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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 28

Get ready to cheer, cry, fist pump, and then cry some more, because everything is so damn epic now that we’re at the height of our rebel conflict. Gil-dong faces an agonizing decision that torments him to his core, but he’s not willing to sacrifice anyone’s life easily, unlike our despotic king. Said king is ready to throw all his manpower for this one battle, and for his pride. But numbers and pride may not be enough to win this war, especially since the rebels are fighting for a cause greater than themselves.

 
EPISODE 28 RECAP

Tied at the stake, Ga-rung yells to her beloved: “If you retreat because of me, I’ll never see you again!” Gil-dong sees her from the gates and cries out to her. She recognizes his voice, and they both cry longingly for each other.

Yeonsangun watches this heartbreaking exchange with a smirk while the rest of his servants behind him look sympathetic. He orders for Ga-ryung to be lowered from the stake, and Jeong-hak looks confused at this order. Yeonsangun says that he’s satisfied with Gil-dong’s reaction, and the order is carried out by Mori, who rushes to get Ga-ryung back down to safety.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Gil-dong says that he must go save Ga-ryung. Gil-hyun stops him and tells him that he’ll get killed facing countless enemy soldiers, no matter how strong he may be. He then reminds Gil-dong of the people he must protect, and that puts him in-between a rock and hard place. He looks back to see his wife again, but she’s gone.

Ga-ryung is tied up inside the hostage tent, and Yeonsangun approaches her with Nok-soo. Ga-ryung confidently says that her husband will not retreat just for her, but Yeonsangun doesn’t believe her because he saw his fearful reaction. He’s never seen Gil-dong trembling with such fear, he says, and he knows that those daunted by fear will do anything. He promises to let her meet her husband again soon before walking out with a satisfied smirk.

Nok-soo stays behind and tells Ga-ryung that the world is fair: “You have love, and I have the world. These are the lives we chose.” She turns to leave, but Ga-ryung calls out to her by her former name, Gong-hwa. After a moment of hesitation, Nok-soo leaves the tent while trying to remain unaffected, but it’s clear that Ga-ryung’s desperate pleas affect both her and Mori, who’s standing guard right outside the tent.

That night, Gil-dong looks to the tents from the Hyangjumok gates, where he overhears two watchmen talking about their fates. They presume that Gil-dong will decide to save his wife, which means that they will die. This makes Gil-dong’s fatal dilemma even harder.

Scholar Song watches the impasse in front of Hyangjumok and anticipates the bloodbath to come. He watches with a distant curiosity, unaffected by the impending massacre of so many people.

Soldiers and mercenaries are offered to Yeonsangun for his “hunt,” and Choongwongoon offers soldiers in white masks who are former prisoners of the Sugwidan. These prisoners have vowed to fight for the king to make up for their sins. Yeonsangun looks pleased, but Gil-dong does not. He’s enraged at the ridiculous addition of soldiers to fight the small village.

Rumors about the doubled (if not tripled) forces spread among the villagers, and morale plummets. Later that night, a scholar tells the villagers that they can no longer last with their gates closed. He suggests that if they die, they should fight to their deaths, but adds that they should let Gil-dong go. The mother of the killed student agrees and tells Gil-dong that he should take his wife and escape far away from Hyangjumok. She tells him to forget Hyangjumok and that the people of Hyangjumok will die here, where they were born. The villagers silently nod in agreement, but Gil-dong has no words.

Ga-ryung escapes into her sweet dreams, where Gil-dong piggybacks her through a flowery path. She claims that she’s heavy, but he insists that she’s as light as a feather. They exchange plenty of kisses, but Ga-ryung soon returns to reality. She opens her eyes to find Mori staring at her, and he asks if she really hopes for her husband to choose the Hyangjumok citizens over her. He says that this is why he hates Gil-dong, though he clarifies that he hates her more because they’re both foolish and reckless.

Mori says that it’s impossible for Gil-dong to win against the many soldiers who’ve gathered at the king’s behest. He says that this is real power, and he intends to rise to the highest position he can hold upon defeating Gil-dong. He turns around and says one last thing: “But what I really hope is for your husband to truly love you, so that he will take you away from my sight forever.” Mori cries with his back to her and walks out, leaving Ga-ryung in tears.

The villagers confirm their decision in the morning and thank the Hong Bandits for helping their village. They bow in deep gratitude, and Gil-dong accepts their decision. But before they open the gates, he asks that the villagers provide a warm home-cooked meal for them, which helps lighten the mood.

But during the meal, everyone is preparing for their death. Keutsae asks Ilchung if he could possibly go to heaven, and Eop-san dismisses the possibility for bad guys like them. But Ilchung assures them that they will be welcomed into heaven while Segul tells Yonggae that if they die, they will die together. Deputy Governor Eom gives Soboori extra rice, saying that he’s useless in this fight, but Soboori takes his hand in solidarity as they prepare for their fate.

In the village, fathers bid farewell to their wives and children, sons bow to their mothers, and the village men walk out with confidence to face their enemy. The king’s army marches up to the gate, and Jeong-hak yells a rallying cry. Yeonsangun orders Ga-ryung to be tied at the stake again, leaving Gil-dong barely able to hold it together. Behind him, the villagers remind him to save his wife and thank him for everything. Torn by his duties, Gil-dong trembles and cries.

Tied to the stake, Ga-ryung yells at Gil-dong to not give up. She says that if he gives up because of her, she will resent him for the rest of her life. Gil-dong struggles to regain his composure while Yeonsangun watches with a sadistic smile. But unexpectedly, Gil-dong draws his bow and aims his arrow right at Ga-ryung. In his mind, he begs Ga-ryung to endure for just half an hour. And with that, he releases the arrow that lands right in Ga-ryung’s chest.

Yeonsangun is shocked, as is everyone else on both sides. Catching his breath, Gil-dong asserts that a nation’s soldiers and king do not kill its citizens. He denounces the king and the soldiers, which is when Soboori yells a battle cry for the Hyangjumok villagers to open the gates to fight.

Gil-dong and the Hong Bandits join the battle, and they make good progress in fighting off the first wave of soldiers. Gil-dong asks Deputy Governor Eom to bring Ga-ryung to safety, and he commits to the mission. They bring Ga-ryung down from the stake, and Keutsae runs back towards the gates with her in his arms. When Yeonsangun realizes that they may lose Ga-ryung — their only effective bait — he orders his troops to launch a cannon. It flies towards Ga-ryung and her rescuers, but thankfully, they aren’t hit and are able to run safely back through the gates.

Resisting the urge to follow Ga-ryung, Gil-dong continues to fight. They face the next wave of soldiers: the mercenaries. They’re seemingly more threatening than the first wave, and Yeonsangun sits down to watch a better-matched fight. The two sides line up against each other, and Gil-hyun yells that they have nothing to fear, since they fight for their lives while the mercenaries fight for money. Gil-dong initiates the fight, and the massacre begins.

It’s an epic battle full of blood and ruthless slaughter, and somehow, Gil-dong and his people get the upper hand in the battle. Irritated by the mercenaries’ powerless fight, Yeonsangun orders for the cannons to be launched to defeat the enemy at once. The cannons effectively injure and scare off the people, and Gil-dong orders for them to retreat behind the gates. But he remains in the fight to face the final mercenaries.

At first, they seem too formidable to defeat, but the outnumbered fight awakens Gil-dong’s mighty powers, and the heavy duty mercenaries are killed. Yeonsangun looks livid while Nok-soo watches Gil-dong with a small smile. The villagers cheer from behind, but the celebration is short-lived.

Yeonsangun takes this opportunity to launch more cannons to destroy Gil-dong once and for all. But when the debris clears, Gil-dong rises back up, and even Yeonsangun looks shocked. Gil-dong looks disoriented and weak as someone approaches him — it’s Mori, and he has a merciless look in his eyes.

Yeonsangun takes joy in this rematch, and he derisively asks Nok-soo if they should save Gil-dong this time. Nok-soo cleverly responds that she’s chosen the strong one, so she tasks him to prove that he is more powerful than Gil-dong. Yeonsangun takes the challenge and orders that all other forces be held back while these two fight, since it’ll be a good spectacle.

Mori tells Gil-dong that he should have taken Ga-ryung and ran away so that they could both live. As a tear rolls down his cheek, he says that Gil-dong will die regardless of whether he wins or loses. Gil-dong stands up weakly, and they begin to fight.

Meanwhile, we find Ga-ryung unconscious, though the arrow has been removed from her chest. The doctor says that she would have definitely lost her life had the arrow been shot just slightly adjacent, but she’s still very weak now — they don’t know if she will recover and wake up. Deputy Governor Eom tells her that Gil-dong is fighting to see her again and begs the normally talkative Ga-ryung to wake up and talk to them like she always does.

Mori thrusts his sword toward Gil-dong’s chest, but Gil-dong is able to maneuver around it before getting pierced. Cut all over, Gil-dong struggles to get back up once he’s on his knees. The villagers root for him and begin to sing the Ikhwari anthem, and it’s a jarring moment for the villagers who are facing death to sing such a carefree song.

Yeonsangun laughs incredulously at the sudden song, but one of the ministers reads the situation a bit differently. He cautiously notes that these villagers do not fear death. Scholar Song also observes this and recognizes this as Hyangjumok’s spirit. This vigorous spirit spreads to the king’s soldiers, who sing along to this melody.

Yeonsangun doesn’t seem bothered by the song and continues with his assassination plan. He summons Choongwongoon and orders him to release the Sugwidan’s prisoners against Gil-dong. He wants Gil-dong to die in the hands of the people he tried to save in order to make his death the ultimate irony. (As much as I love irony, this is the kind I desperately want to avoid.)

Choongwongoon announces the king’s order to the white-masked Sugwidan prisoners and says that this is their chance to redeem themselves. Gil-dong continues to fight Mori using his fists until they’re interrupted by the arrival of Choongwongoon and his white-masked prisoners. He reveals Gil-dong’s true identity to everyone, announcing that he is the son of a slave.

