Drama Recaps
Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 11
by | October 11, 2010 | 179 Comments

Dear beloved readers,

Please do not be confused. I am not Cassie sheathed in red pill clothing. We readjusted the recap schedule this week and you’re in for a surprise for the recap of episode 12. Anyway, our beloved Cassie will be back for episode 13 (which airs today, and I’m already doing a river dance of thanks to the drama gods). I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness it’s Monday.

Love, red pill

성시경 (Sung Shi-kyung) & IU – 그대네요 (It’s You) [download]

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Sun-joon claims the true thieves are in the ledger, and he’s not just talking about the theft at SKK – he’s talking about countless other thefts occurring around the nation. With prices skyrocketing, the people have no choice but to go against the geumnanjungkwon, the law that permits only licensed merchants the right to business, and turn to illegal means. Therefore, the true thieves are the law that favors only the haves, the officials who serve money rather than the people, and the politicians who stand behind this all.

In-soo objects. This case is about Kim Yoon-shik’s guilt, nothing more, nothing less. He advises the king to punish both Yoon-hee and Sun-joon for failing the test and misinformation, respectively, and set right his authority as king.

They’re interrupted by a rough voice: “So how do I go about doing this? Being a witness or providing evidence or whatever.” It’s Bok-soo, come to turn himself in. He drops to his knees and confesses that he is the thief.

The king asks why Bok-soo chose to come forward now. Isn’t he afraid of the consequences?

Bok-soo: I came because those guys there did something irreversible to me. I am a ban-in from banchon. We’re called halflings because we’re poor and helpless. And I had planned to live no better than those expectations, to live however I wanted. But… but… darn it. […] They treated me like a person, like an equal, and made me want to live like a decent human being. That way, the kid who follows me from behind will also lead a decent life.

The king fails In-soo and the other students, not simply because Yoon-hee was proven innocent, but because they didn’t question Yoon-hee’s guilt, not even once. Particularly In-soo, as student body president, should’ve considered the possibility that Yoon-hee could be innocent. King Jeong-jo declares that he doesn’t need officials who don’t care for the people. This is how he plans to set right his authority as king.


King Jeong-jo gives Yoon-hee the responsibility to decide Bok-soo’s punishment. She declares that there’s no way for him to pay for his crime. The only way he can try is to work for SKK and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. Essentially, she’s letting Bok-soo off the hook while giving him a job. Yoon-hee, I’m impressed more than ever.

The king counters that her sentence is too light. The king kicks it up a notch and tells Bok-soo to keep an eye on the quartet and make sure they always maintain their good intentions.

The king affirms to Sun-joon that the true thieves are in the ledger. With a smile, he says that it’s now his turn to do something about it.

Needless to say, our lovely Jal-geum Quartet passes the exam with flying colors.


In-soo gets called in by Professor Jung, who proceeds to point out a strange occurrence. The medicine that Yoon-hee supposedly needed and the medicine that was stolen and sold don’t match up. There’s one ingredient in particular that has a physical twin – an amateur wouldn’t be able to tell the difference easily. Therefore, whoever stole the medicine (Byung-choon) grabbed the wrong kind, unintentionally proving that Yoon-hee didn’t steal and that there is another thief aside from Bok-soo.

Professor Jung didn’t reveal this in front of the king in order to give In-soo the chance to repent and confess. Yet In-soo remains remorseless, drawing Professor Jung’s criticism that the ban-in boy In-soo considers inferior is actually superior to the SKK student body president.

So it’s really no surprise that In-soo cuts Byung-choon loose (and therefore also stops providing money for Byung-choon’s sick mother).


Yoon-hee thanks Bok-soo for his courageous confession, but Bok-soo says Jae-shin BEGGED him to come. Jae-shin basically acknowledges it by strongly denying it.

With the first genuine smile we see from him, Bok-soo warns: “Lead honest lives. I’ll be following you from behind.” That wins a smile from Jae-shin.

Jae-shin denies doing what he did for Yoon-hee’s sake, but as Yong-ha shrewdly points out, he sure didn’t do it for his grade (not a three-time failed student like himself). That earns Yong-ha a hard jab in the ribs.

Meanwhile our Ga-rang has a confrontation with In-soo, who asks him if it’s denial or blind faith. Sun-joon should know that the merchants paid for the slush funds of the Noron faction. And who else is behind all this but the head of the Norons, Sun-joon’s father?

But Sun-joon has faith that his father has not done anything to disappoint him. And his actions were done in order not to disappoint his father.

In-soo doesn’t think the ledger will change anything. If the king attempts to make changes, Minister Lee will do anything to stop him. And Sun-joon will find out the true face of the father he so trusts.

Yoon-hee has witnessed the whole thing and she meets eyes with Sun-joon, causing her to drop the books she’s holding. She apologizes for burdening him with such a huge responsibility and says she regrets swiping the ledger in the first place.

Sun-joon claims that they both did what they had to do, and so there’s nothing to be sorry about. In fact, In-soo may very well be right that they’ll accomplish nothing.

“Even so, good job, Lee Sun-joon.” (Parallel to when Yoon-hee first hit the bull’s-eye. I love these parallel dialogues.)


Yoon-hee: You did well. Whatever comes of it, what you did was great. […] I’m going to remember this moment for a very long time. Someday when we leave SKK, we won’t be able to stay together. But I will remember us in this moment, the worries, the fear, the happiness. And all our classmates. I think that’ll help me live as a better person. So if you ever have to make another difficult decision like today, please remember that there was once someone who believed in you more than himself.
Sun-joon: No. Stay by my side like this indefinitely. Watch me and make sure I’m going the right path. That way I’ll be able to look at you and remember this day. So Kim Yoon-shik, stay with me.

The waffy moment is ruined by Sun-joon looking at Yoon-hee’s lips. He practically forbids her to ever wear women’s clothing again. It’s a terrible moment for Yoon-hee; in essence, he just told her to never be her real self.

If only she knew it was because he’d probably have a heart attack the next time. Sun-joon resorts to chanting, “He’s just a roommate, he’s just a roommate,” in a pointless attempt to brainwash himself into denying his feelings.

Minister Lee and Minister Ha discuss using one of their men in the palace to destroy the ledger. And to keep the king silent, Minister Lee will remind him that he’s on the throne thanks to the Norons, and there are plenty of other princes around to replace him.

