A lot of lovin’ happening in this episode. Oh wait. No there wasn’t. But everyone sure was talking about love. Yang Myung finally confessed his love to Wol, Bo Kyung tricked her husband into (maybe) sleeping with her, and everyone has an opinion on the royal consummation. The end of the episode set things up for some real love action, and some major drama, but before we get there we need to start at the beginning. Let’s go!
A disheartened Yang Myung walks down the street, then stops and asks his imaginary friend, “How long have you known?” But it’s not an imaginary friend at all! Woon emerges from the shadows like a phantom, and asks Yang Myung if Yeon Woo and Wol really look that much alike. Yang Myung takes this to mean that Woon did know all along, and this serves as proof that he’s abandoned his childhood friend and is now 100% Team Hwon.
Hwon and Wol walk back from the puppet show, and while the two enjoyed it, Hwon has some criticisms. He argues that the story of a poor girl falling in love with the king is preposterous. He picks apart every aspect of the story and finds a reason why each detail is real world impossible. Wol stares at him, and tells him that the story is believable because the characters are only human, and human relationships are rarely logical. Hwon tells her that the point is that he enjoyed the show, and he’ll pay her back. Hwon leaves and Wol thinks to herself that regrettably, she won’t be seeing him later tonight for their slumber party.
Taking a cue from Woon, Yang Myung slips out of the darkness and greets Wol as she’s walking home. He tells her he sent Jan Shil home, confirming that he’s the oh-so-wonderful fellow Jan Shil was raving about to Wol. The two adorably banter back and forth for a bit, and as Wol is leaving Yang Myung gets serious. He asks her what was occupying her mind so fully that she only remembered to worry about Jan Shil now? Yang Myung says that he doesn’t know if he can take it again – seeing her fall for someone else. He leaves as Wol wonders what the heck that beautiful fool was talking about.
Hwon gets ready for bed (by having some lady servants get him ready for bed) while listening to Hyung Sun complain about being sent on a meaningless errand to build a snowman. He had to climb on top of the roof to get untouched snow! He could have died! Hwon carelessly answers, “Well good thing you’re still alive.” Hyung Sun shows the king his hands and tells him he could have gotten frostbite, leading Hwon to grab his attendant’s hands and tell him to warm them on his hot chest. A flustered Hyung Sun makes a quick exit. Haha, I can just imagine Hwon’s dating profile: “My hobbies include being hung up on a girl that died eight years ago and spreading gay rumors about myself.”
Nok Young gives Wol her travel itinerary for the next day, but Wol is preoccupied thinking about the king. She asks Nok Young for permission to see the king one last time tonight - she has something to tell him. But after that she promises she will leave as planned.
Bo Kyung sits in her room thinking about what her attendant told her about Hwon and Wol’s interactions, and how Wol allegedly looks like Yeon Woo. She decides to confront the shaman on her way to the king’s chambers. Bo Kyung finds the talisman procession and approaches the hooded shaman, wearing a fake smile. She claims to want to thank the talisman for her help, and asks that she show her face. Once the shaman is exposed, Bo Kyung sees that it’s just some nobody shaman, and not the Yeon Woo Doppelganger she was expecting.
Hwon is in his room, waiting for Wol, but is completely bummed to see that the woman entering his chambers is (yuck!) his wife. Bo Kyung tells him she remembers the expression he wears now from eight years ago, when she first realized it wasn’t her he was hoping to see. The two get in a shouting match, and Bo Kyung tells the king that the shaman outside looks nothing like Yeon Woo, but he can go ahead and love a ghost or a talisman all he wants – she’s still the one that will be by his side, and he needs to face that eventually.
The new shaman enters and explains that she is a talisman for a successful consummation. The talisman for absorbing evil has completed her duties and will be leaving Seongsucheong.
Wol is packing her things, and Seol comments that she seems to be on the verge of tears. Just as Seol comments that Nok Young is being too cruel to not let Wol say goodbye to the king, Nok Young enters and tells Wol to get dressed in her talisman duds immediately. The king has called for her.
Wol runs into Hyung Sun on her way to meet Hwon. He tells her that the king has her confused with someone else, and she shouldn’t lead him on or upset him. Wol comments that Hyung Sun is speaking to her formally, and that it seems he is confusing her with someone else too. She assures Hyung Sun that she won’t cause any trouble.
Hwon angrily asks Wol who told her she could leave? She promised to heal his heart, and now she’s just running away? Wol tells him that her work is done, and it was Hwon himself that told her not to come too close. Hwon answers by yelling, “I never told you to go away!”
