Home > Korean Dramas > Iljimae Episode 3, recap

Iljimae Episode 3, recap

Saturday, May 31, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hey dudes! Things are looking to get super busy soon… Will continue to do recaps as fast as I am able.

In passing, Gossip Girl is interesting. (Sort of ashamed to admit it, but it seems better than the books…)

Episode 3

Swe Dol can send Yong to school because he takes beatings for the schoolmaster, who’s really into harassing women. Poor man has to support Yong somehow.

Meanwhile, Yong is unconscious and bleeding about the head after being bashed by Shi Wan. The nobles drag him out to nowhere again and throw him into a hunting pit. Swe Dol is worried at his disappearance, but Dani is not really caring. Cute moment as she takes care of Swe Dol’s sore butt.

Swe Dol asks after the young eagles (aka noble students) if they’ve seen Yong, but they pretend not to know that he’s not noble and tell him Yong snuck off early. Yay for skivving class. It’s not the first time, so unfortunately for Yong, Swe Dol only gets annoyed.

Yong wakes up in a pit. Those nobles tied him very loosely, or the ropes loosened by themselves suddenly (like magic). All this head trauma will either render him an idiot or jolt his memory. I vote for the second one. And I think Mr. Hunter will come upon him again. In the pit, he shows a bit of claustrophobia induced by childhood trauma – and calls for his father. But he spots a handy shovel, oh so casually abandoned, and gets himself out. Except he doesn’t, and totally twists his ankle.

Then he uses the long length of rope and creates a lever system to get himself out, sacrificing a nice coat to the cause. So now he’s out, but he still has a busted ankle. As if all this hardship isn’t enough, someone comes and knocks him out, leaving him tied up, for real this time, in the middle of a snow storm. (And he’ll survive, because he’s Iljimae.)

Oh wait. Secret Service guy wants to know if he’s Lee Kyum. And he’s on really thin ice in the middle of a lake with a rock tied to his feet, so, uh. Yeah. The guy interrogates him while drawing a circle around Yong, who’s really petrified with terror (and how these guys survive in the snowstorm with whatever meagre clothing they have on… I leave to you to devise) and he admits to being Kyum to survive. Wtf.

But SS dude is killing him anyway. Yong plunges into sub zero water as the ice breaks. Of course he manages to untie himself, hands, feet and arms, to see that SS was still up there and pause, all in one breath. And we can see that the ice is really really thick, so from what I know of human physiology, his brain and vital organs should be shutting down right about when he was untying the ropes. But we’re not watching this for reality, all the better – there would be no show.

SS dude leaves in satisfaction even as Swe Dol and Yong’s street friends wait up for Yong. One of them remarks that Yong didn’t show up to the brothels or casinos at all that day so something bad must have happened to him. Swe Dol realizes that one of the noble eagles was being shifty this afternoon. Oish, he is really slow.

In the (very very cold) water, Yong is floating about, but he suddenly hears his father’s voice, and this jolts him out of his icy death. (I can’t believe he still has air left in his lungs.) He punches through the thin film of ice that’s formed, seal-like, and scrabbles for purchase on the ice so he can get out. Go inspiring theme music.

Shi Wan has gotten so drunk he has to be carried home.

Yong does his Death of the Frozen Crab crawl on the ice. Alas, the elements prove too much for him, and he begins falling back down the ice hole. Then, a hunter (the same one from ep 1, I suspect) saves him. He and this hunter always meet when he’s unconscious. Is this fate?? Or just really clumsy scriptwriting?

The hunter has some fun dragging Mr. Frozen Corpse home – his face says, “What kind of wimpy seal is this?!” (And of course his shoes grip like octopus suckers on the ice.)

Meanwhile, Swe Dol and Yong’s friends have got Shi Wan in the woods, having pretended to be palanquin carriers.

LOL. Eun Chae is the useful one in the house, as she oversees the building of a new hotel. And, unlike her idiot father, she actually has scruples and isn’t afraid to use them. (That thing about noble beauties having to cover their faces and hair in modesty? Totally unneeded for the perfect, intelligent, beautiful Eun Chae.) The crewmen all worship the ground she walks on. Two of them make ribald jokes about her, and Shi Hoo bursts in, with brotherly/loverly (sorry, in kdrama the distinction is unfortunately blurred) wrath, and throw the two out. Turns out the entire crew are people she recruited to save from poverty.

Snaps for Miss Eun Chae. (I changed my mind. The Mary Sue/Gary Stu in this show is Eun Chae and not Iljimae as previously thought. Obviously Iljimae at least has a backstory. This girl just appeared on earth one day, perfectly formed and gorgeous to boot.)

Shi Hoo is so in love with her he follows her home. Oh man. That’s called stalking, dude.

Eun Chae is so nice she lets her servant ride in the carriage because she’s afraid her servant will get too cold. Um.

