Warrior Baek Dong Soo or Musa Baek Dong Soo (2011) episodes 21 to 25
Frankly I’ve pretty much lost interest and really don’t care what happens to any of these people. To confirm the descent of this plot into what can only be described as a tedious holding pattern, In (Park Cheol-Min) reemerges and kidnaps Hwang Jin-Joo (Yoon So-Yi). Since he’s been essentially deskilled by the insertion of needles into his nerve points, the best he can do is tie her up and then beat her unconscious two or three times. His plan is to use her as bait to lure all his enemies into various traps. Yawn. Except it does get interesting because this cripple proves capable of rigging multiple sets of crossbows and associated traps outside and inside a barn. How does he climb and pull cables taut? This is the worst kind of plotting because he couldn’t possibly have the physical ability to do any of this. Anyway, it’s all good enough to stick three arrows into Hwang Jin-Gi (Sung Ji-Ru). However, Yeo Woon (Yoo Seung-Ho) tips off Baek Dong-Soo (Ji Chang-Wook) so both victims are rescued, the barn is burned to the ground and In escapes incineration. That lucky rabbit’s foot is really working hard to keep this incompetent assassin alive.
Meanwhile, back at the palace, a very complicated plot is unveiled by Hong Dae-Joo (Lee Won-Jong) and the Japanese. They make it look as though the Heir Apparent is plotting to kill the King. In the midst of all this, the guards find a pretext to arrest Hook Sa-Mo (Park Jun Gyu) which deeply upsets everyone. But, staying calm under pressure is the name of this game so Kim Kwang-Taek (Jeon Kwang-Leol) and Baek Dong-Soo set off the find the “truth” which will exonerate the Heir Apparent and save Sa-Mo. In the midst of this, Kim Kwang-Taek is still planning to fight Chun (Choi Min-Su) to the death. Since they have both lost the one they love, it seems only fair one of them should go and join her in Heaven. This duel has become somewhat complicated because Kim Kwang-Taek has been diagnosed with stomach cancer (just taking the pulse, TCM-style, is better than MRI scans and modern methods). He’s going to drop down dead without anyone else’s help in short order.
Anyway, with Yeo Woon helping behind the scene, Baek Dong-Soo collects the evidence to show a conspiracy to frame the Heir Apparent. I should explain that Chun has revised history and confirmed Yeo Woon did not actually kill his father. He, Chun, had first stuck a knife in his father’s back and his father then committed suicide by pulling himself on to the knife held by his son. Everyone is now telling Yeo Woon to follow his heart, give up the life of an assassin and settle down with Yoo Ji-Sun (Shin Hyun-Bin). This inspires him to stop killing except in self-defence. He’s now actively helping the goodies whenever he can. We then have to sit through a tedious sequence of attacks on the Heir Apparent as he goes outside the Palace. We all know they will fail but I suppose it does fill in the time with some action. That’s more than can be said about Kim Kwang-Taek who’s planning suicide by assassin. He says goodbye to everyone and wanders off to let Chun kill him after a fish supper. No longer able to stand this interminable sequence of tear-jerking moments, Hong Dae-Joo sends archers to kill both of them so we can all move on to the endgame.
But, unable to resist melodrama, when the archers fire, Kim Kwang-Taek knocks the arrows away and saves Chun. In so doing, he exposes himself and Chun can’t prevent himself from striking the fatal blow. He dies in the arms of Baek Dong-Soo and Hwang Jin-Joo. We wallow in tears as the one-armed wonder is sent on his way. Chun, having had a chance for a quick rest, then fights Baek Dong-Soo and picks up a wound in his side. Yeo Woon then turns up and, after being encouraged to go his own way, inflicts another wound. By this time, Chun is a bit past caring but the scriptwriters have not done with him. In now appears with a host of archers, pushing Hwang Jin-Joo out in front of them to lure their prey out into the open. Chun then acts like a pin cushion, absorbing multiple shafts until In fires his latest crossbow and, finally, Chun bites the dust. This is fundamentally unfair. Hwang Jin-Gi was not the Daddy and he absorbed In’s arrows and was fit as a fiddle the next day, but the baddy who was not the Daddy has to die. Over the series, Chun as played by Choi Min-Su has consistently been the most interesting character and I was sad to see him go. We now move forward in time with Baek Dong-Soo travelling round the country collecting information on all the current fighting styles and weapons while Hwang Jin-Joo identifies herself as Baek Dong-Soo and fights all-comers for money. This proves very profitable, refines her fighting skills and leads to a career in a new venture set up by Hong Dae-Joo. It’s actually a covert way of recruiting fighters by offering prize money to anyone to come and fight in the arena. Eventually, the real Baek Dong-Soo is brought back. There’s big trouble brewing at the palace as Hong Dae-Joo moves everyone into place for a coup with Queen Jungsoon (Keum Dan-Bi) an increasingly visible player.
For reviews of the other episodes, see:
Warrior Baek Dong Soo or Musa Baek Dong Soo (2011) episodes 1 to 5
Warrior Baek Dong Soo or Musa Baek Dong Soo (2011) episodes 6 to 10
Warrior Baek Dong Soo or Musa Baek Dong Soo (2011) episodes 11 to 15
Warrior Baek Dong Soo or Musa Baek Dong Soo (2011) episodes 16 to 20
Warrior Baek Dong Soo or Musa Baek Dong Soo (2011) episodes 26 to end