First of all – Yun-bok you fool!
Secondary I wish to apologize for thinking that the last episode was too dramatic! If that was dramatic then this third episode is comical in comparison! Seriously, I was sitting there wondering how I didn’t rail on this show as it was airing! Back then I was very new to things and was so flighty that I should have tore this show a new one but then again I guess it is the same reason why I managed to sit through it this time too. I wanted desperately to hit that skip button because of all the over the top drama but my love for Yun-bok and Jeong-hyang compelled me to take it all in, even the painful scenes! Seriously, as lovely as Moon Geun-young is it was a challenge sitting through her scenes, especially towards the end there after the-unmentionable hits the fan.
Thank the Lord that the Yun-bok/Jeong-hyang scenes are not as over-dramatic as the rest of the story. And speaking of these two, something totally changed between them this episode, well, more on Jeong-hyang’s side than Yun-bok but really, Yun-bok had it bad for the beauty of the town since she had laid eyes on Jeong-hyang so no change there on her part. This show aired in 2008 and yet Jeong-hyang and Yun-bok are still going strong as my favourite TV couple! They are yet to be dethroned by any other after all these years!
Really, thinking of it now, forget what I have said before. 2008 is the best year of yuri ever! That year we had movies like ‘Beautiful Crazy’, ‘Candy Rain’, ‘Miao Miao’, and the ‘Spider Lilies’ DVD came out that year too. Then we had ‘As One’ (AKA Forever the Moment), ‘Hellcats’, ‘Love Exposure’, ‘Martyrs’ and ‘Blood The Last vampire – Last Blood’. In TV we had this very show – ‘Painter of the Wind’, ‘Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles’, ‘Tru Blood’ and ‘Legend of the Seeker’. Meanwhile in Japan Toda Erika and Aragaki Yui graced the small screen together for the second time in ‘Code Blue’ and not to mention ‘Last Friends’ was that year too then there was ‘Gakkou ja Oshirarenai’ and FINALLY ‘Men-dol Ikemen Idol’. In anime we got ‘Mnemosyne’, ‘Michiko to Hatchin’, ‘Shigofumi’ (only one episode though), ‘Strike Witches’, ‘Koihime Musou’, ‘Code Geass’ (dat lesbian table humping), ‘Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae (the season that matters), ‘Ga-rei Zero’ and ‘Ikkitousen Great Guardians’. Seriously, just thinking of it now 2008 was one scary year!
As we remember last episode ended with these very two when returning home after Hyo-won’s birthday party Jeong-hyang found her way blocked by Yun-bok. She asked to spend her last night as a painter with Jeong-hyang offering her the last bit of money that she would probably ever make from her paintings to Jeong-hyang and begging her to play for her. That is where the episode ended with the answer floating around the air. What was Jeong-hyang’s answer?
Instead of continuing on from the last scene and giving us a verbal answer, we instead get it in action because the scene cuts to Jeong-hyang’s home. She is alone with Yun-bok in a room and the two are sitting opposite of each other. This was their first scene together this episode and speaking of which, I have to say that you need to savour these moments between them because though they seem to happen often in these earlier episodes, it is not going to be long before we get full episodes without a single bit of their moments. I remember skipping quite a lot in some episodes back then but then again, maybe it had something to do with having no subs (I was watching this as it aired). Anyway, you best savour these moments while you can.
The two spend the night with Jeong-hyang playing her music instrument and Yun-bok getting drunk first before she dived into the world that she grew up in which is art. She drew and drew and discarded then took a break then continued to draw. Meanwhile Jeong-hyang played her instrument as if she was, no she was complimenting Yun-bok’s feelings as of that moment. At first I thought that Yun-bok was going all out drawing as many pictures as she could because her hand would be lost to the Hand-Crushing-Punishment come day-light because of that painting of the Queen Mother that she did. And with her Yun-bok’s passion, Jeong-hyang also went all out trying to match Yun-bok’s feelings because there was this thing that I can’t put words into between them where they can both understand one another through Jeong-hyang’s music. It was like their secret communication medium. Actually that would explain why they did not talk a lot.
