Ba Woo (Jung Il Woo) tells Soo Kyung (Kwon Yuri) he’s leaving. She can stay and wait for Dae Yeob. Then they can return or stay in there, the choice is hers. Ba Woo says this is the fork in the road where they part ways. Soo Kyung asks why. Ba Woo says the stress is too much. Soo Kyung asks why now. Ba Woo says Dae Yeob will take care of her. It’s time to untangle their lives. Soo Kyung asks what happened while he was away. Ba Woo says whatever happened, it has nothing to do with her. Soo Kyung says she should be the one to leave so Ba Woo and Cha Dol can live in the house Ba Woo purchased. Soo Kyung asks why he’s doing this. Ba Woo reiterates they must go their separate ways. Soo Kyung doesn’t understand why the time is now. Ba Woo snaps he must leave first and she must stop clinging to him. Hurt, Soo Kyung says she understands. She thanks him for all he’s done for her. She promises to repay her debt to him. Ba Woo counters he never wants to see her again. He walks away. Soo Kyung watches him go. Tears fill her eyes and down her face.
Ba Woo tells Chun Bae (Ba Woo’s partner) they are leaving. Court Lady Jo rushes to find Soo Kyung. Chun Bae wants the real reason why Ba Woo is acting like this. Ba Woo won’t say and reiterates they are leaving. Cha Dol (Ba Woo’s son) cries that he doesn’t want to leave without saying goodbye to her. He rushes out of the house.
Cha Dol finds Soo Kyung and begs her to change his father’s mind. He cries he doesn’t want to leave her. Soo Kyung hugs and comforts him. Ba Woo arrives and pulls a sobbing Cha Dol away. Tears stream down Soo Kyung’s face. Chun Bae tells Court Lady Jo that something happened that Ba Woo isn’t telling him. He urges her to stay while he determines what the trigger for Ba Woo’s abrupt departure is. He rushes away.
Court Lady Jo takes Soo Kyung to the hut. She rails at being left before Dae Yeob returned. She asks why the boy called Soo Kyung mother. Unable to explain, Soo Kyung sobs.
Haeindang Lee (Soo Kyung’s aunt) asks Premiere Lee’s guard commander if he knows where Dae Yeob is. He doesn’t. He states he’s going to Paju, where someone reportedly saw Soo Kyung recently. Haeindang Lee asks him to tell her if he learns where Dae Yeob is. He agrees and leaves.
Court Lady Jo apologizes to Soo Kyung for not telling her mother, Royal Consort Soui, that Soo Kyung was alive. Soo Kyung knows Court Lady Jo had her reasons. Court Lady Jo admits the Vice Premiere threatened his mother and sister. Soo Kyung worries that Court Lady Jo’s family is still in danger. Court Lady Jo shares that her family has gone into hiding and she doesn’t know where they are. Soo Kyung apologizes for the hardships Court Lady Jo has suffered. Court Lady Jo counters she deserved it for not protecting her. She vows to keep Soo Kyung safe. The two women smile.
Ba Woo tells Cha Dol and Chun Bae he’ll visit the monk at the temple then join them.
Jung Yeong…the Vice Premiere enters Ba Woo’s family compound. The family is dragged into the center of the compound. Ba Woo’s mother sees her young son hiding and nods to him to stay there.
Flashback…the Vice Premiere declares the ring lead of the rebel faction, Kim Jae Nam, must die. A young Ba Woo watches his grandfather beheaded.
Jung Yeong…a young Ba Woo cries next to his family’s graves (father, grandfather, uncles). He swears to avenge his family.
The monk recognizes Ba Woo outside the temple.
Ba Woo shares what happens and admits her considered killing Soo Kyung, selling her (permanently), but couldn’t. The monk approves and notes that hurting Soo Kyung would have helped the Vice Premiere. Ba Woo demands to know why he’s tortured by Soo Kyung. The monk says crosses the Kyung’s Vice Premiere again is fate. Ba Woo declares that his family (father, grandfather, uncles) were slandered and murdered by the Vice Premiere. Ba Woo says he swore revenge but hasn’t achieved it. The monk points out if Ba Woo kills the Vice Premiere, then his son will be left alone. Cha Dol will swear revenge on the Vice Premiere and the cycle of a life destroyed by loss and revenge will renew itself in the next generation. The monk says one day the Vice Premiere’s power will lessen and good days will appear for Ba Woo.
