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Three Musketeers: Episode 2

The setup is complete, and now we begin the journey of initiating Dal-hyang into the group of musketeers, mostly by throwing him off the deep end and figuring he’ll work it out. This episode delivers more action and wry humor, and also shines a light (albeit a tiny, brief one) into the characters’ backgrounds, giving us the smallest glimpse of how they came to be where they are now. While it’s fun to see how the guys got to be friends, these hints are particularly intriguing with regard to our ladies, making me impatient to find out the rest. I’m pretty sure this show isn’t just gonna give it away, though, so we can expect a gradual reveal over the course of the show. I wanna know NOW, but I suppose a little at a time is better than nothing.

SONG OF THE DAY

One More Time – “시간을 거슬러” (Back in time) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 2: “Three Musketeers”

The crown princess, Yoon-seo, anxiously awaits news of the civil service examination. The results are not what she was hoping for: Park Dal-hyang caused a commotion, set a horse rampaging, caused statesmen to be injured, and even resulted in marring the king’s face with a cut across the cheek. Eep.

Yoon-seo asks anxiously after the prince’s safety, and is visibly relieved to hear that Sohyeon was unharmed. She asks after Dal-hyang next, and learns that because his error was so serious, discussions are now underway as to whether to cancel his passing of the exam. (This last test was to determine final honors, but all the participants at this point had been cleared to enter public service.)

King Injo hears his council’s arguments regarding Dal-hyang’s status, with some reasoning that he is untrustworthy to send into battle and should be cut. The king agrees, but Sohyeon reminds them how Dal-hyang excelled at the earlier test, and that it would be overkill to rescind his results. He also makes a political argument for keeping him (in that there’s always criticism of the exam for shutting out applicants from the outer provinces, and keeping Dal-hyang would counter that), and Injo is sputtery and indecisive enough that he is swayed by his son’s persuasive words.

Dal-hyang awaits word of his fate, sitting glumly amongst the wreckage at the test site. He thinks with chagrin to Sohyeon’s “deal,” wherein he’d coerced Dal-hyang into taking the exam while holding his love letter hostage. Finally, the king’s decision is delivered: Dal-hyang will be given special pardon for today’s mistake and allowed into service… in last place. He won’t be given a title or pay for now, but it’s welcome news otherwise, and Dal-hyang accepts gratefully. He’s confused to hear that he owes his gratitude to Prince Sohyeon, however, who spoke up in his defense.

That night, a letter is delivered to Dal-hyang’s lodgings. The landlord is, amusingly, much more polite to Dal-hyang now that he’s a civil servant and respectfully calls him sir, and I do enjoy that Dal-hyang points out plainly that the guy’s speech has changed. Dal-hyang finds a letter from the Three Musketeers, narrated in Seung-po’s voice, which congratulates him on passing and offers an apology for contributing to knocking him out of taking first place. He now gives their real names and asks Dal-hyang to meet the next night.

And then, he has an unexpected visitor. An older court lady approaches first, and then a young woman steps forward and reveals her face—Yoon-seo. Dal-hyang shoots to his feet, startled to see her here, and invites her in. Yoon-seo warily keeps her distance, however, saying that she heard he was still waiting for her and couldn’t ignore that. With frustration (or guilt), she asks how he could be so naive (to keep waiting), and he replies simply that that’s the kind of person he’s always been.

The exchange is charged with emotion, though both the princess and Dal-hyang keep theirs tightly under wraps. Yoon-seo apologizes for not keeping their promise, saying that it wasn’t her choice to enter into the princess selection process (when eligible brides for the prince were scouted). Although it clearly pains him to hear that she burned the letter, he tells her that she did the right thing.

She insists that he must forget her now, and he readily agrees. Aw. I’m not sure how I feel about the princess yet, but her longing is plain to see and they clearly still share the same feelings; it’s just that there’s nothing they can do but accept their lot.

Yoon-seo leaves, and Dal-hyang watches her go. He holds on to his stoic facade as he writes his parents a letter about his good news, adding that he won’t be marrying Yoon-seo after all—there are so many beautiful women in the capital that his feelings have changed. It’s bittersweet to hear his voice narrate what should be happy tidings, only to sound nearly sarcastic as he says, “I am so overjoyed I do not think I can sleep a wink tonight. Today was truly the best day.”

Time to introduce a few more characters. In the northern county of Uiju (modern-day North Korea), a Manchu general, Ingguldai (Kim Sung-min), receives a messenger with suspicion. The lead messenger is a mysterious-looking woman (who we’ll later learn is named MI-RYUNG, played by Yoo In-young) who is passing along a message from Joseon politician (and future prime minister) Kim Ja-jeom. However, she makes clear that she is not his subordinate.

At a gibang (where the fusion gugak K-pop song of the day is Hyuna’s “Red”), fun-loving Seung-po indulges in some gambling while the more somber maknae, Min-seo, waits upstairs. Dal-hyang arrives to meet them as requested, and cuts to the chase: He doesn’t want their congratulations or a drink, he just wants an explanation for the other night and why they lied about their identities.

