Trust Choi to start getting suspicious of Hanzo, upping the game for Hanzo to get his revenge before blowing his cover. And Hanzo continues to be an ass to everyone who calls him Yoon Kang. Now people, stop jeopardizing his revenge plans!
Soo-in calls out Yoon Kang’s name in shock, asking how can he be here. Hanzo looks shocked as well, but composes himself before lashing out at Soo-in. Choi notes the exchange with interest, and apologizes on Soo-in’s behalf. Hye-won drags Soo-in out, and Hanzo mocks Choi for having many tricks up his sleeves, and brushes the incident away.
At Hye-won’s room, Soo-in once again says Hanzo is too much like Yoon Kang, and Hye-won chides her. She reminds Soo-in that she had seen with her own eyes Yoon Kang died, and Hanzo has been verified to be born and bred in Osaka. She also reveals that Choi is enduring all the insults from Hanzo, just to succeed in his dealings with the Japanese. Hye-won begs Soo-in to compose herself, for Hye-won’s sake.
Choi fills Hanzo in about Soo-in and Yoon Kang, and explains that despite seeing Yoon Kang only once, he too, finds Hanzo’s looks strikingly similar to Yoon Kang. Hanzo mocks Choi for remembering how Yoon Kang looks like despite meeting only once, and Choi says perhaps it’s because Yoon Kang was full of rage about his father’s death, that made him memorable.
Just then, Hye-won and Soo-in comes out from Hye-won’s room, and Soo-in apologizes to Hanzo. He replies in his assy manner that he understands she must be missing her loved one terribly, which earned looks from everyone. Soo-in tries not to retort back, and asks for a chance to demonstrate her skills. Hanzo mocks that she looks more like a girl who’s more interested in dressing up than making explosives. Choi asks for 2 weeks to have the preparations for the explosive demonstration, but Hanzo insists on providing the gunpowder and stuff, claiming that he can get them ready in a few days.
Soo-in goes home dejectedly, and Hanzo is actually hiding at a corner looking at her. He turns around when she looks towards where he is, afraid of being seen. Another flashback of Kim Ok Gyun:
“You’re no longer Park Yoon Kang; he died in the cold waters of Joseon. You must now embrace the new world, for you are reborn. You have met no one before in Joseon, no relations with anyone there. This is your first step towards revenge. “
With that, Kim Ok Gyun exits the room, and Yoon Kang makes up the resolve to cut away his top knot. And he has become Hasegawa Hanzo.
Back at the present, Hanzo looks at himself in the mirror, making up his mind.
Soo-in tells Jan-yi Hanzo looks too similar to Yoon Kang, and Jan-yi tells her it’s her umpteenth time thinking someone looks like Yoon Kang. Jan-yi tells her to stop it, for how’d Yoon Kang’s spirit rest in peace if someone in the mortal world is unable to let him go? (Arang vibes, anyone?) Soo-in is adamant this time round, wondering aloud perhaps Yoon Kang is still alive. Jan-yi reminds her that Yoon Kang was shot, and Soo-in argues that but hs body was never found. She is resolved in confirming whether Hanzo is Yoon Kang.
Choi is sharing Soo-in’s thoughts too, recalling about himself shooting at Yoon Kang three years ago, and Soo-in’s shocked expression at seeing Hanzo. He orders his minion to double check the identity of Hanzo thoroughly with Haneda at the Consulate.
Sang Choo reports to Hanzo that Son Tae Su has vanished completely, and Hanzo tells Sang Choo there’s no more need to keep a lookout for Son. Instead, he tells Sang Choo to focus on looking for Yeon Ha, and the method they came up with, is to advertise for a helper girl who can read and write. Sang Choo then asks him about seeking for the gunman, to which Hanzo says there’s no need to look for him anymore, because “we’ll be meeting soon”.
At the palace, King Gojong’s trusted aides, Interpreter Jung inclusive, suggest to set up a totally new agency, which would oversee the diplomatic dealings with other countries, as well as modernization of weapons and technologies. The Prime Minister agrees it’s a good idea, but fears the Bill will be met with strong resistence from the conservatives. King Gojong orders Interpreter Jung to speed up the designing of the agency, and roll out the idea ASAP. He also reminds Interpreter Jung to be careful, since he’ll become a potential target of the conservatives.
Interpreter Jung runs into the Right Minister and his minions, and the Right Minister demands to know why Jung came out of the King’s hall. Interpreter Jung gives some excuses, and thinks it’s a misunderstanding on the Right Minister’s part for thinking he has something to report directly to the King. The Right Minister challenges him, saying he’ll be investigating more on Interpreter Jung to know if it indeed is a misunderstanding on his part. I officially fear for Interpreter Jung.
