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151

Ruler–Master of the Mask: Episodes 31-32

Like a beautiful flower, a worthy opponent blooms after enduring hardships and overcoming them, and Sun has proven again what kind of flower he is. Despite all the forces working to put him six feet under, Sun perseveres through the help of an unlikely source and stumbles upon a golden opportunity. It seems like nothing can stop our hero as he sets out on his mission to free his country from the clutches of evil.

 
EPISODE 31 RECAP

Woo Bo and his group are stopped by the promoted Water Bureau chief—now Supply Office chief—who flaunts his new robes and mocks Woo Bo for his dismissal. He even takes out a booklet to use more sophisticated words to belittle Woo Bo, and then informs them of Sun’s demise while calling him the crown prince. Moo-ha grabs him in anger, but the Supply Office chief merely tosses him to the side.

Suddenly, Woo Bo yells at the supply office chief, warning him that he’ll have to pay for all the evil he’s committed, and Moo-ha gets up to confront the chief again. He warns the chief to expect retribution if Sun is truly dead, and surprised by the unexpected retaliation, the supply office chief promises to get back at them as he scurries away in fright. As soon as he leaves, Moo-ha falls to the ground, and the group mourns the loss of Sun.

Back in the empty field, the ink on Sun’s shoulder disappears, and he slowly regains enough consciousness to witness two guards dumping dead bodies nearby. One of the children is still alive, so a guard throws his flask, pitying the soon-to-be dead child.

At the palace, the head eunuch presents a new court lady to the queen dowager, and the queen dowager bitterly realizes that her hands and feet are bound. She turns to the head eunuch and demands to know where her people are. Unfortunately for her, they’re currently begging Dae-mok to let them join Pyunsoohwe, and the Minister of War is front and center.

The Supply Office chief leads a small squad of guards to catch Woo Bo and Moo-ha, but luckily for them, the Minister of Inspector General came to warn them. Having averted one crisis, Moo-ha asks Woo Bo for advice, but the elderly scholar is too drunk to be of any help. Trying to come up with ideas, the minister wonders what Sun would do in their situation, but his question only makes Woo Bo cry. Heh.

Back at the field, a little girl crawls to Sun and pours water into his mouth. It rejuvenates him, and in her final breath, she tells him to drink and live. Tears fall as Sun cradles the dead girl in his arms, and he rolls over to see the rest of the dead bodies lying in the field.

Hyun-seok escorts Lee Sun’s mother and Kko-mool to the king’s chamber, where Lee Sun anxiously awaits their arrival. They enter with their heads bowed, and then fall at Lee Sun’s feet. Bending down, Lee Sun takes off his mask and apologizes for making them wait. He calls the woman “Mother,” and she finally looks up and sees his face.

Stunned, she reaches out to touch him, and then pulls him into a teary embrace. They share a brief moment until Kko-mool interrupts, and Lee Sun is properly introduced to his younger sister for the first time. She remembers him from before, and can’t believe he’s really the king.

Lee Sun tells her that he truly is the king, but the head eunuch disturbs their meeting, reminding Lee Sun of his duties. In a stern and commanding voice, Lee Sun rebukes him for interfering, and his mother looks at him in shock.

Ga-eun stares at the necklace Sun gave her as she thinks back to his words about being by her side, but snaps out of her thoughts when Lee Sun’s mother and Kko-mool enter. Ga-eun quickly catches on that they must now know the truth, and Lee Sun’s mother asks Ga-eun if she knows why her son is the king. She says that she asked him about it, but Lee Sun simply told her not to worry. However, she’s afraid of Lee Sun being caught, and admits to Ga-eun that she wishes to leave the palace with Lee Sun at once.

Ga-eun guides Lee Sun’s mother and Kko-mool to the courtyard, but they cross paths with the Supply Office chief. Ga-eun motions for the others to leave and faces the chief alone as he taunts her. From the corner, Lee Sun witnesses their exchange and makes his presence known.

He dismisses the Supply Office chief, and then relocates Ga-eun and himself to the greenhouse. She tells him that his mother is worried, and she asks if he prefers living as a puppet over his old life. He says that he isn’t a puppet and promises to clear her father’s name.

Her surprised reaction confuses him, and he grows frantic while asking if she doubts his ability. She tells him to stop and think of his family, but that only angers Lee Sun since he thinks she would have never told Sun to stop. In a hardened voice, Lee Sun tells Ga-eun to just stay and watch.

Elsewhere, Hyun-seok reports to Dae-mok about Lee Sun’s recent actions, and says that he’s been acting like a real king as of late. In response, Dae-mok merely laughs, looking amused and untroubled by the news.

The royal court discusses the need to fill the two open positions from the latest dismissals, and as the chief state councilor offers to find replacements, Lee Sun suggests the second state councilor for the task. Lee Sun then sends menacing glares to the clueless Office Supply chief.

After the meeting, Lee Sun invites the second state councilor for a private meeting, and the councilor acts tough in the beginning. Lee Sun assures him that he’s only showing kindness to his possible father-in-law, but the councilor thinks Lee Sun is lying, since his queen has already been chosen.

Calmly, Lee Sun explains that there’s still something only a king can do, no matter how powerless, and reveals his plan about asking Dae-mok for permission to choose the queen. At that, the second state councilor changes his attitude and sits properly, so Lee Sun finally admits that he has a favor.

The second state councilor calls the Supply Office chief for a private meeting, but it’s a trap since the chief is gagged, blinded, and then dragged away by Hyun-seok. He’s brought to a dungeon where Lee Sun begins to torture him, and in the end, Lee Sun carries a bloody whip while the chief cowers in fear.

He asks Lee Sun what he did wrong, so Lee Sun takes off his mask and reveals his face. The chief doesn’t recognize him, and instead, futilely argues that Dae-mok won’t like this. Lee Sun shoves his face closer to the chief, and with a manic grin, he explains that they both work for Dae-mok. But as a puppet king, he holds more value as a servant.

Lee Sun tells the chief that he killed his father for stealing water, which helps the chief finally grasp his situation. Throwing himself to the floor, the chief begs Lee Sun to spare his life, and in exchange, he promises to serve him as his new master. Stepping on the chief’s head, Lee Sun reconfirms his new loyalty, and Hyun-seok watches Lee Sun with a grim expression.

Dae-mok discusses Lee Sun’s recent movements with the chief state councilor, who advises Dae-mok to get rid of the ambitious king. Contrary to the wary councilor, Dae-mok finds Lee Sun’s actions funny since he doesn’t feel threatened by him in the least.

He explains that those who show their ambition are easy to control, but those like the crown prince who endure hardship and learn how to win are difficult opponents. As Dae-mok narrates, Sun rises from the field, steals a guard’s uniform, and discovers the poppy pill plantation—proving Dae-mok’s words to be true.

Hwa-goon’s father visits her, concerned since she’s been unconscious for three days. He sincerely apologizes for Sun’s death, but she tells him that she’s fine and excuses herself to go meet Dae-mok despite her father’s protests.

During their meeting, Hwa-goon tells Dae-mok that they’ll soon run out of pills because of their recent influx of new members, and recommends obtaining more labor. However, Dae-mok seems more concerned about their relationship and asks if she still resents him.

Instead of answering, Hwa-goon asks if Dae-mok ever lost a beloved, and if so, what did he do? Dae-mok tells her that he expanded his power and stole the perpetrator’s loved one, and Hwa-goon states that she must resemble her grandfather, then. Understanding the implications, Dae-mok calls for his servant after Hwa-goon leaves and places spies to watch her.

Sun infiltrates the base of the poppy field and easily enters the main building, where he finds a door that leads to an underground vault. Making his way through the tunnels, Sun finds a room filled with children making pills, and notices them touching the poison with their bare hands, their fingers already stained by the pills.

