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Six Flying Dragons: Episode 2

What began as a promising start becomes something much more this episode, as we delve into the world surrounding the two dragons we’ve been officially introduced to—and there’s no mistaking that it is one densely populated world on the verge of great change. That feeling of being on the cusp of something huge but just out of reach adds a certain sort of tension to the proceedings, and on top of the already top-notch performances (as if we expected anything else), all the ingredients make for an intensely assured second outing. We couldn’t be in much better hands than this team’s when it comes to sageuk, and it shows.

SONG OF THE DAY

BoA – “우리 (We)” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 2 RECAP

Bang-won watches in horror as his father begs his enemy, Lee In-gyeom, to let the matter of his past betrayal slide this once. The minister agrees, but at a price—Lee Seong-gye is now like a dog on his leash, and must prove his loyalty to him and to Goryeo.

And when Lee In-gyeom says to prove it, he means it, forcing Lee Seong-gye to bow low to him in submission. The only thing he wants to know is how the minister learned the truth, to which Lee In-gyeom replies that he knows everything. He can even see through to Lee Seong-gye’s very soul.

While his father has no idea how Lee In-gyeom could have known what really happened in the past, little Bang-won takes it upon himself to confront the minister, calling him an evil man. Lee In-gyeom finds his antics amusing and asks the young master whether his father is a good man.

With conviction, Bang-won declares that yes, his father is a good man. Lee In-gyeom doesn’t refute it, but he takes the meaning of “good” to be subservient. He encourages Bang-won to be more like his father in this regard, reminding him of his father’s past betrayal while adding philosophically, “What is evil, and what is good? Is a human being born good, or evil?”

His words and creepy closeness leave Bang-won deeply unsettled, so that when he goes home he erupts in anger at his father: “Why didn’t you save my helpless friends?” His father has no idea that his son saw the exchange, so he doesn’t quite know what to do with the outburst.

Speaking of Bang-won’s friends, we find Boon-yi and oppa Ddang-sae still accidentally locked inside one of Lee In-gyeom’s storage rooms. While Ddang-sae focuses on the tune their mother would use to sing them to sleep at night, Boon-yi keeps her head in the game and devises an escape plan when the doors are opened.

Elsewhere in the manor, Lee In-gyeom frets over the secret letter that was delivered to him, since its arrival seemed planned—though he didn’t plan it. That’s why his victory over Lee Seong-gye feels empty, because it’s like someone else is pulling the strings… and it’s not too unlike another fateful night.

A flashback to 1374 reveals that on the night King Gongmin was assassinated, a letter with the same ominous red seal was delivered to Lee In-gyeom to alert him. He, in turn, sent the heavily guyliner’d Gil Tae-mi to take on Gongmin’s assassin, on the basis that the assassin would be allowed to walk away should he win the fight.

Despite Gil Tae-mi’s current confidence in his skill as a swordsman, by the time Lee In-gyeom had arrived to see the assassin dead, his killer seemed shocked that he’d accomplished such a feat. Once the palace was secured, Lee In-gyeom had asked about the eunuch that delivered the secret message to him, only to find out that no eunuch by that name ever existed.

In the present, the minister wonders just who it is that’s helping him. Cut to Jung Do-jeon, who thinks to himself that he can’t just put all his eggs in Lee Seong-gye’s basket if he wants to prevent war. He also plans to lead a contingent of protesting scholars tomorrow in a specific chant outside the main gates, though what it is has yet to be revealed.

Because of Lee Seong-gye’s deal with Lee In-gyeom, news reaches Minister HONG IN-BANG as well as famed statesman JUNG MONG-JOO that the general has rejected the offer to take a political position after all. Needless to say, they were really hoping he’d take the position, despite Jung Do-jeon’s warning that the general wasn’t to be trusted.

The rest of the high-ranking scholars/nobility, or sadaebu, are just as worried when they hear the news, since it means they’ll need representation for an upcoming meeting with Yuan envoys (now that they can’t depend on Lee Seong-gye to prevent it from happening).

While Minister Hong waits for an audience with Jung Do-jeon, two of the sadaebu immediately defect to Lee In-gyeom’s side, thinking that they’ll be attaching themselves to the winning side. They think that he doesn’t have a representative yet, but the minister assures them that he does.

And with great fanfare, he reveals that it’ll be Jung Do-jeon.

Boon-yi and Ddang-sae end up being carried along in the acting troupe’s convoy toward the Yuan meeting place, since they escaped into one of the enclosed carriages. But everyone abandons the caravan when masked swordsmen approach—and one of them is Jung Do-jeon.

This leaves the two youngsters in a prime position to overhear Jung Do-jeon’s conversation with Minister Hong, who finally tracks him down to ask what’s going on. If Jung Do-jeon is so adamant about preventing war, how does he plan to do so if he’s going to meet with the Yuan envoys as a representative?

