It turns out you can’t be lazy about your secret identity upkeep in this town, especially when you’ve got a whip-smart not-a-sister living under your roof and a price on your head. The secret identity games are afoot, only the problem is, Woo-chi doesn’t know just how much trouble his alter ego has stepped into, while he’s busy trying to save a damsel in mystical distress.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Woo-chi finally manages to get Mu-yeon away from the baddies, but we can’t do the dance of joy yet, since he’s carrying her unconscious body and Kang-rim is about two footsteps away from discovering them.
Woo-chi can see Kang-rim’s shadow inching closer on the rooftop above them, and he looks down at Mu-yeon, trying to figure out what to do. Aw man, if he has to leave her behind, I’ll be pissed.
Suddenly, Woo-chi leaps off his ledge and flies away, and Kang-rim takes off after him…
And on the ledge is Woo-chi? And Mu-yeon? Aha, you used your cloning spell. Nice. Kang-rim chases, but thankfully the double is as wily as Woo-chi, and he loses the trail.
He returns to uncle Ma Sook, who growls that Mu-yeon is the only one who knows the location of that silver mine—they have to recover her at any cost. He adds that if Jeon Woo-chi messes with the poison in her system, it could burst… and kill her.
Woo-chi transforms into Lee Chi and piggybacks Mu-yeon into the gambling house, where Chul-gyun asks wide-eyed what’s going on. Woo-chi sends him for blankets, and taps Mu-yeon on the forehead to wake her up.
But the first thing she says when she opens her eyes is, “Kill him. Jeon Woo-chi.” Ruh-roh.
Ma Sook pours an entire bag of majunja into his fire pit, and Kang-rim freaks out at the quantity he’s planning to burn all at once. He starts to stammer that one could become addicted, but Ma Sook has no time for such worries.
They start a spell to awaken Mu-yeon’s ki and make her return to him.
Hye-ryung continues to search for evidence to support her imposter suspicions about Lee Chi, but fails to find anything out of the ordinary.
Lee Chi sends Chul-gyun to get some medicine from the apothecary, and tells him to keep everyone out for the time being. Chul-gyun just gushes at the pretty lady, asking what their relationship is, winking and nudging no matter how annoyed Lee Chi gets.
Mu-yeon is lying in bed, back to being unconscious. (If she ends up like Big’s coma boy, we will have words, Show.) Woo-chi feels a quickening in her pulse, and decides he’ll have to intervene with some magic.
He props her up and sits behind her, gathering his energy. He places a hand on her shoulder, and it glows as he starts to transfer his ki to her, saying that he’s going to give her everything he has, including what their teacher gave him.
It might leave him without any powers in the end, but he says it doesn’t matter—he’ll do whatever it takes to get her out from under Ma Sook’s spell.
Poor girl has a battle of the kis raging inside her, with Woo-chi on one side and Ma Sook on the other. As they chant their spell, Kang-rim starts to remember Woo-chi’s conviction that he could break the hold that Ma Sook has over her.
Ooh, is he starting to waver? If he jumps ship, that’s a turn I’d welcome. Ma Sook notices his attention drifting and tells him to stop thinking stupid things, and Kang-rim puts away his mutinous thoughts… for now.
Chan-hwi and Eun-woo follow Minister Oh’s entourage all the way around town and back into his house, and realize they were following the decoy. Only the eunuch team does the same, and convene, completely puzzled that neither carriage did anything except circle around all night.
Chan-hwi says that means Minister Oh knew they were going to follow him (Oh ’cause having even one decoy carriage didn’t already say paranoid?) and goes knocking on the door.
He’s shocked to find Minister Oh just standing right there, and gives a lame excuse about patrolling the area. Minister Oh warns him to guard the palace, coldly implying that the recent theft and murder happened because of lax security.
The team reports to head eunuch So-chil, who tells them to watch Minister Oh and his people, because they at least know one thing from this—he’s meeting with Ma Sook and knows about the scroll.
Chul-gyun insists on waking Myung-gi up, who in his drunk stupor grabs Chul-gyun for a kiss. Hee. What’s even funnier is that he opens his eyes and jumps back, thinking himself the victim here.
Chul-gyun gives him the list of medicines from Lee Chi, and Myung-gi takes one look and gasps, “Who are you going to control with these?” He looks at Chul-gyun aghast and says these herbs are for mind control… like the kind you might use to do indecent things to a young lady. Are we talking ancient roofies?
Chul-gyun swears up and down that they’re not for him, and Myung-gi doesn’t believe him. So he spills the beans about Lee Chi bringing the pretty girl to his place late at night.
Haha, this is going to a really bad place for Woo-chi. Is the entire town going to bust in there with pitchforks? See, this is what happens when you don’t explain your weird suspicious-looking activities. People jump to conclusions.
They assume the worst, but that’s not even the half of it… Hye-ryung overhears the whole thing. She bursts in, demanding to know what’s going on, and Chul-gyun is surprised to learn that Lee Chi has a sister. She insists on going there herself, and makes Chul-gyun lead the way.
