Dong Yi Episode 8 Recap
Ok Jung’s servant scolds Dong Yi for her audacity, but Ok Jung agrees to show Dong Yi her keychain; however, the keychain she shows Dong Yi is the one she’s had since she was a child and not the wooden butterfly one that Dong Yi hoped for. Since Ok Jung has so many, you’d think Dong Yi would realize and request to see them all, but no. Dong Yi leaves and Ok Jung’s servant asks why Ok Jung agreed to Dong Yi’s request. Ok Jung replies that she likes Dong Yi. We’ll see how long that lasts when Dong Yi becomes her rival for Sukjong and the inheritance of the throne issues.
Young Dal asks what happened with Ok Jung. Dong Yi says that she was disappointed that Ok Jung didn’t have the keychain. She had really hoped that Ok Jung was the one she was looking for (she is, ah, sometimes situational irony really sucks). Young Dal tells Dong Yi how important a person Ok Jung really is. It is rumored that besides being a beauty, Ok Jung is also really smart and even the king consults with her on important political matters. Young Dal goes on to say that Ok Jung is where she is because it is where she deserves to be since she worked so hard to get there. It isn’t easy for a lowborn concubine’s daughter to become a palace maid, let alone a royal consort. This shocks Dong Yi who did not know that Ok Jung’s status was originally only slightly better than Dong Yi’s slave status.
Sukjong and Ok Jung are playing baduk (kind of reminds me of Othello) but is probably a lot like chess in a lot of ways. Sukjong notices that Ok Jung has him in checkmate and Ok Jung tells Sukjong that he should end the game. Sukjong says the game will end with either victory or defeat, not before then. Ok Jung then tells him that he can win using the “snapback” strategy in which he sacrifices one of his pieces in order to capture many of hers. Sukjong asks if she is really referring to baduk or something else. Ok Jung states that baduk strategies have their uses elsewhere besides the game. Ok Jung then encourages Sukjong to stop pursuing the musical discordance matter as finding the truth will be difficult and the mastermind will be sufficiently afraid because Sukjong has already shown it was an act of subterfuge. In order to balance the powers of the government, he should step back and let things fall where they may. Sukjong thinks about this and then employs the strategy in their game. Ok Jung smiles and tells him that by listening to her, he has won the game. But you have to worry that there will come a time when listening to her will put Sukjong at a great disadvantage.
Dong Yi thinks about what Ok Jung told her about thinking she is unworthy because Dong Yi is a slave and that makes Dong Yi think about her father, brother, and Chun Soo as their death anniversary is approaching. Meanwhile, Sukjong arranges to assemble the ministers the next morning. At the assembly, Sukjong changes cabinet positions, angering a lot of the ministers (he gave the south more power while taking it away from the west). This makes the evil southern minister happy, but upsets Myeongseong whose powers appear to be aligned with the West.
Dong Yi receives a call to Ok Jung’s quarters. She arrives and is told by Ok Jung’s head servant that there is a task she can do. She sends Dong Yi to Ok Jung’s mother. If Dong Yi can complete the task and receive the okay by Ok Jung’s mother, then that means she is trustworthy and will be able to serve Ok Jung. Dong Yi happily agrees and leaves with another of Ok Jung’s servants. Dong Yi talks a lot and asks questions, annoying the servant she is with. They go to fetch Ok Jung’s mother and while walking to the herbalist, they come across Oh’s wife (the new head of the music department). Oh and Yoon do not like each other at all. Oh hates the fact that Yoon is a concubine and putting on airs and Yoon hates Oh always looking down on her. Dong Yi finds it hard to control her laughter when Madame Oh talks about the important positions of her husband and son because Dong Yi knows they don’t work and just spend time with the gisaengs. Yoon goes to the pharmacy and orders the best herbs to guarantee her daughter becomes pregnant with the king’s child as soon as possible. Dong Yi is then left to wait for the herbs to be ready. Since bringing medicine from outside the palace is forbidden, Dong Yi will have to sneak in later to bring Ok Jung the herbs.
Dong Yi runs into Kim Hwan’s servant who believes he sees grace written on Dong Yi’s face. Kim Hwan says his servant must be delusional to see it on the face of a slave (Kim Hwan has yet to meet with the adult Dong Yi). They then head off to the monastery where the head monk tells them that the young man has also returned. Woot! Cha Chun Soo has finally returned to the picture. Kim Hwan goes to see Chun Soo and we learn that after Chun Soo fell, Kim Hwan and his servant took him to the monastery to heal. Kim Hwan asks if Chun Soo still searches for Dong Yi. Chun Soo replies yes and Kim Hwan tells him that she is probably already dead as her destiny wasn’t a good one. Chun Soo says that Dong Yi was young, but strong and would definitely not succumb to fate. It seems that Kim Hwan has forgotten that he said if Dong Yi managed to survive, she would have a great (thought painful) destiny awaiting her.
