Drama Recaps
Tree With Deep Roots: Episode 18
by | December 3, 2011 | 72 Comments

Gauntlets are thrown, jaws are dropped, and our heroes find themselves much closer to their enemies than they probably ever wanted to be. This show keeps secrets just so it can reveal them to us in explosive ways, effectively taking the shock-o-meter up with every single episode. What else can I say? I’m in awe of the awesomeness that is this show.

 
EPISODE 18 RECAP

Both Chae-yoon and Lee Bang-ji recognize each other, but neither of them act like they do. Caught by surprise, Chae-yoon can only ask for the meat he came for and go, leaving both men in the butchery.

It’s clear that Lee Bang-ji has nothing but derision for Jung Ki-joon, definitely not taking up the mantle of his former master’s nephew. He considers his business with Hidden Root complete, but Jung Ki-joon feels differently – surely Lee Bang-ji can’t think that just because he taught Pyung martial arts, it clears him of the sin of letting Jung Do-jun die?

Jung Ki-joon lays out his plan. He wants Lee Bang-ji to handle Mu-hyul, while Chae-yoon handles Sejong. It’s just this once, and he wants Lee Bang-ji to help him. Lee Bang-ji not only refuses, but assures him that Chae-yoon won’t be taking part either. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jung Ki-joon.

Chae-yoon has been waiting for Lee Bang-ji outside, and the two men smile at each other before heading to a rooftop to catch up. Bang-ji is certainly playing the father figure here, as he feels Chae-yoon is headed down the wrong path on siding with Hidden Root. Our hero weighs his options before telling his teacher that his goal is no longer to kill the King, but to catch Jung Ki-joon.

Chae-yoon: “Teacher. I’ve garnered a very small wish. To live with the woman I cherish, wearing white clothes and digging in the ground. That kind of life.”

He smiles, and hearts melt around the world. The wish is finally revealed – and though it’s not a surprise, it’s still nice to finally hear it. Their conversation turns idealistic, in that Chae-yoon is now daring to dream just a little bigger because of what he’s seen in the alphabet. He envisions a world where together with Dam, his children will know how to write and be able to learn by reading. It’s sweet and adorable, but Lee Bang-ji is there to bring our hero back to reality by pushing his past onto him, asking Chae-yoon what he would do if he were to lose everything (meaning Dam). Like Sejong, Chae-yoon replies that his version of the future will be different. But Lee Bang-ji wonders how Chae-yoon, with his yearning for a court maiden considered property of the King, is any different from his past yearning for his master’s woman.

He basically tells Chae-yoon that he’s aiming too high, and that he needs to reevaluate his priorities. Chae-yoon is working for the great cause because Dam is the most important thing to him, but the most important thing to Dam is the great cause. Lee Bang-ji says that he’s lived his life thinking he’s no better than an insect in order to protect what’s important to him. People of low birth like the two of them, he claims, must throw away their pride in order to protect what is precious to them.

There’s fire in Chae-yoon’s eyes as he asks why that has to be so, why a citizen has to be the only one being dishonorable and cowardly to protect what he cherishes most. I’m so proud of him – he’s daring to think that he can be more than what he was born as, and it’s probably because of Sejong’s alphabet and influence. Lee Bang-ji’s only reply is that if Chae-yoon is willing to give up what he cherishes the most, then he’ll help him. This gives our hero some major food for thought.

Chae-yoon still has Jung Ki-joon completely fooled, since the Hidden Root leader believes that the long talk he’s having with Lee Bang-ji is about convincing the elder to join Hidden Root. But he hasn’t just been waiting on news of this conversation, since he’s decided that he must stop the promulgation of the alphabet at all costs. Even if his name becomes branded as a traitor forever, he must do it. Even if that means assassination of the King. Wait, what?

Chae-yoon is left with a lot to think about, his confidence in working for the great cause of Hangul shaken by Lee Bang-ji. His conversation with So-yi is cut short as it’s her turn to do kitchen duty, and he watches her from afar while wondering if such a thing exists that’s worth him losing her. Hmm. I can already tell that everything is going to come down to whether he’s willing to sacrifice for the Great Cause or not.

Choi Man-ri meets with the King in order to deliver his severely long protest letter. He stands firm in his belief that the fact that a slave entered the exam grounds is just the beginning of the absolute chaos that could be caused if everyone learns how to write. It’s really hard to find any good in Choi Man-ri’s points when Sejong says that his letters will allow the common people to find a little joy in life, and Choi Man-ri responds that it’s exactly that joy that will collapse the ranking order of Joseon. Really, Choi Man-ri?

His argument hinges on the fact that Sejong can’t un-slave slaves and un-noble nobles, so what’s the use of giving the people the useless hope of an alphabet? They both bring up instances of history, with Choi Man-ri saying that they’re already better than the previous Goryeo Dynasty, whose nobles were decided on hereditary basis alone. Sejong replies that it’s not much different, because the only people who can take their civil exams are those who can read and write – and those who can read and write tend to only be in the upper class. If the common people have this alphabet, he believes they will pull through on their own so Joseon can go on for thousands of years. But if not, Joseon will rot and disappear just like the previous Goryeo Dynasty.

