This show has me pulled into the storyline. Though this episode may have been a bit heavy handed in the tragedy, it worked because I am hooked on Hwi’s revenge storyline and rise to the right hand man of the future King.
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Caution: Be wary of typos
Shorthand Character Chart: My Country Character Chart
How we do this: We update the post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos which we have fantasies of fixing once the episode finishes airing. Also, there might be lovely updates at the bottom, so check back in!
Recap Countdown: this was a quickcap….check Twitter for updates!
KOREAN DRAMA MY COUNTRY EPISODE 2 RECAP
Hwi walks up the steps and stabs his arrow into the desk of the government worker. He tells him that his father is not a dog, he is the best swordsman in Goryeo, so tell me to go away again you a-hole!
Flashback to his father telling Hee-jae that someone told him that he is the best swordsman in Korea. In the present, she looks on in shock.
The General/prince had already given the government worker the other half of the arrow, so the two slices of the arrow are put together with trembling hands. He stamps – PASS.
Hwi, breathing hard, turns around and takes his spot next to Sunho and they walk out together, their job done. Hee-jae keeps looking on, stunned.
Ouside the gates they walk around happily. Sunho asks Heejae is she is happy? Hwi has 10 bags of rice now. She tells him that that is good.
But then the cops that were looking for them turn the corder and start to walk up to them. They all hide themselves in a market booth for kites, as the guards pass.
The owner of the kite booth happily talks to them and almost hops their hearts out of their body as he tells them that they can fly the kites and get the sun! The friends start to laugh off teir embarrassment as the kite man talks about men and women and kites.
Sunho tells Hwi to bring his sister to fly kites. Hwi playfully says he doesn’t want to serve her outside, Sunho says he will do it so they decide to buy some kites. Hee-jae gives Hwi a squid kite and Sunho a pretty kite. Hei is all like, why do I get the squid one?
Hee-jae walks away and has a flashback to escaping in the middle of the night with her mother. But her mother could not go with her, so she gives her something to give to the head gisaeng as she tries to fight away the assassins. But the assassins kill her in front of Hee-jae.
They were looking for something. Hee-jae has it now, hidden behind her, the assassins are about to kill her too. But then Hwi’s father shows up out of the dark and fights off all the assassins. He tells them that it seems like they know how to sword fight and have straight swords that are only used in the palace. So your uniform should be under your black clothes.
They ask him who he is. He says that someone told him that he is the best swordsman in Goryeo. They fight and Hwi’s father beats them all. he gets cut to reveal a tattoo on his arm that Hee-jae sees.
After the fight, Hwi’s father buries Hee-jae’s mother and says that he made the mountain grave strong, it will not crash. Then he tells her not to lose her will, don’t be crushed, then you can survive. He starts to walk away, she tells him that she will repay his favor. He tells her that she can do it with a good amount of interest.
But then we cut to his death by his own hands in order to save his kids. Hee-jae is there and sees the entire thing and sees Hwi and the sister calling for their father and the sisters seizure.
In the present, Hee-jae wipes a tear.
At home, Hwi goes to see his sister playing with his bow. She might have added some cloth to it or maybe she is just holding it. She tells him that a good bow sounds like a good instrument. he tells her that they should go fly kites before the big exam. She happily bear hugs him.
Meanwhile, the two guards talk about those three people that Chido ignored in the market. The other guard wants to go get them and tells Chido to give him his answer by tomorrow as to whether he will arrest them or not. he leaves.
At home, Hwi looks at his squid kite with annoyance. Then we see his siter come out with tons of makeup on. Poor thing looks two snaps away from a circus clown and tells him not to laugh. he does so she hits him.
But she maintains the look as they go meet up at the kite flying place. Hwi, Sunho, and Yeon all meet Hee-jae. it is clear that both boys love Hee-jae already. Hee-jae takes one look at Yeon and realizes that she needs to help this girl out, but she tells her that Hwi has a pretty sister. She then tells her that she has to use camellia oil and she can do her makeup for fun if she wants.
Hee-jae leads her away by the hand and the boys happily follow. But the guard that wants to turn them in, is watching them.
He goes back and reports to Chido that the three misfits are outside. Chido gets up to go there.
Cut back to the kite flying place that is amazingly gorgeous in th emiddle of a lake. So many people are there flying their kites. Yeon’s makeup looks so much better as well. But then her kite breaks so Hwi goes running off to get it despite Yeon telling him that it is okay.
