Empress Ki: Eps 23-24

See what you want to see, and believe what you want to believe.

Last week was probably the turning point for us the viewers and also the characters in Empress Ki. So many things happened and we’re left to ponder what would be happening to the characters, especially our tough cookie Seung-nyang. After witnessing a bloody massacre in front of her eyes, what would she do next? Is she going back to Goryeo just like her original plan, or is she going to make a U-turn and avenge her fellow Goryeo maids’ deaths in Yuan? It’s not easy for us the viewers either; I’m sure many of us wish that Seung-nyang won’t have to face any torture in the future. Same goes for Wang Yoo and Ta-hwan, who seem to have problems following after them everywhere they go. The perks of being a nation’s ruler, I’d say…

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Episode 23. Seung-nyang could only scream alone while sustaining the pain of giving birth…and soon, the baby’s crying voice could be heard inside the whole cave. Back in Goryeo, daddy Yoo was suddenly thrown away from the horse that started acting up. He felt that something had happened since no news had been heard from Eunuch Bang, so he decided to send Jeombakyi to Yuan. Eunuch Bang reached the place where Officer Park was stabbed and he was relieved to find out that Officer Park was still breathing although he was unconscious. Seung-nyang held the baby in her arms and saw that he had birthmarks on his right foot: three dots (like stars?), hence she’s going to call him Byul (which means star) before Yoo gave him a proper name. But then, Byung-soo reached the cave, clearly trying to track down Seung-nyang. Her baby started to cry, and Seung-nyang tried to coax him..

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Seung-nyang: I..I..Mom will protect you, so you don’t have to worry..

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The wretched human plague that was Yeom Byung-soo started a mad dog chase, running after Seung-nyang and her baby. She was soon cornered by the Yuan guards and the only escape was the cliff behind her. She tried fighting them off with a tree branch and hit two guards with it, but one of them grabbed the cloth on her back, which held the baby. Gaaahh!! She tried to wrestle it off him but Byung-soo took the crossbow and shot her right at the heart. Darn. She fell down and the guard fell off the cliff together with the baby…

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Byung-soo was so happy with his success of killing Seung-nyang and took a look briefly down the cliff, but Jo-cham told him that they should go back to the palace as soon as possible. He really thought that she had died and left. Someone was there without them knowing..and it was Jeokho! He peered down the cliff and at a second look, he saw that Seung-nyang was actually stuck on a rock instead of falling down the cliff. She’s still alive!!

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The guards went to pick up Lady Park’s corpse and Eunuch Bang overheard the conversation between Byung-soo and Jo-cham: that Seung-nyang was probably dead from the arrow and the fall, plus they needed to report it to the Empress. They even hurt themselves to make it seem that they were hurt from protecting the entourage.

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Ta-hwan was pacing back and forth in his quarters, nervously waiting for any news about Seung-nyang’s escape. Dok-man came to report to him about it, together with Hong-dan. Ta-hwan was surprised to learn that Lady Park was badly injured from the bandits’ attack and had passed away, together with the maids who accompanied her. He only knew that Seung-nyang had run away. Golta informed him that Lady Park’s body had arrived at the palace and he went to see her. Byung-soo was begging for Ta-hwan to kill him for his inability to protect them while before that, he gave a signal to Dangkise to tell him that the mission had been accomplished. Drat. Ta-hwan wanted to join Dangkise to track down the thieves, but knowing that Yeon-chul won’t be too pleased to hear about him leaving the palace, he had to refrain himself from doing so. He approached the cart and took a look at Lady Park’s face…and he started to tear up.

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Ta-hwan: I’m sorry…I’m sorry..I’m sorry..

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Dangkise was going to get rid of the bandits anyway, for the sake of keeping the secret, but Byung-soo took the chance to gloat about him killing Seung-nyang with own hands. Well..Dangkise was mad with the fact that he couldn’t kill her himself but Tapjahae told him that she’s already dead and after all…that’s what their target was.

