As Damo Episode 10 opens, Hwangbo (Lee Seo Jin) and the old monk rush into Chae Ohk’s room. She is gasping, and falls over when Hwangbo touches her arm. Then her eyes open. Hwangbo smiles, the monk says a prayer and Hwangbo walks out into the grounds to drink from a fountain. There is a sudden sprinkle of spring rain. In this moment, all is well. If Hwangbo’s smile momentarily dims now and then when he thinks of his job, it soon returns. Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won) will live.
The damo tosses and mumbles as Hwangbo feeds her some tea. She is warning someone that the raid soldiers are coming, urging him to escape. Then she names Jang Sung Baek.
Hwangbo viciously thrashes his way through the forest in the dark. “It’s fine if it’s not me,” he says. Chae Ohk can forget him. Only not for Jang Sung Baek.
Chief Joh and Officers Baek and Lee figure out the Chief’s assistant leaked the news of the leper village raid. They begin to question him, but he takes the Chief hostage. Hwangbo arrives just in time to disarm the spy, but he suddenly charges headfirst into a wall, killing himself.
Chief Joh (Park Yeong Gyu) is seriously pissed at Hwangbo for deserting his post, and orders him to leave. In his office, Nan Hui (Chae Young In) begs her father to forgive Hwangbo, and consider his feelings for Chae Ohk. She is confident Hwangbo will choose her instead of the damo. She no longer wishes to hide her feelings (when did she ever??). The Chief tells her it isn’t her place to plead for Hwangbo, but she keeps at it. He kicks her out.
Hwangbo kneels in the courtyard. Nan Hui tries to get him to leave and wait for the Chief to cool off, but when he refuses, she kneels to wait with him. Then the Chief steps out and glares at Hwangbo.
In the office, the Chief chews Hwangbo out for putting personal feelings before the welfare of the country. He needs Hwangbo’s full attention on the King’s mission. He reminds Hwangbo of the 150 soldiers – along with his son – who were killed in the mountain camp raid. Hwangbo must choose: Chae Ohk, or the Police Station. Hwangbo chooses the Chief. The Chief orders him to relocate Chae Ohk to another post, and to marry Nan Hui after the investigation is over.
Chae Ohk is in the woods, staring dazedly off into the treetops. The old monk approaches and they walk together. Hwangbo wanted her to stay at the monastery, but there is someone she needs to see. The monk asks if she has feelings for the rebel leader. She says she needs to capture him to redeem herself. I guess breaking into the King’s palace, winning Hwangbo and Chief Joh’s freedom, and almost dying in the process isn’t redemption enough. The monk is resigned to her departure, but hopes she won’t kill anyone, even enemies.
Then he tells her that due to her illness, she is no longer able to have a child. Chae Ohk says she never expected to have a family, but she is obviously heartbroken. The monk tells her where her parents’ ashes are kept, and advises her to visit them sometime. Her eyes tear up again as he walks off, leaving the damo alone.
Chae Ohk visits the monastery where a young man brought her parents’ ashes a year before. A monk knows nothing of when or how they passed away. She weeps bitterly, as Jang Sung Baek (Kim Min Joon) passes by outside. He has come to arrange a home for the spirits of the slaughtered lepers. The monk tells him a woman came to see the ashes he brought. He dashes out, calling for his sister Jae Hui, but Chae Ohk has already left.
At the Left Police Station, Hwangbo and Officer Lee (Kwon Oh Joong) are bent over maps on a table. They have set up lookouts watching in the mountains for Jang Sung Baek’s return so they can follow him to the rebel’s new hiding place.
The Left Police officers have discovered that the dead informant’s military records have been expunged, which suggests a conspiracy at the highest levels. Hwangbo doesn’t comment on their suspicions. Feeling gloomy and distrustful, Officers Baek and Lee are delighted when Chae Ohk arrives.
Meanwhile, Nan Hui invites Hwangbo for tea, and asks him to marry her. Chae Ohk comes up behind her, in earshot of the conversation. Nan Hui continues, saying she knows he holds Chae Ohk in his heart. Hwangbo hurriedly interrupts to tell her they don’t match – he is the son of a concubine. Nan Hui says that doesn’t matter to her. Then she finally picks up on Chae Ohk’s presence and turns, aghast. The damo bows and smiles – this is what she has wanted for Hwangbo. But she hangs her head dispiritedly as she walks away.
The clerk’s son (Shin Seung Hwan) chooses this moment to pop out at her with a gift and propose marriage. He grabs and holds her in a hug, begging her to quit the police and marry him, leading a simple life. She listens passively, until he speaks of children. Then she begins to cry and pulls back.
