Drama Recaps
Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 18
by | November 4, 2010 | 186 Comments

Dear beloved readers,

I want to address the issue of there possibly being a second season to SKK Scandal. I, for one, am against the idea. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see more of our Jal-geum Quartet, as well as the other wonderful characters of this gem of a drama. But I feel the intensity and dramatic oomph of the first season would be lost – unless the focus were switched entirely to, say, Jae-shin or Yong-ha and away from Yoon-hee and Sun-joon. Or if the series were made into more fluff. Either way, I think the series would lose some of its charm. Besides, most sequels tend to, err, flop.

If there is to be a continuation of some sort, I vote for a movie. That would keep the narrative tight as well as retain the essence of the series. Anyone want to start a petition with me?

Love, red pill

PS. I know the above picture is kind of random, but for some reason I am in love with that shot. Maybe it’s the lighting, maybe it’s the chess pieces that are all in disarray, or maybe it’s that that hand belongs to Jae-shin. All in all, it’s beautiful.

임재범 (Im Jae-bum) feat. 윤하 (Younha) – 사랑에 아파한 날들 (The Days We Spent Hurting Over Love) [download]

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As the wonderful gat (hat) kiss becomes a distant memory in the matter of mere seconds, Yoon-hee and Sun-joon walk into the secret hideout completely stunned. Sun-joon’s father is the mastermind behind the murders that happened ten years ago?

With his faith in his father on the line, Sun-joon takes on the task of finding out who the real owner of the land deed was. If his father is indeed the mastermind, then he should be the one to find out.


Yong-ha joins Jae-shin, who has already turned to the comforts of alcohol. Our nearly omniscient Yeo-rim astutely guesses that Jae-shin was willing to set aside the investigation for Yoon-hee’s sake – to save her from the heartache that she’ll have to endure if Sun-joon’s father is indeed the culprit. But what Yong-ha didn’t realize before (and Jae-shin did) is that Yoon-hee, too, loves Sun-joon. That complicates everything.

In true Sun-joon fashion, he goes directly to his father with the land deed. The supposed owner Baek Dong-su was the Lee family’s butler – which means the true owner was Minister Lee. So why was the deed used to bribe a police officer ten years ago?

Here we get a peek into Minister Lee’s political philosophy: Protecting the nation comes first and foremost, even above filial piety. Sometimes that leads to father and son becoming enemies, such as in the case of the late King Yeong-jo and the late Crown Prince Sado. What he fears is not the contents of the geumdeungjisa but the consequences of its reveal: the political sovereignty will be at the hands of a grieving son, and if swayed by foolhardy emotions like regret and grief, inevitably there will be more bloodshed and political unrest.

And if Sun-joon is swayed by the emotions of his youth, he could ruin the Lee family. Is that why, Sun-joon questions with brimming tears, his father sacrificed the late Professor Kim Seung-hun and the late Moon Young-shin and destroyed the geumdeungjisa?

No, his father denies, but Sun-joon is no longer so naïve to blindly believe his father; the land deed is glaring evidence that his father was involved.

Probably for the first time in their lives, Sun-joon turns his back (literally and figuratively) on his father. “Did you say that father and son can become enemies for the sake of the right path? From now on, I plan to be your enemy.”

Jae-shin finds Yoon-hee burying herself among books in the school library and convinces her to call it a night (“If you read books and don’t sleep enough, you won’t grow tall”) and walks her to the room.

She’s all nervous energy, but he wants her to take things slow. In order not to intrude, he’ll be spending the night with Yong-ha (wipe those naughty thoughts from your minds!).

She seeks reassurance from him, asking if he thinks it’s true about Sun-joon’s father. He offers her the best comfort he can at the moment: “Don’t worry about it. We’ll find out when Sun-joon comes back.”

The following morning, Jae-shin is waiting outside the hideout for Sun-joon. Jae-shin tells Sun-joon to lie about the land deed; their secret mission is to find the geumdeungjisa, not to find out who was behind the murders. But Sun-joon points out that since they haven’t solved the riddle of the secret letter, finding the mastermind may very well be their only clue to finding the geumdeungjisa. Besides, hasn’t Jae-shin been looking for the murderer?

Jae-shin: Yes, I have – and I always said that hiding the truth is a cowardly act, I absolutely detested it – yet, I’m saying I’ll bury the truth. So if you’re gonna show off, wanting to be honest, just and honorable, then don’t.
Sun-joon: Sa-hyung.
Jae-shin: People become cowards when they have someone they want to protect. Isn’t that who Kim Yoon-shik is to you?

Jae-shin claims that Yoon-hee won’t be able to forgive him if he tells her the truth, but Sun-joon knows that true repentance comes before forgiveness. And it’s not just Yoon-hee that Sun-joon needs to ask forgiveness – there’s also Jae-shin.

Sun-joon promises to try his hardest to make sure Yoon-hee doesn’t get hurt.


So Sun-joon tells Yoon-hee the truth as he knows it. It’s heartbreaking: Sun-joon explains that he thought it best if she knew, and Yoon-hee distractedly gathers her books and tries to leave. When he stops her, she says that asking her to listen to him any longer is too cruel.


Sun-joon chases her outside, wanting to beg forgiveness in his father’s stead. If he can’t be forgiven, he’d have to accept that as well, but if she’ll allow him to stay, he’ll do his hardest to set things right by finding the geumdeungjisa.

But things can’t be set right because finding the geumdeungjisa won’t change anything in Yoon-hee’s world. She leaves, saying that she needs time to think, and this time Sun-joon is unable to stop her. Fortunately for him, Yong-ha and Jae-shin are there for him.

At Moran-gak, Minister Ha throws a stringful of money at Yoon Cham-gun, enough to convince him to go into hiding. They seem unconcerned that Cho-sun is hearing every word, which isn’t surprising considering that gisaeng houses were known to host many a political tryst since gisaengs were (usually) deaf and dumb to political affairs.

Back home, Yoon-hee asks her mother for the truth about her father’s death. But her mother doesn’t want her to fight against the world; the world always tries to crush those who rebel against it. That’s what happened to Yoon-hee’s father, and she doesn’t want the same to happen to Yoon-hee. But Yoon-hee picks up on the unspoken confirmation that her father’s death was wrongful, enough to make Yoon-hee resent and want to fight the world.

Yoon-hee laments that her mother didn’t tell her sooner, before she ever met Lee Sun-joon and fell in love with him.


Yoon-hee: What kind of person do you think Father was? Yoon-shik, always when I thought of him, a cold wind blew through my heart. Father used to sit you on his knee and read to you, and my place was outside the door. So when I thought of him, I didn’t remember his face. I’d remember the shadow I’d see from outside the door.
Yoon-shik: Sis, you didn’t know? Father always sat near the door, reading as loud as he could. He read books that I was too young to understand. He wasn’t reading to me, he was reading to you outside the door. You didn’t know that all this time?
Kim Seung-hun: (from his lecture notes) To watch my daughter advance in her studies is a painful thing. If I were her teacher, I would have wanted to teach her. But is it right to teach her to have aspirations in a world where she cannot fulfill them? I am a foolish father who cannot provide any opportunities to his talented daughter. I listen with abated breath as my daughter reads aloud, and today, once more, I weep deep inside my heart.

And red pill is reduced to a babbling puddle of tears. Father-daughter moments always kill me.

Yoon-hee takes her father’s lecture notes to Professor Jung with questions to ask. If her father wrote a secret letter, doesn’t that mean he suspected that someone would try to kill him to take away the geumdeungjisa?

