Screenplay by Han Ji-hoon (한지훈)MBC | Airing dates : 2010/06/23~2010/08/26
16 episodes - Wed, Thu 21:55
My hometown and my true love, Soo-yeon
As the son of a peasant, Jang-woo has a secret crush on Kim Soo-yeon, the daughter of a wealthy landowner who loses everything during the war. Although Soo-yeon is aware of Jang-woo's devotion towards her, she rejects the notion of dating him. But Jang-woo's singular love for her finally opens her heart and she accepts his love.
"You don't have to give me secret glances anymore. Don't call me "my lady" either.."
Those words uttered by Soo-yeon allowed Jang-woo to attain the love he yearned for.
10 years pass by since those words were said and Soo-yeon and Jang-woo become inseparable.
Since her brother Soo-hyuk is ailing while her sister Soo-hee continues to live a carefree and frivolous life, Soo-yeon decides to go to medical school to help support her family. But Soo-yeon has trouble continuing her studies at medical school because her family has fallen on hard times. Jang-woo realizes this and decides to earn money by joining the army and fight in Mt. Balchi. Soo-yeon learns that Jang-woo is planning to risk his life in battle to pay for her medical school tuition and she tries to dissuade him from going. But Jang-woo promises that he'll return alive and they bid each other farewell.
Soo-yeon studies hard to graduate from medical school while her heart belongs to Jang-woo. But she gets a letter from the army one day. It is a note that informs her that Jang-woo died in combat. She cannot believe that Jang-woo is gone and the news devastates her. Over time, she starts to accept the fact that he is gone and won't come back. But the memory of Jang-woo lingers in her heart. As her hopes dim that Jang-woo will ever return alive, a man enters her life.
- A new romantic relationship with Shin Tae-ho
Shin Tae-ho, a fresh graduate of the Army Academy, is stationed at an army base in Youngchon County. He graduated at the top of his class in the academy and has a bright future ahead of him. He visits the only clinic in the county to obtain medical supplies and falls in love at first sight when he sees Soo-yeon. After that fateful encounter, Tae-ho tries to win Soo-yeon's heart but she rejects his overtures, as the memory of Jang-woo is still fresh in her mind. Meanwhile, Soo-yeon's sister, Soo-hee develops a crush on Tae-ho but then Soo-yeon finally relents and agrees to marry Tae-ho. While Soo-yeon and Tae-ho prepare for their wedding, a terrible event shakes the very foundation of their lives.
- June 24, 1950... On the eve of the Korean War
On the eve of their wedding, Tae-ho and Soo-yeon see each other and as they turn in for the night, one man appears before them. He's Jang-woo, the man that Soo-yeon loved and yearned to see again! Jang-woo is devastated by the revelation that the army sent out a death notice by mistake and that, in turn led to Soo-yeon to wed someone else. Incapable of changing what has already happened, Soo-yeon cries in regret. Jang-woo and Tae-ho instantly eye each other warily with disdain. But a bigger crisis looms ahead, and it will tear their lives apart.
At 4 am on June 25, the North Korean army launched a blitz on the South. The sound of cannons boomed everywhere as artillery shells rained on the cities. A battalion of Soviet-built T-34 tanks crossed Youngchon Bridge to advance deep into the South.
Along with Soo-yeon, Jang-woo and Tae-ho return to the army base whereupon the two soldiers are sent to the frontlines while Soo-yeon flees the war by going southward. Jang-woo promises Soo-yeon once again that he'll return alive and heads to the battlefield. Livid with jealousy, Tae-ho also joins the war effort. The South Korean platoon is taken by surprise by the Soviet tanks operated by North Korean soldiers that mercilessly cut down the South Korean soldiers. With his combat experience in guerilla warfare, Jang-woo makes Molotov cocktails and uses them against the tanks with success. Witnessing Jang-woo single-handedly turn the tide of the battle in their favor, Tae-ho is overcome with shame that he accomplished nothing. Jang-woo is intent on being reunited with Soo-yeon and doesn't give up an inch to Tae-ho whenever they square off or argue about battle plans. Though Jang-woo and Tae-ho don't meet eye to eye on every issue, they still fight alongside each other in combat. Both of them harbor the same wish of returning to Soo-yeon and becoming her man. However, Tae-ho grapples with the perceived betrayal of Soo-yeon as it conflicts with his underlying love for her.