As it turns out, Yun-bok was not living out her last night with her artistic hand drawing as much as she could but rather that she was looking for that perfect piece of art, that perfect depiction of the most beautiful thing she had ever seen – Jeong-hyang. Yun-bok was drawing just one thing and that was Jeong-hyang. I couldn’t even count the amount of paper she went through trying to draw the perfect portrait of Jeong-hyang. And Jeong-hyang for her part played more passionately and harder than ever. She was sweating and everything once she took some to break. It was so uncharacteristic of her and believe me, you will never seen Jeong-hyang like that.
While Yun-bok worked hard to draw the most perfect and very last piece of art that was the portrait of Jeong-hyang, Jeong-hyang for her part played harder than she probably ever did. This moment was just so everything to them as Jeong-hyang tried to make this day, the last day that Yun-bok would probably ever enjoy to the fullest, and also her best yet by playing with the most valour she had ever played with. As for Yun-bok, I think it was double beneficial the way she worked so hard on that painting of Jeong-hyang. First I think it was for her own self fulfilment, to go out having drawn the best picture in her life and who better a model than Jeong-hyang? Then of course thinking of the morning next, maybe it was her way of thanking Jeong-hyang for keeping her company on her last night as an artist. Yun-bok loved art so much, it was basically her life’s passion so for her to lose her drawing hand might as well have been decapitation. And despite not having enough money or Jeong-hyang not having any obligations towards Yun-bok, she still played for her throughout the whole night and not only that, she let her be her model, her last model ever.
During their break Jeong-hyang voices her thoughts about Hong-do and why he had told Yun-bok before hand about the punishment. Any other person would have stayed silent because if they had talked, the student would have run away after being warned and so Jeong-hyang theorised that maybe Hong-do had warned Yun-bok before hand because he had plans of saving Yun-bok. It was very ironic to see this let me tell you and painful at the same time. Jeong-hyang, unknowingly, was promoting Hong-do, the person who is destined to be her rival when it came to Yun-bok’s heart. She made Yun-bok trust Hong-do and gave her hope in the form of Hong-do having thoughts of saving Yun-bok. And interestingly, this very episode the two finally meet for the first time. And by the two I mean Jeong-hyang and Hong-do. Don’t worry as there wasn’t a cat fight or anything like the sort but more on that later.
Yun-bok thinks of Jeong-hyang’s words and even when she wakes up in the morning she still thinks of those words. She leaves to go back home with her hope perhaps restored by Jeong-hyang’s words. When Jeong-hyang and her lovely assistant show up with breakfast for Yun-bok, they find the room empty and cleaned with no sign of Yun-bok. There was something left on the floor. It was a piece of paper, held down with one of the alcohol vases. Jeong-hyang walks to it and opens it up to find her own portrait as she played her gayageum (Jeong-hyang’s music instrument).
The picture was so beautiful and so clean that there is no way anyone could believe it was completed within a couple of hours! If you think that it took a lot of tries to get it just the way she wanted then it wouldn’t have been done in more than say, five hours. But really, this was Yun-bok, the best of the students and one that made even adults envious so really…Also let’s not forget that there was that hax known as the power of
yuri love and with Yun-bok’s skills, she was almost invincible with the power of love on her side.
But that was not all, Yun-bok even included a nice little message on the painting just like her other works and there is no need to guess what the message is about! It was all about Jeong-hyang and her music. She mentioned of the music never stopping even as the string broke, referring to the previous episode where one of Yun-bok’s drunk classmates broke a few strings off the gayageum. Jeong-hyang had ignored it as if it had never happened and proceeded to play the broken instrument like a Boss! Yun-bok also mentions how the music breaks barriers and resonated with the soul. Here I believe she was referring to that scene, again in the previous episode, where Jeong-hyang’s song took her to that place in her past where her parents were still alive and with her. The message also says how not even in sleep would the music fade. I personally took this as Yun-bok saying that no matter what or how much time passes, she will never forget Jeong-hyang’s music and that it will stay in her heart forever.