Even though Minister Hong doesn’t know what Jung Do-jeon’s greater plan is, he swears to help him, especially since he was right about Lee Seong-gye being an untrustworthy ally. But Jung Do-jeon doesn’t want his help—not yet, anyway. Depending on whether he lives or dies tomorrow, he wants Hong’s help in enacting his greater plan.

Aside from the disturbance he plans to cause during the scholars’ protest tomorrow, Jung Do-jeon plans to dismantle Lee In-gyeom’s trinity of power from within by killing Baek Yoon, one of his closest allies. His death would sew discord and distrust between Lee In-gyeom and the remaining member of the trinity over who had him killed, which would eventually break their alliance and bring an end to the corruption in Goryeo.

Ddang-sae overhears all this while his sister sleeps, and follows Jung Do-jeon to his secret cave before returning for his sister. But he forgot that Jung didn’t come alone, and gets captured and tied up by a man identified as LEE EUN-CHANG.

Sobbing uncontrollably, Ddang-sae tells the man he was just looking for his mother with his sister, and at least Eun-chang promises to free him in the morning. No one in Jung Do-jeon’s party is aware that Boon-yi even exists, much less that she slipped through their fingers.

Early the next morning, Jung Do-jeon gathers the sadaebu on his side and holds a toast for the future of Goryeo, a future that will be changed by their actions today.

Speaking of, Minister Hong has to talk Jung Mong-joo off a ledge now that he’s heard that Jung Do-jeon will act as a representative to Yuan, which he sees as a great betrayal. Minister Hong doesn’t, and reassures him that Jung has a plan—he’s going to kill the envoys.

But Jung Mong-joo calls him shortsighted for thinking this is all part of Jung Do-jeon’s master plan, when he hasn’t even considered why Lee In-gyeom would’ve picked him in the first place. It must be a trap, he argues.

He’s right, since Lee In-gyeom and Gil Tae-mi are currently plotting Jung Do-jeon’s downfall gleefully. He’s made the whole envoy visit up, and plans to use actors to pretend to be from Yuan in order to catch Jung Do-jeon and his scholarly cohorts red-handed. He’ll be getting some help from the two scholars who defected to his side by using them as spies.

Meanwhile, Bang-won has decided to leave his household and become a beggar, despite the leader of the guild constantly trying to shoo the well-dressed and despondent boy away.

That’s when Boon-yi comes running to ask for help freeing her brother, only for the leader to point her over to Bang-won—he’s the one who wouldn’t stop bragging about how powerful his father is. Unfortunately for her, his father is the last thing Bang-won wants to talk about, causing her to call him a liar. He’d told them his father could solve any problem, but now he’s silent?

Boon-yi even reminds him that she helped him get into Lee In-gyeom’s manor, but Bang-won doesn’t have the spirit to argue the point. She does, and continues to pester him about his father: “It was all a lie, right? Admit it! Your father is not a great man, he’s pathetic! He is too weak to even rescue a child!”

It’s when she adds that he’s a coward that Bang-won finally turns around, and angrily shoves her to the ground. She immediately pops back up and screams that he’s the same as his father, resulting in a down and dirty brawl between the two of them.

After rolling around trying to choke each other, Bang-won eventually ends up straddling Boon-yi, who’s too out of breath to mount a counteroffensive. Instead she still claims he’s full of lies about his father, to which a tearful Bang-won admits, “He has no power.”

He thought his father was unparalleled in strength before, but now believes just the opposite, which is more of an admission to himself than anyone. He tries to leave it at that, only for Boon-yi to scream after him, “Then what do I do? I need your father’s power!”

She cries that Bang-won’s the only person she knows and can rely on, and if his father can’t help, then her brother’s doomed. She’s justifiably scared to death of the thought of losing him on top of her mother, and both her and Bang-won cry for their shared misery.

Bang-won finds a way to get an adult’s help without asking his father…by enlisting his bodyguard, Young-kyu. Young-kyu balks when Boon-yi says there are about ten men guarding her brother, but Bang-won urges him on by being all, If you can’t even rescue a little kid, what good are you? Once he reluctantly agrees, Bang-won takes Boon-yi by the hand and reassures her that everything’s going to be okay.

Lee In-gyeom’s scholar spies do their work and kidnap Jung Do-jeon before he can join the others, inadvertently throwing him into the same shed that Ddang-sae’s tied up in. While Jung Do-jeon knows instantly that he’s acting on Lee In-gyeom’s orders, the scholar seems almost angry at him for not having a more foolproof plan—did he really think he’d pull off his rebellion without Lee In-gyeom finding out about it?

It’s a trap, the scholar claims, and one Lee In-gyeom crafted to push the sadaebu like him out of the picture. He leaves after having his cronies beat Jung Do-jeon, but the real betrayal comes when his old friend Jung Mong-joo is brought to him, only to stand there and not untie him.

