This episode centered on sacrifice.
Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 11 Recap
Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) drinks the third cup of tea to save his brother the Crown Prince from being murdered by his mother, Queen Yoo, who has poisoned the tea. His hand is shaking as he gives Hae Soo (IU) the empty cup. The Crown Prince Wang Mu (Kim San Ho) petitions his father to see the loyalty and love of his brother’s heart. He asks his father to keep Wang So in the palace and not send him away. Hae Soo leaves to go get more water for the tea. Wang So follows her with his eyes knowing it could be the last time he sees her. Wang So turns to address his father. He hides the fact that his arms and hands are shaking. He tells his father he’ll step away for a moment. Slowly he makes his way but blood appears in his mouth. He’s in trouble. Princess Yeon Hwa stands concerned for him. She looks at Queen Yoo and seems to understand she poisoned the tea. Wang So manages to leave without falling over. King Wanggun asks Princess if she wants to speak. She says she has a special request for her brother eighth Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul). He looks nervous wondering what she’ll say. He knows she’s mad that he plans to leave the palace and marry Hae Soo.
Wang So staggers down the hallway behind Hae Soo who isn’t aware that he’s there. He reaches out his hand towards the woman he loves and everything starts to go fuzzy. He literally spews blood out of his mouth. Hae Soo turns horrified by what she sees. Wang So collapses to the ground. Hae Soo rushes to him and puts his head on her lap. She calls for help. Wang So tells her to go, she can’t be there. He passes out. Hae Soo calls for help desperation in her tone. I like the visual of Wang So reaching out to the woman he loved as he staggered potentially to his death. Hae Soo was in his sights but just out of his reach. How appropriate because that’s the way it is in real life too.
Princess tells the King that she too will drink the tea and then make a request of him. He asks Queen Hwangbo what the request could be. Queen Hwangbo states that Princess is very close to Wang Wook, so perhaps the request is for her brother. Princess pours herself a glass of the poison tea. Queen Yoo stares at the cup knowing the tea is poisoned. The King asks what her request is. Princess tells the King that it’s time for her brother to remarry. She asks him to grant Wang Wook approval to remarry. Wang Wook is startled that his sister made the request. The King asks Wang Wook what he thinks of his sister’s request. Wang Wook tells the King there is somebody within the palace that he would like to marry. The King grants the request. Before Princess makes her next request she pretends to drink the tea. She cleverly spills the tea out of the cup so it does not go inside her mouth and she hides the spill with her hand. Queen Yoo can’t keep the startled look off her face knowing she’s just poisoned another person in the room. Princess tells the King her next request is, then she falters, she gasps, and fakes the effects of poison. She falls to the ground making sure to hit the teapot with the poison tea on her way down so it shatters. Everyone is stunned and begins to surround her yelling her name. That’s the smartest thing we’ve seen Princess do this whole series. Bravo for the fake tea drink and the collapse, well done Princess. You’ve been a spoiled brat in my mind, you actually did something that mattered. Queen Yoo declares it’s poison. Princess mutters what about Wang So. Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) runs to find his brother. Ji Mong tastes the tea and realizes it is poisoned.
Baek Ah finds Hae Soo cradling Wang So’s head in her lap. Baek Ah tells Hae Soo that Wang So drank the poison. Ji Mong, the Crown Prince, fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo), and ninth Prince Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) along with a gaggle of guards hurried towards them. Ji Mong checks Wang So’s wrist and finds he has a pulse. The Crown Prince orders Wang So taken to the doctor. Hae Soo wants to go with him but Ji Mong stops her. She’s immediately accused of being the one that brought the poisoned tea by Wang Won. That dude is totally team evil. Wang Jung can’t believe his brother would accuse Hae Soo. Wang Won orders the guards to take Hae Soo. Ji Mong has no choice but to arrest her for poisoning the Prince.
