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Three Musketeers: Episode 12 (Final)

All for one, one for all! I hope everyone’s taken this past week to emotionally prepare, because this is an ending that throws a lot of things our way—some of them fun and interesting, others bittersweet. I admit I didn’t quite know how a multi-season format would work out, but if this first outing is any indication, I think we’ll be in good hands by the time the next season rolls around. Of course that means we don’t get everything tied in a neat bow for the sake of story continuation, though there’s enough emotional payoff to help tide us over until we meet again.

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Youme – “꽃이 피듯 (Like Flowers Blooming)” from the OST [ Download ]

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FINAL EPISODE: “A Letter From The Continent”

The arrow that flies right by Sohyeon’s face finds its home in Yoon-seo’s torso, but he’s able to catch her before she falls. All he sees is a hooded figure escaping through the woods.

Sohyeon’s eyes are wide with shock as he carries Yoon-seo back to the palace, ordering that everyone be woken in order to help. All the while he whispers to her, “Just hold on. You’ll be all right.”

Yoon-seo doesn’t want to let him go when Sohyeon lies her down for the doctors to tend to her, but he reassures her that he won’t leave her side. A tear escapes her eye as she falls limp, and as the doctors rush in, Sohyeon’s eyes glisten with sadness and worry.

Outside, Min-seo asks the crown prince if he saw the person who shot Yoon-seo. Sohyeon says it was too dark to see, but his expression hardens when Min-seo tells him that Mi-ryung escaped from prison and has already poisoned Dal-hyang’s father to death.

After describing the sad scene of the murder to Sohyeon, Min-seo thinks that the shooter must’ve been Mi-ryung. Sohyeon gets a dangerous look in his eye as he grabs a guard’s sword and goes stalking through the woods. Does he know where Mi-ryung is?

“Where are you?” he calls out in the darkness. “I’m alone. Come out now.” And just like that, Mi-ryung emerges from behind a boulder, carrying the bow she used to shoot Yoon-seo.

Sohyeon’s voice shakes with emotion as he tells her, “I… I… five years ago, I questioned myself if punishing evil with rage was too hasty of a decision, if that was the best thing I could do. I regretted that every day. So when you appeared, I was genuinely happy that you were alive.”

But, he explains, he also thought she would’ve changed. “I thought that you would change and if you did, that I could be happy too. But now look at us. How could such an ill-fated relationship exist?”

Mi-ryung, on the verge of tears, claims that she just came here to talk to him. Really, Mi-ryung? Was shooting his wife the only way to get his attention?

She explains that she thought she’d at least find him regretful after putting her in prison, but instead saw him all smiles with Yoon-seo. “How could you do that?!” she yells.

“I see. I understand,” Sohyeon says, his cheeks still wet with tears. “You can’t bear to see me happy. I can’t ever forgive you. Fine. Let’s… die together. Our deaths will save everyone.”

He advances on her with his sword, causing Mi-ryung to draw an arrow in defense. She screams at him not to come closer or else she’ll shoot, but he keeps walking. She lets the arrow fly…

…And it lands right in his stomach. Her face is a mask of shock as she realizes what she’s done, and yet Sohyeon continues to advance. With a cry of rage, he raises his sword and brings it down on her.

Blood sprays, and both of them fall to the ground from their wounds. As Sohyeon begins to lose consciousness, voices can be heard in the distance calling for him…

He comes-to in the palace, under Seung-po’s watchful eye. The first thing he asks about is the princess, and Seung-po only gets him to rest by telling him that she’s still in recovery.

Time passes, and Sohyeon wakes again with Seung-po at his side. Again, the first thing he asks about is Yoon-seo, which gets Seung-po riled enough to tell him that she’s fine. She’s actually doing better than he is.

Day turns into night, and this time it’s Eunuch Kim keeping vigil at Sohyeon’s side. When he asks for the princess, Eunuch Kim claims she’s doing much better, but grows nervous when Sohyeon insists on seeing her and claims that she was sent home for a quicker recovery. Uh oh. He’s not lying, is he?

Mourners gather at a burial for Dal-hyang’s father, while his poor mother is beside herself with grief. Dal-hyang stays strong for his mother, who can’t stop crying about how her husband should have never gone to the capital.

Dal-hyang finally takes some time for himself, and cries bitter tears over his father. He’s interrupted when he receives a message from Seung-po, detailing what’s gone down since Dal-hyang went to the countryside.

Through flashback, Seung-po details how Mi-ryung managed to escape the scene where Sohyeon slashed her down, but found a dead end at a cliff. After being shot with arrows by the crown prince’s guard, she fell over the cliff and into the water.

We know in dramaland that falling into water never equals death, but apparently Mi-ryung’s body was found a few days later. (Orrrr was it?)

Seung-po admits in the letter that things have been pretty bad in the palace, and that he’s been unable to tell Sohyeon one thing about the princess: they don’t think she’ll make it. Dal-hyang is devastated by this news.

As if things weren’t bad enough, Seung-po details how he and Min-seo were also arrested. He cautions Dal-hyang to lay low for a while so the same thing won’t happen to him.

Just then, the messenger who delivered the letter is forced to bring the police to Dal-hyang. They confiscate the letter as evidence and plan to take Dal-hyang in.

After gloating to himself that Mi-ryung’s crazy spell will make it easier for him to clear his name, Kim Ja-jeom is brought in for questioning. As expected, he throws Mi-ryung under the horse to save himself, but can’t help from stirring the pot as he makes sure to mention that Sohyeon and Mi-ryung knew each other.

This makes it back to the king, who demands an inquiry into the Anju case. The governor of Anju is brought in to meet with Injo, and claims that the Three Musketeers forced him to rewrite the letter he sent to the palace.

Of course, this comes as news to Injo, who thought his son was out gambling and definitely not in Anju when all this nonsense with Ingguldai, Dal-hyang, and Kim Ja-jeom happened. But while he couldn’t be sure his son was among the supposed Three Musketeers, he knew Seung-po and Min-seo were, and ordered their arrest.

Everything began its downward descent when Injo questioned the eunuch who was stopped by Dal-hyang from delivering the damning letter about Yoon-seo, and found out that the eunuch had made a promise with Seung-po to destroy the letter if/when Dal-hyang was found alive.

King Injo believes that the three musketeers and Dal-hyang deceived him, which is why he ordered their arrests.

In the present, Dal-hyang is arrested and sent to join Seung-po and Min-seo for questioning. But the interrogator’s position is replaced by King Injo, who orders everyone but the three prisoners out of the room. Uh oh.

Since Injo thinks that the governor of Anju was forced to write a letter that they manipulated, he asks Dal-hyang whether he lied to him as well, seeing as he was promoted because his story matched the one the governor was supposedly threatened into writing.

Dal-hyang denies the accusation, claiming that the story is being twisted against them. Kim Ja-jeom did conspire to kill him in Anju, and almost succeeded.

Injo claims that his ire isn’t because he suddenly trusts Kim Ja-jeom now, but that the Three Musketeers were involved in manipulating the report. He knows that Seung-po and Min-seo make for two of them, but he still doesn’t know who the third one is.

But he blames them for manipulating the report, sending Ingguldai back to his homeland, and for deceiving him. The king demands to know who the third musketeer is. Is it the prince?

“It is I,” Dal-hyang says solemnly. He says the three of them used Sohyeon’s name for clout, all in the name of becoming successful. Dal-hyang implicates himself most of all as he says that he didn’t think the people of Anju would be able to know if he was the prince or not, and that the mixup over him being saved by the Three Musketeers was because they couldn’t agree over who would take the credit.

The other two’s faces fall as Dal-hyang damns himself by adding that he came back to the capital in the hopes of being promoted, and he was. Even Injo seems like he can’t believe it, but Seung-po and Min-seo chime in to corroborate Dal-hyang’s story. It was all them—Sohyeon had nothing to do with it.

Injo doesn’t run to his son’s side when he hears he’s finally awake, and instead calls the chief investigator. Even though the investigation isn’t yet finished, Injo wants punishment for the men who deceived him… and sentences Seung-po, Min-seo, and Dal-hyang to kyohyeong, or death by hanging.

Eunuch Kim runs to tell Sohyeon the news, who’s just now starting to be able to sit up after days of convalescing from his arrow wound. The gallows are already being prepared for the executions. Eek, they’re out of time!

Sohyeon can’t believe his father would exact such swift punishment, at least until he hears that the three of them lied to protect him and in so doing, damned themselves in Injo’s eyes.

But when he sees unusual activity outside Yoon-seo’s quarters, Sohyeon turns on his eunuch: “Is there anything else you failed to tell me?” He knows he was lied to when he was told the princess was sent to heal at home, and barges into her quarters despite the reluctance of her court ladies to let him in.

There, he finds Princess Jeongmyeong tsking that it won’t be long now—Yoon-seo hasn’t woken for days, and it seems unlikely that she ever will.

They all move aside when Sohyeon enters and drops to his knees next to Yoon-seo’s sick bed, and as he reaches out a hand to cup Yoon-seo’s cheek, he asks if she’s really been unconscious since the injury. The doctor reluctantly replies that it’s true.

Sohyeon can’t believe he’s been lied to, even though everyone claims it was so that he could focus on his own recovery. But now that his attention is fixated on his wife, what will happen to his friends?

