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Jackpot: Episode 9

This episode finally steps the game up a notch, effectively raising the stakes to kill-the-king levels while miraculously leaving gambling out of the picture. A little focus goes a long way, especially when you’ve got some truly scene-stealing characters to help shoulder the load, and an emphasis on action-related tension certainly doesn’t hurt. I’m sure we’re all for more action and less ridiculousness at this point, so here’s hoping that this hour marks a turn for the better.

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EPISODE 9 RECAP

We’re told via chyron that in 1712, Chief State Councilor KIM CHANG-JIP left for Qing as an envoy of Joseon, and returned six years later, in 1717. He’s greeted at the gates of the capital by other high-ranking ministers, who are all introduced via chyron, but it’s way too many names at once to mention here.

What’s important is that Injwa is not happy to see Councilor Kim, who then pays a visit to the king. He’s reestablished back in court, and takes his place among his peers, half of whom look less than pleased.

Crown Prince Yoon can no longer hide his illness from the court, and locks himself away from their prying eyes in the meantime. The only person he’ll see is Injwa, though he doesn’t trust him the way he used to—not after what Prince Yeoning told him.

He decides to confront Injwa over his trustworthiness and motives, and of course, Injwa only claims to want to see Crown Prince Yoon ascend the throne and rule the people with wisdom. Yoon seems to believe him when he says he has no aspirations to take the throne for himself.

While Councilor Kim discusses the advanced warning they’ve received from the assassin intent on taking the king’s life and wonders if there’s a mole in the palace, we return to Chae-gun and Dae-gil, with Dae-gil unable to sway Chae-gun from his mission to kill the king.

Dae-gil searches through Chae-gun’s things, finding a map of the palace detailing how Chae-gun will make his entry. Determined to not lose someone close to him again, Dae-gil runs after Chae-gun, intent on saving his master.

Injwa gives Dam-seo some final words of advice before she sets off on her mission to kill the king, and while Nameless is supportive of her cause, Jin-ki seems to have some doubts about what game Injwa’s playing at. All Injwa says in his defense is that there’s no gain without pain.

Councilor Kim pays an icy visit to Injwa, accusing him of hiding behind the crown prince and controlling the Soron (“New Learning”) political faction. Injwa pretends to have no idea what he’s talking about, which spurs on a conversation full of flowery metaphors that ends with them agreeing to wait and watch each other’s next move.

Chae-gun gains entry to the palace by using his old military uniform and badge, while Prince Yeoning mobilizes the palace guards to block each of the palace gates and imposes a curfew on the people. He speaks like a general to his troops, rallying them to protect the king against the assassin’s threat.

When Yeoning has a hard time understanding why his father is so calm, the king smiles in that predatory way of his and asks, “Do you think I am sitting on this throne because of sheer luck?”

In order to spice things up, King Sukjong offers to make his son a bet: If he catches the assassin, then he’ll give him the royal seal and make him king. Should he fail, then Crown Prince Yoon will become king and he’ll have to leave the palace. He won’t be able to help his son anymore, since in that scenario, he’d already be dead.

Yeoning immediately claims he’ll take part in no such bet, but vows to catch the assassin for his father regardless. Sukjong eyes his son and gives him some essential advice when it comes to finding out who the assassin might be, since he has little doubt it’ll be someone close to him.

He has his suspicions about Dam-seo, but he’s careful not to relay them to his mother when he tells her of the responsibilities the king has placed upon him. They both know that this is a test for Yeoning, and one he’s very determined to pass.

The cloistered ministers, led by Councilor Kim, express their concerns with Prince Yeoning leading the king’s guard rather than the crown prince, who’s been tasked with nothing. Kim wonders if this means the king favors Yeoning over Crown Prince Yoon.

Dae-gil uses Chae-gun’s map to sneak into the palace, and manages to escape from the guards after attracting their notice by stealing into a long-forgotten building. There, he finds Dam-seo in a mask, and she’s just as surprised to see him as he is to see her.

Unwilling to allow herself to be diverted from her task, Dam-seo attempts to slip by him, only for Dae-gil to grab her arm. This cues a music video montage of all their moments together, leading Dam-seo to tell him that she understands his desire to kill her teacher, Injwa, because she also has someone she desperately wants to kill.

