My Country: The New Age Episode 5 Recap
1st year of the King’s reign, 1392…
Lee Bang Won (Jang Hyuk) aka Prince Jeongan requests an audience with King Lee Sung Gye. He’s denied. After 4 hours of waiting he presses again for the audience. He denied. Bang Won yells to the King. That gets a response and his father comes out. His father snipes that shouting isn’t cool. Bang Won retorts he had no other choice when denied an audience. Bang Won cuts to the chase. Why select the 8-year-old illegitimate Prince Uian to be the next king? Bang Won implores his father not be whipped by his wife, the Queen (the former Lady Kang). The King doesn’t like that and stalks away from his son.
Inside his chambers the King assures Prince Uian that Prince Uian isn’t someone to be frightened of. The Queen retorts the only one that is afraid of Prince Uian is the King. The King points out as General he vanquished many enemies. The Queen agrees but points out he can’t do the same with his son.
She almost called him a wimp!
Working in the office of the inspector general Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) meets Bang Won to discuss two matters. First, Sun Ho requests Bang Won wear his uniform. Bang Won notes he heard that a solider worked in the inspector general office. Sun Ho takes that as a compliment. Bang Won counters that assumption. Bang Won notes that illegitimate children (recall Sun Ho is illegitimate) assume more status than merited in his father’s kingdom. Sun Ho retorts the world treats illegitimate equally. Bang Won doesn’t agree and vows to change that when he can. He retorts the country has changed, not the world. Second, Sun Ho tells Bang Won to dismount his horse when entering the palace ground. Not doing so will cost him the horse. Bang Won sees his horse has been killed. Sun Ho states that he took care of the horse. Sun Ho states the world see Bang Won as a subject. Bang Won chuckles and notes that Sun Ho’s father would have killed the gatekeeper, not the horse. Sun Ho asks if that’s an insult. Bang Won counters that assumption.
Loving the interaction between our actors. Lines are drawn. Seeing Bang Won irk Sun Ho was a pleasure. Count me as a member of Team Bang Won.
Flashback…Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong) shows Seo Seol (head of Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house) the letter from his father’s armor. Seo Seol agrees to help him IF he stays away from Hee Jae. He can’t be Hee Jae’s friend nor lover. Needing help, Seo Hwi agrees to the condition.
Seo Hwi receives the other half of the letter from Seo Seol. He pulls back the curtains to reveal a wall organization chart. He recalls Sun Ho ordering him to get close to Bang Won. He recalls watching Bang Won’s contributor and supporter General Jung brutalizing citizens with Sun Ho. Seo Hwi suggests Sun Ho befriend General Jung while he befriends Bang Won.
Not impressed that Bang Won has a brutal man as a confidant.
The serving girl at a bar passes on information about General Jung and money bets to Mun Bok, the doctor from the advance force Seo Hwi served. When Seo Hwi reveals why, Mun Bok doesn’t want to get involved. But when Seo Hwi dangles that money they’ll get, Mun Bok is all in. They raid the bar. Jung Beom is already inside and join that fight. General Jung’s aide suggests they leave. General Jung scoffs they don’t know who he is. Officer Park, General Jung’s opponent, counters that he is a gambling addict. Officer Park dispatches the General Jung and his aide. Seo Hwi, Mun Bok, and Jung Beom take care of the others. Mun Bok plucks the cash as Seo Hwi ties General Jung to a timber. They leave. The death squad leader enters the empty bar and stares at General Jung. Instead of untying General Jung as ordered, the death squad leader hits him in the chest.
I LOVE the perky music. Neat addition to a historical drama! Any one else think of Lawless Lawyer when that song plays?
The four friends enjoy the spoils of the day. Jung Beom suggests they pluck bigger pigeons.
Enjoy the camaraderie. I’m an Officer Park fan!
Han Hee Jae (Kim Seol Hyun) recalls happier days flying kites with Seo Hwi, his sister and Sun Ho. She recalls hearing the Seo Hwi was killed in battle and sees his name on the death rolls.
So Hee Jae thinks Seo Hwi is dead.
Seo Hwi practices shooting with his bow, Hee Jae’s bandana wrapped about his bow.
Flashback…Hee Jae puts a lantern with for Seo Hwi in the water. Seo Hwi pulls the lantern and reads that she’ll never forget him.
That song “Because It’s You” is fabulous.
Seo Hwi continues practicing, tears in his eyes.
Seo Hwi’s nickname should be “raw deals recipient”.
Sun Ho greets Hee Jae when she arrives at the palace. He didn’t have to greet her, she tells him. Sun Ho counters the Queen ordered and he obeyed.
