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Jackpot: Episode 8

Jackpot still seems to be working to carve out its own identity and find its footing, seemingly stuck between whether it wants to be a drama about martial arts and revenge, gambling and revenge, birth secrets and revenge, or politics (and revenge). Right now it’s a mixture of all these things, but it draws its strength from our two heroes, who are similarly trying to find themselves. More and more, Prince Yeoning is emerging as a character to be reckoned with, even if he parallels his brother by still being a student of the world. And if Dae-gil keeps learning at his current rate, he’ll soon be the best swordsman and gambler in Joseon, so there’s always that.

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EPISODE 8 RECAP

Dae-gil does the menial labor, like chopping trees into firewood and cooking rice, in order to earn his snoring master’s favor. During his free time, he practices swordsmanship and archery until his hands bleed.

Chae-gun takes pity on him after seeing his hand, and wraps it anew for his pupil. Then, it’s on to the real training, which happens amidst a pretty rain of flower petals. He slices one of the falling petals in half with his eyes closed, and shoots an arrow through the eye of one nyang, telling Dae-gil that his training will only be complete if he can do these things.

He keeps adding onto the list of things Dae-gil must accomplish, which include: besting Chae-gun with a sword, and doing one thousand pushups with Chae-gun sitting on his back. Dae-gil complains, but grits his teeth and tries his best, though he becomes concerned when he asks Chae-gun if there’s anyone in Joseon actually stronger than him.

At first, Chae-gun says there isn’t, which doesn’t leave Dae-gil with much hope. But then he adds that there is one man who isn’t quite his level, but is the closest to it: HWANG JIN-KI (Han Jung-soo), the martial arts master Injwa’s been trying to seek out.

Dam-seo gives alms to two homeless children, feeling guilty when one of the girls looks from her bare, bloodied feet to Dam-seo’s expensively clad ones. She waits outside the home of Minister JO IL-SOO, while her master bribes him inside with bars of gold.

The bribe is so that Dam-seo and Nameless can break the swordsman Hwang Jin-ki out of prison. And while he’s initially hostile about who they represent, he calms when he recognizes Injwa’s name.

Jin-ki is a beast of a man with both an easygoing demeanor and a harsh temper, put on full display as he fights his way past the guards outside so he can reclaim his precious sword.

Once free, the bedraggled swordsman bows low before Injwa, apparently owing him a debt of gratitude for taking care of his mother’s funeral rites while he was imprisoned. In return, he promises to do anything for Injwa, who’s fully prepared to take him up on that offer.

But first, he orders Nameless to fight Jin-ki, but it ends in moments when Jin-ki cuts Nameless’ sword in half. Only then does Injwa deem him worthy and invites him for a drink, and the very idea of alcohol has Jin-ki grinning from ear to ear.

He drinks a whole jug of the stuff on his own before giving his opinion on the king, and it isn’t a good one. Injwa wonders if his rage brought him to break down Gwanghwanmun, the palace’s main gate, though Jin-ki corrects that he couldn’t actually break the thing down—it was much too strong for that.

We’re taken back to the scene in flashback, when Jin-ki had faced off against Chae-gun, a royal guard at the time. He blames his loss on too much alcohol, but Injwa offers him redemption, and the chance to slit Chae-gun’s throat.

Meanwhile, Chae-gun tries to help Dae-gil improve his accuracy in archery, a skill he’s been pretty terrible at up until now. Remembering how Injwa caught one of the arrows he’d shot at him, Dae-gil asks his master if such a feat is even possible.

In response, Chae-gun stands right in front of him and orders him to shoot. Dae-gil’s whole body shakes as he draws the arrow, and his eyes clench shut as he shoots it…

…But Chae-gun catches it in midair. He says that there’s only one thing faster than human instinct, and that’s the look in someone’s eyes. (What?) Later that night, he asks Dae-gil what he came to him for, and doesn’t like Dae-gil’s initial answer that he wanted to slit Injwa’s throat.

If that’s the case, Chae-gun claims, then he can leave now, since he doesn’t need skill to be able to slit Injwa’s throat in the middle of the night. “What do you suppose was the reason I decided to accept you as my pupil?” Chae-gun asks, before parroting a line he’d said to Dae-gil the night he freed the slaves: that vermin like Ahgwi and Injwa won’t disappear just because Dae-gil stands alone against them.

But in the same flashback, Dae-gil remembers how he wasn’t alone, which Chae-gun claims is the most invaluable lesson he could’ve learned. (Wait, what’s the lesson?) He wants Dae-gil to set his sights higher and greater than just an average throat-slitting, which reminds Dae-gil of how Injwa said he’d wait for him to return as a great tiger.

We finally hear how Yeoning’s conversation with his father went after he’d gone to him in tears, with King Sukjong promising his son that he’d give him the royal heirloom sword for him to wield against their enemies.

Back in the present, he’s told of Hwang Jin-ki’s prison break and given a letter left behind at the scene. It’s actually from Injwa, baiting the prince to come meet with him.

After nearly getting run over by men on horseback, and run over by various other people, a disguised Prince Yeoning goes to the meeting place Injwa’s set. While tailing him, Dam-seo stops at the sound of wailing in the market, and sees the young girl she’d given alms to dead on the ground.

