We started off from last week where Ryung and Shi Hoo completes their respective martial arts training from their assassin teachers. This also marks the beginning of the different paths that Ryung and Shi Hoo would be going in future. Bong Soon’s father and Ryung’s teacher that he should use his sword to not kill but to save lives. But for Shi Hoo, his teacher tells him to kill anyone who is an obstacle to him. Ryung and Shi Hoo’s already complicated relationship and now different values will take on even greater importance in future episodes.
Episode 13, 14 mainly revolves around the imbecile son of the Qing Dynasty envoy who runs over and kills the little girl, Yang Soon (pretty sad btw) on the streets with a horse in a drunken stupor. The cowardly troublemaker escapes with Bong Soon who have witnessed the entire thing, unable to believe her eyes as she stages a sitdown in front of their residence. Very soon, more and more people join her in her sitdown protests, asking for an apology.
But their cries aren’t heard and instead the government under threat from the Qing envoy, cracks down on the protestors by pushing them back and eventually hitting them back. Doesn’t this remind you of the candle-lit vigil by South Koreans against the Lee Myung Bak administration over the lifting of the ban on US beef? Eventually, the king (still morally grey to me) grows impatient and orders his archers to shoot the protestors as the latter looks on in disbelief.
But at this tense moment, Iljimae appears at the top of the residence walls with the Qing envoy son all tied up by his side. He successfully fights off everything all the soldiers and makes off with the Qing envoy son who later makes a hasty apology to Yang Soon’s parents and being humilated by dung balls.
Iljimae heroic acts is cheered by the people and they even motioned for him to replace the king. Ryung’s father discovers something amiss and eventually discovers that Iljimae is actually Ryung himself. He also realizes that Ryung had regained all his memories and laments the fact that he is actually doing all these to find the ones that broke his family apart. He worries for himself and Shi Hoo who played an indirect part in Ryung’s father being framed. Lee Moon Shik was excellent here. I was surprised that Shi Hoo didn’t quite fight Iljimae yet but they are probably leaving it till the end. The ratings achieved for episode 13, 14 were 25.3% and 25.4% respectively, another new high.
With the script of episode 15 still being amended, it means that the entire cast would have to dig deep and film the existing episodes on a really tight schedule. But with the good ratings, I am sure they wouldn’t mind the hard work. Hopefully, no one would collapse and everyone would stay healthy.
Meanwhile, the competing MBC drama, “Spotlight” which I had been watching concurrently with “Iljimae” ended on a whimper this week with a single digit rating of 8.1%. Really disappointing drama overall.