100 Days My Prince: Episode 3
Finally! This episode is fun and funny, creating a balanced contrast between the dangerous goings-on in the palace, and the ridiculousness of Yul losing his memory and getting sucked into marriage against his will. His spoiled behavior and haughty demeanor start getting on Hong-shim’s nerves right away, but lucky for her, she’s got the wit and temper to put him right in his place, which he sorely needs no matter who he thinks he is.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Hong-shim’s father interrupts her flogging to dramatically announce that her fiance, Won-deuk, has come home from the army. Yul enters the courtyard, dressed in filthy clothing and with no memory of who he is or how he got here. The magistrate asks if his name is really Won-deuk, and he says firmly, “It is.”
Hong-shim and her father exchange glances while the magistrate draws his sword at Yul’s use of banmal. Hong-shim’s father blurts that he suffered a head injury, and Hong-shim reminds the magistrate of the crown prince’s edict that all single men and women be married by the end of the month. As the last single female in the village, she says that she can obey that command now that her intended has returned.
Hong-shim is released, and Dad sends Gu-dol for the doctor for Hong-shim’s wounds. Yul trails behind them, followed by all the women in town, who are fluttering over his good looks, ha. Catching sight of him, Hong-shim asks Dad what’s going on. She’s not keen to marry a complete stranger, and Dad isn’t thrilled with the idea either. But Hong-shim, being a pragmatic woman, says that it’s better than being Master Park’s concubine and decides to marry Yul.
Avoiding telling her that he found Yul in the woods and he’s not, in fact, Won-deuk, Dad points out that least Yul is healthy and attractive. They watch Hong-shim’s friend Kkeut-nyeo approach him in a daze, and when she reaches up to touch his handsome face, he smacks her hand away, huffing at her imperiously.
A village woman asks Yul how it feels to reunite with his beloved, and he says honestly that he finds Hong-shim and this house filthy and uncomfortable. He starts to make a dignified exit, only to slip in a pile of animal droppings and fall flat on his back. We love him, but admit it – he deserved that.
In the palace, Yul’s stepmother, Queen Park, lets loose delighted peals of laughter at her good luck when she hears that Yul was attacked went missing. She wants to summon her eldest son, Prince Seowon, to “comfort” him (or more likely, gloat that he’s about to be declared the new crown prince), but her henchman, the Minister of the Right, advises her to be very careful — she’s already suspected of masterminding the attack against Yul.
She insists that she hasn’t done anything to Yul… other than make some cursing talismans. She wonders who could have ordered the attack, then decides that it doesn’t matter so long as Yul is out of the way. Frustrated by her open glee, the Minister of the Right tells her to show sorrow, and although she shrieks in frustration, she reluctantly agrees.
She removes most of her makeup and goes to visit King Neungseon, Yul’s father, where she throws herself to the floor, dramatically sobbing. She abruptly stops wailing when she looks up to see that Yul’s wife, Crown Princess So-hye, is there with him. Queen Park notes that she seems perfectly fine for a woman whose husband may be dead, but So-hye claims that she’s not distraught because she believes Yul will return safe.
Hong-shim’s dad helps Yul out of the dung and gives him some straw to wipe his hands with, only for Yul to demand fancy refined water. Dad doesn’t even know what that is, so he takes Yul to the cleanest part of the river to wash. Yul turns up his nose at that, too, and when Dad says he needs to clean up for his wedding, Yul asks why he has to get married.
Yul remembers Dad telling him that his name is Won-deuk, that he just returned home after being injured during his military service, and that he promised to marry Hong-shim. But he declares that he’d never have proposed to a woman with a face like Hong-shim’s, and when Dad asks how he knows, he says it’s just a gut feeling.
Dad pulls the old “I saved your life so you’d better be grateful” guilt trip, but Yul still refuses to go in the river, saying that it might be cold and deep. Geez, he’s such a priss. Dad promises that the drought has made the water shallow, and goes in himself to prove it. He splashes around then turns to Yul — who’s gone. LOL.
Back at the cottage, Gu-dol and Kkeut-nyeo return with the doctor, but Hong-shim doesn’t want to bare her hiney for the entire room and declines treatment. Kkeut-nyeo reminds her that she’s about to spend her first night with a man, but her giggly explanation is interrupted by Dad, who still hasn’t found Yul.
Town Official Park comes careening into the yard to tell them not to set up for Hong-shim and Yul’s wedding here… as the village’s final wedding, the magistrate wants to witness it, so it’s to be held at the town office. Dad admits that Yul has gone missing, so everyone runs to find him before the whole village is punished.
