Recap: Sungkyunkwan Scandal Ep. 13

The hockey tournament gets underway and the Minister of War intensifies his search efforts for the masked avenger. In other news, Seon-joon and Yoon-hee break each other’s hearts, Yoon-hee (with a bit of help from SJ) breaks Jae-shin’s, and Jae-shin breaks Yong-ha’s (and mine.) Remember R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”? Well, now’s as good a time as any to sing along.

 Lesson 13

Needless to say, Cho-sun’s kiss goes down as well as you can imagine. Hyo-eun’s all “Oh no you don’t, beyotch!” and Cho-sun’s attempt to allay the younger girl’s jealousy only serves to make Seon-joon doubly confused and angsty because it makes it sound as if Yoon-hee is interested in Hyo-eun as well. (Hello, are you blind?)

Excusing herself, she leaves the three of them to resolve their soap opera on their own. However, Yoon-hee goes after her to apologize for dragging her into this mess and hurting her feelings.

Because she is ten different kinds of awesome, she tells Yoon-hee that there’s nothing to be sorry about. One can’t control one’s feelings and she’s not petty enough to resent her for liking someone else. Instead she tells Yoon-hee that she’s concerned for her because she knows that desiring someone you can’t have often makes you do and say hurtful things to that person. Such is first love.

*Ahem* Seon-joon, are you listening to this? Sadly not, because when Yoon-hee returns to the table to apologize for Cho-sun’s behavior, he tells her very politely and coldly to get lost.

Hurt, Yoon-hee proceeds to drink herself into oblivion while Seon-joon’s self-loathing and jealousy continue to eat away at him.

The three stooges steal away the first chance they get and as they walk back to their dorm, their conversation is overheard by Jae-shin, who is still hanging out in his tree.

Naturally, he’s tickled that they think she’s upset because Cho-sun dumped her. Time for him to swoop in and play the black knight.

Predictably, Yoon-hee is drunk off her ass and in no position to crawl back to their room, which is just great because it means she gets a free pass on the sexiest piggyback ride in all of Joseon. But first, let’s make Seon-joon even more miserable than he already is by letting him see you slumped against his rival’s manly, rock-hard chest. Lesson #1, Seon-joon: the early hunk gets to piggy-back the crossdresser.

Seon-joon is jealous again. So what else is new?

Too drunk to realize how lucky she is, Yoon-hee starts babbling about how indebted she is to him even though everyone calls him a jerk, and how he doesn’t understand the feelings she has for him. Jae-shin smiles.*sigh* I…don’t even want to go there.

He lays her down in the room and being the noble gentleman he is, scrambles out of the room before his hormones can make him do something stupid. Oh yes, Jae-shin’s just your regular badass mofo, all right.

As he rounds the corner, he runs into an out-of-sorts Seon-joon. Jae-shin proceeds to call the latter out on his irresponsibility. What did he do to push Yoon-hee to drink so much? Isn’t he the least bit worried about her? (Er, frickin’ going out of his mind is more like it.) And because they are two young, virile bucks mooning after the same girl, this happens:

*Melt* Seon-joon, you need to connect with your inner rage more often.

Seon-joon tells Jae-shin he never wants to hear the name “Kim Yoon-shik” coming out of his mouth ever again. Okay, is it just me or is it getting really hot in here?

Royal palace. Hong Byuk Seo has been going on a killing and looting spree and the Minister of War urges the King to sentence him to death. Instead of the Robin Hood figure that he once was, he’s now become a public nuisance. According to his latest note, he’ll be making an appearance at Woonjong Street.

The King senses that something is amiss—Hong Byuk Seo has never announced his whereabouts before. Very well, since this is the case, the Minister of War had better get around to arresting him then. If he can’t even succeed in doing this when he’s announced his location, won’t his guards be put to shame?

We cut to see the Minister of War talking to the imposter in a clandestine location. If the real Hong Byuk Seo is caught, he’ll honour the promise he made. The mysterious figure in black turns to face him and oh my…it’s a woman?

Time for the hockey tournament to begin. The chancellor is overjoyed that the Norons and Sorons aren’t going to get into a fight this year because of the way the students have been split up. He praises In-soo for his foresight but Professor Jung is not so easily taken in. It’s his duty as the Student President to think of the students’ well-being after all.

Hockey field. Yoon-hee tries to apologize to Seon-joon for her behavior at the Open House but Seon-joon continues to give her the cold shoulder because he is still wading through the Abyss of Despair. She assures him that she has no interest in Hyo-eun because she has eyes only for Cho-sun (oh yes, like that’s going to make him feel better.) In response, he snits that he couldn’t care less who she has in her heart. Ha, as if!

