This episode is the calm before the storm, before all hell breaks loose, and the world that our characters know of collapses. It is always important to enjoy things while you can, because you never know when you can ever have fun again.
The episode starts with a brief recap of last week’s episodes, and we continue from where we left off. Yoon Kang throw’s Hyun Am’s book to Choi, and he takes aim at them when they thought they’d be safe. Choi’s finger starts to tighten around the trigger, ready to press down, when an arrow whizzes by and gets stuck in a tree.
General Park and his men surrounds Choi, and the usual warnings shouted to a criminal is being said. Choi eyes his surroundings, retreats to the cliff and jumps off. Everyone couldn’t believe he made such a bold move, and General Park further shocks everyone by jumping after Choi. Hundreds of arrows were shot but all miss hitting Choi. *suspension of disbelief required*
The two men swim across the river and upon returning to dry land, leap over rocks and stones as the chase continues. Choi tries to fire at General Park but misses as General Park hides behind a rock, and gives up reloading as the rifle is filled with water. General Park takes the chance to give chase, and both men end up at a clearing. It’s time for some showdown, and both fight with their respective weapons. Choi takes aim and hits General Park at his arm, while General Park raises his sword and slashes at Choi’s arm. General Park falls while Choi runs away (again).
The troop finally catches up with General Park. Soo-in says she was supposed to hand the book over to Oh Kyung, but the book is now in Choi’s hands. General Park asks how she knows Yoon Kang (he thinks she’s just another scholar), and Yoon Kang replies on her behalf that they got acquainted at a gibang, to which Soo-in shoots him a look.
It actually turns out that General Park knows she’s Soo-in afterall, to her shock and embarassment. He reassures her, and tells her to buy a new set of clothes to change into before going home. General Park also tells her not to take part in such dangerous missions again, and asks her to relay it to Yoon Kang as well.
General Park tells his right-hand man Officer Moon (thanks to javabeans for his name!) he’s sure Choi is the person the sniper who was caught and poisoned mentioned, and admits Choi is very agile.
Yoon Kang and Soo-in rides home, and she accepts his help readily to get off the horse. She’s still embarassed about lying blatantly to General Park when he already knows she’s disguising as a man, and Yoon Kang scoffs that General Park is not as kind as she thinks. He tells her to enter the house before him, for if they enter together it’ll be too suspicious. She agrees, and attempts to sneak in by the front door. She gets a fright of her life when her maid calls out for her, and her parents are standing right at the yard as well.
Soo-in’s mother drags her back to the bedroom, and whips out a cane. Soo-in insists that she was at the constable station the whole night, interrogated about Hyun Am’s case. Her mother then demands to know why is she wearing a new set of clothes, and Soo-in lies that she had to change because the ink spilled all over her hanbok. Soo-in even claims that General Park can vouch for her, and her mother can only give up at punishing her. Soo-in heaves a sigh of relief as crisis is averted.
General Park reports to King Gojong that Oh Kyung had been eliminated, and the sniper is still at large. General Park swears to catch the assassin, and King Gojong tells him he has to, if not the scholars will never dare to think about reform again.
Over at the villains, Choi hands over the book to the mastermind (javabeans calls him Lord Kim…but I prefer the mastermind, keke). The old man takes at look at the book, and scoffs at the ideologies of Hyun Am (the idea of equality for all). Right Minister Kim comes in just then, and the mastermind introduces Choi to him, as the person in charge of carrying out the assassinations. Right Minister Kim looks at him (with contempt), while Choi avoids his eyes. Hmm.
Everyone heads outside, and the mastermind burns Hyun Am’s book. Right Minister Kim reports that King Gojong does not seem to give up on the idea of reform, and even grants General Park more manpower to capture the sniper. The mastermind orders Choi to get rid of General Park, and adds that they should not underestimate him; a foolproof plan has to be enacted.
