Hong Joo continues to spin her web of deceit and with Sunjo and his misplaced priorities on her side, she continues to execute her plans and pull them off. Poong Yeon suffers a loss and lets the black magic take root. Yo Gwang’s too soft and loses something precious and time is running out for Seo Ri who still has to be saved when everyone’s knocked down for the count.
The Episode in 10 Moments:
- Hong Joo’s attacks work way too well
With Seo Ri and Jun on the run and with Hong Joo feeding her poisoned words to the king, Yo Gwang and Soon Deuk are in town and are given a prime view of the citizens blaming all the atrocities that has happened to them on Seo Ri. They burn images of her and state that they would head to the palace so Seo Ri can be provided to them. Meanwhile Poong Yeon meets with Yo Gwang to find out if Yo Gwang’s discovered Seo Ri’s whereabouts. Yo Gwang is of the opinion that Seo Ri should just stay away, what with the amount of hatred currently directed at her, but he agrees when Poong Yeon suggests they split up to search for her. Except, just as Poong Yeon makes to leave, he falters and his eyes flash with dark magic (oh boy oh boy. This isn’t good). Poong Yeon shakes it off and although Yo Gwang’s worried, he doesn’t push.
2. Life on the run
Life on the run has Seo Ri and Jun being cute together, what with Jun piggybacking Seo Ri when she gets tired, then trying to fish so they can have something to eat. Except, Jun’s horrible at it and isn’t able to catch anything (hahahaha). Seo Ri teases him about them starving and even as Jun insists that they won’t starve, their moment of levity is cut short when she has a mild dizzying spell. They both notice, but say nothing. Later that night, whilst warming up by the fire, Jun tells Seo Ri how much he’d liked spending the day with her and then asks her to list some of the things she likes about their trip. Everything she mentions has to do with him from walking hand-in-hand with him, to him piggybacking her. She even laughs at the thought of him not being able to catch some fish and Jun makes a face at the reminder. She tells him that she’d liked spending the day with him and Jun smiles. He then replies that he’d loved seeing her smile. Seo Ri then asks him if he thinks they would have met had she not been born with the curse. The words take Jun to when they’d first met and all their interactions and he replies that he’s sure they would have lived normal lives and met in a normal way, like recognizing each other on the streets. He tells her that he’s sure a regular day would have shone for them and they’d keep wanting to see each other and would smile as they see more of each other and feel that every moment they share is too short and they would want to hold onto the time they have with each other, forever, just like the present moment. Jun finally notices that Seo Ri has fallen asleep and when he raises his hand to check her temperature, he’s practically in tears to see that she’s burning up
3. Jun is missing
Whilst Yo Gwang’s up at the mountains with Soon Deuk wondering where Seo Ri and Jun are, Seo Ri and Jun realize they’re being pursued by a mix of the royal guards and Hong Joo’s henchgirls. Soon they’re surrounded and even though Jun tries to fight them off, they’re just too much. To make matters worse, Seo Ri suffers yet another dizzying spell and in that moment of distraction, Jun is slashed and he falls off the cliff. Seo Ri tears up as she sees him unmoving and washed downstream. And just as the henchgirls draw closer, Poong Yeon shows up to the rescue, slashing through the henchgirls and carries an unconscious Seo Ri off to safety. Except, when Seo Ri wakes up, she breaks down in tears crying for Jun and insisting that she’ll go look for him. Poong Yeon replies that he will look for Jun but that just makes her cry harder as she states that everything’s her fault and that Jun can’t die just yet. Poong Yeon ends up leaving her in the cave and heading out to look for Jun, whose piece of clothing he finds washed up by the river. Seo Ri on the other hand is back in the cave, having a nightmare about her calling for Jun but him not able to answer her. When she wakes, she heads straight to the palace.
4. Seo Ri makes an entrance and Jun is found
Using her powers, Seo Ri sends every obstacle in her path flying as she heads straight to the throne room where Hong Joo, Queen Shim and Sunjo are locked in a battle of words, with Sunjo claiming that because the people now know of Seo Ri’s true nature, he can’t help Queen Shim and protect Seo Ri and Queen Shim threatening to reveal that Sunjo’s illness was caused by black magic and Sunjo had attempted to cure it by black magic, and now he’s been puppeteered by a Shamaness. Hong Joo though just pipes in with Queen Shim’s fear that people will discover that she attempted to kill her child. Their moment is interrupted by the shaking of the lanterns as Seo Ri barges in, eyes flashing as she asks if Sunjo fears her. Meanwhile, Poong Yeon finally finds Jun and brings him to the cave only to notice that Seo Ri’s gone. He tries heading off to find her but Jun tells him that he’ll come along, after correctly guessing that Seo Ri’s gone to the palace. Poong Yeon heads off then stops and turns, his eyes burning with dark magic (not the right time!). Jun tries to get the real Poong Yeon to come back by telling him to fight the whispers. But, possessed Poong Yeon blames Jun for the fact that he’s no longer by Seo Ri’s side, claiming that if Jun hadn’t shown up then he would be the one that Seo Ri loves. Jun reminds him that he’d said that he would let those feelings go because they’d been used by Hong Joo to manipulate him into almost killing Seo Ri. He also reminds him to focus on who he wants to protect: Seo Ri who’s at the moment in danger. The words work and Poong Yeon snaps back into himself and tells Jun to hurry off and save Seo Ri.
