My Country: The New Age Episode 15 Recap
1400…the second strife of the princes…
Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong) rides to the ambush location. Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) stands in the middle of the path. Seo Hwi stops and walks to Sun Ho. They stare. Sun Ho states that Bang Won doesn’t deserve to live in his world. Sun Ho draws his sword, stabs Seo Hwi in the side, and declares Seo Hwi doesn’t deserve to live either. Sun Ho pulls out his sword. Seo Hwi stares at his former friend. Sun Ho sneers he isn’t grateful that Seo Hwi and Bang Won elected not to kill him. He thought he could use the King’s power to change the world but he knows sees he was merely a tool to use and dispose. Sun Ho vows to destroy their world. He declares he’ll kill the entire royal family. He tells Seo Hwi not to interfere or else. Sun Ho walks away and his soldiers follow. Seo Hwi vows to stop and save Sun Ho.
Tae Ryeon tells Bang Won everything is ready. Bang Won admits he’s nervous about this hunt. Tae Ryeon confirms that Bang Won will be hunted. Bang Won knows he can’t avoid this.
Mun Bok worries that Seo Hwi is late. Officer Park is sure he’ll arrive. Mun Bok is concerned because the ambush location was changed. Officer Park shrugs that Bang Gan must have found out. Mun Bok doesn’t like that the King is attacking them because he can’t kill his son. Officer Park knows this will never change.
Sun Ho’s right-hand man informs Sun Ho that the ambush location has changed. Sun Ho states they’ll go to the new location. He gives his men latitude to kill everyone when they attack Bang Won’s men.
Sun Ho’s men attack Officer Park, Mun Bok, et al. Officer Park is stunned to see Sun Ho leading the attack. The two men stare at each other. When Mun Bok is stabbed, Officer Park pulls him away from the melee. Sun Ho’s right-hand man orders everyone must die.
Bang Won and his men arrive where Bang Gan and his men wait. Bang Won comments that Bang Gan has over staffed for a mere hunt. Bang Gan smiles that this hunt, they may catch a white tiger. Bang Won smiles knowing he’s the white tiger. Bang Won laughs and says to catch the tiger it must be cornered, distracted, immobilized and stabbed. Bang Won asks where Bang Gan’s stabbing instruments are. Bang Gan counter and says to catch the tiger it must be fed first dogs and humans.
Two of Sun Ho’s men attack the retreating Officer Park and Mun Bok. Seo Hwi dispatches them. Mun Bok sinks to the ground bleeding from his wound. Mun Bok sees that Seo Hwi is bleeding badly. Seo Hwi shrugs off his care. Officer Park relays that Sun Ho and his men will attack Bang Won next. Seo Hwi states he’ll get the standby palace guards. As Seo Hwi goes to leave, Officer Park asks who is Seo Hwi trying to save – Bang Won or Sun Ho. Seo Hwi declares he’ll save both of them.
ang Gan recalls Seo Geom (Seo Hwi’s father) strategy of ambush, raid then battle. Bang Gan says that Seo Hwi fights just like Seo Geom. He assumes Seo Hwi is Seo Geom’s son. Bang Won doesn’t respond. Bang Won sees the northern soldiers (Sun Ho’s men) and wonders why they are fighting in this neck of the woods. Bang Gan states that doesn’t matter. He draws his sword on Bang Won. Evading his brother’s blade, Bang Won dismounts. He tells everyone not to interfere, this is between the brother. Bang Gan points out that if Bang Won becomes king, he’s as good as dead. Bang Won states he wouldn’t kill him. Bang Gan laughs in disbelief. Bang Won asks what would happen to him if Bang Gan becomes king. Bang Gan confirms he’d kill Bang Won before anyone else.
Bang Won drops his fan and picks up his sword. He tells his brother to bring it. Bang Gan points out he’s the better swordsman. Bang Won counters he’s got more real-life experience. They spar. Bang Gan sees Sun Ho and his men arrive. He tells Bang Won his time is up.
