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The Matchmakers: Episodes 8-9

The second half of our matchmaking show kicks off with shocking revelations and identity reveals, confessions, and the big ol’ mid-show roadblock that hits all our favorite couples and sends them spiraling away from each other.

 
EPISODES 8-9

I should have known when Jung-woo jumped off the cliff on behalf of his lady love last week, that he was going to plunge all the drama’s love-lines into cold water as well. The man cannot even swim. Sheesh! Anyway, we resume for the week with an alarmed Soon-deok diving into the river to bring Jung-woo back to shore, and he claims that he learned how to swim the previous night — by practicing the strokes on his table. Sigh. You have to admit, though, Jung-woo’s dedication is… impressive? Heck, even the almost-drowning situation doesn’t stop him from delivering swoon-worthy lines like: “I am relieved that I was hurt instead of you,” and Soon-deok is actually touched by the gesture.

But when Soon-gu and Jung-woo’s servant interrupt the swoony moment, they’re shocked to see Soon-deok without the Lady Yeo-ju makeup — which had been washed away in the river. Oops! Soon-gu cannot believe that his sister has been playing matchmaker, and he tells her to stop before her in-laws find out. Soon-deok says she will quit after the Maeng sisters get married because the project is important to Jung-woo. And when Soon-gu asks if she has feelings for Jung-woo, Soon-deok denies it. “My husband is the only one for me,” she stutters. Yeah, right.

Anyway, since “Hwa-rok” is officially dead, Minister Park sees no reason to step down from his position. But his sister insists he does in order to show remorse and to allay the king’s suspicion. As always, Lord Jo overrides his wife’s advice because “she is not well versed in politics.” And as always, Minister Park chooses to listen to his brother-in-law instead of his sister.

The Matchmakers: Episodes 8-9

Minister Park ends up getting dismissed from his position — but not as a fallout from the scandalous novel. Instead, his dismissal stems from closing off a major road in order to cut down pine trees in the area for profit. At least hide your tracks better if you want to be greedy. Jeez! Once again, Lady Park has been proven right. Minister Park should have stepped down on his own — and returned to his position much later. But with an outright dismissal, he can no longer return. Hehe.

It turns out that the crown prince informed the king about the closed off road, as it was one of the things Ha-na pointed out to him when he spent the night at the Maeng house. The road is reopened, and Ha-na gets a letter from the crown prince — who is still under his ordinary nobleman persona — where he encourages her to continue correspondence with him about the happenings in the capital as it will be of great help to him when he becomes a government official. “When we meet again, I can no longer call him kiddo,” Ha-na muses, and I wonder where we are going with this plot.

Jung-woo connects the crown prince’s kidnapping attempt — and his poisoned maid (who Lord Jo’s crew believe to be dead, but is secretly being treated under the king’s orders) — to the late princess’s death. But rather than hypothesize as to who the masterminds are, the king needs solid proof — proof they can only get if the poisoned maid wakes up. And as to whether the king trusts Jung-woo, it’s a no-brainer. His son-in-law has been investigating the princess’s death for eight years even when he, as her father, forgot about it.

Speaking of investigation, Lady Park’s tattling servant returns with the news that Soon-deok has been sneaking out of the house to rent novels. This stirs up fond memories of the times Lady Park overheard Soon-deok reading novels to her late husband, and Lady Park instructs her servant not to look into Soon-deok’s extracurricular activities again. Still, fond memories are just that. Memories. So Lady Park decides that it’s time for Soon-deok to take on more responsibilities as the head lady of the family.

With this wake-up call, Soon-deok has no choice but to become immune to Jung-woo’s advances. She tells him that she received great love from her husband even though they were married for less than half a year. Hence, there is no space in her heart for another man. But as Soon-deok dashes Jung-woo’s hopes, she thinks to herself: “Looking back, I must have known I was already in love with [Jung-woo] the moment I said those [words] to him.”

Soon-deok’s self-admittance of her feelings for Jung-woo is such a great note to end Episode 8 — and the first half of the show — on, and it is the perfect reply to Jung-woo’s “I had already made up my mind to marry Lady Yeo-ju” thoughts at the end of Episode 7. For maximum effect, KBS should just have aired both episodes last week. But no, soccer. *rolls eyes*

The Matchmakers: Episodes 8-9

Now that we’re properly into the second half of the show, a slave hunter shows up looking for the real Lady Yeo-ju — who is wanted for the murder of Lord Jo’s eldest son. Hollup. What? Is this why the real Lady Yeo-ju has been avoiding Lord Jo? I honestly thought it had something to do with the princess’s death. Whoa! Jung-woo’s servant reports back to Jung-woo — who wasn’t even aware of the murder because it occurred around the same time as the princess’s funeral eight years ago — and a betrayed Jung-woo confronts Soon-deok for concealing her “murderer” identity.

Jung-woo cancels their matchmaking contract and pays Soon-deok off — or rather, gives her money to run away since he can’t bring himself to report her. Awww. Soon-deok has a moment of confusion before it hits her that the real Lady Yeo-ju is the murderer in question. Still, she doesn’t fess up that she isn’t actually Lady Yeo-ju. As a professional, Soon-deok is determined to see the matchmaking project to the end. And if she has to do it behind Jung-woo’s back, so be it.

At the Maeng house, Soon-deok gets more information on the Agents of Love from Mrs. Maeng — who was once an agent. Coincidentally, Soon-deok and her late husband were Mrs. Maeng’s last match before she lost her sight. While Soon-deok relies solely on deduction to match a couple, Mrs. Maeng describes these agents as people who hear a sound or feel a certain energy around a couple that is meant to be. This is totally Jung-woo and his chest pain! He is also an Agent of Love, isn’t he?

The Matchmakers: Episodes 8-9

Sam-soon deduces that our OTP is having relationship problems, and through her machinations, Jung-woo and Soon-deok end up in a forced proximity situation. I love this trope! Jung-woo’s chest pain begins to act up, and to a worried Soon-deok, he says: “I should just see you and die, if not seeing you will kill me anyway,” before pulling her into a tight hug. Lol.

Soon-deok tells Jung-woo that “she” was framed for the murder, and he tells her to stay at his place for the time being since the slave hunter is hot on her trail. “I am proposing the idea because this is killing me. If I told you that I was lovesick because I had fallen in love with you, would you believe me?” Finally, a direct confession! But it wouldn’t be Jung-woo if he doesn’t add that it will be a great loss for Joseon if such a talented man like himself dies because he cannot see Soon-deok. No kidding! Sadly, Soon-deok turns down his offer, and emphasizes that she doesn’t love him.

Jung-woo is crushed by Soon-deok’s rejection, but Mrs. Maeng won’t have those feelings interrupt her daughters’ matchmaking arrangement. She tells Jung-woo to keep his feelings for Soon-deok in check and stay professional. After all, he of all people should know that they cannot be together. And more importantly, forcing someone to like him is not love.

What then is love? For Jung-woo, love is investigating the Lady Yeo-ju case to clear Soon-deok’s name. And for Soon-deok, love is also looking into the case because it was the real Lady Yeo-ju who pulled her out of suicidal thoughts when her husband died. Soon-deok believes that Lady Yeo-ju is a gift sent by her husband, and that’s why she started matchmaking under Lady Yeo-ju’s name.

