Progress Report provides ongoing impressions of serials or sets I view them.
Note: As this is a television serial, this article includes spoilers for the series pertaining to the episodes discussed.
The plot thickens in the next pair of episodes and when all is said and done, the underdog rebels seem to be doing pretty well for themselves. Chae-ok becomes more torn as Boss (and secret brother!) Jang nurses her back to health from her bullet wound, but her recovery gets cut short as Boss Jang's very competent lady assassin shows up both suspicious and aware of our Damo's presence, but also bears news but once she hears that Hwangbo Yoon has been fired, which leads Chae-ok to run away to get back to her guy. Meanwhile, the guy, also worried about Chae-ok decides that he can't wait and goes to check up on her, despite the continuing attention from the chief's daughter. Yes, these beats are getting a little repetitive.
Anyway, on her way out, she notices a clandestine meeting between Boss Jang and a messenger. Of course, being willfull and headstrong Chae-ok, she decides to intercept the message and almost gets away with it except that the lady assassin shows up and gets in her way, despite Boss Jang's previous warnings to not get involved with Damo-girl. Already injured, Chae-ok is about to bite the dust when badass Hwangbo shows up and gives lady assassin yet another big stab. They discover that the message implicates friend of police chief and Hwangbo, the military general, as the man who has the counterfeit coin molds. Oh shoot!
Obviously, they report this to the chief, who then lures out his friend and Hwangbo Yoon and Jang Chae-ok sneak into the General's place and discover that he does indeed have the molds--in his walls! Which is apparently enough to arrest the general, although the general genuinely seems to be saddened that his friends would even suspect him. That's enough to get the court involved and they order preparations for a raid on the rebels and as the restored police troop prepare, the King returns and the General insists on his innocence in the matter. And just as they get ready to head out to raid, the General commits a protest suicide, leaving a note declaring his loyalty to the King. This is enough to declare his arrest wrong and now the chief and Hwangbo Yoon go to jail too. Uh oh!
This makes Chae-ok very very depressed with lots of flashbacks to how good Hwangbo was to her. Meanwhile this leads to the chief's brash son volunteering for and getting the task of leading the raid, but to the chief's disappointment. He mobilizes the police force and they all head up to the rebel hideout with a few hundred soldiers strong. Chae-ok goes in first and, after meeting up with Jang in an otherwise empty village, discovers that the letter was faked with the intention of her intercepting it and yes, it was all a set up to get her commander and chief out of the way, along with the general! The rest of the troops arrive to an empty village, which was apparently just cleared out a couple hours ago, so brash chief's son decides that they will pursue--but as anyone with half a brain knows--you never pursue rebels into their own land--that's guerilla warfare that standard troops are not suited towards.
While Chae-ok, Office Lee and the elder Officer rescue their spy, the rest of the army gets promptly annihilated without the rebels losing a single man (or their one woman). And as the chief's son wouldn't leave at the behest of the elite guard, the elite guard (minus officer Lee) also get annihilated. Oh, and then the chief's son has a one-on-one with Boss Jang as honor would necessitate and gets himself annihilated too.
Everybody returns (although Officer Lee had to be knocked out to keep his honor from going before reason) and weeps and wails at the enormous loss of life. Chae-ok and the chief's daughter both seek the help of an antagonistic minister, who shoos them both away. The runaway slaves-now-spies earn their freedom from the chief and get shooed away by the depressed remaining members of the police as our damo, Chae-ok, resolves to see the King--unthinkable for a slave-status servant like herself! (Even approaching the King without explicit orders from another noble is probably grounds for death, I'm imagining in this world.)
As such, the pair of episodes drives pretty well and is fairly exciting with its twists and turns and developments (even if they are pretty well telegraphed at this point). I'm only getting annoyed with the I-love-you-but-can't-really-say-it-or-do-anything-about-it-because-we're-divided-by-class beats that keep happening over and over with Chae-ok and Yoon--that is a frustratingly static relationship in a rather dynamic plot and it's really noticeable.
- Set index