Wang Yo realizes “it’s good to be King”. He enjoys his new status.
Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 15 Recap
Third Prince but soon to be King Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) offers fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) two choices – save Hae Soo (IU) (and accept Wang Yo as King) or die with Hae Soo (and honor the dead King). Wang So frantically searches his brain to come up with a way out of this mess. All the while Wang Yo stares at him intensely never wavering in his gaze and his demand for unconditional loyalty to him. But Wang So can’t find a way out of this trap. He throws his sword down. He goes to his knees. He offers his support to Wang Yo, the new King. He can barely utter the words but he wishes his brother a long life. Hae Soo stares at Wang So in horror knowing that he had no choice. Wang Yo must think his biggest opponent is vanquished. Does hope in defeating Wang Yo shift to Eighth Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) or Princess Yeon Hwa?
Ji Mong remembers a time when he was a young adult, the Crown Prince was young adult, and Wang So was a young boy. He assured the Crown Prince that he would become King. He did tell his friend that his lifeline wasn’t long. The Crown Prince told Ji Mong that it didn’t matter if his life wasn’t long, it only mattered who he spent his last days with. Wang So pipes up and says that he wants to be king one day too. Both men laughed and called him your Majesty.
Now Ji Mong looks at the king’s lifeless body lying on the ground. Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) and fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) rush up and see their dead brother on the floor. Ji Mong wants to know why the king isn’t getting the respect and death he deserves. We see Wang So and Hae Soo nearby. Baek Ah gently puts his brother’s head into his lap and wishes him well in his next journey. He cries. Wang Jung looks sad. Hae Soo stands and looks at Wang So who sheds a tear. In a dull voice she says that all this happened because of her. She apologizes to Wang So. Not liking what he’s seeing, Wang So drags Hae Soo out of the room.
They run into ninth Prince Wang Won (Yoon Sun Woo) who warns them that the new King will declare Hae Soo to be the woman that poisoned the former King. Hae Soo grips Wang So’s hand tightly.
Wang Yo and his men search for Wang Eun but he’s not home. What they don’t know is Wang Eun and his wife are watching. They realize they must flee.
Wang Yo thanks Wang Wook for his support with the former King and the hot tip to control Wang So by threatening Hae Soo. Wang Wook is forced to kneel before his brother. He offers his support and hope for a long life. Wang Yo eyes the throne. The elusive goal is now his. He sits on the throne and smiles. Wang Yo orders Wang Wook to find and kill Wang Eun. Wang Wook comments Wang So is the best hunting dog they have. Wang Yo can only smile a satisfied smile.
Wang Yo orders many killed. Queen Yoo is thrilled that Wang Yo is acting like the perfect King. She declares he is bringing her great glory. They congratulate each other on their new positions. She starts to offer him advice but he cuts her off. Nice! She deserves that. Wang So approaches and Queen Yoo barks at him to show proper respect for his brother. Wang Yo declares that because Wang So couldn’t kill him when he had the chance (on the cliff), he’s alive today and now King. Wang So offers to rectify that mistake. Ha! Wang Yo orders Wang So to catch and kill Wang Eun. Wang So refuses. Wang Yo smiles, and says he’ll only keep Wang So’s “people” – Ji Mong, Baek Ah, and Hae Soo – safe if Wang So obeys he’s order. He calls Wang Yo a dog that follows. Ah but we know Wang So is a wolf, not a dog. Wang So walks away knowing he must obey. Queen Yoo urges Wang Yo to kill Wang So. Wang Yo laughs and says that keeping Wang So close is best and admits to enjoying “taming” his brother. That’s not taming, that abusing dude.
Wang So finds the General and Ji Mong. He informs them that Wang Eun’s supporter are dead. He states he’s been ordered to find Wang Eun and Park Soon Duk (the general’s daughter). The General wants to believe that Wang Yo would not kill them. Wang So cannot reassure the General. Everyone has their limit and the General calmly informs Wang So that if his daughter is swept into this political mess, he will retaliate.
Will we find out the backstory behind the poisoning of the King? Hae Soo tells Chae Ryung that they were the only ones the tended the King. Chae Ryung blurts she didn’t hurt the King. Hae Soo assures her she never suspected her. Chae Ryung is upset that Wang Eun’s supporters are dead and Wang Eun is missing. Hae Soo flashes back to Wang So telling her that he must leave the palace. Wang Yo tells Hae Soo he must catch a criminal accused of treason by Wang Yo. Now Hae Soo realizes Wang Yo ordered Wang So to catch Wang Eun. She feels sick.
