That darn cliff-hanger! And I sure hope you are ready for feels because they are back with a vengeance! With an episode or two going by without any major drama, I just knew that when it returned, I wouldn’t be ready! I have seen this series before and yet I was still hit pretty hard with the happenings of this episode! All gears have been shifted up to eleven that I am kind of scared of watching the next episode anytime soon.
I wanna know what poor Mak-nyun was thinking through all this flirting!
♫I wanna stay, I wanna stay, I wanna stay~
As per normal, this new episode picks up directly from where the last one left off. The exams were done with Yun-bok getting the special award from the King himself and her rival Hyo-Won taking the first place. The two went on to join the Artists Bureau, meaning that they would be working on loyal paintings among things.
Yun-bok and Hyung’s father held a party in celebration of Yun-bok’s achievement and it is during this gathering that gears start to shift, kicking off the madness that went on through the whole episode! The amount of development in this episode is rivalled by no other.
Hyung also came to the party and as expected, he and Yun-bok had a bro moment. Those who pass the exam and are recognised as Government Artists are given a token of proof. It looked to be a combination of a compass and a sun dial. Yun-bok gave something that important to Hyung. It was her way of thanking Hyung for all that he had done for Yun-bok and also her apology for fucking Hyung’s life up. Hyung is a very nice Guy and he made sure to let Yun-bok know that he did not care for her out of some sense of duty. He affirmed that he never thought of Yun-bok as anyone but his sibling and that Yun-bok should never think otherwise.
Seriously, if I was into that I would so ship these two. Hyung was just such a good character. Too bad he did not get that from his father!
What am I talking about? Isn’t their father a nice guy? He certainly seemed that way so far, well actually he seemed kind of neutral. You could tell that he did not like Hong-do and we know by now that anyone who doesn’t like Hong-do can not be a good guy. Yeah sure he wasn’t on great terms with Byeok-Su (Hyo-Won’s father and kind of the bad guy now), but that only put him in the grey area.
Well, they just went and took him out of that grey area and into the black this episode. This new side of his character was brought forward by the only person that could have – Hyung’s mother. Yeah, we finally got to meet her this episode but she did not come in peace, or did she? She was of course not very happy about her son being exiled off to work in ink factories and when she came over and saw her husband being in a great mood while their son was off suffering, she wasn’t very happy, which was expected. Any parent would feel the same.
The two finally got to talk about the issue and it is during this conversation that we find out the father’s true colours!
Oh the villainy!
Worse the mother was also aware of this because the way the conversation went the father was only re-assuring the wife of his decade long plan and how it is about to reach fruition. So what of this plan that makes such a seemingly nice man into a villain? Why of course it had to do with Yun-bok! I am just going to lay it out it is…
The family adopted Yun-bok, not out of good will but as part of a sinister plan by their father. We got a quick glimpse into the past and it seemed that Hyung’s father was close with Yun-bok’s father way back. He had visited him once and had seen how talented Yun-bok was (as a girl back then). Even then during that moment you could just see it in his eyes. The wheels were turning as he thought of some mischievous plan that moment ten years ago.
According to his words, the Shin fan has been producing great artists for generations but maybe Hyung did not have what it too to be a great artist because their father staked all his future plans on Yun-bok. He was looking after Yun-bok all that time because he had planned to use her! With Yun-bok’s skills she was sure to be recruited for the Ministry. That meant that the future of the Shin family would be safe and guaranteed a wealthy life.
Basically Yun-bok was just a big bar of gold waiting to be claimed in the bank. Thank the gods no one was eavesdropping on their conversation. Can you believe how affected Yun-bok would have been had he found out about that?! Actually, I don’t even remember if Yun-bok found out her adopted parent’s intentions. Oh well, I will be finding out soon enough.
Episode 6 out of 20 and they are already dropping bombs like that! You would expect to see this kind of drama a bit later in the story but then again, they only brought the issue to light this episode. We still have yet to see it acted upon and the consequences of this deception. Really, you wouldn’t have thought their father to be that kind of person. This makes me question if he really was that devastated when his real son was sent off! I guess we shall find out.