Shi Hoo flashes back to time when he was small. Shi Wan told him to shoot slingshots at a random servant girl – if he hits her, then he admits him as a brother. Small, cute Eun Chae rushes out but is stopped by Shi Wan’s bigger friends. Shi Hoo hesitates. Then he shoots Shi Wan in the face.

Obviously he’s beaten. Eun Chae comes to help him and he is hopelessly smitten. (Ha. Perceived incest AND kiddie love. Ouch. This show totally doesn’t pull the punches.) Aww. Baby sister stepping up for big bro!

Eun Chae gets home and Shi Hoo does his gruff brotherly pretence, but he actually escorted her all the way through to keep her safe. Her mother, however, is still an ignorant and arrogant woman. Poor Shi Hoo, stuck between two worlds. He’s apparently been made an Imperial Guard after passing exams. Snaps for Shi Hoo, too. It can’t have been easy, in such a household, to make it so far.

Shi Hoo is sent after Shi Wan, where he learns that big bro apparently already went home. In fact, he’s hunting for Yong, under the watchful dragging of Swe Dol and co. He leads them to the pit, but obviously Yong’s not there anymore – and while the three are busy looking down the pit, Shi Wan runs away.

While Swe Dol and friends chase him down (and administering some righteous beating, may I add), Shi Hoo jumps out of a tree and dispatches the three distraught men. (We can tell who’s turned out for the better, yep.) Swe Dol recognizes him, and in turn Shi Hoo recognizes his ex-stepfather, and Swe Dol stops the other two from attacking him. Shi Hoo helps his purported brother home.

As soon as they’re out of range, Shi Wan pushes Shi Hoo away. The other lets him, as he’s feeling down from having just kicked someone who’s never done anything but good for him. (Honestly, wouldn’t dump water on Shi Wan if he was on fire.)

Shi Hoo here is almost put in the position of Hong Gil Dong – capable but illegitimate, the best he can hope for is a quiet life in the military. Whereas Shi Wan gets the recognition (and the back of his father’s hand, lol) when he misbehaves, which is basically every day. It saddens me to observe that right now, Yong has more in common with his tormentor than with Shi Hoo.

Shi Wan, in an attempt to stop his father from berating him, brings up the issue of his father’s ‘bought’ noble heritage (so the blood Mrs. Byun Shik so proudly boasts is much lower than that of Yong’s or Shi Hoo’s – they are Lord Lee’s sons, and possibly related to the royal family, after all…). His father is not amused. He continues in his rant (and we observe that his way of running a family is highly unconventional – letting his daughter do work while taking in an illegitimate son, but ironically, having a loafer heir is all too common). He compares Shi Hoo and Shi Wan (we get the feeling that this isn’t the first time, and figures largely in Mrs. Byun Shik’s mistreatment of Shi Hoo), to his own heir’s detriment, and we appreciate the irony of him praising Shi Hoo as the true inheritor of his brains and talent.

I guess Eun Chae is just a biological sport.

Why doesn’t Shi Hoo slink away? He’s good at hiding, as seen previously, and obviously this sort of scene is bad for his own standing with his adoptive parents… but nooo. He has to be here to witness the scene and quietly angst with the audience’s sympathy.

Back in the police archives, Lord Lee’s good friend (the one that didn’t betray him to his death) breaks the royal seal on the documents that prove Lee’s guilt and thinks things are fishy. He tucks away Lee’s medallion for later use. This is probably only because rumours of Lee Kyum surviving are surfacing amongst the elite again.

Meanwhile, Yong wakes up, all thawed and defrosted (ready for consumption!) – he’s being tended to by a servant, and the guy who was investigating the archives (Prime minister of the left, wow) asks him if he’s Kyum. Yong is like, again? Also, due to amnesia, he tells what he perceives to be the truth and misses a prime opportunity for help. In passing, his mother and sister are alive! (I hope PM dude doesn’t die. That would complicate things.)

PM of the left is basically setting Yong under watch until further notice, and I bet the reports will make him laugh/migraine. He knew, from inspecting the corpse that it wasn’t Kyum. So he knews the guy is definitely alive.

Yong’s friends return from a night of searching and find him in their room. Needless to say, they’re a little shocked. In passing, I love how Yong’s hair went through all that it did and still stay so nice and coiffed. I want what he’s using.

He lies to his father, telling him that he was at the casino all night. His father comes after him, face like a zombie, with a shovel. ZOMG DED OF LAUGHING AT HIS BEGGING DOGGY FACE. (LJK really knows how to use his eyes, oh, those eyelashes. XD XD XD)

I think I know why Yong is so carefree and stupid. He’s been hit on the head too many times by despairing adults.

Anyway, Swe Dol, with that big heart of his, forgives the errant Yong, though he seems to almost not believe Yong’s cover story. They bump into Bong Soon’s adoptive father aka random peddler of … random stuff. Yong is reminded of the ‘Viagra’ he bought for his father, and chases after the peddler after hearing that his father threw the stuff away. Swe Dol actually kept it, and he drinks it.

