Now that the story has taken off in earnest, it’s a jolly good time—there’s a dash of treasure hunting, a bit of sorcery, a cheeky sense of humor, and a good villain driving the mystery train. They may have tried to do too much in the first week (which is why it came out a jumble), but Episodes 3 and 4 have come together nicely, focusing on a central plot that keeps our hero on his toes, and the story chugging right along.
SONG OF THE DAY
“I Love You” – Jo Sung-mo (Jeon Woo-chi OST) [ Download ]
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Lee Chi’s notebook is found at the scene of the crime, and Eun-woo whispers into Chan-hwi’s ear that they saw Lee Chi lurking about that night when they were chasing the rooftop-leaping culprit.
Lee Chi thinks quickly and says he must’ve just dropped it a moment ago when he knocked the other books down, but Chan-hwi blurts out that it was found in a different spot and that they saw him lurking suspiciously. “Arrest him!”
Chan-hwi! NOW you decide to follow the letter of the law?
But just as he’s about to be hauled away, the eunuch who was there that night pipes up, “He was with me the whole night!” Huh?
Lee Chi is just as confused, and even more so when the head eunuch corroborates the story that he asked Lee Chi (who’s known for his fast writing) to help with their record-keeping, and he’s the one who sent him to fetch more paper, explaining the run-in with Eun-woo.
What, now? Are the bad guys coming to his rescue? This is scarier than being hauled away for a crime he didn’t commit.
Thankfully he’s no longer on the hook for murder, but Lee Chi glances at the eunuchs warily, wondering why they’d lie to save him.
They come to collect sooner than expected, and lead him away for a chat. Eun-woo, who’s been told to stay on Lee Chi as a suspect, sees him looking chummy with the eunuchs.
As soon as they close the doors behind them, they knock Lee Chi out with one blow, and he comes to, strapped down to a table by all four limbs, with a scary eunuch tapping his knife way too close to his unmentionables for comfort. You’re not angling for a new recruit, are you?
Lee Chi screams, but the head eunuch comes out from the shadows and asks if he was the one who stole the scroll. He swears up and down he wasn’t, so the eunuch asks where he was last night. “I… was… with you?” HA. Should you really be a smartass in this situation?
Once the knife moves up to his throat, he revises his story – he was at the gambling house, and was on his way back to the palace when he ran into the officers. He offers up that they can check out his alibi if they want, and soon the foursome heads out into town.
He leads them to the gambling house where the proprietor, Chul-gyun, gets up nervously in the presence of palace officials. They ask him if Lee Chi was here last night, and he looks over at his friend.
Lee Chi tells him to tell the truth, and then winks. Wait, should you have winked? Doesn’t that mean don’t tell the truth? It confuses Chul-gyun just as much, but he figures he’ll go with the safe route, and swears Lee Chi was never here. Hahaha. You guys need to work on your secret codes.
He’s just about to get hauled away again when Bong-gu comes out from the other room, crying for Lee Chi to save him. Thankfully, he confirms the alibi that Lee Chi was here last night, and the head eunuch is convinced he’s not their thief. Whew.
He bravely asks what was in the scroll that’s worth killing for, and the head eunuch warns that if he ever speaks of any of this, he’ll have to pay with his life. Lee Chi quickly nods and scampers away.
The knife-happy eunuch enforcer asks if they’re really going to let him go, and the boss says yes, only they’re going to follow his every move.
Meanwhile, Kang-rim asks uncle Ma Sook what the big fuss is over a drawing of a tiger. Ma Sook says it might look like that on the outside, but in truth it’s a “map that will change the world.”
He says that it was made by Hong Gil-dong, and that hidden inside is a map to a gigantic silver mine. Back in his Hwalbindang days, their master Hong Gil-dong discovered a silver mine and had they taken it, they’d have all been incredibly rich.
But Hong Gil-dong being Hong Gil-dong of course did nothing of the kind, and instead hid its location from everyone and drew a map, and presented it to the Joseon king. Ma Sook says he just wanted to play the hero all by himself (interesting the way he sees it), and that in exchange for the map, Hong Gil-dong asked that he be allowed to take his Hwalbindang members and go live in Yuldo.
The king agreed to the deal and that’s how Hong Gil-dong came to found the land of Yuldo. The silver mine was covered up as a secret, to be used in times of war or crisis. The secret of the scroll is supposed to get passed down from king to king, only the last one was dethroned so suddenly that the present king was never told.
Kang-rim is still skeptical—it doesn’t look like anything but a tiger. Ma Sook smiles and says it’ll look like a map soon enough, and tells him to bring Mu-yeon. Ah, this must be why he needed her. Something to do with Hong Gil-dong’s bloodline, I’m guessing?