As expected, the investigation brings Jung-woo, Soon-deok, and Soon-gu together, and two key figures are revealed in the case: Lord Jo, the father of the deceased, and LORD MIN, Lord Jo’s sworn enemy and a strong member of the opposing faction. Unlike his father, junior Jo was an upright official, and he worked with Lord Min’s daughter — who cross-dressed as her sick government official brother — to expose corruption. Romeo and Juliet ended up falling in love and committing suicide because they couldn’t be together.

To hide the truth about what actually happened, Lords Jo and Min agreed to pin the “murder” on Lady Yeo-ju and her husband. And to cover their tracks, they killed the husband — who was Lord Min’s right-hand man. The real Lady Yeo-ju fled while she was being transported to the capital, and the slave hunter looking for her is the officer who got fired for her escape. All of this “investigation” is based on a novel Soon-deok once read, and just like the Hwa-rok and Minister Park case, she believes that the story was based on real events.

The Matchmakers: Episodes 8-9

We end the week with Soon-deok and Jung-woo tracking down the author of the story to find out if their assumption is true. While hiding from a sudden rain, Jung-woo asks Soon-deok why she lied about not liking him. But she’s not the only liar in her family when it comes to romantic feelings. To everyone’s disappointment, Soon-gu turned down Sam-soon’s marriage proposal. Boo! And Ye-jin is the same because despite her feelings for Boo-gyeom, she has her heart set on marrying Shi-yeol as arranged by her family.

Shi-yeol isn’t actively pushing back on his engagement with Ye-jin even though he’s got his eyes on Du-ri — who his mother admits would have been perfect as his wife if she came from a better family. But Du-ri’s family is no problem for Boo-gyeom who is forging ahead with their matchmaking arrangement. Sigh. What a mildly frustrating love cycle! I get that some of these pairings are hampered by societal restrictions, but honesty is the best policy, guys.

With all the serious stuff this week, I did not have as much fun as the previous weeks. Still, it wasn’t that bad because despite their antics, I don’t take Lord Jo and Minister Park seriously as villains. I can almost bet that those two didn’t tell Lady Park how her eldest son really died. I hope she wrings both their necks when the truth is finally revealed — and you know the truth will be revealed because aside from plot’s sake, those clowns are just too incompetent to cover their tracks properly. Tsk.

The Matchmakers: Episodes 8-9

 
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So, Mama Maeng is definitely a matchmaker of the *mystical* variety, that makes sense. I was confused that Soon-deok told her she just reasons her way there - in the past she’s talked about looking at peoples’ faces with great affection and seeing how they would match by doing that, which feels a good bit more mystical. Poor Jung-woo’s power is less obvious and more painful so I’m not surprised he hasn’t figured it out yet!

This drama makes me so nervous because I don’t know whether we can expect a happy ending (or for how many characters we can expect one). I want the best for basically everyone except the former defense minister and the FIL, and I know that they are probably not all going to get it. Soon-deok was so kind when she was talking to Ye-jin about why Farmer Scholar and Du-ri were a good match but of course, I don’t want them to be the ones matched, and neither do basically any of the other parties involved. Sam-soon was so brave (and so foolhardy) to propose to Soon-du right then and there, and my heart hurt at her inevitable rejection. Ugh, this is the risk you take with dramas, but for some reason this one feels riskier than most. I have all the faith that Sam-soon-gu will work out as soon as he gets his act together (and maybe gets a little jealous), but I’m on pins and needles for basically everyone else!

I know we talk about this every week, but this drama is still so pretty. The fox rain in the bright sunshine made everything look like it was sparkling, and I was under the same enchantment they were.

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I love how even though Sam-soon was rejected, she decided that she would just mourn for the day and then forge ahead and look elsewhere instead of moping. I was half-expecting for her to try to change his mind, but she just accepted it. The moment when she was psyching herself to move on - "I plan to fall in love with #23. NO, actually I've already fallen for him" - was hilarious.

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I also loved that he overheard and was taken aback by her practical response. You’re not all that mister 😂

But of course we know better. All of Rowoon’s doubling up in pain at the sight of them must produce something. So better get your act together officer, and soon!

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Can I JUST say!
Ditto to both brother and sister -- they need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Slowpoke brother more obviously, since I get the emotional inertia of widowed sister more.

again, LURVE how the writer gleefully subverts all these social mores and gender stereotypes

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Jung Woo tried to learn swimming through books! I still can't get over that fact. That guy is just something else. 🤣
Lady Park is really the brains in the family. I wonder what would happen with Lord Jo and Minister once she finds out what happened to her son. She will do more than wring their necks. Minister Park should always listen to his sister since all Lord Jo's advice only got him in a mess.
The Duri - ShiYeol- YeJin - BooGeum situation is definitely a mess. I hope they get to figure it out soon. Hugs to Sam Soon! Soon Gu better figure out his real feelings soon.
As much as I like Soon Deok and Jung Woo individually, I want to know how the show will fix it so they can end up together.

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I admire Lady Park as the antagonist. It is a rare one in dramaland that’s given such complexity and shades, one that’s a MIL to boot. And I wonder if her learning of her son’s real cause of death will push her out of the villainous camp and use her mighty intellect for good (and perhaps figure out some solution to free up her daughter-in-law?)

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I can't help but admire her intelligence. She does genuinely seem to care for Soon Deok. I understand that she is gunning for a nephew to take the throne. So it really depends what she values most: prestige, ambition or family.

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I actually don't consider her an antagonist (but I get where you're coming from). If you take a step back, the real antagonist is Confucianist patriarchy and everyone is just trying to game the system and come out a survivor

I love how subtle and dexterous the writer is in their characterization in service of larger thematic concerns.

Just take for example the last case of how the Minister of Defense got shamed and see the hands of how many women are dipped into that broth:
1) SD (aka Lady Jeonju) came up with the Operation Rumor Block
2) Hwa Rok (aka SS) came up with the roman-a-clef page turner
3) Ye-Jin the daughter handed it to Lady Jo and backed it up with first person eye witness to condemn her own uncle
4) Lady Jo herself meted out justice.
Four women - talk about feminist undertones - yet it wasn't heavy handed at all. Brilliant writer LOL

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actually her character here reminds me of a similar role the same actress played in The Red Sleeves: complex, Machiavellian, plays her cards very close to the heart, yet partial to the female lead. One who ultimately understands the power hierarchy all too well and simply wants to hedge the best bet for all the womenfolk under her charge -- albeit in a ruthless way

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LURVE that comic beat of him learning swimming by the book! 🤣 I actually had flashes of Trinity downloading helicopter piloting skills ala Matrix in my head when I watched that. He has such resolve and panache at the same time!

P.S. I thought they used Ro-woon's towering build to great comic effect in this show. His character has this delicious mix of bumbling and blustery

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The swimming scene was so funny. They had to find a loooong table for him to do that :p

And we missed the opportunity to see him wrestling, thing he learnt in books too.

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Oh man, I would give a donkey and a paddy field to watch him get down all wet and muddy *cough* wrestling

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We got luck in The King's Affection for that :p

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Did he wrestle there? Only sword fights, no??

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@semmavetti

He had to clean himself in the river after trying to catch fishes.

