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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 6

I knew it was coming, but I had still held out hope that Gil-dong could be carefree and happy just a while longer. Amogae’s carefully built illegal empire starts to topple like a house of cards, and the greatest victims are the people he loves most: his children. Surprisingly, it’s not Gil-dong or Gil-hyun that I’m most worried about — it’s Eorini, who has no memories of hardship while they still lived as slaves. But I can also see how she could become the pivotal glue that holds this family together as they endure more troubles to come.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

Gil-dong scouts out the land he’s set aside for his family to start their farm. Grasping the fertile dirt soil, he smiles and puts some in a gourd to take back to his father.

Choongwongoon wants Amogae to find his runaway servant girl and kill any man who has helped her escape. As they leave, Soboori and Yonggae notice that around his residence, young girls scurry about everywhere (hinting at his proclivity toward pedophilia).

Back at Bandit HQ, Amogae listens with his eyes closed and turns his prayer beads as his gang deliberates on what they should do next. Soboori informs them of a rampant rumor about Choongwongoon beating a female slave to death, earning the wrath of the current king.

Ilchung thinks that Choongwongoon specifically wanted Amogae to carry out this task because he doesn’t want to rile up any more anger from his relative, the king. Amogae opens his eyes and announces his decision: It’s a task given by a royal, so there’s no choice for them but to find the girl.

Team Amogae spreads out, showing copies of the slave girl’s portrait everywhere to ask the region’s people whether they’ve seen her. Yonggae finds her easily as she’s running down a mountain path. They take her back to Amogae and give her a meal, for which she’s exceedingly grateful.

But when they mention that they will be taking her back to Choongwongoon, she abruptly falls to her knees and starts begging Amogae to kill her instead — death would be kinder than going back to the lecherous royal. Amogae acquiesces, and the gang takes her up to the mountains, where she’s presumably going to be executed.

Yonggae holds a knife up to her throat, and she flinches, but doesn’t turn away. Instead of slicing her neck, he cuts off her braid and presents her with a bag of full of clinking money. When she turns back to Amogae in disbelief, he tells her it’s the price of her hair, and warns her to leave straight away and not look back.

She does a full bow on the woodland floor, thanking him. As she leaves, Soboori’s expression is full of discontented unease, and he asks Amogae how he’ll handle the consequences of disobeying a royal. The Ikhwari elder just tells him to bring a similar-sized girl corpse from the next town over.

But of course, this girl does not heed Amogae’s warning and goes back to the house where her grandmother resides. She cries from behind a wall while watching her grandmother eat rice with water (implying that they were too poor to afford even the cheapest banchan to accompany the meal). She throws the bag full of money over the wall, but a figure has been spying on her the entire time. It’s Heotaehak’s son with plans of cold-blooded murder showing through his eyes.

Amogae presents a dead girl’s body to Choongwongoon, claiming that it’s the girl he sought, and that she was discovered near a diseased area. After hearing that, Choongwongoon won’t even look at it, and he tells Amogae to get the corpse out of his sight. When he later meets with Amogae in private, it seems like he did accept the girl’s braid, because he strokes it fondly during their interview.

Amogae, relieved that this task is over, makes his goodbye bow to Choongwongoon. Hearing the note of finality in his tone, Choongwongoon smiles bemusedly and asks whether Amogae doesn’t plan on seeing him anymore, but doesn’t press him any further when Amogae bumbles his answer.

Choongwongoon’s side door opens to reveal Heotaehak and his son, who tell the royal that Amogae is a bald-faced liar. They brag to Choongwongoon that they were the ones who killed the real girl, but instead of thanking them like they expect, he strikes Heotaehak and stands up in a fury. He shouts that they had no right to touch his girl. But then he calms himself down, reflecting that it’s better that she’s dead than in some other man’s arms.

Choongwongoon asks what Heotaehak wants, and his son replies that they want Amogae dead. At first, Choongwongoon doesn’t want to involve himself in the local gangster turf wars, but when the son mentions that Amogae is a threat to Joseon’s social order, he sits back, interested. Heotaehak’s son says that there’s someone he wants Choongwongoon to meet, and the scene cuts to Amogae’s former household mistress.

All of her rich finery is gone now, and she’s reduced to drab peasant clothing. She clutches a bundle full of books for her son, not even sparing money to buy some food despite her obvious hunger. She catches sight of Amogae making his rounds as the Ikhwari elder through the market, and her eyes shed tears of anger.

She goes to Choongwongoon and pleads her case to him, asking that he catch her runaway slave Amogae for her. She’s outraged that Amogae has lived a prosperous life, providing an opportunity-filled childhood for his children, when he is actually the murderer who killed her husband.

Meanwhile, someone finds the slave girl’s corpse at the riverside. Heotaehak and his son approach Magistrate Eom.

Meanwhile, at Bandit HQ, Soboori asks Amogae if he really means to follow Gil-dong and start a farm, and he replies vaguely that it would be a nice life. Soboori grumbles and threatens to move in with their family if Amogae does retire from crook business. Just then, soldiers barge into the courtyard, ready to arrest Amogae for the death of the runaway servant girl.

Although Gil-hyun tries to object, Amogae says that he’ll follow them willingly. Gil-dong stops by a crowd that’s gathered to watch a spectacle. When he sees Amogae being led away to prison by soldiers, he tries to stop the them, to no avail. As he passes by, Amogae quietly whispers to Gil-dong to go find Magistrate Eom.

