“I know what you’re afraid of. But no matter what happens, I’ll protect you.”
A distressed Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo) quietly slips away for some alone time from the celebration taking place at Chunghae Trading Company on the night where Wang So (Jang Hyuk) and his royal wife, Hwang Bo Yeo Won (Lee Ha Nui), have been ordered to consummate their five year marriage.
Having no intentions of actually doing so, Wang So tells Yeo Won to take the bed while he sleeps at the dining table. She, instead, asks him to be her drinking buddy this time around, reminding him of their wedding night where he left her all alone.
Back at Chunghae Trading Company, Wang Wook (Lim Ju Hwan) is being a creep by spying on Shin Yool. He barges in on her just as she enters one of the guest rooms and, ever the professional, she politely greets him with a blank face. He’s a downright jerk as he demands tea, then accuses Shin Yool of having poisoned it along with the snacks she brought. He coldly makes her drink and eat first, but Shin Yool sees through his ruse – “A hot cup of tea calms an aching heart and the sweet snacks help you forget for a moment. You must’ve been worried that I might be suffering.”
Wang So and Yeo Won does a little frenemy bonding of their own until she pretends to fall asleep.
The next day, Shin Yool meets with Yeo Won. It’s revealed that Yeo Won is aware of Wang So’s first marriage and, in return for Yeo Won’s silence, Shin Yool must leave him. It is during this meeting that Shin Yool suspects the poison used on the King came from Yeo Won. She calls for Wang So to meet with her, unveiling to the surprised trio of Baek Myo (Kim Sun Young), Kang Myung (Ahn Gil Kang), and Yang Gyu Dal (Heo Jung Min) that her real gender has already been out in the open.
In the privacy of the guest room, Shin Yool coldly tells Wang So not to visit again and informs him of her suspicions about the king being poisoned. As Wang So rushes back to the palace, Wang Sik Ryeom (Lee Deok Hwa) fills the King’s head with more distrust towards his younger brother. The King undergoes a subtle health check; the poison is confirmed, the search for the source begins, and Shin Yool warns her guardians about potential dangers heading in their direction as they look for an antidote.
Concocting another plan to separate Wang So and Shin Yool, Yeo Won announces her intentions to have Wang Wook marry her, but he, in a twist of events, turns the offer down, causing further friction between the two siblings.
Back at the palace, the King is determined to meet with the leader of the virtuous men. If he doesn’t show, then the King will deem the assassins as thieves and have them arrested. Eun Chan (Kim Roi Ha) cites that it’s a bad idea, but Wang So goes for it anyway, especially after Shin Yool unknowingly offers him her support.
As expected, the King is distraught at the betrayal and in disbelief over Wang So’s words about how he was being poisoned by Wang Sik Ryeom. Behaving completely crazed, the King rushes for his sword to cut his brother down, but Wang So manages to calm him by vowing his loyalty and protection. Together, they ultimately concoct a plan against Wang Sik Ryeom.
Wang Wook is appointed the ambassador in charge of the move to the west while Chunghae Trading Company will provide the materials. In a surprise twist for Wang Wook, Wang So is appointed the supervisor to oversee the entire process and their clash in opinions is imminent. Meanwhile, as part of the act, the King issues an arrest warrant for the virtuous men, causing them to split up and hide out in various locations while still searching for the source of the poison.
Luckily, Kang Myung finally tracks down someone in possession of the rare geumhwasuk, a jewel needed to neutralize the poisons from the white poisonous propolis. Not so fortunate for Cheong Ok (Na Hye Jin), she gets captured and tortured for information, then poisoned, along with her younger sister. Yeo Won offers the antidote in exchange for the bronze mirror pieces in Wang So’s possession.
Yeo Won uses her medicinal skills again to make medicine that will help keep Wang So’s mind clear as he works as the supervisor for the moving west project, intentionally let slip that she was the one who asked Shin Yool to set the date of their consummation night.
The next day, after a tense meeting between the three parties working on the move, Yang Gyu Dal plays cupid. Tricking both Wang So and Shin Yool into the storage closet, he locks them in there to resolve their issues. Awww, what an awesome brother! Sweet moments followed by a painful but necessary parting ensues.