Yeonsangun laughs with delight at Gil-dong’s humiliation, convinced that this will discredit Gil-dong to his followers. Choongwongoon continues to deride Gil-dong and further reveals that they were slaves to Jeong-hak’s household, leading Jeong-hak to ask the villagers if they should really trust and follow a slave.

Gil-dong owns up to his reputation and proudly acknowledges that he is the son of the slave, Amogae. He yells an impassioned demand: “But the Hong Amogae blood that flows through my body is more passionate and precious than any general. Only those with blood that is as passionate and precious as the blood that runs through me can join this great fight. What blood runs through you? Who among you will join me?”

From behind, a man on the gate tower yells that he will join Gil-dong. His proclamation is joined by more cries of solidarity from the Hyangjumok village, and Gil-dong weeps. The villagers yell that the Hong General is a general for the people, and we can see that this has gone terribly awry for Yeonsangun.

Gil-dong thanks his enemies for this confirmation of support, and he dives into one last fight with Mori. They fight in hand-to-hand combat, and Gil-dong says that while Mori’s support comes from the king, his support comes from the people. They bring out swords for the last leg of the battle, but Gil-dong is swifter than Mori, and he manages to hold his sword at Mori’s neck. He has won.

Celebrating Gil-dong’s victory, the villagers rush out of the gates to fight the enemies, but the soldiers begin to shoot waves of arrows at the villagers, much to the king’s delight. The Hong Bandits try to strike them away with their swords, but they soon fall victim to the arrows as well —
first Segul, then Eop-san, Ilchung, and finally, Keutsae. Choongwongoon orders the white-masked prisoners to kill Gil-dong, and they run forward to position themselves against Gil-dong’s people.

Then, they turn. Choongwongoon looks confused as the white-masked soldiers release their arrows towards the king’s army and roll fire bombs in the same direction. The king’s soldiers try to fight the traitors, but the relentless bombs and arrows put a significant dent in the king’s army.

One of the prisoner-soldiers takes off his white mask and tells Gil-dong that they intend to join the Hong General’s people. And so our bandits break off the arrows that have pierced them (ouchie), and the combined forces run into battle against the king. From the gate towers, the shaman looks upon the scene with immense emotion and says, “The Mighty Child’s wet wings have been dried by the people’s breath and influence.”

As the people run into battle, Gil-hyun knocks a frustrated Jeong-hak off of his horse to battle it out. Gil-dong stays behind and watches with awe. Then, he turns to Mori, who’s still kneeling on the ground in defeat. Mori looks at him with tearful eyes and positions his sword against his own neck. Gil-dong grabs the sword to stop him and tries to convince him that they can both live, but Mori pushes Gil-dong away and runs off without another word.

Gil-hyun and Jeong-hak continue to fight, but it’s clear that the rebel forces are overpowering the king’s army. Jeong-hak vows to get back at him one day and retreats as the rebels now run toward the tents to capture the king.

The king is outraged by his failing army, and Choongwongoon falls to his knees to ask for mercy. Yeonsangun raises his sword, but Jeong-hak intervenes and urgently proposes a plan to protect the king. With the rebels quickly approaching, they decide to disguise themselves and escape, and Yeonsangun is not happy to be admitting defeat.

The king and his entourage escape through the forest in commoner’s clothing, and he gives the still-royally garbed Choongwongoon a sword to fend for himself. He says that if Choongwongoon is able to fend off the enemies, then he will be forgiven. Choongwongoon pretends to accept this honorable challenge, but once the king leaves, he curses him for this death sentence.

Choongwongoon scurries through the forest surrounded by guards, and he prematurely celebrates his survival. Then, an arrow lands in his leg, and he falls to the ground. He orders the guards to protect him, but the guards have no obligation to protect someone who is not the king. They run away, leaving Choongwongoon vulnerable to the white-masked Sugwidan prisoners.

The former prisoners tell Choongwongoon that when they were imprisoned, they vowed to get revenge if they re-entered the world. Choongwongoon tries to convince the prisoners that there are others who are more evil than him, but to no avail. The prisoners roll the Sugwidan beads to him and draw their bows. They all shoot at him, and Choongwongoon falls, struck through with multiple arrows.

A person approaches a dying Choongwongoon — it’s Scholar Song. He tells Choongwongoon that he was foolish for using the prisoners, who have always been suspicious and disapproving of Joseon. He imprisoned them to protect Joseon from people who showed contempt for the elite, but Choongwongoon released them and gave them weapons.

Choongwongoon painfully pulls out an arrow out of his chest and tries to go for Scholar Song, but he’s too weak and goes limp before he can make a decent attempt. Scholar Song watches the royal die and walks away with his servant.

The rebels surround the women of the palace musician troupe and accuse them serving the king. Gil-hyun recognizes Ok-ran as one of the palace servants who served alongside Eorini, and he orders the rebels to halt.

The Hong Bandits and the rebels realize that they have won, and they cheer in celebration of their tough victory. The injured men limp back to the gates of Hyangjumok with the support of their fellow rebels, and they return to the embraces of their mothers, children, and wives. Gil-dong returns with his Hong Bandits and immediately asks about Ga-ryung.

Deputy Governor Eom leads him to the room where Ga-ryung is fighting for her own life. Gil-dong sits by her side with his brave face on. Taking her hand, he tells her that he’s there and apologizes: “I’m sorry for being too late. I’m sorry for putting you in pain. Ga-ryung, you’ll wake up and scold me, right?”

Gil-dong sobs by her side and tries to reach for her face, but he can’t get himself to touch her with his trembling, bloody hands. He agonizes by her side, calling out her name and hoping for her to wake up.

 
COMMENTS

I’m dead. I’ve weathered the tsunami of emotions that was this episode, and I am exhausted and incredibly moved. This was the episode and climax I was waiting for, and it did not disappoint. It does make the other episodes pale in comparison (and I’ll discuss that later), but this was an excellent episode, full of so much pathos that I didn’t know Gil-dong had in him. Yoon Kyung-sang really elevated his game in this episode, delivering such raw and subtle emotions during his close-ups. I was captured by how vulnerable he was able to get in those crucial turning points in the battle, making the scenes heavier and more powerful than I had anticipated. He was so damn intense as the champion for the people, and I’m strangely proud (like I had anything to do with this) that a guy who’s so darn cute with his cats is able to transform into an incredibly moving Hong Gil-dong.

Gil-dong was the heart of this episode, but my heart broke a little for Mori, who really could use some love. He’s been tragically absent in these past episodes, but his little crush for Ga-ryung was not left unnoticed by me or any of you (it’s a really broken and imaginary ship, y’all). Seeing his heartbreak for his crush in this episode really crushed me, mostly for the untapped potential. He would have been a beautiful addition to the bandit bromance, so seeing him so alone amongst powerful company made his fight seem meaningless. The only meaning he could find in his fight against Gil-dong was revenge for Ga-ryung, which is so sad and kind of sweet, but definitely tragic.

The king posed a cruel question to Gil-dong, making him torture himself over choosing his love for Ga-ryung or his love for the people. I find Ga-ryung’s willing self-sacrifice for Gil-dong and the people very honorable, but I actually found the people’s willingness to sacrifice their whole village even more touching. They were thankful for Gil-dong as their champion, but they didn’t need their champion to literally win for them. They already knew they were fighting an impossible battle and were grateful for Gil-dong and the Hong Bandits for their help — their presence alone validated their cries for justice in a Joseon where only the elite thrived from the classist hierarchy.

The whole episode, I was squirming and mumbling curses as we watched the pendulum swing back and forth in favor of and against the rebels. But my favorite part of the whole emotional rollercoaster was the reversal of the white-masked prisoners. Even though I knew they were going to turn against the person who imprisoned them (logical, just not to Choongwongoon), it was still incredibly satisfying to see it actually happen. Kim Jung-tae portrays villains in such a juicy way, and his Choongwongoon really oozed with immorality, selfishness, and foolishness. He was pathetic to the core, never able to redeem himself for all the horrible things he did, even when faced with death. I chuckled a little when he tried to persuade the prisoners that there were plenty of more evil baddies out there, because being a terrible person is totally relative! He made a pathetic entrance and then made a pathetic exit, and I expected no less.

This episode on its own was great, but the pacing of the show at large has been inconsistent, making the show feel a bit imbalanced. The story holds more weight at both ends — at the beginning with Amogae at the reins and at the end with Gil-dong really manifesting the Mighty Child fate. In between, the anecdotes and bandit shenanigans were fun and definitely accumulated toward this climax, but they just didn’t hold as much gravitas. This episode felt like the exception in a fairly simple story about Hong Gil-dong growing into his fated role as the champion for the people. I don’t want to oversimplify the story, but for a show that had much more potential to be a cerebral and gripping show, it was pretty mild. I’m not complaining since there were plenty of benefits — like all the cute and all the laughs — but it did make this episode stand out, for better or for worse.

Despite this imbalance, something I’ve really appreciated in these past four episodes is the focus on the people as the real power for this rebel movement. Yes, Gil-dong is the leader and icon of the rebels, but it’s truly a people’s movement. The sacrifices and decisions of the people are ultimately what matter in this narrative. Maybe it just seems especially relevant as something that mirrors reality, but it kind of hits the right note to see people so passionate about justice and ownership over their own lives. It’s poignant yet uplifting to see people devote their lives for the vision of a better society, and it makes me hopeful that life will imitate art. *wipes tears*

 
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i had no idea i was going to LOVE THIS SHOW as much as i do... i am still worried about how this story will end... will it be like the Kang Ji Hwan version?
: (

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No please I hope not! That version has such a sad and upsetting ending :((

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OHMYOHMY I love KangJiHwan's version to death but if they replicate that ending for Rebel I don't know if I can forgive this writer....