Hae Soo gets a big surprise when Wang Eun and his wife appear in front of her. Wang So hides them in her room. Soon Duk warns Hae Soo not to betray them. Wang Eun tells Hae Soo they will flee by boat when it arrives. His wife cuts him off from telling Wang So more. Smart girl! Hae Soo is better off not knowing the details. Wang Eun wonders if he shouldn’t enlist help from his brothers, Wang Wook, or Baek Ah, or Wang Jung, or Wang So. Hae Soo is forced to say that Wang So has been sent to find them. Wang Eun takes that well. His wife states they must be even more careful. Wang Eun asks about his relatives. Not wanting to tell Wang Eun that Wang Yo killed everyone, Hae Soo claims not to know. Wang Eun hopes his relatives are okay. His wife and Hae Soo exchange a glance. They know what Wang Eun cannot even conjure.
Woo Hee demands rights for her village. Wang Yo doesn’t like dealing with an assassin. Ha! Isn’t that a “the pot calling the kettle black” moment (used by someone guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another, aka projection)? Woo Hee only wants to help her people, she promises her village will support Wang Yo as King. But Wang Yo can’t let her win this concession. He tells her he has a better idea… Wang Yo’s consider himself first mantra gives him an edge in the early days of being King.
Wang So and Baek Ah drink and overhear others talking about how Wang So is the King’s dog to hunt down Wang Eun. Baek Ah tells Wang So that he found boats Wang Eun might escape on. He doesn’t know which one Wang Eun will choose. He asks Wang So if he will capture Wang Eun. Wang So asks if he trusts him. Baek Ah says “I don’t trust our brother Wang Yo. He manipulates people and uses their weaknesses. The future looks bleak.” Wang So wonders if Wang Eun as asked for support from any of his other brothers. Baek Ah doesn’t think so. Baek Ah can’t believe that Wang Yo didn’t die. Wang So must wonder why he didn’t finish Wang Yo off when he had the chance. Woo Hee approaches and tells Baek Ah that she must return home. He can’t believe that she’s leaving. Wang Yo’s evil right hand man watches.
Wang So finds Wang Wook and wonders what he’s up to. Wang Wook notes that Wang So is suddenly very interested in what he’s doing. Wang So puts it on the table and states that he thanks Wang Wook is behind a lot of what happened. Wang So notes that the former King was addicted to Mercury for two years. Wang So can’t believe that Wang Won was the mastermind. He doesn’t have to say the next part, that he thinks the Wang Wook behind the mercury poisoning. Wang So doesn’t understand why Wang Yo hasn’t gotten rid of Wang Wook. Wang So goes back to suspecting Wang Wook as the mastermind behind killing Wang Eun and his family. Wang Wook notes that Wang So seems to be too suspicious of him. Wang So steps closer and asks Wang Wook if he killed the former King. Wang Wook asks if Wang So act as the king’s dog and kill Wang Eun. The show totally loves painting Wang So with an animal analogy, and it’s never flattering. Wang Wook tells Wang Yo that they both are doing what they must to survive, such is the fate of the prince that is not King. Wang Wook says to survive, they must submit. Wang So wonders why Wang Wook is someone he doesn’t recognize anymore. Wang Wook stares straight into Wang So’s eyes and says he did not kill the former King through poison. There’s must be weasel wording or he’s flat out lying.
Wang Yo studies Hae Soo that she pours his tea. He asks her why she put mercury in the former King’s bath. She denies this. He asks if she would maintain that stance under torture. In a gentle tone Hae Soo tells the king that she’d accuse him of the torture even if she had to die for uttering those words. Wang Yo has to respect her moxie and declares that she’s something else. Wang Yo says she’s the best way to control his brothers and so she will live. Hae Soo asks him who put the mercury in the water. He asks why she thinks she he knows. Hae Soo says even if he kills her, she must know the truth. She stares at him. He stares at her. He’s fascinated by a woman that’s willing to take a risk even at the cost of her own life. Does he see himself in Hae Soo? But the moment is broken when Wang Wook arrives.
