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My Country: The New Age: Episode 6

Our star-crossed heroes maintain a healthy distrust as they continue working together, one to save his loved ones and the other to save himself. Their plans are getting more dangerous as they grow closer to their target, increasing the danger with every step. When something goes wrong, one of them is forced to act fast or else they’ll lose everything they’ve worked towards for years.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

Hwi goes with the hired assassins and storms Ihwaru, intending to kill Grand General Jung on Bang-won’s orders. Hwi finishes the job, but on his way out, Hee-jae sees him and grabs his hand. Hwi looks ashamed of the blood on his hands and face, but Hee-jae tells him that she still misses him and dreams about him.

Hwi says that he’s never dreamed of her because it was all he could do to survive, so he erased her from his mind. He starts to leave, but he pauses when Hee-jae says to his back, “Thank you for being alive.” Hiding his own tears, Hwi leaves without another word.

Sun-ho has alerted King Taejo to the plan to kill Grand General Jung, claiming that it was his own plan on the king’s behalf to let his enemies know he’s not to be messed with. He asks for full authority and access to anywhere he needs to go, and he’ll make sure King Taejo has no need to miss or fear Bang-won.

King Taejo asks Sun-ho what his opinion is on letting the officials keep their private armies. Sun-ho just says he’ll take care of it, and a tiny smirk crosses King Taejo’s face.

Except for Hwi, all of the assassins were killed at Ihwaru. Hee-jae refuses to call the authorities, saying that they’ll try to blame Ihwaru for helping the assassins. She promises Lady Seo that she’ll make sure there’s no trace left of what happened here.

Hee-jae goes back to her vigil at Hwa-wol’s bedside, and Hwa-wol finally wakes and asks if she’s glad she finally saw Hwi alive. Hee-jae says that it looked like hell was engraved all over Hwi’s body, and she could hear every one of his scars screaming. She says that the look in his eyes broke her heart more than his words did.

On his way out of the throne room, Sun-ho passes Lord Nam and tells him that audiences with the king are over for the day. Lord Nam has guessed that Sun-ho told King Taejo something he hid from him, such as Bang-won’s weakness, and he accuses Sun-ho of overstepping his rank. Sun-ho just says he’ll accept the consequences of his own actions.

Later, Sung-rok informs Sun-ho that Grand General Jung was killed at Ihwaru, and that of the assassins, only Hwi came out alive. Sun-ho stifles his emotional response, but he can’t hide his worry when he hears that Hee-jae was there. He runs to Hee-jae’s home and arrives just as she’s returning.

She tells Sun-ho that she saw Hwi, angry that he’s known all this time that Hwi was alive. Sun-ho says that Hwi was purposely avoiding her, and that he and Hwi are no longer friends. Hee-jae growls that Sun-ho has become just like his father, and from the look on Sun-ho’s face, her observation stings.

Bang-won learns that Grand General Jung is dead and that the assassins didn’t leave Ihwaru alive, as planned. His man asks if they can trust Ihwaru’s silence, and Bang-won says that thousands of plans have been made at Ihwaru that nobody knows about.

At the same time, Hee-jae talks to Lady Seo about the need to discover who had Grand General Jung killed so they can prepare for their next move. Lady Seo says it can only be one of two people… Lord Nam, who would never hire lowborn swordsmen, or Bang-won. She tells Hee-jae to stay out of it or risk her own and Hwi’s safety, but Hee-jae says that it’s because of Hwi that she needs to step in.

Lady Seo warns Hee-jae to be wary — that Bang-won will be named crown prince, but that Bang-won will take the throne. Bang-won approaches them just then, bringing Lady Seo a gift of medicine for her cough, and he asks Hee-jae to talk with him. Over tea, Bang-won says that he always knew when his father had returned from a battle because he constantly reeked of blood.

He says that Ihwaru smells that way right now, and he tells Hee-jae that he sent the assassins to kill Grand General Jung. She asks if they work for him, since they looked like roughnecks, and Bang-won says that he’ll just kill them if they cause trouble. Lady Seo objects to him carrying out his assassination at Ihwaru, but he says it will keep happening.

He makes it clear that it will cost Lady Seo her life if she causes him any problems, but she says she hasn’t long to live, anyway, and Bang-won guesses pointedly that someone will have to take over after she dies.

Hee-jae tells Bang-won that she could have killed him back when they were on the run together, and his smile fades as she says that she’ll probably get another chance. He offers her a job spying for him as long as she continues working for Queen Sindeok and being Sun-ho’s friend, and extends her permission to kill him any time she wishes.

Hee-jae asks what happens if she declines. Bang-won glares, but then he grins and says they’ll see, if and when that happens.

At his hideout, Hwi tears down the picture of Grand General Jung now that he’s been eliminated. He covers his target wall just as Sun-ho arrives to discuss the next step in their plans. Their next target is Bang-won’s arsenal, so he tells Hwi to get work as a guard, move up to the elite squad, then approach Bang-won. Hwi sighs that he’ll grow old and die before that happens, but Sun-ho says that, as suspicious as Bang-won is, it’s the only way.

The hear a noise, and Hwi goes outside to aim an arrow at the intruder. It’s just Hee-jae, but Hwi quickly puts out her lantern and pulls her away from the cabin. He asks why she’s here, and she says he should be asking how she found him, since if she found him, so can Bang-won.

Hwi tells her to leave and stay away, but she says he can’t stop her. He implies that he’ll kill her if she doesn’t leave, and even draws his bow when she moves closer. But Hee-jae sees the cloth tied to the bow, the one she tied onto his forehead years ago, and she knows he was lying when he said he forgot her.

Hwi turns away, but Hee-jae rushes over and backhugs him, and she promises, “I will protect you from now on. I won’t lose you again.” Hwi says he’d have to die to enter the world she lives in, and she lets go.

She tells him to forget the girl who used to put up posters, and says that she won’t step in without his permission and that in front of Bang-won, they’ll be strangers. She leaves, and Hwi turns to watch her go.

They don’t see Sun-ho watching them, looking a little broken himself. He goes back to town to drink himself senseless, pretending to be fine but remembering the day he revealed his feelings for Hee-jae, when she’d told him that her heart was already taken.

On his way home, Sun-ho runs into two noblemen who taunt him for being Lord Nam’s illegitimate son. Sun-ho says that none of them chose their parents, so they should be glad they were lucky. One of them plays the “it was just a joke” card, but Sun-ho says that the next time they meet, he’ll ruin the hand the man is using to point at him.

Yeon is waiting up when Sun-ho finally staggers home, and she catches him when he stumbles. He gently pushes her hand away and tells her not to wait for him anymore. He says it makes him uncomfortable, though he tells Yeon that she did nothing wrong.

The next day, Hwi goes alone to see Ganggae, who marvels that he’s alive after Grand General Jung’s assassination. Ganggae sets his men on Hwi, who ignores them and shoots an arrow into Ganggae’s shoulder, then takes three of the men down by firing three arrows at once.

Just as he’s about to be overwhelmed, Chi-do, Moon-bok, and Jung Beom show up, having guessed that Hwi wasn’t going hunting as he claimed. While they fight, Ganggae runs off, but Hwi stops Chi-do from following since he might need Ganggae later.

