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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Episode 9

Our poor hero just can’t catch a break most days. Just when things start to look up for him and he dares to hope for more, it all comes crashing down around him. It doesn’t help that Su blames him for things he hasn’t even done yet, leaving him without someone he can reliably depend on and call his own. Then again, maybe she does have reason to be afraid, when he’ll do anything it takes to keep her.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

The moment Su looks at So and wonders if he will become King Gwangjong, Astronomer Choi turns as if he’s heard her. Queen Sinmyeongsunseong leaves the ceremonial grounds in a rage, while the people in the capital dance in the streets, celebrating the downpour.

“A hero is born,” ninth prince Won says of So, who seems to have brought on the drought-ending rain by his mere presence at the ritual. While he wonders how So managed to cover his scar, fourteenth prince Jung guesses he must have used someone skilled in cosmetics… and Wook, hearing this, turns to look at Su. He knows.

As So completes his ritualistic bowing, Su realizes with certainty now that So will become King Gwangjong, who was known for killing his brothers and other family members in his quest for the throne. She sends a worried look toward Wook’s back.

The townspeople rejoice as So is carried through the capital in a palanquin, but Su looks more frightened than anything. She worries that she’s helped make it possible for So to become King Gwangjong by covering his scar, before swiftly denying this to herself—according to history, So would’ve become King Gwangjong with or without her help… right?

She can’t stop from worrying that So is going to kill his brothers, and doesn’t snap out of it when Wook grabs her in celebration. “Will they all die because of me?” she wonders, her eyes distant. “That person… will he become like that because of me?”

Looking up at Wook, she urges him to stay safe as her eyes return to So’s retreating form. Wook follows her gaze, but whatever she’s saying must sound like nonsense to him.

Third prince Yo rails against his bad luck in not being chosen for the ceremony, since all the glory is now So’s. His mother is even harder on him as she slaps him across the cheek for letting So take his place. He apologizes, saying it was a mistake, but the evil queen ruthlessly responds that there is no room for mistakes.

If she is to become a king’s mother, she spits, then Yo must be ruthless. While the queen vows to set Damiwon on fire because of Su, Yo looks like he’s seeing his real mother for the first time.

So pays a visit to his father and Crown Prince Mu, who returned later than planned due to his being waylaid by thieves. His father is proud of So, and is even happy to see his son’s full face for the first time in many, many years.

“Show your face to the world now and be confident,” King Taejo says. He also tells So to devote himself to helping the crown prince build a strong nation, and that he’s put his trust in him. So seems overwhelmed by his father’s acceptance, and even the crown prince seems happy for his little brother.

Su is still out of it when Wook finds shelter for them underneath an eave, and can only nod when he asks her if she covered So’s scar. He thinks she’s worried she’ll be punished for touching the face of a prince, but tells her not to be—she did a good thing.

That’s not what eases her worries as much as him telling her that nothing changes just because So stood in for the crown prince at the ceremony. Wook is on a different frequency as he says that the king is sure to grant her freedom now, but Su says she can’t just do nothing, and runs off to find Astronomer Choi.

“Do you know who the next king will be?” she asks. Astronomer Choi smiles that it’ll be the crown prince as long as nothing changes. Su asks about who’ll take the throne after him, and Choi says that it will be Gwangjong. That’s what she said, wasn’t it?

Then, Astronomer Choi tells her that when he was a child, he drowned and came back to life. This sounds familiar to Su for many reasons, and it seems like Choi knows why as he explains how different he was once he came back. Now, he sees things—though whether they’re from a dream or not, he can’t be sure.

Once, he tells her, he saw a big bird carrying people in the sky (airplane), and even a building as high as the sky with countless people (skyscraper). Su doesn’t voice her theory that he may very well be from the future like she is, but that he maybe can’t remember because he was so young at the time.

“I also heard that you died and came back,” Astronomer Choi notes, “so I wondered if you had the gift of foresight like I do.” He tells her she can ask what she truly wishes of him, but Su has too many questions to voice all at once: Will So become King Gwangjong? Will he kill his brothers? What will happen to Wook?

Instead, all she can ask is, “What should I do?” Astronomer Choi’s answer is a firm, “Nothing.” Regardless, Su is convinced that she can change the terrible course fate is about to take.

Princess Yeonhwa tries to goad her brother, Wook, into being jealous of So for leading the rain ritual. He doesn’t bite, or at least he doesn’t outwardly seem to, as Yeonhwa says that now So might be getting other ideas. Wook notes that Su said So might change as well.

But then again, Wook thinks it’s a good thing for So to receive the king’s favor after so many years of harsh, unfriendly treatment. Yeonhwa presses him for more information about Su, who he says was the one to cover So’s scar, and who now fears something will happen because of what she did.

Wook, however, may not be as without ambition as we thought. He muses, more to himself than anything, that there must be a place he’s designated to fill. “What could it be? I am very curious.”

While walking through the palace, Su suddenly finds herself in So’s arms. She screams and pulls away, absolutely terrified. So thinks she was just surprised by his sudden grab, having no idea that what she’s afraid of is actually him.

He’s happy to tell her that he was able to call the king “Father” for the first time in his life. It had been fifteen years since he looked at his face properly, he adds, and yet the king told him to be confident. With a smile, So adds that all the pain he suffered seemed to disappear when the king told him that. Aw, sad.

“Everyone keeps thanking me,” he goes on. No one thinks him frightening, or calls him a monster. “I’m starting to like myself this way. The one who made me this way is you, Hae Su.” Now, Su has a hard time believing that the So she’s seeing right now could become as cruel as the Gwangjong history knows.

Even though she remembers what Astronomer Choi said about not getting involved, Su thinks it’s her duty to help change So’s future. Out of the blue, she gives him advice to hold in his anger no matter how bad it gets, and to definitely not kill anyone.

That’s when Su resolves that she can and will change the future and his fate, in order to save everyone from misery.

Now that it’s time to find Grand General Park’s daughter a husband, King Taejo looks through his roster of sons for a good match. It’s hilarious how General Park cites reasons why each prince suggested won’t work, because he knows how much his daughter loves the tenth prince, Eun.

When he finally leads both King Taejo and Astronomer Choi to that conclusion, they seem very surprised by his preference. Hah.

The king pays a visit to the princes, commending each of them on their hard work–especially So. In return, he says So may ask a favor from him, and So looks over at Su as he asks the king… to give her to him. Whoa, what?

King Taejo acquiesces to this, and promotes Su up a rank so that she can serve So directly (still as a court lady, though). Wook contains his unease as the king announces that there will also be a royal wedding: Eun is to be married to Soon-deok, General Park’s daughter.

Of course, Eun doesn’t understand how being a prince works, and says that he refuses the marriage. He even drops to his knees to beg the king to withdraw his command: “If you insist on this marriage, I would rather die.” It’s only when Crown Prince Mu urges him to thank the king for his grace does Eun reluctantly do so.

But as he rises, a bag of marbles drops from his sleeve, seeming to emphasize just how young and unprepared Eun really is. Ninth prince Won takes it upon himself to give Eun terrible advice about women, like how they’re all the same after the first night. As for him, he can’t even get his first and second wives straight sometimes.

Won attempts to brighten Eun’s spirits by taking him to watch a fight, but he wasn’t aware that Soon-deok was in it. Eun won’t be deterred, and sees Soon-deok wrestle fourteenth prince Jung and win. You go, girl.

On the day Su’s set to leave Damiwon, she hands Wook a gift, which she says is for the bracelet he gave her. Inside is a silk pillow she made, since Lady Hae had wanted her to become a pillow for him. Methinks Su took the meaning literally rather than figuratively, which is why Wook looks a bit disappointed.

In return though, Wook gifts her a book, which Su isn’t too pleased about because of all the work it involves. Wook laughs, then shows her that it isn’t any normal book—it’s a flip book, making the drawings inside look as though they’re moving.

And, adorably, the drawings are of Su and Wook’s walk in the snow. He drew it himself, much to Su’s joy, and she happily flips through the pages. Wook’s expression grows grave as he tells her that because there will be a royal marriage, it means that a court lady won’t be released from service this round.

Su takes this in for a moment before replying that they’ll be sure to get another chance. Wook’s not so sure, but Su tells him that as long as he’s willing to wait for her, she’ll wait for him. What she doesn’t say is, “I asked you to wait for me because I did not wish to tell you that I was worried. Because I felt like something would go wrong.”

Wook tells her that when it snows again, they’ll walk the same path featured in the flip book. “I will wait,” Su says, with tears brimming in her eyes. Wook pulls her into an embrace and tells her, “I love you.” She wraps her arms around him and smiles into his shoulder. Omo omo.

