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Seven Day Queen: Episode 4

This show is lovely and gripping, and today’s episode solidifies everyone’s positions as well as their feelings, their conflicts, and their future tribulations. I love that we can see glimpses of their future selves in these youngsters, and can understand how they come to grow into their adult selves. And more than anything, I’m excited to actually get a glimpse of their adult versions, because as much as I adored the childhood storyline, I’m eager to see how the years have shaped them and paved the way for their reunion.

 

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

After his mad escapade to free Seo-no’s father from execution, Yeok is taken before the king to account for his actions. Yeok kneels down before Yeonsangun, and when asked why he did it, he replies, “For the throne.”

That immediately sets off Yeonsangun (he’s volatile enough on a good day!) but Yeok is remarkably composed as he recites the saying that the voice of the people is the voice of the heavens. “How can one abandon the people and keep the throne?” he asks. He warns that if Yeonsangun insists on punishing without attempting to understand the cause of the crime, the people will turn their backs on him.

Yeonsangun is incredulous that his little brother would dare teach him, but Yeok quotes Mencius’ teaching about the duty of a minister to point out a king’s errors. Yeonsangun accuses him of using Mencius to force him out to become king himself.

Yeok starts to protest, but stops himself and tells the king to believe as he wishes, because he’s clearly not going to believe anything Yeok says. Yeonsangun sneers, “You must really want to die.”

Yeok looks his brother in the eye and replies, “You are the ruler of this Joseon nation. You can do anything.” Yeonsangun orders his brother thrown in prison, and Yeok is dragged away by guards. In the background, snakelike Secretary Im smiles as this all goes down.

At home, Chae-kyung hears what happened to Yeok from her father and is confused—she’d thought that as the king’s brother, Yeok would be safe. Her father tells her that as the king’s brother, Yeok did something he shouldn’t have: He challenged the king’s authority. It’s a grave crime, and he will be punished accordingly.

Chae-kyung can’t believe it, but her father explains that it undermines the king’s authority to take Yeok’s side, and could embolden other royals to back Yeok and incite rebellion. And that’s why the king will punish Yeok: “That is the king’s place, and the weight of the throne.”

That night Yeok sits in prison, feeling bleak. His mother (the queen dowager) comes by, upset that he’s in prison and angry that he put himself in this position. She asks why he did it, and Yeok admits that he doesn’t know—by the time he calmed down and came to his senses, he was in prison.

“I could only think of one thing,” he says. “That if I ignored this matter or ran away, I would never be able to see those friends’ faces for the rest of my life. I would be so ashamed I would not be able to walk with my head up. At the very least, I would have to take responsibility for what I had done.”

The queen dowager bristles at his mention of “friends,” and diminishes his act to a mere impulse to impress his betrothed.

Meeting in private, Secretary Im tells consort Nok-soo that they lost the historian, and that in setting a trap to catch the prince, perhaps their bait was too big. Even so, they’re confident that they can get rid of the prince, and Nok-soo has found a way to ensure that Yeok will be killed. She’ll put forth a petition to the king to spare Yeok’s life—and news will trickle down throughout the palace, down to the lowest servants, spurring them to speak out. The cries of the court to save the prince’s life will infuriate the king, stoking his desire to kill Yeok.

Secretary Im approves of this plan, but adds one request: Take down Minister Shin’s daughter along with the prince, so as to break the minister’s wings.

Chae-kyung mulls over the prince’s predicament, now that she realizes how dire their actions were. She thinks an apology to her father: “I understand your words in my head, but my heart doesn’t.”

Those thoughts lead her to run to the palace, where she identifies herself as the queen’s niece and Minister Shin’s daughter. Those connections are enough to get her through the gates.

Her absence is noticed at home, and her father understands what Chae-kyung intends and rides to the palace hoping that she won’t act rashly.

As Yeonsangun walks toward his courtyard, he finds the entire yard filled with ministers, bowing and pleading for his mercy. This is their third day making such appeals, and as Nok-soo predicted, it provokes Yeonsangun’s temper. He turns back around and leaves the courtyard.

Chae-kyung does her best to evade notice inside the palace grounds, ducking around corners and under building crawlspaces. Yet all that hiding doesn’t stop her from barreling right into the king as he leaves his court, and she goes sprawling at his feet. Swords are drawn and pointed at her head immediately.

But Yeonsangun recognizes her, albeit not in her boy’s disguise today, and pushes a sword away as he explains that he knows her. He even offers a hand to Chae-kyung, who belatedly places how she knows him, exclaiming, “Warrior-nim!” And then she gasps, now that she knows he was the king all this time. Incredulous, she asks multiple times if he’s really and truly the king.

Yeonsangun smiles and confirms it, and Chae-kyung suddenly drops to the ground at his feet. She bows her head and begs him, “Please forgive the prince!” Yeonsangun’s light mood darkens and he clenches his jaw, and around the corner, her father arrives too late to do anything.

Chae-kyung is allowed a private audience with Yeonsangun and kneels before his throne, asking for his forgiveness. He asks if she thinks this situation occurred because of his lack of forgiveness, or whether this matter seems so trivial that one word of forgiveness would solve it all.

He effectively shuts down any argument she might make, but Chae-kyung replies earnestly, “But you want to get along with your brother too.”

She reminds him of the night they met, when he was bathing in the cold stream to work out his anger, which stemmed from his love for his brother.

Yeonsangun returns, “He is the one who betrayed that faith and that effort.”

Minister Shin visits Yeok in prison, asking if it’s true that Chae-kyung was part of the whole mess. He shows him a scroll containing appeals to punish Chae-kyung for her part in the prince’s actions. Yeok recalls his earlier conversation with his mother, who had urged him to blame Chae-kyung, saying that he only did as she requested because he was betrothed to her. His mother argued that the queen would step in to save Chae-kyung; she’s doing this to save her son.

Now Yeok realizes that this appeal is being driven by his mother. Minister Shin adds that Chae-kyung has gone to talk to the king herself and that she will end up being punished in the prince’s place.

Yeok denies the claim, saying hotly, “Who says I did this with her? Do you think I would have done this just for some girl?” Yeok calls out to the guard, intent on seeing the king himself. Minister Shin understands what he means to do, and thinks to himself that he is incurring a debt to the prince.

Chae-kyung, meanwhile, states that she will share the prince’s punishment, reminding the king, “That time, you said you would grant me a wish if we met again.” Yeonsangun says she would have been better off using her favor to ask for Yeok’s forgiveness.

Chae-kyung bursts out that she wishes she could, “But how could I? I can see plainly that you are hurting too. I know it’s not such an easy matter.” But if she can share the punishment, the prince will be less scared and the king will be less pained.

Yeonsangun sighs, “You are pitiable.” He hands her a scroll, informing her that the prince named her as the reason for his actions, so the court ministers are rallying to punish her in place of Yeok. Chae-kyung looks stunned, and Yeonsangun asks if she really did incite everything—if so, he will take the lives of not only her and her father, but also their family.

That’s when Yeok is announced, and Chae-kyung stares at him with pained eyes while he keeps his gaze directed at the king.

Outside the throne room, Minister Shin blocks the path of the queen dowager when she arrives, intent on stepping in. Minister Shin entreats her to do nothing, saying that that is the way to save the prince’s life.

When the king refers to Chae-kyung as Yeok’s friend, Yeok scoffs harshly. In a voice filled with contempt, he lists all the problems he encountered because of her, saying that it’s her fault the rice incident blew up into such trouble.

Chae-kyung is stung at the rejection, and then Yeok grabs her by the shirtfront and yells, “I told you not to get involved in my business and get lost! I told you not to show yourself in front of me again! Did you think I would be grateful if you did this? All you’re doing is trying to relieve your own burden!”

Chae-kyung cries, “What about you? You dumped your own crime onto someone else!” Yeok’s grip on her clothing slackens—his finger still wears her ring—and when he catches her looking at that scroll, he picks it up to read. Keeping his face steely, Yeok asks, “Did you think I’d die alone?”