Another development was with Yun-bok and Hong-do. Of course he would show up at Yun-bok’s party! I call it a part but we only saw people arriving at their home, we didn’t see them again or see them do anything at all like maybe chatting, drinking, anything!
Perhaps for the first time we saw the first sign of jealous in the romance department. That was supposed to be on Jung-suk when she walked in on Yun-bok cuddling a sleeping Hong-do’s hand but then again, she probably didn’t feel it since she thought Yun-bok a guy. I mean guys can’t love guys, right?
That actually makes things complicated because here too Hong-do probably didn’t know his own feelings. But once again I am jumping ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the party, shall we? Yun-bok and Hong-do’s celebrations were interrupted when his friend came over with the news that the girl was found. That girl in case anyone doesn’t know, is Hong-do’s dead friend’s daughter. He had thought her dead too until last episode when he was told that she was actually still alive.
Hong-do in fact ditched Yun-bok to go and meet this girl. She meant a lot to him as he later told Yun-bok when she had asked him what this woman he was looking for, meant to him! He had told her that she was a person that she wanted to protect for the rest of his life.
Dear Hong-do, you mean that she was your good friend’s daughter, right? But the way he said it anyone would think he was talking about a long lost lover or something!
Before he had run off with his friend to meet this girl that meant so much to him, he had asked Yun-bok to meet him later that night. It sounded urgent and indeed it was, because when an annoyed Yun-bok had asked him what was so important it couldn’t have waited for the following day, Hong-do said that the King sought their presence. It seems the King had development an attachment to Yun-bok’s skills. During the meeting filled with hilarity as it was Yun-bok’s first time meeting the King, his majesty asked the two to draw him something. He asked them to go out and paint for him a world that he couldn’t see for himself. To spice things up he asked the two to work separately and treat the exercise as a competition. They both had the same theme though so they could still come up with the idea of what to draw together and it would come down to how they both translate that idea to paper.
And once again another day is spent on the two having fun in town! Does this count as two dates already? I think they count as two dates! Damn that Hong-do! He gets to have dates out with Yun-bok when Jeong-hyang hasn’t even had a few minutes outside with Yun-bok. And even if we are counting their indoor meetings as dates, Hong-do still wins because he and Yun-bok too have had those indoor moments. Sure Jeong-hyang being seen walking outside with a man was probably a crime but still!
The King asked the two to keep the request a secret and I have a feeling that he had some ulterior motive in giving them that exercise. We know that he too has some secrets and is probably searching for something. Yun-bok’s impressive ability to relay what she sees must have attracted the King and given him something to think about. With a talented Hong-do around, he had the perfect way to gather information from his subjects without even directly meeting them. He mentioned briefly, or more like teased, Yun-bok about the Queen Mother’s painting. He knew Yun-bok would not leave out any important details and would give the King a non-biased look at the working of his people.
So I do believe that the King’s request is another plot seed planted for future episodes. Yun-bok is now effectively the King’s personal artist along with Hong-do. It seems though that Yun-bok suspects something because he asked Hong-do while out in town why the King had made such a request, despite the fact that the King had given his reasons when they met. She doesn’t push it though and probably already forgot about it the next minute.
But during their night out searching for what to draw for the King, another plot seed hits Yun-bok right in the face. What happened put a stop to their investigation and made Hong-do stall production stages on the painting because Yun-bok ditched him for the night. They had a two day deadline and they had already wasted one looking for the topic to draw. They were running out of time and so it might be understandable that maybe Hong-do was just worried that Yun-bok would not be able to make it.
Or maybe he was annoyed by Yun-bok always getting into trouble and him having to bail him out. That might have been the reason why Hong-do was so affected with Yun-bok leaving him to go see to that plot seed I mentioned, that he couldn’t even concentrate enough to start on his own painting. Maybe he wasn’t jealous at all like I had assumed!
But what trouble did Yun-bok get herself into this time? Well, you see these few days were supposed to be for her to ‘purify’ herself before she started employment as a member of the Artist Ministry. And yet you will guess what Yun-bok was up to! Her rival Hyo-won found out via a letter that was meant for Yun-bok. Mak-nyun – Jeong-hyang’s maid, had visited the school with a letter from Jeong-hyang. The letter was mentioning that Jeong-hyang was going to be sold off and she wanted Yun-bok to meet her as soon as possible.
