Drama Recaps
Sungkyunkwan Scandal: Episode 20 (Final)
by | November 11, 2010 | 315 Comments

Dear Jal-geum Quartet,

Thank you for the memories, the tears, the laughs, the squeals, the giggles, the sighs, the cringes, the waff, the thump-thumps, the insomnia, the dreams, the fantasies, the discussions, the love, the shipping, the great times, the smiles, the late nights, the early mornings, the procrastination, the cheers, the oh-nos, the arguments, the factions, the alliances, the heartache, the heartbreak, the bliss, the grief, the tingles, the tangles, the conspiracies, the bromances, the flutters, the gasps, the nail-biting, the TGIM, the curses, the hallelujahs, the prayers and the fun times.

It was a helluva ride. You were worth every moment.

Love, red pill

Richard Marx & Donna Lewis – At the Beginning (Anastasia Soundtrack) [download]

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As Yoon-hee marvels over the geumdeungjisa, King Jeong-jo receives the report from Minister Moon (Jae-shin’s father) that Sun-joon is not the Red Messenger. That leaves Minister Ha to issue a public apology for violating the SKK grounds and students with his guards – and he better hurry before the whole nation hears about what happened.


As the leader of the petition, Yoon-hee is granted an audience with the king to hear his response to the petition. Per the SKK students’ request, Sun-joon will be released and Minister Ha will issue an official apology.

Yoon-hee explains that the secret letter was solved and the geumdeungjisa found. With it the king can finally move forward with the dream that he and her father shared. He promises that her efforts will not go to waste and tells her that it’s now the Jal-geum Quartet’s turn to harbor new dreams in a new Joseon.


Sun-joon is released to a cheering crowd of SKK students, and one can’t help but note how far he’s come since episode one when he was all thorns and friendless. Now he approaches the Three Stooges first and affirms their friendship. Boy, you smile so easily now.

Jae-shin greets him in his usual passive-aggressive gruff way, “Act on your own again, and I’ll never see your face again.” (Jae-shin speak for “I was worried about you.”) Yong-ha translates this to mean that Jae-shin intends to see Sun-joon’s face for a long, long time. Tee-hee.

But the leader of the petition and the one person Sun-joon really wants to see is nowhere to be found.


Because Yoon-hee is meeting with Minister Lee. He thanks her for saving his son, though it probably wasn’t easy with a grudge against the father. But those personal feelings aside, she was just trying to save her friend.

Minister Lee: Your bold spirit is just like your father’s. I didn’t like your father from the start. He was too idealistic and too much of a Romanticist to be advisor to the king. I was willing to do anything to stop your father and to get him to surrender completely, to acknowledge that reality can never live up to one’s ideals. However, I never intended to kill your father. Even so, I understand that your resentment towards me must run deep.
Yoon-hee: I don’t resent you. I’ve decided to take caution from you.
Minister Lee: Caution?
Yoon-hee: If one takes a single step back, that person must then take two steps back to cover up that misstep. Then, in the messy zigzag of one’s footsteps, one forgets where one was originally headed.
Minister Lee: I understand now why my son values you.


Yoon-hee returns to the dorms where Sun-joon is waiting for her. Already a henpecker, he demands to know where she was and why she wasn’t first in line to greet him after his short stint in jail. The very cute bickering about the definition of their relationship is put to an end when Yoon-hee shows Sun-joon that she’s wearing his ring. We might’ve gotten another kiss if Yong-ha hadn’t swung open the room door with impeccable timing (as always).


What follows is a drinking session for our Jal-geum Quartet. This mostly consists of Yong-ha praising Yoon-hee (he comments that she’s the first girl who doesn’t bore him) and talks of dreams in the new Joseon. Particularly touching is Yong-ha’s comment that he doesn’t need a dream; he’s satisfied with the fact that he’s Gu Yong-ha, and he has friends who accept him for who he is, noble blood or not.

Jae-shin and Sun-joon actually agree on the sleeping arrangement for once and try to send Yoon-hee to Yong-ha’s room, but eventually the four end up sleeping in the same room. How cute is it that Sun-joon sleeps holding Jae-shin’s hand? I’m jumping on the Jae-joon bromance ship.

Of course the following morning, Sun-joon is disgruntled that Yoon-hee chose to sleep in a room full of boys, and this leads to more cute bickering. He finds out that she used to copy those explicit red books (they pay extra), which proves to him that he doesn’t know enough about her life before SKK. Therefore, he offers to go to her house on their next holiday and meet her family. This is serious; meeting her mother is the first step in getting married.


Meanwhile, Yoon-hee’s secret is slowly spreading and all the major players start finding out. First Minister Ha, then Minister Lee. It’s a major trump card that could blow over the geumdeungjisa threat. Which is exactly what Minister Lee tells King Jeong-jo: he should hide the geumdeungjisa forever if he doesn’t want to hurt the daughter of his dear friend, the friend he sacrificed for the sake of his dream.

The problem with Yoon-hee being a girl is that whether the king intended it or not, he has broken down longstanding traditions and principles (as learned in the Three Bonds and Five Relationships of Confucianism) by using a girl in his quest for the geumdeungjisa. Additionally, this damages the credibility of the geumdeungjisa as well.


Completely oblivious, Yoon-hee pretties herself in preparation for Sun-joon’s visit. For the first time, she can actually be a girl (on the outside) and face Sun-joon honestly. Only, while she’s waiting outside for him with a lantern, a dark shadow confronts her. She drops the lantern and her mirror in surprise.


Finally having found some inner peace, Jae-shin shares a drink with his brother in a lovely spot overlooking banchon. He acknowledges that he once pitied his brother because he thought his brother died for a world he hated, but he realized only now that his brother had actually loved the world too much. That’s why he was able to give up his life for the cause.

The moment is interrupted by Yong-ha, who just found out from Hyo-eun that In-soo knows that Yoon-hee is a girl. They go to Yoon-hee’s house, where they run into Sun-joon (who hilariously tries to walk away before they see him). They find the broken mirror and realize that someone nabbed Yoon-hee.


There’s no more doubt that Yoon-hee is a girl; she stands before the king in full female garb. The king is rightfully furious, and when alone with Professor Jung he demands to know why he wasn’t told this incredible secret. But all Professor Jung can do is kneel and take full responsibility for Yoon-hee.