So-hye visits her father, Minister Kim, to ask what he’s done to Yul. He says that she’s the one who caused trouble (by getting herself pregnant), so now she’s seeing just how much trouble she caused. He tells her that they’ll soon learn that the prince was found dead, instructing her to wait at the palace and pretend to be grieving.
As she turns to go, So-hye sees the assassin, Moo-yeon, waiting to speak to Minister Kim. Moo-yeon offers to go find Yul’s body, but Minister Kim says it would be better to let the palace guards find him. So-hye approaches Moo-yeon to growl that he should have handled this properly if he wanted to leave.
Yul wanders until he finds Master Park’s house, where a pair of servants are carrying water for a bath, complaining about how much water the nobles waste even during a drought. Yul is happy to find a bathing situation more to his taste, and he even puts on the pristine white clothes laid out for Master Park.
Master Park complains to the magistrate for letting Hong-shim go after he worked so hard to trick her into becoming his concubine. The magistrate argues that the prince’s order was that the spinsters be married to bachelors, so it would be wrong to make her his concubine when she’s engaged to a bachelor.
Still upset, Master Park goes inside, only to find Yul daintily polishing off his lunch, hee. Yul offers a detailed criticism of the food before walking out, leaving Master Park gaping. Master Park and the magistrate catch up to him halfway down the street, and the magistrate asks why he’s wandering around when he should be preparing for his wedding.
Yul says blandly that he never agreed to get married, and Master Kim gets a greedy glint in his eye as he tells Yul not to marry against his will. He asks Yul his reason, and Yul says thoughtfully, “That’s because… I actually..”
Hong-shim’s breathless voice calls out, “He has amnesia!” Yul seems as surprised as anyone to hear that, but he agrees with Master Park that he can’t marry a woman he doesn’t remember. Hong-shim says that he may not remember her, but she doesn’t care, because, “All you have to remember is our night at the watermill!”
The thought that Hong-shim isn’t a virgin is enough to send Master Park scurrying away, but Yul isn’t moved. He says he doesn’t care what happened at the watermill, but Gu-dol takes offense that he would deflower Hong-shim and not marry her, and Dad (even knowing it’s a lie) slaps Yul in the face.
King Neungseon asks to speak to the soldier who returned from the massacre, wanting to learn more about Yul’s disappearance, but he’s informed that the man died of his wounds. The king is horrified that the doctors didn’t take better care of the only witness of the attack. He blames himself for listening to Minister Kim and not taking a more direct hand in the aftermath, and decides to investigate personally.
But on the road to the massacre site, the king is stopped by a group of masked men led by Moo-yeon. They’re joined by Minister Kim, who tells the king that this is how easily he could have been ambushed by assassins, and pleads with him to trust Minister Kim to find Yul instead.
The governor arrives to witness the village’s final wedding. Hong-shim cries a little as she gets ready, but she sniffles back her tears when Dad comes in to talk to her. He says sorrowfully that he feels bad for raising the daughter of a noble family without being able to support her financially, and for making her marry a stranger.
Hong-shim says she’s grateful that he saved her life, but that she does feel bad getting married when she doesn’t even know if her brother is still alive. Dad gives her a beautiful silver hairpin and tells her to consider it a gift from her brother.
As they wait for the ceremony to start, Gu-dol sticks closely to Yul and lectures him to be responsible after taking Hong-shim to the watermill. Yul asks why the watermill is important, and Gu-dol is all Don’t you know what that place is for?? HA, apparently it’s the Joseon equivalent of Make-out Point.
Hong-shim looks lovely in her bridal finery, and the entire village gathers to exclaim over her beautiful she is. Gu-dol tells Yul that he’s an awfully lucky guy, but Yul just stares at Hong-shim, his expression shuttered. Still, he looks back once as Gu-dol leads him away.
District office employee Je-yoon stands before the riddle that Yul wrote, which originally contained the words “the people,” and “10,000 roots.” Soo-ji, one of Yul’s advisers, joins him, and Je-yoon says cryptically that it’s not time for Yul to return yet. Soo-ji wonders if the answer written on the parchment is correct, and Je-yoon says with a smile, “It is. It’s the question he solved himself.”
He thinks back to his conversation with the crown prince, when Je-yoon had mentioned that two men were seen at the home of the physician on the night she was murdered. Yul had interrupted and told Je-yoon to stop investigating.
Je-yoon had asked why Yul declared his riddle answer correct, but incorrect. He’d shown the prince that there are rectangles in the letters, starting with one in the first letter, two in the second, four in the third and five in the fourth. He’d concluded that the blank space should contain a letter with three rectangles, so he’d answered with the Chinese letter for “net,” which has three rectangles.