Oh, Sun-joon, how terribly and utterly your faith will shatter.

Cho-sun interrupts the sinister meeting to tell them that the Red Messenger is wreaking havoc outside.


Jae-shin (aka. Red) shoots an arrow with a red leaflet attached: “Who speaks of Joseon as lacking? The only ones who lack are the powerless people. You government dogs that protect the foul riches of the merchants, how does it feel to get fat off the rice they throw to you? Under the geumnanjungkwon, the people starve and the Noron grow richer. The secret of the geumdeungjisa will soon punish the corrupt Noron. How about realizing who your master is and serving them accordingly?”

The professors and the headmaster study the leaflet, finding it hard to believe that it was written by one of their students. Professor Jung takes a closer look, noting the brush style and attitude, and claims that it was written by a real man.


A real man who is busy covering his clothes with the alcohol stash underneath the porch to take on his drunkard persona once more. He overhears Sun-joon and Yoon-hee discussing the Red Messenger inside the room. They surmise that it might be someone close to them (oh, finger touch!).

Jae-shin comes in and lies down between the two. When Yoon-hee asks if he’s been drinking, he answers in the positive and kicks her to the side, telling her to sleep as far away from him as possible since he reeks.

But Sun-joon wants to talk about their new sleeping arrangement and why Jae-shin insists on sleeping in the middle. He doesn’t understand it and offers to move if Jae-shin prefers sleeping towards the wall. But Jae-shin’s unwilling to go into detail. So Sun-joon turns to Yoon-hee for her opinion. It’s a strange “Do you want to sleep next to HIM or ME” moment, and we viewers would’ve had a field day with her answer. Only Sun-joon becomes distracted (again!) by her lips and hurriedly ends the discussion, saying they should go to bed.

Oh, you adorable boys.


The king proclaims the abolishment of the geumnanjungkwon and the establishment of free commerce. When the court officials cry against it, he reaches for the ledger, planning to use it as leverage to get his way. Only he doesn’t end up using it because Minister Lee agrees to the abolishment of the law, stunning Norons and non-Norons alike. He takes it a step further and says that the officials who received bribes should be arrested.

Minister Ha doesn’t understand, but this is politics. You’ve got to be able to play both fields, whichever suits your needs. And it’s way more necessary to appeal to the masses and win over their support (as tonggong, the new law, will certainly do). That’s how the Norons have stayed in power for a hundred years.

What they should focus on is stopping the brushfire that Jae-shin’s latest leaflet threatens to light before it gets out of hand.


The news spreads throughout SKK, worrying some (Professor Jung) and angering others (yeah, that’s In-soo eating his words). And through it all, our Jal-geum Quartet has become closer than ever.

Turns out Professor Jung is worried because the king plans to use the Quartet to fulfill his longtime dream to find the geumdeungjisa, use it to gain control over the Noron faction and build a new Joseon. That was the true motive behind the test: to find those worthy of this noble cause.

Professor Jung is particularly worried for Yoon-hee and Jae-shin who lost a father and brother, respectively, due to the geumdeungjisa crusade. And Professor Jung himself lost a teacher who was also a good friend. He doesn’t want to lose his students as well.

But the king is unwilling to watch his people suffer any longer under the rule of the Norons.

By order of the king, the Jal-geum Quartet is called into the palace. They don the official uniform required within the palace, and to separate himself from the other lemmings, Yong-ha wore very flashy clothes underneath. No way he’d give up his individuality, not even for the king.


The king confides that abolishing the geumnanjungkwon has been a long-cherished wish of his, and he was finally able to do it through them. In thanks, he gives them each a gift.

Yong-ha receives back the mini golden replica of the Imperial Palace.

Jae-shin receives the poem his brother wrote in the state exam (the one where Yoon-hee declared herself a cheat, only a different year); the king kept it because it was so well-written. Turns out, his brother was a brilliant writer as well as student body president of SKK.

Sun-joon receives a compass. The king questions him whether he ever doubted his father; Sun-joon is unable to answer. So the king tells him of an Islamic saying: As long as the needle of the compass wavers, it is never wrong. “Your eyes are wavering now. Don’t ever forget this feeling, the one that stands vigilant against your family and even yourself.”


Yoon-hee receives the block puzzle that King Jeong-jo played with in a previous episode; it belonged to her father, the late Professor Kim Seung-hun. This is when Yoon-hee first finds out that her father was a professor at SKK, a fact that her mother hid from her. She had grown up thinking that her father was just a scholar who lost his life at the hand of bandits.

Gathering her courage, Yoon-hee asks, “Do I really resemble my father?” She asks because she no longer remembers his face.

The king gives her the best gift of all: “Your kind eyes, your determined mouth. You look exactly like my good friend.”

Minister Ha is sure that the king intends to use Sun-joon against his father, but Minister Lee doesn’t believe it possible for father and son to become enemies and go against the moral laws regarding family. But this doesn’t sit well with Minister Ha because back when they pushed for Crown Prince Sado’s death, they claimed that the moral laws could be overlooked for the sake of what is right.

Wait, that was a confession, right? Where’s a voice recorder when you need one?

Yoon-hee visits the hall of deceased SKK professors, and finds the wooden tablet with her father’s name. There, face to face with her father, she asks him, “I wonder about the world you hoped to protect with your life. What is it like? And why is that I didn’t know you were here until now?”

Sun-joon thanks his father for helping to establish the new law of free commerce. Oblivious to the inner workings of the Noron faction, he took it at face value and is happy that his father didn’t let him down. In fact, he is reassured that he can continue to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Minister Lee’s hand falters for just a moment at Sun-joon’s declaration of faith. He quickly changes the subject to Sun-joon’s engagement; it is to be hurried.

Sun-joon tries to explain that he and Hyo-eun don’t have that kind of relationship, but Minister Lee cuts him off. She doesn’t look the type to bother her man, and that’s good enough for a wife.


I’m thinking Minister Lee isn’t a good judge of a character because Hyo-eun looks like she can be a great bother to Sun-joon, as proven by how she pesters Hwang, the bookshop owner, for a book that’ll teach her how to make Sun-joon hers.

