If the first two episodes were ruled by the ever charming and forever bored Gu Yong-ha, then episodes 3-6 were completely dominated by Moon Jae-shin aka Guh-ro. His bad boy/good boy persona has most fangirls swooning, including me! Not to take away from Yong-ha, who is just as cute and charming as always, but I think the mystery that enshrouds Guh-ro and his political/personal angst has won most of us over. Not to mention, how cute is his hiccupping problem? And the bromance between Yong-ha and Guh-ro? Sigh.
I’d also like to give Micky Yoochun honorable mention. I have to say his character is growing on me, more on why below. I hope no one thought I disliked him when I said he was my least favorite member—I still love him to death as a fan, he’s just ranked #5 within the group.
Enough ramble, onto the recap!
PS. So sorry about the delay guys! School started last week! Eep! I’ll be able to post earlier this week now that the craziness of the first week of school is over!
Song of the Day: 영웅재중(Hero Jaejoong)- 너에겐 이별 나에겐 기다림(To you, Goodbye. To me, Waiting) (Short ver.) DL Link: Save Target As…
EPISODE 5 RECAP
After an unconscious Yoon-hee arrives in the infirmary, Professor Jung checks her condition only to be shocked at his discovery. He immediately goes outside and quarantines the infirmary—no one is to be anywhere near the building.
Thinking that Yoon-hee’s condition is far worse than they thought, Guh-ro’s temper flares up and he grabs for the nearest bow and arrow. Sun-joon stops Guh-ro, telling him that In-soo did this out of spite against him, so he should be the one to take care of it. Do I see the love triangle taking form? Fan-girl sigh. I love it.
Yoon-hee awakes and realizing where she is, she feels around her chest and begins searching for something. When she sees Professor Jung, she quickly tries to excuse herself.
“Is this what you’re looking for?” Professor Jung holds up what Yoon-hee was frantically searching for: her keepsake dagger.
“Are you a girl?” Yoon-hee freezes at the sudden question. Jung presses on, “Answer me, Kim Yoon-shik. I asked you if you’re a girl.”
Back in the classroom, Yong-ha’s curiosity over Yoon-hee is only made worse as he ponders over Professor Jung’s quarantine—not even the school doctor is let in. “Aren’t you curious about what happened to Dae-mul?” he asks Guh-ro, who seems to be more curious about the nickname Dae-mul. Yong-ha is sure that Dae-mul’s hiding a deep dark secret and by the looks of it, he seems determined to find out.
Yoon-hee drops to her knees and begs Professor Jung for forgiveness, explaining that she was merely trying to live within her desperate circumstances—she was just trying to provide for her mother and sick brother. Jung does not budge, however. He instead reprimands her for making excuses about her family and thus involving them in this heinous crime. They, too, will not be able to avoid punishment for condoning her entrance into the university.
Jung tells her to wait for her punishment to be decided as Yoon-hee realizes in horror what her excuses have done. He also warns her that no one is to find out about her secret until his decision has been made—that’s the only way not to make her crimes worse. Yikes!
Yoon-hee leaves the infirmary in a devastated daze as her classmates flock to her in concern. This has Byung-choon puzzled—what is it about Yoon-hee that has everyone hurrying to her rescue?
In-soo broods over this thought, sarcastically adding that Yoon-hee has pulled off what the King has so fervently wished for. As he draws back his bow, Sun-joon calls his out on his cheap tricks to which In-soo gives his final warning, “Come to the West Wing where the Noron belong, and I’ll make you my direct inferior. If you want, I can even make you my successor.”
Sun-joon: “What if I refuse?”
In-soo: “ This is why I call you naïve. You’re being stubborn has made youimpartial to Noron, Soron, and Nam-in.”
Sun-joon: “Is it wrong to be impartial?”
In-soo: “Impartial? Harmony amongst the factions? (sarcastic chuckle) I don’t believe in that kind of disgusting word-play. Impartiality is really the King’s cunning plan to drive out the Noron faction by unifying Soron and Nam-in powers. If you’re team happens to win this archery competition, you’ll be indirectly supporting the King’s efforts in front of the whole Senate. Are you planning on aiming your arrow at the Noron…no, at your own father?”
