“Bossam” is the remarriage kidnapping during the Joseon period. Widows could not remarry. A single man or widower would kidnap (by consent or force) the widow and marry her. (Asianwiki Bossam: Steal the Fate)
Ba Woo (Jung Il Woo) and his partner Chun Bae creep into the palace. Ba Woo finds the widow waiting and ready to go. He puts the bag over the willing widow’s head and kidnaps her. Ba Woo is forced to draw guards away while Chun Bae takes the widow to the waiting groom. Chun Bae demands payment. The groom pays. Chun Bae warns the groom to treat the widow well or he’ll kidnap her back. The groom promises to be kind. Chun Bae leaves. The widow and groom hug. Then they start the ceremony.
Meanwhile at the palace Soo Kyung (Kwon Yuri) draws a picture of a kidnapping that Court Lady Jo described to her earlier. Soo Kyung wonders if the bride in the bag is happy or sad.
Ba Woo and Chun Bae met later and gamble together. They cheat. Ba Woo wins. He’s discovered. A fight ensures.
Chun Bae tries to persuade Ba Woo to do another kidnapping. Ba Woo refuses to bring a widow to that old of a bridegroom. They are pressed into service at a gisaeng house when scholars fight. Ba Woo disguises himself as a scholar and defuses the situation. Chun Bae brings booze. Ba Woo shows the scholars how to mix liquors. The scholars love it. Ba Woo plays a flute for the gathered scholars while they drink. When he’s done, all the scholars are passed out except one. They share a drink and the scholar offers his name, Lee Dae Yeob (Shin Hyun Soo). Ba Woo offers a false name. Dae Yeob offers to be friends.
Chun Bae praises Ba Woo’s success diffusing the situation. He’s impressed that Ba Woo could discuss at a scholarly level. Ba Woo states he grew up next to the village school. Chun Bae apologies to Ba Woo for not being able to make him a match. Ba Woo asks if he’s guilty about shorting him his portion of the payment. Chun Bae defers that discussion and offers to hook Ba Woo up with a pretty widow. Ba Woo isn’t interested.
The gisaeng owner thanks and pays Ba Woo and Chun Bae for diffusing the situation. They head home.
Ba Woo arrives home and young boy Cha Dol wakes. He wants to know what Ba Woo was doing. He asks if Ba Woo performed a bossam. Ba Woo doesn’t confirm. Cha Dol complains that he’s only used for cooking rice. He doesn’t want to squander his childhood. They banter.
Early in the morning, Dae Yeob arrives home. Soo Kyung is waiting for him. Court Lady Jo grouses they didn’t sleep while waiting for him to return. Soo Kyung notices Dae Yeob seems happy. He admits he met a new friend. He promises to introduce Soo Kyung to him one day. Dae Yeob’s mother arrives and is not happy to smell the alcohol on her son’s breath. She snaps that her daughter-in-law Soo Kyung shouldn’t try and hide that her son goes to gisaeng house. Soo Kyung counters she didn’t want her to worry. Dae Yeob’s mother barks that Soo Kyung may be the king’s daughter but she married into this family and must live by her rules. Soo Kyung apologizes. Dae Yeob interrupts his mother’s litany. Irked, she turns and leaves. Dae Yeob asks why mother like that. Court Lady Jo reminds him today is the death anniversary of his brother and Soo Kyung’s husband. Soo Kyung assures him she can go to the temple without him.
Haeindang Lee, who Soo Kyung calls Aunt, finds them walking. Court Lady Jo grouses Soo Kyung waited up all night to keep the gate unlocked so Dae Yeob could return home without waking his parents and now mother is miffed. Soo Kyung tells Court Lady Jo to make tea and not to be so free with her activities.
Dae Yeob admits to his father that he went to the gisaeng house. His father admits he did too when he was young. They discuss justice, landowners, contractors, and the preference law which his father declares harms the powerful.
Haeindang Lee urges Soo Kyung to enjoy her one day of freedom. She tells her to purchase sandalwood in the city market before going to the temple. She assures Soo Kyung she has mother’s permission. Haeindang Lee warns her not to make things easier for Dae Yeob because it only makes things harder for her with mother.
Court Lady Jo and Soo Kyung go into the city. They watch acrobats with the crowd of onlookers. Soo Kyung smiles and enjoys herself. As they walk among the shops, Soo Kyung glows. They meet the man with the sandalwood and a monk. As they enter the shop, Ba Woo causes a ruckus. A fight ensures. Ba Woo is thrown into the street in front of Soo Kyung. He pushes himself up. He exposes his chest then continues the fight. Court Lady Jo explains the man is a loan shark. Ba Woo ends up winning. Chun Bae is thrilled. Soo Kyung stares then heads into the shop.
