This episode is buckets of awesome. There are warm fuzzies, heroic moments of triumph, Scooby Gang hijinks, laughs, and flirty looks galore. A new chapter of Jeon Woo-chi’s life begins, as he sets about with a renewed sense of purpose and a mission. It’s both kickass… and teetering on the brink of serious danger.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
Kang-rim pins Woo-chi down and gathers up his energy to deal the killing blow, and asks where he’s hiding the queen. Woo-chi says he doesn’t know of course, so Kang-rim decides a little torture will change his tune. He raises his fist…
But a group of bumbling officers happen upon the scene, which means Kang-rim has to go back to playing the good cop. He says with disappointment dripping in his voice, “I have caught Jeon Woo-chi.”
He lets them take Woo-chi away, but orders them to go to Minister Oh’s house, because prison won’t hold him. And something at Minister Oh’s house will?
Mu-yeon comes just in time to see them haul Woo-chi away.
Ma Sook gets notified as well, but he says that Kang-rim can handle it himself, and gets back to whatever it is evil masterminds do in abandoned sheds in the middle of the woods.
Kang-rim ties Woo-chi up with chains enchanted with talismans to block magic. Minister Oh orders him questioned about the queen, so Kang-rim breaks out a magical whip that extends from his hand like a line of smoke. Woo-chi has tickle-hands and you get a whip? No fair.
He whips Woo-chi over and over, and though he screams in pain, Woo-chi refuses to give up any information. He spits at Kang-rim that he can just go ahead and kill him, and Kang-rim actually smiles at that.
He switches to a different spell that does something horrifying to Woo-chi’s insides. It sounds like he’s curdling his blood or cooking his organs, but whatever it is, it’s enough to spook Minister Oh. He stops Kang-rim and takes him outside.
He doesn’t know about their past, but can guess that Kang-rim is seething with personal revenge. He orders Woo-chi to be kept alive at all costs—their goal is to find the queen, not go after some personal vendetta.
Mu-yeon follows them, but knows that she can’t take Kang-rim on alone. She rushes back to the hideout to tell the team and hatch a rescue plan. Bong-gu freaks out that the bull man is the one who’s holding Woo-chi, and wonders how on earth they plan to go up against someone whose magic overpowers Woo-chi’s own.
Mu-yeon has an idea around it, and sends Bong-gu to find a new hideout for the queen, while she and Hye-ryung try to get Woo-chi out. The queen overhears their conversation and her face falls at the news.
The plan is rather brilliant, but also hilarious since the first part involves Mu-yeon dressing up as Butterfly and knocking Oh Kyu out in the street, complete with eyes rolling into the back of his head and his mouth twisting open.
When his servant comes to, he rushes Oh Kyu home to Dad, who naturally panics and sends for the royal physician.
Hye-ryung tries to convince Myung-gi of their plan, but he freaks out like a scaredy cat and decides he can’t do it. So Hye-ryung just whips out her knife like a badass and holds it to his throat. His options are comply or die.
Mu-yeon hurriedly brings them the uniforms that she stripped off the doctor who was on his way to Minister Oh’s house, and next thing we know, Hye-ryung and Myung-gi are at the door posing as doctor and nurse.
Myung-gi is shaking like a leaf, but Hye-ryung does a good job of acting the part and gets Minister Oh to leave the room and tells Myung-gi to stall for as long as possible.
Bong-gu and Chul-gyun return to fetch the queen, deciding that the gambling house will have to do for a temporary hideout. But when they get there, she’s gone. No, she’s being a martyr, isn’t she?
We see her walk alone, dressed again in white like the day she left the palace.
While Myung-gi buys time, Hye-ryung pokes around where she can, though the place is so heavily guarded that it doesn’t take long for her to be spotted. Kang-rim sees her and asks suspiciously the name of the doctor she came with.
Crap, by the look on her face, she doesn’t have an answer. Thankfully someone interrupts with more urgent news: the queen has returned to the palace. Kang-rim runs off, and orders Hye-ryung kept behind for questioning.
