review Kim Nae Pyung bringing the leaf-and-sword message to Minister
Lee in Episode 2. He pops up again now, as Monk Ryukjong and Gil Sun-Mi
send him to assassinate whoever wins the fight at the banquet. As
General Yi passes through the courtyard where the dead soldiers are laid
out, Pyung jumps up from among them and attacks. He is captured and
everyone is stunned when he kills himself.
injured are recuperating, there is a lot of making, delivering, and
eating medicine. Bang-Won worries who sent that assassin. He takes
Boon-Yi and Moo-Hyul to ID the body and decides it's the man who helped
Ha Ryun steal Jo Joon's papers. Ha sees the body too and is surprised;
Minister Lee had him looking for this person for 10 years.
is a lot of negotiation as Sambong tries to get Poeun and Lee Saek to
cooperate. Lee Saek wants to return the old king and to remeasure the
land. Sambong counters that the king live 40 miles away until the reform
The sword-and-leaf people try the
three-letter trick again and follow Boon-Yi and Bang-Won to the secret
cave. Sambong realizes they are from an organization of King Gongmin's
day called Moomyung (Nameless). Just then Poeun arrives, having received
a letter with directions to the cave.
note: Moomyung is a fictional group from an earlier drama by the same
writers called Queen Seondeok and set about 650 AD.
(Jung Mong-Joo) is shocked at the big map naming a new country. Sambong
(Jung Do-Jeon) spends the night explaining his plan. Poeun likes
the civil service exams replacing nepotism, but not the revolution
part. He talk to General Yi about it and then goes to see Prince Wang
Yo, thinking he would be a better king than the 8-year-old they have.
The prince says he would rather live a happy private life with the woman
The land surveys get derailed because the
people doing them are murdered. Sambong hatches a plan to pretend to do a
secret survey, but in reality to lure in the culprit to an ambush. Gil
Sun-Mi turns up and escapes during the fight, but one of his men is
captured. Bang-Ji trails Gil to a temple in the forest, where he sees an
old woman being led by another woman in a hood. He recognizes the
younger one as his mother.
Historical note: Prince Wang Yo was descended from King Sinjong, who became king in 1197. The woman with him is fictional.
the time Bang-Ji and Sambong follow the hooded woman she has
disappeared. Bang-Ji goes home to tell Boon-Yi their mother isn't dead,
but she already knew. When she was a child the man with the sword-leaf
tattoo had appeared one night with a code message and their mother had
replied with another code and then disappeared the next day.
King U receives a visit from a nobleman who offers a skilled assassin
named Cheok to kill General Yi and put U back on the throne. A serving
woman who comes in is the same old lady that we saw with Bang-ji's
The land reform is debated again in parliament
and no one is willing to do the surveying because of the murders.
Finally Sambong promises Poeun not to revolt and Poeun throws his
support for the land reform, with the other nobles following him.
the orders of Moomyung leader Yooksan, Gil Sun-Mi gives Bang-Ji an
appointment to meet his mother. Meantime Gil's man who was captured is
refusing to talk, so Bang-Won decides to let him escape and follow him.
Cheok follows him and stabs him however, so when he sees Boon-Yi he
tells her a message and a date. Cheok overhears and is about to kill her
as well, but Boon-Yi repeats the code that the Moomyung agent had said
to her mother. He responds with the same reply her mother had given.
note: In November 1389 a nephew of General Choi met with deposed King U
and plotted to assassinate General Yi. Unfortunately for them, they
asked someone else to help who turned them in and the plot was foiled.
the assassin mentions Master Gil, Boon-Yi realizes he means Gil Sun-Mi
and is able to send him away. The date she heard matches up with the day
the deposed King U is sending a gift for General Yi as well as the day
Bang-Ji is to see his mother. They decode the message to mean that
General Yi will be killed.
When King U's
soldiers come with the gift they attack but are stopped by Yi's men.
They kill themselves, which Yooksan had ordered them to do. Cheok breaks
out of a cart, fights Bang-Ji and Moo-Hyul and gets away. They track
him to the edge of a cliff, which Bang-Ji thinks he might know how to
Bang-Ji practices catching a bowl of
water on his sword, though Master Hong says he does it wrong. He once
worked for the Cheok family and knows their technique. Bang-Gwa finds
Cheok's body but Master Hong says it is not the famous Cheok Sa-Gwang
who is a girl. This one is her brother.
tries to talk Prince Wang Yo into being king. Young-Gyu identifies the
prince's servant as the guard who had the leaf-stamp letter back in
Episode 1, so Bang-Won sends assassins after him. That night the prince
tries to run away but is hit by a poison dart. Yooksan offers him the
antidote if he will become king and leaves him to decide. The assassins
attack the servant and nearly spill the antidote, but the prince's
fiancee turns out to be Cheok Sa-Gwang. She kills the assassins and
catches the cup of antidote on her sword.
note: There was a warrior in the 12th century named Cheok who was famous
for his exploits. The Cheoks in this story are fictional but supposed
to be his descendents.
Sa-Gwang promises to protect the prince and he drinks the antidote. She
then realizes their servant had betrayed them and kills him too. She
explains that she learned to fight from her grandfather but never liked
it and renounced the sword. Yooksan returns to see the prince and finds
three dead bodies instead.
The 8-year-old is dethroned and Prince Wang Yo is crowned King Gongyang. Cheok Sa-Gwang becomes his bodyguard.
and Ha Ryun talk strategy and decide that either the Biguk temple or
the gisaeng house (or both) is Moomyung. Bang-Won knows that they will
want to find out about the assassins, so he puts a note mentioning
"Maengdo Chilyak" in the ledger kept by the assassin's boss. Whoever
knows that phrase will be Moomyung.
Both Madam Cho and
Eyeliner Monk send for the ledger and give it to Yooksan. Looking for
spies, Cho sends Yoon-Hye to check on Sambong, but follows to overhear
their conversation about meeting Poeun. When Yoon-Hye lies that she
doesn't know where they will meet, Cho has the kunoichi hold her and
goes to spy on the meeting. But she mentions Maengdo Chilyak, so
Yoon-Hye is able to get the kunoichi to side with her against Moomyung.
Bang-Won arrests Cho quietly at the meeting and listens in himself. He
is shocked to hear their plan that the king will be powerless.
note: King Gongyang was crowned in 1389, the last of the kings of
Goryeo. The rumor that King U may not have been a son of King Gongmin
was really used as an excuse to overthow him and his son. Maengdo
Chilyak is something made up for the drama. It means