Song of the Bandits Season 1 Episode 8 Recap – Why Doesn’t Yoon Kill Gwang-il?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 23, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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Song of the Bandits Season 1 Episode 8 Recap
Song of the Bandits Season 1 (Credit - Netflix)
3.5

Summary

The penultimate episode of Song of the Bandits has some important confrontations, but it’s really biding its time to set up the big finale.

For much of its runtime, Song of the Bandits has been a tale of two men, both doomed to exist on opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. Master and slave. Yoon and Gwang-il. Korean bandit and Japanese soldier, although the latter is a bit of a fallacy since Gwang-il is a Joseon man cosplaying as his oppressor. But episode 8  of season 1 wheels through an ostensibly final confrontation between these two as though the dynamic was entirely unimportant, which one supposes, against the backdrop of a tyrannical occupation, it is.

Why doesn’t Yoon kill Gwang-il?

After revealing his name to Hee-shin and leaving her to join the Independence Army in episode 7, Yoon confronts Gwang-il. They have a brief stand-off Old West style, and Yoon draws first. He shoots Gwang-il’s gun hand, disarming him, but refuses to finish him off. Instead, he implores him to live as a Joseon man and once again find the kindness that defined him before he put on a Japanese uniform.

Gwang-il orders Yoon not to be killed, and his own men turn against him, only proving Yoon’s point that no matter how much he licks the Japanese boot, it’ll never be removed from his neck. The mutiny is interrupted by the Independence Army opening fire, and in the confusion and chaos, Yoon pushes Gwang-il to flee for his life. He does.

After the battle, the driver who delivered Hee-shin where she needed to go delivers Yoon a letter from her. She lays out how her beliefs have evolved with what she has seen on her travels, going from believing that there was no hope left for the Joseon people to seeing Yoon as a beacon of that hope, a reminder that she must keep fighting until independence is won.

Who gives up the location of Taepyong-dong?

Yoon sets off back to Myeongjeong, where Choong-soo and the rest of the bandits are fighting Ri-kyong and the Japanese soldiers for control of the town.

However, it takes Yoon a while to get there, leaving the other bandits to fight against the overwhelming forces, including their skilled fellow bandits. Every member is defeated by essentially their own equivalent—Choong-soo is pincushioned by an archer, San-gun is pinned down by a fellow sniper, Choraeng-yi is defeated in hand-to-hand combat, and Geumsu is beaten by a similarly huge strongman.

Ri-kyong and his gang want information about Yoon and the location of Taepyong-dong, so they brutally interrogate the captured bandits. However, Nam-chun offers up the information to save his daughter, though he does blame Choong-soo’s choices for them being in this position in the first place. Ri-kyong says Nam-chun can take them there that night, and everyone else can be thrown in jail in the meantime.

What do the peach tree and the plum tree codes mean?

Meanwhile, Yoon returns and teams up with Eon-nyeoni. When she wakes up from a dream in which she recalls talk of “The Invincible General”, Yoon explains to her that Nam-chun was really carrying out a plot that he and Choong-soo formulated in the army. He deliberately leads Ri-kyong and most of his men away so that the prisoners can escape and take over the town, but they only have a certain amount of time to do so until the Mounted Bandits figure out the deception.

Song of the Bandits Season 1 Episode 8 Ending Explained

Yoon and Eon-nyeoni break the bandits out successfully, but Nam-chun’s deception is exposed simultaneously. Ri-kyong shoots him in the leg with an arrow and leaves him to bleed out while he races back to Myeongjeong.

The episode ends with the police surrounding the station while the Mounted Bandits race back. Looks like we’ve got another fight on our hands just in time for the finale.

I’d love to know what others felt about episode 8 of Song of the Bandits Season 1 – comment below.


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