Our leading man begins to be drawn to our leading lady. But her heart is with another.
Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 7 Recap
As Hae Soo (IU) enters the bath house Royal Concubine Oh meets her. The skills inventory interview doesn’t go as well as Hae Soo hopes when Royal Concubine Oh realizes that she can’t read or write. As Hae Soo leaves the room she finds Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) in the hallway. Happy to see him she chatters animatedly about her hope that this new life will work for her. She tells him that she’s relieved she didn’t have to marry his father and thanks him. He startles her when he grabs her wrist. Looking at her wrist he tells her that she could have died if she cut just a little bit deeper. Hae Soo says she didn’t cut deeper and she didn’t die. Wang So asks that she know what it’s like to live with a scar for the rest of her life. He tells her being a court lady isn’t as glamorous as she thinks and she’s, in essence, a prisoner of the palace. Wang So demands to know why she didn’t take the path that would make her life easy by marrying his father. Hae Soo doesn’t know why she did that. She told herself that she should just marry him. But in the end she couldn’t do it. She looks into his eyes and states “no one can save me but myself. I thought of the idea and I followed through and now I have a scar”. Wang So looks at her and calls her a fool, but he says it gently. He tells her not to hurt herself again. If she does, he won’t forgive her. He stares at her with an intensity that unnerves her. That intensity thrills me. Have I mentioned I love Wang So? I’ll just get that out of the way at the beginning of the recap.
Wang So takes Hae Soo to a lovely Lake. He gives her the hard facts: don’t trust anyone, exiting the palace is almost impossible, and you’re always alone. Hae Soo looks out over the lake and declares she’s not alone. Wang So asks how that’s true. She tells him he’s there with her, how can she be alone? He warns her not to be reckless. She declares she is who she is and she’ll make this work. With grudging admiration, he admits his belief in her. In the most darling complement ever, Wang So tells Hae Soo that now that a noisy little chit like her is at the palace, it won’t be boring ever again. He smiles and walks away. She smiles and follows him. The scenery of that lake the glasslike surface with the beautiful reflectivity was a stunning location for that simple yet beautiful scene between Wang So and Hae Soo. What I like about them as a couple, and they are just friends right now, is their “challenge and accept” methodology they have with each other. They both say what they think (challenge) and allow the other to maintain their opinions (accept). I also like the fact that he smiles around Hae Soo. I’m a total sucker for a smile.
A General and his daughter, Park Soon Duk, arrive at the palace. She’s sporting a bearskin, including the head, as a gift for someone. The General greets the King Wanggun and apologizes for coming to him straight off the horse without washing first. The King thanks the General for taking care of Wang So. The General says that Wang So is a talented man and teaching him martial arts was a joy. The General states that if Wang So didn’t have that scar on his face, he would be the perfect Crown Prince. The King asked the General if the Crown Prince is it right for that role. The General declares the Crown Prince while a skilled fighter has too soft of the heart to be a great leader. The King walks away.
Ji Mong tells the General that he’s going to have to learn tact and sense if he’s going to survive at the palace. The General asks Ji Mong what Wang So is learning at the palace.
Wang So and the princes play a variation of the game I call chicken. Wang So and the princes are schooled by a tutor.
Wang So walks with the General and tells him that he’s learned enough martial arts, it’s time to concentrate on learning to fill his brain with knowledge. The General tells Wang So he has the ability to understand who should live and who should die. The General tells him that no matter what he’ll eventually have to pay for what he’s done. Wang So says the General taught him how to kill to protect. He notes recently he stopped trouble in the royal family, so he protected the nation. The General asks why he wants to live in the palace. If Wang So returned to his home, he would have the upper hand. Wang So says it’s time that he learned how to interact with the royal family. The General wonder what’s the allure of being King that makes his mother and brothers so enraptured? The General wonders if Wang So isn’t angling to become King. That was a decent scene between the General and Wang So. You get a little bit of background that Wang So’s former life wasn’t all bad if someone supportive like the General was in it. Is Wang So starting to think about becoming King?