Yul had explained that Je-yoon’s answer didn’t complete the sentence logically, and had expanded his letter until the sentence reads “The people embrace 10,000 roots.” Soo-ji sighs that Yul made him too uncomfortable to solve the riddle, but now that he’s missing, he’s even more uncomfortable.
But Je-yoon is still thinking about Yul, who’d said that even though he didn’t give the correct answer, he was still impressed with Je-yoon’s quick wit. He’d promised to find an important purpose for Je-yoon, and when Je-yoon admitted that he was the lowly son of a concubine, Yul had even smiled and said that made him like Je-yoon even more.
Gu-dol leads Yul to the watermill, hoping that seeing the place where he and Hong-shim supposedly spent a special night might jog Yul’s memory. He narrates how it must have happened — it would have been nighttime, and Hong-shim must have looked so pretty in the darkness that Yul couldn’t help but undress her and lower her to the hay…
Yul snaps that there’s no way that happened, so Gu-dol imagines that maybe Yul tried to break up with Hong-shim since he was leaving for the military. Hong-shim might have protested, since she was almost too old for marriage, so she might have jumped him to change his mind. (HAHA, the mill pounding in the background is hilariously on-the-nose.)
The mental image makes Yul nervous, and Gu-dol tells him that he was nervous to get married too, but that he’s enjoying married life very much. He tells Yul to imagine having someone next to him all night and what Yul might do with that person, but Yul just sneers that it sounds uncomfortable. Gu-dol just tells him to give up and get used to it. LOL.
Before the wedding, Hong-shim visits her father’s grave and says that she’ll endure whatever she has to until she reunites with her brother. She tears up as she asks her father not to watch over her this one day, because his daughter is getting married without him.
Gu-dol wanders back to town, and when Hong-shim learns that he left Yul alone at the watermill, she picks up her skirts and runs at full speed. She’s relieved to find Yul still there, but he says that he has no memory of her, and his heart feels nothing when he looks at her.
Hong-shim interrupts that he can’t get out of the wedding because it’s an order from the Crown Prince. Oddly, mention of his title does seem to jog Yul’s memory. Hong-shim tells him that he’ll be punished if he refuses to marry, and that it’s better to get married than to be essentially spanked to death.
HA, Yul deadpans, “Both are very uncomfortable.” Hong-shim tells him that he has to choose one, but instead, he says he needs to go home and tells her to take him there. Hong-shim calls out, “Help me! If you go, I will be Master Park’s fifth concubine. I know I’m lowly, but I don’t want to be humiliated by that old man. So please, save me.”
He doesn’t answer, but instead suggests that she run away. She says she’ll still be a spinster no matter where she goes, and might still end up a concubine or married to a man she doesn’t like. But he’s unmoved, so she sighs in defeat and says she’ll go notify the magistrate.
She trips, and Yul reflexively catches her by the arm. He barks that she’s clumsy and tells her to lead the way, but she says she can’t take him home. Yul simply says that he can’t remember the way to the magistrate’s office, and while it’s not the most romantic of proposals, Hong-shim takes it.
Meanwhile, the royal guards search for signs of Yul, and when their leader finds a stray arrow, he gives it to a guard and whispers angrily that he was supposed to get rid of any evidence. Augh, is everyone in on the plot to kill Yul?
Yul slowly strolls behind Hong-shim until she tries to grab his wrist and pull him along. He resists, turning her back to face him, and they stare at each other for a long moment as the wind blows flower petals all around them. The moment is broken when Hong-shim swipes impatiently at the petals and yanks on Yul to follow her.
The governor gets impatient as the day stretches on with no wedding, until he threatens to leave and report the village’s disobedience. The magistrate is ready to order both Yul and Hong-shim arrested, but they run into the courtyard just in time. The wedding commences, though neither the bride nor the groom look happy about it, and Yul has to be coached from the sidelines in what to do.
Just as the ceremony starts, dark stormclouds begin to gather over the village. But the clouds clear before the wedding is over, making Hong-shim sneer at Official Park that this isn’t going to bring rain. He tells her that it’s the mixing of yin and yang energy on their wedding night that will end the drought, and his words seem to strike another chord with Yul.
Back in the capital city, Je-yoon’s boss at the Capital District Office asks why he’s not getting married today, since he’s a single man. Je-yoon says that he needs a woman in order to have a wedding, and his boss sighs that only the peasants are taking the crown prince’s edict seriously. Je-yoon agrees that the unfairness breaks his heart, though he says it with a grin, looking forward to his promotion from the prince and even a possible wedding.
