They gaze at each other, in disbelief, in joy, drinking in each other’s presence.
SY: How…how did you end up here?
SR: More importantly…Shin Myeon will use me to get to you. Do not believe their ruse…
SY: You came all the way here…just to tell me that?
SY eyes are welling up in wonder of this woman who has done so much for him.
SR nods vigorously in answer.
SY: You disappearing this way…are they aware of it?
SR: I’m sorry. Because I came with a horse…I was found out.
SY: Let’s go in first. We have to notify the people at the headquarters.
On the other hand, Myeon decides rashly to attack the woods, with a group of archers even though it’s dark, against his better judgment and JaBuns’s advice.
At the headquarters, there are mixed reactions to SR’s arrival. When Lee asks who SR is, SY replies that she is his fiancee, earning another round of awkward reactions. Park in particular, does not look pleased at all. SR looks surprised but happy though and agrees to wait while SY attends a meeting. Mooyoung agrees to care for her.
In the meeting, SY explains about Myeon’s plan to bait him with his wife, which has now failed but is sure to incur his wrath and his troops would surely make their move shortly. He disagrees with Lee’s suggestion to contact the rest of the rebels because he feels that the difficulty in coordinating with other rebels because of the darkness would leave them open to attack instead. Jo asks if he’s planning to engage the enemy with only their men in the woods, to which he gives a little smile.
All their men assembled, SY sets out, bidding a wordless goodbye to SR, who smiles back encouragingly. SY and his archers hide themselves while Jo and Noh Gul sit by a bonfire at a campsite, as decoy. As expected, Myeon and his men discover the site and swarms into the campsite in attack. Jo and Noh Gul have left moments before and the site is now empty.
JaBun surmises quickly it is a trap but they are too late as a rain of arrows falls on them. When Myeon’s men are significantly reduced, SY leads his men into a head-on clash.
Bodies pile up as Myeon’s men are suffering defeat. JaBun advises him to retreat but Myeon is too far gone, his stubbornness and pride would not let him admit defeat. He marches onwards but another group of men led by Park appear and seal off their exit.
SY spots Myeon from afar and throws a sword at him, which is blocked at the last minute by the fiercely loyal JaBun. Myeon watches in shock as the sword pierces JaBun’s abdomen. JaBun’s last words were, “My lord, please be careful” (RIP). His most loyal subordinate/friend gone – Myeon cries out in anguish. Fortunately for him, his reinforcement arrives so SY and gang retreat.
SY and gang returns to their headquarters where everyone is waiting anxiously. SY smiles weakly at SR before he joins the others for a meeting. They consider moving their location but SY thinks that a battle is inevitable on these grounds.
The women, including SR are busy treating the wounded. SY quietly observes SR until she notices him. She sees his bleeding hand and asks if he is hurt, only then does SY notices his own wound.
SR helps him dress his wound.
SY: Have you been staying at Myeon’s place all these time?
SR: He hasn’t been able to approach me at will.
SY: I didn’t know you’d have to live that way…I’ve always believed that you’d live well…
SR: Thinking of the day you’d come and get me…I do not feel any suffering at all.
SY clocks her looking at his blood-splattered face.
SY: Do you hate the smell of blood on me?
SR shakes her head, stands up and holds his head to her bosom.
SY: After every battle, when I go home with my blood-soaked body, I sometimes cannot differentiate if I am a man or a monster….
SY: But to me, you are someone I’ve missed dearly…
SY rises to his feet and touches her face tenderly.
SY: I should leave now. I will be sleeping outside. Rest well.
SR holds her chest again, in discomfort.
(I guess even though they’ve been intimate, they are still unmarried in everyone’s perspective, so such sleeping arrangements are necessary to keep up appearances).
Meanwhile, Myeon and his men are burying JaBun. Myeon pays his last respects by thanking JaBun for sticking with him through thick and thin and protecting his useless self.
In the palace, King Sejo could not help being suspicious when he still does not receive news about Myeon’s operation. Kwon Ram and Shin SukJoo are uneasy with his newly distrustful disposition.
