“That is the reason swords are necessary in this world. That is the reason why a nation needs a King who will create bloodshed.”


Wang So (Jang Hyuk) and Shin Yool (Oh Yeon Soo) successfully sneaks into the palace library. While she’s mesmerized by all the supply of books, he’s completely mesmerized by her, but he snaps himself out of it long enough to slip away while Shin Yool’s absorbed in her reading.

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Wang So meets with the King and attempts to ease his worries. The Queen catches them and figuratively tosses a bucket of words dipped in poison towards her “cursed” son.

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Meanwhile, Shin Yool has continued her search for So So well into the night. She finds him emotionally battered and bleeding at the entrance of the palace. She scolds him and he hugs her. Of course, who would catch sight of this skinship but Wang Wook (Lim Ju Hwan) with rage burning in his eyes.

Gaebong ends up taking Wang So to Wolhyanglu for drinks. Shenanigans are plentiful as Wang So prevents the gisaengs from revealing his identity, Shin Yool maintains her Gaebong act, jealousy crashes ashore like ocean waves, and an almost kiss is rudely interrupted by a creepy stalker. Yes, you guessed it – Wang Wook.

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Each armed with secrets, a tense conversation takes place between the two Wang siblings as the search for the bronze mirror craftsman begins. While Yeo Won (Lee Ha Nui) dissects new information received from the head gisaeng, Wang So is losing his mind over Gaebong, much to a flustered Eun Chan’s (Kim Roe Ha) uncomfortable dismay. Likewise, Shin Yool is busy hugging other men in search of that butterfly feeling but concludes it only happens with Wang So.

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Since Shin Yool is distracted, Yang Gyu Dal (Heo Jeong Min) gets away with offering free embellishments to all of the princes for their competition. When they gather, their favorite topic is trash talking Wang So, leaving only when the subject of conversation actually shows up. Left in privacy, Wang Wook and Wang So confronts each other about the throne and the duties of a King.

Wang So heads to Chunghae to take a look at his embellishments while reasoning that he would get to see Gaebong “coincidentally.” He tries to figure out which embellishment is his only to be disappointed that it’s the most plain one. When Gaebong asks about the kind of person Wang So is, he gushes about himself and spins the tiger story.

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As he offers himself to be her mannequin, Wang So recalls Eun Chan telling him not to lose focus of his real mission because of Gaebong. Unexpectedly, he tells her that he’s leaving for a long period of time.

He then heads to Wolhyanglu to establish an alibi before sneaking off to meet with his warriors as Wang Shik Ryeom plans an attack at Mujeong Temple. Coincidentally, Wang Wook gets wind that Shin Yool’s possible mother used to reside at Mujeong Temple and offers to take her there immediately.

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Upon arrival, Shin Yool spots some rhododendron and plucks a few leaves off to put in her pocket. When questioned, she tells Wang Wook that it’s good for infections, fevers, and pains; however, it’s only effective for a healthy person and acts like poison for the weak, where paralysis begins from the hands.

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As Shin Yool observes a drawing found on the wall, Wang Wook gets knocked out cold and an assassination happens right under their noses. Wang Shik Ryeom’s assassins and Wang So’s warriors battle it out to death… until Shin Yool hears the commotion and steps right into the middle of it. Startled yet concerned, Wang So grabs her hand and takes off with the red assassin hot on his heels.

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Having revealed his weakness, Wang So shields Gaebong with his body after she becomes a target.Injured by the red assassin’s sword, he falls forward, taking Gaebong with him as the two roll down a cliff together. When she comes to and realizes that the masked man was Wang So, she’s frantic. Injuried and still unconscious, Gaebong single handedly relocates to a cave where she risks her life, in turn, by eating the rhododendron leaves, poison and all, and feeding the liquid to him via mouth to mouth.

When Wang So finally regains consciousness, he finds Gaebong sickly and cold. She asks for confirmation that he’s really one of the virtuous men and Wang So asks that she keeps it a secret. Both worse for the wear, they begin their trek, on foot, back to Chunghae Trading Company, but luck is on their side because Shin Yool’s horse was waiting for her on the path.