The king suspects he’s so accepting of Yoon-hee because of his background in Western Learning (=liberal thinking). Professor Jung acknowledges that Western Learning teaches that all people, no matter what gender, are noble and valuable. However, he still believed that females had no place in politics and didn’t need an education. That is, until he met Yoon-hee. It was Yoon-hee who taught him that life and learning one’s studies are one and the same.

The king remains unrelenting, particularly since he’s so close to achieving his dream.

Minister Ha once again seeks out Cho-sun. She’s ready to refuse because she’s more than fulfilled her duties to him and it’s about time he kept his side of the bargain. But this last job should interest her; he wants her to kidnap Yoon-hee and bring her to him. And it’s through Minister Ha that Cho-sun finds out she’s been in love with a girl all along.


The three boys come to Professor Jung for confirmation that Yoon-hee is with the king. They want to believe that the king will protect her, but Professor Jung evades their questions and confirms the opposite.

In an upcoming meeting, the king will announce his plans to move the capital to Hwaseong. And in order to crush the Noron opposition, he’ll unveil the geumdeungjisa. But what will happen if the Norons use the fact that Yoon-hee, the person who found the geumdeungjisa, is a girl?

Will the king protect Yoon-hee, Jae-shin asks desperately. Isn’t that the so-called hope that he’s always talking about?

All three boys are in tears as they realize that Yoon-hee will be sacrificed by the king because she’s the one who found the geumdeungjisa. Professor Jung, too, weeps, but all four men are at a loss of what to do.


Sun-joon takes to wallowing in the dark, which is how his father finds him. It’s hard for Minister Lee to believe that this boy who is staking his life on something as inconsequential as a girl is his son. In desperation, Sun-joon gets on his knees and asks his father for help.

“It was through that girl that my eyes opened up to a new world. Not the world that a man must build through what he learned in books, but the world where I want to live. But that world is falling apart. I’m so pathetic and helpless that there is nothing I can do, nothing at all. Please help me, Father.”

But Minister Lee gives him no definite answer.


Their faith in the king dashed to pieces, Yong-ha and Jae-shin stew at a local tavern, worrying about how scared Yoon-hee must be. The tavern is soon crowded by Confucian scholars who’ve been called in by Minister Ha. They don’t know why exactly they were asked to come, but their guess is that the king is up to something and Minister Ha needs reinforcements.

Sun-joon’s tears must’ve moved his father’s heart because Minister Lee puts his political career on the line to suggest to the other Norons that they support the king’s plans to move the capital. If they do this, the king will bury the geumdeungjisa affair and not question their involvement in the late Crown Prince Sado’s death. His efforts are rebuffed by the others; they’ve already agreed to follow Minister Ha’s lead. Power, how short and bitter is thy run.


Yong-ha and Jae-shin are on campus, discussing plans to find out where the meeting with Minister Ha and the Confucian scholars will be held. As long as they find out by 5:30PM, they might be able to find a way to stop Minister Ha and save Yoon-hee. A letter from Cho-sun arrives, informing them about Minister Ha’s plans to bring Yoon-hee before the Confucian scholars.


Minister Ha reassures In-soo that the reliable “man” he has under his command has never once disobeyed him. Only he didn’t give Cho-sun’s memories of Yoon-hee enough credit; they were sweet and touching enough to inspire her defiance. She shows up in all black, ready to stop the meeting with the scholars from happening. As she tangles with the guards, it takes In-soo a moment to fully digest what’s going on and what his father has been doing to Cho-sun. Once that’s processed, he steps in to protect Cho-sun, creating a rift between evil father and (ex-)evil son. For the first time, Cho-sun looks at In-soo in a new light.

What a double whammy of redemption! That’s right, In-soo, use those laser-beam glares on your father!

Jae-shin jumps into the rumble (literally) with a slightly barbed yet begrudging compliment for In-soo: “This is the first time you’ve behaved like a decent human being.”


Yong-ha is doing his best blocking the door and keeping the Confucian scholars locked up in their room. It’s crude and not very effective because Yong-ha isn’t the, um, physical type, but he just has to hold on until Professor Jung arrives to help.

When the men manage to burst out of the room, Yong-ha impersonates a SKK professor and turns on the charm and his silver tongue. Using glib words and the fact that one of the scholars is actually a distant uncle, he manages to befuddle then win over the men by spouting Confucian teachings.

THE Gu Yong-ha has finally gone from spectator on the sidelines to active participant. He not only gets passing marks from Professor Jung, but from us as well.


In his boldest move yet, Sun-joon comes before the king.

King Jeong-jo: Have you come to beg for the girl’s life?
Sun-joon: I came to ask you to throw away Kim Yoon-shik, no, Kim Yoon-hee. And for you to throw me away as well. Because there is no hope for the new Joseon you dream of. You’re not trying to cut her loose because she went against the law and Confucian traditions by dressing up as a man and entering SKK where no women are allowed. Isn’t it because she stands in the way of your reforms? Yet, you’re the one who promotes views that go against tradition and customs. For your reforms –
King Jeong-jo: Seems I’ve shown you too much favor. (For you to step out of line.)
Sun-joon: Have you been fighting all this time to beat the Norons? Not to save your people? Is the great country you dream of filled with only your beliefs and not with your people?
King Jeong-jo: Stop. Enough.
(Sun-joon lays down the compass that the king gave him.)
Sun-joon: A compass needle that doesn’t stay vigilant against itself and doesn’t waver cannot point out the right direction. I return the warning you once gave me.

Boy is BALLSY. And I love him for it.


Our boys managed to stop Minister Ha’s meeting with the Confucian scholars, but they couldn’t stop him from going to the king. With the head Norons in attendance, King Jeong-jo acknowledges that when it comes to moving the capital, there can be no compromise. That’s why he found the very thing that could silence the Norons forever: the geumdeungjisa.

Minister Ha comes bursting in, wanting to use his Yoon-hee trump card, but the king silences him. The king has found the container holding the geumdeungjisa – only, he claims the geumdeungjisa was not found inside. He will not give up his dream to move the capital, however. Not when he began this fight for the people, not to triumph over the Norons.

