100 Days My Prince: Episode 8
This drama may be full of plot holes and inconsistencies, but there’s still something about it that holds my affection, much like Hong-shim’s growing affection for her grumpy-yet-endearing amnesiac prince. I don’t really care that some plot points are murky and contrived when the characters are this lovable, and their reactions to their situations so earnest. This episode is particularly sweet, as Yul starts making his feelings known and Hong-shim, though she tries to fight it, can’t help but respond. How could she, when he keeps looking at her like that with those big, love-filled puppy eyes?
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Yul arranges to meet Hong-shim at the field, excited to give her a pair of pretty shoes he bought her. She arrives upset, having just learned from Dad that not only is Yul not Won-deuk, but that he doesn’t know who Yul is.
Neither of them are aware that Moo-yeon followed Yul, having figured out who he is. He aims an arrow at Yul, and Hong-shim sees it flying towards him. Her expression alerts Yul, who flings them both to the ground. He assumes that Master Park sent more thugs after them and wants to lead them away, but Hong-shim begs, “Stay by my side.”
King Neungseon reels at the news that Crown Princess So-hye is pregnant. Minister Kim explains that she’s known for a while now, and his sidekicks argue that Queen Park and Prince Seowon need to be punished for placing the cursing talisman and almost ending the king’s direct line of succession.
Minister Jung stalls for time by suggesting a royal physician examine the crown princess. But Minister Kim challenges King Neungseon to act swiftly, and when he asks for time to make such a huge decision, Minister Kim reminds him that it only takes an instant to lose the people’s support.
Queen Park and her loyal ministers wrack their brains for a way to avert this disaster (setting a mountain on fire as a distraction, really?). The queen suspects that So-hye is lying about her baby being Yul’s, since everyone knows they were on bad terms, and Minister Jung warns that just speaking those words could get them all killed.
Je-yoon is tied up in a storage room somewhere, taunting his captor to show their face. When his half brother, Minister Jung, walks in, Je-yoon frees one hand and throws dirt in his face, asking if he plans to kill him. Minister Jung says he’d have killed him already if that was his plan, and tells Je-yoon that he’s been used by Minister Kim in his plans to depose the queen.
Je-yoon isn’t sorry if the queen did order Yul’s murder, but Minister Jung insists she didn’t, nor did he have any part in it. Je-yoon jokes that Minister Jung kidnapped him to plead his innocence, and asks for an official uniform and a palanquin.
Yul and Hong-shim huddle in the field for safety, and Yul seems to enjoy Hong-shim’s worried nagging. He takes off her straw sandals and tosses them away, and when nobody shoots at them, he stands and pronounces the danger over. Hong-shim complains about her lost shoes, then looks down to see Yul kneeling by the brand-new fancy pair he bought her.
He says sweetly that one day, he’ll buy her a pair with her favorite cherry blossoms. Hong-shim slides the shoes on reverently, and Yul grins when they fit perfectly. Feeling guilty, Hong-shim says she has a confession, but Yul stops her, saying, “I know you were born into a noble family.”
Startled, Hong-shim loudly denies it, but Yul knows she can read and knew about the royal inspector. He brings up her changing dialect, and when Hong-shim continues to make excuses, he says gently that he doesn’t mind learning these things about her.
She explains that she’s worried Master Park will keep harassing them, but Yul says he has a plan. He closes his eyes and drinks in the breeze, enjoying the smell of the barley. He says that he may have forgotten their past, “But I will never forget this moment.” Awww, sweetness swoon.
Moo-yeon is still nearby, but he just watches his sister with the man whose death is supposed to free him, looking conflicted.
Je-yoon sparks some suspicion when he shows up at the palace in a palanquin, but the guards let him in. He visits the royal library and reads the records of the royal secretary. He finds notes regarding the king’s decision not to attend the rain ceremony and Yul’s objections to being sent instead.
Knowing that Minister Kim suggested sending Yul to the ceremony, Je-yoon guesses that Minister Kim ordered Yul’s assassination. He takes the real note from Yul to Minister Kim, and Minister Kim sees that it contains only the hanja character for “to follow.” He asks if Je-yoon is angling for a title or a fortune, but Je-yoon says he just wants to work for Minister Kim.