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Dok-man went to find Seung-nyang per Ta-hwan’s order and luckily, Eunuch Bang happened to be around the place where the massacre happened. He got to know that Seung-nyang was dead, and the attack was ordered by the Empress herself. They met the Empress Dowager and Dok-man was worried that Ta-hwan won’t be able to face it by himself, but Empress Dowager wanted the Emperor to remember this pain forever. I’m so scared for Baby Emperor…Officer Park was still alive, but he won’t be able to live like a proper man anymore…

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Seung-nyang woke up in an abandoned place and Jeokho was also there. He told her that she was lucky to have Court Lady No’s mirror in her clothes since it saved her heart from the arrow. She started searching for her baby but since it fell from the cliff, the baby was probably dead. She refused to accept it just like that and went to the river, but the only thing she saw was the dead guard (with a prayer bead placed on his body), together with the cloth she used to carry the baby on her back earlier. Seung-nyang didn’t believe that her child was dead and she jumped into the frozen river to find him although Jeokho tried to stop her.

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Ta-hwan was still waiting for the news when Dok-man went to meet him. Dok-man looked like he didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth, but he still had to do so. Ta-hwan was taken aback, moreover to hear that she was shot by Byung-soo, fell down the cliff, and couldn’t be found anywhere. He was at loss for words, asking for Dok-man to explain to him while crying his heart out.

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Seung-nyang, holding the cloth like a baby, walked down the road until she reached the abandoned corpses of the palace maids. She ran towards Lady No and closed the lady’s eyes. Jeokho saw that Byung-soo himself killed the maids who tried to run away and Seung-nyang decided to honour them properly by burying them in the graves. Jeokho tried to persuade her into letting him to do it alone, but she insisted on doing it since they died because of her. She dug the graves while Jeokho gathered the rocks before burying the dead maids. Seung-nyang took her baby’s cloth (which was actually her skirt) and covered one of the graves as she recalled both Lady Park and Court Lady No’s last words about her baby. She cried in frustration, wailing in front of the graves as she reminisced about her last moment spent with her child.

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Ta-hwan spent his time drinking and he made a request to Golta: he wanted his eunuch to kill him. He don’t have any reason to live anymore, since the people he cherished had all left him. He wanted to leave the palace that was like a hell for him. He was frustrated that he could neither live nor die, and his heart felt like stopping altogether. He clutched his chest and suddenly, he was growling in pain. Is he getting a heart attack at such a young age?!

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The royal physician examined him and concluded that he won’t be able to speak for a while, probably because of the stress and trauma. Poor Baby Emperor (ㅠㅠ) Yeon-chul dismissed everyone (Golta mouthed ‘Your Imperial Majesty’ before he left) and just like what he did with Ta-hwan’s brother, he sat on the bed..and laughed his heart out. Crazy old man.

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At the temple, Tanashiri was still receiving treatment but the physician knew that there’s no hope left for her to get pregnant. She told Court Lady Seo to find a poor family’s baby to be adopted since it would be impossible for her to go back to the palace and tell everyone the truth. She was praying when she heard a baby crying and it turned out that a nun found the baby in his dead father’s arms (that must be the guard!). Tanashiri was excited to see the baby and wanted to hold it for a longer time. She’s thinking that the Buddha must have heard her prayers and decided to tak the baby away, posing it as her own and ordered her court lady to poison the nuns in the temple to keep it a secret. She’s really crossing the bridge of no return, this girl…and yeah, that baby was Seung-nyang’s child.

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The two wanderers Seung-nyang and Jeokho walked through the forest but he pulled her to hide upon seeing a group in front of them. Jeokho recognized the group as traders that had gone to as far as Iran and their side business was to sell runaway slaves. Suddenly, two men attacked them from behind and they were knocked into unconsciousness. Both of them were brought to the traders, and the leader Heuksoo (cameo by actor Oh Gwang-rok) was sure that they were running away from someone.

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The completely oblivious Yoo was busy burning off the counterfeit money but the news about it had already spread throughout the country, causing problems for the commoners. He was sure that someone was spreading the news…and it was no other than Yeon Bi-soo! She’s back into the game but instead of an ally, she chose to become his rival again..

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Heuksoo and his group went to Yeon-chul’s house, much to Jeokho’s surprise. Dangkise and Byung-soo went to greet him and they proceeded to take a look at the slaves. Both Jeokho and Seung-nyang hid themselves when the two men passed by their cart. Phew! Heuksoo turned out to be a close acquaintance of Yeon-chul and he asked the old man to help him regarding Yuan-Goryeo currency exchange rate (it sounds like that). Yeon-chul agreed to do so since he’s the one holding the power to issue a decree, but he also asked for Heuksoo’s help for something: he’s going to marry off his niece to Wang Yoo. That’s a bad news.