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At least, if it's the kang ji hwan version, they will at least have happy ending for this one? In that version, the tyrant will be overthrown first before hong gil dong is killed by the next king.

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That version was... I still feel cheated up to today because of what I saw in the first episode. The ending would have sit better with me if only they never show that opening scene.

But if it wasn't for that version, I probably would have discovered dramabeans much later in my life. Kang Ji Hwan's HGD was the first recap ever that I read on dramabeans ?

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@1 spazmo May 9, 2017 at 8:11 PM,

"It ain't over till it's over." -- Yogi Berra

FIREFLY had a twist that makes me especially paranoid in situations such as this. Considering Song Sabu's fanaticism and Madam Jo's implacable hatred for Amogae's family, the Hongs aren't out of the woods yet. While they may get a breather now that Yeonsangun and the remnants of his army have turned tail and broken off the siege of Hyangjumok, I expect that the insanity at court is going to ramp up as soon as the ministers and senior statesmen have a chance to regroup.

Given Ga-ryung's dire condition, the Hongs won't be going anywhere until she is well enough to travel. This would be a great time to trot out one of those old tropes re: the healing power of blood, as was done in THE KING'S DAUGHTER. A few drops of high-test Mighty Child blood could do the trick.

Because of the mayhem of the Third Literati Purge of 1519 during the reign of Yeonsangun's successor and half-brother, Jungjong, I just hope that the Hongs can ride off into the sunset and live in peace in the sticks.

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Idk why but I'm still hoping for Song Sabu's right hand man to kill him off. I wonder if he's also brainwashed like other geoins, and the moment his memories return is the moment when Song Sabu finally meets his demise.

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I also kinda expect them to use some mighty child blood to heal Ga-ryung...I also have this theory given the whole possibility of the strawberry kiss being a conception dream, that Ga-ryung being pregnant might also save her since she would have mighty child DNA with her lol.

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That would depend on how long it's been since she took off on her revenge plan - I get the impression it's been months? So that might rule out a pregnancy if it's been long enough for it to show.

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That's what I'm worried about, myself - this show is NOT the kind where I can confidently stake my bets on a happy ending, and there are two episodes left and knowing what we do of history, idk how all the Hongs are going to make it to a peaceful life.

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This episode is definitely the best since the Ah Mo Gae episodes!!! Loved everything about Ga Ryung and Nok Soo--the acing!! Also loved the montage with everyone being generous with their food and basically saying goodbye in the face of inevitable death. Also--Mori :'( <3 all sorts of feelings oh my god. I'm so glad he didn't die, but I really want him to come back. He's probably too humiliated tho. Poor child. Also------------is there gonna be a Gil Hyun romance with Uh Ri Ni's friend in the last two eps??? Gah.

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"The world is fair." -- Keep lying to yourself, Nok-soo. You still cannot admit you blew it big time when you changed horses in the middle of the stream. Your loss was most definitely Ga-ryung's gain.

Mori's wish that Ga-ryung would survive with Gil-dong and disappear from his sight really got to me. HGD's stopping him as he was about to slash his own throat -- arg! I'm hoping that Ga-ryung -- or maybe Ok-ran -- gets through to him. I still think he's someone's long-lost brother.

Did you notice how Mori dragged his sword on the ground as he went to fight Gil-dong? The latter was exhausted from fighting the barbarian mercenaries and could barely stand up. But Mori's body language was screaming "defeated" even before they faced off.

The Last Supper vibes at lunch reminded me of the original blood oath the Hongs took with Amogae in Ikhwari. IIRC, they swore they would live together and die together. It was bad enough having just the king's army outside the fortress gates. They had not yet seen the barbarian (Jurchen?) mercenaries or the white-masked former prisoners of the Sugwidan who were waiting in the wings.

I don't know about a Gil-hyun romance. I think it's unlikely -- unless he hits it off with the mudang. (But I don't know if mudangs marry.) It would make for an interesting symbolic marriage of true Confucian values with native Korean spirituality.

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Hey chingu, thats my secret ship, Gil Hyun and the shaman, wkwk. Compatible and charismatic.

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What's interesting about Mori is that he's put himself in a situation where he thought he wanted revenge, but somewhere along the way, his ideas changed and now he's forced to fight for people he couldn't care less for and whose paradigms he finds repulsive. But he doesn't have the gumption or desire to change...so he's stuck doing the bidding of people like Yeonsangun for more power...when in actuality, it makes him miserable.

Nok-soo is similar to Mori in this way...so it's appropriate that it's these two who visit our hero couple in jail. Nok-soo is also forcing herself to believe that power is all there is and all she cares about or wants in life. But I think if she really was honest with herself, she'd realize that all this has done is make her more miserable.

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Good catch on Mori's sword dragging as he faced Gil-dong - his heart really isn't in it anymore, but he doesn't know how to stop. As @cloveredlioness said, he and Nok-soo are very similar that way - they did the best they could to survive a system weighted against them (as a low-born and as a gisaeng), pledged their loyalty to people who don't value them, and now don't know how to stop or admit they were wrong. And both are still trying to convince themselves as much as anyone else, that they made the right choice.

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ack, no - I didn't even read Gil-hyun noticing Ok-ran as anything other than him going 'oh yeah, that's the girl who was with my sister earlier' and extending a bit of big-brother protection to her and the other palace musicians too.

I mean, I hope Gil-hyun finds someone as awesome as Ga-ryung for himself, but I can live without it if the only option around involves an underage actress (even if her character is probably in her 20s by now)

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I love Gil Dong and Gy Ryung. I love HER the best. I know they won't have a happy ending, but please let their ending be together. They are both such great actors. I knew that Yoon Gyun-Sang was from Pinocchio, haven't been able to watch six flying dragons yet. Open ending with both husband and wife together would be great!!!

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You should watch it, six flying dragons. At least to watch him scream "moo hyul musa!!"

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Excellent recap and comments, dramallama! Thank you.

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Im weeping almost the entire ep, intense ! Gil Dong, Ga Ryung, Nok Soo, Mori, King, Hong bandits, Gil Hyun, villagers, soldiers.... The plot maybe tend to swing to mild for Rebel, but i bet nobody can deny that the acting of all person in it is top notch! Still can be better, but satisfying, gripping, and endearing. Thumbs up. But yes, curious about the end. Hopefully, even if its not a happy one, it'll be a poignant touch that leave mark even after this drama long gone.

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No kidding, I cried so much in the first half of the episode I had to take a break and watch something funny instead. The main characters eating a last meal together, the villagers saying goodbye to their loved ones before readying themselves to welcome death, oof it just gets me. There's a sense of peaceful resignation, but one that they're proud of because they're fighting to protect what they believe.

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This drama truly lived up to its name: the Rebel Who Stole the People. Despite the utter importance of social class in society at the time, Hong Gil Dong moved the hearts of the people and fought to save them even in the bleakest, most hopeless of times. This episode was incredibly moving, but so, so hard to watch. I can't count how many times I cried!
We all knew Gil Dong would have to shoot an arrow into Ga Ryung's heart since the beginning, but it still broke my heart nevertheless T-T The times they spent apart truly made an impact, and made their tragic reunion so much more heartbreaking. Ga Ryung's sacrifice was so honorable and beautiful.
I've grown quiet attached to the whole Hong gang, and I'm praying that Gil Dong and Ga Ryung will get their happy ever after. I'm going to have a hard time letting this drama go after next week :(

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I don't think she will die. Gaaah...she can't! ?

I wondered why Gil Dong can't shoot nearer the shoulder and not right into her heart. Technically, he didn't but it was much too close.

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I think he wanted to create the impression that he killed her? With his super vision, Yi Yung would have known that Gil Dong only wounded her and he could have ordered the soldiers to kill her for good or told the soldiers to fetch her down from the stake before GilDong got there.
I did wonder why GilDong and Hongvengers had to move in slow motion before charging out into a battle though. I was shouting at my screen, telling them to run already and save GaRyung.

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It's a scene from the Hobbit. "Will you follow me one last time" and there they go.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d61BIwNal8

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Later there is a little bit Helm's Deep, a little bit Battle of Moria and a little bit Gladiator (the Russel Crowe movie).
The shooting the wife is from Gyebaek (history no fantasy movie). But there is also a lot of other references.

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Yeah, I also had already half expecting the moment when Sugwidan men turned and pointed their weapon back to the King. There must be some help in order for the Hong clan to win the battle. But when they really did show it, I was still being awe-strucked. What a beautiful scene, with their white robe flowing when they turned back in harmony AND the perfect choice of background music (Those 'New Day' OST - Ahn Ye Eun's version ! I looove it !). It reminds me of one scene from The Hobbit and the Battle of the Five Armies when the Elfs were jumping out from behind the dwarfs. That scene took my breath away and so did Rebel.

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@liina
So sorry for not responding earlier to your comments on the last episode. I haven't watched the last few episodes yet and I'd probably skip them all till the end. It's going all out fantasy now that I don't feel attached to it.

Anyway, I love the Gyebaek reference. The sad thing is she actually died but looks like Ga Ryung will make it.
I do hope they'd survive in the end because this is no Im Kkeok Jeong. There is just no need to end this show with the real Hong Gil Dong.

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yes, that very subtle smile when the arrow pierced her heart spoke volumes to show that her sacrifice was from her heart

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Nooooo. Why the sad face? Guess I'll have to start watching again to find out. I started it because I enjoyed him as Mu-hyul but I fell behind too much... ?

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"Who among you will join me?" gave me the same chills as "Is there no one else?" challenge from Achilles in Troy.
Where Chae Soo Bin shone in the previous episode, it's Yoon Kyung Sang's turn this time. In this particular scene, I think he really shout himself hoarse. Such raw and unbridled emotions!

A couple of things left me scratching my head though...
- how did Yeongunsang see Gil Dong's face when he was so far away?
- how far away were the white masked fighters from the King? I was amazed he had time to run and even changed his clothes.

