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100 Days My Prince: Episode 14

Too much politics, not enough prince and his lady togetherness! I know, we’re nearing the conclusion of the story so we have to wrap up all the palace drama, but we all know what we’re here for — the puppy dog eyes. Would it kill them to give us a little more romance to get us through to the finale?

 
EPISODE 14 RECAP

Dad is shocked when Yul shows up in Je-yoon’s yard. Yul asks where Hong-shim is, and Dad pleads with him to leave her alone and not make her life as a traitor’s daughter and harder. But Yul says he needs to see her, so Dad directs him to Hong-shim’s bridge.

When Yul finds Hong-shim, he finally recognizes her, and he says hopefully, “Yi-seo. It is you. Yoon Yi-seo.” She asks how he knows her name, and he tells her, “It’s me. Dummy.”

Holding out her old hair ribbon, Yul says that he’s the kid who hadn’t read “Elementary Learning,” and whose arm she bandaged with her ribbon. He’d promised to marry her under the falling cherry blossoms, but they’d been separated on the night of the coup, when Hong-shim’s family was destroyed.

Shocked, Hong-shim asks why he still has her ribbon. He tells her that he’s missed her all his life, and she sobs that he really is a dummy. He agrees, because he didn’t know her even when she was right in front of him.

Yul says that he hasn’t regained all of his memories, only the ones of Hong-shim. He finally approaches her, but he walks just past her, then stops. He says that they’ll part ways today, but he’ll find her again soon.

When Je-yoon returns home, Dad tells him that Yul found them. He wants to pack up and go into hiding, scared that Yul’s visit could put them in danger, but Hong-shim refuses to budge until they find Moo-yeon. She reveals that her old friend Dummy is the crown prince, and that she thinks they were fated to meet again.

Dad reminds her that she’s been in hiding most of her life because of that one day. Hong-shim retorts that Yul was her savior, so she plans to indulge in missing him, and even see him if she can. She admits to being worried for him, alone in the palace with so many strange things happening.

Yul learns that he’s being followed on Minister Kim’s orders, and grows quietly angry that his supposed “people” are actually spies. He demands to know Minister Kim’s ulterior motives, and when the eunuch balks, Yul reminds him that ultimately, he serves him and his father.

He tells the eunuch that serving someone else above him is high treason, and Guard Kwon draws his sword. The eunuch begs to be killed now rather than at Minister Kim’s hands, so Guard Kwon prepares to do cut him down, but Yul says softly, “Do your job, and I will do mine. I have not forgiven you. You are dismissed.”

After the eunuch is gone, Guard Kwon tells Yul that he can’t let his entire staff stay if they’re spies. Yul says that he can’t kill them all because of it, either.

Moo-yeon and So-hye go for a walk, and So-hye tries to reminisce about the past, but Moo-yeon just wants an answer to his question of whether her child is his. She says it is, and although his eyes light up, they go blank again at her suggestion that they run away together. Seeing that, So-hye changes her answer and says that the baby isn’t Moo-yeon’s.

As she steps past him, she drops her hand as if hoping Moo-yeon will take it, but he doesn’t. Her attendant worries that her father will find out where she went, but So-hye says that he can’t kill her because of the baby, and she’s already in prison — the palace. She starts to follow her attendant, but this time, Moo-yeon does grab her arm to stop her.

That evening, Yul’s eunuch insists on serving him his medicine. When they’re alone, the eunuch says he’ll be drinking Yul’s medicine from now on, which he does. As he leaves, Yul wonders what Minister Kim is trying to keep him from remembering.

Moo-yeon explains that if they run away together, So-hye’s entire family will be doomed. He says that he’ll do as she wants, even run away with her, and to let him know what she decides. She leaves in her palanquin, and a few minutes later, something strikes Moo-yeon and knocks him out cold.

He wakes to find Minister Kim looming over him. Minister Kim asks why Moo-yeon didn’t kill the crown prince, but he also says that it’s a relief that he brought the prince back safe. Moo-yeon wonders if Minister Kim plans to kill him now, but Minister Kim says that Moo-yeon still needs to do something for the crown princess — find and kill her baby’s real father.