Death, apparently. The three of them kneel before their nooses as the king and ministers take their place to bear witness. Without much explanation other than that they committed a grievous crime, Injo orders the execution to proceed.

As the nooses are readied, Seung-po is clearly nervous as he asks Dal-hyang if he regrets opening his mouth—if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have to be up here with them about to face his own demise.

“Everyone dies eventually,” Dal-hyang says by way of his defense. “It’s better to die together than alone. I have no regrets.” Aww.

As the nooses are placed around their necks, Min-seo bids them goodbye. Seconds before they’re about to be hung, a weakened Sohyeon arrives at the scene, much to the boys’ relief. They’re saved!

But for whatever reason, Injo doesn’t seem to care about his son and orders the execution proceed anyway. The stools are pulled out from beneath the boys, and now the only thing keeping them from a swift death is how long they can hold their breath.

Sohyeon asks his father to halt the execution, even though Injo tells him that they used his name to deceive everyone. “I am the other member of the Three Musketeers!” Sohyeon proclaims.

Perhaps Injo already suspected as much, because he doesn’t seem all that surprised as he orders the stools put back under the boys’ feet so they can breathe easy for a moment.

After Sohyeon drops to his knees and asks his father to hold him accountable since the three boys were just following his order, Injo asks if he’s admitting that he deceived him, his country, and helped the enemy Ingguldai.

Sohyeon says yes. Then Injo asks if he’s admitting that he had Yoon-seo help Ingguldai escape, and that he went to Anju to destroy the report that Yoon-seo and Ingguldai were having an affair. Again, Sohyeon says yes. Aghhh, why, Sohyeon? Tell him the truth!

Then, when Injo asks if Sohyeon even deserves his crown if all of that is true, Sohyeon replies that he doesn’t. He isn’t capable to lead the people if he can’t even save his own friends, he claims.

Injo is shocked, and asks his son if he really has nothing to say even in the face of possible dethronement. Sohyeon just bows his head and agrees that he doesn’t.

So Injo makes it official, and says that if his son is so keen on his dethronement, he should be punished with the other three since all of them were involved in manipulating the case. Dal-hyang doesn’t get to go free just because of Sohyeon’s testimony—all four of them will die.

Why no one is bothering to tell Injo the truth of what happened, I have no idea. But if they’d all rather die, Injo is keen on granting them that wish.

The ministers gathered (where is Minister Choi?) beg the king to reconsider his decision as Sohyeon is placed next to the others and given his own noose. The others are mad at Sohyeon for dooming himself, especially since it makes Dal-hyang’s fake confession useless. Sohyeon can only apologize.

Injo asks his son if he has anything to say now that he’s about to die, and all Sohyeon says is that he regrets making his friends die when they’re all innocent.

He also regrets putting his wife in danger, as well as for killing someone while he was crown prince. It’s all his fault that he had his friends deceive their country on his order. Injo is confused, and asks his son if he wants to take the blame and die alone.

“If that’s possible… then yes, Your Majesty.” Sohyeon says. Despite the other ministers’ pleading, Injo orders the execution to continue. The stools are once again removed, and the three musketeers (plus Dal-hyang) begin to hang from the neck.

A long moment passes until Injo orders a stop to the execution. (This seriously better be the last round of indecision, or else we’ll get a parody.) He wants to talk to Minister Choi about all this, and at least for now, the boys get to live. Injo doesn’t fail to notice Sohyeon’s wound begin to bleed, however.

Sohyeon passes out from his wound and off of the stool, forcing Eunuch Kim to save him from accidentally hanging himself. He takes the prince in to be seen by the doctors while the other three are put back in prison.

They’re not alone, since Kim Ja-jeom is still warming his cell and his vocal cords by preaching to Dal-hyang about the king’s indecisiveness—just because he’s alive today doesn’t mean he will be tomorrow.

“I’m not your enemy,” Kim Ja-jeom croons, but Dal-hyang isn’t having it. How could he not consider a man who tried to kill him his enemy? But Kim Ja-jeom claims that the impending war would change all that, making Ingguldai their common enemy and him a possible friend if he saves the three of them.

Kim Ja-jeom and Minister Choi are brought before the king, who admits that he hadn’t intended to hang his own son—he just wanted a reaction out of him, and never thought he’d get up there willingly, much less ask to take responsibility on his own.

“I’m afraid of my son,” Injo admits, even though Minister Choi asks him to consider Sohyeon’s act of selflessness and sacrifice as bravery. That’s not what Injo wants to hear, since he doesn’t want a son who’s braver than he is.

So even though Injo is considering dethroning the prince, it’s actually Kim Ja-jeom who tries to talk him out of it—not because he cares about their relationship, but because changing the royal heir would upset the ties they’ve made with Later Jin/future Qing.

He doesn’t have to trust his son, Kim Ja-jeom argues, he only has to keep an eye on him. Minister Choi agrees with him, though not for the same underlying reasons. I’m sure he’ll say whatever he has to in order to keep Sohyeon alive.

Sohyeon overhears palace eunuchs talking about whether to tell him something “before the funeral ends,” which is a pretty bad sign when they’re all wearing white mourning clothes. His eyes fill with tears… could Yoon-seo be dead?

Someone reaches out to wipe his face and ask, in a weak voice, whether he’s well. Sohyeon looks from her sleeve up to her face…

…And it’s Yoon-seo staring back at him. She’s very much real and in mourning clothes just like the rest of the palace, but Sohyeon can’t even believe his eyes. “Am I dreaming? Are you really alive?”

Yoon-seo just seems confused, before clarifying that an older member of the royal household died, which explains the white. Only then does she ask if he was crying because he thought she was dead, but she doesn’t need to ask to know. She’s so flattered. Aww.

Her happiness causes Sohyeon to all but suck his own tears back into his eyes as he tries to protect his wounded pride by telling her to forget this ever happened. In fact, if she ever brings it up again, he’ll never forgive her.

Yoon-seo plays coy as she tells him that she’ll think about it—after all, she almost died, and she’s not scared of him anymore. It’s cute how Sohyeon tells her to stop smiling because they’re in mourning, but when he can’t help but smile himself, she throws the same words back at him.

They smile together and laugh, just happy to be safe and with each other again.

Seasons later, we find Ingguldai in the capital of Qing as the emperor, Hong Taiji, tells him of his plans to invade Joseon. Dal-hyang’s narration takes over as he says that the war came two months later in what’s known today as the second Manchu invasion of Korea.

Dal-hyang doesn’t go into too much detail, since it was a shameful time for the frightened King Injo and for the country who suffered under his indecisive rule.

We then see Dal-hyang in a snow-covered but empty palace as he explains how the crown prince and princess were sent to Qing as hostages. (This is also true in history, since the conditions for Injo’s surrender included that his first and second sons be given as hostages.)

Since Dal-hyang has no story to tell of the time when he had no master, he skips two years ahead to his arrival in the Qing capital. But, much to his surprise, Sohyeon and the other two musketeers aren’t there to greet him—they supposedly had some urgent matters to take care of.

Left without company, Dal-hyang agrees to have a drink with one of the Joseon envoys, which lands them in the Qing equivalent of the gibang they used to have so many adventures in, way back when.

Dal-hyang rises to protect a Joseon woman’s honor as she’s sold off in front of the crowd, only to be told that there’s nothing he can do. (It’s a tiny nod to the tragic reality of Injo’s surrender, in that an estimated 500,000 Joseon people were captured/given as tributes. Life for women was especially bleak, since they were subjected to sexual slavery and—if they were lucky enough to survive—rejection in their home country for what they’d endured.)

He finds Seung-po roaming the place, and the two share a happy reunion marred only by Seung-po asking why he never replied to all the letters he sent on Tani’s behalf.

It’s sad that Dal-hyang has to ask who Tani is only to remember when Seung-po says, “Tani! The girl you promised to marry!” Hah! She hasn’t forgotten, has she?

Suddenly a man screams, “The Three Musketeers! The Three Musketeers are here!” Dal-hyang and Seung-po look up as a masked figure takes down an entire group of (what I’m guessing must be) Qing thugs. Did the thugs not know how to count?

Though the hair and clothes would lead us to believe it’s a girl under the mask, when the acrobatic fighter’s face is briefly revealed, it’s… Min-seo? In full drag. Why? But also, hah.

Seung-po leaves Dal-hyang to join the fray, as he and Min-seo deliver a smackdown of epic proportions. “Who are they?” Dal-hyang’s panicked drinking buddy asks.

“The Three Musketeers,” Dal-hyang smiles proudly. “They’re my friends.” The two are soon joined by Sohyeon, who has a grand entrance by swinging down from a pulley rope after hanging one of the thugs as a counterweight. Nice.

Sohyeon and Dal-hyang finally get to see each other and exchange smiles. Dal-hyang is invited to join them in the fight, and he doesn’t need to be asked twice as he draws his sword and stands with his buddies.

“I was worried about you in this place,” Dal-hyang says to Sohyeon with a grin. “I didn’t know you’d be having fun here.” Just then, a massive group of backup thugs arrive looking for the Three Musketeers—a group that’s become quite popular as of late.

