Ooh, things are getting more exciting. I feel like this was a good, complete episode—something we haven’t quite gotten previously. We had flashes of the good stuff, but when you start off in such a jumble it’s hard to corral all those loosely floating pieces and tie them together in a solidly cohesive way. But now we’ve got escalating conflict, relationships that fit together, and a plot that’s moving briskly. And that just makes everything more fun.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Woo-chi gets attacked and bound with chains as Kang-rim starts to steal his powers, killing him slowly.
Back in her room, Mu-yeon finally wakes after being accidentally knocked out by Woo-chi. In the previous episode, a moment seemed to hint that it was Woo-chi’s blow that knocked Mu-yeon out of her spell, and now that she’s back to herself he’s the one she calls out to.
Interestingly, these wizards cannot use their powers without the presence of moonlight (some rule-setting early on woulda been nice), and he has to put his murder mission on hold. Woo-chi falls, but not dead. Kang-rim orders his ninjas to have him tied up and carried off.
That’s the scene witnessed by Hye-ryung, who arrives as they’re leaving. She can’t tell who the victim is but she knows enough of her father’s killers to know this is wickedness in action, and decides to go for help. Too bad she’s spotted and captured.
Hye-ryung glares at her captors as she’s taken before the leader, introduced as the girl who stole the majunja that other time.
The leader finds her face familiar, and she calls him her father’s killer and spits in his face. That jogs his memory, and he orders her eliminated too: “Jeon Woo-chi’s trip [to the afterlife] won’t be lonely after all.”
Thus Woo-chi and Hye-ryung are tied up and dropped over the side of a boat to their watery graves. He’s still unconscious while she struggles against the ropes, but it’s hopeless. She loses consciousness eventually, and their bodies sink deeper and deeper.
But! The clouds start to move, the moonlight shines down, and Woo-chi wakes up. Suddenly he’s back to being Superman—or should we say werewolf?—and breaks free of the ropes. Seeing Hye-ryung, he frees her and tries to shake her awake. Underwater. Uh, maybe you want to save that for when you’re back on land?
And then he gives her mouth-to-mouth. Underwater. Wut? How is this a good idea? I don’t know. Good thing he’s got superpowers.
Be they lips or lungs of magic, they do the trick. Hye-ryung revives momentarily, smiles at Woo-chi, then fades again.
At least now he brings her up to the surface. Her ragtag surrogate family is searching for her down the shore, so Woo-chi leaves her to be found alone. She frantically looks around for her rescuer, but the others have no idea who she means. She only knows his name, and that has Mak-gae jealously barking, “Jeon Woo-chi? Who’s he? Did he do this to you?” Oh, Mak-gae, you’re in for a world of one-sided hurt, buddy.
They ask after her brother’s whereabouts, and she belatedly remembers him. It’s okay, new crushes do have a way of winning out over old brothers.
Woo-chi is back in his Lee Chi guise, limping from the injury he sustained. A worried Bong-gu bursts into sobs to see him alive, having looked everywhere for him. How cute—he’s really more like devoted dog than partner/sidekick, isn’t he? Adding to the puppy-dog count, Myung-gi the apothecary flips out to see the gash on Lee Chi’s leg and hurries off to find medicine.
Head eunuch So-chil leads a search party into the woods, but realizes they’re just going in circles. As they’re following the directions of traitor-eunuch Doong-gae, who was supposed to lead them to the stolen scroll, they accuse him of sending them on a wild goose chase. Doong-gae doesn’t bother denying, and seizes an opening to run away. So-chil orders him caught, and they chase.
Unfortunately for the eunuchs, Doong-gae has escaped and now they’re out of their one link to the scroll-stealers. So-chil recalls how Doong-gae had pointed the finger at Jeon Woo-chi (of whom they’ve got a police rendering), but says that he’s not the culprit; Doong-gae was just trying to deflect suspicion. But he tells his sidekick to find out more about him.
Hye-ryung ignores the urging of her former-servant-turned-surrogate-dad Woon-bo to rest, because she’s intent on finding her brother. Thankfully that’s a short mission since she hears he’s back, albeit hurt, and asks who did this to him. Lee Chi just says it’s nothing, loath to elaborate.
Hye-ryung asks Lee Chi about the man who saved him, the one named Jeon Woo-chi. He scoffs that she can’t know that since she was unconscious underwater, but she wonders how he knows that. At least she lets it slide, and says that the man could use powers like their father’s enemies; she saw the bright energy emanating from his hands. Could he be in league with the baddies?