Buh-deul, her hilarious maid, has a better idea. Using Hwang as a dummy, she shows Hyo-eun how to literally knock down a man (implied to be followed by, well, having her way with him). But what Hyo-eun wants is a book that’ll teach her how to make Sun-joon fall deeply in love with her. (Hyo-eun, I’ve got a book recommendation: He’s Just Not That Into You.)

Hwang pulls out a red book (the title literally translates to: “Do This on the First Night and You, Too, can be Hwang Jini.” [info]). Yong-ha shows up with impeccable timing to scold Hwang for trying to sell a book that was written in the Dark Ages.

Yong-ha warns Hyo-eun against being too eager to undress for Sun-joon. It might work on Yong-ha, but not Sun-joon. And in a moment she might come to regret, she asks him for help.


The plan is take him to a deserted island, an unfamiliar place to help him relax. And the mood has to be just right, because both men and women are easily swayed by the right mood, mistaking that feeling for fate. The decorations are chosen, the food is bought, the boat is booked, and the stage is set.

The problem is Sun-joon would never go alone with Hyo-eun. So they’ll have to make it a group meeting for now, and Yong-ha will work it out so that the two are left alone on the island.

They agree to meet the following day around 5:30PM at the Mapo dock.


Still emotional about her father, Yoon-hee discusses the matter with Jae-shin. He guesses that her mother didn’t tell her because she thought that was best for her. Yoon-hee wonders aloud what her father was like.

Jae-shin notes that her pants bottom is untied and he squats to tie it for her. (SQUEAL.) “Why bother asking? I’m sure he was a good person. Like father, like son, right?”

She says aloud what we’ve all been thinking, that his “mad horse” nickname Guh-ro doesn’t really fit him since he’s actually a teddy bear. He’s always been there whenever she needed help. Another grateful smile from her kickstarts Guh-ro’s hiccups.

The king has awarded the Quartet a holiday for their achievement, and Yong-ha suggests to Sun-joon that they spend it on a boat ride with some lovely ladies. Of course Sun-joon turns him down, to which Yong-ha playfully asks if he doesn’t like lovely ladies. Or does he actually like men?

That hits a sore spot for Sun-joon, who walks off in a huff. Yong-ha watches him go and remarks that Sun-joon’s indignant response only heightens the suspicion.


Meanwhile, Yoon-hee and Jae-shin are looking at a wanted poster of the Red Messenger tacked onto the bulletin board. She asks if he knows who Red is, and he feigns disinterest (still hiccupping). Yoon-hee claims she knows and makes Jae-shin nervous.

“You’re the Red Messenger, aren’t you?” Yoon-hee’s words shock Jae-shin so much that he stops hiccupping, and Yoon-hee points this out triumphantly. She was just joking to cure him of his hiccups.

Their playful moment is witnessed by Sun-joon, whose face hardens as he walks away. “Kim Yoon-shik is just a roommate. Just a roommate.”


Sun-joon isn’t fooling anyone, not even himself. In his disturbed state, he starts imagining Yoon-hee everywhere in the room. There’s a Yoon-hee by the clothes hangers, a Yoon-hee studying at her desk, a Yoon-hee lying on the floor. And they’re all smiling so cutely.

Yong-ha comes in and starts fussing over Sun-joon, saying that he looks pale and sick. He’s come to convince Sun-joon to go on the boat ride. When Sun-joon refuses again, Yong-ha lies down on the floor, planning to lie there until Sun-joon agrees.


Yoon-hee and Jae-shin come in, still talking about the hiccups, and Sun-joon is so upset that he doesn’t even notice he’s holding his book upside down (but Yong-ha does).

Yong-ha is very interested to hear that Jae-shin has stopped hiccupping. He reveals that he once suspected Yoon-hee of being a girl, but that no longer interests him. He’s found something else he’s more curious about.

In-soo tells his father that one of the Jal-geum Quartet is definitely the Red Messenger. He’s to keep a close eye on them while Minister Ha sets a trap.


Sun-joon can’t get a hold of his confused feelings, and in a desperate moment, he agrees to the boat ride. Yong-ha tells him to come out to the dock at 5:30PM, then curiously changes the time to 3:30PM. And he’s to bring Yoon-hee and board the boat with her.

Oh Yeo-rim, what are you up to now?

Sun-joon invites Yoon-hee out without giving her specifics of what they’ll be doing, but it doesn’t matter to her. She’s beyond giddy. At the arranged time, she and Sun-joon board the boat and set off for the deserted island.


Yong-ha confesses to Jae-shin that he sent the two away to have a little QT. Jae-shin shoots off like a bullet, and Yong-ha reveals part of the reason he set up this trick: he wanted to get Jae-shin back for trying to hide his feelings from him.

At the dock, Jae-shin discovers that due to the darkening clouds, there are no more boats willing to cross the river. Hyo-eun also shows up at the dock, asking about the boat she booked.

Meanwhile, Sun-joon and Yoon-hee arrive at the island to find a little pastel tent set up with food and cushions and everything. This is Hyo-eun’s work, and she also set it up so that the boat won’t return until the following day.


Sun-joon tells Yoon-hee that they’re at the island for a group date, and understandably she’s angry – well, understandable to us but not him. She’s actually angrier at herself for having certain expectations; she should’ve known better since he thinks she’s a guy.

Sun-joon explains that Yong-ha said that no man can deny women, and he assumed Yoon-shik would agree since he’s a guy. She tells him to have fun he wants with girls and goes running to catch the boatman, who’s already leaving. Sun-joon tries to stop her, and she clocks him.

At the same time, Jae-shin clocks Yong-ha, yelling, “What the hell did you do, you jerk!”

Back on the island, Sun-joon catches Yoon-hee from falling, and she pushes Sun-joon away. He slowly falls back towards the water.


Time after time, I find myself talking about Sun-joon the most, but I feel it’s sort of inevitable since he’s the character that’s changing the most. And if episode 10 was about him discovering his blossoming feelings for Yoon-hee, we see the beginnings of an inner struggle in episode 11. We’ve finally hit that gray area, where his moral code and principles aren’t so clear anymore in the battle against his feelings. I’m interested to see how this will develop, if he will grow anguished or if he will decide that love is love, regardless of gender, and be a man ahead of his time (I know he’ll eventually accept her, but I’m talking about the process here). I read a comment somewhere that if he were to stay in character, he wouldn’t be able to accept Yoon-hee once he discovers she’s a girl and tricked him. But I actually think that’s a pretty narrow view on his character. If he were still the same guy he was in, say, episode 2, or even episode 6 right now, I might agree because that means he’s unchanging and unbending. But as we’ve witnessed, he’s a lot more pliable than we give him credit for. He follows his principles because he believes them to be right; if he discovers one of them was wrong, I have no doubt he would throw it away in a heartbeat.

