[RECAP]: Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People; Episode 4

Hi, this is disgustingly late! I have no excuse aside from the fact that academics are holding me back from posting as much as I’d like to. Even though this episode has already come and gone like the wind, I figured I might as well post it anyway for anyone who might be just as behind as I am. Here’s the summary of episode four.

[Be Forewarned: Spoilers Below].

Ahmogae mourns his deceased wife and considers meeting her in the afterlife. However his wife’s wish for him to look after the children propels him to move forward. They discover him lying beside her grave in the snow and wake him from his dream.

Lord Jo’s wife goes back to her parent’s house. Ahmogae receives the slave papers for both his and Eobsan’s family. He prepares to leave, but thanks Eomjachi for being the one person to listen to his voice. He reveals that he’ll never forget his promise to help Eomjachi rise to a top position of power.

The two families pack up and start their voyage to a new home. Gil Dong sees a beautiful bird and tells his brother that it’s their mom following them. The families arrive at Ik-hwari, which, Sobori explains, has become the refuge for all sorts of lowly people.

Then we are introduced one by one to the members of this ruffian clan:

  • Yonggae, a sort of endearing yet brutish, barbaric vagabond.
  • Se Gul (Kim Do Yoon), who looks like some sort of wannabe pirate.
  • Il Chung (Heo Jung Do), a mischievous monk.
  • Kkeut Swe (Lee Ho Cheol), burly and dim-witted, but soft at heart.
  • Eobsan’s dad, who I still haven’t found a name for yet.
  • Soboori, who we already know and love.

The men drink, gamble, and discuss their future. Ahmogae proposes the end of their lives as petty thieves and suggests becoming merchants to sell goods to the people of Ming. It doesn’t bode well, and they all end up in a huge dog pile which has me praying for the poor soul who got crushed at the bottom. Once that’s settled and everyone has their own unique battle scar, they sit down for a second talk. This one runs much more smoothly. Perhaps the nosebleeds and black eyes inspired some to settle down.

Ahmogae tries his idea again, in more detail. He claims a boat can be taken two hours out to meet merchants and conduct legitimate sales of silk. Everyone’s flustered, since silk is only legally worn by noblemen. Ahmogae counters that this only means they can charge whatever they want. People will buy silk from Ming regardless of the price. Everyone’s still baffled as to what they’ll sell to obtain such fancy silk. That’s when Ahmogae whips out some black linen, which is comparable in value to silk and favored by Ming’s emperors. Since the emperor is obsessed with Joseon’s black linen, Ahmogae plans to capitalize off of this because it must mean the emperor’s underlings are just as eager to have it.

The women get to work on producing the black linen and straw sandals while children play around outside. Gil Dong’s sister is growing up and this little girl wins the award for cutest child ever. The clothes of the family are suddenly becoming more colorful and well made, showing their steadily improving lifestyle. Gil Dong rushes to tell his father the great news of his sister, Uh Ri Ni, walking for the first time, but is ignored due to his father’s busy life with business. It becomes clear that Ahmogae’s slow but consistent shift in character is beginning to affect Gil Dong.

The men load up the boat and start out on their first voyage. They are approached by a monitor ship of costal guards (?) but appear to have prepared for this situation. Ahmogae coolly asserts that they are out catching shrimp and bribes the men by freely handing over some of the dried shrimp they had pre-planned to give the guards in case they were suspected. The guards seem pleased and accept the offering before departing. Finally, the right ship comes, having given the signal with the lantern to let them know. The trade goes smoothly and the men are thrilled about the potential profits they’ve just made. However, another ship approaches, but this one isn’t as friendly.

Ahmogae smells trouble and dives into the ocean with the chest of silk to prevent it from being taken. It looks like a band of pirates and they boldly ask for the shrimp, but not without discovering the black linen. They find it suspicious and assert that this is their bosses’ ocean. They tell the ruffians that half of their earnings must go to the pirates’ boss if they want to continue doing business here. Ahmogae starts running out of air underwater, and Soboori knows it. He agrees quickly to the pirates’ demand. They leave and the ruffians heave their boss out of the water and back on board. He’s fainted.

By dawn, their rushing him into the house. The children are there to witness the scene and Gil Dong is devastated. The men are gathered round Ahmogae’s still body and all hope now rests in the Monk. Gil Dong and Gil Hyun are also present. The Monk holds the acupuncture needle above Ahmogae’s chest, but his hand is shaking like a leaf and he looks like he’s about to poop his pants. Gil Dong, now in tears, offers to hold it for the Monk, who in turn finds courage and finally pierces Ahmogae’s chest. It works, and Ahmogae wakes up.

Later, Gil Dong glares at Soboori, and demands for him to stop playing with his father. He’s disliked Soboori from the start, and feels his father would not have to suffer if Soboori wasn’t around. Soboori calls Gil Dong a fool (though lovingly and out of pity) and asks if Gil Dong really thinks he is the reason his father changed. Gil dong pauses. Soboori continues that if his father had been anything like Gil Dong’s, he would not be doing what he’s been doing, and would have been a different person.

