Young is on a roll as he scores yet another victory against Prime Minister Kim and his brood of conspiring ministers. Ra On lets down her hair for a night to save her prince in the most beautiful and elegant of ways, and makes an impression that would ensure that Young would spend quite a while searching for his mystery girl.
Top 10 Moments:
- Young needs all the friends he can get (who can blame him with what he’s up against?)
We take a couple of steps back to Young accepting to be the interim king on behalf of his father. Prime Minister Kim however, pipes up that seeing that they’re under the rule of the Qing dynasty, it wouldn’t be right for such a decision to be made without approval from Qing. Young however, circumvents this point by stating that since Qing emissaries will be around for the king’s birthday, they can get their permission during the event (smart boy). We then return to the present, after Ra On discovers that Young is the Crown Prince. It takes a while for it to sink in, but once it does, she goes down on her knees and begs for mercy. Young simply smiles as he wonders if they’re only limited to him either killing her or sparing her life. After all, they are friends. Of course, Ra On takes the words as a threat and informs Byung Yeon, when she meets up with him at the hideout later that night. She wails when she flashes back to the numerous times she’s insulted the Crown Prince in Young’s presence and then wonders if maybe Byung Yeon is also hiding something from her. He denies it, but she doesn’t believe him (neither do I. Something smells fishy with him).
2. Young and Ra On’s friendship is back on track
The next morning brings with it Ra On first mission: waiting on Young. She tries to get out of it but is unable to do so, and soon she’s helping Young dress up for the day. Her manner is totally different from how she would have otherwise behaved and Young asks if she regrets getting closer to him. Ra On admits that it’s true, because if he’d told her he was the Crown Prince sooner, she wouldn’t have acted so untoward towards him. Young looks saddened at the words and he points out that he didn’t tell her because he didn’t want her to act differently towards him. He then apologizes for having kept it a secret and Ra On’s surprised that that’s the reason why he’d ensured that they were alone in his rooms. She’d thought that it was because he wanted to punish her. Young then adds that whenever they’re alone, he wants her to treat him as a friend (awwww). And to get started, he spends the entire time Ra On tries putting the hat on his head, rising on his tippy toes (hahaha), so much so that when she finally gets the hat on, it’s askew.
3. Greedy ministers never take a break from their scheming
Prime Minister Kim, Ui Gyo and Yoon Sung have drinks and the Prime Minister brings up the Qing envoy. Turns out the envoy is famous for being both ruthless and greedy and Prime Minister Kim asks Yoon Sung to set up a meeting. After Yoon Sung leaves, Ui Gyo brings out possibly bribing the envoy so things can fall in their favour. Prime Minister Kim however, is more interested in the likelihood of Young and the envoy butting heads. At the thought of the unpredictable prince and the ruthless envoy butting heads, the two men smile whilst Yoon Sung who’d eavesdropped on the conversation looks decidedly unhappy.
4. Yoon Sung gives us major Second Lead Syndrome (which is quite commendable because Young is so swoon worthy)
Over in the palace, Young keeps trying to get Ra On to sneak out of the palace with him. Unfortunately for him, nothing he suggests, from him faking a stomachache, to him expressing concern about her need to go outside, works on her (hahaha). He then huffs and has her bring some books for him to the library. However, by the time Ra On gets there, he’s swapped clothes with Sung Yeol, and disappeared (hahahaha. Errant prince). And so, when Yoon Sung comes to meet the head eunuch to ask for an eunuch to accompany him on a shopping trip, Ra On’s volunteered for the position. At the market, Ra On stops by a gorgeous hanbok, fit for a fine lady and is so taken by it that she tears up as she flashes back to her mother insisting that she has to live her life like a boy. Yoon Sung later joins her, and although he notices her tears, he doesn’t call attention to it (awwww). Instead, after Ra On leaves, he calls the store owner to enquire about the hanbok (*sigh*. Sweet, sweet Yoon Sung. You’re definitely taking me back to my Moon Jae Shin SLS syndrome days). After they leave the store, it starts raining in earnest and they run to find shelter. Whilst there, Yoon Sung unravels the package he’d picked up from the store and it turns out to be the very same hanbok that Ra On had liked (awwww). He offers it to her, under the guise of her needing something to keep her dry and then runs off to go buy an umbrella.