Back in the Hangul Room, Sejong still finds himself in a rage. Everyone, including a young Jung Ki-joon and his father, asked him how his Joseon would be different. But now he feels like he can say it honorably – this, the alphabet, is his answer. This is his Joseon.

He opens the box where he’s kept Jung Ki-joon’s exam paper all these years, and throws it to the table below. When he sees it resting among all of the papers displaying the different letters of the Hangul alphabet, he gets an epiphany. He wants to meet Jung Ki-joon. The very same Jung Ki-joon who’s probably been watching his actions more than anyone else, and someone that he must persuade, even if he’s at risk of being persuaded himself.

Mu-hyul seems more than unhappy at this idea, claiming that Jung Ki-joon is a traitor that must be killed on sight. Sejong doesn’t seem to even be listening, and insists that he must meet him. Who among his ministers can he go through, assuming that some of them must be in Hidden Root?

Alone, Lee Bang-ji is unable to escape memories of the past. Jung Ki-joon’s words are still with him, and he wonders whether he can betray Hidden Root a second time. He remembers how the woman he loved was indadvertedly killed by Jo Mal-saeng (he held the sword, but she’s the one who used it to kill herself) and how he went to Jo Mal-saeng afterwards, looking for blood. Jo Mal-saeng offered his life calmly, but assured Lee Bang-ji that wasn’t him who was responsible for the deaths of Jung Do-jun and the woman. It was because of Lee Bang-ji’s hesitancy. Besides, didn’t Lee Bang-ji want Jung Do-jun to die so he could have his woman all for himself?

In the present, Lee Bang-ji considers his past actions. He’s hesitating even now, and realizes that it’s come to his detriment when Mu-hyul and his soldiers arrive outside to storm the house. He leads them on a chase deep into the forest.

We get just a taste of an epic battle, but the two men have no intention of killing each other. Mu-hyul sends his own men away as a gesture of good faith, and flatly asks Lee Bang-ji to reveal Jung Ki-joon’s whereabouts. Not because he wants to kill him, but because the King wants to meet him.

It sounds like a ruse and Lee Bang-ji even goes so far as to call him out, but Mu-hyul defends his honesty. He explains by saying that Sejong is different – he even once ordered Mu-hyul to save Jung Do-gwang and Jung Ki-joon. Lee Bang-ji, in a moment of adorable father-like love for Chae-yoon, asks Mu-hyul if Sejong is ‘different’ enough to send So-yi and Chae-yoon away after their work is done.

Mu-hyul promises him, both as a warrior and as a man who owes him his life, that if the King does not do it then he will. Aww. It’s adorable that Lee Bang-ji is looking out for Chae-yoon’s welfare, and that that’s the deciding factor in which side he’ll choose.

Chae-yoon and the Leader have a sudden meeting, and it reminds me so much of the way spies meet in most/all modern spy movies where they’re close enough to be able to speak, but try not to look like they’re speaking. She tells him that Jung Ki-joon has made a decision… and Chae-yoon knows instinctively that his decision is to kill the King.

She goes to report the conversation to Jung Ki-joon, but they’re soon interrupted by Shim Jong-soo with the breaking news that Mu-hyul encountered Lee Bang-ji and let him go. Everyone thinks it’s strange, and it only serves to throw suspicion onto Lee Bang-ji, as the members wonder whether or not he gave away any information about them.

Sejong thinks his chances of seeing Jung Ki-joon are good, now that they might have Lee Bang-ji on their side. While the martial arts master didn’t immediately give away information on Jung Ki-joon, he did ask for some time, so things are looking up. Sejong is consumed with the desire to meet Jung Ki-joon (with the idea of making a convert out of him), and says that it must happen, even at the risk of his own safety. Nooo, don’t even say that! You can’t afford to risk your safety when someone wants your head!

Lee Bang-ji still seems to be weighing his options, as is Chae-yoon. He’s come with food and a question: why did Lee Bang-ji say that he would lose what he cherishes most if he carries out this work? His teacher’s reply is that Chae-yoon shares the same birth signs as him, and he doesn’t want his love story to end the same way as his did. Yikes. Forebode much, Lee Bang-ji?

But he seems to be erring more toward the side of good, as he wonders if all these problems could be solved if there was peace among the aristocracy. He thinks this peace will come if Sejong and Jung Ki-joon were to meet, and seems to think favorably of Sejong since he knows about the King pouring drinks to soothe the soul of Jung Do-jun. Only because Sejong is Sejong, peace might be possible.

Jung Ki-joon is preparing for his meeting with Lee Bang-ji, although the Leader is uneasy ever since Mu-hyul let him go. They’re interrupted by a frantic Han Ga, who carries a letter from Lee Chi-seong, provincial governor of Hamgildo (who Shim Jong-soo remembers as being present during the big Hidden Root meeting). He loudly proclaims that they’ve all been fooled by Chae-yoon. Yikes! The cat’s out of the bag already?

The letter relates the fact that Prince Gwangpyeong… is alive. Ohhh crap. This is bad. This is really bad.

Lee Bang-ji is about to head out for the meeting, but Jung Ki-joon is already waiting creepily outside. He tells Jung Ki-joon that the King wants to meet him, and that Mu-hyul is the one who relayed the message. He seems to offer his services for Jung Ki-joon’s security if he wants to go to the meeting, but Jung Ki-joon only laughs at him. He berates Lee Bang-ji for not betraying Hidden Root once, but twice now, and that no matter his martial arts skills he’s just an insect incapable of using them.

