I almost always watch the preview of the next episodes because I’m not much of a spoilerphobe, but perhaps watching the preview for Episode 21 wasn’t such a good idea because it made me really nervous about the final episode. I mean, there’s a reason for why Hong Gil Dong has the distinction of being the only Hong Sisters drama that I did not finish. I read dramabeans’ recap of its last episode and then didn’t want to watch it anymore. Hong Gil Dong, like Tamra, was a fusion sageuk whose storyline had a mix of light and dark elements and look how it ended. So, when I saw the preview for Tamra‘s last episode, my imagination went into overdrive and I was fearing for the worst. Seriously, if Tamra pulls an ending similar to Hong Gil Dong, I’m gonna @#$%^&*! (Spoiler alert)
Blue (Love Theme) by Mika [Black Pearl] – Tamra the Island OST
As Park Kyu and William await their execution day, Beo Jin appeals to Yann to help them, but to no avail as he says that his debt to Park Kyu has been repaid and now he owes them nothing.
In Tamra, Seo Rin meets with the former King and enlists his support for her grand takeover. He declines, telling her that he has no care for political machinations and wants to live the rest of his days quietly on beautiful Tamra. He also advises Seo Rin to quit before it’s too late. To which Seo Rin replies that she’s already past the point of no return and will not stop now.
And me, I’m yelling at my screen, “Listen to the wise old man, lady!”
Back in Hanyang, a mysterious but important scroll arrives at the king’s hand.
Even before death, Park Kyu is still the courageous and righteous man we’ve come to love. But, really, he’s got nothing else to lose so why not be straightforward and say whatever he wants to say.
Uncharacteristically, the king allows Park Kyu to give him a piece of his mind, in a sense lecturing the King about how he should treat his people. Although the King cites his old affections for Park Kyu as his reason, I still find it a little strange that he would let Park Kyu, someone who is charged with treason, speak so freely.
As the camera pans over to a line of palace maids, who is this that we see? Beo Jin?!
How the heck did she get into the palace? I guess the foreign official helped her gain entrance but she’s able to smuggle in Puppy too?
Beo Jin, cover blown (not that she was working hard at it to begin with), pleads with the King to spare Park Kyu and William.
All the while, the pessimist in me is rolling my eyes, thinking, “yeah, right, delusional girl. He’s going to free your friends solely based on your arguments because he’s this lovable king, who’s not at all unhinged and volatile.”
Beo Jin, bless her heart, though.
However, when Beo Jin reveals the mark branded on William’s shoulder by Seo Rin’s group, he pauses for a moment. And it is here that we find out the content on that special scroll and from whom it came. The letter, written by the former King, essentially states that he has no plans to fight for the throne and that everything that has happened is caused by the ambition and greed of one merchant.
Seeing that the King is softening up, the Prime Minister steps in to urge the King not to listen to Beo Jin’s claims. Putting two and two together, the King realizes that the Prime Minister must be involved in Seo Rin’s conspiracy and orders his guards to seize him.
A couple of questions here:
1) Where did the former King get the stationary and unique-looking stamp of Seo Rin Merchant group to compose that letter?
2) How is he able to plan and coordinate its delivery so that it arrives just in the nick of time?
3) All of a sudden, the King is lucid now and is able to sense that somehow the Prime Minister is Seo Rin’s accomplice?
4) And just like that, Park Kyu and William are saved? Wow, that was easy. Thank you, deus ex machina and Puppy!
5) Minor grumblings aside, am I really bothered about this turn of events? Not really, because I do not want anything bad to befall my dear Park Kyu (and William, too).
Woo hoo! A round of smiles, please.
Eh, Yann? What the heck? He’s at the proceedings too, donning official garbs, no less. Palace security must be really lax. Either that, or Yann has major connections. Oh wait, did Yann have a hand in helping the former King deliver the letter? But on second thought, that’s not possible because although they did meet briefly in Tamra, they can’t have known each other that well. Uh, why am I (over)analyzing this matter? I don’t know. Let’s move on.
The King, feeling benevolent, gives Park Kyu and William a chance to redeem themselves. Basically, he orders to them “go to Tamra to stop what’s-her-face while I play with this adorable puppy.” Sorry for the flippancy, but you get the gist.
So, under the guise of being banished to Ganghwa island, Park Kyu, William, and Beo Jin are off to Tamra.
Beo Jin, you can’t have both! Just saying.
Gee, I wonder what’s in that big shipment…
The three in the same box… Was it for the entire boat ride? If so, it must have been hot, awkward, and uncomfortable, no?
Tamra villagers unite to take down the bad guys.
On the other side of town, Seo Rin receives news that the East India Company’s ship will not dock at the Port. Aw, Yann. Once again, I knew we could count on you.
