A misguided love can easily be turned into something hurtful, but true love will always seek to protect the one who is loved. Hong Joo strikes back at Queen Shim and Seo Ri protects her mother. Sunjo is still convinced Seo Ri is out to kill him but is slowly coming around. Poong Yeon becomes Hong Joo’s newest puppet even as Hong Joo loses her former puppet(s). And Jun makes a promise to the king that we’ve all been waiting for him to make.
Top 10 Moments:
- Poong Yeon is not very rational at this point and Hong Joo kicks off her plan
We pick up where we left off with Poong Yeon asking if it’s possible to win someone’s heart over with dark magic and if maybe the darkness and despair he feels at the moment is his fault. When he asks if he would be able to to escape the pain and despair he feels at the moment should he unleash his wrath on them (and by them I’m guessing Seo Ri and Jun?), Hong Joo steps forward and tells him that the sweet and kind Yeon Hee he knows will return when he kills the cursed child within her (yeah right. And we say bye-bye to reasonable Poong Yeon who is now replacing the king as Hong Joo’s number 1 brainwashed idiot). When he tells her to stop saying nonsense, Hong Joo offers to make him believe her. Next thing we see, Hong Joo is back to her black magic cauldron into which she tosses in a talisman. As she does so, the black magic smoke rises from the lantern she’d left beside Queen Shim’s bedside and soon Queen Shim is being supernaturally strangled (might I add that the supernatural killing thing always makes me feel really scared on the part of the person suffering from it. Except maybe Hong Joo. I shall gladly watch her getting ripped apart, and in slow motion too), so much so that she faints. Yeon Hee then comes to pay her mother a visit and after carefully staring at Queen Shim and noticing her blackened hands, her suspicions rises. She has no idea however that Hong Joo is at the moment, briefing Sunjo about the curse, even as Sunjo impatiently asks her when Queen Shim would die (why you motherfucking asshole). When Hong Joo explains that it’s a powerfully dark spell and Queen Shim should be dead by nighttime of the following day, Sunjo smiles (now I’m hoping your thorns act up and leave you incapacitated for days you asswipe). Hong Joo though raises her concern about Yeon Hee possibly having some sort of feelings for her mother and being able to interfere with the killing spell because of her own abilities, given to her by the curse (I don’t think she got her powers from the curse Hong Joo. She got them because she’s Hae Ran’s biological daughter and her mother could out-shaman you any day and at any time). When Sunjo asks if the princess can harm him as well, Hong Joo wonders if there’s anyone Sunjo trusts, who can protect him. When she brings up Poong Yeon, Sunjo gets angry as he barks at her never to bring up the name again. At his answer, Hong Joo apologizes, but she smiles (yes witch. Your plan to split the two friends worked. I’m still waiting for your slow and painful demise though).
2. Hyun Seo is Hong Joo’s mouthpiece and Seo Ri’s clock is ticking
Seo Ri calls on Hyun Seo to check on Queen Shim. After taking note of her hands, Hyun Seo says that it’s black magic meant to kill the Queen that’s at work. As Hong Joo stays in her temple, working at her cauldron, we see that Hyun Seo’s eyes glint to indicate that the black magic is taking effect and we see Hong Joo speaking through him and saying that if it’s really a spell that’s responsible, then there must be a talisman somewhere around that’s the source of the spell (wait, you mean the talisman you threw into the cauldron at the beginning of the spell?). She continues, through Hyun Seo that they must find the talisman that has been filled with murderous intentions and get rid of it. She concludes by saying that if they can’t find the talisman and break the curse, the Queen won’t live past nighttime the following day. Seo Ri correctly guesses that it’s the handiwork of Hong Joo, whilst Jun asks if the Queen will really be okay should they get rid of the talisman. Hong Joo through Hyun Seo replies that she’s sure the talisman is somewhere within the palace and so they should find a way of getting it. Outside the room, Jun tells Seo Ri not to worry and promises to search for the talisman with Yo Gwang and find it at all costs. Suddenly Seo Ri clutches her chest in pain as she looks at a shooting star and we hear Yo Gwang tell her that she has 20 more days till the Polaris disappears (drats! I’d forgotten that there was a timeline to her lighting the candles) and that she will get weaker as time passes. Hearing this, Seo Ri figures that she’s dying and tells Yo Gwang to make sure that he doesn’t share the news with Jun or Poong Yeon (seriously? Why is everyone keeping secrets in this show?). When Yo Gwang tells her that that’s not important at the moment (and you’re right Yo Gwang. Maybe if she’d told Poong Yeon, the idiot wouldn’t have forgotten that what he should be concentrating on right now is breaking Seo Ri’s curse instead of trying to use black magic to get her to fall in love with him). Seo Ri now remembers the words as she feels the pain from the shooting star and as the curse mark flares, she faints. Jun nurses her back to health, even as he remembers the Grimoire saying she must light all the candles and break the curse before the Polaris disappears. Seo Ri wakes up and lies that she must have fainted due to all the drama with Queen Shim and Jun, willing to continue the ruse agrees and tells her to get some sleep. When her curse mark flares again however, he looks very worried.
