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The Crowned Clown: Episode 9

In the aftermath of the irreversible decisions made by the clown and his adviser, there’s no time to relax, as their enemies start to realize that something isn’t quite right. Even the slightest mistake can get people killed. It’s all one huge game of chess, with each side trying to guess what the other side will do before they make a move.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

So-woon goes to the library, and when Ha Sun shows, he’s adorably happy to see that she got his hint. He tells her to give him the gift he knows she prepared, and he’s pleased with the brush pouch that she embroidered with a pair of cranes. But his face falls when she mentions that he’s a good writer, so she quickly says he can also use it to hold his compass.

Ha Sun turns it over and sees the words she embroidered on the back. He can’t read them, but So-woon says them out loud: “A thousand years apart will not change my love for you.” Awwww ~melt~. Moved, Ha Sun says that he needs to confess something, but thankfully he only repeats the words she said to him the night she thought he was asleep, the first time she kissed him.

He recites her words perfectly, ending with, “I am in love with you. My heart feels like it will explode, and I wouldn’t even mind. That’s how much I love you.” They both have tears in their eyes by the time he’s finished.

Later Ha Sun walks So-woon back to her quarters, and when their hands touch, they both grow shy. Ha Sun takes So-woon’s hand and warms it with his, but So-woon says she’s already warm. Ha Sun takes out his compass and says he thinks it’s broken, because whichever way it points, he always ends up at her chambers. Silly boy.

As she’s getting the queen ready for bed, Ae-young asks why she’s smiling, though she already knows the answer. She says that So-woon is always smiling, and according to Ha Sun’s court ladies, he’s like a different person lately.

Yi-geom whines to his father to get him out of his new appointment, but Minister Shin isn’t listening — he’s thinking about the village head who told him about the clown who looked exactly like the king. He tells Yi-geom that he can’t avoid his appointment, but not to get on the boat heading to his new island and to wait in the port town.

He visits Prince Jin-pyung while he’s practicing his archery (and no wonder he missed Ha Sun that time — he’s terrible). Minister Shin says that if he’s going to practice on windy days, he’d better have a big target. Prince Jin-pyung takes aim at Minister Shin and asks if he’s doing it right, and Minister Shin says he knows Prince Jin-pyung and the queen dowager hate him, but he’s a victim who was only following his master’s orders.

He says he wants to make Prince Jin-pyung king, because the prince despises the king as much as he does, and dedicating himself to Yi Heon didn’t work out for him. Prince Jin-pyung growls that Minister Shin killed his father and grandfather and asks why he should trust him, and Minister Shin has two words for him: high treason.

When nobody is around, Moo-young leaves a letter of resignation on Minister Lee’s desk, bows towards the king’s quarters, and quietly leaves the palace.

Minister Lee and JS hold a private service for Yi Heon, and JS asks if Minister Lee can really handle taking things this far. Minister Lee repeats Ha Sun’s words that to save someone, you must sacrifice others, and JS asks how he can help. Minister Lee says there’s no way to help him — he’ll take full responsibility for his sin.

Minister Shin goes into the records and finds a portrait of the king, and soon notices are posted all over the city accusing the king of being an impostor. One man, who was at Minister Shin’s home the night Ha Sun broke in to confront Yi-geom, seems to remember seeing the face from the poster under the clown mask.

Gap-soo and Dal-lae see the notice and recognize Ha Sun, and they realize that this must be where Ha Sun disappeared to. Dal-lae accidentally blurts out that her brother is pretending to be the king, but Gap-soo tells the nosy peasants that of course it’s not true.

Minister Lee takes a poster to the Department of Justice and orders them to take all of the posters down. He heads to the gibang and asks Woon-shim where Dal-lae is, but Woon-shim admits that they’ve lost track of her, and Minister Lee leaves at a run.

At court assembly, Ha Sun notices nervously that Minister Lee still hasn’t returned. One minister has brought a poster for Ha Sun to see, and Ha Sun struggles to suppress his terrified reaction. The ministers inform him that rumors are spreading, and another suggests that he arrest all clowns.

Ha Sun snaps that he shouldn’t have to do that to calm the people, but the minister says it’s to scare the people. Ha Sun says that the clowns have done nothing wrong, but the ministers argue that the clowns will make jokes out of this, so they’re not exactly innocent.

A voice rings out — Minister Lee is back! He explains that he’s been dealing with the poster issue, telling the court that just the fact that a poster has caused such conflict proves that the people don’t have faith in the royal court. He says that the court ministers should seek the forgiveness of the king and the people instead of blaming the people.

He personally apologizes to Ha Sun, and says that they need to be seeking out the traitors who distributed the poster. Ha Sun agrees and orders the ministers to discover who it was immediately.

In private, Ha Sun worries that someone figured out his secret, but Minister Lee says they would have done something more serious if they knew for sure. Ha Sun is scared that Dal-lae will see the poster and worry about him, and he begs Minister Lee to make sure Woon-shim takes good care of her.

Minister Lee asks Eunuch Jo to make sure Court Lady Kim doesn’t serve Ha Sun from now on, and he tells Ha Sun to avoid court assemblies for now. They’re startled by Minister Shin’s arrival, and Minister Lee goes to talk to him. Minister Shin claims to be worried and asks permission to speak to the king privately, but Minister Lee refuses, saying that these things are none of his business now.