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There were only three nuns in the temple, so it’s easier for Court Lady Seo to poison them. She offered them tea and they drank it without any suspicion. Yeon-hwa was also there and she’s ordered to burn down the temple once the Empress’ entourage left. No one knew that Tanashiri was faking her pregnancy and she had planned it beforehand: hiding the baby (and feeding it with sleeping medicine to prevent him from crying. Urggghhhh) before she ‘gave birth’. Coincidentally, the Empress’ and Heuksoo’s groups crossed path with each other. Seung-nyang’s eyes were full of wrath as she vowed to avenge her dead child. At the same time, although unknown to Seung-nyang, her child was there with the cunning Tanashiri.

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It’s time for the show, a.k.a. Tanashiri’s giving birth to the imperial baby and Yeon-chul went to tell Ta-hwan about it. The poor Emperor was lying on his bed, looking so out of himself. He didn’t even say anything and Yeon-chul just dissed him off, saying that he couldn’t do anything as a husband, and now, a father. Sheeeeessh. When he left, Ta-hwan took out Seung-nyang’s handkerchief from his jacket and he started to recall the moments he spent with her, when he was comforted by her. He couldn’t even say her name properly, only crying alone while clutching the handkerchief.

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The show started: Tanashiri was acting like she’s giving birth with her two supporting ‘actresses’, Court Lady Seo and Yeon-hwa. Her family was waiting outside the door and they looked nervous. Heh. Dok-man didn’t look pleased at all when they all went into the room after the business was done. Yeon-chul was so happy for the newborn son and named him Maha. Tanashiri looked slightly affected when she knew that Ta-hwan wasn’t there to celebrate their new son.

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Back in Goryeo, the exchange rate was becoming a big problem and Yoo thought that he’s finally getting a solution, but Bi-soo could read his mind and she ordered her underling to buy all the Goryeo ginseng. Yoo went back to his office but he’s greeted with grim faces of his men and to his suprise, Eunuch Bang was also there. Eunuch Bang looked so miserable and he couldn’t even tell Yoo the truth about Seung-nyang. Moo-song broke the news to Yoo: Seung-nyang had passed away. He didn’t want to believe it at first but soon, the truth sank in. He got to know that the one responsible for her death was the Empress. Yoo entered the office and he recalled a moment with Seung-nyang.

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She was making her wish under the full moon when Yoo approached her and hugged her from the back, asking what did she wish for. Seung-nyang was flustered at first but she still responded to him: she wanted every single day without him to pass by quickly and the rest, she would tell him when he came back. He told her his wish: to live with her forever, to die on the same day as her, and to stay beside her even after their deaths. Seung-nyang admitted that she wished for the same thing: dead or alive, she would stay beside Yoo. He hugged her close as they looked at the moon together.

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In the present, Yoo screamed in agony, mourning for his Seung-nyang…

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Heuksoo and his group were back at their headquarters and he’s putting a price for Jeokho. Seung-nyang refused to be treated like the people he caught since she didn’t do anything wrong, but Heuksoo, retorted, saying that her being from Goryeo and alive was a crime from the start. She was soon dragged away but Heuksoo didn’t put any price for her, thinking that Seung-nyang would be valuable if she met a good owner.

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Seung-nyang was locked together with the other captives and she was about to sleep when she realized that the mirror was inside her bundle of clothes. She took it out and saw a piece of cloth coming out from the crack. Seung-nyang immediately pulled out a compartment from the mirror and revealed a white cloth that covered a paper….

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…and it was the Blood Letter that everyone was looking for.

*

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Episode 24. Jeokho suddenly woke up, asking why Seung-nyang was still awake. She showed him the paper…and he confirmed that it was the real blood letter. Dun dun dun! Back at Yuan palace, Tanashiri tried to convince Ta-hwan into hugging ‘their son’ (the baby has Ta-hwan’s eyes, she said *rolls eyes*) but he pushed her away. She almost tripped along with the baby and remarked that he must had gone crazy instead of unable to speak. Blergh. Tanashiri challenged Ta-hwan to stay alive, with no one beside him. After she left, Golta tried to calm him down since Ta-hwan looked like he could collapse at any moment. *sobs*

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Heuksoo went to meet Baek Ahn at the Yoyang province as he conveyed Yeon-chul’s letter together with his gifts (of ruby and emerald stones). Knowing that the man had ties with Yeon-chul, Taltal knew that they should be careful around him. Meanwhile, Seung-nyang and Jeokho realized that they should meet new owners rather than staying with Heuksoo.