Sun Ho tells his men to kill everyone. They charge. Now the fighting is messier. Bang Gan and Bang Won turn to Sun Ho’s right-hand man and Sun Ho. Bang Won and Sun Ho spar. Bang Won comments that Sun Ho’s living status is impressive. Sun Ho counters that Bang Won let him live and he is back with the purpose to kill Bang Won. Staring into Sun Ho’s eyes, Bang Won asks if he knows why he didn’t kill him. Sun Ho states Bang Won wanted to embarrass him, an illegitimate son. Bang Won disagrees saying it is because Sun Ho is like him and that Seo Hwi considers him a friend. Angered, Sun Ho declares Bang Won will pay for his empathy. They fight. Sun Ho draws first blood. Bang Won states his ability to see the big picture means Sun Ho can’t beat him.
Sun Ho turns and sees Seo Hwi arrive with the standby palace guards. The fight intensifies. Bang Won strikes Sun Ho down. Sun Ho’s right-hand man goes after Bang Won but can’t defeat him. Sun Ho’s right-hand man pulls Sun Ho to his feet and leads him to a nearby horse. Bang Won orders the fleeing men pursued. Seo Hwi tells Tae Ryeon he’ll take care of them and follows. Bang Won watches Seo Hwi ride away.
Seo Hwi catches up to them. Sun Ho’s right-hand man is ready to fight. Sun Ho is slumped over the horse. Seo Hwi tells the man to take Sun Ho to a cave. Sun Ho’s right-hand man doesn’t trust him. Seo Hwi replies that Sun Ho has been his friend forever. He rides away. Sun Ho’s man heads to the cave.
Bang Gan is on his knees and his men are tied up. Bang Won orders his brother tied to a horse and forced to walk barefoot. Bang Won states anyone that tries to help Bang Gan will be killed. Bang Gan laughs and tells his brother to cry crocodile tears to garner public sympathy. Jung Beom leads Bang Gan away. Bang Won sighs. Tae Ryeon remarks that Bang Won’s pain is deep.
Seo Hwi arrives and lies that he lost Sun Ho. Bang Won doesn’t really believe that. He states when Sun Ho returns to kill him, he’ll kill Sun Ho. Bang Won asks what Seo Hwi will do. Seo Hwi states he’ll save Sun Ho. Bang Won sighs and replies he’ll be forced to kill him.
Here’s my problem. What has Sun Ho done to deserve Seo Hwi’s undying friendship? Intellectually it is obvious, Sun Ho is self-serving and not a true friend. But Seo Hwi’s heart says otherwise. Dude, your relationship with Sun Ho is not a healthy one!
The King meets with the soldiers. He waves poetic about how great Seo Hwi was, how he never believed the charges against him, but was powerless. One man points out that Nam Jeon fabricated the false charges against and was a trusted advisor. The King claims Nam Jeon didn’t initiate the false charges. He declares he wants to avenge Seo Geom.
What? NOW he wants to avenge Seo Geom? NG isn’t the culprit? Is the King going to pin this on Bang Won to get Seo Hwi to turn against Bang Won?
Han Hee Jae (Kim Seol Hyun) meets the King after the meeting. She correctly lists everywhere he wants to visit to gather more warriors. The King is taken aback. Hee Jae states she went from his wife’s confidant to head of Ihwaru’s Kisaeng house. She recommends the King cease and desist his plan. She warns his status will go from revered former King to that guy that was King. That doesn’t go over well. The King understands why his wife kicked Hee Jae to the curb. Hee Jae tells the King to protect the throne and forget about the rest.
Decent. Nice to see Hee Jae calm and clear but the King isn’t open other viewpoints.
Hwa Wol grouses at Mun Bok for getting hurt. Jung Beom and Officer Park chuckle as they trade barbs. Seo Hwi arrives relieved to find out that Mun Bok is okay. Seo Hwi assures them he’s okay. He asks about Hee Jae.