Suddenly, a child drops to the ground dead, and a mere straw mat is quickly placed over the body while the children are forced to continue working. The woman in charge hands a nearby child a tray and orders her to deliver it to the man in the cell, which perks Sun’s interest.

 
EPISODE 32 RECAP

Mae-chang pleads with the head eunuch to help her find the poppy field and save the children, but he asks who will save them now that Sun is dead. Mae-chang says that she will save the children, and reminds the head eunuch that by being bystanders, they allowed Dae-mok to take over. She wonders if they’ll just pitifully hold onto their lives, which earns her a stern look from the head eunuch.

While in hiding, Woo Bo examines the map of the poppy field with the Minister of Inspector General as they narrow down on possible locations. Frustrated with their lack of progress, Moo-ha complains that it would take years to find the field, but Woo Bo argues that this is what Sun would have done.

An unannounced guest stops their conversation, and Moo-ha hides under the covers, thinking it’s a guard. Instead, it’s Mae-chang who walks through the door, and she explains that she was looking for Woo Bo in order to offer her help. She admits that she drew the map and tells them she once worked in the poppy field.

Back at the poppy field vault, Sun stumbles across a supply room filled with vials, and finds the queen dowager’s name written on one of them. However, as Sun continues his escapade, the guards notice him, and the news of an intruder quickly reaches Dae-mok’s ears.

Given the importance of the vault, Dae-mok orders Hwa-goon to go and guard it herself, and she readily accepts the task. As Hwa-goon leaves, Gon approaches her—despite her command for him to disappear—and tells her that he will help.

She questions his resolve, asking if he’s willing to betray Dae-mok, and Gon admits that he wasn’t able to figure out the best way to help Hwa-goon, so he’s decided to obey her instead. Satisfied with his answer, Hwa-goon tells him to prepare to leave for the poppy field.

Hwa-goon’s father prepares for the pill distribution with the Supply Office chief, since it’s the first of the month. He then goes to greet his daughter and assures her that the intruder is not a big deal. He promises to come back after the deliveries, leaving Hwa-goon free to roam around.

Standing in the watchtower, Hwa-goon shares her plan to burn the poppy field with Gon, explaining that she’s decided to steal Dae-mok’s most valuable thing. She orders Gon to check the vault to see if Chung-woon is held captive, and once alone, Hwa-goon promises Sun that she will end this fight as her final act for him.

The head eunuch delivers servants and gifts to Ga-eun since she’ll soon be announced as the king’s concubine. Though Ga-eun tries to protest, the head eunuch reminds her that the servants will be punished if she refuses the gifts, leaving her no choice but to accept.

Ga-eun allows herself to be dressed by her new court ladies, and in the evening, Lee Sun finds her standing by the river. He comments on the floating lanterns since they used to make wishes on them in the past. While Ga-eun says she doesn’t remember her wish, Lee Sun silently tells her that he wished to become a man who could stand before her because, even before then, he loved her.

Lee Sun assures Ga-eun that she won’t become a concubine since this is all a ruse to keep her safe, and Ga-eun thanks him. However, her attention wanders as fireflies soon surround them, and Ga-eun cries as she remembers Sun.

Noticing her tears, Lee Sun asks if it’s because of the prince, and Ga-eun says that Sun died because of her. After a pause, Lee Sun admits that Sun died because of him, but Ga-eun tells him that he’s not at fault, since Dae-mok would have used another fake king. Preoccupied with her use of the word “fake,” Lee Sun looks at Ga-eun and tells her that though he may be a fake king, his feelings for her are true.

Gon reports back to Hwa-goon, and with everything prepared, they enter the vault to save Chung-woon. As Hwa-goon turns a corner, she suddenly finds herself faced with a sword, and Sun demands to know who’s inside the cell. Ever the dutiful bodyguard, Gon strikes and pushes Sun towards the light, revealing his face.

Seeing Sun alive, Hwa-goon yells at Gon to stop, and runs up to Sun, hugging him. He asks what she’s doing here, but Hwa-goon already knows why he’s here: to save Chung-woon.

They enter the cell together, and Sun releases Chung-woon from his shackles. He apologizes for coming late, but Chung-woon simply says that he knew Sun was still alive. Sun asks if he can walk, and despite his haggard appearance, Chung-woon jokes that even after losing an eye, he’s still a better fighter than Sun.

Hwa-goon urges Sun to quickly escape before the guards arrive, but Sun refuses to leave the children behind. He knows the children are dying from handling the poison and that they’re being discarded of afterward, since he was abandoned in the same field where the bodies were thrown away. He tells them that a young girl saved him, which is why he can’t leave them behind.

Hwa-goon tells Sun to save the children and offers to be a distraction to help them escape. As Sun and Chung-woon hurry off, Hwa-goon informs Gon of her intentions to use the whip, and Gon desperately tries to dissuade her. Undeterred, Hwa-goon asks if he’s her person, and Gon solemnly states, “Yes.”

Sun and Chung-woon take down the guards and enter the room where the children are held. Immediately, the girls back away from Sun since he’s dressed as a guard, and Sun cautiously approaches them by asking if they know Yang.

One girl raises her hand, so Sun addresses her as he explains that Yang sent him to save the other children. She asks what happened to Yang, and though Chung-woon lies that she’s back home, Sun tells them the truth: Yang died.

However, the children already knew that, and therefore, they see no point in escaping if all that awaits them is death. Thus, Sun tells them that he doesn’t want them to die and vows to find a way to save them. It’s enough to convince the little girl, and she tells the rest to trust Sun and run.

Morning has arrived as Sun ushers out the children from the vault, and without the cover of the dark, they are quickly spotted. The guards sound the alarm, and the group barely reaches the edge of the field before the guards surround them.

Though Sun and Chung-woon fight back, they’re severely outnumbered, but luckily, Hwa-goon arrives in time to stop them. Holding out the whip, she orders the guards to let the group go, and the men comply begrudgingly.

As they continue their escape, the Supply Office chief returns and yells at his men to chase after them. Gon notices the guards closing in on them, so Hwa-goon tells Sun to go without her. Knowing that Hwa-goon has essentially betrayed Pyunsoohwe for him, Sun tells her it’s dangerous, but she assures him that she’ll be all right. Before she leaves, Hwa-goon tells Sun her name again, and then, for the first time, Sun uses it: “Be safe, Hwa-goon.”

With that, Hwa-goon pushes Sun away and says to herself that she was happy to have met him. As the group splits, Hwa-goon orders Gon to help Sun escape and then return to her. Though he wants to stay by her side, he won’t disobey her again and follows her command.

Hwa-goon marches past the Supply Office chief and his guards, and they let her pass, since their goal is to capture Sun and his group. Hwa-goon’s father reaches the poppy field where Hwa-goon is standing, but as he calls her name, she grabs a burning stick and throws it into the field.

Her father frantically orders everyone to put out the fire, but the flames quickly engulf the flowers. Hwa-goon stands calmly in the middle of the field, and her father drops to the ground, knowing that there’s no way to stop it.

From below, Sun and his group look up after hearing the ruckus, and as they see the smoke billowing off in the distance, they realize what Hwa-goon has done.

 
COMMENTS

Though this episode showed the return of Sun, it wasn’t really about our hero this time around. While Sun discovered the field and managed to save the children (with some help), I thought the second and tertiary characters were the ones with the shining moments this episode. For example, we saw a new side to Moo-ha in the beginning when he refused to cower in front of the Supply Office chief, and he brought such an unexpected intensity to the screen that it made me wish his character wasn’t only used as comedic fodder. In addition, the torture scene between Lee Sun and the Supply Office chief showed a very dark aspect of Lee Sun’s character, and you could see how power was corrupting him. It was also interesting to see him interact with his mother because we saw the old Lee Sun, but even in that moment, flashes of the corrupt Lee Sun showed.

