Horse Doctor Episode 6

Finally Ji Nyung and Kwanghyun meet again but no, they don’t recognise each other. Kwanghyun is starting to build a reputation for being able to treat all kinds of animals – not just horses – and this skill saves him from the wrath of the princess. But as one problem is overcome another one arises – if no one can treat the horse from the royal stable, heads will roll ….

The Queen mother (addressed as omamama by her son – see how other people address each other in the Joseon period)  is upset that the two ladies have gone out of the palace without taking any guards. And she should be worried too, because right now they are hiding from the sleazy drunks from the bar. Kwanghyun and Ja Bong have their arms protectively around the ladies (Do they really have to hold them that tight!?)

Kwanghyun and Ji Nyung hide from the sleazy men

Finally they manage to lose the drunks and get away. The ladies are grateful to the peasants for helping them, but the princess doesn’t like the way Kwanghyun speaks to her – he tells the ladies off for being in the bar in the first place. Ji Nyung supports the princess  – how dare these Chonmin – peasants and the lowest class – speak to the aristocracy yangban like that! (oh the irony – YOU are Chonmin Ji Nyung, not Kwanghyun!) Read more about the class structure in Joseon here.

The princess is furious with their rudeness and announces that she is a PRINCESS. Of course they don’t believe her which annoys her even more. The men just laugh at her and walk off.

But just then someone comes looking for Kwanghyun – there’s a dog that needs medical attention. So Kwanghyun rushes off to help. The princess follows them intrigued. Because if he can heal dogs, maybe he can heal kittens too …

The Princess and Ji Nyung are appalled by the peasants’ rudeness

After leaving the ladies, Kwanghyun is surprised to see the men from the drinking place arrested by palace guards. Then he finds that Jabong has been arrested too! And Jabong is putting all the blame on him. (Surprise surprise – he is such a wimp) They are tied up and taken to the palace but have no idea why they have been arrested. There are more surprises when they reach the palace and see the princess there! (Not so cocky now are they!) She enjoys making the two men suffer when they see that she REALLY is a princess! She threatens to put them to death (of course) but will let them live if they can save her cat!

Kwanghyun has to kneel and beg the princess for forgiveness

At first Kwanghyun can’t work out what’s wrong with the cat. Why won’t it eat and drink? And then he gets it – he asks for warm water and eventually the cat drinks. He’s realised the cat needs a dentist! All the sweet treats have made its teeth decay, so now it can’t handle anything cold.

Ji Nyung goes to the welfare hospital that treats the poor and asks the nurse Injoo to accept her as a student. It’s a tough job for women as we see when Injoo has problems with a patient who doesn’t want to be treated by a woman. (Grrrr) A woman can’t be a doctor at this time. But to her surprise Injoo refuses to accept Ji Nyung saying that she doesn’t have any experience – she’s just an aristocrat. Ji Nyung is so disappointed since Injoo is the reason she wanted to study acupuncture and moxa (침구술 鍼灸術)  in the first place.

Ji Nyung is devastated when she is told she can’t enter the welfare hospital. 

Kwanghyun is released by the princess after saving her cat but falls right into more trouble when he meets the head vet and hears that the horse they were looking after for the royal stable is sick. Diplomatic relations with Qing and Joseon may suffer if the horse can’t be given as a tribute gift to the Qing dynasty. And we all know who will have to pay if the horse can’t recover….

So now the blame game begins. The vets from the royal stables refuse to take any responsibility of course and try to blame the ranch. Kwanghyun knows that the horse was already sick when it arrived at the ranch but he can’t prove this. The only thing to do now is try to save the horse. And quick. Kwanghyun desperately tries to work out what to do.

The king hears about the problem with his gift

Myunghwan is put in charge of treating the horse and he goes to the stables to see the problem for himself. Everyone is perplexed. What is wrong with the horse? Meanwhile, through a lucky coincidence Kwanghyun gets an idea. First of all the owner of the dog Kwanghyun treated before comes to find him desperate for his help since his dog is sick again – the owner didn’t fork out for the medicine he needed. Kwanghyun is upset. He can’t save the dog now, it’s too late. They will have to put him to sleep. So he gives the dog some medicine thinking he will now die.

But wait, the dog isn’t dead. In fact, he’s better!

Myunghwan orders the arrest of the vets

The royal vets don’t know what to do and just blame the ranch. But they are all arrested. Then just in time Kwanghyun leaps in announcing that he can save the horse before the envoys arrive from Qing. A bold claim.  How will you do that, Myunghwan asks? With acupuncture, he replies. Myunghwan seems to enjoy pointing out that a horse is worth more than a slave, so if he fails to cure the horse ….he will die.

Kwanghyun is brought before Myunghwan

So yet again the threat of death looms over us. I wonder how many times throughout this drama Kwanghyun will be threatened with execution! My favourite scene from this episode has to be when the feisty princess has Kwanghyun and Jabong dragged to the palace so that she can announce to them that she really is a princess :) Yes, they have to grovel now!  I like the choice of Kim So-Eun as the princess. On the one hand she’s playful and sweet. But she’s also dizzy with power demanding respect from the lowly peasants threatening them with death! There’s more of an edge to her here than her usual cute ‘girl next door’ roles in other dramas like Boys Before Flowers and The Man Who Can’t Marry. 

Now we have to get used to seeing Kwanghyun and Ji Nyung as grown ups, so it will take a few episodes for me to invest emotionally in their characters. At the moment I’m finding Kwanghyun a bit TOO GOOD. And he seems more ‘gentle’ than when he was a child. I know he is surrounded by selfish cowards and incompetent losers, but surely he can’t be perfect, can he? It’s interesting to see Ji Nyung now grown up and confident knowing what she wants to do with her life and being taken aback when Injoo refuses to let her join the hospital. What a different person she would be if she had grown up as a peasant girl! 

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