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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 15

There’s plenty to celebrate for our Hong clan as they prove their worth to their greatest client: the king. Gil-dong proves his ability as the new Great Elder, with his intelligence, ambition, and his strength. But even with great success, his life is threatened by the very strength that makes him valuable. He’s warned not to take this immense power for granted, and he’s challenged to rethink his way of using his gifts. But the question is, will he change for the better, or continue down his current path?

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Weak and dying, Lord Noh prompts Gil-hyun to contemplate the true meaning of loyalty and vows to promote Gil-hyun to a higher rank as his final gesture to protect the king from those who act out of spite. He’s referring to some of our main players — Nok-soo, Gil-dong, and Choongwongoon — and warns us of their power: “These spiteful people can manipulate the king and the people to resolve their grudges.”

Madam Jo brings Scholar Song to meet Choongwongoon, and she explains that the estranged royal helped her bring justice to Amogae for murdering her husband. Choongwongoon has doubts about Scholar Song’s ability to help him, but Scholar Song isn’t bothered by the skepticism. He simply introduces himself as an ordinary citizen, searching tirelessly for someone to become a pillar for the nation. Then, he pointedly asks if Choongwongoon’s motive for punishing Amogae was actually to seize Amogae’s wealth.

Offended by Scholar Song’s contempt, Choonwongoon sends them away and retreats to his room. Madam Jo follows him inside and pleads that he tell Scholar Song his true story. She insists that Scholar Song will be able to help him, and she whispers to him the true identity of Scholar Song, which sparks a realization in Choonwongoon’s eyes.

Gil-dong and his Hong family find Park Ha-sun’s house, which looks pretty shabby for the home of a nobleman. He’s not home, and the female servant says that her noble reads all day and lives humbly. Gil-dong decides to leave without meeting with the helpful noble and orders Soboori to not bribe this nobleman, because he doesn’t want to corrupt upright scholars like Park Ha-sun. After Gil-dong leaves, Gil-hyun (code name: Park Ha-sun) returns to his home; thus, another opportunity for a brotherly reunion is lost.

Later that night, Choongwongoon invites Scholar Song into his room and reveals his true motives for punishing Amogae. He truly believed that as a member of the royal family, he had an obligation to preserve social order. Scholar Song asks if Choongwongoon intends to get revenge on Gil-dong if he’s released from exile, and Choongwongoon vows to retaliate against not only Gil-dong, but his whole clan.

At the palace, Nok-soo bows to the king in gratitude for the retribution against the wretched old noble who scarred her mother and herself. Yeonsangun asks for a token of her gratitude, requesting her heart. But Nok-soo responds that she cannot give her heart to him, since she already gave it to another man. Yeonsangun laughs at her audacity, more intrigued than before.

As Nok-soo leaves, Eunuch Kim follows and asks if the man who took her heart is Gil-dong. She answers with a question: Why did he think Gil-dong would never become the mighty one to change history? He responds with a reference to Gil-dong as the clever witness (he doesn’t reveal that it was Gil-dong to Nok-soo) at the grand court who wasted his talents. He says that if the one does not use the strength and talents granted by the heavens, one cannot change history. He ends their conversation at that, leaving Nok-soo more vexed and pensive in his wake.

The king’s servile minister, Ja-kwang, presents the rows of scholars who helped the king seize power. The king wishes to reward them, so first, he asks Jeong-hak about his request. Jeong-hak asks for a nice home for his mother, and he’s complimented for being a dutiful son. Next, the king turns to Gil-hyun, who requests to work as an incognito traveler outside the palace so that he can be the real eyes and ears for the king. Yeonsangun is pleased by Gil-hyun’s response and commends him for his extraordinary dedication.

After their meeting with the king, Jeong-hak expresses his surprise at Gil-hyun’s decision to work as a traveler outside the palace and wonders about his motivations. As they converse, a group of young maids passes by, and we return to the closing scene of the previous episode. A purple ribbon drops to the ground, and a girl quickly goes back to retrieve it. We see that it’s Eorini, well and alive as a palace maid in training.

Eunuch Kim checks in with the newly appointed royal craftsman, Soboori, and tells him that his job is not only to prepare the king’s garments. He says that the royal craftsman must also build the king’s dignity. Soboori has no idea what that means, but Eunuch Kim’s subtle side-eye shuts up his joking mannerisms. Eunuch Kim clarifies that they need the best for the king and orders three-hundred nyang (or taels of silver) in two months.

It’s an excessive order from Eunuch Kim, and our bandits seem worried. Gil-dong decides that they’ll need to expand their silver mine and find the best workers to fulfill that order. But soon after the order, Eunuch Kim requests that Soboori rush the process even more, since the king expressed disapproval of the faded cloth on his royal carriage. Soboori’s slight slip of the tongue in a moment of pressure reveals that there’s another figure above him who rules the silver mines, and Eunuch Kim demands to meet the true head of the mines.

Eunuch Kim is escorted to the Hanyang house by Soboori, and Gil-dong announce his entrance into the room. When the two come face to face, they stare at each other in a silent moment of recognition.

As Soboori and Ilchung nervously wait outside the room, Gil-dong and Eunuch Kim comment on their fateful encounter. Gil-dong assumes that this is their first encounter after the gibang, but Eunuch Kim reveals that he saw Gil-dong fairly recently, in his role as “footstool.” Tensions are elevated, and Gil-dong chugs some alcohol to admit to his fraud. He explains that he owed Choongwongoon retribution and asks Eunuch Kim why he didn’t disclose Gil-dong’s identity during the hearing. Crafty Eunuch Kim merely shrugs with an “I don’t know” before taking his leave.

Yeonsangun writes as he tells Eunuch Kim about the ruler he hopes to be. He surely wants to be a good and wise king, but more importantly, he intends to be a dignified monarch. He tells Eunuch Kim that he plans to host a banquet soon and wants to see a dignified look with blue peacock feathers. But on that top of that, it seems that the king has ordered the purchase of many more delicacies, and these purchases are quickly depleting the national treasury.

