Things are starting to really get rolling in this episode, and it looks like the final stretch will be filled with twists, turns, and (finally) some actual story progression. While I kind of wish Wol would just go all out and take extreme revenge on all that did her wrong, I guess it’s smart that she’s taking her time to plot her next move. Plus, there’s always next week for her to walk up to the queen dowager and smack her across the face.
Now that Wol has her memory back, she wastes no time in grilling Seol about the past. She catches Seol in a lie, proving both that Wol really does have her wits (and memories) about her, and that Seol has been trying to hide the truth from Wol all these years.
The queen dowager is shocked to hear that Wol survived the ghostly ritual. And there’s worse news – after she was found in the Eunwol Building she convinced the diviner to let her go to Seongsucheong. Wol told the diviner that if she wasn’t allowed to pray at Seongsucheong to release the evil spirit that possessed her, the spirit would lash out and seek revenge on everyone who put her in the Eunwol Building. The diviner tells the queen dowager that the woman they found in the morning was not the same as the woman they locked in the building the night before. That’s right! Badass Yeon Woo is back!
Seol begs Wol to forgive her for lying to her on a daily basis for eight years. Wol doesn’t hold a grudge, and tells Seol to spill all the deets on what she knows. Seol tells Wol her version of the truth, which is what Nok Young told her many years ago. Yeon Woo (Or Wol. Bear with me while I decide what to call her now) was possessed by a spirit and Nok Young, along with Papa Heo, gave Yeon Woo medicine to make her appear dead, but actually live. This way the Heo family could keep their good name and Yeon Woo could be kept safe.
Wol is understandably hurt to hear (a lie) that her father knew she was alive this whole time. Seol tells Wol that no other family members knew the truth – Nok Young insisted that Wol could only be safe if as few people as possible knew. Wol also wonders about her shaman powers. She apparently got the “shaman’s sickness,” but never showed signs of having supernatural abilities.
Nok Young explained to Seol that Wol’s powers hadn’t manifested yet because of her lost memory. Wol still questions this story. She doesn’t remember ever being initiated into shamanhood, and certainly doesn’t remember ever having super powers. So why did Nok Young bring her into Seongsucheong, and even go so far as to let her enter the king’s quarters as a shaman?
Wol remembers when she was a queen in training, and how Nok Young was the chief shaman then. At that time Seongsucheong was being controlled by the queen dowager. Why did Wol fall ill at the same time she entered the palace? She didn’t have the shaman sickness, so what was it? And why did Nok Young save her life? Wol finally learned the truth and regained her memories, but it just left her with even more questions. Seol suggests they ask Nok Young directly, but Wol tells her that at this point, she can’t trust anyone, and they shouldn’t be too hasty. THANK GOD smart Wol is back!
Hwon is disappointed to hear that he cannot meet with Nok Young because she’s in the mountains praying. Hwon thinks that it cannot be a coincidence that Nok Young happened to leave the palace just as he’s starting to put the puzzle together.
The king heads out for a walk and runs into Bo Kyung. At first he’s his usual rude self, but then remembers how they bonded before over their broken hearts, and asks if she wants to join him on his walk. He stops in front of the Eunwol building, completely oblivious to Bo Kyung. She tells him that she will wait forever until he finally notices her, and she won’t try to force Hwon to forget Yeon Woo.
Bo Kyung tells Hwon that it is said that the king is the sun and the queen is the moon. Both are bound in their places, so when Hwon finally looks for Bo Kyung, she’ll be right there waiting – no matter where “there” is. Does anyone else think it’s weird that Bo Kyung is epically in love with a guy who not only hates her, but goes out of his way to be cruel to her? Bo Kyung’s definitely got some issues.
This sun and moon talk makes Hwon think of the hairpin he gave Yeon Woo on her deathbed. As Hwon remembers that moment, Wol takes out the pin and recalls the same night, clutching the hairpin to her heart as her eyes fill with tears. Hwon stares at Bo Kyung, but instead sees Wol standing there, dressed as the queen and wearing the moon embracing the sun hairpin. Hwon smiles as he pictures his one true love where she was always meant to be.
