Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! What a rollercoaster pair of episodes this turned out to be – and how precious is the sight of these two, just being together like this? ❤️ ALSO. Can you believe we’ve only got one more week of this show? 🥲
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! 😉
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! ❤️
This episode, it feels like Yoon Wol’s dire warning about misuse of the talisman bringing about disaster comes true, but.. I tend to think that it’s less about Boong Do wanting to fulfill his selfish desires, and more about Lord Min Am being quite clever, in scheming against Boong Do.
I mean, when I think about it, that’s what the trouble boils down to, right?
It’s all because Lord Min Am starts to understand the mechanics of the talisman, and hatches a plan to injure Boong Do in broad daylight (which incapacitates him in 2012), that the historical records show that everything goes awry.
If Lord Min Am hadn’t figured out how the talisman works, this wouldn’t have happened.
Of course, it’s arguable, that if Boong Do hadn’t been hopping over to 2012 so often, to see Hee Jin, then perhaps Lord Min Am wouldn’t have had the opportunity to figure things out. Hrm. That kinda makes sense too.
I suppose, as with most things, it’s a combination of factors, rather than just one thing.
The important thing is, Boong Do is placed in a really difficult position, as a result of Lord Min Am’s scheme.
And, by extension, that puts our OTP loveline in what feels like a precarious situation as well, boo.
I would like to say, though, that Boong Do is grace under fire, as always.
For example, when Yoon Wol first tells him about how his selfish desires would cause the talisman to bring about great misfortune, he remains so calm.
The way he is able to empathize with Yoon Wol’s upset state, then quickly break down what she says, and tells her – gently! – that he needs to process everything she’s just said, and to please explain what she means when she says the talisman will become a curse, is so appealing to me.
No flying into a panic; just calm analysis and gentle listening. Gosh, this is one of my favorite things about Boong Do.
We see it again, at the end of the episode, when Hee Jin gets upset and tells him not to go back to his Joseon timeline.
Again, I love how he doesn’t get all panicky or upset, especially when she claims that she’d burned the talisman.
Instead, he talks to her gently, and explains how he’d made a promise to Queen In-hyun, to protect her with his life, and how, if he doesn’t fix this, he won’t be able to live with himself.
The fact that he manages to remain so calm and empathetic in a literal life and death situation, just impresses me so much, and it makes me want to believe his promise, that he’ll take responsibility for everything, and come back.
I do feel bad for Hee Jin, though.
At the top of the episode, she’s adorably happy about getting things ready for Boong Do to move to 2012, as he’d requested, so much so that it doesn’t even faze her one bit, that she’s having to suffer at work, and has lost all her commercial deals.
And then, without warning, she finds Boong Do in emergency care, having been shot by arrows. Plus, with the updated alarming events reflected in the historical records, what’s a girl to do, really?
I don’t blame her for trying to lie to Boong Do, in a bid to keep him in 2012, and away from possible death, back in the Joseon timeline.
I mean, from her point of view, yes, it sucks that Queen In-hyun got decapitated in a freak twist of history, but if she can keep Boong Do from probable death by preventing him from going back to Joseon, why not, right?
I can understand that her priority is Boong Do’s safety, rather than Queen In-hyun’s reputation.
I’m glad, though, that despite her misgivings, it appears that Hee Jin understands why it’s important to Boong Do, that he return to Joseon and set things right, and why he wouldn’t be able to live with himself otherwise.
It’s just.. scary, for Hee Jin (and for me too!), to let him go like that.
Boong Do’s going to be ok, I hope..? 😬
Omigosh, you guys. WHAT. A. ROLLERCOASTER.
This episode had both my head AND my heart, doing somersaults and all sorts of gymnastics, as I tried to keep track of whether Boong Do was ok (which, really, is the only thing I care about, at this point).
And what a great job Show does of it all, eh? I’m sincerely impressed, as I type this.
When Boong Do first returns to Joseon, I’d had no clue how he planned to set things right again. After all, all fingers are pointing at him, there are witnesses, and the King is royally angry with him, and not about to be easily appeased.