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oh! Now that I come to think of it, the iconic meet-cute between our OTP in King's Affection was a memorable baptism in the river of love😍💖

and just like our current OTP in Matchmakers, the ML couldn't swim and had to be rescued by the FL who's a strong swimmer. 🤣

This "falling into waters together" visual leitmotif actually repeats several times in King's Affection cos it's a narrative key to unlock their memories of each other later in life.

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It seems to me all the couples being matchmade end up with then wrong person.

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Yes - another sly dig and subversion of our set-up audience expectations. Cos SD is not the Agent of Love, tis Jung Woo! All the current matches are made based on her excellent deduction skills (her words, not mine!) but it's not destiny!

SO, depending on what the worldview of this story universe is -- (a) a good match on paper will do as fine OR
(b) heck, the heart wants what it wants and carpe diem!
Then you either get a pragmatic outcome, or the love of your lifetime

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I'm like why not both?

I'm skeptical about Ye-jin and Confucian Boy throwing doing the bold thing and not marry each other...unless something happens to lower their families' status and expectations.

I like to think the arranged matches could have ended up as love matches if they couldn't make things work with their current heart's desires. Sort of like Soon-deok being totally in love with her husband and when that didn't quite work out a happily ever after (because he died), she ends up finding a new love with Jung-woo. So there isn't a "one and only".

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Yes I agree. It's not a zero-sum game situation, more like a spectrum of choices?

Actually this poser you have is a perennial question that people ask: does God have that ONE predestined match for us (God's perfect will), OR is there a select pool where you can pick anyone within the permissible ambit and it would still be within God's will?

Cos like a guy friend used to say: "Look, if there is only ONE true predestined match for you, all it takes is one person to screw up and marry the "wrong" person, that would set off a domino chain of reaction that will cause others to marry the "wrong" match too cos well, you took theirs!"

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So according to this worldview /theology, there is almost like a tier of wills.

1) God's perfect will - top tier! (You land the love of a lifetime, Rowoon with no anger management issues)

2) God's acceptable will - mid-upper tier (you land a faithful scholar nobleman with no major moral flaws. You learn to love each other deeply, with some effort and marriage counselling. You pop two kids, they master the Great Learnings by age 9.

3) God's permissive will: You marry someone willfully against the better judgement of your entire village and (even yourself). Maybe some bachelor in the Dark Wall of Shame with a dubious rep

4) God's punitive will: You land the lascivious wolf Minister of Defense as his concubine #18. Every night, you fight off the temptation to poison his ginger wine

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I love this show, from its opening sequence (SO cute!) to its beautiful colors, adorable leads and supporting characters but I simply adore Soon Gu! The actor is killing me with his subtle yet hilarious reactions to the mayhem around him, Mr Straight Arrow. I want to see this actor in the future as the chaebol’s wacky secretary, the villain, the good hearted uncle, the deserving SML and finally the romantic lead! I can’t wait to see him finally surrender to our girl Sam Soon.

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I definitely looked him up last week but he’s pretty new, so not much else on his resume. I’m excited to see him in more things too! He’s so good as almost-but-not-quite-smiling!

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There is a thing with discret inspector in sageuk. Yun Jong-Seok was good in Our Blooming Youth too.

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I am patiently waiting for him to finally admit his feelings for our lovely Sam Soon!

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I thoroughly keep enjoying this drama. There is never a dull moment because the characters are all charming, except for the incompetent and unscrupulous men in Lady Park's household. No wonder her husband is jealous of her wits and @unit like you, I hope she strangles them for killing her first born.

The twist with the other murder mystery came out of the left, but I appreciate the writing for making it as a parallel reference to all the current love stories. Except for Soon Gu and Sam Soon, none of the current lovers can live together legally in Joseon society, so in a battle between the mind and the heart, all these lovebirds choose the mind and made a practical decision to marry someone else.

It is also interesting to notice that the Maeng Mom was a former matchmaker and commented that Jung Woo and Soon Deok are not meant to be and Soon Deok's late husband was indeed her destined match. This is why, I am eager to see how the writer is going to break the rules in and around "Agent of Love" to bring the couples or not bring them together.

I know and have mentioned that Rowoon is good at comedy, but he is killing it here. Him going through a multitude of emotions after being rejected by Soon Deok was hilarious to watch. It is always good to watch a drama that does not shy away from comedy after getting down to business from Ep 6.

Special mention to the writing of Sam Soon who after rejection took it all in stride, respected the inspector's boundaries and is putting in efforts to give all her love to the assigned match.

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I hope the nice king would be able to do something. Cross my fingers!!

Soon-deok's reaction to Ye-jin's feelings for Yangban Farmer (indicating that Ye-jin is deadset on her expected path and her mind and heart not being open to any alternative) also indicates that a marriage partner is still ultimately someone you choose to live out the rest of your life with. So I think Soon-deok will choose to remarry even if there isn't any sort of destiny between her and Jung-woo.

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Mama Maeng’s matter-of-fact side note to Jungwoo had me clutch my chest (Jungwoo style). It was such a punch in the gut that she wouldn’t have any of his feelings for Soondeok compromise the task at hand (matching her daughters), and that he should just snap out of it. I didn’t want to hear it! Just let me float a bit longer on my cloud of bliss looking at their blooming feelings! lol/cry/lol (Please send help.)
Didn’t she at least feel that the match would be a good one? Availability aside… Sigh. I see no solution/silver lining at the horizon yet. 😐

But I fully agree on the hilarity of Jungwoo’s reactions. It was just such a feast how pouty/despaired he was. And his servant delivering all the matching punch lines - they are a great comedic duo!

Plus: like how they give Rowoon more colorful hanboks and that blush pink offense is a thing of the past 😆 It really goes well with Yeojudeak’s full on colorful wardrobe.

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His pink hanbok is his uniform when he sees the King at the Palace.

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It's not only that they're not meant to be--it's that they cannot be. Writernim, please get us out of this mess satisfactorily!!!

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Even though O-Bong is exasperated with Jung-Woo's lovelorn antics, he takes care of JW.

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Yes, I love how loyal he is to his master. Same with when the brood of sisters and O-Bong are huddling scared in a line of defense, to parry the insistent onslaught of the slave hunter looking for Lady Jeoju. They are such darlings *squeal*

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"It is also interesting to notice that the Maeng Mom was a former matchmaker and commented that Jung Woo and Soon Deok are not meant to be and Soon Deok's late husband was indeed her destined match."

-- Again, I thought the writer was really sly to lead us viewers down a false alley with that one. My hopeful heart tanked (for a second!) when I heard that (cos well, they just revealed she was this hidden maestro) BUT then I realized her gift in recognizing destined matches was solely predicated on her sight (she could literally see red threads of destiny tying into marriage knots) BUT the moment she turned blind - all bets are off and tis open season! (woo-hoo!)

SO - my guess here -- her admonishment to Jung Woo about them not being able to get together -- I put it down to (a) dogmatic confidence that her last professional match was the endgame; (b) a comment more about the propriety of widows remaining chaste than anything to do with her Agent of Love prophetic gift.

