Eek! I am so, so behind. *facepalm* I actually considered mushing some of the episodes together into one giant recap, just so I could catch up, but then realized that this drama has waaaaay too many important details to leave out. Also, I don’t know when to shut up. But y’all probably already know that by now.
POTW has now entered what I like to think of as the second phase in its love story process. First was Yoon-bok and Jeong-hyang, and now, we get to see some Yoon-bok/Hong-do action. Also, Jeong-jo plays a much bigger role in this episode! Ahhh, the smell of sexy politics…I’M LOVIN’ IT!
SONG OF THE DAY
The Strokes – “Heart in a Cage” The first concert I ever attended was a Strokes concert, so of course they hold a special place in my heart. Fabrizio Moretti is too hot for this planet. [ Download ]
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Hong-do hesitates outside the room, working up the nerve to open the door. Just as he makes up his mind and grabs the handle, however, Byeok-soo and the other elders arrive, to his befuddlement and to my great annoyance.
Byeok-soo taunts him in his usual aggravating way (I would have slapped the screen long ago if it weren’t for the fact that I kind of love this actor), and throws the doors open, revealing Yoon-bok and Jeong-hyang in undressed state (well, Yoon-bok’s still mostly clothed, with her breasts safely hidden). Oh dear. That’s like getting caught having sex by your teacher, older brother, AND dad, all at the same time.
Lots of shouting ensues, while Yoon-bok begs for more time. No one listens to her, but the head of the kisaeng house (who is actually Jeong-hyang’s mother!!) chooses this moment to make her entrance and order the men to leave. I get all fangirly over her utter coolness. (I love this actress.)
No one listens, and they shout some more. Jeong-hyang, clearly fed up, takes out a knife, shocking everyone into silence. She then cuts off some of her braid and gives it to Yoon-bok as a token of her affections, and gives her her final goodbye in the form of a bow. Sniff. Don’t leave, Jeong-hyang! Don’t leeeeeeave!
Byeok-soo goes to his co-conspirators and talks about how this is their chance, but they deflate his balloon by telling him that this isn’t big enough to send Hong-do packing. They have to find something bigger. Um, so what was the point of all that drama, then? Plz do not waste my time, Kthxbai.
A mystery man sent by the king tells Han-pyeong to let Yoon-bok go (she’d been locked up as punishment) so that she can paint something secret for the king (the painting she’s supposed to be working on with Hong-do). Han-pyeong is all too glad to let her go, of course.
Meanwhile, Hong-do is alone in the house in the mountains, painting alone. But all he can think about is Yoon-bok. Remembering her arguments for drawing the environment around a person in order to know what the person’s thinking and feeling, he proceeds to do so for his own painting. So he’s pretty much admitting that she’s right, which is interesting – sorta flips the teacher-student dynamic on its head, doesn’t it?
The following moment is really beautifully done. Hong-do glances at the empty spot beside him, and imagines that Yoon-bok is there, painting along with him. It’s a great way of showing how important Yoon-bok has become to him, and how lonely he feels at this moment. And it makes me say “Awww” really loudly. (My roommate thinks I’m a little insane, yes.)
Yoon-bok arrives at the house, but Hong-do has nothing but angry words for her. He brushes aside Yoon-bok’s feelings for Jeong-hyang (out of jealousy, no doubt), and Yoon-bok gets angry, too. The two of them scream at each other for a while, and Hong-do winds up taking his painting and leaving. It’s like a lovers’ jealous spat, really – it’s just as silly, just as immature, and just as devoid of proper communication. The two of them clearly care a lot for each other, but they can’t put it into words due to pride. And so they angst away the rest of the night, accompanied by that relentless soundtrack.
In the morning, things are still rather stiff between the two of them. They want to make up, but neither wants to make the first move. They talk with a mixture of thorniness and affection, but nonetheless go to see Jeong-jo together.
At the palace, Jeong-jo shows them the prize the winner will get – a lovely shiny stone globe-y thing (or something like that, anyway…I am super-duper specific!) that glows in the dark. If this contest winds up being a tie, Jeong-jo will be the one to keep the globe.
They show him their paintings, and Jeong-jo looks them over, pleased (the paintings: “Holding a Drinking Party” by Shin Yoon-bok, and “The Tavern” by Kim Hong-do). Hong-do and Yoon-bok also glance at each other’s paintings, thinking their own silent thoughts about them. Yoon-bok’s warmly amused that Hong-do followed her arguments and drew the people’s surroundings, while Hong-do’s thoughts hold a more serious note. He marvels at her ability to finish the painting in so short a time, but also worries: “I think that, if you’re not a genius, you must be an idiot. How can you paint something like this exactly the way you saw it? What are you trying to do?” (He’s referring to the fact that she didn’t put a rosier, falsely optimistic shade over the rather sleazy goings-on of the subject of the painting.)
