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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 11

King Yeonsangun is at the center of our story this time, as multiple threads of power try to tug him in their direction. Gil-dong and his avengers seek the destruction of their enemies through the power of the king, and their subtle placement of pawns seems promising for their ultimate revenge plot. But the king has greater troubles (like ruling a nation), and thus, we get introduced to the politics that transform the naïve king into a jaded ruler.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

Nok-soo elegantly dances in front of the king, and the scene is interwoven with the two other players seeking the king: Gil-dong, who wants to know more about the king for his revenge plot, and Gil-hyun, who’s told by Teacher Song to understand the king in order to become a part of his court.

As Nok-soo finishes her dance, she slips off her outer gown and nervously bows in front of the king. Yeonsangun shows a faint smile and approaches her. He unties the white cap on her head and gently strokes her hair, and when asked if she’s a part of the palace’s female entertainment troupe, Nok-soo confirms and introduces herself (now using the name “Nok-soo”). She explains that she’s named herself after the deep blue color of the Amnok River.

Yeonsangun kneels down to her level and calls her name. He tells her that he enjoyed his time, thanks to her. He smiles at Nok-soo pleasantly, and she seems a little surprised by his intimate response.

Speaking to his fellow Amogae Avengers, Ilchung presumes that the king’s recruitment of a personal troupe speaks to his delicate sensibilities. Yonggae thinks that the king must really like women, since that’s the obvious link to music and entertainment. But Ilchung dismisses that assumption, reporting that the king has never slept with any of the troupe women and has merely gifted the talented ones with trinkets. That same king promises to keep the ruthless Choongwongoon at his side, and this mismatch confuses the group.

While the group expresses doubt and confusion with knowing the king, Gil-dong thinks back to his father’s advice. Amogae told Gil-dong that he knew Master Jo to the core — after forty years of serving the noble, he could even recognize the man’s farts — was able to manipulate Madam Jo to his favor because of this. He then asked Gil-dong what cards he’s holding in his plot.

We return back to the current scene, though we get a couple more flashes back and forth from Amogae and Gil-dong, which shows their aligning similarities. Gil-dong tells his team that he’s going to set up a gibang and insists that he has good reason for this decision, though he doesn’t share his reasoning.

Gil-dong also discusses the new king’s appointment of more government officials in charge of entertainment, who regulate the singing and dancing matters in the palace. He suggests that they take advantage of this opportunity and plant one of their own in this position. He nominates Eop-san for this role, since he’s the best looking of them all. This is up for debate among the rest of the group, especially Yonggae, who seems convinced that he’s better looking (heh).

The next morning, the students bow to Teacher Song before heading off to the palace for the civil service examination. Jeong-hak (grown Young Master) bows respectfully to his mother, Madam Jo, and she tells herself that her son will succeed as a capable judge, since Jeong-hak will serve the king that his father supported (via support of the dethroned queen).

Gil-dong reprises his role as “footstool” and pretends to serve as Choongwongoon’s loyal slave. He announces Choongwongoon’s passage through the village, and he unknowingly passes by Gil-hyun in a group of scholar-hopefuls, who’ve arrived at the palace for the exam. Gil-dong and Gil-hyun each look back at each other, but their tragic timing leaves them in the dark about the other’s survival.

As the scholars settle in for the civil service exam, the king makes his entrance. Gil-hyun observes the king, who makes his presence known with his silent charisma. The scholars are ordered to show their respect to the king, and they all immediately kneel and lie prostrate. One elderly man remains standing to explicitly express the gratitude and honor he feels to be in the presence of the king. The guards rush over to drag the man away, but Yeonsangun mercifully orders his guards to step away.

The civil service examination prompt is revealed: men of talent. Gil-hyun thinks back to his conversation with Teacher Song, who forced him to think from the perspective of his adopted identity, Park Ha-sun. Providing context, Teacher Song told him that he’s the descendant of a scholar who lived in exile after King Danjong (later demoted and named Prince Nosan) was dethroned by King Sejo. So, as the descendant of an exiled scholar who defied King Sejo, how must Gil-hyun assert himself if he wants to work under this new king, who happens to be King Sejo’s grandson?

With that flash of inspiration, Gil-hyun begins to compose his response. He writes: “A ruler’s obligation lies solely in showing bright hope for his people, and the subjects’ obligation lies in following the ruler’s pursuit of this. Since the founding of this nation by King Taejo, when have the ruler and his people exemplified harmonious loyalty? When Prince Nosan abdicated the throne to King Sejo, he did so because he recognized true talent and greatness. In response, King Sejo could not refuse the throne in his sincere interest for the nation. This loyalty is so precious and fortunate.”

