Home > Korean Dramas > Iljimae Episode 18, recap

Iljimae Episode 18, recap

Friday, July 18, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Woke up at unholy hour to listen to a long thunderstorm. Brain now scrambled beyond belief. Don’t worry, this episode isn’t as bad as the last one for tears, though um… I think you’ll agree with me when you say, “Wah?”.

Episode 18

Byun Shik: I may be greedy, but I never lie!

Lol. Just as Iljimae is about to get the truth of his father’s murderer out of Byun Shik, Eun Chae comes up with a sword in her hand. She tells Iljimae that she’ll never forgive him, that she’ll kill him now. (Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, yo.)

Byun Shik’s brain is ringing alarm bells because his precious baby daughter is also in danger. Eun Chae moves to chop Iljimae in half (um, skull usually not best point of entry for sword) but Iljimae has the superior fighter skillz so he ends up holding Eun Chae by swordpoint. Lots of shrieking from Byun Shik, less shrieking from Eun Chae.

Byun Shik begs him to spare Eun Chae. Under threat, he tells Iljimae that he was under orders from the Lee person, who is dead. He also says that the fake Iljimae was killed because he overheard stuff from the two nobles. (He’s lying about the former.) Iljimae is like, do I look dumb?

He slices open Byun Shik’s shirt and lets Eun Chae go, and since they both thought he was going to kill Byun Shik, the two are gasping on the floor. There is no tattoo on Byun Shik’s chest. Iljimae wants to know who else was in the group, but Byun Shik lies through his teeth and says he doesn’t know.

Then the direction of the questions become clear to him and he realizes that this furious Iljimae person is probably Lee Kyum. Eun Chae looks shocked and mulls over this new piece of info.

Iljimae makes to kill Byun Shik again, angry that he planted papers and framed Lee Won Ho, but Byun Shik begs for his life, saying that if he had not, his family would have been the one to die. Eun Chae joins in on the begging, and he decides not to kill Byun Shik after all. He does threaten him with Eun Chae’s death if Byun Shik says anything, and gets the promise of silence.

He leaves.

Byun Shik’s first reaction is to make sure his baby daughter is okay. She starts crying, from a combination of stress and sadness and finally understanding of what her family has done to the person she loves.

Kyum is resignedly burning papers and that book of names – since the person who was responsible for his father’s death is dead (erroneous thought!), he’s giving up on his quest. He’s really sorry he can’t right things for his father now. He packs up his armour and family paintings in a box and buries them.

(Of course, he doesn’t bury them very deeply, so that someone can totally discover them later.)

Bong Soon is watering the plum tree and crying at the same time. Yong comes in to the courtyard to pay his respects to his father, also not in a very uplifted mood. Bong Soon watches him cry. (Dude, that plum tree is just an all-purpose hiding spot.)

Yong comes to the tree and notices a red wooden plaque that says, “This tree belongs to Yong, stay away.” He finds Bong Soon behind the tree and they sit down under it for a talk.

Bong Soon: Honestly, I was going to buy you the house, but what kind of price is that? I don’t have enough money yet, so I bought the tree first.
Yong: How did you know about the house anyway?
Bong Soon: I followed you…
Yong: But why did you buy this tree?
Bong Soon: Because it was special to you! I saw you hugging it like crazy the other day…
Yong: What? I didn’t.
Bong Soon: No? Okay, I’ll sell it then.
Yong: Seriously, why are you so good to me?
Bong Soon clasps his hand: Never let go of this hand. I’ll take care of you.
Yong looks down at their hands.
Bong Soon: Don’t you remember? I knew who you were the moment I saw your medallion.
Yong thinks and looks at her with wide eyes: You..

They smile at each other. Pan out to above the tree.


Yong takes her to the old forge to live in until she makes up with her dad. He says he’ll sneak food from his mother. He mentions her issue of revenge, but she says she will do it, and soon.

Meanwhile, poor Kunghe is running around, looking for her. He goes to her parents’ graves and sees a bouquet she’s left there.

Danger music.

