When we thought things are looking up for Jang Yeong Shil, it returns to square one as more people want him to die (sucks being a scientist in a Confucian society). It’s especially demoralising to see how he and his ragtag team finally came up with the correct eclipse calculation (and gaining the knowledge of the Earth revolving around the Sun), saving duplicated hardcopies of their hardwork, only to have the China-fearing, ignorant, self-righteous ministers (and Jang Hee Jae!) ordering a hit on Jang Yeong Shil and the mathematicians and reduce everything into ashes.

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I knew Jang Hee Jae is not as evil as his friend (who’s crazily hellbent in wanting to kill Jang Yeong Shil), but he really needs to release himself from his jealousy of Jang Yeong Shil. It was great seeing him working with Jang Yeong Shil previously to build the water clock; if only he can recognise the fact that he is not a born talent in engineering like Jang Yeong Shil is, he’d be a happier man and perhaps he’d reach greater heights in science! Anyway, so he actually lured Jang Yeong Shil to the other shed where the copies of their eclipse calculations were kept, knocked Jang Yeong Shil out in front of Kim Hak Joo (the crazy friend), and kept him safe in the underground storage while burning down the shed.

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It was hellish for Lee Chun and King Sejong, when the former found that the sheds and the huge armillary sphere were burnt down, and three bodies were uncovered. Lee Chun assumed that the third body was Jang Yeong Shil (a flashback told us a member of our ragtag team, the one who does fortune telling, knew about Jang Hee Jae’s plan all along, and together they placed unnamed corpse to pose as Jang Yeong Shil). Sejong was outraged to learn about the rampage, but he suppressed his anger and disappointment for the bigger picture when he realised nothing is going to change if he took the route of his father (by killing all who’s involved) and lied low in his scientific pursuits.

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A day or two passed after the rampage and Jang Hee Jae released Jang Yeong Shil from the underground storage, leaving a letter telling him to stay as far away as possible and he has repaid his debt of owing his life to Jang Yeong Shil back in Ming China. And so Jang Yeong Shil left Hanyang and stayed at Namyang (which is present-day’s Hwaseong), working on the sound-making stones called gyeongseok. The rest of this week’s episodes was mostly on the development of Joseon music according to Confucian teachings, and we’re introduced to a new historical figure Park Yeon, who was the person credited for systemizing Joseon music and instruments. A whole load of math is involved when Park Yeon finds Jang Yeong Shil, and they share with each other (and us viewers, of course) how they calculate the production of harmonious notes with beans, bamboo sticks and the gyeongseok.

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Park Yeon is not only impressed by Jang Yeong Shil’s innate talent with relative pitch, he also finds the village that Jang Yeong Shil lives in highly organized and thriving well, thanks to the sundial Jang Yeong Shil made for the villagers and taught them how to read time according to the sun. Park Yeon is also impressed that the village children know their constellations through songs and rhymes, and urges Jang Yeong Shil to return to Hanyang with him to meet with King Sejong (Park Yeon is unaware that he is THE Jang Yeong Shil though).

PS: As a tribute to Jang Yeong Shil, I took a photo of the solar elipse today!

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