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100 Days My Prince: Episode 15

The time draws closer when our prince can no longer delay the inevitable, and he’s forced to confront his enemy face-to-face. He’s bent on revenge, but true to character, Yul’s ideas of revenge are creative and much longer-lasting than simple death. The trick will be keeping his nemesis from attaining his own goals in the meantime, which would be disastrous not just for the prince and his love’s future, but the future of the entire country.

EPISODE 15 RECAP

Hong-shim recognizes Minister Kim as soon as he arrives home, and he says she seems familiar. Hong-shim claims they’ve never met, as she only recently moved to town. It works for now, and Minister Kim goes inside, while Soo-ji tells Hong-shim that she was braver than most to meet his father’s gaze.

She asks if Soo-ji knows anyone named Moo-yeon, and he blurts out, “How do you know Moo-yeon?” before backpedaling that actually, he meant Woo-yeon. He shoos her on home, and from her expression, she didn’t believe a word he said.

Over dinner, So-hye asks Yul about the fire at his library and the supposed loss of his journal. So-hye suggests he forget the journal, but Yul snaps that he can’t shut off his heart as easily as she can.

When he asks about her baby, she tells him that she had a dream of a marble as bright as the moon, which she believes predicts a son. Yul says darkly that he won’t be able to look at the child because he fell in love with another woman while he was away.

He says he’ll probably go see her tonight, unmoved when So-hye calls him cruel. Yul replies that jealousy is unbecoming of a future queen, but then he smirks that he shouldn’t worry, because she probably doesn’t care about his feelings for another woman.

He gets up to leave, but So-hye demands that he not go see the other woman, reminding him of who his father-in-law is. Yul just says he’d love to see Minister Kim’s reaction to his defiance and goes anyway. Guard Kwon tries to at least get Yul to change out of his royal robes, but Yul spits that the palace isn’t safe for him, either.

The king arrives and accuses Yul of causing all of the recent disturbances. Yul glares at his father, looking so angry that the king even takes a step back, and growls, “Why did you do it? Why did you marry me into Minister Kim’s family?”

They speak privately, and Yul says that he wants to break ties with Minister Kim because he tried to murder him. King Neungseon is genuinely shocked, though he believes Yul and wants to have Minister Kim arrested. But Yul decides that he wants to punish Minister Kim himself, and asks the king for full authority to take his own revenge.

Surprised to find what feels like half the village at his Hanyang house, Je-yoon learns that Gu-dol and Kkeut-nyeo came because Master Park is making unreasonable demands. Since he was able to befriend the crown prince, they ask Je-yoon to help them see Yul and hopefully get good jobs in the palace.

Je-yoon explains that Yul isn’t in a position to do that, and asks why Master Park is demanding so much firewood in summer. All they know is that he claims Minister Kim wants it, which seems odd to Je-yoon.

Yul tells the king that he won’t be able to use standard tactics against Minister Kim, a master schemer himself. The king asks how he can help as a father, but he’s horrified by Yul’s question – he wants to know why he ordered Yul’s mother killed. King Neungseon admits that his wife was an obstacle because she was a relative of the previous king, but he insists that he had no idea Minister Kim planned to murder her.

Yul is finally able to visit Hong-shim early in the morning, and he teases that she must not be sleeping well out of longing for him. Shyly, she says he must be here to see Town Official Park, Gu-dol, and Kkeut-nyeo, but Yul says he’s in a hurry.

He warns Hong-shim not to go anywhere without his permission, promising to return for her once he’s completed his duty. When Hong-shim asks, Yul reminds her of that night so long ago, and how he told her he would marry her. He vows to keep that promise now.

He travels with Dad, Guard Kwon, and Je-yoon to the site of the ambush, where he remembers ordering his old friend and guard, Dong-joo, not to fight for him anymore. Dong-joo had disobeyed, forced Yul to trade clothing with him and drew the assassins away. Dad gives Yul Dong-joo’s uniform; that was what he was wearing when Dad found him.

Yul remembers more — that Dong-joo had said that his only friend had gone to the palace to be the crown prince, so Dong-joo’s life goal was to be his guard so he could see his friend again. He’d sworn to survive and stay beside Yul after he became king. Swamped by his memories of Dong-joo from childhood to adulthood, Yul cries for the loss of his friend.

Hong-shim asks Gu-dol, Kkeut-nyeo, and Town Official Park for help saving her brother from Minister Kim’s house. Kkeut-nyeo is all in, Gu-dol is willing to help for a recommendation to Yul, and Town Official Park is tempted by the possibility of a job in the palace.

Je-yoon reassures Yul that it’s not his fault so many died in the ambush, and Guard Kwon urges Yul to quickly arrest and execute Minister Kim. But Yul has other plans — death offers peace, he says, but living in dishonor is like dying every day.

When Minister Kim learns that Je-yoon went with Yul to the mountain, he knows that Je-yoon has decided to side against him. The Minister of War worries that Yul’s memory has returned, so Minister Kim orders him to call their allies for a secret meeting.

