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132

Ruler–Master of the Mask: Episodes 29-30

Am I dreaming? So much happened in this episode that I’d complain about the whiplash… if I weren’t so pleased. After suffering through a drought of plotless episodes, this show seems to have regained its senses, returning to its main story and unleashing the wrath of our villains on every corner of the plot. After the disappointment of the last few weeks, I didn’t think I’d be happy with a “better late than never,” but you know what? Better late than never.

 
EPISODE 29 RECAP

Ignoring the advice of his friends and advisors, Sun insists that he must go to save Ga-eun, or he’ll never be the same again: “If I cannot even save the woman I love, how can I protect the people of this nation?” They finally allow him to leave in grim silence.

Chung-woon follows him outside without a word, but Sun simply shakes his head and turns around in determination.

Sun arrives at Pyunsoohwe, where Ga-eun sits captive before Dae-mok. Dae-mok notes dryly that despite all his attempts to find and kill Sun, it only took a single girl to bait him. Sun orders him to release her, but instead, Dae-mok orders his men to take her away.

As the men force her to her feet, Sun grabs one by the arm and growls at them to treat her with respect. Ga-eun stares at him with conflicted emotions as she’s dragged away.

Meanwhile, Hyun-seok informs Lee Sun that Dae-mok kidnapped Ga-eun to bait Sun. As Lee Sun frantically prepares to rescue her, Hyun-seok suggests that it might be better to let Dae-mok take care of Sun for him. But Lee Sun refuses, insisting that he cannot allow Ga-eun to be in Dae-mok’s clutches for even a moment.

Back at Pyunsoohwe, Dae-mok and Sun sit outside to talk. Dae-mok points toward a vase with a familiar-looking wildflower, one that Sun gifted him in one of their previous meetings — the one that only blooms in harsh conditions. When Dae-mok asks what kind of flower Sun is, Sun growls that he is a flower that will only bloom once Pyunsoohwe is eradicated.

Dae-mok wonders what Sun hopes to gain by defeating Pyunsoohwe, and Sun responds that he wishes to forge a new era. Dae-mok chuckles at that: “We share the same goal!” Dae-mok notes that Joseon is a poor nation, one where only noble elites can live in comfort, and tells him that Joseon cannot last long under those conditions. He asks Sun to join forces with him, become a mighty king, and raise Joseon into a powerful nation.

Sun mulls over these words before agreeing that they do have the same goal, except for one thing: “You do not take responsibility for the problems you cause.” Sun tells him that as long as he is irresponsible with his power, he has no right to talk about a new era.

But Dae-mok spins the argument right back on him, scoffing that Sun doesn’t have a “right” to the throne, either. At Sun’s confusion, Dae-mok explains the truth: “Your father asked me to assassinate the old king in order to gain the throne. So, you tell me: Who is the true traitor, and who has the true ‘right?'”

Horrified, Sun refuses to accept Dae-mok’s words, until he suddenly remembers that the head eunuch had said he looks like the man who “stole the throne.” As the devastating truth sinks in, Dae-mok begins to laugh evilly.

As Lee Sun races toward Pyunsoohwe on horseback, Ga-eun reflects on how Sun came to save her from Dae-mok. But she has to remind herself that he is her father’s murderer and that he means nothing to her.

Dae-mok tells Sun to join forces with him and marry Hwa-goon so that he can become king. In that way, both of their dreams and futures can be realized. But instead, Sun asks him a question: “Do you know how hunters catch wolves in the north?”

Sun explains that the hunter puts a bloody knife in the ground, attracting the wolf to lick the knife until it eventually cuts its tongue and bleeds to death. Sun tells him that Dae-mok’s offer is like this bloody knife, trying to draw him in with the sweet offer of power.

Sun asks if Dae-mok will kill him now that he’s refused his offer, but Dae-mok tells him that he will torture and kill Ga-eun first before he kills Sun. Before Sun can react, however, Hwa-goon appears and throws herself at Dae-mok’s feet, begging Dae-mok to spare Sun’s life.

Dae-mok refuses, but when Hwa-goon begins to beg with even more desperation, Dae-mok agrees to give her one last chance to convince him to accept her offer. “But if it doesn’t work,” he warns, “you may never ask me to spare his life again.” Dae-mok leaves the two alone.

Alone with Sun, Hwa-goon asks him to take Pyunsoohwe instead of trying to destroy it, telling him that he can use Pyunsoohwe’s power and money to transform Joseon. Swearing to remain by his side and help him, she begs him to join Dae-mok and become king.

Smiling gently, Sun refuses, telling her that he already loves someone else and cannot take advantage of her sincerity. Hwa-goon begs him to understand: “I am not asking to become the queen, or to become your woman,” she cries. “I simply want to give you all that I have.” But Sun smiles and tells her that he knows, and that’s exactly why he cannot accept.

Defeated, Hwa-goon tells him that Dae-mok will not let him go. At that moment, Hwa-goon’s father interrupts with Dae-mok’s henchmen to take Sun away, and Hwa-goon can only watch helplessly.

Hwa-goon storms into Ga-eun’s room and slaps Ga-eun across the face, blaming her for Sun’s impending death. Ga-eun is shocked at the news that Sun will die, but when she calls Sun her father’s murderer, Hwa-goon stares at her in pure hatred. “You truly know nothing,” Hwa-goon bites. She tells Ga-eun to live the rest of her life thinking that Sun killed her father, and storms out without explaining the whole truth. Ga-eun stares after her in shock and confusion.

Hwa-goon then hurries to Dae-mok, falling to her knees to beg one last time, but Dae-mok has had enough. Ordering his son to prepare the initiation ceremony, he declares that if Sun refuses the ceremony, he will be killed.

Distraught, Hwa-goon sits with her father, who tries to comfort her. He tells her that he knows the antidote to Pyunsoohwe’s poison, and tells Hwa-goon to trust him.

Meanwhile, a deeply disturbed Sun reflects on Dae-mok telling him that his late father forced his way to the throne.

Chung-woon slips into Pyunsoohwe to rescue Ga-eun on Sun’s orders. They manage to get to the gates, but Ga-eun stops him at the last moment, saying that she cannot escape alone and that she must stay and talk to Sun.

He falters, conflicted as to what to do. In flashback, we see that Sun had asked Chung-woon to rescue Ga-eun while he surrendered himself to Dae-mok. Sun had noted that it would be difficult for him to leave Pyunsoohwe alive, but they could at least use the opportunity to save Ga-eun.

Chung-woon insists to Ga-eun that he’ll go rescue Sun after getting Ga-eun to safety, but Ga-eun stops him to ask her vital question: “Who killed my father?” Shocked at the question, Chung-woon finally drops to his knees. “I killed Deputy Magistrate Han.” As Ga-eun cries in shock, Chung-woon confesses that Sun did his best to save her father and asks for her forgiveness.

Lee Sun meets with Dae-mok, begging for Ga-eun’s release. But Dae-mok informs him that he’s too late: Sun already came to rescue her in exchange for his initiation into Pyunsoohwe. Realizing that this means that he is about to be dethroned, Lee Sun drops to his knees and begs him not to abandon him.

Dae-mok’s men bring Sun to Dae-mok and Lee Sun. Sun stares at Lee Sun in confusion, but before he can say anything, Dae-mok informs Sun that Lee Sun has sworn his loyalty to Pyunsoohwe in exchange for Ga-eun. Dae-mok sits back, asking Sun if he agrees to Lee Sun’s conditions.

When Sun refuses to answer, Lee Sun demands to know if Ga-eun’s safety is less important to him than letting Ga-eun be with him. Suddenly, Dae-mok cuts them both off to inform them that Ga-eun has already been caught trying to escape.

Sure enough, Chung-woon and Ga-eun are caught by the Water Bureau chief and his men. As the chief reveals a bloody, beat-up Chung-woon, Dae-mok informs a horrified Sun that he already knew Sun was stalling for time while Chung-woon attempted to rescue her. As Dae-mok strikes Chung-woon to the ground, he tells Sun that his stubbornness will cost him Chung-woon’s life.