Jae-shin comes across a crestfallen Yoon-hee and immediately guesses that Seon-joon must have said something to make her upset. Putting on a brave face, she tells him that she’s going to show Seon-joon she can succeed even without him around.

And then because Jae-shin’s the sweetest BFF anyone could ever hope to have, he reminds her that she’s not alone because she still has him. Aww…Jae-shin, forget about your own heart for a sec. You’re breaking mine!

Meanwhile, Yong-ha weasels his way out of the game by telling Prof Jung that he over-exerted himself during the Open House. Could he be excused, pretty please? *Ahem*

It turns out that In-soo is planning on having Byung-choon take Yoon-hee out during the game. The idea is for Go Bong to distract Jae-shin so that there will be no one to help her. However, what they don’t count on is Seon-joon disrupting their plans. Because of the way he’s been acting though, it just seems to everyone that he’s being a dick.

Naturally, Jae-shin is upset that he’s being so rough with Yoon-hee but Seon-joon tells him to mind his own beeswax and butt out of her affairs.

Oh my, boys!


BOYS! (Okay, give me a minute, I’m going to go get the popcorn.)


Aw hell, Yoon-hee! Not you too!


She tells Seon-joon off for raising his fist against Jae-shin. Too conflicted to explain his actions, he can only watch with mounting frustration as she tells Jae-shin he’s not worth their attention. *Sigh*

Far from all the flying hormones, Yong-ha comments that Seon-joon and Jae-shin’s macho posturing is just the result of two hot-blooded males who need to get laid let off steam. Professor Jung comments that he’s always observing from the sidelines. He didn’t take part in the archery tournament and he’s sitting this one out as well: is it because he’s afraid of fighting or losing? Probably both, replies Yong-ha with a little smile.

Over on the field, we see our two young bucks locking antlers again.

Guys, if you continue making eyes at each other like that, the fan girls are going to start shipping the both of you together

Ever the opportunist, In-soo takes advantage of this to set his plan in motion again. Yong-ha watches with concern as he passes the ball to Yoon-hee. It isn’t like him to make so many mistakes.

Jae-shin finally looks up to see Byung-choon getting ready to club her on the head and he pushes Seon-joon away in an attempt to help her.

However, though he manages to thwart Byung-choon, he ends up getting into a tussle with Go-Bong as well.

Meanwhile, In-soo, unable to contain his own rage and jealousy, snaps when he sees Cho-sun smiling at Yoon-hee.

He’s about to finish what Byung-choon was supposed to do when Seon-joon swoops in, taking the blow meant for her. Everyone is shocked but none more so than the Minister of War and Hyo-eun. It looks like that’s the end of their marriage talks.

During the break, Yong-ha goes to confront In-soo. So, he was planning to get Yoon-hee all along but there’s just one thing that doesn’t make sense—it’s not like him to get his hands dirty. In-soo is beside himself with rage. What doesn’t make sense is Yoon-hee. What’s so special about her that Seon-joon had to interfere with his plans and take the blow for her?

Infirmary. Seon-joon is drifting in and out of consciousness, his brain filled entirely with images of Yoon-hee.

He imagines her by his bedside, taking his hand in hers but wakes up to find Hyo-eun standing before him instead.

She has come to tell him that her family will not pursue the matter of their engagement any longer. And right at that moment, Yoon-hee enters the room. Let’s just say you could light up the whole of Namsan Tower for several years with the charged atmosphere between them.

Seon-joon rises from where he’s sitting just as Hyo-eun turns to leave.

Oh God, please say you’re not going to do something stupid…

He grabs her wrist…

For the love of your big, big brain, Seon-joon, please don’t do what I think you’re about to do.

And asks her to marry him.

*HEAD DESK DESK DESK* Please look up your thesaurus and list down every single word under “moron.” (This is going to be a constant refrain throughout this episode.)

He tells her that he’s never failed to accomplish his goals (and what’s that? To prove to yourself that you’re not gay?) And he vomits a few other insipid excuses to convince himself that he’s Doing the Right Thing™ while Yoon-hee looks on devastated.

Of course, he can’t help but stare longingly after her when she runs out of the room. *Refrain*

Poor sweet Jae-shin, who’s been waiting for Yoon-hee, sees her running away in tears and puts the two together when he sees Seon-joon and Hyo-eun together in the infirmary. Even though his heart is in free fall, he manages a smile.

Okay, now I’m experiencing second-hand heartache. Look here Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I’m going to have to see a doctor after this. First my forehead, now my heart. Let me know where to send the bill?

Putting on his game face, he goes to give her a pep talk. He tells her that the only way to deal with situations like this is to give yourself a really good workout out so you’re too tired to feel the pain.