Quick on his feet (or on his butt this time), Jung Do-jeon tries to reason with Jung Mong-joo, knowing that his mind has been poisoned by Lee In-gyeom’s side. He knows his old friend doesn’t have faith in him, but swears that he has a plan, one that’ll accomplish their shared goal of preventing war.

But Jung Mong-joo claims this is about more than just him—the fate of the sadaebu is at stake. Jung Do-jeon thinks they’re all snakes who’d sell their mother to Lee In-gyeom if it meant a government post and doesn’t want to court their favor, while Jung Mong-joo frets that there’s no way around it, since Jung Do-jeon can’t make all of them his enemies and still succeed.

It’s clear that the two men care for each other despite their ideological stalemate, both of them equally passionate about how they believe they can bring about peace. And Jung Mong-joo thinks he’s acting in his friend’s best interest by worrying about keeping him alive in the short term, while Jung Do-jeon doesn’t see how that matters when they’ll all die should they go to war with Yuan.

Once it’s just the captives inside, Bang-won’s bodyguard takes down the guards and breaks down the door… only for Bang-won and Boon-yi to come face to face with Jung Do-jeon and his partner. It’s kind of funny how dead serious Jung Do-jeon is about preventing war, while Boon-yi couldn’t care less—her oppa points her in the direction of the man who tied her up, so she grabs Jung by his robes and shakes him as punishment.

“Not that man!” Ddang-sae yelps from his spot on the floor, causing Boon-yi to switch over to shaking Jung Do-jeon’s partner instead. All of Jung’s lofty talk about needing to be freed to stop a war is lost on Boon-yi and her brother, but not Bang-won, who takes it very seriously: “Can you really defeat Lee In-gyeom and prevent war?”

Jung Do-jeon looks him in the eye and says with all confidence, “Yes, I can. Let me go.” Bang-won thinks to himself that his father couldn’t do what the tied-up man claims he can, and asks him to promise that he can do what he claims. Jung Do-jeon nods, “I promise.”

The scholars who stage a protest against diplomacy with Yuan are herded away from the gates as Gil Tae-mi rides in disguised as a Yuan beekeeper. No sooner do they all learn that Jung Do-jeon has escaped do they see him march into the assembly.

Bang-won watches him from the crowd and reminds himself, and an unhearing Jung Do-jeon, that he better keep his promise. All that faith leaves him the second Jung Do-jeon pulls out a knife to stage a weak attack on the disguised envoy, only to be thrown to the ground.

Gil Tae-mi removes his beekeeping hat and reveals himself to the crowd, in order to tell them that they foiled Jung Do-jeon’s plan to kill the Yuan envoy by making sure he didn’t actually meet a real Yuan envoy.

That’s when Jung Do-jeon starts laughing from his spot at Gil Tae-mi’s feet, and the swordsman looks down to see that it’s not even a knife he’s holding in his hand, but taffy. Ruh roh.

Jung Do-jeon laughs like a madman as he displays his taffy stick to the gathered officials, having caught them in their own trap. Suddenly the musicians spring from their posts and surround Jung Do-jeon in a protective circle—they’re the sadaebu he gathered beforehand.

He tells everyone gathered, especially Lee In-gyeom, that he put his life in danger with this stunt to prove a point that he and the sadaebu around him firmly believe: Entering into a diplomatic relationship with Yuan would mean a costly war against Ming, which people like Lee In-gyeom and his cohorts are all too willing to do if it benefits them.

Imitating the pleas of the protesting scholars, Jung Do-jeon tears into the sadaebu elders who organized such a weak display. This isn’t a time for negotiation, since the ones who die in war aren’t the wealthy, but the poor. Pointing specifically to Lee In-gyeom, his passionate speech crescendos as he adds that the old like him don’t die in war, but the young do.

Jung Do-jeon: “War is not to be decided by the wealthy! As the only casualties in war are the poor. War must not be decided by the old! As the only ones who die are the young. Is it right for a child to hold a funeral for his father or is it right for a father to hold a funeral for his child? We have already held countless funerals for our children by the hands of our fathers.”

Minister Hong, remembering that Jung Do-jeon told him to ask him how he’d stop a relationship with Yuan in front of everyone, now shouts the question for all to hear. Jung Do-jeon has the crowd hanging on his every word as he advocates showing aggression and determination toward the envoy—if they believe they’ll be killed and run away, then they can prevent allying with Yuan and getting caught up in their war.

And because of Jung Do-jeon’s forethought in sending a letter to one of the envoy leaders requesting his presence, he’s already seen Jung Do-jeon’s aggressive display and will undoubtedly take it back to the Yuan camp. Which is exactly what Lee In-gyeom doesn’t want.