Byun Shik is debating whether or not to tell the king about Iljimae’s real identity when the king sends a message to him. Shi Wan and Shi Hoo get promoted to leaders of inner palace guards. Shi Wan is the same as his dad, meaning he sucks up like crazy, and this amuses the king. Shi Hoo gets special notice because he’s the assassin dude’s protege and Shi Wan gets sort of jealous.

Oooh. The ambassador is back. They make veiled threatening eyes at each other. The ambassador hints that the crown prince’s death was unnatural, which discomfits a lot of people. (I’ve been told that the ambassador, Zheng smtg, is actually Korean, but um. It kind of makes no sense – blame the writers for the plot hole.)

Yong comes to the forge with food and stuff to see that Bong Soon’s wasted no time setting up a cozy home. He’s amused because it looks like she’s planning to live there permanently. (She actually is. Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

The king’s worried about possible threats from Qing, but one minister is like, the emperor just really liked the crown prince. Byun Shik suggests that they’re probably here for support troops and stuff in their wars on the borders. (But they didn’t ask for any, so why pre-empt?)

The king is like, our country doesn’t have the strength yet and most of the common people are going through a hard time, so we’ll let the people decide for themselves.

The proclamation he puts out says that each volunteer will get ten sacks of rice and other stuff, which will tempt people into going, but like, it’s not for their country, so why should they contribute troops? (Note that the notion of United Nations peacekeeping has not come into being yet.)

Yong walks around and meets Kunghe drinking himself into oblivion out of worry for Bong Soon. He hints that he knows where she is and asks him in a joking manner whether he wants to make up with her. Kunghe monk looks awkward. Yong looks around to ask Daeshi what actually went on between the two, but he’s gone.

The assassin reports to the king that there aren’t enough volunteers, and that in any case, the amount of grain isn’t enough either. (He doubles as secretary. Hurrah for him.) In the dark of night, the assassin takes his people to kidnap some men.

The next day, people discuss the surprising number of people who’ve actually volunteered, and Shim Deok runs up with the news that Daeshi actually enlisted. He wants to go find his father, but um, does this guy think?? He’s not going to get there before he gets killed.

(Also, LJK’s voice is super hoarse, aww. He needs rest.)

The shoemaker comes out to discuss Daeshi with Yong, and the two overhear of the real reason so many people have ‘volunteered’. There’s a banquet in half a month, and that’s when the people will be shipped off to war. (Does that ring a bell with the beginning, anyone?)

Bong Soon decides to make her own garden and uh… digs up his chest. She sits at the forge looking at the armour, and Yong comes in. She helps him set up shop again. They indulge in a moment of recollection.

Yong tells her that he wants a moment alone, and also that her dad is really worried about her. He tells both his fathers that he still has some unfinished business (really, he always will, as long as this king is on the throne). His next target: the palace.

He also sends a message via paper and arrow to the king, but the king refuses to postpone the banquet.

In briefing the assassin on the movements of Iljimae, Shi Hoo’s boss lets slip that Eun Chae saved Iljimae’s life. The assassin makes plans. Shi Hoo just looks grave. Uh oh.

The assassin tells his sidekick to check up on Eun Chae. (Fudge.)

Lol. The mafia dude is taking advantage of the situation to set up a betting booth. Those who think he’ll succeed pick the sprig of red blossoms, while those who don’t pick the white – more destruction of living things that aren’t humans. *sigh*

Everyone takes the red ones, but Yong comes up and takes a white sprig, reminding them that the palace is not easy pickings. The enthusiasts refute that, and start chanting ‘Super cool’, which to my untutored ears sound like ‘Iljimae’, and then they really start chanting Iljimae.

Yong walks away.

The king and the assassin use Eun Chae’s relationship with Iljimae to lure him in. The king also decides that having her dad in power while this happens would be a bit tricky, so he demotes Byun Shik. A lot. Byun Shik throws a fit, but nothing changes.