Yul wakes from a nightmare in which his younger self watches Minister Kim kill Yi-seo’s father, while Yi-seo and her brother flee in terror.

In the morning, Je-yoon heads back to Songjoo village. Hong-shim asks him to give a message to Kkeut-nyeo, while Dad asks him to tell Yang-choon that he’s okay, surprising Hong-shim. Dad acts like he’s going to bow to Je-yoon, but ends up with a giant arm-heart over his head (Je-yoon: “That’s too much. Only this much.” ~fingerheart~)

Guard Kwon finds Je-yoon and says that the crown prince wants to see him. When Je-yoon gets to the palace, Yul snaps petulantly, “I was first. You came next.” HA, are we really doing the “I saw her first” thing? Yul says that he recovered some memories, and that he met Hong-shim first, a long time ago. Je-yoon dares to make a snarky comment about how Yul didn’t remember someone as special as Hong-shim.

Yul says that he really needs to ask whose person Je-yoon is, because of Je-yoon’s connections to Minister Kim and Minister Jung. Je-yoon tells Yul that he originally tried to work for him, and even offers to submit to a test of his loyalty.

Je-yoon goes to Minister Kim to ask permission to be Yul’s librarian, which would mean serving Yul very closely. Minister Kim is suspicious, but Je-yoon says that Yul thinks they met in Songjoo, so he feels comfortable with him. Minister Kim tells Je-yoon to refuse, and that he’ll find Yul a librarian himself. Je-yoon warns that Yul suspects Minister Kim, and doesn’t trust the people Minister Kim appointed to him.

Minister Kim says that if he were Je-yoon, he’d have sided with Yul, since he’s next in line to be king. But Je-yoon replies that Minister Kim is the one who controls that king, smirking that growing up as a half-noble made him quick-witted. Sighing, Minister Kim decides to trust him after all, and tells him to take the appointment and report everything he sees.

Gu-dol, Kkeut-nyeo, and Yang-choon complain to Town Official Park about Master Park’s latest ridiculous order to chop firewood in the middle of summer. Kkeut-nyeo is feeling contrary, and says she wants to go to Hanyang and complain to the crown prince. Master Park is livid that his firewood isn’t ready, and gives Town Official Park three days to make it happen or else. Town Official Park grumbles that he should think about Yul’s suggestion that he study for a technical post.

Hong-shim decides to post a message for Moo-yeon, telling Dad that she’s writing it in a code that only the two of them know. Meanwhile, Hyuk begs Moo-yeon to give up on the crown princess, warning that Minister Kim is planning to kill him. Moo-yeon suggests they frame someone as the baby’s father to buy time, but Hyuk doesn’t think Minister Kim will fall for it.

Later, Moo-yeon sees Hong-shim’s notice, which says that she’ll be waiting at the bridge for him tonight.

Yul and Je-yoon meet to go over the note Yul left behind just before his accident. Je-yoon shows Yul how he deduced that the note meant to check the cherry tree that So-hye had cut down, which led him to So-hye’s quarters, where he found the talisman planted by the queen.

He wonders if Yul was trying to warn that the queen was behind his attack, but Yul doesn’t remember. Je-yoon sighs that he misses the old smart prince, making Yul bark, “Are you saying I’m no longer smart?” Je-yoon is all, Well, it’s hard to call you intelligent at the moment. LOL, Yul’s face.

Je-yoon gives Yul the same test Yul gave to him the first time they met. Yul guesses that the missing word should have three squares, and immediately picks the correct word. HAHA, Je-yoon is incredibly relieved that the prince isn’t an idiot, and Yul looks like he could cheerfully bite Je-yoon.

For a change of pace, Je-yoon suggests they go on a secret outing. They visit an old hermit, the former royal physician, but they’re really here to see his patient… Eunuch Yang, who somehow survived Minister Kim’s murder attempt.

Shaken, Yul recognizes Eunuch Yang right away, and at the sound of his prince’s voice, Eunuch Yang wakes up and cowers, terrified. Yul asks what happened to him, so Je-yoon explains that Eunuch Yang didn’t go to the rain ritual that day, was imprisoned for questioning, then cut his own throat out of guilt (Minister Kim left the knife in his hand after slashing Eunuch Yang).

