Unnie Recap: Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung (Episodes 7 & 8)

History has been made and the 1st female historians survived their 1st hazing ritual. But with a brewing rebellion and an apparent conflict between people, Hae Ryung and the girls will soon learn that life inside the palace is not as glamorous or prestigious as it seems.

Episode 7

As Hae Ryung and Prince Lee Rim size each other up, she suddenly asks his identity and what he’s doing in the palace. Eunuch Sam Bo caught them together and pretended that the prince was someone else saying that he was sleeping. He warned the Prince to not reveal his identity to her because she could blab to everyone about him similar to the book reading event.

Officer Yang has a nasty hangover and is being assured by his fellow historians that Hae Ryung must have it worse and that she has no way of entering the palace because he talked to one of the guards to not let her in. They looked like they had a heart attack when she entered the room, spritely and spunky. That’s our Hae Ryung!😼

A Ran and and In Im thank her for sacrificing herself last night to avoid drinking. Sa Hui does not feel the same way as she tells Hae Ryung privately that she doesn’t need her help. She said it in an impartial manner so I’m not yet truly convinced that she’s a villain here, if that is what the kdrama is hinting at. Being the open-minded and independent person Hae Ryung is, she agreed and shrugged it off.

The 4 girls are taken to see the Queen for a brief chat. They are at first uncomfortable but ease up when the Queen herself encourages and reassures them of their role in the palace. They are invigorated by their meeting but soon find themselves in dangerous territory when the court ladies corner them and conduct their own form of a hazing ritual. The male officers caught wind of this and immediately go to the girls’ aid. The 4 girls are on the ground and are forced to listen to the Head Court Lady instruct them to lie low and simply obey orders. She threatens Hae Ryung for running her mouth and was going to sear her face when the boys surround them and Officer Min intervenes.

Officer Yang scolds the girls that they should know the rules inside the palace and that a historian must finish their tasks no matter who calls for them. A Ran speaks up and argues that they don’t know anything because they weren’t taught anything in the first place. Treated like clerks, it’s no wonder that the court ladies also treat them with no respect. A Ran further cried that they were told that they were the King’s women and that they ought to forget everything they see and hear in the palace. After the incident, Officer Min decided that from now on, he will properly teach the girls. Officer Yang simply agrees despite some of the other male historians’ objections.

Elsewhere, a group of men are seen making the book about The Story of Ho Dam inside a house. Men in horses arrive and chaos erupts. One of them tries to burns the copies as quickly as he can but is slashed by a sword. We then shift to the 2nd State Councilor meeting with Jae Kyung who urges him to accept a Third Inspector government position. He adamantly refuses but the Councilor indirectly threatened him by saying that he knows what Jae Kyung is capable of. He concluded that the Queen must be working with someone on the outside and tasks Jae Kyung in finding that person.

Episode 8

Prince Lee Rim’s court ladies go to see Hae Ryung and she goes back to Nokseodang. As Sam Bo pretends to be the prince behind a screen, Prince Lee Rim fools Hae Ryung into doing a number of chores to get back at her. I know this was supposed to be a funny moment between our 2 leads but after what the girls went through with the court ladies and the historians treatment towards them, I wasn’t able to appreciate the montage of Hae Ryung cleaning and following the Prince’s orders. I know he didn’t mean anything bad and that his character is not abusive but this pattern of action can seriously mess up a person. I’m sure Hae Ryung knows that he really can’t harm her so she purposely drops a broom on his face as her own form of revenge, hee😜

A mysterious figure arrives at the book printing site and tries to save a still alive man by stitching his wounds. Eunuch Sam Bo is delighted to see his wife, Mo Hwa, who apparently made a surprise visit to him. She is revealed to have the tombstone that the Prince first saw in the Royal Villas and most certainly the mysterious figure I mentioned above.

It’s a new day at work and the 4 girls were astonished that they were being taught the organizational chart of the historians. It’s the 1st sign of respect from the guys that shows their willingness to help them learn the ropes of becoming a true historian. They are even included in a royal meeting by Officer Min despite the obvious objections of the elder officials.

The royal meeting is a heated argument between the Crown Prince and the advisors argue about the former temporarily allowing people who were caught in a flood and landslide to not pay military taxes. The latter laments that because those people were hiding in the mountains to avoid paying taxes in the first place, they should be punished instead. The Crown Prince asserts that if it’s the people’s duty to pay taxes, then how come they (the officials) don’t pay their due as well? The King suddenly enters the room and orders his son to leave to deal with the issue himself.

Before the day ends, Officer Yang and our ladies need to examine a couple of dead bodies as part of their job. It appears that they are the same men who were killed in the book site and Hae Ryung grows curious of the one person who survived due to an odd medical practice. Officer Yang vehemently denies her request to see the person and insists on going home already.

Just as the historians were leaving the premises, Prince Lee Rim sneaks inside. He overheard the conversation his brother had with an official earlier and words “Ho Dam” caught his attention. Just before he checks to see the survivor, he sees a guard leave the room where he was in. Prince Lee Rim discovers that the man is now dead and follows the guard, who of course really isn’t one, outside the palace. Hae Ryung and the others are also walking around the streets as she makes up an excuse to go back to the morgue to see the stitch herself. Simultaneously, the Prince is caught by the man following him and threatens him with a blade to his neck. As Hae Ryung makes her way back, she catches a glimpse of the scene and is ready to help but is shocked when she hears him admit to his assailant that he is a Prince.

Thoughts

Is this Divergent where there are different factions inside the palace? What the girls went through in episode 7 was brutal! I thought the male historians were the mean bullies but the court ladies are MUCH much worse!😡 I suppose it’s natural that they’d be cattier to their fellow women because they feel as if a special group has been formed but at the end of the day, they are all still women. Regardless on whether they have different responsibilities inside the palace, they feel like Hae Ryung and the others are no exemption in following the proper conduct as a women. Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung is a fictional kdrama but I imagined things would have turned out like this if female historians were really allowed back then.

I thought it was Jae Kyung who was helping the Queen but with Mo Hwa’s introduction, it seems more likely that she is the one helping her out. I still believe that he is involved with the conspiracy and that there’s more than 1 person helping the Queen. Perhaps the 2nd state councilor already has a hunch about Jae Kyung’s involvement but he needs to reel in the bigger fish (the Queen). His offhand comment about seeing Jae Kyung in his lowest and knowing his capabilities must mean that he is willing to betray someone close to him just to save himself/his family. Since the 2nd state councilor also knows that Hae Ryung is one of the female historians inside the palace, he’ll surely use that as leverage against him in the future.

I’m loving the fact that the written word is such a threat to the villains here. Blackmail and physical force are the usual forms of attacks in these period kdramas but now, a book is causing a frenzy. I think Prince Lee Rim’s talent for writing will be used as propaganda next time or he’ll write a new book similar to The Story of Ho Dam’s plot. I just think he needs a little more growing up and needs to open his eyes to what is happening inside and outside of the palace for me to take his character more seriously.

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