The assassin rebukes him for not raising his daughter properly, and reminds him that his sons are in the palace. Shi Hoo comes up and tells the assassin that Byun Shik is no relation of his, and thus he doesn’t feel badly over this demotion.

The shoemaker goes to Yong’s house and reflects on the funny coincidences of Swe Dol’s knowing the people who will get robbed, and also the fact that no one outside the palace knows the date of the banquet. Yong comes up the hill. Obviously they have a revelation about him being Iljimae.

Yong goes back to headquarters, and Bong Soon’s made him a pass for the palace. (Wow, it actually looks like one.) Anyway, he’s making arrows & bombs and she’s working on woodcraft (lol taking an opportunity to blow ashes in his face).

He feels responsible for Bong Soon and her brother’s death, once again renewing his promise to protect her. When she’s asleep, he takes her hand and tells himself to never let go.

Awww. He makes her a lantern/slideshow thing, that shows different scenes of their acquaintance. It’s so cute! (Also modern and involves things called ball bearings that would have been hard to make, but this is Iljimae, people. Recognize.)

Yong/Kyum sure knows how to charm the ladies.

He tells her that after robbing the palace and freeing the captives, he’ll look for his real mother and take Dani away from Seoul. He asks her if she wants to go with him. He tells her that he hasn’t forgotten the person he loves, and still needs time, and he may never forget – does she still want to go with him?

Oh Yong. Bong Soon’s answer for you is always yes.

The shoemaker brings a map of the palace he’s stolen off the king’s chief of security, and the two study it in detail. Bong Soon brings in a dish of freshly washed fruits (with medicinal water, no less!), which drips, thus annoying Yong.

Uh oh. The assassin is polishing his sword. He’s talking about Eun Chae. djfal;js;lfajsldkfjaklsdjfkl;as *shivers*

Yong hangs the slightly drier map on the wall and notices that the corner has a funny symbol on it. Oh look, it’s a tattoo! Anyway, he does some market research, and figures that by spreading treated water on the paper, he can reveal the hidden message in the map.

Eun Chae leads her horse out of the stable, looking yearningly at where Iljimae used to sit and talk to her. Then she looks up and is all shocked.

Back to the lair of doom. Oh gosh, look, the medicinal water reveals all six tattoos. And Yong finally gets that pieced together, the tattoos form the mark he’s looking for. (Poor LJK. He’s super sweaty in his costume.) Yay! Mission to the palace ftw!

Shi Hoo asks his mentor to do whatever it is to Eun Chae, involving a really sharp dagger. The poor girl’s been beaten and tied up. OMG. Shi Hoo holds Eun Chae’s hand down, and his master asks her where Iljimae is. She doesn’t know (she really doesn’t) and she says so.

Shi Hoo swings down and uh… the knife falls. (NOOOOO! Eun Chae’s hand!)

Yong takes a walk in the night, and overhears Byun Shik’s servant talking to his friends about Eun Chae’s disappearance. He laments that her relationship with Iljimae has landed her in trouble and the people who’ve taken her will kill her. Yong takes off in alarm.

Bong Soon is sneaking up to Kunghe, a dagger in her hand. He actually stays still and is probably willing to let her do it. Aww. (She’s breathing loudly enough for people in a kilometre radius to hear.)

Yong rushes to where Eun Chae’s horse is and finds a message plus pouch waiting for him. It says, “Did you like your present? Next time we’ll send her head. If you want her to live, come to _____ paper mill.” Euuuu, the pouch contains a finger. (It’s a fake one, don’t worry, no one did a Swe Dol and actually cut off their finger.)

My poor Eun Chae.

Yong nearly throws up at the sight of the finger and dashes off.

Bong Soon blocks him, telling him that it’s a trap. He tells her that she won’t die since she’s being used as bait, and he shows her the finger. (Err, literally, not rudely.) Bong Soon reminds him of his promise about his going away with her and his mother, she tells him that he’ll die for sure, but Yong isn’t moving… and then she offers to help him, and tells him that she is willing to give up her life to him.

Why so cruel, writers?