She was killed for stealing shoes for her little sister, who wears them as she cries next to her unni’s body. Dam-seo’s filled with horror as she realizes that this happened because of her, since the little girl had looked at the fine shoes she wore so covetously.

Making it to the pavilion where Injwa waits, Yeoning immediately asks why he helped Jin-ki to escape, only to get a typically vague Injwa answer in reply. Injwa laughs that Yeoning shouldn’t be afraid of Jin-ki’s single sword, and points out the multiple tears in the prince’s silk robes.

All of those tears were put there by Injwa’s people without Yeoning even realizing it until now, since they’d been disguised as regular folk who had all brushed past the prince in the market. Injwa now uses this as proof that he’s able to kill Yeoning anytime and from anywhere, since he clearly won’t be able to see it coming.

“It is not that you have not yet killed me, but that you cannot,” Yeoning notes without missing a beat. They share the same fear of the king, the prince says, and Injwa doesn’t deny it—the king is the true monster, he says. But he too has become a monster to defeat a monster, so how does Yeoning think he can stop him?

Without giving Yeoning a chance to answer, Injwa proposes that they settle the score this very day with a fight to the death. But as usual, Injwa can’t go without making a wager, so he takes Yeoning to a rack of identical-looking swords that aren’t at all identical. They range in strength from the king’s sword (strongest) to a wooden sword (weakest). It’ll be like picking straws, only it’ll probably hurt much more.

Yeoning ends up picking the king’s sword, while Injwa chooses the wooden one—and a good thing too, since he lands a blow that would’ve sliced Yeoning open otherwise. He’s still able to overcome Yeoning with his glorified stick, noting that it’s less about the sword, and more about how you use it.

Similarly, Dae-gil loses in a practice sword fight against Chae-gun, and is also told that he needs to become stronger. “Yi Injwa,” he grates through his teeth, just as Yeoning does the same while facing the man himself.

Injwa leaves Yeoning defeated but unhurt, save for his pride. Dam-seo takes him to task for being upset over such a simple thing, when his people are facing greater injustices every day.

She’s talking specifically of the little girl who died in the market, which Yeoning saw in passing. It had affected him then, but not as much as Dam-seo would like it to.

Injwa talks to Dam-seo about controlling herself around Yeoning, reminding her that her revenge isn’t separate from their great cause, but is an essential part of it. She’s much like her father was, he notes, which is why he gives her permission to try to “move” Yeoning. Whether that means to move him romantically or not is up for grabs.

Yeoning finds the dead girl in the market in order to have her body taken away and buried correctly. Dam-seo watches as he kneels in front of the girl’s wailing sister as he tells her, “I am sorry. When you become an adult, the world will be a better place. Please forgive me. This is all I can do for now.”

At least Dam-seo seems pleased by this, and tells Yeoning so when she comes upon him at a nearby tavern. Perhaps it’s because of her conversation with Injwa, but Dam-seo’s entire demeanor has changed—she’s much friendlier toward Yeoning, which leads to them sharing a moment when their gazes meet.

She asks him if he’ll show her around the palace, which is a request he’s happy to grant. He leads her around the palace grounds, stopping short of his mother’s quarters.

At Dam-seo’s request, they go in to pay Lady Choi a visit, though Yeoning is asked to leave so the two women can talk. Once alone, Lady Choi asks Dam-seo to be straight with her, which Dam-seo is. She tells her that she’s following Injwa’s orders, but threatens her with the knowledge of her former marriage to Man-geum and the son she hid away.

In return for keeping her silence, Dam-seo requests a meeting with the king. She further shocks Lady Choi when she reveals that she’s Kim Yi-soo’s daughter, though she claims her father was killed by the king.

At least Lady Choi calls her out on this false claim, and asks her to re-evaluate the things her teacher has been telling her. Besides, Lady Choi assures her, she’s very much underestimating what a meeting with the imposing King Sukjong would be like—she wouldn’t even be able to breathe in his presence.

She calls Yeoning back in to take Dam-seo to see the king from a safe distance, just so she can see the person Injwa says killed her father. And see the king she does, from just far enough away to make out his features. That’s all Injwa wanted her to do for now.

But Yeoning, unaware that she only wanted to get a glimpse of the king, takes her to meet him face-to-face. Wait… so she’s getting the meeting she wanted, but is now acting like she never wanted it? Because she belatedly remembered Injwa’s orders? Huh?

When the king asks who she is, Dam-seo introduces herself with a fake name, which Yeoning finds odd. The king claims that she looks an awful lot like a dear friend and military officer of his. Actually, that officer had a daughter around her age… named Dam-seo.

Ah, so he knows exactly who she is, and that she lied. She counts the steps it’d take for her to reach the king and kill her mortal enemy, only to look up and find that he’s already closed that distance.

With King Sukjong smiling over her, radiating pure power while doing so, Dam-seo suddenly finds herself unable to breathe or think, just as Lady Choi predicted. She can’t say anything when Sukjong asks for her hands, which he holds for a moment before squeezing and grinning.

“The two of you are well-suited to each other,” he says of Yeoning and Dam-seo, but his eyes say something much different. When he leaves, Yeoning asks if Dam-seo is really Kim Yi-soo’s daughter, and though she denies it, the truth is already out.

“If you think my father killed your father, then you are mistaken,” Yeoning says. Dam-seo asks him for proof of his claim, which are big words, coming from someone who has no evidence to the contrary. She also refuses to believe it when Yeoning says she’s being fooled by Injwa, acting as though she watched the king kill her father with her own eyes.

