Sometimes, a whole lot of trouble can be avoided if only people communicate with each other. Yeon Hee’s reunited with Poong Yeon and Poong Yeon with his father. Jun lets his mother go and Hong Joo’s plot thickens. Sunjo is still being manipulated and Queen Shim is just starting to feel the sting of her mistakes. Hyun Seo still hasn’t learned from his and now Hong Joo has the upper hand.
Top 10 Moments:
- Jun, the ‘uniter’ of families
Remembering the horrible words Poong Yeon had spoken to her whilst underneath the influence of the curse, Seo Ri runs away, not wanting to bring harm to her brother. Except, her escape is halted by Jun who is curious as to why her Poong Yeon doesn’t know anything about what is going on (wait. So all this while, Poong Yeon is still in the dark? Even his mother hasn’t told him anything?) When he tries to get Seo Ri to tell Poong Yeon the truth, she snaps, asking exactly what truth she’s meant to tell. That a curse has turned her into an evil witch or that Poong Yeon would die should he stay around her? Sol Gae happens on their conversation but doesn’t interrupt as Jun tells her that he’s sure her brother would like an explanation from her. And besides, he’d thought she was done with hiding and running away. Whilst Jun is trying to get Seo Ri to meet her brother, Poong Yeon is telling Yo Gwang how thrilled he is that both he and Yeon Hee are safe. When he asks if it’s because of that incident that Yeon Hee has been avoiding him, Yo Gwang tells him that there’s a reason why they can’t tell him the whole truth (oh and what reason is that oh reasonable one? Why keep secrets when telling him the truth might help avert a future disaster hmm?) and that Poong Yeon looking away would be beneficial to them all. Thankfully, Poong Yeon is not having any of it as he reminds Yo Gwang that those are the words he’s always heard from his father, but now however, he would be the one to decide whether to not to see and stay near Yeon Hee. At that exact moment, Seo Ri steps forward and Poong Yeon walks over to pull her into a hug, thanking her for staying alive (awwww).
2. Poong Yeon gets summoned by the king to look for the princess
Whilst Queen Shim and Hong Joo engage in a silent war of watching each other’s steps, and Poong Yeon tries to get Seo Ri to tell him everything that’s happened to her, even though he can’t answer her questions about the health and welfare of Hyun Seo (wait, Hyun Seo still hasn’t shown himself to his son? That man sucks at being a father. Sheesh!), messengers come running in from the palace with a request from Sunjo for Poong Yeon to report to the Palace. He’s clearly hesitant about leaving Yeon Hee, but he finagles a promise from her that they would meet the next day and then tosses a “I will question you for your crimes” at Jun (seriously Poong Yeon? Let it go already!), to which Jun replies that he hasn’t committed any crime. Poong Yeon’s yeah right is silent as he walks to his horse, mounts it and is soon on his way to the palace. Soon enough, Poong Yeon is in front of Sunjo who informs him of Queen Shim’s cursed princess who would be the cure for his illness should she be found. When Poong Yeon asks if that’s what Hong Joo told him because he thinks Sunjo is being blinded by Hong Joo’s fickleness. Sunjo is of course still being idiotic and obstinate as he blames Hyun Seo for not killing the cursed princess (dude! That’s a life you’re talking about. How easy it is for you to ask for her death when you want to live. Asswipe). He also tosses the bomb that Hyun Seo manipulated Queen Shim into rebuilding the Imperial Taoist Branch. (In other words Poong Yeon, your daddy’s back). When he notices that Poong Yeon still looks conflicted, Sunjo finishes the job by asking Poong Yeon what he would do should Sunjo’s life be in danger, to which Poong Yeon replies that he would sacrifice his life for his king. The answer pleases Sunjo who asks Poong Yeon to sever his relationship ties with his father (wait what?), because he wants to know if he can trust Hong Joo and whether or not the princess is alive (still don’t get your logic there thorny king) and the only way he can do that is is for Poong Yeon to investigate his father without any personal feelings getting in the way (says the man that is being driven purely by emotion instead of reason) and to secretly bring him the princess. (Dude, you are one self delusional king. Wonder what Poong Yeon would do once he finds out that the princess you intend for your self sacrifice is Yeon Hee).
