Open Thread: Chuno Episodes 13 & 14

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you guys are ready to chat about Chuno episodes 13 & 14! 😃 It’s kinda surreal, that we’re already past Show’s halfway point!

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 13

It’s hard to watch as Dae Gil’s dream disintegrates before his eyes, and as he struggles to come to terms with the dissolution of everything Eonnyeon represented to him.

That moment around the corner, where his gaze shifts from intense and fierce, to shifty and wavering, is so well done. I feel like I can practically see Dae Gil’s resolve leak out of him, leaving him with nothing but uncertainty and confusion. The subsequent street crying scene is as iconic as ever, and I have to hand it to Jang Hyuk for going all in and ugly-bawling like he’s about to gag on his own soul. As Dae Gil beats his chest in the midst of his guttural cries, it feels like pent-up waves of pain are finally finding expression and release. At the same time, I doubt that this actually brings him any lasting catharsis; it feels like this pain is going to continue to haunt him for a long time. 😭

I find it hard to believe that Eonnyeon’s shoes are the same pair that Dae Gil had given her all those years ago, because they look brand new in the close-up shot. I guess the Eonnyeon’s spotless perfection extends to her shoes as well, hur.

I do appreciate the significance of Dae Gil telling General Choi and Wangson that they’re on the wrong trail and Tae Ha’s not in the vicinity. This means that he’s protecting Tae Ha, for Eonnyeon’s sake. No matter how badly he wishes that Eonnyeon hadn’t married Tae Ha, he’s not about to try to take that away from her. That’s his way of loving her, I think. 💔

I do love that General Choi proves once again, that he knows and understands Dae Gil, possibly better than anyone else. While Wangson gets all riled up by Dae Gil’s pronouncement that they should just go back to Hanyang, and kicks up a fuss, General Choi instinctively knows that Dae Gil must have seen Eonnyeon. I really like that conversation that he and Dae Gil have by the riverbank. Even though Dae Gil doesn’t want to admit it, General Choi discerns it anyway, that Dae Gil’s seen Eonnyeon, and that’s why he wants to stop being a slave hunter.

I also love that Dae Gil reveals that he’s bought a piece of land, so that he, General Choi and Wangson can live adjacent to one another, while General Choi farms, and Wangson runs a tavern, just like they said they wanted to. AW. Dae Gil’s been brushing off any reference to the three of them as family, but in his heart, he really does think of them as family. Why else would he buy land where they’d be able to live together? That’s totally the happy ending I want for this band of brothers.

Song Dong Il’s portrayal of Ji Ho’s emotions, as he learns that all of his boys have died as a result of working for Commander Hwang, is so amazingly complex. I don’t think I ever appreciated it properly before. He manages to keep up Ji Ho’s theatrical voice-breaking-every-few-seconds manner of speaking, yet infuse it with barely held in, tamped down emotion, as he thinks about his fallen crew with just a hint of tears glistening in his eyes. I feel like Song Dong Il is keeping a finger on so many different parts of Ji Ho’s body language at the same time, and yet, it comes across as an intricate whole. Fantastic. 🤩

In a dog-eat-dog world, where someone like Constable Oh would easily put away someone like Horse Doctor, while Horse Doctor’s supposed friends, Painter and the Jumos simply cluck in sympathy as they look on (poor Horse Doctor, seriously), Ji Ho’s loyalty to his fallen brothers is extra striking. Clearly, he’s set on taking down Commander Hwang, as vengeance for the wrongful deaths of his brothers, and it feels like he would put his life on the line to do so.

Meanwhile, I have to admit, I was pretty stoked to see that Cho Bok turns out to be a natural sharpshooter, managing to squarely hit the target on her very first try. Attagirl! What a winsome, joyful badass she is. 😍 I’m glad that she doesn’t let the men stop her from learning, even though they are clearly intimidated by her natural flair.

It feels like Dae Gil’s and Eonnyeon’s dumbfounded realizations of each other’s continuing existence serve as bookends to this episode. We begin the episode with Dae Gil’s gut-wrenching grief, and we end the episode with Eonnyeon’s similarly shocked and stupefied response to the fact that Dae Gil is, in fact, alive, and not dead as she’d presumed.

I feel like there must so many thoughts racing through Eonnyeon’s mind in this moment. She’s only just married Tae Ha and consummated the marriage, and she’s also literally just laid to rest her heart for Dae Gil, and here he is, in the flesh before her, and shopping for fabric with another woman, no less.

I can imagine how shocking this must be, for Eonnyeon. I have to wonder if she regrets marrying Tae Ha, in this moment. After all, she’d carried Dae Gil in her heart for years, even when she’d thought he was dead. If she had the chance to do it all over again, would she still have married Tae Ha, I wonder?

Now that Dae Gil and Eonnyeon are finally face to face, what will they say to each other? I feel like there’s probably too much to say, so much so that they’re more likely not to say anything at all. 💔

Episode 14

As it turns out, I was wrong about Dae Gil and Eonnyeon being face to face, but it’s true that Eonnyeon chooses not to say anything to Dae Gil at all. In fact, she hides from Dae Gil, as she desperately tries to hold back the sobs that seem to be on the verge of involuntarily bursting forth from her.

Eonnyeon is clearly haunted by her memories of the past – she so often thinks of Dae Gil in his Young Master noble robes – and she’s also visibly haunted by the specter of his death, which has clearly been hanging over her all this time. Combined, this makes for a very complicated amalgamation of emotions for her, in this moment.

On the one hand, there must be a great sense of relief and release, to know that he’s alive, and we see that in the way she thanks him in voiceover, for being alive. At the same time, there are likely many questions in her mind, and a lot of emotion just from seeing him look so different than what she remembered of him. Where before he’d been earnest, hopeful and happy, there’s now a distinct jaded worldliness about him. Eonnyeon thanks him in voiceover, for looking as happy as he does, but clearly, she is only seeing the smile on his lips, and not perceiving the weariness in his eyes.

Additionally, I’m sure there’s confusion in her heart, about how to feel about Dae Gil, now that he’s alive and not dead. She’d just put down the memory of him, promising to be devoted to Tae Ha only, and now, Dae Gil’s back from the supposed dead; I’m sure her heart is thrown for a loop. And I’m also sure that this also has implications on how she views her relationship with Tae Ha. Before, it had probably seemed acceptable not to tell Tae Ha about a dead man whom she’d loved, but what of it now that he’s not dead after all?

It’s no wonder she’s lost in a daze even after getting back to her quarters. And, it looks like she’s finally screwing up the courage to tell Tae Ha her story. I wonder if Tae Ha’s already guessed, and is just waiting for her to tell him?