Hanzo and Choi sign their contract of the gold mining dealing, and Hanzo asks Soo-in if her preparations are going smoothly. Choi tries to make Hanzo stay for a meal, which Hanzo rejects, and he rejects again when Choi suggests that he can provide an office for Hanzo. Hanzo replies offhandedly that he’s not just trading with Gyeonggi Trade Group, which earns a sharp look and question from Hye-won. Hanzo replies jovially that they’re still looking for other gold mining prospects, although Gyeonggi Trade Group makes the best offer so far.
Hanzo stands up to leave, and Soo-in suddenly volunteers to guide Hanzo and Kanemaru around town. Hanzo rejects her, claiming that he’s rather familiar with town, and when Soo-in looks to Hye-won for help, Hye-won also thinks since Hanzo has rejected, there’s no point insisting. However Choi thinks otherwise, and guesses it’s probably because Soo-in wanted to make up for her mistake previously (of mistaking Hanzo for Yoon Kang), and urges Hanzo to accept Soo-in’s offer. He adds that it’s not too advisable for Japaneses to go around the town on their own, given the atmosphere in town isn’t too favorable to the Japaneses.
Choi tells Hye-won the following few days would be the most crucial for them to seal the deal with Hanzo, and they must take precautions not to let Hanzo be approached by other merchants.
Soo-in brings Hanzo around the shopping streets, and begins asking him about himself. He gets annoyed at her incessant questions, and replies her brusquely. They come across a store selling globes, and she beings explaining to him what it is. A look of reminisce crosses his face, but he quickly cuts her off and says he knows what it is for, and it is common knowledge.
She then tries to volunteers to show him places with better wares, if he has something in mind to buy. Hanzo tells her to quit it, guessing if her real intention is to flirt with him, since he is a wealthy Japanese trader after all. Soo-in is understandbly offended, but she recalls Hye-won’s pleads, and controls herself. She tries to tell Hanzo nicely that she’s just trying to understand a future work partner. He scoffs at her excuse, and says that there’s no need to meet again if she fails her demonstration.
Hye-won, at her father’s order, swiftly gets her men to chase merchants from other cities away, preventing them from dealing with Hanzo. The merchants leaves angrily, but not without leaving words of threat.
Hanzo and Kanemaru views a building, and while they have differing opinions, Hanzo still decides to make the place their office. Soo-in waits for them outside, and upon exiting, Soo-in presents a yangban hat to Hanzo, saying it is a gift for him. She places it on him despite his rejection, and is shocked at the similarity between him and Yoon Kang.
Jung Hoon appears from nowhere, and gives Hanzo a bear hug, calling him Yoon Kang as well. Both Kanemaru and Hanzo are disturbed by Jung Hoon’s actions, and Yoon Kang pushes him away. Soo-in pulls Jung Hoon away to the side, and he reminds Hanzo that they’d once wooed Myung-wol the gisaeng together. Oh Jung Hoon, I know you’re meant for comic relief, but I wish you would be more observant.
Jung Hoon walks towards Hanzo again, thinking Hanzo is joking with him, but Hanzo lashes out angrily at both him and Soo-in, throws the hat to the ground and warns them not to call him Yoon Kang again. Jung Hoon is confused at what’s going on. He insists that it must be Yoon Kang, even though Soo-in tells him Hanzo is a Japanese.
Soo-in takes out a drawing of Yeon Ha, and wonders to it if it were Yeon Ha instead, she would be able to recognize Yoon Kang immediately.
Sang Choo brings back a young female slave, and claims that initially he thought she is Yeon Ha, but turns out she’s not, and she keeps begging him to take her in, promising to work as long as she’s given food and shelter. She’s Je Mi (Kim Ga Eun), and at Sang Choo’s argument that he can’t possibly do all the chores on top of the missions Hanzo gives him, Hanzo agrees to take her in, albeit reluctantly.
Hanzo prepares to go out in his commonfolk disguise again, and Sang Choo and Je Mi sends him off. He waves at them, which Je Mi finds it strange. Sang Choo tells her Hanzo is a good man, and she doesn’t have to fear being abused again. He then strokes at her back and takes her hand, which Je Mi shakes him off uncomfortably. Ha, Sang Choo, you could be sued as a molester if it’s in current days. Just sayin’.
Mu-deok the sniper prepares the ambush for Hanzo with his trained men, and Hanzo reaches the meeting place by night fall. The snipers sees a movement, and all shoots at the same direction. We get a slo-mo of the bullets flying in unison, and it turns out to be a (poor) deer that was shot.
