Tamra the Island: Episode 11
This episode the dynamics change and bring some new possibilities: a couple of murders throw a spanner in the works, a certain foreigner’s entire destiny changes, a young girl is made over (to the delight of her love interest) and a meddling mother wishes she’d had the sex talk sooner.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
William presents Beo Jin with a pot on which he drew her face. Both of them are so happy to be together again. He places his hand on her face, telling her he always knew she would come. Even though Kyu said he wouldn’t see her again. He asks her to promise that they will be together forever, which she agrees to, although there is some kind of hesitation in her eyes.
She walks into Kyu’s room with medicine to treat him. Kyu notes that despite his harsh words, she followed William. She simple wonders if he is sorry for saying those things. She’s okay, so he shouldn’t feel too guilty. He instructs her to leave his room but she starts to get out the medicine, despite his protests.
She unties his shirt and is shocked at the severity of the wound, and starts treating it. He looks down at her, telling he thought he would never see her again. As he looks away, he reveals that seeing her again, it’s not too bad (read: really rather great). She looks up at him, surprised and confused, and finishes treating him, leaving the room and telling him to get some rest. He goes to say something to her as she leaves, but doesn’t manage to.
Later, Yan asks Kyu if they can trust the potter. Kyu is sure he is trustworthy, as he saved his life. He asks if he has figured out a way to leave with William. Yan is confident that since it is the capital is so large, it will be easy to escape. Kyu forms his story that as he was attacked, he lost consciousness. The foreigner escaped then.
Yan asks if Beo Jin goes with William, will he be okay? Kyu doesn’t answer, so Yan notes that he believes he is making the right choice. But Kyu is letting her go for Beo Jin’s sake, not his own. He breaks out of his reverie and tells him to leave soon.
Meanwhile, Beo Jin is painting William’s hair black, despite her love of his special gold hair. Kyu witnesses her being gentle and sweet with William.
That night, Yan informs them that they are leaving tomorrow for Nagasaki. She doesn’t seem too thrilled at this, so Yan tells her she needn’t come. William buts in, saying that she absolutely, totally can come. But, Beo Jin considers, Kyu is in pain (to which William looks jealous). Yan tells her that he already talked about it with Kyu, and he’s fine.
Beo Jin gets up to go to Kyu’s room, and sits outside, as he sits inside, evidently thinking about her.
Elsewhere in the capital, we meet up with our old friend, the Lady in Red. She is talking with a colleague about her business contacts, including the Crown Prince. The man notes that Kyu is close friends with the Prince. Whenever the Crown Prince comes to Tamra, he will meet Kyu; he is his most trusted friend. The Lady in Red seems most pleased at this.
It is the hour of departure and William thanks our abandoned one, Kyu, for sending him and Beo Jin off. He reaches to shake his hand, and after hesitation, Kyu takes it. He says goodbye, as Yan wishes him a safe return. Kyu tells William to take good care of Beo Jin. He tells him not to worry; as she protected him in Tamra, he will protect her forever.
As they leave his room, Beo Jin is laying a platter outside it. She asks Kyu to come out and see her for a moment to say goodbye. But he just remains inside, as she continues asking him to come out.
Yan says that they have to leave quickly, Kyu is probably sick and that is why he isn’t getting up. William tells her to come; they should leave now. Beo Jin is nearing tears, looking at Kyu’s door, wishing he would emerge. She eventually decides to go, grabbing William’s hand. On her way out, she yells, “Exile, I’m going. Take good care of yourself. I hope you become a good scholar. You must not go to the gambling place as you did in Tamra. Got it? I’m going. Exile! I’m really going!”
All the while, Kyu is in his room, sobbing (and breaking my heart). Beo Jin leaves in tears, saying one final, “I’m leaving. Goodbye.” Kyu is left broken.
The Three Musketeers arrive at a hotel room, where they will wait until people from the merchant group come. Yan tells William to wait in here quietly, and don’t come out. Beo Jin will come with him. As William tells her, “see you soon”, it is clear Beo Jin’s heart isn’t in their mission, and she can only muster a weak smile.
Recovering, Kyu walks around the yard of the potter, reflecting on Beo Jin’s words that William makes her happy, and as long as they’re together, it doesn’t matter. He is evidently trying to persuade himself that he did the right thing. The potter approaches and tells him that farewell is a difficult thing, no matter how many times you do it. He is about to go on a long tangent, as Kyu interrupts, asking for a favour.
Meanwhile, Beo Jin and Yan are out shopping, and he tells her to stop being so unhappy. She left Tamra with this idea in mind. Distracted, she just notices the Man in Black, showing shop keepers Kyu’s picture. She hides as he asks if Kyu and a strange looking man have been seen. One shop keeper remembers that he did see a strange looking person in a hat, with the potter, and they bought black dye.
Yan and Beo Jin emerge, and Yan wants to simply return to their room; the merchant group will be there soon. But Beo Jin needs to go and warn the exile! He warns her that if she leaves now, she can’t leave with William. She hesitates.
Next thing, Yan returns to William alone, informing him that Beo Jin went back to Kyu. He told her she couldn’t leave with them if she did, but she still went to him. William is shocked, not believing she would do that. He has to go and check himself.
