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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Episode 4

Feelings start to get murky as our heroine becomes more and more a part of our princes’ everyday lives, and though she may not always have the best solutions, at least she’s always willing to try. And while this hour has its dark moments, it seems like the show is willing to reveal its softer underbelly, which goes a long way toward helping to endear it to us. Angsty princes covered in blood are all well and good, but angsty, vulnerable princes with a soft spot for a certain someone are even better. The more princes, the merrier.

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

So stalks into his mother’s room, his sword still dripping wet with the blood of the renounced monks he just killed en masse. Queen Sinmyeongsunseong wakes with a start to see her unloved son looking so dangerous, even as he steps forward with a smile.

But he’s not there to menace her—just the opposite, actually. “Do you know what I’ve done for you, Mother?” he asks, still smiling. He’s made it so that no one can come after her, and erased all traces of her wrongdoing. He’s like a little boy coming to his mother for approval, only this little boy killed a bunch of people and burned a temple down.

The queen slowly realizes what he’s done, but shatters So’s expectations when she asks him if he thought she’d commend him for what he did. “You’re like a beast,” she adds, and the smile instantly dies on So’s face.

“I did it for you, Mother,” he begins again, unsure, but she takes offense to his almost pleading use of the word “Mother.” She tells him that hearing that word come from his lips makes her skin crawl, and orders him to leave.

A broken-hearted So can’t help but wonder why his mother cares so little for him, only to be coldly interrupted by the queen, who says he’s not her son, but rather the son of the Shinju Kang clan. I doubt she means literally, but there’s certainly no better way of renouncing blood ties than that.

With tears in his eyes, So asks her if she turned her back on him because of his face. That’s why she sent him to be adopted, he knows, and in his rage, he breaks one of her vases as he collapses to the ground. As tears roll down his cheeks, he tells her of the horrid life he led with the Shinju Kang clan, and how he killed all the monks and burned the temple. The mother who adopted him was cruel and likely insane, and he was frequently left in a locked room for days in a row without food or water.

“What of it?” his mother interrupts, as coldhearted as ever. So’s face twitches and contorts in pain as she identifies with his adoptive mother for treating him the way she did—a mother only loves a son who makes her proud, after all, and So was nothing but a disgraceful burden to her. That’s why she sent him away.

After getting to his feet, So smiles a rueful smile. “You will remember this day. You may have abandoned me, Mother… but I shall not leave. I ask that you will only see me.” His mother denies his words, afraid that they may come true, but he staggers out, heedless.

He happens upon the heaps of prayer stones stacked by mothers for their children, and in his rage, he knocks one over. Su rushes forward to stop him, but he roughly shoves her off. He laughs maniacally when she notices the blood left on her hands from their brief tussle, and further shocks her by adding, “Yes, it’s the blood of those I killed today!”

So denounces the prayer stones, crying out that his mother shouldn’t come here to pray, but should go to him to beg instead. Su holds him back, and gets his attention only when she says he’s injured. She means his hand, but he grabs her by the collar and warns her, “I told you, I killed people!”

He seems taken aback when she doesn’t respond with fear, but understanding. She asks him to tell her about what he did and why in a calm voice, which causes him to loosen his grasp. Confronted, he shakes as he tells her to go, but she claims to understand him.

She knows that the times he lives in required him to wield a sword at a young age, and knows just as well that he had to kill in order to live. “But what can you do?” she asks. Reiterating that she understands him, she adds, “You must be feeling so miserable right now. I think I can relate.” She leaves him to grieve by the prayer stones.

The elder princes give King Taejo their account of the assassination attempt from the night before, and their attempts to find the culprits. No one knows yet that it was So who burned down the temple, but they do know that the temple full of monk-assassins belonged to Queen Sinmyeongsunseong.

Taejo asks the queen directly if she’s responsible for the assassins, which she denies. Third prince Yo jumps in to take responsibility for his mother, but it soon turns into a blame/defense game, even as So steps up to admit to killing the monks and burning the temple. But before the blame can shift to him, eighth prince Wook steps up (or kneels) to defend So’s actions—he wanted to erase any evidence that could be used to frame the “innocent” queen.

So claims Wook’s statement to be true, and needless to say, the queen looks decidedly unhappy with So’s attempt to protect her.

When Lady Hae finds the servants arguing over who gets the unwanted task of delivering So his meal, the responsibility falls to an unwilling Su, who has to climb her way up a mountain to reach him. He stiffens a bit to see her, likely uncomfortable after his show of emotion yesterday, and tells her to just leave the food.

She tries to comply, but can’t help herself from sitting back down—she has to take the empty plates back anyway. He warns her against saying anything about what she saw yesterday, and she’s quick to remind him that she has better things to do than go around talking about him.

Noticing that he’s eating within perfect vantage point of the palace, Su comments on the palace being his future home. So doesn’t appreciate the warm sentiment, because in order for it to be home, he’d have to have a family. But his mention of that sparks Su’s interest, as she turns around to ask him why he went on such a rampage yesterday.

He’s shocked by her boldness as well as her closeness, and suddenly blusters a question of his own: How did she get into the royal bath that day, anyway? Su’s quick to avoid that question, which means that So gets a free pass on answering hers.

So seems to have warmed up to Su as they walk back from the mountain, and finds her lack of grace amusing. He reaches out to take her burden from her, but she’s oblivious, and he retracts his hand before she can realize he even offered it. He can’t help but laugh just a little (but not like a crazy person this time).

Wook and Su stand vigil by the ill Lady Hae’s bedside that night. She sends Su away to speak to her husband alone, but Su overhears Lady Hae tell her husband to take a second wife. Lady Hae knows that she’s too ill to perform her duties as a wife, and entreats her husband to marry another girl or divorce her—only then can she die peacefully.

Even though Wook refuses, Lady Hae repeats her request. Then she hesitates as she adds, “I know that you don’t… love me.” Tears form in her eyes as well as his, but it seems a truth they both know all too well.

Errant tenth prince Eun comes upon Su brooding, and brings her a host of toys to play with, claiming he just bought everything since he didn’t know what she would like. Aww. She calls him out for playing with such things at his age, and his forlorn reaction is adorable.

Despite her less than friendly reception, Eun still wants to do whatever he can to help lift her spirits—he’s a prince, after all. “Are you married?” she asks, clearly wanting some insight into the life of a married prince like Wook. But he takes it as her asking about his availability and gets hopelessly excited as he replies, “Not yet.” Hah.

He thinks he’s being interviewed for his suitability as a husband, so when Su asks if he’d take another wife should his become ill, he puffs his chest out as he replies that he’d never do such a thing. Su sighs that it would be nice if everyone was just like him, leaving Eun to gleefully mull over how fast she’s moving.

Su gives Chae-ryung instructions to hide the hairpin So left behind in a place where he’s not likely to find it right away (so he’ll think he just misplaced it on his own), but things look bad for the slave girl when Princess Yeonhwa walks in to find her rummaging around the prince’s things with a seemingly stolen hairpin in her hand.

Chae-ryung gets whipped for stealing, but Su comes to her defense, claiming that she told Chae-ryung to put it in the prince’s quarters. Princess Yeonhwa isn’t inclined to take her word for it, and Wook comes by just as Su tells the princess to whip her instead.

The princess is all too happy to comply, and the princes watch as Yeonhwa ties Su up and strikes her twice. But before any of the princes can interfere, it’s actually So who comes to the rescue. Su turns around to meet his gaze, and he replies to Yeonhwa’s questions about who Su is to him by telling his half-sister, “She belongs to me.”

Su looks at him unblinkingly, and he reiterates his statement, sending a small smile her way. Princess Yeonhwa is defeated when Eun comes to Su’s defense, as well as Wook. But the look she sends Su’s way as she and Chae-ryung go looks positively murderous. (Did Chae-ryung and Prince Won share a moment with that glance?)