Looks like his advice worked. Over the next few scenes, we see Yoon-hee throwing herself into the game with renewed vigour. And with both In-soo and Seon-joon out of the picture, the Western dorm ends up winning the tournament.

As if he could tear his eyeballs away from Yoon-hee. We see a forlorn Seon-joon, with his loyal manservant in tow, observing her from afar. Soon-dol comments that he’s changed a lot and become more human. Who’d have thought he’d take the blow for the pretty scholar?

As they leave Sungkyunkwan, Seon-joon’s mother also comments on this new development. She used to worry that he was nothing but a big boring nerd but it now looks like she was fretting for nothing. Lee Senior, on the other hand, thinks otherwise. Seon-joon’s become too impulsive and emotional—definitely not a good combo where he’s concerned.

Seon-joon and Yoon-hee cross paths again. Trying to be the big person, she thanks him for saving her from In-soo and congratulates him on his engagement to Hyo-eun. However, the script says there’s still more than an episode of angst left to milk (God help me) so he gives her The Hand and stalks away.

Time to lighten the mood with a cute moment. Yong-ha comes looking for Yoon-hee to claim the back scrub that she offered earlier on. Uh oh. Luckily, Jae-shin, who’s looking mighty fine in his clean duds, comes to her rescue by telling her to go pick up his imaginary sports equipment from the hockey pitch.

This immediately earns him a knowing look from Yong-ha but Jae-shin, who’s quietly dealing with his own heartache, tells him he’s not in the mood for games now. Aw…baby, if I ever get a puppy, I’m naming it after you.

Meanwhile, the King, who has arrived in Sungkyunkwan incognito, shows Professor Jung the note written by the imposter. Certain it’s a trap, he tells the professor they need to protect the real Hong Byuk Seo, who he believes is studying in the university. If he falls into their hands, the Geum Deung Ji Sa will be lost forever.

Over in another part of Sungkyunkwan, In-soo and his father are having a little tête-à-tête. The latter assures his son that even if they don’t manage to capture the masked avenger, his men will be able to deal him a fatal blow. In-soo is curious to know who the imposter is but his father merely tells him that the person is someone that he can trust. (Okay, you have to wonder how information is passed around in this family because how is it that In-soo has no idea that the woman he is obsessed with has some kind of a weird working relationship with his father? It’s not like he lacks the resources to keep tabs on her.)

Dining Hall. The whole room is abuzz with talk of Hong Byuk Seo and Jae-shin asks Yoon-hee for her opinion of him. Well, she says, he’s definitely a Sungkyunkwan scholar because all his notes are wonderfully written.

Damn Jae-shin, if your smile gets any wider, you’re going to hurt your face.

However she adds that he’s also a thoughtless fool because all those beautiful words don’t mean squat to the citizens since they can’t read the complicated Chinese characters he’s using. How’s he going to change anything when they can’t understand a word of what he’s saying? This cracks Jae-shin up. He’s never looked at the situation this way before.

Over on the other side of the room, Seon-joon, who looks like crap warmed over, is far from amused. Unable to bear watching the two of them together any longer, he leaves and heads for the library. Yong-ha follows suit and forces him to face up to the truth—he’s behaving like a heartbroken fool, not a man who’s about to get married.

Could it be that the upright Lee Seon-joon is jealous? How could this be when such petty emotions are supposedly beneath him? With that, Yong-ha leaves him with another sagely piece of advice: jealousy is all part of human nature. Even Confucius would get jealous if the person he loved liked someone else.

We cut to find In-soo making his own plans to capture the masked avenger. However, it looks like he’s got to put them on hold because the Chancellor has some bad news for him: thanks to the little stunt he pulled at the tournament, he’s going to be suspended from his position for the next 15 days. Knowing how susceptible the Chancellor is to rank and status, In-soo immediately tries to talk his way out of it but Professor Jung puts him in his place.

It doesn’t matter which family he comes from, the professor tells him. All Sunkyunkwan scholars caught flouting the university’s rules will have to be punished because it is not their parents who are paying for their education but the citizens of the country.

Nightfall. In an attempt to protect the Hong Byuk Seo, Professor Jung orders all the entrances and exits of the university to be sealed and gives the guards strict orders not to let anyone leave. Too bad he doesn’t count on Jae-shin leaping over the walls.

Yong-ha, on the other hand, knows exactly what his friend is up to and tries to stop him from going to his death.

Jae-shin expresses his surprise at finding out that Yong-ha knows about his secret identity, which causes all of us to roll our eyes. Honey, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has an up-to-date record on all your activities for the past ten years.