Lee Chi soon discovers that he has a tail, and runs to the nearest outhouse to make his getaway. He can barely get through the incantation because of the smell, but by the time the eunuch catches up, he gets knocked down by a gust of wind, and Woo-chi is perched on a rooftop.
Ma Sook shows Mu-yeon the scroll, and we see that to her eyes, the tiger drawing is covering up another drawing underneath it. He asks what she sees. “This is a shell.” Kang-rim says that’s preposterous (strange for a wizard to be so skeptical), but Ma Sook nods—it’s what he expected.
He tells Kang-rim to bring someone to him, and I’m guessing it’s the same someone the head eunuch is talking to right now. The head eunuch says gravely to an old man that The Scroll was stolen, and passes a knife across the table. “You did not forget the pledge you made?”
Whoa, a pledge to take his life? The old man says he hasn’t forgotten, but his granddaughter has no one else but him. The eunuch warns that there’s no telling when the thieves will come looking for him, and promises to take care of the granddaughter.
The old man gets down on his knees and promises that he’ll hide away somewhere and that he’ll never ever uncover the drawing no matter who comes for him, but the head eunuch doesn’t budge. He doesn’t seem totally unsympathetic, just resolute that the secret of the scroll cannot be uncovered at any cost.
Jeon Woo-chi sees this unfolding, but Kang-rim and his henchmen are fast approaching. They storm the artist’s shop… but find it empty.
The eunuch has agreed to spare the old man’s life, and tucks him away in a house for the time being, while he finds a more permanent hideout. Aw, the guy does have a heart.
It seems secure for now; Woo-chi and the two eunuch minions are the only ones who know the old man is there, but Knifey the Eunuch seems pretty damn shifty to me.
They have another problem though: Chan-hwi and Eun-woo have found a discrepancy between the penmanship in the eunuchs’ records and Lee Chi’s other work, even though the entire alibi rests on the fact that he was called in to write for them.
Lee Chi runs back into the office, with the eunuchs not far behind. Editor Oh Kyu agrees with Chan-hwi that the two writing styles are different, and asks Lee Chi for an explanation.
The eunuchs try to throw their weight around, but there’s no need. Lee Chi: “They’re different because I wrote them both.” Er?
The whole room gathers around his desk for a demonstration, as he writes two different texts with each hand, in two different styles of penmanship, at the same friggin’ time. Dude, I TOTALLY want that superpower. So. Cool.
They all gape as he replicates the writing in the eunuchs’ book, stroke for stroke. Obviously he’s copying it on sight, and the head eunuch watches in equal amazement and suspicion—this is no ordinary fool.
Oh Kyu confirms that the two styles match the two samples perfectly, and Chan-hwi can’t say anything to counter it. The head eunuch orders Lee Chi followed at all times till they can figure out what his deal is.
That night Eun-woo fills the king in on the day’s events, and she warns him to watch out for the eunuchs—they’re hiding something, but she needs time to figure out what. It seriously tugs at my heart, the young king trapped in his room, powerless and scared of everything.
Ma Sook glares when Kang-rim reports that the artist’s shop was empty when they got there. They’re interrupted by a visitor… gah, it’s Knifey the Eunuch! I knew you were bad news.
Kang-rim flies down to the house and goes for the old man, who stabs him in the hand with his chopsticks (Badass!) and makes a run for it with his granddaughter. Woo-chi arrives moments behind, and finds the house empty.
He flies up to the roof to scan the area, and sees Kang-rim chasing the man through the woods. I love that he alights gracefully, even while giving chase. He’s just about to make his move to grab the old man, when a gust of wind blocks him.
He scans the trees, “Who’s there?” And Woo-chi steps out to face him. Kang-rim’s face goes white. “Jeon Woo-chi… you’re alive…?”
Woo-chi: “Are you disappointed?” He demands to know where Mu-yeon is, and what his scheme is, that has her killing people. But all Kang-rim gets from that speech is that Woo-chi met Mu-yeon, and he panics.
Kang-rim: “I don’t know what made you come this far, but I’ll make you regret it.” Commence wizard battle. Aww yeah.
Kang-rim bolts him with lightning, but Woo-chi blocks it with wind, and quite easily at that.
It clearly surprises him that Woo-chi is matching him move for move, and in that moment of bewilderment, Woo-chi gathers up a gust of wind and knocks him down.
But then Kang-rim’s army of ninjas swoops in with darts, and sends Woo-chi flying up from tree to tree to dodge them. He gets hit with one, and he’s forced to retreat. Kang-rim stops them from pursuing, because the old man is their priority.