Minister Shin says that he heard about Minister Lee’s performance at court, and wonders why he stopped the ministers from arresting the clowns. He tsks that the king lets Minister Lee do whatever he wants and wonders what Minister Lee is planning. Minister Lee retorts that that’s what Minister Shin does, not him.

Court Lady Kim talks to Minister Shin while he’s there, and she tells him about the scar in the king’s ear that disappeared overnight. Minister Shin tells her to check the scar on the king’s chest, but she says it’s a huge risk for her. Minister Shin argues that Court Lady Kim poisoned and cursed the king’s consort, and when she says she was following his orders, he replies that he has evidence and witnesses that she acted alone.

When he goes to his office to meet with a couple of ministers regarding some urgent issues, Minister Lee finds Moo-young’s resignation letter on his desk. A guard arrives with a message from the Department of Justice that the court painter was found dead last night, murdered by a sword through the heart and left by a roadside.

While Ho-geol is outlining his rice tax calculations to a very distracted Ha Sun, Eunuch Jo comes in to say that the queen dowager wants to have tea with him. Ha Sun asks why, but when Eunuch Jo adds, “…and the queen…” he runs out of the room so fast he’s just a blur, HAHA. So cute.

So-woon and Ha Sun sneak little peeks at each other while the queen dowager slowly and deliberately pours the tea. The queen dowager smiles smugly to herself when So-woon sips her tea with dried flowers in it, then she comments that the king is so handsome, it’s odd that there’s another face exactly like his.

She tries to get So-woon to agree with her anxiety about the posters, but So-woon just says serenely that people who live harsh lives are easily swayed by rumors. She states that instead of reacting, the royal house should set a good example, and she offers to come up with a solution. Ha Sun looks like he could burst with pride.

The queen dowager asks if So-woon shouldn’t make it a priority in times of crisis to provide the king an heir. She blames the current problems on So-woon’s failure to conceive, but Ha Sun says it’s not the queen’s fault, because a child is sent from the heavens. He asks sarcastically if he should adopt Prince Jin-pyung, and So-woon looks like she’s trying not to laugh as Ha Sun decides that Prince Jin-pyung would be no fun.

As they’re leaving, So-woon tells Ha Sun that she was worried when she heard about the argument in the court over the posters. She says that if she’d been there, she’d have held his hand and run out like he did for her in the marketplace.

Prince Jin-pyung sees them looking happy together, so he goes straight to the queen dowager. She’s thrilled with the mayhem caused by the posters, and Prince Jin-pyung lets her think he’s behind them. She gloats that the only way for the king to get people to forget the rumors is to produce an heir, which worries Prince Jin-pyung after seeing Ha Sun and So-woon, but the queen dowager says she’ll never let them be happy with a child after the king took hers from her.

In the library, So-woon tries to read with Ha Sun staring at her adoringly. He says he should be working, but he’s in the middle of something important — gaining energy from seeing her. So-woon says she’ll be by his side any time he needs strength.

That night, Minister Shin takes a chest full of silver to Prince Jin-pyung, telling him to use it to add mercenaries to his personal army. He says that he’ll round up the ministers, and when Prince Jin-pyung asks if they’ll listen to him after he was demoted.

Minister Shin brags that he’ll just get his position back. He says that the Vice Minister of War of Ming will be visiting soon, and that he’s the only one strong enough to stand up to him, so the king will be forced to bring him back to court.

Minister Lee tells Ha Sun about the painter being found murdered, most likely to keep him from saying who commissioned the posters. He says he has some suspects but no proof, so Eunuch Jo suggests that he have Moo-young investigate the royal family. Minister Lee has to tell them that Moo-young resigned.

The peasant who recognized Ha Sun from the poster tells Minister Shin that Ha Sun was the clown who burst into his home that night, demanding satisfaction for what Yi-geom did to his sister. He says that Ha Sun was at the gibang, so the gisaeng Woon-shim should know where he is now. He mentions that Woon-shim and Minister Lee are friends, and Minister Shin thanks him for the crucial information just before his man stabs the peasant to death.

Minister Shin summons Woon-shim, and she takes offense at the rude order and refuses, but when it looks like blood might be shed, Woon-shim agrees to go. Someone sends Minister Lee a note about what’s happening, but by the time he reads it, Woon-shim is already in front of Minister Shin being asked about a clown named Ha Sun.

She says that she knows him, but she doesn’t know where he is. Minister Shin orders Woon-shim tortured and gives permission to kill her if she doesn’t speak. His man backhands Woon-shim when she struggles, but thankfully, Minister Lee barges in before Minister Shin’s man can drag her away. He sends Woon-shim out and stays to confront Minister Shin.

Minister Shin laughs that he called Woon-shim here because he heard Minister Lee adores her. He tells Minister Lee not to act innocent and noble, and he says that he heard the clown who looks like the king performed at his favorite gibang. Minister Lee says that someone must have seen the poster and spread a rumor, and Minister Shin chuckles that Minister Lee being so annoyed must mean his posters were onto something.

Minister Lee warns him to be careful and stalks out. He finds Woon-shim waiting to make sure he’s okay, and she insists she’s fine, but he sees the blood on her mouth. Worried, she tells him that Minister Shin asked about Ha Sun, and Minister Lee says that Minister Shin used her as bait to catch him.

