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Jackpot: Episode 7

There are some winsome moments in this episode that hint at the show’s greater potential, though the consistency of those moments may leave something to be desired. At least our two royal brothers, while unaware of each other’s existence, seem to be of the same mind when it comes to the show’s Big Bad, which is just one more link drawing them inexorably toward their seemingly shared fate.

If that sounds vague, it’s because Jackpot isn’t helping us out when it comes to mapping out its story trajectory, which is all over the place at present. But when it does focus, it is rather entertaining, so here’s hoping. (And, if nothing else, the OST is rockin’.)

SONG OF THE DAY

Kim Bohyung of SPICA- “그리워 (I Miss You)” from the OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 7 RECAP

After overhearing Injwa and his minister cronies clearly talk about overthrowing his father, the king, Prince Yeoning knows he just has to bide his time for now. In order to bring Injwa to account, he’ll need more solid evidence, though the thought of waiting grates on his nerves.

He tells his mother what he’s learned about their mutual enemy, and catches her off guard when he mentions that Injwa’s even killed people, like the gambler Baek Man-geum, to serve his own interests.

Obviously, that name hits her hard, though she struggles to cover it up and claims to not recognize the name. Her son blinks at her, likely finding the subtle shift in her demeanor odd, but says nothing of it. Instead, he mobilizes his men in the Office of the Inspector General to mount an arrest on Injwa that night.

Which is why we find Prince Yeoning in disguise at Hong Mae’s casino, watching as Dae-gil calls for Injwa’s cheating hand to be cut off, as per house rules. But before Ahgwi can swing the ax down, he’s blocked by Dam-seo’s sword. Of course nothing bad was going to happen to him.

Injwa, being who he is, laughs obnoxiously at this fortunate turn of events. He even deigns to call Dae-gil out for using dirty tricks to make it seem like he had cheated, claiming that he’s never used such underhanded methods.

To prove his honesty, he has Hong Mae blindfold him for the deciding round, leaving him seemingly incapable of cheating by eyesight. He happens to draw the perfect winning card, and Dae-gil continues to test whether Injwa can pick the cards he calls out while being totally blind. (Is this your card?)

Dae-gil can’t figure out how Injwa’s pulling this off, and Injwa isn’t keen on telling him when he’d rather taunt him about how close he was to getting the best of him with that cheating trick. “It seems your luck and skill could only take you so far,” he adds.

“It’s not over yet,” Dae-gil counters, reminding him of the promise he made to apologize to his father’s grave. Dae-gil’s upheld his part of the bargain by surviving all that torture and falling off the cliff, so it’s time for Injwa to pay up.

But, as Injwa claims, he masterminded that stunt on the cliff specifically so Dae-gil would live. He stabbed him in a non-vital spot before throwing him off the cliff, knowing he would survive. “You did not survive because you were lucky, but because I saved you,” he says.

He continues to taunt that Dae-gil is just a baby tiger (a metaphor commonly used for him) that can’t even go up against a wolf like him. Yes, a wolf who interprets rules differently so that he’ll always win.

They’re interrupted by Prince Yeoning, who finally reveals himself and the men he’s stationed throughout the casino. Now that the shoe’s on the other foot and he’s caught Injwa gambling, he orders his immediate arrest, which leads to an all-out brawl between the authorities and the patrons guilty of gambling.

Dae-gil can’t help but wonder if he’s lost to Injwa again, and if this means his revenge will forever be incomplete. But the situation at hand is much more pressing, and it’s because of Dam-seo (acting under Injwa’s orders) that he’s able to escape arrest. Injwa, however, willingly gives himself up.

Once they’re safely outside, Dae-gil spurns Dam-seo’s attempts to tend to one of his head wounds because of her association to Injwa. He even takes back that he ever said he wanted to marry her, vowing that he’ll take revenge on her teacher if it’s the last thing he does.

Prince Yeoning gets a lot of nothing from Injwa even though he’s been arrested in front of all those witnesses—the omniscient Injwa, who sees all and knows all, just laughs arrogantly as he claims that all Yeoning’s efforts to collect damning evidence on him and to catch him in the act are in vain.