The smile on Jeong-hyang’s face after seeing the painting and reading the message on it…Sorry Sun-chan, you are not needed anymore. We have a brand new star in Jeong-hyang’s beautiful face in this moment.
This ends the good and then takes us into the feels of the episode.
Back at the School, Yun-bok goes to meet with Hong-do who is surprised to see her because he had thought for sure that she would have run away and not come back. Yun-bok says that everything was her fault and that she would take responsibility for it. Unknown to the two, Hyung-nim heard what they were talking about.
Speaking of, this episode was like a battle of the heroes! People were out to save other people and the damsel of the day was Yun-bok. Hong-do was ready to have his hand crushed in order to protect the gift that is Yun-bok. Meanwhile her brother was also willing to take the plunge in order to save his little sister (he knows of Yun-bok’s real identity of course) and he paid a dear price for Yun-bok by the end of the episode. I dare say apart from Jeong-hyang who was the best hero to Yun-bok the whole episode, Hyung-nim came in very close behind her. Meanwhile the King was not going to let Hong-do be wasted like that and even though he had feelings of saving the talent that us Yun-bok’s, it was borrowed wishes from Hong-do. So in a twist, Yun-bok was also saved by Hong-do’s great relationship with the King himself.
This episode was all out crazy! The feels were in the elevens and counting! Hong-do tried to save Yun-bok by exiling him to some other town which I think was not a great idea. People would have put two and two together when they found out that Yun-bok had gone missing and I am sure the Queen Mother would have stopped at nothing to have him found and possibly killed because I can’t think of a worse punishment than having your hand crushed except death. Yeah, this was so definitely that kind of series! Bodies fell and you just needed to stop at having a young student’s hand crushed as punishment to know how serious a world this was.
Hong-do had arranged everything. He asked the daughter of his friend to deliver the message to Yun-bok in secrecy. Her name was Jung-suk and she was head over heels in love with Hong-do. Seriously, he should have just ended up marrying her and he better have after the ending! Anyway, he had prepared a horse for Yun-bok and a contact in the destination city once Yun-bok got there before the hearing was held.
All the art students and the ministry got summoned in the presence of the Queen Mother in order to hear who the culprit was and deal the punishment to them. The students find out what was going on, why the punishment was being carried out and also the true reason why Hong-do had come back to the city and why he had become their teacher, which was to find the student who drew that obscene picture.
The Judge asks Hong-do to reveal who that student was so they could be punished. Hong-do takes his sweet time answering and there is this moment where he looks in Hyung-nim’s direction and at first I thought that he was looking for Yun-bok in the spot next to Hyung-nim but that wasn’t the case. I didn’t find this out until much later as everything is revealed towards the end but it wasn’t Yun-bok he was looking for and rather he was looking at Hyung-nim himself. It also wasn’t pity for the boy who might have lost their brother. No, it was because Hyung-nim had given Hong-do a visit and had desperately begged Hong-do to spare Yun-bok and give Hyung-nim up as the culprit. That scene was so powerful and by the Gods, it made me love Hyung-nim so much! I totally cried towards the end!
While the hearing is taking place, meanwhile the King is off to pray for fertility once again up in the hills. He had taken the controversial portrait with him since his and Hong-do’s meeting before hand. During that meeting Hong-do had tried in tact to get the King to help him save Yun-bok by stating the loss of talent that would be this young artist. But of course the King couldn’t just help, the issue was his Grand Mother’s and she had almost as equal the power as he did and unless he had a good reason to, he wouldn’t just interfere in her matters so he had not helped Hong-do but the teacher’s words stayed with him and he was thinking of them during his break as he once again took out that painting of the Queen Mother and looked at it some more. It was then that it hit him. The King so the red dot on the woman’s neck and everything connected. He realised why the Queen Mother had been so obsessed with the picture.
