So, where were we? Well, the Queen, the Hongs, the Norons, Kenjo with some Japanese soldiers, and many of the military officers are planning a coup against the King. Dong Soo, the Prince and his guards more or less know about it, and are investigating.
Episode 27 starts with Un chatting with the Queen as she tries to make sure he’s in her employ, not the Hongs. (and thanks to a few commenters, I’m never going to be able to see this scene without *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* subtext now.)
To prove his abilities, the Queen first suggests that he kill the King. To which Un replies “you’ve got to be joking.” Then she suggests that he kill Dong Soo.
Dong Soo is running away from Hong’s fighters, who have been hired by Dae Ung to kill him. He stops in a narrow alley, stretches out, grins and takes them on one by one. (And seriously, I do love that he is using Chun’s moves and his old sunnier attitude in this fight.) Finally he is down to just the leader, and when the guy’s sword gets trapped in the small space, Dong Soo beats him up, ending that encounter as Dae Ung takes off.
As he runs off, Dae Ung bumps into Jin Ju and Sa Mo, both of whom want to kill him. So, he’s trapped between the three of them. Dae Ung once again snivels for his life, and Sa Mo kicks him to the ground. As Sa Mo threatens to whack Dae Ung, Dong Soo stops him and says to let Dae Ung go. Sa Mo (justifiably, I might add) points out that someone should have killed Dae Ung long ago. Jin Ju adds that she can’t forget what he did to her and her father (again, justifiably). Dong Soo lets Dae Ung leave. Sa Mo tells him he’s an idiot, but Dong Soo says that killing Dae Ung won’t change anything.
Anyway, Un asks if the Queen has a reason for wanting Dong Soo dead. When the Queen asks if assassins need a reason to kill someone, Un replies that she’s picked the one person he can’t kill. The Queen tells him he’s just making excuses, and he apologizes. She then looks at him and says “So…” and we pull away to see Un bowing his head to the Queen and then leaving.
We zoom back in again to the Queen saying to her father that she has to make Un her person (yeah, yeah, mind back in gutter). Her father says it would be good to have him on their side for at least a while.
In running away from Dong Soo, the fighters he hired catch up to Dae Ung. They are not happy to have had their butts kicked. He turns to run from THEM, and Hong’s forces have caught up to him.
They haul him off to Lord Hong’s house where he has to try to explain borrowing the fighters to kill Dong Soo. Dae Ung snivels some more, and instead of being killed outright is wrapped in a mat and beaten. While that’s going on, Kenjo reports that his men will be arriving, and in voice over we hear that what the Queen had asked Un for was one of Lord Hong’s arms.
Seo returns the Crown Prince’s pole weapon to the Prince, explaining that he couldn’t bear to destroy it. He figures that if it’s discovered, he’ll take whatever punishment the King might hand out. Cho Rip tells him that things are getting critical, so they want him to have the weapon handy.
Back at home, Jin Ju complains about Dong Soo letting Dae Ung go, but Jang Mi says that it was a good thing, and that Dong Soo is becoming more and more like Gwang Taek. Out in the courtyard, Dong Soo talks Jin Ki and Sa Mo into practicing with him, trident vs sword and knife, and wins easily. He tells them that Gwang Taek taught him. As they all go in, Dong Soo gets a bad feeling, and we see Kenjo lurking around.
Ji Sun and Mi So report that they didn’t find out much in the market. They saw a cart take stuff to the blacksmith, but when they looked inside didn’t find anything. Jin Ju decides to check, since she’s a lot sneakier than the two girls. Dong Soo also decides to keep an eye on Lord Hong’s place.
Hong1 reports that with the Japanese forces, their manpower should be enough. Also, the men are learning to fire the new guns, so all should be in readiness!
Dong Soo sneaks around Hong’s place and happens across Dae Ung tossed in an alley. He helps him and gives him a drink. Dae Ung, not surprisingly, reacts by going WTH, are you just letting me go to hunt me down later? Dong Soo tells him if he wanted to kill Dae Ung, he’d already be dead, and to make tracks before he changes his mind. The other fighters see Dae Ung sneaking off like a rat, and follow.
Un meets with Lord Hong and acknowledges that he met with the Queen. He tells Hong that the Queen ordered him to kill Dong Soo. ant that he told the Queen he would. Unfortunately, Dong Soo happens to be eavesdropping.