Seol heads out in disguise. Well, she’s dressed as a woman, which is a departure from her norm. She’s being sent out on a secret mission from Wol. The two agree to meet in the sicko village later.
Woon tells Yang Myung that his house arrest has finally ended. Yang Myung already has a bag packed, and Woon knows he’s going to head straight to Wol. Woon begs his friend not to go, but Yang Myung asks, “Why not?” It’s not like Wol belongs to the king. Sure, he can claim Yeon Woo as his own, but not Wol. Yang Myung explains that Hwon has feelings for Wol because he sees her as Yeon Woo, but Yang Myug likes her as herself, not some projected memory.
Woon reminds Yang Myung of his title as prince, but Yang Myung doesn’t care. He’s sick of being burdened by his princely status, and he’s free to give it up, which is one thing he has that the king does not. He has a point. Yang Myung can throw everything away to be with Wol, but the king can’t just run away with a shaman whenever the mood strikes him. Fate still isn’t on Yang Myung’s side, though, as the girl he wants to run away with has no plans to run, especially now that she’s got her brain back.
Yang Myung heads to Sicktown, where he discovers that Wol never arrived. The man in charge is in no rush to help Yang Myung track down some criminal shaman, and says as much. A man comes in asking for help for his dying daughter, and the man in charge basically tells him to wait around for her to die. Sounds like a fun place to spend the rest of your life, right Wol?
Guards escort Wol to the Sicktown gates while citizens throw insults at her. Upon entering the town Wol sees the hoards of sick and dying citizens, and enters a hospital of sorts to find even more. And who is helping one girl in particular? Yang Myung! He looks up and locks eyes with Wol. It would be completely romantic if we didn’t know that Yang Myung was not Wol’s destiny.
After the girl’s life is saved, Wol asks him how he knew how to treat her sickness. Yang Myung then tells her about his teacher (Wol’s father), who encouraged his students to read a few medical textbooks in case they might need to help someone someday. Yang Myung remembers how he never had a father figure, and his teacher was like a father to him. Wol starts tearing up (me too, Wol!), but tries to hide it.
Wol walks Yang Myung out, and he tells her he can’t imagine the pain that she went through, and thanks her for being alive. He tells her he won’t be coming back, but he heard she was missing and wanted to make sure she was safe. He adds that he’s happy to have been able to see her ugly face again. How dare he never come back after being so funny and charming!
But before Yang Myung can leave, he’s approached by a group of nurses (if they’re called that. They might be lascivious outcasts like Wol) who want to thank him for his help. They also ask if he might come back, seeing as he was so helpful and they’re losing doctors left and right. Of course Yang Myung takes this as an opportunity to jokingly gloat about his popularity and shoot Wol a cheeky “Eh, what are you gonna do?” face. Wol muses to herself that Yang Myung hasn’t changed a bit. How nice that Wol finally appreciates Yang Myung after losing, then regaining, her memory. She now realizes just how precious everyone in her life is. Before she would have rolled her eyes at Yang Myung’s antics, but now she can see him as the cheerful, fun guy he always was.
Woon was sent to spy on Wol and reports back to Hwon. He tells the king that she looked well and appears to be recovering from her torture nicely. Hwon asks how his brother is doing, and Woon pauses nervously, afraid that the king knows his brother and Wol were together. Hwon, though, is referring to Woon’s plans to stop by Yang Myung’s house. Whew! Woon reports that Yang Myung seems to be enjoying his freedom, not mentioning just what (or who, in this case) was causing Yang Myung such enjoyment. Hwon sees right through Woon and asks him point blank if his brother is with Wol.
