That’s right. This episode the royal brothers learn the truth about their lost love. Now we just need Wol to figure it out and then we can get to love triangle-ing. Love triangulating? Whatever. I’m just looking forward to some romance. But first things first! Let the recapping begin!
Hwon is in his room, awake this time when Wol enters. He asks her to take away his pain and ease his troubled mind, and she tells him that if he gives her the chance she will do all she can. Meanwhile, Bo Kyung is peeking at them from behind the door. She watches as Hwon tells Wol to lift her head and look him in the eye. Woon closes the door on Bo Kyung and ends her peep sesh. She’s startled, but tries to save face by calmly telling Hyung Sun and the other attendants that she was just checking on his majesty’s health, and there’s no need to tell him she was there at all.
Hwon tells Hyung Sun to summon the royal doctor, but when Hyung Sun asks if the king is all right he answers that the doctor is for Wol, not him. Hyung Sun explains that the royal physician is to be used only by the royal family, but Hwon insists. He says that if Wol is unwell, but is tasked with absorbing evil from Hwon, then he will in turn be unwell, so really it is for his health and not solely Wol’s.
Bo Kyung sits in her room, remembering the caring look Hwon was giving Wol. She cries and screams while throwing her stuff around her room. Apparently he is capable of caring, just not for Bo Kyung. Burn.
The royal physician arrives and gives Wol a bit of acupuncture. Hwon sits nearby, silently reading a book. But just as he turns to look over and sneak a peek at Wol, she lifts her head and their eyes meet. Hyung Sun takes note of their stolen glances. After her treatment, Wol takes her place as the human amulet and watches Hwon sleep. After she leaves, Hwon opens his eyes, as if he can know the instant she has left his side (or he never slept at all, but I like my explanation better).
The next morning, Woon presents the note Wol wrote for the king. It was confiscated when she was searched before entering the king’s chambers, and the guard gave it to Woon, thinking it was a silly love note. Hwon opens the letter, which basically says that although she is not considered a person, she would still like to serve the king. Shamans are people too, so he shouldn’t treat her like some disposable object. He’s surprised she can write, let alone write so articulately. Hwon is reminded of the letter he got from Yeon Woo, and how surprised he was by her eloquence. He thinks to himself (both as a teen and an adult), “How could I forget you?”
Hwon goes to meet Bo Kyung in her chambers, and when his mother sees him headed to see the queen, she quickly goes to the queen dowager to give her the scoop. The QD is excited to hear the king is warming up to the queen, and attributes this positive turn of events to the work of the human amulet. She tells Hwon’s mother to go to the diviners and ask them to choose a sooner consummation date. Why wait when things are looking so good?
Bo Kyung is elated to see the king, but as usual, he’s not there to sweep her off her feet. Or even say one kind word to her. He brings up her late night visit to his bedchamber, and tells her that whatever she saw, whatever she heard, he was alone in his room. If there was anything else there, it was just a talisman. The words are those of a comforting husband, telling his wife that the person in his room was only an object, but Hwon’s tone is anything but comforting. He reminds her that the diviners and physicians have told the king and queen to keep their distance from each other, and Bo Kyung understands that this means Hwon wants her to stay the hell away from him and stop spying on him during Talisman Time.
Bo Kyung is upset, obviously. She cries as she wonders if Hwon is in love with his talisman. First it was a ghost, now a lowly shaman? You’d think Bo Kyung would realize this means she’s clearly not his type, but Bo Kyung is crazy, so instead she demands that one of the court ladies covertly keep an eye on the shaman and report back to her.
Yang Myung continues searching the city for Wol. He passes a group of shamans, and Jan Shil recognizes him from when he saved her from child slavery. Jan Shil hugs Yang Myung, which startles him, until she explains who she is, and that she’s a shaman now. Yang Myung realizes that if Wol is also a shaman, Jan Shil would know her. He asks if Jan Shil knows any shamans by the name of Wol, and Jan Shil, having been scolded by Nok Young not to speak a word about Wol, tells him she’s never heard of her.
