Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 14
It’s a new chapter in Gil-dong’s life as he celebrates his victory over Choongwongoon with the rest of his crew, and it’s also the beginning of a new reign of terror as Yeonsangun realizes that he can possess much more power through fear than respect. The winds of change blow over Joseon as Amogae passes his mantle of authority to Gil-dong, and Yeonsangun revels in his newfound authoritarian strength.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Amogae surveys his Ikhwari with fond eyes and spies his men going about their daily lives. Yonggae practices with his preferred weapons, and Amogae nicknames him Nunchucks Yonggae and teases him about his fear of women. Ilchung, who is practicing his tai chi on a rock, lets out a loud fart, and Amogae turns to him and tells him that he has faith in Monk Ilchung.
Segul finally confesses to Amogae that he wasn’t actually a nobleman, but the foster son of one, so it should still count, right? Amogae looks at him with tender eyes, and soon Keutsae finds him and asks him for a nickname. Amogae names him Reversal Keutsae because he looks tough on the outside, but is actually cute and sensitive inside.
Ga-ryung tells Amogae that she does not want to take on the family name (because then Gil-dong and she would be family and wouldn’t be able to marry), even though she knows that Gil-dong pines for someone else. Amogae replies to Ga-ryung that Gil-dong likes her too.
Soboori asks Amogae why he helped him at their first meeting, and Amogae tells him it was “just because.” Soboori tells Amogae that he partnered with him because he thought he was a crazy man for wanting to take down his master. But now Soboori knows that Gil-dong is the real crazy one for dreaming and actually accomplishing the takedown of a member of the royal family.
Gil-dong and Amogae rest on a rock while they are on their way to visit his mother’s gravesite. Amogae tells his son the story of how he and his mother met. Amogae wanted to run away after a harsh beating from the master, and she was crying at the stone wall of the household asking him not to leave.
Amogae tells his son that his mother was always sorry to him for not letting him go then, because she believed she denied him the freedom to enjoy traveling and life. But Amogae wouldn’t have been as happy without knowing his wife, before telling Gil-dong that he must stay alive for the sake of his new Hong family. A traveler then calls to ask for help, and Gil-dong leaves his father’s side for a moment.
Amogae speaks to the wind, calling to his wife, saying he’s only half a day away from her. He reaches for his shoe that has fallen off, but then his movements stop. Gil-dong notices the stillness of his father and puts the shoe back on, chiding him for losing it. He reaches for his father’s hands and caresses his face, knowing that Amogae is no longer a part of the world anymore.
Tears fall from his eyes, and Gil-dong tells his father that he’s done enough and that he’s struggled enough in this life. Gil-hyun, who was walking in the palace, feels a sadness that makes him suddenly stop in his tracks.
Gil-dong tells Amogae that in the next life, he’ll be born as Amogae’s father so that he can protect him and spoil him as Amogae did to him and his siblings in this life. Atop the mountain, Gil-dong weeps for his father and says he’ll never forget him.
At night, a specter of Amogae comes to Gil-hyun in a dream that almost feels like reality. Amogae is proud to see that Gil-hyun has become a scholar and asks him to read a little from his textbook so that he can watch his son study. Gil-hyun starts reading with happy tears at seeing his father again, but when he looks up, Amogae is gone, and in his heart, Gil-hyun realizes that his father is gone forever.
A funeral procession for Amogae travels across a long hillside, with Gil-dong right behind the dirge, his expression full of sorrow. Mori and Heotaehak conspire to attack now, when the Amogae Avengers have lost their pillar of strength.
But Mori also tells Heotaehak about a man in a mask that took down dozens by himself and says that they’ll have to make sure that man is taken down first. Heotaehak mistakenly thinks that it was Keutsae, so he’s the first one to be captured in a net when Heotaehak’s gang attacks the funeral parade.
The Amogae Avengers are taken unawares, and Gil-dong is forced on his knees when he sees Ga-ryung in the clutches of Mori, who has a knife to her throat. He tells Heotaehak to let them go so that they can finish his father’s funeral in peace.
But Heotaehak demands the entire silver mine and one of Gil-dong’s ears. Gil-dong gives him one last chance to retreat with his men, but Heotaehak just laughs in his face and gives the order for Ga-ryung to be taken away. Then, the entire earth turns dark again as Gil-dong’s rage begins his transformation.
Gil-dong shouts: “Whoever touches my people will die,” and he uses his immense strength to make men go flying everywhere. This is the first time the Amogae Avengers have seen Gil-dong’s super powers in action, and they’re all shocked and amazed. Seeing this, Heotaehak immediately runs away, although Mori looks like he wants to stay and take Gil-dong on.
