By far one of the most exciting episodes!
Turns out Won Deuk found out where Hong Shim was by paying a visit to Hong Shim’s father. On the bridge, he calls out her name, and shows her the ribbon, “I am the Dumbo who didn’t study Elementary Learning and you tied this around my arm.” One of my favourite things of this show is its instrumental music.
Hong Shim starts crying and wonders how Won Deuk has kept the ribbon for all these years. Won Deuk murmurs that he’s a Dumbo indeed, for not recognising Hong Shim is Yi Seo. She asks if he has recovered all his memories, but he replies, “No, just you.” He walks slowly towards her…and past her, “We may part today but I will find you soon.” Turns out, Won Deuk is being tailed.
Je Yoon returns home to hear that the Crown Prince has visited. Hong Shim appears in a daze and the father drags her to the room to pack up and leave. Hong Shim insists on not leaving till she finds her brother and reveals to the father that Dumbo is Won Deuk. “He kept my hair tie, even when I forgot about it.”
Okay hold on, did Hong Shim only realise that Won Deuk was Yul and therefore, the son of the King who uprooted the previous King’s men? Without realising all these time that he was the young boy she met….? You see, the fact that they have so many layers of connection makes it hard for viewers to track what each lead has realised. If it’s the latter scenario, then Won Deuk’s scene on the bridge would be a lot more impactful because it’s the first time she realises he’s Dumbo.
Hong Shim is always grateful towards the little boy who saved her those years ago, and now she feels so thankful towards him, she wants to keep him in her heart no matter what. Back in the palace, the eunuch, under threat of being beheaded, has no choice but to confess that the Vice Premier doesn’t want the Crown Prince to recover his memories. He asks to be killed, since the Vice Premier will kill him and his family anyway, knowing that he got caught. However, the Prince lets him go, despite Kwon’s objections, because he doesn’t want to kill innocent people. The Prince mutters, “The palace…is a lonely place.”
Alone with Moo Yeon, the Princess asks if he remembers them coming to this field when it was snowing then. Moo Yeon interrupts gently to ask, “By any chance, are you pregnant with…”, and she replies, “That is right. Can you leave with me then?” Moo Yeon looks down and the Princess smiles sadly, “Do not worry. This baby is not your baby.” Therefore, basically implying it IS Moo Yeon’s baby.
She walks past Moo Yeon with her hand outstretched, barely touching his hand. His fingers curl and before she leaves, Moo Yeon grabs her. I’m not a fan of the Princess, but I must say that the whole forbidden love thing is so in line with Moo Yeon’s outfit and character vibe.
Now out of a change in loyalty, the main eunuch drinks the medicine instead of the Prince. Aha, so this is medicine intended to dumb Won Deuk.
Back in her palanquin, the Princess recalls Moo Yeon’s words, “If you want, I will leave anywhere, anytime with you. Tell me when you make up your mind.” She smiles to herself. Moo Yeon watches the palanquin go and gets struck from behind. When he wakes up, he sees the Vice Premier and scuttles to his knees. The Vice Premier appears not to blame him for not killing the Crown Prince and instructs him to do one last thing for the Princess, “I need you to find the father of the Princess’s baby and kill him.”
Won Deuk wakes up in the middle of the night, from nightmares of all the hideous things the Vice Premier has done.
In the day, Je Yoon gets ready to return to Songjoo village, and the father hilariously wants him to tell Yang Choon (the villager) that he’s well. The father is so grateful towards Je Yoon for housing them and helping them, and he raises his arms in a big gesture for a bow……which ends up in a heart shape above his head. Je Yoon, with a straight face, brings his fingers into the modern, Korean gesture for the heart. HAHA, what. You are centuries too early, Je Yoon.
He leaves after telling Hong Shim to leave a note in his room should she need to go somewhere urgently, but Kwon then appears to tell him that the Prince has summoned him. The first thing the Prince says is that he came first, Je Yoon came later, “I met her before you did.” Je Yoon’s like, “Did you summon me here just to tell me that?”
Hahaha. Won Deuk goes straight to the point to ask where Je Yoon stands – it was the Vice Premier who recommended him to be Songjoo’s village, but he’s Official Jung’s brother. Je Yoon tells him that from the start, he tried to work for the Prince. Give him a test, and see whether he’s loyal to Yul or not.
