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Knight Flower: Episodes 11-12 (Final)

We bid farewell to our moonlighting tale this week, and as expected, the 15-year-old mystery is finally put to rest, the bad guys get their comeuppance, and the curtains fall on a happy note.

 
EPISODES 11-12

Knight Flower: Episodes 11-12 (Final)

We resume with the tender moment we left off last week where Soo-ho addresses Yeo-hwa as someone else’s wife. He soon realizes that he is not hallucinating, and the moment passes. Yeo-hwa acts like she’s unaffected, but guess who sneaks peeks at Soo-ho with longing in her eyes? Get a grip, Cho Yeo-hwa!

Pil-jik comes to inform Lord Seok about Soo-ho’s real identity, and Yeo-hwa overhears their plot to eliminate him. Unfortunately, Lord Seok catches wind of an eavesdropper and orders for the house to be searched. Yeo-hwa manages to escape to the shrine and change out of her moonlighting disguise, but Jeong spots the outfit and notes that she’s a lady with many secrets. When the Capital Defense officers arrive at the Seok compound, Soo-ho runs into Jeong and he’s surprised to see that the merchant he frequently ran into at Myeongdo inn is his rival Lord Seok’s back-from-the-dead son.

Jeong shares his suspicion about his wife with Soo-ho, and Soo-ho jumps to Yeo-hwa’s defense. Jeong then reveals that he knows his wife is the masked vigilante and Soo-ho’s lover. To this, Soo-ho replies that Jeong should get to know Yeo-hwa first before judging her choices. Jeong takes the advice and asks around for opinions on the masked vigilante, and he learns that Maskie is a hero. Since he likes “cool and great” people, Jeong shares his knowledge of the masked vigilante with Yeo-hwa, and he tells her that he hopes the hero is never caught.

Yeo-hwa informs Yoon-hak and Soo-ho that Lord Seok knows about Soo-ho’s identity, and that Pil-jik plans to kill them both. Yeo-hwa is totally worried about Soo-ho — although she claims that it’s solely because their plan will fall apart if something happens to him. But Soo-ho is more worried about Jeong’s personality as a husband than he is about the attempt on his life. Lol.

Pil-jik strikes by kidnapping So-woon to lure Soo-ho and the masked vigilante to the Pil inn, but when our OTP are not being worrywarts, they make such an excellent team! They don’t break a sweat to rescue So-woon, and Pil-jik is arrested. The rescue operation and subsequent arrest is too easy, I’m almost embarrassed on Pil-jik’s behalf. Was this the best he could do?

Speaking of arrests, the king orders for Lady Oh to be picked up under the pretext of investigating her for embezzling from the dowager’s charity. This is the king drawing the battle line on Lord Seok, and Seok confronts the king for taking the decision alone. “I am still the king of this nation!” The king declares, putting Seok in his place. But Lord Seok laughs in his face because Lady Oh has already disappeared. The audacity of Lord Seok to call the king a kitten! Ugh! He’s such a cartoon villain with an even more aggravating voice.

Knight Flower: Episodes 11-12 (Final)

Up next, the king invites the Seok family to a tea party in the palace. But is it really a tea party if Lady Oh doesn’t show up with the tea? Heh. Lord Seok is the most shocked he has been since this drama started, and I want to laugh in his face so bad. Who’s the kitten now, sir? LMAO. Lady Oh makes to serve her “meaningful” tea, and behold, the poisonous petals sit pretty on one of the saucers in the tray. The king grants the honor of the first cup to Jeong, and the tension in the room is tensioning!

The whole point of this exercise is to get Lord Seok to break and prevent his son from drinking the poison, thereby proving his involvement in the late king’s death. But Lord Seok already “killed” his son 15 years ago, so this doesn’t faze him one bit. Meanwhile, Yeo-hwa struggles to keep her composure after a previous warning she got from Yoon-hak not to react to anything that happens at the tea party. She actually tries to prevent her husband from drinking the tea, but she’s scolded by her parents-in-law for interfering. Lady Yoo, please, they’re trying to kill your son again!

When the king realizes that Lord Seok isn’t going to break, he stops Jeong from drinking the tea, and Seok smirks. He’s really incredible! Lady Oh admits to poisoning the late king with the tea 15 years ago on Lord Seok’s orders, and the scribe meticulously records her confession. To prove the truth in her words, Lady Oh drinks the tea, dies, and puts an end to the Tea Party of Horror.

Knight Flower: Episodes 11-12 (Final)

Before she breathes her last, Lady Oh tells Yeo-hwa that Lord Seok already killed her brother, and Yeo-hwa gets to hear the full story from Pil-jik in jail. Apparently, the year after her brother went missing, he returned to see her, and that’s when Pil-jik captured him and killed him. Yeo-hwa’s emotions are a mix of fury and sadness. On one hand she blames herself for being the reason her brother returned and ended up dead, and on the other hand, she vows revenge against her father-in-law.

Masked Yeo-hwa attacks Lord Seok’s entourage with the intention of killing him right there and then, but Soo-ho stops her. Soo-ho acknowledges how upsetting the situation must be for her, but killing Lord Seok means her life is forfeit, and he doesn’t think her brother would want her to die for his revenge. If killing Seok is indeed the only way to end the situation, Soo-ho says he’ll do it himself, and he pleads with Yeo-hwa not to hurt herself. Gahhh! This was such an emotionally charged scene.

As Yeo-hwa reminisces over how her brother left the moonlighting sword to her, she finds two letters tucked into a compartment of the sheath. One of the letters is from her brother and is addressed to her, and the other is the late king’s letter addressed to the current king which states that Lord Seok should be held responsible if something terrible were to befall him. Finally, they can nail that bastard Seok!

The king assembles the ministers — including Lord Seok who plots to dethrone the king and install a new puppet — and Yeo-hwa comes in with her sword. She reports her father-in-law for killing her brother and the family of the head of the late king’s guard, and Soo-ho corroborates her claim. Lord Seok tries to hush Yeo-hwa up, but his threat of expelling her from his family can’t stop her. She informs the assembly that Lord Seok poisoned the late king, and to the shocked ministers, Seok goes: “So? What is the issue? Everything I did, I did for the nation.” Ha! This man’s middle name is Audacity!

In the full glare of everyone, Yeo-hwa puts on her mask, and Lord Seok sputters at the sight of his masked nemesis. She brandishes her sword at him, and the PTSD from his near-death experience makes Seok fall over like the rat he is. Hehe. “Don’t make me regret not cutting off your head that night,” Yeo-hwa smirks. She is such a delight to watch, going from grieving sister to betrayed daughter-in-law and then comical masked lady all in one scene!

The king orders for Lord Seok’s arrest, and Seok gives us his villain monologue and the Staredown of Unrepentance before he is escorted out. In a voiceover, Yeo-hwa tells him to consider himself fortunate that she didn’t punish him herself as she usually does. This once, she will watch him pay the price for his crimes according to the laws of the land. It’s ironic how Lord Seok’s villain era started from objecting to the late king’s wish to break the barriers of the class system by supporting talents regardless of their class. Seok wanted to uphold the class system so badly, and now as punishment for his villainy, he is demoted to the lowest class and exiled. As for Pil-jik, he also gets to keep his miserable life, but he’ll never be able to raise his head in public again.

Thankfully, Seok bears the consequences of his crimes alone as Yeo-hwa already pleaded with the king for mercy on behalf of the rest of the family. Lady Yoo is quite subdued in the aftermath of the whole thing, but to her credit, all she wanted was for her son and daughter-in-law to stay safe. For all of Lady Yoo’s traditional mother-in-law ways, Yeo-hwa genuinely liked her, and the feeling is mutual. Lady Yoo apologizes for everything, and wishes for Yeo-hwa to live well and happy.

Yeo-hwa requests a divorce because she no longer wants to live as someone’s wife or daughter-in-law. Or lover — just in case Soo-ho confuses her intentions for the divorce. In Joseon, there’s not much of a difference between the status of a widow and a divorcee, so Yeo-hwa urges Soo-ho to go on his own path. But he refuses the suggestion. “Whether you wear a mask, are a widow or get divorced, I don’t care. I will be by your side,” Soo-ho insists in the sageuk version of the confession in Coffee Prince. Lol.

Everybody — minus our OTP — gathers at the Myeongdo inn to plot a way out for Yeo-hwa, and they realize that her marriage can be annulled since the groom was not present at the wedding. Jeong pushes forward with the plan, and the king grants them the annulment. Yaay! But now that Yeo-hwa is legally and socially free to be with Soo-ho, she does the next best thing. She disappears! Pfft. MBC really made a whole fuss about adding five extra minutes to Episode 12’s runtime only to use it all on a time-skip!

Knight Flower: Episodes 11-12 (Final)

Flash forward to a year later, Jeong has resumed his merchant activities at Myeongdo inn, and he regales his customers with the tale of the masked lady who appears when the moon shines brightly a.k.a. the flower that blooms at night a.k.a. the Korean title we were robbed of. The commandant of the Capital Defense squad — who was such a fun character — is made the minister of war, and Soo-ho is promoted to the commandant position.