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The Goryeo currency value kept going down, much to the people’s disappointment and Bi-soo was glad to witness the reaction. However, she got to know that Yoo was also at the courtesan’s house where she was staying. He wasn’t there because he found out about her, but he’s busy chasing away his sadness using the drinks. Yoo kept thinking about Seung-nyang, although he had received the proposal to marry Yeon-chul’s niece *shudder* He soon passed out and Bi-soo entered the room. She recalled the pact they made and apologized for her actions, since her future was different compared to his. Before she went out, she put a blanket on Yoo…well, was that a simple friendship gesture or different kind of feelings?

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Baek Ahn, together with other provincial governors (or something like that) went to the palace for a banquet to celebrate the newly born Crown Prince Maha. Empress Dowager was anticipating their meeting, because she clearly had planned something! Ta-hwan didn’t look too well and he already disappeared when the food arrived. The representative of the governors suggested that the Emperor took in several Imperial concubines to strengthen the royal family. HA. Tanashiri was so angry and she was naturally against the idea. The candidates were to be sent by each governor but Tanashiri wanted to patronize the selection herself; however, the governors disagreed and suggested that Empress Dowager would be the patron alongside the Emperor. Yeon-chul agreed to the suggestion, something that he would never do unless he had planned something beforehand. He’s actually doing so by pulling Yoo to his side through the marriage with his niece.

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Yoo’s father tried to persuade him into agreeing with the marriage proposal and he finally gave in, but with the condition that he’s to return to Yuan’s capital by himself, leaving her future wife back in Goryeo. Yoo’s underlings wondered why he changed his mind all of a sudden and he didn’t hide his true intention: he’s trying to get closer to Yeon-chul in order to avenge Seung-nyang’s death.

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Seung-nyang, on the other hand, was brought to another place and at the same time, Baek Ahn was also outside. They saw each other and Heuksoo noticed that Baek Ahn was paying attention to the precious girl in his hand. Heuksoo didn’t want to let Seung-nyang go easily (he knew that he would be able to rake in a lot of money) and Baek Ahn was thinking of saving her since he felt indebted to Seung-nyang. Bi-soo went to meet Heuksoo and it turned out to be that both of them were in the counterfeit money plan together. She informed him that she had bought the most sought item that was the Goryeo ginseng while the currency value was declining. He asked her for a favour…

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…and we’re brought to a slave auction site, where Bi-soo and Taltal/Baek Ahn were there as the bidders. Jeokho got sold away with 50 nyang and he told Seung-nyang to stay alive for they might be able to meet each other in the future before he left. Seung-nyang was the next name on the list and her starting price was already high: 200 nyang. Bi-soo kept raising the price and Taltal felt that they’re being tricked into it. It had never crossed my mind that we would see Bi-soo and Taltal bidding for Seung-nyang’s life! Baek Ahn put the highest price – 3000 nyang – and Bi-soo left with a smirk. Seung-nyang was sold to Baek Ahn and she was safe, but I do feel sorry for Baek Ahn to have spent so much money on her.

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Seung-nyang told him that she was captured after witnessing Lady Park’s demise. Ta-hwan already knew about Tanashiri’s involvement in the plot which killed both Lady Park and Seung-nyang, and he decided to choke the sleeping Tanashiri into death. So close…and she suddenly woke up. Sheeesh, she  has the luck of a devil! Tanashiri greeted him happily but he just left her. Argh! Baek Ahn told Seung-nyang about Ta-hwan’s inability to speak and she was shocked to hear about it. But then, they got to know that Dangkise and Tapjahae were coming to see Baek Ahn, so Taltal hid her behind the bookcase.

