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Seven Day Queen: Episode 5

This show really knows how to bait me with its sunny side, and then skewer my heart with its angst. I’m hooked and there’s no going back, no matter what pain may lie ahead. Today’s episode is almost like a second premiere where we get to re-meet everyone as adults, except now we have the added layer of wondering how they became these grownups, and what on earth happened to them in the intervening years.

 

 
EPISODE 5 RECAP

By the time the storm has calmed and the ship is nearing land, our prince-turned-wandering-traveler Yeok has taken command of the ship, and he makes the rest of the thugs jump overboard. Yeok’s companion calls him “hyungnim” and alerts him that they’ve almost reached shore, and he looks pensive as they approach.

At the dock, two young men crack party streamers as the boat nears, and they crane their necks nervously looking for someone. When they see a man approach, they jump him and douse him with liquor, shouting, “Welcome to Hanyang! We missed youuuu!”

Heh, I’d recognize Yeok’s two buddies anywhere, especially since they always come in a set. This is JO GWANG-OH (Kang Ki-young) and BAEK SEOK-HEE (Kim Min-ho), the two boys he was always causing trouble with.

They peer down at Yeok’s companion and note with skepticism, “This face… is not that face…” “I know you said you died and came back to life, but were you reincarnated?”

They finally learn that Yeok’s tactiturn companion is “the famous Seo-no” (Chansung) and greet him happily. Yay, I knew Seo-no would survive! Seo-no doesn’t speak a word to them, but they follow him like two eager puppies.

Meanwhile Yeok is already ashore and walking somewhere, when he runs into a blockade with armed royal guards. They declare that this land is the king’s hunting grounds and no one can enter. Yeok imagines the homes that used to be on those hills, now barren.

The guards turn their weapons on him threateningly, so Yeok flashes a smile and says casually that he made a wrong turn. He’s laughing, but his smile doesn’t reach his eyes.

As Yeok walks away, he thinks to himself, “The king’s land? This is yours?” He addresses the king in his thoughts and vows, “I will tear your world to shreds. And I will take your throne.”

It’s 1504, the tenth year of Yeonsangun’s reign, and five years since Yeok was presumed dead. Yeonsangun lounges on his tiger-skin-covered throne like he’s bored, while his ministers sweat bullets over a royal tribute that’s not quite up to par. Yeonsangun pulls a stray thread from his robes like it’s offending him with its presence.

Chief Royal Secretary Im tries to explain that the cloth required for the tribute hasn’t arrived by boat yet, but Yeonsangun just grows angrier.

His particular brand of sarcasm is more caustic than ever, as he gets up from the throne and strips off his dragon robes to prove his point. He drapes them over a minister’s shoulders like it’s a gift, saying that he’s worn them long enough. He does the same with his socks and tells them to show their dedication in actions, not just in lip service, and storms out.

The ministers seem resigned and unemotional, like they’re used to these tantrums from the king. Deputy Commander Park asks what they’re supposed to do to please the king, and Chae-kyung’s father, Minister Shin, says that the king will find his center and return to normal.

Young women flock to a gibang to gaze at the handsome man playing a geomungo instrument—it’s Yeonsangun, dressed as a nobleman. As he plays, he thinks back to the moment he ran to his mother as a young boy with flowers in his hand, and found her being led out of the palace after she was deposed.

She tenderly touched his face one last time and tore a loose thread from his sleeve with her teeth, saying that he was to be king one day, and must always appear neat and tidy. She was dragged away from him crying, and then years later his grandmother told him that his mother didn’t die of illness, but was killed.

The crowd of fangirls only grows larger and larger as Yeonsangun plays, and Chae-kyung happens by and stops to check out the commotion. She has to jump just to catch a tiny glimpse, and her jaw drops when she recognizes the king.

She thinks she must’ve seen wrong, but before she can get another look, he spots the crowd and takes off. Chae-kyung gets trampled in the stampede, but when she gets up, Yeonsangun leaps over the wall and lands right next to her. Ah, the other man was a decoy!

Chae-kyung calls him “your majesty,” which stops him in his tracks. There’s no time for pleasantries, however, because the rabid fangirls spot them and give chase. Yeonsangun grabs Chae-kyung’s wrist and starts running, and the rest of the girls run after them, tripping over each other in the process.

Chae-kyung and Yeonsangun reach a dead end, and she hilariously stands between him and the fangirls with her arms stretched out wide, like she’s prepared to guard him with her life if it comes down to it. Thankfully, a passing ox cart blocks them from view, and the girls run right past them.

Chae-kyung lets out a sigh of relief, only to be met with a dagger to the throat. He demands to know who she is, and she says nervously, “It’s me, Chae-kyung.” He withdraws the dagger and she turns to look up at him with a hesitant smile, and when he recognizes her, his face brightens instantly. Aw.

They stop for a meal, and Yeonsangun notes with amusement how Chae-kyung still stuffs her face the same way she did as a child. She wonders how it’s possible that every time she comes to Hanyang, she runs into him outside of the palace.

He asks what’s wrong with her face, pointing out her ruddy cheeks and freckles, and in order to get a better look, he pulls her chin towards him until they suddenly realize they’re uncomfortably close.

She laughs and wipes away the freckles, which she explains is all part of her plan to spread a rumor that she’s ugly, so that she doesn’t have to get married. Yeonsangun: “You don’t need to try that hard with that face.” Pffffft.

Chae-kyung offers to spend the day keeping “hyungnim” entertained, and he jokingly says she’ll have to risk her life. She bets that she knows what he’ll spend the day doing, and he lets her tag along, but tells her to stop calling him “hyungnim.” So she yells, “Wait for me, oraboni!”

Yeok arrives at his old stomping grounds and looks around the marketplace in wonder. Memories come flooding back everywhere he looks, of the days he spent with his friends, and the moment he met Chae-kyung. He stops when he recognizes the vendor who sold them the salamander statue, still peddling the exact same salamanders. Yeok gets emotional as he thinks of Chae-kyung, and hides his face before walking on.

As Chae-kyung and Yeonsangun go through the marketplace buying a basketful of food, she notices that all the women stop to ogle him. She gives him a good long stare and says she’s checking to see if he has gold on his face or something, so then he turns and stares at her, which he claims he’s doing just to copy her.

Yeok’s friend Seok-hee appears to be operating a mysterious pawnshop of sorts, filled with expensive artifacts. A peasant knocks on the door and asks if this is the place where they give out rice in exchange for other goods, and Seok-hee turns down the spoon he offers, saying that the price isn’t goods, but information.

After hearing that the man is a servant in a nobleman’s home, he leads him into something that looks like a confessional booth. On the other side, Gwang-oh takes out a book titled “The Secret Lives of the Capital City,” and starts jotting down the servant’s information.

As the servant happily takes his rice, the boys are stunned when a beautiful woman walks in. They’re practically drooling as they wonder if this is the person they were supposed to meet today, and she just pushes her way past them and opens the door to their secret hideout without being told that it’s there.

Seo-no is inside and all the guys watch her stride right into their lair like she owns the place. She seems to recognize a walking stick in the shape of a crutch, and takes particular interest in it.

Seok-hee is taken with her beauty, while Gwang-oh finds her rude. But it’s Seo-no who captures her attention, and the minute he introduces himself, she stands up and slaps him across the face. She says matter-of-factly that Seo-no owes her a debt because “Nak-chun oraboni” almost died because of him.

She says that oraboni experienced a hell that made death preferable, and that this slap is nothing. She tells him with an icy glare that he’ll have to repay that debt with his life, and Seo-no accepts her warning dutifully.

She declares that introductions are over without ever saying her name, though I suppose they already know it: it’s YOON MYUNG-HYE (Go Bo-gyul). All Myung-hye seems to care about is this Nak-chun oraboni, and she asks where he is.

As Yeok takes off his clothes for a bath, we see that his body is covered in scars, and he flashes back to the night he was shot with arrows and stabbed with a blade, seemingly on royal orders. Yes, we know how you got the scars, but how did you survive?

After washing up, Yeok takes a blade to his hair and lops off his long locks, thinking to himself that he will no longer follow the ways of his brother’s Joseon.

