Is it possible that we can have a meet-cute between a father and son? Because I feel like yesterdays episode was all about that. I love how Nokdu and Dongju had to separate in order to accomplish their goals but that they did not stay apart for long and found themselves in yet another precarious situation. How are they going to get our of this one?
Our recap starts at 22:00 KST!
Caution: Be wary of typos
Character Chart: The Tale of Nokdu Shorthand 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: starts at 22:00 KST….check Twitter for updates!
KOREAN DRAMA THE TALE OF NOKDU EPISODE 9 (17 & 18) RECAP
The King and his men are at the entrance to the storage shop.
The King asks if he said that his sleeve is cut? The man says yes.
The King grabs a lantern and goes inside. he raises the lantern slowly and looks around. Nokdu and Dongju are terrified as they wait.
The light shines on Nokdu’s face and the King walks around to look at them. Dongju hides inside Nokdu’s jacket and hides her face. The King looks at Nokdu’s sleeve, it is not cut.
A flashback shows that he stole another jacket on his way there. The King tells his guard that he knows this boy, he is not the one that you are looking for. The guard says okay, I will find someone else.
The guard leaves.
Nokdu asks The King if he worlks for the police? He says that he is undercover. Then he asks what they are planning on doing here?
The two quickly hop away from each other and Nokdu puts his jacket back on. The King asks Dongju if she knows his name? She says that she does not know, she jsut fell in lvoe with him at first sight and hit on him. She will figure out his name in the future.
The King smiles and tells her that she is a very brave woman.
They three of them walk away. The King tells Nokdu that he heard that he came back to hanyang after being sick for awhile. Nokdu says yes, he came to be successful.
The King tells him that their parents should worry about him because they are all scholars but you are trying to be a military officer in your weak condition. But if you are sure of what you do then keep trying.
Nokdu says he will. Dongju starts to mutter and stutter and clear her throat so the King sys that he spent too much time with them, he will excuse himself. He smiles and tells them that they are a good couple.
The King steps away.
Dongju asks if he is going to spend all night with him? You can make an excise. Well, my turn is over so I will leave. But he says tht he told her that he will not let her leave his sight.
She says that she has something to do. But she cannot tell him just like he could not tell her why he came to the widow town. he says okay, whatever, but you ahve to keep your promise, you put your fingerprint on this.
He hands over the contract for lending money when he paid off her debt from the gisaeng house. He says that he finally caught her after running away and not paying the money, so you cannot go anywhere until you pay for the interest and the principle.
She tsks and sighs. They leave together.
The King goes back to talk to Yoon Jeo and asks him if that guy was his son? Yoon Jeo says that he has a young son, he ran away with him 20 years ago. The King says that he does not remember the name Nokdu.
Yoon Jeo says that they did not use the same name because they were in hiding. Th King wants to see his son, but Yoon Jeo says that his son thinks he is trapped so he disappeared.
DONGJU AND NOKDU
Nokdu takes Dongju back to his place. She tells him that she wants her own empty room. He asks how he can trust her?
Later on that night, she sleeps in the room with Nokdu, but she sleeps with her back to him. He is awake looking at her. When she hops up, he pretends like he isn’t.
But she asks if he is surveillancing her? He asks why? Are you going to run away as soon as you get the chance? She asks how his wound is. He asks if she is really curious about it? I might not have woken up, that might have been my last moment.
She says that it was none of her business. He grabs her shoulders and asks, did you really…~. But then they hear the snoring on Yeon Geun in the next room and are quiet for a moment.
He lets go of her shoulders and tells her to pay him his money back, whether he is chased or whatever.
She says okay. he tells her that he does not have feelings for her anymore. She says that she never had any feelings from the start. he looks at her for a moment as if wondering if that is try and then settles angrily back into bed.
Aengdoo is eating a huge chicken in the morning and Yeon and Geun are there as well. It appears that Yeon made this for Nokdu because he passed the first part of the exam is on to the next part.
