There’s just so much to love in this show. This episode brings us more into Hee-jin’s world, where already-established characters become all the more colorful and real. I like the fact that while the supporting characters could be drawn in large strokes, there’s an attention to detail that makes the whole ensemble a treat to watch, with a fun rapport that remains engaging all the way through. There isn’t a slow moment to be had, which can partly be chalked up to the breezy running time as well as plain ol’ good execution. No one’s complaining here.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
We backtrack a bit to see how Boong-do made his daring escape, both from his assassins and the fleet of guards sent after him. Both parties comb the forest for any sign of the missing scholar, though the assassins are set on killing him before the guards find him.
Boong-do evades capture by hiding up a tree, though he’s immediately attacked on land by both assassins brandishing swords, while he is both weaponless and shoeless. He fights valiantly, but in the end finds a sword leveled at his throat. The assassin draws back to make the killing blow…
And poof! The talisman is at work again, transporting Boong-do from near-death in Joseon times to near-death in the present, by plunking him right in the middle of a busy street. He rolls to safety just in time, though he seems slightly confused that he’s still bleeding from the temple (from that arrow wound earlier). Well, at least we know the time skips aren’t a magical cure-all.
He’s able to find modern clothes by dawn, though the wound continues to bleed. He comes upon a bustling tourist spot and for the first time we see our hero look truly lost in this world he doesn’t understand, now compounded due to the separation between him and the only thing he knows here – Hee-jin.
But fate is on his side as he finds a forgotten purse, with a wallet and maybe more importantly, a tourist’s guide to Korea. (In Chinese, which he can read!) He smiles – this’ll come in handy.
Back in Joseon times, the ranking official presiding over Jeju Island has to hear the bad news that Boong-do escaped, with not even a trace of him to be found. It’s with resignation that he’s forced to write a letter to his superiors of Boong-do’s escape.
Meanwhile, smartypants Boong-do uses the tourist’s guide to his full advantage – enough to find a pharmacy for some first aid supplies. His photographic memory also allowed him to memorize the different types of money, so he’s even able to pay correctly. Did I mention how much I love him?
While the messenger with the official’s letter goes on his way in Joseon, Boong-do sets to adjusting himself in modern times. He eyes a pair of scissors somewhat dubiously before giving himself a perfect haircut, and patches up his head wound with his newly-bought supplies.
That guide might be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. He even learns that what would take two weeks of travel in his time (from Jeju to the capital) takes only an hour by airplane. Meanwhile, the rider sent to deliver the news of Boong-do’s escape is forced to take that two week journey.
Now we make it back to the phone call, where even Hee-jin is stumped as to how he got her number. She escapes Soo-kyung’s prying as Boong-do tells her that he memorized her number from a post-it note she wrote. “At that time, I didn’t know what it was, so I just decided to remember it. Isn’t it useful?” I wish I could just decide to remember useful things.
Hee-jin is like, but you died from an illness! Boong-do informs her in a very matter of fact way that it wasn’t illness, but poison put into his food. She’s shocked that anyone would be out to kill him, but this is all part and parcel to Boong-do: “My family was killed like that. It’s not a rare matter.”
Turns out he’s calling her from the airport, and has a question about IDs. Soo-kyung hunts Hee-jin down (man, she is nothing if not persistent), and demands to know who Hee-jin is talking to. In a hurry, Hee-jin mentions a mutual friend named Yun-chul.
Ha – and wouldn’t you know it, he has about the same height and build as Boong-do, and even dresses like him. Hee-jin asks to borrow his ID in exchange for a picture, with the intent of giving it to Boong-do.
We find our girls on the next flight to Jeju, with Soo-kyung fuming in her seat. Hee-jin cheerfully reminds her manager that they have plenty of time before the broadcast tonight, and dispels her worries about the suspicious grad student without an ID.
And when words fail and Soo-kyung’s dogged questions persist, Hee-jin just pretends like she can’t hear her due to the air pressure, ha. Soo-kyung takes on the role of a worried friend – Hee-jin went down this same path with Dong-min, and look how that turned out?
