This. Episode. Is. So. Good.
I totally went mad on the screen caps!!
We go back a few moments before the ending of Episode 15, and as Yeon Woo was led to Bo Kyung's chambers, she recalled asking Seol who was the girl who replaced her as the Crown Princess and had found it suspicious that the late King elected Bo Kyung in replacement, without holding another selection ceremony again.
Yang Myung stressed again that he could put down his identity as a Prince for Wol, but Hwon couldn't. Hwon muttered, "Hyung-nim," But Yang Myung pushed on, saying that since Hwon didn't want to lose anything and anyone, how could he then protect Wol? Hwon banged his fists on the table, "HYUNG-NIM!" and Yang Myung dealt a final blow, "Can you really let Yeon Woo go in your heart? ….I can…but Your Majesty definitely cannot do that."
I see Yang Myung's point here, but I can't really believe him whole heartedly, seeing that he most probably already made the link that Wol was Yeon Woo!
We return to the point in time where Bo Kyung stared at Yeon Woo in shock and asked in fear why she was here. Yeon Woo replied that it was she who called her, "Isn't it?"
I love that smile and slight defiance in the eyes(:
Yeon Woo watched Bo Kyung muttering to herself that this couldn't be Yeon Woo, and said, "Heo. Yeon. Woo."
Hahaha. I really like this new Yeon Woo! She has a slight tinge of a vehement streak in her, don't you think?
Yeon Woo said that many people told her that she looked like Yeon Woo, but she's not, she's merely Shaman Wol.
She even asked to be allowed to give Bo Kyung a message. The spirit that she met in Hidden Moon Halls told her to tell Bo Kyung not to live in fear anymore, "and she wishes that the Queen can live blissfully." Yeon Woo watched Bo Kyung with an almost gloating expression, as Bo Kyung replied through clenched teeth that the spirit would never say that.
She shouted for her attendant to bring Shaman Wol away, and before leaving, Yeon Woo turned back to scrutinise Bo Kyung.
After the attendant brought Wol out of the room, they heard Bo Kyung release her pent up paranoia and agitation in a series of screams and Yeon Woo convinced the attendant to check on Bo Kyung, promising that she would leave the palace quietly. Bo Kyung kept screaming and she recalled her father telling her eight years ago, that she should forget any feelings of guilt and just remember how it felt when something that belonged to her was snatched away. With tears streaming down her face, she shook her head and thought that it was impossible for Yeon Woo to be still alive.
Yeon Woo walked past the Hidden Moon Halls and remembered Hwon's words of encouragement during the period when she was learning the etiquette rules.
She couldn't help herself and wander into the chambers, before opening the windows, just like how she did eight years ago…and of course, I reallyyyy hope that scene will be re-enacted in the present, so guess who is a happy girl to see Hwon standing there, looking at Wol in shock?
Wol hastily shut the window panes and remembered the same incident eight years ago. She threw them open again but Hwon was gone. Just like what she did when she was thirteen, she rushed out of her chambers but couldn't find Hwon, till he appeared at a side a few seconds later. With the sad chorus playing, their eyes met and Hwon walked towards her.
He asked her why she was here, and she replied that she was under orders to enter the palace. Hwon watched her, his face almost showing his heartache for her suffering, as she lied that she was lost and would now leave the palace.
She walked past Hwon…who reached out and held her hand, "Is your body all right now?"
Yeon Woo started crying, but her voice held on strong as she told Hwon not to worry for her. Hwon asked if she wanted to be transferred somewhere else where no one knew her, but she replied that he shouldn't waste his authority on such trivial matters.
Hwon asked if she's really going to get blamed for something that she didn't do and Yeon Woo replied, "How am I totally innocent?" In her heart, she murmured, "I didn't manage to recognise Your Majesty…how can I ever repay this crime?" Hwon questioned, almost with a tinge of desperation, if she really seduced Yang Myung, and her reply was that he must have a strong mind and not let emotions waver his heart. Her voice was strong, but her heart was breaking and her tears were flowing.