Gil-dong — who is now in the clutches of an old memory — thinks Ga-ryung is his sister Eorini, and tells her to come to him. He’s grateful because this time he’s kept her safe, but then he collapses into unconsciousness.
Ga-ryung watches over Gil-dong while the Amogae Avengers have their meeting. Soboori tells the rest of them about Gil-dong’s condition, which he learned from Amogae.
Mori tells Heotaehak that he should go to into hiding, but Heotaehak wants to beg Gil-dong for forgiveness because he’s afraid of keeping him as an enemy. They go to a hidden location, but Yonggae is on their trail, watching their every move.
Gil-dong finally wakes up, finding Ga-ryung asleep in front of him. When she sees Gil-dong awake, she asks if he remembers everything. He says yes, lists out their memories with each other, and tells her that he’ll be a real brother to her from now on. They embrace.
The Amogae Avengers surround Heotaehak’s hidey-hole and capture him and Mori. Heotaehak begs for his life, telling Gil-dong that it was all Mori’s fault. He turns on the man he raised as his number two just for the sake of his own skin. He claims that he only helped Mori out of pity, and that they have no relationship at all.
Gil-dong tells Heotaehak that he’ll have his life, but that he’ll never be a contender to be a Hong brother again. Mori, however, who Heotaehak pointed out as the main conspirator, is put into a holding storage room, where Yonggae comes to bring him porridge. But Mori escapes, and a few moments later, we see that it’s all according to Gil-dong’s plan to get rid of Heotaehak.
Mori approaches Heotaehak and tells him the story of how he came to him. Mori confesses that his father tried to kill him at the age of six, and so he ran away. He tells Heotaehak that he regarded him as a father from the time he took him in, and sometimes even called him father out loud when he was alone.
Heotaehak says that he will now be a father to Mori, but it’s too late. Mori twists a dagger into Heotaehak’s stomach and says that maybe he was not meant to have an earthly father in this life.
All of Heotaehak’s men pledge allegiance to Gil-dong after they realize that their leaders are gone. Gil-dong becomes the next Great Ikhwari Elder. In front of his parents’ graves, Gil-dong promises that he will protect the Hong family.
At Bandit HQ, Soboori tells Gil-dong that he should leave Ikhwari and take a state exam to become a soldier, but Gil-dong says that Amogae’s last wish wasn’t for him to be a general, but to protect the clan. Gil-dong believes the best way to do that is to get the highest power in the land on their side: the king.
Soboori says that according to rumors, all the scholars who protested the king’s every move have all disappeared. Ever since the Kim Il-son case, they have become completely complacent. Eop-san says that he heard from a palace maid that the king does whatever he wants now. Gil-dong knows that the king is running through the national treasury gold, spending it like water, and proposes that they give him their silver mine, which would allow them to go legitimate.
Yeonsangun feels empty because it all seems so easy to him now. After struggling with the nobles so much, a few public executions and floggings were all it took to make everyone obedient. He tells Eunuch Kim that he’s different from his father, and he doesn’t want or need to be a revered wise ruler. He likes this easy road of just being feared.
He remembers Nok-soo and her request to meet with someone in exchange for her services. Nok-soo tells Yeonsangun that the person she really wanted to meet was the man who took her virginity, the master who forced her mother to make her daughter a sex slave.
Soldiers barge into the house of an old noble who is being massaged by young girls. They charge him with embezzlement for fraud committed seventeen years ago. Outraged, he asks who told them he was the behind the fraud, and Nok-soo steps up as a witness, but he doesn’t even remember her. She says that today is the day she feels like she finally is glad to be alive.
The king also rewards the others who helped him in the investigation of Kim Il-son, including Park Ha-sung and some other scholars. Meanwhile, country Magistrate Eom is elevated to a position as a senior official in the palace.
Eunuch Kim reports to Yeonsangun that a citizen named Soboori from Magistrate Eom’s district has presented him with a silver mine. Initially, Soboori does not want to enter the palace to meet the king and receive his award because all his criminal instincts yell against going into the heart of the authorities.
Despite all his protests, he ends up in front of the king, stuttering and incoherently babbling his statements. In the middle of his audience with Yeonsangun, he keels over because he has fainted from his nervousness, ha. Yeonsangun chuckles, and says that Soboori is exactly the type of good citizen whose fear of the king’s august presence prevents him from speaking. He rewards Soboori with a position as a royal craftsman working at the silver mine.
Gil-dong’s next step is to start expanding their underworld empire into Hanyang, the capital of Joseon, by using the legitimacy of Soboori’s position. To do so, they buy an expensive house in the profitable merchant part of town.
Gil-dong leads Ga-ryung to her rooms in their Hanyang house, and she’s delighted when he says that he’ll do anything for her and spoil her. He adds that he’ll even marry her off to the best man in Joseon, but at this, Ga-ryung becomes upset and tells him that she is not part of the Hong family, implying that she can marry a Hong family member. (Take the hint, Gil-dong!)