The running gag about the prince’s face going unrecognized is continued here, as Min-seo puts the kibosh on Seung-po’s suggestion that they run because the men they’re fighting slaughtered people of Joseon.

So they prepare for battle—stylishly, of course.

Kim Ja-jeom meets a shadowy figure outside his home, and is shocked by who it is: Mi-ryung, looking alive and well. “How did you survive?” he asks.

She calmly tells him that she’s here because he made a promise he didn’t keep—a broken promise that cost her her life. Now she’s here to collect what she’s owed.

Kim Ja-jeom shakily asks if she still wants to be the crown princess, a thought which makes her laugh. That position means nothing to her now.

“I want to be… the king’s woman,” Mi-ryung says.

 
COMMENTS

Whew, this was a lengthy finale. Even if I’m not a wizard at brevity, it’s certainly something I like to see in shows, especially considering that Three Musketeers is already a shorter show in general. And while we could easily say those last thirty minutes or so served as necessary setup for the next season, there was just something missing in that extended epilogue/possible prologue. It tried for fun, but didn’t necessarily hit that sweet spot it’s managed to harness in previous episodes.

The stakes in this episode were an interesting watch as they fluctuated scene by scene, because there was the feeling that everything and the kitchen sink was thrown in for bombastic dramatic effect since we were at the end. It started with Mi-ryung shooting Yoon-seo, which worked on the level it needed to even if the logistics were a little iffy at times. I’ve long since stopped being able to fully understand Mi-ryung, but it wasn’t difficult to buy that she felt betrayed when Sohyeon tricked her into jail, and chose to take it out on the woman who (she felt) stole her rightful place away from her.

But that wasn’t so much what it was about, it seemed, since Mi-ryung just wanted to be heard. Sohyeon’s emotional aloofness has caused him to make some enemies in his time, but what’s peculiar about his brand of unavailability is that it makes people crave his attention all the more, so much so that they want to hurt him if it means they’ll get a peek at what lies beneath. I seriously wonder if Sohyeon’s apparently unattainable perfection and unbreakable spirit caused him to have the Joseon equivalent of sasaeng fans—heck, even his dad was itching to use pain just to get his son’s attention.

King Injo has been a favorite sageuk staple to explore because of his storied history and his literal crazy, though this has been more like watching Injo Lite after last year’s epic exploration into the man behind all the history. So for what little time Injo has had here, he’s been handled fairly well—we got what he was about early on, and that he was indecisive and cowardly. His admission that he was afraid of his son spoke volumes about what makes him tick.

That being said, the sudden execution of the not-so-three-musketeers felt a bit cobbled together, and more like a written-in showstopper than something that might’ve actually happened. Maybe it was for that reason that the weight of the scene never really sat with me, and it’s a matter of stakes that some shows either get right or don’t when it comes to killing off one—or in this case, four—of their main characters. Smart shows know the audience won’t actually be holding their breath if character deaths at whatever point in the show or episode wouldn’t make sense logistically, and the best shows manage to make the audience doubt the perceived immortality of their favorite characters. And of course, the scariest shows actually kill a character you thought couldn’t die after luring you into a false sense of security.

But this was one of those situations where we just knew nothing bad was going to happen, which made all the dramatics surrounding the execution scene come off a bit haphazard and tedious. It’s something I wish would’ve been executed with more panache, because it would’ve made for a different kind of experience if we were actually sitting on the edge of our seats and biting our fingernails while waiting for that last minute save by Sohyeon, or Minister Choi. If nothing else, that scene at least showed us how deep the camaraderie between our three musketeers (plus one) went. When you’re willing to die for your friends, I’d say that’s a pretty good indicator of a lifelong bond. And hopefully one we’ll get to watch for seasons to come.

I liked the finish the show gave to Sohyeon and Yoon-seo’s relationship, since the two began with a loveless marriage and grew into the couple we see now—they’re not perfect, they’re both just a little bit unsure and still like strangers in some aspects, but we left them as they’re still growing together. And for the jaded Sohyeon, who endured years of guilt thinking he’d been unjust to the woman he once loved only to almost die at her hands, and even for the innocent Yoon-seo who not only grew as a wife and princess but as a woman, it’s a fine start.

Too bad their immediate future was so rocky, since the show seems to be following history as we leave off for the second season. Perhaps we’ll see the escapades of the three musketeers (and Dal-hyang, of course) take place in Qing next season, since Sohyeon would remain a hostage for almost eight years. Or maybe we’ll return the action to the palace after a time skip, only to find that Mi-ryung has installed herself as one of Injo’s concubines. Even if the time for fun and games is over for these characters historically, I wouldn’t put it past Three Musketeers to give us a rollicking good time no matter the setting. See you guys next season.

 
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Oh Heads.......does this drama end your recap curse at last?

(I hope so, because I LOVE IT TO DEATH)

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I thought about that too especially after that last drama that must be bleached from our brain fiasco. Finally I don't feel like I've to buy Heads all the Internet alcohol. hurhur.

Thanks for all your effor, Heads!

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Thank you for the work you have put in for this awesome show. It was one of best so far this year. I loved all the characters in this show that I cannot wait for next season, hopefully you will continue to recap it through the seasons. Happy winter!

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+1 and thank you very kamsa, Heads!!

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Last episode of the season!

The Good:
*Park Dal-Hyang - As I've said previously, Jung Yong-Hwa has done an incredible job in this role. Under the guidance of the director and aided by the writers, he's truly blossomed as an actor. The last scene in the gambling hall, which I believe paralleled a similar one from the first episode, illustrated that well. Just as naïve country boy Dal-Hyang has become the knowing, somewhat savvy, wryly humorous Musketeer, Yong-Hwa has moved from rocker-ok actor to an actor who has earned that title in his own right. Well done!

*The Crown Princess recovered, and is sassier with the Prince - I loved her grinning "I'll think about it" when Sohyeon commanded her to forget seeing him cry.

*The three+1 musketeers banding together at the end - the group rides again!

*The two-year time jump -- I think it'll be a nice way to jump-start a new story and not get bogged down any more in the current period. The writers did a good job of wrapping up this time period's struggles and transitioning to a new one.

The Bad:
*The Never-Ending Execution - That was suspenseful for about 5 seconds, when I thought one of the main characters might actually be killed off. But from the moment Sohyeon burst in and was invited to join his friends on the scaffold, the viewers knew very well they wouldn't kill *all* of them off. So the endless "kill them!" "no wait!" "kill them!" "No wait!" "this time I *really* mean it!" was so ridiculous. It felt like the writer ran out of time to fill, which was unusual for this show.

*As a side note to the above, it looked like they actually did let the actors dangle for a few seconds, and that was very scary for me as a viewer. I could be mistaken, but that appeared very much like actual rope burn on the men's necks, particularly Yong-Hwa's. All I could think of was Damian Lewis talking about how he almost had to be taken to the hospital after filming a hanging scene for "Homeland." In any case, everyone was obviously fine, but it still took me out of the scene.

*The King-Crown Prince Schizm -- I understand the King would feel betrayed by Sohyeon, but it made no sense that Sohyeon, who's been shown to be incredibly smart and articulate, didn't even *try* to explain to his father what his intentions were. This is the sanest the king's been all season, and Sohyeon didn't even make an attempt to explain himself? That didn't make much sense. Also not very sensible - the King's being upset that his son shows bravery and good leadership skills. That's something you should want the future leader to have, especially when he's your son, no?

The Ridiculous but Completely Unsurprising:
The fact that, yet again, Mi-Ryung wasn't dead. I was so completely expecting that. That woman is a vampiric, Rasputin-like cockroach. It is impossible to kill her. They need to warn the Joseon guards that unless they see her with a string of garlic bulbs...

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They need to warn the Joseon guards that unless they see her with a string of garlic bulbs around her neck and a wooden cross staked in her heart, she's not really gone. And she wants to be the king's woman? Oy. Given his judgment, that should be an easily achievable goal.

Thank you again for the recappers, and to everyone on the board for the fun discussions. I believe they haven't set the date for the new season, but I hope to see you all back here when they do!

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"...vampiric, Rasputin-like cockroach." I can hear Mi-Ryung replying, "Why, thank you. I'll take that as a compliment."

The bluffs into the depths of the waters below was perfect, and I was completely pleased with that interpretation of her death. But, like you, Faye, I sensed the show wouldn't go there, and since she'd already cheated death numerous times, what's once more for old times' sake?

The gallows scene was sooo never-ending. The king's indecisiveness is beyond annoying, and this was it at its worst (or best). He certainly wasn't indecisive in abandoning his people with the going got tough.

My addition to the Good list: Min-seo's leap for justice.

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@Owl - Good point about the king quickly hoofing it after the invasion. I was disappointed. I'd hoped we'd get to see Sohyeon help his father a bit this season, but he just went from bad to worse. I guess they're setting him up to be Mi-Ryung's patsy for next season.

Great addition to the Good list! Loved Min-seo's leap - in full makeup, no less :).

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Faye, you made my day! :)

"That woman [Mi-Ryung] is a vampiric, Rasputin-like cockroach."

LOLOLOLOL

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From what I gathered, the King was more invested in the fact that the Prince had deceived him and not interested as to Why he did so.