Royal Concubine Oh and Hae Soo visit Queen Hwangbo who has complained of headaches. When Queen Hwangbo sees Hae Soo and asks how she’s adjusting to being a court lady. With enthusiasm Hae Soo says that she would be happy to make the Queen soaps, do her makeup, or whatever she can do to serve. Royal Concubine Oh reprimands Hae Soo for her forwardness and tells her to leave the room. Hae Soo leaves. Queen Hwangbo asks Royal Concubine Oh how her stomach pains are. Queen Hwangbo says her headaches and Royal Concubine Oh’s stomach pains are all due to the stress of Queen Yoo. She urges Royal Concubine Oh to see a doctor. Royal Concubine Oh thanks Queen Yoo for her thoughtfulness.
As Hae Soo walks through the palace she hears Crown Prince Wang Mu (Kim San Ho) scream for ice. Curious she goes to his room and sees rashes on his body. She recognizes it as eczema and knows the ice is not what he needs. She knocks the ice away which makes the Crown Prince upset. She gives him the symptoms and potential things that the prince is doing that inflame the rash. The Crown Prince is shocked at her knowledge. Boldly Hae Soo begins to treat him with warm water and peppermint leaves to reduce the itching. Royal Concubine Oh enters outraged that Hae Soo is directly treating the Crown Prince. She literally pushes her to the ground and tells her to get out. As she leaves the room Queen Yoo walks by and eyes her. She overhears the Crown Prince tell Royal Concubine Oh not to go hard on Hae Soo because she was able to reduce his pain.
Royal Concubine Oh reprimands Hae Soo for touching the Crown Prince. Hae Soo counters that she knew how to treat the Prince and could not allow him to suffer. Royal Concubine Oh states if she tells anyone about the Crown Prince’s eczema she won’t live another day. Her punishment is gardening.
As Hae Soo waters the plants she unknowingly flinging water on Wang So who is laying on the ground. She complains about her life and wonders if she should run away. Wang So surprises her and asks where she could hide from the King? Hae Soo complains that no one sees her innate talent, and she’s got lots of it! Ha! Wang So asks if she’s ever demonstrated her talent. Hae Soo says she did with the Crown Prince then realizes she shouldn’t share that information. Hae Soo says her boss isn’t that great. LOL! Wang So asks if she knows about the Crown Prince’s illness. She feigns ignorance. Wang So warns her to be careful in what she says. If she says the wrong thing it could cost her life. Hae Soo says that the Crown Prince needs to treat his illness like it’s no big deal and stop making such a fuss. She wonders why Royal Concubine Oh stopped her treatment of the Crown Prince. Wang So says the obvious, if she had hurt the Crown Prince, she’s be killed. He notes Royal Concubine Oh let her off easy. Wang So quips that she’s lacking talent when it comes to gardening. He tries to cajole her out of her bad mood with several bad puns about trees and plants. He ends up sharing that the wolves came where he used to live. He wonders why he shared that memory with her. Wang So gets on his haunches and looks into her eyes and tells her to own her new role. She must work for a living. He raps her head. He strides away. Good scene between our couple. Wang So gave her practical advice. I like that he tried to be playful with her and then shared a memory with her. What that memory means we don’t know, but I’m betting we will learn more as we go.
Hae Soo takes Wang So’s advice and buckles down to do the work she’s assigned. She falls into bed exhausted.
When Royal Concubine Oh and the court ladies serve tea to the princes all eyes are on Hae Soo. When she and the other court ladies exit the room, Eight Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) pulls her into an alcove surprising her. He gives her a hug and a smile and sends her on her way. Sweet!
Hae Soo treats Tenth Prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) for a minor condition. Thrilled that Hae Soo is in the palace Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) wants her to watch his latest sword trick. He accidentally knocks over a vase. Duh!