Yong goes off to harass Bong Soon, who’s impressing customers with her stories so she can sell medication. He forces her to drink a bottle of her own medication. Her ‘father’ arrives just as Yong is causing a mess, and it’s overplayed but funny to see Yong beg like that. Then Bong Soon’s father goes off to beat up some bullies – Yong is cowardly like anything, *smacks*. He runs away, after telling the local hooligans to continue whatever they were doing.

Fortunately Bong Soon’s dad hasn’t forgotten his skills as the nation’s former top martial artist and he totally fells all of them with one punch. The person he rescued is very grateful.

Swe Dol tries to get Dani jealous by talking about a restaurant owner’s advances. Dani just sews. As he continues talking and persuading her to leave Lee behind, she gets more and more irritated with him (dude, she’s holding a needle – cardinal rule of life: do not irritate women holding needles.)

However, the ‘medication’ that’s supposed to have a Viagra effect? Is actually a laxative. As Bong Soon and Swe Dol suffer in their respective privies, they swear to kill Yong. When Swe Dol spots him coming home, he chases Yong around the yard, promising retribution.

But then guards come to arrest Swe Dol for violence against a noble – Byun Shik heard about his son beating and ‘killing’ Yong, and instead of getting angry, sets out to punish the people who gave his son a black eye. So now Swe Dol will get his hand chopped off unless Yong begs for clemency from Shi Wan. And pigs will fly if Shi Wan actually forgives him… not that there’s anything to forgive, imho.

Dani visits Swe Dol in jail and takes the time to air her grievances on Yong’s subject again. Swe Dol really is very nice to a boy who’s not even his own flesh and blood. She meets Yong on the way out and snarls at him that he must be really happy now that he’s made his father into a cripple. Ouch. Yong has manly tears of distress.

Shi Wan, in some random casino, is getting his ass handed to him by the other gamblers. Yong makes an appearance to beg for clemency, but Shi Wan uses him for more money – not that Yong has any, but I get the feeling he’s going to start his career in stealing.

As it’s night, Bong Soon and her father settle down. He asks her if she ever regretted following him, and she replies that he saved her life and then raised her – what’s there to regret? However, he’s got a ton of guilt going on, starting with the killing of her older brother, her ‘friend’ Kyum (who jumped off the cliff) and, of course, Lord Lee.

Bong Soon is so quirky and alive, as opposed to Eun Chae the perfect goddess. One prefers someone real, I would assume. Rooting for Bong Soon, but I know Eun Chae will get Iljimae in the end, if one of them does indeed get him.

The next morning, as Shi Wan walks out of the house with more money, Shi Hoo drags him off to the side and just barely restrains himself from beating the other guy up. Barely. However, Shi Wan has got the upper hand on both Yong and Shi Hoo, so they can’t do anything. Eun Chae has overheard and wants to help Shi Hoo, but he’s super angry.

Eun Chae beards the lion in his den and talks with her father. She knows as well as anyone how unpredictable her father’s temper is, but she has to try for her beloved brother.

Poor Yong’s contemplating the gates to Seoul’s underside, with fights everywhere and just plain unpleasantness. Oh. In return for being sold to a boxing manager, Shi Wan gets money and will let his father go (ha, as if, more like Eun Chae wearing her father down). And Shi Wan arranges for Yong to get killed in his first fight (but I bet he learns from either Bong Soon’s dad or an unknown wise man so he doesn’t die, wait, he doesn’t die anyway…).

Shi Wan, to Yong’s face, tells a different story. If he wins the prize money, his father goes free.

And it ends there.


– Honestly? Just sit back and enjoy whatever dramatic show these people put on. LJK’s cute enough to distract you from the bad plotholes for a while. And then you can get lost in the mockery.

– On that note, improbable survivals up to three: not getting hit by those bazillion arrows, jumping off cliff and ending up relatively sane and in one piece, and now defrosting after time in Siberian conditions.

– Felt slightly fillerish to me, but could have been the fact that this is the first of two weekly episodes.


  1. flyingcrispi
    Saturday, June 7, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Pfffff. I fast forwarded it. I will however, watch very carefully the next episode, because LJK’s rival has a topless scene.

  2. sevenses
    Saturday, June 7, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I think this is going to be one of those dramas where everyone knows what happened, but no one’s actually watched. Lol.

  3. dawn
    Sunday, May 10, 2009 at 2:55 am

    halo….can u tell me where to watch this. except for mysoju, coz tht is blocked in my computer. thks very much, i have currantly watched finish episode 2 but the website i used put up a broken link for episode 3…im desperate…pls help! thks.

    • sevenses
      Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 9:11 pm

      I would recommend going to aja-aja.com and checking out their selection – the ladies who run the site have a very complete collection.

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