Yonggae and Segul return to Bandit HQ, and they try to act nonchalant about their return to the team. They bow and apologize to Amogae for their fearful flight from Gil-dong’s revenge plan against Choongwongoon. Amogae calls them fools and reminds them that Gil-dong isn’t his only bloodline — they belong to his bloodline as well. He welcomes the two scaredy-cat traitors with a forgiving hug, and they look relieved to be back.

As Gil-dong wraps up his “footstool” act, Choongwongoon turns to him before entering his home and requests his services in the future. Gil-dong happily agrees, but his eyes turn cold and strategic as soon as Choongwongoon is out of sight. That’s wrap on their scheming trip, and they head home.

On their way home, the team spots Ga-ryung with a rope of fish, and they wave to her in greeting. She runs towards them but ignores everyone to get to Gil-dong. She worriedly comments that he looks slimmer and shows no care for everyone else who’s returned with him. She asks how he wants to eat the fish, but he simply gives her a blank stare and carries the food home for her.

Ga-ryung happily looks out of the kitchen window as her boys do work, looking sort of like Snow White with her seven Amogae Avengers. She comments on how the noise makes the home seem like a place where real people live, and Eop-san knocks her on the head in affection. She seems to take slight offense, so Gil-dong repays him by nearly knocking him out with a pot. Hee, petty revenge.

Ga-ryung takes over the cooking, and the dwarves team discusses Gil-dong’s harsh treatment of their contacts in Hanyang and his unsupported plan to set up a gibang. Yonggae asks Soboori to talk Gil-dong out of the gibang idea, and they all seem to be in silent agreement against the gibang.

At the dinner table, Gil-dong updates the team on new developments for his gibang, and he seems hopeful that the gibang will become their main hub of information. Before he can continue, Yonggae asks permission from Amogae, who’s always been against gibangs (probably due to his wife). But Amogae doesn’t take a stance and tells them to whatever they want.

Amogae turns to leave, but Gil-dong grabs everyone’s attention by kneeling with a request. He acknowledges everyone’s worries about Choongwongoon receiving the king’s letter and their seemingly impossible feat of revenge, but he has a plan. He plans on using the king to turn against Choongwongoon. Amogae smiles at this revelation and asks if this is the card he’s using in his plot. Gil-dong nods and smiles back.

At the palace troupe’s quarters, Nok-soo brags to Wolhamae about the king’s pleasure with her dancing. She shows off the gold trinket that she earned, and Wolhamae bites it (ha) before immersing her in complete awe. Eunuch Kim recruits a new batch of entertainers for the king, but Nok-soo is disappointed when she’s not included. In a turn of events, Wolhamae is invited, and she’s overjoyed by this opportunity. Nok-soo follows Eunuch Kim outside, and Eunuch Kim invites her to join the selected troupe tonight, in case the king just forgot to include her.

Wolhamae strums her mandolin and sings for the king, and he listens to her song with his eyes closed while Nok-soo watches him closely. When she finishes her performance, Yeonsangun comments that he recognizes the song from Goryeo (the previous dynasty). Wolhamae suddenly becomes worried that a song from Goryeo is not allowed, but he assures her that melodies have no boundaries.

Yeonsangun also asks Wolhamae about the name she gave her mandolin. She explains that men have close childhood friends that they refer to as “ball friends” (pfft — she almost says “testicle friends”), and since she has no balls, she refers to her mandolin as her “daenggi friend” (daenggi refers to the ribbon that girls tie in their hair throughout their childhood). Yeonsangun gets a good laugh out of that, and Wolhamae looks relieved and pleased by his response.

Nok-soo, on the other hand, looks disappointed, and afterwards, Eunuch Kim tells her again that the king is different from other men. He says that the king only recognizes the most precious, most beautiful, and most exceptional talent. While Nok-soo does boast a unique melody, she must become more exceptional to the point where a sole note in her melody could comfort the king. Only then will Eunuch Kim help her, as his only desire is to see the king smile.

The scholar-hopefuls crowd around the civil service examination results, and Gil-hyun drags moping Jeong-hak, who’s convinced that he failed the exam (he blames his diarrhea). Gil-hyun checks the names and congratulates his friend when he finds Jeong-hak’s name on the list. Jeong-hak is shocked but even more overjoyed when he discovers Gil-hyun’s name (Park Ha-sung) on the list with him. They’ve passed together!