He runs all the way up a cliff and starts to grab the kite from the edge. Hee-jae tells him to stop, you will die like that. She also tells him not to worry too much about yeon, just be normal so the disease will feel normal to her. He asks how she knows? Hee-jae says that her face is so pale and her hands are so cold, how can I not know that? She ads lipstick to her pale lips as well.
Hwi says that she has epilepsy and it is getting worse. She needs an Eunnie like you, not an eunnie like me. Hee-jae tells him that she is his only brother so he is the best. Then she tells him that they should go retireve the kite which is on the edge of this cliff that drops to the water.
Hee-jae is able to get it, but it is a dangerous situation. Hwi is able to pull her back right before she slips, but the momentum sends her falling right on top of him. A lovely love song starts to play as they look at each other for a moment and then hop up awkwardly as the song keeps playing.
But then they see the candles flying up over the valley, so they sit and look at the candles happily as night falls. Soon after that, they walk back to yeon to deliver the kite. Yeon smiles and then asks where Sunho is? He went to look for you, didn’t you see him?
Cut to Sunho walking around and crossing paths with the guards. the guard that really wants to arrest them, attacks right away. The fight starts. But this time, Sunho isn’t really a match for the guard. He gets arrested, his arms tied behind his back.
But the guard gets stabbed by Chido! Blood splatters all over Sunho.
Meanwhile, Hwi and the ladies area waiting at the kite area for Sunho. But Hee-jae says that they should probably go or yeon might catch a cold. So Hwi piggy backs a sleepy yeon home as Hee-jae walks with them. They walk along a cherry blossom path.
Hee-jae tells Hwi that when people press him, he shouldn’t be pressed, then he will not collapse (it is the same thing his dad told her). She tells him that if he might lose with strength but not will, then he can stand (or survive). She wanted to tell him that, just in case he never heard it. he repeats it to her with a smile and they keep walking off pleasantly.
Elsewhere, Sunho is trying to treat his big cut wound on his arm. He takes off his clothes to treat it and shows us all his super muscular body. Then he thinks back to Chido cutting his ties and letting him go. Chido tells him that he did not see anything. Whoever releases this secret will die first. it is not about you or your father that I rescued you, so don’t think I am on your side.
In the present, Sunho washes his hands in a bowl of water as he remembers his brother drowning. he tries to save his brother in the river, but he could not. there is also a lot of blood in the water. Cut to Sunho standing with his mother as his father inspects his fallen sons body. His father then gets up and asks, why you, why are you still alive.
He then grips his son by the throat and says that he should be dead. Bring my son back!
Sunho wakes up breathing hard and belabardly sits up.
Cut to a montage of Hwi and Suho practicing for the exam in their own ways. Hwi practices in the forest like he is in Rocky 4 and Sunho practices in his house with several skilled swordsmen.
Finally, the day comes where Sunho stands in front of his father and bows to him. His father holds a bow and tells him that this one is his brothers. he will never miss a target unless he is shaking himself. Sunho takes it gratefully from his father.
Father – In good days, the pencil ruled the world. In chaos, the sword controlled the world. The time of sword will come again and the sword does not distinguish nobles or slaves. Swords will make you register as our family name. The Sword will send you to a world that you can never imagine.
SH – Can you promise me one thing? If I win the first prize, never mention my brother in front of me anymore. I will live my life as myself.
Father – I give you my word.
Cut to hwi looking at his bow and arrow and thinking about his father and all the happy times they spent together as a family. His sister comes up and tells him that it is not their fathers fault that she has this disease. It is about that person that wrongly accused our father. So, even though his salary was not big, he gave all his rice to the people who needed it so we barely made a living. Someone like him sneaking military rice? Do you believe it?
Hwi says that he does not believe it and picks up the bow. He walks off with determination.
In the gisaeng house, Hee-jae talks to Hwa-sol (or another gisaeng) about Bang-gan who is a Pringe. Hee-jae has memorized everything about him. Hwa-wol is impressed. Hee-jae says that she memorized everything about the royalty from their families to the lowest servant in their house. Knowledge is power.
Hwa Wol starts to read about Sunho and says that his mother was a kitchen slave so he is not in the registry, but he is good at martial arts and is handsome. She nods and thinks that he is handsome. Hee-jae tells her to stop and snatches the book away.
Cut to the start of the exam. The bells go off signaling that it has arrived. All the men participating bow to the Palace and a drum is beat announcing the start.
The first event is archery. Sunho and Hwi both get bullseye after bullsey.
VO – if we miss one, then we are out.
They go to horse riding next and pass it. Then sword riding is another event and they pass.
