We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special weather report from Centre Room Two: Expect turbulent skies over the next few days. Heavy showers of angst, jealousy and pent-up frustrations expected. Bring an umbrella.
Picking up from where we left off, Seon-joon explains that many citizens have had no choice but to become illegal traders or turn to crime because of the way the merchants have been fixing prices. The real culprits, therefore, are actually the corrupt court officials as well as the legal system for allowing this situation to continue.
Naturally, In-soo objects. He reminds the King that they’re supposed to determine if Yoon-hee is guilty of theft and not blather on about unfair trade policies.
Well, looks like you got what you wished for, In-soo, because here’s Bock-soo with his confession.
The latter tells the King that all his life, he’s been treated like dirt due to his lowly Ban-in status. Jae-shin & Co were the first ones to treat him like a human being and show him that a life worthy of respect was possible even for people like him and his brother.
With this confession, Yoon-hee’s name is cleared and the King flunks everyone save our fair heroes. In particular, he singles In-soo out and tells him that as the Student Council president, he should have tried to find out if Yoon-hee was innocent instead of assuming that she was guilty. If he isn’t even capable of doing this, how can he expect to be a government official? Needless to say, In-soo’s blood pressure hits another high.
As for Bock Soo, Yoon-hee suggests that he be given a job as a guard in Sungkyunkwan so that he can make sure that similar crimes don’t happen again.
In-soo is seething with fury as he leaves the examination hall but it looks like his pride is in for another beating. Professor Jung summons him to his office and shows him two sets of herbs.
The first is the one he gave to Yoon-hee; the second is the one she was accused of selling. They’re almost identical, except that the first lot contains sweet persimmon while the second one has the dried variety. Not many people can tell the difference between the two.
He tells In-soo that whoever was trying to frame her obviously made a mistake. Is he still not willing to admit to his guilt? Ha Jr continues to play dumb. The professor runs out of patience and tells him that the reason why he didn’t bring this up during the exam was because he was hoping In-soo would confess to it himself. He then insults him by saying that he’s worse than Bock Soo because at least the latter has the guts to own up to his crime.
Byung-choon’s hit three strikes and he’s out. In-soo tells him that he would have liked to continue helping him with his mother’s medical fees.
However patience isn’t one of his greatest virtues and Byung-choon’s screwed up one too many times. And with that, he is banished from In-soo’s inner circle.
Library. Seon-joon bumps into In-soo, who is just itching for a fight. The latter accuses him of stabbing his father in the back. Surely he knows that the Norons get their political funds from the merchants. How can his father, who’s the head of the faction, not be involved in this matter?
He then tells him that he will soon find out just how much of a saint his father really is. There’s not much the King can do with the accounts book because the Left Prime Minister will do everything in his power to destroy it.
Yoon-hee, who has come looking for Seon-joon, overhears the entire conversation. She’s now starting to understand what Yong-ha meant when he said she was stirring up trouble and she apologizes to Seon-joon for putting him in such a tight spot, saying she should have left the book in the warehouse, just as he had told her to. Magnanimously, he tells her that they just did what they had to do. There’s no point worrying about it because as In-soo said, there’s a possibility that nothing might come out of their efforts.
He walks away despondently, only to hear Yoon-hee say: “I’m proud of you, Lee Seon-joon. You did great.” It’s enough to chase all the dark clouds away and for awhile, it’s just the two of them alone in their own little world smiling the hell out at each other.
Yoon-hee tells him that she will always remember all their times together even when they are no longer together at Sungkyunkwan. And even if he has to make another difficult decision like this in the future, she’ll always have faith that he’ll do the right thing even though he might be struggling with doubt. Aww…
She turns to leave and Seon-joon stops her…because a world without Yoon-hee is a world that isn’t worth living in at all.
He asks her to stay by his side as he makes his way through life. “Stay by my side like this always… This way, I’ll remember today whenever I look at you.”
Excuse me while I reboot my flailing heart.
Seon-joon’s feelings, which have been relatively well-behaved so far, decide that it’s time to mess with him again. As usual, his eyes zero in on her mouth and in a futile attempt to preserve his sanity, he tells her never to dress up as a woman again. Leaving the library, he chants the following mantra: “Kim Yoon-shik is just a roommate. Kim Yoon-shik is just a roommate.” Well, Seon-joon, you should have thought about this BEFORE you asked her to stick to you like glue.
While his son is failing miserably at reining in his wayward feelings, Left Prime Minister Lee is telling Minister Ha to get one of their palace informants to destroy the accounts book. He’ll take care of the King. After all, they were the ones who put him on the throne. They can always replace him with a new monarch.