Spotting someone in the shadows, Minister Lee calls out that he wondered who sent him the note, and Moo-young steps into the light. Moo-young admits that he couldn’t leave after seeing the poster, though he wonders why. Minister Lee tells Moo-young that his instinct to watch Minister Shin was correct because he’s noticed something.

Eunuch Jo informs Court Lady Kim that the king no longer requires her personal services, and he threatens to have her dragged away when she wants to hear it from the king himself. He goes inside and Ha Sun apologizes for troubling him, and sends him to get some rest.

As soon as he’s gone, the eunuch on duty takes a tea tray from Court Lady Kim, which she’s dosed with white powder, in to Ha Sun. Ha Sun drinks the tea, and after he’s fallen into a drugged sleep, Court Lady Kim slips in through the secret passageway. She unties Ha Sun’s robes to check for a scar — and the moment she sees it, Ha Sun grabs her arm.

He leaps up snarling, frightening Court Lady Kim, who says she just came to take the tea pot away and heard him breathing erratically. Ha Sun smashes the bowl and asks if Court Lady Kim has a death wish.

A flashback shows that this was all planned between Ha Sun and Minister Lee, who decided to set a trap of their own to catch whoever put up those posters. Minister Lee had guessed that they would try to verify Ha Sun’s identity, and Ha Sun had said that as a clown, he can play any part.

His impression of Yi Heon is dead-on as he glares at Court Lady Kim and accuses her of drugging him. He asks who ordered her to do this, and when she swears she just made a mistake, he asks if she’s willing to die for it. He calls in Eunuch Jo, who’s waiting with guards, and has Court Lady Kim taken away screaming.

She’s brought to Minister Lee, who says that they suspect Minister Shin of putting up the posters. He tells Court Lady Kim to go tell Minister Shin what she found and have him confess to setting up the posters, and he’ll ask the king to spare her life.

Scared, Court Lady Kim does as she’s told. She tells Minister Shin about seeing the king’s scar and mentions the posters, and he asks how she knows he did it. She says she already suspected him when he ordered her to look for the scar, and confirms that he also killed the painter.

She starts to head back to the palace, but Minister Shin brings in the so-called eunuch she conspired with. Minister Shin asks darkly why she didn’t mention getting caught, and Court Lady Kim falls to her knees saying that the king threatened her life. Minister Shin tells her not to expect him to spare it.

Moo-young spots a woman entering the palace and follows her. He grabs her and she whirls around, but it’s not Court Lady Kim. He tells Minister Lee, who tells Ha Sun that Court Lady Kim has disappeared, as well as the eunuch she paid to drug him.

Without Court Lady Kim, all they have against Minister Shin is suspicions, but at least they can safely guess that she told Minister Shin about Ha Sun’s scar. Minister Lee knows that Minister Shin’s power comes from his wealth, so Minister Lee decides to hit him where it hurts.

At the next court assembly, Ha Sun announces that he’s ready to implement the rice payment law. His detractors warn that the landlords will oppose this, but Ha Sun asks why they’re more worried about the landlords than the people who are starving. He says firmly that people will pay taxes according to how much they have, no exceptions.

Prince Jin-pyung points out that it’s unlawful to make landlords given land by previous kings pay taxes, but Ha Sun states that he’s spoken, so it can’t be taken back. Even Minister Lee is surprised, and he remembers telling Ha Sun that once the king speaks, there’s no going back.

In support of Ha Sun’s work to feed the people, So-woon orders the royal kitchens to prepare less food from now on.

While studying, Eunuch Jo snacks from the same bowl as Ha Sun, which is adorable (because everything Eunuch Jo does is adorable). Ha Sun asks why the rice payment law failed once before when it seems so fair. Eunuch Jo says that it’s because most of the officials are landlords, and Minister Shin holds the most land, so naturally he made sure it got canceled.

He also tells Ha Sun about So-woon supporting him by reducing the amount of food served in the palace. Ha Sun vows to also eat less and closes up the bowl of snacks, but Eunuch Jo says they should at least eat what they already have, hee.

Ha Sun asks Eunuch Jo to read a document sent to him by the Office of Astrology. It says that the stars were obscured by clouds last night and the horizon is hazy, so the king is warned to watch his behavior. Ha Sun asks if it will snow, and Eunuch Jo says it will according to his creaky knees.

Ha Sun sends a book to So-woon, which Ae-young complains is a terrible gift, but So-woon loves it. She notices that it’s only the first of two books, and inside is a note telling So-woon to come to the library tonight to read the second volume.

When she shows up, the library is empty. She finds the second volume on a shelf, and inside it is another note telling her to look in a third book. The note in the third book tells So-woon that there’s something stuck to her face, and on the back it says it’s her beauty. ~groan~

So-woon imagines Ha Sun writing notes and slipping them inside books for her to find. One says, “Even if I die missing you, I am happy to have known you.” Another one reads, “I miss you. No matter how much I see your face, I miss you.” The last note says, “Come to the highest place in the palace. I will be waiting for you there.”

She runs to a balcony above the palace grounds and finds Ha Sun there as promised. She throws herself into his arms, and he hugs her back. He asks why she was running, and So-woon shows him the notes and says it was because she received so many gifts from him. Ha Sun apologized for not being able to give her more, but she says they’re the most precious gift on Earth — his heart.