“Tonight is my only chance, so please pretend that you don’t know what I’m about to do,” she pleads, only for Dae-gil to reply, “What if I can’t?” She’s able to get him to slacken his grip when she reminds him that she’s no longer the woman he wants to marry, and therefore, he shouldn’t care what she does.

Chae-gun and Prince Yeoning pass each other, but Yeoning pays him no heed in his disguise. Chae-gun changes out of it and into an all-black getup like Dam-seo’s as he gets closer to the king’s quarters.

“Is the king the person you’re going to kill?” Dae-gil asks, stopping Dam-seo just as she’s about to scale a nearby wall. “What if it is?” she challenges, not expecting that Dae-gil would offer to go with her. He even gives her a leg up over the wall, though she doesn’t return the favor, leaving him in plain view of the patrolling guards.

He manages to lose them again (how poor is this security?), but is spotted again as he scales another wall. Prince Yeoning wins brownie points for asking why the security is so poor, shocked when he finds only two guards standing watch over one of the gates, with all the others having gone to chase Dae-gil.

Prince Yeoning realizes that all the ruckus is simply a diversion so that the assassin can sneak in without being seen. Remembering the route Dam-seo took when she came to visit the palace, Yeoning is able to find her in the present. “I sincerely hoped that it was not going to be you, Dam-seo,” he admits.

When Nameless questions why Injwa sent Dam-seo into such a dangerous situation, Injwa says it was to shore up her convictions, which she’d tearfully confessed she’d been wavering on.

Specifically, he means her doubt that it could’ve been him and not the king who killed her father, so tonight will be a test to see if Dam-seo has the conviction to run a sword through the king’s heart.

Dae-gil beats up a nearby guard and steals his uniform, which he’ll use to go see this king that everybody wants to kill. Meanwhile, Dam-seo tells Yeoning that if he doesn’t have the courage to kill her now, he should get out of her way.

He does, at first, but then catches up to Dam-seo with his sword drawn. “It’s not too late,” he stresses. “Are you truly unable to stop?” Dam-seo asks if he wants to die before she attacks, prompting him to ask her if she wants to die so badly that she’d try to kill the king.

She manages to slash his robes, but runs off when a contingent of guards draws closer. Yeoning routes the guards the wrong way, still intent on changing Dam-seo’s mind before it’s too late.

It’s Chae-gun who moves like a shadow through the palace, and no guards prove to be a match for him. He uses non-lethal force to get them out of his way as he clears a path toward the king, finally reaching the throne room.

The Spooky Twins draw their swords to stop him, but he makes quick work of them as well. With nothing standing between him and the king, he advances, only for Yeoning to appear out of nowhere to parry his blow.

Chae-gun recognizes the sword in Yeoning’s hand, wondering if he’s truly capable of wielding it. Turns out he’s not, since Chae-gun is able to disarm him rather quickly. Holding his sword to the prince’s neck, he bids him to get out of the way, which will only happen over Yeoning’s dead body.

The prince warns him against taking one more step as archers surround the room, though Chae-gun isn’t swayed. He makes a motion to take that step as Yeoning prepares to strike…

…Only for Dae-gil to push him back at the last moment, having run in behind Chae-gun. (How’d he get past all those archers?) Yeoning now has two swords held at his neck, even as Dae-gil explains that he’s here because he’s Chae-gun’s student, and has come to save him.

King Sukjong watches all these events transpire with a small smile, which only grows when Chae-gun sheathes his sword, reveals his face, and takes a knee before the king in allegiance. Ah ha!

Cut to Injwa, who laughs as he tells Nameless that there was never an assassin. If anything, it was a ploy on the king’s part to see how secure the palace was and to test Prince Yeoning. He even hands over the “Wanted” poster of Chae-gun, having also known he was a part of it, because he always knows everything.

It’s true that the king tasked Chae-gun with testing the palace’s security, as the military officer reveals that he’s been able to sneak into the palace over ten times in the span of a month without being detected. He advises King Sukjong to reinforce and restructure the three branches of the royal guards in order to make the palace more secure.

Though Injwa says the king staged this all as an elaborate test, he also staged it as a trap for him personally, by giving him an opportunity to come get him if he dared. And so, Injwa took him up on that challenge by sending Dam-seo.

Things take a turn with the king when Dae-gil tells him his name, which seems to be the only thing deserving of a reaction from Sukjong, who raises the screen separating them to get a closer look at the boy. He knows exactly who he is.