Lee Chi says probably not, since he saved her and all. She concedes that he wasn’t at all frightening, and thinks back to the underwater kiss. With a smile on her face, she says she feels they’re bound to meet again.
She insists on dressing his leg wound—and something about it strikes her as odd. She pulls up his other pant leg to check that it’s uninjured, though she doesn’t explain her reaction to him.
Hye-ryung pulls Woon-bo aside to confirm that he remembers the big scar on her brother’s right leg. Woon-bo tended it himself and is certain it was huge and noticeable. Hye-ryung insists that there was no scar on either leg, which is so preposterous an idea that Woon-bo laughs and says her near-drowning must’ve addled her wits.
Now Hye-ryung recalls how strange her brother was when he didn’t seem to recognize them: “Something was definitely odd.”
Ma Sook recasts his spell controlling Mu-yeon, but finds it worrisome that she won’t wake up. Kang-rim insists on being able to see her, which Ma Sook isn’t thrilled about. But after Kang-rim assures him that he took care of Woo-chi for good, he grants him permission to see her.
Kang-rim urges her to wake, promising to protect her forever. She starts to convulse in her sleep, to his alarm, seemingly in greater pain.
Hye-ryung’s suspicions have been fired in earnest, and she hires the bumbling trio led by Mak-gae to spy on Lee Chi for her. They point out how excited she was to have him back, but she wants to know exactly what he’s been up to in the intervening years, whether there’s anybody around who resembles him, and whether this is really her brother. Aw, yeah. I love a smart heroine. Okay, so she’s not the primary heroine, but you know, she’s been awake a lot longer than Mu-yeon…
At the underground gambling den, Chul-gyun chuckles at his full house and the assurance he got that there’d be no raids tonight. Yet here come the authorities anyway, bursting in to bring the gaming to a screeching halt.
Oh, ha. We see that the leader is none other than our Mak-gae, meaning he’s merely impersonating the police. Must be part of his plan to investigate Lee Chi.
More spell-casting for Mu-yeon. Ma Sook seems more desperate today, but she remains unconscious no matter how many incantations he throws her way. He can sense that his potion isn’t working right, but says with frustration that he doesn’t know what’s countering its effects. Ah! Is this Woo-chi’s influence?
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Ma Sook declares it’s time to risk it and dose her with all the potion they’ve got. Kang-rim balks, knowing this is dangerous to her survival, and challenges his master. Oh, phew. Finally a change in the script, where he’s not just pleading and Ma Sook’s not just overriding.
The power play extends to their henchman, as Kang-rim dares to counter his master’s orders. Ma Sook orders him apprehended—and just then, Mu-yeon steps outside. She’s healthy, and apparently back to being her subdued puppet self.
The fake officers subdue everyone in Chul-gyun’s gambling hall and Mak-gae demands to know everything about Lee Chi. Any red flags in particular?
Chul-gyun has one: Lee Chi is always flush with cash. Lots and lots of it. Mak-gae wonders if he has a secret woman tucked away somewhere, but Chul-gyun scoffs that Lee Chi doesn’t like women—he always goes running at the sight of ’em. Ha. Mak-gae says sarcastically, “Then what, does he like MEN?” Psh.
But Chul-gyun remembers. Pointing to the artist’s rendering of Kang-rim, he says that Lee Chi is suuuuper desperate to find the guy. PWAHAHA. Is this going where I think it is?
Before they can ask more, the gamblers fight back and our three fakers head home much the worse for wear. Myung-gi cluck-clucks their clumsy approach, saying they should ask him next time for info—as a healer, he’s got a lot of connections.
At least they took the drawing of Kang-rim’s face, and Hye-ryung wonders who he could be and why Lee Chi would be so set on finding him. And why does he look familiar…?
Lee Chi heads to his secret room with its Wall of Weird. What next? He lands on the name Doong-gae, recalling that the eunuch was definitely in cahoots with Ma Sook. He’ll have to track him down.
The palace team confers: The eunuchs and our officers, Chan-hwi and Eun-woo, note the drawings of Jeon Woo-chi’s face. Chan-hwi recognizes him from their encounter the night of the library break-in, and solidifies him as their next lead.
Meanwhile Lee Chi asks after Doong-gae and hears that he’s “out sick.” He doesn’t believe for a second that he’s actually ill, but wonders why the eunuchs would be covering up for him. Hm, fishy.
Next he hits up Chan-hwi for information on the library murderer, and gets brushed off. But he drops the mention of a “rumor” he heard about a scroll going missing at the same time of the murder, and that effectively gets Chan-hwi’s attention.
Chan-hwi says the gossip has it wrong, but his intense reaction is telling. He knows something.