She challenges his story, about how she somehow orchestrated everything against his wishes, and then tried to blame things on him. It’s not really a watertight explanation, but that doesn’t matter, and Yeok sticks to it. He’s really determined to go down solo, isn’t he?

All the while, Yeonsangun watches the exchange with narrowed, watchful eyes.

Chae-kyung leaves the building in a daze, and is greeted outside by her father. Yeok remains in the throne room and begs for his life, promising to abdicate his princely status and live as a nameless soldier or a country peasant.

Yeonsangun notes that he’s taking the punishment on his own, and Yeok says it’s because he acted on his own. Yeonsangun doesn’t seem to believe that, but Yeok asks him to believe him in this moment.

A short while later, both Yeok and Chae-kyung are called before the court to hear the verdicts. Chae-kyung is addressed first, and asked whether she acknowledges being the one behind the stealing of the rice and the escape of the prisoner. She looks to her father, who gives her a nod to encourage her answer.

Chae-kyung thinks of the threat this poses to her family, and how Yeok denounced their friendship. In a scared voice, she answers haltingly that she doesn’t know anything about anything. “I did not do anything,” she says, crying.

It’s the answer Yeok wants, and he adds that he did everything on his own and will receive his punishment. At that, Chae-kyung shakes her head, seemingly surprised. Her father is instructed to take her away, and then she flings off her father’s hand and exclaims at Yeok, “That’s not true! Why are you lying?”

She pleads with Yeok not to do this, protesting as her father pulls her away again. Outside, she accuses her father of knowing everything all along and calls him bad, along with the prince and the king.

The queen dowager arrives in the courtyard and faces Chae-kyung with blazing eyes, accusing her of turning on her son to save herself. “I will never forget what happened today!” she declares fiercely.

So Yeok is returned to his prison cell, and Chae-kyung is released free and clear. She thinks of when he agreed to marry her, suggesting sweetly that they continue their friendship into marriage, and how he said he’d marry her because he likes her, not because it’s arranged.

Yeok also thinks of their marriage promise, staring at that ring he wears on his finger, thinking of Chae-kyung.

Yeonsangun arrives to a lavish dinner spread set out by the queen dowager, who tells him not to misunderstand her intent, as this dinner appointment had been set weeks in advance. Yeonsangun thinks to himself that she was the one who’d delayed it repeatedly, but sits down to his meal.

The queen dowager is on pins and needles through the meal, holding back from saying anything because of Minister Shin’s warning for her not to intervene. But she can no longer hold back as Yeonsangun excuses himself from the meal, and grabs his arm to beg for the prince’s life to be spared.

Yeonsangun notes, “So, that means you think I will kill Yeok. Still, I had trusted that you were my mother. Because raising me is a form of affection.” (She’s his stepmother.) He continues, “But today, I realize for certain that you are not. You are only Yeok’s mother.”

She shakes her head, trying to say that he has misunderstood. He cuts her off and hisses, “I will save him. In exchange, our relationship ends here. Mother and son, hyung and younger brother—I will no longer be bound by ties of family, and will live only as Joseon’s king.”

The queen dowager looks unnerved, but tells him to do that. Yeonsangun’s face twists, and he stalks out angrily, whereupon he starts to laugh to himself. But his inner thoughts are anguished as he thinks, “No, you’re wrong. You’re my son too. Was it so difficult to say that one thing?”

The queen dowager, on the other hand, regains her steely calm and thinks of Yeonsangun vowing to live as only the king. “You will not get your way,” she says. “Because I will not just stand idly by.”

Things have not gone according to plan for the king’s two shifty cronies, Secretary Im and consort Nok-soo, who wanted this to end in the prince’s death. They urge the king to reconsider his decision to spare his life, slyly suggesting that letting him go will give rise to rumors that Yeok was framed, turning public sentiment toward him and showing him as a victim and hero. Secretary Im adds that they saw how much backing the prince received at court.

But Yeonsangun returns, “Do I have to fear them?” He states that his decision will stand, and the two co-conspirators trade looks of chagrin.

And so, Yeok is allowed to live, but stripped of his royal status. He thinks sadly of happier memories from childhood, when his hyung had taught him how to fight and play and cared for him openly.

Visiting him before his departure from the palace, the queen dowager envelops Yeok in an embrace, urging him to survive no matter what.

As Yeok rides out of the palace with a team of guards, a crowd of commoners watches his departure. His two friends call out to him from the crowd, in tears on his behalf. Yeok tells them to learn from his mistakes and live quietly until he returns. Then he continues riding on.

Chae-kyung tries to leave the house to see Yeok off, but her father puts his foot down, telling her that she and the prince were ill-fated from the start.

And yet, it’s Chae-kyung’s voice that Yeok hears as he rides with his entourage. She clambers through the brush to join him on the road, her eyes brimming with tears. She asks what it will take to save him, if she can just bring back Seo-no’s father, arguing that it’s justified since Seo-no did steal.

Then she stops mid-sentence, shocked at herself, and asks if there’s any other way. Distraught, she cries, “You said you were smart, that you read more difficult books than the king! What good is it being a prince, if you can’t even protect yourself? Are you a dummy?” She hits his chest in between sobs.

Yeok tells her he won’t die, and that he’ll just be away for a while and return. She asks if he can’t stay, promising never to interfere with people’s affairs again, and grabs his horse’s reins as though to keep him here.

Yeok pulls the reins away, taking her hand in his, and tells her she can keep the salamander statue in his desk. She asks if that’ll be the proof of his promise to return. He nods.

She touches the ring he’s wearing and tells him to take care of it, because that’s her promise to wait. They’re both crying now, and frankly so am I, and Chae-kyung reaches up to wipe the tears from his face.

Afterward, Chae-kyung makes her way to Yeok’s mostly-empty room and finds that salamander statue in his desk. At the sound of approaching steps, she instinctively hides behind a screen even as she wonders why she’s hiding.

Yeonsangun enters the room, and his gaze falls on Yeok’s bipa instrument, which he’d used to play for him. “I spared your life,” he thinks. “This is my final act of mercy.”

Chae-kyung startles him by stepping out from behind the screen, then bows deeply on the ground. He starts to leave, but stops when Chae-kyung promises, “Until the prince returns, I will be your sibling, your friend, and your family. So let us wait together.”

Yeonsangun stares at her intensely, clearly conflicted.

The prince’s entourage rides on late that night, when suddenly they’re ambushed by assassins in black. Arrows shoot down Yeok’s guards, one of whom urges Yeok to flee. Yeok turns and gallops away from the fray while his men fend off the assailants as best they can—but just as he’s riding out of sight, an assassin shoots an arrow right into his back. Ack!

Yeok falls from his horse and hits the ground, but when the assailants get there, they find no body. They split up to scour the nearby forest, where we see that Yeok has managed to hide long enough to yank the arrow from his back. He gets a glimpse of the lead assassin, and recognizes that same scarred officer who had staked out Seo-no’s father’s house and chased them through the village.

Scarface draws nearer to Yeok’s hiding spot, so Yeok draws his short sword and lunges for the man. They both take a big tumble down a hill, but Yeok’s able to stick the sword in Scarface’s side, and he demands to know who he is and who he works for.

Scarface flings Yeok aside and turns that sword on him, and it takes all Yeok’s strength to hold him off. Then he sees the badge that had dropped in the scuffle—the king’s badge, indicating that Scarface is acting on royal order. Yeok’s distraction gives Scarface an opening to stab him with the sword, but Yeok beats him over the head with a rock repeatedly. His mother’s words ring in his head: to survive no matter what, because the king will try to kill him.

It was in their last conversation that the queen dowager had explained that his father, the late king, had intended for Yeok to take the throne instead of his brother. As a result, Yeonsangun will try to kill him before that will comes to light.

