The kids are now adults! The kids are now adults! Sing it from the rooftops! Or, you know, just get really excited to see how things play out now that we’ve got grown up drama to deal with. Let’s meet our new adult cast and learn how they’re living now…
It wasn’t a dream – Yeon Woo is really dead (for now). Hwon is distraught, and wants to go see his love one last time, but the Queen Dowager has told the guards to keep him in his room for the day. At the gravesite, Yeon Woo’s mother is understandably heartbroken, and Yeom tries to comfort her. Yang Myung arrives on horseback just in time to see Yeon Woo’s casket covered in a layer of dirt. Basically, everything is terrible.
Minister Yoon tells Bo Kyung to get ready to move into the palace. Don’t waste any time, do you Yoon? Yeon Woo’s not even six feet under. She’s like, an inch under. Bo Kyung wonders if her father killed Yeon Woo. She takes out the bracelet Yeon Woo made and remembers what her father told her about losing all compassion and guilt if she wants to win the prince’s heart.
Hwon is mourning at the palace when Yang Myung approaches him, looking angry. Hwon asks his brother if he was able to see Yeon Woo’s burial, and Yang Myung asks why Hwon even cares. Where was he when she was banished from the palace? Where was he when she was dying? What is he doing to save Minister Heo and Yeom from exile? Hwon has everything, and all Yang Myung wanted was Yeon Woo, but Hwon couldn’t let him have even that. Hwon is clearly surprised to her his brother was also interested in Yeon Woo. Yang Myung says that he would have protected her with his life, which Hwon failed to do. As he walks away, Yang Myung thinks to himself, “In the next life, she will be mine. In the next life, I will protect her.” (Yang Myung! Fighting!)
Nok Young meets with the Queen Dowager. Nok Young wants to leave for awhile and go on a walkabout to cleanse her soul, since using black magic to kill someone is a serious no-no. The Queen Dowager is apprehensive about letting someone with Nok Young’s skill leave the palace, but Nok Young reminds her that if anyone gets suspicious about Yeon Woo’s death, Nok Young could be a liability.
We zoom into the ground CSI style, and get a good look at Yeon Woo chilling in her coffin. Suddenly, her finger moves! A man is digging at Yeon Woo’s grave while Nok Young looks on. She tells him to hurry – the potion will wear off soon. Ahhh, that old Romeo and Juliet trickery! Nice one, Nok Young. Yeon Woo wakes up in the coffin and, understandably, freaks out. (If I woke up trapped in a coffin I would immediately die a second death, right there.) A shadowy figure passes behind Nok Young and she spins around to see… Seol! Seol is barefoot and bloody, and carries a sorry looking bouquet of flowers. Yeon Woo starts to have flashbacks of all that’s happened, and right before she blacks out she sees Nok Young, Seol, and the digger looking down on her.
Yeon Woo wakes up and sees a strange girl, who introduces herself as Jansil. Seol comes running in, happy to see Yeon Woo, but Yeon Woo doesn’t recognize her. She also doesn’t recognize Nok Young. In fact, Yeon Woo has no idea who she is. Nok Young tells Yeon Woo that she’s a shaman; she fainted during the initiation rites because her first spirit possession was too powerful, and she lost her memory from shock.
Yeon Woo asks where her family is, and Nok Young tells her that she found her roaming the streets and saw the spirits in her eyes, so she took her in and made her a shaman. Yeon Woo believes her family abandoned her because of her spiritual powers, and Nok Young tells her it’s best to just forget the past – the Heavens took away her memory for a reason.
Minister Heo and Yeom are now exiled, having been deemed sinners for allegedly trying to sneak a sick girl into the palace. Mama Heo isn’t faring so well either, she’s started taking in girls off the street and bringing them into the house, thinking they are Yeon Woo. Each time Minister Heo must tell his wife that Yeon Woo is dead, and Mrs. Heo has a breakdown all over again.
Nok Young leaves with Yeon Woo, Seol, and Jansil in tow. A man is there to wish them farewell. He insists that Nok Young must return to the palace as head shaman, but she says she cannot possibly return to the post she once held. As Yeon Woo waves goodbye, the man thinks to himself, “With the moon hidden, the darkness will only grow, but it waxes and wains, and someday she will return.”