Wang Wook finds Hae Soo trying to learn how to read. He is surprised she doesn’t have that basic skill. She admits since she hurt her head that she hasn’t been able to read. She admits she had to get somebody else to read the poem he gave her. Wang Wook says he had planned to write her a letter because he can’t see her very often. Hae Soo encourages him to write is much as he wants. Soon she’ll be able to read. As she struggles to write characters Wang Wook leans in and takes her hand and guides her in writing the letters. It doesn’t matter because Hae Soo just stares at him loving his nearness and his beautiful face. Who knew writing letters could be hot? Wang Wook writes his name which means sun rising in the morning. Hae Soo is completely blown away by his beauty and his kindness. The swelling music helps the scene. Wang Wook sees a scar on her wrist. He drapes a bracelet around it, the cord is red. He tells her red symbolizes a joyful relationship. He asks her to promise that she’ll never take it off. She stares at him and promises. He promises her that he’ll do whatever it takes to return her to wear she belongs. He tells her to be patient and wait for him. She tells him not to worry she’s doing fine and shall wait for him. He kisses her forehead. They stare at each other and smile. That was a lovely scene between the two of them. It is obvious these two people long to be together.
Later Hae Soo looks at Wang So’s written name and dreams about him. She muses that having him ask her to wait for him made her happy. She admits that she likes him. She thinks to herself if she could have a real relationship with Wang Wook, she could live in the past forever. I like it when leads admit their feelings. Step one admit your feelings to yourself. Step two admit your feelings to the other person. Hae Soo has accomplished step one. But I’m sure Wang Wook knows she cares for him so maybe step two isn’t needed.
Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) draws pictures of the migrating people. One girl grabs his sketchbook and rips out the pictures. She tells him even though he’s an aristocrat he has to recognize that they are people too. She calls him a lowly insect that sold out to the government. She strides away. Baek Ah can’t believe that he was so thoroughly misunderstood.
And the plot thickens, the girl that gave Baek Ah a tongue lashing is a princess. She’s approached by two men of the military, though they are dressed as common folks too. They inform her that the Foreign Minister wishes to see her. She calls the Foreign Minister the betrayer and leaves with the men.
Meanwhile Baek Ah looks for the mystery woman but can’t find her. Is she his love interest? If so, I’m on board. I want him to have a reciprocal love.
The princes gathered together to celebrate Wang Eun’s birthday. Princess Yeon Hwa tells her brothers that the King is looking at a faraway Kingdom for her husband. Third Prince Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) says that’s ridiculous. The Princess Yeon Hwa says no family member wants to marry her, so the only option is to be sent away. Who would she rather marry? Wang So or Wang Yo? Baek Ah and Wang Jung ply Wang Eun with alcohol. It’s a rite of passage to get drunk with your brothers. Wang So leaves the celebration.
Hae Soo reports to Royal Concubine Oh that she’s accomplished all the tasking she’s been assigned. Royal Concubine Oh tells her to go to the celebration as the Crown Prince has requested her. Smiling, she happily complies.
Hae Soo prepares a birthday celebration for Wang Eun complete with flowers, cake and cartoon drawings. Little does she know that Wang Eun is drunk. Hae Soo finds Wang Eun and even though he’s drunk she lead him away. At least Wang Eun is a cute drunk.
Wang Jung and Baek Ah run into the General’s daughter wearing the bearskin. Baek Ah recognizes her as the General’s daughter. She stares at them and trudges past. She’s unusual. I like that.
