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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 13

After patiently laying the groundwork for revenge, our bandits are finally collecting their dues. Gil-dong sets up all his pawns and shows us that his strength is not the only asset he brings to the table. His clever manipulation of greater powers speaks to his intelligence and willingness to bend to the rules, which perhaps isn’t the cleanest way to go about revenge. But the ends justifies the means in this game, and revenge has no rules in anyone’s book. His enemies better be ready to reap what they sow.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

Gil-dong is dragged into the jail where Choongwongoon resides, and he acts as the loyal “footstool,” worried about his precious royal highness. But once they’re separated by the jail cells, Gil-dong becomes explicitly two-faced. Gil-dong smirks at Choongwongoon’s assumption that his dim “footstool” will do as told at the hearing, while we see in a quick flashback that Gil-dong planted an accusatory note in Choongwongoon’s porn book (which Heotaehak stole right after Choongwongoon’s subpoena).

Ja-kwang explains to the scholars that Choongwongoon’s hearing will be heavily guarded and omitted from records because they will be interrogating a royal. The king has only allowed select officials to be present at the trial, but Ja-kwang extends an invitation to Gil-hyun, since he played a big role in finding evidence. But Gil-hyun refuses the offer, wishing to follow the king’s orders without exception.

At the trial, Choongwongoon yells about this injustice, vowing to prove his innocence. He looks relieved at the sight of Yeonsangun, but his smile drops when the king doesn’t show any sign of familiarity. Ja-kwang provides the background on the trial: In the process of uprooting Kim Jong-jik’s followers, Kim Il-son revealed the names of his students. Among them, Lee Jong-soo accused Choongwongoon of spreading treasonous rumors.

Choongwongoon desperately reminds Yeonsangun about his admiration for the king. Although Yeonsangun looks more sympathetic and hesitant in response to Choongwongoon’s pleas, he lets the trial commence.

Outside the gates, Jeong-hak tells Gil-hyun that the king has begun the trial. Jeong-hak wishes he could be present at the trial to witness this, but he suspects that the king may just be orchestrating this trial with no real intention of punishing Choongwongoon. He points out that the witnesses are two loyal followers of Choongwongoon, so the king may be providing a way out for his royal family. At that realization, Gil-hyun looks worried.

At the trial, Lee Jong-soo (captured as a colleague of Kim Il-son) enters and testifies against Choongwongoon. Although he was not particularly close with the royal, he’s attended his parties and claims that he definitely heard Choongwongoon speak defamatory comments about King Sejo. Choongwongoon erupts in indignation, and Lee Jong-soo is pressured to provide further support for his claims.

In a flashback, we see Gil-dong providing Lee Jong-soo with private information that Choongwongoon shared in confidence. At the trial, Lee Jong-soo shares his knowledge about the eagle gift exchange between the king and Choongwongoon, and the disclosure of this private exchange paints Choongwongoon as a gossiper, thus planting suspicion in the king.

The witnesses are summoned next. Heotaehak has yet to respond to the summoning, but “footstool” Gil-dong arrives in court with an innocent mask on. Eunuch Kim recognizes Gil-dong with shock and watches Gil-dong happily greet Choongwongoon. Gil-dong nods at the order to testify as told, but his smile gradually morphs into a serious face, ready for business.

At the musician troupe’s quarters, the jealous women criticize Nok-soo for reporting rumors to the king, and Wolhamae tries to disprove these criticisms by asking Nok-soo herself. But Nok-soo confirms her deeds. She’s divorced and left her child, so she’s using any means possible to prove her worth to the king. Nok-soo vows to get to the top and repay the world for all the hardship it bestowed on her. Looking afar with nostalgia, Nok-soo shares with Wolhamae that her time with Gil-dong must have been a dream. Other fates — not love and happiness — are allotted to her life, she claims.

Back at Bandit HQ, Ga-ryung assures Amogae that Gil-dong will return safely, since she threatened him to do so. He mirrors her smile, but her smile turns doubtful. She asks if Gil-dong will really be okay, and Amogae nods with assurance.

Gil-dong testifies in the trial and acts clueless when they ask about Choongwongoon committing treason (“Huh, what’s that?”), so they dumb it down and ask if Choongwongoon spread any bad rumors about King Sejo. Initially, Gil-dong only has positive things to say on Choongwongoon’s behalf, claiming that the royal only boasted of his grandfather supporting King Sejo and of his respect for the late king. Then, he gets creative.

