Drama Recaps
Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 16
by | October 27, 2010 | 246 Comments

Dear red pill‘s erratically beating heart,

Be still. Else you’ll overexert yourself and fail me. And I need you to be strong for the remaining stretch, to be a pillar through the love, angst, sadness and happiness forthcoming. Besides, “heart failure due to excessive excitement over cute love scenes” as the cause of death is just plain embarrassing.

Love, red pill


Rumble Fish – 청혼 (Proposal) [download]

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While Sun-joon is having the (twin) shock of his life, Jae-shin’s enjoying a little quality time with Byung-choon and Go-bong. Since they want to have fun in the water, he tosses them right in and keeps them paddling. Yeah, that’s what happens when you try to mess with Jae-shin’s girl.


Yoon-hee regains consciousness to find that her bosom feels a little – well, exposed. And Sun-joon’s beside himself with shock. Enter a merry drunken party, and there’s no time to make Yoon-hee presentable so they hide (hello, episode 1!). Fortunately, the drunkards keep walking.

Once in the clear, Yoon-hee tries to leave the scene, but Sun-joon is adamant about keeping her with him (“I won’t let you go.” Squeee.)


Meanwhile, Jae-shin finds Yoon-hee missing again and runs around, desperate to find her. He ends up back at the camp, but no one’s seen her. He’s ready to comb the mountains, but Yong-ha informs him of the comforting(?) news that she’s alright and with Sun-joon.

Surprisingly, Jae-shin doesn’t go berserk like he did with the island set-up. He blows off Yong-ha’s suggestion that they go to her and walks away, and his anxious expression breaks my heart.


Sun-joon and Yoon-hee find themselves trapped in his room when Soon-dol slides a spoon through the door handles and makes the flimsiest lock I’ve ever seen. His excuse? He needs Yoon-hee’s help to persuade Sun-joon to return to SKK. The guy’s been showing extreme signs of being lovesick, and Soon-dol’s beside himself with worry.

Here’s a cookie for you, Soon-dol.


Back to where the SKK students are staying the night. Yong-ha pushes Jae-shin’s buttons, claiming that he should’ve just gone to Yoon-hee since clearly his heart and mind are with her. Jae-shin kindly adds an addendum to his catchphrase: “If jumping to conclusions becomes a habit, your arm could end up broken.”

For once, Yong-ha gives him sound advice: He likes her, right? Then stop acting so cool and tiring himself out. Pretending he doesn’t want her, that he’s not jealous or he’s too strong to be shaken by his emotions – it’s all a waste of energy. Use that energy instead to make her his. As of now, Jae-shin’s still got the upper hand on Sun-joon (or so Yong-ha thinks, but now the playing grounds are pretty even since the cat’s out of the bag).

To be the silent bodyguard or the knight in shining armor. Decisions, decisions.


With only one set of blankets, Sun-joon insists that Yoon-hee sleep while he stays up catching up on his reading. She claims she’ll read, too, and finds among the stack of books the little red book (courtesy of Yeo-rim). A little tug-of-war ensues, with Sun-joon successfully overpowering her and pinning her to the floor. Now’s your chance! Do something!

But our upright Sun-joon backs off like the gentleman that he is. Oh darn.

This time they both try to sleep and Sun-joon’s willing to brave the night without any covers. But Yoon-hee tucks the blanket over him, reminding him what happened the last time he got wet and was cold. Besides, she can sleep with just the bedding – and she rolls herself into a Yoon-hee kimbap. That breaks the tension and they both smile genuinely.

Sun-joon: Since when did you hide that pretty face behind the façade of being a boy? You don’t have to answer –
Yoon-hee: I told you about my sick brother. To pay for his medication, I transcribed some medical books, and the physician found me more work with the bookshop owner Hwang. That was approximately two years after my father passed, so I was about twelve.
Sun-joon: So you borrowed ‘Kim Yoon-shik’ from your brother.
Yoon-hee: It ended up that way.
Sun-joon: Then your real name…?
Yoon-hee: Kim Yoon-hee. Kim Yoon-hee is my name.
Sun-joon: Kim… Yoon-hee.

Back at the capital, In-soo interrogates Hyo-eun about the events that transpired during what should have been an engagement. He knows Sun-joon too well to buy her cock-and-bull story.

She plans to wait. As long as she doesn’t break it off first, she believes Sun-joon will eventually come around; he’s too good of a person to make her the dumpee.

As any brother should be, In-soo’s angered.


Morning comes, and our main couple begins the day bickering. Sun-joon (understandably) wants Yoon-hee to leave SKK, and Yoon-hee (understandably) doesn’t want to. He tells her it’s impossible, and she counters that he’s the one who showed her how to make the impossible possible. She didn’t get to choose her gender, just like one can’t choose one’s family; so gender’s not a good enough reason to stop her. Besides, she’s no longer afraid of the national law or the king’s commands.

Sun-joon argues that she could end up in real danger, but she doesn’t want to worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Besides, there’s no bright future at stake here if she gets caught. She wants to live in the moment and be happy right now; these times will never come again for her.

When she returns to the lodgings, the other guys rib her about staying out all night. Jae-shin walks in, and she apologizes for disappearing the previous day. He treats her a bit coldly and tells her to stop doing as she wants and worrying people.

On their way back to SKK, our boys (and girl) run into Cho-sun, who has been waiting for Yoon-hee to return. As Jae-shin walks past Cho-sun, something makes him stop short in his tracks. He smells the same perfume he did during his scuffle with the fake Red Messenger and learns from Yong-ha that this is a special scent worn only by Cho-sun.


At Moran-gak, Yoon-hee learns that Cho-sun plans to stop being a gisaeng – if Yoon-hee would have her. She doesn’t dare dream to be Yoon-hee’s first wife; she’d settle for being able to stay nearby as her mistress. All because Yoon-hee was the first ever to treat her as a woman with feelings and not as an object.

But of course Yoon-hee can’t consent; she says she’s too lacking to accept such a beautiful, strong-willed woman. And her refusal is so gentle and well-said that Cho-sun has no choice but to accept it (and probably falls even harder for her). Yoon-hee apologizes sincerely, even taking on the formal tone.

Outside, Jae-shin is waiting for her with a warning to keep her distance from Cho-sun. He plays it off as wanting her to protect her reputation (can’t be seen as a skirt-chaser who’s constantly visiting the gisaengs). She thinks he’s still mad at her and reassures him that she can take care of herself; she’s Dae-mool after all. Which allows Jae-shin to throw out a sentimental line: “I’m worried because you’re you.”

Back on the SKK campus, there’s an announcement for hwang-gam-je: an examination in which the prizes are the offerings made to the king, which include rare fruit, such as tangerines from Tamra (Jeju) Island. First place gets a basketful of Tamra tangerines, and pretty soon, the scrumptious citrus has everyone in a drooling frenzy.

King Jeong-jo has come himself to donate the prize tangerines, and he runs into Minister Lee and Minister Ha. In a pretty telling moment, the king and the headmaster tell a clueless Minister Lee that Sun-joon has decided to return to SKK. Of course Minister Lee pretends it was his idea, but I don’t think anyone buys it.

Do I see cracks in the father-son relationship?

In the library, Yoon-hee runs into a guy who looks like Sun-joon – and lo and behold, it IS Sun-joon. Since he got her into SKK, he’s come to get her out safely before anyone finds out her secret. He says he has an obligation to protect her, but she wants his help, not his protection.

And so they strike a deal: If she proves herself worthy by placing first at the hwang-gam-je (which is pretty darn complicated – basically requiring straight memorization of whole passages and books as well as a comprehensive understanding of said texts), he’ll allow her to stay. But if he places first, she has to leave.


Yong-ha isn’t very surprised to see Sun-joon (“So Dae-mool was the perfect medicine.”), but Jae-shin gives Sun-joon a rather interesting welcome.

“Oy, Noron. Didn’t I tell you not to confuse people? I said not to go back and forth, from this to that. It’s distracting.”


That night come bedtime, Sun-joon does some quick thinking and immediately claims the middle spot.

Jae-shin: Oy, Noron. That’s my spot.
Sun-joon: There’s no my spot, your spot. You’re the one who said that your spot is where you lie.

At which Jae-shin KICKS Sun-joon’s pillow. What follows is some major butt-action as Jae-shin tries to push Sun-joon back and Sun-joon holds his own. They get into a “What is wrong with YOU” exchange before they’re interrupted by Yoon-hee’s appearance.

(I’m surprised I’m writing coherent sentences at this point. THIS. IS. SO. CUTE.)

When both try to claim Yoon-hee’s spot (Jae-shin gently tapping the spot near the door and Sun-joon whacking the spot near the wall), she declares that she’ll decide where she’ll sleep.

Sun-joon sends her some adorably not-so-subtle hints.

Yong-ha comes bursting in, claiming that he heard a gumiho (Woong-ah!) and he’s sleeping between Sun-joon and Jae-shin tonight. Both boys protest, but Yoon-hee has already decided to go sleep in Yong-ha’s room. Yoon-hee sleeps peacefully while Sun-joon sleeps scrunched to one side and Jae-shin is attacked by Yong-ha’s wandering leg.