Woo-chi starts to get through to Mu-yeon, who has warring flashbacks between her happy memories with Woo-chi and mind-control days spent attacking him. But Ma Sook and Kang-rim gather their brewing dark energy for one final attack.
It works, and the black smoke starts to push Woo-chi’s energy away, as Mu-yeon’s evil eyes lock into place. She turns around and throws him backward, and he’s drained of all his power, so he can’t do anything to stop her.
She gets up, repeating her order to kill him, and gathers up her energy… when Hye-ryung comes banging on the door, shouting for her brother. Oh thank goodness for you.
Mu-yeon stops, and runs away before anyone can see her. Woo-chi is left gasping for her not to go, and barely has enough power to change back into Lee Chi before they storm in.
Only… with reduced powers, the change kind of short-circuits, and Hye-ryung sees Woo-chi’s real face flicker before he fully changes into Lee Chi. Oh crap.
The others don’t see it and they carry him back home, leaving Hye-ryung standing there, stunned. “He wasn’t oraboni… it wasn’t him…”
The rest of them gather around Lee Chi’s sickbed in worry, but Hye-ryung watches with a hairy eyeball. He murmurs in his sleep, “Don’t go. You can’t go like this, Mu-yeon… Ma Sook…” The name pings Hye-ryung’s radar.
Mu-yeon goes right back to Ma Sook, as ordered. Aw, man. We’re back to square one? Poo.
Ma Sook tells her to rest, and warns Kang-rim not to ask her anything, especially about Woo-chi.
Hye-ryung’s head is swimming in confusion, and she steps outside to go over it again. She thinks over the face she saw, and she’s certain—it was Jeon Woo-chi. She runs back in to shake him awake, screaming that she has questions for him.
Woon-bo thinks she’s gone crazy, risking her oraboni’s life like that, but she tells him that this isn’t Lee Chi. He doesn’t believe her, so she shows him the lack of scars on his legs and tells him about seeing his face change.
She says this is Jeon Woo-chi, and he used magic to transform into Lee Chi—it explains why he didn’t recognize them, and also how her brother, who was never that bright, passed the civil service exam with such high marks.
Woon-bo doesn’t believe in magic, but Hye-ryung reminds him of the men who killed her father. What’s more is, she’s convinced that Woo-chi killed Lee Chi to assume his identity. Whoa.
The time has finally come for Mu-yeon to lead Ma Sook and Kang-rim to the silver mine. They head out, and Ma Sook tells his servant to send Minister Oh’s messenger back empty-handed. Uh, does that seem like a good idea? Couldn’t you have conjured up a fake scroll to give the man?
They finally reach the mountain pass that the scroll indicates, and Mu-yeon leads them down to the opening of the cave. Ma Sook’s eyes gleam, “The world is now ours.”
But when they get there, they find that the entrance, and the cave itself, has collapsed. It’s the work of Hong Gil-dong, and they realize that striking the opening to the cave will only make it collapse onto itself further. For now there’s no way in.
Bong-gu runs home to fetch the tardy Lee Chi, and learns belatedly about the past night’s events. He gets stopped in the street by more people looking for Woo-chi, and the innkeeper fills him in, saying that the whole town is on this manhunt because of the huge bounty.
Bong-gu wonders how much money five thousand nyang is (because he actually doesn’t know, ha) and she says it’s gobs of money, say, enough to buy a slave his freedom and then some. Oh noes. Bong-gu, don’t you get any bright ideas!
He asks how one would claim the reward, and she tells him about writing his name where the eunuchs have indicated.
At first I’m screaming at Bong-gu that he can’t betray Woo-chi, but then we get this really sympathetic interlude where he gets treated badly and talked down to, and then he walks through the streets and sees another slave being beaten by his cruel master. Aw. I don’t want him to betray Woo-chi, but I get why he’d waver.
Meanwhile, Hye-ryung heads out to buy a knife, to prepare herself against Jeon Woo-chi and his trickery.
Bong-gu heads to the spot under the bridge and with a shaky hand, starts to mark the symbol to indicate that he’s found Woo-chi. But then he stops, wondering how he could repay his kindness with betrayal.
He goes back and forth, warring with the angel and demon on either shoulder, and finally decides that he can’t do it. Whew. It would kill me if that bromance died.
He hurriedly erases the one mark he made, when suddenly a sword grazes his throat. He turns around to find Chul-gyun there with his men, lying in wait for someone to come make the mark.
Bong-gu laughs it off and tries to play dumb, but Chul-gyun is no fool, especially when it comes to money. He threatens Bong-gu to within an inch of his life… and Bong-gu talks. Oh nooooooooo.
Poor guy is genuinely scared, and tells Chul-gyun everything—that Lee Chi is Jeon Woo-chi, a student of Hong Gil-dong who can use magic to change his face.
Chul-gyun doesn’t believe him at first, but it’s enough to make him want to check it out, and he drags Bong-gu to go see Lee Chi. Mak-gae and his lackeys trail them, sure that they’re on the right track.