The doubt still lingers when she reports back to Injwa however, though she makes a fatal mistake in claiming that she’s wavering in her conviction. At least she doesn’t tell him that she’s beginning to doubt everything she’s ever known, and simply says that she’s tired of waiting.

She wants to take her revenge now, and though Injwa’s not sure if she’s ready, he gives her the permission she seeks.

Dae-gil practices both gambling and sword fighting under Chae-gun’s tutelage, and some time must’ve passed, since Dae-gil is much closer to being able to best Chae-gun than he ever was before. “Whether it is martial arts or gambling, once you master them, you will see that they are not so different,” Chae-gun advises Dae-gil in voiceover. (Aren’t they, though?)

Now, Dae-gil can hit all his targets with a bow and arrow, though he’s just a wee bit off when it comes to piercing a nyang through its center. Apparently it’s close enough, as Chae-gun gives Dae-gil the next test, by shooting an arrow at him point-blank.

Dae-gil dodges the arrow, passing the test with ease. That’s when Chae-gun shares the third part of his three-part strategy: courage. If he controls his breathing, his gaze, and his bold shamelessness, he’ll be sure to succeed. But Chae-gun reminds him he’s not done with his training, at least not until he can cut a flower petal in midair, pierce the nyang through its eye, and beat him in a match.

While it becomes clear that Chae-gun is hiding something important from Dae-gil, he still makes the young man’s day by taking him into town for supplies. He just as quickly unmakes it when he saddles Dae-gil with the task of carrying everything back. Aw.

A nearby “Wanted” poster for Chae-gun catches Dae-gil’s eye, and he confronts his master with it when they’re back home. Chae-gun shows him his military badge, explaining that he was once an officer in the military who was proud to serve king and country.

Through flashback, we see him assuring the lower-ranked Hwang Jin-ki that he’d receive a a promotion to officer, though the opposite turns out to be true. Chae-gun had tried to fight for Jin-ki, but the system was too corrupt, and Jin-ki didn’t have the sponsors necessary to get a higher appointment.

In the present, Chae-gun explains that he could no longer stay in the palace and withstand the king’s widespread corruption. “And then what? You became a traitor?” Dae-gil asks.

“I am planning on killing the king,” Chae-gun replies. “Just as you have your own reasons, I too have mine. So do not try to stop me.” Well, that was unexpected.

Crown Prince Yoon, acting as regent, tries to decide what to do when a letter arrives containing a threat to kill the king that very day. It even gives the approximate time of the assassination attempt, which is grounds enough for King Sukjong to not be even a fraction as worried as the ministers are.

He doesn’t want the crown prince to take any extra measures to protect him, and his eyes fall on Yeoning when he says that there’ll be no need. Suddenly, we see Yeoning begging his father to take back the responsibility he’s just placed on him.

But it’s true that Yeoning asked to become his father’s sword, so now, King Sukjong gives him an actual sword which has been passed down through multiple generations of the royal family, called the Saingeom, or Four Tigers Sword.

Dam-seo also suits up with a bow and arrow, ready to take revenge on the king for her father, just as Chae-gun picks up his sword to go kill the king. “What if I stop you?” Dae-gil asks him.

“Then one of us will die,” Chae-gun replies grimly.

 
COMMENTS

I’m desperately hoping that this is all some sort of elaborate scheme on Chae-gun’s part to test Dae-gil’s mettle, because otherwise, it would be an enormous letdown for him to just be another name on the ever-growing list of people who want to kill the king. It just has to be, since there’d be no reason to introduce Chae-gun as the antithesis to Jin-ki if he and Jin-ki have the same views on regicide… right?

Likewise, I’m similarly hoping that Dam-seo asking for permission to use her more deadly talents isn’t necessarily in reference to her wanting to kill the king, since again, we’d run into an issue of why they even bothered instilling doubt in her if she was just going to take that doubt, ignore it wholesale, and kill a man who may actually be innocent. Her struggle this episode was a difficult one to get behind, if only because she’s all over the place, though she can hardly be considered unique in that regard.

Take, for instance, her outburst with Yeoning, where she accused him of not paying enough heed to the struggles of his people. During the scene where Dam-seo gave alms to the beggar child and saw her looking at her shoes, they made it a point to show Dam-seo turning her eyes downward in guilt, though aside from tossing some coins, she did nothing.

Then, she’s horrified to find out that the child was killed for stealing silk shoes, but again, she did nothing. Not willfully, of course, but like everyone else in this show, she seems wont to blame the king for every bad day the citizens have. This is a point that could easily be made by mentioning the people’s suffering en masse as a direct result of bad governing, but the show has failed to give its audience a reason to believe that King Sukjong is in such dire need of being killed. So far, everyone just has a personal vendetta against him, with Injwa being the only one whose vendetta can be traced back to a direct and malicious action committed by the king himself.

So because an unfortunate beggar child was killed, Dam-seo turned her ire to Prince Yeoning, as though she hadn’t just witnessed his fight with Injwa. (For that matter, does she ever stop to think about why Injwa ends up in these ridiculous situations?) Which I would get, if she were in this for the people. But then she used him to gain entry to the palace so she could get within killing distance of the king, which she was definitely planning on doing for no greater cause than revenge. I’m definitely not saying she can’t have both the people and revenge in mind, but since neither are being established very well, she just ends up coming off as deficit in her attentions, and much too easily influenced.