When Hong-shim and Yul arrive back at the inn, they find Dad worried about them, and Yul fibs that they visited a doctor because Hong-shim was worried about his injured arm. He asks for dinner, and grins when Dad orders soup for him.
Dad privately asks Hong-shim if she told Yul the truth, and she says she’s decided not to. Dad assures her that she can come clean when his memory inevitably returns. She feels bad for ignoring him when he used to say he didn’t feel like Won-deuk, and wants to help him recover his true memory.
Meanwhile, Yul wonders what to do about the attempt on his life. Gu-dol and Kkeut-nyeo bring leftover snacks from the village’s celebration of the magistrate’s removal. Gu-dol barks at Yul to follow him, and after they’re gone, Kkeut-nyeo notices Hong-shim’s beautiful new silk shoes. She turns green with envy over Hong-shim’s luck at having a pretty husband who gives her pretty gifts.
In secret, Gu-dol gives Yul some pilfered wine that’s supposed to boost his… er, prowess in bed. Yul says that he and Hong-shim don’t have that kind of relationship, horrifying Gu-dol with the fact that they even sleep in different rooms. He blames Yul for the fact that they still haven’t gotten rain even after everyone got married.
On their walk home, Gu-dol and Kkeut-nyeo run into Moo-yeon, who asks them about the people they visited at the inn. He’s surprised to learn that they’re married and that Yul lost his memory, but he declines to go see Yul when Gu-dol suggests a familiar face might jog his memory.
Yul sits outside Hong-shim’s room, thinking about Gu-dol’s surprise that he hasn’t bedded his wife. He stands like he’s going to go in, but Hong-shim comes outside to say she’s set out some of the food their friends brought for him. He seems unfamiliar with rainbow rice cakes, so Hong-shim asks what food he does remember. He says he remembers liking meat pancakes, but not where he ate them before his accident.
Hong-shim says she’s going to her father’s room to eat and talk with him. Yul tells her to enjoy herself, because, “Tonight is the last night you will sleep in his room.” RAWR.
Moo-yeon returns to his men and tells them to go back to the city and let him handle this assignment alone. They want to make sure they’ve truly found the crown prince, but Moo-yeon says, “My sister… the woman he’s with is my sister.”
On Minister Jung’s advice, Queen Park dresses in plain white and begs the king tearfully to spare her son, even if it means she has to drink poison. Prince Seowon tries to stop her, but she makes a show of saying this is all her fault. King Neungseon tells his eunuch that he’s leaving the palace.
Minister Kim destroys Je-yoon’s letter from the crown prince, and he grumbles angrily when someone enters his quarters without permission. It turns out to be the king, dressed in common clothing. The king confesses that he abandoned Yul’s mother, thinking it the only way to protect Yul, but that his actions caused him to lose his son, too.
He says he wants to drop the investigation into Yul’s death, even if it means the queen and Prince Seowon get away with it, but he doesn’t want to abandon his wife and son a second time. Minister Kim says that the people won’t respect him if he’s soft on his family members, but the king snaps that he’s aware that Minister Kim is the one stirring up the people.
When Minister Kim asks why he would do that, King Neungseon says, “Why did you not become king yourself, then? Why did you have me take the throne instead?” He refuses to depose Queen Park and Prince Seowon, and promises to make So-hye’s child his legitimate grandson if it’s a boy. But Minister Kim asks calmly, “Do you think that’s all I want?”
While cleaning up the magistrate’s residence, Town Official Park pulls the arrow from the wall where Yul shot it. He picks up a dropped ledger and notices that Won-deuk’s full name is Na Won-deuk, which startles him for some reason.
Unseen, Yul picks up the discarded arrow and uses it to shoot a message at Master Park’s house, grumbling that with his injured arm, he might “accidentally” shoot Master Park himself. The message warns Master Park not to hire thugs to bully people again, and it’s signed Royal Inspector Heo Man-shik.
After enjoying Master Park’s terrified reaction, Yul tells Hong-shim that he wants to go home. They head to the cottage to clean up, and they find the neighbors already working on it. Town Official Park tells Yul to make glue for the new wallpaper, and he insists that Hong-shim go with him.
Minister Kim reports to the king that the scholars have stopped protesting and the ministers have agreed not to mention deposition again. He says that in exchange, he wants the royal seat, and the king asks if he means the throne.
