Home > Korean Dramas > Iljimae Episode 7, recap

Iljimae Episode 7, recap

Friday, June 13, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ye gods, the tragedy. On the other hand, plot progression!

Am still interchanging Kyum and Yong as names – until he settles permanently back into Kyum, I will continue to use Yong.

Episode 7

Kyum’s sister is taken away by soldiers. Shi Hoo watches her being towed away.

Coincidentally, Yong is also captured for selling pornography – but really he was using them to bribe the prostitutes to tell him where his sister was. He’s in the same cell as his sister (no sex separation in the prisons = bad idea) and another random guy (or should that be randy?). Yong stops the man from coming on to his sister, but not recognizing her for who she is, he walks away.

In the morning Swe Dol visits and deals out some blows in anger. (I’m seriously not sure why all this beating round the head is necessary to the development of his character. I mean, 13 years of it hasn’t worked, so why should it now?)

Shi Hoo, meanwhile, is reassured that the girl he reported will just be beaten and sent back home. (Um, so not.) It appears that he did this to advance himself. (Am just waiting for the guilt that awaits him.)

However, Kyum’s sister is in trouble, and going to be used as bait for her brother, whose existence continues to worry Lee Myung Bak (evil ‘brother’ of the erstwhile Lee Won Ho).

Swe Dol, who has stayed at the cell the entire day and now deep into the night, calls the sleeping boy ‘Yong’, which tips off his sister. She realizes that this boy is her brother. However, before she can do anything about it, guards take her away to be interrogated.

Obviously Byun Shik is a disciple of the CIA method of interrogation – the poor girl’s half beaten to death, but she won’t say where her brother is, repeating that Kyum was killed the night her father was too.

When she’s thrown back into the cell, she sits right next to the sleeping Yong and watches him all night long. When she tries to snuggle with him, Yong wakes up and thinks she’s trying to harass him, so pushes her away. (Ah, the cruelty of the writers!)

She gets back up and tries to touch his hair, even just a little bit of petting, but she’s afraid to wake him up again, or to attract attention to her affection for him (which may really put him in danger). Yong is awake and worried about his sister, while that sister is sitting just behind him, looking at him with lots of misery in her eyes.

Yong is released in the morning, and his sister can only sob (with her destroyed throat, poor thing) at his leaving. When he breakfasts with the guards, they discuss her in terms that make it obvious she’s his sister. Yong drops his bowl in shock.

Then he demonstrates some of that quick thinking and moves to smear the rope (the one that they’re going to hang his sister with) with honey and blood – to attract mice.

Then the mafia dude gets himself in prison to tell Kyum’s sister that he’s thinking of a way to get her out. Meanwhile, Yong releases mice into the rope storage room. Then he steals a uniform and runs off.

In the morning, he disguises himself as a soldier and butcher in succession, in order to borrow a cow and break his sister out – however, as the hanging has been pushed forward by one day, his sister is already taken away.

As she looks at the noose in front of her, Yeon (Kyum’s sister) muses that she is soon going to rejoin her father, and hopes that he will find their mother. She thanks the heavens for being able to at least see Kyum once more, and resigns herself to her own death.

The officials’ real goal is to capture Kyum, and so they announce that if the younger brother of the accused stands forward, they will spare her life. As the official counts to three, Shi Hoo jumps out from the crowd and angrily shouts that he understood that she wasn’t to be killed. (Well, he is a brother, but not the one they’re looking for. Again, this dramatic irony.)

The crowd watches, murmuring their sympathy at this beautiful young woman, and Shi Hoo is dragged away.

Just then, Yong runs up, and tells her via eyepathy that he is here to rescue her. (Remember that rope he smeared with honey and blood? If the rope is frayed enough, it will break.) She smiles at him and the stepping block is taken away. In the back alley nearby, mafia dude is on a horse, ready to rush in and take her away.

However, as we have seen, the rope is a new one. Yeon dies, and Kyum can only watch. He cries, and tries to suppress his emotions. Just as well, because the hunter guy comes up and hints at his coldheartedness at watching his own sister die, and then remarks that he did toss rocks at his own mother when he was small. (I’m not small, but I’d like to toss a rock at your head right now.)

Yong walks away, feigning nonchalance. The leader of the secret assassins lined up notes that he really isn’t Lee Kyum, if he could watch this and walk away unaffected.

At home, Swe Dol and Dani are both saddened by Yeon’s death, as they know she is Yong’s sister. Swe Dol wants to go and gather her corpse, but Dani stops him, rightly, as this would bring suspicion upon their little family. Yong bursts in, demanding food, and giving no hint of what has just happened to him (which satisfies the assassin who followed him home).

