It takes big balls to attempt to con Jung Nan Jung, but Ok Nyeo’s got them and she’s not afraid to pull it off for the sake of the prisoners and to start a crack. Ji Hun is surprised to learn that he’s adopted and slowly starts to open his eyes to the rot going on around him. Tae Won adds yet another job to his resume and we get our first glimpse of the king whose mother rules in his stead.
Top 10 Moments:
- Ji Hun doesn’t believe he was adopted
Ji Hun it turns out, decides to meet Ok Nyeo in the privacy of his office where she at first apologizes (haha. Anytime someone tells me they’re sorry for what they’re about to say, I brace myself), and then asks him if he was adopted. Ji Hun is outraged at the words, calling Ok Nyeo’s words lies and when she states that she confirmed it from a reliable source and has information on his birth parents that she wants to share with him, he orders her out of his office. Ok Nyeo then heads straight to Chun Doong to confirm that the information he’d given her was correct. Chun Doong explains that it’s possible that Ji Hun was kept in the dark because even people in Kaseong have no idea that he was adopted. He continues that the only reason his contact was able to find out was because the boy had spoken to a slave in the Sung household itself.
2. Setting up the con to rid Jung Nan Jung of her rice
Dae Shik delivers the message to the prisoners that due to the recent famine, their food supplies will be greatly reduced. The prisoners are expected not pleased and begin to raise their voices, leading Dae Shik to send them back to their cells before they cause any trouble. Alone in his office with the other officers, Treasurer Ji, Hyo Sung and Yoo Geum understand the prisoner’s plight although Jong Hwe doesn’t. When Treasurer Ji points out the fact that continued starvation might lead to the prisoners rioting, like they’d done in the past, Dae Shik decides to put strict measures in place that keep the prisoners locked in all day, thus preempting the chance for a riot. The prisoners aren’t thinking of rioting when Ok Nyeo comes to serve them food however. Instead, they believe they’ll starve to death and show her the mostly liquid meal that they’re being given once a day. The situation gets so dire that even Treasurer Ji is attacked, although he understands how it all happened and doesn’t bear any grudges. What he fears however is how Jeonokseo would survive for the next three months. The words has Ok Nyeo meeting Tae Won, Lee Ji Ham and Woo Chi for them to talk about how they would get the rice from Jung Nan Jung. Tae Won immediately shoots down their idea of carrying the bags the minute they get to the port because at that point in time, Jung Nan Jung has already siphoned some rice and filled the rest of the bag with bran. He therefore suggests that they simply grab the rice when they’re at sea. Woo Chi doesn’t agree with that plan however as that would just put them in Jung Nan Jung’s line of sight. Instead, he suggests they use her greed to lure her in and trap her (hahaha. This is Police Task Force 38, Saguek version). Tae Won points out her love for gold and everyone agrees to use the gold to lure her in. As for the exact plan though, Woo Chi tells them that he has an idea, and although everyone considers it quite feasible, he’s stumped as to how he’s going to meet Jung Nan Jung. Ok Nyeo has an answer for that though after remembering Mak Gae’s words to her when she was a child. She tells them that she would prepare a lavish gift which would capture Jung Nan Jung’s interest and have her willing to meet with Woo Chi. On her way back, Ok Nyeo is joined by Tae Won who insists on seeing her off to Jeonokseo with the claims that a woman shouldn’t walk alone at night. Ok Nyeo is surprised especially because she’s always assumed that Tae Won still sees her as the little girl. Tae Won though doesn’t think a child would be able to stand up against Jung Nan Jung and Ok Nyeo concludes that he sees her as a woman then.