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Because we must not forget -- our poor boy Jung Woo, the fabled "man of anger" -- has been having angina ever since his "first-eye-contact" with Soon Deok in Episode 1. That MUST count for something 😘

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That's what I was thinking, too - that she said they couldn't be together because of the legal circumstances (he isn't allowed to remarry in his current status what everybody knows, probably including her), not because they're not a match. They clearly are. And we haven't been told yet what it means to matchmaking when death breaks a fated bond. Isn't there a new open slot then?

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"Isn't there a new open slot then?"

ah. I LOVE the way you think. Come and sit right next to me!

p.s. also, given how low our replacement rate of fertility is, we really can't afford to squander anyone LOL😜

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Does a fated bond break with death? Maybe I'm just watching too many cdramas where the bond pretty much lasts through a bajillion lives.

Maybe one can have multiple bonds? And maybe a fated bond can sometimes appear out of nowhere. Or maybe the bonds don't matter. In the end, human agency plays a big role in deciding matrimony.

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That's the question, isn't it?! What happens if one part of the destined couple is taken away by death? We haven't been introduced to the rule yet. Which in itself may say something. Plus, it is indeed the case that Mama Maeng could only make matches as long as she was able to see. She can't anymore. I's so excited how this will all unfold, and I really, really hope this drama won't tank in the last one or two episodes and leave us all open jawed and without answers!

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"Maybe I'm just watching too many cdramas where the bond pretty much lasts through a bajillion lives."

-- good point there 😊 so I guess it comes back to rules of the universe and key premise.
c.f. Rowoon's immediate last outing (Destined with You) as reference

(i) DwY's central premise is reincarnation trope with lovers destined to meet over and over because their ties cannot be severed.

(ii) once Show has announced the rules of the universe, it behooves the narrative logic must faithfully follow through and true. and that's how our OTP end up together -- come hell, red hand, persistent stalker or sabotaging love rivals. and YET, it has never invalidated freewill and agency in any of our characters.

(iii) In Matchmakers, the key premise / trope is: Is there such a thing as predestined love matches? and if so, HOW do we recognize them?

So all your questions are fair - it is testament to the writer's ability to provoke and draw out these implications from such a worldview put forth. Can't wait to see how the writer work their way out of this fiendish labyrinth!

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I might have found a loophole here. When the Royal Secretary asks the king in the second episode if he really will annul the marriage of his daughter in case of success he says no, that he's sorry that his daughter died so young and he doesn't want to make her a virgin spirit. So this may sound a bit macabre bit isn't there a custom in China and / or Korea to wed single deceased people posthumously so that they're not alone in the afterlife? Can't they bring together the princess's and the FL's deceased's spirits then or something like that? I know I'm thinking about this far too much, but it's such a good show and I'm already rewatching. It's amazong how things fall into place when you go back to the first episodes. No matter how this will end, up until here it's masterfully and carefully crafted. And acted! Wow.

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Q: "Isn't there a custom in China and / or Korea to wed single deceased people posthumously so that they're not alone in the afterlife?"

A: yes indeed. In fact, across most of Asia really. Spirit marriages, they call it. Hotel de Luna has a case that features precisely that.

They absolutely should! Marry the dead to the dead, and the living to the living.

I mean c'mon, this man is the youngest scholar to ever pass the State exams, and so handsome he fell women left right centre with his good looks every time he saunters into the marketplace.

The brains! The looks! The opportunity cost of such a prime asset left idling, to rot his prime years away! The thought alone would give anyone chest-clutching pains

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Yes, I completely agree about Mama Maeng! She had to stop matchmaking because her matching was totally based on sight, so she doesn’t have any way of knowing whether they are a match or not. And I’m certain there is some degree of personal/professional pride there that her last match couldn’t have been “wrong”, which of course it wasn’t.

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Someone on reddit mentioned how the blue thread that mama Maeng saw didn't originate from the dead husband but from somewhere near him. Did anyone else notice that?

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I love Rowoon in this drama. The character is playing to all his strengths and I’m so here for it. Watching Rowoon be lovesick is such a joy to me (and its made even better because he is lovesick for a character who actually deserves it)!

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I agree with everything you wrote here @emsel. Especially how Rowoon is just stealing this show with how he is being totally adorable I had to watch him running away in tears more than once and the next moment completely serious.
The whole cast is well done - but I'm intrigued by the MIL and how nuanced she is.
I look forward to this show every week.

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"I had to watch him running away in tears" (with his long sleeves to his face 🤣🤣🤣)

-- I legit ROFLOL even though he was dead seriously heartbroken, but it was such-a-scream! Especially because Rowoon is so tall. No wonder I had directors tell me 50% of directing is actually casting. In this period drama, his very physique is comedy waiting to happen.

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I was thinking that they had to have cast his helper-guy by looking for the shortest actor they could find! It’s so comical when they walk down the street together.

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It always makes me remind this scene :

https://youtu.be/uZIZSFppHIA?feature=shared&t=114

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You know what -- the comic chalk and cheese pair actually reminds me of Don Quixote, his servant Sancho Panza, and the horse Rocinante LOL

p.s. the very tall Rowoon riding a small donkey is already comedy all by itself. 🤣🤣

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Yes, and they're using it so well and he seems to have a ton of fun with it. Plus the role reversal - in many instances you could say here that he's playing the traditional girl part. That combined with his height, the often deadpan delivery by the FL in reaction to his actions and his own obvious knack for comedy is just so funny. And I have to say, the "funny" in kdramas sadly often doesn't work for me. Here it does.
May I also say that you're spot on with your Don Quijote comparison! And I think it might even be intentional, hence the donkey. He's a bit fighting against windmills here as well (= government red tape). I just hope our OTP will turn out as a couple and not an illusion...

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Yes, actually you're right about fighting the windmills...

There is something valiantly hopeless and romantic about a man enduring public ridicule, submitting petition after petition for 8 years to get an annulment when the law of the land is patently stacked against him.

If not for the fact that he has such a formidable intellect recognized by both friends and foes, Jung Woo would have ended up a rather tragicomic figure. Quixotic indeed...

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What's interesting is that Maeng Mom can't see anymore. Since she can't see SoonDeok and JungWoo together, she can't figure out if they are each other's destined match.

When she saw SoonDeok and her future husband as a destined match, it could be coz SoonDeok was his destiny. He married her and died. That 'destined match' ended with his death.

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There are so many things happening, no time to be bored!

Politics : They could fire Minister Park! They still have the Princess's death and Lady Yeonju's false accusations to resolve.

Love : It was a disaster... Two couples are suffering because they're not paired with the one they love and the 2 others suffered from rejection because the brother and sister can't confess their feelings... But I love how every interaction, every skinship between Jung-Woo ans Soon-Deok made them aware of each other. Soon-Goo needs to wake up!

Soon-Deok's situation reminds me the movie Ever After: A Cinderella Story when the Prince Henry questions Leonard de Vinci about love. If the love of his life dies, does it mean he never love again?
Matchmaking : the scene of the swing was hilarious. It was so funny to watch these 2 men on the swing together! I'm kinda sad for the 2 who won't married the first and third sister. They are nice too.

The production is still beautiful! The different places with the tradionnal houses change from the usual ones and the palace.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling sad for the 2 who won't marry the 1st and 3rd sister.

