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Average user rating 4.5
134

Seven Day Queen: Episode 18

This is it. The shit hits the fan, and everything reaches the tipping point we’ve been building up to all this while. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and the big question now is how everyone will survive the collateral damage, and what this means going forward. Is there any love strong enough to weather what these kids have to face? For my blood pressure’s sake, I certainly hope so. And okay, for their sakes too.

 

 
EPISODE 18 RECAP

After Yeok slips inside the palace and reveals himself to Chae-kyung, the couple embraces sweetly. He tells her he missed her, and Chae-kyung cries, “Why did you come so late? I waited so long.”

He apologizes and assures her that his leg is healed, and she’s so relieved that she smacks his shoulder, saying that he should have told her because she’d been so worried. He apologizes for that, “And for always only saying I’m sorry, I’m sorry for that too.”

The former minister of the interior, who’d helped Yeok slip into the palace, informs Deputy Commander Park that Yeok is here. He’s concerned for Yeok’s safety with the rebel forces on their way, but Park isn’t concerned, knowing that they’re all in on the same plan.

Chae-kyung understands that Yeok must have a plan for him to risk coming to the palace, and he asks if she will believe that he’s doing this to save them, their families, and the people of the country. His face falls at her reply—that she can’t answer him right now, though she urges him to complete his work and make his plan a reality. Then she will naturally come to believe and support him. Yeok’s face firms with resolve, and he agrees.

She asks after her parents, and Yeok thinks back to his last meeting with her father, who had apologized on behalf of the king as his loyal vassal and family member. Yeok had told him that this was the time to abandon the king rather than apologize, but Minister Shin had merely replied, “What vassal would think first of abandoning his ruler? He must protect him to the best of his ability, and then, if that does not work, he must die fighting for his ruler. That is the fate of a vassal.” Yeonsangun so doesn’t deserve you.

Yeok had asked incredulously if Minister Shin would abandon Chae-kyung, but Minister Shin had replied that it’s Yeok’s job to protect her: “Now, my tie with Chae-kyung has ended.” He’d told Yeok not to continue thinking of him as family, either.

Now Yeok tells Chae-kyung that he did meet her father, and urges her to take her parents to a safe place, leaving her with the location of a hideout. After he leaves, Chae-kyung thinks to herself that she must make her choice now.

Just then, Yeonsangun arrives and she hastily hides Yeok’s note in her hand. He dislikes hearing that she skipped dinner, and I’m continually amazed at how much he worries over her condition while ignoring that he’s the cause of it. Supposing that she may feel cooped up in the palace, Yeonsangun suggests that she accompany him outside on a night hunt.

Chae-kyung thinks to Yeok’s plan: that once the rebel troops arrive, the king would mobilize his troops, leaving only a small number of soldiers behind at the palace. That’s when Yeok would storm in to face off against the king. Worried that the king won’t be here when it happens, she asks to go out to look at the moon instead, saying that her father’s letter had mentioned the view and made her want to see it. He agrees, looking pleased to grant her request.

Loyal Eunuch Song is in on Yeok’s plan, and Chae-kyung entrusts him with the task of taking her parents to the hideout.

But it’s another group of armed men who arrive at Minister Shin’s house, announcing that they were instructed to protect him by Deputy Commander Park. Minister Shin supposes that this means the rebellion has begun.

Chae-kyung is on edge as she and Yeonsangun walk along a bridge, although she explains her jumpiness as being uncomfortable with the guards at her back. Yeonsangun motions for them to stay away as they continue walking.

The rebels arrive at the palace, sending eunuchs and court ladies scattering in fear. Gwang-oh and Seok-hee are among them, dressed as royal soldiers.

Thinking of how the king’s world will end tonight, Chae-kyung’s face twists with tears. He notices, so she explains her sadness as being prompted by thoughts of family. She doesn’t mean her parents, so he cuts off her explanation, not wanting her to hear about Yeok.

But she replies that she was thinking of “Warrior-nim”—the name she called him before knowing he was the king. She speaks of their first meeting, how he’d chided her for saving him at the inn when she should have saved herself, how he promised her a wish, and how he’d shed tears over his brother’s death, feeling guilty.

“I cried because I missed that person,” she says.

Yeonsangun says tightly that that person is dead. “Yes,” Chae-kyung replies. “That is why I cried. Because I cannot see him again. Why did you kill him? You could have saved him, protected him. Him, and also his brother, and friends and family. But you did not.”

He says shrewdly that she sure is putting a lot of effort into provoking him—and stalling for time. Oh crap. He knows? Why must he know everything?

He asks what she’s doing it for, just as he receives an urgent report of the rebel forces arriving. He looks at Chae-kyung with accusing eyes, asking if this was her reason, and swiftly draws a sword to her neck, reminding her that he could kill her at any moment.

She shocks him with her response: “Let us die together, then.” Her crime is in taking his heart, and his is in abandoning his country—their two deaths would allow many to live, she says.

Then she informs him of the rebellion that will soon be at his door. He’s astonished when she says he will have nobody left to protect him, because he has lost the support of all of his followers.

Yeonsangun growls, “I will kill you. I should have killed you! If I could not have you, I should have killed you!” And then, “I should have had you!”

His face contorts wildly and he raises the sword. Chae-kyung steels herself for the deathblow—but it doesn’t come. Hand shaking, Yeonsangun can’t bring himself to strike, and he drops the sword.

Instead he drags her to the queen dowager’s quarters, calling them the first two to lose their lives when the rebels arrive. Yeonsangun cuts through the queen dowager’s feigned outrage over how he can still suspect Yeok, honing in on the actual issue: He knows Yeok is leading the rebellion.

Chae-kyung’s eyes widen, but he points out that Chae-kyung wouldn’t betray him to help the rebels for anyone other than Yeok.

Yeonsangun orders this room guarded, then leaves to convene the court, where he orders the war minister to mobilize troops to fight the rebels. The war minister complies, but after he dispatches his offers into action, one remains behind—Yeok, in soldier’s uniform.

The war minister is astonished to see Yeok healthy and walking. Yeok lays out the minister’s situation plainly: His chances for success are low, but he cannot disobey the king’s order and not fight. He asks, “Will you die at the rebel forces’ hands? Or, will you die at the king’s hand?” Then he offers a third option: “Or, will you help me and become the rebellion’s biggest contributor?”

The war minister instantly drops to his knee and addresses Yeok as king, declaring his loyalty.

The rebels stand ready and armed outside the palace gate, with Myung-hye in the front line. Yeok, still disguised as one of the king’s officers, stands with the war minister as the troops ready to fire—but suddenly, the rebels turn and run. The king’s soldiers chase them into the woods, thinking the rebels an easy mark. Myung-hye and her men take cover in the forest, and she thinks that everything now rests on Yeok’s shoulders.

Secretary Im reports confidently back to Yeonsangun that the rebels turned tail, smirking that Yeok was in such a hurry that he enlisted a bunch of bumpkins. He seems assured of their defense strategy, as the war minister has dispatched troops to every city gate.

What they don’t know is that Yeok now takes the lead over the soldiers under the war minister’s command, as well as the Snail Brides embedded among them. Yeok gives the order to move out, heading toward the king’s palace.

With the war minister at the lead, the soldiers are allowed inside the gates, but stopped outside Yeonsangun’s palace. They allow the war minister through, and he takes Yeok with him and orders the rest to stand guard outside.

Yeok avoids recognition, and ducks his head when they run into Secretary Im and Nok-soo. Secretary Im is feeling cheerful at the victory at the gate, but Nok-soo takes note of Yeok. She isn’t immediately suspicious, but I’m nervous that she noticed anything at all.

Yeonsangun congratulates the war minister on winning a battle without shedding any blood, and smiles to hear that Yeok never even showed himself. Yeonsangun instructs the minister to capture Yeok, assured that the rebels will scatter as soon as he’s caught.

