True love is all about seeing and wanting only the best for the person you love, and Jun has it in buckets and spades. Hong Joo tells us her story and gives us an idea of what’s driving her. Poong Yeon is still focused on restoring Yeon Hee to her past self whilst Yeon Hee has moved on to a new love she must leave again, so she can live and find herself. Jun gets suspicious about Sol Gae and Hyun Seo is violated in the most vile of ways.
Top 10 Moments:
- Hong Joo’s life is spared
Whilst Seo Ri screams that even if she won’t be able to break the curse without Hong Joo, Hong Joo’s very existence is in itself a curse and she wants the woman to die, Yo Gwang regains consciousness and begs Seo Ri not to commit murder as if she does so, all the candles would go out (I guess I see it. Because she’s a ‘pure’ soul and murder brings it with a certain taint that makes a soul not so pure anymore. It still doesn’t mean I wasn’t hoping Hong Joo would be killed. Or that she would lose a limb or something. But then again, it would be even better when the black magic tears her apart so I’m willing to wait). When Yo Gwang mentions that they need to take care of Jun first, the words are enough to get Seo Ri to snap out of her rage and literarily toss Hong Joo aside. She and Yo Gwang leave with Yo Gwang carrying Jun, although Hong Joo is not grateful to be alive as she screams at her henchgirls to go after Seo Ri. Thankfully, the only one left standing is Sol Gae’s Red Gentleman’s Robe who instead carries Hong Joo to safety. Meanwhile, Queen Shim who had noticed the mass exodus of Hong Joo and her henchgirls, hurries to Hyun Seo to tell him to go help the Princess, only for their conversation to be interrupted by jackass Sunjo, who asks if there’s another princess other than the one he is aware of. Queen Shim though doesn’t back down as she tells him that of course there has to be a princess; Sunjo doesn’t have an heir after all, and that is what she was talking to Hyun Seo about: a possible heir. Sunjo laughs at the fact that all Queen Shim is concerned about is an heir when he is still so weak, whilst Hyun Seo interrupts to say that they’re praying constantly for Sunjo’s recovery so he can have many heirs. Sunjo though finds it ironic that both the shamans and the Taoists are praying and yet his ailment hasn’t gotten any better to which Queen Shim points out the fact that if the royal physician couldn’t cure him, he can’t expect to get better overnight. Sunjo then asks Hyun Seo exactly why the latter thinks Hong Joo’s prayers aren’t working in curing him, to which Hyun Seo answers that it’s because of Hong Joo’s black magic that Sunjo’s illness persists and it’s the reason why his most faithful advisors are leaving him. He tells Sunjo that his prayers therefore are about getting rid of Hong Joo, the blight on the kingdom, to which Sunjo smiles and says that Poong Yeon is exactly like his father. He then threatens that if Hyun Seo’s words go beyond just giving mere advice, he will punish him and should he be backstabbed, he shall ensure that Queen Shim is punished as well (you should just be hoping you live long enough to do all that, stupid thorny King).
2. The curse takes effect
Seo Ri and Yo Gwang finally manage to get Jun to a cave where Seo Ri falls back into lamenting that it’s because of her curse that Jun is now dead (firstly, Jun isn’t dead. Secondly, it was Hong Joo that willfully stabbed him. It has nothing to do with your curse). She finally manages to get Yo Gwang to hurry off to get a talisman for Hyun Seo because Jun’s protective talisman barrier had broken due to the stabbing and now he too is subject to the curse. Hong Joo meanwhile is not in way, shape, or form grateful to Sol Gae who had gotten her out of the temple. Instead, she’s suspicious as to why Sol Gae didn’t go after the princess. When Sol Gae explains that her body had reacted first, Hong Joo stumbles forward, wanting to go after Seo Ri herself. Except, she crumbles to the floor before she can go much further (and I hope you stay down Shamaness). Just after Queen Shim leaves, with a command to Hyun Seo to make sure that the princess isn’t captured (she has a name madam. Use it), Yo Gwang comes running in to appraise Hyun Seo on everything that’s happened. Hyun Seo then sends Yo Gwang to find Poong Yeon so they can move Yeon Hee to the safe place Yo Gwang had suggested: Soon Deuk’s hideout whilst Hyun Seo prepares a barrier that would most likely kill him. Before Yo Gwang leaves though, Hyun Seo asks him for the oblivion elixir. Meanwhile, Seo Ri is with Jun who has finally woken up, but who is coughing up blood and seeing the white ghost child, as per the curse’s projection of Seo Ri. He starts to shake in fear and Seo Ri makes to leave. But unlike Poong Yeon who had screamed at Seo Ri the monster to leave him alone when he had been having his own vision, Jun on the other hand, grabs hold of Seo Ri and begs her not to go (see the difference here? He knows she’s not the monster he’s seeing. Even ill, even under a curse, Jun is still aware that Seo Ri is not a monster and that is why we love him). Seo Ri then hugs him and it’s this sight that Poong Yeon happens upon as he realizes to whom Seo Ri’s love has gone. But when Poong Yeon notices Jun’s fright and awareness of the spirit, he piggybacks him out of the cave and towards their safe haven (thank heavens for small mercies that he came alone and not with Sol Gae in tow).