3. Ok still runs to his mother and Poong Yeon gets his marching orders
Wanting to curry favor from the king, Ok appears before Sunjo to express his concern for the king’s life, saying that he’d heard about Poong Yeon’s dismissal and so had run as fast as he could to ensure the wellbeing of Sunjo. When he promises to protect Sunjo, Sunjo asks him if he’s willing to give up his life to do so. Ok merely bows his head as he carefully replies that he will give all his loyalty to Sunjo (hahaha. He wasn’t asking for your loyalty though Ok. He was asking for your life. And Sunjo, if you actually think for a moment that Ok will be able to protect you when shit hits the fan, then you’re more stupid than I’d initially thought). Sunjo replies that there are a lot of people out for his life and so Ok must be willing to always stand by his side to protect him. Ok looks like he’s just about to say something cowardly (hahaha), but then changes it to a promise to protect the king and cut down all the threats with his superior skills (hahaha. What a joke. Jun will have you on your back flat. Yo Gwang can easily string you up a pole and Seo Ri will send you flying right back to your mother). Sunjo, realizing the futility of it all, sighs as he tells Ok to leave (good. At least you have some sense). Ok gets home and tells his mother that he almost died that day. When she asks for details, he tells her of the king’s request. Ok’s mother, well aware of the honor that the request is asks what Ok said in reply, and when Ok tells her that he tried to run away but then agreed, only for the king to thankfully tell him not to bother and to leave, she calls him a rotten child (hahaha. Well, you raised him to be a coward. Wonder why you’re so upset about it). When she yells at him that he should have agreed and taken his chance to be closer to the king, Ok bleats about him not wanting to die or worse, lose a limb and have to live as a disabled freak forever. His mother though is pissed that he lost the chance to be the king’s right hand man and thus help the family, and tells him that he must put his life on the line for the king at the next moment he has to do so. Ok grumbles about having to do so. Sunjo though is clearly feeling the effects of being alone as he takes a walk, even as he’s unaware that Poong Yeon is following him on Hong Joo’s suggestion that he should keep watch over the king to protect him and to see the danger that the king’s facing; danger that Poong Yeon has to get rid of. She’d added then that Poong Yeon should only trust what he sees (yeah. And yet he sees how rotten you are and is still hanging out with you. Something tells me he will see one of the good guys and misconstrue their intentions and that is when the idiot will decide he wants to do something stupid). On his walk, Sunjo runs into Seo Ri, on her way to visit the Queen. When he brings up the fact that there must be rumors about the Queen suddenly suffering from an illness just after Seo Ri entered the palace, Seo Ri advises him to not be swayed by Hong Joo’s words and to remember that he’s a father to the thousands of citizens who look up to him and who wouldn’t want to see his heart falter (yeah, please tell him because I think the idiot has forgotten exactly who he owes a responsibility to). Sunjo who is still as obsessed with the thought that people are planning to take the throne from him walks closer to Seo Ri and asks if she’s like her mother in that regard: wanting to rule. He tells her to act like a princess, wear pretty clothes and walk in a garden and to not be so impudent. At the words, he walks away and Seo Ri walks away too. Poong Yeon the mopster (you get it right? Moping Poong Yeon. Hahaha), stares forlornly after Seo Ri.
