Our poor Won Deuk!
Faced with the shocking news from the Vice Premier, Yul suddenly recalls a memory of the Princess asking to consumate the marriage and him touching her lips. Meanwhile, Hong Shim gets carted away in a palanquin and Je Yoon chases after. Officer Park, under Je Yoon’s instructions, manages to get Hong Shim’s dad out safely before the Vice Premier’s assassins search their house.
It is Seowon Prince’s installation ceremony the next day and as dramas would have it, just as Seowon Prince kneels down to receive the royal command, the palace doors open to introduce the Vice Premier. What’s even ‘worse’ is that he reveals the Crown Prince is alive, and as the music cues, Lee Yul walks down the palace grounds and reveals his face. I loveee this scene. Thanks for making Lee Yul’s return to the palace impactful.
We immediately cut to the scene of Hong Shim waking up and seeing her brother outside the hut. She wants to rush home to bring Won Deuk and her father, but Moo Yeon tells her to forget about Won Deuk. “You have to forget that person. He is….the Crown Prince.” He’s the son-in-law of the man who killed their father.
Hong Shim doesn’t believe her brother and is about to run off, but Moo Yeon grabs her hand and says that Yul is probably already back in the Palace with his Princess. Hong Shim breaks down in tears, and Je Yoon watches secretly from a side.
Back to the ceremony, the King rushes down the steps to take a closer look at Yul, and Won Deuk, talking in the manner as he always does before, apologises for worrying him. The King immediately orders the ceremony to be cancelled, much to the dismay of Seowon prince and the Queen (I’m going to use Yul and Won Deuk almost interchangeably at this point – mostly Won Deuk since he hasn’t gotten his memory back.)
The Crown Princess is shocked to hear that the Prince is back and hurries to meet him, but at their first meeting of glance, she suddenly remembers his warning of destroying her clan. She stops in her tracks and grabs her stomach which hurts. The Vice Premier tells the Won Deuk to return to his chambers to don the Prince’s attire and later explains to the Princess that Yul has completely lost his memory. He just has to be kept this way until the Princess’s baby is born and throned. Just in case Yul recovers his memories, the Vice Premier has placed his men all around Yul.
As Won Deuk gets clothed, he recalls the Vice Premier’s words (and lies) that it was the Queen who plotted his assassination. The Vice Premier urges him to return to the Palace to protect the Princess and his child (ugh) and to hide the fact that he has lost his memories. Or else, the woman he married and her father will be in danger. “Please forget what has happened in the past 100 days.” Cool, cool, always threaten the male lead with the woman he loves. And woohoo, I’m glad someone has at least declared to the viewers that 100 days have passed!!
Goo Dol is confused about the empty house and Kkeut Nyeo feels that something is wrong. Even if Hong Shim has gone to find her brother, she would have taken her luggage along. Master Park comes around to tell the villagers that Won Deuk has been taken away for having escaped the military, and that the village is not to talk about Hong Shim and Won Deuk again. Hong Shim’s dad, hiding in one of the villager’s house, is in disbelief about Won Deuk’s news and Je Yoon finally explains to him that Hong Shim is with her brother, and Won Deuk? “He’s the Prince.”
I’m not quite sure what’s the significance of this, but the villager taking care of Hong Shim’s dad overhears this. This scene also reminds me that I’m rather unconvinced by Jung Hae Kyun’s acting – he goes into this nasal, high pitched voice when he’s in distress which is very similar to his prevous rendition as the father in Save Me. Despite the two fathers being of very different personalities, I couldn’t help but feel unconnected to this father.
The King is very unsettled that the Vice Premier is alive, and under the suggestion of Official Jung, tries to strip the Vice Premier of his title for claiming the Prince was dead when he wasn’t. However, the Prince steps in and requests for the command to be taken back, because the Vice Premier was ultimately the one who saved him. Ughhh am I the only one feeling uncomfortable watching the Prince protect the Vice Premier?
The Vice Premier orders for medicine to be given to the Prince, claiming that it’s supposed to help him recover his previous memories. I’m just hoping it’s a useless medicine, not a medicine which dumbs Won Deuk. He also introduces Won Deuk to his new eunuchs and palace maids, who are undoubtedly his spies.