In a rare show of frustration, Yong-ha lashes out at his friend: Isn’t he afraid of dying? The latter replies that life lost all sense of meaning a long time ago. And it’s Jae-shin’s turn to hit the ground as Yong-ha decks him: what is their friendship worth then if being alive is no different from being dead?

But Jae-shin still has his own demons to exorcise and tells Yong-ha that he can’t just sit around and let his brother’s death go to waste, especially not when the latter died because of him. Well, how can anyone argue with that? Jae-shin tells him not to worry – he’ll be back safe and sound. For once, Yong-ha doesn’t have anything smart-alecky to say and can only watch with a heavy heart as his friend leaves on his suicide mission.

Sure enough the imposter is at Woonjong Street. They spar and he slashes her across the shoulder, forcing her to retreat. As she pulls off her mask in her secret hideout, we see that it is Cho-sun.

In the meantime, Jae-shin finds himself surrounded by the Minister of War’s men. He puts up a valiant fight but is clearly outnumbered and ends up getting a blade in the stomach. However, just when all hope seems lost, a bunch of mysterious men in hats come along to help him out. Turns out that the King has been anticipating this all along.

Library. Seon-joon has decided to camp out among the stacks to avoid Yoon-hee. Naturally, it doesn’t take much for her to find him because he is nothing if not predictable. Putting on a brave front, she tries to make nice but there’s no getting through to Seon-joon because he is still slowly making his way through the ninth circle of his personal hell.

She assumes he’s still mad at her for what happened during the Open House but tells him she has something she needs to get off her chest: given that they won’t be seeing each other after they leave Sungkyunkwan, is he really intent on throwing their friendship away over such a small matter? Or is his love for Hyo-eun really that all-consuming? Seon-joon decides to spread the hurt around and tells her that he has absolutely no intention of returning to the way things were before.

*Refrain* Well done, Seon-joon. How about I give you a shovel so you can dig a really deep hole and bury yourself in it?

Heartbroken, she leaves the library and it takes him less than 0.3 seconds to realize what a fool he’s being. He goes in pursuit of her but is too late because someone else has already found her.

The masked avenger helps Yoon-hee forget her pain by landing in a convenient heap in front of her, and she regards him apprehensively as he pulls her to him in an effort to sit up.

“It’s a good thing…I’m alive.”

And with that, he pulls off his mask, leaving Yoon-hee to look on in horror as she finally realizes who the Hong Byuk Seo is.


OMG. How much more angst do I have to recap? Fyi, I might do Episode 15 first and return to Ep. 14 later. Seriously, I’m about to go crazy on Seon-joon’s behalf.


  1. love your recaps and other silly things ;) (boys love re-cap and 5 stages og grief was fabalous! and those pictures!) Please find strength to do more!
    PS. I am sure its a lot of silent readers on your blog as I was telling everyone to look up your writings.

    1. Aw…thank you for spreading the love! Don’t worry! I’ll definitely see this through to the end but it’s going to take a while because writing, editing and making screencaps for these things take time. Also, Seon-joon’s Abyss of Despair is a bitch to navigate.

  2. whoopee ellely for another outrageously funny
    but on spot recap. this lifted the cloud of
    gloom hanging over every character in the series.
    where do you get the energy and the witty
    lines that keep me coming back for moar!
    thank you from the bottom of my Micky Yoochun-owned heart!

  3. Lesson #1: the early hunk gets to piggy-back the crossdresser.
    OK……if cross-dressing will get me in Jaeshin’s sight, i’ll even dress up as He-Man.
    (which i’ve got to say, is one of THE most contradictory characters ever…really….a bob-cut on a barbarian…..REALLY?? looks like MATTEL couldn’t shake-off the barbie vibes long enough to deal with Master of the Universe.)

  4. Wow! I love reading ur recaps. They r outrageously funny!!! Feel like kicking myself that I came to know of these after the 18th episode. But better late than never, I guess. Urs r the funniest SKKS recaps I’ve read. Even when Iam doing other stuff, i remember ur one-liners or an expression and they bring a smile to my face. That doesn’t often happen with me!

    Plz don’t stop re-capping. Even after the series ends, would still like to come here and read all ur recaps. will at least help tide over the oncoming depression!:(

  5. @Ginger: Chingu! You didn’t tell me you had a blog. I was so surprised to see the link to my little corner of the Interweb when I was searching around for SKKS stuff. Love your recaps and Akanishi Jin vids:)

    @Niki: Ha ha! That’s hilarious. I think a lot of us would do anything to get a piggyback ride from Jae-shin.

    @novkid: Thankies^^ I’m over the moon that my recaps made you laugh. I needed to take a short break because I was seriously losing steam but Ep 14 will be up soon!

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