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The brothers stopped by on their way to Goryeo and Dangkise broke the ‘happy’ news: Wang Yoo was going to be part of their family soon. Seung-nyang heard it all and she started to cry silently. Poor girl. Later, she read one of the letters she’s supposed to convey to a maid’s family, the last letter that would reach the girl’s family. She cried alone, thinking of the dead maids..but after than, Seung-nyang seemed to have arrived at a decision. Baek Ahn and Taltal were discussing about the candidate they were going to send for the concubine selection (and they didn’t have any suitable girl yet) when they heard someone at the door.

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That someone was Seung-nyang, and having heard their conversation, she offered herself to be the candidate. Taltal as against the idea, but Baek Ahn wanted to hear what her plan was. He didn’t think that getting the Emperor’s grace alone would make her powerful enough to knock down Yeon-chul, and Seung-nyang showed them her ultimate victory card that was the Blood Letter. They were surprised to hear about the real letter with the butterfly and her meeting with Jeokho but she could only trust them to put their trust on her. Taltal thought that Seung-nyang was dangerous and with her skills, she could be poisonous to them. But then, Baek Ahn had decided that he would put his bet on Seung-nyang.

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Empress Dowager finally made her return to the palace (Yeay!) and she was greeted by Dok-man. She quickly went to meet Ta-hwan, who was still unable to utter a word properly My heart is breaking along with her to see him like that…be strong,  Baby Emperor! She assured him that she could understand even if he didn’t say anything and hugged him, telling him that they would have a fresh start to fight against Yeon-chul. Yes, yes, yes!

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Taltal didn’t give up and told Seung-nyang to give up on her idea to become the candidate. She wanted to know the reason why he’s so against her, and he told her straight that she could betray them any time since she’s not a part of them. Seung-nyang replied, saying that anyone could be a betrayer and right now, her fear had been buried together with Lady Park and her fellow maids’ bodies, plus her only fear right now was to see her revenge plan becoming a failure. He didn’t say anything, and Seung-nyang started her training in embroidery, playing the lute, and dancing. She’s so pretty! Baek Ahn was amazed with the transformation and her strong will, but Taltal was still firm in his initial decision. He even remarked that she would never surpass the dancing skills of those noblemen’s daughters and she should give up. Taltal, how about some words of encouragement for her?

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Yoo picked up the baby arrows but all he could think of was the first time he held them and Seung-nyang teaching him back in Inju. He didn’t look any better than Ta-hwan. Dangkise had arrived at the Goryeo capital with Yoo’s future bride and he had a drink with Yoo. Yoo told him about Seung-nyang’s death and he pretended not to know anything about it. Dangkise even agreed to hunt the bandits when they go back to Yuan, but Yoo was actually seething with anger inside him to have his enemy right in front of him.

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Seung-nyang spent her night in the library to read some books and Taltal didn’t expect her to do so; but then, he smirked when he saw the titles of the books she had read: Wuzi and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. She later went to see Taltal because she wanted to ask him a question: which one would he choose among the two books? Taltal chose Sun Tzu’s, and Seung-nyang told him that sending her to the palace was like Sun Tzu’s tactics. She knew it well that life inside the palace was a war as well, and Taltal actually smiled after she left, acknowledging her talent. Atta girl! He later gave her another two books to read and asked her what’s the contents, in which she replied that they were both about capturing a person’s heart (or so?). Looks like her answers were right, and he told her not to read the books anymore. Why Taltal, are you afraid that she would be more intelligent than you? Aha! He eventually gave in to his uncle’s wish and despite his worry about the risk, Baek Ahn told him that the fear was nothing compared to what their target was.

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Yeon-chul and Tanashiri were having fun cooing the baby, while Ta-hwan could only look at them with fury and disgust. He went in front of the Buddha statue, mocking that there’s no Buddha if He took Seung-nyang away from him and made the devils smile victoriously. He wanted to destroy the statue but luckily, Golta and his bodyguards stopped him from doing so. He fell down on his knees, crying his heart out. Hang in there…just a little longer, Hwannie!

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Seung-nyang prepared herself for the big day and she wore her parents’ rings under her robe. At the same time, Yoo was getting married at the Goryeo palace. Seung-nyang cried when recalled Yoo’s wish under the moon with her, but soon after, she wiped her tears.

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Seung-nyang: This is the last time I shed tears for Your Majesty. For the sake of the powerless Goryeo people, please become the King of Goryeo again. From now on, I will go on with my own path. I will have my own way of revenge towards the people who killed my late father, my child, and my friends.