As a side note, Hyo-eun and Yong-ha, is this a possibility? I thought I saw a look back when Hyo-eun first visited SKK and Yong-ha looked at her from afar, but it was so fleeting that I thought I imagined it. But episode 11 has me thinking that there just might be something up the writer’s sleeve. On one hand, I’m against this possible pairing because it’s too convenient: Hyo-eun can’t have Sun-joon, and ends up with his buddy Yong-ha? Come on. But then I see them together, and I see chemistry, and I remember that Yong-ha doesn’t want a boring woman, and I think, hey, Hyo-eun is anything but boring.


179 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lordj

    aigooooo, ive been waiting for this… kekekekeke… Thanks a lot.

  2. hanjiyoon

    thanks so much for your hard work! 😀

  3. missthiri

    Hi all:
    me catching up on SKK scandal over the weekend.
    and in love with Moon Jae Shin character. is that so bad? To me, Micky’s character is not as appealing as Yong ha and jae shin.

    1st time not falling for lead actor. kekek

    • 3.1 GYDG-J4

      You’re not the only one………….don’t feel so guilty about it.

    • 3.2 Sumee

      HA HA HA ..i am in the same boat tooooo 🙂

    • 3.3 djinni

      welcome to the moony faction

      • 3.3.1 baNAnagIRl;))

        Here we go………..my beloved MOONY …….We don’t seem to have of you. o_<

    • 3.4 charmie

      this is the first time for me too to root for the 2nd lead. I love mjs!

      • 3.4.1 Everriell

        Count me in!

        • nad

          me too!

    • 3.5 Kim He-Nah


      Out of all of the pretty boys in SKK, I like Moon JaeShin the most, then Gu YongHa.

      I wonder if it’s because my first kDrama was Iljimae?

  4. wits

    This drama… this Micky Yoochun, this F4 Jalgeum Quartet… they have grown so much on me… I am now a certified SKKS addict!!!! This long weekend (in Canada, for Thanksgiving), I marathoned EIGHT! 8! episodes…on top of roasting the turkey and half day at church. Ignored the leaves that needed raking and the grass that needed mowing, good thing I was able to do some ironing while watching, lol!!! Never done that before… seriously.

    Just had to say that before I go read your recap. Hopefully I’m still first in posting a comment!

    Thank you so much because I was prodded to watch this wonderfully charming drama because of all your recaps.

  5. ohemgee

    As long as the needle of the compass wavers, it is never wrong.

    I didn’t realize that was an Islamic saying-it’s beautiful. And it works so well with what the King was saying.

    Great episode, but I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS ON THAT ISLAND NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. zzzzz

    Thank you so much!! I was so elated to see the recap for episode 11 that i almost fell off my chair! thanks again =)

    • 6.1 mOOnlIGht

      I think , to get the most of “skks” apart from watching on the screen , you must read the recaps & all commentsss go along with it. THE GREATEST ENTERTAINING ;D ;D ;D ;D
      THANKSsss dramabeans’team “AJA”

  7. gominam

    Thank you!!! At last!!!!

  8. kendy

    thanks… when will be episode 12 comes out? kkkkkkk

  9. weatherpenny

    I love whenever Sunjoon says “He’s just a roommate, he’s just a roommate,” because I keep hearing it as “dongbang(shinki), dongbang(shinki)” even though I know that’s not what he’s saying XD

    Thanks you guys for the recaps ^^ They’re a joy to read.

    • 9.1 bluebell

      Oh yes I misheard it like that too. What is roommate in korean? dongbangsaeng? I always focus on the dongbang part and wonder as he said this, was he think of dongbangshinki as well? Cuz i remember once in Japan when they found Chinese character of toho/dongbang they were very excited ^^

    • 9.2 blue

      you are not the only one XD
      me too!

  10. 10 Fruitiipie

    Stumbled upon this and I have to say I just love your way of writing 😀 Anticipating all the reviews yet to come for this drama !

  11. 11 jen

    isnt yongha and hyoeun the mc’s for music bank??
    if they are, no wonder they have chemistry XD

    • 11.1 maria

      that is happening, fo sho! i could swear they’re setting us up for a thing between those two. i mean TEN.SION. right???

  12. 12 Lordj

    owwww, i was first, i did not notice… kekekekeke…. thanks again for the recap… off to watching it now… lol

  13. 13 asianromance

    Thank you for the recap!

    I had suspected a Hyo-eun and Yong Ha coupling forming in the beginning…but was unsure because I also suspected that Yong Ha was secretly gay. But I think a Hyo-eun and Yong Ha couple would be really cute. They’re both frivolous but good people and I think his dash will give her the sort of romance and excitement she craves. If she marries Sun-joon, she will hate him after the first month of living with him. She’s a pretty mischievous daughter- i think it is natural that she will marry beneath herself to a dashing scoundrel of the merchant class!

    I loved the beginning of this episode (i teared up at that Ban-in kid’s confession and the thing Yoonhee said to Sun-joon at the library), but I think the focus on Sun-joon focusing on Yoon-hee’s lips all the time at the end was sort of boring. I wish the attraction had crept up instead of exploding after he had seen her in female clothing.

    I wonder abt Sun-joon’s dad. How stressful it must be to have your kid’s expectation of you to be that high. Even if you see your kid as some sort of tool to be used and are a ruthless politician…i think a part of him struggles with disappointing his kid.

    I think after In-soo refused to confess about the medicine theft- I have given up on him. It’s past halfway point and this guy doesn’t look like he is going to change. My new project is Byung-choon. He was in the same situation as Yoonhee, but was a coward and chose the path of being an underling for his evilness. I really hope he reforms and join team Yoon-shik! He has a nice, pretty sister who loves him too and I don’t want him to disappoint her.

