Home > Korean Dramas > Iljimae Episode 19, recap

Iljimae Episode 19, recap

Thursday, July 24, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Having watched 20 live, I feel like spitting blood, but okay, here’s your recap. More thanks to the lovely people over at tsks for the subs!

Have some music! Iljimae OST track 4: Fate, by Woong San

Episode 19

Yay! Shi Hoo doesn’t die. The assassin can’t bring himself to kill Shi Hoo after all. I mean, his student just kneels there and accepts giving up his life, and the dude in purple has a heart. Assassin number 2 comes up with news that their troops came upon Iljimae in the mountain.

Yong looks for Bong Soon, but is intercepted by Shim Deok, who has a letter from Kunghe. The letter says, in Kunghe’s voice:

“Bong Soon only wants to find the person who killed her parents and brother and avenger herself. She lived for this all her life. But she has decided to abandon that and die for you. As for me, I will not let my daughter go to her death this way. If I die, Yong, please take care of her for me. She really is very pitiful.”

Cue Yong running frantically to the mountains to try to find Bong Soon. Also cue Bong Soon running like the wind (a very cute wind) in front of a mass of killers. She is cornered on the edge of a cliff, and unless I’m mistaken, it’s the cliff Kyum fell off years ago, and the one Hong Gil Dong fell off, in another time.

Oh, bad. Bong Soon is surrounded, and assassin 2 is a better fighter than she is. Damn it. Kunghe runs up, and asks to kill Iljimae, blaming his daughter’s death on him. Bong Soon is wounded and lying on the ground. Assassin 1 is happy at seeing his old ‘look’, which is his killing look, I guess.

Bong Soon, wearing armour and wounded, tries to rally, but is beaten back by Kunghe all the way to the cliff. Poor thing. It’s killing him too, but I think he’s doing this for show. Anyway, she’s at the end of her forces, and Kunghe cries, remembering her the first time he gave her food and adopted her. He says to himself, Bong Soon, don’t be afraid, dad is here with you.

Yong gets here in time to sob in the bushes after seeing them both fall off the cliff. The assassin is startled but gives an order to gather the corpses.

The king’s discussing with one of his nobles – apparently the Ming revivalists also want to get help from him – and he received significant help from them when he overthrew the other emperor. The noble, interestingly, threatens the king with the document that reveals Lee Won Ho’s innocence.

He gives in to the noble. But since the Qing emissaries are coming, everything has to be kept hush hush.

Yong is sitting in his room, with blankets nailed against the windows. His shoemaker friend comes in and rips them off. He wants to shake Yong into action. Yong keeps dwelling on the fact that he ended up harming both Bong Soon and her brother. The shoemaker tells him that the banquet is tomorrow, so he should move quickly, and that all of Korea is mourning his supposed passing. His own father hasn’t been eating. Awww.

Anyway, news about Daeshi and co. being prepped to be moved into battle gets him to do the right stuff. He goes to his lair and looks at the paintings, thinking that if he hadn’t recovered his memories, his sister, foster-father, Bong Soon and Kunghe wouldn’t have died. He promises to find the person who killed his father.

Yay, things move ahead. And then, of course, Yong notices that his armour is still there. Well, last we saw that suit, Bong Soon was wearing it. So she’s alive, just lying low. 😀 I don’t care who tells me that she fell off a cliff. If a nine year old like Kyum could survive, then why would two adults not?

Byun Shik is bribing the ambassador, and both indulge in some complaining about the king. Lols. The ambassador promises to speak up for him in a few days. In the meantime, Byun Shik would do better to go to Jeju first.

The shoemaker stops by the lair and gets complained at for being late. He’s happy Yong is back in shape. Yong explains the mystery behind the symbols and the tattoos. His plan is to search the palace while rescuing the people and stealing all sorts of stuff. Wow. All on his lonesome. That’s going to be tough.

Hyung Kyeung takes up this point and Yong persists in being a lone hero. Thankfully, Mr. Shoemaker ends up persuading Yong that playing a lone hand is a bad idea when the project is so large, and they call in their reinforcements.

Recruit #1: Mafia dude.