Stabbed, bleeding, and exhausted, Yeok staggers to a creek and lies down by the water, reeling from the betrayal of knowing his brother sent these assassins. “Hyungnim, tell me it isn’t true,” he thinks.

But soon Scarface finds him by the waterside, badly injured but intent on fulfilling his mission. He hovers over Yeok with raised sword, and thrusts it down. Yeok’s blood flows into the creek.

Back in Hanyang, news spreads and Chae-kyung races toward the palace as a bloody corpse is brought to the gate. She collapses in sobs when she sees the body, inconsolable.

When he hears the news, Yeonsangun grips the throne with a shaking fist, then lurches outside.

The queen dowager is brought before the body, and pulls back the cover to see the deceased’s face. I know there’s no way he’s actually dead-dead, but everything about what we’re told indicates that this is Yeok, and he is confirmed dead.

Yeonsangun rides out of the palace like a man crazed, and goes straight to Seo-no’s old house. He ransacks the shack looking for that secret will but finds nothing—and out of the blue, he hears Yeok’s voice calling out to him like a ghostly echo. Enraged, he grabs a torch and sets fire to the house.

He seems to calm as the house burns—but then, out of the shadows, he sees a figure emerge. It’s his father, dressed in his kingly robes, glaring grimly. Yeonsangun asks why his father looks at him with that expression, and yells that it was his father who killed Yeok, not him. He breaks down in sobs and falls to the ground, screaming in rage.

Then he collects himself and walks away, his face stony.

Chae-kyung returns to various locations that are meaningful to her and Yeok, and goes through a ritual of bowing and apologizing. First it’s the mountain pool where Yeok had spied on bathing ladies, then it’s the merchant selling salamander statues, and then it’s Seo-no’s charred house.

She bows her head to the smoking house and says, “I’m sorry—for making you bear the punishment alone. I’m sorry, for interfering in your life. I’m sorry, for making you die.” She falls to her knees, sobbing now, saying, “I’m sorry for meeting you.”

At the stream where Yeok had once carried her on his back, Chae-kyung floats flower blossoms on the water’s surface, watching the cherry blossoms rain down from above.

And then, we skip ahead five years (to 1504), amidst another cherry blossom shower. A wedding is taking place in a rural village, and the bride’s attendant struggles to light a stick, muttering to herself in saturi dialect—ah, she must be grown-up Chae-kyung (well, we know it must be true, since she’s Park Min-young).

The bride jokes that Chae-kyung is stalling because she doesn’t want her to marry and leave Chae-kyung the oldest spinster in the village. Chae-kyung exclaims in protest.

Afterward, her nanny presents her with a letter from Hanyang, and Chae-kyung brightens, trying to guess who it’s from. But she deflates when she hears it’s from her aunt, the queen, which means she’s been ordered to marry. Chae-kyung has apparently been dragging her feet, since this seems like a recurring topic.

Inside her room, Chae-kyung’s cheerful face falls at the sight of her salamander statue, and her nanny sighs that her promise no longer holds, and that she can’t continue waiting when they’ve already held Yeok’s funeral.

Chae-kyung scoffs that she’s not waiting anymore, and that she has no intention of being a ghost’s wife. Nanny retorts sarcastically that she shouldn’t have reason to be avoiding marriage and hiding in this rural village, then.

To prove a point, Chae-kyung wraps up the salamander and heads out with it. Nanny must not believe she’ll actually get rid of it, calling out, “I hope you succeed this time!”

Chae-kyung walks to the dock, where she unwraps the statue and starts to throw it out into the pond. But she hears Yeok’s last words to her, promising not to die and to return, and she lowers her arm in resignation.

Then, it starts to rain.

It’s raining out at sea, too, and sailors struggle to secure their boat in the brewing storm. Scarface appears to be the captain here, and orders his men to hurry and dump their heaviest cargo.

Inside the cabin of the boat, two men sit in silence, one hidden under a black hood. Sailors drag the two men (captives?) outside to the deck, where Scarface orders them thrown overboard.

It’s Black Hood who yells out to Scarface, “Oy! I think you’re the heaviest thing here.” He spits in his direction, then kicks aside the men holding him and swings himself up to Scarface’s level above. The other man quickly follows suit and engages the other sailors in a fight, holding his own pretty well.

Black Hood’s fight with Scarface lands them both back on the deck, his arm pinned against Scarface’s throat. Scarface asks who he is, and Black Hood laughs before pulling off his hood to reveal his face.

It’s Yeon Woo-jin—and that means this must be Yeok, all growed up. BUT HOW?

Yeok asks if Scarface remembers him, thinking to their fight in the woods five years ago. Scarface sneers and draws a dagger, throwing himself at Yeok. The men grapple, and in the struggle, both fall over the railing and into the water.

Seeing this, Yeok’s companion yells out, “Prince! Your Highness!” He nearly climbs overboard too, but is pulled aside by another man.

Underwater, the two men continue to fight. At one point, Yeok is caught in a chokehold, but he kicks Scarface off, who goes limp, and swims for the surface.

 
COMMENTS

I found this episode incredibly touching, as it continued to show what this show does well, which is depicting emotions in a credible, nuanced way. Every aspect of the characters’ reactions feels true to life and understandable, and this means I find it easy to get wrapped up in the emotions of the scenes with a high level of immersion. It’s not something a lot of shows can pull off, and I consider it a treat to be savored.

This is in large part due to a synchronicity in the writing and the acting, and the latter owes a debt to casting as well. The two children are great budding actors in their own right, but what makes it extra-special is that young Yeok, in particular, bears traits that I can totally see in Yeon Woo-jin—it’s almost uncanny how I can hear his words being spoken by the adult actor, and it makes me really excited to see how the characters have grown up and changed in the last five years.

Although of course, we can’t skip over how awesome Lee Dong-gun is as Yeonsangun in what is likely to be his career-defining role. He gives this character such dimension that I can’t see him as a villain, even as he lashes out with anger and has a cruel streak a mile wide. I’d put his consort and his advisor in much more conventional villain roles, as they’re the ones pulling the strings—his strings—so that they benefit from the results. But Yeonsangun himself is such a full, developed character, down to how he desperately wants affection from his family even as that show of affection is something that would anger him. I also find his way with words fascinating—he uses his gift of persuasion and manipulation for all the wrong reasons, but the verbal gymnastics are impressive to watch, and give you the sense that every conversation with him is walking into a trap.

It’s not that every villain can be explained away with the explanation “I just wanted my daddy to love me,” but with Yeonsangun the dynamic offers such a rich canvas upon which to draw his paranoia and inferiority complex. Even as a dead man his father is haunting Yeonsangun, who is already the king but feels at every turn that his father is judging him unfit for the job. I know that the threat of the secret will hangs over his head, but it also feels a bit to me like Yeonsangun is the kind of person who will continue fighting the battle long after he’s won it. He’ll never be satisfied, never be at peace.

I was moved by Chae-kyung and Yeok’s stirring separation, and it leaves me dying to know how they’ll react when Yeok shows up, suddenly alive again. (And answers the question that’s burning a hole in my brain: HOW? I have a few theories, but I want the show to really pull out something satisfying and surprising.) Before Yeok “died,” I was so sure that he’d just disappear or be presumed dead, which would leave room for Chae-kyung to hope for his return and continue waiting. This way makes it a little more bitter and sad, that she has confirmation that he’s been dead for years and still is reluctant to let go of that promise.

The mystery of his disappearance and how he’s lived for the past five years is a pretty great way to leave us hanging, if by “great” I also mean “maddening,” because this episode got me all excited with basically every development and now I’m a little bit mad I have to wait a whole week to find out some answers. It’s a happy kind of mad! (But also a mad kind of mad. I hate waiting!)

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I cried bucket of tears for this episode!

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In the deepest recesses of Yeonsangun's heart he adores his younger brother. Palace politics just got in the way of their happily ever after. I just wish that Minister Im and Jang Noksoo doesnt have the King's ear. Their own selfish reasons only exarcebated Yeonsangun's issues.

