“[Wang] So wants to be the King more than anyone, but… he doesn’t know it yet.”
“I am Wang So, the son of the First King, who founded this nation! I will protect you from now on! I will be your owner!”
Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Seo) recalls her wedding with Wang So (Jang Hyuk) in Gaebong as she is measured and tailored in preparation for her marriage to Wang Wook (Lim Ju Hwan). At the same time, Wang Sik Ryeom (Lee Deok Hwa) is seething over the Hwang family’s betrayal and comes up with a new scheme: to take the throne for himself.
He sends out a requisition order for all men between the ages of 16 and 60 to begin working on the move to the west. Wang So, under the order of Poong (Kang Ki Young), gets saddled with the responsibility of capturing men who have attempted to avoid the requisition. Se Won, on the other hand, is ordered to keep an eye out on Wang Wook in case he meets up with Wang So.
At Chunghae Trading Company, Wang Wook arrives with the ginseng Shin Yool needs to re-start the business. He is gentle yet firm with her as he pushes her to eat a hearty meal for the first time in days.
When one of the village men, who wanted to wait until after his wedding, gets captured for avoiding requisition, Wang So interferes in his favor. A rushed wedding takes place with Wang So as witness, where he takes to heart the villagers’ statement about how the nation has been separated by noblemen and slaves.
Meanwhile, Shin Yool is at heavy negotiations with the Indians with a sleeping Yang Gyu Dal (Heo Jeong Min) by her side. She pleads with him to pay attention since he’ll have to be the true owner of the company when she is gone, but he simply brushes her off.
At the palace, Ji Mong (Kim Byung Ok) advises the Dowager Queen to work together with the Hwang family in defeating Wang Sik Ryeom just as Yeo Won (Lee Ha Nui) tells her grandfather to work with the Choong family to ensure their own family’s survival. With this, the two families begin working together to form their own defense team to combat Wang Sik Ryeom.
Back at Chunghae Trading Company, Shin Yool realizes her ledger on slave purchases has gone missing – the same ledger in Park Sool (Park Hyun Woo), the main investigator’s, hands as he secretly unveils more information about Chunghae Village and Shin Yool, the Princess of Balhae. Luckily, Eun Chan (Kim Roi Ha) is hot on his trail and the uncovered information travels to both sides.
Shin Yool has compiled a book detailing the how-to’s for Chunghae, which she passes onto Yang Gyu Dal, Baek Myo (Kim Sun Young), and Kang Myung (Ahn Kil Kang), still with the claim that they will need to fully comprehend the operations that goes behind running Chunghae when she is gone.
Fed up with her behavior, Wang Wook pulls her aside and it is then that Shin Yool tells him honestly to not go through the efforts of saving her as she does not wish to be saved. Unable to comprehend why she would say that, Wang Wook is finally brought to reality with Yeo Won’s logical words – that Shin Yool is doing exactly what his first love, Dan Young, did. She is choosing death over hurting either of the two men in her life by making a choice between them.
It hits him like a ton of bricks and as Wang Wook is trying to come to terms with this new found knowledge, Wang So visits Shin Yool. It is tense and formal between them as he asks if the book with the Chinese character for “human” on it is hers and Shin Yool realizes its her missing ledger. Unbeknownst to the both of them, the curious trio is spying on them from afar, stating observations about how the two seems to be crying on the inside.
When Wang Wook finds Shin Yool writing him a manual on the company, he gets slightly aggressive in his desire to persuade her into wanting to live.
Meanwhile, Cheong Ok is hard at work under her disguise in drawing information out of Poong and Wang Wook sends Se Won to see Shin Yool in an attempt to reunite the siblings while hoping it will re-spark her desire to live.
Wang So decides to go West in order to find out more information pertaining to Wang Sik Ryeom and the plan from both sides goes into action. The virtuous men follows Wang So like shadows as his protectors while Poong is in charge of eliminating him once they arrive. Wang Sik Ryeom, on the other hand, prepares to create chaos at the Capital. His first step is to kill Shin Yool and he sends Se Won in to do the job.
Unexpectedly, Wang Wook interferes and a sword fight breaks out. Intentionally leading him away from Chunghae Trading Company, Se Won purposefully loses the battle and dies by Wang Wook’s sword. His last request is for Wang Wook to keep his true identity a secret from Shin Yool forever.
