Drama Recaps
Chuno: Episode 14
by | March 29, 2010 | 56 Comments

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Hi, I’m thunderbolt and I’m the last of the 2009 year-end reviewers writing a Chuno recap. That means there are five of us recapping what many believe will be crowned Drama of the Year. Some detractors, however, think Chuno is more joke than jewel. Varying opinions aside (and it is not unusual to feel conflicted about the drama’s merits and flaws, changing one’s mind from episode to episode or even frame to frame), there is no denying we are looking at some truly outstanding production values.

As this is my first recap for Dramabeans, I must warn readers that my recaps have been likened to grandmothers’ tales, filled with digressions and make-believe. Also, my inability to think or write linearly (read: “As It Unfolds”) means my comments are scattered everywhere. Don’t send a ferocious slave hunter (eyes blazing, dagger pointing sideways) after me because of that!

SONG OF THE DAY

Return of Iljimae OST (Yearning) by Bae Hae-sun. I recently finished The Return of Iljimae and can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve chosen two songs whose titles and lyrics match the scenes being recapped.
[ Download ]

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“YOU’RE ALIVE… THANK YOU.”

As Episode 14 opens, in a marketplace suddenly bedecked with drape after colorful drape, Dae-gil gazes into the distance, with an expression that is more puzzlement than shock. He drops the fabric he is fingering and walks forward unsteadily. Something has caught his attention, but is it Un-nyun?

Moments earlier, Un-nyun had spotted him first. As she stared in stunned disbelief, he appeared to have seen her as well, their eyes locking across a distance of about 30-40 paces. It was with that cliffhanger that Episode 13 ended, leaving us unable to breathe until the next episode.

But did he really see her? Before we find the answer in Episode 14, let’s revisit Episode 7 where Dae-gil had just knifed a woman fleeing with runaway slave Song Ta-ha. As the wounded woman slumped downwards on Tae-ha’s horse, Dae-gil caught a glimpse of her face.

Was that… was that Un-nyun? The Un-nyun he had been searching for the last ten years? Did he… did he just throw a dagger into the back of the only woman he had ever loved?

“Our eyes are cunning enough to let us see whatever we wish for.” With those words, and with example after example of how Dae-gil had erroneously pounced on women he thought were Un-nyun, General Choi and Wang-son managed to get Dae-gil to concede dejectedly that his eyes were deceiving him.

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So, are Dae-gil’s eyes deceiving him again in Episode 14? Does he think he sees Un-nyun, or is he really seeing someone or something else? My guess is the latter. Every previous sighting or near-sighting of her was always accompanied by a flashback of happier days. In Episode 11 as he raced towards Unju Temple, thinking she was there. In Episode 12 when he finally saw her, just as she and Tae-ha were about to join each other in conjugal ties.

If he really sees her at the marketplace, there should be a flashback of them exchanging stones or playing a chaste version of peekaboo with the sheets (no wonder it took ages to do laundry in the Lee household, what with the slave girl so distracted). If he really sees her, he would have followed her, not necessarily to be seen, but just to be nearby because that is as close as he will allow himself to be, now that she is married. If he really sees her, his face ought to be filled with a terrible, hollow pain, the kind that gnaws away at your insides because you know that what you most desire will forever remain unattainable.

But no, Dae-gil merely looks quizzical at the beginning of Episode 14. So I put it to you, dear readers, that what Dae-gil sees is not Un-nyun but the ghost of Baek-ho, still wearing the sword that Dae-gil last graced him with.



No need for conjectures with Un-nyun, however; her eyes aren’t toying with her. As she edges closer, like one in a fog, seeing and yet unsure if what she is seeing is real, her eyes fill with tears. In front of her is the man she has loved longer than anyone else, the man she believes to be dead. Now he stands, at a distance, a warm smile on his face, hands behind his back, as real as the other humans around him.

Then he looks up. And just as quickly, Un-nyun runs behind a pillar. He mustn’t see her, she who now belongs to another man. As he walks up the street, his eyes searching for something that has now vanished, she senses his presence and presses her palm to her mouth, so hard it seems the blood will drain from her. He mustn’t hear her cry.

At this moment, just as he turns to look in the direction of Un-nyun’s pillar, Seol-hwa runs up with a cheery “Orabeoni!” and pulls him away. And now Un-nyun’s expression changes, from shock to a mix of hurt and curiosity. Who is this woman and what is she to Dae-gil? They seem so close, the woman pulling on his arm and he smiling indulgently at her. Are they lovers? But even if they are, does it matter?

“Young Master, you’re alive. Thank you. For being still alive… thank you. For looking so happy… thank you.”

Un-nyun does not know, but the cheerful woman walking and bantering with Dae-gil is actually weeping inside.

When was the last time Seol-hwa received a gift from anyone? When was the last time someone brought her to the marketplace and asked her to choose a pretty garment? Something tells her that Dae-gil’s unusual act is a harbinger of impending separation, for hadn’t he left her many times before? To be abandoned again and again… What else is new? All she can do is cling to him for now, to savor (and bottle up) this fleeting happiness.

So, even as he grumbles that she is taking too much time to pick his gift for her, even as her tears threaten but do not fall at how perfunctory the whole exercise is to him (because she knows how deeply he is hurting inside despite his appearance of normalcy), she smiles brightly and prances like a child on a carefree day.

 

“I WILL SPEND THE REST OF MY DAYS… WITH YOU.”

Thus they leave, Seol-hwa and Dae-gil back to that temporary abode they share with Choi and Wang-son, and Un-nyun to the seowon (scholars’ retreat) where her new husband is waiting for her.

As Tae-ha enters their room, he finds Un-nyun sitting in a stupor. She does not register his presence even though he asks if there’s anything the matter, and not until he presses her thigh. (Shouting into her ear would have worked better, but every verbal or physical exchange between this couple has been tempered to such a point it is nigh impossible to imagine them ever hollering at each other.)

Startled, Un-nyun blurts out an unconvincing “I came back empty-handed because there was nothing to buy at the market,” excuses herself, and stumbles out to the kitchen where she huddles next to the stove. (And all the while I’m waving my hands frantically because she is much too close to the flames!)


What follows is Un-nyun’s second flashback of Dae-gil in this episode. Whereas the first was of their “I can see you behind those sheets” game, the second is of a wintry night long ago. In a kitchen much like the present one, a cold and glum Un-nyun is sitting on the floor, lost in her thoughts. Dae-gil comes in and gently slips a pair of new shoes on her feet. He then makes a promise to her: “I will spend the rest of my days… together with you.” When he leaves, she runs after him, her tears mingling with the snow falling on her face. She kisses him, he stares wonderingly at her (perhaps because this is the first time their lips have met), and kisses her back.