On this note, I wanted to say that Tae Ha really does seem to vibe differently now that he’s not in his runaway slave rags and channeling his fight mode. His gaze seems unusually clear and innocent, sometimes even like that of a small child, and I find this quite odd, because as a general, I’d have expected him to cut a more commanding figure.

I remember some of you commenting, when we first started our watch, on Tae Ha’s dark eyes when he’s in fight mode. Well, I suddenly realized that those dark eyes seem to have left the room, at least for now. 😅

Over at our rebel slave faction, the latest hit turns out to be the Qing Ambassador’s men in disguise. Hm.. very suspicious indeed, that the secret informant who’s instructing our rebel slaves on which nobles to shoot, is telling them to assassinate the Qing Ambassador’s men who are on their way to Jeju Island to look for our Little Prince. Who’s behind the informant, then? The Left State Councilor?

Also, Cho Bok turns out to be our MVP again, with her timely appearance – with a sprained ankle, no less – and her quick thinking, to hide Eop Bok in the brush pile, while the other slaves basically piss their pants as they frantically abandon their mission because they’re too scared. Eop Bok would’ve probably been a dead man, without her.

Not only that, Cho Bok then goes back up the mountain, with that sprained ankle, and retrieves the rifles that the other slaves had left behind in their panic. Her exasperated side-eye at the men, who are mostly all talk, is completely warranted, and she absolutely deserves that piggyback ride that Eop Bok offers her.

The arc that I found hardest to watch this episode, is that of Commander Hwang hunting down Wangson, fighting him and felling him, then luring General Choi to do the same. 😣

I have to admit that on my earlier watches, I wasn’t fully cognizant of how scrappy our slave hunting crew is, in terms of their fight skills. Because of the flair with which they’re filmed, and the pumping fight anthem that scores their exploits, I’d had it in my head that they were stronger fighters than they actually are. When faced with opponents like Commander Hwang or Tae Ha, who are highly skilled and formally trained, they really do struggle to hold their own.

And unfortunately for Wangson, Commander Hwang was not in the frame of mind to be patient or merciful. It was really hard to see Wangson’s blood get spilled. 😣😭

While I so appreciate the fierce loyalty and kinship that drives General Choi and Dae Gil to search so doggedly for Wangson, it makes me nervous to see them face off with Commander Hwang, especially with so much emotion about Wangson’s fate clouding their ability to think rationally. I have no doubt that both Dae Gil and General Choi would put their lives on the line for Wangson and for each other, but.. in this moment, I kinda wish Show didn’t feel the need to test their loyalty like this. 😭

61 thoughts on “Open Thread: Chuno Episodes 13 & 14

  1. agent155

    Well, I’ve finally caught up with the Group Watch. I originally thought I would have trouble not jumping ahead but as it turned out, It’s been tricky keeping up for a variety of reasons. These episodes are heart wrenching as Dae Gil’s world starts collapsing around him and his reason for living starts falling away as he sees Eon Nyeon happily married to Tae Ha. To top it off, Wangson is killed by Hwang and General Choi maybe next as he hurries to the fireworks signal he thinks is sent by Wangson.

    A lot of my fears are materializing, back in episode 5 or so I was having serious doubts about Dae Gil’s and Eon Nyeon’s future together; there may yet be another twist but a happy Dae Gil Eon Nyeon ending seems very remote now. I worried from very early about Tae Ha’s ability to protect the prince and that is a very real issue now, Tae Ha is discovering that while he’s a good soldier and a great fighter, the best of his time, he is at sea with the political wrangling as I feared and his ability to protect the prince is badly compromised.

    It seems to me that Dae Gil is being set up to go on a solo rampage for the rest of the show and this usually ends badly; Wangson is gone, General Choi is in imminent danger and he’s sending Seolhwa away. He’s lost Eon Nyeon, his reason for being, so it seems to me that either Tae Ha or him will not be around at the end or maybe it will be Eon Nyeon? The slaves are being set up by the Left State Councillor and it will be interesting to see how they are eventually tied into the main storyline.

    This is not an optimistic show, every character is in some degree of pain or discomfort and the resolution of their situations will be interesting. Joseon world was a cruel world, to quote Thomas Hobbes, the life of man was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.

    The acting is top notch, the pain in Dae Gil is visceral and unbearable, Lee Dae Ha finally shows up, the idealized version of beauty almost collapses when she sees Dae Gil, Jin Ho shows unexpected facets to his character and Sung Dong-il’s understated acting is exceptional. Hwang makes the transformation from a reluctant villain to a cold-hearted killer who has now added his father in law, the left State Councillor, to his targets. There is no weak link in the entire cast.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Yay! Glad you were able to catch up, Geo!! 😃 Yes, this second half isn’t easy to watch, but wow, the performances are all top notch, as you said. 🤩🤩

      Reply
  2. Drama Fan

    We’ve talked a lot, and I think we will continue of course, about the fight scenes and how it is established that Hwang and Song Tae Ha are the top fighters. Watching them in action is a feast to the eyes every time. Their sword-fighting scenes are beautiful, majestic, elegant, like ballet. I for sure, enjoy them very much.

    But, I admit, I tend to enjoy Daegil and friends’ scenes a tad only a tad more, precisely because they are not as perfectly skilled, the sense of danger is heightened and the movements are much less predictable. I guess, they are enjoyable and exciting in a different way.

    Wang Son’s agility and running across rooftops, his backflips, he is just fun fun fun to watch. And Daegil, Oh Daegil. Someone mentioned that when it comes to running, Daegil takes the top prize and I agree. It’s not just that he runs well but he expresses so much, that determination, that desperation, energy and passion. There was that scene of Daegil defeating a bunch of soliders when he stole their horses. Of course, they didn’t pose much of a threat (someone joked they were like stormtroopers) but Jang Hyuk looked so fabulous there! Ahhh he is so sexy.

    And I couldn’t help but think that it’s his obsession/determination that makes him go on this “crazy mode” that allows him to defeat even 10 men easily, more than prowess or physical ability, it’s that extra passion for (whatever it is that drives him) that takes on a life of its own. It’s like “the force” (of Unnyun?) is with him :p Something also could be said about him having less of a set of rules to follow, given that he is a self-taught streetfighter not a formally educated warrior, which in a way makes him more free and unpredictable, agile, fluid, etc.