Min-seo tells him that they’d slipped out of the palace secretly that night, and it couldn’t be known that the crown prince was wandering the city at night. Then they helped Dal-hyang because he’d appealed to them, and figured that was the end of that—until they found the letter, which they then had to investigate further.

Dal-hyang’s jaw drops when Min-seo tells him that Seung-po is the son of an illustrious general, and we see in flashbacks to childhood that it’s through this connection that Seung-po and Sohyeon grew up together, having been schooled and trained alongside each other. That explains their brother-like camaraderie, from the friendly gibes to the annoying needling, and how Seung-po gets away with talking to the prince as cheekily as he does.

Next, Min-seo reveals his own background, which has Dal-hyang gaping again: He was raised a young monk, and trained in martial arts because the head monk excelled at them. Thus when the first Manchu invasion occurred (nine years prior, in 1627), he followed the monk into war, where his duty was to protect the crown prince. When the war ended, young Sohyeon sought him out at the temple, and that’s how he came to be his bodyguard.

A drunk Seung-po joins them and announces them friends now, chattering freely about how it was all his idea to pull the prank with the letter, thinking it might stir some jealousy in the prince regarding his wife, only to find that the prince became more interested in Dal-hyang instead. Dal-hyang reads between the lines and asks why the prince and princess have a distant relationship, and Seung-po realizes that might be a bit too personal and changes the subject.

So he shares a story about himself, and we see in flashback how he’d cried all through his wedding (to be fair, he was a child). His bride wasn’t exactly known for her looks, and he adds that as their twelve-year marriage continues, his wife gets uglier and uglier. Which is why he prefers to hang out with his buddies instead, he laughs.

Sohyeon is busily poring over maps that night when the princess drops by unannounced. He is polite but distant with Yoon-seo, who musters the nerve to ask why he had shown her the letter she’d given Dal-hyang, and why he went out of his way to advocate for Dal-hyang passing the exam.

Sohyeon smiles pleasantly and says that he isn’t suspicious of her and merely appreciates Dal-hyang’s skills, and when she protests that that’s an unnatural reaction, he says, “I am not such a small person as that.”

Yoon-seo bursts out that his lack of anger indicates a complete lack of interest. Sohyeon chuckles and suggests an alternative: He could have Dal-hyang thrown in prison and the princess stripped of her crown if she wants a more “natural” reaction, in which case she should return the letter so he can use it as evidence.

His smiling face only frustrates her further, and she exclaims that she’s sick of his jokes that skirt the truth, and finally strikes a nerve when she cries that she knows he wanted that other girl selected for his wife, but that it wasn’t her fault she was made princess.

In a flashback, we see a young Yoon-seo wondering why she is to be made the prince’s bride when a minister’s daughter had already been selected. But that daughter suddenly died—she hanged herself in her home. Yoon-seo cries to herself, saying futilely that she’s already promised to someone.

Crying indignant tears, now Yoon-seo says that it’s not her fault that girl had died, and that she’s tried her best to make the most of this marriage that neither wanted. Sohyeon tells her that she’s got it wrong, and that he’s never treated her coldly, and while he’s sorry if she felt that way, he thinks she’s being rather sensitive about things. Omg. I may love him, but I kind of want to slap him right now.

Yoon-seo collects herself and says (rather sarcastically) that she’s the one acting immaturely, and he just shoots her that shit-eating grin and says yes, that’s exactly right. She excuses herself, and his smile stays on his face just until she’s out the door. Once in her private quarters, she breaks down into sobs.

But that story about the dead girl must be true enough, because it’s the same story that Seung-po tells Dal-hyang. Nobody understands why she killed herself, particularly since she and the prince were happily in love.

An arrival piques their curiosity, as they see Kim Ja-jeom heading to one of the private rooms. He’s not supposed to be in Joseon, so his mere presence strikes them as suspicious. We see that he’s taking a meeting with several noblemen, and he’s here to inform his cronies of what’s going on with the Manchu envoys, with whom he has met in secret while stationed up north.

Seung-po eavesdrops outside the door as Kim Ja-jeom explains that the king of Later Jin has demanded a change in status for Joseon, which had previously been a “brotherly” one, as in a younger brother to an older one. Now the Manchus intend to establish themselves as Qing and claim suzerainty over Joseon (a vassal/tribute state). This is heavy stuff, almost certainly a lead-up to war, and Kim Ja-jeom states that he has gathered these men in order to figure out how to use this information before even King Injo gets wind of it.

Outside, Dal-hyang is left alone while the two musketeers confer, and while he doesn’t understand what’s going on, he clocks the mood and sees that something serious is afoot. Min-seo asks for Dal-hyang’s help in acting as lookout for Seung-po, since he’ll have to report this to the prince. He passes him a sword under the table and makes his exit, while Dal-hyang takes stock of his surroundings while acting drunk to cover up his loitering.

Min-seo takes this information to Sohyeon, who understands its importance but doesn’t want to take it to the king without evidence, because Injo is prone to overreaction and could make things worse. He decides that finding out what Kim Ja-jeom is up to is the priority, and heads out immediately.