3. Seo Ri puts Poong Yeon in his place and Jun sets Soon Deuk to investigating
With Hyun Seo considering what the final sacrifice will be, as he remembers Yo Gwang telling him about Jun being the one Seo Ri has fallen for, Soon Deuk receives surprise visitors: Seo Ri with her hair change and a clearly frightened and broken Jun cowering in a corner. Poong Yeon and Yo Gwang meanwhile, are outside the house as Yo Gwang explains to Poong Yeon how the curse works: if Yeon Hee can’t break the curse, Jun will be ill for half a month and then die, as that is the nature of her curse: watching those she loves needlessly die. Poong Yeon’s suggestion therefore is that they leave Jun behind and flee with Seo Ri to find a way to break her curse as doing otherwise will just slow them down (sure it’s not because your ass is jealous huh Poong Yeon? How dare you suggest they leave Jun behind. I hope Seo Ri doesn’t buy your crap). Unfortunately for Poong Yeon, Seo Ri overhears the conversation and levels him with a look of pure betrayal. When she insists that they’re not going anywhere without Jun, Poong Yeon asks how important Jun is to her that she is going through all that trouble and if Poong Yeon had meant nothing to her at all (why does it have to be about you Poong Yeon?). Seo Ri answers that Poong Yeon had been the older brother who had looked out for her and understood her when she was upset, to which Poong Yeon replies that she had been the sister who had held his hand and trusted him, and he misses that sister. Seo Ri denies it though, telling him that the sister he misses is the foolish one who had been ignorant of everything else outside of the Black Forest and who had clung to his every word. Unfortunately, that girl no longer exists (speak it Seo Ri). Poong Yeon though is still convinced that Seo Ri’s changed because of the curse and tells her as much. Seo Ri, thankfully doesn’t reply him and chooses to leave instead. Meanwhile, Soon Duk who is now alone with Jun is given a drawn image of the symbol Man Wol had pointed out to Jun as belonging to her killer, and Jun tells her to investigate the symbol.
4. Hong Joo tells us her story
After being rejected by Seo Ri, Poong Yeon being the idiot who has totally forgotten the originator of the whole sordid mess in the first place, heads to the shamaness temple to confront Hong Joo, and barely misses seeing Sol Gae who had been attending to her. Poong Yeon, comes with sword drawn asking Hong Joo exactly how to restore Yeon Hee to her former self (dude, even when the curse is broken, she is never coming back to you you nitwit). Hong Joo simply replies that she likes the look of hurt in his eyes and asks him if he thinks Yeon Hee’s feelings will go back to him if he kills her. She even adds that Yeon Hee’s heart might not have even belonged to him in the first place (you know a whole lot of things is wrong when Hong Joo starts speaking sense). Poong Yeon though is focused on blaming Hong Joo’s black magic for the change in Yeon Hee and Sunjo’s illness to which Hong Joo informs him that she learned how to practice black magic from his father (bomb, dropped). When Poong Yeon doesn’t believe her, Hong Joo explains that she’d been a court lady who had run to Hyun Seo for help after she’d been forcefully dragged into having sex with the king and producing an heir and then almost getting killed when things didn’t go as planned (oh, you mean like the exact same thing you did to Hae Ran, except that you succeeded?). When past Hong Joo had said that she intends to make everyone pay, past Hyun Seo had warned her of her powers getting twisted if she continued to think like that. And then because the man really thought that Hong Joo had moved on beyond her hatred, Hyun Seo had gone ahead to teach her, informing her that she must be willing to throw everything away for the greater good (see what you did there Hyun Seo? You gave her power and gave her an extreme ideology to go along with it. Do everything for the greater good indeed. Bah!). Throughout the conversation, Hong Joo’s attention had been captured by a particular box, and one day, whilst cleaning, the whispers from the box, tempting her to get her revenge had captured her attention and she’d opened it and gotten infused with black magic. That she tells Poong Yeon is how she’d gotten set on her path, not because she had been taught black magic by Hyun Seo but because he had out of guilt tried to stop her because she had once been his pupil. We then snap back to the present as Hong Joo tells Poong Yeon that everything he’s feeling at the moment is as a result of his father’s mistake. She also tells him to resent the people who have wronged and hurt him as that’s the only way he can survive. Poong Yeon though tells her that he would atone for his father, but she must never speak such nonsense to him again. He then makes to leave but doesn’t leave fast enough and is able to hear Hong Joo tell him that one day he would come to her for help (I sure as hell hope not! Although with how reckless Poong Yeon can be and how slighted he feels, I see the possibility of that happening).