It would be great if it was a little easier to follow the show’s continuity, since it would seem as though years had passed for Dae-gil to be able to get to where he is now in his training. But with no other indicators that time has passed, we’re pretty much left in the dark, and have to take it on faith that he’s a quick learner. Just like we have to take it on faith that learning both swordsmanship and the art of gambling will somehow help Dae-gil achieve his goals, or how everyone who ever wanted to kill the king just so happened to pick the same day to do it, or how a show can have Choi Min-soo and fail to use him for more than three minutes per episode. Throw me a bone here, Jackpot!

 
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Your recaps are more interesting than actually watching.

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I agree.

"a typically vague Injwa answer"

I love how Heads doesn't even bother stating what it is that Injwa says anymore-- it's not even necessary at this point hahaha

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This drama is all over the place. It is likes it has an identity crisis and tries to dab in all possible plot lines and wait what the audience will like. As much as I love JGS and Choi Min Soo's acting, a drama with writing like this is not boding well. "Everything that happens is the king's fault and so he must die" - same thing with politics now wherein everyone blames the government for everything that goes wrong and does nothing in the end.
Also that scene with King Sukjong and Dam Seo probably is this ep's highlight.

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And what was the reason for wanting to kill the King?! I love watching the fighting but what's the story?

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Exactly! At least we know why we want Injwa to die but as for the king, we have no idea at all. lmao.

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Everyone wants to kill the king but they can't kill him because history said so lol.

The current timeline is around 1718:
The crown prince (30) is ruling the country as regent while Sukjong retires and is seen in this episode spending time with his youngest and favorite son Prince Yeonryeong (19).

Flash back to 1694 (year of the dog). King Sukjong wiped out the Southern faction. Injwa's grandparents and parents are killed. Estimated deaths 1700 (not sure if it's close to the exact number or an exaggeration). This was the 3rd and largest purge.

As you can now imagine, a lot of people are going to blame the king for the death of their aunts, uncles, father, mother, grandparents, friend, teacher etc, etc.

Since it's a sageuk for Korean viewers. Maybe the writer is assuming that he doesn't need to explain every detail because it was a well known event in their history or maybe it will be explained later.

He'd drop hints here and there for us to figure it out.
For example, I didn't know which purge destroyed Injwa's family because the writer only mentioned the year of the dog. I had to figure it out by going through all 3 purges and match the years to their Chinese Zodiac.
I original thought that it was the first purge (1680) because it involves his grandparents but Yeoning mentioned in the following episode that it was during the year of the dog.

Anyway, it's only eps 8 and some questions/details will be explained later or maybe it'll be left to us to figure it out.

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when watching Sageuk it helps to learn a bit of the history
If everything is already set out in the first episode what is the point of watching...
I love this drama because it's so intricate..just when you think you can figure out what is coming next..the story takes another turn..

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Looks like pretty boy wants his acting to be taken seriously. I'm not quite convinced yet, he is good but I feel like he's trying too hard to change that image. Neither whatever has he done on his face recently helps... it's disturbing...

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While there are people around, who will remind us that this young man played "a pretty boy" in his twenties (what ia crime :) ), he will try to prove how a good acror he is.
And his face didn't changed, except for maturing. (another big crime I guess)

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*handing in a real viper to be skinned and eaten raw to you* *oh i forgot the mud and the crab*.

Yes he might seem like a 'try-hard'. nonetheless, it's better to try to improve than being randomly bitter.

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Yeah..what has he done to his face exactly?
Obviously nothing else he won't able to get his face squeezed so hard by eyepatch grandpa. Try finding me a Korean plastic face star who can get his face squeezed that hard

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LOL...exactly...
braindead to even bring that up...non of those who had plastic surgery done will have their face handled like that...even when putting make up the make up artist are not allowed to touch their nose or whatever they had done..
He has nothing done that's why he and everybody else can be as rough as they want...like how grandpa squeezed his face like a child kkkkkk

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@BibyD

Haha, really? Maybe your disturbed coz he's maturing pretty well (unlike you).. He's 30 years old in Korea but his boyish charm still resonates..

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What's wrong with his face? He just getting old (er)..and he's still handsome. Not every handsome stars still looking good in this type of character (far away from stylish, dirty) but JKS proves he still has his own charm. And you said he's trying hard to change his image and wants his acting to be taken seriously? Oh yeah you can say he's a tryhard..but thankfully, because of his hardworking for this drama he got a lot of praises by K-netizen and K-media.. It's rare to find the negative comments about this drama especially his performance in K-media. But of course, JKS can't please anybody.. There's still someone who want to put him down on whatever he does..

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Forgive me but this girl has got to be the most uninspiring actress I've seen in awhile. She looks like she is either lost or constipated. No chemistry with any of her co-stars whatsoever. What the heck is going on with her?

Less screen time for her and more Choi Min Soo would be great.

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I totally agree with you. I totally wish there was somewhere we could all vote on this issue. She only seems suitable for cameos.

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I seriously think that she only has one expression. In every scene her expression is the same *sigh*

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+1 Sookjong was great (he looks like king now). I enjoyed this episode (less angst) even though I don't know what's going on with the story -why they brought in new swordsman?