Wang Yo takes Princess Yeon Hwa aside and tells her to be his. Is that his version of her proposal? Wang Yo tells Princess Yeon Hwa that marrying well isn’t the same as marrying the potential King. Princess Yeon Hwa wonders if Wang Yo’s true ambition is to become King. He confirms this. She smiles and says he’s fearless. Wang Yo says he knows that her heart wants Wang Wook on the throne. Princess Yeon Hwa tells Wang Yo that he must give up his first marriage for her to become first wife and the Queen. She asks if he’s willing to do that. Wow, I had no idea that Wang Yo was married. Who is he married to? Wang Yo stares intensely at her and says he won’t give up what’s his just to get her. He pulls her close to physically overwhelm her. Wang So sees this and approaches. She hits Wang Yo and tells him to leave let her go. Wang Yo asks if she’s has any other choice but him. He leans in to kiss her. Wang So interrupts and tells his brother that he’s living like a shameful persistent coward. Wang Yo says he’s butting into something that he should not. He looks at the Princess Yeon Hwa and says they’ll talk later. Wang Yo leaves. Princess Yeon Hwa thanks Wang So. She asks him not to tell Wang Wook about this incident. Wang So tells her that she won’t be able to get what she wants out of Wang Yo. She dares him to provide a better option. She asks if she should consider him as a future husband. He stares at her surprised. I can understand the Princess Yeon Hwa wanting to stay in the palace with her family and friends. Being married and living in a far-off land would be difficult and unsettling. Wang Yo shows his measure when he grabs Princess Yeon Hwa and almost kisses while stating he may be her only choice to avoid exile to a far-off land. I like the way the Wang So intervened without directly challenging but yet making his point. Would the Princess Yeon Hwa really be interested in Wang So? Inquiring minds want to know.
Wang Eun is pleased with the birthday celebration that Hae Soo prepared for him. She thanks him for becoming her first friend. She sings happy birthday to him. She starts to make up funny versus and funny movements. Hae Soo laughs. Wang Eun laughs. Wang So observes them and laughs too. Princess Yeon Hwa doesn’t see the humor in the situation. All the other princes arrive and Hae Soo is embarrassed to be overheard. They cajole Hae Soo to sing for them. She sings a pretty ballad. All the princes are entranced by her. In that moment you can see that Wang So is especially taken with her as well as Wang Wook. In her mind Hae Soo thinks to herself if only the princes could be happy like this all the time. What does it matter who is Kang? She wishes that they’ll never forget this moment of happiness that they all shared as a family. Unnerved by his reaction to Hae Soo, Wang So walks away. The princes give her a standing ovation and compliments for her song. It’s a truly happy moment.
The General’s daughter still in her bear outfit stares at the happy scene.
Hae Soo sees Wang So stride away. She wonders why he left.
The princes head into another location for presents. The Princess Yeon Hwa tells Hae Soo that she can leave. Her job is done. She entertained. Hae Soo says she didn’t do for her job but because Wang Eun is her friend. The Princess Yeon Hwa scoffs that a prince would never be friends with a court lady. She tells Hae Soo to leave. Hae Soo tells the Princess Yeon Hwa that is always she cares about status before the worth of a person. The Princess Yeon Hwa tells Hae Soo that she needs to learn her place. The Crown Prince interrupts and says that he invited Hae Soo. The Crown Prince tells the Princess Yeon Hwa that having Hae Soo at the party is his gift to Wang Eun. Nice! The Princess Yeon Hwa says that Hae Soo is very lucky to have the regard of the Crown Prince. She shoots daggers and leaves. Hae Soo thanks the Crown Prince. The Crown Prince says “you saw me at my worst this is the least that I can do”. Hae Soo says that she hasn’t told anybody. He asked for her help in the future if he needs it. She promises it.
Wang Eun loves all his present though he doesn’t understand why Wang Jung got him a book. He startled when the General’s daughter still clad in her bearskin joins a celebration. Wang Jung tells his brother that this strange girl is the General’s daughter. She offers Wang Eun the bearskin. Wang Eun recalls her offering bearskin in past years. He asks what she wants. Embarrassed and rejected, she thrust the bearskin into Wang Jung’s arms and leaves. Wang Eun wonders how someone could be so frustrating. Dear sweet Wang Eun, if you have a strong and negative reaction to a girl, she might be your future wife. Wang Yo asks what Wang So got Wang Eun. Wang Yo states that there is a special gift that only Wang So could give Wang Eun. That gets Wang Eun’s attention and he wants to know what it is. Wang Yo whispers it to Wang Eun. He stands and says Wang So would never give him a gift like that.