(I commented on Cassie’s episode 13 recap that I don’t think Yong-ha is a real coward. I just may have to take that back.)

All over SKK, the students are motivated to study for the exam by the mere sight of the tangerines. In the teacher’s office, the professor’s discuss who they think will place first, and the top two candidates seem to be Lee Sun-joon and Kim Yoon-shik.


Well, Sun-joon, if you keep staring at Yoon-hee’s lips like that, you can forget about placing first. And playing footsie on top of that? To calm his hormones, he resorts to building a mini tower of books as a wall between them, raising it higher and higher until all he can see is her eyes.

Yoon-hee tries to be nonchalant as she mentions that he’ll probably get married now that he’s back. But he reassures her that he didn’t get engaged that day and he’ll never live a lie again.


In order to win Sun-joon’s heart, Hyo-eun has come to ask Yong-ha for help. She’s willing to do anything and everything. Yong-ha throws out a few suggestions (stop being so easy, read higher quality books than the tabloids, stop mistreating those you consider below you), but then he’s quick to tell her to face reality: she’s not the heroine of this fairytale. Better to give up now; that’ll give her peace.

She thinks he’s being cruel, but he’s the one person who’s straight with her.

In the marketplace, Jae-shin stalks Cho-sun, but she catches on. She leads him on a little chase through the alleyways until she successfully shakes him off. Then she lets fly an arrow with a red leaflet attached. It’s another one of those “The Red Messenger will be here on this day” messages meant to trap him.

Before he can give chase, guards show up to take Jae-shin to his father. Minister of Justice Moon knew all along about his son’s extracurricular activities, and he tells Jae-shin to stop. It’s too dangerous with the two evil ministers on a warpath to catch the real Red, setting traps with the fake.

Jae-shin says he’ll stop if his father passes on a message to the king: “My son died at the hands of the Norons while transporting the geumdeungjisa.”

With Jae-shin spending the night at home, the awkward couple Yoon-hee and Sun-joon find themselves alone in the room. Still as gentlemanly as ever, Sun-joon makes a divider with the leftover blanket, warning Yoon-hee not to cross over. Boy, you’re going about this all wrong. Sigh.

She’s pretty confident about hwang-gam-je tomorrow, sure that she’ll beat him and earn her place at SKK.

Sun-joon takes this chance to ask about what she was about to say at the stream before she fell in. She feigns sleep and he gives up questioning her. For now.

Hwang-gam-je. Test one, you’re given a Confucian saying and you’re expected to explain the meaning. Test two is a written test with short-answers. Test three is back to being oral. Answer the question right and you get a tangerine. Of course Sun-joon and Yoon-hee earn the most tangerines (and anyone else notice that Jae-shin only has one?).

It’s no surprise that Sun-joon and Yoon-hee end up the final two vying for first place.

(For this part of the recap, please excuse my lack of knowledge of Confucian texts.)

The final question, written by the king himself, is to explain the correct attitude the government officials must have when dealing with the people. Here’s the hard part: they must recall a particular passage from Great Learning of the Book of Rites (Liji) and must amalgamate the given basic characters to form a word.

This test requires them to have read the book, recall it perfectly and input their own thinking. Yoon-hee has trouble recalling the particulars of the text while Sun-joon shows some but less hesitation.


Sun-joon’s answer is shin-min (“new” + “people”), taken from the idea that the people’s virtue must be renewed constantly. Government officials must educate the people and renew their lives.

Yoon-hee’s answer is chin-min (“close/friendly” + “people”), taken from the idea that a wise man likes the words the people like and hates the words the people hate. Therefore, government officials must have friendly relations with the people.

Both answers are pretty darn good.


Bok-dong plays messenger and keeps Jae-shin and Yong-ha updated (is this all part of Yong-ha’s intelligence network?). Upon hearing the two answers, Jae-shin immediately knows who won (which proves my sneaking suspicion that Jae-shin is actually the smartest guy in the entire school).

In-soo lumbers over to goad Jae-shin (camera, why are you focusing on Jae-shin’s bracelet?). Oh, In-soo, give it up already.


The answer is revealed and Sun-joon is the winner, and the headmaster is thrilled. Yoon-hee not so much. Yoon-hee rushes to the library to check the answer, and of course Sun-joon shows up to remind her that she has to start packing.

Yoon-hee does what cute girls do best and turns on the charm (successfully flustering Sun-joon).

Sun-joon: I still don’t accept that a woman can stay at SKK. And I’ve never given the time of day to a person who dismisses national laws. However – it can’t be helped. I’d be interested in meeting a government official who wants to be friends with the people rather than rule them. So I’ll have to let that person stay at SKK. On top of that, who knows what havoc this bold and liberal woman will wreak if left in the world, particularly when she has no care for laws or the king’s commands?

Yes, that was Sun-joon speak for “You can stay.” She’s relieved and suddenly he’s back to asking about what she was going to say at the stream. She hems and haws, and he persists.

Yoon-hee: Do I have to put it into words?
Sun-joon: How am I supposed to know if you don’t?
Yoon-hee: You really don’t know?
Sun-joon: I’m dying of frustration here –


(Someone come scrape this goo previously known as red pill off the seat of her chair. Please.)

Yoon-hee runs out, surprised at herself for her bold action and thrilled at the same time. In the library, Sun-joon snaps out of his daze to go chasing after her.

Both are approached by dark shadows. Dun dun dun.


Fearless Jae-shin stands atop a pagoda, having come to meet the challenge of the fake Red though it’s so clearly a trap. He fights them brilliantly (like always) and manages to not get hurt this time. He jumps a wall and loses the chasing guards, only to have the omniscient Gu Yong-ha show up and invite him to stay at his house to avoid getting caught.

Only… Jae-shin’s bracelet is missing (argh!).


The bracelet is picked up by none other than In-soo (we saw this coming a mile away!), who immediately recalls that Jae-shin was wearing it earlier in the day. He puts two and two together and orders him to be arrested (I realize his father is the minister of war, but why does this schoolboy have so much power over the guards? It’s a little ridiculous.).

Yong-ha tries to dissuade Jae-shin from going, but the bracelet is the only thing he has left of his brother’s belongings. He goes running back but when he turns the corner, he’s blocked by the mysterious shadows. Yong-ha encounters the same.

The Jal-geum Quartet’s blindfolds are removed, and they’re in some secret hideout. Someone comes walking down the stairs – it’s the king himself. The king is soon joined by Professor Jung.

King Jeong-jo: I’m here to give you a secret mission. Fulfill my order and create a new Joseon.


red pill’s personal thoughts on Sun-joon’s relatively angst-less acceptance of Yoon-hee’s secret:

First, this isn’t Coffee Prince. Yes, I know everyone and their grandmother feels this urge to compare this revelation to the woeful angst of Choi Han-gyul when he discovered Eun-chan’s secret, but other than the fact that both love cross-dressers, I find the two men different in every way. And I’m not just talking about their personalities here. Circumstance, society, social standing, consequences, etc., everything. Hence, comparing the two is unfair and illogical.

My theory is that Sun-joon is so accepting because this is 18th century Joseon. Let me explain. In a society open to homosexuality (at least more so than 300 years ago) such as ours, dealing with one’s sexuality is a deeply personal, internalized problem. Meaning, if there are dire consequences to follow, those consequences are my burden to bear, not anyone else’s. No one will be blackballed from society because I am gay (family may be an exception, but that’s a moot point here since what’s at stake here is a romantic love). Therefore, when the truth comes out, it’s more about MY pain, the betrayal I feel, the I-can’t-believe-you-made-me-go-through-hell. But in 18th century Joseon, I’m not just placing myself in danger by revealing my sexuality, I’m also forcing the person I love to experience ridicule, loss in prestige and being blackballed. Which explains why Sun-joon leaves in the first place: to protect Yoon-hee from being affected by his love. Meaning he’s already come to terms with his sexuality and at the point that he discovers the truth, it’s more about HER.

So when he discovers the truth, after the initial shock of seeing body parts he never expected, I imagine he felt a flood of relief first and foremost. His love will NOT hurt the person he loves. Betrayal, shock, hurt, and whatever else he might feel, is undermined by that relief. And so many doors spring open at once: he no longer has to ostracize himself from society, he doesn’t have to worry that his love will affect her negatively, he’s not gay, etc. Why should he be anything but glad that she’s really a she?

I admit that a little more angst would’ve been more realistic, but I’m fine with the reaction he did give. Especially if it leads to adorable footsie and kissy scenes. Yeah, I realize I just undermined my own logical argument by going all fangirly. Whatever.

And at the risk of being bricked, I always thought Han-gyul’s angst was a little over the top.


246 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Annie


    • 1.1 ash

      thanks for the fast upload…can u tell when u are going to upload episode 17 pliz….i wanna be the first one to read ep 17

  2. Kimchipancakes

    Taught thank you! I loveeeee skk so much! Sad that it’s ending soon );

  3. anon

    i’ve already seen this episode so when I saw the title shot (yoon-hee on her tippy toes) i let out a leftover squeal!

    thanks again for the amazing recap! I’ve also had a sneaking suspicion that Jae-shin is a covert genius (ahh could I love him more??? bad-ass nerd = my dreamboat)

    i’m so excited for the remaining episodes, but also SO SAD!

