Drama Recaps
The Moon That Embraces the Sun: Episode 18
by | March 1, 2012 | 188 Comments

This episode takes some decisive steps forward, which, ironically enough, come with a few big steps back — backward into the past, that is. Key memories come back to confront the present with some unveiling of secrets, much-needed reminders of what’s truly important, and a satisfying dose of righteous anger.


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Hwon lies in bed, smiling, and asks, “Isn’t it nice lying together in bed like this?” Yeon-woo, dressed in her nightclothes, agrees. This is a fakeout, isn’t it, you big drama tease? There’s no way you’d just give it to us that easy.

Pull back to reveal: Hyung-sun, blindfolded, literally sitting between their two beds. HA!

Hwon grumbles at Hyung-sun, asking if he doesn’t trust him. What, to keep your hormones in check now that your body won’t be interfering with any more consummation shenanigans? I’m pretty sure we’re all hoping you can’t be trusted, frankly.

Hyung-sun sighs heavily and says he has faith in the king’s intentions and all, but not in his “male instincts” which have been so long repressed. Hwon literally kicks his feet in frustration like a little boy, and Hyung-sun offers a compromise, if the king will make a promise. Hwon practically cuts him off in his hurry: “Promise? Whatkindofpromise?

Hyung-sun starts to say that the king must absolutely, positively, cross-his-heart-a-zillion-times promise not to lay a finger on her. Hwon is insulted and balks, but Yeon-woo takes over, saying that with the eight years of separation, it feels like they could look at each other all day and night and still not see each other enough. So can’t he please be understanding and let them be together?

See, kingboy, flattery and sweetness work better than griping. Hyung-sun relents and excuses himself, and Hwon actually scoffs that his man listened to her over himself. Hey, dude, you’re wasting precious alone time! He lies down in a huff, now provoked by pride to declare that he surely won’t lay a finger on her, oh no not at all… and she shuts him up by reaching for his hand.

She asks him teasingly if he’s going to kick her out for daring to touch the king, or “punish” her. Rawr. But we’re not playing that game now, are we?

They lay there side by side, holding hands, and fall asleep smiling.

Bo-kyung hears that her court spy was supposedly transferred to a different station, but can’t be found anywhere. Looks like the king caught on. Furthermore, he replaced all the court ladies in his personal quarters with new ones.

Bo-kyung deduces that he must be hiding something in his bedchambers. But what?

Princess Min-hwa races through the palace, excited to tell her mother some very good news. Yeom’s mother reminds her that she has to be careful with her body from now on — omo, so she’s pregnant? Strangely, I’m thinking simultaneously, “Whoa that’s fast” and “Took you long enough.” It’s also slightly terrifying imagining her as a mother. Will she react to tantrums with tantrums of her own?

Hong Kyu-tae reports to the king that the previous king had made repeated inquiries of a certain nature before eventually closing the investigation on Yeon-woo’s death. The subject of his questioning? Princess Min-hwa’s people.

Yeon-woo overhears this from her secret room, worried at where this line of reasoning is leading. Hong Kyu-tae adds that the queen dowager also sought out the same person in Min-hwa’s entourage, and that’s enough to get Hwon’s suspicions firing.

Hong Kyu-tae reports one more piece of info: Most spells use a straw man to represent the target, but in some cases, a person can be used. This intensifies the effect of the spell, especially if that person harbors strong desire.

Hwon thinks back to his grandmother’s words, implying that he should close this case to protect his loved ones, and how his father had similar reasons for remaining quiet. Suspicions fly through his head — the dots, are they connected yet? — and he asks himself, “Why would Min-hwa…? Why on earth?”

Min-hwa and her mother-in-law convey the good news to the queen mother, who’s thrilled that a baby’s on the way. Min-hwa asks to be excused early, saying she’s eager to return to tell her husband the news, but she has a second motive for leaving the party before granny gets there.

Hwon now makes sense of his father’s grave attitude when, eight years ago, he had apologized for being unable to protect his son’s bride. He had alluded to a day in the future when he’d understand why he was telling him this. He’d warned Hwon to remember that the king’s seat is a lonely place, surrounded by enemies, who can sometimes share the same bloodline.

He’d asked the prince to forgive his father when he understood what he meant — and also to protect, although he hadn’t specified a name. Now Hwon understands that it was an entreaty to cover it up, to not wage war on his family.

He runs to the king’s stateroom, encountering more memories. Like the time he had kneeled before his father and the court, asking him to rescind the decree to make Yeom the princess’s husband, calling it a waste of his life.

(Side note: It’s a sign that the drama’s done a strong job of connecting the two Hwons in your mind when you wonder about the split-screening between past and present, before realizing they didn’t need to, with young Hwon and adult Hwon not actually being played by the same person, heh.)

The king had railed on Hwon in private, who had defended his actions as merely protecting Yeom. The king had told him very clearly that Hwon had only exacerbated the situation, naming all the people he had endangered, including Yeom, the Heo family, and the king himself by acting on his emotions.

Hwon had fired back, “Are you telling me to simply sit by and watch? To do nothing, to change nothing, to protect nobody?! To follow the reasoning set by other people, powerless and feeble? Are you telling me to live like that? Is that what it means to be king?”

His father had replied that trying to protect would only lead to pain, and trying to gain would lead to loss: “That’s the fate of the king’s seat you will have to take.” Um, great pep talk, coach.

Also, I know this is a fantasy sageuk, but we’ve established that we are in the latter Yi dynasty of the Joseon era, which means: Your forbears were Sejong and Sejo. When did the Yis turn all weak and fatalistic?

Dad had added that politics means that gaining something requires losing something. Great — as it just so happens, he has a wife he’d like to lose, and another he’d like to gain… The king had thought to himself of his own trade-off: losing Yang-myung to protect Hwon, losing the princess bride to protect Min-hwa.

Hwon had declared that he would do differently, and do what’s right: “That will be my Joseon.”

That youthful Hwon storms out of the room, coming face to face with adult Hwon, confronting his memory. Young Hwon challenges him, asking if he’s forgotten his resolve and lost his way.

Hwon returns to his quarters to find Min-hwa there, and faces her with heavy heart. He asks if she desired Yeom that much for her to do such a cruel thing to his sister. Min-hwa is shaken but denies knowing what he’s talking about, until Hwon demands to know why she participated in the ritual against Yeon-woo. She breaks down, begging him not to tell her husband.

Hwon looks at her with eyes that’ll break your heart, ordering her to look him in the eye, and asks how she could do such a thing. She cries, “With those same eyes, that same voice, those same words… that is how Father also spoke to me.”

Flashback: Soon after the king had uncovered the truth, Young Min-hwa had sobbed to her furious father, saying she had no idea what she had done. Grandmother had merely told her to sit there, and Yeom would become hers. She had no idea Yeon-woo would die.

The king had grabbed her and told her intently that nobody must know — that she would have to keep her mouth shut till the day she died.

She sobs to Hwon that she truly hadn’t known, and hadn’t realized until later what she had done. Hwon tells her she committed an unforgivable sin against her father, against him, and against Yeon-woo as well. He screams at her, “How will you repay this? What will you make up for it?!”

And just as we’re possibly learning to accept Min-hwa’s deed, if not outright forgive her, she declares, “Even if I were to go back to that time, I would choose my husband.” Whaaaa? Okay, girly girl. I stuck with you for eighteen damn episodes, but a stupid childhood mistake versus willful murder? Dead to me now.

Hwon stares, heartbroken, as Min-hwa declares that she may be punished a thousand times over or fall to hell, “But I will not regret that choice.” Well, it’s a good thing you’re okay with hell then…

Hwon says he’ll punish her — that’s the only way he can hold grandma’s clan accountable for their crime. Min-hwa readily offers to accept his punishment, but begs for mercy for her husband’s child in her belly. What a way to deliver that bomb, and Hwon is stunned even further. He watches her leave, aghast, and sobs.

