Who ever said “it’s good to be King” did not live in this kingdom.
Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 14 Recap
2 years has passed…
Hae Soo (IU) is the top court lady (like Royal Concubine Oh) and Chae Ryung has been promoted from servant to court lady as well (courtesy of Wang Wook). Chae Ryung reminds Hae Soo that eighth Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) still feels the same about Hae Soo. She has no response.
Wang Wook delivers a Royal order from the King. Wealthy families are to rotate supporting the palace guards. Wang Wook reminds everyone that the king’s illness makes it so that he cannot attend the morning sessions, so they must enact his orders with Wang Wook as the proxy. Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) and Wang Wook stare at each other.
Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) walks in the forest remembering Woo Hee. He turns and there she is! He turns around unable to believe that she’s real. He thinks he’s hallucinating her. When he turns back, she is still there. He asks if she’ll disappear if he tries to touch her. Woo Hee tells him that she was hoping that the wound she gave him had not healed, so he wouldn’t have forgotten her. Baek Ah pulls her into a hug and tells her that he didn’t come to her because he believed he would only bring her sadness. She admits she did the same, not seeing him so she would not make him sad. I’m glad to see this couple still has a sweetness. With the two-year gap hopefully her assassination attempt of the former king can be water under the bridge. It wasn’t common knowledge what she did, so hopefully she can actually have a life with Baek Ah. I’m all for this couple finding happiness.
Chae Ryung gets herbs ready for the King’s bath. Ninth Prince Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) intercepts her and forces her to accept a little something extra for the King’s bath.
King Wang Mu (Kim San Ho) tells Hae Soo that he’s very tired after a bath, and his memory is fuzzy. Hae Soo says he’s not sleeping well. She has a special tea and pillow that should help him sleep better. Hae Soo leaves Chae Ryung in charge of the King’s bath. Chae Ryung adds additional herbs. I’m assuming that the herbs Wang Won foisted on her are in the bag.
Baek Ah and Wang So wish Hae Soo happy birthday. Baek Ah’s present is well received. Baek Ah teases Wang So who is unable to come up with the present. Wang So tries to defend his lack of a gift. Hae Soo quips because she’s only a court lady having a birthday should be sufficient, a.k.a. the gifts aren’t needed. There’s an interesting tension between Wang So and Hae Soo.
Hae Soo hears animal sounds and smiles a little smile guessing that it’s Wang So. She’s right, Wang So is outside her quarters hoping that she’ll come out. Hae Soo asks Wang So if he was the one making the animal sounds. He asks if they were too realistic. She states she knew it wasn’t a dog or a wolf, she thought maybe it was someone choking on a rice cake. Ha! Wang So holds out his hand and tells her that he’s got something wonderful to show her for her birthday. He smiles. She tries not to smile. She takes his hand and off they go.
Wang So takes Hae Soo to look at the stars. As Wang So points out the various stars, Hae Soo counters with the names from the present day. She even tells him a story about one of the stars. That makes Wang So reminisce about finding his mother telling stories to a young fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) and he was jealous. His mother saw his jealousy and hid Wang Jung from him. Wang So wonders if his mother knew that one day he’d be able to kill a brother (referencing the death of third Prince Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun)). Hae Soo is sympathetic and says older siblings always want their younger siblings to disappear. Wang So wonders if her sympathy should make him only look at her. Wang So tells her that whenever he sees her, his load is always lightened. He wonders if he could live without seeing Hae Soo. He tells if she won’t come to him and be open to a relationship, then don’t give him hope that one day they might have a relationship. He admits the hope that one day they will be a couple tortures him. He stares into her eyes and moves to kiss her. She puts up her hand and reminds him that he promised he would never kiss her without her permission. But as we all know he did kiss her last episode (quick peck), after he made that promise. He asks if he can kiss her and then quickly leans into make it happen. She stops him and disallows the kiss. That was a cute little exchange. Wang So isn’t done trying, but she rebuffs him once more. Wang So jokes that the king will marry her off to some old man. Hae Soo scoffs that the king favors her so much, that he would never marry her off without her consent. Wang So accuses her of being a show off since she’s special to the king. They both smile. Wang So asks her to confirm she’s got a day off soon. He tells her that they should go to the prayer tower. He’s got something he wants to tell her there. He asks if she will go. She stares at him. He smiles that darling little smile. Thank goodness. I lived to see romantic tension between the two of them. Has Hae Soo sworn off men? Wang So keeps trying, bless his heart. Here’s hoping she caves. How can she not melt when he smiles at her?