Hee-jin: “Don’t worry, this time it’s the last. There’s really no reason to meet him anymore.” But that last sentence is said with an air of sadness, since she doesn’t want it to be true. Adorably, she avoids further questioning by plugging her ears again, then cuddles up with Soo-kyung to keep her friend’s mood from going too sour.
We cut to a photo shoot on a windswept cliff with Na-jung and a reluctant Dong-min, who’d rather have a photo shoot with Hee-jin. He’s adorably cheeky and honest about preferring Hee-jin in all things, which makes his already nervous manager practically hopping because the stylists can overhear everything, and he’s got to protect his actor’s image.
When it’s his turn to pose next to Na-jung, he tells his manager that if it were Hee-jun he’d practically cartwheel over. But because it’s Na-jung, he makes a BIG show of the struggle it takes to walk over, as if his feet are weighed down. Hahaha.
Dong-min taunts Na-jung by asking her if she knows why he’s not dating Hee-jin – because he’s waiting for her to reach Na-jung’s level of fame. The actress scoffs. He’ll be waiting thirty years, then.
While waiting in the airport, Boong-do again thinks over his conversation with the monk and the meaning of the talisman. I like that he considers it so seriously (as well he should). But his eyes end up fixated on the TV screen where a trailer of Hee-jin’s upcoming drama plays, and time stands still for him as his eyes remain transfixed on her face.
Hee-jin finds him in the airport, and teases him with a sigh: What would he do without her? She’s put off by his serious facial expression, and he asks her if she’s playing the role of the queen (he just figured out what an actor does).
She puffs up – he must have seen the trailer. “Now you believe me! I told you I’m Queen In-hyun. I’m the one you’re risking your life to protect!” But his response is a smile, which has her on the rise. Is he trying to say she’s not fit to be queen?
Boong-do: “It’s the first time that I find you beautiful.”
Ha. It’s sort of a backwards compliment if you think about it, but Hee-jin seems to take it all the same. He tells her that he prefers her in hanbok (the traditional clothes she wore in the trailer) rather than what she’s wearing now. I like that touch, because it just makes sense. Why wouldn’t his beauty standards carry over from his own time?
Still, even she recognizes that it sounds more like an insult than a compliment. So did he honestly think she was ugly before? He just gives her his trademark smile, which is pretty much a ‘yes’ in the land of Boong-do. She scoffs, half-joking, that she’s offended and doesn’t know about helping him anymore.
But Boong-do, quick on the uptake, informs her that they should be even now. After all, he’s learned what the meaning of player is – and he assures her that he is not one. So with her seeing him as a player, and him seeing her as ugly, they should be even now. I don’t know why that’s so funny, but it is – he totally acknowledges that he thought she was ugly. Pfft. I love his honesty, but maybe learning a white lie or two wouldn’t hurt.
Hee-jin does some finagling to get Soo-kyung to agree to the three of them flying together back to Seoul, citing that it’s Boong-do’s first time on a plane. But more important than that, she asks her manager if a hanbok really suits her more. Does it show a more dignified side of her? Ha, I love that she took the positive side of his compliment.
But Soo-kyung, ever wary of Boong-do, shoots him a look that says, I’ve got my eye on you.
They’ve got a little time before their flight leaves, so Soo-kyung ends up as the third wheel on their coffee date. Hee-jin warns Boong-do against using ancient words around her manager, since that will only arouse her suspicions. Boong-do is already on it – he’s got the guide, remember? – and even says ‘thank you’ with a modern intonation.
Soo-kyung wants Boong-do to pay for the coffee, clearly trying to test whether he’s a freeloader or not. But Hee-jin insists on paying because she knows money will be of use to him in Seoul, which has her manager stomping off in a fit. “Your friend seems to hate me,” Boong-do notes. Hee-jin tells him not to mind, but he catches Soo-kyung’s less than subtle gaze ordering him over for a friendly chit chat.
She takes the stance that being a manager is no different from being Hee-jin’s family, and starts rattling off questions, like what university did he attend? She warned him explicitly about telling lies, so he tells her the truth: Sungkyunkwan. Ha! Of course she thinks he’s talking about the modern Sungkyunkwan, and not the Joseon academy. But hey, it’s the truth.