VO – I told you I would turn my luck over. So, lets see, how can high this low class born person can rise.
Sunho tells Hwi that he will do his best, even if Hwi is his opponent. So they both decide to see each other at the final.
They both make it to the final event and stare off at each other as Chido announces the final fight. START
Sunho and Hwi start fighting with their wooden sticks. hwi hits Sunho’s injured arm, Sunho starts bleeding from it and hits Hwi away from it. hwi sees the bleeding arm. But he does not stop, they keep fighting and hit each other with their swords at the same time. They both fall, but Sunho has the harder time getting up.
Hwi tells him to stop here, you might die. Sunho tells him not to put any emotions into the sword. he is here and is determined to kill him, so lets do it properly.
Hwi takes a deep breath and prepares to fight again. Sunho attacks Hwi as they square off with their wooden swords. Sunho really does not give in at all. hwi is also serious abotu the fight.
Hwi manages to slip by Sunho and hits him over the back which makes Sunho pass out. The fla is raised for Hwi. But then Sunho starts to stutter to a rise, his eyes blurry, he gets up and swings his stick at Hwi, hard, knocking him out.
They both fall.
The judge announces that Sunho has won. Hwi stands up, his head bloody. Sunho is still on the ground. hwi tells him that he said it was over? The judge tells him that he says it is over when it is over.
Hwi runs up the steps, the government worker asks if he wants him to cancel that he passed the exam? hwi asks if it is because of his father? The government worker laughs and tells him to go to his fathers pot if he is so curious and ask him.
Hwi grabs him which prompts all the guards to beat him and drag him away. (But, I don’t get it, he still passed right?). Sunho looks a bit saddened by this as he sees Hwi dragged out.
Hwi is left in the middle of the village, all beaten and battered. At the same time, Sunho gets his first place medal (okay, I am so completely lost, didn’t Hwi get second place?).
Inside, the government worker tells Sunho to smile, it is time for his life to change. Sunho kneels to accept his first place award. Hwi looks at the gates and hen starts to walk off. Inside, nam Jeon looks at his son getting the award, though he does not look all that pleased. Sunho notices this as well.
Outside, Hwi walks home with blood all over his face. Hee-jae walks at a close distance behind him. Hwi tries to keep it together as he walks home, but he gets to a point where he can only stop and cry as the cherry blossoms snow onto him. Then he passes out. hee-jae runs to his side.
Cut to Seo Seol looking like the bad-ass that she is as she sits in front of all her gisaengs. Though she stands quickly as everyone notices Hee-jae walking in with the busted up Hwi. She tells the gisaengs to give Hee-jae all the ice and medicine that she needs even though it is all expensive.
Later that night, Hee-jae continues to nurse Hwi until he wakes up. He wakes with a smile and sits up. Then he asks about Sunho. She tells him that Sunho got first place. Hwi jokes and asks why she gave him a squid kite? I like the flower kite. She tells him that she will give him the flower kite next time. Then she start to tie a scarf around his head to cover his wound so that yeon will not be surprised.
While doing this, she asks about his fathers pangyun punishment and his epilepsy sister and failing the exam so they are bankrupt. he says that last part is the worst. They look at each other quietly and their music starts to play. hen he leans in to kiss her. She lets him.
♫ You are going further and further away from me. You like a star. Because it is you. You are like a little piece of me. You are my only lve. It is because of you. Becasue we took a long detour, but you are always there. We can’t help it. ♫
They keep kissing and then stop as the song stops.
Outside, Seo Seol tells a gisaeng that when this rooms customer comes out, go to the big room. She is all like, huh? Seo Seol tells her not to close the door. You heard me.
Inside, Hee-jae mentions that yeon will worry about him. He stutters Yeons name and says that he s-s-should g-go. She lets him change his clothing and then gives him medicine for his cut wound.
He asks why they have cut wound medicine in the gisaeng. She says that they have a lot of accidents here. Then she tells him not to cry in front of Yeon. he jokes that he did not even cry when he was born and heads out.
Elsewhere in the gisaeng house, we see the door open to a room that shows Sunho’s father drinking with the judge at the exam. Hwi sees inside the room and it looks like Nam Jeon might have wanted the gisaengs to do that. Flashback to Hwi asking Nam Jeon for help with his father’s burial. Jeon tells him no. Hwi keeps begging him to bury his father next to his mother. Nam Jeon turns his back on him and closes his gates.
