My Country: The New Age Episode 8 Recap
1st year of the King’s reign, 1392…
Nam Jeon (Ahn Nae Sang) rips the notice that exposes the plan to eliminate the King and return the country to the people on November 23, 1380 as pledged by Kim Yeong Su, Park Seon Min, Noh Gyeong Cheon and Nam Jeon.
Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) reads the notice.
Flashback…the three men that made the pledge are killed by Nam Jeon. After killing each man, Nam Jeon finds the pledge paper and their signatures and shreds it. But one of the men doesn’t have the pledge paper on him. Nam Jeon shakes the still alive man and demands to know where the paper is. The man asks if he’s afraid General YI will find out he is a traitor. Nam Jeon demands the man tell him where the pledge paper is. The man vows that Nam Jeon will die from having his blood drained from his body. Nam Jeon stabs the man dead.
Sun Ho asks if his father made a pledge to kill General Yi. Sun Ho declares if he did, their family will be destroyed. Nam Jeon glares at Seo Yeon (Seo Hwi’s sister). Sun Ho steps in front of her. Nam Jeon tells his son “he” is involved.
“He”, Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong), watches from afar. Looks like the notice hit the mark.
Seo Hwi meets with Nam Jeon and Sun Ho.
Lee Bang Won (Jang Hyuk) aka Prince Jeongan, orders his right-hand man Tae Ryeon to locate Seo Hwi or die.
Nam Jeon says Seo Hwi is the only archer that could have managed to place his arrow next to the King’s from such a long distance. He puts Sun Ho’s sword to Seo Hwi’s throat and demands to know if Seo Hwi is the culprit. Seo Hwi parrots Nam Jeon’s advice to remain calm. Seo Hwi admits he was the culprit…but on Bang Won’s orders. This stills Nam Jeon’s sword. He won’t tolerate lies. Seo Hwi simply states that his sister lives with Nam Jeon, so lying isn’t an option. He promises to report all of Bang Won’s actions. Nam Jeon tells him Seo Hwi is merely a sword and won’t be utilized as an informant about Bang Won. Nam Jeon strides away. Sun Ho vows that his family won’t be destroyed by the notice. He hopes that Seo Hwi isn’t the mastermind behind this, because Sun Ho will kill the man that is. Sun Ho strides away.
The investigator reports to Han Hee Jae (Kim Seol Hyun) that a woman that lives in NH’s house met Seo Hwi at his house. She recalls Seo Seol (head of Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house) telling her the information went to someone that needed it more than Hee Jae, because the man was working to save a life.
Hee Jae goes to Seo Seol and demands to know if Seo Hwi received the information. Seo Seol reminds Hee Jae transactions are confidential. Hee Jae asks if Seo Hwi is trying to save his sister. Seo Seol won’t confirm this. Hee Jae turns to leave. Seo Seol orders her security man to go with Hee Jae and gives him latitude to kill anyone regardless of rank that tries to harm Hee Jae. Seo Seol tells Hee Jae while she does what she must to protect those she cares for; she will protect Hee Jae.
Seo Seol is a good ally. No doubt Hee Jae’s mother would be grateful.
Sun Ho tells himself he won’t be swayed by family or friends again.
Cheonga and his men demand Mun Bok, Officer Park, and Jung Beom tell him where Seo Hwi per Bang Won’s orders. A fight ensues and dust provides the escape mechanism for our trio. Officer Park points out that Nam Jeon controls the office of the inspector general so if they turn over the pledge paper it will be nullified. They find Seo Hwi in front of his evidence wall. They report Bang Won wants him. Seo Hwi states this okay and part of his plan. Seo Hwi declares he’ll get Bang Won to utilize the pledge paper, the only one who can get results with it. He believes this is the only way to defeat Nam Jeon and free Seo Yeon. Officer Park points out of their duplicity is discovered; they’ll die.
Hee Jae arrives to see Nam Jeon. She waits in the courtyard for him. She looks around for Seo Yeon and sees a single girl’s shoe outside a room. She calls to the occupant but there is no answer. She approaches. Seo Yeon steps out and asks who she is. She asks why a stranger is outside her room. Shocked, Hee Jae can’t find words. Seo Yeon asks if they know each other. Hee Jae tries to leave but Seo Yeon stops her begging for information about herself and help. Sun Ho tells Seo Yeon that Hee Jae doesn’t know her and she’s there to see him.