Shoemaker tells Yong about the poison in the crown prince’s medication, but Yong doesn’t believe him, and calls him a pessimist (uh, I wish). He’s also spruced up the armour a bit, so it fits better now. 😀

Mafia dude arrives, thinking that the forge is a hideout for the rival gang. He’s looking for Yong – it’s hilarious that mafia dude mistakes Iljimae for a rival gang boss. Lol. He reveals himself and scares everyone. Mafia dude’s chin hits the ground.

Shi Hoo and Shi Wan are given leave to say bye to their dad.

Mafia dude pledges everyone in his gang, and when he’s thanked, he says it’s an honour to help Iljimae. The hunter comes looking for Kyum and asks if he can help, if he couldn’t, then he volunteers his son. (So really, everyone knows who he is?)

Someone comes into the lair and tells him that Shi Wan is looking for him. Aww, Shi Wan leaks info again. His entire family is leaving for Jeju, as it happens, so he has vacation, and he took the time to see Yong. Wow, he’s nice to Yongi.

Byun Shik calls Shi Hoo over and tells him that he’s always been proud of having him as a son. He’s heard to what Shi Hoo’s done for Eun Chae, what’s more. Even though he’s been next to useless as a father, he still feels gratified that Shi Hoo’s been able to make it in on his own strengths. He asks him to take care of Shi Wan, who is nasty to him only because he is better. Shi Hoo is very quiet, and leaves right away.

Before he leaves, he asks about his mother. Byun Shik tells him that she was a servant of Lee Won Ho’s. Shi Hoo is shocked and goes to investigate the house where they used to live. He is all like, this is where my dad used to live, huh. Then he feels that this house is familiar.

Shi Wan drags a protesting Yong to his house, all omniscient about his feelings for Eun Chae. Lol. Poor girl still has a scar on her forehead. During goodbyes, Yong looks all awkward. Shi Wan pushes Yong in front of Eun Chae. She tells him to take care.

He watches her leave, and she slows too, as she almost senses something about him.

Flashback to Eun Chae hugging Iljimae from behind. He didn’t let her take his mask off, in the end. *sigh* Iljimae, why so cold? It’s obvious when he’s leaving, that he can’t take this much farther. Anyway, I think Eun Chae’s subconscious already knows. (Evil writers.)

Shi Hoo comes upon Dani sewing up night clothes for Yong. He asks if he really is dead. She agrees but he can tell Yong is alive. He’s all angry now… wow, he is still resolved to fight Iljimae if he goes into the palace. Only now, he doesn’t agree that sharing the same father will guarantee affection (look at Shi Wan) and despises Lee Won Ho for sending his mother away. He sees Lee Won Ho as a traitor towards the king as well as towards the woman who always loved him, even after his death.

He’s angry that she still loves him enough to raise his son in secret. Still denying this link between them, oh Shi Hoo, aren’t we stubborn.

Shi Hoo goes to tell his mentor that Iljimae is still alive. His mentor decides to recall all the soldiers who have been sent away, to the objections of number two, who believes that Iljimae is really dead. He also wants to know why Shi Hoo is still alive, since he obviously ‘betrayed’ them… but his mentor mentions that Shi Hoo is very like him when he was young, and gives him a bit of leeway.

Ha. Iljimae shoots an arrow message to the palace. 😀 😀 😀

The king is furious. The assassin realizes what Kunghe was doing (his real name is Yong Ji) but he can’t do much now besides curse his name.

The plan moves forward with our daring gang. They’re stealing food and treasures – hitting the two separately, while Iljimae rifles through the royal archives and armouries. At the same time (the still clueless) Daeshi is supposed to lead the captive men out.

Mr. Shoemaker takes advantage of his superior shoemaking skills to get copies of all the necessary keys. His father goes to the adults, who are spying on the youngsters, because they want to know what’s going on – but he gets everything confused. Lol.

Lol, the musicians for the gala banquet are supposed to be men, but they are so women. Anyway, Mafia dude sneaks in as a merchant, Shoemaker dude is already inside, and Yong…? Gosh, you have to watch this.

Dani walks into the lair, telling him not to go… because she’s worried for him – but he promises her that he’ll be fine. She gives him new black clothes, because, in her words, “We can’t be ruining Iljimae’s image.

Aww, she’s all touchy-feely now.