Just as Dae-mok lifts a sword to slay Chung-woon, however, Sun screams Dae-mok’s name and crawls to his feet, swearing to do as he’s told. He bows his head as he sobs in defeat, begging him to spare Chung-woon and Ga-eun’s lives. Dae-mok smiles and agrees to release Ga-eun after the initiation ceremony.

 
EPISODE 30 RECAP

Lee Sun barges into Ga-eun’s room without his mask, telling her that he’s come to release her. Ga-eun is surprised to see him, but she tells him that they must save the crown prince first.

Enraged, Lee Sun reminds her that the crown prince murdered her father. When Ga-eun explains that Sun was not the one who killed him, however, Lee Sun falls back in shock. Tearily, Ga-eun begs him to help her save Sun, and he finally agrees, asking her to trust him.

As Lee Sun goes back outside, he sees Dae-mok, who smiles slyly at him.

Lee Sun visits the queen dowager that night, telling her that Dae-mok has abducted Ga-eun and that he wants to join forces with her to oppose Dae-mok. Pleased, the queen dowager promises to save Ga-eun at all costs, and Lee Sun swears to trust and depend on her from now on.

The next morning, Lee Sun announces to his advisors that the queen dowager has selected Yeon-joo, the Minister of War’s daughter, as the next queen, and orders preparations for the royal wedding. Woo Bo and Moo-ha look on grimly, but note gratefully that at least Pyunsoohwe’s candidate will not gain the throne.

At Pyunsoohwe, Hwa-goon brings Sun some food and reminds him of the initiation tomorrow. Sun asks for news about Chung-woon, and Hwa-goon tells him that she doesn’t know where he is, but that Dae-mok has probably blinded him. Damn. She tells him that many things will change tomorrow, but she swears to obtain an antidote for him no matter what.

Meanwhile, Dae-mok summons Gon in private. He tells him that he does not forgive traitors: “Even if that traitor is my granddaughter.” Dae-mok tells Gon to choose his actions wisely, and Gon listens in silence, understanding his meaning.

That night, Gon tells Hwa-goon that he knows where the possible location of the antidote. He tells her that if they set out now, they can make it in time for the initiation tomorrow. Trusting him, Hwa-goon agrees to leave immediately.

The next morning, Pyunsoohwe drags both Sun and Ga-eun to the secret cave in the woods for the initiation. As the cloaked Pyunsoohwe elders stand as witnesses, we see Lee Sun standing among them, watching the ceremony.

Dae-mok prepares the poppy wine, explaining that Sun must drink it twice a month from now on or die. As Dae-mok holds the cup out to him, the chief of the Water Bureau draws his sword to Ga-eun’s throat. Glaring at Dae-mok, Sun finally takes the cup.

Watching in horror, Ga-eun begs him not to drink, especially not for her sake. Sobbing, she insists that she will always despise him for killing her father, but Sun only smiles at her, apologizing for causing her father’s death. He asks Dae-mok to promise to release her once he drinks the poison.

As Sun lifts the cup to his lips, however, Ga-eun screams that she knows he didn’t kill her father. Dae-mok tells him to drink unless he wants to see her die – and finally, Sun gives her one last look before drinking the poison.

As the poison takes over Sun’s body, Dae-mok orders him to state his name – but before he can, he begins to cough up blood. Oh shit. As Sun collapses in agony, Dae-mok informs him that he served him three poppy pills instead of one – a lethal dosage. As he collapses, Sun realizes that this was Dae-mok’s plan all along. Telling him that Joseon is a pit of despair, Dae-mok sweeps Sun aside as he falls to the ground.

Ga-eun shoves away the sword and rushes to Sun’s side, cradling his head in her arms. Sun reaches up to stroke her cheek, stammering a final confession: “I have loved you from the first moment we met.”

His hand drops to the ground, and Ga-eun screams in denial. Pyunsoohwe shoves her aside and drags Sun’s dead body away, unceremoniously throwing his unburied body in an empty field.

Hwa-goon returns to Pyunsoohwe with Gon, where her father is waiting for her. He tells her that the initiation has already ended, and that Sun is nowhere to be seen. Horrified, Hwa-goon hurries to the empty cave to confirm for herself that the ceremony has indeed ended.

Enraged, Hwa-goon turns to Gon. “How dare you lie to me!” she screams. Gon tells her that he had to lie to protect her from harm. Hwa-goon asks if Dae-mok killed the crown prince, and at his affirmation, she grabs Gon’s sword out of his sheath and swings it at him, stopping just inches from his throat. Gon doesn’t even flinch, and she orders him to find the crown prince at once or she will kill him.

The palace holds a banquet to celebrate the royal wedding announcement. While both the queen dowager and the Minister of War are giddy with excitement, the Inspector General notes to Woo Bo that Sun still hasn’t returned. Frustrated, the Inspector General gets up for some air.

At that moment, Lee Sun invites Woo Bo and Moo-ha to a drink at the front of the room, thanking him for their help in the selection process. As Lee Sun pours the drink, he reminds Woo Bo of the “advice” he gave him previously. Woo Bo flashes back to when Lee Sun had told him that he didn’t want Woo Bo to get hurt, asking him not to go any further, and understands his meaning.

So when Lee Sun purposely knocks the cup out of Woo Bo’s hands, blaming Woo Bo for being too drunk to hold his cup properly, Woo Bo immediately plays along. Acting like a messy drunkard, Woo Bo begs Lee Sun for his forgiveness. In return, Lee Sun shouts that he will refrain from punishment on this celebratory day, but orders them out immediately.

As Moo-ha pulls Woo Bo outside, they run into the Inspector General, who asks why they left so early. Moo-ha begins to complain that Woo Bo got too drunk, but realizes that Woo Bo is actually stone cold sober. Woo Bo explains to them that they shouldn’t return to the banquet: “I have a bad feeling.”

Sure enough, inside, Lee Sun secretly switches the wine with another before asking the court to share a drink with him. They gladly oblige, and each member of the banquet takes a cup of Lee Sun’s wine.

When the queen dowager finishes her cup, however, she turns to Lee Sun to note that he hasn’t touched his. Sensing something suspicious, she turns to see that none of the Pyunsoohwe members of the group have taken their drinks, either. Oh boy.

Before she can say anything, however, Dae-mok suddenly barges in. The queen dowager begins to protest, when suddenly, she clutches her heart in pain – followed by the rest of the room, sans Lee Sun and the Pyunsoohwe members.

Dae-mok announces that everyone has just taken a dose of poppy wine, and notes that they must take the antidote he gives them twice a month from now on in order to live. The Minister of War falls to his knees, begging Dae-mok to spare his life.

The queen dowager screams at Lee Sun and Dae-mok in pain and fury for daring to betray her, but they simply brush her aside as her court lady takes her away.

We flash back to see Lee Sun agreeing to cooperate with Dae-mok to save Ga-eun’s life, and also that Lee Sun had attended Sun’s initiation/execution in disguise. After the initiation, Dae-mok had told Lee Sun that he was now the true king.

Back at the banquet, Lee Sun gives Dae-mok a bow of respect, and Dae-mok grins.

Later that day, Lee Sun makes an announcement: The queen dowager is to be confined to the west wing of the palace for the crime of attempting nepotism to gain power. He also promotes the chief of the Water Bureau to the chief of the Supply Office, giving him the right to mint coins.

Woo Bo, Moo-ha, and the Minister of Inspector General step forward in protest, begging him to reconsider, as his decision will allow the circulation of counterfeit money. In response, the Pyunsoohwe members of the court advise Lee Sun to punish those who question him. Lee Sun agrees that their actions are punishable, and declares that Woo Bo and Moo-ha are hereby dismissed from their positions. Damn.

