Drama Recaps
Chuno: Episode 15
by | April 7, 2010 | 65 Comments


Chuno has taken a very serious turn, and I was extremely surprised by what happened in the last episode. It is as if PD Kwak gathered together all of the Chuno writers, and announced, “Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I think we can make Dae-Gil’s life even more brutal…” and then all of them started chanting in unison, “blood, blood, blood…” If you don’t know what happened in Episode 14, I suggest you hit that recap first (wonderfully written by thundie), and then come back here.


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Fire, smoke and ash rise from ground as the flare arrows that used to be held by Wang-Son have gone off in every direction. Bad-ass Commander Hwang has just whacked Wang-Son, and dragged his body away. General Choi has tracked Commander Hwang to this desolate spot, and there’s about to be another killing. If you can feel the desperation in General Choi’s voice, it is not because he knows he is outmatched, but that he knows he is probably too late to save his little brother Wang-Son.


Hwang Chul-Woong: I am the one asking questions. Now, who ordered you here?
General Choi (crying out): My little brother, where is he?!

What’s more than a little ironic is that both Commander Hwang and Dae-Gil’s crew were ordered to service by the same guy, Minister Lee. But as so often happens in k-dramas, nobody bothers to just answer simple questions that would otherwise make everyone’s lives so much easier.

If General Choi had only been polite enough to take turns! If Choi had answered Commander Hwang’s question, and THEN had asked his question, I’d bet 100 nyang that Commander Hwang would have stopped fighting and shown Wang-Son’s body. Commander Hwang wouldn’t have apologized, since black hat bad-asses seldom do. But of course, a frantic General Choi ignores the question, fights, and gets beaten. Badly. Nooooooo!!! Wang-Son I can stomach losing, but not General Choi!


Crawling around the ground, a despairing General Choi finds the poor body of Wang-Son and at that moment, Commander Hwang lands the killing blow. This makes me sick to my stomach. I am as helpless as Dae-Gil is, who of course arrives too late to save either Choi or Wang-Son.


Dae-Gil immediately finds that he has arrived at a scene of a battle. Dae-Gil searches the area, and only finds Choi’s broken spear. No bodies, as Commander Hwang dragged them away.


Miles away, Un-Nyun is feeling her past catch up to her and she struggles mightly as to whether to tell her new husband, Song Tae-Ha, about what’s on her mind.


Song Tae-Ha sits up from his resting log position to face Un-Nyun. This is a scene that has got to go down as downright puzzling with Tae-Ha’s utter lack of emotions (dude, your wife looks like she’s about to tell you that she’s carrying Commander Hwang’s baby or something, and you sound like she’s asking whether her hanbok makes her look fat). Tae-Ha in his soporific indoor voice tells Un-Nyun that she doesn’t have to tell him anything. Despite Un-Nyun’s hyperventilation, tears, extreme discomfort and facial tics, Tae-Ha smiles at his own thoughts and then launches into his own issues with what to do with the rest of his life, pretty much oblivious to what’s on Un-Nyun’s mind.


And I’m sensing a pattern here that I find more than a little annoying. The pattern is – “to extend dramatic tension, let’s have the main characters stop communicating to one another.” It is a k-drama staple, to create confrontational situations based on misunderstanding and ignorance of facts. But if this device is used too often, then I feel like I’m being played and so I’ll watch cynically – which I don’t want to do. And perhaps just as importantly, the other issue is Song Tae-Ha’s lack of character development. Dialogue is what drives character development. No meaningful dialogue = no meaningful development. This is perhaps a big reason why I find Song Tae-Ha’s character so incredibly difficult to root for. I have no idea why he does anything.

Still, there are some major plot points to note here:

1. At first, I thought Un-Nyun was burdened with whether to tell Tae-Ha that her long lost love, Dae-Gil, is still alive, and so her marriage to Tae-Ha was a mistake. But based on a few scenes from Episode 14, I think that her heavy burden is whether to tell Tae-Ha that she is a runaway slave, and that’s a whole different mindset altogether.

2. Now that Choi and Wang-Son are dead, any semblance of a happy future for Dae-Gil is gone. He had already given up on love, having let Un-Nyun get married and not bothering to capture Song Tae-Ha. But Dae-Gil’s plan of just living as a normal person with his remaining family is now destroyed. This is a very odd development.

3. And finally, Tae-Ha is a person without a clear mission, and this is notable because he’s a military guy and military people need objectives. It was easy to rescue the baby prince, but once rescued, now Tae-Ha has to decide whether the moral justification of regime change is worth the bloodshed that will follow.

Back to Dae-Gil. After a bit of searching, Dae-Gil has still found nothing more than Choi’s broken spear. Hiding from behind a boulder, Commander Hwang unsheathes his blade but then Dae-Gil cries out asking if Song Tae-Ha is responsible, and of course, this gives Commander Hwang an idea.


Now, pretty much immediately, I figure I know what Commander Hwang is going to do. It is one thing if people say, “oh, well Commander Hwang isn’t really doing any of this under his own free will; he’s just as much of a slave to Minister Lee as any of the real slaves that Minister Lee has.” But Commander Hwang seems to be enjoying the fact that he is hurting other people. And, I can’t justify that or set that aside or white-wash it. Commander Hwang might be cool and interesting, but as a person, he sucks. Big time.


Back in town, at the home of a yang-ban who owns both Eop Bok and Chobok, we find that a young daughter of one of the slave couples has been summoned to the bedchamber of the master, the night before she is to be bartered to another slave owner for livestock.