Outside the house, Hee Jae slaps Sun Ho for keeping Seo Yeon. Sun Ho claims it was the only way to keep Seo Yeon alive. Hee Jae points out that Seo Yeon is nothing more than a hostage and leverage over Seo Hwi. She strides away disgusted. They don’t know that Seo Yeon has overheard their conversation.
Hee Jae cuts to the chase with Sun Ho and doesn’t credit him with helping matters (nor should she).
Nam Jeon finds Seo Yeon in the courtyard. He snaps she cannot leave her room without his permission. Seo Yeon remembers Seo Hwi’s words that she not say where she went. Nam Jeon sees her hands shaking. He grabs her and asks if she’s regained her memories. Sun Ho stop his father. When he takes Seo Yeon’s wrist, she pulls away and walks back to her room alone.
I like that Seo Yeon knows more, it gives her some power and it is unpredictable what she’ll do with it.
Hee Jae says she must see Seo Hwi.
Seo Hwi, Mun Bok, Jung Beom and Officer Park arrive at the thug Leader, Ganggae’s house. Ganggae knows about the pledge paper. They bet Nam Jeon will come for Ganggae soon. Seo Hwi wants him alive.
Flashback…Nam Jeon demands to know where the pledge paper is and what happened to the girl (Hee Jae). The thug leader declares the pledge paper is lost but the girl was killed.
Nam Jeon tells his man to bring the thug Leader, Ganggae to him. He must know the truth once and for all.
The thug leader boasts he can save his men, the past makes him invincible.
Flashback…the thug leader watches Nam Jeon kill Kim Yeong Su, Park Seon Min, and Noh Gyeong Cheon.
The thug leader chortles he saw everything.
Seo Hwi, Mun Bok, Jung Beom and Officer Park fight the thugs. Hee Jae hears the fight. Seo Hwi doesn’t kill the thugs’ leader saying he only needs him to come with him. The thug leader gapes at Hee Jae.
Flashback…Hee Jae’s mother gives her the pledge paper and implores her to take it to Seo Seol and not look back. Ganggae kills her mother.
Hee Jae recognizes Ganggae. She declares he’s the man that killed her mother. Seo Seol’s security guard moves to kill Ganggae. A scuffle ensues and Ganggae puts his sword at Hee Jae’s throat. He promises to kill her if they move on him. Seo Hwi aims his arrow. Hee Jae tells Seo Hwi to shoot. Ganggae realizes who Seo Hwi is. He says he could have killed him in the past. Hee Jae draws her hand knife and stabs Ganggae in the leg. Seo Hwi shoots him in the shoulder. Seo Seol’s security man puts his sword at Ganggae. Hee Jae remembers wanting to kill Ganggae in the past. Now she seizes the sword with vengeance blazing. Ganggae declares Nam Jeon ordered him to retrieve the pledge paper and eliminate anyone that knew about it. He begs for his life.
Flashback…A young Hee Jae raises the knife to kill Ganggae. Seo Geom (Seo Hwi’s father) tells her that finding out who ordered this was the real prize. He tells Hee Jae the choice is to kill and wait for the next assassin or learn the information to assassinate her enemy. Hee Jae drops the knife.
Seo Hwi buries the sword next to Ganggae’s head. Seo Hwi pulls her hands off the sword.
The obvious question is why didn’t Seo Geom force Ganggae to confess who ordered him to retrieve the pledge paper and murder for it?
Hee Jae tells Seo Hwi she’s wished Ganggae dead a million times. She knows Seo Hwi needs him to save Seo Yeon. Seo Hwi apologizes saying he had no idea. Hee Jae says this is where she floated a lantern for her mother and him. But he’s back. She says that the pledge paper is his. Hee Jae knows he’s been lonely and burdened. She urges him to lean on her for support. She doesn’t want to lose anyone, especially him, ever again. She declares she’s with him and his quest now. She hugs him. He hugs her back.
Sun Ho discusses who gains the most from the recent actions with his right-hand man, the death squad leader. He thinks of Seo Hwi. He states the archer has the pledge paper.
The royal guards arrive at Nam Jeon’s house to inform him he’s confined by order of the King. Nam Jeon accepts the order. He says this is the King’s way of showing he has the power to destroy Nam Jeon whenever he wants.
