Haechi Episodes 41-42
The Narin General defeats a key city. He gathers the citizens. He declares they must dethrone the current King and put the rightful heir, the one that will support the people in power. He kneels and declares his allegiance to Prince Milpoonggun Lee Tan (Jung Moon Sung). The evil inspector follows suit. Prince Milpoonggun is stunned. This is a dream come true. He hears the chants of the people declaring him “your highness”. A tear runs down his check. He makes a speech and promises to make a government that is for the people. He further solidifies his support by giving everyone rice and money. He declares he will revoke the taxes on the poor.
King Yeoninggun Lee Geum (Jung Il Woo) can’t believe the city toppled so easily. He can’t believe the Narin General has tens of thousands of troops. Realizing they are almost outnumbered, he calls his trusted Teacher, now the Minister of War, and orders him to squelch the rebellion. Park Moon Soo (Kwon Yool) declares he will join the army to fight for his king. Other Team Good inspectors do the same. Court Maid Yeo Ji (Go Ara) meets with them and is clearly worried. Moon Soo admits for the first time he’s grateful that she’s committed to the palace and therefore out of harm’s way. King Yeoninggun is overwhelmed by the support and worries he is sending his friends to their death.
After seeing her former colleagues joining the fight, Yeo Ji considers joining the army. King Yeoninggun begs her to stay in the palace with him. He declares he couldn’t take it if something happened to her. They hug.
Prince Milpoonggun’s concubine finds him and offers him the package that will ensure his path to the throne. She’s not happy when he quickly shares it with the Narin General. He also demands she call him “your highness”.
King Yeoninggun attempts to find a political solution to defuse the situation by offering the Narin political party positions of power. He speaks privately with Sorin Chief Justice and Minister Min Jin Hun (Lee Kyung Young). Unfortunately Minister Min refuses to give up the political positions his party has fought to obtain. Desperate King Yeoninggun and the Sorin Chief Justice meet with the Narin political party officials. They quickly realize that the King’s offer is hollow without the Minister Min’s agreement. They refuse.
The Narin General takes two more cities with nary a fight. King Yeoninggun realizes the capital city will be attacked soon. He sends Moon Soo and his soldiers to directly fight with the imposing army. He implores them not to die.
Minister Min stands in the deserted capital city. A farmer walks by ready to plant his fields. He tells Minister Min he’s ready to die in the hometown he loves. Minister Min sees the light. He goes to speak with King Yeoninggun.
But what city will the rebels attack next? Moon Soo positions himself in the right spot. The army approaches. The Narin General implores his men to charge. Moon Soo implores his men to be ready to fight. He tells himself they will prevail. The clash is imminent.
All King Yeoninggun can do is wait on the throne…he tells himself they will prevail.
The Narin army is posed to strike the capital city and dethrone King Yeoninggun. Writer Kim Yi Young weaved a tight, suspense filled episode as Team Good prepared to fight to the death for King Yeoninggun. The political solutions didn’t work out, only direct combat will resolve this. Not many characters have died in this historical drama, which are known for high death counts. Could the majority of Team Good be wiped out by a brutal battle? I’ve enjoyed the rebels and the battle aspect of this storyline. It is a welcome addition to the constant political maneuvering.
* Evil Prince Milpoonggun was thrilled to be called “your highness”. I hate to admit it, but I saw how much it meant to him, and I felt a twang of empathy. He’d be a horrible King and he’s a loathsome man, but the throne has been his lifelong goal and the taste of it meant the world. What are the documents that his concubine delivered? Could they topple the King?
* Minister Min refused to give up political positions to the third party. This was a bridge to far for him. Surprisingly that Sorin Chief Justice was on board with the King’s plan. He was pragmatic that a functional government was better than a toppled government. I was surprised the Minister Min, who hangs his hat on the political process didn’t immediately see that if the rebels win, all is lost and desperate times call for desperate measures.
King Yeoninggun Lee Geum (Jung Il Woo) was dismayed that the Narin General had success after success. He clearly saw the capital and his kingdom were in severe danger. His attempt at a political solution fell flat without Minister Min’s political party’s support. He was understandably concerned sending his stalwart support to fight for him, knowing they could all die on the battlefield. He implored his troops to come back alive without causalities. He simply couldn’t handle Yeo Ji leaving for battle and begged her to stay.
Court Lady Yeo Ji (Go Ara) couldn’t refuse King Yeoninggun’s plea. She has the fighting prowess to take care of business on the battlefield. But her commitment is to the palace. She felt the King’s emotions in his plea. She knew she mattered personally to him. They shared a heartfelt hug and she agreed to stay.
Dal Moon (Park Hoon) and his men joined the fight. He clearly saw that joining the fight was the best way to strengthen the King’s chances.
Park Moon Soo (Kwon Yool) was ready to offer his life to fight for the King. Moon Soo is at his best when he’s focused and adamant about his path. He has been a force in the second half of this series. The King needs him the most now.
I rank these episodes (on a scale from 1-10) as excellent (ep 41-42). My rating chart is below.