Even though I was offended that #12 and #23 (LOL, the Old Bachelors just get referred to by numbers by our matchmakers) rejected the Old Maidens initially because of rumors, I do like them and wish they would get matched by the end. Especially #12. He had the hardest prep, is the oldest of our 3 Old Bachelors, and has sent an express letter to his family in his faraway hometown to announce the wedding. I don't want to see him get jilted on the wedding day. Especially after that lie Jung-woo told about how if he misses this opportunity, he won't be able to marry for another 7 years.

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second that!
I just wrote in a comment somewhere below that swing scene made me sputter my tea. It was LOL funny.

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I loved it 🤣

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And then when the govt official (was it the Defense Minister?) walking by sees them on the swing and says to his guy, by any chance do you have a sword? No? Oh, okay then.
Because his reaction to anything that bothers him is to attack it.

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I hope he was only planning to cut the ropes of the swing.

I don't think his character is as well-developed as most others. He's presented as a lightweight with his generally clownish behavior, and yet he actually commits murder with his own hands. He's cartoonish rather than complex the way his sister is. And that's a compliment to how well-thought-out most of the characters are.

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Yes, that little reaction scene was *such* a great comic foil to the dead seriousness of JW's swing biomechanics tutoring ("Stand! Crouch! Stand!") he's like a pedantic military drill sergeant LOL

The next line by Minister of Defense was comic gold too. "No sword? OK, then I need to simply walk on with my eyes closed. Gosh, two men on a swing..." (then cut back to the two grown men swinging in earnest 🤣🤣)

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Whereas each episode of the delightful Perfect Marriage Revenge seems to fly by on the wings of ridiculous whimsy, I agree with some of those who are finding the episodes of The Matchmakers to feel lengthy.

And I savor every last second.

With its lush visual storytelling and its admittedly tropey, but also subtle, plot design, this drama is proving to be simply captivating.

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I was one of those who felt the drama was, well, not too lengthy but rather felt so because of its slow and steady pace. But in these episodes picked it up nicely. And now MM has jumped to the top of my watch pile with all the fun and the feels.

If only we could get the correct pairing of the episodes because 7 and 8 really spoke to each other. I’m sure 9 and 10 would have as well. It’s a well written show.

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Oh, I just LOVE the pacing of the show! While PMR leaves me flattened just like getting of the treadmill after watching, whenever an episode of this stops playing, I’m just sitting there, blissfully contemplating what I’ve seen. So, so beautiful. Captivating really is the right word! And yes, it makes the story feel “longer”! Awesome.

No question that I also want the “correct pairings” to play out in the end, but I fear not all will, and I’m slowly coming to terms with it. (Not that I don’t want the show to surprise me here, either! 😅)

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The pairing are about their status for now.

If the Meang sisters helped the King to dismissed Minister Park and protected the Crown Prince, their status could be higher at the end, giving a chance to Du-Ri to marry Shi-Yeol.

If the family of Lady Park must pay for their crimes, Ye-Jin's status could be lower at the end (worse if she punished like her parents) and Boo-Gyeom will be a good candidate.

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I think Shi-yeol's status could possibly be lowered if the Parks get punished for their crimes. Reputation dirtied by association sort of thing. Since he's engaged to Ye-jin and now Lady Park has somehow arranged for his dad to take the Defense Minister position.

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There are some slow moments I love. One of them being Soon-deok’s conversations with her dead husband. It adds such depth to her character and her relationships to her in-laws and Jung-woo.

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Yes, it’s too bad that the episode pairing was knocked off, it would have been nice to see them together as the writers intended for full impact. I’m with @Unit 🙄soccer .

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I think I’d even prefer having one more single-episode week to get the alignment back in order. It’d be a pity if the final two episodes are obviously meant to be seen back-to-back but instead are separated by a week.

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I’m with you @marysadanaga. I feel like the last two should be allowed to be aired in the same week given the care with which these episodes have clearly been constructed!!!

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But in The Matchmakers you can stop the video at any moment and just admiring the cinematography. I love that.

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1) Of Senex Iratus and coxk-blockers: The writer is brilliantly adroit (and daring too may I add), how many would dare to throw a curveball at this point in the narrative arc with Lieutenant Jung just saying a flat NO to the beaming cute face of Lady Sam Soon?

I was blowing raspberries vicariously in frustrated matchmaker mode. Like, guys! just when we thought we got our ducks in a row with Sisters 2 & 3, they either:
(a) shoot themselves in the foot
(b) or foot in mouth
(c) or invent justifications with hallucinated mastery of why their arranged match is best (this week it gets patently obvious in the irony of those piece-to-camera intros).

of course presiding over them all is still the ultimate senex iratus -- the King and his kill-joy laws (but I so think he would relent. A poignant moment that moved me: when he was asked by his courtier if he trusted JW, and the king didn't give a straight yes/no answer but turned his face aside and with tears glistening in his eye said: "He investigated the princess' death for EIGHT years, even I the father have almost forgotten about it." (here is when we really want a deus ex machina to save our OTP)

2) The humor is killing it with a very strong (and unexpected) showing from the large ensemble cast. Everyone - even the supporting characters - are just pulling more than their weight in situational comedy, comedy of errors, and just plain physical comedy. So darn good.

Even the parts I didn't think would be funny were downright LOL moments. (e.g. the three men huddling in the slit of an ajar window eavesdropping on SD comforting the rejected SS, while doing a running commentary / JW giving cram school tutorial to Suitor No 1 how to work the swing (I nearly sputtered my tea watching that)

3) Agents of Love: I was not surprised the blind old lady is one, cos she was the first character to mention it in the entire story (so law of first mention is a key hint here). But it was a great thematic touch that their paths have crossed in such an intimate way and SD was her last match.

Also, I am of the camp that IF I have to cavil and only pick ONE bona fide Agent of Love it will have to be Jung Woo hands down, angina and all.

Reason: I feel the writer has cleverly upended just about every trope and gender stereotype /socio-cultural mores we can think of -- he/she has mis(led) us to think it has to be SD (cos she's a woman, she has feminine 6th sense blah blah). The difference between SD and JW is the difference between a talented person and one who is sheer genius. SD undoubtedly has talent, is sharp observant and sensitive but she also concedes she is using deductive logic. People like Lady Maeng and Jung Woo do not. They simply know. Lady Maeng literally would see "red destiny threads tying knots" over destined couples. Jung Woo would get inexplicable chest pains. Jung Woo is an idiot savant in matchmaking - he doesn't know how he knows, but he just knows.

Side note:...

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4) I also love how very smart the first Sister is. The writer has slyly made us under-estimate both Ha-na and Jung-Woo (they would make a great match on paper, except neither has the flutters for each other). Both are actually very astute in reading subtext and the motives of others. In the case of JW, way more than people would give him credit for.

After the CP has reported the misdemeanor of the Defense Minister to the king and got him dismissed, you realise in retrospect that Ha-na very likely knew who she was talking to when the CP came under her care as a lost boy. By setting up a veiled insinuation of the incompetence of the current king, she has provoked the prince to act and indirectly borrowed his hand to kill her greatest nemesis -- the Minister of Defense.

5) Double murders: Now that we actually have to solve TWO instead of ONE -- I hope it doesn't distract from the matchmaking and actually serves to corral and converge everything into one furious river!