Chae-kyung pays an innkeeper handsomely in order to rent out the whole place, and other customers are turned away as she ushers Yeonsangun inside. But as they go into one of the rooms, we see a pair of boots outside a room that’s already occupied. Uh-oh, is that going to be who I think it is?

Chae-kyung laughs and says this reminds her of the night she and Yeonsangun first met, and he asks if this innkeeper is trustworthy. She figures that it doesn’t matter, since if they’re drugged, she’ll just save him again and get another wish out of it.

Her laughter carries into the next room, and aaaaah, it’s Yeok! He doesn’t seem to recognize the voices, and just drinks alone in his room.

Chae-kyung cooks in the inn’s kitchen, and sets what looks like two tables of ritual memorial food. Oh, is it the anniversary of Yeok’s death? This must be what Chae-kyung meant about knowing what the king would do on this day.

As Yeonsangun carries one of the trays inside, Yeok opens his door and happens to catch a glimpse of his brother, in the last place he expected. He hurries back inside before he’s seen, but then a second shockwave hits: Chae-kyung calls out for oraboni in her signature saturi accent.

Yeok peeks out his door again, and is stunned to see Chae-kyung follow his brother into that room. Augh, why did he have to find them together?

Yeok slowly approaches the thin paper door that separates their two rooms, and sinks down to lean against it.

On the other side, Yeonsangun performs memorial rites for his mother, and he takes notice of Chae-kyung bowing beside him. She says that his mother is essentially her mother (she must mean her vow to become his sibling in place of Yeok, though from the outside, it might sound very different).

Then she performs the rites for the second table they’ve set, for Yeok. Tears come spilling out as she bows, and Yeonsangun tells her that just as his mother’s death was not his fault, Yeok’s death was not her fault. He tells her to get mad instead, and ask why Yeok left so soon. Yeok laughs bitterly on the other side of the wall.

Chae-kyung sees right through Yeonsangun and guesses that he just misses them. She addresses his mother and says that Yeonsangun misses her, and so in turn, he says, “Yeok-ah, Chae-kyung misses you.” Yeok’s eyes fill with tears at the words.

Chae-kyung says that it’s nice to have family say the things you’re too embarrassed to say, but Yeonsangun bites back, “Family is a ball of fire to me. I cannot swallow it or spit it out, so it aggravates me relentlessly.” He says that he spent his life running from them, and can barely hold their memorials in secret.

She sees his distress and tells him to become a good and wise king, so that he can stand tall before his father’s grave and honor his mother properly. She says that Yeok would be proud of him for that, and then takes out the salamander statue that Yeok bought for his brother.

She tells him about Yeok’s belief that the salamander represents the king and commands the rain, and her story brings a smile to Yeonsangun’s face. They laugh together, which only pains Yeok all the more.

Yeok puts on his hat to leave, but at the exact moment he steps out of his room, Chae-kyung comes out from hers…They turn to face each other, and Chae-kyung sees it instantly: Yeok’s younger face, looking back at her. Omo. OMO!

She doesn’t even second-guess her instincts, and calls out to him as if he’s Yeok. He doesn’t stop for her, so she runs after him and grabs his arm in desperation. He stops, but then it hits her, and her face falls as she says, “You’re not him. You’re not a ghost, you’re a person.”

He starts to leave again, so she yanks him by his bag strap to offer a meal, saying that memorial food is meant to be shared. The way she clutches his strap just makes Yeok think of the way she held his horse’s reins so tightly the moment they parted. He caves and agrees to eat, and the irony isn’t lost on him that he’s being served his own memorial food.

Chae-kyung says that today is the day that someone who was important to her died. As Yeok picks the beans out of his rice cakes, she peers at him curiously and says that he really resembles this person.

She sighs and wishes that Yeok would come back to see her even as a ghost, brightly promising not to be afraid if he’d just make a noise to indicate that he’s there. Yeok angrily tells her not to insult the dead, and adds that this person probably didn’t die just so that they could take a trip down memory lane.

Chae-kyung is affronted and asks what he thinks he knows about her, but Yeok counters, “What do you know? A dead person’s heart? His hurt, his pain? What do you know?”

Their argument is loud enough that Yeonsangun comes out to see what the fuss is, and he asks, “What’s going on, wife?” Ohmygod why, why would he call her that?! My heart, stop stabbing my heart!

Yeok’s face twists up in shock and betrayal, and he says, “Go be loyal to your new lover,” before stalking off. Don’t let him leave like that!

Yeonsangun tells Chae-kyung not to talk to strangers, and she points out that him calling her “wife” isn’t exactly going to help her get married. He reminds her that she doesn’t want to get married, and she argues that there is a world of difference between choosing not to marry and not being able to marry.

Chae-kyung starts clearing the table and sees the beans Yeonsangun picked out of his rice cakes, which he says he can’t eat because they make him ill. Stunned, she asks if there’s someone else who can’t eat them, and he remembers that Yeok used to pick out his beans too, to copy him.

That’s all Chae-kyung needs to hear to go racing out of the room. She looks at the table where Yeok picked out his beans just moments ago, and she runs down the dark street in search of him.

Yeok sees her, but he hides just out of sight around the corner, his hand gripping the wall for dear life.

She’s just a few steps away, but before she can find him, Myung-hye finds Yeok first, calling him Nak-chun oraboni. She asks if someone is chasing him, and he covers up by saying that it’s just habit.

Myung-hye peeks around the corner and sees Chae-kyung and Yeonsangun, who’s come out to check on her.

Back at Yeok’s hideout, his crew is all gathered and he toasts, calling them five brothers. Seok-hee argues with being lumped together when they’re all of different social class, gender, and personality, but Yeok just laughs at his two knucklehead friends and encourages everyone to drink.

Myung-hye is fixated on Yeok, and when she notices that his finger is bleeding, she pours liquor on it and wraps it tenderly. She tells him not to forget that his body belongs to her. He pulls his hand away and counters, “You’re my savior, not my master.”

Chae-kyung’s mother is beside herself with worry that she’s been missing all day, and Nanny makes reference to this being a yearly event, where Chae-kyung disappears and upsets her parents. Chae-kyung apologizes and promises that nothing happened, and she lights up in relief when her father says it’s all right as long as she’s okay.

But she isn’t out of the woods yet, because Mom asks for the broom and chases her all over the yard, and poor Nanny has to run interference to save her from a beating.

As Nanny makes Chae-kyung’s bed, she begs her to stop running off on her own. Chae-kyung isn’t even listening and takes out a handkerchief, in which she’s carefully placed the three black beans that Yeok picked out of his food. She says it’s proof that ghosts exist, lol, and Nanny rolls her eyes.

Chae-kyung says it’s the only explanation, for the beans and for the other thing, putting her hands over her beating heart. She pulls Nanny’s hand on her chest to ask if she can feel that, and Nanny quips that she can feel it’s time for Chae-kyung to get married, before her chest grows any smaller.

That night, Chae-kyung sits out in the yard clutching her ghostly beans, thinking of Yeok coming to see her.

In flashback, we see young Yeok writhing in pain and wrapped in bandages all over his body, with an old man and a young girl beside his bed. We don’t know how he got here after being stabbed at the river, but the old man says he ought to be dead. He wonders what kind of regrets this boy has that he’s clutching his hand so hard, not willing to die.

The old man tells him to go be at peace, but Yeok latches onto his hand and ekes out, “I can’t go. Save me. I am going to live and become king.”

And so the old man solders his wounds shut with a burning iron, as Yeok screams in agony.

In the present, Yeok relives this in his dreams, down to the burning, unbearable pain. Myung-hye runs over to wake him up, and Yeok opens his eyes but is still trapped in the trauma of the memory, and falls to the ground, gasping for air.

Myung-hye grabs the cane she was looking at earlier and puts it in front of Yeok, and suddenly he transforms into his younger self. He grabs the stick and pushes himself up, hand over hand, and as he does so, he turns back into the adult Yeok.

He falls again and collapses in defeat, gasping and crying that he can’t walk. Myung-hye calmly puts the stick back in his hand, and in flashback we see that she was the young girl who was at Yeok’s side as he first went through this.