Ba Woo tells the man to pay willingly next time. He gives money to children.
Chun Bae and Ba Woo take a meal. Chun Bae presses Ba Woo to do the bossam for the rich man. Ba Woo refuses. Chun Bae asks if he’s adamant because of what happened to his wife. Ba Woo warns him not to bring up his wife. Chun Bae points out the money Ba Woo can make and the difference that money could make to his mother. They negotiate the price.
Dae Yeob practices his sword skills. He thinks of the unfair treatment Soo Kyung gets. He thinks of Soo Kyung. Dae Yeob’s father and elder brother (military man) find him. There is tension between the brothers. His father jokes Dae Yeob likes swords better than books. He tells Dae Yeob’s brother to get rest after his night duty shift. Dae Yeob’s glares at Dae Yeob then leaves. Dae Yeob’s father says he has a message from Lord Nae. He wants to see his future grandson-in-law. Dae Yeob takes a horse for a visit.
Soo Kyung prays at the temple for her deceased husband while Court Lady Jo watches.
Ba Woo brings Cha Dol to the temple to remember their grandfather. Cha Dol sees the monk’s son Cheon Bae and refuses to his friend. The monk tells Ba Woo to come in. The monk marvels at how much Cha Dol has grown. He lets the boys go out to play. Ba Woo asks after his mother and sister. The monk says they are doing okay. Ba Woo asks if the monk gave them the money. The monk asks if Ba Woo things he took the money for himself.
The boys watch Soo Kyung bow to the monks. His friend tells him she’s a princess, the king’s daughter. Cha Dol is impressed.
The monk hits Ba Woo for his loan shark activities. He tells Ba Woo to come to his senses. He says his mother and sister would be ashamed of how he lives. Ba Woo demands to know what he did to live like this. The monk sighs.
Court Lady Jo suggests Soo Kyung take off her white mourning clothes. It’s been 3 years since her husband died. Soo Kyung says she’s a sinner that causes worry to her father, mother, and Court Lady Jo. Soo Kyung says it is time to leave.
As they walk back, it begins to rain. Court Lady Jo loses the umbrella which is blow in the breeze. Ba Woo is on the path but doesn’t respond to Court Lady Jo’s calls for help. Court Lady Jo dashes after the umbrella. Soo Kyung stays still and watches Soo Kyung stare in the distance. When Court Lady Jo returns, she identifies the man as the loan shark they saw earlier. Court Lady Jo suggests he’s strong and desirable. Soo Kyung’s glare makes Court Lady Jo revise the statement to be a strong servant. They walk away.
Cha Dol tells Ba Woo he saw a princess at the temple. Ba Woo doesn’t believe him. Cha Dol insists he saw a princess.
That night Ba Woo meets Chun Bae. He’s not happy to smell alcohol on Chun Bae’s breath. He scoffs that Chun Bae slows down after drinking. Chun Bae claims it was only 1 drink. Ba Woo says they better get this underway. A tipsy Chun Bae seems to be confused which house has the widow. They duck in a doorway to avoid detection from the guards. Chun Bae declares this is the widow’s house. They head to the back to gain entrance.
Soo Kyung sees Court Lady Jo falling asleep.
Chun Bae spots the widow walking in the yard in mourning clothes. It’s Soo Kyung getting a breath of fresh air. Ba Woo enters the yard to find the widow. He enters the room where Court Lady Jo is sleeping. He sees another widow in mourning walking the yard. He watches her approach. She turns. Ba Woo is there. She asks who he is. Court Lady Jo wakes and walks outside. She sees Ba Woo with a person in the bag. She sounds the alarm.
Ba Woo and Chun Bae flee. They arrive at the old bridegroom’s house but something is going on at the household. Chun Bae tells Ba Woo to return the widow. Ba Woo tells Chun Bae to see what’s going on at the old bridegroom’s house. He takes the bagged widow to his house. He orders Cha Dol not to touch.
The next day Chun Bae rushes up to Ba Woo and informs him the old bridegroom died. They need to return the widow.
Cha Dol can’t help it, he creeps to the person in the bag. He reveals the shoed feet. Ba Woo enters and tells him not to touch. He leans over the bag to make sure the person is breathing. Cha Dol declares he’ll make a meal for them. They sit down to eat. Cha Dol gaze goes to the person in the bag. He suggests that person is hungry. Ba Woo order him to go outside and play. Cha Dol grouses but heads outside.