Yes, but her father undertook the danger and risk because he believed the geumdeungjisa to be the key to the new world of King Jeong-jo’s dreams. The one hope he was willing to sacrifice his life to realize was to give his talented daughter a world in which she has more opportunities.


Having gained some insight into her father’s thoughts, Yoon-hee figures out part of the riddle: the geumdeungjisa is at SKK. Two lines they thought were hints were actually part of an acrostic saying that spell out “sungkyun” and the original meaning behind the Sungkyun part of the school’s name (“sung” for “complete the nation through its talented people” and “kyun” for “reform the customs”).

So now they need to find the place within SKK to which education leads and which marks the beginning of the nation. Which means they need maps of the SKK campus.


In the school library, short Yoon-hee is unable to reach the maps on the top shelf, and Sun-joon gets them down for her. In the process, he notices that she’s no longer wearing the couple ring. Heartbreaking. (I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be saying that word several more times before this recap is over.)

Now that she realizes that she’s misunderstood her father all these years, she wants to know why he wanted to protect the geumdeungjisa. This might be the first and last time she’ll truly understand him.

Sun-joon wipes away her tears, knowing that she’s trying so desperately to explain to him why she has to do this. He fully understands and promises to help her find the geumdeungjisa.

It’s painful and heartbreaking, but I love how even in this moment, you can feel the true friendship that originally bonded these two.


Minister Ha stops by to reassure Minister Lee that Yoon Cham-gun’s lips have been sealed. Minister Lee turns the subject to the geumdeungjisa. Now that he knows his son is involved (as well as other SKK students), what better way to keep an eye on his prodigal son than by using In-soo?

Minister Ha isn’t the complete idiot I thought he was, successfully guessing that Sun-joon is one of the SKK students looking for the geumdeungjisa. But then he overturns my thoughts again by foolishly bringing up the marriage issue.

Minister Lee blames Minister Ha for ruining everything, and he says curtly and with finality that their children will never marry. Huzzah!

Minister Ha is pissed off, and in the typical subordinate-turns-on-superior scenario, he gripes that he’s the one who helped Minister Lee into a position of power. He vows to show Minister Lee just what he’s capable of doing. And he’ll start by catching the person who caused the ends to unfurl.

For that, he’ll need Cho-sun. She starts to protest but they’re interrupted by In-soo.

(Cho-sun, you will redeem yourself in some way, won’t you?)


Sun-joon ditches the books and actually does legwork to find Yoon Cham-gun. He scours Yoon’s house and what seem to be Yoon’s usual haunts, but finds nothing and ends up late in meeting with the other three.

Jae-shin suggests waiting a bit longer; after all, Sun-joon’s not one to break his promises. But Yong-ha bitterly points out that any human being would break this promise; it’s not easy for a son to try and prove his father’s guilt.

Meanwhile In-soo begins tracking the Quartet’s movements, particularly what they’re researching and reading up on.


Since the hints point to education, the remaining three members of the Quartet start looking into places related to studying, such as the lecture hall, the library and the examination room. But they mustn’t forget the other hint (the start of a nation), as Jae-shin points out. He interprets this to mean civilization and connects that to ancestral tablets (in relation to founding fathers, I think). There are such tablets in all three places mentioned, so they start looking, but they find nothing.

Yoon-hee points out that the secret letter’s purpose is to help find the geumdeungjisa, not to hide it. She’s determined to find the answer to her father’s riddle, and she’ll start back at square one.

Yong-ha runs straight into In-soo and his henchmen. In-soo lets it be known that he’s following their every move. Then he attacks Yong-ha’s weakness once more: “You don’t belong with them. You’re different.”

Yong-ha jumps into a fashion analogy to get a point across. Everyone knows he’s the fashionista of SKK, and he’s willing to share his secret with Insoo. “The more the clothes don’t become you, boldly match the colors instead. Don’t forget because right now, your look is very passé.”


Sun-joon’s search ultimately leads him to the gambling house, where he tries to get people to look at the sketch he has of Yoon Cham-gun. I don’t really get why that random guy throws the first punch, but ultimately Sun-joon ends up in the middle of a brawl. And for the first time, we get to see violent Sun-joon.

Dear Sun-joon, why are you smiling as the kicks rain down on you? Physical pain does overshadow inner pain, doesn’t it? Albeit briefly.

The other three hear of Sun-joon’s trouble and hurry to the gambling house, where Sun-joon sits, beaten and forlorn. He looks so different from usual that Yong-ha asks seriously, “Are you the Lee Sun-joon I know?”

They find out that Sun-joon has been searching for Yoon Cham-gun. He refuses to sit around poring over a riddle and chose to get physical instead. In other words, he’s acting the opposite of how he’d usually act, using his body before his brain.

Yong-ha: Did you push yourself this much because you want to find the geumdeungjisa? Or because you want to prove your father’s innocence?
Sun-joon: What I want to know is the truth about that night ten years ago.
Yong-ha: Let me ask just one thing. If you find the geumdeungjisa, you might not be able to live the life you live now, as the Left State Councilor’s son. Are you okay with that?
Sun-joon: No matter how I end up, it’ll be better than living as the son of the criminal who stole a father and a brother from the friends I hold dear.

Unable to listen anymore, Yoon-hee leaves but Sun-joon quickly chases after her.

Yoon-hee: If you’re doing this for me, stop. I hardly remember my father’s face, and misunderstanding him hurt me so much. Your father means so much more to you. So stop, you can stop. I can’t bear to watch you anymore.
Sun-joon: I wanted your forgiveness. In order to buy medicine for your sick brother, you dressed up as a male to find work in the marketplace in place of your father. I wanted to beg forgiveness for those cold and hungry and lonely times. Oblivious to your hard times, I was reading in a warm room, and I cannot forgive myself for that. I want to say I’m sorry. If I could, I would turn back time and give you everything that I had. So I wanted to ask you to forgive me.


Yong-ha is shocked by Sun-joon’s change, astonished by Sun-joon’s decision to become his father’s enemy. Speaking of turning on one’s father, Jae-shin knows only too well that hating one’s father is a living hell.

In the palace, King Jeong-jo muses that the late Professor Kim Seung-hun’s secret letter feels like a final lesson. He’s quite curious to find out what the Quartet will learn by searching for the place to which education leads and where nations begin.


At the city gates, Yoon Cham-gun is leaving the city, being way too loud-mouthed and inconspicuous for someone going into hiding. Sun-joon tails him, thinking about Yong-ha’s tip that someone paid Yoon a lot of moolah to have him move to the countryside.

Well, apparently that someone would prefer him dead. Fake Red Cho-sun appears, and Sun-joon shows off some decent fighting skills before Jae-shin appears out of nowhere and takes over. Turns out he was following Sun-joon, probably to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble again.

Cho-sun makes a break for it, and Jae-shin gives chase. With a breathtakingly beautiful moon in the background, they engage in hand-to-hand combat. Jae-shin manages to unmask Cho-sun and confirm his suspicions before Cho-sun runs off again.

Please, Cho-sun, redeem yourself before the series ends.

Back in the library, Yoon-hee traces the path her father must’ve taken when bringing the geumdeungjisa out of hiding and back into the capital. That’s when she remembers Professor Jung’s words that the geumdeungjisa was originally hidden at the Jongmyo Shrine (the Royal Ancestral Shrine). That’s where the ancestral tablets for the past kings are – hence, where “the nation begins.”

