Tamra the Island: Episode 6
Beware: steer clear of irate diver women if you are trying to run away.
This episode was fun and eventful, and I love the speedy pace so far. It stretches out the plot points to the right moment- it doesn’t become repetitive or, conversely, resolve issues too quickly without building the dramatic tension.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Kyu fights back (mighty well, if you ask me) against the Man in Black, pulling out a sword hidden in his sleeve. He manages to injure the man, who flees upon the arrival of government officials, minus the stolen token. Kyu picks up the token and goes to leave, assuming his usual unbothered façade.
Yi Bang arrives and Kyu’s presence at the Gibang immediately raises some flags. He tells Kyu to stay away, as a criminal is not permitted to visit these kinds of places freely. Kyu makes the point that while there is no law permitting exiles to visit a Gibang, there is no law against it either.
Yi Bang learns about the thief but they were unable to find him because, obviously, he escaped during this verbal sparring match. Kyu seems to be foremost on Yi Bang’s mind, however, as he asks why he would come to this room in particular. Kyu counters that there are many rooms, does it matter which one he drank in? Based on his facial expression on Kyu’s departure, clearly it does matter.
As it turns out, Kyu has fairly seriously injured the Man in Black, as he patches up his injury (which would look gross, if the make-up were more believable). Meanwhile, the night had a much better outcome for Kyu, who makes an imprint of the mystery token.
And we see just where this symbol fits into the storyline as we find the Lady in Red dealing with some disgruntled customers, angry about being sold inferior goods. But these aren’t their goods, she tells them; this mysterious symbol is their company’s and it isn’t on them.
The savvy businesswoman then earns new customers in the merchants, compensating them with their own goods, knowing this will keep them as customers. She tells them not to forget their symbol.
And it seems that the Lady in Red is not villain enough for us, as we add another name on our list of those not to be trusted: the Town Elder. The Man in Black visits him after a flashback telling us of the Lady in Red’s suspicions of him and his dreams to take over Tamra. But it seems they need each other to accomplish their goals.
The Town Elder is confident of his hold on Tamra, which the Man in Black claims to have faith in. Although, he does find the Elder’s informal way of addressing the Lady in Red rude, and indicative that there is little respect there. This partnership probably won’t be all rainbows and unicorns.
There is a hint of the Town Elder’s motivations in the next scene, as he comes upon Kyu looking over the ocean. He is clearly enamoured with the island; it is rare and special. It is the treasure of Korea.
After having a discussion regarding his suspicions about Kyu, Yi Bang visits him, Beo Jin and her mother. Kyu’s hackles are raised by Yi Bang constantly suspecting him, and this isn’t helped when he is put on house arrest, on account of, basically, being immoral, rude and out of control.
Yi Bang tells them all that Kyu went to the Gibang and Mum is angry; he was meant to be working, but what has he been doing instead? But she is also annoyed at Yi Bang; he forced them to look after another person and now he won’t let him leave the house to work and earn his keep! Yi Bang doesn’t care at all, and threatens the whole family with punishment if Kyu breaks the rules.
Both women are irritated at him; hitting him (Beo Jin- look at her face!), implying physical violence (Mum) and giving him dirty, dirty glares (both).
On the other side of the island, Yan tells William about their plans to leave tomorrow. William, ever the optimist, decides he needs to go tell Beo Jin; she can come with them and he will protect her. No matter what, he won’t leave without the girl who makes his heart pound.
Yan tells him not to ruin it; visiting Japan is what he always dreamed of. But those dreams don’t matter to William anymore, which he proves as he breaks his precious old (bed pan) treasure and goes to find his true (human) treasure. Oh, William, so lovely and innocent.
Beo Jin is on edge about having guards on her house, in case William might come to visit. Always on the same wavelength, these two.
Kyu looks out his window to see her anxiously waiting.
When William arrives, he has to whistle to get her attention, and Beo Jin runs out, not even making an excuse to the guards, such is her eagerness to see him.
These two have become incredibly reliant on each other, and this is proven as Beo Jin agrees to leave with William. He is in danger here, so he has to leave, and, although she feels terrible about leaving her family, she feels that she is useless in Tamra. He gives her a cross necklace, and they pinky promise to meet tomorrow.
She sneaks back into her house, past the sleeping guards (why does Yi Bang still trust these guys?). Kyu is waiting up for her, both jealous and worried. She denies going to meet William, although Kyu knows differently.