Yeon-seon has become the financier of the Myeongdo merchant guild, and Yoon-hak has left politics to pursue his dreams of living a freer life. Yeon-seon’s dream has always been to own a house in the capital, but so far, no house has caught her interest. Yoon-hak offers to show her a house that might interest her, and he takes her to his own house! The way I squeed! This might just be the sweetest and most thoughtful proposal I’ve seen in a while. Bi-chan and the ex-commandant’s daughter — who had this funny side romance going on — also get their own happily ever after.

As for our OTP, well, Yeo-hwa returns to the capital to resume moonlighting duties, and commandant Soo-ho catches her on her first attempt. She’ll never be able to escape from him now. Soo-ho sweeps Yeo-hwa into his arms, and he leans in… and the next thing you know, we get a freeze frame while the OST swells in the background. Ha, not this drama robbing us of a kiss! We waited for 12 episodes, man! But our OTP’s romance has never been about skinship, so I shall forgive Show. Half-heartedly.

With this, we come to the end of what has been such a wonderful show. The drama neatly tied up all its strings to give us a beautiful bow, and I don’t have any major complaints — aside from the whole Lord Seok drama. In the end, he was such an uninspiring and typical flat-ish villain. What’s new? Tsk. I think sageuks need to step up their game because their villains have been so boring and predictable of late.

If there’s one thing this drama did well, it’s the subtle nature of the featured love stories. The romance wasn’t the all up in your face type, but the show — and the actors — made it work. I especially loved the OTP’s cute interactions and their badass teamwork… it was soooo good! Honey Lee was amazing as usual, and she made Yeo-hwa really lovable and distinct from the other moonlighting heroines in the dramaverse. Our hero, Soo-ho, was just chef’s kiss! He was so adorable and precious, and he tugged at my heartstrings with all his puppy in love facial expressions. I was initially worried about how Lee Jong-won would fare alongside Honey Lee since she’s got such a strong on-screen presence, but it turns out that I didn’t need to worry at all. Their chemistry was perfect for the nature of their love story.

Overall, Knight Flower was a consistently good watch. I’m a simple person, so when you give me a fun and well-executed show that doesn’t leave me disappointed at any point and sticks the landing, well, I couldn’t possibly ask for anything more.

Knight Flower: Episodes 11-12 (Final)

 
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Thank you @unit for your recaps! It was a joy watching this show along with you and some lovely beanies.

What a fantastic show it turned out to be. Filled with action, comedy, romance and friendships. The show wrote so many wonderful characters that made it so delightful. I am happy everyone survived.

I came here for Honey Lee, but Lee Jong-Won won me over with his earnest love face. He was so good with his facial expressions. Together they had a great chemistry. Subtle yet deep. Their love language is all about worrying for the other and wanting to protect the other.
I was denied the kiss, but I believe she is ready to do some flirting with him now (as the last scene indicates) and they will eventually get there.

I will dearly miss this show!

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For a show that didn’t carry a romance tag, I was more invested in it than many that are billed entirely so. Of course, it was the OTP chemistry (amazing) but really LJW did much of the heavy lifting in that department. He made all of us so invested in the romance and wanting more.

I was bowled over by Honey Lee from the get-go, but LJW snuck up on me as the show progressed, not to displace her (because who can) but to add a new element. He even pulled off the silly rose-tinted cheeks. A great performance.

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I binged through episode 10-11 yesterday and man! it was tense. I think this might be amongst the category of dramas I'll delay to watch the ending because I could tell how the ending would go.

The King returning the favor to Lord Seok by moving the soldiers with his notice and then actually having Lady Oh in custody already was smart smart. He basically intentionally sent the soldiers to carry the arrest so as to trick Seok on the details of the tea invite. I love this king too much. He's good. And smart.

Lord Seok... I liked him at the beginning, majorly because of the way he regarded Yeo-hwa. Even though it was clear from the first few personal court scenes with the king that he was making decisions for him, I had thought it that it was some commensal relationship. I'm really disappointed in the character Lord Seok. His villainy touch is quite on point but it is weakened by his manner of speaking. His speech mannerisms reminds me of the guy villain in The Forbidden Marriage who also spoke in this very tired manner every single time. Seok is a way better villain than he is though. I knew he wouldn't budge when the King told his son to drink his last. And he didn't.

Jeong? I like him. I felt the shock on his way when it was known that the tea is laced with poison. Mom too. I don't know what went on in Lady Yoo's head but I'm sure if the king was going to do nothing about it, somebody might become Lord Yeom 2.0.

I got enough of Yoon-hak and Yeon-seon individually. But not enough of them together. I have to salute the production for setting them up at the beginning weeks. That was very smart.

I don't know what to say about Lee Jong-won. No critiques whatsoever. But blushed face Soo-ho was entertainment when his pinnochio struck. Man wears his feelings on his sleeves. I'll gladly spend hours teasing him.

Lee Ha-nee is always the comedy queen. And she moves swiftly through the timing, balancing it all out.

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That proposal was such a lovely tie-in to Yeon-seon’s lifelong dream. Indeed, they set it up very well.

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Ditto to your last three paragraphs Unit. You encapsulated everything that was so wonderful about this show, thank you for the recaps.
The main leads were simply fabulous.
I will look forward to watching anything else Lee Jong-Won stars in, his eyes are hypnotic.
If anyone is interested he was in I Live Alone, episode 479 and he is a lovely, interesting and sincere person.

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I saw that ILA episode before and didn’t know Lee Jong Won then. Thought he was pretty interesting.

Saw him with his camera in one of the behind-the-scenes videos - and suddenly it occurred to me he could have been ‘that cool vintage-loving guy who walked around taking photos’ in ILA. And true enough 😆

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One more thing I can’t find. I’m really cranky about regional licensing arrangements.

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I am somewhat obsessed with Lee Jongwon after watching Knight Flower and I had watched his appearance in I Live Alone like 2-3 times. XD
I like how he is so sincere and passionate about his interests. I think it's really cool that he develops his own photos and even held a photo exhibition. He would also be a great photographer if he wants to :)

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Just out of curiosity (and envy) - as this program is out of my reach - where do you watch this? It has been going for a number of years, right? Are all the eps available to you?
Sorry for being nosy!

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Thank you Kiara!

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I love these clips. He seems like an old soul. Thank you again Kiara. You’re a gem.

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I watched the full episode on Viu!
MBC did upload some clips but without any subtitles unfortunately :(
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iUgQ7l7nuc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDPN4hQ-w0U

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Thank you kindly!

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That ending surely made me scream of frustrating. I waited for 12 eps for a kiss and it even didn't happen in the very last minutes! At least we got that in Our Blooming Youth. But agree of what you said, this drama is not about romance. Their chemistry if off of chart even without skinship.

I laugh when Jeong called his wife "Honey" coz she is "Honey" LoL

and Yoon-hak proposal is the sweetest think ever.

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Yesss the honey moments made me laugh too hahaha ha

And right? Would it have killed them to give us one kiss??

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I think it was kind of the point that here was a woman who was all the things she could be alone. She didn't have to be alone, but she wanted to.
For all of us - including me, who so wanted to see their future - my favourite idea was the Joseon Family Incredibles, like silent shadows running over the roofs, two grown-ups and three kids, very promising, it was very disappointing.
But if there is some ace people out there who long to see a woman being fantastic on her own ... or all those who just have to be alone, or those where maybe it would be better - maybe there is room for one disappointment, a woman who runs off to be her own, not taking the love, nor the money, nor the power that is offered to her.

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What a fabulous ride Knight Flower has been. Did I want less messy politics and more romance and comedy toward the end, sure. And did I want the ML to lean in more (just a wee bit more, oh-so-fine Sir!) and even more for the FL to reciprocate, yes!
But no matter. I’ve laughed and swooned through this whole show from beginning to end. Even Lee Jong Won’s rakish smile at the end gave me more feels than many a kiss.

Honey Lee and LJW have been a revelation. The former for her comedy and action abilities, the latter for his romantic ones. Casting directors, take heed! (Tho Bad Memory Eraser doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.)

This will be one of my top shows of the year. And I’m glad so many in SK agreed. For those who skipped it due to Honey Lee’s age, your loss. I hope she’s laughing all the way to the bank.

PS Did the husband actually have a wife elsewhere?

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Yes, I'm curious about the English wife, too! Was she dead and that's why he returned?
I loved the husband's English, and I squeed when he said "See you" to Kkot Nim and the guy, and they repeated it correctly.
I'll miss a lot this k-drama, it was so lovely!

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I wonder if he really did have a wife or if he just left Joseon because partially because he didn't want to become an official and partially because he had a crush on some English beauty.

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He mentioned being married but didn't specify any details of his first wife. Having two wives was prohibited in Joseon, but he didn't know that his father faked a marriage for him to Yeo Hwa.
I appreciate how the writers considered all aspects and reached a logical conclusion for granting her freedom from this strict law that she was trapped in. Granting her a divorce would not have given her a chance to start over. As Yeon Seon remarked, divorced women and widows are treated as less than human and forced to live as though they were already dead.