The next thing we see, is Je Yoon telling the Vice Premier that the Prince has recommended him to be the librarian because Je Yoon is the only familiar face in the palace. The Vice Premier initially instructs Je Yoon to turn down the offer, which Je Yoon accepts, and comments that he would have sided with the Prince, who would become King. With some glibness, Je Yoon points out that the one who controls the King, and not the King himself, is the one in true power. Thanks to this, the Vice Premier decides to trust him and tells him to serve the Prince, while reporting to him his every move.
The villagers grumble about gathering firewood, and in the end, both Kkeut Nyeo and Goo Duk start having thoughts about going to Hanyang. Master Park threatens Officer Park to come up with 100 pieces of firewood in 3 days, or risk being fired. Master Park gets fed up and decides to go Hanyang to bring Je Yoon back.
Hong Shim, determined to find Moo Yeon, starts preparing posters. Meanwhile, Hyuk is worried that Moo Yeon will be killed, knowing that this is a trap set up by Vice Premier. However, Moo Yeon is determined to find someone to pinpoint as the child’s father, because he has someone he will risk everything to protect. Honestly, I can’t tell whether he means the Princess or Hong Shim, and I will feel kinda cheated if he means the Princess.
Hong Shim and her father put up posters in the marketplace with a secret message that Moo Yeon sees, “Even though there is no full moon tonight, I will still wait at Mojeong Bridge with a burning heart.”
Je Yoon explains to Won Deuk his previous deductions using his riddle before stopping in anticipation, “Is my theory correct?” But Won Deuk replies, “I’m not sure.” Je Yoon sighs, “Where is the smart Crown Prince I used to know?” Won Deuk stares at him, “Are you saying I’m not smart now?” Je Yoon replies, “Honestly, it is hard to say that you are intelligent right now.” Hahaha, omg I loveee it when they have such scenes of banter.
Won Deuk gasps in disbelief at Je Yoon’s audacity as Je Yoon replicates his first riddle, asking him to fill in the blank. Won Deuk actually chooses the same word as he did those months ago, to embrace, such that the riddle makes sense, rather than just a character with 3 squares, as Je Yoon wrote. Je Yoon heaves a huge sigh of relief, “You are still very clever.” Won Deuk sits up right, with his eyes widened, “Am I the only one uncomfortable? Because I am.” And Je Yoon, without batting an eyelid, goes, “Yes, you are the only one uncomfortable, because I am not.” HAHAHA.
Je Yoon puts back the current riddle back on the table and asks about it again, but Won Deuk replies, “I don’t know.” It’s so funny because Je Yoon has the air of training a dog, hoping that the dog will do the same trick after having done it once, but the dog failed him.
Intermission for comic relief is over. Je Yoon brings Won Deuk to secretly meet Eunuch Yang, who is now alive, but weak and cannot speak. Yang sees Won Deuk and cowers into a corner. Won Deuk reaches out and touches his hand gently, “This is all my fault.” Yang realises that he’s real, Won Deuk’s real, and cries while opening his mouth. He writes and finally reveals that the man who wanted to kill Yang was the Vice Premier, when Yang suspected that the corpse wasn’t the Prince. Find your journal.
At night, Moo Yeon appears behind Hong Shim and chides her for not listening to him. He has found temporary lodging and wants her to wait for him there, but Hong Shim doesn’t believe him, pointing out that he also said years ago to meet on the bridge but he never did. She pleads for him to tell the truth but Moo Yeon tells her that he couldn’t see her because he needed to protect her. Hong Shim relents.
Thinking of the shaman’s words, Won Deuk is afraid of what he will do when he finds his journal. Hong Shim tails his brother and gets stopped by another guard. The guard strangles Hong Shim, and this scene is nicely seen by a returning Je Yoon and Won Deuk. Je Yoon steps up and the guard pulls his sword, but before he can do anything, Won Deuk deals swift blows to the guard. “I am more impatient than this scholar.” Je Yoon continues, “And he’s extraordinarily skilled in martial arts too.” Haha, such pride.
After guard scuttles off, Won Deuk quickly asks whether Hong Shim is alright. Je Yoon grumbles that Won Deuk should have just let him settle the issue but Won Deuk comments that if he had watched a little longer, he would have to save both of them. Won Deuk pulls Hong Shim up and walk off with her, leaving Je Yoon behind with a heartbroken look.