Her departure in mind, she forgets about old tensions and gives him a speech that has the tones of a goodbye: “Exile, be sure to turn over a new leaf. Don’t gamble! Don’t go to the Gibang. Make sure you become a new man and return to Han Yang.” While Kyu seems touched, he also realises that this means that something is wrong.
Neither of them slept that night: Kyu waiting, concerned and Beo Jin packing up, saying a silent goodbye to her little sister. As she leaves, she tries to justify her departure to herself, Kyu listening; she’s useless here.
She flashes back to memories of her family, working and smiling at her. Putting down her bags, she cooks food for them, tears in her eyes. She finally picks up her bags to leave, but is stopped by Kyu.
She denies her destination but Kyu just looks at her intensely and grabs her wrist (the wrist!). He tells her not to go; he doesn’t want her to go. He doesn’t want her to leave with William! Wow, that is about as close to a confession as Kyu could come to at this point. She tells him to let go, now crying openly. He complies, tears in his eyes.
She runs past the sleeping guards, much later than she intended. But she then remembers her father’s words; her life is not only her own, and her family couldn’t go on without her. She hesitates, but a flashback to William makes her decide to go on. As she has just made up her mind, she thinks about Kyu’s words that he doesn’t want her to go. She is utterly torn.
Kyu, however, has decided what he wants and jumps over the boundary to get past the guards. He runs off, guards in pursuit.
Grabbing her cross, Beo Jin decides to go and runs towards the port, just as Kyu, running as fast as he can, comes in sight. But it is too late, and he finally accepts defeat, led back to the house by the guards.
Oh my, that entire scene just killed me a little bit, in a good way. Intense, heartfelt and emotional. Seo Woo and Im Joo Hwan are amazing.
The sailor asks Phillip how they could bring along a blonde haired foreigner. If they are caught looking after him, they will all be in big trouble.
William is unaware of this, anxiously waiting for Beo Jin. But Yan tells him that it is too late; she’s not coming. William believes that she will.
It doesn’t seem like it will matter in the end, however, as the police and Yi Bang arrive to check on who they believe are the tax goods thieves. Yan and William are forced to jump in the ocean as the police violently arrest sailors (including Phillip, poor kid). Beo Jin arrives and sees this scene, and her concern immediately goes to William.
As the guards lead Kyu to Yi Bang, he protests; can’t they just forget about it- he’ll be good from now on. Haha, keep trying, buddy. The guards are determined, saying that if someone had seen him they would be in big trouble. They arrive just in time to see the arrestees being led past and learn that they were from the boat.
After dodging that bullet, Yan and William emerge on shore, and Yan, unfairly, says that it is all because of Beo Jin. As they stand up, a scream penetrates the air; the diving women have seen them. Oh no…
A chase ensues, but they are eventually captured on the beach, surrounded by a sea of formidable looking women. William tries to speak to them in Korean, but that just adds to their shock.
They are then tied up and it seems the whole town has turned up to look at them. They ask Yan why he was with a monster. Yan, disloyal punk that he is, answers that he was swimming in the ocean when this guy came up and stole his clothes. As he was chasing him, the divers found them together and before he knew it, they had him tied up!
Despite some protests, they let Yan go, leaving William looking even more frightened (poor thing- he looks so pitiable I just want to go and give him a hug).
After some discussion about whether he is a person or a monster, Beo Jin’s mother decides that they have to report him to the government.
It seems that Yi Bang has his hands full already, with Kyu tied up. He questions him about where he went, suspicious that he was caught on the same day as the tax thieves. He suspects Beo Jin as well; she was suspected for hiding thieves before.
Kyu says that this is absurd; a mere diver wouldn’t have anything to do with such large scale thieves.
But Yi Bang won’t believe that, and he orders the guards to bring in Beo Jin for questioning. They don’t get far as Kyu yells at them to stop; he followed her this morning. He tells them that they are in that kind of relationship (look at his face!). Mere house arrest can’t stop the passionate love between them. He didn’t mention it before because of the discrepancy between their social positions; how could a nobleman proclaim his love for a commoner? The eternal question, yet again.
Yi Bang is angry; clearly, he will never change his nature. Kyu agrees, saying that the inner character of a person tends not to change. He is ordered to receive 10 beatings. Ouch.