Meanwhile, Wang Wook and Yeo Won have declared nothing short of a war between them with Yeo Won threatening to kill Shin Yool due to Wang Wook’s willingness to be Wang Sik Ryeom’s puppet in order to ascend the throne rather than working with her. At the same time, Wang So catches Cheong Ok stealing the bronze mirror pieces, gets the whole story from her, and tells her to take it. To stay alive. No matter what.
The King’s health continues to deteriorate, Wang So subtly digs for information on Yeo Won’s medicinal skills, and Yeo Won demands that Shin Yool leave Goryeo. But Yeo Won underestimated Shin Yool, as the equally intelligent Princess of Balhae oh-so-naturally reveals her new piece of jewelry as she picks up her tea up: a geumhwasuk bracelet identical to the one on Yeo Won’s wrist.
LavelyShai: Might as well dive right in. Holy cheese on crackers! I was not expecting the twist that came around. I knew Yeo Won was cunning, but not homicidal. I can barely think right now, but thank goodness Wang So and Shin Yool know what she’s capable of.
akinahana89: Woooow. I’m still feeling breathless right now from the two episodes of “Shine or Go Crazy” we got this week. I, too, was not expecting all the twists and conflicts. I definitely was not expecting THAT much intensity either. Looks like Wang Wook isn’t the only royal nutcase around Goryeo. I’m still loving the fact that all of our leads are so intelligent and manipulative in their own right. Showdown between Shin Yool and Yeo Won? HECK YES!
LavelyShai: Did you see the look on Yeo Won’s face when she saw that bracelet? I was really confused when Shin Yool looked at the bracelet like that. I was trying to figure out why it was highlighted – well now we know; Princess Yeo Won is crazy. Reminds me of that exiled uncle from “Faith” who loved poisoning people for no apparent reason. I hated him. But yes, I am glad our leads have some sense to figure things out for themselves and don’t stay in the dark for too long. Yeo Won really showed her crazy this week. It’s like she has a fear of being abandoned.
akinahana89: What I loved more than the look on Yeo Won’s face was Shin Yool’s bold question: “If I drink this tea, will I leave this place dead or alive?” Oh snap! What a cliffhanger. I knew these two would bring us more intense entertainment than useless Wang Wook and brilliant Wang So. And while Yeo Won showed just how mental she is, she also showed us the most emotions to date. Were those really tears in her eyes in two instances this week?!
LavelyShai: Cliffhangers like this will be the death of me. I do agree, Wookie is really useless. He’s more emotional and lets that run his decisions. He’s willing to be a puppet king just so he can force Shin Yool into marrying him. He won’t be any better off than his dying brother. Too bad he doesn’t see that. Yes, Yeo Won let a tear or two shed this week. I was kind of surprised to see her get emotional after Wang So put her in bed and left her there. I’m not sure if she’s like that because she loves him or is it some phobia she has. Like I said, she’s acting as if she has a fear of being abandoned. Did Se Won being taken from her before mess her up that much? I would really love to know what she’s really feeling.
akinahana89: Being separated from Se Won wouldn’t really cause abandonment issues, would it? I mean, it’s not like Se Won dumped her. They knew from the beginning their love wouldn’t be allowed and he’s still silently loving her after all these years. I’m more inclined to think that it’s an issue of pride. She’s supposedly the most beautiful in all of Goryeo, right? So there she is, freshly prepared to consummate her marriage with Wang So at last… and he’s cold as stone. She knows he has feelings for Shin Yool and he wouldn’t think twice about spending the night with her. I bet her pride is wounded, especially since we saw her visibly deflating when Wang So made clear he had no intentions of doing anything the moment he stepped into the room. Add in the fact that even Wook is head over heels for Shin Yool. No wonder Yeo Won is threatening to kill her off.