As I mentioned, I cried so much this episode. The writer just knows how much to wring from your heart to squeeze out the tears. I cherished every moment between young Yeok and young ChaeKyung since they are very capable actors.

I cannot wait for next week. Little scenes with PMY and YWJ shows so much promise!

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You're not the only one crying buckets. I think all my tears filled up a whole bath tub. It breaks my heart to see young Chae Kyung hearing about young Yeok's death. They are such great child actors/actresses to portray those emotions. I really hope that they will get more roles in the future. As for the older brother, I know that Yeonsangun does love his younger brother, but because of all the politics, lack of father's love and the danger of young Yeok being a threat to his reign, everything just gets messed up.
I can't wait for next week either as I'm excited to delve into PMY and YWJ's part of story too.

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Me too

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crying and still in love with this drama. how can this be so beautiful and tragic??

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This drama is what I am looking forward the most once I get back home. I have not caught this week's eps and trying hard to not read or see the screenshots. Oh the agony! Upside -I get to binge two eps tonight!

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Part of me wish I didnt caught wind of this so soon. I hate waiting for the next episode. Would be nice to be able to watch the next episode right this moment.

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Me too! I was intrigued with the plot an was looking forward to it but I didn't know it would be THIS good. I have nothing to watch after Chicago Typewriter so I jumped to this right away but now, I have to endure the wait ㅠㅠ

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Omg seriously these kid actors... I can not deal. They are amazing and the emotions they pulled out of me were intense. AND THE CHEMISTRY GOD DAMN IT YOU CUTIE PIES!!!

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But the resemblance between the young and old Chae Kyung is really uncanny.... To be honest I think Yeok's younger and older self don't really look that similar personally but the resemblance between the young and older actress is amazing!

I just didn't really pick up on it until this episode to be honest...

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Yup. They do look alike. Props to the casting director.

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I think they both look very similar, though I admit I get a little more resemblance between young Yeok and Yeon Woo-jin simply because, as JB said, he delivered his lines in a way that actually had me picturing YWJ saying them. Also some of his mannerisms and faces. His eyes are also so similar to me.

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I see teenage Yeok very similar to his adult counterpart. Facial bones. What a handsome lad the teenage actor is. I somehow imagine him to suddenly spew Japanese phrases. It is rather a pet peeve of mine when the child actors do not look remotely the same as the adult actors. As for the girl, although to me not so similar, I can imagine her to be an adult Park Min Young.

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Aahh Japanese? Do you watch Jdrama or japanese movies? Are you watching any now?

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The actor's looks remind me of Japanese men! I haven't been watching any now since my last favourite wasn't subbed to the end. I got frustrated. Are you watching any? I want to!

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I do watched 1Litre of Tears, Aishiteiru to Ittekure, Koinaka, Hana yoi dango, Kuzu no honkai, Boku wa imouto ni koi wo suru aka, Totsuzen Desu ga Ashita Kekkon Shimasu, Rakuen, Nigeru wa Haji da ga Yaku ni Tatsu, Blue Spring Ride, Hana yori dango, Boku no Hatsukoi o Kimi ni Sasagu, Jimi niSugoi Koetsu Etsuko, Koizora - this one is beautiful and sad with some very difficult matter covered that breaks my heart!, Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu, Sukina Hito ga iru koto and Sukino Hito ga iru. I've got a bit of a 'thing' about Japanese :-)

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Somehow i can't reply to your comment below so ill just do that here.

Well yeah theres 1 im closely following rn...idk if you've ever watched this jdrama Yakou Kanrasha ( not sure i spelt that well but it translates to : Ferris Wheel at Night) or this movie: Confessions? They were both adapted frm books and I really enjoyed theem before finding out that they were written by the same author. Rn I'm watching Reverse which is also based on a book by the same authour (Kanae Minato).

Aahh, which other Kdramas are you watching rn? And which Japanese one stopped being subbed?

Dyou hv any Japanese actor/actress you like?

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Thanks for the tip! I kinda like Gakki. She resonates well with me. And the actress who plays the princess in Nobunaga concerto. Im only watching 7 days, best hit and father is strange because I am old and i like family dramas. Haha. Should we discuss in this thread though? Are we off-topic? Haha. I am still figuring out the features or benefits of the new sign-up. Maybe we can chat somewhere in our page? I dunno.

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Hhaaa, I just checked...it seems theres no way to chat privately....and it does seem like the wrong thread.

How about the open thread? My comment should be around the 30th if im not mistaken...

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Also when PMY started talking it was literally with her child counterpart's voice that was brilliant

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yes!! I almost screamed, the younger actress' satoori was my favorite thing about this show and I'm so glad she kept it. To be honest, when I saw it was five years later I wasn't sure if it would be believable because of the real age gap between the actresses, but...wow. PMY never ages.

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Yeah, I think her and YWJ will have no problem pulling off their ages. They look so young and pretty much the same as they always have for the last 5 years.

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Yyeesss! I really like Saturi on a normal day but hearing it from her was absolutely delightful! And so when we forwarded 5 years i was impressed at the fact that PMY pulled it off just like the younger actress did. She must have studied her while acting or smth or maybe they studied each other idk but it was actually believable that PMY was the younger girl all grown up - from the saturi to her mannerisms, to the way she flounced into her room. I was impressed tbh.

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this might actually be the first time that I am already more engrossed with the kid actors and wanted them to have more episodes so I can watch them longer.. both of them are just super good!

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Thanks for the recap!

I am really enjoying this show despite knowing how it will all end.

On a lighter note, I am wondering, can anyone just barge into the room of a royal prince to take anything she wants? Even if she is the Chief Secretary's daughter, I am sure the royal guards wouldnt allow it.

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Maybe it is because the prince no longer lives there...? Or because he was exiled...? Probably not I think the most accurate description would be she sneaked herself in like normal XD

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I suppose. It just got me thinking that the security should be top-knotch being a palace and all. ☺

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Lol I noticed that plot hole too. It has happened too often in sageuks that the palace security tends to become super lax whenever we're approaching a key moment. A scene with the Queen granting her permission to go into the Prince's chamber would make more sense, since the Queen is her aunt anyway and might have some say in the matter.

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Can't wait for episode 5 and the preview is all the more torturing me. Dying to see the chemistry between Park Min Young and Yeon Woo Jin. I want to know why on earth was she wearing a Gisaeng like hairstyle. Did she just borrow those clothes in one of her adventures ????

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Knowing her, Im suspecting she did. But she looked so pretty in them tho!

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This is quickly shaping out be one of the best saeguk ever for me..the stakes are so high and oh the love story is so so heart breaking. Every moment that chae kyung and Yeok spend together seems to me precious because even if they don't, we know how its going to end. But hats off to LDG. Despite everything, the most I end up pitying always is the King. I have never seen a villain so compelling.

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LDG is actually the biggest surprise in this drama. He's been consistently delivering an excellent performance since Episode 1. So many emotions.... yet everything was perfectly executed. Hats off to him considering this is his first saeguk.

I also love how the story was developed. Never a fan of saeguks nor of a melo-tragic dramas but 7DQ was so well presented. I love how the PD and writer was able to balance something light and bright and heavy and dark since episode 1. Well done everyone!!! Thank you for this wonderful drama.

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LDG is amazing in this role. You know you should hate him but you just can not. His portrayal is so good that you can see every emotion - his turmoil, anger, betrayal, wistfulness, and hatred. He makes you understand him and see right through his thought process.

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My drama pleasure so far. I'm enjoying it and replaying some more scenes to repeat the feelings that hit me. Directing, acting, writing, cinematography, background music all tied well. OSTs is a bit distracting, too modern for me.

Not that I don't like happy moments but from the beginning I was ready with angst and something miserable.Lol. So this kind of episode is what I was looking forward to. Painful yet beautiful. This what I'm very fond in this episode:
1. CK cried when she saw the LY corpses
2. YS disappointment when CK, queen and others ask forgiveness for LY
3. When YS knew that LY was dead and his anger or frustasion when he saw the late king in the Seo No's burning house.

