This episode moves the story right along. Wol is getting more flashbacks to her life as Yeon Woo, Hwon is finally starting to feel like his old self again, Min Hwa continues to delight me, and Yang Myung gets the goofiest looking head wound in television history. Scroll down and read all about it!
Programming note: I’m going to start calling the adult version Wol and the child version Yeon Woo, just to make it easier. Ok? Ok.
When we last left Wol, she had been kidnapped and was having flashbacks to being buried alive. Don’t you hate it when that happens? She also sees teenage Hwon, and the memories she had as Yeon Woo. She wonders again, “Whose memories are these?”
My favorite drama queen, Min Hwa, is trying to de-puff her eyes by holding frozen spoons over them. It’s so cute the way she says, “Go away puffiness! Go away puffiness!” to herself over and over. She takes the spoons off her eyes and sees Yeom before her. At first she thinks it’s a vision she’s conjured up because she misses him so much, but he assures her he’s real. He’s very sweet to her, and tells her he thinks she’s pretty, and that he’ll never leave her. Aww, I really help he develops more-than-brotherly feelings for her. Seol is watching them, snooping, as Seol always seems to be doing. Plus, since she used to (and still might) have a crush on Yeom, that’s got to be painful to see.
Nok Young returns to the house, but Wol is nowhere to be found. Both Seol and Jan Shil have neglected their Wol-Watch duties. Nok Young receives a ransom note saying if she wants Wol back, she’ll have to come to the palace and take her place. Nok Young tells the girls to pack up – they’re headed to the capitol.
Wol has passed out in the sedan, overcome with anxiety and strange memories. When her kidnappers open the sedan, they have to pull her out, and one of the men thinks she’s dead. A man goes up to her and feels her breathing, and boom! Wol’s eyes open, scaring both her and her kidnapper. She pushes him down and manages to escape, running into town.
Yang Myung is also on the run, trying to evade the noblemen that want to see him in power. He’s disguised as a monk when Wol runs up to him, asking the monk to save her from her kidnappers. Yang Myung grabs her and runs away, and once they’re in hiding, pulls her close into a hug. To Wol this is understandably a bit too intimate, especially coming from a monk. Yang Myung lifts his hat and asks her, “Don’t you know who I am?” How great is it that Yang Myung immediately recognizes Wol, and doesn’t question how she’s even alive, let alone standing before him? That’s true love.
Wol really doesn’t recognize Yang Myung, nor does she have an emotional reaction to seeing him like she did with Hwon (poor Yang Myung). Yang Myung tells her to run and wait for him at the greenhouse, where he’ll meet her after fighting off some goons. But Wol doesn’t make it, and as she screams while being re-kidnapped, Yang Myung turns and ends up getting whacked in the head, losing consciousness.
The Queen Dowager is not happy with her henchmen. She berates one of the kidnappers for coming back with a shaman-in-training instead of Nok Young. The kidnapper tells the QD they could use Wol as a human talisman – she would stay by Hwon and soak up all his negative energy, leaving him healthy and unharmed. This appeals to the QD, who wants to make sure the king and queen’s next consummation goes according to plan. Looks like Hwon is going to have to come up with a new excuse for not getting busy with Bo Kyung.
Wol is thrown into a room and locked in. It would be cool if things took a turn towards Beauty and the Beast and the furniture came to life and keep her company while she’s locked up. Sadly, all we get is the new head shaman (a total meanie after joining the ranks of Minister Yoon), who barges in and has Wol dragged off to get ready to be the king’s talisman. After slapping Wol in the face.
Woon returns to the king and tells him he lost track of Wol. Hwon is saddened, but tells himself he was just caught up in a dream, and it’s better he forgot about it. Meanwhile, Wol is being treated like a prisoner in a spa. She’s bathed, clothed, and then blindfolded and led off into the night. Hwon is getting ready for bed, and he’s given some tea that is supposed to help him sleep. He drinks it, hoping it will keep him from having empty dreams of Wol.
Wol shows up at the king’s room, blindfolded and covered in a cloak. She’s there as an object instead of a person – she’s just there to soak up the bad energy. She enters Hwon’s room and is de-cloaked and un-blindfolded. She sees Hwon and is immediately awash with emotion again. In his sleep, Hwon calls for Yeon Woo. Wol puts her hand over Hwon’s head, and he smiles, this time dreaming of happier times with Yeon Woo. Woon notices and (I think) realizes that Wol is somehow connected to Yeon Woo. Or maybe he was just impressed by her healing skills. A lot of things about Woon are unclear to me.
