After last week’s dramatic double bill, My Country: The New Age returns this week for a much more subdued slice of drama, one that slows the pacing down completely and focuses on problems closer to home rather than the large, sweeping battlefields. With more romance on the horizon between Hee-Jae and Hwi, the second half of this drama looks set to throw the love triangle idea back into the fold.
We begin during the 1st year of Taejo’s reign. The year is 1392 and Jeongan approaches the King, questioning his reign and rule. After unsettling him over over who’s next in line to take the throne, the King deliberates over what to do next while Jeongan is approached by Nam Seon-Ho, an officer from the Office of the Inspector General. They discuss the future and familial bonds before we return to Hwa preparing to grow closer to Bang-Suk.
Teaming up with Moon-Bok they break into a bar and work with another two accomplices to fight off the men inside. Plundering their riches, the men head home and are invigorated by their win, reveling in their victory.
Meanwhile Hee-Jae is summoned to the Queen’s chambers where she learns the King will make his decision about the Crown Prince soon. She tells the Queen that the younger the Crown Prince, the longer he can stay on the throne. Hee-Jae goes on to warn her to be careful of those around the King before being warned herself about Bang-Suk. Nam-Jeon warns her too and the bad blood between them persists. Outside, she talks to Nam Seon-Ho before he heads off to interrogate a captive.
As whispers of Hwi’s bar brawl spread around town, Hwi himself watches his sister from afar. When a pickpocket takes something precious from her, Hwi interferes and hands it back to her. Unfortunately, midway through talking soldiers arrive and take him to the Tavern. Thankfully Chi-Do and the others have his back and as they antagonize him, the man eventually caves and agrees to work with him.
News of Hwi helping Yeon gets back to Nam Jeon too and as he speaks to Sun-Ho about it, he warns his son about getting soft. With his Father’s words still ringing in his ears, as Hwi arrives Sun-Ho berates him. Suddenly Yeon arrives, prompting Hwi to hide and listen as he and Yeon discuss meeting Hwi at the market. After agreeing to take her there some time, we cut forward to the market place itself where Hwi happens to be at the exact same location. Awkwardness ensues soon after, leading Sun-Ho to take the reigns of the situation and sever ties with his friend.
Soon after, Sun-Ho practices his archery in the yard and, struggling to keep his cool, throws his bow and arrow on the ground as his Father approaches. He smiles, telling his son he did well. Sun-Ho laments his Father’s wicked ways though and clearly the situation between him and Hwi has taken a heavy toll on him.
Meanwhile, Hee-Jae returns to Ihwaru and threatens a boisterous client with a knife until Seo Seol arrives and slaps her across the face. She begs for forgiveness from the man who approaches Hee-Jae and tells her Madame Seol saved her life. As she rushes to call the physician to tend to Hwa-Wol, who was earlier struck in the face by this man, we cut forward to the next day where she apologises to Seol for her attitude.
Along with Cheu-Do and the others, Hwi joins them and attacks Ihwaru in a bid to kill the government official staying there. Hwe slices one of them across the neck while Hee-Jae watches on in wide-eyed disbelief. As he kills the officer who threatened Hee-Jae earlier in the episode, he pulls down Hwi’s mask and reveals his identity to Hee-Jae. As they lock eyes, she watches as blood oozes down his face from the man he’s just murdered, who lies in a heap on the floor. Staggering over to her, she begins weeping as the two stare each other down.
With a big dramatic finale and plenty of drama throughout the episode, My Country delivers an okay bottle episode, one that doesn’t do a whole lot to the wide-spanning plot but moves our characters around within the confines of the city. While the content itself is okay, compared to the earlier episodes My Country doesn’t quite live up to those lofty heights. Still, the brotherly feud between Hwi and Sun-Ho continues to dominate large portions of this series and quite where that’s likely to go from here remains to be seen. For now though, My Country: The New Age has enough intrigue about it to keep you coming back for more, even if this week’s episode doesn’t quite live up to the lofty heights set before it.