While visiting Songjoo village, Dad begs Je-yoon to help Yul as much as he can, making Je-yoon jealous of Dad’s devotion. When Dad spots former loan shark Ma-chil bossing around his old neighbor, Yang-choon, he storms over to smack Ma-chil upside the head and give him a piece of his mind.

Je-yoon asks Ma-chil what Master Park needs all the firewood for, but Ma-chil doesn’t know. Je-yoon whispers that he’s on a mission for the crown prince, so Ma-chil offers to tell him whatever he learns, sighing that he misses “our Won-deuk-ie.”

Yul has gone back to town, where he heads straight for Minister Kim’s home. Minister Kim is out, but Soo-ji offers to keep Yul company until he returns, and he’s tickled pink when Yul is nice to him for once. Yul snaps that he’s uncomfortable, but then smiles and says that some refreshments would help.

While Soo-ji runs for refreshments, Yul quickly looks around the room. All he finds is a box containing a rock, which seem strange.

When Minister Kim returns and learns that Yul is in his rooms alone, he scurries to stop him. Yul is innocently admiring a sword, and he challenges Minister Kim to a sword fight, saying that he remembers training with someone, but not who it was. They face each other in the courtyard and draw their weapons.

Yul fights aggressively at first, while Minister Kim calmly deflects his attacks. Eventually Minister Kim goes on the offensive, and Yul barely manages to duck in time to avoid losing his head. He praises Minister Kim’s skill, and Minister Kim tells him that he used to train with his old friend and personal guard, Dong-joo.

Suddenly, an arrow flies towards Yul, narrowly missing him. Several black-clad assassins swarm the courtyard, and Minister Kim orders Soo-ji to take the crown prince inside. He does, but Yul sends him back out to protect his father, to Soo-ji’s great reluctance. Once Yul is alone, he grabs Minister Kim’s sword and resumes searching his rooms.

It’s not until he finds his way to a storage room that he discovers something interesting — a pile of arrows, hidden in a bale of hay.

Meanwhile, Hong-shim smears coal on Gu-dol, Kkeut-nyeo, and Town Official Park to make them look like filthy beggars (LOL, she gave Kkeut-nyeo a mustache and unibrow) and prepares to send them to Minister Kim’s house as a distraction. Awww, Gu-dol has stage fright. They start their song just as Minister Kim’s men chase off the assassins, so Hong-shim decides it’s a bad time and sends them home, but she stays to do some scouting.

Yul comes across a building with a padlocked door, and inside, we see Moo-yeon bound and gagged. As he tries to free himself with a jagged rock, he thinks about how Minister Kim had snarled that Moo-yeon had even more reason to kill the crown prince if he knew he was the father of So-hye’s baby.

He’d choked Moo-yeon and blamed him for the mess he’s in, but he’d refused to kill Moo-yeon, saying that he must live for So-hye’s sake. But he’d told Moo-yeon that So-hye would stay and give birth to the crown prince’s baby, and become the queen. As the price for loving his daughter, Minister Kim said that he would choose how Moo-yeon will die.

Moo-yeon manages to cut himself free just as Yul breaks the lock keeping him prisoner. Moo-yeon makes a run for it, but he doesn’t get far before running straight into Hong-shim. When Hong-shim asks what’s happening, Yul — shocked to hear her call Moo-yeon “brother” — just says that he’s got the wrong person and walks away.

When Minister Kim finds that Moo-yeon has escaped, he immediately suspects that Yul has recovered his memory. Meanwhile, Yul tells Guard Kwon that the man who tried to kill him is the brother of his beloved, and that he’s no longer sure how he’ll get his revenge.

Moo-yeon tells Hong-shim that he’s been working for Minister Kim as an assassin, and she’s understandably horrified. He explains that he went to kill Minister Kim the night they parted, but when he couldn’t, he offered do anything asked of him in return for Hong-shim’s freedom.

Hong-shim pieces the clues together and figures out that it’s Moo-yeon who’s been trying to kill Yul, and he reveals that So-hye’s baby is not Yul’s. Hong-shim asks why Moo-yeon came back to Hanyang, then answers her own question — to kill Yul before he regains his memories.

She’s in such shock that she collapses while trying to get back to Je-yoon’s house. Dad and Je-yoon find her, having returned from Songjoo village, and Kkeut-nyeo tells them that she was at Minister Kim’s home looking for her brother. When she wakes, she asks if Yul has recovered his memory, and Je-yoon confirms it. Hong-shim realizes that Yul must know who tried to kill him and why, so she asks Je-yoon’s help getting into the palace.

By this time, Minister Kim has figured out that Yul has regained his memories. The Minister of War isn’t so sure, since Eunuch Song surely would have reported it if Yul remembered everything. Moo-yeon is the only person who could tell the truth to Yul, so Minister Kim orders him found and killed.

Minister Kim holds his secret meeting in the gisaeng house, where he tells his followers that Ming will attack the Jurchens (who lived in Jin, now northern China), and they practically salivate at the idea of how much money they’ll make from the war. Minister Kim plans to send the crown prince into battle, hoping that will rid him of his Yul problem.