Hwon let go of her hand and told her to go, never to appear in front of him again. He walked off in a weak gait, and Yeon Woo turned around to look at him, with tears in her eyes.
I really like this scene! I love how they re-enacted the same scene of opening the windows, and how the scene ended in a different way from the childhood. Having Yeon Woo apologise to Hwon in her heart is really touching too. Someone, pick up the pieces of my heart that's lying around right now.
Yeon Woo returned to Hwal In Seo and found Nok Young waiting for her. Nok Young continued calling her Agasshi, and knowing that Nok Young knew that she already knew the truth (wow, what a garbled sounding sentence that was), Yeon Woo told Nok Young to leave. Nok Young said that she felt it was necessary for her to visit Yeon Woo, before visiting Hwon the next day.
Thus…Yeon Woo got to learn the truth, wholesale with no lies, about the reasons behind Nok Young 'killing' her then 'reviving' her again. She muttered that she couldn't forgive Nok Young and asked why she even lied to her father. Nok Young explained that because her father was a morally upright man, he wouldn't partake in such a plot that meant deceiving the king.
Yeon Woo told Nok Young that the person she killed wasn't her, but her father. Her father died the moment he was forced to feed his own daughter with medicine that would cause her death. Nok Young's eyes filled with tears and she closed her eyes as Yeon Woo looked at her with a tinge of hate, and gritted out, "My family, and the tears that the Majesty had spent and the road that he walked in these eight years, how are you planning to repay?"
I love that sentence. It's full of impact, and stresses again the gravity of the situation.
Nok Young looked distressed but when she opened her eyes again, she had a face of determination. "The ritual to kill a person always needs a sacrifice. The spell that you were under was hidden with the strong will of a young girl…a young girl who became a sacrifice because of her strong urge to fulfil her wish…and her fervent prayers for your death." Yeon Woo's eyes widened as she asked if this was Bo Kyung, but Nok Young shook her head.
Wow, I'm pretty sure it's who I'm thinking of and that's just so smart!
Yeon Woo suddenly recalled Seol telling her that the Princess had come to her room the night she was ill, and she whispered, "It can't be…it can't be…" Nok Young cut in, "It's exactly Princess Min-Hwa."
We cut to the scene of Princess crying in her room as she recalled a scene we had never seen before.
She was crying so hard because her father refused to let her marry Yeom and the Dowager was consoling her. She wailed out to her grandmother that without Yeom, she couldn't live on. The Dowager revealed that there's a way for her to marry Yeom.
The Princess, still naive and young, smiled happily and we then cut to the scene on the night where Yeon Woo was strangled by the spirits, and Princess was in the halls together with Nok Young. When the ritual was over, the Dowager told her that she could relax then and that her wish would come true. In the present, the Princess cried as she remembered this, and the fact that her father-in-law killed himself. Yeom came into her room because he was concerned over how she didn't leave her room ever since she came back from his father's grave.
The Princess told him that she had a bad dream of him leaving her, and he reassured her, saying that he would accompany her so she should get a good sleep.
Aww, and he said that Princess looked really pretty when she cried too. Yeom is such a lovely guy…and while I don't exactly love Princess (I see that she loves him now, but when she was still a child, I wonder if that was really love or just a crush:/ ) I really hope they become a loving couple!
Nok Young then explained to Yeon Woo that the rationale behind using Princess as a sacrifice was so that if in the future, should Hwon and her know about the truth, they would have to help in hiding it because the Princess would be labelled as a criminal for partaking in such a treacherous ritual…and Yeom would be a criminal too. Yeon Woo looked pained and she asked what she was supposed to do. Nok Young left it up to her decision — to reveal everything and return to Hwon, or to hide and continue living.
Ahhhh, now it's all clear. I was so confused why Nok Young will save Yeon Woo's life and refuse to let her return to Hwon but now I see why!
Yeon Woo got up feebly and shuffled into her room, before breaking down in tears. Nok Young came to the door and looked at her shaking back with a pained expression.