Wang So sits alone and throws rocks into the pond. He thinks about Hae Soo singing, her pretty face and lips forming the words. He shakes his head trying to clear his mind of her. Baek Ah finds him and asks why he’s alone. They should all be together celebrating Wang Eun’s birthday. Wang So tells Baek Ah to head back to the group. He doesn’t feel like being in a place full of noisy people. Baek Ah tells him his siblings are noisy and he needs to join them. He literally drags Wang So away.
The princes are surprised when Wang So enters the room with Baek Ah. Wang Yo gives him a speculative look. Wang Eun smiles at him. Hae Soo gives him a big grin. Wang So smiles back at Hae Soo. Wang Yo says it’s present time for Wang Eun. Wang So says he wasn’t able to make a present for Wang Eun. He asked Wang Eun to name what he would like. Wang Eun asks if Wang So will give him what he wants. Hae Soo says that Wang So would do that for him. Wang So agrees. Wang Eun asks Wang So to show his face without his mask. Oh no, Wang Eun is being manipulated by cold and cruel Wang Yo. I’m a little surprised that Wang Eun thinks that’s a good idea when he doesn’t show any negativity towards Wang So. I don’t even have to see Wang So his face to know that it is going to be hurt and shocked at the request. Let’s see how this plays out. The smiles are wiped off of everyone’s face. Wang Eun says he’s always been curious what his face looks like without the mask. Wang Eun says they are family, why hide your real face? Wang Yo looks up at Wang So smiling relishing the pain of his brother. Hae Soo tries to tell Wang Eun this is a bad idea but Wang Yo tells her to not interfere. Baek Ah tells Wang So not to do it. Wang So asks Wang Eun if that’s what he really wants. The Crown Prince tells WV he should be ashamed for asking that. Wang Eun whines that’s what he wants. Wang Eun tells Hae Soo that she told him that Wang So would give him what he wanted. Hae Soo sputters that that’s not the kind of gift she was thinking that Wang Eun wanted. Wang Yo smiles enjoying all the unhappiness that he is brought on the day. Wang So tells them to forget it. He removes his mask. Everyone stares at him. Baek Ah especially sensitive to this moment. Everyone sees the triangle scar underneath his right eye. Some smile, some stare, some look away. Wang So sees that everyone is uncomfortable. Hae Soo stares directly into his eyes. He stares at her. Upset, he leaves the room. Princess Yeon Hwa calls after him. Wang Yo laughs. That guy is scum. Hae Soo leaves. Wang Wook takes off after her. The Princess Yeon Hwa demands that WV apologize to Wang So. WV complains to Wang Yo that that was a bad idea to tell him to ask Wang So to remove his mask. Wang Yo laughs and says it was a gift he’ll never forget. The Crown Prince admonishes his family and declares this was hurtful to Wang So. Wang Yo counters that if Wang So found it so painful he should not have taken off the mask. Wang Yo declares Wang So has too much pride. Pot meet kettle. The Crown Prince says that everyone has a weak spot. He asks Wang Yo why he enjoys poking at everyone’s individual weak spot. Wang Yo tells the Crown Prince that his family is too lowly for him to maintain the role of Crown Prince. He asks if that makes the Crown Prince offended. Everyone is shocked by that rude statement. The Crown Prince says that Wang Yo speaks too carelessly. The Crown Prince asks if Wang Yo wants to be taught a lesson.
Wang So strides away. Hae Soo follows him and grabs his arm to stop his progress. Wang So turns on her and asks if everyone else wants him to participate in more sick requests. Hae Soo says that’s not what happened. Hae Soo tells Wang So that if he leaves in anger then Wang Eun will never have the opportunity to apologize. She says this will cause a rift between the brothers. She puts her hand on his arm and implores him. Wang So pins her hand to a post. He stares into her eyes and says “Look at me. Look at me”. They stare into each other’s eyes. Wang So says pity in her eyes is unbearable.
There’s always a fly in the ointment and in this episode it was Wang Yo. The birthday celebration was going well until Wang Yo prompted Wang Eun to ask for the unthinkable from Wang So. To his credit Wang So did not back down from his promise made to Wang Eun. He removed his mask but the uncomfortable looks on everyone’s faces made it impossible for him to stay. It’s tough to watch someone get kicked and hurt. My heart goes out to Wang So. I must say I do not find his scar in any way repulsive.
