100 Days My Prince: Episode 10
Although Yul seems to be settling into his new life as a peasant, his old life seems determined to haunt him. Former friends and enemies are equally dangerous to a man who just wants to disappear. As the past starts to catch up to Yul, he grows desperate for a way to remain in the one place he’s ever known real love and acceptance.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Yul comes back from the city, and when Hong-shim says that she didn’t think he would return, he simply kisses her. It begins to rain, and Hong-shim jumps around with joy, but Yul says he’s uncomfortable because he hates getting wet, ha.
They take shelter in a storage room, and Hong-shim says that Yul must be tired from the long walk home. He answers that it must have been hard for her, too, admitting that Dad told him about her family being framed and slaughtered.
She says it was a long time ago, and that that’s when she and her brother were separated. She tells Yul that her brother returned, and when he asks why they aren’t together now, she says she needed time to settle her affairs first.
She asks if he regained any memories in Hanyang, but Yul says the city was too big, and he just got lost. Hong-shim stares at him, remembering that Gu-dol said Yul seemed to know exactly where he was.
Hong-shim pouts, which makes Yul’s smile as he watches her fondly. She stands as if to go home, but it’s still raining hard, making her shiver. Yul gives her a backhug and asks to stay that way just until the rain stops.
The king is thrilled at the much-needed rain, but a eunuch brings him to the queen’s chambers where he finds her lying in bed, moaning pitifully. She tells him that Minister Kim threatened her and Prince Seowon with his blank, sealed scroll. She murmurs that she’s too scared to even breathe since seeing it.
King Neungseon says that he gave Minister Kim the seal to protect her and Seowon, but Queen Park says that he’ll use the seal to kill her and Seowon and take the throne for himself. The king swears that he’ll protect her and the prince, and she falls sobbing into his arms — but behind his back, her eyes go sharp.
Yul and Hong-shim make it back home and argue over who should bathe first. Finally Yul says that since they can’t agree who goes first, they should just bathe together, so Hong-shim quickly (and nervously) says she’ll go first. While she bathes, Yul thinks about his confrontation with Moo-yeon, and how he’d asked Moo-yeon who he is.
Moo-yeon had replied, “You’re already dead. You’ve already died in everyone’s memory. So don’t try to know. When your existence is revealed, countless people will be killed.” Yul had asked why, but Moo-yeon had lunged for his weapon and they’d grappled again. Yul had kicked Moo-yeon in his injured shoulder and left him there.
Hong-shim finds Yul with his head in his hands, but he says he was just wondering why her bath took so long. He goes in to take his bath and finds a new set of clothes laid out for him, with extra stitches to keep the sleeves from fraying. Awww.
Moo-yeon’s men report to Minister Kim that Moo-yeon is in critical condition, having been attacked by someone. Minister Kim asks why Moo-yeon was in those woods, and one of them breaks down and confesses that he’s the one who shot Moo-yeon because he didn’t want to leave Minister Kim.
He says that he meant to shoot Moo-yeon’s arm and hoped he would change his mind about leaving while recovering. Minister Kim orders the man to be locked up until further notice, then finds So-hye and tells her to go back to the palace, and that he’s ordered the exorcism of her quarters (after the talisman was found) to be finished quickly.
Yul finds Hong-shim making his bed, and when she says the new clothes look good on him, he says haughtily that everything looks good on him. She grumbles that he’s not even thanking her after she made him the clothes, and he holds out his arms like he wants a hug… but he’s just complaining that one sleeve is shorter than the other, lol.
Hong-shim says that that arm must be longer, and the look Yul gives her is hysterical. She changes the subject and starts looking around for things to talk about, and Yul says that she must have missed him while he was gone. He tells her that if she’s not going to sleep in their room, then she should leave now.
Hong-shim fusses to herself in her room that she didn’t miss Yul one bit, and she was totally going to bed anyway. Then she flips and complains that he used to beg her to sleep with him, so why did he kiss her today if he was going to send her off to sleep alone?