P.S. also, I just love how everyone is trying to "matchmake" our estranged matchmakers now! It's so cute and heartwarming

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When Hana wrote back that she wouldn't be able to call him kiddo if they meet again, I was like "did she know he was the CP and planned this perfect bit of karma all along?!!" If he was just a regular noble kid, why would she write as if they definitely wouldn't run into each other while he's still a regular noble kid?

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I love this likely twist while the surface appearance is that these two are somehow a matched pair. I'm still thinking that she's not going to be matched in the end because she clearly doesn't want to be. Rather she'll care for her mother and serve as a hidden advisor to the CP and future king.

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Everyone in this show is a matchmaker - including the viewers !

I love how this strong ensemble cast is unfolding and giving us such richness and delight.

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Yes - the lil gems in the grand ensemble cast are quite priceless. Case in point: I love the doctor on call who had to minister to the lovesick JW.

He cheekily ask for JW's hand - and all audience are led to think this legit TCM sinseh will feel his pulse and give some herbal prescription but NO!

He slyly cast a glance at the long fingers of JW and deadpanned: "The lady who dyed your finger with balsam, is the one you must go meet to cure your love-sickness." and THAT, is what I call a proper medical diagnosis cum stealth matchmaking move in a matchmaking show 🤣

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@joanna: I love all of your comments here. Your writing is so adroit and thought-provoking. Also, thank you for introducing me to this comic archetype , “ Senex Iratus”.

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You're too kind!

MM is great writing with delightful characters that are a joy to discuss. All the dopamine, none of the cortisol! 😘

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I’m confused about Soon-deok as a matchmaker. She told Mama Maeng that she uses reason to make matches, and I think there is some truth to that, but she’s also told people in the first few episodes that she just has to look at peoples’ faces with lots of affection and she’s able to tell, which sounds much closer to seeing red threads appear around them. I can’t decide if she was speaking figuratively then or downplaying her process now. Regardless I do think that Jung-woo’s power is more on the level of a matchmaking god(dess), but I wasn’t sure what to make of Soon-deok’s just yet.

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Well we can't know if Jung-woo's unique self-taught-on-conference-table swimming lessons didn't work. He has mastered music, literature, politics, and medicine and even matchmaking by age 25. He just couldn't show off his newly developed swimming skills because of the arrow wound.

LOL - they're really pulling the Temptation of Wife trope of the mole rendering a woman unrecognizable even to those closest to her. Come on, Soon-gu...

I love how this drama is just so packed with fun moments. I just love how the characters react in the background. It reminds me almost of a stageplay as the supporting and background characters are always in the shot and in character because it's live and on stage. There is a dynamism to the drama.

I appreciate that the drama has kept Jung-woo agitated a lot while Soon-deok brings on the warm, grounded presence that makes me feel reassured.

I wonder if quadrangle's marriages will be delayed and that the drama will just end on them starting a courtship rather than getting married. Ye-jin and Confucian Boy can't even imagine straying from the path their parents have laid out for them. That means they're on square negative one.

The murder of the first son now makes me wonder how Soon-deok's kid came to be and where the virtuous widow story came from.

Also, LOL that they've mentioned Sam-wol (nosy maid of Lady Park) 's mom multiple times, but I don't think we've ever seen her.

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They just call the maid Sam-wol mom, because in Korea they almost never use woman's own name. So Sam-wol is ber child, her mom is not in the story

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Thanks! I usually see a kid with their parent and make that connection first. Now I feel bad for this Sam-wol, who has such a nosy mom.

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Sorry, girl rant here:

I can't stand this tattle-tale maid who is giving absolutely unsolicited intel on her young mistress. Even after Lady Jo has repeatedly said she didn't want to hear any more spying on her DIL.

The counter-point is the other maid who is always playing lookout for SD's escapades and creating alibis for her, alongside Yejin.

I love the intricate hidden lattice of sorority /fraternity undergirding this story -- so many accomplices / partners in crime that give color, character, depth and layers to the ensemble cast (including the book rental boss, the real lady Yeoju etc)

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Temptation of Wife! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 That had me in stitches.
Thursday Throwbacks indeed LOL

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I was shocked to find out that Soon-gu has legit not known who Soon-deok was this whole time! I 100% gave him credit for being subtle and pretending to ignore his sister in the room for weeks when all this time he is just unobservant?! Eesh.

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And he's a detective/inspector at that! I think it's a nod to how fixed the societal norms are. If the mind doesn't think it's possible, it rejects the evidence. Plus we've already seen that he's not in touch with his feelings. 😂

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haha! at first, I half thought they might be going down the narrative route of "100 days My Prince" where we actually have an inspector (SML) with facial blindness, and this has plot ramifications in the romance as well as the investigation of cases.

But here in Matchmakers, I guess they did it this way pretty much for 2 reasons:

a) plot convenience -- they need to drag out the reveal as long as possible. Note: up to Ep 9, even the ML is not aware of the true identity of FL (the reverse is not true)

b) To emphasize the special bond our OTP has: NO one, absolutely NO one can recognize her without her makeup off - EXCEPT her one *true* love Jung-woo

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It’s such a ridiculous conceit that the makeup and clothing change are enough to disguise her even to her own brother but I do believe you have come up with the reason why! That her true match is the ONE who can see through it. Thanks! I feel better having a (kdrama-logical) reason to accept this! 😍

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and also, I think the writer cleverly extended that same conceit with a variant for Lieutenant Jung in the case of *his* own lady love (Sam soon).

Remember the first time they met? Not as a crossdressing Hwa-Rok in the bookstore sting op, but right after the caper when he pursued her into their own house. Sam Soon then hurriedly pulled off her male garb and came out to meet the Lieutenant as a girl for the FIRST time.

Their eyes met (this is the real "first eye contact"). A beat. He actually recognized her - that THIS is THAT. Then he turned, feigned ignorance and left.

and THAT, is the proof as well that Sam Soon is his true love -- cos he can't recognize his own sister but he can recognize Sam Soon in cross dress with just one encounter.

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True: there's logic, and then there's kdrama-logic. 😉
I was also a bit miffed that the brother wouldn't recognize his sister...if not for the looks I'd think at least the voice should give more than a hint! You know your people's voices and mannerisms of speaking, don't you?!
But stressing our OTP's connection that way is really a beautiful way to explain that. I liked also very much that Jung Woo not only recognized her, it was also very obvious to him that it was her. I think he said something like "Why shouldn't I know it's you". She is like a beacon for him, make up or not.

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@joanna him recognizing Sam-soon as Hwa-rok immediately was exactly why I was giving him credit for knowing it was his sister this whole time! But I like your explanation that it's about *matching pairs* too!

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To give the drama credit, even the FL herself was miffed that her own brother didn't recognize her. She obviously also didn't expect that her makeup and different clothes would make her unrecognizable to her family.

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I’m also wondering about the little boy, and how Soon Deok’s husband was able to marry if his older brother was single. Was the older brother cheating on his wife with the disguised female judge? Or, she probably had died already.

That’s an excellent point about how it’s like a stage play in that we get to see so many others’ reactions. I love that about this show.

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Beanies! Help me out here:

I am either losing the plot, missing some key info, or there is a huge plot hole somewhere.