It is the image of Shin Yool and Wang So, together, on a single horse that spurs Wang Wook’s anger as he anxiously waits for her outside Chunghae. Their conflicted missions and Wang Wook’s jealous drives an even bigger wedge into their already fragile brotherhood as Shin Yool continues to place more importance on So So’s life by seeking maple leaves to brew him an antidote rather than seeking help for herself first.

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Eun Chan takes the injured Wang So home and that’s where Yeo Won finds him – passed out just inside their entrance. She scoffs at first, under the impression he’s drunk, but then realization dawns upon her when her hand is coated in his blood. He’s carried to his bed and Yeo Won sits beside him, seeing his jade butterfly pendant for the first time. When Wang So regains consciousness, she tells him it’ll be impossible for him to participate in the prince’s competition, but he’s chuckles, stating that he’ll participate no matter what.

Meanwhile, the poison is already affecting the King’s judgment and he’s furious when he’s informed that Chunghae Trading Company and its assistant head, Shin Yool, is fully supporting the competition of the prince’s by providing their embellishments free of charge. Adding more fuel to the fire, he’s also informed that the Hwang family seems to be incredibly close with her.

The siblings begin to turn on one another as Yeo Won reveals that she has knowledge of the secret Wang Wook has been keeping from her just as he orders her to stay out of his way as he claims the throne to become King. He will not tolerate her trying to take all the cards into her own hands.

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Armed with the knowledge that Gaebong is none other than Shin Yool and that Wang So has gotten so incredibly close to her, he murmurs her male name in his sleep, Yeo Won visits Shin Yool. With fake pleasantries and careful words, the two energies born from the same North Star begins a mental war of wit and deceit.


akinahana89: Wow! What a week of amazing “Shine or Go Crazy” episodes! The action, the humor, the conflicts, the tension! There wasn’t ever a dull moment. Wouldn’t you agree?

LavelyShai: Yes! This drama has done a good job at utilizing the full hour and giving us multiple things to discuss. With all this action happening so early, it makes me curious about what’s to come. Remember, this is a 24 episode drama.

akinahana89: Hopefully more action, more intensity, and definitely more romance! The entire drama cast is doing a fantastic job in keeping us entertained and on our toes. I really love how episode 7 ended with the conflict between Wang Wook and Wang So while episode 8 ended with a mental showdown between Yeo Won and Shin Yool.

LavelyShai: Yes, the endings definitely set up our main plot of struggle between the four leads. We know Yeo Won wanted Shin Yool to be with Wang Wook, but it’s getting more personal for her now that she knows how close she is with Wang So. You can really see the difference between them and it’s actually very interesting (and slightly ironic?): Yeo Won is ‘warm’, but has a very cold personality while Shin Yool is ‘cold’ yet is a very warm person. Their future dynamics should be very interesting especially since we have a very smart lead in Shin Yool.

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akinahana89: Ah, yes, the irony! One that I fully appreciate, but I also think that Yeo Won showed just the smallest bit of warmth this week. Very miniscule, but present, when she saw the injury Wang So had sustained. But yes, I agree that Shin Yool is incredibly intelligent and I love that about her. She’s such a strong woman, even if her health is in a fragile state. When the masked Wang So and the red assassin were fighting right in front of her, she didn’t even scream, flinch, or run away like normal female leads, even when she came incredibly close to meeting that sword face to face. I really love that aspect of her.