    I do wonder what Jae shin is so worried about with Yoon-hee and Sun-joon going on the trip together. I know he likes her and wants to protect her but it’s Sun-joon she is with. Sun-joon is 1. thickheaded about everything besides studying and the principles he was raised with and 2. morally upright. And Yoon-hee is pretty awesome at hiding (look at how she climbed up all those shelves last time) and look at how she’s got everyone convinced that she has slept with Chosun! I would be more worried abt leaving her alone with womanizer, Yong-Ha.

    • 13.1 bjharm

      lol how clever..wait for the next episode to see why in regards to Yong Ha. And I agree that Yong Ha could fall for Hyo-eun, his lady killer is only a fake image, he shown glimpses that what he like to show others is not the real him. Hyo-eun such a innocent, despite her ‘lust’ for Sun-joon, unlike the girls he plays around with normally

    • 13.2 momosa

      Its jealousy, my dear. How can a man let his beloved woman off to an island with another man! It is alarming enough to throw a fight!

    • 13.3 ~Autumn~

      oh high five. i also had an inkling feeling about Yongha and Hyoeun from the beginning, but I thought the pairing would be unlikely so i didn’t think much of it. i can kinda see them together now, though i am having doubts on the geniunity of Yongha’s supposed interest in her. Actually, i don’t want them to be together, coz that will totally shatter my hope for some epic romance between Yongha and Jaeshin T_T *bricked*

      • 13.3.1 diZZyhAHa

        Yong-ha + Hyo-eun = woooooooooooooooooppp ??????

        Yong-ha +Jae-shin = woooooop-woooooooooopy ???????

        • Janet


        • bluebell

          Ah yeah I would prefer Jae-ha LOL

  14. 14 brookeeve

    I think that it was me who said that, with Smarty being the way he was, that he wouldn’t be able to accept Daemul for being a girl in a boy’s school. And I still hold to that, if he was still that way. He isn’t. He’s changed, and his view on life is slowly leaving focus. Finding out that all of those men in the political scene, even if he still thinks that his father is innocent (which I don’t entirely buy, because he’s Smarty and naive that he is, he isn’t stupid) he can sense that his entire world is about to change. He wouldn’t even question his attraction to a male as viable if he weren’t refocusing his Camera of Life, as it were. He keeps hesitating in front of Hyo-eun, also, and if he were the same logical guy that we were introduced to before he would be making efforts to further that relationship because it makes the most logical sense. So I’m getting his relationship with Daemul, I understand it more now. I really like this part, because I can understand his confusion, and I BUY IT. I love how he doesn’t just see the rainbow and feel the love, I love how he stumbles around like he’s in a strange room in the dark, and he’s trying so hard not to be surprised by anything there, but he’s also trying to convince himself that he can’t see the light switch because then he would have to acknowledge what was going on. And yeah, I’m mixing metaphors here, which is probably a sign that I need to go to bed. I hope that this was in some way coherent. I’ll try to fix it tomorrow.

    • 14.1 anais

      love it.

    • 14.2 Bee

      I think it’s not as much that he still thinks his father is innocent, but that he desperately wants to *believe* his father is innocent and not part of this. It must be a scary thing for him, rattling the core of his entire foundation.
      If at one point he’s forced to accept the truth, combined with the fact that both Daemul and Goroh kept the truth from him (she about being a girl, he about being the Red Messenger), I just hope he will be strong enough and recover from the blow. Otherwise, the outcome could be very nasty for all parties involved.

  15. 15 hpn88

    I totally agree on the yong-ha and hyo-eun pairing. there is something interesting going on there.
    the part where he whispers in her ear…squee

  16. 16 Annie

    OHhhhh…the ep is just too much @@@@@@

    “Do you want to sleep next to HIM or ME”
    i was totally laughing when he said it….be in the middle XD

    Sun-joon is so jealous, i am liking what i see in him

    • 16.1 lizzz

      Me too XD
      that part was so hilarious SJ <3

    • 16.2 bluebell

      I can imagine chunnie’s pout with that sentence LOL

  17. 17 Q

    But but but if Yong-ha gets Hyo-eun and Sun-joon gets Yoon-hee, who does Jae-shin get? D: HE NEEDS TO GET PAIRED UP WITH SOMEONE OR I WILL BE SAD. Cho-sun? Perhaps he could save her from some dodgy, drunk men and BAM – wub. Anyway, thanks, red_pill! Awaiting the next recap with baited breath.

    • 17.1 jea

      I’m hoping Jae Shin will end up with someone too, but also a bit torn. Since I’ve seen him emotionally invested with Yoon Hee, it’s too late in the show to build another character to justify Jae Shin’s change of heart and make it believable. I almost wish they’d make a second season of SKKS just for MJS.

      Show, if you end up just lumping Jae Shin and Cho Sun together b/c they are the only second leads still single…. we’re gonna have a talk. Sidenote:YAI is just owning his role… swoon.

    • 17.2 1611lau

      if only to save jaeshin from a major heartbreak… i would agree with you! i was actually thinking of shipping that pairing hehe

    • 17.3 :D


      • 17.3.1 Teapot

        Luvs it! Way to take one for the team 😀

    • 17.4 jubilantia

      Yeah, I’m thinking poor Cho-sun needs some major love, like Jae-shin will when the OTP eventually comes to be. It sounds like she’s had a tough life. She needs somebody tough and lovable like Jae-shin- although he might have too many hiccups before he gets to know her.

  18. 18 jandoe

    can i please just squeal that the lil boy is so CUTEEE? 😀 the one who’s brother was the thief.

    and yes, possible pairing, i thought so too! i seem to remember a rumor about the two actors rumored to be dating cos they hosts Music Bank together – i’d LOVE to have them pair up here, i swear i saw chemistry flying!

    agree with your opinion about SJ too, especially your remark about his principles. i have so much respect for this character, honestly. if he was a real person, mannn. i’d dig him, totally.

    thanks red pill for this recap! 🙂

  19. 19 Annie

    I don’t like the Hyo-eun and Yong Ha pairing too. I dislike hyo-eun’s character here, but the later eps are a little better. In the novel, she is more smart than just a girl in love….ok I like smart girls

    • 19.1 myerz

      i see the possibility of HE and YH pairing up based on their scenes together..but please nooooooooooooo!!!! i dont like her for him..let her end up with another guy but not anyone from the jal-geum quartet. and im not saying this because i want one of the 3 guys for myself..but just because i dont like the her. hehe
      i like how conflicted SJ is about his feelings for YS. so very like the lead guy in coffee prince but in a different way because SJ was raised in a conventional family and being “gay” that time was probably unacceptable especially coming from a well known family. some would say Mickey is so stiff..but that’s how his character is. which he plays really really well.
      ive been reading dramabeans for a year now…but this is the first time i commented on a recap. it means that i am so addicted to this drama. i really had a good feeling about this from the start..but i never expected it to be this good!