Jeong-jo looks at the paintings for a while, unsure whom he should name the winner – they’re both excellent works. But when he notices the flowers in Yoon-bok’s painting, he announces that Yoon-bok is the winner.
On the walk home, the atmosphere between Yoon-bok and Hong-do is a little more relaxed, with their old camaraderie returning, and Hong-do says “I’m sorry” first. (Note: I really like Hong-do here. He’s disappointed that he didn’t win, but he’s not a sore loser, and he’s mature enough to make the first apology. Being on good terms with Yoon-bok is what’s most important to him. Also, I like how Park Shin Yang’s toning things down a bit, acting-wise.) Yoon-bok tells him that tonight’s Jeong-hyang’s first night with her new master, and Hong-do decides to take her out for drinks.
Thus, that night, Yoon-bok and Hong-do drink together. Hong-do asks her what Jeong-hyang is to her, exactly, and Yoon-bok replies, “She’s the first person I gave my heart to.” (Squee!) And Yoon-bok proceeds to tell him the story of her and Jeong-hyang. At the same time, we see Jeong-hyang preparing for her first night with Jo-nyeon, and narrating her own version of their story.
Yoon-bok: “At first, it was simply developed through glances.”
Jeong-hyang: “However, I soon was able to see into the painter’s heart.”
Yoon-bok: “She shed tears for me when I was hurting.”
Jeong-hyang: “And I came to show my everything to him.”
Yoon-bok: “I was able to see the me that I had lost. When I was looking at her…It felt like I could see myself. She was more important to me than anyone. She is my only. I miss her.”
Jeong-hyang: “However, that is all over now. I will now become an object.”
(SO SAD. And beautiful. And interesting! Through her rather sexual interactions with a fellow woman, Yoon-bok regained some of the womanhood that she herself had been forced to give up…That’s a fascinating concept, really, and one that wouldn’t even be brought up in a lesser drama. Not that I think Painter is a masterpiece or anything, but in this year of dramas that stank like feces, it shines like a diamond in the rough.)
Jo-nyeon and Jeong-hyang are just about to get it on, and as Jo-nyeon lowers his head to kiss her, Jeong-hyang turns her head away from him. Ha! Take that, dirty old man!
Jo-nyeon: “Are you showing contempt for me?”
Jeong-hyang: “My disgust is greater.”
Jo-nyeon: “Are you in love with someone?…I will gain your love. After that, I will gain your body.”
Aaaand he walks away, choosing not to rape her (thank goodness). (But still. EWWWWW! She’s not a personal pet to win over, you perverted fool!)
Yoon-bok’s passed out in a drunken, blubbering mess, and Hong-do takes her home. As he’s making her more comfortable for bed (er, I didn’t mean for that to sound quite as dirty as it does), the globe thingy she won tumbles out, glowing in the darkness of the chamber. Its light falls across Yoon-bok’s pretty face, and Hong-do freezes, overwhelmed by her womanly beauty. Unable to stop himself, he lightly touches her face, remembering how she looked back when he saw her dressed as a woman (y’know, at the bathing place. When he was crossdressing, too).
Suddenly, Yoon-bok’s eyes open, and Hong-do’s shocked. But she’s not quite in her right mind, and she turns away, falling asleep again. Hong-do’s left shaken and vulnerable by his feelings.
(Just when one gay storyline (sorta) ends, another one begins…THERE IS A GOD!)
In the morning, Yoon-bok wakes up alone. Hong-do’s gone. Speaking of Hong-do, he’s talking with Yin-moon and his sister, Jung-sook. She’s heard rumours about a nobleman who paid a lot of money to get a feminine clown (think Lee Jun Ki in the movie “The King and the Clown”) to basically be his sex slave. Once the higher-ups found out about it, they both got flogged, and became crippled. Jung-sook wonders how a man can possibly harbour sexual feelings for someone who’s young enough to be his son. (Interestingly, she doesn’t say that she thinks the homosexuality aspect of it is gross – it’s just the age difference that she has a problem with.)