Dong Yi heads back to the palace, but it is already late and the gates are getting ready to close. Since it is just after curfew, the palace guards are inspecting all people coming into the palace. This puts a snag in Dong Yi’s plans as she will be in big trouble if she is caught bringing medicine in to the palace. She leaves and tries to climb the wall. Meanwhile, Sukjong is in disguise and goes to meet Office Seo to tell him to leave the investigation be for now. Seo isn’t happy to hear this news, but there isn’t much he can do about it. They share a few drinks and Sukjong tells Seo about his invigorating experience with the young Dong Yi. When Seo hears that name, he is shocked. He begins to wonder if this Dong Yi is the same one that eluded him 8 years ago. Seo begins digging to find out.
Sukjong heads back to the palace and is amused to see a struggling Dong Yi trying to climb over the wall. Sukjong’s eunuch asks if they should do something and Sukjong replies no. He then goes up to Dong Yi and asks what she is doing. She tells him that she has stayed out to late and needs to get back in. Sukjong says he will not be a stool this time and takes her to the palace entrance, worrying Dong Yi as it was crawling with guards earlier. She is shocked that they are gone and Sukjong replies that he told them to leave. He then tells Dong Yi to head off to the music school. Before she leaves, she thanks Sukjong for telling the king about her involvement in clearing up the musical discordance scandal as she was handsomely rewarded. Ah, funny.
The next day Dong Yi delivers the package to Ok Jung’s maid. When another maid began to prepare the herbs, Dong Yi asks if it is a certain herb. The head maid is furious, believing Dong Yi peeked. Dong Yi asserts that she did not, but she recognized the smell coming from the package. Dong Yi then tells them how to prepare the herb so it will be effective (lol, they were preparing it wrong and thus making it less effective). This scores points in the head maid’s book for Dong Yi. They listen to Dong Yi’s advice and prepare the herbs, however, Ok Jung refuses to take them. Ok Jung’s mother scolds her for this and Ok Jung replies that she will rely on the royal physicians as doing something like that and smuggling in tonics could get her into great trouble. While Ok Jung and her mother are fighting, a poison alarm is being raised throughout the palace. When testing the food to be served to Sukj0ng’s wife, the poison test came out positive. This puts the palace in an uproar. The royal scientists have no idea why the rod keeps testing positive when the food is actually okay. Sukjong asks for them to find an answer, but this alarm worries everyone in the palace.
Meanwhile Chun Soo and Dong Yi are preparing for the death anniversaries of Choi and Dong Joo. Ho Yang sees Dong Yi working hard trying to get the chores done so she can leave. He hates that Dong Yi is still okay for talking back to him and he is upset that he is not allowed to touch her. He goes to his father’s office with a scheme. And what scheme could Ho Yang come up with? He asks Tae Poong about Dong Yi and Tae Poong tells him to leave the slave alone. Ho Yang said that he came from the registry and found out that Dong Yi’s family situation wasn’t as bad as thought. He then asks his father to make Dong Yi into a gisaeng so that he can have her. Geez, how ludicrous.
Seo has is right hand man go in and request the music school’s registry so he can dig up information on the Dong Yi that Sukjong mentioned. He finds out that Chun Dong Yi (heehee, wonder if her last name has anything to do with her first crush Cha Chun Soo?) joined the bureau six years ago. He reports this to Seo who really begins to wonder if Choi Dong Yi and Chun Dong Yi are indeed the same person. Seo then immediately sets off towards the bureau of music.
Dong Yi sets up an alter for her father and brother and performs the death anniversary ritual. She recalls the horrible day when her brother and father were killed. She pulls Chun Soo’s bandanna out of her sleeve, the only thing she has left from those days. Chun Soo makes it up to the cliff, but after Dong Yi has already left. He too recalls the events of the past and he regrets that he has not been able to find Dong Yi yet and as such failed to keep his promise to good friend Dong Joo.
As Chun Soo goes to leave, he notices a bandanna caught on a tree. He takes it and sees that it is the same bandanna that he gave Dong Yi. The little girl is alive and had been there recently. Chun Soo starts a wild descent down the mountain to find his Dong Yi. Meanwhile, Dong Yi notices that she is missing the bandanna. Just as she turns around to head back (and just when we think she’ll finally be reunited with Chun Soo), her name is called out. She turns and is greeted by guards who take her into custody and that’s where this episode ends. Why is Dong Yi being taken into custody? We’ll have to watch episode 9 to see.
My thoughts: As much as I love the developing relationship between Dong Yi and Sukjong, I can’t help but feel bad for Chun Soo (will Bae Soo Bin’s characters ever get Han Hyo Joo’s?). At times the plot seems crazily fast-paced (like with the musical discordance investigations) and then they seem to slow down and drag a bit (kind of like this episode), but since it’s a 50 episode historical drama, that is to be expected. I cannot wait for Dong Yi and Chun Soo to finally meet again after all these years!
I am also greatly interested in seeing how Ok Jung’s and Dong Yi’s relationship will change, especially if Ok Jung recalls the prophecy (yet again) of becoming a shadow of Dong Yi’s. Vicious palace politics. Always interesting.