Min-hwa comes home with a long face, but Yeom is thrilled at her pregnancy news and takes her mood for concern. She tells him tearfully that she has something to tell him, but while she’s searching for the words, Yeom thanks her and apologizes for not being able to repay her many kindnesses. She sobs in his arms while he’s none the wiser at the true reason.

From the wall, Seol watches, as always. She comes home feeling gloomy, and Jan-shil takes one look at her and says in her deepened shaman’s voice that the child will be a boy, smart and handsome like his father.

Seol starts to sob, and Jan-shil looks at her in surprise, not realizing she’d made another of her eerie predictions. Seol cries for the injustice of Yeom having a child with the woman who killed his sister, lamenting the Heo siblings’ bad fortune.

Hwon is so shaken that when Yeon-woo — who has overheard everything — asks to join him, he denies her request, saying he can’t bear to see her now that he knows his own flesh and blood is responsible for those wrongs against her.

Yeon-woo emerges from her secret room anyway and tells him that this is what she had been afraid of. He says that the blood connection means that he’s also to blame for those wrongs, which makes me want to sit him down and explain that the transitive property of math does not apply to murder. Yeon-woo tells him not to think that, because it’ll make her blame herself for living, which, ARGH.

He asks what she would have him do, and she tells him to cover it up. Her brother wouldn’t be able to bear knowing the truth. He asks if that doesn’t make her angry about all the suffering she endured, but she says she doesn’t want her brother to share that with her. He asks in a heartbroken voice if this doesn’t make them both pitiable beings, and you’ll get no argument on that.

But he bucks up and puts the ol’ game face on to pays granny a visit, where he announces that she should move her residence to a different location, citing the favorable surroundings as beneficial for her health. Two can play this game of health-benefits-my-ass-I-just-want-you-out-of-my-hair, and he says it’s time she retired from politics.

Naturally the queen dowager isn’t about to let him have his way, so he frames it as a choice: Either she hie herself away, or she face a stern royal court. He lays out her crimes plainly — killing the princess, for using the other princess as accomplice — and granny just tells him to prove it. He shocks her, though, by warning that he won’t go easy on her just because they’re related, unlike his father. The extent of his filial loyalty is to offer her the option to retire and move: “I will return everything to its place.”

She growls that he can’t do this to her, screaming after him, “Do you not know whose power it was that gave you your seat? ME! It was I, your grandmother, who racked my brains and stained my hands with blood to protect that seat for you!”

She rages that he cannot send her away, and literally screams herself unconscious. I tell ya, it’s pretty satisfying. It’s not supposed to be funny, but for the fact that her eyes literally cross, Looney Tunes style.

The council of evil receives news of the queen’s eviction and decides the king must know everything. A political purge is inevitable, they fear, and with it they’ll all go. Minister Yoon declares that the only thing to do is to strike first.

Recovered from his wound, Yang-myung is ready to leave the temple. He walks with his mother, clocks her worry, and starts to rattle off a string of assurances of why he’ll be fine. She surprises him, though, by telling him to follow his heart and live the way he wants.

Mom tells him that time will pass, this sadness will eventually fade, and he’ll make a new connection with someone new. She trusts him to make the right choices, no matter what, and he looks bittersweet at that faith in him.

When he returns home, he finds the usual crowd of noblemen waiting outside his home. For once he doesn’t flee, and invites them inside. The men refer to Yang-myung being the first in line, with a king who is still childless. It’s dangerous talk but Yang-myung plays along, and they’re bolstered by his encouragement.

That confidence turns to nervousness when Yang-myung picks up his sword, examines the blade, then in a swift move points it at them. Whose neck will be cut first for this treasonous talk? They quickly backpedal, saying they meant nothing of the sort, and they realize they’ve misjudged his reaction. He leaves them with one last warning, that if they ever mention such a thing again, their heads will have to say bye-bye to their bodies.

The leader of these rebels reports back to their silent backer, who turns out to be — surprise surprise — the council of evil. Minister Yoon chuckles, figuring Yang-myung wouldn’t cave so easily. The leader has a message from Yang-myung, who’d instructed its delivery to their hidden supporter: If he has something to tell him, come in person.

One minister wonders why they’d gone for Yang-myung when it’s known that he’s faithful to the king. Another retorts that the girl came between them, though he concdeds that it won’t be easy to manipulate that friction into outright betrayal. Not in two episodes, it won’t be.

Minister Yoon still feels confident that they’ll be able to bring Yang-myung over to their side, and puts his scheming hat back on.

Bo-kyung brightens to see her mother arriving at the palace with a girl, Soo-hyang, in tow, but ducks out of sight when her father appears. Mom greets him with the niece she has brought to be a companion to Bo-kyung. Minister Yoon is pleased with Soo-hyang’s forthrightness as she expresses her admiration of the palace and declares that she’d like to live here.

Bo-kyung hears the eerie echo of her father asking her similar things years ago, and how he’d used her youthful desires to his own ends. But when her father sees Bo-kyung standing there, he silently turns away in disapproval, leaving his daughter looking crushed at his neglect.

Bo-kyung tells her mother that she thinks her father will abandon her. Her mother protests, but Bo-kyung says that he’s plenty capable of it, particularly if he deems her useless. Mom asks exasperatedly who would fill Bo-kyung’s spot as queen, and Bo-kyung looks pointedly at the young Soo-hyang. If Dad can’t control his daughter as the queen, why not replace her with a younger, more malleable version?

Mom removes the girl before continuing the conversation, saying the even if that were to happen, Soo-hyang would just be a concubine. And why would the king take in such a young girl anyway?

Bo-kyung replies that it’s not out of the question, if the throne were to fall to someone else: “If it’s Father, such a thing is more than possible.”

Yang-myung has another late-night visitor: It’s Minister Yoon, who gets right to the point by asking whether Yang-myung wants to become the sun. He proposes an alliance: One will become king, the other will back his claim.

Yang-myung declines, and says that if they let this subject die here, he’ll keep it from the king. Minister Yoon asks, “Will you live your entire life under the shadow of the king?” Yang-myung says that even if they were to do this — join forces and stage a coup — they would need a justification for the overthrow. Minister Yoon has no doubt they can rustle up reasons: He’s the irresponsible king who ignores his duty to secure the succession, who consorts with a shaman, whose immorality causes him to forsake filial duty.

Yang-myung points out that the shaman is no mere shaman, but the princess. Minister Yoon is surprised to find that Yang-myung knew all along, and asks how he remained loyal to the king anyway.

Hwon has another pressing matter to entrust to Hong Kyu-tae and gives him a letter detailing his duties. He knows that his enemies will be preparing to counterattack with slanderous propaganda and is preparing for the onslaught. Yeon-woo fears that she’s caused him more trouble, but he counters, “You didn’t think I would just sit here and be attacked, did you? Wait and see. Soon a very interesting tale will spread amongst the people.”

Hwon invites Yeon-woo out for a walk to Hidden Moon, then tells her he has hidden a present for her here. She replies, “I already have everything. What more could I want?” Barf. Look, lady, sometimes the polite thing to do is just accept the damn gift, okay?

Hwon directs her to find it, so she starts looking in the courtyard. He points out that she’s looking awfully hard for someone who just said she doesn’t want anything, ha. She wonders if it’s so small that she can’t see it, and he retorts, mock-insulted, “Small?! It’s not small!”

That gives her an idea, and she asks incredulously if he means to give her Hidden Moon. He bursts out laughing and says that’s too big, then builds up the moment of reveal by saying that his gift is something important, unique, that all women would want. You aren’t referring to yourself, are you?

She wonders, “You don’t mean…” and he confirms it. “Yes, I mean me.” Ha! You cocky bastard, how I’ve missed you.

He steps forward to hug her and says that she gave him her heart, so now he will give her all of himself.

Minister Yoon plays the part of shoulder-devil, telling Yang-myung that he cannot have already given up the battle, reminding him of how the previous king treated him so poorly.