Hae Soo stares at Wang Wook as he strides into the chambers. He walks like a man who is there because he wants to be, not because he has to be. Wang Yo relishes the moment when he tells Wang Wook that Hae Soo is wondering who put the mercury in the water. Hae Soo stares at Wang Wook not wanting to believe what is right in front of her face. Wang Wook boldly lies and says that the King died of an illness. Liar, liar, pants on fire! Wang Yo laughs and agrees with his brother’s ludicrous description of why their brother died. Hae Soo looks upset. Please tell me she saw Wang Wook for the evil man he has evolved to be. Please tell me she doesn’t cling to the hope that he is just stuck in trying circumstances. Hae Soo his had limited brainpower when it comes to Wang Wook, but doesn’t this two-year gap give her the perspective and the ability to finally see Wang Wook for who he is?
As they walk out together Wang Wook says that it must have been difficult to watch his brother die. Hae Soo states that the King was like a brother to her. She wonders who could have killed him. She looks into Wang Wook’s eyes and asks him if he’s connected.
Flashback to Wang Wook’s previous conversation with his mother, Queen Hwangbo, and his sister, Yeon Hwa…When Queen Hwangbo asked if his actions were done for Hae Soo, Wang Wook confirms. With tears in his eyes he says he’s lost Hae Soo. He wonders what went wrong. He wanted the woman he loved and to protect his family. His mother told him to live right he did that for most of his life. But now he’s chosen a path that he cannot turn from. Wang So told him he was going about it wrong. Wang Wook declares he will achieve his goals. Isn’t it interesting that Wang Wook cites Wang So during that conversation? Wang So sees Wang Wook for the man he’s evolved to be. And Wang So doesn’t cut him any slack for the choices he’s made. And that’s what Wang Wook seems to want, understanding for his poor choices. Forgiveness for the times that he chose his family over Hae Soo. Understanding that he has aligned himself with team evil, and is now a master level member.
Back to the present… Wang Wook declares he’s done nothing wrong as he stares into Hae Soo’s eyes. That’s a classic case of rationalization. Wang Wook justifies his awful choices by calmly telling himself, he is only pursuing his goals.
Wang So is relieved to run into Hae Soo. He tells her he was worried when he heard that Wang Yo asked to see her. Hae Soo tells him that Wang Yo doesn’t intend to kill her anytime soon. Wang So correctly guesses that Wang Yo is using her to control him. Wang So notes the upside to that is that he can see her and be near her. Hae Soo asks if Wang So found who he was looking for. Wang So invokes the “truth zone “and admits he was searching for Wang Eun. He tells her that Wang Yo wants his brother killed, but he wants to help him escape. Wang So assures her that he’ll find Wang Eun. Will Hae Soo invoke the “truth zone” and admit she knows Wang Eun’s location? No, she flashes back to her dream of Wang So killing his brothers. Okay I find that a bit irksome. If there’s anything that Wang So is proven is that he doesn’t kill those he cares about. But I’m betting she hasn’t a dream like that in two years. It upset her. I’m still irked.
Wang Jung unknowingly asks his sister in law where Hae Soo is. She tries to get away undetected but drops the cup which she deftly catches. Wang Jung immediately knows who she is.
Wang Jung, Hae Soo, Wang Eun, and his wife try and figure a way to get to the boat. Wang Jung admits that he’s ashamed that Wang Yo is his brother. Wang Jung realizes the passageway she used is the perfect mechanism.
Soon Duk tells Hae Soo that she’d like to say goodbye to her father. Hae Soo says that’s not a good idea because Wang So may find out about it. Soon Duk asked the obvious question, why doesn’t Hae Soo trust Wang So? Hae Soo obliquely says she has her reasons. Soon Duk is grateful but still thinks she’s wrong. Soon Duk defends Wang So and says he would not do something without a good reason. Soon Duk tells Hae Soo that she should trust the person that she likes. Hae Soo smiles and agrees. Hae Soo declares herself foolish. I can agree with her on that! She promises to visit Ji Mong for Soon Duk.
She calls for Ji Mong, but he’s not around. She leaves Ji Mong a note.
