There’s some intrigue in this episode, but mostly it’s all about the romance. And heartbreak. But let’s ignore the sad stuff in favor of the good stuff. Like how awesome it is to see Hwon and Yeon Woo together as a couple again. I knew they’d be good together, but I didn’t know I’d get so into their scenes and be all, “Awwww!” and “Oooooh!” the whole time. We’re talking Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks levels of adorable romance here, you guys.
After he delivers some supplies to the sickos, Wol walks Yang Myung out. She reminds him that she’s a convicted criminal, so he doesn’t need to worry about her running away any time soon. Yang Myung says he’s glad she’s Wol the Shaman, meaning he’s glad she’s not Yeon Woo. Wouldn’t that be nice? If Wol and Yeon Woo were two separate people and those silly brothers could each finally have what they’ve always wanted? But then there would be no melodrama, and no reason for me to yell at the screen, so really we’re all better off.
As Yang Myung walks home, his spidey sense starts tingling. He whips around and announces, “Assassins!”
Wol stands in the courtyard when she hears someone calling for Yeon Woo. OMG, IT’S HWON. There’s crying all around, and Hwon envelops his one true love in a hug. It’s all very heartwarming and beautiful… and Yang Myung has seen the whole thing. Bummer.
Yang Myung’s spidey sense was right on the money, because a gang of assassins shows up and tries to attack Wol and the king. The lovebirds are surrounded, but Woon comes right in time and starts taking down one masked killer after another. He’s joined by Yang Myung, who gets stabbed for real this time (you know, instead of getting metaphorically stabbed in the heart like he did a few minutes ago). And wouldn’t you know it, here come even MORE assassins! Hwon shares a look with his brother and runs to join Woon in the battle. Yang Myung grabs Wol and they run away.
Woon and Hwon stand over a mess of dead bodies, and Woon tells the king that he and Yang Myung agreed to take Wol to an abandoned hut in the forest if things got hairy. The two men run to the hut, but of course Yang Myung and Wol are nowhere to be found. Even with a stab wound, Yang Myung knows to never give up an opportunity to have Wol all to himself.
We discover that it was Yoon who sent the assassins to kill Wol, and he’s also ordered Nok Young to be murdered as well. But Nok Young’s going to be hard to find, since she was ordered by Hwon to go into hiding with Jan Shil and Seol until it was time to expose the evil plot. On their way to the hiding spot Seol runs off, but Nok Young isn’t worried. She says it’s obvious where Seol is going, and she always comes back.
Hwon’s hunt for Yang Myung and Wol continues. He checks Yang Myung’s house, but since Yang Myung’s not an idiot, they’re not there. Instead, Yang Myung leads Wol to his mom’s, where he finally collapses. Mom recognizes Yeon Woo right away, and when she asks Wol about it over Yang Myung’s sickbed, Wol answers honestly. Mom cries and asks why her son had to choose such a heartbreaking love. I know, right?!
Woon tracks down Wol, but doesn’t report his findings to the king. Hwon knows something’s up. He takes him into a room where he’s had a bath drawn, and orders Woon to hop in. When Woon hesitates, Hwon reminds him that he is the king, and if he gives an order Woon needs to obey – or he’ll be committing treason. Basically, Woon cannot side with Yang Myung over the king, unless he wants to be killed with his own sword.
Yang Myung wakes up (he lives!) and immediately goes looking for Wol. She’s still around, wanting to say goodbye in person, and the two take a walk. Wol asks why Yang Myung pretended not to know her true identity, and he tells her that he didn’t want to face the truth. He was overjoyed that Yeon Woo was back from the dead, but at the same time, if he revealed her true identity, he’d lose her all over again. What? I’m not crying. I think I have something in my eye…
Wol tells Yang Myung that he made her happy both when she was Yeon Woo and when she was Wol. He picked her up when she was down (Yeah, that is a K-Ci & JoJo reference), and she’ll be forever grateful for that. But she can’t give him the answer he wants, so she tells him she wants the best for him, and for him to find a true love all his own, and walks away. But of course Yang Myung grabs her wrist and says that if she was his brother’s in her past life, couldn’t she be his in this life?
“Hells no!” proclaims Hwon, who has appeared out of nowhere. He hands Wol off to Woon and tells him to get her out of there. Now it’s a bro-on-bro showdown. Hwon accuses Yang Myung of treason for running away with the king’s lady, and throws his brother a sword. He tells Yang Myung that this is his chance to kill his brother and become king (and presumably get the girl, even though she did just reject him). They fight for about two seconds before Yang Myung has a sword at Hwon’s throat. Of course Yang Myung can’t go through with it – he’s a lover, not a fighter, and fratricide just ain’t his steez.
Hwon goes to see Wol and asks her (through closed doors) if he brought her here against her will. She tells him it doesn’t really matter, since he probably wouldn’t let her go anyway, and she already chose to be with him. He asks if he can see her, and she reveals herself, dressed in nice clothes that are basically a 13-year-old Yeon Woo costume. Hwon is in awe (awww) and asks her to come closer and closer, until finally he envelops her in a hug. Hyung Sun ushers everyone out so the lovebirds can have a proper, touchy-feely reunion.
The next day Hwon smiles as he thinks of Yeon Woo saying her heart was his. Hyung Sun is grinning too, and even Woon cracks a little smile.
Hwon’s grin turns to a grimace when he runs into his dear old father in law. The two do their whole dance where they speak about one thing when they’re really talking about another. In this case Hwon is letting Yoon know that he sent the assassins, and Yoon tells the king that when he chooses a target he goes after it relentlessly until it’s dead.