Gently, Yul takes Eunuch Yang’s hand and says this is all his fault, looking deeply remorseful. Eunuch Yang struggles to speak, so they let him write his message: “I am truly happy to see you alive and well. I may die in peace now. I did not try to take my own life. The man who slit my throat is Minister Kim.”

Eunuch Yang tells Yul that he told Minister Kim that the dead body they were shown didn’t seem like him. He directs Yul to find his journal to learn what happened before the rain ritual.

When Moo-yeon meets Hong-shim at the bridge, he tells her to wait for him at a house he’s secured. She says she doesn’t trust him to join her after waiting at the bridge for years, but he explains that he stayed away to protect her. Deflated, Hong-shim agrees to leave.

Yul doesn’t even remember writing a journal, much less where he hid it. Je-yoon wonders if the riddle is a clue leading to the journal, but Yul hesitates. He admits that he’s afraid of what he’ll find in the journal, or what it might make him do, thinking about the shaman’s prediction of him holding a bloody sword.

That night, Hong-shim tries to follow Moo-yeon to see what he’s up to, but a stranger stops her. Luckily, Je-yoon and Yul are nearby, but when the stranger grabs Hong-shim by the throat and Yul tries to go to her rescue, Je-yoon tells him that it’s a bad idea. Instead, Je-yoon confronts the stranger, who tosses Hong-shim away and focuses on him.

Just as it looks like the situation will get dangerous, Yul grabs Je-yoon’s sword hilt and whacks the stranger with it several times. He tells the stranger that he’s more vicious than Je-yoon, and Je-yoon chimes in, “And he’s extremely skilled in martial arts!”

The stranger runs away and Yul goes to Hong-shim. Je-yoon accuses Yul of overreacting, but Yul says that it was serious for him. He tells Je-yoon to return to the palace alone, making it an order when Je-yoon tries to refuse, then he helps Hong-shim up and leads her away.

Hong-shim tells Yul that she’s out late looking for Moo-yeon, and when he offers to find her brother himself, she teases him for showing off his crown prince power. She jokes that he’s always done it, such as when he ordered all single people to get married, and he huffs at her for talking back to her husband.

They both still when they realize what he just said. Yul looks a little hurt when Hong-shim says he can let go of her hand, but she says that if they walk side-by-side, she can’t see his face. That makes Yul smile and agree that it’s not easy for him to sneak out of the palace, and he tells her to enjoy it while she can.

They stand for a long time, just appreciating their ability to look at each other. Hong-shim notes that Yul looks haggard, and he doesn’t miss a beat: “Because you are not in the palace.” Awww.

Finally Hong-shim says it’s time for Yul to go home and starts to lead him back to the palace. She spots a wooden archway and wants to take a different route, but Yul, having heard the legend that couples who walk through the archway will never part, takes her wrist and pulls her to it.

He tells her that he liked her the moment he saw her, then when she was twenty, he loved her even though he couldn’t see her. “And from now on,” he continues, “I will love you for the rest of your days.”

Hong-shim says sadly that she’ll cherish this memory, pointedly calling him “Your Highness,” but he says that he’s not the crown prince right now… “I’m Won-deuk.” Before she can argue, he kisses her.

Je-yoon slumps home to find the gisaeng, Ae-wol, pouting that he didn’t tell her he was back in the city. Pouring tea, she asks if he understands how she feels now, liking someone who doesn’t like her back. She warns him against ruining everything over love, but he sighs that he’s not sure which he wants more, love or loyalty.

In the morning, Yul presents his father with his plan to hire Je-yoon as his librarian. The king disapproves of Je-yoon, thinking that he’s one of Minister Kim’s people, but Yul says that he needs to learn who tried to kill him, and to do that, he needs Je-yoon. He guesses that the king is afraid to learn that the queen and Prince Seowon were involved, and he even offers to cover it up if that’s the case, though he says it wouldn’t be right.