Gil-hyun bows to Teacher Song and thanks him for such an opportunity. Teacher Song tells Gil-hyun that he should not worry about repaying him; instead, he should focus on becoming a pillar for the nation. Madam Jo tells her son the same thing and gifts her son with a string with two jade beads, a sign of a scholar. The same situation is mirrored with Gil-hyun and Teacher Song, who says that becoming a pillar for the nation is simple: just diligently advise the king. It does sound simple when he puts it that way.

As Gil-dong roasts chestnuts, his father encourages him to go as far as he can to defeat Choongwongoon and reclaim the silver mine. Then, Gil-dong will surely be acknowledged by his peers and enemies. Amogae adds a warning that people follow fools who make decisions and take responsibility because they themselves hate doing so. But these fools have no idea what’s ahead of them and the top fool ultimately leads these followers through tortuous conditions. Amogae asks Gil-dong to not be a fool, to not put their team in danger. Gil-dong nods and reassures his father.

Magistrate Eom funds the setup of their new gibang and suggests a name: Hwalbin, with “hwal” meaning revival and “bin” meaning beauty. He claims that the concept of revival is very important to men, and Gil-dong likes the idea. So they establish their new gibang, the Hwalbin House, all approving of the name.

Ga-ryung walks around the bustling Hwalbin House and stops to watch the gisaeng dance. She stares longingly at them, and Gil-dong asks what she’s looking at. She responds that she’s thinking about Nok-soo, who was so beautiful and also kind to her. She asks if Gil-dong thinks about Nok-soo, but he simply tells her to go home.

Ga-ryung talks to herself, addressing Nok-soo. She knows that Nok-soo hasn’t forgotten Gil-dong yet, so she apologizes. But she has no regrets because she plans on sticking to the person she likes and living happily. Sitting alone, Gil-dong looks at the moon, thinking about Nok-soo and his promise to return to her. Ilchung interrupts his thoughts, and Gil-dong gets his head back in the game. Their next step is to retrieve Choongwongoon.

Heotaehak casts the bait by informing Choongwongoon that the “footstool” slave works at a gibang and has reached out with an invitation, promising the best service. Choongwongoon seems pleased and takes the bait. He arrives at Hwalbin House, and Gil-dong immediately greets him as the “footstool” sycophant persona. Gil-dong showers Choongwongoon with all the extravagant food and entertainment, and deep into the drunken night, he asks Choongwongoon about the king’s letter. He suggests that such good news is for sharing, but Choongwongoon doesn’t fall for it.

A drunk and happy Choongwongoon leaves Hwalbin House the next morning, and Soboori sees him out. Soboori goes to wake the rest of the team, who’ve passed out from entertaining their guest all night. Ga-ryung brings honey water for the hangover, but of course, she’s only brought one bowl for Gil-dong. He downs the hangover cure while the other look at him with envy. He doesn’t seem to notice and announces the next part of their plan: They will delve further into Choongwongoon’s contacts at a gathering to celebrate the king’s letter, which they will host here at Hwalbin House.

Choongwongoon hosts his celebration and reads the poem from the king to his invited guests, who don’t seem too pleased to be there. While Choongwongoon boasts about his letter, Gil-dong tells his gisaeng noonas that they must find out as much as they can about the guests that night. Old gisaeng friend Sun-ah seems to be in charge, and she tells her underlings to follow his orders.

Outside, Ga-ryung educates Keutsae, Yonggae, and Segul about the three important things for a gibang: alcohol, music, and a listening ear. By listening ear, she means their detection of trends to relay to the gisaeng, so that they can provide quality entertainment for their guests. She tells them to watch and learn, and she leads them to cater to the guests.

Gil-dong and Ilchung meet with Eop-san, who’s deep in disguise at the government office. He’s starting to form connections with the palace servants, and Gil-dong pushes him to forge stronger connections so they can gain intel.

Later that night, Gil-dong assigns more roles to his team. He tells Soboori to continue collecting information that passes through Hanyang at Hwalbin House, and Soboori says that he’ll do so with his listening ear (he gives Ga-ryung a quick nod, and she smiles proudly). Next, Gil-dong assigns Yonggae and Segul to check in with Choongwongoon’s guests from the celebration and report any findings. Then, he tells Keutsae to keep his connections up with the incense and lamp palace workers. And finally, Gil-dong says that he’ll continue acting as the loyal footstool.