While helping brew the king’s tea, Su suddenly receives a warning from Court Lady Oh to be careful of So. Now that she’s shown him affection, she has to be straight with him if she’s not going to give him her whole heart. “What if I can change that person’s life?” Su ventures.

Court Lady Oh says she once loved a common man who she thought would give up everything to be with her. But in the end, he rose to a position far out of her reach, and that’s why she believes that there’s no sense in trying to change a person. (I wonder if the man she’s talking about is King Taejo.)

Su gives So her makeup tips as she helps to cover his scar again, so that eventually, he’ll be able to do it himself. She even writes out a guide so that he can make the mixture himself should he need to. It makes So curious as to why she’s distancing herself—she, the girl who loves to talk, is now being demure. Once Court Lady Oh gives her an out, Su tells him that she’s been immature, and is making an effort to change that.

The not-so-common girl we first saw reprimanding thirteenth prince Baek-ah for mocking commoners, WOO-HEE (Seohyun), is now dressed in her finest silks as she does a sword dance in the middle of the forest. She’s not as good as she’d like to be, and becomes distracted when she hears a nearby bamboo flute.

It’s Baek-ah, playing for a group of children. They see the swords in her hands and panic, but she reassures them that she was only practicing a sword dance. Baek-ah recognizes her from before, and demands that she pay for the drawings she ripped from his notebook.

If she can’t, he claims, she can pay him by showing him her sword dance. She’s less than thrilled at the idea, claiming she doesn’t dance for strange men, and she certainly doesn’t believe him when he introduces himself. He’s just about to tell her that he really is the thirteenth prince, but she disappears when she spots her two attendants lurking nearby.

But where she stood, Baek-ah finds a gold norigae pendant she left behind.

It’s Eun’s wedding day, and Su finds herself accosted by the soon-to-be bride as Soon-deok asks for her help in getting through to the tenth prince. Su is reluctant to interfere, which Soon-deok thinks must be due to her feelings for him. She promises that Su can become Eun’s second wife if she helps her now, which is really not the time for Su to be silent.

Eun has apparently locked himself in his room, and just as fourteenth prince Jung is about to break down the door, Soon-deok arrives with Su. Su’s able to get him to open the door for her, and she slips inside to have a chat with him.

Of course, Eun is drunk as a skunk, and Su has to grab the bottle away from him. “You don’t know how I feel,” he whines. Su does know, and replies that he likes her, but is having to marry another woman he doesn’t like.

It becomes clear where Soon-deok got the whole “second wife” idea from when Eun asks Su if she’ll take the job. Despite him promising to be good to her, Su says she doesn’t want to share her husband. “Liar,” he calls her. “Even if I had asked you to be my first wife, you would have said no.” Awww.

Sinking to the floor, Eun admits that he’s always known himself to be a fool, which must be why she doesn’t like him. “I was happiest whenever I was with you,” Su says, as she extols his virtues. “You laugh when you’re happy, and you know to cry when you’re sad.” That, she claims, is why she was always at ease when she was around him.

But Eun doesn’t want that kind of consolation, and calls her cruel for giving it. “If I said I was sorry, that would truly be cruel, wouldn’t it?” she asks. That’s when Eun asks if she ever truly liked him, and with a small smile, Su says she still likes him very much.

And with that, she wishes him happiness and leaves. Eun follows her out of the room, ready to go through with the marriage, much to Soon-deok’s joy.

At the ceremony, Eun and his wife are showered with gifts from his brothers, which Soon-deok is more than grateful for. Her father, Grand General Park, watches from afar and grudgingly notes that if she were to grin any wider, her face would simply split. Aww, what a good dad.

Su also watches the festivities, but the scene of So’s bright, laughing face suddenly changes before her again. In her vision, she sees So laughing with blood splattered on his face as he cuts down Eun and his new bride.

She staggers backward when she comes back to reality, though Wook and So notice the terror on her face. Wook follows her as she runs off. “Be careful of Wang So.” She tells him in a trembling voice. “Stay away from him. Don’t ever try to stop him. If you try… you will all die.”

Wook grabs her by the shoulders to seek some clarity, but Su is too overcome. She wants to leave the palace, she says, and in answer, he pulls her into an embrace. He promises her that he’ll help her to leave, and tells her that everything will be okay. Poor Su can only cry.

Once the newlyweds are alone, Eun attempts to lay down the law with his wife: “We may be married, but I can’t acknowledge you as my wife.” He plans to keep living exactly the way he did before, but she reminds him that they’re formally married.

She also tells him of an old principle that a true union lasts a thousand years, which means a married couple’s conjugal harmony lasts a hundred years. This language is beyond Eun, who wonders how he’ll ever grow fond of her.

On that note, he says he’ll be needing all the bed, and presumes to fake sleep. Soon-deok, kind soul that she is, watches him for a time while smiling, then makes her bed on the floor. After she’s out, Eun sighs, “You said to just wait until the first snowfall. Hae Su, you’re a cruel liar.”

Elsewhere, Wook muses over what Su said to him, repeating it multiple times: “Be careful of Wang So. Don’t ever try to stop him.”

After the king gives third prince Yo his “new appointment” to leave the palace, thus giving So his old responsibilities, Yo asks Astronomer Choi if the king is casting him aside. Choi denies it, but he’s no fan of Yo’s greed and ambition, and makes that much known. Yo just warns him to wait and see what he’ll come up with.

That seems to involve a tense family dinner with Queen Sinmyeongsunseong and her three full sons, Yo, So, and Jung. The strange thing is, the evil queen acts cordial to So, even going so far as to compliment him. You guys better not do something awful to him, I swear.

Yo and the queen turn the conversation toward So taking Yo’s responsibilities in the palace while he’s away, which will involve him being in close proximity with the crown prince. Only then does So figure out the game they’re playing, and his mother clarifies: “Kill the crown prince. It isn’t the first time you’ve killed someone for me. Will you do it?”

So asks his mother if that’s what she truly wants, before responding that… he’ll do it? But then he adds that after he does, he’ll sit on the throne. All she wants is a son of hers as king, right? Why can’t he be that son, and not Yo?

As evidence, So claims that he has heaven’s will behind him (as evidenced by the rain ritual), and Yo only has his in-laws. Queen Sinmyeongsunseong claims that Yo is destined to become king, and So laughs. But he does ask what would happen if he were to sit on the throne, causing his mother to quip that he must think he can do anything just because of “a few brush strokes.”

This seems to get to So, but of course, she doesn’t stop there. She claims that the only reason he was chosen for the rain ritual rather than the crown prince was so that he’d be the one who would pay with blood if it didn’t rain. His father, she adds, used him.

So refutes this, saying that he didn’t just let himself be used—he knew what he was getting himself into. After he leaves, Yo comments to his mother that they may as well sever their ties with So. Jung finally speaks up to ask his mother why she gave birth to them if she was going to raise them as enemies. Good question.

Outside, So chides himself for daring to expect more from that family meal than what he was given. Aww. He approaches Su’s quarters, and we can see her huddled in a terrified ball inside.

Getting too stuffy inside, she rushes out for some fresh air. So finds her, and grabs her into a backhug when she attempts to run from him. “Let go of me,” she says, but he asks her to just stay like this for a moment. She wrests herself from his grasp and says, “I’m afraid of you!”

Poor So looks like he’s just been punched in the gut as he all but whispers that she said she wasn’t afraid of him. “I thought I could change things,” she stammers. “I was wrong. You will ruin everything in the end! Go! You’re better off running far away from here!”

“Not you as well!” So shouts as he advances toward her. “Don’t try to push me away. Don’t tell me to leave. Don’t tell me that I bring misfortune, and that I am a beast. You, at the very least, cannot do that to me. Because you… are mine.”

He grabs her as he says this, but Su only replies that she isn’t his. “You are mine,” he stresses. “You belong to me. You are mine! Without my permission, you cannot leave me, nor can you die. You are completely mine.”

And then, he swoops in to kiss her. Su tenses against him.

 
COMMENTS

Well. Uh. Hm. That was… intense. That was pretty intense. Right, I should write some words here. Just give me a second—we’ll talk about some other things first.

I have to admit to being a bit confused as to the visions Su’s having of the future. At first I thought that her overactive imagination was just inserting So into what she thought he’d look like as King Gwangjong, but the vision of him killing Eun and his new wife in cold blood was much too specific to seem like anything but an actual flash of the future. But, given that the show hasn’t touched on Su wondering where these visions are coming from, it also seems possible that it is just her putting two and two together. They really do seem like glimpses of the future though, no matter which way you slice it.