That night, the head eunuch notes to Mae-chang that the queen dowager lost her power in one day, and that Dae-mok has gained total control. Grimly, the head eunuch says that they must come up with a countermeasure, but Mae-chang emptily informs him that the crown prince is dead, and that they have lost all hope.

Lee Sun goes to find Ga-eun at Pyunsoohwe to bring her back to the palace with him. He informs her that Sun truly is dead, the queen dowager is now powerless, and that they live in Pyunsoohwe’s world now. Reaching for her hand, however, he promises that he will always protect her, no matter what.

As the reality sinks in, Ga-eun begins to weep, crying that there was still so much she had to say to Sun. Lee Sun pulls her into his arms as she cries.

Meanwhile, Sun lays motionless in a field, the ink from when he was poisoned as a baby becoming visible.

 
COMMENTS

Oh my gosh! Ruler has returned from a long drought of plotlessness! Lee Sun has gone full villain! Ga-eun knows the truth! Evil Dae-mok is back! I was so pleased with these episodes that I found myself consciously ignoring whatever obvious flaws that are still present – and even though that goes against my integrity as a self-proclaimed drama critic, I can only say that these episodes were oodles of fun. It might well be that the show has been so predictable and boring in recent weeks that any little surprise is like a gulp of fresh air – but watching Lee Sun become more and more manipulative in the second half of this episode was almost cathartic.

It seems to me that Lee Sun’s turn toward villainy was the obvious trajectory from the start, so it’s a little disappointing that it’s come so late in the game. With his unique position as the fake crown prince and a literate, society-hating peasant, he was in the perfect place to act like an obedient dog while also scheming his own conniving plans to get his revenge and to take the girl for himself – but instead, he just remained an obedient dog, inside and out.

Still, I do think that these episodes demonstrated what could have been in a fun way, and there’s no use complaining about the past episodes. While Lee Sun is still a selfish, entitled jerk, he’s a lot more likable as a villain than he was as a potential love interest. His evilness has now made him someone to root for, or at least try to understand, and has given him a direction that his character seemed to be sorely lacking in the past few weeks. I loved Lee Sun’s final scene with Ga-eun, for example, as he held her weeping figure in his arms with that expressionless, unsympathetic look on his face, because it gave him a dimension that wasn’t there before. What is he thinking? Is he going to take control and protect Dae-mok from Ga-eun, or has he simply decided to give in to Dae-mok?

At this point, the flaws are so deeply ingrained into the show’s trajectory that it’s more a matter of how much the flaws are visible than whether they’re there. It almost feels like the quality of this show varies according to the level at which you view it: From a broader, big-picture perspective, the show is a mess, where motivations and relationships are mismatched and frustrating.

Sun’s words at the beginning of this episode, for example (“If I can’t even protect the woman I love, how can I claim to protect a nation?”) was a ridiculous jump in logic that actually made me laugh, but those words are central to his broader character and motivation. It’s impossible to ignore the broader logical failures at this point, but it’s become necessary in order to enjoy the drama at all – and while I find it pretty unfair for a show to demand that abandonment of logic from the viewer, I suppose you can’t have everything.

Based on Ruler—Master of the Mask’s previous track record, there’s no guarantee that the show will carry on the strengths we saw in these episodes – the swift plot development, Lee Sun’s emerging character, and the surprising plot reversals. I’m also wary of crediting Lee Sun’s character too much, since his villainous actions in these episodes weren’t really by his agency, but by Dae-mok’s. It might be too late in the game to expect Lee Sun to make a complete transformation into either a satisfying villain or a satisfying hero – but this show has surprised me before, so I guess I’ll just sit back and watch.

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Bae Yoo Ram aka Muha describing HG's love for the CP as tunnel vision has to be the most accurate description of her character that I have ever heard. To think that even Yoo Seung Ho found HG's love to be burdensome.

In contrast LS is atleast both devoted and manipulative. An interesting mix of emotions that I never suspected the character to be capable of in the first episode.

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You are profoundly wrong her motivation is pure and unequivocal as future episodes will reveal. Further more HG does respect that CP loves GE, but because her love is entirely pure and she recognises she is in a unique position to help the CP realise his ambition she will do more than anyone, risk more than anyone to ensure Pyunsoo Group and its terrible opium monopoly is destroyed. Ultimately she has as much backbone, if not more, than the CP and will be a heavy wheight influence on the future of the nation and the CP. All without regard to self-interest. She may be sacrificing her life to act. Even the CP recogises this and treats her with respect and concern. Normal romantic love is great but selfless idealistic love of this sort trancends all.

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I've seen the video and I think the author is referring to how the actors themselves perceived the nature of HG's love. I rmbr YEAH saying it was uncomfortable and he felt awkward receiving her love all the time while rejecting her.

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*YSH

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Bang on!.. couldn't have said it better..

This isn't about which actress is playing which character or who is first lead or second lead.. as a character HS is compelling.. she is an extremely beautiful character.. and it is heartbreaking to see that such pure love can go unreciprocated.. but then her love is so powerful that your normal earthly romance can never match up to it..

As a character, she is more strong willed (so so much more than CP or GE or any other character), smart without being manipulative (just as CP).. and what enhances her character is being brought up in a community.. she has a 180degree different point of view on things..

I do love the character so so so very much

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shall i add,s he si smart without a teacher.. it is all her (CP still needs won for guidance)..

This is going to be the best intense passionate pure love in dramaland.. ever!

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that love, it probably exist it just never shared or showed to the world, which is good to see a character like that is not just on the shelves but finally shown to us. I love her character from the beginning and this week last episode just really won my heart. Hands down to the character, actor, director, writer. Bravah!

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I agree but not totally. Yes, HG is a compelling character. I'm astounded to how much extent she's willing to give for love. Her affection towards CP is so deep but sometimes, I couldn't wholely grasp it and barely swallow it just because that's her purpose for this show. I'm actually amaze about the thought of someone out here in real world loves as much as HG.

And here's where I disagree..

she is an extremely beautiful character..

It's an exaggeration. While I noticed HG's applaudable characteristics, I can't ignore this one glaring displeasing attitude she have ever since earlier episodes - Her lack of value towards human lives. She indirectly caused the death of Peasant LS's father. Just when the Bureau forgot about it, she came barging in to remind them about the petty water thief
Why? -- because she wants to hunt CP. It happened again in the next episode (31-32). She has no sympathy towards children working (and eventually, dying) on the poppy field. She look skeptic until CP gives her a heartfelt speech. -- Again, it all boils down to her great love for CP. Love itself is splendid but there's suppose to be something beyond just love which unfortunately, I can't see with HG. I blame the writer

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Her love for CP being so much doesn't correspond with her other personality traits. She smart, intuitive and resourceful but when it comes to CP she loses all reasoning and focus which doesn't match her core personality trait. As a member of Pyunsohwee she has no care about 'inferior' human life which is consistent with her upbringing as a future head of the organization. She's interesting most definitely but a beautiful person? Not really.

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Totally agree with you, her character is different than any character we've seen in dramaland. Her love is so self-sacrificing, it's pure and its out from the norm of love portrayed by other character who've one-sided love is rejected. Hopefully this character stays true until the end, if it does, it will be one for the books to remember. *Claps* for good portraying to Yoo So-hee.

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I didnt like HG just becoz she was second lead and she is bound to be between our couple. For last few episodes she is winning so far. I understand her love CP and her just accepts CP for who he is with mistakes or what not. Then there is Ga Eun. When she said she doesnt care that person die or not. I am like what??? Even he killed her father, he wouldnt have done becoz of his own intentions and her father said that death isnt CP's fault. Then Ga Eun is like candy character where she believes every enemy words but not her most loved person.

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her love for CP and she just accepts*

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“You truly know nothing,” Hwa-goon bites.
I love KSY but... that slap should serve as a wake up call.

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That slap should serve as a wake up call to writers! Stop sleeping on GE's character development!

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i think it is too late for Ga Eun character to have character development.