Hwon can’t concentrate on his kingly duties knowing Yeon Woo is in the next room. He asks her what she’s doing on the other side of those doors, and she tells him she’s engrossed in a book. She’s so engrossed, in fact, that she doesn’t notice when Hwon comes in carrying his desk and sets it down right across from her. He can’t believe that she’s reading a book at a moment like this. Doesn’t she know he was faithful to her and remained pure for eight years? Does she have any idea how hard that was? She tells him he didn’t try that hard, because he fell for Wol. This is silly, after all, because Yeon Woo IS Wol, so Hwon really just fell for the same girl twice. Yeon Woo tries to hide behind her book, but Hwon moves his desk out of the way, pulls Yeon Woo’s book down, and gives her a kiss. Then he goes right back to work, a sly grin on his face. This whole scene is pretty much the greatest thing to happen on this show so far. I eat this rom-com stuff up.
Ruh roh. The queen dowager knows that Yeon Woo is alive, and she’s a little miffed. She immediately realized Nok Young conned her, and she’s out for blood. Yoon tells the QD that Hwon must know where Nok Young and her little ladies are hiding. But what’s Hwon’s game plan? The two villains don’t know for sure, but they do know they need to keep the truth from coming out, even if that means killing all their enemies.
Grandma goes to see Hwon, who is still making goo-goo eyes with Yeon Woo. Hyung Sun announces the queen dowager’s presence very loudly and slowly in order to tip off the lovers. Finally grandma’s had enough and she charges in, but Hwon covers his tracks by saying he’s just lifting his desk for exercise. Hey Hwon, if you want some real exercise there’s a girl in the next room who I’m sure could give you a real workout. ZING!
Grandma is there to collect on the favor that Hwon owes her for saving Wol’s life. She wants Nok Young and Wol to be found and delivered to her. The queen dowager tells the king that she knows he’s hiding Nok Young and Wol, and that he’s investigating what happened eight years ago. She tells him to drop it. It was covered up for a reason – to protect him and the ones he loves. He asks who she’s specifically referring to, and the QD tells him he already knows, just think carefully about who he wants to protect the most. Yeon Woo has been listening in on this meeting the whole time, and she realizes that the queen dowager is referring to Min Hwa’s role in the black magic shenanigans, and that this puts Yeom in danger.
Yeom is at home, just reading and thinking about his dead sister, as usual. He goes outside and finds Seol spying on him. He doesn’t recognize her, but Seol reveals her identity. He asks how she’s been since she left the family, and she tells him she’s found a good home. Then she thinks to herself that she’s loved him since he gave her the name Seol. Before things get totally heartbreaking for Seol, Mama Heo shows up and she slips away into the night. Mom is worried about Min Hwa, who’s been feeling unwell since the day they went to Papa Heo’s grave. They’re going to go to the palace to see the doctor. I’m not sure a doctor can diagnose guilt over being a murderer by association, but hey, give it a shot.
Hwon and Yeon Woo are still up late into the night, and Hwon apologizes for keeping Yeon Woo locked up in a tiny room all day. Yeon Woo says she doesn’t mind – she’d go to hell if it meant she could be by his side. These two kill me. The two decide to take a walk while no one’s around. They stop in front of the Eun Wol Building and Hwon asks why Yeon Woo didn’t tell him she remembered everything the last time they met here. She answers that she couldn’t reveal her identity because Hwon already has the queen by his side. But now it’s ok to be the other woman? What kind of logic are you working with, Wol?
Speaking of the paranoid queen, Bo Kyung wakes up from a nightmare. She tells her attendant that she no longer hears crying coming from the Eun Wol Building. It’s not because of the talismans or the exorcism, but because the rightful queen has come back to claim the throne! Bo Kyung believes Yeon Woo is in the palace, and she’s going to ask her father to get rid of her. But after realizing she can’t reveal her crazy paranoid state to her father she asks her attendant to fetch her little spy friend.
Hwon tries to apologize to Yeon Woo for allowing her to go through so much suffering, but she insists that it’s not his fault, and she’s just thankful that he didn’t forget her for eight years. He tells her that he will never forget, and that he will punish everyone who caused her pain. But Yeon Woo is a pacifist and suggests they leave the past in the past. Good plan. Those two have enough problems in the present. But I doubt Hwon will let this go.
Hwon leads Yeon Woo into the throne room, and tells her that her talk of politics the first day they met still influences him. He adds that when faced with a difficult decision, he often thinks of what advice she or Yeom would give him. Hwon tells Yeon Woo that when he was a prince he had a hairpin made of a moon embracing a sun. Actually he had two made. One he gave Yeon Woo on her deathbed. Hwon reaches into his sleeve and pulls out the second hairpin, and tells Wol that he wanted to give it to her on the day she became his queen.
Hwon then pulls out another parcel from his magic sleeve and reveals the other hairpin. He explains that he had someone go to Sick Town to retrieve Yeon Woo’s belongings. Now the two pieces are reunited, and they are one. Hwon wipes away a tear from Yeon Woo’s cheek, leans in, and kisses her.
A Few Thoughts…
I LOVE these scenes with Hwon and Yeon Woo. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for romance, and the moments between these two totally deliver. I wasn’t kidding when I said the scene with the desks was my favorite thing to happen so far in the series. I vote we forget this whole political storyline and just end the show as a romantic comedy. Who’s with me?!
Also I’m taking bets on how long Yang Myung is going to mope over losing Yeon Woo. Forever? I think forever. That’s just how these brothers roll. They fall in love with a girl, cry over her, ignore every other girl that comes their way, and then wait indefinitely until their one true love comes back to them.