Yang-myung laughs that Minister Yoon has played his hand entirely wrong, though there’s a forced quality to the laugh that makes me suspect he’s not entirely immune to the logic. He says, “Did you take me to be so small-minded that I would let resentment and jealousy drive me to usurp power? I’ve no interest in the throne. Restoration, honor, and power — I have no need for such things.”

Minister Yoon thinks to himself that he’s disappointed in Yang-myung’s lack of drive, and reaches for a hidden dagger. Like Bo-kyung said, he has no need for useless things, and he readies his hand.

Yang-myung says, “What I want are a place for my ancestral rites at Jongmyo Shrine, and Heo Yeon-woo. Just those two things.”

Uh-oh… did you just say you wanted a king’s burial and the current king’s woman? Are you turning to the dark side after all, Yang-myung?


I don’t buy Yang-myung’s defection to the rebel forces for a minute, though part of that is due to the fact that we’ve got two episodes left, which is hardly enough time to delve into that conflict with any heft and then also resolve it. It’s something that could — and should — have come much earlier, so that we could actually worry for his potential shift in loyalties. It’s not like Yang-myung was busy fulfilling any important narrative duties, other than moping around.

Furthermore, there’s only so much mileage we can get out of the two-brothers-fighting-over-the-same-girl storyline, and I’ll go so far as to say we got our fill while they were still kids. But to double up that tension by adding political maneuvering — maybe some ideological sparring as well — could have really heightened the conflict in a way that simple romance can’t.

Plus, I’m intrigued by Bo-kyung’s newfound insecurity over her own place in the palace. She did a fantastic job showing fear over a ghost, but even more than that kind of terror, I would love to see her fear over a much more insidious danger — her own father. This shifting in political alliances could have even given the drama an excuse to put Bo-kyung and Yang-myung together — not romantically, I mean, but as an acting exercise, and why not? They’re both up to the task of playing wounded, suspicious, heartbroken, morally conflicted, and angsty. It makes me wonder why the drama stayed for so long in the same simple conflicts when it had all this potential stuff up its sleeves. And now that they’ve pulled them out, they tend to lack bite because there just isn’t the time to get worked up over these new complications. Sadness.

On the other hand, I loved older Hwon getting schooled by his younger angry self. It’s a bittersweet reminder of how awesome Hwon was in his youth — and I mean the character, not merely the actor — and how, as king, he has turned into a facsimile of his father: a puppet, frustrated and powerless. The adolescent prince may have been idealistic but the adult has gone too far in the other direction, giving up altogether, fuming at his lack of agency but at a loss to claim it.

I love that he gets the kick in the butt now, with his old self shaming him with the reminder of what he once held so dear. He doesn’t get the right to be angry at his father when he’s just done the same, does he? The conflict is pretty reminiscent of Tree With Deep Roots, but hey, why not take inspiration from a superior source? Yang-myung has on occasion thrown the same challenging words at Hwon, but I suppose that coming from the bitter mouth of a disappointed romantic rival, they read more as jealousy than wisdom. So most of all I love that the person to spur this self-actualization… is himself.


188 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Sham


    • 1.1 cherisse

      Not only did Minhwa, ruined everybody life but also her husband. He was not able to do what he was meant to do. All of his hard work went down the drain. Then this bitch had the nerve to say she dont regret anything. See every time this trick was on screen i want to slap, beat her ass, or kill her. Front the getgo. I kept reading how she was so fun to watch blah blah blah. Hell no this chick knew what she was doing. What she went deaf every time her grandmother spoke to her. Not only was she involve but before TW/Wol died she heard everything that her grandmother told her not only that but her grandmother told her numerous times of what she was going to do and yet she still seat her FUGLY ass in her father’s and brother’s face and said, “she did not know what she was doing” ARE YOU KIDDING ME. All the lives that was ruined because of this girl. Not only that but are grandmother gave her an opportunity to not go along with her plan but she kept saying yes yes yes. I hate that old hag too but i hate the Princess more. I hate that she kept saying she did not know. That is some bull crap. Not only that keep making seem like you feel guilty but your ass jump ship when it came time to get what you wanted.

      Screw this shit. I don’t care blood or not that was some down right down to the gutter shit hit the fan type shit. That was so horrible. “she was just a kid” NO SHE KNEW BETTER. EVEN A 5 YEAR OLD WOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER HELL MY 4 YR. OLD SISTER WOULD HAVE DONE BETTER THAN HER.

      I personally cannot wait for the shit hit the fan again. I want to see how YW brother and mother and her YM is going to react when they found out the truth.

      • 1.1.1 Carrie


        THIS 100%. I don’t get why the writers make it like Min-Hwa is the one to be pitied while Bo-kyung is the “dark moon”.
        Min-Hwa is the one with blood on her hands. Her “reasoning” or lack thereof is so twisted and pathetic. I can’t believe she actually got pregnant. I know this is terrible to say but it would be best if she miscarried and got exiled from Yeom.
        Yeom would then be given the right to start over from this horrible nightmare and marry the girl that actually loves him and vice versa.

      • 1.1.2 crazyjnx

        My disappointment comes from the fact that stupid princess sister never grew up. Yes at the time grandma did manipulate and feed off of her girly feelings and spoiled nature. But even after she got yeom as her hubby, and witnessed the follies of her youthful heart, she didn’t change or grow as a character. She is still the same little girl, tantrums and all. I was hoping she would go down Bo-kyung’s road or the opposite. Instead we have this stagnant character who is now suddenly conveniently prego at the moments of revelation, who’s now going use her child as an excuse to not own up to her misdeeds…

        She has no sympathy from me because she dug her own grave and climbed in. She had more than enough moments to step up and own up, but nope, there’s no righteousness about her at all, thus now yeom could be harm if she gets prosecuted, but she don’t care about that, she’s PREGO! Thus I feel hwon has the right to do what he must…whether or not he has the balls to will depend on the writers(who I feel are a little at fault for the 1dimensioness of min-hwa’s character).

    • 1.2 Tally

      This drama wasted to much time in the middle episodes. There is so much story still to tell.

      Jung ll Woo – I think this was not the right role for him. I think the role was explained to him differently. Seriously, I am surprised someone of his caliber agreed to a role that is not even second lead, because he is barely on screen. He hasn’t done much, except mope around. I wonder if the role was cut short.

      Princess Minwha – is sick and obsessed and not in love. She is the sageuk version of the 2nd lead Kdrama girl. The girl who is overly clingy and a stalker. Who holds on to a guy that doesn’t want anything to do with her. After saying she wouldn’t change anything in her behavior, she fully crossed over to the dark side, and I am done with her.

      Han Ga In – I have tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. But I do not like the passive, soft way she plays Yeon Woo. When she was Wol, it was understandable, but she has regained her memory, she knows who she is. She needs to have more fire. Her sageuk speak also needs more work.

      Plot – They should have cleaned things up quicker. Prince Yang should have fallen for the shaman girl he saved as a kid. Yeol should have ended up with Yoon (the bodyguard). Both there is no time to get to those stories now. Furthermore, what happened to the soldiers the council of evil were training. We still don’t know the minister’s motive, or grandma’s motive.

      I like this drama, and I have enjoyed watching it, but in retrospect, I wonder what made us all love it so much. The plot so far has been very thin, and the acting a bit weak. I wait to see how they wrap everything up in the end.

      • 1.2.1 Kgrl

        The teenagers hooked us in, and our romantic hearts of two man pinning after their childhood sweetheart kept us watching. Since ep. 9 there has been plenty of reason to drop this drama, but the goodwill we’ve establish over the characters as teenagers and the respective actors have persuaded us to stick with it.

        The plot, character development, and production values are completely sub-par to Princess Man and Tree, but the loving emotions this show evokes in us is definitely there. *sigh* Well, not all sageuks are created equal, at least it was a decent stab at a fantasy-sageuk genre.

        • agave

          You explanation for why we’re still hanging on, despite this show’s many flaws is spot on. I think viewers were excited enough about the adult cast to tune in to watch the beginning with the younger cast.