Kyum’s real mom notices that the prostitute has her son’s medallion, takes it and runs to ask Shi Wan where he got it. She manages to get him to tell her that the medallion belongs to Yong. She drops the medallion in the pathway, just as the third Qing general arrives. But! It’s actually Yong in disguise – the hunter’s son switches the portrait of the offical expected so Yong gets in.

Just then, he looks over to the side where his mother is picking up the ornament, and they recognize each other. (I can see how he would recognize her, but not how she’d recognize him… it’s been like 14 years.)

They’re both really happy that the other is alive. He doesn’t know that she knows his other identity, so he’s all teary that he’s missed her again. But no, they will meet.

The plan involves a large amount of grass under a bridge, and sawing away at the tents used for the gala. Don’t ask me. I don’t know what’s going on either.

Daeshi’s training super hard.

(I can’t help but snorfle at Yong’s fake Manchurian costume. It’s so ridiculously wrong.)

There is an exchange of civilities between the greeting officer and our Yongi. Haha! They are taken in by the amount of treasures Yong brings in as a ‘gift’ for the king, but they really hide his costume and stuff, plus, the riches prepared for the real ambassador are being stolen and replaced with a dog food bowl, fake ginseng and very cheap wine.

The king comes to greet the ambassador, but is instead faced with a painting of plum blossoms. He’s furious. Also, losing a bit of his cool.

Lol, the real ambassador is stuck at the gates. Man, his Chinese is bad. It took Chinese subtitles for me to frakkin understand what he was saying in Chinese.

Iljimae gets to the royal archives and starts searching all the swords. Ooooh, books. We know that the sword is with the king, so he’s going to be searching for a while. Iljimae still doesn’t suspect the king, however. Searching the quarters of the king’s security now. Still no sword.

Hmm. He’s flipping through all sorts of books, in another library, when Shi Wan comes on him. Shi Wan stays back, while the rest of his men get super beaten. Aha, this is all set up! There are timed release arrows (candles are involved, don’t ask) outside, and Iljimae leaves by stepping on the prostrated Shi Wan. (Don’t worry, the arrows are blunted.)

Shi Hoo notices the arrows and remembers that Iljimae told him he never kills people.

The hunter’s son is hilarious. He is bait for the kitchen guards, who are then tied up and stored somewhere in the kitchens – he kicks at the entangled guards while apologizing. Wow. And he has furry boots to rival the people over at UGG.

Mafia dude, the hunter’s son and Yong look at the bounty that is the royal kitchens and decide to make a move. They are almost caught, but Iljimae comes through in time. It’s the hunter’s son who proves useful again.

They take everything away on a cart, Yong walking around in his Iljimae costume in broad daylight, oh good, he changes. (Let’s concede for the sake of argument that there aren’t that many guards posted inside the palace proper, but you’d think they’d have noticed a big black shadow flitting here and there between buildings. Sheesh. This show gets no points for realism.)

Yong realizes that whoever’s after him is in the palace after recognizing assassin number two.

Apples start falling from their supply cart, and as Yong picks one up, the king comes up to the apple. He leaves, but comes back, as he feels that Yong’s face is familiar. Uh oh.

End episode.


– So many things to resolve, but one episode left! Don’t worry, it’s not a super sad ending. It’s almost the Iljichae, but not quite. If I had to compare it, I would say, the writers have definitely been watching TODAW.

– Recap as soon as csubs come out!



  1. Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 11:43 am

    me too, and the ending was blood-spittingish.

  2. jan
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    ending was strange… neither here nor there… but wasn’t bad i guess

  3. koopa
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks so much for the recap!! So nervous about 20…. 😦

  4. fatfart
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    holy shit man i cant find it but thanks a holy shit load for this recap woman hahahahaha 20 recap ~!

  5. daj
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    just watched it ep 19

  6. min
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Thank Sevenses for the recap!!
    When Iljimae about to air…there was an interview with the writers and she say that she like Junki’s role in “TODAW” very much…so no surprise ending rite?

  7. koopa
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    So confused – no idea what the ending means… Who is the little boy with missing tooth? Ahh!! Somewhat disappointing ending…

    Spoiler alert….

    Can’t believe he made the exact same mistake as before – turning his back on his attacker. So frustrating!!

