Continuing from the cliff hanger at the end of episode 17, this one starts with four “ghosts” zooming in onto Hong Gil-Dong at a rapid speed. (Zooom) In the face of danger, our hero is always up for a fight. Just as Gil-Dong starts to undress himself for a through fight, a comic relief cuts in to relieve the tension.
(Audience nods: Yup, wrong guy! I knew it’s a bad idea to take that silky scarf in the first place!)
Just as Gil-Dong starts to realize they are not ghosts, zooom, the head of the ghosts flew out soundlessly, scaring Gil-Dong colorless (well maybe not that dramatic), and left! (Yup, left, just like that.)
Gil-Dong picks up a fabric left by one of the ghosts and took it back for some clues. With a scene cut, the ghosts are back for the right guy. (Guess he’s not so lucky after all.) The rest is predictable, the understated gore, a few blood drops, and some mess for the set to clean up.
Hong In Hyung, engulfed in jealousy, shrewdly decides provoke, and hopefully capture Gil-Dong by spreading the rumor that Gil-Dong and his people killed the nobles. Which by the way also affects Chang Hwui’s popularity among the nobles. Two birds with one stone huh?
Then we see a little character bonding between Gil-Dong and Chang Hwui:
“Hong Gil-Dong’s scared of ghosts?… Even if you see them, you won’t be able to catch them.”
“Psh, if it’s you, you’d be scared too.”
After a little teasing and bickering, the two are set to tend to their own business.
Lady Noh persists her uneasiness with Hong Gil-Dong but eventually agrees to obey Chang Hwui. Chang Hwui promises that everything will work out fine, but shows a glimpse of doubt.
Gil-Dong asks other members of the bandit for the possible source of the fabric, but is cleverly being reminded of Enok’s current emotional state towards him – respect. (Yeah right, she Only respects him.) With the thought in mind, of course Gil-Dong walks out to see Enok doing chores. He asks her if she wants to come along. (First time, no?) On a side note, I can’t help but to notice that in addition to the change of costume, Enok also got a haircut! Back to the story, Enok refuses his offer because she has to finish doing the chores. (ie: pile the fire wood) Gil-Dong helps her and receives her praise that he’s a respectable (and smart) leader. Unsatisfied with the idea that he’s being respected, (Of course, we all want a little something else, don’t we? 😉 ) Gil-Dong boyishly jumps on the pile of wood Enok’s just arranged (How cute!) and forces Enok to confess that he’s no longer respectable. In an aside, Gil-Dong secretly likes the idea that he’s taken the first step out to change her attitude towards him. (Yeah, like their feelings for each other needs any catalyst.)
Gil-Dong found the source of the fabric. It’s actually from a food shop/restaurant composed of all women. Surprises and recognition are exchanged, then the women asked him to stay for dinner. Yes, just like that. While Gil-Dong spends time with the ladies, they showed him their skills and Gil-Dong’s impressed speechless.
On Chang Hwui’s side, we are lead to discover that although Hong Pan Seo ordered the murder of Enok’s family, her grandfather survives and became rather influential over the past 20 years. A subsequent meeting is arranged and the old man expresses a desire to find his long lost granddaughter.
At the same time, Hong Pan Seo hears from his informant that Enok’s current grandfather has been asking about the murder case 20 years ago and comes to the conclusion that Enok is the long lost granddaughter of the best friend he murdered with his own hands. (Sometimes, I don’t even understand why this man does the things he does.) He also realizes that the reason she stays with Gil-Dong still is because she doesn’t know her true identity yet. (Dung Dung Dung)
A brief comic relief follows immediately after the uneasiness. Enok asks for Gil-Dong’s whereabouts. When told he went to meet with women, she complains:
“Why does he go see women everyday?”
“Well, he’s the leader, he has to face many problems everyday. He needs a break.”
Seems like Gil-Dong isn’t the only one that likes to tease Enok.
Slowly we’re revealed of the true intentions behind these ghost killings. The story goes five years back. A rich noble man kills a virgin woman. Instead of being punished, the ghost of the woman is said to accuse several other men in the village to the judge. Consequently innocent men were killed and the real guilty man was released. The mothers of the victims swore to take their revenge. They’ve killed most of the noble men involved in the incident except for one. (Almost there, ladies!)