- The second fateful encounter in Busan
The chief commander orders all the South Korean troops to retreat. Before they retreat, the platoon buries their fallen soldiers and their weapons along Route 1 and vow to return to win the war. As they make a risky retreat with the enemy on their heels, Jang-woo and Tae-ho have different thoughts about Soo-yeon. While Jang-woo has lovely memories of his days with Soo-yeon, Tae-ho has a hard time reconciling his feelings for Soo-yeon and her betrayal. Upon orders from the battalion commander, Jang-woo goes to the platoon leader training camp in Busan. Meanwhile, South Korean forces were trying to hold the line at the Nakdong River in a ferocious battle at the cost of many lives. Battle-weary from the fight, Tae-ho is given orders to head to Busan where Jang-woo is undergoing platoon training. He also becomes excited that he might be able to meet Soo-yeon there.
On the day he is supposed to take the train and rejoin the 2nd company after completing his training, Jang-woo leaves the camp and looks for Soo-yeon. With Soo-hee's help, he finds out where Soo-yeon is staying. Soo-yeon is treating her brother whose health has worsened. Newly promoted as an officer, Jang-woo appears before Soo-yeon like a dream. They have so many things to say but are rendered speechless as they look into each other's eyes. In what could possibly be their last day together, they indulge in each other's company for the entire day in Busan. However, there is someone who is watching Jang-woo and Soo-yeon from afar as the two lovers have the time of their lives. It's Tae-ho! Just when Tae-ho thinks that he entrapped Soo-yeon, North Korean agents set off a bomb at Busan train station. Jang-woo and Soo-yeon get away from Tae-ho who loses sight of them in the confusion. Jang-woo and Soo-yeon hide in a building to elude Tae-ho and they make passionate love. After witnessing Jang-woo and Soo-yeon so in love, Tae-ho dejectedly returns to Busan train station. Knowing that Jang-woo must board the train at 6 to return to his platoon, Tae-ho stoically waits for him. Jang-woo doesn't get ready to board his train and Soo-yeon worries that he might get in trouble if he's deemed to have deserted the army. Then Jang-woo asks a favor from Soo-yeon.
"Stay with me for one night. Just one night..."
While Jang-woo and Soo-yeon are at the clinic and basking in love, a North Korean agent appears. He tells Soo-yeon that her brother will take a northbound train at midnight to cross over to the North Korean side. Soo-yeon slips out at night to bid farewell to her brother Soo-hyuk but that turns out to be the day she'd never see Jang-woo again. Unable to abandon her dying brother, Soo-yeon boards the northbound train, too. Unaware of Soo-yeon's decision, Jang-woo waits for her to return. He later finds a note from her, saying that she has gone to Pyongyang to be with her brother. Jang-woo frantically goes to Busan train station where Tae-ho lies in wait. Tae-ho handcuffs Jang-woo and takes him away. Tae-ho then asks him why he returned when he could have escaped.
"I am going to Pyongyang to be with Soo-yeon"
"I'll follow you while your heart is following Kim Soo-yeon"
- A bloody, horrifying battlefield
Two men in love with the same woman but fighting alongside each other for their country. They reluctantly agree to a tense partnership. With the single-minded goal of meeting Soo-yeon in Pyongyang, they throw themselves in combat and pull off a string of victories. Soo-yeon boarded the northbound train to save her brother's life. But before her brother even reaches Pyongyang, he dies and his body is thrown overboard into the sea. Stricken with grief, Soo-yeon finds herself brought to the attention of Shim Woo-seong, a leftist and powerful man.
"We have to be victorious no matter what and reach Pyongyang. We can meet Soo-yeon there if we make it."