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I think his dad mentioned being opposed to him bringing a blue eyed woman into the family, and that's when he left and his father decided to consider the son dead. But I still can't understand how the wedding ceremony was performed without the husband.

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I think they just decided she belonged to him.
Wikipedia says that as time went, not only actually married women, but also fiancés, were subject to the insane expectations of self-effacing humility, including sometimes suicide.

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Yes, being the fiancée is how she got trapped into the 'widow' role - there was no wedding ceremony. But there was clearly fraud on Lord Seok's part, because he knew that his son was unaware of and did not participate in the engagement, and also knew that her brother, who was her legal guardian, had not agreed. The putative groom was already out of the picture before the binding engagement took place.

I'd love to see the next sageuk or two explore the many ways people must have gotten around those restrictions instead of focusing on how oppressive and horrible they were.

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Watch "BOSSAM: Steal the Fate " if you haven't. Bossam was a customary remarriage procedure that took place during the Joseon period. At that time, a widow could not remarry, so a single man or a widower would kidnap the widow and marry her. Some of the kidnappings were agreed upon in advance, and others were by force.

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@kiara
I like the way they got around this unjust rule against widows by accepting the kidnapping and allowing them to have at least another family and live what was considerded then a normal life. I don't think everyone liked that rule and considered it just as unfair as we think now. I will post a quotation from an article later on.
It appears that when they decided to implement it, King Sŏngjong gathered 46 loyal subjects and only 4 were for not letting the widows to marry again. If you look at just that sample, more than 90% were for allowing them to remarry. And why they allowed these "kidnappings" to take place. Of course there were some crazy bastards, like we have some now, in some powerful families that took it to the extreme but I like to think that humanity and common sense prevailed even in that authoritarian system in the majority of cases. Of course, this is fiction and we are shown the extreme situation that support the current time thought that marriage is bad and that is why we are having these endings lately, but maybe that wasn't the case in everyone of them.

"Meanwhile, widows’ ability to remarry was also gradually usurped. Prior
to the reign of King Sŏngjong, widow’s remarriage had not been
considered to be a serious social issue, as exemplified by King Taejong
remark that, “why should men and women who have lost their spouses
not be allowed to remarry”.17 During the reign of King Sejo, the issue of a
woman’s remarriage was not considered to be serious unless it involved a
woman’s third marriage....
The remarriage of widows only became a serious issue during the reign
of King Sŏngjong, by which time the neo-Confucianist order had become
more deeply entrenched, as it came into conflict with the Confucian ideal
exemplified by the saying, “just as a loyal subject should not worship two
kings, a virtuous women should obey only one husband.” In July 1477
(8th year of King Sŏngjong), the king summoned 46 of the nation’s most
respected loyal subjects to take part in a discussion on the need to prohibit
women from remarrying once their spouses had passed away. All but four
of the merit subjects taking part in this discussion opposed the imposition
of restrictions on widows’ right to marry on the ground that this
represented too severe a measure. Nevertheless, the king eventually sided
with the four merit subjects who had come out in favor of prohibiting
widows from remarrying on the grounds that, “starving to death is a
trivial matter compared to a woman’s loss of her chastity”. As a result,
the chaeganyŏ chason kumgobŏp- in which the descendants of remarried women and of concubines could not be eligible for the government
service examination (saengwŏn & chinsa)-was included in the Kyŏngguk
taejŏn. This law was designed to put the descendants of women who
had married more than twice at a disadvantage when it came to the
securing of government office. As such, Chosŏn society attempted...

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@kodra,

I do, too. I believe it was more common among the lower class since their children weren't allowed to take the state exams anyway.
I like that it was illegal, but they created a new custom and got away with it. LOL

Thank you for your research! It makes sense that they would look the other way while Bossam was happening because the majority were not in favor of the "widow marriage ban."

The fall of Goryeo was a devastating blow for women of that time. They had more freedom under Buddhism, the previous state religion than under Joseon's Confucian ideals.

King Taejong is still a controversial figure to me. Joseon wouldn't have existed if he hadn't killed Jeong Mong-ju and the Goryeo loyalists. But, I also think he wouldn't agree with this widow remarriage ban law. He hated how his father treated his mother. She lived like a widow since he favored his 2nd wife. What he did was make it illegal for a man to have 2 wives so his mother would be the only legal wife of his father even though she was already dead.

King Sŏngjong, I don't know what to think of him. Some historians think he was a mama's boy since his mother continued to rule from behind the curtain. It doesn't make much sense to me that he would allow this law to pass while having a queen,15 concubines, and 30+ children.

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Oops, I didn't mean to imply that I support the legality of the ban on widow remarriage.
Lost in translation. LOL

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@kiara
Yes, women had more freedom and rights during the Goryeo era. But the end of that era was seen as a weak one, hence the need to organize and control the country to protect it against the Mongols. That was the time when a lot of tribute women were sent to the mongols. Of course that practice continued in the beginning of Joseon era but was eradicated after a short time. Also, when the Joseon era started, not only that they did make it illegal for a 2nd wife but also there were some that were against allowing men to have concubines when they were discussing this new sytem, so I have read it some paper I cannot find right now. Unfortuntelly, there were some powerful noble men that in order to enrich and empower themselves, empose even greater rules on the weak over the course of Joseon era.
I must admit that I like King Taejong. Not only that he really fought to get his father the throne and also for himself, but he kind of clean the slate for his son to be able to rule in a better environment. Yes, he killed some in-laws and some powerful nobles along the way but he accomplished a lot and his son even more. You are not watching CtK, but there is some similarity there in this regard. Whereas King Sŏngjong was not even supposed to be king, being the younger son of a crn prince that died before becoming king. It was given to him and was under the control of not one, not two, but three queen dowegers. A lot happened right before he made that decision. His queen, Lady Yun, tried to poison one of his concubines and had her killed. His mom was known for her Confuscian teachings and wrote Naehun in 1475 which was the Imstruction for women book. And, maybe the most important piece, was the story of Princess Yi Gu-Ji who after she became a widow, in 1475 was reported that she had been cohabiting with Cheonrye, her slave. To make the story short, he lets her go initially, but later she marries him and has a daughter. Needless to say, the slave dies at interogation and she was ordered to drink poison. So I think that the fear of slaves being accepted into their world made them so crazy that they took this action. And another thing about him...unlike Taejong who fathered the greatest king, this one had the worst one that terorized the entire Joseon. Both father and son had really the worst misoginistic genes in them. King Taejong, no matter what he did, he never gave up on his queen and demanded that they were buried together

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@kodra,
My take on the Yi Dynasty is that they were the winners who wrote the history, evidenced by how they tried to justify overthrowing Goryeo. They contributed to weakening the country and going pro-Ming, which had a lasting effect all the way to the 2 Manchu invasions.
King Taejong was the definition of an absolute monarch whose leadership was necessary for the newly established Joseon. His father was a revered general but not much of an administrator.
King Sejong was third in line for the throne. However, Sejong became king because the oldest son was rebellious, and the second chose a different path. (Love Sejong).
We talked about the Naehun in earlier episodes. I don't know how to feel about Queen Dowager Insu. I get her ambitions, but the price for power at the cost of humanity doesn't seem worth it. Her life didn't end well either.

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Why don't they make dramas about the pre-Joseon Buddhist era? Sounds like that could be interesting, though of course, if they didn't kill each other so much and lock up the women, what would there be to make a story about.

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@kiara
I agree with your statement about the winners writing their own history. Yi Dinasty wrote not only that but also continued to write and write and preserve it all for centurie for us to see. I know your love for the pre-Joseon history and I do take your word for it. I am a blank slate when it comes to it and hopefully a new show will come up that will interest me and be able to learn from you all and on my own. I tried to when GKW started, learn some about Queen Wonjeong and King Mokjong but couldn't go any further. One thing that I can say is that Goryeo had way too many wars for way too many years and Yi Dinasty brought some much needed peace for a long time. As a first impression, it looks to me that the country has turned into a timocracy towards the end. Of course, on the social issues regarding in particular the noble women, it was far superior and just, no questions about it.
I also love King Sejong.

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Another thing to consider is that she had no family who could help her out. If YeoHwa had a family with strong backing, perhaps marriage wouldn't have gone through. They could have got it annulled but she didn't have much option in marrying into Seok family.

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Eps 12: Yeo Hwa - "...live on carrying a smile. If only you knew...how dashing your smile was."

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Imagine someone saying that to you, after you had told them you would like to be with them, always, and on their conditions: "I am leaving, and don't wait up for me. You should smile more, I don't think you know how pretty you are when you smile. Buh-bye!"
I think it would take a while before I smiled.

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I really thought they were setting things up for a second season.

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I never expect that from K-drama, and even rarer actually want it. One thing I really love about K-dramas is that they don't drag on for years, inventing new stupid reasons for the main question to not be solved.
I would love a second season: "Ninja Family on The Roofs Of Joseon", ten years into the future where she has come back and they have had skilled ninja babies and spend the nights purging the city of evil.
The other K-drama I would like a second season of is Mr. Queen. It would suppose that woman never came back, but woke up in his body, and after a learning process in our time enjoyed the comparatively unlimited freedom as a male, even a healthy, handsome, wealthy male in our time - so much easier than being a woman were she came from. She would feel like she had alwasy been walking with led weights tied to her feet, and now she could almost fly.
Since she was a skilled embroiderer, that was what I imagined as her career, and Park's marriage made a very much less compelling story than that second season would have been.
They might swap bodies back once or twice by attempt or accident ... and find out they did not want to go back to where they originally came from, either of them. Love and Freedom calling them in different ways across the centuries.