In heartbreaking scenes, we see how the parents of the daughter deal with this nightmarish scenario. Herein lies the heart of the issue that goes to a lot of the moral issues that surround not only Chuno, but the time period as well. Joseon’s prevailing societal justification was based in large part on the twin mountains of Confucianism and Buddhism. But while the former sought primarily to instill an ordered society and the latter concerned itself with purifying the individual, neither directly dealt with moral issue of slavery.


In fact, Confucianism was probably a great boon towards protecting the institution of slavery, because Confucian tenets work to protect ritual, tradition, and societal order. Thus, it would have been seen as moral, to uphold the following: ritual (which would include the master’s right to bed slaves, much like the European Middle Ages tradition of ius primae noctis which was seen in the movie, Braveheart), tradition (“there has always been masters and slaves”) and societal order (protecting the sanctity of the master / slave relationship).

Eop Bok goes outside to talk with the father of the slave who is being raped that night and sold off in the morning, to offer encouragement and some resolve, perhaps, to escape.


Eop Bok: Just don’t sit here like this, but rush in, get your daughter out of there and flee!
Slave Father: You, with your garbage ideas again? You know, you have to fix that twisted thinking of yours. We who are at least able to subsist and survive like this, if we overturn this relationship mandated by heaven, then we would worse than beasts.
Eop Bok: Are you saying that living like THIS is better than living like beasts?
Slave Father: Must I take a rod and beat you until you get it? You are a slave, you punk. Empty your stupid head, and just do as you are ordered to do!

I think this scene is powerful, as it explains why it took so many centuries for slavery to be abolished in Joseon. The people who who benefited from the “relationships mandated by heaven” were the ones with the brains, money and power who thought up and dictated the prevailing moral and religious guidelines. If you didn’t know any better, how could you challenge the laws of heaven?

Back to the main story. Scholar Jo and his cohorts grow anxious as it seems that General Song Tae-Ha may not merely follow orders and do as he is told. And, they have judged correctly, as Tae-Ha has indeed wondered as to why he is doing what he is doing – given his mandate. A soldier’s life is merely to follow orders and not to question why, but in this case, Tae-Ha has to first choose whose orders to follow, and to do that, he needs justification.


And that justification he finds in a principle that his master, the late Crown Prince So-Hyeon had tried to bring back to Joseon from Qing. He must try to change Joseon for the better. This alarms Scholar Jo, whom by now we recognize merely seeks to put the infant son of So-Hyeon on the throne to act as the power behind the throne. Tae-Ha’s announcement that he is acting to change the world is tantamount to saying that mere regime-change is not good enough.


The scene switches to Eop Bok and his trained slave insurgents who are targeting various upper class people. What is a little surprising here is that Eop Bok doesn’t really seem to care too much that he’s being given orders by an unknown person with an unknown agenda to kill various people. For him and his cohorts, killing higher-ups is far more than they could have ever dreamed, and so killing, any killing, gives them power that they never had before.


But this time around, it looks like the gig is up. Eop Bok’s next directed target has actually done some counter-insurgency work, using decoys to feret out the assassins. Eop Bok and his partner kill the decoys, and are thus found out. It looks like the end of the road for Eop Bok’s murky journey towards a better world.


But just before Eop Bok is killed, a new character to Chuno arrives in a very timely fashion. Park Ki-Woong, who played the bespectacled and jumpy Ahn Kyung Tae in the 2009 drama, Story of a Man, is back but this time, his character is quite different. Park Ki-Woong plays a slave who has no master, a confident young man skilled in both the books and in martial arts – an interesting character who has no name, only referred to in the series as “That Guy.” With effortless slashes of his sword, That Guy kills Eop Bok’s attackers and Eop Bok and his partner have no idea what to do next. Who is this guy? Or rather, who is… That Guy?


Back at the inn where Dae-Gil and his company have been staying, Dae-Gil staggers back, utterly exhausted after spending the whole night searching the mountain for Choi and Wang Son. Dae-Gil collapses from the effort, passing out in Seol-Hwa’s lap.


But a few nightmares and a half-day’s sleep later, Dae-Gil awakes with equal determination to find his lost family. He might have lost Un-Nyun, but he can’t lose Choi and Wang-Son too! As Dae-Gil gets up to go out and look again, Seol-Hwa tries to go with him, but earns a rather severe slap to the face instead. Dae-Gil bends over close to Seol-Hwa, almost as if he was intending to kiss her, and whispers for her to leave.


At this point, I would like to sympathize with Seol-Hwa, but I really can’t. She knows that Dae-Gil doesn’t love her, can’t love her. She knows that Dae-Gil has deadly serious business to attend to, things where she would slow him down and burden him. I would submit that Seol-Hwa’s behavior now is bordering on selfish as well as a little crazy. She is a free woman at this point, and while it is true that she would likely not find the security that should would, being partnered up with Dae-Gil and his crew, she has no affiliation and far too little history to demand of Dae-Gil anything.

As Dae-Gil is about to leave, he finds on his door step a package. It is Wang-Son’s armband and Choi’s hair stick thing, along with a note purportedly from Song Tae-Ha. Dae-Gil goes ballistic and rushes off, leaving Seol-Hwa with nothing.


Dae-Gil heads off to a secluded spot, and prepares for the battle of his life. He wears Wang-Son’s armband and Choi’s stick in his hair, and then sets fire to the last of the drawings of Un-Nyun that has been carrying around. While he has let Un-Nyun go for the sake of her happiness, now, with Song Tae-Ha’s murderous rampage destroying Dae-Gil’s new family, Dae-Gil has no choice but to take revenge. Dae-Gil prepares his heart and sheds his last tears for this woman who has torn his heart now three times – the first when she betrayed him 10 years ago, the second when she married Song Tae-Ha, and the third time, being the marital support for this monster named Song Tae-Ha.