Sun-joon:“You’re right. I didn’t think so far to understand what it would mean if my team won. So…I’m going to have to do it… first place.
Sun-joon: “Whether it’s the King’s disgusting play on words or your own obsession with power… how will I know without trying?”
In-soo agrees to his challenge, keen on teaching him a lesson.
A shaken up Yoon-hee enters an empty classroom and breaks down in tears as she recollects Professor Jung’s harsh words. But alas! The classroom isn’t empty, with Guh-ro sleeping between desks. He wakes up to her sniffles and is about to ignore her and go back to sleep, but sits up instead. Yoon-hee notices and he awkwardly looks away, not knowing what to say or do but when she gets up to leave, he hurriedly stops her.
“You stay. I’ll disappear for you.” Awwww.
In-soo’s minions scoff at Sun-joon’s claim to victory as they enter into their private gazebo when an arrow suddenly flies straight past In-soo’s face. Guh-ro pushes past Kang Moo and approaches In-soo, “How does it feel?”
In-soo : “What do you think you’re doing?”
Guh-ro: “This is how it feels when you play with someone’s life… Re.mem.ber it well.. or else, I might just plant that lesson here,” as he pats In-soo’s chest. What a bad-ass sweetheart…
Meanwhile, Sun-joon is looking for Yoon-hee all around campus—the library, the dormitories. When he spots the backside of a small scholar, he clears his throat, thinking he found her—only it’s not. (Excuse me, who is this other cross-dressing girl? I swear she’s female…)
Sun-joon finally finds her coming out of the classroom. Yoon-hee begins to walk past when Sun-joon asks her if she’s okay. “Is your body feeling better now?” She silently nods and walks off.
The ever curious Yong-ha stops Professor Jung as he leaves the infirmary to ask what’s wrong with Yoon-hee—what could she possibly have that required such a strict quarantine? He’s been sleuthing around school medical records to see that there’s been no diagnosis nor any prescriptions made out for her but what he finds more interesting is that the professor didn’t even record her vitals. Yong-ha is being snarky… up until Professor Jung reminds him that school medical records are strictly off limits to scholars—he can be severely punished for this… Yong-ha immediately backs down (Ha! It’s nice to see him sweat for once!)
In the palace, Minister Ha and the Royal Senate are asking King Jeong-jo to retract his announcement of the archery competition. He ‘respectfully’ argues that the archery competition was banned by the deceased King Yeong-jo to discourage his descendants from enjoying the hobby that his insane son Sa-do so loved. “Your Majesty must respect the wishes of the Great King Yeong-jo and walk by his path.”
To this, Jeong-jo calmy replies, “Minister, the parent who believes his son to be a criminal buries him in their heart. But the child who has lost his parent spends his whole life trying to find any trace his parent left behind. That is the human’s way. Isn’t that right, Minister Moon?”
Jae-shin’s father begins to speak but when he makes eye-contact with Prime Minister Lee, he excuses himself, “I do not understand the connection between the archery competition and the human’s way, your Highness.”
Jeong-jo replies, “The archery competition was a hobby that my father shared with the Sungkyunkwan scholars. Please regard it as a son’s way of longing after his lost father. I am the King of this nation, after all. Shouldn’t I at least be allowed this much?”
Later that evening, the Prime Minister shares drinks with Minister Ha as he muses that the King is no longer the shameful young son of Crown Prince Sa-do. Minister Ha supposes that the years have made Jeong-jo’s heart weak against his father. The Prime Minister realizes they’ve severely underestimated the King’s plans…and that Jung Yak-yong plays a big part in it.
Jung Yak-yong walks amongst the memorials of former professors, troubled by Yoon-hee and the Geum-deung-ji-sa. He thinks back to an old memory when he makes a visit to his teacher’s home. Jung finds a young girl sitting outside in the cold, listening and repeating the lessons her father is giving to her brother inside. He suggests that she study inside if it’s so cold, to which she replies, “Mother thinks that reading and writing is poison to a girl.” Jung suggests that she quit, but she looks at him in confusion, “How is it you don’t even ask my opinion and simply tell me to do as my mother wants? I’m not my mother…I am myself.”
