It’s the episode of clashes, but not between Yoon Kang and Won Shin as you’d expect. The clashes between the side characters add to the tension, and allow us to see more of each actors’ skills. A spark is all that’s needed to really set off these characters.
Soo In is dragged away to court just in time to suit VP Kim’s purposes, who’s been having difficulty trying to find dirt on Interpreter Jung to discredit him–and thus discredit the Emperor’s judgment and validity of the executive department. When he hears that Interpreter Jung’s daughter has just been arrested in connection to Lord Song’s death, he’s practically giddy with excitement.
The gunman technician’s already been tortured and testified that he saw Soo In taking gunpowder from the warehouse with Mr. Hanjo. He had thought Soo In was stealing but Mr. Hanjo had let her so that she could make the smoke bomb. Soo In corroborates his testimony and adds that she took the gunpowder for herself, and that Mr. Hanjo had nothing to do with it.
At that point VP Kim takes over on the interrogation. Oh boy… Jung Hoon figures out that Soo In most likely got arrested in connection with Lord Song’s death, and Sang Chu adds that he can hear her scream from the torture. That doesn’t make the already-worried Yoon Kang feel any better.
VP Kim uses torture to get the “truth” out of Soo In, which basically means that he forces her to confess to the story that he wants to believe. Soo In “confesses” that she took the gunpowder to experiment with explosions because she was a temporary gunpowder technician, and wanted to practice. But because she did it in the woods and covered up the remains with dirt there were no witnesses to prove what she did. Plus the rain the night before removed all traces of her experiment. It’s practically a slap to VP Kim’s face that he has nothing substantial to indict her for the death of Lord Song, which makes him even more angry. VP Kim wants her to say that she made the explosive so that her father could have Lord Song killed. He then has her father arrested and dragged in front of him for torture and questioning.
Meanwhile Yoon Kang hurries to court so that he can find a way to save Soo In, when he then bumps into Hye Won and Won Shin. He tries to hurry off without telling them where he’s going, but Jung Hoon–that big mouth–outs that he’s going to the Court of Justice. Turns out they’re heading there too as witnesses (because Soo In had said she was acting as their technician).
By now it’s both Interpreter Jung and Soo In being interrogated, and Jung can see right through VP Kim’s machinations to frame him so that he can get rid of the executive division. VP Kim pretends to be outraged at the accusations and goes on to torture Soo In to make Jung “confess”. Nothing hurts more than seeing your own precious daughter get tortured. Yoon Kang, Hye Won, and Won Shin walk in just in time to witness this, which makes everyone incredibly uncomfortable.
Yoon Kang steps forward to prove Soo In’s innocence. As a Japanese man he’s not supposed to be stepping foot in court because the laws only protect him if he is at the port, so he’s taking a big risk in intervening on a murder case. Yoon Kang claims that he ordered Soo In to get the gunpowder and bring it to him, with which he then dispensed it at his own discretion. He wants Soo In and Interpreter Jung released immediately, but VP Kim won’t do it. Soo In’s testimony is different from his, so why should he let her go? He’s going to have to question her even more.
It’s frustrating that VP Kim won’t even accept another testimony that won’t fit the story in his head, but it’s even more frustrating to see Soo In refuse to follow Yoon Kang’s story so that she can protect him. Yoon Kang ends up getting forcibly dragged away by the guards while he continues claiming Soo In’s innocence. The way he insists on her innocence is suspicious to Won Shin, who wonders why he’s defending her so much. But everyone else is too preoccupied with Soo In getting tortured again that they don’t really pay attention to Yoon Kang’s protestations.
Ho Kyung, who witnessed Interpreter Jung getting arrested and hears of Soo In’s trial, begs another court official to help save her and stop the trial. This official, Min Young Ik, is uncertain he can intervene because even though VP Kim is trying to make Interpreter Jung the villain for his own purposes, it’s still in the context of a murder investigation. He does promise to go see the matter for himself, and then will report to the king.
They enter to find VP Kim threatening to brand Soo In with a hot poker. Ho Kyung interrupts them by reminding the VP to find evidence instead of relying solely on confessions, as that is part of Joseon law. Of course this pisses his father off even more, and after Ho Kyung is also dragged out, VP Kim finds him later to yell at him and slap him. How dare his illegitimate son tell him what to do! He could lock him up and even have him killed for what he did. Ho Kyung doesn’t care. VP Kim can threaten and do anything he wants as long as it means Soo In and Interpreter Jung can go free.
That evening Sang Chu tries to convince Yoon Kang not to dress up in his vigilante outfit and save Soo In. It is far too risky to go alone with one gun against all those guards. However Yoon Kang doesn’t want to not do anything. Fortunately their argument is halted by the arrival of Ho Kyung. He had heard that Soo In had been stealing the gunpowder for him and was hoping Yoon Kang could do something about it. The moment they meet Ho Kyung thinks he’s looking at a ghost, but Yoon Kang passes himself off as Hanjo once again to this old acquaintance.
Yoon Kang says he already did go to see the court but they had disregarded his testimony. Ho Kyung feels really guilty that his father is the one who denied him, but at least he has a solution. He brings Yoon Kang to meet Min Young Ik so that there is one more person whose heard his testimony and can report to the king. In exchange, Yoon Kang wants to meet Soo In.
Soo In is locked up in a jail cell apart from her father. When she sees Yoon Kang she thinks it’s just a vision; But no, he’s really there. Once again Yoon Kang lets his emotions get in the way, being far more overly concerned for her well-being than one would expect from a foreign merchant. It can be confusing because she knows who he is, but he does not know she knows. He scolds her for being stubborn and not going along with his story. She’s touched that he’s so worried about her, knowing who he really is, but Yoon Kang says he’s only worried because it’s really his fault she’s going through all this. He swears that he’ll get her out, and then Moon Young Ik drags him away before they will get caught.