From his place behind the war minister, Yeok chuckles aloud and asks, “Will that truly happen? Did you not say that the king is determined by the heavens? The will of the heavens is the will of the people. Even if you kill Grand Prince Jinsung, will the people forgive a king who is not recognized by the heavens?”

Yeonsangun gets up to challenge the impertinent officer, drawing a sword and holding it threateningly. Then Yeok draws his sword, and Yeonsangun looks astonished that he would dare.

Finally, Yeok raises his gaze to meet the king’s, and removes his helmet to reveal his face fully. Yeonsangun actually takes a step back, shocked to see him. Yeok states solemnly, “Now, I must return everything to their rightful places.”

Secretary and Nok-soo are startled at the sight of so many soldiers outside the king’s palace, and Nok-soo doesn’t quite believe the explanation given for their presence. Gwang-oh reaches for his sword, readying to act swiftly if necessary, but Secretary Im accepts the explanation and ushers Nok-soo away.

It’s because Secretary Im has realized that the war minister has changed sides—but he stops Nok-soo from doing anything because he also realizes that it’s too late, and that they’re outnumbered.

But Nok-soo’s not of the same mindset, and she tells him to serve what he must, because she will do the same. With that, she heads back to go to Yeonsangun despite his warning.

Inside, Yeok offers Yeonsangun one last chance. Yeonsangun laughs, then raises his sword with a yell.

Screaming court ladies flee the palace, the king’s soldiers realize the other soldiers are rebels, and the troops face off. Gwang-oh urges Yeok to hurry.

With only the two brothers left inside, they go at each other fiercely with swords. Yeonsangun is skilled and powerful, though Yeok seems to be holding his own.

Chae-kyung receives the update that Yeok is now in the king’s palace, knowing that they’re in their last stages of the rebellion.

Yeonsangun draws the first blood, but Yeok quickly returns with a cut of his own. As they fight, Yeonsangun thinks darkly, “Why were you born?” Yeok’s returning thought: “I’m sorry for being born. But now that I have been born, I must do my part and bear responsibility fully. Therefore, goodbye.”

Just as Yeonsangun is thinking that one of them must die, Chae-kyung bursts into the room and calls out to both of them. Noooo, why are you here? This will only be more painful all around!

Yeonsangun resumes the fight, and Chae-kyung narrates that while the two brothers were preparing for the finish, soldiers on both sides were standing off and others were fleeing to save their lives.

Yeok finally gets in a strong blow and disarms Yeonsangun, who falls to the ground. He holds his sword to his brother’s throat, just as Chae-kyung shouts out to him not to do it.

Yeok’s hand trembles and Yeonsangun eggs him on, screaming, “Did you come all this way without the nerve to kill me?”

Yeok tenses, raises his sword, and swings with a bellow. But he can’t do it, and Yeonsangun looks triumphant while Yeok wrestles with himself. Chae-kyung rushes to Yeok’s side, and Yeonsangun’s manic smile falters at that sight.

The sword drops out of Yeok’s hand as other rebel soldiers rush into the room. They take Yeonsangun into their custody, and Chae-kyung and Yeok turn to leave together.

“Good,” Yeonsangun says bleakly. “It’s a good thing. You have finally become king. Thanks to you, my revenge is complete.”

Yeonsangun laughs bitterly, saying that he started dreaming of revenge when Yeok threw away his claim to the throne to choose happiness with Chae-kyung. He thought of all the ways to torment Yeok, and decided that making Yeok king and forcing him to experience all of his anguish and pain would be his revenge.

“Yeok-ah,” he says, “My little brother. Are you not curious to know what pain awaits you on this path? Look forward to it.” He laughs in his manic, tortured way that makes him as chilling as it makes him pitiful.

After the room clears, Chae-kyung asks if it’s finally over: “Can we be happy now?” Yeok smiles gently and assures her that they can.

Eunuchs and court ladies don’t quite know how to react to Yeonsangun as he’s escorted in prisoner’s ropes. He screams at them to laugh if they can’t cry for him, chuckling madly to himself.

Chae-kyung father apologizes to his wife, and she understands that he will go to the king no matter what. Minster Shin says that he did not honor his promise to be the king’s father and family, and thinks this is his last chance to do so. Chae-kyung’s mother smiles through her tears and says she will see him off.

She starts to prepare his ministerial robes, but Minister Shin stops her, saying, “I am not going as the king’s vassal. This time, I go as his family.” Chae-kyung’s mother breaks down into tears worrying about what will happen to Chae-kyung, and Minister Shin embraces her, apologizing.

He steps outside to face his fate, and finds his path blocked by Deputy Commander Park’s men, who declare that they were ordered to stop him from leaving.

Deputy Commander Park charges in to capture Secretary Im, who is hurriedly stashing away valuables. But Secretary Im is confident in his get-out-of-jail-free card, and leans in close to remind Park that he knows of his actions with the Snail Brides. He’s saving Park’s life by keeping that to himself, in which case Park ought to return the favor.

Secretary Im declares that he will serve the new king, and Park stuns his men by giving the order to let him go.

So Secretary Im walks out with his head still attached to his body, looking smug in the utmost as he is carried off in his palanquin. But it’s not long before he notices that he’s being carried in the wrong direction, although Scarface confirms that this is the correct path. The palanquin-bearers run off, and Scarface tells Im, “It is an honor that I could serve you to the last.”

He drives a sword through Secretary Im, who dies amidst a gasp of shock. Then Myung-hye steps forward to seal their deal, assuring him of his family’s safety and providing him a new life in a remote location. You know, this is the first time I’ve ever been glad of Myung-hye’s willingness to do the dirty work for a greater good.

Then Myung-hye reminds him of the last part of their deal, and Scarface slices the sword across… himself? What? Is this the punishment Yeok suffered? I take back what I said about Myung-hye, who says that despite a disabled body, he will be able to “live like a person” now. Yes, but what about you? When will you turn human?

Nok-soo walks resolutely into the palace to see Yeonsangun, who tells her to run now, since she has to save her life first if she is to do anything about this. She asks what she could do without him, and says that flowers never last long—they bloom beautifully for a short while, then wilt.

“In this life, I am satisfied to have lived as your flower,” she says. She pulls a pin from her hair and places it in his palm—it has a sharp, dagger-like end, and she asks to die by his hand. He looks at her with wide eyes, but when she embraces him, he drives the dagger into her neck and holds her as she dies in his arms.

As her hand falls limp, Yeonsangun begins to sob, clutching Nok-soo’s body even tighter.

Chae-kyung lies down in bed, and keeps her eyes closed when Yeok joins her. She thinks to herself that she doesn’t understand her dreary feelings and therefore doesn’t know how to look at her husband.

Yeok has similar thoughts, asking himself, “Things happened the way I intended, but why does my heart feel so dreary?” And so they both lie there, unspeaking, both confused about their feelings.

The next day, the queen dowager receives the high-level officials who backed the rebellion, who assure her that Yeok is suited to the task of being king, pleased that he pulled off a successful coup with minimal losses.

Yeonsangun is brought before the full court, kneeling in his prisoner’s whites alongside his queen and their children. It’s an uncomfortable reality to be confronted with the innocent family members, and Chae-kyung struggles to see her aunt and nephews being read their sentences of dethronement and exile.

Yeok takes her hand but wonders if she’s okay. She isn’t, not quite, and walks numbly back to her quarters, barely registering that she’s being addressed as the new queen. And then, even worse news: Eunuch Song delivers the report that her parents are dead.

In a flashback to the night before, we see her father ordering the armed men to step aside, only ready to accept orders from the king. He’s cut down, his wife struck next. A dying Minister Shin outstretches his hand toward his wife, thinking that with their deaths, they are only thinking to protect Chae-kyung.