On the other side of town, Song Tae-Ha’s men are splitting up and leading their scholar escorts out of town, to handle their duties outside of the compound for a month’s time. This is just the kind of circumstance that Commander Hwang needs to pick apart the men one by one. Commander Hwang has been keeping watch and intercepts each tandem as they leave the compound, killing them one by one.


Even the fierce Gwang-Jae, Song Tae-Ha’s closest friend, falls to Commander Hwang’s sword. Poor Gwang-Jae!


Finally, Song Tae-Ha leaves for his journey, apart from everyone else, keeping the Prince in Un-Nyun’s hands. Unbeknownst to him or to Un-Nyun, Scholar Jo has other plans and has secreted the Prince away with his own partner, leaving Un-Nyun guarding nothing. Song Tae-Ha reaches the spot where Gwang-Jae has fallen, and gets nothing from him. Song Tae-Ha, fearing the worst, does an about-face and runs back toward the compound.


I Want To Love You – by Wax [ Download ]

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At the compound, Un-Nyun is pacing back and forth, wondering how everyone is doing (no need to wonder, they are all dead except for Han-Seom, who didn’t have a scholar escort and left on his own). And perhaps with the same sixth sense that made her pause at the Un-Joo Temple when she was so close to Dae-Gil a few episodes previous, Un-Nyun stiffens and clutches her heart when she senses a piece of her soul nearby. Could it be? She very slowly turns around, and there is no mistake this time around. It is Dae-Gil, and he is about 12 feet away.


Dae-Gil has finally appeared in the flesh before Un-Nyun, but so wrapped in rage is he, Dae-Gil does not even look at her at first. And then, finally, he burns Un-Nyun down to nothing with his stare.


As he closes the distance to Un-Nyun, Dae-Gil starts to smile. But it is a smile that lacks all compassion, as the last of Dae-Gil’s compassion went up in the fire that burned the drawing of Un-Nyun.

Dae-Gil: Did a runaway slave think that life would be so easy?
Un-Nyun: Has it been me… that you have been searching for?
Dae-Gil: Slaves, you know, have no right to ask questions to their masters.
Un-Nyun (shattered): Could it be… that even once… you thought about me?
Dae-Gil (laughing a mocking laugh): What kind of a lunatic would have space in his heart for a crazy bitch like you? Now it is time for me to ask the questions.


What makes this scene so awesome, beyond the superlative awesomesauce acting of both Jang Hyuk and Lee Da Hae, is that Dae-Gil finally gets to say what he feels, and he is utterly honest and utterly dishonest at the same time. Can it be that a person can say both truth and lies using the same words at once?

Dae-Gil: As the heavens bestowed upon us all the order of relationships, how can you cast aside the laws of heaven and betray your keeper?
Un-Nyun: Who is it that thought up that order, and wherefrom did those laws originate? Is a person, trying to live as a human being, not in keeping with the intent of heaven?
Dae-Gil: And still, you have in your head that you are a person?! What your kind is, what your kind are nothing but… slaves. Song Tae-Ha, where is he?
Un-Nyun (resolute): Knowing that my husband would be in danger, I cannot give up his location.


Dae-Gil looks at Un-Nyun with incredulous eyes. This is not the same person that he knew 10 years ago. This woman has strength inside of her, far more than he had ever witnessed, and while still holding onto the desire to be a person free of bondage, now with a will to undertake any measure of pain to achieve that goal. Un-Nyun has become much more than the woman Dae-Gil pledged to protect and love for his life. And now, this woman has become someone that Dae-Gil may not have, for the remainder of his life.


Un-Nyun (falling to her knees): Now you have found me. For breaking the order of the ruler to the ruled, take my life. Would a runaway slave have the right to beg for her life?
At this last hour, may you strike me down. Simply knowing that you are alive, it brings me happiness.


Dae-Gil: You are happy? What is it that brings you happiness? That I am living like this, makes you happy? Or if that isn’t it, it is that we are meeting in this God-forsaken manner, that makes you happy? With each and every day, with me feeling like I am tortured for a year’s time, is that what makes you happy? What is it that makes you so happy!!!
Un-Nyun (despairing): ohhhhh…


It is the best and worst of times. Finally, Dae-Gil gets to say exactly what he feels inside, in exactly the manner that he wishes to say it, to the person whom he mosts wishes to say it. Of course, Dae-Gil cannot have hoped for a worse set of circumstances than now – 10+ years of a tortured existence after his blood family was murdered, his home destroyed, and his love betrayed… all to find this woman who is now married to the man who has killed his last chance for a happy life with family. Dae-Gil is counting his life in hours now, because he has nothing left to live for. All because of this woman kneeling before him, whom he still loves. But the same cannot be said of Un-Nyun, for she does not see the same man that she knew and loved. That gentle and loving man she killed 10 years ago.

Of course, Song Tae-Ha shows up at this very moment. Tae-Ha holds his sword against Dae-Gil’s neck. Dae-Gil doesn’t flinch but smirks again, his make-shift weapon of Choi’s broken spear remaining against Un-Nyun’s neck. Luckily, Dae-Gil has said everything he has to say, leaving no misunderstanding to brook. At long last, it is time to fight.


Un-Nyun’s eyes wander from man to man, but Dae-Gil’s eyes remain fixed on Un-Nyun, the woman who butchered his heart. Tae-Ha is also focused, his eyes staring at Dae-Gil, the man who likely butchered all of his men.


No more talking, no more running. It is time.


Clearly, we will have an epic battle on our hands. Sure, they might be some chit-chat. Like, Song Tae-Ha wants to know why Dae-Gil had to murder Gwang-Jae and the rest of his men, and Dae-Gil wants to know where Choi’s and Wang-Son’s tags are (in Korean, the word is pyo 표 (湧 in Chinese) – the wooden ID tags that Dae-Gil needs to give his second family a proper burial and send-off). But really, this fight was coming regardless of whether Gwang-Jae, Choi and Wang-Son were dead.

