Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 23
I’m going to miss seeing Woo-chi perched up on rooftops, arms crossed in judgy exasperation, always ready with a snarky comeback and a cheeky punishment for the endless array of baddies in the world. We’re down to finale week and with just one episode left to go, things take a surprising turn. It looks like the hero had a reversal in his back pocket, but then, so did the villain…
EPISODE 23 RECAP
We’re thrown right back into the fray, as Kang-rim and Woo-chi get ready to face off mid-coup. Kang-rim tosses his sword aside and the wizards start to gather their energy…
…when Bong-gu leaps up to grab Kang-rim’s arm, and then Chan-hwi runs over to grab the other. They signal to Woo-chi to hurry and catch up to the king. Eep, don’t die, sidekicks!
Woo-chi nods and flies away, and then Kang-rim shoves his attackers off. I can’t see that this is going to buy him much time, if this is the entirety of the plan. Kang-rim chases after Woo-chi, leaving his men to arrest Chan-hwi and Bong-gu.
Meanwhile, the king is surrounded by Doong-gae’s archers on all sides. It doesn’t look good. He orders them to fire, and Mu-yeon and Eun-woo jump in front of the king and shut their eyes, ready to die to protect him.
But when they open their eyes, they find the arrows all hovering around them, suspended in mid-air. Woot! Woo-chi’s here!
He swoops in and knocks everyone down with one gust of wind, and then orders Chul-gyun to pull some of Doong-gae’s hair. Ha, is the voodoo doll making a comeback?
By the time Kang-rim catches up, Doong-gae has been mind-controlled by Woo-chi, to say that the king was shot full of arrows and fell off a cliff. He says that Woo-chi arrived just in time to cry over his dead body and carry him away.
Kang-rim wants to see for himself, but when Doong-gae hands him the king’s royal seal (a fake one), he seems satisfied that the deed is done.
While the Scoobies rush to get the king to safety, Chan-hwi and Bong-gu are still stuck inside the palace, about to be skewered for being on the wrong side. Bong-gu winks at Chan-hwi that he’s got this under control, and tries to convince the men that they were friends in jail.
He gets them to back off long enough for him to say his final words, which is when he invokes the power of the speedy talismans. He knocks one of the men down, giving Chan-hwi the chance to fight off the rest.
And then he throws his arm around Chan-hwi, and they race off in super-speed. Hahaha. What, no piggyback this time? Hmph, I want my Bong-gu/Chan-hwi piggybacking scene!
It turns out Kang-rim’s plan is to become king himself, though he decides against taking the throne right away. He changes his plan to put Minister Oh on the throne first, and gather more supporters for himself before taking over for good. Doublemint coup it is.
The other ministers rush in and bow before Minister Oh, already treating him as their new king. He pretends not to care, but is greatly pleased at the royal seal and talk of the king’s robes, prepared for him to wear.
The good guys take the king deep into the mountains, where a small camp of soldiers is waiting. The queen is already there, with… So-chil? Oh yay for So-chil making a late comeback. The king beams to see him alive and well.
Woo-chi and the gang worry that this small group of soldiers won’t be enough to hold Kang-rim’s forces at bay. What’s worse is that the rest of the royal guard is moving under Minister Oh’s authority, not even able to distinguish the fake royal seal from the real one. Well then maybe you shouldn’t have made a counterfeit that was so good?
Suddenly Bong-gu comes running up, and Woo-chi SO ADORABLY runs up and bear-hugs him, and clutches his face in joy. “You’re alive!” Awwww.
Chan-hwi is right behind him, and Woo-chi sees him looking around. He says that Eun-woo is okay, if he wants to check for himself, and motions to a tent with a smirk. Hee. I love the teasing.
Woo-chi gives everyone on the team a job to do, mostly involving going undercover inside the palace. Myung-gi arrives with a sack full of the special powder Woo-chi wanted, to make the eyes and nose water. Judging by the massive coughing fit, he made it extra-strength.
By morning, Minister Oh is dressed in the king’s robes and marches through the palace in preparation to take the throne. The Scoobies are in place, acting as guards and palace maidens.
Minister Oh approaches the throne and prepares to sit down, but juuuust before his ass reaches the cushion, Jeon Woo-chi’s voice rings out: “Hey, that’s not your seat!” Hee.