There seemed to be a lot of promise in Su’s resolution to change the future, but then we arrived at the end to hear her say that she thought she could, but now believes she can’t. When did she try? Or was it supposed to count when she told So not to kill people? I wish we were able to get a glimpse into Su’s thoughts when it comes to her relationship with history, or even her perceived relationship with it. She swapped back and forth between thinking that she could change history, to giving vague warnings, to giving up on the idea wholesale. I’m sure this isn’t the end of her struggle with the matter, and there seems to be no better way to make her confront it than what So’s unintentionally doing right now.

I felt so bad for So during that most awkward of family dinners—he always has his guard up, but sometimes, you can just see him want so desperately to be able to put it down for just one second. Which is why he finds solace in Su, and why it’s so doubly sad that even she’s turned against him now.

That last scene had a lot going on, and more than anything else, it served to make So and Su’s relationship the most compelling one in the series. I wasn’t expecting that to be honest, but it came on like a freight train. It’s not just another romance for Su, or a romantic rival for Wook—So is a very dangerous man, capable of doing terrible things, and Su knows that. What she’ll do with that knowledge is the big question, especially now that she’s more or less stuck with him as his court lady.

And it all only serves to make So more complicated, so that we can’t sort our feelings out one way or the other. On the one hand, we have the son striving for acceptance, wanting desperately to be wanted. That’s the So we saw when he approached Su, and why he looked so heartbroken when she, of all people, said she was afraid of him. He could’ve been more delicate in his reply to that, but tensions were running high, and since he has massacred people and burned a temple down in the past, we can safely say that he doesn’t tend to make the wisest decisions when emotions are involved. He was raised killing wolves, so maybe we can’t exactly hold it against him that he doesn’t know how to properly communicate his feelings. Or maybe we can. Only time will tell.

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I’m not down with how that kiss went down. I thought we were past this forceful kiss era? Are we not aiming for progression, honestly it makes it hard for people to root for an anti-hero when he’s forcing himself on her. Ugh I’m repulsed, however I’m hoping he apologizes. There’s a difference between forceful kissing(moon lovers) and being brave to initiate the kissing(Moonlight), why didn’t he wait for a signal? He freaking forced himself on her when she’s obviously scared of him. Okay, he’s scared,feels vulnerable and extremely confused especially with what went down with mother dearest but it still it doesn’t excuse his behavior.

*hopes that ship is not going sink*

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I understand your point of view because I feel the same if we’re looking at it as a man wanting a woman and forcing himself on her. That is not the case here. At least, I don’t see it as such because that kiss was desperation not lust.

He gets his hopes up in trusting people and they let him down. He put his trust in her and she’s turning her back. He thought he found his anchor. So when Hae soo was pulling away he tried to desperately cling onto her. I agree that he should not have handled the kiss like that.

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I thought towards the end of the kiss Hae Soo was less resistant to it? I could have misinterpret the kiss to what I want it to be. Lol.

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Then you saw the different version. I saw both and the feel is kindof different.

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The feeling is definitely different in sub vs. raw and this time I preferred the subbed version because it showed a very different reaction from Su.. which for all of us, makes a BIG difference in how we digest the scene and it's implications.

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Guys, how come there are two versions of this drama? It's making me crazy, I don't know which one to watch and I end up watching both, even if I don't speak Korean. O.o

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@ Elaine : the same here! I hate SBS for this, why are they doing many versions?!?!

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Besides the forced kiss, that also rubbed me the wrong way. What message is that sending? That it's ok for a guy to force himself on a girl because she'll eventually be alright with it? I can see what the scene was trying to do, but it failed spectacularly. It was just off putting.

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I didn't think she gave in to the kiss the good way.. as in kissed back..

he is so strong , she resisted.. and then gave up and tear falls..

Its not that she was enjoying it.. and i think he does realize it the moment she goes still...

Its heartbreaking....she repulsed by it.. and his realization that he overdid it and hurt her bad

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@EZ, yup that's exactly how I interpret her reaction to the forced kiss as well.

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I didn't mean 'alright' as in she reciprocated. Yes, gave up is the better word, but really, he could clearly see that she was frightened and resisted from the very beginning, which should've sent the message that it wasn't ok for him to use force of any kind. He didn't need to keep on forcing himself upon her until she went still to understand.

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I feel like we went 20 steps backwards. I was literally just happy the last episode that he backed off when it became apparent that she wasn't comfortable with him going in for a kiss. And then this. I get where it was coming from, some crazy emotionally driven desperation, but it is still not okay. Really hoping he apologies or somehow acknowledges he was in the wrong next episode....

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@AniApple

The first version I saw didn't include that scene, but when I saw the clip, I was also happy that he go the message and backed off.

Still, her relationship w/ Wook and So didn't develop very organically, so I think her romantic scenes w/ Wook and So's aggressive approach towards her are both jarring, in the exact opposite ways.

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@news

I agree with the romantic scenes being jarring, I really wish we had the time to see more of their relationship developing instead of some of the random shenanigans we were shown instead.

It's almost like this....weird cycle of baby chicks imprinting. Wook has the stereotypical "but she's so DIFFERENT from everyone else I've met" reason, So is literally that child latching on to the first source of affection in 30 years, and Su is being tugged in two directions by an "ideal guy who is just SO good to her" and an empathy for So's situation. Wow it feels so shallow after breaking it down, but then again, what would I know? I have all of maybe 20 minutes of actual interaction to go on.

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I think there's two versions of the kiss? In the international version, there's 2 kisses, and Soo struggles a lot against him and cries before eventually becoming still. I haven't seen the SBS version (the one reviewed here), but it seems that there's only one kiss and she just tenses up - there isn't nearly as much resistance.

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She is struggling there as well but it's more subtle because of all the edits,if one watches close u can see her hands trying to push him away...For some reasons i think the Dramafever version looks better among the two even if it's clear there she is opposing him as we see more of both their reactions than this one...That is if they don't show something in the next episode and not pass it

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Yeah there's 2 versions of the kiss. the international one he kissed her twice, the 2nd time she didn't resist and let him kiss her.

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I totally agree! I watched the SBS version first and then watched the international one and the end is totally different! It's just one more kiss but... it leaves us with waaaaaaay more clues about how Su feels.

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even kiss also two versions.. and it seems to make a lot of difference due to the editing..

i think before the show end, my brain would be toasted before that..

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Oh she gave in all right... All you have to do is watch the right version to see that scene lol.

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I saw the version with two kisses and she most definitally did not give in, she gave up on struggle to get free and instead went still in the hopes that he would release her, which he kind of did. She was even crying during the second kiss and those where not happy tears.

I understand why he forced himself onto her, but do not twist it and imply that she welcomed it eventually. She clearly did not.

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Yes, that is what I saw also. At the end, she accepts and stops resisting. I took it as accepting her fate vis-a-vis So.

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Putting aside that my bias LJK is the one portraying So, I do understand why he reacted that way. As mentioned in the recap, he had a harsh upbringing unlike the rest of his brothers and he doesn't know how to communicate his feelings.

He gets his hope up by placing a trust in Haesoo and now she is rejecting him. As he said, he likes himself better now and tries to be cordial to suit his new-self but when Haesoo continues with such an abrupt change in attitude towards him, he couldn't stop himself from reverting to his old self that is to force things to happen because that is the only way he knows that he could get things his ways. He had failed to understand her distancing by asking nicely, by cordial approach, so all he knows what he can do best is by force.

I watched both the subs first before the raw version. She resisted the kiss in the beginning but eventually stopped before they cut off to the upcoming's episode preview. Still, I find nothing romantic in the kiss other than feeling extreme pity towards Wang So. If that kiss is to serve as medium for Haesoo to validate her unconscious feelings towards Wang So, I am totally not sold unless she ended up reciprocating his kiss once she's done resisting.

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Exactly.

To take a modern context, it felt like someone kissing his girlfriend desperately after she told him lets break up, just before he was about to propose to her.

