Saimdang had much to teach this week, but as her sons get their chances to possibly shine, the danger to her grows. She has now come to the attention of the very people she never wanted to be found by. Ji Yoon, in the present, also nearly gets found out by Prof. Choi, but quick thinking just might save the diary. Join Kate and me, Wendilynn as we discuss the new developments in these episodes.

Kate: There were a lot of developments in these two episodes, even if we still spend about eighty percent of the time in the past. The present managed to fit in a couple of tense developments during the few scenes there. Prof. Choi certainly was menacing when he found our trio working together, but he still seems to be in the dark on what exactly it is they’re working on, due to some fast cover-up action thanks to Hye Jung.


Wendilynn: Hye Jung was rather awesome. She’s a quick-thinking character and I’m enjoying when she shows up. She’s the type of person you want in your corner. And the kid didn’t do too badly either. Grandma needs to be caught up to speed, though. I can’t deal with her ignorance much longer. She would be reacting so differently if she knew what was really going on.

Kate: At least Grandma is starting to find out the truth, which puts her on the path to knowing the whole story. I was more frustrated with Ji Yoon in that scene, though. I understand it may have been out of respect for her husband, or out of her own pain that her husband told her to divorce him, but seeing her get berated by her MIL for betraying the family through a divorce when Min Seok was the one that gave Ji Yoon the papers was just painful. At this point, Grandma just needs the whole story. Part of the story isn’t enough for her to be any help.

Wendilynn: I’m with you on this. Ji Yoon needs to come clean and tell her. Just taking the abuse and not defending herself by explaining can’t go on. Grandma is not a dumb woman and I think she would be a good ally In this situation. And frankly, it's unfair to put her through all that.


Kate: Keeping Ji Yoon’s firing from her might have made sense for a couple of days when it looked possible that it may be reversed quickly, but yes, I agree with you that Grandma, when she knows the whole story, could be an asset. But by this point, it may take some time to rebuild trust between her and Ji Yoon. It seems odd the way she did find out, though, but I guess we can chalk it up to the small world of k-dramas. Of course, the mother of the kid who beat up Ji Yoon’s son knows about how she was fired.

Wendilynn: I shouldn’t have been surprised to see the gossiping mothers in the modern day but for some reason, I was. In the present day as in the past, they don’t sit well with their sons being challenged. I was impressed how Lee Gyeom was able to expose their interference but make it so that both boys could join the school. Those ladies are going to flip when they realize Saimdang’s son is the new (look up the scholar name). This prodigy will make things harder on our Tavern girl’s son. He will no longer be first.


Kate: It was interesting to see a little more of Whieumdang’s backstory here too. She was pretty bold, offering herself to give a smart son to Chi Hyung. In the flashback, he seemed a bit dismissive of the offer, but it must have worked in the long run. It also explains why she is so bound up her her son’s success. His very existence earned Whieumdang her status, and his intelligence and school performance assist her in maintaining it. I’m not sure she’ll get thrown to the wolves if he starts coming in second in class, but I’m also not sure that she is that confident she won’t be. They may have a marriage of equals as far as plotting and grudges are concerned, but Chi Hyung definitely has more power.


Wendilynn: Power-wise, she doesn’t have much. But what she does have is knowledge. And she and her husband both are figuring out who Saimdang is to them. I was also surprised by how bold she was in changing her circumstances. Under normal circumstances I would cheer her on and say ‘right on” but she knowingly went to a murderer. She knew what type of man he was and walked into the lion’s den voluntarily. I’m not sure how I feel about that, honestly. One wrong move and these two could wipe out all of Saimdang’s family. I”m really glad we know that her youngest two children live to become well known in their own right.

Kate: No matter what happens, at least we know that those two survive it, right? There were definitely a few moments in these episodes where I cringed as Whieumdang and Chi Hyung learned about who Saimdang was. She is in some very real danger. Chi Hyung has been under orders to kill her all this time, and Whieumdang probably wants the same thing, or will very soon after Saimdang’s son starts showing hers up in classes. I had to remind myself a few times that the show couldn’t possibly kill too many members of Saimdang’s family only eight episodes into a thirty-episode show or I would have watched more of this week through my fingers.


Wendilynn: Lol, I know exactly what you mean. Thankfully, I had read up on Saimdang and her second son, Yi I and they both become celebrated in their own times. And Saimdang dies of natural causes years later. So I know intellectually they’ll survive this, but man, this show has me all tense anyway.

Kate: I was happy to see that Saimdang’s middle son made it into the school, though. The way he made it in was even better. He had been so obsessed with his scholarship that he’d allowed his interest in his studies to cloud his view of how his actions had been and could affect others. It was something that Saimdang had realized long ago, and the lesson I think that she was trying to teach him by making him watch his younger brother. He can’t just think of himself. That lesson really dawned on him as his brothers and sisters made him realize that his school expenses would mean they would have to go hungry. I was proud of him for renouncing the offer to allow him into the school, and even more proud of him that he was willing to give it up in the contest to allow the other boy to save face with his family.


Wendilynn: Agreed. He was an awesome young man this week. He really learned to care about others and what is important to more than just him. I loved that both boys showed their caring hearts during the contest. Lee Gyeom seemed delighted as well. After eavesdropping as those boys talk about their reasons and why it was important, you could see he wanted them both to win.

Kate: It will be interesting to see Lee Gyeom teach at the school. His ability to make the mothers change their minds might get put to some good uses and provide for some comic relief. I just hope he doesn’t get too focused on Saimdang’s son. Though undeserving, her reputation could come under a great deal of scrutiny once it becomes more publicly known that Lee Gyeom and Saimdang left their hometown at roughly the same time and that he is supporting her son’s academic career.

Wendilynn: Yeah, there is a lot of potential for things to go south. For instance, if her son reveals the king’s poem he saw. If the King learns who they all are, that could spell trouble as well. There is nothing but minefields waiting for them if Lee Gyeom’s love isn’t kept under control. 

Fate is drawing Saimdang, her family, and Lee Gyeom closer together.  This is also bringing attention from exactly the wrong people.  Can Saimdang help her son find his dreams before Whieumdang can get her revenge? 

For more from your Drama Club check out:

Wendilynn: As the Kimchi Turns | DF video drama club | My Shy Boss | Past Drama Clubs

Kate: Let’s Fight Ghost | Answer Me 1988 |Entertainer| Orange Marmalade| Fall in Love Like a Star

For past episode reviews



师任堂, 光的日记

Starring Lee Young Ae and Song Seung Hun

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