Recap: “Secret Door” Episodes 7 and 8

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I thought these two episodes suffered from what I call a “saggy middle” – the reason being that there were many scenes with very little to no action (a lot of reading books and trying to piece the puzzles together), and the music’s intensity was too muted to make up for it. In addition, the action/fighting scenes were short and felt somewhat wooden. This being a (somewhat) historical mystery-thriller drama, I expect there to be a lot of tension at all times, but every time we are offered a new, interesting piece of information to add to our arsenal, we have to patiently wait for some more talking scenes which oftentimes rehash what we already know.

However, let us go over some of the interesting points of the show.

Prince Lee Sun finally unraveled the first layer of the mystery: after some fumbling about (confusing the culprit for Kang Seo Won), he figures the murderer was actually Kang Pil Jae, otherwise known as Shadow-man from the western swordsman clan.

Piecing the clues together

He also figures out, to his greatest distress, that his teacher Park Moon Soo was the one in possession of Shin Heung Bok’s book…

Lee Sun discovers Park Moon Soo owns Heung Bok's book

… and discovers the secret message contained within — a reproduction of the Maenge (the secret pact between the King and the Noron ministers who got rid of the previous king).

Lee Sun discovers Shin Heung Bok's secret

However, when Prince Lee Sun hurries to find Kang Pil Jae, Kang Tae has already “cut off his own tail” by having the man murdered. And, to everyone’s surprise, the result of the autopsy points to none other than Lee Sun as the murder suspect. Being too chicken to admit his own faults, and enamored of his own role as the king, King Yeongjo doesn’t lift a finger to stop his own son’s arrest.

King plotting to keep his throne to the detriment of his own son

It seems clear to me that this show has reversed the roles between the crazy and the just figures traditionally given to the king and Prince Sado (aka Lee Sun) by showing the king ready to kill just about anyone to make sure his secret isn’t revealed to anyone, while Lee Sun is portrayed as a tender, idealistic soul who seeks only justice for everyone, regardless of his or her birth. And, unfortunately, we all know how this story ends…

Evidence #1 – King’s reaction to finding out Park Moon Soo isn’t going to let him have his Maenge back but would rather have the king abdicate and the other ministers who signed the pact justly punished as well:

The king getting a hair's breadth away from going psycho killer

Despite things having slowed down so much (I feel that these two episodes could have been condensed into one to increase the tension), I’m still really curious to know how Lee Sun is going to fend for himself, especially considering he now knows the contents of the Maenge.

My absolute favorite moment of these two episodes was when Ji Dam caught Na Chul Joo crying over a romance novel:

Na Chul Joo getting emotional over a romance novel

What did you like about this week’s episodes? And how do you think the rest of the events will unfold?

[tv]Thanks for supporting us by watching “Secret Door” on SoompiTV![/tv]

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