On the boat, Yeon Woo asks Seol why she treats her with such respect. Seol is at a loss for words, but Jansil pipes in, “Because you are the moon!” Nok Young explains that it’s because of Yeon Woo’s great spiritual power. Poor Seol starts sobbing. Oh man, looks like this boat trip is going to be a barrel of laughs.
Nok Young remembers her vision of the red sash, and asks Ah Ri if she got the message right. Was she supposed to create a new life for Yeon Woo as a shaman? Time will tell. Nok Young decides that whether Yeon Woo returns to the palace or becomes a shaman is left to fate, and Yeon Woo, to decide.
Bo Kyung gets gussied up in preparation for her role as princess. Her mother reminds her that this was her rightful place from the start, and she should never think of herself as a replacement. Bo Kyung recites this mantra after her mother, and assures her she will always keep her guard up.
Poor Min Hwa is curled up in her bed, worrying about her role in Yeon Woo’s death. Sure, she didn’t do anything, but her grandmother has planted the idea in her head, and Min Hwa is tortured by guilt.
Hwon gets ready to meet his new bride, but is distracted by the falling rain. He remembers his conversation with Yeon Woo about her name meaning misty rain. He’s so caught up in memories he doesn’t even notice Bo Kyung arrive, and by the look on Bo Kyung’s face we can see she realizes she’ll never fill Yeon Woo’s place in Hwon’s heart. Yang Myung is also reminiscing in the rain, remembering his time with Yeon Woo.
Doooo Deeee Doooo Daaaaa Doooowww (time travel noises)
Another hand reaches out to feel the rain, but this hand is wearing the king’s robes. It’s Hwon! All grown up! He’s still being attended to by Hyung Sun, which is nice to see. King Hwon goes to play a game of golf with his ministers, and is thrown shade by Minister Yoon the whole time. I guess some things never change. At one point Hwon holds his hand over his chest and seems to be in pain, but brushes it off and continues with the game.
The game turns into a hefty metaphor when the minister wins, but says it’s just because the hole was bigger than the others. Hwon laughs before turning completely serious, and offers to show the minister the biggest hole in the palace. He takes all the ministers to a record room, where he goes through a box of appeals to the king. Unjust treatment of people, exploiting the citizens, officials accepting bribes, these are all things in the appeals that should have been seen by the king, but were hidden by the golf master minister. Hwon yells at the ministers and tells them this is keeping him from being a true king to his people, and that is the biggest hole in the palace. Oh snap.
The ministers meet in private to talk smack about the king and generally complain about their jobs. Apparently the king does have some mysterious health problems, and this has been his excuse for never sleeping with the queen. Some of the ministers doubt the king is legitimately ill, but one minister insists it is true, because the king cannot hide the look of pain on his face. The ministers decide they will get the king out of the way by sending him to recuperate at a distant palace.
Minister Yoon runs an idea past the Queen Dowager: The king can take a concubine, and produce a royal heir with her. The QD is having none of it. He needs to have a baby prince with the queen, of course. But, Yoon continues, if the king continues to refuse to get busy with the queen, there may never be an heir, and then upon the king’s death the throne would go to Yang Myung. That’s enough to scare the Queen Dowager into accepting Yoon’s plan, and to try and use her grandmotherly influence to pressure the king.
Minister Yoon then goes to Hwon and asks him to convalesce in a remote palace. Hwon sees right through to Yoon’s true plan, and comments that that will leave Minister Heo in charge, and wouldn’t that be convenient? Hwon is summoned by the Queen Dowager, and he correctly guesses that she will push the same agenda as Minister Yoon.
On his way to see Grandma, Hwon runs into Bo Kyung. She bows to him and tries to look pleasant, but he gives her the silent treatment and walks right past her. The two then meet with the Queen Dowager and Hwon’s mom, and the two women beg the king to take care of his health and leave the palace. Grandma and Mom also bring up the lack of an heir, and Bo Kyung takes the blame and tearfully apologizes for not being a good wife. Hwon is unmoved by his wife’s tears, and listens to her cries with a blank expression. The Queen Dowager insists that it’s not Bo Kyung’s fault, and that she will go on a hunger strike until her grandson agrees to leave the palace.