In front of everyone, Jung Do-jeon proclaims that as long as he still breathes, he’ll take the head of any and every Yuan envoy who passes through Jangpyeong Gate (basically the northern gate close to the border with Yuan). He hadn’t told the sadaebu what he wanted them to repeat after him, only that he’d say something that would need repeating—and from the crowd, scholar after scholar shouts his name and his impassioned promise to die before allowing a Yuan envoy through.

Soon enough, even ministers join in on the pledge to kill any envoy from Yuan, and the tide of the crowd turns into one of overwhelming support for Jung Do-jeon’s ideas. Bang-won watches in awe, and so does Jung Mong-joo, but for much different reasons.

The Yuan envoys that are present worry for their lives should the rowdy mob discover that they’re there as Lee In-gyeom’s men do perform some really belated crowd control, but the go-between tells the minister that he’ll take everything that was said back to Yuan.

But Jung Do-jeon also has to witness the fight he’s started, as the innocent crowd is submitted to beatings by the guards as well as the scholars. He roars loud enough to drown the noise for a moment, before slipping into a quieter, rueful lament of a song punctuated by the sound of people getting bludgeoned.

A tear snakes down his cheek as he sings, and soon enough, those who are able join the song in unison as they face off against the guards. It’s a powerful moment, and their voices only rise as the guards resume their assault.

But Ddang-sae turns at the sound, recognizing the tune as the one he’s been trying and failing to replicate—it’s the lullaby their mother would sing to them.

And Bang-won, with tears welling up in eyes he can’t manage to tear away from Jung Do-jeon, says: “That man is the strongest!”

“The Second Dragon: Jung Do-jeon, Joseon’s architect.”

 
COMMENTS

As much as I wish Six Flying Dragons was just a bit more polished in the directing department, that was one hell of a scene. (I still have goosebumps!) That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with the directing as it is—it’s more than serviceable, which may sound like a small thing to be grateful for, but we’ve all seen the alternatives. Better to be more grounded than too flashy and at war with the script, though there is a fine line to be found there that these producers have actually walked amazingly well before in Tree With Deep Roots.

But only one of the two PD’s who worked on that show is on this team, though I should be counting my blessings that we have one and not none. Really, I’m not sure why I’m griping at all in the face of such an accomplishment—maybe it’s simply that most of these scenes, which are already quite good, could only stand to benefit with tighter directing. Then again, Kim Myung-min is in fine form when it comes to bringing raw power and intensity to his scenes, so maybe piling on even more intense directing on top of all that would just serve as sensory overload. The writing and acting are all there, so as long as the PD just points the camera in the right direction, we should be good.

Normally I go into shows as blind as possible and try not to get into trouble just because I’ve loved a team’s work before, and while I’ve mostly kept to that this year, this was a show I definitely anticipated because of my admiration for past works like the aforementioned Tree, Dae Jang Geum, Queen Seon-deok, and so on. But with those dramas being such huge hits and now household names, I would have had to have lived in a sageuk-hating vacuum to not have seen this team’s work and to come to expect a certain amount of quality from them, which really just means that while I’m nervous about taking on such a long show, I’m hoping against hope that it’ll turn out to be worth it. And so far, Dragons has given no indication that it won’t be. (But any and all prayer circles are welcome and, as always, gladly accepted.)

In a show with such a sprawling and frankly daunting cast of characters, keeping the focus on a select few is no small task, but one this show seems more than equipped to handle. The cuts we’d get between all our key players, including our miniature ones, worked because of how interconnected the stories are—and what’s more is the depth of the connection, and how it spans across political and ideological boundaries. So while I usually view childhood backstories as part and parcel in sageuk dramas and an (un)necessary evil, I’m really liking how their stories are being interwoven into the greater backdrop, and how they represent that universal truth of being a child: that they’re at the mercy of adults who will always be bigger and stronger than they are.

The fun is in seeing them fly in the face of that notion, giving us tiny humans in Boon-yi, Ddang-sae, and Bang-won, who are all struggling in the absence of a guiding parental figure. In Boon-yi and Ddang-sae’s case, their mother was forcibly taken from them, but Bang-won’s suffering isn’t so dissimilar. His father was infallible to him, and all of a sudden everything he thought he knew about him was turned upside down. Boon-yi’s request for his father’s help only brought that terrible truth crashing down on him, and that they both cried together, even though they were mostly crying for themselves, was nicely poetic.

Plus, I love that Bang-won used what resources he did have to help her for no other reason than that he wanted to and could. All the kids in this show have been forced to grow up too fast, and while Bang-won is in many ways still just a child looking for a strong father figure, he’s also just like any adult looking for something to believe in. Besides, who wouldn’t want Jung Do-jeon to be their dad after seeing a speech like that? I would if I wasn’t already harboring an active crush on Kim Myung-min… is something I definitely wouldn’t say because that’d be weird. Right then. Onto the next forty-eight episodes.