3. Soon Deuk gets rescued and Jun mets his vengeance on Ok
Whilst bemoaning the fact that the Red Gentleman’s Robe didn’t show up, thus not giving them a chance to test their skills (Seriously Jun? You too Yo Gwang? Neither of you can take out that masked red robe killer yet. Who are you fronting for?), Jun, Seo Ri and Yo Gwang happen upon Soon Deuk being dragged by Ok’s men and getting public humiliated on the basis that she belittled Ok (fucking asshole. I hope someone stabs you soon), thus mocking the hierarchal system upon which the nation is built (it’s all a load of hogwash and you know it too Ok. Entitled prick). Ok claims that he would have Soon Deuk dragged around town till she learns the errors of her ways, except Soon Deuk is having none of it, and threatens to scoop out Ok’s innards with a spoon (bloody, messy and painful. I like) and tells him to snap out of it, Jun wouldn’t come and rescue her because she’s not in anyway affiliated with Jun. Except when Ok threatens Soon Deuk’s mother to be punished in her stead, Jun jumps into the fray, knocks down Ok’s men, knocks down Ok himself, cuts Soon Deuk loose, and then all of them, Yo Gwang and Seo Ri inclusive run away. When he’s sure the others are safe and away from the men, Jun heads back for Ok, whilst Seo Ri, suspecting that he’s about to do something he would regret, runs after him, leaving Soon Deuk and Yo Gwang to give each other looks of disgust (Hahaha. They do look cute together now that I think about it). After knocking out Ok, Jun drags him to the shed where Ok had left his mother to die. When Ok spends the time complaining that everything that has gone wrong in his life is because of Jun (why that… I ought to punch him in the face myself), Jun asks if that’s why Ok killed his mother. Ok straight up lies that Jun’s mother crawled into the fire herself because a slave that runs away from home shouldn’t be allowed to live. He adds that Jun was the one that pushed his mother into the fire himself. The words strike Jun where it hurts as he tearfully admits that indeed he was the one who caused his mother’s death, what with his having no power at all. But then, his eyes harden as he tells Ok that it is only right that they end it here, and asks Ok to look around, see if he recognizes where he’s at. As Ok, alarmed, figures out where he’s at, he starts to plead when Joon raises the sword to his neck. As Joon makes the move to strike, Seo Ri runs in, not being able to stand outside and allow Jun to carry on with it. Her words are not enough to stop Jun though who raises his sword and strikes at Ok.
4. Jun lights a candle
Jun’s blade however, stops several inches shy of a shocked Ok, who realizing that he survived, runs away like the big baby he is (I’m sure you’re heading to go cry for your mother as always. Coward). Jun though falls to his knees, shaking and in tears as his mother’s ghost draws closer to him. He cries as he apologizes to her for being a lame son who couldn’t take revenge on her killer; but he just couldn’t kill Ok. His mother simply kneels down in front of him, silent as she smiles at him, holds his face in her hands and wipes away his tears. And with that done, she rises, turns back for one more look at him and then fades away, causing the ghost seeing symbol behind Jun’s ear to disappear, and leaving Jun to break down in tears, while Seo Ri comforts him. Meanwhile, somewhere in the mountain, one of Seo Ri’s candles light up and in her own temple, Hong Joo doubles over in pain as she coughs up blood.
5. Father and son meet
With Sunjo’s words about his father’s return echoing in his head, Poong Yeon runs to the Imperial Taoist Branch temple, where sure enough Hyun Seo turns around to greet him with a smile. Inside, Poong Yeon asks his father how he has been and Hyun Seo instead of answering, apologizes for not having contacted Poong Yeon, claiming that he had his reasons (seriously, y’all have to stop being vague with the guy. He is pretty smart when he’s not intent on capturing Jun for some inexplicable reason that is). When Poong Yeon mentions that his mother misses her husband and asks why Hyun Seo hasn’t been home, Hyun Seo replies that he would return after he’s handled everything, but puts Poong Yeon’s mother in the care of Poong Yeon. When Poong Yeon expresses his worry that he’d thought that that night, five years prior would be the last time he would see his father, Hyun Seo responds by asking if Poong Yeon has seen Yeon Hee, and then looks sad when Poong Yeon smiles that yes he has. Poong Yeon is quick to want to tell his father how Yeon Hee is doing but Hyun Seo cuts him off by asking if his feelings for Yeon Hee still haven’t changed. Poong Yeon replies that it has; it has grown from being a childhood crush to so much more. He tells his father that he won’t ask him anymore for answers or reasons, instead, he intends to hold on tightly to Yeon Hee and not let her go (admirable of you Poong Yeon. Except we also have to consider the lady’s feelings in this as well. She’s not some doll to be yanked about you know). When Hyun Seo asks if Poong Yeon’s mind would still remain resolute even if it means his feelings for Yeon Hee would lead to Poong Yeon’s death, Poong Yeon replies that he won’t stop, even if his life is his danger (I hope you remember those words Poong Yeon. You can’t take them back you know).