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That slap should serve as a wake up call to the writers. Please stop sleeping on GE's character development!

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I wanted to slap her myself so I was happy someone did. Because GIRL.

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I need to pause watching this episode to have a cup of tea because damn this episode is thrilling and keep me on the edge.
Mamma mia.

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So I will admit I was a lot more happier with these episodes. Still disappointed with the way they are handling Ga-eun though. Honestly, If they are going to do her like this, they might as well kill off the character. That way Sun can stop running to save her and they can end that stupid damsel in distress routine.

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Yeah. Just kill Gaeun off so KSH fans can stop anticipating the next episode hoping for a better-written Gaeun and then just become disappointed. Gaeun is so pathetic I'd rather she's dead. I love Kim Sohyun but this is really frustrating.

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The stills for the last episode are already on instagram. Spoiler bts stills I mean. They get married and she becomes his Queen from what I can see. The setting is quite gorgeous for that scene. And LS becomes a commoner again and apparently back to being their friend. But that last part is speculation on my part.

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Hoping for happy ending though.

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Oh, how i wish this happened a bit earlier.
Now Lee-sun has completely become Dae-mok's puppet, greedy has taken over his little humanity he had left, all in the guise of Ga-eun's safety.

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This show makes me laugh and makes me angry at the same time. The plot holes are so ridiculous I can't take it seriously anymore. The show has become a bad joke that it is both funny (in a negative way ) and rage-inducing. And after this episode, I am now convinced the writers hate Sohyun. I don't know if Sohyun pissed them off, or they just don't like her, or they prefer Yoon Sohee more. Eitherway, I just hope they don't cross paths again. Also, the production totally only used Sohyun's name to gather hype and views and she gets a scrap character. What injustice.

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The full Vlive with eng sub is out now and apparently BYR & YSH are totally low key dissing HG's 'love'. It's hilarious and weird at the same time.

And YSH begging to be reunited with KSH in a modern drama is just the cutest!

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Did they do that?? Really, that sounds inappropriate and a tad bit mean....low key dissing another character when crown prince himself needs saving every other day

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Well KSH was talking about cool the character is for loving only one person but then BYR said her love is like Tunnel Vision and YSH agrees and says something to the effect of how uncomfortable the whole situation made him feel and how awkward it would get. Or something like that. Just watch it online.

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Exactly. The Hwa Gun character has been the most effective ally of Crown Prince Lee Sun. That was kind of rude. I hope Yoon So Hee doesn't take offense. Yikes

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Kim So Hyun's name, brand or acting ability, none of that will be affected by this. Once in a while, you choose a poor script. In her case, script that started out great but fizzled and the writer truly seems clueless as to what to do with her. What they should've done is give something like Hwa-Gun's character to So-Hyun and completely scrap Ga-Eun and Hwa Gun as it is and then they should've let the two fight it out and be torn between love and loyalty. That would make a better show.
At the end, people will only remember this as a drama So Hyun did that was the slot winner and she'll move on to better things. And, I don't know why everybody keeps saying Yoon So Hee is preferred by the writers. Her character started out terribly. Right now, her character is comparatively better in terms that she gets things done the right way and that she is consistent. Otherwise, there's not much depth in a girl blinded by her one-sided love that she is willing to self-destruct and who doesn't care a bit about any other living being. If you compare that to So Hyun's Ga-Eun, perhaps it is better but nothing outstanding on its own.

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Exactly. There's not much depth to Hwagun either, so I don't know why the writers were forcing the second lead syndrome down my throat in the earlier episodes and we basically had to see her everywhere. I said the writers must have preferred her more because they wasted many episodes and scenes to focus on her obsessive love that was futile and nonsensical to begin with at the expense of the female lead's screentime and character development.

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HG has done nothing to earn anyone's loyalty or love. She is smart yes but so is the Queen, MC and even GE (even if we never actually see it in practice). And devotion to someone who will never love you back is unnatural. Like I can't imagine anyone in real life giving away everything for someone that will never look at them.

And HG without Gon is pretty incompetent. In that sense both HG & GE are the same.

What I don't understand is why they make KSH cry in EVERY episode! Like I know she cries beautifully but just WHY writer-nim!?

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I think she is competing with go ara hwarang for who cry more

Ruler has turned to a point that we have to accept it like hwarang, laugh it off to be able to watch it. Really there is no hope for good now.

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Apparently Hwarang and Ruler have the same assistant writers.

Clearly they love the damsel in distress trope. It's disheartening to see KSH get the blame for a poorly written character.

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so maybe we can see go ara in a bit of new light, yes it was bad but even ksh cant save the same character

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I don't think even Meryl Streep can save that kind of character. And I don't think GA was ever a terrible actress. I mean Reply 1997 was fab!

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"Hwa Gun has done thing to gain loyalty"????? Have you been watching this drama? Hwa Gun has done more to help Crown Prince Lee Sun than anybody on his side.

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Hwa Gun has done nothing to gain loyalty"????? Have you been watching this drama? Hwa Gun has done more to help Crown Prince Lee Sun than anybody on his side.

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Hwa Gun has more depth than Ga Eun. I get you like Ga Eun but let's be real.

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I never said I like GE. And when I was talking about loyalty I was reffering to Gon. What has she done to gain his devout loyalty. And CW has done as much for CP as HG. Within their respective capacities and knowledge systems that is.

But like everyone has said, HG was willing to let the children die as long as she could burn the field. If CP hadn't intervened they propably would have. So while CP respects her I can see why he doesn't fully trust her or love her. Plus she lied about belonging to the enemy camp. And yes HG has more depth than any other character on this show. Even CP, who frankly hasn't done anything to prove he deserve's the throne but as a 2nd female lead MC would have been more impressive.

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@ Solo

TBH I think Gon loves Hwa Gun.
Oh yes Hwa Gun is very wrong for that. Them poor kids dying is sad. I fault Hwa Gun and Pyungsoo for that. What they did to those poor little girls is very wrong. Yes they should be punished for that.
I get why Crown Prince Lee Sun doesn't trust her. She is proving herself to him. I never wanted him to love her. Actually I wish Hwa Gun gave up on loving Crown Prince Lee Sun. I never wanted Hwa Gun to be Queen. I want Hwa Gun to become a good ally to Crown Prince Lee Sun.

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@MeMe

I honestly wish we got to see a part where HG actually disagree's with the way PSH works/exists. She only gets angry when they try to hurt CP but apart from that she doesn't care about its activities which confounds me to no end.
Your either believe in their ideology or you don't. In that sense I find her character 1 dimensional. She only exists to love the CP like a devotee. I know nothing about her belief system in life in general.

I also don't know WHY Gon loves her. Just that he does. Can the writers bother to give us some understanding of why anyone does anything in this show!?

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You are delusional.

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You are delusional and also very prjudiced. Fine actres though she is her unique qualities do not suit her to every roel and she was very badly advised to take o the loosing role of Gae Eun. I believe she was leward into lending her reputation to this drama, but accepting that was a mistake, it was over-confident. The character is irredemably copromiseed. accepting that part was stupid. Also her alure as an actress, however real is defined and limited by how immature she looks, she is cute in the sense of Kawaii nut neither beautiful nor particularly memorable. I acknowlade to her fans how hard that is but hey in the end it is a subjective value you are making. Watch learn, eventually Yoon So-hee will carve a well deserved career out of her simple physical emotional appeal. Who the hell would go into the world of acting, given the choice, I have familly in the profession and I don't envy any of them, au contraire!

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KSH is 18. Are you seriously comparing the physical beauty of an 18 year old to a 24 year old. That is prejudice.

Yoon So Hee is pretty and her academic background is impressive and like I said earlier. No one is hating on the person just the way the two characters were written.

