Oh, groan! I'm going to go there. I'm going to say something that may end up upsetting some people. Yup, I'm going to go there and say, that after 17 episodes, we finally, FINALLY get a kiss between our two leads and I am left feeling disappointed. Oh gawrsh! I'm sorry! I really am... but come on! Certainly someone out there will agree with me that that kiss left something to be desired. It just did. Now, Lee Min Ho executed it quite nicely - I will give him that. My complaint is not with him. And it's only slightly with Kim Hee Sun. Yes, not a fan of the open eyes - aren't we beyond that at this point? But really, that's not my beef with it. It was the whole reason behind the kiss. Was it a moment of passion? No. It was a calculated move made for strategic reasons. Is he crazy for her? Yes. Of course. That has been made very delightfully obvious. I'm still loving that aspect of their love story. LMH is a pure genius at saying so much without saying anything at all. I'm sure Eun Soo is crazy for him as well, though that is harder to ascertain at this point. Her furtive looks his direction are fewer and more fleeting. While his body language repeatedly shouts a lustful refrain, hers is a little more difficult to read. She could be looking at a cute puppy or admiring a nice pair of heels for all the emotion she shows towards him. I know she digs him, I think he just shows it better and so by comparison, she's very lukewarm to his boiling over. So, yeah, there is some chemistry percolating between them, but that kiss didn't do much to showcase it.
But there I go again, getting way ahead of myself. The kiss was at the very end. There's some story we have to get through before we even get to that point. Time to back this train up.
We start out this episode with her...uhm...well, she's...I think that she is remembering? Dreaming? Okay, I don't know. I'm still confused. She's laying in bed and recalls/realizes that the note she wrote to herself in the diary was warning her that Choi Young would fall victim to a trap that day. She jumps up in a panic and rushes to see Prince Deok Heung, figuring that it was he who had set up the trap. He's a little surprised when she brings it up asking her how in the world she knew about it. She begs for the last missing part of the diary and for him to call off the attack on Choi Young. She promises him anything if he'll spare CY's life. What does he ask of her in return? He wants her to marry him and be his queen. And the last part of the diary will be returned to her on their wedding night. She readily agrees, figuring that she'll be long gone before the wedding date anyway. Little does she realize the serious situation she has just put herself in.
Her bargaining, however, temporarily works out. Choi Young has been barricaded in a room with the scholars and the new Goryeo royal seal while explosives have been set. The archers stand at the ready, flaming arrow ready to set off the explosives, when they are suddenly called off. Of course Choi Young is suspicious and wonders what happened when he busts out of the building and finds the gunpowder outside.
He accompanies the scholars with the seal to the village where the king is currently in residence.
He is really cute when he gets there and is very uncomfortable with the lack of protection surrounding the king. It bothers him that anyone can come and go as they please. He is lost and wanders around anxiously without much purpose. He doesn't have a task for the first time in a long time and it's really bugging him. Totally adorable. His task-less moment doesn't last long though, as soon word comes from Doctor Jang about Eun Soo's engagement to Prince Deok Heung. They try to keep it from him to no avail - he soon learns of it for himself and immediately sets off back to the palace and his engaged lady love.
Meanwhile, Prince Deok Heung has gifted a new set of fancy schmancy clothes to Eun Soo and she gets her hair all did before going to see her groom-to-be. Along the way she sees Choi Young. He's standing there against a wall, smiling at her adoringly.
She (and I) melted at the sight. Only it was just her imagination. He wasn't really there. :( Again, she "sees" him, this time goofing around with his fellow Woodalchi. But no, it's just a bunch of red garbed royal guards. :( :( He is coming for her, right? Yes, of course he is. He's just not there yet silly. When he does get there, Dr Jang tries to stop him from going to Eun Soo.