Eunuch Kim requests to meet Gil-dong again, and this time, they’re talking business. Eunuch Kim reveals that he doesn’t like Choongwongoon and admits that he rooted for Gil-dong in the hearing in hopes that the king would lose affection for the greedy royal. Reciprocating the honesty, Gil-dong explains that he offered the silver mine because it was the only way for him as a gangster to show dedication. Eunuch Kim acknowledges Gil-dong’s audacity (he framed a royal, after all) and proposes a lucrative business deal that would help establish the king’s dignity.

The bandits are shocked to hear about their new business deal with the king, but Gil-dong already has a plan. He reminds the bandit team about the previous alcohol prohibition that spiked the prices up to ten times the original value. In partnership with the king, Gil-dong suggests that they create a storage of alcohol to sell in preparation of a prohibition. Gil-dong proposes this plan to Eunuch Kim and claims that this would frame the king as a dignified ruler concerned for his people while vilifying wealthy nobles for engaging in illegal activity. Gil-dong offers to transfer all the profits to the royal treasury, and Eunuch Kim is pleased with the plan.

The king asks his ministers how he can be a good king, and one minister hesitantly proposes an alcohol ban in response to the poor crops this season. The king agrees with the proposal and orders a prohibition, exempting the elderly who need alcohol as medicine and the poor who sell alcohol for a living. The ministers praise their majesty’s wisdom, and Eunuch Kim smiles.

The announcement of the prohibition falls just as the taste test for the alcohol is complete, and our Bandit HQ becomes Alcohol Central for all the “ill” wealthy nobles who need alcohol for medicine. Our bandits are paid the overpriced value for the alcohol and celebrate their success with their own round of “medicine.” Meanwhile, Gil-hyun watches wealthy nobles drinking frivolously at a gibang, and he sends a report of his observations to the king.

When Yeonsangun hears of this disobedience, he orders for the imprisonment of all the criminals. But in the village, Yonggae and Segul watch the poor being selectively captured while the rich continue to drink away their worries. Keutsae tries to bring this to Gil-dong’s attention, but he doesn’t show any sympathy and simply orders them to protect their alcohol storage well. But the heightened tensions inevitably lead to a break-in by the local gang, who shatter all the pots and effectively ruin their business.

Gil-dong meets with Eunuch Kim once more to request that he turn a blind eye to the gang fights that will ensue that evening. And as expected, the rival local gang show up to challenge Gil-dong and the bandits. One by one, Ilchung, Segul, Keutsae, and Eop-san join Yonggae to relive their prime and fight the gang. Prayer beads in hand, Gil-dong watches his bandits dominate in the fight and spots the gang leader in the back. He (literally) flies towards the leader and grabs the knife directed at this neck. Gil-dong disarms and cripples his opponent with ease, and the gang ultimately surrenders.

From afar, Mori watches this fight and fixates on Gil-dong. He’s definitely plotting something.

Ga-ryung paces nervously as she waits for the bandits — but more importantly, Gil-dong — to return from the fight. They all return safely, but Ga-ryung notices Gil-dong’s bleeding hand and runs out to find the doctor, despite his own lack of concern. As she runs through the village, Mori spots her and recognizes her as the servant who insisted on joining Heotaehak’s house. Putting the pieces together, he realizes that she must belong to Gil-dong’s clan.

Later that night, Ga-ryung holds Gil-dong’s injured hand as he sleeps, and she tells him not to get hurt anymore. She says that if he continues getting hurt, she may die. Gil-dong peeks his eyes open and silently watches Ga-ryung at his bedside, seeing that she’s worried sick.

Gil-dong delivers the silver taels to Eunuch Kim, who grins that they exceeded his expectations. Before he leaves, he tells Gil-dong that it’s a shame that he decided to become a gangster, since he once thought that Gil-dong was truly the Might Child Who Lived. That leaves Gil-dong in a mood, and Ga-ryung notices that he’s still in a funk that night during dinner.

The Bandit HQ dinner is interrupted by a mysterious guest who lets herself into the house and looks around at everyone at the table. Gil-dong finally turns around to face the woman, and she recognizes him as Amogae’s son.

Everyone tries to eavesdrop outside the room, and the mysterious woman introduces herself as the Jirisan shaman who blessed the Ikhwari Tree, which Amogae claimed would support a great energy from Joseon. She regrets that she was unable to see his father again before he passed and shares that Amogae’s biggest concern was always about how to let Gil-dong survive. She glares at him and says that in his current state, his body will be destroyed.

Soboori barges in at that comment, but the shaman continues with her scolding. She says that the gift of extraordinary strength from the heavens is not being usedt properly. She warns him that if this strength is misused, the bearer of the strength will die. She leaves with repeated tut-tuts of disapproval.

The bandits throw salt at the entrance to fend off the bad energy of the unwelcome guest, and Gil-dong assures Ilchung that the shaman was just a crazy lady spewing nonsense. But alone in his room that night, Gil-dong holds his beads with a pensive look and thinks back to his father’s words about living out his life. But then he hears some noise outside and goes to check who it is.

It’s Ga-ryung, throwing an excessive amount of salt in piles to fend of the crazy lady. Gil-dong finds her actions amusing and comments that she must have depleted their whole salt supply. Ga-ryung assures Gil-dong that the shaman’s words were all fake and mentions a similar crazy lady from her youth.

Gil-dong urges her to talk more about her youth, and she says that there’s little to talk about. She came from family of many children and took care of the younger and older family members. Her father sold her off when times got rough, but she says she doesn’t hate him for it. In fact, she may have even enjoyed her time at the gibang even more because she wasn’t treated as harshly.

She looks down, embarrassed at her poor ordinary childhood, but Gil-dong reaches out to touch her hair. He still likes her, he says. He finds her boldness pretty and feels sympathetic because she smiles so often. He drops his hand after being momentarily lost in voicing his swoony thoughts and tells her to go to bed, but Ga-ryung looks too flattered to do so.

At the palace, Eorini watches into the musician troupe right outside the door. One of the musicians confronts Nok-soo about the rumors of her acting capriciously in front of the king, and she says that Nok-soo doesn’t belong in the troupe. Nok-soo slaps her in response, saying that no one tells her where she belongs. She warns the naïve musician that confronting her will involve a futile fight, since she’s crazy, and everyone else is just ordinary.

