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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" Episode 5

2017/02/13 | 798 views | Permalink

Gil-dong has taken Amogae's precautions too much to heart. He's just goofing around like a secondary character rather than the hero. Amogae, oddly enough, seems to be trying to avoid being the main character, even though his decisions drove all the action for the first four episodes. That's how we get to the main dramatic climax and aftermath here, which is just Amogae getting involved in a gang war while Gil-dong watches on helplessly.

"Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" is steadily, very steadily, escalating the difficulty of the opponents Amogae runs into. No more does he have to deal with petty aristocrats or faceless pirates. Now, Amogae has to deal with other gangsters- the kind who are smart enough to lay a trap and get their own introductions. Still, I have to confess that this is another episode that's not terribly exciting, what with being the fifth part of an origin story and all.

"Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" itself highlights this with an explosive preview that you should not watch, since it clearly ruins most of the big plot points of the next episode and may well spoil the cliffhanger. That is never a good sign. Overly spoilery previews are often symptomatic of how a drama is inconsistent enough with its big scenes that there just isn't anything else to whet our interest. Amogae's noble dad shtick is rather overdone by now.

One character does make an important appearance- Gil-dong's little sister Eorini (played by Jung Soo-in) is adorable. But more than that she telegraphs clear motivation for Gil-dong. Up until now Gil-dong, as the youngest son, was the family member most in need of protecting. But watching Gil-dong interact with Eorini, we finally get a sense of something he would be willing to fight for. Business and romance are all well and good, but ultimately, Gil-dong requires a truly epic cause to command his attention.

I just hope we get there sooner rather than later. Well, I know we're getting there sooner rather than later, thanks to the preview, but all the same. This episode didn't even have much in the way of class commentary to add depth. We have all these clearly defined characters with all sorts of possible arcs, yet only Amogae has really done much of anything so far. I can't rightly call anything we've seen so far filler, yet all the same, I'm impatient.

Review by William Schwartz

"Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" is directed by Jin Chang-gyoo (진창규), Kim Jin-man, written by Hwang Jin-yeong and features Kim Sang-joong, Yoon Kyun-sang, Kim Ji-suk, Lee Honey and Chae Soo-bin.

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