In the meantime, Woo-chi finally wakes up… to a knife aimed at his throat, and an angry Hye-ryung at the other end. “You’re not my oraboni. You’re Jeon Woo-chi.”
He can’t hide his surprise. She says she saw his face change, and wields the knife threatening to cut him if he tries to use his magic tricks on her. I love how ballsy she is. Woo-chi says he’s too sick to use his powers anyway, and then confesses, “I’m not Lee Chi.”
She demands to know where her brother is, and he tells her that he died. She accuses him of killing her brother to take over his life, and Woo-chi swears he wasn’t the one who killed him. He finally tells her the story.
In flashback we see Lee Chi getting dragged away by Ma Sook’s head minion the night that Hye-ryung’s father was killed. Woo-chi discovers them just as they’re about to kill him, and jumps in to save him.
He fights off the attackers, though he doesn’t see a dagger that’s coming straight for his back. But Lee Chi does, and pushes him out of the way, but takes the hit in the process. Aw, he died saving Jeon Woo-chi?
He tells Woo-chi his name, and starts to say, “My sister… my sister…” and dies.
Hye-ryung refuses to believe it, ready to stab Woo-chi in revenge. He swears it’s the truth, and the only thing Woon-bo can do to calm Hye-ryung down is to suggest they turn him over to the authorities to find out if what he’s saying is true.
Woo-chi is without his powers and barely able to stand, so he can’t do anything in protest, and goes along. But as soon as they step outside, Chul-gyun and his men arrive with Bong-gu in tow.
He assumes Hye-ryung is one step ahead of him (and prepared to sell her brother for cash), and stakes his claim. Bong-gu cowers apologetically as Chul-gyun says he heard the most interesting story, about how Lee Chi isn’t Lee Chi at all. “Do they look similar? I can’t tell.” HA.
Hye-ryung, for all her threatening and distrust, still jumps out in front of Woo-chi to say that they can’t have him. Chul-gyun thinks that’s cute, and sticks a knife to jugular.
Eek, I didn’t expect this guy to be so scary, but he is. Woo-chi quickly gives in and tells Chul-gyun he’ll come along, to keep them from harming Hye-ryung.
But then they get about five feet away before another group of bounty hunters arrives to fight for the prize.
It’s Mak-gae and his gang, with swords drawn. Ha, it’s a rake gag, just with everyone wanting a piece of Woo-chi.
Both sides draw their swords, ready to fight it out, and Woo-chi stands there, powerless to stop it.
This is actually a pretty good cliffhanger, because without his powers, Woo-chi is at the mercy of greedy men, and now his secret is out to way too many people to manage. It’s not like he can memory-spell the whole lot of them, especially without any powers, which means he’s basically got run and hide as his two options.
I’m more curious about what this will mean for his cover life from here on out. Will he no longer be able to live as Lee Chi? Or will he find some way to stave off the mercenaries? I can’t fathom how he’d compete with a purse so large that Chul-gyun would (by his own admission) sell his mother for. And more importantly, will he be able to gain Hye-ryung’s trust somehow?
I hope this is the last time we’re going to get half an episode with our hero playing sleeping beauty, because while the story works, there’s not a whole lot of forward momentum when the main character is lying unconscious. We’ve got enough of that in Mu-yeon; let’s not add to the count, please. I can’t believe we FINALLY got her away from the bad guys, only to drain Woo-chi of his powers and have her go right back. Gah.
Hye-ryung’s character stepped up in a nice way, acting on her suspicions like a smart girl (and a damn brave one too) instead of just brushing them away like everyone else. And even though it puts Woo-chi in a precarious position, I’d rather have her question him and be suspicious, because from her point of view it’s perfectly understandable that she’d think the guy pretending to be her brother was totally creepy. Not to mention the fact that she’s going to have an immediate bias against anyone using magic—those are the people who killed her father, so she’s going to assume that all wizards are evil. It’s a great conflict, and I’m glad that at least one storyline took a big step forward today.
Bong-gu’s conflict was actually the one that got me in the heart though, because it’s the friendship I personally love the most. I’m glad they didn’t just gloss over it, and gave Bong-gu the space to struggle with the temptation to turn Woo-chi in. It’s interesting that he didn’t once consider it when it was just a bunch of money—a sum so large he didn’t even know what it was. But the second it’s explained to him in terms he’d understand—a slave’s freedom, a future outside of this life—it changes his perspective, and rightly so.
It’s not about money vs. Woo-chi. This is about choosing himself or his master—loyalty vs. freedom. And it actually tugs at my heart, even though I would never want him to leave Woo-chi’s side. But doesn’t Bong-gu deserve to be treated like a human being and dream of a life where his worth isn’t something that can be bought and sold by other men? It was heartbreaking to see that he has pride too, and that he’s been pushing it all down just to survive. And then it’s doubly moving when he struggles with it, and then chooses to be loyal to Woo-chi anyway.
I just hope that Woo-chi will be forgiving when it comes to Bong-gu caving to Chul-gyun’s threats. Because if that bromance goes down the tubes, I’ll just cry.