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Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung: Episodes 17-20 Open Thread

The historians are back in the spotlight this week as we learn just how important and dangerous it is to record every palace minutiae, and why steadfastness of character matters a lot in a seemingly tiring desk job. There’s also a dizzying amount of progress in the romance front. But if you hate that kind of thing, don’t worry, the show balances it with a lot of pain. (Also, who hurt you?)

 
EPISODES 17-20 WEECAP

Let’s just say that the Office of Royal Decrees is having a bad week.

First, the crown princess brings two clueless rookie historians to a confrontation with Prince Jin. Despite Jin’s warnings about who’s listening, the crown princess details her desperation as the public blames Joseon’s bad luck on her inability to produce an heir, not knowing that her husband has never even spent the night with her during the auspicious dates. She refuses Jin’s apologies and hands him the next date for making royal babies, asking him to be there.

Eun-im and Ah-ran record the whole conversation, giving Historian Yang a headache. On the surface, it sounds like a personal issue between the couple which shouldn’t be written down, but it is part of the rookies’ duties to write what happens in the Inner Palace now. Then again, it seemed like the crown princess deliberately used the apprentices to pressure the crown prince, setting a bad precedent.

Yang dumps the decision on Woo-won since he’s the crown princess’s brother AND Jin’s childhood friend. Woo-won chooses to keep the record despite a personal visit from Jin appealing for his wife’s sake. (It’d be embarrassing for a crown princess to be on record begging her husband to spend the night with her.) Woo-won Bot’s only concession to his relationship to both parties is to ask for Jin’s understanding towards his sister. Jin’s only concession is to send all the court ladies away before entering the princess’s chambers that night and apologizing to her. Read: still no on the royal babies.

Woo-won’s inflexibility comes to bite him in the behind when the Office of Royal Decrees (thanks to Hae-ryung) discovers that the list of new officers has been doctored. Woo-won confronts Lord Song about the list, forcing him to reverse the corrupt appointments. In retaliation, Song lodges an impeachment complaint against Woo-won, stating a hushed up piece of truth. Woo-won’s father-in-law was executed for plotting a conspiracy and his wife committed suicide because of it, thus, he isn’t qualified to do an unbiased historian’s work.

Woo-won’s perfectly stern facade starts cracking under palace gossip and he eventually submits his resignation to the crown prince. Jin rejects it, knowing that Woo-won has been nothing but exemplary in his job. Jin also reminds Woo-won why he begged to be a historian after the tragedy with his wife: to chronicle all of his father’s sins with his own hand. Woo-won says he can’t bear to hear his wife’s name being gossip fodder again. With that, he walks away.

Hae-ryung who’s been recording this particular event runs after Woo-won and asks him to endure. Didn’t he become a historian exactly to make sure that his wife isn’t forgotten or incorrectly described in history?

Woo-won goes home to drink his problems away. When his father tries to comfort him, Woo-won reminds him in so many words that he hates his guts. Councilor Min tells his son to move on already which sounds like difficult but fatherly advice–except he said the exact same thing right after Woo-won’s wife’s death too. And it turns out that Councilor Min was the guy who accused Woo-won’s father-in-law of the crime he was executed for. WTF, Dad?

Drunk Woo-won visits his old, abandoned home and recalls happier times with Dan-yeong, playing hooky at Sungkyunkwan just to spend an extra hour with her. He also recalls how he and Dan-yeong begged Councilor Min to spare her father. But we know how this story ends. The next thing we see, Woo-won, already in mourning clothes for his father-in-law, discovers that his wife also killed herself.

The bittersweet memories of Dan-yeong and Councilor Min’s crimes reinforces Woo-won’s resolve. He walks in to work the next day stern and frowny as ever. Though he takes Hae-ryung aside to thank her for convincing him to stay. And though Hae-ryung now fully understands Woo-won’s rationale for limiting personal relationships or letting any hint of bias show, she wheedles him into being more friendly with her anyway. Heh.

Rim spots the two being amicable and orders Hae-ryung to come to Nokseodang, where he asks her if she likes this or that guy. It’s a running theme this week where our couple take one tentative step towards each other and back because Sam-bo keeps putting strange dating ideas in Rim’s head. LOL. But Hae-ryung cuts through the games and asks him to be honest. When Rim admits to being jealous that he’s trapped in Nokseodang while Hae-ryung is surrounded by people who get to know her all day, Hae-ryung starts listing a couple of facts about herself. She then stops and tells Rim that she doesn’t want to finish it all in one day, else he won’t be curious and miss her anymore. (Yieee~) She also admits to lying about mountain tigers in an earlier excursion with Rim as an excuse to hold his hand. Welllll, look who “hates” romance novels. Move over, Maehwa, Hae-ryung is the swooniest.