3. Some people party whilst others starve and Ji Hun learns the truth
Jung Nan Jung’s birthday is drawing close and Dong Joo suggests she have a lavish 10-day party to also receive everyone who would want to meet her now that she’s received the Revered Lady title. Mak Gae tries to be the voice of reason, pointing out to Jung Nan Jung that the people are starving and a lavish party won’t be doing right by them. Jung Nan Jung though doesn’t see how her party will affect the famine in any way and agrees to the lavish event. Soon, the celebration is in full swing. Ok Nyeo, Chi Woo and Lee Ji Ham come to check out the festivities and Lee Ji Ham is surprised at how influential Jung Nan Jung’s become. Meanwhile Ji Hun is in his office remembering his talk with his father when he’d asked the latter if he was his biological son. His father had initially blustered but had even come out with the truth that he had adopted Ji Hun when Ji Hun was four years old. He tells Ji Hun that it makes no difference to him because he’s loved Ji Hun like his son, ever since Ji Hun was brought to him. When Ji Hun asks about his parents, his father tells him that he has no idea, and warns Ji Hun not to breathe a word about it because Lord Yoon and Jung Nan Jung must not hear of it otherwise his pending marriage to Shin Hye would be canceled.
4. Jae Myung gives his support to Tae Won running Sosoru
Jae Myung gets to Sosoru just in time to witness a skirmish between Tae Won and some palace attendants who’d been harassing So Jung. So Jung’s impressed that Tae Won came to her rescue but Jae Myung rebukes him for forgetting that he just buried his adopted mother not to long ago. Gyo Ha interrupts the moment to welcome Jae Myung who she’d requested an audience with. She informs Jae Myung that Sosoru’s become too much for her to manage and she would like Tae Woo to manage it instead. Jae Myung is alright with the suggestion as long as Tae Woo wants to do it, and the minute Tae Woo replies that he is interested in running Sosoru, Gyo Ha mentions that she would also like to unite with Jae Myung so his merchant organization can offer support to Sosoru.
5. Putting in the first step of the plan in motion
The famine continues to spread and the Jeonokseo prisoners begin to look lethargic as they grumble at the inadequate food they’re being served. Ok Nyeo then invites one of the Jeonokseo prisoners out with the promise of food. The man jumps at the chance and comes along. Whilst he’s stuffing his face, Lee Ji Ham and Woo Chi enter the room and Ok Nyeo introduces him as a master forger. They’re impressed and even more impressed when the prisoner takes them to his workshop and his stash of already forged fake silver. It’s so good that even Woo Chi can’t tell that it’s a fake. The minute the prisoner learns that Ok Nyeo intends to use the silver to get rice for the prisoners, he’s all in, but he warns them though that the silver can only maintain its ruse for about a month after which whoever has it will be able to tell that it’s a fake. Ok Nyeo replies that they wouldn’t even need a month.
6. Ji Hun slowly starts to wake up to the realities
Ji Hun, who’s been initially blind to the plights of the starving masses gets a first hand view of it when he’s brought to a family where a wife is responsible for the death of her children and her in-laws. Turns out the wife had gone searching for food and had unknowingly brought home some blowfish which she’d cooked and fed her family, choosing not to eat any so they could all have more. The blowfish had been poisonous however and had resulted in the death of her entire family, minus her husband who’s locked up in Jeonokseo. Ji Hun then sends Officer Yang to Jeonokseo to deliver the news and have the husband released so he can bury his family. Everyone is shocked and sad at the news and when Ok Nyeo is alone with Dae Shik, she asks him to increase the potion of rice fed to the prisoners as she has plans to get more rice for them. Dae Shik is at first worried as to where Ok Nyeo intends to get the rice from, but when she insists that she will get the rice, he agrees. Meanwhile Ji Hun visits the Yoon household and is appalled at the amount of food going to waste at Jung Nan Jung’s birthday party, especially as he flashes back to the starving masses. Shin Hye runs out to meet him, stating that Jung Nan Jung’s been expecting him. He tells her though that he can’t stay, claiming that he has other matters to attend to. With that, he leaves, leaving Shin Hye to wonder what’s his problem (it’s simple. He can’t believe how you all can waste so much food when the people are starving).