Back to the hearing, Hong-do tells the Judge (and the Queen Mother) that he had failed to find who the artist was that had drawn the picture. He says that he had failed. But there had to be a hand crushed and either it had to be of the student responsible or for one of the instructors. Hong-do offers up his own hand instead for failing to find the student. The Judge calls it and Hong-do gets tied up and readied for the Hand-Crushing-Punishment. Just as the axe comes down to cut the rope that was holding the huge stone up over Hong-do’s head, the doors to the yard burst open with a screaming Yun-bok.
As if the fates were all observing this one place in the whole world, the rope doesn’t get fully cut and the stone doesn’t fall! Yun-bok bursts through the crowd and to Hong-do’s side and tries to save him but the guards hold him in place and the Judge gives Yun-bok a thrashing for acting that way in front of the Queen Mother. Yun-bok says that she had something to say and the Judge lets her speak. As expected Yun-bok tries to give herself up as the culprit but Hyung-nim was not going to have her do and that and so he took jumps forward and instead says that he was the one that had drawn the picture. The two siblings try to convince the Judge that it was themselves that drew the picture. They manage to buy time but they don’t manage to save Hong-do as the executioner lifts the axe again to cut that rope for good. But like I said, the Fates were looking upon this particular courtyard because again the execution gets interrupted by the announcement of the King’s arrival. That puts everything on hold as he goes to meet the Queen Mother.
Meanwhile the council holds another meeting and they call up Hong-do to ask him one last time who of the two was responsible for drawing that picture. Once again Hong-do says that he doesn’t know which infuriates the Judge to the point of saying that all three would be punished! It is then that Yun-bok and Hyung-nim’s father finally speaks up and begs for his two sons’ lives (None in the room except him know of Yun-bok’s real identity). The Judge asks him to tell him who the culprit is and the man is devastated to think that they would ask him to choose between his two children. Something happens here that we don’t get to see or hear but I know it has something to do with Hyung-nim and it was probably his own father that decided to do it.
Thankfully the King managed to get the Queen Mother to reconsider her view on the matter and the punishment was, not lessened but rather altered. Hong-do and Yun-bok’s hands were saved but a life was destroyed and I tell you now knowing where things go that this was worse than what the original punishment was. I kid you not! Anyway, the Judge comes out before all the students and the Council with the new orders and states that Hong-do would be spared and that no Hand-Crushing punishment would take place. The siblings cry out in relief but the Judge was not done. He says that the one responsible for the picture would still be punished. Yun-bok prepares for the worst but is not her that gets called forward but rather her brother Hyung-nim. Hyung-nim was to be abolished from ever holding a brush again. In addition he was to be banished to the supply factories where he would work for the rest of his life! He was basically demoted from being an artist to being the supplier of art equipment, more specifically making ink. This might sound light but as we will find out in later episodes, this was a much worse punishment than the Hand-Crushing one believe me!
Hence came the scene that made me cry (for a bit before the drama turned annoying real quick). That scene was when Yun-bok and their father were seeing Hyung-nim off. It was such a sad scene. The father could only look on as that was all he could do. He had to lose his own real son in order to save another who was more valuable of the two. This is what makes me think that he was the one who had said to the Council that Hyung-nim had been responsible and not Yun-bok. I can’t even begin to imagine what he was feeling at the time.
All this reasoning though flew right past Yun-bok’s head as he refused to grasp understanding of the situation and the sacrifice that Hyung-nim and their father had to make in order to save him. He fights it and refuses to acknowledge Hyung-nim’s own words of why it had to be him and not Yun-bok, of this being his own decision. I tell you, Yun-bok was very insufferable during these minutes! When Hyung-nim leaves, she has a fight with her father still not understanding and refusing to accept Hyung-nim’s sacrifice. She even throws Hyung-nim’s gift to her on the ground and her childishness earns her a well-deserved bitch-slap! She runs off to go meet with Hong-do who had already started to drink his sorrows away. Even as he tries to explain the same thing two other people have tried to tell her, Yun-bok still refuses to accept anything and runs off to nowhere in her misplaced rage, loss and denial of what was happening.
