Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 9
Here we are, almost half way! I know how much you guys have waited for this(so sorry for the delay!), so with no further ado—onto the recap!!!
Btw… I just love the capture above!
SONG OF THE DAY: 지선(Jisun)-지구인 (Earthling) [download]
LESSON 9 RECAP
As an angry Yoon-hee begins to turn away, Sun-joon stops her and tells her to let him first explain—but even before he gets the chance, Yoon-hee spits out in hurt and bitterness, “I’m so greatly indebted to you…if I had known, I would’ve at least been more obedient.”
Sun-joon tells her not to act childish, “You needed money then, and I had it. You can pay me back from now on. What’s the problem?”
Yoon-hee: “You should have said something! You should have… said something.”
Sun-joon: “And what if I did?”
Yoon-hee: “Then I probably wouldn’t have taken it! I might’ve kept using ridiculous loans… but I wouldn’t have taken your money.”
Sun-joon: “What kind of foolishness is that?”
Yoon-hee: “That foolishness is what people call pride. That pride that you’d die to protect…why can’t I have it? Did you pity me? Up until now, I was just powerless and pitiful to you. So you thought I’d take any helping hand offered to me. Right?”
When Sun-joon can’t answer, she delivers the final blow: “You have no right to criticize Ha In-soo—no, you’re worse than him. At least he knows that he’s a bad guy.”
Both are left in a daze after the confrontation, but Yoon-hee makes a stop at Hwang’s store to collect work—she’ll even write the love letter she refused earlier.
She returns home in female attire and wordlessly hugs her mom. She asks Yoon-hee if there’s something wrong but she tearfully answers that she’s just glad to be home. The family shares a quiet dinner, albeit hesitantly at first—the food In-soo had given Yoon-hee sharply contrasting with their usual meals (plus, they feel apologetic for the burdens that Yoon-hee’s had to embrace for them).
At the Moon household, Guh-ro is rewrapping his wound when his father comes in with medicinal herbs and fresh bandages. However, Minister Moon’s concern is accompanied by admonition—Guh-ro should distance himself from Kim Yoon-shik.
Guh-ro: “Why? Because he’s a powerless Nam-In who won’t help me rise in ranks?”
Minister Moon: “When are you going to stop rebelling against me?”
Guh-ro: “When are you going to stop living as a Noron’s puppet? That day, I died with my older brother. When you protected your position with the silence of your own son’s death, you lost both sons.”
Minister Moon: “With that power, I’m going to protect you. Hanging out with Kim Yoon-shik is too dangerous. Minister Ha thinks he is the Red Messenger.”
Guh-ro pauses: “What do you mean?”
Minister Moon: “Kim Seung-hun. The man who sacrificed himself trying to protect the Geum-deung-ji-sa with your brother—he’s Kim Yoon-shik’s father.”
Speak of the devil, Yoon-hee asks her mother what she so loved about her father. “He never even bought you a silver hairpin, but you chose him over your own family. Didn’t you ever regret it?”
Her mother answers that she does regret it: “After I sent you off to Sungkyunkwan, I regret it every day. If I hadn’t turned my back on my family, I wouldn’t have had to live as such a shameful mother.”
Sun-joon, on the other hand, is paying the consequences for his earlier actions with Hyo-eun—the two have been betrothed. Wedding preparations will be made as soon as Sun-joon leaves Sungkyunkwan. Sun-joon looks slightly troubled but Hyo-eun is on Cloud 9 at the news.
Outside the Kim household, the real Yoon-shik joins his pensive older sister outside. He asks her if everything is really okay and Yoon-hee reassures him with a smile that everything’s peachy. “From now on, I’m going to try even harder. After all, I have to live up to your name don’t I?”
Break is finally over and everyone’s busy showing off their new toys—Hae-won’s got a bejeweled ink container, Woo-tak’s got a flashy new spectacle chain but the King of Extravagance, Gu Yong-ha himself has got them all beat. A golden mini figurine of the Chinese royal palace! He’s waited a year for this baby and you can tell how much he adores it by the way he pets and coos at it.
Guh-ro’s looking around campus for Yoon-hee when a mysterious pair of feet stealthily approaches the dormitories.
Yoon-hee is about to walk past Sun-joon when he stops her(why the wrist grabbing?! Argh!)—he has something to say…and something to hear. Yoon-hee flashes a forced smile and tells him that she overreacted before… “You don’t need to worry about it anymore, because I’m ok. I promise to pay you back slowly.” Sun-joon tries to tell her that’s not what he meant but Yoon-hee plays dumb and continues, “Oh yeah, I forgot to say thank you. Thank you for everything.”
As she walks away(not before a brief pause), In-soo calls out at Sun-joon, “Hey brother-in-law. I hear there’s an exchange of wedding talks.” Sun-joon explains that it’s all a big misunderstanding but In-soo sarcastically replies, “You know less about your father than me. Whatever your father has set his mind to, not even the King himself can change that.”