And so, the king chooses Yoon-hee over his dream.

After the meeting, Minister Moon arrests Minister Ha for the events of that night ten years ago when one Kim Seung-hun and one Moon Young-shin were brutally murdered. Sort of out of the blue, but I get it, we’re wrapping up loose ends here since we have less than 15 minutes to go in the episode.

As further proof of his determination to protect Yoon-hee, the king burns the geumdeungjisa before her eyes. But this isn’t the end, not while hope still lives.

King Jeong-jo: Promise me one thing. That you’ll remember for a long time my dream, the future of this nation, and not my pathetic death nor my short life. That way I can stay alive in your memories.

Standing ovation for King Jeong-jo, please.


Minister Lee realizes what a great sacrifice the king made in order to save Yoon-hee’s life. He comments on her daring nature and brings up what she said to him earlier, about using him as caution to make sure she doesn’t walk in zigzags and lose her way. He says it won’t be easy since men easily miss even the very things before their eyes. It certainly won’t be easy to do alone – so he asks her to stay by Sun-joon and walk the straight path together.

Huzzah! Three cheers for Papa Lee! (Man, are things wrapping up in a neat little bow or what?)


And we have the final hand-off as Jae-shin officially resigns from his position as Yoon-hee’s guardian angel and passes on all duties to Sun-joon. He tells Sun-joon to protect her well so that he won’t have to get involved. In return Sun-joon thanks Jae-shin for everything he’s done for her.

Enter twirling Yong-ha who tries to tag along for the reunion with Yoon-hee – only to be stopped by a more tactful Jae-shin who sends Sun-joon alone.

Aw, I was kind of hoping for a Quartet reunion.


The library. Ah, the memories of first kisses, love notes exchanged, footsies, and futile attempts at studying. Seriously, I’ve never seen a couple meet so much in the library, but what do you expect from two brainy scholars?

“Have you seen the talented bear?”


With beautiful smiles from our leading man and lady, we’re brought full circle back to their fateful meeting in episode one, when they had no idea what the future had in store for them.

This is what I consider the real end of the series, but since the production team tacked on the last five minutes for the sake of fan service… We continue the story at an undetermined time in the future…

Yongha is still his cheeky self, toying with women like only he can. He’s putting his skills to good use by selling and making clothes, having taken over the family business. Yes, he’s a fashion designer, and a fantabulous one at that. Step aside, Tim Gunn.

Meanwhile, a Blue Messenger is running across the rooftops, dropping blue leaflets everywhere. Blue is caught by a police officer, who turns out to be none other than our Jae-shin – and he lets out a little hiccup (he wasn’t cured!) when he realizes that Blue is a girl.

He pulls out her leaflet, marked up with a red pen, and tells her that writing bad grammar will become a habit. We leave him grumbling on the rooftops, agitated that SKK isn’t living up to its usually high standards of education.


Speaking of SKK, a crowd of students chase after a noticeably short professor (tee-hee), and it’s none other than our beloved Yoon-hee. The boys are more in love with her than anything else, using their exam marks as an excuse to talk to her.

Of course this doesn’t sit well with Professor Stache, aka. Lee Sun-joon, who throws a jealous hissy fit guised well in didactic words. The two bicker back and forth until interrupted by the headmaster, who has clearly had to deal frequently with their bickering at every turn.

The two glare at each other before stalking off in opposite directions.

Back home in the bedroom, Yoon-hee nitpicks about the dusty room (it’s HIS turn to do the cleaning – lady, I like how you run your household), but he glosses that over with a peck on the lips. She blows out the candle, and they, uh, get down to business (while he hilariously grabs the red book for “help”).

And they live happily ever after. THE END.


Sungkyunkwan Scandal had charm. From its beautiful cinematography to its unexpectedly intense narrative to its absolutely lovable characters (from the four leads right down to the extras), it was just plain charming. At the core, the very foundation of its success was that it had substance and it wasn’t just a love story (which I’m fine with, but it’s hard to win over an older crowd with just a love story between teens/twenty-somethings). There was political intrigue, historical intricacies and social commentary as well. That explains why my mother and I were both hooked (and now both showing serious withdrawal symptoms). It took first love and history and did an admirable mash-up to produce a true gem.

Not to say it didn’t have its flaws. The sometimes questionable editing, the inconsistencies (particularly in the strange cross between day and night scenes), the underdeveloped characters (Kang-moo, who are you? Cho-sun, why did you become a baddie in the first place? Etc.), the overuse of smoke, and the too-neatly-wrapped-up ending (more on that later). So is SKKS perfect? No. Is it one of the best dramas of 2010? Darn right.

As we neared the last twenty minutes of the final episode, I thought it unfortunate that the series wasn’t originally slated for 24 episodes. I feel the final wrap-up could’ve been smoother; instead, we had too many bows tied up hurriedly for the sake of closure, which sort of took away from the poignant moments, like King Jeong-jo’s sacrifice for Yoon-hee. I personally wouldn’t have minded a slightly open, more subdued ending, but the ending stayed true to the spirit of the series.

As for the saccharine-sweet final sequence… I particularly love that Jae-shin chases the Blue Messenger in order to hand her the marked up leaflet. And I love that Yoon-hee is a professor at SKK – only, it doesn’t make much sense, does it? Is Yoon-hee still pretending to be a man? But didn’t Jae-shin imply that girls are allowed at SKK now? Wait, isn’t that historically incorrect? Yes, and I understand fully if history buffs are miffed. But as a (fiction) writer, I think the final future sequence is more of a what-could-be rather than what-is. It’s the new Joseon that King Jeong-jo dreamed of, alive in this drama and in its characters. I believe the writer is taking liberties with our imagination, and I (personally) am okay with that. I do kind of wish the whole sequence had been set aside as a special segment rather than the closing sequence, but I think it did its job as fan service, and it closed the drama on a happy note, leaving smiles on our faces.

Finally, let me close with a screencap that I believe epitomizes SKKS and why we loved it so much.


315 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. birdscout

    Thank you, red_pill!!!

  2. Ohemgee

    Miss the quarter already!!!!

    • 2.1 Ohemgee

      Errr… I meant Quartet, obviously! ^_^

  3. jangnanseureon

    AHHH!!! I’m so sad that it ended! Season 2 pls!!! 🙂 Thank you red_pill!