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Ta-hwan was still the same, refusing to eat anything and Yeon-chul dropped by to remind him about the selection. Go away, you evil old man! When the old man left, he took the bowl and threw it away in anger. Tanashiri got to know that all the concubine candidates had arrived at the palace, except for Baek Ahn’s adopted daughter. HA. HAHAHA. She wanted to see the candidates herself before the Empress Dowager could meet them. The candidates were already gossiping about Tanashiri’s temper and they were worried about their fate if they got selected. Tanashiri gave them a bowl of infusion each and they refused to drink it, afraid that it was poison. She drank it herself and told them to hold the bowl on their heads as a punishment.

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Seung-nyang had reached the palace and she took a look at the rings, finding her courage. Taltal reminded her that it’s her last chance to give up since there’s no turning back once she entered the palace. She didn’t have any thought of doing so, and stepped out of her carriage. He told her that the fight had just begun, and she replied that she had prepared for this moment.

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Tanashiri walked out and ran into Empress Dowager, but only said that she met the candidates. She planned to feed the concubines the infertility medicine, aiming to make them unable to bear any child for the Emperor. Did you really think that your son could be the only child, Empress? Seung-nyang saw Tanashiri and her stare was full of hatred. Empress Dowager saw the candidates holding the bowls and knew that it was the Empress’ doing. Seung-nyang arrived shortly and apologized for being late before introducing herself as Ki Yang from Yoyang. Both Dokman and Empress Dowager recognized her!

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Empress Dowager and Ta-hwan were at the throne hall for the selection, with Ta-hwan being so out of himself. She told him to be patient since the selection couldn’t go on without him. He had to give them the tokens: flowers for ‘pass’ and money for ‘fail’. The candidates entered the hall and Ta-hwan gave them an empty stare…before he saw it. His eyes came alive at once when he saw Seung-nyang among the ladies. He tried saying her name as she feigned ignorance…and finally, he said it!

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“Yang-ie ya…Yang-ie ya!”

*

Wow. The two episodes this week are so different. I feel like my heart is torn into pieces each time I watch episode 23 (which was three times) episode 24 makes up for all the heartaches but not without heart wrenching moments here and there. I can’t quite believe it that we’ve reached the middle of the story and while normal dramas would have come to its end this week, Empress Ki is just starting with its Act No. 2.

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I don’t know why it’s so hard to write down my thoughts this week, but I think the plot has picked up a bit and it explains the rise in ratings. I’m sure one of the most anticipated story arcs is Seung-nyang journey to become the Imperial concubine and we are getting closer to it. Yeay! Somehow it’s good that these recent episodes are centered around Seung-nyang, because I really want to know her deepest, innermost thoughts. She’s the most mysterious character although she’s the main focus of the drama, and it’s going to be a roller-coaster ride for the other characters and also us the viewers to try putting ourselves in her shoes and what she’s thinking at the moment. I’m not going to lie that I like her interaction with Taltal, simply because they are both talented and brilliant. There are sparks flying between them (and my shipper heart is going crazy, dying to ship them!) but I’m satisfied to see them plotting together in the future. Beauty with brain is rare, but two beauties with brain? I can see why people are going gaga over these two although their interaction has just begun in episode 24.

Although Seung-nyang is giving up on her own happiness, I still think that she’s not entirely giving up on Yoo. She realizes that them being together is like a far-fetched dream (with both of them living in the turbulent era) and she herself has too many guilt planted in her heart. She sees power as the only solution for everything: her revenge and also the betterment of Goryeo people. Seung-nyang knows it well that Yoo’s wish is the same as hers, that is to see their Goryeo free from Yuan, and sacrificing herself is nothing compared to the greater good. She might have realized that Yoo can never escape his fate to marry a Yuan girl, and that’s why I think she would never blame Yoo for it. It’s all for greater good, but in her own way, Seung-nyang is helping Yoo to regain his throne.

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However, her act of sacrificing herself is also saving a dying soul that is Ta-hwan. I can bet that he will slowly die if Seung-nyang doesn’t appear in front of him on that day. He looks so miserable and it’s painful to see him succumbing to his loss (kudos to Ji Chang-wook for giving me heartache with his acting!). He thinks that he has lost everything: the chance to overthrow Yeon-chul with the Blood Letter and his own sun, Seung-nyang. His life becomes empty and Ta-hwan is heading towards the road of demise. One of my favourite scenes in episode 24 is when his eyes light up when he sees Seung-nyang. It’s a brief but beautiful moment, showing how important she is to him.