      • 19.1.1 nara:)

        I don’t like the Hyo-eun and Yong Ha pairing either! I want Yong Ha and Cho Sun!

      • 19.1.2 SaNaa

        So I am not the only one who sees a parallel btw. SKKS and Coffee prince…. not that it would be anything bad, I like both dramas and have been enjoying SKS very much so far… actually more than I ever expected to ke ke ke but yes, this disquise as a boy, “gay” dillemma, a good man who knows, loves the girl but will not have her because it is simply not how the Show wants to have it… It would be interesting to see what would happen if for a change the Girl ends up with the guy who she fits best with and not with the lead Boy… on the other hand all Micky Yoochun fan-girls might just which-hunt the Show and put it down in a veeeery painful way I guess….

  20. 20 estel

    Does Sun-joon seriously still think that Yoon-hee is a boy? I mean, really? He just thinks she looks extraordinarily pretty in gisaeng getup? Is he completely blind?

    I want more Quartet love. I can’t get enough of the bromance, it makes me swoon with giddiness every time.

  21. 21 kaigou

    I think you’re right about Yong-ha and Hyo-eun, though I’ve no idea if they’ll necessarily be paired, so much that (already) it seems like Hyo-eun is a catalyst for Yong-ha the same way Yoon-hee is a catalyst for Sun-joon. I mean, Yong-ha made all that noise about being the whole love-em-and-leave-em type, and he easily tossed Hyo-eun’s feelings over to get what he wanted (amusement, and retaliation on Jae-shin)… but then there’s that scene where Yong-ha is eating with Hyo-eun, and it sure looked to me like he instigated/invited… which might not be much in the overall scale of gentlemanliness, but it’s a start.

    He certainly seemed to be having belated realization of how much he’d hurt Hyo-eun’s feelings, in the course of his own pursuits. So I think if nothing else, Hyo-eun is going to be part of Yong-ha’s arc of growing up. Which is good, because I think Hyo-eun’s absolutely adorable.

    Headstrong, idealistic, tries very hard to do right, and secretly (or not so secretly) a romantic… well, actually, she’s pretty much the female version of Sun-joon, I think. Neither would really ever challenge the other, because they’re both fundamentally very similar.

    • 21.1 myerz

      i read in dramawiki or some wiki website that YH will also fall for YS. not sure if its gonna happen for this drama..

      • 21.1.1 anon

        I doubt it.

  22. 22 Ani

    Oh Guh-ro, you’re too cute for words sometimes. Why don’t they ever bring in a girl for the second male lead or at least the other guy who’s vying for the main girl’s attention? Guh-ro, I’ll have you if no one else does.

    “And, is it me, or is anyone else worried Yong-ha and Hyo-eun look like they might be getting chummy?” <– That's what I wanted to say, until I finished reading red_pill's comments. Yup, I guess it wasn't just me than.

  23. 23 jea

    This is a bit random, but doesn’t the boy who was the thief look a lot like Jae Hee at certain angles? Especially, when he smiles? BTW, is Jae Hee out of the army yet?

    • 23.1 rainerust

      Yes Jae Hee is out, and we’re all still awaiting news of his comeback drama and/or movie…

  24. 24 :P

    THNK U red_pill! viikii isnt working but these recaps do a dandy job of telling the story, past halfway already! yong ha still confuses me but the king is soo kickass! luv the guy, and the professor, i teared a little when yoonhee heard abt her father :'(

  25. 25 alexis

    thanks red_pill! awesome recap! this drama is really really really good. i love the dialogues. i think they’re very well written.

    but i digress, let’s talk about this drama’s soundtrack. so daebak! the last song during the ending, the one sung by hero jaejoong i think. that song is awesome! it was played loads of times during episode 12 too and i just melt every time i hear it. it’s so apt for the SJ and YS scenes. <

  26. 26 Rovi

    Omo omo omo…I AM SO LOVING SS!!!

    TO BITS!!! The story just gets more & more interesting…!

  27. 27 Ladymoonstone143

    Thank you so much Red for the awesome recap as always. Your recaps and cassie’s made me squeeze this drama into my schedule. I was already enjoying PK because I need to watch something that makes me feel good. Too much stress already with work plus home, kids, etc that I can’t indulge myself to being addicted with another drama aside from PK. But alas SKKS is so hard to ignore. Certified addict here and rewatched all the episodes this weekend and re reading your recaps.

    I am into the second male lead again…which I know will probably break my heart in the end…:( But Jaeshin is just so adorable that you can’t help falling in love with him. And the intensity of the chemistry is better. Plus, who can resist those hiccups…lol There should be more tender moments between those two.

    Looking forward to the coming episodes. I wonder how long this will be? 24 or more? More I should say…can’t get enough of those 4…

    Thanks again for the awesome recap…:)

  28. 28 lei

    thanks for the recap, red_pill! i can’t believe i am actually looking forward to mondays and tuesdays LOL!!

    i was thinking coffee prince while watching this ep. our beloved sun joon starting to get all confused.

    yong ha and hyo eun — somehow i don’t think they’re a good fit. hyo eun is too shallow for a person as perceptive and inquisitive as yong ha. yong ha might seem all fun and games but i think what drew him towards jae shin, yoon hee and sun joon is these three have something more going on than what’s at the surface. plus, would he want the student prez and his evil dad to be his in-laws? 🙂

    • 28.1 kaigou

      –would he want the student prez and his evil dad to be his in-laws?–

      okay, you convinced me there. ;D

      • 28.1.1 nara:)

        you speak the truth! if anything, Yong Ha might fall for Cho Sun or Yong Hee. but PLEASE, don’t pair our perceptive Yong Ha with a shallow Hyo-eun. It’s just not fair to Yong Ha.

  29. 29 SKKSfan

    squeeee! the recap i’ve been waiting for! i’m loving this show more and more. <3

  30. 30 kk

    In book 2, JS will finally have a “partner,” yes, he won’t be a heartbroken guy who doesn’t get any girls. At the same time SJ and YH are already married by then.

