To be honest, I thought parts of the episode were getting draggy, but I did enjoy the rest and also that twist at the end!
In the midst of the ambush, Hyuk hands Vice Premier a sword and the two of them easily take down most of the assasins. At the last moment, one of them does a leap with his sword facing the Vice Premier, and we shift the scene back to the couple, thus leaving the fate of the Vice Premier a mystery.
Won Deuk hugs Hong Shim and that’s his answer – he wants to stay by her side, yes, he wants to follow her. He cutely is reluctant to leave immediately and asks for time to pack his treasured goods, but Hong Shim laughs and says that they aren’t leaving now. Instead, they should go tell the rest that Won Deuk is safe. Whilst walking hand in hand, they run into a shaman who tells them to flee south. Shaman also says that Won Deuk is a good husband and a man like no other, much to Won Deuk’s satisfaction. She then elaborates that he has loved only one woman in his life, which causes Hong Shim confusion. As the shaman closes her eyes and murmurs that she sees, “Is it snow? Or petals?”, she suddenly opens them and tells Hong Shim to run away, for Won Deuk is holding a bloodied sword and the tip is pointing towards Hong Shim.
Ooh a prophecy! Prophecies are fun because I like to see how they play out (also because I’m thinking the couple will have a happy ending so I don’t suppose the prophecy will…end up with Yul killing Hong Shim?). But at the same time, my gripe is that the shaman here is inserted here just for this scene, which renders it a sudden and convenient plot device, rather than smooth storytelling. It would have been much better if the shaman was at least talked about an episode before. In the end, the scene feels rather pointless, other than to instill some dread perhaps in the leads, and the viewers, as to the couple’s ending.
Won Deuk quickly pulls Hong Shim away and is displeased with the shaman but one of her fortune, “She’s right, I’m a man like no other.” Haha!
Meanwhile, Hyuk returns and quickly piggyback Moo Yeon out of the residence, lying to the son that this is under his father’s instructions. At night, the king paces restlessly, only to hear that the assassination has failed and that the Vice Premier has fled with an injury. Official Jung assures him that the skilled assassins are after him, and to not let his fear take over his plans.
Thereafter, the King announces to his court that he wants to install Seowon as the next Crown Prince. Vice Premier’s people protest at this hurried command, given in the Vice Premier’s absence, but the King asks if they are then committing treason.
Won Deuk worries over the shaman’s fortune and gets caught by Hong Shim but fibs that he’s thinking about her brother. Hong Shim smiles that he’s a good man who would have easily passed the state exam if he grew up in the right environment. She jokes that Won Deuk would probably not pass her brother’s standards, for he’s not very polite. Haha.
Hong Shim’s father returns home in time to defend his manly son-in-law, and is delighted to hear that Won Deuk will be going with them. He quickly and intentionally tells Won Deuk to speak properly to him for he’s older, so Won Deuk hesitantly adds a “-yo” to the end of his sentence, ending with calling the father, “Father.” Hong Shim’s father grabs Won Deuk in delight and he curls back in disgust that, “I’m uncomfortable…yo!”
Hong Shim asks privately later why Won Deuk hasn’t been asking her to stay for the night. Won Deuk sweetly replies that they married each other for show without anyone’s blessing, but now that this is a union they like, he wants to marry her for real after receiving her brother’s permission.
Je Yoon ponders about Won Deuk deep in the night and gets scolded by Officer Park for wasting candles again. The next day, Hong Shim laughs that Won Deuk is a bit dumb sometimes for wanting to sell the house, as they are leaving in secret and surely he can’t be advertising their departure. He observes that the nickname, “Dumb” sounds familiar.
Je Yoon arrives at the house and Won Deuk finally explains the misunderstanding that the archery bet was his idea. Hong Shim chides Won Deuk for letting Master Park shoots arrow at him and Je Yoon coughs at the couple’s squabbles. Hong Shim apologises for speaking out of turn previously and Je Yoon smiles that it’s nothing. Won Deuk quickly steps into the line of sight to prevent Je Yoon from gazing at Hong Shim. Haha cute.
Cuteness aside, Je Yoon is here to try and get Won Deuk’s signature again on some papers. Won Deuk pauses and draws his hand instead. Je Yoon points to the expensive decor and books in the room but Won Deuk lies that he was forced to buy those. Je Yoon mentally asks why Won Deuk is hiding the fact that he can write, and Won Deuk ponders about Je Yoon’s purpose in coming here. Je Yoon looks up and sees Won Deuk placing a finger at his forehead and thinking hard, and suddenly gets reminded of the Prince. Nonetheless, he departs without saying anything.