Gil-dong claims that Choongwongoon got in a fight with Lee Jong-soo, and this is news to Choongwongoon. Gil-dong nods at Lee Jong-soo, and they proceed with their aligned stories. Gil-dong claims that Choongwongoon found no issue with King Sejo taking in Lady Yoon and Lady Kwon, since he was the ruler. Lee Jong-soo continues on with the story, confirming that Choongwongoon found no problem with King Sejo raping Lady Yoon and Lady Kwon, who were both concubines of King Sejo’s son.

At the “realization” that King Sejo raped his daughter-in-laws, Gil-dong reacts with surprise and claims that he had no idea. Lee Jong-soo continues to testify with another claim, a true one this time. He reports that Choongwongoon found no issue with King Sejo’s disposal of his nephew’s corpse (Prince Nosan, formerly King Danjong) to feed to the wild beasts. Gil-dong fans the fire, and Choongwongoon orders him to say no more.

Turning to the king, Choongwongoon tries to explain his side. But Yeonsangun doesn’t listen and expresses his disappointment that Choongwongoon actually believed these bad rumors. The guilty Choongwongoon gets dragged away while demanding that Heotaehak to stand as witness, and Gil-dong smiles to himself. Eunuch Kim observes Gil-dong from afar and smiles to himself as well.

Heotaehak packs his valuables, ready to flee the area while Gil-dong and Choongwongoon fight. Mori admits that he has known about his leader’s deal with Amogae, but Heotaehak doesn’t intend on joining the bandit brotherhood. Instead, he’s looking to pull the rug from under their feet and take over the silver mine while they’re diligently fighting off Choongwongoon.

The king wonders if Choongwongoon is simply a foolish but true supporter of King Sejo or if he’s performing with a loyal façade while actually disparaging the king. He hopes that it’s the former, but he will have no mercy if Choongwongoon proves to be disloyal.

Upon the king’s orders, the royal guards search through Choongwongoon’s house. Gil-hyun joins the guards in the room and notices a piece of paper stuck in the cover of the porn book. It’s a copy of the incriminating eulogy.

Gil-hyun brings this evidence to the king, who then determines his course of action. He releases Lee Jong-soo and the “footstool” servant, since they were important players in capturing a traitor. Then, he renounces Choongwongoon’s official connection with the royal family and orders a thorough search, deprived of all the royal immunities.

Gil-dong greets the newly released Lee Jong-soo and thanks him for his help. Lee Jong-soo reciprocates the gratitude, saying that he never thought he could be free because of Kim Il-son’s accusation. He reunites with his young daughters, and Gil-dong nods at Yonggae and Ilchung upon completion of their successful mission.

The bandits return to the Hwalbin House, where Ga-ryung paces back and forth in worry. She approaches them with anticipation and asks where Gil-dong is. They remain silent and look solemn, so Ga-ryung assumes the worst and begins to cry. Then, Gil-dong appears, and the bandit crew gets a good laugh out of teasing adorable Ga-ryung. She claims that she wasn’t worried about Gil-dong and walks away from him, and he smiles.

With no royal protections this time, Choongwongoon is interrogated by Gil-hyun. He’s shown the written eulogy found in the porn book that Gil-dong gifted him, and everything comes together. Choongwongoon demands that the “footstool” be re-summoned to court, but the evidence is all too clear now. Gil-hyun orders the guards to continue with the punishment, and we see that these guards were bribed by our bandits to really punish this man of debauchery. They hit Choongwongoon with all their might, and with a slip of the paddle, they injure his crown jewels.

News of Choongwongoon’s big injury reaches Eunuch Kim, but when he reports this to the king, he shows little worry for his now estranged royal family member. He simply tells Eunuch Kim to find a place for Choongwongoon’s exile.

Eop-san urgently runs to the Hwalbin House, where the bandits are waiting for the punishment verdict. They interpret Eop-san’s hesitance as bad news — that Choongwongoon would be released after a beating because of the royal family connection. But they’ve assumed wrong, and Eop-san happily reports that Choongwongoon has been exiled. They jump and hug in celebration of this miracle. They framed the wretched royal!

Gil-dong returns to Bandit HQ to report this good news to his father, but he finds his father’s limp body sitting outside. He cautiously calls out to his father, and Amogae slowly lifts his head (oh thank god). Gil-dong tells his father of Choongwongon’s punishment, and he takes his father’s hand to watch a good sight.