Ba Woo goes outside and calls for Cha Dol. He starts to look for him. Cha Dol smiles and takes food to the person in the bag. He opens the top of the bag. He sees the gagged woman. She opens her eyes. Cha Dol calls her mother. He promises his father will release her. Soo Kyung struggles. Cha Dol makes her promise she won’t run if he releases her. Soo Kyung nods yes. Cha Dol asks her to become his mother. Soo Kyung decides she must agree. She nods. Cha Dol stares at her. He recognizes her as the princess. Ba Woo enters and begins to pull the bag over Soo Kyung’s head. Cha Dol asks his father why he kidnapped a princess for a wife and his mother. Ba Woo doesn’t believe him. Cha Dol insists this is the princess he saw at the temple. Ba Woo remembers someone calling princess after he left the temple. He stares at Soo Kyung in shock.
The second bossam set things in motion. This was a good opening episode. Director Kwon Seok Jang captured the village and lit the characters well. Writers Kim Ji Soo and Park Cheol crafted an episode that introduced the characters so we got a sense of who they are. Ba Woo’s friendship with Chun Bae appears to be more advantageous for Chun Bae than Ba Woo. Cha Dol speaks his mind. Soo Kyung is obviously living in a household where she’s not wanted now that her husband, their son, is dead. They can’t or won’t kick her out because she’s the king’s daughter. But the mother of the household doesn’t have to treat her well. We don’t know much about Soo Kyung except she’s pretty and kind. I hope she ends up having a bit of spirit too. Soo Kyung’s brother-in-law Dae Yeob seems like a man that pines after Soo Kyung, is a bit trapped and wants to spread his wings.
Ba Woo (Jung Il Woo) is smart, kind, and isn’t a pillar of the community when he earns money. He’s got a mother and sister that he funds. There’s an issue with his father that brought him shame and lowered status. He’s got a son. He’s got a friend that uses him. His wife is a touchy topic. Is she dead? But he has a heart. He gave money to the children. He cares about his son. I’m inclined to like Ba Woo.
Soo Kyung (Kwon Yuri) is the princess in mourning. Her husband died 3 years ago. She could remove her mourning but won’t. She has a constrained life. There appears to be shame. Court Lady Jo is a faithful companion who wants Soo Kyung to start living again. Ba Woo’s kidnapping just changed her trajectory.
Lee Dae Yeob (Shin Hyun Soo) has a crush on Soo Kyung. He’s the brother of Soo Kyung’s husband and thinks about her in more than a sisterly way. So, the triangle is established. Soo Kyung doesn’t think about him as more than a friend. Dae Yeob also enjoyed his conversation with Ba Woo, so there could be a bromance.
The first song of the OST is “Just for one day” sung by So Jung.
I rank this episode as good, 7 on a 10-point scale.
Yay that you are recepping this drama! I like it a lot so far.
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It was a good start!
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I agree this series is off to a good start. I laughed out loud when Court Lady Jo remarked after watching Ba Woo’s fight “His butt is massive and his chest is firm … don’t you desire him?”. My goodness, I did enjoy counting Jung Il Woo’s abs.
I don’t like that Soo Kyung’s mother-in-law treats her so poorly. Daep Yeop does seem to have a sweet crush on Soo Kyung. I wonder if her deceased husband was a nice man. I’m looking forward to seeing how the bossam changes her trajectory.
I think Ba Woo’s son Cha Dol stole my heart when he called Soo Kyung “Mother”.
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I laughed out loud when Court Lady Jo remarked after watching Ba Woo’s fight “His butt is massive and his chest is firm … don’t you desire him?”. My goodness, I did enjoy counting Jung Il Woo’s abs.
I liked her frank appraisal too. I don’t care how much of those abs were contoured with makeup. They looked good.
Ba Woo’s son Cha Dol stole my heart when he called Soo Kyung “Mother”.
Another likeable child and young actor. Kdramas excel at that.
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I was surprised at the sexy comment too. It’s not very often desire from a woman is mentioned in any drama (especially saeguk)…while I expect the characterisation of passive female sexuality in dramas I am doubtful (hopeful) it’s not like that in real life! JIW is looking good 👍.
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I like actress Shin Dong Mi, who plays Court Lady Jo, she typically plays strong outspoken characters (at least in dramas I’ve seen with her) and seems like the perfect sidekick for the princess.
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Jung Il Woo is looking GOOD 😁👍, I 💗 his facial hair, although I’m not sure if I’m a fan of his scraggly hair.
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Thanks for the fantastic recap 🙂
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