In the morning, SY and SR head to a nearby waterfall.
SR: Sitting leisurely like this…gives me a rather carefree feeling…
SY: I come here often.
SR: You come here when the going gets tough?
SY: That and whenever I miss someone desperately…I would come here. There will be a great battle today. This place will become a battlefield. You should head back to the Capital and wait for news.
SR: I don’t want to.
SY: It pains me more than death itself to send you away. But to keep you here in such a dangerous place, I cannot go into battle at ease.
SR: Promise me you’ll come back alive. Please live and come back to me.
SY nods with a smile.
The King has sent orders that Myeon is to clamp down on the rebels as soon as possible. Han reminds Myeon that the only way to regain the King’s trust is to successfully kill SY. He adds ominously that he will be his backup in case things go awry. (Han is shown to place his hand on a wooden dog statue when he says this – should be a reference to saying in episode 23).
SY and SR walk back hand-in-hand. The women are being sent away – NohGul and Sooyoung adorably say goodbye, ChuHee also softens her attitude a little as she warns Jo not to die on her, SY promises SR they will not be separated when they meet again.
Myeon’s troops are ready for battle. In the woods, SY and gang also receives news on the approaching threat. The final showdown is in place – both armies prepare to engage in battle. A little further behind, Han is waiting with his group of men.
A moment later, while the battle is in full swing, Han signals his archers to get into position. When Myeon fights one-on-one with SY, Han orders his men to shoot in SY’s direction. The rain of arrows forces Jo and NohGul to seek shelter. Myeon is shot, twice in the back! Surprised, SY drags him aside.
SY: To kill me, they even direct their arrows towards you!
M: No way they are letting you get away!
Distracted, SY is shot in the arm. He tries to drag Myeon out of harm’s way but Myeon resists. His mind flashes back to their happier days as friends.
M: You…always seem to make me cry. I will join Jeong before you….! Go!!
He pushes SY away and blocks more arrows with his body. SY holds him as he falls, closes his eyes and tells him to rest in peace, acknowledging his friend in death.
The battle ends in victory for SY and gang. Lee is pleased with SY’s contribution and offers to let him lead the troops in his place. SY refuses, explaining that he wants to disrupt King Sejo’s plans by hitting him where he hurts the most. Lee approves of his plan and vows to support him if he manages to find the enemy’s weakness.
Back in the palace, the King shows no compassion for Myeon’s death, instead he criticizes him for failing to complete his mission. His insensitivity only serves to hurt the grieving Shin Sukjoo. Even Kwon Ram is uncomfortable with the King’s attitude.
In the capital, SR splits up with the other girls and heads to the temple where she finds KH.
KH: You have decided to continue seeing KSY?
KH: Then you should stay here with me.
SR smiles in answer.
KH: Officer Shin…is dead. Even though he is that kind of person, he is a cherished friend of my husband. That’s why I can’t help but feel sad for him.
SR: I’ve caused him much pain.
KH: Do not take to heart things which are out of your control.
SR feels nauseous of a sudden, triggered by the smell of the incense. KH looks at her questioningly, suspecting that she is………pregnant! SR is overwhelmed by emotion, marveling at the fact she is bearing SY’s child.
The father of the child is meanwhile scouting…the palace?...with Jo and Nohgul.
King Sejo awakes from a nightmare in which DanJong’s tears fall onto the back of his hand…which in real life manifests into a nasty-looking lesion at the exact spot. The Queen comments that he’s looking unwell and asks that he accompanies her to pray at the temple, if only for Song’s sake.
SY receives shocking news that the rebels in the woods have been taken out – it’s now left to him to continue their fight. NohGul finds out that King Sejo is leaving the palace to pray at the temple. SY realizes this is a great opportunity for him. He tells Jo and NohGul to back him up with the other men while he enters the temple to face King Sejo alone. The guys are surprised by his decision.
