Shine or Go Crazy - Episode 11 (A SqueeCap)

It took me a while to gather my wits to continue recapping, not because I don't like this drama anymore, no, the opposite is true! But because the NEXT episode broke my heart. It really did. It took me 3 days to recover from it, but now I'm ready. I think? And this is the episode in which shit starts gathering, waiting for the fan to start turning.
JoAnne: They're so happy, Kakashi. Isn't it the sweetest thing ever? They're just so delighted with themselves, you can't help but smile. I think I'll go skip my way through a meadow of butterflies and wild flowers and sing a song with the birds - everything will be fine here.
S@ki6: What is show trying to be?  A sageuk, a melo or a rom-com?  So far, it seems rom-com with a bit of melo (because what Korean show doesn't have melo?) in Goryeo clothing.  But then it gets sageuk-y and frankly, it's leaving me confused.  If we're rom-com/melo in Goryeo clothing, then I get all this first and second lead type behavior.  But if it's supposed to be a sageuk, then it's all not making sense. Anyway, that's where I'm tripping up with the show. 
Episode 11 verdict: get ready for impact, people. And it's gonna hurt. 
Shit. But I'm already in the meadow! Do I have time for ONE song?

Episode 11

Wang Wook does his little "I don't like this", "I don't like that" speech and then force-hugs Shin-yool. How dare he! She shakes him off almost immediately. What did he expect?! Anyway, he has more great words prepared: this is the last time she'll get to see this version of him. Next time, he will be a different person. But he will come again - and she should look forward to that. Duh, maybe not. Creep!
Maybe he just means he's going to cut that fugly hair, though.
What the heck, he might as well.  It's not like it's ever got him the girl so far. 
From Shin-yool, Wang Wook goes straight to his brother Wang So. The latter wants to find out why Wook has such a similar fighting style to that Red Assassin he fought during the assassination attempt five years ago and a few days ago at the Temple. Wang Wook is curt. And late. And Wang So is cutting to the chase: Where did he learn to fight like that? Sadly, Wook is too cautious to say the truth; he lies that he learned from a wandering swordsman to whom he has lost all contact.
Oh da widdle baby got his feewings cwushed. I guess now he'll succumb to the temptation of the wig (yes, it's possessed, we have been keeping that from you.) and he'll go full-on evil.
Wook excuses himself and starts to leave, but So isn't done yet. Why did he hide the fact from him that Kaebong was a woman and the assistant head at that? Wook sits down again and says: because I wanted her for myself - and now that he has declared that, Wang So will certainly back down, yes?
Uh, no, that's not how that works at all. Where have you been, Wook, that you have no idea about anything?
Wang So doesn't seem to see any need to play the loud fool with Wook anymore ... he tells him straight and very calmly that that woman is already his. If she were to go to Wook voluntarily, he wouldn't prevent it, of course ...  But you know what? Ain't going to happen.
Damn, confidence is sexy.
For poor traumatized Wook, this is history repeating itself: Wang So is just like their father who married his Shin-yool lookalike girlfriend. He vows to get that woman and hug her right in front of So.
That, wow. Oh, Wook. Go ahead with your huge dreams of hugging. (Actually, I feel kind of sorry for the guy a little bit, except ugh.)
At the palace, the Queen Dowager realizes how deaf and blind she has been to the true nature of Uncle Hairline. She also realizes that the So she saw during the competition is not the cursed child she once knew: Because he shone. She summons the King's astronomer, Ji-mong. She heard him tell the king about the fate of her baby, right before she gave birth and that's where it all began to go wrong.
Nothing good ever comes of eavesdropping.
I thought her behavior was amazingly stupid right from the beginning.  You'd think she would've cornered the priest and demanded to know on what basis he said all this. 
But can that fate be changed? (Queen Mum should've asked this right at the beginning too.) Oh yes, says Ji-mong. Wang So's fate can go two ways: he can be cursed or he can shine. That's the second half of the prophecy that she, and everybody else but the First King, never heard. He kept quiet about it to protect Wang So when he was little. He is destined to become a great king. The one that will make him shine is ... Princess Yeo Won.
Calm down, that's only because they know she is a Princess, and they don't know that Shin Yool is, too.
The first ep was nicely unclear which princess was the shiner. 
DAMN. Also, mommy had nothing to do with the poisonous cookies. Nope, those evil men at court helped make the curse seem something it never really was.