Nok Young hardly has such soft expressions on her face before, has she? She always looks so…scary and all-knowing, and fierce and smart, and manipulative…but you know she truly cares about Yeon Woo.
Yang Myung 'threatened' one of the ministers — to cough up all the resources that the ministers had taken from the Hwal In Seo and then he would pretend that nothing happened, or to continue eating the resources and he would tell Hwon. Hwon heard this and asked Yang Myung what he wanted to tell him, and Yang Myung filled him in on the poor state of Hwal In Seo. He reminded Hwon that people depended on food to survive and he's simply worried that those people who had not enough to eat would ultimately be a worry for the country.
Hwon took this as a jibe against his skills in leading the country but Yang Myung said it wasn't his intention to do so and requested for him to investigate properly.
Oh, what fury did Hwon unleash on the courts that day. He demanded for all the resources to be coughed back up and that he would use the country's funds to replenish Hwal In Seo's resources. The ministers were unhappy because less country's funds meant less pay for them, and that they should use the taxes for the shamans to pay, in which case there wasn't enough and they couldn't jack up the taxes either. Hwon insisted that he would use the funds and shouted, "If there's any corruption during the process of rendering aid, please correct them!"
He returned to his halls to find Nok Young waiting for him. The Great Dowager got wind that Nok Young was sent to meet Hwon and was alarmed. She instructed for one of her attendants to get Nok Young to her chambers the moment she left Hwon's. Hwon asked Nok Young when she left the Celestial Halls, to which she answered eight years ago. Realising that that was also when Yeon Woo was sick, he asked if there was something that happened that 'weaken her powers' like what she claimed. "Answer me, are there any powers to kill someone?" Nok Young's eyes widened.
Without a second beat, she replied that there wasn't. She continued to elaborate that any ritual to take away someone's life always means that there's a sacrifice to be made — the life of the person who cast the spell. Thus, if she had cast the spell, she would already be a corpse. "Since I'm still alive, it means that no one was killed under my powers."
Nok Young left Hwon's chambers and we see Yeon Woo's request for her not to tell Hwon anything because she didn't want to give him a heartbreak because of her again.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was a really amazing subtle hint that Nok Young worked in there, so she must have done this on purpose. There's no way such a smart woman like her would say something like that unintentionally…which means…she wants Hwon to realise that something was wrong, didn't she? But I thought that she didn't want Hwon to know? Or is this because she knew there was no way Yeon Woo could hide anymore?
Questions. Anyway. Nok Young managed to convince Great Dowager that Hwon called her to his chambers to instruct her to take better care of her shamans so that there wouldn't be another case of Shaman Wol. Hwon started putting the pieces together — since Nok Young was Dowager's favourite, she could get her to kill Yeon Woo and place Bo Kyung on the throne. He recalled Nok Young's statement that no one died under her powers, and knew that it sounded as if since the person who cast the spell is alive, then the person who was under the spell should be alive too. Kyu Tae's words about Yeon Woo's body remaining warm for a few hours after her death rang in his mind and he came to a halt.
"Maybe she's still alive."
The girl that Yang Myung saved the other time refused to eat and Yeon Woo was instructed to see if she could do anything to help. She asked the girl if she wanted to die, and there was a visible reaction on the girl's part. Yeon Woo got her to confide in her, and learnt that the girl wanted to die because she's just useless to the family.
Yeon Woo told her that her father must have loved her a lot to carry her for thirty miles to Hwal In Seo for medical help, and the girl broke down, saying that if she died, there would be one less mouth to feed. Yeon Woo saw herself in the girl and started tearing up as she told the girl that when she was young, she thought her death would mean that everyone else could be alive, "But if one day, the beloved daughter is no longer alive, which parents on this earth will not care?"
She told the girl that a family must live together, and that she shouldn't have such cowardly thoughts anymore. The girl hugged Yeon Woo and the two of them cried together.
I was thinking that there must be something else to this scene…and true enough, Yang Myung appeared to have heard this conversation. He murmured silently, "I beg you..please say you're not…you're not Heo Yeon Woo..and that you are only Shaman Wol…that you have no fates tied with the Majesty."