The words are barely out of his mouth when the masked avenger strikes again. His latest note criticises the Geum Nan Jeon Kwon policy for favouring the rich and the corrupt. But not to worry, the Geum Deung Ji Sa will soon put an end to the Norons.
Back in Sungkyunkwan, the chancellor and professors are poring over Hong Byuk Seo’s note, the former indignant that the masked avenger could be one of their students. Professor Jung tells them that judging from the prose style, Hong Byuk Seo is all man. He’s rugged and strong, tough yet magnanimous, a raw towering force of testosterone and machismo…I’m sorry, what were we talking about again?
Cut to Jae-shin, who is preparing to return to civilian life. He splashes himself with alcohol to make it seem like he’s been out drinking and hears Yoon-hee and Seon-joon talking about his latest note.
Inside the room, Seon-joon is realizing to his dismay that his mantra is not helping him at all. Their fingers touch as they read the note together and instead of moving hers away, Yoon-hee, the little minx, pretends not to notice anything.
They’re two men, after all. What’s the big deal about a little finger action? Seon-joon, however, suddenly develops problems swallowing. Where’s Jae-shin when you need him?
Ask and you shall receive. The pony-tailed one makes his grand entrance and promptly settles in between them. Seon-joon balks. Wait, that’s not what he meant!
Seon-joon decides that he’s had enough of Jae-shin grabbing him at unexpected moments in the night. Hee! If he likes facing his side of the wall so much, he can take his place and he’ll go sleep next to Yoon-hee (and spend the next day wallowing in denial.) Naturally, Jae-shin would sooner join the Norons than let this happen. Fine, says Seon-joon. They’ll settle this once and for all. They’ll let Yoon-hee decide where she wants to sleep.
Oblivious to all the fan girls yelling, “The middle, you fool!”, Yoon-hee hems and haws away. She tugs at her bottom lip, driving both Seon-joon and Jae-shin out of their minds.
Well, blurts out Seon-joon, will you look at the time? It’s getting late, we should all get some sleep. Let’s settle this another day.
Royal palace. The King announces his decision to abolish the Geum Nan Jeon Kwon in light of the Han Sung Bu case and the note from Hong Byuk Seo. From now on, the marketplace will be open to everyone, not just the merchants. Cue massive outcry from the officials, except for the Left Prime Minister, who tells the King that it’s a good idea. By arresting the corrupt officials and allowing free trade, the citizens will be mollified. Say what?
Needless to say, everyone is shocked that he is siding with the King. But it is all part of his cunning plan to ensure that the Norons remain in power.
As he explains to Minister Ha, if they are to have the upper hand, they need to get the public on their side. It’s especially important now that Hong Byuk Seo’s note has stirred public sentiment. They need to act before the situation spirals out of control.
Over in another part of the palace, Professor Jung is telling the King that he cannot allow him to assign the task of finding the Geum Deung Ji Sa to the Jalgeum Quartet. Yoon-hee and Jae-shin have lost a father and a brother while he himself has lost a mentor and a student. He cannot allow more lives to be lost.
The King refuses to be dissuaded. It can’t be helped. He too has lost friends, mentors and subjects but if the Norons continue to stay in power, Joseon will only suffer. The Geum Deung Ji Sa must be found so that he can put an end to all the country’s problems. He tells the professor that he has already made up his mind and summoned them to the palace.
Sure enough, we see our fair heroes entering the palace gates. Everyone is taking a dig at Yong-ha. Whatever happened to the person who swore that he would never be caught dead wearing a government official’s uniform? He smirks and reveals, with a little flourish, the attire he has on underneath.
Once inside the palace, they find out that the King has a little present for each of them. For Yong-ha, it’s the Forbidden Palace replica that he lost. Jae-shin receives the prize-winning poem that his brother had written during his student days in Sungkyunkwan. Seon-joon receives a compass and is reminded once again of the conundrum that he’s in: to be a filial son or a just person? It’s telling that he doesn’t answer when the King asks him if he ever doubted his father’s innocence.
Yoon-hee receives the puzzle piece that used to belong to her father and finds out that he wasn’t just a mere scholar, as her mother had told her, but a professor at Sungkyunkwan when he was alive. The puzzle piece also carries another symbolic meaning. It means that the King is ready to assign them the task of locating the Geum Deung Ji Sa.