    • 3.1 Leaf52

      Lol bad ass nerd = everyone’s dream boat **sigh** I think Yoo Ah in is going to be my computer background for a while <3

  4. Annie

    i die of cuteness in this ep

  5. zaha

    i think i died of cuteness overload at the bed spot fighting scene.

    and am i the only one who is getting a harry potter-esque vibe when they were told about their secret mission?

    • 5.1 aceyyy

      word on harry potter hahahaha

      and noooo i stand behind hankyul’s angst it was all about “why are all the people closest to me betraying me/not trusting me”

      • 5.1.1 Janet

        I, too, stand behind Han Kyul’s angst…….and his eyes were sooooo expressive. What I didn’t get was Eun Chan’s not telling him then and there. Now back to SKKS…….

    • 5.2 meve

      exactly…the moment prof jung and the king talked about this secret mission for the 4 of ’em..HP popped in my mind! especially since HP7_1 is fact approaching! so many good things to watch these days..small and big screen alike! ^^

  6. Indiannomad

    Ok, I am done with Sun-joon being Kissed.. EunHyo kissed him, Cho-sun kissed him and now Yoonhee too.. wth… when is that guy ever going to react and kiss back. For gods sake isnt it time yet? What auspicious time is he waiting for?

    As for Jaeshin, my heart goes out to him. I love the way the director handled the “revelation” subtle yet not so subtle.

    All in all, good so far.. and More better with your Recaps.. so Thank you :).

    • 6.1 sansukini

      He did initiate the oh-so-sensual kiss in ep 17. The best Kiss for me, not just the kiss itself, but the process of taking off the hats itself is so effing erotic.

      • 6.1.1 heejung

        oh my god. that hat bit was sooo sexy. and the kiss itself was hot too~~~~ i almost couldn’t watch it again. Almost. 😀 i always feel like an intrusive voyeur when i watch kiss scenes like those.

        • ednacutie

          3, 2, 1, meltdown!

      • 6.1.2 amhrancas




        can we be a little more considerate for the other readers, please??

        • ninji

          Yeah seriously. Not okay!

    • 6.2 Laeah

      Um.. how many times have you seen Kdramas? They all follow a pattern.. of course a kiss is coming.

      Anywho… MICKY knows how to kiss.. 😉 At least.. the way I would like it! And his little smile. -melts-

      You know.. I’ve never been a DBSK fan or anything but I’m fallin’ for Micky.. seriously. Gotta go back and see more from him!

  7. Amber

    Yongha my love is afraid of a gumiho. Funny!hehehe!!!

    • 7.1 j4cracker

      Maybe he’s sensed something (smokey & steamy) in that room so he pretended to be afraid of gumiho, helping Yhee out. Yeah!!! he’s so so funny 😀 😀 😀 love you Yong-ha……..

    • 7.2 Purpleclouds

      I feel he did that on purpose so that she can have her own room, to save her from the tension from L & M.

      • 7.2.1 Alexis

        I totally agree! I also felt that he did it on purpose to give YH a way out. Maybe also to prevent JS’s heart from breaking cos I think YH will choose to sleep next to SJ. 🙁

    • 7.3 Anonymous

      I totally agree.Ever so clever YongHa~~Love You !!

      • 7.3.1 asdf

        Always smiling, too. That’s why Nice Guy so completely blew my mind when SJK became a soulless thing. :'(

  8. Ladymoonstone143

    Thanks Red for the awesome recap.

    I love that scene where LSJ and MJS was fighting for that sleeping “spot”. You would think they are of noble blood and they are acting like schoolboys…lol I don’t know how many times I repeated that scene.

    As usual, my heart is breaking for Jaesin and I hope he will listen to Yongha’s advice. He has to do something with his feelings but I doubt he will follow it…he will always be the hero on the background watching over Yonhee.

    I wonder if LSJ has any idea of Jaesin’s feelings because that night where it was just him and Yonhee on the room and Yoonhee mentioned that it seemed so silent that Jaesin was not there….and LSJ retorted like “that is one of the reason why you can’t continue staying here..” or something to that effect.

    I doubt know if Yoonhee has any inkling that Jaesin’s has feelings for her because in the first place she doesn’t know he knows she is a girl and Jaesin is not that transparent when it comes to his feelings.

    Oh my…one more week of SKKS…what to do? I still have some PK withdrawal symptoms and soon SKKS…:(

    • 8.1 Laica

      I don’t know if he realizes Jaeshin likes her, but he’s definitely jealous of their close relationship and all the touching that goes on! 🙂

      • 8.1.1 Ladymoonstone143

        I wish more skinship with Jaesin and Yoonhee..lol I be in 7th heaven…lol

  9. Senstar

    I intend to watch the episode soon…but OMG!! I gave a fangirly shriek when I heard about Yoon-hee kissing Sun-joon in this post!!! I can’t wait to actually see the kissing scene

  10. 10 Sumaiya

    I think this has to be the cutest episode ever…even though it is different from the scene in the novel (lol I am sure they can’t show it exactly since um…the novel scene was…um…a bit…lol more open :P)

    Ahhhh Yong Ha…why do you have to be the best person ever? His advice to everyone throughout the show and even in this episode have been so well thought of (right expression?)

    lol the mention of Gumiho had me yearning for MGIAG…ahhh Mi ho…lol I am a girl but I am still in love with you…she is so adorable!! anyways back to this show…hmmm…I can’t wait for the mission…I am sure it’ll be fun!

    • 10.1 MissChiVyus

      Wait. What do you mean by the novel scene being more “open”? Please… do tell.

    • 10.2 Renhye

      Yeah! Whats..uhm..uhm..more open?

  11. 11 ohemgee


    Yay for J4 (Jalgeum Quartet)!!!

  12. 12 dramafan88

    kyaaa! they should show more of how he came to terms when he found out. Its such a huge revelation – they should hv given him time to come to terms with it to be more realistic.

    Poor Jae Shin – i just dont understand why he didnt tell her that he knows. Yong Ha is just so freaking cute running into their room to sleep with them and his leg on top of Jae Shin’s – hahaha he is so naughty, he loves Jae Shin! Kyaaa!

  13. 13 swui

    I thought at this point, Jae shin has sort of given up on yoon hee since he knows she only has eyes for sun joon. He’s just continuing his role of protecting her in the background.

    This is random but the tangerines from Tamra island reminds me of Beo Jin and Park kyu from Tamra, the Island. How is it a coincidence that I love both dramas..lol.

    Third, I think Jae Shin and Yong Ha are both very smart students as well…Jae shin read all the books..he’s just not bothered to be first in class. As for yong ha , I think he is too…he did raise his hand to answer the questions…he just wasn’t as enthusiastic as yoon hee and sun joon who were more eager due to their little bet…

    I think this is the end of Jaeshin-YoonHee-SunJoon love traingle. Sad but Jae shin lost. Poor baby…

  14. 14 Francesca

    Yay recap 17! Thanks so much..!

  15. 15 someone

    SUN JOON! you adorable dork, i’m hopelessly in love with our couple here. fangirl fangirl fangirl….ok i’m done.

    totally agree with your agrument for sun joon’s reaction to yoon hee’s secret, it makes sense he should be relieved, plus she also had a legit reason for hiding her gender; it wasn’t to trick him…although i’m thinking she was going to confess at the waterfall before she fell in the 2ft deep creek.

    and the gumiho reference totally made me think of mi ho! just wait 300 more years for your precious woong to come…hahaha

    • 15.1 dramagila

      haha, the water in the creek was indeed shallow…did anyone notice that sun joon dived head-on into the rocky creek to save her? wonder if he got concussion. hehehe…

  16. 16 Francesca

    “Sun-joon sends her some adorably not-so-subtle hints.

    Yong-ha comes bursting in, claiming that he heard a gumiho (Woong-ah!) and he’s sleeping between Sun-joon and Jae-shin tonight. Both boys protest, but Yoon-hee has already decided to go sleep in Yong-ha’s room. Yoon-hee sleeps peacefully while Sun-joon sleeps scrunched to one side and Jae-shin is attacked by Yong-ha’s wandering leg.”

    I LAUGHED SO HARD AT THESE SCENES!! (and I replayed them like 10x) 😀

  17. 17 MsGuccibabie

    Sooooo Awesome!! Fan-freakin-tastic!! Thanx red_pill!

  18. 18 jean

    Thanks for the recaps!! Oh, thanks for the insights as to why he seems pretty normal about finding out tt yoon shik is a girl. (I cant figure it out thanks to the lack of creativity section in my brain) After watching tons of kdrama, i kinda expected him to create a typhoon and that the writer will dedicate like half of the episode to him being unhappy. Well, i guess it just shows that skk is not our typical kdrama right??(:


  19. 19 Renhye

    I’ve been waiting for that the whole series.

    Yes.. Angst less Sun-joon is perfect.
    He really shows how much he loves Yoon-hee.