Meanwhile, Wang So is getting ambushed by Wang Sik Ryeom’s men and with the assistance from the virtuous men, he escapes unscathed.
At the Hwang house, Yeo Won senses that something is odd and flashes back to Se Won’s strange behavior while holding onto the flying fish charm he left her with.
Wang Wook returns to Chunghae Trading Company with his bloodied sword and informs them about an unknown assassin sent by Wang Sik Ryeom to kill Shin Yool. Due to the dangerous circumstances if word gets back that she’s still alive, Wang Wook instructs Shin Yool to fake her death. To make it believable, Chunghae closes down for a period of mourning. Wang Sik Ryeom is told that the assassination attempt was successful, but he won’t believe it so easily.
Yeo Won is utterly heartbroken and unraveled by the news of Se Won’s death, even seeing an apparition of him as she gazes at the night sky, recalling his last message to her through Wang Wook. Unaware of Se Won’s demise, Wang Sik Ryeom wonders where he has disappeared to.
In the West, Wang So uses Cheong Ok’s relationship with Poong to enter his house for a solid layout, but their plan hits a serious and dangerous snag when one of Poong’s men recognizes her as the woman who asked for directions the day he lost his character card. The character card is used as a pass around the West, signifying the holder is one of Poong’s men. She gets captured as bait to lure Wang So out, but he’s one step ahead of them and the duo makes their escape from Poong’s clutches.
At Chunghae Trading Company, Park Sool makes a visit to offer Wang Sik Ryeom’s condolences as a method to conceal the real plan: confirming Shin Yool’s death. Already expecting this, Wang Wook and the gang made preparations to pull off their scheme so that when Park Sool’s sidekick rushes to unveil the body beneath the white sheet, Shin Yool looks and feels like death. Finally satisfied, Park Sool leaves.
King Jeong Jong, at the palace, is still attempting to figure out the puzzle: where on the plague did the First King hide his message about a thousand years of Goryeo? An imaginary light bulb goes off and the plague is removed from the wall. Beneath the parchment is the hidden message with the words, “Abdicate the throne to Wang So so that Goryeo can live a thousand years.”
Wang Wook visits the King to nullify his royal marriage with Shin Yool, truthfully informing him, at the same time, about the recent developments regarding Wang Sik Ryeom’s assassination attempt. The King, in return, asks Wang Wook about Wang So and whether or not he feels Wang So is fit to be King.
Shin Yool is finally set free from her obligation to marry Wang Wook and they amicably part ways. She prepares to hide away with Baek Myo until the war with Wang Sik Ryeom is over. She also advises everyone to simply allow Wang So to believe that she has passed as she doesn’t want to distract him from the most important goal: winning the war. She spends her days with a physician, found by Yeo Won, who cares for her and attempts to cure her of her coldness.
Yeo Won, on the other hand, pays respect to Se Won and reveals that she knows of his real identity now: Ho Yool.
During the travel back to the Capital, a villager decides to cause a ruckus because the clothes and food the requisitioned men were supposed to get never reached them. Treated like slaves, battered and bruised and hungry, he rebels and promptly gets beaten on the spot until Wang So steps in. Thoroughly angered, he identifies himself and vows to protect them all while going head to head with Poong and his men.
LavelyShai: A moment of silence, please, for our dearly departed silent ninja…
akinahana89: … I’m still crying over that. 🙁 So unexpected. So sudden. And the way Yeo Won just broke down when Wang Wook told her… Oh my goodness.
LavelyShai: Seeing how sad Yeo Won was just broke my heart. She truly did love him and I am sad they couldn’t be together. What makes this worse is that Shin Yool never found out he was her brother. I can’t imagine how she’ll feel once she actually figures it out.
akinahana89: If she figures it out. Do you think Wang Wook will honor Se Won’s wishes to never reveal his true identity to Shin Yool? I’m really, really sad about this. Why did he have to die?! Ugh. How awesome would it have been, instead, if he just joined forces with Wang So to take down Wang Sik Ryeom? At this point, I think there’s a clear line dividing So’s team and Wang Sik Ryeom’s team. Even Wook has finally teamed up with So, albeit in his own way.
