Last week viewers where stunned when youngest prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) requested 4th prince Wang So (Lee Joon Ki) to take off his mask as a birthday present. Being the center of attention and wanting to finally fit in So does so. It ends with So feeling embarrassed and horrified at the various reactions from his brothers and runs off. Hae Soo (IU) follows him until he corners her and throws her against a wall.
In episode 8 the scene continues as Wang So believing that Hae Soo just pities him confronts her, and tells her that he never wants to see her again. Unsurprising considering Wang So’s dislike for anyone but his family but nonetheless disappointing, to those who want the two to end up together.
Meanwhile Wang Eun being the comedic relief, is being stalked by a new girl at the palace, Sun Duk (Ji Hye Ra). Viewers where introduced to Sun Duk last episode when she offered a bear pelt for Eun’s birthday and it goes very unappreciative. Eun and Sun Duk go off to catch sparrows and in a late scene it’s revealed Sun Duk’s father, Park Soo Kyung (Sung Dong Il) planned for her to marry one of the princes, and urges her to pick a more suitable match. However, Sun Duk has her eyes set on Eun.
Hae Soo is revealed to have been secretly taking care of crown prince Wang Mu (Kim San Ho), who in an earlier episode was revealed to have a skin disease. When Hae Soo is about to leave and ducks out of the way of Wang So, she is taken to queen Yoo Ssi (Park Ji Young) who has been plotting the downfall of the crown prince with her son Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun). Hae Soo is then asked multiple questions until Court Lady Oh (Woo Hee-Jin) “rescues” her. Lady Oh is upset with Hae Soo and slaps Her. Hae Soo, while crying, questions why she is treated different than the other women. Lady Oh reveals that she sees herself in Hae Soo.
Hae Soo gets a letter from Wang Wook (Kang Ha Nuel) asking her to meet him in the cave below the hot springs. He reveals a plan to get her out of the palace as the king will grant any wishes if/when the ritual, for rain because of the current drought in Goryeo, is successful.
The crown prince decides not to perform the ritual and in a not so shocking reveal Wang So is picked and so must perform the ritual despite his anxiety. The prince is taken through the streets of Goryeo and the citizens are more than upset over a so called “monster” performing the ritual. Wang So in deep embarrassment covered in mud and hurt by rocks, runs away.
Hae Soo goes after him, finding him in a boat where she trips but is caught by Wang So. In a lovely scene Hae Soo gives advice as to how life can be hard but sometimes you just have to work through it.
Meanwhile Yoo Ssi and Wang Yo are overjoyed at Wang So’s failure but it’s revealed that the king and astronomer Choi Ji-Mong (Kim Sung-Kyun) planned for Wang So to be in the ritual. A defeated So refuses to go back and perform the ceremony properly until Ji Mong convinces him. Hae Soo also hatches a plan to help Wang So feel better, she convinces him to come with her where she has set up make up to help cover his scar. In a truly intimate and beautiful scene Hae Soo touches the scar and Wang So confused by the gesture questions if she really is pitiful.
Meanwhile at the ritual everyone questions whether Wang So will show up and suggests Wang Yo do it in his place. Yo is just about to step into the palaquin when Wang So shows up. Wang Yo angry slaps So and his mask comes off. In a state of shock Yo looks up at a scarless Wang So. In one of the best scenes of the show so far Wang So is finally accepted by his people, who where at first about to throw another rock, as he walks down the street scarless. Wang So returns to the palace performing the ritual as intended and a happy Hae Soo looks on proudly but when he turns and smiles at her it’s revealed he is Gwanjoong, the evil king who kills his brothers, in that moment rain begins to fall in buckets.
A freaked out Hae Soo runs away and Wang Wook finds her scared and wet among the townspeople. He attempts to comfort her but Soo is in such a state of shock she warns him about Wang So. And she reveals she was the one who covered up So’s scar.
Back at the palace Wang So is given a new job as being the crown princes right hand man. And reassures Wang So he is part of the family again by allowing So to call him father and urges him to not wear a mask from now on.