    But then again, I doubt it if they’ll cover the events in book 2 and introduce the new girl in this drama since it’s already too late.

    • 30.1 jenjen

      im just curious
      so far is this drama loyal to the original novel?

    • 30.2 SaNaa

      Sorry but could you keep the SPOILERS to yourself please?!?

  31. 31 AuntieMame

    Actually, I’ve been wondering if Yong-ha swings both ways. He certainly is flirty and provocative with Jae Shin.

    And, it does seem like he has some interest and compassion toward Hyo-eun.

    The capture of Bong Soo’s little brother saids it all, as the reason to abolish the geumnanjungkwon.

    • 31.1 anais

      doesn’t yongha fess up in this episode to the bromantic desires he nurses for jaeshin? this is when he’s trying to get sunjoon to go on the boat ride. i don’t think he was just making it up as a bait for a reciprocal confession from sunjoon.

      • 31.1.1 AuntieMame

        Yep, he certainly did, which is what made me finally voiced what I had thought from the beginning.

        I can think of two possible reasons for him to talk about his own bromantic feelings for JS. To feel out whether or not SJ truly has those same feelings. And, if so, to put SJ at ease with those feelings by letting him know that other people has also had those feelings.

  32. 32 misa

    i knew it! thought it was just my imagination that there’s something about yong-ha and hyo-eun..its a good thing though (just my opinion) because i’d love to see yong-ha with a girl..

    but, i dont want our jae-shin to be paired up with chosun..hope yoon-hee has a twin sister..yay! :p

  33. 33 anais

    laughed so hard throughout this recap. even slapped my thigh! dang, i love skks. so thankful that i understand enough korean not to have to wait for subs because it’s already too hard to wait for the upcoming episode. seriously wanting a time machine. how can this show top itself with each episode!!! now, must go rewatch today’s episode for the 3rd time and not tackle any of the things i ought to and must do.

  34. 34 Isabella

    Thanks for the recap! I really hope Hyo-eun doesn’t ends up pairing with Yong-Ha. I don’t see any chemistry between them!

  35. 35 Beng

    from the start i already predicted that the triangle will be between Jae-shin, Sun-joon and Yoon-hee. And i also predicted that Yong-ha and Hyo-eun will end up as a pair. I thought it will not happen anymore as the episodes progress, but it seems it might with this episode. Yes, their personalities will definitely click =)

  36. 36 badtanline

    best 3 moments for me:

    1. JS’s feigned nonchalance breaking into a sliver of sunshine when YH smiled at him after the king declared they passed.

    2. The rising music happening twice when both SJ and JS were distracted by YH’s fiddling with her lower lip in their room.

    3. JS tying YH’s pant-leg-lace thingy — the *most* romantic thing I’ve ever seen in a K-drama! *swoon*

  37. 37 memei

    Does this mean the recaps for episodes 12 and 13 will come out today? 😀 I’ve seen 11 and 12 with subs but the recaps are forever in my heart. Haha. Anyway, I’ve seen 13 raw, and I think it’s jam-packed. The recaps will keep me sane for about a week so please pretty please? Hahaha.

  38. 38 theshangkee

    I’ve been waiting for this!!! For the past few days, I’ve been refreshing dramabeans.com for SKKS updates! Thank you very much, red_pill! <3

    TBH, I never watched a single ep of SKKS. *arrows coming* But reading the recaps, I can't wait to have some longer free time to watch the drama!

    Sunjoon perhaps, right now, is the most challenged character. He likes Yonhee, whom he believes to be a dude. So, that's weird (during that time)… But, that only adds depth to Sunjoon's character, who was upright and boring at first, by the way, and also to the story itself.

    And yes right guys, what will happen to Jaeshin in the end? Yes, of course we know that SJ will end up with YH. But JS, what will happen to you?

    Personally, I don't want him to be with another girl. Yes, it's too late to add another character plus he's more kickass if he's single. Lol. That's just me anyway.

    Lastly, Hyoeun and Yongha, not a fan yet. I don't know but I want Yongha to be single (and playing) forever. Overprotective much? Haha! But let's see how this possible couple will develop.

    So there! Thank you once again red_pill and the rest of dramabeans for these recaps! 😀

    Kbai! ^^

  39. 39 MaApril18

    After reading all cmts, i realize that i’m not the only one who wants hyo eun & young ha together.i really like them & hope they’ll have some scenes in later episodes.That Music Bank couple (SJK & SHR) have great chemistry.

  40. 40 wedge

    hey thanks for the recap 😀

  41. 41 mellowyel

    so i get the Garang-Daemul pairing, i.e. it makes sense logically and fits the story, but she and Guh-ro are so cute together. like the secret smile that came out when she smiled at him thankfully for bringing Bok-soo (who was amazing in this episode, BTW) – it was so adorable! but i have to defer to the OTP because that whole “stay by my side” thing Sunjoon did had me fangirl flailing like crazy. so cute! i cringe in anticipation of the angst that these developments shall bring to my computer screen…

    • 41.1 Bee

      I really wished she could have two husbands in the end! ;D
      Then again, can you imagine those two guys being forced to share her? 🙂

  42. 42 ItsJeswee

    You’re working on the recap of episode 12, aren’t you dear red_pill? Please, don’t make me wait any longer. Patience isn’t my strong point, especially when it comes to SKK. Thaaaaannnkkkksss…..

  43. 43 lizzz

    I´m so in love with SJ

    his perfectionism makes him cutter .. i dont know why *maybe i´m already crazy XD*

    He is so caring and perfect, but the changes he is having is helping to him to become even better and more perfect coz it´s a perfection with a bit of humanity <3

    THIS IS THE PERFECT CHARACTER THAT I EVER MEET IN A DRAMA (God, please help me to find someone like him)


    Thanks so much for the re-cap … i´m totally addicted to this drama XD

    • 43.1 lizzz

      i meant:

      sorry for the poor english .