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This was such a great drama. Although the baseline plot is nothing new or mind-blowing, the delivery and the entire cast was perfect! So much fun and feels. And absolutely love the cheekiness throughout and especially the ending 😆

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This show was just adorable from start to finish for me. I am a simple gal who like cheesy, winks to the camera type moments so Jeong saying the show's Korean title or when he asks Yeo Hwa if he should call her "Honey", and I was just giddy haha. Jeong also gave me such Genie as the merchant (from Aladdin) vibes so I just loved it.

The actors were all casted so well for their roles. There was not a single dynamic that didn't work (to me). Our leads were awesome but MVP is definitely Lee Ha Nee/Honey Lee. She was totally one with this character. I don't know about her other works (I haven't been able to get through The Fiery Priest) but I wonder if another role could've been so perfectly casted. I feel like I might come across like a syncophant but I just truly think she was so good on this role.

A few episodes ago, I said I thought there should be a line of people who hit Lord Seok in the face but I guess that was too modern haha. His punishment is somewhat fitting since he will be beat 100 times and then exiled as the lowest of society (which I'm not sure if that's a slave or ghost) considering how he was so haughty and concerned about class status. I think sometimes I will think that I still wish everyone could have hit or spat at him but this was certainly more dignified haha.

I was SO satisfied with the ending. I never needed them to kiss or have excessive skinship to feel their romance. The fact that they called back their first real "dance/fight" with each other and she "let" herself be caught just made me smile. It was so fitting for them.

I missed the epilogues only because I wondered what could possibly be an epilogue for this episode but again, it was totally fitting that there wasn't one since this story is complete.

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That last scene was not reality, it was Jeong's story with all its pop pomp and circumstance.
As a sure sign, she had a gold decoration on her mask. Would she ever have that IRL? It was just not her style.
No, this was Jeong's story with eloquent pop-story-teller details like gold decorations and the handsome guard catching her in his strong arms.
I wanted them to be together as much as the next one, but honestly, the story is even better if she goes away 🙋🏻‍♀️ , while all of us are left longing and waiting for her together with Soo-ho, waving our arms for the great finale and singing 🎶"I'm just Ken, where I see love, she sees a friend ..."🎶💔😢

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Apart from the gold decorations, the way they talked to each other was "story-telling" ... he would have said her name and not this bravado ...
Even that poor victim that she saved, look how she runs, not like a person, but like Snow White in Disney's version, and when surrounded, stretches her arms to the sides and back, because it looks cute and victim-y, instead of in front of herself like someone who is afraid of the men in front of her.

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This is a perfect ending for Yeo Hwa's story, told in the same way as the "Tale of Hong Gil Dong". Jeong was the perfect storyteller. I love that the symbolic embroidered flower added to the mask was a nice touch, and the male lead was also part of her story.

My only complaint is, why under a bridge? He could've unmasked her at the watermill. 😀😆🤣

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We had this conversation on your fan wall but I think I'll put it here for posterity or something.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved Knight Flower but the final episode was a mess and left me scratching my head as to where our FL went and why precisely she left. The final episode was so poorly paced with such choppy editing that we don’t really know why she left.

The way it's edited made it seem as though she only left because she didn’t know about the annulment. However, she talked about her future and leaving for a long time before that so... did she leave because she wanted to or because she felt she had to? Would her annulment have changed that equation? Or would she have left anyway? If she did stay, without a close male relative to list her on their registry, would she have been able to function as a member of the nobility or would she be able to reclaim her noble status? I don't think she would have been able to because Orabeoni was dead and there's no male relative to list her. As such, she and the ML wouldn't have been able to marry anyway. And is that even what she wanted?

So not knowing precisely why she left or what she's been doing, she then randomly comes back a year later to do a weird swirly non-kiss with the guy she soundly rejected a year before.

Did she come back because she found out she was no longer married? So did she come back for him? Or did she come back for some other reason? It makes more sense that she left because she wanted to leave and didn’t come back at all.

Is she back as herself? As a bandit? Is she going to reclaim her noble birth in the absence of a male relative? Is that even possible? The ending had all the hallmarks of a fantasy “it all worked out somehow, LOL don’t ask us how”. So it being a story within a story is just perfect.

The idea that she left and her romantic non-husband is busy spinning great tales of her exploits in the market works so much for me. Yes I’d still like to know precisely where she went and what she’s doing but as far as endings go I’ll take this over what we got any day.

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DRAMA: Would you rather have a motionless, passionless sageuk kiss or a delicious prolonged flirtation but no kiss at all?
ELINOR: Uhh … [picks whichever one she didn’t just see in the most recent show]
NEXT DRAMA: Here we are again. Motionless, passionless sageuk kiss or flirty-no-kiss?
ELINOR: Really? Those are the only choices? [picks the other one]
DRAMA AFTER THAT: Hi! Mo-
ELINOR: Oh, shut up. 🤬

No, really, I thoroughly enjoyed this show despite the tying up of loose ends being so quickly sketched in that it was a cartoon of a cartoon. Lee Ha-nee was a revelation to me and Lee Jong-won can gaze moonily at the camera any time. Lord Seok was a false note all the way, but hey, at least he was consistent? Overall: delightful.

Thanks, @unit! It's always fun to scramble across the rooftops with you.

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😂 Well said. Tho I would always pick the delicious flirty-no-kiss, why is there ever even a choice. There is no reason we can’t have it all.

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Someone had the suggestion they would be married and scramble over the roof tops with their kids, like The Incredibles, but way more ninja.
I would have loved that. I can see it behind my closed eyelids. Five shadows barely visible (towards the half cloud-covered moonlit nightsky), the smallest one still toddler chubby.
Mum and Dad and Eun, Hyun and Mi. Shhush!

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You are almost describing Japanese drama House of Ninjas — newly released on Netflix. Except it’s darker than the Incredibles. Family of ninjas including kid and grandma!

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3rd option: hot slo-mo un-masking. I’ll take that anytime. But then again don’t think many actors can deliver that level of sexual tension 🔥🔥🔥

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It was still a delightful romance even without a kiss. The leads had chemistry to sell the attraction and romance even if the drama was not sold as a romcom.

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Although I enjoyed our female lead's derringdo, and was able to endure the tedious left ministerial poisoned politics for her charismatic presence, I knew there would be nothing at the end for the male lead, because I know from other sageuks that the modern concept of "sex" was unknown in the Joseon era.

Still, the ending was a bit of a let down, if the show is considered as a romance rather than a typical "stop the evil minister" sageuk, because I'm always hopeful for a happy ending for the main couple, even in the beknighted Joseon era.

I realized pretty early on, though, that as a romance, this was going to be a tragic story of one sided love. Everyone ended happy except the male lead, whose devoted love deserved better, but it was clear when the FL asked for the divorce and pointedly said he should go his own way that she just wasn't that into him.

As @ceciliedk points out, the sad fantasy that ended the drama, was a total imagining-- that of a lonely man who saw his brother's good fortune and wished it could have happened to him.

While others regard this with glee, I was left nearly weeping at the sad plight of Joseon men who loved in vain, after all they did for women, and lets not forget those ministers who were forced by unexplained circumstances to poison anyone who stood in the way of their talking in a whiny voice.

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It was not an imagining of "a lonely man who saw his brother's good fortune and wished it could have happened to him."
It was the imaginings of a flawed, clever, and generous non-husband who loved to be th centre of amazed listeners at the market place and also loved the extra sales that went with the enchanted crowd og Ooh'ing and Aah'ing women.
Her lonely lover was mostly busy catching bad guys, and also, every day checking if anyone has finally any news from the radio silent love of his life.

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The conflict between Lord Seok and the former king was rooted in the foundation of Joseon, so the politics made sense.
Lord Seok is more like Jeong Dojeon, the first prime minister of Joseon. He envisions Joseon as a Constitutional Monarchy led by ministers while the king was to be a largely symbolic figure with very little to no power.

Even after being defeated, the sad truth is he is right. "Keep this in mind. This country of Joseon is the noblemen's country."

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I really enjoy reading @unit 's recap and it's like I'm watching the final episode again. Thank you @unit

I have nothing left to say as everything been said by Beanies above. I will definitely look out for future works by Lee Jong-won our precious lover boy.. OMG everytime he gaze at the camera with that look, I wonder am I the only blushing furiously 😂😂😂

Missing this show already and I'm going to give some beans to KF when that time of the year for our votes comes around

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*the only one blushing

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Thank you for the recaps! I enjoyed these episodes a lot.
Jeong turned out to be such a great guy after all. It wasnt explained yet why he is in Joseon if he has a wife in Qing. I still appreciate him doing what he can to save Yeo Hwa from a difficult life of a divorcee.
Soo Ho is as adorable as ever in his quest to avenge his famiky and also save his beloved.
Yeo Hwa is amazing. Honey Lee did justice to the role and no one couldve played her as well as she did.
I am glad that Lord Seok's family did not suffer due to his treason. I have watched enough sagueks to fear for his family's lives.
Yoon Hak planned such a wonderful proposal. Yeon Seon is lucky to have found him.