A bloody and weak Choongwongoon lies in his jail cell, and Gil-hyun approaches him with a confession that he’s been wanting to meet him. He didn’t know this moment would come so soon, but he wishes for Choongwongoon to experience living hell in the harsh conditions of his exile.

On his way to exile the next morning, Choongwongoon gets shamed by the villagers, who throw rocks and food at him. He looks up and finds a line of familiar faces watching him from a veranda. He first spots Amogae, then gibang owner Soboori, then the line of bandits who entertained him at the gibang, and finally, “footstool” Gil-dong. He remembers Madam Jo’s warning about Amogae’s ominous second son and identifies Gil-dong as that son. They send off the enemy, and Amogae requests that they head to Ikhwari.

Choongwongoon is thrown into his shabby exile home, and as he tries to fall asleep, he finds maggots next to him. He greets them and says that no one else seeks his company. He miserably wonders if this is how he will spend his life.

The bandits travel back to Ikhwari, where they are welcomed warmly by the villagers. Eop-san’s father limps toward his oldest friend, Amogae, and they embrace. Eop-san holds his father in an emotional homecoming to his family. Magistrate Eom also makes an appearance and welcomes Amogae back to his home.

Amogae reminisces on the olden days with Soboori, Magistrate Eom, and Yonggae. They tell the stories and laugh over drinks, and Amogae watches them with a whiff of distant nostalgia.

Amogae gathers everyone and announces that he wants to create a family name. He reveals it to be “Hong”, which means “boisterous.” He explains that they eat and drink and laugh with each other nonstop, so he finds the name to be fitting. Their family name will be Hong, and their homeland will be Ikhwari.

They go around calling each other with their family names, from Hong Ilchung to Hong Yonggae to Hong Segul to Hong Kkeutsae to Hong Eop-san (it’s very cute). And finally, Hong Gil-dong. Amogae nods and says it again: Hong Gil-dong.

Amogae watches the sun set from his home, and Gil-dong covers his father with another layer. Amogae tells his son that he doesn’t need to think too hard. “You live because you’re born, fight because you need to fight, and when the time comes, you die.” He hands his prayer beads to Gil-dong, and Gil-dong hesitantly accepts them. The time has come to pass on the legacy.

Madam Jo hears from Jeong-hak about Choongwongon’s exile and rushes to find him. She catches him just as he’s about to hang himself, and she asks how he ended up in this state. He cries that Amogae is still alive and condemned him to this place, and Madam Jo is shocked at this news.

Seeking help, Madam Jo approaches Scholar Song and asks that he meet someone who was a strong pillar for the nation. She describes a group of people who cannot be crushed and accuses them of framing Choongwongoon.

At Ikhwari, Amogae downs a bottle of alcohol and claims that he feels much more alive at his home. He stands up and gives them a big bow, thanking them for following his ordinary self into fire and ice, for living and eating together. Thanks to them, he’s lived a fun life. They cheer to the Hong family, and Amogae joyfully drinks away.

Gil-dong helps his father into bed that evening, and his father calls his son, Gil-hyun. That reminds Gil-dong about his lost brother and sister. He insisted to his bandit crew that they continue to search for them, but Eop-san showed him Eorini’s shoe as evidence of her death and revealed that his father wanted to keep this a secret from his hurting son.

Back at his father’s bedside, Gil-dong takes his father’s hand and cries. He thinks back to his father’s plea for Gil-dong to forget his family, fly away to great heights, and live a different life from his father.

Gil-dong falls asleep next to his father, and Amogae dreams of Gil-dong. He asks the shaman in his dream about how Gil-dong can live out his fate. She tells him that Gil-dong will die. If the granted powers are not used for good, the person will die, and Gil-dong is using his powers in the wrong way.

Gil-dong wakes up to his father watching him. Amogae tells his son that they’ll go to meet their mother. Gil-dong nods, unaware of the implications of that request.

 
COMMENTS

Now we’re getting somewhere. There’s no such thing as free lunch, or more fittingly, no such thing as power without consequences. Although I would rather that Gil-dong pave his own path to use his immense strength for good, I like the limitations set on Gil-dong’s strength. There are rules to his existence and limitations on his free will, and these are the consequences of being granted such great power. With great power comes great responsibility, and as cliché as that may be, it holds true for any worthy hero.