For that memory, for the lost years and crushed hopes, for a love that she will never experience again, she cries now as though her heart is about to break.

(Lee Da-hae is so amazing in this episode I take back every disparaging comment I’ve ever made about her acting in Chuno. Like the flowers on the Jeju Island cliffs, she was simply waiting for the right time to bloom. And bloomed she has!)

And now, before I move away from Un-nyun and pick up the other key developments in Episode 14, allow me to take you (kicking and screaming) on a little sleuth hunt.

In the previous episode, Dae-gil is standing outside Tae-ha and Un-nyun’s matrimonial chambers (which is just an airy term for honeymoon suite) when he spies her shoes. He seems transfixed by them, and his act of turning them around is both loving and heartbreaking. By all accounts these would appear to be the same shoes that he gave her in that kitchen many years ago.

But are they the same shoes? And how is that relevant in this recap, Ms. Thundie?

Well, because other than a stone which has now gone missing, the shoes would be the only other tangible thing he has given her. Because this particular memory seems to bring her the most pain, as evident from the way she weeps in this episode. And because, if they are the same shoes, that throws up a skirtful of new revelations about her feelings for Tae-ha.

You see, if you chase the clues in the previous episodes (and I did, never mind that it makes me look like some lunatic), you will note the color of Un-nyun’s shoes while she and Tae-ha were on the run. They are BLACK.

(To prove it, I took a screencap of a certain marketplace pursuit in Episode 6. And no, I’m not posting it here because there’s no need to hit you on the head with the incriminating evidence. It might also revive a most cantankerous “How in the world are her clothes so clean?” debate and I don’t really want to go there, not after having made peace with LDH in Episode 14.)


If the shoes that Un-nyun wore on her wedding day (and in Episode 14 when she sees Dae-gil) are the same shoes that Dae-gil gave her, that means she kept them hidden somewhere in the folds of her mourning clothes as she and Tae-ha trudged from capital to plain to outback to island and back to capital again. Or… Tae-ha kept them for her in the folds of his tattered clothes, the sweetheart. Either way, each possibility is quite the feat, considering how much running and flying (he, not she) they had to do.

IF (because the doubts, they are growing) they are the same shoes, why is she wearing them on, of all days, the day she gets wedded to a man who is nothing like Dae-gil (especially in vocal qualities)? What does that say about her feelings for General Song Tae-ha, runaway slave now restored to his rightful place as guardian of the little prince? Isn’t it a form of betrayal to wear something which ties her to the memory of her first love, even as she is pledging her heart and body to a new love?

I thus put it to you, dear readers (the five still reading this recap), that the shoes that Dae-gil caressed in Episode 13 are not the same shoes that Un-nyun remembers in Episode 14. If they were, she would have looked at them as she crouched in the kitchen, crying from the depths of her being.

(However, should it transpire somewhere in Episodes 20-24, all of which I have yet to watch, that Un-nyun tells Dae-gil most tearfully that she has kept the shoes all this while, please not be rolling on the floor laughing at what a lousy detective I am. Much obliged.)

 

“DO THEIR VISION AND MINE DIFFER?”

The whole time Un-nyun is at the marketplace, her husband is at the seowon attending a meeting about a most pressing matter.

Unable to stop Tae-ha’s wedding in Episode 13, Scholar Jo is now impatient to get things rolling. They have an existing crown prince, Prince Bong-rim, to overthrow in order that the rightful crown prince, little Prince Seok-gyun, can be reinstated. To ensure the success of their revolt, they need money and troops.

Jo gives Tae-ha and his men some nyang and a list of names. They are names of yangban and former courtiers who have promised to augment their cause by providing the aid they need. Tae-ha and his men must now leave the seowon and each try to contact the supporters on their list.

Alarmed that Jo wants to procure more troops and weapons (because doesn’t that suggest he’s preparing for war and bloodshed?), Tae-ha urges caution.

Song Tae-ha: I believe legitimacy and just cause are not the primary concerns now.
Scholar Jo: And what else could possibly matter? If we all take up arms, we can repel that treacherous king and his fake sycophants in one strike!
Song Tae-ha: Instead of deliberating how to rebuild our nation, shouldn’t we first decide the tenets that will anchor the rebuilding?

As Jo and Tae-ha face off in a lopsided war of words (the former is noticeably agitated while the latter is his usual impassive self), the men listening to the exchange have unspoken concerns which they will only ask their general, away from Jo’s earshot.

“Are we supposed to take up arms against our former colleagues?” “Aren’t we used to civilian officers exploiting us military men for their own agendas?” “I did not survive the torment of Jeju (leaving my beloved’s body behind) to become their varlet.” (This last line from a broken Han-seom, still grieving the tragic death of the court lady.)

Acutely aware of his subordinate’s pain, Tae-ha asks gently, “Han-seom, do their vision and mine differ? And is having another point of view necessarily wrong? You cannot let a mere disagreement cloud our greater goal.” (Unknown to the men, someone is watching and listening to them. We will discuss this person separately afterwards.)

Later that day, her deportment betraying no signs of having seen a ‘ghost’ that morning, Un-nyun is serving her husband his noon meal. (And I wonder where the little prince has gone to; there is no sign of him in this episode.) He asks her what kind of country she wants Joseon to become; she replies at first that she can’t offer any deep answers, being a woman and all. But soon her thoughts spill over, in tandem with her tears.

Un-nyun: Of all the things I’ve heard in my life, do you know what was the most discouraging? That this world will never change. That it is pointless to dream or even think about it. That I should accept the life I’ve been given.

As Tae-ha listens, unaware that the right thing to do at that moment is to gather his wife into his arms and wipe away her tears, Un-nyun smiles (because she knows which battles aren’t worth fighting, reforming a spouse’s blank expression being one of them) and urges him to eat.

That night, Tae-ha and his trusty subordinates meet in the courtyard again. Earlier, they had yet another heated exchange with Scholar Jo, with the latter questioning their commitment and insisting that they must depart at dawn the very next day. Although Tae-ha questioned the need to be in such a hurry, Jo argued that he was simply carrying out their late master’s wishes.

“We will have to leave,” says Tae-ha to his men. No matter the points of disagreement between them and Jo, they are on the same side after all. (Watching them this time is Dae-gil, his intention no longer to capture Tae-ha but only to find Wang-son.)