Eop-san brings trinkets into the palace for the lady servants, and we see these king’s servants transition out of the white mourning garments into their regular clothing. Yeonsangun enters the court, where the higher officials argue over the punishment of a civilian who caught a cow. Nobleman Noh argues that the civilian does not deserve such serious punishment, as unnecessary civilian deaths and higher official resignations have resulted. As they argue over the right punishment for this deed, we see Gil-hyun and Jeong-hak transcribing the arguments in the back.

Yeonsangun laughs at the ridiculous pleas for punishment, since killing a cow before the traditional memorial service (held three months after the burial) is not such a grave wrongdoing to warrant multiple higher officials to resign from their positions. The opposing officials criticize the king for not attending the government administration’s discussion and watching archery instead. They ask how he will become the ideal ruler, but Yeonsangun responds that his stupidity won’t allow for such greatness.

Even when insulted by his own court, Yeonsangun maintains his composure and awards his officials with alcohol and meat for their display of patriotism. With that, he leaves his court with the issue unresolved. Outside of the palace, scholars demand that the king investigate Nobleman Noh for his immoral ways.

Yeonsangun listens to the cries of the scholars appealing for the harsh punishment of Nobleman Noh, but he seems to read these cries as attacks on him. He believes that the attack on Nobleman Noh is merely a vehicle to target the king. It seems that these past months have jaded the king, as we see a new fire and hatred in Yeonsangun’s eyes.

At Amogae Avengers HQ, Ga-ryung reports to the team about the Confucian scholars traveling to Hanyang to demand punishment of Nobleman Noh and those who disrespected the mourning period. They wonder if that’s such a big deal and point out that Choongwongoon has surely disrespected that time with his celebrations at the gibang.

Segul also reports that there’s word about Choongwongoon stealing money from the king’s finances. This seems to have potential to bring down Choongwongoon, but they don’t have corroborative evidence or the network to prove this to the king. But Gil-dong says that they won’t need evidence, since the king has shown more interest in rumors. It doesn’t take much to plant a rumor in the palace.

Sure enough, Yeonsangun overhears the lady servants gossip about Choongwongoon’s theft, and upon further investigation, Eunuch Kim reports that this may be true. On top of that, Eunuch Kim reports on Choongwongoon’s extravagant celebrations, where he invited many of the royal court ladies. Yeonsangun looks visibly irked by this.

Gil-dong meets with his father and says that he hopes that they can crush Choongwongoon like the walnut he crushes with his bare hands. Ilchung arrives with good news: Choongwongoon has been summoned to Hanyang by the king. Gil-dong looks hopeful, but Amogae frowns in suspicion, sensing that this may be too easy.

Choongwongoon arrives at the palace bearing gifts and looking hopeful, but he’s disappointed when Eunuch Kim reports that the king is “too busy” to meet him. Eunuch Kim tells Choongwongoon the real reason for his summoning by hinting that the king heard the rumors about theft from the royal finances. Later that day, Choongwongoon drowns his sorrows with alcohol at the gibang, and Gil-hyun pretends to get fired up about these unfair rumors. Choongwongoon cries about the injustice done on him, the grandson of the great King Sejo.

It seems that the king only bestowed a minor punishment on Choongwongoon, merely blocking the royal prince’s access to Hanyang. The deflated Amogae Avengers shake their heads at the awful strength of the royal bloodline, but Gil-dong doesn’t seem too discouraged. He knew that they wouldn’t have succeeded the in their first attempt and looks determined.

Soboori takes Gil-dong to see Amogae, whose condition seems to be worsening. Soboori tells Gil-dong that they must work harder so that Amogae can witness the revenge on Choongwongoon soon. Gil-dong sits with his father, who assures him that all their work was worth their while. Despite the meager punishment, the king probably thinks lowly of Choongwongoon. Still, Amogae knows that this is not enough. They need something more decisive, and Amogae asks if there is anything that might provoke the king’s wrath.

That night, the team assembles to share their collected information about the king. Ga-ryung says that the king has recently become less responsive to the Confucian scholars’ pleas and has refused any company. Apparently, all he does now is watch fire burn by himself. That seems to give Gil-dong an idea.

At the palace, we see Yeonsangun watching fire intensely. He tells his servants to fuel the fire, and he seems mesmerized by it. Gil-dong thinks to himself about what could possibly enrage the king. Something seems to click, and he says, “The king’s wrath.”