This was an incredibly enjoyable episode, but not only because of the successful result. I found the whole trial process to be very well-crafted, keeping me engaged and invested in how Choongwongoon would face the demons of his own creation. I love how sneaky the whole revenge plot was and how Gil-dong was able to manipulate his own identity as a dim footstool servant without revealing all of his cards. He never revealed any ill will towards Choongwongoon; rather, he stuck to his script and crafted a believable response as his footstool character. Only when Gil-dong was free from Choongwongoon’s reach did the pieces come together for the royal pain in the ass. It was genius, cheeky, and cathartic, mirroring his father’s clever manipulation of his trial back in the day.

Perhaps the more tragic element of this revenge was Gil-hyun’s unknowing contribution to Choongwongoon’s exile. The show elevates the tragedy by encouraging Gil-hyun’s role in pursuing this revenge while also changing Gil-hyun’s character. He’s become the king’s favorite scholar, but only through blind loyalty to the throne. His ties to family and justice are being diluted by his involvement in the king’s politics, and I’m sad to see his character become increasingly distant from our bandits. To be fair, he still believes his whole family was obliterated by Choongwongoon’s wrath, but I wonder what will become his new purpose now that the evil royal has been banished. I’m mostly afraid that he’s been uprooted and planted to become a mindless follower of the king. And that loyalty may blind him from noticing his family’s existence.

On the upside, it seems that overcoming this great tragedy has bound our bandits to become more than just blood brothers — they’ve become family. Amogae’s establishment of their family name was heartwarming and so darn cute, with everyone calling each other by their collective family name. In the cruelest fashion, almost every Amogae moment in this episode was happy and seemed to hint at his death. It seems like Amogae is making moves to prepare his family for his passing, but I have an inkling he may not be through with his nine lives quite yet. The show has fooled me many times about Amogae’s death, and I won’t believe a single thing until I see it for myself. Cheers to your remaining lives, Amogae. Don’t ever die.

 
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It's just... Heartwarming. As usual Eorini has not been shown yet. Ah please, show yourself soon.

Just a question though, are the rumours about King Sejo really rumours? What does the history say about it?

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My Wikipedia-level knowledge doesn't include anything about leaving royal bodies out in the woods, or messing with his son's concubines, but he did kill off his nephew after deposing him, and he killed his own brother.

He would have fit right in with any kdrama chaebol royal family :)

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King Sejo was similar to King Taejong (Lee Bangwon). Despite their bloody path to the throne they were the most capable and Joseon advanced during their reign.
They were two of Joseon's great rulers with King Sejong above them as the greatest. (King Sejong was Taejong's son and King Sejo's father).
(Eps 11: I love how the writer used "men of talent" as the king's topic for the civil exam. A clever justification for his grandfather's right to rule. King Sejo was a man of great talents who ruled with absolute power which allows him to be remarkably effective as a king).

We often feel frustrated with weak kings who are unable to rule the country because the ministers held more power. King Sejo's nephew Tanjong (Prince Prince Nosan) was only 10 or 12yrs old when he ascended the throne. His father left him to the care of the prime minister Hwangbo In and vice minister Kim Jong-seo. He probably fear his younger brothers who were more capable than his young son.
Tanjong became the puppet king and the battle began between the yangban ministers and the rest of the royal family.

It's easy to condemned King Sejo as murderer and usurper but when we look at the whole picture it might tell a different story.

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*condemn*

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A great look at Joseon history from the practical point of view. However, one also has to consider the national psyche. Joseon was not seen as a very legitimate dynasty, to begin with, because it was born out of a bloody coup d'etat Yi Sunggae staged whereby most Wangs of Goryeo Dynasty were brutally killed. And Taejong took it upon himself to do all the dirty, blood-soaked deeds so that his son's generation could start on building a truly peaceful, thriving, civil, cultured nation. However, Sejo set those efforts backward irreversibly by making the dynasty look illegitimate again. A dynasty ruled by force and violence rather than by the rule of law and reason.

There is a reason why those who gave up their lives to protect and side with Danjong are honored as great loyalists even today in Korea whereas those belonging in Sejo's camp (Shin Sookjoo, for example) are seen as icons of treachery and disloyalty.

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That's exactly why I love it that you are here!

I usually state my own opinion followed by....on ther hand. That was pretty much my one sided opinion on Sejo without the ramification of his action.
Thanks for explaining the other side.

OT: You should have been around when Princess Man was airing. I don't remember which website I was on but the discussions on Sejo was pretty interesting.

