Home > Korean Dramas > Hong Gil Dong Episode 16, recap

Hong Gil Dong Episode 16, recap

Monday, February 25, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Am all excited~ this ep was so fun… It was a feel-good episode. Until.. well, the end. *wails*

Episode 16

It begins with that dip position that had all of us fangirls at the edge of our seats. Alas, a kiss, there was not.

GD: This isn’t how you’re supposed to look at a team leader.
YN: jasdkfj (Audience: We concur.)
GD: You look like you can’t breathe. Do you need CPR? Close your eyes and we’ll see.
YN: *hyperventilating* No, no, breathing’s fine now, it’s okay, thanks!
GD: What a strong will. What fortitude and gallantry. Very good attitude. Keep it up. Jiayou!

He exits smirking, pausing just a little for a “Mong Chong Yi” under his breath.

Enok, cheeks scarlet and not quite recovered from such close interaction with Gil Dong, remembers the Underwater Breathing Scene. Mark it well, my girl.

In his own room now, Gil Dong is having a conversation with Hae Myung. The old monk warns him that having Enok around will be difficult, but Gil Dong replies that it’s harder for both of them to keep apart. He adds that they will try hard to protect one another.

After Gil Dong leaves, Hae Myung says, “Smile happily together while you can.” (Audience: nooooooooo.)

Lord Seo wants to delay the Hong-Seo wedding while HGD and the King are having their mutual hissy fit, but Eun Hye wants to cancel it altogether. Seo’s blood pressure rises (and so does his desire to get rid of GD). In passing, it really does seem like he’s raising Eun Hye alone, which raises the question of “Where is Lady Seo?”

Eun Hye doesn’t like the fact that Enok, who has even more reason not to be with Gil Dong, is by his side, but she does know that it’s a bad idea to blab the secret of Enok’s birth to everyone. For one thing, it’ll hurt Gil Dong. So she abstains from saying anything (which doesn’t mean some cataclysmic event next episode won’t make her tell).

Gil Dong, back at the bandit camp, announces that Yongmun warriors are coming to train the bandits, and that they should brush up their skills so as to not lose face. Dude, the Yongmun may have more money and better uniforms, but the bandits sure know how to party.

Noh wants to use Hwal Bin Dang’s status as a flag for the common population while shielding themselves from the King’s attention. Chang Hui disagrees, saying that he wants to be a king that the people can like. Noh reminds him that while Gil Dong will bring in the people, the nobility will rally behind the Sa Yin sword. Gil Dong fights against the nobility, so he is too dangerous to keep if they want the nobles on their side.

(We see that Noh is a complete elitist- curiously, her status as a servant makes her more wedded to the social order than Chang Hui is. Odd, because she is effectively licking the boot that rests on her neck.)

Chang Hui says to Lady Noh: “Right now I have Hong Gil Dong and Sa Yin in my hands. I want to use both swords.

(Like with GD’s father last episode, we’re starting to see the title Sharp Blade HGD applied to our hero a lot more. Yay to literary metaphors and analogies.)

Chang Hui tells Chisu to lead Yongmun’s people to the bandit’s mountain home. Chisu, knowing that Chang Hui has a serious case of Missing-That-Girl, transmits the false message that CH is fine. (Us: Um, so not.)

(So, having seen GD do his pushing away thing, now CH is going to try it too? Oh, Hong sisters, please don’t. )

Faced with an effervescent Enok, Chisu almost tells the truth (that Chang Hui is wasting away without her), but he stops himself because, after all, it’s not his place to say things like that.

Predictably, Chang Hui spends his day thinking about Enok. (Audience: *pats*)

When Chisu and his underlings arrive at the mountain place, they find the bandit core group eating breakfast, and, in the case of Gil Dong, still sleeping. He rolls off his bed but manages to stay fully asleep. (Rofl) Yong Jin and Chisu are suitably startled. I love Chisu’s expression when Enok invites them to eat, spoon in hand and mouth half full of rice.

Yong Jin says in an obvious aside, “Why does the prince support this pack of rabble?”

