Court Lady Jo finds Soo Kyung and says there is trouble. The woman enters the room and asks where her son is. She asks who Soo Kyung is. Court Lady Jo snaps she is the lady of the household. Cha Dol’s Mom laughs. Ba Woo’s mother and sister hear the laughter.
Cha Dol’s Mom declares she won’t accept a concubine who gets by on their looks. She notes she’s beautiful too. Ba Woo’s mother and sister arrive. Soo Kyung (Kwon Yuri) bows and greets them. Cha Dol’s Mom quickly follows suit flattering the two ladies. Ba Woo’s mother demands to know what is going on. Soo Kyung murmurs this must be Cha Dol’s birth mother. Cha Dol’s Mom apologizes for not coming sooner. Ba Woo’s mother orders both women to come with her.
Cha Dol’s Mom’s formally bows. Ba Woo’s mother demands to know why Soo Kyung kept the birth mother a secret. Soo Kyung admits Cha Dol knows the truth. Ba Woo’s mother can’t believe she wasn’t informed. She gets upset. Cha Dol’s Mom order Soo Kyung to get water.
Chun Bae (Ba Woo’s partner) is appalled when Court Lady Jo informs him Cha Dol’s Mom’s mother has arrived. Court Lady Jo believes she’s learned Ba Woo’s title has been restored and is anxious to reap the benefits.
Chun Bae bursts into the room and declares Cha Dol’s Mom abandoned her son to run away in the middle of the night. Cha Dol’s Mom declares he’s lying. Chun Bae counter he witnessed the effects of the cruel abandonment. Ba Woo’s mother orders Chun Bae to remove her. Then she spots the identification badge. Cha Dol’s Mom explains this is her late father’s badge. Ba Woo’s mother is impressed that she’s of noble birth. They wonder why she got involved with Ba Woo. Cha Dol’s Mom’s claims there was something special about Ba Woo. She isn’t surprised to have learned Ba Woo was from a noble family.
Court Lady Jo can’t believe the turn of events.
Cha Dol’s Mom cries crocodile tears and Chun Bae calls her on it. Soo Kyung returns with water. Ba Woo’s mother sends Chun Bae out of the room.
Court Lady Jo can’t believe that Chun Bae was sent out of the room. Chun Bae declares she’s a crafty liar. Court Lady Jo doesn’t like her either. Chun Bae declares the identity badge turned Ba Woo’s mother’s head.
Cha Dol’s Mom says she hid that she was noble. Ba Woo’s sister finds it convenient she has a noble’s badge. Ba Woo’s mother declares she can’t trust either woman. She’ll decide when Ba Woo returns. Cha Dol’s Mom ensures she can stay in the household until Ba Woo returns. She orders the women to leave.
Cha Dol’s Mom declares she wants Soo Kyung’s room. Afterall she’s the first wife. She strides into the room.
Soo Kyung reminds Chun Bae the first wife isn’t the issue. The trouble Ba Woo may be in is the issue. Chun Bae points out Ba Woo won’t be happy when he returns to find that women in his room. Soo Kyung declares that doesn’t matter today. Ba Woo’s safe return is what matters.
Soo Kyung and Court Lady Jo enter the room. Soo Kyung says she’ll get her stuff and leave. Cha Dol’s Mom order her to let her have some of her clothes. Soo Kyung agrees. Cha Dol’s Mom exits.
Soo Kyung writes a letter and asks Chun Bae to deliver it straight away as Ba Woo’s life might depend on it.
At the jail, Kim Ja Jaeom asks Cha Dol if he has a letter from Vice Premiere Lee. He informs him if there is no letter he’ll be released if he agrees to persuade his father to send rations and money to the Ming. Ba Woo learns there is no update in the king.
Vice Premiere Lee (Dae Yeob’s father) presses King Gwanghae (Soo Kyung’s father) to make a decision regarding the Ming’s request for rations and money. This is the only way to save Ba Woo’s life. Vice Premiere Lee claims this is the only way to avoid war.