Kenjo spots Dong Soo, and challenges him in the courtyard. When he tries to get Dong Soo to come inside and have a wee chat with Hong and Un, Dong Soo draws his sword and they begin to fight. Un comes out and calls to Dong Soo. Hong asks what he’s doing there, and ventures that this would be a fun fight to watch.
Hong tells him he has to bear the consequences for venturing there, and a troop of his guards comes running in to challenge him. Un asks Dong Soo if he can’t stay out of trouble for a day, and Dong Soo returns is that why Un agreed to kill him?
Dae Ung wanders into town and encounters the fighters again. The leader tells him that Hong ordered them to kill him, and takes out the poison that Dae Ung himself had given them. As they are about to make him drink it, one of them is hit by an arrow, and they scatter. Jin Ju, against her better judgement, saved Dae Ung.
Back at Hong’s, Dong Soo takes on the guards without even drawing his sword. He knocks them all out as some more fighters arrive. Kenjo tells them to wait, and says he’ll take care of it.
As Kenjo draws his sword, Hong tells him to stop. Instead, the gunmen arrive. Un starts to reach for his sword, and Hong tells him to stop. Dong Soo braces himself, and the gunmen take aim. Suddenly they start falling, because they’ve been hit by arrows. Jin Ju and Jin Ki have arrived as back up!
Jin Ki throws a smoke bomb into the middle of the courtyard, and Dong Soo escapes. Hong keeps the troops from chasing them, saying they need to stay safe until the coup. However, inside, he tells Kenjo that it looks like Dong Soo has gotten a whiff of something going on, since he showed up like that.
Dae Ung stumbles away, and collapses, cursing Dong Soo for pitying him when he was the one who had wanted to kill Dong Soo.
Back at home, Dong Soo tells Cho Rip and Sa Mo that they can tell that things are almost ready, but they have no idea exactly when this coup is going to go down. Dong Soo and Cho Rip plan to report to the Prince.
Meanwhile, Un and Gu Hyang try to figure out how to grant the Queen’s request for Hong’s arm. They assume she means it metaphorically, so he gives Gu Hyang a list of things to get done. Then an underling reports that the Japanese troop has left and is heading their way. He sends the underling out to keep an eye on the Japanese.
Then in a flashback, we see that Dong Soo stopped to talk to Un under the cover of the smoke bomb. Dong Soo told him that the only way he’d give up on Un was if Un killed him. And back at home, Dong Soo ponders hearing Un saying that he had agreed to kill Dong Soo.
Gu Hyang hands a message off to an official, and so the word of whatever it is Un wants them to do gets passed around his palace spy network. Finally an official gets the note, and sends some troops out to arrest Hong’s toady for taking bribes from exam entrants. Not surprisingly, since he’s actually guilty, they have evidence.
Dong Soo and company happen to see him being hauled off to jail, since they are at the palace to see the Prince. The Prince is meeting with the Queen, who tells him that she doesn’t want him to be regent because she’s afraid it’ll cause him harm. He tells her that it’s something he has to learn and he’ll do his best. Her father arrives along with a palace lady carrying a bird cage. After the Prince leaves, Lord Kim tells her the toady was arrested, and that the bird is for getting a message to Un. If she sends the bird, Un will arrange for the toady to go free, otherwise, he’ll die.
Dong Soo meets with the Prince, but doesn’t have any concrete information on the timing of the coup. He sees the Crown Prince’s pole weapon, and flashes back to meeting the Crown Prince. (Manzzang! How we’ve missed you!)
Hong visits his toady in prison, but mostly he’s angry that he got arrested right before the coup is planned. Hong1 runs in to say that they can’t find out who ratted on the toady, but Hong adds it up and concludes it was the Queen. She, however, denies everything. Since Hong needs him for the coup, he asks the Queen to arrange for the toady to be released. So she sends the bird off to Un and the toady goes free.
She gets summoned by the King, who is feeling better, but still insists that the Prince act as regent for a while. He plans on announcing it the next day.
The Queen gets into a snit and summons Hong, who was expecting it. She wants to advance the plans a day, but he argues that doing so will make it less likely to succeed. However, he has a suggestion on how to delay the announcement. The Queen agrees.