Aww!! Fine. I see that you love Shaman Wol and not really Heo Yeon Woo now….but they are after all, the same person…and sigh Yang Myung 😦 I can't bear to see you watch Yeon Woo get together with Hwon a second time…or is it easier to let her go because she's Yeon Woo this time round and not truly another person that both you and Hwon like?
Yeon Woo realised that Yang Myung was there, but he lied that he only just arrived. Turns out that he had decided not to wait for the reinforcements from the palace and bought his own resources to donate to Hwal In Seo. He started joking in his usual flippant, jovial manner that this was a good opportunity to flaunt his wealth.
He even brought a book on medicine for Yeon Woo to study and gave himself a smug smile when she declared that she had been thinking of finding one herself.
She started browsing the book immediately, and Yang Myung scrutinised her, seeing traces of the old Yeon Woo. He donated some of his clothes too, saying that he liked to disguise himself. Yeon Woo found female clothes' within the heap and asked rhetorically if he liked to cross-dress. Hahaha, Yang Myung ignored her question and told her that she could take the clothing, but stopped her from giving it to Seol. He revealed that he wanted to bring her somewhere —- the home of his teacher. Yeon Woo's eyes flickered and widened.
Before she turned and looked away, obviously flustered. Yang Myung watched her reaction and…I guess he knows it in his heart already.
Hwon sat in his chambers and pondered about it. If Yeon Woo was still alive, why didn't she show up in front of him? Why…he recalled the first time he met Wol and how he saw the thirteen year old Yeon Woo a split second before that. It didn't make sense — Shaman Wol didn't look like she was lying when she begged for him to stop pushing her for answers related to Yeon Woo, and Yeon Woo was obviously buried…"But…"
He shook his head as he tried to work this out.
Kyu Tae went to ask Yeom for more details but Yeom said that since he was sent away, he was only back in time for Yeon Woo's funeral.
I like Kyu Tae. Here's a screen shot for you!(: See, I'm not just a Hwon-Yeon Woo-bias person!(:
Kyu Tae apologised for bringing up such a sad matter, and left. The housekeeper walked him out and he suddenly had a flash of inspiration. Grabbing the housekeeper by the neck, he demanded that the housekeeper give him some answers.
Really, Kyu Tae, hahahah you are quite scary…0.0 After walking Kyu Tae out, Yeom was in the courtyard when he heard noises. Thinking that it was Yang Myung, he called out tentatively but saw that it was just a cat. He turned to leave and Seol appeared from outside the wall. She said silently with tears, that now that Agasshi had regained her memory, "Can we live together just like before?" Aww.
Yeon Woo's mother revealed that she would be paying a visit to Seo Hwal In Seo soon. Yeom asked if it was because of the girl that resembled Yeon Woo and his mother sighed, saying that that girl must have had parents…and she would like to console her, even if it was just a few words. Yeom revealed that Hwon was secretly looking into Yeon Woo's murder. We switch back to Kyu Tae who managed to dig out from the housekeeper that he had returned to Yeon Woo's grave on the second day and found clear evidence of the grave having been dug. He had kept it from the family because he didn't want them to be sad over grave thieves.
Exciting enough? This is taken up a notch when Seol walked into sight dejectedly and the housekeeper recognised her. He called out her name and she quickly ran away, but not before Kyu Tae got a good look at her, and realised with a start, that she was the same person who tried to stop Euigeumbu from taking Yeon Woo away. Hwon learnt that there were signs of digging around Yeon Woo's grave.
Kyu Tae told him that the strange thing was he kept seeing a girl around — first at Yeon Woo's ex-attendant's house, and the second time that day…."But..based on what I know…that girl is the slave of a shaman called Wol."
This can't get any better. Hwon shouted for Hyung Sun to get Nok Young to him immediately, and as he walked to his study, he put all the pieces together — signs of digging, a death with no traces, Celestial Hall, Shaman Jang, and Wol's slave who could be seen at points of investigation over Yeon Woo's death…now it's only the confirmation.
