Open Thread: Queen In-hyun’s Man Episodes 7 & 8

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I just had to have this iconic moment headline our post today – squee!! 😍

SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:

ZERO SPOILER POLICY

1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. 

ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

SPOILER ZONE

2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 7

It’s really holding true for me, that OTP scenes in 2012 feel magical and squee-worthy, and have my full attention, while the Joseon scenes start to lose me.

I’m starting to get the idea that watching the Joseon scenes are like.. necessary homework that I need to get done, and for that diligence, I will be rewarded with more 2012 cuteness. 😅

For this reason, I find myself paying less attention during the Joseon scenes.. whoops.

I honestly feel bad for the cast and crew involved in the Joseon scenes, because they must have worked very hard to put all those scenes together.

And yet, here I am, chomping at the bit for all the Joseon scenes to hurry up and be done with, so that Boong Do can skip over to 2012, to see Hee Jin. 🤪

Which basically means that I found myself in that “hurry up and finish” limbo for a good chunk of this episode, since we spend most of our screen time in our Joseon timeline.

On the upside, it’s not hard to get the gist of what happens in the Joseon timeline.

Boong Do shocks Lord Min Am with his magical teleporting skills, first teleporting from Jeju Island to the capital, and then teleporting right out of his study, when he should’ve been hiding behind the wall.

And in his wake, Boong Do gets Lord Min Am in royal trouble like he deserves, for plotting to kill the exiled Queen In-hyun, AND he gets Queen In-hyun reinstated.

I do like the way Show plays with history, and gives us this tongue-in-cheek explanation for Queen In-hyun’s reinstatement, which occurred in 1694. I do generally enjoy this kind of playfulness with history, in my dramas.

In the 2012 timeline, I continue to find Hee Jin very endearing.

She’s so pure, in the way she extends herself for Boong Do’s sake, without caring about what might happen, as a consequence of her bluff.

She’s so focused on the fact that Boong Do’s got somewhere to be urgently, and that it’s matter of life and death, that she pays absolutely no heed to the needs of her own situation.

Get Boong Do to come back to the airport to have a conversation with Dong Min, so that they can contain the scandal? Forget about it. She’d rather pretend that she never heard Dong Min’s manager yelling for her and Boong Do to stop for a bit.

All she cares about is that Boong Do leave safely – and stay safe. The way she tells him not to die again, is so guileless and earnest, I can help but love her.

And then the way she calls Dong Min, to basically (a) tell him to mind his own business and (b) gloat over the fact that her boyfriend is in a different league than he is, is so cheeky and childlike.

She really is quite innocent that way, in that it doesn’t really register in her mind, that this scandal might blow up into something bigger, and thereby cause damage to her reputation and career.

And, she gets so much relish from flummoxing Dong Min in that phone call too, heh.

Plus, how cute is she, that she gets so much pleasure from seeing that her picture with Boong Do came out nicely, in the news article? 😁

At the same time, I can’t say that I blame Soo Kyung for feeling frustrated. From her point of view, this is a manager’s nightmare. 😅

On that note, I thought I’d state for the record that I feel quite indifferent towards Soo Kyung. As in, I might not love her, but I really don’t dislike her, either.

I know that some of you (hi, Ele!) find Soo Kyung unlikable &/or annoying, but with my retro rom-com lens on, I find Soo Kyung pretty harmless.

In fact, I sometimes find her low-key amusing, which I do think is where Show is pitching her, in general. I feel like she’s meant to be Hee Jin’s voice of reason (kinda like where our rational minds might be coming from, if we weren’t so invested in our OTP), while also bringing some comedy, at the same time.

Whether you actually find the intended comedy funny, though, depends on how well you’ve got your retro rom-com lens on, and also, on your personal sense of humor, I think. I mostly find it low-key amusing, at least 50% of the time.

As we get to the tail end of our episode, it becomes clearer, that Hee Jin’s boyfriend stunt is leaving more problems in its wake than Hee Jin had anticipated.

Like, how is she to keep up this boyfriend facade, if Boong Do isn’t even in 2012, right? She can’t call him like Soo Kyung asks her to, because aside from the excuses that she gives, that he doesn’t have a phone, or an email address, he’s literally in a different timeline.