LavelyShai: Ah yes, I forgot that was a part of her character description. It does make sense for someone like her to not be used to rejection. Then she receives it from her husband and brother simultaneously. Wang Wook is her brother and she was pretty much molding him to take over the throne, but here he goes and becomes a subordinate in order to be king just to marry someone. Then her husband, whom she knew didn’t want to marry her, doesn’t want to sleep with her and is in love with a woman who works for a trading company. Remember, she does regard herself as the root for her family, so she has to protect them. I guess the only way she can be sure Wook and So don’t leave is to kill off the woman they’re both in love with.
akinahana89: I think Yeo Won is also mad that Shin Yool is actually a true match for her, that Shin Yool isn’t the kind of woman she can just walk all over. Of all the women in Goryeo, both the men in her life had to choose her. Still, we’re not given a clear answer on just why Yeo Won wants so badly to be queen. She’ll poison anyone who gets in her way, threaten to kill innocent people, and scheme to the ends of the earth and back just to ensure that someone close to her can be king so that she, in turn, can be queen. Why? What is the motivation behind that? After seeing her craziness this week, I’m beginning to doubt your theory from last week. Her love for Se Won can’t be that deep.
LavelyShai: Yeah, my theory isn’t holding up after this week. I still believe she loves him, just not that much. Yeo Won really is a gray character, you don’t know where to put her. Usually, you know a villain’s motives and the reason behind them, but you can’t pinpoint any real reason why she’s so determined to become queen. Is it to be in power? But even a queen doesn’t have power like a king, so what is it? She said that she wants to have a powerful king who isn’t strong, aka the male version of her. Perhaps it is power. She wants to put someone close to her in that position. She’s like her uncle: They want to create a puppet king. She doesn’t care about the citizens of Goryeo and only thinks of herself or her family.
akinahana89: Well, whatever her reasons, I hope we find out soon. I’m actually rather curious about what makes her so driven for power and status. For most people, being part of the royal family is already fortunate enough. There was one problem area this week though. As an assassin, shouldn’t it be common sense to not trust your captor so easily? How in the world did Cheong Ok even fall for Yeo Won’s trick and drink her poisonous tea? Seriously?! Especially after Wang So already gave them a warning about potential dangers since an arrest for the virtuous men was put out. Cheong Ok’s younger sister displayed more intelligence than her by being incredibly hesitant on accepting the tea until Cheong Ok motioned to her that it was okay. Clearly, it wasn’t. Cheong Ok herself just took it without question and drank it like she was having tea with her best friend. What?!
LavelyShai: I was really curious about Cheong Ok willingly giving into that drink as well. She’s a trained assassin, you don’t trust anyone that easily so I’d have to wonder what really went through her head. Are they not trained on what to and what not to say if you’re captured? I don’t know, maybe she felt helpless or figured she was dying anyway. Yeo Won even said her sister showed greater intelligence than her since she hesitated to drink the tea. Cheong Ok just wasn’t at her smartest at that point. However, I think some good came out of that. Wang So didn’t know it was Yeo Won who possessed any kind of poison (he was curious about the medicine she used on him), but with Cheong Ok being captured, he’s now sure what kind of person he’s working with. I do wonder why Cheong Ok offered to work for Yeo Won. Is it because Wang So told her to survive?
akinahana89: I know getting Cheong Ok and her sister to drink the tea was the plot device they decided to use in order to reveal to Wang So that his wife is the one behind all the poisonings and to transfer the bronze mirror pieces from one hand to another, but it was just so weak. I probably would have preferred seeing that head mistress from Wolhyanglu forcibly dumping the tea into her sister’s mouth or something. At least it’d be more believable. I love how kindhearted Wang So is. He clearly needs those pieces, but he willingly sacrificed them to save Cheong Ok and her sister. As for Cheong Ok pledging her loyalty to Yeo Won, I think that’s something Wang So schemed up. What better way to keep tabs on his evil, psychotic wife than for one of his most trusted to play double agent? Yeo Won is going to get played so badly and not even realize it! Ha!
