5 Close Calls In Episodes 11-12 Of

Our Blooming Youth” sets a slower pace this week by putting two major characters out of circulation. Lee Hwan (Park Hyung Sik) and Min Jae Yi (Jeon So Nee) have traced the source of their respective mysteries to the quelled rebellion in the village of Byeokcheon 10 years ago as well as its dead leader, a man named Song (Yoon Seok Hyun). But just as they begin their investigation, an act of courage throws a massive spanner in the works. And Hwan and Jae Yi’s greatest obstacle is one they couldn’t have predicted.

Warning: spoilers for episodes 11-12 below.

1. Myung Jin and Hwan rescuing a child from the Minister of Justice

Hwan and Jae Yi  pay a visit to Kim Myung Jin (Lee Tae Sun) and Ga Ram (Pyo Ye Jin) as they all try to figure out the meaning behind the burnt peony petals the dead shaman was using. Myung Jin is certain that his teacher, the monk Moo Jin (Jung In Gyum), will have an answer. However, Moo Jin seems to recognize Hwan and evasively says that the petals mean nothing. They’re interrupted by a child who steals from the inn they were eating at and races onto the road, managing to smash an expensive porcelain jar belonging to Jo Won Oh (Cho Jae Ryung), the Minister of Justice.

As a member of the Jo family and a relation to Jo Won Bo (Jung Woong In), Won Oh immediately throws a public fit, beating the child and vowing to throw him in prison for 200 years. Surprisingly it isn’t Hwan who steps in first, but Ga Ram, who can’t stand seeing a child treated this way. When Won Oh attempts to hit Ga Ram, Myung Jin steps in front of her and orders Won Oh to stop, which makes you wonder how much Myung Jin knows. But as the Minister of Justice, Won Oh has more power than everyone assembled in the marketplace. Everyone except Hwan.

Jae Yi tries to stop Hwan for some strange reason, seemingly out of fear that his out-of-the-palace jaunts will be discovered, but Hwan steps in. Won Oh goes pale upon recognizing him, and after engaging in a good bit of sophistry with him, Hwan is able to turn the tables and save the child. But just as Hwan starts to eschew his father’s teachings on ignoring everyone and rising to the top, his compassionate nature could put an end to his present power for good.

2. Hwan’s argument with the King

Jo Won Bo is not pleased at Hwan stepping in and making one of his lackeys look stupid. When you add to that a few threats from the mysterious rebel force hiding in the capital, he’s on edge to hide whatever he did to crush that rebellion in Byeokcheon 10 years ago. Under the guise of proposing measures to rout the remaining rebellions, he petitions the King (Lee Jong Hyuk) to order that no one from Byeokcheon, its surrounding areas, or even related to it, should be allowed to take the civil servant exam or work in the Palace. This essentially forces those people into low-wage positions and denies them the possibility of using education as a means to better their lives. This also means that the people, eunuchs, and maids, who already worked in such positions, are kicked out of the Palace despite their pleas.

The Queen (Hong Soo Hyun) is aghast at these measures and tearfully gives her seamstress a jeweled hairpin to provide for her life outside the Palace. The King knows what Won Bo is up to but believes that he has no choice but to comply, else Won Bo will use his clan’s power to oust him. So when Hwan shows up to protest these inhumane measures, the King grows furious. He asks his son if he really believes him so weak a king to bow to Won Bo. And in a powerful moment, Hwan says that he had followed everything his father said to the point of nearly destroying his friendship with Han Sung On (Yoon Jong Seok), but that just made him more ashamed of himself.


He weeps, asking his father why he asked him to perform actions that would only make him ashamed of himself. Outside, Won Bo overhears everything until Jae Yi boldly calls out that he is present. He cackles knowing that the King is going to have to choose between satisfying the Jo clan and earning his son’s respect. The King’s answer is swift and certain: Hwan is to be confined to the Eastern Palace.

3. Hwan’s confinement.

The punishment is practically unheard of. Hwan can no longer perform any of his duties and must remain in his room with only one eunuch allowed to visit him. Naturally, that’s Jae Yi. The two spend a full month in there, with no one’s company but each other’s. After two weeks, Hwan weeps at the realization that he has been all but deposed. The King won’t withdraw his command for fear of looking weak, so someone has to force him to withdraw his command.

Hearing whispers of Hwan’s confinement, Myung Jin and Garam spread rumors to all the scholars in the capital that Hwan is not only fine, but that he’ll be attending the archery contest being held by the scholars soon. As Hwan wasn’t able to attend the previous ceremony owing to his shoulder injury, it’s the perfect spot to showcase his return.