And while every sageuk series seems to have a low point like this, I am left with an odd after-taste. The deaths of Choi and Wang-Son are a killer blow for Dae-Gil’s hope for a life more ordinary. While I am stoked to see the mother of all battles between equally motivated Tae-Ha and Dae-Gil, I am a little confused at the direction of the series. The WHOLE series thus far has been about Dae-Gil, and now that Dae-Gil’s life is destroyed, where do we go from here?


65 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. samsooki


    I understand a lot of you have been following Chuno pretty much contemporaneously. But, not everyone has seen all of Chuno, especially those who have started it late or those who plan to start it later.

    So, please, in the interest of civility, no spoilers here. We will do our best to maintain pace and produce our best recaps to follow, and as episodes unfold, we can discuss events as they occur in the episode.

    Thanks all!

  2. ltahk

    Am I the 1st? Crazy!

    So here’s the question I’ve been asking myself all throughout this drama: What is the deal with Commander Hwang??? He’s a baddie with a soft spot for his mom. Said soft spot is (I think) supposed to convey that he’s more than just a baddie. But I really have a hard time understanding him as a character. Is this vendetta against General Song a way for him to gain power? prove he’s the best? I feel like i’m missing something…

  3. shaz81

    Speechless i am just utterly speechless i have not watched any episodes and stuck to your recaps mainly because i have yet to watch a Sageuk, but i was tempted to read the recaps after hearing such lovely things about it, Samsooki your recaps are a delight as always an brings a depth to the episodes that even a Non-Korean like me can appreciate thank you so much i can’t wait for the next episode recap !!!!

  4. langdon813

    Chuno 15 was just devastating, from the very beginning to the very end. So this recap mostly made just me cry…but this:

    “dude, your wife looks like she’s about to tell you that she’s carrying Commander Hwang’s baby or something, and you sound like she’s asking whether her hanbok makes her look fat. ”

    Cracked me up! Sigh…but only briefly. Too much heartbreak to contend with.

    As if Dae-gil hasn’t had enough devastation in recent days, with the suicide of his newly discovered half-brother, the marriage of his long sought-after love to another man…oh, no. Let’s just make sure that Fate takes everything he has or ever will have, shall we? What does a once-desperate man do, when he no longer has anything to lose?

    This is such a brilliant recap, samsooki, truly. I love the words, the music, the humor, the sadness, the dread of what’s to come…everything. You outdid yourself this time. BRAVO!

    Oh, and Hwang Chul-woong deserves an indescribably excruciating, horrible death. Sooner rather than later.

  5. Dramaking

    This episode and the next are reasons enough for Jang Hyuk to win whatever the korean drama equivilant of an Oscar is. He was phenomenol. Such pain and anger blended together, he gives you everything most the other actors in this drama lack, depth and soul. Can’t say enough about it really.

    I honestly fast forward past all the slave revolt scenes, just doesn’t do it for me. None of the key figures interest me in any way.

    Thanks for the write-up.. Although I finished the drama a while ago reading this recap brought back good memories, maybe I’ll rewatch it 🙂

  6. ockoala

    “Song Tae-Ha sits up from his resting log position to face Un-Nyun”

    oh samsooki, you never cease to crack me up. And “soporific voice” indeed, we gonna need many more a synonym for TH’s lack of emotive delivery.

    I don’t want to talk about anything else related to this episode, it still hurts to recollect the crap that keeps getting shoved on DG. You woulda thought he was a serial babykiller in his past life with what the Gods are bestowing upon him in this life.

    And welcome to craphole Joseon, Park Ki-woong. I love your quirky ways but your Legolas was not what I was looking for, i.e. more participants in the boringest slave revolt in history.

  7. estel

    Yeah, I don’t understand the plot arc of this series, I’m sad to say. And I’m annoyed that it took 15 episodes for DG and UN to have this conversation, and neither of them get to tell their whole story. And I’m even more annoyed that the writer’s killed off his only remaining family. I mean, could his life get any worse???

  8. eiko

    Episode 15 is so intense…..acting is incredibly outstanding! I can’t get over the magnificence of Jang Hyuk…..talk about becoming the character….he certainly knows what it’s all about. I was totally mesmerized!


  9. mimi

    Thanks for the great recap!
    What I agreed with you on was the dialogue:
    “Dialogue is what drives character development. No meaningful dialogue = no meaningful development.”
    –It seems like I’ve been waiting anxiously throughout the whole drama for some meaty dialogue. But all we get are sentence fragments, one word answers, and responses that hide true feelings.

    But I’ll have to disagree about DaeGil finally getting out what he’d wanted to say to UnNyun. I was relieved (well, half-relieved) he told her his life has been like torture, but oohhh…. if only he had continued to explain. In my mind I was chanting “tell her you’ve been looking for her for 10 yrs!” but we never heard it. We never heard him say that she was the reason he became a Chuno, or the most important – that he still loved her.

    And UnNyun— she talks about heaven, human laws, blah, blah. Where’s the emotion-filled lines that convey how she’s couldn’t get over him for 10+ yrs? The viewers have watched 15 long hrs up to this point but I felt like we deserved more!

  10. 10 samsooki


    I’m really of two minds about that.

    1. One part says, “Tell her you love her, that you’ve always loved her, that you’ve not stopped loving her, that you spent 10 years trying to find her, even learning how to track runaway slaves so that you would be able to track her. Tell her you willingly gave up your life, to bring her back home.”