However, it was really Hwa-goon who stole this episode. She was brilliant and surprisingly touching. While the show had a misstep with her character in the beginning by making her fall in “love” with Sun without knowing anything about him and then making her obsessive to the point of coming across as insane, this episode fleshed out her character more and grounded her love for Sun, making their relationship bittersweet.

If you ignore the crazy moments from the first half and pretend she had a normal arc up to this point, Hwa-goon has shown steadfast love and unwavering devotion. She’s caught in an interesting dilemma between choosing her love and her family, but what I liked about this setup is that you can kind of see in this episode how Hwa-goon has slowly come to realize how evil her family is. I wouldn’t say she’s a good person, but I want to believe she was actually moved and felt guilty when Sun pointed out the cruelty of killing young girls to make poison. She’s coming to understand Sun’s true nature, and in that process, she’s truly falling in love with the actual person rather than the ideal she created.

Furthermore, Hwa-goon continues to save Sun, but she never really expects anything in return simply because seeing him alive is enough for her. This episode, Hwa-goon displayed her selflessness in multiple ways, and the most obvious one was when she willingly returned to the enemy in order to save Sun and his group. Not only did she save him by using her whip to stop the guards, she then went back to the field to make sure he could actually escape. Unlike the previous times where you could argue that Hwa-goon saved Sun because she wanted to marry him, this time, she risked her life knowing that she may never see him again.

Besides the end, I also thought Hwa-goon’s plan to burn the field was an interesting choice that was more nuanced than it first appeared. On the surface, it’s Hwa-goon’s revenge towards Dae-mok for taking her beloved, but it’s also much more than that. When Hwa-goon thought Sun was dead, she told him that she would finish the fight as her final act to show her heart. In a sense, she’s taken a different trajectory from Ga-eun, who has shared the same dream with Sun from the beginning. This scene hints at the possibility that Hwa-goon, who basically had no dream (or a very selfish one that revolved around her), is beginning to share in Sun’s dream. And that’s why I really liked Hwa-goon in this episode, because we got to see her growth.

Unfortunately, the writers haven’t really done this for Ga-eun or Sun, and it has become even more apparent when comparing them to Hwa-goon. The flaws are obvious concerning Ga-eun, and it’s sad that she barely had any scenes, because at this point in the show, she’s really been given nothing to do. Though less obvious, Sun has also been a rather static character. He hasn’t really changed that much since the beginning, but it’s not too bad because at least Sun has some interesting qualities, such as his unwavering moral compass and his need to help those immediately in front of him. While not all characters need big developments, it makes me feel like Sun keeps repeating his mistakes and falling into similar situations.

Along that line, I was also curious if Sun pocketed some samples from the vault, because I get the impression that he usually lives in the moment and doesn’t always think things through. While it’s noble for him to save the children, he really needs to find an antidote (there’s only fifteen days left until his royal court dies from the poison), and if Hwa-goon has truly burned all the poppy flowers, then it’s going to be extra difficult to create an antidote without knowing any of the poison’s properties.

I really hope he used this golden opportunity to learn more about the poison, which could explain why he had no concrete plan concerning how he would free the children. That was also a bit frustrating, because if Hwa-goon wasn’t there, Sun would have been dead in a matter of minutes. Not his best moment. Also, where is that crock? Is it hidden? How come no one knows about it, and will Ga-eun ever remember it? Better yet, will the writers remember it? Regardless, though the flaws are still there, Ruler is definitely improving, and I’m enjoying the pace of the recent episodes immensely.

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I just refreshed the page and happened to see this update of the recap! I must say that even though there were many glaring right-in-your-face flaws by the scriptwriters but I feel that this couple of episodes are more action-packed and I am still looking forward to the last few episodes to see what happens. Thanks for the recap!!

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so I've actually been waiting for this recap to come out because I saw on some Instagram post for Ruler that Kim so hyun actually posted an apology letter for her swollen face or something after this episode was aired and I couldn't understand why that was something to apologise for. now that I've actually seen this episode though I think I finally understand what she was really apologising for. I haven't seen This show except the first 2 epi and have just been reading recaps but even just by doing that I'm shocked. The writers have done a grave injustice to not just her but both the main leads. how is it possible for them to write a second lead in such a manner that it overpowers almost everyone in the show forces people to forget who the female lead is?? Not to mention have a teenager reach out to her fans just to appease them. it is really mature of her to do that and even though I'm not a fan she has officially earned my respect. I hope this writer is blacklisted by every channel.

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"I hope this writer is blacklisted by every channel."
WELL THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY HAHAHA

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Exactly, I am laughing because people are really acting fool over this drama. It is just a drama. They need to calm down.

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Seriously this is nothing compared to what happened during Cheese In the Trap. People react strongly to dramas forgetting their main leads.

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Forgetting main leads? That is the problem with K dramas. They are becoming too predictable because of this rule the main leads should always shine. What is Cheese In The Trap?

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Bcoz the main leads bring in the audience. And ppl watch it for them. Cheese In The Trap is a drama that forgot who the main lead was and was basically massacred by the fans of the lead actor.

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@Moonstar

Well not for me. A drama has to be interesting for me to watch it. Who the leads are don't matter to me. Even if I like them.

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You want the writer blacklisted. That is being overdramatic. Calm down. It is just a TV drama. Actors and actresses sometimes have bad roles. KSH will be fine.
KSH might be upset about how her fanbase is acting. A lot of them are being overdramatic right now.

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Okay I get it now, why nobody told us that Hwa Gun is the star of the show? Lol. I already dropped this drama as much as I like the leads but still checking out the recap and here I am saying to myself, I did the right thing.

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It was a genius thing to do!

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Indeed, it is.

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You really should watch this episode. Everyone went crazy after it ended in every kind of social media.

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I'll give it a go when I have the time to. :D

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Be ready to throw something at the screen by the end of it though.

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The episode was good Hwa Gun did that. Watch it.

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am glad i made the same decision

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Maybe after Ruler, we can see Yoon So Hee as the first lead in a new drama!

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Hwa Goon's the Heroine after all these episodes! LOVE LOVE LOVE. Not just her character, but her acting's improved tremendously. Her expressions of frustration, disappointment, anger, betrayal, hate and love. She's sooooo COOL in this episode.

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Can't argue with that. Her character is really cool!!!!

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Thank You. Hwa Gun did that. Shoutout to Yoon So Hee for doing so well. I feel like she doesn't get enough props because people are so upset about KSH. Then that video with BYR & YSH low key dissing her character. Shoutout to Yoon So Hee.

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The dislike for HG is higher because her screentime and character depth is way too much for a 2nd lead. And largely because Kim So Hyun's acting talent's have been utilised at all which is causing her to receive hate from international audience. KSH's acting abilities belong to a completely different league which is why maybe even cast members are feel frustrated for her.

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*haven't

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Again that is a problem with K dramas and this rule the main leads must always shine. I think it is refreshing a second lead is shining. Who told you KSH is getting hate from international audience? She is getting love.

If people are hating on KSH it is wrong. I get their frustration but to low key diss another character out of that frustration is not cool either.

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I think the main leads are by definition the ones the writers and the PD should focus on first, though that doesn't mean that we should totally disregard the 2nd leads.
In Harry Potter, Harry, Hermione and Ron are the main characters, but the secondary characters still got to shine, have amazing character development or depth (e.g. Snape) and play a crucial part in Voldemort's demise (e.g. Neville) without taking any screen time from the trio.
That is not the case here ...

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What do you mean cast members feel frustrated for her ? I haven't heard any member of the cast outright say that she is underused in the show

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@anoint @Meme is referring to the low key diss and trying to understand where its coming from.

@Meme
I wish that were true but twitter has been quite a mess with all the hate for Kim So Hyun.