    Reply
  3. Drama Fan

    All of you have already done such great analysis and given me, food for thought for decades, so I’m just going to simply share what I felt while watching these eps (and drowning in tears)

    • That scene of Daegil crying on the streets always gets to me. I’m trying to remember my reaction the first time I watched it and I think it must’ve been something similar to Seolhwa’s (stunned, shocked). As I rewatched the scene to comment on it right now, I felt something not just in my heart but also my stomach and I’m left almost shaking. I think this was the moment when I stopped trying to understand or reason with Daegil and I just let myself go with the feelings. I no longer care if he is right or wrong and I just want someone to hug this man.

    I’m with Snow. Jang Hyuk’s hands deserve their own Daesang. The moment his hands faced up as he was praying, my goodness (btw, did you notice his hands had some cuts? And they looked real)

    • And then SeolHwa’s words (Im going to paraphrase a version that I remember and liked more than what Viki had)
    “I saw a man cry…I was happy to see a man could cry like that. But I was also sad. Sad because no man will ever cry like that for me”

    That SeolHwa’s speech. I’ve always felt it deeply, its not just about her love for Daegil which is unrequited (and that’s what Viki’s version sounds like) it’s more about how she simply has no hope, in this world, to ever be loved, because of her past. The fact that it’s not just her thinking this, but the whole world agreeing with her, is what’s more painful.

    • When Daegil spies over the newlyweds lol, I don’t know if this is common knowledge or practice but, my Korean friend told me that, when a person turns the shoes around like he did, it’s to make if more comfortable for the person who is stepping out of the house to put the shoes back on. I guess poor Daegil wanted to have a last nice gesture with her as insignificant and unnoticeable as it may be.

    • Then comes the scene where he asks his brothers and Seol Hwa about her dreams. I never thought he was identifying with SeolHwa then (since both their dreams are impossible) Thank you whoever mentioned this, it adds something more to my appreciation (and more tears, gee, thanks? Lol)

    • The Olmana joaaaahhh scenen (Daegil telling General Choi he bought land for them with the money he was taking from them). I think Jang Hyuk looked so beautiful during this scene. And how grateful is my heart that General Choi is with him. General Choi, is such a wonderful loyal beautiful friend.

    • The scene when Lee Da Hae reminds me what a GREAT actress she is. That scene of her finding Daegil again on the street market still makes me shake too (I shake a lot watching this drama lol). Her eyes! Their eyes!!! I just love how in tune LDH and JH are as actors. They really speak loads with those eyes. I could absolutely feel what Unnyun must’ve been feeling at this very moment. And no, I’m not going to speculate if Daegil was no longer the man for her since he has changed so much, or wonder if she would’ve still married Taeha if this encounter happened one day before (but If I were to, I’d say NO lol) This scene sells to me the idea that Daegil was still in her heart. I don’t know if it’s the writing but the acting, their (acting) chemistry, certainly tells me that. (And then her tears as she remembers their moments together, that tender kiss they shared, sorry but Taeha who? :p I know my bias shows way too much, sorry but please forgive me, these episodes do this to me)

    • And finally, Wangsonahhhhhhhhhh (Terminator Hwang is damn scary!)
    PS: I hate Oh and I hope he gets punished. He angered me more than Hwang ever will, because Hwang is predictable at the moment. He is on that killing rampage, on terminator mode and makes no apology about it. We sorta know what to expect. Loyalty, consideration for another human life, for example, would not be something I’d expect from him. He is not even pretending to understand the concepts. But Oh, ok Im not saying I thought he was a “good” guy, but I did not necessarily think him capable of that cruelty and lack of remorse. He destroyed the horse doctor and showed not one ounce of remorse or pity, nothing. Then he wanted to go one like nothing happened. It was shocking and well, it showed pretty vividly the cruelty of Chuno’s world. Like the jumo’s and the painter said, they are only one “inch”above slaves and their lives could be destroyed in one second too.

    Reply
  4. Snow Flower

    @BE, I have seen Lee Jong Hyuk in only one drama besides Chuno, A Gentleman’s Dignity. The drama is so-so, and I only watched it for him. But the character he plays there is an immature and philandering husband whom I did not like. The fault is not the actor’s, but rather the writer’s. But he did have good sense of comedy and a really excellent singing voice!

    Reply
  5. j3ffc

    Just noticed that the blog has, as of now, exactly 1000 followers! Kudos to kfangurl on this mathematical milestone…

    Reply
  6. BE

    One other thought–thank you K for commenting on Sung Dong Il’s continuing bravura performance as Ji Ho. He is a rather minor character in the sweep of the whole, but as I have been repeating over and over, without him, without that performance Chuno would be so diminished. And here again, it is not just how he enacts Ji Ho by himself but how one can feel how his enactment raises the level of the other actors sharing scenes with him, in this case both Ahn Sook Hwan who plays the timorous artist and Ha Si Eun (Hwang’s wife) who goes toe to toe with Sung Dong Il when it comes to physically expressing her character’s emotions, in this case horror, outrage, and despair. Watching the two of them together ought be something for an entire actor’s workshop.

    Reply
    1. Snow Flower

      Watching the Chuno cast is like attending a masterclass in acting. There isn’t a weak link. Even Oh Ji Ho rises to the occasion.

      Reply
  7. Jiyuu

    This week’s episodes marks the second turning point for Dae Gil as he lets go of Un Nyun, finally admits the guilt eating inside him from the cries of the slaves they catch, and attempts to start anew.

    While I know I already should expect greatness from Jang Hyuk’s acting, it still surprised me. I’ve seen moments of heartbreak a lot in film and tv but Dae Gil’s breakdown in the marketplace (along with him kneeling and turning his palms up in the temple) will probably rank among the most memorable for me in kdramaland.

    I’m sorry if there are Oh Ji Ho fans here, this is my first time watching him in anything and while I was fine with him/enjoyed his scenes as a runaway slave, his facial expressions the past four episodes can be summed up simply as… bland. Even if he’s happy and content having Un Nyun beside him, everything is just so lukewarm about him. Even the soldier Han Seom, with his limited screen time, conveyed his feelings with much more depth and warmth than our newly married general.

    Speaking of generals, General Choi looked fantastic in his show down with Commander Hwang and the completely unnecessary but fantastic fireworks fest was the perfect backdrop for it.

    And Wang Son. I’m hoping he’s still alive somehow but that moment of artistic camerawork when he realized the danger behind him makes me think that’s his final moment of Chuno glory.

    Reply
  8. j3ffc

    I having nothing of intellectual value to add to what has gone before, so I’ll leave with my main thought after these two hours:

    Wang-SONNNNNNNNNNN!