5. Yoon Sung comes to the rescue (drats. And here I was hoping that Young actually learns the truth)
Shortly after Yoon Sung leaves, Young comes running in and takes shelter at the same sport that Ra On’s at. Neither he nor Ra On notice the other and Young stretches out his fingers so he can feel the rain. As he does so, he flashes back to when he’d been younger and his mother had taken off her shoes and danced in the rain (awww. She was so happy). Young had at first been resistant as he’d felt it was improper for the Queen and the Crown Prince to dance in the rain but his mother had replied that they’re not acting against the law. She’d then reached out her hand and Young had joined her in dancing in the rain. Back in the present, Ra On also stretches out her finger to touch the rain and Young finally turns to look at her. Her face though is covered by her hanbok and so he doesn’t get a good look at her. Ra On on the other hand notices and recognizes him and just as she’s about to leave, Young tells her to stay awhile and wait for the rain to subside because being caught in the rain might be a brief endeavour, but the effects would be long-lasting. The minute Ra On agrees, something in her voice catches his attention and just as he draws closer, Yoon Sung jumps in between Young and Ra On and calls Ra On his woman. As expected, Young pulls back, apologizes for having startled her and leaves. Ra On meanwhile smiles in relief.
6. Young intends to catch flies with honey than with vinegar
Later that night, Young flashes back to his conversation with Master Jeong (the man he’d crept out of the Palace to see), where the master, after confirming that Young had come for advice on how best to handle the probable sabotage of the Qing envoy’s visit, suggests that Young simply act obedient so as to keep his head above water. Young’s affronted because he’d come for advice on how to get on equal footing with Prime Minister Kim and Jeong had pointed out that the king and the Crown Prince can’t be expected to control their Prime Minister. What Young can do however is cut off the Prime Minister’s head. At the words, Young scoffs as he wonders if that’s the advice he came all the way to come and receive, especially considering that he could just have easily sent an assassin after Prime Minister Kim. He makes to leave, but Jeong stops him by pointing out that Young can just as well use honey as opposed to poison (hmmmm. Interesting). It is this thought that has Young deciding that very same night that he will use music and dance to bring the ministers to their knees. And sure enough, by the new morning, there’s an influx of gisaengs into the palace.
7. Queen Kim’s planning something (and something tells me that it’s not going to be very pleasant)
Young has Ra On shadow him as he oversees the gisaengs dance. He (Young) is pretty much a slave driver, and when the star of the show keeps tripping and failing in her dance, he just about loses his cool. But he looks at Ra On who shakes her head in a ‘that’s not nice’ manner and instead has the dancers take some time off. When the star trips and bumps into him, he looks to Ra On who mouths to him that he should comfort the woman by patting her on the back. Young reluctantly does so (hahaha. Who’s following whose orders now?), and it’s this sight that Queen Kim sees and automatically assumes that Young is flirting with the gisaengs. She tells the ministers with her to tell her father not to worry as she has something planned that will be sure to steal the show at the king’s birthday/emissary hosting celebration.
8. Young can rest easy because his friends have got his back
After a night spent drawing all the movements in the gisaeng’s dance from memory, Ra On and Young fall asleep in the same room. What this means though is that by the time Eunuch Jang comes to wake up the Crown Prince, Ra On’s in a tizzy (which is understandable when you consider the whole, lowly eunuch shouldn’t feel so comfortable in the Crown Prince’s presence that the eunuch would fall asleep bit). Thankfully, Young wakes up in time to give the instruction that he is not to be woken up for another hour. He sleepily (gah! he’s so cute) teases Ra On about how easily frightened she gets, and muses her hair. Seeing him so close just has Ra On hiccuping (oooh. She likes him :D). She then runs straight to the hideout where Byung Yeon is at and begins to talk about the upcoming celebration. Byung Yeon in turns tells her to offer all her help to Young as so many people are waiting for him to screw up the celebration (awww. You’re a good friend). One of such people is Ui Gyo who waits with eunuch Sung to receive the Qing emissary; a man who speaks fluent Korean and is quite friendly with Yoon Sung who he knew from back in the day.