And yet, Hee Jin pushes on, and tries her best to cover for him.

I find her so good-natured, really.

There isn’t once that we see her get annoyed with Boong Do for appearing in her life, thus leading to this unfortunate situation where her drama is in danger of going up in PR flames, thanks to all kinds of baseless rumors about Dong Min and her boyfriend.

I’d kind of anticipated where we’d end the episode, with Boong Do showing up at the restaurant, because:

(a) we see that Soo Kyung had picked up that call from Boong Do (which isn’t hard to guess, since we see Boong Do tell Yun Wol that he has somewhere to be, and a benefactor to thank), and

(b) it’s about time Boong Do makes another appearance in 2012, since that’s what we’re all here for! 😅

Ahhh! There’s that twinkle in Boong Do’s eyes, as he looks at Hee Jin, and I’m grinning like a goof, all over again. 🤩

I am suitably chomping at the bit, to see Boong Do play the part of a good lover, just as Soo Kyung has requested, and which he’s now promising to do his best to do.

Yes, Boong Do-sshi. Go ahead and be a good lover-boyfriend. I can’t wait to see how you do. 😁😍

Episode 8

Oh my. This worked out to be quite the rollercoaster of an episode.

We get so much squee and swoon, which, YES PLEASE 😍, but also, by the end, it feels like we just might have lost, well, everything, in terms of our OTP ship. Ack. My poor heart! 🤪

First of all, though, how interesting, that when Boong Do’s actions result in an actual change in history, Hee Jin actually remembers what the previous events had been, before the change.

Is it because she was involved in the changing of the events, since she’d helped Boong Do with the historical records?

To be clear, only a small corner of my brain is asking the question, and the rest of my brain is saying that Show’s unlikely to answer this question, since the mechanics of time travel and the butterfly effect that comes from that, doesn’t really seem to be Show’s main concern.

Show’s main concern – and mine too! – is the budding relationship between Boong Do and Hee Jin, and this episode, we get some very lovely developments on that front, which made me a very happy camper indeed.

After the Scandal-Fixing Lunch Meeting, I’m quite taken by the fact that Hee Jin is still so protective of Boong Do, making sure to tell him to leave, and not let Soo Kyung keep him.

Even though Soo Kyung is Hee Jin’s manager and close friend, it’s clear that Hee Jin’s more concerned for Boong Do than for Soo Kyung, heh.

How very sweet of Boong Do, to think of giving Hee Jin a gift, for helping to save his life.

I mean, the fact that he sells a family heirloom – that precious sword which he’d inherited from his father – in order to get money to buy Hee Jin something that she really, really needs, is so swoony.

He’s literally saying that she means more to him than that sword, which had been a gift bestowed on his father, by the king, isn’t he?

Well ok, he’s also saying that that’s how much gratitude he feels towards her, for helping to save his life. But still. It’s such a big gesture, and I’m moved on Hee Jin’s behalf.

And how cute, that he specifically asks Soo Kyung to also teach him how to give her that gift, in a corny and romantic way, because Hee Jin had asked him to do more of the corny and romantic stuff, while playing the good lover-boyfriend.

On a side note, iQIYI’s subs say “bring the heat” but I tend to think that the subs from OG fansubbing supergroup WITH (Written In the Heavens), which I have a copy of, probably captures the essence of the phrase better, in translating it as “corny.”

My goodness, the way Boong Do drives that car over to Hee Jin, to present her with the key, is so stoically robotic and systematic! He must have driven Soo Kyung nuts while getting her to coach him through this – with multiple rounds of practice too, I bet. 😁

It’s super endearing that he’s gone to so much trouble, and what’s even more endearing, is how his gaze has a touch of plaintive about it, as he asks Hee Jin if she doesn’t like the corny romantic thing, because Soo Kyung had been sure that she would love it. Ahh, cute. 😍

Their playful banter around whether he’s a thief, and whether she’s cute in her brazenness, is uber adorable, and Hee Jin’s clumsy delight as she gets into the car for a spin, while Boong Do’s eyes twinkle in response, is just the cutest thing ever.