  4. obivia

    That last screen cap really does capture the essence of this awesome drama. And yes, it had its flaws but it was still so endearing. I’m so sad it’s over!

  5. Tokki

    My thought at the end of the episode: “ZOMG they r trying out different positions! hehehe :D” lol…

  6. fangirl

    I will miss this! 🙁

  7. Jenju

    Oh man… this isn’t as bad as my MGIAG withdrawal

    But I’m going through some intense Moony/Yong-ha love withdrawal…

    Thank you for the recap!

    • 7.1 sasha senishiya

      very nice story.it is very lovely

  8. Ladymoonstone143

    Thanks Red for a great recap…and also to Cassie, Girlfriday and Javabeans. This has been a fantastic 20 episodes recap made possible by you guys. I loved all the episodes and like all things, there always an ending…and upon seeing the world FINAL on top…makes me sad all over again.

    There are still so many things I wanted to clarify on Episode 20. I wish they had 2 more episodes to at least wrap things up nicely but I think the SKKS team just wanted us to use our imaginations.

    For example….Chosun and Insoo. I just assumed that they are together because even how evil Insoo’s glare was, I am 100% that he truly cares for Chosun.

    They should have given them a get together at the end…so we can see the quartet once more but they need to cram what the quartet are doing in their future lives.

    I can go on and on but bottomline, I don’t want this drama to end though…:( The characters are so dear to me that I felt like letting go of friends. My only consolation is that the quartet will have their future projects sooner or later and I got something to look forward to…esp with Jaesin and Yongha. They really did a great job.

    Goodbye SKKS…..best drama of 2010 (I will be voting for this if there will be a poll)……Goodbye Jae Shin and Yongha……Yonhee and Sunjoon…nice knowing you all….:))

    • 8.1 koreandramalover

      Thank you for your words Ladymoonstone143…

      I echo each wonderful wrap-up of your thoughts… 🙂

      • 8.1.1 Ladymoonstone143

        Koreandramalover….we can go out and drink soju to Not-celebrate the ending of SKKS. We probably can go visit Jae Shin’s tree too….lol

        • samgetang

          hey, when and where is this tree after-party happening???? can i join? 🙂

          • Ladymoonstone143

            Samgetang…sure..the more the merrier…lol We probably need to bring lots of soju to drown all our sorrows.

          • koreandramalover

            Hi samgetang!!!

            Thanks so much for the hilarious reply you posted to me (which I attach below because the system does not allow me to post a reply to it) :

            “ladymoonstone, koreandramalover…let’s go!

            can we have bulgogi and those lettuce wraps together with the so-ju?

            are you anywhere near seoul? pls find that tree for us and dont forget yr laptop and wireless i-net connection so we can twitter or facebook back and forth with Yoo Ah-In, Park Yoochun, Song Joongki and Park Min Young, and say hi to javabeans, girlfriday, cassie and red_pill at dramabeans while at it”

            My reply :

            Yes, yes, yes!!! It’s a date then!!! But even if we dont get to meet, we can still meet here…and…dreeeeam of our meeting in the tree…hehe… 🙂

            Btw, I found this link on MJS and thought of sharing it with you and hopefully can help you with the withdrawal pangs… 🙂

            Enjoy!!! 🙂


        • koreandramalover

          Hehe…I ROTFL and just salute your thoughts…MOST especially about visiting Jae Shin’s tree…hehe…

          So, when can you, samgetang and I get together for the non-celebration of SKKS’s ending?

          Im sure it would be so AWESOME…but…what would make it JUST PERFECT is if…..you bring along… the Jae Shin clone you are thinking of getting!!! Yes!!! Oooh yesssss….. 🙂

          • Ladymoonstone143

            We can do the get together on Thanksgiving weekend…giving thanks to the Heaven that Jae Shin was created and SKKS was made…:)

            My Jae Shin clone..yes he can tag along..lol…and don’t worry make sure your Christmas stocking will be big enough to accommodate such clone because someone as wonderful as you…Santa will not hesitate to give you one…lol

            This is just one prime example why am still on SKKS withdrawal…stalking this thread for new comments and SKKS related news.

            Koreandramalover, just want to let you know (before this thread will be gone from the main page..lol) that I love reading all your comments. I hope later on, there will be another drama that we can talk with so much passion (other than our Jae Shin and SKKS)..:). Maybe future projects on the Quartet…crossing my fingers.

          • samgetang

            ladymoonstone, koreandramalover…let’s go!

            can we have bulgogi and those lettuce wraps together with the so-ju?

            are you anywhere near seoul? pls find that tree for us and dont forget yr laptop and wireless i-net connection so we can twitter or facebook back and forth with Yoo Ah-In, Park Yoochun, Song Joongki and Park Min Young, and say hi to javabeans, girlfriday, cassie and red_pill at dramabeans while at it 🙂

    • 8.2 koreandramalover

      Hi there dear Ladymoonstone 143!!!

      Thank you so much for your reply (that I attached below) because the system does not allow me post a reply to it)…

      “We can do the get together on Thanksgiving weekend…giving thanks to the Heaven that Jae Shin was created and SKKS was made…:)

      My Jae Shin clone..yes he can tag along..lol…and don’t worry make sure your Christmas stocking will be big enough to accommodate such clone because someone as wonderful as you…Santa will not hesitate to give you one…lol

      This is just one prime example why am still on SKKS withdrawal…stalking this thread for new comments and SKKS related news.

      Koreandramalover, just want to let you know (before this thread will be gone from the main page..lol) that I love reading all your comments. I hope later on, there will be another drama that we can talk with so much passion (other than our Jae Shin and SKKS)..:). Maybe future projects on the Quartet…crossing my fingers.”