It was a short scene but I am very glad that they showed us Mak-nyun delivering the letter. Those few minutes of her by herself without Jeong-hyang were very important and I hope I am not the only one who thought so. I feel like I got to know the true Mak-Nyun in that moment. Up until then I was sceptical about her role even as a trainee Gisaeng. Seeing her here, and hearing her speak with her real voice, I found myself nodding because that right there was a Gisaeng. Not that I am familiar with what they are supposed to be but I just felt it then, she had the mannerisms that I was expecting to see from her. Before this she just didn’t fit! Now though I have no more doubts.
So, someone was going to buy Jeong-hyang?! That won’t do! Who is the bastard that would dare do such a thing?!
It had to be the man with probably the most money only beat by the royal family. He is that merchant that caught Kye-Wol’s attention last episode. Kye-Wol is the woman in charge of the Gisaeng. The man that dared to put a price on Jeong-hyang is Jo-Nyeon and before the trading took place, he had already met with Jeong-hyang. I don’t think I need to tell you all how that meeting went. Let’s just say that he is not on Jeong-hyang’ list of good people.
It didn’t help either that their first meeting this episode came at a bad time. Okay, granted he had Jeong-hyang’s attention first and it was Yun-bok who had come butting in. Still to Jeong-hyang, it might as well have been the other way around since she would much rather spend all her time with Yun-bok than with Jo-Nyeon.
I kind of felt sorry for the guy too. Sure he was very bad news but as a person I felt sorry for him. First it seemed like Jeong-hyang was challenging him mentally like she had done with Yun-bok their first meeting. Unlike Yun-bok though, the exchange didn’t do the same way and moments later, it had turned from testing Jo-Nyeon to chewing him out. For crying out loud, Jeong-hyang didn’t even play the guy some music.
Actually the man surprised me because I thought he would lose it and give Jeong-hyang a piece of his mind but he had just let her go without even a fight. All I remember him doing is asking Jeong-hyang if she could stay with him for the night. Now all she needed to say was that she had a prior engagement and apologise but she went on saying that she would stay if Jo-Nyeon gave her all his wealth.
Now, I understand that Yun-bok was waiting for her and she wanted to go as soon as possible but was that really necessary? I personally think that it might have happened either way but I know some people might think that her actions that night led to the butterfly effect of what happened to her later on in the episode.
The next time that Jo-Nyeon showed up at the Gisaeng houses, he wasn’t playing no games! He was there to buy Jeong-hyang like she was a piece of furniture or some shit! For crying out loud they even showed her off like china on display! Not evne just showing off, Kye-Wol went on to advertise her right there in front of Jo-Nyeon telling her to show her back, her wrists, her teeth and stuff and it was just so painful to watch. When a tear rolled down Jeong-hyang’s cheek so did I too shed a tear.
She had been rudely reminded of her place in the world after that little hope she had received from Yun-bok last episode. Remember the time when Yun-bok was telling her that she couldn’t think of anyone mistreating Jeong-hyang and treating her like they owned her? Well she just got owned! But I have to say it now, it could have been so much worse.
Jo-Nyeon gave her two days to herself and then he would claim her. That pact was made the same day that the king had asked Hong-do and Yun-bok to paint him the lives of his people and he had also given them two days! But as well all know Yun-bok and Hong-do spent one of those days wandering around town on their date so they were short on time.
Meanwhile, another thread was being weaved in the enemy’s lair! Byeok-Su caught wind of Hong-do’s friend and what he had said about a certain girls still being alive. We know by now that he was involved in the death of Yun-bok’s father and so hearing that someone survived, and that someone is actually the victim’s daughter, well, you can guess that things were not going to be pretty.
Jo-Nyeon is also in on that secret and he also learns that the daughter was still alive. Jo-Nyeon was like the muscle. He took care of problems…for good! He had his trusty assassin that he sent this episode to waste anyone else that knew of the girl’s existence. That of course meant Hong-do’s friend. He got killed by a dart of poison right in the middle of a busy street. The person behind this was going to claim, nay, he already claimed Jeong-hyang for himself!
Well, at the very least we can be assured that Jeong-hyang would be safe?