Dae-gil gives Grandpa Eyepatch a welcome surprise when he comes strolling into their yard, since Eyepatch had assumed he was dead with the delivery of his straw shoes.

After their happy reunion, Dae-gil’s eyes fill with tears as he tells his grandfather that while he initially set out to get revenge for his father, now, he has to win against Injwa for his own sake.

Prince Yeoning pays a visit to the courtyard where all the recent arrestees are being punished to check in on how the investigation is going, only to find that Injwa is not among them. He’s been released for being part of the Euigeumbu, the governmental bureau in charge of treason or other unlawful acts among royal family members.

To make matters worse for Yeoning, all the prisoners from the casino are released by order of the Euigeumbu, effectively removing any power he had to prosecute them or use them as witness to Injwa’s crimes.

Likewise, it seems like Injwa has some friends in high places, even in the Sahoenbu, or Office of the Inspector General, which Yeoning knew nothing of despite being an official in that office.

He storms into the office after being told that all the accounts he painstakingly collected on Injwa’s underhanded dealings have been deemed falsified, and finds Injwa there, drinking with the other officials. He’s even blamed for arresting Injwa in the first place, since they consider it a misuse of what little power he has.

Injwa sends the officials out so he can speak to Yeoning alone, the latter of whom is fuming over how far Injwa’s sphere of influence goes. No doubt he bribed all those officials, who make sure to talk about Yeoning and his low birth to a concubine loudly from the hallway.

The ever-cocky Injwa reminds Yeoning that he can’t do this whole “politics” thing by himself, and stops short of mentioning his lowly origins. But Yeoning’s fury causes him to grab a sword and brandish it toward Injwa, who is, as always, unfazed.

He dares Yeoning to stab him as he stands there, wondering if the young prince plans to kill his way to the throne. Yeoning brings his sword down, only cutting the edge of Injwa’s gat, which Injwa takes as his cue to leave. Will someone please stab this man for real?

In a last-ditch effort, Prince Yeoning tries to convince his hyung, Crown Prince Yoon, to cut ties with the deceptive Injwa. But Yoon, who made a pact with Injwa for his own protection when he was a child, says that he’ll do no such thing—and furthermore, no matter what Injwa does in the future, Yeoning is to ignore it.

“Is there nothing I can do?” Yeoning wonders despondently afterward. “Despite being a prince of this nation, is there truly nothing I can do?” He pays a visit to his father with tears running down his face, which his father notes as a sign of Yeoning’s maturity.

While Injwa tasks right-hand man Nameless with following Dae-gil’s every move now that he’s kinda sorta free from enslavement, Lady Choi calls upon Yeoning’s bodyguard to give her an account of what happened at the casino.

She rightly guesses that after all that, Yeoning has gone to his father to cry about the injustice of it all, but receives a much different shock when she absently asks about the gambler who was killed by Injwa, only for the bodyguard to tell her that though his body was never found (red flag), his son has been out for revenge against Injwa.

This means her son lives, and that he goes by the name Baek Dae-gil. She struggles to hold in her emotion at hearing this, and merely says to herself, “So you were alive, my child.”

Dae-gil goes to Eyepatch to see if he can figure out how Injwa could pick the right card every time even while blindfolded, and Eyepatch’s answer is that he must’ve used the infinitesimal difference in weight amongst the cards. No human would be able to detect such a difference, which leaves the supposition that Injwa is more than just human.

Even though that doesn’t explain how Injwa would know the weight of each separate card provided by the casino, Dae-gil seizes upon Eyepatch’s use of Injwa’s name, since it means he knows him. Eyepatch is reluctant to divulge more at first, but finally admits that his ill-fated relationship with Injwa goes way back.

Back when he still had both his eyes, Eyepatch would gamble and lose against the infamous Scholar Baek Myun (Injwa’s other moniker, literally meaning “white-faced,” due to the white-faced mask he wore back then).

Dae-gil tries to find out why Injwa killed his father based on what Eyepatch knows, and as Eyepatch goes into his theories, Dae-gil is transported back to that night in the pavilion, where Injwa shot at him and his mother with arrows.

