Horse Doctor Episode 8

This is my favourite episode so far with so much humour arising from the innocent relationships between the men and women. The princess with her crush is definitely a highlight :)  We start off light and playful as Kwanghyun and Jinyung get used to working at the stables (사복시 sabokshi) together surrounded by all sorts of animals. But by the end of the episode another crisis has arisen. So can Kwanghyun step up and save the day once more?  

We left off last episode with Jinyung standing in a field with pigs everywhere when she unceremoniously fell over into some poo. Then the maverick barrow comes loose and flies right for her. It’s Kwanghyun who leaps to save her and pulls her out of the way. When he sees her dirty hands he laughs his head off much to her annoyance. But he helps her clean up.

Kwanghyun saves Jinyung in the pig field

While they clean up Jinyung asks Kwanghyun how he managed to get a job here in the stables. He starts to brag – it was a royal command from the king HIMSELF as a reward for curing the horse. But he exaggerates and says he met the king personally. Jinyung plays along – so what does the king look like, she asks pretending that she is just a lowly doctor and has never met him. Kwanghyun makes up a story. But he unwittingly reveals himself as a liar and a peasant – since people like Kwanghyun never actually got to see the king in  those days so he thinks the king looked different to ordinary humans. She is not impressed!

Jinyung is not impressed with Kwanghyun’s bragging

Kwanghyung is fascinated by all the different animals at the stables. They make great research for him and he wanders around trying to get a closer look and sniffing all the various poo from the different animals – he even asks if he can keep the peacock droppings (I know he is doing this for research purposes but walking around picking up poo is rather gross. And you know you are in the servant class when you even have to ASK a superior if you can collect the poo!)

In the middle of all this he is so busy sniffing poo that he forgets to go to the meeting with the new head of the stables. (now that the old one has been exiled) The new head, Jang Dosik, seems like a serious, disciplined sort of chap. And he’s not impressed when Kwanghyun rocks up late for the meeting. His punishment will be no dinner tonight. Not a good start.

Meanwhile, the princess wants to go and see Kwanghyun – so SHE was the one who got him a place at the stables without an entrance exam. But her lady-in-waiting is worried about how this will look. A princess can’t just turn up for no reason to see a peasant – that would be inappropriate. But the princess doesn’t care. She’s in LOVE. :)

But it looks like Kwanghyun might be making some enemies – the other students don’t like him because of the way he mysteriously got a place at the stables. The mood lightens though when their attention turns to the new nurse. The all-male class arrives giddy with excitement to see a female. They fall over themselves at the sight of her! (Poor desperate young men.) Kwanghyun tries to calm them down. But he seems pleased to see her too and he runs after her to help her carry stuff afterwards. (Teacher’s pet!)

Jinyung deals with the excitable class of testosterone

He puts his foot in it a couple of times though complementing her on how she dealt with the unruly class of young men by insinuating that she is a woman of the world who often goes out drinking in geisha bars at night. Cheeky.

Kwanghyun and Jinyung get to know each other

The Queen Mother collapses again and the old head doctor is dragged out to treat her but he’s getting old and seems to struggle with applying the acupuncture. Myunghwan is told that he will soon be in charge of the pharmacy. But he has a rival: the head of the welfare hospital  Ko Joo Man.

And now we are back to the stables. And I like the humour between Jinyung and Kwanghyun as she struggles to get a pig back in the pen by yanking it by its tail. Kwanghyun shows her how to pull him by his ears instead.

But peace never lasts for long. Suddenly their help is needed when a rider is thrown off his horse. Jinyung and Kwanghyun spring into action. Kwanghyun rushes over to see to the horse while Jinyung rushes to help the rider. She scrapes some amber from her norigae to heal the wound and then applies acupuncture. Kwanghyun looks on impressed. But Jinyung is annoyed with him – how could he ignore the rider and just go to look after the horse? She’s misunderstood him. She thinks he is just thinking about money – a horse is worth more than a slave. (But I don’t believe that she would really think that of him – after all, he’s a peasant too)

Jinyung impresses Kwanghyun with her medical skills

Now this is my favourite scene in the drama so far …Over at the palace, the princess is still in a mood. She doesn’t want to play the games she used to play. I wonder why! She wants to go and see Kwanghun who is now in a field dealing with a lamb. The other sheep won’t accept the orphan lamb and one sheep kicks the poor little feller in the head  (great acting by the sheep. OR was it CG?)

While Kwanghyun is worrying about what to do about this, the princess arrives with the excuse that her kitten is sick again. (But everyone can see that the kitten is NOT SICK) She calls for Kwanghyun – insists that he come and look at her kitten. Then in front of everyone she can’t hide her joy at seeing him and asks him how he is! Hilariously inappropriate and the others are gob-smacked. And her lady-in-waiting et al look mortified. When the princess sees Jinyung working at the stables she’s even more pleased. Because Jinyung can help her see Kwanghyun more often. Ha ha. Of course Kwanghyun can’t find anything wrong with the kitten which worries him. But the princess just chats away to him totally unaware of his discomfort.

Kwanghyun looks worried and embarrassed to be singled out by the princess

Jinyung hides not wanting the princess to know she works at the stables

Later it’s Jinyung’s turn to be impressed with Kwanghyun’s skills when he solves the problem with the orphan lamb. When another lamb is stillborn Kwanghyun replaces it with the orphan so the mother will thinks it’s her new baby. Jinyung helps him. But it’s a long night out in the field and in the morning her hanbok is filthy. So she decides to get another one made. (Couldn’t she just get changed?)

And suddenly I feel like I’m in the sageuk version of Pretty Woman: With her clothes still covered in muck, Jinyung  goes to the shop in the market. Bu the merchant doesn’t want to deal with her since she’s dirty and smelly. The assistants cover their noses and look down on her and refuse to serve her. They try to turn her away. They don’t believe she has the money to pay. But then a young and chivalrous yangban turns up and saves the day – he says he will buy the poor maiden all the clothes she needs.

The yangban is Sungha, her brother. But as Jinyung chats happily to him pleased that he is back, Kwanghyun watches them with surprise. Jinyung dropped her norigae in the field and so Kwanghyun has followed her to return it. But why is she talking to a young yangban?

Jinyung is pleased to see Sungha is back in town

Kibae and Jabong are  back in the city too and have found accommodation. Kwanghyun takes them to a well known restaurant to celebrate where his old ‘teacher’ from the island is now the chef! Kwanghyun asks him if he has found anything about his old friend Yongdal but of course there is no news. He has not given up on her either.

And now for another crisis. The king is informed that cattle are being infected with a disease and it is spreading fast. If the disease reaches the capital it will be disastrous. The vets are sent to deal with it. It’s going to be grim and lots of animals will have to be killed. But it’s even worse than expected – the local people are getting infected too…

 Cattle have to be slaughtered to stop the spread of the disease

Although we’ve ended with a nasty situation (as always) I laughed a lot in this episode. Especially in this scene between the princess and Kwanghyun. She seems so blissfully unaware of her behaviour. The guards are all bowing outside while she spends time with Kwanghyun. He is taken aback by the attention he is getting from her too and unaware of the reason why she is doing this. (L.O.V.E) They are from different worlds and it’s so clear here. He is worried that if he can’t do whatever she asks, then his head will roll. They are so CUTE.  

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