Ahmogae ponders how they were discovered at sea. The groups thinks one of the coast guards tipped them off. They talk about capturing some guy who apparently is super important to capture. They have a fake gambling session with the dude and then basically kidnap him. Soboori worries about the officials, and Ahmogae says if he’s worried, they should get the magistrate. Soboori is like ‘huh>???

Enter Eomjachi, who looks a lil nervous as he makes his way over to the town, holding the shaman Ahmogae gave him and muttering to himself about the impossibility of becoming a magistrate. The captured pirate comes running through in a staged set up by Ahmogae. Eomjachi chucks the shaman at him once he hears there is a reward out for the escaped pirate’s capture. Thus the pirate is caught and Eomjachi realizes this has all been coordinated by Ahmogae, who makes an appearance at the top of the hill with his crew. A town celebration is held celebrating Eomjachi’s newfound position as magistrate, and let’s just say he is shook and thrilled all at the same time.

Later that night Ahmogae and Eomjachi meet. Eomjachi has freed gisaeng Seon Ha from her position of servitude and brought her along with him (awww). Ahmogae uses this opportunity to ask Eomjachi to sort out the interference issues he’s been having at sea. Eomjachi agrees and gives the men the third degree the next day. Next time the crew go out at sea, they are free to do what they want, since the guards are now too fearful to confront them.

Everyone seems alive and happy in the small town, enjoying their new livelihoods. Ahmogae’s clan even earns some new members, sealed by a blood pledge that they …drink???? (they put their own blood in some alcohol and all took a swig. yuck.) Anyway I’m starting to get that creepy cult feel and I think Gil Dong is too. Ahmogae has gone from lowly servant to revered cult leader and it’s starting to chip away at his good character. Gil Dong is worried about his father dying. He tells Gil Hyun that Soboori thinks Gil Dong is the reason their father changed.

Gil Dong has a dream about the tiger in the forest where he cries knowing that his father changed because of the difficult circumstances Gil Dong put him in. Ah Mo Gae enjoys his success and the feat of keeping his children alive. He tells Soboori that he will have Gil Hyun study to become an official, and he’ll teach Gil Dong swords so that he can become a general.

Yonggae and Gil Hyun chat and play with a knife Yoggae got from Ming. Ahmogae interrupts giving Gil Hyun the ink stick of a man who passed the state exam. Gil Hyun voices his disinterest in taking the state exam, because even if a servant passes they’ll only get petty or worthless jobs. He wants to learn what his father does instead. Ahmogae looks devastated.

Meanwhile, Gil Dong walks around the market streets and becomes mesmerized by a peddler. At first, the peddler finds him a nuisance, but the moment he finds out Gil Dong is Ahmogae’s son, he gives Gil Dong a warm welcome. Gil Dong asks if it’s fun to go around with the little backpack of items, and the peddler responds that he’s been able to travel the nation on his own two feet and see the wonders it provides.

Gil Dong runs to his father, who for once, looks excited to see him. However, when Gil Dong excitedly voices his desire to become a peddler, Ahmogae’s expression sours. Poor Soobori tries to fan the flames by describing the grandiose and respected life of a general, but Gil Dong isn’t interested, and we can see Ahmogae’s expression becoming increasingly saddened with every passing moment. Soboori escorts Gil Dong away. Gil Dong sits on a stone wall watch the peddler from a bit of a distance. It clearly brings him great joy. His father comes to sit down next to him and asks if he’s having fun, which his certainly is. Ahmogae says it would be great for Gil Dong to be a peddler, but tries to reason that he is special because he is the Mighty Child, and therefore should follow a different path from that of a mere peddler. Gil Dong doesn’t want to hear it, but Ahmogae tells him he can do anything he wants now, so that means he no longer has to hold back on using his powers, or lie about having thrown the stones. Gil Dong replies that it was Ahmogae who threw the stones, then slips his hands away from Ahmogae’s in order to turn his focus back toward the peddler. His father grows teary eyed and confused, but remains silent.

Twelve years later, we see Ahmogae in some very luxurious clothes and greyed hair. The town is still thriving and so is Ahmogae. Uh Ri Ni looks about thirteen years old now, and based on her attire, could be mistaken for a nobleman’s child. Gil Hyun is now much older and is following in his father’s footsteps in terms of business. Eobsan makes a brief appearance, but he too is older and working with the group in their mining business. Uh Ri Ni goes to Gil Hyun to ask him when Gil Dong will be returning. She goes to wait for him on the dock, and tells him to hurry so that father won’t worry anymore.

Elsewhere, a young noblewoman and her servant talk about an infamous peddler who has the ability to change and persuade anyone around him. They call him the magic peddler. His name is Gil Dong (Yoon Kyun Sang). The view shifts to a now, much older Gil Dong, sitting on a cliff. His melancholy stare is fixed on the landscape.

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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