He’s able to catch the arrow headed straight for his mother, and time stops as he walks up into the pavilion to see Injwa and his father frozen in place, before the scene begins to play out based on Eyepatch’s recollection. In it, Injwa says to Man-geum, “Remember this: If that child attains greatness, then your life will be forfeit.”

As to why Eyepatch never told him this story before, he claims that he only had Dae-gil’s safety in mind. But Dae-gil can’t help but remember how Chae-gun cut down that tiger bent on killing him, and tells his grandfather that he’ll make sure to become twice as strong as Injwa.

To do so, he’ll have to head off on a journey, and his grandfather wishes him well. It’s not like he has to worry about Dae-gil dying or anything, but he does throw his two dice for a peek into his adopted grandson’s future. The dice reveal the same symbol for Dae-gil’s name, which also means great fortune. Dae-gil’s chosen the right path.

While Dae-gil seeks out Chae-gun, Injwa seeks a martial arts master of his own, who just so happens to have an ill-fated relationship with the aforementioned Chae-gun.

Dae-gil finds Chae-gun in the forest, kneels before him, and asks to be allowed to serve him as a pupil. Chae-gun doesn’t understand why someone who wants to become the best tazza in Joseon would need martial arts training, but Dae-gil doesn’t give him much choice: he’s going off to die, and Chae-gun is more than welcome to try and stop him.

It’s a bid to get a compassionate reaction out of a man who’s really only showed him compassion up until this point, so Dae-gil takes it on faith that Chae-gun is going to have his back as he infiltrates Ahgwi’s slave headquarters to offer fellow slave Seol-im and the others a valuable chance to escape.

For some reason, he tries just sneaking them all out from the barracks to the main gate en masse, which would rank pretty highly on this show’s ever-growing list of really poorly conceived plans. They’re obviously discovered before they can escape, and Dae-gil’s best hope to keep the guards back is by brandishing a lit torch at them.

He closes the gates and holds them for as long as he can in order to give the others a chance to escape, and gets the crap beat out of him in the process. Ahgwi taunts Dae-gil after he’s been subdued and tied up, claiming that all the slaves who escaped because of him will die because of him when they’re caught.

The guards return with the first slave they’ve recaptured, which is of course Seol-im, and Dae-gil vows to kill Ahgwi should he lay a hand on her. Just as Ahgwi is about to slit Seol-im’s throat, Dae-gil cries out, “Help me! Please, please help me! I will use the rest of my life to repay you a hundred, no, a thousand times! So do not just watch, and help me! Help me!!”

They all think he’s crazy, but we know he’s calling out to Chae-gun, who intervenes by throwing stones to interrupt the murder-in-progress. He takes on all the guards who come at him with a wooden bat, and realizes when he reaches Dae-gil that he came to him this night on purpose, and was counting on getting his help for just this moment.

When Chae-gun notes pessimistically that vermin like Ahgwi and his men won’t just give up because Dae-gil stepped up alone, Dae-gil says with a victorious chuckle, “I’m not alone.”

As if on cue, all the escaped slaves return with whatever weapons they could scrounge up on short notice to face off against their captors. They attack and beat Ahgwi’s men back, which Dae-gil sees as just retribution for their oppression.

With Ahgwi subdued, Seol-im takes the slave contracts, and calls each slave by name as she burns the contracts, freeing them from their servitude in a surprisingly moving scene. When she reaches her own, a tear falls down her cheek as she reads: “Gye Seol-im.”

She burns her own contract, the last one, and declares to the others that they’re all free now. They erupt in cheers, leaving Dae-gil and Chae-gun to look on as Seol-im sets fire to the complex where they were enslaved all this time.

As they walk away from the roaring fire that was their prison, Seol-im pulls Dae-gil into a short embrace. “Let’s make sure to meet again,” she says, before leaving with the others for their hometown.

Chae-gun agrees to take Dae-gil on as his pupil, which Nameless sees and reports back to Injwa. We hear all Injwa’s daily reports, including the fact that Yeoning is working day and night to collect anything and everything he can on Injwa.

We find Yeoning sitting in front of stacks of records, though he still hasn’t been able to find out the basics, like where Injwa was born and who his parents were. He has to find out in order to know who his enemy really is.