When things get official, the testosterone gets to be a bit much. Yong Jin and Suk Geun both show off some considerable sword skills, neither willing to accede to the other’s abilities.

Yeon takes one look at the shipment of weapons Chisu has ordered for them and falls in love with a SPEAR. (A well-made one, but still.) He licks it and hugs it close and loves it, yes he does, Gollum, precious.

Mal Nyeo slinks up to Yong Jin and asks him about his bodily scars, doing a little risqué touching with her fan. Yong Jin is disturbed and even more so when she reveals that she’s stolen his wallet.

Gom takes a guard’s sword and runs with it (no one’s told him not to run with swords??), but ends up having a catatonic phase. The guard comforts him.

Chisu looks down at Gom being hugged, Suk Geun telling tales of his ‘prowess’ to Yongmun guards, Mal Nyeo assiduously pursuing Yong Jin, and Yeon hugging and stroking the spear. His face says, “Mommy Chang Hui!!! Take me hooooooooooooome, these people are so weird!

After he gets home, Chisu reports that dealing with the bandits will be more difficult than expected, but that they’re also stronger than previously thought. Chang Hui is confident things will work out, while Noh, hiding behind a door, keeps her devious plots to herself. (No one’s ever told this lady it’s rude to listen at doors? Especially the door of your boss?)

In the palace (which looks really Chinese, I thought we were in China for two seconds there), the king and his court welcome the Qing emissary. Who is short but teh fearsome. And also, as we are going to discover, teh annoying.

Lord Hong has lost his eminence with the king, and is at pains to prevent the king from being too crazy.

In the streets, the common people gossip some more about Gil Dong’s superpowers, this time starting because he escaped from the palace. They don’t belief the king can catch him, and spout some more exaggerations of his abilities (including disappearing at a blink, transformation into various animals/objects, comes with dispensable straw hat at only $9.99, coming to a Toys ‘R’ Us near you…)

In a moment of levity, Gramp Heo can’t believe people actually took his stories about Gil Dong seriously. Hae Myung jokes about Gramps being a multi-talent: merchant, healer and storyteller. How does he do it? Gramp Heo apparently uses different names for his various jobs: Heo Chun: healer; Heo Seng: merchant; Heo Gyun: storytelling. (Heo Gyun, as we all know, is the author of Hong Gil Dong the original novel. And the rest are names of all the famous Heos throughout history. There is also a basketball reference, but I didn’t get that one.)

We cut to an opium dealer who becomes crazy and tries to warm himself up by burning paper. He ends up setting fire to his own house and destroying 20 others. Hae Myung wants to distribute the rest of Hwal Bin Dang’s loot for these people. (I think they’re using English for the word opium.)

Based on an offhand comment on the prevalence of opium dealers, Gil Dong starts investigating. Meanwhile, on this topic of things, the king is presented with an opium pipe, but he doesn’t take it. (This is to hammer in the obsequious evil that is the Qing emissary, I believe.)

Merchant Wang is selling things that ‘belonged’ to Gil Dong to squealing fangirls. (Stray comment on idol culture, methinks.) To show off his telescope, he points it in a randomly far direction, but ends up seeing Gil Dong. Gil Dong comes, takes an opium pipe, warns him against selling anymore of the stuff, and leaves.

(So Merchant Wang is their market research consultant. Bwaha.)

Yongmun, which specializes in delivery and safe deposits but has now branched out to everything, is in charge of taking care of the embassy people. Lord Seo, court liaison to the Chinese embassy, is set for some shoe-licking. While talking with Noh, he lets slip that he thinks people should learn Chinese in schools instead of Korean.

(This is a direct response to Lee Myung-Bak’s proposal to radically increase the number of subjects taught in English in Korean schools, and I think it’s a stupid idea. Go with your own culture and language, hey. Just because the US is big and powerful doesn’t mean you emulate everything it does. For starters, that would include being an ass on the international front.)

Chang Hui is angry at Seo for being such a sycophant.