Prince Chongwongoon is really a goon! Did he really trust the Sugwidan prisoners? The moment he introduced them to the King, I was expecting his downfall.

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I can spot the small plot holes like you mentioned as well, also, how different the stake scene is with the original opening in episode 1. But I guess I'm not /that/ bothered because I'm blinded by love for this drama. Heee.

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LOL. I was also wondering about the same thing! How far away is Yi Yung from the battle ground if he had time to escape? Like he could see all the little details that happened in that battle field WITHOUT SQUINTING. Must be awesome to have a super vision like that.

This didn't really affect my enjoyment of the episode, I just found it to be hilarious. Just like how Prince Pedo actually used Sugwidan prisoners to fight against the rebels (like duh) and how Soo Hak thought he could have took GilHyun out (double duh).

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Come to think of it, Choongwongun is the leader of Sugwidan members now but why he used the prisoners instead? I mean, believing that your own prisoners are on your side is kind of silly, right? Can anyone explain?

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Prince Pedo isn't exactly the brightest bulb in the box. I don't think he would have made it this far without Lady Jo, Song Sabu, and Mori. And the moment you left him to act on his own accord, this happened.

He also seems to believe that he can always "buy" people to his side, in this case by granting them freedom. It's almost the same as how Yi Yung bought the foreign soldiers to fight in the battle. Contrast that to GilDong who won people to his side because of what he stood for and also his personality.

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Makes sense. Thank you!

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He's also like Jeong-hak, he feels superior to slaves or those of lower social class, so he feels like he can pull the rug under people or that those of an inferior class aren't as intelligent. He just naively thinks that he can give people he's tortured freedom and they'll fight for him against a guy who represents actual freedom...lol.

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He borrowed an invisible telescope from Jack Sparrow. Clearly lol. Or maybe he was just responding to Gil-dong's broken screams?

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I agree with the commenter below, that Yeonsangun probably recognized Gildong's fear and anguish through his desperate cries rather than his face. And maybe his helpless posture as well? Idk. Orrr maybe he really has supervision powers lmao.
The white fighters were most likely quite far away from the King, with lots of soldiers in between. While they fought off whatever remained of Yeonsangun's army, he ran away like a coward and changed quickly behind some trees lmao. Orrr maybe he has high-speed powers as well lol.
Choongwongun is truly an idiot. His little scheme with Jeonghak to catch Gildong, which Song Sabu opposed, didn't work (probably because Mori was too busy celebrating haha), neither did any of Jeonghak's plans to capture Gildong and his Merry Hongs. He was just lucky Song Sabu had found use for him, Mori somehow had decided to follow him (even though there was absolutely no need to), Madam Jo was the classist witch we all know and hate, and Jeonghak hadn't screwed up too much back then. Both him and Jeonghak are the biggest idiots in this show, and, the fact that they find themselves superior to Gildong, Gilhyun and Mori, just because of their class, in spite of having been proven wrong multiple times, only makes them even bigger idiots.

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Yoon Kyun-sang: Now this is what I've been waiting for. We all talked about how he has taken the back seat every time - how he doesn't seem like a worthy hero, less charismatic than Amogae. But he proved it otherwise here. That proud declaration of his low birth origin, that was a powerful and moving performance from actor Yoon Kyun-sang. Gil-dong is not Amogae, but ultimately both are great leaders.

Jung Da-bin: I am quite sad that we don't see much of Ok-ran anymore when she's been half the focus on the Who-ri-ni fare for few episodes. Is she merely a character created for that troupe? If they can develop the character of Mori, why didn't they develop her further? There is so much potential... Some people have started to say that Gil-hyun needs a bride too, after that scene where he remembers that Ok-ran is Eorini's friend but I shudder to think that they will pair this two. Their real life age gap is a no-no for me, especially since Da-bin is still a minor. I'm glad some of the gisaeng stayed behind though (of course, the King just abandons them for his life).

Hyangjumok's residents: I cried the moment I see the last meal scene, and then them saying goodbye to their moms, wives and kids. The people moved me and I love that the show highlights that this is their fight together.

Honey Lee: She's really still rooting for Gil-dong, eh? But I think she knows that there is no turning back from her decision to side the King. I still feel for her, but I don't think any redemption is in store for Nok-soo.

Kim Jung-tae: That was pure satisfaction. Choongwongun is still acting like a victim till his death eh? Take that arrows, humiliation and betrayal! It's funny how the guards are like " You're not even the King" lol. But really, Kim Jung-tae played Choongwongun perfectly. I'm not sorry to see him gone though. Now, we are left with the King and Song sabu. I hope we'll see these two down next week!

Kim Jeong-hyun: Yes, I too, feel like his only motivation in this fight is to avenge Ga-ryung. What he says about seeking power and becoming the highest ranked man in the palace - that was a straight lie, right? He would have be able to do that and more if he really put his mind to it - he is a Mighty Child after all. He is a pitiful villain, much like Nok-soo for me. The difference is, I think he has a chance for redemption. Please run away from these people who just want to use you for their own advantage. Kim Jeong-hyun is another discovery for me, as well as Shim Hee-sub (Gil-hyun) and I'll surely be keeping an eye out for their works in the future.

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Yoon Kyun Sang caught my eye since Pinocchio and he was so adorable as Moo Hyul in Six Flying Dragons. I wish there were more strong moments like this because he absolutely nailed the scene.

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His image as Moo-hyul is still strong for me, especially since Gil-dong is a warrior too so I can't help comparing. However, this scene proved his depth and capabilities as an actor. I always thought that he has more to offer watching him as a naive and simple minded Moo-hyul. Same goes to the sweet Jo Ha-yeon (played by Chae Soo-bin in Love in the Moonlight) so I'm glad both of them have the chance to flaunt all that they've got here.

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Moohyul's still my favorite YKS role until now but he totally got me in this episode as Gildong. As for Chae Soobin, I'm happy she took the role immediately after Moonlight. As much as I love that drama, her abilities were wasted in there and she wasn't given the chance to shine. Kudos to these two for doing a job well done. Same goes to the other actors + staff and crew.

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I've said it before - Yoon Kyun-sang's greatest strength as an actor is that he can emote, and emote incredibly well. I haven't seen him in SFD, but he was so good in Pinocchio that even gifs of certain scenes of his make me want to start welling up - when he does emotion, it really doesn't feel like he's acting at all. But in the middle stretch of the drama, where a lot of his role involved planning and plotting and revenge, he wasn't nearly as charismatic - and that was still ok, because it worked for the drama to make the point that people don't join Gil-dong because of his personality but his actions. But there are so many ways in which he really made this role, and I really can't see anyone else as Gil-dong now.

As for Choongwongoon - I love that the Sugwidan ex-prisoners turned him into a pincushion. And even if I could predict that they would likely do it, I loved when they turned their fire on the king's army.

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Yeah, I still remember how he broke my heart in PInocchio with only a subtle emotion. Like, when Dal Po visited him in jail for the first time and Jae Myung asked him to come to the crime scene reenactment. And then he showed me those painful expression with only a slight twitch of his eyebrows for 0,0001 second. Ouch. Yoon Kyun Sang is just too good at emoting !

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This is why I love it when unknowns break out - who'd have thought the adorable maknae detective from Gap-dong could do this to us?

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Ok. I will watch Pinnochio after this. And Sassy Go Go. And KDSBH... When will I have the time to watch all of these??

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@latteholic - start with Sassy Go Go, it's only 12 episodes long! And you'll get two Rebel cast members in one there ;)

It's funny to think that all four main leads of this drama have now played villains/antiheroes (YKS and CSB before, LHN and KJS in Rebel)

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This was an amazing episode. I was on the edge of my seat clutching my tub of ice cream like a floatation aid throughout the episode. Glad that GilDong finally had his chance to shine in this episode. That moment when he proudly claim his identity was so powerful and moving! I felt proud also that Yoon Kyun Sang was able to deliver such an intense performance

My favorite scene from this episode however, had to be that moment when the white rebels army turned back and aimed their shots at Prince Pedo. I got goosebumps when that happened. I was expecting also that they would finally help Gil Dong, but the way that scene played out was all sort of awesome and so gratifying.

And every time a Hongvenger got hit by an arrow, I kept thinking 'this is it. yeap they're going to kill them now'. So I was relieved that the Hongvengers are still alive in their complete formation to see another episode.

Now can we have Mori crossing over from the dark side already? This push-and-pull game he’s playing with GilDong is kinda cute, but really he has to end it at some point. Just give in to the bromance, dude.

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I expected the young Hong-vengers to survive this fight but I was soooo worried for Soboori ajae. Glad he made it safely too.

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Ikr? I've been worried sick for him since 3 episodes ago. Glad that everyone close to my heart made it to the next episode, at least. YES, I know GaRyung would make it also!

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You know, as much as I love the scene with the white army turning, I can't help but think that they've got their priorities all wrong. I mean, Choongwongun was there sitting on his high horse with no apparent protection, and yet they were busy rolling bombs instead of butchering him. The whole time I was like, BUT HE'S THERE! KILL HIM FIRST!! SOMEBODY KILLLL HIMMMM!!! Sorry (not sorry) to be so bloodthirsty...

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It's a scene from Lord of the Rings. Where the elves join the ranks of man again to fight the orcs.

In the drama they represent the weonmin - the embittered oppressed people. Here, because they are enraged, they can't see the enemy as humans that probably sing the same songs and share the same dreams even though they stand on the other side. They just see them as orcs and blindly cut them down.

In Heo Gyun (the possible author of Hong Gil-dong) textes about the homin ron, the heroic leaders, there are three classes of people, the homin (the leaders), the enraged (weonmin) and the blind followers (hangmin).
Here the weonmin slaughter the hangmin. It's a very sad scene. :(

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@liina Does the weonmin refers to the sugwidan's prisoners and GilDong's rebel army of people?
And hangmin is the King's army and followers?