Yan stops him; this is the last chance he has to leave! He will forget her as time goes on. William, and his one-track mind, decides that he will never be able to forget her, and goes to investigate.
At the same time, the potter is showing the royal guards to his house, who are coming to meet with Kyu. The Man in Black watches from afar, taking out his fancy gun. As Kyu steps outside, he aims. He’s got an easy shot…
Until a girly squeal of “Exile” pierces the air. Kyu moves and meets Beo Jin, but the Man in Black has still got a shot. She pleads with him to run away. Meanwhile, finger on the trigger, Kyu is about to be shot, as they hear a bird call. The Man in Black pauses, as he hears the Lady in Red’s words: “You mustn’t kill him”. Apparently, she is now able to shape shift. He withdraws the gun and draws back.
But it seems danger hasn’t passed for Beo Jin and Kyu, as a lone figure on a horse approaches them. He climbs down, and they realise it is William. Beo Jin is pleased to see him.
It starts raining at that moment, and William takes off his hat. The rain starts washing away his hair dye, streaking his face, as he says her name, in a sad, resigned way. He can’t believe that she really came back to Kyu, after leaving him alone. She tells him that it isn’t like that. He starts crying and Beo Jin similarly is in tears.
The royal guards arrive precisely then, and surround William with their weapons drawn. Beo Jin stares at William, and asks Kyu to do something. But Kyu says that from here, there is nothing they can do. Beo Jin starts sobbing at the realisation he will be killed as he is taken to the capital.
Yan, now a lone traveller, is on a boat, and throws out his bag to sea. Boo hoo.
Now our three weary travellers arrive in Han Yang, the capital. Bong Sam (Kyu’s servant) greets him with the news that his mother has been missing him; he should go home quickly. He tells Bong Sam to take Beo Jin (he is shocked to see that “commoner girl” again) home first, but not let his Mother know; he’ll explain it all later. He has to go to the government. He calls over Beo Jin, who lets go of William’s hand, and apologises to him. He tells her that he will be fine.
Kyu brings William into the government buildings. He seems shocked at their magnitude.
Beo Jin is similarly hesitant at entering Kyu’s imperial looking house. Evidently, Bong Sam SUCKS at taking instructions, as he calls Kyu’s mother to the courtyard (she is impatiently awaiting the arrival of Kyu), and shows her Beo Jin.
Kyu now brings William into a government council gathering, headed by the King. The King compliments the good job Kyu did on Tamra, and calls out a member of the government to talk to William. He instructs him to ask some questions, and this man, Park Yeon(a foreigner), struggles with his Dutch, unable to remember after 13 years in Korea. William, of course, can’t understand Dutch in the first place, and he speaks Korean. Kyu lies that he taught him Korean on the way over.
The King notes that William must be clever… but generally, clever people have an ulterior motive. He asks if he knows how to make weapons and travel the oceans. What did he do before? William answers that his mother wouldn’t let him do business; he read and did some writing. Neither the King nor Kyu like this answer. Not doing many favours for himself there. Still, the King decides to let him stay with Park Yeon. They will monitor him closely, and if he acts like a spy or causes any trouble, they’ll punish him accordingly.
As he leaves with Park Yeon, William says that he should be with Kyu; he needs to find out where Beo Jin is. The man just ignores this. He is totally oblivious to the entire situation.
I don’t think William would particularly want to join Beo Jin now, who is currently getting the evil eye from Madame Park. Bong Sam tries to explain her rather lacklustre appearance, saying that bandits attacked them on the way. The Mother asks what her family is like, to which Bong Sam answers that she is the daughter of the family Kyu stayed with. She instructs for her to be dressed in proper clothing. As she leaves, the mother ponders that she must be from a noble family if her family is Dae Sang Goon. But why does she wear such shabby clothes?
Beo Jin is dressed in fancy clothes, probably the first time in her life she has seen clothes this expensive. They take off her clothes, making her rather uncomfortable, and dress her in a lovely hanbok, making up her face with make-up, and braiding her hair neatly. As the lady servant leaves, she asks where the Do Tong (what they called the bathroom on Tamra) is. The servant just tells her that there are some containers (Tong) in the kitchen. Beo Jin is obviously very out of place here.
Beo Jin complains that they won’t let her do anything herself here. This must be why Kyu couldn’t get used to life at her house.
William is visited by two young girls, peering through the railing at him. Park Yeon tells him to stay here; he can’t go anywhere else for now. But William just asks where he can meet Beo Jin. Park Yeon tells him that if he makes a good impression on the King, he will be able to meet her sooner. He then introduces William to a variety of Korean foods.
Kyu finally arrives home, to a tearful greeting by his mother. He tells her that he is fine and she needn’t worry about him. But Mum is also concerned about that girl. Kyu tells her that she is the daughter of the family he stayed with. She had some business to do in Han Yang so he invited her to stay with them. Madame Park is relieved to hear that is all there is.
Kyu’s Dad approaches then, and informs Kyu that, while he researched the token he showed him, no one in Han Yang recognised it. Kyu figures that there must be someone powerful behind them. So, his Dad infers, that is why he applied to work as a prosecutor.
