Last episode, Yeon Hwa convinced Wang So to produce an heir under the condition that she abandon her family meanwhile Hae Soo still raw from the death of Chae Ryung has agreed to run away with Wang Jung.
Episode 19 returns to the bath house where a distraught Hae Soo is approached by Wang So who attempts to consul her but hits a nerve when he says that Chae Ryung never cared for her. Hae Soo ignores any sympathy he attempts to give and refuses to go back to the room he gave her. Meanwhile Yeon Hwa mulls over Wang So’s proposition and decides she’ll do anything to get her son to rule Ryeo.
The next day, Hae Soo gathers the belongings of Chae Ryung and approaches Ji Mong telling him to give it to her family. Wang Won interrupts them and shows no sympathy for the girl who loved him and caused her death. When Hae Soo lashes out for his lack of guilt, he calls her a mistress and shames Hae Soo. Wang So gets wind of the news and calls Hae Soo to a meeting in the tea house. He offers her the position of concubine which when she bears his children, would make her queen. Wang So ruins any trace of her willingness by stating Chae Ryung’s death was something little and Hae Soo pulls away from him.
Wang Won and Wang Wook set a plan to get back on the king’s good side by offering a hunting hawk as well as a plan to take Baek Ah away from So. Out on the streets Baek Ah attempts to convince Woo Hee to marry him sooner but is abruptly interrupted in his pursuit when she catches sight of dead slaves from her home town.
At the palace, Wook sets his plan in motion to remove Baek Ah from the king’s side. Wook approaches Wang So offering Baek Ah as a leader to create peace using an army for protection making the excuse that Baek Ah is closest with the situation being with Woo Hee. As everyone leaves, Baek Ah stays and though Wook tries to offer himself to lead the small army, Baek Ah convinces him otherwise reassuring that he’ll be safe.
The next day, Jung goes against his exile to help Baek Ah prepare to lead. As they prepare, a rebellion ensures when Wang So tries to help the situation. As the slaves approach Baek Ah looks up to see Woo Hee on the ledge. The rebels cry out desperate to save their queen. Up on the ledge Baek Ah attempts to talk Woo Hee down but is stopped before his words can leave. She orders him to turn around before plummeting to her death. The news spreads to all corners of the castle as a grieving Baek Ah attempts to wake up his fiancé. That night, Baek Ah looks on the drawings he did of Woo Hee as memories of their time together flood him. Hae Soo approaches him carefully as he lets his heart out blaming his love for the death but Hae Soo quickly denies it saying it was Woo Hee who just couldn’t handle it. Baek Ah has a moment of realization when it dawns on him that Wang So knew of Woo Hee’s suicide and didn’t prevent it.
In the throne room the next day, Baek Ah approaches the king. Wang So denies the fact he knew of Woo Hee’s final intentions but Baek Ah struck with grief, breaks off from Wang So’s side. Later on Wang Wook enters the throne room with a gift of a hunting hawk as the members of the court, including Wang Won, look on. When the blanket is lifted from the cage, a dead hawk sits on the bottom. Realizing he’s been set up, Wook begs for his life but Wang So orders him to death.
In her room, Yeon Hwa is approached by her mother demanding she help Wook but Yeon Hwa throws her aside just as she promised Wang So. That night, Hae Soo begs that Wang So go easy on Wook but she becomes suspicious and determines that Wang So killed the hawk to frame Wook which Wang So agrees he did. In her begging Wang So agrees to house arrest for Wook because he believes it’s a fate worse than death.
In the bath house the next day a solemn Hae Soo is approached by Yeon Hwa who furiously bashes her telling her how none of the events that have happened would have is Hae Soo hadn’t become involved and all of Hae Soo’s memories of times when she messed with the past come flooding back.