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Hwang Jin-Ki (Han Jung-Soo's) is supposed to be Injwa's bodyguard and Chae Gun's rival. He is just late to the party.

Love Han with and without his shirt on (*cough* Chuno lol) but he seems to play the same supporting role in most of his sageuks.

I was so not into this episode. Nothing really stood out. I had to FF through most of it.

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Ah, Chuno. That's where I've seen him before. I kept thinking he looked familiar but couldn't place him.

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lol. She looks lost and confused all the effing time...must be the reason why she has no chemistry with her leads. I keep complaining of her character's lack of development.

Bad acting or bad writing?

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She is just bad and the writing doesn't help. A good actress would do more with what she is given like Yoon Ji-Hye (Hong-Mae).

Choi Min Soo just ate her alive on screen I kind of felt sorry for her.

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I think the writer and every character has caught the Lee In Jwa's bug. They are all vague.

But Dam Seo has certainly got it worse than the rest as she has become as irrational as Lee In Jwa....In Jwa made a promise to bow down the Man Geum's grave if Daegil came back alive, but twists things around to say that Daegil didn't lie cos he saved him by only driving a knife through his stomach and not his heart. Then he now blames the king for Dam seo's father's death when he was the one who shot him with the arrow. And now Dam Seo is calling Yeoning uncaring when she did nothing and blames the king for a death he did not commit.

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Somehow I understand everyone's hatred towards the king... I see it as, they all expect the king to have some power to remove the corruption but isn't doing anything about it. (very much like how people in my country currently hate our president for almost everything under the sun).

Chae-gun may feel guilty about what happened to Jin-ki (who may have been naturally good but turned evil coz of the corrupted system) and he may have been very close to him and it pained him to struck and jail him. So maybe to repay him, we wanted to kill the king.

I think Dam-seo have revenge and the people in mind. In the shoe scene, I think she saw herself in the girl's position - orphaned, shoeless if In-Jwa didn't take care of her. She's guilty because she can't do anything at the moment because like her father, In-jwa always reminded her that she belongs to a greater plan and she doesn't want to ruin that. I think this is also the reason why she didn't pursue killing the King when he was right there in front of her.

I can see a connection between martial arts and gambling in a way that it improves your reflexes and concentration that maybe Dae-gil will be able to do what In-jwa did when he picked the cards. Though the show didn't say what skill was used, but it must be in the same level of being able to slice through a petal or shooting through a coin hole. If it's Granpa eyepatch theory on the weight, maybe now Dae-gil will be able to distinguish weight difference? Or fast eyes?

What I don't understand is how gambling and revenge will work... Does Dae-gil intend to be rich in gambling to match up In-jwa's resources? Will he bring the gambling room down to bankruptcy by winning everything and then In-jwa will no longer have funds? That sounds funny.

I am not really bothered by how In-jwa is so untouchable, or how Dae-gil was so abused over and over (in the last episodes)... Maybe it's the effect of our country's own drama plots. Here, our villains literally just won't die (even if you set them on fire, the next episode they're alive covered in bandage and yet still plotting something again) and the heroes are always facing problems one after another.

What I really don't get in this show is how In-jwa will use the brothers for his greater cause? The boys hate him so much I don't think they'll cooperate with whatever plan he has...

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(I am not really bothered by how In-jwa is so untouchable, or how Dae-gil was so abused over and over (in the last episodes)… Maybe it’s the effect of our country’s own drama plots. Here, our villains literally just won’t die (even if you set them on fire, the next episode they’re alive covered in bandage and yet still plotting something again) and the heroes are always facing problems one after another.)
This comment had me in stitches which country are you from so that I can try and watch one of your dramas? One fellow Kdrama fan called these kind of villains "cockroach characters" :-) they just can't and won't die till the very last episode.

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I'm guessing you're Pinoy? :D

Ah, immortal teleserye villains. Selina from Mula Sa Puso and Jane from Walang Hanggan come to mind. XD

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This is the analytical point that the screenwriter is aiming for, but everyone including the OP have missed it.

Screenwriter is obviously trying to make the drama deep, but essentially, confusing audience that they don't want to see what he means.

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I've never gamble in my life so I don't know much about it. I can not tell if there is a connection between martial arts and gambling. All I know is that there is going to be a huge battle in the end that involves fighting with bows and arrows, swords etc.

I think Dae Gil will figure out Injwa's gambling tricks, illegal activities and will beat him in his own game. Maybe he'll become rich with the help of his new friend(s), the former slaves that he saved. Seol-im might end up taking over Hong-Mae's business.

If he is going to take down Injwa, he will need money, people, power, allies inside the court like Yeoning.
Instead of buying and bribing people over to his side. Dae Gil has already proven that he is capable of winning people with his heart because he knows how it feels to be poor, vulnerable, treated like the scum of the earth etc.

Injwa has be this powerful, after all he led the largest rebellion ever recorded in Korean history during the 18th century.