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Thanks to @unit for great recaps of a terrific show! It’s been so much fun. Honey Lee brought her best as always. I didn’t know Lee Jong Won before this and was swept into swoons by his romantic gazes, can’t wait to see what he does next.

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I forgot about the fraud aspect. It was a smart choice to have that be apart of Jeong's backstory cause from what I understand without that, the marriage would've still been considered valid since apparently "virgin wives" or whatever they were called was a thing.

In The Story of Park's marriage contract, the bride never saw the groom's face until they were in their room that night. I mention that drama cause it's the most recent example I have in mind.

My point of mentioning it is because I was wondering what the limit was with these marriages. Wives would be considered married even if the husband died before the ceremony. Weddings happened without seeing the partners' faces.

So when did a Joseon wedding *not* go through in dramas?

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"The Story of Park's Marriage Contract" was a fully legal marriage. The groom and his family were involved from the first rite to the last. He was aware of the engagement/proposal down to the final ceremony.

For a non-complicated ceremony, there were 4 steps/rites.
1. Marriage discussion is usually through a matchmaker.
2. The formal proposal from the groom's side and set the date of the wedding if the bride's side accepts the proposal.
3. Sending gifts to the bride.
4. Greeting the bride and first night together.
(I posted a link earlier under Eps 7-8 discussion)

I'm not entirely sure when a bride is considered married, but breaking off an engagement (#2 on the list) can harm one's reputation. Although it may seem straightforward, the cultural rituals surrounding marriage are complex and this is likely why there is such a negative impact.

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In The Matchmakers, they do not see each other at the wedding because they have either veil, a fan, or a cloth held in front of the face with two sticks.
But they are supposed to be present, at least. (Though one of the couples aren't really) and when the wedding night comes, people look at them to check they are really there.
But even if the marriage wasn't really concluded until they had slept together (or ... until the wife had moved back with her family for some time and then come back the the grooms family) then I imagine people would not agree just like that to have their daughter be the second instead of first wife. That would have to be negotiated, at least, and hadn't in this case. And that the groom didn't even know of the marriage ...

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That's what happened in Park's marriage contract; the groom wore a veil or mask or whatever that covered his face.

It's all confusing to me. Women forced to live as widows for men they never even met AND having to grieve for them. Even expected to follow them to death.

I'm getting angry and annoyed thinking about it.

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These events may have only occurred rarely in real life, but this is a TV show that is so good at dramatizing and exaggerating history.

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Situation like the FL is still frowned upon nowadays in some old-fashioned families in Korea. I remember the drama "glory of family" a while back. The FL's husband in that drama died in a traffic accident on their way to airport after they got their marriage certificate, although as both of the FL and her husband were from traditional families, they had not yet consummated their marrige. After a long morning period and a long recovery from injuries, the FL went on with her life and became a college professor. However, after 10 years, when she finally fell in love with another man, the ML, the ML's parents, espeically his mother objected vehemently and hysterically to the marriage, which of course caused a lot of angst. The ML's mother's friends also gossiped a lot about FL's situation. Of course, the FL later won the ML's mother over, still for many of us, such objection was totally non-sense and outrageous. By the way, this is pretty good drama depicting FL's traditional family vs the ML's family of new money.

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Thanks for the recap! The drama really did stick the landing. Whew! 12 episodes was the right length. While I liked the drama a lot and found it entertaining, I didn't think it had much emotional heft until this final set of episodes. The finale week had everything and gave a proper resolution so the characters. Even though the ending could be Jeong's telling of the Knight Flower, I like to think it really happened. I liked the 1 year time skip since I think Yeo-hwa should live as Jo Yeo-hwa and see the world outside of the capital after being Madam/Daughter-in-law for 15 years.

Honey Lee killed it on the romance and humor side and Lee Jong-won's mature face with the puppy eyes really help sell the romance. I like how the drama kept it somewhat romance-lite and weaved the romance into the action scenes.

Jeong is the best ex-husband ever. His random insertion of English gets a laugh from me every time. I really like his scenes with Yeo-hwa, particularly where they were trying to figure out what to call each other - "Honey?"

I feel like they really could make a drama where a non-dead husband, who really did have amnesia, returns home only to realize he was married and then, in the vein of the forced cohabitation/arranged marriage trope, the couple get to know each other.

Yoon-hak was incredibly slick with his proposal to Yeon-seon.

As sad as I was for Yeo-hwa that her brother really did die, I'm glad they didn't bring a sibling reunion just to kill him off in an episode or two. I've encountered two fusion sageuks where something like this happened, and it just leaves a bad taste.

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Amnesia and husband can be found also in A 100 Days My Prince, though not exactly as you describe it. But somewhat.

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We knew from the beginning who was the villain and the destiny of the brother when they showed us the flashback. So the story rested on the unfolding of the King's plan to make the Left Minister paid his crimes. It was nice to get a good King! Palace politics are so much interesting when the King is competent. I enjoyed seeing Yeo-hwa being the one bringing down her father-in-law. She deserved it!

Now, I'm disapointed they didn't really show what Yeo-hwa wanted in her life other than being a vigilante hero, showing her growth as a free woman because they focused a lot of her confinement. If I would have loved more romance, it was nice they didn't limit her future to another man. But they still could show more romantic scenes to let us believe in a far future!

I didn't feel fondness for this drama as much as other Beanies.

I liked it, it was really an entertaining drama with a lot of humor and good actors. But it was all. I never really was worried about the characters and sadly the serious themes didn't make feel anything (the widow them was a lot used lastly in sageuk 😅). I think Honey Lee is the best for the comedy and action, but in more serious scenes, she used the same ton that I find too theatrical to immerse in the scene.

She had a great chemistry with Lee Jong-Won and they were really fun to watch together.

I think Lee Ki-Woo was very underused but it was nice he was a good brother till the end and his own romance was cute. I really liked the bromance.

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We've seen two excellent kings in a row in fusion/lite sagueks. Now that's a trend I'd like to see continue (if we must have kings at all).

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I am glad that I stick to this drama, despite the initial negativity made about Honey's age and her pairing with Lee Jong Won. What is so wrong about an older woman-younger man pairing these days? Honey Lee now joins Lee Bo Young and Kim Hye Soo who amazingly play non-age stereotypical roles. Whoever says that women in their 40's should stick to motherly, stepmother and horrid mother-in-law roles in law. Oh yes, the fact that this drama has a 18.4% for the last and final episode proved that Koreans do not care about the age differences as long as the main cast can perform brilliantly.

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yes, I was upset about that too! In fact, both main leads received negative feedback initially. Honey Lee was deemed as 'too old' for the role of Yeohwa and many were not convinced about casting Jongwon as the male lead as he is considerably a new actor and not well-known.
I'm glad the directors and producers had confidence in their choices and the drama did incredibly well in Korea. In the end, great acting always wins! :)

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Honey Lee is Yeonhwa for us and the rest of the casting team as yeap, they need an actress who is mature and believable enough to act as a widow for 15 years. At the same time, she must have the acting chops....for a comedic role. You can never cast someone as young as Kim Yoo Jung. As for Jongwon, I am glad that he managed to land the Male Lead role. He is not just pretty on the eyes but yeap, he can express his emotions rather well...in fact even better than some young actors or even idols-turned-actors.

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Yes, when it comes to female actresses that can do drama, action and comedy simultaneously, Honey Lee would come to mind.
I believe many people did not even bother to read the character description or drama synopsis before criticizing. It was clear that there is supposed to be an age gap between female and male lead.
And I find it amusing that Knets are always talking about how rookie/unknown actors should be supported more and yet they are also the ones to criticize when these actors actually get casted.

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I am glad that the success of this drama helps to open the minds and eyes of the naysayers especially Knetz about these talented rookie/unknown actors, who are struggling to land a memorable/breakthrough roles.

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@peiyeelai
I am genuinely happy for Jongwon and his portrayal of Park Suho will always be one of my favourites. I hope he will consider sageuk dramas again in the future.
Based on the comments by Knets, they are impressed that this is his first sageuk drama and commented that he has amazing diction and vocalization.

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Oh! Maybe that's why they didn't have them kiss at the end? When I saw the two of them in promotional videos on Youtube, their age difference seemed much less. She looks older and dowdier in the costumes than she does in her own clothing.

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In my opinion, they purposely made her look older and dowdier to suit her role as a widow during the Joseon dynasty. Thus, they put her in mostly white hanboks that represent morality, purity and most importantly "in mourning". Widows who are mourning for their husbands can't afford to dress to the nines.
By the way, the real Honey Lee was previously crowned Miss Korea in 2006 and represented South Korea in the Miss Universe 2007. She managed to break into the Top 5 and was placed 3rd runner-up in the Miss Universe in 2007.