The guards search Royal Concubine Oh’s residence for the poison. Royal Concubine Oh wants to know where the court lady is that was to serve the tea. She told that the court lady that should have serve the tea is no longer in the palace. The minister that is also on team evil and the guards find the poison and an expensive necklace. Royal Concubine Oh knows this is a set up, and a good one.
The doctor examines Princess while Queen Hwangbo and Wang Wook look on in concern. The doctor assures them that she ingested a small amount of the poison and the antidote should counter the effects. Queen Hwangbo almost faints and Wang Wook takes her to rest. As soon as her mother and Wang Wook leave the room, Princess sits up startling the doctor. She assumes he knows that she did not drink the poison, and bit her cheek to draw blood. The doctor doesn’t believe that she would do that. Princess tells him of course she wouldn’t, and she warns him that any whispers otherwise could get him killed.
With Ji Mong, Baek Ah, and the Crown Prince in attendance, the doctor administers an antidote to Wang So checks his pulse and leaves. Ji Mong comments it was a kind of poison that the testers could not detect. He notes that one drink could put anyone on the brink of death. Ji Mong is relieved that the General trained Wang So to be able to handle poison. Thank you general! I like you! I like your daughter! Thank you for training Wang So so this didn’t kill him. Baek Ah wonders why these things only happen to Wang So. The Crown Prince is sure that the poison was intended for him. He says that his brother is always protecting him from death. He feels bad about that. Ji Mong wonders why Wang So drank three drinks of the poison tea. Surely he knew after the first one that it was poisoned. Baek Ah agrees that the whole thing was off, he wonders why Wang So left the group when he knew he was dying from the poison. Ji Mong realizes that Wang So knew who poisoned the tea. The Crown Prince wonders who Wang So would be willing to die for protect being accused of being the one that poisoned the tea.
Wang Wook visits Hae Soo in her jail cell. She leaps to her feet and puts her hands on the wooden bars. Wang Wook sees Wang So’s blood on her hands. He covers her hand with a gentle tenderness. But when Hae Soo asks about Wang So, his jealousy makes him draw his hand away. That’s ridiculous. Good grief, she’s accused of poisoning Wang So. Of course she wants to know how Wang So is. The fact that she and Wang So are good friends makes it even more imperative that she knows that Wang So is okay. Wang Wook assures Hae Soo that Wang So will be okay. He tells her that Wang So had a high resistance to poison and the antidote was administered quickly. that’s a little sketchy, because you have to know what the poison was to administer the right antidote. Hae Soo is relieved. Wang Wook reminds her that she’s got a bigger problem, she will soon be questioned about who told her to administer the poison. Hae Soo says she didn’t poison Wang So. Wang Wook understands that. However, he tells her there is no proof she didn’t poison the tea. Wang Wook warns her that she may be tortured. Hae Soo assures him that she won’t be used to frame another. She tells him she can take it. That’s a little naïve on her part.
The evil minister accuses the Crown Prince of asking Hae Soo to poison Wang So. The minister says expensive necklace, the poison, and the Crown Prince’s observed one-on-one chats with Hae Soo can only mean one thing, collusion to poison. That hypothesis is flimsy. The Crown Prince takes offense at being accused of trying to kill his brother. He dares the evil minister to say that another time. Ji Mong tells him under his breath to keep calm or his skin condition, “the disease”, will be exposed. The Crown Prince heeds his advice and steps back. Wang Wook offers a different take on the matter. He says the poison was intended for the Crown Prince, and Wang So and the Princess inadvertently drank the poison tea instead of the Crown Prince. The evil minister asks if Hae Soo was the one that poisoned the tea. Wang Wook says there is no proof of that.
The King tells the Crown Prince that he will hang Hae Soo as punishment for the poisoning. The Crown Prince is horrified that innocent girl will die or something she did not do. Ji Mong is pragmatic, he believes their enemies know about his illness, and a culprit must be punished. Unable to deal with the guilt of Hae Soo being sacrificed to save his position, the Crown Prince tells his father to replace him. He yells that if his father replaces him, then the palace will be back in balance. The King does not like that suggestion, not at all. He tells his son that he is his firstborn. They fought together, they’ve saved each other, he respects his son, and with all his heart he wants him to succeed him as King. Finally, the King gets to say what is really in his heart, who he wants to be the next King. It’s been obvious that the Crown Prince is his first choice. But it’s good to hear him say it. And it confirms what we’ve all known all along.