 
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Thanks soo much for the recap! I was scared I would have to watch this drama wtihout dramabeans recap. I'll hold prayers along with you to wish for an awesome 50 eps sageuk!

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Yes! I'm happy you're recapping it because honestly it's hard to understand the story even with the subs ! I've never liked saeguks or long-run dramas but this one caught my attention

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Hi, I'm ray, please which site do u download from and how do u subtitle

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Hi, you can download movie from kickass torrent.

Download subtitles from subscene.

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Thanks for the recap!! Yes, it was one hell of a scene at the end.

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Which song does Kim Myung-min sing towards the end of the episode?

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The last 20 minutes of this episode... Such an extraordinary piece of television. Now if they could just stop cutting scenes in such a weird way.

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"I would if I wasn’t already harboring an active crush on Kim Myung-min… is something I definitely wouldn’t say because that’d be weird. Right then. Onto the next forty-eight episodes."

I'm with you there, Heads. That voice, those eyes... sigh. Great recap. Thanks.

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Good luck to HeadsNo2 on this one. It's been a long while since she recapped a show that she liked.

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Thank you for your recap.

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I normally don't watch sageuks the only exception being Moon Embracing The Sun *cough*Kim Soo Hyun, Jung Il Woo*cough* but this one had my attention from the very first episode maybe 'cause of Yoo Ah In (though he was there like for 5 seconds) But the second episode has solidified my attention, all thanks to Kim Myung Min, for this episode he was the show stealer.

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The title of the song is "mu yi yi ya" (無以異也), which can be roughly translated as "there is no difference". It's by Warak and was written for the drama. The title comes from a phrase in <> which also inspired the lyrics.

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It's actually 'wu yi yi ye'.

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Mencius

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I watched it without subs yet and I got goosebumps too! Hail KMM!

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Thanks a lot

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Wow...it's such a heavy drama for me.. I don't know how to follow a drama with to many actors ,actress, extras..and to many name i have to remember. Thanks god for recaps because i need it like i need dictionary or translation just for write a post .

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EPIC.

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KMM at his best.

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Kim Myung-min is doing well in spite of everything. That's the best thing I can say, really. His character is terribly written--how are we supposed to believe that Jung Do-jeon would argue that the ends justify the means (~fake killing envoys, then threatening to kill them for real), when from what I understand, historically, he's all about maintaining social order, and reinforcing ritual/systemic/institutional processes as means to power. Maybe I'm missing something, I'll admit English language resources on him are pretty limited.

I remain confused about the Yuan. Did some research and apparently they were still in Manchuria in the 1380s, but I would think that anti-Ming factions in Goryeo's government wouldn't be about kissing the Yuan's ass so much as using them as a buffer, considering the massive shift in power relations over the last 20-30 years. In other words, why is the drama assuming that anti-Ming means pro-Yuan necessarily? Why does it have to be one or the other? Though I guess it's too much to ask for Kim Young-hyun to question the status quo re: Confucianism and Chinese imperialism.

The ending...besides the fact that it made no sense, talk about anachronistic. That is not the kind of protest/public demonstration a strict Confucianist like Jung Do-jeon would have understood or appreciated. Anyway, Joseon did not arise from popular revolt. It was founded by the powerful, for the powerful. True, the scholars were supposed to be less corrupt than Goryeo's nobles, but ultimately education just became the new currency of the privileged, and Confucianism is nothing if not patriarchal in terms of social order (higher educated class rules lower class for their own good. Right...)

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It's hard to follow the historical timeline with this drama because the actual events are all over the place. My original guess was that we are somewhere in the 1370s because... 1. Lee Bang-won is 8yrs old so if we go by that, it should be 1375. 2. King Gongmin was assassinated in 1374 so it's possible that it has only been a year. 3.The 1356 incident at the Northern borders with Jo So-saeng and reclaiming of Goryeo's land put Lee Seong-gye at Hamju with his country pumpkins. So that all makes sense until this episode. Apparently Yuan still exist in this drama when it should have been collapsed by 1368 so I give up.

Why is Goryeo still dealing with Yuan leftovers? They are done and over with even though they were not completely annihilated by Ming.
What war is Jung trying to prevent here and with whom?

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Yeah I keep forgetting that we're probably in the 1370s, for some reason my brain is stuck in the 1380s lol. But the Yuan still being here, and the Ming vs. Yuan set-up is really messing with my head. I just hate the way the drama is presenting it as either/or between the two of them, and refusing to even consider that Goryeo doesn't necessarily have to just give up and let China ruler over them (even if resistance against China was futile for Goryeo, how do these writers think Goryeo would have felt, getting raped and pillaged by first one Chinese empire, and then the next?) Also, I'm glad you brought it up first--what war is he talking about exactly lol? If he's talking about the plans to fight the Ming, we should already be nearing 1387...aaaaargh so confused :( I give up too. The real question is why did we even try in the first place?