So Gil Dong, needing a partner to investigate with, asks for volunteers. Enok raises her hand, narrowly missing the air, it is so fast (remind you of a certain HP character?). Everyone else is all for leaving the two together, and Yeon pulls down clueless Gom’s eager hand.

Out in rich male merchant disguise, Enok can’t stop smiling, as she is finally together with Gil Dong. They go to a brothel to investigate, so naturally Enok, being fresh-faced and pretty to boot, is approached by a gisaeng right away. Gil Dong pulls the gisaeng into his own lap, and flirts information out of her. Enok is so jealous, she almost kills the chicken leg she’s chewing on.

Later, Enok grills Gil Dong, “You’re not going to see her tonight, are you??

The two meet with the opium dealer in the back of the brothel, but he refuses to sell them anything as fellow merchants. Just then, a group of government troops come and raid the brothel. Gil Dong and Enok follow the dealer, who runs smack into Suk Geun in soldier disguise. Gil Dong fakes attacking the soldiers and they get away.

The dealer is grateful, so they are led to the opium den, a charnel house of gloom and wasted people. The dealer tries to make them smoke, and says that the opium sellers have to be addicted too. (That’s not how the modern drug floggers do it, but I’m no expert.)

Gil Dong fobs off the pipe, saying that he only uses his own specialized pipe. Enok, to avoid suspicion, takes a long drag of opium, and gets sick. They make a deal, and the two leave.

Outside, Gil Dong demands why Enok took a smoke, and she says that one of them had to keep a clear head – better Gil Dong than her. Gil Dong is oddly touched and carries her home piggyback style. En route, he tells her not to throw up on her, but is almost tender in his attentions.

We cut to Chang Hui, trying, once again, to convince himself that he’ll be fine without Enok. (Audience: We vote to give him a puppy.)

From tailing the dealer they met yesterday, Hwal Bin Dang are able to figure out the scope of the organization and their locations. There is a den in almost every section of the city, and to everyone’s shock, the dealer gets his opium from the embassy.

The underling reports to the pugnacious Emissary, who is evilly gleeful at this success in his plan to create a drugged neighbor-nation (great strategy, I have to say). He hints that whoever wants to oppose him would have to face a powerful weapon, someone named “Pu-ta”, which in Chinese means ‘tower of the middle kingdom’.

Gil Dong takes the general shape of the things to Chang Hui, and discuss the specific plans of attack. (Btw, they use Qing nation, but it’s supposed to be Qing Dynasty. The Manchurians took over, but it was still China…) Since Yongmun is in charge of accomodating the emissary, Chang Hui will investigate the logistics (people and times to attack, etc).

Cutely enough, Gil Dong stays after official business and asks for cookies. He admits that they are good, and Chang Hui suppresses a smile at his quirkiness. Gil Dong scratches the side of his nose to cover up embarrassment at male bonding.

In a dark corner nearby, Noh tells Yong Jing to take care of Gil Dong once Chang Hui is done with him. (Us: Oh no she didn’t.) She sees the attack on the embassy as a blow to the king, but Chang Hui says it is because the ambassador gets on his nerves and national pride. Noh agrees, but reminds him to be realistic.

Meanwhile, the writers hammer in the point (some more) that the emissary is annoying and belittling to the Koreans. He eats with Noh, who would (I suspect) like nothing better than to skewer and roast him on high heat. Chisu and Chang Hui split up to check out the embassy’s details. Chisu gets some lines in this episode, and is a very faithful mind-reading shadow (I seriously want one of those, but apparently not being royalty nor hot and angsty doesn’t help).

In order to divert the government troops under his brother’s command, Gil Dong sends a map of all the opium dens in the city via arrow. Yongmun’s soldiers are supposed to take care of the embassy guards.

While dressing for the dinner, Lord Hong feels his chest, in pain. The lords in general get ready for dinner with the ambassador, and once again, Seo’s fanboyism disturbs the audience.

Upstairs in the brothel, Chang Hui and co. get ready by donning black ninja clothing. (*fans self*) All the doors except the front are shut – they’re waiting for Gil Dong to make an appearance. On a more sinister note, Noh and Yong Jin are also ready.