Forced kisses are never ok ... but It didn't feel sexual. It was just pure desperation and heart break. its like he is trying to hold on to the first person who has cared about him. he can't figure it out in his head what changed ?

he stopped when he realised she was crying ... and i think the follow up scene is more important to really tell us what kind of a person he is.

remember he was so scornful of You when he was trying to kiss YH. He doesn't seem the kind to force his attention on where he is not needed. He is just devastated that he is not needed here by his person. And he can't figure out why

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this is sugarcoating it,
the forced kiss is not okay and her reaction to mention in the another version is still not make the force kiss okay or the message portrayed okay,

so leave it at that this week, and revised it next week than try to add the layer to make it more accepted when it simply a force behaviour, a sexual harassment- we have the term now,

he is out of the boundary and that his flaw, a not desirable trait,
even if it the norm that "era", it still not a good sign,
but is it? when at that "era" people are so judgemental about the rumor and bad behaviour, people didn't do that in broad place and by force, they did it secretly in their chamber, even looked at girl up head is not a good sign,
Soo is not a gentleman and he better learn

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Points taken that many feel forced kiss is not ok.

But Wang So has never been a gentleman from the get go. He at least tried to become one when with Haesoo.

I don't agree with the term sexual harassment in the case. There is no lust in that forced kiss, which I view it more on his desperation to mark a stamp that she is his, which I know again is so not-gentleman like but that is the only thing he knows of how to articulate his feelings and claim what he feel is rightfully his.

I don't know if my perception is too much governed by the nuance performance by LJK that his portrayal of a wounded puppy is so poignant, and that IU's delivery of Haesoo looking all so delusional and psychotic at the same time, I just kind of feel the forced kiss is needed to get her back to her senses and get a grip of reality cause she really appeared like she went cuckoo last night.

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@pre-empted

No one is sugar coating anything. And the kiss is not ok. It is not supposed to be ok. its supposed to show how desperate this man is getting. how he longs for affection but does not get it despite trying so hard. which finally shapes him to be the man that history knew. cruelty, indifference, fear, is all that he knows. And when he thinks he has found something else, he is kicked back to place zero.

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This must be because of LJK acting skill that I don't feel angry at the forced kiss, but instead I feel the desperation of wanting to be loved and accepted by who he is.
This guy has no experience of emotional expression, aside from being angry. I think I can say that he is confused on how to express his affection to Su.
I get that he will be very territorial to his 'posession' --> as he said. That's bcause he never learnt to be loved or to love someone else in his life.

Btw, this drma rrally interests me because I think this is the first time I see a lead actor not being protagonist. He is a cold blooded prince who is willing to kill whenever he needs to. But alas, I can get his hurt and frustration. My respect for LJK for making a villain so interesting to watch and moreover understandable.

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Do we really need to make a war out of who kissed who and how it ended. Surely this is not the center for unfair rights and what not. In the course of events lots of things happen and this is part of it. We all know in our mind that So is not a bad person lol. And yes, there is an extended version, this is not just it. In the one that I saw, Suu gave in to the kiss, and yes So just stops right there. Cause he realizes she's not giving any response, or rather probably that she does not want it at that very moment. I don't know why there are so many versions floating in every second site, for instance I have not seen that bridal night scene of the 10th prince. What's wrong with SBS and dramafever seriously. Why are they cutting down all the important scenes. I also wonder why Suu kept touching her hands, is it because of that time when So held her hands and told her I would make you mine or something? Now I missed that scene as well.

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To put it simply 'No means No'. If she has already said to let her go then he had no right to touch her or kiss her, and that is called harassment. Here, a girl is shown weak and it felt like anyone could do anything to her just because she is a girl, I am sorry but I was disappointed in this scene. You guys shouldn't make his pain or sadness as an excuse, really.

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If this forced kiss purpose was to show how cruel, evil and fearless So is going to become then it is alright because it serves the purpose, but it was not alright in any way to portray it as romantic.

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Partially yes, that scene is to show how possesive So could be. So i think the forcedc kiss is relevant.

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I also can't get over the fact that she promised him that she will never change if he trusts her. What a disappointment on his part. I am not defending the forceful kiss, but I am angry with Hae Soo's attitude towards him. I understand that she is scared but still... It also looks like she will change her attitude completely when things go down after the 10th episode. Does it really have to be this way? I mean does the character has to change her attitude 180 degrees in every episode. It's too tiring sometimes...

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Sorry guys, but your love for LJK is clouding your view on this: forced kisses are not ok, the girl will not like it and nowadays if you persist this can land you a report for harassment..I guess it's ok for most viewers since this show is meant to be a vehicle for LJK's charms, and we know that she will love him at some point, but I find the writer's approach so wrong. At least for us who are not die-hard fans, it's certainly too much to endure...even worse since they are building up a sweet romance between Su and Wook. Maybe the presence of Lady Hae was a big no at the beginning, but time has passed and what we have now is a sweet guy that accepted letting go of a crush in respect for his late wife (a prince no less, who could have the women he wants at that time). Now he cares about Su, there is undeniable sexual chemistry and even teaching her how to write turns into something hot and to swoon (butterflies included) about. They have promised to wait for the other, c'mon! Am I the only one going the opposite direction we are supposed to go as viewers? I recognize I am curious to see how they intend to turn the tables and make believable that Su falls for So after being so taken with Wook. If it's with forced kisses, not buying it and will drop this soon; I'm starting to feel way too frustrated.
I think there is a problem with the narrative. I had SLS before but was always able to understand why the heroine would choose the other guy...but here, I can't feel it.

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I think the writer simply add it because it happened in the original. Yes it was forceful and towards the end she calmed down. I hope she'd slap him and tell him that expressing his frustrations in this manner is unacceptable.
(wrist grabbing is getting old too)

We've seen this in both modern dramas and sageuks so I don't think it was about Wang-so flexing his heaven-like status.
He was afraid she would turn on him too like his family and he didn't know how to act properly.

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Oh wait, slapping a prince would get her killed but since this is not an authentic sageuk in shape or form, she'd be forgiven and the show will move on.

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So's desperation does not excuse loutish harassing behaviour. It's the typical chauvinist view that "No, really means Yes". He is just a selfish prick with no thought of the feelings of the girl he supposedly loves.

Soo is a modern girl from the 21st century with modern sensibilities and she perceives him as a mass murderer (of people she has come to like and not strangers!). I doubt that after the frustration and fear that she may have created a monster and her undeniable attraction to Wook, she would suddenly fall in love with So because he sexually harassed her! More like she decided to put her foot down to make it clear to him that she fears him. When he jumped her previously (after the rain ceremony) she pretended that she reacted that way because she was surprised. She was cautious in not offending him then. That gave the wrong signal to him and he groped her again (I'm sure detractors will say the back-hug was lonely him finding solace). She then made it clear she does not welcome it and he reacts by kissing her.....so wrong!

All Soo did was to try to help So because she is good at making concealer. She was friendly with him but then she was friendly to all the princes. She even helped the crown prince as well with his eczema and he does not go around saying that he owns her or vice versa and mind you he is the crown prince!

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In the chinese version, we have the same scene. In that instance, the fourth prince misinterprets the heroine's actions as hidden affection towards him. He backs off when he realizes that isn't the case. (From what I recall, the heroine calls him on the kiss.)

I'm giving it a pass because it's meant to be vaguely historical. Su may be a modern girl but So definitely isn't. So hasn't been raised to understand social niceties such as "don't grab the girl". (And consider that his big brother did pretty much the same thing to Wook's sister.) That plus having the first sign of affection from a person, a person who helped him with his scar, you can understand why this terribly abused person latched onto Su. (I doubt this So character has seen a respectful loving relationship between a man and a woman. And I didn't see the kiss as sexual. I saw it in terms of possession... as in "You are on my side even if the rest of the world hates me.")

If it's anything like the chinese version, So will back off and eventually, the heroine will see the gentler side of So and come to love him for that.

As for Wook - I'm not in favor of him. A married man who was looking? And not only looking - his wife noticed? And for all his great love profession that came a little too little too late, I don't see any genuine mourning for his dead wife. I still don't get the attraction because wouldn't Su realize that she is the other woman? Wouldn't she feel guilty for doing the same thing that her best friend and boyfriend did to her? Wouldn't she consider Wook and her ex-boyfriend on the same level?

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Just let it go. If not happy with the plot then don't watch it. Why so overworked with that kiss scene? All the bad guys inside the jail, most of them have dysfunctional family. When your are raised like that, abused (so has been abused by kang clan) and unloved, you will act like a psycho especially when someone that said he/she trust u suddenly talk the opposite for just a day. It's like u get backstabbed, if u are raised properly by good family, of course u will just accept it and go. But if u are full of anger, sadness, unhappiness, shame, etc, u guess what will u do? Of course it's a big no to do that kind of thing in our point of view. But that's the reason why SO did it, so that we know he is not properly taught since he was kid, he is not someone with a good manner since nobody cares about him let alone teach him about manners. He is just the person like that, just accept it. Someone who is so desperate for love and can kill for love. (Just like what he did, massacre the monks for his mother). Yes, he is not a saint, his character is supposed to be like that, ruthless, cold blooded king. Who knows why soo will like him? I will just continue watching the drama, a lead character does not always to be so perfect like a saint. Perhaps he will learn something later. Who knows? The show is not even finished yet. So if u guys are bot happy watching it (eps 9) u can stop watching it. The end of the story.