When Ba Woo exits, Chun Bae is there waiting for him. Ba Woo asks how much Chun Bae overheard. Chun Bae says Ba Woo’s ability to impersonate a nobleman with ease is understandable. He asks what Ba Woo will do next. He asks if Ba Woo will take his revenge on the Vice Premiere. Chun Bae reminds Ba Woo he must think about the ramifications on his actions on Cha Dol, his mother and sister. Chun Bae admits he thought Ba Woo was a runaway slave because his mother and sister live in a town with slave trafficking. Ba Woo admits he had to hid his identity to survive. Ba Woo thanks Chun Bae for his support. Chun Bae asks why Ba Woo suddenly left Soo Kyung behind. Cha Dol asks if Soo Kyung is related to the Vice Premiere. Ba Woo reveals that Soo Kyung’s dead husband was the Kyung’s Vice Premiere’s second son. Chun Bae is surprised at the connection.
Court Lady Jo wants Soo Kyung to return to her family in the palace. Soo Kyung points out if she returns, her husband’s family will be destroyed. Court Lady Jo declares the king needs to know his daughter is alive. Soo Kyung states her father knows she’s alive. Court Lady Jo is shocked.
Chun Bae is shocked to learn that the king knows Soo Kyung is alive. He calls the king heartless. Chun Bae points out the Get Out of Death Penalty medal Dae Yeob took to the king doesn’t guarantee Soo Kyung will be safe. He notes if the king didn’t acknowledge her, then he probably won’t protect her. Cha Dol overhears and tell his father that Soo Kyung must be protected. Chun Bae agrees that Soo Kyung’s situation is precarious. Chun Bae knows that Ba Woo lost it when he saw the Vice Premiere, but now he must protect Soo Kyung. Cha Dol agrees. Chun Bae asks if Ba Woo cares about Soo Kyung’s safety more than her family baggage. Ba Woo counters their lives are more important. Ba Woo tells Chun Bae to watch over Cha Dol while he goes to visit his mother and sister. They agree on a meeting spot.
Court Lady Jo wonders where Dae Yeob is. Soo Kyung says she needs to leave and will do it before Dae Yeob returns. Soo Kyung says she can’t ruin Dae Yeob’s life by making him a fugitive. Court Lady Jo vows to follow Soo Kyung and asks for a moment. She goes into the house. Slave traders surround the Soo Kyung. Court Lady Jo and Soo Kyung struggle to free themselves but to no avail.
Ba Woo looks to the temple before he leaves for his next course of action.
Lee Dae Yeob (Shin Hyun Soo) arrives at the hut relieved he finally made it back. He dismounts. He hears men coming up the path. Dae Yeob hides and sees the Premier Lee’s guard commander and four men arrive at the hut. They search the hut and find it empty. Shocked, Dae Yeob moves away before he’s spotted. He scatters their horses. Dae Yeob takes off on his horse.
The slave traders demand Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo move faster. They hit Court Lady Jo and she hurts her ankle. Soo Kyung declares if Court Lady Jo is hurt, then she won’t cooperate. They help Court Lady Jo gets up and they move forward.
Dae Yeob searches for Soo Kyung. When he finds peddlers, they inform him the river is another route to the palace.
Ba Woo arrives at the river and is shocked to find Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo tied up in the ferry with the slave traders. Both women watch him get on the boat. As they make their way down the river, Ba Woo and Soo Kyung stare at each other.
Those looks were powerful!
When they arrive at the other side, the slave traders pull Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo roughly out of the boat and herd them away. Ba Woo watches then exits the boat.
The slave hunter leader reports to Kim Ja Jaeom that Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo have been captured. He believes the women will arrive by nightfall. Kim Ja Jaeom is pleased.
Ba Woo follows as Court Lady Jo and Soo Kyung are lead through the village. Court Lady Jo sees him but the slave traders don’t. He avoids detection by ducking out of sight. Unfortunately, Dae Yeob appears and demands to know where Soo Kyung is. Ba Woo tells him to back off but Dae Yeob refuses. Ba Woo runs to find the women but to no avail. Dae Yeob is hot on his heels. Ba Woo barks that he lost Soo Kyung because of Dae Yeob’s interference. Dae Yeob put his sword to Ba Woo’s throat and demands to know how Ba Woo knows his father. Dae Yeob asks if his father killed someone in Ba Woo’s family. He asks if Ba Woo bossamed Soo Kyung for revenge. Ba Woo tells Dae Yeob that one of them will die if he tells his story. He’s willing to make it happen now if that is Dae Yeob’s priority.
Court Lady Jo’s ankle slows their progress. Soo Kyung asks to be unbound to help Court Lady Jo. The slave hunter agrees and state Court Lady Jo will be killed first if they make trouble. At a rest point, Court Lady Jo assures Soo Kyung her ankle will be better in the morning. Soo Kyung tends to Court Lady Jo’s leg and ankle through massage. Court Lady Jo wonders if Ba Woo will try and save them. Soo Kyung tells her he won’t. Soo Kyung says that Ba Woo’s priority needs to be staying alive for his son.