Chae-kyung rushes to her parents’ house, finding her mother and father still lying where they fell, soaked in their own blood. She hurries to their sides, overcome with grief.

Yeok visits his mother, dressed in his kingly robes, though his mood is distinctly more subdued than either his mother’s or Deputy Commander Park’s. His mother asks after his somber mood, and he admits that despite overcoming the great struggle, he doesn’t feel happy about it.

“I have lost too many things,” he says. “And I fear the things I have yet to lose.”

His mother assures him that it’s just that he has lived so pressed by life-and-death fears that he has forgotten how to be happy. “Now, you will only have happiness,” she tells him.

When he steps outside, his friends greet him with long faces. He asks what’s the matter, and it falls to them to deliver the news.

Chae-kyung sits with her parents’ bodies, now moved inside the house. She asks her mother if she will continue sleeping like this, urging her to nag her like always. Then she turns to her father and apologizes for being angry with him, begging him to come back and clutching his hand as she cries. And then she finds something in his palm—a snail shell. Ohhhh, shit. Oh shit oh shitohshit.

Yeok bursts into the room in a panic, aghast at the sight of his in-laws laid out like that. He’s just as shocked as Chae-kyung over this twist, but I don’t like the stunned, hurt look in her eyes as she turns to see him. And then she collapses, unconscious.

A bit later, Yeok walks into his throne room, his eyes haunted and his steps weary. He staggers toward his throne, and then falls to his knees on the steps before it. He recalls all the words his father-in-law had said, about serving his ruler to the last.

“Why did you make such a foolish choice?” Yeok asks despairingly. “WHY?”

Chae-kyung lies in a daze, only jumping up at the arrival of her nanny. She checks multiple times that Nanny truly is alive and well, and starts to say that she dreamt the worst nightmare about her parents. Nanny’s face twists into sobs as Chae-kyung insists it’s all a dream and that she has to go see her parents.

Nanny pulls her into a tight embrace, and reality crashes back in on Chae-kyung, who falls to the ground in sobs.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commander Park informs the queen dowager she has nothing to worry, because now Chae-kyung will leave her position of her own will. Ohh, you evil little man. You killed her parents so she wouldn’t be queen? Fuck you and the little horse you rode in on.

Ashen and bleak-faced, Chae-kyung asks for her mirror to be brought out, then asks her court lady to dress her particularly well so she can see the king.

Yeok looks up in surprise when Chae-kyung approaches his throne, and rushes to embrace her. It’s the scene that opened this show all those episodes ago, and Chae-kyung’s fist tightens around the dagger hidden in her palm.

She drives it down once but stops herself, and Yeok realizes something is amiss. He grabs her wrist and steps back to see her looking at him hatefully—and then, clasping her hand between his, he guides the dagger toward his heart.

Chae-kyung struggles to draw her hand back from his tight grasp, and it’s not clear who’s pushing and who’s pulling—but then the dagger drives forward and Yeok jerk backs in pain.

 
COMMENTS

So, we’re finally here, at the breaking point, and at the climactic scene we’ve been building toward the whole series long. I loved that the show opened on such a dynamic, emotionally fraught sequence and hinted at the anguish down the line, and both the up- and downside of that is that we’ve spent the whole series with this hanging over our heads. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have this kind of dramatic irony in play, because it lends weight and significance to moments of foreshadowing, and forces us to appreciate the brief flashes of light we’ve had in between the troubles.

It’s almost like watching a prophecy play out before your eyes, and this is the rare instance where I feel like fate is represented in a really compelling way—where I believe that these people are one hundred percent acting of their own free will and emotions, and yet I also feel this magnetic force propelling them along this set course. I tend to pooh-pooh the concept of fate when used in a fatalistic way, as though the universe wanted something and the people’s wills are inconsequential. But I appreciate this treatment of it, where something feels voluntary but also inevitable. Fate isn’t necessarily a greater power dictating events; it can be something less concrete and sentient than that—maybe it’s just giving a name to events that carry such weight that they tip the probability of certain reactions in their favor.

It seemed lovely in a bittersweet way that winning the coup wasn’t necessarily the endgame—at least, not for our main characters, for whom it may be something of a pyrrhic victory. It was really poignant to have both of them feeling bleak after having secured what they wanted—he got to win the throne without killing his brother, and she got to see an end to the constant tug of war where she was essentially the rope being pulled. But while I believe there’s a sense of relief at the threat being removed, I think they’ve suffered so much getting here that the entire act of winning the throne must come with a lot of trauma and baggage.

The biggest tragedy, I thought, was Minister Shin’s death, and I don’t even mean the underhanded way he went, likely at Deputy Commander Park’s orders. I mean how he was ready to die to be at Yeonsangun’s side at the end, because he was so principled that he lived according to his personal moral code, one far above the standards of any other mortal serving this court. I both admire that kind of honor and feel frustrated by it, because while I wouldn’t have Minister Shin be anything like the weaselly Secretary Im, the latter has a sense of self-preservation that I have to at least concede is well-used. He’s a despicable person for all the misdeeds he’s committed, but I don’t begrudge anyone fighting tooth and nail to survive.

But Minister Shin was Yeonsangun’s last chance at some semblance of humanity, I thought, even more than Chae-kyung. It’s deeply ironic that he cast him aside when he was the one man Yeonsangun could have trusted with his life, and Yeonsangun sealed his fate when he rejected his last connection to his better side. Even so, I was relieved to see his emotional reaction to Nok-soo’s death, because while I don’t think he felt a fraction of the care he feels for Chae-kyung (or that Nok-soo felt for him), I do think he felt something special toward her. I suspect that more so than losing her as a person, losing her amidst such a display of personal loyalty may have been the final blow that made him realize everything else he’d lost. Perhaps he hadn’t even realized he’d had such loyalty in the first place, making it extra pitiful.

But it’s a damn shame the minister went the way he did, his death implicating the Snail Brides (and by extension, Yeok). I’m extra chagrined about it because we know that the minister had been resigned to dying for a cause, only to have someone swoop in and hijack that death and imbue it with all sorts of other baggage. If I’m hunting for silver linings, I have to say that I’m glad that we’ve now caught up to the opening sequence of the drama, which means that everything after this point is a big question mark, and we’re now free of that particular dread and anticipation hanging over our heads. I honestly don’t know where we go from here, or what I even want for everyone, and that uncertainty is going to be the death of me this next week. Everyone biting your nails in anticipation?

 
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It was so epic and so sublimely awful and so perfectly executed that I'm practically speechless. Just, thanks to everyone involved. My expectations continue to be exceeded beyond words.

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Beyond words, indeed. kudos for the writers. if they didn't mind presenting climax and twist plot in the very first episode, and still confidence the viewers would stay for the end (and we all do, how amazing is that), they surely know how to make a masterpiece.

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AH CRAP. FAR OUT. It's so good, it freakin hurts. Dunno what to say.

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This drama is killing me slowly. I am once again amazed by the consistency of the drama's writing and the quality of the acting.. this is a masterpiece. I have yet to watch the two episodes and I'm truly thinking if I have the resilience to wait one more week for the finale.. for my final Seven Day Queen binge.

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Egg substitutes can be used for omelettes.

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seriously hope those two clear up that misunderstanding - she has to know that Yeok won't do something like that...

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i can't put in words how i feel about this episode and have to give if to javabeans and girlfryday to write a review which makes sense , because i can't imagine doing that .
this couple have my heart and soul and i will be crushed when they are separated . yeok will never be happy or whole without her . like girlfryday said the thing gut me most is their little moments more than death and bloodshed . yoon woo jin i have a new fave . i loved park min young sinc helaer but here she kills it.
i always had de ja vu with princess' man while watching seven day queen. they have similar stuff going on . loved prinsess' rewatched it but i don't think i will be able to rewatch seven day queen . it's too much pain too much tears and so precious i fear i will not love it the second time as i do now .