Eunuch Song presents a maid to Yul, saying that she has a letter for him. Yul is shocked to see that it’s Hong-shim, and he takes her to his room. Once they’re alone, Yul calls Hong-shim reckless, but she just grins as she compliments him on how good he looks in his robes.

She asks if he went to Songjoo village because he regained his memory, and he admits that he did. Hong-shim remains cheerful and says she’ll do anything he wants… and what he wants is the porridge she made for him in the village. He leads Hong-shim to the royal kitchen, where they accidentally break a jar of valuable salt.

The crash draws the attention of the guards, so Yul and Hong-shim hide in a corner until they leave. They belatedly realize how close they are, and Hong-shim teases Yul when his ears turn red, making him jump back and huff that it’s just hot.

He thoroughly enjoys the porridge Hong-shim makes for him, admitting that he’s had trouble eating and sleeping since returning to the palace. He says that if things had been different, they’d have been married long ago, and never would have been separated. He lies down with his head in Hong-shim’s lap, sighing, “If only I were really Won-deuk…”

Hong-shim traces Yul’s eyebrows as she did once before, and he closes his eyes and goes to sleep. He wakes later, alone, and finally reads the letter Hong-shim brought for him. It says:

Life does not flow as we want it to. It follows its own path. I hoped for us to be each other’s destiny, but the dethronement of the former king led us down an ill-fated road. My brother wishes to speak with you. Do not hesitate for my sake. Do whatever seems fit and punish him if you must. Sever the ill-fated relationship that started on the night of the dethronement. Only you can do it.

Yul meets with Moo-yeon in the woods the following day and calls him by his real name, Yoon Seok-ha. Moo-yeon tells Yul that he was branded the son of a traitor, and that becoming Minister Kim’s assassin was the only way to save his and his sister’s lives.

Yul asks Moo-yeon to testify that Minister Kim ordered him to assassinate Yul, promising to find a way to protect them. Wracked with guilt, Moo-yeon says that it’s his fault Minister Kim wanted Yul killed, and Yul guesses that Moo-yeon is the father of So-hye’s baby.

Moo-yeon offers his life in exchange for Hong-shim and So-hye’s lives, but Yul snarls that he can’t forgive Moo-yeon’s involvement, and Moo-yeon finds himself surrounded by Yul’s guards.

So-hye is holding Moo-yeon’s red bracelet when Yul enters her rooms unannounced, and he remembers seeing that bracelet on Moo-yeon’s wrist. He orders the guards to remove So-hye from the palace, spinning a story that she sneaked out to meet her lover and was killed.

Guard Kwon does as ordered, stopping So-hye’s palanquin in the woods and dismissing the other guards. He draws his sword, and So-hye kneels to wait, resigned, for her death. Guard Kwon raises his sword and brings it down sharply… then as a confused So-hye stares at him, he declares her dead and tells her to be gone on the crown prince’s orders.

She’s still kneeling, shaken, when Moo-yeon arrives and holds out a hand to her. He takes her in his arms as Yul writes in his journal, “I have not forgiven them. This is the only thing I can do for Yi-seo. I cannot take away her brother’s life with my own hands.”

Hong-shim watches Dad sleep, internally thanking him for taking care of her for so long. In the morning, she sneaks into Minister Kim’s home, but Soo-ji finds her lurking in Minister Kim’s rooms and orders her out. She puts a knife to his neck and demands to know where Minister Kim is, and Soo-ji stammers that Minister Kim went to rescue his daughter.

Moo-yeon is leading So-hye through the forest when they’re surrounded by assassins. Moo-yeon pushes So-hye behind him and gives her one last, long look before drawing his sword. He fights valiantly, taking out one attacker after another, until they’re all dead.

But as he starts to lead So-hye away, an arrow strikes him, then several more, and he collapses. He reminds So-hye that he once told her that he wouldn’t be reincarnated, but now he says it was a lie. He promises to find her, no matter what he has to be reborn as, and So-hye cries as she holds him. Her father’s men wrench So-hye away from Moo-yeon, but she fights them, screaming, as Minister Kim plunges his sword into Moo-yeon’s heart.

Moo-yeon’s eyes never leave So-hye as we hear his voice: “A long time ago, it once rained for a long time. The whole land flooded and even the dandelions were about to drown. A small dandelion prayed to the sky to be spared, then suddenly the wind blew. The dandelion seeds took flight and landed on a sunny hill, and soon, they sprouted and bloomed. If we ride the wind, we will be able to bloom somewhere else.”

Too late, all Hong-shim finds when she arrives is Moo-yeon’s body, still bristling with arrows. She quietly calls out to him, then realizes that he’s gone, and she sobs in grief.

At the palace, Je-yoon reports to Yul that the reason Master Park needs so much firewood is because he’s smelting iron. Yul thinks of the rock he found in Minister Kim’s room (iron ore?), and deduces that Minister Kim is planning to start a war.

Heading back to his rooms, Yul is infuriated to find So-hye there waiting for him. He bellows a demand to know why she’s here, and she tells him in a small, broken voice, that Moo-yeon is dead at her father’s hand. Yul goes straight to Minister Kim to say that forgiveness is the best revenge, so he considered it for a second, but then he realized it doesn’t suit him. He tosses his journal on Minister Kim’s desk and informs him that he’s done for.