4. Hong Joo laid a trap
With Hyun Seo out of commission, Yo Gwang puts his taoist training to good use and writes a tracking talisman so they can find the source of the curse on Queen Shim. With the talisman in hand, Jun and Yo Gwang head outside where they light the talisman and send it flying into the air. The talisman dissolves into a ball of light and they follow it. Seo Ri who’s left alone with Queen Shim is able to see the strangling curse take effect again and angry, she walks to Hong Joo’s temple and accuses her of being the one behind the curse. Hong Joo is feeling pretty ballsy and doesn’t deny it. Instead she tells Seo Ri that she had to get Queen Shim out of the way so she can attack Seo Ri directly. When Seo Ri asks for the source to the curse, Hong Joo just smiles as she says that Seo Ri must be feeling uneasy knowing that there isn’t much time left. When Seo Ri mentions that Hong Joo is most likely not after the Queen’s life, Hong Joo admits to not having that much hatred for the curse to take effect. She states that rather, there is someone who hates the Queen even more than Hong Joo does (yeah, looking at you there Sunjo, you little dweeb). And sure enough, the tracking spell leads Yo Gwang and Jun to the king’s throne room, even as Seo Ri expresses her disbelief that it’s Sunjo who cast the spell. Hong Joo admits to being the one who cast the spell, but states that the spell is fueled by the king’s murderous intentions and for Queen Shim to survive, then Seo Ri must kill the king (ha. I get it now. I also see why she gave Poong Yeon the orders to shadow the king so he can witness the ‘threat’ to the king. This is her way of showing Poong Yeon that Seo Ri is ‘evil’. Honestly Poong Yeon, if you actually buy this crap, I shall take back every praise I’ve ever ascribed to your intelligence). Seo Ri recognizes the move for what it is, a trap and Hong Joo doesn’t deny it, saying that Seo Ri mustn’t have expected her to just sit back and do nothing. Jun and Yo Gwang meanwhile are surprised to find that the tracking spell led them all the way to the throne room, and they get to searching the place.
5. An attempt to kill the king
Yo Gwang and Jun search the throne room thoroughly but can’t seem to find the talisman anywhere near there. Sunjo on the other hand is ruminating on Seo Ri’s words about him being the father of the citizens who should not be swayed by Hong Joo. He heads back to the throne room, causing Jun and Yo Gwang to hide. Except, their hiding spot gives Jun the chance to see Sunjo’s ailment when Sunjo takes off his robes. Poong Yeon though has arrived and when he notices the guards that Yo Gwang and Jun had knocked unconscious, he walks into the throne room to meet Sunjo. Sunjo is still huffy about Poong Yeon returning after he’d left but Poong Yeon scans the room and notices something amiss. Talking about the fact that they’ve been best friends for years, he signals to Sunjo about there being intruders in the room. Sunjo catches on immediately and steps aside, giving Poong Yeon the opportunity to push aside the screen and reveal Jun and Yo Gwang. Poong Yeon is surprised to see them there and Sunjo demands to know why they’re hiding in his quarters. When he asks if they’re there to kill him, Jun apologizes and tells him not to misunderstand, but they’re just there to save the Queen’s life. Obsessed Sunjo automatically believes that the Queen ordered them to kill him. Even as Jun denies the claim, Yo Gwang notices the outline of a talisman branded on Sunjo (he really is the talisman. Damn). When Sunjo gives Poong Yeon the order to kill Jun and Yo Gwang, Seo Ri comes to their rescue and tells Poong Yeon not to. Sunjo immediately jumps to the conclusion that Seo Ri wants to kill him and tells Poong Yeon to kill her. Even as Seo Ri also notices the talisman on Sunjo, Hong Joo is using her black magic to slowly kill Queen Shim who’s getting strangled in her room. Sunjo though is screaming at Poong Yeon to kill Seo Ri, and Poong Yeon remembering that Hong Joo had told him that should he kill the cursed Seo Ri, then his beloved Yeon Hee will return to him, raises his sword to strike at Seo Ri. Yo Gwang calling his name halts his hands but Sunjo insisting that Seo Ri’s there to kill him shouts at Poong Yeon to kill her. When Poong Yeon can’t, Sunjo snatches the sword and makes to kill Seo Ri, except Yo Gwang passes a blessed knife to Seo Ri, and she plunges it into the talisman burned into Sunjo’s chest. Immediately she does so, the act rebounds on Hong Joo who falls in her temple, crying out in pain, whilst the strangling stops and Queen Shim is revived, even as the black magic that had blackened her skin, fades away and returns her skin to its normal, healthy, pinkish hue.