The Queen tells the King that Bang Won is the threat. She wants Prince Uian declared the crown prince. Irked at her tone, the King tells to be patient. He states Prince Uian is his choice because it gives him the longest window on the throne. He warns her not to raise her voice to him again. The Queen agrees to lower her voice but tells him that she’ll do anything to ensure the safety of her child Prince Uian.
Sun Ho sneaks into the palace to see the King. The guards stop him outside. Sun Ho yells he knows who has the pledge paper. He orders this message relayed to the King.
Sun Ho asks the King to guarantee his family’s survival. He declares Bang Won has the pledge paper. Sun Ho recommends the King declare Prince Uian the crown prince. Sun Ho suggests the pledge paper will allow the King to control his father and exile Bang Won. The King asks what he gets in return. Sun Ho offers himself. He vows to protect the throne with his life. The King states if the pledge paper is ever revealed, their deal is dissolved. The orders his key minister be gathered to discuss the crown prince.
Sun Ho tells Seo Hwi he knows he has the pledge paper. Bang Won will use it to threaten the King. Sun Ho states Seo Hwi will be tossed aside and killed if Bang Won learns he is a spy. Seo Hwi shrugs that he’ll die anyhow. Sun Ho asks for the pledge paper. He vows he will save Seo Hwi and Seo Yeon. Seo Hwi doesn’t believe him. He tells Sun Ho to muddle through the mess on his own.
I was worried Seo Hwi might still believe Sun Ho and cave.
Jung Beom tells Officer Park that he’ll kill Ganggae once Seo Yeon is extracted.
Hee Jae remembers happy times with her mother. She wonders if her choices are correct. She cries.
Seo Seol arrives. Hee Jae asks if Seo Seol knew the culprit was Nam Jeon. Seo Seol points out that she didn’t want to lose Hee Jae. Seo Seol states she failed to protect Hee Jae’s mother, her only friend. She couldn’t fail to protect Hee Jae. Seo Seol hugs Hee Jae and states everything will be okay. Hee Jae cries.
As Seo Hwi observes Nam Jeon’s house with the royal guard blocking entry, he’s hit from behind and dragged away by Bang Won’s men. Seo Hwi drops Seo Yeon’s shoe. Tae Ryeon picks it up.
Tae Ryeon brings Seo Hwi to Bang Won. The two men stare at each other. Bang Won isn’t happy that Seo Hwi has put him in this situation. Seo Hwi says there’s no way out. Bang Won asks who Seo Hwi’s target is, him or Nam Jeon. Seo Hwi declares Nam Jeon is the target. Seo Hwi explains Nam Jeon forced him into the army and sent a death squad to kill him. Seo Hwi states only Bang Won can get rid of Nam Jeon. Seo Hwi boldly declares the King will choose Nam Jeon over Bang Won and exile Bang Won to die far away from here. Livid, Bang Won declares he cannot be tossed aside. Bang Won’s aide reports that the King has called a meeting of his key ministers. Seo Hwi states the ripple effects have begun. He tells Bang Won to go to the palace and see for himself.
Bold words from Seo Hwi!
The King’s man tells Nam Jeon he’s free to proceed with his business. He states the King ordered his house tossed.
When Nam Jeon gets to the palace, he hears about the King’s meeting last night. He wonders who will be tossed aside, him or Bang Won.
When Bang Won arrives at the palace, his brother taunts him and complains about his army being dispatched. Bang Won orders him to keep quiet and let him handle it. His brother declares one day Bang Won will be afraid of him.
The King proclaims Prince Uian is the crown prince. Bang Won watches impassively. The King declares all crimes except treason will be dismissed until the ceremony. He wants the armies disbanded. He says if treason is found, justice will be swift.
Privately the King tells Bang Won to dispatch to another city. He offers some of his army to Bang Won. He asks what his son wants to do. Bang Won asks why his father is tossing him aside when he’s served his father faithfully. Bang Won yells that his father is exiling him to die far away from here. He demands to know what he did wrong. The King states Bang Won will not stop to get what he wants, and that includes the title of crown prince. Bang Won yells that his father doesn’t know him at all. Bang Won swears not to give up. He refuses to leave.
The Queen and Prince Uian see Bang Won in the courtyard. Bang Won congratulates her on getting everything she wanted. The Queen says Bang Won made it possible by being a terrible brother. Bang Won tells Prince Uian that the Queen’s skirts won’t save him from his enemies. The Queen doesn’t like that. She tells Bang Won to enjoy his new role as commander of the southern provinces. Bang Won tells the Queen that Prince Uian may have the title of crown prince, but he won’t keep it forever. The Queen declares Prince Uian will be the crown prince as long as she lives. She walks away.