Chae-gun laments that he ever got involved in Dae-gil’s mess when Ahgwi shows up to their little campsite, after having thrown a sickle to try and kill Dae-gil.

But no sooner do we see Ahgwi rushing toward the two of them do we cut to him tied up and hanging precariously from a tree, having been put there by a tsk-ing Chae-gun.

They hear a nearby tiger’s roar, with Chae-gun guessing that the tiger must be verrrry angry, considering that the only female tiger (and his only lady love) in the forest died because of Dae-gil.

He might very well just be making this story up to scare Ahgwi, who flails helplessly in the air as Chae-gun and Dae-gil share sly, knowing smiles.

 
COMMENTS

I appreciated the much more human story of Dae-gil freeing the slaves as opposed to the much more outlandish things that have been happening, and can even appreciate his resourcefulness in using Chae-gun’s gruff teddy bear nature to help his cause. Maybe I’m just grateful for having one story beat that actually worked, but I’m not surprised that it was the only story beat that didn’t involve Injwa this episode.

So far, Injwa is turning out to be a perfect example of everything wrong with drama villains, which is only compounded by the fact that he has mysterious powers of omniscience no one cares to explain. We’re used to villains being cryptic (it’s what they do), but Injwa is unfathomable, unshakeable, and worst of all, thoroughly unlikeable. And before anyone says that villains are supposed to be unlikeable, I’d point you to stellar examples where the opposite is true, like Last, Liar Game, and Tree With Deep Roots, just to name a few.

In the absence of having a decently written villain, one that acts as a sort of stand-in for what we could be at our worst, we have someone who can only exist and operate in the fictional world created just for him. He’s lacking any sort of realism that would make him at all frightening or even remotely believable, either to us or the characters—which is a real shame, considering that the show seems to be hinging so much on him. Yet he’s supposedly not just getting by, but dominating with his strange (and maybe even inhuman) powers, which as of now just seem like a catch-all to explain away every logistical fallacy even remotely related to him.

If we can buy that Dae-gil is somehow immortal until he fulfills his predetermined destiny, then we need to be at least given the chance to believe that Injwa might be… well, whatever he’s supposed to be. I’m hoping that this show’s penchant for rule-bending when it comes to the gambles made by its characters isn’t one that’ll continue either, since the winners aren’t turning out to be the ones who won the game, or even the ones who outsmarted it.

What’s concerning is whether the powers-that-be think that it’s enough to make a character seem as though they’ve outsmarted the game when they’ve really just interpreted the rules in nonsensical ways. I’m thinking specifically of Yeoning smashing the die so that he could claim to have less than the snake eye thrown by Dae-gil, and of Injwa claiming that he doesn’t need to uphold his side of the wager with Dae-gil because he’d actually made it so that Dae-gil would survive. (And he even had the huevos rancheros to claim that he saved him.)

Yes, Injwa’s right about not slashing Dae-gil’s throat or stabbing him in the heart, which is a factor he could, in fact, control. But are we supposed to believe that he’d taken every single other wound, bleeding or otherwise, into account? And even if he did, he’d be easier to believe had he just stabbed Dae-gil and left him to die, but he stabbed him after breaking most of his bones, shooting him up with arrows, and throwing him off a very steep cliff. You can’t retroactively claim you masterminded something with that many X factors and expect to be taken seriously, Injwa. No one buys you.

 
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I slightly disagree with your point on Injwa as a villain, and at the same time, I agree with you on certain points about Injwa. He's completely despicable --- that I agree with you completely.

On the one hand, I really like the parallel that is drawn between Daegil and Yeoning. Both young, one is slightly more controlled than the other; however, they are the same. With their fates align against Injwa, they are geared toward the similar path.

I just hope that screenwriter stop writing fillers and focus on the brothers.

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I think Dae Gil is currently in a better spot than Yeoning. He has people around him that support and believes in him.

Yeoning is all alone in the palace without anyone on his side, not even a trusted bodyguard. His parents are not going to last much longer and the current crown prince is under Injwa's control.

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Am I the only one shipping Dae Gil and Seo Im here? Aaagh they are so sweet together ..