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Umm I have to say, that this kiss was executed forcibly on the C-drama as well . I don't know about the novel though...

This kiss, forced as it is, is the turning point in their relationship , let's see what happens.

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100% agree with both of you. That was quite possibly the worst moment for a kiss, period.
They were both going about things the wrong way.
Yes, So hasn't done any of the things Su has seen in her visions... *Gulp* Yet... But if he's already been doomed by history to become a family mass murderer-and his current track record is far from spotless-it's easy to see how this could make her fear him.

I really miss their easy friendship. One minute trading barbs, the next treading deeper topics that mostly fly over Su's head... Ah, simpler times. But this is Dramaland here things do not stay simple for long. In fact, they get pretty damn messy. Like, everything jam packed in a blender without a lid messy.

I've seen a lot of comments about how could Su do a total 180 on So after he killed the monk assassins vs seeing him in her visions. The thing with monks was right after her talk with Wook about how he first killed a home invader at 11. My guess is Su assumed So had killed then for survival/protecting someone. Which was kind of true?
Yet there's a big difference between hearing about a killing, and-sort of-witnessing it firsthand. On top of that, if the victims are people you care about? I don't think I'd be in the right head space at all. Is So responsible for her visions? No, but as Heads said, he is a dangerous man. A very pretty man, but still a dangerous one.

Now about that kiss... *wrings hands and falls to her knees* WHY DRAMA GODS WHY??? I thought we were past this nonsense!
In all seriousness, there was nothing about this scene that I cared for. The possessiveness, the anger, and the use of force. I understand why it was all there, but I really didn't like it. Yes, So has had a terrible life. Yes, he is starving for affection and acceptance, which makes Su basically heroine to him. I can see why he'd cling to her for dear life. When she turned on him and said he should leave, that look on his face. "Not you too" I really felt for So. The poor guy can't catch a break.

Yet, the minute he started spouting that "You're mine" nonsense, and forcing himself on her... I just.... UGH!!!
Odds are So hasn't had great examples for affection and romance in his life. But he clearly recognizes it, like when Mommy Dearest was giggling and fussing over prince 14-yes that is how I keep the non leads straight don't judge me. He saw how affectionate his mother COULD be, which makes her cold demeanor hurt more.

I'm getting off topic, and it's late

Was the kiss an act of desperation? Yes.
Does that make it ok? Absolutely not.
So better realize immediately what he did was wrong, or Su better tear him a new one to drive home the same point.

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The forced kiss was actually extended in the DramaFever/International version so I would recommend you check that out. Hae Soo closed her eyes cried while Wang So just backed up a little bit and stared with eyes of regret.

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I watched the international version..So staring at the streak of tear from Su's face broke my heart into pieces.

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oh god yes, part of the reason why the forced kiss and Su's freaking out about So all through the episode worries me so much, is because it left an already pretty good relationship in ruins (or it will, if this continues).

Their friendship was strong enough to withstand him telling her in no uncertain terms that he saw her as a romantic interest even when she didn't reciprocate (she was still happy and supportive and not uncomfortable at all at the rain ceremony, until the vision)- but now it's being undone by, well, this? It sucks.

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I completely agree. It's a very heartbreaking attempt at trying to make everything okay again but unfortunately, I feel like his efforts will be for naught. I wouldn't even label it as a kiss to begin with. We can see how desperate he wants their relationship to be like what it used to be BUT SHE'S JUST TOO DANG SCARED.

I'm still wrapping my head around that. I know those visions are super jarring, but her change in behavior made me so angry. She PROMISED him that she wouldn't change. He TRUSTED her. But she basically threw all of that back in face during this episode. Oh my jeezus, they better redeem her in the next episode.

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Both need redemption. Wang So for forced kissed Hae Soo (they better make him apologetic for the kiss) and Hae Soo for backing out what she said when things get rough (understandable but not good enough).

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I agree! He looked so regretful after backing off so I'm hoping he apologizes. I didn't see anything romantic about that kiss at all. It was super uncomfortable, full of desperation, and mostly heartbreak. Maybe it's LJK's acting but I really felt for his character and bewilderment at Soo's accusations. One minute she's smiling and helping him, the next she's all hysterical and accusing him of things he hasn't even done yet. Guuuurl...

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@doubt_no_more @Diana - seconding everything you guys say.

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How would you behave if you were in her position suddenly realising that the man in front of you is a mass-killer / will be a mass-killer?

It's perfectly normal for her to be hysterical once realisation sets in - pretty sure most of us will feel the same.

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@Bashful82 I get it shes freaking out, terrified and overwhelmed with that vision, heck I did, and I understand her reaction, but to tell the guy she said she wouldn't change and showed a 180 degree flipped, I was disappointed. So yeah, both did wrong and I won't gloss over it, in fact I am curious and waiting for both of their redemption because I love them both, individually, and also as a couple.

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@pogo You're right, redemption is too strong for a word. But damage has been done, and they need to repair whatever that happened asap, because it hurts my heart to see them drifting apart, especially their friendship. I guess, what happened that night were things that out of their hands. Both were at wrong time and place, and they weren't ready to be in each other's company....

Judging from the preview, I can see them trying to learn their way into each other again. Cannot wait!

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I think people are being too hard on HaeSoo. If we learned that someone close to us was going to murder people who we saw as family, one of them we were halfway to being in love with, we would freak out too. The truth is HaeSoo is just an ordinary girl/woman. We can't expect her to just roll with and soldier on with no reaction. I think this was the most realistic response she's had to the dangers in the world that she finds herself in so far. We shouldn't expect her to just be okay with shouldering So's emotional burden, his future actions which are most likely set in stone (historically speaking they are) and her own issues with surviving the palace, especially now that she has pretty much been declared as So's ally in the court.

I didn't like the forced kiss at all.But I understand where So is coming from. He is emotionally damaged from his upbringing and a few good things happening to him is no going to change that so quickly. He doesn't know how to deal with negative emotions except through violence and HaeSoo just happened to have her breakdown at the worst moment for him. But how he responded to that is in no way her fault. I don't think HaeSoo should be held responsible for his actions, now or in the future.

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@Diana: I genuinely don't think she needs to be redeemed at all. She's clearly having an anxiety attack and is on the edge. And while the reaction is sudden for him and I can see how hurtful it is for him, it's not sudden for the audience. We can't judge her the same way as So despite knowing everything. She's reverted back to the state she was in when she first arrived because she's terrified and has no one at all to turn to, without making herself sound crazy. That ever-present panic was so palpable in the last scene and he didn't read her well enough either, both of them- understandably and believably imo- prioritised themselves and their emotional state over that of the other, Su with her cruel words, So with his forced kiss.

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I don't think 'redemption' is exactly the right word here, but something needs to change about Su's current terrified state, and dare I hope for some kind of realisation from Su that she basically went on the attack against So based on nothing that he actually did? Just as I want So to regret what he did to her, and realise that forcing her is not the way to win her heart.

I will NOT be happy if those visions end up turning So/Su on a dime from friends to basically her viewing herself as a hostage and staying with him only to change the history she knows.

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@pogo: I agree that it's sudden but I think there's very little leeway being given for Su's mental state while So's is being prioritised, even though we have enough canon material to understand both. If we can see why So acted the way he did, it's fairly clear why Su did as well. Besides she was in the middle of what looked like an anxiety attack. He didn't come across her suddenly in a regular station and she reacted badly, we'd seen in the scene before how panicked and terrified she was and couldn't seem to breathe. I'm pretty sure she's going to realize that she was in the wrong later for how specifically cruel she was, but she's as understandable as So.

But I doubt that's going to happen re: the hostage situation, the interviews made it clear that So was the love of her life and reading the comments I'm okay with how it happens (if the spoilers are correct.) I prefer this initial narrative because it makes it more tragic that she later comes to love him and then we'll have to see whether he still becomes the Gwangjong she's read about or not.

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@Zoe - I think part of the reason why So is getting greater leeway is because his characterisation has been pretty consistent all along, and it's really easy to see why he is the way he is in this episode. Plus he's reacting to something that's actually happening in front of him (Su's rejection of him/her words), and not something that's still strictly in the head (So as monstrous Gwangjong) like Su did.

