I’m loving all the ladies in this episode, each of them strong in their own right, each of them moved me.
SY takes out a pair of rings and asks solemnly:
SY: Will you … be the mother of my child?
She answers his question with a question.
SR: Will you be the father of my child?
He smiles and slips the rings to her finger.
SY: We are now husband and wife…even if we are far apart, we must be each other’s shadow.
In response, SR removes one of the rings and slips it on his finger.
SR: Forever, we will be together…
After declaring their undying love, they spend the night as husband and wife.
SR wakes up the next morning all anxious when she finds SY missing (this so mirrors the scene in episode 14...where SY kidnapped SR…how far they have come since then) . She finds him quickly enough, adjusting the saddles of the horse. She beams at him and he smiles right back. Aww…you two are breaking my heart.
They ride to SR’s old house – where they reluctantly part, wordlessly, each trying to be brave and strong for another. As she steps into the house, she turns back to glance at SY for the last time, smiling with her eyes brimming with tears.
By now, Song is really really sick. He is surprised to see his sister and thought she had gotten separated from her beau. She explains that even though he is out of sight, he is always by her side. Even though our poor Song is dying, he understands SR is hurting and holds her hand in comfort.
SY returns to their hideout where Jo is waiting. Jo commends him for making such a tough decision and does not argue when SY insists that it is only temporary. Jo advises that they leave the place as soon as possible, as the place may not be safe for long.
Myeon receives news that SR has return and rushes over immediately to find her preparing medicine for Song nonchalantly.
M: Outlaw Kim Seung Yoo…where is he?
SR: That person is my husband…do not simply insult him…
SR: He has already left…Even if you want to find out any information from me…it’s too late now.
Myeon notices her ring and grabs her hand.
M: Just with this ring, the two of you are husband and wife? The person who is supposed to be your husband – is not that person but me! Just based on this ring ---
SR: Even if you take away the ring, you cannot stop my feelings.
M: (Unnerved by her conviction) What exactly happened between the two of you… ….what have the two of you been up to?
SR: Our business is no concern of yours…
M: Our…? I will not attempt to own your heart again, but your body … will definitely be mine.
Song interrupts him and warns him not to torture his sister anymore (yay…for reason. He is delusional beyond reason now.) Not willing to cause a scene, Myeon leaves. SR worries that he’s overdoing himself but our dear Song is only too happy to help.
King Sejo also learns of SR’s return and wants to force the location of SY out of her. Queen JeongHui tries to stop him, understanding that SR would rather die than betray SY. She appeals to his fatherly concern that Song is apparently better in SR’s care. She begs him to consider Song’s welfare first saying that as long as Song recovers, she care naught for SY. At the mention of SY, King Sejo seems to lose his composure again, launching into a tirade on how only by eliminating SY that the Crown Prince’s future would be secure. King Sejo insists on going to SR and orders her not to stand in his way.
Meanwhile, everyone is packing their stuffs for their journey to HamGilDou except…Ah Kang and Lady Ryu. Ah Kang sulks a little for not being able to join them and adorably asks SY how long he would be away. SY tells her he’d be back once she has learned the “chon jya mun”(Thousand-character Essay). Ah Kang asks to be taught 100 characters a day! LOL.
The Thousand-Character Essay is another ancient text used to teach Hanja/Chinese to school children. It really does contain exactly 1,000 characters of which no character is ever repeated. Because of this unique feature, it is also a very popular subject for calligraphers. The characters are arranged into 125 four-character couplets. In addition to being a tool for teaching reading and writing, the essay also incorporated basic facts that would be useful to children. (www.yellowbridge.com)
SY instructs Jo to set out first with the rest because he needs to go somewhere. He finds KH at her husband’s grave and offers to take her to HamGilDou. KH refuses his offer, wanting to stay near her husband so that she and her child can accompany him. Instead, she reminds him to fulfill everyone’s ambition on their behalf. Lastly, she asks about SR…
King Sejo and his entourage reach the old house where father and daughter meet each other for the first time since their estrangement.
KS: So…are you happy now? Leaving your father and brother…to be with that KimSeungYoo, does that make you happy? You, who used to love talking back to me…why are you silent now?! Seeing the father you wanted dead…are you feeling ashamed?
SR: I’ve said that I never wanted to see father dead.
KS: You dare…
SR: I wish sincerely that you could turn back into the father I used to know. I wish sincerely that you could turn back into the most carefree father in the world…
KS: No matter then or now, I have been the same…
The reunion is cut short by the Queen’s cries. The Crown Prince is critically ill. As the family gathers around him, Song rather creepily remarks that he sees the ex-King (DanJong) waving to him with a smile. He breathes his last breath while pointing to the empty air – King Sejo and the Queen break down in tears.