5. Poong Yeon questions Hyun Seo as a soldier and as a son & Sunjo loses a friend
Back from Hong Joo’s temple, Poong Yeon heads to the Taoist temple where Hyun Seo is working on the talisman for Seo Ri. He then asks Hyun Seo, as a captain of the Royal Guard, why Hyun Seo saved the princess. Next, he asks Hyun Seo, as a son, why Hyun Seo had saved Hong Joo when he’d known that she uses black magic. Hyun Seo answers that he’d thought he could make her good again (in other words, you were a blind old man). Poong Yeon then asks Hyun Seo if he’d trusted Hong Joo because if he had, then he was the one responsible and the one who should be charged for causing the curse. Poong Yeon’s reasons are simple. If Hyun Seo is still attached to his formal pupil then he could bode a danger to Yeon Hee which Poong Yeon cannot allow. Hyun Seo then answers his son and tells Poong Yeon not to trust him as he’s the reason for the curse on Seo Ri and it’s also because he had deceived Poong Yeon that Poong Yeon can’t accept Yeon Hee. Poong Yeon then leaves his father, but not before telling Hyun Seo that he would break Yeon Hee’s curse. Next Poong Yeon pays a visit to Sunjo to inform him that he won’t be following Sunjo’s orders and no amount of emotional blackmail from Sunjo is able to change his mind. Poong Yeon instead admits to his fault in not being able to follow Sunjo’s commands and his father’s fault in causing the whole mess and Sunjo removes him from his post as the Captain of the Royal Guard and informs him that they’re no longer friends (sure Sunjo. Toss out the only friend you’ve got and continue to live with the vipers and snakes in the Palace. I really don’t care about you anymore. As long as you’re not hurting Jun or Seo Ri).
6. Yo Gwang and Soon Deuk are just too cute together
Meanwhile, on a lighter note, Soon Deuk is in front of Jun’s room, spreading salt around the premises as she tries to vanquish evil spirits away from Jun (Awwww. So sweet). But she makes such a racket of it that Yo Gwang spots her. When he questions what she’s doing, Soon Deuk takes to spraying him with salt so as to get rid of him, the evil spirit (hahahaha. I love how this two flirt). When Yo Gwang finally yells at her to stop, Soon Deuk gives him a suspicious look as she wonders why Jun is possessed by an evil spirit while Yo Gwang is alright (hahaha). Yo Gwang cuts himself off before he can spill the beans about it being a curse and not a possession and instead grabs hold of Soon Deuk’s hands and asks her for help in planning their escape away from the bad people seeking to cause them harm. It seems to work, until Soon Deuk spins around and starts pouring even more salt in Yo Gwang’s face (hahahaha). Soon they’re both involved in a tussle until Soon Deuk breaks away and runs off, leaving Yo Gwang behind to talk to Hyun Seo who has finally showed up.