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I’m not saying that Seung-nyang is no less important to Yoo than Ta-hwan, but it’s because I see Yoo as a capable man of standing on his own. Both him and Seung-nyang are able to live without each other thanks to their wits, but together? They are the most perfect couple a country could wish for. I can’t stop imagining if she is to be Goryeo’s Queen and Yoo becoming the King…wow, I don’t think it will be a problem for them to crush Yuan. That is the ideal world. Both of them know that Yuan’s power is not easy to defeat and I’m not talking about the old man Yeon-chul alone: it’s about the army and the other complicated issues. Reaching almost halfway into the story, I think I can finally sort out my thoughts:

  • I like Yoo and Seung-nyang together but at the same time, I love to see how Ta-hwan’s development will be.
  • Both Yoo and Seung-nyang can survive on their own but Ta-hwan needs his courage in the form of Seung-nyang.

Hence, that’s the reason why I like to see both couples instead of jumping onto one ship. From a shipper’s point of view, both ships have their own appeals and chemistry, but more than that, I want to see how these three wield their power on their own and not only because of love. I want to see Yoo avenging his Goryeo, Seung-nyang avenging her family and friends, and Ta-hwan avenging his father’s death. They are all up against the common enemy that is Yeon-chul, so I would like to see Yoo and Ta-hwan working together at least once, although they hate each other to bits. Maybe, just maybe…Seung-nyang could be the bridge between them, knocking some sense into these two men.

I think I have said it before that this drama is plot-driven and the characters react to what is happening around them. They act and make decisions based on the events, mostly orchestrated by the characters with the upper hand. Thus, it is inevitable; the fact that the characters will eventually shape up to new forms of themselves, the changes as a result of the events. All of us tend to change with time, and the same goes for them in this drama.

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64 thoughts on “Empress Ki: Eps 23-24

  1. Been coming here for recaps on our girl ha ji won. Love her to pieces. Thanks so much for your dedication of this drama for non Korean speaking fan n no site with subs *cries*

    Thank goodness for ur recap becas I dont think I can watch the episode it is as o heart wrenching!!

    Love the ending. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  2. I was really affected to this last recap! (Ep24). my heart bursted! HAHA because I am in WY & SY ship!! arggghh. it hurts that both of them separated ways in revenge! BUT PLEASE find a way that they can be together in the end of the drama… pleaseeee! I really love them to be together!

  3. I feel really bad for both WY and TW.But I don’t know why but my heart goes out with the baby emperor especially when he took out the hankie and reminisced about SY.

  4. The rushed pregnancy timeline gave the show a huge blow, but they managed to make me forget it with these last two eps. I loooooved ep 24. SN in full revenge mode, willing to do everything to bring El Temur and his minions down. Fighting!
    Emperor fighting! Heal this man, Ki, and form an alliance, that will destroy the baddies.

    On a more shallow note: Tal Tal, no, Jin Yi Han, is hot! Loved, that he got more screentime.

  5. I feel like this is the beginning of the end to WY and SN’s relationship. These two episodes were heart wrenching to watch as a WY-SN shipper. But if they must go their separate paths in life, I hope they both try to find some semblance of happiness with their new partners. I don’t want them to pine for each other for the rest of their life. I knew this was coming and I thought I prepared for it but it still broke my heart. My heart is aching but I’m still on the edge of my seat. Bring it on writers!

  6. Thank you for a nice review as always :)! I just watched Episode 24 with Chinese sub. It seemed to me that the translation was different from what you list when SN was on her way to the Palace.

    The translation here:”Seung-nyang: This is the last time I shed tears for Your Majesty. For the sake of the powerless Goryeo people, please give up on making me your Queen.”

    In the Chinese sub, it reads “This is the last time I shed tears for Your Majesty. For the sake of the powerless Goryeo people, please take the throne of Goryeo again”.

    For your information 🙂 Please keep up the good work :)!