King Sejo, Queen JeongHui and Myeon are keeping vigil for the Crown Prince when Seyung brings Seryung along. King Sejo is still vengeful at SR, blaming her for the death of Song and bars her from the wake. He summons an official and orders him to remove all mention of SeRyung from official records – deleting all evidence that she was a princess. The Queen tries to intervene, but King Sejo’s mind is made up. He orders SR never to show herself before him again, claiming he only has one daughter from that moment onwards.
There’s a time jump, and we fast forward to several months later. Yeori is waiting anxiously outside a room…while someone screams as though in labour…Could it be – no it isn’t. We see KH giving birth to a baby boy and he is named Jung Mi-Soo, the name given by his father, the late Jung Jeong. KH asks Yeori about SR…
Next, we see Yeori happily reporting to a much dressed-down SR about KH and the baby. SR tells Yeori to return to the palace – Yeori refuses, insisting that the Queen sent her to be with SR. SR asks about her father and is told that he is still grieving for the Crown Prince.
Suddenly, an old servant interrupts their conversation and tells SR to return before the Lord is angry. And the Lord in question is none other than Shin Myeon! Myeon asks the old servant if SR has been out and the servant answers that she has not gone out the entire day. OK...He’s Delusional and Possessive!
Far away, a scruffy looking SY leads his men which also include Jo, Noh Gul and Park to victory in taking over an army camp in HamGilDou. They are joined by a group of men led by Lee Shi-Ae. SY wants to continue marching south – towards the Capital. But it seems their job is not done yet as Park reminds them there is still one more person to take care of before they can claim the place as theirs.
The men return to the headquarters where the ladies are making their meal. Chu Hee is sarcastic as always, Mooyoung welcomes them enthusiasticly and Sooyoung appears to be more receptive to NohGul’s advances. SY smiles but walks back to his room.
Alone, he takes out the ring which is hung around his neck and thinks of SR -- who at the moment is longing for him too.
In the palace, King Sejo is furious to learn that Kim SeungYoo has joined forces with Guard Lee Shi-Ae and taken over HamGilDou. He orders Myeon to eliminate SY and the rebels. Then he sends everyone but Han away. Kwon Ram notes to Shin SukJoo that the King is especially sensitive when it comes to SY and they wonder why the King wants to speak to Han in private.
King Sejo wants Han to lead a group of warriors and tail Myeon discreetly. He’s suspicious of Myeon and feels that he will fail in his mission again – as was the case the previous times. He tells Han to kill SY at all cost, even if it means sacrificing Myeon.
Han: A hunter’s dog which cannot hunt has outgrown its usefulness.
(I like this saying –It refers to Myeon of course. It’s sort of sad that Myeon’s loyalty to King Sejo gains him nothing – a Judas in the eyes of the public, an enemy in SY, a dead best friend, the woman he loves who loathes him and now a master who doubts him. But he made that choice, so he should live with the consequences and I foresee a sad sad ending for him as well.)
Meanwhile, Yeori reminds SR that it is time. Time to?? To prepare the bedding sheets for his Lordship Shin Myeon. Yeori is curious but enraged on SR’s behalf and suggests that she spits on it. (Great idea!) SR gives her a wry smile and makes her way to Myeon’s room.
Shin SukJoo warns his son to complete his mission and kill SY as the King no longer believes him. SR overhears them, but keeps her composure as she continues on her way to Myeon’s room. Shin notes his son’s obsession with her and asks if he plans to bring her along.
SR is preparing his bed when Myeon enters the room.
M: Do you want to come along? Why aren’t you answering? Didn’t you want to be with him so much?
SR: Not being at each other side does not mean that we are not together.
Myeon is irritated by her indifference and grabs her wrist for the umpteenth time.
M: I will definitely bring you along, and kill him before your eyes, so you would forget him!
SR: My husband will not be easily captured.
M: Is that so? Then come with me. We shall see whose words are true…
SR flings him off and leaves the room. When she meets Yeori, she confides her worries in her, seeking assurance that SY will be fine.
Our drunkard King is at it again, drinking himself senseless. Queen JeongHui asks him about SR, worried that Myeon will bring SR to the battlefield. King Sejo does not seem to care, saying that Myeon is free to do to her whatever he wants. She warns that she would not forgive him if SR dies as well. Once alone, he’s reminded of Song’s last words regarding ex-King DanJong and flips the table in anger.
KH is tending to her crying baby when they receive a most unexpected guest – the Queen! She offers to persuade the King to restore her to the palace. KH refuses; the Queen understands her feelings but asks that she reconsiders for the sake of her child. KH is moved but is curious of her intentions. The Queen explains she wants to reconcile with her for the sake of SR who is going to HamGilDou – it’s like she’s trying to do good deeds so that her daughter SR is spared from any calamity. (As in, do good and you will be blessed. King Sejo was also practicing the same logic when he was hesitating to kill DanJong when his son was ill).