LavelyShai: I have this slight theory that Yeo Won was once a warm person, but her corrupted family messed with her. Sometimes it appears that she wants to care, but doesn’t bring herself to do so. When she first met Shadow-man, she explained how she was poison, but was essential to her family. That’s a pretty detailed and negative way to think of yourself at such a young age. Then Wookie is the passive aggressive type who befriends you then betray you. You wouldn’t even see it coming. I can agree with Shin Yool, she has proven to be very calm and collected during moments that should have her panicked and screaming. I appreciate how she’s written. Let’s hope she stays that way.

akinahana89: Oh boy, Wang Wook… I’m getting more and more annoyed with him. lol. Not to mention, he’s becoming even more obsessive over Shin Yool and attaining the throne. One thing is for sure, I certainly won’t ever develop Second Lead Syndrome in this drama! I expected that he would betray his own sister and that Yeo Won would find out soon enough since she’s really clever, but it was still pretty intense to watch it unfold. I can’t wait to see what happens next on that end, especially since it appears that Yeo Won will now be helping her husband become King, rather than her brother.

LavelyShai: I find that’s a natural issue within the Hwang family, everyone is frenemies and will backstab another to fit their own agendas. Wookie doing just that to his sister, who was trying to help him to the throne (for her own benefit though), has now shifted her “alliance.” We knew she’d try to help either her husband or brother so I guess it’s now her husband-only-in-name; however, it’s for her own reasons since she wanted to be queen. Yeo Won is an interesting character, I can’t exactly hate her, but I don’t like her either.

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akinahana89: Hm, I agree. I’m actually rather indifferent to Yeo Won. I’m just curious to see what kind of a person she eventually becomes and how she will continue to scheme her way into becoming Queen. Speaking of the royal family though, I had no idea Wang So still had so many brothers! lol. When they all arrived at Chunghae Trading Company to get their embellishments, I was pretty surprised, but I was even more surprised to find that there was one brother there who seemed to respect Wang So. My heart totally warmed up to him right away. While others mocked and ridiculed Wang So, he never participated and only looked at Wang So with plenty of respect. That was a really nice touch and I hope I get to see more of him in future episodes!

LavelyShai: I was also just as surprised that there were so many princes! I think Wang So would need to hear it to believe it since everyone else mocks him especially the ones who are suppose to love him. Having at least one brother in his corner will be a good thing and I hope this one does stick around. The scene that was hard to watch was when he was visiting the king and his mother walked in, basically telling him she regretted ever having him. My heart just broke for him and I was so happy his older brother stood up for her and told her to stop. My poor So So can’t ever catch a break.

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akinahana89: I’m glad you mentioned that scene because I definitely wanted to talk about it! I felt just as hurt as Wang So did from what his mother said, but at the same time, we definitely saw the growth of present Wang So versus past Wang So. Five years ago, when his mother scorned him, Wang So stood there and took it while holding back tears. This time, Wang So stood up to her in his own way and did a great job of covering up his pain in front of her. I also felt like his mother was more emotional this time around, but I’m not sure if it’s because she just hates him that much more now… or if she’s actually upset that she has a “cursed” son she could never love. In any case, if she never shows up again, I certainly won’t miss her!

LavelyShai: I really did love how he gathered the strength to stand up to her the way he did. It wasn’t at all disrespectful, but just enough to let her know she’s not getting to him. He continued to call the king “hyungnim” even when she scolded him about that and hyungnim stood up to her. I did noticed the tears, but couldn’t find it in my heart to sympathize with her. I believe it’s a little bit of her being upset she had a ‘cursed’ son and her hatred growing over the years. She could certainly love him, her late husband did and went as far as getting him back in the palace before he died. The Queen can surely find it in her heart to love her son, but she chooses not to. Unless she suddenly changes, I don’t care if she’s shown again.

akinahana89: Exactly! Enough about the characters I don’t care for! Let’s move on to something I enjoy talking about more – our OTP! I love, love, love all of their moments together this week. From the amusing hug experiments both participated in to their feelings for each other that has begun to overwhelm them, I watched them all with the goofiest smile on my face. lol. Wang So risking his life to save Gaebong while Gaebong risked her life in return to save his was so beautiful and well done! I also absolutely loved the camera work for the palace library scene. It’s really so ordinary and often overused, but somehow, when So So and Gaebong were the subjects, it just felt so beautifully surreal and perfect. The look on So So’s face as he gazed at Gaebong was really the icing on the cake too.