Nok-soo transforms her intense face into a soft smile and tells the now-crying musician that she should practice her dance performance for the king. Mesmerized by Nok-soo, Eorini continues to watch at the door until she’s peeled away by another palace maid.

Gil-dong delivers another batch of silver taels to Eunuch Kim while Ga-ryung eavesdrops on the conversation, as Eunuch Kim asks if he’s ever wondered about Nok-soo. Gil-dong admits that he’s heard rumors of her being in the musician troupe at the palace, and asks if she’s there. Eunuch Kim says that there’s nobody named Gong-hwa (Nok-soo’s former name) at the palace.

Ga-ryung finds Gil-dong outside and tells him that she’s decided to wait. She claims she’s happy enough to be able to see him every day, and then she smiles at him. Gil-dong watches her walk away, looking confused and really not getting the hint.

Scholar Song tells Choongwongoon that there may be a way for him to escape exile if he pulls the right strings. He has a special eye for desperation, and he tells Choongwongoon of a particular student of his (Gil-hyun) who is a pure product of his work. He claims that he will be able to help Choongwongoon as he did for that student before telling Choongwongoon that he must leave behind his older self. The question is, is he ready to do that?

The Hong family gathers to celebrate their successes, and Gil-dong delegates the business to his fellow bandits. Ga-ryung speaks up and says that she wants a job too: She wants to be a storyteller, and Gil-dong says that she can do whatever she wants. They cheer to their prosperity.

We see the flourishing Hong family in little snippets: Yonggae manages the alcohol business, Keutsae regulates the Hwalbin House, and Seggul oversees the silver mines. Gil-dong peeks into Ga-ryung’s room and sees her happily reading a book. At the palace, Eorini smiles in her sleep with her purple ribbon in hand. Gil-hyun looks conflicted, but Yeonsangun laughs in genuine happiness (perhaps more blissful ignorance) about his ruling. Meanwhile, Choongwongoon tries to turn his life around by engaging with books and puts a knife on his book to discourage himself from nodding off.

Holding his prayer beads behind him, Gil-dong watches his kingdom working in harmony. A smiling Eorini walks around the palace, and we transition out of her childhood as we see two older palace maids come into focus, but we have yet to see how they’re related.

 
COMMENTS

While our main players still remain separate in their respective roles, we see how their involvement with the king and the palace will likely result in their fated reunion — whether it’s for good or for ill. With Gil-dong’s business deals established, the plot was getting pretty routine (take a drink for every time Gil-dong met up with Eunuch Kim), so I think it was a good time for a time skip.

It’ll be interesting to see how entrenched Gil-dong’s business is in the royal palace, and I wonder how the antagonism between Gil-dong and Yeonsangun will be prompted. Everything seems quite harmonious now, and the erratic king couldn’t be happier. It’s a peaceful time. But we know things are about to change, and I’m curious to find out what changes Gil-dong’s attitude towards the king. From Gil-dong’s disregard for the targeted poor people in response to the alcohol ban, he doesn’t seem to represent the people right now. Instead, he just seems to be a gangster, filling in the role left empty by his father.

I enjoyed how this episode played strongly on dramatic irony, with the siblings being so close yet unable to recognize each other’s existence. And especially with Eunuch Kim, who speaks so abstractly that only we can understand what he truly means. He’s a tricky fellow who speaks in many languages. Most of his words are only thinly veiled versions of the truth, but the veil is just opaque enough that the other person has no idea what the hell he’s talking about. It’s simultaneously frustrating and fascinating to have such an intelligent character on screen. He seems to be speaking to us as the audience, which makes the show a little cheekier. I feel like I’m in on a secret, and that feeling is the exact sort of engagement this show wants to have in order to keep its audience throughout the whole run.

As Eunuch Kim and the shaman warned, it seems that this gangster life does not bode well for Gil-dong’s survival. I don’t see any threats to Gil-dong’s life right now, so I’m interested to see how that threat will change the way Gil-dong uses his strength. I’m with both Eunuch Kim and the shaman, in that I’m disappointed in Gil-dong for not using his strength productively, for the good of the people. He simply uses it as a tool, and if a life-threatening situation and multiple warnings are what it takes for Gil-dong to finally use his gifts for the right things, I’m for it. Just don’t hurt Gil-dong too much, for my sake and for Ga-ryung’s.

 
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Omg is uh ri ni s grown up version Jun Da Bin??

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But younger Uh Ri Ni looks so much like the other girl... :D

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When they showed 2 girls on the screen, are we supposed to guess which one is Eorini's adult version? I haven't watched episode 16 yet so it's rather confusing

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Yeah I don t understand neither why there are suddenly 2 girls

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But she looks so much like the other girl... :D

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Oops. Sorry for double post. My other comment was put under 'awaiting moderation' and it went missing when I refreshed the page...

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Yeah, me too.. I thought it was only me..

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Me as well. I thought dramabeans was considering blacklisting me go some reason - maybe I unintentionally offend people? Or perhaps I spend too much time on this site (and therefore, K-dramas) and DB Staff think it's for my own good.

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It happens to me, too, sometimes.

I've found that including more than one URL in a post will trigger it. I've also come to suspect that posting rapidly in succession will send me off into moderation, so I try to pause a little. Or maybe the spam filter just gets cranky.

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I take it as all things in moderation even posting comments on DB. Sometimes I'd read my own comments and wished I didn't post some of it lol.

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Even after watched epi 16, i still didnt know which one is Eorini?

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*minor spoiler!* warning Sera ^^ I was expecting it to be made clear withing minutes. ?

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LOL ??

Initially I wanted to say more about the other girl but luckily I realized this is not recap for epi 16 ?

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I'm glad she wasn't the one who dared to challenge the crazy Nok-soo. Dang that slap left a mark on her face and Honey Lee can do evil with a smile.

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Indeed she does. That scene was intense, and in under 2 minutes too!

In contrast, this Behind the Scenes clip had me in stitches. :D

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Thanks for sharing :). Its amazing how different they are in rl from when the camera starts rolling. I love it that they seems to enjoy what they do and are being respectful towards each other.