From what I saw the King already knew the reasons behind the Crown Prince's action. He knew about the Princess helping the enemy General out according to CP's instruction and also the reason why he did so, he knew the events of Anju was a result of the Prince trying to save the Princess and nothing moew. But the reason CP went against his decision and helped Ingguldai was because the it was the King who made a blunder with judgment in the first place. That was the beginning of all subsequent events. So if the King accept the Prince;s reason/excuse for going against him, he will be, in fact, admitting his own mistake and weakness as a King!

The Prince understood that well and that's why he didn;t try to explain himself. As Kim Ja Jeom said, the King is a coward but not that stupid. The King did knew that the Prince deceived him because of greater interest but admitting it would be equivalent to declaring the Prince as a better leader than he is. Basically he is a weak, pathetic and cowardly person who isn't ready to leave his position as a King to a person better suited for it, even if that person also happens to be his son.

As for the execution scene, I interpreted it exactly the way Chandler explained in his/her comments below.

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I agree with Chandler's interpretation, and I think there was a line where the king explicitly stated it was a test to see how Sohyeon would react. I still felt it dragged on too long.

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Many Chinese emperors who were perfectly sane compared to Injo, when felt threatened by their own sons had had them executed, poisoned, in order to secure a longer reign for themselves. So kings weren't about to appreciate it when they knew their sons (esp. the Crown Princes) would make better rulers than they. That's precisely what they were deadly afraid of, in case the ministers asked for an abdication.

I have nothing but despise for this version of Injo. Don't even have the words.
Mi-rung is evil, twisted and ambitious. But the king!!!

Was there a drama that featured Injo prominently last year? I can't recall. What might it be, does anybody know?

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The drama was Cruel palace: War of the flowers or something like that

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I noticed the redness on yong-hwa's neck as well which was starkly more obvious than the rest. wasn't sure if it was make up but i have always wondered how they film hanging scenes, do they actually let them hang there for real?

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I'm pretty sure most of them would have harnesses underneath the clothes to hold them up. At least I hope so, I also saw the redness and it worried me but I felt it made it more believable? Hoping it was just make up. Also one thing that I felt was given like no explanation at all was how dal-hyang seemed to have been given another spot wroking at the palace afterwards judging by his clothes, I mean the fiasco of the hanging aside I'd have expected them to at least have been stripped of their titles since they were left to live. It didn't make sense.

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I'm sure they have safety harnesses, but I was mostly worried after reading about Damien Lewis's experience, so apparently there is room for some error. And the rope burns around Yong-Hwa's neck continued on into the next few scenes, which made me think they were real (or else that's some awesome continuity work). Either way, everyone seems to be ok now.

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I loved this show. But I kind of disappointed with the ending of this season. I know they had to keep room for season 2.. But I hoped it would have ended with a solid BANG !!
Anyways I have enjoyed this series very much.

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Thank you recappers..!! It was a fun ride.

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I thought this was a satisfying ending. Plenty to look forward to... like what's up with Min-seo in drag?

I hope we find out what's gone on with the Princess. Can't see how they could bring her along, would love if somehow they did. Loved her sassiness by the end and their new tender relationship. But? Hope we at least find out what happened to her if she stayed behind, which I suspect is the case.

I enjoyed this ride.

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As stated in the recap, the prince AND princess were both captured. Dalhyang narrated this himself. Also, the story stays more faithful to history rather than the three musketeers novel. In history, the princess stayed with the prince, had three children while in captivity, and learned to adapt extremely well to life outside the palace. She probably enjoyed it more than her palace life since by all accounts they were treated well and were quite free. She even learned how to farm and ride horses.

On an aside, one thing to note is that the timeline defies history a little bit... The war supposedly began in December of 1636 which is the same year the prince and princess had their first child. This is now impossible story-wise due to the things that have happened. What this probably means, though, is that by the second season (which takes place 2 years later) they already have one son. Yeay!

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Thanks for the recap! I've been following this drama from the start and enjoyed it very much!

Regarding what you said about character's death/execution: Can I just say that it's almost becoming a parody? MR "died" 3 times, DH was "dead" for an episode, and got hanged 2 times in 5 minutes, same for the other two musketeers. SH was stabbed, shot, and then hung. And of course, our princess who "won't make it" and is suddenly up and healthy. I mean, not that I wanted anyone (except for MR) to actually die, but come on! >.<

So what this show has taught me: if you see a a body without a head in Joseon, it's probably someone else :P

Other than that, I've enjoyed this show ore than everything I've seen this year so far. Love the camaraderie, the brotherhood, and of course the romance.

See you next season (March 2015, apparently?)!

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Yes, it is like everyone has 9 lives. Is March 2015 really the next season? I'm signing up for that!

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Well I'm going to be a wreck this weekend aren't I? Thoughts:
Mi-ryung: I wasn't surprised at all that she lived ('cause duh but also the actress plays her antagonist well) what i do want to know is how on earth she knew the prince was there or if she saw him leave and followed him, how she kept up with a man on horse back. As for her new scheme, I get it, the king is in fact ignorant of the goings on concerning her and since she burned the bridge with Princey, what better way to get revenge than to go entirely over his head? I'm just glad she and the prince never really got together; father and son in the same sack is kinda gross.

OTP: My heart clenched when he asked for the Princess each time he woke up and again when he saw her alive. It just really blew me over when she started tearing up, surprised that he would cry for her. Oof, in the best way possible.

The back and forth to hang or not to hang made me laugh though I will say: sharing the death penalty=ultimate bromance! And didn't javabeans say that a royal's body couldn't be marred if they were put to death? So hanging would've been out because of bruising right? On top of which it would've left Injo without an heir so, yea the show's had better moments.

Conclusion: Min-seo in drag--you took the words right out of my mouth " Why? But also, hah." Overall, the end did feel a bit frenetic, and though I saw what they were going for, after the previous episodes were so great it was a bit sad to have the finale be kinda meh. Still, one of the best things a show can do is make you love its characters despite all else and TTM did that and then some so you know I'll be here next season front and center. Thanks for the recap Heads!

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"So hanging would’ve been out because of bruising right? On top of which it would’ve left Injo without an heir so, yea the show’s had better moments."...I don't think this was half ass attempt by the writers to create dramatic tension of will they die or will they not?! since we all know there are two more seasons coming up. I know drama writers tend to think their audience as stupid but surely, not this stupid? So I think the scene was more about painting the dichotomy between Father and Son especially with the follow up scenes of the King consulting his two ministers while allaying his fear about his son surpassing him as a man.

I agree that the finale was not as smooth but man, I love the set up for the next season. It's so full of rollicking fun!

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I dont know if the show isnt telling on purpose, or in this version he really doesnt exist... But in reality prince sohyeon had a younger brother that could take his place as heir.

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"Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that have been rated the most passionate, the most pure - this one left them all behind."

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*cue music* - great, now I've got The Princess Bride theme stuck in my head, lol!

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Thanks so much! Dammit, I already know I’m going to write a lot. To the point which Copy/paste will most likely have to be used LOL.

NOOO she livessss!!!! PFFFFFT. I seriously can’t wait to see the look on everyone’s faces when they see Hyang Sun escaped the grave AGAIN. LOL their reactions are going to be priceless.

You know, I thought, at first, that I was frustrated she survived again (No, I'm sure I am) because it’s just happened so many times and the fact that they couldn’t confirm her death again this time, come on. BUT if there's one thing I do like, it's that with each “death", she's become more and more ruthless, to the point that the girl within that was still in love dies a little each time, now leaving behind nothing, but an ambitious, evil woman in her wake. The King's woman though? That’ll be ALL kinds of weird *shudddders* `

That scene between Sohyeon and Hyang Sun was so intense! My heart really broke for Sohyeon in that scene because, while I had accurately gleaned his motivations and feelings regarding his history with her (i.e. regret, wanting to move on, for both to be happy etc.), it was definitely so powerful to finally hear it from him.

I actually want to offer a different take on the execution scene, mostly because I sensed that it was actually a test. It was just packed with wonderful moments all around and, I thought, effectively portrayed the turning point between the Prince and the King, all the while distinguishing the reasons for their troubled relationship. I loved seeing our boys doing whatever it took to save the Prince. And that they all faced it so bravely only to go, hopefully, “Oh, are we getting saved now?” as soon as he shows up LOL.

Sure, I knew that they would probably make it, but I still felt like the scene was about a lot more than “Are they going to die?!”. The proceedings fit with King Injo’s weak character and what honestly made me tense was not their possible death, but the ramifications of the King finding out they’re the Three Musketeers and what that will mean for the future season. For me, I thought the scene was more about the betrayal the King felt and how he was trying to reconcile his fears about his son and that’s what made it an effective scene.

I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much if the King hadn’t done it with the intent of getting a reaction out of Sohyeon. For me, it was so interesting to see how that played out and how it was his son’s bravery that scared him the most. The scene that follows between him and Kim Ja Jeom definitely left us in an interesting place in terms of their relationship and left me feeling like the scene was worth it. It wasn’t about whether they lived or died, but about how the CP’s behavior in that scene (whether he begged or nobly sacrificed) was such a decisive factor in how King Injo will view his son from now on. As a threat.

And finally, YESSS the Crown Princess is alive! Did anyone else feel exactly like CP when...