Elsewhere, Sun-ho leads some men to the home of the young nobleman who insulted him. They fight the noble’s men then Sun-ho slashes him, and the noble screams about his father’s influence. Sun-ho sneers that he once invoked his father’s name to gain advantage, and now it’s the thing he regrets the most.

He slams his sword through the nobleman’s hand, just as he promised. He invites him to report him if he likes, but that he’ll end up dead.

Hwi was very careful not to kill any of Ganggae’s men, only wound them, and he tells them to leave or he will kill them next time. Hwi’s friend want to know what he was doing, so he leads them to the forge that the men were guarding and tells them to sell the weapons.

Chi-do asks who they belong to, and Hwi tries to lie, but he eventually admits that they’re Bang-won’s. At his friends’ horrified reactions, he says there are more dangerous plans in the works, so they should go their separate ways. Chi-do gets angry, and the guys insist that Hwi tell them everything.

So Hwi takes them to his hideout and shows them his plans. He explains that Cheonga and Tae-ryong each manage a third of Bang-won’s army, with only the best serving directly under Bang-won himself. Cheonga’s group protect Bang-won’s home, and Tae-ryong’s men are the ones they just defeated.

His friends correctly guess that Hwi is being forced to do this to protect Yeon, and they tell Hwi that they consider her their sister, too. They don’t hesitate to swear to help Hwi, who gratefully accepts.

Ganggae, meanwhile, reports to Cheonga that someone has raided both the gambling house and the forge, but that the armory is still safe. Cheonga is furious, having given control of those places to Ganggae in exchange for kickbacks, and Ganggae frantically promises to take them back.

We flash back to the night that Hwi’s father, Seo Geom, saved Hee-jae from the assassins that killed her mother. He’d sent one assassin back to his master with a message: “If he ever hurts this little girl, he’ll answer to me.” But another assassin had also survived that night — Ganggae, who still blames Seo Geom for the way he’s been treated since that day.

Lady Seo learns that Hee-jae found Hwi, and Hee-jae vows never to lose him again. She wants to be assigned to watch him, promising Lady Seo twenty percent of the Ming tributes sent this year in exchange. Lady Seo allows it on one condition — that she hears the deal from the queen herself.

Hwi meets with Sun-ho at a library and tells him about the weapons at the forge. Sun-ho says he’ll take over from here and instructs Hwi to wait for his next assignment, reminding him to follow directions carefully or their plans could crumble.

Hwa-wol comes to the pharmacy looking for medicine for her head wound and runs into Moon-bok, who instantly falls head-over-heels for her. He’s so awkwardly sweet, asking her name and fussing over what he considers a sloppy job treating her wound so far.

He gives her some medicine, then gets busted by the real doctor for pretending to be one. Hwa-wol asks if Moon-bok also has salt, and when he hands it over, she tosses a handful in his face, hee. But she takes his medicine, and as she stomps off, he calls out his name to her.

Later, Hwi and Chi-do leave together, and Moon-bok sends some new medicine with them that causes numbness. As they walk, Hwi tells Chi-do that he’s going to use Bang-won to get rid of Lord Nam, and he asks Chi-do not to get involved if something goes wrong and it looks like Hwi may get killed. Chi-do refuses at first, but Hwi threatens to go alone, so he reluctantly promises.

Sun-ho has begun disbanding private armies, so Bang-won tells Tae-ryong to recruit any men who have been let go. He says that when his father is the only one left with an army, he’ll need his personal army even more, to turn the tables on the king.

Sun-ho attends a dinner with the royal family and the advisers, who don’t look happy about it. Little Bang-seok asks Queen Sindeok who he is, and she says that Sun-ho is the man who will protect him. King Taejo lists Sun-ho’s accomplishments during the war, so that his advisers know why a man of his low rank was invited to join them.

The dinner is crashed by Bang-won, and Queen Sindeok hisses to Bang-seok not to cower from him. Bang-won says that he also accomplished brave acts during the war, including protecting the queen and princes. He addresses Bang-seok as “crown prince,” causing Queen Sindeok to snap at him for jumping the gun, but Bang-won speaks directly to Bang-seok and tells him not to forget his brother after he’s on the throne.

King Taejo invites Bang-won to take Grand General Jung’s empty seat, “Since you’re the one who made it that way.” Bang-won kneels and insists on taking the lowliest seat, infuriating the king even further. Sun-ho stands unprompted and states that the private armies are causing unrest and requests that they all be abolished.

Bang-won points out that it was King Taejo’s private army that founded the new nation, but Sun-ho argues that the only reason for a private army is for an uprising. Bang-won bellows as if the idea is offensive to him, but Sun-ho only sneers that he must have guessed Bang-won’s plans.

Bang-won says that they need armies because they’re still under attack from the Japanese and the northern barbarians, but Sun-ho calmly retorts that the nation will handle them. One of the advisers objects to Sun-ho questioning Bang-won’s loyalty and asks the king to reconsider abolishing private armies, and the others join him.

In private, King Taejo asks Sun-ho why he interrupted him. Sun-ho says that Bang-won came to be belittled by his father and make the ministers pity him, but King Taejo notes that Bang-won still got the best of them both. He warns Sun-ho not to cut him off again or it will cost his head.

Lord Nam waits for Sun-ho and guesses that the king is getting old or he wouldn’t still be alive. But he tells Sun-ho that he was right, because his interruption drew the ministers’ anger to him and away from the king, and that the king knows this.

He advises that targeting higher-ups is the way to advance. He points out that Bang-won is feared because he’s killed high-ranking officials, and Sun-ho asks what side Lord Nam will be on when he targets Bang-won.

While out game hunting, Bang-won spots a wolf and impulsively goes after it. His arrow hits its target, and moments later, a second arrow strikes the wolf. Bang-won turns to see Hwi, who arrogantly refuses to kneel and complains that Bang-won’s shot to the wolf’s body ruined its pelt.

Looking amused, Bang-won tells Hwi that it’s illegal for peasants to hunt in this forest. Hwi says that tigers and wolves have been sneaking out of the forest to kill villagers, so he’s just protecting the people. Bang-won bellows at him, then laughs when Hwi doesn’t even flinch.

He introduces himself, and Hwi pretends to be intimidated and stammers his own name. Bang-won offers Hwi a job, but Hwi declines, saying that he prefers not to be subservient to anyone. His comment is blatantly offensive to Bang-won’s men, so Tae-ryong and Cheonga dismount to fight him.

Hwi asks for a sword and Bang-won tosses down his own, and Hwi manages to hold off Cheonga’s double sickle weapons. As they fight, Cheonga snarls that he knows Hwi invaded the forge. Hwi throws him off, and as Cheonga charges again, an arrow strikes him in the chest.

More arrows rain down on Bang-won’s men, so Bang-won reins his horse towards the archer with Hwi hot on his heels. It’s only Chi-do, but Hwi pretends to be on Bang-won’s side and starts firing back. He looks worried when Bang-won continues chasing Chi-do, but they soon lose their target, and Bang-won is impressed by Hwi’s skills.