Ahh, but Hee Jin’s delight soon turns to a spot of pathos, as she realizes that it’s impossible for her to have a future with this man, whom she likes so much, because he’s not from her time.

Gah. That is a punch to the gut, particularly since they really are perfect together. Her earnest alternative reality, that he must be a con-artist, sounds so forlorn, in context. Aw. Poor Hee Jin.

When she asks Boong Do if he isn’t a con-artist, I feel like he answers that he is, because he wants to help Hee Jin extend that fantasy, that he’s from her time, even if it’s just for a little bit. Aw. 🥺

I like how Hee Jin tells Boong Do to get in the car, and then proceeds to teach him that cars, besides being good for speed, are also good for kisses, when they’re stationary. Ahahaha. That’s so cute.

But what’s swoony, is when Boong Do’s expression turns serious, and he just.. contemplates her for a long moment, before he pulls her back towards him, so that he can kiss her.

Guh. He’s so tender and gentle, as he moves in to place his lips on hers, and it feels so gentlemanly of him, to pull back after a quick bit, like he’s checking to see if she objects to this in any way.

And then when he is satisfied that she’s not objecting, he moves back in, to kiss her properly. Aaaaeeee!!! Swoon. It’s all so very tender, and unhurried, and tinged with wonder, and I flail. ❤️

Plus, how cute is it, when they’re interrupted by the sound of someone shouting for Hee Jin to return to the set, the first words out of Boong Do’s mouth, are that it was a good move to sell that sword, after all. Ahahaha. SHO CUTE. 😂

And, what a lovely surprise, that when Hee Jin asks Boong Do what he’ll do next, and starts to ask if he’s going to get married once his life in Joseon is back to normal, Boong Do asks to meet Hee Jin in a month. Eee! He plans to come back!

And then when Hee Jin ventures that he doesn’t have any more reason to come back, HE SAYS THAT HIS LOVER IS HERE, SO WHY WOULDN’T HE HAVE A REASON TO COME BACK?

OMGGG. I flail. This is so matter-of-fact and unexpected! 😍 How fantastic, that he’s taking his promise to be a good lover-boyfriend so absolutely seriously.

Also fantastic, is the way he’s taking Hee Jin’s earlier question – about what the end result would be, if the cause if them becoming lovers? – absolutely seriously too.

He’s so serious about this, that he’ll come look for Hee Jin, until he finds the answer to this question.

AND HE THINKS TO ASK FOR HER AGREEMENT AND PERMISSION TOO?

Guh. I remember all over again why I’d been so smitten with Boong Do, when I’d first watched this show. Can he be any more perfect?? 🤩

There’s some suspension of disbelief required around Boong Do’s return to Joseon, like, how did he get from the mainland to Jeju Island? Did he take a flight on his own, still with the borrowed ID? And also, how did his topknot come back, since he’d chopped off his hair in 2012? Did it.. regenerate because it was back on Joseon soil?

But.. y’know, like I said, Show doesn’t really expect us to sweat these details, because it’s not sweating these details too, so I’m just gonna roll with it.

What’s of greatest concern to me right now, is that, 1, Boong Do’s lost his memories of Hee Jin, and 2, his magical talisman is not only not with him, it’s been sliced into two.

GAH. That’s objectively terrible. How will Boong Do get his memories back? And how will he get back to Hee Jin, with things like this? 🥺🙈

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MC
MC
6 days ago

Ah what a cute show!! This is just sweetness. I love KFG’s frankness in admitting she prefers the 2012 timeline coz we get to squee when our couple is on screen! Coz I feel likewise… haha. I did really enjoy the way Boo Dong manages to bring down the evil Minister and restore the queen to the throne – so smart of him!

Plus, I was so surprised the show went there so quickly and resolved such a major point early in the show, it made me wonder what’s next? Then I saw the end of ep 8 and – nooooo! How is Boo Dong going to get back to 2012 (or protect himself for that matter?) Though this is a rare show where the amnesia trope works organically. Anyhow I do feel assured that this show knows where it’s going though. I look forward to more!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
8 days ago

Fangurl – super review and yes, I agree, we can’t help but love Yoo In Na! She is so darn adorable. As for the top knot – yes, that is a question I had too. Maybe it was because everything got all mixed up after the protection charm got slashed so it reappeared?