Urging Dae-gil closer, King Sukjong asks Dae-gil who his parents are. Dae-gil says they’ve both passed away, and lifts his eyes only when the king leans in to study him. He drops his gaze to the ground just as quickly, missing the knowing smile that pulls at the corner of Sukjong’s lips.

Suddenly, the king offers Dae-gil the sword at his side, claiming it’s one he cherishes deeply. Dae-gil has no choice but to accept such a gracious gift, leaving the king to bestow the position of being his right-hand swordsman onto Chae-gun, along with a royal badge/free pass which he claims will one day save Chae-gun’s life.

But no sooner does the king say “It’s not over yet” does the sound of an arrow being drawn tight come from just behind the door. It’s Dam-seo, who lets the two arrows fly through the paper barrier toward their intended target.

It’s Dae-gil, not Chae-gun, who uses his spidey senses (and his newly gifted sword) to cut down the arrows before they can reach the king. Prince Yeoning should be a lot more surprised—if it weren’t for Dae-gil, his inability to stop Dam-seo would’ve cost his father his life.

Nameless is scandalized that Injwa knowingly sent Dam-seo into a trap, but as usual, Injwa’s not concerned. It’s not like Dam-seo will die, not when she’s got Nameless who loves her, Jin-ki who has no affiliation with her, and Prince Yeoning, who also has feelings for her. (One of these things does not belong with the others.)

Dam-seo is chased down by royal guards, ending up grazed by one arrow and shot with another. She draws her sword to make her last stand, only to be saved by Dae-gil, who knocks out the guards and pulls her along with him.

At the same time, Injwa is heard in voiceover saying that Dam-seo also has Dae-gil. Prince Yeoning does his part to divert the guards in order to help Dam-seo escape, leaving Dae-gil to shoulder her weight to safety.

Dam-seo, badly wounded, remembers that Injwa told her to seek out Lady Choi should she find herself unable to escape the palace, and has Dae-gil take her there. Falling to her knees before her, Dam-seo begs to be saved.

Lady Choi tsks at Dam-seo’s life choices, only to be taken completely aback when Dae-gil gives her his name. She knows instantly that he’s her son.

By the time Prince Yeoning comes to check on his mother, she’s sitting calmly in her quarters like she isn’t harboring the assassin who just tried to kill his father. He spots telltale bloodstains on the floor that say differently, but leaves as though he didn’t.

After watching how carefully Dae-gil binds Dam-seo’s wounds, Lady Choi asks him what their relationship is. He claims to just know her, which any mother can tell is a lie, but she doesn’t press him.

Instead, she asks him about how he was raised, curious to know more about her son. But when Dae-gil asks why she wants to know, she switches topics back to Dam-seo, who she claims to be hiding to repay a debt she owes her. But she can’t hide her for long.

Prince Yeoning knows this, and confronts Dae-gil about how he plans to get Dam-seo out of the palace without being detected. Yeoning proposes a plan, which requires Dae-gil to incapacitate the guards at the gate and open it so that Yeoning and Dam-seo can escape on horseback.

Lady Choi’s relieved to hear that the escape was a success, if only for her son’s sake. But neither her or Dae-gil expect to run into Jin-ki, who sees the royal sword Dae-gil’s carrying and calls him out on it. Of more interest than that, however, is Dae-gil’s teacher, Chae-gun.

He tosses Dae-gil a Buddha statue he carved, claiming that he’ll exchange it for one life. Only when he’s knocked Dae-gil flat on his rear end does he ask if Chae-gun ever mentioned him before, prompting Dae-gil to remember that he did.

Jin-ki unsheathes his sword and prepares to attack the prone Dae-gil, only to be blocked by Chae-gun’s sword. The two of them face each other, leaving Dae-gil wide-eyed from his spot on the ground.

 
COMMENTS

What a relief to see a solid episode after all this madness. It’s like Jackpot remembered that restraint exists, and that there’s plenty to be mined from the relationships of its central characters. Could that success be attributed to the fact that there were no instances of shoehorned-in gambling, or that there was markedly less Injwa? Definitely.