Eunuch No. 2 (in disguise) takes his drawing of Woo-chi to Mak-gae’s trio, since they basically do any sort of job for money. Think of them as a crude errand and investigative service, but maybe dumber. The eunuch doesn’t have a name or a description; he just wants the guy found. His promise of payment is so large that Mak-gae is ready to say yes anyway, so long as the money is guaranteed.
Eunuch No. 2 warns that they have to capture the guy secretly. Mak-gae assures him that that’s there specialty. Once they find the man, they are to leave their names at a spot under a particular bridge as a signal.
The prize lights a fire under their asses and they scour the city for a match. On the other hand, they see other guys walking around with the same drawing and realize they’ve got competition for the job.
News reaches Chul-gyun, too, whose eyes bug out at mention of the huge reward. Already counting his chickens, he’s particularly rude to Bong-gu and tells him to scram for good, and Bong-gu gets a glimpse of the drawing. Heh! He’s gonna be loyal to Woo-chi, right? Hm, it strikes me that he doesn’t have to be, not with those kinds of riches at stake, but something tells me he’s gonna be loyal. Right?
Lee Chi tries to piece together the mystery, and heads out follow a lead. He’s so intent on his mission that when Bong-gu bursts in with news, he hushes him and says he’s busy. No! Listen to your minion!
Using his super-speed, Woo-chi races through the palace courtyards and smiles devilishly to see his boss approaching. Oh Kyu is busily cursing Lee Chi to all perdition when suddenly he’s overtaken by a blur, and staggers back—to find himself half-naked. HAHA. His humiliation is so amusing, and it doesn’t hurt that the view ain’t so bad either.
The young king is out for a walk, which provides the cover for a briefing with So-chil and Chan-hwi. So-chil updates him on the latest, saying that they are in the process of finding Ma Sook’s headquarters, although the antsy king is frustrated with just sitting and waiting. He says they need to follow the shifty Minister Oh, who must be working with Ma Sook. In fact, the king recalls Minister Oh mentioning Ma Sook’s name, back when he’d successfully made him king.
This is startling news for the eunuch, and So-chil tests his suspicions by asking Minister Oh whether he knows Ma Sook. He takes a confiding tone, saying he expected the minister to know the name, and even tells him of the scroll theft. The minister feigns ignorance and asks what the meaning of the scroll is. So-chil sighs in dismay—if the minister doesn’t know, then they have no leads.
With that bait dropped, the palace team lies in wait that night to follow Minister Oh, who will surely try to contact Ma Sook now. This is their chance.
It appears Woo-chi is working the same logic, because he’s perched on a nearby rooftop to do some tailing of his own.
Sure enough, they spot movement. But to their shock, there are two entourages that set out, in opposite directions. Ha, decoys? Minister Oh is shiftier than we thought. So-chil directs his team to split up to follow both parties.
It’s easier for Woo-chi, who can simply split himself into clones again. Hee. Can I say, I LOVE this bit. Mostly because Clone Woo-chis are just as impish as the real one, and perhaps harder to wrangle. I always wonder how Woo-chi No. 1 asserts his dominance over the others, but somehow they all seem to know the pecking order.
With Mu-yeon awake again, Ma Sook sets the drawing in front of her again and asks her to explain it. She says, to their surprise, that she drew it herself.
She recalls going on a trip with her grandfather Hong Gil-dong, who told her to draw the view and emphasized that she never forget it. Ah, so not a literal hidden map, but a clue tied up in Mu-yeon’s very self. No wonder she was so necessary to the plan.
Ma Sook is just about bursting with excitement and asks where they can find the place in the drawing. She starts to say, “That is…” Ma Sook prompts her with the coded clues he has memorized but doesn’t know how to decode.
Mu-yeon gives him the corresponding geographical locations (a particular mountain pass) and the physical traits that mark the “river of silver” at the base of a large carved Buddha.
All flush with excitement, Ma Sook wants to go right away. Mu-yeon placidly agrees to guide him there.
Minister Oh arrives for on important business, and Ma Sook knows that he’ll grow too suspicious if they don’t receive him as normal. He instructs Kang-rim and Mu-yeon to ready themselves for departure right away, then heads out to deal with the visitor.
Outside, the twofold tailing continues, with one of the Woo-chis (the real one, I think) keeping one step behind (and above) officers Chan-hwi and Eun-woo. Thanks to his vantage point, he sees something the others miss: That a third party sets out after the others. “This is the real one,” he realizes.
Ma Sook resumes his meek persona with the minister, who gets right to the point: “Give the scroll over to me.”