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I knew that about her! What I love is that she plays gayageum and comes from a family of musicians. You can find videos of her playing on youtube. Her family are so impressive that it's almost unbelievable. None of her roles on the screen are as wild as her life. <3

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I will certainly check them out. Thanks <3

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oh my goodness I just have to tell someone! I just saw the news that additional unreleased scenes will be shown after airing special episode 'Knight Flower TV movie' Part 1 on 23rd of Feb
Kyahhhhhhhh
I hope they will upload it on Youtube too!

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@jammzz Thanks. I hope too.

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What a wonderful show. It was the drama I enjoyed the most recently and tuned in each week. It was such a fun ride.

Honey Lee was such a powerhouse performer. She excelled at both ends with her amazing comedic timing and great dramatic performance. This was a role written for her.

Lee Jong-wan was so good as Park Soo-ha. His eyes dripped with love and longing. He perfected the puppy love eyes. They both had amazing chemistry. I just bit disappointed that we were robbed of openly flirty Soo-Ho. A glimpse of one minute at the end of the show is not enough.

I liked that the drama wrapped satisfactorily. Was it perfect drama - not really but the good outweighed bad by very large margin.

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As I am a simple person, I would like to believe that they both did indeed meet after a year! ;)
Yeohwa probably had spent enough time to discover herself,enjoy true freedom and decided to return to the capital to do what she loves the most; which is helping the people in need! With that being her life passion and identity, it's not out of character for her to don a more stylish uniform and prettier mask!
And although she had been mostly restraining herself emotionally due to her widow status, she IS obviously attracted to Su-ho too! hehe

Even though there are some commenters who believed otherwise; in which she probably had never returned and it was just Jeong's story-telling, personally I don't think that is a bad ending if it is true. Neither would I feel bad for Su-ho even though the other characters get their happy ending with their partners.

Looking at how gentlemanly Su-ho is, he loves her enough to respect her wishes and let her go. And a year later, it was clearly shown that he is genuinely happy with his life; promoted to a Commandant, surrounded by great comrades and of course, a caring brother by his side. He is smiling beautifully as how Yeohwa encouraged him to live on with his dashing smile.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching Knight Flower and it was one of the dramas that where I would repeatedly watch some scenes and some episodes as the main characters are just so charming and wonderful to watch. I started watching the drama as I like Honey Lee, but in the end it was Lee Jongwon's performance that captured my heart. Honey Lee is exceptional and charismatic as always, but there's something about Lee Jongwon's emotive eyes, reassuring voice and his little smiles that made me root for him and their forbidden romance :)

A huge thanks to Director Jang for casting Jongwon and believing in him!! And both Director Jang and Honey Lee are right; Jongwon seriously has captivating eyes!

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I agree she was attracted to him too. There were plenty of blushes, dreams and she even held his hand holding her face. Her rejection came when she held divorcee status and she didn't see a way out.

I can also see why some folks thought the ending might have been part of her ex-husband's storytelling because of how it was edited, but I thought otherwise and ain't no one gonna change my mind about my happy ending! :-p

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and another reason why I want to believe that their meeting is not a fantasized story : There is a scene where Commandant Hwang/Minister of War visited Su-ho and Bi-chan; and they both soon had to excuse themselves to investigate on a new lead regarding a gang that kidnaps girls.
That would match perfectly with the ending scene that happened right after; where a girl is being harassed and on the verge of being kidnapped by a gang.
It shows that it is a real on-going crime and our heroine had just shown up at the right time to help the poor girl. ;)

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There were a few moments in the drama that showed she felt something for him. But because of the unfairness and rules that governed the lives of widows during the Joseon period, I don't think she can well be too straightforward and automatically throw everything away just to be with him. As much as this is a strictly fictional saeguk albeit a comedic one, one cannot disregard the practice during the time and alter that historical rule/tradition/custom.

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True! and I saw many comments that wished for more 'skinship' and 'declaration of feelings' between the leads and I was like, 'hey , this is Joseon era and she is technically still a married woman'
I think they did portray their budding crush and forbidden romance in the right way :)

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And Koreans are basically from the East and at that time, Confucianism beliefs are really strong (still strong till this day), they basically don't subscribed to the belief of an open PDA especially towards the opposite gender. Why, I think that period dramas in the West (especially those Medieval times or even the Victorian period) are really strict on how the opposite gender mingle or even touch each other.

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The FL had touched by mistake the ML and she immediately thought about the law that required the hands to be cut in such a case, and she imagined herself without hands, so in such a context skinship would have been difficult to achieve. And I think it's great when actors manage to portray love just with their eyes and smiles, it takes a lot more mastery. For me, too, they were perfect (same goes for the brother and his little lady).

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You are right, she can't basically forget about the laws that exist during that time period, as cruel as it is. She is after all someone's wife and also a widow.... And there are consequences for the television station and the rest of the production team too, if they are considered to well.. be too open with PDA's (which are unusual for Koreans during THAT TIME PERIOD). They can't be seen taking too much liberties with the "rules/traditions/customs" that exist during that time. Can't risk another Mr Queen, Snowdrop or Joseon Exorcist, so, it is better stick to the eyes and smiles to convey love and affection. Koreans are sticklers to traditions and customs even in 2024.

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Thank you so much for the recaps, and I thank the community for their insightful and witty commentary on this show. Knight Flower might have not been an objectively flawless drama but it stole my heart and had me emotionally invested in its characters through its whole run. I’ve grown so attached to them that I feel like I’ve been broken up with lol! It had such a charming and light fairytale-like quality to it so I refuse to believe the ending was an imaginary retelling -though yes, it would make sense and be realistic. I know, I know, but why have the ex-husband make a scene in front of the palace even though she had already left by then? They didn’t even kill the baddies. No, I don’t believe it, let me have my spotless happy ending *delusional crying*

I loved the storytelling style they did with the epilogues, showing us the continuation of a rather heavy scene being actually cute and funny. I was looking forward to them every week and wish we had one more. Also I gotta say, even though I was not expecting a kiss in the end, the way they cut it was weird. Just hide their faces with Su-ho’s hat and you’re done, why the mid lean cut?

I’m slightly miffed that the husband turned out to be a better match for Yeo-hwa than Su-ho, who I was and am still rooting for. I have a thing for soulful, dreamy eyes on a chiseled face…

Praises to the commander/new minister of war’s daughter who decides to postpone her Joseon marriage to enjoy some more romance. You know that the commander’s house is totally run by the women in the family.

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Forgot to add that the final episode lacked a serious amount of Yeo-hwa & Yeon-Seon interaction for my taste.

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This might be one of the few dramas where I had great sympathy for SML (if you can even count the husband as SML). Of course I wished for a happy ending for FL and ML, but the husband would certainly have been a good partner for FL too if the timing had been different.

This drama was entertaining and enjoyable, but nothing I thought about for long once an episode was over. I liked the drama best when the mothers-in-law were verbally duelling.

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A shoutout to the wonderful actress playing Head Merchant Jang.
Another charismatic lady and she plays the role perfectly. And I love how she catches on things quickly and is always teasing Suho and Yeohwa :)
And I'm glad that Jeong is made to be an interesting character; goofy yet quick-witted and charming in his own ways. There is no doubt that he would have also been a great match for Yeohwa; personality wise.
Even though he seems to find Yeohwa attractive, but I feel that the feelings he has for her are more of sympathy and admiration/respect. And while Yeohwa respects him and is grateful towards him by the end of the story, she clearly does not have any romantic feelings for him. Therefore, I'm glad that there was no unnecessary love triangle when he showed up in their lives.

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This show was a fun ride. Lee Ha Nee was great in the comedy and action scenes. She's such a powerhouse that it was completely believable that she couldn't be confined in the walls of the house or to the Joseon rules of piety and propriety. And Lee Jong Won's puppy eyes made the interactions between the ML and FL entertaining.

For me (and it could just be a me thing), I didn't really buy into the romance between the two. I definitely felt the love from Su Ho towards Yeo Hwa. However, for Yeo Hwa, it always felt like the one great emotional bond and longing was for her brother--just not in a romantic way. (While on this topic, what is with the Oraboni-younger sister superbond in saeguks? Red Sleeve, Forbidden Marriage, Goblin. Is it related to the fact the Oppa is still used for older brother/older friendly male and a boyfriend? Something to contemplate for a moment.). So the romance on her side was always muted and seemed pale in comparison to the great emotional space that her missing brother held. So whether she ended up with Su Ho or not, it didn't really matter to me as long as she was free because that seems when she seemed most fully alive and happy.
At the end, despite Su Ho's puppy eyes, the drama could have been fun if it had been a exploration of the relationship between Yeo Hwa and her dead-not dead husband. His character enter the chat late but came on strong and ended up being super interesting and fun. I felt that those two could have had an interesting relationship--her k/night adventures in justice and his expanded world views and humor--but that would have been a different show, I guess.
Final note: what's with the thrice reveal of the hidden note in the sword handle? Is it that Koreans really love beautiful packaging or some type of reactment for chain of custody purposes? Did she reroll and stuff the note back in the handle each time?

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Excellent point about Yeo Hwa and her oreoboni. He really was the most important man in her life.

