This episode had a lot of heart and a lot of comedy, which I loved. I know this means there’s some heavy stuff ahead, but I’ll take a break where I can get it. Again, the talent of the child actors amazes me. It could be hard to have a group of kids essentially carry a show, but these young actors are total pros, and it’s easy to forget how young some of them are. Also, I’ve recently become obsessed with Min Hwa, but more on that later. Let’s get to recappin’.
Yeon Woo and Bo Kyung arrive at the palace, ready to become companions to the princess. Nok Young’s shaman sense starts tingling when she sees both girls. She recognizes Yeon Woo as the moon in Ah Ri’s prophesy – the one who will be drawn to the sun’s side, although the sun will destroy her family. Nok Young also sees Bo Kyung as a moon, but an evil moon. The dark side of the moon, if you will.
The girls look at each other and realize they are both there to be companions to Princess Min Hwa. They share matching expressions of ugh.
The Queen Dowager meets with Nok Young. She wants Nok Young to use her shaman powers to take a peek into the future and see if one of the girls will become queen.
Yeon Woo and Bo Kyung wait for the princess to arrive. The two girls occupy themselves in opposite sides of the room, which is filled with awkward silence. Yeon Woo finally speaks, and asks Bo Kyung if they can just forget their first meeting and start over. Bo Kyung remembers her father telling her that she cannot make enemies in the palace, and that she should pretend to be amiable, even if she’s not. She smiles and agrees, telling Yeon Woo that she’s been regretting what happened that day. Yeon Woo comes over and holds Bo Kyung’s hand, and for a moment we see an expression of utter disgust on Bo Kyung’s face.
Crown Prince Hwon paces his room – he’s growing impatient waiting for Yeon Woo’s plant to grow. He decides he’ll just have to ask Yeon Woo herself what kind of plant it is. And, you know, if they happen to look longingly into each other’s eyes for awhile that’s cool too.
His aide, Hyung Sun, arrives and fills Hwon in on the Princess’ new companions. Hwon was hoping one of them would be Yeon Woo, and he’s pleased to have his suspicions confirmed. He even sighs and comments on how beautiful her name is. Aww. He grabs Hyung Sun’s hands and asks him for help. Hyung Sun answers with an anguished cry of “Noooooo!”
Hwon wants to meet with Yeon Woo, in private, which is a big no no. Hyung Sun lists many reasons this would be completely inappropriate. Hwon reminds Hyung Sun that he comforted Hyung Sun when he failed the attendant exam, helped him study, and kept him from getting fired – even getting Hyung Sun a promotion. Hyung Sun caves. He wouldn’t want to be sent to stand in the corner again, now would he?
Hwon writes a note to Yeon Woo telling her he couldn’t sleep knowing she’d be in the palace, and that he’ll see her soon. He gets Hyung Sun to bribe a maidservant to slip it into Yeon Woo’s bag.
Yeon Woo and Bo Kyung meet with the Queen, who tells them their real job is to have fun with the princess. Just then Min Hwa bursts in the room, a huge smile on her face. (Is it just me, or are her entrances the best? The huge smile, the energy, it’s completely adorable.) Min Hwa sits down in front of the girls and gets all in their faces, asking, “Which one is teacher Heo’s sister? Is it you? Is it YOU?” Girl cuts right to the chase. Yeon Woo confesses that she is Yeom’s sister, and Min Hwa announces that Yeon Woo is beautiful like her brother, and gives her a gift. Min Hwa is clearly infatuated with Yeon Woo, if only because of her proximity to Yeom, and Bo Kyung is left ignored, jealous, and bitter.
Yeon Woo and Bo Kyung are presented to the Queen Dowager. Yeon Woo may have Min Hwa on her side, but Bo Kyung has the Queen Dowager in her corner. She gives the Queen Dowager a sly smile after introducing herself. The Queen Dowager has Nok Young hiding behind a screen, spying on the girls and trying to get a vibe off them. We get no new info: They’re still two moons.