    2. Another part says, “You did the right thing. She played you, and she’s still playing you. I didn’t see those tears when she was smiling at Song Tae Ha on the day they got married! I didn’t hear no sobs when they were getting horizontal that night! And now, her first response to you is “have you been looking for me?” Wait… this is all about you??! Are you kidding? How about “omg, I am so sorry that I left like that. I was so scared and I thought they would execute me. I’m sorry my brother killed your mom, your dad, all of your family. I’m so sorry.”

    Basically, DG is a guy, from a noble family, a Joseon macho guy, and far above Un-Nyun in terms of social caste and rank. For DG to admit how he feels and how he spent 10 years searching for her like a schmuck, only to be turned into an ass when he finds her getting married and the only thing he can do is re-arrange her shoes while her marriage was being consummated…. is… well, that’s not going to happen.

    Un-Nyun, on the other hand, could have said more, but I think DG’s wrath pretty much set the course of the conversation…

  11. 11 Artemis

    YAY. Another Chuno recap by Samsooki. *does her happy dance* – off to read it ASAP. Just a minor correction: It was Thunderbolt that wrote the wonderful recap for Episode 14. 😉

  12. 12 ockoala

    Oh, almost forgot – I finished Tazza – and I am 100% certain that I would have switched OJH and KMJ in Chuno and Tazza, and have each play the other’s role in the other JH drama.

    It would have been a win-win for everyone involved, the audience, OJH and KMJ, and esp. esp. LDH. When she’s emoting to a log now, she would instead be emoting to KMJ doing his best rebel leader re-enactment – and oh would it just KILL (imagine the cave scene, Damo-watchers, but in that bedroom above where LDH is about to snap). And OJH as the BF gone to the dark side is a chance for him to stop being so vanilla now three dramas in a row.

    Just my two cents. 😛

  13. 13 Jill4675

    Thanks ~ this was a great episode with fantastic work by Jang Hyuk…

    I have no idea why [STH] does anything.

    Especially when his expression is consistently blank whether he’s addressing UN/HW, Scholar Jo, Han Seom, or the Prince! Almost no variation of expression! Nothing moves! In the scene you referenced, his wife is nearly hysterical and it’s like he’s not even in the same room! 😮

  14. 14 Jill4675

    @#12 ockoala ~ Ooh, now THAT would have been great, except I’d prefer to see KMJ in BOTH, since he added a lot of nice visuals to Tazza… 😆

  15. 15 daisytwenties

    Whoo. Another great recap from Samsooki. I salute thee.

  16. 16 samsooki

    @11 artemis –

    omg blerg… Thundie I am sorry! Let me go beg javabeans…

  17. 17 Sere

    You know, Park Ki-Woong’s character is SO enigmatic. gah, I won’t say anything else for fear of accidentally spoiling ppl.

    BTW, when Gwang-Jae died I cried. :/

    Thanks for the brilliant recap, Samsooki

  18. 18 Angel

    Hey Samsooki 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome recap. again 🙂 I’m not Korean so reading the recaps, I’m able to get a better cultural understanding on what’s happening.

    Anyway… you know how many may think that it was right of Daegil to ‘really let her have it’, I don’t think that that is actually a very ‘right’ move. Un-nyun, for 10 years, had thought that Dae-gil was dead. She doing the right thing by attempting to move on. If she was still crying over him, then it would have been ridiculous! I know that Daegil was her first love, but it was 10 years ago! People need to move on! It was also a relationship based on, what I saw, idealism. They had this perfect image of each other, but that wasn’t necessarily true. They’ve also both changed in the past 10 years. Un-nyun is no longer this defenseless little thing and Daegil’s no longer the kind and gentle noble.

    However, I also know where many of you guys are coming from. From Daegil’s perspective, it was betrayal – considering the pain he went through. But also, don’t you think he’s quite obssessive? There needs to be a time where you LET GO of a person, and also move on. He needs to see Un-nyun as another person, and not property. She has a life she has to live too. Also, if it was true love, shouldn’t he be HAPPY that she’s living happily? If you truly love someone, their happiness is, in a way, you’re happiness too.

    • 18.1 Gasenadi

      IMO, DG had let go after going to the temple, turning her shoes around and asking his “compeers” to return to the capital instead of pursuing TH. He’d already considered abandoning slave hunting and retiring with his friends on land he’d bought for them. He’s only confronting her in this episode because of Chul Wong’s deception, making him believe TH’s behind his friends’ disappearance. He had let go but that doesn’t mean he had stopped feeling.

  19. 19 Angel

    Well, that’s just what I think. Other opinions will most likely differ 😛

  20. 20 supah

    Commander Hwang, that poopface bi-atch, er, I mean: loathsome beast! Nooo, not my general Choi, my Wang-son and my So Ji-sub lookalike Gwang-jae too!?! *tears hair out*

    I really liked Seol-hwa and could totally understand her affixiation with Dae-gil but hail, how I wish the writers had instilled a *little* sense of pride in the girl’s character?! Girlfriend, get out of your orabeoni’s face while he’s asking you politely!

    In spite of this being a tragic and downright agitating episode, there was one minute, positive development – that too on Un-nyun’s part. While the two men confronted each other, I’m glad she never stood back to whimper helplessly but stepped in between them, and was firm about it.

    (Aiyoosh… that sexy tiger!!
    http://i630.photobucket.com/albums/uu26/dramabeans/drama/2010/chuno1/chuno15/000076.jpg )

    Cheers for another brilliant recap with hilarious commentary, samsooki! I love that we’re keeping the Chuno love lingering by way of these recaps, I’m still not over it.
    Oh and episode 16 was badass, loved it, can’t wait for its recap.