Wang So staggers down the hallway trying to get to Hae Soo. Baek Ah tries to stop his weakened brother. Wang Wook intercepts Wang So and tells him that Hae Soo has been accused of trying to poison the Crown Prince. Wang So declares that it’s nonsense. Wang Wook says it is nonsense, but Hae Soo will not be able to escape her fate. He rues the day that he ever let Hae Soo get involved with Wang So. That certainly is presumptuous on his part. He cannot control who she is friends with. Wang So asks Baek Ah to leave so he can speak with his brother in private. Wang So tells Wang Wook that his mother, Queen Yoo, admitted to him that she would poison the Crown Prince. Wang Wook asks if Wang So drank the poison to protect his mother. Foolish Wang Wook, can’t you see why Wang So took that poison? Wang So tells Wang Wook that he drank the poison to save Hae Soo who he knew would be accused of poisoning the tea and the Crown Prince. Wang Wook is blown away that Wang So did it to save Hae Soo. Again his jealousy flares. He’s got a true rival in Wang So. But Wang So doesn’t realize that he’s fanning the flames of his brother’s jealousy and tells him that he was unable to reveal the poison because his mother had planned everything to the last detail and he had no time stop her plan. Wang So tells Wang Wook that he needs to expose Queen Yoo. Wow, Wang Wook is not a man of action. But with Hae Soo’s life on the line, will he finally be bold to save her? Wang Wook declares he will find evidence against the Queen. He vows not to leave Hae Soo rotting in jail.
Wang So heads to the jail to see Hae Soo. He finds her fitfully dozing blood all over her dress. She wakes and sees him at the door of herself. She struggles to sit up and remarks that he’s okay. Wang So smiles that darling half smile I door, and says of course, it would take more than that to kill him. I adore almost everything this man says. I am bewitched. Hae Soo says that Wang So knew that the tea was poisoned. She knows that he knew that she would be accused of poisoning the tea. He denies it. He claims he would never drink poison tea just for girl. Ha! Hae Soo asks if he did it in hopes that her feelings for him would move out of the friend zone. He looks away and doesn’t answer. Hae Soo thinks to him “what am I that you would put your life on the line for me? You’ve made it harder for me to turn you away.” Wang So looks at her and with that darling half smile he tells her “just don’t run away. You excel at causing me problems. We both managed to survive and not die. I know we will meet after you get out of here soon.” She tells him she doesn’t know what to do with him. He tells her he doesn’t know what to do with her. Folks we are watching Hae Soo change her mind about Wang So as she speaks. What woman could deny a man that is willing to put his life on the line for her? A man that always stands by her. A man that is brave, honorable, forthright, handsome, romantic…I’ll stop now. Hae Soo admonishes Wang So to listen to the doctors and do as they say. Wang So looks at her and says you’re always lecturing. He gets up and walks away. We just watched Wang So completely tumble in love with her. I have a friend that lectures all the time. And I always say to myself lecture equals love. For Hae Soo to Wang So, her lecture says I love you. He heard it loud and clear. He can’t deny his heart anymore. It’s unsettling to Wang So. But it’s true.