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the camera pans to her healthy, beautiful face?! It felt like the first time I could breath all episode. Sure, I “knew” she was going to make it, but still it actually felt like order was returning to the universe with her beautiful smile *SOB* And our Crown Prince! Lee Jin Wook was wonderful in this scene. I honestly already really loved this couple, but with this scene, I felt them grow into the winning, strong couple I’d sensed they could become since the very first episode. I know their circumstances are rather dire, but at least they’re in it together :)

All in all, I really liked how they set things up for next season and I’m certainly excited to have China as our backdrop! I expect they’ll have some flashbacks in the 2nd season depicting a little more of what they went through in those 2 years, but, for now, it was smart to finish things off just when the all the fun is starting!

AHH but seriously, can the 2nd season just start already?! I want more! I’ve loved this drama so much. And can I just say that it’s so awesome to have this wonderful show to anticipate throughout the coming year, especially when other dramas are such gambles. Now it’s guaranteed that I have at least one great drama to look forward to in the coming months and I love that! There are rumors already about next March with a 2 episode-a-week schedule *Fingers crossed*

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I agree with you regarding the execution scene. It didn't read to me as an edge of your seat moment especially since we all know there are two more seasons coming up, but it's more of a testament of the differences between the Father and Son in this scene. King Injo is plagued by self doubt and the constant niggling knowledge that his son is and will always be the better man. So this "execution" once again really emphasized that because even when he's up on the gallows, the Prince still manage to lead by example through standing up for his men, through being honest with what he viewed as his true failures as a prince and a man, and through his sincerity of only wanting the best for the people he loves.

There are two tragedies in King Injo's life. One is knowing that his son is the type of man that people will follow to their death and the other is the failure in understanding that those upstanding traits of his son which inspire people also benefit himself and Joseon in general. The Prince loves his country while the King only loves his throne.

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Forgot to add the actor playing King Injo is great! I love all his twitches and the cray expression in his eyes.

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He seems to do crazy king rather well. He was also the drug addicted brother to Empress chunchu and boy was he twitchy!

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Completely agree with you! No one expected the death of Dal Hyang and the three musketeers in that execution and I'm pretty sure the writer had no such expectation either. I mean there were some obvious and intentional hints of humor in the reactions of Sueng Po! If the writer wanted to keep us nail bitting thinking of one them might actually die there, she would've depicted the scene differently.

Instead, from my point of view, that scene was about two things-
1.The loyalty of Dal Hyang and two musketeers towards the Prince and his appreciation for them as his people in turn.
2. The superiority of the Prince both as a human being and a leader, the realization of this fact by the King and an indication as to how it is going to affect their relationship in the future.

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March? MARCH?!?!?! *Throws a fit*

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I couldnt agree more..

looking forward to more on TTM hopefully sooner *sniff*
next year is really a very long wait!

SohYeon and Yoon Seo ...Oh wow!

thanks HEADS !

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Agree on the execution part: remember the scene where the king's eunuch informed the king that the Prince is awake, but instead of going to his son, Injo chose to summon the investigator instead? From that scene on, it's pretty obvious that he was going to use the death sentence of his friends as a test for Sohyeon. For me, the execution scene effectively displayed Injo's indecisiveness and fear of his own son which is intriguing for me. It made me kinda wish there were more Injo-Sohyeon scenes but this drama is, after all, about the three musketeers and Dal-hyang. The only dissatisfaction I have is that the aftermath of the hanging was not shown onscreen (time constraints? The finale is over 1 hour) so I'm left wondering exactly how they survived punishment (I assumed that the Prince is not dethroned but it doesn't make sense that Dal-hyang can still work as a palace guard after all that). A short narration about 1-2 minutes would have helped fill in the gaps.

That said, Nine is still my favourite among the writer's previous works, and while I feel TTM is lacking in certain aspects (change the action director pleaseeee) it's still fun and more tightly written compared to other fusion sageuks. Looking forward to the next season! Thanks for the recap Heads!

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I actually thought that was pretty well addressed in the scene between the King and Kim Ja Jeum. Remember when he convinced the King to use the Three Musketeers? I still think they could have actually shown them getting freed though because all of a sudden the prince was waking up and everything was chill.

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LOL yeah I thought the same thing - it's like the execution never happened. I guess us viewers just have to assume that they are fully pardoned...except that the King doesn't trust his son anymore.

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While I really enjoy the scene between the CP and CPss, I'm disappointed of the hanging plot in this episode. That plot fails to bring out the suspense since I know that they must be alive for the next season, so I just roll my eyes and FF the scene. I think it would hurt my heart much more if the king ordered them to be tortured badly while being interrogated instead of hanging. The CP in this drama suffered so many life threatening situations, one after another, while his two bodyguards didn't even have a scratch. It must be safer to be the bodyguard than the Prince.

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Does anyone have any good dream castings for Tani now that she's aged up? I actually think Lee Yubi fits pretty damn perfectly. I'm trying to think who else would be good...

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Hi5! younger tani really looks like lee yu bi, they said all the cast in season 2 will be the same with season 1, but i think tani was too young to be dal hyang's lover eventhough they skip the time. hope our wish become true. lee yubi is so pretty!

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For a moment there at the end I thought Min-seo was Tani. Especially since he was in drag, lol.

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i kept wanting to see injo bow to the Qin emperor. Would've been grand. Awaiting next season

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What's the bet that Mi-ryung will become Jo Guiin - Injo's evil concubine (main character from last year's Cruel Palace War of the FLowers?

I will miss the show - when will it be back?

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Oh...she totally fits

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"I seriously wonder if Sohyeon’s apparently unattainable perfection and unbreakable spirit caused him to have the Joseon equivalent of sasaeng fans—heck, even his dad was itching to use pain just to get his son’s attention."....haha oh man, what a genius comparison. You deserve all the Internet claps for this, Heads!

I agree with you that this last ep is a bit frenetic and besides for a few really well thought out scenes played with fine wrought emotions from our actors, it's a bit disjointed to me. I've always love this writer/ director combo's projects and even though am in love with the Crown Couple and totally smitten by Lee Jin Wook's acting, I've to admit "The Three Musketeers"is not the finest example of their works. Still what the drama managed to do right, they did it beautifully and am already clawing at the hiatus we're on. WHY?! I got into Asian dramas to escape from this very precise thing American shows do. *sob*

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any idea when the next season will come out?

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Probably on the first week of March. Still not confirmed !

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Thank you ?

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Whoa! What a finale! Full of suspense, surprise and satisfaction, as the last episode of the season should have been.
I was completely shocked by the conclusion reached by the wretched King. But now I understand how the future events will unfold for the Prince depriving him of his rightful position and it scares me to think of those unfortunate moments to come in the next seasons.
I can’t get enough of our royal OTP. I enjoy their every scene with so much ecstasy that it’s almost silly.
But the strongest part of the episode was definitely the almost-execution of the Prince and his friends. The way Dal Hyang and three musketeers covered and suffered for each other was exceptionally moving. May be that’s why when Dal Hyang reunites with the three musketeers at the end of the episode, it almost brought tears to my eyes.
The only thing I would like to be different is if this episode put an end to the story of Mi-ryung. What more will it take to change her or, even better, kill her?!
Overall it wasn’t a perfect drama but it one hell of a show in terms of entertainment. I can readily forgive those little flaws in the story when it guarantees hours full of enjoyment in exchange. Can’t wait for season 2!
Thank you very much for the recaps.

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For me, the execution scene was the weakest part of the show. By definition, suspense involves some apprehension about an outcome, and there was zero question about what would happen here.. As for the Musketeers sticking together, it was nice, but we've already had that "aw, they're a gang" moment when the original three found Dal Hyang and they fought together. So it didn't offer anything new, and the closing scene was much more satisfactory (perhaps because of its brevity).

Don't get me wrong -I did enjoy the episode. It's funny how differently people can view things, I guess, because for me the episode was the weakest of the series. The showrunners have set a very high standard and they just didn't meet it.

I think the episode's main strength was in setting up season 2.

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I totally agree with you that the hanging scene is the weakest part of the show. It leaves so many plot holes that I can't make sense of all the events after that. I see the hanging plot bring a very ridiculous purpose of just showing the king's twisted mind but leave many questions unanswered. For example, did the CP get dethroned? How did they get out of that mess?Why did no one explain to the King the CP's actions? Was DH still a royal guard? (We still see him with the royal guard robe later) Except for the CP and CPss scene, this episode makes me unsatisfied. Maybe I expect too much that this great drama would end the 1st season with a big bang, but instead, it ends with a weakest episode out of the 12

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"By definition, suspense involves some apprehension about an outcome, and there was zero question about what would happen here."...I agree which is why I don't think the scene was meant to play out in the fashion of "Will they die or not?" But it's more of a set up to illustrate the differences between the King and the Prince and as a lead in to the conversation the King had with his two minister about his fears towards his own son.

I also find that scene to be moving not because of the way DH, Min Seo, or Seung Po stuck together but more because of the way the Prince laid down his life in exchange for theirs. It's a true Kingly moment. It really cemented the reason why these men were so unwavering loyal to him. He's a leader whose followers will gladly run towards death for.

Out of all the dramas these showrunners have created together, this one is the weakest for me. It's still good but I feel it could have been so much better! So for me, I didn't think this ep was any worse than the rest of the show, a bit more disjointed but still funny and when needed, packed an emotional whammy. I agree that the set up for season 2 at the end was super awesome!