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To be fair, Choongwongoon is no longer important enough to be their first priority to kill - the more immediate threat was the king's army, and the Sugwidan prisoners saved Hyangjumok another day by doing their damage.

And then, once that was done and the army was routed, they tracked him down at leisure and turned him into a human pincushion. Well done!

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Thank you for the fast recap!
So we finally resume to 1st episode scene, my heart cringed watching this episode.
When the village people told Gil-dong they will open a way for him to save Ga-ryung, that is something we called people power. Gil-dong gives them hope but they stood there fighting for hope, not fighting for Gil-dong. Which I believe even if Gil-dong captured, they will still fighting against the tyrant King.
Aching for Mori, I want him join the gang too. Hope we can still see him in the last 2 episodes.
Thumbs up to Lee Ha-nui for being the obnoxious Jang Nok-su, she made me hate her character instantly after she snitch about Ga-ryung. I know it's the story line, but still... hate her! -_-

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I'm so speechless after this episode. I've cried, I've cheered, I've even laughed a little. I just love that what this drama has done is show us that it really isn't about Gil-dong at all. I feel that what a lot of shows do is really make the protagonists the 'star' - which isn't wrong (that's what a protagonist is)! But here, Gil-dong is just kind of a 'tool' that sparks the change in the people's hearts, and provides them with a path towards living for themselves - not some selfish king. It packs more of an emotional ooomph to all those moments where while Gil-dong is on the front lines fighting and has captured the King's (and everybody else's) attention, somehow the writer diverts our (the viewer's) attention to the people. And those moments are always the ones that make me melt inside (and on the outside when I'm watching alone, hahaha). I just love this show so much! <3 <3 < 3 Will be sad to see it go next week T_T

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@12 PinkSushi May 9, 2017 at 9:39 PM

It packs more of an emotional ooomph to all those moments where while Gil-dong is on the front lines fighting and has captured the King's (and everybody else's) attention, somehow the writer diverts our (the viewer's) attention to the people.

Old warrior Soobori grabbed one of the villagers who was about to be bashed by a barbarian and pulled him out of danger. He did it again shortly thereafter, maybe with a different villager. The old hand was watching out for the newbie so he could live to fight another day.

There was so much going on in the melee, I didn't know where to look. I had the same issue when watching SHAOLIN TEMPLE earlier today. (Talk about exquisitely-choreographed hand-to-hand combat by actual martial arts masters and students.)

After nearly four month of communing with the memorable characters of REBEL -- and all the Beanies who love them -- I'll have a hard time saying good-bye, too. ;-)

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I don't wanna say goodbye!

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Neither do I! Should we make a Google Hangout or something?

(I am technologically incompetent and don't know how, but it's been done before for other dramas - people can just drop in whenever and chat about Rebel, other dramas, whatever)

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I like that idea! I think I will still need more time to gush about this show even after it's over. Either that or I'll come back often to check the last episode recap here ?
I'm not ready to say goodbye either!

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ah yes *goes to look at the cat pictures* I am so glad there are cat pictures. I cannot handle this drama.

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@13 redfox May 9, 2017 at 9:57 PM,

I've left one or two episodes of THREE MEALS A DAY in reserve. In case of emergency, I'll break the glass and watch it. ;-)

I've been medicating my REBEL stress with rom-coms: MY SECRET ROMANCE, MAN TO MAN, Tdrama LOVE AT SEVENTEEN, some movies, and webdrama NOBLE, MY LOVE. La la la la la.

Recently watched DAMO, which has a Joseon rebellion theme along with wire-fu that demanded too much suspension of disbelief during my early days in Kdramaland. Ha Ji-won and Lee Seo-Jin (from 3MAD) are in it. Alas, it ends like BICHEONMU / THE DANCE IN THE SKY (2008), which had great swordfights and beautiful music. DUELIST and DAMO are both based on Damo Namsoon by Bang Hak-gi, but DUELIST, with Ha Ji-won reprising Namsoon and Kang Dong-won as Sad Eyes, has gorgeous cinematography -- and a happier ending. Which is what I sincerely hope REBEL has, too.

To buck up my spirits, I also keep reminding myself that Teacher will be in CRIMINAL MINDS in July. Yay! ;-)

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I can handle the drama, but any excuse for
http://icanhas.cheezburger.com/lolcats
is a good excuse.

(and having trouble typing this because of the cat in my lap maliciously purring at me)

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Lord C,

Is your feline associate a sageuk fan, or more attuned to thrillers or rom-coms? ;-)

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There are 3 of them. One is a saiguk fan, based on how much he "helps" me with the keyboard when I'm playing historical-themed computer games. Another is just a dramabeans fan, based on how he's helping me type again now :)

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Finally, Choongwongun reached his end. I have to say he's quite stupid to believe that the Sugwidan prisoners would do his bidding. Come on, here are the people whom the king imprisoned and tortured, and he expects them to go against Gil-dong the rebel, the only one that cares about their plight? But even though I kind of expected that they'll turn their backs and stand with Gil-dong instead, that moment was still goosebump-inducing.

I almost gave this episode's MVP to Mori, for his manly tears after his "confession" to Ga-ryung, but then Nok-soo was so good with her expressions during the whole battle, and Gil-dong's desperate plea was so powerful, so now I can't decide. Very good episode overall.

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Mori's scenes were really on point!! Not too blatant but with just enough emotion! I look forward to Kim Jung Hyun's future acting career!!!

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@acacia May 10, 2017 at 1:10 AM,

I agree. Kim Jung Hyun did a great job in this episode.

I noticed that he played the title role in BING GOO, a 2-episode TV movie in February. It is viewable with a Viki Pass. I found the trailer for it on YouTube. Looks interesting -- and a far cry from his current role. Sounds like the Korean version of Oetzi the alpine Ice Man -- but without the dying part. Supernatural cryonics?

While watching NOBLE, MY LOVE in the wee hours this morning, I was stunned to hear Jo Jeong-hak's voice. Darned if Park Eun-seok isn't in it as the very nice second lead -- and he dances well. ;-)

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Thanks for the recap!

I'm a bit lost here, we only got one episode per week for the last two week?

Bummer.

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What happened to episode 29? Has this week's episode been postponed til next week?

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There's a few pre-emptions going around because of the elections, I believe. So episode 29 and 30 are airing next week.

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Garyung can't die. Like what Gildong said, she has to wake up and scold him for what he did (and maybe slap him like how she did during their first meeting? haha).

Nonetheless, this episode was all sorts of amazing. Props to everyone, especially to Yoon Kyunsang who shined the most after Chae Soobin in the previous one. I hope he could rest his voice though 'cos I can hear it cracking already. I really hope MBC doesn't sleep on this one during the year end awards, considering how early dramas tend to be forgotten. /sad/

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Yeah, I think there will be inevitable comparison between Rebel and another upcoming MBC's sageuks Ruler and King's Love. I'll keep an eye on the new sageuks' ratings. If they can surpass Rebel's ratings (and it will likely happen if the actors' big name mean more viewers attention), I'm afraid Rebel will have to bow down

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That's what I'm worried about as well. Nonetheless, I'm still gonna check out Ruler to see if it can fill the void that Rebel will be leaving soon :'(

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I will riot if Ga-ryung dies without waking up :/

Yoon Kyun-sang isn't the only one who's been sounding hoarse, Park Eun-seok (Jeong-hak) also sounded ill last week, you can really hear it in his scenes with the king. I don't want the drama to end but I do hope the actors get some rest.

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Poor Park Eun-seok. He's also doing a musical/play right now so it's no wonder he is not in his best condition

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Yoon Kyung-sang nailed it. His scenes were epic. This is what I've been waiting for. This episode was phenomenal. Ga-ryung, please survive. You have to meet your brother-in-law and meet the sweet Eorini, not the brainwashed version. Gil-dong and The Hong Bandits need you!

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We've been waiting for this episode since day one and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!

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While I get (and love) that this episode emphasized the rebellion as being a people's movement, I was still kind of hoping that at some point, Gil-Dong's superpowers would be unleashed in its full epic-ness. I was really just waiting for it to happen during the battle, so I was a teeny bit disappointed when it didn't.

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On the other hand, I was wishing he didn't unleash his full power for fear that he'll collapse. He's the only one fighting, can't have him lose consciousness when there's no back up. Although I agree, I kinda miss him knocking people off their feet with his roar ?

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GAHHH how are we to wait a week for the finale episodes???? But only happy things to come now so I suppose I can wait…. You better wake up and scold your husband next week GaRyung!!

This episode was definitely one of the best! It really lives up to its name even during the battle scenes where the Hong family were very intentionally protecting the people of Hyangjumok while fighting off the armies.

Keutsae finally has a weapon!!! GilDong is supposed to be the strong one but for the past couple fights Keutsae has been fighting barehanded!!! I mean he fought quite well (I admit I always chuckled whenever I saw the barehanded slaps of Keutsae) but they finally give him a hammer of sorts??

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Kkeutswe is the strongest among the Hongs before Gil-dong got back his power, remember they don't believe in Gil-dong's strength until he properly beat Kkeutswe in arm wrestling? I didn't notice the weapon though. I might watch this amazing episode again, the fight scenes are not as sharp as the ones in Six Flying Dragons but it is a powerful one nevertheless, especially because it's the weak and untrained fighters vs the soldiers /I'm getting emotional again/

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I definitely remember :) It's just weird how they decided not to give him any weapons for the past couple of fights. Since the fight scenes weren't as sharp it almost looked comical the way that Kkeutsae would slap and pound his opponents. But I agree, the fight scenes aren't sharp but they focus on the people in the fight :)

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@21 acacia May 10, 2017 at 1:07 AM,

What blew my mind was seeing Ilchung fighting with a sword for the first time. He ditched his fan and went the Shaolin Temple route at last. It speaks to the desperation of their situation.