    As for Jae-shin, well he has Yong-ha, thats okay!

    Thanks red_pill.

  20. 20 koreandramalover

    Thanks for the recap red_pill but there is something I thought I should highlight.

    The adorable-beyond-words exchange between Jae Shin and Yong Ha at the tree just before Sun Joon appeared before them.

    Notice how Yong Ha was gleefully playing with Jae Shin’s hair and when Sun Joon appeared, Jae Shin hit/push Yong Ha around the stomach area and notice how Yong Ha reacted to being hit so hard…Hehe…

    Sooo adorable!! 🙂

    • 20.1 Anonymous

      Oh my gosh !! Yong Ha is sooooo cute playing with Jae Shin’s hair….

      • 20.1.1 koreandramalover

        Yes!!! You said it!! And his reaction after being hit by Jae Shin was even cuter…*sigh*

    • 20.2 nur

      ya,it is the cutest thing ever.so cute i replayed it many times^_^

      • 20.2.1 koreandramalover

        Yes!!! I replayed them countless times…hehe…

  21. 21 kay

    The tangerines made me think of beo Jin and park kyul too! Ahh just finished that drama last night and then watched half of snow queen at 4 am just to catch the scenes with I’m ju hwan. What a cutie. How I wish they would show a side story of jae shin getting his girl. If only a real man like him existed! :sigh:

  22. 22 sam

    agree with you on Coffee Prince vs SKKS reaction on the revealation.But it would be perfect if SJ at least mentioned his “suffering” to YH.But it also makes me think is “the 18th century “people’s love are more selfless ,as we are now more in a “ME first” generation?
    By the way If you guys think this episode
    is cute ,wait till you see Eps 17! I really hope there will be a Season. SJ and YH are such a couple!

    • 22.1 doozy

      red_pill, I agree with your comments as well. As always, thanks so much for the recap and spreading the SKKS love!

    • 22.2 Alexis

      I tot he moved back too, kinda like he was afraid since he has not really seen YH like this and he din know wat to do abt it. It was kinda cute too!

  23. 23 fanny

    “And at the risk of being bricked, I always thought Han-gyul’s angst was a little over the top.”

    Don’t worry red_pill, i agree with you about Han-gyul’s being overreact. I don’t want Sun-joon shows same level of angst like han-gyul, so it’s really good that he actually relieves that Yoon-hee is a girl.

    • 23.1 hookedonmonix

      I disagree, but have no plans to toss any bricks. HG’s reaction was appropriate given that EC’s lie was just one of many big-huge-things that he had to deal with (the parentage revelation).

      However, HG’s reaction wouldn’t have been appropriate for SJ. He’s not a spoiled tantrum thrower like my darling HG. So basically, I’m completely satisfied with both. 🙂 Especially since both lead to kissy moments.

  24. 24 Haj

    Im mentally bricking you.
    Except that I kinda agree. I just enjoyed zee angst so much that I’m glad of it.

  25. 25 Yoo Ah In Preventorium

    HULLO!!!!! SHOUT OUT TO MOONY/GUN-RO VIRUS CARRIER OUT THERE! Make sure you stop by our newly open Preventorium (clinic) to get free health screening and appropriate treatment.


    • 25.1 Momo

      omo, thanks! … the pictures are yummy 🙂

      Moony is a man of 1000 faces…

    • 25.2 starZdom

      Unbelievable !!! I’m in heaven…..ahhhhhhh…….as I’m having Gul-oh Al-i symptom and seems getting worse. I’m so 😀 😀 😀 now that I’ve found the best rehab place……THANK YOU Yoo Ah In Preventorium ( 5-stars ). hahaha

  26. 26 Lordj

    Thanks!!! love it…

  27. 27 nutty

    I was just wondering whether anyone saw this scene as well?

    towards the end of episode 16, when sunjoon & yun hee were in the library & yun hee was trying to convince sunjoon to let her stay?

    yun hee turns around with her finger on her lips and did anyone notice that sunjoon’s eyes widen and he BACKED AWAY from her? i swear he backs away from her but my mom is insisting the camera guy shifted the camera…we actually quarreled about this…any thoughts anyone?

    in case anyone wants to know when sunjoon initiates the kissing – episode 18…lust-worthy!

    • 27.1 Indiannomad

      I did notice… he did move back, like as if she was invading his space. It did happen, and I thought that was hilarious. Yoonhee should know the power she has over him.

    • 27.2 anais

      he moved back because he can barely control himself when she’s being normal. too much stimuli.

      • 27.2.1 mellowyel

        lol @ “too much stimuli”

      • 27.2.2 nutty

        We really should get an extension just to watch how everyone behaves when yun hee turns up in her hanbok!! can you imagine the ‘stimuli’ sunjoon’s gonna get??

        i so want to see the tough guy jaeshin start hicupping (and yun hee and sunjoon realising that thats how gals affect our tough guy & flash back scenes too him hicupping & how jaeshin knew much earlier than sunjoon that yun hee was a gal!) and sunjoon getting all flustered (he’s already all flustered with her in man’s clothes…can you even imagine his reactions when yun hee’s in a hanbok??) and yeolrim looking all smug that he was right all along…

        sighhh…if there’s no extension, i still want to see their reactions of yun hee in her han bok…especially sun joon!!!

        • sam

          I notice too he step back, i think he need to keep the “space” or he will feel (too much)the power of attraction YH has on him.LOL.And ya me too, want to see her dress as woman and SJ reaction, he already so attracted by her dressing as man .

    • 27.3 red_pill

      I thought it was her aegyo that surprised him and made him step back… ^^

      • 27.3.1 anais


        Sunjoon when Yoonhee is normal = I want to touch her… I want her to touch me… How do I get her to kiss me again…

        Sunjoon when Yoonhee’s pulling the OPW/aegyo = feminine cuteness overload. too much stimuli.

  28. 28 nur

    if only Yong Ha knows that Gumiho is actually a very cute & pretty woman ,waiting to be married to a human i bet he will be the happiest person on the earth.

    (Then Gu Mi Ho will not have to wait around 500 years in order to met Dae Woong)

    • 28.1 3sha

      haha LOL! omo! It made me think, what if SMA and SJK get together for a drama!?!? That would be so EXCITING! 😛

      • 28.1.1 Janet

        Wow – MGIAG & SKKS fusion… count me in!

    • 28.2 nur

      lol,since Gu Yong Ha & Gu Mi Ho character is well played by both SJK & SMA,i imagine that it will be great if they meet (in their character of course). Both totally rock their role.

      Mi Ho definitely more interesting than all the gisaeng Yong Ha met.

      In any case,if SMA & SJK get together in a drama, it will be double full blast.they are so cute together

      • 28.2.1 3sha

        Gu couple deabak!! 😀
        Miho is the right girl Yongha is searching for.. For she is very different from all the giseangs that era (waaay prettier too) and can satisfy Yh’s can I say fantasy? and turn it to reality. Imagine MH insisting “mating” to YH and being aggresive and all!! haha LOL!

  29. 29 Amg1

    First of all!!!!! “I am” the only one that has made that observation since the beginning of this drama, and I have given ample explanations about the why’s of my observations.
    Secondly!!! I know that you do not care about historical context, but “I do”.
    Thirdly!!! This is the second comment that I have posted you since you started recapping this series, all the other comments that I have made about this drama have been on the “Open Thread” or at “Soompi”, but it seems some how that somewhere along the line my comments always end up being discuss somewhere around here, but there is a reason I do not comment directly upon your recaps and I guess you Know why!!!!!!

    Since we the ones who dare to disagree with you are “unfair and illogical”.
    Thank you any ways for your hard work!!!!!!!

    • 29.1 John


      What’s going on here?

      • 29.1.1 nikky_p_28

        Yes..good question…I got lost on this comment.

    • 29.2 red_pill

      Hmm, is this about my Coffee Prince comment? I don’t see why you’ve taken offense, enough to assume that I do not care about historical context (when I’ve never even implied that) since that was my personal opinion. I wasn’t commenting on anything you’ve ever said (here or elsewhere) since frankly I don’t know who you are – EVERYONE has been drawing comparisons between CP and SKKS since day one – heck, day zero when we all heard what the basic premise was about. So let me reiterate, my comment wasn’t about you or your ideas nor was it directed at you. So don’t take anything personally.

      • 29.2.1 Amg1

        This is from your “Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 14”.

        Quote; “Dear history experts and buffs,

        Please don’t take my following words as sacrilege. But I say screw history! At least for the remaining six episodes of Sungkyunkwan Scandal. I don’t want to hear talk about how illogical it is for Sun-joon and Yoon-hee to be together (as the Romeo and Juliet of Joseon), or that King Jeong-jo never actually overthrows the Norons with the help of four fabulous boys (and girl). Or how impossible it is for Yoon-hee to eventually sit at the right hand of the king and show those darn men how things are done. I know that Sungkyunkwan Scandal was initially toted as a fusion sageuk – but is it possible for it to be a fantasy fusion sageuk so I can have my (unrealistically) happy ending?”.

        And that is just on your opinion of historical context!!!!

