If someone has a different belief than yours, would you find theirs foolish or would you be open-minded enough to listen to their perspective? Prince Lee Rim and Officer Seong take matters into their own hands to save the innocent from getting hurt. Will they be able to convince other people of their cause or will they be shut down and punished for their actions?
Mo Hwa recalls her past when she was just starting out in Seoraewon. We learn that she was given an opportunity by one of the physicians to learn Western medical practices despite being a servant. She is a fast learner and meets Jae Kyung here too. She cries in despair remembering the exact moment she met Hae Ryung as a kid…so is she the physician’s daughter after all?👨🏻⚕️
The next day, we find that Jean has integrated well with the family of Nokseodang. He chops wood for them, gives Sam Bo a massage, pull a prank on him🥴, and even reads to them the story of Rapunzel. Being a hopeless romantic, Prince Lee Rim decides to recite the tale to Hae Ryung to impress her. Tsk tsk, hasn’t he learned anything from their 1st encounter? Even if she isn’t a fan of fairytales and its fantasy-like scenarios, she can still be romantic (and mischievous) in her own way, hehe.
Due to the foreigner not getting captured yet, guards have been assigned to patrol the royal residences, including Nokseodang. Sam Bo comes to his senses since they are harboring the fugitive and becomes worried. Hae Ryung comes up with a plan to distract the patrollers and help Jean escape. One by one, they each spread rumors that they’ve seen Jean in another part of the palace and that he eventually escaped. Hae Ryung confides in Seol Geum that she’s also seen the foreigner down the street with blood on his hands. She makes her promise not to tell anyone, but we all know that she’ll spread the rumor all over town anyway, hahaha! Hae Ryung’s plan works and the guards disperse outside the palace to search for Jean.
Sam Bo successfully leads Jean outside of the palace when the latter disguises himself as Prince Lee Rim. Hae Ryung meets with him in the village as he changes his clothes to eventually board a ship and leave the country. She urges him to hurry but when he doesn’t respond, she investigates the room and finds the robe he wore as a disguise neatly folded on the floor along with a letter. Jean writes that he is not really a merchant and that his true intentions for setting foot in Joseon was to find his long lost brother. He thanks them for everything and is glad that they made him feel welcome, a sentiment that his brother must have felt for staying there prior as well.
Jean finally meets with Mo Hwa as she gets teary eyed seeing him. She says that he resembles his brother a lot (Dr. Dominique) as he was one of the doctors who taught her about Western medicine. She takes him to an open field and Jean understands that he couldn’t have been permitted a proper burial because he was regarded as a criminal. He prays for his brother’s soul to rest in peace.
An announcement has been made all over Hanyang that if no one is able to bring Jean into custody, all the 73 people who were caught as Catholics inside the palace will be executed. The Crown Prince cannot believe that such an order was made though it is revealed that the Second State Councilor had a hand in this. Prince Lee Rim scrambles to find his royal robe to profess to his father that he is the one who hid Jean. He tells Sam Bo and Hae Ryung that he won’t get them into trouble and that they were just following his orders. Despite Sam Bo’s insistence that he won’t let the Prince go, the latter cannot stand by and let innocent people die. I think Hae Ryung was conflicted up to this point on whether or not to let him go, but him wanting to be brave not just for other people, but for himself, was enough to convince her to say that she would accompany him to see the King.
Prince Lee Rim looks nervous but remains undeterred from his mission to talk to the King. He gets down on his knees and confesses that he was the one who helped Jean in and out of the palace. In his usual enraged mode, the King berates him saying that Westerners are barbarians and that he is not fit to be a Prince. He commands to have all the Catholics beheaded and warns him that if Prince Lee Rim brings up the topic again, he’ll also kill everyone who knew about his deed starting with Hae Ryung. Yikes! Despite ordering his eunuch to execute his wish, the latter informs him that the Crown Prince has already issued an acquittal of all the Catholics.
A confrontation is imminent as the King storms off to see his other son now. The Crown Prince only says that he thinks the King’s decision was a mistake and before the latter can do anything else, the Queen Dowager barges inside the room to intervene. The King is unable to do anything else as he angrily tells his son that he’ll let this one incident slide and walks away. Sa Hui is inside the room when all of this happens and she chooses to stay with the Crown Prince just like last time when he told her not to leave him.
The controversial decision made by the Crown Prince is talked about by the historians in the office. They wonder why he suddenly freed the Catholics because even if they are not executed, believing in a different religion is still considered a crime. Officer Min grows highly suspicious that Officer Seong had a hand in what happened and goes to find him when A Ran admits that the latter asked to speak with the Crown Prince first before Sa Hui goes to do her job. Officer Min confronts him about it and without lying, Officer Seong discloses that if the Crown Prince doesn’t release the Catholics, he’ll show proof that Prince Lee Rim helped Jean all the way. Officer Min is furious for what he has done and he cannot believe that Officer Seong does not regret what he did. He asks to be punished and declares that he’ll face the consequences of what he’s done.
Sa Hui is called by the Second State Councilor to his house. He tells Sa Hui that he wants her to steal Hae Ryung’s sachaek to read about what happened between the King and Prince Lee Rim’s meeting. Uh oh, I know she’s a spy for him but revealing what someone else wrote is another thing altogether. I’ve grown to like Sa Hui but she’ll have to face her just dues when it is revealed (and it will) that she has disgraced the title of being a historian.
No unlawful deed, well at least for the King, goes unpunished as Sam Bo bears urgent news to Prince Lee Rim. He panics and tells the Prince that he is being set up for marriage, just in time for Hae Ryung to hear as well.
I thought that Jean would be a catalyst for Mo Hwa and the others to mobilize and prepare for a fight against the King/Second State Councilor. I’m a bit disappointed to know that he was in Joseon only to visit his brother, although the repercussions of his visit will resonate moving forward with our characters. Getting married to someone you don’t love is although normal and a duty for being royalty, it’s a punishment nonetheless to Prince Lee Rim who is known to be a hopeless romantic and still has his freedom. I have a hunch it’s Sa Hui who the King will set up Prince Lee Rim with… let’s see how they’ll get out of trouble this time around.
It’s hard to remain impartial on a subject that is close to your heart, but I understand that Officer Min is a stickler for the rules he believes in. A historian only records events, whether you agree with it or not, to preserve what really happened. It’d be interesting to see his reaction though if he checked Hae Ryung’s records and read about Prince Lee Rim helping Jean. He most probably will keep it a secret but it’s this kind of situation will make you question your principles…no matter how much you want to maintain it.