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[REVIEW] Final episode of "The Slave Hunters"

최종수정 2010.03.30 17:06 기사입력 2010.03.30 17:06


The cast and crew of KBS2 TV series "The Slave Hunters" at their wrap-up party. [Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]

"The Slave Hunters" - Final episode (KBS2 TV, Wednesday/Thursday evenings 9:55 P.M.)

When you think about it, all the men in "The Slave Hunters" were main characters in each of their small stories. Dae-gil (played by Jang Hyuk) was a slave hunter who was searching for Eon-nyeon (played by Lee Da-hae), and the revolt of Tae-ha (played by Oh Ji-ho) and Eop-bok (played by Kong Hyung-jin) ended without having really achieved a single thing. The men in "The Slave Hunters" all failed at pursuing what they wanted and died as losers. It could be due to their helplessness, which in a narrow sense, comes from powerful authorities exercising tyranny on the weak and, in a bigger sense, that even Chosun's top military officer Tae-ha was laid in a reality where he too could not help but run away from.

But Tae-ha, who refused to accept that he and Eon-nyeon were slaves, runs away 'with' Dae-gil and dreams of a world where Eon-nyeon "does not have to live with two names, Hye-won and Eon-nyeon". And Eop-bok, who fired gunshots according to the orders of "the man," lifts up a gun himself and proves that there "were slaves like us." Their revolution failed, of course. But the martyrdom of Eop-bok brings to awareness the existence of other slaves who lived their lives obeying the orders of noblemen. A single revolution may fail, but the spirit left by the failed revolution remains as "belief" within the people and little by little, changes the world.

Thus, the masculine tragic beauty of "The Slave Hunters" and the spirit of the times come together beautifully in the final episode. They must fight in order to "not spend their lives running" in this land, and that fight will be able to save many more people than in the present. Then someday, young royal Seok-gyeon will be reinstated, trends will stop and slaves will live as "humans." Of course, just like how Eop-bok suddenly turned into a superhero and made a breakthrough into the palace all by himself, "The Slave Hunters" wrapped up many things in haste, failing to finish telling the various stories that it laid out in the beginning.
However, "The Slave Hunters" created its own, unique power by going beyond merely depicting catharsis of struggle in 'these times' and concluding that a struggle is the strength which changes the next generation. The revolution failed. The men died. But someday the world will change. And "The Slave Hunters" makes people aware of it. To fight. And live. The fact that "The Slave Hunters" made this phrase boil inside people's hearts and not their heads -- that alone makes the show worthy of being talked about and praised for a long time.

Senior Reporter : Kang Myoung-Seok
Editor : Lynn Kim
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>

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