I shed tears several times. What a wonderful performances from BSH and PSE. I'm cheering for another shows from them in the future. I feel sympathy with LDG too. His performance also exceeded my expectations. Can't wait to see the synergy that will appear when three leads reconnect next week.

I was disappointed with rating. I guess the broadcast time is bad. Hopefully PMY and YWJ's full performances next week can make more people watch and appreciate this drama. And thank you so much for speedy recaps and cool comments from beanies too. That make my viewing experience even more fun ^^

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I don't mind the OST. In fact, I love it. It gives a sweet but sad vibe. I am swept up by happy romance but the upcoming doom creeps into the bck of my mind from time to time. That's a the feeling I get from the music.

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Yael Meyer's OST is a bit distracting for me too, I have a slight aversion to English lyrics in sageuk. But I LOVE the humming song, reminds me so much of Moonlight. Gosh, this drama is just plain beautiful in every aspect.

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Yael Meyer's OST fits the lighter scenes pretty well even if it isn't standard saguek song. What I really want to hear in fleshier version is that Whistle music with piano (Ah, Ah, Ah, pardon my tone deaf Bong Hee type example) that plays in the background. Its has this extremely sad, melancholy yet heartwarming feel to it. I tear a bit whenever it starts playing.

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LOL, I know exactly what you meant when I read that. That's what I meant by the humming song, although it's not exactly a hum! I hope it's released soon too, unlike Moonlight's humming song, which was released after the drama ended. I tend to prefer folksy song for sageuk, like Rebel's amazing line of OST (with a mix of pansori), I can never get enough of those.

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I didn't watch Moonlight. Off to YouTube! My top OST is Goong's. Lovely lovely traditional instrumental which Kshows use until today.

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I actually found the OST refreshing. I've never heard an English song in a sageuk so I was surprised at first but I think it fits the scenes well.

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There's an English song in the fusion sageuk, Gu Family Book.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQUb1RolwbQ

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Ohhhh I totally forgot that. Thanks!

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:)

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I watch this episode in my workplace and tears everywhere lol. My co-worker give me a weird look. This show keep getting better each episode. Keep it up writer-nim.

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I wish I can watch dramas at work.

But then, I'd be a crying mess and an embarrassment to everyone. lol

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Heartbreak. One: 2 kids separated by their guardians. (The king's plan to marry off his brother went out the window real fast). Two: king crying over his brother's alleged death. Three: these two brothers warring over the throne. I have been reading about rulers in history killing off brothers and uncles and cousins to be king, this is the only show that helped me explore the possible complexity of that evil customary act of some dinasties. Hate that part of history. But mental illness ir no, it is a study of humankind.

7 day Queen will be in my mind for a week! Haiz. I hate you show, for previewing scenes that will only happen next week! It was click bait! Click bait!

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Lol.... same with me.

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this makes me want to go back in time and change history , make them see that the throne isn't all that .... the king crying had me ...

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On a lighter note, I was excited to see Chansung. I was never a 2PM fan but his acting I like in Ms. Temper. I find he has variety, in the two dramas I saw him act.

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I cried.

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I should have stopped myself from taking a peek. I should have stopped myself from reading the recap. But alas this drama already had me. Now wishing his non-death is explained well. Why why does it have to be so heart-rending? Why? Days please come quick.

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We had a glimpse of what happened in episode 4 and I think it will be neatly tied in episode 5.... seeing how well this drama was written so far, I think the writer will not leave any loose ends

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Even when I knew it was a non-death, I cried buckets anyway. I think the dead man's face has been stoned off. Yeok switched his clothes and accessories that are identified as his. That blood at the end scene, right after Scarface attacked, wasn't his. It was Scarface's. Someone came to help. Scarface unconscious, Yeok and his saviour went to work on the deception. Or it was Yeok's blood but he fought back. Or he was seen as dead, left alone, and someone found him at the right time.

It will be explained but I too am impatient.

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Lee Dong Gun, Lee Dong Gun, when did he become one of the most expressive and multi-dimensional actors ever. I've seen Super Daddy Yeol and I can't believe this is the same guy. His Yeonsangun is such a compelling character and his fight against his demons is so raw that I end up pitying the king. Its like he is constantly trying to fight his paranoia, delusion, anger, longing for love from his family and thirst to prove his father wrong and prove himself worthy. Its not easy channeling all of that within the screen time he gets. I also now completely understand why he will fall for Chae Kyung. The one thing this man craves above all else is love and acceptance. Accepting people for who they are and showering unrestrained adoration on them while never shying away from fighting for her beliefs is what makes Chae Kyung exceptional. This is exactly what he craves constantly.
Now, lets get back to the child actors. These two are hands down, rising stars. Park Si Eun is 16 while Baek Seung Hwan is 19 and these two are both strong actors with range. Baek Seung Hwang also played young Lee Young O in Beautiful Mind which is why he looked so familiar to me. I'll look forward to seeing them transition into bigger and better roles. They were delightful in setting the overall tone of the show and kick start it in the right way. I'll miss them on screen and good luck to them.

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Dude I hope Lee Dong Gun wins some award end of the year, his performance is A+

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he rightfully deserves it. and the two younger actors please. kudos to the casting director for bringing them together.

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Oof, I can already feel the heartbreak coming my way in this episode. I love the teens' romance in this, but Yeonsangun is proving to be a huge boulder to overcome that I wished the adult transition would come sooner.

Chae-kyung is fast becoming my favorite heroine, I love that everything that comes out of her mouth sounds so wise and beyond her age. I shed a little tear when she said to Yeonsangun, "But how could I? I can see plainly that you are hurting too. I know it’s not such an easy matter." How can he not fall for her? And when she said she'd become Yeonsangun's sibling, friend, and family, I was a goner, I think Yeonsangun was too.

I'm a little mad, happy mad that I have to wait for a week, Javabeans. You echoed my every thought about this drama. I want the mystery of Yeok's survival to be revealed in a satisfying and reasonable manner. I can't wait to see how the brothers will react when they see each other again, also, I hope to see Chae-kyung and Yeonsangun developing an unlikely friendship even if she doesn't return his feelings.

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Here come the waterworks again! Makes me deeply grateful for the angels of my life.

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The waterworks started for me when Yeonsangun was visibly shaken by the news of Yeok's death and then went crazy and burnt down the house. We knew Yeonsangun loves Yeok and had let him life thus far because of that love, but in this episode, everyone was on pins and needles because Yeonsangun is mentally unstable and even the slightest trigger can set him off, yet he fought his own demon to protect his loved one, proving that his love for Yeok is indeed strong. But then Yeok's death happened and destroyed Yeonsangun's every effort to keep him alive and to protect him, making him lose the only person who has ever loved him, and his sadness was so palpable, it was heartbreaking to watch. Granted he didn't grieve the way normal people would, but his behaviour showed how much he was hurting inside, like what Chae-kyung saw in him.

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Teary eyed all over again

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The childhood portion has been so good that I'm reluctant to let it go, but I have great trust in the adult actors so I'm going into next week with hope.

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me too. is there any way for them to be on screen longer? but the last part of the ep already makes me giddy with excitement. more bad ass prince please!

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Ahhh this show is just so good at pulling my heartstrings! And pulling them hard! I love how Chaekyung grabbed on to the horse reins so that Yeok won't go. It's such an age appropriate thing to do yet it breaks my heart into pieces. Honestly, I can't move on from these two.

I also love how Chaekyung sees right through Yeonsangun. She knows what he really feels inside, like how much he actually loves his brother and how lonely he is. It makes it even sadder because he totally likes having Chaekyung around but she loves Yeok. More painnnnnn

Just looked up the director and he's the one who did Healer and Baker King? No wonder! Healer was so beautiful too~ But now, how to wait?

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Oh man this episode hit my heart like no other.

