Ever wonder what happens when you cross a humorless warrior with a Kangnam princess who doesn’t know the meaning of boundaries? Hilarity, that’s what. And a whole bucket of cute too, which I didn’t expect. I certainly didn’t think this drama would be heavy on the rom-com of all things, but perhaps they’ve figured out what we have—that it’s better at the funny than anything else. We finally get the couple to spend a length of time together onscreen, and it leads to lots of adorable bickering, and even some moments of sincerity. But most importantly, I finally start to see the promise of an interesting relationship.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Choi Young storms Ki Chul’s compound to rescue the doc, declaring that he’s here on a personal mission because he loves Eun-soo. Ki Chul actually laughs out loud, while Eun-soo just gapes, l-l-l-love?
Ki Chul only cares about one thing, and asks his firestarter sister Hwasuin about Choi Young’s abilities. She approaches him and says she didn’t use all her strength against him, but she could also sense that he didn’t use all of his either.
She reaches out to touch him and he snaps her red-gloved hand away, and then when she makes a move to approach Eun-soo, he SLAMS that police shield down so hard it’s kinda hot.
Ki Chul asks flute-killer Chun Eum-ja about Choi Young’s ki-power, and his assessment is that his strength is shallow. Ki Chul asks if that’s true, or if it’s because of his injury. Choi Young is surprised by how much he knows, but asks Ki Chul, “Which answer would put me in the best position?”
He calls him a warrior who uses more than his sword, and Choi Young just replies cheekily, “Yes I sometimes use a bow and arrow, and if nothing’s around, I even use my fists.”
Ki Chul is actually impressed: “A warrior who uses his brain… Do you like to drink?”
Princess Noguk comes to see the king again, and says she has an idea for how to get Choi Young and the doctor back – he should send her, as the Yuan princess, and Ki Chul will have no choice but to listen to her request.
Gongmin wonders bitterly how hard it must be for her to be the queen of such a pathetic nation as Goryeo, and asks if she honestly thinks he should send her and announce to the world that the king has no power, and needs the Yuan princess to get things done for him. Er, when you put it like that…
He says if she really is Goryeo’s queen, she can’t think that way. She bows her head, realizing her mistake. He asks what she’s thinking right now: “That this pathetic king who has no one by his side is only concerned about saving face?” But she cries a tear, more affected by his words than he knows. He dismisses her coldly.
Court lady Choi stops behind the others, remaining to tell Gongmin that the queen did really have a hard time, and lay down all her pride to come to him tonight. And perhaps because she was his nanny, he opens up to her, and says he gave the doctor over willingly, but not without a plan. And the reason you couldn’t have said this while the queen was in the room?
He says he gave Ki Chul seven days to win Eun-soo’s heart (not romantically, just to win her over to his side), and says that means at least seven days she remains alive. He asks lady Choi if she thinks him young and foolish. Can I answer that? It’s certainly why I love the character, but damn if it isn’t frustrating too.
Ki Chul pours drinks for Choi Young and Eun-soo. She reaches for her cup and Choi Young snatches it away to drink it first, and she glares. She realizes after the fact that he did it to make sure she wasn’t being poisoned, and gasps, “Are you crazy?”
He just smiles back at her, “You’re a doctor, so you could treat me.” Great, now Deathwish has another excuse to go flying into the face of danger?
Ki Chul’s head minion steps in to talk down to Eun-soo, calling her a bitch and laughing that no one will believe she’s Hwata’s disciple from heaven. He looms over her threateningly…
And Eun-soo just crosses her arms and swears right back at him for flapping his damn gums. “Do you think I’m not swearing because I can’t?” I love that she has a potty mouth. It’s so satisfying.
Minion recoils like a little mouse and Choi Young suppresses a laugh. She asks for her patient already, and tells Choi Young about the bet between Ki Chul and the king. Hwasuin points out she wasn’t told about what would happen if she couldn’t heal the patient, and describes her inevitable beheading with a glint in her eye.
That pushes Eun-soo over the edge and she just reaches for the entire jug of liquor. HA. Choi Young nags her to put it down but she just pours herself drink after drink, “Do I look like I’m about to sit still?”
He finally has to yank it away from her. Why do I love their bickering so?