Professor Jung also told her that the late King Yeong-jo put the geumdeungjisa at Jongmyo in hopes that someday, it will help King Jeong-jo in solidifying his sovereignty. (Which fits with the second hint in that education leads to higher offices which leads to political power and ultimately, ruling power. Hence, education leads to the shrine where the past rulers are. At least I think that’s the reasoning.) And so Yoon-hee concludes that the geumdeungjisa isn’t at SKK, it’s at Jongmyo.

She tears out the map of Jongmyo from the book and dashes off. Unfortunately, she’s spotted by In-soo and his men, who quickly figure out that she tore out the page on Jongmyo.


As Yoon-hee arrives at Jongmyo, Sun-joon and Jae-shin question Yoon Cham-gun about who ordered the murders. He’s awfully bold for someone who was almost killed – at least until Jae-shin fills him in that it was Cho-sun who tried to kill him. The light bulb goes on above his head and he realizes that Minister Ha wanted him dead.

Meanwhile, Yong-ha is at a local tavern doing what he does best: laying down cash in exchange for information. He successfully bribes a police officer into spilling that Yoon’s been meeting Minister Ha an awful lot these days.

And so the truth finally comes out: It was Minister Lee who ordered Yoon to escort the late Professor Kim and Moon Young-shin that fateful night. But it was Minister Ha who tweaked the plan to include the murders. When Minister Lee found out, he realized there could be trouble and helped cover up the tracks by offering the land deed.

In other words, Sun-joon’s father is NOT the mastermind. (Can I please hear a collective sigh of relief?)

Yong-ha is musing over his findings when he sees a gaggle of guards and In-soo rush by, heading in the direction of the Jongmyo Shrine.

Back at the library, Jae-shin advises Sun-joon to find Yoon-hee and tell her that his father is innocent. Jae-shin comments that things turned out well for everyone, himself included because it would be such a bother to loathe a guy like Sun-joon for the rest of his life. (Finally some Jae-shin/Sun-joon bromance?)

Feeling uneasy, Yong-ha joins them, looking for Yoon-hee. It doesn’t take him long to realize that Yoon-hee, too, headed towards Jongmyo and she’s in big trouble since In-soo knows the Quartet is looking for the geumdeungjisa. And by trouble, he means possible death.

The fearless (and reckless) Yoon-hee begins her search of the Jongmyo Shrine as the guards close in. In-soo and Minister Ha are willing to go full-out since this may be their last chance to get rid of the geumdeungjisa for good.

Jae-shin reminds Sun-joon of his promise that he won’t let Yoon-hee get hurt before he rushes off to distract the guards. He reappears dressed in Red Messenger gear and manages to lead away at least half the guards. The rest continue on to Jongmyo.


Inside the shrine, Yoon-hee is having no luck finding the geumdeungjisa. Outside, Jae-shin is fighting way too many guards who are all armed. He ends up face-to-face with the captain of the guards, who is the better swordsman and knocks away Jae-shin’s sword.

Yoon-hee freezes when she hears someone come in, but it’s only Sun-joon. He’s relieved to find her safe and sound and embraces her.

Just as Jae-shin is sliced across the chest. Heart… breaking… into… a million… slivers.


I’ll keep it short. Mostly ’cause my thoughts are in a jumble.

First, I continue to have faith about Cho-sun. I have a perpetual chant going on now: Redeem yourself, redeem yourself. It’s coming, I can feel it in my bones. That aside, can I just point out that every time she comes onto the screen in her gisaeng attire, everyone else washes out of the screen for me. She’s that charismatic.

Second, LOVE Sun-joon’s ongoing change in personality. In a way he’s becoming reckless, but I’d rather think of it as him becoming more passionate. So much that his body reacts instinctively now instead of checking and double-checking everything in his head first. And his bitter smile when he’s getting beaten up – wow, that just about killed me.

Third, the angst. LOVE IT. I know a lot of people wanted more angst from Sun-joon earlier when he discovered Yoon-hee’s secret, but this episode only confirmed for me that it was a good thing they downplayed that angst. Because we had this angst coming up. And this AND that would’ve led to angst overload. So me thinks.

I know a lot of readers out there already watched episodes 19 and 20 by the time this recap is posted, but please, PLEASE refrain from posting spoilers out of courtesy for those who haven’t seen the final episodes yet. Thank you.

Darn those gats!


186 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. ely

    can’t hardly wait!!

  2. olivia

    Oh thank you…thank you…thank you!!!…been waiting for this….the final episodes haven’t been subbed yet 🙁 so this will tide be over :)!!!

  3. jangnanseureon

    thank you!!! this drama rocks! sad to see it end though… i heard they are CONSIDERING a season 2!!! i hope they do! ^__^

  4. olivia

    Oooh random question…When did Yeo-rim find out that Yoon-shik is a “she”? I mean i know he’s always suspected, but how did he confirm it??

    • 4.1 LadyIgraine

      the first episode…when yongha and yoonshik met at the bookstore. he questioned yoonshik’s writing compairing it to a woman’s handwriting. yoonshik couldn’t be more obvious with her facial expression.

    • 4.2 mellowyel

      there was also when she was running away from Sunjoon and fell in his (Yeorim’s) arms, Jaeshin’s hiccups, her suspicious non-bathing behaviour (lol), and Jaeshin’s freak out when she was stuck on the island with Sunjoon.

    • 4.3 anais

      I don’t think that there is any one definitive reveal but rather a series of events that confirm his suspicions. Same thing with Jaeshin figuring out that Sunjoon and Yoonhee are together.

      • 4.3.1 narzgars

        But when did Yong-ha discover that both Jae-Shin and Sun-Jun knew that Yoon-hee was a girl… and that they both were in love with her??

        • Informantxgirl

          Good question. I think it was to taken as a given that he’s always known she was a girl; he was the first to suspect it (with her fall at the bridge), and I think the abrupt hug on the first day at SKK and her taking the bait to bathe at the hidden place all confirmed her gender to him.

          And as for Jae-Shin and Sun-Joon both being in love with her – well, to me it’s totally obvious, and I’m just a viewer, but for Yeorim, who interacts with them on a daily basis, and has known one of them for a decade, I guess it’s about as transparent as a huge neon sign. But I can’t remember any one incident where he outright says he knows any of these things.

        • enjay87

          Yong-ha is the smartest one coz he can read from one’s actions…that is one of his best skills….so even if they dont confirm he can firgure out through their behavior.

          • pohonphee

            oh yeap i agree with you, he IS The GOO Yong-ha, that answer all the questions.

          • munchkim

            Agree! Yongha is the most observant character I know. Facial expressions, movements and heck! even a persons mind… he seems to have the ability to read each one. He could be a great detective if he wants to.

          • missmanderley

            I’ve always kinda found it cute that Song Joongki’s “image” in Running Man is the smart kid/strategist/detective in their team…

            Hehe, he is soo much like Yeorim IRL.

        • anais

          The scene at the tavern when Yongha said, “When did they… and when did you (Jaeshin),” that is the moment of realization for him – that 1) SJ & YH are an item and that 2) Jaeshin has known it all along. That is why Red Pill pointed out that this time, for once, Yongha was behind the ball.

          In previews for an earlier episode, the one after Sunjoon returns to SKKS, there was a voice over by Yongha to the effect of “There’s something definitively different about those two” as the screen shows images of SJ & YH’s feet playing footsie under the library table. Interestingly, they never worked that into the episode itself.

  5. looker

    jae shin nooooo!
    when i saw that last scene.

    i was really annoyed when yoon hee dashed out of the library, thanks for being sooo discreet, but i guess things gotta start happenin now coz there’s only bout 2 eps to go, but still yoon hee is suppose to be smart, ugh!

