Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 14
Woo-chi’s day goes from bad to worse as the stakes shoot skyward and the baddies gain the upper hand. On the upside, that means the Scooby gang comes together to match the bad guys scheme-for-scheme. On the downside, that increases everyone’s risk, and not everyone makes it out unscathed.
SONG OF THE DAY
“Is It a Dream” by Kim Greem, Jeon Woo-chi OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
The king watches in frozen terror as his father-in-law cries out from the execution stand for him to protect his subjects, and closes his eyes…
The blade is raised, the evil ministers smile, and the king and queen turn away… Where is Woo-chi??
The executioner strikes. Blood splatters onto the snow, and Father-in-law falls to the ground with his last breath. And that’s when Woo-chi arrives, making his way through the crowd, too late to save him.
Wow, I totally expected a last-minute save there. Poor good guys. Minister Oh even adds that it’s not over, and peers over at the queen like she’s his next target. Eek.
And if it weren’t bad enough that they executed Father-in-law unjustly, the ministers post guards around the body to keep anyone from giving him a proper burial. Anyone who touches him will be tried for treason as his ally, and so despite all the townspeople knowing he died an unfair death, they can do nothing to lay him to rest.
Woo-chi won’t stand for that, of course, and grabs Bong-gu. He marches poor Bong-gu up the hill and tells him to dig (with no explanation, ha), and refuses to use magic to do it because it doesn’t show the same effort and care.
Meanwhile Chan-hwi has the same idea, all fired up with righteous indignation and ready to break the rules (A first!) to go bury Father-in-law’s body. But So-chil stops him with a warning—does he really think this is the best he can do for the king? Get another of his people hauled away as a traitor?
Thankfully Woo-chi’s on the job, and blows past the guards to get to the body. He leaves an ominous note saying that the wizard Jeon Woo-chi will comfort the ghost of the one who died an unfair death. Nice.
Then Mu-yeon, dressed as the Butterfly, steals into the queen’s chamber and asks her to go somewhere with her. Though she isn’t told where, she recognizes Butterfly and complies.
She takes the queen to the top of that hill, where Woo-chi and Bong-gu have buried her father. The queen pays her respects awash in tears, and thanks Woo-chi for doing what no one else would do for fear of the evil council.
Bong-gu wishes now that he had dug the hole with even more care, and Woo-chi tells him he did a good job (aw) and watches the queen go with a solemn face. He thinks back to her father’s words that Jeon Woo-chi’s methods won’t change the world; that only upright laws that protect the people can do that.
He thinks to himself now: “I don’t know, whether you were right, or I was right. I respected you, but you failed, so now I can only try it my way.”
Oh Kyu runs to Dad to show him the note left by Jeon Woo-chi, and Kang-rim swears to take him down. But Minister Oh says this is going exactly according to plan, and burns the note with the warning that they never saw it. Oh noes. Are you doing what I think you’re doing?
The next morning, Kang-rim and the guards storm the queen’s palace. ARG. They arrest every one of her court ladies and replace them with Minister Oh’s agents, so that the queen is surrounded by his people.
Naturally the king freaks out about it, but So-chil again has to be the voice of restraint and urges him to wait.
Kang-rim and company then begin to torture every single one of the queen’s court ladies to figure out who broke the law and buried her father (or better yet, saw her do it). Woo-chi and Bong-gu worry that at this rate, one of them is bound to comply with a false testimony.
Next thing we know, the palace is assailed with arrows, all bearing the same note—that Jeon Woo-chi is the culprit who buried the body, so stop bothering innocent people. Ha. I love it. So low-rent, non-magical, and effective.
But the evil council will not be derailed so easily, and Minister Oh plows forward with official appeals to the king, against the queen.
At the same time, his son Oh Kyu tells his staff to report all of this (along with every single one of the official appeals against the queen), turning Lee Chi’s own words against him—that they report the facts, as they are. Convenient that you only remember that rule when it suits your evil father.
That night Woo-chi and Butterfly (Woohoo—working together!) sneak from house to house to give some of the ministers a good scare, with warnings to take back their signed appeals.
But once they’re back in the palace, Minister Oh simply needs to remind them of how scary HE is, before they cower again.
He decides that they’ll have to do away with this Jeon Woo-chi once and for all, and posts Wanted notices with an even bigger reward than the last time: 10,000 nyang if the intel leads to his capture.
Bong-gu and Hye-ryung gape at the new price on his head and snipe at each other to keep quiet.
Lee Chi clearly enjoys it though, asking loudly in the middle of the street what the guards are doing to catch this troublemaker, even offering suggestions on how better to track him. Hee.
Hye-ryung and Bong-gu have to haul him away by either arm before he overdoes it, like an adorable grumpy family.
He gathers the Scooby gang at home to figure out their next move, because clearly their threats aren’t working. Hye-ryung says there’s a better way—why try to stop the entreaties against the queen when you can outnumber them with ones in her favor?