He asks him to sit and talk awhile - Prince Deok Heung is heavily guarded and rushing in is dangerous. To that, Choi Young exclaims that he cannot sit and goes to confront DH anyway. ES is currently there with DH, basically diagnosing him with some psychological problems. He is a little whackadoo, I agree. She tells him that she can forgive him for poisoning her, but will never let go of the fact that he went after Choi Young. Aw, see? She really does care. She just doesn't wear it all over her face like he (CY) does. I literally laughed out loud when she called him a 'cheap ass'. No, really, I did. Ask my husband. It made him leave the room - my random outburst of laughter. It was funny. *giggle* I love how she totally stands up to Deok Heung. It's pretty awesome.
So CY comes barging in to the little chat between the affianced, doing what he does best - beating the tar out of everyone before DH finally calls off his goons. Dayung - he's shmexy! Deok Heung grabs Eun Soo's wrist which really sets Choi Young off.
He then starts to talk to Eun Soo, more or less totally ignoring Deok Heung who's sitting there spouting off about livers and such. CY holds the hilt of his sword up to DH's neck and says, "you shut up - I'm talking to this person right now".
He asks her if she really is engaged to that nut job. He brings up the incident of the near-firebombing and asks her if he was saved because she agreed to marry the psycho. It's a very sweet and touching scene between the two of them. It ends with him pulling her away to another room, leaving DH just standing there totally ignored. Hahaha! Love it!
The two love birds continue their conversation in private. She explains to him about the last part of the notebook and how it contains information regarding his safety and his life and that is why she has to stick around - to get it back from Deok Heung in order to protect Choi Young. He can't believe that she agreed to marry the man who poisoned her just to save him. Again, this is an incredibly sweet and romantic moment between the two of them, and ends in him sweeping her into his arms, saying, "what am I going to do with you?" He begs her to not risk herself for his safety - that it isn't worth it - she should just let the last part of the diary go.
Looks like she's not going to have much choice as we next see DH take those last pages and start lighting them on fire. What a douche. I hate that guy. About as much as I hate the word "douche" which is why it is so fitting. Sorry if I offended anyone's sensitivities with my potty mouth. This guy just brings out the worst in me. (That actually reminds me of a funny and totally unrelated story. I was yard saling this past weekend and came across a house that was selling, no joke, a box of Summer's Eve douche. Uhm, ew. I don't care if it was unopened - you just don't buy someone else's douche. That's nasty).
Things are looking a little hairy for Team King. 2000 royal guards are on Team Deok Heung vs their 50 Woodalchi. Choi Young sets out to win some of those royal guards back. It sounds like what happened during what is now being called the Jo Il Shin Revolt that led to the king and queen's evacuation of the palace and Deok Heung's sitting in proxy on the throne is that some of the leaders of the guard were bribed. By either Deok Heung or Gi Cheol. Not clear on that, but it doesn't really matter as they were all in on it together. Now Choi Young has to find some key members of the guard and get some more troops to their side as they are woefully outnumbered. Not only do they have the 2000 to contend with, but Gi Cheol has his own private troops fighting alongside Deok Heung still. Choi Young better get busy.
And get busy he does. We'll come back to him in a moment though. First, let's come back to Eun Soo. It's the next day and she's just been scolded by Lady Choi. It seems that Eun Soo thinks that calling off this wedding is as easy to do during the Goryeo era as it is in the modern era. Apparently not, especially when you are engaged to royalty. She tries to argue that she isn't officially engaged - it's not like they had a ceremony or anything - except for the fact that an official letter of engagement has come and she has a giant pile of betrothal gifts sitting in her room. Oops. Looks like she's in deeper than she thought. And this puts Choi Young at risk. If she were to run off with him, which is kinda obvious where all this is going, he will be charged with treason and sentenced to what else but death by dismemberment. Lovely. They sure are big capital punishment-kind of folks around there. The queen is concerned and therefore sent Lady Choi to try to talk some sense into Eun Soo. Good luck there. She's a smart cookie but these two crazy kids are mad for each other.