Mostly, I was relieved that Chae-gun wasn’t destined to just be another name on the seemingly endless list of people who want to kill the king, since he’s much more useful standing in solidarity with the good guys. While the security test in and of itself was a little outlandish, it was worth it if only to see the development of Prince Yeoning’s character, his changing relationship with his father, and the development in Dae-gil, who risked everything to stop his master from making a fatal mistake. (Never mind the fact that, had he stopped Chae-gun from an actual assassination attempt, neither of them would have left that palace alive.)

The more I see of characters like Injwa, who are fazed by nothing because they know everything that will ever happen in the history of ever, the more appreciative I am for someone like Dae-gil, who thankfully hasn’t changed on a fundamental level despite his training and seclusion. He still acts according to his gut, and still reacts believably to the strange goings-on around him. It sounds like a small thing to be thankful for, but when the show had every opportunity to turn him into a cold, stoic warrior who lives only for revenge, it’s a nice and unexpected change that they kept him true to himself.

Prince Yeoning also had some great moments this episode, and really stepped up to the plate his father set for him. He took charge with all the gravitas a responsible royal son would be expected to have and more, and he likely would’ve made Chae-gun step over his corpse before he would’ve let him get to his father.

Where he lost me, however, was in his insistence to shield and protect Dam-seo. I get that love (if that’s what it is) can be funny like that, and boys can do really stupid things when it comes to girls, and vice versa. I get that Yeoning is an idealist who would rather help than harm, so he wouldn’t want to see Dam-seo throw her life away.

But at the point where she clearly could give less of a crap about Yeoning’s feelings or the very real question of whether the king truly did kill her father, enough to make an actual attempt on the king’s life, what was he even thinking? What is he trying to accomplish by letting her go? How does he go from risking his own life to protect his father to doing nothing about the person who literally tried to kill him? It was a stroke of luck that her arrows didn’t land, and one that had absolutely nothing to do with him. In other words: Get it together, Yeoning. There are other, less brainwashed fish in the sea.

 
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My antipathy toward Dam-seo will not change. In fact, it will only increase.

The development of the brothers is the driving factor of this show.

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Agreed. I like this episode. The focus is on Dae Gil and Yeoning which I believe the story is about. I just wish they didn't go there with the unnecessary love triangle, love square etc.

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'unnecessary love triangle, love square etc' --lol, this description is made of win.

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Thanks for the recap!

Question: With the whole reading the "gaze-thing", when King Sukjong looked at Dae-gil with the smirk, is the King smirking bec he knows that "ah, he looks likes me, he's my son, I will give him my cool sword", or is he smirking just bec he knows Dae-gil's "parents"?

I am hooked with this drama but slightly confused at the same time.

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Dae Gil's biological father is still in question. He could be the king's son or Baek Man-Geum's son. Both men treated him as their own.
Because of the circumstances surrounding his birth Sukjong can't be that doting father Baek was to Dae Gil.

I think he was pleased to see him and giving Dae Gil something that is precious to him is his way of acknowledging him as his son.
The only other person he's given a sword to was his other son Yeoning.

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Cool! Thanks Kiara for the clarification!

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It's amazing that the father is still unknown, and again in this episode it was mentioned that Man Geum's body was never found which leaves the possibility open that he's still alive...?

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I thought Sukbin said he was a prince born premature. I get she could be lying, but I thought that the truth.

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I found myself shaking my head for poor Prince Yoon in this episode. Seriously little Prince, In Jwa tells you that he has no ulterior motive and wants you to be a remembered King and you don't realize that being the shortest reigning monarch is one sure fire way of being remembered. Tsk. Tsk. I find it strange that with all of King Sukjong's wisdom and cunningness and Jang Ok Jung's manipulative tendencies, Yoon turned out to be so innocent and trusting. If this was anything but a Saguek I would have been cheering for him as he rises above. But this is a Saguek so I'm screaming at him to wisen up and sink to the very depths of political manipulation and power play. Do your mother proud Prince Yoon!

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Don't count our little weak prince out yet. He maybe a political pawn at the moment but he is still Sukjong's son.
He didn't go down in history without a purge of his own.

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All that stuff about dodging arrows and Dumb-Seo slept thru that lesson?

And how come assassins always wear the black assassin uniform instead of something that won't immediately identify them from 50 yards away?

But I don't think this show really has more plot holes than every other k-drama ever, it's just that usually we have to spot them for ourselves or go find a Lapses-of-Logic video instead of reading them in the recaps.