In Su's case, I feel like some of the question marks come from the way she was completely freaking out, which doesn't quite line up with the way she's reacted to things earlier - she's seen him come fresh off killing 30 men and told him he must have had a reason for it, she was uneasy at the thought that one of the brothers was Gwangjong but still remained buddies with So and planned to get together with Wook with that knowledge (and the prospect of him being Gwangjong) in the background. She didn't act any differently with anyone after having her initial realisation.

So with that in mind, the complete freakout in reaction to the vision of So as Gwangjong seems rather out of proportion, even if it's understandable. In the moment, it's believable - but the trouble is the premise itself (Su is ok with the men in her life killing multiple people but not if she sees it in a vision when they haven't actually done anything yet and the real-life person the visions are about is actually pretty disinclined to go around killing anyone right at this moment).

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Also, I know she does fall in love with him - they're the leads in a drama, after all.

I just don't want it to be just some twisted version of Stockholm Syndrome combined with pity on her end and obsession on his - that would be a real shame, after we were initially offered the prospect of a love at least partially built on friendship and communication.

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"I just don’t want it to be just some twisted version of Stockholm Syndrome combined with pity on her end and obsession on his – that would be a real shame, after we were initially offered the prospect of a love at least partially built on friendship and communication."

Took the words right out of my mouth. This is my greatest fear for them too-I will riot if they waste the beautiful foundation they built the relationship on and make them get together out of guilt, fear, pity and obsession. Like no, thank you, do not pass go, do not collect $200, I do NOT volunteer for this.

Even if it starts off like that and gets better, the beginning of the romantic phase of their relationship will be 'tainted' for me and I will be extremely disappointed if they go that route. The So-Su relationship is one of the strongest points of the show IMO, I love that they aren't the 'typical' kdrama couple on most points, and fingers crossed they don't mess with it.

I want Su to be with So because she CHOOSES to be. I want her to make a conscious decision to give up on Wook, not to save him or out of some noble act, but because she doesn't feel like that for him any more. We have 11 episodes left, and I know I said I love slow burn ships but erm...I feel like we're running out of time to make the So-Su ship as wonderful and believable as their friendship was.

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@Zoe: After sleeping it through and thinking about it constantly last night, you're right. However, like pogo said, I still feel like she needs to do SOMETHING. Something that will make us believe in her friendship and entire relationship with So again. It's obvious that So will regret his part in the forced kiss because in one of the previews he tells her, "You said you are afraid of me. I don't believe it. Because you're my only friend, whether it's love or friendship, all are the same." I'm assuming like in the original Chinese drama, he will give her a choice. But we'll just have to wait and see!

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@ivorylight Yes to everything you just said!!! But how can Su even begin to give up on Wook, when he has been her Knight in Shining Hanbok from the very beginning. He can do no wrong in her eyes.

I can't even --- this show...

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Agreed. I don't understand the hate comments about the kiss. It's not supposed to be romantic or endearing. It's supposed to make us all sick and unhappy. Got to let the story play out some more, I doubt he will be the bad bad guy of the drama. Just from the previews it's obvious there will be changes in our main characters

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Sorry, I was meant to reply comment below. LOL. I got confused

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I also interpreted it as desperation. Especially in light of the "almost kiss" that was in the last episode (raw version), where he held her a bit and leaned in like he was going to kiss her and watched her face the whole time and when he saw she wasn't going to reciprocate, he backed off. So when he went ahead with the kiss this time it seemed to me he was a little out of his head. Also, in the version I watched of this episode, she seemed more surprised than horrified, though after her reaction to the visions she would have been more horrified! I will have to wait until next week to make a fully formed conclusion I guess.

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Although the International Eng Sub version had some scenes removed from the Raw Version. I preferred the International Version this time especially on the last ending scene. It showed in the International Version that Hae Soo stop resisting Wang So kiss as he pulled away from her just as a solitary tear escaped from her eyes.The emotions in Hae Soo & Wang So's eyes were both heartbreaking.

Seriously, SBS should stop releasing 2 different version this time. I hate that they always removed the scenes between Hae Soo & Wang So.

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For a guy that has never felt or even showed loved his entire life, I will say this... Give the guy a break. He is trying, at least he is.

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If you look at it from his perspective it's understandable why he would forcefully kiss her. But that doesn't changed the fact that it was forced. I'm looking at the whole picture. Hae soo is afraid of him and she clearly states that and then he forces himself on her--that's uncomfortable to watch. From his end, like I've stated in my comment reply to Nana, he was not doing it out of lust.

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@ChibiMonster
I agree with you, it's very acceptable from his perspective and also considering the time period, comon, it's the ancient time where men dominate and have the power to everything.
So is not known for his gentleness, and Su knows that he has a beast side, he kill people. He does not handle emotions well, she even asked him to not kill when he angry so it's a definite that Su and us viewer know that we can't expect So to be a gentlemen all of a sudden.
Yes, if it was a modern period drama, forceful kiss is oldschool and should not happen, but this is saeguk. In this context, the kiss is quite acceptable, So was just desperate to have at least 1 person on his side, who care for him wholeheartedly without thinking of using him. Because even his own father is using him to protect the CP

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Hmm... Actually for this episode it's very tensed and well played by both leads.
On Hae Soo, although she is touched and feel romantic feelings for Wook, I feel it's more like a crush. If there's no So, that pull of affection could be very different.
While Wook exudes scholar mannerism, So exudes a darker side, a cold mask that is slowly cracked by Hae Soo.
As a modern gal who fell into this feudal times, with no one to really count on, Wook is like an anchor. And Hae Soo has the tendency to help people (just look at what bring her to goryeo in the first place), So is a wounded puppy that she unwillingly wants to help. She can't help it. It's just her.
She has a practical side. And at the base she believes in the goodness of people even though she's still deep scared of her own future in this unknown world.
The attraction between So and Soo started when she is curious about So.
For ep 9, Soo realises that she may be the catalyst that may caused the chain of tragedy... Anyone would be scared. Everyone she knows and likes will die. The friend, the So she thought she knew, became a murderer of his own family.
A wounded cub when forced at the corner will snarl and attack. So, is a trained swordsman. He has lived because he killed to survive. He known no other way except to conquer through actions.
To him Soo is a harbor. The first person he trusts. That trust was thrown back.
Both in desperation did and said things which shouldn't be.
I doubt So will apologize. He will feel regrets but he won't apologize. Not at this time anyway. And Soo, if her character stands true, she'll pick up her broken pieces and go gung-ho again.

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I agree with you, ChibiMonster. Even if it was understandable, nothing changes the fact that it was forced.

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Have you seen the International Version? When Hae Soo stopped resisting Wang So?

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Sorry Yoyo, that's no excuse to make it ok that it's forced. Totally disagree with you.

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Please read chibimonster and ahn's response above. They took the words out of my mouth.

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I never said it wasn't understandable; I agreed w/ chibimonster. Regardless, it doesn't take away the fact that it was forced, and that's not ok.

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When you said "Give the guy a break. He is trying, at least he is" makes it sound like you're excusing him for using force, which was what I disagreed with.

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That is why , again, the cut scene becomes impt..

rain scene shows how much he is sensitive towards her.. even though she pushes him back quite violently and that push screams 'disgust'.. he is the one who apologizes to her for not have been more cautious

The almost kiss and backoff in last episode..

Him trying to ask her in makeup scene this episode..

Everytime he tries to even smile at her..she gives such a horrified look and runs away..

So, yea .. the guy did all he could.. and clearly is at loss as to what could have happened from her smiling back during prayer.. to immediately distancing herself..

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I understand why this is upsetting to many people. I feel the same as a couple people here that he's tried to be respectful and patient...to hold back his emotions and let her 'catch up' to him...his declaration last episode let her know how he felt and that he would be pursuing her.

I took that kiss to be a mix of desperation and terror of losing her. He was already in a very raw place from the family dinner after riding that emotional/hopeful high from the rain ceremony and Soo's actions to help him. She also told him she understood betrayal last episode and would never change. She promised. He then put his self into her metaphorical and physical hands....trusting her...his first person ever. Now she's lashing out and saying all the same things people have said to him his entire life...monster....after promising she wouldn't change. We may not agree with the character's choices but I can totally see where he is coming from here.

I actually winced every time Soo pulled/ran/pushed away from Su in this episode. I kept thinking what if those very actions and her change in attitude towards him are what make him into the harsh Su?? I get she's terrified but I get frustrated with a character making a grand promise like last episode only to renege on it so quickly. Also understandable in her fear but that's my bone to pick :)

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And that is exactly what has happened..
In her jittery state.. she has said words to Wook that she herself may not remember.. but which have already put known history into motion..

