Home > Korean Dramas > Iljimae Episode 16, recap

Iljimae Episode 16, recap

Friday, July 11, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Woah. This one is uh… slightly intense. TT

Episode 16

Shi Hoo discovers the pipe that was prominently featured in the last episode, illuminating the escape route – the water weakened the walls so that everyone could push the wall aside.

Everyone receives the news of Iljimae’s latest exploits with joy (except maybe the noble court). The hunter in particular is very grateful. Swe Dol rushes home, where the doctor is tending to Yong, and he remarks that his wound has worsened. Swe Dol is so touched he cries, though the doctor misinterprets this and tells him that his son isn’t going to die.

The king receives the news of the ambassador and his son being stuffed into a shipping crate bound for China with ill grace. The news has gotten so widespread that it’s no longer wise to keep shielding the two. The king exiles the father-son duo, while stripping five other nobles of their assets to pay the families of the wronged. He’s not happy though. He curses Iljimae for forcing him to do this.

And in the streets, even while everyone else is celebrating the exile, Shim Deok points out that the one who chased away the two idiots isn’t the king, but Iljimae. If it weren’t for him, she says, the king would have done his usual one eye open/one eye shut policy.

Mr. Leatherworker’s dad makes an exuberant remark about Iljimae being the people’s sun, and Kunghe monk remembers the old prophecy, connecting all the dots at last.

The crown prince of Korea (or is it Chosun?) returns home, meriting a full-out run on the king’s part. The king’s eyes are doing that shifty thing again, which means trouble (but I find it hard to believe that he would harm his own son). He takes the return of his son, so soon on the heels of the ambassador’s exile, to be a signal from Qing that they want his son on the throne. He feels threatened.

(OMG. NO. There’s an old Chinese saying, that savage as a tiger is, it does not harm its own young – but the king, kfjsa;lfjdsa;fsajflsakfksadlj! EVIL.)

Mr. Leatherworker, aka He of Many Braids, has been commissioned as the royal shoemaker. Everyone’s having a drink for him. The proud father of Mr. Braids (it’s easier than his real name and the other nicknames) also mentions the upcoming nuptials of Shim Deok and Kunghe (we seriously need to stop calling him a monk, yo). Yong gets all disgusted at them marrying at such an old age.

Mr. Braid’s dad mentions that his own parents have never had a formal marriage ceremony, and Yong gets into action…

He goes to see Dani, who is concerned that he is running around without having healed his shoulder first. He mentions the marriage thing to Dani, who rejects Yong’s wages as a hooligan, thinking it to be dirty money. Yong makes to leave, all dejected, and then Dani brings out a small fortune that she’s saved, and he goes ahead (as soon has his shoulder is healed, of course). Dani is still sour-faced, but she’s happy inside, we can all tell.

The other half of this happy union, Swe Dol, is off crying by himself in the kitchen. He blames himself for starting this whole sorry mess in the first place (and while he does have some fault, I have to say, I’d blame the king first). Swe Dol tells Yong to stop being useless and walks away, muttering that he doesn’t even know how tomorrow is going to be yet. Yong keeps up his facade, but he’s also worried about his own future. However, he wants to give them this marriage first.

Yong’s request for Shim Deok and Kunghe to postpone their wedding for Swe Dol and Dani goes through, and people agree to their different tasks. Just then Swe Dol arrives, and all the conspirators walk off, each loudly proclaiming chores. The old man is puzzled.

Two noblemen visit Eun Chae’s hotel, but are put off by the poor people queuing up to get food. Then her servant runs in with the news that Swe Dol and Dani are getting married (her father is a good friend of Swe Dol’s). Eun Chae offers her own hotel as a marriage site.

Poor Swe Dol thinks he’s smelly, and that’s why everyone is avoiding him. (Including Dani, which makes him really sad.)