The following day Interpreter Jung and Soo In are led out once again, those poor tired souls, for another day of questioning and torture. VP Kim and his cronies are practically giddy with glee, and they torture Soo In first to make her father break. And break he does. He finally agrees to confess to whatever VP Kim wants him to say. *Sniff… The bond of a father and daughter…
Just before Interpreter Jung can say anything, His Majesty arrives to interrupt. He’s absolutely outraged at VP Kim’s behavior, and tells the man to shut up (HAH) and to stop spewing lies. How does he know that VP Kim is spinning a tall tale? Because he heard Mr. Hanjo’s testimony. He’s angry that VP Kim disregarded another man’s testimony just because it wouldn’t have allowed him to frame Interpreter Jung. I love this. The emperor will no longer be fooled and sees VP Kim for the conniving clown he is. He has the VP arrested (sadly in front of Ho Kyung’s eyes as well), and releases Soo In and Interpreter Jung. Those two are now indebted to this Mr. Hanjo, while he is incredibly sorry of the suffering they had to go through.
Leader Kim is not happy. His number one dog is now going to be exiled and no one else did anything about it because they were too cowardly to stand up against the emperor. They’re also quivering in fear in front of Leader Kim, begging for his forgiveness. Leader Kim now orders Won Shin to get rid of Interpreter Jung, as he can’t have his enemy live any longer. In return, Won Shin hopes that Leader Kim could consolidate all the merchants into one group so that they’d all be under his control. Hah, as if Leader Kim would do that for him. He accuses Won Shin of caring only for his business and not for the leader’s goals. Won Shin is his ‘hunting dog’, his slave, and his lackey. If Won Shin doesn’t do as he says he will become a slave on the run again, and so will his daughter.
I feel like a pot will boil over soon because of how Leader Kim mistreats everyone to make sure they do what he wants. Villains can be so egocentric. They don’t realize that their “loyal dogs” are going to bite them in the ass one day, and Won Shin is going to find a way to become more powerful. Soon in the new world, money will equal power.
The following day, after all the drama, Sang Chu reports that there’s nothing useful in the document about Won Shin so Yoon Kang is going to have to visit him. But the merchant is currently visiting Interpreter Jung, trying to give him ‘Get Well Soon’ gifts and find out when he’ll be going back to work.
Hye Won also visits Soo In, who is feeling much better but still weak. But she’s not too weak to express her disappointment in Hye Won for not telling her about Yeon Ha. Just as Hye Won predicted, this friendship might now be broken.
Yoon Kang also arrives to visit Soo In to check how she’s doing, and she gets out of her bed and dressed to see him. Aww. Hye Won recognizes that she’ll intrude on their chit chat and makes her leave. He wants to know why she lied about what she did with the explosive. She slyly points out that an explosive of the same makeup was used in Lord Song’s house, and Yoon Kang dismisses it as a coincidence. Heh, it’s like they both know the other knows the truth, but just won’t admit to it. Soo In adds that he saved her life in front of her (failed) test explosive, and because of it she wanted to save him from danger at least once. Now she’s repaid her debt.
Three days later, Interpreter Jung is feeling healthy enough to go to work. Moon Il Do already suspects that someone may be after him and has his officers, including Jung Hoon, keep an eye out for any gunmen and on Interpreter Jung.
Meanwhile Yoon Kang meets with Won Shin again, who’s convinced for now that he’s Hanjo and tries to persuade him to work with him again. He needs a deal with Yamamoto to fulfill his plans for trade domination. He deeply apologizes for his mistaken accusations and asks for forgiveness, but Yoon Kang is unconvinced. If Won Shin got down on his knees though…
And so Won Shin gets on his knees. And then Hye Won walks in and sees her father on his knees. And then Yoon Kang turns around to see Hye Won behind him. He did not mean for her to see that.
Yoon Kang returns home to see Soo In in front of his house. She wants to apologize again for mistaking him as Yoon Kang. She didn’t mean to use the topic of Yeon Ha to make him react, even though she just found out where she was. It’s funny seeing her tell Yoon Kang about it because he definitely knows where Yeon Ha is, and he is kind of touched by how Soo In still thinks of his sister. She also feels that Yoon Kang is still alive out there which makes her feel better, and it’s really sweet how she’s telling him that she knows and cares, and yet he can’t admit or accept those feelings as Mr. Hanjo just yet.
She tells him that she wants more tea. When he gets up to leave she takes out the compass that she took from his room, and cries.
Oh I hope he comes back in time to see that.
The clashes in this drama were amazing, mainly the one between VP Kim and Gojong, and then also the one between Leader Kim and Won Shin. The scene between Gojong and VP Kim was great for the intensity and conviction they brought to the table. Gojong did not even hesitate to take the man down a few notches, and even dismiss him. It made me wonder just how much evidence he had against VP Kim because even though the allegations are true, he couldn’t have just done it based on gut or observation. (Or he could, because he’s the emperor.) He had to have something that just proved VP Kim’s machinations against Interpreter Jung. The only thing that bothered me is that Ahn Suk Hwan has the tendency to overact, which kind of ruined the moment when he dramatically looked at his son as he was being taken away. I just didn’t need that.
As for Won Shin and Leader Kim, it was amazing. It just makes Won Shin an even more complex villain because he’s going to need Hanjo/Yoon Kang for his own road to power, but it also means he can’t kill his enemy just yet. I hope he forms a deal and starts their working relationship before Leader Kim orders him to kill Yoon Kang, because then that just makes things more dicey. Which would be more important: to continue working with Yamamoto and get out of his servile relationship with Leader Kim, and thus overthrow that insane master? Or to kill the man that is the son of Leader Kim’s enemy?