Hello? Mun Bok you are a doctor and you didn’t check Seo Hwi’s wound?
Seo Hwi waits for Hee Jae to return from seeing the King. She tells him she had to try and stop the King. Seo Hwi apologizes for Hee Jae being put in the position to make moves like that. He asks her to promise to call for him when she needs his protection. She smiles and agrees. He strokes her face and hugs her. He assures her it will soon be over.
They are the most subtle couple in history.
Seo Hwi is weary when he brings medical supplies for Sun Ho. He tends his friend’s wounds. His own wound calls out for care. When Sun Ho wakes, he sees Seo Hwi clutches his heart (after effects of the poison). Sun Ho tells him to stay still or his wound will reopen. Seo Hwi points out Sun Ho gave him the wound. Sun Ho asks about the poison. Seo Hwi admits he’ll struggle with the after effects for the rest of his life. Seo Hwi asks if Sun Ho will continue to fight. Seo Hwi sees his sister’s embroidery on Sun Ho’s sword and hands him the other half cut when Sun Ho saved him. He apologizes to Sun Ho for getting mired in his anger that he couldn’t see his friend’s pain. Sun Ho cries.
Scenes like this you wonder if Sun Ho could be a good guy. Woo Do Hwan imbues Sun Ho with pain that you can’t help but feel empathy. Seo Hwi is correct that he was blinded by his revenge to the exclusion of all his friends.
Bang Won stares at his fan. Tae Ryeon reports that Bang Gan is in prison and his father is back in the palace. Bang Won states his father will now chose to fight for Bang Gan or the throne. Tae Ryeon asks about Cheonga. Bang Won orders the double agent kept in prison as one day he might prove useful.
We see Cheonga tied up in his cell.
The King ponders his next move.
Seo Hwi watches Sun Ho sleep clutching his sister’s embroidery. He tells Sun Ho’s man to stop Sun Ho from killing Bang Won. He’s told that Sun Ho doesn’t value his life. Seo Hwi vows to stop Sun Ho. He leaves.
Officer Park tells two black snake members that the man that framed Seo Geom is still alive not dead as they thought. He orders them to find him. Officer Park vows to find and kill the man that ordered Seo Geom to be framed.
Again, will Bang Won be the person that did this? Why?
Bang Won visits Bang Gan in prison. He offers a single path to survival. He asks who he’s working with. Bang Gan laughs and claims no one is in cahoots with him. Bang Won gives Bang Gan poisoned win and tells him to confess. Bang Gan says it was their father. He laughs when he sees Bang Gan’s tears. Bang Won confirms that the inspector general recorded Bang Gan’s confession. Bang Won pours out the poison wine with a determined look on his face.
Jang Hyuk sold the gravity and emotional impact of that scene. His father’s actions against him hurt.
Seo Hwi arrives and tells Bang Won he wants to see the King.
Seo Hwi tells the King that he must cease and desist. The King retorts he will choose his own path. Seo Hwi vows to block him. The King says Seo Hwi is just like his father. The King tells Seo Hwi that his father taught Bang Won sword mastery. Seo Hwi looks at Bang Won in surprise. His face is impassive.
Privately, the King learns that Bang Gan implicated him. Bang Won tells his father to step away from the power games. The King puts a box on the table. He informs his son that the current King recommended Bang Won be made the crown prince. Dryly Bang Won thanks his father. The former King says with his one pardon he’ll clear Seo Geom of the false charges. He tells Bang Won that Seo Geom’s forced suicide because of false charges is disturbing. Bang Won says nothing. Seo Hwi asks if Bang Won’s mentor was his father. Bang Won confirms this. Seo Hwi asks if Bang Won never told him able that relationship because of the scandal about his father’s desk. Bang Won doesn’t answer and tells Seo Hwi to rest.
The inference is that Bang Won may be the person that did this. Why?
Sun Ho talks to Seo Yeon and tell hers that her brother can only live if he dies.