Yul’s thoughts are more serious as he recalls Moo-yeon telling him that everyone who knew him thinks he’s dead, and that if he’s revealed to be alive, many will die.
So-hye visits Moo-yeon late at night to check his pulse; then finds the assassin her father had locked up. She tells him that he’ll be tortured, so he should run. When he refuses, she asks if he can keep the secret, and he says that he can but that Moo-yeon will leave once he recovers.
The next morning, Minister Jung reads the note that So-hye hid at the palace, which says that she’d had a worrisome dream, and that she intends to keep the thing most precious to her far away. Minister Jung gives the note to Prince Seowon, asking if it’s a love letter to him, but Seowon says it looks more like a letter expressing concerns.
Minister Jung asks the prince if he’s fond of So-hye, and he says he is, just like he’s fond of all of his people. He orders Minister Jung not to upset the crown princess, because if anything happens to her child, he won’t let it go. He also says that he’s not interested in Yul’s place as crown prince if he has to get it through trickery, and orders Minister Jung to stop scheming against the crown princess.
Hong-shim’s dad is so glad to see Yul that he hugs him, ignoring Yul’s grumbling that he never gave permission for hugs. Yul asks why Dad’s happy to see him, but Dad just says that of course he’s glad. Yul thanks him, then asks Dad to help him with something.
When Hong-shim wakes, Dad tells her that he made Yul’s breakfast. Yul deadpans that it was better than Hong-shim’s cooking, hee. When Dad praises Yul’s rope-making skills, Hong-shim squints at them suspiciously, but Yul shows her his quite lovely ropes and says that he asked Dad to show him how to do manly things like make rope and wield a scythe.
Dad pulls Hong-shim aside to tell her that he thinks Yul has decided to live as Won-deuk, and that they should take him along when they leave with Hong-shim’s brother.
Town Official Park catches Je-yoon mooning over his memories of Hong-shim after spending all night reading the office records. Je-yoon asks about Hong-shim’s Solution Agency, so Town Official Park tells him that Hong-shim used to solve the village’s problems for free, but she got married to a good-for-nothing who racked up debt.
While Yul is bringing in fodder, little Meok-goo yells at him in banmal that he never paid him for fetching the royal inspector. Yul offers him five times as much to answer an easy riddle: What do you call a grown man who is older than you? Meok-goo wails, and Yul deadpans, “’Waaaah‘ is not the right answer!”
Je-yoon overhears and asks Meok-goo what happened, and Meok-goo lies that Yul cheated him out of money he needs to buy medicine for his mother. Je-yoon gives him money and tells him to come to his office if Yul scams him again. The incredulous look on Yul’s face is priceless as Je-yoon lectures that he thought a man who got a reward from the king would be a decent person.
Je-yoon walks away, and while Yul’s brain is still spinning, Meok-goo answers “Hyung-nim” (the correct answer to the riddle) and demands his money. Yul asks if his mother is really sick, and Meok-goo tells him that she died in childbirth. LOL, he’s a tiny little scam artist.
Je-yoon tries to hire Hong-shim’s Solution Agency, but she refuses to help him. He politely says he’ll have to look into why she was dressed as a noblewoman in the city, forcing her to accept his request, which he says is a secret. He’s leaning in and whispering to her when Yul comes home and sees them, and Je-yoon is speechless to learn that this is Hong-shim’s husband.
After Je-yoon leaves, Yul tells Hong-shim that he heard the new magistrate has been hitting on her. She waves away his concern and notes that he looks sunburned, but he says honestly that his face is red because he’s angry. She kind of likes the idea of Yul being jealous, and makes him lie down with his head in her lap so she can put some medicine on his burnt skin.
He enjoys it quite a lot, turning his face up to her and watching her so intently that she asks him to close his eyes. He whispers, “I want to see you since I didn’t get to for four days.” (…and THUNK, there goes my heart.)
Hong-shim tries covering his eyes, but Yul just opens them again and grins at her. He finally keeps them closed the second time, and Hong-shim gets caught up admiring his eyebrows. Yul grumbles that he didn’t give her permission to touch, but he adds that she’s the only woman allowed to touch him without permission, then puts her fingers back to his face. When did he get so sweet??