    Reply
    1. Drama Fan

      Lolll I too have nothing to say of much intelectual value. These two episodes are are overwhelming and powerful to me all I do is sob, cry, choke tears, sob again and so on. I just love reading everyone’s take and will probably come back to gush a bit when work allows me. In the meantime, I’ll join you in the chorus: Wang – SONNNNNN!

      Reply
  9. BE

    I am going to preface my immediate reax with a coupla comments about the previous two episodes, that I gave up on after writing a forty five minute entry that disappeared last week as a result of accidentally leaving the page.

    To be honest, I was pretty fed up with Dae Gil in episodes 11 & 12. His drunken braggadoccio, his complaint about Eon Nyeon not having the right to be happy when he had lived the life of a slave hunter reeking of all the bs nobleman’s arrogance about class and slaves, his stealing half of the general’s saved up poor scholar’s stash, his ruthless killing of the scholar’s bodyguards–feh! Dae Gil was becoming as unlikable and pathetic as anyone other than Lefty and Hwang in this drama.
    Secondly, I could not help but notice the feminist (in the best sense) bend to the narration–the women in Chuno not only were forced to put some back bone into their men all up and down the line, but were also demanding real authenticity, especially vis a vis Seol Hwa with Dae Gil, Cho Bok with Eop Bok, and Eon Nyeon with Seol Hwa. There was even a kind of feminist bend to Wang Son’s philandering. Is he the only man in all of Joseon who understands that women like sex? That they ache because of their men’s inability to register their longing for physical intimacy?
    Then there was Hwang (and let me put my two cents in here about Hwang–Lee Jong Hyuk is simply terrific and in many ways just about upstages everyone except Jang Hyuk in this drama, and while I do get the root of Hwang’s sociopathy, for me, at least, he is an unredeemable villain, a mass murderer with nothing more than a scoundrel’s ambition when it gets down to it as motivation). His projection of all his inner poison on his wife seemed to epitomize just how women seem to have been largely considered in Chuno’s Joseon.
    Women are viewed as sex toys, property as wives and daughters, subject to murderous jealousy, becoming a gisaeng their best business opportunity (even Ms. Smile knows she is dependent on Lefty in the Black Hat), subject to continuous sexual harassment as independent innkeepers, depicted as servants and slaves, and utterly absent from all the avenues of power–they cannot be scholars, ministers, warriors (the assassin was from China), and in Chuno, they are not even represented among the royalty.
    The ultimate coup de grace–the scholars intolerance of Eon Nyeon, which went beyond merely a strategic consideration imo. However accurate to the time that depiction may or may not have been, I cannot help but think that along with Chuno’s deep seated expression of distaste for slavery, the upshot of class, and the machinations of political elites, the writers were also making a very strong statement about how women have been viewed and treated in the historical past.

    So… that lead me to these two episodes. First of all this: I did not remember exactly when during my first watching that Dae Gil, beyond the flash and acting charisma of Jang Hyuk, really won me over, but in this viewing it was in the opening scenes of Episode 13, which appears to be the beginning, perhaps, of a second story-line for our hero, the arc of his redemption. Face to face with actually seeing Eon Nyeon happy, in love, no matter how much the the torture, the heart rending hopelessness, and rising bile of disquieted jealousy stuck in his craw, his love for her kicks in. He cannot, for love of Eon Nyeon, attack Song Tae Ha, seeing how vividly happy Tae Ha makes her seem to feel.
    And then when he just collapses in the street and cuts loose–ten years of longing for what has turned out to be worse than nothing, his whole reason for being a delusion of his grandiose obsession upon which he has placed his entire hope, his whole heart cut out and rising out of his throat to the universe–ah, how can we not feel, how can anyone who has ever had a broken heart, and that includes most of us, or carried a torch at one time or another unrequitedly, and that too a common enough human experience, how can we not feel for Lee Dae Gil in that moment. Even the beautiful Jang Hyuk as Lee Dae Gil suffers the pangs of the love lorn–that secret no one admits too but everyone understands in song and drama.
    The scene in the temple, the upshot of his existential disquiet since meeting with Eon Nyeon’s brother, the absurdity of existence–how can there possibly be an enlightened being in such an absurd world, and yet his come to Buddha moment of…a kind of wretch’s awe for such a being, ah again another universal heart of the matter for most of us who are not enlightened, whose lives at times against the great tide of events in this world seem utterly diminished and absurd, while being hip enough to understand that there are enlightened beings out there, beings whom like Dae Gil wishes for Buddha, we wish well on their mission to raise us all up from the darkness of our absurdity.

    And later when Dae Gil in conversation with the gang about what they would do with the money, when he chides Wang Son for scorning Seol Hwa’s dream of settling down with a decent guy and not having to wonder about where her next meal comes from: this is the Dae Gil who is the hero of Chuno. His discussion with the General at the river about how all this time he had been planning for them, putting money down on land–so the General might be able to have a plot of land where his kids could play with chickens, and Wang Son could become an innkeeper, spelling out the tawdriness of their lives as slave hunters only adds to this–this too, the hero of Chuno.

    There are of course other elements of these two episodes: the realization of Tae Ha and his men that their mission may well just be replacing one group of politicians who care more for their own personal gain than that of a higher fate for the nation; Ji Ho becoming an ever more sympathetic character; the utterly cruel and absurd fate of old inn stable master, who despite being the worst sort of handsy dirty old man does not deserve the fate of becoming enslaved.
    There is the sleaze bag Officer Oh, an extraordinarily despicable as well as pathetic caricature of the worst that comes to mind when thinking of a sycophantic police functionary. And here again, don’t by contrast the jumos seem, despite each their own tunnel vision and somewhat pathetic place in the Chuno world, vastly superior characters to the Officer Oh, the old stable master, and the artist?
    There is the intrigue between the Chinese envoy and King In Jo in which the slave assassins are somehow set up to attack the undercover spies dressed as nobles sent by the envoy to…what exactly?
    There is Eon Nyeon coming face to face with Dae Gil, the power of that. While I always wish there were a bit more there there with Eon Nyeon, she is at times such a touching character.
    And finally, first how much I really like the General–he has to be the single most likable character in the whole show–what has happened, and where we are at the end of episode 14: Wang Son?!!!! General Choi?!!!! And puh lease, I have less than zero sympathy of Officer Hwang–on this account I can only say: Team Chun Ji Ho.