He says he was foolish for ever wanting to join causes with either him or Chae-yoon, and that this will be the last time they see each other…

…Because he leaves Gae Pa-yi behind, who we’re supposed to see as some sort of wizard (but it begs the question of Pyung’s necessity if they have this force of nature at their beck and call). But still, yikes. Does this mean the end of Lee Bang-ji?

The two men have a fight in the forest, where it’s more than hinted at that Gae Pa-yi might be something more than human – Lee Bang-ji uses a term ‘Daejeokbulga’ to refer to him, saying that he thought it was only a myth. But he gets to meet, and fight, with this living myth in his old age at last. A strange yellow glint appears in both men’s eyes.

We don’t see the end of the fight since next we see Gae Pa-yi, he’s with Hidden Root explaining that he lost Lee Bang-ji off the egde of a cliff. Curiously, when Jung Ki-joon asks if Gae Pa-yi verified the corpse, the latter responds that he can’t enter water. Not in a way that suggest he can’t swim, but maybe because of some supernatural rule. Whatever the case, it’s intriguing.

Hidden Root is in a tizzy over what to do, since Lee Bang-ji knows Jung Ki-joon’s identity and might still be alive. They come to the conclusion that they have to move their base out of Ban Chon secretly, but they’ll leave Han Ga there as a spy.

Sejong has set a time to meet with Lee Bang-ji and Jung Ki-joon, but Mu-hyul ends up waiting in vain. He’s sure that even if Jung Ki-joon decided against the meeting, that Lee Bang-ji would have come regardless to relate the news. Something must have happened.

Chae-yoon comes to the same conclusion, because he arrives at his Teacher’s house to find everything in disarray. He follows a trail of blood into the forest where there’s been evidence of a major fight – namely, that a stone statue has been neatly sliced by a sword.

Chae-yoon and Mu-hyul end up working together to try and find the whereabouts of the missing Lee Bang-ji. The only other acquaintance that Lee Bang-ji had was Ga Ri-on, so Chae-yoon is tasked with searching Ban Chon… only to find that both Ga Ri-on and the Leader haven’t been seen lately.

Meanwhile, the King is more than upset to hear that the meeting fell through. He truly believes that if he can just talk to Jung Ki-joon, he can bring him over to his side. After all this it still seems like he’s willing to forgive Jung Ki-joon because he wants him in the fold so badly, which is sad considering that it looks like that will never happen. He’s unaware that Jung Ki-joon has already seen the alphabet and that he already recognizes its worth, but it’s still meaningless to him.

The King needs a pick-me-up, and so he dresses himself in disguise (along with Mu-hyul and So-yi) to catch the night air. Mu-hyul isn’t entirely happy about this decision (always the worried wife) because of all the scholar unrest against Sejong, but there’s not much he can do. Sejong isn’t worried at all – he has Mu-hyul with him, so what could happen? Ahh, don’t even ask that question!

At the butchery, Jung Ki-joon is preparing to make his leave when he’s interrupted by Mu-hyul, who’s come to ask for him to bring meat and follow him to the same cliff he’d been to before… where the King once honored Jung Do-jun’s soul. Jung Ki-joon, thinking fast, says that it would be better to grill the meat on-site, and calls for Gae Pa-yi to help him. Mu-hyul gets a look at him, but apparently can’t recognize him (the hair didn’t give him away?) as the man who attacked him before. This is such bad news bears.

Two children interrupt a conversation between Park-po and Chae-yoon (one is the little girl Gae Pa-yi had befriended) over a toy, which Park-po takes away to scold them. Chae-yoon is uninterested until he takes a look at the toy… which looks to be a horse, only the body is made of stone and the legs are twigs that have been stuck inside. Chae-yoon flashes back to the man who had a Death By Twig, and the sliced stone lantern in the mountain – knowing that tools weren’t used to create the toy. Only someone with severe martial arts skills could have forced a twig into a stone.

The little girl names her friend as Gae Pa-yi, who Park-po knows as Ga Ri-on’s assistant. Chae-yoon connects the dots, that Gae Pa-yi is Hidden Root… Augh, you’re so close, Chae-yoon!

Cho-tak bursts onto the scene, proclaiming that Mu-hyul visited Ga Ri-on at the butchery. They rush inside, Chae-yoon with his sword drawn, but they find no one there. Cho-tak mentions that it was strange to start with, because he’d been outside for a long while and never saw Ga Ri-on go in… but when Mu-hyul called from outside, Ga Ri-on answered from within. So how did he get inside?

Part of Team Sejong, along with Jung Ki-joon and Gae Pa-yi, are having a barbecue on Jung Do-jun’s cliff, and the air is light and fun. Sejong says that when he’s reborn he’s sure he will do well, but he would not like to be King again. When So-yi asks what he’d like to be reborn as instead, he replies that he’d make a great Royal Guard Commander (Mu-hyul’s job) – because when he thinks about it, Mu-hyul does nothing and can just eat for free. Ha! And aww. So cute.