Enok, Gil Dong and Yeon are the advance troops, they go in, get the opium, come out – at least, that’s the plan. (In passing, am disturbed by the casual breaking of necks that Gil Dong and Enok engage in.)

Change of scene to Chisu reporting to Chang Hui, about some mysterious weapon that the Qing emissary has brought with him. Chang Hui isn’t too worried. (Imaginary conversation: CH: Why are you worried? My hubby is a great fighter. Chisu: …)

Enok kicks some ass on the way in. Well, all of them kick ass, but it’s the first time we’ve seen her comprehensively kick ass, so I thought I’d mention it. The secret weapon is revealed in the form of a CGI giant. He smacks people into walls several times, Gil Dong included.

At the dinner party, the Emissary is being an arrogant idiot, so Ministers Choi and Hong are annoyed. The rest laugh because they’re sycophantic toads.

Gil Dong tries to fight the giant, but ends up getting smacked around. Finally he figures out that attacking the legs will work much better, and knocks the freaky guy out. (The GD vs. Giant sequence is hilarious, watch it for yourselves!)

In Hyung is a busy man, raiding all the opium dens in one night, but to his credit, he does round up the offenders and put them in jail.

At the brothel, the emissary yabbers, but this time Gil Dong walks in on the table and kicks him in the face, thus knocking him to the ground. He yells for the minister to shut up, and Seo identifies him as the fearsome Hong Gil Dong. The soldiers unsheathe their swords, but are stopped when Chang Hui and his arrow-armed guards (with a black bandanna over their faces) orders them all to stop and go outside and look at what the emissary has brought.

Gil Dong leaves with a parting shot: Please do your jobs well!

Noh and Choi discuss Gil Dong’s dangerous volatility, and ominously hint to each other that preparations are all ready.

Outside, Gil Dong is standing on a massive pile of boxes, all containing opium. The nobles are outraged at this new info.

In order to minimize the chance of capture, Chang Hui leaves the scene early. While leaving, he sees Gil Dong setting fire to the opium stock (which will make everyone in range high, but I’m not writing the script here).

Chang Hui looks up, almost by instinct, and sees Yong Jin with a nocked crossbow, aiming at Gil Dong. (They’re really not taking any chances here – I mean, a powerful crossbow at such short range???)

Almost without thinking about it, Chang Hui runs toward Gil Dong in slow motion. He steps in front of Gil Dong just as the arrow strikes, getting Chang Hui full on in the chest. Noh and Choi are shocked. We hear Chang Hui’s laboured breathing, his eyes start to lose focus, and then he falls into Gil Dong’s arms, unconscious.

Enok is dismayed and shocked. Gil Dong looks up at where the arrow came from, anger and shock warring for a place on his face.

End episode. (Preview for 17 has its own post.)


– Sorry for incoherency, as you can see, the ending just about killed me.

– The ENDING! It blew me away! CH jumping in front of GD like that, it was so self-sacrificing and so at odds with what he grew up as. I’d like to think that he did it because he valued GD as a friend and not for Enok, not for self gain (which is ridiculously risky and not supported by any of the evidence). This is his rival in love, and I like that CH was able to go past that and think for the greater scheme of things. Hopefully the influence of Enok and GD will be able to eclipse Lady Noh. We would then see CH become a better person and a humane king.

– CH falling into GD’s arms, and not Enok’s, even when she was right next to him. C’mon, slashers. Help me out here.

– My thing with this drama and it’s Chinese-hating propensities: these incidents never happened, so could we get over this Chinese bashing in every historical drama I see? Yo, the Ming dynasty fell because they were trying to defend Korea from the bloody Japanese in accordance with that Reciprocity Treaty, hello. Ring a bell?

– Does anyone else realize this entire fiasco came out of Eun Hye’s fevered desire to be with Gil Dong? EH wants GD –> EH daddy not happy –> plots with Noh –> Noh gets excuse to harm GD –> things calm down –> then EH wants to cancel wedding –> EH daddy = Keel the man! –> Noh = YES, I shall get rid of tool, once he is used.