Beo Jin is waiting outside the government office as Kyu is led out. The guards assume she is waiting for him, worried about his capture, so they allow her to escort him home for some romantic couple time. She is shocked about the punishment he has received, knowing it was because of her.
A townsperson comes running up telling them a blue eyed monster has been caught. As he is about to officially report him, Kyu (spurred on by Beo Jin) stops him and asks if he can speak their language. The man says that, yes, he did say something earlier. Kyu checks that they haven’t told Yi Bang yet and advises that they should tell the Town Elder first. He should know all of the town’s goings on.
The man runs to tell the townspeople this and they have an argument about who to tell first. It is eventually settled as Beo Jin’s little sister says that if something happened in a family, you would naturally tell the mother first, so if something happens in the town, they should tell the elder. I love that in this discussion she has been the one and only voice of reason.
Arriving home, Beo Jin is worried about William as she and Kyu find out he has been taken to the elder. Beo Jin decides to find him but Kyu rejects this idea; everyone will find out about her hiding him. But she can’t just leave him alone! She’ll be careful and come back safely. And that look of Kyu’s as she leaves: kills me.
William tells the people (in Korean) that he is a human, who landed here after his attempted journey from England to Nagasaki. He is not a bad person. They are shocked at his ability to speak Korean and ask where he learned. He tells them that he can speak many languages, and speaks Japanese to prove it.
The elder decides that they can’t deal with this alone and they should tell the government. Kyu, ever the hero, reminds the Town Elder that many Korean sailors may not be alive if not for the help of foreigners. So shouldn’t they do the same to a foreigner that has come to their shores? Kyu also tells them that in the capital, a foreigner like William is helping the government make weapons.
Kyu eventually persuades him to reconsider, and the Town Elder decides to keep him as a guest, to Beo Jin’s relief. Yan watches as William is taken into the elder’s house.
In prison, Phillip is locked up with the sailors, and they say that it was a set up; they didn’t actually take the tax goods. Yi Bang arrives and tries to persuade them to confess, to avoid the death penalty.
Phillip, in his efforts to protect William and remain free of trouble himself, remembers that the Exile’s servant came to visit him recently. He’s the only suspicious person he has come across. Oh, Phillip, did you have to make him suspect Kyu more?
Bong Sam has just learnt of the troubles Kyu has experienced and is incredulous- Kyu once saved the Emperor. So comes a flashback, where we see Kyu noticing a musician not playing in time and defeating him, preventing him from killing the Emperor. The guards laugh this off as a tale of fiction.
Kyu arrives at that moment alongside Beo Jin, telling Bong Sam that his arrest is no big deal. He says that the thieves were caught this morning so Bong Sam exalts that he can finally go home now! Hmmm, last time I checked an exile couldn’t leave the island by choice- all really isn’t as it seems.
As Kyu walks in, he learns that Beo Jin’s mother has been told of their alleged love affair. He writes it off as nonsense, but Mum has already opened herself to the possibility.
Her case: Beo Jin isn’t good at diving; her appearance isn’t that good and she won’t be able to get married easily in Tamra (what is it in kdramas with characters played by gorgeous women being called unattractive?).
The exile, on the other hand, while a tad useless, is tall and has decent looks (sure, the men are always accepted as attractive). He didn’t come here under the best circumstances, but she could straighten him out… She smiles, as Beo Jin and Kyu look at her, confused.
Ha, fun ending! I love that they are now in some form of fake relationship… without one party really knowing about it.
As I said earlier, the plot moves at an excellent pace. A large plot point occurs this episode (William getting caught), but it isn’t completely resolved.
He needed to be caught so his hiding out didn’t become boring or repetitive. However, they also needed to maintain the mysterious tension of being unaware of what would happen when he was caught. Of course, having the town know resolves some of the tension, but it still leaves me waiting to see if and when he will be caught by the government. That tension was played out exactly right (yay for well planned development!) and that makes me excited to see what will happen next.
- Tamra the Island: Episode 5
- Im Joo-hwan is one to watch in 2010
- Tamra DVD will contain 21 episodes
- Tamra the Island: Episode 4
- Tamra the Island: Episode 3
- Tamra will get a full director’s cut DVD
- Fans are spitting mad at Tamra’s curtailment
- Tamra gets shortened to 16 episodes
- My Name Is: Seo Woo
- Tamra the Island: Episode 2
- Western actors becoming more visible on Korean TV
- Tamra the Island: Episode 1