Hae Soo (IU) found romance in writing letters with Wang Wook. He was shocked to hear that she couldn’t read or write. As he leaned in close and put his hand on top of hers to guide her to write the letters properly, Hae Soo was enraptured by his nearness and handsome face. I don’t think she really noticed what letters were being written. When Wang Wook told her that his name meant rising sun. She practically swooned. Wang Wook asked her to promise to wait for him and she did. Her heart belongs to Wang Wook at this point. Can she ever see Wang So in a romantic way? Right now Hae Soo only sees Wang So as a friend. But some of the best romances start out based in friendship. While I look forward to their relationship is evolving into love, even if it is doomed love, I’m not impatient for it. I’m letting the writer taking episodes where they go.
Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) gave practical advice to Hae Soo. He is captivated by her. When she sang that song, he might have fallen in love with her. She’s not demure or shy. Her lively straightforward ways intrigue him. But he was hurt by the look of horror on her face when she looked at his scar. I like that he admitted that it hurt him.
Eight Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) told Hae Soo to wait until he could restore her to be near him. I totally understand why Hae Soo swoons around Wang Wook. The guy is good-looking, kind, and into her. But again I wonder why Wang Wook is unable to get the results that he wants. Last episode I tried to decide whether or not Wang Wook was a coward or just unable to push a relationship with Hae Soo forward because of the political machinations of the palace. In the end I think it’s more palace political issues versus his own cowardice, however he is not a bold man.
Tenth Prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) has an admirer and she wears a bearskin. The General’s daughter appears to have a crush on Wang Eun. I’m all for each Prince finding love somehow someway during this series. I was disappointed that Wang Eun asked Wang So to remove his mask. The easy out is to blame the alcohol for such a stupid insensitive request. Why Wang Eun doesn’t know that anything that Wang Yo suggest is evil, is beyond me. But he hurt his brother deeply and imploded the joy out of his own birthday celebration with the request.
Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) is cheerful and fun. He’s easy to watch but has little impact.
Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) met another Royal though he didn’t know it because she was in disguise. I like the irony of him meeting a girl and not knowing that she was a royal in disguise. I like him being paired with a girl that has moxie and principle. Even though I wasn’t wild for Baek Ah initially, he’s rapidly moved up the list as one of my favorite princes. While Wang Wook is kind, his heart is more selfish than Baek Ah who has a kind heart. I especially like that Baek Ah went and brought Wang So to the party, cajoling him that they were family and all needed to be together.
Ninth Prince Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) seems to be the musically inclined brother. He has little impact.
Crown Prince Wang Mu (Kim San Ho) has eczema and Hae Soo helped him. In today’s world his skin condition is a non-issue but I’m imagining that any illness would be considered a weakness in a Crown Prince and must be hidden. Hae Soo showed her willingness to insert herself into almost any situation when she attended the Crown Prince without approval. It is her spirit that draws each of the princes to like and respect her. And the Crown Prince fell under her spell this episode. He was charming when he gave Princess Yeon Hwa the excuse that the only gift he could think of for Wang Eun was inviting Hae Soo to the party. It salvaged dignity for the Princess Yeon Hwa, but kept Hae Soo at the party. I liked it when he threatened Wang Yo with retribution for his dirty trick. The General said that the Crown Prince was weak hearted, but he does have flashes of spirit.
Third Prince Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) is a dreadful person. I try to see the good in a character if it’s there. But there does not appear to be any good in Wang Yo. One could argue that he loves his mother. But I could argue back that he loves himself and uses his mother. He did to dreadful things this episode. He humiliated the Princess Yeon Hwa by telling her that she was his best option if she wanted to live in the palace. Humiliating her by not divesting himself of his first wife didn’t bother him. In that same vein humiliating Wang So in front of his family, didn’t bother him either. The best thing I could say about this Prince is that he sports guy liner with panache.
The fifth song of the OST is “All With You” by Taeyeon. Check out the video below.