6. Jun learns about why Sunjo wants Seo Ri dead
Sunjo immediately calls on his guards who arrest Seo Ri and the others and lead them away. Seo Ri silently goes along with them, even as she glares at Poong Yeon. Poong Yeon just stands there stunned and looking dazed, and Hong Joo runs in tells him that the Yeon Hee he knows would never have committed murder. And the person he sees is just a vessel for the curse. Poong Yeon walks away without saying a word and Hong Joo smiles. Seo Ri is separated from Jun and Yo Gwang and is led away by a separate set of guards. Yo Gwang is able to break free and defeat his guards though and soon releases Jun as well. Jun is just about to run back in to save Seo Ri when Poong Yeon appears with his sword out as he tells Jun that he can’t possibly do anything. Jun is rightfully furious but Yo Gwang leads him out of the palace. When Jun makes to go back inside, Yo Gwang tells him that them acting rashly could just make Seo Ri’s situation worse. Jun concludes that it’s all Hong Joo’s doing but wonders why the king is so insistent on killing Seo Ri. Yo Gwang informs him that it’s because Sunjo believes that Seo Ri’s curse is the cause of his illness, something he is sure Hong Joo is behind as well. When Jun asks if it’s possible for black magic to be used to make people ill, Yo Gwang answers that it’s very possible since black magic enters a person through the darkest part of the person’s heart. When Jun makes to go back to the palace so he can convince the king that Seo Ri’s not to blame, Yo Gwang stops him, saying that the king won’t be willing to listen to them in his current state because he’s on Hong Joo’s side. Jun though insists that even if it is that the king won’t believe his words, he will show the king through different means so he can know the truth behind the person he believes in.
7. Evil Hyun Seo tries to kill Seo Ri, but good Hyun Seo wins the battle
Whilst Ok is beside the king, moaning that had he been by Sunjo’s side, he would have taken the knife for Sunjo, Seo Ri is led to a prison cell and tossed in, whilst talisman are hung around (to contain her power or for something else?) it. Hong Joo, looking very animated rushes into her temple as she runs to evil Hyun Seo and tells him that the time has finally come for him to use his powers for her (so I’m guessing she didn’t save him out of love then? She did it because she wanted him alive to burn Seo Ri with holy fire). She then leads evil Hyun Seo to Seo Ri’s prison cell as she tells him to set the cell ablaze with his holy fire. Seo Ri who had initially been calling him father, falls back when she sees the light in his eyes and realizes that he’s being controlled. Evil Hyun Seo however can’t start the fire, no matter how many times he stretches his hands out and Hong Joo tells him to hurry up in lighting Seo Ri ablaze. When she notices that he keeps stretching out his hands but nothing is happening, she checks his hands and notices that Hyun Seo when he’d had control over his body had sliced his palms to negate his holy fire (brilliant. Just brilliant. But it also means that Poong Yeon is the one that will do the deed. Drats. Poor Seo Ri, having to see the two men she loved as family trying to burn her to a crisp). Hong Joo takes a walk by to the temple, trying to figure things out. Well aware that holy fire is a power bestowed upon the leader of the Imperial Taoist Temple, she knows that there’s no way Hyun Seo could have lost his power. Unless… Hong Joo stops in her tracks as she considers the possibility (yeah. She’s figured it out. Poong Yeon, she’s coming for you).
8. Sunjo learns who made him king
Queen Shim, now recovered pays a visit to a still recuperating Sunjo. Bowing her head, she begs Sunjo to spare Yeon Hee stating that Yeon Hee only acted that way because she was trying to save her life and break Hong Joo’s spell. Sunjo though is fixated on the fact that Yeon Hee deserves to be executed several times over and even Queen Shim offering to give him back the rulership rights and to never interfere in matters of the country is not enough to get Sunjo to change his mind. He tells her that the rights mean nothing to him if he dies, and he’s sure she was the one who connived with the princess to see him killed. When he tells her to leave, Queen Shim runs into Hong Joo who she informs that she has no plans to give the princess to. She takes her leave but not before telling Hong Joo that she’s happy that she has made a full recovery since it means she has the chance to see Hong Joo suffer the full consequences of her sins. Later that night, Sunjo walks to the pavilion where he remembers the conversation he’d had with Hong Joo after Queen Shim had left. When he shouts at Hong Joo, asking her why Queen Shim was still alive, Hong Joo had told him, calm as she pleases that it’s only right that they get rid of the princess first to get Sunjo cured. Angry to realize that he’d been used as bait, Sunjo attacks Hong Joo, accusing her of not doing anything to cure his illness which has instead been getting worse instead of better. When he makes to poke her again, Hong Joo grabs his hands and using black magic, resurrects even more thorns on it as she tells him to do as she says if he wants to live. When Sunjo questions her for daring to lay her hands on the king, Hong Joo informs him that she is the one who made him king and she did so because he’s a weak coward (ouch) who had none of the qualifications to be a good king (double ouch) so he’d better follow her instructions if he wants to keep the throne. She pulls away from him with a smile and tells him not to worry as she will be sure to kill the princess herself and cure him of his illness.