Meanwhile, Yang and the other historians successfully distract the newly-returned Woo-won from discovering that Councilor Min is once again conferring with the king with no historian present. But their bad week is about to get worse. Because Hae-ryung happens to be outside the king’s chambers at that moment, eavesdropping on their conversation about a possible secret around Prince Dowon. Oh, and a palace guard catches her. Dun-dun-dun.

Now I know why this show is called Rookie Historian. Our girl isn’t a genius (goodbye, my Jewel in the Palace dreams!) She’s currently too passionate and outspoken–the worst qualities for a historian. Woo-won even ordered her to rewrite her work thrice because her feelings for Rim keep appearing between the lines. It’s frustrating to be mentored by the stodgiest historian in history, but knowing Woo-won’s story suddenly puts all that sternness in a different light. Only in keeping such a distance from the subject of your writing can you truly claim your work as fact. And his work does speak for itself. He’s been called all sort of things. Frowny, stodgy… but never incompetent. He’s always asked to make the hard decisions because you know he’ll be unbiased even if it kills him. (Don’t, Show!)

But on the lighter side of things, our main couple have progressed at a dizzying pace this week. And I love that it’s always Hae-ryung who pulls them away from misunderstandings by not falling for Rim’s hot-and-cold dating techniques courtesy of Sam-bo. Her unusual reaction forces Rim to be honest, which cuts through the confusion and allows them to be themselves around each other. She won’t even let him take back his compliment. “I know I’m pretty, I have a mirror at home.” Heh~ Go, girl! This is a sageuk and we don’t have lots of time for wishy-washy wooing. Executions are always around the corner! *remembers Woo-won♥Dan-yeong* *starts crying again*

We also got to know more about the other rookies this week. That scene where they sneak away from work (stealing Yang’s secret alcohol stash to boot) to whine about their seniors and pile of work is heartwarming, especially because Sa-hee takes part in it. I’m glad that they’re not setting her up to be part of a love triangle. She has a LOT of baggage to deal with with her money-grubbing father. Despite refusing help and possibly putting Mo-hwa in danger, everything Sa-hee does interests me. I hope to see more of her shaking things up and angering her father with her upright, noble-like conduct. (Oh, and please stop spying for Councilor Min.)

I also like that the show didn’t paint our girls as trying to escape marriage because love sucks etc., only to “cure” them with a love story. Rookie Historian takes pains to remind us how difficult Joseon life is unless you’re a well-connected nobleman with no shady past OR enough power to stomp on your enemies. Imagine being a woman. I’d choose a crazy workload and shouty sunbaes for a bit of autonomy too.

I especially love our girls’ admissions that they may have jumped at the chance to be historians to escape being sent away in marriage, but they’re still holding out hope to experience a whirlwind romance with a handsome, crazy guy. I luff them so much in that moment and wanted them to get everything they wish in the future. Be senior historians, laugh at the new batch of rookies’ shoddy writing, and have all the crazy dates or earnest love they want. Minus the constant threat of beheading. And that beheading-immunity goes for doting family members who may or may not be doing double-spy work for the good side. You hear me, Show? *sends prayers for Hae-ryung’s Orabeoni*

 
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Lee Ji hoon was fantastic in these episodes. He was two completely different people in a matter of minutes on our scene and I just wanted to give him allllll the awards.

You saw his tears...in the rain. Wrecked me. WRECKED ME !!!!

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Bravo to him.

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"Read: still no on the royal babies."
Thank you, mary! For the laugh and for the clarification. 😉

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I did initially think the crown princess was a spy for her father, so bravo show for making me feel bad for her situation. And how much more do I love the Crown prince for trying to get the record erased for her sake and telling her brother to be on her side no matter what? But sadly, this may mean our ship for the crown prince and Sa-hee is sunk.

I now understand why Woo-won hates his father and it's just cause. The guy is despicable. That backstory was heartbreaking.

Sambo's advice to Rim is hilarious. I love their scenes.

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I never thought she was thespy. I think he assumed it was her. When he finds out it was actually Sa Hee, I wonder what he will do?

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It was a really nice episode. I already liked Woo-Won but it was nice to know more about him. Being the son of a Minister, friend of the Crown Prince, brother of the Crown Princess he could have so much power, but he chose to be historian and he's very good at it.

Our 4 rookies are the best! I just love all of them! I need more moment like that!

For Prince Dowon, honestly the writer doesn't give him anything interesting to do and I found him completely boring. Yeah, the moments with his eunuch are cute but for a minor character not the ML. A character should be more than a secret birth that comes late in the story...