Lee Manor. Seon-joon thanks his father for helping pass the free trade law, his relief clearly palpable; I don’t think Seon-joon is unaware of the goings-on in the Noron political party, certainly not with Jae-shin and In-soo rubbing them in his face at school. If he chooses to accept his father’s actions at face value instead of delving more deeply into the issue, it’s because he would rather not uncover anything that might shatter his belief in the minister if he can help it. It’s a very human defense mechanism—we all need certain illusions to survive.
Seon-joon, however, is not the only one grappling with conflicted feelings. Minister Lee is also very much aware of the problem that he has created for himself. The Norons have always taken the stance that the country comes before the individual/family, which is the excuse they used to get rid of Crown Prince Sado. However, Minister Lee now finds karma coming to bite him in the ass, courtesy of his own son, who is a real stickler for doing what’s right. And the irony is that he’s the one who raised him to be like this.
He changes the subject by telling Seon-joon that they’ve decided to move his wedding forward. Hyo-eun’s a nice enough girl. More importantly, she doesn’t seem like someone who would interfere in her husband’s affairs. What more could a man want?
We find said girl in the bookstore looking for a book that will make Seon-joon fall for her. Actually, they’re both very similar this way; she and Seon-joon are people whose views of the world (and in her case, relationships) have been culled largely from books. What they need is a dose of reality to balance out their textbook/romance novel idealism.
The bookseller hands her a racy book that promises to show her how to release her inner vixen.
Of course, we all know who these naughty titles are reserved for and sure enough, Yong-ha turns up and whisks it away. He tells her that though what she has in mind would probably work on him, it will only succeed in scaring Seon-joon away. Hyo-eun is all ears: so how exactly can she make him fall truly, deeply and madly in love with her?
In a nutshell, Yong-ha’s plan is to maroon them on a deserted island and let nature take its course. He explains that uptight people like Seon-joon have to be taken out of their comfort zones; being in an unfamiliar environment will force them to go with the flow and act on their impulses instead of over-analyse things.
However, there’s just one tiny little problem. Seon-joon will never in a million years agree to go on a trip with her alone. So Yong-ha tells her to get three other girls to accompany her while he’ll round up the rest of the Jalgeum Quartet. They agree on a time to meet and as she turns to leave, she realises that she doesn’t know his name.
Yong-ha smirks. This is clearly too good an opportunity to waste and he tells her his name before leaning over to whisper his nickname in her ear. Hyo-eun’s eyes become as round as saucers and she looks at him scandalised.
What? It’s a perfectly legitimate name—“Yeo” means “plentiful” and “rim” means “fully engaged”. What did she think it meant? *snicker*
Sungkyunkwan. Yoon-hee and Jae-shin share a moment as they talk about her father. He tells her that her mother probably hid the truth about him because she had her interests in mind. And then, as if everyone watching this show wasn’t already madly in love with him, he kneels down like the knight in black cotton that he is and ties her ankle drawstrings, which have conveniently come undone, and tells her that her father was a great man, just like her.
Yoon-hee tells him what we already know—that despite his fearsome nickname and appearance, he’s just a big, squishy marshmallow. She thanks him for helping her all this while and hey, whaddya know? The hiccups are back!
Over in another part of the campus, Yong-ha catches up with Seon-joon to find out his plans for the free time that the King has given them. Surely he’s not going to nerd out on them and spend it studying? How about going on a pleasure cruise with some hot chicks? Not interested. Well, how about going to the mountains? Still not interested.
Oh come on! He’s a guy, how can he not be interested in women? Surely he’s not interested in men! Oooh…it looks like he’s hit the right button. Seon-joon turns to him sharply, huffing that he doesn’t find this joke funny at all.
Meanwhile, Yoon-hee and Jae-shin come across a wanted poster of Hong Byuk Seo. She turns serious all of a sudden and tells him she knows who the masked avenger is. It’s him, isn’t it? Jae-shin’s eyes are about to pop out of his head when she starts laughing, pointing out that his hiccups are gone.
It’s a very sweet moment and really, it makes you wish that someone would make a clone of Yoon-hee for him so Jae-shin’s heart doesn’t have to shatter into tiny, tiny pieces later on.
And speaking of having your heart shattered, look who’s walking this way! Seon-joon sees Yoon-hee goofing around with Jae-shin and instantly his mood takes a dive.
He starts chanting his mantra again and returns to their room, only to start hallucinating. Yoon-hee is all over the place, calling him Wang Seobang and making cute Bambi eyes at him.
Trust me, Wang Seobang is totally going to be code for fun, sexy times when these two get married.
Just as his brain is about to melt on him, Yong-ha enters the room to persuade him to join them for their boating trip. Even his fiancée is going to be there. Seon-joon continues to play the party-pooper. Fine, Yong-ha tells him that he will stay in the room till he agrees. Seon-joon retaliates the only way he knows how—by studying. Oh Seon-joon, what are we going to do with you?