She wants to know what was so special about her, about her hand. She didn’t want it she thinks. As it turns out, she ended up under a tree with lots of stones and as she three those stacked stones into the distance as she let loose all her feelings, she has a nasty thought! Yun-bok uses one of the stones to crush her own hand. The scream upon that action was haunting! That scene right then before she had crushed her hand was so powerful. Moon-chan was so great in it. You felt the tension as if you were her about to crush your own hand but even then you wouldn’t be able to imagine her position because she was an artist and even lost in rage as she was, she still cherished it as an artists so seeing her right then, just before she brought the stone down on herself, it was such a damn powerful scene!
Now think of going from these feels to the Jeong-hyang and Yun-bok feels! Prepare thy souls because that is what happens next!
As if it was some kind of déjà vu, Jeong-hyang, on her way from work once again finds her way blocked by a certain young artist. This time though Yun-bok did not jump out of the shadows to block her way but rather she was lying on the side of the road. Jeong-hyang’s cute assistant is the one who spots Yun-bok and her reaction alerts Jeong-hyang to Yun-bok’s body. She is just so cute, this maid of Jeong-hyang’s I mean. I need to learn her name! Found it! Her name is Mak-nyun (played by Kim Bo-mi).
But let’s talk about the fact that of all places Yun-bok decided to come here! There was no way she was in her right senses given the pain that she must have been in. I am even surprised that she managed to come back from the hills she had crushed her hand at. When Jeong-hyang and Mak-nyun found her she was already running a scary fever, her hand had turned a scary colour, showing signs of a fight that her body was having fighting off both the pain and the infections. But really, girls are said to be more perceptible to pain than boys so I guess it was a bit of a throw back to Yun-bok actually being a girl.
But still, she must not have been in her right senses at the time so for her to end up there, definitely seeking out Jeong-hyang, it speaks volumes already of what Jeong-hyang means to Yun-bok. Sure home wasn’t the best option in the current state with Hyung-nim having just been sent away and their father probably needed some alone time but still…If this were any other drama, this would have been the moment where Yun-bok and Hyo-won got to bond with Yun-bok going over to his home and asking to spend the night. They would strike up a friendship, thus going from rivals to friends and eventually when Hyo-won found out Yun-bok’s secret, he would be another love rival. Thank the Lord this was not those other shows!
I still find it hard to believe that this was a yuri show with Moon Geun-young!
When Jeong-hyang sees Yun-bok, she walks over to her as she tries to get her attention. When Yun-bok doesn’t react, Jeong-hyang’s urgency increases and she makes haste to the young artist’s side. She doesn’t know Yun-bok’s name by this moment so she keeps calling her ‘Young Artist’ as she tries to wake her up. She sees the hand and the worry grows even more. She urges Mak-nyun to go look for a physician while she tries to get Yun-bok’s attention. Yun-bok responds once. She groggily opens her eyes half-way and takes in Jeong-hyang’s worried features. She smiles to her self and says to Jeong-hyang before she passes out again…
“You are as beautiful as always”
Yeah, what is there to say about that? Even Jeong-hyang didn’t have time to enjoy being admired like that especially when Yun-bok had said it from the heart given her situation. The next moment we see them already indoors and back to that room that they had been in just the previous night. How did Yun-bok get there? Did Jeong-hyang carry her by herself? I mean she had sent Mak-nyun off to go call for a doctor. Then again they were not far from the Gisaeng Houses so maybe she had called for help? Either way I couldn’t hep thinking about it, especially when we get to see Hong-do lifting Yun-bok bridal style the next day.