Yang Myung wakes up, looking like hell (Seriously. He got hit in the head with a 2x4. I don’t know why he looks like he narrowly survived an air raid while suffering from cholera). In a daze he thinks he sees Wol watching over him, but he realizes it’s actually Yeom. By the way, the sad smile Yang Myung gets when he thinks Wol is there KILLS ME. Yeom is worried about Yang Myung, and asks him all kinds of questions, but Yang Myung decides he’d rather be unconscious, and closes his eyes again.
Hwon wakes up the next morning, and he’s downright chipper. He asks Hyung Sun if someone came in his room last night, and Hyung Sun answers that a diviner brought a talisman. Of course, he doesn’t mention that the “talisman” was a person. Hwon usually doesn’t like talismans (Rightly so. So far they’ve only killed people), but agrees this one is pretty awesome.
Hwon’s cheery mood follows him to his meeting with the ministers, where he compliments them on the report he commissioned before his bedrest. It was well organized and perfectly put together – so perfect, Hwon wonders, it’s almost as if they were forged. Hwon laughs and the ministers laugh with him, but then in true Hwon fashion his happy face instantly turns serious. He asks if they did as he asked and sent home laborers with struggling families, especially the father of the boy he met while he was cruising down Hobo Alley. The ministers bring in a man that claims to be the one Hwon was looking for, but Hwon is suspicious. He asks some leading questions, but ultimately promises the man some land and lets him go.
Later we see the minister paying off the man for saying all the things they told him to, and send him off. While the man is walking through the forest, assassins attack him, but a masked man fights them off and saves the day. That mask isn’t fooling anyone – I’d recognize that lustrous mane anywhere – It’s Woon! Woon returns to Hwon to tell him the man is safe, and asks Hwon how he knew of the nefarious plan. Hwon, like his lost love Wol, used deductive reasoning. Woon is impressed, but Hwon now worries what the ministers’ ultimate plan is. The fake dad’s hands had calluses that were clearly from learning sword fighting, and he was paid off by the minsters, so they must be training a secret army and hoping to overthrow the throne. Woon is worried, but Hwon assures him that as long as they haven’t gotten everything they need (AKA a baby prince), he’s safe.
Yoon and his cronies meet to congratulate each other on pulling a fast one on the king. They are interrupted when an injured assassin stumbles in and explains that a masked swordsman attacked the hit men before they could kill the witness. By the description, the ministers know it was Woon. Yoon quickly kills the assassin with his own weapon. The minsters wonder if the king is trying to send them a warning.
Wol sits in her room, repeating the name Yeon Woo. She can tell from the way the king spoke her name that she’s very dear to him, but who is she? Where is she? Wol wonders, if she weren’t a shaman, and was instead Yeon Woo, could she heal his troubled heart? Ahhhh! Get your memory back STAT.
The QD is thrilled to hear the human talisman seems to be working. So thrilled, in fact, that she wants to meet this magic woman immediately. The head shaman tells her that she shouldn’t, since Wol is filled with bad juju and it could be dangerous. The Queen Dowager takes orders from no one, so she ignores the warning. Just then, Nok Young appears, shocking the QD. Nok Young explains that she stayed away because she had a bad spirit possessing her and she didn’t want to endanger the Queen Dowager. Now that she’s cleansed, Nok Young can return to the palace as requested. Nok Young explains that this was always the plan, but the men sent to get her misunderstood. Nok Young knows the best cover is to blame the bumbling henchmen. The Queen Dowager is satisfied with Nok Young’s explanation, and is thrilled when Nok Young tells her that there is a baby prince in the future. But, Nok Young thinks to herself, Bo Kyung is not going to be the baby mama.
Nok Young continues to tell the QD that she has some conditions that must be met if she’s going to return. Mainly, that she must be head shaman again. She tells the QD that the woman currently in charge is an eavesdropper (cut to the head shaman listening at the door) and does not have pure intentions. The Queen Dowager yells at the closed door, “Did you hear that?” and immediately fires the shaman. The QD still wants to meet the human talisman, but Nok Young repeats the warning that because the talisman is full of bad energy, she must be kept in seclusion. Nok Young begs the QD to wait until a male heir is born, and once the kingdom is out of danger, then she can meet the talisman. The Queen Dowager is disappointed, but agrees that Nok Young is right.