Of course, Yo is the only prince to commend Princess Yeonhwa for doing the right thing, since twisted minds think alike. So doesn’t leave without making Yeonhwa give the hairpin back, though she quips that it’s unlike him to stop her from doing anything. “You don’t have feelings for her, do you?” she asks, and So’s restrained answer doesn’t seem to help ease her mind.

Wook stops So before he can leave to set him straight on one thing: Nothing in this place belongs to him. Not his sister Yeonhwa, or his wife’s cousin, Su. He warns his half-brother against behaving carelessly again when it comes to his people.

Su cries in bed that night, and Wook stays respectfully outside her door as he announces that he’s brought her medicine. He hopes that she’ll be able to forget what happened today too, which causes her to jump out of bed to see him face-to-face. He hands her the box of medicine personally, and she apologizes for pretending to be asleep—she was just embarrassed to see him.

Wook smiles knowingly as he tells her he already knew. It’s not the pain that bothers her, she says, but the disrespect. She asks if Goryeo really is the kind of place where someone can be tied up and beaten like an animal, and Wook can only reach out a hand to comfort her. “I’m sorry I could not stop it. But, I promise you this: No one will ever be able to treat you in such a way again. Trust me.”

It’s enough to make Su waver, and she forces herself to think of Lady Hae in order to break the moment.

Sometime later, Su seems to just be minding her own business as she paces, but when she turns around, she bumps right into So. She confronts him over the whole “She belongs to me” business, which only causes an amused So to ask her if she doesn’t know how to just say “Thank you.”

Su’s ready to argue still, going on about how he always wanted to kill her but now is all about saving her, until she finally murmurs a simple “Thank you.” When asked about where she found the hairpin, she admits she found it in the bath, but didn’t say anything because he was so adamant about her saying nothing about seeing the scarred side of his face. Well, she did keep her promise.

“Are you not scared of me?” So asks wonderingly, noting how she’s so quick to talk back to him. She says she’s still wary around him, but isn’t scared of him anymore. Still, she won’t have him going around saying she belongs to him either—she’s not a thing to be owned.

Finding this amusing, So leans in until she’s having to lean backward to keep some distance between them. “Then… should I call you ‘my person?'” he asks, which gets a stutteringly uncomfortable response from Su, which serves to keep him entertained.

Fourteenth prince Jung is back to fighting in the market while disguised as a commoner, but he’s dragged away by some shady men when his true identity is discovered. Upon seeing him, Su sends Chae-ryung to get help while she pursues them, catching So’s eye in the process.

The men drag the prince to a bamboo forest, where their leader shows Jung the stump of a right arm he has, which he claims was his fault. He won in a fight against Jung, which prompted the queen to punish him by having his arm chopped off, something Jung had no knowledge of.

The leader plans on returning the favor by ridding Jung of his arm, but just before he strikes, Su comes running and screaming, brandishing nothing but a branch. Oh, Su. Not the brightest hanbok in the wardrobe, is she.

At least the diversion is enough for Jung to free himself, and her very unladylike threats do take the men by surprise.

Meanwhile, Princess Yeonhwa excitedly announces that Lady Hae has requested a divorce from Wook in front of their mother, Queen Sinjeong. Wook isn’t pleased with her outburst, despite Yeonhwa seeing this as an opportunity for her brother to marry advantageously. At least the queen recognizes the good that Lady Hae brought to their family, and seems disinclined to throw her daughter-in-law away so easily.

They’re interrupted when Chae-ryung brings news of Su, causing Wook to instantly jump to his feet.

With his back to Su’s in the forest, Jung apologizes for getting her involved. Her advice is for them to make a run for it, which doesn’t jive with Jung’s pride, and gets them embroiled in an actual fight. Jung curls himself around Su in order to protect her from the blows as he promises to protect her, causing Su to hilariously wonder, “Who’s saving who?”

But then it’s Wook to the rescue, and he’s surprisingly adept at throwing grown men far out of his way. It’s enough to cause the others to fall back as he checks in on a relieved Jung and Su, moments before the men resume their attack.

Wook is vastly outnumbered, but even so, he’s much faster and stronger than his opponents. It’s only when more men materialize out of the bamboo that he begins to look worried, but they all disperse when they see the infamous So, the dog-wolf, ride up.

Even though So asks Jung if he’s hurt, Jung would rather not acknowledge So’s contribution to saving his arm, instead thanking Wook. (Wook, for his part, did try to get him to thank So.) Jung thanks Su as well, promising to treat her life as though it were his own from now on… only for Su to pat him on the back and talk to him like a doting older sister.

Jung is surprisingly fine with that, and even goes so far as to call Su “Hae Su Nooeui,” an archaic form of “noona.” Su gets so caught up in the moment that she gives Jung a good ol’ “Fighting!”, and it’s adorable to see him try to wrap his mind around such a strange word.

Wook won’t slow down for Su on their way home, causing her to wonder if he’s angry. She gets him to stop by feigning pain in her leg, but he grabs her by her shoulders and forces her to face him. Finally, he says, “I thought I had lost you. I thought… I wouldn’t be able to see you again. I was scared.” Awwwww! Stahp it, you guys.

He starts leaning in as though to kiss her… but the moment is broken by the search party out to find them, which includes Lady Hae. Wook just walks away from all of them. At least all the showers in Goryeo were cold, right?

So takes Jung to task for not taking responsibility for his actions, which caused a man to lose his arm. Jung doesn’t take kindly to being lectured by his older brother, and pushes all the most hurtful buttons So has, even ending his tirade by repeating what third prince Yo said about being embarrassed to have come from the same womb as So. (Yo, So, and Jung are all direct brothers.)

Jung gets a slap across the face for that remark, which is right when Queen Sinmyeongsunseong comes in. She shoves So away to tend to the son she actually loves, and Jung suddenly changes his stripes to defend his brother, claiming that he saved his life earlier. Mommy Dearest couldn’t care less.

She orders So out only after she makes him swear not to go near Jung again, and as he brushes past his younger brother, he makes a remark about him living behind their mother’s skirts. Burn. The familial strife is enough to bring angry tears to Jung’s eyes, even as the queen fawns over him worriedly.

Wook gallops his horse through the forest, coming to rest at a secluded spot. There, he struggles with his feelings, while Su does the same from her bed. So does some sorting out of his own while rearranging the prayer stones he’d thrown around during his tirade, though of course, his thoughts are of his mother.

Crown Prince Mu takes So to the king, and makes an entreaty for So to live in the palace as one of his people. Astronomer Choi helps out by saying he saw the fourth prince’s star rising over the palace, but it’s of no use when the king calls So out on account of his mother, who tried to kill the crown prince. And his brother, Yo, who wants to be the crown prince. Sharp king.

So claims to share none of his family’s aspirations, but when he’s asked about the household he was adopted into, he grits out that he was never treated as a son—he was a hostage, and his father knew this well. He pledges his fealty to his father and the crown prince, saying he’ll live as a loyal subject from here on out.

After hearing Astronomer Choi’s pro-So advice, King Taejo relents, and announces that from this day forward, So will live in the palace.

It’s a much more somber affair in Wook’s home during his dinner with his wife, and he’s not doing the best job hiding his inner turmoil from her. Lady Hae invites Su to sit down with them to eat, and despite the awkwardness, Su has no choice but to acquiesce.

Wook is short with his words at the table while Lady Hae just expresses her concern for her cousin. She wants Su to take up more womanly and safe ways to spend her time, like needlework. I feel like that’s as close to putting a helmet on Su as she can get.

When Su eventually leaves, she finds So messing with the prayer stones outside and stops him, thinking that he’s out to destroy them again. She’s surprised to hear that he’s rebuilding what he tore down, but even more surprised when he tells her that he’ll be moving into the palace. She’ll be seeing a lot less of him now.

Su gives him some parting words of advice on how to comport himself around others like she’s some sort of expert on the matter, but it’s all well-meaning. She hopes that he’ll eat and sleep well, and her concern softens his expression considerably.