The Queen meets with Nam Jeon (Sun Ho’s father), Sun Ho and Hee Jae. Sun Ho is ready to launch a smear campaign against the other princes to make Prince Uian to most appealing. Hee Jae tells the Queen that the King can’t be removed nor can he be weak. Looking directly at Nam Jeon, Hee Jae declares others that claim to want Prince Uian on the throne have ulterior motives. Nam Jeon retorts that Hee Jae acts like a minister in a dress. Hee Jae counters Nam Jeon acts like a King. They agree their opinions about each other never change. Nam Jeon points out that Bang Won wants the throne. Once Prince Uian is King, Bang Won’s armies will be disbanded, the rival brothers will lose their power and will be killed. Nam Jeon states annihilation is the only path to absolute power. He scoffs a chit like Hee Jae can’t understand.
Why is it I love anyone that makes things difficult for Nam Jeon?
Alone with the Queen, Hee Jae believes another path is to understand Bang Won’s counter moves and stop him. She promises the Queen, she can do this.
That’s a bold statement.
Hee Jae tells Sun Ho that his father was right. She needs money to help the Queen. Hee Jae says she’s already lost too much. Sun Ho knows she’s referring to the supposedly dead Seo Hwi. Hee Jae says she knows Sun Ho’s father was responsible for Seo Hwi’s death and not Sun Ho as he claims. She believes Sun Ho couldn’t be that cruel. She asks about the rumor that some of the advance force survived. Sun Ho squashes that hope by lying they all died.
How long until Hee Jae learns that Sun Ho and Nam Jeon are different sides of the same coin?
Sun Ho’s side kick, the death squad leader, has beaten General Jung so that he’s ready for Sun Ho who offers him the choice to live if he shares Bang Won’s weaknesses.
The death squad leader brings the paper of Bang Won’s weaknesses to Sun Ho. He guesses Bang Won is the next target.
The bar owner tells his local thugs who tossed the establishment.
Seo Hwi watches his sister get pickpocketed on her day out at the market. He dispatches the pickpocket and returns the purse. He chastises her for not paying attention while shopping. She uses his feet to size shoes for her “brother” (Sun Ho) whose birthday is tomorrow.
I’ll take any moment of happiness Seo Hwi gets.
When the thugs approach, Seo Hwi pretends to be friends to keep Seo Yeon out of danger. He tells the thug leader soldiers are everywhere and they need to talk privately. They walk away. Seo Yeon’s escort watches.
The thug leader wants to beat up Seo Hwi but the appearance of Officer Park, Jung Beom, and Mun Bok change his mind. Seo Hwi suggest they split the profits from the bar. He agrees to think about it. But to his men he declares Seo Hwi will learn a less from them.
Seo Yeon’s escort tells Nam Jeon what happened. Sun Ho provides his father the list of Bang Won’s weakness from General Jung. But list doesn’t contain Bang Won’s weaknesses. Nam Jeon snaps that if Sun Ho can’t handle Bang Won, then he’s worthless. Sun Ho reports Seo Hwi has started with Bang Won. Nam Jeon warns that Seo Hwi might not be trustworthy. Sun Ho reminds his father that as long as they have Seo Yeon, Seo Hwi will do their bidding. Sun Ho is sure that Seo Hwi won’t abandon Seo Yeon. Nam Jeon reports that Seo Hwi and Seo Yeon met in the market. He warns his son if he can’t handle Seo Hwi and Seo Yeon, he’ll take care of them. Seo Yeon watches Sun Ho sigh as his father walks away.
Seo Hwi sneaks into Sun Ho’s room and reports that Seo Yeon was pickpocketed while at the market. Sun Ho retorts that the escort reported their meeting to his father. Sun Ho claims Seo Hwi is the one that put Seo Yeon in danger.
Seo Yeon enters with tea for Sun Ho. She asks if Sun Ho if his father is okay. She chides him for smiling through his troubles. She offers her shoulder. She reports meeting Seo Hwi in the market. Sun Ho says he’ll take her to the market tomorrow. She leaves with a smile on her face.
When Seo Hwi appears, Sun Ho tells him to either admit who he is or make her never want to see him at the marketplace tomorrow.
The King and Bang Won walk and talk. He tells Bang Won to turn his frown upside down. His father offers the litany of grievances against is sons: son #1 is a drunk, son #2 has 15 illegitimate children, son #3 can barely function in his role, son #4 hangs out with women and drinks. He asks Bang Won who should he pick to be his heir? Should it be Bang Won? He tells Bang Won and the assembled witnesses (including the Queen, Prince Uian, Hee Jae and Sun Ho), he’ll pick whoever Bang Won recommends to be his heir. Bang Won stares at Prince Uian. He tells his father that Prince Uian is young, smart and kind. Bang Won declares the heir should be Prince Uian. The Queen is relieved. The King smiles.