He stuffs his face with pastry and then takes the opportunity to run inside for ‘water’. In fact, he’s crying in there, his real grief at his sister’s death and regret for his actions the night before racking him with sobs. (He’s still watchful enough to keep the volume down.)

At night, unwatched by anyone, he runs off to his old courtyard and crouches before the plum tree there, swearing again, to never forget.

Recalling the pattern on the sword of his father’s killer, Kyum recopies the design and has it tattooed to his chest (left pectoral, I believe). He swears that he will not be clueless any longer and resolves to find the person responsible for his family’s suffering, so that he can pay it back tenfold.

The next morning, Eun Chae gives a bouquet of flowers to Shi Hoo and suggests that he might go and pay his respects to the dead. In a move worthy of most five year olds (which I suspect all of them are, at heart, this being a show heavily focused on the past), he takes the flowers and stomps them underfoot. He then says to the astonished Eun Chae that she was a runaway, deserving of death to whomever saw her, and that his actions should be lauded as a service to the country. (Yeah, that’s why you’re sitting here at 6 in the morning, brooding. Sure.)

Byun Shik, a member of Team Kill Kyum, muses with his fellow conspirators on what to do next, and they hit on the solution of looking for Kyum’s mother too. However, she is presumed dead after a large fire at the magistrate where she worked. Dead end for them.

The mafia dude visits Yong, hoping to comfort him and to offer his services in locating his mother, but Yong has decided not to do it. He reasons that if he hadn’t looked for his sister, she would still be alive, so he doesn’t want to lead his mother to death either.

Yong: She must be in some corner of the world, still living happily. I must believe that, and move on.

Shi Hoo is sent out to fetch Shi Wan again, but the other has gathered a group of nobles and prostitutes together to mock him. At the end of his rope, Shi Hoo lets loose on the anger he’s been feeling all day, towards himself, and starts a fight. Unfortunately, there’s six of them, so he ends up being beaten instead. Shi Wan, being an asshat, only watches and taunts him for his aspiration to become a noble officer.

A servant finds Shi Hoo all crumpled up against the side of the road, and brings him home. While asleep or unconscious, Shi Hoo blurts out that he’s killed someone unintentionally, and blames his mother for ever sending him to another household. The woman (somewhat familiar, I trust), mops his face and muses that her son, Kyum, must be about the same age. (And we have, anticlimatically, Kyum’s mother.)

Kyum, in the meanwhile, is combing all the blacksmiths of the city for a sword that has the design (or at least people who remember forging swords like that). The blacksmith gives him a tip in leaving – that type of sword is generally kept safe deep inside noble houses, and rarely sees the light of day.

Swe Dol, checking the exam results, notes that Yong didn’t make it. (Um, well, considering he didn’t sit for the exam, small wonder.) Shi Wan has made it, due only to his money, I suspect, while Shi Hoo scraped by with a pass, due to his injured shoulder and that incident with the horse.

Shi Wan, knowing this, used Shi Hoo’s ‘pass notification’ (a very pretty piece of silk with red paper on it) to wrap pig liver in. Shi Hoo is infuriated, and they exchange some heated words.

Kyum comes to visit his ‘hyung’ (older brother) aka the mafia person, and discovers everyone in a dogfight. And I mean a dogfight, with dirt flying, people biting each other, random kicking and the odd bit of jump kick. It turns out that this was over the voluntary tax collection service each gang offered (right now his bro’s collects for nearly all the ministers).

Shi Hoo signs up as a lowly guard in the royal archives, which is really really not for nobles. His ‘father’ is angry, but he can’t do anything about it.

Yong asks to join the gang, reasoning that if he wanted to check out if the sword was in the possession of the noble households, then working for the very people he wants to check would be ideal. His bro, not unkindly, tells him to go for better work elsewhere. However, Yong is a step ahead of him, and asks an even bigger boss and is granted permission. (Ah, kids these days.)

To celebrate, he wears a bizarre bubblegum pink and aqua outfit that is only rivaled by his bad hair. Aish.

As the writers are not happy enough with the layers of love and hate that our main leads have, they put Shi Wan in control of the royal archives. Yep.

A family friend delivers this news to Dani, who is surprised, but she is even more devastated when she finds out that Shi Hoo is the one who reported Yeon. That hits Swe Dol harder, because he knows what Shi Hoo did to condemn his whole family.

Anyway, Yong starts work in the mafia industry, but is too softhearted, and ends up helping the man they’re currently extorting ‘tax money’ from. Of course, he can’t be seen doing so, and leaves after smashing some veggies. Bong Soon happens to see this, and is about to excoriate him when the stall owner’s daughter says she’ll marry him when she grows up. Bong Soon thinks she just cares about the appearance of her future husband (lol, so she does admit that Yong looks good?).

That night, making deliveries to the house of Lee Myung, minister of Something Important, Yong finds his true calling. That is, rifling through noble houses to find swords.