She asks him why he’s looking at her like that, and he replies that it’s because he remembered how she’s not afraid of him. “I’m afraid of myself, not you,” she sighs. At least she’s quick to distract herself when she looks up at the stars, noting how she can see so many in Goryeo.

Of course, So doesn’t know what she means by that, but they’re both soon distracted by the falling snow. Su smiles innocently up at the sky, and So just stares at her. When she catches him, they’re both quick to look away, which, hah.

Wook also watches the falling snow, but So’s got a better vantage point, as he resumes his thoughtful staring at Su.

 
COMMENTS

It’s not a perfect situation to have one corner of the love triangle married, but setting aside that fact (somewhat jokingly, because we all know that this is entertainment and not a reflection of our own social mores, even if what we find entertaining can be a reflection in and of itself, [insert existential disclaimer here], so on and so forth), it’s kinda fun, isn’t it? What’s important in a case like this is for the characters involved not to ignore the fact that there are some majorly forbidden feelings going on, and on that front, it feels like Wook is doing more of the heavy lifting than Su. Though I guess we could just as easily say that she’s not the one blurting out what she really feels to him, so maybe she is doing a better job of this than he is.

Despite Su mentioning the differences she sees in Goryeo versus in her time throughout the episode, it so far hasn’t really felt as though she’s absorbed any of those differences, nor has she seemed to really take in what’s happened to her. It’s a misstep that I think happened early on with her initial reactions to her new world, and while she can comment on how the stars are different in Goryeo and how the treatment’s worse, something about it all just isn’t hitting home for me. I wish I could put my finger on exactly what it is—whether it’s writing, acting, or both—but I’m not sure I’ve actually bought into her character yet. Maybe it’s that she acclimated so quickly, and so we’ve been robbed of most of the fish-out-of-water moments we’d expect from seeing a modern girl thrust into a decidedly un-modern world.

But all that’s about to become as dead a horse to beat as the one So cut down in the first episode, so I’ll just try to remain cautiously optimistic for the time being. The thing is, I want to like Su because I like the characters who like her, and that’s almost enough. And while the main love triangle certainly wins all the brownie points, I’m really enjoying her interactions with the other princes we’ve gotten to spend some individual time with so far. I especially like that while three of those princes think of her romantically, she unknowingly friend-zoned Jung, and the thought of those two sharing future noona/dongsaeng moments is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Eun’s crush on Su is as adorable as it is harmless, and the scene where he brought her a box of toys had me sold. Su’s worldly enough to realize he has a crush on her, but doesn’t seem to think of him coming from that perspective as much when she’s lost in thought. It’s funny to see how the two of them are on completely different pages when they interact, but it’s really endearing that Eun makes a good sounding board for her, however vacant he may sometimes be.

Of course, the unexpected turnaround came from So this hour, who warmed up to Su a lot sooner than I would’ve expected. The scene where she comforted him during his tirade made sense as to why he’d soften toward her, even though it seemed a rather uncharacteristic way for her to act under that sort of pressure. Still, if she can be a source of comfort for So’s tortured soul, I’m all for it. After this episode, he needs whatever comfort he can get.

Even with the intensely well-acted insights we got into So and Queen Sinmyeongsunseong’s relationship, it’s hard to understand exactly why she has so much hatred toward him. He’s not a son born of a concubine that she’s had to just put up with, but her own flesh and blood child born of the king, so what makes him less than her two other sons? I’d like to think that she’s just manifesting her guilt toward scarring his face into hatred, but that may be giving her more credit than she deserves. At least there was a turning point in their relationship this episode, enough to where So will (hopefully) stop seeking her approval. Or maybe nothing says “I love you, Mom” like a pile of burned corpses.

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Hi everyone, let's keep the discussion as spoiler-free as we can.

Though this drama is adapted from a novel (which also had a C-drama adaptation), please consider the other beanies who have not seen the other versions and are watching Moon Lovers for the first time.

Comparison is unavoidable, but please keep the details (like who marries whom, or who sides with whom, etc) to a minimum.

Thanks!

Updated for clarity: historical spoilers are okay, but please keep the spoilers about fictional twists from the C-drama and novel to a minimum.

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But isn't information like who sides with whom part of history? A knowledge that's been available for hundreds and hundreds of years? It's like all sageuk we've watched so far. Most sageuk are watched with the background knowledge of what happens (like who becomes kings, which clan dominates, etc.), and with the assumption that the audience is either aware of that background or can make it available, and that background knowledge can be combined to enhance the viewing experience. A bit like watching a WWII film, knowing who will win, etc.

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I agree with this. >.< There's a difference between spoiling an episode that's only been available for a few weeks, and for which the story was just written for the purpose of the drama by a writer, and "spoiling" history.

It's not like Wang So is a nondescript character. There already has been several adaptations and depictions of him. Not to mention that we learn about him and his era in textbooks. What's interesting about sageuk, is to find out how different they portray it from known history. In other words, the clever twists, and narrative choices the sageuk makes in telling a known story to make it more compelling. When we watch the story of Sukjong/Inhyeon/Hui, or Sejong for countless of different dramas, the true spoilers are what happens that will be added/twisted from history, not what we know already happens, ie who marries whom, who dies, who is the "villain," etc.

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Yes, this is what special about sageuk. I think the joy of watching sageuk is for me to appreciate the history more.
I cannot help but to feel a little amuse at some comments ( especially on the other sites) who are like fangirls and shippers, in which I feel a little too much.

I hope the viewers especially the ones who are new to sageuk (I bet some of viewers started watching because their bias is here) could be ready to see how this story become deeper, heavier and darker later.

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Opps, there is nothing wrong to be a fangirl since I am also a fangirl to Kang Ha Neul myself. ;)

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yup. well said. the joy of watching sageuk making u appreciate history.

like Titanic. suddenly because of the movies and series, it's become a much more compelling and personal story. i wouldn't consider the fact that the Titanic sank a spoiler either since knowing that most people will die on that boat makes it more angsty rather than less.

ps: ka ha neul is fineee. good taste.

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i can relate with both of u. i always envied korean audience when watching sageuk dramas for that background knowledge vanessa spoke of. like i had to wikipedia stuff to catch up on korean audience when watching 6FD, and Dong Yi, and others. The dramas are probably made and catered for them with the understanding that they've read about history at school or smth. it's like me watching smallville knowing lex luthor would be clark's enemy, and that clark will not end up with lana or chloe but with lois lane... wondering how it would all work out. Also xmen first class knowing magneto would become the enemy. in cases like this where the history has been established for years, knowledge of it actually enhances the experience. kkkk

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I think historical spoilers are okay. The recaps also state historical figures' futures sometimes. But we're just asking that spoilers about the novel and drama should be kept to a minimum.

I've seen very detailed comments saying, "that character will pretend to be on X side then go to Y side" or "in the original this person betrays that person". And there are also comments describing Ruo Xi's whole character path/allegiances switches which aren't part of history but just twists from the novel itself. :(

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I have a question that makes me confused, even if this drama is an adaptation of the C-drama version, why I keep myself comparing Moon Lovers with Shine or Go Crazy and not the C-drama version?
Putting the time-traveling aside, I think Shine or Go Crazy is more similar to Moon Lovers than the C-drama is, at least for me (it might be because of the historical setting, but I mean, even so, the Wang So character is so similar in both and his relationship with his mother, father, etc is also so similar and sad, + the second male lead in both is the same character, etc...)
I wonder if this drama will be the same as Shine and Go Crazy and explains why Wang So is treated like that (it is already similar with Shine or Go Crazy that he brings misfortune to others, but in Shine there was a prophecy about him).

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Even it is adapted from C-drama, but since this is a K-drama, they don't follow exactly like the original. They adapted based on history. You are right in finding similarity between this drama and SOGC because basically they are based on the same history but not exactly similar.

The key point of the adaptation mostly for the leading lady, both are from modern world and many Princes. Although this drama is not historically accurate, but., they are still based on the history and won't miss many important points.

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Well now, the stupid me never realized it's the same Wang So as SOGC! Ah...thanks! It helps me putting some perspective on what's going on. although in SOGC, the other brothers don't have that many scenes.