Sun Ho sees Seo Hwi jump the palace gates and follows. When a guard is about to blow the whistle on Seo Hwi, Sun Ho appears. Seo Hwi tells Sun Ho he must find the evidence against his father. Sun Ho knows where to look in the library. Seo Hwi tells him to leave. Sun Ho refuses and states he’s doing this for Seo Yeon. Seo Hwi thanks him. Sun Ho admits he believed his father framed Seo Hwi’s father. Seo Hwi notes that Nam Jeon never lied. Sun Ho wishes his father had lied sometimes. Seo Hwi thanks Sun Ho for being by his side. Sun Ho stares at his friend. While Seo Hwi sleeps, Sun Ho finds the evidence. He learns the name of the man that gave testimony against Seo Hwi’s father. He rips the evidence from the book.
Officer Park and the other black snake member arrive to interrogate the man that framed Seo Geom. Sun Ho watches them enter the building where the man is being held. Officer Park promises the interrogation will be painful unless he reveals who told him to frame Seo Geom. After several strikes, the man claims it was Bang Won. Sun Ho bursts in and grabs the man. With righteous fury and Sun Ho demands to know if Bang Won really gave the order.
Interference has now become an accusation.
Because his father is never direct, Bang Won wonders why his father told him clearly that Seo Geom would be vindicated and the man that framed him would die. With a determined flick of his fan, Bang Won vows no matter what is thrown at him, the throne will be his.
I can’t fathom why Bang Won would frame Seo Geom. I do not want it to be true.
Sun Ho and Officer Park discuss that Seo Hwi must never know of Bang Won’s role in his father’s death. Sun Ho vows to end this. Officer Park points out that Seo Hwi needs Sun Ho alive in the world. Sun Ho shrugs him off.
Going to Sun Ho doesn’t seem like Officer Park would do. He’s measured and careful. This was a knee jerk move.
Seo Hwi wakes and finds Sun Ho gone. He sees the book with the torn page. He knows the information he wants is in Sun Ho’s hands.
Officer Park ponders the past.
Flashback…Officer Park breaks into the prison and urges Seo Geom to flee or he will die. Seo Geom refuses as he won’t shame his children. He puts the care of Seo Hwi and Seo Yeon in Officer Park’s hands. Officer Park sobs and begs his leader to run. But Seo Geom won’t.
Officer Park tells the other black snake members they must move carefully against Bang Won.
Seo Hwi recalls the King’s words about his father teaching Bang Won the art of the sword. He disguises himself as a guard to see the King. Seo Hwi tell him not to leverage his father to put a wedge between himself and Bang Won. The King claims he’s telling the truth. He declares Bang Won caused Seo Hwi’s father’s death.
Seo Hwi can’t you see that the King is LYING!!!!
Here’s my problem, when has the King ever been trustworthy?
Tae Ryeon reports that the King has contacted Seo Geom’s former soldiers. Bang Won drops his fan.
Flashback…Bang Won visits Seo Geom in prison. The current King and evil ministers can’t be tolerated. He urges Seo Geom to change his mind and build a new world with him. Doing this will save Seo Geom’s life. Seo Geom refuses to forsake the current regime and his men. Bang Won counters the regime is rotten. Seo Geom points out that Bang Won framed him for embezzlement. Seo Geom says Bang Won’s father is using his Bang Won to kill him. Seo Geom states the rotten ones are Bang Won and his father. Seo Geom declares he’ll die tonight and his blood will forever curse Bang Won. Chiming in with the curse, Bang Won points out that Seo Geom is failing to protect his children.
No, no, no!
Bang Won tells Tae Ryeon to watch Seo Hwi while he checks on the army.
Sun Ho arrives to kill Bang Won. His right-hand man arrives to help. Sun Ho tells him to leave. The right-hand man says serving Sun Ho has been a worthy life and he won’t leave him now.
Dude, you won’t drink with Sun Ho but you’ll fight to the death by his side.
