Sorry this is a little late. We were entertaining a guest last weekend. Also, I’m sharing duties, but let me just slip this one by. 🙂
We rewind back a few moments before the end of Episode 1, to find a few events taking place that night. For one, Minister Kim is holding a party at Choon Hong’s gisaeng house, which is summarily crashed by Ha Eung. Although Minister Kim addresses him deferentially as a member of the royal family, their lack of respect for him is revealed under thinly veiled insults. Choon Hong is able to hide her amusement with Ha Eung and her displeasure with the officials’ comments, while Ha Eung seems to feign ignorance and jovially goes along with the insulting jokes. When Ha Eung continues to remain unperturbed and play along with their insults, they get up to go. As they are leaving, however, Minister Kim slips and hits his head against a beam. It seems to be a hard hit, but he is able to right himself and continue on his way.
Somewhere else in town, Kyung Tak is attempting to apprehend some bandits.
Yet elsewhere, Jin Hyuk runs into Young Hwi and rushes to take him back to his house. They arrive at the Hong household, where he comes face-to-face with Hong Young Rae, who bears a striking resemblance to Mi Na. This takes us back to the end of Episode 1.
Young Rae sends for the doctor and moves to start treating her brother, but Jin Hyuk tells her that it is useless. Unfortunately, the only method that could treat the hematoma is via surgery, and he is in Joseon times; he does not have the appropriate technological implements.
As Young Rae begs him to save her brother’s life by whatever method is necessary, reminding him of his duty as a doctor, he reflects back to the very same words that Mi Na said to him shortly before her accident. He swallows hard, and resolves to do the operation, gathering chisel and whatever else he could find in the tool shed. He remembers how the Incans had apparently performed successful neurosurgery. He asks Young Rae to sterilize the tools.
Meanwhile, Kyung Tak thinks back to events earlier that night. The leader of the bandits had gotten away, shielded by one of his men.
Young Rae carries out Jin Hyuk’s orders, despite the fact that the gathered materials don’t seem to equate to medical treatment in their minds. The maid swears that she recognizes him from somewhere. Back in the room with the patient, Jin Hyuk sets out his instruments, and administers the anesthetic, yelling at Young Rae to get out when she comes to check on her brother.
We flash back to the skirmish from, with the bandit leader running away. A guard runs after him, and a vital slash of the sword reveals that the leader is Young Hwi. He cuts the guard down to keep his secret.
The man Young Rae had sent to find a doctor returns to let them know that the doctor is rushing between house calls as a lot of young men were injured by the attacking bandits. With all the talk about bandits, the maid realizes in a panic that she recognizes Jin Hyuk from the wanted posters. She rushes to her brother’s side, only to find that her brother’s head open, a chisel about to be hammered into his skull. She is about to stop him in outrage, but her mother comes in to witness the scene. She quickly takes her mother out, and then orders that the police be summoned.
Young Rae ends up cutting his arm with her woman’s knife, and, as he tries to restrain her but ends up falling over. This triggers a memory of Mi Na, falling on him on their last night together, and he decides to disclose his actions to her instead of continually trying to throw her out. He tells her gruffly that he is trying to save her brother, and, although she doesn’t believe him at first, his sincerity wins her over and she moves to assist him with the operation.
Kyung Tak fervently continues with his search for the bandits, but a report that something has happened at the Hong household stops him in his tracks.
The surgery continues until daylight, but is successful. Appreciating Jin Hyuk’s efforts, working all night to save her brother, Young Rae is instantly regretful over the wound she has inflicted. Her mother, who seems to have calmed down over night, comes in to ask Young Hwi how he’s doing. Jin Hyuk leaves the room, exhausted, but there are guards outside just waiting for him to emerge. They nab him as soon as he exits. Young Rae realizes what has happened, tries to appeal his case, but to no avail. Kyung Tak commends her for reporting Jin Hyuk in right away.
They take him in to police headquarters for questioning, but he can’t very well answer what he was doing at the ambush site nor how he came to the mountain. They decide to torture the information out of him.
Young Rae packs away Jin Hyuk’s effects, seeing his coat reading the label backwards as “Hyuk Jin” and seeing the engagement ring. The bag is brought to the tribunal, where Kyung Tak remarks upon each instrument as an instrument for murder, altough Jin Hyuk continues to protest that he is a doctor.