I was right:/ Bo Kyung sank into this paranoia where she huddled up in a corner and was in constant fear.
Her mother entered her chambers and tried to tell her that it was just all her hallucinations, but Bo Kyung insisted that Yeon Woo was still alive and very close to Hwon.
She became hysterical when she was convinced that Yeon Woo was here to snatch her place back and her mother reminded her that the throne was always hers. Bo Kyung revealed that she knew her father must have killed Yeon Woo to place her on the throne and her mother pleaded with her to keep it a secret. Minister Yoon walked into the chambers and watched with worry. He returned back to his study and finally managed to pinpoint where he saw Shaman Wol before — a 13 year old Yeon Woo.
Oh my, you only got it now?
He realised that Yeon Woo was still alive and knew that Shaman Jang must have done something. We returned back to the scene where Nok Young greeted Hwon in his study, and Hwon demanded for truthful answers from her. "Is Shaman Wol really your shaman." "Yes." He asked for the time when Wol was adopted by her, and she answered eight years ago. He then pushed on, "The break from all past ties and fates…was that done intentionally, or she just couldn't even remember her memories?"
Nok Young told him that the breakage was meant to be done intentionally, but could also be achieved after being 'reborn' from a fright as close as death.
Hwon looked at her, and muttered, "For example… the fright and pain…from being shut in a coffin?"
Nok Young didn't answer him, and he continued, "The last question…the shaman's name…her name… is it really Wol?" Nok Young's eyes widened and she swallowed, as she realised what Hwon was asking for.
Wol's true name. He shouted, "Answer me!
Is Shaman Wol the same person as the one who passed away eight years ago, Heo Yeon Woo?!"
I LOVE IT. Hwon, it took you some time but you have finally arrived at it.
Nok Young didn't answer and merely closed her eyes in distress and affirmation. Hwon finally knew the truth.
He stumbled out of his study and after a while, he sank to his knees. Behind him, a crying Hyung Sun sank to his knees too. Hwon remembered every single mean thing he had said to Shaman Wol, realised that was his darling Yeon Woo, and asked silently if that Shaman Wol…was really the Yeon Woo eight years ago. As he clenched his fist around his heart, he couldn't contain his pained wails and he cried out, "Yeon Woo ah!"
This episode is goooood. I mean, there has been so much build up and so much tension and so much suspense, you get the point, and we have all really been waiting for this. I had looked forward for The Moment of Truth but yet at the same time, feared that it would be a let down…because how many times have we watched a really amazing rising action that plunges down the mountains in a horrible climax? Yeah. And I'm so glad that this show didn't go the way I fear it will. It took a lot of episodes but we got there in the end — Hwon's realisation that Yeon Woo was still alive.
I like it that everyone involved realised almost in the same episode that Shaman Wol was Yeon Woo (Yang Myung, Minister Yoon, Bo Kyung, Hwon etc) but that each realisation happened in different way. Yang Myung's realisation was full of tension and excitement but wasn't meant to escalate too much evidently, as the scriptwriters had his Moment of Truth broken by Hwon's meeting. Minister Yoon's realisation was a little boring and scary at the same time, because argh, he's the true villain here. Bo Kyung's was full of madness, paranoia, hallucinations and wow she carried it off well….but Hwon's was the best. This entire episode was almost full of Hwon putting pieces together and getting leaps and bounds in each deduction…(while my heart leaps around whenever he gets something correct).
It becomes so clear why Princess had to be involved now. I thought it was a bit weak to have her in the room simply because Dowager wanted to blame the ritual on her/make her believe that the ritual was meant for her…but now, you see an entire new dimension of manipulation of an innocent child's heart, and how it works up to a deeper level of scheming.
It took me some time to write this recap but I love every moment of it. Hehe, Hwon is really cool here. Who can resist a smart guy?:P
Episode 15 Recap on The Moon That Embraces The Sun: http://thoughtsramble.livejournal.com/100658.html