The king ponders. Court Lady Kim arrives. He asks why she sent Kim Ja Jaeom to the north. Court Lady Kim claims it was a loyalty test. She asks what the king will do about Ba Woo. The king says the Ming need a scapegoat. He doesn’t want to give food the kingdom can’t afford to give.
In the jail cell Lee Dae Yeob (Shin Hyun Soo) remembers his conversation with his father.
Flashback…Vice Premiere Lee tells Dae Yeob the letter to the Ming confirms rations and money will be provided per request IF Ba Woo is killed and it is made to look like he is missing in action.
Kim Dae Seok / Ba Woo (Jung Il Woo) asks Dae Yeob to confirm he has the letter in question. Ba Woo tells him to use it and save himself. Ba Woo knows he’s going to be killed regardless. Even though he wants to live, he won’t beg for his life or be indebted to Dae Yeob.
Soo Kyung looks at the embroidery where she stitched Ba Woo’s name. Court Lady Jo can’t believe they are being tossed out. How much more should a princess endure. Cha Dol’s Mom enters and orders them to finish packing and get out. Court Lady Jo can barely hold her fury.
Chun Bae returns after delivering the letter. He tells Soo Kyung he was assured Ba Woo will be okay.
Changed into Soo Kyung’s clothes, Cha Dol’s Mom makes the room hers with a smug smile.
Cha Dol (Ba Woo’s son) returns from school and asks where Soo Kyung is. Ba Woo’s mother and sister greet him. Soo Kyung greets him. Cha Dol’s Mom rushes to him, hugs him, weeps that she’s back and sorry. Cha Dol doesn’t know who she is. Ba Woo’s mother informs him this is his birth mother. Cha Dol hides behind Soo Kyung. He refuses to greet his mother and runs. Soo Kyung starts to go after him. Cha Dol’s Mom barks she’s the mother. She orders Soo Kyung to back off. She goes after Cha Dol.
Cha Dol dutifully sits with his mother until she presses him to declare he’s happy she’s returned. Cha Dol stands and states he’s going to study with his mother (Soo Kyung). Cha Dol’s Mom snaps she’s the birth mother. Cha Dol counters she cheated on his father with his friend and ran away in the middle of the night. She doesn’t like that.
Soo Kyung misses spending time with Cha Dol.
Court Lady Jo is irked. Chun Bae declares they should have revealed everything including Soo Kyung’s identity. Court Lady Jo counters Soo Kyung’s identity would create trouble for the family. Court Lady Jo bemoans the ill luck Soo Kyung has endured – her previous mother-in-law was mean, her current mother-in-law believes she’s a commoner, now she’s considered a concubine. Chun Bae wonders how Cha Dol is doing.
Cha Dol’s Mom stops him from looking for Soo Kyung.
Soo Kyung misses Ba Woo. She remembers Ba Woo’s vow not to die and leave her alone.
Cha Dol struggles to sleep. His mother tries to soothe him and quickly falls asleep. She snores.
Cha Dol finds Soo Kyung walking in the courtyard. He complains he can’t sleep with his mother’s snoring. They sit. Cha Dol knows that woman is his mother but he doesn’t feel it. Soo Kyung assures him with time, he’ll feel different. Cha Dol counters he felt comfortable with her right from the start. Cha Dol admits he doesn’t think she likes him. Soo Kyung assures him all mothers love their children. She puts a comforting arm around him.
Chun Bae declares Cha Dol’s Mom is a liar and terrible mother. He provides examples. She trapped Ba Woo by getting him drunk, sleeping with him, then the result linked them forever. Chun Bae worries Ba Woo may not be able to get rid of her.
One of the women that Ba Woo saved from the Ming offers him rice. Ba Woo sees the Buddhist symbol on the rice. A Ming soldier order him to hand over the rice. Ba Woo eats the symbol then returns the rice. The soldier stomps on the rice and takes the woman away. Ba Woo spits out the rice. There is a piece of metal. Dae Yeob watches.
The woman leaves the jail. She tells the monk she gave the rice to Ba Woo.