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Me, too^^ I'd call it second lead syndrome, but she doesn't seem like a main cast. I hope we'll at least see her again T_T

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I'm pretty sure we will get to see more of Dae-gil and Seol-im in the episodes to come. Dramabeans on February 20th has reported that :

Kim Ga-eun [Awl] will play a sought-after gisaeng in a complicated loveline with Jang Geun-seok. She grew up poor and with a singular goal of becoming rich. She succeeds in becoming a top gisaeng, but her life will take a turn after meeting our protagonist.

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Oooh. That is amazing news. I'm all up for Seol-im ending up with Dae Gil. So tired of Dam Seo and her one emotion face. Dae Gil needs more emotion in his life and someone who would run to him even at the thought of losing her life instead of someone hanging onto Yin In Jwa's coattail.

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I agree.. I am rooting for the second leading lady.. (this is the first time) And the fact that Dae Gil seem to hate dam seo because of in jwa. Seol im now has a chance.. <3

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She seems to be well educated for a poor slave girl. There should be more to her background story than just growing up poor.

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Prettysup ~

Ah, Seo Im's love line ! Funny you should bring that up.

Seo Im, played by Kim Ga-Eun, also played the character So So in the drama Age of Feeling/Inspiring Generation.

That drama had more than a few issues with budgets, writer change, etc.

Some K-Drama fans took issue with So So's character not getting the least bit of skinship from her crush, Mo Il-Hwa, played by Song Jae-Rim.

DramaBean's No.#1 Song Jae-Rim fan, Mary, made a video of Hitler reacting to the lack of any So So/Il-Hwa skinship in the last 2 episodes.

Enjoy

Hitler Reacts To Age of Feeling Finale (Ep 23-24)

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@John
Thanks for the link! It's so funny! Even though I didn't watch Age of Feeling, I was laughing like a looney at work! (Thank goodness, it was my break time!)

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Something wrong here? Female side characters are better in terms of acting than (two) female leads.

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That's what i wanted to say!I know it won't happen,but i love her!Her chemistry with Dae Gil was amazing from the first second.The female lead on the other hand is not cutting it for me,so far.Maybe she will become more interesting later in the show.Also,i completely agree that the villain is beyond ridiculous.And what's with the crown prince?I get it,he was a scared little kid,whose mother was just taken away,but why would you trust the first person to come and talk to you?Especially,since he was so scared about his safety?I am sorry dude,but with this kind of thinking(or not thinking) i don't think you are fit to be king.Yoening for King!

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I guess this drama tend to bring Yi In Jwa as a completely unlike-able villain as you said. I also lost the basis of reason why he is so evil. I got the message the drama wanted to bring Yi In Jwa as a-god-delirium-type of psychopath and the master mind, but I lost the dynamic why is he doing so. Seemed like there was no emotional layers added to his character background. I was hoping the drama will add an enough flavor while he imagining his past where his family was killed. But then, its not coming.

Well don't get me wrong, he is starting to be real jerk in this episode tho. At least, the scene when secretly Yeoning clothes sliced by people of Yi In Jwa, is quite intriguing. I give the drama team score on that one. Seeing his delirium thought when he felt he was the one who save Dae Gil life, also good. It showed his flaw - hallucination of having control in everything. Just give us some more of that, I ll fine with his character.

And by the way, I wonder how Choi Min Soo bring the King character so great. Although his words to Yeoning is quite warm (he said Yeoning is already grown up), why I still feel there was something scary about the King? Makes me want to speculate more about his action to protect his sons.

I love how Dae Gil showed a small step to influence people heart. If Yi In Jwa using his mind and money to overpower people, Yeoning with his mind and his power as King's son in the palace, then Dae Gil use the other thing. Dae Gil uses his heart and empathy since he was also suffered a lot on the ground level.

To sum up, I m waiting impatiently to watch the next episodes. Thank you for the recap, Heads!

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Choi Min Soo does have that ability to make a character seem warm and caring and at the same time menacing which is why I love his acting. I remember he scared the wits out of me in Warrior Baek Dong Soo but I was still sad when he died. That in my book is great acting.

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Choi Min Soo is great (sometimes I feel he is overdoing it- is he king or drug addict -lol)
I am glad Dae Gil had less suffering, but he is going to be a swordsman? In addition to gambler? Oh well

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He is probably taking opium so he can live a little longer lol. He is obviously sick.