      Here is my reply :

      Thank you X a gazillion times for your kind, kind words!!! I am truly humbled by them…and you know what…I have enjoyed reading all YOUR comments too…

      You have such a wonderful sense of humour and your comments and insights are always witty and refreshingly vibrant and highly entertaining that I would LOVE to meet up with you someday and get to know you better…and learn more things from your wonderful mind… 🙂

      I too look forward to continue reading your comments in future drama recaps and hope to be awed by your cerebral thoughts and insights all over again… 🙂

      Till we meet again in other dramas, here’s wishing you a terrific time getting over the SKKS addiction by sitting in your tree, munching apples and dreeeeaming of our dear Moon Jae Shin/Yoo Ah In…hehe 🙂

      Thanks for making my life so entertaining, the one and only Ladymoonstone143!!! 🙂

  9. sora


  10. 10 Angel

    I can’t bring myself to read this recap…

    I miss you so much, Jalgeum Quartet! Thank you for everything, like what redpill wrote. SKKS is one of the 2 best dramas I’ve watched this year (the other is MGIAG)!

  11. 11 ladida

    Yong-ha, Jae Shin, I’m going to miss you guys so much! Every time you had a conversation I wished I was there with you. And that last screencap with Yoon-hee’s ridiculously cute face…what am I going to doooooo?

    Oh, yeah, Mary Stayed Out All Night and googling pictures of Song Joong Ki. 🙂

  12. 12 cecee

    I will miss MOON JAE SHIN dearly. He was the highlight for me throughout this drama! I love him!!!

  13. 13 ladida

    Oh, and thanks for the recaps everyone! You guys are great.

  14. 14 Que

    Whatever hatred I had for In Soo melted away the moment I saw him protect the woman he loved from being used by his daddy. In that moment I forgot how much I wanted to gauge his eyes out for being such a douche bag. It took him 20 episodes, but he finally figured out the way to his sweetheart’s heart. REDEMPTION!!!

    • 14.1 h311ybean

      I know just how you feel! It was then that I realized that he truly loved her and that was sweet, especially since he was such a hard-ass in the series.

      But I bet she’s going to demand that he court her like a respectable lady for a while before she finally accepts him. She deserves it.

  15. 15 Eleven11

    Demand spinoff featuring Chosun-type character. Where she gets an intricate and tragic backstory, and an uplifting future that doesn’t involve just being the redemption of one weaselly little rich boy.

    On the other hand, AWWW its over! thank you for the recaps redpill, cassie.opiea, girlfriday

    That last sequence, when SunJoon pulled out the red book, was hilariously awkward. It was just silly enough to counter the sinking feeling you get when you reach the end of a good story. It kind of reminds me of the out-takes at the end of 10 Things I Hate About You.

  16. 16 jandoe

    PERFECT last recap to a great series.

    damn right about it being one of 2010’s gem!

  17. 17 Bdig85

    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who worked on the recaps for this series. They kept me going during the few weeks I couldn’t see the show personally and always made me laugh. Team Yeorim Forever! 😉

  18. 18 Birdie

    This was an entertaining drama.The ending was satisfying though not historically accurate. The only thing that left me scratching my head was Yoon Hee still pretending to be a man teaching at SKK university (as they called her Professor Kim Yoon-shik) and she is a woman at home, married to Lee Sun-joon . How can she lead a double life without being discovered?

    • 18.1 heejung

      I actually think that she wasn’t pretending to be a male professor, instead being a female professor. If you check, you’ll notice that she has a white collar, whereas sunjoon’s is black. And all the guy students are in love with her. 😀
      That would support the idea of the king’s idea of the new Joseon, in which both men and women could teach and be equals.

      • 18.1.1 Birdie

        I watched the last part again. The head master called her Kim Yoon-shik.

        • Jomo

          Somebody addressed this point somewhere:
          Since KYShik was the official name she used to enter SKK, she would continue to use it to work there.
          Although I don’t know what happens to her little bro because of that…

  19. 19 YT

    Thanks for the recap. =) It was a lot of fun watching SKKS with you guys!

  20. 20 joeydragonlady

    Thanks to the recap team for the fantatastic recaps. I never intended to watch this series but coz of you guys I started and now I’m sad the series is over…Moon Jae Shin will always be my favorite!

  21. 21 Q

    Damn this drama was too cute. I want at least 20 minutes worth of bloopers! >:D

    Thanks for all your hard work, red_pill 😀 ~ hope to see more of you in future.

    • 21.1 Ladymoonstone143

      My favorite blooper was when they were doing that sleeping scene (yonhee, sunjoon and Jae Shin). I think Ah In had fallen asleep while he was laying down…and somebody called him “Jae Shin”….probably the director and Ah In bolted upright and replied “Yeah” or “Yey..” Everybody was laughing so hard…lol I guess he was just so tired…poor baby.

      • 21.1.1 rayray

        squee! link please !!! 😀

        • koreandramalover

          Here is the link :


          Enjoy! 🙂

          • rayray

            hehe oh thank you so much!!!! I was suffering from major withdrawal and now I have SKKS stuff to watch kekekeke!hurray!

            but seriously! how cute are they!

      • 21.1.2 koreandramalover

        Yes, yes, yes!!!! A million times yes!!! 🙂

        I was ROTFL watching that NG of Jae Shin falling asleep in the middle of filming…

        Poor baby indeed!!! 🙂

        • Ladymoonstone143

          Yes..i watched that scene over and over again. How funny that Yonhee was tapping him…and I guess he is just into his character so much that they called him Jae Shin and he replied even in his sleep…lol

          Speaking of which…how hot that scene was…the first time they all sleep together. Jae Shin sleeping in all his glory…ok..I will admit…I pause so many times on some parts…*giggles and hide*

          • koreandramalover

            Hehe…I’m guilty of the exact same thing!!!

            I cant count how many times I watched the video…and the countless times I paused and re-watched the parts where YAI was sleeping and replied “yes” when “Jae Shin” was called…hehe…hilarious!!!

            I also re-watched countless times the part where he kicked Park Min Young and how adorably he laughed after PMY complained that his kick was painful…haha…

          • qnehej

            SOOOO CUTE and the way he just coverslip es his face by bending over on PMY.

  22. 22 Helena

    It’s by far the best kdrama of the year.Thank you all for the awesome recaps!

  23. 23 Ojou_Belle

    I never expected to love this show but I did…I’m going to miss the Jalgeum Quartet….especially my Moon Jae Shin! Thanks for the recaps…I love you all!

  24. 24 myweithisway

    I still need to watch the actual episode but man I’m I really missing my Yongha and Moony already.

    They really should have extended this.