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Possible spoiler ----

So i read the general plot of the chinese version. Someone please tell me if they've read any articles on whether this is a faithful reproduction or there will be some creative license that will be taken in the korean version viz, that ending

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I think it's still unclear because while it's based on the c-drama it's using Korean historical figures who have their own history. It seems to be a blend, so I feel like we don't really know how it's going to go. Which is probably why there are so many comparisons to both real history and the c-drama in the comments on all the sites I've been to.

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@Lola
ok, that makes me cautiously optimistic. Thanks!

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A novel? Has it been translated into English? I don't know anything about the story so please let me be spoiler free! Had to read some history about this period and found it fascinating. Also rewatching the first three episodes and I'm getting so much more out of them. Really liking this drama now and the possibilities!

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kang ha neul makes me want to be IU so badly

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IKR?! My heart flutters whenever he stares. And he's not even looking at me. LOL.

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YES. The look on his ace when he told IU that he was worried and scared gave me butterflies. UGH.

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It's not only about KHN stares, but also his unresoveld sexual tension expression for this eps made my heart flutters too!

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I agree. The sexual tension here is so strong. It kept on replaying in my mind. ☺️

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And also his voice, is so soothing.

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There's something so incredibly un-PG about the way he looks at her.

I feel like we've been calling it ever since their Cosmopolitan photoshoot.

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@pogo, your "un-PG" description is just what I wanted to say. Thanks for putting it into words! Where is this Cosmopolitan photo shoot? Hmmmm... *Googles it* whoa....

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I also melted under that hot stare ?? ... boy, Kang Ha Neul is giving me the butterflies with his performance. Never thought that poised and kind could be this sexy.
And his chemistry with IU is something...I'm jealous too ?

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GIRL, I FEEL YOU. I squealed so much during his scenes with IU. That stare... I JUST UGHH *squeals*

Be still, my heart.

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The moment he looks her eyes..... I die.

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@glo Agree 1000%!! Kang Ha neul took my breath away at moment he confronts Su. So amazing his intensity/tortured sincerity. Not gonna lie, fell a little in love.

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Just saw the rating for this episode... 5.7% o_O I can't comprehend... while Moonlight has 19+%.

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Woah, that's so sad because most of the cast is delivering and the story is good. I don't get it.

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what the... that's just plain weird.

I watch this show on my laptop, but I think that the quality of the tv broadcasting is way way way worse, which is why it has such bad ratings (what the hell SBS). I wonder how such a huge disparity in quality could have occurred???

I read somewhere that the online ratings for the show are pretty decent though.

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I guess it's easy enough to find youku views - they're at about 428.5 million as I type.

I wish there was a way to find out Korean online ratings, though. d-addicts doesn't list those for all shows, and from the sound of it, this drama looks a lot better on computer screens than tv - it certainly looks gorgeous on mine.

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I don't know where this TV quality worse than online hogwash came from. I was watching on my HD TV via one Asia and the drama looks fine.

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I think javabeans or girlfriday reported it looking rather low-budget on their tv, and they're not the only ones - I've heard that complaint from other people watching it on tv too (specifically via Apple tv).

It may be that certain tvs don't match up with whatever technical stuff is going on visually so end up looking cheap - but still, this is an issue SBS really should have checked out better.

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maybe tv settings problem: the auto motion option on can be disturbing for a drama, it's made for sports broadcasts

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I don't get the quality issue. I watched using Playstation 4 in Dramafever app and a 4K TV. And the quality is majestic.

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Moonlight has a very sweet, light, bubbly and comedic approach which doesn't make it a hard show to like and watch. Moon Lovers on the other hand had a rough start, bad editing, bad directing and the first episode wasn't made captivating enough to make its audience stick. While I personally prefer Moon Lovers, you have to think about the local audiences that affect the outcome of these ratings. Maybe they had high expectations for this show that was overly hyped but yet fell flat to deliver in its first 2 episodes.
It would be wise if they can smartly market the show beyond the previews they release. Its really a loss considering this show has a lot of potential in becoming a really good drama.
Not sure if there's anyway to salvage the local ratings but I'm pretty sure if they value streaming or international reception and viewership, it still makes up somehow for the low ratings week on week.

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Me too.

I love both shows and if I have to choose one of them (thanks though I don't have to) I'm gonna choose Moon Lovers.

The story about a modern woman with modern views who has to deal with ancient times views is more intriguing for me... and even more interesting to watch because IMO this show plays it right.

Moonlight has a winning formula for me... this is kind of story that I don't mind to watch over and over again especially when the acting and directing are great like in MDBC. But at the same time even if I missed it, I wouldn't feel like I lose something.

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Well I personally prefer moon lovers coz i find it's very interesting to learn about early history of goryeo dynasty even though on its fictional basis, compared to light-bubbly love in the moonlight sageuk drama. I've no bias on both dramas in the first place (now I favor moon lovers more), but I have to say that the rising ratings of love in the moonlight could have been possibly due to the popularity of Park Bo Gum. He's quite popular since reply 1988

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I like this drama just fine, but I do find the editing to be a bit jarring. It's like I'm totally aware I"m watching a drama. One scene, two people talking, next: two people staring into space talking. While the other moon, I feel like I'm watching a story unfold and I just happen to be there.

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So much agree. I think the PD zoom in-ed too much and it's disturbing. Beside that, I really treasure Moon Lovers!

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o_0 *sob*

If the shoddy look of the tv broadcast has something to do with why ratings are so low, I'm really going to want to scream.

I mean, how do you produce a multi-million-dollar drama that is to be aired on Korean terrestrial tv..... and then not notice that it looks terrible ON AN ACTUAL TV??!

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Trust me, I watched on TV and it look perfectly fine.

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Maybe the point is not the tv... but the tv specs

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Don't worry POGO. Atleast in international community they are doing good.

And also the way i watched it (DF, PS4 and 4K TV.) it's so pretty i watched it twice already.

And LJK and KHN making my heart flutters is good enough for me.

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It's okay... it's still doing so well internationally...

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im an ahjumma who watches both, but i personally like moonlight more bec the story is lighter & both leads are doing a great job. I like moon lovers too but im not YET sold to IUs performance. Hopefully their ratings go up. Btw is it just me or the close-up scenes are too much? Yeah yeah they have flawless skin, lets move on.

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Funny you said that.. but the thing is.. i believe this is the same director as its ok its love and the winter the wind blows..

Too many closeups.. and for me it had the counterimpact..

You know how perfect and flawless koreans' skin is.. well i used to think so.. and with these close up shots.. invariably i end up locating one pimple or the other on somebody 's face..

Beats me why that happens .. its so involuntary.. even though i liked all these dramas.. and was invested in their stories..

e.g i cud see all the bleached hair of GYJ in IOTL, and did you catch the blond facial hair of JG in ep 4.. its was in all the shots.. IU has a pimple on her cheek :P

I am tellign that's why low ratings for a country so obsessed with looks..

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Can't disagree with you more about the close ups because of this fact alone: no one (and I mean NO ONE) can take a close up like LJK. His ability to convey very nuanced emotions with the quiver of his lips or the flutter or his lashes is designed for extreme close ups and clever Director-nim has taken full advantage. That first scene where he bounds up, tail wagging, begging for mum's approval and the subsequent disappointment... BRAVO!

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Wow! You took the words right out of my mouth! I totally loved the C version and had even read the novel. Heartbreak that the director is doing such a poor editing job!

Poor I.U. is definitely no Song Hye Kyo (as in TWTWB) and those close ups shows her flaws rather than do her justice. Her uneven brows with one arched and the other straight as a ruler is pretty distracting!!

Btw, I am an ajumah too and currently enjoying Moonlight more though I was sooooo looking forward to ML!

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@ccklouise The ratings don't make sense.. I feel like whoever is measuring it is up to something ... This being the first large scale YGE and NBC Universal collab..

Thanks HeadsNo2 for the recap!!