Wang Wook tracks a court lady and she meets with a black cloaked person. He assumes that this is the woman that was paid off to poison the tea. He uses his hairpin as a weapon and takes the woman by the throat. He warns the black robed person, he cannot see their face, that they need to come forward and admit their wrongdoing. The black cloaked person pulls the hood back, we see it is Princess. Wang Wook can’t believe it. The court lady leaves. The Princess tells Wang Wook to be sure and say that she did it to save Wang So. Wang Wook notes that if she is associated with the poison, their family will branded as traitors. The Princess agrees. She will be hanged, Queen Hwangbo will be exiled, and their family home will become a wasteland. Incensed Wang Wook demands to know why she’s done something this foolish. Equally angry she shouts back to her brother that he had to wake up to reality. She can’t let him throw away becoming King for a mere girl. Wang Wook declares he does not want to be King. His sister doesn’t believe him. She dares him to admit his innermost thoughts. She watched him at the rain ritual when Wang So got all the praise. She knows that he wants to be King, that he was jealous of Wang So taking the spot he believed he should have. She declares he wants to be King. She tells him that if it’s not true, then toss her aside, and watch mother leave. Princess declares that she was prepared to die when she made this move. Wang Wook takes action, and throws his hairpin into the court lady, killing her. With resignation he looks at his sister and says that she knew he could never toss her or their mother aside. Wang Wook tells his sister their relationship is forever changed. Gone are the days of sweet and happy fun. Now they owe each other huge debts. Princess says she can only repay her debt with the throne. Wang Wook tells her that she can do with him as she wills. He staggers towards the court lady. He extracts his hairpin from the back of her neck. Princess smiles knowing that she effectively cornered her brother into a life that he did not want, but she wanted him to have. That was an effective interchange between these two characters. Wang Wook has been on the wishy-washy side. He finally made the decision to marry Hae Soo and forgo his royal life. But he didn’t count on his sister being willing to give up everything, her life, his mother’s comfort, their families good name, to force him to compete for the throne. The real question is; does Wang Wook want to be King? Is Princess right? I did feel sorry for Wang Wook, his dreams about another life, a simple life, just imploded.
Wang Wook staggers to the jail and stares at the building knowing the woman he loves, Hae Soo, is inside. But he looks at his hand and sees the hairpin, and the blood of the court lady he just killed. He drops the hairpin. He looks at the jail and realizes it’s over, his life with Hae Soo, it’s over. He hangs his head as he feels the pain wash over him. Super scene, no words were needed.
The next day Wang Wook, Wang Won, and Wang Jung discuss Hae Soo. Wang Jung can’t believe that Hae Soo will be killed. Chae Ryung, we haven’t seen her for a bunch of episodes, brings tea into the room and prostrates herself that Wang Wook’s feet, begging for his help to save Hae Soo’s life.
Wang So goes to his father to ask for Hae Soo’s release. The King tells him that Hae Soo’s crimes cannot be overlooked. Wang So quickly discerns that his father is using Hae Soo to save the Crown Prince. His father doesn’t deny it and tells him that the sacrificing someone insignificant like Hae Soo, will save the person that matters, the Crown Prince. Wang So tells his father that being the King means people are expendable pawns. The King threatens Wang So with dying for his words. He marvels that his son, who he thought was a hardened sword, is so easily undone by a woman. Wang So retorts that a sword must be wielded properly. The King yells at Wang So that if he returns to make another request, he will die. He pleads with his father, but he turns a deaf ear to Wang So. Again, the King’s position is perfectly clear…the Crown Prince is all that matters.
Wang Wook works to find a solution to save Hae Soo. He goes to Royal Concubine Oh and asks her to plead for Hae Soo’s life with the King. Royal Concubine Oh tells him that she cannot make a convincing argument that will change the King’s mind. Wang Wook understands that Royal Concubine Oh feels like a mother to Hae Soo. He knows that his relationship with Hae Soo concerned her. Royal Concubine Oh asks the pertinent question; why can’t Wang Wook save Hae Soo by himself? She answers the question herself, surmising that his family and desire for the throne paralyze his ability to save Hae Soo. She bluntly says men that desire the throne always become cowards. Ouch! She tells Wang Wook that one day he’ll regret this decision. She warns him that the day he turned his back on Hae Soo, will haunt him forever. Wang Wook is already haunted by the fact that he never told his wife he loved her, now he will add being haunted that he turned his back on Hae Soo to save his family and his desire for the throne. Sweet dreams Wang Wook! Royal Concubine Oh tells him that she’ll meet with the King because she cares for Hae Soo. She looks at Wang Wook with disdain and says he couldn’t save anyone. Ouch, ouch!
