When we last saw our characters, the royal brothers both realized that Wol was most likely grown up Yeon Woo. Sadly, Wol is still in the dark about her identity. Will Wol find out the truth? Will Yang Myung and Hwon get into a slap-fight over their shared one true love? Will Woon finally get to take a nap? Let’s find out!
Yang Myung pulls Wol aside as she heads to the king’s room for dream duty. The guards try to intervene, but Yang Myung pulls the prince card and tells them they better recognize. He asks Wol if she remembers him from the marketplace, but she can’t respond before Nok Young shows up and tells the guards to take Wol away.
Yang Myung fails to convince the guards to let Wol stay, and tells Nok Young she shouldn’t get in his way. She tells him that Wol is just an amulet to help the king. She’s not worth his feelings, since she’s only an object and not a person. Yang Myung counters that he has no real social standing either, so it’s not a big deal. Nok Young warns him that if he gets involved with Wol, he will only cause her pain. If he really cares for her, he will let her go. Yang Myung doesn’t seem too convinced. Woon watches from afar, mentally tsk tsking and foreseeing the drama that lies ahead. You and me both, Woon. Except I’m looking forward to it.
Hwon grills Wol for information, trying to prove that she’s Yeon Woo. Poor Wol is in tears, insisting that she doesn’t remember her life before her spiritual calling, and begs him to stop interrogating her. She tells him that she’s not the one he’s looking for, even if she looks like her. He should direct his questions at the woman he seeks instead of at Wol.
Jan Shil is being scolded by Nok Young for her mistake of telling Yang Myung where to find Wol/Yeon Woo. Nok Young kicks Jan Shil out and tells her to never come back. But Jan Shil is suddenly possessed and stands, calling Nok Young Mother, and asking her why she insists on making her live for others. Nok Young looks at Jan Shil like, “Say what now?”
Yang Myung pouts as he walks around the palace. He wonders to himself if he’s going to lose the girl to his little brother yet again. He runs into his mother, and even she is busy praying for the king. Not even his own mother could put Yang Myung before the king? That’s got to burn. Yang Myung tearfully, angrily tells his mother that he will no longer live for others. Cut to Jan Shil, who’s giving the same speech, channeling Yang Myung.
Wol enters the room and Jan Shil-as-Yang Myung runs up to her and asks her to run away with him. He (she?) tells Wol that he would have protected her, he wouldn’t have let her live this life. Wol as usual has no idea what’s going on, and I just want to jump into the screen and yell at her, “It’s Yang Myung talking! He loves you! Don’t break his sweet, sweet heart again!” But Nok Young grabs Jan Shil and breaks her psychic connection with Yang Myung, then kicks her out of the palace. She adds that anyone who tries to help Jan Shil or get her back in will also be thrown out for good.
Wol begs Nok Young to go easier on Jan Shil, but she refuses. Seol comforts Wol by telling her that they’ve been through this before: Jan Shil gets a harsh punishment, learns her lesson, comes crawling back, and Nok Young allows her to return to the shaman club.
Wol is not so convinced, and goes to Nok Young, asking that if she won’t allow Jan Shil to come back, will she allow Wol to leave? Nok Young wonders why Wol would want to go, and Wol explains that she’s realized she, Seol, and Jan Shil are not meant to be there. Wol now knows that she cannot help the king, as much as she would want to. She was meant to help him, but she’s only caused him more confusion and pain. She tells Nok Young that she’s not the person he needs. Wol believes that the best way for her to help the king is to leave his side.
The next day Hwon is doing some detective work. He dissects the letter from Yeon Woo, and finds it odd that she says her father is coming with medicine, so she will never see Hwon again. Does this imply that Minister Heo had a hand in killing his own daughter? Why would he do that? And why did no one question why a perfectly healthy girl suddenly fell ill and died? Lightbulb! Yeon Woo didn’t simply fall ill and die – there was foul play involved.
Hwon asks Woon if Yeom would know anything about the medicine Yeon Woo was given, but Woon tells him Yeom was away when his sister died, so he wouldn’t know. (Or he wouldn’t remember because it was eight years ago and who would remember the medicine someone took when they died anyway? But since no one seems to let any little bit of Yeon Woo go, I guess it’s a fair assumption.) Hwon decides that even if Yeom knew anything, it would be insensitive to grill him about his sister’s death. He asks Woon to look into the medicine mystery himself.