Well that is a relief.
I never thought she did have anything to do with the cookies.  It was super-weird, though, that she didn't do some detective work and figure out who made them etc. 
Okay, I know this will not popular - but I get why this mother is absolutely heart broken after she hears all this. She has mistreated her child, all his life - because she believed he was the cause for death in the royal family. How terribly guilty she must feel right now...
No, I totally get it, too. In the context of the times and the situation and all, I'm sure she did what she thought was right for the bigger picture, and we saw earlier that it did cost her. Where I have a problem is that I don't know why she couldn't have just quietly sent him away, made up some story or something. Why shatter his heart?  Unless the true mean-ness didn't come until the cookie incident, which - if SHE didn't poison the cookies, would have made it look kind of bad for Wang So. Not that he could have made the snacks, but you know.
Her behavior was still abnormal unless Wang So's favorite hobby was baking.  Even in those times, a normal mother would've asked where the cookies came from, where was the slave who tests food, why blame her kid when there's no actual proof and so on. 
That servant of Yeo Won's has leeched onto Kil-bong per her lady's orders. She is here to find out about Kaebong - and she frightens Kil-bong into believing that his master will become the mongrel in the royal family again if he should ever dare split from Yeo Won. To prevent this, he has to help her make them a REAL couple. By telling her everything Wang So does in relation to Shin-yool. 
Meddling servants. Kill them all.
Yeowon has given up a lot and probably wants a regular married life now.  Also, it's humiliating to be spurned all this time. 
Well, at the moment, his Royal Highness is at the Chunghae Trading Company ... but not as So So. In full royal attire, including an umbrella. He is quite pleased with the idea of appearing so grandly in front of "Kaebong" ... and practises talking to him/her a bit. That's when Kil-bong sneaks up to him and scares him to death. Damn you, Kil-bong. You stupid fool. Be smarter than becoming some random woman's spy!
He loves So So, though, you know that. He's doing what he thinks will protect his prince.
After wondering why Kil-bong also knows that Kaebong and the Assistant Head are one and the same person, he sends him off to Geumgang Mountain, to the "Wang So Castle" (pfff), to fetch him a certain something that is under the bridge. (I wonder what it is!!!!)
Me too! Also: Nervous and excited and in love So So is freaking adorable.
Very soon, a familiar "Kaebong-aaaa" is booming through the Trading Company. Hefffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff sees Baek-Myo and Kyeong standing there (she is annoyed she can no longer curse or kick him). Awww, but he is so delighted to see them. The rest of the gang hurries to him as well ... poor Gyu-Dal is dead afraid he's facing years in prison or even death for hitting So So earlier.
I love them all so much, the silly family. I think even hung Kyeong likes So So, and I really thought they'd have him be jealous and silently, despairingly in love with Shin Yool for a while.
Wang So is: why are you all acting differently?! Act normally, as always! But he is royal now, says Baek-Myeo - and they have to properly address him. But that breaks his little shiny heart: he is the same guy he used to be! So So! He is So So! It takes a lot of talking from a (fairly persuasive) Wang So until they settle on calling him "So So Jeonha". Still, as soon as they can, they go away and leave him standing there alone.
It has to be awkward. Aren't they in a terrible position of where if they treat him improperly they can be thrown in jail or something? Not that he WOULD....but what if he turned on them down the road? Also, I love Ahn Kil Kang more and more and I would totally be attracted to him as a man at this point.
Baek-Myeo excuses herself, she has to get ready for the Assistant Head's bathing ... oups, some business. Oh, that gets him mighty interested, hehe. He remembers his peeping Tom experience and realizes that must have been Kyeong! Look who's looking a bit proud ...
That face on him...I was wondering how to define that emotion. A bit embarrassed too, maybe?
Shin-yool is sitting on her bed, thinking about what that purple Elf told her. Suddenly, there's a loud Kaebong-aaaa outside her room. Byek-Myo scurries in, telling her to hurry up, that blockhead is about to storm in here! She manages to change in time and runs out - right into him. He is so incredibly glad still she's a woman, but doesn't let on at all (Yet). He is even a tiny little bit haughty with her, but allows "him" to continue calling him hyungnim. And lose the honorifics. 
