The series finally gets into serious business with its story-telling and lots of important things happen in this episode.
First of all, it’s the big reveal that the one who kills Dam Ryung and Sae Wa is not Lord Yang/ Ma Dae Young. Even though we still do not know who it is, there seems to be strong hints, especially through the ominous background music, that it’s Chi Hyun. It is a nice twist, though it does feel like the show hasn’t really played fair by hiding that aspect of the Joseon storyline from us, because we have not seen Chi Hyun’s historical parallel at all. And if the person who kills Dam Ryung is not Lord Yang, then why is he getting the historical flashbacks? The show still has some questions to answer for this twist to be fully convincing nonetheless, I’m glad for this development because it means we’re likely to go back to the Joseon storyline again.
Related to this is Joon Jae’s response to the revelation he receives about Dam Ryung and Sae Wa’s fate. Min Ho does an excellent job of capturing the pain he feels from his past life from not being able to protect Sae Wa. In spite of the doctor’s warning to return her to where she came from, Joon Jae refuses to do so and resolves to protect her through whatever way he can. He gets Tae-Oh to tighten security in his house and to follow Sim Chung wherever she goes. He also quickens his work with Detective Hong in investigating Dae Young’s whereabouts and finally makes significant headway when he discovers Dae Young has been coming to the same doctor as him. I was pleasantly surprised to see the plot move so quickly, because Joon Jae also learns from his doctor that Dae Young mentioned he wasn’t the one who committed the murder.
I was glad to see that the purpose of the reincarnation was also being questioned, as Joon Jae and his doctor talk about what the unfinished business involves – is it the unfinished business between Dam Ryung and Sae Wa, or that between Dam Ryung and Lord Yang? It certainly must be elements of both; if so, what exactly is the unfinished business of Lord Yang/Dae Young, given that he succeeded in killing both Dam Ryung and Sae Wa? Given that there are hints regarding greed, perhaps he never really intended to kill her but wanted to capture her and profit from her? The complexity of the show is finally being built up – a story about Dam Ryung and Sae Wa finally finding love through reincarnation would be sweet but rather one-dimensional, but a story about Dam Ryung and Lord Yang completing their unfinished business makes it more fascinating.
A lot happens with Sim Chung as well in this episode as she goes on a date with Joon Jae, spends time with his mum, gets discovered by Nam Doo and removes his memories twice, and finally finds out that Joon Jae is able to hear her thoughts. I’m glad we’ve moved beyond Sim Chung continually wondering whether Joon Jae likes her, towards more fascinating developments and her actually using her power of removing people’s memories once again.
I liked the scene where Nam Doo discovered her mermaid identity because the exchange between the two of them was so tense. There was a real sense of fear in Sim Chung when she heard Nam Doo’s plans for her, and his request for her to cry to produce pearls was rather chilling. I’m thinking Nam Doo certainly has a historical parallel in Joseon and I’m reminded of that scene we had previously with Lord Yang eating oranges, which was paralleled in the present with Nam Doo also eating oranges. In fact, the scenes of him looking on her as she was swimming in the pool reminded me of the scenes of Lord Yang looking upon the mermaid while she was tied up in the pond. I’d be keen to see the show take this further – perhaps the one who kills Dam Ryung and Sae Wa is not Chi Hyun’s historical parallel, but Nam Doo’s? That would be interesting as well.
It’s certainly to this episode’s credit that I’ve started generating even more theories and speculations about what happened back in Joseon. I’m really hoping the show keeps up this pace in the episodes to come!
- I’m liking the dynamic between Detective Hong and Joon Jae; they play off each other well and make a great team. It was neat to have a historical parallel for Detective Hong as well.
- Joon Jae’s mum finally gets more to do and she takes bold steps to confront Soo Hee and is now on the look out for Joon Jae. I’m wondering though how she fits into the whole storyline between Dae Young, Joon Jae and Sim Chung.