Home > Korean Dramas > Hong Gil Dong Episode 10, recap

Hong Gil Dong Episode 10, recap

Monday, February 4, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments


Episode 10

After that really effective cliffhanger, we see that Enok has climbed up to a window and sees the poor captive women in the warehouse. She is at present unaware of the danger she is in (at night, in an abandoned part of the city with a soon-to-arrive Choi). Choi arrives and Enok recognizes him.

Choi, noticing that many of the women are weakened or sick, has decided to kill the ones who are unlikely to make the voyage. Shim Chung begs him to let her back home, promising to return the 30 sacks of rice they owe. However, he mocks her for her filial piety and tells her that her debt of 300 sacks will never be returned. (Evil interest rates.)

Enok lets out a gasp which is heard (classic cause and effect here.) and leads to Choi’s men chasing her down. There is a dramatic chase and fight, with Enok beating Choi’s men like drums. For a moment our heroine looks poised to escape, but Choi’s iron stick incapacitates her.

He muses that Enok is pretty, but alas for her face, she must be killed.

Suddenly, Chang Hwe arrives and threatens Choi with death should Enok be killed. (Audience: My hero!) After Enok runs off, promising to bring in the police, Choi counters that if his moneylending operation runs into trouble, then the Yongmun “risk” – meaning he’ll expose them – being dragged into the subsequent investigations. The poor girls in the warehouse sense that there are people outside and begin to plead for help – it’s such a haunting scene, with them tied up and the little bells chiming in addition to their cries. Chang Hwe is undecided, and here the actor actually does an okay job of telling us he is conflicted, besides the usual shots of fist-clenching. I think he wants to rescue the girls, but knows that not getting the explosives and getting exposed to the authority means pretty serious trouble for his people, and in the end, he chooses to walk away.

Meanwhile, Shim Chung finds the shards of the sunglasses that Enok left behind, and begins to get an idea.

Enok arrives with policemen (or who equals for policemen, at any rate) but the girls and their guardsmen are long gone. She gets spanked (with a giant wooden board, in case people were wondering) for misleading the authorities. Ouch.

Back home in the bandit camp, Suk Geun hops around in pain and disbelief, because he’s lost half of his testicles. Yup. Choi’s stick of doom has half-castrated our playboy. The rest of the gang commiserates.

Enok remembers that she heard Shim Chung’s name and goes in search of her father, narrowly missing Gil Dong, who was there for the same purpose. Enok asks the blind father about what happened (he queries back about ‘that young man’ and Enok replies that she has nothing to do with him, to the frustration of thousands of fans – hear that scream echoing around the universe?). She promises to find a ‘smart and powerful person’ to help his situation, obviously thinking of Chang Hwe. In the market, Eun Hye avidly searches for the maker of the bell Gil Dong was so interested in and finds out that they were made to the order of Choi.

Enok bounces over to Yongmun headquarters, fully convinced that Chang Hwe will help her cause once he hears the situation, but he doesn’t. He wants to, but his hands are tied by his own alliances to Choi’s business. A lot of people are angry at him for not helping, but he’s so frustrated that he shouts at Enok – that’s surely a sign that all’s not well in his world. The boy’s giddy for Enok, after all.

Enok, visibly shocked: No! You are a good person, I know. You saved me, right?

CH: Yes, I saved you, so thank me and get out.

Enok: … Will you be in trouble/a difficult situation if I interfere? Are you involved with that man?

CH: I knew everything, and I did nothing to help! So go away.

Enok slowly backs away, disbelief and disappointment in her eyes. Before she turns around, she stammers that she cannot just stand by and do nothing, and apologizes (for the trouble she is going to cause him, I assume). Poor Chang Hwe, caught between a rock and a hard place (of his own devising, because, really, he is the boss of Yongmun, so he could, in all practicality, take back the deal. But he doesn’t, because he still really wants the explosives), has some unshed tears of his own. Lady Noh, coming upon Enok’s departure, ominously hints that she’s been making the Prince waver too much – Enok must be removed! (Audience: that’s just going to get him really mad at you, hope you know.)

To ease the load of angst that just suddenly arrived, we cut to a scene between Hae Myung and Gramps. They ruminate on Enok’s fate – HM holding to his point that she has the ‘face of a queen’. Gramps, however, is happy to settle for the young master of Yongmun (not knowing that he is in fact the rightful royal heir). Wang thinks they’re just talking crazy and shoos them away for scaring his customers. I think he says random gibberish Chinese – either that or my Chinese has degenerated to unrecognizable levels.