The eunuchs find the hideout empty, and report to their leader that the ones who stole the scroll must’ve gotten to him. The head eunuch orders them to check on Lee Chi to see if he had anything to do with it, and murmurs to himself, burdened with worry that Hong Gil-dong’s scroll has fallen into the wrong hands.
Meanwhile Kang-rim presents the scroll to the old man and orders him to unmask the picture behind it. He gives it a once-over and declares there is no second picture to be found, when Ma Sook appears out of thin air, “Liar!”
The old man recognizes him instantly and cowers in fear. He still refuses to uncover the map, but Ma Sook is prepared for that and grabs the granddaughter, holding her over the pit of fire. “Would you like to uncover the drawing, or shall we make a drawing out of fire on your granddaughter’s face?”
The child cries and screams, and it stirs something in Mu-yeon—her eyes betray emotion, though she doesn’t move. The old man breaks down, and Ma Sook smiles.
Kang-rim is haunted by memories of the day he thought he killed Woo-chi, and their run-in tonight. Mu-yeon comes out and he starts to ask if anything happened in the palace library… but takes it back and doesn’t ask.
But it’s Mu-yeon who then asks him, “Do you know a Jeon Woo-chi?” He goes pale again, but she says without a change in her expression that she met a man named Jeon Woo-chi last night, but she didn’t recognize him.
She knows she’s never seen him before, but he spoke to her like he knew her. “That voice that called out to me… I can’t seem to forget it.” Kang-rim answers like a guilty weasel that no, he’s never heard that name, and turns to go.
And again, Mu-yeon’s eyes betray something more going on—perhaps a seed of doubt?
At the same time, Lee Chi stumbles into the stables, barely standing. He asks for Bong-gu, and then collapses face-first. He holds out long enough to ask Bong-gu to take him into the palace and to his secret storage room, before passing out.
Bong-gu races Lee Chi to the palace on piggyback, and poses as a servant carrying his drunk master to get past the guards. I love that he’s grumbling the whole time, but does everything that Lee Chi asks anyway.
They finally the reach the room and Lee Chi gasps for the box on the shelf and eats something kept inside. Bong-gu licks his chops, “Is it tasty?” But he passes out again before he can answer.
Suddenly Lee Chi morphs into Woo-chi, before Bong-gu’s horrified eyes. He yelps, “A monster!”
Woo-chi gathers up all his strength to sit up and grab Bong-gu by the collar. He swears he’s not a monster, but Jeon Woo-chi, and gives Bong-gu an offer: if he keeps this secret and serves Woo-chi, he’ll clear Bong-gu’s debt and get him out of the stables.
Bong-gu agrees happily, and Woo-chi goes right back to passing out. Woohoo, now he’s got a trusty sidekick. Bong-gu looks down and wonders aloud, “Did I give my heart too easily?” Heh.
Hye-ryung and her dad are still camped out at Myung-gi the apothecary’s house, waiting for Lee Chi to come home. Myung-gi’s finally had enough and kicks them to the curb, thinking them a pair of con artists.
She swears that Lee Chi is her oraboni, and Myung-gi chides, “If one night together makes him your oraboni, then I’m an oraboni to lots of women too!” Pfft.
He says it’s clear from Lee Chi’s avoidance that she’s not someone he wants to see, and throws her out along with the bag of majunja he got from her, calling it poison.
Aw, Bong-gu tends to Woo-chi’s bedside, spoon-feeding him until he wakes up. He’s alarmed to hear that it’s been over a day since he first passed out, and struggles to get up. Bong-gu tries to get him to rest, but Woo-chi worries that it’s been too long.
He changes into Lee Chi and runs to the office where the two eunuch minions are waiting to question him about his whereabouts yesterday. He says his diarrhea is back, and scampers away.
The eunuchs ask his coworker if this is a common occurrence, and the guy says Lee Chi has always had this problem, sometimes two or three times a day, and that half the contents of the outhouse probably belong to him. Ha, and ew.
While it does provide an answer, the eunuchs don’t look convinced that it’s not just a convenient alibi.
The next order of business is to buy Bong-gu’s freedom, mostly because he doesn’t trust him to keep his secret if he’s not stuck to his side. He even gets a makeover too, and then they go to the gambling house where Lee Chi clears Bong-gu’s debt, as promised.
They show Chul-gyun the needle that put Woo-chi down, and ask if he recognizes the type. He does, and points them in the right direction.
The scroll artist gets to work steaming the top tiger layer off as Ma Sook watches. His granddaughter cries and cries for grandpa, and Mu-yeon sits in her room with her hands clenched over her ears, trying to drown out the sound.