Mu-hyul adorably tries to defend himself by saying that if Sejong is reborn into his job, hopefully he gets to serve a master like Sejong. They all have a laugh, and their happiness only makes me more worried at what could be coming around the corner…

Mu-hyul, at last, sees the ring of flowers on Gae Pa-yi’s finger that he always wears, and one that he wore the day he attacked Mu-hyul. Suddenly he realizes the danger they’re in, and though he draws his sword in an instant to make an attack, Gae Pa-yi is just as quick (if not quicker) with his own sword and they end up in a stalemate. Mu-hyul tells Sejong he’s in danger, but the King doesn’t understand. Oh crap. Ohhhh crap.

The look on Jung Ki-joon’s face instantly changes as he asks, “Why did you want to meet me?” Ahhh!! It’s finally happening! Sejong looks shocked and confused, and I’m right there with him.

Just as Sejong is making the realization, Chae-yoon is doing the same. Via a secret tunnel from the butchery, he’s found the room we’ve been seeing so much of recently – it’s Hidden Root’s table-scheming room. In it, he finds the piece of cloth that So-yi used to teach him Hangul, and suddenly he knows. This is Hidden Root’s hideout, located right beneath Ga Ri-on’s butcher shop.

Jung Ki-joon reaches forward and takes the King’s drink, downing it right in front of him. My jaw just dropped. He even goes so far as to stand while Sejong is sitting, arrogance radiating from every pore.

Jung Ki-joon: “Nothing! I thought you could accomplish nothing. But don’t you think you’ve done too much, Lee Do?”

Sejong stands slowly, locking eyes with his foe. “Are you Jung Ki-joon?” he asks, as a small smile crosses his features.

 
COMMENTS

Wow. Wow! Wow. Just wow.

What really made this face-off so exciting was Jung Ki-joon’s shamelessness and arrogance. I was in shock when he took Sejong’ drink and drank it straight in front of him (rather than turning his head to the side to drink, as a sign of respect). It fits well with Jung Ki-joon’s character, because he has to have some major balls to do what he just did. I guess it’s no big deal to him when the King is just a flower on the tree that is Joseon, but still. Goodness gracious.

There’s always been a little hint of the supernatural in this show that they don’t ever really bother to explain. It suits me fine, and sort of seems like a heightened reality, which is part of the fun. When all of the high-jumping happened earlier on, though it looked a little cheesy, it seemed like something that could actually be possible in the world this drama has set up. So now, with Gae Pa-yi and Lee Bang-ji, we saw a glint of something supernatural in their eyes. It comes as no surprise with these two, who are truly capable of inhuman feats, but Gae Pa-yi is being set up as this unstoppable force of nature who’s been consistently called a ‘beast’ for his very inhuman-like aura. I had held out some hopes that Gae Pa-yi would switch sides after he learned the alphabet, but we still know so little about what makes him tick. He’s certainly become more interesting as of late, that’s for sure.

Something I’ve mentioned before about this show, but something that still continues to consistently amaze me is how everything that comes about just seems so organic. I always remember something my dad would tell me if I ever asked him about why something implausible happened in a movie, and his reply was always: “Because it’s in the script.” Obviously everything here in the show is ‘in the script’, but I feel like I don’t have to ask why something happens because I find it implausible. Everything is plausible, and everything is handled so masterfully. Chae-yoon finding out Ga Ri-on’s secret at the same time as Sejong, though they were in two totally different places? That’s poetry. Those two really do complete each other.

 
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72 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Charles

    Thanks for the recap

  2. bishbash

    why do i feel someone major is going to dieeeee :(

    • 2.1 Giaxlove

      I’ve got that feeling too. :/
      Hope it’s not Soyi or Muhyul. Well, just everyone in general lol except for Jung Ki Joon.

      • 2.1.1 Vivien

        I don’t think so..maybe GePaYi? if at all

    • 2.2 Cha Eun Ae

      So Yi……
      Falls off the cliff… as she lunges to save the KIng???

  3. Giaxlove

    Woot! I’ve been waiting for this recap :) thanks HeadsNo2

    Man oh man. Jung Ki Joon, his arrogance astounds me. Also, what’s his deal? I feel like he’s using the Hidden Root for his own twisted purpose. Maybe become king himself.

    Also, whoever cast the actors/tress did an excellent job. No matter how well the script was written, if it’s not acted well then it loses a bit of that magic that sucks you in.

    • 3.1 Adele

      I agree with you. Whoever did the casting was brilliant as all the actors chosen had so far done an exceptional job. They bring to life and become one with the very characters they had been paid to portray.
      I won’t be surprised if the main leads earn acting awards in the future for their roles in this drama.

    • 3.2 anais

      Maybe become king himself

      That’s what I’ve been saying! While I don’t think ideologically he would ever take the title of king, he clearly thinks his uncle and he ought to be have been the masters of this new dynasty, masters in the form of a RULING Prime Minister to a mere figurehead king.

      He smacks more of monarchical corruption than Sejong would EVER allow of himself. I don’t care in what form Sejong rules so long as he rules. King? check. Emperor? hella check. Prime Minister in a Parliamentary system? check. President in a democratic republic? check. President for life? Oh heck yeah! And I’d be rounding up the crew to put him in that position. Jo Mal Saeng I would be gladly. If TWDR’s Sejong were alive again, we would be the presence of Greatness, yo! There’s greatness, then there’s GREATNESS!

      • 3.2.1 dramabliss

        Agree that King Sejong deserves to be called The Great.