But the self-serving magistrate is already being persuaded to the other side by Heotaehak’s son, who says that he’s already aware of Amogae’s murder twelve years ago. Although he objects to betraying his loyal friend at first, Magistrate Eom is visibly shaken when Heotaehak’s son warns him to choose sides wisely, and when Gil-dong comes to ask for his help, he doesn’t even let him into the house.

The bandits gather round with Gil-hyun at the head of the table to discuss how they’ll break out their beloved leader. They deduce that Heotaehak is working for Choongwongoon, and that’s why no one is stepping up to help them. Gil-hyun brings out a ledger book full of people who owe a favor to Amogae, and assigns teams to go call those favors in. He tells Gil-dong to go to the prison to comfort their father, but Gil-dong refuses, because he never wanted a criminal for a father.

However, later we see him together with Yonggae visiting Amogae in his solitary cell. They apprise him of the outside situation, and when it dawns on Amogae that Choongwongoon is the real power behind his arrest, he grows quiet. But you can almost see the gears turning in his head as he tries to think of a way out of his dangerous predicament.

Behind him, Gil-dong calls Amogae, not by “Father” as he usually does, but respectfully as “Ikhwari Great Elder.” Surprised, Amogae turns back, and Gil-dong hands him his prayer beads, a silent sign of his social power. It’s a moment that’s laden with meaning — it’s the turning point where Gil-dong accepts that a quiet farm life is no longer an option for them. He lays down his dreams for an ordinary life because his first priority is his father, and they need all the help they can get, illegal or otherwise, to get him out safely.

On their way out, Gil-dong demands that Yonggae pull all the strings necessary to get his father the luxurious comforts possible to make his stay in prison more endurable. Yonggae is surprised to receive such an authority-filled command from the usually laid-back happy-go-lucky Gil-dong. So when Heotaehak comes by Amogae’s cell with his son in tow, he’s surprised by all the food and silk bedding that’s now surrounding Amogae, who’s singing and relaxing more like a man on vacation than a man in prison.

Lounging in his comfortable cell, Amogae taunts Heotaehak by saying once he’s out of prison, he’ll take off the other ear too. To this, Heotaehak takes an alarmed step back and clutches his mangled ear, and using his fear, Amogae bargains with him to gain an audience with his backer, Choongwongoon.

When Amogae meets with the royal, he kneels abjectly and loudly repents for his deception. He even offers to hand over his illegal silver mine business to be extracted from this situation. But Choongwongoon chuckles at him, and says that the mines were his as soon as Amogae stepped into prison, and so that offer is moot.

Clearly ready to defend what’s his, Amogae then tries to use the stick instead of the carrot to persuade Choongwongoon to let him go. He threatens to use all of his connections to prove his innocence, but the royal brings up the homicide case from twelve years ago, and dares Amogae to try his best.

The mistress, who was hidden behind a sliding door listening to everything, reveals herself to the stunned Amogae. His face turns ashen, and she has her moment of triumph when Choongwongoon tells Amogae that he’s decided to help the mistress uphold Joseon’s justice by making sure the former slave stays beaten down.

He confirms that he is truly a psychopath when he shares with Amogae the story of how he cruelly killed several slave girls and wasn’t punished. He calmly explains that even the king couldn’t reprimand him for his crimes, because punishing a royal would disrupt the natural social structure. Heotaehak and his son drag Amogae away, and the mistress cries tears of happiness for finally getting her revenge.

Later, Heotaehak brings up the fact that there’s little evidence tying Amogae to the runaway slave girl, and that framing him and getting the murder conviction to stick would be difficult. Choongwongoon scoffs at his naive belief in the justice system, and tells him to bribe a couple officials to torture Amogae until he dies.

He then tells the gangster to also “take care of” Amogae’s crew, but expresses his doubt at Heotaehak’s ability to do so when he’s already lost once to them before. At this, Heotaehak’s crafty son steps forward and proposes a scheme to use Magistrate Eom to lure Amogae’s family and his followers into a trap.

In the beginning, Magistrate Eom is resistant to the idea of betraying his close friend to appease a disgraced royal, but Heotaehak’s son tells him that the tides are changing in Choongwongoon’s favor. Then, we see Yeonsangun half-heartedly studying and being quizzed by a circle of his tutors.

He mumbles his answers, more concerned with picking at the large blister on his face. However, when he sees the shadow of his father, the king, at the door, he straightens his posture and starts reciting verses more clearly.

But after only a moment of listening from the outside, the king and his retinue continue on their way past Yeonsangun’s classroom, seemingly satisfied enough with his progress. As the shadows grow fainter, Yeonsangun slumps back down, because his hopes to see his father were dashed again.

When the crown prince gets back to his chambers, he grabs a mirror to see if his blister has gotten worse, perhaps worrying that it’s his appearance that’s deterring his father from visiting him. A eunuch announces that Choongwongoon has sent a rare gift: a golden eagle.

When we snap back to Magistrate Eom and Heotaehak’s son, we learn that Choongwongoon has been the only steady source of support that the crown prince has had in the royal palace during these past twelve years when his mother was dethroned and killed. Heotaehak’s son implies to Magistrate Eom that once Yeonsangun ascends the throne, Choongwongoon will be in a position of unrivaled power.