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My god through out this episode I was holding my breath, lot of unexpected things happened.
Where to start,
1.Maybe from my dear cool chung-woon, ottoke what had happened to you? did Dae-mok really blind you if that is the truth I won't ever forgive him.
2. Though I really admire Dae-mok for his brains his evilness scares me seeing how he hurts all our adorable characters (I am really curious to know what changed him into a maniac like this since he was shown crying to Woo-bo regarding the injustice he suffered, did that made him like this or is this his original character-a wild dog that everyone fears).
3.Hwa-gun as always moved my heart,"I am not asking to become the queen, or to become your woman,” she cries. “I simply want to give you all that I have.” I just swooned at that scene and my heart broke for her ( Sun how can you say no to her I seriously can't understand your love for Ga-eun) . Also it maybe rude but that slap, Ga-eun surely deserves that and "you truly knew nothing" was 100% right.( I know it might seem wrong but my love towards Hwa-gun makes me hate Ga-eun).
4. Atlast about the sun's I am sure the crown prince will be safe bcoz of his immunity towards poison but I think he surely will be pained knowing his father's dark secret and how he is the one who made the deal with devil. And about Lee sun I don't know what to say regarding him but I still hope there is a chance for him to change paths. ( you can't be evil and I hope for that).
Seems Ruler is back to action.

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Thanks for the recap, dropped the drama but I couldn't help myself. Still wanted to know what happens to CP and hoping there is some sort of improvement of GE's character. I am still getting annoyed with GE's character, to think I'm just reading it through this recap..aish!

I now wonder if that crock/smock or whatever it is that CP's mother told GE to look for in the greenhouse will ever be found or has the writer forgotten about it?

When will GE's revenge plot start?by Ep 39?!

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Maybe in Ep 41? Is there a season 2 that I should be worried about!? Lol

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I really enjoyed the scenes between Crown Prince and Dae-mok and then Haw-goon intervening and pleading for him. I thought Yoon so-hee showed restraint in her acting and I found it both persuasive and moving. Once again she is helping CP and rather than showing jealousy or malice to Ga Eun she is showing her frustration and pain. I’m not a fan of Kym so-hyun but I have nothing against her and I think she has been badly advised to take this drama the way her part is written. (Wouldn’t it be nice to have been a fly on the wall when she was considering the part?) It is simply that she does not move me and I feel little connection to her, although in the current context, that is chiefly because of the way her part is written.
Chung-woon at the hands of Dae-mok really stirred me. It was a master stroke on DM’s part but made me hate him all the more.I actually felt sorry for the CP for the first time because he had no alternative than accept initiation into Pyunsoo. Oh and I never thought I’d be saying a prayer to Haw goon’s father, that he get the poison antidote right! (Where is Woo Bo and what’s become of 1.the search for the poppy field 2.the antidote and for that matter any shred of evidence anyone has a plan to destroy Pyunsoo group?)
The confession immediately following the poppy wine was moving (why is Yi Sun wearing a black mask now and witnessing the initiation?) as was Ga Eun’s painful wailing. I loved Haw Goon’s interrogation of Gon and that she stayed the blade at his neck even in her distracted rage. If she can find him in time I believe she will also definitely work against her grandfather now.
As for the poppy wine banquet scene I found it hard to stomach and it didn’t feel very convincing thought it was Dae-mok’s style. Who was smuggled off to be ‘water-boarded’ and will Gon find Sun in time for Haw Goon to administer the antidote? Overall this felt like the most cohesive episode so far and I liked the direction for once, banquet excepted. I am rooting for her to double-cross her grandfather. I read today that this is coproduced by Dramafever and for me that speaks volumes for why it falls flat!
Whether or no a particular actor succeeds must be both a question of subjective value and a personal foible. I am gratified to discover that out there in the real world others find as I do that Yoon So-hee has an alure, sexual attraction and is widely perceived to be not only beautiful but capable of conveying those qualities that drive strong men to be faithful servants.

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i bet KSH received role without full story and description and YSH and she said yes. I am actually fan of both KSH and Yoon So Hee.

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K-netz flooding Ruler Naver Talk stating that writers were KSH anti's was quite hilarious to watch.

Not to mention CP has just become completely incompetent and needs saving in like every 2nd episode. I'm so glad Ruler finally finished filming today!

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The next episodes are reall the best yet an we should all feel triumphant through what they achieve. This is not a love fest for our favoured actors (is it?) The writer is a newby and makes many mistakes the lead actors at times get bad treatment Ga Eun's character for one but blame the writer, not the other actors who, behind the scenes are having a ball and working hard together.But also please consider that your favoured actress knew the role she was offered, which she accepted. At the same time her second lead rival deserves respect. She has gone against everyone including her parents to be the young actress she is. Unlike most of us, she is clever and enrolled as a student at Korea's premire universitiy in an academically challenging discipline. This girl is special by any standards, she deserves a chance.

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I disagree with the fact that they knew what they were signing up for. The script is not ready before filming but written during filming. At best only the first episode script would be available for the actors along with a brief character description/synopsis.

And KSH is the main breadwinner of her family at such an young age. Her income is what gets food on the table and puts her brother through school and will probably put them through college. Everyone comes from a tough place and KSH has received major hate since a young age for portraying villainous characters. To use her name to promote a drama you know no one would watch if not for the combination of YSH-KSH is unfair on all accounts.

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I am frankly tired of the conspiracy theories floating around. The writer clearly is incompetent and just scrapping to put together half a decent story line and get to the end. Even Hoe Jun Ho is wasted given how charismatic and talented he is here. That says something about the general state of script of the show.
Yoon So Hee is not some criminal mastermind, people are blaming her needlessly. She signed up for doing whatever is given to her same as Kim So Hyun. She has been doing secondary roles for a long time now and like you said, struggling herself. She is in no position to pick and choose at her will. I get that people are disappointed as am I but I know where to draw a line here. Kim So Hyun is very young, she is extremely successful, undoubtedly talented at such young age and will continue to deliver many more stellar performances. The stars didn't align for her in this one show, not the end of the world.

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She is also not omnipotent and there is "no" reason why she should take a hit. Strip away her character and her acting and this show would have bombed. KSH wil eventually become a great and much sought after actrees. I f you cannot acknowledge that then, frankly it does not matter wht you say.

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I don't think anyone is taking a hit at Yoon So Hee the person but more to why write a 2nd lead bigger than a main lead. It applies across gender.

And I don't think the show would have taken a hit like MDBC didn't take a hit when a strong female lead was devoid any screen time. People came to this show for KSH-YSH. Just a mere glance at the promotional material and news articles in Korea or any other country will tell you the same. That's the only thing people are annoyed about.

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* strong 2nd female lead

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Can you elaborately explain what you are saying, who is omnipotent, Yoon So Hee or Kim So Hyun? Nobody said anything about that. I already have acknowledged that KSH is capable of delivering better and she has in the past and will after this one perhaps, so what acknowledgement are you talking about??

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@Solo

I came to the drama because it sounded interesting. Like somebody said YSH and KSH knew what they were signing up for. If they didn't like it they should have rejected the role but they didn't.

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@MeMe

GE's character description in the original synopsis is completely different. Same with LS. And no they did not know what they were getting into because the 1st draft of the scripts for episode 1-4 came out in Dec the cast was finalised early Nov. What they had was a vague outline and I can totally see why KSH would sign up to play a revenge seeking female lead but that part of the story never happened.

And the scripts were rewitten several times after. I think you over estimate the decision making capacity KSH has in choosing dramas. Most of it is decided by her management since she is still underage. Its most likely 70:30 at present.

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@MeMe I would also like to point out that the director for Ruler was swapped out just before the filming started. So really when YSH & KSH signed on they were merely doing it on goodwill and putting their faith in a brief synopsis by a newbie writer. Also the 2nd newbie writer for this show was added after the first round of draft scripts were written.

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@Solo

KSH and YSH took a gamble and decided to do the drama anyways. This will be a lesson learned. Sometimes you have good roles and sometimes you have bad roles. In the world acting it happens. It happens to American actors and actresses all the time.