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This show leaves me incoherent with joy. There is so much I could rave about while I wait for the moment when the brothers finally run into each other and all the story lines comes crashing together. So for now these are my two random cents:

Time skip! Time skip is official now! Gil Dong gets a top knot of glory instead of a shaggy mane . Yay?!

Meanwhile: "Choongwongoon tries to turn his life around by engaging with books and puts a knife on his book to discourage himself from nodding off." Wow man, now that's dedication! I wouldn't recommend it to my students though...

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Awesome as always. But I'd like to get to the meat of the matter now. :) Halfway through already.

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Who knows where I would be if I had studied with that much dedication. I could have even left this world... >.<

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My thoughts exactly!! I could have been left this world

I always wanted to be an astronaut, but I'be ended up as a lawyer. How did this happen? :'(

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Even left*

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Aw, but lawyer is a pretty awesome job as well! I always wanted to be an architect but now I ended up working in particle physics... lol.

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Same. I'm just kind of glossing over the last episodes for some reason.

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Somebody may have said this already, but could Mighty Child Gil-dong be an ancestor to Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon?

The timing is possible - the earliest mention of a Strong Woman was in the 1590s Japanese invasion. Yeonsangun ruled well before then.

Gil-dong's strength may be hereditary (father had it), and is subject to changeable rules - first "use it or lose it" in father's case, then later "misuse it and suffer". So figure that after things go badly for Gil-dong the rules are changed again so super strength is hereditary on the woman's side.

Anyway, it is amusing to have two super-strength dramas airing concurrently.

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I think it was indeed suggested a couple or recaps ago. By Chi?

And I completely agree :D it makes sense. The God's and shaman saw how Gul Dong abused his Power so limited the Power to women in the family. But a century later, Bong Soon's ancestor abused hers and the Gods realised that women are just as unreliable. It was then decided the Powers would be lost, in cases of abuse.

Cut to... The present. Bong Soon with the gorgeous Ahn Min Hyuk helping her, may bring about yet another change.

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Still haven't watched the other day's episode ? Anyway Sorry offtopic, but is there a chance DB will be recapping The Liar and His Lover? I've heard good things about it already with just the pilot episodes...

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The rating was not that great for pilot episodes (still below 2%) but maybe it is more appealing for international fans. I didn't watch it yet, maybe tinybeanie will recap it? Since she was the one who keeps updated about this drama's news.

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The OST is superb ! Ahn Ye Eun - Flaming song automatically lifts my mood up everytime I hear it ^^

Eorinii~~ I love the child actress though, she's such a natural and has a pretty cute smile. I'm sad that she's got very little screen time in her last appearance in the drama.

Mori ! Stay away from Ga Ryungie ! I want to stretch my hand into the screen and take Ga Ryung away from him already.

At this point, I'm afraid that the shaman's warning to Gil dong is going to be true. Gosh, I want to see how the tragedy will happen. Give me your angstier story, Drama !

Rebel had ruined my life by giving me so many feels that I almost can't contain it anymore. Be still my heart, be still.. we are only halfway through this wonderful journey :')

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do you know where i can listen to the OST?

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You can find it at youtube

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I don't know about other country, but here where I live, I can download their OSTs freely ^^
I think Ahn Ye Eun's songs (except the heart wrenching song in Ahmogae's leaving scene) aren't really part of the ost, because I found the song "Flaming" (which was being played toward the end of this episode) from her album. Her singing voice is so perfect for sageuk ost !

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I think that 'Spring is Coming' (the one with all the 'ooh's) is from the OST (it was released digitally as an OST for Rebel), though Ahn Ye Eun did sing it before on that survival audition program. 'Flaming' was released through her album, so it wouldn't make much sense to release it again through the OST. I'm definitely curious about that new song that was played when Garyung was talking about her past and Gildong voiced his 'swoony thoughts' lmao. It sounded nice, I wonder who's the singer?

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The music/soundtrack was unreal toward the end of the episode!! It really gave that feeling of fleeting time and glorious days and nostalgia.. Especially when we transitioned to an older version of Eorini it was like Woaahh time has really flown by and things would not be the same from here on... Am I even making sense??!! This show is awesome I wish ratings were higher and do it justice..

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The outro music is great. It emphasizes that the past is truly gone, and cannot be recaptured.

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I secretly wanting Gil Dong to answer Eunuch Kim's and the shaman's warnings with "I didn't choose the thug life, the thug life chose me". Missed opportunity, show!

But yeah - can't wait to get to the meat of the story now. Now the foundation has been set and I can't wait to finally get to the meat of the story even with all the upcoming angsts

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Omg ' I didn t chose the thug life, the thug life chose me' ????????? thanks for giving me a good laugh??

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Hehe. Someone needs to make that meme with GilDong :D

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Aww. I really wish we'd gotten to see more of the young Eorini. She was so cute and sweet :'(

Also, handsome Mori, why you gotta disappoint??? Before I realized that he was the head of the opposing army in the first ep I was hoping he'd join our gang...

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who knows? someone already commented about the opportunity that Mori might become Gil Dong's spy and the scene at episode 1 might have a plot twist ;)

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+1

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I have a feeling that Mo-ri will not appreciate being manipulated by Gil-dong into killing Heo Tae-hak, and returns to his former boss. It will be be interesting to see how that pans out after seeing his reaction to Ga-ryung on the street.

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Mori is totally broken and it doesn't help that he is being used and abused by those he is loyal to. He doesn't know how to love or feel remorse because he'd never been loved by anyone before and it hurts.
He is the saddest character in this show to me. If these people in his life were good he might have use his talents for good.

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I've never seen Kwon Hyuk-soo in anything but I'm liking him enough to look up his name. I'm glad the writer gives him more to work with for a side character.

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I adore this drama! Everything about it feels just right. I love how the myriad threads of the story dance and weave together, yet never really touch. This is some really skillful writing at play here and I'm fascinated by how it might all be resolved. And the scenes are well thought out and perfectly paced. Wow - that beautifully choreographed fight scene with so many characters! Kudos to the director and the editor. Simply superb and satisfying.

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Thanks for another dandy recap, dramallama!