  21. 21 nileey

    great recap!

    i remember crying the most when I saw the two being slained by Commander HWang, so sad!

  22. 22 ellen

    Thank you Samsooki. Really enjoyed it.

    Tae ha needs a smack in the head for being clueless of HW’s emotion & failing to listen to what she wanted to say…that’s she is runaway slave. Maybe he’s afraid to know more about her past. Anyway…

    SW is a nuisance to DG. She only cares about her feelings. She’s a dim witted twit.

    Scenes between UN & DG. One of the best if not the best so far in Chuno. Its not only the expression on their faces but their dialogue & delivery. DG’s pain, UN’s defense & then her humility to let DG to decide her fate. I watched this bit a few times. Touching.

  23. 23 momosan

    Love your recap. Adding a little teeny bit of light to the darkness that was episode 15.

    I believe that at the time I originally viewed this I tried so hard not to put out spoilers, that I scared the daylights out of my family on my Facebook account, since none of them are Chuno viewers. I believe I said something like
    “GAHHHHHH! You killed my General Choi! You scum sucking pigs of writers! First my pretty Baek Ho, then my happy Wangson – but NOT GENERAL CHOI! By all you hold holy what have you DONE!”

    I reiterate this now. Scum sucking pigs of writers, ripping my heart out and stomping on it.

    Luckily a few do watch k-dramas, so the outburst was explained later once I calmed down enough to be semi-coherent.

  24. 24 D

    i was already numb by Hwang’s killing spree .. the only reason i got pull back to Chuno was ‘THAT GUY’.. he like Legolas alright, the brunnette version.

  25. 25 michelle

    I must say, although I’ve avoided Chuno because I really can’t stand watching Lee Da Hae, your recap REALLY makes me regret not getting into this show! Sure, I could start now, but I’ve kind of spoiled it for myself by reading this, haven’t I? I just couldn’t resist!

  26. 26 Ladymoonstone143

    Great recap as always. This episode was awesome. I can feel the pain when Unyun and Daegil met and talk for the first time. It just broke my heart….

  27. 27 mimi

    I had to laugh at your comment about DaeGil unable to do anything but to rearrange UnNyun’s shoes… while they….ugh…I refuse to say it b/c I’m a DG fan through and through. (They really made him into a Mel Gibson type of character, didn’t they. For some reason Gibson gets tortured in just about every movie he’s in.)

    It just would have been more satisfying to have seen UnNyun make a choice of either DaeGil or TaeHa having known all the facts (i.e. his feelings for her). : (

  28. 28 goldenlotus

    wow, I love everyone’s comments and especially your recap Samsooki!
    Again… I’m just patiently waiting for everyone to recap the whole series. I’m interested to see everyone’s take on the events and blah blah!

    You awesome guy you. I always enjoy the extra facts you add in for us. Your martial art techniques references in the earlier episodes, history. For this episode I really liked how you addressed the issues of slavery and the influences of Confucianism and Buddhism.

    “Herein lies the heart of the issue that goes to a lot of the moral issues that surround not only Chuno, but the time period as well. Joseon’s prevailing societal justification was based in large part on the twin mountains of Confucianism and Buddhism. But while the former sought primarily to instill an ordered society and the latter concerned itself with purifying the individual, neither directly dealt with moral issue of slavery.”


    #5 Dramaking-
    Yes, give him whichever award they have for that, or just make up an award for him!

    #6 ockoala-
    One would have ” thought he was a serial babykiller in his past life with what the Gods are bestowing upon him in this life.” Not only that, he probably killed bunnies for fun or something! Poor guy! Also I was wondering who Park Ki-woong’s character reminded me of! LMAO, I agree, “Legolas!” Hilarious.

  29. 29 thunderbolt

    Awesome recap, samsooki! Your comments on Song Tae-ha had me ROFL.

    Despite Un-Nyun’s hyperventilation, tears, extreme discomfort and facial tics, Tae-Ha smiles at his own thoughts and then launches into his own issues with what to do with the rest of his life, pretty much oblivious to what’s on Un-Nyun’s mind.

    Exactly. For a guy who has been married before, he sure needs more lessons on how to read a woman’s mind and heart. He’s so wooden when he’s with her I can’t imagine them getting hot and bothered under the bedcovers. And to think I was rooting for him initially. *sigh*

    The deaths in this episode… I felt so ill. I was more affected by Gwang-jae’s death than by General Choi’s because ep 14 kinda prepared me for the latter. But Gwang-jae dying… NO!!

  30. 30 MsFantaghiro

    Thank you SOOOOOO much for the recap!!

    Reading this makes me feel as if I am watching the sageuk all over again, with brilliant and funny commentaries that left me in stitches!!

    This is my first K-drama and I must say, Jang Hyuk has earned another die-hard fan all the way from Malaysia! Seriously, the way he switches from one emotion to another, just makes me want to give him a standing ovation…and the fact that he is soooooo good looking with his yummy six pack did not hurt either!! hehehehee….

    I agree that STH really needs to work with his facial expression…For all you know UN could tell him that she was a man and STH could still have the same blank expression..

  31. 31 korsazman

    hey , Samsooki!! many many thanks for recapping us the awsome drama!!!

    And I really liked the acting of Jang Huyk ..and probably LDH.

    and dude, your wife looks like she’s about to tell you that she’s carrying Commander Hwang’s baby or something, and you sound like she’s asking whether her hanbok makes her look fat

    <<< that comment was too funny, hahaha… actually I cant root for Song Taeha like this… He was awesome in ep9 ,especially ep10…but here, he s just sitting there!!! please STH do something !!! hehe

  32. 32 Sakura

    Hi samsooki, what a SUPERB and HILARIOUS recap ! can’t agree more to what you had written !.