At Bandit HQ, discussions are underway because their attempts at reaching out to people who owe Amogae favors aren’t working too well. Fear of royal retribution has stopped the flow of goodwill that normally would have been on Amogae’s side. They talk about approaching Magistrate Eom again, and just as they’re speaking of him, he comes by to call on Gil-hyun. He informs them that Heotaehak and Choongwongoon know all about Amogae’s murder of his master all those years ago.

Gil-dong argues that his father was let free after the trial for that crime, but Magistrate Eom tells them that this time will be different because the enemy is a royal, not just a minor noble. He suggests that they flee, but Gil-dong won’t leave without his father. Magistrate Eom promises to help Amogae escape with them if they follow his plan.

Later, when Gil-dong and Gil-hyun prepare for their escape, Eorini asks if they’re making the right choice. Gil-hyun says that there is no other option, and Gil-dong nods in agreement, although his expression looks like he has some reservations.

A bloodied and broken Amogae lies on his cell floor when his former mistress comes by to have her final say. She tells him that she’s not angry at him, because it’s not his fault. She works herself up into a passion as she says that it’s the Joseon government’s fault for not controlling its social order, and for allowing slaves like him to rise in the world. Therefore, she says her greatest contribution to the land will be to crush Amogae and his descendants so that social order will be restored.

On a hill, Gil-hyun, Gil-dong, and Eorini wait for Magistrate Eom to bring their father, but the only people that approach are a group of Heotaehak’s underlings who are out for blood. They separated from the rest of Amogae’s followers according to the magistrate’s plan, but now they realize that he led them into a trap. Gil-hyun tells Gil-dong to get Eorini to safety while he will follow afterward, after fighting off the closest gangsters.

There’s no time, so Gil-dong grabs Eorini’s hand and runs, but a lasso separates Eorini from her brother, and she’s dragged away. While trying to get her back, Gil-dong is beaten and knifed to the point of near-death. But the moment he closes his eyes in defeat, he remembers the shaman tree that his father spoke of, and he regains his consciousness. A gust of wind blows, and a supernatural energy fills the air as Gil-dong rises up again, with a knife still sticking out of his side.

He calls to Eorini and tells her to come to his side, but the men have her in their grasp, having been given strict orders from Choongwongoon to bring her back for his pleasure. Five men use various weapons to wrestle Gil-dong to the ground, but suddenly he lets out a roar, his eyes shine green, and he throws their combined might off easily. The specks of grain he blows into the air have so much force they cut skin like ninja stars, and he uses a stalk of wheat more effectively than most men can use swords to cut down the rest of the gangsters.

When he finally reaches Eorini though, he’s no longer a monstrous superhuman — he’s just a worried older brother. He takes her hand in his and ties a piece of cloth around them so that they won’t be separated again. But soon they run out of room to run, and they’re left against the edge of a cliff with a formidable group of archers aiming at them. Gil-dong asks Eorini if she trusts him, and she looks down at the sea far below them but closes her eyes as he requests. Just as the arrows fly, he turns so that he can protect her from them — and together, they fall into the water.

The fatally tortured Amogae recalls his children one last time, and his fingers twitch with longing and worry. Gil-dong, whose back is now embedded with arrows, opens his eyes in the water.

 
COMMENTS

I almost thought that Eorini would be captured then killed by Choongwongoon, and that would be the trigger that would send Gil-dong over the edge. Nope, Gil-dong proved me wrong and showed that he is one crazy protective mofo when it comes to his sister. I’d been expecting badass Mighty Child Gil-dong to be super strong, but I was thinking more along the lines of Mr. Incredible-type abilities to lift heavy things in the air. I must say I was impressed by some of the innovative manifestations of his powers when he busted out those crazy fight moves. I especially liked the one where he blew dried grain through his hands, and it turned into a gust of wind that stopped the soldiers in their tracks.

Now I’m thinking he has more Wolverine or Superman-esque powers, like bulletproof (or maybe knife-proof would be a better term) invincibility, supernatural reflexes, and rapid healing. The comic book geek in me wants to know all the nitty-gritty details of the rules of his powers, but the sageuk fan in me wants him to get on with the story and start his revolution ASAP. Either way, I’m so excited to see more of that beast-like Gil-dong in action that next week can’t come soon enough.

But let’s talk about the heavy opposition, because I was not expecting to have any sympathy for Amogae’s previous household mistress (Madam Jo), but actress Seo Yi-sook makes a compelling villain. Initially, I just perceived her as a greedy woman who wanted to take advantage of Amogae for her own gain, but I think she sincerely believes that he is a dangerous aberration that needs to suppressed to maintain social order. Obviously living in the twenty-first century, I have an enlightened view of human rights that leads me to instinctively protest against the unjust treatment of Amogae and his family. But this episode took me aback by helping me understand (at least to a certain extent) the retrograde perspective of people in olden times.