Impressed, Jung asks her name, but the girl’s mother calls out to reprimand her. The little girl hurriedly hides behind Jung and her mother turns away, unable to scold her daughter in front of a guest. When her mother leaves, the little girl stands and tells him, “Kim Yoon-hee. My name is Kim Yoon-hee.”
Later, he informs King Jeong-jo that Kim Yoon-shik is the son of the deceased Kim Seung-hun. The news pleases him, expressing that he’d like to meet Yoon-shik and entrust him with the task of finding the Geum-deung-ji-sa, but Professor Jung quickly protests. He claims that Kim Yoon-shik is still too young and inexperienced to give such responsibilities, and he also knows nothing of his father’s role in the matter. Although surprised by Jung’s reaction, the King tells him that he’ll agree not to meet him—just this once, and only because he puts great trust in Jung.
The next day, Sun-joon informs Yoon-hee that she’ll need to start practicing if she’s to be ready for the competition and she agrees. But easier said than done, she repeatedly fails to pull the string back while Sun-joon commands her to try again.
Meanwhile, Headmaster Choi is busy making arrangements for the King’s arrival, making sure that not a speck of dust, or a scratch on his throne will displease the King. He’s sure that this will put him on his way to a promotion and he wants nothing to get in his way.
The Headmaster handpicks the gisaengs to attend the competition, hilariously failing the ugly ones(minus the one who bribes him) until the beautiful Cho-sun arrives. Smitten by her beauty, he passes her with flying colors and she tells him that her and her gisaengs will see him at the competition.
Back at the gisaeng house, Cho-sun is busy selecting her fabrics and accessories while her juniors whisper that they’ve never seen her so excited. One junior reckons that Cho-sun might be doing all this out of spite because Yoon-hee never came back after initiation night—but her friend disagrees. No woman has that look on her face out of spite.
Yoon-hee’s still having a hard time even pulling the string and when the string snaps in her face, so does her patience. (Anyone else cringe at that scene? I swear that was a real cry of pain. Ouch!) She tells Sun-joon that she gives up, but Sun-joon isn’t willing to let her. “You haven’t held the bow properly even once. When are you going to stop treating this like it’s someone else’s business?”
Guh-ro cuts in, accusing Sun-joon that all he can think about is impressing the King and getting ahead—just like the rest of those Noron bastards. “An arrow almost went through her head. Can’t you see she’s scared?” He grabs Yoon-hee’s arm to leave but Sun-joon stops him. (Tehe!)
Sun-joon: “If she leaves right now just because she’s scared then she’ll never be able to hold a bow again. There’s nothing that can be solved by making excuses.”
Yoon-hee: “Don’t say that I’m making excuses so easily….because I’ve been desperately trying! While you were learning archery in luxury, I was busy trying to make a living so I’ve never even held a bow before. While you’re THE Lee Sun-joon, I’m just the pathetic Kim Yoon-shik, a Nam-in who has no family of prominence and can’t even remember his own father!”
He tells her that’s why she should take this opportunity to rise in the ranks but she doesn’t buy it. “Are you saying this is all for me again? Do you know what my life’s turned into because of you? You think that if you have a will, the world can be changed… when you know nothing of the real world. Grab this opportunity? For you, it may be just an opportunity… but for me, it’s an impossibility. For me, I need a miracle.”
Yoon-hee storms off and Sun-joon follows after her but someone cuts the rope holding up a pillar, and they come tumbling down on him.
His right shoulder is badly injured and Professor Jung tells him that although there’s no permanent damage, it’ll be hard for him to participate in the archery competition. His classmates, including Yoon-hee (who hides behind a corner), peak in when Headmaster Choi rushes in and freaks out about who would do such a thing.
The school is buzzing about the possibilities, In-soo being the most likely suspect.
In-soo merely scoffs at the rumor. His minions aren’t bold enough to pull it off, and he isn’t foolish enough to plan something so obvious. He’d rather have Sun-joon come under his control by his own will. Besides, “I’m the president. Do you think a brat like him could really match up to me?” Yong-ha remains silent. Oh, hubris.