However it soon becomes clear that reading is the furthest thing on his mind when Yoon-hee and Jae-shin enter the room.
Oh my, Seon-joon, you’re going to tear that book if you continue flipping those pages so hard. And I didn’t know you could read books upside down. Hee!
Chez Minister of War. In-soo tells his father he suspects that the masked avenger is one of our fair heroes since they were the ones who presented the accounts book to the King. Minister Ha reveals that he has set a trap for Hong Byuk Seo, and then a thought occurs to him: he can’t possibly be the Left Prime Minister’s son, can he?
Meanwhile, Seon-joon, who is exhausted from fighting his feelings, finally caves and agrees to go on the boating trip, much to Yong-ha’s delight. Attaboy! The desire to be surrounded by beautiful women is a natural male instinct.
He gives Seon-joon instructions to meet at the dock but just as the latter is about to leave, Yong-ha stops him, telling him that he’s made a mistake. He tells him to go to the dock earlier and get on the boat with Yoon-hee. He’ll take care of everything for them.
Time to ask Yoon-hee out on a date to go with him on the trip. Needless to say, she is overjoyed that he is asking her out. Pfft, she can always visit her mother some other day.
Giddy with excitement, she checks herself out in the mirror even though there’s nothing for her to crimp. Just then, Jae-shin enters the room. Why she’s all dressed up? Where’s she going? Er, nowhere special. Just going out to do, you know, stuff. She leaves and he sees her mirror on the floor.
Dock. Yoon-hee is so happy to be going on a trip with Seon-joon (it’s also her first time travelling on a boat) that even his constipated sourpuss mood can’t put a dampener on her excitement. She almost loses her balance while climbing on board and what does Seon-joon do? He offers her his hand and then takes it away presumably because he feels he’s questioned his sexuality enough for one day. *head desk* Seon-joon, I know I sound like a broken tape recorder but OMG, idiot much?
Back on dry land, Jae-shin is resisting the temptation to wring the life out of Yong-ha’s neck as he discovers that his friend has sent Yoon-hee and Seon-joon off to spend the night on a deserted island.
Yong-ha tells him that it’s his gift to them for doing most of the work in the Han Sung Bu case. As Jae-shin sprints off to the dock, Yong-ha snerks. That’s for trying to pull one over his friend of 10 years.
Chez Minister of War. Hyo-eun is horrified to find out that the boat to Temptation Island has left without her. Oh no! Her beloved! She’s got to find a way to get to that island, stat.
Er, no can do. The sky is as dark as Jae-shin’s mood and no sane person is going to ferry them anywhere.
Meanwhile, over on Temptation Island, the sky’s not the only thing that’s becoming stormy. Seon-joon and Yoon-hee come across the little tent of sweet nothings that Hyo-eun has prepared for their Sizzling Night of Hot Passion.
She eventually finds out that the reason he brought her here was to meet girls. The funniest thing is that he makes it sound like he’s doing her a favour. (As if your stupid heart is going to go back to normal when you see her with a girl. Like hello? Remember Cho-sun in Episode 7?) And then he notices the expression on her face: Er, why so angry Kim Yoon-shik? Don’t you like girls too?
He chases after her as she storms off towards the boat. Wait, don’t go! The whole thing’s Yeorim-sahyung’s fault. He’s the one who said that real men like being surrounded by hot babes! Yoon-hee shoots him a look of withering disdain. So, if Yeorim-sahyung were to tell you to go to hell, you’d take the first express chariot there? She tells him that he can stay on this stupid island and meet as many women as he wants. She’s going to take the boat back to the mainland.
Oh crap. She’s really leaving. Haywire feelings be damned—he’ll deal with them later. Seon-joon grabs hold of her, only to get a punch in the face. (Damn, she’s good.)
Dock. Yong-ha goes down as Jae-shin finally snaps and decks him for being an asshat and putting Yoon-hee’s virtue in danger.
Temptation Island. Yoon-hee loses her balance in the process of punching Seon-joon but he manages to catch hold of her. She is, however, still furious with him and shoves him away, causing him to fall into the river.
*sigh* If only my life were half this exciting.
Oh God, I love watching Seon-joon stew in jealousy. He is so adorably hopeless! It almost makes me wish the writers could draw out his agony a little longer but I don’t think his poor heart is going to be able to take it.
And on a completely random note, when was the last time Jae-shin did his laundry or had a bath? Speaking of which, when was the last time he washed his hair?