This is an amazing drama. Hands down the best one on at the moment. The storyline has intrigue, love, fighting, chemistry that burns, eye candy that kills, witty writing, and such great levels of detail. The cinematography has been some of the best I have ever seen.

The main cast all are doing great work. Kang Haneul, Lee Joon Gi and IU are amazing. I became invested in these characters from the moment the background stories started to be revealed in epi 1 and 2. It is so much better than Moonlight. I like Moonlight, love Park Bo gum, but its slow and predictable. I watch because of the leads. Not for the story. I watch Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart Ryeo for the story as much as for the leads and their incredible acting.

I mean lines like, " I thought I lost you. I thought I would never be able to see you again. I was afraid!" - KHN, took my breath and made my heart flutter. "She belongs to me!"- LJK. "Do not say I belong to you ever again."- IU "Then should I say you are my person?" -LJK delivered so beautifully!!

I hope the cast knows that the international fandom is genuinely rooting for them. Desperately anticipating each episode. :)

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Totally agree! I melted when Kang Haneul/Wook stared at UI/HaeSoo, he is so into the character and it just shows his good craft of acting! I hope the ratings go up! They deserve more.

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/sigh

oh yes, he does.

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I really liked Hae Soo in this episode, I thought all the scenes she had worked, and she has excellent chemistry with all the actors, which is unusual. Even Kang Ha Na and Hae Soo really ran the emotional gamut with their scene, to the point that they stole it from the princes for me. The princes do get most (or all) of the good comments, but I feel like the ladies are doing a great job as well, and they're catalyst for a lot of actions for each other; Hae Soo and Chaeryung or Lady Hae or Ha Na.

Jisoo was SO GREAT in this episode. His expression in the scene where his mother is fussing over his injuries and he's watching So's retreating back made me remember what a powerhouse performer he is. THANK GOD he's back (And is it just me, or did he look incredibly hot in the scene??)

Also, I nearly cried when Wook cried. I think it was the first time I realized that he's as alone as So in his own way, that he had to go off and cry alone and he doesn't really have anyone to sound off against and he doesn't have that licence, so to speak, for any behavior departing from the norm.

Baekhyun was absolutely adorable in his scene. I never thought he was a bad actor, but now I'm thoroughly starting to enjoy him. How cute!

AND LEE JUNKI IS LEE JUNKI, that is all.

Everything in this episode worked for me. Literally ever scene almost. They all made me want to watch again. I'm officially hooked. Episode 4 was fantastic.

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Totally agree. This episode was much better for me. I'm definitely on board on this one.

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Agreed 100%! Everything was clicking in place this episode! Too bad the ratings were so low today.

Also, Lee JunKi's acting during the first scene with his mother was making my heart break everytime his face twitched.

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It's okay... it's very popular internationally.

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So I heard! I'm very happy that it's getting international recognition although it would be nice to have it be appreciated in Korea with ratings above (at least) 10%. Nonetheless, I can see the international impact it's had, from social media support to the massive increase in LJK's Instagram following (I'm so happy for him! Eeeek!!!)

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Yes. Even its thread in soompi forum are moving so fast. At least, that's what I heard from my soompier friend.

Probably, being a native, Koreans are more sensitive about certain things that we, international viewers, can't catch. That's why we're having a hard time to understand each other. LOL.

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i second you every words.
I am glad Jisoo that we know is back after that awkward 'mom i give you a gift' scene. his eyes when he doesnt know what to do with So (come to think of it, in his world where even you have to watch your back even to your brother, the brother that never there suddenly save you is not something to welcome to that easily).

Kang Hanuel finally embraced his character. he's kind of off in the first 2 ep. finally i can hate Wang wook hahaha.

anyway Lee junki is lee Junki. i can feel either he;s happy or sad or angry only by that one eye. he;s a GREAT actor by capital G

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Joong Ki is gold. Just don't give him any line. I'm still gonna understand what he's trying to deliver.

That's why I don't understand when some people got mad at So back then in the woods scene. They thought So was blinded by his ambition to get back to the palace, that he didn't care about Soo's life. But it's so obvious he just acted like he didn't care so the assassin would've thought there's no use in killing Soo and let her go. He's freaked out when the assassin pressed the sword harder to Soo's neck and Soo's hurt. Why he reacted that way if he didn't care.

IMO, LJK portrayed it very well that I could understand what's going on in his mind.

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"Joon Ki is gold. Just don’t give him any line. I’m still gonna understand what he’s trying to deliver."
I second this! And that's why I never understand why would his drama always had such a bad ratings (like Arang, and Scholar) he act incredibly good!

"But it’s so obvious he just acted like he didn’t care so the assassin would’ve thought there’s no use in killing Soo"
I also second this! People was too oblivious sometimes right :(

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Exactly!!!! I've said before that the attraction between Wook and Hae Soo that Wook is used to clean up people's messes, and smoothing the way as he did again and again in the episodes for his brothers and his father. He handles other peoples problems but he doesn't really have a real companion at home. His wife is sickly and dutiful and respectful and lady-like, but their connection is not very deep. Hae Soo isn't araid to ask him hard questions (don't you have nightmares) or to say that he doesn't have to handle her problems, she can handle it on their own (not really but at least she means well), and that I think is what attracts him most to her.

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Thank you, writer Jo for this.

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It parallels So's relationship to Hae Soo. For now, she serves as his "mom".

Hae Soo replaces that person/ supplements the warmth/love/attention they need.

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And it's almost kinda funny that she does it so lightly as if it were nothing when actually what she does means a lot to So and Wook. Especially for So who has abandonment issue.

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I agree! Awesome episode. I have to say I am greatly surprised by HKN's acting, he's so good!

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I liked IU too. But then again I never where all the hate for her was coming from. What i like about her is that though she might not be the best actor in the show, he face is not expressionless or wooden. Some people said that non-koreans would not understand that she is mis-pronouncing the words. Fair enough. But to me i think she puts in enough emotions in the words to get the feeling of the scene. She doesn't sound like she is reading the lines by rote. She is expressive enough to sell the character.

And LJK. Ah! what do i say. Like you said zoe, LJK is LJK. If i start talking about him, i'll sound like a giddy fan girl. I have seen a few of his recent shows but I don't think he has done something this intense. Or has he? I just can't SLS when LJK is being a wounded puppy (or is it a tiger)

[SPOILER SPOILER of C-Version]

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Scrolling down, i realised a lot of people don't want to be spoiled in case this show goes the C-version way. Even with the spoiler warning, i don't want to hamper anyone's enjoyment of the show

@moderators, can we please delete that part of my post.

I'm sorry everyone. No more talking of the C-version. Promise.

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She doing fine this ep finally. I think if this role in a better actress the outcome will be more epic like Moon Chae Won, UEE (both experienced in saeguk fusion or not), YEH or Kim So Eun.

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I can get behind the idea of Moon Chae-won or even Kim So-eun, but Yoon Eun-hye and Uee are far from ideal for sageuks - they both have diction issues arguably worse than IU's.

Though I believe a young YEH could have pulled off the emotion. Uee's speech tends to come off sounding like she's a bit pissed off or stressed all the time - not really the best thing for this part. I think IU has the right combination of girlishness and emotion for this role, really - I wouldn't replace her. That said, the overwhelming negativity directed against her from the moment of her casting despite her having given good performances in previous work, is sad.

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I'm not convinced that someone is a better fit for this role when IU fits the billing just fine. A young actress who can play a 16 year old girl (that alone eliminates some off the roster), has onscreen chemistry with Lee Junki despite the age gap (eliminates more off the roster), and delivers some of the most memorable scenes thus far as well as she has. When you watch the highlights or the scenes separately, everything is fine and very enjoyable. It's only when they're pieced together and the pieces don't fit as nicely as it should that something seems off.

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@LNL57 - yeah, like I said, I wouldn't replace IU - after seeing her take on Hae Su, I don't want anyone else's. She's let down by the directing and editing (and writing, to an extent) somewhat, but her acting itself, I'd keep.