Wang So asks Ji Mong if he knew all the things that all that has happened would happen. Ji Mong says it’s hard to know and not get involved. He says it’s like punishment from God not to be able to try and change the future. He admits even he surprised by Wang Yo’s rise to power. He was slated to be a traitor and nothing more. Ji Mong says something happened that made the future change. Is it something or someone?
Wang Wook tells his sister that Hae Soo warned him to be careful of Wang So and not try to stop him. Wang Wook says no matter what he tries, Wang So seems to take what Wang Wook wants. He wonders what he should do. Yeon Hwa looks a little creeped out by her brother.
It’s hard work clearing out the rocks in the escape passage. Wang Jung offers Soon Duk the hairpin to pin up her hair. He tells her she’ll have to give it back. She guesses that he got it for the woman he loves. She teases him that he cares about something other than fighting. Wang Jung admits this woman saved him once. He flashes back to moments with Hae Soo and smiles. He admits he cares for this woman. Soon Duk admits she knows what it’s like to care for someone. She flashes back to a young Wang Eun offering his future wife flowers. Ah, young love, isn’t it grand? Soon Duk promises to cheer Wang Jung on in his quest to get the women he loves. I’m surprised she was satisfied not finding out who it was. She was cute when she was young. Wang Eun was sweet too.
Yeon Hwa meets with Wang Yo. She apologizes for being late in offering her congratulations on him taking the throne. He chuckles when he sees that she’s wearing the ring he gave her. He tells her that he has news on her marriage. She smiles expectantly. He tells her that he’s going to send her to her remote clan. That wipes the smile off her face. Wang Yo explains that the late king’s daughter was to be the sacrificial lamb, but Wang So married her to save her. Wang Yo has renegotiated the deal and promised to send Yeon Hwa. Wang Yo offers his congratulations on her marriage. Yeon Hwa quips “why does everyone in the throne threaten me with marriage”? Ha! Yeon Hwa says that all men think the only way to control a woman is through marriage. She looks into Wang Yo’s eyes and tells him she’s disappointed in him. He laughs and asks if she still is greedy enough to think she could one day be Queen. Wang Yo, the answer is yes! I’m all for Yeon Hwa knocking him down a peg or two. She did it to his mother, I hope she can do it to him. If it involves Wang So, I’m not all that excited. Wang Yo tells her that Wang Wook betrayed him and she stood by her brother. Wang Yo maintains he could never have in-laws like that. Yeon Hwa shakes with rage.
Outside a livid Yeon Hwa flings Wang Yo’s ring to the ground. She recalls Wang So rejecting her proposal and telling her that Hae Soo was who he loved and his future. Sweet! I love Wang So’s forthrightness about his feelings for Hae Soo. It does cause his enemies to have a way to hurt him though. An angry Yeon Hwa can’t be good.
Wang Eun whines to his wife about being cooped up. She suggests they bath. Wang Eun is thrills his wife with his towel art. They race boats in the bath. They are both so young! Wang Eun is actually sweet when he refuses to hit her arm. She offers him his slingshot. He’s impressed she brought it. They agree once they leave the palace, they can fashion the life they want. He offers a pretty pouch. She’s not thrilled. He says pretty girls like pretty things. She remembers him saying the same thing to her when they were young. Wang Eun recants his statement that she’s pretty. But then he admits she’s looking prettier. She kisses him. He tells her they’ll have 3 children. She wonders if she can get pregnant from kissing. He smiles at her naiveté. He offers his hand and they stroll away.
The next morning Hae Soo sees the towel animals and smiles. Chae Ryung doesn’t understand how the bath got messy. Hae Soo claims she did it. Yeon Hwa arrives looking decidedly snippy. She wants to talk to Hae Soo. Princess sees the towel animals and lightbulb goes off in her mind. That can’t be good for our couple.
Yeon Hwa is direct with Hae Soo. She tells him to back off from Wang So. Yeon Hwa states that Wang So doesn’t know about Wang Wook. She tells Hae Soo her behavior isn’t acceptable. She promises to marry Hae Soo off so she can leave the palace. Hae Soo states Wang So values her, that’s the reason she wants to marry but marriage itself is not the goal. Hae Soo says while Wang So wants her, she’ll remain true to him. Yeon Hwa hates that Hae Soo can consider marriage an option but for her it is a life or death event she cannot escape. Yeon Hwa promises that Hae Soo will regret her words. I’d be scared if I were Hae Soo.