In the daytime, he goes home, all bouncy as usual, and startle his parents with his intention of becoming a police officer, specializing in thieves. (Speak of irony.) Here his overacting is intentional and kind of endearing.

Swe Dol is having none of it, and drags Yong off to re-register for schooling until the next general examination, which is in three years. (What do you bet that in this show’s chronology, three years will see Yong happy and settled? Or dead, but I don’t think this is that type of show – unless they pull another Hong Gil Dong on us.) Just then, a thief comes and steals several things from different people. Yong gives chase and catches him.

His father is overjoyed, and agrees as long as Yong promises to retake the exams in three years’ time. He also agrees to teach Yong the rudiments of thievery, and tells him not to grab the small, pitiful thieves, instead going for the big robbers instead.

That night, at the wish tree, Yong changes into his Iljimae night clothes, and gazes meaningfully into the horizon.

End episode.


– Shi Hoo is older than all of them, as Dani says – Yeon is his little sister, not his older one. (Which means this whole sorry affair with Dani/Lee Won Ho happened before he got married.)

– Ach. Iljimae is turning out to be about revenge, while HGD was always about finding himself in the world. But I suppose Kyum is finding himself too, in his own way, and doing something about the situation he finds himself in.

– Eun Chae and Kyum are meeting next ep. For that, my thanks. But this episode was truly wretched.


  1. Da
    Friday, June 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    wow~ you’re so fast again ^^ Thanks so much for EP7 recap

    this episode is really sad…. the most sorrowful scene is when he pushed his real sister away and she cried TT______TT

    I watched EP8 without sub and i found Junki is so funny again haha

  2. lyn
    Friday, June 13, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    oh my..ur fast..thanks for the recap…this episode was very sad..i cried when yeon snuggle w/him crying and then he pushes her away..that scene was sad..and then i cried again at the scene where his sister was hung..i honestly thought that she wouldnt die cause he tamper w/the rope and then doom..doom..doom..the guards changed the rope..aigoooooooooooo…that part where he was tearing up just watching his sister hanging/dieing…i had no clue whatsoever they were saying, but just watching it was so so sad…

    i knew it..that stranger lady was his mother..she looked familiar….episode 8 was good..i watched it raw…coming back here for ur recaps….

  3. sevenses
    Friday, June 13, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Aww, thanks. I know! This week seems to be a downhearted type of week, but I have it on good authority that it ends on a (somewhat) high note.

    I just loved his sister, and it’s a pity that she will no longer appear. And this whole thing may very well destroy Shi Hoo, which I don’t want. I’m getting drawn into the series, which usually happens earlier on (the better the series, the earlier, usually), but still. Despite the overacting, LJK managed to make my heart hurt for Yong.

    Let’s hope it continues to get better!

  4. Shinthia
    Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    i watched this episode raw and was amazed that something so cruel can happen in a k-drama (considering all the ones that I watch were all happy dappy to the point of no return)….I teared up when his sister died….god, the effect that had on him when he was crying…i don’t think that was overacting though cuz I beieve ppl can go histerical like that when they noe they tried to save someone they loved, but couldn’t and they ended up dying in front of them….that would suck big balls neh?….anyway, THANK YOU cuz ur really fast and the subs didn’t come out yet, so ur detailed summaries help me A LOT!… :]

  5. farah_najihah
    Monday, June 30, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    wow! thanks for the recap again XD

  6. flyingcrispi
    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Man this is so frustrating!

    “Yong is released in the morning, and his sister can only sob (with her destroyed throat, poor thing) at his leaving. “
    Reminded me of Kate Winslet playing Rose in Titanic, when she tries to call the boat after j-j-j-j-aaaaaack dies.

    And Yong-ee as a butcher… I’m speechless.

    “However, as we have seen, the rope is a new one.”
    Shit happens.

    “At night, unwatched by anyone, he runs off to his old courtyard and crouches before the plum tree there, swearing again, to never forget.”
    Enok’s crying was better.

    “Team Kill Kyum”
    Thank god I wasn’t drinking or eating when I read that!

    “(And we have, anticlimatically, Kyum’s mother.)”

    Waterfight! Yay!

    “That night, at the wish tree, Yong changes into his Iljimae night clothes, and gazes meaningfully into the horizon.”
    Beautiful sentence. I love the ‘gazes meaningfully’…

    This episode was frustrating, but it was nice (not that being frustrated is nice, just the episode). KST is back in my heart .

    保重 !!! (I hope it’s written correctly, I can’t tell, my eyes hurt because there are so many characters that look alike…)

  7. Friday, August 5, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I saw you renewed https://sevenses.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/iljimae-episode-7-recap/ for a
    while, was that to help with SEO?

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