Hwi returns to skin his wolf while Bang-won asks how he got through his several layers of guards, but Hwi says he was already in the forest. He declines Bang-won’s offers to repay him for his help today, so Bang-won says instead, “Beg for your life.”

His men beat Hwi, wrap him in a straw mat, and drag him behind one of their horses. Chi-do watches, and he aims an arrow at Bang-won as he rides away, but he doesn’t take the shot.

While Bang-won and his men hunt, Sun-ho plans to attack his arsenal. Sung-rok brings him the news that something went wrong and Bang-won has taken Hwi captive, so the raid is postponed. Sung-rok tells Sun-ho to cut Hwi loose since he won’t survive this, but Sun-ho says that’s his call to make.

Hwi is tossed at Bang-won’s feet in his courtyard. He finds it suspicious that Hwi was able to fight Cheonga so skillfully that neither of them was injured, but Hwi just says with a bloody grin that many coincidences add up to fate.

Not trusting that they ran into each other by coincidence, Bang-won asks Hwi who he is and who sent him, but Hwi sticks to his story that he’s just a hunter who happened to be in the forest. Still suspicious, Bang-won puts his sword to Hwi’s throat and asks him one last time who he is. Hwi just stares at him, so Bang-won raises his sword and says they must not be fated.

He brings the sword down, stopping just before slicing Hwi’s head off, but Hwi still doesn’t move. They’re distracted by Sun-ho’s arrival, but Sun-ho says he’s not here for Bang-won. He draws his own sword and approaches Hwi, but Bang-won steps between them.

 
COMMENTS

I really love they way My Country doles out just enough information to advance the story, but the characters’ true motivations and plans are kept slightly murky, giving every interaction between them a heightened feel of suspense and deliciously shivery anticipation. We know, for example, that Sun-ho and Hwi are working together, and that deep down they still care for each other. But their friendship is broken and they each have more pressing concerns than a long-lost childhood connection, so they treat each other with only enough trust to accomplish their plans and no more. Because of that, the audience is kept in suspense as to the larger scope of their scheme, and whether they even truly have the same goals. The only thing I’m sure of is that at some point, Sun-ho and Hwi’s purposes will diverge, and they’ll find their tenuous partnership split up for good.

And then there’s Hee-jae, who is beginning to make plans of her own. I can’t really bring myself to feel sorry for Sun-ho when it comes to Hee-jae, exactly, though I do feel bad that he’s stuck in the position he’s in with her. He’s known from the beginning that Hee-jae doesn’t love him and never will, so it’s not like he’s been holding out much hope, and he’s aware that the things he does to keep her and Yeon safe will alienate both Hee-jae and Hwi. He’s made a conscious choice to forfeit their friendship in favor of saving their lives, so I’ve never felt the usual second-lead-syndrome for Sun-ho that breaks my heart because he truly believed that he could win the girl. Sun-ho has always known he would never win the girl, and although that’s the sacrifice he chose, it still stings.

Honestly, Hwi is really no better than Sun-ho when it comes to being distressingly, destructively self-sacrificing. This episode made me glad all over again that he’s got friends with some sense, because without Chi-do, Moon-bok, and Jung Beom, Hwi would have gotten himself killed ten times over by now. The problem with Hwi’s brand of selflessness is that, while it’s noble and all to be willing to die alone and spare those he loves, it would then leave those he loves behind with all the same problems, but no Hwi to help them solve them. I really wish these types of heroes would understand that they can’t accomplish anything, or save their friends, if they’re dead.

And don’t even get me started with the way Hwi is pushing Hee-jae away in a pure Noble Idiot attempt to keep her safe. Hee-jae has been perfectly capable of taking care of herself since long before Hwi met her, and she not only survived while he was gone, but she maneuvered herself into a position where she’s advising the queen of the entire country. Hee-jae doesn’t need Hwi — or anyone — to protect her… what she needs is someone who will stand beside her and support her. As far as I’m concerned, until Hwi can understand that and be a partner for Hee-jae, then he doesn’t deserve to be with her, anyway.

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Thanks for the recap @lollypip. To quote you: "... And don’t even get me started with the way Hwi is pushing Hee-jae away in a pure Noble Idiot attempt to keep her safe..." I'm so tired of this trope. I think this whole drama could just as easily survived without a love interest. I'd dare the writers to try it.
I love Yang Se-jong. But feel he should pay a bigger price for all the beatings, stab wounds, etc., where he just walks away as if it's nothing.
I'll leave the rest of the OTP fan comments to others.

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But despite the amnesia and Noble idiocy trope this drama is just too interesting. I keep on hoping for Hae Jee to have more to do in the show.

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Count me in in that club.

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I do so agree with you that this drama could have done without the love story, I personally don't find it believable or compelling. I think a love story between Yeon and Sun Ho would have been way more interesting, believable and interestingly conflicted.

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Lady Seo warns Hee-jae to be wary — that Bang-won will be named crown prince, but that Bang-won will take the throne.

There seem to be too many similar Bang-something names in the Yi family, and they somehow get more similar in the recaps :)

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Typo :).

"Yi Bang-seok will be named crown prince but Bang-won will take the throne."

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Yi Bang Bang Won! That's how I keep track of who's who in that family. ;)

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@msrabbit
And the fan-club is also called Yi Bang Bang lol.

SO lets get the Bangs in order while we are at it.

Yi Seong-gye aka King Taejo's Bangy bunch from oldest to youngest.
With Lady Han aka Queen Sinui:
1. Yi Bang-U, Grand Prince Jinan
2. Yi Bang-Gwa, Grand Prince Yeongan
3. Yi Bang-Ui, Grand Prince Ikan
4. Yi Bang-Gan, Grand Prince Hwoean (will make an apperance later).
5. Yi Bang-Won, Grand Prince Jeongan
6. Yi Bang-Yeon, Grand Prince Deokan

With Lady Kang, the current Queen Sindeok:
7. Yi Bang-Beon, Grand Prince Muan
8. Yi Bang-seok, Grand Prince Uian (crown prince).

@wishfultoki
It looks like we are going all the way to the 2nd strife of the princes since Yi Bang-gan is going to be part of the show.
You were right, the opening scene is probably taken from eps 12-14?

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Darn You Beat me to it.

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Wohoo, let's see if I'm right! The drama will end with a bang, that's for sure ;)

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Bangtastic!

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Pssst, @kiara. Where's Yi Bang Ah-Gong? (With apologies to T. Rex.)

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Should we list all the Yi Bang-somethings we've seen in different dramas? My first was Maids.

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There's basically just the same 8 of them that we see over and over, because some of them had dramatic roles in a critical time in Korean history, and writers can't resist catnip like sibling rivalry being played for keeps.

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Yi Bang-Gwa, Grand Prince Yeongan, this was the second king—that’s all I really know. Then Bang-won was the third. Ok, two things I know.