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@MeMe

I frankly don't really mind that they actually did the drama because its what brought them close and that's something I've been waiting for since IMY.

I am happy to satisfy myself with all the BTS videos of their real life interactions till their next project together. Just seeing how they are around each other is so satisfying!

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"...knew the role that she was offered."

Uhmm... I don't mean to sound condescending, but have you seen Cheese in the Trap? Should I have blamed Park Haejin for being lured into accepting a character that was supposed to be the lead but villainized him in the end?

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Cheese In The Trap? No I haven't seen it so I can't comment on that drama.

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How many episodes are left? I was reeeeaaaallllly hoping that this week was it, but I guess not, after watching the next set of eps for this week. Dang. The actors are good, but danged if the production is crazy or simply absent. Better luck next time, everyone!

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ther are actually enough to write a short sageuk. So long as Pyunsoo group are routed and the nation put back on trak I shall feel happy. I respect your adualition of an actor but she is not as good as you think.

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You really need to watch School 2015 or even Page Turner or even just the childhood portion if you think KSH is not 'that good'. You're being prejudiced here while none of us are hating on Yoon So Hee's acting.

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* childhood portion of IMY

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Have done she makes a fist of it but she simply doesn't float my boat and probably never will be. But the support on here for this drama, for all its faults was strongly influenced by supporters of the two leads. Anyone who thinks an actor will signe a contract to a show on the throw of a dice is nieve in the extreem. This writer is still a rookie, one might therefor say it has been a good effort others might wonder whats going on in Korea between the major players and their persuit of audience. Have had sufficient of sagucks for a while and going back to predictable dorama joy.

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No I am saying she has no alure, no sex appeal no layered depth. That's personal its also subjective your (different) view is just as valid as mine but dissing YSH was set up by the original recap ep 1 by a very outspoken and self opinionated reviewer who clearly does not rate her. Her choice, but a fair few have pilled in in the same vein without offering a shred of argument in support of their view. I look at reviews after, I form my own view first. I don't ultimatelyneed anyones agreement to justify my personal view, neither do you, but this should not be a forum for insulting or belittling talented actors. Young actors should be supported and encouraged. I belive any negativity I have expressed has been more than outwheighed by reasoned argument and sympathy.

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@Ahjusshi

KSH, KYJ, KSR, YJG & YSH are the cream of child actors in South Korea and it's future drama/movie cast. They'll be the leads for every top production for the next 2 decades so hate on them all you want but no upcoming stars unless they are atleast at KJW level will be any competition to them because for South Korea nothing is more precious than their child actors. And Yoon So Hee being from SM will always be a disadvantage to her since they don't like people from big companies trying to outmaneuver their precious stars. I'm just going to sit here and watch you wallow when you realize that reality in the next 2 years.

And no 18 Year old is supposed to have sex appeal. She's not a porn star.

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Oh! I rmbr wn Yoon So Hee replaced Kim Yoo Jung in Secret Door she got a lot of Knetz hate. South Korea is extremely protective of their child actors because they literally saw them grown up.

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I was waiting so much for this recap. It's nice it wasn't only me, these ep were good, flaws aside obviously, but I like these turns. And I think L's doing better as a villain, even when his skills are very lacking I know that because I hate they way Lee Sun is acting towards CP and Ga Eun.

I am in the vague wish and hope that writers kill Ga Eun or something and make Hwa Goon the lead lady and queen. She's taken so much more actions into protecting and helping CP and Ga eun is just plot toy, she's just there to be pulled by the arms or to sit and cry, and when she does something it goes so wrong that she needs to be recued zzz... Even though HG betrayed him she was so regretful she never did it again. She's driven by her love and is set to help him even when she knows it's a one sided love, which to me it's becoming unfair she deserves him because her feelings are true. Next chapters prove my point but I'll save my opinion for that post to avoid spoiling.

The actress playing Hwa Goon is doing good in my opinion, I know some of you didn't like her (or don't) but to me L and the Dowager Queen are worst.

So I have a little plot hole (?) annoying me, if professor Woo Boo cured CP from the deadly flower poison whe he was a baby, why haven't he found a cure for the others? I don't know he should know like a formula cuz he did it once... And shouldn't Dae Mok know that CP is inmune to that poison when he got the antidote as a baby?

I am waiting for next chapter's recap.

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Do you watch the entire drama? Woo Boo never cured CP, the King ask for the antidote from Daemok. So Daemok ask for building Yang Su Cheong ( water bureau) in return.

Yes, L acting is not very good. But QD?? Obviously much better than HG. I cringe everytime HG angry and screaming.

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Ironic then that in some quaters of the internet L (who is a rookie) is being fated for good acting. I am not nocking him. Its a big part to be given as a novice and being also an idol, well he is just asking to be talen apart. The crazy thing about many of the comments here is that commentors are upset (understandably) about the plot line and ark the drama is taking. They then all too often blame/dislike the actor for that. Being synical and around for a while I know history will give the best verdict on this drama sans prejudice.

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I don't do that. Even when the plot is bad people can separate that from the acting. I do. For example, in this drama there are good performances (Dae Mok, CP, Little Yang, and even tha actress playing HG has done good scenes) I'm not saying every single scene L does is terribly bad, but sometimes it hurts to see him trying and not getting there. His face is basically the same (with or without the mask). I sort of liked him in SUFFB even when I read some people didn't.

when I write I give my thoughts and my opinion, you can disagree that's ok.

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No it's not obvious and as netizens go your view, to which you are certainly entitled, is in the minority, so please do not state it as an established fact.

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So what? In my comment I made very clear it's my opinion, I don't care if it is in the minority or not. And that's the point of having the comment section so viewers can share their thoughts freely.

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Just to break the tense atmosphere in this comments forum can we just talk about how adorable it was when YSH and KSH picked each other as their ideal types and BYR just told them to date in real life and YSH blushing like crazy!

Anybody else watching that Vlive on repeat?? Shy Shy couple is so cute!!

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To erase this memory from Ruler, I am willing to see them reunite in a good romcom in few more years.

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That's what BYR said as well! I mean he said that the whole nation wants them to reunite in a modern dama. And then YSH begged for another drama with KSH. And YSH wanting a modern drama because he wanted more skinship basically! They are so so cute!!

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Picking each other just becoz they are doing a drama together. I personally think Kim So Hyun and Kim Yoo Jung should stick to high school dramas or younger parts for a year or two. Becoz they are inexperienced in love and seriously lacking to play mature roles. Just my opinion.

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Yoo Seung Ho has zero love experience as well. As the cast and crew have repeatedly reminded us. And Kim Yoo Jung has actually already dated before. And like Kim So Hyun said, you can't experience every situation in acting. Even Park Shin Hye has almost zero dating experience. As actors they have to keep playing roles to be able to arrive at the required emotions. Real life experiences are unimportant in that respect. And YSH & KSH have amazing chemistry.

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The dislike for Hwa Gun is astounding. Hearing that BYR & YSH low key dissed Hwa Gun's love is a mess. I like Hwa Gun. Her love for Crown Prince Lee Sun is pure but whatever. I actually ship Ga Eun & Crown Prince Lee Sun together but I also like Hwa Gun.

Shoutout to Hwa Gun for always coming through.

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Knetz are really calling the writer anti KSH. SMH

KSH signed up to play Ga Eun so she knew what the character was about. If she didn't like she would have rejected the role but didn't. KSH fans need to calm down. TBH KSH was miscasted. She should have played Hwa Gun. Yoon So Hee should'v played Mae Chang.

With that said, I will give Yoon So Hee props for doing the best she can with her role as Hwa Gun.

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Supposedly when the cast are given the script they only have a certain amount of scenes for that particular character. So If they did sign up and things were changed, I heard that's how it happens.