Just sitting here staring at that face, which is so so (ha) handsome
He then steps really close and says .. "Where is the Assistant Head?" He wants to formally greet her. Isn't her room that way? Shin-yool catches his arm and tells him to wait in the VIP lounge, she'll go fetch the Assistant Head. Wait. Wang So, you devious man! I see what you're doing!!
Bad boy! I love it. And now I will stare at this face, which is even more handsome!
She changes back as fast as she can and goes to meet him in the VIP lounge. He says: why are you alone? Where did Kaebong go? To the storage? Call him in! He only wanted to greet the Assistant Head - but he wants to see Kaebong. No no, don't go to the storage yourself! She'll go fetch him. 
Okay, you handsome jerk! (But this is a lot of fun.)
When Kaebong is back (a bit out of breath there?)(me too, but from laughing), Wang So takes his hand and says let's go. He takes her to the bath room, where the water is (still) steaming. She demands to know why he took her there and he says this is why ... and throws her in. Oups, sorry. He forgot you need to take your clothes off first. And she doesn't need to conceal "it": it's well visible! (it a wet T-shirt contests, yup) She is mortified as she covers her (tiny) breast and quickly ducks down to put the tiny ones out of sight. He knew?
Finally, yes, it's here! Each knows and each knows that the other knows! Let the kissing commence! I will supply the mental fireworks and release imaginary doves, etc. But don't forget we do still have one layer of secret left. Well, two. Actually, there are three.
He wants to know why she fooled him all this time and she says that she had a reason she can't tell. Plus, he also deceived her about being of royal origin! But he isn't angry at all - no, he thanks her. For being a woman. And then, he leans down and kisses her. (If I ever meet her, I'll ask her who she liked kissing more: Kim Ji-hoon or Jang Hyuk?).
I think I would like Hyuk better. 
All is good and well ... until Baek-Myo calls for her outside.
Splash, into the tub she pulls him. Baek-Myo comes in and wants to know whether that rascal came this way and whether he has left, as our poor Prince blows bubbles under water. Shin-yool manages to send her nanny for more hot water and then, Wang So pulls her into the water with him, for an underwater rose petal kiss (YES! It's totally an Empress Ki reference! Haha, maybe unintended.)
Kissing underwater is not all it's cracked up to be, people.
After that (I guess some hours have passed because he is now in So So garb), they all gather at the inn. The lovers are giggly like teenagers, but Shin-yool is still pretending to be a man. For Baek-Myo's sake, who would forbid Wang So to come ever near here again if she knew he knew. 
This scene, I cannot stop laughing. So I am convinced people are about to begin dying.
So Wang So slimes up to Beak-Myo like there is no tomorrow. But the only thing she is interested in is when he will leave. He has no interest in that at all - aren't there tons of rooms here? But Baek-Myeo knows how to definitely spoil his mood - he mentions his waiting wife at home. The chilling effect lasts 4 seconds, maybe 5, and the lovey-dovey mood is back ON. Wang So even tries to play footsie with Shin-yool, but unfortunately, he gropes for Baek-Myeo's foot instead. After she explodes and calls Wang So names, she excuses herself and leaves.
Look at our happy lovers! Just look at them! Can disaster be far behind? I am frantically running through possible scenarios and I'm a mess.
Next, Gyu-dal almost blunders. In his half-drunken state, he says how much he pities his sister, who never forgot that rascal and even came to Goryeo to find him. Five years! Five years she waited until she finally ... Gang-Myeong manages to shut him up just in time and drags him away. But no more good mood: Wang So demands to know who that man is. It's okay, she can tell him. But it's not okay, he is very, very jealous. Aw. Of himself.
Ok, this is as close as they can get to another split personality scenario to join the bandwagon these days, I guess.
What new madness is this? The king has received dozens of petitions to capture and kill the Righteous Men. They're putting a lot of pressure on him ... I think there was more poison on one of the scrolls too. Oh dear ... he can no longer hide his madness and starts giggling madly in front of the whole government. What will likely drive him over the edge is Wang Sik-Ryeom telling him that Wang So is the Righteous Men's leader and covets his position.
Uncle Hairline, you are truly the most evil fuckwit ever. My heart breaks for this poor sad king :(
Eh, as an avid history buff, this is how life goes for kings.  This one needs to get out hunting more, gather some buddies, quaff ale and behead a few traitors.  He'll feel better and everyone will listen to him more. 
Time is running out now ... the king is mad and Wang So needs to start shining a bit more quickly. The stumbling block to that, at least in Ji-mong's eyes, is Shin-yool, the wench that might cause a further rift between Wang So and his princess. 
