It becomes clear that Kwanghyun was born to be a doctor. He has a natural gift. But Myunghwan gets more and more frustrated when he hears about Kwanghyun’ success. And outraged to discover that Jinyung has been helping him pass the medical test. Myunghwan believes that Kwanghyun is a peasant and has no business even dreaming of becoming a doctor and so he is determined to teach him a lesson so that he will know his place once and for all.
Kwanghyun manages to put all the needles into the correct places on the practice dummy even though this is the first time he has used a dummy! Jinyung wonders how on earth managed that. He humbly apologises wondering if he has done something wrong. He says, 저는 이게 좀 수은이 나오(는지) 안나오(는지) 궁금해서 …’I was just curious to see if the mercury came out or not ‘… (I would be wondering the exact same thing if i could get a hold of one of those dummies) Still in shock at his skills Jinyung tests him and he manages to put the needles in the correct spot every time.
Over to Inju and the mood changes to sorrowful music with her thoughtful expression under burning red autumn maple leaves. She is pondering the fate of the young boy Baek Kwanghyun who she searched for for years. But she still can’t believe that she may have found him here right under her nose! Just then Jinyung comes racing over to ask her to come and see Kwanghyun’s skills. They both watch in awe. Especially when he confirms that this is indeed the first time he has used the acupuncture practice dummy (침구동인경)
Inju and Jinyung admire Kwanghyun’s work
Kwanghyun has only been studying the theory of human anatomy for a month too. Inju asks Kwanghyun to step outside for a moment and he does so turning their shoes to face outwards as he goes (this is polite thing to do for guests). He recognises that they are surprised because he is doing so well and this pleases him.
Inju realises that he is a natural. He must have been born with the skills. Meanwhile Dr Ko looks over Kwanghyun’s test results too and seems to be thinking the exact same thing.
Kwanghyun’s medical exam paper
The Queen Mother is unwell. Myunghwan and the nurse are there seeing to her and note that she has an irregular pulse. Caused by the stress of Myunghwan and Lord Jung stirring things up no doubt. Lord Jung arrives and she admits that she is not happy about Dr Ko’s appointment as he has too much influence over the king since the king is still new to politics. She thinks it’s time for her to step in. (Oh dear) Lord Jung looks pleased. Meanwhile Dr Ko is summoned to the King. The king is in a predicament because he doesn’t want to do as his mother wishes but he also doesn’t want to disobey her either. So he encourages Dr Ko to carry out his wishes for him.
The King summons Dr Ko
Now for some fun. (I’ll do a manga scene of this later) Princess Sukwui has sent her long suffering guard out to find a good luck charm for Kwanghyun. The poor guard decides that ladies underwear would be the luckiest charm. (WHY WHY WHY?) He climbs over a wall into a family home and grabs the ‘bloomers’ off the washing line. But the young agashi of the house arrives to catch him and in a tizzy she starts throwing anything she can find at him. So he simply grabs the garment and flees.
Kwanghyun rushes to a meeting about the second part of the medical test. The candidates all line up. There are yangban wearing fine silks and less finely dressed but well-groomed candidates. No one is as scruffy as Kwanghyun with his tatty clothes and unkempt hair. At least all the others are wearing hats and have their hair well-groomed. The yangban snobs mutter to themselves when they see Kwanghyun arrive but he is undeterred. They try to bully him – complaining that he smells of horse manure. But Kwanghyun calmly reminds them that he got a better grade on the first test!
Only one of the other candidates, Baek Daemang, is friendly towards Kwanghyun. He is an outcast from the group too as he is not from a posh doctor’s background either. But his mother is the owner of the popular restaurant in the town so he’s not poor. Just from new money. Daemang tells Kwanghyun about some of the other candidates – the haughty nobleman Yun Taeju came top of the class. And clearly believes he will come top again. But when Daemang tells his mother that he has brought a horse doctor back for dinner she is angry with him – she wants him mingling with yangban not peasants! While they are there Sungha turns up too with his friends. Sungha congratulates Kwanghyun on passing the first part of the test. (Poor Sungha he is too nice)
Myunghwan hears from his guard Kang that Kwanghyun has the same name as the young boy they supposedly killed all those years ago. Although they are sure he is not the SAME boy, Myunghwan doesn’t want him hanging around Jinyung. They must do something about this …
Kang stirs things up and encourages Myunghwan to do something about Kwanghyun
Jinyung helps Kwanghyun learn his pressure points on the acupuncture practice dummy. She explains the grading system for the pressure points – more difficult points get more marks. But they will focus on the easier ones to be sure of getting the marks. It looks like he’s a natural as he manages to hit the exact spot every time and mercury oozes out of the dummy. Looks like he will pass the test.
Inju has been thinking things over and decides that with his doctor’s skills Kwanghyun MUST be the one she has been looking for all these years after all. He even looks like his father Dojun. She anounces she will take some time off and rushes off into the town. (I don’t know why she knocks into another lady walking along the path though. There’s plenty of room for both of them there. no need for that!)
Inju decides Kwanghyun must be the boy she has been looking for
Jabong offers to be Kwanghyun’s 구종 (errand boy / assistant) as all the doctors have them. But Kwanghyun just laughs it off. But their conversation is halted when a court lady arrives to summon Kwanghyun to the palace.