Jan Shil returns to Wol’s room, sad that she can’t tell Yang Myung the truth – or tell Wol that someone is looking for her. While Wol sleeps, she has a nightmare, but it’s really her remembering when Hwon pulled her away from the festival wearing a mask. I guess if you don’t remember the context, a stranger in a mask dragging out of a party would be pretty scary. Wol wakes up with a start before she can see the figure unmask itself. Seol asks Wol if she had the same dream again, and Wol nods. Seol thinks to herself, “Gurl, if you only knew who was under that mask! AND that you spend every night with him? Damn.” (I may have paraphrased a little.)
Hwon is waiting for Wol when she arrives for talisman duty, and brings up her letter to him. He asks why she has so much resentment for him, but she explains that it wasn’t meant to read that way. Hwon accepts that, but adds that she still meant to admonish him. The two try to work out exactly what the other means, but with Wol always speaking in riddles and Hwon being super sensitive, it’s kind of a mess. Eventually Hwon gets so worked up he yells at Wol, “Don’t you know who I am? I am Joseon’s…” And we’re taken back to a memory of teenage Hwon saying the same thing to Yeon Woo. Hwon decides that he needs some air and orders everyone to go out on a walk with him – including Wol.
Hwon orders all his staff to keep a distance, except Wol, who he explains needs to be close so she can absorb bad juju. They walk in front of the building Yeon Woo lived in when she was a baby queen, and Wol remembers being taken from there and seeing Hwon cry and try to go to her. Of course, Wol thinks she’s seeing the past through a shaman vision, and she asks the king if he was the one to cry so many tears here.
Hwon grabs Wol and demands to know what she’s seen. He then pulls her closer, while his attendants avert their eyes and I stare in intense anticipation, and asks if she knows about his tears because of her shaman powers. He tells her to use her powers to predict what he’s going to do next. He keeps holding her close, and even cups her face in his hands, all the while checking that the attendants are looking away. Then he grabs Wol’s hand and runs off with her before anyone can catch them.
Hwon takes them to another building, and once they are safely inside he asks her who she really is. Wol tells him that before he named her, she was just a nameless shaman, and that’s all she’s ever known. She doesn’t, however, add that her memory only starts at age 13 when she woke up in her own coffin, which would probably clear up a lot of confusion. Hwon, with tears in his eyes, asks if she really does not recognize him. She asks if he’s looking for Yeon Woo in her, and tells him that she’s not her.
Hwon suddenly becomes angry, and scolds Wol for thinking he could have any feelings for her. She’s not even a real person, and this is the last time he’ll forgive her ridiculous assumptions. He orders her to be sent back to her home – he’ll be sleeping alone tonight – but he does tell Woon to follow her in secret and make sure she gets home all right.
Nok Young finds Wol outside, where she’s having a bit of an identity crisis. Wol tells Nok Young that she’s been having visions, but they seem more like memories, and more than that, they seem like HER memories. She tells herself that even if they feel like her own memories, she can’t be Yeon Woo. Even if she looks like her, she can’t become her. Nok Young watches Wol with a look of equal parts fear and pity, while Seol watches from the shadows.
Yeom is standing outside his house when his old friend Yang Myung sneaks him up on. Even stealthier is Woon, who shows up like a ninja and scares both Yeom and Yang Myung. The three friends go inside for a mini-reunion. Woon explains that he’s not there for a bro-down, but instead has a message from Hwon that he’d like Yeom to visit him soon. As he leaves, Woon sees a bit of yellow paper peeking out of a stack. Yeom explains that it’s a note from Yeon Woo. Hmmm, looks like a note you’ve seen recently, doesn’t it Woon?
Seol was creeping around Yeom’s house, spying on him, but is caught by Woon as he leaves. The two fight, and Woon asks her who sent her, and why she was snooping around. Seol runs away, and Woon thinks to himself that he’s surprised she’s a woman.
Yeom and Yang Myung have a drink together, and Yeom asks Yang Myung about his latest love. Yang Myung gets wistful, and starts talking about Yeon Woo. He tells Yeom about how he offered to run away with Yeon Woo, and how she took his words as a joke. He wonders, teary eyed, what if he had mustered the courage to hold out his hand, what if he had told her his true feelings? Would she be there by his side now? Seriously, all anyone in this kingdom does is sit around and think about Yeon Woo and cry. I bet when people come back from the palace and their friends ask them how it was, they answer, “Eh, it was okay. All anyone ever does is cry over a dead girl. They can’t even carry on a normal conversation.”