Woon leaves just as Gyu Tae arrives. Woon’s spidey sense tingles, and he looks back to see one of Yoon’s minions spying from around the corner. The minister heads back to Yoon Squad Headquarters to report that the king was meeting with the special interrogator. There’s no reason for the king to be meeting with Gyu Tae, and the ministers suspect something fishy is afoot. The ministers throw around theories, but Yoon knows Hwon is looking into events from eight years ago. He orders the ministers to have Gyu Tae followed.
Gyu Tae gives his report to the king. He tells him that since the events happened so long ago, it’s hard to track down any witnesses, but he’ll questions anyone Hwon can think of. Hwon tells him to track down the woman in charge of Yeon Woo’s queen lessons – she must know something. Woon enters and tells them Yoon’s on their tail.
Wol, now having some sense, is one step ahead of the boys. She tells Seol to go find Lady Noh, the woman who oversaw her queen training. Lady Noh recalls Yeon Woo fondly, and remembers how gaga she and the prince were over each other. She doesn’t remember anything unusual, but adds that Min Hwa came in to see Yeon Woo before she died. Min Hwa never actually met with Yeon Woo, but asked about her health with a worried look on her face. With Seol knowing Min Hwa is hiding something, it can’t be long before her secret is revealed.
As Seol leaves she passes Gyu Tae, who is on his way to question Lady Noh himself. He barely makes it through the door when masked assassins attack him. He fights them off, and runs inside to find Lady Noh dead on the floor.
Hwon is upset to hear that yet another innocent person has been slain in order to hide the truth. Hwon won’t let Gyu Tae take the blame, and insists that he is responsible for putting so many lives in danger. Gyu Tae swears his allegiance to the king, even though his life is threatened by doing so. Aww, Hwon has such a good support system with Gyu Tae and Woon. It’s too bad he has to be king and can’t join his bros out there for some three musketeers-type adventures. Hwon tells Gyu Tae they know one thing for certain: There is an enemy, and that enemy is alive and working hard to cover up their crimes.
Hwon walks outside and runs into Yoon, who tells him he’s coming back from the library. Yoon tells Hwon that he found an interesting book, and quotes a passage that basically says you should let the past stay in the past. Hwon counters that you shouldn’t hide a wrongdoing, but instead try to set it right – that’s what makes a virtuous man. I like how these two use their pleasantries as a code for challenging and threatening each other, but wouldn’t it be more satisfying if Hwon just punched Yoon in the face?
Seol relays the news to Wol about the princess’s visit all those years ago. Wol doesn’t remember anything about that, and asks Seol to go with her to her father’s grave. Wol pays her respects and tells her father, “Yeon Woo is here.”
Today must be Visit Your Dead Dad Day, because Mama Heo, Yeom, and Min Hwa are on their way to the gravesite. Yeom thanks Min Hwa for always being cheerful and hopeful, and while Min Hwa is happy to receive the compliment, she tells Yeom that a husband and wife don’t need to thank each other all the time. It’s a bummer that Yeom doesn’t love Min Hwa the way she wants, but at least he’s still kind and platonically loving toward her, which is more than we can say for Bo Kyung and Hwon.
At the gravesite Yeom notices evidence of someone being there not long before they arrived. But who? Min Hwa guesses it may have been Yang Myung. Mama Heo leans on her husband’s grave, and admits to Yeom that his father didn’t die of an illness. She breaks down in tears and tells her son that his father committed suicide after being plagued by guilt after Yeon Woo’s death.
Mom cries to her husband that she saw a girl that looked just like Yeon Woo a few days ago, but it couldn’t have been her, could it? Villagers were throwing stones and taunting her, and Mom prays that her daughter was not living that life. She asks her husband to tell her that Yeon Woo is with him, living a peaceful, happy life. Wol and Seol overhear the whole emotional confession, and cry quietly from their hiding place.