During most of the Joseon dynasty, everyone was raised their entire lives thinking and believing that certain individuals were born with an innate, inherited quality that made them superior to others. And many autocrats, and the noble houses that backed them, twisted widespread Confucian ideology, especially the parts that emphasized the patriarchy, loyalty (of the people to the ruler), and filial piety to fit their purposes, resulting in a rigid caste system. So Madam Jo is just a regular brainwashed citizen who has been ingrained with the idea that her duty to her country is to keep her slaves in their places. To Madam Jo, Amogae is like a rabid dog who bit his owner and needs to be put down. She doesn’t view him as her peer or even another human being. The way that this drama is portraying its antagonists makes me hate them and pity them at the same time.

 
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Omo, it's the magical sageuk cliff again!!!

Just jump and take a leap of faith Gil-dong ah. It's perfectly safe (the survival rate has been 100% so far) and you'll come back stronger than ever.

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Is this the famed 'Lee Joon Ki cliif'? My disappointment towards Moon Lovers prevents me from rewatching that show to check if its the same cliff. My blood still boils whenever I think of what could have been for that show. Hwarang is doing the same thing for me but at least my expectation for it is not as high as Moon lovers so it's a lil' bit better. Rebel so far is impressive esp the story & acting.

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@theIgorot,

It is indeed the very same Sageuk Cliff of Non-Doom, which apparently has a very busy agent representing it. It puts in an appearance near the end of episode 2 of SAIMDANG as well. ;-)

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Ah, I don't remember the Cliff of Non-Doom being so beautiful in Moon Lovers. Maybe they didn't film it from the same angle? (I remember it being close, slightly from above, watching Wang Yo fall backwards). That shot from a distance in Rebel was just breathtaking.

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Thanks for the reply. That cliff is indeed busy. I wonder if it's accessible since I'm planning to visit SK. I love hiking so it'll be great to see it for real.

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@theIgorot,

You're most welcome!

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The famous cliff! And I kinda have the same feelings about Moonlovers and Hwarang. Loving Rebel because of the actors and how they're telling the story specially on this episode. Even though we kinda know that its gonna turn bad eventually, I'm impressed how they told the story.

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It's also the same the magical one where the main lead played by Jang Geun Suk (forgot the character's name) in Jackpot, fell with a knife wound and multiple broken bones....AND made it back alive! Walking and moving perfectly like nothing had happened to him at all!

I wonder if it's still magical in modern times? If so, it could be a money-making industry and really help Korea out of their economic slump. You know, people with broken bones and knife/gun wounds pay to leap off the cliff, and hey, come out of the water better than when they went in. Those watching also have to pay to watch and take photos and videos.

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That is my oppa's cliff lol. Arang, Two Weeks, Joseon Gunman...

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OMG. How did I not realize that the cliff was in Two Weeks too...

Haha, it even followed him to his modern dramas. Probably because the Truck of Dooms and murder accusations aren't enough to take him down...

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Lol right.

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For real?! Dang, I didn't recall the Cliff of Non-Doom appearing in TWO WEEKS, either. As for ARANG, I remember she fell off a cliff into the water (or onto a rock in the water), but I thought it looked different.

I must have been totally mesmerized by LJG. ;-)

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don't forget the Iljimae too!! He first won me over in Iljimae ❤️

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Was there a cliff of doom in Iljimae too? I don't remember.

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SPOILER

At the end! When everyone thinks he dies and then comes back. the non-doom cliff there to save the hero once again ?

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+10000 your comment

You're right about the survival rate lol.

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:P :'D

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Sigh.

When someone is badly injured in kdrama-land, why bother with doctors & hospitals? Just find a cliff, check that there is water below, and toss them over.

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Haha, at least Gil-Dong has freshly awakened super powers to explain his survival, right?

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So true. :D

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As long as Gil Dong and his songsaeng don't stop for a subway before they jump, I'm okay with them escaping off of a cliche'd cliff.

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Isn't it also the cliff used on Jackpot/Daebak that Jang Geun Seok jumped too and survived?

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HAHAHA! You were right, was he tortured badly before fell over too?

Now we know where the superpower from all these heroes come from. xD

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Yep. That cliff had been featured on quite a few saeguk dramas before: Empress Ki, Arang and The Magistrate, Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, Jackpot, Joseon Gunman, and @PakalanaPikake said it made appearance in Saimdang, Light's Diary as well (I haven't watched this one). Did I miss any? LOL.

That cliff is like Truck of Doom of Sageuk, only doom-free. Shall we just call it Cliff of Non-doom as @PakalanaPikake and @WishfulToki suggested?

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That is how Pakalana baptised it. I was just following suit. (Giving credit where it's due!)

I do like the idea that Cliff of Non-Doom and Truck of Doom might be represented by the same agency. ;)

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*blushes*

Aw, shucks, guys. ;-)

It just occurred to me that it might actually be the Cliff of Non-Doom-ality, if we want to sound philosophical.

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Yoo hoo, Wishful T!

My hubby just asked what happens when the Truck of Doom smashes the hero over the edge of the Cliff of Non-Doom. Do they cancel each other out? So what happens to the hero? What happens to the TOD? The implications are mind-boggling.

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Well, Pakalana, I was trying to imagine that scenario... and the best I could come with is: if you get hit by a Truck of Doom over Cliff of Non Doom, you travel to the future. Makes perfect drama sense.

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Thanks, WishfulToki!