I am among those who were disappointed by the ending in terms of the OTP. Would have liked a kiss (preferably not the regular sageuk kind but something more passionate) initiated by Yeo Hwa, who broke the rules in so many other ways.

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Ignoring that she loved her brother, as the only remaining male relative in her family (apart from the Uncle who sold her off), her brother was the only option she had for being released from the Left Minister's family. If her brother came back alive, she could have left the family and returned home. That's why she was so grateful for the Left Minister for apparently searching for him. As time went on, the social pressure to kill herself would have been immense. Orabeoni coming back home and listing her on his registry was pretty well the only way out of her current situation. Good older brothers were pretty well the only way a woman could have some freedom at all.

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While I am happy with the romance, and was wowed by Lee Jong Woon, to me this is really all about Yeoh-Wah and her journey : her active resistance against her designated role and eventually her attainment of her freedom - freedom from being just someone else's daughter, or wife or lover - freedom to be who she wants to be and to do what she wants to do. And that is the happy ending for her (and me). Bonus is , she has a swoony man to have a fling with when she wants to. So, yes, I was more than satisfied with this drama - plus Honey Lee fits this role to a tee. Totally deserved its rating.

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Agree! It ended with her own tale, "The Flower That Blooms At Night," much like the "Tale of Hong Gil Dong."
Well done show!

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What a fantastic end to a terrific drama! Thank you @unit for the wonderful recaps.

Although the finale felt a tiny bit rushed (all too common in k-drama, unfortunately), I was completely satisfied with the conclusion to all the storylines. It was always a fusion sageuk in my mind, so some of the campier aspects never bothered me. Although we all have our own opinions and interpretations of what we watched, it seems perfectly logical to me that after being betrayed by her in-laws and having 15 years of her youth stolen from her, all while using the hope of her brother stilling being alive to keep her going, Yeo-hwa needed a year of freedom to explore and process her feelings about that experience. I think Su-ho understood that and decided not to chase after her but to give her the time she needed. It's the classic, "If you love someone set them free..."

As for Jeong, I'm glad that he was a decent person because without that he might not have let her go. She was always meant to be with the ML anyway and since this is a comedy, his character's personality makes perfect sense.

From a practical standpoint I think the director had two issues to grapple with in bringing this series to a close. One was that they needed something "fun" for Yeo-hwa's return. If they made it too realistic, the transition to the final romantic moment would be too harsh. Hence the somewhat ridiculous abduction scene. Yes, it could have been done better. Or been a different situation altogether. It would not have been interesting though if she just sweetly showed up one day. That might work in some stories, but not this one. It was totally in her character's style to show up dramatically.

Secondly, when actors are married IRL they frequently draw the line on roles that require physical intimacy, which is why so many end up in roles that have no romance line at all. What this director and these actors did so beautifully was stir our hearts with a blooming romance between two innocents... and let their expressions and gestures toward each other create the romantic storyline. We really didn't need a kiss at the end. And actually, given these two characters, would that even have been realistic, especially after a year apart?

I loved the dramatic spin and dip with the camera panning out as the final scene. It carried the tone of the series right up to the last moment, mirroring the original silhouette of Yeo-hwa on the rooftops at night, and was both heart-fluttering and joyfully optimistic. Well done!

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Lol this show had several rounds of 'bad acting' by our team, but my favourite by far was the 'confession' by Joo hoobae about his scam marriage. They even roped in the king for the shenanigans! Love it.

Lee Jong-Won really impressed me in terms of acting in this show, because he was so damn obviously in love with her! Honey Lee was great in fleshing out the complicated aspects of her character, but unfortunately the romance was mainly carried by Lee Jong-Won. Still, I did enjoy this show. The supporting characters were great. The build-up for Yeon-seon and Yoon Hak was just right, and Joo hoobae's down-to-earth interactions with his Kkot sunbae-nim were some of my favourites bits. I even warmed up to the cowardly Commander Hwang because he was really trying!

I do have one burning question if anyone has the answer:
How exactly was Yeo-hwa moonlighting or earning her keep for Myung-do Inn? The vigilante activities don't count since they were obviously racking up her tab, and it's not as if Yeo-hwa was doing accounts or embroidery or rendering any other services that's "paying" for vigilante-related expenses? Sneaking people to safety and free medical care must not be cheap! I mean, even though Head Merchant Jang loved Yeo-hwa's spirit (and was grateful to YH for saving her life), she herself reminded YH about the ever-increasing tab!

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Sorry I forgot this earlier, but thank you Unit for your prompt recaps! Made my life better hehe.

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Really good question! That one was just /waving their hands away/ kind of a deal.

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Yeoh-hwa is a part owner of the trading house. In one of the first interactions between head merchant and YH, the merchant tells YH that she would have no partnership dividend that month, because she had spent so much buying the slave girl. I assume that after YW saved the merchants life, she gave her some money to help start the merchant house. Its been more than fifteen years since the merchant was rescued, enough time to grow large.

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Thank you @mazari! I remember that her accounts was low but didn't catch that it was her share of the dividend. 🤭

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I don’t understand why the ending should be interpreted as a fantasy, because IMHO it’s not. No matter how wild Jeong’s imagination can go, he couldn’t have possibly known the details that were only exchanged between Yeonhwa and Sooho. His trademark line “you’re in my line of sight”, her challenge to him “I’m not one to be easily caught”, and the fact that he donned his best flirty smile on greeting her back because she told him before she left, how dashing she thought his smiles were. I don’t think Jeong is close enough to learn those details from Sooho to weave that into his story, nor he understands his “wife” enough to know what she said to challenge Sooho during one of their first encounters. Her wearing a mask with an embroidered flower is only a testament to her will to live as herself: she is not afraid to wear her name on her mask now. The flower might also be a reminder of Kkot Knim and Sooho himself. Both have gifted her flowers in the past. The husband definitely couldn’t have known this.
I personally think YH feels for Sooho just as much as he feels for her. She just needed time and space to process her emotions and her loss. She hardly had had time to do so amidst the revenge. If she wasn’t that into Sooho, she wouldn’t subconsciously holds his hand to her face, wouldn’t cry when she rejected him and he was visibly hurt walking out of the room, wouldn’t steal looks at him walking dejectedly out of the Inn on the night he drank himself senseless. I for one wouldn’t do all that for someone I don’t feel that much about. She cares and feels deeply for him, as he for her. It shows in her action, even if she keeps pushing him away.
So no, that ending is real, and with all due respect, I refuse to believe otherwise.

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Thank you for your well-articulated comment. You wrote exactly what i wanted to express!
The conversation that they had is something that ONLY both of them know.

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Hi fellow Beanie! It’s my pleasure, and do have faith in the ending, and faith in your own belief in it. It’s 100% real and there should be absolutely no reason why an outsider like Jeong who is absent 99% of Yeon Hwa’s and Soo Ho’s shared journey should be the one to give a fictional ending to it.
They love each other. It pains both of them to part with the other person (look at her eyes welled up with tears as she told him he should also live well for himself once). It’s only natural that they would come back to each other again. Their reunion at the end is a nice playback of their encounter many moons ago when she stealthily returned the tiger painting. A nice parallel, with a twist.

YH just needed time and space to process her loss. Her brother meant the world to her, and at the time she still believed she had a share in his death, so being the one to put others before herself, how could she think of indulging in personal relationship when she thought of her brother. But then I am of the opinion that YH doesn’t have to remain single or removed from her past life and relationships to drive that point home or to prove that she is strong and can do without romantic love. Coming back for someone she deeply cares about doesn’t make her less strong or less liberated, nor does it taint any ‘noble cause’. SH might not be the only reason she’s back. In those 15 years she has gained a sister and a friend (YS), and then an ally (Lady Jang) and someone she loves (SH). I find it a beautiful and happy ending all around that she has chosen to come back to that neighbourhood, to be again surrounded by the people who mean so much to her. They have become a part of her identity, her mission, her cause, and it is just very natural if they continue to be a part of her life from now on.

With that, I’m going back to rewatching the whole drama and basking in the happiness that is the last few minutes of ep 12 when she returns. I wish you many many good memories with KF as well because this has been a really fun and heart-warming ride for me <3

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Thank you for your writing back! And I would also like to share the news (released by Naver/TenAsia yesterday) where Jongwon mentioned in his interview that he is grateful and glad that the writers gave Suho and Yeohwa a happy ending!
This shows that sometimes the storyline is just as simple as it seems. I am glad that I am a simple-minded person hehe. ;)

And while Suho wears his heart on his sleeves, there are some viewers who doubt the feelings that Yeohwa has for Suho. For example, she may not be that into him and therefore, it makes sense for her to never return.
I beg to disagree. There are so many instances where her actions speak volumes of how she feels for him.
She blushes and smiles sheepishly whenever she thinks of some of their moments together.
She held back tears when she rejected his feelings and told him that they could not have a relationship due to her married status.
When Suho was drunk and thought that he was hallucinating when he held her face, Yeohwa could not help but to hold his hand in return. She longs for him as much as he longs for her!
When Suho threw pebbles into her yard to ask her out for a talk, she introduced a secret place where 'no one in the family knows' in which they can use to communicate (if they need to)
Why would a woman even share all these details if she doesn't like the man's company/presence?
And look at how happy she is to receive sweet treats and flowers from Suho from the 'secret place'!
On the night where she sneaked out to Lady Oh's residence to enquire about her brother, she got distracted when she spotted BiChan and the first thing she asked is " Did anything (bad) happen to Officer Park? " She could have proceeded with her mission knowing that time is limited but she could not help but worry a lot for Suho after knowing that Pil-jik is targeting him.
If all these actions are not love, then I don't know what is ;)

And yes, I like how you mentioned that Suho may not be the sole reason for her return. After a year of self-searching, it's natural for wanting to return to the people that she is friends and familiar with. And it is certainly not out of character for Yeohwa to do this. :)

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Sorry for the long reply hehe
And yes, I am planning to re-watch Knight Flower as well. In fact, I had watched some episodes several times and I can't get enough!
The entire cast and crew worked really hard to produce this drama.
Honey Lee and Jongwon practised a lot as they personally did a lot of the action scenes without a stand-in actor/actress. Honey Lee actually got injured and Jongwon even lost 8kg while filming KF.