That look in the taxi at the airport was golden. The cuteness at the restaurant!

Props to the set designer for two special rooms: first, that gorgeous screen that was behind the queen and second, the incredible calligraphy panels behind Right State Counselor Min Am.

The original price for that 2012 Audi Q5 was $52,000, so it looks like he did get swindled by the antique dealer. However, we did not get ripped off because we got one of the cutest ever scenes in KDrama history! I love how happy she is the next day! Yes, orange is her best color.

Episode 8 cliffhanger – how can I not keep going? It is almost impossible! I LOVE this drama! 💖💖💖💖💖💖

Ele Nash
8 days ago

Ach, I still am totally not digging The Manager 😂 Sorry, kfangurl. She totally sucks as a friend 😟 It took Boong Do to put her in her place – that it’s not that Hee-jin has “no pride”, it’s that’s she’s “a nice person” and I entirely love him for saying that and really think her expression after he says it (all sneery) proves she is literally a horrible friend to Hee-jin. Rant over 😅

My subs translated his acts as “cheesy” which I found pretty funny. Corny, cheesy, same thing I guess. But who doesn’t love a bit of naff?!

Gahhhhhhh, the car scene!!! Yes, kfangurl, placing it nicely as your header picture 😍 So swoony. It sizzled with sensitivity and grrrrr 🥰

As this my first time watching, I get what you mean about wanting to get back to 2012 so our OTP can be on screen together but, like Sean, I haven’t minded the Joseon scenes as they feel quite fleeting and, well, a little bit soap opera. And then Sean mentioned amnesia and I’m like, yeah, this whole show is soap opera!!!

I am very upset about the amnesia, though! Oh no! 😱

eda harris
eda harris
7 days ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

ele,
i am watching it for the 3d time and it didn’t loose it’s wonderful scent and charm and freshness.
actually, i do not remember another drama that was so universally liked by the group, thinking of it as a “desert, chocolate… or something very tasty, tasteful, charming…o, and where do i find more words to describe this, this, this….vacation from all other dramas.

Ele Nash
6 days ago
Reply to  eda harris

It is totally delicious and moreish 😋

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
9 days ago

Here we are at the halfway point and as I rewatched these two episodes I kept thinking: “show is such an effortless watch.” In essence, it rolls around one’s tongue and dissolves in one’s mouth like a favourite chocolate.

Of course, my biggest surprise with these episodes was how much I had forgotten: the car, much of the Joseon moments, the positive impression that Hee Jin is starting to leave on the director.

I did ponder those points you raised as I made my way through my watch. With the Joseon moments, I am enjoying these. I don’t mind waiting for when our very cute pair reunite in the present. As for the Butterfly Effect, I am happy that this has been debunked and so the changing of history without a future impact is fine by me.

In terms of the director (Jang Won Young) in the show, I do remember how much I enjoyed his part. It is such a departure from the unpleasant roles he has played in more recent years. Although it looks like he might be playing a more comedic role in The Killer’s Shopping List, which I have just started.

Then we have the delightful Kim Won Hae as the insipid, pallid Eunuch Hong. Eom Hyo Seop is doing what he does best – the treacherous minister – Min Am.

And what is a classic kdrama without a bit of amnesia thrown in!

All in all, I am looking forward to the remaining chocolates in the box that is packaged up in a very nice bow of lovey doveyness 💝💝💝

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
8 days ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Sean – you know me – I LOVE 💖💖💖 Kim Won Hae.

Eom Hyo Seop is dastardly evil in this. Those side eyes! As we say here at home – he is very good at giving the Malocchio (mal=bad occhio=eye) or the evil eye. We call it the “maloik”.

I had my eye on The Killer’s Shopping List and may take a peek at it soon.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 days ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Phl – Eom Hyo Seop has such a vast body of work, it’s hard to imagine who could play such roles down the track using the maloik. I did think his character was given a raw deal in All of Us Are Dead, though 😂