As the men retire for the night, Tae-ha returns to his chambers where his bride is waiting for him.

They lie next to each other, wrapped in thoughts that the other is not privy to. Seeing Dae-gil that morning has rekindled more than memories of their love; it has revived old forgotten demons. She thinks now of her brother’s words about the untold joy of being reborn as non-slaves, and of her lie to Tae-ha when they were on the run.

“There is no way slave hunters are trailing me. I am no slave.”

(I rather miss the scruffy Tae-ha. How about you? Just look at his clean and expressionless face below, whether lying horizontal or sitting upright, and you can understand why Un-nyun finds it so hard to spill the beans about anything to him.)

“I have something to tell you… There are many things I have not told you.”

 

Return of Iljimae OST (Men are all the same) by Park Jung-eun. [ Download ]

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“SHOOTING IS ALL ABOUT COURAGE.”

On the other side of town, deep in the woods and in a side plot that I still can’t connect with the main story arc, Eop-bok and Cho-bok have gathered with five other would-be slave revolutionaries. Four of them hold muskets, two are armed with farming equipment, and Cho-bok has her basket slung over her shoulder. All are beside themselves with nervous excitement.

Following the instructions of a mysterious leader who has yet to reveal himself (choosing to communicate instead through secret missives), our revolutionaries are waiting to ambush a group of yangban (nobility). These yangban, who are led by a man named Yoo, purportedly capture runaway slaves and sell them to slave smugglers for three to four nyang each. This immediately qualifies them to be called motherless asswipes (or “bastards,” if you prefer something more pithy).


As they lie in wait, Eop-bok gives the slaves final instructions. Proper firing procedures aside, he tells them that shooting is all about courage. Ggeut-bong assures him, albeit with false bravado, that he is ready to spill yangban blood and that all it takes is just aiming his weapon at the target and firing. “If it could only be that simple, all my worries would be over,” Eop-bok replies solemnly. He then tells Cho-bok to leave, but she replies that she wants to stick around and make herself useful. “It’s too dangerous here,” he insists.

Two details are telling here. First, no one is quite sure when Yoo and his crew will make an appearance. It could be today or tomorrow. The path isn’t well-worn and few people take it on any given day. “We’ll just have to wait,” says Eop-bok. His reply is surprising because it suggests the lax control that the slaves’ keepers have over them. See how easily and frequently the slaves are able to meet, whether by day or night. No wonder many make a dash for freedom, wretched consequences be damned.

Second, Cho-bok is a curious case because she has obviously been schooled in reading and writing, being the only one among the slaves who can read Eonmeun*. Given how learned (and fearless) she is, and the fact that her slave chores do not involve flinging herself into mud on a daily or even monthly basis, why is her face perpetually mud-smeared? And why, if she is able to keep her teeth so pearly-white, does she not take more care with her skin? She and Eop-bok clearly have feelings for each other, so shouldn’t she want to look her cleanest for him? It’s befuddling, truly.

(*Eonmeun literally means “vulgar script” and was the ancient name for the Korean alphabet invented in 1444 during King Sejong’s reign. Since classical Chinese, Hanja, had been the de rigueur script in Korea all along, Joseon nobility considered Eonmeun a low-class script meant for the masses and were thus strongly opposed to it.

By writing the secret missives in Eonmeun, the mysterious leader/s of the slave uprising obviously wanted to emphasize the divide between them and the yangban. More importantly, given the yangban’s revulsion toward Eonmeun, they would most likely have refused to learn it. In fact, it would take more than 400 years before Eonmeun replaced Hanja as the script of choice in Korea. By this time, a scholar called Ju Si-gyeong had coined a new name for Eonmeun. Hangeul means “great script,” which certainly sounds more pleasing than vulgar script, doesn’t it?)

Dismissed by Eop-bok, a sulky Cho-bok is making her way back when she suddenly sees Yoo and his men. According to the missive, their yangban target should comprise just four or five men, which is why Eop-bok has gathered only five slaves for this ambush. Now Cho-bok stares in horror as she counts the number of yangban marching past her, their faces set and determined. 1, 2, 3… More than ten of them!

Meanwhile, Eop-bok and the five other slaves are trying to keep themselves warm in the chilly weather. They rub and knock together what look like fossilized dinosaur eggs, white versions of the black stones that Dae-gil used to give to Un-nyun. Just as it seems they might have to settle in for a long and cold wait, one of the slaves spies the yangban approaching in the distance. The slaves immediately scramble to their positions.

What ensues is quite laughable, if you’re a mere bystander. But if you are Ggeut-bong or one of the other three slaves assigned to fire the muskets, the sight before you can make you crap your pants. How in the world to take down twelve men all at once? Didn’t the missive state that it would be a small group they have to slay? If they shoot randomly at the center of the group, that would do, right?

As expected, Eop-bok stays calm and hits his targets, one by one. Ggeut-bong manages a couple of shots, but drops his musket and flees when he is almost set upon by a yangban who is then quickly shot dead by Eop-bok. The other slaves flee as well, tails between their legs, frightened out of their wits by the yangban and their swords. Only Eop-bok remains, but he too will soon have to run as an incensed Yoo charges towards him. As chaser and chased dash through the woods, a quick-thinking Cho-bok saves her beloved by directing Yoo away from Eop-bok.

A semi-successful mission (three yangban down, the rest still prancing around) thus ends, with Ggeut-bong and gang having to do much explaining later. Cho-bok manages to retrieve the slaves’ abandoned muskets and is duly rewarded with a piggyback ride from Eop-bok that night. All’s well that ends well, unless you’re a dead yangban or a sheepish Ggeut-bong.

 

“WHAT KIND OF PALAVER ARE YOU PRATTLING?”

Just as the slaves and their uncertain side plot keep us entertained (in a mild no-falling-off-chairs way) every episode, so we can’t do without the obligatory appearance of our Comic Characters. Among them, Ahn Suk-hwan as Artist Bang gives us his best acting ever; I simply adore him to bits in Chuno. Alas, I’ve been inconsolable ever since Yoon Moon-sik, playing the peevish horse vet, exited the stage for the most confounding of reasons. How I miss his droll sense of humor!

First funny characters to appear in Episode 14 are Cheon Ji-ho and Officer Oh (although one can argue that Ggeut-bong was the first; I contend, however, that Ggeut-bong’s bumbling has been rehashed to death and isn’t so hysterical anymore).