7. Jung Nan Jung’s gets caught and doesn’t even know it and Lord Yoon’s cockblocked by his wife
As planned, our gang sends Jung Nan Jung chests filled with the fake silver. Thinking it’s real and with her eyes wide with greed, she agrees to meet them. Meanwhile, Lord Yoon is sulking in his room annoyed at all the noise of the party celebration and when the head maid: Jong Geum comes to serve him tea, he has her massage his shoulders and tries to make a move on her. Jong Geum though is fearful for her life and informs him of Jung Nan Jung’s monthly threats to the maids about killing any of them that she finds having an affair with Lord Yoon. Lord Yoon, frustrated, tells her to leave (hahahaha. If Jung Nan Jung has her way Lord Yoon, she would be the only woman in your bed. No more wives or concubines for you). Woo Chi delivers the good news to the gang and informs them that Jung Nan Jung has agreed to a meet. The problem though is that now they need real gold to make their case. But that is where Chun Doong comes in as Tae Woo and Ok Nyeo mention that one of Jung Nan Jung’s merchant staff who goes to collect money from her merchant organization would be in town soon and Chun Doong will be relieving the man of his money. And sure enough, Chun Doong’s minions lure the man to a gambling game and whilst he’s distracted they’re able to pick his pocket. It’s a successful steal but when the matter is reported to Dong Joo, she gives the order that the person responsible must be found as the issue is not the 1000 nyang that was stolen (wow! That’s a lot of money) but the fact that should word get around, it would undermine Jung Nan Jung’s reputation (oh boy. Now I’m really worried for Chun Doong and his minions).
8. Laying the bait
Unaware he’s the one who’s robbed her, Jung Nan Jung receives Woo Chi who’s worked a little disguise into his appearance and who gives his name as Cho Dal Ho. Pretending like what he’s about to tell her is some big secret, he first asks that he be alone to state his business. But Jung Nan Jung insists that Dong Joo and Mak Gae are her closest confidantes and there’s no need of them to leave. Having been given the all clear, Woo Chi tells her that he’s spent his whole life searching for gold. Mak Gae scoffs at the words as he points out that such private mining isn’t allowed. Woo Chi agrees with him. But he also states that he knows areas with huge deposits of gold, and which the government has no knowledge of. His request therefore is for Jung Nan Jung to give him the authority to mine for gold and also provide him with the capital needed to carry out the process and in return, he will split the profits evenly between the two of them. When Jung Nan Jung wonders where Woo Chi got his confidence to strike such an outrageous deal with her, Woo Chi presents the large gold pieces he’d bought using her money (hahaha) and states that they were gotten from the mine he wants to develop. With the bait set, Woo Chi heads back to meet the gang and inform them that he’s done his part, what’s next is for Jung Nan Jung to bite the bait, although he suspects that with it being Jung Nan Jung, she wouldn’t fall for it so easily. Alone with Mak Gae and Dong Joo, Jung Nan Jung doesn’t hide how enthralled she is with the big chunks of gold. When she asks for their opinion, Dong Joo states that they don’t know Woo Chi so they can’t just blindly trust him. But at the same time, she doesn’t think anyone would dare to try and con Jung Nan Jung. Mak Gae’s suggestion is that they should locate mining surveyors who would be able to tell whether or not Woo Chi is the real deal. It’s a plan Jung Nan Jung readily agrees with.