All this runs through Hwi’s mind as he looks at Nam Jeon in the room. He is so upset that he grips his medicine so hard that the bag breaks. Hee-jae sees if he is okay, but he just moves her hand away and walks off.
She goes to talk to Seo Seol right away and asks about the letter she sent to Nam Jeon, was it about the judge? Seo Seol asks, what if it was? With that money, I bought one years worth of rice. Hee-jae things this is injustice. Seo Seol basically tells hee-jae that she should not do unecessary things and she should not fall in love. You will be the one hurt and crying in the end.
Hee-jae says that she cannot live like that, she won’t. She turns to walk away, but is stopped by a guard. She cannot leave the gisaeng house until this matter is over.
Cut to jeon getting home from the gisaeng’s house. Sunho is waiting for him. Nam jeon tells him, yes, I bought that judge. He grips Sunho’s arm and tells him that this is why. Even if I didn’t buy the judge, you would not have won.
Sunho is upset and tells him that he could have won. Nam Jeon says he could win, but I have to win. You said that you shoot your arrow for yourself, but I made you my first prize. Sunho tells him that he ruined his only friend. he can’t forget it.
Nam Jeon tells him to just say that he bought the judge, why hesitate? When you are poor, your rice will run out first and next, your friend. Is your friend more important than yourself? Are you sure about that? You are the one that betrayed your friend. You can use me as an excuse if you want. But don’t blame me. he walks off by then turns and tells him, Congratulations for the first prize.
Sunho drops the award on the ground.
Later on, we see Hwi walking home and taking a deep breath before he has to talk to his sister about blowing his chance. She smiles and asks if he failed? he playfully says that he did. he will just be a blacksmith without any stress. She asks if he will make her a hairpin? He says he will make her a ring and other things as well.
She turns and gets a good look at him, her gaze is piercing as she sees how injured her is. She walks to him and asks how he got so busted? he says he tried to dodge things, but he is just like this now. She thinks that he might get a scar that will stain his handsome face. But then she smiles and tells him that he did a good job, brother. Good job. She hugs him and pats him on the back.
He hugs her as well.
Cut to Hee-jae sitting in her room and putting things together in her head. She was not eating, but then she starts to eat quickly.
Outside, her friend asks how she can be so stubborn, but no one is stubborn against hunger. her friend is eating outside with the kitchen servant. But then they both notice a hidden letter in one of the pots. The friend tells the servant to be quiet about it. Quiet!
In Sunho’s place, he sits looking miserable as his award hat sits on his desk. Then his father comes in looking super serious and tells him to follow him. Now!
They ride to the woods where the general prince is. The general-prince (Sung-kye) tells them to follow him. They walk into a forest where it looks like a lot of people have died already? Sung-kye tells him that when they were trapped by the japanese in the mountains, they made a way out. He still remembers Nam jeon standing next to him, injured and stabbed. he wants to repay him for that. So, he will do what he has to do.
They walk to a creek where the judge is all tied up and gagged! The Prince-general says that they had a letter about corruption at he exam. He heard that his son was first prize. So who else knows about it. And is this true? Nam Jeon says only his son and he knows about it, no one else. Though we see that he thinks about Hwi seeing him at the gisaeng jip.
The general-prince says that he is going to repay him for what happened at the mountain and he shoots the arrow at the father, it cuts him on the cheek. he then throws his bow and arrow to Sunho.
SK – this all started because of you, if you cannot untangle the tie, then you hav to cut it. You don’t close the mouth, you kill the mouth. If you do not cut this, then you are also dead.
Sunho looks at his father, his cheek wound starting to bleed.
The man has been let go, so he is running off. Sunho looks up at the man running off and takes a deep breath. Then he turns and fires at him. it hits the man right in the back and is strong enough to go straight through him. The judge falls into the creek.
SH – I cut the tie by myself.
SK – If it connects again, I will cut it myself.
KH – I will make my hand wet with blood from now on, don’t worry about anything else general.
SK – you say that you admire me, I think you have taken one step forward with that.
He leaves, highly upset. Sunho stands there. His father walks to him and tells him that one more person knows about it, what are you going to do?
SH – military service. By law, we can put a person in the military until they become 60.
NJ – So you won’t kill him?
SH – he is not dead, but he is dead
NJ – Are you buying time?
SH – No, I am trapping him in time.
NJ – Can I trust you?
SH – Hwi is my life long friend, but I am not going to die for my friend. Trust me.
Meanwhile, Hwi is at home happily thinking about Hee-jae and their kiss. He prepares food for his sister, a big bowl of rice with no side dishes. She happily says that the rice tastes good (though this might not be rice, it might be mixed crops). She notices that he gave her more than him. She tells him to eat more and gives her some of his food. They smile and happily eat together.