Its a classic example of how we judge people..

If she were to realize that wook was the king..i am sure she would have wondered how a gentle soul as him turns into killer....people must have betrayed him to make him do all those heinous things... she would have given him the benefit of doubt that she doesn't know what situations will lead up to it.. and how she can help..

With WS.. everyone knows his 'soldier'/killer/ martial arts capabilities.. so they just jump into conclusion that he will do it for the wrong reasons..because everyone is so nice and he is the one who is rude all the time..

Image management- was important then, is important now

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Well on the good side, once she falls for WS, she has to suffer endlessly.. kind of a payoff for WS suffering rt now :)

The 6 min trailer looks more interesting now

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This! Exactly on my mind. What Su envisioned may influence how shr treats So and in the end how So becomes. The evil circle.
Like when a kid is being labelled naughty and at the end he doesn't want to try to be kind anymore and just be the person that everyone labels him

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@EZ: Very interesting psychological insights!

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I'm completely on the side that Soo's actions/words are going to be partially responsible for what happens next.

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the happy ending she wants just doesnt seems possible..

even the queen and yo themselves know that (yeonhwa in earlier ep) which era of king doesnt do the same thing.. its more or less a fact already.. only the one becoming the king and his family are safe.. the rest of the prince/brothers are more or less made powerless, kept in control, killed or exile? (no good ending for them as long as the king felt threatened)

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No.

Forcing yourself on someone is never okay, I don't care how screwed up of a history you have.

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Agree. Even if it can be justified or even forgiven, for me it can never be an initiation of romance. She is in love with Wook now, the kind of love that keeps you awake at night thinking of your loved one, if we believe what we are being told. I can't ever believe that an infatuated woman would start changing her mind due to another guy trying to take "ownership" of her this way. I would feel trapped and desperated and longing for my lover even more. I feel the storytelling as forced as the kiss, god knows that I like IU but not sure I want to keep watching. I think you need to be a fan of LJK to turn a blind eye on all this...

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Agree. And put in its historical perspective, it's not surprising.

Not what we'd want to see that behavior in today's day and age. But it is an appropriate portrayal for the context of the character.

Dude ended up marrying his 1/2 sister and a niece (I think) in an effort to consolidate his power within the Royal family. And apparently killed-off most of the rest of them. All of which was common practice.

Like Heads said. He was a dangerous guy. And the show is boldly making that statement. Even his desperate need for comfort caused him to behave like an animal toward the only person who treated him like a human.

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YES I AGREE. it made me SO MAD especially after the scene yesterday (that wasn't in the international version) of him moving towards her & letting her go when she was frozen. if the kiss happened then, i'd honestly feel less upset than when it happened now.

in the korean version tho, he kisses her & she is hitting him & it ends abruptly. in the international version, he kisses her, she hits him, then she stops hitting him, a tear falls down her cheek, & he steps back to look at her - then it ends. the vibe was different to me (tho still disgusting after she said she was SCARED of him) & i feel like he might be horrified by his own actions at the start of episode 10. after repeating how others see him as an animal but soo didn't, he WANTS to prove them wrong & that action did not.

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You said it perfectly dude! I'm hoping he feels remorse next episode and apologizes.

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Yup, and in that case, the scene would have been purposefully portrayed as uncomfortable (to us viewers and to Soo) in order to make him see that he did something wrong.

Though I don't really know what to think if he doesn't apologize and this whole thing gets glossed over...

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He looked like he's regretting what he did in the end of the international version, esp when he looked at HS

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I watched the international version so yes, she stopped resisting and he pulled away once he noticed she was crying.

[SPOILERS FROM PREVIEW]

At this juncture, am I the only who feel that this So-Su ship is sinking? I am not feeling the love and have this burning desire to jump off and board another ship...that is So-Yeonhwa. At least with her, he is less pitiful.

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I'm hoping that she's upset over something else and that the preview is just trying to mislead us.

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[SPOILERS???]

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At this juncture, am I the only who feel that this So-Su ship is sinking?

Nope, I'm feeling the same thing. And its quite horrid given that he's supposed to be the male lead but it feels like no one in the show seriously cares for him no matter what he does. Not his brothers, not the woman he thought he could trust and definitely not his parents.

Feel like reaching into the screen and pulling him away from all this mess.

:/

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Hemmm... even if he doesn't end up with Soo, It won't degrade him to a second male lead. Winning the girl or not, his presence is way too strong compares to the other Princes.

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I for once feel like he is better off with Yeon Hwa than with Haesoo.

I am just agitated with the way the story flow between the OTP. The feeling that is to transpire from Haesoo towards Wang So is more of a pitiful feeling instead of genuine intense deep love. This is the point I regretted the most.

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@del

Exactly! I just wonder how they are ever going to develop a proper love-line between So-Su because its episode 9 and even now all she seems to feel for him is just pity and fear...which is a far cry from the love or attraction she should start feeling.

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I don't really agree... the 13th prince (-the artsy one?) the one who didn't look at his face when he showed it to everyone at the bday party, well he seems to be on his side and becoming friends with him. Even in one of the trailers you can see him at So's right side, in armour and sitting on horses - I guess getting ready for a battle (there was also a third person-maybe the general - I don't remember...).

Also his younger brother seems to have defended him in front of the mother and brother at the "family" dinner in this episode. Then there is the astronomer who keeps helping and supporting him, then the general who thought him martial arts, his older brother -the Crown Prince seems to respect him and wanting him by his side and in this episode the King's affection or confirmation or however you want to call that.... why is everyone ignoring that? I think these "little" scenes and situations are important for what will happen in the latter episodes...when the brothers will have to chose sides, etc....

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@dramalove14 I was referring to the "Not his brothers" part*** :)

As for the So-Su ship...I don' t think it's sinking :D

Gosh....I should have not started to watch this drama until all the episodes are aired and then just binge on a week end ahahha. But that's ok, this is my second kdrama and I've learned from it. When HWARANG comes out ...I will wait until it's over and then start watching!! :D

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It's actually not sinking lol.

There's a post (http://www.instiz.net/pt/4073382) that basically tells the synopsis for the next episode and in order to save the woman he loves, So will go as far as to risk his own life to save her. In one of the previews, there's a mention of poison... Apparently that's the turning point in their relationship. Did you also see Wook crying in the preview? It looks like things aren't so great on Wook and Soo's end either.

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I have officially jumped off that ship.
Instead....I am shipping myself with So. I promise to treat him nice, don't worry.

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You just made my day!

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So will risk his life to save Suu , and that will be the turning point of their relationship, as in they'll get together? If so, I hope it won't be due to Suu feeling sorry and grateful for what he is willing to do, with another 180 degres turn.

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Mommy Dearest dares So to save CP or the King using Hae Soo,because if she is the one serving the tea with poision she dies and he most likely takes the cup and drinks it t save both of them but more her...The preview actually kinda tells it all..i think there she will change her demandor about him,after seeing what he did for her,risking his own life...Also curious if she is having her own internal struggle by then,aka help save him battle the poision of let him die

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I watched the international version, but based on your description, if I had to choose one, I would've preferred the Korean version.

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I watched in One tv, the schene ended tear falls, soo's hand hit him but then lay down just like so at last resigned to him

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Well, the setting is set in Goryeo era, so we're definitely not past "that" era. lol

Anyways, all jokes aside, I have not watched this episode because I am scared of HS and WS falling apart. I definitely did not want to see the forced kiss I saw on yesterday's preview. I could tell though that it was out of desperation. I'm pretty sure WS would come to his senses afterwards and apologize (at least I think I do) for what he did. He always had a soft spot for HS, so I'm expecting him to do the right thing (how ironic lol).

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By "era" I meant the korean drama era of forcing oneself on another. It's an old routine, that I had hoped would change. It's present in a lot of dramas besides korean ones, I just don't like nor agree with the message it sends. Kiss a girl until she complies? Um no.

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Don't worry. It's not sending anything. In real the world, normal people would not force a kiss on somebody else -- only sexual harassers would. I have already accepted the fact that writers in Korean dramas would do anything for a story that would conjure any sorts of emotions from the viewers. smh

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In this case you can blame Tong Hua for the forced kiss... She's an expert at driving her readers to madness over how her characters behave. Believe me, I've suffered over two of her books. Sigh.

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I agree Lynn.

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Totally agree with you. It's a drama staple and anyone who has been watching KDrama for years knows this. I just move on. I work 6 days a week and I do not have the time nor energy to dissect and expound on the vagaries of KDrama writers. I watch and hope for the best. And for LJK's sake, I hope for the best.