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Some are rumours and some are true. He did reluctantly order his nephew to be killed.
Tanjong's supporters tried to kill Sejo so as long as his nephew is alive, the attempts to take Sejo's life would have continued.
The real victim was Tanjong who was in the middle of this political war and had to be killed to end it.

(Queen In-soo, King and I, The Princess Man are the best sageuks if you want a more detail account on King Sejo).

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Reading all these makes me want to watch more saeguks. The Princess Man is one which is often recommended but alas, I've a harder time watching PSH than I thought I would.

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I know why. I loved Park Shi Hoo before, but after his scandals.. I cannot hate him that much. sigh. I still watched him drama last year, although most of the time I watched for Lee So Hyuk. lol.

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Amazing as always. This was a particularly enjoyable episode.

Also, it has to be said that the soundtrack is a character all on its own. This is one of the best OSTs I've heard.
(off the top of my head - others I liked are Faith, Signal, and Nobunaga Concerto)

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Agreed!! I find myself singing along with the folky one that comes out OH~ oh oh OH OHH OHHHH WOE UH OH AH OHH~~ ❤️❤️❤️

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That is one of my favorite. When the intro starts, I just know that our guys will have the upper hand, at least for that moment in the episode.

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To think that song was played first in a star scouting show makes it even more incredible. Even if you do not know the words it gives you strength and hope, like a new spring.

Here is the moment when this song was released first An Ye Eun - If Spring Is Coming - KPOP STAR 5

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I had no idea!! This song just matches perfectly for the drama I thought it was made for it!!

btw I just went on a youtube spree of her songs... she's so unique~~

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Have they released the instrumentals? Think I read somewhere that those are only released at the end.

Music definitely enhances the whole watching experience.

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I really really love their instrumentals too. Especially the one that was being played when Gil Dong and Nok Soo met for the first time. The music fits her character really well. It sounds so beautiful yet sad at the same time, just like the meaning of Nok Soo's name.

Can't wait to get all of their OSTs in my phone because I'm sure it will stay on my playlist for a very very long time

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Also, Yoon Kyun Sang has really grown on me. From not finding him particularly charismatic in his previous roles and early episodes in this show, I'm starting to really respect his acting and his charm.

For some reason, his suspiciously thin nose is always distracting me - just like with Lee Jong Suk - but other than this - just like with Lee Jong Suk - I'm completely blown away.

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I kind of liked him. Not one of my top five, but I liked him more or less. I was sold when he started to sound exactly like Amogae. He studied his character like that - he even thought about this aspect when creating Gil Dong! I think that this shows the maturity of an actor. Kudos!

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TBH, he was not that charismatic in modern drama so far. But... he is much much great in sageuk than modern drama and like we all know not everyone shine in sageuk. I don't mind if he keeps doing more sageuk in the future. Maybe something like what Honey Lee is doing -alternating pattern between modern and sageuk drama.

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Physically he fits the description of Gil Dong's character. Acting wise, he is still growing and fortunately the veteran actors in this drama are fantastic and are in their element in sageuks.

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WOW... I will say I was on my wits end pleading with the dramagods not to kill Amogae in this episode. You live for another episode Amogae!!!

Also, I usually don't cry while watching dramas but I couldn't help but tear up at the sharing of the family name. These people were a group of misfits who were without a surname because they weren't considered worthy of it (I believe only middle class to higher class citizens had surnames) but they created a very fitting one on their own. When Amogae first created the gang and talked about him protecting his "family," I got the feeling that it was more like a glamorized gang family, but now they really feel like a true family!! I loved that each person called another person's name with "Hong" in the front.

Even without much romance this was definitely my favorite episode so far. Looking forward to what's ahead!!

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I too don't want Amogae to die but let's be frank here. He's old plus he was beaten and tortured. It's safe to say that he's at his limit of life. At the very least the drama gods gave him a chance to see justice and pass on his legacy to Gil Dong before he dies

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This has been another great role for Kim Sang-joong and he did a fabulous job playing Amogae but it's time to pass the torch to the next generation.

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I seriously love this writer. I feel like every storyline s/he wrote played a crucial role in the overarching plot. Each intertwines wonderfully with the others and connects even with the smallest details. It did take a while for the scheme to truly fall into place. But when the pieces are all lined up in the end, I was left with a feeling of awe and satisfaction at how well planned out the whole storyline was.