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KSH was not originally miscasted but the script was re-written and a lot of the original plot was discarded. Anyways, both YSH & KSH current trajectory is quite terrible. A CP that always needs saving is ridiculous. This could almost be a fun drinking game. Take a shot everytime CP or GE needs saving. We'd be drunk in 5 mins. Lol

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That should've been a clue to not do the drama. It seems like they had some behind-the-scenes issues. I commend KSH and YSH for being loyal and doing the drama but look what we have now.

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I think when big production houses like Hwayi and later Dramafever got involved things got turned around. Considering people have gone to the extent of calling it the Joseon era CITT something definitely happened. But I'm past the point of caring. Just give me OTP pics from the wrap party and I'll be happy! Lol

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Joseon era CITT? I just hope Ga Eun, Crown Prince Lee Sun, his people, and if alive Hwa Gun have a good ending. The OTP will be together in the end. I am pretty sure you will get the pictures you want.

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I agree that Kim Sohyun knew what the character was about initially, but she doesn't know how the script will go in the long run. The initial script might have persuaded her, but since the script was written during filming, she only knows what's given to her. Also, if she liked the script for episode 1 and 2 and didn't like the scripts after, it would be really unprofessional to just quit, wouldn't it?

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True. The best example for the same scenario is Park Hae Jin in CITT. The same thing happened to Kim So Hyun as well. This kind of mess is big and it's not a problem to write Hwa Gun as a good character, but the problem is it's not fair to neglect other characters especially the main female lead. I'm supporting the idea to make a good and complex character of second female lead since it is boring to keep seeing bitchy second female lead, but that doesn't mean in order to do so the main character has to be forgotten.

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This. The knew first description and but they freaking rewrote and that is the reason this drama is mess. I also think even YSH's acting is top notch, CP prince is a mess of character, like CP himself said, he cant even protect his loved, he could have done anything important. I have only been reading recaps and fast forward watching, so i might have missed though.

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I also want to point out, as I've said in previous posts. Every actor no matter how established they are pick a bad drama/film it's bound to happen, I'm guessing it will be a learning curb for all of the actors involved it's not the end of the world.

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I agree with everything you said. I just feel bad for some people who are getting unnecessary hate.

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A contract is a contract, there is always provision to get out. All this bleating about YSh is idiotic she has advisers and a commercial/financial interest as well as an articstic one. Reputation is important and accepting this role has not been her finest hour. Vlive for me just showed her waving in front of a HK backdrop. Poor HK I am disgusted that my country gave back a gem to such a disgusting country as Comunist China they have no respect for anything. We could have welcomed 6.5 million hard workng and clever Chinese to the Uk and really benefitted from them. Sadly its ok to be racist as long as it does not involve black people.

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I'm sorry i really have no idea what you're taking about. Would you care to elaborate??

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I don't know what you are talking about. Do you care to elaborate?

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@MeMe was this question aimed toward me?

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@Tia Rianne

I am wondering the same thing as well.

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Yikes at the comment section. First all of all, people need to stop pitting Yoon Sohee and Kim Sohyun against one another. They're both actresses who are trying to do the best with what they are given. There's no need for excessive conspiracy theories or the likes since every good actor or actress picks a role that isn't the best once in their career. These things happen. Popularity wise Kim Sohyun's brand power and reputation has not taken a hit and although the plot has been messy the drama did earn good viewership and is the number 1 in its slot, and the drama is also in discussion to be exported to other countries so she's going to be fine, and so are the other actors.

The plot of the drama has been such a mess after the first 4 episodes. I can see why a lot of the cast signed up for this drama, bc given the outline and the synopsis the premise sounds really good. There were so many good stories that they could have explored that they failed to do so and instead focused on the wrong things. The love triangle/ rectangle is one of those things. I wish Lee Seon wasn't written in such a way that his character only seemed to be there for the love triangle, same with GaEun. They both felt like such secondary characters to Hwagun's and CP's love story for the first half of the story, so when the writer suddenly switched gears to focusing on the love triangle it actually made me quite confused, mostly again bc Lee Seon's love for GaEun was never shown like it was for HwaGun's character where the writer actually took time to develop the one sided love. With Lee Seon and GaEun, we're literally given one flashback as to why he loves her and its repeated throughout. So Lee Seon just comes across as obsessive and his love mostly to me is interpreted as lust rather. The same thing for GaEun, she just seems like a doll there for the two boys to fight over. In the synopsis she was promised to have a great revenge story and all, but most of the time she's kept out of the loop and is late to realize a lot of things and needs to be saved by one of the guys. She made a whole community, yet by these episodes there is no mention of it, neither is there any trace of the girl who was able to build such a community. As for CP, his love story with GE has such forced angst that it just comes across as contrived. There were like 2 weeks of focused on him not knowing her, and then he insists on continuing to lie to her when he really isn't responsible for her father's death, and Daemok was. I think they could have easily resolved this quickly, instead of dragging it out for so long, and focused the story on the two characters teaming up to get revenge on Daemok. I don't even get started on this but I've been so frustrated with this. The CP has not done anything by himself. Everytime he just rushes into action without any proper plans and its only luck or HG or LS who saves him. This might be excusable when he was young, but he had all this time to...

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grow and became the chief peddler so where has all that wit and experience gone to? Moreover, like I already mentioned his love for GaEun feels really contrived, and the same can be said for his friendship with Lee Seon. He mentions saving his friend and getting him out of the palace, but there is no plan of action until GaEun enters the palace. Even then all his focus is on getting GaEun out, and Lee Seon again feels like a pawn that contributes nothing more than being the third person of a love triangle. I'm so glad his character is finally stepping up tho, even if it is in a villainous position. And on the topic of Lee Seon, the character lacks so much development. We're only shown bits of his time as the puppet king, and we're given no time to see his reaction and digest it. From the torture scene early on in the starting, to his almost suicide, and then again his near death experience when he couldn't get a poppy pill, ends abruptly and then cuts to something else and there is no talk of it. He did mention his frustrations to the CP but again it felt so short and lacking and its such a wasted opportunity bc instead of him turning evil being attributed to his jealousy and greed, I feel like that should have only been written as the straw that broke the camel's back. The camel's back which had already been loaded already with years of being humiliated as a peasant, and then more embarrassment as being seen as nothing more than the puppet King, on top of fearing for his life every 15 days, and his loss of his family, esp his father. Moreover, as a fan of L, I was watching the drama because the synopsis for his character was so good esp because he was described as intelligent and a genius, but again none of that is actually seen or explored. His acting was fine for such a stagnant character like Lee Seon, but I'm glad Lee Seon is finally getting a juicer part as I can actually see a better range of emotions from him. I wish the same can be said for GaEun's character but I don't have high hopes since we're nearing the end of the show.

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Thank You. Yes I agree people need to stop pitting Kim So Hyun and Yoon So Hee against each other. Bashing their looks has to stop as well. From what I heard about this video KSH likes Hwa Gun character. I really hope they don't read the comments. I am pretty sure they have thick skin but still. I think L is doing a good job. There are 8 episodes lefted. Maybe they will develop Ga Eun character some before the end.

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OMG... there are still 8 episode left? The misery....

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Technically 4 but yes I know what you mean. Please let this drama end and let's pretend it never happened.

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Li Sun is far more a victim than anything else. He has little to offer GE than a pure heart, he says as much himself. She meanwhile has no memories, feelings for him past or present. Yet her occupation for the CP and his infatuation for her is not a compelling theme either which is partly why this drama has plodded along, plot holes and all for too many episodes. CP has guts and morals but when it comes to planning and strategy he is pathetic. Leaderof a nation, well if he is he has yet to prove it. Had the writer written the main leads properly, delivered on what the PR department hinted at then this could have been a truly remarkable drama. Unfortunately, for all the best efforts of the cast I rate it "C".

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Just my two cents real quick, I think people should stop blaming the actors for a script that was really lacking. This is a statement in general, because there are a lot of people who can't distinguish between a badly written character and bad acting it seems. Kim Sohyun is a really good actress and this is an opinion that many people would agree upon. Her work here is not her best, but its not because she's incapable but rather she's not given the opportunity to show her skill set as GaEun's character is largely overlooked by the writers.