When does everyone find out that she's the true last Princess of Balhae? will it even matter? Also, what makes her the true last? Or is it my assumption. We don't know how old any of them are.
I think sh'es the last because Balhae fell. (If I get a little bitch, will Balhae be a good name for her?)
Shin-yool remembers the King's shaking hands and how the tea she gave him relieved the symptoms. He must have been poisoned! But she cannot do any further research, because the Queen Dowager has sent a palanquin to fetch her. YIKES! Already with the Ex-Queen is a politely smiling Yeo Won. The Ex Queen wants to know what's wrong between her and her husband. Five years of marriage and no child! Shin-yool arrives - and even though things are seemingly friendly, the temperature in the room drops visibly as the two women lock eyes.
Dropped so fast *I* got frostbite. Queen Mom clearly likes both women, though.
The Queen Dowager doesn't know anything is amiss, though. She has summoned Shin-yool because she experienced her wisdom at the tournament - and because she wants her to select a present for her son. As she talks about the details, Yeo Won's gaze falls on ... the friggin butterfly jade jewelry. Yeah, FOOK.
Lee Ha Nui's acting is something else.  She needs a lead role in a sageuk sometime.  A proper sageuk. 
Shin-yool recommends to Queen Dowager that she drink the "Pearl Tea" with her son. Edible Pearl powder. (Will that make him extra shiny? Good!) Ah, no, this is about sharing and wiping "tears" together. Queen likes that a lot. Damn, she has no clue, this woman ... because she is impressed about how wise Shin-yool is, she tells Yeo Won to go get advise from her for the relationship between her and her husband as well. Gawd, the humiliation!
Oh I do feel a bit for Yeo Won here, though. She can't help how she feels, she's human too.
Exactly.  Anyone in her position would be extremely unhappy. 
When the two women are outside, alone, Yeo Won starts fiddling around with Shin-yool's embroidered collar. It makes me so nervous!! She reaches for the necklace and pretends to be interested in it: what is it? An amulet, is the answer. It's what her husband said about his, too ... So she asks who has the other side. Shin-yool lies that it's only ever a half-piece.
Well that's just stupid, Shin Yool.
It's still raining and Wang So leaves the house, most likely to go see Kaebong again. At the gate, he bumps into his wife. Who informs him that his mother wants to see him. Wang So sneers at that. His mother? She is not the one that wants to see him.
Oh but you are wrong, Wang so.  Go see Mama.
I really didn't understand what he meant by she is not the one who wants to see him.  I do like how Yeowon doesn't argue with him, though.  Not worth the effort. 
Cheong-Ok, Wang So's gisaeng spy, is being monitored closely ... Yeo Won has become suspicious of her. 
And how, exactly? Another magical intuitive leap?
She meets Eun-chun at the market, but they're super careful, just talking without looking at each other. I don't like this at all, though ... 
Love, love, love this gisaeng's makeup, jewellry, and hair. 
Elsewhere, Wang So is shaking some other trees to find out whom Wang Wook learned from. He is asking the Grandpa next and finds out it was a bodyguard - but one that got fired six years ago. At a meeting with Eun-chun, they compare notes. They assume that Wang Sik-Ryeom has the rest of the mirror pieces. And Wang So gives the order to track down that bodyguard that was mentioned to him. Eun-chun mentions that Wang So no longer needs to visit that Trading Company now, but that's not  at all what Wang So thinks. Good hair there, by the way. Eun-chun also tells the Prince that his mother wants to see him - her feelings for him have greatly improved since the Competition.
Quick, everybody hug So So in their hearts!
Wang Wook is with Hot Assassin Se-won - and tells him that Wang So is onto him. But that also means he has fought him before, doesn't it? At Mujeong Temple? Is he working for Uncle Wang? Se won doesn't give him answers (he is just a mute if not more so than Kyeong) but he goes to see his no 1 master: Princess Yeo Won.
Sigh. Can I have him?
No, I'm taking him.  You keep So&So. 
When he looks at her waiting in the dark, he daydreams about her hugging him, smiling at him, and gently touching him. Or wait, is this a memory?! In his dream/memory, Grandpa sees them and scowls at them. Oh .. is this why he was fired six years ago?