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This episode was just incredible and it left me breathless. I don't really know what else to say, except that I know I'll be watching this drama over and over again for years to come even though it's one of the saddest stories I've ever seen. It's just worth the pain. I wish I thought everyone in the cast would win awards for this, but I know the Korean system doesn't tend to honor dramas with ratings like this one has. But...they deserve it. I hope they are proud of themselves for the work they've done. It's just a masterpiece.

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I agree. It sucks that everything is about the ratings. I mean this drama from writing to acting to directing, everything is flawless.

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Omg it's so not fair how their award system works (popularity > talent). Lee Dong-gun hands down deserves an award for his incredible performance in this drama (along with the rest of the cast)! Even till this episode I still haven't found myself able to hate Yeonsanggun's character at all...maybe horrified but I just feel sadness and pity. Just like you said, despite the ratings I hope the cast and staff feel proud of themselves for creating this masterpiece.

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Same. I just feel so much pity and regret for his character but never hate. If he doesn't win an award for this performance...

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Idk if this a consolation but the rating for ep 18 is 7.6% (18th on the rank) TnMs and 7.7% (15th) AGB for nationwide.

It increasing.

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Minister Shin T_T my favorite character, I have no words except SOMEONE KILL MINISTER PARK ALREADY! Jeez you'd think that with all these deaths happening he'd get caught in the crossfire somewhere. It's always the cockroaches that survive. I'm just in a shock right now. Too many things happening

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Minister Park is so sly! When I understood how Minister Shin died I could only link his death to Minister Park. He's just a greedy man who wants to put his niece on the throne. I understand his thirst for power but still the end doesn't justify the mean especially here. I was wondering what Minister Shin was holding after death so thanks javabeans for clarifying this. I don't know how it's going to end but I really hope the misunderstanding between Chae Kyung and Yeok will resolve itself

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wow

I really like yeonsangun and chae kyeong final argument, it shows how much she did care about him and how she didn't now, the highlight for me is that yeonsangun never thought someone could see him in the way he wants [the lone man who loves his brother in the beginning] but he actually has that person.

I've commented in early ep that I see how SSG will be loyal to Yeonsangun after his life is saved and how he gave his words to Yeonsangun. I felt like SSG see his death as the only things he could give to Yeonsangun to show that he is indeed loved, once and it's real. His death also one way to make Chae Kyeong politically can't be punished by death if Yeok or Yeonsangun win. It's easy to implicate that her father was this and chae kyeong will be this but without her parents alive, her success of not getting killed based on family circumstances becomes higher. If it Yeok - she is his family and he stressed that, if it yeonsangun - he is a loyal subject.

In this ep, I think we saw that chae kyeong finally broke down. She lost a lot of things, she lost her parents in a way that just so heartbreaking [they practically left the parents corpse there, lie o the ground just like that], she lost a friend in front of her eyes by her father [seo no], she lost someone that she considers a brother for a long time in a series of event that forced her to see how cruel someone can be [yeonsangun] and she can't face someone she loved because it reminds her of her parents [yeok].

I believe chae kyeong accept her demise will come when she talks about her position to yeonsangun, that she'll die either way. That's why she is holding judgement for yeok until she knows about her parent safety, they are the only one left for her. She feels in debt and for lack a better word, she is the one they protected and she makes them suffer [ofc uintentionally] but we see that she blame herself about that.

I felt that is a climax episode and we just need to wait to see how the life will go on. Our main character has lost their purpose, chae kyeong with her village life dream, yeok with his free of burden life and yeonsangun as someone who gets it all. The next ep will be about their resolution about what will happen and their new purpose,

Just like yeok said, they achieve the crown and power but they sacrifice a lot and that can't be erased just by having the goal fulfilled.

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Now that I have relatively composed myself, here are some thoughts:

I do wish the Hong Brotherhood would actually appear and strike down Minister Park. Somebody get that f*cken w*nker please and beat the bloody crap out of him!!!

Nanny! OH THANK GOODNESS. THANK GOODNESS YOU'RE ALIVE. Nanny please stay that way.

As for Minister Shin, well, there is probably just no other way for him to go—he was loyal to a fault and that loyalty proved his and his family's undoing (but seriously, part of this mess is due to the Father King's absolute douchebaggery regarding the treatment of his sons so yeah, I do still blame him for this). Just as it was for Secretary Im being true to himself to the end, Minister Shin was as well—and they both met their ends by doing so. His evilness notwithstanding, I can actually commend Secretary Im for being a true diabolical creature to the very end. Something which cannot be said to…

Those flip-flopping ministers. In real life, my blood boils in anger over those career politicians who make a living out of people's misery. It is no surprise therefore that I can't help pulling my hair in the quick turnaround those ministers did—helpful as their actions were to the rebellion, it is a fact that those morons did that just to benefit and save their skins. That one thing that they did for Yeok will be that bargaining chip that they will have to be able to retain their ministerial roles in the future and hence continue their misdeeds. Nothing will change apparently. And yes, I'm sorry Seo-noh, changing the king without changing those ministers doesn't really change anything.

I'm not quite sure if there is really anything worth celebrating about this whole thing. In all wars there are bound to be casualties, but what if the victors become the casualties themselves?

Dunno what to expect for the coming week now.

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Yes, there have to be checks and balances for all parties. One cannot look solely at the king.

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I think that is one of the biggest problems in the old monarchy and also what someone mentioned in regards to Trump in the USA. Someone said that Trump is a puppet, that though he has horrible ideas, he is just an entertainer. People behind him with worse ideas will try to get their ideas through, and when it does not work everything will be blamed on Trump so that those people can stay in their positions to try again.

And something similar is with these ministers and the King. I don't know how people in Joseon thought, but if they thought the King was the son of heavens, or had the divine right to rule over them, they did not think the ministers really had that much power. So the thought to change the ministers don't cross them, because at the end of the day, it is the king that makes the difference, right? But in reality, the court was filled with corruption (not helped by YSG's depotism), and changing the king is just covering the dirt with a better carpet.

And yes, I'm a little disappointed that the writer never commented on just how cruel the late king was. Of course we as viewers know YSG was a tyrant (even more IRL than in the show), but from what we saw, a lot of his behavior stemmed from receiving little love from his father and future subjects, his father's obvious favoritism and neglect as a king (I mean, he's still the crown prince, as king you should spend time with him and groom him for the role at least), etc.. not to mention that making a secret will that few knew about was not only cruel, but stupid and reeked of biased favoritism and cowardry on a personal level. In the end, he was just as much the cause for Joseon's decline as YSG. And I'm just sad that the closest we got to a comment was from CK asking why he burdened her with the will, and YSG saying some things in his crazed state.

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That's why I hate politics and politicians. They benefit a lot from society and people but mostly think about how to be elected again. Anyway it's all about holding power and trying your best to keep and increase it. It probably was that way in the past and I don't think it changed. But anyway about King Yeon I pity him because indeed he was surrounded by people who gave him wrong advices. He clearly was torn between his love for his brother and this fear of being overthrown. I don't think he was a bad guy in the beginning but his childhood and people around made who he is today. I just feel bad about him. Too bad Chae Kyung couldn't save him

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I'm usually a sucker for punishment, but I do not know if I'll be able to re-watch this drama. It has been wonderful, but I do not know if I can revisit it...at least for a long while.

I think we all knew that the victory, the final reckoning with regards to Yeonsangun, and the "righting" of everything wrong in the world of this drama, would be bittersweet, with the bitter over powering any trace of sweetness.