The next day, Sun-joon gets ready for practice despite his classmates and manservant’s protests. When he sees Yoon-hee, he approaches with a bow in hand and pulls the string weakly with his left hand. “My left arm is a beginner and is pulling this bow for the first time…just like you. I’m going to pull off a Mol-gi (hitting bulls-eye 5 times, highest points rewarded)with this left hand.”
His classmates snicker at his confidence—he’ll need a miracle to pull that off. But Sun-joon tells Yoon-hee that if he needs a miracle, then he’s going to make one…because he needs Yoon-hee to compete.
Hyo-eun hears of Sun-joon’s injuries and runs to daddy, who is busy contemplating the King’s hidden motives. (I LOL-ed at this scene. Love comical Minister Ha.) She announces that she’s going to the competition but when her dad objects she suggests that he should be sending food and gifts to the scholars who are working hard—especially since he’s the father of the school president. He dismisses her idea at first but as she storms off, a mental lightbulb goes off and he tells her to make preparations.
Sun-joon improves immensely after practicing day and night(even during lecture). All eyes are on him, including Yoon-hee and even Guh-ro. Yong-ha’s sure that In-soo will win though—after all, Yoon-hee still sucks and Guh-ro won’t participate. But that has In-soo more ticked off—why is Sun-joon trying so hard to win an impossible fight?
A school ward tells Sun-joon that he was given instructions to turn off all the lights, but even after the lights have gone off, Sun-joon persists. As he continues practicing in the dark, flaming arrows suddenly land in several fire pits to give Sun-joon light.
The flaming arrows were shot by none other than Guh-ro, who happened to overhear a group of Soron’s saying that they should have broken Sun-joon’s legs too. The group trusts that Guh-ro will keep his mouth shut since he’s a Soron too but Guh-ro punches one and retorts, “Shut my mouth? Why? Because you know yourselves that you should be embarrassed? Say one more word… and I’ll make it so you never use that mouth again.”
Yoon-hee is watching Sun-joon practice when her thoughts are interrupted by Yong-ha. When he asks her what she’s thinking so hard about, she asks him why he’s at Sungkyunkwan.
An uncharacteristically serious Yong-ha muses, “Me? Well… I’m here to resist the miserable class system in this uptight country of Joseon…” and as he sees her face, he switches back to playful Yong-ha, “What can I do? I can only have concubines if I take the government exam… so I’ve got to bear the system.”
Yong-ha smiles as she leaves to her room where she remains pensive with her bags packed and uniform folded.
The next day, she looks for Professor Jung in the faculty room, perhaps to tell him she’s quitting, when Professor Yoo suddenly gives her a pop quiz. When she answers with the correct answer, he tells her she passed the last exam with an A+ and that her paper was “pretty good.” He tells her to take the book she was peaking at moments before, explaining that his teacher gave it to him also. She feels unworthy but he insists that if she feels unworthy, perhaps she can give it to a smarter student in the future.
Her classmates outside drag her to the practice grounds where Sun-joon’s manservant begs her to try and stop his master from practicing in the rain—if Sun-joon gets sick then he’s a dead man.
Yoon-hee runs out and demands that he stop.
Sun-joon: “I told you, if you need a miracle then I would make it.”
Yoon-hee: “And I told you not to get in my business! Why?! Why are you doing this to me?”
Sun-joon: “Look! It’s not all fun and games living as the son of a Noron. No one in this world can choose their parents or be born the way they want. There’s only one thing you can choose for yourself: today. How you’re going to live today. Did you say that you have no prominent family? You must fell the world is unfair! I’m sure you must also want to complain. So, are you going to live the rest of your life complaining and feeling sorry for yourself?”
He goes on to tell her that life may give you unfair circumstances, but it’s every man’s responsibility to face it and try to be rid of it—and you can’t face anything with a bent arrow.
As he walks off, Guh-ro approaches Yoon-hee and says that he doesn’t like seeing her get served with no resistance from her. “From now on if anyone points their finger at you, you give them your fist.” She’s surprised to find a release aid on her thumb as Guh-ro tells her it shouldn’t hurt anymore.