    Reply
    1. Ele Nash

      Always enjoy reading your responses, BE! I know when I first watched Chuno at the beginning of last year, I really got torn up by Hwang and his relentlessness so am perhaps overdoing the read of his character this watch because… I kind of think he got cornered by Lefty and it spiralled from there. Maybe the glimmer of redemption I’m seeing / hoping for / imagining is undeserved and is more a credit, as you say, to the acting sass of Lee Jong Hyuk. I do love a conflicted villain, though, and while he is at this point slavish to “getting the job done” in merciless, unforgiving, unforgivable fashion, I still think I see regret somewhere there. They’re all murderous, let’s face it. Chuno is a world where killing another has a reason that makes it justified in some way – not always to us, of course, but to themselves. Ah, anyway, I agree Oh and Lefty are irredeemable.

      Reply
      1. BE

        Hwang is the man who at the very beginning in the skirmish with the Chinese,stayed back, betraying his comrades. His villainy precedes meeting up with the Minister. As we saw in his last fight scene with Tae Ha, he is someone that has always had a chip on his shoulder. He is trying to play Lefty as much as Lefty is using him. And whereas other Tae Ha is a soldier and Dae Gil, a criminal working in a dangerous life, Hwang is simply a ruthless hit man. About the only thing redeeming Hwang is his love for his mother, imo. But he is so much more interesting than any character but Dae Gil or Tae Ha because he is so well developed and because he is in this very physical drama one of that triumvirate of ultimate bad asterisks.

        I have more sympathy for Oh just because he is such small potatoes, trying to hold on to his little piece. He has ambition, but it is so pathetic. Oh and Minister Lee Kyung Shik are caricatures, it strikes me, and so their villainy, small and large respectively, painted with broad brush strokes.

        Reply
        1. Snow Flower

          @BE, I think Hwang was not playing Lefty before. He still maintained the facade of a dutiful son-in-law, and refused to follow Lefty’s orders initially. It was Lefty’s cold treatment of injured Hwang that made Hwang go rogue and unhinged.

          Reply
          1. BE

            If he was not using Lefty to move up the ladder, why marry? Hwang has ambitions and has been self absorbed about them insofar as I can see from the get go.

            Reply
            1. Snow Flower

              We discussed earlier that Commander Hwang has a chip on his shoulder, likely because he is not of noble origin. So marrying up was the only way for an ambitious man from the middle class to advance his career. I suspect that nobody wanted to marry him, so Lefty took advantage of Hwang’s ambition mixed with frustration. Poor Lady Lee, caught in the middle of Lefty-Hwang power struggle…

              Reply
              1. BE

                Hwang is certainly a memorable character and part of what makes the drama so great. Lady Lee provides a unique quality of humanity to the drama. I do not just pity her; I am blown away by the depths of passion and emotion she conveys.

                Reply
        2. Ele Nash

          Loyalty is such a big theme in Chuno. Daegil’s loyalty to Eunyeon – did he really not sleep with any women?! – and to Wangson and Choi, and theirs to him, is perhaps their finest qualities. Ji ho’s loyalty to his crew – and why he felt so keenly Daegil’s going it alone. Taeha’s loyalty to the Crown Prince – though I’d suggest that more institutionalised sense of duty and honour is less noble somehow, less individual, less personal.
          I would still argue for Hwang here – though I admit I never completely get a handle on the Qing- Joseon dynamic. Did Hwang simply not want to die that day and thought the battle futile? Is he just not honour bound like Taeha? If that’s what that scene boiled down to (though, like I say, I don’t have a handle on it entirely) then does that make him evil then or just a more pragmatic strategist? He definitely is different in terms of loyalty. It doesn’t seem to be an emotion (is it an emotion?!) that he possesses or prioritises.
          As a teeny note, the King. I don’t get him either though love that actor. Another peripheral character played by an awesome actor. He has eyes like nicotine.

          Reply
          1. Snow Flower

            @Ele Nash, I agree with you about Daegil. He has probably never kissed another woman, much less slept with one.
            You are right about Commander Hwang too. He probably saw the futility of the rescue attempt and chose not to participate in it. So, he is more of a pragmatic strategist rather than an upright idealist like Song Tae Ha.

            As for the Qing-Joseon dynamic, Joseon had suffered a humiliating defeat and the king was forced to send his own son as a hostage. The Crown Prince saw the situation as a learning opportunity and went willingly. Song Tae Ha’s rescue attempt was against the wishes of the Crown Prince.

            I seriously doubt that Hwang’s refusal to participate in Tae Ha’s suicidal attempt to rescue the crown prince was motivated by any wish to honor the prince’s desire to go willingly. Hwang saw the operation as an exercise in futility. He sees everyone as power-hungry hypocrites not worthy of loyalty and yet he is envious and jealous of powerful people.The irony is that he is no different than the authority figures he despises and he knows it too.

            Reply
            1. BE

              @Ele Nash & Snow Flower: At times, Dae Gil is a kind of prude with regard to Wang Son, and even General Choi seems somewhat frightened of intimacy. Both of them also have a kind of morality that other men do not when it comes to sex, but they cannot perhaps because they, or at least Dae Gil, they are overwhelmed–one might say “unmanned” by their longings–think how Seol Hwa turns them to butter with her music. There is something in how men pay such an extraordinary price to uphold their own misogyny. Why we all love Seol Hwa: at seventeen, orphaned, prostituted, meal to meal poverty stricken, alone in a violent world, she seems to get to the heart of the matter when it comes to understanding things. And she tries to keep her spirits up and her personal integrity in tact no matter how dogged down things get.

              Reply
                1. BE

                  I think it is much less so for Tae Ha. He may be awkward, but he sees Eun Nyeon as a partner (“I am not your lord; I’m your husband.”) whose love he desires, and naive perhaps, is someone quite willing to be equal to the task if given some direction.

                  Reply
              1. Ele Nash

                Don’t you think, BE, kdrama generally is quite prudish?! I like that about it – as in, kissing not being throwaway but intensely intimate – but sometimes, in terms of honest story-telling, it gets preposterous and unlikely. I notice some more recent kdramas are beginning to break out of the constriction around kissing and sex. I think that’s a good thing for certain drama worlds. Good to show sex is natural, pretty essential in fact. Poor Daegil and Choi! No wonder they were always running and fighting 😁 Also, will there ever really be a convincing accepted showing of homosexuality, which seems like an enormous elephant in the room in kdrama.

                Reply
                1. Drama Fan

                  ‘m a bit lost here. I can see why Daegil doesn’t seem to care for other women, since he is so obsessed with Unnyun but what is stopping Choi? He has had so many chances lol

                  Reply
                  1. BE

                    Dae Gil’s moralizing to Wang Son is the source of my remarks vis a vis his prudishness. Reminds me of the old saw about boxers not supposed to engage in sexual activity before a bout.
                    Dae Gil is a chivalrous guy, and he both protects Seol Hwa and does not avoid or ignore entirely her feelings for him, but my comment was more about how he doesn’t trust men who are highly sexual.