The King shivers and complains to Wang Wook that even though it’s hot outside he’s cold. He can’t sleep, and when he does he only has nightmares. Wang Wook suggests that the King abdicate the throne to him. Wang Wook says that the rumors that Ji Mong spread for him that he was the son of the Dragon, to explain the red scarring on his body, isn’t working. Wang Wook says it’s time for the King to stop bearing the burden of the throne, and give that burden to his brother. Wang Wook promises to take care of the King for as long as he lives. So Wang Wook’s pursuit of the throne is still foremost in his mind. It looks like Wang Wook won the King’s second in command position when he revealed Wang Yo’s plan to take the throne from the king two years ago. Does Wang Wook still think that if he were King he could win Hae Soo?
The King has agreed to marry his young daughter (and she looks like she’s 10) into a remote clan. His daughter tells him she doesn’t want to leave him. The King says he is protecting her. Ji Mong doesn’t think it best either. The King tells him the clan will support him in time of need if he creates an alliance through marriage. The King tries to push his daughter into the paraffin. He is acting erratic. Wang So has a flashback to when his mother had archers shoot flaming arrows at him. Good grief! That’s a childhood memory Wang So has? Queen Yoo is the worst mother ever. Finally, Wang So can’t take it anymore and intervenes. He tells the King that if he sends his daughter to the remote clan, she will only be a hostage. The King counters that he fears death every night, he can’t sleep, he can’t think, and people that he once trusted want him to abdicate. Wang So tries to soothe his brother. The King looks at Wang So and asks if he’ll marry the princess and save them all. Oh no! I don’t like that request.
Hae Soo looks quite pretty as she waits for her date with Wang So. Folks, this is a date. She’s wearing his hair ornament and she’s nervous! When Wang So arrives, Hae Soo doesn’t see him, so he takes in her beauty with a kind of sadness. Drat, did he agree to marry the princess? When Hae Soo turns, Wang So sees the hair ornament in her hair and hope surges in his body. He smiles. He approaches her joking that he didn’t think she’d come so he took his time coming to the meeting spot. She asks what was the important thing he wanted to tell her. He pretends not to remember and say it wasn’t important. Drat, he did agree to marry the princess or he’d be furthering romance as Hae Soo appears to be open to him. Wang So your timing is off! Hae Soo is obviously disappointed. Wang So teases her about that. He suggests they do something else.
He takes her out in a row boat. He notices her death grip on the boat and decides to startle her by rocking the boat. It works. He laughs. He’s like a boy torturing the girl he likes. His smiles melts me, I don’t know how she doesn’t cave. She asks if the boat is his. Wang So shares that he brought it when he returned to the palace. She asks why she’s never seen him in the boat. Wang So pauses and confides that he doesn’t want enjoy the palace too much or he may never want to leave. Hae Soo stares at him says she’s wondering what it would be like to set aside something she wanted like he has. Wang So apologizes for not remembering what he wanted to say. She tells him he’ll remember it. She tells him to take his time. Yes, it’s always about timing with our leading couple. She’s not available and he wants her. He’s not available, and she’s more open than she’s ever been. Bummer.