While everyone works to repair Hong-shim and Yul’s cottage, the loan shark, Ma-chil, shows up to collect Yul’s debt. He grabs Hong-shim, saying that the boat is ready to take her away, but she pushes him off her. Ma-chil raises his arm to strike her, but Yul rushes over and punches him in the gut.
Ma-chil topples over, and Yul tells Town Official Park that since the magistrate is gone, this is his job to handle. But Gu-dol yells that Ma-chil isn’t breathing, and suddenly this becomes a murder case.
Minister Kim presents the king with a blank scroll and tells him to stamp it with the royal seal. He says he’ll use it when he decides what he wants from the king, but he reassures Neungseon that if he wanted the throne, he’d have taken it ten years ago.
Both Dad and Hong-shim try to take the blame for Ma-chil’s death, but Town Official Park ties Yul’s hands and leads him away. When they’re alone, Yul insists he didn’t hit the loan shark hard enough to kill him, and that he purposely avoided a vital point. He thinks that Ma-chil died from hitting his head, which would make this a simple accident.
They run across the restaurant ajumma (her name is Mi-geum), who says she’s bringing food for the people working on the cottage. She tells Town Official Park and Yul to come back and eat, and Yul is incredulous when Town Official Park leads him right back home.
At the cottage, a shocked Hong-shim says she needs to see Yul, because there’s so much she hasn’t said to him. But suddenly Ma-chil grabs her ankle and gives her a huge grin.
Town Official Park and Yul return to find everyone standing in the yard, looking very serious. Suddenly they start clapping and singing Happy Birthday… those brats, this was all a set-up for a surprise party for Yul! Poor Dad and Hong-shim are still in shock, not having been in on the plan.
Town Official Park says that he read in the ledger that it’s Na Won-deuk’s birthday today, surprised that Dad and Hong-shim didn’t know. Hong-shim grows angry at everyone for scaring her and storms off, and poor Yul is all, Would someone untie me?
He follows Hong-shim and asks if she’s upset because she’d be a widow if something happened to him. She snaps at him for teasing her, but he just looks entirely too pleased at her upset. He tells Hong-shim, “I will be with you forever. Do not worry. I will not leave you alone. I am your husband.” He holds out his hand, and after a moment, Hong-shim takes it.
Prince Seowon joins his mother in pleading for the king’s leniency. Minister Kim comes out with a scroll and reads that the king has ordered them not to mention deposition again, and sends them to their chambers.
At the birthday party, Town Official Park tells everyone that he was shocked to see that Won-deuk is actually 35 years old — the same age as Ma-chil. HAHA! Yul glares and says he can’t believe it as everyone compares his pretty face with Ma-chil’s “half-smashed” one.
Dad stammers that Yul just looks young for his age, and the ladies get close to admire his smooth skin. Yul bats them away, huffing that he’s uncomfortable, but he only gets teased for his fancy way of speaking.
Attempting to teach Yul the local dialect, Gu-dol coaches him to say, “Hong-shim, you’re so pretty.” Yul tries and chickens out, but when Hong-shim tells everyone to leave him alone, he says the words earnestly. He does better with Gu-dol’s next sentence, his voice booming as he orders Hong-shim to come here and give him a hug. The whole group, including Hong-shim, burst out laughing, then they raise a toast to Yul.
When the party finally breaks up, Kkeut-nyeo hangs back to ask Hong-shim if it’s true that she and Yul haven’t slept together. Hong-shim says that Yul feels like a stranger since he doesn’t recognize her. Kkeut-nyeo says it’s obvious they like each other, and she gives Hong-shim some perfume that’s supposed to “encourage” Yul with its scent.
Before she goes inside, Hong-shim sees Moo-yeon watching her over the wall. He says that he’s glad to see her looking relaxed since living as a peasant can’t be easy. She says she’s been a peasant longer than she was a noble, and asks if Moo-yeon has completed his mission.
He says it no longer matters, and that he wants to leave with her, tonight. Hong-shim says she’s waited for years to be with him again, but she can’t leave tonight, and he guesses that it’s because of her husband. Moo-yeon starts to tell her who Yul is, but instead he just says, “He’s not right for you.”