If you are interested to read more on Jongwon's interview, it's available on Twitter and here is the link :)
https://twitter.com/jongwonfiles/status/1759948698274955627?t=Zr9tV0rDgkyIs9Sb0ReizA&s=19

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Yes! Thank you for sharing JW’s confirmation of a happy ending. And I’m with you. I never doubt YH’s feelings for SH. Hers might be subdued due to her self-awareness of her social and marital status, not knowing the real reason behind her marriage and all, but the evidence are there and in abundance. I particularly like the part where she reached out to check SH’s hair when he pointed to his head, thinking he was talking about himself. Or when she lied to SY about the sweet treats he left under the tile roof. You know you really feel for someone when you hide your feelings and this person from your best friend (SY did that too) hehe. You are right, if she’s not that into him, she wouldn’t openly let him on to the ‘household’ secret and create opportunities for him to communicate with her. If that is not an indication of her feelings, I don’t know what else is.
Given her circumstances, YH cannot be open about her feelings like SH. But her actions and her eyes let on much more than she has tried to suppress.

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Thanks for writing recaps that made me want to watch this show. It was very enjoyable! Honey Lee is such a trip. I do not get why we had no kiss scene at the end. I am assuming it's because it doesn't fit the type of show we had here? That's why I'm very glad that they hired an actor for the ML who gives such great face. That way I could really believe that these two people were in love with each other. At least, as long as I was looking at him! The whole thing was just so silly and delightful and sweet.

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Thank you, @unit, for the recaps!
What a delightful little show that brings me weekly amusement and happiness, yet at the end of every episode, it leaves something to think about; I have much to be grateful for.
Everyone has commented on what I want to say, so I don't have much to tell.

The translation:
I appreciate both Kokowa and viki for different reasons. Viki's subs are straightforward, with helpful commentaries. Kokowa seemed to translate the words or phrases as intended, and I laughed even more like Grand Merchant calling Su-ho a vigorous young man.

Yeo Hwa: Bu-in,bu-in, bu-in, stop calling me that, darn it.

I think some linguistic terms, such as "bu-in," are better described than translated, as their intended meaning and humor may be lost.
Madam or My Lady doesn't do it.

Lady Oh:

"Lady Cho. I thought if I could preserve my life, I would spend my time wisely and well. I believed my life was ruined by the hands of others. I felt wronged. But now I look back, I was the one who ruined everything. (Kokowa)

"I thought it was unfair that my life was messed up, thinking it was not my fault. But now that I look back on it, I'm the one who messed all of it up." (viki)

I get her regrets about the incident with the former king, but what could she have done about her abusive, dehumanizing husband?

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“The King’s Tea Party”

Lord Seok: There is a story about a monkey that drowned trying to pluck the moon from a lake. Why do you not see you are nothing but…an impudent monkey?

“MONKEY REACHING FOR THE MOON’S REFLECTION” is a Buddhist story/parable/poem in which five hundred monkeys hold onto each other’s tails and attempt to seize the reflection of a moon in a well; they fail when the branch from which they are hanging breaks. The monkeys stand for unenlightened people who cannot distinguish between reality and illusion.

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One linguistic point. I’ve learnt that a married couple is 부부 (pronounced as pubu) so I wonder if 부인 (pronounced as puin) is derived from that. I haven’t looked into it but it it might be the case.
Thanks for including both translations. The Viki translation is more prosaic for sure but at least it is not distorted.

And, I thought about Lady Oh’s lament. I thought she was lamenting that she became involved in the conspiracy and maybe that had she not mistreated her brother, their fates may have been different.

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Thank you for this as well Kiara! It was good. As part of my Korean studies, I watch a lot of online instructional videos to improve my korean pronunciation but hadn’t come across him before. I liked his English accent which is also an English accent!😊

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Good for you, Emma! I need to do better with my studies.

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Lady Oh was married to that abusive husband as a prize for killing the former king. So she could have saved herself by saving the king.

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I giffed the evidence that the ending is not what really happens, but a market storyteller's version for the pleasure of his audience, the pleasure of being centre of attention, and making customers linger at his stall.
https://www.dramabeans.com/activity/p/1538306/

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I think it's great that everyone has their own interpretation of the ending.

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Wow, it's really interesting how viewers have different interpretations of the ending. I just read Jongwon's interview with TenAsia yesterday; and he mentioned that he is glad and thankful that writers gave Suho and Yeohwa a happy ending. Well, I chose to believe the same hehe ;)

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I think its wonderful that we were teased with a heartwarming romance, and they managed to do that without the actors having to kiss. Part of me enjoys k-drama kisses (some of them at least) and part of me feels that it's an incredibly invasive and voyeuristic thing to ask of an actor, no matter how cold/wooden/fake the kisses are.
It also made me think of the skill in even a very fake kiss- If you take five photos of me, I'm lucky if there is one where I am not blinking/squinting/turning away. But even the worst of actors is able to do a beautiful gaze to the camera, or hold a kiss pose, and show their best side. Yes, there are multiple takes for each scene- but think about it- if a minor actor is continually having to retake scenes becausethey cannot hold a gaze, they will never be hired again. Noone is going to waste money on constant multiple takes for a supporting character.
On a different subject, what do people think of this vs the Matchmakers? They have so many similarities, and I cant decide which is better.

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I don't think they can be compared so I suggest you watch both, if you have the time. One is a rom-com through and through, while this one is action comedy , romance is secondary to the plot but executed quite well. The only thing in common is about widows in Joseon. But even then, their circumstances are different, too. And of course, both are sageuk.

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Oh for me it was The Matchmakers the better one, I think the writing and the direction were better. This one was more entertaining.

But if they shared some similarities, I think they were very different.

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To me it's unfair to compare them, because the Matchmakers was in a class of its own, and The Knight Flower was extraordinary good and really funny. I am glad I did not have to choose one and not have the other.
I mean, The Matchmakers is superior, but it's not fair to have to be compared to that.

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I loved Knight Flower. Better cast, better writing, beautiful talented leads that had great chemistry.

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As others have said, despite both being comedy sageuks with widows, comparing the two is apples to oranges. Even the comedy (broad physical in one, wry and tongue-in-cheek in the other) is difficult to compare.

Still, as a fun exercise, I’d say The Matchmakers had superior scriptwriting, directing, cinematography and characterization for all of its talented ensemble cast. It felt fresh.

But Knight Flower had so much heart and star power. Honey Lee just knocked this one out of the park. And Lee Jong-won gave a heart fluttering breakout performance. Whatever It is, these two have it.

I’m glad I got to watch both.

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Just to add, I liked Knight Flower more than Matchmakers. I base it on how I felt while watching. I put Matchmakers on hold at ep 3, then just picked it up after the series completed and fast forwarded some scenes. While for Knight Flower, I watch the episodes as soon as it came out even with the auto generated translation first, and then rewatch once the manual translation comes in.

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What a delight this show turned out to be! This was one of the dramas I was looking forward to starting in this new year and overall, it didn't disappoint. It's often difficult to mix together humor, action and presentation of serious topics but this drama was successful in doing so.

Thanks to @unit for your recaps and to all the Beanies for your comments! Recaps and comments made watching this show that much more fun!

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I'm pretty pleased with this drama. It was lovely to watch Honey Lee and Lee Jong Won. I'm especially impressed with LJW and hope he gets more lead roles.

I guess I should have been prepared for a subtle romantic ending. Maybe it's because I liked the lead characters a lot and they had amazing chemistry so I wanted to see their big happily ever after. Now I can see their understated romance makes sense. This drama was a comedy-action sageuk, not a rom-com. Even the other two pairings did not have loud happy endings.

Again with the typical time skip. Why did she have to go? And where? I'm glad she was free though.

The scheme to trick Lord Seok with the tea was not a clever one. I never believed he would fall for it. This part lessened my enjoyment of the finale just a bit. Any screentime with Lord Seok was a drag.

Overall, this drama was a consistent, easy watch. And one I will think of fondly. Glad it was recapped. Thanks Unit!

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