He’s sitting on the roof, calm as you please, watching the procession with a disapproving frown. He announces that the king is alive and well, and calls out each of the ministers by name, scolding them for choosing the wrong side. Ha, and he can’t resist adding that Oh Kyu is too old to be a prince.
Minister Oh orders Kang-rim to go after him, so Woo-chi flies down to fight. While he keeps Kang-rim busy, Chan-hwi bursts in with soldiers, all wearing masks. The rest of the Scoobies all raise masks to their faces, and then start launching the tear-gas powder all over the courtyard.
It sends everyone scrambling except for the good guys, and Minister Oh & Co. huddle defensively, waiting out the battle.
Kang-rim and Woo-chi go toe-to-toe, and he warns that all this is useless with a dead king. Woo-chi scoffs, “The king? Dead?”
Kang-rim looks up, and in walks the king, backed by a small group of soldiers. Nice. I love the look on Minister Oh’s face when the smoke clears and the king is walking right at him.
Kang-rim continues to fight back, and when a group of archers appears overhead, he just dodges them left and right. But what he doesn’t see is Eun-woo, with her bow poised from the other side.
She watches him dodge, and then lets one go… and it hits him right in the shoulder. It’s not nearly enough to kill him, but it forces him to retreat, and he flies off.
The king takes the throne, and the group of traitors are brought to their knees before him. Well that was the swiftest un-coup I’ve ever seen. Not that I’m complaining.
Minister Oh begs for his life, and despite easily doing enough to be executed justly, the king spares him and orders the traitors to be locked away and exiled. Really? Is it wrong that I was looking forward to his execution?
Myung-gi and Chul-gyun watch the prisoners’ procession out of the palace and they throw stones in anger, joined by the rest of the townspeople. Oh Kyu sputters in the background, ousted from his position, but not exiled with his father.
The king thanks Woo-chi for everything he’s done, and offers him Kang-rim’s position as head of the guard. Woo-chi chides the king for choosing the wrong guy and says the right man for that job is right in front of him, and nods over at Chan-hwi.
Thus Chan-hwi gets promoted, thanks to Woo-chi. Yay. He does ask for a personal favor, and says that Lee Chi the reporter helped them out a lot, hinting that he heard the editor’s position is open now. Ha.
Chan-hwi walks him out and asks what his relationship is to Lee Chi, to request a favor like that. Woo-chi just smiles and says they must be distantly related somehow, like eighth cousins maybe. It’s enough to make Chan-hwi think back to Woo-chi’s request to trust him, and he looks up: “Then Lee Chi is…?” Did Chan-hwi just uncover the secret identity?
Bong-gu announces the new editor’s arrival, and Lee Chi walks in wearing his new duds and a huge grin. Bong-gu showers him with confetti (so cute) and Lee Chi addresses his staff to say that their jobs are to report the facts as they are, with no more backdoor deals and shady abuses of power.
Suddenly a younger reporter runs in late, saying that he was having stomach issues. Lee Chi leans in: “Are you… from Yuldo too?” Pffft. Not everyone is you. He tells everyone to be on high alert about any reports about Kang-rim sightings, since he’s still on the loose.
Lee Chi heads home that night in good spirits, and runs into Oh Kyu, looking beaten and rundown. Lee Chi sighs at his condition… and tells him to keep running. Heh. Oh Kyu stops him, crying that he hasn’t eaten in days.
Lee Chi continues to play dumb, and Bong-gu takes the reins, saying that he’s doing it all wrong. He has some fun ordering Oh Kyu to bow and put out his hands like a proper beggar, and ask the editor for some spare change. He complies, crying in angry humiliation, and Lee Chi gives him a whole handful of money with a sigh.
At Scooby Central, Myung-gi and Chul-gyun are busy complaining that the others got fancy promotions, but their contributions to the fight are going unrewarded.
They argue about whose role was biggest, when Woo-chi and Bong-gu arrive, carrying loads of presents from the king himself. They’re so easy to please. Suddenly it’s, “I knew his majesty wouldn’t forget us!” and smiles all around.
Eun-woo helps dress Chan-hwi in his new uniform, and he takes her hand, saying that she shouldn’t put herself in harm’s way anymore. She refuses not to do her job, and says that she’ll always fight alongside him. Thank you. Glad she’s like, You’re not the boss of me… even if you’re the boss!