He screams and throws the stick in a rage, and Myung-hye’s eyes fill with tears as she picks him up off the ground. Yeok screams inconsolably, “No! No, I won’t die! I won’t die!”

She hugs him close, and as he wails in her arms, we see young Yeok do the same in the past. In the present, Myung-hye is stunned when Yeok cries, “Save me, Chae-kyung-ah!” He looks at her as though he’s speaking to Chae-kyung, and says, “I will return to you no matter what. Wait for me, Chae-kyung-ah.” He collapses in her embrace, and she cries silently.

Myung-hye goes outside and tells Seo-no that she wants to find out who Shin Chae-kyung is, and after today, she never wants to hear that name again. Seo-no says he can tell her about Chae-kyung, but she won’t be able to erase her completely.

He knows that Myung-hye saved Yeok and helped him heal and walk, but he adds that it wasn’t the only thing to save his life, because Yeok had a deeper, more ardent love that saved him. She says he’s wrong, and the only thing that can save a person is ambition, and that Yeok came back to life because of his desire for revenge and the throne, not something so naïve as love.

It seems that old alliances don’t die easily, because Scarface has somehow survived his mid-ocean run-in with Yeok and reports the theft of his shipment to Secretary Im and the king’s consort Jang Nok-soo. We really should’ve put a sword in this guy’s chest.

He shows them sketches of Yeok and Seo-no, though it’s unclear what he knows of their identities, since the focus seems to be on the shipment they stole from him, not on the prince. Nok-soo gives him ten days to either bring her the shipment or the thieves’ heads, or else Scarface and his men will pay with their lives. Secretary Im tells Nok-soo to have the king collect more royal tributes, which is clearly how they’ve been lining their own pockets for years.

That night, Nok-soo climbs into bed next to Yeonsangun and mentions that a flood has interfered with the royal tribute that was on its way, suggesting that he collect another tribute.

But he just asks if she knows why there was a flood, and answers in Chae-kyung’s saturi accent that it’s the salamander’s fault. He’s smiling the whole time, and decides that he’ll have to open an inquiry into the matter tomorrow.

As he’s dressed the next morning, Yeonsangun thinks of Chae-kyung’s encouraging words to be a good and wise king, and stand proud before his parents’ graves. So that very day, he tells the assembly to assess the damages that the people have suffered due to the recent flood, so that aid can be given and houses can be rebuilt.

The ministers are so stunned that they wonder to each other what’s gotten into the king, and he freaks them out further by walking along and telling them individually that they’re doing a good job.

The queen dowager is upset to hear that Yeonsangun is suddenly acting out of character and being a good king, which Deputy Commander Park doesn’t understand either. The queen dowager brightens when his niece is announced.

The niece is none other than Myung-hye, and the queen dowager greets her as her future daughter-in-law and asks eagerly how Yeok is doing. Myung-hye reports that Yeok intercepted Secretary Im’s boatload of bribes and royal tributes, and the queen dowager worries that Yeok is already getting caught up in Secretary Im’s dirty business instead of being careful. Deputy Commander Park reassures her that Secretary Im can’t exactly investigate the theft openly without airing his bribes.

Yeok spends his day reading through Gwang-oh’s rice confessional logs, which turns out to be a record of everything the people have been forced to hand over to the king as royal tribute—what the king has claimed as his. In it, Yeok writes the name of the inn from last night and “the king and Shin Chae-kyung.”

Chae-kyung drags Nanny and a sack of rice to a pawnshop where she’s heard that they exchange rice for information (lol, is she going where I think she’s going?), though Nanny tries to reason with her that information about ghosts is probably not in their purview. Still, Nanny tosses her a sack of red beans just in case she needs to ward off any ghosts.

Chae-kyung flounces in and drops a bag of rice in front of Seok-hee, reasoning that if they give rice for information here, then they probably also offer the reverse? Yeok recognizes her voice and starts flailing inside the confessional booth, but Chae-kyung bullies her way inside before he can escape.

She peers into the little opening in the wall, so he quickly stands up so that all she can see is his waist, and she finally relents and says she’ll stop trying to peek. He tries to change his voice and nervously sits down.

Chae-kyung asks if he can find a ghost for her, and then decides, “No, a person! No wait, a ghost!” He tells her to pick just one, but she pouts and says she can’t: “I don’t know if I’ve fallen for a person or a ghost!” He realizes that she’s looking for him, and his heart seems to melt. He says that either way she’s looking for a man, and she replies that it’s a definitely a relief that the ghost decided to come back in the body of a man. He laughs.

She gets animated as she describes her run-in with Yeok at the inn the other night, rattling on about how he looked just like her friend from childhood who died, even though she’s never seen him grown up, but she’s sure they looked alike.

Yeok just stares at her lips as she talks a mile a minute, and she catches on that he’s not listening to her. She calls him poju, and he gets offended thinking that she’s calling him a pimp, while she meant to just shorten the word for “owner of a pawnshop.” In any case, the outburst has caused him to revert to his normal voice, and Chae-kyung is instantly suspicious.

She gets up and starts searching up and down the wall for a way in, and he panics and starts doing the same as if he can block her. But she’s faster and busts open the trap door, which sends her flying into his side of the room.

She’s gobsmacked to be face to face with her ghost, and doesn’t notice that her violent entrance has made the entire confessional collapse on top of them. He jumps between her and the wall, and they end up wedged in the tiny space, pressed up against each other. God, I love dramas.

Chae-kyung’s heart starts to race again, and she’s so self-conscious that she clamps her hands over his ears and yells at him not to listen. That just makes him think of the day they were running from Scarface when he covered her ears so that she wouldn’t be afraid.

They get lost in the moment, but then Yeok pulls her hands away and tells her to get out. She looks up at him and says, “I told you, I’ve been bewitched by a ghost—by you.” He says coldly that it’s not his business, but she demands to know, “Then why do you look like him? Why does it have to be him? Who are you?”

He pushes the wall back up and she asks him point-blank if he’s Yeok, but he says no. She cries, “Then why do you keep appearing before my eyes? Why do you keep making my heart race?” He turns cold and mean as he says that’s her fault for being easy and wanton, accusing her of looking for another man and swooning in his embrace when she’s a married woman. Noooooooooooo.

She responds by chucking red beans in his face, crying that he has to be a ghost because a person wouldn’t be this mean. He snatches the pouch of beans away and then slams her against the wall, leaning in close. “Is this what you wanted?” he says, his eyes hard. He asks if this is how girls find husbands these days, and she warns him to let her go or he’ll regret it.

“Regrets are for people. Ghosts don’t do things like that,” he says, and then he leans in to kiss her.

 
COMMENTS

Whoa, that was a lot of emotions I just went through in the course of one episode. I have to say, I’m impressed that we didn’t drag out the separation, which I fully expected to be teased for a while and painfully drawn out. But Seven Day Queen continues to exceed my expectations and stay a step ahead of me, which makes it so enjoyable to watch, not to mention increasingly addictive. It’s a mark of good storytelling that I’m constantly surprised by where we’re going and how fast we get there, and I find that I’m so taken with the story and these characters that I hardly notice the time passing.

Yeok is especially fascinating because he’s the most changed as an adult, and I hate and love how dark and bitter he’s become, and how he’s taken up his brother’s habit of twisting other people’s words to use against them. Obviously I have hope that he’ll open up his heart again, but at the start, I have to say that I love the conflict of him assuming that his brother stole Chae-kyung too. I mean, it’s horrible and it gives me stabby chest pains, but it’s SO GOOD as a conflict. The hope of returning to her saved him when he was at his lowest, most desperate point, and then he returns and sees her with his brother, of all people? It couldn’t be worse, and I can’t bear the thought that he thinks she betrayed him too, and yet, as a drama conflict I love it so.

I’m surprised by how much I love the other side of the love triangle too, because I’m obviously not rooting for Yeonsangun to get the girl, and yet I love their easy rapport. It’s clear that Chae-kyung is the bright spot in his dark world, and it’s honestly really sweet and boyish of him to be so easily influenced into trying to be a good king. How sad that he might’ve even been a good king all along if he had this sort of influence by his side all the time.