Just to make sure Yeom is nowhere near the investigation, Hwon sends him away on a trip. Min Hwa is beside herself, upset that she and Yeom will be separated for so long and worried that Yeom hates her for being over-emotional and ridiculous. She asks him if he hates her for keeping him from holding office and achieving his true potential, but he assures her that she saved his family, and brought laughter back into their home. Min Hwa asks Yeom again to promise he’ll never leave her, and he assures her he’s in it for the long haul.
The Yoon Squad gets together and decides to crusade against Yeom. They argue that as the prince consort he’s not allowed to perform any duties of a civil servant, and so should be brought home and made to stay in his house where he belongs. Hwon is getting pretty fed up with the games these ministers play, and decides to mess with them right back.
Hwon storms into the records room and makes a huge scene (who does he think he is? Min Hwa?), but it’s all a distraction so that Woon can sneak into another room and steal some record books from eight years ago. The plan goes off without a hitch, and Hwon pores over the records back in his room.
But there is only a passing mention of Yeon Woo’s death. Hwon was sure there would be something, and Woon muses that the records are TOO clean. I guess they assume everyone is as obsessed with Yeon Woo as they are and were expecting a whole volume on her life and death.
Bo Kyung gets word from her spy that Hwon thinks Wol looks like someone else, but Wol told him she’s not that person, and he should ask that person his questions instead of asking Wol. Bo Kyung seems a little unnerved. Later, when passing the empty Eunwol building, Bo Kyung hears a woman crying inside. But of course no one else hears anything, and Bo Kyung just looks like a crazy woman.
Nok Young goes before the queen dowager and suggests getting rid of the human talisman. The queen dowager protests, worrying that the king needs the talisman to prepare for a successful consummation, but Nok Young tells her she will make a new talisman, one specifically for the consummation. The queen dowager is cool with that. All she really wants is a royal baby – it doesn’t really matter what talismans are used to achieve her goal.
As Nok Young is leaving she runs into Bo Kyung, who has a few questions about this human talisman. Bo Kyung says that she heard the talisman looks like Yeon Woo, and asks Nok Young if that’s true. Nok Young tells her that in her eyes the girl is plain, and Bo Kyung has nothing to worry about. The consummation date is being moved up, and she doesn’t need to ask the queen dowager for any favors, since everything is going to go her way. Nok Young adds that Bo Kyung looks stressed, and asks how long she’s been hearing crying coming from the Eunwol Building. Nice deflection, Nok Young!
Nok Young tells Wol that she’ll be leaving her post as human talisman, which makes Wol a little sad, even though she’s getting exactly what she asked for. Wol then receives a letter from Jan Shil, telling her not to worry and that everything’s all right. Jan Shil adds that she’s being helped by a very nice man, and goes on about how great he is (we see Yang Myung in the background as Jan Shil fawns over him and writes her letter). She asks Wol to pack up some clothes and bring them to her, but not to tell Nok Young or Seol, as she thinks Seol is on Nok Young’s side.
Wol goes through a cupboard, packing up things for Jan Shil, when she comes across the hairpin Hwon gave her (meaning Yeon Woo) representing the moon embracing the sun. You’d think she would have a memory triggered or a any reaction to this – the thing she was clutching in her hand when she fake died – but no, she just wraps it up and keeps packing.
Hwon is going through the records again, trying to solve the mysteries of Yeon Woo’s death. He realizes everyone who could give him information is dead – except the head eunuch who served under his father. He sends Hyung Sun out to make a snowman as a distraction while he and Woon dress in regular noblemen’s clothes and sneak out.
Hwon and Woon go to the former eunuch’s house where his servant lies and says he’s away, even though his shoes are sitting in plain sight on the steps. Hwon knows that he’s hiding inside, and explains to the servant loudly that the eunuch better show up ready to talk by tomorrow, or he’ll be put in an interrogation room and forced to talk.
On their walk back, Hwon tells Woon that the fact that the eunuch didn’t come out proves that he is hiding something - that Yeon Woo didn’t simply die of an illness. He adds that there must be some secret record left by his father. Then he and Woon hop into the Mystery Machine and set out to find some clues! Actually they keep walking, but my version is better.