    Since episode 13 I cried many times for lee dae gil. I like the way lee dae gil wiped away his tears during the special ritual, the silent vow for revenged and making the improvised Choi’s spear and the tying of the red hand band and the bone haripin on his hair, that show those two are important to him then anything else.

    I expected more dialogue from hye won with her husband about dae gil but instead he shut her off by saying that the past is not important what is important is the present and the future. So I said, what the heck is this retired greatest fighter saying when all along he is looking for the child and running off with this baby who pooh and pee and bathe like any other ordinary child whom STH had past history with the prince father. What a contradictory dialogue !!, bad writing !. All along in his mind is the safety of his ‘son’ and also his plans to revolt and make changes to the Joseon era. But 10 years ago we know that dae gil aspired to make changes to the country, that there will be no distinction between yang bans and slaves. I can’t imagine how hye won spent her first night with that stone look face !! at least IF with dae gilwe know she will get the thrill !. ( my imagination run wild !!).

    One very important ritual I would like to say, the three slave hunters respect the dead body and gave them a respectful and proper burial where else what STH did was crying, place their hands and the sword at rest to the body, and left for the wild animal to eat them up !!. that’s is the army way of burial – no humane touch but still associate them as compeers !!.

    I have to say this out about Un Nyun/Hye won character (what the writer wrote ) she was madly in love 10 years ago, her brother killed the Lee family (his own father). Left her two previous husbands, every year prayed for DG’s soul, cut her hair as a gift to the monk to continue the yearly ritual when she is not around, carrying the CHOCO everywhere till it dropped ‘dead’ after meeting STH and what was her dialogue ? to DG – Besides all the earlier dialogues about heaven and slaves “Simply knowing that you are alive, it brings me happiness”.But all along during her running away her heart always arches for DG !.

    Was it a perfect match for STH and HW ? because both of them didn’t want to admit that they are runaway slaves?.

  33. 33 Moon

    Samsooki, I love your recap, I love the way you write, I love your humor, I love your comments, I love your sights, I love your style, I love your music. Did I leave out something?

  34. 34 mimi

    @33 Moon
    …Careful there… He’s already married… ;-O

  35. 35 Doofus

    i love chuno TT.TT
    thankyou so much for the recaps!

  36. 36 Jay

    I know everyone is sympathetic towards Daegil’s pain, and I am too. But the thing is, to the men, women and children he brings back to lives of exploitation, torture and pain, to those he kills because he wants to threaten someone else into giving him information about a carriage — he’s as much a monster as any other “bad” guy in this drama. That’s why I think the slave revolt storyline is important; we’re following the life of someone who is a slave and who is suffering because DG returned him to slavery. However sympathetic I am to DG, and I do love him, he is as much a victimizer as victim in this story.

    Also, I really lost sympathy with Seol-Hwa here, when she trailed after the guy who had just slapped her, crying out for him pitifully. Come on girlfriend, have a little self-respect and come up with a better plan than clinging to a crazy guy forever.

  37. 37 Qwenli

    Yes, Samsooki, I have watched the whole of Chuno, but am reading this recap because it is written by you.

    I like the analysis on Taeha’s character development, yeah and the oblivious sweeping aside of UN/HW’s attempt to tell her something. But it is something that always happen in Kdrama!!

  38. 38 Mel

    Thanks for the great insight-humor-angst filled recap. I cried buckets in this episode. The heart of this story is DG’s 10 year search for UY–Learning to track slaves in order to find UY–for 10 years. Their heartbreaking reunion was so painful to watch. For both to simply say yes I have thought, led my life and loved you for all these years just was not meant to be. The strength that DG showed in his pain to trample his own heart in front of UY– I just wholly fell in love with DG here!!! So achingly overwhelming, that he finally finds UY but a step too late because as he witnesses her being married to STW. They were just not meant to be….

    The additonal tragedy with the loss of Wang Son and General Choi, I’m quite surprised DG didn’t go mad!!! What a pain filled hour to watch so many idealistic men fall to sword. To stand for what is right, just take a second look it may not be worth it in this episode.

    Park Ki Woong, who was awesome in The story of Man/Slingshot, is a surprise. His sudden appearance out of nowhere adds craziness of this story. Will That Guy and the slaves really overthrow the centuries old practice of slavery?

    I just want WS and Gen Choi back. How could such compelling characters be gone when they are such a huge part of the man Dae Gil!?

    Thanks samsookie for the great recap!

  39. 39 Kristal

    I REFUSE to believe General Choi and Wangson are dead until someone actually checks their vital signs or something, damnit! Maybe they were wearing their shield/armor under their clothes and have just been passed out for a few days. It’s possible, right?! I mean, its a kdrama, anything is possible.

    What will the two Jumos do without their beloved General Choi?!

  40. 40 Soua

    I love the relationship between TH and HW because they both do not have to say words to understand one another…From the very beginning, their relationship was based on mutual trust, small gestures, and the understanding of mere glances. He reach for her hand at first, and HW withdrew, but by episode 4 or so, she accepts his hand, and this is a big gesture for both person, because it meant that they would be bonded. Later on, they develop a bond of understanding through glances. Take for example, the time when TH was fighting with the people chasing after HW, and HW claim that they were married, and when HW was about to fall, TH reached out to grab her, but pulled away, but HW’s eyes told him “please don’t” and so he held on…till th very end. 🙂
    Perhaps in this episode, it appears as if TH doesn’t care about HW, but for me, it appears that because he does care for her, and doesn’t want her to worry, he brushes aside her fears, and tell her it’s okay to talk about it another time when she feels better.