9. Sunjo and Sol Gae learn the truth behind the person they believe in
Sunjo is still deep in thought in the pavilion when someone shoots an arrow with a message attached to it, at him. He reads the message from Jun stating that he’s caught the Red Gentleman’s Robe and Sunjo should come meet him at Seoyang Forest the next day. Jun continues that if Sunjo doesn’t show up, then he will reveal the identity of the Red Gentleman’s Robe to the public himself. Jun then runs off, with one of Hong Joo’s henchgirls trailing him, to the cave where he’s hidden Sol Gae (wait, why hasn’t Poong Yeon been looking for Sol Gae or doesn’t he find it weird that his bodyguard suddenly up and disappeared?). He tells her that he will take her to see the king the next day and show her the truth behind the person she believes in. The henchgirl who had trailed Joon delivers the message to Hong Joo and the next morning when Jun is taking the Red Gentleman’s Robe to go meet the king, Hong Joo’s henchgirls shoot arrows at them, and although Jun is able to deflect most of the arrows, one of the arrows strikes the Red Gentleman’s Robe who falls down. At the sight, the girls all run away to meet Hong Joo, who isn’t far from the scene, and tell her that they’ve handled the matter. Hong Joo just replies that it’s such a shame as Sol Gae was such a bright child. She tells her henchgirls that they’ve done a good job and they all leave. Jun pops out from where he’d been hiding and from behind him comes Sunjo (Nice. Hope Sunjo listens though because the man is too hung up on Hong Joo and her promised cure). Jun then goes to the Red Gentleman’s Robe who it turns out was Yo Gwang in disguise. Thankfully, the arrow didn’t pierce through and Yo Gwang survived. Even as they’re thankful about that, Sol Gae shows up. As she stares at Yo Gwang, she flashes back to the previous night when Jun had told her about Hong Joo’s henchgirls who have been following him around a lot, and how he’s sure Hong Joo will know of the letter he’d sent the king and the king’s plan to meet with him and the Red Gentleman’s Robe the next day. Jun had asked her then what she thinks Hong Joo would do and as Jun holds up the metal tipped arrow that Hong Joo’s girls had shot at Yo Gwang, he tells her that this is Hong Joo’s true nature and so she should stop sinning, repent and live her life in peace as if she were dead. Sol Gae sheds a tear.
10. Poong Yeon discovers hidden powers and Jun promises to cure Sunjo
Later that night, Jun creeps into the palace and when he gets to the throne room, the guards there nod at him and let him in, where Sunjo’s waiting to receive him. Poong Yeon meanwhile heads to the prison to see Seo Ri. As he pauses before going in, Hong Joo advises him to think of Seo Ri as a malevolent spirit (you are the malevolent spirit, witch), who he has to exorcise so that his beloved Yeon Hee will return. She tells him that when he’s done exorcising the spirit, the Yeon Hee who loved him will return. Poong Yeon buys her words, causing Hong Joo to smile. When Poong Yeon goes in to see Seo Ri, she calls him older brother and he silently drops a package for her and walks away. Outside, he’s knocked unconscious by Hong Joo’s henchgirls and when he comes to, he’s alone in a dark room, with Seo Ri’s curse ghost looking at him. Panicked, he yells at the ghost to live and subconsciously starts to light the candles in the room. When he notices the room now lit, he’s shocked and walks over to one unlit candle. Stretching out his hand, he is shocked to see that he can light the candles, whilst Hong Joo watching him from behind a curtain smiles. Jun meanwhile, is telling Sunjo that Seo Ri is not the cause of his illness. When Sunjo asks him what is the cause then, Jun tells him that it’s Hong Joo’s black magic and he will prove it to Sunjo. When Sunjo asks him what he wants, Jun asks him to spare Seo Ri. Sunjo scoffs and attempts to walk away from the ridiculous request when Jun promises to cure him of his illness.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
Because Poong Yeon has lost all sense of reason. Like seriously. This was the same man who had said he will go after his father if his father doesn’t stop Hong Joo from hurting Seo Ri, and now he’s all ready to kill Seo Ri in order to ‘release’ the good Yeon Hee that loves him, and just because Hong Joo who he knows to be a liar and a deceiver told him so. I can’t stand idiots so yeah, he deserves to be slapped.
Headache inducing moment:
None in this episode and its absence didn’t even slow down the intensity of the story. Mirror of the Witch is just that good.
This episode’s a smashed Raspberry Lemonade cocktail. Sweet and delicious and hitting the spot just right. Our leads are smart and decisive from Seo Ri stabbing Sunjo to break Hong Joo’s dark curse on Queen Shim to Jun making the deal with Sunjo to have him cured so he can release Seo Ri. The only sour note is Poong Yeon turning into the number one idiot puppet of Hong Joo and all I can hope right is that he doesn’t do anything to hurt our leads, which I of course know is wishful thinking.