If the show had to be pre-empted, I'm glad it was two episodes spread over two weeks so that when we get to finale week, the last two installments are back-to-back. A couple of shows I watched in recent months got thrown out of kilter because of preemptions and never got back into their original rhythm. It really bothered me. I've been hoping that REBEL would maintain its one-two punch, and I think it has.

Part of my stressing has come from trying to remember what's been happening for a week at a clip. With only the first episode of the week, we didn't get the tension release or resolution or whatever -- and it was irritating. I normally watch episodes raw first (twice for ep. 28!) and then two or three different subtitles. Yeah, I'm that nuts. But it makes a difference when stuff gets lost in translation. I'll watch the Viki subs this weekend before episode 29.

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Episode 27 drove me nuts! Because usually you don't have to wait to find out what happens next due to the two episode a week k-drama convention...but having that pre-empted was painful...And at such a pivotal time in the drama. I had been so happy that rebel was going to be one of the few dramas I'd watched without a pre-emption...but alas, that wasn't to be lol.

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I cheated watching this episode…I had to know if Ga-ryung would live so I fast forwarded to the end…and saw Ga-ryung’s shallow breathing and was like THANK GOODNESS!

I felt so bad for Gil-dong and just the pain of his decisions. He was so raw during this episode. And just in so much pain. Like when he talks to Gil-hyun but she gets pulled down during that time and he loses sight of her and he just loses it. I liked how the people were willing to support Gil-dong and sacrifice themselves so he could run off and save Ga-ryung at their expense. You could really sense how much that ate at him. He wanted so badly to save her, but he also wanted to be the man that deserved her. All the time when Gil-dong just wanted to selfishly save Ga-ryung, I was like NOOOO! You have to make the hard choice Gil-dong and save the people even if it will kill me! You listen to your wife! lol. But it was great to see that he's won over the people so much. He stands for something and even if the people never expected Gil-dong to stand with them and after all his help wanted him to live and save his wife, the fact that he didn't abandon them and that he made that hard choice...that was the inspiration the people needed to overcome everything...because Gil-dong became a leader that lead with standards and who was willing to do for others what he expects from them. He wasn't going to shirk responsibilities and he lead by example.

Sooo many parallels! OMG! Lol.

We have Gil-dong saying ‘I am here’ just like Ga-ryung did in episode 22 when he was near death and didn’t respond to her. Here, Ga-ryung doesn’t respond either…Not only that, he’s now the one to hold her hand while she’s asleep…And he finally has to take care of her and nurse her back to health. And then we have the beginning which was just like the stake scene for Gil-dong way back when. And when Ga-ryung is in jail, she thinks of Gil-dong just like Gil-dong thought of her…And I guess it’s a flashback from their brief honeymoon period which was waaay too short. But OMG, they are the freaking cutest. And he even gave her a piggy back ride like waaay back when all that time ago in episode 7.

I really enjoyed that Magistrate Eom was the one tasked with taking care of her and making sure she was safe because he was the first Hongvenger to meet her. Plus, he had to check in on her all those times when Gil-dong was off looking for Eorini. I also loved his monologue about how they needed their chatterbox back. So sweet.

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I just really appreciate how both Gil-dong and Ga-ryung make hard choices. And it's the fact that both do this that they draw people and inspire others. It's not just that Gil-dong shot Ga-ryung, it's that Ga-ryung asked him to. Just the best heroic couple ever.

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@cloveredlioness SO MUCH THIS. You summarized perfectly what I love about this OTP. Best heroic couple ever. EVERRR.

And yes Magistrate Eom. The way he referred to her as 'my (uri) chatterbox' when he used to be annoyed by her chattiness. So sweet indeed.

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Exactly.

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YES ! There are so much similar actions between Gil Dong and Ga Ryung.
Ga Ryung was watching Gil Dong's face while he's sleeping on their 'first night' together at the inn. Gil Dong was watching her sleeping state when she's getting drunk.
Gil Dong and Ga Ryung were being held as a prisoner by Yeonsangun. Nok Soo visited Gil Dong and Mo Ri visited Ga Ryung.
Ga Ryung saw Gil Dong while he's being tied to the pole, Gil Dong saw Ga Ryung at the stake.
Ga Ryung held Gil Dong's injured hand and stayed by his bedside, and now Gil Dong did the same to her.
And of course each of them had a dream about their sweet moments together.
(Did we miss something else?)
What a perfect couple they are ^^ I want a happy Gil Ryung couple for life !

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Loving all those parallels! The fact that Gildong said 'Your husband is here' and 'I'm sorry for being so late and hurting you so much' or whatsoever, it's almost as if he's responding to Garyung, when she called out for her husband and told him 'I am here', except it's too late and she's now fighting for HER own life, just like he was when they broke him. And, just to rub salt over the wounds, they HAD to repeat a bit of the adorable flashback, when they were both happy and smiling at each other, right after they show him sobbing heartbreakingly over her unconscious self. Why, show, why???

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They just love to rub salt in your wounds lol. They killed me when Gil-dong said 'Your husband is here.' because it was the exact same words Ga-ryung had said to him...except with different emphasis so it meant 'Husband, I am here.'

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I have this little wish that Gil-dong will sing the same lullaby that Ga-ryung sang to him when he was unconscious haha
It's just that Ahmogae, Nok-soo, even Ga-ryung had their chance to sing and I know that Yoon Kyun-sang isn't a bad singer so.......... and yay that would mean more parallels <3

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I'm soooo down for that.

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I can't wait till next episode, I really really hope all the Hong Bandits, Gildong and GaRyang will survive this battle. May be with Mori as their new addition ....Mr Eom can adopt him!

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I don't cry in dramas. Nope I don't. (OK maybe hardly ever).
Watching this episode I cried big fat giant tears, I ugly cried, bawled my eyes out with my headphones on in the middle of the night.
Rebel :Thief Who Stole all the Tears.
Well played Gil-Dong, well played. I don't even know how I will cope if Ga-Ryung doesn't wake up.

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Gil Dong, check.
Gil Hyun, check.
Ilchung, check.
Yong Gae, check.
Segul, check.
Kkeut Swe, check.
Eop San, check.
Magistrate Eom, oh.. he's safe inside the gate
Wait, where is Soburi? Where is the old man?! Omg, he should have stayed with Eom Ja Chi ! *then when I finally spotted him* Oh, there he is.. pheew~

I kept re-counting the Hongvengers in the whole fighting scene, making sure that each and everyone is alive. The emotional attachment with Rebel's characters is too intense for me..

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I nearly had a heart attack when the Hongvengers ended up shot with arrows, I was terrified that this was it for sure.

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Redemption for Mori please. Don't kill his character.

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Those dream was soooo sweet, Gil Dong is indeed a manchild (those face when Ga Ryung kissed him several times ! He looks like a cat when someone is stroking their neck part) and Ga Ryung is an absolute adorable young lady.

And ouch, my heart was being torn into pieces while watching Ga Ryung's smile when the arrow pierced into her (near) heart (part)

And hyung ! Gil Hyun beat Jeong Hak down and said "come fight me". So much coolness, bro !

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Speaking about Gil Hyun, his coolness and cold smirk always come full force when it comes to Jeong Hak, haha! Anyway he is one of my most fave char. He is def the hyung, with more brain and controlled emotion than dongsaeng Gil Dong, but when it comes to the group, he have no hesitation to stand behind and let his bro lead them all, obeying his decision and cheer for him, only stepping in when he needs to be reminded just like at the opening scene when GD wanna rush to save GR.

Its a good touch, and prop to the actor, that even if his built is smaller than GD and their age difference arent really apparent, but when the two of them speaking to each other, ex: in the jail when he told GD the king will read the book, when they first met again at the alley, at the cave, under the tree with eorini, and lastly at the aforementioned scene, u can tell (or at least me) that he is the hyung, and GD is the little bro that he loves and treats like lil bro (YKS also make it beliavable with the way he look at GH). Sweet..

And Nok Soo....i know she is baddie now but cant help by being distracted of her beauty. So so pretty and alluring this lady, even with simple outfit and hair do. Ok im shallow lol.

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Lol but he really look like a cat right there ?

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He's Mong and Koong's appa after all ?

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And Tomi!

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I nearly fell over when Ga-ryung was giving Gil-dong all those very enthusiastic pecks, it's so rare for scenes like those to be played like that! I rather like the use of dreams/flashbacks to let us see Gil-dong and Ga-ryung together while she's away, it's been done before in the drama (Ahmogae and Geum-ok, Ahmogae and Gil-hyun after his death) so it fits.

Gil-hyun is so badass, it's too much for me. But him fighting Jeong-hak is perfect, sucks that Jeong-hak is an ass because they really did have the potential to be bros when they were students.

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I have stopped watching quite a bit of many episodes ago, but I continue to read recaps. This recap actually made me cry reading it. I can't imagine what I'd do if I had watched the episode.

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I'm probably the only one, but, I felt quite disappointed with Mori's character. At first, he was interesting, with his backstory and daddy issues, and served as a good contrast to Gildong. But, as the story went on, Mori became (I'm sorry to say) pretty useless. Besides capturing the Hongvengers and breaking Gildong (and sparing him), he really hasn't been of much important use for the story (yes, the Hongvengers were the ones who saved those babies).
He could have, had he helped save Garyung, as everyone was predicting, but, honestly, I knew he wouldn't from the start. Betraying his superiors isn't in his nature. And, I'm most likely on the minority once again, but I actually found his feelings for Garyung quite weird. The first time he met her, he was using her to threaten Gildong, the second time, he was conjuring some scheme after realizing she was Gildong's 'woman', the third time, she threatened him with a rock and he became so head over heels for her that he regained his strength. And then, he doesn't see her again for a long while, and, when he does, she's married (to his enemy) and the King's bait, and he has some tragic love for her. I mean, he only saw her three (brief) times, and in two of them (all three actually) his intentions were clearly threatening, he literally knows nothing about her, besides the fact that she's spunky af and Gildong's woman, she doesn't care about him (at all), but then he becomes all vengeful and tearful... it is bound to make one confused.
I get that he has daddy issues, but did he REALLY have to follow Choongwongun, even though there was absolutely no need to, and even though it was as clear as the day that he would treat him like shit (and he did)? Does he hate Gildong so much (since Gildong's daddy humiliated his non-daddy who ditched him, and he dared free him) that he willingly joins Pedo Prince and Psycho King (who, once again, treat him like shit), leading him to cause the suffering of so many innocent people? Didn't he learn anything after being ditched by non-daddy? Is he uncapable of thinking for himself, in spite of being clearly smarter than Jeonghak, new daddy Pedo Prince or new master Psycho Prince? Wtf does Mori want to achieve?! Gildong's death? Closure for his daddy issues, which would basically him following a bunch of jerks around like a dog and taking their shit?
I couldn't care less about his character now, redemption or not, which is unfortunate since he started out promising. He doesn't even show signs of wanting to be redeemed or regretting the deaths he caused, despite showing slight flashes of humanity. I doubt anyone would've been very invested if it weren't for the actor. I kinda get his character, but I don't understand him, if it makes any sense.