I really did love the child actors, but man, does everything intensify when Yeon Woo-jin is carrying the other half of the two brothers’ storyline. Now it feels like a fully fleshed out battle for power and love, and somehow Yeok growing up makes their rift seem insurmountable. It was so tough to see what he’d gone through after nearly dying and not being able to walk (and so brilliant to show both actors, going through it in the past and still trapped in the trauma of it in the present), but it shows us that there is no going back to the innocent little brother who always put his faith in his hyung above all. Yeok was broken and had to become a whole new person to survive. I can see why Myung-hye is so fiercely protective of him, if she’s the one who saved his life and was by his side as he fought to live and walk. From her perspective, no one else understands what rock bottom was for Yeok, and she was there for him when he was at his worst. But ultimately Seo-no is right, because even in his delirium, Yeok was always searching for Chae-kyung, and it was his will to return to her that kept him going.

Sometimes this show is surprisingly light, but it’s nice to get some fun rom-com interplay between our characters when we can, with funny ghost-human misunderstandings and trapped-in-tight-spaces excuses for skinship. I mean, it made me laugh and I wasn’t expecting it so soon, but when the comedy can be backed up by real emotion that can make a scene turn on a dime and twist my heart into knots, I welcome the emotional roller coaster ride.

 
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'God, I love dramas'

THIS! Understatement of the century :D

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Bless this comment with all my heart.

Thank you Drama God for the kiss. And with that I offer a bowl of beans as a tribute.

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But it was so hard to watch Yeok go through such pain and suffering to heal. How great is that they recognized each other at one glance and not through some dramatic introduction like one show that shall not be named. It's just amazing how Yeok and Chae-kyung loved each other fiercely as children that Yeok survives to return to her and Chae-kyung tries to live with his memory forever. Usually I don't really enjoy angst due to misunderstanding but here I am just gonna enjoy whatever this show throws at me because it just tugs at my heart and few shows do that. I am probably going to be a mess at the end of this show but am so welcoming that emotional turmoil!

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Hahaha..yass it supposed to be cringe scene but man YWJ is just super hot

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Hahaha. I was totally going to quote this too.

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Angst hasn't tasted this sweet for a long while. Seven Day Queen, you are turning me into a masochist and I am loving it!

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Whom am I kidding? We Kdrama fans are all masochists from the start.

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Yeon Woo-jin can save me from a falling wall any day.

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Can't believe I'll say this, but...me, Lee Dong-gun.

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me too ^^

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Did anyone else cry because of that ending scene? No? Just me? Oh man am I hooooked.

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I cried several times throughout the show. T___T

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Ok I know that Chae kyung and Yeok are our main couple and I love them!! I really do! But damnit, I love all the Chae kyung and Yoensangun scenes so much too. T_T What's a girl to do with this dilemma??

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and that whole inn scene. I was holding my breath cuz what type of coincidence is it that they were in rooms next to each other? gahh. only in dramas.

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Why must a girl choose? Why must a girl not have the best of both worlds? Whyyy???

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We are on the same boat! I do adore and love Yeok but older bro has got me swooning with his smirks and smiles. I'm trying to stop rooting for him but the osts are not helping! Why did they have to play that cute lovely song in that chasing scene. Why?!

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I'm in deep trouble. I just found myself so addicted to this drama. Wasn't expect for that kiss to happen this early but man! My heartuuuu! Can't wait for the next episode.

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"This show really knows how to bait me with its sunny side, and then skewer my heart with its angst." THIS so much. I still come around every week knowing what kind of pain it offers, after having my heart broke from last time. Although I fear I might not be able to handle it when the time comes, it feels like it'll be too much for my weak heart.

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These recaps are making me want to watch this dramaaaaa! I wanna watch it but I know it's gonna hurt afterwards and I don't know if I can manage the angst ?

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You can, you can! Just jump in headlong and suffer with us. You'll be a Noble Idiot in no time.

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*laughs hysterically* Half of me want to join you in encouraging new friends to join this suffering group yet the other half feel like screaming at them "run, run away while you can!".

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Oh come on, just watch it... enjoy the ride. This is an amazing drama that shouldn't be missed out.

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Let's all hold our cyber hands together during this emotional roller coaster ride! Dramabeans will be our safe space to deal with the highs (oh so cracktastic) and lows (oh so humanistic)!

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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This show hurts so gooooood!!! Just when I think I'm going to escape unscathed they throw another emotion-grenade at me and I'm gone again. Love love love it!

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No. Words. I feel like I just held my breath for an hour

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"How sad that he might’ve even been a good king all along if he had this sort of influence by his side all the time."
To be fair he did have a wonderful wife and good influence in his Queen Consort (Chae Kyung's aunt), the later deposed Queen Shin.

Queen Shin was respected and loved even by the many people who hated her husband and considered by all to be a very wise, kind and virtuous Queen but unfortunately for her she was married to the worst king of Joseon. Yeonsangun was an insane, egotistical, maniac who just wanted to bang gisaengs all day, abduct girls (and horses) suppress learning, ban hangul and 'free' speech, brutally murder people and beat up old women (he assaulted his grandmother causing her death) instead of doing his duty as a king.

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But not in this story, she doesn't even attempt to reach out to her husband and try to see beyond his insane behavior. Even Nok-soo, despite her villainous scheming, wanted to comfort Yeonsangun in any way she can, granted she isn't really a good influence on him as a king. I can see why Chae-kyung with all her sass and liveliness could bring Yeonsangun out of his own darkness and be the person he potentially could be.

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I got the sense that Yeonsangun isn't close to his Queen and keeps her at a distance. While she does love him, she doesn't seem to be the type to insist on being in his face when she's not wanted.

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No, but her love isn't strong enough to make her actively reach out for him. She loves him in a way, but her actions prove her love is limited.

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Well, the Queen's barely had any scenes so it's kind of hard to tell what kind of relationship they have. And even if she does love him she's probably understandably wary of him as he's mentally unstable and she knows how violent he is and mercurial his temper can be.

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Yes, it's understandable that she would be wary of Yeonsangun since she saw firsthand how manic he can be. Chae-kyung, so far, hasn't seen that side of him. However, I would assume someone as wise and wonderful wouldn't have just let her husband be and watch him passively. I'm not countering that she could be a good person, it's just that I could see from the little screen time she had that she didn't try.

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Yeonsangun is said to be a decent ruler in the beginning of his reign.
He also had a lot of children (some died young) with his queen before Nok-soo came into picture and climbed the rank pretty quickly.

I don't think either of these two women could have saved him from himself.

Nok-soo came from a very poor family with nothing to lose.
She used her talents to survive beside him.
She had no one in the palace on her side.
The ministers in the court probably loathe her as much as they loathe their king.
She went out of her way to pleased the king even as far as arranging affairs with the minister's wives.

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It's interesting that there are so many more dramas with Yeonsangun in it than Korea's best and beloved King Sejong.

Yes, It's very unfortunate for Queen Shin to be married to such a cruel and violent tyrant.
Her two sons were also executed because of their father.

Yeonsangun had two of his other half brothers killed after beating their mother to death.
It's fortunate that Yeok survived during his brutal reign.

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It is interesting, although perhaps not surprising since effective villains are always more interesting to watch. Lee Dong-gun is playing Yeonsangun with so much complexity that I almost wish that the writer would take more liberty from history to soften the ultimate tragic journey this show promises to lead us toward.

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I haven't watched past eps 1 so I can't comment on his acting or his character here.
So far based on the recaps, they are exploring new relationships with his character to accommodate their story.

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I think the last time we ever had a drama with King Sejong's story was Tree with Deep Roots. In Splash Splash Love, the King was Sejong as well but it was more on romcom and about time traveler, but I do appreciate they managed to tell some stories about him - like the creation of Hangul in two epi of the drama.

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Yes and last year's "Jang Yeong-sil" was the latest.
I love the more traditional sageuks but that show was pretty boring I couldn't even finish it.

"The Great King Sejong" (2008) was the closest to the actual history.
(Totally fell in love with Lee Hyun-woo and Nam Ji-hyun who played the childhood version of Sejong and his wife).

"Tree with deep roots" was based on a novel and there is another older version of it or 2 that are probably more faithful to the novel.

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Daebak Daebak!!! This ep is beyond my expectation :))

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Aww. Just read the recap, i want to watch it. tried to resist live watching.