  8. Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    yes, the ending, in my opinion , was just….fracking bad

  9. koopa
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 12:40 am

    What’s with these Korean historial drama endings?! They’re all so good till the very end. I can not recall a single one that didn’t leave a bad after-taste, which lingered on…annoyingly. Damo, HGD, Legend, Yi San, Seo Dong Yo, Jumong. It’s either death for all, terminal illness, or unrequited love… AHHHHH!!!!!

    Makes you wonder how these evil writers avoid extinction – the Korean audience must have supreme self-control…

  10. Shu
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 2:12 am

    @ Koopa
    I think the kid w/ the missing tooth is Dani and Swe Dol’s son. He did say he was 5 years old or something right? (Or I’m hearing things b/c I’ve been pulling all-nighters for my term paper =-=;;)
    Also, crappy(inconclusive) endings started w/ Damo I think… You’ve only mentioned historical dramas, but nowadays, it’s the trend for any KD to end inconclusively (Even comical and normal dramas. Not dying tho. Iljimae’s not dead either[supposedly] since Kunghe ordered two shoes and was looking for “that boy”)

    Sevenses, about the soldiers… I’m not sure, but weren’t they ordered to focused on the enterance and the banquet area? And you need to give leeway for the clothes and tech. stuff… Even though it wasn’t overzealously flaunted, Iljimae IS a fusion historical drama like HGD
    As mentioned by Korean Media, highly anticipated mother-son reunion was extremely short. But that made it more heartbreaking anyway ToT

  11. Adel
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 2:21 am

    *spoiler alert*

    i thought the ending could be construed as a generally happy one. if at the end Yonggi is still Iljimae – and we recall from the first episode that all his friends were discussing the latest plan together, then it is more likely than not that his two mothers would also be in the know. at least that’s how i like to think. and by extension bong song should also know.. etc etc… could have been worse i guess..

  12. spfan
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 6:32 am


    ARG I just watched ep 20 no subs, I don’t exactly understand what they’re all saying, but it was like “HUH WHAT WAS THAT? It just ended like that?” I swear korean script writers are evil ): I wished the some of the characters had more screentime though. Don’t know why, I have this thing for the shoemaker guy (: I think his voice is so macho-ish. And Kunghe! He rocked in that make-up in one of the previous episodes. And his erm VERY long hair, I was grinning when I saw that. The toothless boy was cute though. The mothers looked sweet together. BUT poor Bong Soon and Eun Chae. And the King. *gosh shakes head* He’s absolutely gone weeheeeeehaaaaa! O:

    Can’t say I liked the ending much though. awww.
    But anyway for the few episodes that totally blew me off, Iljimae still works for me. (though I’m a bit wacked out after my first “fusion sageuk” drama? LOL I’d rather stay stuck to Dae Jang Geum haha)

  13. koopa
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 11:31 am

    @Shu Thanks! I watched the version without subtitles, didn’t understanding what’s said, didn’t care, just desperate to see what happened. 🙂

  14. jessica
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    just to let everyone know… the cast and crew of iljimae were running behind schedule (actually alot from what ive heard) and so they actually filmed the last episode on the day that it was supposed to air. both lee jun ki and the PD for iljimae apoligized to the fan gathering for the finale for making the ending a little inconclusive, but that the reason was for the lack of time. Apparently the only other drama tha thad the same problem like iljimae was fantasy couple. I guess the ending could have been worse and a lot sadder but i still liked the ending…ahhh now what im i going to watch…;-)

  15. koopa
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks jessica. Did they say what they were planning on showing at the end of the last episode before they ran out of time and showed clips from ep 1?

    Really wish they just delayed ep. 20 and finished what they planned on filming before – assuming it’s a more definite ending, i.e. with scenes of Yongee after the court yard scene…

  16. lyn
    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    im so happy to read ur recaps..ive been gone for too long..hahaha..went camping and just got back..thanks…

  17. rock
    Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I really appreciate your writing of this.
    thank you

  18. einnoc
    Friday, October 31, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    i noe this might be random, buh you now that thing iljimae use to slide down to his “lair”. yeah i wonderr how it gets back up.
    hmmm just wanted to ask that.

  19. Chew Yue En
    Friday, December 31, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Hello,how are you?Next year is coming soon.Everyone will busy with their work or tudies.I hope you in every new year aition sell all over the country ,smiling broadly and own bli!”jia you”

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