King Injo, meanwhile, stews in a nightmare that night, wherein he finds himself wandering the woods alone and begs for help. He comes upon a small army of Manchu invaders, led by General Ingguldai, who raises his bow and arrow and shoots him in the heart. Injo jolts awake with a strangled cry and realizes it was only a dream, but can’t shake his uneasiness about what the Manchu envoys will be coming to demand next. He blubbers about being left to die alone without anyone to help, badly shaken by the dream—he is, quite frankly, a nervous wreck.

The king’s eunuch catches up to Sohyeon just as he’s about to leave the palace, and urges him to see the king. Sohyeon instructs the eunuchs to calm the king and says he’ll be back as quickly as he can, then rides off with Min-seo.

That mysterious messenger, Mi-ryung, arrives next at the gibang. With her fierce looks and her scary-looking, eyepatch-wearing guard, people automatically give her a wide berth. Dal-hyang briefly locks eyes with Eyepatch, but feigns drunkenness to cover up. The newcomers head into Kim Ja-jeom’s secret meeting, where Kim proposes a course of action: Fearing that King Injo will lead them into another futile war, he intends to tell Manchu general Ingguldai that there are those in Joseon government who are on his side. Treasonous!

Mi-ryung and Eyepatch are brought in to take their message back to Ingguldai. But just then, Seung-po touches a creaky board, and Eyepatch gets suspicious. He accuses Kim Ja-jeom of either pulling one over on them or being oblivious to an eavesdropper, and kicks in the wooden boards. Seung-po is caught off-guard but recovers quickly, drawing his sword.

Dal-hyang joins him, and Eyepatch is left to confront them as the noblemen scatter. But they need to confirm who was in the meeting, so Seung-po leaves Dal-hyang to take on Eyepatch alone, then heads out to follow the traitors. He gets caught in a tangle with Kim Ja-jeom’s bodyguards, and engages in a swordfight. It’s one versus many, but hey, Seung-po’s kind of a badass.

It’s a bit different for Dal-hyang, who clashes swords with Eyepatch, who’s clearly the more seasoned and ruthless veteran. But Dal-hyang is fast and resourceful, throwing in a few chairs and bottles to even out the fight.

Sohyeon and Min-seo arrive as both fights are well underway, and join the fray. Not a second too soon, because Sohyeon’s sword swoops in to stop Dal-hyang from getting gutted at one point, which leads to a wry interchange where Dal-hyang is all, I totally would’ve been fine without your help, and Sohyeon points out, Sorry I keep getting in your way, needlessly helping you pass exams and not get killed. Heh. I love their reluctant bromance, especially since I think it’s only reluctant on one end.

With the situation well in hand, Sohyeon leaves to follow the noblemen, who are in a panic to escape because they recognized Seung-po as the prince’s bodyguard and fear that they’ll all dead meat by morning. Sohyeon manages to get a good look at their faces, noting their names and offices. Then he sees Mi-ryung, remembering Dal-hyang’s warning that there was a woman among them.

Sohyeon seizes Mi-ryung from behind and whirls her around—and then they both freeze in astonishment. And recognition?

Dal-hyang shouts a warning, just seconds before Eyepatch slashes him in the arm from behind. The sight puts Mi-ryung into shock, while Sohyeon staggers to the ground. But his shock seems to be entirely unrelated to his arm, which he barely registers, and more about this strange encounter.

The other musketeers arrive, and Dal-hyang makes the decision to chase after Mi-ryung and Eyepatch, who are fleeing on horseback. Mi-ryung calls Eyepatch crazy, and even he looks stunned when she says he just stabbed the prince.

The king has been insisting that the prince be brought to him, stressing the eunuch out so much that he goes to the princess to ask how to handle this. Making things worse, they receive word that the king is on his way over right this moment, raging at everyone for either lying to him or failing to bring the prince properly.

Yoon-seo hurries out to intercept him, lying (badly) that the prince was deeply asleep after having a drink and only now has woken up. But the king is by now suspicious and barges in to see whether Sohyeon is indeed inside—

—and he is, of course, having returned in the nick of time. He repeats the princess’s lie and is appropriately concerned for his father, whose anger dissipates as he shares his fears. Injo begs his son not to leave him feeling so uneasy, then heads back to his quarters, mollified for now.

Yoon-seo reacts in alarm to see blood dripping down Sohyeon’s arm, but he rejects her concern and asks her to leave. She does, feeling hurt at his continued coldness.

His eunuch is likewise shocked at the sight of blood, but Sohyeon is still fixated on that other concern, and says merely: “Mi-ryung. I saw her earlier. What in the world is going on?”

Dal-hyang continues his pursuit on horseback, keeping Mi-ryung in his sights as they charge up the mountainside. Finally they pause at a clearing, and Dal-hyang draws his sword to finish this off here and now.

But then, they are joined by a whole army—the Manchus, led by Ingguldai, who take their positions. Suddenly Dal-hyang finds himself at the point end of dozens (hundreds?) of bows and arrows, just waiting for the command to fire. Gulp.

Ingguldai asks who he is and why he’s about to attack one of his envoys. Dal-hyang has no idea what is being said, however, as it’s said in Manchu.