They ask to see the patient, and Ki Chul says he was going to choose someone nearby, but changed his mind when Choi Young arrived. He’s got the perfect patient: “The one you served as your lord for the last three years.”
Choi Young’s face goes white. He asks what Ki Chul is trying to do. He laughs that he was planning to strike two birds with one arrow, but now, he’s found a way to capture all three. He tells Choi Young to accompany his beloved so she can treat the sickly former king.
The queen announces that she’ll be going to see Ki Chul anyway, and court lady Choi says with alarm that she has to get the king’s permission and plan a secure exit from the palace. But Noguk wants to go in secret, and says she’ll climb the palace wall if she has to.
Court lady Choi literally shoves Jang Bin into speaking up against the idea, which he does, but Noguk isn’t willing to budge. Court lady Choi says she’s known Choi Young from a very young age, and he’s quick-witted enough to get the doctor back, so she can rest assured.
That surprises Noguk so she asks her relation to Choi Young. His father was her older brother, so that makes her his aunt. Ah, so aunt it is. Noguk tells them she doesn’t know how to wait like they do, and insists on going anyway. Lady, I love your spunk but this is a dumb idea.
Eun-soo and Choi Young head out for their journey ahead, and she looks at the horses with a disapproving eye—what about those carriages they took the last time? He says they’re going on horseback.
She asks if maybe they can ride one together then, which just gets an awkward stare from him. He says it’s a long journey and they should think of the horses—what did they do wrong to suffer with double the load? He makes a move to help her up, but she says she needs time to prepare mentally, and he siiiiiighs.
So they walk the horses through the woods, and she asks, “Since when?” She parses the word he used: Love. “When… did you start loving me?” Hee. Okay, this is definitely the best side effect of the love declaration.
She says she’s pretty obtuse when it comes to this stuff, and how could she have known anyway, when he’s always snapping at her and won’t meet her eyes. “See, you’re doing it now! You can’t look at me!”
I don’t know what’s funnier—that she chases his gaze back and forth or that he avoids her like a child. She runs up and asks how old he is, guessing that she’s the noona, and reaches for his arm.
He suddenly whirls around and pins her arms behind her, growling that she should never sneak up on someone who’s carrying a sword, or touch him without warning. But when he lets her go she’s like, “Eh, I’m not scared so easily.”
He adds, “And in case you might misunderstand, back there when I said I loved you…” She cuts him off with a knowing look, “I know. I understand. Don’t worry.” Pffft.
She figures he must’ve been embarrassed and she shouldn’t have laughed, and I’m just dying. He’s like uh… you don’t understand and she just keeps cutting him off, It’s okay, I get it. HEE.
She says she’ll pretend she never heard it, wink-wink, and then in the same breath adds, “But I already did!” She hits him on the shoulder and goes running. HAHAHA. I. Love. Her.
He grabs Dae-man by the collar, “Why, of all the doctors in heaven, did I happen to bring her? WHY?!” Aaaaah, your exasperation makes me so happy.
He sends Dae-man to get the doc’s supplies and meet them by nightfall, and Dae-man stammers, “So the two of you…alone…at night…” and Choi Young just raises his hand, sending him scampering away. Hee.
Ki Chul’s spy in the palace sends word that the queen is on her way to see him about the doctor and Choi Young. Minion asks what they ought to do, since they can’t exactly refuse a request from the Yuan princess.
Ki Chul says they have to take care of her before she arrives then, and figures she was supposed to have died before setting foot in country anyway.
Advisor Jo alerts the king that the queen has left the palace, and tells him every detail. Gongmin reels, and then asks how he knows exactly what happened—does he have an informant in the queen’s staff? Is there one for him as well? Advisor Jo falls to his knees and begs for forgiveness.
Gongmin calls acting Woodalchi leader Choong-seok. He says he’ll send men to find her, and the king grabs his arm and whispers, “You go yourself.”
He says with pleading eyes for him to bring her back alive, even if he has to tie her up and drag her here. It’s the first real show of emotion we’ve seen from him when it comes to the queen.
Noguk walks through the streets thinking she’s being inconspicuous, and of course she’s surrounded by assassins in no time. Thankfully she’s guarded by some badass female warriors, who attack and give her a chance to run.