 
COMMENTS

Ah yes, here’s the Yeonsangun we were introduced to. I found the transition from the innocent sensitive king to this devilish version a bit abrupt, but I trust that there’s more to learn about this transformation process in future episodes. It seems like mere months of ruling were enough to ruin our king’s sensibilities and turn him into a jaded ruler, unwilling to acquiesce to the demands of his officials. His innocent idealism in his expectations of the king landed him in a deeper hole of dread upon the realization of the reality that ruling a nation is more about politics that its people. The build-up of this tension of what the king understands to be his role and the reality of it seems to be at the crux of what makes Gil-dong the ultimate thief of the people.

Though we only get Gil-hyun’s story in bits and pieces, I am eagerly anticipating his story arc. I find his friendship with Jeong-hak quite endearing, and I’m already sad that they may turn into mortal enemies when they realize each other’s true identities. I want to convince them that they can still be friends, but then I remember that Amogae murdered Master Jo and realize that this friendship is ultimately impossible.

I can only hope that they learn to navigate the palace together before they’re left to fend for themselves in becoming pillars for the nation. Teacher Song seemed to label the job of a scholar as deceivingly simple. But the simple task of advising the king is surely complex, especially for Gil-hyun, who will find himself at a crossroads when he discovers that his family is alive. It will be an internal (and also literal) war to figure out where his loyalties lie, and I find that future conflict intriguing.

I love all the scheming and patient undercover personas, but we do seem to be stuck in a more narrative-building aspect of the show. We’re seeing how the revenge plot is becoming much bigger with the involvement of the king, which inevitably requires much more time to build and more patience to get through. For that reason, it seems like the revenge plotting was put on the back burner for this episode to focus on the beginning of the king’s transformation. I did enjoy the history and political tensions portrayed through Yeonsangun, and it’s certainly getting to the exciting conflict between the king and Gil-dong. But I think I enjoy the show more with our Amogae Avengers at the central storyline. Thankfully, the show tries to balance out the dense politics with some cheeky humor, growing camaraderie, and puppy love — enough for everyone to get a bowl of honey water for that politics headache.

 
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Thanks for the recap!

But I think I enjoy the show more with our Amogae Avengers at the central storyline.

It's the opposite for me. Not that I don't enjoy Amogae Avengers but for once, I am happy that this show focuses on how each character changes with circumstances, time and turn of events, some of which are very gradual.

I don't think the King is 'devilish' now. Only his fascination or absorption with the fire gives hint to the under current of madness or rage within.

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i like how we get to see the progress of the King becoming evil unlike in Scarlet Heart where every time someone sits on the throne they suddenly become evil

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Scarlet Heart is an example of lazy or bad writing. They can't give excuse that there was too much to squeeze into 20 eps because they squandered time on meaningless and redundant scenes.

Although some might not like the pace in Rebel, I am quite fine with it. Rarely in one show am I so interested in this many characters. First it was mostly Amogae but now I am really intrigued by how Nok Soo, Ga Ryung, King and Gil Hyun will change. So far, the characters make sense. Not sure if my bar is set low because I have had more than my fair share of nonsensical characters. Even Madam Jo who I hate and portrayed wonderfully by Seo Yi Sook. She isn't just a flat evil villain. She has her own utopia, her beliefs and principals as unjust as they are.

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"unlike in Scarlet Heart where every time someone sits on the throne they suddenly become evil"

this must be the power of throne lol.

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i thk theres literaly a scene where Wang So tell Hae Soo the throne makes ppl evil. That was before he develop the intention to sit on it.
And i guess he got punished by it- seeing as he lived life all alone at the top of the throne

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Oh i see. Honestly I just watched first few epi, maybe around 3 or 4 epi so I couldn't remember the story that much.

In most sageuk - throne is the most lonely place and it can lead to evils. Whoever sits on the throne not only worry about how to maintain the power and authority he has, also how to protect the throne from being taken over by someone else.

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Ah! The Power of the Throne indeed!

Even then, the shift and corruption are not always immediate. In dramas like SH, the change is more akin to that of the ring in Lord of The Rings which power has an immediate hold on the wearer.

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Haha. I will actually be happier to watch if such ring exist in drama like SH. Or fight over the mystery robe or cloak. The holder will hold the strongest power (including magic power etc).

p/s currently I am watching Eternal Love so bear with me I am living in fantasy world atm. lol ?

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I was like - What's Eternal Love? I've only heard of Ten Miles Peach Blossoms a.k.a 3310.