When Yeom is alone, he starts to think about Yeon Woo. He goes into her old room and cries (of course). He lifts up her chest and finds a piece of paper hidden underneath. He takes it out and sees that it’s addresses to Prince Hwon.
Yang Myung is walking home when he runs into Jan Shil, who’s just hanging around in the dark and fog like a ghost. She tells him that she’s sorry, and she will take him to Wol, even if it means she’ll be drawn and quartered. He saved her life, so she will do this to repay him and help heal his sad, sad heart.
Yeom heads to the palace, leaving a gaggle of swooning court ladies in his wake. The Yoon Squad meets to discuss Yeom’s sudden appearance in the palace, and wonder what kind of sneaky plan he’s involved in. One of the ministers complains that his ranking among the court ladies will fall with Yeom around, but more serious ministers argue that Yeom isn’t supposed to be in the palace, but most definitely isn’t supposed to have a part in politics. He’s just as dangerous as Yang Myung to the throne, and because Yeom’s father was so well liked, there could be a group that rallies around him and wants to see him take power.
Yeom gives Hwon the letter, but tells him he should read it or burn it, but either way he should see it as a last farewell to Yeon Woo. Yeom urges him to think of his wife and stop crying over someone he lost a long time ago. Hwon tears up as he tells Yeom that everyone keeps telling him to forget her.
Hwon stares at the letter, and finally opens it. Yeon Woo writes that she’s using her last bits of strength to write to him, and her normally beautiful writing is sloppy to prove it. She wants him to know that she was very happy with him, and he should think of her only as a memory. She also tells him not to blame himself, and to become a good king. Hwon sobs over the letter, wondering how much pain she must have been in, yet she was still thinking about Hwon’s wellbeing. He asks Hyung Sun to get his old chest out of storage – he can’t remember Yeon Woo’s handwriting and wants to see the old letters she wrote him.
Bo Kyung’s spy shows up to give her report. She tells Bo Kyung that the king and Wol went on a walk, and then she went home - Not very salacious stuff. But then the spy adds that Hwon sent for a chest. It looked like any ordinary chest, but the character “Woo” for rain was carved on the top. Bo Kyung snaps to attention, suddenly more concerned than ever.
Hwon gets his chest and takes out Yeon Woo’s letter and reads it while crying (of course). Suddenly a thought pops into his head and he takes out the letter Wol wrote him. He compares the two, and orders Wol to be brought to him immediately.
As Wol is being taken to the king, she is pulled aside by Yang Myung, who asks her, “Do you recognize me?”
Hwon looks up from the two letters with a determined look in his eye. Now he knows the truth.
A Few Thoughts…
Let the love triangle commence! For the second time! Now that both brothers know that Wol is Yeon Woo, does this mean Wol will find out the truth about her past too? It seems unfair that everyone knows about her life but her. Hopefully she’ll begin to realize her “visions” are just memories sooner rather than later, so we can get to the melodramatic romantic entanglements.
But then again, Yeon Woo has it pretty good as a dead girl. I mean, all anyone does is cry over her and wish she were alive. She’s living the dead person’s dream! Eight years later and everyone still acts like she died yesterday! And now she’s going to come back from the dead, making her even more God-like to her friends and family.
Enough about Wol. I’d like to take a second and talk about Bo Kyung. Oh, Bo Kyung. Doesn’t she realize her husband hates her and he’s always going to hate her? They’ve been an unhappy couple for eight years! Shouldn’t she stop trying to get her husband to like her and start figuring out how to fake a pregnancy and steal a baby? Then everyone would be happy! Sheesh, this is like, Soap Opera 101.
The real star of the show lately, at least for me, has been Woon. Fun fact: Every time Woon comes on screen I yell, “Woon-ah!” He’s so mysterious and weird and I love him. I still can’t figure out if he knew early on that Wol was Yeon Woo, or if he’s gathering evidence and figuring it out slowly like everyone else. I like to think that Woon went away to ninja school and now he has heightened senses that alerted him to Wol’s true identity. Ninja Academy is also where he learned to never need sleep. Seriously, when does Woon sleep? He stays up all night watching Hwon, and then follows Hwon around all day.
And now I’ll leave you with a few choice screencaps. It's a collection I like to call "Yang Myung Being Surprised."
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