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My first was TEARS OF THE DRAGON (1996) with the charismatic Yoo Dong-geun.
2. KING SEJONG THE GREAT (2008) with Kim Yeong-cheol, my favorite grandpa veteran. The god of sageuks. Currently playing Yi Seong-gye.
3. TREE WITH DEEP ROOT with Baek Yoon-sik - veteran film star extraordinaire.
4. GREAT SEER with Choi Tae-joon. Loved the child actors, the rest were forgettable. The whole drama was a mess.
5. JEONG DO-JEON (2015) with Ahn Jae-mo- my fave Bang-won and my fave sageuk of this era. It's all history and that's what I love.
6. MAIDS (2015) with Ahn Nae-sang. Came for Ahn and stayed for Ahn.
7. SIX FLYING DRAGONS with Yoo Ah-in. Came for Kim Myung-min and stayed for Kim Myung-min and Musa Moo-hyul.
8. EMPIRE OF LUST with Jang Hyuk. FF through all the sex scenes and eventually dropped it.
9. JANG YEONG-SIL(2016) with Kim Yeong-cheol again. Love the actors, boring drama.
10. MY COUNTRY(2019) with Jang Hyuk again. Loving it so far...

The most historically correct in all of these sageuks were:
1. TEARS OF THE DRAGON
2. JEONG DO-YEON
3. KING SEJONG THE GREAT
Old school with history lessons.

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To summarize every kdrama ever set in that time period...

The founder of Joseon had 8 sons, plus some daughters -- 6 sons with his first wife before she died (from exhaustion, maybe??) and 2 with his second.

Oldest son died so when it was time to chose a crown prince there were "only" 7 princes to choose from. King chose the youngest for a some reason, although I suspect pillow talk might have been a factor. Chosing a younger son older half-brothers had happened before in Korean history and it didn't end well. Read up on Later Baekje.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Later_Baekje

The king's top civil adviser supported #8, I suspect because the youngest with the weakest claim would be easier to manipulate/dominate, and he (the adviser) wanted weak kings and strong ministers.

#5 (Bang-won, but I prefer numbers instead of all the Bangs) thought he deserved to be the successor. Given the overall nature of Korean royal politics and succession rules, becoming a contender for the throne put you and likely also your supporters in about a 98% win-or-die situation. Fun times.

No wonder the 2nd wife and the little kid in this show (#8) don't like #5.

#5 won, killing #7, #8 and adviser.

King got pissed and abdicated, naming #2 as successor.

One of the others launched some sort of rebellion and #5 defeated him.

#2 saw which way the wind was blowing and abdicated in favor of #5.

Later, #5 killed off his wife's family. Ever been tempted to off your in-laws? If you are a king and already have family blood on your hands... Then for dessert he offed his son's wife's family too. His son became one of just 2 Korean kings to be known as "the Great", possibly because he didn't have to worry about meddling in-laws :)

See shows including:
6 Flying Dragons
Maids
Tree With Deep Roots
Jeong Do-jeon
My Country

Wikipedia lists 11 actors who have played #5, 12 if you count a kid version. Two actors have played him TWICE.

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I have memorized all the Bang by now, heh.

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I only cares about Bang Won... and his fan, of course. Kudos to you for memorizing them!

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And thats the only part I could memorise. Why do they have to have two names, heh.

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But... it's so much easier to just count :)

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Nam Da-reum played Bang won as the younger version in SFD. That kid is the younger version of everyone.

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#4 lost against #5 and was exiled. That’s the one you’re missing.

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Ok, 3 things I know.

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Maids was the first kdrama I ever watched. I watched it 5 times before I realized it was based on somebody in history who was real.
Oh Ji-ho was supposedly the oldest, who actually in history kind of disappeared from the records. Yi Bi I believe.

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Oh Ji-ho's character Yi Bi was Bang-won (King Taejong's) son with consort Hyo.
The oldest son was Yi Je, the queen's son.

In this episode Bang-won is seen watching over his sleeping daughter. I'm guessing that she is Princess Jeongsun. The oldest of all his children.

Ahn Nae-sang (Nam Jeon) in this drama played Bang-won (King Taejong) in Maids.

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When was the scene?

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Thanks for the clarification and Ahn Nae-sang info - I knew that but was too lazy to look up the details!

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It's about 13.25 (if you are watching on Netflix).
It's after Sun-ho and Hee-jae's scene where he was waiting for her outside Ihwaru.

It'a beautiful scene with Bang-won adoring his sleeping little princess while using his fan to keep her cool.

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Okay I couldn't help but say aww.

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One of the others launched some sort of rebellion and #5 defeated him. - That would be #4, Bang-gwa, who appeared in ep 8 of this show.

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Isn't than Bang Gan not Bang Gwa (that's #2)

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Oh my bad, I mixed up the 2 BGs

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Bang Gwa was #2 who became king after Taejo.
Bang Gan was #4 who appeared at eps 8. The brother who started the 2nd strife of the princes and was exiled by bang-won.

Bang-won couldn't kill his own full blooded brothers no mater what but he had no problem killing his step-mother's children. His own half brothers.

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"No wonder the 2nd wife and the little kid in this show (#8) don't like #5."

Well, Bang-won didn't like them back. In fact he hated his step-mother even after she died.
https://thetalkingcupboard.com/portfolio/the-brain-behind-cheonggyecheon-stream-king-taejong/

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Awesome!

I love the way the oldest son Bang-U was portrayed in "Jeong Do-jeon." He had a drinking problem according to Annal of Joseon and it was mentioned in earlier episodes.
It was probably due to his disappointment over his father's role in over-throwing Goryeo. He served King Chang so he watched his father killed off 3 of Goryeo's kings.
He was still alive during the crown prince selection. It was done rather quickly after Yi Seong-gye became king.
#7 (Bang-beon) was King Taejo's first choice but the ministers disapproved because of bad behavior so #8 was chosen.
July 1392: Yi Seong-gye was declared as king of Goryeo.
September 1392: Bang-seok was named crown prince.
Feb 1393: Yi Seong-gye officially became the first king of Joseon.
Jan 1394: Yi Bang U passed away.

This is a familiar case with two of Yi Bang-won's sons. The two oldest watched their father killed many who were close to them including their uncles so it's not surprising that they didn't want anything to do with the throne.
The oldest prince Yi Je purposely defy his father so he was stripped of his title as crown prince. The 2nd son Prince Yi Bo passed on the throne to become a Buddhist monk so Yi Do took the throne as King Sejong.
The two oldest supported him because they know that he was the most capable.
It is mentioned in the Annals that the brothers had a good relationship. Occasionally the 3 brothers would get together at Sejong's request.
That's a much happier ending for this bloody saga over the throne.

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I’m behind on commenting on previous recaps but I just wanted to say thank you for the recap @lollypip!

First thing’s first: I live for Bang Won & his fan moments. The way he waves it while horse-riding *swoons* Can anyone else ride like Jang Hyuk by the way? I don’t think so.

On Hwi: I’m slightly confused about Hwi’s grand plan to get closer to Bang Won in order to use him to get Nam if it means getting himself almost killed. I suppose it’s because Bang Won admires guts and smarts. Why did he kill the smarmy general again? Did he know the order came from Bang Won or was he following Sun-ho’s instructions?

