When we last left Dr Jin, he was cradling a prince with a gunshot wound to the chest. He has just seen Choon Hong, fortune-telling gisaeng extraordinaire's dire warning come to fruition right in front of him. Because he saved Young Rae, Kyung Tak had an axe to grind and a father's good graces to get back in to, and so Prince Heung Seon, who is supposed to be the next regent of Joseon with his son Myeong Bok on the throne got shot and is in grave danger of dying. She tried warning him, but he just didn't listen. Oh Jin, when ever will you learn?
I know, I know, love and all that, but still, she did warn you.
Prince Heung Seon is clinging to life. Actually he's more saying his goodbyes and "take care of my son". He knows he's dying. Jin is flipping out. Remember this?
Sorry. It just had to come back for one more round.
Jin tells Ha Eung that he can't die, he's fated to be the next King's father. This prompts Ha Eung, who if you recall is in the throes of death at this time, to question Jin once and for all as to his true identity. I'm sorry, but "who are you really dude?" probably wouldn't be my foremost concern at that moment if I were dying in the street and had a gaping gunshot wound to the chest. But who knows. Never been there. I'm just making a wild assumption. Call me crazy.
Ha Eung (sorry for switching back and forth on his name by the way - Prince Heung Seon takes longer to type. Granted, these two sentences more than make up for the 10 character gain, but we don't need to point that out) is rushed to the gisaeng house for emergency surgery. It's a bloody mess and he loses a bit of lung in the process, but eventually he is saved. With a little help from Choon Hong who donates some blood.
Meanwhile, Kyung Tak and Young Hwi have faced off after the attempted murder of the prince. Both discover each other's "secret identities" - KT as the shooter and YH as, you know, alive.
KT is captured and held captive. My inner fangirl is dying for me to say something inappropriate at this juncture about JaeJoong being tied up, but I'm not going to acquiesce to her demands.
KT is beaten as they try to get him to reveal who ordered him to kill Ha Eung. He won't talk and betray his father. They of course know who it is, but I guess they need an actual confession from him. If you will recall, trying to kill a member of the Royal Family is a big no-no, so getting this information is a big deal to them. If they can get Byung Hee for this attack on Ha Eung, then their problems are solved.
Jin comes across Young Rae silently praying. He notes her Catholic prayer beads and her jumpiness/nervousness at being caught praying, which then reminds him of a notice he saw about how anyone reporting Catholic believers would receive an award. This jogs his history memory bank once again and he recalls an event called "Byeong in Persecution" in which, in the year 1866, more than 8000 people were executed for their Catholic beliefs. And who carried this out? Are you sure you're ready for this? It might come as a surprise because up until now he's been an endearing and slightly heroic figure. That's right. Prince Heung Seon, as regent, ordered the gathering and execution of Catholics. Now Jin is all worried for Young Rae and the other 7999 Catholic observers. And once again, we have a moral dilemma. He just saved a man who, in about 3 years, will kill thousands, and quite possibly the girl he loves. Uh oh. Choon Hong of course tells him to let it go - even if it means lives will be saved or lost - he has to leave it alone and not interfere any longer.
After the surgery is complete, Ha Eung's heart suddenly stops. They manage to save him and bring him once again back from that brink of death. Dr Jin and he then have a sit down and a little chat. Jin reveals that he is from the future and that the king is about to die and Myeong Bok will assume the throne with he, Heung Seon, as Prince Regent. He then warns him about the 1866 massacre. Ha Eung pretty much calls him crazy and says "Dude, I'd never do that. Especially since my wife is Catholic". I think this more confuses Jin then sets his mind at ease, but he can't do much more.
We then have the dramatic death scene of the king.
I will admit, I don't understand why myself, but I cried. The guy was not all too likeable and I didn't have much invested in his character, but still, I cried. At least I was in good company. Jin and the prince cried as well. Now I feel a little better.
Almost immediately, talk of the heir is brought up by Heung Seon. Drama, drama, drama...political back and forth...and a surprise. But you have to wait for it.