Later he ends up on the bridge where he met Hong-shim, and he thinks about her warning not to flirt with her. He sees a man standing on the bridge and smiles at him as he passes. The man is Moo-yeon, who’s lost in the memory of a small voice crying, “Brother, I’m so scared.” Oh, I knew it, but this is just awful.
He remembers the night that he and his little sister, Yi-seo, escaped from Minister Kim’s murderous rampage. He’d buried her in some dead leaves and told her he was going to lure away the men chasing them, ordering her to run when it was safe. But she’d said dully, “I don’t want to. I want to die, then I can see Father again.”
He’d reminded Yi-seo that their father ordered them to live, and she’d begged him not to leave her. He’d told her to go to the bridge on the 15th of every month if they got separated, then he’d finished covering her with leaves and gone to draw their pursuers away.
After the wedding, Kkeut-nyeo finds Hong-shim crying alone, and she’s confused at Hong-shim’s distress. She’s jealous that Hong-shim got to marry the man she wanted and sends her inside to her husband. But once she’s there, Yul says he had no choice but to marry her, but he still doesn’t remember anything, so she’s forbidden to touch him.
Hong-shim grins at him slyly and scoots closer, purring that they’re married now as she ogles his physique. She starts to untie his robe, but he grabs her hands and pushes her backwards. Unfortunately for him, this just topples them both until he’s looming over her.
He repeats that Hong-shim is not allowed to touch him, but she fires back that he’s the one doing all the touching. He jumps back and Hong-shim starts undressing for bed, insisting that she’s not interested in someone who doesn’t want her, anyway.
Yul complains that he can’t sleep in such a filthy room, so Hong-shim tells him to do whatever he wants as she lies down to sleep. But it’s Yul who nods off first, leaning against the wall. Hong-shim slides over to gently remove his heavy robes, taking care not to wake him.
Out in the yard, Hong-shim’s father digs a hole to bury the fine clothes Yul was wearing when he found him. Regretfully he whispers, “I’m sorry, but I can’t let Hong-shim become someone’s concubine, nor let her leave my side. Your memory should never come back. You two should live happily ever after.”
In the morning, Yul wakes with a start to find himself naked and tucked into bed. When Hong-shim comes in, he scoots as far away from her as possible, and she admits with a toothy grin that she undressed him.
She shows him the clothes she laid out for him, but he frowns at the used clothing and refuses to wear them. Hong-shim says he can stay naked if he likes, playfully flipping up his blanket with her toe and chirping that he’s got a nice body. HA, his face is priceless.
Yul reluctantly dresses and joins Hong-shim and Dad outside, complaining about the clothing, but Hong-shim just says cheerfully that a handsome face makes clothes look good. Yul doesn’t care for their humble breakfast either, and when Hong-shim asks if he’s a picky eater, he says that he can’t be picky because there’s no food, just slop for pigs. Ooooh, he’s gonna end up wearing that soup.
Dad tries to smooth things over by assuring Yul that Hong-shim is a good cook, but when he offers Yul a spoon, Yul yanks his hand away, offended that Dad touched him. Hong-shim yells at Yul for being rude to Dad, then Dad yells at Hong-shim for speaking too casually to her husband. Yul practically smirks as Hong-shim quiets down, grumbling that his home is really far away, so he’d better eat this if he wants to eat anything.
Hong-shim seems to think that Yul will go home soon to get his belongings (um, does she think there really is a Won-deuk?). Dad tells them that his parents died and he lived alone until he went to the military, at which point his house burned down. It’s hard to say who’s more upset at the news that he’s a penniless orphan, Yul or Hong-shim… no wait, it’s definitely Yul, lol.
He goes inside to pout, leaving his breakfast uneaten. Hong-shim asks Dad how he could introduce her to someone like Yul, but Dad insists that he’s a nice man even if he’s poor. Okay, she definitely thinks there really is a Won-deuk.
She suddenly realizes that if Yul/Won-deuk served three military services under a powerful commander, then he must be owed some pay. She decides to go see that commander and get the money, and Dad goes into panic mode, wondering what to do.
Hong-shim makes Yul go with her to find his military commander, saying that he’ll remember his commander when they get there. They’re waylaid by a pair of (frankly kind of goofy) highwaymen who demand payment for safe passage through the forest, and when Hong-shim says that she’s passed this way hundreds of times, the leader says she owes them back toll.
He struggles to do the math, and they all whip around to stare at Yul when he easily states the total. HAHA, he’s perfectly happy to return to the village, but Hong-shim stops him and threatens to report the highwaymen to the magistrate.