Let's just begin and say Lee Dong Gun's performance as Yeonsangoon is friggin stellar. In most dramas and movies, Yeonsangoon is depicted as a mad man, but in this drama I feel like the audience can connect with and sympathize with him. Poor Yeonsangoon who lacked a mother and a father's love while growing up... He yearns for a mother's love from Queen Jeonghyeon who probably only see him as the Deposed Queen Yoon's son. I feel like this drama is missing another important character, Queen Dowager Insoo... Oh well.

Can't wait for Chaekyung and Yeok to reconnect again as adults, and hope the ratings now increase...

And friggin Nok-soo, I can't wait for the day she gets beheaded.

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They really made the Nok Soo in this drama one-dimensional evil. At least in Rebel, Nok Soo was layered and there was a reason for her evil. Here, the only thing I sense from her beyond her conspiracy with scheming minister (who is fleshed out better, at least I understand why he hates the Grand Prince with a passion) is that she vaguely cares for the king. I hope they can give her more layers in future episodes.

And can I say how much I dislike the dowager queen? She's part of the cause of the rift between both brothers. If she perceived the King as a threat then why didn't she move herself and her son out of the palace ages ago? And I understood from past sagueks (METS and Nightwatchman) that brothers of the King were not permitted to live in the palace, isn't it a rule or something? So I'm very surprised to see the Grand Prince living in the palace.

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Princes who haven't reached adulthood are allowed to live in the palace. Once they reach adulthood they are to move out. Yeok is too young, he's still wearing the hanbok for boys.

Yeah Nok soo in this drama just has no depth at all. I hope we see something in her in future episodes, I think she really does care for him (or does she?)

Queen Dowager Jeonghyeon really made it obvious who her favorite son is lol, even if Yeonsangoon isn't hers by blood she still raised him. I'm just sad that Queen Dowager Insoo isn't in this drama! She's one of the main reasons why Yeonsangoon got dethroned in the first place

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I actually did not get annoyed at nok soo here. In my opinion she did loves the king and do that to protect him. There was a scene on her talking to snake-im that ysg live bearing pain for so long ( because of dad, mom, yeok matters) and did not wish to see him hurt sny further. It was so believable. She is loyal to ysg unlike snake im that want to use him. Of course the way she did to protect ysg is extreme and inexcusable. But with her background as slave turned gisaeng turned concubine, it is believable imo.

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This drama is beautiful from start to finish. I really can't praise it enough. The actors are all on point. Lee Dong Gun's performance is amazing, and tragic and oh! so believable! The chemistry between the child actors can set a house on fire. Isn't it amazing to find such sizzling chemistry in actors so young??? I had to look up their ages: 16 and 19. Their acting blew me away.

The only downer are the ratings. How can anyone not tune in to watch this masterpiece each week? It's the best saguek currently airing imho. Hope the adult version of this tragic love affair will be equally as good as the childhood part. Fingers crossed ??.

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Is that a pun? :P because Yeonsangun literally set a house on fire, though not exactly for the two kids. (J/k)
I agree. The chemistry between them is off the charts. I hope this will carry into the adult portion too.

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Lol. I really didn't think about it. He did set the house on fire, didn't he??

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He did. Poor little Seo-No's house being the collateral damage even before the love triangle got to kick-start :P

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I love the part when Yeonsangun walked into Yeok's room reminiscing about him, and how he held back his tears when Chae Kyung offered to take Yeok's place as the King's little brother... This is the most touching scene in the episode for me... Poignant, wistful, and lovely...

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Yes another heartbreak. It was so real. It is something people would do: to visit an empty nest. I do that too. It is sad. So sad.

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I'm in love with this drama.

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while watching this show i have already prepare my self to cry..and that's what i do and did.. but i couldn't make my self stop watching it... *cry*cry*cry*

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i never really paid attention to Park Min Young as an actress but it turns out that i have watched many of her drama from Sunkyunkwan scandal, City Hunter up to Healer and now this show. I have to admit that her characters in drama are always someone with certain traits. She's got a new fan here!

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Thanks for the recap!

"I also mean “maddening,” because this episode got me all excited with basically every development and now I’m a little bit mad I have to wait a whole week to find out some answers. It’s a happy kind of mad! (But also a mad kind of mad. I hate waiting!)"

- Lol, when I was re-watching the Princess's Man a few months ago, I lamented not being able to watch a show like that while it aired. Yeahhhh, about that...I'm starting to realize how very wrong I was. How I wish I could just marathon this show right now! It's so good and I'm giddy thinking of where it's all gonna go! A somewhat puzzling feeling to have when the romance is supposedly doomed, but there's something so hopeful about this show that I can't help but be pulled in completely!

Not to mention, the young versions of the characters once again completely engaged me in their struggle to survive the events that inevitably lead to their separation. This is a rare time when the lead purposefully hurting the other truly accomplished the "noble sacrifice" that so many noble idiots strive for. It really only works in situations like these, that are so immediate and with true life & death stakes! The moment she let his harsh words steer her towards forsaking him and choosing herself and her family, only to immediately realize he'd wanted her to do so all along...ugh, it was so heartbreaking and moving! I'm so happy they got a chance to meet one more time before their hope of reunion shattered.

I completely agree about Yeok's young actor! I said as much last episode and it definitely has made me super excited to see YWJ's take on his character! Most of all, I'm excited to see how the chemistry between all the lead characters carries over, because it has been fantastic so far.

I admit, this is still kind of surreal to me. This show is beautiful and sweeping, I'm already completely emotionally engaged in the characters' journeys. It's pretty much too good to be true already...and then you add Yeon Woo-jin, this actor that I've adored to bits for years, who just appeared on my screen as a swashbuckling action hero!!! Basically, this show is crack already.

I have so many thoughts on the brother conflict and on the dynamic between our three leads, but I may just have to comment more later!

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To say how good this episode is, I watched it live without understanding a single word in Korean and still cried buckets. Then I cried again when I watched with subs. The last time the child portion of a sageuk had me like this was Moon-Sun ep 5-6. No matter what direction the show goes from here, it is certain that I will revisit ep 3 & 4 of 7DQ to relish the heartache many more times.

I also agree with javabeans that YWJ and BSH resemble each other. It might not necessarily be their physical appearance (though I personally think they slightly look alike too) but also in mannerism and aura. I was actually worried more as to whether PMY can portray the cheekiness and bluntness that PSE has managed to convey through her performance, since PMY is more the feminine type to me. I was glad at what I saw from her at the end of ep 4, and I'm curious to see how she transitions from a country girl to the sorrowful, elegant queen we see in the trailers.

Now for a little theory: Do you think Seo-no came to the prince's rescue? I'm curious to see how they managed to swap the body if he is still alive, and who the replacement could be that might have fooled the Queen Dowager into believing that is her son (or did she really believe what she saw?)

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I have no idea how Yeok managed to not die, but my guess is that Seo-no is his companion on the ship, so he may have saved Yeok before? How they conjured up a 'dead body' that the Queen thought was her son I don't know... we'll find out next week! What should we do in the meantime though?aaargh. Maddening.

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That's my theory too, that Seo-No came to Yeok's rescue, but indeed the corpse left me puzzled. The only explanation I could think of is the assassins killed someone as a replacement when they couldn't find Yeok's body, and had to ruin his face to cover up their failure at fulfilling the King's (or Official Im's) order.

Why does it take so long until next Wednesday? :O

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Few minutes of the young couple have move love, chemistry than all Ruler combine. Never for a moment I doubt how they feel, I feel with them every step of the way. I cry with them when they cry, while in Ruler when they cry I just feel lame, lame, lame. You dont need lots of screen time to say you love each other. You dont need to save a whole village to say that you are strong. You dont need slow motion to say that you are in love. Seven day queen give up what Ruler failed to deliver, the connection to the characters, you fall in love like them, with them, you hurt when they hurt. People make excuses about age but these two young loves are way to young but their love are impossible to miss. The more I watch seven day queen, the angrier I am at Ruler, like you reading book with lots of missing pages, you eat meals with lots of bad ingredient, even now YSH cant save it.