Nok Young bursts into Wol’s room and tells her she must run away. Wol is confused (understandably) and tells Nok Young that she has work to do here, and she cannot leave. Nok Young tells her that if she continues being the human talisman, she will be seen as nothing more than an object and will stop being a human being. Wol tells her that it is the duty of a shaman to heal those in pain, and the king is in pain – a pain that only Wol can heal, it seems. Nok Young tells Wol that she must come and go without the king ever knowing she was there. The king and Wol should never meet. Never. Wol agrees and promises to be stealthy.
Min Hwa heads into Yeom’s room, but he’s not there. When he finally does enter, she embraces him in a huge hug, and shyly asks if he could sneak over to her quarters tonight. She’s shocked to find Yang Myung standing behind her husband, oh so pleased to tease his little sister. While she’s upset to find out Yang Myung is going to be their houseguest for a while, she knows that he must stay put until his cartoonish looking head wound heals.
Hwon is getting ready for bed, and he’s all hyped up. He’s even doing pushups, trying to burn off energy. He tells Hyung Sun that he has hot blood coursing through his body and he needs to be as fit and healthy as possible if he wants to achieve his goal. Hyung Sun assumes Hwon is referring to conceiving a son, and is thrilled. When he mentions this to Hwon, however, he is berated for not knowing what Hwon’s true goals are and is sent to the corner. (Awww! Just like old times!)
Wol shows up after the king is asleep to fulfill her talisman-y duties. She watches over Hwon and tells him she’s happy to see him improving. Hwon smiles as he sleeps, dreaming of good times with Yeon Woo, and also with Yang Myung.
Hwon walks the palace grounds with a halo of light surrounding him. He’s radiant, and even the ladies of the court are swooning. The ladies discuss whether or not they believe the rumors that Hwon is hooking up with Woon. The queen overhears them, and looks toward Hwon and Woon, thinking to herself that Hwon has never smiled at her the way he’s smiling now. She storms off to confront the king, but her father stops her.
Yoon sits his daughter down and gives her a stern talking to. She needs to stop airing her dirty laundry in the middle of the palace – you never know who could be listening. Plus, if she were to see the king, and he suddenly fell ill again, she would be to blame. Yoon urges Bo Kyung not to see the king until their consummation date. To top it all off, Yoon looks at his daughter with disgust, ashamed that she couldn’t sway a man after all these years. If she’d only hurried up and conceived an heir, things wouldn’t be this way. Father of the Year, that Yoon.
Yoon and Hwon cross paths in the palace, and Hwon stops to thank his father in law for the “gift” he sent. The two speak pleasantly of ginseng, but they each know they’re actually talking about the assassins Yoon sent. Hwon thanks Yoon for the workout he got, and Yoon tells him he’ll be sure to send more in the future. Hwon says bring it on.
Nok Young feels the spirits stirring. The dog star is covered in darkness, which, judging by Nok Young’s face, is not good.
Hwon is again preparing for bed. He puts his hand to his forehead, as if he’s feeling Wol’s hand there. He sleeps, and Wol watches over him, think-speaking to him. She tells him for the first time she’s happy to be a shaman, and she feels fortunate to be able to be of help to him. She puts her hand on his forehead, but this time sees visions of her time with Hwon as kids. She quickly pulls her hand away, but just then Hwon wakes up. He flips her over and pins her down, yelling, “Who are you?!"
A Few Thoughts…
Overall, an okay episode. Was I on the edge of my seat? No. But I love how the story is moving along at a brisk pace. I’m so glad this show decided to skip all the just-missed-each-other almost-meetings and cut right to the good stuff.
This episode made me think more about Hwon’s mystery illness, and I have a theory. Bo Kyung is making Hwon sick. Every time he sees her he thinks of Yeon Woo and what could have been, and it (literally) breaks his heart. That’s why when Wol shows up and starts putting her hands on his forehead, his pain is lifted. He can sense his true love there, and his heart slowly starts to heal. So while Bo Kyung seems pretty disrespected and downtrodden, remember that she’s the woman who’s slowly killing Hwon, and she almost killed Seol all those years ago. It’s okay to hate her while feeling sorry for her.
Let’s talk about Woon for a second, shall we? I’ve already discussed how Woon needs to get some kind of Baby Bjorn for his sword, but now I’m worried about his sleeping habits. Mainly, when does Woon sleep? He stays up all night watching Hwon sleep, and then is by Hwon’s side all day, sword in hand (Hand! Why?!). This leads me to believe that Woon just doesn’t sleep. Ever. If we discover later in the show that Woon is a cyborg or a Cylon or something, just know that I called it.
I’ll wrap things up with what I think is the greatest screencap of this entire episode. The goofy bandage! The peekaboo fingers! The mischievous grin! Jung Il Woo, you complete me.
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