Hwangbo visits Chae Ohk in her quarters. After a brief exchange of greetings, he tells her she is indeed in his heart as Nan Hui said. The damo says he is like a brother to her. Hwangbo isn’t buying it, and blames her for keeping them apart with her denial. He tells her she will be reassigned. Chae Ohk is fine with that, but before she leaves she wants to capture Jang Sung Baek with her own hands. Hwangbo asks sarcastically whether she wants to kill him or save him after she captures him. He tells her she can’t kill the rebel leader, and orders her to pack her things.
On his way out the door, he pauses to tell her to stop living for him, as he will be marrying Nan Hui. Seriously!? He harangued and guilt tripped her when he is engaged to someone else!? Badly done, Hwangbo.
The damo congratulates him, tears dripping, and Hwangbo pauses outside the door, also teary-eyed, mentally telling her to forget him – and Jang Sung Baek. I’d like to spank them both, and lock them in a room together until they figure out how to communicate like adults.
Officers Lee and Baek are sad to see Chae Ohk go, but the clerk’s son is thrilled to learn that she has been reassigned to his department. Hwangbo and Chief Joh both tell him to take good care of her. Obviously, they hope she will marry him. Hwangbo shamelessly maneuvers him into discussing confidential military records, telling him Chae Ohk’s life depends on it. With details of the dead traitor’s history, Hwangbo realizes both of Chief Joh’s last two assistants left a better paid military posting for a position with the Left Police Bureau – highly suspicious. They can restore the previous officer back into the assistant position and feed him false information.
The clerk’s son welcomes Chae Oh to her new home. He’s irrepressibly overjoyed to have her there. She tries to lower his expectations, but, like Nan Hui, he doesn’t know the meaning of no.
At the new rebel camp, Jang Sung Baek and his men are poring over maps and making plans. The Lord has been summoned to a meeting in the woods with the Magistrate and other men. They debate tactics and timing, but the Lord isn’t concerned about Chief Joh’s activities. The day they’ve been awaiting for 1000 years is at hand. It was reckless to call him to this meeting, however. They must be quiet as the dead.
Hwangbo reads a list of court officials with the power to destroy military records to Chief Joh, who is finding the investigation distasteful. Given considerations of time and jurisdiction, the best approach seems to be manipulating the Chief’s assistant, and watching the reactions of their suspects.
A man from her new base visits Chae Ohk late at night, with impure intentions. She demonstrates why he shouldn’t mess with her.
Later that night, the damo visits Nan Hui’s quarters, conversing with her through the closed door. She has come to say goodbye, as she is going away. Nan Hui is having some guilt about taking Chae Ohk’s man, and invites the damo to “live together” with her and Hwangbo. Didn’t see that coming! As a concubine, presumably? Does she really think Hwangbo will go for that, considering his parentage? Nan Hui promises not to compete with Chae Ohk, as she does not want to see someone she loves broken-hearted. But I can’t see it working. Chae-Ohk must feel the same way, because she continues to deny having any romantic feelings for Hwangbo. She wishes them a long and happy marriage, and departs abruptly.
In the morning, the clerk’s son visits the Left Police Station, searching for the missing Chae Ohk. Hwangbo overhears, and scolds him for not taking good care of her. The clerk’s son takes off, vowing to find her no matter what. Hwangbo says the damo wouldn’t have left for no reason, and asks the clerk (Yoon Moon Sik) to find out what happened.
Meanwhile, the former thief’s wife (No Hyun Hee) emerges into the courtyard of the nice little place they now own. She and her husband are shocked and joyful when Chae Ohk arrives in good health. But not for long.
Chae Ohk urges the former thief (Lee Moon Shik) to accompany her on her mission to catch Boss Jang. He is reluctant, but his pregnant wife reminds him that they would’ve aborted rather than bring a child into the life they lived before Chae Ohk raised their status. Gratitude is all very well, but if he is killed, she won’t be much better off. Nevertheless, she tells him to go and come back. When he is out of sight, she falls to the ground sobbing. Shame on Chae Ohk.
They visit the head of the local police station with a fake message from the Left Police chief. It’s a request for local soldiers to assist in the capture of Jang Sung Baek. The local chief checks their credentials and seems to go along with the plan. After they depart, the ex-thief is elated by his own performance. But the local police chief knows Chief Joh’s handwriting, and dispatches a messenger to check their story.
At the Left Police Bureau, Chief Joh shows the message to Hwangbo. The Chief is furious, and demands to know who would do such a thing. Then he answers himself – Chae Ohk. You’re in for it now, girl!
Related posts: See all Damo and Lee Seo Jin reviews