SY: At times like this, instead of risking our lives together, there is something more important I’d like you to do. I don’t even know if I can leave the place alive. At that time, no matter if it is me or Suyang who dies…it will be a great blow to SR. I leave my wife in your care. I beg you…not to leave her alone…take good care of her.
Jo: Do you really intend to go alone?
SY: I…have been suffering all these time. To avenge my father’s death, I’ve not been able to put my mind at ease. Now…I want to let go of this burden. No one can replace me…this is my fight.
Jo: So be it… Your wish…I hope you can realize it. Let’s be sure to meet again.
King Sejo and the Queen reach the temple. KH rushes to warn SR to hide, fearing that her current condition will raise the ire of her parents. However, King Sejo and Queen JeongHui catch the end of their conversation and are stunned to learn that SR is pregnant! King Sejo in particular is royally pissed when he realizes she is bearing the child of his mortal enemy, Kim SeungYoo. SR fearlessly declares SY is her husband. King Sejo orders her to be captured while the Queen and KH watch helplessly.
Inside the temple, King Sejo is directing his dissatisfaction at the Gods for taking away his son and now allowing his daughter to bear his enemy’s child. He tells ImWoon to act….on what??! A trap?
The Queen asks SR if SY is aware of her being pregnant. SR answers that he has yet to know. The Queen chastises her for bearing the child of the enemy, knowing that they will not have a future together. SR asserts that no one but the child has the right to dictate his own future.
The father of that child has meanwhile successfully infiltrated into the temple grounds and approaches King Sejo from behind. However the King seems to be expecting him and asks, “Is that you?” SY places his sword on his neck.
SY: Suyang…I have come for your life.
In her room, SR jolts awake, uneasiness washing over her.
KS: Is it really fine? If you kill me, SR will be in great pain.
SY is still hesitating but the guards have already made their way inside too.
KS: What difference is there between you and me? Just like my hands are bloodied by the lives I’ve taken to rise to this position, you have similarly taken many lives in the name of your revenge.
SY: Save your lecture. I come here on behalf of the people.
KS: Even so, do you think you can defeat me?
SY: It matters not if I fail…for if I fail, there will be someone else to take my place. Someone else to act on behalf of the Gods. If that person fails, there will be yet another someone who will kill you…
SY: You will suffer for eternity…Your body and soul worn out. If killing you will bring me regret…not killing you would make me cry bloody tears. Why? Do you think the color of your blood will be different from others?
SY: Go to hell…and beg for forgiveness from all the people you killed!
SY moves to strike but stops in his tracks when King Sejo reveals that SR is pregnant with his child. SY doubts his words but his moment of hesitation is exploited by Im Woon who throws a sword at his hand, disarming him in the process. SY is captured and King Sejo smirks.
Later, a badly beaten SY is brought before King Sejo who asks if he is willing to beg for forgiveness. As the son of Kim JongSeo, he will be spared and sent away with SR if he begs for forgiveness and acknowledges him as King. A barely conscious SY spits at King Sejo’s proposition. Angered, the King orders him killed.
SR shows up, screaming for them to stop. She runs to SY and glares at King Sejo.
SR: You might as well kill me first!
SY passes out. The Queen and KH arrive at the scene. The Queen is horrified that the King dares to kill at the sacred temple. KH reminds him of SR’s pregnancy. King Sejo defers the execution till daylight and orders him locked up in the meantime. SY is thrown into prison, haunted by King Sejo’s words; he smiles to himself dreaming of an imaginary life with SR and their child.
Queen JeongHui tries to convince SR to persuade SY to give in to the King so that he can be spared. SR who knows SY would never agree, refuses.
KH: Think of your unborn child. Your life no longer belongs to you now.
Q: Forget about all the honor and righteousness. Beg him to stay by your side.
KH: Should let your child see his father…(KH tears up, thinking of Jeong)
SR cries – torn between adhering to SY’s wishes and saving his life.
Later, SR enters the prison with the Queen’s help. Her heart hurts seeing SY all bashed up. She cradles him gently in her lap, which wakes him.