Yang Myung arrives at the palace, and Hwon couldn’t be more thrilled to see his hyung. It’s great to finally see these two together. Hwon is on his way to meet Yeom, who he discovers is friends with Yang Myung. Hwon suggests they hang out for a bit, but his schedule is too full. He decides that this means Yang Myung will just have to join them in their soccer game. The game pits two palace groups together, and Yang Myung joins his brother and Yeom on one team, with their friend Woon on the other.
When Hwon hears that Woon was the top scholar in martial arts, he remembers his lie to Yeon Woo that his brother held that title. He looks at Woon and says, “You were almost my brother.” It’s a cute way for him to join the trio of friends, who do a friendly fist bump with each other in front of Hwon’s face.
While enjoying some light embroidery, Yeon Woo discovers Hwon’s note. She reads it, and instead of seeing it as a cute, affectionate note, reads it as a threatening letter. “I’ll send someone for you,” is, based on the misunderstanding, quite a terrifying threat. She hurriedly stuffs the letter back in her bag.
Min Hwa has no patience for embroidery, so she decides to take Yeon Woo outside and play. She pulls Yeon Woo out of the room. Bo Kyung, ever the third wheel, gets up to follow, but before she leaves she takes a peek at Yeon Woo’s note. She sees that it’s from Lee Hwon. Hmmm…
Min Hwa has taken her posse outside, starting a game of Marco Polo. Yeon Woo watches from the sidelines. Hyung Sun sneaks up behind her and asks if she is Yeom’s sister. Yeon Woo remembers Hwon’s “threat” that he would send someone for her, and she quickly tells Hyung Sun that he’s go the wrong girl and runs away.
Min Hwa sees Hyung Sun and asks him where Yeom is. Before thinking, he tells her that Yeom is playing soccer with the prince. Whoops. Now Min Hwa has a new plan, and she comically raises her eyebrows up and down thinking about her next encounter with Yeom.
The girls head to the soccer game. Min Hwa spots Yeom and points him out, but Yeon Woo is more interested in Hwon. Bo Kyung also looks at Hwon with interest.
Nok Young meets with the Queen Dowager, who is pleased to hear that Bo Kyung is fated to be queen. As she leaves, Nok Young thinks to herself that this is an odd situation: The one who has the aura of a queen (Yeon Woo) is not fated to be queen, and the one without the aura of a queen (Bo Kyung) will be queen. She summarizes, thinking, “Two moons, two suns… and the smell of death.” Bum Bum Buuuuum.
The soccer game continues. Hwon trips over a player from the opposing team and falls flat on his face. Everyone gasps, and two soldiers grab the offending player, ready to tie him up. Hwon stops them, and tells them to let the man go. He adds that no one should clear a path for him or allow him to score goals freely – this is going to be a fair game. Yeon Woo is impressed by the Prince’s actions.
A maid comes to tell the Princess she needs to head back to her room. Min Hwa, still engrossed in watching Yeom, answers that the King always sides with her (ha!), but she is carted off nonetheless. Yeon Woo turns back to take another look, and Yang Myung smiles at her. He’s disappointed to realize she’s actually looking at Hwon, not him. He says in voiceover, “It’s okay if everyone else becomes the prince’s people, as long as you, Yeon Woo, become mine.”
The princess and her attendants run into the King and his gang in the courtyard. Min Hwa stops to say hi and tells her father that she likes her new teachers, especially
Yeon Woo. Yikes. The atmosphere tenses up, and the fathers of the girls look particularly uncomfortable. The king tells the girls to be good companions to the princess, and mentions a fable about not speaking of a certain tree in the palace. He asks Bo Kyung if she knows what he’s referring to, and she answers that her father taught her that politics is a men-only club, and she should focus on innocence and etiquette. The king accepts this answer, and asks Yeon Woo if she knows of the fable. Yeon Woo, having been taught by her father and brother, answers that it means not to talk about palace affairs outside the palace. What happens in the palace stays in the palace.
Yang Myung asks for an audience with his father, the king. He presents himself like any other subject, and the king pays him no special attention. Yang Myung has just one request of the king. He cares deeply for a girl, and if the king had any plans to arrange a marriage for Yang Myung, he hopes that he would keep Yang Myung’s feelings in mind. He closes his eyes and waits for his father to give the thumbs down. To his shock, the king says he’ll think about it.