Minister Kim asks calmly how Yul can prove that what he wrote is the truth, but his smug gaze falters when Yul says that Minister Kim should have let So-hye and Moo-yeon go, because the crown princess’s testimony will be the proof. Recovering, Minister Kim says that these are trivial matters when a war has just broken out, and their people are being taken prisoner.

He tells Yul that it’s his duty to save the nation, and Yul yells that he’s aware Minister Kim did this on purpose. Minister Kim warns that there’s nothing Yul can do but walk into the trap, because “Yoon Yi-seo… I have that girl.”

COMMENTS

Minister Kim has really painted himself into a corner, and while I know he thinks that this time they’ll work, his plans rely too much on chance to be very stable. He’s gambling too much on his hopes that Yul will be killed in battle, So-hye will still go along with his plans even after he brutally murdered her baby’s father, and nobody who opposes him will ever find out any of this. But the politics of this drama have never been its strong point, and at least it’s not a boring story line, so I’m giving it a pass since it’s almost over. Mostly I just want to wrap all this up quickly in the finale, and I expect a lot of cuteness in the last episode to make up for the lack of Yul and Hong-shim romance these last couple of weeks.

One of the strengths of 100 Days My Prince is its unique and very human characters. From Yul and Hong-shim, down to the quirky villagers, each character has a distinct personality that feels fresh and does a pretty good job avoiding the trap of becoming predictable. I love Kkeut-nyeo’s fierce opinions, Gu-dol’s goofy but loyal devotion, and even Town Official Park’s way of always coming through when he’s needed. Even Je-yoon served a larger narrative purpose than just to make Yul jealous, and it’s been fun watching him help solve Yul’s mystery and their reluctant bromance.

In particular, I’ve consistently found King Neungseon to be a fascinating character, the way he so badly wishes to be a strong leader but crumbles the moment someone stronger stands up to him. It was interesting to see Neungseon do it all over again with Yul in this episode… the moment Yul declared his intent to get his own revenge on Minister Kim, the king was all, “What can I do, how can I help?” I respect his ability to recognize when he’s outmatched, while I also find it frustrating that he’s so wishy-washy and unreliable. But I can see why he was the perfect person for Minister Kim to install on the throne because he would never be able to stand up against him. However, I think Minister Kim has met his match in Yul, and that he somehow managed to create his own worst enemy. He tried so hard for so many years to mold and manipulate Yul into his next puppet, and Yul would probably have remained pliant and fearful if he hadn’t experienced his failed assassination and memory loss. But by trying to kill him, Minister Kim inadvertently gave Yul back the one thing that inspires him to fight — Hong-shim.

I really love seeing how much Yul has been changed by his experiences — he’s not a better person necessarily, because he was always a good man with strong morals, but he never had a reason to stand up for anything. His time as Won-deuk taught him a lot about compassion and love, and he particularly showed this in how he dealt with So-hye and Moo-yeon… by the laws of the time, he could have had them both killed, including their child. But Yul never wanted to see So-hye die for her infidelity, or he would have ordered it when he first learned of her baby, and after finding Hong-shim again, he knows how rare and precious love is. Before, he simply told So-hye to decide what to do and laid all the responsibility on her, but now — even though he didn’t forgive her — he tried to give her a way to be with Moo-yeon.

Even though I knew it was coming pretty much from the beginning, Moo-yeon’s death was still heartbreaking. I even felt bad for So-hye, whom I’ve never liked, for having to witness her love die such a gruesome death. Their love story was so tragic, and so obviously doomed from the beginning, but I also really liked the analogy of the dandelion, which was a symbol of their love for each other and their longing for freedom. It was a sweet way to show that, even though they can’t be together, the seeds of their love will still spread and grow long after they’re gone.

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Glad they don't miss explain the most loyal guard Dongjoo /cries

Everlasting WonShim love, Yool after wondeuk era is the best, he has many people on his side

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I know! I was really waiting for DongJoo's tribute being Yul's bestfriend

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Porridge. Jurchens. Dandelions.
All this is well and good, but where is Assassin Hyuk Orabeoni?

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IS THAT HIS NAME??? I never got his name....
Yes I agree, where is he?

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I was wondering where Hyuk was hanging out, too. ;-)

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*Sigh* so much potential if the writer kept it simple and flesh out some of the supporting characters.
I'd like to think that the Hyuk was given a pardon too for helping Hong-shim and Yul. At least he is free in my mind lol.

The first episode showed young Yul playing the general leading the war against the Jurchens (played by the kids that he was chasing).
I guess he got to live his childhood fantasy by participating in the war against the Jurchens.

Historically, the first king of Joseon Yi Seong-gye was a well known hero for protecting the Goryeo border from the Jurchens. His reputation earned him an official position in the king's court that lead to overthrowing Goryeo and the birth of Joseon.
Eventually, the Jurchens combined forces with their neighbors to overthrow Ming.