  25. 25 Agatha

    I am actually sobbing. I… DIDN’T… WANT… IT… TO…….E….END….

  26. 26 Amg1

    @red pill.

    Thank you for your hard work!

    For me ‘SKKS’ was a bittersweet drama, in one hand we have a very good story premise, and on the other we have the weight of history, that if not treated with uttermost respect we end up with “WTF” moments more than once trough the course of the drama.

    I love romance as much as the next person, but my charge against the used of the “Gender Bending” motif, and the over exaggerated used of “historical liberties”, at the end for me prove to be a “deal beaker”.

    Like you say at the level of “pure fantasy’ it does work. but for me even fantasy has to have some logic, otherwise I will almost loose completed respect for the work , and I will say it again almost, but as a “fictional romantic” drama it was OK, not the best in my opinion but an OK drama.

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

  27. 27 furansizuka

    I’m so sad it finally ends 🙁 T.T I’m already missing the guys especially Yoo Ah-in. Thanks so much for everyone in Dramabeans who provide us with awesome recaps. This drama is awesome but you and all the comments here make it more awesome 🙂

  28. 28 budsdiana

    The opening screencap summarizes the three male characters of this awesome kdrama known as THE skks scandal.

    This scene in the drama where the three are talking/pleading with Prof. Jung about YH, which is so epic because YH was now exposed as a GIRL and they don’t know WTH is going on, is she hurt is she ok …….

    LSJ – was still calm and collected even though he is talking about the love of his life! WTF!

    MJS – his voice was cracking up because of the raw emotions he has because he is talking ABOUT THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE, god damn it!

    GYH – he was teary eyed because the LOVE OF HIS LIFE just finished emoting about the love of his life!

    Wow, it is spot on in how I characterize each one.

    I read somewhere and saw a bts that this was the last scene they shoot and after the Director yelled cut, the four of them hugged (including prof. jung) and was teary eyed because this is the end of their 5 months shoot, AWWWW.

    • 28.1 samgetang

      budsdiana, your spot on! 🙂 you pinned the Jalgeum boys to a “T” 🙂

    • 28.2 Ladymoonstone143

      Hahaha…spot on busdiana…I think MJS gave such an emotional performance. If I were LSJ, I would definitely be jealous…

    • 28.3 joojoobee

      ooooo….link please! thank you much 😀

    • 28.4 anais

      awwww, late joining the party here.

      But awwww!!!

      MJS – his voice was cracking up because of the raw emotions he has because he is talking ABOUT THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE, god damn it!

      GYH – he was teary eyed because the LOVE OF HIS LIFE just finished emoting about the love of his life!

      Crack me up!!!!

      Just reading these recaps and comments puts the biggest smile on my face still! With exclamation marks!!!

      And I will miss folks here who’ve loved SKKS and the J4 so ardently. It’s been a delight to squee and giggle and go gah gah with you all. Until the next drama brings us all together – been marvelous folks and big thank you to faboo Dramabeans’ Javabeans, Girlfriday, Red_Pill, and Cassio.Peia.

      • 28.4.1 samgetang

        and we love all your postings and comments here, anais! i will miss everyone here who has so eagerly, fangirly, intellectually, hilariously, generously shared all their joys about SKKS…and not just the jalgeum quartet and the dramabeans recapping quartet 🙂

        this must be the worst-case of addiction i’ve ever experienced in my entire life!!!! 🙂 somebody asked here if there is any recommended kdrama by which we can be cured of this SKKS craze…any suggestions? pls help 🙂

    • 28.5 jhan

      i love this comment… the best descrtiption of what happen

  29. 29 twreckx

    Loved this series. However I think Sun-joon’s father made a brilliant political play here. The king of the entire country sacrificed his dream for one slip of a girl. His son just happens to be in a relationship with said girl. Isn’t it a politically expedient decision to align his family (and himself) now and potentially in the future, with the King AND still be with the Norons? If you look at it in that light, daddy Sun-joon’s decision makes a lot more sense. Just sayin’

    • 29.1 Lemon

      exactly my sentiments! i was thinking, smart daddy- nice move!

    • 29.2 samgetang

      twreckx, my thoughts exactly!!! now we know why LSJ is his dad’s son. brilliant strategist to the end! 🙂

  30. 30 Marypeg

    Thanks for all the recaps!! Loved this showww!!!!

    I also thought it wrapped up a little too quickly. And I’m like, so what about kim yoon-shik, the brother… if she’s a teacher, then is she still using his name?? So what’s he going to do? That was my only glaring question. Along with, if she’s a male teacher, what happens when she has babies? I just think it wasn’t well thought out.

    And I really wished there was a final scene with the quartet!!! That’s what I felt the show was really about, the friendship, not just the romance.

    I’ll miss this show. I was too obsessed for words and loved every minute of it.

  31. 31 Autumn

    Gah!! thank you!! SKKS is hands-down the most addictive drama of the year! man, i still can’t believe it ended….T_T

    i felt the ending was a bit rushed and a lot of knots were left untied, there were quite few flaws as you pointed out, but i willing to overlook them since the drama had provided me with so much fun and laughter for the past two months.

    btw, how hot does micky look with the moustache? made me kinda wished he had sported it through the drama.

  32. 32 keunsukfan

    Thank you for the recaps! it was a very memorable ride!

    i just wish i saw the 4 of them together on the last episode, not just what happened to them. They only had one scene together! hmmp!

    the first drama wherein i really really really love the 2nd lead!

    i miss my jae shin!

  33. 33 meiki

    It seems like this recap was rushed..
    I am disappointed with it. It’s like “Bam Bam.. the end”.
    I am usually very satisfied with your recaps… but I feel “deflated” with this one.. and its the final episode. It was a fun episode and you could have said so much more..

    Sorry. Honest opinion.

  34. 34 pohonphee

    Thanks Red pill for the recap….

