[RECAP]: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People; Episode 2

I’m honestly swamped with recaps these days. R.I.P. me. I don’t have some cool, fancy team helping me or anything so, it’s just me out here. Most of the toil is due to an influx of university work now that the semester is really beginning to get going. Hopefully, by the time I manage to get things out, you’ll still be interested.

I bring this up because new episodes of Rebel have already aired, and though I’ve watched them I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write about them. And I still have to crank out this post and also the recaps for the most recent Voice episodes. The struggle is real folks. This is all while keeping up with Hwarang and Missing 9 as well. I don’t know how some people manage their time so well. Four dramas really isn’t that bad compared to the long lists of shows I see others watching in one go. I guess I have a long way to go before I master the art of drama watching.

Anyway! You’re here for Yoon Kyun Sang or,  I should say, Hong Gil Dong; not for my weekly woes. Check out the summary of episode two below.

[Be Forewarned: Spoilers Below].

Gil Hyun is supposed to be helping the young master Soohak with his studies, but shows up late. Soohak practices his calligraphy, but seems to be making mistake after mistake. Nobleman Jo knows Gil Hyun has been practicing reading on his own, and asks him what his son did wrong. Gil Hyun hesitantly points out the incorrect strokes, and receives punishment from Nobleman Jo for not properly helping his son with his studies.

The servant boys play a game involving the throwing of stones. Eobsan suggests throwing some at master Soohak, since it would be impossible to determine who through the stone from the crowd. Gil Dong prepares to throw a stone heartily at the young master, but remembers his father’s words about hiding his powers. He instead feigns weakness, and endures being laughed at by Gil Hyun and Eobsan. The young master gets hit by one of Eobsan’s stones and cries. As a result, Eobsan’s father gets scolded by Nobleman Jo’s wife for not protecting her son. Eobsan shrugs it off, claiming the scolding isn’t a big deal to his father, who is probably thinking about eating rice instead.

Gil Dong spots his father’s shoes, and realizes that means he must be home. The boys get excited and teary eyed at the sight of their father. The trio march home to Geum Ok, who is also relieved to see her husband. She washes his wounded feet with concern. Later, Ah Mo Gae asks Gil Dong if he’s been following his orders and keeping his strength a secret. Gil Dong says of course, and Ah Mo Gae smiles with pride and relief.

Ah Mo Gae presents his profits to his master. He gives them two rolls of cotton, but surprises them with some lovely silk, which pleases them both. Nobleman Jo asks how he was able to get such luxury items from some moldy pollack. Ah Mo Gae explains that he sold the fish and bought cotton, traded the cotton for fur, and was able to sell the fur to buyers from Ming, where fur is rare and coveted. Nobleman Jo suggests giving him the rest of the old fish so that he can repeat the process, but Ah Mo Gae explains that fur season is now over, so he will need different items from them to sell. He claims he will be able to make a good profit if he continues this type of business, which is enough to convince the masters to let him move out in the hopes that they will benefit greatly from this new income.

The family moves into their new home and are joyous over the new perks they are now able to enjoy. They can eat better food, have a larger living space, and even a nice big furnace. Ah Mo Gae gives his children their gifts; For Gil Hyun, a writing book and honey taffy for Gil Dong.  The family enjoys large portions of rice for dinner. That night Ah Mo Gae is ready to get it on with his wife, but Geum Ok is not about it. Why? Because she’s pregnant! This shocks Ah Mo Gae, who muses that it must have been that night before he left (eyebrow wiggle). Anyway, he is overjoyed at the idea of having another child. He insists upon her seeing a doctor the next morning, claiming that he will do everything a nobleman does now. The doctor says the baby is healthy and Ah Mo Gae voices his satisfaction and excitement. While they wait outside, Gil Dong asks Gil Hyun where babies come from and how they’re made (lmao).