6. Jun gains an ally and team Seo Ri learns something new
After getting back to town, Jun worried for Soon Deuk asks her if she has a place to hide so she doesn’t cross path with a soon to be extremely angry Ok. When he’s about to suggest the mountain as a possible hiding place, Yo Gwang cuts in, refusing to offer up their refuge to a ‘beggar’ like Soon Deuk; a response to Soon Deuk’s insult in calling him a dirty man with a dirty haircut (Hahaha). Soon Deuk though tells Yo Gwang that she might like to scam people, but she doesn’t like being indebted to anyone. She does soften when she tells Jun where he can look for her should he need her help in any form, but adds with a cheeky grin that he should come with money, because her services don’t come cheap. And with those words, she lumbers off, leaving a spluttering Yo Gwang to ask “what’s wrong with that tiny girl” (Hehehe. You both will be perfect for each other. Seriously). Back at the mountain, Seo Ri and Yo Gwang are surprised to find a candle lit, all by itself. When they try to figure out whose wishes Seo Ri had made come true, Seo Ri remembers Jun drinking her elixir (the one she made for someone who wanted to see ghosts) and soon they’re both engulfing Jun in hugs as they tell him that the candles can now be lit without wish plaques and Jun has succeeded in lighting one all by himself (awww. But does that mean Jun can’t see ghosts anymore? I kind of liked that he could). Seo Ri’s happy smile at this coincidence has Jun entranced as he can only smile back at her shyly, thrilled that she’s happy. Yo Gwang then moves on to the next urgent thing: how to find out people’s wishes without going to each and everyone one of them to ask them for what it is that they wish for. Seo Ri though would rather worry about that later as she’s just thrilled at their present good fortune (Awww. Happy Seo Ri is the sweetest thing).
7. Hong Joo makes her point
Surprised that the candles can now light themselves without someone lighting them (wait, how does she know this?), Hong Joo summons the Red Gentleman’s Robe as she decides that the princess has to be brought to her. She walks away with the jar containing the Crown Prince soul, which is why nighttime has the Crown Prince in corporeal form waking Queen Shim up with cries of “mother”. Queen Shim, not willing to believe in what she’s seeing, tells him to leave, and has to restrain herself when he asks her to help him. She turns her face towards the wall and the Crown Prince turns and walks away, and Queen Shim hurries after him (no, don’t break. Don’t break!). He stops when he notices her, and even as he’s begging her to free him from the pain and save him, Hong Joo appears from behind him, holding up the jar. When Queen Shim asks what Hong Joo is up to now, Hong Joo merely pushes her magic into the jar, causing the Crown Prince to clutch at his throat as if he’s being strangled. Hong Joo keeps at it, accusing Queen Shim of siding with Hyun Seo in order to defeat her, and even Hyun Seo showing up is not enough to stop her from torturing the Crown Prince before his mother’s very eyes. When Hyun Seo raises his sword at her, the dark magic in him reacts, turning his hands black and weakening him so badly that he has to drop the sword, even as Hong Joo tells him that if he wouldn’t stand with her, he shouldn’t bother coming close to her. With the Crown Prince crying out in pain, and Queen Shim crying alongside him, and Hong Joo screaming at Queen Shim, asking if she would dare go against her, Hyun Seo manages to pick up his fallen sword and swipe at the Crown Prince, causing the Crown Prince’s spirit to return to Hong Joo’s jar. When Hong Joo holds out the jar, asking Hyun Seo if he wants to break it and cause the Crown Prince’s spirit to wander the earth. Hyun Seo thanks Hong Joo for showing him her precious card, but can’t seem to break the jar (why Hyun Seo? Is it for the sake of Queen Shim? Yeon Hee? Hong Joo or the Crown Prince himself?). Hong Joo, to further cement her point, then makes an attempt to drop the jar herself when Queen Shim agrees to remove the restraining order she’d placed on Hong Joo, and give the shamaness back her henchgirls. Hong Joo nods like order has been restored to the world (woman, this is why I love that this show is dark. Because your end, shall be bloody, gruesome, painful, and full of screams, just the way I like evil witches like you to go down) and leaves Queen Shim with the warning to remember exactly who is out to save the Crown Prince and who doesn’t wants that to happen. Back at his office, Hyun Seo uses his calculation of Sunjo and the Crown Princes date and time of birth to figure out the transference of souls that Hong Joo has planned. (Random question though, where is Sunjo when all this ruckus was happening? Like that king sleeps at the most inopportune of moments).