    Thanks Sungkyunkwan Scandal for everything…

    PS: Why oh why it seem K drama won’t do without time-skip, but love you still 🙂

  35. 35 aida

    Thank you.. I just love this drama.. indeed great drama..:)

  36. 36 crempuffs

    hi, i was just wondering? what is the meaning behind the “have you seen the talented bear?” code? and the wang seo bang.. thank you for those who will answer my question…

    i definitely miss the Jal-geum Quartet.. =(

  37. 37 crempuffs

    hi, i was just wondering? what is the meaning behind the “have you seen the talented bear?” code? and the wang seo bang.. thank you for those who will answer my question…

    • 37.1 too old for this

      in the first episode, the question about the bear was the code yoohee was supposed to use to identify the person for whom she was taking the entrance exam for sunkyunkwan. wang seobang was either the real name of the person who hired her, or a pseudonym.

      when yoohee appears dressed as a gisaeng to rescue lee sunjoon, this is what they are referring to when starts talking about the performing bear, and he says she has outperformed her talent.

  38. 38 marie

    Geessshhh…SKKS so far is my no.1 k-romcom show this 2010…: )

  39. 39 sm1leitsamy

    ahh thanks for the recaps!!! that very last screencap int he comments section is my background on my phone hahaha.

    yeah, i felt that the last couple episodes were wrapped up a bit too nicely, which felt disappointing. Like you said, it probably could have been more smoother with 24 episodes instead of 20. I think the first 13 or so episodes were the most riveting (SOOO much giggling and squealing!) and got a bit bored with the second half.

    MJS is the BEST… but he wasn’t really a psycho, competitive 2nd-lead like in other dramas… he’s just watching KYH from afar… his crush is so heartbreaking, yet so sweet!

    I LOVE SKKS and it’s one of the best dramas EVER!!!! i miss it so much.

  40. 40 rayray

    this show has been ..AWESOME!! but I ll most definitely miss it..now excuse me while I wipe some tears away.

    le sigh!

    as much as I love the show, I still believe it was wrapped up way too nicely! I would have really loved to see what would have happened to chosun and Insoo(and even his sister)! and dont forget the three funny stooges and the professor and the servant(heheh everytime I think of him I laugh)! I really would have liked to know what their future fate was.

    But most importantly i would have liked a last glimpse of the quartet dynamic since it really was what the show was all about to me.

    Ah well!

    finally thanks alot you guys for the recaps! I ve really enjoyed sharing the SKKS experience with everyone here on dramabeans! hugs and kisses all around 🙂

    (i ll miss my yong haaaa and moooony)

  41. 41 olivia

    All i can say is Yay!!! Yay for your recap, Yay for the drama, and Yay for my beautiful Joseon-4…(i can’t think about what they can write to give this a second season….but i wouldn’t mind a 1-ep special, or a movie…) *a girl can only dream*

  42. 42 Nicole

    Thanks for the recap. Nostalgia for SKK already. <3

  43. 43 xiaoSxin

    i love that last screencap. the best one to describe SKKS.

  44. 44 Lemon


    It is officially my favourite Kdrama everr. It has beaten You’re Beautiful, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Playful Kiss, My Girl, etc etc.

    I agree, this story has substance, and AWESOME characters to boot. I loved every single character, right down to Soon-Dol, Hyo Eun’s maid, the Sungkyunkwan guards (that are easily bribed), and the little boys who do all the odd jobs.

    My favourite character is definitely Yong ha. For many reasons, I felt that he was really the one that made this show special. He glued the quartet together, and was always there to save the day. The others are a little too headstrong/heroic/noble, but Yongha always takes a step back and always knows what to do. He has absolutely keen observation skills, a glib tongue, and a damn big social network. Sunjoon and Jaeshin may be the brave ones who do all the Big Actions, but Yongha was always there to smooth things through and help them out.

    Another thing that made this show special was the BROMANCE. Like omg, sometimes I’m more excited/squealy about the bromance than the actual OTP itself. The Yongha-Jaeshin moments are pure gold, the Jaeshin-Sunjoon moments are cute, and all their moments with Yoonhee are….awesome.

    I love Yoonhee too. She’s one brave, ballsy, badass..GIRL.

    Thank you red_pill, casseiopeia, and girlfriday so much for these recaps! <3

    • 44.1 Marypeg

      I agree. He really was the glue… and I felt like he OWNED the last two episodes. Solid character, solid acting. And so so cute.

    • 44.2 samgetang

      Go Yung Ha is the glue that binds them together…perfect analogy, lemon 🙂 he is the coolest and fanciest glue you can ever find in kdramaland. 🙂

      Im still trying to find out why girls would love the bromance angle here more than the OTP? any ideas why? shouldnt boys with a similar slant be the ones squealing more about this? sorry…clueless 🙂 help pls!

      • 44.2.1 koreandramalover

        Exactly, samgetang!!! I am clueless too!!! Been wondering about it for so long but just didn’t get to ask about it…

        Im afraid I have to join you (not help you) in howling…HELP US SOMEONE, PLEASE…

        we need to understand this utterly puzzling turn of events… 🙂

        • samgetang

          thanks kdl for howling with me 🙂

          • koreandramalover

            Hehe…samgetang, you had me in stitches… 🙂

    • 44.3 pohonphee

      It is just random

      There’s joke in my country that Korean has the best & strongest glue in the market. I don’t know from where this joke comes, I haven’t tried Korean glue, either. Since you mention it, now I know why there’s a joke like that, cause Korean has The GLUE Yong-ha.

      Love The Glue Yong-ha….

      • 44.3.1 samgetang

        pohonphee, GLUE yung-ha! hahaha! fantastic 🙂

  45. 45 dannaluk

    This was the drama that i enjoyed this year thus far!!!…Thak you so much for recapping red pill, Cassie, Girlfriday and Javabeans
    I will miss smarty…..god does he look good in that beard…i petition that micky yoochun should keep it..who’s with me??
    i will miss moony…..oh how i wish you got your love….no worries….i’ll be waiting here anytime you need a consoling shoulder…or more
    i will miss yongha and your silly twirls…
    most of all i will miss you adorable daemul…
    sigh…let me go squee in a corner now
    my one complaint is that they didnt give us anything on Chosun’s backstoy or why Ha In Soo loved her…also i would have loved it if they had showed us a bit if them together at the end

    • 45.1 dannaluk

      p.s….i’ve been marathoning this like crazy for the last few days after being on a hiatus from it for weeks…and i just finished a few minutes before the recap was posted…..i’ve been screaming, squeeing, yelling at my laptop and banging my fist on my desk so much that my roomie thinks i’m nuts

  46. 46 asianromance

    Thank you for the recap!! And thank you to all who have worked so hard recapping the series!