Other than learning that the daughter previously presumed dead was still alive, Byeok-Su also learned of the fact that Yun-bok had gone to the Gisaeng houses in the time that she was supposed to be purifying herself. Destroying Hong-do being his life’s purpose, Byeok-Su saw the chance to waste him. He would expose Yun-bok’s sins and that would lead to Hong-do finally being rid of because apparently his life now was dependant on Yun-bok.
Being a member of the ministry and thus having heard Byeok-Su and his son Hyo-won discussing that very issue (Hyo-won took his letter to his father like the pansy he was) so he went and delivered the news to Hyung and Yun-bok’s father. He was close with him like that. If you remember he kid of helped him spy on Hong-do in the episode he had first started teaching.
Their father didn’t of course believe it at first because, you know, Yun-bok is a girl and there was no way that she would have been having an affair with a woman! He needed to confirm it for himself though and thus, he too takes off to the Gisaeng house! That made all three parties converge in on the same place at the same time in search of Yun-bok. Shit was about to go down!
But what was Yun-bok doing at the Gisaeng Houses (Jeong-hyang’s home)?
Let’s take a step back! We saw Yun-bok meeting with all the people that were important to her during her celebration party. We also know that Jeong-hyang did not make it. With that you just knew that Yun-bok would most definitely go visiting Jeong-hyang. There was probably no one she wanted to meet after her success more than Jeong-hyang. I guess she left the best for last, like all sane people, eh?
But before she went over to Jeong-hyang’s place, I am not sure how many people were paying attention but since a few episodes back, whenever Yun-bok was in town he would take a moment to observe a certain butterfly broche. This episode he finally bought it (which actually was the time that Hong-do’s friend was also killed but he didn’t see it). He was of course meaning to give it to Jeong-hyang which was strange since you would expect Yun-bok to be the one to receive a gift.
Yun-bok trounces into Jeong-hyang’s home like she was her waifu or something! She didn’t evne knock! She took a hold of the door nobs are pulled the doors open like she was getting back home from work! Okay, sure one can argue that they are kind of married, not officially but really, Jeong-hyang already confessed last episode and this episode Yun-bok was bringing gifts and swaggering into her home like Jeong-hyang’s owned it so they are kind of married but still! Sadly as soon as she opened the doors, she was face to face with Jeong-hyang who was getting ready to leave. Mak-nyun was with her holding her instrument of course.
You need to pay attention at the surprise that quickly melted into happiness when Jeong-hyang was Yun-bok! You could see all thought leave her and Yun-bok taking over her mind in that moment! They have their usual banter/flirtation but sadly Jeong-hyang couldn’t stay. She asked Yun-bok to stay and wait for her saying that she wouldn’t be long and you could see how it killed her that she couldn’t stay with Yun-bok!
This appointment was with the merchant and now you can see why Jeong-hyang was kind of hard on him. He had potentially destroyed her chance of some great alone time with her man (doesn’t know Yun-bok is a girl). Yun-bok did wait for as long as she could but then she remembered that Hong-do had asked to meet him that evening! She couldn’t stay but Yun-bok took the time to leave a trace of the broche behind to let Jeong-hyang know that she would be back and personally give it to her.
And so when Jeong-hyang returned later that night, in more hurry that you will ever see her in, with glee and anticipation radiating off of her face, the disappointment is evident on her face when she finds the room empty. She wonders why Yun-bok couldn’t have waited for her as she studied the sketch Yun-bok had left behind.
The two don’t meet again until a day later! Things are already out of whack by then. Jeong-hyang has been bought off and she had only one day left as a free person, well, some what, before she went off to live with Jo-Nyeon as his lover. So you can imagine what state the two were in during that second meeting!
Enter another one of the best scenes from Jeong-hyang and Yun-bok that contributed to their Best Couple award! The feelings that these two displayed here especially Chae-won as Jeong-hyang were off the charts! That scene is the first time that I have earnestly cried since I started the current watching of this series. They both had the same fear and thoughts in their minds and that was that they were about to lose one another!
But due to expected circumstances they each reacted to that fact quite differently. First off we have to remember that Jeong-hyang’s feelings are solid. She doesn’t have a doubt in her mind that she loves Yun-bok. She has come to terms with it and had accepted it to the point that she already confessed last episode. Had it been any other person but Yun-bok, I have a feeling that they might have gone further but Yun-bok has factors that make her decisions complicated!