He happily goes to knock on the door for Nokdu to come out and opens the door. Then he gasps, AHHHHH. he is so startled.
Aengdoo and hwang run up to see what is going on, then Hwang covers Aengdoos eyes.
The camera turns to show us Nokdu and Dongju happily and comfortably sleeping with Dongju all cuddled up on Nokdu’s chest and his arm around her.
Cut to the five of them eating awkwardly. Nokdu has to tell them that Dongju does not have good sleeping habits. And I am telling you this just in case you suspect our relationship. We are money lender and borrower, okay? There are no feelings between us.
They are all like, sure. Aengdoo tells her that eunnie is here so oraboni won’t cry anymore. Nokdu says that it was because of his waist pain! Hwang smiles and tells Dongju that it is nice to see her again.
Yeon Geun glares at her. Dongju smiles and asks how everyone was? Have you eaten nice things? Aengdo says that she forces herself to eat, but she actually ate the most out of everyone. She misses Yool-moo’s cooking.
Dongju asks Yeon geun why he is here. He bursts out that he is here…you know…just in case…he…has any trouble…in…Hanyang…Ii don’t care….you know. Hwang tells them all to just eat.
So they start eating. Nokdu gives the leg to Dongju and Yeon Geun gives a leg to Nokdu. They all stop and look at each other. Nokdy says that Dongju should eat a lot and pay off his debt.
Dongju smiles and excuses herself. Nokdu also says that he has to do something as well so they both head out.
Nokdu is dressed in his dark attire and goes to look at the city and possibly a house or the market. he thinks that there are a lot of people and scholars about, he wonders if this is all because of him. How much is he involved?
Yool-moo gives the brother, Hwang-tae, something to eat for his health. he thanks him and asks if he can just stay there and not do anything? Yool-moo says that he is not just staying there ,he is helping him. When the time comes he will give him everything back that Nokdu lost for him. The brother says okay, I will do my best.
Cut to Dongju talking to the maids. One of the maids does not want to talk to her. So the other maid tells Dongju that she is not sure what is happening but she is super upset at her. The maid says that maybe she should give up? But Dongju tells her that she cannot. Is there any other way? he maid says that there might be one way.
Cut to Ssook lookng around and waiting at the gisaeng house. Then the other two show up so the three have an embrace. Ssook tells them about how she should have protected Cheon, but she couldn’t. They tell her that the widows are in a safe place and wonder who did this.
Ssook says that the person had a mask and was very fast. Even thoug the soldiers where around Cheon, he shot her and got away. I will find him and kill him, whoever he is.
But Yool Moo comes up and asks if they still don’t know it? All four go talk. Yool Moo asks them who ordered them to move and who would be the angriest after Cheon got on his side?
The ladies say that that is not enough evidence. Yool says that the great scholar cannot even come out of his house now. The king found the trace, but there is no evidence, so that is why the King house arrested him.
The ladies wonder if Cheon (Gisaeng head) was the evidence? He asks if they think that the disappearance of Min Deol-re was a coincidence? Her body was found at Heo Yeon’s place. I can help you get your revenge, why don’t you become the new head of the assassin group and help me open a new world?
Ssook hesitates. Jing-sook asks why she is so hesitant, they should do it.
Cut to Yool-moo talking to a few scholars in a building. They talk about the assassin group settling in Hanyang. They also have private soldiers ready. One man says that the great scholar did not decide yet. Yool moo thinks that they have enough already to decide.
One of the scholars says they have enough, of course. there are four total men talking to Yoo moo. One of them says that they need to write down their names all together and promise that they will do everything all together. it is not that he does not trust them, he just wants to make sure.
Yoolmoo thinks about it and says okay, lets start with our loyalist list.
Meanwhile, Nokdu is still looking around the city. He might be looking at Yool-moo? Not sure. But then he sees Dongju walk up to a pretty large building and go inside.