        There is a question that is sometimes asked in the Q&A portion of beauty pageants: “If you were given the opportunity to meet a historical figure, who would you choose and why?”

        Not that I’ll ever be in such a pageant, but I used to mull over the question. Da Vinci? Cleopatra? Aristotle? Alexander? I couldn’t quite nail down my answer.

        But now I am ready with my answer: KING SEJONG!

        And the reason is all there in the drama, but if I had to reduce it to one word, its – Hangeul.

        • 3.2.1.1 fan

          I Just wonder.
          If you watched IYSS (Immortal YiSoonSin) drama, you might have problem to answer to that question – ‘Yi SoonSin’ or ‘King SeJong’. Both are aewsome!

          • 3.2.1.1.1 dramabliss

            I know very little about Korean history and I still have to watch the drama about the great general Yi Soon Sin. He is, in fact, considered by most Koreans as their greatest historical figure because of his military feats.

            However, for me, the revolutionary idea of a writing system that allows everyone, across classes and castes, to learn to read and write (and to have done this in such difficult circumstances) is much greater than winning a hundred battles or wars.

            The impact of Hangul–like Einstein’s seemingly simple equation e=MC2–is forever.

            Most countries get their pool of heroes from generals, presidents/rulers, and philosophers/artists/writers/scientists. Greatness abounds all around.

            Still, I believe that “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

          • 3.2.1.1.2 anais

            Yi Soon Shin does rock though. It wasn’t merely that he was a great general. He was quite the inventor as well. Though historians debate whether the Turtle Ships he designed were actually fully iron clad, we know that they were covered in iron spikes (if not in their entirety). If they had been iron clad, they would have been the first iron clads in history. Even if not, pretty damn brilliant.

            And when he was fatally wounded, like other great generals who have or probably have done this, he told his lieutenants not to let the soldiers know so that soldiers’ morale wouldn’t sink. Yeah, people lap up that sort of heroism.

      • 3.2.2 bd

        Yeah, I’ve been saying that JKJ is enjoying himself a bit too much ordering everyone around as head of Milbon.

        Basically, he is a narcissist who thinks he that he knows better and IS better than everyone else.

        Also, finally someone (none other than Sejong) who actually “connects the dots” and says something about JKJ doing the same thing as King Taejong – using violence and death to achieve his means.

        All this “the dark side” talk and no one has mentioned that Lee Bang-ji kinda looks like an Asian Yoda?

        • 3.2.2.1 anais

          Asian yoda!!!! Awesome! I wuvs it!

          Should we give him pointy ears?

    • 3.3 Cha Eun Ae

      What is amazing is the actor playing Jung Ki Joon. He was so unexpected. Can you believe this is the same guy from Midas? He was Jan Hyuk’s main rival in that train wreck of a drama.

      What is so strange here is I never expected that the butcher would rise to become one of the leads. And this actor plays the role with such perfect measured control.

      The scene where he drank the Kings wine while lifting his head to look the King right in the eye and then standing up while the King was still sitting; caused me to gasp. I felt his arrogance leap off the screen and slap even my face.

      • 3.3.1 bd

        Kinda thought he over-did the groveling/subservient act – was a bit fishy to me that someone who butchers animals for a living and cuts open dead people would act so timid, even if JKJ was supposed to be a “slave.”

        • 3.3.1.1 mskololia

          Oh, I found his acting credible and on point. The interacting characters bounced off his “slave” energy perfectly. I think the actor nailed Garion’s character who had contact with the nobles and King and responded in a way either “expected” or to gain greater access to keep tabs.

      • 3.3.2 Arhazivory

        I loved him in Midas. I thought he acted his role as the spoilt, rich man very well and he was one of my favourite characters.

    • 3.4 fan

      Jang Hyuk said in his interview that (after he read the script) he told the actor Yoon JeMoon (who was in MIDAS with JH) there is a Jung Ki Joon role whom he thought it will fit him. And MuHyul is his friend for long time. So some casting credits might belong to JH.

      • 3.4.1 anais

        Jo Jin Woong (Mu Hyul) was in Chuno with Jang Hyuk.

        • 3.4.1.1 fan

          right.

          http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/entertainment/2011/11/23/1101000000AKR20111123214300005.HTML
          처음에는 하지 않겠다고 거절했다. 이중적인 느낌이 드는 ‘가리온’을 하고 싶었지만 나이대가 안 맞았다.그런데 시놉시스가 수정되면서 강채윤 역할이 입체적으로 변했고,
          (About his role: turned out at first. Wanted to do the GaRiOn but age was the problem etc.)

          -가리온 역에 윤제문 씨를 추천했다고 하던데.
          ‘마이더스’ 때 제문 형을 보면서 가리온에 제격이라 생각해 이런 역이 있다고 형에게 알려줬다. ‘무휼’ 역의 (조)진웅은 친구인데 ‘추노’를 같이 할 때 보여준 모습이 무휼에 맞을 것 같아 추천했다.
          (Recomended JeMoon from Midas for Garion, Jo JinWoong from Chuno, whos is my friend, for MuHyul)

          –겸사복 3인방의 모습도 무척 자연스러운데 실제로 서로 친한 사이 아닌가.
          박포(신승환 분)와 초탁(김기방)은 10년 지기 동생들이다.
          (about 3 mousquetaire: BakPo and Chotak actors are younger brothers for 10 years)

          –액션 연기도 나날이 발전한다는 평이다.
          단지 액션도 연기의 일부분이자 캐릭터를 표현하는 한 영역이라고 생각하고 연기하는 것이다. 그래서 내 액션의 합은 내가 무술감독과 함께 짠다.
          (About action scene: Action is part of act. so I design with the action director).