And at least its a *pretty* show, especially now that I've found a site where I can watch it in 1080p.

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And how come assassins always wear the black assassin uniform instead of something that won’t immediately identify them from 50 yards away?

Uh, because they always try to assassinate at night and night is black? They're wearing black just to not be seen, not to prevent from being identified.

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which "site" do you use?

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NewAsianTV.com

But go in with your shields on high.

They seem to be related to old myasiantv.com and unavailable-where-I-live myasiantv.se -- seems to be the same content & features with revised interface. But I've twice caught myasiantv.com serving up malicious adds, so I wouldn't trust any of them any farther than I can throw them.

Interface is a bit confusing, but if you poke around enough and pause the flash videos you can eventually find a way to download. Some of what they have, including Jackpot, is up to 1080p, most is "only" 720p, but that still beats 360 streaming.

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This has been one of those shows that is carried not by the strength of its story, but by the strength of its actors, and you see it in this episode here. Everyone just feels natural in their part; the King, the two Princes, our hero, even our villain has this snake-ish charm to him. Just fantastic stuff all around. Well played by our cast; well played.

It's not that the story is BAD, its just one that has been done before in every culture in every time period. What was supposed to distinguish it in THIS iteration--gambling--has been a bit of a non-factor. I thought the scene where he had his limbs twisted would end up making it so he could never wield a sword or a bow, hence his turning to gambling to build up his own underground empire, and his 'Master' would just end up his bodyguard. Instead...well, he's now a martial arts master who...MAYBE...gambles? I don't even know.

Still, I get that delicious scene chewing from my favorites, so I'm sticking with this one.

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Thanks for the recap. I liked this episode better than the others.

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LMAO, I'm suddenly seeing a lot of that "I don't give a shit" side of Heads in this recap.

... ...who are all introduced via chyron, but it’s way too many names at once to mention here.

... ...which spurs on a conversation full of flowery metaphors that ends with them agreeing to wait and watch each other’s next move.

... ...Jin-ki who has no affiliation with her... ... (One of these things does not belong with the others.)

You are Queen of recapping shows you ... uh... have problems with. QUEEN, I tell you.

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Those names are mentioned because they were part of a historical event. Let's just say that their fate may end up in our sickly crown prince's hands of all people.

I love how our prince regent questioned Injwa in this episode. Was that an indication that he will choose his own path? I sure hope so.

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Thank you for the recap.
I dislike damseo. I don't get why the brothers are head over heels for her.

Choi minsoo acting is reall great. When he smirks at daegil, i think he knows that it is his son? That's why he gave the sword.. hmmm

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+100 to you heads. Finally.. this drama slowly become a true saguek. Conspiracy, murder scheme, sinister ministers...but i couldn't help myself to keep on comparing this drama with Six Fix Dragons.. i am sorry but SFD had set the bar so high. But at least this episode got my attention. Keep up the good work show

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"Conspiracy in the Court" set the bar high with this kind of fusion, even "Eight Days" is pretty much up there. This type of sageuks is hardly popular among the viewers.

This show is not trying to be SFD and I'm glad that it's different. Maybe I'll get to use my brain here.

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I just went back to watch the everyone would protect Dam Seo In Jwa monologue and I just realized that wait a minute, did In Jwa just say that Nameless loves with Dam Seo? As in in love in love or love as in love you like a brother because if it's the first, that's a love square going on. How did she pull it off? From those stares? Hmmm. She's been taking snagging a man with a look lessons from mother-in-law Choi Sukbin.

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loool... let me take my time to appreciate this: How did she pull it off? From those stares? Hmmm. She’s been taking snagging a man with a look lessons from mother-in-law Choi Sukbin.

Anyway, Dam Seo seems to take after her late dad's character: cold outside, softy inside.

Poor girl needs to find her way soon... just like both princes who are slowly making their ways.

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I so totally agree. She lost her father at a young age and was raised by In Jwa, giving him all the opportunity to feed her all the lies he can come up with. I'm hoping that this whole night and its debacle will help her realize the truth: In Jwa cares about nobody but himself. Matter of fact, I want Dam Seo and Nameless to leave his side and discover their truth. Let's see if In Jwa's all that without the bodyguards by his side.

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I guess, Nameless is no longer Nameless since episode (i forgot which one) before. Yi In Jwa called him Moo Myung. Hehehe

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Moo myung means nameless I think.