9. Ra On comes to the rescue and dances her way into Young’s heart (of course Young has no idea that she’s the one dancing)
Turns out that Queen Kim’s plan is to threaten the star dancer with threat of killing her family, so the girl can run away mid celebration. And so, when head eunuch Sung comes running to her to deliver the news (dude. You’re on her side? Not fair!), she smiles and nods to her father who smiles as well. Yoon Sung finds out about the disappearance from eunuch Jang and Ra On runs to the gisaeng’s changing room to ask about the dancer. When she hears that the girl’s run away, she flashes back to Young talking about the importance of the dance, and Byung Yeon telling her that it’s important they do everything to help Young as quite a lot of people would rather see him fail. At the thought, she makes her decision and transforms into a girl, complete with the beautiful hanbok, makeup and her hair let down. She however is oblivious to the fact that Eunuch Ma sees the entire transformation (uh-oh. Please tell me you’ll keep her secret. Please keep her secret). Ra On then heads out to perform the dance (with a mask covering the lower half of her face to hide her identity), and whilst Queen Kim, Prime Minister Kim and the other ministers are shocked at this saving grace, Young is tearful as the dance is reminiscent of his mother dancing in the rain. He’s so connected to the graceful and beautiful dance that for a moment, he’s back in that field. But it’s Ra On who’s dancing instead of his mother and when he stretches out to take her hand, the illusion disappears and the dance ends.
10. Young scores yet another victory against Prime Minister Kim
After the dance is the time for the reading of the celebratory speech. Young though has an ace up his sleeve and calls Prime Minister Kim to come and read the speech (oooh. Talk about unexpected). The Prime Minister glowers but has no choice but to take the scroll and reads out a written message praising the king and hoping that he lives a long, long life. As he reads, both his daughter and the ministers look heartbroken, but the Prime Minister has to finish the speech, and he concludes with a cheer of ‘Long live the king’. And although the ministers are clearly annoyed by this turn, they mutter between themselves that Young got them good (oh yes he did!), and so they join in the cheer. A glowering Prime Minister Kim meets Young’s eyes and Young allows himself a little smile. After the celebration, he flashes back to Ra On’s dance and sets out to look for her. Ra On on the other hand is trying to find her way out. Young spots her and follows after her, and just as he’s moments away from seeing her, Ra On’s yanked into the bushes by Yoon Sung (drats. I want him to see her dammit), and the move has the rest of her mask slipping away. She’s shocked but Yoon Sung shushes her to keep quiet, and meters away from where they’re hiding, Young turns to look in their direction.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
For attempting to ruin Young’s celebration and for being such a bitch that she would dare use a woman’s family to threaten her, just so she can humiliate Young, she deserves the bitchslap of this episode.
Headache inducing moment:
None in this episode.
This episode’s a Pumpkin Spice White Russian, so delicious that you want to rush it in one gulp, and so delicious that you want to take it in little sips so you can savour the experience. And truly, Young took the slow route and reaped the rewards. Whilst everyone else was focused on the dance, which was truly a beautiful moment because it celebrated his mother’s free spirit and refusal to settle for the conventional way of behaving, Young was focused on the complete humiliation of Prime Minister Kim, and getting yet another one-up, even with the Qing emissary in attendance. I find it truly ironic in a beautiful way that it is the two women who have defied convention that had served as a prelude to Young refusing to bow down to the easy way out of submitting to the Prime Minister and living a peaceful but more conventional life. I find it symbolic that the dance that preluded the speech was inspired by his mother (one of the convention defying women) and was executed by Ra On (yet another woman defying convention and living as a man, albeit involuntarily) and our Crown Prince used that as the lever he needed to thumb his nose at everyone waiting to see his downfall. It was a satisfying twist indeed.