          After seeing the younger cast, viewers loved them for them. Because of this, and because of love for the adult actors, many viewers stayed with this show even when they became disappointed with the writing because they couldn’t forget how promising this show was in the beginning.

          I haven’t seen The Princess’ Man or Tree With Deep Roots yet, but from what I heard, TMTETS will not fare well when compared to them. Even as a romance, TMTETS leaves much to be desired because the writers didn’t do enough to convince me that Hwon and Yeon Woo’s love as adults was compelling enough to revolve an entire drama around.

          This is so sad because I think this show had what it needed to make it great enough to live up to its incredible ratings. Sadly, someone dropped the ball.

      • 1.2.2 agave

        After this show ends, I think a lot of us will ask why we stuck with it for so long. As you mentioned, there is so much story left to tell that it’s sad that they wasted so much time after episode 6. I had even stopped watching after episode 8 and only started watching again when the storyline finally started moving in episode 13.

        About JIW’s involvement, I agree that there must have been a disconnect between what they told JIW to convince him to take this role and the badly written character we actually got. Before the show aired, I was excited about Yang Myung because the character sounded interesting and JIW probably felt the same.

        Although I am enjoying the writing for JIW’s character more since the last few episodes, I hated the writing for his character in the beginning. I hope this positive momentum lasts until the end.

        As for Min-hwa, I wish they had planned her dark turn better because I think it would have been interesting to get more insight into how this character’s mind works. She is a lot more twisted than we had been led to believe.

        I share your opinion about Han Ga In’s portrayal of both Wol and Yeon Woo. Although she isn’t responsible for the weak writing for her character, she made Wol/Yeon Woo worse by her lackluster portrayal. I had started to like her character in episodes 15 and 16, but now Yeon Woo is as placid and dull as she was when she thought she was Wol.

        Regarding the plot, many of the events raised in the last couple of episodes should have happened at least 4 episodes ago. Now, it’s too late to really get into them because there are only two episodes left.

  2. YBisTOP

    The beginning was soooo cute!!! <3

  3. Sham


    • 3.1 zsa

      Princess Minhwa is a sick sick woman child. If I were her husband, it’d seriously be scared of her….she’s obsessed and besotted by her husband…chill girl!!

      • 3.1.1 OMG

        I agree…i hope Yeom finds out and abandons her ass…den i hope she loses her baby…mean i know but she deserves it…..and then i hope she dies a very painful lonely death!!!

  4. diorama

    Thanks for the recap!

    Anyone else wishing for more girl-shenanigans with Seol and Jangshil? I miss the Wol who would fib about her shaman powers to pull rank with bullies. She’s less fun around the boys.

    • 4.1 asianromance

      agree! I feel like anything involving the romance and the politics is boring. The parts I liked best in this episode are those involving Seol, Jang-shil, Bo-kyung, and the former king. And that really sad one involving Hwon and Minhwa. And Minhwa- so messed up!

      • 4.1.1 Dowager

        okay. u can make ur own drama with those main characters. This story about Hwon and YW. I think every saeguk drama involving politics in their story.

    • 4.2 Ani

      I do!! We don’t get enough Seol and Janshil. X(

      • 4.2.1 Vira

        I hope that Seol will be with Yeom. Just dump Min-Hwa, I don’t like the voracious girl who can let herself’s happy while other’s not. What about Janshil? Actually, I want her with Yang Myung but i believe it won’t happen. Because YM is so devoted to Yeon Woo. Hong sisters,, please let TMTETS ends happily….><

  5. YBisTOP

    Does anyone know if Jan sil was referring to the King and Wol or the Princess and Wol’s brother? Hopefully it is the King and Wol!! *Fingers crossed!

    • 5.1 Brenda

      She was referring to Yeom and Min Hwa.

  6. sora

    thanks you very much… i love this drama!!!!!

  7. Han

    Thank you sooooo much!

  8. Malika Shasita

    OMO… Finally you posted this Sinopsis.. Thank You so Much..

  9. kbap

    Well, I don’t believe that Yang-myung will go to the dark side (though I wish he would’ve or a little bit, like, say, two episodes ago, or something). I hope he still has this epic heroic exit though (dying. yeah. I whole-heartedly support that idea. Mhmm.) At least Hwon’s funny again? I feel bad for JIW though. His character…has…like no depth. Okay, it does, but it’s wasted on moping. At least he’s pretty when he cries? (oh, only me? JIW love is stronger than you think.) And Min-hwa, thank goodness she told someone! Sigh. At least she’s OK with hell, like JB says. ahahaha…

    • 9.1 78446

      Um, by the last line of this episode, it does seem like Yang-myung has some sort of death wish. He’s asking for “a king’s burial”? That’s some foreshadowing, if you ask me. Not the position, power, or duty of being the king, but the recognition of being king before he dies. The phrasing is really weird. It’s “What I want are a place for my ancestral rites at Jongmyo Shrine, and Heo Yeon-woo” not “I want to be king and Heo Yeon Woo”. He’s expecting to die, isn’t he?

      Awesome recap as always, JB! Lovin’ the snark! 😀

      • 9.1.1 kbap

        Oh yay? At least my wish will be…fulfilled…
        Ahaha. I always seem to misinterpret things 🙁 Mainly ’cause I’m distracted by the pretty most of the time. HAH. 😉

      • 9.1.2 kit

        i would die laughing (ok not really) if yang myung goes on some crusade and ends it by nobly committing suicide.

    • 9.2 Luscious

      I don’t believe it either. I think he will pretend to sided with them and know the plot and help the king to kill these baddies once and for all so he can save Wol. These guys are trying to harm Wol so he will do this to protect her. And I think he will die in the end to protecting her. Poor Yang Myung.

      • 9.2.1 Ah Ra P.

        I so wanna the part where he fakes it to help hwon n yeon woo, but if he dies it’ll be soooo damn tragic sad. he deserves some happiness in his life like seriously. but who knows maybe he’ll get his wish when he said that he wants yean woo to look only at him in his next life? I hope the bros make up as well.

        • Luscious

          I will be so sad too. His dad the king love him but never really show his love for Yam Muyng properly. Then Wol doesn’t love him either. And he is so loyal to the people he love. I will cry buckets it he die at the end.

          • kbap

            I know! And yeah his mom loves him, but as he said, she’s probably always mentioned the King, who isn’t even her kid, before him. I will cry buckets, but I’ll be glad. OK I really want him to do and I have no idea why. I just feel that he loves Wol this much, it’ll hurt to see her with Hwon. And plus, there has to be some way to reconcile with Hwon, and at this point I don’t think some random bromance explosion is gonna get them to love each other again.

  10. 10 Jenn C

    Gahh so good

  11. 11 sootyxsnowpetal

    Hwon is finally shaping up to be a king of action, rather than a king of moping! And Yeon-Woo needs to start being proactive and getting herself into this situation, because I’m really disliking her demure, laid back attitude right now. For chrissake, she’s an educated, intelligent girl! She has all the reasons to exact revenge. I know that she’s not the type to be all bloodthirsty for revenge, but it would be awesome to see her, as a female, be all smart and witty and sly in getting her revenge the good way, the right way. I just feel like the ending will disappoint me in some ways.

  12. 12 ninsarama

    I was thinking the same thing with the Tree With Deep Roots Allusion. I feel like Yeo Jin Goo showed up Kim Soo Hyun for that scene like Song Joong Ki did with Han Suk Kyu. Not in a negative way, but the younger versions held their own in both dramas.

    It broke my heart when Hwon cried after his confrontation with Minhwa. Honestly, they’re portraying her in a more positive light in the drama than in the book and I wasn’t expecting very much from her. But, Hwon’s heartbreak was painful to watch, and it affected me more than when he was crying for Yeonwoo.

    • 12.1 coffeevamprie

      I rarely rarely do this but I cried with him during his confrontation with his sister. It was really painful to watch.

      And Javabeans, thank you for your wonderful recap!

