A paradigm shift is in the works, meaning things will not be the same again. Hong Joo gets the shock of her life as she realizes that Queen Shim has been playing sides. Seo Ri learns the truth and makes a decision. Jun adds even more power to his arsenal. Sunjo is still being played and is unaware, and Poong Yeon makes a meeting he’s been looking forward to for the last five years.
Top 10 Moments:
- Yo Gwang is a total goofball
Whilst Seo Ri (fine I’m now going to be calling her Seo Ri till the curse is lifted and she can be Yeon Hee again) is waking up from the rough ride of a night she’s had, and wondering about her hair being jet black again, Yo Gwang is trying to puzzle out Jun, the human boundary, complete with trying to use a stick to poke Jun’s robes just so he can get a glimpse of the symbol (Hahaha. This is not going to help your I’m straight cause Yo Gwang). When Jun catches him in the act, instead of backing away, Yo Gwang takes it further by touching Jun’s chest and claiming the there’s something precious that must be protected right there (Hahahaha. I can’t even. Yo Gwang kills me. Kills me I tell you). Except he says this with this lovelorn expression that is hilarious even as Jun drolly agrees. When Jun is finally able to push Yo Gwangs hand off his chest, Yo Gwang finally remembers to ask him why he was locked up in prison. Although Jun tries to skirt the question, he finally admits to being framed as the Red Gentleman’s Robe and informs a questioning Yo Gwang that if he knew who the person was, he would have caught him himself. Yo Gwang fills him on the details though, that the Red Gentleman’s Robe has been murdering those who made wishes to Seo Ri and because of that, she hasn’t been able to break the curse. Just as Yo Gwang tells Jun that this information must be kept a secret from Seo Ri (seriously? Why on earth must it be a secret?! Tell her the truth. Don’t pull another Hyun Seo on her, letting her whole world crumble one reveal at a time), Seo Ri comes out of her room and is surprised to see Jun in the temple. When Yo Gwang breaks the news, she’s disbelieving and not happy to learn that Jun saw her at her worse the previous night (when the curse was activated) and instead asks Jun to leave (girl, don’t go looking a gift horse in the mouth. You need a boundary? Well, he’s your boundary. Deal with it!). Yo Gwang thankfully, is able to convince Seo Ri to let Jun stay.
2. Poong Yeon is pissed to discover that Jun has escaped
Poong Yeon wakes up from his own fainting spell to meet his mother coming to bring him medicine to aid his recovery. Whilst he drinks, she tries to subtly glance at the back of his ear, looking for the curse but is caught at it by Poong Yeon. When she asks him if he’s found Yeon Hee because the latter has been in her thoughts lately, Poong Yeon denies having found her (why do I have a feeling your mother hopes you find her not out of concern for Yeon Hee but so she can report her whereabouts to Hong Joo?). Poong Yeon is quick to put it together that something must have happened to Yeon Hee because the last time he’d had such symptoms was the night when Yeon Hee disappeared. All thoughts of Yeon Hee fade away however when he gets to the cells only to learn that Jun has escaped. Even though Sol Gae predicts that maybe Jun has escaped from the Capital, Poong Yeon, remembering Jun’s obsession with capturing the Red Gentleman’s Robe figures that Jun is very much still around. (Damn. I love your brains but hate your tenacity in trying to hold Jun responsible for murders he knows nothing about. Especially since the accusation came from a man you know is lying. Use your brains Poong Yeon and drop the bias. Sheesh!) Thinking quickly, he decides to pay the 100 year old tree a visit.
3. Jun offers Yeon Hee freedom, because he’s amazing like that
Whilst making her elixirs, Jun walks up to Yeon Hee to ask her if it’s true that should he stay by her side, nothing bad would happen to her. Yeon Hee, still being headstrong replies that she doesn’t believe that and so he should leave. Jun though is driving at a point as he reminds her that it seemed like she couldn’t leave the black forest and now, she’s trapped in this temple. He figures she’s feeling suffocated and offers to follow her to wherever she wants to go so she can see the outside world (awwww. Jun you sweetie you). Plus, she can get at some persimmons if she wants as well. The offer touches Yeon Hee, but she simply tells Jun that she’s not the person she once was, and it would be better for him all round to not get involved with her. Jun though simply points out that if that was the case, then she should have given him the actual oblivion elixir and then adds that he wants to help Yeon Hee in achieving her cause.