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It's taking all my energy to not read the recap and wait till morning to watch this episode ? I need to watch it!!

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That moment when Yeok and Chae Kyung locked eyes, I almost screamed. Then the hum appeared and I was swept away by the feels.

I am running out of superlatives to heap on this drama. It is exceeding my expectations at such a rate that I keep fearing the next episode will not meet it. The story telling is all sorts of awesome. It knows exactly what to do, how to do it and suck you in.

I like that they show what Yeok went through. In doing so, I understand his growth, his change and his demons. It also made me understand Myung Hye. This is such a contrast from Hwa Goon in Ruler who left us totally bewildered in her instant obsession with the prince. If Myung Hye were to give up everything including her life for Yeok now, I would find it believable. This is the kind of second lead I want in any drama, the type who makes you struggle at least a little. Anyway, I was totally shocked to find what who this character really is.

When I saw one of the teasers for this drama, the funny one where Chae Kyung slipped and fell, I thought this show is probably nuts. How can a tragic story ever be funny? I was wrong, so wrong! This show does switch between comedy and serious/emotion so effortlessly and well that it is not funny(pun intended). I was laughing so hard when the split screen showed Chae Kyung trying to search up and down the wall to get over the other side and Yeok doing the exact same thing but trying to block her. And then the wall crashes and bang! oh my gawd....I love it!

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"It is exceeding my expectations at such a rate that I keep fearing the next episode will not meet it."

Me in a nutshell XD. I was so spoiled by the build-up in ep 1-4 that I'm so afraid it would be ruined any time from here on. I was almost holding my breath going into ep 5, but so far the show hasn't failed me. I'm afraid I'll be stuck with this fear, but why it feels double rewarding when it actually meets and exceeds my expectations.

I must say SLS is going strong for this drama. I absolutely love Yeok and Chae-kyung together, and can't really see anyone who could go between them judging from their interactions and shared experience in the past. However I can't help feeling for Myung-Hye and Yeonsangun, and I must say I feel for Myung-Hye more. I was all like, 'It serves her right' when Yeok corrected her that she did not own him, but when she hugs him with teary face when he calls Chae-kyung's name, it pains me and I actually thought perhaps I was too harsh. Girl is sure possessive and will likely be selfish as heck, but I really can't blame her.

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This love quadrangle is so good because I totally buy Yeonsangun and Chae Kyung's relationship, Myung Hye's love unrequited love for Yeok and the OTP.

Honestly, when Myung Hye first appeared, I was like "Noooooo!!! It's the ghost of Hwa Goon!" It didn't help when she said "Your body is mine." I almost keeled over. Thank goodness for Yeok's rebuttal. If he had looked quizzical, oblivious to her admiration and grinned like a fool, I think I would bail no matter how much I love this show.

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I know, I almost threw my hands up in defeat when Myung-Hye first appeared. I actually inner-screamed, 'No, not another Hwa Goon'. Doesn't help that she has that hairstyle, but my opinion of her changed during that scene where Yeok relived and struggled with his pain. This is also a minor surprise but I also noticed her during her meeting with the Queen Dowager too. Girl isn't stiff with her body and I like it. A good way to keep me from being distracted from watching.

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What terrific job on the part of the writers that I am sympathetic to both second leads! I genuinely enjoy the interactions between the volatile Yeonsangun and Chae-kyung,. In a few scenes I can already feel Myung-hye's pain and understand where she is coming from. Both Yeonsangun and Myung-hye are fully developed characters who contribute to the stories instead just meddling plot devices to keep our OTP apart.

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It's damn good!

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The show is full of heart. It hurts so good.

Its good that the adult part actually learn the child actors

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The only thing I dont like is..... it gonna pass Rebel as best sageuk of the year. I love Rebel too, especially they are full of underrated, under radar actors

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Sigh...I just wish it was getting even near Rebel's ratings.
It's breaking my heart how underrated this incredible drama is :-((

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So for you,is it better than Rebel?

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I would rank Rebel and 7DQ as belonging to different ends of the romance sageuk spectrum. This one is closer to Moonlight (heavy focus on romance) while Rebel is closer to TPM (balancing romance + history). It depends whether one expects more romance or history. Both Rebel and 7DQ are good at what they offer; they only differ to us because we judge them based on different sets of standards. Fan of serious sageuks might not walk away completely satisfied with this show, but for those who are less interested in history and more in the romance department this one still has quality writing and execution up to now :D

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I'd say SDQ as of the latest episode is halfway between Moonlight and The Princess's Man. Rebel doesn't have much of a focus on the romance. I'd say it's much closer to Chuno in terms of subject matter, if lighter in execution.

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@noelle
Thanks for correcting me XD

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@elle1 I completely agree! A part of the reason I'm enjoying this so much is because it's managed to feel like a mix between The Princess Man and something lighter like Moonlight or even SKKS. For some reason, this blend really works for me.

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Rebel has more interesting characters, all characters shine in their own way. 7DQ doesnt have balance characters, some are really good, some are still under developed, even some actors are not quite pair with others. But 7DQ has more heart, you feel the story more, you feel the way the characters feel.

I think Rebel is a better package because the directing, the music, the acting are very good balance. But 7DQ will leave their mark in your heart and your mind longer, the main characters are the main focus and very well written.

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I have to respectfully disagree with some of what you said since so far, all the actors are doing a great job with SDQ. The writing, directing, and music direction so far are well balanced too. It's not necessarily that this has more heart, but the focus is different. SDQ is about an ill-fated royal romance, Rebel is about a ragtag group of peasants-turned folk heroes. The execution of both dramas are vastly different because they have different stories to tell. And both of them did/are doing a splendid job of telling those stories.

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The new girl isnt quite good, she opens her eyes wider to express that she is angry. It still a bit uncomfortable watching her.

And nok soo and the queen mother, they are pretty much one dimension. Rebel characters always have layers, you both love and hate the characters.

7DQ is very good at developing the main characters but Rebel is great at developing ALL characters

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I quite like Myung-hye so I'll have to differ with you on that one.

Like I said, both shows have different focus, and Rebel has more room for all the characters since it's a 30-episode non-romance saga. This is a 20-episode romance-centric sageuk so the focus will naturally be on the characters important to the buildup of that romance. It's not something I'd take against SDQ.

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Thank you. I just watched epi 5 because I'm curious with Yeon Woo Jin. I love his scenes. He delivered his scenes well. Like some said, this drama is offering different thing than Rebel and I love Rebel for the story, not the romance part. For those who love romance sageuk like the two Moons last year, this is a good choice. I might watch this once in a while to see how it progress. Anyway, the other girl compared to second female lead in MSG & Ruler is better. I'll give her points for that. Probably I'll be curious more about her story than the female lead in this drama.

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I like Myung-Hye too and I also think the actress is doing a good job. It might not be stellar, and she might not nail every single emotion, but she's good in portraying the character's pain. If during key moments she delivers and is decent to good overall, I don't mind a few missteps because let's be honest, she doesn't bulge her eyes out during all of her scenes. She's still miles better than a few other actresses in second and lead roles, who might have debuted longer ago than she did.

As for NokSoo and the Queen Dowager, as long as they are not the primary focus of the story, I can live with a couple one-dimensional characters. Plus I don't think a mother being overly protective of her son in a violent political environment necessarily one-dimensional. I might be wrong but the QD might still have room to grow, and she has her own reason in hating on Chae-kyung because it was a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation: Chae-kyung couldn't bear to sacrifice her family to save the prince just as the Queen Dowager couldn't bear to sacrifice her own son to save someone not blood-related to her. As for her relationship with Yeonsangun, well I can't blame her either for not giving him the love he needs, since even his own biological father favoured Yeok over him and sowed the seed of doubt and suspicion between the two brothers. Not that she is right in doing so, but I don't think she's evil just for the sake of being evil. The character that is least developed up to now is Nok-Soo, to which I agree with you.

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Moonlight was romance centric drama but the side characters develop very well. I dont think there were anyone underused, all the actors did excellent job. Moonlight is no where near the best drama but the feeling of it last for a long time, even now I still love it (well 2/3 of it).