KH goes to Myeon’s house where the servants are busy packing. Myeon is somewhat reassured to see Jeong’s child but KH is cold and indifferent to his concern. SR is delighted to see KH and the baby. KH marvels at the way SR holds the baby – just like her mother, the Queen. She informs SR that she has agreed to accept the Queen’s benevolence to move her to another place, for the sake of her child. SR is happy for her.
KH: I heard they have gone to HamGilDou. Are you going to find KSY? Have you…forgotten everything?
SR: How could I forget? Even though he is far away, but it always feels as though he is right beside me. The soulful expression of his eyes, the warmth of his hands, his loving voice…no matter how much time has passed, it is as clear to me as if it happened yesterday.
KH: Me too…it’s the same for me…Even though he has left this world… I still feel he has not left me at all.
Sob. Sob. I love how the girls finally bond, over a loved one, despite everything.
In HamGilDou, SY and gang are busy training their army. Lee informs him that the new official from the capital has arrived and he wants SY to meet their informant. He learns that the new official from the Capital is Shin Myeon. They decide to keep a low profile while waiting for Myeon to make his move first.
Myeon, as expected instructs his men to make enquiries discreetly with the priority to find the hideout of the rebel’s leader – SY. SR is watching all this. Myeon asks if she plans to warn the man who plans to kill her father, edging her to go ahead if she wants to see him kill SY.
Jo sits down with SY for a chat. We are finally given the insight into his background – HamGilDou was his home. His parents were slaves freed by General Kim and they regard the General higher than the King. Jo is grateful to be able to repay the debt by aiding the son of his benefactor.
NohGul who is keeping watch, shoots an arrow as a signal to SY and Jo when he finds suspicious men scouring the woods where they are hiding. SY and Jo later ambush the men, killing them all. They sent the bodies back, on a horse as a show of defiance.
SR is still thinking about Myeon’s warning. Suddenly, SR feels a little discomfort over her chest which got Yeori all worried because she did not eat much since morning. SR does not think much of it but Yeori insists on getting her some medicine. (Oh dear, don’t tell me she’s inflicted with the same unknown disease as her brother…?)
Myeon learns about the gauntlet thrown down by the rebels but hesitates to attack the woods because they are at a disadvantage because of their unfamiliarity with the geography of the woods. Instead, they need to draw SY out of the woods. Han shows up, reminding Myeon of the valuable bait he has in hand – SR!!!!! The incorrigible Han tells Myeon to spread the word that SR is in their hands – and KSY is to show up alone if he wants to save her. Myeon is reluctant to use SR as a pawn but Han reminds him that the King has sent him here to ensure they get the work done; they are finished if they fail once again.
Yeori overhears them and Jabun sees her overhearing. (This part is funny, unintentionally. Jabun is EVERYWHERE…he sees EVERTHING! LOL)
Yeori tells SR about Han’s plans and advises her to hide. But SR astutely deduces that they can still use the ruse even if she is not there, by pretending she is! She thinks the best option is for her to notify him in person. She asks for a horse. (Oh dear I can’t watch this…)
JaBun is almost run over when he tries to stop SR from galloping away. Han is both impressed and incensed by the SR’s pluck. Myeon storms into SR’s room, demanding that Yeori divulge where SR is heading. The girl is even more courageous this time, not intimidated at all by Myeon’s threat. Myeon decides to hunt her down himself.
SR rides aimlessly into the woods where she is accosted by two rebels, who recognize her as a slave of Myeon and assumes she is a spy sent by Myeon.
In their hideout, SY has just concluded a tactical meeting with Lee when the two men reports to Lee about SR. Only Park remains in the room, and he perks up at the mention of a slave of Myeon looking for SY. He says nothing though and Lee orders that she be killed and sent back like the men before.
As the two men leave to carry out their orders, Lee casually brings up the matter to SY, Jo and Nohgul who are waiting outside. SY immediately realizes it is SR and rushes off. Jo brushes off SY’s action as inconsequential to a bewildered Lee.
SR begs the men to believe her and let her meet SY but to no avail. She is blindfolded and just as the man is about the strike her….SY shows up just in time and deflected his sword. (Phew…that was close!). He signals to the men to leave them alone.
SR: Who’s there? Thank you so much for saving my life. Can you do me a favor? Can you bring me to Lord Kim Seung Yoo. I have something to tell him. His life is in danger. Please fulfill my request.
SY is still speechless, and caresses her face. She flinches initially but seems to recognize his touch.
SR: Could you be….?
SY removes her blindfold and they gaze at each other with mixed feelings.