And Show really has us going for a while there, too. Or at least, Show had ME going for a while there, at least.
Because, even though I’ve watched this drama before, that was a looonng time ago, and I had zero recollection of how writer-nim gets Boong Do out of this mess. And, while watching, I couldn’t figure it out, either.
I was as much along for the ride as anyone else, who was watching for the first time.
It was properly nerve-racking to watch, as Boong Do gets arrested and interrogated, and then it was legit horrifying to watch, as the royal guards carry out the King’s order, to shoot Boong Do with arrows.
ESPECIALLY after we hear Boong Do inform Lord Min Am, that the talisman that he’s provided the King, is a fake one.
Like, ACK. How is Boong Do going to survive, right, if the talisman that’s on him is a fake one?
And so, as the story continues to tell of Boong Do’s death, and as Hee Jin finds out about it in 2012 and falls into a dead faint, my brain’s racing in futile circles, wondering how on earth Boong Do could have escaped death, because he just HAD TO, right??
GUH. Like I said, Show really had me going. 😅
And, Hee Jin’s heartbroken sobbing on that hospital bed, all beside herself, was so well done (kudos to Yoo In Na), that I vicariously felt hopeless and heartbroken too, even as my brain insisted (in a pretty small, plaintive voice) that there must be SOME way, for Boong Do to survive this terrible turn of events.
AND THENNNN. Show gives us that “One Month Ago” flashback, and shows us exactly what Boong Do did, in order to have a fighting chance to survive.
And my goodness, the fact that Boong Do literally does risk his life, in order to take responsibility on all fronts, AND survive, does gives me chills.
Because, with this plan, there was always a chance that he wouldn’t make it. And those increased stakes make me kind of breathless, to be honest.
Like, what if Boong Do hadn’t made it, right? Gurgle. What a horrifying thought! 😱
Still, what a shrewd risk Boong Do takes, in having himself brought to the exact spot where he’d end up outside the ER, once the talisman does its teleporting thing. It’s so true, that this is his best chance of surviving those arrow wounds.
Although, by this time, I’m so worried for Boong Do, because he’s suffered a total of 5 arrow wounds, within the space of a few short days.
That can’t be good for his body, particularly since he seems to have a habit of hopping out of his hospital bed and running around, long before his wounds have healed. 😬
However, I do appreciate Boong Do’s sense of responsibility towards the people who work in his household, that he would take care to make sure everyone’s livelihood is taken care of, and no one is left high and dry, after his supposed death.
And, I’m glad that at least Boong Do’s servant Han Dong and Yoon Wol get to know the truth, that Boong Do isn’t dead. I feel that that would provide an important layer of comfort, particularly for Yoon Wol, who’s held such a torch for Boong Do, for so long.
I find it so fitting, really, that when Hee Jin comes upon Boong Do outside her apartment, he’s tearful from the emotion of it all.
It’s no small deal, to leave behind one’s entire life, and Boong Do’s done just that.
In the flurry of all that survival stuff, it might be easy to forget that, but it is a momentous milestone for Boong Do, and one that he shouldn’t attempt to bottle up or sweep under the carpet.
I’m actually really glad that he’s allowing himself to feel all the feelings, and process the emotions. The way he tells Hee Jin that he feels like an orphan, now that he doesn’t have anywhere to return to, is so poignant.
I’m glad that Hee Jin’s right there, to comfort him, and tell him that he’ll always have her by his side.
The way Boong Do draws close to Hee Jin and sinks into her embrace feels so needful, and so comforting.
It feels like such a relief, after everything that he’s been through.
And then, after he assures Hee Jin that everything’s over, we hear his gentle, heartfelt confession:
“There are many words that I don’t understand, and words that I am hearing for the first time. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed.
I love you.”
Melt. Puddle. Swoon.
This all feels so earnest and hard-won. Our OTP is finally together again, in the same space, and in each other’s embrace.
Can they just stay like this for our final two episodes..?