It’s Ma Sook’s turn to feign ignorance, wondering what scroll he means. Minister Oh accuses him of hoodwinking him, and Ma Sook wonders to himself, “How much does he know?”
So he takes a new tack and says he was just about to consult Minister Oh on the affair. Smart of him to word it this way, since it maintains the ruse that Minister Oh is still the one with the upper hand. He in fact warns Ma Sook to recall that he is nothing without the minister’s backing, even if he can conjure up a little spell here and there, and Ma Sook obsequiously agrees.
Minister Oh instructs Ma Sook to send over the scroll. Ma Sook says he hasn’t yet solved the riddle, so Minister Oh says he’ll take over that task. That’s enough to indicate to Ma Sook that the minister has no idea what the scroll is all about.
Froom the rooftop, Woo-chi watches as the minister leaves. He flies after Ma Sook, who rejoins his party, and drops in front of their path to block their exit. “Mu-yeon!” he cries.
Mu-yeon looks unmoved, but it’s really Kang-rim’s expression that slays me—the ol’ Wait, didn’t I kill you?! HA. Is his incompetence going to become a running joke? Because that could be hilarious.
Mu-yeon asks Ma Sook what to do, and he orders her to kill Woo-chi. She says robotically, “I will do as you order.”
Woo-chi shakes his head in disbelief, urging her not to listen to them, those traitors of Yuldo. He asks her to remember how they promised to protect each other: “Don’t you remember?”
Mu-yeon seems to falter… or does she? The look in her eye seems softer, but it’s Ma Sook’s voice that comes out of her mouth: “Kill. Eliminate Jeon Woo-chi.”
She takes her battle stance and prepares to attack. Woo-chi looks around and takes notice of the lanterns hanging all around, and acts first—his windpower blows out all the lights and casts them in darkness.
Mu-yeon advances anyway and steps forward, just as Woo-chi strikes her in a pressure point and knocks her out. Her eyes roll back and she falls backward. Woo-chi stops her from falling, then takes her in his arms and flies off. Woohoo!
By the time Ma Sook and Kang-rim gain their bearings, they’re gone. In a fury, Kang-rim flies off after them.
Woo-chi isn’t very far ahead, and hard landing on a rooftop sends pain through his injured leg. Oh no, geddupgeddupgeddup! He crouches against the rooftop to keep out of sight.
Kang-rim lands just behind him, just above. Does Kang-rim see him? It’s hard to say… but a look of fury crosses his face that seems to point to yes.
Both adversaries prepare for confrontation. Woo-chi looks down at Mu-yeon, a helpless burden in his arms at the moment.
Ooh, a nice turn of events. The whole rigmarole was getting a bit circular there with Kang-rim and Woo-chi fighting and Woo-chi almost getting his powers sucked dry and Mu-yeon fighting her spell and coming under it again. All good stuff, but only the first time you do it.
So it’s exciting to shake things up by actually taking Mu-yeon out of the baddies’ reach—they know the secret so they won’t be motivated by desperate greed so much as it is the tying up of loose ends. Though where Woo-chi’s concerned, he’s one huge honkin’ loose ends. Especially since he just won’t die. (Hee. I do love this recurring motif.)
In fact I wish they’d just let Woo-chi escape with Mu-yeon this time around to totally change up the game, rather than Kang-rim (seemingly) catching up to them. Because if they fight again and Woo-chi loses Mu-yeon again (and hey, Kang-rim tries to steal his powers, again), I’m pretty sure I might strain an eyeball from rolling it so hard. I’d much rather see them play this out—and if Mu-yeon is still under her spell, all the better.
I’m enjoying the burgeoning love triangle more than I thought I would, so that was a nice surprise. I mean the one with Hye-ryung, not the one with Kang-rim (’cause yeah, we’ve been there, done that on that type of relationship). Despite the weirdness of Hye-ryung falling for the guy who’s impersonating her brother, I find it decidedly non-squicky, mostly because she’s totally blind to the part where Woo-chi is Lee Chi.
Which, by the way, is another thing that cracks me up every time. They look exactly the same! And yet, nobody sees it. Ah, superhero tropes, gotta love ’em. That’s not even taking into account the curious case of how the two men were identical to begin with. (I suppose there are ways to fanwank that into being with a lot of plot gymnastics—say, Woo-chi has the power to alter his appearance, and therefore assumed the visage of the guy whose life he decide to usurp, although that doesn’t work because then you’d expect that he would assume his other face to be Woo-chi so his disguise is safe from detection. But I think that falls into the category of “Don’t ask, just go with it and have fun.” Given the fun, rollicking nature of this story, I’m totally fine going with it. Even though I wonder.)