It begins to snow, and Ha Sun admits that he planned this because he wanted to experience the first snow with her. Smiling brightly, So-woon says that the snowflakes remind her of stars. Watching her, Ha Sun grows serious, then leans in and kisses her.

As they lose themselves in their love, we see So-woon’s hand holding the note that says, “Even if I die missing you, I am happy to have known you.”

 
COMMENTS

Aside from all the court machinations and scary ministers and kings being murdered for their throne, I just love Ha Sun and So-woon’s love story. It’s so simple and pure, and such a haven for them both when all the political pressure gets to be too much. They seem to just understand each other, and I love their unsullied joy just to be together. But their romance is also tinged with a sense of sorrow, as if its dishonest beginning portends a tragic ending, and it makes me scared for them both.

You can see the sadness in Ha Sun whenever he lets himself remember that So-woon isn’t really his wife. At least now she’s technically not committing adultery, but she’s so pious and moral that I have a feeling that she won’t see things that way when she learns the truth. And you know she will, because Ha Sun is too good of a person not to tell her. He knows that she loves him for who he is, but eventually his guilt over lying to her will get the better of him and he’ll confess that he’s not really her husband. I know it has to happen, but I’m dreading that day and watching both of their hearts breaking.

My feelings are so torn on Minister Lee right now — on the one hand, I do believe that he truly wants a better world for the people of Joseon, and I even admire that he’s willing to do the hard behind-the-scenes work to make that happen. On the other hand, he’s dangerously obedient at times, even killing children just because he’s told to. On top of that, he has a distressing habit of making vows which he’s perfectly willing to throw out once he decides that the vow no longer serves his purpose. He vowed loyalty to Yi Heon so many times, but when someone else showed up that could help Minister Lee create his better world, Minister Lee was willing to murder the young man he’d sworn to protect. I don’t think that Minister Lee does these things lightly or easily, but the fact that he’s already shown himself capable of breaking his vows when they become inconvenient makes me wary to trust him on Ha Sun’s behalf.

I’m also worried because Ha Sun has gone very suddenly from being the lowest of the low, below even peasants, to having more power than anyone in the kingdom. For now he’s using that power for good, and he has strong ideals that are admirable. But that kind of power won’t be easy to control, especially since Ha Sun has a personal ax to grind, and I worry that he’ll be tempted to abuse his power if Minister Shin or Yi-geom make him angry enough. When that happens, will Minister Lee help and support him, or will he get rid of him like he did Yi Heon when he abused his power? I’d like to believe that Minister Lee would help Ha Sun find his moral compass again, but he’s proven that his ideals weigh more than individuals, so I’m not sure he won’t end up the worst threat of all to Ha Sun in the end.

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While studying, Eunuch Jo snacks from the same bowl as Ha Sun, which is adorable (because everything Eunuch Jo does is adorable)

Yes, never has a truer word been spoken about Eunuch Jo 💕💕

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I giggled when Eunuch Jo said his knees never failed him when it comes to snow forecast.

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SOMEONE PLEASE HEED MY WORDS. I want a video compilation of every adorable Eunuch Jo and Ha Seon interaction! Please!

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I keep mesmerising Yeo Jin-goo's acting here... His expression to Soo-won is both falling in love with her, while feeling guilty (because he's not the real King and the real Husband).

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I love Court Lady Kim's character so much! Don't hurt her!!! 😭😭😭

"I will miss you my whole life, even if I die, I am happy to have known you." Ugh. This isn't gonna end well, is it? Looks like they already put in all the fluff this episode because the next ones are bound to put me in tears. All the same it's better if the Queen finds out already than to continue living in a blissful relationship that's been built on lies.

I think Haseon is someone who lives in the moment and doesn't let himself get bound by rules. This characteristic is like a double-edged sword. It's what made the Queen fall for him and for Chief Secretary to see that he can be a great leader. But at the same time, it's also his flaw and could be his bane. He follows whatever he feels is right in the moment and he lets it cloud his judgment. He's letting his love for the Queen forget that he's not really her husband. And reality will stab him really hard eventually.

In the teaser for the next episode, it looks like the Queen will already find out the truth because she will find Haseon's actual Hanja writings. Haseon's born talented but it's just impossible to master Chinese characters in the short period of time he's stayed in the palace. Somebody put his Hanja writings against Yi Heon's and Haseon's handwriting totally looks that of a child. It's actually adorable. LOL.

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Oh, and also a shout out to Haseon's incredible Yi Heon performance! I love how Yeo Jin Goo played Haseon's version of Yi Heon differently from how he actually portrayed Yi Heon. That scene where it looks like he's sound asleep and he suddenly grabs Court Lady Kim's wrist. *Shivers*

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Yes, I noticed he was playing a slightly exaggerated version of Yi Heon--as if he were playing the King on a stage. I can only applaud you, Jin Goo.

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I do notice it's slightly less intense or less like a maniac when Jin Goo as Ha Seon acts like... Yi Heon. I love it. And I agree about CL Kim. I really liked her somehow T_T

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True. She's working for the villains but at the same time, I can sense her inner conflict. And she has this aura that makes me feel as if there's more to her than she lets on. She's definitely a very interesting character for me and I enjoy watching her scenes.

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Sloppy of them not to arrest the eunuch who brought the drugged tea, especially if it was a prepared trap.

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He probably ran back to Shin before they could catch him.