  6. Purpleclouds

    Hmmm, 2nd season…got to have lots of romance with tension. Storyline,…I don’t know, I like to see more of Yong Ha. Sun Joon & Yoon Hee’s romance…sure, if they can come up with fresh ways to create tension/romance,it’ll be great.

  7. myweithisway

    Lovely work as always.

    Waiting for the last two episodes to be subbed, my heart won’t work properly until I see JaeShin smiling again.

  8. rockingchairs

    OMG 1st! WHOOTS and first time I’m commenting too! <3

    I think I died a couple of times in this episode of heartbreak and love. WHY DO THEY LOVE TO MAKE ME CRY/LAUGH LIKE AN IDIOT?!

    I think I practically screamed at SunJoon for hugging Yoohee first because like HELLO the lovely Geol Oh is fighting his ass off for you and YOU HUG HER?! At least run away first then hug!!!!! Ok, that aside, I am loving the Jaeshin-Yongha-Sunjoon bromance. And yes I had dirty thoughts when he said he was spending the night with Yongha, WHO DOESN'T.

    • 8.1 rockingchairs

      ok in the span that I was writing this many ppl commented. DAMN

    • 8.2 moonyyy

      I just totally agreed with everything you just said haha.

    • 8.3 bOOmMERanG

      Me toooo…….. and I did shout out loud “you stupid! hurry up ….run”. wooh!! in the situation right this…. I really want to kick his ass. (sorry Mickey)

      • 8.3.1 qnehej

        He’d totally deserve it, Jae Shin’s life comes first. ALWAYS OMG I LOVE HI SO MUCH.

  9. Anonymous

    lol, I don’t know why but I found it so funny when SJ was hugging YHee from behind and he had to tilt his head to the side because of the large hats they both were wearing.

  10. 10 misa

    because of that last scene of jae shin i know i wouldn’t be at ease so i watched right away the next episode unsubbed..my first to watch a series without subs..this is really making me crazy..good thing that our beloved jae shin is safe..

    now im considering of purchasing the dcut dvd..

    thanks red_pill! 🙂

    • 10.1 pohonphee

      Eeeee Spoiler…:) anyway, I never think Jaeshin will die at the end of the series, everyone never think jaeshin will die at the end of the series, like everyone knows how this series will end basically, nevertheless everyone still watch this series like crazy, still stalk every sites having its recaps, and still hate spoiler….you SHow just awesome

      • 10.1.1 misa

        ooopss! heehee! sorry..but jb had already mentioned in her previous posts that nobody died in the series and it has a happy ending so thought it wouldn’t be a spoiler anymore…and yes, i also didn’t think that they would kill jae shin’s character but there is this little voice inside me telling me to check how he’d escape those annoying guards and that it would never shut up not until jae shin is safe…ah! nevermind! (might just give another spoiler if i continue…hihi..) so there! 🙂

        • Autumn

          oh i know, though i didn’t think they would actually kill him off, i just couldn’t help but dwell on the possibility that they might. sageuks can be quite fickle and unpredictable, and after finishing Hong Gil Dong, i thought, anything could happen…

  11. 11 JD



  12. 12 lovenyc52

    thanks for the recap red pill!!

    my first thought after watching this ep was totally…. HELLO SJ~!! do we have time to be hugging right now?! Geol Oh is getting slashed and you’re having a staring contest with YoonHee and hugging!! sighs.

    Can’t wait to see how this all ends up…

    Cho Sun… please redeem yourself soon. pleeeeease. kthx.

  13. 13 shinbiCATH


  14. 14 holey moley

    Is..is..my guh-ro…dead? ANDWEEEE!!!! (my initial reaction after the last scene, of course i knew what happened on the last 2 episodes so….)

    haven’t read the recap..just want to share my 2 cents after watching it..(yup, i jot down notes, that’s how much i love skks…)

    first off, SO.MANY.THINGS.HAPPENED. can’t hardly catch a breath…this is why a 4-6 episode extension is a better option than a season 2 but, oh well,…. with that episodes, resolutions can be well-paced, not rushed like the last two (though i still love this with rainbow and ribbon passion(?)), also, balance between romance, school, friendship and politics can still be maintained kinda like the first episodes did…

    second, the writer is very good at dialogues…(this was pointed out by yogurutu) but still i’m in awe at how eloquent and poignant the verbal scenes are…good job writer!!! will follow your next drama because of it…

    third, MICKY IS JJANG!!!! god, i love the back hug scene, LOVE THE ANGST!!! god!! T.T he seriously need to consider acting if he gets bored being an idol because i will watch his next drama…he’s really impressing me, by no means i can say that he is actor-actor but there is huge raw potential for him…loved how his eyes welled up during the confession

    fourth, heart.is.bleeding.and.breaking.for.my.MOONY!!!, TT .TT. i was miffed that he was relegated in the backseat during this episode but oh well i still liked this…LOL at Yongha’s pat at his BUTT…loved them…spin-off drama between this two..JEBAL?! (doing the OPW to the TPTB)

    fifth, my favorite moment of this episode probably the whole series(excluding scenes of jaeshin..hehehe) is yoonhee-father moment, cried buckets of tears there…LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT… very poignant and sentimental…

    sixth, kinda hating king jeongjo here with his idealistic and kinda stupid idea of creating a new capital…really? really, chuna?

    There, my 2…er six cents… sad that this has to go away (eh, eh, eh) but so freaking EXCITED for MARY!!!

    ps…did that officer-something blurted out “WOW” in a period drama?! just WOW…

    • 14.1 LadyIgraine

      well, the king jeong jo that was depicted in the drama creating a new capital was real. the real king jeongjo moved the capital from hanyang to hwaseong, creating what is now known as the hwaseong fortress.

      • 14.1.1 holey moley

        yeah i know…actually, jeongjo is my favorite king in korea (a fan of sageuk), but not so much with his idea of transferring the capital to some other place…just because he can’t control the social caste and the political rivalry…its kinda a coward decision especially for a king like him…he resorted to escaping instead of dealing with it face front, as in dealing the political factions by himself, and at least lessening the social discrimination, well this is how he is portrayed here…he is quite good in other series (particularly PoTW)

        • anais

          Relocating the capital is a brilliant political move. It’s one that has been used by many who want to shake up the order of things, shift the balance of power, etc. For example, it was used to get the southern states – most specifically Virginia – to adopt the Constitution of the United States (or more specifically for the federal government to assume all war debt), thus relocating the capitol from the original site of Philadelphia to more southern Washington, D.C.

          • mOOnlight

            I knew you will be the one to explain this issue. Because you know and understand history very well. Thank you.

            Oh!!! I did @ to you about the link that you can watch “Eight Days”…. here you are.


          • anais

            @ mOONlight – thank you for the link to 8 Days! I’m looking forward to checking it out!

          • holey moley

            yeah..i agree that it is a brilliant political move…but it doesn’t take away my impression of doing such move to be a form of cowardice…that i didn’t liked about jeongjo…also, my irritation of him in this series comes from him being TOO idealistic…especially coming from a king that is on his “goodbye stage”…also, if you’ve been formulating this ideals for almost all your life, then you could have deciphered the clues from kim yoon hee’s dad and retrieved it yourself since you have like a decade to work on it…or at least have some freakin clue where it was hidden…it’s like he spent the decade angsting over his father’s death and forget his objective, the there comes the J4, then he said to himself, how about them finding the gdjs? hmmm..then they did find it for LESS THAN A WEEK OR SO!!! also, how could a freakin document equate to new world? yeah, i get that its a stepping stone but really? really? the king’s logic is losing me….diclaimer: i still love jeongjo but not this version…ARASO?!