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Sukjong is pretty scary if you think about about all purges he'd done in the past. Hundreds of people were ordered to be exiled or executed.

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and yet everybody seems to buy the typical Sukjong's portrayal of being an indecisive love-sick-fool! to me, any person who is able to throw a lot of death sentence- no matter whether it's for political reasons- will be somebody i'd be cautious about.

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Thanks for the recap, Heads. And this: 'Will someone please stab this man for real?' --> I WOULD LOVE TO DO IT! lol... this immortal, extra-terrestrial villain! kkk... it makes me -in a way naively, I know- wonder though... how much hatred does one need in order to be this painfully awful? his family of two generation being sentenced to death by Sukjong?
anyway, I'm looking forward to your next recap of Episode 8 :)!

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I seriously wanted to slap Lee In Jwa"s face so badly last night and then break EVERY bone in his body and drive a knife through his stomach, and before throwing him off a high cliff, tell him, "I'm not killing you! If I wanted to, I would have sliced your throat or stabbed you in the heart! Muahahahah!"

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I want lady Choi to get opportunities to shoot arrows into him while he is tied to a tree. Considering her aim would be poor it would be fun to have all the arrows miss and then the last one can get him in the groin and he can become her son's attendant eunuch :-) Although the same actor did do a lot of damage as an attendant eunuch in a different sageuk

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+1

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Every time Yin In Jwa talks about someone being this or that (case in point Dae Gil being a baby tiger), I keep hoping someone would reply him with: and what are you? A motormouth with one stone faced bodyguard and the other nameless? Dude sit your @$$ down and stop acting like you're all that. You're not. Oh and P.S. Every deep and thoughtful statement you make, is not deep and thoughtful, you just think it is because people allow you to talk all the while rolling their eyes in the back of their heads wondering when on earth you would stop yapping!

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Amen to this.
The funny thing(after watching this episode of course) is that, I want Baek dae gil to have His moment to defeat Yin in jwa, even if it's once. And then our baby tiger gets to say, "Hello my name is Baek Daegil. You killed my father. Prepare to die".

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I am getting tired of Injwa's "superpower' of evilness. I would like to see him running out of moves and actually suffering for it! And then that's the time he comes back with a vengeance. Also, I don't know if it's just me but aren't the female characters starting to look like...decors or something? Lack of character development I say. Where's Lady Jang? I thought Lady Choi in this drama is very different to how she is usually portrayed? I am not seeing any of it.

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Jang Hui-bin is deader than a doornail at this time.

It's Queen In-won ruling the roost but I do not believe that she has been cast.

I truly want to hit Yi In-Jwa repeatedly in the face with a piece of fish.

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Yes Lady Jang was deposed in eps 3. They just assumed that we all know what happened after that.

I'd love to see Queen In-won as part of the show. Yeoning needs someone on his side in the palace to guide him.

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Enjoyed the recap! This episode was awesome, watched it twice already and each time, flew by so fast. The drama makes up a lot for most of its storytelling 'lapses'. More effort should be put in making everyone else look smart, and not just badman Injwa. Love me some more of Jackpot!

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Yeo Jin-Goo is the real talented actor here. He should have been the lead. JGS does nothing for me - pretty mediocre performance.

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Thankfully that's only your opinion. People whose view actually hold water like the director, crew and co-stars have nothing but praise for JGS.

I for one don't feel bowled over by Yeo Jin-Goo. He hasn't had that many action scenes if at all. Mostly he just does a lot of fierce or thwarted expressions and dialogue, depending on the scene. Not much to write home about yet either.

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I'm getting boring with people insult other actors/cast. All the cast are working hard and wonderful in their respective characters.

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Yeo jin goo is still very young. Just 18 but very talented for his age. I started watching this because I'm a fan of him. But I do love the whole cast. Hope jin goo will get th recognition he deserves when he gets a bit older. If you watched "hwayi, a monster boy" you will see how very well he is in action scenes. He was like a 15 or 16 when did that movie but blew me away with all the action scenes. And the way he cried when his mom was killed. Just so many emotions passed through his face from grief , disbelief to anger it was amazing. In jackpot I wish to see the two brothers working together to defeat their commen enemy Yi in jwa. ?