                    Reply
                    1. Drama Fan

                      Ah ok got it! (I think) but besides moralizing, the way Wangson behaves is a liability to the group. He often gets in trouble and at risk of getting caught by an angry husband. Daegil and General Choi probably don’t want to deal with that. Like I think you’ve mentioned before, they have other priorities. In the case of Daegil I could even say he is just being practical. But General Choi does strike me as someone who has some degree for rules and morality. Not sure how his almost upright personality matches with being a slave hunter. He seems to be such a “good” guy in every sense that it’s hard for me to figure out how he justifies his job (to himself).

                  2. Snow Flower

                    Well, that’s one big mystery! We are not given enough info on General Choi’s background (what is his name???), so we don’t really know why he is so shy around women. My theory is that he is too upright and embarrassed to admit his interest in women.

                    Reply
                2. BE

                  @Ele Nash: I do not watch enough K drama to know, albeit in Be Melodramatic the support character, Eun Jong’s brother Hyo Bong is openly presented as a homosexual character. I have not seen issues of infatuation and intimacy developed, but as I say I have not seen all that much K Drama.
                  I often like that K Dramas develop the emotional side of budding relationships rather than quick short handing those issues with sex, but where it seems unnatural, that is another story. I recently watched Miss Hammurabi, a courtroom melodrama, and in it there was zero to no sexual chemistry (albeit there was a deep friendship) between the lead couple, and on the other hand, there was some serious sexual chemistry and inferred sexual relations between two support characters that made the lead romance feel even more impossible to buy.
                  Chuno isn’t all that inhibited sexually, however, but one cannot help but notice how mental rather than physical Dae Gil’s torch is for Eon Nyeon, albeit there is a lot of look longingly but don’t touch to it. And one cannot miss how uncomfortable General Choi is, perhaps the longest running joke in the show. It is touching in some ways, and of course, in middle school or early high school there are always guys whom the girls drool over while themselves being shy. However, in those cases by the time those guys become adults, there have already been a first gal to completely set them straight, and if that passes, as it would most of the time, they begin to enjoy, even if not egotistical about it, the rewards of being so attractive.
                  Then one comes as well to Wang Son’s conquests…almost always, if not always, with frustrated married women. almost all suffering from bird in a gilded cage syndrome.
                  That is, I agree that in K Dramas I have seen, there is more inhibition than seems natural in contemporary relationships, albeit up until recently one gets the feeling that there are a lot of societal and cultural pressures brought to bear vis a vis that circumstance beyond television censorship. But I do not find that to be universally the case, as there is also a consistently bawdy strain of story telling as well. In Chuno, however, I think the show writer is making a conscious effort to embed a feminist perspective without doing so in a preachy fashion, via the behaviors of the characters.

                  Reply
                  1. Drama Fan

                    Yeah I agree. And tbh I had not noticed it before, but the fact that women in this drama even express sexual desire (SeolHwa pressing herself as much as she could towards Daegil’s body when they rode together and her satisfied expression. Even her hesitation when he hugged her and pressed her body against his, she has her pride and dignity but she also desires the guy, so it must’ve been so tough) The Jumo’s and all those other women towards General Choi. Just that simple fact is very refreshing. Heck they even mentioned a woman’s period and no one died of mortification. It’s all presented as natural, normal. I appreciate that very much.

                    Reply
            2. Ele Nash

              Yes, thanks for the explanation, Snow Flower. I wondered too if Hwang could foresee he might end up being forced to go to Qing too and he didn’t want to risk leaving his mum.

              Reply
              1. Drama Fan

                I admit I’ve always struggled to understand Hwang, what his actual motivations were. The couple of things we know for sure are, 1)He does love his mom 2) He looks down on “righteous” individuals like Song Taeha. But I’m not 100% sure because I don’t think the drama showed it, is, when he turned like this, did he ever actually consider STH his friend or was he always just jealous of him and pretending? There is much self hatred evident in him (which I gather mostly from the actor’s very subtle expression) Other than that, I see Hwang as Joseon Terminator, an extremely ruthless killing machine. I don’t even hate him for this reason. He doesn’t elicit any passionate response from me. When I see him onscreen is simply “Everybody run!!! save yourselves” as if Im seeing a Cyberman or Dalek army attack. No feelings for him (from me) just pure fear and panic, lol

                Reply
    2. Snow Flower

      @BE, I thought that Daegil’s drunken bragging in Episode 11 would have been very funny if it were not so tragic. We discussed it in an earlier thread that deep down Daegil knows that the macho bravado he displays is not his true self.

      Reply
      1. Drama Fan

        He totally reminded me of a child in first grade. I have three brothers and the way he bragged reminded me of them as kids. I found it both funny and sad.

        Reply
        1. BE

          The ultimate irony is he is doing it to show off in front of Seol Hwa, who already appreciates him, and, at the same time, thoroughly sees through him, sublimating his misery over Eon Nyeon after the devastatingly tragic rendez vous with Eon Nyeon’s brother. She sees it for what it is, but does not seem to find it funny or sad, but simply unauthentic, a dodge.

          We see the cost of his becoming authentic in episode 13, screaming out his misery on the street, something so powerful, Seol Hwa cannot bear to witness for very long. But she was correct because at least for now, it appears that scream allows Dae Gil to get a grip. And it shakes Seol Hwa as well.

          Reply
    3. BE

      typo: comment on putting backbone in their men–Eon Nyeon into Tae Ha. I think the cross wiring came from Song Tae Ha sometimes being referred to as Tae Hwa, or at least that is how I hear it phonetically, as if “H” at times is pronounced “HW.”

      Reply
  10. Snow Flower

    @Trent, I think that the strangely comforting vibe that rogue Commander Hwang exudes comes from his embracing of his true self.
    I am also wondering if anyone is investigating the string of yangban murders he has committed. He is not trying to hide his evil deeds and displays the ID tags of his victims in a rather matter-of-fact way.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      That’s a great point, Snow Flower! We haven’t seen any investigation into the murders – and there have been a lot of them! 🤔 Are sageuk police as ineffectual as the average drama police..? 😝😅

      Reply
    2. Ele Nash

      Argh, episode 13 is a killer. I agree with Snow Flower that Daegil in the temple is gut wrenching. It’s the one scene where I feel like I can taste those tears, frustration, grief. Oh, the awful despair! 😭

      I had a different feeling watching the scene where Daegil, painfully empty-yet-overflowing, asks them each in turn what they dream of. To me, it was like he asked to see what ordinary dreams might be like now his is shattered and as a precursor to his goodbye. Like he was thinking, I have got you your dream, Wangson and Choi, so now I can go off and die. That may just be because he seemed almost hallucinating those shoes (surely not the same pair!) and appears literally out of his mind that it made me scared he might do something foolish.

