We are about to get new episodes of Ruler: Master of the Mask, but before that I shall recap episodes 21 and 22 for you.

Previously on Ruler: Master of the Mask: 01 & 02 - 03 & 04 - 05 & 06 - 07 & 08 - 09 & 10 - 11 & 12 - 13 & 14 - 15 & 16 - 17 & 1819 & 20

Ruler: Master of the Mask
Episodes 21 & 22

The episode starts with a flashback of the late king telling Prince Sun of the difficult decisions he’ll have to make, the many rivals and how he’ll have to follow his heart. So in the present, while he wants to strike the Pyunsoo Hwe and avenge everyone who’ve died at their hands, he cannot do that. He cannot sit on the throne if that means spilling the blood of so many innocent people. He asks General Choi that instead of attacking the Pyunsoo Hwe, he helps him to protect his people. Everyone in there looks at the young prince with proud eyes.

   

The next day the high hopes of the queen are destroyed when General Choi tells her he won’t bring his troops, because the Crown Prince has asked him such. He reveals to her he is still alive and who he is. The queen cries in sheer delight. But as the general leaves, the queen loses her composure. As her brother walks in, she tells him they must do something and if they fail, their household will fall.

That night, Ga Eun is told to bring tea to a guest of the queen, who turns to be Prince Sun. She is shocked but does her duty and stays when he asks her to do so until he finishes his tea. It’s a tense atmosphere, the prince staring longingly at her. Ga Eun leaves and realises too late the tea wasn’t harmless infusion. The prince inside collapses and men dressed as soldiers from the Pyunsoo Hwe come to take the prince away.

Bravely, Ga Eun follows them as the men take the prince, tie him up to a rock and throw him to the river. But she waits until they leave and jumps in after him. With her small knife, she cuts the ropes but she cannot hold her breath for too long and loses consciousness before making out of the water.

At the palace, the queen is anxious until she is informed their plan was successful and the prince is dead.

Miraculously, Ga Eun and Prince Sun are thrown by the water to the shore. Prince Sun wakes up first, confused and shocked, but his concerns turn to Ga Eun when he sees her unconscious. He calls for her name until she wakes up. When he yells at her for being so reckless, she confesses she was scared of never seeing him again, for he is more important than her life. Prince Sun hugs her tightly before they pull back to stare into each other’s eyes. Slowly, he leans in for a kiss she allows, it’s sweet and innocent, but after he pulls back, he just holds her closer and kisses her more passionately, against the beautiful background of the moon reflected in the water.

In the palace Hyun Seok informs Lee Sun that Ga Eun has disappeared, so he orders to find her before curfew, but the time strikes and she is still no back. She is being carried by Prince Sun back to palace, and as they say their goodbyes, asking each other to be careful, they are found by a guard.

Touching one of the king’s woman is a crime and the young couple are exposed to the king’s judgement. The beg for mercy and try to put the blame on themselves, wanting to save the other, but as Lee Sun recognises them, he tells everyone he ordered Boss to find his court lady. So he spares their lives and puts on his rob on Ga Eun, telling someone to take her to warm up.

With all the pretence to be thankful for saving his cherished court lady, Prince Sun realises that Lee Sun must be in love with Ga Eun, too. And indeed he loves her too much, he actually only wants her, and he knows that to keep her by his side he must remain on the throne. Hyun Seok tells him that he sees no problem as he is on the throne, but Lee Sun knows one day the real king will take that place, and Ga Eun will be his woman, legally speaking.

Somewhere else in the palace, General Choi comes to see the queen who is crying heartbreakingly because she’s lost someone dear to the Pyunsoo Hwe. Alone with the general she tells him the one they lost is the boss of pack carriers, which means losing the crown prince definitely. General Choi grieves as well, declaring this time he will avenge the price and end the Pyunsoo Hwe.

   

Episode 22 begins with Woo Bo and Moo Ha receiving the horrible news the prince has been murdered and General Choi has gone for his troops. They cry in horror when the prince arrives, confused at the scene. The others don't realise immediately and once they do, they are so happy showering the young prince in relieved affection. But that’s not what matters, the issue is that they cannot allow a civil war to break loose and they need to stop General Choi.

That’s why Prince Sun asks Hwa Goon for help to stop the troops. She is surprised he wants to spare the Pyunsoo Hwe, but he is only saving his subjects actually. Still, she agrees to create trouble for General Choi. She informs that to the Pyunsoo Hwe, obviously not saying who shared this information and taking the credit herself, which makes her look really good in front of her grandfather.

Prince Sun meets Lee Sun again, but to keep it quiet and keep the pretence, they talk through notes they burn, where the prince tells him about the situation. Then, he asks bout Ga Eun and Lee Sun calls for her, not giving them a chance to talk but to show she’s all right. Then he takes Prince Sun to the greenhouse to properly talk this time. The fake king loses his temper, yelling for being like this when they were caught once before. Prince Sun asks if he loves Ga Eun, and the other man replies his relationship with her comes from way longer and she hates him now because she thinks he is the prince. He’ll gladly give up the throne when the time comes, but he reminds him Ga Eun doesn’t belong to Prince Sun.

Haw Goon and her grandfather gather to discuss the current matters and she thinks the queen is behind all, but she has a plan to destroy her. Mae Chang also meets with the Head Eunuch for the same reason, and he tells her that the queen was who tried to assassinate the prince. This time, the queen went over the line so they should prepare a special present that the prince must also see.

Before her birthday party, the queen receives a visit from Dae Mok who gives her some presents to threaten her, one regarding the troops, one regarding a new queen and the last is tiger blood, to remember the past and what she did. He leaves triumphal.

The celebration begins and Prince Sun shows up, surprising the queen and her brother. She barely keeps her composure, but then the entreatment show begins by the troops that tell the story of a dowager queen, angry that a lowly concubine had brought the crown prince, so she planned his poisoning during the name ceremony. The queen watches in horror as the truth is revealed like that. Woo Bo realises this story is based on real facts and tells Prince Sun, who understands the person who tried to kill him and caused him to live under a mask was the dowager queen.

Horrified, Dowager Queen stands up as Prince Sun stares at her with the heartbreaking realisation she’s her enemy, too; she turns to look at him knowing she’s been caught.

   

I remember the poisoning and how I knew the queen was involved at the beginning, but when she stepped in to help Lee Sun I thought I was mistaken… now I realise I was not. Why is the queen always bad? Poor Sun, he has enemies on every side. There's still a lot ahead, so he needs to stay strong and fight back.

I'll be back soon with the next recap!

Until then.

COMING SOON

Ruler: Master of the Mask

Starring Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun

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The selection of scenes and gifs were made by Bel, just a regular fangirl who spends too much time watching K-dramas. Sarcasm is for the sake of humour. If you want to make use of the gifs, please give credit.

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