Back in the palace, Seowon prince rejects being the Crown Prince but the King insists that he doesn’t want to go down in history as the Vice Premier’s pawn. Therefore, despite being in fear that the Vice Premier will take his life, he will fight to place Seowon on the throne.
Meanwhile, Princess worries over her father’s absence with her brother and hears that Beom is dead, and Hyuk has fled with Moo Yeon. She tells him to feign illness to leave the palace so that he can take some men and find the Vice Premier. After her brother leaves, she grabs her stomach in pain but insists on going to the King. She is denied an appearance so she kneels in front of the door and pleads that having the Crown Prince’s son take the throne is her wish as a widow.
Won Deuk hilariously carresses his pearl closet which Hong Shim is now trying to sell to Ma Chil and claims that its value should have appreciated, rather than depreciated, because he has given it his touch. LOL. Despite his reluctance, the pearl closet is sold. He quickly checks and finds out that his debt papers had not been destroyed. Inspired by the shaman perhaps, he tells Ma Chil that he has a face of someone who will do something big…and that this fortune costs another yang.
Hong Shim laughs that Won Deuk must have grown, but he reveals that he hopes Ma Chil will become kind after his words. After all, a person’s destiny depends on their heart. Hong Shim falls for her husband again and he poses for her to look to her heart’s content.
Ae Weol turns up, claiming to have lost something that only Won Deuk can find. Hong Shim doesn’t want him to go but Won Deuk playfully points out that it was her who said she’s alright with him conversing with other women. The couple’s words constantly come back to bite their asses, it’s quite funny.
In the meantime, Hong Shim worries about Won Deuk being swayed and grumbles that Ae Weol looks just like a vixen who will seduce other men. Honestly though, I’m getting a little tired of the scenes showing the couple getting jealous respectively. It’s getting repetitive, boring and not to mention, I feel like it isn’t very nice for the show to keep portraying women in the show as being against Ae Weol. (I do accept however that she’s a gisaeng and therefore, her profession carries some prejudice.)
Je Yoon requires Hong Shim’s help to buy…books, and picks up the Man and His Fifty Shadows from a bookstore she recommends. Hong Shim tells him seriously that the villagers are very kind and decent people, and Je Yoon promises not to let the villagers cry. She leaves afterwards and the store owner reveals that the book Je Yoon is holding was hand-copied by Won Deuk.
Won Deuk finds the Dano fan which Ae Weol has misplaced and instantly deduces it’s a fake. Ae Weol rewards his services and quickly returns to Je Yoon. Turns out this is just a ploy on Je Yoon’s part for Ae Weol to look at Won Deuk and draw out his portrait. Ae Weol also mentions that Won Deuk is a special man, for he could tell that the fan, which was a gift from Lord Kim to her, was a fake.
Won Deuk returns home with money and Hong Shim asks about Ae Weol jealously. He smiles that Hong Shim’s pretty and she threatens to put him in the stone grinder if he leaves her. He kisses her, signifying his promise. Won Deuk later hands some rice cakes to Officer Park and Hong Shim gives a pair of shoes to Kkeut Nyeo. Kkeut Nyeo immediately realises Hong Shim’s going to leave and cries.
In his chambers, the King freaks out over a vision of the Vice Premier’s assassination and quickly orders for tighter security. At night, the Vice Premier’s men gather on the instructions of secret letters, which were actually sent out by a well and alive Vice Premier, who tells them to continue with the installation ceremony. Later, the Vice Premier reveals to his sidekick that he’s determined to put his grandson on the throne. “Get the assassins ready, we are going to the Songjoo Village.”
Moo Yeon wakes up from his injury and Hyuk explains that the truth is out. He insists on setting forth for the village despite his injury, knowing that his sister will be in danger. Hyuk promises to accompany him. The Princess receives a secret letter from Moo Yeon who returns her bracelet to her and wishes for her good health, before bidding her farewell. She wants to rush off to find him, but is stopped by her palace maid. She sinks to the ground and cries, “Why does everyone…leave me…”
Turns out, Je Yoon wanted Ae Weol to draw the portrait so that he can bring it to Hanyang and show it to Kwon Hyuk. Kwon recognises the man in the portrait to be the Crown Prince and also explains that the rumour had arisen because someone from the village apparently looked like the Prince. Je Yoon rushes off, but not before telling Kwon Hyuk that the man in the drawing IS the Crown Prince.