Shim Deok is preparing the spread, Yong for organizing, Dani for clothing, and even the hunter and his son have pitched in some game – the only person in the dark is Swe Dol. Well, and Shi Hoo, but he hears about it from Swe Dol’s friend working in his home. He’s sad that Yong can do this for his parents but he can’t and walks off in a huff.

Swe Dol, in the meantime, is complaining about everyone running away from him like he has the plague. Yong intercepts him before he goes inside the house, and drags him in for a bath – which only further confirms his belief about the smell. Yong actually bodily picks up Swe Dol, which is kind of funny, and dumps him into the bath.

Mr. Braids, the one who’s now the royal shoemaker, is making shoes, deep into the night, except he cuts himself. So he creeps into the royal apothecary to get something to wrap his finger with. He’s not supposed to be in there, so when someone else enters, he dodges aside. It’s a doctor, taking medication from a cabinet, but he’s furtive, so we know he’s not supposed to do that either.

Mr. Braids is curious and checks out what he was taking, since he knows the crown prince has been ill. (I know the show’s kind of bad with showing the passage of time, but it has been some days since the crown prince has returned.) But whatever he discovers seems to be disturbing.

(I whipped out my internet and checked what the stuff actually is, and it’s called Aconitum carmichaeli Debx – and Harry Potter readers will be familiar with aconite, aka monkshood or wolfsbane, a poison in large doses. In traditional Chinese medicine it is treated with ginger and then used to supply ‘yang’ energy, but only in very small doses. May I remind you that the guy took a handful?)

Meanwhile, Yong is giving his father a relaxing scrub. His father remarks on the turbidity of the water, but Yong replies that it’s because he put herbs and stuff in it to help his skin. There’s a touching father-son interlude.

Yong: Father, why are you so skinny?
Swe Dol: Me? Skinny? Not at all. Don’t I have back muscles? See?
Yong: Father…
Swe Dol: What?
Yong: Raising me… it must have been hard.
Swe Dol: Why so sappy all of a sudden? See the goosebumps you caused?
Yong: Father.
Swe Dol: Yeah?
Yong: If ever I disappear, you have to live happily with Dani, okay?
Swe Dol: Are you going to die, idiot boy? It’s more likely that you have to continue living happily with your mother without me.
Yong: You know that I can’t live without you, dad.
Swe Dol: Well I can’t live without Yongi either, you know that too! *Yong hits him on the shoulder* Ow! Hey, what are you hitting me for?

They’re both trying not to cry at this point. Awww. And they both start crying…

Yong: Sorry, dad.

Swe Dol, thinking to himself: My Yongi must be suffering so much. It’s okay, my son, dad is fine. Don’t feel that you have to forgive me.

Everything is readied at Eun Chae’s hotel. Yong comes and kidnaps Swe Dol with the help of his mafia bro, carrying him through the streets with a black bag over his head. When they get there, Yong unmasks him, forgetting the headband Swe Dol always wears on his head. (I think Yong counts in English, though I could be wrong.)

Dani is all shy now that the actual ceremony is taking place, and Swe Dol settles for dazed joy. Awwwww. Shi Hoo is standing just outside the door, trying to look past the crowd of well-wishers. Swe Dol makes some gaffes during the ceremony, while everyone is clapping in sincere joy.

Shi Hoo leaves before anyone notices him, but the old servant of the Lee family comes and looks at him smugly. Shi Hoo files the man as ‘clearly nuts’ and goes on his own way.

At night, the conspirators are debating where to place the aphrodisiac wine so the newlyweds can uh… get inspired on their wedding night. As Kunghe is putting in the ancient equivalent of Viagra (copyright to the big evil corporation that owns it), his action is mirrored by that of the palace doctor shaking powdered aconite into a medicinal brew meant for the prince.

(I sure hope the king has other sons, if not, after he dies, there’s going to be some civil war going on.)