Bang Won tells his second in command his declaration just hid Prince Uian’s condition. He notes only one person knows about it, General Jung.
Sun Ho escorts Hee Jae to meet Hwa Wol. General Jung passes by. Sun Ho and General Jung glare at each other. General Jung asks about the two women Sun Ho was with. He’s told not be mess with the Queen’s favorite Hee Jae. General Jung asks about the other one.
Hwa Wol chides Hee Jae for not moving on. She thinks Sun Ho would be perfect for Hee Jae. Hee Jae says there are things Hwa Wol doesn’t know. Hwa Wol tells Hee Jae to see Seo Seol. She admits Seo Seol wants to see Hee Jae. Her health is declining. Hee Jae asks if she’s heard anything about Seo Hwi. Hwa Wol has nothing to report and believes him dead. Hwa Wol leaves. She doesn’t see General Jung’s man watching then following her.
Seo Hwi can’t decide which outfit he looks better in. Jung Beom offers a mirror. Seo Hwi tells his friends this is likely the last time he’ll see his sister.
Sun Ho is sporting his new shoes. She tells him happy birthday. He smiles.
At the market, Seo Hwi sees Seo Yeon and Sun Ho. His smile fades knowing what he must do. Seo Yeon spots him and introduces him to Sun Ho who pretends they’ve not met. Sun Ho waits for Seo Hwi to make his move. But Seo Hwi can’t do it. Sun Ho declares that Seo Hwi is a thug. He demands to know if Seo Hwi planned to kidnap Seo Yeon. Angry, Seo Hwi declares Sun Ho and his father treat people like dogs. Seo Yeon takes offense. She warns Seo Hwi not to go against her brother. She walks away and Sun Ho follows. Seo Hwi stands gutted and tears fall. Nam Jeon’s servant watches, no doubt to report to Nam Jeon.
Love the underlying conversation between Seo Hwi and Sun Ho about treating him like a dog. Once again, Seo Hwi gets another cruel gut punch.
Nam Jeon compliments his upset son on effectively severing the relationship between Seo Yeon and Seo Hwi. Sun Ho retorts that Nam Jeon is the best teacher, not sparing his own blood from such lessons. Nam Jeon takes offense knowing Sun Ho is referencing how he forced Sun Ho to walk away from his mother. He yells that his brother died and Sun Ho’s mother committed suicide because Sun Ho couldn’t let her go. Sun Ho yells that the suicide was because of the forced separation. Sun Ho walks away.
General Jung goes to Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house. Hwa Wol is one of the Kisaeng sent to attend to him. He smiles and says she’s pretty.
Hee Jae stands outside Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house and debates entering. She does and finds musicians scurrying away and a bloody Hwa Wol exiting the room with General Jung yelling at her to come back. Seo Seol’s security man finds General Jung holding a bloody block of wood and blood spurting down Hwa Wol’s face. Hee Jae holds Hwa Wol and they stare at the livid General Jung. He laughs at Hee Jae and says he’ll let her service him. Hee Jae orders the security man to throw him out. General Jung laughs and declares he’s a founding contributor and can do what he wants. The security man does nothing. Hee Jae grabs the security man’s sword and takes aim at General Jung. Seo Seol arrives and slaps Hee Jae for her actions. Seo Seol apologizes to General Jung. He tells Hee Jae that Seo Seol just saved her life. He strides away. Seo Seol tells her security man to get a doctor for Hwa Wol.
The doctor tends Hwa Wol. Hee Jae stands vigil.
The next morning Seo Seol asks about Hwa Wol. Hee Jae reports she’s sleeping. Seo Seol asks about Hee Jae. She admits that she should have done nothing rather than create a situation where she was unable to follow through. Hee Jae says her closeness to the Queen made her think she had power but she didn’t. Seo Seol says Hee Jae learned a lesson and won’t make the mistake twice. She admits she was proud that Hee Jae didn’t flinch and took the sword bravely. Seo Seol states that kind of bravado can also get Hee Jae into trouble. Seo Seol struggles to breath and walks away.
Seo Seol is more sympathetic now.
Bang Won tells his man there’s a dog he must slaughter.
Cheonga, Bang Won’s man, finds the thug leader and states he needs some disposable men. The thug leader laughs declaring he knows some.
Officer Park, Jung Beom, and Mun Bok watch Seo Hwi brood. The thug leader and his men arrive and offer a job. Initially Seo Hwi declines but he manages to sway Seo Hwi. The thug leader says Seo Hwi must be the one to make the kill. Officer Park, IP and Mun Bok watch Seo Hwi leave with the thugs
Bang Won’s man tells General Jung that Bang Won wants to see him.