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The purpose of that execution appeared to be anything but creation of suspense by fooling audience into believing their lives were in danger...to me.It was an important part of the story because it helped me see the character of Injo in whole new light. In the previous episodes,there were times when I even felt pity for him.But now he seems to less twisted than Kim Ja-Jeom. I forgot that he was someone who got this position by ousting the former King and should not be underestimated when he feels his position to be threatened. I found it very interesting to watch they way Prince's words were having completely different effects on the King than on us.But that's just me and you are right in saying different people will interpret it differently.

As for overall quality of the show,as I mentioned above it's not perfect and it's certainly not so good as it's predecessor Nine.But I think that's because our expectation was high from this team from the beginning.So I tried to judge it separately on it own merit and,even with all those little loopholes in logic,I loved it.

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This. The king may be indecisive but he's not stupid. You can see the wheels turning in his head when he first ordered the execution of Dal-hyang and the two musketeers. The execution is not meant to be suspenseful (for me) and if you think about it, Sohyeon DID hide the enemy general and deceive the king (to prevent war, nonetheless). Perhaps the reason why he did not defend himself is because of the circumstances surrounding him: his Princess is dying because of Hyang Sun and his friends are at the gallows because of him. He felt that he made the wrong decisions regarding Hyang Sun which leads to everything else. He is not afraid to admit his mistakes, which is the opposite of the king. Injo admitted afterwards that he wanted his son to grovel before him and beg for forgiveness (as he himself may have done) but the fact that he is willing to shoulder all responsibilities and asked to die alone made Injo realize that Sohyeon makes a more worthy king than himself. That is why he is afraid of his own son. Because he is afraid that his son will get more supporters to eventually overthrow him (unlikely, but given his jittery personality he tends to imagine a lot of things I guess).

The execution scene and Injo's subsequent admission to Minister Choi and Kim Ja-jeom actually pave the story for the next two seasons, and why Sohyeon succumbs to his unfortunate fate merely months after returning to Joseon from Qing. I'm curious to see how the writer intends to write that out (orrr will she take creative liberties?).

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*No less

The reason I found three musketeers standing up for each other, despite their comradeship being established in previous episodes, was because it was lot more than just fighting together. Dal Hyang declaring that he felt no regret even moments before he thought he was dying, the Prince asking to be executed alone showed that the bond among them was much deeper than simple loyalty and gratefulness.

@recaplover

The reason no one explained CP's action to the King was because there was no need to.The King already knew what happened and why it happened.

He knew CP went Anju to save CPrincess.Why?
Because the rumor was false.How did it spread?
Because she helped General leave the palace.Why?
Because The Prince hid him there and ten asked the Princess to help him.Why?
Because the Prince wanted to save the General while the King had ordered his execution.This part was clear to the King and also the most important of all actions-The Prince gave order which was contrary to the King and that too in secret.No excuses, no explanation would make the King forgive this action of the Prince.

As for how the Prince and the three musketeers survived- Kim Ja-Jeom! Didn't he tell Dal Hyang that he would save them? Also he clearly advised the King to 'keep watch for now' on the Prince and his activity.He convinced the King that dethroning the Prince right now will be injurious to his relationship with his neighboring country.I thought it was pretty clear.

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@kyl

Exactly! The reason the Prince didn't offer any explanation was there was nothing that would justify his going against the King;s order. Plus he was also mortified that he couldn't beat either Mi-Ryung or Kim Ja-Jeom and eventually that put the lives of his people in danger.

However, I found the words of the King very interesting too. He didn't say he feared that the Prince will 'oust him' rather that 'more people will follow him'.I think it showed that he knew the Prince was not a person hungry for power. But at the same time he feared, because of all those quality of a true leader possessed by the Prince, the demand by people that the Prince be made the King will naturally follow. So the conflict between the King and the Prince was NOT a result of simple 'misunderstanding' that would be resolved only if the Prince gave proper 'explanation' of his action.

That was also the reason why the King chose to depend on Kin Ja-Jeom, while knowing, I believe, that he had his fair share of contribution to all these chaos.

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@ kyl: "I’m curious to see how the writer intends to write that out (orrr will she take creative liberties?)"

That's exactly what I'm hoping! After all, we've got the running gag that no-one recognises what the Crown Prince looks like, and no-one believes him when he tells them!

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God must have made 9 horcruxes when He created MirYung. Hanging and slicing and shooting didn't do much good.

Gotta call Harry Potter and ask him to us to finish off MirYung..

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Haha love it!

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lol on this

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I always thought of Tani as an interpretation of Kitty from the original book but I really hope they bring her character into the next season. Maybe a Kitty/ Constance sort of character (munis the death) thats fully blossomed into a beautiful woman? Can not wait for the next season!!

Thanks Heads, may many more good shows come your way!

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Three Musketeers gotta be my fave show for this year!
It has almost all the ingredients that I need for a good show, and so much fun!

Glad that the finale didn't give me a 'WHERE'S THE NEXT EPISODE?!?' feeling, considering that we don't even know when is the next season.
But yet, it gives us enough set-up on what we can look forward for next season.
I'm personally looking forward to their adventure in Qing (complete with grown up Tani which probably gonna be really cute together with Dal-hyang).

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with regards to the execution, i do not think the writers intended to give us any suspense in that scene. I interpreted the scene as a platform to allow the viewers to see how the king tests his son. He wanted to hang the other 3 knowing that the CP will show up and that's when he will make him confess to everything. my takeaway from this scene... well.. the king actually have some brains of his own

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Everything about this show has been closed to perfect for me, the only complain i have is the action scenes. I thought the best action scene was actually min seo's final fight scene. Finally we see some flips, jumps etc. They probably used a stunt double here, throw in a few min seo pose here and there and make the whole fight scene seamless. i would think that's what they should do for the next season. All 3 musketeers and their plus 1 had weak fight scenes. they looked like amateurs to me. I can probably overlook dalhyang because the show did tell us that he's not that great a fighter (according to YGD). as for the rest of the 3 musketeers.. i would say CP's action scenes were beyond weak and stiff. I hope they change the martial arts director for the next season! More action please!

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The actress who plays Mi-ryung is doing a wonderful job. Her character has more lives than a cat. She keeps landing on her feet..She can't die.. So next season she is going to create havoc with King Injo? Pity the poor 3 Musketeers!

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At this point Mi-Ryung's abortive deaths are almost an in-joke on the show. I can envision the characters laughing about it. "What next? We've already tried hanging, hanging again, stabbing, throwing her off a cliff, drowning in a river . . ."

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Someone please tell me how to last until Season 2 is shown....Didn't know historical dramas could be fun and men on hanbok could be sexy..kekek..

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re-watch season 1 :P

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Thank you thank you for recapping!

This was so worth watching! I had so many feels for the King and Yoon Seo!!! I can't wait for the next season!

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oops, I meant So Hyeon by "king".

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The ending was a bit of a let down and a major cliffhanger BUT man, I'm so glad the princess is alive!

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Thanks for the recap HeadsNo.2! I will surely miss Dalhyang & The Three Musketeers. I hope it'll not take time before season 2 rolls. I also wish that everyone in the cast will remain intact except of course with Dalhyang's father w/c i will dearly miss that filial son-father relationship.

I just read somewhere that season 2 is still under negotiation so my worries are with the cast and the plot though i think the latter i should worry less.

I know that Yong Hwa is a work in progress but I think He deserved my applause for taking the role of 'd Artagnan a.k.a Park Dalhyang.. I've seen his past project and i can see he is blooming beautifully. He really nailed his role as Dalhyang and for the rest of the Three Musketeers, Lee Jin Wook is such a good actor since Nine .. I just hope the PD will remain the cast on season 2 and i can't wait to see whose actress will be taking the role of Tani..

Let's meet again everyone on season 2!
Off to read the recap!

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i mean *He is blooming/blosooming beautifully into a great actor* Overall i love this show so much that im not watching anything but only this drama since it started airing, that for now im left alone and nothing to watch..i think i need to rewatch..I also hope the action scenes will be more executed well in the next season..I acnt imagine myself waiting until next year-:( See you guys until season 2-:) @Faye & owl i always love your insights everytime you comment in the recap esp in this drama that i always quoted your comments on my tweet with your name-:) hope its fine with you too

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i also read somewhere that the original cast will be the same until season 3. hope it's true.

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I think we have The Fugitive to thank (or curse) for characters never dying when they fall off a cliff!
Lovely ending but damn u show for managing to fool me that the princess was indeed dead-i was bawling my eyes out!
See u next season-and if Yonghwa has to go do his duties at some point, we'll wait the 2 years, don't replace him please!!

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They won't.They can't.They showed 60 years old Yonghwa writing his journal in the first episode remember? :P

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I think Yonghwa will probably wait/postpone it until he is 28 to do that and he's only 26 now (korean age). At least I hope so, anyway it seems to be what a lot of kpop idols/actors do I think, they have until like 30 years old to report in don't they? Being able to postpone it sometimes within reason I think. I could totally be wrong though, someone please correct me if I am.