I lament the suffering and fate of the true victims. Those caught in the midst of madness, conflicting loyalties, and political machinations. The late king, the now deposed Yeon, and the manipulative, self-servicing ministers (like Park) have left so many victims in their wake.

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..“Let us die together, then.” Her crime is in taking his heart, and his is in abandoning his country—their two deaths would allow many to live..
~ I shed so many tears for these 2 souls in their sad-poignant moment.

..“My little brother. Are you not curious to know what pain awaits you on this path? Look forward to it.”..
~ I shed so many other tears for these brothers. Who used to adore each other, who used to love one another. It is lonely on top, Yeok-ah... that's what your brother wanted to say to you.

..“Why did you make such a foolish choice?” Yeok asks despairingly. “WHY?”..
~ I wept a river over this couple who had been through so much since young age, long before their loves bloomed. Over their beautiful love and sacrifices.

My heart weakened, at the end of the episode, it vaguely beating. I shed so many tears I don't know if I still have any left for next week.

What a heart twistingly beautiful episodes they showed us this week. Bravo to the actors, writer, PD and all production crews. I have appointment with cardiologist and internist this weekend, hope I'll survive next week.

Thanks JB and GF, for this week's wonderful recaps.

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It has been one hell of a ride. Yes, kudos to everyone!

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Yeonsangun was right in his words about the top being a lonely place to be in. (I just can't imagine Yeonsangun having an I-told-you-so moment since he was a really twisted person, but alas, he's right.)

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We should just die together.
My crime is that you came to like me.
Yours is that you abandoned Joseon.
You and I will die here, but many others will survive thanks to us.

Shin Chae Kyeong, episode 18

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So melancholic. Especially the premise of this speech where she narrated how Warriornim had a place in her heart too, as her family. HUHUHU

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right now i will take any kind of happy ending or peace...am a sucker for sad endings but this one i cant bear
yeok and CK please hold on

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I. Am. Such. A. Mess.

Or at least I was when I watched it live this morning. Now I'm just kind of numb to all emotion. Haven't been able to watch with subs yet because I know the pain will probably be even greater. I knew this would destroy me when it happened...but it was even more brutal than expected.

I think dramaland has put me through too much heartache this week. Can't even think of checking out Criminal Minds for right now.

Love what you said about the way fate is presented here! I happen to love when it's depicted in this way, with those involved driving it forward, taking risks and going against all odds, no matter what end they should meet.

And what you wrote at the end has me feeling ready to dive back in. Because, you're right, this is the point from which the drama can take us to places we don't expect. I know we're limited by history, but I expect this drama to give us something lovely, bittersweet, and memorable in its final week. I can't wait! But also don't want it to be over...

Thanks for the recap!

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Me too. I put hold on CM until this drama ends. My heart cannot take such thing yet. My love to LJK is not strong enough to cope with the sadness I felt.. ^^

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Naa, no worries. I've watch first 2 eps of Criminal Mind but it does not fully grabbing my interest yet. Perhaps my expectation is too high but I stand by my mind that cross-finger, the show will pick up its pace and more art-of the-state in future eps ( just like The Good Wife remake ?)

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I think i've forgotten an important piece of information 'cause I get that the Queen Dowager still holds a grudge against Chae-kyung, but I don't remember why Deputy Commander Park wants to remove Chae-kyung as queen. Help?

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Dunno, but perhaps because she's not one of them? (i.e., her dad's Minister Shin, etc.) So in any case, she is not ‘their person’ which has a lot of implications really but most importantly she is not someone they can control or manipulate hence it's much better for her gone from her position and have someone they have (preferrably from their own clan) to place in her stead.

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we haven't seen more,

but if I had to guess,
- it because they need their part [as in rewards ] in rebellion and they've been talking about this since earlier in the drama, like the conversation about myung hee as the one that will have yeok at the end [as in becomes his queen and the resurrection of their family glory]

- because chae kyeong is one part of yeonsangun family, she is his loyal subject's daughter as well as yeonsangun's cousin and she didn't have any power as queen [in faction or family] to help yeok.

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True! Forgot to share how I didn't like the way Yeok's mom smiled as CK tended to her. I agree with anneri and xiao jingyan, Deputy Park just wants someone from his family to be placed into high power by marrying Myung-hye to Yeok, giving him and his family more weight and control politically.

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Mostly because Park wants his niece as the next queen, it was him who recommended Myung-hye to be the next queen, she was originally his concubine (in real life). Also it doesn't help that Chaekyung's father fully supported Yeonsangun, he was afraid in the future she will seek revenge on the people who killed her father

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he wants her niece to be the queen. it will strengthen his position in palace as King family. and remember in previous episodes how he asked MH to ensure that their family must be the one who give more contribution during Prince rebellion. it was all strategic decision to make sure the new King will always feel "indebted" to people who "help" him become the King.

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Ah also, (been rewatching past episodes, so yeah I need to get a life) Yeonsangun mentioned once when he met Myung-hye at the pawnshop that she was the daughter of the disgraced Yoon Yeo-pil who was sent to exile (dunno though if Yeonsangun was the cause of his exile, but safe to assume that he was), and that Myung-hye was born during that time. Myung-hye's father happens to be Minister Park's brother-in-law (his sister is Myung-hye's mother, if I'm not mistaken) and Myung-hye's father is also a distant cousin of the Queen Dowager (they belong to the same Papyeong Yoon clan, and directly linked to King Sejo's wife, Queen Jeonghui). Yeonsangun derisively asked if Minister Park's and Myung-hye's helping Yeok was their way of making a comeback of sorts (since their family has been disgraced). So again, perhaps, even if said out of spite, Yeonsangun may have been right again, and the reason that Minister Park wants Chae-kyung out as Queen is to have Myung-hye as the Queen and as the Queen's uncle hold power. (Historically, the families of the Queens in Joseon have been known to hold a lot of power, it was halted by King Taejong, aka Yi Bang-won, during his reign by killing off members of his wife's family and also that of son's wife's family.)

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it was sooooo difficult to watch this. i lost it at as we caught up to the scenes we already thought we knew about in the beginning - i thought i was familiar with how it was going to turn out and understood the emotional weight behind our opening sequence but the writer kept adding things in. like how we knew minister shin and his wife died but we didn't know that their last line was 'with our death we shall protect chae kyung'?????? and who knew that instead of yeok just stopping chae kyung from diving a dagger into his heart, he tells her 'this is my heart, aim true'?????? GAH I'M DEAD AND DISSOLVED IN A POOL OF TEARS

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i feel the same tooo ???
it was an unpredictable move ?

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When Yeok said "this is my heart, aim true", I wailed internally. He's so heartbroken and he loves her so much!

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i almost wished that they die together loving eachother like chae gyung's parents rather than separate for life and miss eachother for a life time

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OMG!!! I am not a fan of sagueks because they have stupid female leads or a horrible writing!! But this is soo good!!! I am loving all the lead characters!! Including Yeongsangun!!!! Soo good!!

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I signed up for the heartbreak, so I'll just have to deal with it, yes? It's sad, but so good. I hope we're in for a satisfying ending.

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This was surprisingly a hard episode for me to watch and I didn't expect to hit the conflict from the start of the first episode two episodes before the end.

Is it just me or does it seem like Yeonsangun is conflicted in whether he wants to keep the throne? He seems genuinely disturbed and shocked when he hears about the rebel forces and confronts Yeok, prepared to defend his throne. Yet once he loses, it's like he's putting up a defensive front of wanting Yeok to take the throne as revenge to get the last word in and at least win leaving. At the same time, I do believe him when he says it was his plan all along. What do you guys think?