Ba Woo grouses that Dae Yeob’s timing sucked. Dae Yeob counters that Ba Woo’s care of Soo Kyung sucked. Ba Woo says Dae Yeob’s father sent the slave hunters. Dae Yeob disagrees. He says he avoided the men that his father sent to find Soo Kyung. Ba Woo wonders who sent the slave hunters. Dae Yeob decides going to Paju is the best option. They agree to a meeting location. They split up.
The king’s personal guard, Jung Yeong, blocks interference as Kim Ja Jaeom who informs King Gwanghae (Soo Kyung’s father) that Soo Kyung is alive and expected by nightfall. He promises to bring her to the palace when she arrives. The king wants Soo Kyung’s grave moved and everyone to learn it is empty before Soo Kyung reappears alive. Kim Ja Jaeom agrees to house Soo Kyung until the king is ready for her. The king warns that the Vice Premiere will be watching.
Vice Premiere Lee (Dae Yeob’s father) learns Kim Ja Jaeom had an audience with the king. As Kim Ja Jaeom traverses the palace he runs into the Vice Premiere. They guard their secrets well each knowing they are on opposite sides.
Court Lady Kim asks the king why Soo Kyung’s grave needs to be moved since his daughter is alive. The king notes he’ll have to pardon the Vice Premiere if Dae Yeob reveals he invoked the medal. The king says moving the grave is a trap for the Vice Premiere. If Soo Kyung appears alive the Vice Premiere’s big lie is revealed when the grave is found to be empty, his supporters will abandon him. Court Lady Kim hopes things go according to the king’s plan. She asks what the king will do if Dae Yeob brings Soo Kyung back alive. The king believes he’ll be able to eliminate the Vice Premiere’s power. Court Lady Kim worries that the Vice Premiere will strike out when he realizes he’s in trouble. The king reveals that the western allies are being gathered. Court Lady Kim points out the local western allies don’t weld much power. The king counters he’s got someone that will eliminate the Vice Premiere’s power.
We see an older man traveling on donkey.
Premiere Lee’s guard commander reports to the Vice Premiere and Lee Won Yeob (Dae Yeob’s brother and Vice Premiere’s eldest son) that Soo Kyung was gone when he and his men found their hideout. Won Yeob wonders if Soo Kyung is with Dae Yeob. The Vice Premiere notes the grave moving is the more important problem. He asks what the investigation into Court Lady Kim revealed. Won Yeob reveals that there are rumors Court Lady Kim has been illegal selling treasury certificates and embezzling construction funds. the Vice Premiere declares they need irrefutable evidence not rumors. Won Yeob vows to get it. Won Yeob admits he didn’t find anything about Kim Ja Jaeom. the Vice Premiere snaps that no man is without sin. Won Yeob vows to widen his search to include Kim Ja Jaeom’s family.
In the dark of night, the slave hunters bring Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo to an unknown location (Kim Ja Jaeom’s house). They guard them. Soo Kyung reasons that whoever employed the slave hunters wants her alive while the Vice Premiere wants her dead.
Ba Woo returns to Chun Bae and Cha Dol. Ba Woo wants to know how to find slave hunters. Chun Bae says Du Chil is the man to talk to.
Chun Bae and Ba Woo learn from Du Chil the slave hunters landed a big assignment from an astrologer.
Ba Woo and Chun Bae report the news to Dae Yeob. He asks if the astrologer’s name was Kim Ja Jaeom. Ba Woo counters they don’t know noble names.
Kim Ja Jaeom reports to the king he has Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo in his custody. The king stresses NO ONE MUST KNOW. Kim Ja Jaeom swears no one will know. The king assigns Jung Yeong to watch every movement the Vice Premiere makes.
Ba Woo guesses the king told Kim Ja Jaeom to employ the slave hunters. Dae Yeob guesses the king did so to eliminate his father’s power. Chun Bae is surprised the king is willing to risk Soo Kyung to defeat a political enemy. Dae Yeob reveals the king is using Kim Ja Jaeom to move Soo Kyung’s grave, which will reveal the grave is empty. Ba Woo declares they need to go to Kim Ja Jaeom’s house.
Ba Woo moves Dae Yeob away when he gapes at the front of the house. They observe men guarding from another vantage point.
Court Lady Jo waits for Ba Woo to save them. Soo Kyung states Ba Woo won’t save them. Court Lady Jo is irked that Soo Kyung isn’t angry at Ba Woo for causing this entire mess when he took her via bossam. Court Lady Jo declares she hates Ba Woo. Court Lady Jo admits initially she hated Ba Woo but the bossam freed her from ”alive but dead” widowhood.