But then the soldiers come.
The soldiers basically tell Hwi that he did not pay for military service so he has to go. you are drafted. Hwi asks what they are talking about? He does not have his father and he has to support someone! They drag him away. he fights against them and starts to get his head beat in once again. His sister is sent into an epileptic attack and hits her head on the table as she falls. It does not look good.
Hwi stops and tells them that he will do what they say, but he has to help his sister! She will die if they don’t do anything! She can’t breath!
Sunho is watching and crying in the distance as Hwi is dragged away and asking if he can just put something in her mouth to bite. But the don’t let him and just drag Hwi away.
Sunho runs to Yeon’s side and tries to wake her up.
Hwi is put in jail. he tells them that he just wants to send a note to his friend who got first in the military exam. he just wants to tell him to take care of his sister! Please! Please! Please!
Sunho picks Yeon up and takes her to his house and tells the servants to call the doctor.
His father comes in and asks who this is so Sunho says it is Hwi’s sister. The father tells them to remove her. Sunho yells for them to stop, so the do. The father motions for them all to leave and then tells Sunho that he should not scream in situations like this, he should threaten them.
Sunho stands and walks right up to his father with teary eyes and tells him that another person knows that he bought the judge. Me. I know it. What if I go to the other general (Chae Young).
Nam jeon says that he can’t. Sunho tells him that he only shoots arrows for himself. It does not matter who the target is. So today, don’t try me. His father sighs and tells him okay. Make her live, but you must hide it. If anyone finds out, then I will kill her. Sunho nods.
Cut to Hwi looking absolutely horrible in the jail. The guards come to take him away. He tells them to tell him if his sister is dead or alive, please tell me! Send a note to my friend Sunho, he will run here! One of the guards ends up telling hwi that Sunho is the one that sent him to the military, dummy. then they take him out.
In the gisaeng house, the servant and Hwa-wol are kneeling in front of Seo Seol. Hee-jae sees this and goes to them. Seo Seol tells Hee-jae that she is not going to stop her anymore. She heard that a ship is leaving to go to the war and a man named Hwi is on it. So go to him and see the end of your childishness.
Hee-jae runs off to find the ship.
Hwi is on the ship looking miserable and near death.
Hee-jae gets to the harbor and looks at the water, the ships are all gone already. it starts to rain as she cries.
3 MONTHS LATER, 1388, THE YEAR OF HWI HWA ISLAND SOLDIER RETRIEVAL
Cut to Hwi waking up, his back is on the ground. It is war time. So many dead people are around him and the fight is still raging on. He looks up at he sky, as the rain falls on him.
Wow, injustice dipped in tragedy with revenge coming up for desert. This episode definitely kicked started the separation of our friends and the bloody volcanic passion of Hwi to get back home and kill some folks at all cost.
Though, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Hwi just took is second place prize? Did he really have to get first and attack everyone at the injustice of it all? Is his character supposed to have rage issues? Because that seemed to come out of left field for me. I think it would have been better if he went ahead and took his second place trophy, but he was unjustly disqualified for some made up reason, then went berserk. That would have made sense to me. As it stood, that scene was out of the blue character wise (unless I missed something with Hwi’s character).
Whatever the case, we are here at the start of the big friendship separation revenge story, and I like it. There is definitely reason for Hwi to want his revenge on Sunho and there is reason for Sunho to turn evil. Though, hopefully, Sunho keeping Yeon safe will kind of help repair what was torn between the friends? But will that keep Hwi from killing Sunho’s father? Also, how did Bang Won hear about Hwi? I feel like Hwi’s rise will all happen on the battle field in the next couple episodes, and I am game for that.
SK – Send Bang Won a letter
SK – Bring them to the North East
SK – All five to Bang Won (?)
Vo – Your fifth son, Bang Won?
SK – I don’t care when they are born, Bang Won is my first son
HJ – Goryeo is turned upside down now
SH – King is first and the country is later
NJ – Time is not on our side anymore
SK – They may have a good general leading them
Hwi – Do you know any of our names. if you have one then tell us. What is my name?
VO – We will all die
VO – The last rank private and slaves, should we all die like this?
Hwi – I am going to go back alive. I have a life to save and to kill.
SH – Without giving up anything, you cannot have everything
SK – There is no righteous sacrifice
SH – Without sacrifice, there is no revolution
It’s only Episode 2, and my heart is broken already.