First, let's get back to KT. He's captured, bound and beaten. Young Rae finds out and rushes to him. On a return visit to him, she discovers that he has escaped. Even bloodied and with some runny nose action going on, that is still one fine looking man there.
Prince Heong Seon is bold enough to give the throne a little practice run. After all, his best buddy from the future just assured him that the job was in the bag, why not? Look at how royal and kingly he is.
Oh, Jae, we didn't forget about you. So, KT has run off. He's had flashback to his father coming to collect him after what I'm assuming is the death of his mother. He's a young child and wearing mourning clothes. He calls Byung Hee "father" which BH instantly corrects and tells him that he should call him "Your Excellency". And then he takes him away to live with him. We all know how well that turned out for poor KT. Anyway, YR finds him at the house that she and he and YH lived in as children. He has pulled a knife and is about to take his own life. YR rushes in and stops him. He relents, but only because as a subject of Joseon, it is not appropriate for him to kill himself on the same day that the king died. Hey, whatever excuse you need to save that lovely neck, go for it.
And now, now we get the return I've waited 15 episodes for. Oh yeah, Brain Baby's back!!! Woot! Woot! Well, at least the idea and talk of Brain Baby. Jin has another flash headache and this one is so bad he passes out. When he comes to, Choon Hong is there looking very worried. She then tells him that it has grown. Huh? What's grown? The tumor. The tumor? Okay, so apparently Brain Baby is a tumor in his head and in the head of any that can travel back and forth between times. Choon Hong knows because she also had this same tumor. Not only does this tumor cause time travel, but it also grows larger any time Jin interferes with the past in a way he shouldn't. Save someone that shouldn't have been saved? Boom! Tumor grows. Tell somebody information about the future? Boom! Tumor grows some more. Make penicillin even though Dongsaeng warned you against it? Yup, you guessed it, Boom! More tumor. And not only is is a time travel inducing tumor that grows when the time traveler makes a wrong move, it can also kill him. Not only kill him, but cause him to cease to exist. No more going back. No more soul. Gone. Poof. Oh. Crap. If I were Jin at this point I'd be all like "Why the freak didn't you warn me about this before instead of giving me just vague cryptic warnings? Would a 'hey, don't do that, you're magical tumor will grow and erase you from existence' been too hard to mention?"
And this all leads me to believe that my original theory is correct. I have hesitated to mention it up until now, but I think now it's pretty safe to put it out there and see if anyone else agrees with me. Remember episode 1 and the John Doe Holey Head guy that Jin operates on and removes Brain Baby from? I think that he was operating on himself. His head was completely wrapped. We could see nothing. I think it was Jin, returned from Joseon, getting the tumor removed by his future self. Ooh...yeah. That's the theory I'm sticking with. That theory has been one of the reasons I've stuck around...I am too curious to see if I'm right and if I am, that's actually a part of the storyline I'm very curious to see play out.
Okay, so I promised you a political surprise. Here you go. At the end, Byung Hee shocks the entire royal court when he joins with Heung Seon in recommending Myeong Bok as heir to the throne. What? Why the sudden shift? We then see the smoking gun...literally. Heung Seon reveals the gun that shot him and pretty much says that they can use it to prove Byung Hee tried to kill a member of the royal family, a crime punishable by death. Byung Hee may be a nasty piece of work, but he's no dummy. He knows that joining with Heung Seon in this is the only way to save his neck, quite literally. Better to lose some power but keep your riches and life. He further surprises us when he tells a broken KT, who is begging for his father to kill him, that he should call him "Father".
Methinks that the man has not suddenly changed personality and decided to be a good dad, but probably has something up his sleeve and knows that he will need a loyal, unbroken KT by his side. He knows that the boy is desperate for his father's approval. He's going to use it to his advantage. Or so is my theory with that.
We end episode 16 with Dr Jin reflecting on his time there in Joseon and how his actions and interference has led to his Brain Baby growing and trying to kill him. Whatever shall happen next?
Find out what happens next time on the Dramatic Friday Review, which will actually be on Friday (unlike these sneaky epidoes sneaking in mid-week). Until then, have a drama-filled remainder of your week!