Royal Concubine Oh serves tea to the King. He asks her to talk to him about anything but Hae Soo. Royal Concubine Oh claims she poisoned the Crown Prince. She claims because of their baby died 10 years ago, recall we learned yesterday that Queen Yoo caused that miscarriage, her envy of the living princes finally exploded and she decided to kill the Crown Prince. The King is irked telling her that he told her not to talk about Hae Soo. Royal Concubine Oh says she’s admitting to the crime so he can’t kill Hae Soo. The King says he’s going to ignore what she just said. Royal Concubine Oh unwraps the bloody clothing from their miscarried child. Wow, Royal Concubine Oh brings out the big guns! The King stares in horror. Royal Concubine Oh calmly tells him that 10 years ago a well-known person sent her tea that was supposed to soothe her morning sickness but instead it cost her to miscarry. Royal Concubine Oh says now that well-known person has done the same thing and she refuses to lose a girl she considers a daughter. Excellent parallel, loss of an infant child, and loss of an adult daughter (Hae Soo). The King says there’s no proof that Queen Yoo did this. With tears shimmering in her eyes Royal Concubine Oh asks him if he’s going to look the other way again. Royal Concubine Oh stuns the King with the news that she has stomach cancer and will die shortly. She knows he believes that killing Hae Soo will protect the Crown Prince. Royal Concubine Oh states that she has one final request, don’t let Queen Yoo take another child from her. The King struggles to ask if she’s finally throwing him away. Bam! Tears, guilt, and the unvarnished truth sucker punched the King.
Hae Soo is escorted by guards to the gallows. She startled to see her fate. She wonders where Wang Wook is. Why isn’t he saving her? Why isn’t he there to see her die? But the man that comes for her, the man that fights for her, the man that claims her, is Wang So. He gets between the palace guards and Hae Soo and tells him that she is coming with him. Swoon! As Wang So stares down the gaggle of guards his single sword drawn against all theirs, Ji Mong rushes to the courtyard and tells them that the hanging has been canceled and the real culprit has been found, he waves the King’s orders. Hae Soo faints.
With quiet dignity Royal Concubine Oh says goodbye to her court ladies and goodbye to the palace. The guards come to take her. Wang So and Hae Soo see the exchange with horror. Hae Soo rushes forward and Wang So puts himself between her and the guards yet again. Hae Soo asks Royal Concubine Oh what is going on. Royal Concubine Oh says that she poisoned the Crown Prince and now must pay. Hae Soo calls her a liar. Royal Concubine Oh apologizes for framing her. Hae Soo drags her aside. Wang So orders the guards to let them have a moment.
Hae Soo takes Royal Concubine Oh to the secret escape she’s used before. But it’s blocked. Royal Concubine Oh says there is no escape. Hae Soo says that Seo wanted to take her to her hometown. She asks Royal Concubine Oh to go with her now. Tears stream down Royal Concubine Oh’s face as she watches Hae Soo try and unblock the exit. She grabs Hae Soo and tells her that it’s enough. At the end of her rope, Hae Soo yells that they are just covering up the truth. She cries that Royal Concubine Oh is just dying instead of her. She asks Royal Concubine Oh how she could live with this? Awk, tears! Royal Concubine Oh lies and tells Hae Soo she’s doing this for the King. She tells Hae Soo that she doesn’t have long to live. She tells her that she can live with the fact that she sacrificed for the man she loved. As Hae Soo weeps, Royal Concubine Oh runs her fingers over her scar and tells Hae Soo that she protected who she wanted to protect. Hae Soo cries harder. She hugs Hae Soo and thinks to her surrogate daughter that she shouldn’t trust anyone and she should be careful with every move that she makes in this treacherous palace. She wants more for her. Lovely scene between the two women. Hae Soo draws people around her that want to save her. Royal Concubine Oh made the ultimate sacrifice. But she did it with her eyes open and her heart full that this time she saved someone she loved from Queen Yoo.