LavelyShai: The way they stare at each is what really melts me. I loved the library scene as well, the director knows how to make such a simple set into a very beautiful scene. I love how you can tell what they’re thinking even if there isn’t a voice over, I guess we can credit that to Jang Hyuk and Oh Yeon Seo. The one thing I have noticed is their feelings have really come out and they seem to be like two teenagers who aren’t sure about the next step. The hugging scenes were really hilarious. Each was trying to see if their feelings were isolated to one another or if it was something they felt to others. I pity poor So So who isn’t exactly sure what he’s feeling, but knows he feels something and is questioning whether he likes men or not. Since his feelings are developing faster, I do hope that he discovers Gaebong’s true identity especially since everyone knows the truth but him.

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akinahana89: To be honest, I think Wang So already knows, subconsciously, that Gaebong is a woman. He’s definitely not one of those idiotic male leads who are completely clueless to Gaebong’s feminine behavior and appearance. Plus, when he fantasizes about Gaebong, Gaebong was always giving him very feminine poses. lol. It’s really the fact that he thinks he saw “it” when he snuck a peek into the bath house that Wang So is still in denial about Gaebong’s real gender. Regardless, I do think it’s gone on long enough and the truth needs to be revealed now. I mean, even Yeo Won knows the truth! At the same time, I’ll miss the antics of So So and Gaebong, but it’ll certainly pave the way for more true OTP moments and I’m definitely craving that.

LavelyShai: That’s the reason I’m ready for the reveal, I am anxious for them to really cement their relationship or at least have some real moments instead of seeing Wang So questioning whether or not Gaebong is a man. I predict once he finds out, there will be a period of separation.

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akinahana89: Your prediction may be right, but I really hope not. I’d hate to see them moping around for no reason when they can just be happy together. Of course, nothing is ever quite so easy, is it? Still, I’m excited for the prince’s competition, which I think we’ll get to see next week, because Wang So will finally be able to showcase his amazing skills and, hopefully, it means that Gaebong and So So’s secrets will be mutually revealed. I’m also anxious to find out what else Wang Shik Ryeom has up his sleeves. I admit that seeing him executing a member of his own team was a surprising move, but he is definitely dirty like that. As long as he can save himself, he doesn’t care what happens to others.

LavelyShai: The prince’s competition should be interesting since Wang So doesn’t want the throne and knows that’s not why his father made that up while everyone else believes this to be so. He’s definitely going to have an advantage since he has no real goal except to showcase what his father’s intentions for the fight were while his brothers will all be fighting for their place on the throne. With him participating in the prince’s competition, I know Shin Yool will attend more than likely as a woman. I have this strange feeling Wookie will invite her and Yeo Won will be more than happy to have her since that’ll show her So So’s true identity. Wang Shik Ryeom taking out his own co-conspirator isn’t at all surprising since his thirst for power makes him only think of himself. Shadow-man will be out of the picture if he feels he’s deadweight.

akinahana89: Actually, it seems to me that because of Gaebong’s insightful explanation on how Chunghae Trading Company works, Wang So seems to want the throne. He doesn’t necessarily want it through the competition because he’s always said that’s not what the competition is about, but in order to achieve his father’s dreams and turn Goryeo into a united nation, Wang So needs to apply what he’s learned through Shin Yool to whoever is on the throne. What better way to do that than to be on the throne himself? In any case, I can’t wait to see more action, more tension, and  more OTP moments next week. More confident Wang So with smooth moves would be fantastic too, but I guess that falls under action, huh?

LavelyShai: I’m sure we’ll get plenty of those next week since “Shine or Go Crazy” has been steadily doing a great job so far. They even reached a new highest rating this week.

akinahana89: Oh! And kiss scenes! I’m also hoping for a real OTP kiss next week instead of an almost kiss rudely interrupted by a psycho and a life saving kiss that’s not really a kiss, but I may be getting my hopes up a bit early. I guess we’ll find out! Monday, please come quickly!

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