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Who is supposed to be 16? It can't be Hae Su, who back in the modern world was a woman with a cheating boyfriend and mountains of debt.
I will admit she is doing better with her acting range, but she is still seemingly made of Teflon, where she is and the danger she may be in and the ramifications of who she is and where she is seem to just wash off that, cheerful, spunky exterior. For me, this brings her perilously close to TSTL.

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Right on pogo. I'm late to the party but I absolutely agree with you.

Yoon Eun-hye and Uee better in sageuks? Heck no.

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^^@bips99 I don't get the hate either.I love her more in these type of endearing roles rather than her role as the cold and indifferent Cindy....Also so glad this did not go to moon chae won either as she is really having a blast in the chemistry dept with both Wook and So.And I think I somehow get why they castes her for the role of Hae Su? Lol cause that scene at the end where she hugged Ji Soo's prince and just patted him in a buddy like manner...I could totally relate to that.Isn't that what we do when the younger guys do nothing for us in terms of attraction..so we kind of start seeing them more as an equal non-romantic friendly kind of way...?Which obviously didn't go well with the 2 princes..at the end lol.But anyway IU 'is' the tomboy that people are blaming her to be and this works for the role..on her benefit. I also find moon lover's concept quite fresh and sorts so I'd rather hope that people give the drama a chance...given how good it is overall.Also if TV screen 'is' the reason that it's getting all the flak then it's unfortunate.

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*casted.Daamn the typos.

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I never get this automatic dislike for idols that people have. Maybe bec i listen to zero Kpop. But going in completely clueless about IU, i'm finding her good enough

I agree on the faces of the other two prince. While wook was probably jealous, WS was looking at her as if she is some alien from outer space - like who the eff is this girl and what is she doing. Priceless!

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I liked IU as well, I don't know why people don't relate to her character. I like that she accepted the time travel quickly, I get really bored when other shows spend a lot of time with the protagonist doing stupid things and being always confused.
Tbh with all these magical movies and books these days, It wont take me that long to accept that magic is real.

And she doesn't come of as stupid at all to me, like that scene in the forest today, did people expect her to hide and look on as they cut of the Prince's arm? I mean she did realise they will need back and sent help.
And I love that she seems to have chemistry with all the actors. Even hwarang.

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Yeah, this was the episode where IU really picked it up. We already knew her chemistry with both So and Wook is bomb, but I honestly don't think I'd have liked Su's scenes as much as I do if she were played by anyone else. I get what Heads means about not getting her on some level/not understanding why she deals with certain situations in the way she does, but I feel like that happens only once I stop watching and remove myself from the episode - in the moment itself, she's great.

And I find myself alternately swooning for her+Wook (that almost-kiss, OOOOF, Kang Haneul just kill me NOW) and really liking the rather less conflagration-like but equally appealing connection she's unwittingly developing with So - it's different, but equally believable and swoonworthy in its own way since they let it spin out and don't try to shove it in our faces that he's attracted to her (thank god for the toning-down of the music this ep).

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And OH YEAH, Ji-soo's back! He's so good when he has more to do than provide puppy fanservice - his sageuk tone may still be off, but it was nice to get that reminder that behind the puppy facade, there's still a good actor.

I think a lot of that has to do with who he's paired with, really - kind of feels like he's the type of actor whose level of performance is somewhat dependent on his costars. It was a good decision to separate him and Baekhyun this episode because they're nothing but awkward and cute together, but put him one-on-one with Lee Jun-ki and he seems to rediscover his ability to tap into emotion so we get two princes dragging us into the bottomless well of emotion, and not just a cute puppy. I'd noted that he was actually better and less jarringly cutesy in his marketplace fight scene with Nam Joo-hyuk last ep, so I think the drama is doing the right thing by having him interact more with his other brothers.

Also am I the only one who thinks he looks really cute with IU? I loved how they were cuddling through the entire end of the fight after Wook and So saved them, and then Wook and So's stank faces when Su hugs Jung at the end and treats him like an adoring older sister would.

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@pogo @Zoe +100 to everything you wrote here. I'm playing catch-up so I missed the comment rush again, but you guys articulate everything I feel about this episode!

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This is the first time I watched Lee Junki.

I love his acting and So character. Even with one eye I can feel his emotion. The next KWB for me.

But don't understand why the rating so low.

Fighting Scarlet Heart.

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I don't know if that is LJK effect or that - I thought that episode 4 was excellent and satisfying. I re-watched it twice in full and 4 times all the parts with LJK and IU.
I appreciate very much the recap of HeadsNo2 but I find that it leaves out ALL my favourite moments form thies episode because those are those tiny little smiles and facial expressions from LJK (and KHN, IU and JS as well) which makes so endearing and interesting for me. Perhaps this drama is not perfect, if one would analyse it thoroughly, but for me the main leads carry emotional turbulence and development so well that I am 200% sold and hooked on this drama. It tugs my emotional strings so strong that I am constantly thinking about this drama and longing to see next episodes etc. That is the magic of this drama.
In comparison (although they SHOULD never been compared to begin with because they are different "fruits") Moonlight is light, beautify, well delivered & characters are lovely but I can watch an episode and easily (without any angst) wait for a week for the next. Or most likely, I will even postpone watching it until it is totally finished. With SH I feel like and addict - I will not be able not to watch it even if I am very busy and I should study for my Koran language test in a few weeks time :(

Yes, I guess it's a mystery what works for different people and why different people have different drama likings / preferences...

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I like Wang Wook but I don't like the loveline with Hae Soo. I'm a one woman for one man sort.
I'm also a sucker for dark heroes finding their beacon of light. That's how i see Wang So and Hae Soo. When they are together it's like Dark and Light, black and white, Yin and Yang. Not that she's pure or completely innocent but that she says what she thinks, puts a smile on people's faces, shes not judgmental and could draw out conversation from wolf dog.

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I agree!! Even if Wang Wook weren't married, I'd still want for her to end up with So! I'm a total sucker for dark heroes finding themselves and growing with the help of someone they love

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For me, its their conflict that attracts me. Not necessarily rooting for haesoo and wook to end up together, but i really like seeing their conflicted feelings being literally portrayed. I think this is also where haesoo's modern views play part. Because generally girls in those times would've accepted the prince at any second, regardless of the prince being married or whatever.
I just wished they showed more of haesoo's way of thinking, instead of just having her reminding herself of lady hae.

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Agreed. I like that these relationships will give layers and depth to her character (at least I hope so). Not all love stories are straightforward and clean. Some can be rife with grey areas and I feel like Su and Wook follow that color. The Su and So pairing we all know will be the OTP (based on first billing rules), but it's an expected end. So it's nice to see her meander a bit, flail a bit.

Its nice to see that she is developing distinct separate relationships with all the main princes (the nicer ones). The last one left is the Nam Joo-hyuk prince and I guess that's tomorrow :).

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+1

"... i really like seeing their conflicted feelings being literally portrayed. I think this is also where haesoo’s modern views play part. Because generally girls in those times would’ve accepted the prince at any second, regardless of the prince being married or whatever."

With Hae Soo coming from the future and presentism comes in and becoming a huge factor in her thoughts, ideas, actions, and decisions; she will only make herself standout more and more to the royals.

But since Goryeo is now her (Ha Jin's) home, and as the time pass by with her growing from a child to a woman, how long can she live freely with her presentisms?

Though at the forefront is the relationship of So to this parents, brothers and the other royals and nobility, I think this is still much about Ha Jin as Hae Soo threading through the palace, as much as Ruo Xi in Bu Bu jing xin.

*To those who like to note how this compares to the original material: it follows the spirit, so far, in this context (love, marriage).*

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Not having seen the original Chinese show yet, I'm wondering what Haesoo's gonna bring to the table from the 21st century. I get that when you're thrown into Goryeo without any prior preparation, there's not a lot you can do, but so far Haesoo has only been a damsel in distress waiting to be saved by a dreamy prince or by another dreamy prince.