Wang Wook tells Wang Yo that Ji Mong and the General and those like them support Wang So. Wang Wook declares that Wang Yo must eliminate Wang So. Not good, brother and sister working to break up our lead couple. Yeon Hwa enters and interrupts their scheming. She offers an option for them to achieve their goals, but in return, her remote clan marriage must be voided. Oh no, will there be two sacrificial lambs soon?
Hae Soo offers the young couple meat and wishes them safe passage. Soon Duk asks about her father. Hae Soo states he’ll meet them along the way. The young couple hears the royal guard approaching. Wang Jung tells them to run. Hae Soo, Wang Eun, and his wife hear the guards searching for Wang Eun. Hae Soo is shocked. Soon Duk tells Wang Eun to go with Hae Soo. She assures her husband she won’t be hurt because she’s the General’s daughter. Wang Eun doesn’t want to separate. She promises to follow him soon. She gives Hae Soo the look that says take care of the man I love. She runs toward the fight and potentially her own death. Hae Soo tries to lead Wang Eun away but he stops. He tells Hae Soo that he belongs to his wife. He can’t desert her. He goes to join his wife. She sees a vision of their death.
The palace isn’t a fun place anymore. With Wang Yo in power, Wang Wook selling his soul to team evil, and Yeon Hwa determined to avoid a remote marriage, everyone was at risk. The body count ratcheted up with Wang Eun’s family slaughtered. Wang Eun faces the same fate. A complaint about this series is that happiness is fleeting. We are 75% complete and happy outcomes looks less and less likely for our favorite characters.
Hae Soo (IU) had visions. Hae Soo had a vision about Wang So killing and a vision about Wang Eun and Soon Duk dying. That upsets her. I wouldn’t be excited to have red hazed visions of death either. Her lack of faith in Wang So is an irritating constant. She didn’t share she had Wang Eun and Soon Duk hidden. Soon Duk called her out for not trusting the man she loved. That resonated with Wang So. Now that Yeon Hwa has Hae Soo in her sights, I fear for Hae Soo and Wang So. She is formidable when she wants something.
Fourth Prince Wang So (Lee Joon Gi) was tasked with finding Wang Eun. Wang So invoked the “truth zone” with Hae Soo and admitted he would help Wang Eun escape once he found him. But Hae Soo didn’t invoke the “truth zone” in return and admit she was hiding Wang Eun. Wang So has powerful people plotting against him. I’m afraid for him. His happiness is in jeopardy.
Eight Prince Wang Wook (Kang Ha Neul) took extra evil pills. He suggested that Wang Yo kill Wang So to eliminate the obstacle to Hae Soo’s heart (in his opinion) and the man that takes everything he cares about. He lied to Hae Soo that he did not poison the former King. He’s lying with semantics. Wang Won gave the poison to Chae Ryung but as Wang So pointed out, Wang Won doesn’t have the brain power to plot the nefarious deed. I did not feel sorry for him when he cried to his mother and sister that his life had taken a regrettable turn towards evil but he refused to turn in a different direction. Wang Wook, you are a lost soul.
Tenth Prince Wang Eun (Baekhyun) connected with his wife and realized they were good for each other. His wife’s loving heart, naiveté about kissing and pregnancy, etc. finally made him see he was committed to her. So nice, but it may be too late.
Fourteenth Prince Wang Jung (Ji Soo) admitted he liked Hae Soo. Isn’t going to happen Wang Jung.
Thirteenth Prince Baek Ah (Nam Joo Hyuk) reunion with Woo Hee was cut short by Wang Yo. Baek Ah doesn’t know it, but Wang Yo negotiated something that sent Woo Hee back home. What is her mission?
Ninth Prince Wang Wook (Yoon Sun Woo) should be the one everyone calls a dog. He’s loyal scum.
Third Prince Wang Yo (Hong Jong Hyun) is King. Our guy liner loving goatee sporting King relished every moment as he flexed his power and bent others to his will from his perch on the throne. Wang Yo was actually happy. He seems less sinister since he returned from the dead. Being King has ended his desperation, he’s more content. He’s still the leader of team evil but compared to Wang Wook, he’s the happy one.
The eleventh song of the OST is “Wind” sung by Jung Seung Hwan. Check out the video below.