Soboori comes to visit. He greets Gil Dong but is met with some hostility. Gil Dong appears very cautious of Soboori and doesn’t ever respond to him. Ah Mo Gae tries to laugh it off before giving Soboori a warm welcome and inviting him in. Geum Ok presents them with a humble dinner and Soboori invites her to join them. She politely declines and once she’s gone Ah Mo Gae tells Soboori to cut the act so they can get back to their important discussion. It seems as though Ah Mo Gae has already confided in Soboori, because he talks to Ah Mo Gae with an awareness of Gil Dong being the Mighty Child. Ah Mo Gae tells Soboori that he must buy his family’s freedom, or else Gil Dong will die. Soboori wonders why, since he thought Ah Mo Gae already told the child to keep his temper in check. Ah Mo Gae clicks his teeth at Soboori’s stupidity and asks how long could they actually expect that to last.

The two men prepare to head out for another journey the next morning. Geum Ok is sad to see that her husband is already leaving again. They try to share a loving goodbye, and Soboori feels that awkward third-wheel steering his way so he nobly leaves the two so they can have a moment of privacy. Geuk Ok is a bit emotional, but Ah Mo Gae remains a bit cold, probably to prevent himself from becoming emotional as well. Soboori, Yonggae and Ah Mo Gae get to their work while Gil Dong enjoys the perks of his father’s new job as a merchant. Ah Mo Gae overhears a discussion between to noblemen about the dethroned queen’s (King Yeonsan’s birth mother) second son dying in the palace. The fact that the queen had a son other than the crown prince comes as a shock to one of the noblemen. The baby died just ten days after she was kicked out from the palace. However, she has only just found out after three years, and has decided on revenge. The more informed nobleman explains that people are trying to use this chance, and are flocking to her.

Later that night, Nobleman Jo and his wife discuss their financial debt. They have nothing left to sell. His wife complains that being a nobleman is so expensive and chastises her husband for wasting their tribute. He claims it wasn’t a waste, and it turns out he is one of the people who has flocked to the dethroned queen in the hopes that it will raise his status in the future. He tells her he paid in order to receive a hand written letter from the queen, and explains that this will benefit their son by the time he’s old enough to take office.

The crown prince is upset that he can’t call his father ‘Dad’ like normal children. He dislikes the idea of referring to his dad as ‘Father’. He asks why he’s not able to live with his father. His eunuchs explain that he was a sickly child so he lived with Kang Hee Meng, who had offered to take care of him The crown prince asks if this means his brother died because he lived in the palace. This leaves the eunuchs and servants whispering and struggling to come up with an answer.

Ah Mo Gae returns home again and Geum Ok is now visibly pregnant. He reveals a chest full of luxury goods and presents for his children. He falls asleep and Geum Ok peeks into the chest. She discovers silver and becomes alarmed. Later, Ah Mo Gae goes to bury it in their yard and is caught by Geum Ok. She doesn’t say anything and helps him finish the job.  He asks her why she’s not asking questions. All she does is plead that he doesn’t hurt anyone.

Some of the servants are sold and Eobsan’s father explains to Ah Mo Gae that Nobleman Jo is gathering money to purchase a title. Later that night Ah Mo Gae talks with Soboori. He says he thinks he can become a free man, because he now knows his master is in need of riches. He plans to be sold after he finds someone he can bribe to purchase his whole family and then set them free. He requests that Soboori ask around. Enter Eomjachi (Kim Byung Ok), some sort of legal secretary working under the magistrate. He takes bribes and is even sniffed out by the magistrate for doing so. At the gisaeng house Eomjachi meets with Soboori and Ah Mo Gae. They arrange an agreement in which Eomjachi will be the one to purchase Ah Mo Gae and his family.

The next day the servants are all lined up for the buyers to inspect. Eomjachi strolls around as he fakes examining his options, but he finally stops and chooses Ah Mo Gae and his family for purchase. In a flashback, we see that Ah Mo Gae convinced Eomjachi to purchase him with the money he had saved up from he and Soboori’s merchant adventures. Ah Mo Gae knows that he couldn’t pay his own master for his freedom, because if his master knew he had that much money, he would never release him. Ah Mo Gae promises that in return, Eomjachi will earn a servant who will stay loyal forever.