  44. 44 Moerae

    I was (pleasantly) surprised by the possibility of Yong-ha and Hyo-Eun as well. Especially in Ep. 12, I’m getting some definite vibes from those two. 😀

  45. 45 sshahi

    nooo,,,…….. i am totally against Hyo-eun and Yong-ha..i don’t lke Hyo-eun and i totally love Yong-ha

  46. 46 jubilantia

    I’m still rooting for Yoon-hee with the Jalgeum Trio as concubines. The king would totally be fair-minded enough to award her inevitable awesomeness with a Crown of Doing Whatever the Hell You Want, and I’m pretty sure not even the most conservative Korean housewife would object in the slightest. Woo hoo equality! Everyone wins! (including Yong-ha/Jae-shin shippers)

    That said, yay for dynamic Sun-joon. We’re gonna get some Grade A Prime Angst when he finds out, but I think it will be in-character for him to eventually suspect her. They’ve set it up well that she’s still his first, strongest, and truest friend, which will make his inevitable feelings of betrayal at least somewhat justified and very poignant. I wonder if he will feel the “I know I’m a son of a Noron, but you could have trusted me!” or the “Holy crap law-breaker!” sentiment more strongly. Most importantly, Sun-joon’s dad is at the head of the faction that most likely killed her father.

    I, too, thought there might be something between Hyo-eun and Yong-ha. Although, while she’s not boring, I’m not sure she could keep up with him; she’s too gullible. Still, he was throwing some mighty suggestive glances her way. It might be too convenient, but I can totally see them arguing cutely over everything from house decorations to each other’s outfits.

    Still waiting for Yong-ha’s backstory, though. I feel like his persona is covering up a darker side that might not match Hyo-eun at all.

    Aaaaaand last but not least- SQUEEEEEEEE Jae-shin! How are you so gorgeous. And that look when she smiled at him after the exam? After he tugged his ear? *SWOON*

    • 46.1 jubilantia

      *not “suspect”. “Accept.” Aaaand I am an idiot.

      • 46.1.1 SaNaa

        epic win … love your comment :o)

    • 46.2 jenjen

      oh you ^^
      this comment wins in so many ways

    • 46.3 mOOnlIGht

      so good !!! I’ll keep your commentsssss in mind for further episode . right now just ***SWOON***

  47. 47 conan

    I am in absolute LOVE with this drama. I’m glad that the subs are coming along amazingly too so we non-Korean speakers can enjoy without fail. I love love LOVE every single thing about this drama I mean I pretty much have no bad feelings for this whatsoever, even towards the evil guys! I usually hate how the writers just have to make the evil guys supremely evil to a point where I want to kick their butts and scurry along with the story. But the writers of SKKS made each character so beautifully that I understand why every character became that way.

    Ah, so on to episode 11. Maybe I should talk about the couples and resist myself from talking about episode 12. In this episode we see many, many couples-to-be which I absolutely love! First it’s Daemul-Garang. Then Daemul-Guroh. Then Guroh-Yeorim. Then Hyeo-eun-Garang. Then a possible Hyeo-eun-Yeorim? What amazes me is that each and every couple is, at least for me, very possible. I want to comment on Hyeo-eun and Yeorim. The two actors have known each other longer, being co-MCs and all, but they really do have great chemistry. They’ve been longer friends than the rest and knew each other better. They click better too. I just had to mention a bit of how close they are to a point where people thought they were actually dating. Those rumors come and go but their chemistry is undeniable.

    I really like how Daemul becomes a sort of magnet to everyone, allowing all, may it be Norons, Sorons, and everyone in between, unite as Sungkyunkwan scholars. How cool is that? And the moments when Sunjoon and Jaeshin told Yoonhee (or Shik?) to never stray afar, I died twice (once for each moment). I see a love triangle, or maybe quadrangle? Pentagon? Forming right here. Ah drama, how I love thee.

    The storyline… Oh how I love the writers! I can’t believe I’m watching a somewhat historical drama! I mean this drama has all the facts and info as any other historical dramas but definitely not boring. Of course I’m aware a lot of the plot is somewhat made up so that the actual historical figures can be formed. What I also love about this drama is how unpredictable it is. The love line is somewhat like Coffee Prince but then we have to remember that the setting is at a time when men and women aren’t equal, where dressing up as a boy isn’t okay. There’s also the political angst which is getting hotter and hotter. What will happen to the Joseon dynasty? Oh the drama!

    Ah… so this is too long. Sorry about that. But I can’t help saying many good things about this drama. It might as well become one of my most favorite dramas ever. Yay Sungkyunkwan Scandal! Yay Jalgeum Quartet!

    • 47.1 MaApril18

      I really like ur cmts especially abt Hyeo-eun-Yeorim….hehe

      • 47.1.1 conan

        Aw… thanks. I really love this drama and I just had to pour my heart out for this one 😀

  48. 48 momosa

    To the writers of SKKS – please bring on a lady-love for JS because we (@ moony faction) are already anticipating heartbreak for poor JS and its unbearable to see him hurt. Thank you.

    • 48.1 swui

      I am already anticipating the heartbreak too…but I really can’t see him pairing with anyone at this point of the story….sigh. At least YHa will be able to comfort him when the time comes..Somehow, I think YHa will be instrumental in bringing all four together again after whatever fallout the writer has in store for JS-YS-SJ. Just a hunch…lol

  49. 49 Francesca

    1. About Yong-ha: just wait till you hear his confession about his “tendency” in episode 12 *wink-wink* And it’s just makes me think that his sending Sun-joon and Yoon-hee to the island is only a pretext to keep Jae-shin away from her *evil laughs*

    2. My fave scene ever is the bed scene when Jaeshin kicks Yoon-hee to the side of the room literally! I repeat this scene like 10x coz it’s daym hilarious!!

    • 49.1 budsdiana

      me, too!!!! # 2

    • 49.2 diadda

      You are correct in my opinion. Yong Ha wants Jae-shin off that island more than anyone else wants to be there. And …

      That confession in 12 is something I think I replayed 10 times, which completely prepared me for episode 13. Although I am still reeling from the angst/joy of it.

      Fantasy, it would be be my honor and privilege to introduce you to Reality.

      I love you the writers of SkkS 🙂

    • 49.3 Kookaburra

      Isn’t it great?! I thought the confession was the cutest thing I’d ever seen. Just thinking back on it makes me smile =) I really don’t want Yong-ha to end up with Yoon-hee. He just too cute with the person he ‘wants to touch all the time’ =P

  50. 50 melon

    my heart hurts for sun joon….:(

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