Hwon and Woon actually pass right by Jan Shil and Yang Myung, who is telling his new ward to go back to Seongsucheong where she belongs. Jan Shil gives that idea a big hell no, because she knows Nok Young follows through with her threats, and Jan Shil will be drawn and quartered as soon as she steps through the gates. Yang Myung wonders why Jan Shil was brave enough to help him, if she’s such a scaredy cat. She tells him that he’s the first person to risk her life for her: Her parents abandoned her and she doesn’t even remember them, but Yang Myung she’s never forgotten. Yang Myung muses that he has a similar story, and begins yet another wistful tale of the oh-so-perfect Yeon Woo. Jan Shil mentions that she called Wol there to meet them, since it seemed Yang Myung was interested in her.
Wol is walking through town with her package for Jan Shil, when she starts getting a whole boatload of flashbacks. First it’s as she passes the paper store and blacksmith and hears (young) Seol’s voice, then she hears Nok Young telling Yeon Woo to run away, then she sees Hwon at the soccer game and wearing the mask at the festival. It’s all too much, and she faints. But! Hwon, who grabs her around the waist and holds her up, catches her before she can hit the ground. The two stare into each other’s eyes for like, forever.
Hwon and Wol walk together, and it’s awkward in that cute way where the subtext of everything they do is, “Oh, by the way, I’m crazy in love with you.” He makes a joke, she doesn’t get it, and they clumsily say their goodbyes. Woon comes up to Hwon and tells him the Yoon Squad is coming to town and they better skedaddle.
Wol comes across one of the ministers berating a kid for messing up his pretty robe, and tells him to stop. The minister was interested in punishing the kid with a life of slavery, but he now turns his attention to arresting Wol instead. A guard grabs her, but before any action can be taken against her Hwon swoops in, grabs Wol, and they run off through the streets. They bump right into Yoon as they pass him, and he looks back and wonders to himself if it was really the king he just saw pass by.
The two stop running and Hwon admonishes Wol for standing up for the kid. She could have been arrested and the minister was within his rights to punish the child. Wol replies in her usual wise way that it is the duty of a high ranking official to live frugally, so the minister shouldn’t have been wearing such fancy robes to begin with. She tells Hwon a fable illustrating her point, and he comments on how she always has the right answer for everything.
Wol is distracted, and when Hwon follows her gaze he sees she’s watching a puppet show. Wol pays for their seats, and the two sit down to enjoy a show that (surprise, surprise) mirrors their own story. At one point Hwon looks over at Wol stares at her in wonder.
Yang Myung is still waiting for Wol to show up. He paces in front of the inn while Jan Shil dozes off, and finally decides to go looking for Wol.
Back at the puppet show, Wol asks Hwon if he’s met with his mystery woman yet. He tells her that he can’t, because she’s dead. He adds that it’s his fault, because he wanted to protect her, but failed. That’s why he can’t let her go. He asks Wol if she can speak with the dead. She answers that she’s heard it’s possible, and Hwon asks her to pass on a message. He wants to tell Yeon Woo that when they were together he really, really loved her. Wol tears up (as do I) and Hwon flashes a half-sad/half-charming smile.
Just then Yang Myung finds his brother and Wol sitting together. Looks like Yang Myung is losing the girl again.
A Few Thoughts…
Oh, Yang Myung. You break my heart every week! Just when it looks like Yang Myung might make some progress in winning Wol over, he gets thwarted by his privileged little brother. I’ve said before that I’m Team Yang Myung, but sometimes Hwon is so sweet he makes it hard for me to choose sides. Excellent work on your love triangle, TMTETS. Usually I’m rooting for one guy to get the girl and the other guy can get lost, but this time I’m conflicted! Both brothers have their charms. I’d say I’m 60/40 in favor of Yang Myung, but that could change any time if Hwon decides to up his romance game.
I also really love the relationship between Jan Shil and Yang Myung. Can they get their own buddy comedy spin-off? I’d watch the crap out of that. I only hope Jan Shil doesn’t get a crush on Yang Myung. Their relationship is perfect just the way it is, with him being the protective older brother and her as the adoring younger sister.
One complaint: I’m getting sick of this gag where Wol insists she’s not Yeon Woo. At first it was cute, now it’s exhausting. We get it. It’s funny that she’s so adamant about not being the person she actually is. I’m ready to move on from this tired joke and for Wol to begin to realize her true identity. But Wol is book smart and street freakin’ stupid, so it may take her a few more episodes to put the pieces together. Here’s hoping Jan Shil and Yang Myung abduct her and force her memories back in her head before I lose my voice from yelling at my screen, “FIGURE IT OUT WOL. JEEZ.”
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