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Oops, I meant *Psycho King. Yi Yung is such a horrible king my fingers were unable to denominate him as such lmao.

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Not to mention how he gets all angry and vengeful towards Gildong for not saving his wife, whom he happened to have an oh-so-tragic one-sided crush on, when he could've done it himself (since he's nearly as strong as Gildong is), and that way the both of them could've lived. But no, he didn't, because he's the King's loyal dog. However, he still has the guts to emotionally blackmail Gildong for not saving his wife for much more noble reasons, and try to make him feel like shit more than he already does. Didn't he want Gildong's death or revenge for whatever heinous thing he did? Then why was he hoping for Gildong to run away with Garyung and live? Was his only intention having closure for his daddy issues by becoming some powerful jerkass' loyal dog? Wtf, Mori, wtf?! I never really understood whatever Mori wanted to achieve through his useless actions, that only bring harm, and this episode only deepened my confusion. He is, for me, the most disappointing character. At least, for the villains, they were well-written and we understood them, though we despised them. Underused characters like Okran didn't have much substance to begin with, so we don't need to understand them much, they are simply the way they are. But, for Mori, it seems like he was meant to be a tragic, complex villain (as evidenced by the original scene in episode 1, in which he didn't appear to have feelings for Garyung), but then he became a confusing, useless anti-hero. And it's a pity, because Kim Junghyun is quite talented, and it's his performance that has been saving Mori's character.

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I'm following you. Whatever daddy issues he might have, is too complicated for my simple mind (hehe) but I do think that his crushing for Ga-ryung is made overly dramatic when he doesn't even know her well. Then again, in all my life (26 years!) I've never have a crush, so maybe this is another case of 'I can't relate'. I do acknowledge Kim Jeong-hyun for playing the character well though :)

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I think Mori is kind of like Hamlet in that he's hamstrung by not wanting to make a difficult choice that is going to change everything for him. To take a stand...to have a life that means something rather than just stay a henchman.

He wants Gil-dong to be the one to save Ga-ryung because he doesn't want to have to face the consequences of saving her...even if it's what he ultimately wants.

I think he's going to have to make a tough choice soon.

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I always thought his crush on Garyung was kind of adorable but pretty abrupt. Like she threatened him with a rock one day, and he started thinking about her and suddenly that brought his power back. However, when you mentioned about the times where he has seen her, I just realized that Mori found her before the time jump. What if he's been following her around during those 4 years and started developing feelings for her since then? That would make his deep crush on her more believable, at least to me.

The way GaRyung has been pinning for GilDong during that 4 years, Mori probably has been pinning for her as well (all of this happened off-screen, obviously, and only in my over-analyzing imagination ?)

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The beanies on previous recaps said that one of the reasons Mori resents Gil-dong is because he revealed to Mori how little the people he thought of as family actually cared for him. It's what causes him to join Pedo Prince and later the king...because if he doesn't beat Gil-dong then what meaning does his life have? He's like Nok-soo who forces herself to be with the king purely to prove that she made the right choice.

But Mori isn't stupid...he knows how poorly he is valued and treated...but he doesn't have the strength of will to change and make the hard choices the way Gil-dong and Ga-ryung can...because it's painful.

Moreover, Gil-dong has ALWAYS forced him to see how terrible his life choices are and he constantly points out that he's merely a tool used and exploited by others. Mori can't stand this...but at the same time, he knows Gil-dong is right. He also has a healthy dose of envy for Gil-dong which is part of where his crush for Ga-ryung comes from. Gil-dong lives the life he could have had if he had the conviction and courage to act and make tough decisions.

I still think Mori may still get redemption since his arc is going to be about finally being able to make a hard decision. And in doing so, stop being a henchman...He can finally become a real boy/

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Man ...I've got no more tears ..i've been dried up to the core xD it was such a beautiful, warm, suspenseful episode I'm really sad the drama is going to end next week TT

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Sameeeeeeeee DON'T GO, DRAMA, STAYYYYYYY

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Gilhyun is awesome. He's officially my favourite character in the show (ever since episode 26). Sim Heeseop might not be your textbook handsome actor, but damn, those smirks when he's burning the hell out of Jeonghak had me swooning. He's a good and caring older brother, a skilled fighter, an intelligent scholar, a brilliant officer, the motherly (?) presence in the household before shit went down, what the hell can't he do? It was a short scene, but the way he was worrying over Gildong during his face-off with Mori also touched me.
Rebel's casting is really on-point. Instead of going for the most popular, typically lead actors, they cast talented usual second leads like Yoon Kyunsang and Chae Soobin, and relatively unknown actors like Sim Heeseop and Kim Junghyun, not to mention Kim Jisuk and Lee Hanui, to play main roles and important supporting roles. As a result, everyone is shining and bringing the best out of their characters. And for the music, instead to mainstream, modern-sounding soundtrack (yes, I'm looking at you, Moon Lovers), they went for more a traditional, era-appropriate approach, bringing us the gem that is Ahn Yeeun's music (and that super sad song they played during Gilryung's wedding night). Rebel truly deserves all the love it can get, and I'm glad it's not being too overshadowed by Whisper (it even snagged the number 1 spot some weeks).

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I second. He is all around capable guy plus he is good looking too, his confident smirk is indeed swoonworthy. His char is so well written but the actor infuses it with even more nuanced, so that he ends up not only one dimentional good guy but also one who can be cunning, enraged, holding grudge, sly, etc, some normal emotions mortal can have.

Addition of his quality: playing double agent effectively. Tricking the king and scholar song right under their nose.

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Yes, I love how he's not a plain goody-two-shoes character. He's capable of being cunning, vengeful, ambitious and of completing his mission by deceiving and tricking others (even though we definitely don't mind lmao). He kinda has his own dark (?) side, which came out when he had that satisfying face-off with Pedo Prince, when he was still in prison, just like Gildong, Garyung, Eorini or Amogae. Sim Heeseop is doing an excellent work with Gilhyun. As if he weren't awesome enough in paper, he brings his character to life in a way that makes us root even more for him.

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In a way, I feel like Gil-hyun's story being so well developed actually lends weight to the idea that this is a drama with ordinary people at its heart - Gil-dong may be the one who's supernaturally gifted, but Gil-hyun isn't, and that hasn't stopped him from achieving greatness in his own right. (ironic that he and Ga-ryung really started to show their potential as characters once they'd been removed from Gil-dong's orbit and put in the palace).

I mean, we take it for granted that Gil-dong, as the hero of the story, will be a badass. But for Gil-hyun to turn out an equal badass even without the berserker strength, is even better because it's basically saying this is nothing but his own intelligence and hard work (plus some luck) that got him where he wanted to go i.e. you don't have to be "special" to be a hero.

Which ties in very nicely to both brothers' refusal to feel any shame about their ancestry - they hate the thought of their father's memory being used that way, but it's anger, not shame, that drives them in the scene where Jeong-hak is trying it.

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Even off-screen, he oozes this big brother vibes with YKS. So I guess that propagated into their on screen interactions.
I swear I love these casts so much, wouldn't replace them with any other actors/actresses, even with any of my favorites.

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I think Rebel might just have a lock on Best Ensemble for 2017, because (shockingly rare for a kdrama) there's not one bad actor or bad performance in the cast. I'm still bombed by how good some of the unknowns are (Sim Hee-seop, I'm looking at you!)

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I'm joining the Gil-hyun fan club too! I think that smirk was the undoing of more than one person lol.

But in all seriousness, he's a fantastic character and it speaks very highly of the writing and of Sim Hee-seop's abilities that he was able to hold my attention even during the very lengthy separation from Gil-dong when he was stuck in the palace. And that they make such convincing brothers that I was rooting for them through the entire take-down-Choongwongoon plot, which they orchestrated together without even knowing it! I love how believable he is in older brother/planner mode, too - that scene where he stopped Gil-dong from going to Ga-ryung was so beautifully played - he was heartbroken for his brother but still needed to be the one keeping a cool head where Gil-dong couldn't. And yes, he's totally the 'mom' presence for Eorini too. I love that he has so many layers.

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yeah, now that we're nearly at the end I can't imagine anyone else as Gil-dong but Yoon Kyun-sang's casting was a genuine surprise because, like you said, he'd always been a second lead before. Same goes for Chae Soo-bin. But it looks like the casting director for this drama actually did their job and cast on the basis of talent - we wouldn't have ended up with the performances we have from this cast otherwise. And I'm glad the drama had respectable ratings too, if I wish it was higher it's only because I could do with Rebel becoming an influence on future dramas.

Funny to think YKS was third choice for this role, but then third time was the charm for Ji-sung in Kill Me Heal Me too.