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He shined last week when he went against the king to save that village. The closing was so epic when Jin said “please be careful father, the historians are watching” and Woo-won and Hae-ryung whipped out their brushes, all “Go on, we double dare you to do something improper to Prince Dowon...” TEAM INK FOR THE WIN!!!!

But it’s weird that this week started out without capitalizing on that cliffhanger.

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Yeah, the episode outside the palace was interesting. I was happy that Prince Dowon had a role to play in the story (CEW's acting did disapoint me, I was hoping more now that the Prince had finaly something to do).

I don't understand why the writer doesn't give something to do. The story started with him being good at writing, even if the King forbade him to write, it would have been interesting that he continues to write but something else, more serious showing an interest in something.

Honestly, the love story is not very important for because I don't "understand" how a great character like GHR could fall in love with him when there are the Crown Prince and Historian Woo-Won. Their interactions are cute but in a friendly way for me.

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In romance novels/drama there are all types of male leads. Some are alpha and some are beta. Prince Dowon is a beta hero. They are usually gentler, sweater and more affectionate towards their love interests who are usually more dominant women. I don't think he is being idle because he likes it. It's his choice to remain idle in order cause less chaos but as we could see when it came to other people's interests he was ready to take action.

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Beta or not, he's a badly-written hero. He's pretty vapid and has nothing going for him. They didn't do right by him.

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I didn't say it was his fault. I mean he's not an alpha doesn't bother me, Historian Woo-Won is not alpha, but he is doing things that import in the story and as a character. Prince Dowon doesn't. For me, it's a problem in the writting.

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I agree that writing has left something to be desired. His character could have been presented in a more interesting way. Btw i deleted the previous comment due to typos.😅

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GHR and Rim are a lot alike. They are both sheltered in their late 20 year old who have not seen or experienced much of anything.

She and the Crown Prince did not get off on the best foot and you got an idea of what their relationship would be like. And also, and more importantly, he is married.

Historian Min, it went down the same way. He is also her boss.

That dynamic is never good for any relationship.

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I don't think they're so alike. GHR has a lot of curiosity and she tried to find answers alone. She is a very practical sense too. They showed us how much she read to learn different things, about all the subjects.

For the Crown Prince, I found their first encounter super interesting. They both were right and they could speak on the same level. The fact he is already married doesn't mean the love story is not possible, it has already been showed in sageuks.

Boss-employee relationships are not new neither... It works pretty well in Hotel Del Luna :p

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firstly she is 26 and he is 20 according to the writers .they (director and cast ) pretty much were blaring that fact when introducing the drama during the news conference and introductory clips. secondly ,his grandma asked him to do nothing to upset the king after the small pox saga, in that scene he also mentions that he is 20yrs and wants to leave the palace like the culture dictates .his grandma however says no he should remain in the palace ,because he belongs there. she doesn't tell him why he should remain there though.

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@maysjist The difference of age makes him like a puppy beside her...

Since when heroes listen what they're told? In short, you can give all the excuses you want, I won't find him interesting with what we saw until now.

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@kurama, who cares what u find interesting, my comment was meant for others. you know ,like people who have more original thoughts than "cringy,cringey or convincing " in their drama vocabulary. and people whose grammar i understand.

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@maysjist
First, I'm sorry for my English, it's not my first language.
Secondly, your comment is following the replies of my comment, so next time you should start a new comment if you don't want be mistaken.
Third, I don't like CEW's acting in this drama but my precedent comments were about his character.

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I was expecting a love triangle between Woo-won, Rim and Hye-ryung - thankfully it looks like the story isn't going there, because I quite dislike polygons of all shapes and sizes.

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The more corners you have, the more ouchies you get!

I want it for Woo-won though. I’ll just cry again later. What’s another drop or two on top of this week’s bucket? Besides, that “Hae-r-r— *runs away*” moment was gold.

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I think woo won is a "one love-one life" type person.

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Yes, especially he seems to have dearly loved his wife. Not only did she kill herself but the reason was his own father. Nah, he is not going to fall for anyone.

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Now that we know there is no love triangle am so rooting for Woo-Won and HR friendship. So far everyone around him kept a respectful distance from him (he wanted that too) but HR is is breaking those walls. I completely lost it watching him make an attempt at calling her name casually!! he was so good in that scene. Like its not in his muscle DNA to say 'ah' ; )

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I was rooting for a sunken ship. But after knowing Woo-won’s backstory, I’m all up for the friendship with Haeryung

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I feel bad for the Crown Princess. It is unfair to her what Yi Jin is doing. I know people might not like what she did but I was here for the whole thing. Yi Jin knew he was wrong and that is why he apologized to her. I wanted him to comfort her but he didn't.
I feel bad for Officer Min. What his father did was so hortible.
I am not feeling this romance with the leads. There is no spark there.
Is the King really protecting Yi Rim?