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This is how I feel as well. That is why I dropped Ruler this week. I couldn't make it through another cringy love scene. As much as I love YSH and KSH, the writing doesn't work for me, nor do the leads have the chemistry to sell their romance. So it's a pass for me.

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My sentiment as well! As far as I hate bringing other drama in another drama recap, I couldn't help it. Ruler and 7DQ airing at the same time, both sageuk and both supposedly have tragic love story. But I liked 4ep of 7DQ more than all episode of Ruler. Yet 7DQ have a low rating! Why wont you watch this drama South Korea?

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My problem exactly! This amazing drama deserves more love!

I mean there was 40% something in sageuk rating. So 7DQ doesn't even need to steal 'Ruler' audience to get a rise in rating.

Why South Korea, why?

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the problem with ruler is in the writing and direction......... they didnt let us grow with their characters ...they didnt let us see them as teenagers,friends or young people falling in love they just jumped into tragedy and left everything to our imagination(not enough character build 4 u to actually understand and connect)so its hard for most pipo to connect or be really sad.................am glad the writter of q7day is smarter and isnt a lookie.hope its rating increases

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Omg! Do I have to wait a whole bunch a week ?

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I hate to break it to you...but let's cry in the corner together.

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Ugh I can't wait to settle all my deadlines then I can enjoy watching this to my hearts content!

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I was hesitant to start this show due to the doomed romance but now I am in for the ride because it's the journey that matters. The child actors are so good in their roles that I cry along with them when political mechanisms tear them apart. They had such a sweet budding love that makes you want to cherish and protect them from getting tangled in the drama of the palace. LDG's performance is also stellar. His expressions really convey a perfect mix of paranoia, loneliness, bitterness, pain, angst, madness. It's as Javabeans said, every conversation with feels like walking into a trap.
This is the kind of saguek that I was hoping Ruler would be but alas!
Now I am eager to get into the adult portion of their romance and how the king figures into all of this.

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WAIT HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO LIVE THROUGH TILL NEXT WEEK????

i was scared even though i knew it was only episode 4 and they couldn't kill off the prince just yet .... and my heart broke so much this episode for the king , the prince and chae-kyung....

i literally lost all hope when i saw the king finally loose it ... see it was his brother that was keeping him sane ....his crying made me so mad at the world , for being so evil .....

i really loved this episode chae-kyung please set these brothers straight i demand a happily ever after ... why is it that the world is always against two people that just want to love each other and be happy , the brothers would be so much better off by themselves away from the palace ....

and queen mother go to hell ...

i always disliked women who pretend to love children ... as an adopted child , i understand the king but i know my parents love me even with the so called blood being involved and even though they have to choose sometimes , they never let go of the fact that they love me ....

all that woman had to say is "you're also my son , but what you are doing now is wrong "

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I never intended to watch this drama before. It is sageuk, melo and the teaser scream heartbreak. But..... This drama is so good! Pretty people, pretty pictures and great plot.

I've already feel sad to say goodbye to the child actors also looking foward to the adult counterpart.

This episode is the reason why I steer from melo, I was crying the whole damn time!

Also I need to rant, last ep preview some sweet moment of adult CK and LY reunion but it is not in this episode! I feel cheated! You shouldn't play with fan heart like that PDnim!!!

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The first picture, I swear I saw PMY and YWJ and not the child actors! Props to the director finding these child actor! They're talented af!

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my favourite show right now! I wish more people would watch it!!! love the casts!!

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AGREED WITH THE MADDENING PART I have so many questions which I hope will be answered with many many flashbacks
Did the queen dowager fake yeok's death? Did he actually almost die? Who else besides Seo No knows he's alive? (Before he started shouting Your Majesty that is) how long have Yeok and Seo No been pirate buddies? Why were they on Scarface's ship?

I regret watching this week's episodes now because now I have to wait. Aaaargh. Thank you javabeans for the lightning quick recap though!

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Eeeek! I can't watch this until I get home! But I will probably pass out due to exhaustion, so I likely won't be able to get to this until tomorrow. UGGGHHHHHHH

*tears at hair in despair*

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No idea why someone would down-vote this! Must have been a mistake...

Haha, well, at least you won't have to wait as long for episode 5 to come? Seriously, the desperation you feel for it after episode 4 is unreal.

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Lol must be.

On the plus side, I get to watch this for the first time with my mother on a big tv instead of on my cellphone. I usually watch this show twice, the first time hours after broadcast and the second time with my mom on weekends. This show is so worth a second (and third and fourth) watch.

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I wept for these 3 innocent souls. TT_TT

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btw, does anyone know if child chaekyung's light blue + pink outfit is untucked or is it supposed to be this way...

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I thought it was her pajamas or something. She woke up wanting to do something and went straight to the palace. That's just my assumption though.

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I think it's an outercoat.

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Originally, I thought this drama was going to use the love triangle to drive some sort of wedge between the brothers that would contribute to their future power struggle. I find it fascinating to discover that this isn't the case. By the time all three characters become aware of their relationships to each other, the divide is already occurring. Instead, Chae-kyung, surprisingly, has become more of a connector between the boys. I wonder if this is a strength of starting the lovers out as teens, so CK and Yeonsangun's relationship has more of a familial sort of value. Jealousy hasn't really come into play yet so when Yeonsangun tries to cut off his relationship with Yeok, Chae-kyung is there urging that they wait for him together. Right now, at least, her influence is more positive on their relationship and I find that really compelling considering it will probably lead to jealousy far down the line.

The conflict between the brothers makes me so sad, especially now that it seems Yeok has spent years thinking his brother was actually trying to kill him after all. Even Yeonsangun feels guilt for putting his younger brother in that vulnerable position, though he tried to place blame on his father. Ultimately I'm sad because we know, deep-down, Yeonsangun would be deeply relieved to find out Yeok is alive. But with Yeok possibly already coming back to challenge him for what he thinks he did, they may never get a chance to mend their relationship.

As for how Yeok survived, I'm definitely thinking Seo-no had come back to make sure Yeok was alright and saved him!

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"Ultimately I'm sad because we know, deep-down, Yeonsangun would be deeply relieved to find out Yeok is alive. But with Yeok possibly already coming back to challenge him for what he thinks he did, they may never get a chance to mend their relationship."

I agree. The combination of wasted opportunities, misunderstandings (whether deliberate or not), and nefarious individuals with their own desires will prevent the brothers from ever being able to reconcile their relationship.

In the recap for the first episode, I mentioned that the king is frightening because of the way he twists the meanings of words, not matter how innocently they are spoken. While there are evil individuals around him, he himself is fully responsible for his actions. He is the one choosing to swallow the poison. I feel for his character, because he is riddled with insecurity and paranoia, and he is starved for affection. But he is being his own worst enemy. His actions are propelling him toward the future he fears: his brother, sitting on the king's thrown. I can't hate him, but he's causing a lot of grief, both for himself and for others.

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You know, as a general rule saeguk is not my thing. I keep trying it because people keep raving about shows, but even if I like a show well enough to finish it, I don't connect with it, and remain detached throughout.

Not so with this one. I don't know what is different about this one, but I am finding myself fully invested. Sooo good.

Wasn't even planning on starting this one, but I clicked on it by accident on Viki, and decided to give it a try. So glad I did.

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Good thing you did. This show is amazing.

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I think we should praise the young actor and actress who potrayed as young prince yeok and chaegyung here. They work it out really well.

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Don't worry we've got it covered :D We've been raving about them for the past 2-3 eps already :D

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The promised heartbreaking melo actually making me want to avoid this drama but the perfect combination between cuteness and tragedy just got me.

As for now, this drama is perfect for me. I think the most refreshing part is how I've seen the same conflicts yet it feels more compelling here.