Then, I found out it's the same! This must be a real crack, I've read of so many who are crazy about the drama.

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You know I am actually having difficulties watching this drama as I dont quite understand here and there lol, but God everything is so beautiful.

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Sera, don't they have subtitles? I recall seeing the drama on the usual websites which have English subs. Or are you saying it's complex? I thought it was just fantasy and fluff :P

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*raises hand to make a nerdy comment*
This Lord of the Rings purist has to disagree with the idea that the Ring had immediate power on the wearer. The movies showed it as something that hypnotized and overwhelmed the wearer (Frodo O.O). Actually, it initially made the wearer more powerful - the movies did not show Sam wearing the Ring when barging into Cirith Ungol for example, frightening the daylight out of the orcs who thought they saw some kind of giant elf warrior. Ultimately however, the Ring would overthrow the bearer if he/she tried to give it away (Bilbo was extraordinary here), or destroy it (Isildur ,Frodo), or if he was morally weak in the first place (Smeagol/Gollum, who still kept a sliver of sanity for c. 500 years).

Sorry, just to conclude: The Ring was by nature evil... the Throne isn't essentially evil is it? There is nothing that determines that Yeonsanggun will become evil. It's about his choices and the circumstances around him. All in all the drama has embraced the idea of personal will making a difference, for good or bad, leaving very little to fate. That is what I liked about the Princess' Man, and am enjoying it in Rebel.

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I also love how the drama will bring us. Kim Ji Suk did many funny roles lately, so I cannot wait to see him become evil in this drama. I am also looking forward King's relationship with Nok soo in the upcoming episodes.

The rating decreased a little in this week's episodes but still two digits, so I am fine with that. Probably more viewers tune in to see Ji Sung's reunite with his daughter in Defendant.

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I haven't seen Kim Ji Suk in anything else, so I can't imagine him in a comedic role at all!! Any suggestions?

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KJS has been playing second leads for the longest time. I've like him since Cheongdamdong Alice, he was great in there. But I think his most famous drama is Chuno, which I have not watched. A more recent drama would be Another Oh Hae Young, I like him in there too. Then he had the wackiest cameo in Drinking Solo.

His roles have been either completely comedy or partly. This is the first time he's playing something totally serious. Like Sera, I can't wait to see how he descends into madness.

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He was the perfect 2nd lead in "I need romance 2". I've had a serious case of Second Lead Syndrome with this one.

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You should check him out in Sassy Go Go, he's the absolute sweetest there as a supportive teacher.

It's quite a trip to watch him and Chae Soo-bin in their roles in that drama, and then see them go from that to Rebel.

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I usually dont get second lead syndrome. Only actor makes me mad over second lead is Kim Ji Suk. It started with Wineyard lovers with Yoon Eun Hye and Kim Ji Suk. Also he was the most lovable second lead in “I need romance 2”. I had no love left for first lead in the “I need romance 2”.

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lol and here I am, finding it hard to imaging him as a villain.

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I have to agree. I do enjoy the Amogae Avengers scene more, but I really want to see how the King gradually becomes evil. It still a bit abrupt, but I don't know how many months have passed since those scholars started petitioning outside the palace. I personally would find them very annoying.
Anyone knows how long the mourning period for the king is supposed to last? I read that there is one-year-period and also there is a nine-month-period.

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I enjoy this drama apart from all the serious stuff etc. what I like most about this is that it shows that not all the brainpower resides with Gil Hyun. Gil Dong has proven to be just as intelligent and may be more so than his older brother its just that they have different interests and ways of displaying it. Gil Dong is shown not be only brawn alone as there is no fighting here its more a mental game. As such Amogae is seeing that and more of himself in Gil Dong. What this episode has shown is that Gil Dong's strength is not only physical and he really listens to what his father is saying and applies that knowledge in an efficient manner.

Since we haven't seen Eorini for a while I believe with her arc there is likely to be a time jump for this character. What would the new Eorini be like since being taken? Especially if she felt that she was abandoned by her family when that is not the case with Gil Dong. Its just that she has been hidden well making it very difficult to find her.

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I think part of it is also that until now, Gil-hyun was the one who was the brains of the operation, which freed up Gil-dong to go be the sweet happy-go-lucky peddler who used his considerable intelligence to solve people's love problems. I mean, right until the last time he left Gil-hyun fighting off Choongwongoon's thugs, Gil-hyun was the one who stayed behind to fight (and assumed the authority of the eldest while doing so) while Gil-dong was under orders to take Uhrini and go - which was his role as the younger brother.