Even though Rebel is 30 epi drama but there are many filler episodes. And there are many characters in the show so each of them has very limited screen time but even someone appears just one scene, it still has its meaning. Again screen time # character development. I bought 30 minutes of 7DQ child actors than the whole 10 hours of Ruler, even that they kiss.

Im not taking away anything from 7DQ. But I think Rebel is more polish drama to every single detail. 7DQ has few weak side characters but Rebel has all strong characters, no matter how small the role is. 7DQ is the drama that play with your emotion, and thats the most important thing. Watching later part of Rebel, I feel I was watching the drama, Im just curious to see how the story goes. With 7DQ I feel the character, the story, even now I stop watching I still have very strong feeling about it. I dont care how the story goes but I care how the character gonna get hurt or be happy.

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This drama is so good. It has my feels and tears.

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This drama is so darn good! I love the writer and director was able to balance fun and angst at the same time. Easily my favorite drama this year.

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Can I make a confession? I don't really care about the kiss but that's me. I think kissing is overrated in kdramas. More than the kiss in the last scene, I am blown away by how the drama convinces me of Yeok and Chae Kyung's love.

Their childhood counterparts sold it to me so well that I fear this would be a repeat of TMTETS. I need not worry because as usual, the story telling is so good. Chae Kyung may have seemed to be too cheery(I was expecting her to be mopey) but when she performed that memorial service and more importantly how she was thrown into emotional chaos by the encounter with Yeok, I am convinced she never married because she couldn't forget her first love. It's just as powerful where Yeok is concerned. It's a stroke of masterful storytelling to let us on not only his ambition to take back what is his but also his love which made him come back from hell.

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I love the young cast to pieces so I had the exact same fear that I would be burnt like I did with TMTETS when the adult story kicked in. This episode puts much of my anxiety to rest and deepens my faith in the writing. The writers is able to convince us that their love is firmly rooted in childhood that it brings them back together and it will continue to build through adulthood without the help of the gravitational pull of planetary bodies.

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Looks like we are haunted by the same fear. I love child TMTETS so much I just hope there would be a spin-off of TMTETS starring them and only them. They can carry the story on their own.

I think it's a smart move by the writer of this story to keep LDG as both younger and older Yeonsangun to have some sense of continuity to the story. I doubt any younger actor could portray his twenty-ish-old-self of him that well.

Kudos to the people in charge of casting too. I thought I was already surprised by the resemblance in demeanor between young and old Chae-kyung last episode, but then Yeok takes the cake in this one. I can almost see the younger and older him in either BSH's or YWJ's portrayal. The two of them resemble each other so much they are that interchangeable.

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Yes to fantastic casting! I don't remember any drama where childhood flashbacks feel so seamless because of the uncanny resemblance of both the physicality and the demeanor.

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The kiss didn't excite me either, only because I hate forced kiss in any form. In Moonlight, I was swooning over the first OTP kiss because the prince checked with his girl before going in for the kiss. I hope they compensate this with a better kiss further down the road. I also thought it was sad that Yeok misunderstood Chae-kyung and Yeonsangun and kissed Chae-kyung out of anger, this is the worst possible scenario to kiss someone you love. *hugs to Chae-kyung and Yeok

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I didn't squee over the kiss. I felt hurt and sorry for both of them instead. Which, I suppose, was the point.

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I agree this was not a romantic kiss at all, it was one delivered from misunderstanding and dissappointment because he thinks she has become her brothers lover. There probably was genuine adult desire to actually have an initimate expierence w/her, but, the excuse used was a bad one. I hope when this is revisited we see her come to her senses and push him away. She doesn't deserve that kind of physical insult and he shouldn't be allowed to get away w/it.

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Probably no one will read this, but what the heck, might as well chime in.

Re: the kiss, I don't think we were supposed to swoon. It was intense, it was a forced kiss. But, similar to MLSHR, it signals tragedy, not romance because the first kiss is a forced kiss. And from the episode 1 we already know Chae-Gyung is going to be deposed after 7 days despite the king being in love with her.

It's a tragic royal romance, again, not unlike MLSHR. So, it makes sense from a storytelling perspective.

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This underrated drama is definitely no 1 spot in my heart. Please rating... be good to this drama for the sake of actors...actress... crews. director and brilliant writer... they deserved praises from netizen to keep up best work !!

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Anyone got teary eyes multiple times during the course of this episode? I tip-toed into it as if I was walking on thin ice, with the dreaded scenario that it would ruin the feelings built up from the previous 4 episodes. I was skeptical of the fangirling part, also at Myung-Hye's hairstyle (is side bang a trend in fusion sageuks now?) but as soon as they enter the inn everything feels like ep 1-4 again. I was so relieved and thankful for that.

I must also admit: I was almost a mess when both Chae-kyung and Prince Yeok came out of their respective room, and stared at each other (also a side note: Anyone sees the stark resemblance between young and adult Yeoks, down to their facial expressions?). And then she has to jerks him back by holding onto the strap of his luggage bag. Girl has the habit of holding on to Yeok's straps, whether it's his horse reins, his belt (Seo-No house anyone?) or his package straps. That moment actually reminds me more of their scene at Seo-No's house, but I understand why he remembers their farewell scene more, because by then they were so into each other that seeing her cry would soften him.

Now with the introduction of Myung-Hye, I am torn between the couples. I can almost see myself in Myung-Hye's shoes and understand why she's so obsessed with Yeok. It's almost like she reserves the right to him because she believes no one else can understand what he's been going through. I can almost imagine her standing by Yeok and Chae-kyung and nodding her head off when he lashes out at Chae-kyung out of jealousy that she doesn't understand his pain. That made me sympathise with her and her affection for the prince; and yes, in a sense she's also worth rooting for, apart from her selfishness (but it's difficult to be selfless in love isn't it?) It pains me as much to think that Chae-kyung couldn't be there for Yeok when he's at his rock bottoms, as it does to see how Myung-Hye swallows her pain when it's not her name that he desperately calls in his delirium.

That said, there are still unanswered questions in this episode that I hope will get resolved or brought up later on, such as: How did Yeok was rescued? How did they fool Scarfaced, or was he fooled at all? How did Seo-No reunited with Yeok and became his bodyguard?

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I look forward to the answers to all of the excellent questions you raised! I do love the reveal that the Queen Dowager is part of the conspiracy to cover up Yeok's fake death. This makes her character much more intelligent, powerful and relevant.

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Myung-Hye's hairstyle didn't bother me as much as Ga-eun's in Ruler. I do think it's because Chae-kyung and everyone else is staying true to history.

I don't mind the fangirling, in fact, I can see why they would. I would have joined the girl had I been in Joseon at that time. When Yeonsangun leaped off the wall, I thought it was cool and I was making mooney eyes over him too. Damn, Chae-kyung is one lucky girl.

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I'm on the other hand not bothered by Ga-Eun's hairstyle :P, if that would cut the girl some slack from those comments complaining about her forehead. The actresses playing Myung-Hee and Hwa-Gun are both pretty and would rock the more traditional hairstyle, and in the case of Hwa-Gun, hair down instead of up in a bun. Maybe it's just me but I don't think one needs to style them completely different from everyone else to drive home the point that they're badass; if they can act the role well then I'd buy everything they've got to sell :D.

Maybe I'm a little averse to the fangirling in general because I've seen it in far too many dramas. Even without them squealing over him LDG is still a fine man in that scene :D.

Btw I love the speckles that Chae-kyung wears to make herself uglier. I must have a soft spot for girls with speckles or something XD.

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Oh man, the most badass woman I've seen so far is Chuk Sa Kwang played by the very awesome Han Ye Ri. She didn't have any weird hairstyles nor Power Rangers saeguk wear but boy, she kicks ass!

Yoon So Hee is worse than Go Bo Gyul more than just styling. Her speech and body language is all wrong.

As for Lee Dong Gun, I kept thinking I haven't seen such a handsome Joseon King in a while. Did I mention I love the way he ran?

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No you haven't but it's never too late to fangirl lol.

Can I also mention Mae Chang of Ruler? She oozes more charisma and sass than any of these girls from my prev post. Better still, she doesn't have to try too hard to sell her point, and doesn't even have to change out of her gisaeng or court lady's outfits.