          • anais

            We’ll have to agree to disagree as to whether it was cowardice or strategic brilliance and daring.

            The king was in real life and is in this drama portrayed as being very idealistic, less a political mastermind as was in PoTW. As for why he entrusts the search for GDJS to the J4, I’ve a couple thoughts:

            1. He needed to let things die down – After losing YH’s dad and MJS’s bro, had he pressed on, he likely would have doomed future opportunities altogether as well as have ensured further and quite possibly widespread bloodshed. Perhaps even civil war or rebellion, given the political context.

            2. Just because things were on the down low doesn’t mean that he didn’t try to solve the puzzle on his own but ran into a stumbling block, just as the J4 do. I don’t want to add spoilers here but the J4 certainly don’t have the GDJS at the end of episode 18.

            3. For me, the show makes clear the potential power of the GDJS. As Minister Lee and Ha constantly fret, the GDJS contains evidence that the Noron did bring unfounded charges of treason against Crown Prince Sado. And as a result, the discovery of the GDJS will provide proof of Noron treachery against the crown, effectively leaving in Jeongjo’s hands the fate of the most powerful political faction. And we’re talking not just removal of key politicians from office or even barring of all Noron from civil service (and effectively yangban status). We are talking heads rolling, many cups of poison being drunk, people being exiled en mass, and generations of Noron men and women being relegated to slave status. Jeongjo would then have had the power to implement even the most radical policies, keeping in mind that even the visionary Jeongjo was a man of his times.

          • anais

            A couple clarifications – this is what I get for writing when I should be enjoying the last hours of a good night’s sleep.

            1. Real life Jeongjo – idealistic but a great politician. SKKS Jeongjo – idealistic, seemingly a good politician but not as wowza as real life Jeongjo, Yi San or PoTW Jeongjo.

            2. Had Jeongjo gotten the GDJS and decided to take action, I doubt he would have condemned entire generations of all Noron to slave status since one of his intended reforms was to abolish slavery. Just wanted to clarify that particular historical point, lest I mislead anyone.

            I also found interesting that SKKS chose to depict this Jeongjo as having died of prematurely of natural causes, since his sudden death still remains a subject of historical debate. I’d love to know the thinking that went into choosing this particular portrayal, which reminds me that I ought to add this to the list of content recommendations for the SKKS directors cut DVD: http://scandaldvd.wordpress.com/

            (Yes, plug. I want more SKKS!!!!)

          • holey moley

            thanks anais, your argument may have made me understand jeongjo’s actions but i’m still miffed at his skewed logic…actually i’m on his side and very much liking his character until he said his ultimate objective because that’s what my main pet peeve with jeongjo’s brilliant political strategies- the creation of another capital- well, i’ve said my reasons on my dislike…because you’ve mentioned the different jeongjos in dramas, my favorite one would have to be bae soo bin’s then, a distant second would be lee seo jin…lee seo jin actually creeped me out in yi san because of his static gazes (eee shudders) but his jeongjo is clearly a great strategist, plus he has this perfect voice for a king, especially when uttering “song yeon-ah”…i liked these jeongjos because they did not concentrate on the creating a new capital thingy but showed how he can control the noron faction in some different but brilliant ways

            am planning to watch conspiracy but can’t find the subs for it…help me please…

          • anais

            There is one more – in fact, THE – reason why Jeongjo, the real life Jeongjo, made the relocation of the capital from Hanyang to Hwaseong his ultimate goal.

            As SKKS mentioned, Hwaseong is where Crown Prince Sado’s tomb is located. Jeongjo was intent on moving the capital in order to protect and reinstate Sado. Having the capital near the tomb ensured that Jeongjo could keep an eye on the sanctity of the tomb and thereby Sado from any further insults (there were concerns that opposing forces would desecrate the tomb, deny Sado even that tomb, etc.) and force the entire country to recognize that Sado, not Hyosong, was Jeongjo’s father and that there was NO PROBLEM in this truth – in fact, that it’s a good thing since (I am presuming the logic here) the capital would serve as a physical testament to the good spawned literally by Sado.

            Which is 1/2 the reason why the Norons in SKKS were completely against it (the other 1/2 being that Hwaseong creates a power base in which they lack influence, let alone control), since such a move brings them that much closer to being named traitors.

            The real life Jeongjo spent a ridiculous amount of energy on trying to reinstate Sado, relocating the capital being the very physical foundation for that attempt. Although SKKS makes Jeongjo’s motivation for Hwaseong to be the creation of a new Joseon (which may well have been also a reason for the real Jeongjo), historians tend to regard the recuperation of Sado’s legacy as the overwhelming motivation.

  15. 15 theedie

    @red pill – boo hiss! I _want_ a full on second season. Normally I’m against second seasons/extensions too since they’re just a play to milk a success for all it’s worth. But we already know that there’s a second book that they could pull content from and the producers themselves mentioned that there’s so much more story to tell if they wanted to. I think this show has been pretty much 60% Sun-joon/Yoon-hee and then 40% Yong-ha/Jae-shin. I wouldn’t mind if they switched that around for a second season just as long as we get the full Jalgeum Quartet dynamic and plenty of squee worthy Sun-joon/Yoon-hee couple-y moments.

  16. 16 wanzhaf

    i somehow agree with you red pill. If, __ IF__ there is 2nd seasons, let it be away from sun joon/ yoonhee’s story. The drama ended perfectly to me. JaeShin was such a perfect sahyung to yhee, but now he extend his sahyungship to lee sun joon too. The first time second lead hero steal my heart in kdrama.

    • 16.1 enjay87

      same here…first time to love the second lead hero 🙂

      • 16.1.1 SuKEJunpyo

        Same here too..hehe..
        Yupz..totally agreed with wanzhaf.

  17. 17 lordj

    Thank you very much… been waiting for this!!!!

  18. 18 Renhye

    Thanks for the fast recap red_pill. ^_^

    OMO! I’ve been a silent reader ever since but now I just can not NOT comment.

    What will happen to my precious GUH-RO??!!!
    Aaaaargh! *crazy scream*

    Please. Please let him be alright and I promise I will be loyal to Jae-shin forever! *crosses heart*

    Awww.. Yoon-hee and her father scene is so touching and heart felt I can’t stop crying. (T^T)

  19. 19 LadyIgraine

    i’m with you red_pill…i don’t want a season two also because i heard the stories with be different from the original. it’ll be like goong and goong s

  20. 20 be charm

    hardly cant wait for ep.19…recapsss….argh!!!!

  21. 21 cille

    many thanks for the awesome recap red_pill!!

    personally, i liked that SJ didn’t make a big deal of finding out that YS was a girl. and that the angst came from this episode, writer did an awesome job!

  22. 22 Nahan

    It still hasn’t been said to Yeo-rim that she is a girl but I think it was confirmed to him (unspoken) by the way Jae-shin reacted to Sun-joon and Yoon-hee being on the island together overnight. I could be wrong but I think that’s when he realized it more and realized how much she means to Jae-shin

    Loved the recap and I’m waiting for the eng subs too and am very anxious about it because I am afraid of reading something about the final eps before I watch them. Haven’t been to allkpop because I know they would have put something up about it

    Kepp up the good work 🙂

  23. 23 rockee

    I also think that a SKKS movie sounds better than a second season. They might ran out of stories to tell or create lousy ones just for the sake of making fans happy. But with a movie, perhaps they can tie-up loose ends or expand a little more on the Quartet’s future either in or outside SungkyunKwan School.