While Yeon lost the throne, I think in a way he does win against Yeok. To think he wanted him to have it all along so he can feel the weight and pain of sitting on the throne, to experience the doubts, making tough choices, facing multiple forces and the emptiness of it all? That's genius. It may have been easy for Yeok to attain the throne yet his happiness and relationship with CK has crumbled just as easily. I mean, that one snail shell in one fell swoop! NOOOO. It was enough in CK's vulnerable state to break her trust in Yeok and Yeok, none the wiser! Damn it Park, you really are the "Little Finger" of this drama.

And I can't blame CK. She literally lost all of her family in choosing love-- Yeon, aunt, nephews, and now her parents. She became complicit in the rebellion to protect both her love and family. She did tell Yeok she would give him her trust and support once her and her family were safe and now her family is gone... And all she has is Yeok and the belief he may have had her parents killed. Sigh. I just want her take a moment to take everything in, calm down and consider how everything doesn't add up, to question why a snail shell was placed in her father's hand in the first place when Yeok specifically gave her directions to a safe haven for them. Did that eunuch not see or overhear the killers were under the command of Deputy Park?

The scenes with Minister Shin and his wife, Oof. I still admire Minister Shin for maintaining his faith and loyalty to Yeon, no matter how implausible, and it saddens me how Yeon will now never know of that with Minister Shin's time with him one last time having been taken away. And the way CK's mom came up with the excuse to iron his robes to keep him with her just 15 minutes longer and how Minister Shin could only hug and apologize to her? Oof.

I admit I feel bad for Yeon after he truly realizes how alone he is now after killing Nok-soo. It's like he couldn't believe someone would actually be loyal and care about him so the moment she embraced him, he flinched and killed her. And the culminating tidal wave of all that he regrets and the resulting sadness. That was tough to watch. I wonder where he will go from here? Maybe Yeok will come see and speak to him at some point next week.

We're really seeing everything unraveling and how...

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I don't know if losing the throne was his ultimate plan, but I feel YSG was smarter than most and heavily, heavily paranoid and felt he needed to be one step ahead of everyone at all times. So he always planned ahead of all situations, and one of the reasons he was always drunk was to get himself to relax and not be tormented by his own thoughts anymore.

So even if he might not have known directly that Yeok was not crippled, the idea of him being fine was always on his mind, and he planned accordingly. And he even planned if his plans failed. So he might not have planned to lose the throne, but he had prepared for it and found a way to win even in defeat. As he said, now his brother that he hates so much can feel the burden of the throne, and lose everyone he loved and trusted. Heck, now even CK will come to hate him in marriage, like he wanted. It was not his ultimate goal, but he was prepared for it anyway and thus could have the last word.

But I do think ultimately, YSG wished he did not get the throne. He had contemplated before, whether he wanted to be king of a woman's husband. I think when he saw Yeok CHOOSE to be a husband rather than king, he realized that was what HE wanted too, but now he could never get that. And because of the paranoia that his father's secret will installed in him (seriously his father was a dick), the thought of losing the throne had overcome any other thoughts and wishes for too long.

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Wow, that all makes sense and totally sums up Yeon. Forgot to consider what paranoia can do to a person. Great analysis!

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I think YSG is a master of speech. He's always ever so prepared and eloquent to rebut any sides of an argument & to turn people's words against themselves (remember how he used Yeok's friends' friendly loyalty as a tool to accuse them of treason in the first episode??). He's just THAT manipulative and twisted and while the behaviour he displays is truly disturbing, I find him a wonderfully fascinating character. His biggest opponent is actually himself - his own insecurity & demonising inner workings of his brain - so if he can't have a peace of mind, no one else can.

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Oh man I cried in today's episode, it was so sad when Chaekyung finds her parents' bodies. Poor girl, she deserves more. Chaekyung and Yeok can't go back to their innocent selves before believing that they can live happily ever after. At this point I just want her to be out of the palace and live in peace until old age.

Is it just me or today was the first time I feel Queen Dowager finally and truly accepts Chaekyung as her daughter-in-law. I wonder how she will feel about Chaekyung's dethronement next week

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oh i feel that too with queen dowager,,???

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by the way, aren't Chaekyung's aunt's (deposed queen) kids her cousins not nephews? Unless she means nephews from her husband's side, I was a little confused by that lol

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in my understanding, they are chae kyeong's cousin from Shin family because it's her aunt's children

but

they are her nephew in the royal family because they are her brother in law's children.

Imo, since the order for family is the male so they use her marital status [as her closest family relation] and they become her nephew just like how they are also yeok's nephew.

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Yeah I get that too. To me it seems like cousins would have worked better since in that scene Chaekyung is really conflicted because it involved her blood relatives (aunt + cousin)

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We know that nobody really gets a happy ending (for the main 3 anyway) but gahhhh!!!! It would really suck if the queen dowager, MH and their posse have a happy ending!

Like, I'd rather YSG have a happy ending albeit a dream sequence (my LDG bias is showing)

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I am so biting my nails in anticipation. This, you guys, is how you do an epic romance. I'm holding my breath and bracing myself. Hoping for the best.

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i hate that yeonsangun was right, he succeeded in not allowing them not to be together and therefore pining for one another... but he allowed them to marry, and as a result of all of this, that she would end up hating yeok....

it's such a pity that truly, there are some people who are miserable and angry at the world and just have to see everyone else suffer the same...

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I hate u minister Park???....I'll accept if they follow the original story for the ending but can we kill Park and also myunghee before she can replace chaekyung?

I cried when they innocently thought they will be happy after all that happens??? l will get really angry if they do not get any awards from kbs this year because award = ratings + popularity...sigh

now I want to sleep and dream the happy ending for Yeok and Chaekyung?

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I kind of hope there will be another Park that will be the second queen, but because at this point I don't feel like Myung-Hye deserves it. Not only that, but she would only be a puppet to her uncle. That is something that is clear after this drama, is that she always did what her uncle said, even when she was conflicted and guilty, and it NEVER played out right, yet she still did it. Literally the only time she did something right was by following Yeok's orders (and if she had done that in the past, more lives would have been saved) and killing Im, but even then that was through another man. And it is poignant that her only victory is so petty that she punished the man who failed assassinating Yeok, a man I think even Yeok had forgotten about (I certainly had) because he had moved on. Myung-Hye lives in the past and in her uncle's shadow, and I feel only pity for her as she lives a lonely life in the palace.

(I was about to say I wish they manage to make it so that the children the second queen had IRL are actually CK's children, but that would mean her son would die young possibly by third queen's hands, so... :/)

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This writer is insanely good! we're down to 2 remaining episodes and yet I cannot read her thoughts, so unpredictably good..... amazing range of imagination. Love this drama.

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THIS SHOW IS EPIC!
I just want everyone to watch it. The writer has consistently upped her/ his game every episode and the actors are brilliant! I have everything crossed that LDG wins big for his potrayal of Yeonsangun. I want to hate the charecter but all i feel is pity n sadness. PMY is so wonderful too. Its sad that ratings dictate the awards but this truely deserves all the accolades it gets.

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I have been stalling at episode 12 for quite sometimes. I guess, it has been too much for me to handle since I have been rooting for Yeonsangun (damn, Lee Dong Gun breaking my heart every episode) despite knowing what kind of fate he would meet. I was not expecting that would be Yeonsangun's plan for revenge on Yeok and thinking of his predicament (okay, I am not condoning this action), it is the most legitimize reason for him to have the last laugh after all - to live on others' suffering.