Bo Kyung continues to play the martyred wife, and camps out in front of the king’s door, begging him to place the blame on her and save his grandmother’s life. Hwon shows up and tells her to get up, he’s going to appease everyone and leave. As Bo Kyung rises, she trips and falls into Hwon’s arms. He holds her close and whispers how nice it is that Bo Kyung has support from the Queen Dowager inside the palace, and from her father outside the palace. He adds that her family will end up with all the power they so desperately want, but she will never win his heart, so she should just give up. Back in her room, Bo Kyung hardens, and reminds herself that Yeon Woo is dead, and she is the rightful queen.
Min Hwa visits the queen, and ask about her public display outside the king’s quarters. Bo Kyung explains that she is without virtue, and therefore cannot bear a son. In true Min Hwa fashion, Min Hwa replies that virture is irrelevant, it’s a lack of affection – the king just doesn’t love her. HA. Bo Kyung huffily asks Min Hwa to get to her point. Min Hwa is excited to tell her that an official date has been set for when she can share a bed with her husband. Bo Kyung seethes with jealousy.
Min Hwa hurries to her hubby’s house and finds him sleeping. She begins talking to him about how they can finally sleep together, and wouldn’t you know it, today is one of the scheduled days! (It’s not, Min Hwa forged some extra dates on the paper. Girl knows what she wants!) Her husband gets up and reveals that he’s not her husband. He’s… her brother! Or as I call him, my boyfriend, Yang Myung. Min Hwa is fully embarrassed, and Yang Myung takes the opportunity to tease her and call her out for forging mate dates.
Min Hwa’s husband, Yeom (!!), finally arrives, just as Min Hwa is storming out in a huff. Yeom asks Yang Myung why he bullies his sister so much, and Yang Myung answers with a laugh that he’s just annoyed by her. But his mood turns somber, and he says that he’s sad that she’s holding Yeom back. Yeom was always destined to be by the king’s side, using his scholarly talents to their fullest. Instead, he’s just the princess’ husband, and that’s all he’ll ever be. Yeom tells Yang Myung that he’s grateful to Min Hwa – she saved his family from ruin, and without her he would still be in exile.
As the two friends leave, Yang Myung finds that his shoes are missing. (Min Hwa threw them on the roof as revenge for her brother’s teasing.) Yeom offers to lend him a pair, but Yang Myung pulls out a spare pair of shoes from his robes, saying that a wanderer always carries extra shoes. (Or someone with a meddlesome little sister.)
Yang Myung asks Yeom if he ever wonders what Yeon Woo would look like now, were she alive. In Yang Myung’s mind, she is forever 13, even though he and Yeom (and everyone) keep aging. Yang Myung walks home alone and has a vision of 13 year old Yeon Woo walking by his side. She tells him that the king is waiting for him, and that Yang Myung must protect the king.
Hwon has a restless sleep. In his mind he keeps replaying the conflicting words of Yeon Woo, Yang Myung, and the Queen Dowager: Should he blame himself for Yeon Woo’s death, or not? He wakes up, and Woon (who’s apparently the king’s night watchman now) asks if he had the dream again. This must be a pretty common occurrence. The two go outside for a walk, and Hwon asks Woon if he knows the true meaning of the Hidden Moon Building. When Hwon’s father loved seeing the reflection of the moon in a pond, so he built the Hidden Moon Building so that even when the moon was concealed, he could still appreciate it. Hwon adds that once a moon was hidden in the Hidden Moon Building, and even though the sun and moon cannot share the same sky, they can be seen together in the pond.
Nok Young is praying outside when all of her candles suddenly go out. She can sense an unknown force in the air. Jansil arrives and hands Nok Young a letter from a priest telling her that the heavens have shifted, and they must meet.
Three days later, Nok Young walks down a pier with Seol, Jansil, and a concealed Yeon Woo in her wake. She turns to Yeon Woo and tells her it’s time to return home. Yeon Woo lifts her coat and we finally see gown up Yeon Woo.
A Few Thoughts...
Okay, the Yeon Woo reveal was pretty anticlimactic, but finally seeing the adult cast made up for it. This episode was basically a chance for us to be reintroduced to the characters as adults. I loved those kids, but now the real drama can start. I’m ready – bring on the love triangles and love rhombuses and secret identities. I’m double ready to get to watch Kim Soo Hyun and Jung Il Woo every week. That’s what I call quality television.