Guys, I think I have found my saguek fix for the next two months. In every century, we have a public hero, who dares to challenge higher powers and stand up for the poor. Let’s begin this journey with Baek Dong Soo!
At the execution ground is Baek Sa Ging (left), who is accused of ordering the rebel. In other words, Lord Baek is the escape goat for Crown Prince Sado. Not only him but three generations of his bloodline will be executed immediately. Coming to his rescue is sworn brother, Jang Dae Pyo (right). Unfortunately, Dae Pyo is one man against a line of officials and gets arrested.
Kim Gwang Taek arrives just in time and hands out his Gusaengpae, a metal plate given to him by the King that has the power to spare a life. Hong Dae Joo, the executing official, approaches Gwang Taek and whispers to him, “If not Baek Sa Ging, then the life of Crown Prince Sado will be threatened. Take your pick.” Reluctantly, Gwang Taek has to step aside and let the execution proceeds. Later, Jang Dae Pyo carries Lord Baek’s corpse back to their place.
At home protecting Lord Baek’s pregnant wife, Park Shi, is another sworn brother – Huk Sa Mo (above). He excels in using his butchering knives and is known to be the only commoner to carry such weapons.
To eliminate all seeds from the Baek’s family, the youngest assassin from Hoksa Chorong (Qing’s Assassin Group), In, is sent to take Sa Mo down. Instead, Gwang Taek orders Sa Mo to take Park Shi to a safer place while he chops off limbs and fingers of the cruel group of assassins.
Park Shi has been pregnant for 10 months and hasn’t shown sign of labor yet. The brothers are worried but later discover that she has wrapped her stomach tightly in hopes of delaying labor. Unfortunately, when the time comes, she gives birth to a baby with a deformed leg, due to her own wrapping. Shortly after, she dies due to profuse bleeding and Gwang Taek is there to assure her of the baby’s healthy form. The baby is named by Lord Baek as Baek Dong Soo.
However, when he steps outside of the door, he and Sa Mo are surrounded by the government officials. With the baby life in their hands, the two brothers have no choice but to surrender their weapons. During the way there, Gwang Taek helps Sa Mo escape and instructs him to bury Park Shi’s body properly.
Since Gwang Taek has helped the family of rebels, he is labeled as a convict, to be executed. On the other hand, the baby is to be boiled publicly. I know they won’t actually do it but every time I see that baby’s head above the boiling pot, I shiver. A very cruel method.
Seconds before the baby is dropped, Crown Prince Sado arrives with the King’s order to spare Gwang Taek’s life. Unfortunately, this order does not include the baby’s and Gwang Taek chooses an irreversible bargain. In exchange for the baby’s life, he will lose an arm.
Upon hearing this unfortunate news, dark swordsman Chun tenses because he’s losing a worthy opponent. Interestingly, a female assassin, Ji, is shaken. Seizing Gwang Taek’s disadvantage, Hong Dae Joo has a secret meeting with the assassin group to eliminate his eyesore. However, Chun is more dignified than that and refuses the job and grand reward. Hurry to take up the mission is the disgusting In.
The baby’s leg is now strapped with bamboo splints in hopes of correcting his deformed leg. While Gwang Taek has decided to leave in order to hide from Hong Dae Joo. On his way, Gwang Taek confronts In and his underlings. Surrounded and with a missing arm, he perseveres until a female riding on a horse comes to his rescue.
In the meanwhile, Dae Pyo returns to his village and catches his hyung, Yeo Cho Sang, being beaten up. The two converse and Cho Sang reveals that an ominous detail about his baby. The baby is predicted to have Killer Star Destiny: inflicting death on people. Dae Pyo scoffs at his brother’s superstitious beliefs and asks him to live a normal life, minus the alcohol. That night, Cho Sang decides to end his baby’s life but the situation twists and his wife uses her body to shield the baby. We then see Cho Sang stabs the spot where the baby lies on…I doubt he actually kills the baby.