    Their relationship is the complete opposite of DG and HW because DG and HW are complete opposites. Slave and master… They love with passion… it is the sort of love that reminds me of fire…. But it burns, and it hurts… *sigh

  41. 41 hitsugaya

    i also love the relationship between tae ha and hye won..eventhough unyun and daegil share a romantic and also tragic history, i’m sticking with song tae ha and kim hye won..

    i’m just wondering when will u continue to recap chuno? i’m literaly dying to read your recaps~

    and thanks for this awesome recap~ 🙂

  42. 42 C E

    Hey everyone,

    I just finished watching the entire show last night. The ending was awesome but I had a few areas of the plot that I wanted to discuss or clarified for me. Does anyone know when episode 16-24 recaps will come out? I really enjoyed the ones that were published so far for their insight and attention to details!

    • 42.1 Soua

      Maybe it’ll never be recapped?*tears

  43. 43 C E

    Since it seems like there will be no recap for the final episodes, I’m gonna post some of my final thoughts on Chuno here.

    I noticed that DG left a pair of shoes exactly similar to the one he gave UN originally, on the boat. I was always puzzled by the meaning of this. When he originally gave her a pair of those shoes, didn’t he say he will live the rest of his life with her? So is he saying now that he will be with her still in the future through these shoes? Or could it just be a simple parting gift and way for her to remember him? Also, since TH and UH decided at the last moment not to go to China, does that possibly mean they did not go to the boat and probably never saw the shoes he left for her?? That would be really awful but also kinda appropriate considering how most of his actions and demonstrations of his love for her these past 10 years have been fruitless and UN never actually finds out about them.

    Finally, people on here have brought this up how an earlier show called Robber starred these two actors in another OTP role, where they actually lived happily together at the end? I like to think DG and UN were reincarnated in the show Robber where they finally got to stay together, if you follow the timeline that Chuno is set in 1600s and Robber is set in modern time. 🙂 That gives me some comfort since I was and still am a strong supporter of DG/UN as the OTP!! TH may be with HW for this lifetime in Chuno, but the souls of DG and UN will always be drawn towards each other and will find each other in the afterlife and future reincarnations!

    • 43.1 Soua

      Funny, because right after I watched Chuno’s ending, I had to console my aching heart, so I went in search of Robbers, and I thought the same thing: Reincarnation. LOL

      The ending left such a bitter taste, and tore my heart apart… aww, how I loved DG’s character,and how i pity these two star crossed lovers.

    • 43.2 Soua

      P.S. I think the shoes symbolizes that he will be with her, where ever she goes, he’ll be journeying with her, and in a sense, “walking” side by side with her forever. *tears (It’s been months since I’ve seen this drama, but it still tugs at my heart.)

      I think I missed the part where they decided not to go to China? I thought that’s where they headed? To the coat to China?

      Btw, did anyone shed a bucket of tears when SH was singing her song? That song was stuck in my head all these months long…

  44. 44 C E

    Some of my final thoughts part two!

    I am kinda disappointed that they didn’t give stronger ending for Wang Son and General Choi! Many of the other characters had better, longer endings that is appropriate to their importance to the plot of the show ie. Office Oh, Chun Ji Oh, Baek Ho, Han Soem…etc. I mean these two were his SECOND FAMILY for christsake! Even ManDeuk, the sidekick to Chun Ji Oh even got a good ending with the eulogy of being buried by the sea with a great view… I guess I would’ve liked DG to mention a lil about their reunion in the afterlife or something like that.

    And I m definitely excited about a possible prequel to Chuno, though I’m not sure how well it would turn out. I doubt Jang Hyuk would sign on to play a younger version of himself. He is such a great actor at conveying emotions that it would be some big shoes to fill for the next actor. Also the plot might seem a lil light since it would be a lot of potential fillers where DG is still searching for UN… I guess they could expand on his immediate situation after losing his former life and meeting Chun Ji Oh and Gaekeji the slave hunter masters… also show his initial years with WangSon and General Choi. Also they might potential cast someone for the role of a younger UN?? Just so we can get some bare-misses moments which are so common in these types of shows:) And of course, the rest of the episodes would be about a younger TH with his Crown Prince in Korea and China and his brotherhood of loyal followers, which would be interesting.

    • 44.1 brort

      Maybe it’s too late and you won’t see this comment, or maybe you have already seen it; but there was a VERY last scene of Chuno… I won’t tell you anything more in case you consider it spoiler… 😉 there’s the downloading link (I don’t really know if it’s allowed to post direct download links… if so, feel free to remove it!! >_<) http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UNK1FXT9
      And sorry for my lame english… the fact that it's late at night doesnt help XD

  45. 45 k-drama fan from small town usa

    Oh, how I wish you would post the remaining recaps (especially ep 16). I really like your insights on the series!

  46. 46 blue_skye

    Hello! Thanks for all your recaps I really enjoyed them! ((((: It’ll be great if you posted the rest, like ^ said 😀 Your commentary is really awesome!! 😀

  47. 47 tun teja

    dear writers,

    do i have to live last 10 hours without Wangson and General Choi??…Its like having burger without cheese slice.sure it still good but not as delicious with it…

    • 47.1 tun teja

      and my cheese or should i say cheesesss back from hell..

  48. 48 yvee


  49. 49 minch asuncion

    why stop the re-cap? huhuhuhu

    a year ago i got a copy of this Sageuk drama but its not complete….i was disappointed of it…. i was able to have a copy (complete series) by this year still nopt yet finished watching it ….24ep….

    i relly love to read the re-caps done and insights….hope even it finished aired you could continue the recaps posting

  50. 50 a_diva

    the perils of dealing with human recappers . . . as noted by the last bit of comments, i’m quite disappointed that you guys dropped chuno and i can’t continue to read the fab recaps.

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