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Really? Lol. It totally skipped my mind. Moo Myung huh? I still prefer him as Nameless though. Lol.

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Moo Myung is literally 'No Name'.

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No Name seems more fitting for the fearsome brute Jin-ki.

Then again I'm thinking of other " no name " charcters such as Clint Eastwood's character in the " Dollar Trilogy ", Fistfull Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good , the Bad and the Ugly.

Toshiro Mifune's character in Kurosawa's Yojimbo was a another.

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Thanks for the recap, Heads!

Though I have been very much annoyed by the 'fact' that Injwa is still that KNOW-ALL villain who can predict the king's (or everybody else's) moves, I have a feeling his perfect shell will crack soon enough. Losing Dam Seo might be the start of it? we'll see...

Looking forward to the recap for the next episode!

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It's like playing chess or whatever the game Dae Gil and Injwa were playing at the beginning of the show. You can predict the movement of your opponent if you are good at the game.

The story is being told the same way between two rivals. King Sukjong and Injwa. In this case it goes both ways between the two of them (all knowing) because they know each other very well and can predict what the other is planning and how to counter attack.
I think that's why sometimes it feels like that they are playing games with people's lives.

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I am also looking forward to Injwa's life unraveling - he lives as if he is immortal which will be his downfall. Maybe Dem Seo will take him down herself.

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I love this episode!! No dull moments. Action packed that leaves me breathless and thrilled, then there's that longing feeling when finally Dae Gil met the king and his mother.. I love when the king seems to have fondness for Dae Gil that he even gave him one of his favorite swords. (If he really believes Dae-gil is his son, then why do he consented Dae-gil be thrown out of the palace? )

By the way, I have a funny story.. In Jwa and the scriptwriter are only one person. That's why he knows everything.. Haha!

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hahahahaahahahahah

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I love this episode! Especially the moment when King Sukjong meets Dae Gil. When they see each other, I feel, it's like father tiger eyes meet his son eyes, horang to horang. Dae Gil was not shaking meeting Sukjong eye. Sukjong' look when he carefully check you into your bone, ugh! Its scary!

I guess in this show, the King wants to test Yeoning capability on physical protection for the palace, but its end up Dae Gil who takes that part. It makes the King gives his favorite Sword to Dae Gil. Sword is something for fighting, to attack and protect. Ya, I agree with you, Heads, the King has already know who Dae Gil actually is. So I bet, the King has already seen the difference between both of his sons. He will more count on Yeoning strategical skill than on physical protection.

But I wonder, has in this episode, Kim Cha Geun already knew his student is related to the King?

Yi In Jwa, damn! I don't like the fact he always knew everything. I just hope, at least in this episode, he does not know Dae Gil is there. But at least, now I could see he will have another compatible rival, Kim Chang Jip. I hope, later, I could find my self have a pity for Yi In Jwa character tho. If, the drama team let it be. Lol

Thank you for the recap, Heads. Please, revised the Nameless. His name has already mentioned before this ep 9. Lol.

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What you're hearing him being called is "Moomyung," which literally translates to "No Name," or better, "Nameless." I just went with "Nameless," since I assume he does have a birth name, we just have yet to hear it.

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I kind of felt bad for Yeoning in the last episode. He had no one on his side except for his parents. Kim Chang Jip's appearance will balance things out as the Norons becomes Yeoning's political backers.
(I really like Lee Jae Yong in sageuks. I'm glad he is part of the show).

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I'm verrry happy with this episode. Injwa was being a @*!# know-it-all as usual, and the brothers were just too damn cute - as usual. Best part was Dae-gil's face when he found out he was up against Hwang Jin Ki hahahaha - his look was that priceless "uh oh" look. Not so cocky then!

The thing about liking this sort of drama, is being not blind to its flaws, yet staying appreciative of its good points - compelling as they are. Jackpot totally rocks in that regard.

And thanks, the recap rocked too, Heads!

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Dae Gil face when running into Hwang Jin Ki... A baby tiger face.. LOL

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Guys,who's nameless? =S

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sky ~

Nameless Moo Myung is Injwa's mysterious Right Hand man.

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HeadsNo2 ~

Thanks for the recap. Overall I'm enjoying the show.

Some minor issues.

(How’d he get past all those archers?) My very words.