Hae Soo goes to the King’s palace, and kneels outside the doors, calling to the King to save Royal Concubine Oh.
Wang Wook runs to stop Hae Soo but his mother and sister stop him instead. Queen Hwangbo tells him that she’s never forbidden him from doing anything, but this time she won’t let him go to Hae Soo. Wang Wook can’t believe his mother is blocking him. His mother says that the King is in agony over his decision to kill Royal Concubine Oh. His mother warns that the King will kill him if he tries to intercede. Princess tells Wang Wook that he’s already turned his back on Hae Soo. Ouch! Wang Wook asks his sister how much more he wants to be in debt to him. Queen Yoo come strolling up to the family and with a smile on her face asks what’s going on. Queen Yoo looks at Wang Wook and mentions Hae Soo’s kneeling protest to the King. She comments that Wang Wook must be very worried about the woman he cares for. Queen Hwangbo says her son cares about Hae Soo because she was in his wife’s household. Wang Wook tells the Queen that Hae Soo is right in her protest. The Queen wonders who Wang Wook would suggest poisoned the Crown Prince. She wonders if he’s implying that she poisoned the Crown Prince. Queen Hwangbo falls on her knees before Queen Yoo. Horrified Wang Wook tries to pull his mother up but she pushes him away. Queen Hwangbo begs Queen Yoo not hurt her children. Queen Yoo looks at Wang Wook and says that he should know who’s the head of the table at the palace. As Wang Wook clinches his fists to control his inner rage, Queen Yoo comments that Hae Soo may very well lose her life with the kneeling protest. She tells Queen Hwangbo to stand as she strolls past.
Hae Soo struggles with exhaustion but refuses to stop protesting. Baek Ah calls her foolish. He tells her the King won’t change his mind. Hae Soo says Royal Concubine Oh sacrificed herself for Hae Soo. Baek Ah tells her everybody knows that. He tells her that poking the bear, angering the King, is pure foolishness, and everyone that loves her is helpless and cannot help. Hae Soo can’t give up without protesting. Baek Ah tells her to soldier on, shaking his head. As he stands to leave Hae Soo asks if he has seen Wang Wook. But she doesn’t want to know the answer. She tells him to forget it and he strides away.
Queen Hwangbo tells the King that sacrificing Royal Concubine Oh to save the Crown Prince will only haunt him and make him lonely. The King is blunt, sometimes you have to throw people away. Ji Mong notes that Hae Soo is doing the kneeling protest. The King is blunt, if anyone helps her, they will pay.
In the rain Hae Soo continues her vigil. Wang Jung, then Baek Ah, then the Crown Prince spend time with her in the rain, showing solidarity. As the rain pours over her Hae Soo looks up and finally sees Wang Wook approach her. They stare at each other. He stops walking towards her. Her eyes widened in shock. He steps back. Her eyes wide she knows this means rejection. He turns and walks away. She can only ask herself why, why is the man that professed his love and wanted to marry her not standing by her? Then a cloak is raised over her head. She looks and sees that it’s Wang So. He extends his cloak and shields her from the rain. He stands with her in her protest silently giving her support. As Hae Soo watches Wang Wook walk out of her life, she nestles back into the protection of Wang So. That scene was pure perfection. We just saw the official transition of Hae Soo’s loyalty from Wang Wook to Wang So. I was also impressed that the Princes stood by her.
On her way to the gallows Royal Concubine Oh encounters Queen Yoo. The guards force her to kneel before the Queen. As she stands under the protection of an umbrella, Queen Yoo taunts Royal Concubine Oh that dying first means losing. Royal Concubine Oh counters that living a lonely loveless life is losing. Unfazed the Queen says that no one will ever remember the lowly court woman that Royal Concubine Oh became. Kneeling in the rain Royal Concubine Oh thinks to herself if only one person remembers me, it’s enough.