On Sun-Ho: It kills me how Sun-ho goes against Bang Won whenever he can. I keep thinking “stop dude, you’ll never survive at this rate.” He keeps making enemies and has few allies. What is his goal?

On Hee-Jae: I don’t know how Hee-Jae can protect Hwi. I still remember how she got the guys into trouble over posters, and then how her attempt to uncover the corruption behind the state exam got Hwi drafted instead. I’d much prefer her to focus on her own projects and learn to run Ihwaru for now, and let Chi Do and the gang help Hwi.

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My take on Sun-ho going up against Bang-won: the new kingdom has two poles: The king, and Bang-won. But there can only be one. To be ahead at the end, one has to pick sides. Sun-ho picked the King - so the fastest way he can get ahead is to go up against Bang-won and win. The high risk high payoff route.

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And I also think he picked the King because his dad was on this side. Gotta beat dad at his own game.

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And there’s no way Bang-won is going to trust the son of Lord Nam.

And Yeon, Hwi’s sister, is in Lord Nam’s clutches, hostage against Sun-ho’s good behavior.

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On Hee Jae, she can protect Hwi just by staying by his side. In case any loose arrows ever find their way to Hwi, she could throw herself in the way. Property of lady love.

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Actually, the intelligence collection and analysis capabilities of Ihwaru would be of great use to Hwi, if/when she gains control over it. This era may glamorize men swinging swords, but with treachery and rebellion in the wind, the head of an independent spy agency is a powerful position for the female lead.

But I do love your snark!

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I've been waiting for that day to come. I sincerely hope it will come soon. I am about to loose hope here. So far, she hasn't been that useful to Hwi. All she does is giving Sun Ho grief. Why did she only scold Sun Ho for not telling her about Hwi and not said any words about that to Hwi?

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Revenge is a dish best served cold?

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Yes, that's what I'd like to see too but she's still reckless. I wish she'd listen to Madame Seo a bit before acting.

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Whenever HeeJae ends up as the titular leader of Ihwaru, I hope Madame Seo stays alive as a grey eminence behind HeeJae for a while.

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She probably won't stay alive though judging from her coughing. That's why I suspect Hae Jee has more important part to play.

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@hebang

Madame Seo is irreplaceable. I don't want her to leave the show. I'd be fine if she ends up retiring in a Buddhist temple.
Hee-jae can still visit her for advice etc.

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Bang-won’s comment on why he is interested in Hwi was along the lines of he has lots of muscle that can do simple stuff, but none (few?) that can create a workable plan to achieve an objective and see it through to completion. BW knows perfectly well that him running into Hwi was part of a plan to get Hwi next to him. He was impressed that Hwi got that far.

It’s a talent search where failure to choose correctly is fatal, either for the candidate or the chooser, or both.

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@Toki, I'm thinking that I shouldn't underestimate Hwi's plan. It's personal because his sister's life is on the line. His father's secret letter might be something that he would use as insurance if something goes wrong.

The order to kill general Jung came from Bang-won but it was planned by Hwi and Sun-ho. They forced general Jung to reveal Bang-won and his brothers' weaknesses knowing that it will eventually get back to Bang-won. No one lives after double crossing Bang-won.

I think Sun-ho realized early on that his dream to live in a world where status wouldn't matter is not going to happen in Bang-won's world.
He flat out told Sun-ho that he will not allow people like him to hold a government office.
He mentioned that Sambong was a son of a concubine. Bang-seok and his brother were born out of wedlock. Those are his targets for the first strife of the princes.

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Thank you for clarifying the general Jung situation.

And yes, it makes sense that Sun-Ho would choose Yi Seong-Gye, who cares more about talent than origins, then Bang Won. I wonder what would have happened if YSG’s vision had translated into actual laws. Would have Joseon been a better place? It’s sad that Bang Won’s hate against a few sons of concubines helped cement the discrimination of people like Sunho in Joseon.

Of course, Sun-Ho isn’t making it easy to be accepted by other ministers either... he wants to be at the top, not any old regular position.

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Toki, old school Yi Seong-gye may have more tolerance than his ministers but I don't think he would go against the Confucian system that Sambong ( the brain behind the establishment) had just set for the new country. He could insist on having talented lowborn or illegitimate sons at his court like Sun-ho through an open door policy but it would be very hard for him to change the new Confucian ideals.
This was a new country of Confucian scholars. Sambong's intention was for the ministers to run the country while the king sits on the throne as a symbol which didn't sit well with Yi Bang-won. He wanted absolute power for the monarchy.

To be honest I don't have much confidence in Sun-ho's plan for equal opportunities in this era of Confucianism. I'm too much of a realist, it's commendable but impossible.

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@kiara I suppose you're right. Yi Seong Gye can keep talented men around him, but he doesn't have the heart or ability to "change the world". He's a hard one to read actually. I get the impression that he appreciates Sun-ho only in so far as he's useful to him, but can discard him if he becomes useless or a threat. It's similar to the way he treats Bang-Won.

I'm torn between Sambong's plan for ministers to run the country with a weak king, and Bang-won's desire for absolute monarchy. I've seen too many frustrating drama scenes with ministers preventing the king from doing anything. On the other other hand, a king with absolute power can become a tyrant more easily. In this drama Yi Seong-gye seems to play a delicate game where he makes himself feared but also lets the scholars and ministers plan the new country. Perks of being the founder of the dynasty, I guess.

Also, it doesn't help that Sun-ho doesn't just want equal opportunities. Regardless of what goes on in his mind, he tramples on others and likes to wield power over them, like ordering Hwi around, or the way he reacted against the guy who insulted him and got his hand pierced through as a result. That won't get him many allies, on the contrary, it will intensify hatred of the nobility against lowborn or illegitimate sons.

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I think the next episode kind of make things clearer with the politics.
Courtesy of Yi Bang-won and Lord Nam Jeon's face off.

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I don't think we can blame the discrimination on Bang Won. That seems to be a product of the mindsets at the time that shaped Bang Won's thoughts and hence his hatred toward people like Sun Ho.
Sun Ho is an interesting character. He wants to climb all the way to the top, second only to the King. But when and if he got there, would he be satisfy or would he plot to off the King too?

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I don't agree for Hee-Jae. She's pretty smart and it was very smart of her what she did for the posters. But it was very stupid of Hwi and Sun-ho to flee away. They could just say they don't know the dude, they were hunting in the forest and say his father's name... It's harsh to say she's responsible for Hwi drafting. Sun-ho's father wouldn't never have let Hwi free after the exam.

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What I mean is that Hee-jae’s actions so far haven’t been helpful to any of the guys, directly or indirectly. We’ve only seen her posting posters once and, in my opinion, it seems out of character with the “minister in frock” Hee-Jae we’ve seen since then. Yes she’s smart, but she’s been too impulsive. I prefer it when she follows her own plans, like getting close to the queen, instead of trying to “protect Hwi”. I suspect that she will become the head of Ihwaru and as such can get her hands on information that could tip the power balance any way, which is why I’m rooting for her to grow up.

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What Hee-jae did with the posters was venting her angers. Her personal hostile towards the king should not have endangered Ihwaru. That's why Madame Seo was angry with her and told her to leave and die outside the premises.