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Somebody replied on comment and said the other cast members are frustrated on behalf of KSH.

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@Solo

I am on Twitter. I will look today. Twitter is Twitter. Twitter is messy.

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The writers really forgot who the main leads were in this episode. Such a waste of acting talents.

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The writer didn't with Yoo Seung Ho. Just saying.

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You clearly haven't noticed how stagnant and uninteresting his character has gotten off late and how limited his screen time was in this episode.

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Actually, there's absolutely no reason why the Crown Prince needs to be the center of the story every episode. He usually is so when this time -for one episode - Hwa-gun got the chance to shine BIG time, I see no reason to complain.

As a Yoo Seung-ho fan, I believe he has one of the best characters to portray in the drama. The Crown Prince may not be developed as well as Hwa-gun is, but he's still true to character, charismatic and shown to be a capable leader in many ways. Yes he needs others' help, but what kind of leader can do things all by themselves? I think I'd be the last to complain that Yoo Seung-ho got the short end of the stick. He's definitely the one benefiting from this drama the most.

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His character hs needed to be saved mre times than the female lead. Evn Koreans are saying he doesn't deserve to be King.

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@MoonStar

LOL, like I'm supposed to actually care about what a few Koreans think about the Crown Prince's character. I think what I think and I like what I like. Also, a few comments with 200 up votes don't mean the nation. Jus' sayin.

Again, like I said, every good leader needs help from their team. If you don't believe in that, then that's on you. But that hardly makes Sun a badly written character. That honour goes to Ga-eun only - unfortunately.

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I do remember about the crock! I wonder when will Ga Eun find the crock from the green house and give it to Chun Soo? Did she really forget about it? Come on Ga Eun, do something useful!

Why do I get the feeling that Hwa-Goon will sacrifice herself at the end of the drama just to stop Dae Mok and save Crown Prince for the last time? Or maybe just to ensure that Crown Prince's dream comes true.

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The writers clearly don't want her to find the pot! What if she actually ends up with some character development once she finds it. It would be a disaster. Aigoo!

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I guess the writer will make us all team Hwa Goon first then ta-da Ga Eun found the pot and somehow it's useful for Crown Prince (it might help CP to destroy Dae Mok) and all of sudden CP goes "Ga Eun is my savior" and forgets all the things that Hwa-Goon did for him.

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I don't think he's ever remembered in the first place. It took him forever to even bother learning her name. His eyes only see GE who was frankly quite cool in the beginning what with saving him from the WBC and building a village out of nothing but then the writer decided that saeguk female leads who win the Prince's heart can't possibly be accomplished! She must cry buckets of tears every 3 mins to be a female lead!

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Now you've solved the mystery that I'd been wondering. No wonder CP's not moved/touched at all by HG's helps, he couldn't even remember her name after all her sacrifices! He just doesn't care about HG at all.

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At this point I think the writers out right lied to YSH and KSH when they told them that they were the leads. What leads are this incompetent?

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Team Hwa Gun? Nobody was Team Hwa until recently. Those of us who are Team Hwa Gun were in the minority. People disliked Hwa Gun from jump because 1. She met Crown Prince Lee Sun first. 2. Yoon So Hee's screen time. 3. Yoon So Hee's acting.

I get what you are saying. It will happen in one of these episodes coming up. Watch

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To be honest, I've been on team HG ever since when she saved CP for the first time in ep 8 (if I'm not mistaken). I lowkey shipped HG and CP, but I knew the ship was never there. So now when people mostly favor HG more, I'm glad that people could accept HG despite her mistake on causing the death of CP's friend and Lee Sun's father.

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I've been on Team Hwa-goon from the moment she acted all nonchalant in meeting the queen. I dropped this drama ages ago but I keep coming back for recaps to see how it's going. I think it's but funny and sad that the recapper's comment is almost entirely about Hwa-goon's character. I said this before, if Hwa-goon was played by a "stronger" actress, Kim So-hyun would be completely buried.

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It's basically the same as when Kim Yoo Jung could have been completely if Chae Soo Bin had more screentime in Moonlight. But thankfully for everyone she only appeared for like 60mins in the entire drama.

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I meant overshadowed. Completely overshadowed.

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That is why i am saying KSH and KYJ should refrain to play adult roles for a year or two. Even they are acting power houses, there arent emotionally ready to play counterpart of an adult man.

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In your dreams!

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Who is your comment directed at? It would help if mentioned so the conversation can keep moving.

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Actually its back to tearful reunion and oooh are you really still alive. GE does get a chance to do something come episode 36 but hell this show is only 40 episodes and for most of it CP has been a pillock and GE has cried as damesel in distress.

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I"m guessing the writers may have forgotten and are now smacking themselves in the head since this drama is preproduced and they can't fix it.

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Its really not even that much pre-produced. They wrapped filming at 5 AM KST on Sat. I'd say that's about the same as a live shoot.

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So hopefully they've seen the comments about the pot weeks ago and manage to resolve that mystery before the series ends!

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Either the writers didn't read the negative comments, or they hate Kim So Hyun so much that they didn't even bother changing the script despite the complains about her screen time and character development lol

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Or maybe they are just to lazy to do their actual job. You know, the one they get paid to do. the PD hasn't been much use either. Him and his strict direction methods. To think not a single ad-lib was permitted in this drama.

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They hate KSH? These conspiracy theories are hilarious.

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Well I doubt that they really hate her gyts but seing how her character is treated it's almost the only plausible explanation lol That or they are simply incompetent ! I haven't seen Cheese In the Trap, so I can safely say that never in my life have I seen a main lead in any TV series or movie being treated this way !

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Ikr! After this ep I was thinking, Hwagoon might sacrifice her life for CP. She basically save his ass every opportunity she gets and when the CP said her name for the first time this, I cried. ?
Oh, and GE should really find that crock and do something useful than cry all the time

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After all those years, finally CP said her name though she already mentioned her name few times for CP to remember and say it. I feel sad for HG. ? CP keeps on calling him Lady Kim showing that they're not close enough for him to call her by name.

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I think GE will remember or find that crock by Ep 39 ;)

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At this rate, I bet we gonna have amazing final that everyone will throw their laptops away hahaha

And the pot might never appear again!!!!

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I wish the final was this week so we could move on from this awful excuse of a drama.

Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun, see you in a modern drama hopefully sooner than later and hopefully one where no one forgets who the leads are.

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Yikes, it can't be that bad, can it?!

"And the pot might never appear again!!!!" Do you mean plot?...why do I think that, from the comments here, 'pot' will not be that farfetched?

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the pot (the crock) that the queen told ga eun about before she died and ga eun hasnt remember it for about 20+ episodes now. everyone is dying to know what is inside it but i say the writer might not even bring that up again

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You are all out of touch the pot was never shown as being discovered BUT the writen order from the CP to Magistrate is in GE's possesion - of course it exonerates her father- but hey guys are you actually watching thisor worring about the lead role - she knew what she was signing for or at least her agent did - that's how these things work.

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that letter was in ga eun's father robe, she got it after he died, not from the pot

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remember when ga eun crazy bring sword to the palace scream wanting to meet the prince, thats after she read the letter. then she met the queen and the queen&king got killed, so its about episode 7-8

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YOU GO GURL I AM SORRY TO SAY THIS BUT I AM IN LOVE WITH HWA GOON RIGHT NOW WHAT A BADASS IS SHE

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I also really wish Ga Eun's character was given more to do. Are they going to enlist Ga Eun's help in figuring out an antidote since she works with medicines and I assume she knows a bit about plants and their properties? Please, something, anything.

Yoon So Hee's screeching is still bothering me (like when she was screaming at Gon in the cave in the previous episode) but I feel like her performance has improved from the beginning of the series when she was so annoying. Her character has also gotten more likable ever since.

Well, we'll see how the story ends I guess.