Back to Swe Dol and Dani. The former is awkward, now that they’re all alone. Dani, for once, opens up and thanks him for sticking to her all these years, while he is just grateful she didn’t kick away an idiot like him. Dani pours him the spiked wine and he takes a drink…

… and we see the ailing crown prince take his medication, with the king looking on. The crown princess notes that her husband became worse after taking the medication for his cold, but the king attributes it to mental factors and looks sinister – neither of them suspect him of poisoning the crown prince. *sigh* I hope he dies by one of his own plots.

Swe Dol and Dani agree to live as a happy family with Yong from now on. (You know, we have four more episodes… and this is too good to be true, so expect disaster. Prepare your handkerchiefs and kleenex, people.)

LOL. As Swe Dol and Dani prepare for the ‘business’ part of the wedding night, she notices moving shadows outside the door and asks Swe Dol to blow out the candle. Just as well, as six people are outside, trying to get a glimpse (thankfully, Yong not among them). Swe Dol chases them away, only to have them poking holes everywhere in the door (Eun Chae is going to have fits when she sees her doors). Dani blows out the candle, and they get down to it.

Wow. Even on his parents’ wedding night, Iljimae doesn’t rest. He’s out picking locks again, and is set upon by household guards. Funny thing is, two servants get their brooms and deliberately sweep in the way of the guards, so that Iljimae has time to get away. They feel honoured to be able to help him. Kinda twisted, but hey, he’s popular.

Everyone is eating, the next morning, at the newlyweds’ house. Err, Dani has to get up super early the day after and cook? That’s not right, dude. The servant who works at Byun Shik’s mentions that Iljimae was almost caught last night, wiping the smile off Swe Dol and Kunghe’s faces. He mentions that the lord of the house bought a new, Western style lock that delayed Iljimae until he was discovered by the guards.

Swe Dol looks super worried. He then has an abrupt change of manners and tells his guests to go away after eating.

One can guess what he’s going to do. Yup. The servants at the noble house notice that the lock is gone – but nothing inside is stolen.

Yong slyly insinuates his way home, and Dani isn’t as ferocious as usual, even after hearing that he spent the night playing cards (oh gambling king of Seoul). She adds that Swe Dol wants to see him in the old forge. Yong looks kind of panicked. When he arrives at the forge, no one’s there. He even checks the hidden part.

As he hides the traces of the secret room, he looks up, and sees Swe Dol there. Yong has a deer in the headlights look. Swe Dol just looks solemn. I bet Yong thinks his father found out.

Swe Dol: You listen to what I have to say. Every man needs a livelihood, and since there’s no hope of you succeeding at the exams, I can only teach you what little I know. I want you to take over my lock shop.

Yong is relieved and bluffs it away.

Shi Hoo meets up with the smugly ancient servant. (Once, again, experiencing sharp desire to bring my foot in contact with a character’s face.) He hints that he knows about his past (how he figured out Shi Hoo is the son and not Yong, despite all appearances, is totally beyond me) and he is willing to keep quiet for Shi Hoo’s money. Shi Hoo isn’t the type to take BS from people, plus he doesn’t know what the guy is talking about, so he decides to send the guy packing.

The thing is, this servant (dressed shabbily and dirty besides) is probably really hard up for money and won’t let it go. He tells Shi Hoo his family history, and threatens to go to Byun Shik with the truth (though I’m sure they’re more likely to believe Dani, no? She actually slept with Byun Shik, for one). Shi Hoo is angry and very suspicious, but a small part of him believes.

Back at the forge, Swe Dol takes Yong in front of a box and shows him the lock he wasn’t able to open yesterday. He takes a very roundabout way of teaching Yong how to pick the lock, spouting how lock-makers have to be able to open something before making it… (What a dedicated father.)

Swe Dol makes short work of the lock, with his secret weapon, which looks like two iron wires. He explains it, using cool lock dynamics, and Yong lets slip that it’s pretty easy. Swe Dol takes him at his word and makes him try, only with Swe Dol locked inside the crate.