Choi Young and an entourage show up before Deok Heung who is sitting his psycho little tooshie on the throne and in no uncertain terms invites him to stand down.
The king "appreciates his diligent service" while he was absent, but he's coming back and CY has been given the authority to stick around and keep the peace in the palace. So who does DH go running to? Gi Cheol. And he feeds the Gi Cheol madness by telling him that the first person CY will pick off is the High Doctor, leaving Gi Cheol empty handed. Remember, it's Eun Soo that he wants and he wants her so desperately that he is, in my opinion at least, losing all sense of reason. He is so hellbent on going to the heavens with ES that his grip on reality starts to loosen a bit. In order to keep ES in his grasp, he determines that they need to find some justification to take out the king.
Okay. Enough politics. I'm not even going to mention the scene where the "fireling" and "pipeling" show up at the king's place. I love those nicknames for them. Much better than Fire Lady and Killer Flutist. It was an entertaining scene and I should probably mention it, but this next one with Eun Soo and Choi Young is too yummy. I just want to get on to the good stuff. It's night and Eun Soo is snooping around looking for where DH has hidden the last part of the diary. Choi Young knocks down a guard that is about to find her and then stands there and watches with the cutest little smile on his face. She pulls something off a shelf, accidentally knocking a vase off. Not to worry, for Choi Young swoops in to the rescue, coming up right behind her in the delicious K-drama way (you know you've seen this scene a time or two before - the heroine is reaching for something and either knocks something down or starts to fall and the hero is there to catch it or her - whatever the situation calls for - and then they're all super close and almost touching but not quite).
And we are left melting into giant puddles of goo at the hotness of it all. There he is, breathing on her neck and sending shivers up my spine. Now would be a great time for that kiss. You know, dark room, no one around.... Opportunity missed. They leave that room, Choi Young telling her that it's not in there. On their way out, the guard is starting to stir. She shrieks and CY thumps the guy again with his sword. Omo! I laughed so hard! I don't know why exactly but I LOVED that part! I fell even more for CY (as if that's even possible) with that one move. It was perfect. That perfect moment was followed up by a sad yet romantic scene where he is begging her to give up the diary, telling her that if she is only looking for it to determine what happens to him, it's not worth it. He gets right up close and calls her "imja" and I repool into that pile of goo all over again. She tells him that they will soon have to part for real and she has to know that he is living safely so that she can go on. It's pretty much a confession scene between them both, even though neither one of them comes out and actually says, "hey, I'm crazy about you", but it is definitely inferred. And felt. All over. *shiver*
Gi Cheol and Deok Heung are still talking. And plotting. The wedding date is moved up and plans are set in place for traitorous troops disguised as bandits to attack the king and the Hyeongo Village where the king is. And other stuff, but that's what's important for the rest of my recap purposes.
Deok Heung and Eun Soo are on their way to the chapel and they're gonna get married when Choi Young shows up. He is angry! And determined to save his lady love. He and Gi Cheol have their XMen square-off, this time Choi Young easily beats his frosty power.
Eun Soo runs up to him, lovingly looks in his eyes and tells him that the village is going to be attacked. He looks at her and says, "I know. That is why there is no time. There is no other way!" and then he plants a big old kiss on her.
THE kiss that we have waited so long for, but see what I mean??? It was done strategically to stop the wedding and the plotting - or at least stall it a little bit. I know he meant it - it wasn't a fake kiss - but it wasn't a true one either. It was a mix. I'm 100% sure he wanted to do it, but he wouldn't have at that moment if it didn't serve another purpose. Not going to lie - kind of a let down. I loved everyone's faces though in response. Cracked me up. And like I said at the beginning of this post, the boy does a fabulous job. Just fabulous. She at least wasn't the worst I've ever seen. She even momentarily closed her eyes, though having them open at all while being kissed like that is still a crime in my book. She should have had a little more reaction to satisfy my demanding nature when it comes to drama kisses. We'll chat more about the strategy behind this kiss in episode 18's review coming up next!