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I don't know if that can be called a kiss, it was more like a...plea or something. The problem with So waiting for a signal is I don't know that he'd be able to recognise it in the first place. It doesn't seem like much of a stretch to say that in the fucked up mind of So, Su's almost constant affections and honesty (prior to this episode anyway) might be interpreted as the proverbial green light. We are talking about the same guy who killed the monk assassins to take the blame off the mother who hates him while still pledging his loyalty to the Crown Prince she wants dead.

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I think the scene was used to reinforce the fact that Su is not where she belongs. She's dealing with a man that will, at some point as seen in her visions, murder his brothers and be remembered as a cruel and vicious king. Her crying and unclenching her fist is her resigning herself to fate, is how I interpreted it. It's part of Su coming to terms that yes, Soo is dangerous and more than capable of hurting her.

She's just trying to survive now.

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If he kisses me I wouldn't resist! I swear!

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LOL. Me too. What on earth was she thinking. I feel like smacking her heard and tell her "Hey, come on! That is LEE JUN KI! LEE JUN KI!"

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I think back at the future, Ha Jin/Hae Soo wasn't a big fan of korean drama. Or else she would've recognize Lee Junki look alike from Goryeo....

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LOL. That was funny.

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LOL!!!
That is so funny.

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I do agree that a forceful kiss is a big no no.

However... I don't think we should get mad with the show either. It's not like they're trying to sugar-coating that forceful kiss scene. They showed us how terrible it was for Soo through her reaction. The show DID mean that kiss scene as a horrible act of Wang So.

I just see it as a part of Wang So's character dynamic. We don't necessarily have to agree with it or like it. What matters is his action is in line with how his character is meant to be... possessive and obsessive.

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I agree that the drama didn't seem to be trying to make it romantic, there was no swelling music or spinning camera work but there's now a lot of work that needs doing before I'm even close to rooting for this couple.

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+1. My litmus test for forced kisses is always how the show presents it; romanticised kisses are a no, but if they're presented as forced, then I read them differently. It doesn't mean they're okay, it means the show recognises they're not, which is an acceptable way to structure a narrative imo. I don't think no show should have scenes like this or should pretend that things like this don't happen, but it should be clear-eyed about what it's showing. The rest is up to the viewer, if they're turned off by it, that's fine and if they're okay with it as a story without feeling the need to justify it as being acceptable, that's fine too.

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+1. Thank you, nchoe.

Getting more and more intense, this show.
Oh, What could have been if only all the episodes were this good.

(Oh, SBS... Just release the UNCUT version of this series on DVD!)

Excited for the next episode!

Thanks for the recap :)

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Oh yeah... I desperately need the uncut version DVD! I'll watch it even if its episodes are 2 hours long

wait... now that they make me desperately want to buy the DVD... I wonder whether the choppy editing was intentional... marketing strategy of sorts? LOL

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Totally agree with nchoe!
The only thing WS deserves is love and compassion at this stage. Not a so calledd judgemental friend.
?

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I agree - I think we *are* past the forceful kiss era, and that last kiss was rather meant to shock and perhaps frighten, not as a romantic gesture. It underlines that while he is at times a gentle soul - still half-child in his glee at little things and his craving for acceptance - he also has a cruel streak that is just as much a part of him.

Wang So first begins to touch Su after she touches his face first. It's only then, in his newfound though tentative acceptance, that he tries to hug her - in the make-up room, in the rain, and the back-hug. When Su showed resistance in these times, he's restrained himself from following through. This is probably his normal side.

We know he has a mad side to him (for the lack of a better word) - his unhinged laugh after slaughtering the monks, his smile when he realizes he has some power over the people when it begins to rain.
When he feels betrayed by Su - who told him that if he trusted her, she wouldn't change - his mad side resurfaces, he doesn't restrain himself, and he exercises his control over her. Both as a man, who is physically larger and stronger than her, but also as a Prince, while she is a lower ranked court lady, who cannot refuse him without consequences.

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From a narrative standpoint though, that kiss is complete genius. It's not romantic, so it plays with the viewer's expectations (who have been waiting for So-Su for a while now) and it accomplishes two major things at once: one the one hand, it makes you feel for So, it really does and on the other hand, you completely identify with Hae Su and you're horrified. It's sort of a perfect mash of his period behavior and her modern sensibility, which means that we, the audience, identify with Su immediately, and yet we can't ignore the layer of compassion and understanding that we developed for So over the course of 9 episodes. I understand her. I understand him. I'm not ok with what's going on from a personal point of view. I'm totally ok with what's going on from a narrative point of view. It doesn't fit my taste necessarily, but it fits both the characters at the same time, in completely opposite ways. It's the sun and the moon at the same time. It's actually brilliant. Thank you writer, I didn't think you had it in you.

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Wow, you give a very good and convincing point. When people are complaining about the kiss as they are clouded with their moral values, you interpret the kiss in a very genius way,not clouded with morality values but with rationality of the story. having said that, i think our behaviour right now, feeling offended with that kiss actually reflecting with what hae soo feels upon seeing gwangjong kills his sibling. we put our moral and emotions in the first place rather than try to see it in a different way or be calm with it, the same with what hae soo feels right now. Thanks for your genius interpretation. Love it!

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Exactly!! People are responding to their gut, which is unhappy with the relationship not moving forward and ignoring the very well executed narrative implications here.

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Everybody, come here and read this comment please! LOL

Though dangerous (since this scene is so controversial and can lead people to stop watching the show), I'm quite happy that the production team chose to proceed with this realistic (in the drama universe), not-always-likeable. sometimes scary potrayal of So.

And also LJK, congratz on nailing the character. You broke my heart many, many times.

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+1

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So well said!

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Couldn't have said it better+1

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+1000

Excellently said.

I've said I wasn't Su's biggest fan this episode, but I still understand where she's coming from.

And if So hadn't just gone through an emotional blender I would understand him less...but as it is, despite the bone head reaction of kissing her, I still understand why he did it, even though it was no bueno.

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+1 @silentbeluga.
Thank you, I could not have put it on here better. :)

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Amen! #commentoftheday

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+99
THIS!!

I was just reading the comment session and can't really understand the overwhelming hate for the kiss scene.

I hate force kiss.
It makes the guy arrogant and didn't respect the lady's wishes.

But in this drama the kiss works as a catalyst to make them realize both of their mistakes and reach a mutual understanding of each other.

I really want WS to say something along the line of
"I'm sorry. Please don't freak out. Look what happened to us now, we're a mess."
to make HS realize her mistake too, and face WS with a clearer mind in the next episode. Right now HS is just a bundle of nerves for me, sorry.

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BRAVO!

Excellent analysis, I agree with you completely. It's exactly what I felt. It wasn't romantic it was exactly what I thought it was going to happen. I feel empathy for both characters.

So's point of view: Please remember that So doesn't know anything about Soo relation with Wook. He feels supported, he feels loved, and also he feels attention even though he pushes her away. He tells her never to look at him that way, he tells her don't come near him, and she looks for him, she finds him and gives him solace. He tells her that he was doubting to trust her and she promises him that she is not gonna change, she can trust her. Suddenly he looks for her to have some comfort after realizing he will never be accepted by his mother no matter what. And without having a clue his only support system tells him that she is afraid, and to go away. The first person he trust, the first person he open his heart to is telling him to go away. He obviously losses his mind and in grief falls in negation and tries to convince himself that cannot be true. He acts desperately trying to show affection, to try to wake up from this nightmare then he stops and realize something that we will see in next ep :) I feel his pain, and I would've done the same if I were him.

Soo's point of view: She suddenly realizes that the prince that she feels friendly affection and empathy is going to change and kill all his friends and boyfriend. She obviously losses her mind in a grief moment and falls in negation an tries to convince herself that she can change fate. She keeps having visions and Court Lady Oh tells her that people don't change. She is not acting rationally she is in true and clinical anxiety attack. When trying to calm down she encounters her fear, she tries to runaway and fights back and says things that she will regret (cast the first stone if you haven't done that). The kiss works to help her snapped out of it not in a romantic way more like a slap in the face and she realizes something that we will see in next ep :) I feel her fear, and I would've done the same if I were her.

In conclusion, GENIUS, excellent acting skills from both of them. Thank you Scarlet Heart Ryeo Team.

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Why..why Su spoil happy moment here.

Yeah..we know she's from the future but still...when other people have no idea what will happen, she's the one give some idea about betrayal or trust issue here.

Wook will not think too deep if she's not act like dat. She's scared but oh please control yourself.