Tamra the Island: Episode 10

I cannot sing enough praises for Tamra. This episode delves into new territory, both literally and figuratively, but the change doesn’t at all impact the unique flavour of this show.


William and Kyu have now arrived in the capital, which means that William will be executed. We kick off with him, head in a guillotine, pleading with the guards to let him go. Kyu approaches, but despite William’s begging, he just smiles and condemns him to death. The blade falls…

Only to be a dream. William wakes up as guards comes into his room and take him outside. As all the high ranking officials aren’t there, they basically make him an attraction for villagers, forcing him to speak Korean, whilst demanding payment from those who have come. They start throwing food at him and surrounding him, as the guards count their earnings.

But the party is broken up by an uninvited visitor. Kyu, who is seething. Everyone rushes to bow and flee, as he locks eyes with William, and takes him to clean up. There is a lot of interesting potential in this relationship, and I like how they are exploring it.

Kyu tells William that the townspeople don’t hate him personally; he is just completely different to them. He shouldn’t be too hard on them. He gives him a hat to wear to hide his face, so no one will know he is a foreigner.

Throughout this conversation, William has just been staring outside. As Kyu leaves, he asks him whether he regrets not leaving when he gave him the chance. He wouldn’t have suffered so much, but it seems this suffering is not forefront in William’s mind, as he wonders out loud what Beo Jin is doing right now (yay for well placed music!).

Kyu freezes, and tells him that today she’ll be diving. And tomorrow. And the day after that. That is how she will live the rest of her life. The sadness and regret at leaving her is blatantly obvious in Kyu’s face. William remembers Beo Jin crying by the ocean, and asks Kyu if he thinks they will ever meet her again. Kyu, almost in tears, just walks away. Break, my heart.

And on Tamra, Beo Jin is looking out at the ocean, doing the same thing as William. The crazy old man/Lord sits next to her, asking what she is thinking about. She asks how far it is from the mainland; is it one day and one night on a ship? She starts crying: “My heart is empty and painful. I feel as if I may be dying.”

She has to go see William, because she promised she would. The old man asks if there is another reason she wants to leave. That place isn’t any better than here. Until your heart is healed, it is the same, no matter where you go. But she thinks that if she sees William, then everything will be better and her heart will heal.

He asks if it is only because of him her heart is hurting. She gets indignant at that insinuation, yelling that of course it is because of William! As if she would be sad because of the exile… Royal Inspector. She runs off, shoving the man on her way. This is basically tantamount to her proclaiming her love for Kyu on a loudspeaker. On top of a mountain. Obviously she has some regret over the way they separated.

The old man laughs at her, thinking that if Beo Jin too leaves, Tamra will become boring. And it seems everyone is feeling the emptiness of Tamra without our men, Beo Jin’s Dad talking with friends, who note the emptiness of his house. Dad says that while Kyu was there, there was always something going on and he and Kyu became really close. Did they see the way Kyu’s eyes got teary as he said goodbye to him?

Mum is also dealing with Kyu’s departure, packing up his room as Beo Jin comes home. She tells her to help her clean up. But Beo Jin gets upset; Kyu just left, how could she get rid of his things so easily? But Mum hits back- if they keep his stuff there, will he come back? If Beo Jin keeps saying that she wants to go to the mainland and looking weak, there will be no food for her. She instructs her to clear the room then help her father.

But something in Beo Jin snaps:

Beo Jin: I’ve had enough.
Mum: What are you saying?
Beo Jin: Whenever you see me, you only talk about work. Don’t you get sick of it?
Mum: Say that again.
Beo Jin: Mum, don’t you know, really know, why I want to go to the mainland?
Mum: Why is that? Since you are full of hot air?
Beo Jin: I don’t want to live like you Mum, working on the farm and diving everyday! I’m sick and tired of this life! If I try to become the leader of divers, eventually, I’ll live like you. I never want to live like that!

Mum slaps her, and tells her to clean the room, walking out. Beo Jin is left in tears.

Still, she starts tidying the room, and finds a notebook. On the inside cover, she sees words written: Jang Beo Jin. We see Kyu writing it in, smiling. She laughs a little, and starts crying more. This is so cute; it’s like a little kid writing their crush’s name in their school notebook.

This prompts Beo Jin to act, so she runs to find Yan. She asks him when he is going to the mainland. He’s saving William; why don’t they go together? He must be missing her. He tells her not to be ridiculous. Why should he take her? If it wasn’t for her, William could have escaped earlier. As she is asking what he means, Phillip arrives, thinking she has come to visit him. He lets slip that Yan is leaving tomorrow morning, but Yan tells her she can’t come with him. Beo Jin isn’t the only one annoyed at this; Phillip wanted to go with him too!

Idea! Beo Jin puts on her best flirty voice and approaches him, smiling.

The next day, we see Yan clandestinely trading coins for an ID, allowing him to board the boat.

Beo Jin is also preparing to go as, wearing Phillip’s clothes, she leaves her house, silently farewelling her family. As she is running out, however, her Dad calls her name.