        So with that kind of attitude how can we have a proper conversation, since I believe that “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” has fell miserably concerning “Homosexuality” since they used it just as mere ploy for 2 heterosexual people to fall in love, the argument that I base my opinion since the beginning was that when the time came for the drama to resolve his “Homosexual” feelings towards Yoon-hee they where going to resolve it in a “Half/Ass”, manner as to make his homo/erotic feelings a “Non Issue” and the show prove me right!!!!!!!
        They did just that, as opposed to the Drama “Coffee Prince”, the drama that in my opinion is the only one that has gotten the “gender bending” motif right, not only in the way the Lead character dealt with his discovery that the “he” was a “she” but also his “Journey Of Discovery” from being a “Straight’ guy to accepting his own “Homosexual” feelings something that “SKKS” has fail miserably in doing.

        Your assumption that Sun-joon’s reaction has something to do with the way that people saw Homosexuality during the “Joseon Dynasty” is not completely accurate.

        To say that “Homosexuality” was not present, or was “Highly condemn” during
        “Joseon times” is misleading and inaccurate, the view of “Homosexuality” in ancient Korea prior the the rise of “Neo/Confucianism” was not only accepted but “highly sought” by the man of the upper classes as it was the case in “China, Japan, so in Korea”, during the raise of Neo/Confucianism “Homosexuality” fell out of favor in society, but that does not mean that it magically disappear, again as in the case of China and Japan, some of the most “Celebrated Actor/Actresses of their time where all “Man that dress in Drag” and they had “a many sexual relationships” with their patrons, mostly who where the “Rich Elite”, so even tough when in public “Homosexuality fell from Grace” in the privacy of their homes it was highly practice!!!!

        So again I differ in the way you interpret Sun-joon’s feelings concerning his own “Homosexual feelings” since I know that in those times Sun-joon and the rest of his peers where not alien to “Homosexuality”.

        Further more Confucianism nor Neo/Confucianism, takes a harsh stance on “Homosexuality” in the same way “Judaism, Christianity, or Islam does, since those three religions consider “Homosexuality a Sin” and since the concept of “Sin” differs greatly from those religions to the concept of “wrong doing, or wrong behavior”, in Confucian philosophy.

        Maybe you and I happen to be reading 2 completely different historical books, and if the is the case, than
        “I am Truly sorry for over reacting, and I owe you an apology, since I meant no disrespect from my first comment”.

        Thank you again for your hard work!!!!!! : O }

        • anais

          I don’t get quite what’s happened but I want to comment on one thing you mentioned about homosexuality in the Joseon era and to clear up what I think may have been a misunderstanding.

          I don’t think anyone here implied that homosexuality was foreign to Joseon era folks. The very fact that there is a word for homosexuality (an interestingly indicative one at that), that there were harsh prohibitions regarding it, etc., indicates it wasn’t unfamiliar at all. Moreover, a lot of folks here probably have seen King and the Clown (왕의 남자) and are aware that homosexuality was practiced in the Joseon era, however hush hush, taboo, and/or criminalized. And I think most people here are progressive enough to know that homosexuality as a practice has been around in all cultures for millennia, sometimes as a privileged practice, sometimes as a non-issue, and sometimes as a controversial practice. Given that, the point that Red Pill raised about Sunjoon’s reaction seems valid overall to me. As Red Pill suggested, of course, we need to examine Sunjoon’s processing of what he presumed was his homosexual desire and Han Gyul’s processing completely differently since homosexuality figures differently in their respective historical/cultural contexts. And just because Red Pill said at one point that we ought to forget historicity to indulge our fantasies doesn’t mean that she really meant that. She was being facetious.

          As I said, I’m not sure if I got your overall point (or is it your specific point about Sunjoon’s reaction, in which case you didn’t offer your own take) was but I just wanted suggest that maybe you misunderstood the recapper’s take. Red Pill, correct me if I am wrong in my understanding of what you’ve articulated thus far.

          Anyhow, just trying to help everyone come to a common understanding (though not necessarily agreement). Hopefully my nose won’t end up getting hurt. 🙂

        • red_pill

          Wow, I had no idea my playful fangirling would be so erroneously misconstrued. Let me “correct” myself then: I do care about the historical context. It was a joke, and I’m sorry you read it any differently. My intros aren’t meant to be taken seriously.

          If you had taken the time to read my final comment for episode 16 more closely instead of jumping to conclusions, you’ll note that nowhere did I write that homosexuality was not present during the Joseon era. You’re right in that Confucian thought was more “open” towards homosexuality in that they didn’t condemn it, and yes, people of high standing did partake in it. However, that doesn’t mean that they condoned it either. In fact, I disagree with you that it was highly sought after because from what I know, it was more of a “it’s okay as long as you do it AND fulfill all your duties as a good Confucian individual.” Therefore, I think the drama’s take that SKK as an institution and those involved would frown upon homosexuality has some merit – particularly in Sun-joon’s case because if he were gay and refused to marry as a result of it, then he’s openly going against his duty to procreate. In that case, homosexuality could be a no-no. But religious dogma aside, I was speaking in terms of what was portrayed in the drama itself (based on the whole homosexuality hooplah in the previous episodes) since this is a recap of the drama. In other words, I was trying to rationalize Sun-joon’s reaction, not teach a history lesson on religion. I admit, I’m no history expert and wouldn’t take on the responsibility of passing on knowledge that I don’t know.

          I have no problems with you feeling that the gender issue in SKKScandal was skewed because that’s your opinion and I respect that. I just don’t understand why you took offense to my opinion that was neither intended to influence nor persuade. It was just my personal thoughts, which I shared freely with the readers.

          All in all, I’m just confused because you seem a tad belligerent (and I don’t know if that was your intention or not – maybe it’was all the exclamation points and quotation marks). I’m sure we’re both mature enough to hold a discussion and agree to disagree.

          PS. Anais, yes, you were pretty spot on with my intentions.

          • Amg1

            From your recap of “Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 16”

            Quote “I admit that a little more angst would’ve been more realistic, but I’m fine with the reaction he did give. Especially if it leads to adorable footsie and kissy scenes. Yeah, I realize I just undermined my own logical argument by going all fangirly. Whatever”!!!!!

            If this is what you meant!!! I guess I just won the whole argument!!!!! Muahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahah!!

            I am sorry I am just being a “Hard ASS”!!!!!! No harm intended.

            When I said that the “Rich Elite” “highly sought” after homosexual liaisons was “Prior Neo/Confucianism” took over the culture of Joseon times.”The hwarang” Silla warriors where famous for their practice of “Homosexuality” almost akin to the practice of a lot of the “Samurai” in Japan”

            The main reason why I do not like the way the drama resolve the “gender discovery” was because that was the “Easy Out”, we already know that the reason “Crazy Horse” have been so adamant about protective of Yoon-hee is not necessarily because he has “Fallen in love” with her is because she is in Grave mortal danger, so instead of Sunjoon overreacting and showing any anger,disappointment, or bewilderment because his “HomeBoy” is a she he just quietly accepts that as a “Non Issue”, I do not know about you but logic dictates that something more pressing than his reaction was called for, so the way the drama people solve the problem was by using the fact that if she is discovered as a woman impersonating a man at University she is in mortal danger, I just hope that the drama would have used a different angle since that premised is a given since the beginning!!!!!!

            By the way I have read every one of your recaps for this drama!!!!
            I may not agree with you in a lot of points, but I do like your writing style!!!! : O }

          • red pill

            See. We’re fine disagreeing. I do want to point out that just because Sunjoon doesn’t freak out outwardly doesn’t mean he doesn’t realize she is in mortal danger. That’s why he tries to get her to leave at first. He knows certain death awaits if she’s caught. I think the final point I want to make is that just because someone doesn’t react the way one would predict doesn’t mean it’s the wrong reaction. After all everyone deals with things differently, as shown by the three coherent boys of our quartet.

            Anyway thanks for always reading and feel free to state your ideas. I’m all ears.

          • red pill

            Hmmm I meant different not coherent. Darn swype…..

          • mookie


            take a chill pill will you?

            Have to admit however many times I read your regurgitated ‘essays’ on how ‘pissed’ u r on how ‘wrong’ SKKS has portrayed your passionate dissections on ‘homosexuality’ I dont get your points or their validity tbh.

            I may be the minority of not wanting more angst fr SJ. He’s been in turmoils and copious amt of inner angst and came to conclusion his love for YH doesn’t have to be defined as limited to gender/sexual orientation. He doesnt care about her as whatever sex ‘she’ is. (why should ‘WE’) He was in pain coz he misconstrued she has no romantic love for him, it’s THE unrequitted one-sided love that he’s tried to suppressed, and was finalky at acceptance w/ in his teary confession in 15. The homosexuality is no longer his main consideration at the creekside reveal. He’s selfless in his love for her. He’s relieved her career wont be burdened by his love. Totally agreeing w/ Red Pill pov that while homosexuality existed, it’s a fancy that should not interfere w/ your duty to procreate or hinder ur duties. If wind’s out YH is the love of SJ and hence the roadblock to a high profile political marriage, the consequences r dire on her.