He tells her to stay alive, for him, but she only wants to know who that girl is to him. Yong touches his heart. Bong Soon, spilling saline spectacularly, lets him go.

He runs off super fast. Bong Soon cries to herself.

Iljimae makes an appearance at the appointed spot. He is immediately surrounded by a bazillion soldiers. (I exaggerate. But not by much.)

The assassin dude has come in person, oho. He rips aside sheets of hanging paper to reveal Eun Chae being hung up by an elaborate pulley system, right on top of a burning cauldron. (There’s no other word for it – it’s not a pot. Also, hello, dry ice.)

Iljimae is le alarmed. He quietly submits, and kneels down.

The assassin unmasks him (ooh, LJK has nice hair) with glee, and orders his people to hang him up. Shi Hoo moves to hang him, and acquiesces to his request to remask him so Eun Chae doesn’t see who he is. (No tying of the mask? How clumsy.)

Eun Chae wakes up way up near the ceiling and sees Iljimae.

The assassin questions him, and at first, Iljimae answers him circuitously. The assassin, obviously not having enough of this sadistic fun, orders his men to tie Iljimae up.

Bong Soon is willing to put aside her vengeance for Yong – she calls her dad for help.

Meanwhile, Iljimae is tied up to counterbalance Eun Chae, plus some sandbags. If they pull all the weights off him, Eun Chae will plunge into the boiling water below… um, yeah. So he really has to answer all the questions.

(And the assassin’s seen his face, so he has to be extra careful.)

Iljimae has three chances – he asks why they can’t just question him; then he demands that they untie her. All this just results in Eun Chae getting closer and closer to the water.

Wow, Kunghe is effective, he goes straight to the palace – asks where the assassin is… he tells Bong Soon to be a good girl, to wait at the alehouse until everything is over. (Um, she’s not going to do that, is she?)

Eun Chae is a centimetre away from being boiled. She’s got her eyes closed in acceptance and everything. The assassin keeps asking him what he’s planning to steal, and tells him that what he’s planning to steal is right on his chest.

They pull Iljimae down, but he totally bashes the people pulling him down.

Eun Chae’s swinging around, oh. The assassin approaches Iljimae, who’s got a hostage now. Shi Hoo stops the assassin, stepping in for his baby sister in time. Oh. The assassin’s got a live capture order, good, they won’t kill Iljimae too hard.

Iljimae gets loose and fights. Shi Hoo just holds his mentor immobile with his sword.

The rope frays.

There’s lots of fighting, Eun Chae’s all interested, but she’s only watching Iljimae. The rope is cut, but Shi Hoo catches it in time. His mentor grabs a stray sword and fights with Shi Hoo, who’s hampered by holding on to the rope. Iljimae makes a giant leap and brings Eun Chae to the ground.

All the fighting stops for a moment, and then the two run away.

Everyone else chases.

Kunghe makes it to the paper mill a moment after everyone’s gone, and he fights with the people who’ve stayed behind.

Iljimae hides with Eun Chae under a tree, evading most of the troops. Shi Hoo comes up and tries to chop Iljimae in half, but uh, our Yongi is the better fighter. They trade some macho words. Eun Chae rushes up and begs him to not kill her brother.

But hey, we know that Iljimae is totally committed to his way of the living sword – and he even says to Shi Hoo that his father taught him to use the sword to save lives. Shi Hoo shouts at the retreating lovers that he should never turn his back, unless he wants to be attacked from the behind. He adds, somewhat unsubtly, that anyone who stands in his path will be cut down.

Eun Chae looks back, but Iljimae doesn’t.

Shi Hoo repeats his mentor’s words, almost as if to make himself follow them.

Iljimae cleans Eun Chae’s forehead wound.

Iljimae: It’s probably going to scar.
Eun Chae: I’ve given you scars too. Something fearsome that should be hidden. For that, I deserve some scars too.

He takes out the pouch with her finger inside, but notices that all her fingers are there. (Oh good, I didn’t want to think that Shi Hoo chopped his helpless sister’s finger off – wait, whose finger is that?)