Officer Moon tells General Park that he believes there’s a spy among them, for how would the assassin know of Oh Kyung’s plan to skip town? General Park tells him to find out the list of people who were standing guard outside his office yesterday, as one of them must be the one eavesdropping on their conversation.
Choi meets up with his remaining assassin in the cave, and they plan to strike General Park using his family members. Ruh-oh.
Two young scholars meet up at a riverside pavillion, which used to be where the reform scholars met. They reminisce about the times before the teachers who taught about reformation were killed, and laments that no one dares to turn up here anymore. Someone speaks up behind them when they are about to leave, saying Joseon will be over if even they give up. It is Kim Ho Kyung (Han Joo Wan), who returns from Japan immediately after hearing of Hyun Am being assassinated. He tells his friends to round up everyone, and he’ll drink on whoever’s tab who doesn’t turn up. Ho Kyung says courage and fervor will return when everyone meets up again. He sure sounds hopeful, and idealistic.
Soo-in sits in her room, thinking of the previous night while her maid chatters away. Look, someone is falling in love already! Keke. She excuses herself and leaves her room. She sees Yoon Kang loitering around and calls out to him. He comes over sheepishly, and claims that he’s just wondering if she’s alright. Soo-in thinks Hyun Am will understand that it’s not her fault for giving up the book, and asks Yoon Kang if this is his excuse of entering the ladies’ quarters. LOL.
Yoon Kang denies it quickly and is about to turn and leave, but Soo-in calls out to him and invites him to look at the various equipments in her yard. She explains to him what is a globe, and tells him the story of Galileo being executed for insisting that the world is round. Yoon Kang jokes that there’s a weird person who insists on his ideologies, just like Soo-in. She glares at him, and an awkward silence follows. Soo-in breaks the silence and thanks Yoon Kang for the previous night, and says she doesn’t know how to repay him. Yoon Kang is about to explain to her how he wants her repay him, when Soo-in’s maid comes running in, telling her they’ve got a guest.
It is Ho Kyung, and Soo-in greets him happily. The three of them walk to the room previously used by Hyun Am, and Soo-in decides that Ho Kyung can use the room since Yoon Kang’s using the room Ho Kyung previously used. She takes Ho Kyung’s luggage and enters the room. Ho Kyung sticks his hand out for a handshake, and Yoon Kang follows suit reluctantly. Ho Kyung then follows Soo-in into the room and closes the door, to Yoon Kang’s disbelief.
Yoon Kang stews in his room, thinking aloud that Ho Kyung ignorant, closing the door when he’s alone with Soo-in in the room. He hears Soo-in calling Ho Kyung oraboni in a familiar tone, much to Yoon Kang’s chagrin.
General Park tells Officer Moon he thinks the era of sword is over. Officer Moon looks at him in alarm, asking what would happen to those who’d only used the sword for their whole life. General Park says they either abandon it, or die with it. This is depressing.
Hye Won brings tea to Choi, and tells her father not to come home too late these days. She goes on about the recent spate of assassinations, and I’m surprised she’s in the dark about her father’s secret activities.
The next morning, Yoon Kang is getting ready to wash his face in the yard, when Ho Kyung is already ready to go out. They exchange pleasantries, and Ho Kyung asks Yoon Kang to tell Soo-in he’s at a meeting if she asks for him. Yoon Kang is displeased that Ho Kyung keeps mentioning about Soo-in. Someone’s jealous much.
Soo-in’s main comes running and Yoon Kang asks grumpily if she’s looking for Ho Kyung, he’s just left. She pants and says Soo-in is looking for Yoon Kang, and he immediately brightens up. Aww. Soo-in has actually thought of how to repay Yoon Kang for saving her, and it is actually to show him fireworks later at night, where a lunar eclipse will take place. She adds that this is not something she shows anyone, and asks Yoon Kang to get Yeon Ha along as well. He’s not keen with having someone else around, and so fibs thatYeon Ha just caught a cold.