Ji Mong tells Wang So he’s made a big decision. Wang So states if he marries the princess, people will assume he wants the throne. He’ll have more power which will allow him to protect the King. Ji Mong is impressed that Wang So is strategizing. Wang So asks if he’s once again a dog on a leash who is now protecting his master, the King. He wonders if this is his destiny. Wang So says he’s tried of supplicating his wants for someone else. He asks Ji Mong how he can stop being a dog on a leash and instead be free to live the life he wants. Ji Mong comments that most people would consider this an opportunity to become king. He confirms he’s not telling Wang So to take over the thrown by removing his brother. Ji Mong thanks Wang So for protecting his brother. He states the King will not be his master much longer. I’m glad to see Wang So thinking politically. I’m glad to see Ji Mong still supports him. I wish Wang So could live the life he wants, but that isn’t going to happen is it?
Hae Soo gives Wang Jung and Park Soon Duk, Wang Eun’s wife facials to smooth their outdoor weathered faces. Baek Ah is not happy to see that Hae Soo used some of the rose oil he gave her for her birthday. After the facial, Wang Jung and Wang Eun’s wife complement each other on their brighter and softer skin. Tenth Prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) overhears and jealousy take over. He accuses his wife of having feelings for Wang Jung. Irritated she leaves. Wang Eun recommends that Wang Jung never marry. Hae Soo tells Wang Eun that he doesn’t even know his own heart. She points out that he cares for the wife he pretends to disdain. Wang Eun comments that Wang So will understand the downside of marriage soon. Wang Jung and Hae Soo are surprised. I’m a bit surprised that in 2 years, Wang Eun hasn’t made more progress establishing a loving relationship with his wife. But he is immature. Bummer that Hae Soo had to find out about Wang So’s marriage from someone else.
Wang So finds Hae Soo sitting alone. One look at her and he realizes she’s heard about his marriage. He apologizes. She tells him they made no promises to each other. Wang So begs to differ. Everything he told her, a free life, a life away from the palace was a promise in his mind. Nice! He’s not happy that he’s hurt her by breaking his word. He can offer no rational that will suffice. With tears brimming and with dignity Hae Soo offers her congratulations on his marriage. A tear spills onto her cheek. Wang So watches her walk away knowing his chance with her is over. Bummer, bummer, bummer! I have waited 14 episodes for a mutual moment between these two and by the middle of the episode, it’s over. Ugh! Are Wang So’s swoonable moments over? Tell me it isn’t so. That has been a great pleasure of this series. The scene was quiet and well played by both actors.
Wang Wook reads an appeal that Wang So be exiled. The King stops Wang Wook and says the appeal is designed to make him abdicate to Wang Wook. Understanding that he has an issue with his brother, Wang Wook states he only wanted to lessen his burden. The King states he will be sharing his burden with his brother. Wang So is announced. The King tells Wang Wook that Wang So will marry his oldest daughter. Because she’s so young, she will be his second wife. Wang So states Ji Mong has selected the wedding date. Wang Wook and Wang So stare at each other. The King tells Wang Wook that he’s taking his advice. He’ll be abdicating to Wang So soon. Both Wang Wook and Wang So are surprised. Wang Wook is forced to agree with the King and offer congratulations to Wang So. Wang Wook wonders if anyone is crying over Wang So’s marriage. We all know he’s talking about Hae Soo. The King surprised me with his abdicate to Wang So announcement. Can you have a second wife if you don’t have a first wife?
Baek Ah visits Hae Soo with sympathy for the situation with Wang So and a letter from Wang So. He offers the letter stating Wang So says it is his explanation for the situation. Hae Soo reads the letter and says Wang So has a way with words. She admits she was wrong to believe she understood him so well.
As Wang So steps into the royal chambers with the young Princess, Hae Soo thinks about Wang So’s note “I went to the water to rest. But the clouds came.” Later Wang So watches the King sleeping hoping he gave his brother peace.