The narrator takes over to inform us that today now marks the fourth meeting of Dal-hyang and the Three Musketeers, and it’s now that he’s starting to get the inkling that trouble is going to become a regular part of his life. Ha, I’ll say.

Mi-ryung informs the general that he is one of the prince’s men, and that the prince has caught wind of their plot.

Ingguldai gives his men the order to fire. A barrage of arrows flies at Dal-hyang, and our narrator informs us that we have now met all the principal players, and thus the story takes off in earnest. Dal-hyang looks up at the sky, just moments before the rain of arrows lands.

 
COMMENTS

The cast is gelling together nicely, and the story is turning out to be quite well-adapted into the time period—I’d wondered if there would be difficulty in preserving the important beats from both the original story and actual history, but so far I think the writer has done a thorough job working in the timelines of the first and second Manchu invasions, and the political machinations that came therewith. So while Joseon is caught in a difficult (impossible, really) predicament between the waning Ming and surging Qing empires, with the state of Manchu-Jin exerting pressure to throw its loyalties to Qing, we have ample room to play with conspiracies, spies, and impending war. I’m sure a Three Musketeers could have been adapted to fit other time periods, but this is an interesting intersection of history that works really well, I think.

But what I really like isn’t just the incorporation of history, because without a connection to our characters it means very little. You may as well crack open a history book instead if you’re not going to also tell a story and be entertaining, right? So it’s the way the drama pulls in the characters into this larger intrigue that gives it its tension, and I think it’s done smartly.

For instance, a princess in a love triangle is fairly common stuff for a drama, but once we realized that there was a past love in Sohyeon’s past, their strained relationship took on a new dimension. I knew Sohyeon had been messing with her previously, but couldn’t understand why; now it’s pretty clear that he’s harboring some latent resentment, and it almost feels as though he wields his politeness as a weapon. He’s so absurdly smiling and genial that we all know he’s not being sincere, but you can’t argue with a guy who’s going through ever motion of being solicitous. He won’t give you the privilege of even acknowledging that he has any feelings about this, and that can be a pretty effective way of hurting the princess.

I felt a lot of sympathy for Yoon-seo in this episode, after not being sure which way I would swing based on the premiere. I loved her goodbye scene with Dal-hyang, where you saw exactly how she felt despite the words she was speaking, and I’ll commend the actress, Seo Hyun-jin, for a really winning take on the character—she can be pretty timid and maybe even childlike (I found her teary outburst with Sohyeon really cute in the scene when he told her she’d imagined his coldness), and being tough isn’t her inclination, but I suspect she’ll find her mettle and become stronger than people expect of her. Both the actress and the character possess a lovely vulnerability, and Yoon-seo has been put in this impossible situation where the only thing she can do is sit there and endure. Nobody’s mean to her, necessarily, but she’s got nobody on her side, either. You get the sense that she might be able to love or at least care for the prince if he’d let her, either in a romantic sense or a buddies-in-arms sense, but the fact that he won’t allow her that just keeps her isolated and hurt.

Mi-ryung, on the other hand, is an interesting twist. On the one hand, you’re meant to think she’s Manchu until we’re told that her name is Mi-ryung and that the prince knows her. If she’s his dead first love, how the heck was a death faked? We saw her hanging from the ceiling, so it’s not even like she jumped from a cliff and her body wasn’t recovered; somehow, someone snuck her out of this life and into another one, and now she’s colluding with the enemy. Or IS the enemy.

Mostly, I’m enjoying the fast pace and the humorous tone, which manages to hit that balance of being a little campy without being cheesy or embarrassing. The narrator is one of those things that can go either way, but I recall how the Return of Iljimae narrator gradually developed into being one of the comic highlights of that show, so I’m keeping an open mind. It’s a tough balance to pull off, and I hope the drama can keep that up, because I’m in just the mood for a cheery swashbuckler. And bromancey action heroes. And Lee Jin-wook.

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I've been waiting for this recap. Thanks JB.

Now that you mentioned Return of Iljimae, i better finish that drama.

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Thanks for the recap! :)

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i find yong hwa a bit stiff in action scene..

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I noticed that too. His jaw-clenching kinda made up for it just a little bit.

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I will agree and add that I don't know if he had any martial arts or even dance training like a few others such as Lee Jun Ki who has a killer spin kick among other moves.

Yong Hwa was more mechanical than stiff to me. He was thinking out his moves rather than feeling them. I suspect this will improve over time.

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I have one major problem with this drama: the way it's lit! everything is so dark, and it doesn't help that a majority of this episode took place at night or indoors

aside from that, I'm enjoying this drama! I've always been intrigued by the milady character so I'm glad they've finally introduced her in this episode :D

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I have no problem with it at all. Try to choose a high quality of a video. I watched it in my computer once (720p) and in my cell phone once (Oppo 7a), it was nice and clear picture.

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It was nice seeing the background history on Min Seo and Seung Po.
Min Seo was a monk in his past? That fits him perfectly, lol.
Seung Po and Sohyeon were cute together.

Prince Sohyeon is so snarky. His teasing of the princess made me laugh, but I sympathized for her afterwards because I realized she doesn't love the Prince. And he doesn't love her. He has kept her at a distance.
I had assumed that she fell for the Prince immediately when they met and never gave Dal Hyang another thought.

And right before Prince Sohyeon faced the mysterious woman, I had a feeling that she was the one that everyone thought commited suicide.
They had not revealed the face of the suicide victim.

Really loving all the action scenes and effects. The bgm is great too. I was crazy tense during Dal Hyang's fight with the Eyepatch Dude. It wasn't an even match.

It felt good seeing Dal Hyang take action and go after the baddies, even though it was reckless now that he's in this deadly situation.

HAHAHA. I didn't even catch Hyuna's "Red" was the gibang song! I had to go back to listen to it again. xD Is this gonna be a fun little side game or wut. Guess the gibang song~

Thanks for the recap. ^^

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I agree with that guess that gilbang song!

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ha. i tried to guess the gibang song, too! thought it sounded familiar but i couldn't name it. waited for the recap, hoping JB would name.heh :)

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".....and Lee Ji Wook" amen to that. Lol

This has become my fav new show. I really like the pace and the way it's shaping up.
It's definitely keeping me intrigued and eager for more.

Can't wait till next week.

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i really like this drama,i even repeat some interesting scene, i really like prince n princess conversation, it's really cute, the prince keep say nice thing n smile even actually he's cold, i like his changing expression after princess left, the princess is cute n innocent
The introduction of the tree musketeers also interesting.
So far i really like crown prince charracter he's not simple charracter n unique n so crown princess, she's different than most queen or soon to be queen charracter in drama

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Thanks for the recap. Sounds like Duma fun. I'll watch it. Mi-ruyng sounds like Lady de Winter character from the book so she must be his, Athos's aka Sohyeon's, first love who is presumed dead. The plot of Three Musketeers does work just fine in any period and any country. Hooray for sageuks! I could honestly never find anything wrong with any of them. Horses, swords, fights, bows & arrows, muskets? nice belts, shoulder pads, armor, cool headwear, hot guys with long hair. What's not to like?

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Thank you, Javabean, for exciting recap. This series sounds so intriguing and fun. Can't wait for the subs!

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Why, oh why does this drama only have one episode a week?! The suspense is killing me!
I really love it so far and since I dropped Joseon gunman after a few episodes, I'm left with nothing to watch.

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Thank you for the recap.

I had super low expectations after I found out who Dal Hyang was and came into this for LJW.

But now that the story has started, it's not bad at all. I'll stay on and see what happens. I love it when I do not know what happens. So often these days things are predictable.

The OTP is unpredictable. I wasn't expecting the princes to be like this. And so far love his 2 bodyguards.

Dal Hyang- the actor needs to sell his character. He is supposed to be naive and talented true.... but still not getting it or on his side.

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I think I'm in love. I've got that fluttery feeling in my gut and everything.

I see clear parallels in the characters and their personalities with the novel as well as some story segments so I tend to think of them as their novel counterparts. For instance Park Dal-hyang I think of as d'Artagnan, Sohyeon as Athos and so on.

Given that I guess that makes Mi-ryung Milady de Winter being Sohyeon's ex of sorts. Does that then make the crown princess Constance Bonacieux, if so that seems awfully risky for Dal-hyang/d'Artagnan, also I fear she won't make it to seasons two and three if she's Constance Bonacieux and they follow the novel that much.

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Yoon-seo is modeled on Queen Anne and Mi-ryang is Milady. The official website has the counterparts -- would you guys like the full list?

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I would like it. Thanks~!

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yes please.

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Sure thing:

Dal-hyang - D'Artagnan
Prince Sohyeon - Athos
Seung-po - Porthos
Min-seo - Aramis
Yoon-seo - Queen Anne
Mi-ryung - Milady
Ingguldai - Duke of Buckingham
No-soo (Eyepatch) - Rochefort
King Injo - Louis XIII
Kim Ja-jeom - Cardinal Richelieu

Haven't met yet:
Choi Myung-gil (minister) - Treville
Pan-swe (Dal-hyang's servant) - Planchet

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So there's still hope..I'm waiting for Constance...:)

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I hope they cast a young actress as constance even by season 2..:)

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So... Ingguldai and the Crown Princess are lovers??? I'm presuming that's not the case.

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Anais: Not to familiar with it but if I remember correctly in the historical aspect the crown prince and crown princess are sent away as hostages so, if they are following that line I suppose things can happen?

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::HISTORY SPOILER ALERT::

Since YeonSeo is Queen Anne, then she won't get the prince's love that easily. Though, they do become comradely when sent off as hostages later in their marriage.

But, here's where I'm thinking there might be a Man in the Iron Mask story: instead of CP dying as in history, he's locked away and the younger brother becomes this king everyone hates.

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But in history, the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess had a very positive relationship.

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I still think the Crown Princess is more like a Queen Anne/Constance Bonacieux fusion.

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"And Lee Jin-Wook."
Yay for the last sentence of your Comments for Ep 2. Smiling! Agreeing!!!

javabeans, thanks for the recap & for sharing your thoughts.

Kudos to efforts of cast.
The 'goodbye' dialogue beween Dal-Hyang & Yoon-seo is full of repressed feelings; Sadness, regrets & longing lumped together like one huge block of rough-edged concrete pounding on the chest. No angst. No angst, to be sure, because of palpable love for each other, even as they speak of cutting ties. One can almost hear their hearts breaking....

More than words! That is how I will remeber the scene. For a long time.

And as if the moment wasn't enough to drown me, that fateful night ended with Dal-hyang's voice over, assuring his parents thru a letter, with words any parents want to hear. Rather, words which parents need to hear. That Dal-hyang deemed it more urgent to comfort his parents, touches me not with pity but with growing admiration for his innate strength, i.e., even in wallowing weakness, he keeps his very own beloved LOVED. But really, it is also a way to comfort himself, perhaps by instinct or impulse, to survive, even if the spirit has lost all enthusiasm.

Lee jin-wook as Crown Prince: Fine, flawless and subtle perfromance. Does not surprise me. And I want more! (rawr for mawr, LOL) I wonder, is it TAKE 1 only when he films a scene?! I figure....And the eyes! It speaks of another language, huh?! It does. Like nothing I have heard or read about. Trying not to sound like some loony fangirl here, but can't help it.

From the concluding segments of Ep1 to he start of Ep2, I find myself distracted, albeit not in a bad way, by the unbelievably hyper Minister (you know! yeah, that one, LOL; there can only be ONE!). Am smitten, hahaha. Maybe being calm is not his virtue, but he sure is 'uber' the top spicing things up.

Mi-ryung makes my mind amlessly wanders into the world of Batolu babe, Empress Ki, Ta Hwan. And, this is a compliment.

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for goodbye scene of Dalhyang n crown princess, i don't feel the sadness, what i get from this scene is princess feel sorry because dalhyang keep the promise when she keep moving, accepting her destiny n forget him, i didn't see crown princess still has feeling for him anymore.
Dalhyang also already accept that even he still has feeling for her

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Edited:
On Mi-ryung: My mind aimlessly wanders into the world of Batolu babe :), Empress Ki, WYoo, Ta Hwan. And, this is a compliment.

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i love empress ki,esp King Wang yoo

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Please,fan-girl all you want regards Lee Jin-Wook. I'm also a member of the LJW appreciation club. The guy is HAWT. I love his eyes

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bloody hawt indeed :)

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thanks for the recap javabeans XD !
from what i observe, Yoon-seo character is queen Anne ? and if Mi ryung character is milady so will she has a relationship with Dalhyang later ? (if this drama straightly include this like in the novel).
Aaahhh want more episode XD, tjis episode not a Dalhyang-centric episode like before, but give more layer to the political tension.
Lee Jin Wook he's half of my reason to watch this show XD.

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This show is definitively of to a good start *please continue to be good pleasepleaseplease*

Loved the back stories and how the bromance is shaping up between all of them, Although Dal-Yang is the reluctant part in it.

I feel for the princess (although I though the crying was bad/distracting.. It was like the fake crying of some of the children here). As Javabeans say his politeness really becomes a tool to hurt her. That smile of his makes it so that you are not really sure where you have him or if his words are serious, joking or what they are really saying.

I'm also suspecting Mi-Ryong of being the prince's first love. It fits with the shock both of them experienced by seeing each other again, especially his lingering one.

I've also grown to like the narrator. I wasn't sold on the way it was done in the beginning of the first episode, but it grew on me and I liked it in this one. Hope it continues along the deadpan sorta feel it has. An inkling that his life ws going to contain troubles indeed.

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Campy without being cheesy - I like that, javabeans.

I am pleased, no, thrilled, with this drama. The scenery, the colors, the acting, the back story, the mystery, the action are exciting to follow. Mi-ryung is beautiful and evil in red and black - what is her master plan? It's an exciting twist.

I actually felt sorry for Yoon-Seo the way Sohyeon disregarded her and felt she didn't deserve it, at least with what we know thus far. But Sohyeon is a bit sassy all around, which makes him quite likeable although hard to read. He certainly has his hands full with the paranoid king/father.

Dal-hyang is earnest and hardworking but inexperienced which gets him into trouble. To not realize that he might be riding into enemy territory or a trap was shockingly naive on his part.
Boo hoo ~only one episode/week ~

Please check out Dal-hyang fan art *click* owl ~

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Oh man, now that I know they're all reluctant life partners with tragic past love stories, I'm so cheering on the prince and the princess to fall in love for real! since they both seem like good people and deserve an affectionate person on their side.

Totally went into this for the bromance but now to get this possible romance makes me even more happy unless I'm shipping the wrong ship then SAD FACE!!

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and I'm hoping Prince Sohyeon's fate will be more like Man in the Iron Mask than actual story. Show, please fake out his eventual demise, please?! DON'T MAKE ME INVESTED THEN CRYYYYYYYYY!

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I know, right. When the first episode aired last week, I went and educated myself on the period of history that the drama is recreating and my first reaction was 'What? The prince died? NOOOOOO.' Please, please don't kill my Athos drama.

Thank you javabeans for the recap. And as for how someone could fake their death by hanging, have you seen The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus? I'm not saying that's what happened, but could be one of the possibilities, if we're putting out theories about it.

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I am really enjoying watching this drama and I can't wait to see the four-way bromance that is about to happen.
I also found myself tearing up at Dal-Hyang and Yoon-seo's goodbye because I really felt bad for them and their fates.

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Trish,
Yeah, for YS to have to go thru the trouble of finding DH, in an attempt at closure, sad :(

The script, while kept at a minimum, echoes a lot more. Simple words, short replies, yet loaded with that which, given the circumstances, are better left unsaid. And I say, 'in an attempt", because without trying to pre-empt or predict subsequent events (& no intent to ship couples), 'that' evening, to me, is not closure. At all. Phrase "negative pregnant" comes to mind, i.e., a NO that mirrors the opposite!

And when I saw the entourage with YS that evening, I found myself worrying, LOL, can that secret meeting remain a secret?
kidding now: Cellphone would have come handy, with Line, WhatsApp, FaceTime, LOL. Altho, yeah, closure thru cell phone, half-hearted or otherwise, would be in bad taste, now, as in the past. :))

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That was a good episode to hook us in. My only complaint would be the fight choreography but I think that's just me since I grew up watching all those chinese period movies/dramas with fantastic martial arts. Oh, and the preview kinda sucked. You don't end an episode with a cliffhanger of the lead milliseconds away from certain death by arrows (suspension of disbelief) and then show a preview of him escaping. That kinda defeats the purpose of your cliffhanger.

Thanks JB for the recap!

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Prince Sohyeon is killed by his own father King Injo in the end. His three children will be exiled and his wife will be executed.

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Hi,

I usually watch subtitled dramas on DramaFever or Viki but neither of these have The Three Musketeers yet. Any recommendations for another site where I can watch it?

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gooddrama.net but for me sageuks are meant to be watched in HD so I usually download them

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Thanks :-)

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You can watch it in hd at kdrama.com. It's also fully subtitled

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Thank you :-)

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kdrama.com officially has the license.

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I love the Crown Princess. I love how she loses it and starts freaking out on the Crown Prince. It's such a breath of fresh air, so much so that even he responds that she isn't holding herself back whatsoever. And though she may seem a bit impetuous, it's apparent (to the viewers) that she's no superficial brat.

I'm dying to know what misunderstanding exists to have led to such coldness from him toward her. I'm almost wondering if backroom machinations led Miryeong to think that the Crown Prince rejected her or that the Crown Princess's people tried to murder her and pass it off as a suicide.

I have not read Dumas' Three Musketeers, so off to sparknotes I go.

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I got a copy of the original three books (Three Musketeers, Twenty Years Later, and Vicomte de Bragelonne) from Project Gutenberg. :D

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Just FYI, if D'Artagnan isn't having sex, then you've got the censored version from the prudish and prissy turn of the century. Unfortunately because the censored version was so widely used, no one bothered to do a good translation until..wait for it…2006 (!!!)
Let's just say, people who read the book as kids were in for a surprise when the re-read the new translation as adults (though his interactions with Milady made about a million times more sense).

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Tangential here but translations...

Oh my, I selected a new translation of Arabian Nights to have my junior high/high school students read, but after reading the frame story, I had to put the kibosh on that idea. Very explicit account of sex multiple times within just the frame story.

This Arabian Nights certainly isn't for the elementary school reading list.

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Mmm, I think this is the censored version, it's quite... tame :D Guess it will have to do for now though.

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To be fair, that's the one most people know and are familiar with.

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Aww I cried with the Princess. It was quite realistic, her outburst. The actress displayed her mixed feelings really well. I didn't expect to love the Crown Princess but this episode made me a fan.

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lol on prince and his wife scene. I think I like this couple (Yay for SuBaekHyang actress. She can sing too). Dal-hyang and Mi-ryung can go away. History says Prince and his wife were not on good terms just like the way this ep described it. However, later on they developed special bonds when they were away in China as hostages. I like this show took lighter tone (Cruel palace has serious version of this couple).

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Loving this! Lee Jin Wook and his eye-crinkles! I'd forgotten how much I love those eye-crinkles.

Who else noticed Seung Po and his nose-picking? The first time I saw it in episode 1, I was like, Wait, did he just...? Gross! Now I realize it's a recurring tic of his character, and it's still gross, but also hilarious.

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There is just something about this show and i'm totally hooked! Loving all the casts and script writing. I normally watch an episode of a drama , pause, do something else and watch again later... this.. i watched it from start to finish in one seating and i'm craving for more! Good job to all casts and crew.

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Thanks for the recap! :D

I like that Min-seo was a monk, in keeping with Aramis being a churchman. Didn't realize until I started reading the book that even the opening (in Ep. 1) was also true to the novel, with the discovery of Dalhyang's memoirs, heh.

Also, apparently the time period where this is set is also approximately the same time period of the novel, only in different countries (King Injo's reign was 1620s to 1640s and the novel opens in 1625).

I'm kinda hoping that they will give the drama a positive ending though-- we already know what happened to the actual historical figures, and to the characters in the original Dumas stories, but could they just... end the drama before that, and have the four musketeers ride off happily into the sunset? :(

Kinda cursing the fact now that it's only one episode per week, because I'm hooked. (And mian, Yongie, bebe, I love you, and D'Artagnan was my favorite character in the novel and the movies, but right now I think I'm in love with the prince.)

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"...have the four musketeers ride off happily into the sunset?"-Amen to that though my head is saying to prepare my heart beforehand.

Anyone knows how the rating was for the 2nd episode?

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i watch the movie really longtime ago i forget some detail of the story but the charracter that i remember is d'artagnan but here i'm captivate by crown prince

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Seo Hyun-jin was excellent in King's daughter Soo Baek Hyan. But before she started the role, she just finished playing a villan in Goddness of Fire. It took me more than a few eps to get rid of her villain image. Now I have her image with Jo Hyun Jae as a couple. They look so perfect each other and both did excellent job,,, so it is hard to replace her image with her current role... but again, just like King's daugher, it will take only a bit more than a couple of eps of the Three Musketeers to get rid of her past image,,, I hope.
She has such classic facial features that suite historical dramas.

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"I’ll commend the actress, Seo Hyun-jin, for a really winning take on the character—she can be pretty timid and maybe even childlike (I found her teary outburst with Sohyeon really cute in the scene when he told her she’d imagined his coldness), and being tough isn’t her inclination, but I suspect she’ll find her mettle and become stronger than people expect of her."

- I agree! I was really nervous about this character and actress based on the teasers for some reason, but I had faith in this writer so I wasn't too worried. Now I'm actually quite taken with her. I like how she handled her goodbye with Dal-hyang and how she tries to make the most of her position in life. Interestingly, while I'm not really rooting for any romance in this, if I were, it would be her and Sohyeon learning to support each other as partners.

All in all, though, that's not why I'm here. I'm super stoked for the bromance in store! Love all of them and can't wait for the real story to unfold!

Also I've never seen Kim Sung-min in a role like this before (lol he's always a weasely cheater, it seems like) but he's quite commanding as the villain so far. And I'm very intrigued by Mi-ryung and can't wait to learn about her past with the Crown Prince!

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I felt that the Crown Prince was a tad too cold to the Crown Princess. Now, that he has found that the love of his life deceived him and is a villain, maybe he can refocus his efforts into making his marriage WORK! I feel so bad for the Crown Princess, there is nothing like trying to kindle a spark in a marital partner who's plain not interested.

What is the mystery behind Mi- Ryung's fake death and current occupation? I sense a conspiracy somewhere. Hope the drama delves further into this in later episodes.

I must say that since the drama was filmed in the dark, at night, I found the lack of light quite distracting in most of the scenes in this episode and it kind of removed my enjoyment of the drama. Hoping that the lighting improves in further episodes.

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I thought episode 2 did good in setting up tje premise of a war that is about to take place...and such a good cliffhanger...:) Pabo Dalhyang!!!Better think fast and escape..keke

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thanks for recap... can't wait ep 3 :D

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This show made me re-read The Three Musketeers. Such a good book! Haven't viewed this one yet. Holding off to marathon once I complete the reading.

Thanks for this, and all the recaps, here at Dramabeans.

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I had a lot of sympathy for YS, who was already attached to DH, but had no choice except to accept the position of Crown Princess. Then we find out that she's been stuck in a loveless marriage, and that even if she wanted to make her marriage work, the Crown Prince isn't having a bar of it.

I love Lee Jin Wook's cheeky smile, but when he was goading the princess, I wanted to smack that grin right off his face!

I think the farewell scene showed a gutsy side of YS, in braving discovery to go and "put things right" with DH. I think she still has feelings for DH, but even if she didn't, she'd surely feel the stark contrast between those days and her current position - it brings home everything that's missing in her marriage. The poor girl must be feeling at her wit's end - she can't go back to DH, but her husband refuses to have a real relationship with her.

And yes, DH's letter to his parents ... *wipes away a tear*

As for the King - another weak monarch? Sigh.

Meanwhile, looking forward to next week's "guess the gibang song"! At this rate, I expect regular sessions at the gibang every week. It'll be like those dramas where everyone hangs out there 'cos there's Only. One. Cafe. (kinda like Friends)

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Depicting Injo as a weak monarch is historically accurate. It was during his reign that Joseon Korea was made subject to the Manchu, after two devastating invasions that raped and pillaged the country.

I'd say Injo isn't merely "another" weak monarch but rather an emblem of Joseon dynasty's weak monarchs. There were other weak monarchs (Seonjo of the Imjin War w/ the Japanese pops into mind, which is why I think a lot of people confuse the Seonjo and Injo, besides the same last syllable), other despots (Yeonsangun, who slayed other royal family members), etc., but Injo who had to kowtow to the Manchu sort of stands out.

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An interesting intersection of history, indeed! Thanks for the background info, @anais!

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Hi JB, is there going to be a recap for ep 3 onwards?

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