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Well, it's not like we didn't expect it from these two lol. juniper ... turn off your brain. This is not a Jung Ha-Yeon sageuk.

I'm back to square one, Kim Myung Min and YAI. I'm just going to fan-girl for a bit lol. I think it'll be fun watching In-gyeon screw with the future royals for a couple of episodes.

I thought Hong Ryoon was pretty believable as head of Gongmin's guards. I wish the fight scene was longer.

I'm not very fond of the kids to be honest. I guess I'm used to Kim Yoo-jung, Yeo Jin-goo, Park Eun-bin, Nam Ji-Hyun etc and that era of amazing sageuk child actors. I used to have a hard time warming up to the adults because they were so good and endearing. Now I just want to skip their parts.

I hope YAI/Lee Bang Won is the next dragon because I don't care about the other 3.

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I'm fond of Moohyul from TWDR, but since it's not Jo Jin-woong playing him this time, and he can't have his bromance with Sejong, meh. So yeah, I agree, can the child section be over already lol? Normally I would not pick someone like Yoo Ah-in to play LBW (I'd pick a sageuk veteran, older, bearded and gravelly-voiced), but he's a good actor and I'm just going to give up and get my fangirl on too lol.

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omg Kim Yoo-jung is amaaazing, I love her. Her and Yeo Jin-goo are my favorite kid actors. He was so good in Giant I never stopped missing him once Lee Beom-soo took over--we're talking 50+ episodes. And Lee Beom-soo is a great actor.

Love Park Eun-bin too, of course :)

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Jo Jin-woong <3. I cried like a little baby when Moohyul died :(.
I can't wait for "Signal" so I can see him again in a drama.

TWDR had some great talents Han Suk-Kyu, Jo Jin-woong, Yoon Je-Moon, Jang Hyuk, Song Joong-Ki and the rest of the veteran actors were great too.
Tree is still my fav drama from Kim Young-Hyun, Park Sang-Yeon.

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"Kim Myung-min's character is terribly written"

That's because they have to write it on their own. King Sejong in TWDR was written by Lee Jung-myung and Mishil in QSD was written by Kim Byeol-ah.

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Yeah I figured that was their fault lol. He's still doing a great job. If I ignore the stupid lines they're giving him and just focus on watching him, I can still enjoy his performance.

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He will definitely keep me watching for sure. I'm too much of a fan-girl to abandon him this early. I want to see YAI too with his eyebrows in action lol. I hope that he's not just going to leave with a high rating drama but with a high rating performance too.

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@juniper

I don't know if you're familiar with the writer's other works, but they don't do straight saguk. For example, Queen Seondeok was actually much older than Kim Yooshin. And in the case of this drama, Yi Ingyum (pig breastmilk feeder) is actually a fictional character based on the historical Yi Inim.

There is another saguk on the same subject matter that came out last year - Jung Do Jeon. It was a straight saguk and features a Jung Dojeon that you might find less problematic.

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Yeah I know all about the liberties they take lol. Their dramas might be silly, but they claim to be sageuk, so I'm going to judge them as sageuk to the best of my ability (I'm still learning about Korean history, but I can tell when something is full of crap by now). It's just sad how much this genre has declined. I'm working on watching Jung Do-jeon :) Can't find any English subs online and the DVDs are crazy expensive, so I'm saving up lol.

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Still so happy this is being recapped. I take all sageuks with a grain of salt and view them as dramas and not history lessons. It's 50 episodes and I imagine the concentration is going to be on keeping the drama intense instead of accurate. That being said, it is definitely interesting and intense. There's a lot if intrigue in a mere two episodes. I am clearly not a Korean history buff (nor have I seen Tree with Deep Roots....I know, shame on me) but I've definitely been drawn in and I'm curious about several characters.

I assume they've given up on helping the kidnapped mothers?

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I love big scale sageuks because the world is populated and it feels real. I had a pit of trouble unseeing Kim Myung Min as the Admiral Yi Sun-sin at the end of this episode. (Admiral was my first KMM drama and 2nd ahjussi crush after Choi Min Soo lol.)

In-gyeon is really getting under my skin here and Choi Jong-Won is fantastic in this kind of role and could do it in his sleep.
History aside. I'm really enjoying the veteran actors here. It has been a long time since I've seen so many in one drama.

I'm still not sure where this drama is taking the history here. So far it doesn't make much sense. On the surface it looks intriguing but when you look deeper it's not as good as you think.

Heads, thanks for the recap. Joining the prayer circle lol.

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typo *bit* of trouble..

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Yeah, totally agree, the veteran actors are awesome in this. I love Choi Jong-won in sageuk too. I'm not sure Cheon Ho-jin would have been my first choice as Lee Seong-gye, but he's doing okay and his facial expressions are priceless, so at least I'm getting entertained haha.