1. Children friendship that will set up future tragic tragedy. Check.
2. Heartbreaking sibling rivarly for the throne, later for the love. Check.
3. Daddies and mommies (or both) issues. Check.
4. Crossdressing noblewoman. Check.
5. Plucky heroine, misunderstood hero and their bickering. Check.
6. Tormented misunderstood soul who appeared bad at the outside. Check.
7. And prob another twenty more sageuk staples...

But somehow7DQ just does it better...when it has lighter scenes, it doesn't feel over the top and when it comes to tragedy, it doesn't feel overly dramatic as well...the balance is simply just perfect. Not to mention except the fake death, everything is so well put and well explained. And I can go on and on about how amazing this drama is.

Anyway, did anyone get Moonlight 'deja vu' with young Chae Kyung and Yeonsangun interaction at the lake and the inn? No wonder PMY said the drama will have similarities with Moonlight.

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I love how Yeonsangun is always easily moved by Chae Kyung's innate kindness & sincerity. Amidst the royal politics and hidden agendas, Chae Kyung is the only one that appears to truly mean the words she says. No prejudice, no pretence.

"I will be your sibling, your friend, and your family. So let us wait together." she says all the right words that Yeonsangun desperately needs to hear.

Chae Kyung doesn't even harbour any bitterness Yeonsangun punishing Yeok. In lieu of questioning Yeonsangun's authority as a king, she attempts to empathise with the king to see where he's coming from and she negotiates to spare some agony on both Yeok's and Yeonsangun's ends. Isn't Chae Kyung a sweetheart? I love her.

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I think a lot of people have caught the 7DQ Syndrome. Let's form a support group. Studies show that talking to people with similar condition helps.

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LOL 7DQ Anonymous

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and lets help make the ratings go higher and higher.... This is too unjustice for me.... Good production deserves a higher rating.... So frustrating...

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First time watching a drama LDG is starring in. Those scenes that caught my attention in the lates episode the most, both have something to do with him. First, when he is walking away from the Queen Dowager and he laughs (thinking that if it is too hard to say he is her son too) in that weird and crazy way. The other scene is when he is in the prince's now empty room.
All together it was a great episode. I am gonna miss the child actors that is for sure but I can't wait to see PMY and YWJ on my screen. And of course I can't wait for LDG to blow me away.

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Yes! LDG is wonderful! So glad he stays after the timejump.

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Same! Watching this drama because I'm a huge fan of PMY, but LDG blew me away. He's so good with gravitas, I can acutely feel his conflicting feelings inside.

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I just binge-watched all 4 episodes today (Friday) and my biggest regret is why didn't I watch it nearer to Wednesday because HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE UNTIL WEDNESDAY? *cries*

It's been so long since I watched a really really really good sageuk with full attention and not feeling bored at all. GO GO SEVEN DAYS QUEEN!

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Haha, this is funny because, even though I keep urging people to watch this, my desperation for the next episode literally just had me wondering whether I should have advised them to wait until Tuesday, lol. Definitely the best decision!

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I know riiight! Hahaha probably we should urge people with warnings like "if you decide to watch this, please do it on Tuesdays for your own sake" lol

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No question, I'm in this for the long run now. I knew the time skip was coming up and I want to see the adult actors, but somehow it was hard to let the young ones go. They were that good.

One thing I've noticed is that 7DQ is not afraid to have SILENCE at dramatic moments, which really lets the acting and writing shine. I love a good soundtrack, but I also appreciate shows that don't overdo it by trying too hard to set the mood with music. :)

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One thing I've noticed is that 7DQ is not afraid to have SILENCE at dramatic moments

If you have watched Moonlight Drawn by Clouds before, you'd see it's a must have a technique and done so well in that drama it took my breath away. I was pleasantly surprised to see Seven Day Queen employing the same muted scene technique, it feels dramatic and more impactful than OST.

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With Yeonsangun, it's that little bit of conscience that we get glimpses of, which resides alongside his insecurity and paranoia, that make him a very interesting character to watch.

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I finally watched it. I'd read this recap a few times and knew what was coming, but this episode still broke me.

So much has been said about Baek Seung-hwan/Yeok, Park Shi-eun/Chae-kyung, and Lee Dong-gun/Yeonsangun by the other beanies. I second all of them. Lee Dong-gun is the veteran, but it would be a disservice to the two child actors to say that he carried these first four episodes. All three leads felt well-balanced. I couldn't side with one party because I felt for all of them. For Yeok and his simple love for his brother, for Yeonsangun's utter lack of self worth, for Chae-kyung's rude awakening to the politics of Hanyang... This show balances out the points of view of all three characters and never leaves one behind. I'm impressed at how the writer manages to weave three character trajectories to create one compelling narrative. I hope this continues as we head into our story proper.

Some other thoughts:

-Chae-kyung keeping the faith for Yeok even though she believes him dead reminds me of Yeong keeping the faith for Ra-on when he was told she betrayed him in Moonlight. That scene where CK almost throws the lizard figurine into the pond reminds of Yeong almost removing his eternity bracelet.
-A new OST played when Chae-kyung went to Yeok's room to pick up the lizard figurine. I want it now. Lol.
-I hope nothing bad happens to the nanny. She can keep Chae-kyung company in her exile so CK won't be so sad.
-Who is this uncle Chae-kyung keeps mentioning?
-SO WHOSE BODY WAS THAT???!!!!! Did the dowager queen pretend her son is dead and sent him away? OMO I NEED TO KNOW NOW!

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Isn't her uncle Yeonsangun? Since the Queen is her aunt...?

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I'm not sure. She seems to be using different words to refer to the king and her uncle.

But she could be using "uncle" to refer to Yeonsangun post timeskip if they developed a more familial relationship in those five years.

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@ Elle: I love your post. I wonder if Chae-kyung is also punishing herself in a way by not moving on or getting married because she blames herself for what happened to Yeok as we saw in the heartbreaking scenes when teen Chae-kyung apologises in all the places they shared memories.

I think she is referring uncle who is also a minister. I can't remember his exact position but it's something to do with the military as Yeok mentions it in Episode 2 when they are arguing.

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Oh yes! I remember now. I wonder if this uncle will make an appearance.

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Now that I've rewatched it, something about the Queen Dowager's somehow muted reaction seems to be pointing that she knows something. Besides she did say she will not just sit idly by.

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Since I cannot wait for the next week, I've rewatched the past 4 episodes and it hit me. Lee Dong-gun's portrayal of Yeonsangun reminds me of Bruno Ganz's take on Hitler in the film Der Untergang (2004). In the film Hitler was simultaneously a man who is to be reviled, but also a man to be feared and pitied in equal measure. It just occurred to me that this Yeonsangun is pretty much the same. Somehow I question whether or not he really is a “bad” person or just a poor tormented soul hounded by demons both of his own creation and those of the outside world. And only a compelling portrayal of a divisive character can do that. Just as Hitler was almost a Father figure to the young secretary in the film, then so does the King seems to be to Chae-kyung. Also, just as Hitler seemed to be a puppet for the generals and higher members of the Nazi party to save their skins, then so does Yeonsangun who seems to be played around by the ambitious people around him. There are more similarities to the film that I wish to expound but typing this in mobile might covfefe me. This villain role is really a fully-formed character and I my sole wish is that they don't botch it up. It's one of the few roles wherein you can actually believe that the one you are watching is the real person himself. Bloody brilliant. ?

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This whole Yeok being resurrected back from the 'dead' is giving me Sherlock feels.

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The young actor playing the prince really looks like a young Yeon Woo-jin! wow

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Okie so... is it just me or does adult version of Yeok remind anyone of Lee Bang Ji from 6FD?

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Scruffy Yeon Woo-jin does look like SFD's Bang-ji.

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You guys are totally right! I was wondering who he reminded me of towards the end...

Lol, I certainly wouldn't mind him staying scruffy for a while!

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Anyone know the song (eng) during the preview for epi 5? Will it release as ost?

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No matter how hard I try by Yael Meyer

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