Meanwhile the long suffering guard has brought the underwear to Princess Sukhui. It’s all wrapped up in silk cloth. But Kwanghyun arrives and the guard is hastily dismissed before he gets a change to tell the princess WHAT he actually has brought! So the princess has no clue. We see a range of emotions now! The lady-in-waiting greets Kwanghyun with a resigned expression. The guard looks bewildered as though he is not sure if he has done the right thing or not. (NOT!) Kwanghyun looks nervous on his best behaviour and the princess looks excited to see him. (They are all so cute but this is the comedy interlude before Kwanghyun’s luck changes)
The guard’s odd behaviour leads the lady-in-waiting to come over and ask him what’s wrong. And he tells her what he took from the washing line. The lady-in-waiting is shocked and rushes towards the princess’ quarters screaming her name. ha ha ha
At that moment the princess is telling Kwanghyun that she has got him a good luck gift for his medical exam. He is delighted and asks if he may open it. They both stare at the item as Kwanghyun holds up the undergarment in bewilderment. The princess finally realises what it is and is mortified. At that moment the lady in waiting comes FLYING into the room and slides across the floor on her belly wrestling the item from Kwanghyun and covering it with her body. Petticoats everywhere. She hastily explains it was the wrong present! (OMG That was funny.)
But things are not so jolly with Myunghwan. He calls Jinyung in for a serious chat. She is not to see the horse doctor anymore and she is grounded for the time being too. Jinyung begs him to change his mind but he is adamant.
Myunghwan bans Jinyung from seeing the horse doctor again
Kwanghyun walks home in a jolly mood after the whole underwear incident. But the laughter stops when he is surrounded by some dodgy characters. He tries to fight back but there are too many of them and they overpower him, and he is carried away in a fireman’s lift. (when someone is sick they are taken to the hospital in a piggy back. But when they are taken hostage they are given a fireman’s lift!)
the mood turns dark with the appearance of Guard Kang
Of course this is Myunghwan’s doing and Guard Kang appears looking menacing. Kwanghyun is forced to hold his arm out on a slab and Guard Kang beats the hell out of it with a big stick. (at least he didn’t cut his arm off!) The excuse is that they are doing this to remind Kwanghyun of his place – a man like him should not be a doctor or spend time with a noble woman like Jinyung. But it’s his right hand too and the acupuncture test is tomorrow. Kwanghyun screams in agony.
Kwanghyun begs them not to hurt his arm
Kidae and Jabong are waiting for Kwanghyun at home. Kidae is like a worried father and goes off searching for him. He finds him collapsed on his way home.
Sungha has realised something is going on and confronts Myunghwan but Myunghwan turns on him too – he is supposed to be marrying Jinyung so why is he allowing her to spend time with a horse doctor? (Because he’s s nice guy, that’s why) Then when he sees Guard Kang arriving back with his men he questions him about where he’s been. Kang hesitates and looks guilty.
The doctor arrives to see Kwanghyun but he doesn’t seem very helpful or sympathetic! He tells him that there is no way he will be able to take the medical exam tomorrow. But Kwanghyun cries with despair – he MUST take the exam no matter what.
The doctor tells Kwanghyun his cut is too deep to treat before the exam
The following day practice dummies and acupuncture needles are laid out for the exam. The candidates wait nervously to enter the grounds. But Kwanghyun is still at home. He takes off the splint and holding his bad arm he rushes off to the exam. But all the candidates are sitting at their places ready to start the test. Dr Ko arrives and looks disappointed when he sees that Kwanghyun is not there. But just as the exam begins Kwanghyun comes running in.
Kwanghyun’s place is empty at the medical test
The test starts but Kwanghyun is clearly in a lot of pain. Daebang is sitting on one side of him and Dr Ko’s son is on the other. But they both notice that there is something wrong with Kwanghyun – he’s groaning and bleeding. The task for the test is revealed on the scrolls and everyone starts. As planned Kwanghyun starts with the easy points but realises that he can’t do a lot. He is in too much pain. He decides that he will just do the advanced points – the red ones – which get more marks. If he can just do them then he will pass. It’s a risk and that’s why the others all do the easier points. But Kwanghyun has no choice.
The candidates wait to begin the exam
Everyone stops to see him do this difficult task (they are all going to fail at this rate as they are only watching him!). Nobody can believe it. He only needs to insert 7 needles to pass and now he reaches for the final needle. But he’s running out of time. Jinhyung has heard from Sungha what happened and tries to go and see him but Myunghwan’s me stop her. Myunghwan arrives and watches in horror as it looks like Kwanghyun will achieve the impossible. But there is no time left. ‘Time is up. Time is up’ he yells demanding that the exam be stopped. Everything turns to slow motion. Kwanghyun is holding the final needle but he is shaking. Can he really do it. The gong is about to go off …..
Well, I went through so many emotions in this episode – more than any other episode so far. I found the acting a little dodgy at the beginning when Kwanghyun tries to look surprised at Jinhung’s reaction or at least humble after managing to put all the needles in the acupuncture dummy correctly. But I laughed out loud at the princess and the underwear scene – I love all the comedy between Kwanghyun and the princess. Then I found myself covering my eyes in horror when he gets his arm battered with the stick. And then I was relieved that at least his arm wasn’t cut off. Then I was shouting at the screen at Myunghwan when he tried to get the exam stopped – ok so time was up. And finally I was excited in the race against time for Kwanghyun – can he put the last needle in the dummy in time??
So now I am quite exhausted. YES. This is what sageuk is all about! Finally I’m starting to feel more involved like I must see the next episode right NOW – or at least after I finish writing this …