Home > Korean Dramas > Legend of Condor Heroes Episodes 13 and 14, recap

Legend of Condor Heroes Episodes 13 and 14, recap

Monday, July 28, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

God, I have to find a shorter way of referencing the drama. 😀 And from flyingcrispi’s reaction (thanks for being honest), I realized that doing 12 episodes of a dense epic in one recap was really brutal. Sorry guys! If there are any questions, fire away, and I shall dedicate a post to answering them. Moving on to the actual recap now~

Episode 13

So Yang Kang chases after Wanyan Honglie, determined to kill the person responsible for his parents’ deaths, but is utterly beaten into the ground by the dashingly poncy Ouyang Ke. As he lies on the ground, all but dead, the breathless Mu Nianci beats the crap out of Ouyang Ke and chases them off. (Interesting, as so far he’s the best of the younger generation. Hidden depth ftw.) They go, as the priority is to get Wanyan Honglie to safety.

Yang Kang lies on the ground, blood trickling out of his mouth, obviously injured and stuff. Mu Nianci cradles him and they exchange previously unexchanged mushy words. Oh, young love.

Huang Rong and Guo Jing run up, and Guo Jing promises to complete the revenge. The two girls start bringing Yang Kang home.

Meanwhile, Wanyan Honglie is castigating Ouyang Ke for possibly dealing a death blow to Yang Kang. The other is justifiable surprised, as his erstwhile son tried to kill him, but the Jin prince cannot bring himself to hate the little boy he raised from birth.

With the help of his two enormous white condors, Guo Jing manages to shoot two arrows at Wanyan Honglie in the air. (I know. Don’t ask.) Anyway, he makes it back in time for Huang Rong to determine that Yang Kang has actually been poisoned. She mentions that his blood is super valuable after drinking the medicated snake dry, and he slits his wrist without hesitation.

His blood stops the poison only for a short while. The other three bring him back to the Daoist elders and Guo Jing’s teachers. There, they join forces, using the Big Dipper formation to use their inner force to drive the poison out.

When Yang Kang is fully recovered, everyone is gathered for the cremation ceremony of Yang Tiexin and Bao Xiruo. Here, in what is arguably one of the most telling scenes indicating personality, Mu Nianci sniffles decorously, Guo Jing mourns honestly, and Yang Kang spends most of it shouting for his parents not to abandon him. (Yes, because it’s all about you.) He’s still very much a child unused to hardship.

Anyway, after the funeral, the palpable tension between Guo Jing’s teachers and Huang Rong erupts, as none of them approve of her father’s eccentric ways. They feel that his association with her bring shame upon them. (More eyeroll worthy pissing contest stuff from the wuxia world. Obviously I’m more liberal and from a different time, but haven’t they heard of tolerance? Especially as she’s saved his life a lot and been a great friend.) Besides, they’re eating her cooking. The least they could do is be polite. Sheesh.

To diffuse attention (and to test the depth of Nianci’s skill, sneaky sneaky sly!), Yang Kang suggests a friendly match between him and Nianci. Everyone discovers that she was taught – for three days only – by one of the great five masters, Bei Gai, the Northern Beggar. Hence her skills far outstrips that of most people. Yang Kang gets all gleamy eyed. (I know I’m being harsh on Yang Kang, but wait until you see him in later episodes.)

The older people get into a talk about the Hua Shan Competition 20 years ago – where all the best in the martial arts world gathered and fought it out for possession of the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing (a manual containing feasome powerz). Five finalists were present, Huang Yaoshi – Huang Rong’s father, the Eastern Eccentric; Bei Gai – Nianci’s mysterious 3-day teacher, the Northern Beggar; Xi Du – Ouyang Ke’s uncle, the Western Poison; Nan Di – the emperor of the south, who [spoiler] and thus our heroes will [spoiler] him and [spoiler]; and finally Zhong Sheng Tong – the deceased teacher of the Daoist masters. The Daoist masters preen at their teacher’s prowess but it’s all ego-boosting, as all seven united together don’t even have the skill of their master.

Huang Rong preens at her dad’s being counted amongst one of the best, but then the situation rapidly degenerates. If the older people would just be nice and keep their mouths off other people and stop judging. Lololols. Two of the more open-minded Daoist masters speak up in support of Huang Yaoshi, and the matter is temporarily resolved.

Then the matter of Mu Nianci’s marriage to Guo Jing comes up. All the kids look unhappy. Guo Jing’s masters bring up his ‘engagement’ to Hua Zhen (in reality something he can’t escape without offending the Khan and thus placing his mother in danger). Guo Jing look unhappy.

On the one hand, they are worried over Huang Yaoshi’s reaction to his relationship with his daughter, on the other hand, they’re worried about their reputation, and on the other other hand, there’s also the matter of revenge, as #5 died at the hands of one of Huang Yaoshi’s disciples. During the middle of his masters lecturing him alone, Huang Rong rides up with his horse and takes him away.