Editing wise, I find this episode more even that the last. I'm easily excited about the color treatment and color symbolism in dramas. While I'm still not satisfied about how gray and washed out the characters look all the time, I was most annoyed by the abrupt filter change at the end of episode 3. When So was going on a killing spree, everything was in a cool tone. Abrupt scene change. Suddenly he's walking away from the burning temple and everything is orange-tinted. What the heck? The scenes look good individually, but when they are strung together to make a whole episode, they look choppy and uneven. It's like we're changing the genre from action thriller to

Episode 4 doesn't seem to have that, so I hope the future episodes would be mindful and moderate in use of filters.

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@chiisan:

Please watch. Rouxi is one of intelligent character ever written. She is brilliant. smart and lots of knowledge of history that make her decisions and move separate from other woman on that era. In this version we didnt see Hae Soo inner tought of how to interconnect her knowledge of historical to comprehend her life in this era. That is a drawback of this drama. But still fun to watch.

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I agree. Ruoxi is one of the more intelligent female characters written. So despite the fact that we shouldn't compare the c and k versions of the show, sigh..my brain refuses. The k version seemed to have reduced her to the typical female lead in their dramas: all spunk but not much in the headroom. Really sad, that. I do hope she errrr sharpens her tools a little more down the line.

I do see an improvement however in the overall tone like everyone is saying, though if they could just stop with "comic" music before the comedic parts are happening, that would make me a happy camper.

Thank you Heads! for the super fast recap!

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I'd love to tune in for an intelligent female lead that drives the plot instead of being dragged around by the plot! But I heard the Chinese show is prettying long, isn't it? xD

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Chiisan, actually the original just has 35 episodes which is pretty short for a Chinese historical drama. And at 45 minutes/episode it's only like a 26-27 episodes Kdrama.

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Okay but if this show is a faithful adaption then So is going to marry his half sister, the princess chae ryung. So no one in this drama is a one woman man.

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@hana, you mean So is going to marry his half sister princess Yeon Hwa, right? I think Chae Ryung is Hae Soo's attendant. A typo? Kekekeke

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Wang So definitely will marry his half sis Hwangbo Yeonha, she's quite famous because she helped her husband get the throne in history.

Anyway I read their character description that Yeonha is in dismay because her husband doesn't love her but loves Haesoo. Can't help Wang So is married, most main leads in sageuks are married

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Oops haha yeah it was a typo, I often fight with my auto correct so I get distracted.

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I think despite they're so different, they have a similarity. They both just want to live. In her life Hae Soo seems downtrodden as well, not to the same extent of So of course, but both are survivors.

I think that's why when she asked him, "What so wrong with only wanting to live?" he stopped in his tracks.

So himself, doesn't want much. Even with his reputation, you can see in the episodes that if you are civil to him, he is civil to you. He's someone who has a lack of kindness in his life so when someone is kind, even the slightest, he notes that and appreciates it.

All he wants is to live near his mother, his mother to love him and appreciation from his father. That's it. He just wants to live in peace. But his environment never lets him be.

Growing up with an insane and cruel mother and a family who makes you go through deadly tests just so they can kill you in an 'accident' twists you up. Seriously, So could be worst.

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Spot on.

With Wang So I don't feel that he's ambitious (not yet, but palace life changes a man) which I feel Wang Wook may be a little bit (but he's got a household to look after...)

I do hope we get to see a few more flashbacks of Hae Su's life prior to timeslip. I feel that lack of background into her character is what makes her character a little hard to understand. Reading between the lines and making deductions and inferences can be very tiring after all. She definitely is a survivor. I feel that her constant reciting of "What's wrong with wanting to live?" holds more meaning than is being let on. I hope the show doesn't brush over it because I'm keen to know the gritty details of the hardships she experienced.

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I think I would be more accepting of it if Lady Hae wasn't so pitiful herself. My heart sank when she choked back tears and couldn't utter what she knew all along, that her husband respects her and is kind but nothing beyond that, there's no love there.
As for So and Su, I think they are beginning to understand one another, its not romantic yet. He was isolated his whole life and she feels isolated in Goryeo, they have common ground for friendship with or without romance. Wook, as dreamy as he is politically feels like a non-entity to me, as in I don't care type. Also, my heart sank that in order to stay with you own parents, So had to convince the king otherwise that he will be here as a subject not as a son. Ji-Soo found his corner to shine, but it is a tiny little corner, I hope he can make more room for himself.
IU has gotten better. Who else cried out of frustration at the end where the music took away the moment at the end during the snow-fall. The song itself is beautiful but just didn't mesh well with the Saguek setting and the underlying sentiment of that scene. Also, some technical aspects, the way the camera kept moving during the scene where a bloody So is confronting Su after he met his mother, it made me dizzy and sick in an airplane kind of way, they need to fix that. As always Lee Jun ki is perfect, that scene with his mother, all he wanted was a tiny bit of sympathy, his mother couldn't give that to him, not even that little bit. I hope karma get her.

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Me!!! I was confused for a whole two seconds until I realised it was the end of the episode. At least there's no random "I love you" in English like in one of the previous episode...

It's such a pity that the technicals are all over the place. For a preproduced drama these issues shouldn't exist. But the characters and acting are holding up and that's good enough for me.

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The technical parts that they screwed up for me still seems unforgivable, its hard to ignore that in pre-produced drama, I feel like the production team let down the actors big time in a way. How can you be careless with these things?? Also after Another Miss Oh, I think I have a heightened sensitivity to music and their role in each scene. I never truly understood how important role it has to elevate mundane to extraordinary or in this case to reduce significance of solid moments before but now I do and it irritates me. But episode 4 was way way better. I wish instead of being so complacent, the PD and editing team should have had worked hard behind the scenes before airing not one or two but 3 episodes in a row. That negative feedback has truly sunk the Scarlet Heart's ship to the bottom of the abyss. With what it has become in episode 4 and if they can continue this newly improved version and fix the rest and add perhaps some new music, at least they should get a decent 8-10 in my opinion. Loosing 1/3 of your live audience in second week is brutal.

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Wook had to marry to save his family... im guessing. Wondered why he as the 8th prince is the only shown married amongst his brotherhood (for a complicated family, the brothers are pretty close having friendly group meetings often). That's why i really hate the princess yeon hwa she showed no gratitude for her sis in law. Even very happy at the divorce suggestion. The mother in law queen hwangbo is more kind and just. Unni is the only one in love in their marriage maybe she even knew before that Wook never loved her and forced him given she may come from a high standing family. Wook had to follow out of familial duty and is playing his role as good husband out of gratefulness.

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Like this drama
Why rating so low? :(((
Lee Jun Ki Oppa deserves more rating

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My god this episode was soooo good. Lee Jun Ki acting out his "Look what I did for you!" moment was so heartbreaking and so....crazy. It made me think for a moment "YOU WHACKJOB" but it's a testament to his brilliant acting that he can give depth to a character beyond a handsome angsty prince, and have a man-child appear there driven to desperation by his hunger for affection.

Also, Kang Ha Neul nearly kissing IU took my breath away. The sexual tension between them is just damn. Love seeing him tormented by what he feels, while still trying to be a good, devoted husband. If I were IU I won't be as well behaved, yes I'm easy *ducks from flying tomatoes*

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my favorite Lee Jun Ki scene from this drama so far is the scene where Hae Su catches So without his mask in the bath! He showed so many emotions in such a short amount of time! you could literally hear his internal monologue just by looking at his face! Lee Jun Ki brings an emotional depth to his character that no one else can!

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I loved that scene too, he looked so childlike and vulnerable with his big eyes there T_T

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All these compliments to Lee Jun Ki makes me wants to check his previous work. I am still at his potrayal of playboy chaebol heir in My Girl and haven't move on... He was just a tad too pretty for my taste. But boy,....I'm sold by his performance here. Everything from his scenes oozed sexiness.. ?
I like his interactions with all the characters here.
Can you recommend other LJK dramas? I know for sure iII'll marathon Arang in the next few weeks or days as soon as i got it on hand. Not sure if i want to see Gunman in Joseon, but anything else? I need to fill up the days before each episode is out #dramaaddiction.