Hubby sends regards and thanks for your insight. He watched SIGNAL, but isn't a dyed-in-the-wool Kdrama fan.

if you get hit by a Truck of Doom over Cliff of Non Doom, you travel to the future

And if you want to get home, you'll have to hitch a ride with Marty McFly, and hope he can drop you off in the right when. ;-)

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Lmao true. Just take Jang Geun Suk's character in Jackpot. He got thrown off the cliff many times but he was fine afterwards.

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Someone needs to interview that cliff.

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Will that result in Cliff Notes?

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They got to the cliff and my Mom, bless her, said "That's just the cliff of despair. There's a cave at the bottom."

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This episode was full of exciting, heart-wrenching stuff.

First of all, I need to let this out: SATOOOO, WHY?? (I completely understand why the magistrate was stuck in a tough spot and couldn't help Ahmogae, but still...betrayal hurts). Sorry Soboori for doubting you before!

Second point: That prince is disgusting. I felt sick when those men were dragging Eurini away, and am glad the story didn't take us there. I'm hoping Gil-Hyun survives and reunites with his siblings.

Third point: There really really is a connection between Gild Dong and that tiger. I impatiently wait for the day when he remembers what happened as a child.

Question: The way I interpreted that amazing fight was how Gil Dong was remembered by his opponents and in legend: as if he had mystical powers, like a tiger. Or are we really supposed to think he is not only super strong but has supernatural powers?

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That's a pretty interesting point! It seems quite likely that that was how Gildong's fight was remembered by his opponents

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The real life rebel that inspires Gil Dong's character is said to have the strength equal to a tiger or he could kill one with his bare hands.

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I was startled to read that in one area (around the Amur River, methinks) bears are the main prey of tigers. Holy cow.

All I can say it, with paws that strong, I'd be afraid to shake hands with HGD. ;-)

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Well you know, he was the people's hero. Of course he would have extraordinary strength etc hehe.
If Samson with his mane of glory was strong enough to kill a lion than Gil Dong would be his Joseon version.

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Well, we weren't exactly wrong. It was either going to be Soboori or Magistrate Eom.
I don't blame him either. Amogae wasn't actually innocent and we know it was coming.

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Aaahhh, that interpretation of the way his opponents view his fighting skills makes such a difference! (here have a cookie ?)! I was wondering why his were so similar to that of the tiger though.

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Thanks for recap!

I love that Rebel sobstory is a bit different with the usual tragic hero path. So sad this is the last time we saw (living) Amogae, his rising to Ikhwari's leader is the main reason I'm hooked to this drama.

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I love it when it's in sageuk, the evil minions will always spare the hero some time for a dramatic speech before finally deliver the death blow.

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I think it's a K-drama thing. I've seen it in modern dramas too.

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Yup! Just change the bow with a gun, amirite?

It's like, "Alright guys, we'll give you two minutes top to make a speech then we will shoot you. Deal?"

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Lmao, I've actually watched the scene you described in several movies and dramas. Its another iteration of the "any last words?".

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Come to think of it, it's just not Korean dramas and movies. Most of the films and dramas out there has that last speech/words before the character dies.

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That, and the villains always blurt out all of their past crimes and why the did what they did before killing the heroes.

It's not only sageuk thing, IMO. Even Hollywood movies are like this.

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Me at the end of episode 6:
What did happen to Gil Hyun?
What will happen to Eo Ri Ni?
How's Ah Mo Gae doing? Does he survive?
Why is Gil Dong wandering around the town all by himself?
Where's hyung and Eo Ri Ni?
Why does Gil Dong stay with Jang Nok Soo and Ga Ryung?
Why? Why? WHY??
Seriously, this drama have been taking lots of my time, to think, and searching, and stalking XD
Give me my Tuesday already~~

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"Why does Gil Dong stay with Jang Nok Soo and Ga Ryung?"

I think the girls saved him and in return he is going to help Nok-soo with her plan to make the king her man.

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Gil Hyun will survive because in the opening scene of Episode 1 when Gil Dong aims at Ga Ryung with tear filled eyes ( Oh my god that scene, It was heartbreaking ) , Gil Hyun was standing next to him , telling him not to do it. But Eo Ri Ni , I am not sure ,we don't even see her in the preview.

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Wow, I didn't realize it, I was soo~ into Yoon Kyun Sang's sorrowful gaze that I didn't even paying attention to people around him. Okay, I'll re-watch ep 1 to see Gil Hyun.
And about Eo Ri Ni, I wonder if her name has anything to do with her fate. Eo Ri Ni will forever be their "little child" without having a chance to grow up into adult phase (I hope it's not true !)

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Another amazing episode! I cried so much the past two episodes. I feel the family love and brotherhood as its so nicely played on this drama.

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one thing i'm confused about is the way the slave girl died? when they showed that guy stab her in the back wasn't she in the forest after amogae chopped her hair and gave her the silver stones, but they also showed a scene where she gives those stones to her grandma?

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They did not show the scenes in order.
After she gave the stones to her gramma, they hunted her down and killed her.

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Those weren't stones, they were silver taels...money.

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thanks for telling me that. i had no idea what to call them so opted for stones instead

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Is this the same with nyang?

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From my impression, I thought that nyang/yang were one of the lowest denomination coins used in domestic currency, whereas the silver taels were much larger amounts of money, often only possessed by rich merchants/noblemen or used for international trade with the Chinese (Ming Dynasty).

