Dong Yi Episode 5 Recap

Everyone in the music school is looking for the missing Dong Yi. Apparently, no one can do without her, especially on such an important day as the music test where they have the chance to advance to be full court musicians. They need her to help with the instruments, the music, and their overall appearance, so it vexes them that she’s gone missing. And just where is she? Dong Yi is performing a death diagnosis for fish. She tells the caretakers how the fish died and what they need to do to keep the other fish alive. They then give Dong Yi a reward. Dong Yi then rushes back to the music school to help her musicians (yes, her musicians, that’s how she refers to them, it’s cute).

Dong Yi shows off her prize from the caretakers, a jar of decayed urine. Music student and friend Young Dal shudders (Lee Kwang Soo), but Dong Yi uncorks it and puts it to his nose, immediately clearing up his sinus problem. This student and Dong Yi are quite close. They always seem to joke, talk, and help one another. Kind of like the role Gaeduara played in the first few episodes. I like their bantering relationship and Dong Yi’s role in the music school, both suit her well.

However, the jovial and bustling mood of the test is ruined as Head Hwang comes to find Dong Yi. Apparently King Sukjong is looking for whoever played the music earlier that morning. The king is intrigued as he had never heard that song before and he thought it would cheer up Lady Jang Ok Jung as she comes back into the royal court. Head Hwang tells Dong Yi that she needs to leave the music school for awhile and go to the music makers outside the palace until things blow over. Why should Dong Yi leave? Even if the king liked her music, both Hwang and Dong Yi can get into big trouble as Dong Yi is a slave and shouldn’t be able to play the musical instruments of the court.

The court is in a dither right now. The royals are divided about Lady Jang’s re-arrival into court. The Western officials are upset because her presence could threaten their hold in the court and the Southern officials are doing their best to support Lady Jang in order to oust the strength of the Westerners. King Sukjong wishes to make Jang into his concubine in order to stop the spread of Western power as well. To make matters worse, a meteorite fell inside the palace walls (meteorites are seen as bad omens) upon the announcement of this decision. In order to dispell superstitions, King Sukjong has beads fashioned out of the meteorite and gives it to all officials as gifts to help take the bad luck away from himself and the palace (clever really, I am liking King Sukjong).

dong-yi-5-4Meanwhile, Lady Jang and the head Western official uncover a plot to hurt Jang. They don’t know what it is, just that it involves the music school. So Lady Jang goes to the music makers to throw unease on Queen Myeongseong’s plan. Lady Jang and Dong Yi keep just missing each other. Dong Yi manages to sneak out of the music school to go clean Lady Jang’s room in preparation for her arrival (so Dong Yi can find proof of the court lady’s identity). Of course, while Dong Yi’s at the palace, Lady Jang is at the music makers.

Young Dal comes to find Dong Yi after a few days to bring her back to the palace as things have seemed to die down. The king is upset that he can’t find the musician, but oh well. Dong Yi discovers that the woman she was looking for was at the music makers and she ran to track down the wood cutter, but couldn’t find him which distresses poor Dong Yi as she feels that in the 6 years since her brother and father’s deaths she hasn’t managed to accomplish proving anything.

The day of Lady Jang’s arrival comes. It happens to coincide with the date of a party for young prince Eunpyong (by Queen Myeonseong’s machinations). Lady Jang was not invited to the party and must reside alone in her rooms. This upsets the king who sends royal musicians to play a love song for Lady Jang. However, things don’t go well for the musicians at the party nor at Lady Jang’s. No matter how hard they try playing and following the score, their music becomes discordant. This is seen as a bad omen which could potentially herald the downfall of the kingdom (such a thing happened at the fall of the Qing dynasty they say).


The king believes it’s nonsense and a plot against Lady Jang, so he does his best to investigate matters. The music school comes into question and all members and officials must submit to questioning by palace guards. Meanwhile, Dong Yi, after seeing Lady Jang, believes that she could be the one she saw six years ago. She sneaks off to Lady Jang’s quarters only to be knocked out and taken outside the palace. When Dong Yi awakens, she is tied up in a shed with the dead body of the chimemaker from the music maker village.


My thoughts: Since most of the episode revolves around the music test and the making of instruments and the music makers, there isn’t too much plot to miss. There was also a recap of the first four episodes at the beginning. Dong Yi is just as spunky as an adult as she was as a kid, a good transition. She still talks back and gets into trouble, but that’s partly what makes her such a good character. Although, I have a feeling that she will always be falling into trouble, serious trouble, throughout this entire drama, which could get quite old.

Our first proper introduction to King Sukjong shows him as a warm, mischievous man who uses his brains and cleverness to control the ministers at court. It does surprise me that he doesn’t automatically suspect his own mother Queen Myeongseong when it comes to the plot against Lady Jang as he knows that his mother despises her, but oh well.

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