The gong sounds. The hanging of Royal Concubine Oh occurs. Hae Soo scrambles to her feet. The King staggers in pain and Ji Mong steadies him. Wang So tries to contain the distraught Hae Soo. She finally faints thinking that if she’d known that someone would be willing to die for her, she would not have been so greedy to live. She wishes that all of this were a dream that she could wake from and never remember.
Sacrifice is worth it when it’s meaningful. Many character sacrificed this episode. Wang So sacrificed for the Crown Prince. The Princess sacrificed for her family. Wang Wook sacrificed for his family. Royal Concubine Oh gave her life for Hae Soo. The sacrifices that each of these characters will have long-lasting ramifications. The tables are turned, loyalties are realigned, and love was sacrificed.
Hae Soo (IU) felt the pain of Royal Concubine Oh’s sacrifice. Hae Soo was unfairly identified as the person that poisoned the tea. Queen Yoo is the master manipulator and she effectively framed Hae Soo. Hae Soo wanted Wang Wook to save her. And he wanted to save her. But for reasons that Hae Soo may never know, Wang Wook turned his back on her (literally). Instead Hae Soo finally had to open her eyes to the steadfast caring of Wang So. I’ve been wondering what would drive Hae Soo to stop loving Wang Wook and move Wang So out of the friend zone. We had our answer this episode. While I was sad to see Royal Concubine Oh die, her sacrifice was perfect. She was near death, she played the miscarriage card and shamed the King into freeing Hae Soo and killing her in her stead. While many thought that Hae Soo was stupid to do the kneeling protest to the King, in fact she was loyal and true to Royal Concubine Oh. It was her last and only opportunity to right the wrong of Royal Concubine Oh’s sacrifice. The scene where Wang Wook turns from her and Wang So sheltered her signified one door closing and another opening. It’s about time.
Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) survived the poison. He had been trained by the general to cope with poison. I am grateful that the general did this and saved Wang So’s life with this training. I fully detail in the recap my absolute adoration for Wang So. If I were to summarize Wang So in a single word this episode it would be steadfast. He’s loyal to a fault. He’s willing to put himself on the line for those that he cares about. He sacrificed his own life for his brother and Hae Soo. He stood with his brothers in solidarity with Hae Soo. He shielded her not only from the rain, but unbeknownst to him, he shielded her from some of the pain of her dream man walking away. She doesn’t fully know that Wang So is truly the dream man…yet.
Eight Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) was willing to act and sacrifice Hae Soo. But his sister thwarted his plans. The Princess pretending to drink the poison was the smartest move this character has made this entire series. She effectively trapped her brother into staying in the palace. The Princess raised a good question. Did Wang Wook really want to be King? He claims that he wanted a quiet life with Hae Soo. But did he really want to be King? My favorite moment of the episode was when Royal Concubine Oh told Wang Wook that he would live to regret the day that he turned his back on Hae Soo. I think he’ll regret it just like his father regrets allowing Royal Concubine Oh to talk him into tossing her aside. This was the best episode for the Wang Wook and the actor that plays him. He’s been a pretty face and a dream guy to Hae Soo. But today he grappled with betrayal, hard choices, and denial of the woman he loved. Kang Ha Neul shined in those scenes.
Tenth Prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) was not in this episode.
Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) stepped up for Hae Soo. I was proud that he was the first Prince to join Hae Soo in the rain.
Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) is a true friend to Wang So and Hae Soo. Baek Ah is the perfect friend. He tells it like it is, but he cares when he delivers the truth. That makes all the difference.
Ninth Prince Wang Wook (Yoon Sun Woo) is firmly entrenched in team evil. He’s scum.
Crown Prince Wang Mu (Kim San Ho) felt the shame of Wang So sacrificing for him. The Crown Prince finally had a moment where he was allowed to vent his frustrations at how others sacrifice for him. The King finally admitted he was willing to sacrifice anyone to keep the Crown Prince as next in line.
Third Prince Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) was not in this episode.
The eight song of the OST is “I Confess” by SG Wannabe. Check out the video below.