Shim Chung, brave and resourceful girl that she is, has been working on her ropes with shards from Gil Dong’s erstwhile sunglasses. Her hands are all bloody but she figures that it’s worth it. The other girls, taking courage from her persistence, all start helping each other with the ropes. Gil Dong’s glasses are destroyed, I presume, but what a way to go.

The bandit gang are up on some city battlement, trying to crystallize their plan of attack in regards to Choi. There’s a comic scene where all the bandits copy Gil Dong’s each move so perfectly, they’re like synchro puppets. (GD: Wah, cool guys! We’re copying each other 🙂 )

They make plans to gather information on Choi: Gom to find out where he lives and goes, Se Yeon to make a tracing of the ‘cargo’ boat, Suk Geun to gather the families of the girls, Mal Nyeo to get ‘bait’ and Gil Dong to oversee. We get a good glimpse at how much of a team they are – everyone works with their strengths and coordinates their efforts to make operations work.

It’s also cute, how grassroots the efforts are. They work. Mal Nyeo decides to lure in a rich ginseng merchant and keep him away from Hanyang on a (possibly permanent) vacation. Gil Dong impersonates him and proceeds to lose heavily at the local gambling place so Choi will be tempted to lend him money.

Meanwhile, Enok repeatedly gets into trouble with Choi for following him around town. He doesn’t dare harm her, but kicks her butt anyway. Eun Hye bumps into her and promises to talk to her father about the problem. Her nanny’s surprised at this outburst of philanthropy, but Eun Hye explains after Enok’s gone that she just doesn’t Enok to bump into Gil Dong while tailing Mr. Evil. (She also adds, with an interesting cynical outlook, that speaking to her dad about these things won’t help – meaning she is aware of the social problems and her father’s role in them.) The audience would like a chance to toss eggs at her.

At the casino/gamble house, Gil Dong proceeds to lose heavily, and gets to talk with Choi. He pretends to be a big idiot, and agrees to take out a high-risk loan with a deposit of some ginseng. Choi notices that the ginseng are all of high-quality stock and falls for Gil Dong’s trick, hook, line and sinker. (As a side note, anyone else find Gil Dong’s continuous stroking of his phallic ring disturbing?) So, Choi agrees to buy Gil Dong’s entire stock at an enormous price. At the moment, however, he has no liquid capital, and writes out a contract with ruinous interest rates, figuring that if the voyage takes 30 days, he’ll be able to pay and still turn an enormous profit.

Shim Chung, to encourage the girls around her, tells them to keep going, while her own hands are already a bloody mess.

CH angsts away with his bow and quiver full of arrows. The first time he takes aim, he thinks of the executions almost a year back, in which he surrendered the sword to save innocent lives; the second time, he thinks of the girls locked in the warehouse, pleading for help; the third time, he takes aim, stops to adjust and steels himself, saying “I must not waver.” Ironically, the third time he misses the mark. (I leave you to draw your own conclusions.)

Lord Hong and Lord Seo make a visit to Yongmun and asks Lady Noh to investigate last year’s explosives incident, pleading official incompetency. Lord Hong does this because he strongly suspects Yongmun was responsible or involved somehow (and thus bring out the truth in their cover up) but Lord Seo just believes they have better sources.

CH asks about Choi’s plans. Lady Noh tells him that the ship is due to sail in a few days. CH wants to know if there is no way of freeing the girls, and Noh replies that they are just opportunity cost in his effort for the throne. He should ‘focus on the future to protect more citizens when you are king.’ (Besides the obvious callousness of this remark, when one disaster comes on the heel of another, what’s to prevent you from killing even more people? Lives aren’t something you can just sacrifice over and over, especially when you are a king and this kind of abuse comes more easily to you. Heck, the people that you’re responsible for are being taken care of by Gil Dong!)

Gathering the captive girls’ families prove to be difficult as they all deny links with Choi, either out of shame or indifference. Gil Dong, in an effort to bring them together, sends Suk Geun to tell them that a runaway died and for the families to come claim her body.

Lord Seo and Lady Kim discuss In Hyung and Eun Hye’s upcoming marriage. Seo has an entire book of guests (who are obligated, one way or another, to bring gifts for the happy couple). Seo says he took care to pick those who want to suck up to either him or Lord Hong. Lady Kim complains that her husband has no intention of taking gifts. Lord Seo muses and figures he’ll just have to sell that ‘treasure turtle’ of his to finance the grand wedding. It’s a sad contrast with commoner lives, when there are people barely able to get by, and here are these noble families spending so much for a wedding.