4. Sunjo’s lies come back to bite him in the ass
Whilst Queen Shim is dealing with the hidden message Hyun Seo had passed on to her, the council of ministers approach Sunjo with the rumors spreading around town that the Red Gentleman’s Robe is still alive. Sunjo though would rather just continue digging his own grave as it spins it around to ask if the ministers are accusing him of having captured a falsely accused person (more like tearing apart the wrong man just to keep people quiet. Honestly, Sunjo, you didn’t even give the guy a chance at a decent burial). When the ministers say that’s not what they think, Sunjo gets angry and tells the ministers to find the source of the rumor and bring the person to him so he can rip out the person’s tongue and make him an example to everyone (smooth Sunjo. Real smooth). Thankfully, Queen Shim arrives in time to speak sense into his adolescent brain, telling him that he cannot let his emotions get in the way of assuaging the people’s anxiety (I never thought I would say this, but listen to Queen Shim Sunjo). But Sunjo who is still riding high on his idiocy, cuts off Queen Shim by saying that the meeting hall is no place for her, to which Queen Shim replies that she doesn’t think he can govern with clarity considering the fact he has lost his judgement. (Wow and wow. But should the both of you be having this argument in front of the entire council?) She goes on to warn him that rather than let the nation crumble because of him, she would just as easily take charge if it seems his mind is too troubled to govern. (Wow. Learnt a lot from your mother-in-law didn’t you Queen Shim?) When the murmuring starts amongst the minister saying that they can’t have a Queen Regent, what with Sunjo being so healthy, Queen Shim brings in her ace in the hole: Sunjo’s doctor, who confesses to it all. (Damn) The minute Sunjo gets furious and screams that Queen Shim is setting him up, his illness flares up (talk about bad timing) and everyone can see the truth, especially Queen Shim who fakes concern for Sunjo’s wellbeing and tells him that she would rule in his stead. (Random question Queen Shim. You do remember that it was this quest for power that got your mother-in-law started on this journey of black magic, thus leading to the misfortune everyone is facing at the moment right?) Sunjo wakes up to Hong Joo by his bedside after she’d used her black magic to help him regain consciousness. When pressed about what it is she wants, she claims that she wants to help the country be rid of the source of all its troubles (reason 1 for you to be wary Sunjo. Because this chick holds the monarchy responsible for all the troubles of Joseon), wants to help dwindle the power of Queen Shim (reason 2 for you to be wary Sunjo. Because Hong Joo has also promised Queen Shim her son back and a chance to rule together with him) and that she wants to be Sunjo’s faithful servant (reason 3 to be wary Sunjo because Hong Joo is faithful to no one, nor is she anyone’s servant).
5. Jun is one smart, yet scared bunny
When tailing Seo Ri around as she continues to make her elixir and basically begs him not to bother her so she can get everything done on time so Yo Gwang can let him go, Jun notices the ghost seeing elixir she’s making and the minute it’s ready, downs it quickly before Seo Ri can stop him. A mark appears behind his ear (wonder what it means) and soon enough, Jun is heading out to go see some ghosts (how much am I betting that his first order of business would be to look for Man Wol?) so he can speak to them and find out all they know about a particular murderer. And because he has to leave, and he is basically Seo Ri’s boundary, he wraps a cloak around her and drags her right along with him. They get to town at about the same time Ok’s investigation has led him to Soon Deuk being the one who had organized that his palanquin be taken over by Jun’s men. While he plans on exactly how to get to Jun through Soon Deuk, Jun is walking around the market place showing Seo Ri the sights of town, until he’s startled by a child ghost glaring at him (Hahahah. I can’t even. Hahahaha. Well, you were the one that drank the ghost seeing elixir Jun. Deal with it. Hahahaha).
