In Episode 8 of Damo, we learn that the general has left a suicide note, swearing his loyalty to the King. The King is upset, and berates Chief Joh and Hwangbo. They are bound with red ropes and taken away. Back at the police station, Chae Ohk hugs Hwangbo’s hat and weeps, flashing back to an earlier conversation. Hwangbo told her how angry he was about being illegitimate, and how meeting her was the thing that brought him out of his darkness. All he wants is for her to live like a human being while he protects her.
In the prison, Hwangbo and the police chief are racked with regrets, blaming themselves for not realizing the general’s innocence. The chief’s son is outside, anxiously awaiting news of who will replace Hwangbo as leader of the raiding party (and we thought he was worried abut his dad – hah!). He is chosen, on the condition that he won’t return if he fails. This makes him pause, but he agrees.
He then begs his way into the jail, but his father doesn’t buy that it’s all for his sake, and warns that the raid will not go well if ambition is his driving motivation. Hwangbo, who has been sitting on the sidelines through this discussion, wishes him success in battle. For once, Commnder Joh is civil, and thanks him. He then bows to the floor to his father, who says nothing as he watches him leave.
Nan Hui visits the lord who had proposed that she marry his son. She admits she was against the marriage, but offers to consent to it if he saves her father and Hwangbo. The lord is unimpressed with this bizarre proposal, although he turns her down courteously. He has doubts about the success of the raid. Hmm. Could he be the power behind the rebels?
Chae Ohk is a wreck, until Commander Joh says something about saving his father and Hwangbo, which perks her right up. Is such a thing possible? They raiding party arrives at a rendezvous with the elite forces on the mountain. Chae Ohk rushes ahead to scout the camp. When she arrives, she is dismayed to find it empty, but Boss Jang calls out to her as she approaches his hut, inviting her in.
He is drinking heavily, and says that he was waiting for her. She tells him soldiers are coming, and that she is a damo. Then she realizes he knew. He tries to persuade her to leave with him, but she pulls her sword on him. He reproaches her, listing all his crimes and demanding that she kill him, then. There’s inarguable logic to this, but she ignores it. Then he admits that used her to set up the general, Hwangbo and the chief, but even this doesn’t seem to faze her. She tries to persuade him to leave with her before the soldiers arrive, repent, and ask the King to restore him to normal status.
She is crying by now, but still holding him at sword point. He pulls their father’s sword on her, and they lock blades inside the tiny hut. He swiftly disarms her, and says again that he wanted to live in the mountains with her for a long time. He demands to know if she thinks he’s a criminal who should be beheaded and thrown into the streets.
She doesn’t answer, and he goes on to speak of a new movement rising, answers bursting from the chests of the people, changing the world from the roots on up. Next time they meet, let it be in a world where they don’t point swords at each other. He sheaths his sword and leaves. She says to herself that this is a conspiracy. He has said theirs is a “cruel destined meeting.” Little does he know how cruel!
Boss Jang pauses, looking back at the door of the hut and waiting. Suddenly arrows shower down. The elite forces have arrived, with the rest of the troops not far behind. He has an aerial swordfight with Officer Lee, landing briefly on a bridge, then spinning down to the rocky gully below. Whatever Officer Lee lacks in forensic ability, he makes up for in sword skills. They fight in, over and through the river for awhile, then Boss Jang escapes into the treetops.
Commander Joh soon arrives, and finds warm coals in a cooking ring. The commander decides to go after the rebels, since he can’t return empty-handed, although Officer Lee warns him against hasty decisions. The Commander splits the forces into three parties to comb the woods.
When he heads off, Chae Ohk tells Office Lee they have to find the thief first. She is sure the rebels wouldn’t have killed him, but Officer Lee is skeptical. They find him bound and gagged in the booby-trapped forge. They free him just in time – the building explodes energetically. The thief is OK, but quite hysterical.
The rebels were very well-prepared. The forces in the woods encounter massive booby traps and ambushes, and are gruesomely impaled and shot by the dozen. Arriving late, Officers Lee, Baek and Chae Ohk survey the carnage. Chae Ohk looks as if she is about to break apart, while Officer Lee curses “those evil murderers.”
Commander Joh’s party goes up the river, but soon they too are trapped and slaughtered. Commander Joh looks around him and realizes it’s his fault. His father was right. Commander Joh’s last surviving men are shot and he is left standing alone. Boss Jang rises out of the river and the rebels emerge from the woods. He tells them to step back, and fights Commander Joh one-on-one.
As Chae Ohk and the two officers look on from a cliff above, Commander Joh fights hard, but is soon disarmed. His sword lands within his reach, but he makes no attempt to retrieve it. Boss Jang says he is so young and skilled, it’s a shame his life has to end. Commander Joh looks back at his dead men, and says nothing. Boss Jang executes him swiftly. The rebels depart, and Chae Ohk looks shell-shocked.
The King is also shocked to hear his troops have been annihilated. At the left police station, colleagues and families of the dead are performing services. Chief Joh arrives, accompanied by guards. He bows low before the incense burner, and remembers his son’s last words, that he would like his family to live with his father.
As he is accompanied away by the guards, Nan Hui reproaches him for speaking ill of his son in front of his wife and daughter, and in his last resting place. But he says he can’t forget his son’s responsibility for the larger tragedy. As he walks way, though, he says to himself that when he meets his son in heaven, he will see him only as his son. Then he collapses, and the guards rush him off to the clinic.
Chae Ohk tries to see the minister to tell him that Hwangbo and Chief Joh were set up, but they won’t admit a serving girl and eject her roughly. She gets a note to Hwangbo in the jail, encouraging him, and promising to find a way. He sends a message back, regretting that he brought her on this path, and telling her not waste her time on something useless. He says her life need not be any different because he is gone, and he hopes she will have no more destined meetings like the one with him. Too late!
Chae Ohk tells Officer Lee she must see the King, and while Officer Baek blubbers on about the risk and craziness of this, asks him what she must do to make it happen.
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