Our poor dandelion couple. What a missed opportunity but I shed a tear for them when Moo-yeon was dying while never taking his eyes off of So-hye.
β€œFor never was a story of more woe than this of Moo-yeon and his So-hye.”

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Church ain't over til the fat lady sings, so there's still time for Moo-yeon's fellow assassin, Hyuk, to pop up. We never found out how he fell into Minister Kim's evil clutches, but I suspect that he was in much the same boat as Moo-yeon. Like you, I'll imagine he was pardoned in reward for services to the crown.

The "Let's bump off Seja by sending him to battle the Jurchens after we collude with them to start a border war" gambit was employed in GRAND PRINCE, which I think did a better job of it. But maybe the half-heartedness of the ploy is indicative of Minister Kim's gradual deflation. The Big Bad is inexplicably running out of steam. Maybe he's too tired to follow all the kinky doglegs in his plotting. Or maybe he's worn down after 16 years of pulling the strings behind the throne. It makes for an anticlimactic ending. :-(

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Yea this war part is pretty lame. They could've done without it.
Ming and the Jurchens were the one fighting.
Joseon would supply soldiers to help Ming as part of their diplomatic agreement.

I have no doubt that it Grand Prince did a better job.

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I've already watched episode 16, and this drama fell flat as far as I'm concerned. I've seen a ranking of the best and worst dramas of 2018 (so far), and 100 Days was ranked one of the best! Not in My Book! And My Mister was ranked way below it. I guess I just have a different taste in Kdramas than a lot of folk do.

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Just one thing : Kyungsoo look so fine in that red hanbook

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Still don't understand why MY suddenly wants to be with SH when before he was ready to leave with HS. Now that yul and HS's life is in danger and he was attacked on her orders, now he wants to be with her?

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was because he realized they were going to have a baby together. I don't think Moo-yeon knew about her baby being his before, which is why he was okay with leaving with Hong-shim. I do wish that the writer would have shown a bit of their story and their happier times together. Even if it was through a short montage, how they came to fall in love and stuff like that, instead of making the audience figure it out by ourselves.

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I think you're right about Moo-yeon's changing his plans when he knew once and for all that the baby was his. There could have been a pre-dethronement romance between Seok-ha and So-hye that paralleled the one between young Grand Prince Yi Yul and Yoon Yi-seo.

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MY's death left me frustrated. I know it was coming but seeing it happen still made me feel hollow. His character had so much going on and he had nowhere to go but die. The hopeless romantic in me kept hoping that he is able to run away with SH but meh, he died in front of her and there goes my romantic notions.

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Seems I am not alone in this but I was also disappointed with Moo Yeon/Seok Ha's death.
I know both he and the Crown Princess committed treason, but Yul was willing to let them go. Which whilst he says he has not forgiven them, is an act of forgiveness in itself. I was really pleased and happy with that decision of Yul's. It was a nice change and showed how he'd developed because of his time in the village.
With just a little bit different writing, they could've disappeared once and for all, and lived somewhere quietly, unable to ever forget what they've done, but still live and raise a child to hopefully be better.
But no, instead, we had to kill MY and give the Vice Prem yet another random feather to his cap, that honestly wasn't needed. They could've disappeared and that could've been one of Yul's steps in beating the VP once and for all, showing us that he is indeed a worthy opponent to the VP. And it would've automatically cleared up the marriage issue, and opened the palace gates to Hong Shim once she was reinstated. It would've been a much clearer path to an ending imo.
I was also felt like when never got quite enough to MY's character. He had so much going for him, so much potential to be compelling but barely any screen time or lines, and he was often just there or used for exposition or plot development. I don't think that was entirely the point either- like he had such an important role. But for whatever reason I found the execution of his character lacking and that was really disappointing. I wanted to sink my teeth into his persona a bit more, and feel a better connection between him and his sister and him and his lover, and understand a bit more why the Second Assassin Hyuk was so willing to risk EVERYTHING for this man.

Whilst we're on the subject of characters- the VP's character was a constant frustration to me. I loved the scene between him and his daughter explaining how he feels nothing and is empty all the time no matter what because it gave him a motivation- even if his motivation is just that he's a parasitic psychopath- but to have him always win and always have the upper hand and always dish out his judgement and death was tiring to watch. It made Yul's victories feel like less. And that might work in some dramas, but not in this one, where Yul is... well supposed to be the hero.

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I totally agree. I know the writer was trying to make him an intelligent and compelling villain, but what does it say about the hero or the show when the tally of successful plots favours the bad guy?

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Yeahp. Exactly.
I feel like he was too intelligent; too good at being bad.
*SPOILER FOR NEXT EPISODE* Even when he dies, there was barely any satisfaction in it, because he's the kind of character who wins even in death, having the last laugh by dying not suffering as Yul would have and by using that last king's command, and because at least death would be an end to this life. They accidentally wrote a villain for whom there is no winning against, and honestly, in an otherwise simple Sageuk story, that's a mistake. I just wanted to see him phased just once, just one time feel something that his plans weren't going his way. I feel like in anything else I'd be all "fantastic villain! so good! so nuanced!" in this he's just annoying... lol
And it's not like Yul wasn't a good enough opponent for him; he was, that was proven time and time again- frik they tried to kill him at the beginning because he was capable and knew their secrets! Oh well...