Inside, we see that it is a gambling place. Dongju tells them that he is looking for a Mr. Park. So she is led to him. He is sitting at a table and Dongju has a flashback to the maid telling her that one man sells maid positions. One lady in the palace fires someone and then he hires a new one so it seems like they are doing it together.
Dongju sits in front of this man and gives him a lot of money, she tells him that she wants to be a maid. He says that going to the palace is not easy. She asks if it is not enough money? he says not even close.
But there is another way. Sign this paper with your fingerprint. You will have good income in the palace so you can pay this off within 3 months. Dongju sighs and reads it. She sees that there was a sticker on the paper hiding the real price. $1000 coins. She says that it would take 30 years to pay that off.
He tells her that she is smart, she can come in on her own, but she cannot go out. You have to do it. He tries to get her to stamp the paper.
But then Nokdu pushes his head into the ink and says that these people have no manners, she is too busy paying for my debt. The man hops up and yells, kill them!
Several men hop up with their swords drawn.
Cut to Nokdu walking, looking tired, Dongju is behind him. She asks if he is o kay? he says, Yes! I am okay! If I am like this then how do you think they are!
But he is bleeding from his nose so she mentions that. He says it is fine! But then he starts to bleed from his side. He says it is okay. She tells him that is not okay! Which makes him very happy. She pulls him away and says that they need to find a doctor!
In the palace, the King remembers asking Yoon if he is the only one to survive. he says that he was.
Then the Queen walks up on him. He asks why she is coming so late? You never visit me. She says that she wanted to see him this late. he apologizes and asks what she has to say. She says, the great scholar…~.
But he cuts her off and says that she does not want to talk about it. it is none of your business. She tells him that she is worried about him. In case your old friend was disloyal and made you sad. Do you know that you changed in one moment? When I first came in as a princess, you were so kind. After that day…~.
He asks, what about that day!
She tells him that her sin was big to lose the prince.
But he tells her that he told her many times not to talk about it. She says that she could not talk about it for 20 years. I did not know that it was that big of a sin that I could not talk about it and be hated by my own husband.
he tells her yes, I am that kind of husband so stop worrying about unnecessary things.
She leaves quickly. He sighs at his outburst.
Nokdu has his shirt off as the doctor looks at his wound. Dongju asks if it is okay? He keeps bleeding. The doctor is all like, of course that is not okay, if he keeps bleeding then he will die.
The doctor is pretty old and struggles to get up. He tells DOngju that the wife should wipe the blood. Dongju and Nokdu quickly says that they are not married! The soctor just shrugs and leaves.
So Donju starts to wipe the blood from Nokdu’s nose. he tells her that he can wipe it. She says okay.
But she does rebandage his waste. She has to lean in closely to wrap it around his waste. So she leans in and leans out and leans in and leans out as she continues to wrap the bandaige around his waste. it is a rhythmic motion as she dresses his wound.
He watches her do this quietly. her head gets pretty close to his cheek as she finishes it up.
She asks him what? He says that she said that she did not worry about him. She says that she is not worried about him, she just feels bad that he got hurt because of her. He tell her that her face says differently. it looks like you are very worried.
She tells him that she is tired of telling him no, os believe what you want.
Then she finished up wrapping his wound.
END PART ONE
Later on, Nokdu and Dongju walk up the dark street and talk about the gambling place. Nokdu asks why they are not arrested. Dongju says that the police always come and make a huge noise and they run away.
Nokdu tells her that she knows that it was dangerous so why did she go there? But he says nevermind.
She asks if he is hungry? He smiles and tells her that they should eat gukbap. he holds up her money. She is all like, ah, you took it. Then she shows him all the money that she took, it is a lot of coins.
But while walking away and talking about all the money they have and the debt that she owes him, a woman walks by who stops to look at them. This woman looks like a beggar or someone that is very poor. But she shakes her head and walks away.
Nokdu and Dongju keep arguing over the coins when the King shows up out of nowhere and asks if they are having a lovers quarrel?