SY: Don’t cry…
SR: I won’t cry. Forget everything…let us go far far away -----Is not what I wish for. Between my father and me, we have caused you much suffering. That is why, I will respect your wishes for the last time…
SY: When I die and meet my father and Jeong, I will tell them that I have someone who loves me more than I love myself.
SY raises his hand to her abdomen.
In his mind: “Why didn’t you tell me?”
In her mind: “Did you know?”
SY: In our next life, please seek me out too…
With that, SY breathes his last.
SR: Teacher…teacher….let us go together…
In the next scene, we see the BingGukKwan gang gathered in front of a grave, paying their respects. Years must have passed, since everyone looks more matured now.
Jo: You ruthless kid, are you happy now…lying here together?
ChuHee: No matter what, they left at the same time…they should be very happy.
Nohgul: Second brother, because of you I am married to this person (Sooyoung). I thank you.
SooYoung: Brother, please be happy with her in the next world…
Mooyoung: I can hardly believe that these two people are longer in this world.
Next, we see that the King has aged considerably. He is still troubled by nightmares and has difficulty sleeping. The King and Queen make their way to the palace (actually another palace, used when the King goes out on tour). In the marketplace, the King is shocked to see SY walking pass them, holding a little girl. Only after they passed the Queen’s carriage, we see SY walking unsteadily holding a cane. SY is…blind??
We flash back to the Queen’s memory of that night in the prison. Im Woon checked for SY’s breath and nodded to the Queen.
Q: From this day onwards, the two of you are dead people. Run away. Never…never reappear before your father again!
Im Woon smuggled the two of them away posing as dead bodies. The Queen then confronted the King and told him that SR had committed suicide. She asked that he not interfere with the funeral proceedings. King Sejo even shed tears for his daughter.
End of flashback.
SY and the little girl reach a house. Yeori steps out to guide him to sit down. The little girl runs into the house calling for her mother. She reappears with SR, who immediately tends to SY. The little girl pouts, feeling alienated by her parents. Yeori takes her away…offering herself as playmate.
And who do we see next – it’s the King, hiding behind a tree. He observes the idyllic scene with tears in his eyes. He turns back to find the Queen waiting for him. He asks if it was her doing and she admits it. But the King no longer holds a grudge, and is genuinely grateful to the Queen. He is genuinely happy to see SR, alive and living blissfully.
The happy couple takes a stroll in the plains.
SR: Because of me, you had to give up your revenge, do you regret it?
SY: I lost my eyesight, but found my heart. Lost my revenge, but gain you.
SR: We have arrived. Are you scared?
There’s a horse!
SY: Because I’m with you…I do not fear.
Meanwhile, the little girl is reciting a poem off a fan with Yeori. It’s the love poem from her parents’ date by the waterfall. The little girl’s voice overlaps with her parents in narration as we also see SR and SY galloping freely in the plains.
It starts with (the girl):
“I ask the world what is love….”
“To be able to live and die without any hesitation for one another…that is love.”
Now that the drama has ended, I would like to make this tiny complaint – the flashbacks! They are endless….I’m glad they tone it down in the last 10 episodes or so. I suppose if I am an average viewer, it would affect me less…but because I’m recapping – those flashbacks sometimes annoy me.
As for the actors, I’ve always loved MCW and PSH, so I am glad to see them do so well. And for HSH and LMW, they impress me so much too as KH and JJ that I look forward to their future projects. I have to admit I am not too fond of SJH’s Myeon though, when I’m recapping his expression is the same in almost every other scene that I sometimes wonder it makes any difference if I plaster the same picture for every scene he appears in. I usually dig the bad guys, but he does nothing to me. Honestly, if he’s like Bae Soo Bin in 49 days, I’ll give him some love too.
And lastly, thank you everyone for reading. It’s been fun recapping TPM for my first project. I still have not decided on what to recap next. I’d like to recap something that’s not done by other bloggers, so I guess I will have to wait and see… I am interested in SongJoongKi’s new drama but he’s got such a small role…