Elsewhere, Ji tends to Gwang Taek’s wound, the two are either long time friends or ex lovers. She glances at the baby and wonders why he doesn’t cry. Gwang Taek answers bleakly, “Because he knows even if he cries, his mom and dad won’t be there.” He’s heading to Qing and ponders whether she would like to join him. She stares at him with longing eyes and he leans in to kiss her. Lovers they are. Ji spends the night with him but doesn’t stay because she deems herself unworthy of this happiness.
Gwang Taek stirs awake to the increasing sounds of footsteps as he hides the baby in a nearby bush. He lures them into an area of high grassland and takes each of them down separately. When In faces a sword to his neck, he quickly crouches and begs for mercy. I say go for the kill. Spare yourself from future headaches, Sword Saint. Do it!
At the crib, hunter Hwang Jin Ki saves the baby from the big bad wolf, literally. Gwang Taek searches around the market in his exhausted condition while the baby is returned to Sa Mo’s arms after Jin Ki sees Lord Baek’s name on the baby’s piece of clothing.
Twelve years later, our Sword Saint lets loose of his hair bun to become a…beggar. Elsewhere, Dong Soo (Giant‘s young Kang Mo) decides to jump the cliff in order to become friends with the neighboring kids. He hates living a life so different from others. A life where nothing is possible with his bind limbs. Sa Mo hugs him and assures him that he won’t die meaninglessly.
In another place, we see Cho Sang’s kid, Yeo Woon, practicing his swordsmanship in which his dad clearly forbids. When Yeo Woon learns that his father killed his mother, he angrily whacks his dad on the head. He walks away, unaffected. In the forest, Yeo Woon chances upon Chun. He shows interest in the kid’s bravery and natural flair as a killer and decides to take him in.
Hunter Hwang brings his daughter, Hwang Jin Ju, to visit Sa Mo. When Dong Soo is bullied by the boys, she lends a hand to help. But Dong Soo isn’t grateful because he doesn’t want to be saved by a girl.
Later that night, the boys gather around in Jin Ju’s place to dissect a frog before cooking it. One of the boys accidentally knocks the pot over, eliciting a fast-spreading fire. They run out and seek help from Dong Soo. Seriously? Young and healthy kids asking help from a person they look down upon and whose limbs are bind with bamboo? Nonetheless, the hero within Dong Soo strikes a chord and he goes running inside, wrapping a sheet made of hay around himself and Jin Ju. Then, one of the pillar collapses and he uses his whole body strength to sustain it.
Cut back to Yeo Woon, who has been training dutifully at Hoksa Chorong’s ground, and now it’s time for his assessment as he takes on several adult men. He completes the task and returns within the time limit. They bestow him a real sword. And his final mission is to kill the person he cherishes and loves most. His father.
Hiding his shaking hands, Yeo Woon smiles creepily at his drunk father. He takes out his knife and jabs at Cho Sang, who quickly seizes hold of sword and turns the situation around. He holds up the sword threateningly and vows to take Yeo Woon’s life. But when the sword is one inch away from Yeo Woon’s forehead, Cho Sang couldn’t bear to go through with it. Watching from afar, Chun flicks a knife to his back and Cho Sang stumbles backwards.
Yeo Woon sneaks a glance at Chun as he takes out another knife. He runs into his father but doesn’t have the heart to stab him. Cho Sang pulls the knife to his stomach, ending Yeo Woon’s agonizing decision.
Cho Sang: “You’re a lucky child. I hope I’m the first person you kill and also the last person. Do you understand?”
Yeo Woon: “No! You cannot die! Don’t die!”
This is too painful to handle, and Yeo Woon faints.
Alice: Dang! The first two episodes are crazy! Intense and gripping. Fast-paced and well-acted. Who cast that kid as Yeo Woon? He has natural cold, killer eyes! I’m totally invested in his character. Let’s hope the adult actors can hold their own.
Does anyone else think Jin Ju is Ji’s daughter? I have an eerie feeling that she is.