Sun Ho’s man, the death squad leader, tells Sun Ho that the thugs and Seo Hwi have a job. Sun Ho wants to be kept informed. The death squad leader declares one day he’ll kill Seo Hwi.
Hee Jae isn’t happy to see General Jung once again on the grounds of Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house.
The thugs and Seo Hwi arrive outside Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house. The mask themselves and head to the entrance.
Sun Ho tells the King that Bang Won’s private army if joined with General Jung would be formidable. The King retorts Sun Ho’s father didn’t report this. Sun Ho explains he didn’t tell his father, this information is only for the King.
The thugs and Seo Hwi enter. Fighting ensues. He stares at General Jung. Hee Jae stares at the masked Seo Hwi.
Sun Ho tells the King that General Jung will die that evening. The King smiles.
Seo Hwi runs his sword through General Jung who manages to unmask Seo Hwi. Hee Jae stares in shock. General Jung falls to the ground. Hee Jae calls Seo Hwi’s name. He stares at her.
Seo Hwi attempts to leave but Hee Jae grabs his wrist. He turns to look at her. A tear rolls down Hee Jae’s face.
I’m tired of the “use and abuse Seo Hwi” prevalent in every episode. Writer Chae Seung Dae shifted the series to the first year of the King’s reign and frankly it wasn’t as riveting as the previous episodes. The constant emotional abuse of Seo Hwi by Sun Ho and Nam Jeon irked. At least when Seo Hwi was in the army he had more control, now he’s an emotionally blackmailed dog of Sun Ho and Nam Jeon. Other than that, this episode’s theme was the struggle for power. Hee Jae realized the power she thought she had wasn’t applicable outside the Queen’s sphere. The King wanted to make Prince Uian the heir to guarantee a long window of time on the throne flexing his power. Bang Won was forced by the King to rubber stamp Prince Uian as the heir. Sun Ho and Nam Jeon spared with each other and it was a draw. Sun Ho’s constant upper hand with Seo Hwi, Seo Yeon, rankled.
Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong) was the dog that the masters feared. Seo Hwi was under Nam Jeon and Sun Ho’s control as they have Seo Yeon in their gilded prison. Seo Hwi had to be gutted when Seo Yeon called Sun Ho her brother. Sun Ho slandered Seo Hwi in front of Seo Yeon because Seo Hwi couldn’t severe his relationship with his sister. Seo Hwi is like a lost soul, he must break free of Sun Ho and Nam Jeon. Bang Won has to be the answer. I’m ready for Seo Hwi to move out of the controlling sphere of Nam Jeon and Sun Ho. Seo Hwi needs to get some power.
Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) moved the chess pieces to perfection. Sun Ho continues to be the worst kind of friend. He feels bad about screwing Seo Hwi and Seo Yeon, but he still does it. He manipulated the brother and sister with ease. He has Hee Jae believing he didn’t scheme against Seo Hwi. He has the King listening to his negative talk about Bang Won as he knew General Jung would be killed. General Jung deserved to die, no issues with that choice. But Sun Ho using Seo Hwi as his sword, his tool, bugged me this episode. There has to be a balance between good and evil in any series. It must ebb and flow. Right now, team evil is on a winning streak. I’m ready for their luck to change.
Han Hee Jae (Kim Seol Hyun) discovered Seo Hwi was alive and he kept it from her. With Lady Kang as Queen, Hee Jae had more power. But that power didn’t translate inside Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house. As a founding member General Jung had latitude to do as he pleased. He hit Hwa Wol and wanted to make Hee Jae his next victim. Seo Seol intervened. Seo Seol’s failing health made her more sympathetic. FINALLY, Hee Jae learned Seo Hwi is alive. Will she learn that Seo Hwi works for Sun Ho? Will Seo Hwi offer a lame excuse? She’s been true to his memory but now that he’s alive, will she get angry at his deceit?
Lee Bang Won (Jang Hyuk) was forced to approve the King’s choice in heir. Bang Won was boxed in by his father and publicly agreed that the King’s heir should be Prince Uian. Bang Won’s association with General Jung was troublesome. Bang Won decided it had to end. But he didn’t end it because General Jung was a terrible man, he was ready to end it for power. General Jung had a big target on his back with Sun Ho and Bang Won gunning for him. As noted, I have no issues with his death. I’m ready for Bang Won to have more to do. I’m ready for Bang Won to take Seo Hwi under his wing. Bang Won needs to get more power and flex it.
The second song in OST 1 “Wild Road” by Jung Seung Hwan has been released. The trio of OST 1 songs is in the YouTube video. Wild Road is cued at the 4:12 mark.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as very good. My rating chart is below: