Three Musketeers: Episode 11
If there’s one perk to this whole once a week format, maybe it’s that we can watch the penultimate episode and get a whole seven days before having to face the… well, I won’t say it here. As far as this hour goes, it’s a gratifying watch for fans of Yoon-seo, Sohyeon, and Dal-hyang, even if the satisfaction of seeing them surmount longstanding obstacles means they’re just that much freer to face new ones. Gird your loins, folks—it’ll probably get worse before it gets better.
SONG OF THE DAY
N.O.X. – “All For One” feat. Dindin from the OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 11: “A Kiss”
The governor of Anju is in for a rude awakening when he realizes that he’s put the crown prince in prison, and grovels before Min-seo by way of apology. “I am so sorry I didn’t recognize you, Your Highness!”
Sohyeon just smiles good-naturedly as he tells the governor to address him and not Min-seo, because he’s the crown prince. Ahaha. The governor STILL didn’t recognize him. I do love this running gag.
Because the governor is the one who sent the potentially damning letter regarding the whole Ingguldai/Dal-hyang issue to the king, he’s now scared out of his wits when Sohyeon corrects his mistaken assumption that Dal-hyang is alive.
And since Dal-hyang is on the way to the capital to tell the king just how incompetent the governor is, he better listen to Sohyeon carefully if he wants to save his position (and head).
After making sure that Ingguldai returned to Qing safely, the Three Musketeers return to the place Sohyeon claimed he was convalescing in, only to find out from Eunuch Kim that the king paid a visit and was incensed his son was nowhere to be found.
So Eunuch Kim gave King Injo the only excuse he would believe: that Sohyeon and his buddies had gone to the capital to feed their gambling addiction.
Seung-po is mortified because of how much trouble they got in the last time that excuse was used, but there’s not much they can do. In order to properly fool Injo, they have to go to a gambling den in Hanyang and be “caught” there.
I love how none of them are into it and practically fall asleep at the table until they hear royal guards approaching. Sohyeon has the good grace to act embarrassed and outraged at being caught red-handed, while the guard admonishes him for falling back into old habits. If only they knew.
The three of them are brought before King Injo for a proper talking-to, where Injo rants and raves about how worthless they are for gambling during their probationary punishment period.
They might be incorrigible, Injo argues, but there’s at least one man who received the same punishment they did and actually did something with himself…
…And in walks Dal-hyang, outfitted as a proper royal guard now instead of just an officer of the state. Nice. The boys look utterly shocked as Injo points to him, all, See? He actually did something with his life!”
Then we hear Dal-hyang narrating in voiceover that while the three musketeers were running around the country doing all the heavy lifting, he got showered with luck in the capital.
Dal-hyang continues narrating the events he wasn’t present for, starting with Kim Ja-jeom’s arrest following Sohyeon’s talk with the governor of Anju. They begged Ingguldai’s forgiveness for almost executing him (for a murder he didn’t commit, no less), and asked him to bear witness to Kim Ja-jeom’s dealings.
So a new report was written and sent to the king three days later detailing everything Kim Ja-jeom had done. Now that Kim’s claim that Ingguldai murdered Dal-hyang has been proven false by Dal-hyang being alive and well, Injo met with him in the palace.
Dal-hyang attested to how he survived underneath the floorboards, and how he overheard Kim Ja-jeom plotting to use his “death” to dethrone the princess.
Injo was so impressed by Dal-hyang’s story of survival that he promoted him to a senior officer, which leads us back to the present. The three musketeers are all shocked when Injo ushers Dal-hyang close enough to pat him on the back, and I gotta admit, their faces are pretty priceless.
It’s only when Injo lays on the praise and tells the boys to follow The Great Dal-hyang’s example that Sohyeon chimes in to suggest that maaaybe Dal-hyang didn’t accomplish everything alone—but to admit his part would make his gambling excuse moot, so he has to listen to his father tell him to be more like Dal-hyang. Hah.
Outside, the boys joke about Dal-hyang’s snazzy new position and the power that comes with it, which has Dal-hyang acting all bashful. Though he has something to report to Sohyeon, he’ll do it later… when he’s off work. They must remember when they had jobs, right?
It’s cute to see the boys complain to Sohyeon, who tells them that Dal-hyang’s words will be more highly regarded than his own right now—so if they want half a chance, they better take their complaints (and hopeful bribes) to Dal-hyang directly.
Since it’s Sohyeon’s first time back in the palace for over a month, he approaches Yoon-seo’s quarters with a happy smile. He remembers how she’d worried that she’d never return, and walks into her room all excited to greet her…
…Only to visibly deflate to learn she isn’t there, since she’s gone to the temple to pray for the queen’s death anniversary. He seems so happy when he’s told that she hasn’t left the palace gates quite yet, and instead of calling her to his quarters, he ventures outside to find her caravan himself.
Though he gets a little lost on the way, he eventually finds Yoon-seo saying her goodbyes on her way out. She’s so excited to see him she nearly loses her hairpiece while running over, and becomes even more aflutter when her husband asks her something as simple as, “Have you been well?”
They whisper like true co-conspirators as she shows him the Hairpin of Destiny that’s now safely on her head and tells him about the suspenseful way Dal-hyang delivered it to her.
Sohyeon’s face twitches just a little when she goes into too much detail about how cool Dal-hyang was for swooping in at that last moment, and cuts in that he’s the one who sent him to her. Yoon-seo blinks: “Yes, I already knew that.”
He doesn’t know what to say, and awkwardly wishes her a good trip. Yoon-seo follows when he walks away in embarrassment to ask if she did something wrong, and Sohyeon’s vague and confused reply is more like a “Maybe?” than she would’ve liked.
But it’s less of him placing blame on her and more his own confusion, because he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Before Yoon-seo can finish asking him to clarify, Sohyeon swoops in for a kiss. Yes, you read that right.
He looks just as unsure as she does when he pulls away and tells her not to ask him what just happened, since he doesn’t know. His smile is short-lived as he turns to head on his way, leaving Yoon-seo looking happily dazed while touching her lips, as if to remember the feeling longer.
Sohyeon receives the report Dal-hyang wanted to give him via a letter, in which Dal-hyang informs him that he captured Mi-ryung. Rewind to the day of Princess Jeongmyeong’s party, where Yoon-seo had proven herself by showing up with the Hairpin Of Destiny.
The newest spy Mi-ryung placed in the court witnessed the events, but lied when making her report to Mi-ryung: According to her, the princess never even showed up to the party.
While Mi-ryung is left nearly hyperventilating, her messenger passes a solitary figure on her way out—it’s Dal-hyang, dressed in innocuous black in an attempt to track down Mi-ryung.
The emotion Mi-ryung feels is actually triumph, since she believed the messenger’s words and thinks she’s won over the haughty princess. But then Pan-swe, claiming to be an innocent messenger sent by a man with an eyepatch, gives her a letter from who she believes to be Kim Ja-jeom.
In it, Not Kim Ja-jeom tells her that the plan in Anju went off without a hitch, and that Sohyeon has agreed to take her as his wife. Overcome with something-like-but-not-necessarily-joy, Mi-ryung followed the instructions in the letter detailing where to meet Sohyeon. Of course, that’s just what Dal-hyang wanted her to think.
He deliberately led her outside the city so news would be slow to reach her, and reports exactly where she’s staying to the prince—but he won’t make a move without Sohyeon’s order.
Dressed like an unmarried girl from a noble house, Mi-ryung waits anxiously for days until Sohyeon arrives. She looks wounded yet hopeful as she asks him if he signed the marriage contract Kim Ja-jeom offered, and when he says yes, she at least has the decency to bow her head in pseudo-shame: “You’re disappointed in me, aren’t you? I know you are.”
She tells him that she wanted to keep the promise she made (to stay away from him) so badly, but that she suffered at Kim Ja-jeom’s hands and was forced to take his offer when he said he’d make her a princess.
When Sohyeon tells her that she still could’ve refused, she claims she tried, and did, but Kim Ja-jeom didn’t listen. She’s a victim too, she claims, and this is just how it happened.
“So… do you like this conclusion? No matter what the process was, the result is that you’d become the crown princess. Do you like it?” Instead of answering, she asks how he feels about it, only to leap to embrace him when he flippantly says, “Well, when I think about it, it won’t be too bad.”
That’s all the validation she needed apparently, since she starts acting all coy and cute as she talks like they’re already a couple. As she goes on and on about her dream future with him, Sohyeon’s expression remains unyielding and distant.
All he has to do is give her a few words here and there to bait her into spilling everything, including how she told Yoon-seo to kill herself rather than living to be disgraced and humiliated, because she’s just that nice.
“She doesn’t know about us,” Mi-ryung says in a baby voice, while tightening her arms around Sohyeon. “I told her that our bond can’t be severed so easily.”
Sohyeon finally pulls away, and tells Mi-ryung in a monotonous voice that he’s glad she didn’t leave the country like she had planned, because they wouldn’t have been able to meet again like this. Is she so oblivious to her crimes that she doesn’t see Sohyeon’s words for what they are?
Mi-ryung believes he’s taking her to the capital so they can be married, but before hopping into the palanquin, she stops to point out the irony of Eunuch Kim having to now serve the woman he once tried to kill. Someone doesn’t know how not to count their chickens before they’re hatched.
It’s almost sad to see how happy Mi-ryung is as she’s taken away in a palanquin, fully believing that Sohyeon will soon follow her to the palace. She has a vision of what she’d look like as the crown princess exiting her palanquin, but when the vision fades, she steps out of the palanquin…
…And into a prison. Eunuch Kim informs her that she’ll be interrogated soon, but Mi-ryung doesn’t seem to fully grasp what’s going on, at least not until Eunuch Kim tells her that it was the crown prince who put her here.
Mi-ryung still can’t believe it, because she still thinks Sohyeon signed that marriage contract… but that’s when Dal-hyang arrives to set her straight. Just the fact that he’s alive comes as a huge shock to her.
Dal-hyang has no trouble listing the crimes that put her here: her telling the princess to commit suicide, her drugging Ingguldai because she wanted him to kill Dal-hyang—the list goes on and on. But Mi-ryung can kiss any chance she never had at becoming princess goodbye.
The next person Dal-hyang gets to greet on their way to prison is Kim Ja-jeom, who’s also surprised to see Dal-hyang alive. Dal-hyang tells him that he’ll have Mi-ryung to keep him company, so they can have time to catch up before their impending
torture interrogation session.
Mi-ryung calls Dal-hyang to ask—no, beg—for him to give her an audience with the crown prince. She knows this is all a big misunderstanding that can easily be cleared up if she could just talk to Sohyeon…
But when Dal-hyang informs her that Sohyeon has no intentions of seeing her ever again, Mi-ryung shouts her denial before reining herself in. “He can’t abandon me like this,” she says shakily. “We love each other.”
“Love?” Dal-hyang scoffs at her use of the word, as he tells her point blank that what she calls love is nothing but an obsession. Mi-ryung’s expression turns dark as she promises, “I don’t know how you survived, but I’ll kill you myself.”
Dal-hyang is the opposite of threatened, and dares her to do her worst. Mi-ryung changes tactics when he turns to leave, and begs pitifully for him to let her see Sohyeon just once before she dies.
It doesn’t work on Dal-hyang, who points out that the girl who’s trying to make him feel pity for her impending death just threatened to kill him. He doesn’t care what she does, but reminds her that he’ll be watching no matter what.
Dal-hyang leaves the prison feeling pretty pleased with himself, especially since tricking her into a prison cell saved him from another unfortunate meeting with one of her poisoned needles. He leaves Eunuch Kim to report what happened to Sohyeon, since he’s planned to meet his father, who came all the way to the capital to visit him.
After Sohyeon hears of Mi-ryung’s utter shock at being arrested with nary more than a “Good work” to Eunuch Kim, we find Dal-hyang eagerly riding home with an enormous grin on his face.
He and his father are so excited to see each other they can barely stick to formalities, but Dal-hyang insists on bowing to his father even though he can’t stop smiling.
It’s a joyous reunion of the highest sort, and if Dad thinks his son has moved up in the world because he now has a slave, he’s in for the shock of his life when Dal-hyang shows him his palace ID, equipped with his name and now-senior official rank.
Dad is so over the moon he loses the ability to speak for a while, and it’s adorable how proud Dal-hyang is to tell him all about his new position and how important he is now. Cue a bowathon between father and son.
Mi-ryung has a full-scale mental breakdown in prison, and spends the night whispering “We love each other, he’s waiting for me, I have to get out,” over and over again.
But the scullery maid sent to deliver food to her is in for a nasty surprise when she sees Mi-ryung hanging from the rafters. Eek.
While regaling his father with slightly-inflated tales of his bravery, Dal-hyang is interrupted with the news that Mi-ryung/Hyang-sun hung herself. The word is that she went insane, and Dal-hyang can’t help but think of her last desperate plea as he rides to the prison.
There, he finds out that she wasn’t dead when they cut her down, and has been transferred out for treatment. No sooner does Dal-hyang go to the makeshift clinic that a man runs out yelling that there’s been a murder—Mi-ryung killed the doctor and disappeared.
While the palace guards start scrambling to find Mi-ryung, Dal-hyang finds the doctor with Mi-ryung’s signature fatal needle sticking out of her neck. Only then do the prison guards discover that the knot was tied incorrectly from the start, proving that Mi-ryung had no intentions of dying from the start.
Sohyeon, unaware that there’s a situation in the palace due to Mi-ryung’s escape, finds himself unable to sleep that night. He takes a candle to visit Yoon-seo’s receiving room, content to just stare at the place where she’d normally sit.
I love how Eunuch Kim has to remind him that Yoon-seo will be back in a day, causing Sohyeon to sigh that tomorrow is so far away. “What have I been doing until now?” he asks himself. “I’ve wasted so much time.” Aww.
Meanwhile, Pan-swe receives a gift of alcohol from Seung-po, causing Dad to get all huffy and parent-like as he demands to know who this “friend” of his son’s is. Of course, he’s shocked into silence when Pan-swe tells him of Seung-po’s impressive lineage as well as his friendship with the crown prince.
Dal-hyang is the one to tell Eunuch Kim of Mi-ryung’s escape, because he’s worried she’ll go after Sohyeon. That worry is only exacerbated when he’s told that the crown prince went on an outing, and not even Eunuch Kim knows where he is.
After an interlude of prison commentary from Kim Ja-jeom, Dal-hyang stops by his house to retrieve his sword. He’s not expecting a surprise visit from Seung-po and Min-seo, who haven’t heard of Mi-ryung’s escape and came to party with Dal-hyang and Dad.
Dal-hyang’s eyes widen when he sees Seung-po already carrying his own jug of wine (which means he didn’t have one sent to Dad), as he thinks back to Mi-ryung’s threat to kill him.
Fearing the worst, Dal-hyang rushes to Dad’s room to find him slumped over the table. Oh no, is he dead? Dal-hyang is afraid of the answer as he edges forward, gently calling his father as he pulls him away from the table…
…But Dad is already gone. Dal-hyang can only hold his body and cry.
Yoon-seo finds herself unable to sleep that night when all her thoughts are of the kiss she and Sohyeon shared, but it all works out for the best when she’s led to a late night visitor: Sohyeon.
He’s dressed for hunting, but tells her it’s just an excuse before he pulls her in for a kiss. The look of shock on Yoon-seo’s face slowly changes as she gives herself over to the feeling, resulting in a gentle, lingering experience.
“Do you want to know why I’m like this?” Sohyeon asks after he pulls away. “I didn’t know yesterday, but I do now. I won’t tell you,” he adds. “I’d feel like a fool. I have to uphold my pride, you know.” With that, he smiles as he asks her to hurry up and come home tomorrow—he doesn’t want to stay alone in his rom anymore.
Yoon-seo can’t believe what she’s hearing, even though she’s filled with joy. Sohyeon can’t help but smile as he he leans in for another kiss: “Until tomorrow, good night.”
He looks back at her and smiles. She can’t help but do the same, and offers him a tiny wave to send him on his way.
But when Sohyeon prepares to mount his horse, he finds his quiver of arrows missing. No sooner does he realize something’s wrong that an arrow flies past his face…
…And straight into Yoon-seo.
I swear, one of these days there better be a comedy where two characters who’ve just shared a lingering slo-mo smile turn away from each other, and win the lottery. Or adopt a puppy. Literally anything that isn’t disaster and mayhem would do, and would maybe help ease the tendency dramas have instilled in us to be only moderately happy at all times, because you’re just asking for it otherwise.
If all we’re supposed to feel for Mi-ryung is disdain, then these past few episodes have certainly accomplished that. The only thing that feels lacking with her is that she’s not pitiable enough to earn much empathy, nor is she so hateful that we can’t help but look forward to her downfall. She’s doing plenty of bad things, sure, but I can’t help but feel mostly ambivalent regarding her actions at this point. I don’t think even Mi-ryung is sure what Mi-ryung wants anymore.
Here’s the thing: it’s fine for her to be obsessed with Sohyeon, it’s fine for her to be a villain and murderess, and it’s even fine for her to have lost her mind—it’s just that it’s hard to relate to and/or understand an irrational person doing irrational things. Is the message that she’s weak-willed and blind whenever she’s not actively angry? Because I have a hard time buying into the fact that that the girl who believed she could force Sohyeon to marry her without any lingering doubts or suspicions could then fake her own hanging, kill a person, send poison to another, and arrange for the crown princess to be shot. And all in the same day, no less!
Poor Dal-hyang, though. The scenes with him and his father were too cute for words, literally, since we’ve all been that kid with our parents at one time or another. But Dal-hyang had something to legitimately be proud of, especially since he wasn’t just showing off his most impressive piece of macaroni noodle artwork, but the fact that he’s in a position of power that only the best and brightest can achieve. If nothing else, at least Dad died a proud parent. (*sob*)
Sohyeon’s development into personhood has been subtle over the course of the last few weeks, which made his realization that he loved his wife pretty darn endearing. Admittedly, I’m happier for Yoon-seo than I am for him, just because we’ve seen her struggle with her desire to love and be loved while he felt nothing—though I’d like to think that all of those moments contributed to his eventual emotional breakthrough. Here’s hoping that the world won’t be so cruel to take the love of his life away before he’s even gotten a chance to tell her so.
- Three Musketeers: Episode 10
- Three Musketeers: Episode 9
- Three Musketeers: Episode 8
- Three Musketeers: Episode 7
- Three Musketeers: Episode 6
- Three Musketeers: Episode 5
- Kolorful Palette: Great expectations [Three Musketeers]
- Three Musketeers: Episode 4
- Three Musketeers: Episode 3
- Kolorful Palette: Black and white [Three Musketeers]
- Three Musketeers: Episode 2
- Three Musketeers: Episode 1