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*Injwa has to be this powerful*

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I think this drama needs a name change. We should start calling it Transferred. There's transferred aggression on the part of In Jwa who can't kill the king so he goes after his sons (the big bully!), transferred guilt on the part of Dam Seo who knows she's partly responsible for the little girl stealing and getting killed and instead places the blame on Yeoning, transferred anger on the part of Jin-ki who's angry at the king and would blame it both on the alcohol (seriously, what did that innocent drink do to you?) and Chae-Gun (where flashback has shown that they used to be close. What else did he expect the guy to do? He's a member of the royal guard for crying out loud. Was he meant to just stand there when you were going after the king? *confused) and transferred motivation on the part of Chae-Gun who has decided that he's now going after the same king he'd sworn to protect because what? The man had had Jin-ki arrested for trying to get him killed? Isn't that a good thing considering he could have just beheaded the guy immediately? And then there's Dae Gil with the transferred skill set who seems to believe getting better at swordsmanship would make him a better gambler. Pfft. He should just admit that he wants to better his chances of actually cutting In Jwa (seeing that nobody has been strong enough to do so yet. Seriously show? A wooden sword subdues a metal one? What is it? Did the metal sword have a blunt blade?)

As far as I'm concerned the only one without the transference is the king. Wait a minute. I think I'm wrong. He transferred kingly power and all its responsibilities and troubles to one son and gave military might to the other so he can stand guard and be his bodyguard with the magical excalibur that would destroy all his enemies. What do you mean the sword isn't excalibur? What else would it be? How else would Yeoning, the man who couldn't defeat a wooden sword be able to take on the assassins coming for the king? It has to be excalibur!

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oh... go get your golden chance to write a better drama we all long for, fellow ;)!

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The most invaluable lesson Dae Gil had learnt is that he couldn't bring down the bad guy alone. So I guess he is on the path to make everyone stand up together to destroy In Jwa instead of killing him?

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I was giving this drama a try becuz of Yeo jun gu but gezz this drama is a mess and jks is not helping either what happened to your face dude PS again ? It's distracting. I am dropping it.

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what happened to his face? it's called growing old(er) if the last time you saw him was back in 2006.

*le sigh*

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Great! To have one more idiot who can't contribute to constructive discussion to drop off the show.
Lol, if you called a child star like JKS doing PS obviously you haven't seen much of Korean stars.

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Okay we certainly won't mind you leaving for your galaxy far away.. Grateful this place will be lessened by another bitter person.. Bye and take care!

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You probably should stop watching the drama since, from your comment, you're not watching it for the mystery plot and story. As for your sneer regarding JKS, I simply do not understand your obvious dislike of him. JKS has been praised over and over again for his performance in this drama. Frankly, he's turning in an amazing performance, the best of his career and certainly far better than most popular Korean actors.

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While Jackpot seems to be far from perfect, I actually have seen a lot more dramas and sageuks with totally ridiculous plots. I'm still willing to give it a chance considering the two interesting brothers and what become of them later- though in episode 1, it's rather implicitly stated already. Anyway, looking forward to ep 9 and your further recap, Heads!

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Heads ~

Thanks for the recap. This is an odd show. The plot is a bit disjointed, yet I want to see what happens next.

Whomever cast Im Ji Yun needs to be fired. I'm sure she a nice person and all but miscast in this role. Bad ass ninja with a score to settle? No.

What I don't understand is if the king is so fearsome, why hasn't he had Injwa bumped off ? Why would the king let this obviously dangerous man run around plotting against him? It's not as though Injwa is doing this in secret, he's openly flaunting his power.

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Sukjong destroyed 2 generations of Injwa's family. He knows what Injwa is doing but he can't prove it just like Yeoning's attempt to catch him but failed.
(Obviously, this wasn't the case in history. His plan was carried out in secret but this makes it more personal).

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Thanks for the recap!♥
Well I don't care whatever happens here in the drama anymore! I'm here for my Prince and his lil bro?
But why is injwa is so good in everything? He already became the monster he wanted to....If he wants to become the king, he can! If he wants to take revenge, he can!? Then why is he still plotting so many plans???
And the heroin...I've nothing to say. Let's just hope her character will become better soon?
Anyway! Looking forward to the next recap!

Jang Geun Suk!! Fighting!!??

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Funny, I skipped both the show and recap but scrolled down just to read HeadsNo2's comments.

Momentum is a double edge sword, Jackpot just reminds me endlessly how good, how rare and how deep a kickass sageuk like Six Flying Dragons is.

I cut my losses and stopped at episode 4 of Jackpot ... as for our endearing HeadsNo2, even if you choose to endure to the end, you have only 8 more episodes to go.

HeadsNo2, I wish you better luck in your next project, really.

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Actually, there are 16 episodes to go. It's a 24 episode Saguek. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that Dae Gil and Yeoning partner up so they can put In Jwa in his place.

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oh *wide eye open mouth* no ... *speechless*

What was I thinking? Of course immortal Dae Gil needs 24 episodes to live out his life. Anything less is inacceptable.

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It's ok, you can drop the show, recaps AND comments totally.
Don't even click into the page, anyway it's HeadsNo2 who is doing the hard work not you.

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I wouldn't compare SFD to Jackpot. They are very different in style and appeal. This is a much harder sageuk to figure out than SFD. I don't want to think but it's forcing me to lol.

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finally! I kept on scratching my head in confusion when people *bitterly- sorry not sorry* compare 'SFD' and 'Jackpot'. C'mon... I watch both but to be honest, they give me different vibes and different enjoyment! I'm sorry for those who cannot get over and move on from 'SFD' but they can always rewatch the series without having to declare that it's the ONLY best sageuk in the century. That would sound so... shallow.