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@ Rosalie,
Whoah! What do you know about mediocrity other than the spelling?? I know JGS can't please everyone. I admit I am his bias, but even if I am not, as a normal televiewer, he earns my respect as an actor here doing his craft seriously. If u didn't know, he made all the difficult scenes without someone doubled him. The 'live snake' eating was one of the grossest thing I've seen in all Kdrama and it wasn't fake. U would still dare to call that mediocre? I know everyone's entitled to their own opinions but please don't just blindly judge someone because of your prejudice..

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@Seo joohana

I support u whole-heartedly sis....I'm not here to criticise any actors! All do their own best. But why r some people discouraging Geun suk's acting while praising others??
I wish all acknowledge our Prince's acting!?

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im a fan of jks but I love yjg acting. all the cast are great actors.

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HeadsNo2 ~

Thanks for the recap.

I'm guessing that Injwa is torturing Dae-gil, trying to create a crazed attack dog to unleash on the king.

The amount of beatings Dae-gil is unfortunate, but that's what saeguks do. Don't embellish the plot, have another beating scene ! Aigoo

Over all, I'm enjoying the show, one minor complaint .

But before Ahgwi can swing the ax down, he’s blocked by Dam-seo’s sword.

He was going to be chopped and she stops it with merely placing her sword down ? It should have at least been a glancing blow. I think it would have been more dramatic if Injwa was at least scratched by the attempted chop.

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Another great ep. Thanks so much for the recaps i could enjoy the whole drama again. I have fallen for dae gil and seo rim couple. My prince always looks best even with the 2nd lead (as in YAB,MMM & LR). But dam seo is also pitiful. All her life she had seen hatred n i am sure my prince will make her smile one day. Liked YJG a lot and he deserves to be the king. Love everything abt the drama specially the music wowww... I have no words to describe suk's incredible acting skills as in the drama one can never find JKS there is only DAE GIL... There are lots more secrets to be unvieled. Cant wait for ep8 recaps... <3 sukkie <3

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I do like our villain to be honest. I wish I have the right words to explain it.

The more I learn about him, the more I understand him. I believe he has a sympathetic motive and he is not just evil for the sake of being evil. We may not agree with his methods but he is a victim of his own (family's) downfall. It's hard for a traitor to play by the rules.

He has a tragic back-story. He comes from a noble family, he is talented, intelligent, competent and clever etc but he will not be able to put it to good use because his family were executed and ruined by order of the king. He will never be anything but an outcast and that will continue with his children and their children.

I believe Injwa basically thinks that he is doing the right thing. If he succeed, he will not only restore his own family from ruin but the whole Southern faction that Sukjong wiped out. He would even be a better king than this weak crown prince who has no backbone or competent enough to run the country.

And to quote Harvey Dent: You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

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Agree. This drama does not overtly convey certain things about its characters - which can appear as lack of character development. But the clues are there, they're just sparsely sprinkled.

I did wonder how In Jwa was able to amass so much power not only outside of the palace but also inside of it. I'm assuming that his illegal dealings have made him wealthy enough to buy off those crooked officials and align himself with the necessary backers.

Why the King hasn't killed In Jwa by now also crossed my mind. But in considering the reach of In Jwa's wealth and influence, I suspect killing him is no small matter, not even for the King.

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Yes, they are not going to explain everything, they are giving us clues and let us figure it out.

Sukjong executed/exiled a lot of people (3 purges) so Injwa is not alone in this. It wouldn't be hard for him to find those who fell from grace to support him in his plan for a rebellion because that is the only way for them to restore what have lost (at least some).
Obviously he has acquired a lot of wealth through illegal means which Yeoning wasn't able to prove.

The crown prince's political backers were the Southerners. That puts him and Injwa on the same side. He has his own grudge against his father for deposing his mother (Lady Jang). (I could go further but it was not shown in the drama).

I think Sukjong came to a point where he realize that he may have been impulsive and harsh. Maybe even felt remorse for what he had done. That's the reason why he brought back Queen Inhyeon from exile and reinstated her.