7. Hyun Seo tests Jun
In the room, alone with Jun, Hyun Seo pulls out the oblivion elixir and pushes it towards Jun, telling him that should he drink the elixir, Jun would forget all about Yeon Hee and that would therefore save Jun’s life. He also makes sure to add that that’s the only way Jun’s life can be saved. Jun asks Hyun Seo if Hyun Seo is asking him to run away like a coward to which Hyun Seo answers that if Jun dies, then Yeon Hee would be left to shoulder the misery alone. Thus, the offer is not just to benefit Jun but to benefit Yeon Hee as well (wait what? How is, leave the woman you love alone and miserable a good enough incentive to drink the oblivion potion. You seriously need to learn better salesmanship Hyun Seo because you suck at this). And although Jun makes to drink it at first, he changes his mind and pours the potion away (Jun, every time, you win just a little bit of my heart. How I love you!). He tells Hyun Seo that he’s not letting go of the memories as they’re a precious gift from Yeon Hee to him (awwwwww) and he refuses to let go of them. instead, he would fight his damnedest to survive and protect her no matter what. As Jun speaks, Hyun Seo thinks to himself that indeed Jun is the one that would be willing to sacrifice himself for Yeon Hee and thus, light the final candle. Outside Jun’s room, Hyun Seo runs into Seo Ri who he asks him about the talisman. Hyun Seo tells her that he will make one for when she’s on the run, and Seo Ri points to the fact that nowhere they go is safe anymore as Hong Joo will continue to pursue her. She then requests Hyun Seo to deliver a letter from her to Queen Shim who reads the contents and wonders if Seo Ri’s request is a good idea. Hyun Seo though is in support of it and Queen Shim agrees to the plan (as long as her request is not to meet Hong Joo face to face, then I’m fine).
8. Seo Ri says farewell to Jun and Sunjo still has a bug up his ass about capturing Seo Ri
At night, whilst Jun and Seo Ri hold hands, Jun asks her to never let go of his hand, even as he will never let go of hers (awwww). Seo Ri though drops the bad news that she will be leaving the next day. When Jun asks if it’s because of him, she shakes her head as she says she’s heading out so she can figure out how she will live and so she can discover who she is and where she can go (awwww. Our baby bird is growing). Jun takes it in stride as he admits that they’re on the same side, with him wanting to catch the Red Gentleman’s Robe whilst Seo Ri wants to catch the woman controlling the murderer. He volunteers Seo Ri as the leader of their team saying with a smile that he finds her intimidating and so is willing to obey her (Awwww. How are you so sweet Jun?). He sends her off, telling her not to worry about him, or get herself hurt as he will come and find her and he’s sure they will definitely meet again. Seo Ri, with tears in her eyes, nods. Meanwhile, in the Palace, Sunjo summons Ok and gives him the instruction to bring Yeon Hee to him at all cost (seriously Sunjo. By the time the dust settles, I hope you know that you have a lot to make up for with how much of an ass you are at the moment).
9. Jun suspects Sol Gae’s secret & Queen Shim comes to the rescue
Unaware that he’s basically taking the Red Gentleman’s Robe to Seo Ri’s hideout, Poong Yeon heads to Soon Deuk’s hideout with Sol Gae in tow. He is also unaware that Ok, using his brains for once has been secretly tailing him. When he gets to the hideout, he is surprised to see the palanquin that had been brought for Seo Ri’s journey and whilst Sol Gae leaves with the excuse of looking around, Seo Ri who is outside Jun’s door, trying to work up the courage to say her final farewell is captured by the Red Gentleman’s Robe. Jun, although weak, is thankfully able to follow and is able to pull on the Red Gentleman’s Robe, long enough for Poong Yeon and Yo Gwang to show up. When the Red Gentleman’s Robe takes off and Poong Yeon chases after the person, Seo Ri notices the blood on Jun’s hands and asks him if he’s hurt. But Jun, knowing that the blood isn’t his flashes back to when he’d grabbed Sol Gae’s shoulder and she’d started to bleed, and remembering that he had grabbed the Red Gentleman’s Robe’s shoulder as well, puts it all together and starts to suspect that Sol Gae is the Red Gentleman’s Robe (huh, Jun. You do know that someone bleeding at the same spot as the Red Gentleman’s Robe does not the Red Gentleman’s Robe make. You will need bigger proof than that). Poong Yeon urges Seo Ri to go and promises to take care of Jun, unaware of the fact that Ok has spotted Seo Ri’s face and remembers her as the girl who had come in with Jun and kept Jun from killing him (I’m guessing there’s no use hoping that he would remember that Seo Ri saved his life huh?). Ok also notices that Poong Yeon is helping along a limping Jun and smiles at his good fortune. Hong Joo meanwhile, shows up and spotting the palanquin has her henchgirls chase it. Except, when the henchgirls get to the palanquin, Seo Ri isn’t in it. Just as Hong Joo spots yet another palanquin, Queen Shim’s palanquin shows up and Hong Joo walks up to her to ask if Queen Shim has hidden away the princess. Queen Shim simply feigns ignorance and even when Hong Joo asks her if she’s trying to oppose her plans again, Queen Shim denies it all with a smile. Hong Joo lets her go and continues with her search. Seo Ri meanwhile is safe in her palanquin and remembering her request to hide in her enemies plain sight: in the Palace. Hyun Seo had promised to make her a talisman and warned her not to feel guilty if he dies in procuring it. He does smile though that he’s proud of how brave she’s become and smiles again when Seo Ri comes to meet him in the Taoist temple where he is making the talisman preparations. He begins the work, channeling energy at Seo Ri, even though it costs him great pain. Seo Ri watches him work with tears in her eyes but doesn’t interfere. Soon enough, she has the talisman imbued into her forehead.