But as soon as he leaves, Butterfly descends from the rooftop and knocks out every last guard. I love Hye-ryung’s moment of awe, like Oh you really are kind of a badass.
The girls rush in to free Woo-chi, and yank all the talismans off of his chains. Suddenly a stray guard rushes in behind them with a sword drawn. They turn around…
And Myung-gi rushes in, bonks the guy on the head with a medicine pot, and flails his arms about. HEE.
He takes one look at Woo-chi and stops in his tracks, “Wait, this isn’t Lee Chi!” Woo-chi says he’s both Lee Chi and Jeon Woo-chi, and breaks out of his chains, freaking Myung-gi out.
The queen walks right into the hands of the baddies, and orders them to release the beggars and Jeon Woo-chi, insisting they were all acting under her orders. So-chil interrupts with a key loophole: they’ve already tried her for treason and given her the maximum punishment—what more can they do?
Minister Oh realizes they can’t really do anything more from within the palace, and decides that they’ll just have to bide their time before killing her outside, like originally planned.
They just have to wait longer now, since everyone’s suspicion radars are running rampant. Well thank goodness for that. He orders them to put a court lady by her side that they control.
Woo-chi isn’t fully healed, but he rushes to the palace in Lee Chi’s guise, knowing that the queen is in danger. Myung-gi gasps when he sees him and pinches his face, not believing he and Woo-chi are the same person.
Bong-gu: “If you keep seeing them both, they start to look alike.” Hahaha.
Myung-gi is more traumatized at having helped a traitor, but Chul-gyun urges him to join the Scoobies, saying he can be second hyungnim after Woo-chi, declaring himself third and Bong-gu the maknae. Hee, that’s just never not funny.
When Woo-chi and Bong-gu arrive outside the palace, they see the queen being led away by the group of beggars pledging to keep her safe for saving their lives. Bong-gu says the queen has plenty of protectors now, and Woo-chi smiles.
Mu-yeon and Hye-ryung walk up and when he chides them for coming, they argue that someone has to keep him out of trouble.
“Who else would save you but us?” Aw, I luff this little family. Mu-yeon points out that he saw their skills firsthand, and he just laughs sheepishly.
Chul-gyun and Myung-gi join them too, “Don’t forget about us!” How cute. All the Scoobies are there. They watch the queen walk away, and from above, the king does the same with a somber expression.
Later that night, Woo-chi sits up on the roof and looks out at the world. Mu-yeon joins him, and he sighs that he was gravely mistaken before—he thought that because he was a wizard, he was better than other people, that they had no strength, and only he could save them.
Woo-chi: “But watching those people lead the queen away, I felt a strength that was more powerful than my magic. And if it weren’t for you and Hye-ryung, I would’ve died at Kang-rim’s hand.”
She reminds him that Chul-gyun and Bong-gu and even Myung-gi helped to save him. He takes her hand and says that she was his first thought when he was facing death, and apologizes for only making life harder when he brought her here.
But she smiles sincerely and says she’s happy just to be by his side.
Woo-chi: Teacher told me to go save Joseon, but I didn’t care at all about Joseon. I only wandered looking for you. My only thought was to save you. But the people of Joseon need me… because I couldn’t stop Kang-rim… I owe Joseon a great debt. I have to repay that debt starting now.
Yay, finally! Look who’s becoming a hero at long last. Mu-yeon’s eyes fill with proud tears, and she takes his hand.
But just when we’re busy swooning from their cuteness, we get reminded of Hye-ryung’s heartbreak, as she drinks alone. She barely holds back tears as she grumbles to herself that it’s bad enough he’s playing her oppa, but where did the two of them run off to without her? Aw. She kills me.
Woo-chi runs up to greet editor Oh Kyu when he walks into work the next morning. Oh ha, his mouth still twisted sideways? He and Bong-gu have a good laugh about it, and Woo-chi says that this is why he doesn’t get his medicine from Myung-gi.
Chan-hwi and Eun-woo practice their sword skills, and Chan-hwi is so intense that he doesn’t even realize he’s hurt her, and she’s holding onto her wooden sword with a bloody hand.