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Yoon So Hee really does not have a voice that is suited for Saeguk. Her screeching is terrible and her inunciation is off.

This role really would have been better played by a veteran actress but even Chae Soo Bin or Jo Soo Hyang would have done well. In fact Kim So Hyun herself would have been brilliant at this role.

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"Please, something, anything." <-- basically me ever since we got to after-time-gap arc

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Felt her sincerity though.

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God, what a header! So intense, so blody, so sexy....*erm, awkwardly leaves*..

Okay that's it. Peace and I'm out!!✌

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lol! Totally agree! I'm not watching Ruler, except when my mom has it on while I'm in the room. Clicked on the recap because of that image.

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Its funny that that's the only thing he does and then needs saving for the umpteenth time. CP's aura is seriously being defeated by all that saving!

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So ... What's next ? Hwa Goon finding the antidote, defeating Dae Mok herself ? Or even worse, dying while protecting the crown prince ... Honestly the absurdity of this show has reached a new level this week, even the crown prince needs saving lmao

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One very amazing thing that this show did is how they made me hate Hwagoon at the very beginning because of her obsession just for her to ended up the most useful, non-stupid character at this point. It's ironic how I think the character development in this drama is somehow backward instead of developing. Hwagoon actually stays in her place, her motivation over everything's still her sole blind love for Sun but look she's the most likeable character for me now.

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The only reason I think Hwa Gun is likeable now is because everyone else is so stagnant and plain stupid. They wrote one charcater instead of four and now no one knows who the lead is.

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I liked Hwa Gun from episode one. Crown Prince Lee Sun was very reckless in the beginning. I think he has self awareness now.

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He's still extremely reckless and has a habit of rushing into things without actually thinking it through.

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Yep, whatI exactly meant. The others looks plainly stupid, doing stupid decision, motivated by.... I don't even know what

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So It has been decided that It was Kim So Hyun 'S Cameo In this Drama.... Such a waste of her time and Such a waste of her acting ability..... Well Now I know The writer just Hate KSH of just Love Hwa Gun character more than anything..... It could be better if Hwa Gun would be The Hero and She would be Heroine as the same time... Bcz CP and Ga Eun And The Fake King. No one Has Power.. Only Dae mok and Hwa Gun have Power... May be The Motto of this Writer was to Prove Villains As Main Characters... This is the only reason why this Drama Can't reach 20% ....bcz The Writing of the Story is too much week....they just wasted such a Well built Chemistry (main leads? Well .....this week My heart Broke for Kim so Hyun..... I hope She Will get More Good ND Fantastic Projects......

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Oops sorry for my typo errors

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One thing I've always been interested in is Gon's character. He shows such sincerity despite being given such little screentime. Short origin story please, show?

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if there is a short origin story, i believe the writer will make him as character who have a one sided love toward HwaGun.

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Forget the Crown Prince, he is the true damsel in distress in this show......and of all the character developments, I've seen.... obsessive, childish Hwa Gun has turned into the the most active, likable and compelling character in the drama....how did that happen? What sort of writer messes up so badly and screws up both their male and female protagonist. I still hope Ga-Eun will suddenly become useful to the actual plot. If they can redeem Hwa-Gun, maybe Ga-Eun is not hopeless. I have also realized, I don't care for CP that much either...just end it already.

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This must be the only show that managed to make both Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun look utterly pathetic and useless. Atleast Seung Ho got more screen time and frankly better hanboks. Kim So Hyun, I feel for you! Such a waste!

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I don't think any of you rooting for Ga Eun are going to be happy with the ending of this drama. Her character is feeble in comparison to what was suggested by the hype. Whereas HG and her actor who has been much maligned will be triumphant in that her single minded self-sacrifice to Her Majesty and love will save the CP and destroy Pyunsoo and Dae Mok. Incedentally there are plenty of social media sources where Yoon so-hee is praised and what's with this ridiculous idea that a certain way of speaking or delivery is necessary in a Saguk?

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But I agree she needs to improve her Sageuk delivery....she can work on it and improve it and her pitch of voice when raised, that too

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Dropped by to find out what HwaGoon did in the episode. I am happy that she is still amazing. I knew that she will end up making a choice between Sun or her family. Thus i am glad she remained steadfast on her love for Sun and also she made the right decision of protecting those poor girls. I hope HwaGoon will have a good ending. May not necessarily be with Sun but I want her to be in a better place.

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Got a girl-crush on Hwa Goon in this episode

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How was burning the poppy field helpful? Now they dn't have an antidote and ppl will die. Smthng HG has proven time and time again she does not care about.

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It's helpful because no more young girls will die making the poppy pill and Dae Mok could no longer recruit more powerful people into Pyunsoo group and making them obey him. And talking about antidote, I thought HG's dad somehow knows how to make one.

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It's really not that hard to grow poppy flowers. Daemok can just grow them again. And I don't think it's only the Poppy Pills that Daemok uses. He's pretty scary as it is. Anyone who doesn't obey can just be killed of. No wonder CP looked horrified to see the field burn.

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Sure he can grow the poppy field again, but it'd probably need some time. With HG burning the poppy field, it'd probably causing some chaos among the ministers who had been in Pyunsoo group. Dae Mok has been showed as the untouchable leader, but when his own granddaughter could rise up and disobey him? Of course some of them would question his leadership as he's the one pointing HG as the leader of Pyunsoo group. Burning the poppy field may not give a huge significance, but it still helps CP to move one step closer to destroy Dae Mok.

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Nobody has yet observed that the poppys shown are the WRONG ones, they are not opium poppy. They are completely wrong but photgenic!

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In my opinion, Kim So Hyun was wrong when accepted being in this film made by a terrible writer. Or maybe the writer just wanted to promote the unmain artist and using Kim So Hyun like a step for Yoon So Hee go on.
It's so unfair when even the screen for the main artist is very poor, terrible and have no attraction. Some people become hateful on Kim So Hyun and I think that's a very bad thing. But I hope that you are the clever viewers to realize that all the suck thing the write brings to Kim So Hyun.

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Wow the bodyguards are really cool and be it chung woon or gon especially the latter I love their fierce loyalty. Okay the show started big but failed to move the awesome story I admit it but still I can't drop it. the reason maybe bcoz I loved the start so much and I am going to finish it till the end whatever it gives me.Talking about hwa-gun she surely has stolen the spotlight of the show and I am deeply moved by her love for the crown Prince ( how could you reject her sun). The reason she shines a lot to me is bcoz ga-eun and Sun's love in my eyes don't have much depth or magic so hwa-gun's selfless love moves my heart and ga-eun though the winner of the hero's heart couldn't stand a chance against her. Anyway I hope they won't kill hwa-gun bcoz if that happens sun surely will feel guilty and burdensome for the rest of his life. And I really don't want her to die. Aish

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Ugh the way Yoo Seung Ho looks at Kim So Hyun is like the epitome of love how could you not find depth in it? Just because its been written badly people aren't being able to see it. These two are heart eyes whenever they are around each other and there is no unnecessary angst. In that sense I find HG's love too clingy. Why does she keep giving to a guy who doesn't want anything from her. Its like people worshiping God blindly. Even that love is described as being 'selfless'

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Well you call that acting genius? Honestly there is a major case here of prejudice in favour of the two main leads, has been from the very begining and it was encouraged by the first episode recap. Folks this is ideotic we should be able to appreciate the drama and/or criticise it without hating on individuals. Stay cool.

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remember Gong Taek Wang was ever so clingy in Who are you school 2015? Hwa Gun is much better than him. At least Hwa Gun isnt asking for CP's love for the return of things she did. She just doing it for him to be alive and safe. Becoz without CP, she couldnt be alive.

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Well I don't find any chemistry between the two main leads. It may be their direction but there is '0' passion and as there are only fake kisses in kdrama it all comes over as passionate as Kabuki (yes I know it's Japanese).