Chan-hwi stubbornly tries to order her not to, but she refuses to follow that order, just as stubbornly. And then Woo-chi runs in and interrupts them, awkwardly apologizing for breaking up another intimate moment.
Woo-chi! Do you just like wait around till they’re holding hands so you can be a spoilsport? Gah.
Woo-chi and Chan-hwi go after Kang-rim, who’s hidden away with thirty men and a bloody shoulder. He doesn’t seem very worried that Woo-chi is after them, and says that he’s prepared for an attack.
As they sneak up to the hideout, Eun-woo runs up and joins them, having followed Chan-hwi against his orders. Ruh-roh, that makes me nervous. Woo-chi is told to hang back in case he’s needed more for back-up. I don’t think I like this plan…
Chan-hwi and Eun-woo head inside first, and find the room empty, save for some bloody bandages that Kang-rim left behind. Suddenly, as Chan-hwi takes a step closer, giant needles come shooting out from the wall. Eep, it’s a booby trap!
Eun-woo sees them first and jumps in front of Chan-hwi to protect him, and goes down. Oh noes. I take it back! I take it back! You should’ve listened to Chan-hwi. Augh.
She falls in his arms and Woo-chi comes running when Chan-hwi screams her name. Oh they’re poisoned needles, and she starts to fade fast. Woo-chi knocks her out to try and slow the poison, and thankfully has medicine on hand, but doesn’t know how to feed it to her.
Chan-hwi takes it and pops it in his mouth. Omo, antidote kiss? *gets ready to squee*
He chews up the giant tablet and then feeds it to her with a kiss. Well as long as she doesn’t have to die to get that kiss, then I suppose the scare was worth it.
Woo-chi paces outside, and Chan-hwi says that her breath has returned to normal. It’s a good sign, and Woo-chi says it means the antidote is working. He cutely says it was Chan-hwi’s sincere heart that saved her.
Woo-chi gets ready to run off in hopes of catching up to Kang-rim, and Chan-hwi stops him: “Lee Chi…” He looks like he’s going to ask about the secret identity, but then thinks better of it. Aw, you know his secret but you’re letting him keep it, aren’t you? I luff these two.
Woo-chi tells him that a woman who leaps into certain death to protect him is a rare thing, like he’s nagging him to hurry up and marry her or something, and stalks off, muttering to himself: “Why is he using jondae all of a sudden?” Chan-hwi watches him go and actually smiles as he laughs to himself: “That guy.” That’s literally the nicest thing you’ve said. Ha.
Woo-chi comes home to find Mu-yeon waiting for him, and he wonders why she doesn’t say anything. She says she can read it all over his face: Today was so tiring that I don’t even have the strength to say it, but I’m so happy to be home.
He tells her she’s wrong. “It’s: Today was so tiring that I don’t even have the strength to say it, but I’m so happy to see you here, waiting for me.” Aw.
The time has come for the queen to return to the palace, and the girls excitedly prepare for the day of her reinstatement.
Meanwhile Kang-rim is on the run, now posing as a beggar (or actually reduced to one?) and hiding in town in plain sight, grinding his teeth at this twist of fate. Woo-chi tells the gang to be vigilant in their search for Kang-rim, because there’s no telling what he’ll do to try and get back everything that he lost.
The girls prepare the queen for her return to the palace, and she thanks them sincerely, wishing that she had sisters like them. The Scooby Gang leads her procession proudly, but what they don’t see is that Kang-rim is watching them the whole way. Uh-oh.
She asks to stop first at the beggars’ village to say her goodbyes. She planted a crop with them during her stay and reminds them to take care of it, and they thank her over and over. One of them sneaks over to Mu-yeon to ask her for help with his child, but when she follows him into a shack, Kang-rim is there waiting.
Woo-chi arrives a little later and goes looking for Mu-yeon, but by then it’s too late. There’s a note waiting for him, saying that Kang-rim has Mu-yeon, and for Woo-chi to come save her before she dies by his hand. And then, it says that if Woo-chi chooses to save Mu-yeon, Kang-rim will kill the king and queen instead.
Wait… what? You’re calling him out to save Mu-yeon, but then threatening to kill the king and queen if he does? Hahaha. Which is it that you want? First you tell him to come, otherwise she’ll die, but then you tell him not to come, otherwise the royals die. Is it just me or is this a really badly conceived plan?
