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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" Episode 8

2017/02/21 | 625 views | Permalink

First a retraction- it would appear that Gonghwa is not yet a royal consort. Actually we're not even supposed to call her Gonghwa yet. Her name's still Nok-soo. Now see, this is what I mean about the pacing in "Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People" being a complete mess. We're still not at the point where basic information in the drama's promotional material is accurate yet. Yet yet yet. How is it that we're on the eighth episode and I'm still using that word so much?

Anyway! Remember how at the end of the last episode we found out that Amogae was still alive? We have to wait until the end of this episode before Gil-dong finally becomes aware of this information. Until that point, Gil-dong wanders around the wilderness, endures more googly eyes from Ga-ryeong, and gets Amogae's band back together again so they can commiserate over how terrible it is that Amogae is dead, before Ja-chi finally catches up with everybody and tells them what's going on.

There's also more royalist plotting- which is rather difficult to relate to, because the royal family has been an indirect factor at best to all the suffering Amogae and his family have gone through. For King Yeonsangun coming to power to be such a big disaster would imply that the previous political situation was tolerable, which it most certainly was not. It's new boss same as the old boss, except the old boss was the more plausible suspect for Hil-dong to go revenging against.

I know I'm being rather flippant here and honestly, I feel bad about it. The sad scenes really are rather sad. We're watching all these people who thought they had a real life for themselves reflect on how easily it can all slip away. In a treatise about loss, these scenes might feel almost poetic. But in an action series, dragging these along for two episodes only numbs the impact to almost nothing.

It doesn't help that the main reprieve from these moments involve the love triangle between Gil-dong, Nok-soo, and Ga-ryeong, which is so completely secondary a consideration right now that again, I'm mostly just annoyed that we're seeing events in this specific order. I still don't have a clue how any of this is supposed to lead to revolution. We're only just barely closer to the premise than we were several episodes ago.

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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