After telling him that if he doesn’t open the crate, he’ll suffocate to death, Yong gets to work. At first, Yong doesn’t take Swe Dol very seriously, but he gets more nervous as he goes along, unable to manage two wires at the same time.

Switch to Dani calmly hanging clothes in the yard. Shi Hoo rushes, very emotional and well-dressed. Dani is happy to see him, but he’s not really in the mood to be mannerly and demands to know who his father really is. Poor Dani sits down, she’s so shocked.

Swe Dol fakes panting to make Yong more nervous.

DANI. WHY DON’T YOU TELL THE TRUTH. FOR ONCE?!?!?!!? She tells him that he’s actually Swe Dol’s son. (Oh God. The poor kid is so going to have an identity complex when he grows up.) Shi Hoo can’t take it, he actually looks like he’s going to have apoplexy, and they’re both crying again.

Dani: Then… will you come back? Can you?
Shi Hoo: WHY SHOULD I?? You ask me to come back now? When I begged you, you kicked me away coldly, but now you ask me to come back? Why should I? You were the ones who abandoned me.

Awwww. Dani is crying and biting her lips to stop but she can’t. Shi Hoo cries and stomps away. *sniffs*

(But she lied to him! Again! Dani needs to get her brain screwed on right… she still can’t face Lee Won Ho, face up to her love for him, and denies anything to do with him… *sigh*)

Yong’s dying of pressure. He talks to Swe Dol, but he’s not answering, and Yong panics. Then we see Swe Dol walking around like nothing happened. He bumps into Shi Hoo, who brushes him by, and comes home to comfort Dani, who’s crying her heart out.

Byun Shik is scolding his daughter for being so charitable that noble guests are actually fleeing because they see the poor around too much. He gives up trying to persuade her otherwise, and leaves it all in her hands, it’s not like she’s not already handling the entire family’s finances… and then he lets slip that the entire noble area is surrounded by soldiers and guards, which means that Iljimae can fight until sunrise, and not be clear.

Swe Dol is begging Shi Hoo’s coworkers, but Shi Hoo’s off setting up for another round of ambushing Iljimae. (Swe Dol is almost comically panicked at hearing this.) He gets tossed from the front door. What brutes.

Shi Hoo is stationed outside some random noble’s house, Choi something. Swe Dol watches him from behind a tree. Eun Chae, oddly enough, is evacuating her guest house.

Shi Hoo is certain that Iljimae will come to Choi’s house, but Yong’s still busy trying to open the accursed lock. He opens the crate and discovers that his father has long gone.

Swe Dol runs towards the old forge. Yong puts his Iljimae gear in his backpack, the night’s target already set. In taking a shortcut, Swe Dol and Yong miss each other by meters in the night.

OMG. Eun Chae set her guest house on fire?!?!?!

Swe Dol goes into the lair and puts on the old version of the Iljimae costume. (Hey, for someone who’s never seriously studied, Yong has very nice handwriting. But then, that’s the genius at work.)

Yong hears that Eun Chae’s guest house is on fire, and goes off on a detour. He gets there to see her frantic servant yelling that Eun Chae is still inside. Yong rushes inside to a waiting Eun Chae, who’s disappointed to see him. He carries her out after her assertions that she’ll stay. (Kind of a desperate move, but quite a good one to save Iljimae if he showed up, which he did, so no complaints, though Eun Chae doesn’t know this. If only she’d checked his backpack.)

Meanwhile, Swe Dol rushes to get the night’s slip read by Mr. Braids, and rushes off before Mr. Braids can tell/ask him something about Yong.

Lol, Swe Dol’s Iljimae is all about the hanks of loose hair. After someone’s report that Iljimae has made an entrance, Shi Wan and Shi Hoo lead their troops in. (Technically they’re Shi Wan’s, but I think they all know their commander doesn’t have the brains God gave to a bird.)