It's kind of like a US penny (which you can use in the US but not really elsewhere) vs a gold bullion that is valid everywhere as long as the precious metal content is there.

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I must be a bad person, I actually want to smack the girl for coming back home after being saved by Amogae.

I know the girl being spotted is necessary for plot, but I wish the girl was spotted when she was leaving on a ship or something.

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I hear you but yea the baddies are always one step ahead of their victim. They were camping outside grandma's house incase she comes by.

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And did you notice how Choongwongoon was stroking the braid after Amogae gave it to him? Talk about creeptastic... *shudder*

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This show has a lot of strength. Storytelling, directing, acting, even the creepy characters etc.

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Thanks for recapping, tineybeanie!

I fully concur that Seo Yi-sook is turning in a great performance as Lord Jo's wife. She is not a cardboard cutout villainess. As you noted in your commentary, she's doing her bit as a minor noble to uphold order within the country and its society. I hope it comes back to bite her fanny.

Similar ideas of cosmic order existed in ye olden days in Europe as well. The Great Chain of Being placed the monarch at the top of the hierarchy as the carrier of the divine right of kings, with serfs and slaves far below. Social mobility was impossible for all intents and purposes as it risked upsetting the cosmic order.

I've read that anyone below the rank of baron was not even considered a human being back in the old days. Viewed from that perspective, the notion that all men are created equal is revolutionary indeed.

I'd had my misgivings when Amogae dispatched only Lord Jo. Not that I'm bloodthirsty or anything, but I had a feeling that as long as Jo's wife and son -- and Horny Uncle -- survived to seek vengeance, Amogae and his family would not be safe. If he had played his trump card (i.e., used the letter from the deposed queen to reveal Lord Jo as a traitor), his master's family would have been wiped out -- although his servants and slaves may well have suffered, too.

Madam Jo has just crawled out of the woodwork after 12 years. I wonder where her son is, and what he's up to.

Choongwongoon is such a perverse piece of work that Lord Jo & Co. look like saints in comparison. It seems that his vile hobbies will inspire benighted Crown Prince Yeonsangun.

This episode really ended with a cliffhanger, at least as far as Gil-hyun is concerned. Luckily, we don't have long to wait for the next thrilling installment.

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Yeah, Seo Yi-sook has been positively vicious in this role. I'm very impressed with her chilling performance. Her scenes with Amogae have been some of the most riveting. I've only seen her in 6FD and this was such a change. I've actually been dreading the prospect of her and Yoon Kyun-sang having a reunion in these roles, but she's such a cunning witch here that I don't see Grandma at all.

Honestly, when Amogae killed his master, my first thought was "Nooooo. Don't leave the wife out, she's the mastermind behind everything and, mark my words, she will be the one to hunt you and your family to the ends of the earth!!!"

It's never been so painful being right.

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Seo Yi-sook has been hitting a home run in this role. I first saw her in THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK-HYANG as one of the widowed neighbor ladies in the boondocks of Kimun, and the heroine's prospective mother-in-law (Youn-gu's mother). At the same time, she was performing in EMPRESS KI, from what I remember in the Soompi KDSBH forum. Until I started watching SIX FLYING DRAGONS two weeks ago, the only other show I'd seen her in was HEART TO HEART, where she played a psychiatrist. She's terrific in sageuks, and I'm thrilled to see her in such a juicy role.

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who thought that Madam Jo was seriously in need of killing. Amogae really missed the window of opportunity to use the deposed queen's letter. It goes to show that he just wanted to be left alone, and wasn't particularly vindictive -- which is a fatal flaw when dealing with criminals, thugs, and those of like mind. It may be that Amogae never suspected that Madam Jo was the true mastermind of her husband's plot to confiscate his wealth. My heart simultaneously sank and was in my mouth when I watched this episode raw and saw that she had turned up like a bad penny.

Seo Yi-sook deserves a Best Supporting Actress award for this performance.

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She is impressive for an actress who just started her career in her 40s. She's only been acting for 7yrs.
I still remember her from her debut sageuk and 6 others.

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According to DramaWiki's listing for her, she's a veteran stage actress who debuted in 1990. Her first film performance was in 1998. In the past seven years she's been busy in TV dramas. She even had a cameo in TWO WEEKS as Tae-san's deaf hostage -- but I don't know if she got to meet the Cliff of Non-Doom. ;-)

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Thank you. I didn't count her time on stage and films. I only looked at her dramas and she has been in a lot of sageuks. I've probably seen 7 out of 9.

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Heart to Heart! That's where I first came across her! I knew there might be one modern drama I saw her in before, but I couldn't figure out what it was.

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She's in Heirs. Head of PTA or something. Kim Sung-ryung and her had a face-off in a PTA meeting while KSR was pretending to be Park Shin-hye's mom. KSR offered to pay for the whole class hiking trip just to show off. That was such a funny scene :D

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Kim Sung-ryung is another great sageuk actress. I wish she'd do more. Last time I saw her in a hanbok was in "Fatal Encounter."

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Thanks for the recap!!
I was glued this week to these episodes.

I am sad that Gil-donga went all strong. I liked him as a softy.
But there was that one moment when he ordered one of the bandits to do something and sounded very commanding. I will like the assertive version, too.