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I just re watched episode 1, how much park dalhyang has grown since then! I'm absolutely loving the actor yonghwa, there's no other park dalhyang other than him, let's hope they finish up with the remaining 2 seasons before he reports in eh?

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This show is driving me crazy and craving me for more....this may be not perfect but it always keeps me looking forward for the next season...

My only hope is that the writer won't end this drama sadly as what was depicted in Joseon history where the CP died mysterious inside the king's room and historian believed that the king killed the CP as he was very threatened by the CP after they came back from being held hostages in China...

Our OTP becames hostages after the second invasion of Manchu in Korea as part of the treaty between the two nation. They've been sent back in Korean after 8 years....the couple had 3 sons but the neither of the 3 became successor of the Crown Prince as the king have chosen the brother of the Prince Seoyon... The king also exiled the Crown Princess and their children somewhere after Prince Seoyon died. Later, the king have the Crown Prince and his grandchildren died. Miryung have contributed alot to the couples fate who was became one of the King's concubine by that time.

Miryung had childen believed to be of the king's children, however, the biological father is someone else as Miryung had an affair...Absolutely not Prince Seoyon as his love to the Crown Princess became stronger year after years and both of them remained faithful with each other.

After the King died, the Queen and other Royal Families exerted efforts to avenge Prince Seoyon and his family's fate....Miryung was interrogated badly in the palace and the Queen asked the new King to have Miryung be sent out of the Palace....Miryung died very badly....the moment she went out of the palace gate...people gather outside have thrown stones and brutally attacked Miryung...people let out their anger towards her for what had happened to the Crown Prince whom they worship and for the Crown Princess whom they adored so much.

The story of the King, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and Miryung was dramatized in "Cruel Palace-War of Flowers".... in there you can see how evil Miryung is that i myself would have wanted to curse her too...

I hope this is not what is going to happen in The Three Musketeers... wishing wishing wishing :)

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I am actually looking forward to the adventures of the three musketeers and their plus one rather than the cp and cps love story. I think we have had enough of that in this season. Looking forward to more action, fun and adventure!

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I'm with you here. You can't watch a three musketeers show and not watch for the bromance. My only complaint about Season 1 is how the royal love story took screentime away from the central 4 characters. Hopefully that is not the case for Season 2.

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I think a little love story is fine but it should not take center stage. I find myself skipping through all the boring love scenes when I re-watched the episodes, it was good at first but not the second time. I'm ready for more park dalhyang and the 3 musketeers bromance.

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Hmmm. Actually I never thought the love story took center stage, although the story revolves around Miryung's motivations so inevitably all plots stem from there. And let's face it - the spotlight won't be even among the four musketeers. The writer chose to focus more on two of them and we expect it from the start. But since the romance between the Prince and Princess is pretty much resolved, I gather that the writer is shifting her focus on Dalhyang and Tani's romance next season. So, we're still getting loads of romance next season.

I think there were loads of actions and adventure in season 1 and the couple didn't even have much screentime in the beginning but the writer builds up the momentum very nicely and their relationship just peaked at the end. But I agree, I'd love more bromance anytime :)

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I agree.In the first half of the drama, only a few minutes in each episode were allocated to the Princess.It is only in the latter half of the drama that we got to see more of her.And E11 was the one which contained most scenes of the Prince and the Princess together.So I think romance, bromance, action and politics- everything was pretty balanced in this season.

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Two scenes really stood out for me this episode.

First was the scene with Dalhyang and his mom. We see him sitting by his mom like the good son that he is but when she started wailing, he had to find an excuse to get out before he breaks down in front of her. It was only a short scene but it was very well acted - especially the way Dalhyang tried to keep his voice low and steady so his mom couldn't tell he was crying but you can still hear the quiver in his voice anyway. It was a really realistic portrayal of a family in grief. I don't do crying at tv but the onions were really strong in this scene.

Second was Dalhyang and KJJ. Dalhyang stayed silent the whole time KJJ was gleefully preaching to him but when he finally gave him a reply, boy...was that line delivered perfectly!

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oh i wanted to give credit to that very short scene with Dalhyang and his mother as well. I would totally behave the same way if i was Dalhyang in that situation so i could relate to it. i could feel how suffocating it was for Dalhyang sitting in that tiny room with so much grief in the air. Although it was only a few lines and probably less than a minute, the scene was very memorable for me.

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What, is this drama merging with "Cruel Palace: War of the Flowers" now at the last moment?

Seriously?
-Injo on the sedan chair was reminiscent of "Cruel Palace"'s episode 1, just without the Qing soldiers having a go at his guard & eunuch, & Injo (reminiscent of his counterpart Lee Deok-hwa) walking down the cold snow-filled valley towards where he surrendered in front of Hong Taiji plus the nine imperial kowtows
-Mi-ryeong declaring to Kim Ja-jeom about wanting to be Injo's woman...is she Jeong soyong?!!!

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Some nagging questions about the plot which may or may not have been addressed (maybe i missed something?):

1. How did tani know DH was hiding beneath the floorboards a couple of episodes ago? i believe this is still a mystery.

2. How did HSP smuggle in a paper, brush and ink to write to PDH in jail? lol my first thought then was "wow his clothes must have had a huge pocket lol .

3. DH managed to remain an officer after the king ran off? wait, hasn't the king ran off? is there still a position for DH then?

4. Mi-ryeong's epic survival. Ah well, this happens to every sageuk dramas anyway. i guess not much explanation is required. it just happens lol.

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I have another question-
In the episode where the Ingguldai wanted to teach Dal Hyang, they communicated through writing.But they didn't know the language of each other right? How did they understand the writing then?

Please excuse my ignorance.

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Manchu / korean/chinese, they all use the chinese characters in writing, thus although the sound/ pronunciation is different, the writing is the same.

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But Nurhaci's Manchu writing hadn't been fully transcribed to Chinese characters yet...???

Let me share with you how Korean transcribed the Manchu, through a historical document published in 1780 titled "Syllabic Mirror Between Hanzi & Manchu" (漢淸文鑑 한청문감 Hancheongmungam).
During that time it was pronounced somewhat like "Hanchingmungiyan" (한치ᇰ문ㄱᆙㄴ)

This was the entry for ("heaven/sky"):
-ㅌᆙㄴ = Sino-Korean tiyan, following concurrent Mandarin dialect trend
-하ᄂᆞᆯ = Native Korean hanar (하낳르); modern haneul (하늘)
-압카 = Manchu abka
-우머시,던,투먼,쟈카,버,얼버허ᇰ거 = Manchu definition umesi den tumen jaka-be elbehengge

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Thanks for the recaps! A nice way to set up for S2!

That time skip narration by Dal Hyang ... a good way to get people to rush off and study their history books to see what happened - certainly worked for me! Although, if history is anything to go by, the longer Sohyeon postpones his return to Joseon, the better! Besides, 3 Musketeers adventures in Qing means Dal Hyang and Tani get a chance to develop their loveline.

Mi Ryung certainly seemed to be resigned to her death when she was slashed by Sohyeon's sword and shot with arrows, and if so, she's pretty unlucky not to be able to die when she has nothing left to live for. BUT then she has to go and revert to her schemes and ambitions again. So points for likeability = 0.00008.

Min-seo. What can I say, he makes a very pretty girl!

I like the way that Sohyeon has been portrayed as a "shadow hero" in the show. He's never an overtly powerful mover and shaker at the centre of events (which gives the writers some creative liberties while the Musketeers run around the country having adventures, but keeping fairly true to Joseon history). But people around him regards him as the true monarch, with everyone from Kim Ja Jeom to Ingguldai going out of their way to form alliances with him. This sets him up nicely as a alternative leader in contrast to the "weak" King Injo, and posits what might have been if Joseon had had another king at the time. It's also another compelling illustration of dysfunctional father-son relationships (the other one being Secret Door).

All in all, a great job mixing the genres, music, and adaptation from French novel to Joseon fusion sageuk! 2015 come quickly!

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I just rewatch episode 12 again, and yes, like many commenters pointed out, the hanging plot was just a game the king used to test his son, and yes the CP didn't get dethroned thank to KJJ. However, I still have the biggest question that I can't figure out
How was the fate of DH after that hanging plot?
I believe he can still be the King's royal guard because a few month later, I see him in royal guard robe wztching the king to flee, and because he stayed behind without accompanying the CP to China. So, my question is how can that possible? DH was just a mere guard but yet, he lied to the king and gave false testimony. That's the huge crime and he'd lucky if he survived much less still kept his position. It makes sense that the CP kept his title be ause of the relationship with China, but what useful thing DH could bring in the King's perspective?

MR's survival is another ridiculous plot the writer forced me to take. So, she fell down the cliff with a slash and two arrows stick in her stomach, but she still manage to find a scapegoat, killed her, took the two arrows out of her own body and stick them to the other body???

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There's only one thing that makes sense for me about MR's survival, that she has a twin and now that twin takes her identity and seek revenge :) Othewise, how can she survived with two arrows and a slash and falling of the cliff, but still managed to stage another body as her double? Come on, the crown couple onle got one arrow and it took a whole house of royal doctors to treat them and they faded out for days. MR's superpower strength is so unbelievable it becomes ridiculous

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i think miraculous survival rate of sageuk characters are trending in every saguek dramas. i'm sure we have seen our fair share of characters being shot , fell off cliffs, seriously injurd and they all managed to survive in that era without going to the hospital for a surgery.