  13. 13 Salie

    thank you so much! 🙂

  14. 14 FunnyBunny

    CRACK That would be the sound of my heart breaking into tiny pieces for Seol, and to an extent Yeom too. And to think I actually liked Min-hwa. But now I’m totally with you on that JB, “dead to me” is right. Even though it would crush him I still want Yeom to find out, because I believe he deserves to know. And then he and Seol can run off together and live happily ever after! Yay! ^_^


    Well I can dream any ways….

    • 14.1 Dowager

      haha. it’s funny.:D

  15. 15 howforwardsale

    Wow, Hwon pulled a dick in a box move!! (except it was way more g rated) but same thing nevertheless. SMH
    And who knew Princess MH had no shame? She’d do it again in a heartbeat.
    BTW, I loved it when Hwon told the Dowager Queen to “Stay Healthy.” It sent shivers up my spine.

  16. 16 cv

    Thank you for the recap!

    I agree… that yang myung won’t go to the dark side. He possibly can’t…considering that his brother, the King gave him a chance to steal the throne and the woman and he didn’t–lose his chance to do that–couldn’t kill, just wasn’t a bad person enough (lol). He’s too loyal perhaps?
    I bet he’s just saying that to see what evil baddie will do–get the inside scoop and then bam! All the baddies get kicked in the arsh and won’t know what hit them when the King’s plan comes to play! haha~!
    ^^ Dang, that would be awsome! 😀

  17. 17 marithe

    omo!!! yang myung dooooo~n’t!!
    please stay loyal to king hwon…
    he really cares and cherishes you..
    and I know you’ll have your spot in the palace though not as a king, but still!

    still mo update about an extension?

  18. 18 6002ija_as

    I love this drama n as I cant understand Korean look for the fastest recap of every episode. But even after reading other recap I still wait eagerly for your recap> Main because its so interesting reading your insight of very character in the drama…

    I am forever in debt to you for your excellent job recapping every K-drama that I have ever love.

    Thank you

  19. 19 marithe


  20. 20 Lisa

    I love the lovey dovey moments with Wol and Hwon but man, the whole righting the wrongs takes a big backseat.

    I shouted when I watch that scene with Hwon and Minwha and yet I knew it was coming. She probably would kill her own brother to get Yeom. It was low for the writers to have her be pregnant where is the justice in that? Having a baby is like almost a get out of jail card.

    Also… about time Granny had a mini stroke.

    As for YM going dark, I hope it doesn’t

    I have a feeling he is going die nobly…either way… someone is going to die in the ending…I just wonder how many dead bodies will come out…

    • 20.1 cv

      Let’s hope all the dead bodies are of the baddies and not anyone good. ^^

    • 20.2 kit

      I know what happens in the book’s ending and if they follow it I’ll be so devastated soidfjsidjfosdjfjsdf.

  21. 21 missmanderley

    Wouldn’t that be a twist, that Jangshil’s prediction was actually about Hwon & Yeonwoo’s kid? “He will be important to this nation” = heir to the throne??

    It’d be awesome if Yangmyung turned into a double agent and destroy the Council of Evil but pretending to conspire with them! I agree with his mom, he will make the right choice.

    Love that its his younger self that reminds of the ideals he lost, which really he lost when Yeonwoo “died”. Doesnt pack as much of a punch as in Tree With Deep Roots… but mehh I’ll take it.

  22. 22 Ace

    Ah, if only they did some of the revelations in earlier episodes, then I could’ve stayed excited and keyed up. Now, everything seems a little anti-climactic.

  23. 23 girl

    yayy we’re reaching resolution in 2 episodes!

  24. 24 missmanderley

    Oh and am I a mean person for really hoping Evil Granny just had a heart attack in that confrontation scene between her and Hwon?

    That old cronie shouldn’t die… she needs to pay for all her manipulating and greed for power!

  25. 25 frosty_spice

    I tell ya, it’s pretty satisfying. It’s not supposed to be funny, but for the fact that her eyes literally cross, Looney Tunes style.’

    >>> LMFAO >>>

    • 25.1 jomo

      I know, right? ROTFLMAO

      I paused it and asked myself, “Is she crossed eyed?” then it played a little longer and i asked, “Is she STILL cross-eyed?”

      What WAS that all about, Show?

    • 25.2 Kiara

      LOL loved it that Hwon kept walking while she faints. Thats my boy. He was probably thinking what I was thinking. DIEALREADY.

  26. 26 stars4u

    Hyung-sun sitting in between Hwon and Yeon-woo was just epic!!!
    I wished the two Hwons would be in the same scene and there it was… It wa sooo gooood! Both actors are so good!!!!
    Aaahhhhh… Min-hwa… So you weren’t really feeling bad that you not only killed Yeon-woo but also her father.
    Yang-myung, I almost thought I won’t ge to see you in this episode. I was having the same feeling as Yang-myung when his mom yold him that he could follow his heart this time… Her trust in him is great pressure and it sure is scary… I hope he won’t turn towards the dark side…. The drama has “come too far” to put you in that place…

  27. 27 21

    I really enjoyed watching this episode, feel as though the counter-attack is finally happening! I hope the last two episodes will go out with a bang. I HATE the princess so much now, I felt sorry for her before but she deserves to go and without Yeom. Yeonwoo’s laid back attitude also annoys me because I really want her to be angry and to round up the baddies and give them a big hit in the butt. Thanks for the excellent recap as always!!

  28. 28 fruit

    Thanks Javabean for the recap!

    I love the first part where HS, H and YW were in the chamber.
    HS is so funny!

    AND H is so CUTEEEEEEEEEEEEE ! He kicked his blanket in frustration! Haha…

    KSY can really cry, so much tears !!!!

    This show gave him so much opportunity to show his acting chops, and he did very very well !

    The smart king is back !!!!

  29. 29 Rong Er

    Thanks for the recap, JB:)

  30. 30 melanie

    Am I the only person who still hates Min Hwa’s guts? and what the hell and where did this pregnancy come from? is this really true or is she just saying this to protect herself because that’s all she has been…greed and selfish! i want yeom to find out that min hwa was part of the conspiracy that “murdered” his sister and then they throw her out. i don’t care what anyone says but the death of your own child is a bigger loss that the absence of your evil whiny selfish daughter in law.

    besides the continuous anger with the princess, i love the the moments between ksh and hgi 🙂 too darn cute

    still waiting for the bad guys to die. only 2 episodes left

    • 30.1 Brenda

      Nope, you’re not alone.
      If I see her cry again, I’ll probably tear at my computer screen trying to punch her.

      I never thought I’d be so angry to hear about a pregnancy until they said Min Hwa was pregnant. I’m assuming they consummated their marriage that night when she was screaming and Yeom came in to comfort her.

      I don’t think Hwon will execute her but I hope he severs the tie she has with the Heo family and after she gives birth, exiles her while Yeom and his mother raise the baby.

      • 30.1.1 gerimis

        or maybe minhwa will die when giving birth….
        who knows?

    • 30.2 megara

      I never liked her since the first episode. She’s so annoying! The story could have moved on without her imho.

      • 30.2.1 SoulsEntwined

        I also never liked her. Her character never matured, still throws temper tantrums and cries to get her way.

    • 30.3 Jomo

      When I watched her scenes, I thought the actresses did a great job portraying her immature and selfish character as a child and as an adult. The younger actress, especially surprised me how well she held her own against the older actor.

      But as I listened to the words coming out of her mouth, like most of you, I did NOT sympathize at all, I should have been horrified, but mostly I was, unmoved.

      The problem, I think, is that they lost another opportunity to get a visceral reaction to her betrayal from the audience. The music should have been more menacing, the close-ups could have been darker, uglier, more honest. They know how to do it, that is how they film the Queen BY.

      I don’t understand what they are trying to tell me about the two characters. Why the different treatment?

      MW wasn’t born bad, but turned bad?
      Unlike Queen BY, who we were supposed to think just blinked and went sour one day out there in the world?

    • 30.4 dash

      the thing i can’t get pass is how selfish she is. seriously, even if i made a deal with my grandma that in order to marry the man of my dreams, i have to sit in the closet to witness her order someone to murder my friend and my brother’s lover and my “dream husband’s” family’s daughter and his sister, i would find every reason to get out of that marriage. how can she face their family with this secret? i would not be able to live with that guilt and rather than being selfish, i would have chose to find them and tell them this secret without marrying and ruining his life.

      if you know your husband had potential to be in politics, considered royal back then, you would not do anything to neglect that. she was a princess and by marrying her, meant limiting his potential which is wrong.

  31. 31 Jamiekins

    Yang myung already had a chance to kill hwon but didnt i dont think he will betray hwon this time! Im just sad that we only have to episodes left from this drama! I just hope the ending wont be a dissapoinment! By the way anyone knows where i could read the complete story? Or at least the synopsis of th book where this sries was take out if in english? Thanks

  32. 32 narae

    i’m not watching the drama, and don’t think i will, but judging from the recaps, i feel like my favorite characters are all secondary characters, mainly yang myung and janshil and seol and bokyoung, rather than the OTP…. perhaps it’s because i’m not quite feeling the full force of kim soo hyun’s acting….

    • 32.1 kbap

      Or Ha Ga-in’s acting. LOL. Did I spell her name right. I think Soo-hyun’s acting is sort of limited given the weird nature of his character. Like the absurdness. Would you really hide from assassins in your house? (I still crack up at that thought. Really.) And the lack of plot and some plotholes (or maybe I’m delusional and is the only one who thinks there’s plotholes. Either way I think that this drama is just really flawed, but enjoyable to watch…sorta.)
      And I agree, I find the secondary characters more interesting, despite having ranted on them being “wasted” before. 🙂

      • 32.1.1 Korazy Lady

        “Plotholes” is the perfect word for it! The writing seems really inconsistent. One thing that bugged me – they made a big deal about planing the perfect consummation dates for both Hwon and Yeom, but that was just dropped (or maybe I dropped off to sleep….) Now Min Hwa’s pregnant? (no need for checking with the spirits for that one) And Hwon’s got Yeon-woo stashed in the back room just waiting till he brings out the guest sleeping bed? (You’d think the Queen mother would still be pushing a little harder for an heir from BY.)

        So much doesn’t even make sense to me. And it’s always miraculous that a palace teaming with guards and people becomes as barren as the Sahara Desert when Hwon wants to walk at night. With Yeon-woo. Who is stashed in the back room. How did they get past the twenty people who open the 4 sets of doors? Is no one guarding the grounds? It’s a palace – you’d think there would be a few people keeping watch on the roofs or somewhere.

        These are minor things, but I don’t even want to start on the stilted character development. Poor JIW, it seems like the Scheduler took a bad turn backwards – he just doesn’t fit in this role. I guess I’m not fangirly enough, but Hwon does nothing for me either. I wish they could have played out the whole story with the awesome child actors.

        I’m just glad I’m not the only one who is totally confused as to why this is so popular.

    • 32.2 blahblahh

      I’m curious, how do you feel the “force” of one’s acting solely through recaps?

  33. 33 appreciate

    Kim Soo Hyun ^_^

  34. 34 Brenda

    I think Min Hwa just proved that she doesn’t understand what true love is. I don’t think she ever truly loved Yeom. She just saw him as a possession. What she wants is her own happiness, and now that she’s pregnant that child better not be a shield that protects her from punishment.
    At the rate, her begging on her knees for the Heo family’s forgiveness isn’t enough.
    Hwon, Yeom, and Yeom’s mom better punish her hard since she deserves it.

    Their father was a really useless King. He allowed the Yoon family to kill off his beloved brother, destroy his son’s youth, and corrupt his daughter.
    He left Hwon powerless, deprived Yang Myung of love, and left all the power within his enemies’ grasps.
    In his pathetic attempt to save his children, he condemned the one and only family that would’ve been able to protect them.
    He was wrong. The King’s seat shouldn’t be a lonely place. It was because he made it a lonely place that he became a pawn in the Yoon’s hands.
    Being a father and a King meant punishing those who committed crimes and teaching your citizens and your children the differences between right and wrong.
    How could he wear the crown yet not even teach or punish the people he loved the most?!?!

    I’m really glad Hwon is taking everyone down . . . but then again, it’s already episode 18 so he had better now or else episode 19 and 20 would’ve left everything else unresolved.

    • 34.1 leena

      yes i totally agree with you, her love is more selfish and all about herself. she wanted, so she got what she wanted. childish in that she didn’t understand the consequences of her selfish want.
      on another note, i was so satisfied when granny got that mini stroke, i hope she never wakes up!! but i want her to die a miserable death so i guess we’ll see what they come up with.
      I’m totally with Hwon and i’m so glad HE FINALLY DID SOMETHING instead of mopping around, yes we get it, you’re heartbroken and can’t forget your first love and yadayada but damn now that you’ve finally realized that she isn’t dead, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!
      and honestly, yeon woo’s submissive nature is really starting to irritae me, like all of you guys mentioned, she’s a bright intelligent girl, USE YOUR BRAIN! c’mon drama, please i’m just hopping they don’t rush the last two episodes, which i’m pretty sure is going to happen.

    • 34.2 kit

      best comment tbh

    • 34.3 Kiara

      I dont believe for a second that she ever loved Yeom. It’s more like obsession or lust after the poor guy. Love is not selfish. If she really loves him she would want the best for him and what did she do? She completely ruined him and his family so she can have him all to herself. Her unrepented attitude is proof that the only person she really love is herself.

      • 34.3.1 Brenda

        I think we might all hate her a bit less if Yeom had fallen in love with her when her obsession with him began.
        But he never did. He didn’t even love her when they were married. He never showed any signs of affection until much later when the true was becoming exposed.
        The only people he loved were his friends and his family . . . especially Yeon Woo.

        • Carrie

          Yeom was pretty much blackmailed into marrying Min Hwa. If he didn’t marry her, his whole family would probably be executed because Yeon-Woo got sick.

  35. 35 kristie

    I love the first partof this epi when LH & YW sleeping in the same room with HS. How cute and romantic! I really like the hand in hand gesture. It fires my hot heart (:P) more than a kiss… So lovely! At that time I myself also found a happiness and calm time with the couple! :))

  36. 36 Ani

    Love it when the kids show up in flashbacks.

    Close to the end and still not enough Seol and Janshil. Oh bugger.

  37. 37 Flo

    I cried so much during this episode. I don’t believe for a second that Yang-myung will try to murder his brother…1.)there is not enough time in the series for that kind of plot and 2.) If he didn’t have the heart to kill him when he had the chance there’s no way he’s going to be able to do it. He loves his brother way too much.
    As for Min Hwa I hate her sometime, but other time I feel sorry for her. Like this episode I started to feel sorry for her but then….She said she wouldn’t do anything different and I totally started hating her again. I’ll just have to wait to the very end on that one. It so sad only two more episodes, but I am ready for the climax to see what happens….CAN’T WAIT A WHOLE WEEK AAAHHHH!!!!

    Oh and thank you for this recap you guys rock.

  38. 38 Sunmi

    Uh…can I just say WTF with the Min-hwa is suddenly/mystically/magically pregnant storyline? Wasn’t this the same girl who was forging dates just to get some loving? And now she’s got a bun in the oven? Did I step into some type of time-space warp? I mean, I know Min-hwa and Yeom are married but…isn’t this the same Yeom who seemed to prefer reading to having happyhappyfun time with the wifey?

    And double WTF to Min-hwa’s iron-clad conviction about choosing Yeom again even if he means MURDERING an innocent girl?!? Oye vey! The girl be loosing her marbles all over the place yeah? Maybe I missed a few things but to me, they didn’t set her character up to be that selfishly stupid. Yes, she was a bit daft and naive as a young girl but selfishly stupid enough to justify murder?