Je-yoon reports to Minister Kim that Yul is searching for his journal, and that if he finds it, he’ll likely regain his lost memories. He asks what it is that Minister Kim doesn’t want Yul to remember, bu Minister Kim just says that a secret is a secret, and Je-yoon offers to find the journal himself.

Je-yoon goes back to Yul, who says that he would have written the riddle on Je-yoon’s level, yet Je-yoon solved it at Yul’s, so the answer isn’t the crown princess’s chambers. Je-yoon concludes that they have to find a place with five squares, but there are no hanja characters with five squares.

He thinks hard, then suddenly blurts out, “Doors. The journal is in a room that can be reached by passing through five doors from here.”

Je-yoon counts five doors from the prince’s chambers, which leads him to the item storage building. As he looks there for the journal, Yul walks around the palace, and when he runs into Minister Kim, he admits that he’s trying to jog his memory. Minister Kim tells him to take his time, but Yul says he’s in a hurry.

Moo-yeon gets a message to So-hye, which says that her father seems to know about them, and gives her three days to decide whether to run away with him. While she’s reading the note, So-hye’s father bursts in and tells her that he’s aware that when he ordered her to get rid of her baby’s father, she killed an innocent man.

She pretends not to understand, so he says that he knows that she’s seen Moo-yeon, and he warns her not to run away with him if she wants him to live. He tells her that she must become queen and fulfill his ten-year plan, and if she doesn’t, both Moo-yeon and her baby will die.

Instead of being afraid, So-hye yells at Minister Kim, for being unsatisfied with the power he already has. He asks darkly if she’s ever been so hungry she ate a mouse, or nearly died from eating rotten food, and whispers that he doesn’t know what will fill the ravenous need inside of him. So-hye cries that she hates that she’s his daughter.

Gu-dol and Kkeut-nyeo make it to Hanyang, but once they’re there, they wonder if Yul will even see them. Kkeut-nyeo complains of sore legs, so Gu-dol offers to piggyback her, but when she hops on, he just tips over and dumps her in the dirt, ha.

They bicker all the way to the inn, where they find Town Official Park stuffing his face with soup. Town Official Park claims to be here looking for Je-yoon, and at his name, Kkeut-nyeo thinks they can just stay at Je-yoon’s house.

Hong-shim’s dad decides that they should stay in Hanyang because Hong-shim and Yul are meant to be together. Hong-shim says they can’t just tell Yul to stop being the crown prince, but admits that they still see each other. They’re shocked when Gu-dol, Kkeut-nyeo, and Town Official Park show up at the house.

Yul and Je-yoon are still trying to find Yul’s journal, so Je-yoon visits Eunuch Yang again to ask the journal’s title. Eunuch Yang searches his memory, and finally remembers that the title is “Silence.” Je-yoon runs back to the storage room, then wonders if the square in the title of the book means to go back through one door, into the crown prince’s library.

Minister Kim somehow learns of the journal’s discovery almost as soon as it happens, and he leaves to stop Yul from reading the secret inside. But the library is on fire, and Je-yoon finds Minister Kim to tell him that he set the fire and destroyed the journal, and that he didn’t read it because he knew it would mean his death.

Kkeut-nyeo wonders how Hong-shim came to be at Je-yoon’s home, and Gu-dol assumes that Yul brought her there. That leads to speculation that she may become a concubine soon, but Dad waves it off. He asks why they’re in Hanyang, so they tell him about Master Park’s firewood and how Je-yoon practically went missing, and Dad tells them that Je-yoon works for Yul now.

The crown princess asks her father if he was behind the library fire, and he doesn’t deny that he was — indirectly, because Yul was about to find his journal. He tells So-hye to spend the night with Yul to reinforce his bond with “his” baby, and So-hye reminds him to keep his promise, too.

That night, Hong-shim follows the stranger who attacked her, ending up at Minister Kim’s home. She runs into Soo-ji and pretends to be lost, and he remembers seeing her with Je-yoon a few days ago. He offers to walk her out, and before they go, Hong-shim asks what family lives in the house. At the name of the man who murdered her father in front of her own eyes, Hong-shim freezes up.

Minister Kim arrives home and notices Hong-shim standing in the courtyard.