5. Hong Joo tells all and Seo Ri’s captured
Over in the palace, Sunjo tries to use his bravado, claiming that Seo Ri cannot expect to walk in and threaten the king and live. Seo Ri though has nothing to lose as she informs Queen Shim that she has nothing to fear anymore because Jun is dead and Hong Joo and Sunjo killed him. Hong Joo, sensing the root of it all, wonders why she still hasn’t turned against the royal family considering that they just used her and then dumped her like they always do (see, that’s my problem right there. How can Sunjo actually forget how Hong Joo holds the entire royal family in disdain and go along with her words? Has he totally forgotten that she wants to transfer Seo Ri’s curse to the rest of the royal family?). Hong Joo then drops the big bomb that Queen Shim isn’t Seo Ri’s mother but rather a surrogate because Queen Shim was barren and so the king had slept with a palace maid (huh… I thought Hae Ran was a shamaness and not a palace maid) and Hong Joo had used dark magic to transfer the twins into Queen Shim’s belly. And then, Queen Shim had killed Seo Ri’s actual mother which had brought the curse upon Seo Ri. Hong Joo reiterates that all Seo Ri has to do is pass the curse back to those who’d actually given it to her in the first place (I repeat Sunjo, are you listening to this?). Seo Ri isn’t concerned about that, stating that Hong Joo’s revenge has nothing to do with her. Her powers flare up and things crash as she demands, in the exact same words Hae Ran had used twenty-two years prior, why she has to sacrifice herself for the sake of their greed. As she speaks, Hong Joo sees Hae Ran’s face superimposed over Seo Ri’s as Hae Ran cries that they committed the crime so they should be the ones to die. Seo Ri changes her mind and like Hae Ran screams that they should all just die together. She jumps-flies over to Hong Joo and lifts her high into the air as she attempts to strangle her. When Queen Shim tries to stop her, she sends her flying and does the same to Sunjo, crying that all she’d wanted was to live a normal life with Jun and now he’s dead. Except, she hears Jun call her name and tell her not to do it. Immediately she drops Hong Joo and turns, with tears in her eyes to look at Jun who’s bloody and dirty but very much alive. He pulls her into a hug and they both cry and then the royal guard come running in with swords drawn.
6. Sunjo just doesn’t know what his priorities are
Seo Ri’s in a cell with her curse mark spreading whilst Jun tries to plead for her life, telling Sunjo that Seo Ri had only acted like that because she thought Jun was dead. Sunjo doesn’t want to hear it though as he’s fixated on the fact that Seo Ri had wanted to kill him. Jun then brings up the fact that Sunjo wants to kill Seo Ri even though he’s well aware that she’s not the cause of the plague and offers to find the cure and treat everyone affected by the plague but Sunjo’s fixated on what he’s learned about the Queen Dowager and tells Jun that he doesn’t care about the plague but he cares about the fact that Seo Ri was born using dark magic and he can’t cover it up (you mean you don’t want to cover it up. Because your injury was caused by dark magic and you covered it up just fine). Jun points out that Sunjo’s desire had been to be a great king and now he’s so terrified of people protesting against him that he’s just trying to avoid the situation. Jun tells him that the reason why the people are blaming Seo Ri is because their lives are plagued with strife. He suggests that Sunjo should find a solution to their anguish rather than just try to cover things up. The words incense Sunjo who throws a tantrum as he wonders why Jun thinks he can talk to him that way especially because Sunjo’s just trying to protect his own life. He then orders Jun to be removed from the palace (fucking inept asshole waste of space of a king! Argh!).
7. Poong Yeon’s bound and Ok’s still a coward
Poong Yeon comes running in to see Seo Ri who’s locked up in her cell with the talisman keeping her powers reined in. He apologizes for having left her alone in her cave but Seo Ri points out that he’s not to blame. Poong Yeon tells her not to worry or lose hope and then proves that he’s grown a lot as a character as he tells Seo Ri that he wants to take her away and escape with her but he’s sure that that’s not what she wants. He then promises to do everything within his power to protect her and keep her from harm. His plan is to drink a vial of poison so he can’t be used against Seo Ri, but Hong Joo’s henchgirls stop him in time and bind his arms with chains to the pillar of the temple. Hong Joo walks in tsking about how disappointed she is in Poong Yeon that he would be such a coward and attempt to take his own life especially when he has such an important mission that he must do. Poong Yeon replies that he has no plans whatsoever of helping Hong Joo and Hong Joo merely tells him that his unrequited love is turning him into a different person and he should allow it. She leaves and Poong Yeon has to fight the dark magic that wants to take over. On the other side of town, Ok who’s been busted out of jail by his friends is surprised to see how desolate the country is. When one of his friend mentions that the word around is that Seo Ri’s curse is the one causing the plague, Ok suggests that they catch the princess but when his friend mentions that Seo Ri has supernatural powers and can send people flying, Ok changes his mind about capturing her (hahaha. Still a coward heh Ok?).