Dad: Do you have to do this?
Beo Jin: I’m sorry, Dad. But I can’t stand it anymore. I can’t live diving everyday as if nothing has happened. As time goes on, my heart hurts more and more. What can I do? I feel like I can’t even breathe. Please let me go, Dad.
Dad: I learned that if you follow your heart, at least, you won’t have any regrets.
Beo Jin: Dad, I am really sorry.
Dad: But remember this. We’ll always be waiting here. So if you have hard time, comes back to us.

He gives her money to use and she hugs him. He tells her to go before anyone sees them. They are both left in tears.

Yan shows his ID to the sailors to board, followed by Beo Jin. The sailors stop her and ask if such a little guy is going alone. She just smiles and boards the ship. But she is approached by someone asking if, by chance, she is Beo Jin. Oh no. She tries to cover her face as he yells that she, a diver can’t go to the mainland! As everyone starts gathering around her, Yan steps in asking what they want with his little brother. He is sick so he is taking him to the mainland for medicine.

The man stutters that he looks so much like a low level diver. Yan, perfecting playing the role of the scary hyung, asks, then, does his brother look like a girl? He’s just weak because he never developed properly, he can’t even speak. Does he have to take his brother’s pants off to prove it? (Beo Jin is not too happy with this idea.) If he does that, and humiliates his poor sick brother in front of everyone, how is this man going to pay for that?

Yan decides that he has to give him three times the boat fare and goes to take off her pants. The man jumps in, telling him to forget it; he made a mistake. The crowd disperses as Yan takes Beo Jin to talk privately.

She thanks him and he tells her that this is the last time he will help her. She asks if he was really going to take her pants off. He doesn’t answer, just demands her not to follow him once they reach the mainland, and then walks off. She petulantly yells after him that she won’t.

Back on Tamra, Mum is going about her work normally, but reflecting on the fact that Beo Jin has left. Her temper is short, and as Ggeut Boon and her mother arrive, she has little patience for them, soon kicking them out.

The depression Mum is feeling does not reach Beo Jin, as she happily runs through the town, catching up with Yan. She figures that since they are both going to see William, why not go together? Maybe because you said you wouldn’t follow him, but okay.

Yan just walks off but she is persistent. If they go together, no one will know she is a diver, and he’ll feel safe with her too, right? It would be better than going alone. But he thinks that if together means with her, then alone would be preferable. She yells at him not to be mean to her; doesn’t he remember all the oranges she gave him! She follows him, pouty lipped, and points out a restaurant to dispel his anger.

As they are eating, he tells her to watch her accent, so she tries out her best mainland dialect. Yan cleverly tells the waitress that he heard a foreigner came through here. She tells him that he did; but they are taking him to the capital now. Both Beo Jin and Yan are shocked at this news.

As if there weren’t enough drama, the Man in Black turns up, following Kyu, William, and the group of guards and prisoners travelling with them. He instructs his men that they have to seem like ordinary robbers; once they kill Kyu, they should also take the goods.

As they send an arrow in Kyu’s direction, he quickly ducks and the arrow finds its way to the guard riding next to him. There is a lot of commotion as men come out of everywhere and Kyu starts fighting them. The prisoners locked up are killed in their cage, and William is knocked from his horse. Kyu sees a man about to kill him and throws his knife, killing him. But it is this momentary lapse in concentration that allows him to get injured.

Luckily, William sees this and hops on one of the horses, grabs a sword and, killing the man fighting Kyu, pulls him on the horse and they ride off. The Man in Black and some cronies see this, and follow.

Beo Jin is a little weaker than these two, and is unable to keep up with Yan’s fast walking pace (try fighting off ten men at once!). She wants to take a rest. He just walks off, so she is forced to follow. But, she sees a cart approaching, and a light bulb goes off. She rides past Yan on the back of the cart, making faces at him gloatingly. He joins her on the cart and they push and shove each other as they ride off.

Back in serious land, William and Kyu have abandoned their horse and William is supporting Kyu through the forest. His robes are covered with blood, and he is not particularly responsive. William tries to stop the bleeding as Kyu collapses.

Luckily, the Man in Black and Co. have lost their trail and decide to abandon the mission. Just as they leave, Yan and Beo Jin ride past, leaning on each other, asleep.

They arrive at a motel and Yan is given the last room. Beo Jin, of course, follows him in, and he notes that she really has no fear. She happily thinks about meeting William, but Yan scoffs; what will she do when she sees him- hide out in a cave again? But she just says that William said he was happy with her. He says the exile was right in calling her dumb. Wait, why he is bringing up the exile? To her… the exile is…. She gives up.

William manages to carry Kyu to a potter’s house, who helps them out and treats Kyu’s wound. He recommends that William take him to a doctor when he wakes up. He thanks him, and assures him that they are not bad people, telling him their story. The man just says that he has heard about foreigners like him. He didn’t expect to meet someone like him here. They can stay until Kyu wakes up.