Cut to: Hong-shim and Yul, both unconscious and wrapped up together in a straw mat. Yul wakes first, and his frantic struggles jostle Hong-shim awake. His attempts to free his hands just end up with him accidentally groping Hong-shim inside the mat, so she says that they’ll have to roll themselves out.
But Yul says with utter seriousness that he doesn’t want to roll. He says he wants to stay like this, and Hong-shim stares at him, unsure of how to react.
I’m beginning to reconcile myself to the fact that 100 Days My Prince isn’t going to be the silly, slapstick drama that the trailers led us to believe. That’s not a bad thing, because it’s a highly entertaining show with some amazing acting performances being turned in, so I’m not complaining so much as just resetting my expectations. This episode definitely delivered on the humor, and I’m extremely happy that we’re finally getting to spend more time with Hong-shim — I love her strength and intelligence, and I can’t wait to see her wrap Yul around her little finger even before he remembers who she is. I was particularly impressed with her when she begged him to save her from becoming a concubine, because she showed her noble breeding even in her most desperate moment, maintaining her dignity and outlining her problem without stooping to begging or manipulation. No doubt it was that inner strength that convinced Yul to give in — he always did love her for her smarts and bravery, from the very beginning.
I’m completely amused by the fact that, despite Yul’s amnesia, his personality hasn’t changed in the slightest. I was expecting him to drop the haughty, snooty tone and tendency to look down his nose at everyone and everything, but nope, he’s exactly the same person he was before. It’s endearing, because the truth is that Yul grew up in luxury, so his horrified reactions to things like humble cottages and bathing in rivers are genuine, even if he doesn’t know why. It cracks me up, because I can’t see Hong-shim putting up with that kind of behavior for long. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s Yul who is the innocent maiden in their relationship, and Hong-shim who’s the lascivious-minded jokester who enjoys tweaking his precious sensibilities. It’s such a fun reversal that I almost hope their first kiss doesn’t happen for a while, just so I can watch Hong-shim scandalize Yul as long as possible.
I’m absolutely tickled to death at Yul’s insistence that he would never fall for or marry a woman who looks like Hong-shim, when in fact, that’s exactly what he did at the tender age of twelve. Not only that, but he’s still carrying such a torch for her that he refused to sleep with his actual wife, and has dedicated his life to getting revenge for his lost love. It makes his insistence that he’d never fall for a woman like Hong-shim that much funnier to know that he’s protesting against something he’s thought about day and night for sixteen years, and again, I can’t wait until he regains his memory and has to grovel for the things he’s saying now.
But for now, I’m a little saddened when Yul says that he feels nothing when he looks at Hong-shim, when we know that before his accident, seeing her again after sixteen years nearly flattened him. I want something to remind Yul instinctively that he loves this woman, even if she doesn’t yet know he’s her childhood sweetheart. I don’t know if it’s that I want Yul to somehow care for Hong-shim, or if I just want him to feel something after so many years of living in an emotional desert. He’s a good person beneath that haughty demeanor, and I just want him to love and be loved. My heart aches for all the pain he’s endured for so long, and it’s a good sign (both for the strength of the character and the quality of Do Kyung-soo’s acting — how does he convey so many emotions without changing facial expressions??) that I already care so much for him even though we’ve only seen his cold, heartless side.
I was very surprised to realize that Hong-shim thinks there really is such a person as Won-deuk, that she’s supposed to marry. I was assuming that she made up a fake fiance because she enjoyed single life, but now it seems as though Dad made up a distant fiance in an attempt to keep Hong-shim from marrying and leaving him. He said as much when he buried Yul’s clothes, so it looks like he just considered himself lucky to have found a man with no memory just in time to save Hong-shim from becoming Master Park’s concubine. Unluckily for Dad, he actually found the missing crown prince — I have a feeling that he’s going to put the clues together when that bit of news reaches the village, and he’s going to have to do some fancy flailing to keep secret the fact that he basically kidnapped and married off the future king of the country.
Moo-yeon’s story is the one that’s tearing me up inside, now that we know for sure that he’s Hong-shim’s long-lost brother. I have so many questions about him… mainly, how did he end up working for the very man who killed his father? My guess is that Moo-yeon was caught that night while luring Minister Kim’s men away from his sister, and was pressed into service as an assassin (even at that young age, he was known for his fighting ability). So-hye mentioned his wanting to be free, which leads me to believe that he’s not working for Minister Kim by choice. I’m hoping that there’s a way to redeem him and free him so he can live a normal live, but the truth is that he’s killed a lot of people and even tried to assassinate the crown prince, so I’m afraid that Moo-yeon may not get a very happy ending.