LavelyShai: I agree, the whole reveal was a little underwhelming, but I know it had to be revealed in some way. Thinking about it, he could have just given her the bronze mirror pieces purposely. He is kindhearted, but he probably realized this was his chance to spy on his wife. We didn’t see the entire meeting between Wang So and Cheong Ok. I figured because she ran through the entire story, but it could have also been to cook up a plan. Yeo Won can’t resist when someone shifts to her side so having a former subordinate of her husband to now be under her must be amazing especially since that person is a trained assassin. I hope your theory is correct and Cheong Ok is using this to really spy on Yeo Won.
akinahana89: If I’m wrong, then Cheong Ok is a real witch for repaying Wang So with betrayal. After all, if he was that kind of a man, he could have just killed her for trying to steal something as important as the bronze mirror pieces from him. But I really do think Cheong Ok is loyal to him. From the moment we saw her up until now, she’s been completely trustworthy. On a lighter note, I knew I adored Yang Gyu Dal for a reason! He was the cause behind the short but sweet OTP interaction – the only one we got this week. After the way Shin Yool and Wang So were so painfully polite and formal towards each other, it was a much needed moment.
LavelyShai: Cheong Ok has proven to be very loyal to Wang So. She trained with them for so long that it’d be hard to believe she would turn on him like that. I can’t wait to see the development from this. Oh! My favorite brother, Gyu Dal! He’s an even bigger shipper than you. lol. I did think it was adorable how he wanted them to get their feelings out and his solution was to lock them in the storage closet. Seeing our OTP being so formal with one another was really hard to watch. It made me sad that Yeo Won’s threats were working – sorta. I wanted to cry with him. He was so overwhelmed with needing someone to talk to, but couldn’t speak to the one person whom he really wanted to. The road for our couple is a long and steep mountainous one.
akinahana89: That is true, but there is always hope for them. I’m glad they had that brief moment with each other to recharge themselves for the battle ahead. Although I was so sad to see them retracting back to being the assistant head and Prince Wang So, I was equal parts mesmerized by how in sync they were. Clinging onto each other as tightly as they could and, in the next moment, simultaneously withdrawing back to being formal with each other. That shift was amazing to see.
LavelyShai: Hearing their thoughts and seeing how they reacted as if they could hear one another was amazing to me. They really are in sync and no matter how formal they are with each other, they seem to know what the other is talking about even if it’s not said directly. Gyu Dal’s little charade really did help them out. They’re both aware of what the other is thinking and Wang So knows it’s Yeo Won who threatened her. Again, our lead is a smart cookie.
akinahana89: Ah, I do love smart cookies! lol. Speaking of, how did you like that scene between Wang So and Wang Sik Ryeom? I thought that was really bold. Both of them are aware of what the other is doing and what kind of information is in each others’ possession, but they still attempt to maintain a cool and collected facade over drinks while tearing into each other with sharp words disguised as friendly conversation.
LavelyShai: I imagine Wang Sik Ryeom has those type of conversations all the time. What better way to have a conversation with your enemy and ensure they won’t try anything but in a public setting? It’s an amazing gift because I don’t have it. I can commend Wang Sik Ryeom on his ability to throw insults while still smiling.
akinahana89: I agree, but Wang So definitely held his own too. He is, indeed, a white tiger from Geumgang Mountain. lol. I was also really glad to see that Wang So managed to break through his hyung-nim’s maniacal behavior with complete calmness. For a split second, I thought Wang So would have gotten injured. Not killed, but injured. The King’s wild sword swinging was just a tad bit on the scary side. Luckily, that didn’t happen. The poor King though. Even though the poison has been stopped, it’s too late for him.
LavelyShai: Even though we saw this coming, it’s still sad to see. They discovered he was being poisoned far too late so I wonder who will become the next king. Will Wang Sik Ryeom weasel his way into making Wookie the king or will the late king’s plan be set into motion and we see So So becoming the next King of Goryeo?
akinahana89: My bet is, of course, on So So! Now that Wook and Yeo Won are pretty much at war with each other too, there’s no way he can ascend the throne with so many people against him. Plus, as I’ve been saying… he’s pretty useless. Wang So, on the other hand, is not. But we’ll just have to wait and see what officially happens, won’t we?
Soompiers, what are your thoughts on this week’s particularly intense and conflict packed episodes? Let us know in the comments below!