Chun Bae tells Cha Dol he’ll be leaving in the morning. Cha Dol believes Chun Bae will help rescue Soo Kyung. He tells him to succeed.
Ba Woo tells Dae Yeob he’s positive Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo are being held in the guarded house. Dae Yeob states he’ll take it from here. Ba Woo doesn’t trust Dae Yeob to make the right choices. Dae Yeob counters he’s related to Soo Kyung while Ba Woo has no responsibility to ensure her safety. Ba Woo agrees he and Dae Yeob need not interact every again, but he will help Soo Kyung. Dae Yeob warns Ba Woo to never utter Soo Kyung’s name again. Dae Yeob sneers that Soo Kyung is someone that Ba Woo could never aspire to. Dae Yeob declares he won’t put up with Ba Woo’s insolence anymore. Ba Woo counters he won’t put up with Dae Yeob’s arrogant recklessness anymore. Ba Woo suggests they work separately. Dae Yeob reveals he expected to marry Soo Kyung when he was younger. That gets Ba Woo’s attention. Dae Yeob reveals the king ordered Soo Kyung to become his brother’s wife, not his. Dae Yeob declares he’s only loved one woman in his life…Soo Kyung.
Soo Kyung watches Court Lady Jo nod off.
Ba Woo considers what he’s learned while watching Kim Ja Jaeom’s house.
The next morning Chun Bae arrives with food. Ba Woo doesn’t want that. Chun Bae hands him what he really wants.
Dae Yeob strides to the gate of his house and enters. A servant yells that Dae Yeob has returned. Won Yeob watches his brother stride through the courtyard. Haeindang Lee watches him enter his father’s office.
The Vice Premiere is livid when Dae Yeob appears without Soo Kyung. He throws an object at Dae Yeob’s head. Is the medal’s empty case?
Ba Woo prepares to enters Kim Ja Jaeom’s house. He covers his face with a mask. Is he going to bossam Soo Kyung again?
This is getting good. Writers Kim Ji Soo and Park Cheol has positioned all the pieces of this chess game. The king is poised to strike at the Vice Premiere’s power. The Vice Premiere knows the king is working against him and desperately needs Soo Kyung dead. Dae Yeob wants to save Soo Kyung. Ba Woo wants to save Soo Kyung. Court Lady Jo wants Ba Woo to save Soo Kyung, after all he’s the one that created this mess by incorrectly bossaming Soo Kyung. Our princess claims Ba Woo will not save her. Does she secretly hope he will?
Ba Woo (Jung Il Woo) decided to save Soo Kyung and unfriended Dae Yeob. Ba Woo managed to get his anger in check after finding the Vice Premiere, the man that killed his grandfather, father and uncles when he was a young noble, is Dae Yeob’s father and Soo Kyung’s father-in-law. He bailed on Soo Kyung while he grappled with the shocking connection. Ba Woo had vowed vengeance long ago. Ba Woo sought counsel from the monk at the temple. The monk wisely advised that seeking vengeance would only make Cha Dol fatherless, vengeful, and start another generation to a doomed “alive but dead” life.
Soo Kyung (Kwon Yuri) was captured but doesn’t know by who. She reasoned this person wants her alive, so it can’t be someone working for the Vice Premiere, who wants her dead. Soo Kyung is growing on me. She’s stoic. She sees the big picture. She admitted that initially she hated Ba Woo for creating the situation. But on the flip side, Ba Woo performing the bossam freed her from widowhood, an ”alive but dead” life. She’s living a life now, albeit one on the knife edge. She obviously cares for Cha Dol. Don’t you suspect she cares for Ba Woo too?
Lee Dae Yeob (Shin Hyun Soo) decided to save Soo Kyung and unfriended Ba Woo. The king admitted to Court Lady Kim if Dae Yeob brought his daughter back alive, he’d be forced to pardon the Vice Premiere, his greatest enemy. The king actively worked against Dae Yeob through Kim Ja Jaeom. Ba Woo suggested to Dae Yeob that the king was working against him. Dae Yeob shocked Ba Woo after sharing he was slated to be Soo Kyung’s husband but the king decreed his older brother would marry his daughter. I CANNOT wait until Dae Yeob learns his father lied to the king that Dae Yeob was impotent and recommended Dae Yeob’s older brother was the best husband for Soo Kyung.
The next and seventh song in this prolific OST is “Collar” sung by Sunny.
I rank this episode as terrific, 9 on a 10-point scale.