Anyway, my only gripe about this episode was WHY did they exile Choongwongoon to somewhere CLOSE to Hanyang?! No one should be able to get in touch with him that easily, especially not Madam Jo! She is the one villain that I'm most worried about in this show.

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I agree that they should not have exiled Choongwongoon so close to Hanyang.
I also felt that The Amogae Avengers should not have revealed themselves. This way, he'll be so exasperated at the turn of events. They can always reveal what happened at his death bed to hasten his demise. Hence, I felt that their revelation was a little too premature. I know that it was very gratifying - they way did so was so cute, BUT he's not dead yet, and dethroned queens n ministers have made their way back. I kept saying, "He's not dead yet! He's not dead yet!" If Amogae can 'rise again', so can Choongwongoon!

Also, I surprised that Gil-dong did not see the eunuch.

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The eunuch's smile is very ominous too. I'm scared for Gil-dong now

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I agree that the eunuch's smile seem ominous but its more than that, he was in admiration of what Gil Dong did as footstool which was to destroy Choong Won. This so called prince has been a huge thorn to the monarchy because of his perversions, despotic and psychotic behavior but no one could remove or seriously punish him because of his royal privileges which was a form of national immunity against all crimes that he did which includes countless murders. As far as Choong Won is concerned he is the "pure one" everyone else is despotic, sick and below him.

The eunuch was glad that Gil dong somehow got this huge pus removed through the flogging and the exile, he also wanted him gone for the king sake as well so he was glad Gil Dong did that for him. However from what we now see its likely to be temporary with Madam Jo's and Scholar Song involvement.

I sort of understand why Gil Dong and crew wanted to reveal themselves to Choong Won - they wanted him to know who was responsible and why. They also wanted to celebrate a victory which would allow them closure and let all of them move on. Gil Dong describe the type of punishment he wanted executed for Choong Won on behalf of his family and they did just that. What Gil Dong & Amogae had forgotten was his father's words about Madam Jo being on the side of Choong Won and her protecting him once she knew about it. She and the scholar are the unexpected factors in this revenge.

We are so glad that those jewels were rendered permanently useless. I am also glad that Gil Hyun did not tell Choong Won who he was therefore this can be some serious help to the Hong family in the future.

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Maiming the family jewels was a very befitting punishment for Choongwongoon. Good job whoever you are! Oops! I missed!

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+1
Also, the whole family plus Garyung decked out in their best silk hanboks watching Choongwongun getting exiled is such a satisfying sight

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@enkeys I'm torn about that scene. On one side it was so so satisfying to watch and I'm glad that Ah Mo Gae can witness that. But on the other hand I want to tell them that we're only halfway through the story so they shouldn't have done that :D

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I was worried about Eunuch Kim as well! But then, just like @chasen8888, I think Eunuch Kim was actually glad/relieved to have Choongwongoon sent far away from the King. I guess he was not impressed at all when he heard that Choongwongoon had spent the palace money and also using the palace cooks whenever he wanted. He wanted to get anyone who's corrupt away from the King.

Madam Jo is truly the one I'm very worried about. She knows about Gil Dong and the whole history related to Ah Mo Gae and his family. And she can influence people by using her logic of how the world supposed to work. I'm just relieved that she lost the support letter for the deposed Queen, because I don't want to imagine how powerfully evil she would become.

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I seriously love this writer. I feel like every storyline s/he wrote played a crucial role in the overarching plot. Each intertwines wonderfully with the others and connects even with the smallest details. It did take a while for the scheme to truly fall into place. But when the pieces are all lined up in the end, I was left with a feeling of awe and satisfaction at how well planned out the whole storyline was.

Exactly! It's rare to get such writing. Useless subplots, gigantic plotholes, plot conveniences and uneven pacing are some of the many ills inflicting dramas these days. So far, I have not seen any of these here. If you have not watched Nirvana In Fire, you shouid. It's one of the best written drama I've seen which the experience of watching is just as you have described above.

On Madam Jo, I felt the same. I wished Prince Choongwongoon was exiled to a place which Madam would perish in her journey to get there, ha.

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Thanks! I will definitely put down Nirvana On Fire on my list of dramas to marathon :)

Oh Madam Jo. And she just had to come right at the moment when Choonwongoon about to kill himself...

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Well, that was the worst ever attempt at hanging oneself by Choongwongoon... he didn't even try properly.