Hwon chills out a little and tells Wol that looking at her gets him all confused. He can’t distinguish between her and Yeon Woo, and until he can clear up his confusion and know what he truly feels, she is not to go anywhere. He adds that that is a royal order, as if Wol needed any convincing to get her to stay by the king’s side.
Hwon’s mother tells Bo Kyung that a new consummation date has been set. Bo Kyung wonders to herself how Hwon will try to get out of it this time. She tells her attendant to set up a meeting with her father.
Yoon may have to postpone his meeting with his daughter, because there’s a mystery afoot! The royal records are being aired out after Hwon’s last flip-out, and they’ve just discovered some records from eight years ago are missing. Yoon’s spidey sense is tingling. A man is sent to recheck the records, and this time all the missing records are present and accounted for. Woon slipped in and put the stolen records back just in time.
The gang can only rest easily for a few moments before getting bad news: The former head eunuch has committed suicide. Investigators show up at the scene of the suicide and find the former eunuch hanging from the ceiling with a rope around his neck. It appears to be a simple suicide, and the head investigator declares it as such. He tells his officers that they should focus on finding a motive for the suicide, rather than trying to figure out if there was any foul play involved.
Hwon wonders what secret could be so great that the eunuch would kill himself rather than have the truth exposed? He sends Hyung Sun to dig up some records, but tells him to keep it on the DL.
Hwon calls for an old friend – the Sungkyunkwan scholar who he convinced as a teen to lead a rally outside the palace. The scholar is now working for a special investigative unit. Hwon explains that when records go through too many hands, the king ends up with less than the whole truth. He wants the scholar to pose as an investigator on the suicide case, but in actuality help solve the case of The Dead Crown Princess.
Yoon goes to the queen dowager to report Hwon’s suspicious behavior. He’s worried that Hwon is getting too close to the truth of what happened eight years ago. The QD is unfazed. She argues that now that the consummation date has been pushed up, Hwon will chill out. Huh? The QD’s logic is that once Hwon becomes a parent he’ll put his child’s wellbeing first, and will be unconcerned with traipsing around solving mysteries. Not to get too biological on you, Queenie D, but Hwon’s going to have to actually get down with his queen to produce that prince you’re banking on. Seeing as the king doesn’t want to be in the same room as Bo Kyung, let alone close enough to procreate, this seems like a flawed plan. The queen dowager does have a plan B of sorts: If the king discovers anything, she and Yoon will just cover it up.
Min Hwa sits gazing at Yeom while he reads. She’s fantasizing, since Yeom is off on his travels, but oddly even in Min Hwa’s fantasy her husband ignores her. Her attendant interrupts her daydream sesh, and Min Hwa is hurled back into reality. She remembers that Yeom told her to take care of his mother while he was gone, so Min Hwa heads out to see her mother in law. Mama Heo is reading a letter from the queen mother, and relays the news of the king’s upcoming consummation date to Min Hwa. Min Hwa then decides to write down a few pointers for Bo Kyung on how to best conceive a son.
On her way to the palace, Min Hwa runs into her grandmother the queen dowager. Min Hwa is uncomfortable around her grandmother since, you know, she witnessed her plot to murder Yeon Woo. The QD teases Min Hwa about never coming to visit, and proposes that they walk together. Min Hwa comes up with an excuse (probably about not wanting to kick it with a murderess) and makes a quick exit.
Men from the Office of Divination come to present the new consummation date to the king. The royal physician declares Hwon to be healthy, but Hwon insists that he is too unwell. The officers try to sway him, but Hwon angrily sends them away.
Bo Kyung meets with her father to discuss the consummation (as all daughters are want to do with their fathers, am I right ladies?). She tells him that Hwon is most surely in love with the talisman, but she’s not worried about it. In fact, she wants the shaman to stay by her husband’s side until the consummation. Bo Kyung tells her father that she will use the king’s love for the shaman to make the consummation happen. How? By slicing off Wol’s face and wearing it as a mask while she seduces the king?
A huge, lavish gift has been delivered to Seongsucheong for Wol. It contains all kinds of shaman toys, and when Wol asks whom the present is from, Jan Shil produces a letter from Yang Myung. Wol immediately heads outside and finds Yang Myung, asking him what the big idea is. Yang Myung tells her that he likes her. She tells him he’s taking the joke too far (the same words Yeon Woo told Yang Myung long ago), but Yang Myung assures her he’s being serious. He tells her that at first he liked her because she looked like a girl he used to love, but now when he looks at her, he sees Wol, and he likes her. Compare this to Hwon telling Wol he doesn’t know who he sees when he looks at her and I think we can all agree, at least for now, that we’re Team Yang Myung.