          –최근 작품 복과 함께 상대배우 복도 잇따르는 것 같다.
          이번 작품은 그런 호흡이 기가 막히다. 주고받는 호흡이 아주 좋아 다들 풍성한 연기를 보여줄 수 있는 것 같다.
          (About chemistry with other actors in this drama: out of this world).

          Some other news: it is live-filming since ep 12.

          • 3.4.1.1.1 anais

            Some other news: it is live-filming since ep 12.

            That’s truly amazing that the quality hasn’t suffered.

        • 3.4.1.2 MsB

          No wonder they play so well together! Great casting! The young lady playing Dam is not familiar to me but she is holding up well with the big boys!

  4. Marni

    The look in Sejong’s eyes at the end, just brilliant!!!!!!!!

  5. Adele

    Another explosive cliffhanger ending, sigh….
    Why does it feel so difficult to wait a week for episode 19? Never felt like this before with other Kdramas.

    As usual HeadsNo2, you’re doing an incredible job.
    Thank you. This site rocks!

  6. mary

    Mu-hyuuuuuuuuuul. :'( Please don’t die. *sobs*

    Or at least, I hope you will be reborn as a noona-killer to make up for saving a King and a country in your past life.

    • 6.1 tegami

      Mu-hyul better not die! If the unspeakable happens, Show and I are gonna have some words -__-

      • 6.1.1 anais

        My sexy schmexy better not die! I’ll be sooooo angry!!! Waahhhh!

        Lee Bang Ji, we need you. Chae Yoon, you two! Save Mu Hyul and our good king! So Yi too.

        • 6.1.1.1 anais

          Chae Yoon, you two!

          Face palm. *o*
          Chae Yoon, you too!

          HeadsNo2, I lub u! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  7. hpn88

    so glad they didn’t drag out Sejong finding Jung Ki-joon, and that reveal was really well done!

    thanks for the recaps

  8. neener

    it’s already midnight here and I have to wake up early tomorrow!

    still! HAVE TO READ!!

    off to read! ^_^

  9. mskololia

    Thanks for the wonderful recap HeadsNo2.

    Garion’s arrogance really put me off towards his character in this episode. The actor nailed it. :) King Sejong has a formidable enemy indeed. The question at the end by the enemy tied into HR’s agenda to have him as a figurehead that is limited in his reach. The flower has no depth only the roots.

    Sejong is in for a major fight against the aristocrats, which means he will have to make some serious deals with them like before or as seen with CY. This reminds me of why we have lobbyists…lol There is nothing new under the sun…

  10. 10 MojoJojo

    Oh my grapenuts, this episode was SO GOOD. I was in my computer during that final scene.

    I’m so happy that Garion dropped the act in the end but did he have to be so disrespectful? I mean I get it, you think you’re the shizz but for serious whether you like him or not he’s still your king.

    I’ve watched enough dramas to know that you can’t just call the King by his first name all willy nilly. Jung Ki Joon, did it with not even a whisper of honorifics. Cojones the size of Jupiter, that one. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

    But that smile at the end by King Sejong had me squealing like a five year old. Can’t wait for next episode, it’s going down. I can’t wait to see this debate. If that man beast was replaced by Pyung, the whole scene would be perfect for me, but now i’m worried for Mu-hyul. He can’t die, he’s not gonna die, he’s too adorable to die. ::covers ears with hands::

    • 10.1 MojoJojo

      Oh and thanks for the recap!

  11. 11 dany

    Thank you, great recap!

  12. 12 Linda165

    Thanks for the recap HeadsNo2, but please, please, please don’t ever mention the word “sacrifice” again!!! It makes me feel very uneasy.

    I love how naive is our King to think that he can persuade Jung Ki Joon. It just tell us how big is his faith in people. I really love that. And I love Chae Yoon’s smile *siiiiiiigh*

    This is a link of the translation of Choi Man Ri document protesting against Hangul, if anybody is interested:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choe_Manri

    • 12.1 anais

      Linda, thanks.

      The arguments he presents are, I realize, very sensible for his time (after all, they did have to contend with China), but how sad that he and most of the scholar-officials were so shortsighted and provincial in their thinking.

  13. 13 jane

    Boy, am i glad dramabeans has a person like you HeadsNo2 to recap this amazing saeguk!
    Thank you!

    — i am consistently loving king sejong.

  14. 14 dramabliss

    HeadsNo2, thumbs up for another great recap!

    Now that cats are out of the bag (on both sides), I wonder how the plot will move forward in the remaining six episodes.

    Sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation.

  15. 15 Suzi Q

    This is once to the absolute best sageuks that I’ve watched. Every week, the actors, writers, directors, everyone does such a wonderful job! Just can’t praise them enough.

    The suspense builds every week. Now the masks have been discarded, and it’s showdown time.