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It's not the actors I am referring but the characters. In the first few episodes the CP and Ga-eun love was cute bcoz it seemed like a first crush. Crush is something which is exciting and sweet to watch but as the epiosdes moved I couldn't feel the depth in their relationship and thus Hwa-gun shined a lot in my eyes. Though her love is unrequited she really gave her sincere and deep care for the prince. That really has a depth which moved my heart. If u take 7DQ there also is a girl who loves yeo one sided but the leads have a magic and spark in them so whoever it is I can't imagine anyone coming between them. But here I don't feel that way besides this my opinion and each have their own views so there is nothing wrong or right here.

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31.What a harrowing episode this is! Heart breaking scenes of dead or dyeing children being laid out in the open as CP recovers consiousness.And one child’s final act to offer water to him and ask him to live, these were a very moving introduction to the poppy field. But the change of scene back to the pallace and meeting of Le Sun with his mother and sister,Kko Mool was equally moving and very unexpected. Ga Eun seemed least surprised to see them. Her caution to him not to act as Dae Mok’s puppet King is touching but how can he do otherwise. Is it not just Le Sun who is delusional? Seeing Dae Mok’s complete control over the King and court is sinister but a great build up to what is to come.
Taking revenge against Jo Tae-Ho marks a new and dark turn in Sun’s behaviour but I felt very sympathetic. I guess that once you submit to revenge you lower yourself to the worst aspects of your enemy. The thing that throws me off balance in this show happens yet again, a sudden incomprehenible moment - how does the CP get from near dead in white bloodstained clothing to looking down at the scene of the poppy field wearing full clothing, boots and apparently reunited with his sword?
The closing scene of episode 31 raised my spirits, my faith in Haw Gun is fully justified. With the shock of realising her grandfather cannot be turusted she has reached a turning point in her life. I think her ‘being unwell’ in the sence of low in spirits and profoundly sadened was very well acted. It certainly moved me. Her inner thoughts (revenge) are so clear in her dialogue with her Grandfather. I like how she asks him how he would react to loosing somone he holds dear, how she draws him into believing because they share a blood line she is going to be a safe custodian of Pyunsoo group. Her face is a portrait of mixed emotions, hurt, love, resolve, determination and will. Dae Mok’s answer comforts her as she inwardly resolves to cary out her intention and is a sweet irony.
CP witnesses that the childen are touching the poison with their bare hands, hence they are dying so frequenly and regularly. Yet another death and the calous treatment of the surviving children who are told to gat on with their work as though nothing had happened is the darkest moment of all for me.
32. Out of darknes comes light! Mae Chang and Woo Bo are working towards discovery of the poppy fild location and ending the deaths of the child slaves!
Oh a moment that made my heart leap and spirits soar … Gon cares for Haw Gun and she astutely asks him “can yo betray my grandfather if I command you to?” to which he assents (Dae Mok you fate is sealed!)
So now I feel sorry for Kim So-hyun. She plays her part beautifully but the writer is mean in what is possible and reapeats the same tropes endlessly. Ga Eun’s character simply does not have the opportunities to shine and be multidimentional in the way that Haw Gun does. That ark is really touching me. There is chemistry between her and the CP...

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People keep on overlooking the fact that the reason Pyunsoo had so much power is because of Crown Prince Lee Sun's father joining forces with them to be King. They killed his brother so he could be King.

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Correction a Puppet King ... there's a big difference!

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To me, Pyunsoo had their strong ground even before CP's father joined forces with them. If they were not powerful, why on Earth would the late King seeked help from them just to overthrone his own brother to be the King.

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He didn't have to join them. He did it because he wanted to take his brother's throne. His son and people had to suffer the consequences of his ambitions to be King.

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Pyunsohwee was already strong. The Kings Brother had also joined with them but when he stopped listening to them they decided it was time for a new King. Pyunsohwee is to strong to be taken down by just getting rid of Daemok or destroying the poppy field.

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Still he didn't have to join them.

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To Meme, he joined them because he wants to be King! Pyunsoo promised that he'd be the King if he joined them. After the initiation, it was shown in the drama that Pyunsoo killed the previous King, living him as the sole royal heir. Chief eunuch knew about it, which is why he doesn't like CP because to him, he's the traitor's son.

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I like K dramas but they are becoming too predictable. This rule the main leads should always shine or they should be together is making K dramas predictable. I am not saying I want Crown Prince Lee Sun with Hwa Gun because I don't. I actually like Ga Eun & Crown Prince Lee Sun together. It is refreshing to see a second lead actually shining more than the main leads in a K drama.

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I agree that 2nd leads should also have the opportunity to shine but if they take all the glory then what is the point of naming main and 2nd leads ? In my opinion the main leads are like the roots of the show, they are the ones the viewers should be able to identify themselves with.

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Sorry, but I have to disagree with this, not from any feelings about this show, as I am no longer watching it, just from a writing perspective. By definition the main character is the focus of the story, otherwise they wouldn't be the main character. It doesn't make narrative sense for the story to follow one character around but then give all the important moments and character development to a different character. That is just bad writing. Good writing would be to make all the characters "shine" in their own way, regardless of how big their role is. Although some people are saying they're upset about Hwa-gun having a more interesting storyline, what they are really upset about is that other characters, such as Ga-eun, are written in an uninteresting way. I guarantee that if the CP and Ga-eun were equally compelling, everyone would be happy that Hwa-gun had a compelling story arc as well. And not merely because they are fans of the actors, but just because no one enjoys watching boring characters. Having any boring characters is bad writing; it's just easier to get away with it when they are not main characters, and therefore not the focus of the story.

Apart from that, I agree that kdramas are often too formulaic. For example the format of always having four leads, two male and two female, who are involved in a love quadrangle. There is no reason to always have this exact same setup; it is just done that way out of laziness. I always appreciate it when kdramas mix things up by having more main characters, or multiple lovelines, or an ensemble cast, or anything other than the typical quadrangle.

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I don't care what anybody says Hwa Gun is slaying. Hwa Gun stays coming through. She did that.

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I really hope Yoon So Hee is not taking offense to all this backlash because her character is shining.
I really hope Kim So Hyun is not getting hate because of her character.
Both young ladies are doing their best with what they are given.
Kim So Hyun and Yoon So Hee Fighting!!

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The drama would've turned out great if KSH played Hwagoon as the main lead! Poor Ga Eun lost the qualities of a main lead early in the drama and what a waste of KSH's talents. No matter how they end the drama, nobody will satisfied after such a strong character development for Hwagoon. Imagine star crossed lovers plot where CW falls for HG for her sacrifices in the name of love. What a waste...

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Oh my God the recap is doing my head in. The values by which this show has been judged from the begining were largely of your making, not entirely because of the huge media hype and the fact that the lead actor, almost a juvenile, has a large and determined following. Let us please get one thing straight there is no crock/pot in the greenhouse. "It" contained the wrtten order from the CP to GE's Magistrate father ordering him to investigate the Water bureau. This has already been produced a nd cited as a means of 1 exonerating her father and 2 implicating the CP. HG is from a privaleged background but she is not a dilitante she conducted Pyunsoo trade and made alliances with Japan, she also had a colse friendship and exchanged intamate knowledge with Mae chang/Head Eunuch. Her "crazed love" for the CP from the moment of her meeting him in the greenhouse is mischaracterised. She is of the type to make a total and unconditional commitment. In that moment she also took her dagger and marked the CP neck with a small wound. -She has spunk, she might be every modern womans heroine for being so full-on, but she certianly isn't a character worthy of the kind of vitreol she has receieved. Neither, as they are written, are Lady Han and the Crown Prince able or singularly virtuose characters, up to now they have not achieved very much. Oh, and finally the CP didn't forget Haw Goon's name, he has never pretended to have any romantic feelings for her but he addressed her respectfully (despite her Pyunsoo connection) as Lady Kim. Above all, notwithstanding she is a romantic Haw Goon is also a realist and a brave one, it's her choice to remind him she's Haw Goon and with that she goes back to face danger, not to sacrifice herself cheaply but to do her uttermoast to stand by her principles. This writerhas managed to get this drama contract and carelessly written something full of plotholes, never-the-less, what we have seen on screen has been dramatic and at times inspiring. Drama critics, you signed up to a difficult and demanding task, don't let your prejudices or overconfidence trip you up.