Woo-chi doesn’t see how they would do such a thing—a commoner’s appeal will never reach the king, no matter how great in number.
Hye-ryung just smiles, “Who says we should do it in our names? Did you forget what I do for a living?”
She takes out a counterfeit seal with a grin. Aww yeah. Plucky sidekick for the win. Woo-chi gapes, surprised and impressed.
They grab Myung-gi and Chul-gyun because they need different styles of penmanship to throw into the mix, and they whine and fret that they’ll be caught, even if their names aren’t included.
Everyone takes a turn trying to convince them, and finally Hye-ryung questions their manhood, and the guys pick up their brushes. Pfft.
Lee Chi and Bong-gu swap out their scrolls for the ones prepared by the evil council. They plan to make more and start by grabbing the ones they need to replace… only Oh Kyu and Minister Jang walk right in and catch Lee Chi in the act. Crap.
He stammers a bad excuse that he’s merely trying to get a jump on reporting what’s in the appeals to the king. (At least that’s in his job description, but Oh Kyu isn’t convinced since he never ordered him to do so.)
Minister Jang is suspicious enough to check the scrolls, and finds that they’ve been swapped out. Double crap. Lee Chi gets hauled off to be tortured.
Oh Kyu presides over the paddling with this barely concealed smile, clearly enjoying Lee Chi’s comeuppance. But there must be some kind of magic butt guard spell going on here, because Lee Chi’s cries of pain are for show.
He gets thrown in jail, and promptly poofs out a clone. It’s the one who’s always complaining of the cold, and he looks around, “We’re in jail now?” Hee. Woo-chi apologizes, “I’m sorry. I don’t know why you always come out.” Hahahaha. It cracks me up that he can’t control which clone comes out when.
Minister Oh goes to see the king and asks why he hasn’t answered the appeals with a royal decree against the queen. The king isn’t about to cave, but Minister Oh argues that the daughter of a traitor must be tried as such. (The punishment would be to go from queen to slave.)
The king refuses to budge, but Minister Oh warns that he should remember those who put him in power, and how many of his brothers they killed without breaking a sweat. Yeesh.
Minister Jang says the queen is pretty, and asks to have her for his house when she becomes a slave. Ew, creepy. Minister Oh says that’ll never happen, because his plan is to kill her the second she steps foot outside the palace walls.
Thankfully Woo-chi is around to overhear that part, and heads to see the king. Problem is, Kang-rim is on full alert and scouting the area with his feelers out for magic, so Woo-chi has to stealth-deliver the news to Chan-hwi instead.
He doesn’t seem very surprised that there’s a hit out on the queen. I hope you guys have a plan other than “be careful.”
Meanwhile Oh Kyu comes around to check on Lee Chi in jail, and freaks out when the clone doesn’t respond. At least the simpleminded Oh Kyu isn’t actually evil enough to want Lee Chi dead.
He’s juuuuust about to try and shake him awake when Woo-chi swoops back in with a gust of wind, and resumes Lee Chi’s bumbling persona.
Oh Kyu tells him to confess that the queen made him swap out the scrolls, but he argues that the seal would make it impossible to forge. I love that he doesn’t waste the opportunity to slam the cell door in Oh Kyu’s face on his way out, just for kicks.
Ma Sook and Kang-rim continue to play the subservient underlings in front of Minister Oh, but we see that they’re raising an army behind his back. Ma Sook’s goal is ever the same—to rid the world of Joseon’s injustices… by ridding the world of Joseon.
Woo-chi is kept under 24-hour watch at Oh Kyu’s behest, so it’s Mu-yeon who comes to answer Chan-hwi’s bat signal at the bridge that night. They recognize her as Butterfly, and she says she’s Woo-chi’s friend and asks what they need.
The next morning she and Hye-ryung enter the palace dressed as court ladies. Hye-ryung is a ball of nerves, saying that she did her part in forging documents to get them in, but did she really have to come along? She doesn’t have powers or fighting skills like they do.
Mu-yeon says it’s not a one-person job but promises to keep her safe, and they make their way into the queen’s room. She lights up at the sight of Mu-yeon, whom she recognizes right away.
They get the other court ladies out with a forged letter from Minister Oh, and hurry to get the queen changed. But it’s not long before Minster Oh figures out that something is wrong, and Kang-rim goes running toward them.
They sneak her out dressed as a court lady, and bring her to the king. He hugs her in relief as she cries, and tells her to stay here with him from now on. What, are you gonna hide her in the back room? Kings. Oy.
She worries, but he says he can keep her safe here, and adds sadly that it’s the extent of what he can do for her.
Mu-yeon is impressed with Hye-ryung’s quick thinking and says she did a good job keeping their cover. Hye-ryung says she’s learned a thing or two from oraboni, and then catches herself—”I mean Jeon Woo-chi, not oraboni.”
Aw, I love that the two ladies are working side by side. I know they probably won’t be besties given that they’re both in love with Woo-chi, but I want them to be.