      And then Seolhwa!! 😭 Is it because she was in a dance troupe and prostituted that she’ll never find a man who loves her?! Gah. Super unfair. Egads, she needs more than clothes, Daegil!!!

      And then Ji Ho 😭 and the awful realisation his crew are all dead. And poor Hwang’s wife, terrified and being told by him her husband is a merciless killer. She meant it too, for him to slay her. Did she think that her death might assuage Ji Ho enough to save Hwang? She’s so brave in this and I wonder why evil Left thingimy has no security and why she doesn’t have a carer? 😭

      And, oh, Wangson. Always the baby getting picked on. I didn’t blame him for going off alone, even if it was immensely stupid. Hwang without a shred of fear, of conscience. Wangson didn’t stand a chance 😭

      And, yes, even tears for Eunyeon. For the first time, I felt so bad for her. Urgh, passionless hug from Taeha the morning after their wedding. And Daegil – overbrimming with passion 😊 – alive all along. Too late. All too, too late.

      Yes, I feel pity even for Hwang. He’s taken Daegil’s shattered self and amplified it into full on crazy. Does he really not care about the body count? Like Snow Flower says, where are the police type people?! Even Daegil should be being hunted by them for his role in half-brother’s death.

      Anyho, hate that Oh official and think artist and Jumos can’t really be blamed for pandering to him. They must be so scared by letchy horse man’s unforgivable fate. Loved how evil Left thingimy realises he’s made a potential enemy in Hwang. Ha!

      As always, kfangurl and everyone, it’s such a joy sharing the Chuno experience with you! 😍

      Reply
      1. Snow Flower

        @Ele Nash, I noticed that Eon Nyeon’s shoes in front of the bridal chamber did look like the same shoes Daegil gave her back in the day. It is possible that she always had them with her, not wearing them, but rather treasuring them. Once she let Daegil go in her heart, maybe she finally brought herself to actually wear the shoes he gave her…

        Reply
        1. Drama Fan

          But but where was she carrying them all this time? 🤣 I know I know, this is poetry, I shouldn’t expect strict logic or realism but still, I “prefer” to think those kinds of shoes are common. Maybe she likes to buy the same kind of shoes Daegil once gave her (?)

          Reply
          1. Snow Flower

            @Drama Fan, she probably carried the shoes with the stone that Daegil heated for her!

            I know that it is not very likely that the shoes are the same pair, but it does look very poetic if they are. But buying the same color shoes (in remembrance of Daegil) makes a lot of sense too.

            Reply
            1. Ele Nash

              Yes, agree she likely bought same shoes each time. I meant he was hallucinating shoes in his hand back at camp, stroking thin air with those beautifully expressive hands of his 😍

              For the Korean speakers amongst you, can I ask if Hwang’s wife is at all coherent in her speech? I see the subtitles but wonder if Hwang really took care to listen, he would understand what she was saying.

              Reply
        2. BE

          Sorry if this sounds foolish, because I should know this, but what is the symbolism of Dae Gil turning the shoes, so the toe points out rather than in?

          Reply
          1. Snow Flower

            I have seen this gesture in other dramas too. I think it is a small act of kindness directed towards the owner of the shoes. When the toes of the shoes are pointing outward, it is easier to put the shoes on when going out of the house.

            Reply
            1. Drama Fan

              Oops! I mentioned the same in my long post just now, because I had not read BE’s question and your answer. But cool, it confirms that I didn’t dream what my friend told me before lol

              Reply
  11. Snow Flower

    Is anyone crying yet? There were so many powerful scenes in these episodes. Kfangurl, your description of Daegil’s breakdown is so accurate! I also like Daegil’s praying scene at the temple. I think he needed to find some kind of peace in order to keep living. Deciding not to pursue Song Tae Ha for Eonnyeon’s sake was an act not only of love, but also of maturity.

    And buying land for General Choi and Wangson was so thoughtful and considerate! I think Daegil bought the land when he received the 5000 nyang payment from Left State Councilor Lee back in Episode 4.

    Jang Hyuk’s hands deserve another acting award for the temple scene.

    The scene when Daegil asks General Choi, Wangson, and Seol Hwa about their dreams gets more heartbreaking with every rewatch. Daegil knows that he and Seol Hwa are in the same situation: their dreams will never come true. Poor Seol Hwa’s reaction to Daegil’s breakdown is just as heartbreaking as Daegil’s weeping.

    Cheon Ji Ho’s loyalty to his underlings is very moving. And even in his grief he sees through Officer Oh’s intentions.

    Poor Horse Doctor. He did not deserve this fate…

    Commander Hwang has gone totally rogue and unhinged. His dialog with the Old Yangban gave us a glimpse of his worldview: everyone desires power and everyone is corrupt. Power and sincerity don’t mix. In an earlier thread we discussed Commander Hwang’s self hatred. He does not hide it anymore.

    Kfangurl, I agree with your assessment of DG&Co. fighting skills. They are very good, but none of them is a match for Song Tae Ha or Commander Hwang. My guess is that our trio has never dealt with someone with formal training and actual combat experience. Had they all worked together, maybe they might have won a fight against Commander Hwang, but they meet him in the worst possible circumstances and he can easily defeat them one by one…

    Reply
    1. Leslie

      @Snowflower I feel you regarding the heartbreak of Ep. 13. The brothers and Seol Hwa became multi-dimensional for me in this episode. Between Dae Gil’s guttural crying and the bros and Seol Hwa’s dreams about a new life, they became more than sword-wielding, acrobatic, amusing, formerly-shirtless, and morally ambiguous Chuno and their delightful Little One. They became regular people wanting only for basic needs to be met, with a wee bit extra for a dollop of joy now and then. Heaven. Just as that settles in, along comes Ep. 14 and the band starts to break up… 😢 The ladies near and far will surely be heartbroken, too.