I still hate that greedy old bag. Yes, with my 21st century mindset, I do not like her and that horrible disgusting Prince who kills the girls. I can't wait for his punishment.

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It's pretty standard stuff around the world to use historical fiction or fantasy as a mirror to the real world and use it to make statements about current issues. It's just that from what I know of Korean society (never having been there) and Korean history (not having lived thru it or anything) it seems Koreans have more reason to do that than many other countries and can pull it off without distorting history *too* much.

Maintain social order? Nobles and royals want to keep the worms in their place? Just fast forward a century or three and replace them with chaebols, crooked prosecutors, corrupt politicians etc. Add president's greedy manipulative friend, stir, and serve. Same old social structure, same old way of thinking.

This show seems to be laying it on pretty thick, even by kdrama standards.

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To be fair, when the parallels are that obvious and in-your-face, it's not surprising that filmmakers use them that way.

(have to run, will be back to comment after work!)

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That's because we, Koreans, are pretty honest when it comes to admitting our shortcomings. We don't try to cover up and beautify our history and society like people from some other countries. We have so much dirty laundry we need to wash and dry outside to clean up our acts that we don't care who's idly standing by and watching.

Just because your media do not show the corruption and status quo thinking going on in your country, to assume that it somehow has less reason to clean up anything would be naive.

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True. Citizens of any country are safe as long as they keep their heads down and live their ordinary lives. Don't speak up,don't step on the toes of powerful people. Or you'll be killed/disgraced/exiled. That is why we use entertainment as a means to escape from reality..at least in make-believe we can pretend that good always wins and has a happily-ever-after. ?

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If we don't learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it? This retelling of their history is far from fiction or fantasy.
Joseon ended 120 years ago. Korea have experienced great social changes. Women's status have significantly improved. They have equal opportunities for higher education, legal rights etc.
Everyone can apply for a government position, buy a home, own their land, have the right to vote, no one is exempt from mandatory military service or paying taxes etc etc.

Activists, rebels (whatever you call them) from the past helped to bring about these changes. They were brave enough to take action knowing fully well that they were outnumbered and the government would eventually wipe them out.

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Before I put forth any reasonable thoughts( I probably won't have any lol), I've gotta duff my heart to tineybeanie.

Oshe!! This was a fantastic recap! So well written, loved your thoughts and commentary throughout. I'm impressed and look forward to more.

That Choongoon- whatever, reading about his...sick tendencies makes me wanna barf...after I stab him.

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Anyone else think Heotaehak's son might actually be Master Jo's son?

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Now that you mention it, it was rather suspicious of him to know about someone from Ahmogae's past..

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It's possible but I think he will show up later when Yeonsangun ascended the throne. Since his parents have the document (late queen's letter) to show that they were her supporters, I think he'd end up with a high government position.

Currently I think the crown prince doesn't know that his real mother was poisoned to death. When he finds out, those who has anything to do with it or not do anything to help her will pay with their lives. Those in support like the Jo's will most likely be rewarded.

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Since his parents have the document (late queen’s letter)

I thought Amogae found the letter and took it to Gil-hyun to read. I didn't think he returned the letter to Madame Jo as it would have been his "insurance policy." Did I miss something?

Sonny boy may still be studying for his civil service exams.

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Madame Jo is very smart. There is no way she'd let Amogae go without a bargain. The letter would prove that they support the deposed queen. (The current crown prince's biological mother).
At the time of the trial the guards were arresting the deposed queen's supporters. The Jos would've been arrested too if the letter was revealed.

Second, it was the insurance for their son's future. Since the current crown prince is the deposed queen's biological son, he would be the next king and he would look favorably upon those who supported his mother.

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That's how I understood the logistics, too. But once the letter was out of his hands, he'd lose his leverage. The show didn't depict any dickering, so I didn't think that bargain with the letter had been struck. Rather, I thought the sale with Secretary Eom as buyer had gone through after Amogae received his goods and money back.

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We shall see. It doesn't make sense for her to let him go with a criminating evidence and their future. That would be very stupid.
Obviously the letter was no use to him. She won in the end.

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Ah yes; the dreaded cliffs of doom. One of these days, a sageuk is going to shock us all by having someone fall off of a cliff and then actually die. It will be legitimately shocking.

I enjoyed this episode; glad that goofy Gil Dong will be leaving us soon. A competent Gil Dong with cool super-powers is kind of what I signed up for in the first place, so now promises are being delivered upon. Though I am most sad to see Ah Mo Gae bite the dust. His performance in these first six episodes did much to sell me on a peasant/slave crime ring sageuk; outwitting nobles and royals and gradually getting deeper and deeper over his head.

I wonder if Gil Dong's brother will take the state exams now, as the story tells us he will. That could lead to its own interesting dynamic. The sister, sadly, I fear is not long for this world.

Finally, I hope the crew makes it out okay; they've been far too much fun to leave now!

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I'm curious why I don't see Eorini in the cast listings on Asianwiki, etc. Is she getting killed off soon? I hope not. Does she use another name?

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They are on live shoot so they might bring her back later as an adult.

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After watching this episode raw and with subtitles right before reading tineybeanie's recap, and then sleeping on it, suddenly everything started clicking into place vis-a-vis Gil-dong and the tiger.

I have to fangirl for a bit on the terrific job Writer-nim Hwang Jin-Young is doing in establishing the metaphysical underpinnings of REBEL -- just as she did in THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK-HYANG.