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Yea I feel bad for the crown princess. :(

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I think the king is protecting himself and his throne we don’t know exactly what he’s protecting but definitely not Rim

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The Queen Dowanger has something to do with Rim still being around.

I can't wait until we get to that storyline.

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yes, looks like she and Council Min are the 2 people who know Rim's identity. Min is on the kings's side but his mother is not.
He is keeping him alive so the mother doesn't;t spill the beans. It looks like Prince Dowon may be the rightful heir. just guessing.

btw, I saw Netflix says its 20 episodes. That's why the secrets are taking time to come out.
Not that I mind this pace though.

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The ratings seem good, maybe thats why they have extended. I don't mind more screen time with these cute leads either but they better not drag it.

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I think I may have just found another metric for when a drama becomes rudderless....I so hope not but I am really worried.

That would add to the existing KDrama lexicon of:
Freaky Fridays - Body-swap different characters into the same body
Scooby Doo - A drama too scared of its own shadow
The Simpsons - Characters just playing episodic random events

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If Sa-hee is the Mom of the rookie historians, Historian Yang is the Dad of the whole Office of Royal Decrees. I really didn't like him in the beginning of the show but he is growing along with his kids. Also, what's not to like about a supportive Dad, right?

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Haha! What a spot-on read of Historian Yang.

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He was annoyingly one-dimensional before this, but his response to U-won's crisis was really humanising and sympathetic.

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He reminds me of Dads that have a hard time understanding his kids because they are born from different eras therefore different views on things. What I like about him is that he is growing both as a historian and as a Dad. HAHA. He really likes U-won on top of that.

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Yes! This show's been so good at making allyship look interesting -- bonds between siblings, co-workers and friends who go to bat for each other, all treated seriously (but not cloyingly, imo). U-won is estranged from family, but Yi Jin and Historian Yang stand up to be counted as worthy friends -- and make it clear that he is worthy of friendship in turn.

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I actually thought Yang is the Mom and Woo-won is the Dad...

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Both are tsunderes... HAHAHA

If that's the case, then Sa-hee is the big Sis!

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Thanks for the weecap Mary! Like you mentioned, I love love LOVE how Hae-ryung surprises Rim into being honest and what a badass she is despite not being a genius.
Woo-won's story and his guilt, still, was just </3

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Lee Jihoon reminds me of Shin Hyesun because both started with sub characters and made a name for themselves. I think he's ready for more lead roles!

So happy to see more of Woowon (despite all the tears) because now, I understand his character more. Cha Eunwoo is definitely growing on me. I'm not as distracted by his acting and he's starting to look like Lee Rim as in he's becoming the character.

My baby Haeryung is awesome as always!

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Yeah he is growing on me too. He is doing 'nothing' because he wants to comply with his father. We could see his desperation to do 'something' of value when he cried over the royal order not to write anymore and when he chose to do 'something' rather than be oblivious to the small pox situation. Let's see how he takes action in the face of this new crisis. So far he always took immediate action in situations concerning GHR.

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Well, he even tried leaving the palace, but the Queen flatly refused his wish.
Looks like there are many more Prince's and he is the youngest.

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I think he has younger siblings who have already left the palace if my understanding was correct in that scene with the queen dowager,because a prince except for the crown prince usually can't stay in the palace after reaching marriageable age.

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I get the feeling he’s being kept in the palace as a bargaining chip.

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CEW's acting is a bit of a hit and miss for me, but I feel his acting is getting more stable compared to the early episodes. He was a bit awkward in some scenes but I think he did well as the naive-boy-in-love during the romance scenes with Hae-ryung and I love his bickering scenes with Sam-bo and the maids. He did particularly well during the confrontation with the king after the smallpox incident too. But overall I think he has good chemistry with the rest of the cast and he makes me like Yi Rim's character, so that's good enough for me. He's still very young and I hope he'll keep improving.

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Agreed. I think he's still believable as Prince Rim, even despite his inconsistency as an actor. He's faaaar from award-worthy, but he doesn't completely take you out of the magic of the show either - which would be far worse, personally.

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i think it had to do with the shooting sequence .there were some scenes in later episodes that were shot earlier on when i believe he wasn't quite into his character .in those scenes, along with the first few episodes you could tell he wasn't really into his character as compared with later episodes.
i personally give him a lot of slack because our poor prince in reality doesn't have that much time to practice his drama lines and art, in between his kpop group hosting concerts,fan events and his solo numerous modelling jobs and product endorsement events .
in miigb,he had to leave set for a concert in japan besides other weekly gigs .it really takes a toll on an actor's performance especially a young actor like eunwoo who is still learning the ropes .
i personally believe he has a lot of potential and the camera loves his face. hope fantagio will manage him better acting wise and stop tearing him apart with their greed by booking him to do a million and one things

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I definitely agree with you on this one. Not to try to justify Eunwoo's bad acting. I am a solid fan since MIIGB. I know he can do more. But the first episodes were shoot in between Astro's Japanese album making, their 7stop World Astroad Tour, Japan debut. His first few episodes were really cringe-y. He improved after... but he still have to muster that royal stance of a prince. EPI 7/8 still his best epi.

I think his schedule is also taking its toll on him. Add to that the pressure of some Astro fans for a comeback that's not happening because of him. Like seriously...

Fans should just give him a break. He is trying his best on everything. And he blames himself all the time, for anything he doesn't do.

I am just happy this drama tackles all characters story, and give all leads and 2nd leads their moment to shine. Bashing ChaEunWoo is not even necessary. But again.. Haters will hate.

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overall i think he has done well in this drama . i actually enjoyed his acting from the get go b4 i started reading some negative comments ,again i dont really speak korean so the sageuk accent is lost on me. i have honestly noticed that international and non korean speaking fans who have no prior idol bias tend to like cew's performance in this drama and are much less critical . idol bias is also a huge factor in this nitpicking and hypercritical critique of eunwoo's acting.i think there are also people who just judge him based on his looks and are somewhat jealous/offended because they think he just gets by with his looks. as if it's his fault his gorgeous. i don't see naturally talented painters,singers ,or academics get harshly judged for natural talents they had no role in earning ,why should beautiful people like us get judged .LOL

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I do think he has the potential to be a good actor. His eyes can actually emote well, he just need to practice harder in utilizing them to show various emotions. I hope he can find the time to do that in the middle of his busy schedule if he really wants to take his acting career further. As we know the public is less forgiving towards idol actors.

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Historian Min's backstory was so heartbreaking, I really felt for him and hope he gets justice for his wife and rights his father's wrongs.
I also really loved the Crown Princess and was glad to hear her side of the story and see Jin admit he had wronged her. Even though I still ship him with Sahui, lol.
Haeryung and Rim were so freaking adorable this week. I love that she forces him to be honest, and that he's more comfortable with that than he is with playing games.
Finally, it seems the story of Ho Dam is finally coming back around with the arrest at the end of the episode. Definitely intrigued by the fact that the king seems to be protecting Rim from the Second State Councillor. And why would Mohwa have the Queen Dowager look into Haeryung's brother? Much to think about.

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I’m reaaaally hoping she’s doing a background check before inviting him to become an ally. And not because she’s gonna have him offed.

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I have to agree with most of the beanies' comments. Lee Jihoon is amazing in this drama... I hope they don't kill him. 😭
But honestly I don't have much hope. This is a sageuk and what I know about this genre... They kind of enjoy killing characters 😒😐😕

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I didn’t have space (and time) but shoutout to the Crown Princess! I know she’s a spy or at the very least, a tool for power planted by Daddy Min, but the gossip and jokes around her has got to smart a lot (remembering the Queen in Crowned Clown who’s the butt of every gibang joke).

Even if she used the historians (Our Team) to pressure Jin, you gotta admit that’s a power move right there. Even as she’s baring her humiliation, she’s weaponizing it. She’s no pushover. We stan a smart adversary!

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Which is yet another reason the CP can not give her an heir to weaponize.

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Just need to off Councilor Min............

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This should be an option. In a way that is not considered treason. Treason would hurt the Crown Princess and Officer Min. I know some people want the Crown Princess affected so Sa Hee can replace her but I don't.

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I’m actually very curious about how this drama will wrap up the Relationship between the Crown Prince and His wife. This story is developing some dark layers, but I would prefer something not so bloody as a traditional saeguk ending.

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@Flying Tool
I am too. I hope they don't trash her to push Sa Hee and Yi Jin. I hope by the end Yi Jin can be honest with her and they at least have a good relationship as husband and wife.

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Would she use the heir to weaponize though? People assume she is bad. She was hurt her husband treats her the way he does. Yet she is the one who gets criticized.

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I don't think the Crown Princess is a spy. I think it is more that her father wants to use her. It sucks for her cause she is lonely in the palace cause her husband thinks she is a spy. I do wonder what Yi Jin is gonna do when he finds out Sa Hee is the spy.
I stanned the Crown Princess the minute she went in there and didn't care what Yi Jin was doing. She wanted him to hear what she had to say. I am not mad at her for doing what she did. It is unfair to her. Yi Jin knew he was wrong. That is why he apologized to her. I think he does care about the Crown Princess but I guess it is complicated.

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This just became the really interesting triangle in the show, imo. I think Sa-hui and Yi Jin match and challenge each other brilliantly.

I can't quite figure out what to think about her overtures to him, though -- the fingers catching on her appointment letter, the handkerchief bandage for his shooting wound. She's so guarded, so protective of her individuality because of her terrible father: surely she isn't about to risk it all on a man who, even if he could offer her marriage, would just be entrapping her further? I can see a woman like her consent to be a mole for Councillor Min because it seemed like the primary condition to become an historian in the first place -- but I would be really surprised if she (or Councillor Min, to be fair) would play at entrapping Yi Jin.

And now we know the Crown Princess is a woman of spirit, too. Yi Jin! A wife he abhors and an historian he can't quite keep himself from being interested in -- both part of Councillor Min's plans for him. What's the way out? (I don't know what k-drama conventions are, but if there was a way for Jin and Sa-hui to be happy outside of wedlock, that seems fine -- a second wife/concubine's position was hardly without its powers, historically. But would it mean more or less freedom for a woman like Sa-hui?)

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Sa Hee is giving Councillor Min information that could possibly hurt Yi Jin or other people in the Inner Palace already.
As for Sa Hee and Yi Jin matching and challange brilliantly, you can say the same with his wife. I hope we see more of the Crown Princess. I like her.

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Since I believe sincere-looking women (until they give me a reason to suspect them) I don't think that the queen is bad. She's not a spy, but she is an unwilling plant. I think she loves the crown prince. And wants to produce an heir. But if she does get pregnant her father will put the screws on her to use her pregnancy to exploit/remove the crown prince. If the royal couple make a baby and she stays loyal to Lee Jin her father will just have her killed and take and use the baby. (Because this is a sageuk and that's the kind of guy he is.)

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And Lee Jin knows this and that's why he's avoiding her.

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Yes. All you said! It’s Councilor Min’s thirst for power that’s the problem. Both of his children only seem to try their best with the hand they were dealt.

That’s why we need a nice sageuk cliff... and a betrayed-feeling lackey or surviving member of Seoraewon to uhm... cause an accident. *cough*

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Yes, his children are doing their best. I feel bad for them. They need a way to get rid of Councillor Min without it affecting his children. It seems like Councillor Min don't care about his children. They are just tools for him to use to gain power.

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Yes, but while he is avoiding her it ended up hurting her. Yi Jin realized this and that is why he later apologized.

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Woo-won Bot’s

Now wouldn't he be a nice bot, @mary 😋😂

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I’d like to order two, please.

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At the Dan-yeong-and-Woo-won-kneeling scene, my mom's immeadiete response was; "Why do these stuff always happen when it's raining?" 😂😂
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I don't understand whether Hae-ryung is plain clueless or actually aware of what she's doing, tugging at the mens' hearts.
Her reply to "Pretty" showed she's aware, but then again I didn't exactly like her almost-too-soon playfulness with Woo-won immediately after finding out about Woo-won's ordeal. It was probably her way of cheering him up, but it looked too flirty to me. I just don't want him to suffer anymore unnecessary heartbreaks in the future!😭😭😭

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It’s probably more of the “loosen up and make some friends among your fellow historians” but my shippy self colored it pink with lots of heart confetti.

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Yeah it felt flirty to me too. Maybe GHR layed it a bit too thick? Idk. I convinced myself that she is just being her usual 'tease the poor guy' self.

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As most have pointed out, Lee Ji-hoon’s performance this week was incredible! Indeed a very good actor! Which is a little bit of a contrast from the ML. I’m no expert in acting but whenever I look at his eyes, I see that awkwardness. Oh well, that means he’ll only get better in the future.

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I must say i adore the comedy and the interactions that arise from the historians and The Prince and his Eunuch,it's just way tooo hilarious...I heart really break for Woo Won in the last episode,it was just pure tragic

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The historians are definitely hilarious, especially the first historian. His drama queen antics make me laugh out loud haha

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Dear @bbiram or @alipin (Mary - whoever is doing this open thread), even if I am not following this particular Drama, I am thankful to you for giving a voice to a Drama that would not be covered otherwise.

For a person like me, if it is not in DramaBeans then it probably will not be worth my time so you kindly gave this show the opportunity to shine =) .

Kudos for the initiative, and thanks again!

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Aww... you're welcome! @laica is taking turns with me after stroopwafel gave in to our aegyo. :D

Interesting though that another mary is using alipin as a handle. It can mean servant or slave or (if you're being lighthearted) minion in another language.

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Then thanks to @laica too for working with you and to @stroopwafel for yielding to your aegyo =) .

Also, it is possible to get a Series Review for shows that fell under the radar at first but ended up being outstanding?. I still remember in early 2014 the old DramaBeans did it for Miss Korea if memory serves well.

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Ugh, Woo-Won is steadily rising as my favourite character here!!

I also loved the 4 historians bonding scene, and I love that the senior historians have grown to accept the girls as their juniors - you can see Official Yang being much kinder to them (though still grumpy/gruff).

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Oof, didn't expect Woo-won's backstory to be so heartbreaking.. Lee Ji Hoon is a really good actor. And with this backstory I guess they're not setting him up for a love triangle with Hae-ryung & Rim, especially since he has also realized that HR & Rim have feelings for each other. I'm happy with that, since I'd much rather see him fulfilling his personal mission as a historian than being another love interest. And it doesn't seem he's going to move on from his late wife anytime soon.

As for the main couple I agree with everything Mary said, I love how Hae-ryung's reactions forces Rim to be honest about his feelings and I really like how their relationship is progressing.
I particularly like the scene where the two of them are just spending the night reading books.. we kind of get a glimpse of how they might spend time together during one of their dates, just satisfying their mutual love for literature while being comfortable in each other's presence. And stealing glances at each other once in a while, of course :)

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I agree about Woo Won, but at the same time I feel that Hae Ryung would have been the perfect person for him to find love again. She is intelligent and challenges him in terms of broadening his perspectives. But she also is just so persistent that she could actually get him to fall in love again. That said though, I don't want his heart broken so I'm happy if they develop a strong bond as mentor and mentee.

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They have chemistry too. It is messed up how it is being wasted.

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I thought the last scene was a bit awkward. It seemed like we were supposed to understand that Officer Min did find out about the secret meeting and that as a result, Hae-ryung was sent to cover it. She was standing there with her notebook and brush, mumbling something like, "He said to walk right in," but obviously not feeling courageous enough to barge in on the king. It seems like a kind of sloppy set-up so we can see her get in trouble, see Rim come to her rescue, and see her brother and Min decide whether to turn to people in power for help. I say sloppy because we have to guess all that, and because, let's face it, she probably would not have been the first choice for a historian to cover this conversation.

I really liked Rim when he was out saving the people from smallpox and defying his father. It seemed like he grew a lot. But now he's back to moping around. Ugh, not very hero-like. There must be something worthwhile he can do with his time.

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Keeping Rim isolated is by design. He wanted to leave the palace and the Queen shut that down. So far she has not rocked the boat but has the king on a short lease regarding him.

I don't know her long game but it is coming at the expense of her grandson.

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It looked like a compromise between two equal powers. The king leaves Rim alive, the Queen Mother makes sure Rim doesn’t get in the way of the King...

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I agree that the last scene is awkward, but I'm pretty sure we're gonna see the full set-up of that in the beginning of next episode. They were just trying to end the episode in the most impactful cliffhanger.

Remember at the end of an earlier episode where the king came in when Hae-ryung was trying to snatch the poem from Rim's hand.. the next episode spend the first few minutes for the set-up of why the king was coming to visit Rim.
Speaking of that scene, I found it funny that with how that last scene looked like, many people thought the king would be mad seeing Rim playing around with a female historian and punish him for it.. when actually the king, staying true to his character, do not give a damn about whatever Rim is doing in his little chamber unless when Rim does something that embarrasses him, lol.

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I think officer min sent her because it's the inner palace. Usually male government officers can't enter the inner palace unless especially invited or summoned by royalty. That's why they employed female historians in the first place, to spy on the dowager queen.

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Who is the actor who plays the hottie guard who winks at Apprentice Goo (in Rim's jealous imaginings) and then dunks himself in the water?

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YES. Beanie Investigation Squad, please get on this. We need answers!

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Anyone else wondering when GHR's handmaid's minions are going to swoop down for retribution on "Clerk Yi"?

Tsk. tsk. Empty promises.

In all seriousness though, this show just keeps getting better and better.

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ha ha.. I too hope there is no real 'Clerk Yi' in town because he would be in real trouble ; )

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I’m waiting for that too...

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ha a ha seol geum (ghr maid )is a real treat ,one of the most comedic characters in this drama .can't wait t see what she comes up with.

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I was trying to remember (sorry term memory issues), but when did the historians meet Prince Dowon (Rim) before?

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typo: "short"-term memory issues

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The ladies met him (some of them) when they were assigned to him in the rotation/archery with Prince Jin.

The guy historians... I guess some of them met him as Clerk Yi? But Min met him when they went to the smallpox village.

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Thanks. I just "rewatched" Ep.6. I do remember that i had trouble staying awake and only remember snippets of it (that sucks, along with my memory issues). There were major developments in Ep.6 that helped me with things in these latest episodes so i'm glad you guys talking about clerk Yi made me go back

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CEW finally showed his acting potential in the confrontation scene with the king. That was the first time I can feel his character lol, I hope they'll give him more chances like that. TBH I didn't care much about the romance between the main leads, they're cute but nothing special. I've been watching for the historians and their collegial interactions. I love how the show gives them decent spotlight time to share their dreams and background stories. From the teaser, next week will be interesting because our historian office will rock the palace like nobody's business ^0^

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Thanks for this super recap Mary! Much as I enjoyed the journey outdoors, I can't help but feel like life in the palace and at the Office of Royal Decrees is the foremost battleground to watch, and I'm thrilled that we returned -- to Yi Rim and his granny, Yi Jin and the wronged wife (who's gorgeous!), and the historians becoming a real crew.

Everyone's said all the good things about Min U-Won and his character's development already -- thanks to all the commenters, I squee in your squee.

Both U-won and Yi Rim have powerful constraints against love, stemming from their past. But Yi Rim, who doesn't know (or only hazily guesses at?) his own story lives in an eternal present; and a grieving U-won is clearly still tied to the past. Excited to see the future, in the form of Hae-ryung, steal upon them both in episodes to come.

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Just want to drop by and say that this drama has my complete love and devotion currently. I had almost no expectations and wasn't intending on watching it but now its the only thing I'm watching. Not one episode has disappointed till now. The comedy is well balanced with the idealism and our group of female historians are squad goals.

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if i could, I'd like your comment twice - over just for your name. Brown Coats forever!

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Thanks for the squeecap Mary.
It's been depressing on my Aroha world these past few days.. and anticipating for your post helps lighten my mood.

I really, really would like to applaud the writer for highlighting the historians these episodes. Not that I don't love the scenes of the leads. It's not that. I believe this drama is sharing with its viewers what these historians are during the Joseon era. And I like it a lot coz we don't get this story arc in a lot of sageuks. Although I wish for the writing to explore more of the cliffhanger from the last epi - - still I trust this drama to unfold with it's royal issues soon.

Patience... is a virtue.. they said.

Thank you drama for showcasing the sideleads. It gives this drama more heart... when us, viewers, understands where they are coming from. And for that, I really, really love you!

Keep on slaying Rookie Historian!

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Thanks for the recap Mary!

I was hoping the dowager would let Rim live outside the palace and actually become aware of the wrong doings in the country. I'm just too impatient to find out Rim's birth secret and if it relates to hae- ryung's family.

Woo-won's backstory was heartbreaking, I started crying alongside him on screen. All this time, I've been waiting to see Woo-won to explode and break out of that stern expression. I didn't think it would happen like this, how could his father do that to his family!

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Can anyone tell me just when do the annals these historians write finally get read or published? Is it after the king dies? Or is there a set time period, like 50 or 100 years? Are the historians sworn to secrecy until then?

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Sooo, another question, (this time I don't think I missed it because of snoozing or my memory) : Why was Mohwa (Eunuch's wife who uses western medicine) using the virus from infected people to inoculate? Why wasn't she using cow pox in the first place? She had no permission to use the people pox but she was doing so, so why wasn't she using something she knew had less fatalities in the first place?

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My guess? Because people were squeamish about putting something from an animal inside their bodies and that something would remain inside, but using human smallpox was more like deliberately infecting with a human disease (like the way some parents do with chickenpox), it wasn't so alien even if it was far more dangerous.

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I get that but I don't see any they had to tell them where it came from. After typing that, I realize how unethical that sounded. eww

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Using the smallpox virus is called "variolation", and it was the old method begun in India or China. It was well known and has surprisingly low fatality rates, although my microbiology training makes me shudder at the thought. Smallpox is normally an airborne infection, and getting it through the skin scratches instead of the more vulnerable lungs minimizes its ability to cause serious illness.

She may not have had access to cowpox virus. It's a mild short-term infection in cows, and they are immune after recovering.

Cowpox had a hard time from the very beginning - it was a hard concept for people to accept.

You might like this article: Measures against Epidemics during Late 18th Century Korea: Reformation or Restoration? the nature of the national policies implemented by King Yi San (King Jeongjo; r. 1776-1800), to control hongyeok, literally “red epidemic,” presumed to be measles. It's total bureaucracy.

https://journals.openedition.org/extremeorient/333?lang=en

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Thanks for the info and the link. I'll check it out.

As to the doctor character - she had access to cows with the virus from following scenes. And she definitely knew about it because she told Hae Reyung that she was a coauthor of the very book that Hae Reyung gave to Prince Rim.

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