Now I want to watch Admiral Yi Sun-shin though I think I'll have to wait until I have a lot of time on my hands lol. Kim Myung-min ftw! He's doing so well with so little here.

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Kim Young-Chul would've been my choice for Lee Seong-gye. He is super awesome at playing conflicted characters. I loved him in Princess Man,The Blade and Petal and the Great King Sejong. I must say that he has been the best King Sejo, King Yeongnyu and King Tae-Jong that I've ever seen. He totally owned them all that I can not picture anyone else topping his performance. He has this commanding presence fit for an authority figure.

If you look at his physical features, face, skin color, lips etc I think he could pass at YAI's father in real life. YAI is not your typical flower boy there is something manly about his look.

Anyway, Cheon Ho-jin is ok I guess. I was going back and forth between him and Choi Jong-Won during the whole feast scene eps 1. They never spoke a single word, but their facial expressions said everything. I love the mind games without the stupid voice over as if we can't tell what they are thinking.

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Yes to Kim Young-cheol. He's seriously amazing. He's probably way too good for this drama, though. idk, I just love the face Cheon Ho-jin makes when he's shocked, it makes me laugh every time. He does a great bitch face, too.

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I always picture him with that sweet daddy face from Dong Yi but the bitch face makes me laugh lol.

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Admiral Yi Sun-Shin is so old with poor quality but Kim Myung Min was pretty awesome in it.

UhmForce was going to play Yi Sun-Shin in a new remake but it never happened thank goodness. Kim Myung Min will always be Yi Sun-Shin to me.

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lol I love Uhmforce though! He was so hot when he was younger. Plus he was a good actor, starred in some of my very favorites.

That being said, I'd be happy to watch 100+ episodes of Kim Myung-min being a badass, crappy quality or no lol.

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I mean *is* a good actor. He just hasn't done anything worthwhile in a long time so I'm stuck in the past lol

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Yes, he is a good actor. Love him in Mawang and Rebirth. I'm glad he didn't do Shark. I didn't think it was as good as the other two.

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I haven't seen Shark, actually. And yeah, he was so amazing in Resurrection. I wish every revenge drama could be like half as good as that one.

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Shark was supposed to make it a trilogy but I don't consider it a trilogy without Uhmforce...

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I am seriously thankful for your recap..it makes me more understand about this drama..and I hope that you will not stop recapping this drama.

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I loved that the song Ddang-sae's mother's song becomes the battle cry of the liberators. I also appreciate the clever and impact-ful way the "dragons" are revealed at the end of an episode - a climatic end to the introductory story of who each one is and the role they play. I am holding out for the excitement this kdrama promises because the first two episodes have drawn me in. (And, for, admittedly, Yoo Ah In!)

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Yah! Thanks for recapping this - I've been looking forward to this show for awhile, and while the first episode was a bit disjointed and kid-heavy, the second episode definitely kicked things up a notch. The directing/editing can be odd at times, but I'm guessing this is a show that will be primarily driven by the writing and acting. Here's to hoping it goes well!

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Part of me wants to watch this because I love Kim Myung-min, Yoo Ah-in, and Byun Yo-han, also I've gained a new respect for Shin Se-kyung after Girl Who Sees Smells.
However I just can't watch long dramas they bore me especially saeguks.

The re-cap did make me want taffy though.

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thanx for the recap - loved your comments

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OMG HEADS!!! I really loved your Tree recaps so I'm glad that you're recapping this show as well.

I agree with you about the directing! Many times during the episode, I would wonder why the hell Jang Tae Yoo PD didn't sign up for this one. He's not doing other shows at the moment, right? Was he wang ta-ed or something? That last scene was beautiful but I just can't stop myself from thinking how it would look like if Jang PD did it. I shouldn't really compare but Tree is so darn pretty with rich colors to boot!

Seeing Bang Won so enamored with Jung Do Jeon makes my heart break. How would this child grow up to be the King Taejong? How hard was life to him that he would change to be like that? He's also going to kill Jung Do Jeon, right? Ahhh it breaks my heart.

I hope the hype of this show delivers. I haven't watched a 50-episode drama while it's airing so this is a first for me. Be kind, drama gods!

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Thanks for recapping. It made me understand more about the story.

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thanks so much for the recap! even as a korean-speaker (but born and raised in the states) it's hard to follow everything...

i'm honestly curious/worried about how they're going to make bang-won into a good guy, in light of history. maybe an anti-hero?? would korea producers go there with yoo ah in?? we'll have to see...

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I'm so in for this drama. I've loved yoo ah in since mighty chilwoo, but he stole my heart in jang ok jung. I hope the ratings continue to increase just like yongpal. YOO AH IN FIGHTING.

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Awww ma words exactly. Ma heart ache for Yoo Ah In.That Oppa is too much.I love anything he stars in.Thanks soo much for the recap.I pray u continue,thanks.