Alone in an empty classroom, Yoon-hee writes the love letter for Hyo-eun(to Sun-joon) but her thoughts get the best of her and she messes up. Guh-ro’s still looking for her and when he finds her walking outside, he begins asking if she knew everything…but even before he can further question her, something goes terribly wrong at the school: there’s been a burglar in the dorms.
Everyone’s valuables are gone, including Yong-ha’s beloved figurine. Oh, this does not sit well with him (I love angry Yong-ha). The thief’s even gone through the school’s medicine supplies.
An emergency meeting is called and every student is asked of their whereabouts at the time of the robbery. Everyone seems to have an alibi except Yoon-hee, who at the time was alone in the classroom writing Hyo-eun’s love letter, but of course no one can prove her claims are true. It doesn’t help that Byung-choon points out that Guh-ro was looking all over for her but she was nowhere to be found.
Things make a turn for the worse for Yoon-hee when the school assistants run back with news that they’ve found the culprit—Kim Yoon-shik’s identification slab. It was found at the local pharmacy where the culprit sold off all the stolen goods.
A shocked Yoon-hee insists it wasn’t her, but the murmuring has begun as everyone looks at her with accusing eyes. In-soo smirks while the rest of the Jalgeum Quartet share looks of disbelief. In-soo steps forward and reprimands Yoon-hee for her shameful act—not only did she steal from her classmates, but she also stole medicines that belong to the poor citizens. “You dare try to sell that medicine for money?”
Sun-joon cuts in to protest—“Yoon-shik has a sick brother and he probably used the medicine for him.”(Uh… so we’re assuming she is the thief?) He proposes that the best way to find out is to send someone to her house and get the facts straight…but of course, Yoon-hee can’t have anyone snooping around her household for fear of her secret getting out.
Her refusal only buys her more suspicion and In-soo asks permission to run a student trial—to everyone’s surprise, King Jeong-jo arrives and volunteers himself to be the judge. He announces that this will be his examination for the students.
It’s an outrage, according to Minister Ha but Minister Lee reminds him that the King is not one to act without thorough calculations. “This may be a greater test for us than the Sungkyunkwan scholars.”
Alarmed, Minister Ha asks, “Are you saying that His Majesty personally got involved…in order to protect Kim Yoon-shik?” Minister Lee only nods in reply.
“Kim Yoon-shik… you’re expelled,” the King announces, to the delight of In-soo and his minions. But Jeong-jo continues, “That is, if you are the real culprit of this robbery.” His test is simple: those who believe Kim Yoon-shik is guilty, prove it. Those who believe Kim Yoon-shik is innocent, prove it.
Despite the Headmaster’s protests, King Jeong-jo remains resolute—“Do you think that these students deserve to be given a proper test? If Kim Yoon-shik is indeed the culprit, then this school has nurtured a thief. You, Headmaster, and the rest of the professors and scholars have no right to teach and uphold the laws of this land. But if Kim Yoon-shik is innocent, those who deem him guilty are also undeserving to uphold the law. That is why I’ve chosen this as my test to you.”
Jeong-jo gives the Sungkyunkwan scholars 2 days access to the city’s government office as the status of an intern in order to investigate the case.
After the king’s departure, In-soo reinforces to Yoon-hee that she will in fact be expelled—she simply won herself 2 more days till then. He’s going to prove her guilt, along with the rest of the Sungkyunkwan scholars. Even Yoon-hee’s classmates can’t help but prove her guilt—they believe her innocence but can’t bear to receive failing marks.
It’s just the Jalgeum Quartet left, but Sun-joon begins his interrogation: “Did anyone see you in the classroom during the day?” When she answers no, he continues, “What happened with your ID?”
Yoon-hee asks him if he’s doubting her but he goes on, “Why didn’t you let someone check your house? Didn’t you know that was the easiest way to prove your innocence?”
Guh-ro cuts in, “Can’t you see that she’s being framed?”
Sun-joon: “So what? What does your blind faith change about the situation? Kim Yoon-shik is still just a shameful thief who dropped his ID at the pharmacy.”
Guh-ro: “What…are you saying that since this is the King’s test, you can’t receive failing marks for believing in Yoon-shik?”
Sun-joon: “Of course.”
Guh-ro’s fists are about to fly but Yong-ha stops him—“Since we’re the only ones who believe in Yoon-shik, we should all just get along.”
“All of you stop it,” Yoon-hee begins. “I didn’t steal anything… so I’ll take care of it.”
Sun-joon: “How are you going to take care of it. Did you say he’s been framed? You’re going to need evidence rather than words to convince me.” Agh you devil’s advocate, you!
Guh-ro’s determined to get that evidence, but first, a confrontation with In-soo. He’s sure that this is all In-soo’s doing, beginning with the medicine that he supposedly gave Yoon-hee as a gift…it was always his plan to use that medicine to frame her. In-soo simply scoffs at the accusation, “This is why I can’t be kind to poor people. They always stab you in the back for your kindness. I can’t help that his cheap upbringing turned my grace into vendetta. That’s why I’m warning you to be careful too.” Fists are about to fly again, but Guh-ro is stopped by the threat of making matters worse for Yoon-hee.
Yoon-hee is looking up references to help her efforts, but when she sees Sun-joon doing the same she tells him, “If you’re helping because you pity me, then you don’t need to try so hard. If you feel sorry for me because there’s no one who believes me, then I don’t need your help. So, instead of worrying over getting failing marks just…”
Sun-joon: “Do you really think I’m worried over failing?”
Yoon-hee: “You’re the one who was interrogating me because of your suspicions.”
Sun-joon: “Do you really think of me that way? Is that why you refused my help? Was I just a Noron boy who only cares about his grades to you? I never suspected you in the first place. Like you said, I never start anything that’ll fail. If you’re going to get hurt over some questions, then what are you going to do by yourself in front of the King? Listen well, Kim Yoon-shik. Even if we go to the government office, no one will be on your side. So if you’re going to prove your innocence, you’re going to need to prepare yourself well.”
Professor Jung expresses his doubts over his students’ abilities to prove/disprove Yoon-hee’s innocence… not necessarily just because of Yoon-hee’s case, but because the King’s real objective is to find the Geum-deung-ji-sa. The king is testing the students in order to find the one he can entrust the task of finding the Geum-deung-ji-sa.
Our Jalgeum Quartet set out the next day to investigate in their adorable intern uniforms—all except Gu Yong-ha who refuses to be homogenized. He argues, “How can anyone think up brilliant ideas when they’re stripped of their identity?” Besides, Yong-ha doesn’t need the uniform since he has his trusted companions to go to the government offices for him. Yong-ha’s determined to find the culprit—not for Yoon-hee’s sake, but for the sake of his beloved figurine. Oh Yong-ha, you silly boy.
Guh-ro reassures Yoon-hee—afterall, Yong-ha’s grown up in the market district and he probably knows where to get the inside scoop.
As the trio begin making plans for investigation, Yoon-hee spots a teenage boy filling his knapsack as he walks the streets. They make eye contact but almost as an act of defiance, the boy continues his thievery. The fruit lady catches him and cries “Thief!” and a hoard of city guards come running after him.
Both Sun-joon and Guh-ro reach to push Yoon-hee out the way, but Guh-ro is just a little quicker and he holds her in a protective embrace. Sun-joon, who was pushed the other way, looks at the two with a complicated gaze—but we all know he’s just jealous. Guh-ro on the other hand, is holding Yoon-hee without really holding her. Oh yeah, and of course the hiccups are back.
Yoon-hee spot Woo-tak’s spectacle chain around the boy’s neck, and with that information Guh-ro quickly takes off after him. Sun-joon and Yoon-hee(who are still a bit awkward after the fight) go to the government office as planned, only to find that the guards play games and sleep all day. And when they finally do decide to work, they go around the marketplace terrorizing the poor merchants who don’t have a license to sell.
The injustice committed by the guards are witnessed by all four of the Jalgeum Quartet—Guh-ro lead to the market street after losing the boy by running into Yong-ha, who’s been doing his own private investigation in the back-streets. It’s a sobering moment for all of them as they see for themselves just how corrupt and unjust the current system is. Even when Yoon-hee confronts the chief of guards, he retorts that he’s simply upholding the law.
King Jeong-jo and Professor Jung are observing the four as Jung makes the observation that it seems that the quartet are one step closer to finding the bigger thief. I’ve got an inkling that there’s much more meaning behind the King’s assignment. He wants them to learn “Fury—fury against oneself for being so helpless against the corrupt world.”
Back at Minister Ha’s estate, the leader of the legal merchants is busy complaining about the King’s efforts to regulate prices. He’s also looking for ways to allow the lower class citizens to sell products legally. This is all disadvantageous for the higher class merchants but Minister Ha reminds him that the Noron are backing them—so what is he complaining about?
Along with a bribe, the merchant leader asks Minister Ha to attend the merchants’ “meeting” and repeat his reassurances.
The Jalgeum quartet are at the local tavern drinking their anger away—actually mostly Yoon-hee—when Yong-ha explains that it’s the legal merchants who are paying the guards, so of course they’re going to work to maximize their profit… and that profit is going into the pockets of the Noron faction.
When they spot a couple of drunk guards walk in, they’ve got mischief on their minds. Sun-joon—who half-assedly protests—writes the word “thief” on the guards’ face and Yong-ha cries “Fire!” The guards awake, and the adorable quartet flee. Ah, youth and friendship.
Of course, the merchant meeting is not so much a meeting as it is a party and the quartet make plans to infiltrate the estate—there’s a list of transactions that they must find hidden within the storage of the estate. It’ll prove that the products that the guards destroyed today are actually being taken to the legal merchants and being sold again to the people for a higher price.
Yoon-hee volunteers herself to go, since after all, this is her mess but both Sun-joon and Guh-ro protest at the danger and volunteer themselves. Yong-ha suggests that all four should just go, hand-in-hand—“We’ll meet here at Hae-shi(9:30-10:30pm)”
This is actually Yong-ha assisting Sun-joon’s ploy to get Guh-ro and Yoon-hee out of the picture—and with only a note, the two are off to the merchant’s party. Sun-joon explains, “It’s safer for one person to look for the list. Yoon-hee’s not quick minded enough, and Guh-ro’s fiery temper…”
Yoon-hee and Guh-ro go after them—she can’t stand to feel indebted again.
In-soo takes a breather outside and spots Sun-joon creeping towards the storage. When he sees Yong-ha amidst the gisaengs, his suspicions grow stronger. He asks Yong-ha what he’s doing here, to which he answers, “I’m here because I’m the son of the household that leases out land to the merchants. And you? Ah, yes yes…I forgot that the merchants and the Noron were one family, right?” In-soo isn’t fooled and asks his father to secretly call some guards over—they’re going to have to teach their future in-law a lesson.
Guh-ro tries to stop Yoon-hee—times like this, it’s more helpful to stay put. Yoon-hee is worried too…just as they worry for her, she worries for them. Guh-ro begins to tell her that he’ll go instead, but when they overhear a couple passing guards talking about a fool attempting to break into the estate, Guh-ro tells her to go and warn them—he’ll stall the guards as much as he can.
Yoon-hee arrives in front of the estate but is denied access—that is, until she sees the gisaengs enter and has a brilliant idea.
The guards arrive at the estate and are beginning their search—if they don’t find him, the merchant warns, the Noron won’t be safe either.
Sun-joon, who just found the needed list, is getting a little nervous. The doors begin to open, he grabs the nearest candle stick, only to find Yoon-hee dressed as a beautiful gisaeng.
He’s shocked—she runs into his arms.
Finally, the friendship between the Jalgeum Quartet are in full bloom. Oh yes, I know the Jalgeum Quartet was already beginning to form a unit by Episode 7, but I feel that this was the first episode where they actually become real friends. They care for each other, take sacrifices for each other, and best of all, they horse around. I think that’s what excites me most about this drama—not the adorable romances or the political/personal angst (which I love too)—but the story of friendship. It’s exciting to see them grow, and like I’ve mentioned before, I’m so glad that this drama started them out hating each other. It makes such the greater impact.
There’s a lot of substance in this episode. We now know what exactly happened to Guh-ro’s brother and where all his anger stems from. We also know (although we’ve had an idea before) that the king never moves without a deeper, ulterior motive. It appears that he’s giving Kim Yoon-shik a chance to clear his name, but in fact his real goal is to find the “real” thief, meaning the upper classes, and also find a means to make trade easier for the lower classes. I don’t want to say “use” with it’s connotations, but he’s essentially using the Sungkyunkwan scholars to push his honorable cause. Plus, he’s testing the quartet if they’ve got the guns to handle the assignment he’d like to give them.
There is just a little thing that bothers me about this drama. I’ve felt that Sun-joon has, from the very beginning, treated Yoon-hee much like he would a girl. I don’t mean the way he treats Hyo-eun and other obvious females, but I mean in the general sense that his vocabulary is always more tender. And the wrist-grabbing: it’s a simultaneous Oooh! and Eeek! reaction from me. I love it, and yet there’s a part of me that is puzzled—especially because he wrist-grabs so much even before he sees her as a gisaeng. I dont know, just a trivial thought.
As for In-soo… I think he’s so complex, it’s hard for me to figure him out. I know there’s a lot of you out there who believe In-soo lost the archery competition on purpose, including my partner, and I can totally see how it would appear so. But there’s a part of me that refuses to see him that way. His reactions after the tournament seem to tell me otherwise. Plus, look at the way he looks at Cho-sun. It’s not so much tender loving care as it is a burning desire to possess her. I don’t know. This is just my opinion and I think the creators probably made it to be so ambiguous so we would have these debates. All in good fun.
I agree with red_pill and her curiosity towards Kang-mu. There’s something there… and I hope we’re not all just imagining it.
Now if only Yong-ha’s story would elaborate. I’m dying to know his story.
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 8
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 7
- Behind the Scenes on Sungkyunkwan Scandal
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal NG Cuts + Cast Interview
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 6
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 5
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 4
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 3
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 2
- Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 1