Secrets & Alliances
My Country: The New Age doubles down on its politically charged storyline this week, as we see Hwi and Bang-Won engaged in an epic game of cat and mouse as they try sizing each other up. All of this spills over to a messy conclusion to the episode which leaves things wide open going forward from here.
The episode begins with Sun-Ho arriving to save Hwi but instead, he grabs the blade and laments his former brother’s words. Rejected, Sun-Ho leaves as Hwi sinks back to his knees again. After killing Ja-Seong, Bang-Won questions Hwi about why he approached him originally and when he mentions the weapons, Hwi admits that the swords are rotten. Determined to find out the truth, Bang-Won sees first-hand a solitary sword standing in the table and no other weapons in sight.
With Bang-Won clocking on that Hwi was the one behind his weapons being seized, they dance around where they are before heading to Ihwaru where they have dinner together. He laments Hwi’s resilience before taking him outside where Chi-Do and Moon-Bok sit tied up. As Bang-Won gives them an ultimatum in the face of death, they make their choice and stand tall, breaking free and fighting off the guards before they all stand, weapons poised, at a stalemate.
Telling them the country has abandoned them, Hwi’s words appear to move Bang-Won who takes his guards and leaves, telling him to stop by the next day. As he leaves, Hwi collapses on the ground in exhaustion. Here, Hee-Jae tends to Hwi’s wounds while Moon-Bok continues to fall for Hwa-Wol. As we’re greeted with another montage segment between Hee-Jae and Hwi, he heads out and confronts Sun-Ho over what’s happened. Sun-Ho tells Hwi that if he gets in his way, he’ll show no mercy, regretting saving him from his fate with Bang-Won.
Meanwhile in court, Nam Jeon curses his luck as Sun-Ho’s outburst causes a ruckus, leading to him being removed from his post. While Nam Jeon plots his next move and Bang-Won tells him the country will be his, Hwi watches on from afar as Yeon is treated badly by Nam Jeon, locked away after hitting her head. On the war-path, he heads straight for Hwi and tells him his actions have caused everything that’s befallen his family so far.
As scheduled, Hwi heads in the next day to see Bang-Won, where he asks outright about his Father’s death. This prompts them to talk openly about the past and about a new nation being forged. He tells Hwi that if any blood splashes his way, he’ll kill him. Hwi antagonizes Seong-Gye, firing arrows from 400 steps away into bullseyes on the archery range, before leaving him a message mentioning a date. That date happens to be when four assassins died in 1380. As they contemplate in court over what’s happening, Nam Jeon frees Sun-Ho from his cell, telling him they need to stick together.
Meanwhile, Yeon breaks free from her prison too and returns home, where her memory starts coming back. It’s fragments at best though but Hwi catches up to her and pleads with his sister to return to the palace. While she does, a spy watches from afar. As the episode closes out, Hwi leaves a message on Nam-Jeon’s wall relating to Seong-Gye being a traitor and how a political coup was in the works. As Sun-Ho reads the message, he asks his father whether it’s true while Hwi watches from the shadows.
With plenty of politically charged drama and historical fiction to boot, My Country does well to keep things moving forward, with an episode more about character development than anything else. Still, there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable slice of drama nonetheless, even if it’s not quite as appealing as the opening few episodes have been of this one. Thankfully, the love triangle is nowhere in sight although Hee-Jae’s inclusion here still feels like a spare part at times, as Sun-Ho and Hwi’s relationship acts as the anchor to which everything else gravitates toward. Quite what will happen next though remains to be seen.