Dae-man returns to the palace and finds the doctor’s supplies wrapped in Choi Young’s familiar sling, but hears a commotion just as he’s about to head out. It’s Ki Chul’s minion, here to claim the same thing, and threatening Deoki to get it.
Dae-man busts through the wall to save her from getting killed, but he’s not quick enough against a dose of poison, a strange green powder that the minion blows into his face. Dae-man goes down (Noooo!), and the minion escapes with the pouch.
Deoki panics as Dae-man starts convulsing and foaming at the mouth. If he dies, I will never forgive you!
Choi Young gets nervous waiting for Dae-man, and decides he has to go check. He tells Eun-soo to just wait here and eat lots of mandoo, but she in turn asks him where the door to heaven is.
She says she has no interest in a bet between Ki Chul and the king, and just asks Choi Young to say he lost her. She adds that she might need some getaway money, “But… you could do that for me, right? You said you loved me…”
Noguk gets backed into an alley and is soon surrounded. I knew this was a bad idea! Chun Eum-ja watches from the rooftop, signaling his archers to attack. They shoot, but Jang Bin knocks them away with one swing of his magic fan.
Thankfully, the Woodalchi arrive just in time, and curiously, Chun Eum-ja plays another note on his flute, and his archers shoot their own hired mercenaries. I guess that’s one way to clean up your trail.
I’m with the king on this one, because that was pointless of her to go and just make herself bait. He paces back and forth in the hall fuming, and I love the comedy of his entourage having to change formation every time he switches direction and paces back the other way.
The queen is safely back in the palace, and court lady Choi suggests she ask the king for forgiveness, swearing that he was worried sick about her. She scoffs that there’s no possible way that’s true, and yells that they have nothing but lies for her.
And then on the king’s side, he can’t believe she didn’t give one word of explanation or remorse, and asks Choong-seok what she said. Choong-seok does his hilarious verbatim voice-intonation recounting of the queen’s disbelief that the king would be concerned about her well-being. I wonder how many royal crises could have been averted without this game of he-said she-said.
Gongmin reels even more to find out that Dae-man was poisoned and Choi Young and the doctor are in the wind. But Choong-seok tells him not to worry—they’re fine. Gongmin: “How do you know?!” Choong-seok just says with the utmost faith because it’s their general, and he doesn’t get into fights he can’t win, even knowing how to bow out when he needs to. He says they’re fine.
In fact he’s currently trying to get Eun-soo to get on her horse, sighing that whether she chooses to go with him or run away, doesn’t she kind of need to be on the horse to do so? She wants to ease into it, but he doesn’t have the patience for that, and just picks her up and gets her into the saddle.
She pretty much lies on top of the horse and clings for dear life, and it takes a while before she sits up. He tells her to trust the horse, but she insists, “I trust it, but it doesn’t trust me!”
He sighs, “Then trust me. I’ll catch you if you fall.” She perks up a little at that, and he teaches her to ride.
They stop at nightfall and set up camp for the night, and he tosses a blanket at her and sits up to keep watch. She starts to walk away, but he points to the spot right beside him, “Here, right next to me.”
She gives him a skeptical who-you-think-you’re-playing look, but he says he can’t protect her if she’s far away. She’s not quite convinced, but complies.
She asks if he likes protecting things—he has to protect the king, keep his promises (literally “protect one’s promise”), protect her—all with his life on the line. She asks about the last king, that they’re going to treat. Did he protect him too?
Choi Young says he was his Woodalchi for three years, so yes. (This would be King Chungjeong, the second king that Choi Young served in his seven-year stint as Woodalchi, not the first one who killed his leader. Gongmin is his uncle.)
She asks if they were close, and he says a king and his bodyguard aren’t really bestie material, but she guesses right away that they were, otherwise why is he taking her all the way there when no one is watching them? It would make sense that they were close, given that he was the king to give him his freedom.
He tells her to sleep but she wants to talk, noting that there’s so little they know about each other. “Do you even know my name?” Heh, it didn’t even occur to me, but he doesn’t. She says it’s Eun-soo, and he repeats it quietly to himself.
Is he married? She says people married young in ye olden days, but he says no, he’s not. She’s like, yeah… “What woman would like a killer who just goes around stabbing people all day?” Ha. That actually gets a rise out of him.
She says she’s not married either, and that her parents are farmers in the countryside and she was living it up as a single girl in Seoul… that is until she got kidnapped. She sighs that Mom’s probably sick with worry that her only child has gone missing.
She asks him to keep another promise—to take her to heaven’s door after she treats the former king. She says in English, “Hey Psycho, good night,” and goes to sleep. Only after does he take an aspirin, per doctor’s orders.
Court lady Choi goes to see the king, worried that he hasn’t been eating or sleeping, and offers to make him a dish he liked as a child. He asks her advice—is it better for the people of this nation if he give in to Ki Chul instead of waging a war?
Wouldn’t Choi Young and the doctor be safer if he gave them up? He asks for her honest opinion so she gives it—Ki Chul is only out for himself, and thinks of the people as possessions he can use to gain more power. “Would you give your people over to such a person?”
He says there’s nothing he can think of, nothing he can do. She bows and says there are a few things a king must never utter: “There is no way, there is nothing I can do—those are things a king must never say.”
Gongmin: “I can’t even say them? Because I am king?” She bows lower, “Yes.” He smiles and says she is indeed Choi Young’s family.
Choi Young stays up, keeping watch, and asks if Eun-soo is asleep. He doesn’t get an answer so then he calls out, “Are you going to stand there all night?” and Hwasuin comes out from the shadows.
She complains about being made to wait so long if he knew, and makes her way over to Eun-soo. He hurls the stick in his hand at her feet as a warning and she backs off. He says Dae-man never came—was that their doing?
She doesn’t know. He starts to ask about why Ki Chul is sending them to heal the former king, but she’s more interested in their relationship. She asks if they’re really lovers, because Eun-soo called him a killer… but then she sleeps beside him… what’s that about?
She saunters over and sits in his lap, wondering what his secret is—how does he get women to trust him so? She purrs, “Do you have no interest in gaining my trust?” He doesn’t even have any interest in what she’s saying, because he just wonders aloud if Ki Chul is aiming for the king, but what does he want?
“Or do you not know because you’re just a dog who knows nothing of its master’s plans?” Oh, burrrrrrn. I love that he just goes to sleep, making it clear she’s not a threat.
But she comes close to say that by sunrise tomorrow Ki Chul will go see the king and say that five days are left for him to win the doctor’s heart… and perhaps he’ll mention Choi Young’s name too. “I saw it more and more—his desire to possess you.”
Ki Chul goes to the see the king and says that Choi Young stormed in and kidnapped the doctor… so that she could heal Chungjeong. OOOH. I see what you’re doing. He’s purposely sending Choi Young to someone he’s shown great allegiance to, so that he can make the king’s trust in him falter.
He asks Gongmin how long he’s known Choi Young—barely a month—and how close they could possibly be. He says that Chungjeong took the throne at the mere age of twelve, and Choi Young wasn’t just a bodyguard to him, but a teacher, and a hyung.
Did Choi Young ask Gongmin once for permission before taking these actions, to go running to his former king? Oh, he’s good. Gongmin’s eyes betray his shaking foundation.
But he manages to say with a smile on his face like it’s a ridiculous idea: Are you trying to tell me that my Woodalchi is plotting high treason against me?
Ki Chul puts on his most concerned face, all don’tcha think? Oh man, that face.
Choi Young and Eun-soo finally arrive at the humble house and he opens the door. Chungjeong rushes out of bed at the sight of him, “Young-ah! Young-ah!” Awwww, he’s so tiny and adorable!
He rushes Choi Young in a hug, saying he knew he’d come. It’s So. Cute. Choi Young smiles and hugs him back, saddened by the sight of the empty dilapidated house.
Chungjeong says he heard about the divine healer and asks what heaven was like, as she examines him. Choi Young tells him about all the homes built to reach the heavens and carts that ran without horses, as he listens attentively.
But the furtive looks from Eun-soo signal bad news, and Choi Young just keeps chatting, not letting on. Afterwards he asks if she can cure him, and she says she’ll try—they have to get him back to the palace for surgery immediately.
Only… that’s not possible. He’s exiled, and can’t step one foot outside this house, otherwise he’s committing treason. Oh man, this is one serious trap.
Choong-seok sends a rider to warn Choi Young that the king is already suspicious. He says to make it clear: if he takes one step out of that house with Chungjeong, it’s a death sentence.
Ki Chul’s minion hands over the pouch with the doctor’s tools, and surprisingly, Ki Chul recognizes them on sight. He rushes into a room and digs out a case of implements and matches them, shape for shape, to Eun-soo’s.
He says with alarm that these were given to him by his teacher… who said they once belonged to Hwata. His eyes glisten, “She is truly Hwata’s disciple?” He asks where she is and his brother says it’s too late to stop their plan from going forward now, but Ki Chul runs out saying he’ll go there himself, because no one can harm the divine healer. Things just suddenly got interesting—now the baddie believes in the healer from heaven?
Choi Young heads out to retrieve the doctor’s supplies, and she says it’s even better if he brings Jang Bin too. Chungjeong doesn’t want him to leave, but Eun-soo promises to tell him all about heaven and girl groups (ha) and waves Choi Young away, saying that she’s adding babysitting fees to her list of things he owes her.
He heads out, but only gets about three feet out the door when Ki Chul’s men attack, and Hwasuin throws fire bombs.
He runs back in the house to grab Chungjeong and announces they’re making a run for it. NO!
He tells Eun-soo to stick right behind him and just keep running straight ahead, and she nods. It says something that she really does trust him completely.
They make a run for it and fight through the assassins… only to be stopped by royal guards. He announces himself as Woodalchi and starts explaining the situation, when the assassins swoop down and surround him, saying, “Protect his majesty!”
Choi Young looks back at them, completely confused—why are the men who tried to kill them now protecting them?
But before he can stop anyone, they draw their swords and attack the guards, now making it look like he’s just brought an army to extract the former king from his prison… committing high treason.
Well, that’s the best ending we’ve had so far, what with treason on the line, though the directing still leaves much to be desired as far as cliffhangers go. What a great trap—I finally buy that Ki Chul isn’t just power-hungry, but smart. I don’t even know that he needs any supernatural abilities, given that he knows how to use the power of doubt against his opponents so well.
I really hope Gongmin has more trust in Choi Young than to bend to his fears so easily, but it’s true that a one-month relationship doesn’t hold that much water, especially given Choi Young’s repeated insistence on leaving Gongmin despite his pleas to stay by his side. Knowing that he was so loyal to his last king doesn’t help matters either, because I get the sense that it immediately makes Gongmin jealous—he wants that relationship with Woodalchi too, and despite being older than Chungjeong, he’s also a young king who seeks approval and security. I do always feel for him because his heart’s in the right place, but his judgment still leaves me worried.
Bringing in the last king is a great character moment for Choi Young, whose shades of humanity are finally starting to show more and more, ever since the big flashback to his past. Now we get to see a warmer, gentler father figure and teacher, which explains the way he talks to Gongmin sometimes, like he’s teaching the king how to be a king. It makes so much more sense now to know that he actually did that for a twelve-year old. I just love that upside-down power dynamic, of a little king who calls the big warrior by first name and the big warrior who bows to the young boy, but teaches him the ways of the world. I really hope Eun-soo can save him so we can get more of their interaction. That is, if they’re not all executed for the treason…
I just can’t get enough of Eun-soo’s attitude. She’s so hilarious. We all knew Choi Young said he loved her to back his claim that he’s acting on a personal mission outside of royal authority, but it’s so hysterical that she’s like, Oh, you like me. *hair flip* Haha. She’s the real princess ’round here. I died laughing when she wouldn’t even let him explain. I hope it never gets cleared up, ’cause I could pretty much watch him be exasperated with her all day. I was grateful for their journey if only to give them more screentime together, because for a supposedly epic love story, we’ve been getting very little time with them in the same frame. At least he knows her name now? Miles to go, I know. But I’m glad that she gets to witness the side of him that only Chungjeong knew before. Maybe now he’ll seem somewhat less of a psycho… and more like a nice, cuddly warrior bear… who sometimes kidnaps people? Yunno, baby steps.