The Amogae Avengers get fitted for their new fashionable clothes for their lives in Hanyang. Ga-ryung comes out in a silken hanbok, looking bashful and expecting compliments. So when the rest of the ajusshis tease her by saying that the hanbok doesn’t look as good as they thought, she runs away in a huff.
Gil-hyun is called to Lord Noh’s household in the middle of the night. The older nobleman coughs like he’s on his deathbed and grasps Gil-hyun’s hands. He recognizes Gil-hyun’s true loyalty to the king, and says he appreciates that in him.
Because he doesn’t have much time to live, Lord Noh tells Gil-hyun that his greatest fear is for this nation, because the king has yet to resolve the problem of his late mother, the dethroned queen. He asks Gil-hyun to ponder the meaning of true loyalty and tells him that he’ll help elevate Gil-hyun to a high position so that he can protect the king from falling into the hands of people who want to use his power. And a barrage of scenes show us the people who have special interests staked in the king, which includes Nok-soo, Gil-dong, and Choongwongoon.
Gil-dong walks the streets of Hanyang with the rest of his gang, and Ilchung brings up the fact that Park Ha-sung was instrumental in their taking down of Choongwongoon. So Gil-dong says that they should meet and thank helpful contacts like Park Ha-sung.
In the palace, a train of young maids walk past, but one girl loses a purple ribbon. When she runs back to grab it, we see that it’s Eorini, who has become a palace maid.
She’s alive! Eorini’s appearance gives me hope for Gil-dong and Gil-hyun’s relationship. For the past two weeks, I’ve been despairing that the brothers were diverging onto completely different paths that would lead them to become enemies. Especially after the death of Amogae and Gil-hyun’s continued blind loyalty toward the tyrant king, I was afraid that they’d meet in the worst possible circumstances. But now with Eorini back in the mix, I don’t think their sibling bond will falter as easily due to a difference in their ideology. Because at their cores, Gil-dong and Gil-hyun both just want to protect their family.
Speaking of which, the part where Ga-ryung keeps insisting that she’s not a Hong family member was so cute. Up until my grandparents’ generation, it was considered an incestuous taboo for people of the same last name to get married. I know the concept is kind of ridiculous, because with all the Lee’s and Kim’s floating around, there’s bound to be some people of the same name that fall for each other. But in the olden days, that standard was a strict rule, and Ga-ryung is making a bold statement by not taking on the Hong name. Although she is loved by all the Amogae Avenger Ajusshis, by this action, she’s renouncing all the legal and social benefits of having a proper family name (which would confer protection and prestige because servants and slave classes often did not have last names). And she’s almost blatantly proclaiming her eligibility to marry into the Hong clan. I just want to say: You go get it, girl!
I’m sure Gil-dong is not oblivious to Ga-ryung’s obvious affections for him, but is he still pining for Nok-soo? Now that she’s gotten her revenge, I wonder what’s next for her, because it doesn’t look like she wants to leave the palace and look for Gil-dong anytime soon. The king’s interest in her seems to be an asexual curiosity as of yet, so it’ll be interesting to see how their torrid jealous love affair begins. But whatever happens, I hope we’ll get to see more of Honey Lee’s beautiful artistic performances soon.
I can’t end this commentary without talking about the most significant event of this episode: Amogae’s death. I am so glad that my prediction that he’d die under duress was proven false, because Amogae deserved a good peaceful death for all the trials he had encountered and overcome in life. While I’m sad that Kim Sang-joong will no longer be gracing our screens with his majestic presence, his passing opens the way for our hero to fully bloom and take on his responsibilities as the rebel leader. So I can’t wait to see him spread his wings, especially now that his powers seem to be coming to him more frequently.
Of course, his plans to manipulate Yeonsangun for his own gain are a bit concerning in terms of morality, but as he becomes more involved in palace intrigue, perhaps the idea that helping the king may hurt rather than help his people will become clearer to Gil-dong. He definitely has the quick intelligence to cut through to the heart of the matter, and we’ve seen how his decisive action to give the king the silver mine has already started to gain his crew advantages they’ve never had before. Now all that’s left is for him to immerse himself into Hanyang politics and gain a big picture understanding of the changing power upheavals so that he can learn what’s really at stake. But now that they’re finally at the capital, the first episode where he shoots an arrow through Ga-ryung’s heart feels like it’s not too far away. So, I’m just hoping for a few more happy episodes until more inevitable tragedy hits.
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 13
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 12
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 11
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 10
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 9
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 8
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 7
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 6
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 5
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 4
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 3
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 2
- Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 1