The family packs for their departure and Won Deuk clutches tightly to his multiple sets of clothes. Hong Shim observes that her brother probably wouldn’t approve of his materialism and Won Deuk reluctantly ditches his unnecessary belongings so as not to fail his further purpose. Awww. He notices Hong Shim packing the shoes and tells her to wear them instead, for the journey will be tough on her feet.
Morning comes around and Hong Shim awaits worriedly for her brother, who hasn’t arrived, and has a bad feeling about this. Moo Yeon rides his horse and almost doubles over in pain. Meanwhile, Vice Premier and his group rush to the village, and the Vice Premier recalls Beom’s words that Yul has lost his memory and is living as a peasant.
The family eats quietly and Goo Duk is puzzled why they aren’t joining the festival. Won Deuk comments passive aggressively that he might have to hide in a cave or on a mountain from now on, who knows when he can have fun at a festival again? And at that point, he looks at Hong Shim pitifully. Do Kyung Soo is damn funny hahaha. We all know this is Won Deuk’s ploy to distract Hong Shim.
The couple walks to the market place and Meok Goo brings them over to the magic show. Won Deuk watches intensely as the magicians keep producing coins from no where. All I can think of is – omg Won Deuk please don’t think you can make money this way hahaha. After producing pigeons too, the magician invites a member of the audience and points to Won Deuk, “You, this handsome man….the beautiful lady next to him.” Hong Shim delightedly participates and is turned missing. The first time, Won Deuk tells Meok Goo in confidence that this isn’t magic. The second time, the magician pretends to fail at returning Hong Shim, much to Won Deuk’s shock. Hahaha. Anyway, Hong Shim is returned fine and safe, and the magician presents her with a rose.
Won Deuk doesn’t like her smiling at another man’s flower and throws it away. He buys a stalk of flowers at the marketplace, and Je Yoon sees him, finally piecing it together that his actions are just like the Prince.
Won Deuk proposes to Hong Shim with the flowers (aww) and she asks if he’s sure he wouldn’t regret – for he could be a nobleman and his family is looking for him. However, Won Deuk is certain that he will regret more if he leaves her side. She takes the flowers and kisses his cheek, “That’s my answer.” The couple tears up a little and looks at the fireworks (somehow, fireworks always lit up when a couple kisses.) Won Deuk gazes at the fireworks, noting that it’s a waste of taxpayer’s money but undoubtedly beautiful. When he turns around, Hong Shim’s gone, and her flowers on the floor. A scene shows that she is knocked out and carried away by Beom. The marketplace empties itself as people run away in shock, and when Won Deuk picks up the flowers, he finds himself surrounded by the assassins.
The Vice Premier appears and asks if he recognises him, which of course, Won Deuk doesn’t. Vice Premier then turns to his assassins, “What are you all doing? Show him respect.” Deng-deng-deng, as everyone kneels down and the Vice Premier declares, “It’s time to return to the palace, Crown Prince.”
I once said that the scheming in relation to politics isn’t the show’s strongest suit – I still think it isn’t, but I must say that the Vice Premier has been pleasantly unpredictable, thus providing the show its twists and turns. When I thought that the Princess has worked herself into a corner, she makes use of the Prince’s ‘death’ to pretend like her child was his. When we all thought the Vice Premier was rushing to kill Yul, turns out, he wanted to make use of his amnesia. It’s a smart move (and one that of course will unintentionally place our male lead back into power and one day, to reveal the truth) but also a logical one. Since the King has turned against the Vice Premier, this is probably the only way to safeguard the Princess’s baby.
I also like Je Yoon’s planning with regard to the portrait. I couldn’t tell what his plans were when he had Ae Weol draw Won Deuk’s face but it made so much sense after he brought it to Hanyang. He can’t recognise Won Deuk’s face, so why not get Yul’s trusted friend to do it instead? It also reminds me slightly of modern technology hahaha, where we often send photo confirmations to clear our doubts.
At the same time though, I feel like the show intended all stakeholders to converge in Songjoo village for a big showdown. This is why Je Yoon rushes back to the village after knowing that Won Deuk is Yul, Moo Yeon hurries to save his sister and Vice Premier is eager to meet Yul. However, the fact that the Vice Premier is the one who ‘wins’ out at end is at the same time, exciting and anti-climatic. Anti-climatic in the sense that it rids out the other (but admittedly cliche) plot line where Je Yoon recognises Yul, helps Yul to recover his memories, and the two can plot their way back into the palace. Also anti-climatic because I doubt there is a showdown, since Moo Yeon seems to have quietly taken his sister away, and Je Yoon appears to be downcasted in the preview.
All in all, I liked the last 10 minutes of the show – full of action and suspense. Hope there will be more of those next episode!