Cut back to the old lady and a man walking. The man asks why she keeps looking back. The lady says that she thinks she saw the young lady that they served before. The man says, their young lady master?
The woman says that she looks like her. Remember, we could not find her body. We dug up the hole and she was not there.
Meanwhile, the King, Nokdu, and Dongju eat gukbap together. He tells them that he is not so sure if he should sit in on their happy moment. Did something change?
Dongju says that after dating, he is not that great anymore. Nokdu agrees. The King laughs. They ask him what happened to that guy they were following. He says that he got away and he could not sleep so he wanted to go to the swing.
Dongju asks, swing? The King tells him that he met the guy with sad eyes over there on the swing. Nokdu gets embarrassed and asks, a-a-ah, you d-d-dont sleep you have insomnia, that is bad.
The King says that because of that insomnia, he met him. So that is nice at least.
Nokdu asks if he can give him a way [to teat the insomnia?].
The King says a way?
Cut to Heo Yoon who is looking for a way to protect that boy. he is talking to Yoon Jeo. HY tells YJ that the boy should become the King. You said that he is smart and has wisdom. What if the Kings son becomes the new King after we dethrone the old King?
Meanwhile, The King, Nokdu, and Dongju walkup a huge hill as they walk through the woods. He is so tired and thinks that they are supposed to treat his insomnia.
Nokdu has to push DOngju and The King up the hill. He tells him not to worry!
Back with Yoon Jeo and Heo Yoon, HY thinks it is nonsense to change the King if the King is not good. What if the new one is against your will too, then will you change it again? Dont do someting cocky, just do your job.
Heo Yoon says that people still follow him, if you let me have him~.
Yoon Jeo tells him nonsense! You are going to ask him to take his own father down and become the King? I will not let my Nokdu do that. You have no right to do this.
WOODS, VISTA POINT
The three make it to a Vista outlook point. They all look out over the country and city. Nokdu asks them how it looks. The King says that it looks great. Nokdu tells him that he had good physical activity and is enjoying this view so he will sleep well.
Nokdu then tells him that as an officer he has to catch criminals by himself and torture them and all that. You need your rest. The King says that it looks like a lot of citizens can’t sleep because of the dumb King.
Nokdu and Dongju look at him, The King says that when the King is not around, people talk bad about him.
Nokdu and Dongju smile awkwardly. Nokdu asks if he ever saw the King? The King says never. Then he asks if they are interested in the King.
They both say, no! Donju says that she thought they were asking her, haha.
While walking back, Dongju asks the King if she can ask him something, do you sleep alone? he says yes. She says that it is difficult for her to sleep alone. It helps if you sleep with someone next to you.
Flashback to Nokdu helping Dongju sleep at night.
Dongju says that it is easy to sleep with someone who worries about her and cares about her. She looks at Nokdu and smiles. Then she tells The King that she does not know why he can’t sleep, but if you can’t sleep with a similar reason, then ask anyone in your family to sleep together at night.
Nokdu comes back up and asks if she talked bad about him. The King says no. Dongju sighs and says that he is so fast. She walks away. Nokdu and Dongju happily bicker about what Dongju talked about. The King is happy to see it.
Nokdu and Dongju get back to their place. He says that he has to go somewhere, so she can go in first. He also tells her that whatever she is hiding, it is okay. Just promise to me that you will not do something that will put her in danger. Promise me that so I won’t worry at all.
She pauses for a long moment and then tells him that she will not make him worry. But she doesn’t look back at him and goes inside instead.
Hwang-tae walks around Yool-moo’s house and wonders if his father will be affected. Yool-moo told him that his father will not be affected at all. He still has the same promise to find his father and keep him safe. So Hwang-tae put his finger print on a loyalist document to open a new document.
Nokdu looks at his brother pacing Yoolmoo’s place. But then a secret letter is throne to Hwangtae. he reads it and then hides it. Nokdu might hav thrown it to him, but he might not have.