LavelyShai: I wanted a sibling reunion and everything, but Se Won clearly thought he had no other choice since it seemed Wang Sik Ryeom was going to kill both women he cared about. I realized they (Se Won & Shin Yool) both had the same way of thinking when it came to dying. They both accepted their fates as is and are doing/did so for those around them. I am glad to see Wookie finally joining his older brother in this fight against Wang Sik Ryeom.
akinahana89: Well, they are siblings, after all. It makes sense that even their thought process is similar. It was actually heartbreaking as well to see Shin Yool giving up on life. She was someone who always lived her life with a bright smile and positive attitude, so it was just such a change of character to see her so withdrawn and nonchalant about everything. It’s amazing how clueless Wook was regarding Shin Yool until Yeo Won finally made him realize what was really going on. That look of pure shock on his face was strangely satisfying. You could tell how far gone he was by tiptoeing around Shin Yool, trying to appease her in any way that he could when he desperately asked, “Did I do something wrong again?”
LavelyShai: Knowing Shin Yool was just ready to die was hard to watch. She was the happy virus on the show and seeing her just drained wasn’t easy. Wookie is always clueless unless someone tells him. Was he really that surprised to know why Shin Yool had accepted her impending death plus knowing why his first love died? Like he should have put two and two together a while ago. It was satisfying to see his face, does he feel happy now that he got what he wanted? She’s a shell of her former self and it was quite obvious to everyone around him that she was only going through the motions.
akinahana89: Although he finally realized what he was doing to her, I think Wang Wook still wanted to hold on for as long as he could. In the end though, I’m glad that he “loved” her enough to let her go. I do think that a part of him felt bad that he had torn apart the relationship between So and Shin Yool, but a larger part of him was happy with his own upcoming wedding with her. It’s such a relief to see the royal wedding annulled, but right now, I’m more afraid of So getting wind of Shin Yool’s “death” and going on an angry rampage for revenge without caring about his own safety. I keep holding my breath, waiting for that twist, but I’m so glad it hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully, it won’t ever happen.
LavelyShai: Of course, he loves her, but I am glad his sister smacked him into reality to see what was really going on. I’m happy he’s been protecting her, but thus far it’s only been for his own benefit. Now that Yeo Won pointed out the similarities with Dan Young, I’m happy he’s finally seeing the light. I am also worried about So if he hears of her “death”, he’s not going to be in his right state of mind and that is when he’ll be a danger to himself and others. I am hoping Wookie has enough sense to tell him even though Shin Yool doesn’t want him to know. It’s unfair for all if he’s forced to think she’s dead.
akinahana89: Ah, I put quotations around love because I still question Wook’s method of love. It still seems more like obsession to me. I’m glad he saved her from Se Won and all, assuming Se Won was really going to kill his own sister, but… what, exactly, was he doing in her room during that time of night anyway? Was he being a creeper and watching her sleep? Or was he intuitive enough to realize Wang Sik Ryeom might be sending in an assassin to kill Shin Yool? It seems like it would be the former for me, especially since Wook had no idea it was Se Won until the end. So, yes. Creepy, obsessive love, it is. Originally, I thought maybe Baek Myo would be able to spill the beans to So if it came to it, but since she’s traveling with Shin Yool for a hopeful cure to her coldness, that doesn’t seem likely anymore. Maybe our Yang Gyu Dal can be the hero for our two lovebirds?
LavelyShai: I don’t think Se Won was actually going to kill Shin Yool, he went in there with a plan to never come out alive and succeeded otherwise he wouldn’t had that sad goodbye moment with Yeo Won. I do wonder why he was so against Shin Yool knowing who he was? Is it because he felt she’d be disappointed in his line of work or she wouldn’t believe it? I commend Wookie for trying to get the truth out there, but it won’t make much of a difference once she finds out. I am sad again. About who may spill the beans to Wang So, my money is on Gyu Dal. He likes So better and is their biggest fan, this is the same guy who locked them in a storage closet.
akinahana89: I didn’t think Se Won really intended to kill Shin Yool either, but I suppose his reasons for not wanting her to find out they were siblings is just as he said: because he’s shed too much of other people’s blood. I think that’s understandable. You always want to present yourself in the best way possible when you’re finally reuniting with a loved one, but for Se Won, his past is filled with actions that casts him in a negative light and the last thing he would want to do is disappoint Shin Yool. Especially since she’s been doing the exact opposite her entire life. You know, saving people instead of killing them.