Desperate, Hwan reaches out to Scholar Jo (Cha Seo Won), a powerful member of the Jo clan, who doesn’t share their greed. He also happens to be the head of the scholars’ group. The next thing we know, all the capital’s scholars are protesting to the King, demanding that Hwan attend the archery ceremony as they need his photographic memory to restore some of their library’s books. The mass petition and the fact that it’s headed by Scholar Jo is all the excuse the King needs to order an end to Hwan’s confinement. And as Hwan attends the ceremony and hits bullseye after bullseye while hearing no end of compliments on his photographic memory, he realizes that his father wanted him to figure a way out of his situation himself. The King knows that he’s a puppet, but perhaps he can buy some time for his son to gain power and friends so that his son won’t be one.

4. Jae Yi and the Queen being cornered by Jo Won Bo

Jo Won Bo has known the identity of “Go Sun Dol” for some time now but hasn’t acted on it. Yet, that doesn’t mean he’s going to let it go. When he was blatantly eavesdropping on the King and Hwan’s argument, Jae Yi dared to announce his presence to Hwan, who was able to kick him out before he overheard more. So, Won Bo’s on the warpath now, and when he sees Jae Yi ferrying secret letters from Hwan to the outside world during his confinement, he wastes no opportunity grabbing her by the collar. He tells her that he knows she’s not Go Sun Dol and is about to forcibly take Hwan’s letter from her when Sung On intervenes and chases Won Bo off.

Honestly, the lengths to which this man is willing to go is terrifying. He does the same to the Queen when she gently pleads with the King to end Hwan’s confinement. What this show has done with the Queen’s character is just incredibly refreshing. She isn’t an evil stepmother by any means and seems to genuinely care for Hwan and for the people of Joseon. He doesn’t even know that he has a potential ally in here. Sure, she’s keeping secrets, but here’s hoping they aren’t ugly ones. Still, Won Bo flies into a rage when he hears that the Queen dared to plea on Hwan’s behalf and nearly strangles her. Yikes.

5. Jae Yi remembering Tae Gang

Jae Yi has been trying to remember what happened that fateful morning her family died for some time now. Her memory has been clouded, both by trauma and apparently by some invisible truth that she’s still trying to recall. She’s been getting bits and pieces back, like the presence of peony petals being burned and Shim Young (Kim Woo Seok) coming to the kitchen that day. But nothing concrete comes of either. The identity of the messenger who purported to be from Hwan could be her biggest clue. After all, that messenger not only killed the real person Hwan sent with a wedding gift, but they also brought a copy of the ghost-sent letter, which Hwan absolutely didn’t send. Thus, whoever it was would have to be related to the murder and mayhem plaguing the capital.

And just as Jae Yi’s all but given up, she finally remembers who it was: Tae Gang (Heo Won Seo). She flees to warn Hwan. Finding him with Tae Gang, she takes Tae Gang’s sword and puts it at his neck! She’s utterly furious, and Hwan is utterly bewildered. And next week will tell us where this confrontation will go!

Tae Gang’s been acting increasingly sketchy throughout the past couple episodes. He seems to care about Hwan and helped investigate the Byeokcheon rebellion while Hwan was confined. But he also has an agenda that we aren’t privy to. Hwan would be devastated if his own bodyguard turned out to be the murderer of Jae Yi’s family, but the possibility remains far too alive.


Despite the 20 episode run and Hwan and Jae Yi having been placed in every form of romantic situation (a month-long confinement!), these two have almost no romantic tension, with the bulk of the interest on Hwan’s side rather than Jae Yi’s. They certainly challenge each other to be better and do more, but some of that initial slow burn seems to have fizzled out. With eight episodes left to go, here’s hoping they bring back the sizzle!

Check out the drama below!

Watch Now

What did you think of this week’s episodes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she works as a lawyer, fangirls over Ji Sung, and attempts to write the greatest fantasy romance of all time. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!

Currently Watching:  “Island,” “The Interest of Love,” “Agency,” and “Payback.”
Looking Forward to: “The Heavenly Idol,” “Gyeonseong Creature,” “Ask The Stars,” “The Girl Downstairs,” The Worst Evil,” “Black Knight,” “Queen of Tears,” “Vigilante,” “Demon,” “Dr. Romantic 3,” “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” and Ji Sung’s next drama.

How does this article make you feel?


Please login to Soompi to join the conversation!

Similar Articles