Hwang-tae walks away quickly. Yoolmoo’s assassin sees him walking away and then goes to tell Yoolmoo what he saw. Yoolmoo says that he took the bait. He will see the Kings son soon.
Dongju feels the little chicks and tells them that they grew up a lot. Now she knows that she misses them a lot after seein them again, but she should not, right?
Hwang comes out and tells Dongju that life does not go the way you want. Dongju says that she might like these guys. Hwang says that Nokdu prepared a room for Dongju.
Cut to Nokdu and Yeon sitting in the room together. Nokdu apologizes and says that that room is bigger, he is sorry. Yeon Geun is all like, why dont you give DOngju that room! I am so sad!
Bokdu wants Dongju to have the smaller room because it is warmer so he tells Dongju tocome inside. Aengdoo smiles and asks if Nokdu wants to keep her close to him? Because you two are connected with lo-o-o-o-ve. Hwang says that Aengdoo is so good at saying the right thing as a tiny girl. They are having a hard time pretending that they do not like each other.
They both smile at them. Hwang tells them not to worry, tonight is the exam so you should sleep we-e-e-e-e-ell. DOngju asks what exam?
Nokdu quickly leaves and tells her goodnight!
That night, Nokdu happily looks at the room where Dongju is sleeping. He is so happy to have her so close to him and he is happy that he can see her shadow in the room.
A song plays as they both lay awake and look in the direction of each other. The screen turns to split screen as they both close their eyes to sleep.
In the palace, the King looks at the Queens quarters and thinks that he needs to sleep with a person who worries and cares about him. His eunuch asks him if he should notify the Queen? The King says no, lets just go. So they all walk off.
Aengdoo, Hwang, and Yeon Geun go to watch Nokdu leave for his exam. They are all so proud of him. Aengdoo says that they should go home and eat meat. Hwang says that Yeon geun bought alomost an entire pig. So Yeon starts to brag about all the money he has.
Nokdu cuts him off and says that he has to go. Then he tells Aengdoo to eat his portion. She tells him, dont’ worry and smiles.
In the city, Yool-moo and Hwang-tae walk in the street with Yool-moo’s assassin. Hwant-tae says that he has to buy something so Yool-moo says that he will wait for him at home.
So Hwang-tae goes to a building where a lot of men are. He says he is there for Mr. Park. This also looks like a gamblind spot.
The bodyguard goes to this place as well, and so does Yoolmoo. They see Hwang-tae talking to a mysterious man. So Yool-moo goes to sit and gives his assassin a signal. The assassin holds his sword and walks toward Hwang-tae
Yoolmoo wonders why he called him here?
But then a lot of undercover cops yell ARREST THEM! Pandemonium starts all around them. The assassin tries to get back to Yool-moo, but he is gone.
Cut to Nokdu throwing Yool-moo against a bamboo tree in the woods.
Nokdu asks why he thinks he can do these things but Nokdu can’t? it is a funny thing being betrayed and tricking people.
Cut to Nokdu telling the palace police about all the illegal gambling. the guard says that it is difficult to arrest them. Nokdu tells them that it is difficult becuase of their uniform. Your superior used to change their clothing and sneak in. You can do that, I can make a plan for you.
Then we go to the gambling building and see Nokdu kidnapping Yolmoo.
In the bamboo forest, Yoolmoo tells him to just kill him already.
ND – If you answer my questions then you can leave alive. What is the real reason you involved my brother in this?
YM – I did not do this on purpose, I rescued him on accident. He said he had no where to stay.
Nokdu punches him.
ND – Let me ask you again, what do you know about me? What did you hear from my brother?
YM – I am not interested in you. Ii did not ask anything and I did not hear anything. Why are you so interested.
ND – That is not the answer I want.
YM – I know that whatever I say, you will kill me.
Yoolmoo grabs a knife but Nokdu disarms him and then punches him a few times and spin kicks him unconscious. Yoolmoo goes flying.
In the city, the assassin looks for Yoolmoo.
In the bamboo forest, Nokdu pulls his sword on Yoolmoo.