Question: The dead first son of the Jo family (aka SD's late BIL) is also the same one whose wife was allegedly "murdered" by her evil MIL (aka Lady Jo) landing her some virtuous woman plaque? Is that right??

Then, how can this dead first son have a wife? The recounting of tale by SD suggests first-son of Left Councilor and daughter of Lord Min were both single and fell in love, then committed double suicides cos they could not be together right?

Am I missing something here?

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I wondered about that as well. In the story it wasn't specified whether or not he was married, just that they couldn't be together. And the rumor is that his wife was ritually murder by MIL Park.

Its not a plot hole - yet - just not fully fleshed out. That's what I got.

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I agree. What we have so far is a version of the story that made it into a novel, so I won’t be surprised if details end up shifting or we just get more info later on. Trip to Pyongyang, anyone?

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Also, Soon Doek's son is actually her nephew (born to her BIL and the murdered wife).

I am not really sure of this story line either but I think SD's BIL went to Pyongyang on a task, where he fell in love with enemy's daughter and then they committed suicide because they couldn't be together (this is the story that our investigation team believes is true). The fact is he was also already married and had a child, which child is now SD's child

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That fits. I and some other beanies thought that the real Yeojudaek was the former DIL who was not really dead but in disguise, but now it seems like that was not correct - and if it wasn't, what happened to the real DIL? After the double suicide (and oh boy, show really treats suicide and murder lightly, doesn't it?) the Left Minister and the Justice Minister and maybe Lady Park conspired to cover it up and avoid scandal by claiming that the eldest son/SD's brother-in-law was murdered. His widow is supposed to have been secretly murdered by Lady Park, but right now I guess she's unaccounted for.

@joanna, it's great to see you back! This show gives some of the fun and feels of Alchemy, doesn't it?

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Whee thanks! Tbh, live watching and commenting is such dope, I have to be very judicious about when I do it (on my work calendar cycle) and with which shows 🤣🤣

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Exactly - I think the old version of Romeo and Juliet is just that, a story. The people in the Jo household seem to be too fond of Soon Deok's adopted son for him to be not related by blood (given that society), I feel he is the first son's son. Also for the virtuous woman gate to be got by "murdering her first DIL", there must have been a DIL.

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Just a quick little gleeful note in appreciation for the music. Makes me happy when it goes all silly. And the piano, so nice.

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YES - I especially love this one hilarious music cue that comes on right before any matchmaking operation. It conjures up all these imagery of a cowboy swagger before a duel, or rolling up your cuffs for serious elbow grease, or girding your loins for a Ssireum match to impress your lady love 🤣

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I like the fact they chose only instrumental music.

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True! I'm watching The King's Affection right now, too (and confuse the two Ro-woon characters the whole time! 🤣) and I'm always irritated when the music starts because people are singing. It doesn't really fit.

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You know what's my bug bear? When they insert a patently modern kpop ditty into a saeguk drama (with electro-synth and all). 🤦‍♀️

I am like, IF this is NOT a time travel genre, please do not commit that sin of anachronism. It really jolt me out of audience immersion, and rips my last thread of resolve to suspend disbelief

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Personally, I don't mind.

I loved the OST Bad Person by Jang Hye Jin & MC Sniper in Faith for example.

But I think for this drama, it suits better to have only instrumental songs to focus on the cinematography and the acting.

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Who needs a water body when you can learn swimming from a book and practice on a table!

The way I snorted at this scene.. lol. I still can't help smiling wide every time I think of it.

This is seriously such a well made drama and I really wish it was on Netflix and was receiving lot of praise. Anyway, for now we get to secretly enjoy this.. just the few of us who managed to notice this gem.

Overall, I agree that it's a bit confusing with so many characters and story lines, but it also proves to me that the writer actually spent time analyzing and getting things right instead of just winging it like many these days tend to do (once they have the main storyline established).

I absolutely love the cinematography and the characterizations. In spite of there being so many characters, every single one of them seem to have layers and depth, which makes them all realistic and memorable even if they appear only for a few minutes every episode.

I agree with another comment saying that we should have had the episodes in right pairing, 7 and 8 together and 9 and 10 together. I wish we can get the next 3 episodes together next week and go back to the original odd even episode number pairing.

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1) Yes, return us our episodes in the right pairing pls! Especially for a story whose theme is patently about "match-making" LOL. It's not ok to just make-do, like #23 to Lady Sam soon 🤣🤣

The episodes each week are curated as companion pieces, like the Mandarin ducks mascots SD places on the map in the matchmaking den/war room.

Right down to which two profiles they choose to highlight for piece-to-camera intros each ep.

Speaking of which, did anyone notice that detail in Si-Yeol's PTC? He buys a lady hairpin at a stall, then asks for a second identical one *pregnant pause* (the writer is so darn good)

2) and yes, I second how thoughtfully layered the writing / characters are. It bears re-watching, if only to catch details I missed earlier.

Case in point: after Ep 9's reveal about Lord Min's corruption at Pyongyang and a possible collusion with Lord Jo - the pilot makes so much sense now with delayed decoding.

When Jung Woo was announced as the youngest ever scholar to top the State exams and assigned to Pyongyang by the king (again, no accident here) Jung Woo loudly asserted he would stamp out the corruption. The camera shifted briefly to Lord Jo glancing up. By all accounts, a casual throwaway moment. Next story beat -- his clan (led by the arm-twisting of Lord Jo) decided to pimp him out to be the Princess consort instead. NOW we know why.

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Yes, I missed the point about first episode until someone pointed it out. Jung Woo was the one who was originally slated to go there, but he ended up marrying the princess and missing the opportunity. Now we know why

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Thank you, I missed that in the beginning! Better go back and watch again!

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This show keeps getting better with every episode. The story is unique, the characters are fresh, and the humor is so original. I lost it watching JungWoo learning to swim on that table 🤣 The way he runs away crying behind his hanbock sleeves is Babaygirlism 101 🥰

I am a little confused about SoonDeok's BIL's story. If he and his lover died by suicide, who was the older DIL rumoured to be murdered by her MIL? And whose son is SoonDeok bringing up? Anyway, I trust the show to tie up all the threads, coz the writing is really taking care of everything. We noticed the handsome monk during the festival at the temple and I have a feeling he may be the one our couple is going to meet. That gives me hope that the ex Defence Minister's hot Secretary will also have more to do in the upcoming episodes 🤞🏻

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No wonder the monk was so handsome! This drama is really delivering on the handsome guys.

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OMG! same here!

I was like, wait - that monk looks a bit too good looking to be a mere cameo with a one liner. I bet this is a Chekhov's Gun planted early to pay off later. So when they went: oh the writer is a monk at Sun Hwa Temple I was like, bingo!

p.s. love the writing 💖💖

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Ooooh! Extra points for mentioning Chekhov's gun!!! 👍😉

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Boss lady Lady Park is my hero at this point. "A woman is protected by her family; a woman protects her family". "If people think you are scary and provide benefits to them, they will always take your side". DIL is lonely and suspected of getting into mischief, so give her responsibilities that get her out of the house legally. Make sure no one thinks they can bitch about DIL with impunity. Daughter seems unhappy, get her SIL to talk to her to find out the cause. Work with daughter's prospective MIL to make sure she has a good environment to go to. Look out for your sister's best interests.
I don't think she is ambitious/power-hungry. She is a big brain matriarch, trying to keep her girls safe in a dangerous ecosystem.