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This drama gonna be a long journey since it is 50 episodes. I think i am gonna start after 10 epi above so that i don't have to wait like crazy every week.

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Seriously this is one of the best recap of the drama by far. I've read other recaps before this, and it doesn't go into as much detail as yours, so thanks.

I agree with you. That speech gave me goosebumps, and I'm really glad you translated parts of his speech.

I will def be coming back for more recaps in the future :D

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There are a few great moments in this drama, but overall I find it very confusingly written. Characters are being thrown at us at warp speed and the storytelling and directing are choppy, instead of unfolding seamlessly. The directing especially lacks subtlety and the music is intrusive. On the plus side, the acting is superb and the sets are gorgeous, but that's about it. I will keep watching to see if the writing and directing gets better, but so far I'm not too impressed.

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I have a feeling that the writers are definitely going to try to present Lee Bangwon in a different, more positive light, not only because they cast YAI as Lee Bangwon but also because of who they cast as Jung Mongjoo - a not well known 아저씨 actor with poor looks.

Because in popular opinion, the most evil thing that Lee Bangwon did was to smash in Jung Mongjoo's head with a an iron spike ball on 선죽교 bridge. Oh and to reply to Jung Mongjoo's "If this body dies a hundred deaths" poem with his really shitty "So what" poem.

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When a historical figure is presented in a drama with a fictional poor girlfriend on the side then you know that he is going to be some sort of hero no matter what history says. That's one of the reason why I just can't get into the child portion of this drama.

Interesting that this whole historical events took place in North Korea. I didn't think about that until you mentioned that bridge where Jung Mong-joo was brutally murdered.

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Yup, once you see the "budding" childhood romance emerging, it's not difficult to tell what's in store. It boggels the mind that these sageuks writers are still using that childhood romance trope.

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This kind of nonsensical romance does not belong in this era but they will always stick a Cinderella in their sageuks to attract more viewers.

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Yes, they probably will romanticize Lee Bangwon -- that's standard practice in these sageuks. Very few times have we seen the writers, without excuses, portray these Kings and royal heros as the ruthless, power-hungry being they likely were.

In Hwajung, the concubine/help got blamed for everything, when many records show that Injo was responsible for killing his son. In Jumong, Yi San, Kingdom of the Wind -- the leads are portrayed as virtuous to a fault, and in Secret Garden, Sado's father was portrayed in a more sympathetic light than history records indicate.

As you said, I think it has to do with the actors who are playing the role as well. The drama King Guenchogo was an exception though -- he was pretty much shown in a more realistic light. I wish they would do that more often.

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"Yes, they probably will romanticize Lee Bangwon"

Of course they are going to. It's their specialty for good ratings and the viewers are just going to love him up. Look at Bidam for example.

Jung Ha-Yeon is one of the very very few writers to tell it the way it is and more. He probably pissed off some know it all historian professors in the process lol. You know how sensitive they are when it comes to their history.

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It's funny you mentioned Jung Ha-Yeon, because I was going to mention Cruel Palace too. No one was spared in that drama.

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It took a while to find his work but once you watch one of his sageuks you'll start thinking instead of just watching it for entertainment.

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I can't help but feel slight Cha Seung Won vibes from Kim Myung Min. If only because this reminds me so much of the early trajectory of Hwajung. It started off really amazing and then went to the toilet the moment the kids grew up and Cha took a back seat. Kim killed that scene in his usual awesomeness. It seems really promising but feels too familiar for comfort. Please don't screw up guys!

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I'm enjoying the humor that comes out of this show at times.

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Just finished this one. I got chills too. That final scene. ...so good so very good! That's what I want and have been missing from sages lately.

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I wanted to see the sword fight =( /boo. *pout*

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Most play mats are washable but this may be something you should check before
buying. Children form and continue habits that are openly accepted or encouraged by their parents
making the habit hard to break. Since the Victorian era,
one of the most popular christening gifts for a baby boy has been a silver cup
or silver tankard - a beautiful present that is often passed down from generation to generation.

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This is a very interesting look at the end of Goryeo's history. I believe it was "The King's Face" where the attitude of foreign relations was completely different. They WANTED a war with Ming because they were sick of being treated like a conquered nation and sending their wealth and young soldiers to fight in Ming's' war with someone else (can't remember) so Goryeo wanted to see if they could unite with Yuan to sort of claim their independence.

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I know I'm late as hell because I just started watch this drama. But the last scene was so great I cannot resist not to leave a comment here.

That was one intense scene that got me goosebumps, even when I just read the recap. The people power shown beautifully in that scene and it got me all teary. Thank you for the recap and wish me luck in watch this drama without rush.

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Hi Writer-nim, do you know what the title of song that Sambong Jung Do-Jeong sing?

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