Ji-ho demands to know where the bodies of his underlings have been dumped. Oh skirts the question by wondering why the men hanged themselves at the Apgujeong Pavilion, a place that’s off-limits to anyone not born into nobility or possessing the ability to spout airy hogwash. He, whom we fondly call Two-Face on account of how he can smile at you one moment and then turn around and stab you in the back, then asks Ji-ho what he was doing on the day his men breathed their last.

“Why, ran out of folks to suspect, did you?” Ji-ho snaps back. He then reminds Oh that they have shared more in life than prattle (having oiled Oh’s palm too many times to recount) and that there’s no way he’s following the latter back to the capital bureau for interrogation. “I ain’t stupid, you dolt” (or similar) brings the conversation to an abrupt close.

Eavesdropping the entire time are the two jumo, both still jumpy after witnessing what a ‘routine’ trip to the capital bureau did to the elderly horse vet. After Oh leaves in a huff (because Ji-ho essentially tells him to buzz off), Junior Jumo declares loudly: “I’m going to marry General Choi.” She also calls Oh a drooling buffoon, although why she should connect the two men in the same breath is a mystery. Still, her words promptly cause Senior Jumo (who has the hots for Choi) to drop her tray, not once but twice. And voila, Joseon crockeries, they do not break!


Unfazed (and completely clueless), Junior Jumo continues, “When General Choi returns, I’m barging into his room and threatening to kill myself if he does not marry me!” She, who has obviously mastered the art of praising one and dissing another in the same breath, then proceeds to call sweet and innocent Artist Bang, who has never harmed a fly in his life, a crawly old fart.

Hmm, the real old fart in the drama is evil Left State Councilor Lee Gyeong-shik. Minutes before his brief appearance in this episode, his favorite gisaeng Chan is teaching a newly-arrived gisaeng, Dong-dong, the ropes of the trade. Not that Dong-dong needs teaching, mind you, she being Pyeongyang’s most prized gisaeng. (No explanation is given why she is now in Chan’s upscale gisaeng house.) In a terse exchange that resembles two purring cats sharpening their claws for a kill, the two women manage to forge a bond that might involve nightly “How to shut a bitch up for good” ruminations.

Lee arrives and is soon put in a mirthful mood by Dong-dong, now called Jeni (against her will). When Jeni proclaims her intention (in front of Chan) to become Joseon’s foremost gisaeng, Lee is so tickled he can barely contain himself, thus treating us to a rare glimpse of his yellow teeth. I can barely contain myself too (the head-scratching, that is). The purpose of this scene escapes me completely.


 

“WANG-SON, YOU FOOL!”

To understand Wang-son’s behaviour in Episode 14, we need to quickly recap his quarrel with Dae-gil in the previous episode. Certain that Tae-ha was hiding in the seowon, Wang-son insisted that they capture him right away. Dae-gil, his heart in pieces after witnessing Un-nyun’s marriage, replied that they should sleep first and then act tomorrow. But when the next day dawned, Dae-gil told Wang-son and Choi that they should forget about capturing Tae-ha and just return to Hanyang. That set off a fight among the three men, which ended as swiftly as it started.

Unknown to Dae-gil and Choi, Wang-son decides (in this episode) that he’s not letting 500 nyang just slip through his fingers. He will capture Tae-ha himself. So off he goes to the seowon, swift-footed and with a jolly heart, endearing himself to us every second he’s on the screen. No one is more angst-free in this drama than our adorable Wang-son.

True enough, as soon as Wang-son hops onto the outer wall of the seowon (wearing the same gleeful expression that he normally wears before deflowering yet another willing ‘victim’), who should he see? Why, Tae-ha himself, unarmed and ready to offer himself on a platter. What a stroke of good luck!

Alas (and it’s the same confounded habit that plagued Kim Ji-seok’s vampire character in Hometown of Legends 2009), Wang-son takes his own sweet time to strike. By then who should appear but Tae-ha’s men, now unknowingly shielding their leader from the line of Wang-son’s arrow. Wang-son waits for the men to leave, but “The prattling knows no end!” and it looks like the sun will set before he gets a chance to hit his target.

Wang-son decides that he can’t take on Tae-ha and his men by himself; he needs Dae-gil and General Choi. As he is walking back and counting the number of men that he spied at the seowon, he senses a presence behind him.

And so we are treated (and I’m referring strictly to the swordplay and the flying on rooftops and the pulsating music, not to poor Wang-son having part of his fringe lopped off, etc.) to another signature Chuno fighting scene, this one involving resident villain Hwang Cheol-woong. Only a few metaphor-laced words are exchanged and they fairly drip with sarcasm.

Hwang Cheol-woong: You prance about like a raging fly.
Wang-son: And what’s wrong with that? Even eagles cannot catch flies!
Hwang Cheol-woong: Who sent you here?
Wang-son: Who knows? Eat this instead! (more fighting) Who are you, to be beating me up this way?
Hwang Cheol-woong: Speak or you will die!



No match for Hwang, Wang-son lies bleeding on the ground, presumably dead. (And I feel, for the first time, anger at the turn of events. How can a favorite character kill off another favorite character? No!) He is dragged away, his blood forming a trail even as General Choi is frantically searching for him.

Earlier, Choi had returned to their quarters. Seeing no one around, and showing how well he knows the mind of Wang-son, he immediately surmises that the latter has gone off to the seowon to capture Tae-ha. “Wang-son, you fool!”

Running as though his life depends on it, Choi finds the clues scattered on a blood-stained ground. All of them point to an end for Wang-son that is too much for Choi to grasp.

As he keeps searching, deep into the night, Choi suddenly sees a flash in the sky. It’s the signal flares that he, Dae-gil and Wang-son would use on their slave hunts. Wang-son must be alive!

But it is not Wang-son that Choi sees at the location where the flares were fired, it is Hwang.

“My brother… where is he?” Choi yells, his words causing more tears to fall (from my eyes, not Hwang’s; I am still dazed and upset that Wang-son is dead so early in the drama).

Hwang replies that he gets to ask the questions, not Choi. The two men then go at each other, in the process igniting Wang-son’s unused signal flares on the ground and setting off, literally, a fighting scene replete with fireworks.


It is spectacular stuff until I see where it is all leading to…

Hwang Cheol-woong. You did not just pierce General Choi’s chest, no!

I don’t understand our villain, do you? What has turned Hwang into this merciless beast who positively revels in spilling blood? Granted he has been used and misused by his father-in-law, the one tickled pink by a gisaeng earlier. Granted his trip to Jeju Island to capture one former general and one grandson of the king went awry, and he had to limp back to Hanyang with a bleeding shoulder and a wounded pride. Okay, so he spent a brief spell in a cell, surrounded by lowlives. But he emerged none the worse for wear, didn’t he? Did someone kill his beloved, strip him of his wealth, and steal his favourite stallion?