Wang Jung is surprised to find his supposedly dead brother Wang Yo meeting with his mother at the temple. The first thing I notice…no guy liner! Wang Jung is stunned. Wang Yo quips he needs to work on his poker face. Queen Yoo is thrilled to have her 2 favorite sons together again. Wang Jung demands to know why Wang Yo pretended to be dead for 2 years. Wang Yo is matter of fact; he was a traitor and couldn’t return. His uncle’s care saved him. Wang Jung states he’ll request exoneration from the King. He believes the King would be agreeable. Wang Yo chuckles. He wants the throne. He’s a threat to the King. He surprises Wang Jung with the news that Wang So is marrying the King’s daughter and that the King plans to abdicate to Wang So. Because Wang So “killed” Wang Yo, Wang Jung is against Wang So becoming King but he refuses to commit treason. Wang Yo declares he won’t fail in his second quest to take the throne. Queen Yoo beams with pride. Wang Yo tries to sway Wang Jung to his side by stating the King is nuts and his choice of King is unacceptable therefore they have no choice but to take action.
Wang Jung leaps the palace wall. Wang So and the guards chase him. He goes to Hae Soo’s home. Wang So and the guards enter. Hae Soo tells them that she did not see anything. Wang So motions the guards to search her room. Hae Soo blocks the guards. Wang So states he’ll search her room. Hae Soo takes her hair ornament and put it to her throat. Wouldn’t it have been great if she’d been wearing Wang So’s hair ornament? Hae Soo declares she’d rather die than have her room searched. She tells Wang So to get the King’s permission as she only takes orders from him. Wang So asks if there is anyone in her room. Hae Soo states there is no one in her room. She draws the hair ornament over her throat drawing blood. Wang So orders the guards to come with him. Hae Soo sags in relief. Wang Jung is in her room and thrilled at her boldness. Hae Soo says that keeping the peace is worth it. Wang Jung wonders if she would have done the same for any his brothers. Hae Soo confirms this. Wang Jung isn’t surprised but not happy with that fact. Wang Jung asks Hae Soo who she will side with if the brothers splinter and fight. Hae Soo quips she’ll referee. Wang Jung states the family harmony of the old days are gone forever. He tells her she will have to choose sides. She says she won’t be able to choose because she doesn’t want anyone hurt.
Wang So stands outside her palace knowing Wang Jung is in there. Wang Jung draws a blanket over a sleeping Hae Soo and smiles watching her sleep. Good grief, will everyone fall in love with her?
The next day Wang So literally grabs Hae Soo and take her to the lake. He states he knows Wang Jung was in her room. He wanted to break the door down. He demands an explanation why she hid Wang Jung. Angry, she turns on him and asks why he didn’t offer her a straightforward explanation. She says the poem was nice but it wasn’t clear. She wants to know why he is marrying. Is he doing this become the next King? Wang So explains that the princess was about to exiled to a remote clan that would have treated her as a hostage. The only way to stop it was to agree to marry. Hae Soo knows that exile is the one option Wang So would never tolerate because he suffered that fate. She asks why he didn’t tell her this from the beginning. It would have saved heartache. He snaps that he didn’t want her to wait in hope. He knows she doesn’t like multiple wives. Didn’t he just tell her he wants her as his wife but knowing she wouldn’t accept another wife, he thinks it’s off the table? Wang So states he managed to avoid marriage, but suddenly he couldn’t avoid marriage anymore. What kind of explanation could he offer? Satisfied, Hae Soo states the Wang Jung was in her room. She claims he forgot the rules about exiting/entering the palace. Wang So tells her not to lie to him again. He says neither of them want lies from each other even if the truth hurts. Hae Soo asks what they should do when they don’t want to disclose something. Wang So tells her to say that. No need to lie to him. She promises not to lie. He promises not to lie. There! They’ve finally pledged and promised something! Wang So rocks the ribbon in his hair! Wang So asks if she’s over her anger. Hae Soo asks if he’s regretting the choice to marry. Wang So says he had to protect the King, and marriage was the option offered, so he doesn’t regret the choice to marry. Wang So says the princess has relocated to the temple. Wang So asks who Hae Soo referenced when she said she loved someone. He wonders if it was Wang Jung. Hae Soo laughs at his guess. Hae Soo asks if Wang So lied when he claimed to forget the important thing he had to tell her. Wang So confirms this. Hae Soo asks what he wanted to tell her. Wang So stares at her. He steps near her. He tells her “I love you”. Swoon! She smiles. He smiles. She kisses him! Holy Smokes! One moment, this may be the only moment! She stares into his eyes and says “Don’t you forget it”. Excellent! Wang So is surprised and smiles. He grabs her waist and draws her to him. Swoon! He stares into her eyes. He knows he doesn’t have to ask anymore. He traces her face with his hand. Swoon! He bends and kisses her. Swoon! She puts her arms around his waist and sinks into the kiss. I lived to see the day! Excellent! Who knew getting engaged would be the catalyst for them to FINALLY admit their feelings? Hae Soo admitted her feelings subtly and Wang So told her flat out. Even though the kiss was the centerpiece, the rest of the scene was terrific too.