I think Injwa's grandfather might have been the prime minister at the time or a very important high official. He might have felt that he owe it to him to spare Injwa.

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Thanks for the recap!
Well I've liked this episode! Hehe after seeing my Prince's plan to let the slaves escape. And again its not fair beating him black and blue....does the writer have any personal hatred towards sukkie(lol just wondering and kidding?)

And also!!! I'll b so glad if Dae gil and seol im pairs up! I don't like Dam seo at all. Well I can't say anything about her acting but her facial expressions....her character.....I don't like those! Have u noticed? She only shows one expression!??

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But anyway! This episode made my day. Yeah the sly smile sukkie shared with his 'master' now hehe!
And I wish people won't discourage my darling(Geun suk??)
Jang Geun Suk! Fighting!!!??

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Yeo Jin Goo is awesome!

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This show goes between interesting possibility with gorgeous cinemaphotography and very poor editing and boring scenes which makes me give up. While Monster has become better and more exciting with each episode.

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oh well... auf wiederseh'n! :p

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Actually, I'm enjoying this drama more and more. It's reminiscent of a good Steve Berry novel. Lots of action, tightly scripted without a lot of boring explanatory dialogue, a good mix of actual history, and great cinematography.

Now about Injawa the villain. Yeah, he does seem pretty stereotyped: seemingly all evil with no redeeming qualities. Rather like the villain in Scholar Who Walks the Night. And yes, he does appear to be omniscient.

But take a closer look at the story line. Here's a guy who had his entire family wiped out by Sukjong in the 1694 purge called the Gapsul Hwanguk Change of State. (See ep 4) By the way, Sukjong did a lot of that purging stuff. The result of that1694 purge was not only the death of his family and their being branded as criminals of the state, his entire future was destroyed. Here's a guy who thought he'd grow up to be a court official like his father and grandfather, but with one swift blow it's all taken away. Everything gone. He makes his living gambling (with a lot of cheating) and as a scholar. Set on revenge for all he's lost, he goes about accumulating money and people. If he can't talk them into becoming his ally, he'll buy them which he's more than willing to do. So, how does a guy bent on revenge with lots of cash lying around find out everything that's going on? He buys it of course: building a spy network and he has lots of willing help from his side of the political factions aisle.

As for his verbal alacrity, I'm less bothered by it because I've met people who can manipulate others with their verbal arguments. You can see in Dae-gil reactions and the reactions of others that no one quite buys In-jwa's arguments but they're not quite sure why and don't know how to refute them. He's confused them. He's become a master at that game, one which only Sukjong himself understands and can play well. Yeoninggun is learning that game, and as frustrated as he becomes, he's learning to play it as his father notes when Yeonginggun cries in the throne room.

I'm also less bother at present by Dam-seo's steely, expressionless face. Having been raised on constant revenge and to deny all her human emotions, I expect nothing less from her at this point. However, I suspect she'll break later on. One cannot be a Stoic forever. And that abrupt break may add a lot of dramatic appeal. I can almost see the scene. Of course I could be wrong: she may simply end up in jail. Who knows. Sukjong has spies too!

So, yes, In-jwa is evil and Dam-seo is a stoic. I can't wait to find out how they're broken...and who does it. Sometimes it feels like we're watching to parallel stories that at some point will converge. That point being In-jwa. It's the when and how that's intriguing.

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totally agree..
Everybody seems to have their own agenda..besides the agenda of In Jwa (this man has nothing more to loose but everything to gain)..the political constant fight of the Noron and the Soron's is also taking place in the background... Meanwhile In Jwa manipulates everybody who is in need...taking their grief, resentments and their soft spots .. nurturing it even more with his sweet poisonous words as to use them like his puppets for HIS greater cause..
Very intricate indeed.. I love this drama..not a boring moment ..they have you sitting on the edge of your chair with bated breath...60 min gone like 60 seconds

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loving your thorough explanation! as much as it seems illogical to have somebody like Yi In Jwa in the real life, maybe it makes sense to assume that his 'craziness' is actually equal to some of the worst real psychopath there are. he has fed his soul with so much hatred and revenge ideas that it seems to be the only thing that keeps him alive and kicking. I am patiently waiting for that day when his perfect shell cracks!

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