    As for the picture above, I think it kinda fits in to the whole craziness of this episode. Everyone’s trying to find, catch, or take out somebody– sort of like in the game of chess. So the pic’s not entirely random after all. Thanks for the recap red pill!

  24. 24 memei

    My baby Jaeshin doesn’t deserve this! He deserves a drama of his own! With YOON EUN HYE! Hotness galore! Hahaha. Totally random sorry. Hahaha.

    • 24.1 marmalade

      hummmmmmm……. quite interesting!! I would love to see it. But she has new drama coming up “A Sad Love Song”, hasn’t she.

  25. 25 guizy

    dude i love your recaps for this drama.
    and i would totally petition with you for a movie instead of a whole season 2.
    though maybe if they focus on MJS than mm that’ll be interesting.

  26. 26 Q



  27. 27 dumpling

    What i wish for is to read the novel…

    “the lives of Sungkyunkwan Student” how i wish there’s a english translation on it…..

    sadly cant find it…. 🙁 huhuhuhu….

  28. 28 skksshr

    for some reason i want moon jae shin to pair up wit cho sun, 2 of the most charismatic characters on the show, that itself could be the 2nd season/movie

    • 28.1 ronnie

      I wish, that little tousle they had was my highlight . They do have strong chemistry in my opinion 😀 But I guess it can always be fulfilled by fanficiton.

  29. 29 Yoo Ah In Preventorium

    Thanks so much for the recaps 🙂

    Heart-broken Geul-ro fans and all the Scandalers! You’re all welcome to hang out at our Ah In Fansite:


    • 29.1 mOOnlight

      It’s THE BEST …..Ah-in Fansite

    • 29.2 Anonymous

      Thank you

  30. 30 asianromance

    I haven’t watched 19 and 20 yet! I’m keeping my eyes close to other comments just in case there are potential spoilers!

    Thank you for the recap!

    I’m still a bit confused abt Jongmyo. Why didn’t they go there in the first place after Professor Jung mentioned it. So were Prof. Kim and JS’s brother only pretending to carry the GDJS to throw people off and then got killed for it? Maybe I need to watch it when I’m less stressed.

    the scene where yoon-hee realized that her father did think of her- so touching!

    I’m really glad the SJ is not only seeking forgiveness from YH, but also from JS. Usually it’s all about the girl, but SJ includes JS! I’m glad the SJ’s dad wasn’t the mastermind, but he did do the cover-up job! Minister, Lee, must be like a kick in the nuts to find your beloved son turned against you. It’s karma, biatch!

    Though, I have to say that Kim Gab Soo is a great actor. I though SJ’s initial reaction to finding out that his father, whom he had so much faith in, may have been the mastermind was pretty close to a nonreaction. That was one of the few times that I was really disappointed with the acting. However, opposite Kim Gab Soo, Yoochun’s acting got better and I can sense his conflict.

    Random note: I forgive SKKS because it’s a drama that I happen to love, but realistically, even if the Geum Deung Ji Sa was revealed 10 years prior to the events of the drama, it would take more than 10 years to really open up the sort of opportunities that Yoon-hee could taken advantage off as a woman. She would be given an education, but would she really be able to rise up the ranks as an official with the way gender roles were back then. You can overturn a government rather quickly, but you can’t overturn society.

    I’m also against a second season. I agree that the intensity of the first series would be lost. I wouldn’t mind if they focus on other characters or have completely different characters in the world of SKKS or a world similar. I really like SKKS because it’s trendy enough to get people interested, but it doesn’t sacrifice the more cerebral stuff. The actors aren’t just running around wearing those robes in a wallpaper historical. This drama had hit the sweet spot.

    • 30.1 anais

      I forgive SKKS because it’s a drama that I happen to love, but realistically, even if the Geum Deung Ji Sa was revealed 10 years prior to the events of the drama, it would take more than 10 years to really open up the sort of opportunities that Yoon-hee could taken advantage off as a woman. She would be given an education, but would she really be able to rise up the ranks as an official with the way gender roles were back then. You can overturn a government rather quickly, but you can’t overturn society.

      You’re absolutely right that it would have taken far longer than 10 years to get Joseon society to change its thinking regarding women. That said, although it’s entirely my speculation, I doubt that Yoonhee’s dad would have expected such a rapid societal change. I would presume that he would have been wanted it so that, at the least, it wasn’t forbidden for women to be educated, write poetry, and perhaps do all the things that only gisaengs were allowed to do at that time. That it was acceptable to acknowledge that women possess intellect worthy of cultivation. That, at the least, there wouldn’t be moms like Yoonhee’s mom (and my mom at times still) who go around saying education is poison to girls.

      • 30.1.1 Amg1

        My dear @anais.
        Firstly I will like to command you for having a good grasp upon the “Historical context” of this drama.

        Secondly. I will like to say that any assumption that some how ties the “Geum Deung Ji Sa” as a “Treatise” that deals with the “emancipation” of woman. or for that matter the emancipation of slaves in Korea, or any sort of changes as how society function in a Neo/Confucian society is but a “Anathema” to the serious inquirers of historical truth!!!

        If there is a historical reference to that effect I will love to have it if you do not mind

        Thirdly. Koreans abolish “slavery” in the year “1894”, if you do the math that is only 116 years ago, I do not know about you but the evidence shows how Korean society was ruled not in a mild manner by Neo/Confucianism but to the extreme, If the sequence of order was to be alter in neo/Confucian philosophy all of Korean society would have crumble since the people at the “Bottom” where the brick and mortar where Korean society stood, remove their status and you will have anarchy, and chaos perpetrated not only by the masses but by the “Rich Elite’ to stand to loose the most in that kind of new societal background!!!!

        The fact that only 116 years ago slavery was abolish in Korea that tells us one thing Neo/Confucianism after all is not a “Prefect Philosophy” upon which an egalitarian society can be build upon.

        “Chuno” IMHO is a better drama that deals with the status of woman during the “Joseon Dynasty”!!!

        By the way I am not suggesting that you are reinterpreting the content of the Geum Deung Ji Sa, since we no is lost to posterity, and the claims concerning its contents is just “Hear say” and a lot of conjecture even in my part!!!!!!!

        • Amg1

          I meant to say “since we know is lost”.

          Sorry for my misspelled words English is not my first language, but I admit that should not be an excuse!!!!!
          : O }

          • anais

            No need. I figured so. And even native English speakers make tons of typos and unintended misstatements. That’s the nature of the internet and blog commentary.

            That said, I do want to point out to you that you may want to be more attentive to the tone of your commentary. Sometimes – definitely only sometimes – it comes across as hostile, patronizing, or presumptuous. Although I believe any negative tone is unintended on your part, being on the receiving end of such a tone doesn’t make for a particularly pleasant experience. Thanks in advance.

        • anais

          I think you’ve misunderstood me, which I can understand because I was responding to the prior commenter who was writing about the GDJS and I was not necessarily.

          I just want to state very clearly that I don’t think the GDJS was anything but Yeongjo’s accounting (be it accurate or wishfully revisionist) of the Crown Prince Sado tragedy and that it could have been utilized perhaps to 1) empower the monarch’s power and weaken the stranglehold the sadaebu had on the running of the country and 2) condemn those who’d called for Sado’s death.

          SKKS’s portrayal of the GDJS as a key to a new, more egalitarian Joseon (a portrayal that ought not to be confused with my own view of the GDJS) lies in its ability to shift more power from the sadaebu to the monarch. In other words, per SKKS, social changes would have been an indirect consequence and definitely not the primary concern of the GDJS.