Also, i seconded the idea of making Drama Anonymous, where do i sign up?

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Lee Jun Ki dramas? Hmmmm.... Well Arang's and Joseon Gunman a good sageuks (though I found JG dragged a little, just a little....)

But my personal favourite of his dramas is "Two Weeks" - a modern day action-thriller about a father trying to save his daughter. The first couple of episodes are hard to watch but once you get into the meat of the story - really really good. Lee Jun Ki knocks it out of the park - proving he's not just the king of sageuks!

Other dramas: "Time between Dog and Wolf" - another action thriller and one of his earlier dramas but it is still extremely watchable and the action scenes are still some of the best around.

I'd recommend those two; I've rewatched them more times than I can count and even roped my brother into watching Two Weeks!

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He said in an interview that this his last saguek. Said he is too old too play a prince (pffft!)

So the next one should be a modern drama (yah!!!)

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Yeah, we've not seen him in a modern drama for quite a while. I found the trailer of modern c-movie Never Said Goodbye on youtube, apparently it seems to be released just recently in some Asian countries. Probably it will take a while before it becomes available online, will have to make do with this trailer to quench our thirst for the time being.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8IEA59ivNwhis

Though jun-ki looks best in sageuk garb, imo, he looks ethereally beautiful like a character straight out of Japanese anime in modern movie Fly Daddy Fly, he was much younger at that time, and he looked as if he is not real human but being drawn out.

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The first half of the teaser looked so light Pebble that I thought it would be somewhat of a rom com but I guess that part would only be the first half of the entire movie too. It still looks interesting, but do chinese movies get subbed often?

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Hi @wapz, even if not for jun-ki, the movie itself looks quite watchable, isn't it? I'm not sure if it will be subbed, probably the more popular ones will be I reckon, not even sure when it will be available on-line, can only patiently wait...

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Iljimae!

King and Clown (very pretty LJK...you have to see this, definitely proof of his versatility)

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Thank you thank you thank you for the recommendations!

I am not exactly fond of sageuk, unless i read others rec first... But I guess for Joon-gi ssi I will make exception.

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Yes, definitely see King &the Clown! That was the role that made LJG ten years ago as big a star as Song Joong Ki +Lee Min Ho now, the impact was that huge.

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I recommend you to watch "Iljimae" and "The King and The Clown"
You can see and feel, Lee Jun Ki's acting
so, not just rely on physical appearance and the face of interest only. More than that, he was able to bring the character of his role very well and are not afraid to look embarrassing.

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Iljimae, as cheesy as It was, made me love Junki.

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Watch Arang and Two Weeks!

There's also Time Between Dog and Wolf which was made before his MS, it was his first leading role in a drama ?

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Iljimae!! Lee Jun-Ki is at his most-awesomeness in Iljimae, which is also a historical drama, in which he looks very similar to how he looks now in SC (in black and with a mask ahahaa) but I tell you Iljimae is the coolest thing ever. It's kind of a 'Robin Hood' -esque storyline. Han Hyo-joo is the female lead (current female lead for W)

The drama was way back in 2008, but until now it's still one of the very very best for me. You laugh and cry hard throughout it, really.

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You have to watch Two Weeks!! I love all of his dramas, except for Scholar. I am not into vampires.

Time Between Dog and Wolf
Hero
Illjimae

Arang and the Magistrate and Two Weeks are two of my favorite dramas!

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Oh dear god! that first scene was amazing. When he came there smiling, i was like "uh oh! are you going on into psychopath mode". He was smiling but it was chilling in a deranged manner.

And then when his hope broke. When he is sitting on the floor remembering what all he endured, I was like "come here you puppy, let me give you a hug"

Then the crazy mom from hell just cut him right in the middle when she said "so what". And he was still recounting his story and you see him take it in and realise that his suffering means zilch to his mother.

So Freaking awesome! 5 stars to the episode just for that one scene. Fabulous bit of acting.

I have seen a lot of LJK's work but i honestly do not remember him going from one emotion to another and to another and to another, in a span of a single scene

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Absolutely agree. I felt he went all out with this role.

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I loved that scene too. That vulnerable look in his one eye while he hides his scar with his hands. That scene alone made me a fan of LJK for life...it was just so subtle and hauntingly portayed.

The range of emotions LJK portrays as Wang So is just commendable. I'm loving him and can't wait for his scenes.

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Lee Jun Ki with only half his face showing is more expressive than most actors with a full face. That is his level :D

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LOL. well said @pigsnout :)

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His face in that scene, I felt so hurt to see his shamed expression when he sees IU there. He really is amazing.

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Who's bright idea was it to cover half of Lee Joon Gi's face with that cheesy Phantom mask? Am I going to have sit through another 17 episodes without the joy of seeing LJG in full-faced beauty?

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Also having his left eye covered must affect his periphereal vision when fighting? Yet he can single handedly fend off hoards.

From a more practical real world perspective, it must be uncomfortable for LJG to wear that mask while filming.

I would've preferred it if they'd just showed him with the scar and do a comb over of his hair to sort of hide it a little.

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They worry that our hearts may not be able to handle his full face + mane of glory. Emo side bangs would not be enough to ruin his face

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lol ... That mane of glory should have a PPL. .. I would buy whatever they sell.

I think the mask serves as a constant reminder of his 'disfigurement' and makes the queen hate him even more.

Though i read his interview recently, he said acting with the mask was a tough job because you get just half the face to emote.

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I was eating my lunch while watching this ep just now, and I almost choked on my food when a tear rolled down jun-ki's cheek. omg, Luckily we only got to see one of his eyes only and not his full face, or else I would have already been choked to death seeing him choked with emotions! lol.

When Su was grumbling about having to climb up that small hill to bring So his lunch, I was thinking, I would climb the Mt Everest to bring him lunch, and just to see that heartbreakingly pitiful emo puppy smile. lol

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My hypothesis is that ratings would've at least doubled had LJG been without the mask :)

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@iluvJIS
That is what i was thinking too..they better unmasked LJK asap..i think it will give effect to the rating..maybe the huge amount of LJK fans in SK is not satisfied for him having half his face covered..i find it a little bit irritating not to see his full beautiful other-worrldly face..but the mask is only proving what a really great actor he is..able to show emotions with half face covered just put him on a diff level..

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But with the mask his beautiful profile stands out so much!!!! I am completely mesmerised whenever they show that one side of his face...

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I think the phantom mask makes him scarier than the scar,
but why it have to be a black iron mask,
it can get bad for his skin,
wy not something from clothes?,
eye patch maybe looked cheesy either, but that seems better with a bang,
but with the 3rd prince makeup skill, I think they can hide it,

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Has no one else thought Prince Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender?

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you can track my comment and I mention it . ..
thank you for mention it,
Zuko is the prince with a hell of journey and scar that can't be covered

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not spoiling but it thus shown in trailer that hae soo will treating wang so scar. not sure. need to check the trailer again.

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I always felt I need to stifle a laugh when I see the mask. I mean it's not like So's scar is bad. It's actually pretty clean. Zuko's scar is worst and he doesn't go around wearing masks.

I always do roll my eyes when people cover their faces making a big deal out of the scar on his face. But I can understand there is an emotional element just as So's face scar is.

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This is funny. May be the mask is there for aesthetic reason. I like the mask, giving the more bad-boy vibe to So's already dark personality. Maybe the mask is to cover his pretty face or else too many will die of happiness seeing the beautiful face of Lee Jun Ki.

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Maybe So was sent to the Kangs because the royal family couldn't handle his pretty face - there would be too many casualties in the palace. And maybe the Kangs had him fight wolves because they couldn't handle his handsome face either - even with the mask on. Maybe his mother hates him so much because she feels he is prettier than her.

So doesn't even need a sword. He just takes his mask off, and BAM! everyone's dead by the beauty of his face and now he can have the throne.

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