My hypothesis that Ga-ryung and Song Sabu are related seems to be kaput. I'm still hedging my bets, however, because Writer-nim has already put so many clever twists in the plot. I'm itching to learn Song Sabu's hidden significance. Judging from the look on Choongwongoon's face when Madam Jo whispers to him, he must be of high stature indeed.

Song Sabu's question as to why Choongwongoon went after Amogae should have been addressed to Madam Jo, too. If she and her louse of a husband hadn't been such greedy bastards to begin with, Amogae would not have had to resort to desperate measures to buy his family's freedom. Her pious blathering about pillars of the nation infuriates me. And the same goes for Choongwongoon. He's a murderer and a pedophile, for crying out loud. He gets a free pass because he was born a royal, and because his victims were only female slaves? I have serious reservations about Song Sabu's definition of "pillar of the nation." I've also suspected all along that he knows that Gil-hyun is not the grandson of deceased nobleman Park.

As for Gil-hyun's new job, I wouldn't be surprised if Writer-nim were making an oblique reference to the Story of Chunhyang. Gil-hyun's request to become an undercover inspector in the Office of the Inspector General sounds a lot like the post of secret royal inspector, or Amhaeng-eosa, to which Lee Mong-ryong was appointed in the folktale.

I secretly wanting Gil Dong to answer Eunuch Kim’s and the shaman’s warnings with “I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me”.

@8 latteholic, you and me both!!!

Gil-dongah, please wake up and smell the coffee. Dad tried to nudge you onto the path of righteousness, but I'm afraid that he didn't tell you the whole story regarding his former masters, especially Madam Jo's connection with Choongwongoon.

I'm also watching TOMORROW WITH YOU, another show in which failure to communicate important bits of information has life-threatening consequences. Watching the slow-motion train wrecks about to unfold is driving me nuts. In some regards, Eunuch Kim / Shorty the Mat Salesman and Song Sabu remind me of Ma-rin's time-traveling father, Doo-shik. They are all manipulators, but the former two are much better at grasping the big picture. After seeing Shorty ask Gil-dong about Gong Hwa, I'm reminded all over again as to why I trust him as far as I can throw him. I don't think he lives up to Lord Noh's definition of loyalty. I also sense that, with the revelation that there is no one in the royal music bureau named Gong Hwa, Gil-dong is starting to let go of his first love.

I had to cheer for Nok-soo when she looked the king in the eye and told him her heart belongs to another man. She told him she would never lie to him, and she didn't. Talk about chutzpah.

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I guess I'm probably the only person who's kinda content that Ga Ryung has a simple backstory? Even Ga Ryung was embarrassed for having such an ordinary childhood. lol.
In a way her story represents the reality of the commoners' lives, in which being sold off by their own family is something they regarded as 'ordinary'. She seems to accept that as the nature of the society she belongs to. I really can't wait to see her transforming into that feisty, badass woman we see in that first episode. [still not looking forward to see her being shot though]

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@latteholic,

I guess I’m probably the only person who’s kinda content that Ga Ryung has a simple backstory? Even Ga Ryung was embarrassed for having such an ordinary childhood. lol.
In a way her story represents the reality of the commoners’ lives, in which being sold off by their own family is something they regarded as ‘ordinary’. She seems to accept that as the nature of the society she belongs to.

I suspect you have a lot of company. ;-)

It's fine by me that Ga-ryung had a normal, boring childhood for a female commoner. She accepts her lot in life, and that's why she was always cooking and cleaning at Amogae Avengers HQ until Gil-dong prevailed upon her to stop. (I love Amogae to bits for eating at the same table with his wife, and instilling that kind of respect for women in his kids.)

Luckily for Ga-ryung, she was bought to work as a servant at a gibang where she was treated better than at home. I shudder to think what would have become of her if she had been sold to someone like Choongwongoon or Heo Tae-hak. Perish the thought.

I'm still a bit confused as to why she was left behind when Wolhamae & Co. departed for the royal music bureau. Also, as a commoner, was she prohibited from becoming a gisaeng?

My theory regarding a possible family relationship between Ga-ryung and the teacher was based solely on their having the same surname. The more I learn about Song Sabu, the less I like him and his ideology -- and the happier I am that she is from a common but decent family.

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I wonder if Ga-ryung is on the same boat as Nok-soo. She has a last name (not mentioned in the drama yet) although she is a commoner/servant herself. She is still a Jang from her father's clan but was abandoned with her sister because her mother was nothing more than a gisaeng who serves every magistrate that came to town.

I'm guessing that the divorce and remarrying ban for women came much later because Nok-soo herself was married a few times I'm surprised she didn't have more than one kid from those marriages beside the children she had with the king.

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You and me both! I don't want Ga Ryung to be related to Song Sabu. I mean I don't think he is a bad person, but he has a really fanatic view on how the society and hierarchy system should work and he also tried to brainwashed/manipulated people into agreeing to what he firmly believed in. I kinda think of him as somewhat a cult leader? hehe.

Anyway, I thought Ga Ryung chose to stay and wait for Gil Dong? But also I was thinking that they would have some palace maids serving them as they are working at the royal music bureau, and therefore it wasn't necessary for Ga Ryung to leave with them.

That's an interesting question. I know that gisaengs are considered to be a 'lower caste' compared to commoners, but now I'm not sure if Ga Ryung is considered a commoners or not if she was sold off by her family? Does that make her a slave?

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If she was sold to the gibang then she would be a slave. She became Nok-soo's servant so maybe she paid for her freedom.
If she had a family name before she became a slave then she would be able to keep it.

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Thanks Kiara! I know you would be able to answer this :)

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Yikes, I wouldn't want anyone to be related to Song Sabu... At first I thought he was a good man, when he took Gil Hyun in. But now he's training Prince Pervert to get his revenge simply because 'he's a pillar of the nation'. Pfff, all that partying and raping doesn't make a difference does it?