Later that night, Nobleman Jo’s wife voices her discomfort with the transaction. She feels it all fell into place a little too perfectly. She wonders how a mere secretary amassed so much money, but Nobleman Jo doesn’t seem to find it out of the ordinary. Still, Nobleman Jo’s wife finds it odd that he payed such a large sum for just four servants and then there’s the fact that he hand picked Ah Mo Gae from the group. She decides she’ll have him followed.

Ah Mo Gae gives Eomjachi a golden Buddha figure, which pleases him. The gisaeng comes in to tell Eomjachi that one of Lord Jo’s servants asked her to spy on him. Eomjachi is shocked that things are playing out exactly as Ah Mo Gae had predicted. The servant reports back to Nobleman Jo, but the only new information is that a physician has been frequenting Ah Mo Gae’s home lately. The rumors say the physician examines his wife regularly and that Ah Mo Gae is teaching his son to read and write. Their crock is full of sauces and they eat rice for every meal. Nobleman Jo doesn’t find this strange, believing that he is more than able to afford so. His wife thinks otherwise. She claims a servant should know their place and not eat rice or teach their son to read or write. She tells her husband to postpone the deal because she wants to take all of his riches before selling him. If he happens to have a hidden stash of money or produce, it belongs to them. Nobleman Jo shuts this down, saying that he cannot take what is Ah Mo Gae’s unless it is the agreed tribute, because that is the law. His wife is determined however, and asks if the case is not different if the servant has harmed his master.

“If a servant causes even the smallest of cuts on his master, the master can take the servant’s life. No one can condemn us if we take the servant’s money instead of his life.”

Nobleman Jo is not too keen on the idea, reminding his wife that Ah Mo Gae has served them all his life, so why would he make such a mistake. His wife is quick to fire back, declaring she’ll do something he cannot help but react to. “How is your Uncle?” she asks.

The next day, Geum Ok is at the local market, looking at various different items. She examines some fur, but is interrupted by Nobleman Jo’s Uncle, who chastises her for being a servant who looks at luxury items like fur. She gets spooked and leaves. Then she goes to a different shop, but is once again followed by Nobleman Jo’s Uncle. This time he snatches the item from her hand, yells at her and then spits in her face. Geum Ok realizes she is no longer safe and begins to hurry home. Nobleman Jo’s Uncle continues to follow and harass her, shouting fake claims that she’s trying to seduce him. At the same moment, the children are returning from an outing and come across the scene. Geum Ok begs Nobleman Jo’s Uncle to be on his way, but he grabs her chest from behind and she shrugs him off. This angers him and he pushes her hard, causing her pregnant stomach to smack against a huge boulder. The children watch in horror, and Gil Hyun runs over to his mother. Gil Hyun glares at the Uncle, who chastises him.

Then we hear Gil Dong’s assertive and enraged voice, telling Nobleman Jo’s Uncle to get lost and leave his mother alone. The Uncle tells him to learn some manners, but we see Gil Dong’s facial expression grow darker, as his hand reaches into his pocket to pull out a rock. He sends that sucker smashing into a tree, where it makes a dent deep enough for it to stay embedded in the trunk. Everyone watches in horror as he throws the next stone and continues demanding for the Uncle to get lost. He leaps up and lands down on the ground closer to the scene. He readies his next rock, but Geum Ok shouts and begs him not to throw it. It’s too late. He’s angry and desperate to protect his mother. He pitches the rock and it nicks the man’s face. Gil Dong prepares to take things further, and the Nobleman begs for his life. He raises his arm, with a much bigger rock in hand, but then we hear Ah Mo Gae’s voice shouting out Gil Dong’s name and reaching in to grab his arm. He breaks Gil Dong’s anger trance, but the Nobleman is already up and shouting for help as he claims a servant tried to kill a nobleman. Ah Mo Gae spots the rock embedded in the tree and knows shit has hit the fan. Gil Dong starts to realize the gravity of the situation.