Yang Myung is adorably thrilled.
Yeon Woo sits with her family, and her father asks how her first day in the palace went. She simply answers, “Good.” Her mother admits to wondering and waiting all day to find out how Yeon Woo’s day was, and that’s all she’s going to say? Yeon Woo says that she will say no more, explaining that the king said to keep palace matters to herself. Her father laughs at this and they share a cute bonding moment. Mama Heo gets jealous and turns to Yeom, copying her husband and daughter by exchanging compliments with him. And the award for Family of the Year goes to… The Heos!
Seol is outside practicing sword fighting with a wooden club. Yeon Woo comes to her and asks her advice about “someone” who got a letter from “someone else,” which Seol sees through right away. Yeon Woo asks what Hwon meant by “I’ll send someone for you. I’ll see you soon.” Seol gasps. It’s a threat! And Yeon Woo has made it worse by refusing to go with Hyung Sun when he came for her.
Yeon Woo walks through the courtyard and again imagines Hwon there with her. He asks if she believes he was threatening her, and if she will see him if his attendant comes to her again. She bashfully says that she would like to see Hwon again.
Minister Yoon is a little miffed after seeing Yeon Woo be favored by the princess. He blames Bo Kyung, asking her what she did wrong to lose the affection of Min Hwa. Bo Kyung whines that Min Hwa only likes Yeon Woo because she’s Teacher Heo’s sister. In fact, everyone in the palace likes Yeon Woo – she even got a letter from a royal.
This grabs Minister Yoon’s attention. He asks for the name of the person who sent the letter, and Bo Kyung tells him it was Lee Hwon. She knows Lee means he’s a royal, but she apparently doesn’t know Hwon is the Crown Prince.
Minister Yoon goes directly his overlord, the Queen Dowager, and tells her of this new development. She laughs off Hwon’s little crush, but Minister Yoon is concerned by the favor being shown toward the Heo family. They agree that they need to hurry up and marry off the prince before they lose any more power.
Bo Kyung arrives at the palace prepared to gain some favor. As she is walking in, Hyung Sun finds her and says that the prince wants to see her. He assumes she’s the girl Hwon wants, since Yeon Woo said it wasn’t her.
Prince Hwon waits for his dream girl to arrive, practicing turning around to meet her. He ends up giggling excitedly (adorable) and snaps back into serious mode when he hears his guest approaching.
Hwon stands with his back turned and begins talking to who he thinks is Yeon Woo. He tells her that, just as she suspected, he is the prince. He turns around, but Bo Kyung’s head is bowed and poor Hwon still thinks she’s Yeon Woo. Hwon keeps digging his grave deeper, saying that he can’t forget her face, and couldn’t wait to see her again. Bo Kyung lifts her head and smiles, and Hwon is shocked. He asks who she is, and before she can answer cuts her off and says it was all a mistake. He storms out of the room, probably heading to send Hyung Sun to the corner.
As Bo Kyung leaves the room a woman spots her. The same woman, in fact, who snuck Hwon’s note in Yeon Woo’s embroidery kit. Looks like this misunderstanding is about to get even more complicated.
Min Hwa and Yeon Woo are making friendship bracelets. Min Hwa tells Yeon Woo that she’s going to give her bracelet to Yeom, and Yeon Woo says she was going to give her bracelet to her brother as well. Min Hwa asks her not to, and instead to give her bracelet to Hwon. It’s only fair that they give presents to each other’s brothers, right? Yeon Woo says if that’s the case she must make hers over, since it’s not good enough for the Crown Prince.
Bo Kyung arrives and figures out it must be Yeon Woo that the prince was expecting. Outside the ladies of the court are gossiping about what business Bo Kyung and Hwon could have together. The Queen overhears, and demands that the ladies give her the scoop.
Hwon scolds Hyung Sun for his terrible blunder. Hyung Sun says it’s not his fault if Yeon Woo lied about her identity. But why would she do that? What reason does she have to not want to see Hwon? To solve this mystery, Hyung Sun whips up a highly scientific, medically accurate mapping of Yeon Woo’s thoughts.