Dong Soo’s side decides to keep an eye on the Japanese soldiers as a way to judge when the coup is starting, but worries that Hong won’t call them in until late in the game, so Dong Soo has other suggestions we don’t get to hear.
The Queen drinks a concoction and falls ill, which was the delaying tactic they had in mind. Another bout of that allergic reaction to the herb.
The little kid who Dae Ung had used to pass messages spots him hiding in an alley of the town, and very kindly hands him something to eat. The kid points out where he lives nearby and skips off.
Cho Rip follows the Japanese troops and sees them meeting up with various military officials. Gu Hyang also sees them and reports back to Un who says they’ve reached the point of no return. Then he receives a message from Hong asking for him.
Dae Ung follows Dong Soo and Jin Ju around, and sees them go in the blacksmith shop. When they can’t find anything there, he goes in and tells them they are looking in the wrong place. He shows them the hidden entrance to the storeroom.
Dae Ung shows them the little bit of remaining gunpowder in a box, and tells them that a meteor will be the starting signal for the coup, but that’s all he knows.
Dae Ung takes the box, and they decide to believe his information. He goes to Hong’s house planning to blow it up, and uses some beggars to distract the guards. Inside, Hong is giving his list of people to remove before the coup starts – General Seo and Dong Soo.
Hong plans to have the police raid the village near Dong Soo’s and arrest a bunch of people as thieves, figuring that it will draw Dong Soo out to protect them. The police should have orders to kill anyone who resists. Dae Ung overhears this, and realizes that the little boy lives in that area.
Hong calls in Un, and Hong1 reports that everything is in place. Hong announces that everything will start that night with a meteor signal.
The police head to the village to raid it, and are seen by Hong Do, the artist. He runs off to tell Dong Soo. He’s meeting with Sa Mo and company, and concluding that it’s not just a move against the Prince, but a full out rebellion against the King.
Jin Ju and Jin Ki are out on the mountain, hoping to prevent the kite signal. Cho Rip goes to tell the royal guards about the police raid on the village, while Sa Mo and Dong Soo head to the village itself.
On the mountain, Jin Ju and Jin Ki prevent some kites from launching. At the village, as the toady orders the police to arrest villagers as thieves, Dae Ung shows up. The toady sputters as they are all hit with a powder, and Dae Ung is delighted to tell them they are all now covered in gunpowder. Dae Ung yells and points out that all the villagers have left.
Kenjo arrives suddenly and stabs Dae Ung, who drops his torch. As the toady thanks Kenjo, Dae Ung staggers forward, noting that being stabbed is nothing to him. He grabs his fallen torch, and lights the fuse on his box of gunpowder. Everyone dives for cover as he tosses it and it explodes.
On his way to the palace, Cho Rip encounters Un and some troops.
The little kid finds Dae Ung in the street and starts crying over him. Dong Soo and Sa Mo arrive to see the carnage. Dae Ung tells Dong Soo that because he made Dae Ung change, Dong Soo was really the one who saved the village. He tells Dong Soo that because he used a sword to save so many, he’s better than Gwang Taek. He thanks Dong Soo for allowing him to do one good thing. He tells Dong Soo to go stop the coup, and finally Dae Ung dies. (YEAH!!!)
Kenjo comes out and approaches Dong Soo. He tells Dong Soo that it’s admirable that he avoided revenge and saved people, but that a kingdom is built on power and strength. Dong Soo tells him that’s not so, a strong kingdom can be built like this. Kenjo wonders if Dong Soo can stop a plan that has already come this far.
Just then, Hong2 sets off a set of signal kites.
Un moves forward and stabs Cho Rip. As he is stabbed, Cho Rip looks up and sees the meteor kites.
And there we end episode 27!
Sigh. It was mostly just set up for the big bad coup, but necessary. Breaking with tradition, even though he croaked, Dae Ung doesn’t get to top the page, because he spent 27 episodes annoying me with his screech.
It’s also annoying that Kenjo, who really should be off plotting away, hung around to be exposition samurai there at the end with Dong Soo so we could get platitudes of the day about the quality of mercy and building a country. I realize he was there to kill Dong Soo after the troops were supposed to lure him there, but why stand around and chat after you’ve been blown over a wall by a bomb? You’ve lured him there, so fight!