The guards come to the scene and the Nobleman points out Gil Dong as the culprit. Ah Mo Gae becomes alarmed and immediate claims responsibility for the deed, suggesting that it would be preposterous for a child to be capable of such strength. He eyes his wife and through his facial expression begs her to confirm his statements. She does, but not without feeling utter grief about the potential consequences Ah Mo Gae will now have to face. They take Ah Mo Gae away where he is forced to stand before his masters and the magistrate. He asks how anyone could harass a woman, but the magistrate asserts that there’s no reasons needed, because no matter what, if a servant has harmed a nobleman, he must be punished. Ah Mo Gae says he will gladly receive his punishment, he will endure it even if it’s 20 flogs, he just wants them to hear out the circumstances of the situation. The magistrate gives him the rude awakening that if you hurt a master’s immediate family, it’s punishable by death.

Meanwhile, Geum Ok has gone into labor from shock. Eobsan’s mother helps her deliver the baby, which is a girl. Ah Mo Gae begs to be spared, claiming that he will do anything. The plan is going exactly the way Nobleman Jo’s wife planned it, and they take this opportunity to gain possession of Ah Mo Gae’s hidden riches. Their servants dig up his hidden goods and present them at the trial. In what is the most tearful, snot filled, sacrifice I’ve ever witness, Ah Mo Gae declares the items he saved up for his sons to free them, as Nobleman Jo’s property.  After everything is settled, Ah Mo Gae runs home to his wife, who has delivered her baby. He is relieved to see his wife is alive and holding a new baby girl. Gild Dong apologizes tearfully to his father for throwing the stones, but his father tells him that he was not the one who threw the stones.

Ah Mo Gae returns to his wife’s room and holds his new daughter. Geum Ok asks how he knew it was going to be a girl, and he replies that he prayed to the heavens. Geum Ok reveals that she tried to stick around because she was afraid she would not be able to see him. Ah Mo Gae asks what she’s talking about. It becomes clear that she is dying. Ah Mo Gae frantically lifts her bed cover, and we see blood pooling there. She apologizes and Ah Mo Gae says he will go and get a doctor right away. She grabs him to keep him from leaving, and begs him to stay with her. He looks at her with confusion, worry, and sadness. He asks why her hands are so cold, but she says she had a great life and that she’s so glad that she married him. She says she’s an awful mother and that she feels worse for him than she does for her children. Ah Mo Gae begs her not to go. In her final breath, Geum Ok asks her husband not to be so hard on Gil Dong. She passes away.

Ah Mo Gae is in shock and disbelief. He begins cry out of utter grief. The children come in and realize their mother has passed. They cry in unison with their father. The next day, Ah Mo Gae carries his wife away to bury her, but he doesn’t let his children join him. Eobsan’s father, Soboori, and Yonggae join him for the funeral rites. Ah Mo Gae smacks himself and apologizes over his wife’s grave in a fit of deep sorrow.

Soboori explains the rumors that Lord Jo was the one who brought his Uncle into the situation, in order to get his hands on Ah Mo Gae’s riches. Ah Mo Gae asks if this is really true. Soboori says yes, and Ah Mo Gae’s hands curl up, signaling his wrath. That night, Gil Dong wakes up to find that his father is missing. We see Ah Mo Gae entering  Lord Jo’s bedroom with a sickle. He wakes up Lord Jo, asking how he can sleep like a baby after killing someone’s wife. He asks if Lord Jo really wanted his money that badly, and reminds Lord Jo how Geum Ok would starve her own baby in order to feed his son, and how Gil Hyun was beaten many times instead of his own son. He says he could never stand up straight because he was serving Lord Jo with diligence. Lord Jo asks him to calm down and tries to escape. Ah Mo Gae smiles as he says Lord Jo gave him a name which means nameless, then asks if Lord Jo thought he would live namelessly. He then calls his master informally, telling him it is time to die. He kills him with the sickle in one blow. Gil Dong witnesses the scene from outside, and catches view of the blood spatter. He sees his father exit Lord Jo’s bedroom holding the bloodied sickle, his own clothes stained with Lord Jo’s blood as well.

The episode ends.

Are you watching Rebel: Thief who Stole the People? What did you think of this episode? If you haven’t already, you can check out the extended highlight trailer for it here.


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