Hae Soo searches for Ji Mong and asks him if she can change Wang So’s fate. Ji Mong reveals to her that he also died and came back and has memories of the future. He tells her that fate is something no one can change and she should let it go.
That night a discouraged Hae Soo walks through the garden in the rain. So pulls her up under a roof and pulls her into a hug. Obviously still afraid Soo pulls away quickly. Wang So believing it was just out of shock smiles and tells her how happy he is knowing he has the approval, while Soo tries to reassure herself that someone like him could never be that vicious of a killer and she can change his fate.
The next day the King has some news, Wang So is given a wish and chooses that Hae Soo stays with him as a servant. The king then reveals that Eun is to marry Sun Duk and despite his protesting is reassured by Hae Soo and Wang Jung (Jisoo) that it’s the best decision.
But Eun isn’t the only one getting a love interest. Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) also receives one after the heartbreak he endured because of Myung Hee’s (Park Shi Eun) death. New character Woo Hee (Seo Hyun) is introduced and there’s a true spark between the two.
Meanwhile at the palace Hae Soo and Wang Wook meet and exchange gifts. Wook reveals that because of Eun’s marriage the king will not be granting wishes and tells her that he loves her. Hae Soo remains positive and reassures him they’ll be other opportunities.
Eun is missing from the wedding and Sun Duk finds Hae Soo and convinces her to talk him out of his room. Soo is successful in getting into his room where she finds a drunk Eun and he asks for her to be his second wise. In a scene that is very different from the comedy that comes with Wang Eun, she says no and he is extremely hurt. But Hae Soo reassures him and he comes out of his room for the wedding.
Hae Soo obviously scared runs away and Wang Wook catches her. She tells him that Wang So is dangerous and she wants to go as far as she can. He promises that one day he will leave with her to a new place far away from the palace.
In one of the two most heartbreaking scenes of the episode, Wang So is finally eating dinner with his family. Of course his family consists of two evils who try to convince him to kill the crown prince. When So challenges them by saying he wants to crown to himself instead of Wang Yo.
Obviously upset the second heartbreaking scene begins when he looks for comfort in the hands of Hae Soo. Soo still freaking out about her visions tells him that he is a monster and that he should leave the palace and her. Wang So, betrayed, tells her she can’t shut him out like that and that she is his. He then pulls her into a kiss which she quickly pulls out of but So goes back in deeper, Soo tries to fight but stops and cries.
So I think it’s safe to say we know why Hae Soo was sent back to the past. She is there, at least in the theory I believe, to change fate and get Wang So to the throne. I loved these two episodes we got to see two sides to all the characters. I can honestly say after the birthday scene last week I approve of Sun Duk and Wang Eun even if Wang Eun doesn’t, and I love that we get to see Baek Ah (who is an AMAZING character all around) fall in love again. I don’t know about anyone else but I was heartbroken when they showed him with his drawings at Myung Hee’s funeral. I loved seeing Wang So’s softer side we get so much insight as to what he wants and that he does have a heart.
There’s a bit of controversy about the final scene in episode 9 that I must clear up. Yes, Wang So is forcing a kiss but you have to remember this isn’t modern day. It’s hard to remember sometimes between the love and the angst that this is a different time where you don’t get to chose who you marry. Most of the time as viewers it is seen with Wang Eun. It was hard to see Hae Soo go back on her words from episode 8 and the devastation it took on Wang So. The kiss, while truthfully upsetting, stole my shipping heart as well as the preview.
I absolutely love Wang So and Hae Soo as a couple and obviously the drama will put them together. I also love Wang Wook but after the reveal of him and Myung Hee being together (and despite her death), it seems wrong. The preview reveals a lot as well, we Wang Wook telling Hae Soo that he wants to marry her, princess Yoon Hwa (Kang Ha Na) is becoming a more prevalent character, Eun not even attempting to getting used to married life, and Wang Soo and Hae Soo on a horse.
Overall the episodes were anything but disappointing, the drama and comedy where on par, and the costumes continue to wow (especially Sun Duk’s wedding outfit). It’ll be a 9/10 only because of the forced first kiss.
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Edited By: Sarah Smith