That night, Ba Woo uses the metal to unlock his shackles. Kim Ja Jaeom arrives with the new the king has agreed to give Ba Woo to the Ming. Kim Ja Jaeom warns the Ming will try and kill him. Kim Ja Jaeom promises to try to help. He leaves.
Ba Woo tells Dae Yeob his going to escape. He asks if Dae Yeob will help or hurt him. Two Ming guards arrive to take Ba Woo. He frees himself from the shackles and begins to fight. Dae Yeob joins him. When they subdue the guards, Ba Woo asks if Dae Yeob will come with him. Dae Yeob holds his shackles to be unlocked.
Dress as Ming guards, Ba Woo and Dae Yeob make their way out of the jail by joining a procession of Ming guards. They peel off and into the village. They approach the gate. They can’t answer the guard’s questions, so they fight. The monk takes out the last guard. He tells the surprised men, that Soo Kyung asked for his help. He tells them to hide for the time being in Uiju. They flee. The monk prays for their safety.
The Min search for the pair. Ba Woo and Dae Yeob make their way through the woods and manage to avoid detection. At nightfall they rest. Ba Woo asks why Dae Yeob is defying his father. Dae Yeob replies he’s following his heart. They need only concentrate on staying alive. Dae Yeob asks Ba Woo why he is risking his life as a noble when he could have lived quietly as a commoner. Ba Woo replies he won’t die because he has someone waiting for him at home that means more to him than his own life.
The next day the pair continues making their way. The candidate Won Yeob hired to shoot Ba Woo aims at Ba Woo. Dae Yeob sees the man and puts himself between Ba Woo and the bullet. Dae Yeob is shot in the back and falls to the ground. The candidate takes aim again. Ba Woo sees him and rolls away. He charges the candidate and they fight. He puts his knife at the candidate’s throat and demands to know who sent him. The candidate admits Vice Premiere Lee sent him to kill him. He begs for his life. A Ming guard shoots the candidate in the back. Ba Woo turns and sees they are surrounded by Ming guards.
The king enjoys reporting that Ba Woo escaped. Dae Yeob declares he must be captured and returned to the Ming. The king reveals Dae Yeob escaped with Ba Woo. He can’t save Dae Yeob without saving Ba Woo. What should he do? Vice Premiere Lee declares his son should not be spared. The king claims concern that some will want Vice Premiere Lee punished as he sent them to the north. For once, Vice Premiere Lee doesn’t have a response. The king smiles.
I do love it when the king bests Vice Premiere Lee.
Vice Premiere Lee demands to know what is being hidden in Ba Woo’s household. Lee Won Yeob (Dae Yeob’s brother and Vice Premiere’s eldest son) report the king’s guard prevent entry. Won Yeob reports only Chun Bae, the man they once held, freely enters and exits the household. Vice Premiere Lee can’t believe Won Yeob is letting that stop his progress. Premiere Lee’s guard commander Tae Chul enters and report a new woman has joined Ba Woo’s household. His mole heard Ba Woo’s son looking for his mother when he returned from school. That gets Vice Premiere Lee’s attention. He orders Tae Chul to find out more about the new woman.
The next day a woman peddler infiltrates the household when Cha Dol’s Mom claims she knows the peddler and needs to buy from her. Chun Bae orders the peddler to leave. Cha Dol’s Mom declares she’s the lady of the house. Ba Woo’s mother demands to know what the fuss is about. When the peddler shows her wares, Ba Woo’s mother caves and bids her to enter.
Chun Bae and Court Lady Jo tells Soo Kyung to hide until the peddler leaves.
The woman peddler asks about the household members when she shows her wares to Ba Woo’s mother and sister. Cha Dol’s Mom declares the only other people in the household are mere servants.
Tae Chul reports to Dae Yeob and Won Yeob that the woman is Ba Woo’s wife. Vice Premiere Lee doesn’t believe the wife is what the king is protecting. He orders the peddler to find out more about all the household members.