As for Yoon Sohee and L well they're both really rookies, especially in comparison to the impressive resumes of the rest of the main cast. Yoon Sohee was definitely had a rocky start but I think she's doing okay now, largely cuz her character is written the best out of the 4 leads. As for L, he has a similar case with KSH's character where he wasn't given much to work with as his character was also really one dimensional. He's turned into a villain tho so now he's doing quite well imo. I think he's a lot more charming and charismatic now as compared to before.

Really it seems like the only one not receiving slack are the secondary characters.

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Exactly it is the writing. Somebody said on here they had behind-the-scenes issues with the script and among other things.
If you mean secondary characters in talking about Hwa Gun & Lee Sun they are receiving slack. It might not be a lot but they are receiving it.

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There's a lot of things that can happen during these things but its best not to speculate especially since we have nothing to base it on, other than our dislike for the script and certain characters. I hope the actors and the staff are able to end this and part ways on a good note.

By the secondary characters I meant characters like MaeChang and Chief Eunach, and the bodyguards etc.

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Okay. Yes they are not receiving any slack.

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As a Kim So Hyun fan, this show has truly traumatized me, even though I feel better after reading all of the comments supporting her. I've seen the next 2 episodes and Ruler is really beyond redemption, at least regarding Ga Eun's character. It has truly become the Hwa Goon show. I can only hope that her cameo on While You Were Sleeping lets her shine again, I have no doubt that it will considering the writer's previous works. Maybe after a little time I will be able to get over the bad taste of this drama. But for now I feel so sad thinking about all the comments pitying Hwa Goon against Ga Eun. They have some truth in a sense, but it still hurts to read them when you know just how great KSH is capable of acting, how she's not able to showcase the extent of her talent here with all the plot focusing on other characters and the missed chemistry with such a talented co-star like Yoo Seung Ho.

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It traumatized you? I hope you are okay. KSH has lots of support. With acting you will have good roles and bad roles. It comes with the territory. The writing for this drama is not good. I hope people are blaming the writers and not the actors and actresses.

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Ha I didn't mean it in such a dramatic way but yeah watching this drama made me want to pull my hair off. I understand that as an actress you are bound to play badly written characters once in a while, but it is the mix of different things that make me mad. The production team using KSH name to attract viewers, Ga Eun's initial character description that led to great disappointment, the little screen time and the 2nd lead female being praised.

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TBH for me I take character descriptions with a grain a salt. I learned that after MLSHR. So they just used her name? I thought they used Yoo Seung Ho and L as well.

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I think it's more like they used the YSH-KSH combination because they knew it would attract viewers. Just like PBG-KYJ did. Plus two top child stars in a drama together was bound to get Koreans interested. L was used for his idol following but apparently he also auditioned for the role 5 times because he really wanted it.

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I ate popcorn while watching this drama, and now I'm eating popcorn again reading comments here. LOL. I've done bitching yesterday, so I'll save another bitching for next week's epi.. ?

Anyway, thank you @hanshimi for your efforts! Really appreciate it. Just bear with it for few more weeks!

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Thanks for the recap, hanshimi!

I haven't been commenting in the recap threads lately cuz I didn't find much motivation to talk about the plotless show after watching each ep. But I still read your recaps and thought that this week finally got somewhere with the plot after the beginning of an upward turn from last week's eps.

I really felt for Sun when he learned that his father had usurped the throne from his predecessor.

I'm really loving HG's character. Her role pretty much outshines GE's cuz the latter is given nothing to do. I'm just glad GE finally learns who really killed her dad. It was getting frustrating to watch her misplaced hatred.

Almost got my heart ripped out when I thought Daemok had slayed CW!! Thank goodness the blade only struck his eye.

Sun getting served the lethal 3 pills was hard to watch. All that pain he had to suffer. ? Of course we know he's not dead since there'd be no story left, but it was still heart-wrenching to see.

I guess despite LS's ambitions, at least he still had the heart to prevent WB etc. from being part of the trap set by Daemok to take down the queen dowager. But I still don't like how he's turned to the dark side, trying to manipulate GE into thinking that Sun killed her dad and just basically leading Sun to his death.

So, just when is GE gonna actually look for that big pot in the greenhouse? This is the question on my mind week after week, ep after ep. ?

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though i love hwa goon as a character but yes the plot needs some saving

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I think this just needs to be put out there, Kim So Hyun is not Ga Eun and Ga Eun does not represent Kim So Hyun the person. Similarly Yoon So Hee is not Hwa Gun and the character does not represent the actor. Can we stop associating these two things as being one.
I don't even know why the two are being pit against each other.

The character of HG is more interesting yes but GE is the lead so lets just leave it that. This was always a love story of CP & GE but somehow the writer completely forgot to develop that aspect. Neither has CP done anything to prove he deserves the throne so his journey has not been covered either. This show made a huge pitfall in trying to balance politics and romance without clearly committing to either story line.

I still have the image of HG pricking her neck to have a matching blood tattoo with CP after their 1st meeting (yikes!) so I could never truly like her character. And all I remember about GE is her crying. Frankly all I remember about CP is his constant need for saving from almost every character in the show.

The writers are terrible at writing a coherent storyline with fleshed out characters and unfortunately Kim So Hyun has suffered the worst from their inabilities but her emotional delivery has always been on point. Similarly while Yoon So Hee's screaming scenes are a bit much she's done a good enough job with what was given to her. They both did what was asked of them.

And as someone already said, we really need to stop comparing the two actresses. It serves no purpose except to generate ill will.

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@hanshimi where did you get the first picture? It does not look like it occurred in this week's episodes as I have watched all of them. After CP was poisoned and left at the poppy field, there was no scene GE and him shared a screen.

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Oh man! The hate on Naver for this drama after this week's episode was no joke! People asking if the leads had been switched or if SM paid for So Hee's screen time.

MBC trying to cover its assets by releasing BTS videos of Seung Ho and So Hyun was the icing on the cake!

This be getting so makjang!!

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The negative comments against the writers on sns is no joke. It just keeps building up. MBC will have a tough time covering this up.

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Are there as many negative comments as people are making it seem ? It somewhat makes me feel better ...

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Well they had to block the comments on YSh pic on insta because of all the hate. Now they've uploaded a pic of CP and are referring him as GE's groom to be.

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I remember when I said I prefer Hwa Gon better back in the early episodes, people disagree with me by saying Ga Eun's her own charm, she made the road from nothing to merchant village...blablabla. Look what happened now, everyone's condemning Ga Eun's character.

First of all, Ga Eun's rejected CP twice for the same stupid reason that her late father asked to move on. Then, she resented CP for killing her father. Then when she knows it's Chung Woon, suddenly it's all fine. Wow. So, she just wants to know who's behind the mask beheaded her father? Didn't she remember seeing Master Chun Soo when Chung Woon pretending to be CP? I'm so confused?? I thought she resented CP for being the one who caused her father's death, but I guess she just wants to know the killer. Oh well...

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Why blame the character of GE for something that is beyond her control? If you are going to blame something blame the writing. Its the inconsistency in the writing that makes GE act like that. Same for CP, one minute he is a forebearer of justice next minute just a lovestruck fool. None of the characters are to blame for how they are turning out. Its all on the writers for writing them that way.

The plot holes and character holes in this drama are the size of a crater.

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I don't get your point. When I condemned GE's character, it meas there's something wrong with the writing. The characters all come from the writer, so of course the bad writing what makes me frustrated with the outcome of the drama?

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My apologies. Clearly I misunderstood you. There's just been so much hated directed towards the character and So Hyun as if its her fault that the character is doing stupid things instead of recognizing it as a writing fault.

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No worries. I love Kim So Hyun and Yoo Seung Ho. I hope they both get better project next time. I feel sorry for KSH for getting such a weak role though she's the lead.

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*means

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Yessssss.... I liked the last scene

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