Terrific confrontation. That was plain speaking.
The Queen asks Nam Jeon how he plans to neutralize Bang Won. She reminds him of his promise to disband the private armies and kill Bang Won. Nam Jeon counsels caution. The Queen declares now is the time for action. She tells Nam Jeon that fortune favors the bold.
Bang Won asks Seo Hwi if this was what he intended to occur. Seo Hwi offers to help Bang Won survive. Bang Won scoffs that Seo Hwi put him in this situation, why would he trust him? Tae Ryeon enters stating Nam Jeon has invited Bang Won to the ceremony. Bang Won wants to refuse. Seo Hwi counters that Bang Won should attend. Seo Hwi states he’s ready to share his plan with Bang Won.
Jung Beom tells Mun Bok his wife was killed escaping her master who beat her. His child was killed for crying to loud. When Ganggae wakes, Jung Beom hits him.
Hee Jae wants to put Nam Jeon under surveillance and kill him. Seo Seol offers her keys to the secret room…if Hee Jae agrees to protect Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house. Seo Seol says the crown prince selection has caused chaos. Hee Jae states they can benefit from the situation. Seo Seol smiles and says that’s why she chose Hee Jae to succeed her.
Nam Jeon and his men drink at Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house. Bang Won and his men (with Seo Hwi at his side) arrive. Bang Won prompt them to stand. Nam Jeon retorts he’s the ranking official and doesn’t need to stand. Nam Jeon’s man taunts that Bang Won has lost his position and will be moving south soon. Seo Hwi crosses the table and faces Nam Jeon ready to kill him. As he swings the sword, Bang Won yells stop. Seo Hwi and Nam Jeon stare. Bang Won and Nam Jeon stare. Nam Jeon states Bang Won crossed the line. Bang Won counters Nam Jeon did it first.
Nam Jeon’s aide rushes in and tell him to come outside. Posters of the pledge are plastered all over the walls. Bang Won reads it and declares that treason will be punished by death. Nam Jeon accuses Bang Won of creating the situation. Bang Won tells Nam Jeon to beg the King to let him live. Nam Jeon leaves. Bang Won tells Seo Hwi this is only a rumor without proof. Seo Hwi promises proof and witnesses will appear when the time is right. Bang Won asks when the time will be right. Seo Hwi states he’ll determine that. The King and his ministers must be present to see the proof, so it can’t be ignored. Bang Won tells Seo Hwi he’s all in.
Bang Won has no other choice. His father wants to exile him and give the crown prince role to someone less deserving.
Nam Jeon believes Bang Won has the pledge paper. He orders his man to bring Seo Hwi.
Nam Jeon asks Seo Hwi if he would have killed him. Seo Hwi says it was a test. Nam Jeon says his test requires Seo Hwi to kill Bang Won. Nam Jeon says if Bang Won isn’t killed, the entire family including Seo Yeon will be murdered. He offers poison to put on Seo Hwi’s arrow tip. Nam Jeon declares Bang Won’s death will be deemed caused by a disgruntled solider. Seo Hwi tells Nam Jeon to keep his word to protect Seo Yeon. Nam Jeon states his man will watch Seo Hwi’s every move until Bang Won is dead. Seo Hwi promises to succeed. He takes the poison and leaves.
Nam Jeon’s man is told once, Bang Won is dead, his men are to rush the house and kill the occupants.
Seo Yeon stares at the single shoe. She recalls Hee Jae words to Sun Ho, Seo Hwi words to her, and Nam Jeon’s threat. She grabs her head and the memories flood back. She drops the shoe. She says Seo Hwi is her brother. She cries.
Seo Hwi stares at the pledge paper. He looks to the sky.
Tae Ryeon reports that Seo Hwi’s sister is Nam Jeon’s hostage. That gets Bang Won’s attention. Bang Won wonders if Seo Hwi is working for Nam Jeon or against him.
Officer Park sees men coming towards Seo Hwi’s hideout. Bang Won enters. Tae Ryeon reveals Seo Hwi’s wall of evidence. Based on the threads all leading to him, Bang Won concludes Seo Hwi is working with Nam Jeon against him. Tae Ryeon states they need to capture Seo Hwi. Bang Won declares he doesn’t care about the pledge paper, Seo Hwi must be killed. Officer Park watches from a distance.