Also, falling off a horse is nothing during those times, whereas falling off a horse at this age probably warrants a hospital checkup. Maybe we shouldn't read too much into how fast a body can recover in josoen period. LOL

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oh i also wanted to add that only main/evil characters get 9 lives. whereas everyone else dies on the spot with a single sword wound or just a punch in the face LOL

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MY POV on why DH still became a royal guard

KJJ advised the King Injo to make sure he "watch over them", best way to keep tabs on them is if he has DH by his side and seeing/ knowing what he is doing..

.. and Tani, cant think of who would fit to be a grown up 'her'

ahhh cant wait for season two, 2015 come now please!

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Thanks for the recaps this has been my favorite drama so far this year. You added to the pleasure with recaps

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Thanks so much for the recaps Heads and I have to say I agree with Mem916. It's been a great ride!

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I love this series. The first season had all the fun, love and intrigue I expected from these writers. The well-done cinematography is a plus. I look forward to the next season to see more of the samchongsas in action and the beautiful love between the CP and CPss. Those two make a very sweet and powerful couple. I definitely want to see a kid or two next time. Hopefully season two will come sooner than later.

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Great cast, even our CNBlue boy did a fine job. Now if they can just teach him to breath through his nose and close his mouth. Loved the chemistry between the boys and hint of romance between the CP & CP'ss. Looking forward to season2.

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Yes! Dalhyang's love line will begin in season 2! I hope Lee yubi will cast for grown up tani! Thank's for recap HN2!

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I'm looking forward to Tani and Dalhyang!

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I want to ask a couple of questions before I make some comments. I hope no one make any snide remarks given that I sincerely do not know the answers.

1) The women were portrayed with these intricate hairstyles like having huge braids around their head. Are those their real hair or is this somewhat the Joseon-era version of hair extensions?

2) Why do the men have top-knots? Initially, PDH had his hair pretty loose and had bangs but replaced with a top-knot. Is this a symbol of status progress in that era?

3) How does one get killed/seriously injured with a bow shot? A friend of mine was an archer, an athlete, who had another teammate accidentally shoot him in the wrist, near the thumb area. He was wounded, but nowhere near dying, that's for sure. So how is it that one single shot can cause the CP to faint and be lying in bed for days (also the crown princess)?

4) After the 2nd Manchu invasion, did King Injo abandon the palace to live somewhere else? ( the scene where the palace was empty)

5) Who is princess Jongmyeong and what is her relation to the royal family?

Overall, this drama really hooked me. I looked forward to it every week and disregarded scenes where I was like "seriously???" e.g. Miryung and her nine lives. I especially adored the PDH/Panswe pair and PDH/Seungpo pair. I wish Min-seo had more lines and scenes, even though his character is supposed to be the calm and quiet one.
The princess evolved in such a graceful and subtle way that I didn't even realize she had blossomed into someone strong and witty.
Some things i'm slightly disappointed about is that the action scenes were barely there and few and in-between. Also, it looks very amateur-ish and not believable. Come on, this is 2014. There are computer graphics and whatnot around to make ANYTHING believable (hello Game of thrones :p)
All in all, this was a fun ride and i'm hoping the 2nd season comes soon and it will be more thrilling and exciting.

P.S. Thank you heads for the recaps. Thoroughly enjoyed each one

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1.The hairstyles were traditional in Joseon-era but I will leave the explanation as to their significance to someone having more knowledge on the subject.

3.The Princess was shot with arrow near the heart.The prince was shot at the abdomen area.That's hugely different from being shot at the wrist.Plus sometimes the arrows contained poison too though I don't if that was case here.

4.I think the King escaped to his mountain fortress.You will more information here-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Prince_Sohyeon

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I'd like to try answer your questions. Keep in mind that my knowledge acquired through drama watching and google :) so not really reliable

1. The woman has her hair long an in braid whe she's a girl and not married. When she gets married, that long braid has to be up, either ina bun or around her head. I guess it shows the married status.
2. Only the man with high status in society (called yangban i believe) can wear the gat (the black hat) so he has his hair in knot. When people see a man with the gat, they know he's belong to noble class. DH had his hair down before coz he's just a low class. But when he appointed as royal guard for the king, he's belong to the noble class thus hair up to be in gat :)
3. The arrow can spear through abody and hits the major blood vessels or internal organs, so it can kill for sure. However, in this drama, CP and CPss got one arrow and in critical conditon for days ithall the careful treatment of royal doctors. While MR got TWO arrows in the same area of the body, plus a slash, plus falling down the cliff plus no royal doctor to take care of the wound. But somehow, she can still survive, pluck out that two arrows and put them in the body of her double. Talk about drama and its human superpower :)
4. King Injo fled to Namhansanseong (no idea where it is) and the Chinese cut all the food and supplies lines. So he had no food and water to survive he had to surrender and bowed times to chinese emporor and sent his sons to china as hostages.
5. Princess Jongmyeong is daughter of king Seonjo, grandfather of king Injo, thus she's aunt of king Injo. That's according to wiki search.

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One could argue that Miryung's wounds were not deep. Perhaps CP lightly slashed her, perhaps the 2 arrows didn't pierce deep enough, perhaps no soo was nearby to help her with the escape.

also if we read too much into all these supposed injuries, i would say that DH should have also died of internal organ injuries seeing how No soo pierced his ribcage/lungs and happily sliced him like a piece of ham. note that there was not ER back then, no surgeries either.

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Your answers are much appreciated!

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Hehe, I agree. DH had been speared really bad but he was up a few days (or hours?) later, even rode the horse all the way to the capital. Another human superpower.

It's funny when I try to compare body harms between the CP and MR. CP has sslash, stab, spear, hang while MR has hang, burn, slash, spear. They're kind of equal :)

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I really thought the execution of the musketeers and princess not waking up is part of the prince's dream. Cause really if it wasn't, it doesn't make sense that Dalhyang was able to retain his position and the princess saying that it is the prince who didn't wake up for a longer time.

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Thanks to Heads and Javabeans for recapping a truly great, albeit not perfect, show (because I wouln't have given it a try based on promo posters alone...). I loved it so damn much and I can't wait for the next season...
Speaking of which : in next season, I am looking forward Miryeong's character. I rolled my eyes when she reappeared very un-dead, but her plan to go after the kind now made me shiver (in a nice suspensefull way !) ; I can't hardly imagine how much damage she can make alongside a cowardly unstable king ! The king's support would give her obsessive, cruel and manipulative nature some terrifying power... Talk about an evil stepmother !! Plus, the 3 musketeers will have trouble blocking her from far away China.
Speaking of which, I hope the next season takes place in China, where prince Sohyeon have no power anymore as a royal and must rely entirely on his wits and his friends to achieve his goals (whether improving relations btw Joseon and China, or achieving World peace or whatever).
But most of all, I want Tani back! I want her to have learned korean during the last two years and come back as a kick-ass woman to become an irreplacable ally to the 3 musketeers while bargaining for Dalhyang to marry her ("sure I can get you out of prison, if you set the date for our marriage!!!") - that would be hysterical if Dalhyang had to marry her eventually.
And I wouln't mind seing more of Sohyeon and his wife... Maybe in season 2 he can be a dotting husband and father and the 3 musketeers would babysit while Min Seo and Tani go shopping while gossiping on Dalhyang. One's can dream right?

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I'm still hoping they won't follow the 'true history' of the prince and won't let him die at the end of the next two seasons.(SPOILER: coz in the history they said that the prince died young and his wife was killed for treason. but the wife's name was crown princess minheo and NOT Yeon Soo. so i'm still positive that they won't stay true to the history about the prince's death. or am i just being delusional? hehe) i want him to live happily ever after with the crown princess. looking forward for more of the the crown couple scenes and i'm excited to see how Tani will make Dal hyang's heart flutter.

and by the way, where is Pan Swe? wish he'd be back for season 2. it would be fun to see Pan Swe and Tani planning on how to make Dal Hyang fall for her. :D

oh I'm having a sepanx right now!

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Crown Princess Min Hoe is the title for Crown Pricess Kang Yoon Seo.

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Thank you Javabeans and HeadsNo2 for recapping The Three Musketeers. What a delightful surprise to have Season 1 exceed expectations as well as it did.

11 out of 12 A+ episodes are hard to accomplish and successfully pull off each week so cheers to everyone involved. Thumbs up way up. Looking forward to Season 2 of The Three Musketeers.

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Iam really disappointed with this drama because it is really a fantastic historical drama that can out rank all past historical drama if only they give much effort on making it a longer series..I expect it to at least have 20episodes at minimum but what the is this only 12 episodes?my goodness really disappointed.

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The three Musketeers.......

I MISSED YOU ALREADY

MARCH come quickly please

been re-reading the recaps

over and over .. after re-watching season one...

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Just read, Seasons 2 and 3 will not be produced. I enjoyed this drama, but I'm not sure if a second and third season would have worked.

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This one of the most underrated dramas of all time. A true gem and I wished they had continued with seasons 2 and 3. It's a shame it got scrapped after season 1 ....still a 5 stars from me! Great acting, pacing, good amount of humour, has just about everything I look for in a modern fusion- Saeguk.

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