She knows what she wants, she probably knows that she loves Jeong-hyang too but what she doesn’t know is what to do about it! For Yun-bok it is not as easy as loving Jeong-hyang back. Jeong-hyang thinks she is a boy and is ready to progress their relationship to another level. I am not talking out of context here too, Jeong-hyang was ready to go all the way with Yun-bok this episode. To her this was their last chance to ever be that way.
But it is more that that. Jeong-hyang tells us that she has been with many men (meeting them and playing music for them) but she had never fallen in love with any of them. Neither of them understood her or her music. She says she had been waiting for someone that saw her, knew her and understood her like Yun-bok and that someone had finally appeared. She wanted to spend this free time she had left with that one person that she loved before her freedom was lost!
Jeong-hyang then goes on to say some really weird dialogue to Yun-bok. I am not sure if it was what she really said or it was bad translation but basically she wanted to sleep with Yun-bok. Yun-bok did not understand the request at first so Jeong-hyang explained it in the way that Yun-bok would understand. She wanted Yun-bok to use her body to play music using her fingers! Um, yeah, you definitely know where that was going!
Jeong-hyang was dead serious that she even un-dressed and got under the covers but there was something wrong with Yun-bok, she was not reacting the way Jeong-hyang had hoped and thought she would. Yun-bok didn’t even look in Jeong-hyang’s direction as she undressed and if you remember that before her eyes were glued on Jeong-hyang as she undressed the last episode, you know that there is another reason why Yun-bok was looking away other than her giving Jeong-hyang some privacy.
Indeed there was because she tell Jeong-hyang to stop what she was doing. As expected Jeong-hyang takes the rejection in a bad way. You must understand that she was very desperate at the moment and having bared herself like that to Yun-bok, for her to reject her like that Jeong-hyang was sure to jump to conclusions. Yun-bok told her that she couldn’t be with Jeong-hyang in the way that she was looking for. Jeong-hyang of course thought that it was because of her lowly status that Yun-bok did not want her.
Yun-bok tries to explain but Jeong-hyang did not make sense of anything as Yun-bok couldn’t explain herself well without revealing the truth about herself. Yun-bok also did not want to hurt Jeong-hyang. The lovely woman was already crying and pretty damn hurt having lost her freedom to mere money and then she was about to lose the man she had ever fallen in love with!
Since Yun-bok could not explain herself she decided to do what Jeong-hyang was asking of her. She started to undress and you could just feel everything coming un-done, not just Yun-bok’s gowns but everything that the two had built together. Their life was about to come crushing down as soon as Jeong-hyang saw the truth!
Meanwhile at the same time, Byeok-Su, Yun-bok’s father and Hong-do were coming over to this very room! They were about to walk in on Yun-bok and Jeong-hyang but worse still, Yun-bok’s secret was about to be revealed to the two people that should never know about her!
Hell was about to happen!
Okay, sit back and think about what I just said. Jeong-hyang and Yun-bok were about to have sex! My mind gets blown every time I think of that. Sure this was ages ago but even then surely people didn’t jump into third base that fast! Where is that dinner date? Okay, not that they need things like romantic dinners or dates. Their souls have already found one another so anything from here on out is fair game.
But while the possibility of them sleeping together is grand indeed, the two did something this episode that made that scene the best one so far for me. It wasn’t that they almost did it but rather that they finally, finally, held hands.
Now sure it was more like Jeong-hyang taking a hold of Yun-bok’s hand – a hand that had the butterfly broche from before, but you all know me and my hand fetish by now. Also it is interesting how Yun-bok had basically forgotten about the broche as she ran to Jeong-hyang’s place. She was probably reminded that she was holding it when Jeong-hyang held her hand.
The episode ends with Hong-do right outside the room Jeong-hyang and Yun-bok were in and about to open the doors. Meanwhile Yun-bok’s father and the villain were also close by.
What a darn cliffhanger! I’m afraid to watch the next episode because I know it’s not gonna be pretty no matter what is going to happen.
Anyway, to the gallery for all the caps…