Kkeut-nyeo and Gu-dol drop by the cottage as Yul is chopping wood, here to ask Hong-shim to clean some fish for them since they’re both too squeamish. Yul says not to bother Hong-shim with work like that—he’s in charge of doing difficult jobs from now on. Kkeut-nyeo swoons along with the rest of us.
Of course, he’s never done it before, and he hesitates at the sight of the still-gasping fish. He wonders when Hong-shim will be back, leaning away from the nasty fish, hee. They’re still waiting for Hong-shim after it gets dark, so Yul decides to go find her.
She’s meeting with Je-yoon regarding his request, and she very nearly swears when she climbs Master Park’s wall and sees him hand-feeding beef to his spoiled dog. Je-yoon says that he made himself two promises when he came here — one is impossible to keep because the woman he likes is married (aww), and he needs her help with the other one.
He explains that he only made the villagers fill the well because he could tell it was going to rain, then offers to walk her home. Hong-shim declines, so he confesses that he has no idea how to get back to the magistrate’s office, HA. Hong-shim leads the way, and Yul pops out of the bushes behind them, shooting jealous eye-lasers at Je-yoon’s back.
King Neungseon looks furious that he let himself be manipulated into giving Minister Kim a blank, stamped scroll, giving Minister Kim the ability to do literally anything he wants. He tells Minister Jung that Minister Kim once said that a king must be cold-hearted and unswayed by personal feelings, so starting today, he’s going to be a cold-hearted ruler.
He asks if Minister Jung is willing to take a huge risk for him, and Minister Jung replies he owes his life to Neungseon. The king orders him to take his command to the grave: kill Minister Kim.
Hong-shim sneaks into Master Park’s home and steals his dog, Dae-boo, right out of his arms as he’s napping. In her escape, she crashes right into Yul and drops Dae-boo, who wanders off while Yul is quizzing Hong-shim about her late night meeting with Je-yoon.
Je-yoon reviews an ongoing lawsuit between two families, and Town Official Park advises him to take the side of Master Park’s friend. Je-yoon asks about Master Park’s connection to Minister Kim, but Town Official Park doesn’t know, though he does notice that Je-yoon asks a lot of questions about Master Park.
Je-yoon predicts Master Park’s frantic arrival within seconds, and he hilariously overreacts to Master Park’s upset over the lost dog. Master Park admits that Dae-boo is not only an official Ming Dynasty noble, but not his dog at all — it belongs to his master. Je-yoon tells him dramatically go to home, and he’ll personally find and return Dae-boo.
He grins with anticipation as he’s waiting to rendezvous with Hong-shim, but Yul shows up instead, asking why Je-yoon needs his wife when he has many officials to do his bidding. He flat-out accuses Je-yoon of hitting on Hong-shim, and when Je-yoon pulls rank on him for speaking banmal, Yul deadpans that he was talking to himself.
The two have a stare-down until Hong-shim wanders over to confess that she lost the dog. To prevent Je-yoon spending more time with Hong-shim, Yul volunteers to search for Dae-boo with him, sending Hong-shim home to wait.
Yul guesses that Dae-boo must be old considering how much respect the dog commanded, and he knows that Ming mastiffs love food, so he extrapolates that Dae-boo would be slow and looking for meat. He tells Je-yoon that if they can’t find the dog, they’ll tell Master Park that they stole it on his orders. Je-yoon asks, “Is that how the Solution Agency works?” and Yul fires back, “Is that how the magistrate works?” Oooo, burn.
He accuses Je-yoon of trying to gain favor with Master Park by stealing his dog and returning it. Je-yoon calls him a peasant, but Yul says that you can’t be a good leader if you only listen to those in power and ignore the weak. Curious, Je-yoon asks if they’ve met before, finding Yul’s voice familiar.