Wang Won visit Wang Wook and brings a guest. It’s Wang Yo. Bam! His guy liner went up a notch. Wang Yo tells Wang Wook they have much to discuss. Wang Wook agrees.
Wang Yo approaches the palace with his cadre of guards and his bow and arrow. I think he looks better with the goatee. Nothing says evil like a goatee. Wang Yo shoots one the guards and order his men to attack. They storm the palace. Wang Yo demands they find the King.
Wang Wook tells his mother a rebellion is underway. Queen Hwangbo and Princess Yeon Hwa are not happy. Wang Wook states he took them out of the palace so they’d be safe while the rebellion was happening. Yeon Hwa can’t believe he’s helping Wang Yo. She yells he’ll betray you when he takes the throne. Wang Wook states Wang Yo is better than Wang So as the next King. Queen Hwangbo is angry that Wang Wook has chosen to become a traitor. Honey, he went down that path several years ago. Wang Wook snaps he did what he had to do to protect his family. Queen Hwangbo asks if Hae Soo has figured into any of Wang Wook’s choices. With tears in his eyes, he confirms Hae Soo has played a role in his choices. In fact, she was the catalyst. Good scene. Wang Wook’s machinations have calculated Hae Soo into the choices, but in no way did Wang Wook do this solely for her. Too many of his choices rejected her, not embraced her. His family ranks higher than Hae Soo, he’s proven that in the past.
The King spits blood in front of Hae Soo and Chae Ryung. The sounds of the guards searching for him are everywhere. They find the King and Hae Soo. They drag Hae Soo away from the King. Wang Yo strides into the room. The King stares at his “deceased no longer but still a traitor” brother. Wang Won is right behind Wang Yo. Solidarity! Hae Soo stares in disbelief. The King reaches out to Wang Yo and asks him to save him. I roll my eyes. Wang Yo bends down to the King and pushes him into the water. The King flails. Couldn’t he just stand up? The King drowns. Wang Yo watches and thinks “brother, you were destined to live your life floundering. If father had known, he never would have picked you to be king.” Hate to say it, but Wang Yo is correct. Hae Soo drops to her knees in front of the floating dead King. Wang Yo tells his now dead brother “I told you I would not lose twice.” You’ve got to respect that Wang Yo followed through with that promise.