Court Lady Jo brings Soo Kyung a meal. She grouses about the spiteful woman. Soo Kyung reminds her that woman is Cha Dol’s mother. Speak of the devil, Cha Dol’s Mom orders Soo Kyung to polish a basket of brass bowls. Then she orders snacks. Court Lady Jo seethes. Cha Dol’s Mom barks that she protects the concubine like she’s a royal lady. Soo Kyung agrees to the tasks. Cha Dol’s Mom demands cookies too. Chun Bae stride up and asks what is going on. Cha Dol’s Mom decides to retreat. Court Lady Jo sends Soo Kyung to return to her meal. Court Lady Jo wishes someone would bossam (kidnap) Ba Woo’s first wife. Chun Bae offers to do so and throw her outside the city. Court Lady Jo loves the idea. Chun Bae says outside the city wouldn’t be far enough. Perhaps throwing her in the river would be better. Court Lady Jo laughs. Chun Bae loves he and Court Lady Jo have the same opinion. He flirts. She responds.
Soo Kyung cries while she eats.
Cha Dol’s Mom applies powder and lip color to Ba Woo’s mother while exclaiming her skin is perfect. Soo Kyung arrives with snacks. Ba Woo’s sister invites her to join them. Cha Dol’s Mom protests that she can’t eat with a concubine. Ba Woo’s mother gently sends Soo Kyung away.
Cha Dol’s Mom ingratiates herself with Ba Woo’s sister by claiming she purchased a hairpin with her in mind. Ba Woo’s mother asks why Cha Dol’s Mom isn’t interested where Ba Woo is. Cha Dol’s Mom reveals she knows Ba Woo is on a mission in the North and prays for him every day.
Meanwhile Ba Woo and Dae Yeob are tied to chairs at the Ming camp. The commander wants to know who they are. Ba Woo declares they are Joseon soldiers on a special mission. The commander barks that Dae Yeob had a letter for the Ming emissary. He demands the truth or they will die.
That night Soo Kyung prays for Ba Woo’s safe return.
Caught eating not praying, Cha Dol’s Mom wants to get rid of her.
Tied up to posts, Dae Yeob finally wakes. Ba Woo tells him the Ming found the letter to the Ming emissary. Ba Woo tells Dae Yeob to say nothing about who his father is. Dae Yeob points out Ba Woo can leverage him to can his freedom. Ba Woo tells him they have to be smart to survive.
Cha Dol’s Mom is annoying, petty, vain, and a pathological liar. Writers Kim Ji Soo and Park Cheol injected Cha Dol’s Mom into the story to make things even more difficult for Soo Kyung. She can’t seem to catch a break for a sustained window of time. Ba Woo and Dae Yeob escaped and were recaptured. Both men acted with honor towards each other.
Ba Woo (Jung Il Woo) had a file hidden in the rice. I had to chuckle when the monk smuggled a file into Ba Woo then wacked the Ming guard ready to strike Ba Woo down. Ba Woo told Dae Yeob that he wouldn’t die because he had something more precious than himself waiting for him at home. Is he reference Soo Kyung or his son or his family?
Soo Kyung (Kwon Yuri) suffered the slights by Cha Dol’s Mom. At least Cha Dol’s Mom isn’t evil like Vice Premiere Lee. She’s self-absorbed and wants Soo Kyung out of the way, but she wouldn’t poison her to achieve it (like Vice Premiere Lee or Court Lady Kim). Soo Kyung kept calm and carried on. Her focus was Ba Woo’s safe return. She altered the monk to Ba Woo’s situation. He ended up saving Ba Woo who has more lives than a cat. Soo Kyung loves Ba Woo. Will she ever get the chance to tell him?
Lee Dae Yeob (Shin Hyun Soo) took a bullet for Ba Woo. Dae Yeob saw the candidate his father hired aim his gun at Ba Woo. Dae Yeob instinctively acted and stepped in front of Ba Woo and was shot. Does Ba Woo know Dae Yeob has a bullet in his back? I have to give Dae Yeob props for his code of honor. He hasn’t sold out to his powerful father.
The thirteenth song of the OST is “Tough Years” sung by Park Joo Han. Lyrics (link)
I rank this episode as almost terrific, 8.5 on a 10-point scale.