          As for gender & GDJS, again I never said that GDJS was a treatise, even an indirect one, on gender equality. I was merely responding to the prior commenter, and my comment was pointing out that it was Yoonhee’s father’s wish, not Jeongjo’s or GDJS, to *use* the GDJS in such a way that would allow his daughter to cultivate her intellect. Again, though I can’t go into details without revealing spoilers, even SKKS makes clear the dream of greater opportunities for women was Yoonhee’s father’s and that Jeongjo’s position re: women was in keeping with his times and with Neo-Confucian view.

          And I agree with you that Korean Neo-Confucian social hierarchy as it developed throughout the Joseon Dynasty came to depend upon plentiful free labor of slaves. Just last night I was thinking how pitiful it was that the United States abolished slavery before Joseon had and what sort of lasting cultural imprint it has on Korea.

          Anyhow, I think all this confusion results from the fact that SKKS itself sets up the GDJS as something all these different characters regard as key to some new Joseon, except every single one of these characters have their own vision of what that new Joseon may look like. Each one of them had their own agendas, which they didn’t necessarily share with others. I ought to have done a better job of delineating when I was speaking of actual history vs. SKKS’s portrayal of said history vs. SKKS’s portrayal of one character’s vision versus another’s, etc. Hope this clears up things.

          • Amg1

            My Dear, @anais.

            “Mea Culpa”

            I want to properly apologize for my “Patronizing Tone” how ever subtle, or arrogant may have been, in the future I will be more careful.
            Thank you for pointing this out!!!!!

            : O }

          • anais

            Thanks so much.

          • samgetang

            “Just last night I was thinking how pitiful it was that the United States abolished slavery before Joseon had and what sort of lasting cultural imprint it has on Korea.”

            @anais: can you pls elaborate on this? do you think that slavery helped korea to be what it is today? did i get that right? and the US did not because it abolished slavery too early? sorry i i’ve misread….

            thank you.

    • 30.2 Kaitlyn

      can i say i knew it wasn’t in Jong myo?

      hee when Yhee was reading her dad’s resignation letter, certain words echoed a certain pair standing up on a tree looking at the view.

      that’s my guess anyway.

      i have not watch the last 2 eps.

      • 30.2.1 anais

        I know. It was rather heavy-handed, no?

  31. 31 koreandramalover

    “Just as Jae-shin is sliced across the chest. Heart… breaking… into… a million… slivers.”

    Yes!!! Red_pill you said it!! In fact I really cried my eyes out when I saw that.

    Heartbreaking beyond words…

    After that I frantically surfed the Net for previews of ep 19 to find out what will happen to him but couldnt find any…

  32. 32 whatis

    It continues to perplex me how Insoo can not win … ever… not even once! The Quartet’s carelessness is just thrown at his face time and time again. Insoo needs to work like he wants it!

    And then… I don’t know why people still respects/fears him! He gets defeated every single time. Does he not feel humiliation?? If I were him, I’d want to transfer out after the 2nd time the Quartet snubbed me!

    And then… GOROOOHHHHHH!!!! I love him. AHhahaha… yeaaaaaa

  33. 33 John


    “I know a lot of readers out there already watched episodes 19 and 20 by the time this recap is posted, but please, PLEASE refrain from posting spoilers out of courtesy for those who haven’t seen the final episodes yet. Thank you.”

    THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS RED PILL *High Five* I really don’t want to be spoiled for the last two episodes. Spent too much time watching for any emotional payoff to be spoiled before watching.

    I also agree with NO SECOND SEASON. The drama shouldn’t be stretched out for the sake of stretching things out. As long as the writers have finished telling the stories that they want to tell, there’s no need to add more to a completed project. It’s like adding chocolate sauce to a chocolate chip chocolate bar…it’s overkill.

    I was also touched by Kim Yoon Shik-Kim Yoon Hee’s discussion about their father and how while she might not remember what her father looked like, her father definitely cared for her.

    As for Cho Sun’s redemption…there are only two episodes left, so how would this be possible? I’m guessing that it would be possible if she helped out Guh-Ro with his fighting at the end of this episode or if she acted as a witness before the King about his official’s dirty dealings.

    Ultimately, Cho Sun’s redemption is one thing that I believe will not happen in this drama( other examples of things not happening are Jae Shin-Yoon Hee, Jae Shin – Yong Ha :P…) and I think I’d be heartbroken but okay with that because real life isn’t wrapped up nicely and I’d expect this drama to have unresolved issues as it finishes(if this drama wanted to imitate real life).

    As for the puzzles, Man….the Geum Deung Jisa would remain lost forever if I had to solve those puzzles. How the heck do you even get that the GDJS is at SKK and then not really at SKK but at Jongmyo? My head hurts.

    Also…pretty nice symmetry(?)/imagery with Sun Joon hugging Yoon Hee as Jae Shin gets cut across the chest. I dunno..it was good seeing those images kinda(?) mirror each other.

    So…what’s the next drama that will be recapped?

    • 33.1 Kaitlyn

      haha not trying to be geeky. but the way chinese characters is written by putting different parts together. there is a name for each part of the symbols that together form a word.

      something like what you saw when Yhee and SJ were taking final test for the hwang-gam-je. they got lots of parts of a word, to form the word for “new people” and “close/friendly world”.

      in that sense it is a riddle, trying to find the right parts to form words, in this case Guem Deung Jisa.

  34. 34 Mel

    Jaeshin…….. sob… thanks red pill…sob…..sob

  35. 35 Phoebe

    Thank you for the recaps!

    What I really love about this episode is that it finally showcase the starting point of SunJoon & Jaeshin’s genuine friendship. This is my second biggest anticipation for the drama (the first one being -of course- the revelation that YeonHee is a girl to SunJoon and the others).

    And boy, SunJoon has changed a lot since the beginning of drama (Yoochun’s acting too, hehe).. Well, actually it’s not just SunJoon, but the other main characters as well. This is what I really love about this drama. It doesn’t only focus on the main OTP’s developments. Jaeshin, Yongha, Prof.Jung, King, Chosun, HyoEun, SJ’s dad, have equal share of characters development too.

    Lastly, I second your opinion about no sequel for this drama. I never like sequels, especially if they are going to mess up with the original story. I mean, the main plotline of this drama is about YeonHee crossdressing in SKK, then J4 friendship, then GDJS. I assume everything will be resolved by the end of the drama. So I don’t know how they’re going to extend this for a second season with 16+ episodes. It will be too draggy and unnecessary.

    I would less object for a spin-off though, if they plan for one. But without the original awesome J4 and some recurring characters, I’m not sure if I’m going to follow on it. Unless they have equally or even more awesome casts and storyline. The latter one I really doubt would happen.

    • 35.1 Phoebe

      P.S. I haven’t watched episode 19&20 yet (still waiting for the subs) so when I said “I assume everything will be resolved by the end of the drama” I was really just assuming.
      So yeah, please don’t spoil the story. Hehee..

  36. 36 Francesca

    The father-daughter moment is so touching T.T I need to stash more kleenex besides my coach.

  37. 37 Carinne

    This show is getting lovely like the Joseon era of the Da Vinci Code with all these deciphers, so who plays Robert Langdon? Keke~

    Shucks, I thought I’d get to watch some more top hat rated XOXOXO ending again. I wonder if Yoochun’s neck hurt from all those neck extensions. ^ , ^

  38. 38 rainerust

    Sorry, but the hat scene killed me. I could barely concentrate on what Sun joon was saying, I was THAT distracted. Kept going…that has got to be the weirdest backhug in the history of Korean drama-making. THE HATS. THE HATS!! I kept wishing Sun-joon had grabbed Yoon hee’s hat and pulled it off before attempting the backhug!!