I've said it before, Madam Jo has the best intuition ever, and now she's gone to see Mr Scholar. Two people I do not want to see allied. Double, double, toil and trouble.

P.S.: I second Nirvana in Fire! :)

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I just feel like I will be a blubbering mess when Amogae passes.. gahhh.

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Yeah I am worried too because Gil-hyun seems to look up to to the King more now that justice has been served (Choongwongun exiled). I hope this increase in loyalty to the King disappear as soon as he discover his family though.

I am also concerned with Amogae. We know happiness is only short-lived with our favourite bandits. The last time it happened (laughing and dancing and celebrating), the family is broken up the very next few days. Ugh. I have to prepare my heart.

Look at Madam Jo though. For how determined our bandits are, she too, is persistent on killing our gang. I wonder if Song sabu will elicit the help of Gil-hyun to eradicate our bandits? If yes, wrong person to trust again, Madam Jo!

The meaning behind "Hong" is very fitting and it's cute when they each repeat their full names to each other :)

P/S: I watched one of the making clip and the horse Choongwongun used to go to Hanyang with his Footstool is actually named Ali Baba, which I think is a fascinating coincidence :)

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Can we also applaud the writer for remembering not to forget the numerous female children Choongwongoon took and raped??? That bribery to hurt him where it hurts most really was satisfying!!!

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Yeah lol serves him right!!!

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I don't watch the drama but omg that top photo has awoken so many feels in me.

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How convenient that Gil-hyun decided not to try to attend. He would have seen Gil-dong, interrupting out dramatic frame-up with a dramatic re-union that would be better saved for later.

And they might have blurted out things that would spoil the frame-up.

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I was so disappointed at the lost opportunity for a meeting. Even though I knew, I knew, that it wouldn't happen just yet. Like all good Kdramas, it'll tease us at least once (and I think, only once) with the subject of this meeting.

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Yeah, admittedly that is convenient. But also I can't help but notice that it is consistent with his characters change. He's trying to be the so-called loyal subject and therefore he's insisting not to attend the interrogation because he thinks that is what the King would have wanted.
I'm fine with plot convenience like this when it's consistent with other part of the story.

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Yeah, it works better like this than the slow mo missing each other. However, I was surprised that nobody asked Footstool for his real name. It's not like he's a slave whose words meant nothing because they clearly trusted his testimony as a witness. So shouldn't they have asked for his real name?

I guess it's poetic justice though that Choongwongoon never bothered to find out his Footstool's real name and didn't treat him as a person. Turns out foostool could make him bite the dust (alas, not exactly, just exile to a nearby hut).

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I think he decided not to attend after hearing Heo Taehak will be one of the witness for Cheonhwonguun. Since he already recognizing Gilhyun as one of Amogae son/men in their first meeting he can outed his real identity in front of officials and the King.

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Oh, it actually makes sense.. Gil Hyun has his own personal reason rather just being an extremelly obedient loyal subject to the King. It's such a relief, thank you for your comment :)

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1. I'm so scared for Gil-hyun right now. He's losing himself so fast.

2. I still don't know whether to trust the eunuch.

3. Apparently, I'm too used to Ahn Nae-sang playing the wise old mentor: it's taken me this long to fully realize he seems to share Madam Jo's view of the world.

4. I legitimately thought Amogae had died when Gil-dong was crying beside his bed... then he opened his eyes and sat up, and I had to abruptly stop my mourning. Nine lives indeed.

5. Gil-dong's performance as "Footstool" was perfect. I loved how he stayed faithful to his fabricated character and used that to take him down. It shows how regular, ordinary people (not only those with incredible strength or influential fathers like Amogae) can still do great and important things. I hope we haven't seen the last of "Footstool": he's one alter-ego that'll stick with me for a long time, right up there with Healer's Park Bong-soo.

6. Eop-san has a really, really beautiful smile.

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Watching next episode make me think what will happen when Hong Gil Dong meet Do Bong Soon lol. Maybe Hong Gil Dong is Do Bong Soon great grandpa or something :D

The drama work so well with 30 episodes. Normally dramas lose their track about now but here everything still go so smooth.

Honey Lee is so attractive. Once you look at her you dont see other girl. There is a scene change from Honey Lee to Chae Soo Bin, even though CSB is cute and pretty but you just want to go back to see Honey Lee again.

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Ooo that's how the curse/gift began. In dramaland of course! :D Do Bong Soon is the mighty child. For some reason, only women in the family can now be the mighty child. And they must use their powers for good.