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I love the way he catwalked in and out of the assembly.

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@maskros Mae Chang should be upgraded to second lead. But then it will be odd probably to throw her in the love triangle as she seems older than them (she is '86 liner) ? I liked her in Maids.

@outofthisworld omg Chuk Sa Kwang is my fav female character! So badass!

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Cheok Sagwang is hands down the most badass woman I've seen in a sageuk!

Lee Donggun looks so good! Song Joongki looked awesome as King Sejong too^^

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@Sera
I know right, too bad she's not suitable age-wise to join the main cast. If there's a drama about her taking revenge on PSH group while aiding the CP in his quest for the throne by relying on the head eunuch's power I'd sit through 20 eps just for her.

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I was right there along with the fangirls falling head over heels in love with the handsome musician who leaps over walls.

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Already watched the whole 4 episodes, skipped some scene and had plan to drop it lol.
Maybe I'll watch it later if it's already complete.

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sooo happy to see the grown up versions of the leads! i loved the young actors, but have been waiting to see the adult leads...

i know this drama will break my heart -- but i am going to be in for this ride, no matter what the story brings......
*loving what i've seen so far, but dreads the known outcome of the story*

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One of the best on-going dramas. I have already fallen for this drama since the first ep and until now, the 5th eps, they always give me surprises. The child actors are really good. Have to say good bye to them but welcome Yeon Woo Jin-Park Min Young chemistry that I have been waiting for. Tho I am worried about the brothers love triangle with Chae Kyung but I cant wait fot the next episode.
This drama is really good and worth to watch.

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"He jumps between her and the wall, and they end up wedged in the tiny space, pressed up against each other. God, I love dramas." Hahahaha! I know, right! Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

I love that pawnshop scene! I wasn't really expecting the wall to collapse, dear heavens! Chae-gyung wasn't only quick with rattling out words but so quick in looking for the way into that booth that I'm quite sure I was as nervous as Yeok! LOL! Loooove it!

I do hate the king but love him whenever he's with Chae-gyung, I just don't understand. One side of me just wishes that they spend more time together. Gosh, what's the matter with me. I really want him to be good, although researching about him just made me realise that it is not possible at all.

That stampede scene was just so hilarious and very well executed, I mean the slow-mo effect with that song, what's that song again? Anyway, it was just so cute! I also didn't expect Yeok and Chae-gyung to see each other in the inn but I'm glad that they did. It just saves me from hair-pulling or yelling out of exasperation. That scene when he was on the other side of the wall, listening to the two, just breaks my heart but yeah, felt so good too. I mean I'm glad that he knows that he's being missed but, man, just seeing these two comforting each other, being so close like family or well, as he heard, as husband and wife, must have twisted his insides. The wrath! He outed himself with these words, “What do you know? A dead person’s heart? His hurt, his pain? What do you know?” and then the last line...“Regrets are for people. Ghosts don’t do things like that”. Oh Yeok...

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It is so evident that Chae-kyung brings the merciful side out the King both as a young girl and now as a woman. She inspires him to be a forgiving brother and a benevolent ruler. She puts his mind at ease so he can sleep and govern. I also love how that Yeonsangun mirrors Chae-kyung by looking at her face intently after the chase scene. Oh this love triangle is killing me softly!

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How can this drama be so funny and sad in a single scene? I may have chortled through my tears when Chae-kyung threw beans at Yeok.

This episode is daebak! I was slightly worried last week about how the show would transition to the adult leads given the very impressive performance by the child actors, but it's safe to say my concerns were unfounded. Yeon Woo-jin killed it in all his scenes. He and Baek Seung-hwan were seamless, as perfectly illustrated in that nightmare scene (one of the most masterfully directed scenes I've seen in my years watching kdrama). Park Min-young does look like she aged quite a bit since Remember, but she infuses Chae-kyung with such warmth and vibrance, I can't help but fall for our country bumpkin heroine all over again.

I did my research on Yoon Myung-hye, and omo. Why did this drama have to advertise that they're sticking to history and there's no happy ending?

My theory for Yeok's survival: Queen Jaseon and Minister Park had him followed and were able to save him in the nick of time, which is how he ended up in Myung-hye's care.

I can't wait for tomorrow's episode!

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Can I know where you read about Yoon Myung-hye ?

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Thank you!

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This drama really reminds me of The Princess' Man which I love very much.
I love this episode and I did not expect that kiss in the end! * squeeing uncontrollably *
I'm ready for all the angst in future. GIVE IT TO ME, SHOW!

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Joseon confession booth is now my favorite new invention in saeguk. One can barter information, gawk at a lover’s lips, and the enclosure will conveniently shrink to the appropriate size for initiating physical intimacy. No repentance necessary here, but one may suffer for the sin of ineffectually containing the overflowing SQUEEEEE!

These are few other favorite things:
Yeon Woo-jin’s Facial Hair (I am sorry to bid you adieu so soon)
Reverse Wrist Grab (on King Yeonsangun no less)
Sassy Nanny (the eye roll and the “BAM, BAM, BAM” ghost fighting advice)

Lastly, the favoritist thing by a mile and a half:
YEON WOO-JIN, in mere one episode you managed to break it and then mended it back together several times. Please take responsibility of my poor heart for the next 11 hours.

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Nanny is fast growing to be one of my favourite comedic sageuk characters too LOL.

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Omo I hope Nanny isn't killed with Chae-kyung's parents. CK's exile later on will be less miserable if she is around.

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Noooooooooo please spare the nanny! I want the nanny to serve as the messenger between Yeok and Chae-kyung during her exile, similar to the nanny in Romeo and Juliet.

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Ugh! Nanny had my heart right from the start! Love her to pieces! I love even her eye roll! And I have to agree with the reverse wrist grab, I had to replay that a few times for a quick giggle. Why so cute, show?

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I have been anticipating for a reverse wrist grab in Kdrama forever! Although I have been hugely desensitized since the dawn of my drama watching days the wrist grab still irks me whenever I see it.

Not surprising to find it in a show that I already love so much....and it is only the 5th episode!!

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HA love your term "Joseon Confession Booth", that's just what it looked like to me as well. And my favorite line of Nanny's was the one telling CK to marry quickly because soon she'd start losing her boobs ?

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Good story telling and the timeshift was always going to be painful but after the impressive acting of our yougsters and their amazing chemistry I am finding their peers rather forced.

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This show is so underrated :( I love how every character is fleshed out smoothly and the story arc is always exceeding my expectations. Still hope the rating rise though.. sigh.

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Thanks for the recap, GF!

I have so many words for this show, but I am not even sure where to begin. So many are voicing all my feelings!

For now, I'll just say I love that little moment before she breaks through the barrier, when her desire to find him just melted him and he stopped listening to her words and began trying to get a glimpse of her through the partition. Everything about this little scene is wonderful, with the perfect blend between comedy, heart, and angst.

If I had to pinpoint my favorite part, it's the moment when she covers his ears like he did for her all those years ago. Except this time she's hilariously (and sweetly) trying to prevent him from hearing her heartbeat! I love how this only amps up the tension because he can hear her heartbeat even better than he could before. That was definitely his breaking point and it was so hard to see him let his bitterness over his betrayal take over. There was definitely love in that kiss, but there was also lots of anger and resentment undercut the sweetness of the gesture, especially when you compare to that brief moment of anticipation they shared all those years ago.

My heart can't take this already. I can't wait for my next dose!

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You can say that again. This show has been killing me the softest way possible.

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If my heart beats loud enough for the person next to me to hear it, I'd cover his ears too.

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The whole scene and the mixed anger and love in that kiss reminded me of Princess' Man - which is a good thing in my books. Revenge and romance together are a powerful concoction for me (oh, catnip?)

Ah, this drama pierces the heart, then cures it with a soothing song and innocent laugh, only to rip it open at another point. Still, I'll happy to pick the broken pieces from the floor when all of this is over. I expect no less from Healer's director.