The Lady in Red is out and about, this time with the Man in Black. He approaches the owner of a fabric dying stall, and says that his master wants to do business with him. He is about to leave as the Lady in Red comes out: “Do you remember? How can you forget the master that you strangled to death?” The man is shocked and afraid, as they flash back to her youth. This man seems to have had something to do with that nightmare she had a while ago, and he ends up strangling her child self, presumably to keep her quiet.
The camera cuts back and we see this man hanging, dead, in a closet.
Kyu approaches Beo Jin’s room, just as she opens the door. He takes in her lovely appearance, and looks absolutely taken. It seems he is about to call her pretty, but he stops himself and tells her that no matter what she wears she looks the same, anyway. “An ugly girl isn’t going to be transformed by wearing pretty clothes.” She is disappointed, and tells him that she didn’t want to wear these clothes- she was forced! He smiles at her, but this falls as she asks about William.
He grumbles that she always talks about William whenever she sees him. She shouldn’t worry about him; he is safe. She asks when she can see him, but he tells her that he can’t leave for a while. She complies, happy that he is safe and she will see him one day. Kyu asks that if she is so worried about him, why did he come back to warn him earlier? She doesn’t answer, and they are interrupted by Bong Sam. Kyu leaves.
Park Yeon is continuing his Korean lifestyle lessons for William, tying his hair in a topknot. He tells William that he has to get in good with the King and nobles, and then he can meet Beo Jin, get married, have children- everything.
Meanwhile, the Man in Black tells the Lady in Red that Kyu has applied to be a prosecutor. She remarks that he isn’t as smart as she thought he was; he is wasting time on a closed case. She is happy that he won’t be able to investigate, as there is no evidence. She changes the subject, noting that today the Crown Prince returned. I feel a nefarious plan in the works.
Back at Kyu’s place, Beo Jin angrily takes off her fancy dress (methinks a certain man’s comments have something to do with her annoyance). She starts to feel indigestion from sitting all day, and searches the house for a toilet. Unfortunately, her tragic inability to be quiet resurfaces and she wakes Bong Sam, who in turn wakes the whole house with news of a thief.
She runs into Kyu who tells her to be careful; there is a thief. She’s right in front of you, buddy. She just tells him she needs a bathroom. Madame Park is angry and shocked to see Kyu leading her around, Beo Jin holding onto him. The servants gossip that they even go to the bathroom together.
The next day, Madame Park questions Beo Jin about what happened last night. She says that nothing happened, but Mum is persistent. On finding out that Beo Jin saw Kyu “not every night, but sometimes”, Mum gets worried.
Beo Jin runs out heaving (presumably something food related), leaving Mum to draw some hasty conclusions.
Back at the palace, the King is pleased to have his son returning today to check on him. His son looks rather uncomfortable at all of this commotion. The King gets everyone to raise a drink for his son. Kyu approaches the Crown Prince/son, and drinks. They are happy to see each other, and the prince especially is happy to have someone who truly welcomes him in Tamra. As he is pouring Kyu a drink from his cup, the King comes up and pours a drink for his son instead.
He asks if the position of King was so tempting for him to return. Did he come to watch his father die? This makes all those surrounding rather uncomfortable, as the King asks if he’ll give this country over to China, in exchange for support of the Emperor. The King seems rather deranged at this point.
The nobles agree, as they gossip how his personality gets more and more wild. Some men follow them, and as one of them excuses himself, the other, the Prime Minister, is asked if he has time today.
They go and meet the Lady in Red, and one of the lower ranking officials tries to convince the Prime Minister that if they open the port to foreign trade, the Korean people will be better off.
The Prime Minister gets mad at this; he’s only been manipulated by this merchant! A government official shouldn’t do this! He then turns his anger to the Lady in Red- how dare she use the welfare of the people as an excuse for her own selfish motives! But this doesn’t discourage the Lady in Red, who smiles on his departure. She’s got something up her sleeve…
The next day, Kyu arrives at his job as a prosecutor. He is welcomed by an official. He asks why it is so busy in the early morning, to be informed that last night, the Prime Minister was murdered.
Yes, the Lady in Red did have something up her sleeve.
While I miss Jeju, I like the way the plot is developing in Han Yang. I am glad William is not just some shipwrecked boy from England Beo Jin cares for anymore. Here in the capital, no one gets a free lunch, so William will have to do something to carry his weight. We all know he isn’t the sharpest knife in the set so I like that he will get some direction not from a diver who initially thought his name was ‘Me Too’. Hopefully this signals a slight change in direction with him; that he will not be quite so reliant on Beo Jin in the future. But then again, that boy has an unparalleled ability to maintain a one-track mind.
I assume we are now getting into the thick of what is changed between the sixteen and twenty-one episode versions, but, maybe it is because of my absolute adoration of Tamra, I am not noticing. Sure, some plot points are resolved very quickly, but I rather like that. I figure that any disjointedness is not Tamra’s fault, so I don’t want to pick on it. I just hope the relative normality of these episodes doesn’t lead to a rushed feel in the last few.