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I actually liked that Vice Minister was so sinister and not easily outdone. I have this strange fascination with evil characters that prove to be hard to crack down or even catch. See: Fallen with Denzel Washington. I also remember being captivated by this one recurring baddie on Bones who could hack their systems and manipulate evidence. Am I a masochist? πŸ˜…

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No no usually I would be completely there with you. My favourite character in dramaland is Do Han from Lookout- whilst not exactly evil, certainly not a nice person, and I thoroughly enjoyed DO and Park Bo Gum's characters in IRY.
I'm not sure why it bugged me so much here. For some reason it didn't fit for me, with the rest of the drama? *Shrugs* like in another more serious sageuk I would totally be on board with the (kinda OP) villain. Idk something's about it just always frustrated me in this.

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@captblackdog,

I also remember being captivated by this one recurring baddie on Bones who could hack their systems and manipulate evidence. Am I a masochist?

No, you're not a masochist. But maybe a Gormogon fan. ;-)

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***Spoiler***
Grrrr ....don’t let me start about his death and the so called war, which all felt empty.

Vice-premier kim was the star of the show, he was unbeatable even superheroes loses sometimes, he’s the only winner at the end, the actor did a good job (blondie from Save Me).

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Hey guys, no spoilers please!!!

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I found it difficult to understand Minister Kim's motivation for putting the previous king's brother on the throne instead of taking it himself. (Ignoring the fact that he would have been a completely anomalous interloper in real-life history. But when did that ever stop fictional baddies?!) Perhaps he would have encountered too much political opposition? Or he preferred pulling the strings behind the scenes? Whatever.

In GRAND PRINCE, it was much easier to believe the motivations of Treasonous Uncle, who had been passed over because of conduct unbecoming a seja, and the emotionally insecure Treasonous Nephew he groomed to be a usurper.

In 100 DAYS MY PRINCE, Queen Park's machinations seem to have just fizzled out. After all that scheming, she lost her mojo. Did I miss the memo?!

As for evil masterminds, I just about went bonkers while watching GRAND PRINCE as Treasonous Uncle and Nephew Lee Kang repeatedly kicked Honorable Younger Nephew Lee Hwi's butt all around the block. I was ready to tear my hair out because the Queen Dowager and her advisor brother were so clueless about security, the opposition's collusion with foreign powers, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes Hwi was too idealistically fair-minded, or too family-oriented to distrust the relatives actively trying to kill him. It was frustrating to the max. Eventually even the hard-charging Lee Kang faltered, and decided to commit the Joseon equivalent of suicide by cop. Despite these shortcomings, I still enjoyed GRAND PRINCE.

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Well, it's understandable that this writer or any writer would not mess with Joseon's royal line even if the drama is pure fictional. That's just a line that no one would dare cross and no one has.
VP Kim has no royal blood so taking the throne is out of the question. The best he can do is control the king and his court.

I believe it's important for a king to acknowledge his subjects and their contributions. Eg from the drama is the king's gifts to Won Deok for his part in revealing magistrate Jo's scandals.
If the king's subjects feel left out and unappreciated then some will find a way to get what they think they deserve.

VP Kim implied that he was looked down upon. Maybe he was a low rank official in the beginning.
VP Kim came from a tragic family background so I think that was his motivation. If he has power, no one would treat him like crap or go hungry or look down on him even the king.

The thing is, he wasn't being overlooked because he was the Vice Premier since episode 1 when he planned the coup with the current king. He was already in a powerful position so I don't know what motivates him to replace the former king other than to kill more people and have another new puppet on the throne to play with.

Even when we get to the point where he reveals his motivation it's still poorly done. It kind of makes sense but we just don't feel sorry for him because it wasn't clear for more than half of the show why he was being so evil and who was he so freaking mad at lol.

This kind of ADD writing is enough give us viewers concussions. Queen Park suddenly disappeared from the scene and will probably come back as a bipolar saint, repented from all her evil schemes.

Someone just shoot me.

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Except for MDBC... where Yeong didn't die. And he was supposed to. They crossed the line there.

Re. VP Kim- I get him but I don't get him. The conversation with his daughter implies that he just does all this to fill some twisted and forever empty hole inside of him; maybe power plays make him feel something anything where he would otherwise not. But logistically I'm like, but why create a war? What does that even DO?
And yeah, I don't care about him because I didn't know enough at the beginning, and even if I did... that's why I think having a too intelligent and too evil villain is sometimes not always a good idea.

I basically don't put an awful lot of weight in anything that happened in the last half of episode 16, other than the Princess's story. Like you say, the ADD and whiplash writing in that gave me a headache.

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@sicarius, I was distressed to bits that LOVE IN THE MOONLIGHT'S Yeong Seja was based on a historical figure who died young. It was a bummer to think that he was going to bite the dust in a year or two. Very depressing. It took the edge off a show that had otherwise been quite enjoyable.