(how poor is this security?) Lol. Palace guards are always easily defeated , in every saeguk ever made.

When Dam Seo's arm is grazed with the arrow, she sprawls to the ground. Why? The next arrow hits her in the upper right quadrant of her bum/waist. Dae-gil applies the bandage mid thigh?

Thank goodness the Prime Minister guy , (Kim Chang Jib), returned from Qing, 'cause no one else seems capable of countering Injwa.

Dam Seo now has a duo of princely bros that are carrying torches for her, in addition to the Nameless Moo Myung.

** I predict Dam Seo will die. She has to. She's not Princess-Queen materiel, although concubine is a option. It's possible Dae-gil could abandon any claims to the thrown and run off with her. Nameless Moo Myung is too minor of a character to win the girl. I see her dying in the arms of one of the bros.

Looks like the absence of gambling was short lived judging by the previews.

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John~

How’d he get past all those archers?

I think because he's wearing a royal guard uniform so he easily made his way to the King's room.. Just my thoughts..

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Good one! You answer my question too. Your answer is simple and logical... Sometimes we do need to think simpler ... LOL

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Haha.. Thanks friend!! Yeah, let's not think too much, it'll bring wrinkles to our foreheads..

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I'm with you in your prediction. In the end, the king (almost) always end up with his historical wife/queen if she is part of the show. The fictional girlfriend is either killed or dies alone.

*History*
Prince Yeoning was married at age 8 or 9 (don't remember the exact age) to Lady Seo.
He had 2 queens and like Sukjong, none was able to produce an heir to the throne. This created more conflicts between factions. One backing a concubine's son over the other for their own benefits.

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Well seriously! Why all the guys fell for Dam Seo? Heh I don't know!??
But anyway the best episode even though the main thing (gambling) is missing haha!
Thanks for the recap heads!
Jackpot! Keep it up!??

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Thankyou Heads... Liked your comment a lot.. very perfect.. I was dying for the recaps after the scenes of king and my prince... Its still fresh in my mind. So the king and the teacher knows everything.. This drama is full of suspense and great actors.. lot more secrets to be revealed.. Totally impressed with YJG.. Cant wait for next. N i must say my prince looks too handsome in this drama..

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There is only going to be a few who will appreciate this drama. It's not perfect and the entertaining elements is not on the surface. It's definitely more than just connecting history (been there done that - hello SFD).

I'm enjoying it so far. I can either play along with the players or just watch and cheer for my two princes who are not quite ready to step in and replace their father but we know it's coming.

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People don't really seem to understand what Dam Seo's character has been through...as a child having to see her dad's lifeless form...very scarring and I think the actress portrays her role well. She'll possibly always act this way, even after her heart is softened by redemption/love later on. But she will be more self-forgiving. I think we should give the actress a break.

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Meanwhile, any bets on whether gambler not-Daddy is alive. We have seen the grave, but we have also been told that the body hasn't been found...

Remember, Korean rivers always magically heal anyone who is badly injured before they fall or jump in, and always drown healthy people who walk or fall in. Those are RULES.

But there is no binding precedent (that I know of) for the fate of anyone who walks in and then is badly injured. So it's up to this show to decide what happens to them, and the decision will be binding on all future k-dramas until the end of time :)

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Thanks for the recap, Heads! Perfection!
I anticipate your recaps as much as I enjoy watching the show.

I think that I REALLY fell for this show an episode or so back (particularly that scene that Dam Seo is confronted by the King...WOW! I don't really know why, but it changed my mind about this show!) and I have been increasingly drawn in. I think that the plot is more understandable now (is it just me?) and even the (almost ridiculously extreme amount) of suffering have helped me understand our main characters better.

And then Choi! Min! Soo!

The sword scene was amazing. I was so amazed and excited at all the underlying meaning and tension as the King gave his sword to Dae-gil...while his other son watched with his hard to read expression. *shudder* So. Great.

I can't wait for your next recap, Heads! Keep up the fantastic writing! It is greatly appreciated!

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I think Injwa and the King aren't all-knowing as we believe...just really observant. Just like when the king met Dam Seo the first time and touched her hands... He felt the calluses and knew she was a skilled archer, that's why he smiled. He sort of deducted she'd try to kill him using an arrow. Thus he knee what to expect. I plan on paying much more attention to scenes and figure out how to be a step ahead of everyone else myself!

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