Hong-do’s disturbed by this, plagued by thoughts of his own “homosexuality” PLUS feelings of desire for a much younger person (I won’t call it pedophilia, because that would just be cruel). Too bad the “guy” he’s into is actually a girl. Sigh. (Actually…I think one could make a good case for the argument of Yoon-bok actually being a man. She clearly identifies more with maleness than she does with femaleness, and she’s lived so long as a boy that she doesn’t know any other way of living. And isn’t gender a social construct in and of itself?)
Worried about what she might have done in her drunken state the night before, Yoon-bok accosts Hong-do, asking him if she did anything strange (I’m thinking she’s worried that she might have let something slip about her girly parts). Hong-do’s still feeling uncomfortable about what happened the night before, and tries to avoid the issue. He eventually tells her that all she did was snore, and she leaves, satisfied. Her ex-fellow students notice her walking away from his “office”, and wonder why the two of them are spending so much time together lately. A little unwarranted PSA here from moi: “If you suspect inappropriate teacher-student relations, TELL SOMEONE!”
(Although, to be fair, Yoon-bok is legal, since she is eighteen. And it’s not like they really cared about that stuff in the good ol’ Joseon days. And Hong-do is still young, in…his early thirties. Oh dear.)
Jeong-jo gathers all his advisers together, and tells them to tell him what they see in Yoon-bok and Hong-do`s paintings (although they don’t know that they were painted by Yoon-bok and Hong-do, of course). When they don’t answer to his satisfaction, he directs their attention to the flowers in Yoon-bok’s painting. Turns out they’re flowers that only bloom during the daytime, which means that the scene in the painting took place during the day. Thus, it’s showing government officials, etc, drinking during the day and not doing their work. The painter is showing his (or, in this case, her) disapproval of these actions by having all the people in the painting show gloomy, unsmiling faces.
Thus, Jeong-jo orders all these lazy officials arrested, and puts an end to all the immoral festivities.
But, of course, Yoon-bok and Hong-do are still looking for more subjects for future paintings for Jeong-jo, unaware that all this is going on (I’m pretty sure they’re unaware of it, anyway). They stumble across an illegal shaman ritual, and Yoon-bok decides to paint it (which will result in Shin Yoon-bok’s “Dance of a Shaman”). Hong-do is alarmed at her thoughtlessness, telling her that it’ll cause a lot of trouble if she goes through with painting it. But Yoon-bok, in her naivete, thinks that it’s enough just to paint reality exactly as it is. She sees the desperation in the people who are praying to this shaman, and wishes to paint their feelings honestly.
And so she does, and when Jeong-jo takes a look at it, he asks her if this was a scene she personally witnessed. She tells him, truthfully, that it is, and thus, again, he takes action.
It’s kinda sad to see the suffering that Yoon-bok has caused through her paintings – she actually felt sorry for the pregnant woman (who is related somehow to the eldest member of the Evil Trio – maybe his wife or daughter-in-law?) at the shaman ritual, but through the painting, she winds up having her get arrested. Jeong-jo is doing all this for what he sees as the good of the country, but one can’t make changes without some people getting hurt in the process.
The nobles/advisers, of course, are pissed off by all these events, and plot to put an end to them. Thus, in their typical classy way, they send an arrow plummeting into a pillar of the palace with a message for Jeong-jo: “The son of a criminal cannot be king.” (Referring, of course, to his father, Prince Sado, who was executed by the late King Yeong-jo.) They also post a bunch of these same types of messages for the common folk to see, which government officials promptly rip down again.
Lastly, they seize all of the painters in the Dohwaseo in an effort to find the person painted the offending painting, and stop them from painting more. Included amongst them is Yoon-bok and Hong-do. End episode.
Now this is the kind of drama I enjoy – tricky, devilish, scheming political backstabbing. Yessssss.
And, y’know. Bae Soo Bin is hot. The more screentime he gets, the happier I am. I’m tempted to start calling myself Soo-bin Girl…But that wouldn’t be fair for my future wife Ms. Moon, would it?
I will note, however, that the last part of the episode felt rather rushed – but that probably had something to do with the more hurried atmosphere of filming after Moon Geun Young’s unfortunate collision with Park Shin Yang’s elbow. Other than that, no major complaints here! Hurrah!
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- Painter of the Wind: Episode 5
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 4
- Production hopes for speedy recovery for “Painter” star
- “Painter” delayed due to more injury
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 3
- Falling down on the job
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 2
- Take two: Painter of the Wind, Episode 1
- Painter of the Wind: Episode 1
- The current drama landscape: An overview