Elsewhere on the mainland, Yan leaves as Beo Jin is sleeping. But, as he is leaving, he is stopped by two guards. They tell him that crazy things have been happening lately: a bandit came, the Royal Inspector is missing and the prisoners were killed. Yan asks then does that mean the foreigner is dead? But the guards didn’t mention a foreigner… Yan just explains that he heard rumours about the foreigner and swiftly tries to leave.

They stop him, and ask for his ID. He doesn’t have it, so they decide to take him to the police station. Beo Jin comes running up at that moment. “Brother, how could you forget your ID?” She proudly shows him the ID and dials up her cuteness, and it seems that will let her go…

Until she starts letting her dialect slip, making mistakes with a few words. The guards look at her oddly, noting her strange accent. She just yawns and says that she slept in such a cold place it is hard to speak. She gets extra flirty, making the guards giggle, and call her pretty. They let them go. She certainly knows how to work her womanly wiles to get what she wants.

She takes Yan outside and asks about the exile disappearing. And who died? He tells her that it is not William, and he must be hiding in the forest. Beo Jin is upset, hoping nothing happened to him.

Kyu wakes up in the potter’s house, asking where they are. The potter decides that he must have regained his consciousness, and shows him that he found his Royal Inspector badge while treating him. Kyu worries if anyone else saw it, but the man assures him that no one did. It turns out Kyu was unconscious for two days. He flashes back to all the ways William saved him, and the man told him that he carried him all the way here. If he hadn’t come, he may have died from all the blood he lost.

William wakes up then, and Kyu acknowledges that he owes his life to him. They will leave today. But William says that he can’t leave in this condition. Kyu tries to write it off as nothing, but as he tries to move, he finds that he can’t. After an extended analogy about pottery, the potter tells him he should rest until he is fully recovered. Kyu agrees, but promises to pay the man back for his kindness. The potter says that is not necessary, and goes on another extended analogy. He again recommends that Kyu see a doctor, but says he will go get medicine for him, using one of his valuable pots as payment.

The Man in Black approaches the market just as the potter is leaving, asking if anyone bought medicine in the last few days for a stab wound. The store holder says that just a little while ago someone bought some. The Man in Black forces him to tell him who it was.

Back at the potter’s house, William is embracing his work, while Kyu asks why William didn’t just leave when he was sick since he is forcing him to come to the capital. Isn’t he angry? But William understands that is his job. If he were mad at him, it would be for a different reason. No prizes for guessing what that is.

As Yan and Beo Jin wander the forest (after realising that William must be near a certain road travelling to the capital), they hear suspicious sounding footsteps, so they hide. The Man in Black and cronies approach as they watch, Yan’s hand over Beo Jin’s mouth (smart boy; there is no Kyu here to kiss her if she starts yelling).

The potter too hears these footsteps and hurries home, followed by the evil men, who are followed by Yan and Beo Jin. They wonder if William and Kyu are here, but Yan figures it is too far from the road. They do realise, however, that these men, who are now searching the house, are the ones who disguised themselves as bandits.

As the men search, they break pots and look all through the house. The Man in Black starts to look inside the kiln, as the potter says that they sure came quickly this time; he has asked the police to come. But, why isn’t he wearing a uniform? The men leave, not having found anything and not wanting to be caught by police.

Beo Jin and Yan decide it is safe to approach, just at the potter is telling the others it is safe to come out. Beo Jin looks around, but starts crying at not finding them. But then, William breaks out of the kiln, followed by Kyu. They are all utterly shocked at finding each other.


I adore the music in Tamra. I like the places they insert it, and the songs always add to the scenes, but there are no obnoxious tunes trying to take over the scenes. There were quite a few moments in this episode especially where I considered how well placed the music was.

The way relationships are treated and explored in Tamra is quite amazing. This episode especially focussed on relationships and tensions that have been building slowly, but not explicitly developed in actual confrontation. The two scenes with Beo Jin and her parents were both so powerful. Beo Jin’s family isn’t just comic relief, nor do they simply tell us of a conflict then not really develop it.

This drama really delves into the family relationships, and the scenes with her parents are so real and relatable. You can feel her mother’s pain at Beo Jin’s words and her father’s sadness at letting her go, and relate to the way Beo Jin feels she can’t live up to her mother and the way she is disappointing her father.

In fact, all of the relationships are so well developed. It is unusual to have all these relationships, which would often be brushed over in other shows. This episode we dive into many of them: Beo Jin and Mum, Beo Jin and Dad, Kyu and William, even Yan and Beo Jin. All of the show’s relationships are drawn into this complex and realistic web that is interesting to watch.

Often when I re-watch dramas in which I love the main couple, I just skip forward to scenes between them. I think it is rather obvious I love Beo Jin and Kyu a rather large amount. But there were no scenes between them in this episode, and I totally did not mind. Every relationship is drawn in such an interesting way that I didn’t even notice the absence until I finished watching. The chemistry between all the actors is awesome, not just the main couple.


Tags: , , , ,