Although they have not spoken about their reasons for heading to Pyongyang, both Jang-woo and Tae-ho know what each other's goals are. While they disagree bitterly at times, they also join forces to win battles. Their 2nd company becomes the most successful platoon in the South Korean army. Upon arriving in Pyongyang, Soo-yeon is ordered to become a North Korean agent by Shim Woo-seong. After losing her brother, Soo-yeon is all alone and fights a lonely battle of wills against Shim Woo-seong and his people. Shim Woo-seong has her followed and slowly tightens his grip on her. With little hope left in her life, Soo-yeon focuses all her energy on treating injured soldiers and civilians to maintain her sanity. But she is finally pushed to the edge by Shim Woo-seong and decides to commit suicide. Just then she learns that she is pregnant. It's Jang-woo's baby. So she becomes determined to keep living for the sake of her baby and regains her spirit. She vows to survive, give birth to her baby and be reunited with Jang-woo.
"From this day forward, Captain Lee Jang-woo will lead the 2nd company"
- Amidst a battlefield promotion, the friendship between Jang-woo and Tae-ho remains strong.
Tae-ho must now take orders from Jang-woo and this hurts his sense of self-worth. He becomes bitter that a lowly petty officer who is also in love with his fiancé has become his commanding superior. With their positions reversed, Tae-ho becomes testy and attacks Jang-woo's decisions. He stubbornly refuses to obey him. But every time he disobeys orders, more soldiers in their company die in battle because of him. Tae-ho awaits a severe reprimanding from Jang-woo after his disobedience results in the loss of lives. But Jang-woo unexpectedly doesn't harshly punish Tae-ho. This act of benevolence makes Tae-ho feel worse about what he did. Jang-woo wishes to give Tae-ho a chance to redeem himself. However, Tae-ho keeps causing more trouble for the entire company. While the 2nd company continues to march northward, they are given orders to lock down an important road in Gyeonggi Province. Jang-woo gives orders that they mustn't pursue any retreating enemies who abandon their bunkers. Yet, Tae-ho disobeys the order and leads the 2nd company to chase the fleeing North Korean soldiers, ending up in a trap. More lives are lost. Jang-woo takes out his pistol. He hands it to Tae-ho and tells him to kill himself with it to salvage his honor. In his sorrow and grief, Tae-ho pulls the trigger. But the gun doesn't go off. Jang-woo had removed all the bullets before handing him the pistol.
"Thanks a lot for obeying orders"
Tae-ho hates himself after Jang-woo says those words to him. He crumbles into the depths of despair and defeat. Tae-ho risks his life by attacking enemy forces that have captured Jang-woo, who was escorting wounded soldiers all by himself when he was ambushed. While surrounded by enemies on all sides, Jang-woo and Tae-ho fight their way out of enemy fire and share a profound moment of friendship. They are overwhelmed by the enemy nonetheless and their chances of making it out of enemy lines are nil. But they still have the fight within them and keep struggling to survive. On the brink of death, they recall the happiest moments in their lives. And those moments are filled with fond memories of Soo-yeon. For the first time, they smile while sharing stories about Soo-yeon. They finally find something in common between them.
We both love Soo-yeon for the same reasons.
Soo-yeon was like the mother they both never had while growing up and their hearts belonged to her. They vow to survive. They vow to be reunited with Soo-yeon. Two men in love with one woman. And a friendship that is deeper than any love. Through love and friendship, Jang-woo and Tae-ho miraculously survive and make it back to the 2nd company.
Running across a battlefield with bullets whizzing by, Jang-woo keeps his troops motivated. Tae-ho is at his side, supporting him in every way he can. In the fierce combat, the 2nd company is able to take back control of Youngchon County from the enemy. The 2nd company traces their way to the spot on Route 1 where the bodies of fellow soldiers are buried. As the men stand along the road, Tae-ho discovers the true leadership of Jang-woo. After promising to return to this place and give the fallen soldiers a proper burial, Jang-woo starts digging with tears in his eyes. He gives the dead soldiers a belated military burial. Among the pile of buried weapons, they find the military baton that Captain Yoon Sam-soo once held. Tae-ho presents it to Jang-woo, recognizing him as the true captain of their company. Surviving deadly battles and sharing memories of the woman they both love, Jang-woo and Tae-ho reaffirm the strong friendship that has grown between them. Their next destination is Pyongyang. They march towards Pyongyang.