Then Yang Kang gets his courage up and asks them if he could marry Mu Nianci, thus solving one of their problems. 😀 The lovebirds croon together a bit.

The other lovebirds croon together a bit too. But there’s still the problem of Hua Zhen. She sends a letter to him saying that her brother (who is Guo Jing’s best friend) spotted Duan Tiande in the Central Plains and tells him to come quickly. Oooh, awkward.

The next morning, when Guo Jing and Huang Rong come back, all the older people are gone. In the fall, they have to meet some rivals at Jia Xin, which is in central China, so they left super fast and early. Anyway, the four people meet and exchange happy news – mainly that Yang Kang and Mu Nianci got engaged.

Guo Jing and Yang Kang get super drunk together, and become better friends than before. Yang Kang finally calls Guo Jing ‘big brother’, which gets him emotional. (Yo, someone’s nicer now that the other one is revealed to have good connections.)

Episode 14

Guo Jing and Huang Rong ride away to catch up to Guo Jing’s masters, while Yang Kang and Mu Nianci go back to his hometown to bury his parents.

Guo Jing and Huang Rong get into a minor tiff on the subject of parents, but like, it’s not serious, as they both care about each other too much to do more than pout. (It’s actually kind of cute.) Then the owner of the snake Guo Jing sucked dry catches up with them and decides to kill Guo Jing and suck his blood.

Huang Rong shows her genius by sticking a burning brand in the attacker’s mouth and the two run into a lake. They actually swim away underwater. (Until daylight, don’t ask.)

Mu Nianci is the one making the money on their trip – and it’s hard going, since she’s essentially a street performer. Yang Kang buys new stuff for her, but she tells him to take it back, as it would ruin their budget. He finds that too embarrassing, and refuses to do it. Then they argue about the meaning of real respect, which gets him good and riled.

After people taunt him about living off his wife, he goes out and performs, and since he’s more of a show-off, his show is muchly more impressive. The inn-owner offers them free lodging and food if they perform everyday, which Yang Kang refuses, but Mu Nianci accepts. Yang Kang cares about being seen as a performer, but Nianci is okay with it, and only needs her own self-respect.

(First signs of cracks in his willingness to follow his father’s example.)

Nianci sees that he’s injured, and runs off to the pharmacy for medicine. He follows her, and realizes that she’s kept emergency money hidden in her shoes (smart girl). He’s hurt that she saves and scrimps on ordinary things but refuses to let him make any grand gestures for her. He asks if she went looking for him in the palace because he had the shoe and not to see him, and in the heat of anger she replies yes. (The fact that she considered his skin-deep injury worthy of spending emergency money on seems to fly right over his head.)

When she finds him in a random late night bar, he smashes a lot of the alcohol that he exchanged with the money, and shouts at her that there’s no use looking for him since the money is already gone. She says that she only wanted him, and that it was so the first time too. There is hugging and sap.

He seems to genuinely care about her, but he’s totally thin-skinned and hates being poor.

In his own palace, Wanyan Honglie misses his ‘wife’ and his ‘son’. He’s drinking himself to sleep every night and losing his place with the Jin emperor very fast. Ouyang Ke, who seems to have become a trusted confidante, doesn’t really know what to do either. He seems to recall that his own father would rather have fame and skill than his own son and the woman he loved, and Wanyan Honglie’s wholehearted devotion to his family strikes a chord within him.

When the Jin prince asks him to kill him, as his life is no longer worth living, Ouyang Ke brings out one of the oldest tricks in the world – reverse psychology. He taunts the prince, spurring him to give the first signs of life and spirit in a while, and reminds him that all is not lost. Wanyan Honglie couldn’t even hurt Bao Xiruo and Yang Tiexin, as they’re both dead, but Ouyang Ke reminds him that Yang Kang is still there, and could be hurt if he wanted it.

But of course, Wanyan Honglie only wants ‘Kang Er’ to love him. *sigh*

Huang Rong and Guo Jing are roughing it too, but Huang Rong sees it as an adventure and Guo Jing is used to it, so they have fun baking chickens in the wild. Hong Qigong, the Norther Beggar notorious for his gourmet taste buds, probably falls victim to Huang Rong’s (admittedly inspired) cooking skills and comes to beg a bite of chicken. The generous Guo Jing offers the entire chicken to the old man, while Huang Rong sees the missing finger and realizes that it’s actually the Northern Beggar they’re talking to, and offers the chicken with other intents in mind.

However, the beggar dude, probably sensing what’s on the wind, runs off.

Huang Rong walks off with a determined moue, now that she knows he’s in the area. Guo Jing just munches on his chicken.