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My RL stops every Thurs and Friday.. ..refreshing DB's page til the recap is out....
Not sure if I can handle watching the subbed episode coming out later...
Another horrific cliffhanger and another whole week to go...
Why???? Why ??? This ending???
Stahp stabbing yourselves....and making the other party potentially guilty by association....
It's so painful but so addictively good!
Thanks for the recap!!!....i think....
Goes off to cry in the corner....sigh

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If we look into the timeline of the death of Chae-kyung’s parents and her subsequent confrontation with Yeok, she would have been queen for 2-3 days. So maybe the penultimate episode will focus on the remaining 4-5 days of her “reign” as queen (most likely house/bedroom arrest again, pffft) and eventual punishment of hanging for trying to kill the king. Now I am curious to know on how will Yeok save her from her punishment. And yunno, clear the misunderstanding that he was responsible for her parents’ death. Because how can you seamlessly address that folktale of Yeok’s longing for Chae-kyung during her exile and her famous red skirt when there’s still that lingering feeling of betrayal on the side of our heroine?

I was reading the comments over at Soompi and somebody made an interesting speculation based on the annals that Queen Dangyeong (Chae-kyung) did meet King Jungjong (Yeok) before his death. So user Shimshimae posits that the annals may not be telling us everything about them ---- “Something like, it’s not only what is said but what is left unsaid. Similarly, it’s not only what is shown but what is left unshown.”

I hope that the SDQ writer’s version of history more or less aligns with our utmost desire for a “happy” ending consisting of clandestine meetings for the couple and them being true to their promise to be friends for life. I think I can live with that kind of series ending instead of @girlfriday 's famous "My heart attack is going to have a heart attack" kind of ending :P

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That's the thing with annals. It records everything as is. It does not include feelings that are too complicated to put into words or silence which also means a lot. It does not catch sarcasm or inside jokes. Hence, it cannot be the only truth. It's nice to see different interpretations through dramas and movies especially when they're done right.

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Wait, we haven't caught up to the opening sequence yet, have we? Wasn't she wearing a white dress and walking down somewhere and ends up in a noose? I could be remembering wrong...

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i think that's the effect of the last scene of this episode huhuhu will she be accused a treason for stabbing prince jin seong?

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Off all what I don't get from this drama is why CG's father is so damn loyal to Yeonsangun ? When he knows that Yeonsangun is so tyrant and treats his people badly ??? You can't say yourself is loyal to your country but you do not care the well being of your fellow countrymen, or can you ?

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well, we can not imagine that kind of loyalty because we live in this democratic era. but for them, there was this "divine right of kings" mindset. i don't think CG's father living in ignorance when he still stay by the King after all his craziness. when you were a King people, you were a King people by fate regardless right or wrong. and he was supposed to be loyal to the King, and not to the country.

but i also think the true reason why he can't abandon the King, cause he always think the King as his son. and King's fail become his fail. how can father turn away from his son ? of course in case of CK, it is very clear once you get married, your husband become your leader. the torch has passed from father to her husband.

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Like what @junah said, it's hard to understand such loyalty using our mentality today. Also, weren't the ministers' beliefs strongly rooted in Confucianism? They're pretty hardcore about that.

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aaaaah i hate minister Park !!!!! ???
i'm kind of happy that queen dowager gave a smile to chae kyung and told yeok that she took a part of his enthronement,,,huhu but not anymore when she met minister park

and i was really happy that nanny is alive ??,, at least she is the only one of her family left who can support chae gyung...nanny looks gorgeous with that palace maid dress ???

i just don't expect that yeok who willingly stab the knife ???,, why did you do that your majesty ??? that's can be the big big reason why she'll be dethroned ???

this drama always make me get curious what will be the next and the next is always unpredictable ??

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A lot has been written about CK's relative naivety...
When you are not a creature of politics I think it is hard to change ...even if you must to survive....
But that is her charm...that she is forthright even in the face of possible death and destruction and because of this....she was able to draw out what was left of the good in YSG...
She had to be that beacon of light....to make this story believable.

There are people who are willing to live and die by their words..rare creatures that they are..
Think this is why Ssg also decided to go down with his honour intact....even though he could see that Ysg was unravelling....

For Ck..Given that she was really meant to be in her early 20s at that point....(world weariness may come....but likely 20years later....)
idealism n the fire of youth would still be strong within her

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Thank you for your recap and insights, javabeans!

I was already nearly kaput from episode 17, and this installment finished me off with a technical knock out. As if it weren't bad enough that Deputy Commander Park put a hit out on Chae-kyung's parents, leaving that snail shell in her slain father's hand has to be among the most cruel ploys I've seen in a sageuk. This after the bastard knuckled under to that other bastard Im to avoid being outed to the Snail Brides for betraying them. Dang, there goes my blood pressure. The pièce de résistance is the rationale behind the skullduggery: manipulating the new queen into resigning of her own volition. Damn. I didn't see that twist coming.

It almost makes me wonder if Park & Co. were in cahoots with Yeonsangun. The ex-king's idea of revenge on his brother is bizarro: Tag, you're it! You're stuck with the throne, and all the pain, suffering, backstabbing, and dirty politics that goes with it. Neener, neener! Park took a page out of Yeonsangun's playbook. It's the old divide and conquer trick, and it looks as if Park & Co. have actually succeeded in driving a wedge between Yeok and Chae-kyung whereas Yeonsangun's manipulations only velcroed them together more tightly.

The scene of Chae-kyung with dagger drawn and about to plunge it into Yeok's neck was bad enough. But to see him aim it at his own heart?!?! How am I supposed to last a week with that kind of cliffhanger?!

The parallel between that scene and Nok-soo's request that Yeonsangun mete out death by hairpin is chilling. Nok-soo has nothing left to live for without the deposed king. The pair who should have everything to live for after slogging through plagues of biblical proportions commences self-destructing as defeat is suddenly snatched from the jaws of victory.

One of the most touching and pitiful scenes was the arrival of Chae-kyung's aunt and her three little nephews for the proclamation of their deposition and exile. The flashback sequence to the fateful first meeting between Chae-kyung and Yeonsangun also clobbered me in the feels. And then there's Nanny's arrival at the Dowager Queen's residence...

The production may be pulling some punches, as I thought that two of Yeonsangun's boys were actually killed, IIRC. (There's still time for that to happen, I guess.) Minister Shin didn't even get to engineer a counter-coup before he was murdered in cold blood. The historical Nok-soo was actually beheaded, IIRC. These may be minor quibbles -- or not.

The pacing of both episodes this week was intense and spellbinding. I could see the train wreck approaching from miles away, but could not avert my gaze... nor can I look away now. I'm such a goner.

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One of the most touching and pitiful scenes was the arrival of Chae-kyung's aunt and her three little nephews cousins for the proclamation of their deposition and exile.

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It's such a powerful scene that even when we didn't see the queen as often or the crown prince and other princes at all previously, just those few seconds of them interspersed with park min young's excellent acting brought out so much of the agony and reluctance from the part of chaekyung and why this is Messed Up

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Ikr. My eyes teared during the part the little crown prince called for "grandmother" and looked at the Queen Dowager for sympathy and she just stood there coldly. It was a short scene, but an excellent one especially when Chae Gyung is sad when she looks at her family got exiled, and Yeok notices her reaction and knows that Chae Gyung is not okay with the whole thing.

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This is going to be one bittersweet ending isn't it? I just can't fathom how this will end the way I want it to. No matter how much I wish for it.

Yet, a part of me still hope that they'll get suck into a vortex and end up in a parallel universe where they can live the rest of their lives together. I know it sounds ridiculous but I am desperate. Who was that beanie that suggested an alternate ending? I think you better start that story because there's going to be a roomful that needs a pick-me-up.

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I have been giving a lot of thought about that opening scene in Ep1 over the course of the episodes and knowing how much she loved Yeok, I always came to the conclusion (albeit incorrectly) that she had to do what she did in that scene because she was protecting Yeok, you know, the noble idiocy at work. This was reinforced by what Myung Hee said a few episodes ago when she and Chae-young had a talk about the desperate, low things MH was willing to do for Yeok and I thought this was CY's moment to do something similarly desperate for the man she loved. For it to be borne out of anger, grief and probably misunderstanding just guts me more because I expect/want her love & trust in him to be bigger than that. I just thought, after all they had been through, she should know better but I suppose grief can make you do crazy things.