Chang Hwui and Gil-Dong meets at the warehouse again. Gil-Dong expresses empathy to the women. Chang Hwui points out that:
“At the beginning, you said you will capture them. Now you are saying you will stop them. Will you end up helping them?”
Gil-Dong asserts that he will not help anyone kill. Chang Hwui expresses his faith in Gil-Dong to Lady Noh. Whether or not Gil-Dong will prove Chang Hwui wrong becomes the reason for Lady Noh’s submissiveness in the Gil-Dong issue. Consequently, the outcome of the ghost murder event becomes an unsaid test for Gil-Dong between Chang Hwui and Lady Noh. The conflict of different stature between these two men resurfaced once again.
Switch back to Eun Hye, who isn’t lazy about her own scheme either. Enok’s current grandfather comes to sell medicine as arranged. Eun Hye cleverly leads the conversation to her inclination to the name Enok, revealing Enok’s real family name and leaves Enok’s grandfather to decide whether or not he should break the silence. (She sure is a smart girl.)
When Enok sees Gil-Dong leavin, she asks whether she could go with him this time.
“I didn’t want to come because I mind the fact that you always visit other women.” (cute give-away, as usual!)
So off they went to the food shop. The ladies there are all bemused by Enok, especially her insatiable appetite. The head lady watches on the side with Gil-Dong.
“You better work hard to feed your wife.”
Gil-Dong smirks. (awwww!) The head lady adds on,
“But, good wife.”
Enok’s current grandfather loiters around Enok’s real grandfather’s residence again and is spotted by Chi Soo. Chi Soo then recounts to Chang Hwui and Lady Noh, who also realize that Enok is the missing granddaughter. Lady Noh then helps Chang Hwui with a flashback of a visit to Enok’s family where little (and also very cute) Chang Hwui made little Enok cry by accidentally spill hot tea on her hand. In the flashback, Chang Hwui is being teased of having caused a scar on Enok’s hand. Feeling guilty, Chang Hwui makes the promise that he will take full responsibility of that girl. (That’s so cute!!!) Having recalled that, Chang Hwui exclaims the coincidences arranged by fate.
We have a little intense moment of Enok’s current grandfather being almost captured by one of the men of Hong Pan Seo. They missed by inches. Quite a scene.
Now we are revealed of the last guy the ghosts are planning to kill. (Almost forgot about them!) In Hyung made arrangements so that whoever comes will be killed. As predicted, these ladies are all killed before they could kill the corrupt judge. Gil-Dong ran to save them, but came too late. He watched as their bodies are dragged outside. Fill with anger and sadness, Gil-Dong attacks a soldier, grabs his knife and heads for the judge. Chang Hwui came just in time to witness the scene: Gil-Dong cuts off the judge’s hair in the midst of his angst (not his head) because Gil-Dong understands the theme of revenge and its overarching consequences.
Chang Hwui proves himself right to Lady Noh however also realizes many differences between himself and Gil-Dong for himself and the audience for the first time.
A subsequent meeting between Gil-Dong and Chang Hwui is inevitable. The potential split between the two seems more promising. (Not that it’s a good thing.) In a way, Gil-Dong is getting back at Chang Hwui for using him to get the sword back because now, Gil-Dong is using Chang Hwui to change the world. Chang Hwui realizes that at one point, he will have to abandon Gil-Dong as his friend and partner. (Sigh…)
As the episode is drawing to a closure, a more sinister foreshadowing is revealed: Gil-Dong’s father wants to use his own death to lure Gil-Dong and capture him. (Some kind of conflicting father.)
Although a large portion of the episode sends a mixed, gloomy message, it does end with a lighter note. Near the end, after burying all the ladies, Gil-Dong is alone with Enok. Enok tries to console him.
“I will watch you, from afar.”
“Not from afar, from my side. As long as you’re near me.”
“If I watch you next to you, you will feel better?”
Then, Gil-Dong reaches over and lightly kisses Enok. (Muah!) Enok looks shocked. Gil-Dong smiles at her shocked face, bent over, kisses her again. This time more fiercely than before, thus concluding this episode.