Kyung Tak is ready to start administering the beating/torture, but Young Rae appears to plead Jin Hyuk’s case. She tells him that Jin Hyuk saved her brother’s life; why would a criminal risk his life to help? After she leaves, he turns the question on Jin Hyuk, who can only reply that doctors need no other reason beyond having the ability to save lives. For treating his friend, Kyung Tak decides to rest Jin Hyuk’s fate on Young Hwi’s recovery. He postpones the interrogation and puts him back in the holding cell.
Meanwhile, Ha Eung is wiling his time away at the gisaeng house, and tells Choon Hong a sob story for needing money. She lends it to him, but he uses it to gamble. The gambling is raided by the police and all gamblers, including Ha Eung, find themselves sharing Jin Hyuk’s cell. As Ha Eung continues to yell out his indignation over being imprisoned, Jin Hyuk recognizes “Lee Ha Eung” as “Hwan Seung Dae Wang goong”. As they talk at night, Jin Hyuk relates that he just needs somebody to stand witness regarding his effectiveness as a doctor. Ha Eung agrees to help him once he gets out. Ha Eung marvels that he knew such methods to treat people, and wonders what manner of person Jin Hyuk could be. Jin Hyuk thinks that Ha Eung would probably just think him crazy. He feigns amnesia. Ha Eung looks at him with pity.
At home, Kyung Tak reports the recent skirmish to his father, who is staunch in his insistence that the bandits be caught. Kyung Tak, however, is in doubt over Jin Hyuk; he thinks he may have caught the wrong person. Minister Kim becomes angry at this, and throws a book of justice at him. Indignant, at the thought of “equality” with the commoners, he wants Jin Hyuk to be punished as an example.
The next day, Ha Eung is released, and he ends up dropping in on the Hong household. He spins them a horrific tale of life in prison, asking for tokens of help. Young Rae’s mother tries to tell him that they don’t have that much money to spare, but Young Rae feels indebted to him for saving her brother. She is willing to spare the money, even if she has to work harder to make it back.
Later, Kyung Tak comes for a visit, to check on Young Hwi’s condition. He believes that Young Hwi would not have been in such a condition, if he had only caught the bandits. Things are awkward between them, as she avoids his gaze and his touch, made worse by her concern over Jin Hyuk’s fate. He expresses his frustration, telling her that the law must be followed, and that her constant questioning may lead him to misunderstand her feelings. He leaves, tells her that interrogation will resume the next day.
The next day, Ha Eung stops a procession carrying the Royal Physician. Ha Eung tells him about Jin Hyuk, describing his medical prowess.. and what a shame it would be were he to be beaten. The official tells Ha Eung that it’s too late – Jin Hyuk is to be beheaded.
Jin Hyuk is in jail, unable to eat the lavish breakfast they had laid out for him. He wonders if he will wake up to the present if he dies in this dream. Young Rae attempts to see him, but the guards turn her away, telling her that he has been sentenced to be beheaded. Ha Eung helps her sneak in, and she finds him, desolate and near tears. She again expresses regret at reporting him in, but Jin Hyuk only talks to her about how to care for her brother. She tells him she’d heard he had amnesia, and tells him how she saw “Hyuk Jin” on his clothes. He tells her it’s “Jin Hyuk”. She introduces herself as “Hong Young Rae”, and returns the ring to him. He flashes back to his last night with Mi Na, when he puts her to bed and takes another look at the ring. He asks Young Rae to hold on to it, as he chokes back some tears.
When the signals sound, Jin Hyuk is wheeled out, with Kyung Tak glowering at the people to stay back. Ha Eung and Choon Hong have come to observe, as has the rest of the populace, it seems. There hasn’t been a good beheading in a while, and everyone is curious. Young Rae joins the crowd of watchers, and her presence does not go by unnoticed by Kyung Tak. She looks about ready to plead for Jin Hyuk again, but hangs back instead, averting her eyes. Just then, the maid tells her that Young Hwi has awoken, and she rushes home to find him awake.