But Yul suddenly spots the dog approaching the trap he’s set. Dae-boo walks right in and they catch him. Yul declines compensation and tells Je-yoon to go be Master Park’s dog. Je-yoon just thanks him for allowing him to be Master Park’s dog by finding the magistrate’s ledger, vowing to discover who’s at the top of the corrupt hierarchy even if it means being a dog.
Yul warns Je-yoon that sacrificing small causes for greater causes could cost him his credibility. He challenges Je-yoon to beat him like the last magistrate for his impertinence, but instead, Je-yoon asks Yul to be friends.
He apologizes for his former rudeness, but Yul declines to be friends with someone he considers a fool. He asks if befriending Master Park is really enough to ferret out the top of the hierarchy. In response, Je-yoon asks Yul how a smart person would handle it.
At the palace, Minister Kim overhears two court ladies gossiping about a rumor that Crown Prince Yul is alive. The rumor comes back around to him through one of his lackeys, and he warns the minister that his tongue could get him in big trouble. Minister Kim is told that they’ve found the person spreading the rumor… it’s Soo-ji, Minister Kim’s son, who saw the prince at the palace. Minister Kim finds Soo-ji telling a highly embellished version of Yul’s story to a group of young palace ladies.
As reward for finding Dae-boo, Je-yoon asks for an archery contest with Master Park, and he promises Master Park that he’s not planning to lose on purpose. They look out towards the target Yul is setting up, and Je-yoon mentions the time when Yul shot at Master Park, then betrayed the former magistrate.
He pretends to worry that Yul will be a threat to him, and invites Master Park to teach him a lesson. They make Yul hold a plate over his head as their target, and for some reason, Yul does it without complaint. Je-yoon’s first arrow goes wide, hitting the wooden target behind Yul.
Master Park takes aim, and as his arrow flies towards Yul, Yul has a flashback to the night the palace doctor was murdered. He imagines Master Park’s arrow striking her in the throat, and he sinks to his knees in shock.
In the city, Minister Kim slaps Soo-ji furiously for spreading a rumor that the crown prince is still alive. Soo-ji stammers that he saw a man from Songjoo village who looked exactly like Yul, and Minister Kim storms out before he even finishes his sentence.
He goes to the assassin still locked in his shed and asks if the crown prince is alive. Next he goes to Moo-yeon’s room and tells the other assassin, who’s nursing the still unconscious Moo-yeon, that he’s going to Songjoo village.
Master Park is delighted with Yul’s extreme reaction to being shot at. He declares the archery contest over and himself the loser, and he offers to grant Je-yoon a favor. Town Official Park notices that Yul doesn’t seem to be recovering and runs to him, and Yul’s eyes land on Master Park’s arrows as he approaches the dais. Scenes flood his mind — a gift of a bow and arrow… the king… the crown princess.
Back at the cottage, Dad marvels at Yul’s first pair of straw shoes and Hong-shim watches with a sad expression as he gushes over Yul. When she asks why Dad likes Yul so much, he tells Hong-shim that his wife was pregnant when she died and that he’d been sure the child would have been a son. That son would have been about Yul’s age had he lived. He suggests that she let Yul know that her brother will be coming for her soon so that he can get ready, hoping that she’s not still planning to leave without him.
After being alerted by Kkeut-nyeo to Je-yoon’s little game, Hong-shim confronts Je-yoon about using Yul as a human target. When Je-yoon just vaguely says he had a reason, she asks if he even values the lives of peasants as having any worth.
Ae-wol surprises them both by showing up unannounced, warning Hong-shim not to speak to the magistrate that way. Hong-shim stomps off, offended that Je-yoon called in a gisaeng (Je-yoon: “She came to me…”). Je-yoon complains that Ae-wol’s timing in showing up was too perfect, but she says that she came to tell Je-yoon about Minister Kim’s conversation that she overheard, when he mentioned the rumor that So-hye’s baby is not the crown prince’s child.
She also tells Je-yoon about the current rumor that the crown prince is alive. Je-yoon dismisses it as ridiculous, but when Town Official Park brings him a document signed by Yul, he seems to recognize the handwriting and recalls Yul’s order to stop investigating the physician’s murder case.