The two nobles inside discuss the crown prince’s illness as strange. One remarks that if he can kill his own brother, then it would be easy for him to kill a son. (Confirmation that Lee Won Ho was royal!) One of the nobles has decided to go the Qing for help, while the other (naively) believes that the king will let things be since they’ve promised to behave.

Swe Dol, on a beam on top of the two nobles, misses the excitement because he’s asleep. What a man.

The real Iljimae is standing on top of a nearby roof, really puzzled at what’s going on below.

Swe Dol runs out, clutching a box, and is immediately surrounded. (I think, just judging by fighting style, that they can tell this one isn’t Iljimae, right??)

Swe Dol tells himself: If I’m going to get caught, then I might as well as get caught by my son, and I can even give him yangban status.

Darn it. Darn it. Darn it.

Shi Hoo triumphantly lifts Iljimae’s mask, only to see his own father smiling back at him. He says, “Surprised to see me? I’m Iljimae.”

Yong, still on the rooftop, is really puzzled now. He leaves before he can see the troops take Swe Dol away.

In prison, Shi Hoo asks him why he impersonated Iljimae, and Swe Dol brings up the issue of his gaining more status. Shi Hoo tearily asks why he’s so good to him, when his mother threw him away, and Swe Dol is silent. He apologizes for being a useless dad, and Shi Hoo stomps away while crying. (The amount of manly tears in this episode, dude.)

I think anyone with half a brain can tell this Iljimae is fake… which means that there is more trouble for Swe Dol, but they’ll keep him alive since he’s a line to the real one. Really hope Yong can rescue him in time.

Uh-oh. Shi Wan gets here, and has him taken outside for a beating.

Eun Chae bumps into a disappointed Iljimae, who warns her not to do stupid stuff like that in the future. She’s just glad he’s safe. (What a strange relationship.)

Shi Hoo goes to meet the old servant dude. He then unsheathes his sword and makes all the fangirls faint at his manliness when he threatens to kill the servant if he appears again.

Poor Swe Dol is being interrogated by the king’s assassin. He doesn’t care about him being Iljimae, since even Byun Shik could tell he wasn’t the real one, but what is important is what he might have overheard from the two nobles. (He was asleep!) The assassin hints that ‘he’ doesn’t like loose ends, and leaves the rest to Byun Shik.

The king goes to see his son, who seems to be sicker than ever from the cries of his wife, and calls for the imperial doctors.

Dani is putting on makeup at home, waiting for Swe Dol to come. (This is when I start crying. Omg. So sad.)

We see Yong on one side of the screen, walking home in the woods, alert in the moonlight. Swe Dol is at the centre of the screen, half his face unrecognizable from the brutal interrogations, set to get another beating. Dani, at home, happy face lit by candlelight, waiting for her husband.

End episode.


– I still have tears in my eyes. I don’t think Swe Dol will live. It will harden Yong’s resolve. I believe Swe Dol’s death may unite Dani, Yong and Shi Hoo. But the poor old man, who’s been so kind all his life… it’s a noble but wretched death.

– Mr. Braids, who now wears a tall hat, is actually inside the palace and knows that there was something skeevy going on with the crown prince’s death. What’s to say that he won’t tell Yong in confidence?

– Again, where is Kyumi’s mother? With 4 more episodes left to go, dude, resolution nowhere in sight. But then, that’s how we like it. πŸ˜€

– Also, have broken the word limit – 3750 words. *headdesk*


  1. koopa
    Friday, July 11, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks again for the super fast recap. I especially liked the father-son dialogue during Swe Dol’s bath. I think it’s meant to be extra touching, because Swe Dol will not be with us for long. I really hate it when the writers do that. Makes everything so sad. Dang, I’ve less and less hope that Yong would be able to save his dad. 😦

  2. Shinthia
    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 12:01 am

    HOLY CRAP…..i almost went blind trying to read this…lmao….I dun want Swe Dol to die either!!!!!…..He’s such a kind father….WHY MUST HE BE SO SELF-SACRIFICIAL????!!!….gawd!…. >..<