When she loses he finally sees her wound, and she pulls away in embarrassment, insisting she’s fine. He grabs some snow and presses it into the cut, which basically amounts to holding her hand tightly.
A charged moment passes between them, and then from behind them, a cough. It’s Woo-chi, who comes upon them holding hands. Hee.
They break free awkwardly and he wonders if he came at a bad time. Chan-hwi just asks why he hasn’t been answering their messages to meet, and he tells them that their bridge system is blown, so they’ll have to communicate via Hye-ryung now.
That’s all he came to say, and tells them that to stop the bleeding he’ll have to keep up the handholding. “Keep going. Keeeeeeep going.” Lol. And with that, he flies away.
The next day they follow instructions and pass a message along to Hye-ryung, and that night Woo-chi sneaks in to deliver it to the queen. It’s a letter from the king, and I love that Woo-chi lights a little ball of fire in his hand for her to read by.
The king writes with regret and worry, missing her and feeling terrible for sleeping in a warm bed while she sleeps in a strange cold place. He sends along a silver spoon as a gesture to tell her to eat well, and promises to look out his window toward the east every day, because he feels like he can see her face from afar.
The queen asks Woo-chi if he’s still punishing evildoers, and he doesn’t answer but gives a little smile. Next thing we know, the gang is gathered in the woods and gearing up to attack another of Kang-rim’s loan sharks.
Woo-chi and Butterfly attack and put the entire group down, and then Hye-ryung and Chul-gyun run up to collect the bounty. Woo-chi opens a chest… and whoa that’s a lot of money inside.
They swap out their own chest for this one, and then Woo-chi takes out his forgetting medallion.
That same loan shark arrives to make his delivery to Kang-rim, of 5000 nyang. But when he opens the box, he finds it full of rocks with a letter inside: “I’ll use what was in here well. –Your Friend, Jeon Woo-chi.” So great. That friend bit just gives it the extra up-yours oomph.
He finds out that two more lenders were hit by Jeon Woo-chi, and Kang-rim can’t figure out how he found out about something that even Minister Oh doesn’t know. He guesses there must be people helping him. You guessed right.
Woo-chi surveys the biggest loan shark under Kang-rim’s thumb, with Chul-gyun and Bong-gu in tow. Aw, Woo-chi looks so cute dressed that way without the Lee Chi beard and glasses.
He approaches the loan shark as a borrower, giving up a deed to a plot of land as collateral for a loan of 20,000 nyang. The boys carry out the giant chest full of money and complain that it’s heavy, and Woo-chi chides that of course it’s heavy—that money is the blood and sweat of the people. Pffft, sure, you can afford to be metaphorical when you’re not the one carrying it.
The loan shark goes to check out the plot of land that the deed is for… and ends up staring straight at Minister Oh’s house. Awesome. That’s gotta be Hye-ryung’s forgery handiwork at play.
Not knowing that, Woo-chi heads right back to the loan shark’s house, saying that the left something behind. He finds himself surrounded at swordpoint and tied up in no time.
But it must’ve been his plan all along, because he doesn’t seem concerned in the least. He blows on the ropes and they fall to the ground, and he uses them to tie up all the minions. The loan shark gapes, “W-who are you?”
Woo-chi wonders how he got this far with that brain, “I’m Jeon Woo-chi! And I’ll be taking all your money!” Hee. I love cheeky Jeon Woo-chi so much.
At the gambling house, Hye-ryung, Mu-yeon, and Myung-gi use the group of beggars they have at their disposal to be their army of fairy godmothers. They assign them to deliver money and food to specific households that have needs.
That loan shark gets brought to Kang-rim, who finds out that Woo-chi got his hands on something worse than money—a record of Kang-rim’s backdoor dealings. Score.
Lee Chi finds the bumbling buddy cop duo flipping through said book, and pretends not to know what’s going on as they tell him that they’ve come across something to help them nail that smug bastard Kang-rim.