Moreover, given that he is supposedly hunting down Song Tae-ha, shouldn’t he be thrilled to see that one lad has beaten him to the hunted? Shouldn’t he hail Wang-son with delight and say, “Salutations, comrade, I see we have a common enemy. What say you that we join forces?” And since he is so curious about who sent Wang-son to capture Tae-ha, does it make sense for him to slay our resident cutie-pie? Doesn’t he know that dead men tell no tales?

If… If Hwang kills General Choi in the next episode, I’m going to turn him into a purple toad, never mind that the very name Lee Jong-hyuk sends me into flights of fangirly hysteria.

 

“IT’S TIME YOU GO YOUR OWN WAY.”

And now, to end this recap, allow me to take you, dear reader (yes, you, the only one still sticking around; you have my utmost gratitude) to where we started, back to Dae-gil and Seol-hwa.

After returning to their quarters, Dae-gil discovers that Wang-son has gone missing. Like Choi, he too deduces that the youngest member of their threesome has scooted off on his own Tae-ha hunt. So he dashes off, leaving Seol-hwa to sing that now too-familiar refrain: “Orabeoni, where are you going?”

Dae-gil fails to find Wang-son at the seowon and decides to go back. Spent (emotionally and physically) and anxious (about Wang-son), he is irked that Seol-hwa is wiping the floor in such close proximity to him and like one possessed. “From now on I will cook and sew for you,” she replies with a false perkiness. “Why would you?” he grunts with characteristic civility (or lack thereof).

Telling her that she should go to Mount Worak to find a man called Jjakgwi who can protect and help her settle down, he explains that he’s going to stop slave hunting. “It’s time you go your own way. I will provide money for your trip.” When she counters that she did not follow him for his money and asks if he’s quitting his trade because of Un-nyun (because he became a slave hunter in the first place in order to find her, didn’t he?), he explodes. “HOW DARE YOU!”

As Seol-hwa’s eyes fill with tears (and I’ve stopped counting how many times he has hurt her), our walking volcano steps outside for some fresh air. In a faraway place, a signal flare flies into the night sky, the very flare that lured Choi to Hwang. Dae-gil sees it and dashes out at once. It must be Wang-son!

Will Dae-gil get there in time to save General Choi from Hwang? Or will he find instead the bodies of the two men who have become the only family he has left in this world? Stay tuned to find out!

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56 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kyun

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah again with the cliffhanger..
    i really hope that both of them arent dead..

    *went to a corner and mumbles some chants*

  2. angryparsnip

    I am still sticking around… and Thank You for the recap… your Grandmother taught you well.
    Choi and Wang-son better not be dead !

  3. Taohua

    So….I stopped watching Chuno after episode 14. Not only b/c I didn’t have enough time, but I was pretty upset with what happened at the end of this episodeand what I surmised happened in the next episode. Nonetheless, I’ve been really impressed by Jang Hyuk in this. And LDH did a good job in this episode. But wonderful, wonderful recap! It’s always a lot of fun read your recaps—they are always amusing and witty :)

  4. EMx

    ”Given how learned (and fearless) she is, and the fact that her slave chores do not involve flinging herself into mud on a daily or even monthly basis, why is her face perpetually mud-smeared?”

    Haha my thoughts exactly.
    lol but yet why was Un-nyun sooo clean when she was a slave?
    Im sure EVERY SINGLE slave we have come across in this drama so far have actually looked convincing with the dirt, rag clothes etc.
    I think even Un-nyun’s ‘slave clothes’ were still a cut above the others.

  5. giddygirl108

    Great job on the recap :) Love the commentary.

  6. deannadsc

    I’m loving “Chuno” so much & thanks for the recaps, Thunderbolt!!! I believe this is one of the best dramas I’ve seen this season…such a pity it’s about to end!! I’m still stuck on episode 17 because dramasub is so slow in posting English subs!!!

  7. momosan

    Thanks for the recap Thundie….honestly, I can’t even rewatch eps 13 and 14 again at this point. GAHHH! The angst. I believe I utteredscreams of unbelief and said horrible things.

    However – I do wish instead of the box of paper and coins Song Tae Ha was opening, you had grapped the next frame that appeared very briefly – for one of the very few inside jokes they snuck in. The list that Tae Ha looks at has 4 names –
    Jang Donggun, Lee Byungheon,
    Song Kangho, Han Seokgyu

    And he says “I see some familiar names…..”
    snicker.

    Anyway, in with the all the angst a wee bit of humor.

  8. goldenlotus

    Awesome recap! I’m so enjoying your commentary and look forward to reliving the drama with you since its officially over now. =( Boooo.

    I agree. This drama will win drama of the year. For its boldness, ambiance, excitement, detail and ooooh chocolate ab gooey goodness!

    PS. I so love our resident villain, so don’t turn him into a purple frog! Thanks!

  9. goldenlotus

    #6 Deannadsc- Its done eng subbing on viikii.net so enjoy!!

  10. 10 Sere

    Thanks for the recap, thunderbolt. It’s so nice to read so many different guest-bloggers recap one drama. :)

    Just like momosan, I can’t rewatch this ep, either. Too angsty, omg!

    I don’t even have any coherent thoughts at this point (although I’ve watched up to ep 19 so I know what happens next), but know this, I do agree with pretty much everything you said. Also, yes about Seol-hwa! The market scene was SO emotional for all the characters involved and for me too.

    As for Cheol-woong, I stopped trying to understand him. I did try and his actions still baffle me. It’s better if I just sit back and watch whatever the writer throws at us. In the end, there’ll be an explanation, I hope.

    PS: I’m listening to RoI OST. I love it, too. Love the songs you chose. They really do fit the ep.

  11. 11 Chuck

    I also am mystified by Hwang’s evilness. The explanation they fall back on is that STH ordered him around and “looked down on him,” when they were both in the same outfit. How that could turn someone into a murdering villain is beyond me. What conceivable purpose did it serve to kill Han Seom’s lady friend? Was she a threat to him? It was just wanton evil. I never stopped hoping the “claws of demise” would catch up with Hwang.

  12. 12 Biscuit

    I can sorta understand Hwang’s evilness. If you look at things from his point of view… he comes home and can’t even face his mother. With no where or no one to go to, what does he have? He’s stuck with a woman he doesn’t love, and for all he knows, he will forever be under the power of his father-in-law.