Anyway... people tend to hate what overwhelms them ;)

Please continue recapping this drama for us, Heads! we still have a lot to see and to discuss :D

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Six Flying Dragons was a 50 episode drama. This one is 24. So, SFD had the time to explain and explore all the conflicts and why they existed. Jackpot doesn't have that luxury. As a matter of fact, it's possible this drama was originally set to be 50 episodes as well, as JKS announced his new project was a 50 episode sageuk. I'm guessing the writer had to do some massive editing out of a lot of information to boil the entire plot down by half.

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What a crime JGS did being the best actor in the world? What a crime he did having so pretty face? What a crime he did chosing the toughest and different character always? What a crime being multitalented and having all classic dramas in his name? If these are all so deadly sins then I feel honoured to have loved and admired such a man. Some of u always put these harsh comments in every JKS drama but at the end his dramas are loved all over the world. If u all are so jealous of our prince then just "quit" the drama. There are millions who have very good eyesight and a very good choice of dramas...

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hear hear!!
What I really don't understand about some people is why they have so much negativity to spout while they are not even taking the time to watch things with an openmind...
Prejudiced from start...watching only to critisize?
What the hell..If you don't like it ...just skip it...unless you are paid to spout these unfounded and undesirable comments
I don't care for most of the drama's or artist myself because they have but 2 facial expressions...I don't waste my time looking for those artists nor those productions... doesn't matter if they are of the highest ratings...
I rather spend my time (re-)watching something I really like... and Yes I'm a Jang Keun Suk fan...
Jang Keun Suk for me is one heck of an actor..and so many seniors in the industry can't be wrong.
He is a handsome and beautiful man..seems jealousy can be a blinding and dumbing factor... sigh

This drama is amazing with an intricate storyline, wonderful cinematography, to the point dialogues and not an fashion and flirtshow...
The cast is wonderful ..all play out their rank and standing in life wonderfully..poor, rich, powerful, powerless, cunning or naive
I can't wait for the real fight to begin...and yes in the days without guns and boms one needed to master sword fighting, shooting arrow and good fighting skills to be able to defeat the enemy...so nothing strange there..very appropiate for the story and that period of time..
Daegil never had that knowledge so he had to learn as to be able to fight In Jwa and all who protected him
Really looking forward to coming episodes

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It does seem like everybody and their aunty want to kill the king. They need a Joseon version of Springfield's 911 system in The Simpsons. "You have selected regicide. If you know the name of the king or queen being killed, please press 1 now."

This is one of those dramas that I suspect I am in for the long haul, much like Neighbourhood Hero and When a Man Loves. I don't know why I keep watching it, I just do. It's kind of all over the place but still entertaining.

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Choi Min Soo's confrontation scene was THE absolute highlight of this episode. He is such an amazing actor. Chills!

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This comment section is a mess. There are one or two who are bitter that JGS is the main actor because they're Yeo Jin Gu stans (?), and then there are people who are defending JGS because they are JGS stans.

Anyway, seeing how there is 24 episodes, there will some fillers in between before the real story starts.

I'm waiting for Yeoning x Daegil. They are the reason that this story begins. The real story hasn't begun yet.

By the way, JGS is very pretty in the screenshot.

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LOL exactly my thought on some of the messy comments, Lana! it's truly sad to see those immature comments attacking people/ cast members personally here while we're expecting a smarter kind of discussion.

by the way, while my main reference for drama recaps remains dramabeans, i also follow the discussions of this drama on different sources such as soompi forum. one of the commenters posted a link to Jang Geun (Keun?) Suk's fan blog which provide some pieces of very well-written historical background information and rather neutral recaps/ reviews of the drama. anybody heard of the Eels Family yet? it seems to me that they are mature fans and pretty serious. here, just follow the link and browse the rest if you guys want to have a check on them too:
- http://www.theeelsfamily.com/2016/03/daebak-appendix-daegil-dead-prince.html
-http://www.theeelsfamily.com/2016/04/daebak-recap-episode-1.html

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If you bother to read the history of King Sukjong then you know why he was hated so much. Thoughout his reign he changes political alliance between Soron and Noron so much and each time he changes alliance there will be intense factional fights. King Sukjong frequently replaced faction in power with another one to strengthen the royal authority but with each change of government, the losing faction was completely driven out of politics with executions and exiles. In Jwa family was one of the victims that's why he hates the king so much but at the same times frighten of him. Remember how the king describe himself “MONSTER with one hundred ears and one thousand eyes”.

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This King's fickleness makes him the most dangerous of leaders and men. His fickleness is also very apparent in his actions toward his women. Favoring Jang over Inwon then kicking out Inwon then bringing Inwon back then kicking out Jang then replacing her with Choi. I can't keep up lol.

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Inwon was his 3rd queen. I think you meant Inhyeon from the Min clan.
(I know it's easy to mix them up. I do it all the time).

Sukjong was very young when ascended the throne (only 13 yrs old). By age 17 he was fed up with the factional wars in his court.
Execution might have not been the best solution but that was his way of taking control of the situation so he can get more productive government business done instead of the constant pickering.

If it wasn't for Sukjong talented people (like Yeoning) would not have been allowed to hold a government position as a son of a concubine.