    Mu Hyul was one of my favorites. Please don’t die…

    Jung Ki Joon face off with Sejong was the monumental confrontation. He doesn’t give him the respect of the King and stands right up to him while Sejong is seated.
    Whoa! Next week, we will see who is on first….who will win…

    • 15.1 Birdie

      It would be AMAZING if Sejong can convince Jung Ki Joon to change his mind and come on side regarding his letters. That would be so EPIC!

  16. 16 Birdie

    Great recaps, HeadsNo2. I enjoyed each episode soooo much. Since I started watching kdramas, I do not recall EVER not finding faults with some bits of the drama. This one -none . This one appeals to my intellectual senses, which seldom happen in kdramas. Definitely the BEST drama of the year even if the next 6 episodes aren’t good but I know it will be good. They have given us 18 great episodes.

  17. 17 Admiralphlox

    A masterpiece of an episode! Waah. Hands-down to the actors and production as the cliffhanger on a CLIFF really left me almost fall of my seat! Thanks for the recap.

  18. 18 Hannah25

    Sounding like a broken record but yes, this is now hands on down my favourite drama of the year – it was going to be “The Princess’ Man” but that has gone down to the second place. It is a challenging drama and forces you to think on top of the excellent cast, costumes and music. A big kudos to our wonderful recapper – fast, quick and really gets the drama plus the wonderful writing style. Hope to see her as a regular guest recapped! :)

    Now, I wonder what Mr X/Anarchist as the sageuk guru makes of the drama? Anyone know?

    • 18.1 Kiara

      You love it, thats all that matters. Who cares what the critics say lol.

  19. 19 melonhead

    *attempts to find my misplaced jaw first*

    This episode just trumped everything so far. I don’t even know how that is statistically possible, but I think I’ve come to accept this show really is just THAT good. I mean, tally count for epic meetings/revelations/twists??

    – Lee Bangji and Chaeyoon meet
    – Muhyul and Lee Bangji meet
    – Jung Kijoon finds out Chaeyoon lied
    – Lee Bangji and beast guy fight and Lee Bangji goes AWOL
    – Muhyul and Chaeyoon find out about Ga Ri On
    – Sejong and Jung Kijoon meet.

    o.O My brain just exploded with the awesome that just happened. Ooh, and we got to hear Chaeyoon’s request. So cute. I just want them to live happily ever after, but why do I feel that some dying is going to occur next week?? Muhyul you can NOT die on me. You hear me???

    Also, how great is the actor for Jung Kijoon?? We all hate him so much, but that just shows his brilliance.

    • 19.1 melonhead

      Oh, and I think I died from squealing when Chaeyoon said that Dam was most precious to him, and letters are precious to her, and finally the letters have become precious to him. Joseon (K-drama) man going with what his lady wants? I lub him so much.

      • 19.1.1 sm

        I hope the king asks So-yi’s opinion before he grants Chae-yoon’s wish, since it also involves her.

        • 19.1.1.1 melonhead

          Yeah, I hope so too, but judging from So yi’s reaction after they were talking about Chaeyoon and the danger he would be in, Sejong’s thought of “He has his wish” seemed to imply to me at least that he believed Chaeyoon already had Soyi’s heart, so she would accept it.

          What did everyone else think about that?

          • 19.1.1.1.1 mskololia

            I think Sejong believed CY would not do something foolish to get himself killed before the king grants his wish and SY is free to go at any time but will not until her work is completed by the promulgation of the letters.

            Now that she has a voice, she can teach the commoners. Is getting the letters to the people her life’s work?

    • 19.2 bd

      This ep. was entirely filled w/ tension.

      Gotta hand it to those Milbon fellows, they certainly have a great spy/info. network.

  20. 20 sesuatu

    we are so on sejong’s way of thinking now.first we want pyung to turn sides, then gae pa yi the mythical dude. i use ‘we’ because i’m sure it’s not just me who wants all characters in TWDR support sejong in the end.

    and MU HYUL ahjusshi,please keep healthy and be the lovely grumbling wife

  21. 21 AuntieMame

    Thank you so much for the recap and insights.

    The King may just be a flower. But, JKJ is wood-rot. At this point, JKJ isn’t thinking of what is most beneficial for the lower class or common people. Or, rather, he thinks very little of them because he thinks they are not capable of handling knowledge.

    He assumes the lowest expectations of the people, in which they will not be able to handle learning, end up in chaos and destroying their world.

    Whereas, the King assumes the highest expectations of the people, in that they (the people) will learn and when their learning result in dilemmas, obstacles or stalemates, they will figure things out and/or work out compromises, in order to survive and advance.

    It’s ironic that the King has more faith in the people than JKJ, who professes to be fighting the monarchy, in behalf of the people.

    • 21.1 anais

      JKJ wood rot. Loves it!

      Also, I’m repeating a prior point someone else so rightly made, because it’s worth pointing out the flaw in JKJ’s and Milbon’s conceptualization of the Tree.

      The flower is no mere flower. Without the flower, the tree cannot bear fruit and propagate.

      I hope the drama gives voice to this point at just the right time as a smack down. That would be so satisfying to see.

    • 21.2 dramabliss

      JKJ = wood rot. Wonderful metaphor!

      Thanks, AuntieMame.