It doesn’t go according to plan though, because Kang-rim is a step ahead of the evidence-destroying official-threatening game. But Mu-yeon points out that they do gain one thing—Minister Oh will discover Kang-rim’s extracurricular activities.
Meanwhile, the council pushes the king to receive a new queen. He argues that he isn’t ready, but without an heir, it’s not an argument he can win. The search is on.
Minister Oh apparently has a daughter he plans to put up for the job, and to help things along, he has his son Oh Kyu put in the public announcement that anyone from a house under a certain “level” need not send their daughters.
Bong-gu asks Woo-chi if he’s really going to let Minister Oh’s daughter be the new queen and asks if he has a plan. Woo-chi nods that he does, and turns to Bong-gu…
Ha, he’s back in the king’s robes. This time he gets bored playing king, and starts acting out scenarios that get loud enough that So-chil comes charging in to scold him.
Woo-chi takes the king up into the mountains, but at the same time, the head court lady (the evil one in Minister Oh’s camp) comes to see the queen. She says she’s here to deliver a snack sent from the king. Eep, don’t eat it!
The women don’t even bother trying to hide that they both know this is poison, and cut through the bullshit right away. The court lady tells her that the king will have a new queen soon enough, but she’ll just continue to worry him if she’s alive. Oh gee, so this is you being considerate, huh?
Woo-chi and the king arrive, but find the yard suspiciously empty. He warns the king to stay back and goes in. Please tell me you’re here in time. Please tell me you’re here in time.
Inside, the court lady retrains the queen and pours the poison into a bowl. The queen screams and cries for her to stop, but she holds her mouth open and starts to pour. The queen fights and coughs it up without swallowing, thank goodness, but this won’t last very long…
Just then, Woo-chi bursts in and knocks everyone down, pulling the queen away in time to save her.
But then he turns to the court lady in an angry fury and declares that he’s going to feed her the very poison she was going to give the queen. What?
The queen grabs Woo-chi’s arm and pleads with him through tears that he can’t kill a person—then he’ll be no different from them.
But he’s too lit up with rage to listen, and reaches for the poison, “No, these aren’t people! If they’re left to live, they’ll only breed evil in the world! They have to be gotten rid of!” Oh no.
He puts the poison to her lips, screaming, “Drink! DRINK!”
Aaaaaaaack! Woo-chi, no!
Aw man, what a good episode. *fist pump* It’s the first that really encapsulates the entire spectrum of Woo-chi’s journey, and for once puts the hero in the kind of risky situation that actually frightens me. I’m not usually scared when Woo-chi faces death because he’s got superpowers and there will always be some way out of it, but this is a darker turn that’s far more dangerous than facing off with Kang-rim, for instance. He’s about to become his own worst enemy, and he doesn’t even know it.
What happened to the hearty declaration that you saw strength in people? That you’re not the only one to save them? Doesn’t that extend to the idea that maybe you’re not the only one who knows right from wrong? Ack, this is such a slippery slope for a hero, but of course it makes the drama awesome for tackling it. Especially since Woo-chi clearly sees himself as the people’s savior… and if things go wrong from here that’s a really quick road to justifying all sorts of badness. I actually wouldn’t even mind if the story took Woo-chi over that edge, because as much as I don’t want him to kill her, I do think him choosing to kill and dealing with the consequences would make for a great arc.
I was hugely grateful for the rooftop confession that he wasn’t so much a hero before, and only cared about selfishly saving Mu-yeon. I like these things to be transparent in a hero’s tale, because that kind of self-awareness makes all the difference when it comes to being with our protagonist instead of just hanging back and being impressed at his powers.
It does really feel like the heroic Jeon Woo-chi is being formed slowly bit by bit, and that our character is just beginning to understand the strength of other people (go Team Badass Women) and that he might actually do more good if he stopped being a lone ranger and relied on the team. The Scooby Gang coming together in this episode felt like the first real solidified moment, where the group gets their big hero shot after a hard day’s work. I eat that stuff up. Next time, I want a group strut down the center of the marketplace, Show. Make it happen.
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 15
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 14
- 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