My Dearest – K-drama Episode 9 Recap & Review

Strong Woman Gil-chae

Episode 9 of My Dearest starts with Gil-chae dreaming back to when Jang-hyun asked her to give him her heart; in return, he would not go to Simyang. In her dream, she begs him to stay with her and he will have her heart. She wakes up teary as the scene cuts to Simyang, where the Qing kills Jung Noe-kyung and Jang-hyun is in jail. 

The Emperor figures out that Jang-hyun is a spy and the reason for the death of the soldiers sent to capture the people who escaped during the incident on Ganghwa Island. Realizing his worth, Khan orders Gol-dae to release him and assigns the task of capturing the Joseon captives who escape Simyang. He is also to prove that he is not the snitch who told Joseon about the smallpox. 

He gets to their home in Simyang, and Ryang-eum greets him. After getting cleaned, Ryang-eum asks how he was released and he says it is because he belongs to neither side. Ryang-eum says he will always belong to Jang-hyun’s side.

Elsewhere in Hanyang, Gil-chae and her family are struggling to make ends meet and are almost starving. On the way from the market to exchange her mother’s linen for some wheat, she runs into Won-moo, who buys her and Jong-jong some food. Won-moo’s family owns a forge that is no longer in use since the Joseons were prohibited from making weapons after the war. Gil-chae comes up with a plan to help Won-moo make bronze bowls. 

In Simyang, Jang-hyun recaptures escaped captives, while in Hanyang, Gil-chae successfully makes precious bronze bowls from useless coins. She is actively involved in polishing the bronzeware and supervising the blacksmiths. The men in the forge look down on her and insult her. She, however, turns a deaf ear and keeps working. Eun-ae sees her enduring the insults and she joins her in polishing the bronze bowls. 

Jang-hyun takes back the fleeing captives to Gol-dae. He later makes Gol-dae a deal to share profits if he allows him to trade in Simynag. Thoughts of Gil-chae trouble him. The Crown Prince finds out that Jang-hyun has been helping the royal family by providing bamboo medicine in his name, and he is furious. Jang-hyun says he was only lending a helping hand.

Jang-hyun enlightens the Crown Prince about the foreign intruders. Their mission is not to capture Joseon but to use its provisions and soldiers to wage an even bigger war. Khan is a ruthless man and the foreign intruders are heartless enough to bury their families alive and kill anyone who stands in their way, regardless of them being their sons, daughters, mothers, or fathers. Therefore, the Crown Prince’s life means nothing to them. 

Jang-hyun advises the Crown Prince to be courageous and confront the intruders, and when Gol-dae orders the provision of rice to appease the Emperor, he bravely tells him that he will not be able to provide the large amount of rice requested but he will mix it will millet. He alleviated the burden on the people and pleased the emperor at the same time.

Gil-chae sends bang-doo’s husband to sell the bronze ware but on the way, he is ambushed and the bronze wares are stolen. Eun-ae finds someone who might help Yeon-joon with his case. Gil-chae follows the men who stole the bronze ware and intends to confront them. Won-moo comes to her rescue. The men had gotten rid of the bowls and only one remains. Eun-ae gives up the bowl Gil-chae had gifted her and she goes to try and sell them accompanied by Jong-jong. 

She exchanges the bowls for jewellery and goes to try and sell them to the courtesans. The blacksmiths continue to insult her for trying to suck up to the courtesans. However, her plan is not to get money or food but to get information from the courtesans on the items the Qing soldiers buy when they visit Hanyang. She wants to start doing business with the intruders. 

When Jong-jong asks whether doing business with intruders is profitable, she remembers Jang-hyun’s advice on doing business with intruders. Using the same ploy, she manages to sell ginger expensively to the intruders and buys rice. She shares the rice with the blacksmiths, and in exchange, they agree to work with her. Soon, she can provide for the workers and her family. 

Yeon-joon refuses the help Eun-ae intends to provide and says he would rather endure life in exile than bow down to the intruders. Gil-chae tries to earn favor from Jang-chul, the person Eun-ae is seeking help from, by offering to give the school paper and inkstones. In exchange, Jang-chul initiates the sending of numerous petitions from the eight provinces, forcing His Majesty to release Yeon-joon. 

Jang-hyun manages to get Khan to allow the Crown Prince a visit to Joseon by convincing Gol-dae after a profitable business partnership. The Joseon King is furious since a visit from the Crown Prince would mean that his grandson will have to replace the Prince as the captive in Simyang, and he’s too young to make the journey. Ryang-eum asks to set out for Hanyang before tidying up the house and getting the food ready. Jang-hyun asks him to tell Gil-chae that he is on his way back to Joseon. 

Gil-chae eats out with Won-moo, and the people start to gossip about their relationship. Gil-chae is not bothered but her sister is angry and embarrassed about the rumors. While having a mean with her father, she promises always to protect him and take care of her sister and brother. She will make sure her brother passes the state exam and will marry off her sister with a trunk full of accessories. 

Gil-chae’s sister tells her she should try to like Won-moo back and not think about the dead. The next day, while having a meal together, Won-moo asks Gil-chae to marry him. She starts laughing since the words bring back memories of the young Neunggun-ri men who used to ask her hand in marriage. She turns him down and says she will pretend she never heard him. 

Won-moo reminds her that Jang-hyun is dead and at the same time, Jang-hyun arrives back in Hanyang. At night, she thinks of him and promises to live a long, fulfilling life until they meet again in the far future.

Outside, Jang-hyun and Goo-jam try to locate her home. A trader arrives to sell bridal accessories, and Madam Bang-doo comes out to greet him. Later, Gil-chae comes out, announcing she is the bride, and Goo-jam calls out to Jong-jong. The episode ends when Gil-chae looks up and locks eyes with Jang-hyun. 

The Episode Review

In this episode, Gil-chae’s strengths and similarities to Jang-hyun are shown. She manages to turn a dire situation into a profitable one and can gain the favour of the people who previously insulted her. They now rely on her and she provides for them and her family. She is not ashamed of getting her hands dirty and doing the hard work regardless of what people think of her. 

The ending is heart-breaking since it might be that Gil-chae accepts Won-moon’s proposal. If she did, it would mean that another chance of being with Jang-hyun would be lost. Will their relationship ever happen?

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