In this episode both Kwanghyun’s and his friend Yongdal’s fortunes change dramatically. He is saved from the brink of death to make a new life as a slave on a horse ranch. Meanwhile Yongdal – now known by her real name Ji Nyung – gets used to her new position as an aristocrat. The two friends have been separated into opposite ends of the social classes but they never forget each other and are destined to meet again soon – but in terrible circumstances.
Kwanghyun returns to the cave with medicine from the doctor’s and tries to wake his father. But it’s too late. He notices the name Kang Dojun written in blood on the rock and has no idea who this person is. But there’s nothing he can do about it now as the guards are still searching for them. Distraught, he has to leave his father in the cave but promises to come back for him later. As he runs away the guards spot him and give chase.
Horse Doctor (MBC 2000) Kwanghyun hugs his father’s lifeless body
Ji Nyung is told by Myunghwan that she comes from an aristocratic family. But she is more concerned about helping her friend Kwanghyun who she knows is in danger. So Myunghwan’s guard promises to help Kwanghyun if she tells him where he is. (Don’t do it, Ji Nyung!) She is too trusting and eagerly tells him. But after looking her straight in the eye and promising to help Kwanghyun, the guard rides off to find him and KILL him. (grrr)
Ji Nyung is desperate to find her friend
Kwanghyun is running away from the guards but ends up trapped on the edge of a cliff. The guards surround him ready to arrest him, but as they get closer a sniper in the distance fires an arrow straight into Kwanghyun’s chest. The guards look around in horror as arrows keep coming until Kwanghyun loses his balance and falls off the cliff and down into the water below. Nobody believes that he could survive a fall like that …
Ji Nyung is distraught when she hears the news. Her friend is dead. The servants want her to throw away all her possessions from her old life – like the sandal that Kwanghyun gave her (as only servants wear shoes like that). But she is desperate to keep it. She blames herself for his death and wants to know who killed him. Oh if she only knew …
Ji Nyung hears that Kwanghyun has been killed
Kwanghyun sinks down into the water with an arrow in his chest
Now we change to a new scene at a horse ranch where there’s quite a commotion when the workers find the body of a boy at the bottom of a barrow of hay. He looks badly injured and possibly dead. The master of the ranch wants to get rid of the boy – they don’t have money for a doctor. But the vet takes charge of him.
So Kwanghyun is put in a stable with a sick horse. The vet doesn’t think either of them will last the night but in the morning to his surprise the boy and the horse seem better. In his sleep Kwanghyun sees a vision of Dojun who promises to save him. And it seems that during the night someone treats Kwanghyun’s arrow wound with herbs and acupuncture. The horse gets up in the night and licks Kwanghyun’s face – (what a good actor that horse is) – looks like the horse and boy are bonding.
Kwanghyun sees a vision of Dojun in his sleep
Kwanghyun regains consciousness. The master of the ranch has decided to take him on as a servant rather than report him to the authorities – his arrow wound suggests that he could be a criminal. Meanwhile in stark contrast Ji Nyung gets her new hanbok and is taken in a palanquin to her new home. She is upset because she can’t even say good bye to her friends but she is told that they have been well taken care of. (Yeah right.)
Kwanghyun regains consciousness but is still in a bad way
Enter a familiar face – Jang Injoo, the nurse is back in the capital. Now she is the ONLY ONE who knows that the babies were switched at birth. Jang Injoo has heard the good news about Dojun but she’s shocked to discover that Suk Gu’s daughter will inherit Dojun’s fortune. She wants to put this right and find the boy. So even when she hears what happened at the cliff she refuses to give up looking for Kwanghyun since his body was never found.
Kwanghyun has fully recovered on the horse ranch but he keeps trying to escape – he wants to keep his promise to his friend – but the master won’t let him go. He catches him and has him beaten. Kwanghyun is a slave now and has to sleep in the stable but he is starting to show a natural gift with the horses.
Kwanghyun tries to escape
This episode is all about showing the contrast in the new change of fortunes for the two friends. Ji Nyung is now living in finery at Myunghwan’s house with his family. All seems well but she hasn’t forgotten about Kwanghyun and sneaks out of the house at night to hand out a missing poster. So she’s still looking for him.
Ji Nyung is living the life of an aristocrat
Kwanghyun is working late at the ranch when he notices that there’s something wrong with one of the horses. Although it’s late he tells the vet and they go out and take a look. He was right, it’s serious and the horse needs treating right away. The vet tells Kwanghyun to help him while he cuts into the infected area and squeezes out the yellow puss (OMG look away at this point if you have a sensitive disposition – this scene is absolutely gross). Then the vet sews up the wound. The horse will be all right and the vet has realised that Kwanghyun has a talent – perhaps it’s his fate to become a vet? But Kwanghyun isn’t keen to study medicine again. He couldn’t help his dad after all.
The vet suggests that Kwanghyun has a gift with horses
Suddenly they hear a noise and the vet leaps up. Someone has dug up and stolen the body of a dead horse. AGAIN. The vet is determined to catch the thief this time. He gives chase into the mountain and Kwanghyun follows. Kwanghyun stumbles over the dead animal and jumps back in horror. But before he has time to call for the vet he is grabbed and knocked out by an acupuncture needle inserted in his neck!
Kwanghyun wakes up in a cave surrounded by dead carcasses like a scene from a horror show. At first it looks like he could be in danger but it turns out this is the makeshift clinic of the doctor who looked after him during the nights when he was sick in the stable. And now he’s busy extracting the insides of various dead animals to study them. (Gross. Again. It looks like he’s pulling out a string of raw soggy sausages.) Kwanghyun can’t believe a doctor lives like this. (It is pretty grim.) The doctor doesn’t want to harm him – he just checks his pulse and sends him on his way.
Kwanghyun wonder if he has found his friend
Ji Nyung watches the event at the ranch with Myunghwan
Kwanghyun goes back to the ranch where everyone is busy getting ready for some important buyers who are coming to see the horses. This is a big event and there will be entertainment too with singing and dancing.
But who should the important buyer be but Myungwhan and his party! The show begins and at first Ji Nyung is excited as she watches the show. But she gets distracted when she hears someone call Kwanghyun’s name. She goes to look for him. Kwanghyun is in charge of the nervous horse (maybe it can sense that it might be sold today).
Myunghwan’s son wonders where Ji Nyung’s gone and he goes in search of her. But just then the nervous horse breaks away from Kwanghyun (great acting by the horse) and charges away knocking Myunghwan’s son to the ground as he goes. Kwanghyun is mortified and he rushes over to the young boy lying on the ground with Ji Nyung by his side.
Surely the two friends are going to notice each other now? We’ve already had the classic slow motion scene of the two of them passing right by each other but looking in opposite directions. But is Kwanghyun going to be held responsible for the young boy’s injuries and dragged away to prison? It’s another cliff hanger.
It usually takes quite a few episodes to get into a new sageuk drama for me – I often can’t get totally involved until the adult actors take over. But I am already into this story and worrying about what’s going to happen later – Poor Ji Nyung. What is she going to think when she discovers that she is not an aristocrat and that the man who is now becoming a father figure in her life was responsible for her father’s death and attempted to have her friend killed too? Not to mention all the other naughty things he is bound to be doing from now on as well ….
but I’m liking Myunghwan as a villain. We see his heartless and greedy side but then his genuine happiness at finding Ji Nyung and looking after her. It makes his a complicated character and I wait with trepidation to see what he will do next.