  22. 22 Lilly

    Love the suspense this series has.
    And the acting, omg, over the top great.
    I don’t think I am going to see this much great acting by so many actors in one series again for a very long, long time to come. I just don’t see how it can happen.
    Usually a drama has two, maybe three great actors carrying it, but each actor all the way down to the smaller parts has done an astounding job of bringing their character to life.

    In awe of director or casting, whoever brought this large group together so perfectly.

  23. 23 ahjummabunny

    the whole last 10 minutes of this drama I was screaming 2 and 2 at the screen and then the last 2 minutes or so I was screaming 4! I really wish chae yoon was a bit faster. I expect sejong’s next words to jung ki joon to be something like panga wa! or long time no see and really through jung ki joon. This show only has 6 more episodes I can’t even predict what will happen next, even in a general way. I’m on the edge of my seat all the time, it’s great!

    • 23.1 i'm korean

      i’ve watched ep.20 yesterday and recorded all originally HD… good news for u is that chae yoon’s fast and timely enough to stop the situations. And bad news is that se jong do not say 반가워 or long time no see….^^

  24. 24 Aste

    It’s a bit different.
    Milbon is not for the lower class or common people.
    They exist for, so to speak, a kind of the prime ministerial monarchy and for the sadaebu(nobleman)’s power to curb a king’s dictatorship.

    • 24.1 anais

      Except there is no dictatorship. King Sejong very much wants input from his ministers. Yeah, he may have the final say, but even he is subject to politics and has to play ball.

      Milbon is full of it. The only difference between what they criticize and what they want is the title (and name) of the leader. King Sejong vs. Prime Minister Jeong (apparently for life and by heredity, given how Jeong Ki Jun lords his being Jeong Do Jeon’s nephew over Milbon).

      • 24.1.1 Aste

        Partially agreed, but I didn’t say THE king’s dictatorship.
        Milbon is against the political system, not a single king.

        Though sejong is a good king, they may still think all his doing is dicatatorial since he decided to create alphabet without any notice or discussion with the officials(sadaebu).

        • 24.1.1.1 Aste

          oops typo
          ‘all his doings are dictatoial’

          • 24.1.1.1.1 Aste

            lol
            i made another.. dictatorial
            sryz

  25. 25 Jinijani

    Mu-hyul…. Goodbye…

    • 25.1 anais

      What the heck! Do you realize there are a ton of people here who’ve said repeatedly how they hope Mu Hyul won’t die? This is like coming into the house of someone who’s on the brink of death, then acting as if he’s already dead. You remind me of Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park (the film).

      I know this drama is just a drama, but I’m genuinely happy to see Jo Jin Woong play such a great role. If the Show decides to cut him out, I’ll do my grieving then, but your farewell is premature.

      • 25.1.1 Kind of sick of it

        Please, let people have their say!! You are acting like you own this site. Why do you always have to have the last word? Very very tiring!!!

        • 25.1.1.1 Jinijani

          I hope he did not die.. …. really love him
          (I’m a fan of Mr. Cho Jin-Woong =Mu-hyul )

          But, (I’ve read the novel) he might die.
          Perhaps …Perhaps ….Perhaps ..

          • 25.1.1.1.1 anais

            Jinijani, tho I say so below, am touched by your response. For you to respond so when my own comment to you was so strongly worded, I want to thank you for showing generosity of spirit when I did not.

        • 25.1.1.2 anais

          It’s not that I have to have the last word. Believe it or not, oftentimes, I write back to let people know that others find their comments worthwhile. Oftentimes, I also wait for conversations to continue, curious to see what else someone has to say to this or that thread. And many times, I’m disappointed that the thread wasn’t picked up.

          This time, with Jinijani and Mu Hyul, I definitely had a strong negative reaction. I’m actually rather touched by Jinijani’s response, which is very sweet, given how strongly mine was worded.

          Overall, my volubility reflects how enthusiastic I am about a topic. I was excited that there were lots of comments for a past TWDR recap. Saddened that there weren’t for others. If my volubility is shutting down conversation – versus my freaking out on Jinijani or others – I’ll gladly withhold so long as there’s interesting convo.

          • 25.1.1.2.1 dramabliss

            Anais, I hope you still get to read this post.

            Just want you to know I appreciate very much all your reactions to my posts, as well as your contributions. Learned a lot about Korean history from them, especially the Sejong era.

            For the record, I never felt that you wanted to have the last word.

            Anais, fighting!

  26. 26 daniela

    Anais, you are so sweet :))

    This is a drama based (mostly) on real facts, and i love how they make non-Koreans “fight” over it.
    I was so ignorant about Korea history, but i discover it with the help of Dae Jang-Geum. Now, my 5 years old daughter calls all k-drama “jangeuma” :)) , copies the way of talking of Koreans and she wants her hair like those Joseon girls. I learned from this dramas, with the help of dramabeans.com so much in this last year.
    Now, lets have a good waiting day for the 19th episode of TWDR. Love you all for making me feel like home here!

  27. 27 triniti

    i think Gae Pa YI should be a man from the nomadic tribes further inland at that time, no? (present day mongolia and russia) i know that those guys were strong as anything and huge too. It it might also explain why he cannot go into the water, because the nomads lived in mostly landlocked areas, and he would not be well acquainted with the water.
    It would also explain his weird name.

    Or, he could just be a really cool supernatural dude!!!

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