We see Shi Hoo falling to his knees in the woods, it’s now day, and we can clearly see his bandaged pinky. Ow. Poor baby.

Eun Chae’s voiceover: My brother’s hand is prettier than a woman’s.

The assassin comes up, all enraged that Shi Hoo dared defy him, and prepares to chop Shi Hoo down. (Damn. All the side characters are just dropping like flies.) Bong Soon takes her turn dressing as Iljimae and leads the troops away from the mountain hideout. Kunghe comes on their heels and give chase.

Eun Chae, inside, tucks the pouch inside a pocket. (It looks like she’s putting it in her bra, but obviously not. And ew.)

Iljimae, seeing that she’s alright, decides to leave her in the safety of the room. He needs to go on his mission, to find things!

Aaaaaaaand, Eun Chae whips out the traditional hug from behind! Lol.

Eun Chae: You were my first love, and you will be my last. Please, just this once, can I see your face? Even if I must only think of you all my life, at least let me live with the memory.

Aww. What can you say to that? (Although it does sound a bit ominous.) He turns around and her hands touch the mask.

End episode.


– Gosh, I hope they don’t kill Shi Hoo. Or Bong Soon. Or Kunghe. Apparently the article isn’t well translated – they might not die!!

– Also, now the only person who doesn’t know Yong = Iljimae is Daeshi. And Eun Chae. And Shi Wan. (The others aren’t too too important.)

– What do you think Eun Chae is going to say when she sees that Iljimae = Yong = Kyum? (GIven, she might not see his face at all, but like, they’ve tried that a few times already and I think the fans may lynch the writers, so no.)
“It was you?”
“You think I’ll like you just because you dressed up like Iljimae?”
“OMG, my brother’s sidekick!”
*utter silence*
*slappage of Yong*
“Thank you”
“Put that mask back on and we’ll pretend I never saw anything.”
And… my personal favourite – Yong grabs her and kisses her. (Though with Kunghe and Bong Soon in danger, the writers probably won’t be that callous.)
Personally, I think utter silence or interruption is likely, but um. WILL BE SO AWKWARD.

– Also, how the heck are they going to tie up all those things in two episodes? Epic confusion, here we come.


  1. koopa
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks!!! Ep 18 is so intense – so happy to find out what happened. I have a couple of questions. What did Bong Soon say to Iljimae after she found his treasure chest? I’m curious what made him want to bring Iljimae back again. Also, I didn’t get why there were symbols on the palace map. It’s just a map, right? Not some encrypted message. So why hide these symbols, which appears when the special medicinal water is smeared on it?

  2. sevenses
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Um, she moves up to go, and he stops her, and then she says, “I dropped the painting of the plum blossoms on the ground. Let me go get it.” And he let her. It was just an acknowledgment that she knew who he was. As for the restarting thing, he probably didn’t want to leave it in the woods where anyone might find it, and later he realized that there was more to the mystery.

    The map has six symbols, each of which corresponds to a tattoo on one of the dead people (Kyum’s dad, the prime minister, the prosecutor, Kim, and the last two nobles), together, they form the symbol that Yong’s looking for, the symbol that represents the king. Nice to have something to track him with, really.

  3. Da
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    my eyes got teary when i read Eunchae’s conversation with Iljimae when she hugs him. i know it’s impossible for them to be together in the end but i hope they will have precious memories before they’re apart….(it will be better if they extend more episodes but i dont want it anymore… look at Junki’s health now !!! i felt sad when he looks so tired… i’m his fan for a long time and i never seen he’s sick like this before..actually he’s so strong)

    Thanks so much for the recap ^^ can’t believe it will end next week… i’ll be miss every characters in Iljimae

    The best drama for me in 2008

  4. koopa
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks Sevenses for posting the answers! I really like Bong Soon, she’s such a strong character. Strong and extremely loyal. Wish she wouldn’t die. Wish Yong loved her instead. Eun Chae is nice, but, to me, it seems Yong has more interaction with Bong Soon. They also seem to have more fun together. Whereas, with Eun Chae, they will always going to have the deaths of Yong’s 2 fathers hanging over them. Her dad is somewhat responsible. I don’t think even if they survived, they could be happy together.