6. Everyone is sleuthing
From Poong Yeon and Sol Gae who are still convinced that Jun has something to do with the Red Gentleman’s Robe (really Poong Yeon? Give it up already!), and so are searching around the 100 year old tree for clues, to Seo Ri and Jun who are at the giseang house trying to see if they can locate Man Wol’s ghost, even though Seo Ri is curious as to how Jun knows so much about gisaengs and has a gisaeng friend. Their sleuthing has them ducking for cover when Jun spots someone, and thus they share a moment of being close to each other, which Seo Ri is affected by, a moment that is broken when seconds later, Jun peers around the corner and comes face to mangled face with a ghost gisaeng. (Hahaha. Oh Jun. You didn’t really think the whole let’s drink an elixir to see ghosts thing through did you?) He does find a ghost in Man Wol’s room though, except the ghost isn’t hers, though she terrified the shit out of him (Hahaha). Not being able to find Man Wol at where she was staying, Jun figures she must be at the spot where she died and heads there. And sure enough, he finds her there. When he asks her who killed her, she motions to a symbol on the floor, and then gives him a deep bow when he’s about to leave that has both of them smiling sadly at each other (Gah! Hong Joo!!! I shall never forgive you for this).
7. Seo Ri learns the truth
After concluding with Jun’s business, Seo Ri has a place she would like to visit before heading back home: the 100 year old tree. She gets there just as Poong Yeon leaves and so they both narrowly miss each other. Seo Ri’s eyes though are first affixed on the plaque Poong Yeon had left there, asking to be reunited with his loved one, and then to the various signs placed on the tree calling it a killing tree and even Jun trying to hurry her back to the temple with the claims that Yo Gwang would be worried can dissuade her from inquiring about the tree (see Yo Gwang? This is why you should have told he the truth from the onset!) Yo Gwang is as expected furious when they return asking Jun why he would take Seo Ri outside, only for Seo Ri to stop him with her questions about the 100 year tree and if it’s true that the twelve people whose candles had blown out were all dead. Yo Gwang’s silence is the affirmation she needs and she asks if it’s all Hong Joo’s doing. Yo Gwang guesses that Hong Joo probably found out about the candles and had been killing those that made wishes. Seo Ri of course immediately takes it to mean that all those people died because of her as well (sweetie, they died because of Hong Joo. It has nothing to do with you. It’s all her) and wonders exactly what she’d done wrong seeing that she’d thought all this while that the reason Hong Joo had wanted her dead was because of the curse, but now that she’s trying to break the curse, Hong Joo is foiling her efforts. Jun tries to dissuade her but Seo Ri just leaves to cry in private.
8. Jun gives Seo Ri a pep talk and things go a bit different from what Hong Joo expected
Whilst Queen Shim and Hong Joo are planning on how best to get the public praying for Sunjo’s health whilst Queen Shim takes charge of the throne so she can have things set for when the Crown Prince takes control of Sunjo’s body, Jun goes to meet Seo Ri in the corner where’s she crying and explains that he too had blamed himself for his mother and his friend’s deaths, and because of that, he hadn’t been able to do anything with his life. And yet, he wonders if it’s truly his fault. All he wanted to do was live like a human being and be a good son to his mother He wanted to do what everyone one else was doing and yet the world told him what he was doing was wrong, and he shouldn’t do anything. However, he didn’t want to live like that. He adds that they’d told him that even him being alive was a sin and so he’d decided to fight till death for his life and live on and hopefully, if he keeps right on doing that, he might just help someone else along the way, and thus find his reason to live. The next morning has Queen Shim making her move just like her and Hong Joo had planned, except, she tosses a wrench in the works by asking that the prayer session will not only take place at the shameness temple but also at the Imperial Taoist Branch. Hong Joo is not pleased at the news and Queen Shim points out to Sunjo that seeing that he’s always wanted to open the branch, now would be a good time to open it anyway, to win back the people’s support. And to make it even more better, she appoints Hyun Seo as the reinstalled head of the branch (wait what?! I did not see that coming).