The couple takes a stroll hand in hand and Hong Shim jokes that Won Deuk likes to abuse his power; she knew since he passed the rule for single people to get married. Won Deuk widens his eyes, “How dare you talk to your husband like this.” The two freeze at the use of his words, and Hong Shim asks when he will hold her hand until. Won Deuk looks disappointed but Hong Shim points out that if they keep walking side by side, she can’t look at his face. The couple then gazes at each other gently, and Hong Shim comments that despite the good food in the palace, Won Deuk has become skinnier. He replies, “Because you aren’t there.”
Je Yoon returns home, very dejected, and there’s Ae Weol waiting for him. I am really liking this feisty girl hahaha who points out that Je Yoon must now understands how she feels pining for a person who doesn’t return her love. She points out that the couple is brought together by fate, “What can you do by loving the Prince’s woman?” He looks at his empty wine cup, and wonders which he should choose, “Loyalty. Love.”
Hong Shim says she will walk Won Deuk back to the palace so that they can spend one more hour together and Won Deuk cutely walks backwards so that he can stare at her face for the entire hour. Hong Shim abruptly stops and wants to take another route. Won Deuk turns around to see a gate, “I heard that couples who pass through that will never part.” Which is why Hong Shim wants to avoid the gate. Won Deuk pulls Hong Shim under the doorway, “I liked you from the moment I saw you. I loved you when you turned 20. And from now on, for the rest of your days, I will continue.”
Hong Shim wants him to remember this as nothing more than a good memory, but Won Deuk replies, “The one standing before you is not the Crown Prince, but Won Deuk.” He steps forward, and kisses her. I am loving the kisses in this drama, which are littered all over at just the right timings. Nothing like a gentle, yet passionate confession to lead up to a kiss woohoo. Also Do Kyung Soo is a good kisser onscreen eh.
The King is disapproving of the choice of Je Yoon as Won Deuk’s librarian, as he was recommended by the Vice Premier, but Won Deuk insists. Meanwhile, Je Yoon reports to the Vice Premier that the Prince is looking for his diary and promises the Vice Premier that he will be the first to get his hands on it. You think Je Yoon has turned? Of course not, because he’s just acting like a spy.
Back in Won Deuk’s chambers, they try and work out the riddle. Won Deuk realises that Je Yoon has been trying to solve the riddle at Won Deuk’s level when he had set it at Je Yoon’s level (lol, that very very subtle shade hahahahaha). Je Yoon thus asks if he should search all the places with characters containing five squares.
I just thought I would explain here in case people didn’t catch it. In the first riddle, the first character contains one box, the second contains two boxes and so on. Therefore, the blank word is something which contains three boxes. Setting the riddle at Je Yoon’s level, Won Deuk chose the word, heel, which contains five boxes. Okay, explanation’s over!
Won Deuk suddenly recalls the gateway him and Hong Shim went under, and realises, “It’s doors.” The journal is somewhere which can be entered by passing through five doors from here. And that’s incredibly smart! Because a single box, in Chinese characters, also means entrance. There are only four buildings which fit this profile, and Je Yoon hurries over to find the journal.
The Prince runs into the Vice Premier, and with his hideous acts fresh in his mind, he walks towards him. They have a subtle sparring of words where the Prince comments that since the Vice Premier is working so hard, he will try to regain his memories for his sake.
Moo Yeon meets with Crown Princess’s palace maid privately and passes her a letter. This is then passed back to the Princess who reads that her father has caught on and that he will be waiting at the Donui Gate three days from now. At this moment, the Vice Premier barges in and the Princess hastily hides the letter, but the father already knows who it’s from. The Princess replies in fear, “Do not hurt Moo Yeon,” but the Vice Premier warns her against running away. If she stands in his way, Moo Yeon, her and her child will all die.
Love is merely an illusion. With that, he turns around. The Princess mutters that she hates him and asks how far he will take this. The Vice Premier replies that he has eaten rotten food and mice just to survive. He has buried his parents under dry land. “I do not know either. I do not know what I must eat or have in order to fill this emptiness within me.” His son is of no calibre, and so all he has is her. “Get your head on straight.”
I don’t particularly like the father and daughter, but I thought the acting in this scene to be fantastic on both parties. I also like that we get to see a little into the Vice Premier’s mind. There’s always something gratifying about knowing a villain’s backstory, rather than just being presented with a flat, evil character.