Moo Yeon calls out Hong Shim’s real name, “Yi Seo,” but she murmurs that it’s a foreign name. She feels suffocated and leaves the room for a walk, but before she exits, Moo Yeon gently observes that the couple has an ill-fate. Even if it’s not an ill-fate, he’s not a man Hong Shim can have. Hong Shim looks at the pair of shoes from Won Deuk and flings it far away in the forest. As she turns around, she suddenly recalls Won Deuk’s words when he gave her the shoes and she turns back to find the shoes. She sobs as she grabs the shoes to her chest.
Under the Vice Premier’s instructions, the Prince pays a visit to the Princess and her palace maid happily passes a children’s book to him. The Princess notes the Prince’s reluctance to read to her child, and deviously manipulates the Prince, by saying that he can return to his chambers if he wishes. Anyway, their relationship isn’t good because it’s a political marriage, “But please love this child of yours.” Of course, our kind Won Deuk feels bad and promises to work hard so that the woman bearing his child will not have to shed tears again. The camera then switches to Hong Shim crying, to hammer home the irony. You are protecting the wrong womannn.
Je Yoon remembers Moo Yeon telling Hong Shim to forget about Won Deuk but knows that it will be impossible for her. He tells Ae Weol that despite not loving the Princess, the Prince must still have consummated the marriage. It’s so interesting how the fact that it’s the Princess who declares her pregnancy changes perspectives – because Je Yoon was only on track to find out the secret which was the Princess’s pregnancy, once that ‘secret’ was revealed by the very person who was supposed to hide it, Je Yoon loses his suspicion. Later, Master Park panics that he once shot arrows at Won Deuk and shrieks to Je Yoon about losing his head.
The Vice Premier visits the King to deliver a veiled message – touch him again and he won’t let it rest. The Vice Premier later instructs his men to catch Moo Yeon alive because there’s something he wants to ask him. Hyuk passes Moo Yeon medicine and news of a ship that will sail in four days. He also reveals that it was Beom who shot Moo Yeon, under the Princess’s instructions.
Hong Shim sees her brother’s injury and is curious about the work he has been doing. The fact that he knows how the Crown Prince looks like is also suspicious. However, Moo Yeon hopes to start a new life and tells Hong Shim that he has done shameful things which he doesn’t want to tell her now. “Can you understand me?” Hong Shim looks at him and says determinedly that she also wishes to leave as soon as possible.
In the palace, Won Deuk faces tables of food and notes the stark difference between his breakfast and that of the villagers’. He sees a vision of Hong Shim smiling that he can finally eat his meat pancakes, and refuses to eat. Later at the study session with the scholars, he sees another vision of Hong Shim beaming that she made someone who studied passages copy books, but that Fifty Shadow Men book must be more interesting, right? Won Deuk closes his eyes in pain and opens them, knowing that Hong Shim will be gone. He cancels the session and leaves.
Seowon Prince appears and wonders if Yul is angry that he tried to become the Crown Prince. Won Deuk explains that it’s only natural for someone to step into an empty position, “So why would I blame you?” But Seowon is upset because whatever he wants, is now in Yul’s hands. Won Deuk says that he doesn’t want all this either, and Seowon realises his eyes look different. Won Deuk murmurs that the 100 days outside of the palace was a long journey.
Master Park hurries to meet Vice Premier, along with Je Yoon in tow, to beg for mercy for having shot arrows at the Prince. Je Yoon has no choice but to explain that he can’t recognise faces and the Vice Premier dismisses them. Je Yoon begs for an audience with Won Deuk and almost gets thrown out, but Won Deuk orders for the eunuchs to let him in. I love it when power is exercised by the good people.
Won Deuk asks worriedly about Hong Shim and wonders if she has already left with her brother. Je Yoon urges him to forget about Hong Shim, because she will be in danger if he pines for her. Won Deuk asks if Je Yoon would still want to be his friend, and Je Yoon replies, “Now we can’t, because…you are the Crown Prince.” He turns around, leaving Won Deuk alone in his palace room. Something so poignant and sad seeing Won Deuk being so lonely, and also worrying for Hong Shim!