As Wang So gets a portrait painted, Jung shows up to Wang So’s anger. Jung hands a decree from the late king over to Wang So which states the consent for him to marry Hae Soo. As Wang So’s furiously demands that Jung be punished for breaking his exile, Jung stops him telling him that Hae Soo wants it. Wang So storms to Hae Soo and asks if she will marry Jung to which she answers she will to help any doubts of Wang So’s ascent to the crown disappear but Wang So refuses to allow her to leave.
When Yeon Hwa gets wind of Wang So’s determination to keep Hae Soo in the palace, she pays a visit to her brother. At the throne room, Wook tells Wang So of his engagement to Hae Soo. When he approaches Hae Soo, Wang So demands, once he’s learned that it’s true, that she lie to him. When she brings up the fact they promised never to lie to each other, Wang So angrily states that he never wants to see her again.
As the episode comes to an end, Hae Soo sets off to Jung much to her sadness. Baek Ah sees her off and gets defensive when Wook approaches them. Hae Soo waves him off and she thanks Wook for allowing her to leave the palace. They say their goodbyes and he gives her a hug. As she leaves she tearfully thinks of how it wouldn’t be this hard if she didn’t still love Wang So.
Episode 20 returns to Hae Soo getting out of the palanquin to meet Jung at his house. He reaches a hand for her to which she remembers Wang So reaching his out to her. She comes back to the present and Jung leads her inside. He tells her that she doesn’t need to worry as the marriage is purely a formality and although Wang So didn’t allow a proper marriage he prepared something for her.
Hae Soo sits in the yard at the table painting Wang So as Jung practices his swordplay. Realizing they’re being watched, Jung acts as a caring husband leading her inside. Once inside, Hae Soo meets with a doctor who informs her she must be careful as she’s pregnant much to the surprise of Jung. Hae Soo informs him that she’s keeping the baby and that she’ll be extra careful to keep it out of harm.
Back at the palace, Wang So hears from a spy that Hae Soo and Jung are happily married and he’s furious. Hae Soo continues her painting of Wang So but her heart begins to hurt and Jung comes rushing out to aid her. He scolds her for not listening to the doctors orders and mentions the baby much to the shock of Wang So who was spying. That night, Hae Soo and Jung reminisce laughing at their antics when they where younger as Wang So, much to his despair, listens in. When Wang So returns to the palace he orders that no one shall spy on the two any longer.
Six months pass by and Hae Soo delivers a healthy baby girl but Jung orders her to be kept secret. Hae Soo realizing she’s slowly dying writes a letter to Wang So telling him to meet her but not mentioning the baby. Jung realizing that her handwriting is similar to the king places the letter inside of his own envelopment to not cause confusion. Weeks pass by and Wang So gets more and more letters but sets them aside thinking it was Jung being petty. Hae Soo begins to accept Wang So isn’t coming despite Jung’s many attempts to steer her otherwise. Jung arranges for a singer to come and Hae Soo perks up enough to go outside. The singer sings the tune to the song that made So fall in love with her. The song Hae Soo sang for Eun on his birthday. As the song progresses Hae Soo makes a last decree that her daughter not go to the palace. As Hae Soo talks about the future and how she’ll forget everyone to be happy, she dies in Jung’s arms.
Ji Mong informs Wang So who upon learning of Hae Soo’s passing demands to know why he wasn’t informed of her weakened state. Ji Mong informs that she had been sending letters. Realizing his mistake Wang So furiously rips open the letters from Jung to find Hae Soo’s inside and after crying over the letters he rushes on horseback to Hae Soo.
Jung sits with the urn holding Hae Soo as Baek Ah comes rushing in. Jung hands Baek Ah a letter that Hae Soo wrote before dying. As he begins to read it, Wang So comes bursting in demanding that Soo come out. Seeing the urn with Jung he begins to sob. Jung lashes out at him demanding as to why he hadn’t come sooner. Wang So bites back saying he would’ve come if the letters had been in Hae Soo’s handwriting. Jung continues his demands saying he should have known of Hae Soo’s state since he had spies. Baek Ah backs up Wang So saying that he didn’t have spies because it hurt seeing Soo and Jung act as a real married couple. Wang So distraught takes the urn and as Jung tries to stop him Baek Ah interrupts stating that Soo would want to be with Wang So. As Wang So leaves, Baek Ah realizes that Jung had real feelings for Hae Soo and pulls him into a hug. Outside Wang So takes the urn to the prayer spot and remembers all the times he had with Hae Soo.