      Reply
    2. kfangurl Post author

      That’s a great point, Snow Flower – Dae Gil’s decision not to pursue Tae Ha is definitely an act of maturity as well. And AUGH, that scene when Dae Gil asks the crew about their individual dreams is indeed heartbreaking. There is so much pathos in the fact that Dae Gil and Seol Hwa both know, deep down, that neither of their dreams will come true. 💔💔

      Also, YES, I felt so sorry for poor ol’ Horse Doctor! 😭 One minute you’re minding your own business lusting after the neighborhood jumo, and the next, you’re being accused of a crime you didn’t commit, tortured, and branded a government slave. Truly a case of “what just happened? 🤯😵”

      Reply
    3. BE

      @Snow Flower–an aside. Having, unbelievably, finished The Great Queen Seon Deok, another very long discussion, I can once again reiterate, that I did not really care for Bidam. In many ways, not all because he was favored by Deokman’s affection and because at times he has a kind of boyish charm, I found him to be much more resembling of Officer Hwang than Dae Gil. From beginning SPOILER his childhood slaughter of scores of poor outcast to the end when he could have just have easily asked for Queen Seon Deok to speak with him and instead is bound and determined to slaughter tens of her retinue to simply call her by name, and above all his lack of trust in the most eminently trustworthy character in my personal history of watching sageuks–I just found the guy ultimately unlikable. I just did not find him to be an appealing character and I was very glad when Sandak filled him in on just how he had been set up as well as both Yeom Jong and Mi Saeng giving him a talking to at the end, the tragedy of which was hers not his.

      Reply
      1. Snow Flower

        @BE, regarding QSD I thought that the romance in the last couple of episodes felt unnatural and forced. Bidam did have a thing for Deok Man, but it was always one-sided. I liked Kim Nam Gil’s acting though. I remember that Bidam’s mentor Munno described Bidam as a sword without a handle, and I find this description very fitting for the character.

        Reply
        1. BE

          I agree that Kim Nam Gil was terrific (though I liked him better in side bangs and pony tail than that weird, heavily pomaded, slick backed, top knot, nobleman hairdo)–just about everyone in QSD was. I just never warmed up to Bidam as an antihero, the way I do with Dae Gil and in Mr. Sunshine, Goo Dong Mae. I saw why he stirred Deokman’s erotic passions, but I suppose as someone who is old enough to have daughters and granddaughter and seen some men come and go in their lives, I never thought much of Bidam. And as with Munno, that mass poisoning with the laughter was a bit much to begin with for me–being a kid no excuse, and it went from there. I viewed his character as one among several third leads (Mishil and Deokman, above all, both as a child and as an adult, struck me as the leads), and I so much preferred the other two second male leads, Deokman’s old comrades, especially Yu Shin, who was if a bit stolid, so faithful, so reliable, so completely in love and loving, and also when it counted heroic enough.

          Reply
          1. Snow Flower

            Yu Shin and Alcheon were great! So honorable and upright. And I agree that pony-tailed Bidam was much more palatable than the topknot courtier in the later episodes.

            Reply
            1. BE

              Yes to Alcheon. In these Korean sageuks, there are often bits which seem to come right out of classical epic poetry. I pointed this out in regard to Han Seom’s retreat and fight on the beach with Hwang, the Crown Prince in his arms all the way. Certainly Alcheon seems right out of an epic poem on so many occasions, the noble Alcheon, the faithful Yu Shin.

              Reply
              1. Drama Fan

                I loved and felt sorry for Bidam but I think he was a bit of a “psychopath” like Mishil. It was sad to see him go full on villain and crazy towards the end. More of a “devolution” than evolution of a character. Very sad (but great character).

                Reply
    4. BE

      @Snow Flower–one of the things that really caught my attention in the initial scene in episode 11, one of the things that really made Dae Gil seem pathetic to me while he was going on and on trying to impress Seol Hwa with what a bad ash he is, bragging about his exploits defeating the mad monk to be and the mountain outlaw was–dramatic irony–how much as an audience member I was aware that whatever those two guys had going on, they were not in the same league as Song Tae Ha and Commander Hwang. I think early on in this viewing I realized just how early on the pecking order was revealed.

      Reply
  12. Trent

    Whew, these were a fraught couple of episodes. We’re on the downhill side now, and what, they’re just going to kill everybody off? We’ve still got ten eps, Show!

    Okay, so I swear, I was yelling at my screen at the end of episode 13. Daegil is finally hitting bottom, he’s suffering, yes, but he also seems to be acknowledging that his old love that he’s been carrying around in his heart like a huge rock all this time has gotten married and moved on, and he’s showing signs of coming to terms with it (okay, lurking around outside the bridal chamber is more than a bit of a creepin’ vibe, but at least he didn’t try to bust in and interrupt the…festivities). So he’s confessing to General Choi that he’s set aside some land for all of them, time to get out of the sleazy dangerous slave hunting life, and I’m like, yes, settle down, be good, heal your heart, maybe let that sweet young lady who thinks the world of you in and see what happens. And then…it’s like the sliding avalanche of inevitability, Daegil and Eunyeon in the same marketplace, this can’t have a good ending…aw, man, why she have to see him?! Arrgh.

    Poor Seol-hwa. I feel you, little one. So happy one moment that “orebeoni” is buying fabric for her…dreams crushed the next.

    I’m feeling a strange…something for Commander Hwang at this point. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate him, and still don’t find what he does excusable, but he’s like the avatar of bad-ass, evil villain at this point in a way that’s almost…comforting? I don’t know, it’s a weird reaction.

    And of course, the brotherhood of the three amigos, sundered by Hwang’s evil skill. I feel kind of bad for Wangson, even though it’s tinged with exasperation since it was his own stupid hubris that sent him off on his own and made him vulnerable. I am, with much trepidation, assuming bad things happen to General Choi as well, just based on where it ended and the next episode preview (I haven’t watched ahead), and that bums me out a lot more, because the General was seriously one of my favorite characters. Just a really solid dude. It’s going to suck if he’s not in the story anymore.

    So yeah, now I’m curious what’s going to happen over the next ten episodes.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      I know, right??? So painful for everyone, and my heart definitely goes out to Seol Hwa.. for her, Dae Gil is so close, but at the same time, so far away.. it’s got to be breaking her heart. 🥺💔

      And YES, the whole fight with Commander Hwang, with Wangson going down, was awfully hard to watch, and the tension around what will happen to General Choi is the kind of stuff to get your heart stuck in your throat. 😣 Show sure knows how to torture us. 😝😭

      As for Commander Hwang, I think Snow Flower makes an excellent point about him accepting himself for who he is.. I also think it has to do with how Lee Jong Hyuk is playing it; I feel like he’s delivering Commander Hwang with a lot of calm, unflappable energy. Perhaps that calm energy is what’s comforting us, in the midst of this almost unbearable narrative tension? 🤔

      Reply
      1. BE

        i did not remember how absolutely well Lee Jong Hyuk enacts Commander Hwang. Have you seen him in other dramas? Is he as great as he is in this?

        Reply

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