    He has no future, really. He can’t turn back or change his path… so I see this as him letting go of his life and even the tiniest bit of kindness would do no good to him. He has no guilt but to only fill out his only purpose in life. Whether he lives or dies probably doesn’t matter to him at this point – he might as well go full out evil if that is the only purpose he has in life now.

    Another sad episode… but Commander must not die! I can deal with Wang-Son’s death but not Choi!

  13. 13 Dahee Fanel

    You’ve done it again, unni. This recap is GOLD. :D

  14. 14 ockoala

    Man, this recap is so chock-a-lot full of Chuno as distilled by Thundie, I’m probably gonna need at least 4 reads sober to fully digest it. Like Dahee says, its gold, and maybe even platinum! The fact that Chuno has merited an all-star recap effort is a treat enough for us.

    Thank you, Thundie! I’m thoroughly savoring the spectrum of recap styles, comments and feelings. You being the latest recapper is like a someone dropped off a giant cupcake at my desk after I get back from lunch. Woah, score! It’s like a smorgasboard of buffetty treats. :-)

  15. 15 deeta

    This is OT, but YAY for finishing RoI. I’m demanding a post (or more) on it, thundie! I hope you loved the drama as much as I did. Seeing that it’s now in your Top 5, I gather you did XD..

  16. 16 langdon813

    Great job thundie!!

    “If… If Hwang kills General Choi in the next episode, I’m going to turn him into a purple toad, never mind that the very name Lee Jong-hyuk sends me into flights of fangirly hysteria.”

    This makes me lub you almost as much as I do LMK, and that is a lot. :-D

  17. 17 Molly

    Wow, great recap, Thundie! Thanks so much. I hate these pseudo-cliffhanger endings SO much. Arg.

  18. 18 Alert

    I thought my heart would stop when I watched ep 14! Looking at lifeless Wangson covered in blood was horrifying. Especially when it was Cheol Wong dragging him. I never felt so much hatred towards him before – he was a hotness-killing machine, but seeing him slashing Wangson broke my heart to pieces. WHY?! WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO OUR WANGSON?!!

    Great recap Thundie, I laughed so hard seeing the “Men are all the same” song posted right after Tae Ha’s expressionless face LOL. (And I prefer the scruffy Tae Ha too…)

    Chuno recaps have become my current recaps favourite, because every single recapper has put so much of their own personalities (sarcasm, especially hahaha!) and some sort of defend mechanism towards their fav characters (so loving this!), which always left me laughing at the end, no matter how serious Chuno is supposed to be. I’m having a blast watching right now (up until 17 that is), thanks to all the recaps!!

  19. 19 charlie

    I loved reading your recap and especially the little asides! : )
    Thank you!

  20. 20 pat

    Thank you ,I know what happens, but I love the recaps anyway.

  21. 21 MEL

    Thunderbolt/Thundie……….you’ve got one fan in me, you didn’t lose me in your banter….laughing at times and deeply engrossed, I love your recap (“grandmother’s tales”)..I was so heartbroken with this episode when my beloved Wang Son and General Choi were presumably “killed……” how dare they kill off two of the many reasons why I watch Chuno…of course the market scenes with Dae Gil and Un Nyon so heart wrenching……..thanks for your recap, am looking forward to more of your “grandmother’s tales” …by the way I hope Chuno 2 does happen!!!!

  22. 22 Sakura

    Wow, thunderbolt! what a thunder and lightning review !! thanks

    I guess they have “white pearly whitening” during the joseom period ! ha ha. and dental care too!! except for CHEON JI HO !!
    STH wearing silk clothes and nice tied-up shampoed shining hair !

    All I can say is songtaeha was responsible for not putting a stop to hwang’s evilness but instead go kissing on the top of the panoramic cliff.

    During dae gil and Un nyun days you can see dae gil inviting Un Nyun to join him eating but with STH she hardly eat (never) except for the barbeque snake but she didn’t eat . Two different men in her life !!.

    Yes I cried too when I thought the two “brothers” died. but when hwang dragged wangsan’s body then I thought, why dragged a dead body ?. So I was quiet relief.

    Red/maroon velvet shoe and purple embroidered shoe, much later different color !!

  23. 23 Ladymoonstone143

    Great recap thunderbolt. I love this drama so much and when I am done watching all episodes, I will go back to episode 1…;))) Thanks again…

  24. 24 samsooki

    Hehe, I guess I’m next up in the Chuno recap rotation?

    Twirl twirl twirl…

  25. 25 samsooki

    Oh, @thundie…

    WONDERFUL job. And to think, I have to follow this awesome recap? Sigh… back to writing then!

  26. 26 Dramaking

    Up to 5 recappers now for one series, *sigh* my complaints are falling on deaf ears.

  27. 27 javabeans

    @Dramaking,
    I’ve read your complaints and I think you do have a point. However, I think it’s worth pointing out that sometimes things are written in teams because one person cannot shoulder the burden him/herself. So in this case, it’s multiple writers or zero. I think most people would prefer to have Chuno recapped rather than not.

  28. 28 doozy

    Awesome recap, thundie! It was a joy to read!

    “And why, if she is able to keep her teeth so pearly-white, does she not take more care with her skin? She and Eop-bok clearly have feelings for each other, so shouldn’t she want to look her cleanest for him? It’s befuddling, truly.”
    As I watched the earlier episodes, I was wondering the same thing! Where and how does she get such great dental care?!

    “Don’t send a ferocious slave hunter (eyes blazing, dagger pointing sideways) after me because of that!”
    If it does happen, and that’s a big “if” since your comments are so fun to read, would it be better if there are close-ups of said slave hunter and dramatic music for effect? Hehe…

  29. 29 tofu

    Dennis Oh on Melrose Place! Dennis Oh on Melrose Place! Dennis Oh on Melrose Place! Aaaaaahhhh!!!

  30. 30 Norme

    Annyeong,

    Nice recap Thunderbolt…Kamsamida…

  31. 31 nileey

    thanks for the recaps, and I quite enjoy reading it too!

    This is one of the most heartbreaking episode ever, especially to see what has befallen Wangson and General Choi.

    Bring it on!

  32. 32 jusash

    Thundie, I really have no reason to be reading this – NOT following or watching Chuno except to read the unavoidable asides on it (like the clean clothes debate).

    But on seeing you wrote this, Thunder … I had to.
    Esp since you have been mentioning Lee Jong HOT just about everywhere. :)

    Gem. Your sleuthing efforts to prove those shoes. Hahahahahah!