As Minister Kim and Moo-yeon’s man gallop towards Songjoo village, another group of assassins shoots them off their horses and surrounds them.
Dad sends Hong-shim home to wait for Yul while everyone else splits up to look for him. Hong-shim finds him at the house, calmly making straw shoes, and she snaps at him to copy books if he wants to make money. Yul declares that this work suits him better.
Hong-shim, knowing him better than that, demands the truth, refusing to allow Yul to avoid her questions. She wants to know why he stood still when Master Park shot an arrow at him, and he says, “Because it’s what Won-deuk would do.” Hong-shim asks if he’s planning to live as Won-deuk when they know he isn’t.
She reminds him that he went to Hanyang to regain his memories, but he says that he doesn’t want to regain his memories anymore, “Because I want to stay by your side.” Hong-shim tells him that she was planning to leave him behind when she left with her brother and Dad, and that they’ll have to live in hiding for the rest of their lives. She asks hopefully, “So if you’re still okay with a woman like me, will you leave with me?”
In answer, Yul steps forward and hugs her.
Damn, it looks like Yul has gotten his memories back, or at least enough of them that he wants to run away. I don’t blame him for wanting to escape if he has indeed remembered who he is, because he was always miserable in the palace, and he’s finally found happiness in the simple life with Hong-shim and their friends. It’s tragic to see him insisting that he’s Won-deuk, meant for humble work, when he was so recently declaring any work at all to be beneath him. If his choice is between danger, death, betrayal, and heartache in the palace, or love and acceptance with Hong-shim and the villagers, it’s not much of a choice at all. But obligation will pull him back to the palace no matter how far he runs, and I think he knows it, and that his desire to go with Hong-shim and her brother is futile.
On a happier note, I love how quiet Yul’s love for Hong-shim is. Even in love, he’s true to himself — reserved, yet affectionate in his own way, and as open about it as I predicted he would be. He’s not one for big gestures or romantic pronouncements, but he’s doing things like chopping wood and taking on the nastier jobs to spare Hong-shim from doing them (even if he chickens out!). Just the way he looks at Hong-shim is so adoring, like when he was lying with his head in her lap, that there’s no question how he feels… he doesn’t need to make grand pronouncements, because it’s all there in his eyes.
It’s so interesting to see the relationship between Yul and Je-yoon playing out, with Je-yoon as impressed with Yul’s intelligence as he was when he knew he was the crown prince, while Yul’s impression of Je-yoon is completely the opposite of his original impressions. He found Je-yoon clever, and trustworthy enough to trust him with his life by sending him that note when he thought there was a plot to kill him. But now Yul sees Je-yoon as an idiot because of how he’s trying to gain Master Park’s favor, since he doesn’t know the whole story, not to mention his intense jealousy over Hong-shim.
I’m glad to see the king getting a backbone and actually doing something about Minister Kim’s power trip. I’m even glad that he went straight to “kill him,” because he knows that nothing short of death will stop Minister Kim in his determination to take the throne — I get frustrated with shows where characters know exactly who their enemy is but pussyfoot around them, giving them time to escalate their dangerous behavior. King Neungseon may have been a weak king in the past, but with this decision, he’s showing that he’s done letting himself be manipulated. It’s too bad that he’s doing it for the wrong reason (saving Queen Park), and I anticipate that he’ll be pretty devastated when he realizes that the wife he’s trying to protect is not only also manipulating him, but actively trying to harm his son and (he thinks) his grandchild in order to put her own son on the throne.
Also, it was a bit vague, but my suspicion that Seowon is not the king’s child was confirmed by Minister Kim when he talked about Queen Park’s betrayal. No matter what King Neungseon does, neither Seowon nor So-hye’s child are his own blood, so he needs to get Yul back if he wants his own line to continue. It’s going to be another point of contention between them, because Yul seemed pretty determined not to become king willingly or produce an heir. Maybe when he regains his memory and sees that his father has finally done something to become a strong king on his own, Yul will change his mind… or maybe not, since nothing will change the fact that Neungseon let countless people be slaughtered in order to take the throne.