In any case, badly written and confusing note aside, the end result is that he’s stuck between choosing to save the king and queen, or his beloved. (Though I sort of fail to see how Kang-rim plans to be in two places at once. He doesn’t have clones, unlike somebody we know…)
Kang-rim ties Mu-yeon up to the wall and sets a row of crossbows aimed right at her. And then, just to be sadistic, he sets them up with strings and lights them on fire. He looks at her with these dead eyes, and growls that she toyed with him and then took everything, including his father.
That Ma Sook was his real father is news to her, of course, but it doesn’t change her opinion—that she was trying to save Kang-rim from becoming a monster because of him. She pleads with tears in her eyes, but he’s past the point of reason.
And then his minion runs in to say that Woo-chi has sent a man here in his place, and has chosen to go to the palace. They poke and prod him to make sure he isn’t a clone, so there goes that theory.
Kang-rim’s actually surprised, though he takes the chance to rub it in: “What’ll you do? You’re not the one who’s most important to Jeon Woo-chi.” She says she trusts Woo-chi no matter what, and Kang-rim rails that he’ll kill them all.
He prepares to go to the palace, and his minion wonders why he doesn’t just slice Mu-yeon’s throat. He says he wants her to feel every bit of anticipation of her death, and makes the classic villain mistake of walking out, trusting that his arch villain contraption of doom will actually finish the job.
The ropes burn closer and closer to the crossbow release, and Mu-yeon squirms in panic.
The queen’s procession enters the palace gate, and we see that Woo-chi really is there after all. But then! He fidgets for a moment, just like Bong-gu does with his teeth. It’s just a split-second, but that has to be Bong-gu, right?
Kang-rim arrives and readies himself on the rooftop with a bow and arrow. The king and queen reunite happily, with the rest of the gang looking on.
Mu-yeon struggles against her ropes until her wrists bleed, but there’s not enough time. One arrow flies at her and misses, and she’s down to the last one, aimed right at her heart.
The moment comes, and she squeezes her eyes shut. We see the arrow actually leave the crossbow…
At the same time, Woo-chi (or Bong-gu, which frankly makes me nervous) looks up and sees Kang-rim on the roof. Kang-rim shoots… and then casts a spell that makes one arrow split into a dozen.
WHAT? Oh crap, someone’s definitely going to die.
Eep, I wasn’t sure that this would end up being a very suspenseful cliffhanger, but the hint that it’s Bong-gu who’s standing there about to defend that entire group (and very poorly, I might add)? This is very bad. Very bad. He can’t have learned enough magic to thwart all those arrows, right? I’m actually less worried for Mu-yeon than I am for the entire Scooby Gang and royal family, because my guess is that Woo-chi went to go save her. Army of clones, where are you when we need you most?
This episode was a surprise in some respects, because I fully expected Minister Oh’s Plan of Doom to be the big final conflict, but given that I don’t care much about his character (other than seeing him get punished, of course), I’m really glad the coup was overturned swiftly. It was almost too easy to thwart the bad guys, but I won’t complain because the happy character moments we got afterwards were far more enjoyable. There was something so satisfying about seeing Lee Chi get his editor position, because we’ve grown attached to that persona and cover job, and so has Woo-chi. I love that he enjoys the work and thinks it important, in a very non-wizard, un-supernatural way.
I was upset when I thought they were going to kill Eun-woo off just to be cruel to Chan-hwi, but I like that they used it as a scare to push their relationship forward. (Otherwise who knows how many handholds Woo-chi would’ve had to walk in on before they ever got to the smooching?) I really just adore the Woo-chi/Chan-hwi partnership with all its social awkwardness and unspoken questions, and they shared my favorite scenes in this episode. The hint that Chan-hwi might know Woo-chi’s secret identity but lets him keep it so they can continue to work together—that just made my day.
I have to say, I like Kang-rim much more in this final arc, when he’s so desperate and lost and at the end of his rope that his villainy feels better motivated and in general very unsettling (in a good way). I wish they’d driven him to the edge sooner in fact, because he spent so long being cartoonish that we stopped taking him very seriously. I feel like in general the villains on this show were underdeveloped, but seeing Kang-rim in this episode showed that there was potential there that we didn’t get to fast enough.
And last but not least… if you hurt Bong-gu, I’m through with you, Show!
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 22
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 21
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 20
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 19
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 18
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 17
- Jeon Woo-chi: Episode 16
- 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