The conservatives convene yet another meeting, and some official mentions that the Queen has replaced all the court maids at hers and the King’s sleeping quarters. All the minions sit up in alarm at that, and the mastermind laughs that the King is all grown up now, and he must be preparing for some war with them.
Over at the Jungs, there’s also a meeting, and it’s Interpreter Jung with all the young Kaehwa scholars. Ho Kyung presents him with a letter, presumably ideas that they had come up with. Jung awards them with some money to have a drink, and one of the scholars thank him without reservations.
Mrs Jung chats with Soo-in over tea, and complains that even though the King is placing great faith in Interpreter Jung, he’s spending way too much money and energy into the Kaehwa movement. She also chastises Soo-in for spending too much on buying foreign wares, and Soo-in protests she only buy a thing a month. Hee. Mrs Jung then asks where Soo-in was the whole day, which she claims she is helping Hye-won by bringing her guest around.
Mu-deok and gang waits the whole night to no avail, and he sends his team back to the cave. Hanzo is observing them all the while, and he waits till Mu-deok is the last to leave, before whistling, catching Mu-deok’s attention. Hanzo stands right on top of a tall rock, and Mu-deok rolls and hides at a side after dismounting. He catches sight of Hanzo, and Hanzo motions for him to come.
Hanzo runs away, letting Mu-deok give chase. The distance between is narrowed, and Mu-deok prepares to shoot. Hanzo hears the bullet and turns to a side, while preparing to shoot as well. The bullet misses him, but his bullet found its target and sends Mu-deok’s hat flying. Hanzo shoots again, maiming Mu-deok’s shoulder. He goes down in pain, and tries to reach his rifle which has fallen. Hanzo takes aim at the rifle, and Mu-deok is at his mercy.
Hanzo reveals his real identity to Mu-deok, to his disbelief. He asks how could Yoon Kang be alive, which Hanzo replies that he feels too maligned to be dead, and so he survived. He then asks if Mu-deok is the gunman who killed his father, which Mu-deok says, “If I were that man, you’d have died long ago.” Hanzo presses him for the answer he wants, but Mu-deok simply refuses to throw up even any names. Hanzo shoots at his knee, but Mu-deok tells him to kill him instead. Mu-deok sees Hanzo’s hesitation, and removes a dagger and kills himself instead. Hanzo bellows in fury that his only lead is gone. He then recalls General Park told him about the wound he gave the gunman, and Hanzo proceeds to check Mu-deok’s shoulder. No such wound. He says to himself he’ll find out the rest of the puzzle on his own.
Mu-deok’s men reports to Choi, to which he guesses Mu-deok must have been dead.
Hanzo returns, and Kanemaru doesn’t seem to be surprised at all at his disguise. I wonder if he’s somewhat in it as well.
Jung Hoon continues to ponder to himself about Hanzo, when suddenly a constable bursts into his room and hands him a note, which informs him about Mu-deok’s body. Jung Hoon heads to the location with Officer Moon, and babbles about the reward money if indeed there’s a body. I applaud Officer Moon’s patience with Jung Hoon. Officer Moon also checks with the shoulder wound, and at the absence of it, deduces that he’s not Choi. Jung Hoon starts rattling off who could have possibly killed Mu-deok then, could it be Choi? Is the person whom he fought with outside Son’s manor Choi? Officer Moon shuts him up and orders him to move the body back to the station.
Hye-won and Soo-in observes with Hanzo the renovation of his new office, and Hye-won asks if Hanzo dislikes Soo-in that much. He claims that there’s no reason to dislike her, it’s a matter of whether she’s a reliable explosives technician. Hye-won tells him he can’t keep the gun powder in town, and suggests to bring him to the Gyeonggi Trade Group’s gunpowder storehouse. A bunch of dubious men follows them as they exit from Hanzo’s new office.
Ho Kyung pleads with Soo-in to stop her demonstration, but Soo-in explains it’s a favor from Hye-won. Ho Kyung says he heard it’s because of Yoon Kang again, and asks if Hanzo really looks that similar to Yoon Kang. Poor Ho Kyung. He asks if Yoon Kang is still alive, why is there no news of him yet. Ho Kyung then begs Soo-in to think of her father, and not carry out matters that’ll endager her father’s reputation. And he even tells her he’s not going to asks Soo-in to forget Yoon Kang. *swoons*
Hanzo compliments Hye-won for her capability, and she replies that she may be a female on the outside, but she’s never lived like a girl before. She reveals that she used to be courier too, and carried more goods than men. Just then, her bodyguards are shot from behind with arrows, and soon they find themselves surrounded by bandits. Hye-won remains composed, and asks the gang to let Hanzo go, and she’ll go to see their boss. Hanzo is impressed with her courage, and grabs a chance to fight the men. Hye-won sees for herself how he fights the armed men with bare hands, and is impressed.