9. Everyone choses sides and make their stand
After having done what Hyun Seo wanted, Queen Shim meets with him in her quarters where he explains that Hong Joo’s plan has always been to destroy Joseon by breaking down the monarchy. When Queen Shim explains her disbelief in Hong Joo destroying Joseon seeing that she’d promised to help break the curse, Hyun Seo fills her in on the secret that Hong Joo can’t break the black magic curse as she’s in all ways bound by the curse; the person who can break the curse however is the princess. At the same time, Hong Joo is meeting with Sunjo and feeding him lies about how the princess’s curse is what is cursing all the trouble Joseon is facing right now, and is also the reason for the king’s illness. Believing that Queen Shim started the whole affair and now wants to bury it, he asks Hong Joo to locate the princess to which, she smiles. Hyun Seo though finishes telling the Queen the story, and when she learns that her husband knew about it all along, she blames herself for it all (you’re only partially right. Your mother-in-law also played a role in this as well). Hyun Seo stops her though by telling her that her daughter is strong, powerful and smart enough to stop Hong Joo, and sure enough we see Seo Ri at the temple who has decided that rather than have those making wishes be attacked after they’ve gone to the tree and received their elixir, she would go meet them herself instead. It’s actually a pretty brilliant plan if she doesn’t get caught, which is what Yo Gwang is worried about: that Hong Joo would be able to catch her. Seo Ri is not worried though as her only concern is for Yo Gwang and Jun who she doesn’t want to see get hurt, and the innocent people she doesn’t want to see get killed. As for Hong Joo, she would wait for her to come and meet her. Yo Gwang is frustrated but Jun is proud of her standing up against cowards who will keep right on attacking unless they’re attacked right back.
10. Hong Joo and Hyun Seo are at a standoff; Poong Yeon and Yeon Hee meet
Back in his rooms, Hyun Seo doubles over in pain as his stab wound opens. Hong Joon presses the wound in further to cause him pain as she grits out her question as to why Hyun Seo would come back and challenge her like this. Hyun Seo though points out to her that even though he is aware that she’s probably trying to use him to get Yeon Hee killed, he won’t be controlled by her. At the words Hong Joo smiles, like she knows something he doesn’t know, and simply tells him to give her the princess. Hyun Seo has no plans on doing so, furthermore, he fully intends to make sure that Hong Joo dies via the very same curse she has created through her black magic and that he would never show his back to her again. Hong Joo simply tosses it right back at him that he shouldn’t forget that it’s her ‘black magic’ that is sustaining him, and he should come meet her should he be in any pain. On the other side of town, Seo Ri who has made the elixir for Poong Yeon to meet his missed loved on (even though she doesn’t know it’s for Poong Yeon) walks with Yo Gwang and Jun to the agreed meeting point with her elixir bottle in hand. They split up ways looking for the person who made the request with Yo Gwang going one way and Jun and Seo Ri going another. When Seo Ri calls out for the person who had made a wish at the tree to reveal herself, swords whip out in the dark, pointed at Jun and Seo Ri and then Sol Gae steps out with her sword out at Jun and Poong Yeon with his word at Seo Ri. The minute he sees her, the sword drops as they both call out to each other, stunned at who they’re seeing.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
Two weeks straight? Wow, Sunjo you’re really on a roll. So not only did you lie to your people last week, now you’re buying the words of a shaman you only met a short while ago, taking it all hook, like and sinker instead of asking for second opinions, if anything from the man you claim you ‘trust’ who is also Hyun Seo’s son and would be able to give you more of an insight into the matter. Instead, you’re letting you emotions guide you and buying Hong Joo’s crap? Your highness, no offense meant but you deserve to be bitchslapped. Hard.
Headache inducing moment:
None. Because the stars are aligning and everyone is getting off their asses and finally all our players are meeting, with the end result in mind: take down Hong Joo and break the curse. And hopefully, now Poong Yeon would stop chasing Jun about and accusing him of being the Red Gentleman’s Robe.
This episode’s a tall glass of Meyer lemon Rosemary Gin fizz. Because, when life hands you lemons like it’s done to Yeon Hee/Seo Ri, Jun, Yo Gwang, Hyun Seo, Poong Yeon and heck even Queen Shim, you get to work and turn them into lemonades with the alcoholic kick to get you in the best of spirits. Our guys are lining up and coming together and hopefully, they will soon be taking down the big bad. Until then, here’s a glass to everyone else watching Mirror of the Witch. Poong Yeon has finally met his sister, at the point when she’s already falling in love with Jun who loves her right back, and let’s not forget Poong Yeon’s trusty bodyguard who loves him secretly. It would be a tangled mess of emotions, all wrapped up in black magic, just the way we like it ;).