But now that Gil-hyun's gone and things changed so drastically, it's Gil-dong who steps up to take over the planning of their operation, and that makes sense, as does Gil-dong's slight hardening in the face of his family's loss.

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@chasen8888,

I very much appreciated in this episode how Amogae and Gil-dong mirror Song Sabu and Gil-hyun/Ha-sung in their quest to identify and master their most important developmental task: to understand the heart of their quarry, albeit for very different purposes. It occurs to me that there's a third parallel to them: Eunuch Kim is giving similar advice to Nok-su. Watching these processes unfold is fascinating.

Since we haven’t seen Eorini for a while I believe with her arc there is likely to be a time jump for this character. What would the new Eorini be like since being taken? Especially if she felt that she was abandoned by her family when that is not the case with Gil Dong. Its just that she has been hidden well making it very difficult to find her.

I've been thinking about Eorini a lot, and suspect that she may have encountered a Confucian scholar. She did not look fearful, so I don't think it was a thug or pursuer who found her as she dug through the ice to get water for her brother. My suspicion is that the person accompanied her to the place where she'd left Gil-dong, but he'd regained consciousness in the meantime and was looking for her elsewhere. Rather than leave her alone, the stranger takes her with him, and being very strict about propriety and deportment, adopts her and has her living a cloistered life in the inner confines of the premises.

After watching PAINTER OF THE WIND and noting that upper-class women were allowed to go outdoors about once a year to ride swings and go swimming in their own strictly segregated bathing area, I have a feeling that Eorini is now living in a scholarly yangban household. It would be ironic if it were Song Sabu who found her, was reminded of his long-lost daughter (niece? granddaughter?), and took her in. Or her rescuer could have been one of Song Sabu's colleagues. For all we know, Eorini could have been living near the academy, but out of sight of the students and their instructors.

I could imagine her getting married to a scholar. For maximum tragic payoff, that would be Young Master Jo. Imagine Park Ha-sung's shock when he goes to his buddy's wedding and discovers his sister, whom he cannot acknowledge without blowing both their covers in from of their family's nemesis, the groom's mother.

Then again, somehow getting Song Ga-ryung married off to Young Master Jo would be another suitably tragic option.

That's what I've been able to puzzle out so far. I'm still itching to learn Ga-ryung's history and family connections.

PS: Thanks for the recap, dramallama!

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My heart sank a little bit when Gil Dong just brushed Ga Ryung away, again. *sigh* why is he still very much ignoring her?

And then those kitchen scene happened. When Eop San playfully smacked Ga Ryung's head and Gil Dong tried to hit Eop San back. It screams "don't you dare to touch my girl !" vibe. Is he playing a tsundere character now? Cute.

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ikr, how long do we have to wait for him to come around already? i squealed when he hit eop san

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HEEEEHEEEEE

I was sad too but he brushed her away and then took everything GaRyung was holding and carried it for her. GilDong is too good at this tsundere character

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* to Gil Dong, singing Mario's song*

'Baby you should let her love you, love you, love you!"

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LOL. I repeated that scene because I didn't see Gil Dong's expression when Eop San smacked Ga Ryung's head. He was so cute.

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I wonder how far ahead they filmed that flash-forward of her tied to the stake in ep 1? Because I'm pretty sure Gl-dong's not pushing her away any more, by then.

I feel like the women of this show and especially Ga-ryung, have been getting very little screen time this week but I hope the focus turns to them eventually and she gets more to do than being domestic in the background. And I won't even lie, I'm very curious about just what could get Gil-dong to stop seeing her as his actual little sister, or Ga-ryung to be less of a fluffy bunny (stake scene again)

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Hands down the best show airing at the moment.

I can't wait for episode 13 (having already seen the next episode - which was SO GOOD).

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So good. All the chess pieces are in the correct place now and I'm just waiting for a checkmate.

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Yup, yup! And more - I'm excited about the upcoming *meeting* (so as to avoid spoilers).

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I like Gil-dong with his fancy bandage-headwrap, it brings out his face.

The King hasn't become Tyrannical evil yet, he's just approaching a no-fucks-to-give territory and everything after that is history. Its a dangerous place to be in life: detached, indifferent, dispassionate with lost enthusiasm for life. Anything can go during that period, someone may be literally dying in front of you but you can't find the will or empathy to help. You damn all the consequences of every action and can't be bothered to think deeply about who it will affect, even if its yourself. Bad bad place. In WFKBJ, she was approaching that place with regards to Weightlifting and if it hadn't been snipped early, it may have trickled into other areas of her life and then, she'll start wondering just what is the meaning of it all, living. Before long, depression and in most cases, suicide. That's why indifference and detachment in life, in general, is so dangerous. Especially exacerbated by the absence of true love and support.