    >>”You see, if you chase the clues in the previous episodes (and I did, never mind that it makes me look like some lunatic), you will note the color of Un-nyun’s shoes while she and Tae-ha were on the run. They are BLACK ===> I thus put it to you, dear readers (the five still reading this recap), that the shoes that Dae-gil caressed in Episode 13 are not the same shoes that Un-nyun remembers in Episode 14. If they were, she would have looked at them as she crouched in the kitchen, crying from the depths of her being.”

    >> “As Tae-ha listens, unaware that the right thing to do at that moment is to gather his wife into his arms and wipe away her tears, Un-nyun smiles (because she knows which battles aren’t worth fighting, reforming a spouse’s blank expression being one of them) and urges him to eat. =======>

    (I rather miss the scruffy Tae-ha. How about you? Just look at his clean and expressionless face below, whether lying horizontal or sitting upright, and you can understand why Un-nyun finds it so hard to spill the beans about anything to him.)

    ROFLMAO!!!

    Not much more enlightened about Chuno Ep 14, but those asides were hilarious reads! Thanks!

  33. 33 serendipity

    Shoe sleuthing — bless! Y’know, I’m of the ask-no-questions-and-you’ll-be-told-no-lies school when it comes to Chuno plot. I think it’s pretty laughable that it won best script, because I think the script is its weakest link. I think they deliberately showed identical shoes; but couldn’t be bothered to really think through its implications (and provenance) the way you most diligently have. Chuno plot, imo, simply does not stand up to close scrutiny. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Chuno is all about Effect (cool slow-mo, racy music, sexy editing, choco abs), and not so much about Realistic Plot or Profound Character Development. But, cor, what great effect!

    Also, yeah, LDH blew me away here and at the end of ep 13. *Finally* on board the DG-UN ship, thanks to her bringing it on.

    Oh, and NICE RECAP! Loved the way you organized the plot (a lot better organized than the plot itself, imo!), love your insight and wit. :-)

  34. 34 jossy

    awesome recap Thundie! very entertaining!

  35. 35 dany

    Every. Time. I read a Chuno recap here I think: that was my favourite recap so far. And this time it happens again: Thundie, this was my favourite recap of this series so far LOL!

    Thanks for putting up those pics of the Before and After Daegil. It kind of sums up why Jang Hyuk was actually genius casting for the role because he’s convincing before AND after. While I can imagine any number of other actors playing the other parts, I CAN-NOT imagine anyone else playing Daegil with that fine sane-insane balancing act he does – you keep thinking when/why/how/if he’ll finally tip over the edge.

    Let’s hope the prequel rumours are true because I really wanna see how Doreyonnim transforming into Chuno Daegil.

    Also, I always knew LDH had it in her to kill this role. She’s a really good and intelligent actress (didn’t JH recommend her for the part?). It’s the mediocre underwriting of her role which really undermined her. And the role of saintly princess is always the boring one (which is why the saintly prince TH is easily the most dull character – until he meets DG and starts losing his temper (woops. was that a spoiler?). I wanted her to light up like a firecracker the minute she saw DG alive and …. happy with another woman? Hehe, wishful thinking. Not in her upbringing and oh well, Chuno is testosterone driven…..

    In many ways, SH is far strongly written and Kim Ha Eun does not hesitate to take advantage of that plum role.

    • 35.1 Gasenadi

      Couldn’t agree more. Sometimes I feel LDH was shortchanged in the writing department. Practically every other woman had a juicier role and opportunities to shine. LDH has the post-wedding DG sighting. Oh, and that brief iniciative when she advised Hanseom not to call TH general in public or carry the baby and call attention to himself. Then it was back to the bland conversations with hubby.

  36. 36 Qwenli

    Hi, very nice recap, thundie!

    With regards to the shoe, I think it is sure laziness/convenience part of the production team. Save the budget just use the same shoe or oops, no time to get another pair of shoe! haha

  37. 37 Dramaking

    Thanks for the response JB. I understand that to recap is extremely time consuming but if any drama would call for it I guess I was hoping it’d be the one you deemed possibly “drama of the year”. But cest la vie, it is wha it is, I won’t mention it again.

  38. 38 Jill4675

    Just look at his clean and expressionless face below, whether lying horizontal or sitting upright, and you can understand why Un-nyun finds it so hard to spill the beans about anything to him.

    The above was my favorite sentence in the entire review….!! BTW, the expressionlessness also extended to standing, walking, and talking… :lol:

    @#36 qwenli ~ I think you’re right about those shoes!!! Well, they might have had two or three pairs but all the same… [OT] and if you are able to find Jang Hyuk in Shanghai, remember to take pictures!!! :)

  39. 39 makeupmag

    @momosan,

    Thank you for that little gem of an inside joke! :)

    Thundie, I love your attention to detail (and the continuous allusion to certain niggling aspects – TH’s impassive visage, for instance. ;)). Thanks for this great recap that fits in perfectly with the rest.

  40. 40 Dramaking

    Wow, was finally able to watch the end of Chuno and wow, what a great drama, maybe my new all time favorite. Jang Hyuk owned this role and hopefully he’ll get the recognition he deserves, he was AMAZING. Biggest weakness of the drama even up until the very end was Lee Dae Hee(and I liked her in My Girl), and I didn’t see her in EOE either so I didn’t have a bitter taste in my mouth. She really brought nothing to this drama other than a pretty face. Her character was an idiot in the beginning and even though she wised up at the end, her acting just didn’t keep me emotionally invested. I kept watching it begging her to give me more MORE MOAR!!! cuz I WANTED to feel her pain but just couldn’t connect to her cover girl facial expressions. Other than that (and an excess of Hero shots) this drama was GREAT!

    • 40.1 Gasenadi

      My favorite, too. I’m going to invest in the DVD set and watch repeatedly. Right now, I’m watching just to get a hold of Chul Wong’s character. I had never cried for a villain before.

      My first two viewings of Chuno, LDH’s blandness annoyed me. I thought it had to do with botox, maybe? I didn’t recall her being so blah in Robbers, for example. Now, I attribute some of it to the writing. Oh, and that lavender “man’s” disguise with the side-swept bangs

  41. 41 thunderbolt

    Thanks for reading and commenting, everyone. :D This being my first recap here, I was pretty nervous actually. Thanks very much for the encouragement. *hugs*

    #7 momosan

    I noticed that inside joke when I was working on the subs some weeks ago and found it pretty funny. This time, though, it sailed right over my head when I was taking screencaps of that scene. Didn’t register a thing. I wrote the section on Scholar Jo last and by then I was just about brain-dead. Shoot, if I had paid more attention I would have lined up images of the four actors. Too late! :lol:

    #15 deeta

    Can I tell you how much I miss ROI and how I can’t wait to rewatch it (720p this time, woot!)? Just been so busy. I want to write about it, definitely. It’s awesomesauce in every way.