Perhaps Hong Gil Dong's story will reveal more on this.

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Thanks, dramallama, for another great recap. ;-)

Much as I would like to exult over the success of Gil-dong's meticulous plot against Choongwongoon, I have great misgivings about the gang's revealing themselves to him. He isn't being executed. He's being exiled, and occasionally exiles are forgiven and allowed to return to society. Unlike the little deposed king in FAITH, who is sent to Gangwha Island, IIRC, Choongwongoon appears to have been dropped off at a decrepit house not all that far from the capital, and it appears he isn't even being guarded.

It seems that Gil-dong did not see Shorty the Mat Salesman at the interrogation. Granted, he's the last person our hero would expect to see at court, let alone dressed as the king's Messenger Eunuch. Dang.

I just knew it! Madam Jo is still at it. It comes as no surprise that she runs to Song Sabu to enlist his aid. It sounds as if they are not siblings after all, but they surely are holier-than-thou pillars-of-the-nation kindred spirits.

I have been concerned that Gil-dong's exquisitely underhanded way of framing his family's nemesis will come back to haunt him. Sure enough, Amogae's dream of the shaman brings bad news. Gil-dong's misuse of power will be the end of him. It's not as if we haven't heard before that a Mighty Child born a slave will die. Oh, wait. All beings who are born will die. Amogae said it himself. It's just a matter of how soon and how pleasantly.

Mo-ri has been pretty scarce the past few episodes. I can easily imagine his busting Choongwongoon out of solitary confinement.

Amogae has been looking quite ashen lately, and appears to be heading for the last roundup. While returning to Ikhwari and the silver mine makes sense, I suspect his real reason for going back is to visit his wife's grave and be nearby when his own time comes. Alas, it is also near Choongwongoon's stomping grounds, as Madam Jo knows only too well. I just hope that the Ikhwari Elder gets to die in peace surrounded by his Noisy family. Is that too much to ask?

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I'm with you when it comes to the victory celebrations over Choong-won's exile. I'm glad that this scum got some kind of punishment. It has been long overdue but I'm uncomfortable with how he was framed and the fact that he is still breathing.

On the other hand I like how the writer is turning the table on the yangban and royals like Choong-won. They can easily frame a commoner or slave and get away with it so this is kind of a sweet revenge. How dare them frame a royal, a prince and got away with it lol. That is so unheard of.

I can't wait for Nok-soo's turn.

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When Gil Hyun insisted he wouldn't go to the trial I heaved a huge sigh of relief. Imagine if they had met there.. Gil Dong would have had a hard time keeping up his Footstool act!! I love how this show has me on the edge of my seat. I'm hoping and praying that team Hong will succeed in their plans. They would fail in some but I know they'll get back up.

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It. Was. So. Satisfying. Enough said.

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That Prince Nosan that they talk about, is that the little King from the Princess's Man?

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Yes.

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That's what I thought, the name Sejo rang a bell, and the history sounded suspiciously familiar

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So, so, so, SO glad that the Revenge on Prince story arc is done. I honestly felt that it was starting to drag a little bit; we're almost halfway through the series and our hero STILL has yet to be the 'Hong Gil Dong' of legend. Hell, he only just recently received the last name OF Hong.

But now we can spend an episode on clean-up and finally, finally, FINALLY move to the meat of the story.

That having been said...the Ah Mo Gae Avengers all being cheeky devils as the Prince was being dragged through the streets was one of the most satisfying scenes in the series thus far, especially when the trope just bowed with their little troll smiles, mouthing the words to the victory tune. (which I hope somebody translates sometime soon.)

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I don't think it's over... Choongwongoon is still alive, conveniently exiled nearby, and Madam Jo is already rounding up supporters. What's worse, he knows Ahmogae was the architect of his fall (or rather Gildong). The king will not be happy when he finds out he was tricked into punishing his cousin (who of course deserved what he was getting, don't get me wrong!).

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One thing that leaves me scratching my head and perplex me most is concerning Ga Ryung.

Unless there was mistake, I am anticipating feverishly.

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I will wait until episode 14 recap to share my concern regarding Ga Ryung, esp related to her character description. lol.
But I really really want to know about her backstory. How she ended up working as a servant at the gisaeng parlor, what happened to her family, etc.

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Isn't the name Hong Gil Dong familiar? Isn't that the name you see on sample forms in Korea, similar to John Doe in the states?

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