Cheonga and his men start to hunt Seo Hwi.
Officer Park tells Seo Hwi that Bang Won found the hideout and he’s being hunted. Seo Hwi is taken aback.
Cheonga and his men arrive. A fight ensues. As Officer Park holds Cheonga off for a moment he tells Seo Hwi to flee. Seo Hwi runs. Officer Park fights alone. Reinforcements arrive. Cheonga and Officer Park go another round.
Nam Jeon shows Sun Ho the poster and that he ordered Seo Hwi on a suicide mission to kill Bang Won. Sun Ho yells that Nam Jeon has made matters worse. He strides away.
Seo Hwi arrives at Bang Won’s compound and dispatches the exterior guards. Bang Won retires. Tae Ryeon stands guard.
Seo Hwi dispatches more men and proceeds closer to the inner compound.
Once inside, Seo Hwi shoots Tae Ryeon multiple times.
Seo Hwi enters Bang Won’s room where he sits quietly at the table. Bang Won murmurs Seo Hwi actually came. Seo Hwi states he’s there to kill Bang Won. Seo Hwi shoots an arrow in Bang Won’s chest.
Seo Hwi draws another arrow. Bang Won stares at him. Seo Hwi lets the second arrow fly.
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Writer Chae Seung Dae had all the key players jostle for position and then adjust to the moves by others. The King declared Prince Uian as the crown prince. Bang Won went to his father only to be asked to leave the country. Bang Won declared he’d become the crown prince one day. The Queen went to Nam Jeon to get rid of Bang Won. The posters unnerved Nam Jeon and he reacted based on emotions ordering Seo Hwi to kill Bang Won. Sun Ho couldn’t believe his father’s stupid move. Finally, Seo Hwi made the suicide run to kill Bang Won. That arrow looked real and sunk in Bang Won’s chest. Will the second arrow follow the same path? I must say that a TON of plot progress has been made in the first half of this series. Some series don’t have this much content in a full 16 episodes.
Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong) moved players on the chess board and ended up on a suicide mission to kill Bang Won. Seo Hwi had a big decision to make…how best to use the pledge paper? The King’s declaration that traitors would be killed may have factored into the timing. Seo Hwi decided to put his eggs in Bang Won’s basket. But he didn’t count on Bang Won finding his secret hideout. That destroyed Bang Won’s flimsy trust. Seo Hwi could only go big, and make an attempt on Bang Won’s life. I know Seo Hwi doesn’t trust Nam Jeon or Bang Won. It was time to for Seo Hwi to have his apple cart upset. The good news – a) Seo Yeon remembers her brother (though Seo Hwi doesn’t know this) and b) Hee Jae fully supports Seo Hwi and they reunited with a hug.
Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) was a minor player this episode. Frankly I don’t mind a break from Sun Ho making master chess moves and letting Seo Hwi take the spotlight. Sun Ho quickly realized that Seo Hwi had the pledge paper. I find it unbelievable that Nam Jeon didn’t reach the same conclusion. I’m telling myself that emotion clouded Nam Jeon’s judgement. Sun Ho was livid with Nam Jeon’s choice to send Seo Hwi to kill Bang Won. He’s right.
Han Hee Jae (Kim Seol Hyun) reunited with Seo Hwi. Hee Jae gave Seo Hwi her support and a hug. Hee Jae came face to face with the man that killed her mother. She had another opportunity to kill him and could have, but saw the big picture and stepped back. Does she realize that Seo Hwi’s father saved her? Does Seo Hwi realize his father saved Hee Jae? Why didn’t Seo Geom force Ganggae to confess who ordered him to retrieve the pledge paper and murder for it? Seo Seol gave Hee Jae the keys to the kingdom. Seo Seol has been a strong advocate for Hee Jae.
Lee Bang Won (Jang Hyuk) couldn’t decide if Seo Hwi was friend or foe. This episode could be titled “Bang Won and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Ditched by his father, replaced by his younger half-brother, and lowered in status all because of the ripple effects of Seo Hwi’s actions. Bang Won was forced to either partner or kill Seo Hwi. He chose to partner with Seo Hwi. At least Seo Hwi told him the plan. I’m assuming that plan included an attempt on Bang Won’s life…right?
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as terrific. My rating chart is below: