Drama Recaps
Faith: Episode 20
by | October 16, 2012 | 230 Comments

It’s the king’s turn to shine, or rather Ryu Deok-hwan’s turn to shine as the king. With his queen’s life in danger and his trusted general gone, the king starts to unravel at the seams, making for a powerful arc for what is still the best character of this series.


We open on Future Eun-soo, who’s traveled a hundred years back in time. She journeys to the spot she remembers and puts the letter underneath a rock, not knowing if she believes in the kind of miracle that it would take for her (past?) self to read it a hundred years later. My brain, it hurts.

In voiceover she says, “I imagined it hundreds of times – what would have happened if we had turned back to the palace that day? Would our queen have lived? Would our king not have crumbled? And so, would I not have had to sit by and watch as that person carried all this, as his heart was dying?”

It’s interesting that she calls them “our” king and queen by then, because present Eun-soo has pretty much called him “your” king when she talks to Young.

She continues, “If I could just go back to that day. If I could just see that person again, if I could see his laughing eyes. If I could again… for just a day. Don’t run away like me, Eun-soo-ya, even if it becomes your last day.”

We catch up with Present Eun-soo (All other Eun-soos, go sit in a corner!) as she tells Young that they have to go back. He reminds her that they’re currently running away so she doesn’t die, but she asks: “If something happens to our king and queen, would you be okay?”

She starts to walk back the way they came, and he demands an explanation of what she heard and from whom. She shows him the letter in the film canister and tells him only that it’s a letter from heaven, and that it tells them to go save the queen.

She expects him to be skeptical, but he says he believes her, “because you said it.” He decides they’ll go back to the last town to get some intel on what’s going on in the palace, and decide then.

Meanwhile, all hell breaks loose when Gongmin finds out that his queen is missing. He insists he’s going to find her himself, but Choong-seok has to remind him he needs to stay put and give the orders, not the other way around. Poor panicked king.

He can barely think of what orders to give out, trembling and totally lost in his terror. All he can think to ask Choong-seok is: “Is there any word from the General?” Awwww. The answer is no.

Gongmin’s face twists in agony: “I’m being punished. I constantly ignored Choi Young’s heart, so now I am being punished the same way. Every time he asked me to protect the doctor, to save her life – every time he asked me, his heart must’ve felt like this. I finally know it now.”

Lady Choi arrives and kneels before the king, accepting full responsibility for not protecting the queen. She hands him the letter she found in Noguk’s dresser, from the Yuan envoy.

He reads it, and then gives Choong-seok a hundred soldiers to go storm Deok-heung’s place and bring back the Yuan envoy Sohn Yoo. The man declines to come, but Choong-seok doesn’t back down and the Woodalchi bring him (and his seal) to the palace.

Noguk is either asleep or unconscious somewhere unknown.

At the nearest town, Young asks some travelers of news, and they only know that war might break out, but not much else. He decides they should just keep running.

Eun-soo won’t have it, and knows that if she says she’ll go to heaven’s door alone, he won’t go back to the palace. So they have to return together. He refuses, so she asks what she can do to make him go back. “Should I get mad? You want me to get mad?”

And then even with that warning, she still manages to jedi-reverse-psychologize him: “Why do you keep trying to get rid of me?” She accuses him of only ever saying he’ll send her away, like he can’t wait to send her off to heaven.

He starts to stammer in protest but she just keeps going, asking what he’s thinking, saying that he’s a warrior who hesitates now. “Is that because of me? Then what does that make ME?!” She grumbles that he’s never once considered how it makes her feel, if he’s leaving the king because of her.

“You only say with words that you’ll protect me! Don’t just protect my life, but protect my heart!”

She turns away from him and mutters to herself (but loud enough to be heard) that she’s finally found someone she likes, but he keeps getting imprisoned and gave up being warrior, even though he doesn’t really have any other skills in life. Ha.

She says they have to go back, but he tells her to stand still. She starts to argue, but he means it literally, because another crop of bounty hunters are after them. He slices one in the arm and runs off to fight the other, while Eun-soo hilariously tends to her attacker’s wounds, given that he’s just a teenager.

Young tells the other that they should fight here, away from Eun-soo, and then the assassin sent by Sohn Yoo finally shows himself. It’s a more evenly matched battle, and he even slices Young in the shoulder.

Young just bides his time, asking if the man isn’t tired of always cutting others, being cut himself. As they spin and fly around each other, Young finds his moment to gain the upper hand, and stops short of slicing the man’s throat.

He says that someone once asked him if he wouldn’t just lay it all down, and then chooses to let the man go with his life. Well that… was anticlimactic.

He finds Eun-soo, who cringes to see him return with a fresh wound. He asks if she’s going to be mad like this the entire way if they don’t return to the palace, and sighs that he’ll go back then, just to check in on everyone’s safety. But he won’t send Eun-soo away alone.

She agrees to go back with him then, so he finally tells her the truth – that Yuan doesn’t want to take her at all. They want her dead. It finally clicks for her now what Future Eun-soo meant in the letter: “…even if that day is your last…”

She smiles and says she’ll still go anyway.

Gongmin shows Sohn Yoo the letter with his seal on it, used to lure Noguk out with a supposed message from her mother. He demands to see her, and fumes at Sohn Yoo’s calm demeanor as he simply explains that it’s his seal, but not his writing, and he would have no reason to kidnap the Yuan princess.

Gongmin orders the man imprisoned and interrogated until he gives up Noguk’s location, and his people have to stop him – he’s a Yuan envoy, and that would be war.

Sohn Yoo in turn goes to see Deok-heung and asks if he used his seal to kidnap Noguk. They talk round and round in circles, neither admitting to anything on the surface, though it seems clear that Deok-heung is behind it.

Sohn Yoo says his job is to take back control of Goryeo without inciting a war, and warns that if something were to happen to the Yuan princess, it would not go unpunished. Deok-heung says – in hypothetical terms – that no harm should come to the princess.

Noguk wakes up in a locked room, weak and barely able to crawl around on the floor.

Gongmin grows more and more paranoid by the minute, ordering his people to start searching every single home, which is just crazy. He trails off, “But what if we still can’t find her? What if we’re too late?”

He tells them to bring Deok-heung here. They protest, but he admits they all knew from the start, that he’s the only one who would stoop to something like this… “and what he’d ask for in return.”

Ki Chul’s people finally call him out on his obsession, admitting to the fact that none of them believes that the heavenly healer is for real. Hwasuin offers up a way to know for sure – they’ll go to heaven’s door.

If Young and Eun-soo are there, then Ki Chul was right. If they aren’t… then they’ve all been duped from the start.

Young and Eun-soo arrive at Suribang, and to Young’s surprise, Ajumma confirms Eun-soo’s fears: the queen has been kidnapped.

Deok-heung is brought to the palace late that night, and Gongmin tells everyone else to leave the room. Choong-seok protests because he likes to use poison (yeah, don’t we know it), but Gongmin is adamant.

Once alone, he asks with pleading eyes for Deok-heung to return his queen, asking what he wants in return. Deok-heung doesn’t even bat an eyelash at the accusation and says it wasn’t him… but IF it were, he wouldn’t need to make a deal at all.

He’d simply have to wait until word reached Yuan, that the king was so incompetent that he couldn’t protect their princess. Damn, he’s right. Gongmin turns to him, barely containing his tears, “Does that mean you do not intend to keep her alive?”

He says he’ll give up the throne, but asks that Deok-heung not let their country disappear. Deok-heung says it’s just a name – Goryeo, Yuan – what’s the difference? Gongmin: “Is that what a nation is to you?”

It makes his heart sink to know that he’s about to hand over his country to such a man, but he also can’t stop himself, and asks what he can do to keep his queen alive.

Lady Choi goes to Suribang that night and finds Young and Eun-soo there. She’s surprised to hear that Eun-soo insisted they turn back just in time, and wonders if she really is from heaven.

Eun-soo joins them to say that she know Deok-heung pretty well, so she’s got an idea. It’s another plan they use a lot in movies, and says that they have to find out where the queen is, while she meets Deok-heung.

Young immediately argues, and they bicker back and forth like an old married couple. He refuses to let her see Deok-heung, and she swears she’s got him figured out, shouting, “I minored in psychology!” Hahaha.

Aunt shouts to interrupt them, and says that the queen is also pregnant. That shocks Eun-soo, who says that’s not right… it’s too soon. Ruh-roh. She tells Young to go see the king, because he’s bound to be a mess without his queen, and asks him to trust her to try things her way.

So Young returns to the palace, where Choong-seok and Dae-man greet him happily. It turns out Eun-soo’s assessment of the king was an understatement – he sits in the queen’s chambers, giving the thousand-yard stare, refusing to even look up when Young enters.

He asks what Deok-heung said, but Gongmin just says in his hollow voice, “You shouldn’t have returned. You should have left when I sent you, instead of returning to see me in this pathetic state.”

Young asks over and over what Deok-heung said, and knocks the table aside just to try and snap Gongmin out of it. But he just falls to his knees to pick up the scarf, like it’s the last thing he can cling to.

Young picks him up off the floor and sits him down in the chair, and kneels down in front of him, finally managing to get some eye contact. He asks again and again what Deok-heung said to him.

He says that Deok-heung didn’t ask for anything. “He just laughed. I offered up my crown, my country, and pleaded with him. I begged.” The tears fill his eyes as he says the words out loud to Young, “Did you hear me? I threw out my country.”

But Young doesn’t once pass a look of judgment and says, “The doctor said that what Deok-heung wants is for your heart to fall apart. Has your heart already fallen? Then there is no reason for me to be here.”

It’s enough to break Gongmin out of his pity party, at least long enough for him to ask what Young needs. He asks for a royal order, and so Gongmin gives him the order to bring back his queen.

Young gets up to go, and Gongmin starts to thank him for returning. But Young says he hasn’t come back (officially) yet. You’re never back officially, but you never really go either. Just sayin’.

Eun-soo meets with Deok-heung, and bluffs that they’ve already found the queen’s location. He laughs that she’s as impolite as ever, and she just quips that she’s from heaven, so beggars and kings down here are all the same to her. I like that she runs with the heaven idea whenever it suits her.

She shows him the letter from heaven and says this time, the pages are about him. She pretends to read a passage from it that says Deok-heung kidnapped the queen, and that she’s pregnant.

She offers up a trade—antidote for the letter. Otherwise she goes to the palace and lets them know where the queen is. He reminds her that she’s due to be executed tomorrow, and Eun-soo just breezes that she knows.

But she decided this morning that it didn’t matter if she died or not, and well, if she saves the queen, wouldn’t they give her some credit for that? She figures that’s bad for him, if he showed his face while kidnapping her.

He asks for her to promise to stay by his side if he gives her the antidote, and she turns him down flatly. He warns that the symptoms will flare up soon, and she just walks out, “I know.”

She returns to the palace, where Young worriedly inspects her just to be sure she’s okay. It’s not as sexy as it sounds, but it’s still very cute. She holds up a victory sign with a smile, not that he knows what it means.

Gongmin calls a meeting with his advisors and Sohn Yoo, prepared to give his answer. Ki Chul crashes because he feels left out. How is it that now I just feel bad for you all the time?

Gongmin goes over the terms from Sohn Yoo (and Yuan): if he uses the Yuan seal and executes the wicked thing that has him under a spell, Yuan will deem him a useful king and let him continue to rule. Sohn Yoo confirms it.

Gongmin addresses the first by handing his Yuan seal over. “I’ve used it well, so I’ll return it now. I don’t think we need this anymore in this country.” Niiiiice.

He then addressed the second term, and calls for the wicked one to come forward. Eun-soo enters, to Ki Chul’s utter shock. Gongmin says that she is a doctor of this nation, who saved the Yuan princess, his general, “and yesterday she saved my heart.” Aw.

Noguk struggles to regain her senses, now realizing that the water she drank was laced with something to keep her subdued. Deok-heung’s man comes to deliver a larger dose, this one meant to kill her now that she’s served her purpose.

She uses all her strength to pull a dagger on the man, but he quickly overtakes her and raises the cup of poison to her lips…

But thankfully Young bursts into the room with the Suribang boys, who followed the servant from Deok-heung’s place. Young just knocks the man aside and carries the queen away.

The Woodalchi rush to capture the man, but he knifes himself before they can stop him. Damn, that’s some dedication.

Back at the council, Sohn Yoo asks Eun-soo if she is a healer from heaven. She starts to answer, but Gongmin cuts in to say that she’s just a doctor, and not from heaven at all. She’s just so good that it’s a rumor.

Ki Chul’s jaw drops and he insists that it can’t be. But Gongmin scoffs that anyone would believe such a thing. He asks Eun-soo if she’s from heaven, and she’s like, well… technically, no.

And then she mouths the most adorable I’m sorry at Ki Chul. Ha. It’s hysterical; his world is crumbling and she’s like, oops. He runs over to ask if all of it was really a lie, but they’re interrupted with news that the queen has returned.

Gongmin rushes to her room, but Lady Choi stops him, asking for the doctor first. Eun-soo goes in and Gongmin paces outside nervously.

She comes back out after a while, and says that the queen is conscious and she’s doing okay… but they lost the baby. It was the sedatives they fed her while in captivity. Gongmin’s face crumples, and he heads inside.

Aw, it’s so cute how his eunuch Dochi cries and cries. The Woodalchi all hang their heads in silence. Young steps in front of Eun-soo and holds her hand discreetly behind his back, and she leans on him and lets out a sigh.

Gongmin slowly walks toward the bed, and I love that the relief of having her back passes across his face, but he doesn’t show it to her. Without a word, he climbs into the bed and wraps his arms around her, as she weeps.

They both cry for their loss in a loving embrace.

Young goes to see Eun-soo and alerts her to an official request from Ki Chul to see her. He offers her a few choices for how to survive until heaven’s door opens. Option 1: spend the whole time on the run. She vetoes.

Option 2: he gives up his Woodalchi position for good and gets rid of anyone who might want to harm her, before they can harm her. Eun-soo: “You mean kill?” He nods. She vetoes. What, why? I like that plan! Okay, except for the giving up his ties to the king part.

She says they’ll go with Option 3, and he asks what that is. “I’ll hide in the safest place there is.” He asks where and she says she’ll have to ask for permission first. Please say it’s Young’s room.

The leader of the royal guard welcomes Young back, and says he’s got all his boys worried with his talk of quitting forever. He asks if it’s for a woman, or because his sword has gotten heavy.

Young asks what that means, and he says that when he was young, he overheard Young’s Jeokwoldae leader talking to his father one night. He said that his sword had grown heavy, and that it was time to end it.

And the next day, he entered the palace, and died. Whoa, I wonder how much it changes Young’s view of his leader’s heroic death, knowing that now.

He asks Young how long he’s been a warrior, and how many lives he’s taken. “That’s why I asked, if your sword had grown heavy too.” He looks down at the sword in his hand — his leader’s sword — and contemplates the question.

Ki Chul stews for a while, and then storms into Deok-heung’s place… to get the band back together and pick up where they left off. What? Seriously? Why do people keep wanting to work with this guy? Is it his shiny rockstar hair?

Young returns to Woodalchi headquarters, where his boys mill about, asking what they should do about new recruits. He gives his characteristic ask-Choong-seok answer, but they keep pestering him about some new recruit sent down from the king himself.

They warn him that the new recruit is waiting in his room…

He opens the door, and finds Eun-soo standing there in full Woodalchi armor. HA. I didn’t actually think you were going to stay in Young’s room! Though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the 21st-century girl thinks like I do.

He just stands there staring, while she salutes her new leader and says she got permission from the king to stay in the safest place in the world: here. She sees that he’s not exactly jumping for joy, so she nervously rattles off all the advantages, like having her on hand to tend to the wounded and whatnot.

She says that Woodalchi doesn’t exactly have a women’s dorm or anything, so she’ll just have to stay here. With him. I love this plan.

Young finally stops being a statue, and turns around to slam his doors open, flying into the boys’ faces and sending them scurrying away. Hee. And then he closes them again. Rawr?

He comes closer, “So I’m staying here too?” Eun-soo: “Well it’s the general’s room and you’re the general…”

He inches closer and closer, until he’s practically on top of her: “Because I’m the general… here…” Eun-soo: “Here. And don’t run away.” He stops inches from her face, and smiles. So cute.

Aw man, that’s the end of the episode? Why would you cut there?! *pout*


I do thankfully get the better episodes (Mehrong~) but in general this week is loads better than the last few because stuff actually happens. Go figure. I feel like Eun-soo and Young are pretty much stuck in the same plot loop, so it was nice to put some focus on Gongmin, whose insecure young king makes for such a fantastic character. I don’t know how he does it, but even when he’s falling apart or making the wrong choices, I’m totally with him. Because the vulnerability is just there in his eyes.

My favorite relationship—Gongmin and Young—got some quality screen time today, so that alone makes me a happy camper. (Though of course I always want more.) It strikes me that Young didn’t actually DO anything that Choong-seok or anyone else couldn’t have done, when it comes to rescuing the queen. The true rescue is in saving the king from his pit of despair, because without the king to lead, the army of soldiers is rather useless.

Choong-seok tells him the same words—that he needs to give them orders—but it’s only when Young says them that he remembers his duty to be a king worthy of his general. It’s ass-backwards, but that’s why it’s so compelling. He so quickly lets his fear of being pathetic… make him pathetic. But Young shows up to say that there’s no point in serving a king who’s given up, in the way you’d tell a crying child that you were thinking of giving him ice cream if he were being a good boy, but he’s being a crybaby… so you might just take it back.

I love that while others worry and fret and tiptoe around him, Young sits him up in a chair and basically asks: Are you gonna wallow like a baby, or are you gonna be a king? His breakdown in front of Young and his reunion with Noguk were stellar performances, and they were perhaps the first times that this show got me on an emotional level.

I’m all for roommate hijinks for the main couple, at least until we finally make it to the crucial question of what Eun-soo will choose: heaven’s door (and possibly getting stuck in a time loop) or remain in Goryeo (and possibly cause a horrendous rift in time and space, no pressure). I feel like we’re sort of in limbo until we get to that point, because Ki Chul and Deok-heung and the poison-go-round aren’t really doin’ anything new. So let’s just go with bunkmate and Eun-soo-as-Woodalchi shenanigans while we’ve got the chance. I can’t wait to see her hang out with the boys and teach them all to high-five.


230 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire


    • 1.1 Dominique

      Do you all remember Episode 1? As we approach the drama’s conclusion, and as we wonder how it will end, the timeline of Episode 1 might be significant.

      Episode 1 began with Hwata when he ascended to Heaven during Han Dynasty around 200 AD. It then fast forwarded to Year 1351, the first year of the King Gong Min’s reign. From there, Choi Young walked through the portal to Year 2012. Then the episode backtracked 10 days to a fortune telling session, during which the fortune teller told Eun Soo: (1) she will meet her love; but (2) he is someone from her past and (3) she will be gone for a year.

      We now understand the first two of the three predictions. As for the last one, there is something else to the puzzle. When, in Episode 2, Choi Young re-emerged from the portal with Eun Soo in tow after a busy evening in Year 2012, it seemed as if barely a second had gone by for those waiting for him in Year 1351. So, being gone for a year in Year 2012 may be staying far less time in Year 1351 and it seems safe to guess that Eun Soo would not miss the next opening of the portal in Year 1351 to return to Year 2012. I also think that that is the end of her time travel in this drama.

      From the fortune telling session in Year 2012, Episode 1 jumped back again in time to 7 years before Year 1351, when Choi Young, 22 years old, arrived at the Oodalchi headquarter as their new leader. There, the episode ended with a sleeping Lee Min Ho’s angelic smile, still wearing his Red Moon Brigade uniform and looking just like a cherub that we see in Renaissance paintings. It was as if Choi Young was saying: a lot of shit is about to hit the pan, but have no worries – I will be here and you will be safe. That was the best episode-ending ever for me.

      We’ve all been delighted to comment on how, in the course of the drama, the king, who was only 21 when he returned to Goryeo, is learning to become a king. We’ve also remarked upon the romance between king and queen, the bromance between the king and Choi Young, the adorable Oodalchis, the awesome Suribang folks, etc.

      But also deeply meaningful for me was watching Eun Soo slowly transform from a Gang Nam cosmetic surgeon talking trash to a doctor for everyone like, yes, Hwata. And let’s not forget Jang Bin, the court doctor, who iinspired me in every scene in which he appeared.

      The quantum information theory, which just won the Nobel Prize for Physics, informs us that ours is not the only reality and that many parallel universes in different time zones exist next to ours. Episode 18 seems to cement my suspicion that Faith is about hopping alternate universes rather than linear time travel in a single universe.

      • 1.1.1 jp

        are you an astro-physicist? you must be reading stephen hawkins’ work, hmmm? 🙂
        i guess i have to re-trace my Faith episodes from the very beginning and start to number-crunch eh?
        hey, DramaBeans… you must be proud to have smart people in this blog huh? 🙂
        way to go Faith-shippers…

        • kakashi


        • liza

          hi Jp

          Well, I went 1 step further and called ” Dominique ” a

          • jp

            who’s Dominique?? 🙂
            please enlighten me…

          • jp

            ooops sorry… i got it…
            Dominique have a loooong comment hence i did not realize
            that’s her name … my bad 🙂

          • Awe

            lol to Jp.

      • 1.1.2 watchumlots


      • 1.1.3 Kim Yoonmi

        The thing is that the drama so far is predisposing a branching timeline theory. I’m pretty sure people are going to be uber upset at the end when they find that it is a branching timeline theory, because:

        There are no paradoxes in a branching timeline theory

        You think it’s a time loop, but at two points already we know that it *has* to be a branching timeline.

        1. The Trap

        She said that the trap *happened* and that Choi Young *died* according to the diary.

        If he wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have *died*. As in Future Eun Soo’s timeline Choi Young was dead.

        As in it happened, and he was gone, dead, and buried.

        But nothing happened to the current timeline, the fabric of time didn’t collapse.

        Event 2: What happened in *this* episode.

        This new Eun Soo of the future supposedly *already* went to the future, got some film canister, and went to the past of current Eun Soo.

        She said that it already happened that Noguk *died*, the King fell apart and Choi Young ended up (in summary) sad and blaming her, never to smile at her again. That she ran in fear.

        As in *that* happened.

        Clue 3: I submit to the jury what is known as Il Mare.

        Used a branching timeline and broke people’s heads over trying to figure it out. Also all those radio-themed movies.

        So then, how does a branching timeline work?

        Part A:
        At any given point a person is given CHOICES.

        So, I’m choosing to type right now. Could I be doing something like traveling the world (far fetched choice) or I could be doing something like taking a shower (less far fetched choice)

        Part B: The potential to choose those choices creates dimensions of parallel existence *when not chosen* but in time travel can coexist.

        So, the fact I’m typing to you now means that the choice to take a shower has vanished, but it’s now in a parallel dimension.

        Part C: Time travel only travels along the path of choices and going back in time *erases* those choices thus any point in time can be rewritten for *change*.

        Thus, if Eun Soo goes further back than current Eun Soo, she still can *not* exist, but it would be in a different parallel dimension.

        So the fact that future Eun Soo rewrote current Eun Soo’s present by staying here and the message *did not disappear* means that we are most likely on the *branching timeline* model. ’cause if it were the circular linear model, then the message, by tradition would disappear entirely from the timeline. But they are coexisting along with the diary.

        This is so a branching timeline model. And I know people are going to go on and on about Paradoxes, but I’ve found that the *majority* of time travel done in Eastern Dramas do the branching model (which has no predestiny to it since it’s dependent on individual choices) rather than predestiny model of fate and no choices. (Which seems backwards, but yeah)

        So the Eun Soo of the Future *is not* our Eun Soo and our Eun Soo will neither be Diary Eun Soo (as with the pot breaking and Choi Young dying) nor the Eun Soo who wrote the message in the Film Canister. (Because in that the Kingdom crumbled already and CHoi Young hated her, and this Choi Young doesn’t)

        Anyone noticed this?

        • Kim Yoonmi

          *Eastern Asian Dramas do the branching… etc.

          • mav

            Its important to note that our Eun Soo comes from a future where a certain history happened, meaning the legendary Choi Young (who dies later/ is accused of treason blahblah) , A Gomin and Noguk that where in Love and he lost it when she died in the birth of their only child). So our Eun Soo’s being driven by dairy Eun Soo and filmcan Eun Soo’s advice to make choices that end up bringing forth the history of her time/ present ‘the future.’ And its two separate diaries, one that was partially burned and that talked about the reality en which Young died in the trap and the other diary of which pages were taken to put in the filmcan.

        • Misty

          I thought it could be a time loop since it was the easiest way. Eun Soo would travel back in time, leave the clues and go back to Young just after her “younger” self crossed over the Gate to get treated. There, problem solved, no paradox at all.

          But now I’m starting to think about branching as well.

          This is what could have happened in my opinion:
          “Diary” Eun Soo was kidnapped by Choi Young and lived the story like we are seeing now. The only difference is that Ki Chul probably didn’t believe her as there were no Hwata tools and no diary.
          She actually saved Young both from the duel with Ki Chul and from the explosion trap (all by herself, somehow) and then travelled with him to the Heaven’s Gate to go back in time.
          The Queen died in her kidnapping and the King and Young were devasted.

          So, after going back to the future to get treated for the poison, she crossed the Gate once again and went into the far away past, to warn “current” Eun Soo.
          She wrote the diary, telling her both about the duel and the trap. She already knew she had prevented both of them, but since she believes in Time Branching and she knew everything depended on her choices, she wanted to make sure “current” Eun Soo wouldn’t screw up.

          So far the two Eun Soo were living the same exact story (with some minor differences probably), but as soon as “Diary” Eun Soo warned “current” Eun Soo about the King and Queen, history changed.
          “Current” Eun Soo went back and saved the Queen.

          This IS branching. This can’t be time loop.
          It can’t be because “Diary” Eun Soo unequivocally told “Current” Eun Soo they DIDN’T go back and that the Queen died because of it.

          So… I don’t expect “Diary” Eun Soo to give any more clues to “Current” Eun Soo, simply because now the story is different from how she lived it. “Diary” Eun Soo crossed the Heaven’s Gate and went back, leaving Young behind. She can’t know what happens next because “current” Eun Soo went back to the Palace and changed everything.

          As for what happens next… who knows? I’m starting to think the third relic “Diary” Eun Soo left behind is something regarding the poison and its antidote. That doctor told “current” Eun Soo it can’t be cured, but “Diary” Eun Soo probably found out what that was when she went back to the future and so she can actually tell “Current” Eun Soo how to make the antidote.
          I strongly believe “Diary” Eun Soo is trying to prevent “Current” Eun Soo from crossing that gate. She wants her to stay with Young because she knows how she feels now that she’s apart from him.

          And since this is now branching and not time loop, this CAN happen. It won’t affect all the clues and “Diary” Eun Soo going back to the past since it happened in a parallel universe.
          “Diary” Eun Soo left and is now regretting it.
          Let’s hope “Current” Eun Soo doesn’t make the same mistake.

          • dedicated

            so what you mean is the diary ES went through the gate and the current ES in the Goryeo time-line is left alone, without “heavenly” help? but how can then the diary ES come back again to plant the info about the antidote for the current ES then?

            is this what you mean: diary ES went through the door to the future, got treated, left CY and GM devastated and a broken heart, so she regreted her choice but couldn’t go back immediately because she had to wait for the next opening, which was to take place in 63 years if her calculations were correct, which should make the date 1414, where CY has been dead for decades. If we are in the year 1351 in Goryeo time line, it makes CY 35 years old – although dramaverse they hinted in this epi that he is around 29-30 years old, given that ES told him to call her noona, since she was a few years older – and the next time ES comes to his world, he is already dead. That’s why she traces back the places they have with a wistfull look regreting her choice and wants to warn her current self through the diary and the film canister not to make the same choices selfishly again just to go back to the future and not hold on to CY or not to put him before herself. So what happens after now ES will be left alone with the choices she will make, because the diary ES wouldn’t know what had happened to CY, GM, KC, DH after N died and she went to the future. There are two problems arising in your version in my pov:

            1) when we see the diary ES at the opening of this episode in her travelers garb, she doesn’t look one bit older than she is now, the current ES. Current ES should be around 31-32, in the dramaverse it is hinted that the current CY is around 29-30, since she said she was a few years older to make him call her noona, she sould be around 31-32. She is supposed to travel back to plant the diary, film canister and the antidote for the poison in your version, the next portal opens in 63 years. This makes her 94 years old, if she gets to live that long and at the beginning of this epi she didn’t look like a haelmeonni to me. Is it that time flows differently in the Goryeo era and in 2012 that the time travel portal works in different intervals?

            2) if that was the choice that the diary ES made to go back, so N dies, GM crumbled in despair as well as CY, so that kind of history with the dead N and crazed GM should have reached 2012. But the current ES told that it was too soon for N to be pregnant. So what reached to 2012 was something else, N didn’t die and lived the life we know she is supposed to live from the textbooks. Hence the diary ES’s choice to leave with CY to the portal and leave the king and queen be, as in leave N to die and GM to despair and CY live in agony, her regret of doing this, hence Diary ES’s warning to her current self not to go forth with the portal but to turn back to save the queen from death, the king from misery and the general from guilt, did have no influence to the future of the timeline she is right now, since the future the diary ES was mentioning was not in knowlegde of the current ES about the past. What i mean is: the diary ES let CY leave the palace, so she could time travel, but appearently either the portal didn’t open or she didn’t go back and chose to stay behind, so she found out that N died, GM went crazy and CY lived on with a guilty conscience. Those bad things happened but the current ES had no knowledge of those from her textbooks, as she sad it was early for N to be prenant at this stage of the history. This equates that those things the diary ES mentioned in the film canister didn’t make it to the history, since the current ES didn’t have knowledge of them and that makes her sudden choice of returning back to palace useless?! N was meant to live even without her going back to the palace and speaking to DH, fishing out info frm him. Because th diary ES didn’t do such a thing which she regretted but in her dramaverse N died, but the future of the crrent ES didn’t play so out as described in the film canister, because the current ES knows from her history knowledge that N wasn’t meant to die that early in the history.

            Does this not make ES a puppet and her whole time travel a joke, since no matter which choices she made they don’t have an effect on the future of that time line, and the history she learned from the textbooks came to play out as they were supposed to be?

          • Jambo

            Ohmigosh! I think at this point I want to call on Dr Who!

        • dedicated

          wow, all i want to say is thank you for the enlightenment! i was cracking my skull trying to figure out how many times Eun-Soo has time-traveled and that if there would be no consequences to the future? if this is a branched time line, how many branches are there? there is ES as Hwata, there is another one, in whose lifetime CY dies young, there is a 3. ES where the GM crumbles and N dies and CY hates ES, there is a 4. ES who knows CY lives a long, successful life and is killed by YSY. Just how many ES’s are there? and if this is a branced time line with so many options and no consequences, no high stakes, where should the gauntlets be thrown, where do the angst and epic arc reside then? :/ that’s dissapointing, not that i don’t enjoy the cute, the sweet, the smexy, and the relationship growths of N and GM, ES and CY, CY and GM and even KC and his pledged siblings, but still it’s disappointing that it doesn’t follow a linear circular timeline like Queen In Hyun’s Man did.

          here are my thoughts and questions:

          WHAT WAS TOLD IN THE SERIES UNTIL NOW? –> when Eun Soo came from the future and found out who Choi Young really was, she thought to herself that he was a mighty and famous general, there were songs about him and his loyalty, trustworthyness in the future time line and that he would be killed by Yi Song Yie. She chanted the menmonics about the names of the goryeo era kings and said Yuan was to crumble soon and Noguk and Gongmin were to establish an independent Goryeo, thus not having a title bearing Yuan connections/ ties in their posthumous names.


          1) if CY is to have long life and be killed by YSY, how could there be a letter/diary which stated that CY would be killed by the trap prepared by DH? DH wasn’t even in the memory of the ES and she told Jang Bin that she didn’t remember his name form the textbooks, not like she knew a little bit about KC, although this was dismissed as JB told her if she were a good student at the school and learned history well. So taken into account that ES’s memory of the history playing her a trick and that DH was an important character, how could he have trapped CY, if he was meant to die in the hands of YSY? Even if he was trapped and even without ES’s existence and interference/ sacrifice, CY should have been able to come out alive out of that trap so the history that’s written about him which ES was speaking of from her textbooks could happen. What i mean is, ES’s being there was irrelevant.

          2) As ES saved YSY and came to realise who he really was, she was actually merely helping history take its rightfull course so the things known in 2012 that happend in 1351 take place, right? Than YSY shouldn’t need the help of ES/ her treatment to begin with. Because ES didn’t help him knowing who he was and what kind of a role he would play in history/ or dramaverse in the future of 1351. It is not like in Dr. Jin say he knew he was talking to the future king regent, when the child was sick, he was having diarrhea, Dr. Jin knew that he wouldn’t die, because the child was meant to be throned as a child King and his father was to be his regent king for the decades to come. So he acted accronding to his knowledge of the past and “invented” some kind of serum to save the child. Not that i am a fan of Dr. Jin, i followed only the recaps done panstakingly by HeadNo2 and thanks to her i know how it played out, but what i mean is Dr. Jin knew that he was putting the history back on track, or f*cking with it/ changing it at will, knowing there would be consequences to the future worl he came from. But in ES’s case she helped and then found out who she helped. And it’s like the things she does unknowingyl/ unintentionally falls within the course of the things she knows from the future textbooks. I get the feeling that she at some point was also a part of the past and as she was reborn/ reincarnated in the future or time-travelled she has forgotten her past existences, experience and deeds.

          CONFUSION –> how many ES’s are there?
          how can she be travelling back and forth so many times? didn’t she say that according to her calculations the door will open in the nexth month and then 63 years later? how long did she live in 2012 that she gets to travel so many times in a lifetime?

          why doesn’t she remember her past interferences/ contributions to the history if she is the same person? is it a rule to forget your past deeds like in reincarnation, where people do get to come to earth for another time according to the karma they garnered in their past life though not remembering what kind of a life they had previously? because i get the vibe that she is the same person but with a serious case of amnesia!

          what’s the point of this series, what message does it want to relay us other than making us swoon over the moment between the OTP and confuse us with the time-travel story line?

          are they really gonna pull a branch time line travel story on us? grrr! so confused and so disappointed! don’t know what i was expecting to begin with other than having to see the smile of LMH! 😛

          • Misty

            Well, there are still lots of stuff we don’t know. For example, ES tells CY the Heaven’s Gate will open again after 67 years, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same in 2012 as well. Maybe in 2012 it opens before that. And when it opens again it will probably take her far back into the past, and not in CY times.

            As for your questions:
            1) yes, I believe time flows differently. When CY went to kidnap ES, they stayed in 2012 several hours, but in 1351 it was only some minutes. And I think the Gate in 2012 will open beofre the 67 years gap and it will back in the far away past (So ES can be Hwata and leave her tools and diary to KC master).

            2) I think we must look at it this way: we are in the year 1351. ES comes from the year 2012 and she travels back to 1351. So, Anything that happens in year 1351 will be written on history books. So, in Diary ES journey, the Queen died. Then in Current ES journey, she lived. Since everything still happened in year 1351 and since the Queen is now alive, this is what was written in the history books. No matter how many times history changed in between, the only important thing is that the Queen is now alive. It’s like having the last word on an argument. “The Queen died. Change it!” ES changes it. “Ok the Queen is now alive”. And the history books say she’s alive.
            Not that clear uh? Sorry :/

          • Kim Yoonmi

            The Branching Timeline for geeks fits into the string theory model, which is why it’s becoming popular…

            Anyway, parallel dimensions of choices made is how this all works out. So you can have millions of Eun Soo, but what counts is *current* Eun Soo’s decisions, so she has volition and agency. It will not be fatalistic because current Eun Soo can make decisions on her own.

            She *could* have run and went through the door but she didn’t.

            Branching Timeline does run into the whole Dues Ex machina, however, the consequences outlined here are different. Eun Soo said that she wanted to see her family and friends from the future–she can’t go back and do that. She can’t go back and get medical supplies. She can’t jump whenever she wants to. If she screws up in her current choices, her future *as she knows it* is also screwed up (Which makes for a different Eun Soo jumping back). She could make Noguk end up living. Then her future as she knows it is something else. She could end up killing Choi Young before the legends are made. So she can *still* screw up. =P Find the magical thing that gives everyone powers and take that away.

            The problem with the circular timeline besides being fatalistic is that there are no consequences for current action because you can just lay back and do absolutely nothing and it still will happen. No matter how you mess with it, the timeline will prevent you from doing anything, which means the character has absolutely no agency and there is no real consequence for the action.

            You can think of the branching timeline like a tree or a bunch of railroad tracks where the track switches. So if she screws up and goes to the future, the future she sees will be different. because she’s on a different railroad track and the sum of choices is different.

            Branching timeline model would also allow in some sense for two simultaneous versions of oneself to coexist as well. Because they aren’t the same person. The one in the future is the *potential* person that the other can become.

            This might make it possible for her to save Choi Young (from his terrible History book fate) and save Queen Noguk, which is an interesting possibility. Then this would go from a time travel story to an alternate reality time travel story.

            Make sense?

        • SH

          Wow! This is the best explanation of the time travel theory I’ve read so far. I do wonder though if the third relic means anything to the time traveling mystery. Hopefully, Writer Song can come up with a logical explanation to this whole mystery.

          • pillowhead

            Is writer Song as clever as these posters? hope so lol.

        • Waca

          You all, your comments were very interesting!
          I agree with you now that at this point of the show, we know enough to eliminate two theories:
          – the time loop (because how could ES know the right history if a previous ES had screwed it up before?)
          – ES being part of history
          I agree it seems very likely to be a branching timeline model. However something bugs me, I really don’t know how to explain it.

          The branching explains why there is a diary-ES, who may or not may be the same ES than message-in-plastic-bottle-ES (it depends if we consider that the diary only contained warnings or if CY did die drom DH’s trap in one timeline), but it does not explain something.
          I’ll try writing my thoughts clearly but it’s so confusing I hope I’ll make sense.

          So, why did ES come into the past in the first place? Because CY went to kidnap her. Why did CY come through Heaven’s gate? Because Hwata’s legend existed. Why did Hwata’s legend exist? Because ES became Hwata at one point.

          Do you get what’s confusing me? I don’t get the starting point. Where is it? Because it has to have started somewhere, doesn’t it? That was why, in the beginning, I assumed ES was already part of history (so time being linear, no time loop), since all she did was always helping history (saving the queen, saving the guy who would kill CY later, etc, etc).

          But, with the new message clearly saying that there is an ES that screwed up, it is obvious it is a branching theory. Then, I don’t get how ES came to the past the first time, because if she wasn’t there to screw up, then there is no Hwata, and thus, CY did not go and kidnap her in the future. Unless Hwata really is someone else, a bearded old guy just as we have seen in the animated sequence at the beginning, and then KC is wrong when he said that the three items are Hwata’s: they would be diary-ES’s, and only said to be Hwata’s.

          So, what do you think of it? do you people have explanations? 🙂

          • dedicated

            i liked your explanation. the same question, where it all started puzzles me too! but i think at this point that like you said, Hwata must have existed before ES. Given the fact that if Hwata were to be woman, a heavenly female doctor, this would have been known. Because being a doctor and becoming a coveted royal physician is something big in itself and having that title as a female in those times would be something mention-worthy for the next generations to come. So my guess is there was at some point in history another time traveller, Hwata. In the dramaverse there are mystical beings already, such as KC and his sworn siblings, CY and JB with their special powers, there are already supernatural humans. So the existence of an another time traveller in the past seems plausible to me. As you said, that’s must be starting point. The portal was being opened at some point in certain intervals, but noone dared to jump into the hole ’cause they didn’t know what to expect. CY did it and kidnapped the doc for the queen’s sake. Then ES must have lived this timeline with some choices, where CY was endangered, trapped by DH. She knew form the history that he was an important person. So she came back and wrote the diary to undo those thing if given the chance to travel back again. So after making the wrong choices she travelled way further in the past and used to Hwata legend to her advantage and left the relics with KC’s master. Then she relived that timeline this time with N dying and CY suffering the aftermath, so she travelled back again and left the film canister. This one is the current one living the in the past and we’ll see if she’ll need to jump back and forth again to make new choices at the end or will she make the most of the timeline she is in now.

            So i think, ES has found a way to use the portal in certain intervals many times not exactly at will but like she will fond out the rules of the game, as in the opening times of the portal, how to jump precisely to the timeline you wish etc. and use it to her advantage to perfect her lifetime with CY in the late Goryeo era.

            My guess about the fortuneteller sequence is as follows: we know that the time flows differently in where we are in the series now and in 2012. So portal opening calculations are null and void in 2012. The next portal is in 63 year in the Goryeo era but it is maybe much nearer in 2012, maybe it has something to do with the constellation of the stars, who knows!

            So i think, the current kidnapped ES made one jump to the future after screwing up the history as she knew it, like CY being trapped and killed by DH, so she jumped forward and left the Diary to make the the ES attending the plastic surgeons conference aware of the mistaked “she” made and to warn herself and her beloved ones of the dangers. Because she knew that she was going to be kidnapped. This way the current ES avoided CY’s death. But then she lived on and came to the epi 20 and went through the portal but as a result N died and CY become depressed. So she jumped again to the future, 2013, this is where the fortuneteller comes into the play in my pov, she came back in 2013 and regretted having left CY in that cindition and waited till the next time jump and planted the film canister/plastic bottle. So this ES will have to live in the Goryeo era if she is to miss the opening of the portal in a few days/weeks in the daramverse and will have to live with the consequence of her choices till the next time jump.

            I think the portal opens in the 21st century more often than in the 14th century. And that there are many time-travellers and that the time-travellers don’t remember their jumps and have no collection of their experience. What do you think?

          • Kim Yoonmi

            Let’s put this into versions of the timeline.

            Diary Eun Soo (which may not be film canister Eun Soo)

            1. Kidnapped by Choi Young like our Eun Soo (which is the one we know and love) had her Choi Young caught in a trap who may or may not have died.

            She clearly went to the future and then back into the past to become Hwata.

            Because this is a *potential* future and this Eun Soo went to the current Eun Soo’s past, this means she can rewrite the timeline because it’s a *potential future*

            Branching timeline is based on potentials. The Hwata version has a chance of both existing (Because Eun Soo could still go to the future and then back to the past) as well as correcting the timeline that didn’t happen.

            The splitting point for Diary Eun Soo is that day of the trap. (Which didn’t happen to our Eun Soo)

            You can see that Diary Eun Soo went into a different dimension. This would not matter to our Eun Soo if the Diary Eun Soo had not *also* gone to the past which just screws with everything in the branching timeline model.

            2. Film Canister Eun Soo
            Who is clearly not our Eun Soo. ’cause in that GM goes nuts early on NG dies and obviously they turned back too late.

            Clearly where this happens is Eun Soo continues to the Heaven’s door.

            3. *Our* Eun Soo
            Didn’t experience the trap (diary Eun Soo) and chose differently. And didn’t experience Choi Young hating her.

            Where the Eun Soos split is the decision point. You can see each conscious decision as a point where the timeline spit, but the time mechanism is screwing with potential choices, thus combining parallel dimensions of Eun Soo.

            If you need a key, then it’s this: Time travel screws up everything so that the parallel dimensions of Eun Soo coexist in one timeline because of the potential outputs. Branching timeline model operates on potential of choices and decisions actually made.

            Make more sense? Il Mare probably simplifies this better though… worth watching that movie. You kinda get the hang of it in a simpler model, because this one is throwing out tons of potential Eun Soos and has a double time travel line, where Il Mare only worked with two lines of potential at a time and only one point of time travel.

            Anyway, the original legend said that Hwata suddenly disappeared… it might be that Eun Soo (our Eun Soo) made enough decisions in the process of time traveling that Diary Eun Soo no longer has enough potential to exist along the visible timeline. (I’ve seen versions of that too with branching.) Which isn’t the same as a paradox, btw.

          • Awe


            sometimes…shit just happens.

          • Waca

            @Awe : haha, right, sometimes it’s just that it doesn’t make sense!

            @dedicated, I really like how you explain the fortuneteller thing: “So she jumped again to the future, 2013, this is where the fortuneteller comes into the play in my pov, she came back in 2013 and regretted having left CY in that cindition and waited till the next time jump and planted the film canister/plastic bottle.” I was asking myself the same thing: is the ES coming back one year later really our ES, or is it another, previous-time-line ES? Like diary-ES or film-canister-ES? That would mean maybe ES has a chance to stay in Goryeo with CY… 🙂 Let’s hope for a happy ending!

            @Kim Yoonmi
            Wow, the branching thing gets so clear with you! I get the events better now, however I still do not agree with ES being Hwata. The more I think of it, the more I think like Dedicated, that a woman Hwata would have been remembered and that Hwata may be another time traveller. Because CY cannot go and kidnap ES if the Hwata does not exist, Hwata has to exist so ES would be kidnapped and then all the parallel potential worlds would appear. This is not like Dr Jin where Dr Jin just falls down the hospital like an idiot, all by himself, and poof! Falls into Joseon, and then there’s brain foetus and he has to time loop a lot of times until he gets it right, saving the idiotic Young-Rae and thus his girlfriend in the future while being screwing up history without remorse. In Faith, it is a Goryeo person that goes and brings ES to Goryeo. So ES herself is not the starting point: it is CY. He is the one who time-travelled first. So Hwata has to exist so CY would time-travel; so to me, Hwata cannot be ES.
            However, we know that the three items are ES’s. ES wants these items to be given to her 100 years later. What better way to have them given to her than to say these items are from Hwata, who is supposed to be in Heaven? It is logical that if a new doctor from Heaven were to come (here ES), people would give him/her the legacy of Hwata, because they would believe the disciple needs the tools of his master. That’s how I understand it.

            I’ve been wondering about something else: about the three items of Hwata, someone commented that maybe the third one is an antidote. I was beginning to think that maybe that’s the case and so there would be a third ES who did the same choices than our ES (saving CY from the trap, then saving Noguk from DH) but ended up having to go back to Heaven because of DH’s poison. So maybe there’s a third ES who left the antidote as the third item, so ES would be cured and could choose to stay in Goryeo with CY…
            Well, I can still hope for a happy ending, can’t I? 😀 What do you think?

          • Kim Yoonmi

            @Waca It could still be a parallel dimension Eun Soo that’s Hwata (she has the hat and the outfit from the cartoon–Manhwa Yonghwa)

            Parallel Dimension Eun Soo would go like this: (Diary Eun Soo)

            Got kidnapped by Choi Young–>Choi Young got caught in a trap–>Diary Eun Soo goes to the future.–>Next window to go to *Choi Young’s time* is closed.–>Diary Eun Soo then goes to *Three Kingdoms era* (about 200 CE, according to the original)–>Leaves message(s) for her past self who is in the future (our Eun Soo)–>Disappears without a trace when the time line splits because of Diary Eun Soo’s decision to change her past, which is in the future, so she’s allowed to do that, when Our Eun Soo makes enough decisions to eliminate Diary Eun Soo.

            An Alt version of this is that Diary Eun Soo found out she could return to Choi Young’s time by doing a double jump. I thought about this possibility too. So goes to 200, becomes Hwata, finds the portal that allows her to go back to Choi Young’s time because it’s been stated she’d have to wait a number of years to get back, so triple time jumping is her best bet. (This would be a more closed loop approach, but means Eun Soo is lying to herself…) Eun Soo herself was only mapping when the portal opens to our time, but Diary Eun soo with all the numbers our Eun Soo doesn’t have may have figured out a triple jump scheme. (Future–>distant past–>Goryeo)

            The problem is the double time travel. Because Diary Eun Soo is going into the *past* of Our Eun Soo, she gets more say than our Eun Soo. Further back you go, the more choices you are allowed. Would be a lot less complex without the double time jumping aspect.

            Make sense?

          • Waca

            @Kim Yoonmi

            It makes sense…I guess. Augh, my poor brain is gonna fry!
            Thank you for your explanation, I get the whole ES time traveling well now! 🙂

            But I still have this blockage about CY! I don’t get the time traveling of CY! Help! Why did he time travel? I’m sorry, I don’t seem to make myself clear. I mean, I get all the time traveling things that ES did, but I don’t get CY’s. How is CY’s time traveling in the first place if the legend of Hwata does not exist yet? For CY to kidnap ES, Hwata has to exist, but it’s not the case if ES is Hwata. In branching time theory, the different parallel worlds would come from the choices ES makes in the past, isn’t? Or did I understand it wrong? To me, ES being Hwata is only possible in linear time. Augh, there must something I don’t get right in all this branching stuff… 🙁

            And there’s something else I don’t get. Does the branching theory considers that the history that ES knows (history without her) is the main time flow and then ES going in the past and making choices is the other parallel worlds?
            Because if that’s the case, I don’t get how the history ES knew happened, because without her, Noguk dies at the beginning. So where does the history ES knows come from??? :O

            bzzzzzzzzz my brains are frying up!!!!!

        • Deidre

          I completely agree with your theory. But how does it all end??? Will Eun Soo go back to her time to cure her poison or will she stay with Choi Young and become his wife as we know it in history? We’ll have to wait and see.

          • Kim Yoonmi

            Speculation is heavy on the wife side… since her surname was changed.

        • Kangni Xiao

          But it could still be a loop, because she does end up going back to modern time and stealing the backpack that contains all the canister and diary and surgery tools. When she tries to travel back, she ends up 100 years too early.

          This is when she goes around leaving the notes again and saving people. She leaves the notes in the exact places she found them previously, meaning that the next loop will have the exact same events and she will again find these hidden clues. She knows what kinds of motivation to write to herself to make her turn back. She could also have just written exactly what she read the first time around, since at that point she was regretting not being with Choi Young for long enough.

          The reason she wrote that Choi Young died was because the last time she saw him in that time was when he had been stabbed and turned into a ice statue. Of course she would assume he had died.

          The ending is when she leaves the loop and moves on. This time letting her go back to the time of Choi Young and be with the one she loves, because she had Faith.

          Loops are like Chicken and the Egg. The past will always happen before the future, even if the past self comes from the future. There is no definitive start of the loop. No time when the first Eun Soo gets kidnapped before she leaves the diary and canister clues.

          The reason why I argue a closed loop over branching is because she did not choose to go back 100yrs early to make those clues. She was trying to get back to Choi Young and instead fate caused her to go back. You said that branch is based on choice, but she had no choice in where the wormhole would take her. That final choice that closes the loop is chosen for her.

          ^That’s my argument. I really like loops that close. 😀

      • 1.1.4 Pari

        This is by far the most satisfying and logical explanation regarding the ending of faith.. All pieces are fully fit the puzzle..
        And I totally agree with jp.. I too will have to retrace faith episodes from beginning till ep 20.. 🙂

      • 1.1.5 Pari

        This is by far the most satisfying and logical explanation regarding the ending of faith.. All pieces fully fit the puzzle now..
        And I totally agree with jp.. I too will have to retrace faith episodes from beginning till ep 20.. 🙂

      • 1.1.6 Mayra

        “So, being gone for a year in Year 2012 may be staying far less time in Year 1351 and it seems safe to guess that Eun Soo would not miss the next opening of the portal in Year 1351 to return to Year 2012. I also think that that is the end of her time travel in this drama”.

        Dominic, then you think ES won’t stay in Goryo with CY? They will have to live separatly when she returns to the portal ? I am not very good with the dates in this drama, what is happening now with them, what year is that supposed to be? how long has ES stayed at Goryo already? According to EP 20 yesterday(when CY was having the conversation about the sword becoming heavy) we found out CY is actually 30 years old right now…please explain 🙂

        • Dominique

          Oh, I have not really worked out everything. With Faith, I have learned not to second-guess where it is going and to wait for it to tell its story as it sees fit (which often leaves many viewers grumpy, though I have no complaints in that regard). But I will give it a try.

          When Choi Young went to Year 2012 in Episode 1 and returned to Year 1351 in Episode 2, he did not travel up and down linearly in time within the same universe. Rather, the gate to heaven (the portal) was a passage between two parallel universes that co-exist concurrently, i.e., Year 1351 (universe x) and Year 2012 (universe y). And this means that what some commenters call “Diary Eun Soo” resides in yet another universe (universe z).

          Several commenters above seem unable to differentiate time loop (which involves linear time travel within the same universe) from jumping between parallel universes that all lie on the same axis (axis t, as it is called in quantum physics).

          What I speculate will happen in Episode 24 (which is the end of the drama Faith but by no means end of the story) is that (1) our Eun Soo will make it to the next portal opening and return to Year 2012 (universe y); and (2) the drama will let us know whether Choi Young accompanies Eun Soo to Year 2012 or not, though I would be very surprised if Choi Young does go with her; but (3) the drama will leave it to our imagination as to what happens afterwards, i.e., what Eun Soo and Choi Young will do respectively.

          • Misty

            Oh my, you think it will be an open ending with Young and Eun Soo separating because she crosses the Portal?
            I think that would be the worst of all possibilities 🙁

          • Misty

            Uhm. Looks like Faith’s writer said sometime ago there is only one timeline and only one Eun Soo.
            She said she wouldn’t use the multiple universe device. (found this somewhere on soompi thread. It’s a bit hard to find it now, there are over 700 pages ^^)

            So… either the writer changed her mind or I fail to see how she’ll keep consistency with what she said…

          • Dominique

            Not necessarily an open-ended ending, but more like line-drawing. That is to say, just as the drama did not start with births of everyone, it will end at some point in their lives sometime before their deaths (or even at deaths).

            Personally, I really have no preference or desire as to how the drama ends. Faith is one Korean drama that is so devoid of sentimentality or editorialization or on-screen commentary of its own plots. The drama simply shows or implies or lets viewers connect the dots, but it does not sit around and talk about it. That is, it does not insult its viewers’ intelligence.

            But it does leave me feeling already nostalgic, as it approaches its end. I fear that we will not have another one like Faith in the Korean dramaland for a long time to come.

          • SH


            I’m also leaning toward an open-ending as well. With four episodes left, there are still some major questions needed to be resolved. Like how will KC meet his demise (according to History, he is killed four or five years from 1351 by GM); also the fate of DH we don’t yet know (will he live on?); I can’t see CY going back to the future because of his importance to the history of Korea; the list goes on and on…

            Frankly, I don’t want a fan-service ending if it doesn’t make sense to the story as a whole, but I have faith in Song Ji Na; she is not the type to cave in to viewers’ demand if it doesn’t fit the narrative she’s intending on telling.

            I agree with your assessment of Faith being a show that is devoid of onscreen plot commentary. Everything is portrayed so simply and quietly, allowing viewers to ponder and connect those dots. Take this episode as an example, CY is going through an existential crisis of his own, but there is never a moment of big revelation to tell viewers that he is experiencing some doubts. We see him being reluctant to kill, tired of fulfilling a warrior’s duty, have no memories of the past 7 years, we sees the conversation about the “sword being too heavy,” or him being reluctant to return to his duty. To me, there is literally no “Ah Ha!” moment of wow he’s having self-doubts, until I finish putting the pieces together to get a full picture.

            Watching Faith is like watching a story that mimics life, repetitive, routine, but most of us experience that everyday, wake up, go to work, hang out with friends, etc.. these activities keep repeating. But just like people change overtime through these routines, these characters are also transforming in front of viewers’ eyes.

            If I have to describe Faith in a few words, I would call it, a collection of snapshots of these people’s lives.

            Boring or dull to some, but not to me. I love it. I’m going to miss it when it’s over.

          • Kim Yoonmi

            @Misty: Looks like she reneged on the promise. ’cause there is no way that Film Canister Eun Soo can be the same as our Eun Soo. Unless our Eun Soo likes being a liar to mess with herself.

            Future version of our Eun Soo: If I say it did happen, then maybe past Eun Soo will do something about it. I was a bit of a wimp back then…

            Our Eun Soo: You are a terrible person.

            Future Eun Soo: Ya! I’m you from the future, so shut up. And use Jeonmal, I’m older than you.


      • 1.1.7 Rashell

        All the time travel stuff just makes my head hurt to think about. I’m not even going to TRY to understand. I’ll just drink whatever time travel koolaide the drama gives me and be happy. LOL

      • 1.1.8 liza

        Hats off to you,alternate universes Dominique you are a genius. By the way I love that name Dominique. This is also the french name of an island, the english name is

        • Dominique

          Thanks! But your name is very popular with Hollywood stars – can you even count how many share your name?

    • 1.2 Tweedy

      but oh boy, all your analyses are pretty solid! Hopefully the ending wont disappoint us all/ leaving us hanging.

      • 1.2.1 jyyjc

        I know man, my head hurts but it’s so interesting that I’m hitting myself over the head trying to take in everyone’s time travel analysis.

  2. Hooliah

    Thanks for your recaps as always!

    My interest has really been flagging on this drama, but I love the King and Queen and was excited to have an episode mostly about them and their relationship.

    As far as CY and ES–Oh my God why did he not tackle her at the end? We don’t even get a kiss? Augh! So frustrated! But I am probably going to watch next week now…

    • 2.1 saltandpepper

      yay….3rd to comment 🙂

  3. Roggy

    Wait. I thought this was the final episode ??? :S So confused.

    • 3.1 SuzenJ

      I thought the same as well cuz I thought this series was for 20. Looking on dramafever, it’s 24, so lots of room to get more romance (hopefully) between ES and CY.

    • 3.2 jp

      Faith is 24 episodes

    • 3.3 Roggy

      OH THANK GOD! I’ll finally get to have my bed scene 😉

      • 3.3.1 jp

        whhaaat?? they are going to have bed-scene?? 🙂

  4. jomo

    Thanks for the recaps!

    Yes, ES’s “Sorry!” to KC made me LOL…

    I was caught off guard with the miscarriage moment between the K and Q. Not that this show doesn’t make me cry all the time, but it was so real between them. I almost forgot these two actors aren’t really married.
    THIS is a good couple. Love them.

    I don’t expect any more skinship outta that end scene when we pick it up next week. We may see a hint of morning after, but if they were going to go there, it would have been this episode, right?

    So ES is going back, right, to be cured? She can’t die, or the whole cycle is broke, right?

    • 4.1 gordyusmitch

      i already guessed that the baby would be miscarried when the doctor said it was too early for her to be pregnant…still, it did not keep me from getting sad when she confirmed it to the king…~tissue please~

    • 4.2 Indiannomad

      I couldnt stop laughing at how she apologizes to KC….seriously Girl!!! you were giving him an anuerysm. Poor KC, cant believe I am feeling sorry for him.

    • 4.3 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      I was surprised about the miscarriage because according to history, Queen Noguk has been pregnant only once, then she died after child birth. 🙂

      • 4.3.1 Kim Yoonmi

        Often people don’t put weight on miscarriages as being “real” and that they have any impact on the women–most likely because men write the history.

        I do like that about this episode–they put weight on the loss of the child and made it real for everyone involved, the weight of the disappointment, the weight of the inability to protect, and so on.

        That really moved me and the acting was excellent on all sides of that.

  5. Anne

    Noguk and gongmin lives forever! The end!

    All else is meaningless to me.

  6. jenhul

    I was finally beginning to think that ES and CY might actually get a happy ending, but that pesky poison is still a problem. It appears that she has to go back to the present or die. Ugh, is she doomed to repeat this over and over? And if so, why not write a note with the freaking cure for the poison???

    • 6.1 gordyusmitch

      i agree! the poison bit is getting old already…

  7. thehaydn

    UGH why did i have to go freaking wikipedia Gongmin? now my heart is broken… over the majesty couple… their love story is soooo sad. T___T
    (and i did not know Frozen Flower was about Gongmin… wth. that changed my view about him a bit tbh)

    but i still prefer the Gongmin in this drama the best<3 new fan of Ryu Deok Hwan<3

    • 7.1 Roggy

      Oh god. Yeh i watched Frozen Flower yday because when i googled Gongmin and it came up…..should’ve read the reviews first.

      Ugh. So weird how twisted that story is…esp compared to this beautiful one.

    • 7.2 jp

      I watched Frozen Flower and felt disturbed and dissillusioned about the King after.
      I still like the King’s version here on Faith.
      Way to go Gongnim! I love this actor.
      The K and Q are great together.

      • 7.2.1 Aden01

        well, Frozen Flower Basically is a story about The “after” Gongmin. The only thing that goes wrong in FF was, there’s still Noguk. Gongmin did endup chasing the young boy and became like what’s in FF told.

      • 7.2.2 unik

        Frozen Flower is not an accurate account of Gongmin. They twisted it so much, even the famous two-horse rider picture. Gongmin drew that picture back in Yuan when he was still a hostage and not when he was king with that guard. The queen there shouldn’t be Noguk. Chronologically Noguk died first during labor after 15 years of marriage and the King turned mad after. He left politics and immersed himself to talking to his wife’s tomb and portrait.

        I assume that lady would have been the slave concubine he got years later that looked like Noguk who gave birth to a child suspected to be fathered by a monks. But, they made her into a Yuan princess.

        I knew Gongmin and Noguk love story before “Faith” cuz’ I like researching true historical royal love stories. Their’s is one of my favorite. The closest drama portrayal of them (story-wise) would be the series Shin Don. It’s more fleshed out. But I love “Faiths” King and Queen. There story is what keeps me watching.

        • jp

          hey thanks for the info…
          you answered some lingering questions in my mind 🙂

          • jp

            now, if Faith ends like the way U.S. ABC’s “Lost” ended (everything was just a dream)…. after all had been said and done, I will really book a flight to Korea and hunt down the Writer and Director (in that order) to avenge Faith-fuls disappointment to the conclusion of this Drama.
            So beware… ggrrrr…

        • Itoshi

          And may I add that some historians disagree that Gongmin was described as ‘going after young boys’. They said that it was all to slander him as to justify the founding of Joseon. Especially him, because he was a brilliant and great monarch, it’s just that he lived in such a turbulent era. Had he lived in a more stable era, he would have become so much more (http://rki.kbs.co.kr/english/program/program_koreanstory_detail.htm??lang=e&current_page=6&No=29583)

          well, just like the saying goes, ‘the winner gets to write history’

          • Waca

            Thank you, that’s very interesting! It is true that we have to be careful about history because what we learn is what somebody wrote at some point. It is nice to know that Gongmin may have been slandered.

            As for Frozen Flower, actually I really loved that movie, but of course I think we have to take it as it really is: a fiction. The story is very twisted so to me it has no link with the real Gongmin and Noguk. I don’t remember if they actually name them Gongmin and Noguk? In my souvenir, they had no name. I thought they had just based the story and context upon Gongmin’s, without saying it was him. But I may be wrong, I usually have a bad memory.

            As for Faith, I can’t help to make the link even if it is totally a fiction… 😀

          • Awe


            very nice, thoughtful post. thank you!

        • j3di

          FF was inspired by Gongmin not Gongmin and Noguk story. Jo Jin Moo not mentioned as Gongmin in FF. Song Ji Hyo was inspired by Noguk, because it’s described as Yuan Princess.

          It’s really sad for real Gongmin, in the end his become insane. hiks… hiks… hiks… ^^”

          • Awe

            again, we need to heed caution. what was written may not all be the truth…even Buddha and Jesus said that.

  8. risa

    Agreed– the king is the best character in this drama and I lovelovelove Ryu Deok Hwan in this role. Genius casting, that was. My interest in this drama has really been waning, but this episode got me emotionally engaged again. Thanks for the recap!

    • 8.1 gordyusmitch

      i was more excited about the romance between the King and Queen rather than Young and the High Doctor

      • 8.1.1 nad


    • 8.2 Fabmari

      Ryu Deok-hwan really is a good actor. His whole body emits his character, such a small person but with such a charisma when he walks in as a king.
      If it is another actor, I am not sure if Gongmin would shine as much.

      When LMH acts with him, the acting skill gap is so clear. LMH is pretty and I like him, but his acting still leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe sparring with Ryu Deok-hwan does him good.

      I love Faith though…so it is easy to overlook all the misses and focus on the pluses 😀

      • 8.2.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

        i also love Ryu Deok-hwan..his acting is really outstanding..i so love his character in God’s Quiz..i watched all 3 seasons of GQ because of him..I was glad that it reached season 3, making the drama equal to 36 episodes all in all..i hope they will make a 4th season of God’s Quiz next year.. 🙂

        • MEalways

          Me too, Jessa.
          I watched (actually right now I’m watching God’s Quiz 2) diligently because of Ryu Deok-Hwan’s acting. He’s so funny, yet so serious and so witty there. Sometimes he left blank pages (because it’s so hard to picture a genius in medical yet have no knowledge what so ever about human being).

          On other side note, he reminds me of Heo Young Saeng… my bias on Kpop side. Oh mo….

      • 8.2.2 Ivoire

        Hello Fabmari,
        and thank you for your comments about RDH and LMH. I feel the same way and agree with what you said about both actors’ acting abilities.

        • Qítko

          Hi Fabmari and Ivoire.
          From my point of view, the acting of both actors (RDH and LMH) is equally superb. Please understand – each of them portray quite different type of character! The King is insecure, full of emotions and doubts, he is young (so probably not so mature) and he is quite dependent and relying on the close people around him. In the contrary – Choi Young is an adult man who experienced a lot of pain in the past, who saw a lot of his friends to die, who saw a lot of misery around him. So he closed himself, he is reserved (or restrained) and he is rather introverted (in my opinion). He was lonely for long time and he had to learn to be calm and not to succumb to his emotions because the „hot head“ might lead his „Woodalchi kids“ into doom. So, I think the acting of both actors is exactly in accordance with characters which they portray and I love them both very much.
          (sorry for my bad english…)

          • ravens_nest

            I’ll respectfully disagree. I definitely don’t think Lee Min Ho is on the same level as Ryu Duk Hwan. Not only because of the handling of their characters here but in consideration of their entire careers respectfully.

            People keep insisting that those who aren’t enjoying Lee Min Ho’s portrayal of Choi Young just don’t understand that Choi Young is supposed to be cold/reserved but that is just not the case. I do get it. The problem is that I don’t think Lee Min Ho is doing it well. There’s a world of difference between portraying stoicism and acting blank, and Lee Min Ho is leaning far more towards the latter. (I will allow for some PD/Writer responsibility for Choi Young’s rather stagnant character arc.)

            As I’ve said before, I like Lee Min Ho, even here at times, but he does not emote well in Faith. I don’t mean being emotional, hot headed, and wearing his heart on his sleeve. I mean he cannot emote the coldness and reserve of Choi Young in a way that is truly convincing to me. 20 episodes later and I still feel like he’s not hitting it completely.

            For example, in Warrior Baek Dong Soo, Yoo Seung Ho plays a character with a similar reserve and coldness as Choi Young, admittedly with less honor/morality, and he does so superbly. Simultaneously giving a character who steadfastly hides and suppresses his emotions, patiently performs his duty (both for good and for evil), and also begins to unravel at the seems in fear and self doubt. His performance of a cold and withdrawn warrior scarred by the blood on his hands and desperately wanting to connect to another in a meaningful way was right on the money.

            While Choi Young is not the same exact character as Yeo Woon they share many similar attributes like their reserved, patient, and introverted personalities. While Lee Min Ho can portray the anger pretty well and the humor/sarcasm too, he lacks in many ways portraying a dynamic and engaging reserve/melancholy/weariness that I can see the writer is suggesting.

            Ryu Duk Hwan, however, always delivers on whatever emotion his character needs to portray: fear, cowardice, anger, authority, tenderness, uncertainty, love, need, humor, etc.

            I know much of this is subjective to the viewer but I feel like I am not the only person having a hard time seeing Choi Young and not seeing Lee Min Ho trying to be Choi Young. I don’t mean this as a disparagement of Lee Min Ho but I can’t help but feel that this was definitely not Lee Min Ho’s best performance.

            PS. I will acknowledge that Ryu Duk Hwan and Yoo Seung Ho have both had more experience playing weightier and more diverse roles which makes a huge difference. Whereas Lee Min Ho has mostly been successful with trendy drama rom-com roles (even City Hunter was kind of trendy) and a narrower array of characters.

            PPS. I maintain that City Hunter was his best performance yet.

  9. jp

    Finally, DramaBeans recap is here!!!
    I love Faith, especially this Episode… particularly the end part 🙂 And to think I almost gave up on this drama, because it seemed to be going round and round earlier.
    Great job… I can’t wait for Monday to come…
    It will be nail-biting episodes next week when the GC and DH joined forces.
    Please, Drama God…. Let this be a happy ending to Gongnim and Noguk and most especially to CY and ES.
    Please please…

  10. 10 Nanaki

    BOOYAH for Woodalchi shenangians! I love those boys. And bring on the roommate hijinks.

    Also, Ryu Deok Hwan really is the only thing that just gets me in the heart in this drama. Sad (I want to love it SO MUCH) but true.

  11. 11 leeena

    awwww sad about noguk and gongmin 🙁
    but thanks for the uber fast recap 🙂

  12. 12 Anya

    In the very last picture, IMO she looks like mickey mouse, sans her mickey ears.

    • 12.1 jp

      That’s alright.. At least they will be roomies hehehe

    • 12.2 Waca

      Haha! actually I dunno why I had that thought, but since the beginning of the show I had moments where I thought that too. She has a mickey mouse look somewhere in her features! 😀 So cute!

  13. 13 mima

    I love this episode! Yaiy. I’m missing Monday again  Lee MinHo what have you done!
    Kamsa Hamida girlfriday!

  14. 14 gordyusmitch

    thank you so much! I got stuck watching during the last 10 minutes of this episode and I can’t wait to see what happened so I read your recap…as, always…GOOD JOB!

  15. 15 Awe

    Anyone else wanna punch out Prince DH. Grrr–so tired of him snaking around.

    Anyone got any leftover poison they aren’t using…there’s a teacup that needs it….

    • 15.1 Awe


      SHOW!!!! i hate you! this episode’s ending was the best EVAH! now, why ya gotta make me wait a week? i’ve been faithful to you, why you make me wait? huh?
      *shakes fist at show*

  16. 16 AlexLouise

    Oahhhh, the last scene, … (let the imagination runs wild)…

  17. 17 Abbie

    Best. Episode. Yet. Gongmin, or rather Ryu Deok-hwan, was so great in this episode. This is why he’s one of my favorites, because he can make your heart ache for him with just a look. The scene where he and Noguk were reunited broke my heart too, because she’d lost the baby, unknowingly, and thanks to that bastard Deok-heung and his poison fetish. I hope he fries in the fires of hell! Is that too much? Anyway, that scene caused me to cry, probably the first time I had since Young had to kill that boy king to save him from an agonizing death. Gah. So sad.

    Now I just feel sorry for Ki Chul too. I think it’s the actor himself that has kept me firmly as his fan. Yoon Oh-seung is great. He can really play the crazy. When he found out that Eun-soo isn’t really from heaven, I felt really bad for him. Now his faith is crashing down around his ears, and he can’t do anything. If Eun-soo goes back, I still hope that she takes him with her, if even for a short visit.

    As for the ending…. I am totally for Eun-soo and Young being roomies. And I love that she’s basically taking the first step, the kind of step any modern woman would take. Love her. She’s awesome.

    Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

    • 17.1 gordyusmitch

      what to do with Deok-Heong? feed him poison and with until the last minute to give him the antidote…then poison him again…and again…and again…literally give him a dose of his own medicine…hahaha!!!

      Ki-Chul? I would also love for him to go back with the doctor to “heavenworld” and then leave him in the middle of … hmnn…i wonder where?

      • 17.1.1 MEalways

        How about Gangnam?

        Eun Soo once talked about ‘scary people’ in heaven, that scarier and crazier than Ki Chul, and could be found easily in Gangnam.
        Second, because Gangnam is so hit right now, maybe he could do Gangnam style and conquer the world…

        As he wish…

        (Please, no offence to Gangnam people or this environment/city).

        • jp

          hahaha… this makes made my day!

        • Abbie

          I just pictured him doing Gangnam Style…. LOL Now I want to see them all doing Gangnam Style!

      • 17.1.2 Abbie

        Yes, I think you’re right about Deok-heung! lol. He needs a taste of his own medicine, er, poison. haha.

        If she just abandoned Ki Chul, what kind of havoc would he unleash? We all know what trouble Young caused, and most of that was accidental. lol

    • 17.2 JoAnne

      I’m all for stringing DH up by his hind quarters, and it’s entirely possible this is an issue with translation only, but DH has been saying right along that the princess should be unharmed – and he told his henchman to go check on her, that she should be unharmed. Yet the henchman said something to the effect that his master said she must die, since Gongmin didn’t crumble.

      That’s a significant difference, folks – and leaves room, in my mind at least, for this scenario: DH kidnaps her, but someone ELSE uses that to kill her – thus framing DH. Who, I have no idea. I don’t think it’s Ki Chul. It could be the Dansa Officer, but I don’t know. At times it seemed to me like he was actually liking the King for pushing back as if he had his own agenda, separate from Yuan and opposite to it. But there again, since others think he is pure evil and since he DID since the mysterious hatted guys after CY and ES, I’m open to that being the case.

      • 17.2.1 Awe

        Greets JoAnne

        i watched this episode on viki.com and i thought what you thought because it wasn’t clear. however, the henchman does say to drink because you’ll go sleeping without pain.
        i watched this episode on dramafever.com and WHOA! what a difference. it is very clear DH issues a kill order.

  18. 18 Lanalas

    Thank you for the recap~

    Can anyone please explain to me what Imja means and why does he keep calling her that?

    • 18.1 jp

      I already asked this before. The reply:
      Imja is a term for endearment but more intimate.
      Something like honey or yobo, maybe.

      • 18.1.1 girlfriday

        No, imja isn’t honey or yeobo. It’s just “You,” spoken slightly more familiarly than formal jondae speech. Think of it as halfway to banmal.

        • jp

          Oww. geezer … thanks much for the correction.
          What is Banmal? 🙂

          • dulcedeleche

            Banmal is informal speech. Like what you would speak to a close friend.

          • Wap

            Informal speech- banmal
            Formal speech- jondae

        • dulcedeleche

          Why does CY sound so hot when he says it? lol. He didn’t always call her that right….only after she got poisoned (the first time) right?

        • Lanalas

          Oh i see. Thank you! Is it still used in modern- day Korean speech though?

          • girlfriday

            In modern speech, imja is used differently, to mean owner/possessor (of an object, store, etc), and can also be used to mean someone’s significant other.

            (The closest equivalent would be something like, “Are you spoken for?” even though the literal question sounds weirder: “Do you have an owner / Do you belong to anyone?”)

            That’s probably why people are conflating the meanings(?), but the way Young uses it, it means “you.” That’s not to say it isn’t significant that he chooses a more informal “you” rather than calling her “Doctor,” but he’s not running around calling her honeybuns. Sadly.

        • Kim Yoonmi

          Actually there is an older meaning…

          Source: ybmallinall.com/stylev2/dicview.asp?kwdseq=0&kwdseq2=0&DictCategory=DictAll&DictNum=0&ById=0&PageSize=5&StartNum=0&GroupMode=0&cmd=0&kwd=%EC%9E%84%EC%9E%90&x=0&y=0

          1 [소유주] the owner; the proprietor.
          2 [남편] one’s husband.

          임자2 상세보기 단어장에 저장하기
          1 [자네] you; old man[fellow].
          2 [부부간] (my) dear; darling; honey.

          We, the translators at viki, tackled this issue and had to resign to using the term “Imja” since it would not translate properly.

          At first, Imja as used by Choi Young means “Keeper of the promise” (i.e. to get her back to the door) Then it kind of morphs into meaning you, my owner. Then it morphs again to meaning between my owner to kind of partner/friend/equal then again to owner of my heart. And then recently it’s morphing more into my honey and I expect that it will eventually mean “My wife, my darling”

          Most native Koreans only think of it as an archaeic form of “You” but the writer is messing around with the language so that the archaeic meanings are coming up, so it’s a term of endearment.

          We had a really hard time with it and were debating it because the meaning kept shifting so we gave up. We were going to go with “Mate” but it didn’t translate properly into American English. And we debated… but some things just don’t translate, no matter how hard you bash your head and the more clever writers are with language, the harder it is to get the precision down. (Such as the whole key word that won’t translate in Arang and the Magistrate Maeum–which would make a whole lot more sense translation-wise if the translators could use one singular word for mind/spirit/emotion/heart but English doesn’t let it)

          Should make more sense now…

          • Kim Yoonmi

            BTW, Japanese equivalents would be something on the order of “Anata” which is also used as Darling, Honey, Wife/Husband. (If anyone is keeping track)

          • Ivoire

            Hello Kim Yoonmi,
            I just wanted to thank you for your detailed explanation of the word “Imja” and the struggles that the subbers at viki have had to to translate it. It makes me appreciate the work the subbers do more as well as their effort.

          • Ivoire

            Also, thank you for the link you posted about the older meaning. I looked at it.

          • SH

            Thank you for explaining this term 🙂

            Though I don’t understand Korean, I’ve noticed how the tone and the way in which Choi Young uses the term gradually changes throughout the show. At this point in the show, I think imja is implied in a more intimate way.

          • skelly

            Thank you for this detailed explanation! It really helps clear things up, to understand how the writer is using this one word, and its shades of meaning, as a signpost of CY’s feelings. It’s posts like yours that really add to my reading and viewing enjoyment. Thanks!!

          • Qítko

            Hallo, Kim Yoonmi,
            I am glad you decided not to translate “imja” in the end. I think sometimes we can feel the meaning but we are not able to describe it exactly in words. And what’s more – people in different countries call their close persons by the specific expression with specific meaning and some words – especially with emotional aspects – can be feel little bit differently in different countries as well. And for me, “darling” or “honey” would not be suitable or natural for Choi Young (considering his personality). So thank you for “imja” and thank you very much for your hard work with subbing

          • Jambo

            Kim Yoonmi! I was wondering why your name sounds familiar. My poor brain just recalled you wrote that superb article at Viki as to why subs are not being generated as fast ast the mass would have it.

            Thanks for all your hard work! I get the impression that you are not only a great subber who care about the work and how it translates, but also a very good writer.
            Kudos to you!

  19. 19 owl

    Seriously, I need a post kdrama trauma support group. I am new this year to kdramas and I need help. With only 4 episodes left, I’m afraid ES may actually die. When everything is in order according to history, and she convinces everyone that this is the way it is supposed to be, then if she dies from the poison, they will realize that it has to be.

    But, I will NOT be ok. I am going to need support – must be committed and available 24/7 for withdrawals and to help me work through ANY sad ending.

    I’m thinking of inviting CY to join the group too. If he loses two warrior maidens, oh baby! Therapy. Even wife Dae man can’t fill that void.

    We’ll meet in therapy. I’ll ask CY to teach me to fish. It will be a new start for both of us.

    • 19.1 Briggy(@subin70)

      You are too funny with the support group.LOL.I don’t think you get used to the trauma even with yrs of watching kdrama.they get you every time.

    • 19.2 Misha

      I support your support group petition o/

    • 19.3 MEalways

      How about watching variety show, such as 2Days 1 Night and Running Man. You get a lot of laugh here (dramabeans also have their recaps).

      And some of my favourite actors are members of the show (as Joo Won from Gaksital, Tae Woong – the Uhm force behind the Equator Man, Seung Woo from the grandeur Iris and not forget Tae Yun…).

      They really give you remedy from dark-noir-intense Kdrama that are my cup of tea, or the withdrawal from Kdrama or if you don’t have any good drama worth watching.

      But I give you a group hug nonetheless… 🙂

      • 19.3.1 RockPaperScissors

        Let’s all take a moment to give each other a virtual hug. I think we will need the love to get through the last four episodes.

        • owl

          I take that hug! Just watched ep 20 again. I loved the talk between the guard and CY about his sword getting too heavy. What could be more intimate than warriors baring souls to one another about the “love” of their life -the thing that makes their lives meaningful? Kind of like guys and their cars today. So what could be more intimate? The next scene – that’s what! Wudalchi pulling one over on the General with ES in uniform (cutest thing ever) and the love language btwn CY and ES (although it was just language, dang! no kiss etc., etc., etc.)Do I ever need that hug!

      • 19.3.2 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

        i also love Joo Won, Tae Woong, Seung Woo and Tae Hyun..they are so funny..they all display a completely different character of what they are used to be in their dramas..HA!

  20. 20 Ace

    What kind of cliffhanger was that? Hahaha. I’d really like to kick some PD ass.

    Love love love Eun-soo and General Young’s just so hot when he smiles (although he’s hot every time all the time for me)

  21. 21 Indiannomad

    Thank you for the Recap. I realize my Korean has improved when it comes to understanding. I was able to figure out most of the conversation before the Captions came out. Loved the wordless depth of emotions in four instances in this episode…

    1.The King calling on his General and pin drop silence that ensues when everyone realize that He misses his friend.
    2. The quiet look of relief in Young’s eyes as he checks out Eun Soo after she leaves Duek Heung’s place. I love the eye to eye conversations that need no words.
    3. The relief and grief that the King and the Queen share..This was an ace in terms of Moving my Emotions.
    4. The subtle hand holding and letting Eun soo lean on him when they announce that the Queen lost the baby. This is a gorgeous scene in letting us know how close their relationship is, to understand an unspoken need.

    Two more weeks to go, I wonder how they will resolve the Time travel issue.

  22. 22 Phin

    The last scene made my imagination gone wild. He walked into the room finding his girl there, slaming the door to send his Woodalchis away in the hottest way, and then inching very close to his girl with a smoldering hot move like he’s going to devour her. My mind totally went into the deepest gutter. Can’t wait until next episode. This is the first couple that I’m rooting/shipping so hard. The last scence is so *HOT* and *SEXY*

    It may be one of my favorite cliff hanger to date.

  23. 23 jude


    I foresee a major angst when the time comes for Eun Soo to make decision about her future life (yaknow with the poison, time loops and everything) but until then can we please, please, pretty please with puppy Deokman on top, to get loads of cute from Eunsoo time as Wooldachi. Make the general jealous!! I count on you Wooldachi guys! *giggling like crazy*

    That much cute is necessary to prepare my heart to prepare through whatever heart-wrenching story Writer-nim have in store.

    Oh and yeah. I read Wikipedia too about Gongmin and Noguk. Seeing RDH potrayal as Gongmin last night made my heart broke into pieces. Gongmin and Noguk story is too sad 🙁

  24. 24 Briggy(@subin70)

    She should have moved in the General’s room a long time ago.I know I would’ve <3!

  25. 25 dulcedeleche

    Okay I was totally about to give up with the yesterday’s episode. I was bored, the plot devices were overused. But TODAY, I was yelling at the screen, for them to go back, for him to hurry and save the King and Queen.

    I also LOVED Ki Chul. I was really for him to get all badass evil now that he knows she’s not from heaven…but then he went back to Deok-heung. HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO GET BACK STABBED BEFORE YOU KILL THE DUDE? Ki Chul, you’ve got these underlings with power, Yuan backing….you don’t need this dude! Find another candidate to become your puppet king. It looks like you need to go back to Villain 101.

    • 25.1 sally_b

      re: “It looks like you need to go back to Villain 101.”

      HAHAHAH! awesome.

      totally agree —- I was thinking:

      “Ki Chul, this guy is NOT your ally. He’s already (metaphorically) tattooed his name on your #ss and is not showing any signs of …hey Bro, let’s get a drink together”

      …then there’s the point that you’re kinda …um..outta your mind and having Evil-Power feedback that may in fact kill you at any moment…so that’s gotta suck.

      ***I posted very early in the series about how much I love Ki-Chul’s crazy faces..he never disappoints. If I had the power to send him to Heaven/future (maybe for a week or so) I’d do it.

      • 25.1.1 watchumlots

        Yeah, Ki-Chul should come to 2012 and land someplace crazy like Miami, Florida, New York, or Rio de Janiero. KC will never be the same!

        Maybe KiChul time-traveling could be a spin-off series?

        • sally_b

          WAH! hahah.. omg

          I never considered that…and I’m pretty warped. WHAT FUN THAT WOULD BE.

          (I salute you ~)

          Ki-Chul sipping PinaColadas in Miami….Conga-Line-Face….for the WIN !!

          omg…I’m dyin’here. (Thanks SO much) ❤

          • Fabmari

            Yeah..seeing how much he actually wants it..and is the only person who wants to go to ‘heaven’…..it should be granted!

            He will fit in Kpop world right away…he wears more accessories than any idol and has the strong idol image that make it hard to even hate him. LOL

        • Waca

          OMG, I want that!!!! A spin-off series about KC time-traveling!!!!!!!! It would be so much fun!!!!!!! We should write to the Dr Who series so the Dr would come and get him in his Tardis!!!

          • SH

            lol…totally on board with a spin-off of KC in 2012. I love KC; he’s such an unconventional villain. I don’t normally use the word “adorable” to describe a villain, but I find KC to be such an adorable character 😛

        • ravens_nest

          Where in Spacetime is Evil Villain Ki Chul?

          Give him a red fedora and trench coat and let him fly off into the Continuum. lol

  26. 26 Me too

    thank you for the recap….awesome job…..best episode of all………for me i guess………………………………..

  27. 27 Wap

    4 more episodes to go. Thanks db!

  28. 28 ck1Oz

    Thank you for the recap. I am sure it’s going to be brilliant. Didn’t want to comment so much as my mind has already gone to the gutters after watching ep 20.

  29. 29 jambo

    Roommates! *sigh*

  30. 30 Gaeina Lee

    What a stellar performance from the King… My heart is twisted and wrenched watching him in agony. His vulnerability clearly shown in his eyes and face… I cry with him… TT_TT

    This is the best and strongest episode of Faith, in my pov.

    • 30.1 Ladytron33

      I was thinking the same thing! By far the strongest episode up to this point. The performances from the King and Queen elevated it to another level.

  31. 31 Krish

    It hasn’t even ended yet but I miss Faith already. Looking forward to watching EP20 after all my work is done for the day!

  32. 32 Village Mrembo

    Dear recapper, i think we r meant to put 2 & 2 together regarding that ending, and no, getting your mind out the gutter is totally not allowed he he!

    Can i just say, who needs a cliffhanger when u’ve got that ending?!! Hands up if ur still replaying the scene even as ur reading this ; )

  33. 33 Aienlacassie

    LOVED yesterday’s episode! Best episode till date!Also the cliffhanger…..ARRGGH! Don’t tease me PD nim! I’m too young to die for a reason as silly as ANTICIPATION! Other than that i loved the recap. And just wanted to tell the folks at dramabeans that I love you guys! I’ve been reading your recaps since last year but commenting only now…:-P

  34. 34 Mara

    Where was Jang Bin (the doctor) this week? His absence in the miscarriage scene was noticeable. I loved eps. 19 & 20. I must confess that DH is so mesmerizing to watch ’cause he’s just not handsome, he’s beautiful. RD is giving a magnificent performance and his facial gestures are compelling. He’s going to be around for a long time and remembered for his skill, not his height, CFs, or personal scandals. He’s got that je ne sais quoi that makes him stand out from the rest. Aja aja hwaiting!

    • 34.1 owl

      Yeah, where da hey was Dr Jang? I wondered fhat, too.

    • 34.2 sally_b

      @Mara – re: “Where was Jang Bin (the doctor) this week?”

      …he and I went camping.

      We roasted mashmallows and drank campfire-hot-chocolate laced w/rum.

      He tried to play the guitar for me, but ended up just being a cute failure instead.

      As I looked up at the stars in the pitch black night, I wished he would get near me…and then
      (sqquuueeeeechhhh ~stop.)

      oh wait. That’s MY imaginary timeline….
      …..the one where Dr. Jang ends up escorting Eun-Soo to the TimePortal — and gets coincidentally transported —-
      to the future…to MY house.

      HA! If the writer can bend time to his or her will….so can I. (point is: YES. Phillip Lee was missed…by me.) 😉

      • 34.2.1 Mystisith

        I just don’t know why they kept Lee Philip in the story in the first place. I missed him cause I like him but this character is so useless in the story. So frustrating!

        • JoAnne

          I don’t squee over him as others do – don’t squee over him at all, in fact – but he certainly seems underutilized here. For such a character who is seen often but doesn’t really DO much…why such a name actor?

        • SH

          I think he was cast to be a part of the 2010 version of Faith, which from what I could gather was supposed to have more medical fantasy elements. Then the whole production problems, losing male lead, etc. PL sticks around out of loyalty to the director(?) (pure speculation on my part), but with the current story, medical theme is not really the central focus of the show. This is one of the few glaring holes in this show, I wish they would reduce or simply drop the mystical power and medical elements at the beginning of the story to not raise under-developed side plots.

          • owl

            Remember a few episodes back when Dr. Jang was teaching ES different pulses? I could only scream in my head, “Why isn’t SHE teaching him as much advanced medical information as possible, huh?” Like, for starters, leeches sucking blood is not such a good practice after all. Basic stuff like that. Just think howshe could enlighten him – endless possibilities. Big glaring gap there.

    • 34.3 Mayra

      EU and him made a bet about who came up with the antidote right? maybe was busy with that? LOL

    • 34.4 Aden01

      Lee philips is out from faith bcoz he has eye injury. he cant proceed the next ep till the end. there’s news about him

  35. 35 Jane

    I love this episode. It is full of heart warming scenes between the King and the Queen. You can just feel the pain the King is experiencing. I love the scene with the General and the King. Somehow, when the General is there, you have this feeling that everything will be alright. And last but not the least, the General and the High Doctor scenes. They are both adorable. They are both beautiful. I don’t know what it is with Minho but he just makes you swoon. Can’t wait till next Monday. To hell with ratings. We, Faithfuls, are just happy.

  36. 36 miho9tf

    “Why do people keep wanting to work with this guy? Is it his shiny rockstar hair? ”

    girlfriday, you crack me up!!!

  37. 37 ness36

    can someone tell me what is the music , i think ost when ep 20 finishes???? i tried to find it but no way!!!!
    i started faith recently because i become too impatient and can’t focus , so i wait until the drama is about 12 episodes to start it!! i’m at episode 16 now and i find it very interesting though i feel that the happy ending is somehow impossible!!!!
    thkx jb an gf for the recaps , it’s my habit even more ( un rituel!!!!) to read your recaps while taking my breakfast , directly after checking my mails!!! as i live in france , all your recaps are ready by 7 or 8 am so it makes my day!!! thank you so much and i learned so many new words with you , even the imja definition , i enjoy aloso the comments , i think that since 2009( when i started watching korean dramas) , visiting this fabulous place became a part of my daily habits !!!!
    sorry for my english i ‘m algerian living in france!!!! so it’s a bit!!!!!!!! but today i wanted to make this post, and say a big FIGHTING to all of you !!! and i will pray for a happy ending!!!!!!!

  38. 38 redfox

    how beautyful is the queen? I cant get over jealousy, if I just had 1 % of her beauty! and the relationship between the royal couple is just so sweet.

    somehow this series is like a Bold & Beautyful in sageuk clothes. Standing and talking mostly…. lots of feelings and face-to-face, one-on-one. But the camerawork is like a students´ first attempt at filming. is the shaky camera on purpose? there was even an insect on the lens at some point. and the fight scenes….they could be good with better camera placement. That just makes me wanna hide my head in shame and whine.

    and Lee Min Ho and Kim Hee Sun should just get married. They have a perfect fit.

  39. 39 harushima

    Oh please… stop me from thinking pervy thoughts when he said, “I’m the general…here…”

    • 39.1 Anya

      you are not alone… though in the beginning I criticize LMH casting because honestly he doesn;t really look like
      Saeguk, but I’m happy that he is, coz his handsomeness, his height, his maleness and hotness
      makes me glued to this drama especially the fighting scene in this ep, haaa makes me quiver inside! ayyyaayaay

  40. 40 JennGo

    I read through DB’s all 20 recap in one seating and laughing all the way. Thank u for such a lighthearted comments and telling the story line. I just started watching Faith yesterday and into Ep 5 so far I am liking this sageuk, my third after Dae Jang Geum and Arang. It is both fun and lively. I’m not really confused about the time travelling thing, present ES or future. I kinda get it so its pretty much happy with this whole story line. Thanks DB for ur quick n prompt recap every week.

  41. 41 mima

    Nothing is more exiting than sharing room with a hot steamy General who’ll protect you no matter what… The idea is just super fantastic baby 

  42. 42 mima

    I meant exciting 

  43. 43 kakashi

    This episode made me happy. It’s the best one yet – and I wish that more episodes had been like it. The King’s performance (as always, but even more) superb. Choi Young, finally!, a human being with emotions. The Romance: the sweetest thing.

    I particularly like about it that they are equals – he constantly tries to be her ‘protector’, but she just doesn’t let him; she wants to be in charge of her own destiny and he has finally accepted that. I like about their romance that this love came on subtle, constantly built up, but was never rushed; to the point, where they are both equally in love and just accept it. There is no dancing around in circles (or only very little) and no big confessions are necessary. Their love just is – and it is unstoppable.

  44. 44 sudi

    whether its going back to the world or staying in Goryeo time its Eun Soo’s decision.And what ever she is doing or forced to do…she is the one creating history ir reason for creating history..and we all know that history cant be changed..Let’s see what Eun soo’ll be doing and how she is one creating history/rewritting the history…
    And cant wait for most intense scene in coming episodes where our leads are roomies…dont disappoint…plzzz..
    THANK$ For This RECAP…

  45. 45 Boingboingracquet

    I cried when Noguk lost their child :_(

  46. 46 Dara

    The running from/to the king of the doc & general, the king’s weakness/mistakes, poison, king walks to KC/DH or vice versa or KC to DH bored me. A real fighter wouldn’t walk into the enemies’ territory back and forth or it wouldn’t be called a fight, also anti-climaxxx. Though I appreciated the king’s personal heart, I was disappointed of him as a ruler of the nation to break down like that when there were so many lives at stake, and also was disappointed as a Sageuk lover in general ideas. My mind kept thinking go to that portal already, but no, because it’s a 24-eppies, they have to take time doing that ^^

  47. 47 Suzi Q

    Just love Ki Chul’s facial expression when he is told that Eun Soo is a fake and she’s not from heaven. He is so dorky and hilarious.He should return with her to the future and help her start a plastic surgery practice with her in Kangnam.
    Ryu Deok Hwan rock this episode.He is short compared to the other actors, but he is so talented showing Great acting with tenderness and pathos.Got out my tissues again.In reality, Gongmin and Noguk were devoted to each other, but their love ended tragically. No happy ending.
    Choi Young had the devilishness smile on his face when he is taunting Eun Soo about being roomies. Good Cliffhanger, but probably Eun Soo will whack him on the side of his head.

  48. 48 Blue

    Okay!!the end made giggle like a kid seeing her parents making out!!teehee..
    they are so freakingly cute..
    on the other hand,king Gongmin & Queen Noguk was intensely emotional.I love that he comforts her by hugging without words,or lets say sharing their grief in a simple yet the best gesture.
    Thankyou dramabeans:)
    & btw those coments regarding the time dimentions,Wow..you guys are big brainies,really.thanks,though im still trying to understand clearly.heh

    uumm..btw is Hanja still in use,like is it still common?

  49. 49 jae

    this recap make me want to see ep.20 video!
    king and queen’s hug scene was so emotional..
    thank you girlfriday ^^

  50. 50 Han

    Seriously, no one else made the QSD connection?!

    I admit, I am one of the bigger fans of Queen SeonDuk (my very first K-drama) and that last scene just had me screaming, “It’s Deokman!!!!” She held herself in that same half awkward/eager to please way Deokman did after the time skip.

    I was expecting her to go to the Wooldaichi barracks as soon as she needed ’round the clock protection. That she was NOT already there was slightly confusing me. So, my reaction to that was ‘finally’!

    On another, completely serious note… where can I get such cool hair gear!? I could totally rock the topknot with some of Gongmin’s hair toppers. I love the stuff guys put around their topknots, it is my favorite superficial point of watching saeguk.

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