Jeong-hyang does what she can for Yun-bok but when Mak-nyun gets back, no physician is with her. She says that none wanted to come into a Gisaeng’s house. Now, in case someone doesn’t know, the Gisaeng, even as they have class and Jeong-hyang would have been in a higher class than others, they were still among the lower class ranking of people, almost slave status. If you want to know more about this just go to Wiki and search for ‘Kisaeng’. Yes, that is Gisaeng with a ‘K’. Anyway that would explain why when going out in to another person’s house they would cover their faces and why through the show people would look down on them. They were of the lower class. This is why a person like a doctor would be caught dead there. Still, I am disappoint. I thought Doctors were supposed to be neutral? Then again maybe there were others laws in play that I don’t know about back then so…
Jeong-hyang looks after a deathly sick Yun-bok who really needed to have professional medical attention. And so Jeong-hyang goes out the next day to the School to meet Hong-do and tell him of had transpired. This was their first meeting and as expected, even he was a bit shitty towards Jeong-hyang and Mak-nyun. Thankfully Jeong-hyang avoided more embarrassment by getting to the point and telling Hong-do that Yun-bok had crushed his own hand and needed help. They go back to Jeong-hyang’s home where Yun-bok, who was looking much better but still sulking was pretending to sleep.
Before that though I want to talk of the reactions from everyone at School who saw Jeong-hyang as she made her way through the grounds. She was that beautiful. She was that revered. Anyone who had managed to win her heart had to be the luckiest person in the whole town! I don’t know, I just these types of scene where they show the quality of a character. It makes the ship that much more delicious and substantial especially when you think like the other characters that such a girlish boy could win the heart of such a beauty. But that is for much later into the series.
Going back to the story, Yun-bok is still acting like a brat towards Hong-do, telling him to get of his case even after a night of what should have been a revelation to the actual predicament of what had transpired the day before. Hong-do decided to take matter into his own hands when Jeong-hyang tells him that the Doctors didn’t want to come there and thus Yun-bok hadn’t received any sort of medical treatment at all. He carries Yun-bok away by force who is still going on and on of how he doesn’t understand anything, why Hyung-nim had to cover for him, what was so special about a damn hand and so on and so forth. Hong-do tells him that he will take him to a good Doctor out of town he knew who would take great care of Yun-bok but before that, Yun-bok had to cool the f down and he dumps her in the river!
That is where the episode ends!
Yeah, I was sad when it did not end with Jeong-hyang/Yun-bok and in fact it ran about 10mins extra just to make this happen. Well, I understand that since episode 02 had ended with them, it wouldn’t have done to end the very next episode. And when you remember that these episodes were coming out in waves and not a week apart like Japanese shows, well…
So much Jeong-hyang and Yun-bok this episode! Jeong-hyang saved Yun-bok twice, first emotionally during the beginning of the episode where she put Yun-bok’s heart at ease with her music and spending the night with her. Then she saved Yun-bok physically towards the end when Yun-bok crushed his hand and he was out in the cold and desperate for medical attention. The emotions we see in Jeong-hyang in that scene when she sees a hurt Yun-bok were kind of telling of how she had come to care, at least a little bit, about this young Artists (Still doesn’t know Yun-bok’s name).
On the other hand Yun-bok has shown how she feels about Jeong-hyang and it isn’t that first impression we got in the first episode in their first face-to-face or the second episode before Yun-bok had gotten to hear Jeong-hyang’s awesome music skills. It started last episode after Jeong-hyang’s performance when Yun-bok complimented her before she had left. Then this episode with that message on the portrait of Jeong-hyang’s she had drawn. And then the time when Jeong-hyang found Yun-bok collapsed and Yun-bok had called her beautiful.
Seriously these two I swear…This is only episode 3 out of 20 and though I know not all episodes will have them, I know that we haven’t even began to scratch the surface with Jeong-hyang and Yun-bok. So far what we have seen is Jeong-hyang giving to/being there for Yun-bok. Okay, Yun-bok also did draw that picture of Jeong-hyang and at the time he and she believed it would be the last drawing she ever did but still. Oh fine, they are even! Who will be there next for whom and who will give something to whom? We still have 17 episodes to go and while there are a lot of feels awaiting us, I will them on and all the pain they provide just for Jeong-hyang. As things stand they are still my favourite Korean drama, maybe even the whole world TV couple to date!
Well then, until next episode you all…