Haechi Episodes 37-38
New enthroned King Yeoninggun Lee Geum (Jung Il Woo) is immediately tested. An unknown fluid is poured into the wells in various cities. Citizens get ill. Minister Min tells the King that a plague has descended on the city. King Yeoninggun is decisive in sending troops to facilitate. But no one knows the case of the plague. They can’t believe it has spread from city to city that fast.
King Yeoninggun speaks privately with the Sorin Chief Justice and Minister Min Jin Hun (Lee Kyung Young). He asks them to put aside the political machinations and focus their energies on solving the problem and keeping the government intact. He suggests the plague isn’t natural but rather a man-made phenomime. He suggests evil Prince Milpoonggun might be behind it.
The mystery man from the third political party, the Narins, initiates his plan to deliver a crippling dose of chaos to the new King and allow his political party to rise again to power with poisoning the wells in select towns. Next, he frees the evil inspector and Prince Milpoonggun Lee Tan (Jung Moon Sung) from their exile prisons. He takes them to his stronghold which contains his own army whom called him general. The Narin General reveals that he is royal blood and ready to topple the King and seize power. The evil inspector agrees to support the Narin General but Prince Milpoonggun isn’t happy with serving someone else. The evil inspector points out they need only ride the Narin General’s coat tails then seize power themselves.
Park Moon Soo (Kwon Yool), King Yeoninggun’s former teacher and the second minister who resigned to strengthen the King’s reliance on the current powers in play, are dismayed at the strain the plague is putting on King Yeoninggun’s reign. Moon Soo spots the evil inspector and guesses that Prince Milpoonggun is freed from his exile too.
Dal Moon (Park Hoon) realizes that the cities’ wells were tainted. He sends word to King Yeoninggun that he has news. King Yeoninggun arrives and Dal Moon explains the wells were tainted. Everyone wonders if Prince Milpoonggun is behind this.
The Dowager Queen falls ill when she drinks the tainted water. Court Maid Yeo Ji (Go Ara) tends to her. King Yeoninggun isn’t allowed to see the Dowager Queen for fear the plague transferring to him. He’s stunned when Yeo Ji is revealed to be at court maid. He reminds her that he didn’t want this life for her. He tells her she’ll never be able to live a normal life again. Yeo Ji smiles and says this was her choice. She wanted to be near him and support him from inside the palace.
The Narin General spreads typed memos that King Yeoninggun is the cause of the plague and that he’s run scared and hiding in a safe location. The people erupt in anger and press their panicked deserves to leave the doctor’s care and enter the city.
King Yeoninggun realizes there is only one way to calm the people. He visits an infirmary and offers comfort. With the wide-eyed citizens listening, King Yeoninggun pledges not to leave the city and stand by their side.
The secret Narin army is a big problem for King Yeoninggun. Writer Kim Yi Young gave King Yeoninggun a huge challenge with an unknown rival faction, the Narins, who unbeknownst to the King has a secret army ready to fight, seize the cities and stage a coup. I was impressed with the numbers, the organization, and the technology employed by the Narin General. He has brains, might, and strength of will. He is a formidable foe.
* Evil Prince Milpoonggun was released from exile but forced to defer to the Narin General. He hated it. I loved it.
* Minister Min couldn’t believe when the King left the safety of the palace to directly deal with the people. Minister Min must begrudgingly see the King’s wisdom and leadership. Minister Min’s advice was more cautious than King Yeoninggun was willing to be.
King Yeoninggun Lee Geum (Jung Il Woo) is unaware that the plague is only the tip of the iceberg. King Yeoninggun doesn’t know that there’s a Narin General complete with well equipped army ready to stage a coup. He made smart choices – counting the plague victims frequently, sending the army to keep order, and not hiding in the palace but personally visiting the citizen to prove he stood with them not in a protected venue. He was relieved and dismayed when Yeo Ji revealed herself. He didn’t want this life for her but he was no longer alone. I loved it when he decreed the newsletter and “how to prevent plague” pamphlet be written in Korean versus Chinese so the everyday citizen
Court Lady Yeo Ji (Go Ara) revealed her presence to King Yeoninggun. She pledged her support. King Yeoninggun finally can “phone a friend”.
Dal Moon (Park Hoon) realized the wells were tainted and informed King Yeoninggun once confirmed. Dal Moon is a general of his own army. When he’s helping King Yeoninggun, things go better. Now that Prince Milpoonggun’s concubine has escape, you just know that he’ll have to make a life and death choice later in the series involving her.
Park Moon Soo (Kwon Yool) spotted the evil inspector and realized the plague wasn’t a natural occurrence. Moon Soo went to the teacher and second minister, who both knew the plague was bad news for King Yeoninggun. Once Moon Soo revealed that the evil inspector was involved, they all correctly guessed the Prince Milpoonggun was also part of the plan. Moon Soo should be the right man to track down the evil Inspector and learn of the secret army.
I rank these episodes (on a scale from 1-10) as very good (ep 37-38). My rating chart is below.