LavelyShai: His reason really is understandable and also very sweet that he didn’t know her, but was afraid of disappointing her yet he did what he had to do in order to protect her. Too bad he really couldn’t stay alive long enough for her to find out and think for herself on whether he was actually a disappointment. Nonetheless, Se Won dying was the one thing he was able to do for her.
akinahana89: True enough. Shin Yool would have been proud and happy to have had a brother like him and I hope he knows that, wherever he is, whenever she finds out. (Although I do have to say that apparition version of Se Won that Yeo Won saw struck me as a bit cheesy…. lol.) Also, just how AWESOME was Wang So with using just a simple hairpin as his weapon against so many men?! I loved that scene!
LavelyShai: Wang So is the sageuk equivalent to MacGyver, he’s ever resourceful even when the odds are stacked against him.
akinahana89: Truthfully, when Cheong Ok got captured again, I was a bit worried, especially since I find Poong to be such a reckless character. I shouldn’t have bothered wasting my efforts because Wang So handled that perfectly. What was unfortunate about that scene was how abruptly it got cut off to the night scene where the virtuous men were meeting up to discuss their plan in heading back to the Capital. I had to do a double take there because it was so sudden.
LavelyShai: Any time someone gets caught, I worry even though I know it’ll turn out okay. Although I especially worry for Cheong Ok, I guess ever since she was poisoned I worry for her safety. Poong is such a reckless character, it’s a bit shocking his dad entrusts him to do stuff.
akinahana89: I suppose a father is blind to his son’s flaws? Especially when that father is someone like Wang Sik Ryeom? I seriously can’t wait to see him go down. Before that, inevitably, happens though, do you think the King is going to hand the throne over to Wang So? Can he even do that? It seems like he’s really considering it after finding the message left on the plague from the late First King.
LavelyShai: Wang Sik Ryeom has a huge ego so his downfall will be even harder and satisfying. The King can hand over his throne to Wang So if he wishes, but I think Wang Wook is the current crown prince so he’d have to abdicate his position to So in order for that to happen. It’s either Wookie gives up that spot or the King can have him removed as crown prince or heir apparent to make room for Wang So.
akinahana89: Even if Wook is the crown prince, wasn’t it announced at the Fight of the Princes that whoever won would be the next king? Or is that different because, in this case, the king is still alive? In either case, now that Wook has given up on Shin Yool in order to let her live her own life, he no longer has a reason to want to become king. Even when King Jeong Jong asked him about how fit So would be for king, Wook seemed to be a peace with the question and even answered it truthfully. Maybe it was just me, but I even sensed a small, practically nonexistent, hint of pride for his hyung-nim, Wang So, for having such goals and ideals to make Goryeo prosper.
LavelyShai: Wang So won the competition, but declared his loyalty to the king thus giving up the possibility of becoming king after that (he still doesn’t live in the palace, where the crown prince stays). His reasons for joining were far different from his brothers. I do think he’s finally given up trying to get the throne since he’s given up on Shin Yool, It’s quite mature of him to realize that’s not what he wanted anyways. I believe he’s seen Wang So’s character and knows his hyung-nim is better suited for the job.
akinahana89: Ah… in the end, there was still some hope for Wang Wook, after all. Hehe. Well, I’m sad to say this, but… “Shine or Go Crazy’s” finale is next week. What are your thoughts on it? What do you think is going to happen?
LavelyShai: Nooo! Don’t remind me! I honestly have no idea what may happen aside from Wang Sik Ryeom finally being defeated. I have this theory that perhaps with Se Won’s death, we’ll get to see Shin Yool live, but can’t be for certain since this theory just came to me. With the Hwangs and Choongs working together and Dowager Queen knowing about Shin Yool, I’m just hoping for the best. What about you?
akinahana89: As for me… I think I’ll continue to hold onto my happily ever after with Shin Yool alive and well, by Wang So’s side, but not as queen, since I do think that title would belong to Yeo Won. I’m not quite sure how all of that is going to work out, but I’ll just be happy knowing that Wang Sik Ryeom is defeated, no one else has died, and the love between Wang So and Shin Yool is still present and cherished.
LavelyShai: May your hopes and dreams for the finale come true.
akinahana89: I suppose we’ll find out next week…
What about you, Soompiers? What kind of a finale are you hoping for? Let us know in the comments below.
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