            I’m not sure what history books u’ve read that homosexuality is highly ‘sort after’ in the elite. It’s practiced as a fancy, like all other decadent indulgences. On your ‘neo/confucianism’, you miss a very key point debunking your argument. In the examples you’ve listed, there was never a mutually equal relationship when homosexuality was involved. Actors however popular and respected for their craft were of a lower social class, the lowest in fact in Song dynasty, the taboo extends to subsequent Ming/Qing dynasties. Homosexual relationships of the elitists w/ entertainers are tolerated because they are regarded as objects of art and beauty. How is that supportive of whatever point u’ve ‘won’?

          • sw

            chill pill needed here… not for red pill though.

  30. 30 tisyamey

    ahhhh… the voice of reason with the whole Coffee Prince vs. SKKS you-were-boy-oh-no-but-wait-you-are-girl reaction! Ay ya yay! Thanks for the recap, RP! As always, you guys’ [recappers] take on the episode–SO FUNNY! I can hardly wait for the next recap! I’m feel sad and excited at the same time! Next week is IT but I don’t want it to be– yet I’m all fluttery-in-the-tummy excited for it!!! Live long and prosper, LSJ & KYS!!!!

    Now, if only JS and Yeorim would just get it on already!!! lol

  31. 31 Laica

    Thanks for the recap red pill!

    After thinking about it, I came to the same conclusion as you did, about why Sun Joon had such a low key reaction… but I still think he should have been a LITTLE. True, there is a lot more at stake here with Yoonhee’s gender being such a dangerous secret, and it not just being a matter of sexual preference/personal trust.

    However. If it being Joseon era and all that goes along with that explains his reaction, then why was Yoonhee worried about telling him the truth in the previous episode? Why did they have that scene, and talk about it as “such a grave lie that that person might turn his back on me forever”? Dramatically, it was a wasted opportunity and didn’t follow, and realistically, it doesn’t feel quite natural. After, Sun Joon might be very rational, but he’s still a young guy who’s willing to throw away his dreams for the sake of his first love. I dunno, it fell a bit flat for me. Still, it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of all the cuteness that followed.

    Also, about Coffe Prince: I have to admit I loved Han Kyul’s angst and every tear and tortured look it wrung from those beautiful eyes… it hurt so good. And I think while it may have been a little excessive, there were two main reasons why it was believable: 1, that everyone else knew but him, and 2, they were already DATING by that point. (My boyfriend is actually a girlfriend… Oh, I see. NOT.)

    Aw, this brings back memories… CP was my very first kdrama. 🙂

    • 31.1 ellie

      Totally agree here..about CP and Han Kyul’s OTT finding out Eun Chan’s secret.

      Love LSJ and KYH!!

    • 31.2 Janet

      CP was my very first kdrama….

      Mine, too!

    • 31.3 red_pill

      I think Yoon-hee’s worry is also because she’s thinking of Sun-joon more at this point. But I do agree it was a bit of a wasted opportunity – a LITTLE angst would have been better. ^^

      As for CP: you bring up a very valid point. Which is why I understand Han-gyul’s angst to some degree. I just think he was a little over the top. ^^

    • 31.4 katz

      Definitely agree that it was a wasted opportunity that Sun Joon didn’t play out a little more angst. I was initially surprised that he got through the whole cross-dressing thing and even giving in to her staying at SKK that easily. But I totally get how red_pill was rationalizing it and I guess having her stay at SKK gives them time together (playing footsie and all) and allows him to keep an eye on her as well.

    • 31.5 luliqz1

      CP was my first kdrama , and i ve watched like 4 times i think im gonna watch it agaun while waittind for the next episodes.

    • 31.6 luliqz1

      CP was my first kdrama too , and i ve watched like 4 times i think im gonna watch it agaun while waitting for the next episodes.

    • 31.7 Anonymous

      i agree with “However. If it being Joseon era and all that goes along with that explains his reaction, then why was Yoonhee worried about telling him the truth in the previous episode? Why did they have that scene, and talk about it as “such a grave lie that that person might turn his back on me forever”? Dramatically, it was a wasted opportunity and didn’t follow, and realistically, it doesn’t feel quite natural. After, Sun Joon might be very rational, but he’s still a young guy who’s willing to throw away his dreams for the sake of his first love. I dunno, it fell a bit flat for me.”
      it was the perfect dramatic opportunity, and it didn’t follow. and what about the fact that jaeshin has known all this time? there has to be a point where the truth comes to light, and jaeshin also reveals that he’s known everything before sunjoon. and for cross dressing at sungkyunkwan, yoonhee is in mortal danger, so how will it get resolved?

      and no, i haven’t seen coffee prince, so i can’t make comparisons…

  32. 32 cassie.opeia

    I completely agree with your take on Sun-joon’s lack of angst/relief at the reveal. Honestly, I would have been disappointed if he had the Han-kyul reaction. And as you say, I don’t think it’s logical to compare SKKS and Coffee Prince because they are completely different characters in completely different times with completely different circumstances and mind-sets. I might have given up on this drama if this episode spent the whole hour with Sun-joon mad.

    I loved this episode and I loved your recap dear. 😀

    • 32.1 cassie.opeia

      Ok that’s a lie. I wouldn’t have given up. But I’d be enraged if he had another angsty episode. I think I’ve had enough “punching-and-kicking-nothing-but-air-in-rage”… but I’m completely welcoming of “punching-and-kicking-nothing-but-air-with-drool-dribbling-down-my-face-in-euphoria”!! SO BRING ON THE ADORABLE.

      • 32.1.1 jubilantia

        Hear hear! Yay adorable! Even if it won’t last before the crazy(er)ness begins…

      • 32.1.2 red_pill

        Hear ye, hear ye.

    • 32.2 karz

      ditto. I also would’ve been disappointed if SJ mad at the revelation. Because, well, I don’t think he has any ‘right’ to get mad at YHee.

      At that point of time, they are two FRIENDS, not in dating relationship. SJ position for the revelation is kind of similar with JS position when JS found out about YHee true gender. It’s simply: ‘A friend who I though is male is actually a female.’

      Now you know your friend’s secret. You know there must be a reason, but whatever the reason is, it has nothing to do with you (a.k.a she is not deliberately LIES to you, just hiding the truth from EVERYONE, you included).

      Now, you might feel deceived because you’ve already go through I-like-someone-from-the-same-gender angst, but think about it. Yhee never makes any conscious effort to attract SJ. She is determined to stay as friends (then gone after graduation) with SJ. So why should SJ blame Yhee for something that HE brings to HIMSELF (consciously or not)?

      It would be very childish, out of place, and most importantly out of character, if SJ gets mad at YHee. A man with his character (and JS), the first thing he’ll think past the shock is “to protect”.

      And I believe he’s most likely feel so relieved that he is now allowed to love Yhee freely.


      • 32.2.1 ladybird

        Yes, you’re absolutely right… And js didn’t make any fuss for that at all even he is GUL-OH. What’s a MAN!!! love him

  33. 33 asianromance

    THank you for the recap!

    I thought it was sort of rude of Sun-joon to not tie her top back up! Yoon-hee could have gotten a cold or someone could have snuck up on them! SJ, you’re in on it now, so you better help make sure she doesn’t get caught! I’m glad he didn’t have a Han-kyul reaction. YH did what she did in order to survive and he was the one who got her into SKKS when she didn’t want to go. Yes, bear the responsibility, SJ! I love YH speech to SJ about her wanting to live in the moment!

    I think In-soo is too stuck in evil mode. In the first episode, he seemed to soften a bit in that episode’s 5 second scene with his sister. But here in this scene with his clearly upset sister, he is not tender at all.

    Cho-sun’s perfume *winces* I’ve read another book where this female thief gets caught because of her scent. When spying/thieving, change your identity completely- change the smell and wear nothing you wear during your other identity! Now JS knows Cho-sun is the fake one and Ha In-soo knows JS is the red messenger! omg, please don’t hurt JS or his father!

    I love Jae-shin’s welcome to SJ. Even though SJ is like his love rival, JS likes SJ. I want them to hug! But I guess the fighting over where to sleep scene will have eto do for now.

    I really want Hyo-eun and Yong-ha to be together. I think she is the only girl he has ever spoken so plainly too. He usually flatters, but this time, he reveals all that is unpretty about her.

    Regarding the tangerines- I feel really bad for the other students with YH and SJ hogging all the precious tangerines!!

    • 33.1 mellowyel

      gosh the tangerines made me drool while i was watching… need to grab some from the farmers market next time I go

    • 33.2 missmanderley

      i have a feeling they’ll end up together too!

    • 33.3 mookie

      on SJ’s rudeness in not tying her top back.

      have mercy on the boy’s loins. tying back the top = hands too close 4 any comfort to her breasts…w/o her consent!

      think of the hormones invisible but palpably everywhere in that scene

  34. 34 SKKSfan

    while reading your explanation I was all “aaahhhhhhhh”
    not just in this show but on Coffee Prince as well because I really did not understand the man!

    side comment: I feel sad for Chosun. I almost hope she’ll find a fine man who will love her as she is. Maybe the King? for concubine? She longs for love. But she still has put Moony in danger. And so I thought she deserves her rejection from Yoon Hee.
    (the reason is so biased since I heart Moony)

    • 34.1 asianromance

      I feel really sad for Chosun too! I can’t imagine her getting with Ha In-soo since by ep 16, he still hasn’t changed and will probably be Mr.Evil-Glare all the way to the end. She has also killed people too, so I don’t know what kind of normal life she can lead with blood on her hands. I’m afraid this series may end in her tragic death. The way she was asking Yoon-Hee to marry her…I bet Minister Ha is reneging on his promise and she is trapped by something….

      Though it looks mismatched, maybe Jaeshin and Chosun, but I think he needs someone young and energetic rather than poised and sophisticated. Maybe with Soondol? I think this guy needs to start his own family and I think Chosun is the type to look beyond looks.

      • 34.1.1 Eleven11

        THIS. I’m totally shipping JaeshinXChosun. Actually, maybe, JaeshinxYongha – Chosun doesn’t need a man to be awesome! =p

        But if I had to pair her up with someone, it’d be Jaeshin – they could be a pair of crime-fighting, justice-bringing lovers! Awesome.

        • Anonymous

          NO!!!! absolute NO to jaeshin and chosun. i see no attraction, and it’s a petty way for jaeshin to get over yoonshik. also, chosun has killed people.

          • Anonymous

            Hahhaa, LOLS, but so did Jaeshin right? ;D

  35. 35 mellowyel

    Thanks for the recap red_pill!!!

    I absolutely loved this episode. Had to watch the kiss scene twice cos it was so adorable. AND the whole “where will Yoonhee sleep” scene had me rolling. I laughed so hard when Yongha came running in, especially because I was thinking “Yoonhee, your choice is obvious – sleep in the middle!” LOL

    I do wonder though if Jaeshin took Yongha’s words about fighting for the girl you love to heart. I think he’s still deciding what to do… plus he has other things on his mind.

    I agree with you about Sunjoon being relieved as opposed to angsty making sense. I just wish he had a little more trouble with it, just to make it a little more realistic. Like, one scene of confusion with some hilarity thrown in. E.g. “So you’re really a girl?” “What? Do you want me to show you again or something?!” LOL. You could argue that Sunjoon didn’t have too much trouble with his own sexuality question because always rationalizes things – he probably thinks he’s attracted to her because she’s a girl, so he was never really gay, he was just confused because he thought she was a he. Same way I think Jeremy (HONGKI!) rationalized it in You’re Beautiful. And I think that makes sense, despite it being somewhat simple. I don’t think Sunjoon or Jeremy are really cut out for angst – they learn new information, readjust the map in their head and move on. With Jeremy it’s because he thinks like a kid, and with Sunjoon it’s because he deals with facts only (kinda like kids do… huh.)

    Also, it’s not just girly guys like Yoonshik and Minam that gay men are attracted to. I haven’t watched Coffee Prince, but from clips I’ve seen, I got the impression that Eunchan wasn’t a girly guy, so Hangyul would understandably have more trouble with the idea that she’s a girl and he’s straight and not gay. The argument that a lot of cross dressing stories seem to make is that the guys are attracted to these girls because they’re girls. And that fits in to a drama set in the Joseon period when homosexuality was considered unnatural – the idea of actually liking a man because they’re a man was unthinkable. People are more comfortable with that idea now, so Hangyul would have more easily accepted that he was gay, and thus been more offended when he finds out Eunchan’s a girl because he’s already adjusted his thinking and accepted “okay, I’m gay”. I don’t think Sunjoon ever really came to terms with it. At least, I wasn’t convinced he was. He was like, “I like Kim Yoonshik, but that doesn’t mean I like guys.”

    Despite all this, I think it’s not so much the setting of the respective dramas as much as it is differences in the characters. And I think this is where your [very strong] point about self-centered thinking (Han-gyul) vs. other-centered thinking (Sunjoon) comes in. They’re just different characters, and different dramas, and they’ll act differently because of it.

    • 35.1 mellowyel

      ah, just read Lacia’s comment above mine. Since
      “…1, that everyone else knew but him, and 2, they were already DATING by that point. (My boyfriend is actually a girlfriend… Oh, I see. NOT.)”

      I am now convinced that Hangyul had reason for the angst. And since Sunjoon doesn’t have these reasons, he can be less upset.

      Clearly I need to go watch Coffee Prince already. I just don’t have time for the marathon that will inevitably ensue once I hit play on episode 1…

    • 35.2 orenji13

      I agree with you..

      Plus, at the time.. He is concern about Yoon Hee safety first. And he already show how shock he really is by let Yoon Hee laying there, not doing anything after the big shock.

      Plus, it is in Sun Joon character to keep his emotion hide. The only thing he loose it is when he confuse about his feeling and jealous toward Yoon Hee and Jae Shin relationship in episode 13-14.

      And as you say, Sun Joon is in love with Kim Yoon Shik, the person with high intelligence who is his best friend, not with Kim Yoon Shik gender

  36. 36 JBella

    I think someone will have to come and scrape two goo(es?) previously known as red pill and JBella off the seat of their chairs. HAHAHAHA I LOVE THIS DRAMA! I really don’t want this drama to end! How can all 4 main be soo adorable?!

    Thanks Red pill for the awesome recap!

  37. 37 yumi-chan

    Ha Kyul had every right to be pissed because he gave up so much for Eun Chan, I’m not saying Eun Chan deserved everything Han Kyul did because she had her reasons to life. But han Kyul’s angst is in the right place.

    Plus Gong Yoo in angst is sexy, HDU?!

    • 37.1 hookedonmonix

      Gong Yoo in anything is sexy. 🙂

      • 37.1.1 Laica


      • 37.1.2 msm23

        Gong Yoo out of anything is sexier 😉

  38. 38 v

    Thank you for the recap!!
    Jae shin had me totally swoon in this episode… and overall, this episode was too cute!!
    what i don’t get is why much JS go to the red messenger everytime and then just run away… what was the point?

  39. 39 John

    There were so many good moments in this episode that I’ll just throw out some points.

    Yoon Hee rolling herself up with the blanket was awesomely adorable.

    When Yong Ha told Jae Shin to pursue his feelings for Yoon Hee only for him to not do so…I can see this as him being resigned to the fact that it’s a waste of time to try and make Yoon Hee his…since she moaned over Sun while drunk..and while she moved away while he tried to brush something off of her cheek in the last episode…I think that it’s clear to him where her affections lie and since Sun isn’t such a bad guy, I think that Jae Shin thinks that it would kind of be a douchebag move for him to try and break up that connection.

    Please…someone hook up with Cho Sun. She really seems to be an admirable/honorable woman who just happened to end up being a Gisaeng. I can kind of see Jae Shin kind of coupling with Cho Sun because of the perfume and Cho Sun being revealed as the fake Red Messenger to Jae Shin.

    Then you can pair off Yong Ha with Hyo Eun(?) and that’s that.

    Quick Question: Who has dibs on the last episode? I imagine that be a sweet gig since one can recap that episode and their overall feelings about the series.

    • 39.1 jubilantia

      Yeah, Jae-shin and Cho-sun definitely have some mad crazy Batman/ Catwoman potential; I’m all for that pairing. I’m glad Jae-shin hasn’t gotten douche-y as of yet.

      I’m not sure Yong-ha should end up with anyone; he’s so amusing as a loose cannon. That way I can imagine him, even after the drama ends, gleefully skipping about somewhere out there messing with people’s lives like some awesomely demented Korean version of Puck.

      If our revered recappers emulate javabeans and girlfriday, the normal even-numbered episode recapper would do the recap as usual, and the other person adds their final thoughts along with the normal person’s.

      • 39.1.1 red_pill

        I’m all for your idea jubilantia. That is what I think will happen. ^^

    • 39.2 anais

      At first, I was (and to some extent still) pro-Chosun/Guhro match. She’s a woman to his man. None of this yeodongsaeng business for Guhro.

      Then, never mind that Chosun and Guhro have both ended up inflicting wounds on each other directly or indirectly (that can be source of bonding later), Chosun has actually killed people rather ruthlessly. I don’t care whether it’s at the behest of the war minister. That goes directly against everything that Guhro and the rest of the Jalgeum Quartet stand for.

      I don’t know if anything can redeem her, not even the reality that she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. Frankly, especially now that I’ve seen the latest episodes, Chosun is too complicit in being the War Minister’s hench(wo)man. Just the tiniest bit of resistance once. Want a way to free herself from the Minister? Do what the best gisaeng do: collect lots of damning info and use it as leverage or expose the dirty rotten bastard for treason among other crimes.

      • 39.2.1 anais

        And this is on top of fully knowing that the Red Messenger is Guhro and that he and her esteemed young lord are BFFs. Whatev, Chosun.

        • Mars

          I ship Jae-shin/Cho-sun superficially. Oh, they’re hot rogues!

          You encapsulated why I think they wouldn’t work, it’s a clash of basic principles. I can’t see a situation in which Jae-shin would think what she was did was right.

          To that end I don’t know if Cho-sun is irredeemable, while her actions can be seen as rather damning to her character, we haven’t been told what the promise between her and the Minister of War involves. So I find myself being unable to judge because we just don’t know her circumstances (correct me if I’m wrong!), and the stakes must be large enough that she’d be willing to kill. I can see where you’re coming from though, and I do really hope we get to see what drove Cho-sun to take the deal and become the fake Red Messenger.

        • jubilantia

          Weeeell, true. I haven’t seem the latest episodes yet, so maybe things will change… somehow? You’ve got some good points. I like to think that anyone can be redeemed, but we’ll see how it goes.

          And as Mars (below) says, maybe he has her family captive or something. I really hope she turns out okay, although I might see a ~*noble sacrifice*~ (eyeroll) in her future.

          • anais

            And as Mars (below) says, maybe he has her family captive or something. I really hope she turns out okay, although I might see a ~*noble sacrifice*~ (eyeroll) in her future.

            giggle giggle at eyeroll.

            i am really curious how they will wrap up her story in the next two episodes.

            dang, this was a really faboo show. even with all its ridiculously obvious continuity problems. (i’m still trying to get my suspension of disbelief to kick in for the time when yoonhee magically appeared as a gisaeng. really magically is right. some fairy godmother. the only way i can get my head around that part is by turning off my brain since suspension of disbelief just won’t kick in.)

            anyhow, back to…

            I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!! I already am bracing myself for / having withdrawal symptoms, e.g. I can’t find anything else to watch. This show spoiled me for k-drama.

  40. 40 soiia

    After this episode, my heart broke along with Jae-shin’s. Poor guy, I have no words.

  41. 41 orenji13

    This episode is the beginning of Sun Joon smile and me turning into a puddle of goo everytime he smile…

    You can see the changes in Sun Joon when he is alone with Yoon Hee. His gaze become soft and he smile soo freely..

    Boy in love is sooo easy to tell and looks soo cute

  42. 42 goldenflower


    Since the King’s guards snatched Jae-Shin in his Red Messenger gear, then The King MUST know at this point the two are the same!!! Why has it not been acknowledged ?? by King and Professor?? ARgh.

    • 42.1 anais

      darling, you’re ahead of yourself. patience is my advice. all will be revealed.

      • 42.1.1 didi

        honey..cant wait!!!!

    • 42.2 sorcente

      yes it was also bugging me!!
      so the king knows hong byuk so is jae shin, also Cho-Sun knows it is Jae shin, (because she shot the arrow close to him.. or was it a coinsidence??)

      anyways, sooo curious!!

      • 42.2.1 goldenflower

        Thanks… and so I will wait… for the answers, for the subs and the next recap! ^^

  43. 43 Rush

    Besides, “heart failure due to excessive excitement over cute love scenes” as the cause of death is just plain embarrassing.

    You had me rolling right there red_pill.. Wonderful recap. Really, really enjoyed reading it.
    Still haven’t watched the episode. I’m doing a very verrrry slow viewing of the series to prolong the joy. But I can’t resist reading the spoilers, recaps, discussions et al. This is the first drama where I so desperately wish I knew Korean, and I don’t mean everyday Korean, but ‘born and brought up with’ style Korean. I would love to really really understand the dialogue. Then again, everyone is acting so well, that sometimes the words just aren’t necessary.

  44. 44 SoloJacen

    Really enjoyed the writeup, thanks.

  45. 45 Grecia

    Loved this episode!

    • 45.1 Grecia

      thanks for the lovely re-cap!

  46. 46 alert

    When Yong Ha told Jae Shin that Yoon Hee is with Sun Joon, I think that’s the moment Jae Shin knows he’s going to lose her to SJ. Remember Yoon Hee and JS’s conversation in the library in the previous episode? He told her that she needs to tell the one she loves the truth. And I think Jae Shi realized that when Yoon Hee is with Sun Joon, she’s going to tell him the truth.

    Which is why I died my 1001th death when my Moony lies on his back and watch the sky with that heartbreaking expression. (had to rewind and pauses there fore 1001th time as well – such a beautiful face!)

    And the reference to Tamna’s oranges (Team Park Kyu!!!) and Gumiho (mi ho yaaa~!!) made me excited hahaha.

    And Jae Shin’s oranges reminds me how Awesome he is, because we know he’s a brilliant student (as he read all the books in the library) but the fact that he’s not the show-off type like you-know-who ahha makes me fall for him even harder. And yes, I too believe, he’s the smartest one!)

    And Yong-Ha’s intelligence network? LOL at that! He must be the Mr Google of Joseon, the one who knows everything about everyone!

    (if I add more Ands in my sentences, I’ll never stop!)

    • 46.1 ah_in _fan

      totally agree with everything you just said! 🙂

    • 46.2 karened

      Totally agreed!

      I didn’t realise the importance of this until you pointed it out. When Jaeshin declared that a winner was out after listening to the answers SJ and YHee gave, it was obvious that he was good enough to even participate in the final round. (and seeing how YHa didn’t show any surprise at JaeShin’s remark, he must have known his bestie’s capabilities – afterall they’ve been friends for over a decade huh!) And to think that he had been skipping a lot of classes! Maybe his knowledge is already beyond what’s taught in classes so he sees no point in attending. But with his unkempt look and fierce outer appearance, it’s no wonder why others take it that he skips classes because he’s not interested in learning.

      But THIS!

      Yeah, he only got 1 orange because he didn’t like to show off his knowledge huh? Maybe he answered that 1 question because no one else knew how to?


      He’s my fav character! And the YHa-JaeShin pairing’s my fav pairing!

    • 46.3 Alexie

      Definitely right.

  47. 47 Nars

    I think the Coffee Prince situation was different in the sense that Eun Chan had already started a relationship with Han Gyul without revealing that she was a woman.

    In this, Yoon Hee doesn’t have any responsibility to Sun Joon to reveal herself just because Sun Joon says he likes her, at that point she was still acting as if they were just friends.

    • 47.1 samgetang

      Nars, thanks for pointing this out. My thoughts exactly.

      Han-gyul’s angst is well deserved because Eun Chan deceived him into thinking that she was a he while agreeing to get into a relationship with him. Although she was under pressure not to reveal her true identity for fear of not being allowed to work in the coffee shop, the greater fear of deceiving Han-gyul should have overcome that and she could’ve come clean at anytime.

      In SKKS KYHee faces a greater penalty by exposing her true identity and so LSJoon knows this and understands why she cannot so easily reveal herself to him. Also she was not fully aware that he was miserable because of his attraction to what seemed to him his friend of what appeared to him of the same sex. In fact, she was about to reveal herself I think after he confessed in the creek but matters did not allow her to and I would like to think that LSJ knew what she was about to do before she fell in the water as an afterthought. That is why he kept asking her what was it she was abt to say back then. He wanted to tie loose ends…and confirm his thoughts. In his heart of hearts, he knew KYHee would not let him continue to suffer if she knew full well what he was going through.

  48. 48 Anaseer

    May I just point out that since In Soo’s father is just a bit (and when I mean a bit I mean a bit) incompetent. I mean the guy can’t catch anything! So the son ordering the guards should be more than justified because if it was left up to the so called Minister of War we would have 30 episodes of this awesome show. And the majority would be centered on them just playing catch the mouse with the awesomely handsome rebel with a (red paper) cause!!!
    Plus seeing In Soo more means the intense staring into the camera shots and I truthfully think that is what makes this show awesome…lol!

    PS I love the word awesome so don’t judge me!

  49. 49 Joanne

    Love it. Thanks for the awesome recap, red pill!!!!!!!

    I’m glad you offered your reasoning in the comments part, heh and not just because I also agree ^_^ SSK is not like Coffee Prince where the angst was a pivotal part of the latter’s tone.

    Too bad JYJ needs to go on tour, otherwise I feel like this could get a decent extension. kekeke

  50. 50 jubilantia

    The little kids are the Joseon version of Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars! So… the Banchon Korean-word-for-street Korean-word-for-scrappy-maybe-orphan-streetkids…?

    I have to admit, I used to think we were in for the male hissy-fit of the century, but I think the reaction now makes sense. The whole but-you-lied-to-me thing is valid, but is always blown out of proportion. With Coffee Prince, I can see the reaction a little because it was drawn out waaaay too long- even if he found out before the critical mass point, I’m pretty sure he would have let her stay on as a cross-dresser with no customers finding out, so her family would have been fine.

    Here, even with the death sentence, there were very few other ways to solve Yoon-hee’s problem, short of driving herself crazy by becoming a concubine. To the creepiest guy ever. I mean, can you imagine what that would have been like for her? Someone who has been exposed to the wonders of scholarly thought, reduced to little more than livestock? Not an option, even though it probably happened a distressing amount back then.

    Anyway, adorable episode and great recap, red pill! Unfortunately, I’m sure it will last for all of half of the next episode before the aaaaaangst and SUSPENSE of the final arc begins. Looking forward to watching 17 and 18 tomorrow after this huge presentation…

    • 50.1 anais

      The little kids are the Joseon version of Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars!

      OMG, absolutely spot on!

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