8. Poong Yeon turns Sol Gae into his personal shopper and living doll
Whilst Seo Ri wakes up from her dream about being captured by a smiling Hong Joo and Sunjo who turns into the Crown Prince stabs her in the chest (wait, is that a dream or a premonition like your mother Hae Ran used to have Seo Ri?), Poong Yeon with Sol Gae behind him, wanders the market, indecisive of what to get for Yeon Hee (Awww). He stops by a stall selling hairpins and at first holds up different kinds against Sol Gae’s hair, then has her pick out one for himself instead. She picks out one for him, and then picks another pretty one. But when Poong Yeon asks her if she wants one for herself, she scoffs as to what she would use it for and drops it (but you’re still a girl Sol Gae, and you like pretty things, as pretty as you. We know that. There’s no need to hide it). Next, they move to a merchant selling fabrics, and when the merchant asks for Yeon Hee’s size, Poong Yeon pushes a startled Sol Gae forward saying that it can be tailored to fit her (Hahaha). When they get to the meeting point, Poong Yeon considers leaving again to go pick up the clothes he had tailored for Yeon Hee, but Sol Gae volunteers to go. Poong Yeon stops her before she can leave and hands her the hairpin she’d liked, which he had bought for her. (Awww. How can she not help but fall for you when you keep doing nice things like this Poong Yeon?) When Sol Gae gets to the merchant, he hands her the clothes he’s sewn and insists she try them on, seeing that they were tailored after her measurements. Sol Gae can’t refuse and as she changes clothes, we catch a brief glimpse of a plethora of scars, one of which looks like the scar Poong Yeon had left on the Red Gentleman’s Robe’s upper arm and a tattoo (wait… isn’t that the same mark inscribed into the ground that Mal Wol had shown Jun when he’d asked for her killer’s identity? This can’t be good). Sol Gae finishes changing, and looks real pretty too. She holds up the pin Poong Yeon had given her and smiles, then her face drops as she drops the pin.
9. Hyun Seo shares his suspicions with Queen Shim and Hong Joo makes her plans
Placing the document he’d drawn up before her, Hyun Seo explains to Queen Shim his belief of what he thinks Hong Joo plans on doing. Queen Shim admits that Hong Joo had promised to put the Crown Prince on the throne, but she believes that Hong Joo’s true plan is to sit on the throne herself. But that is the least of Queen Shim’s worries as Hyun Seo tells her that for Hong Joo’s plan to succeed, she would need the Crown Prince to kill his sister as he is the only one who can do so, and the minute he does, Yeon Hee’s curse would be transferred to the royal family. Whilst Queen Shim wails as to why her children have to suffer like this (wait what? You can’t tell us you’ve forgotten already Queen Shim? You making a deal with the devil, luring an innocent girl into your husband’s bed, stealing that innocent girl’s children and having them transplanted into you, and then killing that innocent girl when she tried to kill Hong Joo. Remember what the girl said then? The future she foretold as a result of your family dabbling into black magic? Well, that’s your answer then). Hyun Seo explains to Queen Shim that Hong Joo would have a two hour window on the day of the Rooster, which is when the stars perfectly aline for the Crown Prince and Sunjo, meaning the former can take full control of the latter’s body and that Hong Joo would probably try and have Yeon Hee brought to the Palace before then (I’m guessing the day of the rooster has almost arrived then?) When Queen Shim asks if he can stop Hong Joo, considering his weakened state, Hyun Seo lies that it was nothing, but reassures Queen Shim that there’s someone who would sacrifice his life for Yeon Hee (I’m guessing he means Poong Yeon, but we all know the same goes for Jun as well. In fact, Jun has already sacrificed his life for her once) and this person would even be the one to break the curse (wait what? I thought you told Yeon Hee that she is the one that can break the curse? Drats! It’s all in that last page you’re keeping to yourself isn’t it Hyun Seo?) Hong Joo meanwhile meets with Sunjo asking that he give his body to her during Yeon Hee’s ‘cleansing’ ceremony so she can rid Sunjo of his negative energy as well. She tells him that he should think of it as a long nap and that when he wakes, his illness would be completely cured and it would seem like he was totally reborn (Oh you’ll be reborn alright. As someone else). Sunjo who is utterly focused on his pain, agrees.