Apparently Yeon Woo only thinks about boys. Or maybe this is strictly a thought-map of her boy-oriented brainwaves? Anyway, according to Hyung Sun, Yeom takes up 70% of her thoughts. He’s so accomplished, and she’s spent her whole life with him, so few men will ever measure up. Yang Myung gets 20%, because he’s charming and smiles a lot. The last 10% belong to Woon, mainly because he’s the third part of the scholarly pal trifecta.
Hwon asks what that last little dot represents. Hyung Sun responds, “That’s you.” Pfffffft. Hwon is outraged he’s not a bigger part of Yeon Woo’s thoughts, and he sends Hyung Sun to the corner. (I saw that one coming.)
Hwon is called before the king, who demands an explanation for Hwon’s rumored meetings with Bo Kyung. Hwon explains that it was a misunderstanding, that he actually has feelings for Yeon Woo. The king remembers Yang Myung’s confession that HE has feelings for Yeon Woo. Ruh roh.
The king says he’ll forget he heard anything about any secret meetings, but Hwon better watch out. If he keeps this up Yeon Woo could be the subject of a political scandal.
Bo Kyung and Yeon Woo are heading home, and Bo Kyung snaps at Yeon Woo out of the blue. She quickly covers it up with a smile, and offers to fill Yeon Woo in on a secret. She was late this morning because she was meeting with the Crown Prince. He said he’d been admiring her from afar. Bo Kyung you are a stone cold scoundrel.
The king meets with his gang of ministers and announces that it’s high time the Crown Prince was married (He is 15 after all. Can’t stay a bachelor forever!). All girls between the ages of 12 and 16 are hereby banned from marriage, so that they can be presented as potential wives of the prince.
Prince Hwon is supposed to be getting ready for a ghost banishing ceremony, but he’s preoccupied with Yeon Woo’s plant. He asks Hyung Sun what kind of flower it is. Hyung Sun looks at it and says it’s not a flower, but a vegetable. What could it mean? Hwon sadly admits that now he will never know, and he asks that the plant be taken away.
As Hwon walks to the ceremony he sees Yeon Woo. He looks at her coldly, remembering his father’s warning. He walks past like he didn’t even see her. Poor Yeon Woo.
The party is in full swing, but our characters are spending it looking longingly at those they can’t have. Yang Myung looks at Yeon Woo, but she’s looking at Hwon, who’s refusing to look at her.
Nok Young starts the ritual to banish the ghost, and in doing so is transported to Ah Ri’s grave. Yeon Woo watches the ceremony and hears a voice in her head telling her she isn’t safe, and she needs to escape. Now is her chance. Run!
Yeon looks around for the source of the voice, and sees Nok Young through a crowd of dancers. Time stops, and Nok Young again tells Yeon Woo that this is her only change to avoid her terrible fate. Time starts again and Nok Young is gone. A person wearing a mask pops up in front of Yeon Woo, scaring her and making her drop the bracelet she was going to give to Hwon. The mysterious figure grabs her hand and they run away from the ceremony. Yang Myung spots them running and follows.
The two runners stop and the mystery man removes the mask. It’s Hwon! He asks Yeon Woo if she knows who he is. She nods, and he says, “Tell me.” Yeon Woo answers, “You are this country’s….” Hwon finishes her sentence, “Prince. Lee Hwon.”
The two stare in to each other’s eyes for a beat as fireworks go off. Hwon apologizes for not being able to fulfill Yeon Woo’s wish. “I’m sorry” he says, “I tried, but I cannot forget you.”
Yang Myung watches from a distance, heartbroken.
A Few Thoughts…
I’ve said before that I love Yang Myung, and I still do, but for me Min Hwa was the MVP of this episode. Every time she’s in a scene I smile. She’s so cute! Of course, if I knew her in real life she’d probably annoy the crap out of me, but on TV I find her completely adorable. She makes the best facial expressions of anyone, and I find myself looking forward to her scenes.
But my poor, sweet Yang Myung! He’s left heartbroken at the end of the episode and therefore I, too, am heartbroken. Sometimes I think my love is evenly split between Yang Myung and Hwon, but then I see Yang Myung and I’m like, “Hwon who?”
Look, I could tell you about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking after this episode, but why go on and on when I can just show you a map of my brain?