9. Ok Nyeo’s still got the balls of a spy
Gyo Ha calls all the gisaengs and introduces Tae Won as the new head of Sosoru. When she calls him to speak, he’s funny, charming and adorably protective of the gisaengs (awwww), and he’s an instant hit with them (watch out So Jung. Other than Ok Nyeo, those gisaengs will be out for him as well). Meanwhile, at Jeonokseo, the prisoners have started to be fed more food and Dae Shik once again gets Ok Nyeo to reassure him that she truly would resolve the situation and more rice would be available within ten days as that’s the amount of time what they currently have can sustain them for. Even as Ok Nyeo’s reassuring Dae Shik that she would get the rice within the time frame (but are you sure though Ok Nyeo), Treasurer Ji comes running in with the news that they have a visitor. It’s Ki Joon, the new Officer of Law Enforcement who insists on personally seeing how the prisoners are faring what with the cut rations and all (uh-oh). After having been taken through the cells where he can hear the prisoner shouting about them needing food to keep them from starving to death, Ki Joon asks what contingency plan has been set in place for when Jeonokseo runs out of food to feed the prisoners in the stipulated ten days. When Jong Hwe replies that they intend to allow the prisoner’s families to bring them food, Ki Joon is impressed with the plan, but Ok Nyeo interrupts to call it irresponsible for Ki Joon to be impressed with that plan. Although everyone tries to stop her, she ploughs ahead to state that the department of Law Enforcement has always been the one in charge of managing Jeonokseo and considering that she has been in Jeonokseo before even the other officials got there, she can boldly state that even during the previous king’s reign, the prisoners of Jeonokseo have never starved. And now, their rations are being cut off. And to make it worse, most of Jeonokseo prisoners are poor and so their families can’t be expected to bring food for them either. She therefore concludes that the idea is total nonsense and not based on reality (you have to hand it to her. The girl’s ballsy. Damn). Outside the office, Jong Hwe starts to scold Ok Nyeo for speaking the way she had but Dae Shik stops him and praises Ok Nyeo for having the guts to say what they were all thinking but couldn’t say. When he asks Hyo Sung for his opinion, the latter praises Ok Nyeo for speaking the truth and soon Jong Hwe after noticing the trend, also congratulates Ok Nyeo on speaking up (hahaha. Utterly spineless). Meanwhile, the Queen Dowager is pissed that the King left the palace, disguised as a commoner (uh-oh. I have a bad feeling about this. Please tell me he isn’t who I think he is).
10. Jung Nan Jung takes the bait
Ji Hun’s at his office, well away from Jung Nan Jung’s birthday celebration as he remembers calling Officer Park to ask him everything the man knows about Ok Nyeo. Officer Park answered and even mentioned the fact that Ok Nyeo had trained for the police force and had shown great talent when she’d come for her exam. Ji Hun, curious had asked why she hadn’t gotten in then and Officer Park had answered that he believed that she was probably recruited into Sun Ho’s group as a spy. He also remembers Ok Nyeo telling him that she knew a lot about his birth parents and so makes up his mind to go visit her. Except, when he gets there, Ok Nyeo’s out and so he has to head right back. Meanwhile at the palace, Ki Joon, the law enforcement officer Ok Nyeo had basically called delusional and incompetent turns out to be King Myeongjong himself (drats! I knew it. Ok Nyeo, better start hoping and praying). The Queen Dowager is all up in arms about him leaving the Palace (so is he grounded or something?) but Myeongjong is of the opinion that he needed to see the starving citizens for himself so he can better plan how to help them. The Queen Dowager though is of the opinion that it doesn’t concern him as she and the court officials would hand it, but Myeongjong reminds her that HE is the king of Joseon (hahaha. The way the Queen Dowager glares at him at that point makes it seem like she’s moments away from shouting at him to “Go to your room and stay there”). Over at the Yoon household however, Jung Nan Jung is meeting with the mining surveyor whom she asks about the name Cho Dal Ho. The surveyor knows the name and calls him a felon they’ve been trying to catch because of his attempts to mine gold (hahaha. So is the surveyor in our gang’s pocket or did Woo Chi steal an actual person’s name and occupation?). The information definitely captures Jung Nan Jung’s attention and the next thing we see, Woo Chi’s meeting with Ok Nyeo and telling her the good news that Jung Nan Jung has taken the bait. At the words, Ok Nyeo smiles.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
No one in this episode. I repeat Ji Hun, thank you for slowly opening your eyes and getting off my bitchslapping list. For your sake, I hope you try your best to stay away from it, but knowing you, you’ll probably be on it sometime soon.
Headache inducing moment:
None in this episode as well. Although it doesn’t mean that the episode wasn’t engaging.
This episode’s a Jack Rose. Easy and Quick and delicious as we realize that there IS a king of Joseon and all he has to do is break out from underneath his mother’s wings. Who knows, he might finally cut Lord Yoon and Jung Nan Jung’s wings off. And then there’s the satisfaction with using Jung Nan Jung’s greed to con her out of the rice that should lawfully belong to the prisoners and how immensely satisfied we would be when our prisoners are eating well and Jung Nan Jung is furious that she’s been duped and can’t do anything about it 😆