On their walk back, Wol tells Seol that she blames herself. She was young at the time, and thought her death would save her family, not destroy them. Seol tells Wol that she should tell her family, or at least her mom, that she’s Yeon Woo, but Wol refuses. She still wants to protect her family, and because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death her family could still be in danger. Wol declares that until the whole truth is known, Yeon Woo must remain dead.
Back at the palace, Bo Kyung runs into a group of shamans from Seongsucheong. Bo Kyung goes a little nuts and accuses one of the shamans of being Wol, and having snuck back into the palace. The shaman assures the queen that Wol was sent to Sicktown. Bo Kyung blanches at hearing Wol’s name – it’s the first time she’s heard it – and orders Wol to be brought to her in secret immediately.
Back in Sickoland, Wol catches a stick that flys at her out of nowhere. She discovers that the stick belongs to Yang Myung, who’s playing a game with some children. Per the rules of the game, Wol is now their opponent. Wol ignores Yang Myung and walks by sullenly, but he stops her and insists that she join the other team and get ready to play. The kids ambush her and Wol, happy to forget her myriad of troubles, joins the game.
Yang Myung and Wol play happily together with the children, even being a little flirty. They’re play fighting over a stick when Yang Myung notices they’re being watched by Hwon and Woon. Hwon looks completely pissed, and Yang Myung pours salt on the wound by pulling Wol close to him and shooting Hwon a challenging stare.
Night falls and the children leave. Yang Myung asks Wol what was troubling her before. She’s asks him if that’s why he forced her to join the game – to take her mind off her problems. Yang Myung tells her that playing with innocent children is the best way to forget your worries. Wol admits that she is feeling better, and Yang Myung wonders if it was also because she was playing with such a handsome, cool guy.
Yang Myung picks up a rock and asks if they should play hopscotch with it tomorrow. Wol tells him the rock is too pretty to use for hopscotch, and instead she will use it to absorb her worries. If you’ll remember, this is the same gift Yang Myung gave her so many years ago.
Wol takes the rock and tells her father that until the truth is revealed, she will store her worries in the rock, setting them aside until her mission is complete. A woman approaches her and asks if she’s the shaman Wol, and tells her that the queen requests that she meet with her.
Yang Myung walks home and thinks about Wol taking the rock as a worry-catcher. He remembers giving Yeon Woo a rock for the same purpose before, and his eyes go wide. He also remembers flicking Yeon Woo in the forehead, and doing the same thing earlier that day during the game. Could it be?
Hwon approaches Yang Myung before he can ponder the matter any further. The two brothers face each other over drinks, and Hwon says he hears Yang Myung goes to Sicktown often. Yang Myung answers that he does not go often – he goes daily. Oh snap. He adds that a man should not ignore his love when she is in trouble. Oh double snap.
Yang Myung reiterates that he doesn’t care about losing his title, and Hwon asks if he’s completely forgotten that he, the king, ordered Yang Myung to stay away from Wol. The two stare at each other in anger.
Wol enters the queen’s quarters and bows as she’s supposed to. But then she looks up, and locks eyes with Bo Kyung, a slight smile on her face. Bo Kyung looks back in terror, recognizing Yeon Woo.
A Few Thoughts…
Our smart, quick, wonderful Yeon Woo is back! I was getting really tired of Wol’s constant martyrdom and wide-eyed helplessness. Now we get to see her as the girl she used to be, and I for one am PUMPED. I was worried for awhile there that Yeon Woo grew up and just became an idiot, but I guess her heart to heart with her teenage self knocked some sense into her.
Yang Myung really shone in this episode, again making it hard to choose who to root for in this love triangle. Plus now he pretty much knows for sure that Wol is Yeon Woo, adding to the romantic tension. And now that Wol actually appreciates Yang Myung for his charming, funny self? Oh man, I want those two to end up together so hard. Basically this episode convinced me even more that Yang Myung is the greatest. But then I see Hwon, and see Wol remembering Hwon, and I know that they’re fated to be together. But don’t worry Yang Myung, I’m always available to comfort you.