Kkeut Nyeo and Goo Duk have arrived in Hanyang! Goo Duk offers to piggy back a tired Kkeut Nyeo but hilariously drops her on the ground a split second later because she’s too heavy hahaha. They run into Officer Park and the trio has the idea of finding Je Yoon for accommodation instead.
Hong Shim’s father now wonders if they should stay in Hanyang. After all, Hong Shim has such an amazing fate with Won Deuk. Hong Shim professes that they are not apart, since they have each other in their hearts. Haha. The trio arrives at Je Yoon’s accommodation and everyone is surprised but happy to see Hong Shim and her father.
In the meantime, Je Yoon cannot find the journal and asks Eunuch Yang if he calls the title of the journal. Yang writes down, Silence. AND in that title, is another box. Therefore, instead of having to pass through five doors, the journal is somewhere which can be passed through in four doors (five minus one). The journal is somewhere in the Crown Prince’s library.
Sure enough after some searching, Je Yoon finds a book titled, Silence. The Minister of War immediately notifies the Vice Premier that the diary has been found but by the time the two rush over, the library is on fire. Je Yoon informs him that he had no choice but to set the library on fire so as to prevent other people from finding the Prince’s journal. Je Yoon even smartly notes that he didn’t read the journal’s contents.
Vice Premier tells the Princess that the diary, which contains their secret, has been destroyed and instructs her to head towards the Prince’s chambers that night.
The villagers have a mini-get together and the more they talk about Je Yoon, the Prince/Won Deuk etc, Hong Shim becomes worried and leaves the gathering. She heads back to the residence where she saw Moo Yeon disappear into the day before. Oh my, walking straight into the tiger’s lair eh. She runs straight into the son, who takes a liking to her, realising she’s Je Yoon’s friend. She asks whose residence they are in, and he, without an inkling, proudly proclaims that this is the Vice Premier’s house.
At this moment, the Vice Premier arrives on his palanquin and notices Hong Shim. Hong Shim bows her head slightly but looks at him straight with hatred in her eyes.
Je Yoon meets the Prince secretly and informs him that he has checked carefully before setting fire to the library isn’t there. Won Deuk tells him that’s because they solved it incorrectly. Remember the word heel? Je Yoon had previously correctly identified its link to the cherry blossom tree, because that’s where the Prince always, always stopped in the past and walked with heavy steps (the word heel can be broken down into foot and heavy). If you add heel to cherry blossom, “That means we must pass through six doors.”
And the only place with six doors is here, with the chest made from the cherry blossom tree the Princess chopped off. He opens the chest, and there, lies his diary.
We see a mash of flashbacks, of Won Deuk putting together that someone is trying to kill him, to poison him and that he found out the secret about the Princess. Can there be anyone as unfortunate as me? Back to the present, Won Deuk marches with anger in his eyes towards the Princess’s chambers, just as the Princess walks towards him with a smile. She notes that they must have telepathy for wanting to see each other that night. Won Deuk walks up right close to her and murmurs in her ear, “Tonight, I plan to spend a very long time with you.” The Princess looks at him with a smile but a puzzled expression, and Won Deuk smiles back.
This recap somehow just ended up being so, so long but I think this attests to the number of exciting things which happened and which I wanted to talk about!! Very nice. This is the kind of intensity which I’ve been looking for, with a good balance struck between the couple’s romance (a kiss!), the plot (all these riddles and running around) and good fun (omg that scene between Je Yoon and Won Deuk is priceless). I also like that Moo Yeon’s romance is at the background, but all the while, threatening to break the peace of the show. I do feel however, that the show might not be able to hammer home the point that Lee Yul’s wife cheated on him with Hong Shim’s brother – this relationship is something worth at least a tiny scene, but I don’t have the faith that the show will be able to draw it out succinctly and clearly.
At this point, I’m not sure how the show is going to tie it all up either. The shaman’s prediction is definitely going to come through, because it’s weaved in so poorly and just dumped on us for the only purpose of foreshadowing. Yet, I don’t think Hong Shim is going to be injured at all. Perhaps Moo Yeon? or Je Yoon will take that stab instead. Both have good enough reasons. I love Moo Yeon’s presence with his sister so much I wish we could see just how much he loves his sister.
Next week is going to be our ending week. Last chances to see Won Deuk as Won Deuk, and finally to say hi to Lee Yul again. I actually cannot wait to see a transformed Lee Yul!