    They really rushed us through the end in this episode. Even though 4 more episodes would have been too much for Micky to do, i think even 1 more episode or a half-hour longer last-episode would have smoothed some parts out.

    How can they be totally sure that Minister Ha won’t slip and reveal that YH is a girl? They should have killed him. Best way to ensure silence.

    As for In-soo…the character, Puck, from Glee said something during this week’s episode that I thought rang true in so many stories, especially this one: “The thing about chicks is that you only have to be a fraction as nice to them as you were mean to them to get them to like you again”. Damn you, In-soo! I melted when you saved Chosun, even though rationally, I still think you’re an asshole.

    “I think the final future sequence is more of a what-could-be rather than what-is.”–> that really makes me a bit more relieved. the implication made by MJS that SKKS now accepts women was a bit too much. So funny that JS is now a police officer, when he used to run afoul of the law so many times!

    • 46.1 ncneo

      about MJS, the one who knew all the way to avoid the police is the best person to get all the crooks….

  47. 47 joonni

    Really, that final screen cap says it all.

  48. 48 Informantxgirl

    First off, thanks so much to all the recappers. I wouldn’t have bothered with this drama at all if not for the awesome first recaps. Then where would I be? I shudder at the thought. So thank you, sincerely.

    I had one or two issues with the finale (least of all the lack of a loveline for Yong-ha. Really? He DIDN’T get with the War Minister’s daughter? Why the heck not?!? Or at the least, couldn’t he have been living with Jae-Shin? Truth be told, that’s actually what I would’ve liked one, lol), but overall, what a cute ending. I excuse much because of the cute…well, on to the thanks.

    Thank you SKK Scandal for introducing us to the Jalgeum Quartet. Although I almost died fifteen hundred times watching this drama and the antics of four people who are really too attractive to ever be present on the same screen, lest then induce a sugar coma because of their eye candy status, I had a blast.

    I loved each and every one of the characters on this show (shout-out to Professor Jung and the King), but the J4 just captured my heart. Lee Sun-Joon, Kim Yoon Shik (Yoon Hee, that is), Moon Jae-Shin, and THE Gu Yong-ha – you will be missed.

    Thank you for a spunky, sassy female lead who’s not afraid to be smart yet still be a girl (anachronistic as she may have been). Thank you for making quoting Confucius and Mencius and air-writing Chinese characters sexy. Thank you valuing education. Thank you for valuing filial piety (to a pretty great extent). Thank you for valuing loyalty and friendship. Just, thank you.

    But most of all, thank you for so many squee-worthy moments. 🙂 Love you SKK Scandal and you’ll be missed.

    • 48.1 Informantxgirl

      “Thank you for a spunky, sassy female lead who’s not afraid to be smart yet still be a girl (anachronistic as she may have been).”

      This came out wrong. What I meant was she’s not afraid to be smart and stand toe-to-toe with the guys, yet still retain what makes her her. And woah, that’s me projecting right there…since I sometimes feel I have to sacrifice my girlyness if I want to be taken seriously academically.

      Confession and edit over.

      • 48.1.1 kilmenyanne

        “Thank you for making quoting Confucius and Mencius and air-writing Chinese characters sexy. Thank you valuing education. Thank you for valuing filial piety (to a pretty great extent). Thank you for valuing loyalty and friendship. Just, thank you.”

        My thoughts exactly. While many dramas often concentrate on the love story, what I enjoyed most and really got to me was SKKS’ push on the education storyline.

        In essence, I wouldn’t have fallen/rooted for the Sun-joon and Yoon-Hee pairing if not for the realist/idealist arguments. Kim Seung-hun even made me cry (in flashback, d’you believe that?!) because of his teaching techniques.

        How often are females reduced to coquettry and plain makeup in dramas (though I do love Hyo-Eun – or it could be Seo Hyo-Rim’s magnetism)?

        Kim Yoon-Hee, I know you’re fictional, but thank you for making this sad apathetic girl hope again that anything is possible – both politically and personally.

        I need my Sun-joon!

        @Informantxgirl, I think this dialogue summarises your and SKKS’ point:

        “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.”

        • Informantxgirl

          I loved that bit of dialogue, kilmenyanne , thanks for quoting it (and I also a sucker for back-hugs).

          I also loved Yoon Hee telling Sun-Joon how much she loved her first day at SKK, how she never knew how great it was to be in a classroom. My heart just about broke at that point, thinking of how this poor, spirited girl had never had these opportunities before and she was there partly on her own strength and Sun-Joon’s faith. That’s the kind of man I want – one who pulls me to greater and greater heights, one whom I can pull to greater heights. 😀

          • kilmenyanne

            OHHH yeah!

            That’s one thing both jae-shin and yong-ha just lacked. they seemed too…perfect Noble Hero and Womaniser types. Which has been the one roadblock between me and dramas in general.

            Glad there are birds of a feather 😀 Thanks for the discourse.

        • enjay87

          i also loved how they dealt with education…skks goes beyond the so called love story between lovers but love that even extends to family,friends and collegues…plus it redefines what are ideals and reality…and lets us recall the values and virtues we learned from childhood…

          the characters really had given their best performance which has somewhat covered some mistakes like the shifting of time (night and day)…the editing and so on…yes it is not perfect but it is one of the best to watch…

    • 48.2 samgetang

      informantxgirl and kilmenyanne 🙂 echoing all your thoughts! loved this about this kdrama, too.

      and yes, we need our sunjoons 🙂 who does adorable back hugs 🙂 and would remove his wide-brimmed hat for the lady…

      anything is possible! 🙂

  49. 49 KUDOS

    LOVE <3

  50. 50 delaney

    “Back home in the bedroom, Yoon-hee nitpicks about the dusty room (it’s HIS turn to do the cleaning – lady, I like how you run your household), but he glosses that over with a peck on the lips.”

    and there goes our Garang, the Perfect Husband LOL

    thanks for the final recap, red pill! (and also for cassie and girlfriday)

    yah, the ending’s (a bit?) rushed, but the fangirl in me don’t mind it since they gave us a happy epilogue and that’s all that matters to me!

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