Sun Ho declares that Bang Won will order Seo Hwi killed and he can’t let it happen. He won’t let Seo Yeon down. He removes the embroidery from his sword. Steely determination all over his face.
Sun Ho and his man attack. Sun Ho runs the gauntlet of Bang Won’s men. Tae Ryeon informs Bang Won that Sun Ho is coming for him. Bang Won closes his eyes and waits for the inevitable. It’s tough fighting and eventually Sun Ho is injured and goes to the ground. Like mama bear protecting her cub, Sun Ho’s right-hand man attacks with righteous fury. But one against many won’t work. He’s stabs so many ways even he can’t live. He falls to his knees in front of Sun Ho. Tae Ryeon runs his sword through the Sun Ho’s man. With tears in his eyes, Sun Ho reaches out to touch his faithful sidekick but he topples over. Tae Ryeon raises his sword to kill Sun Ho but Bang Won’s voice rings out to stop.
That was the most brutal sword fight of the series. Sun Ho’s man was practically a pin cushion for swords.
Sun Ho stares at Bang Won and struggles to his feet. He falls over. He struggles to his feet and raises his sword. He falls down on his knees. Bang Won asks why Sun Ho is there, not Seo Hwi. Sun Ho states he wanted Bang Won to die by the sword of an illegitimate son. Bang Won counters that he’ll be laughed at for how far Sun Ho breeched his defenses. Sun Ho asks when Bang Won will be punished for all his sins in his pursuit of the throne. Sun Ho notes that Seo Hwi served him bravely. Bang Won says he won’t kill Seo Hwi. Sun Ho laughs in disbelief. Bang Won declares he accepts the scorn and hatred heaped on him but will not waiver from his path. Sun Ho can’t stand it. He tells Bang Won to kill him. Bang Won tells Sun Ho to rest and lifts his sword. As Bang Won readies to strike the death blow, Seo Hwi enters. Sun Ho curses not happy to see Seo Hwi. He collapses on the ground.
Bang Won reminds Seo Hwi that he’s warned of the consequences of this action. Seo Hwi raises his bow at Bang Won and tells him to kill him just like he killed his father. He promises to forget the bad (framing his father) and the good (saving Seo Hwi’s life) if Sun Ho can leave with him alive. Seo Hwi states Sun Ho is his dearest friend. But if Bang Won refuses, Seo Hwi says he’ll kill him. Seo Hwi says their alliance ends here. Bang Won consider and pulls his sword from Sun Ho’s throat. He tells Seo Hwi to leave and consider this compensation for his service. Bang Won tells him to run far away.
Seo Hwi lowers his bow. He pulls Sun Ho up. Sun Ho asks why Seo Hwi ruins every death opportunity. Seo Hwi vows that Sun Ho won’t die while he’s around. Seo Hwi says they’ll both live. Sun Ho touches his right-hand man and cries. Seo Hwi helps Sun Ho hobble away with him. Bang Won lets them go.
Bang Won is implicated as the man that “killed” Seo Hwi’s father. Writer Chae Seung Dae banged the “who framed Seo Geom” drum all episode. It was the chosen way to pit Seo Hwi and Sun Ho against Bang Won. My in-post comments show my distaste for this plot point. Why Bang Won would frame a man he respected didn’t compute. But Bang Won doing his father’s bidding or actualizing a path forward for his father is something he’s repeatedly done even when the actions were reprehensible. I accept that Bang Won has done horrible things to create the world he wants. But laying Seo Hwi’s father death on Bang Won, was a bridge too far. I see the King as the culprit if Nam Jeon wasn’t. When has the King done anything but use others for his own goal – to gain and keep the throne? The King has not cared about anyone in his orbit (including 99% of his children). The King sees people only as pawns to reach his goal. I am repulsed by this King. He uses, he abuses, he orders people killed but he won’t accept responsibility. He’s a different kind of evil than Nam Jeon.