    That said…what a beautiful episode. I loved the bit about the fathers (I admit. I choked up and then laughed like an idiot when I saw baby Yoon shik playing on his father’s lap while his father read aloud to a young Yoon hee – it was SO cute but heartbreaking).

    So red_pill, where’s your petition? I’ll sign it for a movie! Bring it on!

    • 38.1 Anonymous

      I was mentally telling YH to tilt her head a little to give SJ a little leeway cz his neck must be killing him by the end of ‘that hat scene’.
      yep that’s what it’s become now, not the hug scene but rather the hat scene 🙂

  39. 39 kit

    well micky yoochun’s going to be very busy with JYJ’s ‘worldwide tours’ etc, so i don’t think it’s realistic that he’d be able to be on. oh wait this is korea the next season is probably a million years away, if it happens. and i think it’ll just get annoyingly stretched – sequels with the same mcs always end up to be some guy or girl comes in and steals their attention jealousy blahblah and truthfully i can’t see this happening between them. so i vote for a sequel focusing on yoo ah in YAAAAAAY. and lots and lots of yongha for (b)romance.

    and thank you for the recap <333

  40. 40 Mawiie

    I have a question that might sound a bit stupid… But I thought that the Geumdeung Jisa was destroyed 10 years ago while Prof Kim Seung Hun and Jaeshin’s bro were trying to move it? I vaguely remember one scene in a previous episode where Minister Ha said that he made sure that “that thing” would never resurface again. And i saw something burning… I’m just a bit confused…

    • 40.1 anais

      The minister’s words indicated that he presumed it was destroyed. Minister Lee pointed out then that they couldn’t know for sure and that the very fact that Jeongjo was looking for it was an indication that it very likely survived.

  41. 41 Marres

    Father-daughter moments always kill me too! Thanks for the recap. Can hardly wait for the last two! Yikes!

    • 41.1 Jomo

      When I watched that scene for the first time, as they showed her little bro on her father’s lap, not paying attention to the lesson, I did two things:
      started weeping immediately and yelled, “Awww, he’s playing with a potato!”
      I had to pause the stream for about three minutes to regain my composure. I love her so much!!

  42. 42 Cassandra

    !. Mooonyyyyyyy!! I know he’s too major a player to kill off but it still hurt to see him take that cut across the chest.

    2. I know I can’t been the only one to shed a little tear during the scene where Yoon-hee finds out how much her father really cared about her and recognized how talented she was.

    3. I love this show to death, but I was definitely a little irritated at how indiscreet she was when she ran off to Jongmyo. I mean, is it a secret mission or not? And when she gets there, I felt like I was watching it i slo-mo or something. Time is of the essence here, know what I mean? Just saying yo.

    Other than that LOVE LOVE LOVE this show and this episode, and waiting for the subs to come out for the final 2. Definitely going to miss this show a lot. I’ve never been really obsessed with a show before but I’ve really liked it. It’s pulled me out of lurkerdom and into the light. Hope to see everyone on the open thread tomorrow!!!

    • 42.1 anais

      Don’t even talk to me about Yoonhee and her penchant for idiotic recklessness. She reminds me at times of Geum Jandi’s mix of selective brilliance & idiocy, so much so that I wondered if I was supposed to take Yoonhee’s idiocy as an instance of being book smart but not street smart, though in the earlier episodes she’d demonstrated brilliant street smartness.

      The only way I consoled myself was to note that all of a sudden Hongbyeokseo stood much too long like a deer caught in headlights, waiting to be slashed rather than pulling his usual getaway, however temporarily since he needed to stick around to buy time for SJ & YH to escape, I realize.

      That said, unlike those who thought too much is getting crammed at the last minute, I really love the heightened pace and dramatic tension.

  43. 43 Beng

    your recap and JB’s are much much more clearer than the subs so, i will wait for your recaps on episodes 19-20 before i watch the episodes =)

    Great recap!!!

  44. 44 dls

    Thanks for the recap!!!
    awww so many heartbreaking moments in this episode…
    when Sun Joon turns his back to his father, when Jae Shin ask Sun Joon to bury the truth, when Sun Joon didn’t see the ring on YoonHee, when Sun Joon ask for forgiveness, when Sun Joon got beaten up in the gamble hut ( I think the person hit Sun Joon because Sun Joon push that person when Sun Joon see someone looks like officer Yoon in the gambling table behind that person)

    ultimate heartbreaking scene: when Jae Shin got sliced up

    ultimate tearing scene: when Yoon Hee realizes her father’s love from Yoon Shik’s story

    and the drama does not dragg to show that minister Ha is the master mind… feel relieved with that

  45. 45 Anonymous

    You asked why the random guy hit Sun Joon in the gambling house?Sun Joon rudely pushed passed him and the other guy sitting next to him spilling their drinks ad money all over the table with out saying he was sorry when he thought he saw the corrupt guard Yoon. When he came walking back still like his mind focused on finding the corrupt guard he still didn’t say he was sorry that’s why the guy pop him and the others jumped in.

    As for the second season of Sungkyunkwan Scandal no when they first said there would be no second season they said well they didn’t want to deal with the plots in second book which meant breaking up Sun Joon and Yoon Hee and they felt it wouldn’t flow with the story they had written already. My point of view they should have extended so they’re aren’t trying to cram so much in the last few episodes and there’s more closure for certain characters stories where you’re not wondering what happened to so and so. Now they’re hinting a second season with new characters sorry if you have a second season of SKK and you don’t have Moon Jaeshin,Yoonhee,Lee Sun Joon and Gu Yongha where is the appeal for me to want to go an watch this? I know that they weren’t able to extend because Micky has his singing gig so whenever i get a hankering for some SKK eye candy i’ll just watch the reruns of the episodes i have seen so many times already again.

  46. 46 Yoo Ah In Preventorium

    Sungkyunkwan Scandal Twilight parody LOL


  47. 47 Roma

    this is so far one of the saddest episode for me to see…i shed a tear for yoon hee and his father,whewww that was heart breaking….and SJ asking for forgiveness to YH and JS…boy he is such a “gentleman”.

    And if ever there will be a sequel to this ,im still going to watch it,that’s how much i enjoyed and love the casts..i even downloaded a lot of songs played in this series, so i wont forget them in my mind and in my heart!!hahaha

    For Red pill, thank you for always taking time to recap this and making us happy .We greatly appreciate it !i can’t wait for eps.19 & 20 with subs…

  48. 48 diadda

    “he’ll be spending the night with Yong-ha (wipe those naughty thoughts from your minds!).”

    I haven’t been able to do that since episode 13 crying in the moonlight…ok ok maybe episode 6 back hugs and long stares. Alright fine it was from episode 3 with a bare chested jae shin rolling around on the floor. But honestly I’m fine now.


    • 48.1 diadda

      part of episode 19 in above link. So spoiler for some people.

    • 48.2 Informantxgirl

      I haven’t had pure thoughts about Yong-ha and Guh-ro from their first interaction on the show. Two hot guys. Much with the inappropriate touching.


  49. 49 pohonphee

    Red_pill thank you…I love your song of the day 🙂

    Yoon-hee, Yoon-shik, and their father scene is an Epic.
    And all those lines, phew…I LOVE SKKS

  50. 50 shu

    yeah. totally hate those gats. at least they compensated us with the hot undressing of …..g(h)ats …

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