By way of background, in the earlier drama, a tree and an animal prominently figure as protective entities. The title character is named by her father after the mythical "Centennial Fragrance" tree whose flowering once a century (reminiscent of a Hawaiian silversword) is reputed to usher in a period of peace, healing, and new beginnings for the kingdom of Baekje and its people. It is also known as the "Protector of Baekje." Owing to a traitorous ancestor, the heroine is raised in hiding in a neighboring kingdom under a different name, Seol-nan ("Winter Orchid"). Eventually she grows into her true name, and literally becomes the Protector of Baekje.

In her quest to locate her lost younger sister, Seol-nan becomes a spy in the king of Baekje's secret service. Members of the force carry a tattoo of a tapir, a fierce and fearsome creature that looks like a pig with antlers. It is reputed to devour nightmares, the implication being that the king can sleep soundly with The Band protecting against enemies foreign and domestic. As she gets in touch with her Inner Tapir and manifests her strength, courage, and cunning as a warrior, Seol-nan further embodies her true name.

So what's this got to do with REBEL? Plenty.

For starters, I've been wondering all along about the meaning of Hong Gil-dong's name, and his brother's, too. We already know the meanings of Amogae's and his daughter's names. Knowing the predilection for wordplay in Kdramas (think OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN), I'd really like to know the meanings of the boys' names. Gil = happiness, as in Dae-gil, "Great Happiness," the ironic name of Jang Hyuk's character in CHUNO?

Even if Gil-dong's name is not freighted with destiny like Seol-nan's true name, he has been born to play a fateful role by dint of his unusual physical strength.

The tenacious evergreen that Amogae introduces Gil-dong to is truly a Tree With Strong Roots that has grown up out of a crevice in the rock of the mountain top. (Do I detect an Ent?! J.R.R. Tolkien's term derives from the Anglo-Saxon for "giant." How apt in relation to Gil-dong.) I see it as a bridge between Heaven and Earth, and a channel of the earthly energies that Gil-dong has been destined to wield as a Mighty Child of the land. Perhaps the kings who most fear strong commoners are tyrants who have lost the mandate of heaven and betrayed their roots?

continued

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continued

I can't help but think of Yggdrasil, the World Tree of Norse mythology, which may tie in with other northern Eurasian shamanic traditions. Four deer are among the creatures who feed on the tree -- and symbolize the four winds. An eagle lives in Yggdrasil's boughs as well. The three Norns, the Fates who weave Past, Present, and Future, are guardians of the sacred ash tree. Their image is suggested in Amogae's initial expansion of the linen weavery from two looms to three.

In reading up on Yggdrasil, I was intrigued to learn that the English words "tree" (actually "oak" used in the generic sense of tree) and "true" in the senses of "to be firm, solid, steadfast" and "faithful, trustworthy, honest, steady in adhering to promises, friends, etc." are etymologically connected. Oak is indeed tough wood -- and the trees themselves are known to survive lightning strikes, unlike many other species. Imagery of trees and strength related to Gil-dong, check. Attributes of honesty, fidelity, and trustworthiness -- all qualities of a leader, check.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=tree

Mountains are the abode of sanshin, local gods -- and their tiger associates. Little Gil-dong's meeting with the tiger on the mountain seems to have turned him into a fraidycat -- or maybe that is just camouflage, like the tiger's stripes. Has he been mesmerized by the tiger? Perhaps he has been entranced or enchanted, and it has taken the deadly attack by Heotaehak’s thugs to awaken his slumbering powers. I was so glad that he did not turn into the Hulk, although I did pick up a Goa'uld vibe when Gil-dong's eyes glowed supernatural green as the wind blew him into berserker mode.

I had to chuckle when I suddenly remembered the old Esso advertising slogan, "Put a tiger in your tank." Gil-dong's Inner Tiger has now been let out of the bag. Along with its unique brand of mayhem.

In reading up on tigers, I learned that they are solitary (like Gil-dong in his travels), but get along better with others of their species than do lions. Tigers are even known to share kills with others of their kind, and to peacefully feed side by side. They are fast, and incredibly strong. Talk about an appropriate power animal for our hero. They are also excellent swimmers, which will certainly come in handy when falling off cliffs into bodies of water.

One other bit of feline imagery also occurs to me regarding Gil-dong's reputation with the ladies. He comes across as a pussycat rather than a combative tomcat. ;-)

Erratum: Here's the link for the etymology of "true" -- which I meant to give above:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=true&allowed_in_frame=0

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Gosh, all the tiger and tree imagery makes sense. I loved your reference to Ents by the way.

I didn't think his fight turned him into Hulk, but tapped into his 'tiger' connection: the roar that makes wind shake the fields, the green eyes, the increased fierceness when wounded, the blood in stripes over his eyes. The wounds inflicted by flying grains would have been like claws.

The tiger is somehow in his subconscious as well. Example: when he had that dream and the tiger sat alongside him.

I still don't understand where this tiger connection comes from, so as I said before, I hope we find out what happened when he met the tiger as a kid.

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Late to the party. It took me a whole five days to watch the Episode That Shows the Downfall of The Hero's Family. Loved it though, this show is amazing.

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can i ask what song was the ending theme song ?

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