As with BLACK, I'll have to ignore chunks of the last couple of episodes. Stuff that earlier had no place in the show suddenly hogged center stage and ran out the clock, while plot points and character arcs that should have been addressed fell off the edge of the earth. Would it have killed Show to have delivered some heartwarming fanservice? After being put through all that tail chasing and the murder of Hong-shim's only remaining blood kin (aside from her nephew), the audience was entitled to romance and a doggone real wedding. Instead, the heroine petulantly went off her rocker. Or was possessed by Park Il-do. Harumph!

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@pakalanpikake
I actually kind of wish they'd kept at least partially to history though. I had it all worked out. Yeong should've faked his own death with Jinyoung's SL, and then he and Raonah could've lived happily, and then I guess if you needed a body, the SL could've taken his place. VOILA PROBLEM SOLVED. Not perfectly accurate but he still "dies". Instead they just... ignored that completely, that Yeong dies irl at 20... (Also I think he was actually 20 in the show... so uh he should've died in the show imo haha)

Yeah there are plenty of dramas that I like the body of and then the last episode, or the last couple of episodes are just... *splutters* *le sigh* stupid tbh, and don't fit with the rest of the show. It happens too often actually. I can't remember the last time a show ended well for me.

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@Sicarius November 4, 2018 at 3:28 PM

I like your solution to Yeong's real-life death. Sneaking out of the pages of history has a lot going for it. No exploding Ox Cart Of Doom needed. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake
Exactly! And also- deliberately faking one's death does not happen nearly as much as it should in dramaland. I don't mean "oops he died, jk he survived all that". I mean... legit intentional faking of death. Also if my memory serves me correctly, they don't actually know how IRL Yeong died. So there's wiggle room there. (He was probably poisoned but you know. Also it's a shame because he sounded like a super talented young man who probably would've been good for Joseon irl too)

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Right but they didn't mess with the royal line. Yeong was from the royal house of Yi same with our fictional Yul.

I enjoyed MDBC until it got to the end. I was on the faking death camp so they won't mess with the history but they got away with it saying it was based more on the novel than the history.

I like a more human villains like those in history because their motive makes sense.

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@kiara, I hear you about the historical and cultural reasons why Minister Kim was so fixated on having a grandson to control rather than staging a coup and installing himself. This is not Writer-nim's first drama, but it appears to be the first sageuk. I tried to tone down my expectations of this show, but have been unable to forget two compelling portrayals of arch-tyrant Yeonsangun in REBEL and SEVEN DAY QUEEN that clearly and sympathetically conveyed the villain's motivations. Since Minister Kim was the mover and shaker from the very beginning, his character should have been firmly established early on. Oh, well.

Don't get me started with Queen Park, who in my book was even more traitorous than Kim. She stabbed her husband in the back every time she took pot shots at his elder son.

I don't understand why one would pre-produce a drama but not have a finished script to work with up front. Alas, this is a sterling example of why the script should be completed before filming begins.

I really have to remind myself that tightly-plotted dramas that cross the finish line in a blaze of logical, realistic, and satisfying glory -- like LIFE ON MARS or CONSPIRACY IN THE COURT -- are rarities. Such shows manifest just often enough to raise our expectations while lulling us into forgetting that magic, divine inspiration, and the alignment of the celestial bodies are necessary ingredients in truly satisfying productions. ;-)

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Your last line... HAHAHAHAHAHA

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I was really hoping that Moo-yeon will live and be with So-hye. Their story of wanting freedom and love got me rooting for them- so watching Moo-yeon’s death is really heartbreaking.

It was also nice that the episode acknowledges Yul’s childhood friend Dong joo. So many tears for this episode.

PS. A lot of scenes where Kyung-soo turned to satansoo. Hahaha

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There's just the last episode to look forward to!
For me, this whole episode was just waiting for that Moo-Yeon death to happen. But can I just really say that I love the dynamic of all the side characters on this series and their connections to the main protagonists. Like Soo-ji's character, and even Ma-chil. And Dad's support and Gu-dol and Kkeut-nyeo's friendship. Gosh, I will miss the village gang.

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This episode did have me slightly worried that we weren’t going to get the happy ending we’re hoping for.
But other than that I’m disappointed with how this drama is handling the last few episodes.
I feel like a lot of the stuff that’s being dealt with now could’ve been done in the ealier episode. In not doing so the everything feels rushed and I feel the essence of the show has shifted slightly. Yul and Hs story feels like it’s been out on the back burner.

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Thank you for recapping, @lollypip! It's way past my bed time and I'm turning into a pumpkin, so I'll be back later to comment further. I'd simply like to state that I was really happy to see Yul grieve his swordsman and friend, Dong-joo. Just as I appreciated seeing Eunuch Yang's incremental recovery after his throat was cut, I've been hoping to see Yul mourn his faithful friend's ultimate sacrifice. It was lovely to see them sparring back in happier times.

I had steeled myself to the likelihood that Moo-yeon would not survive to the end of the show. Even so, his death scene drew a few tears. Manseh, Kim Jae-young, for your touching performance. Minister Kim is truly a heartlessly evil villain.