Go, William! Go, villagers!
Go, Park Kyu!
Go, divers! Go!
(I’m getting recap fatigue. Can you tell?)
Beo Jin, what the hey are you doing there? Like William says, it’s way dangerous for you to be at the battle site. Although, I must admit that I’m happy that you came because you’re concerned about Park Kyu, who is being cornered at sword-point.
The situation doesn’t look good for Park Kyu. As expected from the preview, Seo Rin’s bodyguard slashes him across the chest and he falls limply into the ocean.
At this scene, my expression is similar to the one on Beo Jin’s face. Nooooooo!
Without hesitation, Beo Jin immediately jumps into the water to save Park Kyu.
On the upside, Mama Jang and her group of divers are working hard to puncture Seo Rin’s ship. They finally succeed and the ship is sinking fast. On land, the villagers, with the timely help of local soldiers, emerge victorious in their fight against the bad guys. Yay for teamwork!
Seo Rin’s defeated and she’s going to hit rock bottom. And yet, Lee Seung-Min’s expressions make me giggle because I feel like I’m watching a parody of this scene and not the actual scene itself. Her emoting is a little off here.
Park Kyu, don’t you die on me. Don’t you dare!
Wait, what? Beo Jin knows CPR? Damn it, I don’t care anymore whether that’s implausible or not. Just do whatever you can to save him!
And he lives! He lives! *relaxes grip on chair*
This is a perfect kissy moment, is it not? For once, can I have a nice kiss between these two that isn’t forced and filled with tension or emotional turmoil? No? I’m only gonna get a hug? Okay, fine. I guess, instead of asking for more, I should be grateful that you didn’t pull a HGD on me. Thank you, Tamra. I mean that, sincerely.
By the way, isn’t it awesome but ironic that the diving skill and training that Beo Jin resented has enabled her to save two of the most important people in her life?
William watches this scene from a distance and knows now to whom Beo Jin’s heart belongs.
It’s time to say goodbye to William.
William, you’ve had one heck of an adventure here in Joseon. And I’m glad and relieved that you’re returning to England alive and well. Plus, your hair is still pretty.
Beo Sul offers him a cup of coffee and gives him a comic book that details his experience, which she drew herself.
Aw, William and Park Kyu say farewell as good friends. *tear*
William tells Park Kyu that he’ll recount his time in Tamra to people in England, although no one will believe him that there’s actually a person named Park Kyu (because the English pronunciation makes the name sound like f*** you). Park Kyu gave a slight cough at this, which is hilarious because of the meta: his character doesn’t know what William is referring to, but real life Im Ju Hwan does.
At first, I thought it strange for Beo Jin to be noticeably absent from the crowd, yet no one mentions her. And then, when the scene flashes back, we see that Beo Jin and William have already said their goodbyes.
Upon further thinking, I actually like this part because it provides a nice closure to their relationship. When Beo Jin first met William, it was just the two of them, no outsiders. So, when it’s time for them to part ways, it’s appropriate that the moment is private to allow them to express all that they want to say.
Goodbye, William. Safe sailing!
In case you were wondering, Seo Rin is still alive, saved by Yann, under Park Kyu’s instruction per the former King’s request.
[A month later]
Park Kyu is living at Beo Jin’s house, doing regular chores like fetching water and eating with his hands! What a drastic difference from the old Park Kyu, who used to sneer at the commoner’s way of life. It looks like he’s getting along splendidly with the Jang’s and they have settled into a nice, comfortable daily routine.
Beo Jin has found her niche, and is working as a bookkeeper at the local office.
News has spread around town that a new magistrate has been appointed. All the villagers gather and follow the Officer to see who is the new chief, all the while throwing off assumptions that he’s going to be corrupted, uncaring, and basically not that much different from the ones they had previously. The Officer is heading in the direction of Beo Jin’s house and finds Park Kyu sitting outside, looking quizzically at the crowd. And it soon become clears that the new chief magistrate is none other than Park Kyu.
Beo Jin walks up to Park Kyu. She calls him “the Banished One” and he addresses her as “the Troublemaker”. I love the fact that he sits in place while she is the one who takes the first step to come to him.
And they smile at each other.
Although I would have loved to see a wedding and little Kyus and Beo Jins running around, I’m satisfied with the cartoons that depict what happen to the characters because they are really cute.
The village sculptor makes teddy bear now. Ahahahah.
Madam Park and Mama Jang have a showdown.
Keut Boon finds a Seo Rin Merchant’s silver chest on one of her dives.
Seo Rin sets sail to… China?
William gets lots of love from an admirer. Hehe.
Park Kyu and Beo Jin wed. At last. Yay!