Nok Young is worried. She can sense that those that must never meet are starting to have intertwining fates, and this could cause complete chaos. She muses that all this unrest can come to an end in three days – if the consummation is successful, the fates will shift, and she will be able to send Wol away.
That night Wol sits across from Hwon while he reads. She stares and him, and he finally tells her that although he’s handsome, she shouldn’t stare. She laughs, and Hwon gets a little huffy and declares that it’s time for a walk.
The two stand outside in the snow and Wol asks the king what’s troubling him. He tells her that a man committed suicide because of him, and that death follows him like a shadow wherever he goes. Wol assures him that everyone knows he is trying to protect them, even if things don’t turn out for the best. Hwon asks her to use her powers to see if the truth he seeks will be revealed, and she answers yes. He asks again, but this time for her to not use her powers, but give him her own opinion. Wol immediately answers yes, telling Hwon that she has faith in him. Hwon tells her for the first time in a long time, he’s actually comforted.
Yoon again presents the consummation date to Hwon, who again insists that he’s too unwell. Yoon asks if the talisman he’s been keeping close has been having no effect. If the shaman entered the king’s chambers and did not help him, she must be punished in accordance with the law. Through a flashback we see that this was all Bo Kyung’s idea of using the king’s love for the shaman against him. If he insists that he is unwell, the shaman has failed her duties and must be put to death, if he is well then the consummation will go as planned and the shaman, having done her job, will be sent away. When asked by her father what will happen if the consummation goes as planned, and Hwon still insists on keeping the shaman around, Bo Kyung answers that Yoon must call on the Confucian scholars for support. How could the king, who is supposed to be a role model for the country, hide a woman away in the palace?
The shamans are busy cleaning the temple. When Jan Shil complains about having to clean again after already cleaning this morning, she gets flicked in the head and told that today is the consummation day. The shamans are going to gather and pray for a successful union, and they need a clean hall to pray in. Wol was daydreaming about Hwon, and upon hearing the news of the consummation, she looks up worriedly.
Hwon sits pouting in his room, as Hyung Sun tells him if he avoids the consummation any further, it could pose a danger to Wol. Hyung Sun is worried Hwon will have to go through the same heartache he did eight years ago. Hwon knows that Hyung Sun is right, but he still doesn’t want to face the truth. He gets all dolled up for his big night, looking miserable the whole time.
Yang Myung finds Wol is standing outside crying. He tells her that Hwon is the king, and this is what’s expected of him. This doesn’t make Wol feel any better. Yang Myung then asks Wol if she could choose him instead. They could run away together, and she could leave all this heartache behind. This time when Yang Myung asks Wol/Yeon Woo to run away with him, he’s not going to let her laugh it off. This is his big move.
Hwon sits across from Bo Kyung, and he comments that she must be happy to finally be getting what she’s always wanted. Bo Kyung answers that it’s not just her, but the entire country that wants an heir. The two sit across from each other for awhile, Hwon still fuming. Bo Kyung tells Hwon that no matter what she’s still his woman. Hwon grabs Bo Kyung and pulls her into his arms. He caresses her face and tells her, “If you cannot have my heart, you at least want to be the queen mother to the future heir. Fine. I’ll undo my robe for you.”
A Few Thoughts…
They can’t. Can they?! There’s no way Bo Kyung and Hwon are actually going to consummate their eight year non-relationship. Something’s going to stop them, but what? Maybe Wol will develop actual shaman powers and her sorrow will conjure up a lightning bolt that strikes Bo Kyung in the head.
Enough about those two (three?). The real MVP of this episode is Yang Myung. Way to step up to the plate, Yang Myung! He got the courage not only to confess his feelings to Wol, but also to ask her to choose him, to run away with him, and not let her brush it off as a joke. He’s in it to win it, and I couldn’t be happier. Yang Myung is now a serious contender in this love triangle. And after this episode, who ISN’T Team Yang Myung?
I’m psyched for the love triangle to get juicy, since I’m getting a little tired of this political intrigue story line. Maybe you’re really into Yoon’s plans for blah blah whatever, and if so, God bless you, but I’m here for the kissing and crying. Bring on the melodrama, Yang Myung being totally romantic and wonderful, and Hwon finally making a move on Wol. I’m ready for things to get soapy.