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And Hee-jae demonstrated her capabilities/worth by returning as the Queen’s Chief advisor and “Minister in a Dress”.

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At this point, we just have to accept that Hee Jae is smart and all that only on things that are not Hwi-related.

Hwi and Sun Ho had to flee because that officer saw all of them together in the market previously being all chummy, so they can't claim that they did not know the dude (Hee Jae in disguise).

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She basically turned around and called them comrades. What were they supposed to do?

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That's right. I think the boys' plan at first was to feign ignorance. But then they saw that officer coming and had to scram.

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Jeongmal gomawoyo @lollypip <3.

The hunting scenes were my favorite. A game of hunting that almost turn into Hunger Games (poor Chi-do).

Yi Bang-won was known for his love of hunting even before he became king and history said so.
(Bang-won) King Taejong, A Hunting Enthusiast.
Natural Born Hunter.
An Incurable Appetite for Hunting.
https://www.sungjinyang.com/68-king-taejong-a-hunting-enthusiast/

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I was just drooling over his horse-riding and hunting skills before I remembered that he was later recorded for falling of his horse and ordering the historian to not record it LOL.

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The historian didn't do a good job then😂

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Go Hae Ryung's mentor would say otherwise,the historian was true to his call and wasn't swayed by the King no matter who it was and recorded the true detail jajjaj

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Replay x 100. It's probably not the first time he fell off his horse LOL.

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@kiara,
Thanks for an interesting article. The sanctimonious court officials should have been glad that Bang-won was hunting wild game and not using them for target practice.

i loved his riposte suggesting the Neo-Confucian scholars were advocating Buddhism. Bang-won zapped 'em between the eyes with that one. ;-)

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I just love the opening theme music. It just increases my anticipation. And each of Bang Won's interaction with Bang-Seok feels so sinister. Poor kid is so afraid of him. I wondered during the episode if Hwi even has a good plan, it's so reckless. He seriously needs to be more careful.

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Poor kid has reason to be afraid...afraid for his life.

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First, Hwi needs to shake off his noble idiocy. Second, he needs to think of a better plan. Third, he needs to know how to use all of his resources. But then again, if he does all that, he won't be Hwi. He'd be Kim Bong Doo.

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Who's that?

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Queen In Hyun's Man.

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Oh okay. Why so many time traveling dramas? 🙂. So far I have seen five Sageuks. I now have this sudden interest in them. Next in the I want to try is Empress Ki and Six Flying Dragons. I keep on reading about SFD in the comments so I am curious. It's just that they have 50 eps and I have never tried that before.

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You should definitely watch SFD. 50 hrs fly by so fast.

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Other than shaking off his noble idiocy, Hwi should do something about his bad hair. Seriously!!!

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I love it too I kept it on my wall so I can listen to it while reading the recap lol.

The scenes between Bang-won and Bang-seok is like watching a tiger stalking his prey.

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I always put it on a high volume esp on my phone whenever I see the show and keep on repeating it whenever I get the chance.

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I wish that part was on YouTube but I can only find the full song.

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This is such a good drama. All the talking is so palpable—so emotional. In Jang Hyuk’s short interview here on Dramabeans, he reflected on how he memorizes dialogue and what he does to make his lines pop. He pauses, finds a cadence for it, and breaks it up. I can see that when he speaks now. But he’s a master of using props to emphasize his dialogue too. These scenes would be totally different without that fan.

Hwi—that boy gets beat up more than a tin can by the side of the road. Yang Sejong is beautiful, really, he is, but you wouldn’t know it in this show. I hope he gets cleaned up soon. And stop beating up my boy! #imherefortheactingbutwouldn’tmindsomepretty

SUN-Ho—boy needs to stop being so destructive and mysterious. I really want to know what he’s thinking in that pretty little head of his. Do-hwan is really making this character for me. I’m the most tense when I see him because I have no idea whose side he’s on. (And yes, I realize he’s on his own side, but every time his demeanor softens, I know he’s just a kid with a lot of pain.)

Hee-Jae—Seohyun is really doing well portraying how much this girl likes Hwi or feels indebted to his dad. She’s just improving every episode.

Thanks for the recap, @lollypip! I know you’re tired of the Nobel idiocy bit. But I’m totally fine with it. This is life and death, and staying away from Hee-Jae is he safest place for both of them. An association with someone can put your in danger, but loving someone is a death sentence (see @lordcobol’s mini lesson on death in early Joseon).

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I keep on getting angry at Sun Ho and yet at the same time I feel extremely bad for him. Why so complicated, ugh. I keep on trying to guess his motives.

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On Hwi and HeeJae, I agree with you. The only reason Ihwaru and her information exchange remain operational is because it is seen to be neutral. The instant it looks to be on one side, the other side will have no choice but to take it out of play. Hwi has to distance himself from HeeJae to all appearances, and to all other spying groups.

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Sun-ho: it would be interesting if it turns out SH ends up on Team Bang-won and takes vengeance on Lord Nam for the death of his mother - and that was his hidden goal.

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That’s what I’m hoping for too—that’s he’s a double agent only set on killing his father and getting the trust if the king to cross the both of them. He’s not dumb—he knows Bang won is stronger.

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Let’s hope! I would be happy if at the end, our four - Hwi, HeeJae, Sun-ho, Yeon - go fly a kite together again, in a peaceful world. I rather suspect I’m not going to get that ending.

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Only in the afterworld, I am afraid.

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Ooooh, now there's a theory

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Sounds good but doubt it would ever happen...Bang Won would never accept him in his circle and he will be among the ones he would gladly kill at first try no matter what,boy been already marked

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@hebang FlyingTool,
I have a feeling that Sun-ho's long-range plan is indeed to avenge his mother's death. I'm even beginning to wonder if he and Hwi are in cahoots but putting on a show of enmity in order to protect each other from Lord Nam. That may only be my wishful thinking, however. ;-)

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Agree with you on Yang Se Jong. On the few chances when Hwi is all clean up, he has that atrocious ahjumma perms. What's up with that show? 🤷‍♀️

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@lollypip As always, thank you for the recap <3

I have said it before, and I will continue to sound like a broken record and say it again: A romance is far from what this drama needs.

On Sun Ho: I agree that he definitely has his own agenda and is quite hard to read when it comes to all the planning, maneuvering, and getting a read at his end goal; Yet, I do appreciate that a part of the sweet, nice, and the child-like Sun Ho who just wants to be accepted-- that we first saw in episode 1-- is still visible in some aspects, especially in his interactions with Yeon and his feelings for Hee Jae... it's written all over the poor guy's face.

On Hee Jae: A Beanie once commented on a previous recap that s/he felt that Hee Jae's feelings towards our 2 guys is solely based on Hee Jae's own impressions of the dads of the 2 guys, and this point was totally solidified for me in this episode, which also means that even before our trio met, Sun Ho never had a chance :(

On Hwi: Buddy, you gotta chill out and try to stay alive so that you can still be alive to do things, get said things done, and then see Yeon again one day.... Sigh

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You missed out my favourite line of this episode : "You can shoot the ear of a wolf, yet you cannot shoot the assassin" hahaha... don't take Bang-won, your future king, for a fool man !!

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He had Hwi's number each step of the way.

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The thing is, they each saw beneath to multiple layers. Hwi knew that Bang-won would see through the approach, and that a severe beating was inevitable. That’s why he got the numbing pills from the doctor.

This is why BW is interested in Hwi - seeing several moves ahead, planning for it, and seeing it through. Hwi is NOT just a man of action.

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Reading the recaps keep me from repeated viewings of ‘My Country’, so thanks @lollypip.

Hwi and Hui-jae aren’t at a place where Hwi refusing to be with HJ can be Noble Idiocy. The guy survived betrayal, a massacre, and is working through an unsavory alliance under duress. If he doesn’t have time for romance, can’t say I blame him.

Also, HJ has no power to help him. She keeps on talking about wanting to get it, but instead makes hasty decisions that in turn isolate her from getting the truth. They both need to focus on surviving Bang-won and his fan before they can catch a break.

Speaking of, Jang Hyuk is a truly captivating as Bang-won. I am scared for anyone who has to spend more than 30 seconds in his presence, including Nam Jeon.

Today in Seon-ho: Bang-won told him that sons like him would be stripped of their positions, so I get why SH is leaning hard into this disastrous ‘Thwart, Depower, and Kill’ plan against Bang-won. However, I want him to dial it back so he can live.

If it’s one thing SH can’t bring himself to give up, it’s Hwi. The only one who seems to understand is Jurchen the Undying. As soon as SH heard Bang-won had Hwi, he went running. We’re all looking for romance, but the real love story is the one between SH and Hwi. He’s doing everything for himself, and also for Hwi and Yeon, the best way he knows. He just needs to adjust his game.

Also: Woo Do-hwan does mounting exasperation and frustration so handsomely.

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Well said. “Jurchen the Undying” sees right through Sun-Ho. And yup, Hee-Jae can’t realistically do anything for Hwi right now.

I had to laugh at “surviving Bang Won and his fan”. I’m half expecting him to slash someone with it at some point.

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@wishfultoki,
Getting slashed with Bang-won's fan would result in the mother of all paper cuts. ;-)

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LOL I'm dying here Paka.

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We’re all looking for romance, but the real love story is the one between SH and Hwi.

Preach.

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That would mean the psychotic second leads are...Lord Nam and Bang-won? Hmmm...that actually works.

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Hmmm... I see them more of the disapproving chaebol mother-in-law. But your version works too, I agree.

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@msrabbit,
ROFLMAO! Imagine if they were the critical & manipulative mother-in-law who sets her son up with the maid because her daughter-in-law has only produced girls in BREAD, LOVE AND DREAMS. What a makjangfest it would be. I can hear the screeching now. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake Not Bang Won. He is not one tk approve of sons from maids. He will be supporting the meddling second lead, Hee Jae, who throw herself tirelessly (for her not us) on between the OTP and sprouting twisted lies that sounds like the truth. (Cue bgm from WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY MOTHER IN LAW). 😋

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This is the break up that will destroy me so I'm sure this bromance is doomed.

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It's always been Sun-ho and Hwi for me. I forgot how many times they broke up but still managed to save each other.
They have chemistry on and off screen. I hope they are good friends in real life after this show if they aren't already.

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I think they are even more lovey dovey in real life! At least from the BTS that I've seen so far.

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My sageuk heart is already loving these two. That means I'll be cheering them on for the rest of their career.

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You hit the nail on thead, @lollypip with that "delicious anticipation", eagerly looking forward for the next episodes of this drama. My heart bleeds only for Seon Ho.

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Mine too! His cheekbones did me in...

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Then I sincerely hope you've got Dal Goen around, cuz you're gonna need him. 😜

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I was thinking about this drama the other day and I realized why I like it (and Hee-jae) so much. Hee-jae is such a good female character. She hasn't been updated to a "beat up all the bigger guys" tough girl. She hasn't been given 21st Century sensibilities. She is believable as being as modern of a woman as one could be in her time period. Every action: collecting info, dressing as a man and hanging posters, and--I had to remove one of her actions because it would be a spoiler because that episode wasn't recapped yet--but all her choices and behaviors are totally believable within the context of this time period. I know many on this site LOVE it when a female overpowers a bad guy. But (usually) it's not logical to have a muscled male who studies combat bested by a female (without super powers.) I like it that the writers have allowed her to stay true to her time period, without making her a damsel in distress.
I am really enjoying this drama.

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@barbara-fox Wag-a-muffin,
Thank you for making a case for Hee-jae's mindset and behavior being believable for her time period. Women back then would not have carried on like rabid delinquents who beat up wangttas and steal their lunch money, and brawl with the hood-ettes from rival schools. In the circle in which she seeks to travel, reasoning and facility with language are more highly prized than brute strength anyway.

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Every character is on point with this time period. We don't give enough credit to the costume designers but I love how they try to keep it as close as possible and the characters don't wear the same costume over and over.
Jang Hyuk has limited screen time but his Bang-won has so many different costumes already. Fitting for a prince.

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@kiara,
I agree. The costuming is beautiful. The colors are not glaringly fluorescent. Bang-won's threads look terrific on him. The fabrics are sumptuous, with beautifully fluid drape that swirls when he's on horseback or stalking around on foot. Sun-ho's silks look fine on him. As does that dark outfit he's wearing in the last scene. The commoners' duds look appropriately homespun, with the more muted colors one would expect of plant dyes.

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I have nothing to add to the excellent comments here.
I just wanted to say thank you to all beanies who recommended Mad Dog.

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There is so much twistyness and double-crossing double-crosses that I really have no idea who's ultimately on whose side anymore.

I do have a very good feeling that Sun-ho will not survive this story - it pains me to say, but if Hwi is the likely main 'hero/protagonist' who needs to survive, there's no way Sun-ho is making it out with a pulse.
Calling it now.

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As much as it pains me to admit it, I agree. Seon Ho is doomed. I just hope that he dies redeemed somehow...

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I think from episode one the question was to guess and see how SunHo will die and not if he dies or not because for me his fate was sealed since ep 1....Doubt Hae Jae might survive as well...

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I truly hope that the only one who will die at the end is Lord Nam. And maybe that minion of Bang Won with bad hair. That's it.

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Lord Nam will definitely get what he deserves!

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Yes to the hair. That hair's got. To. GO!

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I want Park Chi-do to give him a new haircut.

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The guy with the sythe?

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Yup. That's him.

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Oh geez I cringe every time he's on screen. I just want him to take one of his blades to that mess

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He's in desperate need of a visit from Jonathan Van Ness.

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Part 1 of 2

Thank you for another of your great recaps, @lollypip!

Moon-bok's "mabihwan" pills rang a bell from KINGDOM OF THE WIND. Sure enough, I found what appear to be cognates in my copious notes from the dandy WITH S2 (Written In The Heavens Subbing Squad) subtitles. Thank you, Mr. X & Co.!

mabisan / mafeisan = first-ever anesthetic invented by Hua Tuo ["Great Doctor" Hwata in
FAITH], combining cannabis and hallucinogenic plant datura

https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Hua_Tuo

Was Mafeisan an Anesthetic in Ancient China?
https://www.anesthesiahistoryjournal.org/article/S2352-4529(17)30183-4/abstract

From what I gather, the second plant is Datura metel, which grows in Asia and is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are nine species of these highly-poisonous, intoxicatingly sweet-scented night bloomers in the genus, most of them considered to be New World plants, which confuses the heck out of me. These "devil's trumpets" are members of the nightshade family. When exposed to a photographic flash after opening at night, you can see the flower rapidly close until sufficient darkness persuades it to reopen. Sometimes called "moonflower." That name also refers to a sweetly-scented night-blooming vine with huge white flowers resembling a morning glory on steroids, formerly classified as Calonyction aculeatum, and now known as Ipomoea alba. (That places it in the morning glory family, along with the sweet potato.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura_metel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipomoea_alba

I'm glad to know that Moon-bok knows how to make this anesthetic, but dismayed that Hwi may have to use it.

Speaking of Moon-bok, actor In Gyo-jin had a cameo as one of police officer Yong-shik's elder brothers – the other being my favorite chameleon, Choi Dae-chul (who will soon be appearing in PSYCHOPATH DIARY with Yoon Si-yoon). I couldn't figure out why the hyungs looked vaguely familiar. Du-shik looks nothing like his Joseon counterpart. LOL!

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

I enjoyed the camaraderie of the rest of that scene in which Jung Beom attempts to practice writing his name so he'll have a good signature when he becomes a yangban by buying a family register. Moon-bok tells him to keep dreaming. Park Chi-do asks which clan he belongs to, and Beom tells him, along with the meaning of his given name: "to run." Park takes his hand and guides him in writing his name. Beom is transfixed. He has never seen his name in writing before.

It's a lovely, warm moment that is followed by another one as the Liaodong survivors realize that Hwi isn't really going pheasant hunting, and follow him to Bang-won's third string's lair at the smithy and armory. Hwi is outnumbered but holding his own when they arrive and incapacitate the whole lot of Group C's weapons and intelligence mercenaries. Afterwards, Chi-do and the boys have a bone to pick with him over going out on his own. Chi-do firmly but quietly refuses to let him go his own way. Hwi relents and shows them his evidence wall. Beom and Moon-bok see that Hwi is worming his way into Bang-won's trust because his sister is held hostage, and take umbrage at Yeon's situation. She's as good as their sister. I love these guys and their loyalty towards each other. The sister of my friend is my sister, too. It stands in such contrast to Sun-ho's having to throw in his lot with Sung-rok the Unkillable
Jurchen.

What was the deal with that music when Hwa-wol went to the doctor's for medicine for her noggin and Moon-bok fell for her at first sight?! It was so weirdly jarring. Sigh. Some of the instrumental music – the fight scene soundtracks in particular – are very good, but I'm really not keen on some of the vocal OSTs. – I did enjoy Hwa-wol's throwing salt at Mr. "Doorway to Happiness" as the ultimate brush-off. Awww. He's harmless.

-30-

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I want Hwi to make the weapons for Bang-won and his army. The real war haven't started yet.

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@pakalanapikake

Thank you!

I'm learning all kinds of interesting things from this show.
I know how to make poison for enemies. Yay?

In Gyo-jin is perfect in supporting roles. He's done many sageuks and he is one of my fave Gwanghae (HUR JUN 2013).

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Thank you for this! I had no idea that was In-Gyo-jin!!! (What a difference dental health makes!)

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Right?
I didn't recognize him right away either.

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@barbara-fox Wag-a-muffin,
I'm having flashbacks to Sung Dong-il as Goryeo General Park Soo-kyung in MOON LOVERS.

*shudder*

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@kiara,

You're most welcome. I was excited to recognize the name of the anesthetic. I should page @michykdrama, who probably already knows about mabisan / mafeisan. ;-)

In Gyo-jin's cameo was in WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS, dang it.

GU AM HEO JOON is one of my early sageuks. Back then I didn't know many of the actors, and had no idea who Gwanghaegun was. (He has since become one of my favorite historical figures for the way he held the fort in the capital while the rest of the court lit out during the Imjin War.) It might be time to revisit it and keep my eyes peeled for In Gyo-jin. Namgoong Min is also in it as Heo Joon's nemesis. What a great supporting cast.

I agree with you about having Hwi work as Bang-won's blacksmith -- or better yet, as chief armorer to ensure there are enough properly-trained smiths to produce armaments while he's busy picking off hostiles with his pyeonjeon baby arrows.

I wonder if Bang-won has his real armory elsewhere. The one that was busted must have been a ruse, given the poor quality of the steel.

Here's the ingredients list for Ye Olde Joseon Death Sentence Poison that figured in ep. 11 of GOD'S QUIZ: REBOOT (season 5). I have a feeling you'll need a very big vat considering how many relatives and in-laws Bang-won is going to bump off. ;-)
http://www.dramabeans.com/2019/09/name-that-drama-what-happened-to-the-teddy-bear/#comment-3516734

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Wow @pakalanapikake I had no idea about the use of this drug as an anesthetic in the past. My knowledge of anesthesia history, and especially that from China is extremely scant.
The link though is very interesting as i never knew there was a Journal Of Anesthesia History!
Sadly it’s a paid article so I will wait till I go back to work and see if my institution has it available for free 😁
Thanks again for a very educational post!

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You're most welcome, @michykdrama! I'm so glad you got a kick out of it.

Hey, if the journal article has any juicy tidbits in it, could you give us a little synopsis as our resident anesthetist? Do it as a reply to the original post above, if you think there's anything in it of interest to sageuk nerds. Thanks!

BTW, you sound pretty chipper. I hope you are recuperating well, and that you're enjoying quality time with The Boy. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake

I am completely out of mind for watching "CONSPIRACY in the COURT again. I really miss MrX's translation.
It has been over 10 yrs so I'm much braver now lol. Ahn Nae-sang and his flawless performance is worth a 2nd watch.

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@kiara,
I watched SEOUL'S SAD SONG (alternate title) not too long ago. But right now my bandwidth is totally taken up with MY COUNTRY and WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS, along with the just-ended FLOWER CREW and ongoing PEGASUS MARKET. My buffer runneth over. ;-)

I've been thoroughly enjoying Ahn Nae-sang's performance in MY COUNTRY. He's stealing the show, and I've been enjoying every nanosecond. ;-)

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He is quite the cheer leader off screen. I almost forgot how evil he is when the camera rolls.

I watched 1 eps and decided that I'm not as brave as I thought for a 2nd round yet haha.

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I haven’t looked through the comments yet but I can’t have been the only one who noticed the mixed up names for 2 ep recap in a row?

The prev ep, it was somewhere along the line thats Bangwon knows the king favours the queen second son Bangseok, but it was written as the king favours Bangwon.

This ep, “ Lady Seo warns Hee-jae to be wary — that Bang-won will be named crown prince, but that Bang-won will take the throne.” that should be Bangseok will be named the crown prince.

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