He then grabs her arms and shows her how to shoot (oh gosh, can’t breathe) but when she looks at the target, she’s surprised to see 5 arrows stuck in the bulls-eye.
With a new-found determination, she runs to the infirmary to tell Professor Jung that she can’t leave Sungkyunkwan—no… she won’t leave Sungkyunkwan, and the Professor can do nothing about it.
“Although the name Kim Yoon-shik is not mine, the exam paper that the King selected was mine. Also, His Highness was the one who ordered me to Sungkyunkwan… but how can you tell me I’m the only one in the wrong?” She wants to know what her crime is—knowledge is for the citizens… but aren’t women also citizens?
Professor Jung retorts that knowledge can be studied outside government walls… but Sungkyunkwan has no place for women.
Yoon-hee asks in tears, “Is it because men and women are different?” Jung answers yes and Yoon-hee adds, “Then what if I show you that men and women are not different? Then what will happen? You told me that knowledge is the asking of questions… about questioning the world around you?”
Getting on her knees, she asks him to give her a chance.
For the first time in her life, she questioned knowledge. For the first time in her life, she met someone who recognized her talents. And for the first time in her life, she met someone who took her side.
“Can you give a chance to someone like me? Give me a chance to ask questions to this world…Give me a chance to dream of a new world.”
Okay first of all, GO TEAM GUH-RO!!!!!!! Second, GO TEAM SUN-JOON!!!!! Yeah, you heard me! I’m torn!!!
Sigh… Guh-ro has me swooning with his manliness, but I love what Sun-joon does for Yoon-hee as a character. He’s constantly pushing her buttons, not for the sake of upsetting her, but to push her towards progress. Sun-joon is always testing Yoon-hee’s limits to make a her a better and stronger person. For instance, in this episode, Yoon-hee was ready to give up—her bags packed, her mind made up(’cause I’m leavin’~ on a jet plane~)—but his success in getting Mol-gi gives her the courage to stick to her guns and stay at Sungkyunkwan. Yes, I know Guh-ro’s encouragement was probably a factor too, but I think Guh-ro’s more the umbrella character than the pusher. I just love how I see Yoon-hee growing into a stronger independant woman/man with the Sun-joon’s help.
I loved this episode because we got a better look at each character, like Minister Ha. He’s not just the bad guy, which he still is, but he’s also the father who spoils his daughter rotten. Even his bad side isn’t quite as malicious as the Prime Minister because he simply doesn’t have the calculating brains for it. The Prime Minister, on the other hand, is the King’s greatest opponent/rival. I won’t call him evil because I know that’s just how politics work, but he is definitely the brains of the Noron faction and I’m interested to see if, and how Sun-joon will clash with his father later on.
As for Gu Yong-ha, I always knew there was more than what meets the eye—especially with his bromance with Guh-ro—but I want to know how involved he is in the resistance movement. Is he, perhaps, the brains behind the Red Messenger? I don’t know, I’m just speculating. I think it’ll be interesting to see why he chooses to hang out with In-soo’s crowd and when he’ll join the Sun-joon crowd to finally form the Joseon F-4.
If you couldn’t tell by my comments throughout the recap, I’m totally smitten by this drama. It’s a perfect mixture of budding romance, friendship, political angst, family angst, and Yoon-hee’s personal growth. Park Min-young is adorable, Yoo Ah-in is dreamy, Song Joong-ki is so pretty, and Micky Yoochun is growing on me. I love that I can really see his acting improve with every episode.
Can’t wait for more!
Thank you, reader, for being so patient with my late recaps!! I promise this weeks will be posted sooner!!!
Until Episode 7, au revoir~!
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 4
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 3
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 2
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 1
- Will Sungkyunkwan Scandal change its name?
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal releases its poster
- Park Min-young closest to Micky Yoochun on set
- Seo Hyo-rim in Sungkyunkwan
- Park Min-young gets comfortable on the Sungkyunkwan set
- The Sungkyunkwan Scandal cast speaks to the press