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Or sloppy to not have someone watching for him. This is the part that I try not to thing too hard about in every sageuk.

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Minister Lee continues to be such a dynamic character. Once he makes a decision he follows it through to the end and accepts the consequences that may come, without feeling any regret. I admire his conviction, while being horrified at what he does with it, while also being empathetic to why he feels he needs to go to such extremes. I don't see him blindly following orders to kill the Yi Heon's younger brother, he did it because he knew it would ensure Yi Heon's power. He truly is loyal to his country first. But that makes him probably the most dangerous person to Ha Sun. Because you know there will be a moment when Ha Sun wants to do something Minister Lee thinks is foolish or harmful, and there will be a clash that will not end well for one or both of them.

As much as I squeed at the kiss, and as sweet as the romance is, I'm looking more forward to it falling apart than I did to it growing. Their love exists in this unreal state of innocence, when in reality its foundation is deceit. Ha Sun is very much a feel first, think later kind of person, and while that works for a clown, that kind of action is disastrous for someone with the responsibility and power of a King. He seems poised to learn that in some very painful ways. I want to see if their love can stand the test that it will be put through when she finds out who he really is, because it will be all the stronger and more real if it does.

The plot moved so quickly that they burned through what I thought would take at least 4 episodes in 1. Again, I cannot tell exactly where the writer is going with this, but my worries from last week have abated some. I am excited about the possibilities for the rest of the drama.

In memoriam: I missed King Cray this episode. I can't believe how much I still mourn the death of an arguably terrible person. I still love how much I didn't hate him, even though I should have. (Farewell again Jin Goo, we will try and solace ourselves with Jin Goo)

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I'm disturbed that Ha sun does not seem to have any conflicting feelings over the murder of the king. There is no way he does not know right? Maybe he does not know all the details but he must have an idea about it or desired it when he claimed he wants to be the king for real.

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The only one who knows of Yi Heon's death are Yi Kyu and Jung Saeng (the monk). I believe Haseon only thinks Yi Heon is currently far away from the throne and is perhaps getting treated.

As for truly desiring Yi Heon's death. Maybe yes, maybe no. There was anger in him when he asked if Yi Heon was already dead while YH was passed out. Yi Heon did put him through a lot after all.

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You're right he might not know for the time being whether the king is dead or not. However when he previously declared that he wanted to be the king for real, I understood that as him wanting the throne permanently. And I can't see how he would see that possible without the current king being gone for good. There is no way that he would think Yi Heon would forego the throne on his own will, so what other way is there other than the real kings murder would be for him to be the king? Therefore I think he wanted the king to be killed either consciously or subconsciously. Now that he is on the throne we didn't see him ask about the king at all or worry about his return. Maybe he thinks he is being treated somewhere but I can only see that as willful ignorance on his part and am disturbed by it.

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Yes when he said he wants to be king it also means he need the real king removed from his path. I am sure he said it because he is sure he can do a lot for the benefit of the country than yi heon and also because of so woon. So woon is such a magnet to him. He is totally in love, that he even doesn't care that he is not her actual husband. As long as he can be with her he seems to have made up his mind to live with this lie.

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I see what you mean. I also got quite scared the way he asked if the King's already dead. But given what he went through, it's obvious he would be bitter.

A thing about Haseon is he acts on impulse. He can be quite reckless but he never means harm to innocent people. He has seen how Yi Heon easily ordered death even to those who are innocent, and even experienced it firsthand himself. He is also letting his love for Sowoon cloud his better judgment.

We've seen slight moments of Haseon going dark like in Ep 2 and I'm interested where the writers will take his character in the coming episodes.

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I'm curious about the reaction of Ha Sun when he will know about the death of the King. All his scenes with the Queen are very cute but should he be more concerned about the politics than his love for the Queen? Poor Ho-geol who worked a lot and couldn't explain it to Ha Sun :D

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It's bother me so much too. But then again it nakes sense he doesn't get concern. If he actually doesn't mind the king's dead, it means the writers take Ha Sun's character darker than I thought. But looking at him being a revenge mode in the earlier episode, it's not out of character if he accept Yi heon's death and know from the start what happen.

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I think ha sun was overwhelmed by the mathematical explanation haha. 😅😅 Ha sun aure isnt 100% pure even though his ideals are admirable. At least for now he is not a noble idiot.

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Lets not beat around the bush...this is no longer a "prince and the pauper" tale. This is a coup.

Sure, Lee Kyu has attempted to carryd out an invisible coup..but there is no getting away from the facts that this was for his own ends. Our clown is now nothing more than a usurper king and for the time being a puppet.

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I could watch Ha Sun watch So-woon all day. His expression in that scene is just beautiful. However, we all know there is a storm coming and the fallout is going to be devastating, especially for So-woon. I worry for her heart because she has been through so much only to be deceived by someone she loves. She still believes it's her husband (although I'm surprised she didn't catch on when YH returned; the whiplash between YH's aggression and HS's sweetness should have raised a red flag). And frankly, I don't trust Lee. When HS starts to act on his own, which you know he will cause he's a firecracker, Lee won't sit by and take it. Lee's promises mean nothing because he breaks them so easily. Things are going to get much worse before they get better; IF they get better cause you never know who will be left standing or even alive in a sageuk.

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"Lee's promises mean nothing because he breaks them so easily"

I think you are a little bit hard on him. He did a lot of things for his King during years. He tried to help him. He tried to leave the Palace but the King threated all the people he cared about to stop him. I think nothing was easy in the decisions he took.

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Yeah i agree. Lee did break his promise. But so much happened that led to it. So it probably wasn't so easy.

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He promised loyalty. Loyalty would have involved helping YH to get away from drugs and if at all possible help him regain a measure of health, not just tie him up or poison him. Loyalty doesn't mean you kill someone. Even if he thought YH was beyond help, he didn't have the right to take his life. He played judge, jury, and executioner. Maybe Lee thought it was a mercy killing but he will never know if YH could have recovered because he didn't allow enough (or any) time to pass.

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But the King did nothing to deserve his loyalty either. If monarchy doesn't exist anymore, it's because it's not fair that someone can destroy everything under the pretext he's the King. He tried to heal him, he tied him because the King was hurting himself. I agree that murderer is big crime but the other options were not good enough. The King didn't want to leave the Palace. How many people have to die for the King to be healthier?

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How about when Lord Gil’s followers were being persecuted and Queen’s father sentenced death? He did nothing under the shield of “I’m loyal and obedient to the king”. When he had hope in the king his loyalty was unconditional. Now that he has a plan B, it suddenly needs to be earned?

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@geliguolu I'm curious, what do you want him to do?

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@kurama Start keeping his promise would be nice.

I’m not saying he shouldn’t stop the king. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, right not, yet. Just saying he can’t keep promises and his loyalty is a bullshit as the other Minister. Ha Sun should send someone else to find and protect his sister.

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I think Haksan is only loyal to his own cause.
He abandoned and killed his king when he no longer meet his needs.
Mercy killing my foot, he is better off dead and out of the way because he has Ha Sun to implement the Daedong law.

The only person with loyalty was Court Lady Jang. The queen dowager is no angel mother. She ordered people to be killed and poisoned but Jang volunteered to take the fall for her.

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@geliguolu But how? It's easy to say keep his promise.

@kiara But his cause is not his own interest like Minister Shin but the korean people.

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This is politics. He gets power and redemption from abandoning Lord Gil and his followers at the same time.
It is his cause for him and for the people.

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Urgh. so frustrated that Minister Lee forgot the eunuch court lady kim bribed... I mean this is Minister Shin you're dealing with, you have to be one step ahead if you want to be someone as sly as him.

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All the fluff in this episode can only mean one thing: dark times are coming... and we have to wait another week!!

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The minister of astrology warned
Ha sun to watch his behaviour and then ha sun goes and kisses the queen haha. All that letter on missing but being happy of knowing them seems like an ominous symbol of the hard times that looms over the queen and ha sun. The gibang man who told minister Shin about ha sun is actually the person who lured dal rea to meet yi geom. He faced instant karma though. I worried the rating will drop since they killed off yi heon, and it seems it did drop. People really seemed to love yi heons character, even though he is shown as evil and ruthless.

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Its amazing how ratings went to 10% when yi heon reappeared in ep 7 and 8 and the dropped again to 6 after he was killed off.

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I’m not surprised. I just hope the writer and PD have good enough material for 7 more episodes. From the interviews it sounds like they planned the deathly plot twist since the beginning, which is what attracted Kim Sang Kyung to join a “remake” project.
@fanwho shared the translated interview on last OT thread. http://www.dramabeans.com/2019/02/open-thread-589/#comment-3400690

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Kim Sang Kyung and Jin-goo together is the highlight of every episode!
They are amazing on screen and they also contribute to the filming behind the scenes.
I do love PD Nim for being so open to suggestions from the actors. You can feel the chemistry on and off screen.

I mentioned laughing my head off at Kim Sang Kyung's flying kick at Jin-goo in the throne room but I didn't make the connection to his film "MEMORIES OF MURDER" (arguably the best film from Korea according to the critics and viewers alike). It's a Bong Joon-ho film with Song Kang-ho in the lead.

"Kim Sang Kyung explained his flying kick by saying, “Yeo Jin Goo’s facial expression while looking at me was so funny. This was actually an homage to ‘Memories of Murder.’ That fly kick was something that Song Kang Ho did to me. The line in the movie was, ‘Is this a clown kingdom?’ but I couldn’t do it because it was too direct.”

Credit to S.Park @ soompi.
https://www.soompi.com/article/1301665wpp/yeo-jin-goo-lee-se-young-and-kim-sang-kyung-share-stories-behind-memorable-scenes-in-the-crowned-clown

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Memories of Murder is amazing! Kim Sang Kyung also talked about that homage in the special episode. It's really great how the cast and director work so well together in making adlib scenes so much fun.

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Agree! "MEMORIES OF MURDER" is on a league of it's own. The black comedy went over my head though but I went back and watched it again lol.
I couldn't get into SIGNAL because I kept thinking about MEMORIES OF MURDER.

So are we going to get 3 eps next week or just 2?

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Only two. The Crowned Clown will be airing until first week of March.

There was a scene in MoM that had me screaming that I had to go out of the room to regain my composure and watch again. It's really sooo good and one of the K-movies that I always recommend to anyone who would listen.

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Thank you <3.

Same here. My first recommendation to any movie geek.

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It's Lunar New Year so the drop in ratings is expected across the board but it's a big drop and Yi Heon's death still lingers.

The romance is complicated so it's hard to cheer for someone who is knowingly coveting someone else's wife and position.

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Although Yi Heon's death could be a factor, this week's ratings have already been expected to drop weeks ago due to the Lunar New Year. This is also why they hurriedly patched up a special episode for Tuesday instead of airing Ep 10, when they didn't initially plan on cancelling the episode (the special ep was only filmed last Saturday).

It's been talked about by netizens how TCC is pretty unlucky with the timing. It premiered with a soccer match, a few weeks ago it once again overlapped with a soccer match. Then this week it overlapped with the Lunar New Year holidays this time. Then after the holidays, there are 3 new shows coming in. It's quite hard to gain momentum in the ratings like this, because everytime it rises, something else comes up and breaks the momentum.

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Oh yes lunar new year could be the reason as well. It completely went over my head. As its not a familier event for me. Hope the ratings will go up next time. ❤️

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@weaselking circulate9oo,

Re: preemptions, I've thought the same thing about CLEAN WITH PASSION FOR NOW, which was preempted on New Year's Eve and Day, both days the following week for soccer matches, and again on Jan. 23 for another soccer game. The finale aired on Monday (New York time), so it may have gotten the Lunar New Year whammy as well. It really undercut the show's momentum, and I felt bad for the cast and crew.

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So where’s my episode 10? I need to see two before I can make sense of things. And Ming is going to enter into the equation soon... innnnteresting.

You know what, Minister Shin is a no-good villain, but I find myself nodding along when he told Secretary Lee: “So, I heard you spoke to the court as if you were the king... don’t act all noble and innocent.” It’s bait and I love it.

I love their confrontations and strategising. In fact, they are moving the story along. Ha Sun is still too passive and making me fret by behaving like himself when he knows Yi Heon was way more intense (not that he should be kicking people of course). That’s why I enjoyed his little act with Court Lady Kim. Gah, can we have more of that?

Dry comedy moment: Jin-Pyung sucks at archery 🤣

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Shin is the only one who knows Haksan well and he keeps him on his toes.
It's pure comedy when they taunt each other.

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“A thousand years apart will not change my love for you.”

“Even if I die missing you, I am happy to have known you.”

...I suddenly feel terribly sure that Ha Sun is going to die in the end.

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It does seem like it was some heavy foreshadowing. They showed it twice.

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@katrine Andrea, @ndlessjoie mugyuljoie,

I agree about the fatal foreshadowing, but if Yi Heon had had his way, the clown would have already bought the farm. In a best-case scenario, one could hope that Ha Sun gets to fake his death.

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And ride off into the sunset with his sister and the former queen.

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I know! and I make it a habit, at this particular time when my work and life in general is super stressful - not to watch dramas with sad endings. But this episode was so angsty that I felt stressed and on edge during and after watching it, because I can't see any "happy" ending for our clown, the queen, the sister, or Secretary Lee.

With the repetition of the sentiment that once the king has given an edict, it cannot be undone/changed, and the fact that Dal-re is the biggest threat to exposing that Ha-seon is masquerading as Yi Heon, and also to exposing that Yi Heon has been murdered, because she can connect him to the monastery and the monk who cared for him, makes me wonder if Secretary Lee is going to advise Ha-seon that Dal-re is too dangerous to live. What happens if he has to choose between the queen and his sister? And also, once the queen starts to suspect, what is she going to do?

This particular type of angst is not something I really enjoy. I don't mind if there's a chance of a happy resolution, but I just don't see it here. Still, the acting and story are just too good to stop watching, although I don't look forward to new episodes now! sob!

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I don't think Yi Kyu would go as far as suggest to Haseon to sacrifice Dallae's life, but then at the same time, Yi Kyu deliberately did not tell Haseon that Woonshim had lost contact with Dallae because Yi Kyu knew it would distract Haseon.

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@vespertyne, I don't know if this will help, but what the heck. At times like this, I often medicate with a comedy or two. To kill two birds zombies with one stone, I watched Ju Ji-hoon's dual performance in I AM THE KING as the future King Sejong's doppelgaenger.
http://asianwiki.com/I_am_the_King_-_Korean_Movie

I'm presently laughing my butt off while watching 100 DAYS WITH MR. ARROGANT. http://asianwiki.com/100_Days_with_Mr._Arrogant
Considering Kim Jae-won's recent poignant turn in GOD'S QUIZ: REBOOT, it's great fun to see Ha Ji-won in her Sailor Jumun uniform warming up to fix his wagon. The Korean cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is daebak. I just posted it on my fan wall. ;-)

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Life (and ep.9) got in the way of my ep 8 comments.

So here's combined thoughts on both...

I really never expected to get attached to Cray 👑. From the title, to the movie, to the sheer difficulty and practicality of filming equal parts of both characters, I never expected the king to be visually around for most of the drama. Then episode 7 happened. It got my hopes up. I started thinking Cray 👑 makes all matters unpredictable because, well, he crazy.

He added a great degree of tension on-screen that no other villain in drama is capable of. The other evil forces are just talking and making evil faces. Not our Cray 👑. He does what he says. I’m not mad he got killed off. I’m just disappointed I won’t see more of Jingoo playing this role.

About the “loyal” Minister Lee, somehow I’m not surprised he betrayed the king. All the righteous politicians in sageuks who pushed reform turned on their king. He reminds me of SamBong in Six Flying Dragon who saw the young prince (Yoo Ah In) as a potential ruler, fed him hopes and unicorn dreams to rule for a better society, then when their agendas didn't line up exactly, he pushed the prince aside and told him he ain’t good enough to be king. Yes there is truth to his/their words, but actions have made them absolutely unreliable allies. How Minister Lee killed a little boy to gain Yi Heon's trust, how he remained utterly silent to accusations against the Queen's father, his good friend, who would have died if Ha Sun didn't intervene, makes him a lowkey scumball of a confidant.

As much as I love watching Ha Sun pull all the best tricks of flattery (you player) to make So Woon happy, I'm really on the fence with Ha Sun's character. I don’t know what to think of this cheerful clown anymore because he just gone from unrequitted love to an outright wife stealer. And I don’t know which is worse, if he did it knowing Cray 👑 is dead, or if he did it thinking he’s still alive and have a chance to return and punish the Queen.
The poor Queen is about to commit adultery in the dark. I'm worried if she could handle the truth.

Ha Sun has been quite reckless from the beginning, like how he stole the fish when the rich didn't pay him. Or how he ran to beat up the rapest with just a mask and two fists. It seems when he decides to go all out, consequences will not weigh him down. In the court he showed how he used "The King's word is law" to push his agenda. Currently Minister Lee is ok with that, even slightly proud of his boldness. Let's see how proud he feels when the puppet starts pulling off his strings.

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Yes i agree. If they wanted to portray ha sun as a total noble character they'd have pulled a melo where ha sun has deep feelings for the queen but restraining himself because she does not belong to him. But the ha sun in the drama is not like that at all. He is openly romancing the queen and have been quite bold from the beginning, in the situations you mentioned and also when he was caught by minister lee for insulting the queen (in his clown performance ) he was reluctant to apologise and talked back at minister lee. Ha sun is a character that i would like to explore more. He is innocent but can be quite determined when he needs something done.

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I don't know, noble or not Joseon was deeply rooted in Confucianism and adultery was severely punished back then. I would think that a death penalty would be enough to scare the heck out of anyone. Dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow etc. Not to mention 3 generations of your family wiped out. This is the king's wife we are talking about and it's not just adultery but treason.
This was not only a law in the Joseon but in other cultures too. People would get stoned to death for such act. It was wrong back then and it is still wrong now so he is being reckless.
If he's found out, everyone around him will get their head chopped off including the queen.
Also, he's got a sister to protect and she is not going to be safe if he is dead.

Even with that kind of outcome in mind, I still don't know what will happen in the end. We might get another , "did not see that coming" in the next episodes.

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Thank you @lollypip for the recap as always!

"Prince Jin-pyung growls that Minister Shin killed his father and grandfather.."

Could it be Jin-pyung's father and brother and not his grandfather that Minister Shin killed?
I believe Prince Jin-pyung is Yi Heon's nephew and the late king was his grandfather. If Prince Jin-pyung was Yi Heon's brother, he would not be allowed to participate in government affairs.

Possible historical inspiration from Gwanghae's era:
Gwanghae (Yi Heon/Ha Sun) was 3rd in line to the throne. Yi Ui (Yul) would be first as the legitimate heir. His older brother Imhae (Jin-pyung's father) would be 2nd in line.
Yi Ui and Imhae were both killed during Gwanghae's reign.

In this drama Yul was killed by Haksan and Jin-pyung's father was killed by Shin.

They are pretty vague and stingy when it comes to our characters backstories so I'm guessing here.

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Since it's more fiction than history it's hard to figure out. I thought perhaps Jin-Pyung was based on Prince Jeongwon, future King Injo's father... but I really have no idea. We might still meet new characters.

In sum, I have no idea who will be sitting on the throne at the end LOL

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Yes they don't really follow it at all and I don't expect them to but the similarities does help.
Jin-pyung could still be inspired by Injo but they don't have to follow history with his real father.

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Reading the recap and the comments make me feel guilty for enjoying Ha Seon's and So Woon's romance. I don't want to accept that Ha Seon could be darker than he seems and I don't want to accept that Sect. Lee might the the most dangerous person to him. But I can't disagree with you guys either. :\

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You know what, I feel you. I still ship Haseon and Sowoon really hard, but deep down, we do know that Haseon is fueling a relationship between Sowoon and him that is built on lies. He is letting himself live in an illusion when the truth is, the Queen doesn't love him as Haseon yet. Ugh, their scenes this episodes are sooo cute though. But yeah... I really badly need for Sowoon to already find out the truth, whatever the consequences will be. At least I'll have the fluff from Ep 9 to break the fall, I guess.

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You shouldn't feel guilty for enjoying whatever connects with you in the drama.
I'm always in a history bubble when it comes to sageuks and I hardly ever get out of it but that's what I enjoy most so I don't feel guilty lol.

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Finally the true love kiss!
I already prepare myself with the upcoming tears!

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Is there a specific reason for the recaps being so late 😅 i know the writers have their own lives as well so im sorry. But being waiting for a long time 😢 we are impatient because we love your recaps. If you are going through some personal issue, commitments then its fine. Just saying though.

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I've been very sick this week. Episode 10 should be up later today, and I'm playing catch-up as fast as I can.

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YJS is so great! Like the acting for being angry Ha Seon doesn't cross the line to be like the angry real King.

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