  7. being together is not the best way of everything for the lover but sometimes it nice to be apart for the goodness for the people you love… hard more sacrificed ,tears but when u think the result u can feel calm and more courage u done right

  8. I have finally watched episodes 23 & 24 of Empress Ki.
    First, I would like to say it is tough being a fan of both couples. Episode 23 was so sad and reminded us of how cruel fate can be. I felt so bad for SN, TH, & WY. Their pain & grief brought tears to my eyes. It takes a lot for me to cry. Baby Star is so adorable and I am worried about him being in the hands of ET. I hope SN will get her son back and WY will at least know he has a son. Leaving him in the dark about SN’s pregnancy and Baby Star has me feeling some type of way. That flashback scene of SN& WY was so cute.
    TN’s fake delivery scene had me laughing. I mean seriously were did they get the umbilical cord. WTH! was they doing to Baby Star. Poor Baby. TN is such an evil chick. ET and their minions are just plain cruel to kill all those girls and Lady Park. I can not wait until SN wreaks havoc on them with her revenge.

    1. @MeMe: ET had no idea who orchestrated the killing of LP & company. Tanguishe & Tanashiri intentionally hid this truth from their father because they were too aware that the PM would not tolerate such an act of childishness/negligence, hence, if this conspiracy is being discovered, this will threaten his position and his life including his clan future.

  9. Episode 24
    Really Writers! WY still in the dark about his son & SN. Bang should have at least told him. I guess the writers did it for a reason.
    Come on Now. WY, SN, Bayan, TT, Empress Dowager, & TH are all on the same side but nobody talks to each other. What is this about? They should at least communicate and let it be known they have same goal: To Eliminate El Temur.
    WY got married but lets face it WY would have never married that girl if he knew SN was still alive. It is a marriage of convenience. I do wish SN had sent him word she was still alive. In no way WY getting married means he no longer loves SN. He loves SN. His love for her is the reason he married that girl so he can get revenge on ET for ‘killing’ SN. That girl means nothing to WY. She is nothing more than a stepping stone in his plot for revenge. Heck he even ditched the chick right after the wedding. LOL
    SN deciding to become a concubine is her way to get her revenge. She realized that you need power to do that. I also think WY’s marriage was a catalyst in her making that decision as well. I hope they both get why they made decisions they made. I am curious to see how WY will act when he see that SN is alive & well and TH’s concubine. He is going to be so hurt. Yes WY might be married but to see the woman you love and you thought was dead become the concubine of your rival is tough. How Cruel Fate Can Be. I do hope Dok Man tells SN that WY thinks she is dead.
    Now that SN will be a concubine I am wondering what will happen if she ever gets to see Baby Star and hears him crying. A mother knows her own baby. #TeamReunitingSN&BabyStar

    Your review was great. I am so ready for SN to be vengeful and destroy ET. I do believe she will give TH a piece of her heart. This SN & TT ship is interesting but I might leave it alone. I have enough problems liking both SN & WY and SN & TH.

    1. With WY still unaware of SN being alive, I think we’re geared towards an angsty future. It’s about time. I pity him the most because he truly doesn’t have any idea about SN…and she will appear in front of him. Cue heartbreak for our pitiful Yoo *cries*

      I’m trying to be positive over here since SN is doing it for the sake of WY getting his throne back…and it’s her way of showing her love. I found a quote on tumblr: “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but of looking outward together in the same direction.” In a way, they are moving towards a common goal although they are not together, but I foresee misunderstandings between them.

      The allies don’t really communicate with each other because as much as they have the common goal (YC’s demise), each of them has ulterior motives. So they tend to plan their own moves that will be the most effective for their individual targets while at the same time contributes to YC’s fall.

      SN’s revenge arc is one of the most anticipated plot in the drama, but I hope the writers won’t make her as insecure as TN later. That is borderline crazy. I prefer to see her as a composed woman who uses her wits to defeat her rivals. That’s her charms! I like to see SN-TT simply because they are a good match when it comes to their intelligence.

      1. I agree it is going to be heartbreaking when WY sees SN. I agree about SN & TT but my shipping heart is having a tough time right now. Between Empress Ki, Soo Baek Hyang, The King’s daughter, and my American TV shows my shipping heart is going through a lot right now.

  10. Thx for the recap. I agree with u that we should not jump in one ship. Totally neutral shipper. Cant wait for next ep. What an amazing drama!

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