10. Everything comes crashing down
Whilst Yo Gwang is meeting with Hyun Seo who explains to him that he was the one that broke Yeon Hee’s boundary and he needs a Yo Gwang to do something for him, a grumbling Jun is following Seo Ri to her meeting point, having failed to prevent her from coming for the meeting even after he’d pretended that he was terrified of seeing ghosts and had an upset stomach. Seo Ri is just getting Jun to smile, by smiling adorably at him when out of the bushes someone starts throwing darts at Jun, forcing him to grab Seo Ri’s hands and make a run for it. Poong Yeon who is waiting not too far from where they’re at, notices Seo Ri and Jun fleeing, and someone throwing darts at them and follows after them just as Sol Gae arrives, with clothes in hands to see Poong Yeon run off. The attacker who we discover is Yo Gwang in disguise (huh?) manages to separate Seo Ri from Jun, on Hyun Seo’s orders so Poong Yeon can witness Yeon Hee’s curse (wait what?!) because if Poong Yeon doesn’t have a change of heart after seeing Yeon Hee’s curse, then he would be the last one to break the curse. (Wait. Why go through all that when there is already one man whose heart didn’t change after witnessing Yeon Hee’s curse?). And just as planned, Poong Yeon runs into Seo Ri, as we hear Hyun Seo in voiceover, apologize to his son for leading him to his death, seeing that it is only the sacrifice of true love that can break the curse (wow. So either way, someone is going to die? This had better be some metaphorical death because… drats!). We then pan to the package Sol Gae was carrying; the one with Yeon Hee’s clothes, then a sword on top of it, the Red Gentleman’s Robe’s mask beside them and someone distinctly female and with that same tattoo, putting on the red garment. (is that you Sol Gae because if it is you, where are all your scars from the shop? But if it isn’t you, how does this new chick have your length of hair and that same tattoo in that same spot? Or is that tattoo some sort of in into like a bodyguard society? Or are there several Red Gentlemen’s Robes? What is happening here people?) At the same time, Poong Yeon is trying to lead Seo Ri away, except she pulls her hand out of his just as the curse takes effect and her hair turns white. Seo Ri cries as Poong Yeon takes a couple of steps back in shock and from behind the trees, the Red Gentleman’s Robe steps out. As Poong Yeon makes to attack the person, his curse acts up and he falls to the ground. As the Red Gentleman’s Robe tries to attack Seo Ri, her eyes flash, and in a move reminiscent of Hae Ran, she tosses the being straight up in the air and starts to telekinetically strangle the person. Only Poong Yeon calling her “Yeon Hee” restores her back to herself as she lets the Red Gentleman’s Robe drops to the ground. She moves towards Poong Yeon, and stops, hurt as Poong Yeon scrambles back, away from her. Distracted, Seo Ri is hit with a talisman dart by the Red Gentleman’s Robe, and thus the Red Gentleman’s Robe is able to carry her away and dashes off, chased by Jun and Yo Gwang who come on the scene, and Poong Yeon when the curse deactivates. But it’s too late and the Red Gentleman’s Robe is able to take Seo Ri to Hong Joo’s temple, which is where Seo Ri comes to, bound the same way she was bound in her dream (or premonition after all) whilst a smiling Hong Joo enters the space, calling her ‘baby’ as she tells her that it’s been a while even though it’s obvious Seo Ri still remembers her.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
Because you’ve failed as a king (you lied to your people), you’ve failed as a friend (you’re manipulating the only supposed friend you have so he can choose you over his father) and you’ve failed as a cousin (because Hong Joo wants to kill your cousin. What you’re basically saying is that your cousin should have died for no other reason than she’d had the misfortune to have been born cursed).
Headache inducing moment:
Because with that look in Hong Joo’s eyes, I was terrified for Seo Ri. Forget that we have 6 more episodes to go and Seo Ri can’t die yet, it doesn’t mean that Hong Joo can’t torture her and that has me terrified and screaming for someone, anyone to please come and get our girl out of there. Stat!
This episode’s a blood orange rosemary cocktail, because although there might have been some sweet (thanks to all your adoring looks Jun. We love you), this is serious business and we need all the fortitude to get through this, right alongside Seo Ri/Yeon Hee. Please stay safe and unharmed.