But Hong-shim says she has to fix a mistake and say goodbye to her friends, so Moo-yeon gives her ten days to settle things. She hugs him and apologizes, but he says it’s nothing compared to how long he made her wait.
After he sends Hong-shim home, Moo-yeon is surprised when one of his men comes out of hiding, saying that he was worried. He asks how Moo-yeon plans to explain this to Minister Kim.
Yul takes Hong-shim inside and reminds her that she still hasn’t given him a birthday present (rawr?). He tells her to address him properly as her husband and someone much older than her (ha!), requesting cheekily that she call him “dear husband.”
He says that she smells nice, and Hong-shim squeaks nervously that Kkeut-nyeo gave her some perfume. She tries to leave, but Yul leaps up to slam the door closed and remind her that they’re married, and should sleep together. He whispers, “Tonight, I will not let you go,” and Hong-shim loses all resolve to leave.
Yul moves in to kiss Hong-shim, but she turns her face away at the last second. She reminds him that on their wedding night, he forbid her to touch him while he has no memory. He says he doesn’t remember that, but his ears go bright red, giving away the lie.
Hong-shim tells him that she’ll sleep with him when he remembers himself and her, and scoots out of the room while Yul tries to say he can just remember that stuff later. ARGH. Once she’s alone, Hong-shim wonders how things would have been if she were really Hong-shim, and he were really Won-deuk.
In the morning, Gu-dol can’t wait to get a recap of the previous night. Yul sighs at a pair of birds snuggling in a tree, moaning over his loneliness, and Gu-dol asks what the problem is. Yul confesses that he told Hong-shim not to touch him until his memories came back, so Gu-dol says he just has to remember.
The continued drought is causing the king to worry for his people, so he orders rice and barley sent to help. He mentions Songjoo village’s magistrate, and learns that a man named Na Won-deuk gave the magistrate’s ledger to the royal inspector, revealing his corrupt ways.
Impressed, the king sends four rolls of silk to this Won-deuk as thanks. He needs to appoint a new magistrate, and Minister Kim suggests they send Je-yoon, overriding Minister Jung’s objections that he’s a concubine’s son and not competent. The king tells him to appoint whoever he wants.
Soo-ji breaks the news to Je-yoon that he’s being made magistrate of Songjoo village. He thinks it’s good news, but Je-yoon grows upset and and asks Minister Kim if he distrusts him. Minister Kim says he needs Je-yoon to do something in Songjoo village, and that if he proves himself, he’ll bring him back to Hanyang.
Moo-yeon returns to Minister Kim, bringing with him a box containing an amputated hand (shudder) as proof that he killed the crown prince. He offers to take Minister Kim to see the rest of the body, but Minister Kim takes his word for it, and Moo-yeon asks if this means he can leave.
Gu-dol takes Yul to the marketplace, thinking that Yul and Hong-shim must have had a date here at least once. Yul says that he remembers something when he spots a table selling ladies’ hair ribbons.
He takes Hong-shim to the market and tells her that he remembers a red hair ribbon, and her smiling face. Next he takes her to a swing, and she gives him a weird look as he says she rode the swing that day, which was a holiday. He’s totally making it up based on Gu-dol’s advice that all women ride a swing on that holiday, but Hong-shim says that she hung this swing herself just recently, pfft.
Powering through, Yul says that it must have been a different swing. He continues that it rained, which is how they ended up spending the night together in the water mill. He thinks he’s proved he’s regaining his memory, and Hong-shim says that’s fine, and Yul is all Great, let’s go home. LOL.
She disappoints him by saying that he needs to go to the next village over for a Solution Agency request. He vows to come home by tonight when Hong-shim promises to make him a nice meal.
As he leaves Minister Kim’s house, Moo-yeon find a line of nobles waiting to offer gifts, hoping to gain favor due to Minister Kim’s new status as grandfather-to-be of the next crown prince. He hesitates when he sees So-hye’s palanquin on her way to stay with her father, and her lady stops the procession.
Moo-yeon tells So-hye that he hasn’t decided where he’ll go, and So-hye admits that she envies Moo-yeon his ability to leave. She holds out a silk bag, calling it payment for his services on a huge task.
He congratulates her on her pregnancy before leaving without taking the payment. He looks sad as he goes, but he only gets a few steps before an arrow strikes him in the chest.