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OMO, the end!
I like how Chae Kyung can basically destroy whatever barrier both the brothers try to put forth to block her out. I mean, Yeonsangun, truly cares for her the most. He sort of cherishes her, you can tell by the way he is with her. And why wouldn't he?? In his grim world, she is a ray of sunshine that offers him what he really wants, a friend and family. She also instead of questioning him or his choices, always encourages him the right way. What a wonderful thing to say, Be a wise king so that you can pay respect to your queen mother without having to hide.
As for Yeok, he is still holding on to her memories, her promise. No matter how hard he tries, Chae Kyung is a force that he has no control over. She bulldozes her way through his outer facade and her heart.
And, me, I am so torn, I don't know who to ship with whom. I am rooting for the two brothers to reconcile, I am also rooting for Yeok and Chae Kyung, I also want Chae Kyung to stay by Yeonsangun........this is so hard. I have 3 ships and each one is heading for the ice-burg. What do I do??
P.S. I officially strongly dislike the Queen Mother and love Chae Kyung's family to bits. Does anybody else thing think that Seo-No gives angsty looks to Myung-Hye as if he has his own doomed romance torch burning deep inside?? I know she has an important role to play but so far I really don't care about her.

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I also sense that vibe from Seo-No toward Myung-Hee. Another doomed romance because obviously they would not be together, unless they take creative licence to history and change it.

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I don't care much about Myung-hye too and I hope Seo-no's torch is not burning for her. I'm rather conflicted by the ship in this drama because every ship is doomed, but I do want what Chae-kyung wants, if it's Yeok then so be it. My heart will definitely hurt more for Yeonsangun, but my logic head is saying he's not the one for her.

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Well, I can't help but want Yeonsangun to have more scenes with Chaekyung. Second Lead Syndrome appearing out of my control. But when Chaekyung is with Yeok, I love both of them together. It is rather refreshing that the leads recognise each other instantly. Another kdrama pet peeve is when the grown ups don't recognise each other until much later when introductions were made. Don't we have the same face as we were kids?

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YWJ... *sigh*
This is a drama that makes me wait anxiously every week when I know that it will only going to twist and wring my heart and make me weep so badly in the end.

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How much I love this show! It was quick and zippy. It has subverted my expectations on their reunion. That kiss! *grinning like a fool*
I like that SeoNo has found his way back to Yeok's side. And those bumbling childhood friends of Yeok. I also like that Yeok told MyungHe off. You dont own him.

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Why do I find his scruffy beggar look so attractive? lol

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Yes, bring back the facial hair! :)

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It is, isnt it. Broody and scruffy Yeok is hot.

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Show! Why so good?! I was wary about the transition to the adult part because I have a slight reservation against Park Min-young from the little scene I've seen her in episode 4, but I'm glad to be proven wrong! I'm in love with the show, down to every part of it.

I must say I part ways with everyone concerning Myung-hye, I thought her character and acting exceed expectation, but I was in no way feeling for her, maybe a liiiittle sympathy that she's going to be heartbroken later down the road. I disliked the way she treated Seo-no or everyone else like they're beneath her (funny she reminded me of Hwa-goon but I had more sympathy for Hwa-goon, don't ask me why) and her sense of entitlement over Yeok.

On the other hand, Yeonsangun is, for lack of a better word, my sore finger (아픈 손가락). Everything about him and his need for love and attention pain me. When he smiled seeing Chae-kyung again, my heart twitched in pain. I am in no way rooting for him and Chae-kyung because I respect Chae-kyung's heart, but I love their rapport together and how she easily influenced him every time they met. Gah, I can't bear to see him, Chae-kyung or Yeok getting heartbroken by the end of this drama. I can't.

I also have to give an honorable mention to nanny, she's still one of my favorites for always pulling off adorableness. Where can I get my own nanny?

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This show is making me fall in love with YWJ

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I really really try to avoid sad shows, and ones that have a doomed or depressing ending. Especially sagueks with non-happy endings (I really lucked out with Rebel on that one). But I fell down the rabbit hole with this one, and I am totally invested. The kid actors/story was phenomenal, but the adults are smoking hot. I am loving this and hope the ratings rise!

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Oh My God i'm shipping Yeosangun eith ChaKyung but i also wanted her to be with Yeok..ottoke

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I feel your pain!

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Arghh I am torn between Yeonsanggun and Yeok! I know that when Yeonsanggun called Chae Gyung "wife", he did that to protect her, in a way. He was undercover, it was dark and Yeok seems like a random guy in proximity to Chae Gyung.

We know that Chae Gyung only loves Yeok. What I wonder is if Yeonsanggun has feelings towards Chae Gyung (bearing in mind that this is a drama -it doesnt even claim to be 100% historically correct, and it doesnt have to.)

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My favourite drama right now!!!

When you're late to recap party and everyone else had said everything you want to.

I'm just gonna upvote every comments here. ??

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all I can say is.... THIS IS A PERFECT DRAMA!!... way better than Suspicious Partner & Ruler... period..

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Well im not going to put it that way since everybody has their own taste. But 7DQ IS indeed good -and addictive. I try not to compare it with anything though, especially to non saeguk.

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This is just the fifth episode and I already hand my heart raw and bleeding. The conflict is just so so so good. Chae-kyung is such a good influence for both boys. I am pretty sure I am gonna walk out from this show scarred. Scarred but content.

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Lee Dong-gun looks so good when he's out on the streets and not wearing the King's robe...

And that scene where Yeon Woo-jin had a nightmare of his past trauma deserves an award by itself... its like... he even screams and shouts in the same way as Baek Seung-hwan! So unbelievable!

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Agreed! Cried so much during that scene. The way his voice kept breaking too ?

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i waited all week to see this reunion, thinking it was just going to be a glance or walk-by... and we got all THIS!!!

SQUEEEEEEE!!!

now i'm mad i didn't wait to watch both episodes at once, dangit.

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Ooooh I'm so in love with this drama! It hurts when the episode is over. What a way to end the episode! Can't wait for the next one!!

I must say Lee Dong gun and Park Min Young have crazy chemistry. If he wasn't married, I'd have shipped her with him in real life. LDG makes such a compelling 2nd lead that I don't quite know who to root for between the King and the Grand Prince. But I do hope Nok Soo and evil Minister get their comeuppance.

I already see potential problems beyond a love triangle. There's no way Queen Mother will ever accept Chae Young as a daughter in law because of the part she played in the young Grand Prince's banishment from the palace. And Chae gyoung' friendship with the king doesn't help matters. The Queen Mother has passed the venom she has towards her stepson to her own child and I don't know if he will ever be reconciled with his brother again.

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Thank you, drama gods for blessing us with this show! It's just soooooo good!

I thought I won't be able to move on from the teens' love story but wow, I transitioned really well. It's amazing how much the adult counterparts look so much like the younger ones. The casting director needs a raise! It made everything believable. Of course, they would recognize each other. They totally look the same!

I don't know. I can't come up with more coherent sentences to explain what I feel for this drama. Thanks, girlfriday, for the recaps!

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The actor who playes the young prince and Yeon Woo Jin, they looked so similar in the last scene. I could basically see the younger version in YWJ :O Great casting! Bless this drama!The ratings better rise!

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I wrote this comment w/o reading others'. It is so awesome other beanies think so too they resemble.

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Augh!! Yeok's struggle-scene :'( :'( How could you do this oppa?? How could you make me cry as soon as you come out? :'( :'(
And that kiss!!! It just makes me wish even more that their 1st kiss should've been with our kid actors...i mean just an innocent peck on lips you know....I was so Anticipating it and then....nothing happened!
But anyway...This drama is my Crack drama...along with Circle ^^ and I'm ready for all the ANGST and HEARTBREAK and TEARS and KISSES to come by....

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And a huge thank you to Yeonsangun for playing the traditional music I was asking for last week - and to PDnim for giving me more than just music in that scene: While Yeonsangun's fanclub provided the comedy, he himself was internally reliving the painful parting from his mother, which came out in the form of passionate music. I approve. Also, now we know why he has an obsession with looking good and removing frizzy threads.

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That was all so well done, I loved it! The music was amazing.
And even knowing that Yeonsangun is a horrible murdering maniac (plus honestly disliking LDG in almost every prior role), I'm seriously sad that we're going to have to lose him, I love our three leads so much. I feel Ike a lunatic myself, wanting Yeonsangun to stick around, wth?

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