Turns out Song Sabu if the kind of Joseon scholar that I dislike with a passion: he has an immaculate image and perfect behavior, and seems to uphold what is considered good. But everything he says is poison and he has no humility whatsoever (not a Joseon virtue I guess?). I'm so glad Gil Hyun has drifted away from his influence. Obviously Song Sabu is convinced he's right, and by Joseon standards is an upholder of natural order, so I can't accuse him of being a hypocrite. Like Madam Jo he sincerely believes in what he says. But it's so twisted and wrong.

The trio of Song Sabu, Madam Jo and Choonwongoong are the real ideological enemies of Ahmogae and the Hong family. The contrast could not be stronger than seeing Ga Ryung eating at the table with the guys and serving only herself.

And oops, did Ahmogae really not tell Gil Dong about Madam Jo and Choonwongoong? I remember Ahmogae saying 'you don't know the whole story, do you?' but forget whether that conversation continued...

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@WishfulToki,

Yikes, I wouldn’t want anyone to be related to Song Sabu… At first I thought he was a good man, when he took Gil Hyun in. But now he’s training Prince Pervert to get his revenge simply because ‘he’s a pillar of the nation’.

Neither would I!!

It irritates me no end that Song Sabu claims to have turned Park Ha-sun into such a success. I thought there was something creepy about his tuning in to desperation, and the truth will come out in the next episode. Gil-hyun is fortunate to have met Lord Noh, who opened his mind to the true meaning of loyalty. He lives a frugal, scholarly existence when he's not reconnoitering undercover on behalf of the king.

Turns out Song Sabu if the kind of Joseon scholar that I dislike with a passion: he has an immaculate image and perfect behavior, and seems to uphold what is considered good. But everything he says is poison and he has no humility whatsoever (not a Joseon virtue I guess?). I’m so glad Gil Hyun has drifted away from his influence. Obviously Song Sabu is convinced he’s right, and by Joseon standards is an upholder of natural order, so I can’t accuse him of being a hypocrite. Like Madam Jo he sincerely believes in what he says.

I see a parallel between Song Sabu's projected image and Yeonsangun's desire to be a monarch of dignity. Dignity, schmignity. It's all just window dressing. If your ideology is rotten to the core, who cares whether your carriage of state has faded hangings? They both want to look good on the outside to impress others.

Yeonsangun's desire to be known as a monarch of dignity is a turning point leading down the primrose path. Being a good and wise king apparently is not enough. He wants to project a certain image -- which is bankrupting the royal treasury. In this regard, Eunuch Kim is his chief enabler. Recall that he had earlier told Nok-soo that he only wanted to see the king smile. Now I can't help but wonder about Shorty's true intentions.

Sincere idealists are the worst, and Song Sabu and Madam Jo are at the top of the list. They most definitely are not hypocrites. On the other hand, it never crosses their minds that, but for a twist of fate, they could have been born slaves, or sold into slavery themselves. Gag me with a holier-than-thou spoon.

The trio of Song Sabu, Madam Jo and Choonwongoong are the real ideological enemies of Ahmogae and the Hong family.

I totally agree. If you stop to think about it, they are also the real ideological enemies of Yeonsangun, too. Aren't they de facto flags for Confucius and Mencius? They are just being covert about it -- for now.

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@WishfulToki,

And oops, did Ahmogae really not tell Gil Dong about Madam Jo and Choonwongoong? I remember Ahmogae saying ‘you don’t know the whole story, do you?’ but forget whether that conversation continued…

I don't recall exactly what Amogae told Gil-dong, so I may have forgotten something. When he said his son doesn't know the whole story, I got the impression that he might have meant his reasons for killing Lord Jo, and how he managed to get Madam Jo to recant, for that is the root of the grudge.

In this show, if I don't see something happen, I don't assume it happened, for example, Amogae returning the deposed queen's letter to Madam Jo. It takes a long time, but we eventually hear her lament that she no longer has proof that her husband supported the deposed queen.

On the other hand, I don't think Amogae ever knew that Horny Uncle's attack on Mom was Madam Jo's diabolical idea. None of the other Hongs have an inkling of her political fanaticism and unremitting thirst for revenge (that I am aware of).

Because she is a woman without power of her own, Madam Jo manipulates men into doing her dirty work -- just like Nok-soo uses Yeonsangun to take revenge on the old magistrate. I think that it is the powerlessness of women in the Confucian scheme of things that makes Madam Jo and Nok-soo so vicious.

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Thanks for your reply! :) I wonder what happened to that letter... I don't suppose Amogae deposited it in some sort of safe?

I hadn't thought of that similarity between Madam Jo and Nok Soo, feeling powerless in the Confucian system. It's true that neither of them tries to change the system. Nok Soo hates it but she still uses it, while Madam Jo works to strengthen it. Ga Ryung on the other hand takes things as they come, and sees people for who they are, which is refreshing.

Regarding Shorty Kim, I don't really know what his deal is. Living to make the king laugh and spoiling him is a recipe for disaster, but there's more to him than meets the eye. One thing though: I think it's very probable that he was indeed the one who rescued Eurini and took her to the palace. I think you also had this theory a few episodes ago right? I hope that's not some kind of 'insurance plan' on Shorty's part. I can't trust him. He's too slippery.

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@WishfulToki,

You're welcome!

As for the whereabouts of the letter, I can't imagine where it could be, if it indeed still exists. As long as the former king was still alive, it could be used against the deposed queen's supporters. But as soon as Yeonsangun ascended the throne, it would be proof of Lord Jo's loyalty, and should have been destroyed.

One thing though: I think it’s very probable that he was indeed the one who rescued Eurini and took her to the palace. I think you also had this theory a few episodes ago right? I hope that’s not some kind of ‘insurance plan’ on Shorty’s part. I can’t trust him. He’s too slippery.

Yes, I thought that Shorty might have discovered Eorini in his travels -- based solely upon the color of the leggings, which were the only parts of another person that were visible in the later scene when she is inside a dark room.

Now that you mention it, an "insurance plan" would be right up Shorty's alley. -- Thanks, now I'm getting worried. ;-)

On the other hand, if she were only calling for Orabeoni, there's still a chance that her brother's identity is still unknown to him. (I'm grasping at straws here.)

At any rate, if Eunuch Kim found Eorini, it would explain how she ended up at the palace.