I'm not eager to get to the clashes between Gil Dong and the King yet. I'm beyond satisfied with the detail and care the drama is taking to establish the characters, their motivation, motives and just how we got from point A to the history as we know it. I like that I'm getting to know each character so that by the end, it feels like I've followed them through this epic journey, shared their laughter and tears with them.

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I love Gil Dong with his fancy bandage-headwrap too.

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I do love seeing YKS with his hair up. I guess this is the Joseon version of that :D

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Gil Dong has the worst saeguk mop this year, probably only beaten by Hwarang's Moo Myung. Sweeping it up in the headwrap did wonders but going by the spoilers in ep 1, I think the mop stays :(

Does that mean there was no woman in his life? Or do girls like to ruffle their fingers through this mess?

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Maybe (just maybe) that explains the Korean obsession with mushroom/ ramyun hairstyle in the modern days.

Heck Korean actors look super fine with their hair up. Like seriously no one has told them about that before?

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And the Chinese favor flat rebonded locks!

I think I missed my supper because my stomach just growled at the thought of Gil Dong's mane looking like Korean curly ramyun noodles vs Ye Hua's straight La Mian.

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@ET
LMAO I'm legit having my quick fix of ramyun after typing that comment XD

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.....heaven help me, but I feel like Gil-dong's mop is actually growing on me, desperate need of trimming/conditioner and all.

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Kekeke I'm with you Pogo! I strongly feel like buying Amogae oreushin and Gil-dong hair bands to tie their hair properly but both of their hair styles are growing on me.

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yeah, the king is just heading into 'I don't care anymore' territory, which is where it starts getting dangerous - it's not like he doesn't have people around him who have his best interest at heart, but he doesn't have anything like the familial support structure/comradeship Gil-dong does. Which goes double, since he never had it even as a child.

I do trust the drama's attention to detail, which is why I hope we'll get to find out what became of Uhrini too, and that there's a purpose to that particular loose thread of the story too.

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Good point about having those with his interest at heart but not familial relationship. His father was never really there too. I wonder why.

Can't wait to see what the writer has in store for Eorini.

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Did anyone else feel there was a lot of fart and poop mentions this episode?

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We have a while to go, but I think the drama's doing a good job of pacing the king's transformation from well-meaning but frustrated new ruler, to lashing out/slipping into tyranny. I also like that we're seeing how much of that is the result of his isolation pushing him closer to the edge, and that he's sympathetic even in the middle of all this (more of a "NOOOO DON'T DO THAT!!!" than a "go and die in a fire, you @#%##$*@!" type of character)

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Snow White and the Avengers Dwarves! I thought the same exact thing LOL.

I just want to add that I'm looking forward the most actually to Gil Hyun's story. Gil Dong's revenge plan has become a slower burning project, but Gil Hyun has been thrown right in the middle of the political mess. I feel for you bro, and don't really know what I'd do if I were in your shoes!

PS: The infamous slo-mo missing each other... *groan*

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"The infamous slo-mo missing of each other"

It kills me every time!!!

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and the amount of times they looked back each other but not at the same time !!

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It reminded me so strongly of the same setup in Pinocchio, it's a bit nuts. Only there he was the hyung and here he's the dongsaeng.

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Ah, the old patented Sageuk Ships Passing In The Night Trick(TM) -- with a tip of the hat to Agent 86, Maxwell Smart. The brothers not only fail to see each other -- Gil-hyun apparently doesn't hear Gil-dong as he does his town crier bit. I guess he didn't hear or recognize his voice. Really?!

How could he not notice that towering dude even out of the corner of his eye? Ah, it must be the Sangtu of Invisibility.

Either that or we're supposed to chalk it up to Gil-hyun's pre-exam jitters.

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I grant him some plausible deniability because Gil-dong willingly leading (of all people) Choongwongoon's horse is probably not a likelihood that entered Gil-hyun's mind.

But he should have known the #1 rule of kdrama deaths - no one's dead until you find a clearly identifiable body!

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Also, am I the only one that thought Gil-dong turned the horse into a donkey just by standing beside it?! I can't be the only one, right?

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