Yul arrives at the other village and asks a passerby where he can find an old woman he’s been sent to fetch a hen from. She’s nearby, and she calls out “Won-deuk-ah!” to him familiarly.
Back home, Dad asks if Hong-shim plans to live with Yul without telling him the truth. She says she has a little time before she leaves with her brother, and Dad takes that as a hint and leaves to spend the night at Gu-dol’s place.
Hong-shim sets out a nice meal for Yul’s return, but when he gets home, he just stares at her as if she’s betrayed him. In a flat voice, he asks why she sent him to that village.
She says there was something he needed to know, and he snaps, “Like the fact that I’m not Won-deuk?” She tells him, “That’s right, you are not Won-deuk.”
Argh, you’re really going to make us wait a whole week to find out what that’s all about?? What happened in that village and who was that old woman? My guess is that she’s the real Won-deuk’s mother or grandmother, and that when Yul showed up claiming to be Won-deuk, she revealed the truth. Still, that seems a cruel way to break the news to Yul, and if I were him, I’d be just as angry that Hong-shim set him up as the fact that she’s been lying to him.
The more I see of Moo-yeon, the more I really like his character. You don’t often see an assassin with a conscience, and though he’s done some pretty cold and horrible things, he’s doing them so that he can win his freedom and be with his sister again. It doesn’t excuse the murders he’s committed, but it does at least explain that he has no choice, and doesn’t enjoy the work. I knew that poor Moo-yeon would have a crisis when he realized that his sister is married to the man he’s supposed to kill to win his freedom, and knowing that Yul has no memory of his true identity just makes the whole thing even more difficult for him. I’m really worried that he’ll end up sacrificing himself for Hong-shim’s happiness with Yul, and while yes, he’s not really deserving of a happy ending, I don’t want to see him end up dead, either. I believe that the scene with So-hye is evidence that Moo-yeon is the father of So-hye’s child, which just complicates things even further to know that he probably loves her, and she probably loves him as well.
I’m surprised at how much King Neungseon is growing on me. Everything he’s done has been for Yul, even if it meant abandoning his morals, but now he’s trying to do the opposite and just be a good husband and father. You could see his fierce love for his son when he agreed to take his brother’s throne, because Minister Kim implied that Yul’s life might be in danger if the king was allowed to stay on the throne and discovered how smart Yul is. I believe that that’s why the king agreed to the coup, since his initial reaction was that he would never do such a thing — he was never ambitious that way, but he did it to save his son’s life. Now Yul’s disappearance is giving him the courage to buck his advisers and do what he thinks is right, and not just what’s expected from a king, which really raises my regard for him. I think that this whole situation will actually make him a better king, provided he can outsmart his enemies and live through it.
I haven’t had much to say about Hong-shim because, while I love her character, she’s pretty consistent and doesn’t have much of a character arc to speak of. But in this episode we got to see the lingering effects of her past, when her fear of abandonment got the best of her after she realized that Yul’s arrest was just a trick (it was actually a pretty good prank, if Hong-shim hadn’t been so traumatized). She’s already dealt with her father’s death and the loss of her brother, as well as being forced to live as a poor commoner instead of the lady she was born as, and she’s held up admirably well under the pressure. But now she’s letting herself love her odd, quirky, yet caring husband, and the thought of losing him made her crumble. Luckily, Yul knew just what to say to reassure her that he’s never going to leave her alone. But it was also adorable when he claimed to remember a date with her just to get her into bed… he is a man, after all.
As for Yul, he’s turning into a squishy little sweetheart of a husband and I just love it. He was so cute when he saw Hong-shim crying over him and smiled, and his promise never to leave her felt so sincere. It’s wonderful to see how he’s changing because of Hong-shim and the friendship of the villagers — he’s still a haughty brat, but he cares about them and treats them with respect. I’m looking forward to seeing how this affects him when he finally regains his memory, because he always had strong morals, but he used them to hold himself apart from others. Now he’s engaging with and getting to know people, which will serve him well if he ends up back in his role as the crown prince. Part of me though, just wants to see Yul decide to keep living in humble obscurity with Hong-shim and his friends — he can just abdicate to his brother Prince Seowon, who seems like a smart kid with an equally well-calibrated moral compass who would make a great king once he figures out a way to keep his mother from interfering.