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Yes! I also thought Eunuch Kim was the one who brought Uhrini to the palace. It was around the time where he went undercover as the traveling peddler..

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Yea that so called pillar of the nation irks me to no end. Song comes across as intelligent for a scholar and yet so close minded. As long as the high and mighty nobles enjoy the benefits they are borned and entitled to then all is well.

Eunuch Kim is just neutral to everyone. He'd use and discard anyone because he is only loyal to the king. He is doing his job I'd give him that and he probably believes that he is supporting a king who wants to help his people.

I think his biggest mistakes was getting Nok-soo in the palace. She'd have Yeonsangun wrapped around her fingers in no time. If I were Eunuch Kim I'd watch my back.

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@PakalanaPikake

After seeing Shorty ask Gil-dong about Gong Hwa, I’m reminded all over again as to why I trust him as far as I can throw him.

Shorty the Shrewd is one sketchy sonofa. ? And he has all the crucial information filed away in that crafty mind of his too. Just seemingly waiting for the right moment to pull each rabbit out of the hat. He could go either way, so it makes him a wildcard in my mind.

So now that the King has shown interest in Gong Hwa, he's not so opposed to her staying in the palace anymore? It's a ship that sailed, but I still hate that Shorty's the only one privy to Gildong/Gonghwa's mutual pining and the only one who has access to both.

I had to cheer for Nok-soo when she looked the king in the eye and told him her heart belongs to another man. She told him she would never lie to him, and she didn’t. Talk about chutzpah.

So cheeky, our Noksoo. Haha! That promise to never lie to the King is a tall order though. I wonder if she's gonna be able to keep her word to the end. I'm now curious to how she answered the King's question in that flashforward scene in the first episode.

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@Pandadoo,

So now that the King has shown interest in Gong Hwa, he’s not so opposed to her staying in the palace anymore? It’s a ship that sailed, but I still hate that Shorty’s the only one privy to Gildong/Gonghwa’s mutual pining and the only one who has access to both.

According to Eunuch Kim, he wants the king to smile and be happy. Nok-soo's honest replies -- that she already gave her heart to another man, and that even if she hadn't, she wouldn't -- because he would no longer have incentive to stick around -- elicited some good belly laughs. That should meet Shorty's criteria for suitable company for His Majesty.

I second your loathing of Shorty's privy knowledge of Gong Hwa and Gil-dong's earlier relationship. The image I have of him is a spider lying in wait in its web, exquisitely attuned to every vibration from every strand. -- I just realized that Wolhamae and Ga-ryung also know about the relationship, so the information is not exclusive to Shorty.

To add to the excitement, Mori has figured out that there's a relationship between Ga-ryung and Gil-dong as well. Oh, goody. More grist for the mayhem mill. Might Nok-soo go ballistic if she finds out that they married?

I’m now curious to how she answered the King’s question in that flashforward scene in the first episode.

Me, too. I rewatched it to refresh my memory. The king mentions that he met with Gil-dong, and says he's heard that Nok-soo knew him (in the biblical sense?) before coming to the music bureau. I hesitate to speculate at this time, and think we'll have to see the full scene to get a handle on the degree to which Yeonsangun's instability has progressed. While I'd like to think that she sticks to her guns and reminds him that she told him from the very start that she no longer had a heart to give him, I could see where she might not want to wave a red flag at an angry bull.

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@PakalanaPikake

I just realized that Wolhamae and Ga-ryung also know about the relationship, so the information is not exclusive to Shorty.

Indeed they do, but only from their half pining side I think? Ga-ryung has seen how Gil-dong gets pensive when it comes to Gong-hwa. Meanwhile, Wolhamae appears to be the sole sounding board for Gong-hwa. But I don't think they have any idea if the other party felt the same. Unfortunately, here we have Shorty, the omniscient one. Pfft. Haha!

Might Nok-soo go ballistic if she finds out that they married?

Oooh, this is a good one. Hmm. It could go either way? From what we've seen so far, Nok-soo is on the passive-aggressive side of things with the capacity and patience for cold revenge. If pushed far enough though, we've also seen her go slightly unhinged on that girl who dared confront her. Knowing now how deeply she felt for Gil-dong, I'm almost scared on how she will respond to Gil-dong getting married to Ga-ryung of all people.

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I really want to know what Gil hyun read in that letter he found in the woods. What did the dead scholar request? For a passing traveller to take up the identity of Park Ha Sung and sit for the exam?

This show is so exciting, and I don't like the fact that Choongwongoong is still alive. *internally screaming* now we're just waiting for shit to go down. Gaaaaaaaah!!

I wonder when Ga Ryung becomes a widower who avenges the death of her husband as written in her character description. Hmmmm.

When the sibling reunion happens, please don't let it happen when Gil Dong is in the middle of one of his Big Plans to Destroy Bad People. I almost had a heart attack during the trial of Choongwongoong.

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@DeeGee,

I really want to know what Gil hyun read in that letter he found in the woods.

Me, too. We may have to wait until Gil-hyun finally is reunited with one of his siblings to find out what was in deceased Scholar Park's last will and testament. I have a feeling that Eorini will cross paths with her brother at the palace. I don't think she can leave the premises, and doubt that Gil-dong would be allowed to call on Eunuch Kim. My money is on Eorini spotting Gil-hyun rather than vice versa, since she's grown up and changed more than he has.

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dramallama ~

Thanks for the recap. Looking forward to the next episode.
What happens to seperate Gil-dong from Ga ryung? Madam Jo just keeps on trying, she's tough.

Kudos to Seo Yi-Sook's portrayal. Almost half of her roles have been saeguks, I'm currently watcher her in Queen Insoo too.

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Eunuch Kim reminds me of Marshal Hae from King's Daughter Soo Baekhyang (this writer's previous work), in that he really uses clever words which can mean one thing or the other. If we are not privy to the meaning of his words beforehand, I would've stupidly scratch my head and say "I don't understand" like what Soboori did too, hee.

I love that we finally get background info on Ga-ryung. Ugh, Gil-dong, please stop playing with the girl's (my) heart. If you love her, just say it. Don't do this 'touching her face' thing and just leave her (and me!) hanging like that. My heart cannot take it.

