Song of the Bandits – K-drama Episode 2 Recap & Review

Episode 2

Episode 2 of Song of the Bandits starts with a sole survivor of the Japanese military returning to base camp, injured after his entire troop is brutally killed by a crew that he describes as “beasts and monsters”. The soldier returns to Major Minami’s base in a wounded state with his hands tied and tells him all about the bandit crew, which had a former member of the liberation army, Chung-soo.

He tells the leader that despite being old, Chung-soo’s aim with his bow and arrow is perfect and  his sword far too powerful for humans as he sliced the soldiers left and right. The soldier, Sugiyama, also reveals that the crew had a shooter named Sang-gun; a tiger hunter who was known as the king of the mountains.

Minami is shocked to learn that the entire squad was attacked by 2 bandits but Sugiyama narrates that there’s more to Chung-soo’s party. He adds that Choraeng-yi was a former circus clown turned killer, too fast for bullets. The man flew around the soldiers and used his sickle to kill every single one of them when they  captured his friend Sang-gun. He also tells Minami about Geumsu who fought like a literal beast.

Minami asks Sugiyama to kill himself because he begged and pleaded with the bandits to be let go instead of fighting bravely with his fellow soldiers. Sugiyama tells Minami that the bandits have a leader who asked him to abandon everything, including his patriotism for his country, and live a life of freedom.

The captain of the bandit group is Yoon, and Sugiyama tells Minami that he will soon see the captain’s face. Just then, there is screaming from outside which makes Minami realise that Sugiyama has led Yoon and his crew to their base camp. He uses the sword on Minami and kills Sugiyama. Yoon and his four friends show up, introducing themselves as the bandits and killing Minami.

The episode then moves to Gwang-il (also known as Miura) asking Railway Minister Nam Hee-shin if she will marry him. Hee-shin agrees and they promise to love each other for eternity. Meanwhile, Yoon and his bandits collect the weapons of the Japanese soldiers after killing them all during their attack.

Sang-gun tells Yoon the merits of the Insurgent army. He notices Choraeng-yi stealing from the loot and gets furious asking Yoon to moderate the bandit. Yoon decides to let the incident go and notices that Sang-gun is not doing quite well health-wise.

Choraeng-yi joins Yoon and Sang-gun as they discuss freedom and rituals when Choraeng-yi mentions that he is getting married after a shaman agrees to perform a ritual for his marriage. Just then a fight breaks out between them when Geumsu beats Choraeng-yi up for lying to him and conning him. Sang-gun breaks off the fight himself as Yoon goes looking for Chung-soo who is sitting in solitude.

Chung-soo states that he misses home a lot more now that he has been away for so long. Yoon tells Chung-soo that he too missed something he left back at home. He recalls how the woman (Hee-shin), his first love, treated him and how he left it all behind one day.

Yoon was sure that Hee-shin had forgotten him now even if he still longed for her. On the other hand, Gwang-il meets Hee-shin at a restaurant who is there for a work-related interview. He introduces Hee-shin to his colleagues and asks to chat with his future wife in private.

Gwang-il asks about Hee-shin’s interview and learns that she was called to Myeongjeong as a representative of the Railway. Gwang-il tells Hee-shin that the route will be dangerous and asks her to take good care of herself during the trip. Gwang-il asks her to have her meeting elsewhere as he is here with his fellow soldiers to arrest an insurgent who is going to be at the restaurant.

Just as Hee-shin gets up to leave, she runs into the insurgent who arrives to meet her. She gives him a sign, asking him to run, but Gwang-il and the other soldiers capture and kill him right outside the restaurant. Hee-shin, who is a member of the insurgent army, immediately goes to the church and talks to Lee Sang-guk, informing them about a possible leak in their group. She asks him to look into the matter and find the traitor who could be a member of their group.

Sang-guk tells Hee-shin that the insurgent was not able to hand her the money to fund the war. Hee-shin suggests they loot a Japanese bank truck that is transporting money to Myeongjeong in the next few days. Sang-guk is against the idea because it is too dangerous for them but Hee-shin asks for permission to do the job on her own.

Sang-guk says that he’s already guilty of asking her to marry Gwang-il and he won’t allow that anymore. Hee-shin gets emotional that their comrades are fighting in Gando without any resources. She manages to convince Sang-guk but he refuses to let Hee-shin undertake the task alone. He states that he’s going to hire someone for the job.

Later that day, Eon-nyeoni meets two Japanese friends who have both paid her off to kill the other. She plays a smart game and makes both Chun-ho and Kawaguchi butt heads with each other, having them place bids on each other to save their lives.

Eventually, despite Kawaguchi betting higher, Eon-nyeoni agrees to save her friend. Kawaguchi flees from the restaurant and asks his soldiers to go in and attack. Eon-nyeoni asks Chun-ho to leave and takes care of all of Kawaguchi’s men on her own. Despite getting hit on the head, she manages to kill them all before finally killing Kawaguchi.

That night, Eon-nyeoni goes back home to give the money to her boss. He tells her that the person who killed her family was in Gando and asks her to go there but she refuses, stating it’s not the right time to kill the person yet. 

Seon-bok shows up through all this to see Yoon, and tells him that the Japanese have blocked all her usual routes due to her not being able to transport arms to the Joseon fighters.

Yoon thinks that doing so would deplete the fighters of their resources and eventually end the freedom struggle. She adds that the Japanese are constructing a new railway system which they would use in the future to transport their arms. Seon-bok believes this would make it impossible for him and his bandits to steal the arms and transport them to the freedom fighters.

She hatches a plan and asks him to steal the 200,000 won that was supposed to be traded for the railway construction during the inauguration ceremony. At the same time, Hee-shin, who is Eon-nyeoni’s new client, asks her to steal the same 200,000 won in order to fund the fighters of the independence army.

Both Hee-shin and Seon-bok tell Eon-nyeoni and Yoon the same thing and ask them to keep this mission a secret as the episode comes to an end.

The Episode Review

This show has been an enjoyable watch and the story is very crisp so far. We know that betrayal is the main theme of this drama where people are betraying their people or are being betrayed by the people they know. I am enjoying the plot of the show and I hope that the story moves forward in the same way.

Seohyun’s emotional performance in the church as Hee-shin is appreciated but I wish to see her in a badass avatar like Eon-nyeoni’s character played by Nevertheless fame, Lee Ho-jung. From what we see now, Yoon and Hee-shin are both chasing after the same money for the same cause and it is obvious that they will eventually clash.

That also means that Yoon and Eon-nyeoni will also come face to face again and it will be interesting to see if she kills him this time or lets him go, alluding to my theory that she is his family member who survived all those years ago.

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Expect a full-season review once the season ends!

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