ND – You are so uselessly smart.
YM – DO YOU THINK YOU ARE OKAY DOING THIS TO ME?
ND – Did you do that, thinking that you would be okay? Killing all those innocent widows? When you commit sins, then you should get punished.
He move to strike Yool Moo, but his assassin comes flying in and stops his blade. But Nokdu is still able to stab Yoolmoo in the chest as he defends against the assassin. Yoolmoo falls to the ground.
In the city, Hwang finds Hwang-tae and tells him that they can sneak him out! But Hwang-tae says that he is not held hostage and he does not want any part in Nokdu’s plans. Hwang is confused, he wants him to come with them. But Hwangtae leaves.
In the forest, the assassin and Nokdu fight. But Nokdu starts bleeding from his side again ang the assassins sees it. They spin through the bamboo trees as they keep sword fighting. Yool moo sits and looks dead as he rests against a tree.
The assassina nd Nokdu keep flying around and fighting. But the assassin tells him that they should stop now. If you grab a sword again, then you will die anyway.
He grabs Yoolmoo and hurries out with Yoolmoo on his shoulder.
Nokdu goes home and hears from hwang that his brother just wants them to leave him alone and that he is not being detained. He was so cold.
Hwang wonders what they should do, Yoolmoo is part of the royal family. We need to run away.
Nokdu says that he needs to go to the palace. Yoolmoo will not report him because he knows that they are planning a coup. hwang sighs and thinks that this si so complicated.
Yoolmoo is sitting in front of Hwangtae, his wounds are dressed and he looks miserable. Hwangtae apologizes and says that he did nto know that they would be there.
Yoolmoo says that he knows that he is the prince now. He knows him well and he was looking for him to kill him. When the time comes for me to kill him, you shuold help me, okay?
Hwang-tae tells him, okay. We already promised. But Yoolmoo looks at Hwangtaes fists, they are both clenched tightly
Cut to flyers being posted about who is top in the exam, it is Nokdu but as his other name of Yeon Soo.
NOKDU AND DONGJU
At home, Nokdu tells Dongju that he will go to the palace. She gulps and asks, so you will see the King?
He says yes.
She asks, so you can see the King?
He asks if she wants to go with him? Family members can come. Well you are not a familymember, but you can pretend to be one. She says no, why should I?
So he says, if she does not like it, then okay.
She goes to her room and takes out her box.
Nokdu bows all the way to the ground at the palace as he is honored with the highest score.
Outside the gates, Yoolmoo shows up to see the King. He is told to wait a moment.
But then the drums start to pound so he turns his head.
Inside, the drums continue poundng and string music plays as the King walks in. The King sees Nokdu and smiles as he walks to his throne.
A sing is released and a man reads it. He says that the top scorer of the military and scholarly exam should come to the front.
So Nokdu walks to the front.
Yool Moo walks nto the courtyard and stands to the right of the throne. He looks over and sees Nokdu.
Dongju goes to the palace gates and thinks that she is not a family member, but she can pretend to be one and come inside.
Inside, The King stands over Nokdu and smiles as he congratulates him for getting the highest score.
Nokdu sits up to recived his award and sees Yool-moo chuckling.
The King asks him if he is not receiving it. He smiles at him. Nokdu see that the man he has been talking to is the King. He looks up stunned. The King smiles. Nokdu remembers his brother telling him that this is all because he is the son of the King.
Good Lord I love this show so much! This might actually be a rewatch for me and is definitely a recommend for all newbies to dramas. We still have like 4 more weeks left y’all! Four more weeks of this drama glory. I cannot wait until next week!
Woman – She is the Queen, maintain your manners.
Queen – You look like you are a lost person
King – What did you say?
YM – Your son is alive
YM – Don’t you wonder what I told the King inside?
King – Did you live as Nokdu before?
Women – When the King goes out of the palace undercover, you can be noticed by him
DJ – He goes undercover?
DJ – *cries*