Yoon Kang changes into a nicer outfit for his date, grinning from ear to ear. He literally skips to meet Soo-in at the side gate, and is taken aback to see a sulking Yeon Ha waiting together with Soo-in and her maid. Yeon Ha guesses correctly that her brother deliberately lied to prevent her from going, which Yoon Kang denies. The siblings squibble adorably. Little do they know that a sniper is observing them from the other end of the yard.
General Park and Officer Moon brings a drawing of the dead sniper, hoping to find leads, and manage to hear about him from a deliveryman. The sniper is supposed to be dead five years ago, as he was being beaten to death for killing. He also used to belong to Gyeonggi Trade Group, General Park and Officer Moon learnt.
Meanwhile, the young people go on a trip to a temple in the mountains, and Yoon Kang extends his hand to help Soo-in up a slope. Yeon Ha and Soo-in’s maid smile to themselves looking at how obvious Yoon Kang is smitten by Soo-in.
Yoon Kang and Soo-in sits at a creek looking over the town, and Yoon Kang says off-handedly it sure looks small from up here. Soo-in replies that the whole of Joseon is small, and Yoon Kang asks incredulously has she traveled the entire country? She laughs that she learnt how small Joseon is from the globe, and was shocked initially. But it led her to her dream, which she prayed for at the temple: to travel to the other end of the sea. She dreams to live in a world where anyone can do anything anywhere, and not be restricted like the world as they know of.
Soo-in asks Yoon Kang if he has any dream, which he doesn’t. She urges him to come up with one, and he does, looking at her bashfully. He is about to tell her his dream, when Yeon Ha starts splashing water at him. The siblings engage in a water fight, and they start splashing at Soo-in as well. The sniper who was observing them from the yard has followed them here, and his gaze settled on Yeon Ha. Sigh.
General Park confronts Choi at his house, asking about Jung Tae, the dead assassin. General Park proposes that someone could very well have saved a dying Jung Tae from his punishment, which leads to Jung Tae being loyal to his savior. Choi skirts around the hypothesis by insisting that it could very well happen, but definitely not in his own trade group.
The excursion group gathers around the fireworks which Soo-in prepared, and she tells Yoon Kang to lean in closer when she’s about to light the match. He falls back in shock when the matchstick is lighted, making all the girls laugh. Soo-in lights another matchstick again to light the fireworks, and everyone waits in anticipation. The spark fizzles and dies out, to everyone’s disappointment.
Soo-in keeps trying to light the fireworks, while Yeon Ha and Soo-in’s maid admire the lunar eclipse at a distance away. Soo-in wonders what is wrong even though she’s got the correct concoction, while Yoon Kang starts to get impatient. Yeon Ha sees her brother being happy with Soo-in alone, and tells Soo-in’s maid she’s cold and would like to go down from the mountain. They leave, and Yoon Kang smiles to himself.
Yoon Kang finds the gun powder slightly damp, and wonder if that’s the cause of their failure. She heeds his advice and they finally succeeded. Yay! Soo-in gets caught by Yoon Kang for looking at him, and she tries to look away shyly but Yoon Kang leans in for a kiss on her cheek. Awww. It’s such a highly charged scene, which gets cut short by Soo-in’s maid running up to them, informing them that Yeon Ha has disappeared.
Yoon Kang sets off immediately to find his sister, shouting her name repeatedly. The girls also follow suit, but to no avail. Yoon Kang finds the wooden owl he carved for Yeon Ha (which she wears as a necklace) hanging on a bush. The scene cuts to the assassin who’d been observing them for the whole day is carrying Yeon Ha over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. She is brought back to the cave, and Choi orders his minion to keep her alive until they’ve gotten General Park.
Yoon Kang insists that Soo-in returns home first, while he continues to search for Yeon Ha. Soo-in heads to find Hye Won for help, but Hye Won tells her it’s impossible to conduct a search in the dark. She promises that she’ll send people out to search in the morning if Yeon Ha is still not found by then.