I love the gang fight scene. When you start hearing that "Wo~ oh woo oh ohoh~" intro, you know that things are gonna get epic!

I don't think it's right for Gil-dong and the Hongs to ignore the Shaman completely though, especially since she seems to travel far just to see Amogae and Gil-dong. That "tsk tsk tsk" is pretty ominous. I guess her prophecies will come true, since we see that everybody is back to their peasant hairstyle/getup in the beginning of ep.1.

Lastly, woah Honey Lee. She really seems like a mad woman. Great acting there. Has someone here seen Queen In Hyun's Man? I think the lady who gets slapped by Noksoo looks like the gisaeng girl who had a crush on Kim Boong-do, only her lips looks...swollen? Or are they two different girls?

OTT: While waiting for Mondays to come, I decided to watch 6 Flying Dragons (you guessed it right, I'm watching it for Yoon Kyunsang). He looks so young there and skinnier than now. He pulled off that Puppy type character so well, I'm pleasantly surprised!

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“Wo~ oh woo oh ohoh~” :D Gives me Magnificent Seven, Western cowboy vibes whenever we get thug brawls and this song plays. And over alcohol too. Lol.

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@WishfulToki

Right, the song is so unique! I showed this drama to my sisters before and they both hated the song though. They said it sounds weird and doesn't suit the drama. They ended up dropping this drama anyway. (Their choice of drama often clashes with mine, eg. They loved Moon Lovers while I avoided that drama like a plague. Not saying they have bad taste or anything, just stating the difference in preference)

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SFD ! I initially watched it for Yoon Kyun Sang too but I ended up loving the whole 50 episodes drama which was nice. Enjoy your cutie Moo Hyul version as much as you could before things get darker ;)

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Ah so his character will turn dark later? Thanks for the heads up, I'm somewhere in ep. 17. It's so hard to like the show for me. I get the appeal, big name actors, fast editing, great camera works, solid plot... But I have issues with some of the acting, the fast editing also sometimes prevents me from getting immersed in a particular scene. Sometimes a particular scene feel cringey because I feel like it's one of those 'it's not that deep, fam' moment but they exaggerate their expressions/actions. They have super sick fighting scenes though, I'll give them that. In fact, I think they have one of the best sword fighting scene I've ever seen in a sageuk. (Sorry for talking abt '6FD' in 'Rebel' thread.)

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Warrior Moo-hyul is the exception lol. He was well loved before SFD came along. He was the one character from TWDR that made me watch SFD beside being there for Kim Myung-min.

I think his character was adjusting to the bloody family feud towards the end of the show. Moo-hyul was the definition of loyalty.

I'm glad they made him a warrior instead of the eunuch in the novel.

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@enkeys,

Eunuch Kim reminds me of Marshal Hae from King’s Daughter Soo Baekhyang (this writer’s previous work), in that he really uses clever words which can mean one thing or the other.

I keep noticing parallels with Writer-nim's earlier work, too.

The big difference lies in the kings they serve. Marshal Hae's boss, King Muryeong, was truly a straight arrow and a wise and protective ruler to his people. Both were career soldiers and brothers-in-arms. Marshal Hae was not above skullduggery if it meant protecting the nation. He was anything but a yes-man. And his remorse over Muryeong's personal sacrifices was great.

Eunuch Kim is a creature of the court and all its intrigue. He is as subtle as a snake, and I don't trust him. He was the young prince's caretaker. He may be loyal to Yeonsangun, but is he loyal to the nation? The king he serves is deeply flawed, although he has not yet gone off the rails. While it was refreshing to see Yeonsangun grow a backbone and wrangle with the yangban and scholars at court, the ensuing bloodbath was a portent of calamity.

I don’t think it’s right for Gil-dong and the Hongs to ignore the Shaman completely though, especially since she seems to travel far just to see Amogae and Gil-dong. That “tsk tsk tsk” is pretty ominous.

I agree on all counts. "Pride goeth before a fall." I feel like smacking Gil-dong upside the head to get his attention. Maybe the Universe is about to unleash a couple of thunderbolts to do just that. Or maybe Amogae's ghost will have to pay Gil-dong a visit. Seriously, kiddo, disrespecting a mudang is playing with fire. I can't help but wonder if he's already sealed his own fate, or whether ceasing his misuse of power could yet avert certain doom.

And yes! I marathoned 6FD right before REBEL started for the same reason -- and also so I could finally watch TREE WITH DEEP ROOTS in chronological order. ;-)

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@PakalanaPikake

Hey, I plan to watch 'Tree With Deep Roots' after '6FD' too, cuz I heard it's better to finish the latter first so you'll get the full picture of end of Gorgyeo to early Joseon era. Also, watching an episode a day (one on Monday and another one on Tuesday) is really not good for my health and concentration, because I keep wondering what will happen next, like I don't need all these extra stress on top of my daily life stress, ya know? Marathoning both episodes on Tuesday is better :)

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I try to watch them separately so I can keep the episodes straight in my mind. Otherwise I muddle them together, and run the risk of revealing spoilers for the second weekly episode. I hate it when that happens. ;-)

6FD pulled me in and was compelling from first to last. I went totally bonkers watching it. It was like Lays potato chips: "Nobody can eat just one." ;-)

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@PakalanaPikake

I want to add,
Re: Eunuch Kim
Has he ever explained why he go around looking for 'extraordinary creatures/beings' when he's just a Eunuch? Is it for the benefit of the King?

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As far as I recall, Eunuch Kim never gave a reason for his traveling around in search of "extraordinary creatures." He makes it sound as if he's hunting for snipes and unicorns. It could be that he's traipsing around undercover because he wants to take the pulse of the nation. I don't trust anything he says.

Aha. I just remembered that Gil-dong staggered into Gong Hwa's old gibang looking for Eorini, whom he thought he saw in the group of gisaeng trainees Ga-ryung was leading in the front gate. He had three arrows sticking out of his back, and made quite a splash. That would have been hot news on the road. I think that's how Shorty came to hear about Gil-dong. He not only survived, but recovered so quickly he blew the attending physician's mind -- which prompted Shorty's sadistic burn test. All in the name of science, of course.

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