  5. sevenses
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I think Junki’s seen a doctor (seriously, if he hadn’t, one of his fans would have forced one on him…) The fans are so cute! (I remember Sung Yuri’s fans giving packets of goodies too… NA fans just sit at home and yell at the TV)

    I like Bong Soon too! I’m just of the EC camp – actually, neither girl draws me very much, I’m just going with the flow of the drama. We see more of Shi Wan, Shi Hoo, and co than we do of the girl leads. How ridiculous is that? I mean, woah. It’s like they’ve got Eun Chae on a pedestal and we started to get to know her in 17. Meh.

    Given that I don’t think she’ll survive (vivat tragedy!), I still think Yong will be more complete with Eun Chae. He loves her… and the whole star-crossed thing just makes it more powerful, that it can overcome that kind of history (remember HGD and Enok?). It’s probably just that we can’t seem to get a hold of the chemistry, and I lay that blame squarely at the foot of the writers, for not letting them interact enough. 😛

  6. kermity
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    gyah. no previews for next week.
    1. i can’t believe this drama’s almost over TT_TT
    2. … how on earth are they going to tie it up??

  7. koopa
    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Haha, I see what you mean. Korean dramas tend to prefer to put two people together who’ve had some connection in their childhood. Over the series, I started to like Bong Soon more and more. She kinda remind me of Swe Dol. There is that blind devotion to the one they love that’s very endearing. Danee had no feeling for Swe Dol, a thieft, whom probably she looked down upon at earlier. But over time, their love become stronger as she realize how completely devoted he’s to her. I secretly hope that that might be for Yong and Bong Soon, if they have a chance to be together.

    Aside from that, I was quite surprised that Eun Chae actually swung the sword at Iljimae in 18. I know she’s deeply hurt and very upset. But at the same time we see Bong Soon, who’s willing to die for Yong and tells him so, only to have him say he loves another. And still, she’s willing to risk her life so that he can be safe, even knowing he’ll be with another girl. That to me is so incredibly sweet, that I can’t help liking her more.

    Sorry to all EC fans, just sharing my thoughts. As usual, I tend to pay too much attention to the details. 🙂 I think they are both lovely and I hope neither of them dies next week. I hope you are reading this, Writers!! 🙂

  8. Matahari_Biru
    Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Thank you for the witty recap. i love it.

  9. Raddabay
    Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Thanks a lot for the translation. It’s really good to understand what goes on. I watch it in Korean and can get only 60% of the dialogues. I guess, by the end the king has to be killed, so as he is the main evel character in the drama. And then who would be the most possible successor of the throne? I think Iljimae would be a good candidate…..Though very often Korean good dramas have nonsensical ending. Hope the next week will not make all the fans disappointed.

  10. Rock
    Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 12:15 am

    thank you so much~~~~~~

  11. gracie
    Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 12:30 am

    OMG i cant believe that they stopped the episode there!

  12. jessica
    Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 1:38 am

    thanks for the recaps… they fill in the little gaps that are not too essential to understand the story but is worth knowing for the little things in the storyline… too bad the writers couldnt have done that for us… once again thanks…

    5 more days till the finale (well second to last) 🙂

  13. fatfart
    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 11:31 am

    sighs* bad feeling about the ending

  14. Michelle
    Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    In the end when she was moving her hand upto LJK’s mask I was like “If they end the episode without Eun Chae taking the damn thing off, I’ll scream.”
    Well, I didn’t scream, but I did pull off a rather painful headdesk.

    Thanks for the recap ;]

  15. Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Your post sucks. Mines better! ..lol. Just kidding. Just getting into this blogging thing myself, though I
    don’t think anyone actually reads my posts. Does it come easier with time?

  16. Friday, November 15, 2013 at 6:06 am

    merely want to let you folks understand that i favor women, i realize its weird

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