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Absolutely. One of the things few people outside of Koreans know, unless they've studied Korean history, is that prior to Sukjong's reign, the nobility on both sides of the political aisle had most of the power with the crown being relatively weak. Now, that wouldn't have been so bad if the nobility had used their power for the betterment of the people and the nation. But they didn't. They used it for plundering the nation and impoverishing the people. Corruption was rampant, but it's wasn't Sukjong's corruption. It was the corruption of the nobility and, yes, they all hated Sukjong 'cause he kept pulling power away from them and switching political alliances to reduce the power of whichever political faction was dominant. Oh, and yeah, thousands of nobles and their families died or were exiled.

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Sukjong's reign was indeed quite 'bloody'... the 'shuffling' of the factions and such... on one hand it looks like a 'fair' situation but on the other hand, the consequence involved taking lives of a number of people. factional disputes continued until Jeongjo's reign if I'm not mistaken. The more I watch sageuks (and read references) from Joseon era, the more I think that the two extreme poles in the society (i.e. the royal family and the lowly slaves) are the ones easily losing their lives back then. Difference is the royal family was indeed slightly privileged if they could survive the chaos in the palace.

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Yes, I meant Inhyeon. So easy to get them confused!

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It's become apparent that both Dae-gil and Yeoninggun are on parallel paths, being forced to learn the exact same lessons. Eventually those two parallel paths should converge on In-Jwa. I thought the use of parallel paths is quite unique for a sageuk.

I admit I'm still totally hooked on Jackpot still. I'm really curious about what will happen next and how will the two brothers deal with In-Jwa and when will they learn they're brothers and what will happen when Dae-gil learns he's Yeoninggun's older, full brother? As with a really suspenseful, complex novel, when and where will all the threads start coming together and intertwining?

Oh, and regarding how gambling and martial arts are similar, both use the same skills of concentration, focus, perception, and both mental and physical control.

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I think Dam Seo character was so submissive, a type of a fragile one, easily to control. Therefore In Jwa has been successful planting the control since she was little child after she lost her father. Then I think the drama tends to make her start to have conflict about the truth. When she faced the king, the weakness of her easily shown. I could catch what kind of person she is from the script. But having no clue from her expression in some part, especially all in Ep 8.

For example, I just have vague understanding when Dae Gil left her. I could not see if she was sad, broken heart, happy, or hopeless or what? Girl! you cried when Dae Gil felt off the cliff! You make strong protest to Yi In Jwa when his father killed. I don't know why she has no chemistry when she faced Dae Gil, but having one with Yeoning. Please, be more into it.

Therefore, I love Seo Rim! No correlation actually, lol.

I think, the plot of episode 7 is way better and solid than ep 8. And by the way, I hope the drama team have more empathy to audience who has lack understanding of Korean history, like me. Just don't give us so many hints for historical background, just give us brief information with good and interesting execution. Give us depth already, not only focusing on story branching.

Well at least, the thing that made me want to continue watching is seeing the development of Yeoning, Dae Gil, Kim Cha Geun, Seo Rim, the King, and cute Grandpa.

Thanks for the recap, Heads!

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hahaha... I don't know this actress but I hope she will exudes emotions when her role is demanding her to have those....
She has been indoctrinated by In Jwa who sweet talked her by always telling her he loves her the most and why she had to avenge her father..they were good and the King and everybody else are bad and their noble cause..she became cold and unfeeling driven by the hate she was supposed to have and yet she is righteous enough to see suffering and injust but with no one to talk to and no power to do something about it....thanks to Gae Ddongyi who triggered her by giving her an awakening with his free spirited, straighforward honesty that we start to see some "uncomfortable" new feelings developing in her.. as a woman she will react instinctively..the more she feels, the more she will question and ultimately she will waver...let's see if she can keep up the noble cause :)

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Bottom line, Choi Min-soo and Yeo Jin-gu are the best things in this drama. I have nothing against the other actors and actresses, but damn, Choi Min-soo is electric. Yeo Jin-gu is rising up. I can't believe he was in a child actor's role not so far back. He's a pretty face, but a lot of his emotional scenes are really well done.

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I've been a fan of these two from the get go. Choi Min Soo from Sandglass and Yeo Jin-gu from his very first movie debut at age 8.

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Hm... I see nothing wrong with having tried to have a multiple plot, though if the writer-nim isn't careful enough to solidify those many focuses of the story, the whole drama will end up in a huge mess- which I wish wouldn't be the case later. Thanks for the recap, Heads. I will wait for your next recap of Ep 9 next week!

Just ignore the bitter, personal attack (cough JGS or other cast antis cough) and have mercy on the ones who are seriously watching and enjoying the drama! It might not be the next hype drama or the highest rating one, but so far it has gained good reviews from both the media and K-netizen. It's enough a reason for me to continue being hopeful for this drama, to be honest!

By the way, I stumbled upon some basic stuffs about plot, quite an easy read for those of you who want to learn more just like I do:

http://www2.anglistik.uni-freiburg.de/intranet/englishbasics/Plot01.htm

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This writer's last sageuk was a hot mess. This is his 3rd sageuk and drama. I don't trust him yet. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that it'll be good till the end.

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Yay! Finally I found some supporters to support and encourage my prince! Thank u friends who are all supporting Geun suk!
And thanks for acknowledging his charm and acting quality!
I'm so happy!????

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