10. Everything comes to a head
By the time Hong Joo who has sensed something in the air gets to the temple, she’s too late and the deed has been done. She is alarmed that Hyun Seo would have made such a sacrifice for a futile cause. Hyun Seo though just tells her that she wouldn’t understand as she’s never sacrificed her life for someone else. As he speaks, he drops to the ground, clutching onto his side in pain and Hong Joo offers her hand and her help in healing him. Hyun Seo refuses though, preferring to die and regretting that he’d let her live. At the words, he dies. Hong Joo who actually looks sad, pulls out her black magic sword and asks a dead Hyun Seo if he’s ever heard of blood-bound fate. She then slits his palm and hers and binds them together by blood, using her power to bring Hyun Seo back from the dead as she tells him tearfully that now, they will be one until they die (no.no.no. This isn’t good. Talk about a violation. Hong Joo, this isn’t love, this is cruelty!). Meanwhile, a much recovered Jun is mixing elixirs and gathering medicine back at the temple. He then comes into town to meet Soon Deuk who gives him feedback that the symbol belongs to the Amsagol homeless girls and quite a lot of women have it on their shoulders. She also adds that these women are fond of capturing girls, mistreating them and then selling them to brothels when the girls get older. Jun then tells Soon Deuk that the next stage of his plan is to confirm whether or not the person who figured out their location at the temple and in Banchon is actually a woman. And sure enough, Jun shows up in front of Sol Gae, all smiles and bearing medicine which he gives to Sol Gae saying that he knows she hurt her arm and he can sympathize as he got beat up a lot as a child. When Sol Gae makes to leave, Jun catches up to her and then presses down on her shoulder, telling her that he knows she’s hurt and he wants her to get it treated before the injury gets infected. At the taoist temple however, Yo Gwang comes to visit Hyun Seo, who possessed by black magic draws a sword on him as he demands to be taken to the princess. And in the shamaness temple, Hong Joo gives instructions to her girls as she tells them to search for the escaped princess only to burst into a smile when she sees Yeon Hee standing right in front of her.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
Who would have known Poong Yeon, that you would replace Sunjo has being the most idiotic character in need of a bitchslap. Everything is not about a curse and if you actually got off your high horse and took the time to listen to what Seo Ri is telling you, or what your father is telling you, then you would understand and see the reason why the little sister who used to look up to you doesn’t do so anymore. And who can blame her when you keep basically calling her a monster?
Headache inducing moment:
Wait what!?! How is this a good idea? This is bad. Very bad. And Hong Joo’s smile isn’t making me feel any better either. What is happening? All these thoughts are clamoring in my head even as I wonder what on earth Seo Ri is thinking and wonder how the hell the writers intend to stretch this headache of not knowing how it would all end for the next 8 weeks.
This episode’s a Whiskey Lemonade with Honey. It’s tart and so sweet that it goes down in a rush and at the same time has enough kick to leave you woozy as you consider where all our characters stand and the dangers they are now facing. Like seriously, Mirror of the Witch keeps getting better every single episode.