Must have been. Look at how transformed she is! But they must have known... could a bodyguard ever be elevated as her husband? I think probably not. I mean, he couldn't do something glorious and be knighted or whatever, there's no path for that is there?
Now, this is a sad love story. I actually feel some grief for them. 
In the here and now, their meeting is not half as friendly - but now we understand the sadness in him and the silent fondness in her. She wants to know what Uncle's plans are for Wook, but he doesn't know. Or doesn't want to say. But he wants to know from her whether she was the one healing Wang So - and whether she has chosen Wang So's side. She doesn't answer him but tells him to report on Wang Wook. Who, in turn, told Se-won to keep quiet about his doings. What a mess! And these two ... they make me sad :(
Me too...although she does seem to have moved on emotionally, she clearly has fondness for him. Meanwhile, he just silently loves her, even as he watches her fall for another man. *sob*
I think she still loves him, but her strong sense of duty and honour keep her from running away with him.  That, and the risk of death for both of them if they got caught. 
A very determined Princess has identified the next weak link: Yang Gyu-Dal. They invite him to the gisaeng house and drug him with fumes. Not much later, the big secret is out: Shin-yool and Wang so got married, years ago in Gaebong. Shin-yool is his first wife - and Princess Yeo Won is second. Only, Prince So doesn't know.
Now THAT doesn't go down well with second wife, of course.
Hahahahahahahaah, what do you think? Shin Yool's head, or Wang So's dick? Also, any bets on whether the Gisaeng Lady has to die because of what she knows, now? She was TERRIFIED.
Wang So is going to see his mother ... reluctantly and with a lot of apprehension. He can barely get himself to go in. Unfortunately, Uncle Wang is already with his mother, talking about who has power now because of the competition. The King Mother has smartened up - she lies to Wang's face and flatters him. That's when Wang So is announced ... damn. She can't be nice to him in front of Uncle Hairline - or all will be exposed! She turns evil again - telling him to know his place, she'll not treat him differently just because he won the tournament. And she kicks him out! Ouch. But maybe he understand why she might have done it?
I don't think so. :(
At home, Yeo Won stares at Wang So's tournament coat. She pulls out a sword. So her husband got married to another woman first, without the King's permission. If anybody finds out about this ... slash! The tiger is no longer whole. I'm scared.
Oh, me too. So scared. Yeo Won is probably the most frightening person in the story.
I really really really like her. 


Oh DAMN! This episode has me on the edge of my seat. Of COURSE Yeo Won would be the first to find out about the secret; she's too damn smart. And of course, it's Gyu-dal that blabbers. He's such an idiot. We got from butterfly, lovey-dovey in the first half (I really like how he got "back" at her for fooling him like that, it just shows how much he cares for her) to OH SHIT in the second. The turning point comes as soon as Baek-Myo mentiones his wife. Well done, dramaturgically. 
Agreed, one hundred percent. Really great journey, and fast, too! This show isn't always the best writing or what-have-you but they know how to pace a story and they know how to suck you in, and this episode is a great example of both, PLUS good writing.

We talked a lot about Yeo Won's feelings in the last post (yeah, the über-long one) and it turns out that those who thought she and Se Won were lovers are right. They indeed were in love, but they were also separated (he now serves her in secret and no longer officially) - and Yeo Won has moved on to become the ambitious ice princess who wants nothing but power for herself and her family. Clinging to Prince So has become the vehicle to power and that's VERY BAD for everybody who wishes Wang So and Shin-yool happiness (that would be me)(and me!). Her ambition is currently aided by the king's astronomer, who doesn't know that Shin-yool is also a Princess of Light. Nobody knows that, in fact. Those birth marks will play a role soon, I guess. 
Can they PLEASE?

If the prophecy is right, then both these women could make him the great king he is going to be. But I guess that Fate, the great meddler, has her hands in this. Ultimately, one might be the key to the Light, the other to the Darkness. 
Wanna place bets on which is which?
If they're going the rom-com/melo route, then Shinyool becomes queen because who needs history for that. If they are actually trying to be a sageuk, then the Queen will be YeoWon. 
Addendum: By the way, remember how we all were arguing over the different Wangs and why all the princes were called Wang but were not Wangs by family? So it turns out Wang simply means Prince.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh how, I love this drama. And us, trying to figure shit out.
But it did become the family name for the Goryeo Royal family, like being a "Fitz-name" would mean descent from a bastard son of the king in England.