Wow…talk about tragic…talk about sad! This episodes were so full of pain it was hard to watch!
Yet it was all worth it, because though “The Return of Iljimae” we get to watch how Jung II-woo evolves into a more mature person and a better actor. Here is an article where he talks about being happy with his performance of Iljimae, and still having a long way to go.
So before episode 23, I wanted to highlight this part where Iljimae is with his mom without knowing it is her.
I also feel I need to acknowledge the death of the man who allowed Iljimae to live: Goo Ja-myeong. I can’t bear to see the part where he dies again so…I’m posting these behind the scenes with Iljimae at the prison. He dies in episode 22.
Now Episode 23, where Iljimae finally knows his mother but…in a Shakespearean twist she dies. So basically both Goo Ja-myeong and his mom die within a day of each other because of Iljimae. I guess it was death that united them…! The death for Iljimae!!!
And this is the part where the monk convinces Iljimae that his duty is to his country first, not Wol-hee. This part was so sad too… Iljimae really wants to stay with Wol-hee…he wants to settle down…but he can’t.
And then on the other side of this equation is Wol-hee. Makes one so sad to see her plead for him to stay with her and he has to leave in a such a cold way. It makes me wonder if he could have left in a nicer way. But I guess when you think objectively, I don’t think he would have been able to let her go. It is a very sad moment for both characters.
And then as id this was not sad enough comes this part…
And we watch the Soo-ryeon’s life come to an end…I guess the way a warrior’s life is most likely to end. She was such a great character…so full of love and sadness at the same time…
Then Episode 24…a war and Iljimae fighting and helping bring back people who had been enslaved and made prisoners back to Joseon. Then we finally get to see Iljimae return home. Maybe that’s really why it’s called “The Return of Iljimae”… because Wol-hee waited 9 years for him!!! 9 years!!! What…! So we see this:
And we go back to the present … where Iljimae still lives on!
I did nothing but cry and cry in these episodes…! Gee what do I think… ?! Get me another box of Kleenex!
When I finished watching Iljimae…I almost hated him. I hated the way he left Wol-hee. I don’t think I would ever wait for a man that left me like that. He should have hugged her and told her how conflicted he was. I feel very strongly about saying proper goodbyes. I always think it may be the last time you see a person, so you must always do it well…
On the other hand I’m glad he got to give his mother a proper farewell! I’m glad they both were able to express their connection to one another as mother and son even if it was for two minutes!!! I was so scared she would die before meeting him…
So no matter how angry or sad or busy or what have you! Always say goodby properly! And if you love that person, tell them…every time you say goodbye!