That last scene when he pointed the knife at his heart, I'm not sure I can get over that. I'm going to spend my weekend broken-hearted all over again ?

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I know this is not important in the overall scheme of things, maybe, but since when did Eunuch Song became loyal to Yeok?

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yes i think about that too,,,may be yeok threatens or persuades eunuch song? hehe

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the king killed a lot of eunuch so i guess they turned on him

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You grow attached to people especially when you've lived in the same house for a while. It also doesn't help that Yeonsangun has been killing eunuchs whenever he feels like it.

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me too can't get over how yeok took the knife and pointed at his heart and asked to kill him clean and true!! i watched that scene many times . it shows the deapth of yeoks love for ck. i don't blame ck though i would have reacted the same . in my own twisted min it's one of my favourite scenes bcs ck did go through a lot bcs of yeok. and
eunich song always had a soft spot for yoek and ck .

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i'm pretty sure it's not noble idiocy. the writer is so good that there's no way they pull that old-annoying-typical k drama trick. also i refuse theory for CK's misunderstanding, just because. i mean, this is not like other k drama, and the writers are not like other writers.

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I hope you are right, I really hope so ??

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I cried from beginning to end of this episode. Please writer nim...don't be too cruel to them (cry while typing). This is my all time favourite sageuk drama and I swear that I'll be watching any of this pd's (lee jung sub) and writer's (choi jin young) dramas after this. And pmy please do a rom-com project after this. I love to see her laugh and smile.

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thankfully your wish has been granted !! ^_^ in June 6 PMY new drama air with Park Seo Joon as male lead and it is tvn rom com! so i guess it will have good storyline
go check out " Why Secretary Kim?"

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Somehow i lost interest in this drama. Seems all the episodes are same.

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the similarity of each episode is always beyond my imagination hehehe ??

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Maybe they will pull a Rebel. Rebel started with the scene Chae Soo Bin got shot then she comes out alive...

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episode 18 made me exhausted.
farewell my mad king. my 90 degree bow to Lee Dong Gun.

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yeok and chae gyumg are the best couple i have ever seen in a sageuk drama...
their chemistry is something special and their story is soo heart breaking something u remember for a very long long time
SBS please if u cant give them acting awards due to low ratings at least give them best couple awards..they deserve it and more
best performance of their lives by all the 3 leads

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The show is on KBS lol! But I certainly agree with the rest of your comment.

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In this case, it will have to be a "Best Trio" award. There's no way I can separate them. The love-hate and rivalries are too intense, and could not exist without all three.

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I freaked out when I saw Yeonsangun's queen and children. After reading up on some history I remembered that these same kids are going to get killed. They were so young! My heart ;____;

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their chemistry and compatibility is soo rare ,i sometime feel like they actually like eachother _ great actors

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when a king is detroned they kill their children and even siblings so that there will be no risk of rebelling in the future
but am pissed with yeosangun for not being a wise king and a good/protective father to his family.he negleted the throne and every1 in pursue of his revenge and obsession without thinking of how it will after his family

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Yeah. It's ironic he spends so much time complaining about his father when Yeonsangun is obviously a crap father himself.

Not for one second has he shown an iota of consideration or protection for his sons and how his actions will impact them. Ruining the lives of his innocent children and the lovely Queen to satisfy his pathetic obsession and revenge. Sad for his innocent family who have to suffer and die because of his selfish ways.

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I feel so sad for this couple. One of the drama's stronges credits is that misunderstandings between Chae-Gyung and Yeok rarely happen or are resolved quickly simply because they trust each other. Even when there is not a misunderstanding, they have chosen to believe in each other. Yet this time, with the snail shell, will Chae-Gyung be able to ask him about it? Will she be able to trust that Yeok would never do it? I hope and wish for them to pull through, but compared to other dramas' last-minute nonsensical misunderstanding-that-causes-the-couple-to-separate-and-be-miserable-for-a-time, this time the misunderstanding is believable, and I won't get frustrated if they don't resolve it, because they have trusted each other so much till now that there has to be a line somewhere. After everything CK has had to do and pull through and force herself to trust Yeok in, even if this time it is not Yeok's fault, I don't blame her for giving up. Family is the most important thing for her, and she lost her biological family, possibly by the orders of her family-in-marriage. I feel it is natural she would be absolutely lost by that.

In the end, Yeonsangun got what he wanted when he granted them marriage; separated, they would long for each other, but married, they would eventually doubt and hate each other. At the very least, for a moment, YSG got his wish that CK hated Yeok like him.

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chae kyeong said to yeok before that she wants her family to be saved but what happens is she saw her family lying on the ground, unnoticed, abandoned and had passed away. It brokes her and I can't fault her to just using her rage right now.

She is alone and yet she still hesitant at hurting yeok. It's a really heavy situation and chae kyeong is tired.

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Yeah, I agree. She made it a point that she would only trust Yeok if he actually managed to protect her and her family. And I am with her; as Yeok said, he has almost only been apologizing to her and troubling her; she has every reason to no longer trust him, which she admitted she cannot do anymore anyway. So when she basically told him that if he won and protected his family (bio and in-law alike), she would believe him again.

Then he failed, with even a hint that he was behind the Shin family's death. Chae-Kyung thinks he betrayed her on the most important people in her life, while Yeok knows he betrayed CK's trust once again. I almost think it is no wonder that he not only was hurt by her attempt to stab him, but even made her do it. Both of them are hurting and they don't know what to do about it.

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What an episode!! I still don't know how this will go. Though it's already written in history, I really dont like how the Deputy Minister already calculated how he can place Myonghe in power in the new reign. But no choice. Title of this series says it all >.<

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I really hope that the writer has figured out a way to give us an at least somewhat happy or satisfying ending without completely ruining the historical premise of the show. Most people probably didn't care or even appreciated the happy ending in Moonlight Drawn By Clouds for instance, but as a student of history, I really didn't like it. They basically changed the arc of history by letting Crown Prince Hyomyeong live and ascend to the throne... If that had actually happened, who knows what would've become of the Andong Kims and ensuing Joseon decline? LOL, I suppose it makes more sense for me to think of the events of Moonlight as things that took place in an alternate universe. And it does help that the drama was based on a novel.... But still, I hope the Qf7D writer doesn't try to pull off anything too far fetched in the end! Someone else mentioned that maybe CK will come back to the palace as Queen Munjeong after Myeonghee dies. I hope not! Munjeong was as much a b**tch in history as Myeonghee is in this drama! Ambitious and clever in her own right, but still.... Maybe CK=Dae Jang Geum?! OMG. The possibilities!

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@Shel,

I agree with you about MOONLIGHT DRAWN BY CLOUDS. I would rather have had it based on entirely fictional characters instead of messing with history.

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Yeah, something similar to "Moon Embracing the Sun" or even "Ruler" would've worked better! My comments haven't been publishing properly today, not sure why, but I hope this goes through to you! ^_^

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I. Can't. Breath.

Drama gods all I want is for Yeok and Chae Kyung to be happy. What do I need to do to make this happen?! *sobs*

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This drama is so consistently good (at breaking our hearts) T_T

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When CK father decided to die for YSG and his wife decided to follow him made me cry. It's the saddest part in this episode.

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So heartbreaking episode!even we know this will happen once yeok become a king.please someone tell the queen dowager that only CK suit his son!if not for CK,yeok will not be a king like she dream.what a miserable family yeok have.from his father who bias towards his sons (and be a reason yeon become like that) and a mother who always intefere his life and decision.CK and her family is a victim here?i can't even imagine about the final episode.please make it a happy ending even i know it'll not happen.

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