Seo Hwi (Yang Se Jong) will do anything to save Sun Ho. Seo Hwi believed the King when he claimed Bang Won was responsible for his father’s death. Emotion beat logic. I’ve lost count of how many times Seo Hwi has saved Sun Ho. He won’t let Sun Ho die on his watch. Seo Hwi is loyal to a fault, in fact he’s blinded by his loyalty to Sun Ho.
Nam Sun Ho (Woo Do Hwan) tried to avenge Seo Hwi by killing Bang Won. I get it, he wants revenge against the person that killed Seo Hwi’s father. That widened the target on Bang Won’s back. Sun Ho was willing to kill Bang Won so he could face Seo Yeon in the afterlife. And that’s an interesting point. Are Sun Ho’s actions out of loyalty for Seo Yeon and not Seo Hwi? Seo Yeon’s embroidery is his talisman. I’m going to ignore the 999 stab wounds both Sun Ho and Seo Hwi have suffered this series. They are the poster children for “take a sticking and keeps on ticking”. I found Sun Ho’s tears for his faithful right-hand man more effusive than expected. This guy refused to drink with Sun Ho but stuck with Sun Ho through thick and thin. Sun Ho had a soft spot the man that gave him good counsel. It must be said that Woo Do Hwan cries pretty. Last but not least was the confrontation with Bang Won. It was solid. Sun Ho believes Bang Won is guilty of framing Seo Hwi’s father. Bang Won killed Sun Ho’s father. Sun Ho believes Bang Won’s world vision is bogus. Killing Bang Won and joining Seo Yeon in the afterlife was the right thing to do…then Seo Hwi arrived and saved Sun Ho…again.
Han Hee Jae (Kim Seol Hyun) told the King not to pursue the aggressive path. Hee Jae was firm with the King and the interaction was good. Shouldn’t Hee Jae’s room of secrets reveal the truth behind Seo Hwi’s father’s death?
Lee Bang Won (Jang Hyuk) was implicated as the man that ordered Seo Hwi’s father framed. Bang Won again wins the “man I want to kill this episode” contest. I’ve made it clear that I don’t want to believe that he ordered Seo Hwi’s father framed. I assumed all along that Nam Jeon was the culprit. Now he’s dead and the King is pointing the finger at Bang Won. Therefore, I assume the King is the culprit. Even though Bang Won has haters throughout the kingdom, I respect him. Will his nation of the abandoned come to fruition? I LOVE Jang Hyuk’s portrayal of Bang Won. Under his skillful portrayal I’ve seen character that admit to doing things that he has despised and seen the mental cost of the guilt (unlike his father and Nam Jeon). I’ve seen a character that believes in his vision of building a nation of the abandoned. I’ve seen a character that values and practices loyalty. What will happen to Bang Gan? How will Bang Won leverage Cheonga in the final episode?
What’s my wish list for the final episode?
* Bang Won becomes King. History dictates this. I want Bang Won to ascend the throne and rule implementing the vision that became his life’s work.
* Bang Won is revealed not to have ordered Seo Hwi’s father killed. I just don’t believe that he’s the puppet master.
* Seo Hwi lives and finds happiness with Hee Jae. This is the most low-key couple in a series. Frankly I’ve forgotten they exist multiple times. But they deserve happiness even if it is only a side note moment in the finale. I also want Seo Hwi to realize his support of Bang Won was the right choice, that he aligned with the right man.
* Sun Ho’s life status can go either way. Writer Chae has written Sun Ho to be despicable yet have glimmers of humanity. Woo Do Hwan’s portrayal saved this character again and again. Sun Ho is willing to die to avenge or save Seo Hwi. I’m okay with that. Seo Hwi won’t let Sun Ho die while he lives. I’m okay with that.
* The gang finds happiness. Mun Bok is there. Jung Beom and Officer Park need do to so. I’ve worried about Officer Park’s death throughout this series. Will he survive the finale?
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as almost terrific. My rating chart is below: