11. 11 hjkomo

    Another great recap – thanks, Samsooki! 😀

    LOL at your OTP Protest! For once, I am enjoying your 고집 (stubbornness). 😉
    DG/UN OTP, FTW!!! 😀

    Love The Cure and especially the ending caps.

    I agree with Serendipity about DG’s sole right to “run towards camera with eyes on fire, dagger in hand and soul aflame”…
    and DG will keep “finding new reasons to be even sadder than he was the day before.” 🙁

    @ mimi

    Although it would be nice for this drama to have the message that people with disabilities matter…given this drama’s cultural/historical context, I don’t think that idea would be at all “realistic” for the time. In Confucianism, it would be Sun Young’s fault that she was born with a disability, and she would be considered the worst of unfilial children. Actually, if you think about it…the fact that her father loves her (to whatever extent LGS is actually capable of that emotion) shows that there is great compassion for her situation. It would not be uncommon or considered cruel (during that time) for her parents to have abandoned her or left her to die. 🙁

  12. 12 Biscuit

    “I see her as unfaithful compared to DaeGil and his 10 yr quest to find her.”

    No, realistic people should move on after 10 years. That statement above is like saying that a person who is torn from their lover 10 years ago can’t move on. Un-Nyun has no clue that DG is alive or that he has been searching for her. 10 years have passed… let go, breathe in, and move on. That’s how life goes.

    I don’t see DaeGil truly in love with Un-Nyun, but as an obsession. Did he really care for slaves in general? Or did he merely say big words of changing the future just because he was in love with a slave?

    The woman Dae Gil is in love with is the girl from 10 years ago. For TEN YEARS (seriously… >.>) he put out posters of the Un-Nyun that he knew ten years ago, yet time passed and she grew older. Did he possible think she should stay single and live her life unmarried for a man she thought dead? Selfish jerk.. and now he wants to kill her!?

    Goodness, I liked this episode but some people got some issues to deal with.

    With all these sageuk medical dramas, I wonder if they had professional psychiatrists because these people need it.

    @Mimi: In the Joseon Era, people didn’t always have enough knowledge in the area of people with disabilities, so in their eyes, it’s strange and weird. It’s sad to watch, but it’s a realistic portrayal. This isn’t taking place in modern day, but in Joseon Era. Again, it’s hard to watch, but you have understand the drama from the view point of the people who lived in that era. And in their perspective, she’s just abnormal and not all people understand why she was born like that.

  13. 13 mimi

    @Biscuit wrote re: disbilities: “And in their perspective, she’s just abnormal and not all people understand why she was born like that.” —-

    It’s the same today. You don’t have to understand why one is born w/ disabilities to have compassion on someone w/ special needs. To say that people were more cruel during a certain time period of Korea’s history is outrageous and an excuse. People are just as and can be just as cruel today… ONLY there are laws in place to prevent an all-out mayhem. We may be more modern and civil but the human heart remains the same.
    My point was not to debate if folks were more cruel then than in present time, etc. My point was that when you’re in a position to influence people, and in this case to influence viewers through screen media, you’ll have to decide what you’ll do with social obligation. You can direct a film that shows injustice towards the disabled that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and stop there, or go a step farther to stir something in viewers.
    I have seen up to ep 16 and have not seen one character who will step forward and stand up for Chul-Woong’s wife. It’s just getting worse by the episode. All we need is one person, a slave or a child even, to show compassion to her on the screen and a big message is sent to the world.

  14. 14 Ladymoonstone143

    Thanks for the recap…I am enjoying Chuno so much and looking forward to reading the recaps because there are so many things I missed even with the sub titles or when I watched it on raw and have no idea what happened. All I can do is wait patiently for the subs and just so my squeal and squeeks…lol

    That is why I love to read the recaps…give me more insight. Thanks again….

  15. 15 angryparsnip

    Wow ! as always great recap !
    Thanks, samsooki !
    Thanks Javebeans for a wonderful site.

    I love almost everything about this drama but what ruins it for me is the “pretty princess” hye won. the actress who plays her has about 2 expressions and every time she is in a scene I kinda blank. I know I am in the minority but vapid comes to mind.
    but. . .
    other than her I really enjoying this drama.

    Love the “Dae Gil family” of slave hunters !

  16. 16 daisytwenties

    Stopped watching after episode 10 and not because i didn’t like it but because I’m busy.

    However, i question their continuous use of the whole OMG-will-daegil-and-unnyun-finally-meet?!?! I just feel like I’m going to be fooled again -_-

  17. 17 Sakura

    Hello Samsooki,

    THANK YOU for the great recap and the song – Pictures of You.
    “Remembering how you used to be…….My pictures of you.”
    very apppropriate for epi. 11.

    Dae gil is a scholar and his GEOGRAPHY of the country is fantastic. If you remember all the previous episodes with the map and the “Compass” he knows where to pin-point STH route. He is a brilliant scholar, younger days – reading his study notes like chanting a MANTRA. and now the handrawn “Pic” took over Choco’s place.

    I like the reminisce scene to let us know a little more about the trio amigos! and I like the joke about the kuku sound !! even when they are going to embarked on a dangerous mission. I know for one thing that keep Dae gil sane is General Choi always parting his knowledge and wisdom thinking to him, yeah big brother !.

    Hye Won’s character has developed more and her focus and enthusiasm towards the Prince is wanting to be part of this big plan of STH.

    Samsooki ! , please explain what is written on the prince hood? That create more suspicion then a man carrying the baby ?
    I guess the hood must be on to proof the prince is alive and also not mixed-up with other toddlers.

    I have decided for the OTP. No matter what the scriptwriter has already written for Chuno, and all the happiness and sadness scenes that was shown to us viewers till epi.16 (for me epi. 12 to16 without subs) , I unanimously conclude Lee Dae Gil and Un Nyun/ Hye Won as OTP regardlesS of how things end.

    And one more thing, bash me if you like but Oh Ji Ho is 15 steps behind Jang Hyuk.

    Beaksang 2010 – CHUNO team.

  18. 18 Biscuit


    “To say that people were more cruel during a certain time period of Korea’s history is outrageous and an excuse.”

    No, it is not.

    I’m sure there were compassionate people out there, but you’re just not understanding that people from Joseon Era had a different perspective on this issue. As hjkomo explained, it might not have been “cruel” in their eyes.

    “We may be more modern and civil but the human heart remains the same.”

    And knowledge? With knowledge, there comes responsibility. Humans today have knowledge on this topic, and so there is more responsibility on the decisions we make. Because we have knowledge, we can tell right from wrong.

    What about those in Joseon Era? They DID NOT view the disabled ones with the view point that you have. They DID NOT look at it from the perspective as being “cruel”. They DID NOT have the knowledge of what causes such abnormalities, birth defects, or why this human was born this way. This isn’t common as it is today, and people were just born thinking that anything un-normal is some freakish creature. “Why is this human like this? What caused this? Is this normal?”

    Those into spiritism could have probably imagined something like a spirit demon or an evil spirit took over, or perhaps the mother did some bad thing in her past.

    “You can direct a film that shows injustice towards the disabled that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and stop there, or go a step farther to stir something in viewers.”

    So ignore realism just to please viewers? It may be painful to watch, but it’s realistic.
    The man in charge is portraying the realistic social circumstances of disabled ones, and it might not be friendly to the eye, but that’s just the way it is. He has no reason to change that. It’s not exactly like he’s trying to insult disabled ones, but if the man chooses to go on the realistic path, that is not wrong either.

  19. 19 Sakura

    @ Samsooki,
    Suggestion : POCO – Colored picture or POKO colored portrait .

  20. 20 Sakura

    Excited, typing error – PICO OR POKO HA HA!

  21. 21 firewife

    Samsooki – Thanks for the recap! I feel the same as you do, for good or bad Chuno has definitely sucked me in too!

    After the beating my heart took with episode 10, it almost felt like ep.11 gave me a little bit of a breather. Not to say that there weren’t any touching, heart-warming, or heart-pounding moments, there were, but they were manageable. 🙂

    As for the OTP discussion, I think I know who the OTP is supposed to be, (UN & DG), but I’m not sure yet if they’re the couple I’m rooting for. I keep switching teams which is not like me. I’m not usually this fickle, but instead of it frustrating me, I LOVE it! For the first time in my Kdrama watching history I find the love triangle really compelling. I think there are valid reasons for supporting both the UN/DG couple and the HW/TH couple, and just as valid reasons for not supporting either couple. Although sometimes I think I can’t get solidly behind any couple because, pessimistically, all I see is more tragedy on the horizon with no one getting a happily-ever-after. If I don’t expect too much it won’t hurt so bad, right? 🙁 jk!

  22. 22 DramaPrincess

    sorry but i’m slowly…getting…bored with the episodes in Chuno…

  23. 23 serendipity

    @ firewife

    Oh, totally. I so feel that arguing about who should go with whom is pretty futile, the direction this drama is taking, i.e., tragedy of operatic proportions. 🙁

  24. 24 min shariff

    Thanks for the recaps. I’m watching ep 11 w/o subs and it really helps. I have always been a fan of Jang Hyuck but in this drama I would love to see HW ends up with Song Tae Ha.

    I don’t think that HW is being unfaithful but a long time had passed and she didn’t know that the love of her life is still alive and searching for her. Thrown together with someone like Song Tae Ha it is hard not to fall for him. So, I really hope that both men will live at the end of this drama but HW and TH will remain together.

  25. 25 mimi

    @18 Biscuit
    I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m conveying. If you reread my initial post I think it’s pretty clear. I’m not saying ignore the realism… Just go a step farther. Does one create a movie just for the sake of it or does s/he somehow make a difference in the way we see things?

    I just don’t get the impression from watching this drama that the director or writer cares about the disabled. Again, I am speaking as someone who has family members w/ special needs. It just seems like it was added into the story for a twist. It’s factual reporting versus stirring hearts for change. I’m hoping the direction will change since we have several more episodes to go.

  26. 26 firewife

    @ 25 mimi
    I think I understand what you’re saying and I can certainly see where you’re coming from since this is an issue that hits close to home for you. I do think the director is trying to stir our hearts, and make us think about how the disabled are treated, but rather than using a third party to do this he is using the character herself. By this I mean that he is showing us the contrast between her outward appearance and her inward thoughts and feelings, and showing us that trapped behind the physical deformity lies the heart and soul of a “normal” woman who feels love, frustration, hurt and pain just like we all do. In doing so, I think the PD has given viewers the opportunity to think about how the disabled are treated by society and how we respond to them.

    @23 serendipity
    I know..sobfest coming up for sure. *sniff,sniff*

  27. 27 David

    Thanks, Good work keep up samsooki.

    One question, during the snow walk with SW, DG noticed snow ice falling from the big tree and it was also the same expression from Chun Ji Ho in epi 12 or 13 ?. Any significant or just to tell us snow ice is melting and summer is coming?.

  28. 28 ellen

    Thank you,
    I don’t think HW is being unfaithful to DG. Its been ten years since she thought he perished. She has found someone else she could trust who wants to protect her, declare his love to her. That’s TH. Who can resist this kind of man. What I fear for HW is that TH’s oath to protect the prince will come first always even if it means his death. But I sense that HW will embrace TH’s mission too.

    DG’s love for UN is powerful passionate & overwhelming. He was happy with his love for UN but his love for her has caused him ten years of pain… then heartbreaking excruciating pain when he finds her with TH.. So I feel sorry for DG. He deserves the love of his love UN

    To me DG’s mission since he met & fell in love withUN is to find her & live happily with her.
    TH’s mission is to protect the prince as he promised (oath) the late Crown prince.

  29. 29 amydahae

    Love the “Save the Prince, Save the World operation”…they are really on a mission…

  30. 30 Alert

    Oh thank you for the wonderful recaps! (goes to all the 3 recappers!)

    Before ep 10, I was solely on DG/ UN OTP, SH was great, bubbly and exciting, but not really care much about her. But after ep 10 (and early in ep 11) I see myself switching teams, and rooting for DG/ SH instead.

    I do love DG’s loyalty towards his love to UN. But I cheered UN, for her strength to finally move on. Like some said before me, it’s not that she loved DG less, but she finally found someone who are able to help her to move on – to find purpose in her life.

    And I truly believe that HW is in LOVE with TH. As much as I don’t want to believe that, the fact remains – HW is in love with STH. If she’s not in love with him, she can choose not to follow him. She does have an option. Even on the night of her 1st marriage with the old man, she opted to run away, because she’s not in love with him – even knowing she’d go through hell.

    Because I truly believe HW is in love in TH that I wanted DG to move on too.

    p/s I just noticed that ALL the eps (up until 11 that is) end with DG’s close up face. I mean, I love Jang Hyuk, but can’t they freeze others’ face once in a while? 😛

  31. 31 smine

    I really like DG, when it comes to Unnyun his words and actions will contradict, he maybe telling that he doesn’t care or love her, he still loves her so deeply so deeply that he can’t… guys you will see, I love DG in 16ep, wow it was great! rush up and watch it maybe you’ve already watched and share my point.

  32. 32 smine

    oh, I also like Seol hwa, but for some other reason I wish DG and UN to be together, but it will be difficult and the possibility is very low, as UN marries TH

  33. 33 Oppa888

    Although I am loving this drama, I find that Lee Da Hae has made little impact with her acting in all of these 11 episodes to date.

    The purpose, importance and relevance of her character appears to be vague and somewhat undefined. I feel it is compromising an otherwise brilliant drama.

    There is little expression and virtually no distince personality in Lee Da Hae’s character. I find her unconvincing as a humble, demure, shy slave girl. She has all the appearance of a demanding diva who refuses to appear in any scene without an inch thick of makeup and perfect grooming.

    I wish that Han Hyo Joo had chosen to stay with this role as initially intended.

  34. 34 Ina

    Thanks for a wonderfully entertaining recap. I also loved your song choice!! Your recaps have definitely hooked me in to this drama.

  35. 35 song4u2


    I think when CW’s mother offered her opine to her son that her daughter in law can still give birth in her condition addressed the issue for her family tree, but not necessarily for her son’s satisfication in the drama. I do not know how they can handle this matter as her father is a culprit too, imo….I wonder why he married her knowing….?

  36. 36 song4u2

    I concur re switching pairings initially until HW met TH and the rest they say *should be history*, but this is K-land and anything can happen.

    I too want DG to move on…a 10-yr obsession where the image you carry in your head is back when she as 15 is not healthy and perhaps this is another form of disabilty the PD and writers are emphasizing in the drama…idk, but this is the 1st historical drama where I’ve seen a person with a disability.

  37. 37 samsooki

    I’ve read all your comments, and so let me add my own comment.

    It’s not a bad thing that Hye-Won is moving on with her life. She found a person in Tae-Ha that would be a catch under any standard, right? Plus, Tae-Ha is gentle, upright, extremely conscientious, and once Hye-Won has got Tae-Ha in her talons, you can bet Tae-Ha will also be responsible for doing the dishes, vacuuming, laundry, taking out the garbage. So, it’s all good for Hye-Won. Good for her. Maybe Dae-Gil can look on the internet and find the bridal registry. What do you get a woman like Un-Nyun? Maybe Dae-Gil can send her a dozen rocks wrapped in a nice box, just like the rock that Un-Nyun dropped. Or maybe he can find all the pieces of his broken heart and mail them with a Pottery Barn chafing dish.

    But, I propose that she has NOT moved on inside her heart. Who is this Tae-Ha guy? She doesn’t know the first thing about him. She doesn’t know what he likes, what he doesn’t like, she doesn’t know what dreams he has, she doesn’t know a damn thing about him except:

    1. he’s a former General of the Military Training Command, and a top fighter.
    2. he’s a runaway slave, being chased by a ton of people, including the government.
    3. he’s in a conspiracy to save the last surviving son of the late Crown Prince.
    4. he’s caring and conscientious.

    Since when is that enough to get to “love” somebody? When people throw around the word, “love,” I’m not sure if it is being used too loosely or as a substitute for another word, “care.”

    I think that Hye-Won cares for Tae-Ha, cares about his mission, and cares for him personally, but caring is not the same as loving.

    The OTP is Un-Nyun and Dae-Gil, but while I won’t hold my breath that the drama series will end up with Un-Nyun and Dae-Gil being together, I am NOT going to bless any union of Hye-Won and Song Tae-Ha.

    Besides, if they have a kid, their kid might as well be named “Beige Song” as the union of bland and blander cannot result in anything exciting.

  38. 38 goldenlotus

    Samsooki! You are hilarious. I love how you will just think or feel the way you want w/out any sway from others! This is why I enjoy reading your works.

    But seriously, it’ll most likely be a tragic ending.

  39. 39 song4u2

    Well, UN had hot n heavy with DG, and where did that get her?…..Not a damn thing, but a rock and a hard way to go!

  40. 40 Amg1

    I am with Samsooki on this one. UN and Tae-Ha, relationship is one that it feels unnatural to some extent, until know Tae-Ha has really no idea of UN’s background, she is a slave but I do not think he knows that, UN also does not know the whole of Tae-Ha’s background, I do believe that one can forge romantic feelings for some one in a short time, but in their case it feels sorta not right, will UN stay by her man when Dae-gil finally appears? That is the question of CHUNO at this moment, I have watched up to epi 16 and I must say that it has been a brilliant trip so far, how much more pain and anguish can the 3 main characters endure is yet to be seen, I am in UN and Dae-gil’s corner 100% but I have this feeling that the end will be a tragedy of Biblical proportions, and our hearts will be shred to pieces. I believe Chuno it’s on its way to becoming another “Classic Korean Dramas” for years to come!!! Long Live CHUNO!!!!!!!!

  41. 41 gnasty

    Up to this point in my viewing epi 15, i don’t care who ends with who, but am interested in development of the interesting characters on the show and having some answers to CW’s background and marriage, the king and crown prince situation, the slave revolt and who is behind the murders….so much has to be hashed out by series end….as for biblical proportions, idts, a classic perhaps.

  42. 42 Sakura

    37 @ Samsooki,

    I am really surprised with your summarised OTP and your hilarity !! and you’re are not swayed or change jersey this time round. Had to admit I LOL , hope my neighbour will not feel irritated with my laughter!.

    I don’t think it will be a tragedy after too much painful journey for both and also because brothers Choi and Wangsan is alive, right now they are in mild coma !.
    I hope so.

    DG wants to live and “SWEETENED” (sealed) his love because now he has met Un Nyun and have valid conviction to fufill the promised to live with Un Nyun.

  43. 43 Sere


    Keep having faith in your OTP, OK? I think this is the second time we don’t see it eye to eye (DG/SH TH/HW FTW!), but reading your comment made me want to cheer for you and (almost) for your OTP. Your passion for Chuno and the OTP is heartwarming to witness. Chuno really sucked you in, didn’t it? *g*

  44. 44 ellen


    I had to giggle at your comment. I don’t think TH would have the time to throw the garbage. He’d be too busy at work!

    I like DG’s love for UN. I hope that they end up together. I hope that we get to see them restart their relationship & love each other again. I like TH too but his mission to save the prince comes first.

    DG’s passionate face is on focus at the end of every episode so I’m hoping he’s the hero of Chuno who survives to fulfill his goal in life…to live with his one & only love UN.

  45. 45 Victoria Stuard

    I understand that UN was consigned to a certain way of acting…. as a slave, one does not have full control over their life although we have that ragtag band of slaves trying to make a difference. I think DG has more of an obsession with UN than loving her. His true feelings come shining through in episode 12 as he says to himself that they can’t be happy because he is not happy, and he is not happy with his life. TH has been married before and knows what it means to have married love and despite what he has been through I see him as much more emotionally stable. He has lost much, and at times is not capable of expressing how he feels since its all about survival and the plan to save the little prince. UN is coming out of her shell and actually living. It has taken time for her to get to this place. She is not an assertive/aggressive person, and has been shelter in many ways, i.e. DG giving her hot rocks, her brother running away from her and buying his status. She has a gentle personality and will grow much stronger as the drama continues. I think she is playing the part that she was handed. She has received a lot of criticism, and I think people should just give it a break. In my mind, TH is a better partner than DG because he is more apt to be less selfish. DG is fueled by his anger and obsession. DG is appealing in a different way from TH. The little prince is absolutely adorable. Its great to read all the different views and opinions. I enjoy the diversity of thought.

  46. 46 fsk

    I gave it a solid effort to really like this drama,but after 11 episodes, it’s slow and boring. I can wait post season to finish watching this. The lead men are ooooh so fun to watch,but there seems to be no real electricity to anyone’s performance. Ok,DG gets all fired up at the end of every episode,but it was getting rather tiresome.
    10 yrs. of misplaced passion…….unbelievable! Thanks for the recaps though! Great job making this into something more than it is!

  47. 47 wesley

    I’d be disappointed if DG and UN end up together. In my opinion, DG is one of the antagonists. He’s a selfish person who sees himself as the only person who has experienced suffering. He has an unhealthy obsession with revenge and finding UN which leads him to commit evil acts. As such, I cannot for the life of me support DG.

  48. 48 Alert

    had to LOL really hard reading yr comment samsooki. But still, I’m not bulging from my OTP of DG/SH. At least for now. Let’s see how the story goes and I might have a change of heart again hehe (though I doubt that).

    I also sense that Chuno is going to end in tragedy that’d rip my heart and soul out. Oh well, I practically cried in almost all the eps anyway, no matter how many times I told myself not too.

    Have I mentioned the OST? oh! the OST! Love the awesomeness! I found myself humming the Lim Jae-bum’s Brand OST (like to call it the DG song) like 24-7 now. Even in sleep. And keep imagining DG running everytime I saw people jog outside. Hallucinate much?

  49. 49 ockoala

    Thanks for a wonderful recap, samsooki. It takes me so long to muster up the energy to read a Chuno recap and comment, all because watching one episode really sucks all my energy out due to the sheer emotional punch it packs in 60 minutes.

    Episode 11 was curiously fluff for me, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t add a lot of value to explaining the characters more.

    I love DG, both the performance by JH and the character. His is the most fleshed out character in the entire drama, I can’t fathom how TH can even stack up, he’s so one-dimensional (but truly honorable and forthright). Someone mentioned DG as being selfish, and I don’t know if we’re all watching the same drama. DG wants to find UN because he LOVES her, and he knew she loved him, so he wasn’t trying to be selfish to find her and possess her, but merely looking for a lost love thinking UN wanted to be found by him as well.

    Anyways, OTP aside, I think I’m onboard until heaven or hell or wherever the Chuno train takes us.

  50. 50 wesley

    To Ockoala:

    I disagree that DG wants to find UN just because he loves her. No doubt he still has feelings for her but it is more of an unhealthy obsession which has caused him to become somewhat mentally unstable. In episode 12, his obsession to find UN even leads him to kill innocent people who were lawfully justified in trying to arrest him. Given DG’s super human abilities, he could have easily used non lethal force and could have easily escaped the situation. But he didn’t do that because that would mean he wouldn’t be able to get any answers from the Yangban regarding UN’s whereabouts. So what did he do? He murdered the men who were trying to arrest him for impersonating a legal official and subsequently got the information from the Yangban by threatening his family. Charming fellow, really. Definitely protagonist material.

    It is apparent that he’s also seeking to find UN partly because of revenge. He sees himself as the only person who has experienced suffering and blames UN and her brother for everything. This is apparent when he says to himself: “UN doesn’t deserve to be happy, not after all the suffering I have endured”. Also, DG told SH that the reason why he’s been searching for UN for the past 10 years was because “he wants to punish the slaves who bit the hand that fed them”.

    I don’t know how anyone else can conclude that DG is unselfish. He’s very selfish in that he’s only able to focus on the wrongs that he has purportedly suffered. He only thinks about himself and causes suffering to those around him (slave hunting, killing people in his way). It’s ludicrous how DG keeps insisting that UN and her brother “bit the hand that fed them”. I love it how he makes his quest seem so righteous by labelling UN and her brother as ungrateful slaves who were treated “kindly” by his “righteous” father who was subsequently so wrongfully murdered. Oh please! Give me a break.

    DG doesn’t even think about the suffering that UN experienced at the hands of his father. He doesn’t even spare a thought for the fact that UN’s brother did what he did in order to save UN from DG’s evil father. He should blame himself for not being able to take responsibility for UN and not being able to protect her from his father.

    On an objective assessment of the facts, I don’t know how anyone else can like DG. But to each their own. I hope the character dies at the end but only after attaining redemption for his sins and doing something really heroic.

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