Yoon Kang fails to find Yeon Ha even until daybreak, and returns to the Jungs dejectedly. Soo-in urges Yoon Kang to inform General Park immediately, and we see that General Park has already received a note from the kidnapper. Yoon Kang enters General Park’s office, and even before he can say Yeon Ha is missing, General Park slaps him. He demands to know where Yoon Kang is when Yeon Ha disappeared, and rages that he doesn’t know she’s missing when Yoon Kang claims he was just beside her. General Park reveals that he sent the siblings to the Jungs because he was afraid something like this would happen, and realization hits Yoon Kang, that it’s the doings of the assassins of the Kaehwa scholars.
General Park says he’ll go alone to save Yeon Ha, but Yoon Kang asks is he actually going to get his whole army instead, similar to when his mother was being taken away. Yoon Kang flies into a rage and insists to know where General Park is supposed go. General Park calls for his guards and orders Yoon Kang to be locked up until the next day.
A flashback tells us how Yoon Kang’s mother was being brought away by a group of bandits at the Yalu River district, and his mother’s last words to him were to hide well and not let baby Yeon Ha cry out. General Park was informed of his wife’s kidnapping, and returns home, where Yoon Kang hands him a note from the bandits. He urges his father to obey the bandits’ order, which is supposed to guarantee his mother’s safe return.
General Park orders his men to proceed to the mountain and to capture the the assassin at all costs. Yoon Kang hears the troops getting ready to set off, and cries in despair. Another flashback to General Park bringing the body of his wife home, and Yoon Kang blames his father for his mother’s death. Yoon Kang sees Officer Moon outside the jail, and begs to be released. He pleads to Officer Moon to not let him hate his father any more and he doesn’t want to lose his sister.
Officer Moon relents, and gets ready a horse for Yoon Kang. He tells Yoon Kang the troops will set off after an hour, and Yoon Kang finally understands that General Park IS going to save Yeon Ha alone. Officer Moon explains that’s why he lets Yoon Kang out, hoping that he can help his father. Yoon Kang tells Soo-in they’ll all return safely and sets off to meet his father.
General Park comes to the foot of the mountain, where he meets a peasant who tells him fearfully that the kidnappers have changed the location, and General Park is to reach there within a certain timeframe, if not the peasant and his family will be killed. Omona.
Yoon Kang comes riding to the same foot, just in time to meet his father before he heads for the new location. General Park orders him to retreat, but Yoon Kang tells him tearfully that experiencing the pain of seeing his mother being dragged away, once is enough. He’ll kill himself if he has to experience it again. He asks General Park if he has forgotten that he gave Yoon Kang a sword is to protect Yeon Ha. General Park finally relents.
The assassin removes the blindfold from Yeon Ha’s face, and tells her to see carefully how her family is going to die. He tells her she’s a bait, and when her family comes to save her, they’ll be shot by a hidden sniper. General Park and Yoon Kang rides to find Yeon Ha…
I think the flaws in the writing is starting to appear. Nothing major, yet, but I’m starting to find a couple of lazy writing where coincidences occur way too often. The most jarring of it was how Yeon Ha was being kidnapped. Why is Soo-in’s maid behind, but not with her when they went downhill? These are minor loopholes, though eyebrow raising nonetheless.
I do appreciate that Hye Won is not as evil as she seems, according to the character description, though I’m not sure if it’ll come out in the subsequent episodes. I wish to see more of her though, and frankly speaking I’m disappointed that the second leads have so little screen time that they literally scream second leads.
I like how the revenge portion of Show is shaping up, and hope it stays action packed. The romance is of less importance to me now, though I love how bashful Yoon Kang and Soo-in are around each other. Nipping the romance when it’s just budding is absolutely angsty, but we all know that it serves great narration purpose. So enjoy it while we can!