The crowds are looking up at Jin Hyuk, bound and nervous, on the stage, as Kyung Tak delivers the sentence to the public. The executioner throws sand at him and starts the beheading dance. At the last minute, Jin Hyuk stands to protest his innocence, and we see Minister Kim raise a hand to his head. Jin Hyuk asks why he deserves such extreme punishment; he’s only a doctor. He asks what crime there is for saving lives. Kyung Tak tells him to provide his name and residence if he’s really so innocent. He starts to tell them that he’s not from Joseon, that he’s from somewhere far away.
Jin Hyuk is trying to come up with further explanation, when somebody calls out to stop the proceedings. Young Hwi arrives, led by Young Rae, to testify on Jin Hyuk’s behalf. Kyung Tak is a little shaken, and tells him that this is neither the time nor the place. Young Hwi insists, however, that he would be wronged if he did not try to save Jin Hyuk. Minister Kim suddenly rises to announce that Jin Hyuk’s methods must be sorcery. He asks the Royal Physician to weigh in. The Physician, in turn, notes that Young Hwi is only alive by a miracle. Operations such as this were only private or foreign. They pronounce that his methods were unproven and unreliable. Therefore, the beheading must continue.
Young Hwi whispers to Young Rae, asking what they should do now, as Minister Kim once again calls to continue. As Minister Kim becomes more heated in his insistence, he suddenly collapses. As the officials rush to him, concerned, Jin Hyuk’s eyes widen…
END EPISODE 2
So, let’s see. We have a vagrant member of the royal family. I think I actually missed the significance of Ha Eung’s character, during their conversations.. I’m going to have to go back after the subs are fully done. It seems to be pretty significant if Jin Hyuk recognizes him – does he become king later on? His character is definitely unconventional and I don’t know if he can be trusted, either. He does everything at his own convenience and for his own gain, and he does not shy away from demeaning himself to get it.
Choon Hong is also an interesting lady. What is her exact relationship with Ha Eung? She seems to be acting like a sarcastic older sister around him. She seems to be a little amused by his antics and it seems that, if push really comes to shove, she’d be on his side… as much as a high class gisaeng could, anyway. At the same time, she has no problems calling him out, but doesn’t flat out kick him out of the gisaeng house.
I don’t think I understand Young Rae’s mother. She seems to be one great character flaw. She freaks out that Jin Hyuk is putting chisel to her son’s head, and practically faints… then she comes in the next day like she’s asking about a cold. As much as I’m not much into high hysterics, I would have thought that her actions (after waking up from her faint/nap/sleep) would be more charged. She saw her son’s head open, and this guy was about to crack it like an egg. I honestly thought she would have a bit more of a fight to her when she barged into the room, but she’s got an air of defeat about her. Her distress, when relaying to Ha Eung what Jin Hyuk did, was incredibly underplayed.
Young Rae went a little too quickly from wanting to stab him to holding up the candle. I guess, having known Mi Na, he felt that if he was up front about all of his actions, instead of kicking her out all the time, maybe she would be more prone to allowing him to continue his work.
Kyung Tak is so two-dimensionally stern. I hope to see some softer emotions from him someday. Unfortunately, Young Rae going to Jin Hyuk is probably going to drive him to be even more crazy, as will finding out that his childhood best friend is his Enemy #1. Daddy is going to help drive him over the edge. But, we’ll see after Episode 3, I suppose.. with Jin Hyuk operating on Minister Kim. By the way what was up with the camera angles earlier in the episode, when he was supposedly cradling one of his men? The one who had unveiled Young Hwi? They obviously shot his face separately. Shooting it from that vantage point just makes the scene seem silly.
As for Jin Hyuk… Well, I feel sorry for the guy.. but how many times are we going to watch him brood over the ring? The more he looks at the ring, the more I wonder why he didn’t just propose. If all of their times kept getting interrupted, why not do it when she wakes up in the morning? Or…? I feel like the drama is stringing us along. If he and Mi Na had been engaged, he would still have the same sense of grief, particularly after that fight. The difference, plot-wise, is that he now has a ring that he could take back with him to the past to use as a prop. (Btw, did Mi Na not wonder about the hinges on that box?)
In any case, it’s 3am where I am… and I should go to sleep. 🙂
I’ll try to put up some more screencaps later~