Je Yoon finally meets Hong Shim and delivers yummy food, and most importantly, her new papers with a new name. Hong Shim’s father cries that it’s his fault for introducing the Prince to Hong Shim and causing them to fall in love. The villager lady embraces him to console him and Je Yoon barges just at this moment, creating a slightly hilarious moment.
Finally, the Crown Prince and Princes visit the King. I’m a little heartened to see that the King is at least speaking gently to Won Deuk. After some discussion, some shading by the Queen on whether the Prince is even 100% alright, the consensus is for the Crown Prince to host the Ming diplomats so as to convince them of his legitimacy and power. After all, he was supposed to be dead, and the diplomats were invited to congratulate Seowon’s crowning.
Vice Premier privately wants Won Deuk to study the books and he suavely delivers the learning points of every book in front of him, “I lost my memories, not my knowledge.” Get out, he says. Okay I kid, that was my word. He tells them to withdraw from the room.
The Princess is confident that the baby in her womb is a boy, because whatever she says right? I still can’t believe that she shot Moo Yeon and am waiting to see who exactly is the woman Moo Yeon fell in love with. Princess learns from her brother that the Vice Premier has instructed for Moo Yeon to be captured alive.
Moo Yeon dreams of all the times he tried to kill the Prince and wakes up in a cold sweat. Hong Shim, who has been keeping vigil by his side, looks at him worriedly. Je Yoon brings Hong Shim’s father to meet Hong Shim, and the father breaks down once again in guilt for being the cause of Hong Shim’s pain. I’m sorry, this is supposed to be such an emotional father-daughter scene and Nam Ji Hyun is performing so well here, but the fact that the father had already an entire dialogue of guilt barely 10 minutes before undercuts this scene.
At night in his room, Won Deuk hears Hong Shim talking to him but ignores the vision. Hong Shim advises him gently to take a walk and Won Deuk finally faces her, “I…am not Won Deuk. I can’t go to you. I am married to the Princess, and have a child who is about to be born.” Hong Shim smiles sadly and says this is why she’s here to bade farewell. The vision disappears in a flurry of petals and Won Deuk’s eyes tear up. With a look of determination, he orders for his robes and a horse to be prepared. Whilst the guards try to stop him, his friend, Kwon, passes an order for the gates to be opened. I’m so happy for Won Deuk that he still has friends in the palace but it’s kinda strange that Kwon didn’t meet the Prince earlier? Even if he was stopped by Vice Premier’s spies, I think it would have been good for the show to insert even a short scene for that.
Hong Shim goes back home to get her luggage and hears the sound of hooves. She quickly grabs her luggage and hids behind a wall, and Won Deuk alights from the horse to see an empty house.
The thing about 100 Days My Prince’s episodes thus far is that I always love the ending, but am bored in the middle. I wish they carry the same tight pace throughout the 60 minutes, but it feels that there’s always some scene that will be repeated multiple times. Anyway, my guess is that Hong Shim hid just at the sound of the horse, and not necessarily from Won Deuk. But there is something rather exciting and sad at the same time seeing the couple being in the same place but separted by the wall.
Once again, the slight twist in the story is interesting – who would have thought that the Prince now treats the Vice Premier as being on his side? I know Won Deuk doesn’t blindly trust him whole-heartedly, but it’s true that he’s alone in the palace with no one to rely on. Sadly, one camp is the Queen and Seowon and the other, the Vice Premier and the Princess. Our Prince is truely on his own. But I love the fact that he’s back in the Palace and in the thick of things.
I’m also happy to see that Nam Ji Hyun has more chances to perform in this episode and I’m eager to watch the couple have a confontation next week. Do Kyung Soo has been pleasantly excelling in his role. I’m always a sucker for those pained, tears in the eyes, but not quite flowing out scenes and I think he nailed it.
As for the plot though, I’m just hoping that there’s enough time for the show to tie everything nicely together. We need Won Deuk to recover his memories and to take down all the villians in one swoop. Please, please give me a good and satisfying ending. I do have this nigging feeling that Moo Yeon will die though… I mean he’s in love with the Princess, her baby’s probably his… no way is the show going to let them live out their years in the countryside..right?
Let me know your thoughts!