8. Yo Gwang’s too soft
Working on Hong Joo’s instructions, Hyun Seo goes to the temple in the mountain where Yo Gwang’s at with Soon Deuk and demands for the last page of the grimoire (dude, if you have it on you, then you’re an idiot. Why not be like Hyun Seo and put it somewhere safe that only you will know about?) and attacks Yo Gwang with his sword. Yo Gwang has Soon Deuk hide and reaches for his sword and soon enough disarms Hyun Seo who warns him that if he really wants to save Seo Ri, then Yo Gwang would have to kill him. Yo Gwang states that he would do it if it has to be done, except, he can’t follow through with it and drops his sword as he asks Hyun Seo how Hyun Seo expects him to be able to kill him. Hyun Seo doesn’t suffer such compunctions though and stabs Yo Gwang with a hidden knife. He pulls out the last page of the Grimoire and makes to leave with it but Yo Gwang holds onto his hand and reminds him that it’s Yeon Hee’s life that’s at stake. Yeon Hee, the daughter, who Hyun Seo gave up his life to protect. Hyun Seo merely shakes off Yo Gwang’s hand and walks aways.
9. Everybody’s out for the count and Sol Gae’s dies
Queen Shim’s given the news that Seo Ri’s execution has been slated for the next day and breaks down in tears that it’s all her fault and she can’t save her child. Poong Yeon on the other hand is still bound and starts to emit flames that he can’t control. Soon Deuk tends to an unconscious Yo Gwang who’s broken out in a cold sweat whilst Jun is bound as well and wonders if that’s how it would all end and he won’t be able to do anything to help Seo Ri. The next morning sees Sol Gae easily defeating the henchgirls that had been posted to stand guard at the temple. She walks in and tells Poong Yeon that he has to save the person he cherishes the most as she can’t see him continue to suffer. She tries to unbind him but the rest of Hong Joo’s henchgirls show up and although she successfully holds her own, one of the girl tosses powder in her eyes, blinding her enough for her to be slashed and then Hong Joo walks up to her and stabs her in the gut, whispering that she’d warned Sol Gae that her feelings would bring her death. As Sol Gae falls to the ground, Poong Yeon begins to wail as he remembers their first meeting and how he’d rescued a hungry, destitute and way younger Sol Gae from her hard life. The minute Sol Gae dies, the black magic festers and grows and Poong Yeon falls underneath its spell (drats!).
10. Leading Seo Ri like sheep to the slaughter
The next morning, Seo Ri’s taken from the cells, put in a cart and led to the place where she would be burned. She’s pulled out of the cart and glares at Hong Joo all the whilst looking worriedly at Poong Yeon who stands there looking like a zombie. As the executioner reels out the charges she’s guilty of, the people shout that she should be killed and the guards tie her to the pyre. The command is giving for her to be set ablaze and the drums indicating the execution is about to commence starts to echo loudly. Jun’s struggles with his bounds hands in the cell he’s been locked in, Sunjo bows his head and Queen Shim tears up. Zombie Poong Yeon steps up to the pyre and nothing flickers in his face as he sets the straw on fire. As the straws blaze up, the citizens all look away, Hong Joo smiles and Seo Ri struggles against her bonds.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
Still Sunjo because firstly, he’s an idiot. A big idiot. After all that vitriol Hong Joo spewed about her plans to transfer the curse to the royal family, and Jun speaking of his plans to cure the people, he’s fixated on the fact that Queen Shim really was barren and had conceived her children with black magic. Like seriously, you would think that this man would have learned from his mistakes with the Red Gentleman’s Robe that eventually, the truth will come to light. But no, he’s acting like an ostrich, sticking his head in the sand and now Seo Ri’s been sentenced to death. How frustrating!
Headache inducing moment:
None in this episode. Sure I know I should be worried for Seo Ri, but we have two episodes to go and I know she wouldn’t die. The only question is, who will come to the rescue?
This episode’s an Anejo Highball. Because I have to admit it, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Why is Hong Joo always winning. Why is Sol Gae dead? Why is Yo Gwang injured. Why has Poong Yeon’s choice to not kill his sister been taking from him? Why is Jun locked up in a cell? Why is Sunjo an idiot who feels so bad that he can’t be present for the burning but is still too spineless to do anything about it. And why do I have to wait two more episodes for Hong Joo to get ripped apart by the dark magic?!