I love that the tide starts turning on Soo-kyung, since every answer Boong-do has makes it sound like he’s a big deal. Ahaha – she has to keep checking her reactions to maintain her tough facade, but it’s so apparent that what started out as a harsh interrogation has now turned into a potential match interview.
The usual questions are asked about his parents (dead), finances (inheritance), what his father did (national affairs, which she takes to mean public service, and literally gets giddy at the thought), etc. Soo-kyung excuses herself to basically squee outside – everything about him is positive, and a stark difference to Hee-jin’s latest suitors. If only she knew that all of his assets are frozen three hundred years in the past.
Hee-jin finally joins him for coffee, but practically does a spit-take when Boong-do asks her why she dropped everything to come running. She keeps trying to pass it off, but he’s persistent – isn’t she a busy person? She’s a bit stumped on how to respond, and claims that she was honestly worried after reading about his untimely death… and anyway, she came here to help, so why is he interrogating her instead of saying thanks?
He smiles and claims he just wanted to know the reason. “A master I know of once told me that nothing is incidental. The last time we met was probably because of fate. But this time, it was because I wanted to see you that I contacted you. And you also came here because you wanted to see me. So clearly it is not karma. Because of the talisman that I have with me, I met you. That’s why you came all the way here. This fate, what incidents it will cause, and what effect comes of it… aren’t you curious?”
But poor Hee-jin looks mighty confused at all the words that just came at her. He wanted to have a philosophical discussion about the ramifications of fate, but her head hurts. Ha.
In what seems to be a Secret Garden shout out, Hee-jin ends up with some cappuccino foam on her upper lip, which Boong-do doesn’t hesitate to wipe away with his thumb. He tries to explain his whole concept using simpler terms of cause and effect. “You disregarding the foam is the cause,” he informs her. “Me wiping it is the effect.”
But the touch seems to have affected her more than she’s letting on. In the sense that resistance is swiftly becoming futile, she blames him for being a player. Boong-do claims he was just trying to explain, but she fires back, “Using this method to explain is called flirting, you player.” Haha. Her theory? Him being like this is the cause, so her calling him a player is the effect. He just laughs, which she now recognizes as his go-to tactic when he has nothing to say. Cause and effect.
In Joseon times, Minister Min hears from one of his spies that they’ve lost track of Yoon-wol and another one of Boong-do’s attendants (Han-dong). While in the present, Boong-do tells Hee-jin that he’s here to find out whether it’ll be Minister Min’s death, or his own.
With an affronted gasp, Hee-jin wonders if he means to kill him. He reassures her that revenge isn’t only by killing – there’s politics, too. Isn’t this era like that? HA. Astute observation.
And Minister Min, remembering Boong-do’s card analogy, becomes incensed at the thought that he’s conspiring against him. But like Boong-do predicted, he can’t begin to imagine how.
Looks like Soo-kyung has caught Boong-do Fever like the rest of us, since she’s singing his praises on the flight home. Boong-do sits next to a boy with a book on airplanes (what luck), and is completely adorable as usual. Although he does seem a teensy bit afraid of flying.
And Minister Min looks like he’s losing it. What is Boong-do’s hidden card?
HAHA. As the plane starts taking off, Boong-do’s eyes widen, and for whatever reason Hee-jin thinks that miming the act of flying to him will make him feel better. It’s hilarious.
Dong-min is on the same flight, and gives the flight attendant a hard time when she offers “anything” but can’t get him a first class seat. He’s peeved over his manager’s scheduling slight, because he hasn’t had to sit in coach for three years. Aww, poor baby. Life is hard, isn’t it?
His manager tries to appease him by saying that Na-jung is in coach class too, but that hardly makes him feel any better. A cursory look toward the back of the plane lands his gaze on Boong-do, who he recognizes as the psycho stalker from the hospital.
His manager spies Hee-jin also on the flight, and compounded with the stalker, the two have a moment of revelation. Thinking that her stalker followed her into the plane, they devise a plan. Dong-min girds his loins.
Hilariously, both Boong-do and Dong-min lock gazes, with the Hallyu star miming a Robert De Niro-esque version of I’m watching you, and you’re going down.
Dong-min has the authorities alerted on the ground, but becomes alarmed when Boong-do approaches Hee-jin. He’s recognized Dong-min and tells her that he might have to do his disappearing act – is there a private place he can go? Okay, Boong-do, let’s think about this for a second. If the talisman is as exact as it seems to be and you time-traveled from here, aren’t you afraid you’ll end up 30,000 feet in the Joseon air sans a plane?
This scene looks much different to Dong-min, who thinks her psycho stalker is planning something nefarious. Determined to be the hero, Dong-min attempts a leaping kick at Boong-do in the aisle, which our scholar evades. The flight attendants take hold of him shortly after.
Now they have the attention of the entire plane, and they’re instantly recognized. Against his manager’s orders, Dong-min volunteers to explain to the passengers what happened, and takes on a very press-friendly way of speaking as he paints the picture with him as the hero, which has the entranced audience ooh-ing and aww-ing.
Hee-jin watches him get taken away, conflicted. Finally she stands up and demands to know why they’re taking him to the police – he’s not a stalker. Soo-kyung closes her eyes – she knows they’re in for some trouble. She explains that she bought the tickets and that they boarded together, which has Dong-min wondering why.
Hee-jin: “Because… he’s my boyfriend.”
Dong-min is floored as she takes charge of the situation, which ends up being like an announcement to the entire plane. They’re to call the police and explain the misunderstanding at once. Soo-kyung fans herself, this is bad news.
To prove her point, Hee-jin walks straight up to Boong-do and interlaces her fingers with his. One of the girls in the aisle says astutely that Dong-min just became a complete joke, which, yikes.
People are staring and taking pictures, but Hee-jin and Boong-do remain in their own little world, their faces barely apart. She wants him to say something, but he remains quiet, his eyes fixated only on her. “Us becoming lovers… What will be the outcome of it?” she asks.
A small smile graces his face, and they stare deeply at one another.
There’s something about the close proximity in that last moment that had me reaching for a fan. Whew.
I like that Boong-do is not only using the talisman as an advantage in his time (i.e. avoiding death), but is now using it in the present to maneuver himself in the past. The fact that he could grasp how convenient modern transportation really is has me thinking that he’ll put that knowledge to good use, with a very high chance of making it back to Hanyang long before the messenger carrying the news of his escape does. Even if he does it just to blow Minister Min’s mind, I’ll count it as a win. He seems like he’s teetering on the edge of sanity anyway.
Boong-do’s desire to use the talisman on the plane did have me thinking about the time-traveling rules, though I doubt it would be in this drama’s favor for Boong-do to transport himself from a high rise building and end up in a Joseon tree. It’d still be pretty funny, though.
What this show does excel at, and what was especially shown here, is the juxtaposition between the Joseon/Minister Min scenes and the modern scenes. You’d think that jumping back and forth three hundred years in a matter of seconds would be jarring, but it’s shot and edited in such a way that lets us know that these two men are still very much at odds in a very real way, one that transcends the boundaries of time. Boong-do just has an ace in the pocket that he’s not against using, and I have to respect his resourcefulness. Along with every other thing about him.
Most of the bigger conflict up until this point has been centered around Boong-do’s life (and death) in the high-stakes game of Joseon politics, but this episode introduced us to the conflict he could bring to Hee-jin’s life. It’s no longer just about the smaller conflicts of their romance (which are plenty engaging and addicting) insulated from the public eye. Even though Hee-jin’s stakes may not be as high when you compare them directly, she’s a product of a different time, so it’s nice to see her world mean something and hold its own.
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 5
- Thing vs. Thing: Time-traveling Heroes
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 4
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 3
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 2
- Queen In-hyun’s Man: Episode 1
- Queen In-hyun’s Man’s additional stills and teasers
- Queen In-hyun’s Man casts rivals, releases stills
- Queen In-hyun’s Man releases romantic promos