    #16 langdon813

    LUB YOU BACK! Thank you, lol…

    #26 Dramaking

    Oops, sorry to be the straw that broke the camel’s back! :oops: I know an eclectic range of recapping styles takes getting used to. Please cut me some slack, though; I’ll be back with more Chuno recaps and hope you’ll read them! 8)

    #32 jusash

    Oooh, Ms. Ju… thank you for being here. *muah!!* (Psst, when are you commencing your Damo watch? ^^)

    #33 serendipity

    Also, yeah, LDH blew me away here and at the end of ep 13. *Finally* on board the DG-UN ship, thanks to her bringing it on.

    Writing this recap did the same thing to me. Finally feel invested in the OTPs. As for JH, what can I do except bow in awe? The guy has gained a new fan.

    #35 dany

    Wait till you read samsooki’s ep 15 recap! Keke…

  42. 42 Jackie

    As for the shoes, back and forth it was black then red then back to black again , they are not consistent with their wardrobe.

    No wonder the writer apologised to LDH because Un nyun/hye won character was not well written at all. Be fair, LDH can definitely act.

  43. 43 Dramaking

    Nothing personal Thunderbolt, I liked your recap as I liked everyone elses as well. Just noting a personal preference.

  44. 44 D

    thank you!!!

    i enjoyed all the recaps so far.. good job!! looking forward to Samsooki’s next… (no pressure)..

    i stop watching it live after this ep – Hwang’s evilness is too much for me.. as for the smaller details i.e. shoes & what not.. sometimes i wonder how much is left in the cutting floor – all those scenes edited out. it would explain more of the stuff that’s bothering the viewers..

  45. 45 song4u2

    let’s hear it for Samsooki—-dude, where are you ????????????

  46. 46 Yu Mi Rae

    i don’t know about the DG – UN ship . am still relactant to board it . yeah they loved each other ONCE but now they are different people i.e DG is a monster . in so many ways . how will HYE WON relate to that ?? his now a slave hunter and even though she’s a noble lady now still can she leave tae ha to be with someone who hunts slaves for a leaving ???
    i say MOAR romantic scenes between Tae ha and hye won before they kill the relationship . i hope this won’t turn into a hong gil dong-esque ending where everyone dies . i’ll strike . !!

    thunderbolt great recap i hope you recap more chuno episodes . : )

    • 46.1 C E

      DG is not a monster. The show goes to great lengths to show that almost all of the characters are flawed and human but still capable of good. Example: Chun Ji-Ho who started out as a creepy, nasty leader of a gang, but goes to show great care and even love for his men when one of his guys, Man-Deuk is killed. He actually carries him to the beach and buries in a spot that he thinks will please the guy’s spirit. Another example, is the purple guy who even though he kills alot of people (SPOILER). He later returns to his wife and weeps for the sins he has committed.

      And back to my main point, DG is not a monster but just a victim of the injustice and cruelty of his time. There is even a line from the last episode that says: You can blame the world, but you shouldn’t blame a person” for the wrongs and injuries that are done to you. Instead I think the writers are trying to say that you should try to change the world into a better place where these wrongs won’t happen to someone else and “not to produce sad lives like ours” again (Sorry another quote from last episode) :)

      • 46.1.1 Gasenadi

        Yeah, like the monster that seeks spiritual help in the temple to deal with his loss. How about the monster who rescues the slave mother and daughter, gives them money and directs them to safety? Or the monster that turns UN/HW’s shoes around for her ease the next day? Or the monster that saves money for his friends’ future retirement? Or the monster that rescues SW twice from the dancers and buys her cloth at the market?

        He sure contrasts with the saintly General who conspires with others to dethrone the King’s chosen heir, thereby committing treason. Of course, the Hero General never kills anyone in this series; he’s clean.

        DG also contrasts with that very King, who murders his own rightful heir/son and his family.

  47. 47 JJ

    I actually randomly saw Oh Ji Ho in a bowling place in apgujeong on sat!!
    I recognized him w/ his long hair under his cap…
    and later on in the night he took it off and tied his hair up haha.
    alot of people recognized him too but noone would go up to him.

  48. 48 Moonblossom

    Thanks for the recap. It would read better though if you can omit some of the side-track and stick to the main plot evolvement.

  49. 49 Soua

    I don’t understand why people think HW is the weakest link? I think all the parts played are crucial, and have a reasoning behind it. The character of UN, who once was care free and spirited, somewhat like SH, has suffered a great deal. She can no longer be carefree and childlike. Remember that UN existed when she was what? 15?16? So young, and naive… Now, a grown woman who lives in the 1600’s, and must abide to social rules. Women during that time period are expected to act the way HW is.. passive, afraid…no goals oriented, except for marriage. Unlike SH’s character, who isn’t meant to be a “lady,” HW’s character cannot act outside of the image of a presentable “lady.” That is understandable.

    I for one, thought Lee Da Hae did a great job of portraying HW… Emotion wise, I thought she did it well… she portrayed sorrow for DG perfectly… the only problem I had with her acting was during the boat scene when DG was shooting at TH and HW. The expression on her face.. i felt, was a little over the top for that scene… but hey, maybe that’s what the director had wanted?

    Anyways, awesome recap11!

    • 49.1 C E

      I agree UN is not the weakest link. But an unique and integral character to the plot and message of the story. And yes UN was a spirited, hopeful character as a young slave girl. But I also believe that HW is not meant to be a passive stereotypical Korean wife either. She clearly shows signs of individuality and resilience when she first ran away from her marriage to Lord Choi. And in later episodes, you will see that she has alot of courage in protecting and transporting the young prince to safety while separated from her husband. So in a big way, this show was about growth and change of both Dae Gil and Un-Nyun. The former from a scarred, jaded, and scruffy outsider towards a more accepting and reconciled individual. The later changes from a young protected and naive girl to a strong, semi-independent, and clever girl (ie. who outwits some checkpoint guards in a later episode).

      • 49.1.1 Soua

        Agreed. HW is definitely not your typical Korean wife. And she is very brave in keeping the Prince safe. She’s pretty smart, too. So she has beauty+brains=awesome character.

        :D

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