What will become of the two men when they finally meet Soo-yeon?
And whom will Soo-yeon choose?
Lee Jang-woo(Company commander, Captain) / actor So Ji-sub
"Please stay alive, Soo-yeon. I'll stay alive if you're alive, too."
Born in poverty, his father was a peasant. He starts out as a petty officer but later becomes a captain in battlefield promotions. He is warmhearted, stubborn and strong-willed.
He is also a trusting and warm person. In the battlefield, he has uncanny tactical skills that serve him well in overpowering enemy combatants in any kind of terrain. Leaving his hometown, he becomes a soldier to earn enough money to put Soo-yeon through medical school. Soo-yeon happens to be the daughter of the master he worked for as a servant. While risking his life in the battlefield, he thinks about Soo-yeon all the time.
Experienced in guerilla warfare, he leads his troops to victory and as a reward he is allowed to return to his hometown where he finds out that Soo-yeon is engaged to Tae-ho, and this devastates him. Then the Korean War erupts and he desperately fights alongside Tae-ho, a fellow soldier, friend, and rival, with the hope of seeing Soo-yeon once again.
Shin Tae-ho (Platoon leader, First lieutenant) / Actor Yoon Kye-sang
"I'll follow you while your heart is following Kim Soo-yeon"
An elite officer and graduate of the Army Academy.
He enrolled in the army academy to follow in the footsteps of his father who was an independence fighter. After graduating from the academy, he volunteers to fight at the frontlines in the Korean War. He wishes to become a decorated soldier and defend his country. Immensely proud of himself, he is supremely confident that he will be able to distinguish himself in the war. As a man who lives a principled life, he falls in love with Soo-yeon, a graceful, young woman. But an important secret mission that he leads is bungled because of Soo-yeon and he starts to doubt whether she really loves him.
He is stuck with Jang-woo, his rival suitor for Soo-yeon's love, when they are assigned to the same platoon. They bicker with each other but after fighting many fierce battles together, they develop a deep friendship...
Kim Soo-yeon (Jang-woo's lover, doctor) / actress Kim Ha-neul
"Shoot me ff that will end this battle."
She grew up together with Jang-woo and she's like a sister to him. They later fall in love with each other. Her heart belongs to Jang-woo. One day, she is told that Jang-woo died in the Battle of Mt. Balchi and so she reluctantly gets engaged to Tae-ho, who courted her. She plays a pivotal role in setting in motion a tank attack by the North Korean Army when her brother overhears her conservation with Tae-ho who mentions a preemptive strike on a bridge that is crucial to the North Korean forces. When Jang-woo miraculously returns alive, she hardly gets the chance to welcome him because the civil war erupts on June 25th, the very day of her wedding with Tae-ho. She flees the encroaching army with her family and is reunited with Jang-woo in Busan. But she chooses to head back north because she does not want to abandon her ailing brother. She is a strong woman who is also a tender lover. She is loved by Jang-woo and Tae-ho, who are attracted to her tenderness and warmth.
Oh Jong-ki (Master Sergeant, First Sergeant) / Actor Sohn Chang-min
Although he is a brilliant war tactician, he has a violent personality and uses brutal methods. He brings down the morale of everyone around him. The minute he laid his eyes on Jang-woo, he knew he wouldn?t like him. He doesn?t recognize Jang-woo?s expertise in guerilla warfare and combat skills. He supports platoon leader Tae-ho and undermines Jang-woo whenever he can.
Yoon Sam-soo (Company commander, Captain) / actor Choi Min-soo
He's a brave and patriotic soldier. A soldier's soldier. He mentors Lee Jang-woo and Shin Tae-ho. While leading the 2nd company, he dies in battle. Even after his death, his bravery and leadership are burnished in the memories of Jang-woo and Tae-ho.
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