She overhears two guards, one ordering that the child be killed as soon as the scroll work is complete, and gets to her before they do. She says she’s here to take her to her grandfather, and then once outside, she flies away with the child in her arms.
Kang-rim is shocked to hear what happened, but quickly tells them that they didn’t see what they saw.
He sits down with Uncle to ask how much a person might remember in Mu-yeon’s condition, and Ma Sook says it all depends on the individual. He asks if there’s been any change in her, and Kang-rim assures him that there isn’t; he’s just curious.
Ma Sook warns that he needs to report the slightest change in her immediately, because they’ll have to give her more of the potion to keep her under control. Kang-rim looks up in alarm, “But isn’t that dangerous?”
Uncle says it’s a necessity—only Hong Gil-dong’s bloodline can decipher the map once it’s uncovered, so they keep her contained at all costs. “Don’t seek to claim her heart. She has no heart.”
Kang-rim hangs his head and answers obediently. Ma Sook makes sure to add that if anyone where to derail his plan to win the heart of a girl, he won’t forgive him, even if it’s Kang-rim. Yeah, we didn’t really take you for the forgiving type anyway, but thanks for the reminder.
Lee Chi and Bong-gu head to the gisaeng house that night, in hopes of finding the mercenaries who use the spit-needles. The gisaeng with a crush on him (her character’s name is actually Love Hands, pfft) clings to his side happily, though he throws Handsy into Bong-gu’s waiting arms the second he spots the man he’s looking for.
He changes into Woo-chi and attacks, but all he wants is for the man to deliver a message to Kang-rim.
By the look on Kang-rim’s face when he reads it, it’s a call to come out and play (or come out and die—take your pick). He purposely leaves his minions behind and heads out alone.
At the same time, Ma Sook finds out that the child is missing, and Kang-rim is nowhere to be found.
He flies into the woods, and spots Woo-chi perched in a tree up above. He floats down and Kang-rim scoffs that he really is a persistent bugger for continuing to live.
Woo-chi: “Until I repay you for the lives of our teacher and the people of Yuldo, I couldn’t die if I wanted to, Ma Kang-rim, the one I can’t forget, even in my dreams.”
Yay for confrontations and a fast-moving plot. I expected that Woo-chi would be chasing Kang-rim’s shadow for a while, but I’m much happier to have them meet and face-off right away, especially because Woo-chi has such a crippling effect on Kang-rim’s self-esteem. It’s almost sad the way he panics to hear that Woo-chi and Mu-yeon have crossed paths, like he’s just waiting for the other unrequited shoe to drop. It amazes me that even after choosing to feed her a potion knowing that he’d only get to have her shell, he still holds out hope of winning her heart—it’s the height of delusion, and it actually makes me pity him. He’s still evil and deserves everything he gets, of course, but I appreciate the characterization.
It’s great to watch the little stirrings of emotion in Mu-yeon’s eyes that run counter to her outward behavior, as the spell starts to wear thin (or perhaps she’s actively breaking it down?). It already kills me to think that she’s trapped inside her own body, like she can see and feel what’s going on, but can’t move of her own accord. I wonder if it was the child’s distress or the grandpa/granddaughter relationship in particular that struck a chord with her, but either way it’s the first true act of rebellion from her while under Ma Sook’s spell. I can’t wait to watch her struggle with it and break free.
My favorite thing about the episode is that Woo-chi gets a sidekick. Yay! Heroes really need one for storytelling purposes, because otherwise they’re either running around with no explanation, or talking at us in voiceover all the time, and neither is ideal. Not to mention the fact that Bong-gu is nine kinds of awesome, and the pair together is basically comedy gold. It helps to anchor Woo-chi too, giving us a sense of security in having Bong-gu as the trusty Alfred-the-butler type—the servant and father figure all in one.
The story is coming together really nicely as well, despite the fact that the introduction to the series was lacking well, an introduction. But the plot is actually really cool, and I’m totally caught up in the scroll-within-a-scroll (love that kind of stuff), the secret buried treasure and the line of kings broken by the recent coup, the young puppet king who fears for his life, Ma Sook’s past with Hong Gil-dong—all of it is interesting, and I don’t find any one story strand to be lacking. I’m excited to see how it unfolds, which is a great place to be.
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 3
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 2
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 1
- Character introductions and kisses for Jeon Woo-chi
- Jung Jin-young cameos as Jeon Woo-chi’s teacher
- Jeon Woo-chi’s wizard war
- Fusion action and laughs for Jeon Woo-chi
- Baek Jin-hee’s first shoot for Jeon Woo-chi
- UEE, the action star
- Filming begins on Jeon Woo-chi