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The written order from CP to Magistrate Han to investigate the water supply bureau was found in the magistrate's robe long time ago, she didn't just discover it when she's there in the greenhouse and it's been GE's motivation to clear his father's name and wrongfully accused. And why would Lady Hee Bin, CP's mother wants GE to know about the letter? What's good it's gonna bring to both CP and GE? And how would CP's mother know that his son kept the letter on the pot in the green house?

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Actually this Saguk genera is a bust flush as far as my view goes, it is full of escape routes: eye candy in the form of dress and Royal residences, it does not stick to history, because it is too limiting and demanding. It resorts to cliche and flower boys. Depending upon where the major viewing audience is situated geographically it is even more at the vaguries of whim. I've been seriously wondering about "acting" is it actually an objectivly measurable thin, or is it always subjective because it is one human's understanding of another. Then by chance I found Mother (2010) a harrowing account of epic proportions with largely female characters, including Mana Ashide a 6 year old girl, Japans youngest ever child actor.Now I KNOW acting is instinctive. I apaologise for citing a dorama rather than a Jdrama but I also dare you to have the courage to watch this. It is Harrowing, painfull, sometimes too dark to contemplate but also strangely beautiful and redemptive. There is the best and worst of the human condition in it and unexpectedly it is all made so accessible by an amazing 6 year old girl!

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I find these overdramatic fans of KSH incredibly ridiculous. This is not the KSH show, and there is no necessity for her to be in very scene or every episode. I'm really glad the writers have given us a good balance for all the characters. I feel like I know everyones nature from Sun to Gon. I for one don't want the same people on my screen, I need variety to enjoy a show. I think YSH did a great job in the last episode and I'm happy the writer's didn't turn her into a mean/selfish will do anything to get someone who doesn't love me back second lead. To know your family is evil but know that they are your "family" is truly tragic.

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I don't think it's right to blame KSH fans just like no one blamed Park Hae Jin fans. A lead is a lead and is entitled to a better written character and proper screen time. Don't make excuses.

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Why not? Y'all acting like some injustice happened to KSH. Like this is gonna ruin her life. All this conspiracy theories stuff and calling for the writers to be blacklisted. KSH will be okay. Calm down. Who said a lead is entitled to better writing and proper screen time? Yet you are making excuses for KSH fans acting the way they are. They are being overdramatic.

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I understand why so many watching this drama just go on unending rants about how KSH doesn't get screen time. Then when she does, I get the complaints about how Ga-eun isn't getting any plot development. But what's utterly ridiculous and frustrating and plain idiotic is when some (read:most) take their anger out of the second lead because she's so much cooler, interesting, developed and charismatic vs Ga-eun.

Hwa-gun in the middle of this drama hardly got screen time, so I think this hate is basically a jealous rant. I can't understand why she one can't just appreciate a character for what they are and what they've done. She's the Crown Prince's savior just as he is Ga-eun's. I adore Hwa-gun recently and her true love and devotion for Sun is so heartbreaking because no matter what it won't be returned - she knows that too - and yet she always there for him every step of the way. She betrayed her family for him, but more than that - she's become a better person because of him.

As for Sun, I don't see why it's a problem that he needs help from others. I genuinely don't. Yea he's the hero and our main lead, but he's no super human. He makes mistakes and he needs help from those around him because what kind of leader can do everything himself without support. He needs to be stronger, sure. He needs to have better strategies or think out situations through more. But he operates through his heart and while he's more mature now, that's been a part of his personality right from the start. I think that's something he needs to work on - like when he stupidly decided to save Ga-eun despite the dangers. But in the end, Ga-eun was also his subject and he tries to save everyone. It's the nature of his character. I don't like that about Sun but there's a million things that I do love about him. And I wouldn't complain too much because he's one of the better written characters in this drama only second to Hwa-gun.

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Thank You. If I could upvote this comment +10 I would.

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If you adore a second lead more than a lead that means the lead wasn't well written because a drama is seen through the eyes of the lead and not the second lead. It is a serious narrative fault.

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Err, where have I in any of of my comment ever claimed Ga-eun was well written? Read please.

The point is: she's a horribly flat character and Hwa-gun is amazingly dynamic. It's a narrative fault for Ga-eun - I completely admit. But why would it be a narrative issue for Hwa-gun? Should she be badly written just because Ga-eun is? Some logic that is...

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Every week so much comments. Hwa gun character definitely more meatier seeing that the writers wrote that she falls in love with the CP since she was young at 15yrs old when she first met CP at the greenhouse. So it is understandable her obsession with him.

This burning of the poppy fields will be a headache with the entire Royal court being in need of it and no antidote in sight. Wonder what the writers will write up to have enough to be given to the entire court.

Ga Eun so little to do yet more and more pointing out the wrongs in Fake King.Any more pointing out and he will lose it in front of her.

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I have yet to completely give up on this show—it still has so much potential, however I do agree that the secondary characters are shining more than the leads. I will have to say that I'm not really complaining since, as was mentioned, most if not all of the secondary characters were really flat (yes, I'm talking about Hwa Goon) and we're getting a little bit of life out of those previously straight-forward characters.

That said, I do wish the writers were a bit more attuned to what they write. Sun's character developed after the time lapse but it seems as if he's relapsing back to his old 17-year-old, inexperienced, naive self. He is acting on instinct and he really needs to just slow down and think!! And Ga Un! I was really drawn to her strong character at first, but she's quickly losing my interest as she drifts into the stereotypical woman we usually see in Kdramas. Right now, all she is doing in fawning over the loss of her loved one and getting pushed all over the place by the bad guys. I was proud of her when she stood up to the Supply Office chief then.... she went back to being a rather submissive woman with no depth in front of Lee Sun (I want to talk all about him, but there just aren't the printable words to express how I feel).

Like I said, I've yet to give up on this show, but I really want to see the writers do more with all the talent they have at their disposal. The actors and actresses are doing the best they can with what they are being given and I am pleased with their effort. Writers, make their effort worth it!!!!!

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Thanks for the recap, lovepark!

The feeling of devastation and despair at seeing the sea of dead bodies of little girls really struck my heart and I could only imagine how Sun must have felt at witnessing all this firsthand.

The Supply Office chief deserves it all. But man, menacing Lee Sun is quite frightening. Can't say I'm surprised though since he's always had this ambitious streak in him.

I love HG's resolve to destroy what is the most precious to her grandfather. The scene of her reuniting with the crown prince really touched me, as did the reunion between Sun and CW. I've gotta admit that I don't usually like the second female lead over the lead. But in this drama, the characterization of HG has been so much more interesting than GE. Not to mention, HG's agency allowed her to love the crown prince in her own way, willing to do anything in her power to help him, even if that meant defying Daemok and risking her own life. She never demanded to be loved back since she knew where his heart lies. She has been continuously selfless with her love, and she hasn't harmed the female lead despite obviously feeling envious of her. That's why I can't help but like HG over GE even though I really like KSH, the actress.

Sun talking to the little girls in such a gentle manner and using Yang to bridge the gap and gaining their trust was amazing to see. He always knows what he needs to do in each situation as he experiences more in life and endures hardships and pain.