Wang So storms into the room dispatching guards followed by Ji Mong. He sees the King dead in the water. Wang Yo turns. He sees his “deceased but no longer but still a traitor” brother. His eyes widen in shock. As he realizes the King is dead, he cries his pain and dispatches several guard to get closer. Wang Yo orders them to stop. Ji Mong gets in the water and turns the King over. He moans the King’s name repeatedly but there is no life left. Ji Mong cries. Hae Soo cries. Chae Ryung looks guilty and runs. Wang Yo says he didn’t kill him. He states the King was addicted to poison and dying. Wang Yo claims Hae Soo put deadly mercury in the bath water. Hae Soo is shocked. Wang Won (the real culprit) pushes Hae Soo to the ground. He asks how the mercury got the in bath water. Hae Soo denies knowledge of the mercury. Wang Yo offers Wang So two options – (1) die with Hae Soo or (2) accept Wang Yo and save Hae Soo. Ouch! Hae Soo is Wang So’s Achilles heels. Wang Yo knows this well. Wang Yo states he won’t forget that Hae Soo poisoned the King and will use it as needed. Wang So yells in anger. He draws his sword and clashes with Wang Yo. His brother tells Wang So that wolfs are loyal to a single female wolf until death. He calls Wang So an animal. He orders Wang Won to put a sword to Hae Soo’s throat. Wang So stares at the sword at Hae Soo’s throat. Wang Yo orders him to choose.
Superb episode. Payoff for viewers abounded. Wang So and Hae Soo admitted their feelings and kissed. Wang So committed to marry another. Wang Yo returned from the dead to take the throne. Chae Ryung was the surrogate that administered the poison Wang Won / Queen Yoo provided. The King died. This episode delivered!
Hae Soo (IU) kissed Wang So. Hae Soo took matters into her own hands and kissed him. FINALLY, she moved Wang So out of the friend zone. I wondered if it would ever happen. The series is 70% complete with this episode. The writer has made the viewers wait for this moment. Will it be fleeting? Is their only shot of happiness? After the 2-year time jump, Hae Soo was no longer depressed (yes!) and open to Wang So (yes!).
Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) got his heart’s desire. He’ll need to remember that moment. Wang So, you escaped the friend zone! Finally! Wang So resonates with me. He wants what he wants but proceeds with honor and honesty to achieve (almost always). He has a special “truth zone” with Hae Soo. He freely admitted his feelings for her, she reciprocated, he laid a lovely kiss on her. Be still my heart when he grabs her waist and pulls her to him, swoon! On the politics side of the story, Wang So offered to save the King’s daughter from exile by agreeing to marry her. That moved him to the number one spot in the King’s heart much to Wang Wook’s dismay. He got “shock therapy” when Wang Yo returned and the King died. Then Wang Yo offered the awful choice – die with Hae Soo OR pledge loyalty to Wang Yo & save Hae Soo.
Eight Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) is back on team evil. I must say he didn’t seem overly surprised by Wang Yo’s reappearance. Ever pragmatic, Wang Wook realized “if you can’t beat them, join them” and “live to fight another day”. He admitted to his mother that his choices were because of Hae Soo. That proves that he’s lying to himself because he’s clearly rejected Hae Soo numerous times to propel his own agenda to power.
Tenth Prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) was jealous. His wife’s easy relationship with Wang Jung made him jealous. Hae Soo told him to open his eyes to his heart.
Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) witnessed his brother Wang Yo return from the dead. He didn’t want to join team evil, but agreed to keep silent. “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”.
Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) was reunited with Woo Hee. Baek Ah thought he hallucinated Woo Hee in the woods but she was real. They were both thrilled. I was pleased for them.
Ninth Prince Wang Wook (Yoon Sun Woo) poisoned his brother. He’s loyal scum.
Crown Prince Wang Mu (Kim San Ho) died. The lifetime interview ended last week but the job only lasted 2 years. He was nice but malleable. He got more interesting as the poison gripped his brain. It was suspicious that no one suspected poison. I would have thought that the symptoms would point to poison.
Third Prince Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) was deceased no longer but still a traitor. The guy liner was reduced as he reestablished himself as the leader of team evil. He is poised to be the next King. He has Wang So in his clutches as he exploits Wang So’s Achilles Heel, Hae Soo.
The tenth song of the OST is “My Love” sung by Lee Hi. Check out the video below.