Yang Kang and Mu Nianci spend the day looking around – fair day at the town, probably. He has better skills than most of the people in the town, being raised and reared as a royal prince, but is unwilling to turn an honest penny using his skills. *sigh* Still all about the fun.

Okay, I take back what I said. After the day of fun and spending money on his girlfriend, the guy disappears into a street corner and performs for the crowd’s edification. (Mu Nianci followed him because one of her money slips in her shoes has disappeared.) Two random people come out and make fun of him as being like all the other street performers who only know a little but show off a lot. Needless to say, Yang Kang’s rather easily offended dignity raises its hackles but takes the challenge.

For ten wen (not sure what this is in modern currency, but I think it converts to ten dollars or so) per stick, if Yang Kang can withstand being beaten by wooden logs, and if they break, he gets paid. He consents, and picks up the money after everyone’s left. Mu Nianci, sorry that she ever suspected him, approaches him.

Aww, more mush. He promises that he will do his best to take care of her, and to leave all the heavy work to him in the future – he can’t give her what he had as a prince, but he can try to do his best anyway.

Lol, Huang Rong and Guo Jing have set up in the mountains (I think they’re still living off Guo Jing’s gold from the Khan – I could be wrong, but he had a lot of gold in the beginning) and it’s a shabby but cozy cabin. Huang Rong’s chosen an especially windy day to do lots of sumptuous cooking, which is sure to attract Hong Qigong, and she’s planning to entice him to teach Guo Jing. Of course, her boyfriend doesn’t know.

He arrives, and agrees to a game of guess-the-dish.

End episode.

Commentary/Rambling:

– Dude, all the guys are so hot. *fans self*

On to the more serious analysis.

Interestingly, this version seeks to compare all three male leads, instead of only juxtaposing Yang Kang and Guo Jing. This results in more screentime (aka more bonding time) between the audience and the two secondary leads. Yang Kang was a power-seeking, all-round lying asshat while Ouyang Ke was originally a womaniser smitten by the lovely Huang Rong. Here the show’s added some depth of character, depicting Yang Kang as upright but somewhat weakened by his wealthy upbringing (so far he’s been pretty much the model child, much better than Guo Jing, who’s still as dumb as the next brick). Ouyang Ke’s shown to have a pretty tragic (or perhaps tragic isn’t the word, more like … unfulfilled) childhood which leads him to overcompensate in martial arts, women and his own not inconsiderable intelligence.

These young men’s choices, upbringing and experiences shape them into three very interesting and distinct people… one goes on to deny his heritage and be a baddie with some compunction, one tries desperately to hold on to something he cannot own and dies with a whimper, and the other lives a happy life, albeit with some twists. I really like how the scripting and filming has brought out and highlighted all these little things. I love Yang Kang’s rapid change in costumes and even faster change in outlook, it totally shows how easily swayed he is by other people’s opinions. I think that having Ouyang Ke appear just a tad bit gay (no offense, guys) was hilarious and on character, as he is a bit of a nancy (again, no offense) in the books.

What continues to make me giggle is how everyone seems to have already acquired vast amounts of skill (4 srs! Just look at all those fighting scenes where everyone is lifting stone blocks twice their size and leaping around, freezing people. Even them young’uns. *sigh*) except for Guo Jing, who goes on to acquire the vastest skill set ever.

Of course, none of that shakes our main couple, the adorable Huang Rong and the upright (if it kills him) Guo Jing. Aside from bits of sensationalism in some scenes, it really does attempt portraying the characters in a slice-of-life manner, which I like, muchly, and at least tries to discard the one-dimensional heroes Jin Yong set out in the first place.

And you know, I’ve never wholly liked Guo Jing since he seemed more than a little dense in the books (and dense people bother me so much! Part of the reason I couldn’t keep watching It Started With a Kiss, I bet.) According to rankings, the smartest heroes/heroines in Jin Yong’s novels is something like: Zhang Wuji, Yang Guo (lolcats if you spot smtg), Huang Rong and Ling Hu Chong. In terms of natural talent, Guo Jing falls far behind. But he has his own set of principles, and like all simple-minded people, follow them. He’s never lost for long periods of time, as he is very much in touch with his instincts. It makes for a refreshing turn of events. Besides, Huang Rong can plot well enough for both of them.

As for skill in portrayals, well, I think they’re all doing the best they can, and much better than I can, so I’d better not complain! Each version has its special points, and we can’t be comparing them all the time. We’d go crazy! 😀

Um. That was… one heck of a ramble. See you around!

Sevenses

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  1. Monday, July 28, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    here to spam your comment box again!
    you forgot Wei Xiao Bao in the list of Jin Yong’s smart people.

  2. kayohs
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    just stumbled across your site. i think the actor who played ouyang ke should’ve been yang kang. lol. but he did a good portrayal of ouyang ke. this version gave ouyang ke more depth for sure.

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