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I agree, she'd be one of the heroes of this story if it weren't for that whole "conspiring to murder the young Crown Prince" problem. I wonder if we'll see some twist that reveals she's not really a baddie on that score, either, and she's secretly trying to protect him, too - but her family's downfall does seem necessary to free SD to remarry.

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Good point about her approach towards her DIL. Didn't strike me that was her reasoning behind the new assignment to SD.

Also, love your username. I know the meaning of it because it's my mother tongue 😊

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Haha, thanks @dramaforever. @elinor, hmm, yes... Don't know why that would be necessary. Also I remember she threated to eliminate Jungwoo, but when I saw that scene again, I felt it was more like to make herself look scary. I mean, the net result was that she stopped her husband from trying to exile Jungwoo and said lets observe him and eliminate him if needed. I will re-watch the "kill prince" stuff... Could be just my liking for her, trying to find excuses.

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That’s very interesting, I only saw Mme Park thinking well, if she’s got time to run around selling novels, let’s stop that by filling her time with family duties. But this does give SD a reason to be away from home and not be questioned by the wannabe-detective maid 🤔

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Could also be that she just wants to keep her occupied. But in any case, she is atleast sensitive to the fact that her DIL doesn't want to stay home and sew and she suggests alternatives instead of going ballistic on her...

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Totally second that. MIL's very sensitive and considerate towards her DIL. I also think she decided to expedite the process of her DIL stepping up to take the reins of their household when she received the latest incriminating evidence of the pulp romance novel.

She mentioned in an earlier ep that it would be a lot less stifling then cos she would no longer be housebound.

MIL also protected SD's face and dignity when she discreetly returned the pulp novel to DIL by fibbing that it was dropped somewhere near the annex where she resides (and not rummaged from her very room!)

she evaded a direct confrontation over this infraction of decorum because she gratefully recalled the emotional memory of her DIL reading novels to her late son and clocked it as sentimental reminiscence of the past.

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@unit, thanks for the recap !

This show is so much fun.
Hats off to the director Hwang Seung Gi, who also directed Into The Ring ❤️ .
The colors, the camera angles, the sounds/soundtrack are tuned just right.
Writer Ha Soo Jin has spun a wonderful tale, with a lot of moving parts too.
The cast is delivering . Rowoon ! He does comedy so well.
Sam soon is so straight to the point . She has no fear. 😂
Matches, potential matches, denials, rejections, love sickness,😀
I loved how the doctor was teasing Jung Woo.
Looking forward to next week.

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I have enjoyed reading many of your comments in this recap, they are great just as this drama.
I agree with many of you, but I would add that to me he looks like a big, long haired slim puppy that has been barking so far because of the injustice he had faced early in his life but all he ever wanted was to find his pair and being loved. He just wants to be huged and that is so adorable. I like him so much in this role and he is having fun with it also.
The MIL becomes more important for the story. I feel that she is seeing the DIL as her real daughter (with the real one marrying) and the one that still connects her to her departed son and the one that is and will take care of the only child, which represents also the continuation of family, of the other one. I dont remember if she has another son but I think it's just those two. I don't think the son is adopted because of her care of him and his education. It must be his older son, the question is if it is the son he had with his wife or the son of the woman he had an affair with. If that is the case, I would see them killing the wife to change the legality of the only child. We don't know if those two are really dead (we have seen already how a corpse was used to make believe the "writer's" death), we were told only a novel that the monk wrote and everything was done to protect them by both families. Or maybe the monk is the older son after all. But anyway, the MIL likes our FL amd she found her future love interest a connection with that son, where they could bond and be a father figure. I have a thought where the MIL and the king let go of their dead child bond to our leads and work togeher to allow them to be happy together and raising that child to be the future of her family. Or something like that...just a thought of how else those two can end up together.

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Re: the child - he mentioned that he is 12 years old. And the older son went as the governor to Pyongyang 8 years before (instead of Jungwoo). So he could not be the son of the affair, if any.
I also would like the King and Mama Park come up with some master plan to set our OTP free. Fingers crossed!

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Thanks for your thoughtful post - one of the lines inadvertently gave me a brainwave! (I am now starting to think this writer is really brilliant) Some thoughts are still nebulous but I will just throw 'em out there and see what sticks:

1) we are already past the mid-point of the narrative. Given how meticulous and detailed this writer has been thus far, I think most key clues / breadcrumbs leading us to the answers we need for the rest of the episodes are likely already hidden in the previous episodes.

2) Recap: 8 years ago, Jung Woo got pimped out as the Princess Consort under the machination of Lord Jo for probably 2-fold reasons:
(i) JW would definitely investigate and expose the corruption - a prospect he wanted to avoid;
(ii) The vacancy allowed Lord Jo to move his first-born son to fill the post instead, which he thought must be the safest bet.

What he did not count on was his very own son would be the one to ferret out all the corruption/collusion between Lord Jo & Lord Min - together with the crossdressing daughter of Lord Min.

3) Narrative leitmotifs & foreshadowing
now let's look at all the breadcrumbs our dear writer-nim has left us: --

(a) we have another parallel lover pairing of crossdressing female--male investigating official ( Lieutenant Jung X Sam Soon) to Min/Jo

(b) we also have another narrative precedent for double lovers' (attempted) suicide -- stopped by SD in the windmill barn. How did they resolve that one?

(c) cue: enter monkhood.
SD shrewdly got the star-crossed nobleman to shave his hair and pretended to enter monkhood in despair, the hysterical parents relented and decide to marry him off to whoever would take him now (which allowed him to marry his true love who came from a lower social class)

(d) the above solution (c) I suspect would be used as a variant to solve the conundrum earlier raised by other Beanies -- the only way the aristocratic Ye-jin can legit end up marrying Bo-geum is for her family to be punished and disgraced.

Not necessarily. One can actually engineer a situation to "degrade" your own social ranking/eligibility to pair up with the love you really desire.

(e) now back to double-lovers suicide of Jo/Min kids -- the 3 likeliest possibilities are: --

(I) their crazy fathers actually decided to silence their kids for uncovering the plot of treason when they tried to whistle-blow (Lady Jo kept in the dark)

(II) the kids pretended suicide - faked their deaths - assumed new/false identities to escape or bide their time (again, foreshadowed by the precedent of the OG Lady Yeoju on the run)

(III) The shocker would be one or both of them are actually hidden in plain sight (as one of the characters in this large ensemble cast! 🤣🤣) we are primed as viewers to accept this possibility now cos we are told how SD and Sam Soon can use makeup disguise mole and cross dressing to fool the whole world (except their one true love)

But...

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I-got-cut-off. dang.
Ok, one more time, with feelings!

But what really excites me is how the subplots are converging into one furious river now. The stakes have also gotten really high too (we're talkin' treason here now, not just landing your true love). Beyond being a romcom, a fusion sageuk, I feel this is also an underdog story of beating all odds and gaming the system -- and THAT really excites me. It would take not just the entire village, but the entire Joseon nation and every character pulling their narrative weight to marry these two off to each other. We would all be rooting for SDXJW you bet ❤❤❤

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