Kang-rim and his men scour every corner of the palace looking for the queen, and Bong-gu recognizes him as the bull, and goes running to tell Woo-chi in jail. He already knows about Kang-rim, and just warns Bong-gu to keep a close eye on what goes on.
It’s not long before Kang-rim deduces that the king has the queen hidden away in his chamber—it’s the only place they haven’t searched, and also the only place they can’t.
Minister Oh chuckles at the childish solution, knowing it won’t be enough to keep him at bay.
Someone creeps into the king’s room that night, and the king and queen dart awake. “Who’s there?”
Oh phew, it’s Woo-chi, here to warn them. He says this place is no longer safe, and gets ready to take the queen away.
But she refuses to leave the palace and put the king in more danger. He urges her to go, and Woo-chi puts out his hand, but she holds her ground, refusing to save herself and cause more harm to the king. Aw.
Soon the place is surrounded by guards and the courtyard is full of ministers on their knees, calling out for the king to give a ruling against the traitor’s daughter and not let her sully the queen’s position.
Inside, the two young lovebirds sit in silence, with no way out. Finally the queen urges him to turn her over. He won’t let her become a slave and counters that what they want isn’t her—it’s to make him their puppet.
He tells her not to listen to them, and with nothing else to do and no other power, he just covers her ears with his hands to drown out the noise. Oof, that’s so touching. That stabs me in the heart.
After some time, he goes out to speak to Minister Oh privately, and asks what he wants in exchange for reinstating his queen. Don’t do it! I mean, yes do it! No, I mean don’t! Augh, rock and a hard place.
But there is no wining this war, not in his position now. He comes back inside with his head hanging, and finds the queen already dressed to be ousted from the palace as a traitor and a slave.
She asks that he forgive her for not being able to share his dreams and be by his side for the rest of his life like she wanted to, and adds that her only hope is that she might remain in his memory.
He calls himself a useless man who can’t even protect his woman, and asks that she never forgive him.
She’s escorted away by Kang-rim, who blocks the king from being able to say one last goodbye. He has to call out to her from a distance, and watches her go without being able to do a thing to stop it.
Bong-gu watches all this wondering why his master is sitting in jail doing nothing, and it only dawns on him then that he should maybe check on him. Woo-chi snaps at him for coming so late, and in one swift move, yanks Bong-gu into the cell wearing Lee Chi’s body, and comes out the other side as Woo-chi.
He hurries off, leaving Bong-gu complaining that he liked it better when he got to play king, and realizing that he’s still got his buckteeth. “Aren’t you being a little careless with the magic lately?” Heh.
Woo-chi hurriedly makes two clones to set a distraction for Kang-rim, and he takes the bait. Minister Oh makes sure that the trap is set for her to die on the way out, and made to look like an accident at that.
Without Kang-rim, it only takes a few moves for Woo-chi to knock out all the guards around the queen.
But Minister Oh and his minions happen by, and Woo-chi raises up a gust of snow and wind in a fury, and knocks them on their feet.
He runs to the queen and offers to lead her to safety.
Yay for a happy ending this time. Not that this solves the larger problem, but hey, she’s not going to die, so we’ll take what we can get for now. The good guys deserve a break after all these blows, one right after another. Though overall I do really like the darker turn in the story that ups the stakes for everyone involved. The king has to be pushed past a certain point in order to start planning ahead, rather than always reacting and being on the defense. Now that he’s been stripped of his support system in such heartbreaking ways, he’s bound to step up, even if it’s in righteous anger.
Even characters like Chan-hwi, who would normally be the voice of law-abiding reason, is showing more willingness to bend the rules, acting impulsively when he shouldn’t, and seeing firsthand the flaws in the system. It’s a great turn for him. I’m concerned that Woo-chi will go too far in the other direction now, because he seems to be jaded by Father-in-law’s death as much as the king is, if not more so. If he did believe that the law would protect the people for even one minute, that trust seems to have died with the man, and now Woo-chi is swinging back in the vigilante direction with more gusto.
It’s both more dangerous but also more true to character. Woo-chi will never be fully part of the system, but I like that we’re seeing a version of the character who tries. He tries putting faith in the law, in the king, in the ways that people do things. The difference of course is that for people like Ma Sook, that disillusionment with human beings turns to something dark and sinister.
In principle there’s a similarity between the way that Ma Sook, Woo-chi, and the king all see the way the world should be. It’s surprisingly similar, in theory—a world where men are equal. But only one of them thinks the only solution is to wipe out the corruption by wiping out the whole civilization. It’ll be interesting to see how Woo-chi and the king will grow from here on out to try and tackle the corruption in their own ways, and how their paths might diverge as well.
I really hope there’s a longer arc for the queen to make her way back to the palace too, because she’s one of my favorite characters, in a drama filled with awesome characters. Woo-chi, if you let their idealistic young love die, I will never forgive you!
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 13
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 12
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 11
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 10
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 9
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 8
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 7
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 6
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 5
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 4
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 3
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 2
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 1