  3. Da
    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 1:25 am

    OMG~~~~~~~~~ this episode is too sad. i cried when i watch the bath scene… LJK can cry so beautifully and i really impressed the relationship of the fake father and son. i have no doubt why the rating of this drama is getting high hahaha. it’s better and better in every single episode!!!

    plz the writer…. can you spare swedol’s life? i can’t accept it.. T^T

  4. kermity
    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 2:23 am

    loved the translations for the dialogue in the bathtub…
    this drama… rocks.
    swe dol!! TT_TT

  5. gule2
    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    OMG.. I’m getting more and more teriffied to watch each new episode. I’m pretty sure ep 17 will leave me heartbroken again and Swe Dol shouldn’t die before telling Dani about what Lee Won Ho said to him ..well.. at least to set some record straight.. arrgh.

  6. koopa
    Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    “Swe Dol will die on Ep 17”

    Source : KST @ korean showbiz news box

    Damm evil writers!

  7. koopa
    Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Sorry everyone, should have put spoiler alert on that last post. I still harbour some tiny hope that the source is wrong…

  8. Monday, July 14, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Wow! I’m impressed! This is the first time i’ve seen your article and it’s nice! Thanks for sharing it! Can i copy and paste it in Junki’s site? Thanks! reply me here..leony_khune@yahoo.com

  9. Shu
    Monday, July 14, 2008 at 5:48 am

    Your recaps are always so interesting!
    Anyways, though it might be kinda late, I just want to mention that Mr. Ambassador is KOREAN not Chinese =-=;;
    He went to China as an ambassador of Korea/Chosun (and to take care of the crown prince), where he gained the favour of the emperor. Since he had the emperor of China’s backing him up, he did all the stupid things he did. (So technically, they weren’t insulting China)
    Also, if you watch Strongest Chil Woo, it’s in the same era, so you’ll see the same idiotic ambassador (i think…) and the same evil king (killed his son there too! maybe because it’s a fact =-=;; it’s said in korean history that this king really killed his son…)
    Last thought I want to leave you with is… Don’t you think that the tattoos that the 7 heaven buddies have will make a whole symbol? So far, I know that LWH had the bottom part of the symbol. Not sure which part the others are…

  10. min
    Monday, July 14, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Thank Sevenses for all the recaps….love it!

    p.s look like the Korea media are really bored nowday but it ok more publicity for JunKi rite?

  11. sevenses
    Monday, July 14, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Koopa, kermity, gule2, Da: Nooooooooooooooooooo!!! Why must they kill him?!?!?! I hope they spare Shi Hoo the angst. Or at least have him reconcile with Dani. I mean, I don’t know who to feel sadder for, Dani, Yongi, or Shi Hoo. They’re all going to be super devastated. (Though if Shi Hoo goes away to drink himself silly he’ll meet Kyumi’s mother again.)

    Shinthia: I’m so sorry you had trouble reading this! I’ll try to type less in the future (though I don’t guarantee anything if the episode is exciting).

    Shu: You’re right. I went and checked on the Chinese forums – but I was so confused! The guy walks around in Chinese clothes from the last dynasty, minus the wtf factor, I thought he was a holdover noble… but I guess not. But you know, it just makes him more despicable if he’s not Chinese.

    Min: Lol yes, but it’s a good thing, esp if it helps them get that 30% they’re aiming for!

  12. einnoc
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    thank you sevenses fo’ yurr recaps !
    yoo give sooooo much details nd yurr recaps are always funny .
    i juss wnt yoo to noe how much i appreciate you for spending your time writing all of this. πŸ™‚

  13. Friday, December 2, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Dude, when Shi Hoo investigated the wall and picked up the mud, I half expected him to taste it.

  14. Friday, December 2, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Oh, and Shi Hoo gets suspicious when the servant, who supposedly knows his lineage (which Shi Hoo thinks is Swe Dol and Dani) calls him Young Master.

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