When he meets back up with Yul, Je-yoon reports that he checked the library carefully before setting the fire, but Yul’s journal from the month of his attack was nowhere in the room. Yul concludes that they’re still not solving the riddle correctly, but he thinks he knows the answer this time… and it leads them to the very room they’re standing in.

In the room is a chest made of cherrywood, which Yul guesses he had made from the cherry tree that So-hye cut down. Sure enough, when he opens the cherrywood chest, the missing journal is inside. Yul reads in his own words that he felt better once he stopped taking his medicine, which he’d suspected was causing his heart problems.

He’d written about his birthday party, where he’d learned that Minister Kim was guilty of killing the palace physician. He’d speculated that the royal physician was killed to cover the poisonings, but at that point, he still didn’t know why he was being poisoned in the first place.

Later he wrote that he’d uncovered the truth, but there was nothing he could do about it, and he was sinking into despair. He’d learned that his own father-in-law was trying to kill him because he discovered that Crown Princess So-hye was carrying another man’s child.

Yul heads out to confront So-hye and finds her walking in the courtyard. With a smile, he tells her, “Tonight, I plan to spend a very long time with you.”

 
COMMENTS

I love that final shot, where you can tell by So-hye’s expression that she thinks she’s got Yul in the palm of her hands, but his face clearly says that he’s about to bust this whole secret wide open. My hope is that Yul has learned from his past mistake of giving So-hye time to act on her own terms, and just burns her and her father’s plans to the ground in one fell swoop. The last time Yul tried to be compassionate, they started killing anyone who got in their way, and they’re not about to stop now.

A large part of me wants to give So-hye the benefit of the doubt, especially because I like Moo-yeon, who obviously loves her, and they’ve both been stuck in a terrible situation and had to do horrific things to survive. But I feel like they’ll both pay the ultimate price for the things they’ve done, so I still find myself reluctant to get too attached to either of them. So-hye will probably not get her comeuppance until after the baby is born, because I can’t see the show killing off an innocent unborn child, but sadly, I’m bracing myself for the possibility of a very emotional death scene for Moo-yeon next week.

I haven’t talked much about Je-yoon, because honestly, his character hasn’t made much of an impression on me until this episode. That’s a shame, because I think Kim Sun-ho is a fantastic actor with a really unique way of interpreting his characters. I blame it on the writer just not giving him much to do other than follow Hong-shim around sometimes, but in today’s episode, he finally got to be interesting and quirky and smart in his deliberately understated way. We got to see how Je-yoon’s upbringing as an illegitimate half-noble shaped his personality — he relies on his charm to make friends while downplaying his intelligence, which makes him likable and less of a political threat, but difficult to figure out. Thank goodness he’s loyal to Yul and willing to use his likability and understated intellect to Yul’s benefit, because I don’t think Yul could have done all this without him.

I’ve always found the palace machinations in this drama relatively interesting, and at least not so complicated that they’re practically incomprehensible like in some sageuks I’ve seen. But the truth is that the cuteness between Yul and Hong-shim is what hard-carries this show, and I’m disappointed that we only got one measly scene with the two of them in this episode. which wasn’t enough to lighten the slog through all the weighty political conversations. I agree that Yul needs to figure out who his enemy is and why, and that he has very little time to do it in, because his very life in in danger. I don’t mind watching him and Je-yoon try to solve riddles and visit old friends. And I understand that Hong-shim also has some serious family stuff to work out, but come on… the show is about Hong-shim and Yul as a couple. I want to see more of them together acting like a couple!

I feel slighted that Yul and Hong-shim hardly had any time together at all in this episode, but at least they got another great kiss, so mostly I’m just complaining to complain. Maybe I’m spoiled because the show went so abruptly from being mostly about the puppies and kittens and rainbows that is Yul and Hong-shim’s marriage, to mostly doom and gloom and baby daddies and greedy daddies, so it feels strange that our main pair hardly gets to see each other anymore. This show’s editing and continuity was always a bit of a weak point, so I’m not so much surprised at this as just wishing it were a little different. I’m confident they’ll end up together, but I want to see them together, and I’m worried that there’s not much time left to get to see that and feel satisfied.

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