Some time passes and inside the palace, Wang Won is set to die by his own hand by order of the king. Attempting to fight back he’s interrupted by Baek Ah who gives him the letter that Chae Ryung left for Hae Soo. Upon reading it Won realizes that even in the end when he betrayed her that Chae Ryung never stopped loving him.
Meanwhile, Yeon Hwa attempts to convince Wang So to visit their son for his birthday but So refuses. He pushes her aside stating he knows her true meaning is to one day push her son onto the thrown and cast aside Wang So. She retorts angered that his feelings for Soo have yet to diminish and he’s become an unworthy king for freeing the slaves. He then goes to visit the site of Hae Soo’s ashes where a little girl bumps into him saying a phrase he remembered Hae Soo once saying. Once he catches up to her, Jung reveals it’s his child. Wang So pokes around trying to figure out how old the child is and offers to take her to the palace. Jung refuses to let her go stating that Soo didn’t want it. Confirming who the girl is, Wang So lifts the exile set on Jung and offers that he come to the palace more often.
At his house, the queen attempts to get Wook’s children to come to the palace. When Wook refuses to let them near the palace, the queen insists on them going revealing her plans to make his son king which according to history he does.
Outside of Wook’s home, Baek Ah stops for a visit and sees a little girl, realzing that it’s his niece he asks her name. She replies a name that Woo Hee had once given him and upon further inspection discovers the elephant talisman she used to wear. He remembers the night in the bathhouse before her death. Wook meets up with Baek Ah and they discuss the king and Hae Soo while Wook shows a worrying cough. At the palace, Ji Mong is leaving and tells Wang So he should forget Hae Soo for she wasn’t of this world. As he leaves an eclipse similar to the one that Wang So road in on and Hae Soo came to the past begins.
Hae Soo wakes up in the present as Go Ha Jin, crying and remembering a man with a scar upon her face. She goes back to work where a Ryeo event happens. The head of the event is Ji Mong who comes over to Ha Jin and gives hint that her dreams weren’t just dreams saying that her last name Go was Hae in Ryeo times. As she begins to remember little things from her time in Ryeo her boss lets her off for not feeling well. Ha Jin stumbles upon and art gallery from Ryeo. Upon looking at the pictures, she realizes it wasn’t a dream. She reads of the history of Wang So who was noted as the most just king rather than the bloodiest. She stumbles upon a picture of a lonely looking Wang So and breaks into tears apologizing for leaving him alone.
As the episode closes, Wang So is informed of the death of Wook and remembers a walk he took with Hae Soo. She tells him that she won’t be truly happy unless she knows that even in another life they would still be together. As he turns revealing his full scar he proclaims his love for Soo and that he hopes to be together with her again. the drama closes with Wang So giving Hae Soo a joyful piggy back.
I have to say this was not what I was expecting and I’m actually disappointed. Episode 19 was almost impossible to watch and I basically suffered through it, the only part that truly made me happy was the tiny scene of Baek Ah and Woo Hee in the bath. I was expecting a lot more with the finale, I know in other dramas like this the female lead usually finds the male lead in the present but it left off on a rather sour note. I really loved this drama up until the last few episodes and I wish it had ended better. Hopefully similar to the Chinese book this was based off of, they’ll be a season two. I really want to see Ha Jin find her modern day Wang So and not be so lonely.
Overall the series was a 7/10, it started off really well but slowly declined and while the finale was sub par overall it was an entertaining 20 episodes.
What are your thoughts on the finale of ‘Scarlet Heart: Ryeo’? Let us know in the comments below!
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Edited By: Sarah Smith
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