Haechi Episodes 17-20
Being named crown prince, doesn’t mean everything is wonderful. Prince Yeoninggun Lee Geum (Jung Il Woo) finds himself with nothing to do and no respect by either political party. The King isn’t sure the Prince Yeoninggun won’t try and seize the throne.
Human trafficking of young girls to China is the case that newly minted inspector Park Moon Soo (Kwon Yool) and reinstated female inspector Yeo Ji (Go Ara) decide to investigate. We learn that Dal Moon (Park Hoon) once saved evil Prince Milpoonggun’s concubine but she betrayed him. Dal Moon starts the episode saving another young girl from human trafficking, whose pleas the concubine ignored. Dal Mal is shocked to learn the young girl worked Prince Milpoonggun’s concubine.
Team good learns that the newest brothel is where the trafficking deals are made. Yeo Ji decides to go undercover with Moon Soo in attendance to investigate as well. Prince Yeoninggun’s jaw drops when he finds Yeo Ji in a tight-fitting Chinese dress or demands she switch to a more demur Japanese dress. No one guesses his personal pull towards Yeo Ji.
At the brothel, Yeo Ji learns the owner is the human traffic coordinator. She’s discovered eavesdropping. Moon Soo appears to help her fight off the bad guys. Prince Yeoninggun arrives to warn and remove Yeo Ji from danger but finds himself a witness to an aristocrat’s murder. He’s shocked to learn it is a slave girl that murdered the aristocrat. She flees. Prince Yeoninggun tries to help the dying aristocrat. The chief inspector finds Prince Yeoninggun with bloody hands. Others arrive. Everyone sees Prince Yeoninggun’s bloody hands and make the assumption he might be the murderer.
Prince Yeoninggun is accused of murder. The King gives him 3 days to clear himself. He shares the truth with team good. A young slave girl with a tattoo “murder the master” committed the crime. Yeo Ji, Moon Soo, and Dal Moon (Park Hoon) investigate. Prince Yeoninggun shares the truth to the King and his trusted advisor. Moon Soo and Dal Moon find an enclave of slave children. Prince Yeoninggun and Yeo Ji find the young slave girl. She admits she committed the murder because she was almost sold to China so her father could have money to pay the taxes. Aristocrats only help themselves and don’t care about the common man. Prince Yeoninggun lets the girl go.
The owner of the brothel and human traffic coordinator is surprised when evil Prince Milpoonggun Lee Tan (Jung Moon Sung) and his concubine pay him a visit. Prince Milpoonggun declares they can help each other.
Minister Min Jin Hun (Lee Kyung Young) realizes that Prince Yeoninggun’s predicament can work to his advantage.
Prince Yeoninggun is taken before the Supreme Court. The murdering head of inspectors reminds the prince that his earlier unkind words will be karma today.
Moon Soo, Yeo Ji and the other inspectors arrive at the brothel to arrest the owner of the brothel and human traffic coordinator. They are stunned when Prince Milpoonggun appears.
Minister Min arrives at the Supreme Court and declares he has a crucial witness. The young slave girl is dragged into the room. Prince Yeoninggun is stunned.
Our prince isn’t perfect but impresses others with his potential to be King. The one thing Writer Kim Yi Young drives home every episode is that it takes a village to become King and stay in power. The political factions fought amongst themselves. Should they accuse Prince Yeoninggun, should they support the palace police or the investigators, etc. Minister Min and Prince Milpoonggun realized the chaos was their opportunity to reinsert themselves into the political fray. I enjoy Writer Kim’s ability to balance between Team Good and Team Evil. I’ve seen too many historicals where Team Evil has the advantage from the start of the series until the last couple of episodes when Team Good triumphs. Writer Kim allows both to win and lose.
* Evil Prince Milpoonggun Buddhist training allowed him enough control not to immediately kill the owner of the brothel who wasn’t aware of who he was. That’s progress for this impulsive fly off the handle murderer.
* Minister Min seized the opportunity to “help” Prince Yeoninggun by bringing the young slave girl to the supreme court. What will his price be?
* The King demanded Prince Yeoninggun tell all and he did. The King felt bad for the slaves that cleaned his warming hearth. Of course, he didn’t nothing about it but he did feel empathy. The King isn’t a complete pushover but he isn’t as savvy as he needs to be.
Prince Yeoninggun Lee Geum (Jung Il Woo) told those he trusted the truth. The King and Team Good learned what Prince Yeoninggun saw and his concern about the chaos it would cause. Prince Yeoninggun was once again upset when Team Good were hurt trying to help him. I had to chuckle at Prince Yeoninggun’s obvious liking of Yeo Ji and ordering a costume change so other men wouldn’t ogle her like he was.
Inspector Yeo Ji (Go Ara) went under cover and had to fight her way out of the situation. The fight scenes in this series are okay but not particularly good. Something about the staging of the scenes reduce the impact. Yeo Ji seems to get the most fight action out of all the characters. She’s oblivious to Prince Yeoninggun’s feelings. She was puzzled when he declared the close-fitting Chinese costume had to be replaced with the loose Japanese costume. She grumbled it didn’t make sense. She’s right the costume change didn’t make sense for the undercover assignment. But it made total sense because Prince Yeoninggun wanted her covered and not to have others want her as he does.
I rank these episodes (on a scale from 1-10) as very good (ep 17-18) and very good (ep 19-20). My rating chart is below.