I especially enjoyed learning the significance of dandelions in Seja bi's and Moo-yeon's personal mythology.

Even before that, Hong-shim's conversation with him was telling. She seemed so indignant that Orabeoni had colluded with their father's killer in targeting Seja. And then there was the look on her face when she realized the true price Seok-ha had paid to keep her safe all these years.

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Moo-Yeon’s death was sad (reminded me of Boromir’ passing actually 😒) But it was his conversation with Hong Shim that got to me. He told her exactly his reasons for becoming Vice-Premier’s henchman, and confessed about his tragic love. Moo Yeon didn’t do the Noble Idiocy routine and thus exit the stage leaving Hong Shim confused and causing a last minute misunderstanding. Whatever Hong Shim will do in the final episode is knowing all the facts.

I’ll join the chorus and say I wish I’d seen more of Moo Yeon’s desperate conflict, instead of trying to guess if he was the daddy. He didn’t see any way out in the end except by meeting Yul and asking to be punished! That was an awesome scene as well. Has anyone noticed how the camera lingers on hands in this drama? In that scene Mooyeon grabbed Yul’s feet and pleaded. Before going to his death he slowly let go of the Crown Princess’ tiny hand.... for a character who got few lines but was supposed to convey pathos, the actor did well.

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Kim Jae-young gave a memorable portrayal of Moo-yeon. The tail-chasing about the baby's father got old fast. I, too, would rather have learned more about his back story -- and much earlier in the show instead of leaving most of it for the patented Kdrama 11th-Hour Info Dump And Tying Up Of Loose Ends.

You're absolutely right about Moo-yeon's meeting with Yul only to ask to be punished. Dang. No trying to dodge, deflect, or weasel out. He was ready and willing to face the music. That had to count for something. In speaking with his sister, too, Moo-yeon told it like it was and admitted to his misdeeds. I for one would rather deal with someone like him that the vast run of silver-tongued politicians infesting the court. His desperation when he grasped Yul's foot was just so doggone sad. It spoke volumes.

Truth to tell, I think that Yul dropped the ball when he ordered Moo-yeon and Seja bi released. It would have made so much more sense to put them in protective custody until the fighting was over. Did Yul underestimate Minister Kim's savagery? Although Hong-shim told him to punish her brother, I really didn't think Yul would just leave them wandering around at the mercy of Minister Kim. That was an unfortunate strategic blunder. If he'd played his cards better, he could have had a brother-in-law accomplished in dirty tricks with whom to spar. It would have been a great redemptive arc for the Yoon family.

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About the hand-holding imagery: I think it's referring back to Yul's angry response when he figured out that Seja bi was pregnant: "We haven't so much as held hands, and you're pregnant?!"

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I'll join the group mourning for Moo-yeon. I shed quite a few tears watching him getting executed like that. I kinda knew that the writer won't keep him alive, but i still HOPED the couple would get a happy ending and thus was more disappointed in the end...

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I was so frustrated , it was a horrible plan ... get rid of minister kim first ... and I mean they let you go at night , why you still in the forest ??😬😬

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Another way of looking at the dandelion story: Muyeon and So-hye's child is the physical representation of the metaphorical seeds that have spread. While the couple could not be together in their current life, their child is living proof of their love. And their love and memory will continue through that child.

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I was thinking about that too <3.
Hyuk said that Moo-yeon prepared a house by the mountain for his sister.
So-hye will probably get her dream house surrounded with flowers since Hong-shim will be with Yul.
I think Moo-yeon would've taken her there if he didn't die.

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I agree with you about the housing arrangements for Moo-yeon, Seja bi, and Hong-shim.

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@lollypip
Thank you so much! I think I checked out somewhere in the beginning of this episodes. At least I cleaned my room while trying to finish the rest of it.

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I wonder how it felt ...kneeling and begging the man who's father is king on the blood of your entire family ...

And also the entire journey as the crown princess knew she was about to die , the fear the helplessness of being a woman in those days ...

And then as she cried watching him die ... I might have to write about them in this months theme ...

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Thanks for the recap.

I was wishing for Yul not to be so hung up on revenge, a happy ending for MY, and a quick death for Minister Kim by Yul but realize that if that happened it would be the end of the drama.

Lots of angst to come before the final episode I'm sure.

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aw i have to admit a drama hasn't made me tear up in a long time, but moo yeon's death totally got me lol

was really hoping for a happy ending for moo yeon and crown princess. i thought their story was so tragic...i guess it had to end tragically :'(

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Thanks for wonderful review. I was mad at Moo-yeon’s death. Because of the generally unconventional path this drama has taken I thought we would avoid a tragic death of someone beloved. *disgruntledsigghhh*

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This episode had me in tears first with Yul mourning for his friend bodyguard's death, and with Moo-yeon's tragic fate...

That's why I appreciate so much the cute moments of HS and Yul in the palace. Although it was HS way of saying goodbye to Yul, it was still another lighthearted and sweet moment between the two, which my simple self just needs.

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