Soo-in broods in her room, thinking about Yoon Kang and Hanzo, when Jan-yi enters to inform her that Jung Hoon is here. He tells Soo-in that his informant has tracked down Yeon Ha, and she’s due to be sold to Qing China as child prostitute. Eww. Soo-in gets upset at the news, and Jung Hoon assures her that he’ll save Yeon Ha. He adds that if only Yoon Kang knows what’s going to happen to Yeon Ha, and Soo-in looks pensive at that.
Choi’s right-hand man reports back to him with the documents about Hanzo, and Choi tells him that Mu-deok is killed. His right-hand man looks shocked at the news. Another of his minion bursts into the room, informing him that Hye-won met with an attack in the day, but is now back safely. Hye-won explains that Hanzo saved her, and Choi actually looks grateful to Hanzo.
Soo-in waits at the gibang where Hanzo is staying at, and bombards him with questions as soon as he has returned. She asks how can he not be Yoon Kang, when not only his looks, but also his voice and the look in his eyes are so similar to the Yoon Kang that she’d been thinking of for the past three years. He insists that he is not Yoon Kang, and she asks if he’s going to deny it if she were Yeon Ha. He stops in his tracks, and she continues telling him that Yeon Ha will be sold to Qing China. He regains his composure, and turns around to tell Soo-in that it is none of his concern where Yeon Ha is being sold to. He warns her not to look for him again, and he ain’t that free to listen to a crazy girl’s rumblings. Soo-in cries as he leaves, and the camera pans over to a secretive man looking over the walls of the gibang at them.
Hanzo returns to his room and finally breaks down. A voiceover from both Hanzo and Soo-in follows:
Soo-in: This is the last time. If you aren’t even concerned about Yeon Ha, then you mustn’t be Yoon Kang.
Yoon Kang: No, even if you mention Yeon Ha’s name, I am not Yoon Kang.
Soo-in: Then I’ll stop here. I’ll forget at you, Young Master.
The next morning, Soo-in begs Ho Kyung to go with her to confirm about Yeon Ha, and by the looks of it, it’s not the first time she’s done this. Ho Kyung tries to persuade her otherwise, to no avail.
Choi also receives information that Yeon Ha will be at the Mapo Port later at night, and he tells his right-hand man if Hanzo is indeed Yoon Kang, he will definitely go to rescue his sister.
The mysterious man (sent by Choi) outside the gibang the previous night is now a guest at the gibang, taking note of Hanzo’s action.
Three young girls, including Yeon Ha, are stringed along and brought to Mapo. As if we need further confirmation, the camera closes up on the wooden owl pendant which Yoon Kang carved for her.
Hanzo drinks with a gisaeng in his room, and makes her so drunk until she passes out. Sang Choo’s voiceover tells us that he had informed Hanzo that he’s under surveillance, which explains why Hanzo’s been hanging out with gisaengs the whole day. He blows out the candle in his room, and changes into his ninja outfit again.
At Mapo Port, Jung Hoon advices Soo-in to wait for the girls to board before making her confirmation, while Choi is also stationed nearby, waiting for Hanzo to appear. He tells his right-hand man that if Hanzo appears, he must be Yoon Kang. Meanwhile, Hanzo knocks out Choi’s man, which is found out by Choi in no time. He approaches the storehouse where Yeon Ha and the other girls are held, and as he begins to move towards the door of the storehouse, he is surrounded by Choi and his men.
Choi is definitely a formidable foe not to be taken lightly. Despite Hanzo’s repeated acts that he’s not Yoon Kang, once Choi suspects something, he goes all out to prove that his suspicions are not unfounded. With that, Hanzo has to be even more careful with his nocturnal activities.
I thought the brash Yoon Kang is replaced with a cautious Hanzo, but I guess sometimes personality is really difficult to be changed? I understand that he is eager to save his sister, but what after he saves Yeon Ha? Keep her with him? Yeon Ha will have to be kept away from people, specifically Choi, until Hanzo has fully avenged his father.
That aside, Yoon Kang sure has many outfits – the Japanese merchant who wears a Western suit, the commonfolk, the ninja and his rifle. He is certainly keeping his various identities apart well, and for his sake, I hope he can stay safe.
I’m happy to see more of Hye-won, and to get a glimpse of her personality. I’ve never liked Jeon Hye-bin in sagueks, for she’s always that devil bitch (desposed Queen Yoon in Queen Insoo, Seol Young in The King and I). But here, Hye-won is so far a strong girl, far more courageous and capable at business than any of her counterparts in that era. I hope this strong streak continues, and don’t let her be a hopeless fool in love.