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Liked the episode, but:
Did you notice Gil-Dong was shaking a bit when he shot his wife? Understandable under the circumstances, but not compatible with the so-accurate-he-can-just-barely-not-hit-her-heart bit.
And could every subtitler ever for every show PLEASE stop saying "servant" when they mean "slave". Like they're trying to sugar-coat Korean history. At least the recap said "slave".

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yeah, if it wasn't for the fact that I've watched the odd sageuk featuring slavery before, I'd be confused too. "Servant" has an entirely different connotation from "slave", and it's an important distinction in this drama - Gil-dong's acting as a servant when he assumes his Footstool persona, but even as Footstool, he has a freedom that Ahmogae never did when he was in the Jo household.

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@32 Lord Cobol May 10, 2017 at 9:58 AM,

Thanks for pointing out the slave versus servant translation issue. I've been listening more closely during the final two episodes, and "nobi" (slave) is the word that's used.

*tips hat to CHUNO*

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And the villagers wanting Gil-Dong to escape with his wife was more dramatic than believable. The normal drill would be for civilians to want the super-warriors to fight to protect them while the civilians worry more about their children that the warrior's wife.

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Maybe because they knew there was no hope? I mean, the King's forces were a lot more superior than whatever they had, they actually survived because the Sugwidan forces turned against the King (aka Pedo Prince being an idiot). They knew they were all going to die, but wanted to do so while fighting for their rights. They were also grateful towards Gildong and understood his distress, so they let him go and save his wife. They were aware they didn't stand a chance against the King's army, so why not let General Hong live and escape with his wife, since he has already done so much for them and is not even from Hyangjumok, instead of letting his wife die and die along with them, for a city that's not even his? I think that's what made Gildong and Garyung's sacrifice more touching. But I totally get your point as well.

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I get your point, it's dramatic - but based on the odd war story I've read, that degree of fatalistic self-sacrifice from a populace who knew they were outnumbered and outgunned, is not out of the realm of possibility.

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This is the 2nd time that I will be finishing a 30-ep drama! (the first one was king of baking, kim tak gu) Everyone was spectacular in their roles and I am truly amazed by YKS's portrayal of gil dong. I was also a bit disappointed for the one-sided crush Mo ri had for Ga-Ryung. When he said what he really wanted to happen, it felt like a direct confession. It felt like he was saying "I like you, I want to save you but I'm one of the king's men so I want gil dong to come and rescue you"

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I was disappointed as well. I didn't expect Mori to play an active role in Garyung's rescuing, but the fact that he got angry at Gildong for not saving Garyung, when he could've done it himself, but didn't, for much less noble reasons, was disappointing. It makes his one-sided crush on Garyung even more unconvincing. But, tbh, I never really understood Mori's motivations to start with, so it's not surprising.

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And that wall...
I swear that exact same one in more shows than all the Trucks of Doom combined. If they're going to re-use the same one over and over in every historical, they should at least make one that can't be bypassed in two minutes by going up thru the trees a bit and then around the end.

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Fortress Building 101. LOL!

I was thinking the parapets are too low. There's not enough cover. But then we wouldn't see much of the actors. Oh, the trade-offs of set design. ;-)

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I'm surprised that wall held out as long as it did against the cannons (and even had a few of their own shorter-range cannons!), or maybe cannon technology of the 1500s in Korea wasn't quite as pulverising as we knew it to be later.

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For me, it took a little too long for Team Hongvengers to shoot their own cannons at the king's troops as well. I also feel like the fortress set looked kinda...styrofoam-y lol. The canons just seemed like they magically missed the walls every single time lol.

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lol I can tolerate a styrofoam fortress as long as its styrofoam-ness doesn't actually get captured on camera like the bouncing rubber "sticks" during an interrogation/torture scene in Scholar Who Walks the Night.

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My fav drama beside Liar and His Lover...
Don't think I will really love this long drama, since I never watch any drama which has more than 24eps..

Yoon Kyun-Sang fighting...

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Despite the length of the show (soooo looonggg) this show has to be one of my favorites ever. Everything from the story to the characters is so well done. Of course, it has plenty of faults, but I want to focus on the positives because this episode was so. darn. amazing. Mori tore my heart to pieces, Gil-dong tore my heart to pieces, Ga-ryung tore my heart to pieces and just ..*gross sobbing*

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Thanks for your recap and commentary, dramallama!

I knew I had to watch REBEL as soon as I read that Hwang Jin-Young would be the screenwriter. She busted my heart to smithereens with some of her characters in THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK-HYANG, and she went and did it again in REBEL. My hat is off to the cast and crew for pulling off this immensely satisfying episode. Processes that have been building like a tsunami since before Gil-dong's birth are now unfolding with a vengeance.

From the gate towers, the shaman looks upon the scene with immense emotion and says, “The Mighty Child’s wet wings have been dried by the people’s breath and influence.”

The imagery of a butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis could not be more apropos. In such a metamorphosis, timing is everything. It is an intensely internal process. Before it can fly, its wings have to unfold like origami in reverse, and then dry out and harden. No one can help a butterfly emerge without compromising its wings – or its life. To the caterpillar who dons a chrysalis, it is the death of the old form and rebirth into an alien one with new capabilities. Gil-dong's inner tiger has been unleashed as a tiger swallowtail, and now he “floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.” As they defend their hive, his collaborators, the commoners of Hyangjumo – the despised worker bees of Joseon – pack more of a collective punch than they ever imagined possible as individuals.

“The Butterfly Dream” of Zhuang Zhou also comes to mind, and dovetails with Gil-dong's dream of Ga-ryung tickling his nose with a branch of azalea blossoms, as does Ga-ryung's dream of him piggybacking her among flowering trees.

He was so damn intense as the champion for the people, and I’m strangely proud (like I had anything to do with this) that a guy who’s so darn cute with his cats is able to transform into an incredibly moving Hong Gil-dong.

I couldn't have said it better myself. It was a privilege to see Yoon Kyung-sang work his magic in this episode.

It was a blast watching Yeonsangun's plans unravel one after the other. The look on his face – and Nok-soo's – when HGD shot the arrow into Ga-ryung was priceless. As far as anyone knew, she was dead. Gil-dong no longer had anything to lose, so he could go for broke. The king did not see Ga-ryung's rescue coming until it was too late. As if anyone could have foreseen that bunch of village hayseeds swarming out like angry wasps to liberate her.

Yeonsangun's regular army, (Jurchen?) mercenaries, Mighty Child Mori, ex-prisoners under Choongwongoon's command, and his military leader, Jo Jeong-hak, all failed to live up to his delusions. His remedy – deliberate “friendly” artillery fire – was another new low very much in keeping with a “leader” who led from the rear. Song Sabu did likewise. At least Choongwongoon was on the front line with Mori and Jeong-hak. But it was Gil-dong who truly led...

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continued

But it was Gil-dong who truly led by example.

Song Sabu's treachery against his erstwhile royal student was chilling. I have a feeling that he'll be on the receiving end of cosmic retribution himself. His ever-silent henchman makes me wonder if another betrayal is in the offing.

At the end of the episode, Gil-hyun is ostensibly rescuing Yeonsangun's expendable lady musicians after unhorsing Jeong-hak. (I bet he's going to remind the rebels that many of these women were taken from their families by force, and that the king has already executed many of them for insanely petty "offenses" to his "dignity.") I loved how the king's top commander was trash talking his former slave as he himself ran away -- presumably home to Mommy Dearest. I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when they get the news about Choongwongoon's demise from Song Sabu.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the assembly when the ministers return to the capital. Judging by the glances and expressions on the faces of the senior statesmen, Yeonsangun's days are numbered.

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Oh, so that's what the shaman meant! I was scratching my head at the 'wet wings being dried by people's breath' but was too busy following the battle hehe. I should have realised it referred to a butterfly. Good thing I came by the comments section this week :)

I also can't wait for Song Sabu to get his just desserts... his presence there bothered me for a few reasons: 1) he was a cold spectator of a massacre, just there for the show. Dude, ultimate pycho. 2) I was afraid he'd run into Eurini (by the way, hasn't she told her brothers about Song Sabu?) 3) a petty point, but for a really clever person who's hiding in the bushes... he keeps wearing white. Not that I would complain if a stray arrow hit him.

A few ironic touches that I really liked:
- Choongwongoon got to wear the king's outfit in the end. He also got to die for the king.
- the faceless soldiers turned Choongwongoon into a porcupine, and then threw their green baubles of virtue right back at him. 'Thanks but no thanks'
- Yeonsangun dressed as a peasant to save his life... wearing the most ridiculous peasant hat.

All that aside: Gil Hyun was so cool. And Mori crying on the battlefield, in silence, was a heartbreaking moment. As if he knew every decision he'd ever made was wrong, but he saw no other way out. :'(

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Also, a butterfly is a symbol of death and rebirth in East Asian cultures iirc so it's rather fitting for Gil-dong (but idk what that means for his fate in this drama).

I loved Choongwongoon's end. He may have been what set Gil-hyun and Gil-dong's story in motion, but they've had bigger royal fish to fry for a while now - so the prisoners take care of him instead.

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re: the palace musicians who were left behind by Yeonsangun (and OF COURSE he would do that, why are we even surprised that he threw their safety to the wind once the bombs started rolling)

It's fitting for Gil-hyun to be the one to step in on their behalf (Eorini would be the only more appropriate person, having been one of them herself) - he remembers that his sister was one of them not that long ago, and she certainly didn't get there by choice. Plus he himself was in the king's service until he did his grand bridge-burning, so he knows well that everyone who works for the palace isn't as awful as Yeonsangun.

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I find it telling that Yeonsangun ordered them all to be brought there...but abandons them to get killed when the going gets tough.

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I cried this episode. It was that heart lifting. Shooting a bow into the heart of his beloved was a bold decisive move. Since I'm expecting a HEA, I wasn't too concerned that she would die of the shot, for where would that leave our brave hero? Still, I can't wait for the bad guys to get their comeuppance and for everything to be tied up neatly. 2 episodes to go.

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