    Aye, this show be giving me the mental whiplash. I’ve been gripping about this for 18 episodes but they really should’ve gone the brother-vs-brother route. The Minister of DOOM! should’ve approached Yang-Myung earlier thus setting the stage for an epic battle between the two, arguably, strongest characters and actors. Yang-Myung, the character, as well as Jung Il Woo as an actor were both wasted here. This could’ve gone beyond a mere fantasy saeguk rom-com. This had the potential to be equal parts political power-struggle, filial conflict and epic romance. But all we get is Amnesia Shaman Girl! Mr. Cheeky Mopey Pants! and Mr. Sexy Virgin King literally going round-and-round on the romance merry-go-round.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the show. It’s OK. But I just wish more had been done with the plot. Le Sigh.

    • 38.1 cv

      “This could’ve gone beyond a mere fantasy saeguk rom-com. This had the potential to be equal parts political power-struggle, filial conflict and epic romance. But all we get is Amnesia Shaman Girl! Mr. Cheeky Mopey Pants! and Mr. Sexy Virgin King literally going round-and-round on the romance merry-go-round.”

      LMAO! Yup, it could have been so much better!
      I want to say, the writing was weak–as in characterwise and plotline. No depth and and nothing surprising which isn’t bad but when it starts to drag, as a viewer, I start to lose interest.

      • 38.1.1 sally_b

        jumping in here ~ it is a testament to the power of episodes 1-6 that I managed to hang on until episode 17 ~

        seriously…it’s the same feeling I had before when water skiing and you hit a *wake* that makes you bobble all over…BUT! if you can hold the line long enough and force your heels down….eventually ~~~ you glide again.

        I shake my head in wonderment that the last 2 episodes have had so much movement and value….WHYYYYY couldn’t the whole drama have delved into the characters minor relationships and been strong/meaty????

        WAE ?????

    • 38.2 kbap

      fun to watch, but when you think you’re all like, “wait…this doesn’t make sense…”
      You and me both, girl. You and me both.

    • 38.3 lena

      Hear, hear.

      Its elementary writing, to say the least. Or maybe the writers had a personality disorder + collective amnesia after episode 6. Either way, so much waste of potential and GREAT actors.

      It doesn’t help that the lead female character is very low energy either. I’m sorry, but Han Ga In’s acting just doesn’t cut it for me. Its like she’s sleepwalking most of the time, delivering her lines in monotone, with some bursts of energy every now and then. The chemistry between her and KSH is so tepid, to say the least.

      Sigh. Show, you could have been great.

      • 38.3.1 sally_b

        @lena -“re: The chemistry between her and KSH is so tepid, to say the least.”

        ditto….when Hwon asks her what to do and she answers, “Cover it up.”
        …I was also thinking in my head, “Yes, please do that and then go and get yourself a concubine with whom you have some actual sexual-energy. ….AND please provide a decent hook-up for Woon.” Thanks.

      • 38.3.2 Sunmi

        Ugh don’t even get me started on KSH/HGI pairing; I hate it with the burning passion of a thousand fiercely burning suns. It sqeuaks me out on so many levels only because there’s such a disparity in terms of their acting abilities. He outshines her in every freaking scene. I mean I get he’s supposed to be the king but isn’t she supposed to be some super-wise smart alek? The pairing with the younger actors made so much more sense; the younger actors actually had chemistry whereas KSH/HGI are just so incompatible and awkward it’s not even funny.

        On a totally random note, can we please get the Woon/Seol aka Weol (keke Weol get it? Get it~ :3 >.<) love-line going? Seriously? What's what people on the this pining for YEARS over ONE person? Seol, you're an attractive girl! Plus you can kick some serious tuchus. You need to find an attractive guy who can kick some serious tuchus as well! Woon!

        • aidable

          I totally agree. they did tease us a little with the warm smiles woon gave Seol in their childhood. And then there was this awsome encounter aka fight between them and then nothing. dear show, how you are teasing us. We’ve seen seol enough spying on poor Yeom we get it, now let the poor girl move on … to another guy, if there’s not much to ask … Woon for example.

      • 38.3.3 Kiara

        This*. 100% agree with you. I loved the first 6 eps and thats how I’ll remember this show.

    • 38.4 arkruger

      I agree with the whole Min-Hwa being pregnant thing COMPLETELY. I was like am I the only one who noticed that the last time we left this sleeping together story line, they still hadn’t done the deed and she was really concerned about it and he was really not into her? And then they just never mentioned it again and I was like okay, I guess they didn’t do it. And now all of a sudden she’s pregnant? Ugh. Mental whiplash is right.

    • 38.5 Jomo

      Agree with you on all the points.
      I gave up.

      For me to get to Ep 18 and not watch the last two episodes really shows me how disappointed I am with a show.

      I watched 18 then picked up my daughter from her music lesson. Ranted all the way home in the car.

      “Yeah, like we are supposed to beleive that YM SUDDENLY got power hungry?”

      “Why is the KIng all mopey about losing YW when YW is in the next room, dammit!”

      HOLDING HANDS? What is this schmidt? I am done with cute. We are beyond cute. People who recover from attempted murder, torture and betrayal don’t have time to be cute. They cling to whatever passionate happiness can to wipe the devastating memories away.
      They make babies now and ask questions later.

    • 38.6 SoulsEntwined

      Yeah I’m still trying to figure out when exactly Yeom decided to bed Min-hwa. All they’ve shown is him being polite to her, saying she was too young, and making excuses not to sleep with her.

  39. 39 Yumi

    Thanks for the recap.

    “which makes me want to sit him down and explain that the transitive property of math does not apply to murder.”

    I don’t fully get the math allusion, but I know funny when I read it, and that is damn funny!!!!

    • 39.1 SoulsEntwined

      I want that quote on a t-shirt

  40. 40 Carrie

    Oh, Min hwa. Ha, I really bought into your “innocent-i-don’t-know-what-did-act and pitied you but you really aren’t that innocent, are you? You showed absolutely NO remorse for what you’ve done and now, you’re using Yeom/the baby as the shield for punishment? Wow, you’re not just childish; you’re practically the devil hiding beneath a baby face.

    Lol, ok, I know that was harsh but SERIOUSLY, I don’t see princess min hwa any less wicked than the grandmother. she had just as much hand in the murder as anybody. Oh, she loved Yeom? No, that wasn’t love. That was just her wanting to control and possess Yeom. If she REALLY loved Yeom, she would not take away the very thing he loves best. Even now, she only feels guilty when she sees Yeom/Mother grieving out loud but for the rest of other times, she can just go on life happily without a glance at her bloody hands. Talk about having a heart.

    • 40.1 sally_b

      @ Carrie…we are of the same mind…I posted a few minutes after you…but…jinx! heehee

      • 40.1.1 Carrie

        haha, I see!

        You know, it’s too bad the baddies can’t all be executed (and tortured) for the unspeakable evils they have done-they might as well have murdered the whole family as the murder they committed to rightful crown princess gave the family unimaginable grief from the father committing suicide, yeom practically being forced to marry and resort to a life of nothingless, and the mother with a heart that cannot be healed.
        Alas, I’m guessing that at most, they will be exiled. Ugh, but poor Yang-myung will probably die instead somehow.
        Maybe I’m the only one but I’m majorly peeved at Hwon at how he extorts his “power” as King to throw salt at the already wounded brother. So impressed by his brotherly love. =-=

        Also, YEON-WOO needs to get her SPUNK and BRAIN back! She seems oh so passive now. And, please stop the whole noble idiocy character you’re portraying now. YOU were not the murderer and one to inflict pain so YOU should start putting the ones the DID in their place so that you AND Hwon wouldn’t be in pain anymore. LOL common sense FTW!

        • sally_b

          @Carrie – oh gurl ~ the *what could have been* elements of this drama are killing me…it’s ‘almost’ as bad as Spy MyungWol.

          I was able to release my anger at that show because it was meant to be cotton-candy-fluff from the start.

          However, Moon/Sun (imho) was a total bait-and-switch.

          A sweeping love story, with political intrigue and murderous plots, perhaps some chicken consummation….a banquet was promised …but the mid-section was cheese-whiz and ritz crackers.
          …is it too much to ask for a cake dessert?
          (´・_・`) ?

          • lena

            @sally_b, cake dessert for me would be Hwon getting his sexy on with a random kick-ass chick in an empty shack (who cares if its just a one-night stand?), Woon taking his clothes off bathing in a waterfall, Yang Myung leaving it all behind and becoming an awesome Robin Hood type of character somewhere.

            yes, i know. i’m losing it. 😀

        • sally_b

          @lena – Woooooot !! to all of your statements.

          I can hardly believe there are only 2 (!!) episodes left in a series that has run itself ragged….doing NOTHING.

          I’ve said before…if Hwon doesn’t get laid I will NEVER forgive the show. ~~~Years from now, if I surf by a blog where anyone, ANYONE, calls this a *good* show….(and Hown hasn’t been bedded)…I swear I will rip a lightening-BLUE FLASH of HELL-ish verbal Death on the landscape which will leave it fallow and uninhabitable for generations.

          ….well….or something like that. anyhoo….I’ll be plenty pissed-off…;)

  41. 41 sally_b

    well….gotta say …as this drama is winding to a close, that perhaps it should have been titled:

    “Heo Obsession: A Royal Family’s singular plot story”

    MinHwa – you had so much potential. I sympathized with your Yeom worship. I mean ..hell…he GLOWED, and sparkled, and had pillowy blush-lips ~ I get it ► He was dreamy.

    But you didn’t stick with the story: that you truly didn’t know and that King-Daddy forbade you to utter a word until you died. You had to go and say you’d do it all again….in front of your devastated brother..AND the woman you were party to *murdering*.

    Thus….I hereby emotionally drop-kick you to the curb.
    No…NO…don’t look at me ~it’s over. What ever happens to you from this point forward is not my concern. (turns away)

  42. 42 Dara

    How the princess could have gotten pregnant? Yeom was mostly had his head on the book! Jeez PD-nim that’s an awful pacing. My jaw’s dropped when the princess stubbornly declared she would walk the same path again, dang, now she’s fallen into a villain in my book. She had hurt his brother deeper by saying that.

    Love Hwon-the twins! It showed that the young one somehow has stronger character. And if that was the issue among the audience, it’s a clever way to do a sudden change of Hwon-the king.

    I wonder why the story been stalled in the first half, but keeps getting better in the latter, without an extension too.
    Thanks JB.

    • 42.1 kbap

      To think how awesome this drama could’ve been. Don’t get me wrong it’s not entirely bad, its just got weird pacing and dragging out in the beginning, and cramming everything when the show is nearly ending. And flaws. I swear I think this show got spoiled by the ratings it’s garnering.

      • 42.1.1 Tally

        Yep, the ratings killed the drama. The ratings were so good, they decided not to rock the boat and over did the romance storyline. The problem is the participants in the triangle had no chemistry with each other and their epic love seems silly, in light of that.

    • 42.2 Vira

      I believe Yeom did “that” after he saw Min-Hwa becomes pathetic after hearing the truth in the cemetery. At first, I feel so bad for her knowing that she’s trapped in the situation when Nok Young did the black magic to Yeon Woo. But after she greedily admits that as long as she’s with Yeom, she can do anything including becomes the part of the hell, I know she’s not the right one with Yeom. It shoud be Seol instead. Seol, please live happily. Don’t become the shadow of Yeom anymore. I remember that in one of the earlier episode, Jan Sil’s power have told Seol about something related to her relationship with Yeon Woo/Yeom, but I can’t remember it. Anyone knows about that?

  43. 43 akikisetsu

    Let’s start of with HS….How cute can he be, sitting in between H and YW. Now, I want the King and YW to have babies, so HS can dote on them.

    With regards to YM, I don’t think he’ll go the dark side coz he’s JIW. YM role was not that significant in the novel, but because he was played by JIW, they expanded his role. So, just like what everyone predicts, he’ll pretend to be with those evil F4 and then save Hwon in the end.

    MW, I’ve ranted enough about you before, but tonight’s episode sealed the deal for me. Somehow, what you did 8 years ago, I can still empathize (with difficulty!!!!). I wanted you to come clean with Y and your MIL before you were found out, but….. and then you have the gall to say, “I have no regrets and I’ll do it again.” Girl! you were in that house, you saw the devastation of YW death to her family, you heard the cries of her mom and brother. I have no words to say to MW’s character.=.=

  44. 44 fangirl98

    This week’s episodes are so much better than the 5-6 prior. NOW everything and everyone is revving up and with only two episodes left it’s a case of too little, too late. That being said, I’m happy Hwon and Yeon-woo get to have their time together. She brings out a whole other side of him that I’ve missed in recent episodes. I wonder now, what will he (they) do about Bo-Kyung???

    Next Wed/Thurs won’t come fast enough!

    • 44.1 sally_b

      re: what will he (they) do about Bo-Kyung???”

      BK should start packing her bags…NAO.

      …and she should go through her Daddy’s money box and pocket everything she can …take a boat to the Qing dynasty/land and take up learning Kanji.

      She’s been *fronted* as the baddie…but damn, now it seems like all she really wanted was to get busy with Hwon and have little hwonnies…can we really hate her for that?

      • 44.1.1 Lisa

        Hwon was her first and only love.

        • Dowager

          Instead love i think it’s more like ambition.

  45. 45 niKai

    I seriously think i need to push the restart button for this series before i can more ‘objectively’ say whether it’s truly awesome or just average. kekeke. for now, reading recaps is enough. Maybe in a month or so, i will forget what i read and watch this with renewed interest.

  46. 46 kiongna

    *Sighs* Min Hwa… I was rooting for you and then what a bomb of revelation… what???? u would have done the same even knowing it would kill Yeon Woo???…give her to meeeee *gives tyson punch* beh tahan… so disappointed!

    So many dramas with leading man and 2nd man (that always dun get the girl)… why do I feel this drama’s got 2 leading men even though we know one will not get the girl? That’s how good both guys are i guess….

    Harmoni evil grandma queen is pretty awesome yes? All that contorted face and shrill commanding voice OMO *full claps* LOL

    Although I am enjoying this drama…”The Princess’ Man” had something more somehow… hmmmm *taps finger on chin* how to explain… dunno.. nevermind.. onwards to Ep. 19, can’t wait!

    Thanks Javabeans *winks*

  47. 47 megara

    Can we all just skip the scenes with Minhwa? I can’t stand her. I know she’s supposed to be head over heels over Yeom but what she said about wanting to do it all over again if it means having the glow-in-the dark husband really put me off. Really? Your innocence over murder? I am starting to think that she’s crazy….oh wait, she is a granddaughter of that crazy old lunatic after all.

  48. 48 Lisa

    It is really sad that despite how much she loves Yeom… she loves him with her and not him.

    I thought she was going to feel some shame in being a part of YH’s death but she wasn’t. The reason of not telling Yeom about her role in YH’s death was because she doesn’t want Yeom to hate her not because she doesn’t want Yeom to disown her. I feel a little bad as a human for wishing Minwha death and that Yeom&Seol get to be together… but alas…not enough time I think.

    I await the death of BK’s dad as foretold by Ari and I have a feeling it might be YM or Hwon who kills him but ends of up dying …to be honest the only “happy” ending for this show is about 3-4 deaths.

    I feel like they should youtube the cutesy Hwon and YH moments to move the plot like they did with Playful Kiss but maybe that would have sunk the ratings lol

  49. 49 arvi

    in second episode, the dead shaman had told that there will be blood…I think it means that there will be someone who will die..

  50. 50 ava

    I should have waited for ep. 19 and 20 recaps. Now I’m all bothered by the cliffhanger ending.
    Anyhow, thanks Javabeans for the recap!

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