– Maybe LH will die of heart disease – all the indications are there.

– What Will Chisu Do? (To Yong Jin, and possibly Noh.)

– Noh is in such trouble if CH saw Yong Jin.

– Also, all sorts of heavy-handed hinting in the direction of personal tragedy, in the form of Lord Hong dying, Enok finding out who she is (which is not directly a source of angst) and then Lord Hong’s role in her parents’ deaths, and let’s not forget, they ended the episode with Chang Hui possibly dying.

Will come back when I have no exams, no sore wrists, and a major case of HGDWS.



  1. flyingcrispi
    Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Dear Sevenses,
    It has to be the right post I triple checked. If not, my sincere apologies.

    Four words: BACK OFF MAL NYEO!!!! (Yong Jin is mineeeeeeee, I saw him first!)

    Geez, that was just so awesome, I was laughing my ass off while watching the part were Yongmun is in the mountain’s hideout.

    Opium is soooo like HGD “highly addictive and once you can try it, it can ruin your entire life”. Do you think opium could have positive effects on the king? He can’t be worse than he is right now, can he?

    Like LMB said, I think we should be taught more foreign languages at school (but not instead of our own, so, don’t get me wrong, I totally agree with you). There’s like one high-school in my whole area (we call it “departement”, I guess it can be compared to little states) which teaches Chinese, and none for japanese, korean or else. You gotta wait till college if you want to learn a non-european language (I think that sucks).Anyway.

    EN, if you keep taking out your anger on food you’re going to get fat and GD will not love you anymore.

    And a totally dumb joke just blossomed in my mind: If opium was a girl, she would have a smokin’ body. (How stupid is that, really?*goes and hides*)

    WOW, EN and drugs? Is she gonna turn into Lindsey Lohan?
    And CH is all love-sick. Poor guy.
    “someone named “Pu-ta”” well, I envy spanish viewers. They must have had a great laugh.

    Cookies all the way!

    Oh, Yong Jin, why? Why can’t you be on CH’s side?
    IH: Go seize Hwal Bin Dang!
    Guards: Yes!
    Poor guards, they don’t have a clue where HBD can be, they’re going to have to look for them all day…

    “Maybe LH will die of heart disease – all the indications are there.” Where is Dr Carter?

    Black ninjaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

    EN actually knows how to break people’s necks… I’m impressed.

    Wow, giant guy ahead!

    Haha, GD kickin’ the chinese ambassador in the head…so not diplomatic.

    Yong Jin, you bad guy. But that’s soooo cute, CH was willing to die for GD! Awwwwwwww!

    BTW, I love Lady Noh’s “oh-shit” face.

    WHAT??? NO PREVIEW????
    Aigoooo, I’m gonna go crazy.

    You said:

    “with a black bandanna over their faces” I actually read “banana”, what was I thinking?

    “Audience: We vote to give him a puppy.” A puppy like GD?

    “she almost kills the chicken leg she’s chewing on.” Uhu. The chicken is already dead. Can you kill a chicken twice? :p jk.

    “C’mon, slashers. Help me out here.” Help, I need somebody, help, not just anybody, help, you know I need someone, heeeeeelp. GD/CH forever!!!!!

    “Yo, the Ming dynasty fell because they were trying to defend Korea from the bloody Japanese in accordance with that Reciprocity Treaty, hello. Ring a bell?” Everyday, I learn more about how little I know.

    “Does anyone else realize this entire fiasco came out of Eun Hye’s fevered desire to be with Gil Dong?” I wish she was the one running in slow motion to get pierced by an arrow so she could die!

    “What Will Chisu Do? (To Yong Jin, and possibly Noh.)” There will be blood.

    That was long ( I put spaces between the lines so it would be easier to read ).
    I hope I can see you soon in the Episode 17’s recap’s comments!
    Good luck with your exams if they’re not done yet (I have some too coming up next week: biology, french and some other stuff you don’t even want to know about…)

    Jia You!!!

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