Turns out CH has had Chisu follow YN around to make sure she doesn’t come to harm. For the second day in a row, she has been spanked for ‘lying’ about her betters. (Gramps says something cynical and sad: “The smart people pretend not to see because they are smart!”) YN is sad at her helplessness and confesses to Chung’s blind father that she cannot help after all. CH watches her cry with lots of angst.

The families come, but Gil Dong says not out of a sense of duty for their daughter, but rather to see that the dead isn’t theirs. Suk Geun makes a comforting speech to make the grieving and then Gil Dong steps up the tough love:

Yes, I know you are poor, you are weak and only commoners. But we are just the same, and we need your help if we are to save these girls. Suk Geun’s sister and this girl are dead, but your daughters are still alive, and there is a way for them! Worms are weak and they squirm when you step on them, but they may also scare someone to death. Are you going to use your strength to help us?

The plan is to keep the boat at harbour until the river/waterways freeze over for winter, meaning that Choi will be obligated to ruin himself per the contract.

Hearing his words, the parents all pledge their help. It makes me sad, that these parents are willing to stand by their offspring when Gil Dong’s own father, more educated and priviledged, refuses to do so.

We cut to the king doing his mad hopscotchy thing, with Lord Hong in sombre attendance. He speaks of regret, and how he is past the point where he can regret things, having murdered so many people. Then he asks if Lord Hong ever regretted putting him on the throne. Then, in an astonishing sequence, we see CH asking himself the same questions. Having made the choice to become king no matter what, he has accepted sacrifices along the way. However, seeing Enok cry in disappointment seems to shake his resolve, and he wonders, how long before it is too late to regret what he has done? (I take that as an indication that he will make a considerate and capable ruler, as soon as he matures around this bend of the roads. Thank you, drama gods!) I’m proud of CH for seeing through the price of revolution and realizing what is just not that necessary.

Lady Noh, however, hears CH talking/monologuing to Chisu, and draws her own conclusions. She invites Choi over for tea and asks him to take Enok with him on the boat to China. Choi is surprised – isn’t CH very attached to her? Madame Noh says something ominous about not being able to keep her around anymore. And then she orders him to make sure she never sets foot in Korea again. (I just hope she knows that if she hurts one hair of YN’s head, CH will pitch fits like his older bro, and possibly at her, too. Just sayin’.)

Shim Chung encourages the girls to stay strong and hope for rescue. But alas, they are to be stowed on the boat that night, as Choi is eager to depart. Chung and three other girls escape, but the others are clubbed down and recaptured.

Enok is over at Blind Man Shim’s, delivering some medicine and cooking for him when Chung bursts in. While the reunion is touching, Enok quickly realizes that they are in danger from Choi’s people, since her father’s house is the first place they would think to search. So she pretends to be Chung and leads the men away – she even says to the father and daughter: “I can run faster than an arrow!”

Gil Dong, still masquerading as the ginseng merchant, hears about the missing girls while over for tea at Choi’s. He rushes out to save Chung, only to hear that a girl who claims to run faster than arrows is acting as decoy.

Enok, in the meanwhile, is stumbling around and tired from the chase. She comes face to face with Choi and he recognizes her, in an “It’s you again?” gesture. Enok sticks out her tongue to Choi – she isn’t about to take any flack from a low-life like him, and runs away, fleet as the wind. Except for the part where her legendary luck comes in and she stumbles in a hay storage place.

Then, an orange sleeve shoots out of nowhere and grabs her away. The audience, squealing in their seats, can no longer contain their joy – our favourite people are about to meet again! Alas, it is not so. She starts to ask who it is after Choi’s people are gone but Gil Dong covers her eyes. There the episode ends and the fan screaming began.


– I noticed that YN is mentioned as a child when CH was doing his angsty monologue, so maybe they will end up in a sister-brother relationship? It would totally help all the shipping confuzzlement going on.

– I’m glad to see that there is a proper discussion on good kingship. As CH starts to learn lessons that his older brother would have done well to heed, we see that the two really aren’t that different after all. It is just circumstances of birth and life that separate these two. And we fervently hope that CH does not walk down that self-destructive path. It occurs to me that the King may also be doing this crazy thing as repentance for killing so many people – self-flagellation for sin, of sorts.

– Preview drives us people more insane, and that’s all I’ll say in this monster entry (2780 words!).



  1. ndolphin7777
    Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Hi..I would like to know were do you watch all these tv dramas…I’m not korean though I would love to watch them in English Subtitles…Thanks

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