I love how Sun wanted HG to escape with them, knowing that she will face imminent danger. Despite being unable to return her affections, he never thought that her sincerity should be overlooked. Instead, he valued and appreciated that love, and I do think he views her as a good friend who not only saved his life more than once, but has also helped him in every possible capacity. I'm sure HG felt that and that was enough for her.

The scene of HG setting fire to the poppy field was awesome and I had to applaud her for her bravery. Not only will this most likely lead to irreparable damage to the relationship with her grandfather, but it will also mean she has just given herself the death sentence. Her steadfast and unwavering love for the crown prince to the end is what has touched me. And to willingly want to share in the prince's dreams to destroy Pyunsoohwe plus taking action is an amazing feat.

I'm still waiting to see what's so special about that crock. *drumming fingers* You'd think GE would have tried to look for it already given all the times she's had access to the greenhouse.

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Oh. I wondered why there were so many comments when interest in this drama is now so low and I see out of 107 comments 90% is KSH fans complaining and arguing with people.

I've long given up on this disappointment of a sageuk but yasssss to my fave Hwa Gwoon continuing to slay. Good job to Yoon So-Hee also who has been very graceful in the face of harsh and jealous critics and worked hard to greatly improve her performance since her weak acting at the start.

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They are and downvoting any comments that praises Hwa Gun or calls them out on their behavior.

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I've noticed that here and elsewhere. I've even seen some of the especially unpleasant KSH fans leaving nasty comments on Yoon So Hee's IG. They are so childish and petty. It's not her fault that her character is so much more interesting and better written than KSH's. They need to take that up with the writer, director and KSH's team for taking this dud project in the first place.

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Lots of good comments on IG for her too.

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Yoon So hee like seo kang joon robot actor. Haha

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after watching this episode, i really wished to throw something on the screen. i never had a 2nd lead syndrome this strong. HwaGun Character makes me fall in love deeply with her. and compare to GaEun character that seems to be dumb and dumber.. like, you dream to get rid of pyunsoo group, but you keep focus on who killing her father.. i was expecting GaEun Character like BoonYi ( in SFD ), becoz in the early episode, the writer makes her like a couragous, brave, elegant, smart and full of calculation. but after few episode, all she did always crying.. but HwaGun, she really is something. with her wit, smart, she can become the merchant leader and her ability to graps the situation ( of course, no wonder, she is daemok's grand daughter, she might have an upper hand ), she is totally a very big supporter for crown prince. and after watching this episode, i'm sure about several thing :
1. i hate fake crown price, so L is doing his job very well that make me easily hate him
2. everybody forget about the pot, except us, the viewer
3. if hwagun gonna die, it will be not fair for her. but if the writer make her the queen, it also doesn't make sense because in the promotion, the writer intended to make GaEun the Queen that people love.. but i keep wondering, in what aspect people love her? when she do nothing and stupidly fall into the monarch politics without any knowledge and logical thinking?
this drama totally makes me feel boring.. i keep watching just because of YSH and KSH

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I'm all for the plot movement. Better late than never indeed. Two weeks to go. I wonder if this newfound trajectory will continue until the last ending credits.

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Waaahhh super loving HG here... she's improved so much from when she was plain creepy at the beginning. Wished her character was the female lead instead of GE because what has she done for CP anyway? I tried not to dislike GE but seriously, the damsel in distress trope has long been a fad.

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Well. for me Hwa goon was indeed cool in this episodes. But idk why here some comments like showing Kim So Hyun acting is bad? well, for me its only her character is badly written. while her acting isn't. I bet 98% of you agree her acting on every scene especially when she get angry or crying is a top notch. not every actress can do that kind of crying. even i think she could do much more if she plays as Hwa Goon. It's just because Hwa Goon did heroic scene and Ga Eun always crying, you cant compare how Ga Eun and Hwa Goon characters are being acted out. The characters have different approach. so please if you wanna hate, hate the character only, dont COMPARE the kind of acting they act out, because its different. and definitely, if you wanna HATE, THEN HATE THE WRITERS.

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Absolutely but why you people are saying that Ga Eun character is useless?WHAT?Maybe its not useless because Ga Eun gives a lot of hope to CP do you remember his lines before?"HOW CAN I PROTECT MY PEOPLE IF THE WOMAN I LOVE IS THE ONE I CANT PROTECT" thats it.Maybe Hwa goon helps him by her non verbal actions but Ga Eun really helps him to be a better king.That's why the writers said that during the character descriptions "Ga Eun will help him to be A good King"So maybe you should know the deeper meanings of this drama.NO BAD VIBES GUYS

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IMO that line is kinda stupid knowing that he barged into Dae Mok's place without a proper plan and risking his life and his people. True, his beloved woman is his people as well, but he knew that he'd die in the process and what happened if he did die? I think all his hardwork to come to what he is now would go to waste. Who's gonna stop Dae Mok if he die? Tsk.

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he willing to die just for a girl, he doesnt deserve to be a king

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totally agree. it reminds me of King Taejo in Moon Lovers who let his most beloved concubine be hanged to keep the stability of the palace in tact, because being a king is that hard!

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KSH acting is really impressive. the problem lies in her character in the drama.. the writer seems only make her character to cry and cry and cry again.. i guess the viewers want to see a better character of GaEun.. where is this GaEun that lead several poor villagers to move to another place? in this show, GaEun character is sooo dumb.. if we look at her background, she is the daughter of quite high officials in joseon's government.. i knew, that maybe the woman at that time might stupid becoz most of them can not read,etc.. but her father is high officer,, she can read and write, and in addition, her teacher is woobo ( aka minister personnel ).. are we wrong expect her to have some logical thinking and quite ability to see the tide of politics? ahhahaa.. instead of making crown prince a better king, she is somehow become the burden to the crown price.. i don't know if this comment is appropriate, or maybe i'm in love with Hwagoon Character.. i hate to say this, but the only Character who makes sense is the villain.. they are still thinking in a logical and practical way.. ahhahahaa...

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Thanks for the recap!

Hwagoon's character has continuously stepped up her game..reading recaps until the end it seems for me.

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I've dropped this drama 4 episodes ago, the writing and the story-telling is just so messy, and seeing all the comments in the recap threads showed that it hasn't improved much at all.

I was willing to stick it out at first, 'cause the story seemed to have potential at the beginning and I kept hoping it would improve, but after finding 7DQ, which has been a delight in all aspects so far, and right from the start, with great acting and good story line to boot, I think I'll just stick to only reading the recaps for Ruler, just to know how the story ends.

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I don't think a single Kim So Hyun fan is still watching the drama. Feel that maybe those still watching are fan of the lead as a couple and are annoyed by why female lead is written so poorly and male lead not do anything. Korean fans also very angry. Post angry messages to writers and MBC.

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RIP Haw Goon your work is done.I hope you find a blessing in the other world!

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I have never agreed with the view that Haw Gun was crazed, she was somewhat like her grandfather haughty and aloof but I think she genuinly fell for the CP regardless of his showing her no special feelings. Anyhow she has been by far the most interesting character in this pretty dismal show. She has saved the CP time and again and finally she incentivises CP to become the true King. Having watched all the way to a preview of episode 37 I can say that things now decend into low farce. The only female character of interest now is Kko Mool. No matter, Haw Gun has gone to a better place and Gon is , as commanded protecting CP.

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Thanks for the recap

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Okay, I know I'm watching this show way after all these comments, but I can't understand the fixation on utilization and screen time for the lead characters. What is everyone doing--sitting with a calculator counting the minutes they're on in a given episode? I'm just enjoying the story, and it's become so good in these later episodes. Maybe it was made to binge-watch, but I find it, on the whole, mesmerizing. It's kind of nice to have an episode dedicated to the secondary and tertiary characters for a change. Binge-watching means I'm living in this world right now, and loving it. 진정해!

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