In episode 1 Heo Jun was a streetwise, cocky smuggler always ready for a fight. By the end of episode 2, he’s a desperate fugitive, soppily in love with a yangban lady well out of his league (even if she is a fugitive too). He’s still ready for a fight though and does manage to get himself thrown into prison not once but TWICE! 😮
All our man wants to do is save his sweetheart and run away with her (and his mum of course. – romance is acceptable up to a point but filial piety is more important. We are in Confucian Joseon after all 😉 ). But when it looks like his lady is going to get her title back, Heo Jun is sure she won’t be interested in an illegitimate lowly boy like him anymore.
Dr Jang, the man paying Heo Jun to smuggle herbs, is worried that Heo Jun (who has been arrested for smuggling) will now expose HIM. So he decides to save himself by exposing Heo Jun FIRST for helping the fugitives. Meanwhile Heojun’s friend, Yang Tae, helps Da Hee escape from the guards and tells her that Heo Jun is in love with her. (OK just in case we weren’t sure about his feelings for her we are now told DIRECTLY! I still feel this has happened too quickly but I suppose we have to believe in love at first sight. 😉 ) Meanwhile Heo Jun is tortured to find out where Da Hee is. Of course he refuses to say anything. But his dad listens to his groaning from the torture and looks disturbed.
Under torture Heojun refuses to reveal Da Hee’s whereabouts. His friend Yang Tae helps her while Heo Jun is incarcerated.
After the interrogation, Heojun sits in the prison cell crying as he hears his mother begging his father to forgive them and save her son. His father just coldly walks away. But suddenly Heojun is taken from prison during the night. In shock Heojun sinks to his knees as his father appears before him. (But he calls him ‘Sir’, nauri, not ‘Father’.) At last his father acknowledges responsibility for his son. He also tells him not to waste his life and opportunities, because it’s not about status or rank but how you lead your life that matters. (um, that’s easy for you to say, Mr. Yangban.) His father helps him escape, but Heojun cries again knowing that he will be punished later for helping him. (there’s a lot of crying going on. We’re seeing a very different man to the one we saw in episode 1! Aigoo. )
Heo Jun kneels before his father
Heo Jun rushes off to find Da Hee so that they can escape together. It sounds romantic, but lIfe is going to be tough because they will have to hide their real identities from now on. In the morning his father is left to face the music while guards rush after the fugitives. Heojun’s friend Yang Tae sacrifices himself and distracts the guards so that Heo Jun and Da Hee can make it to the boat.
The fugitives escape to Hanyang, Da Hee sees the yanban who betrayed them.
In Hanyang (the capital) they manage to sneak past the ID check-point. But they discover the place is in political chaos. Da Hee recognises the man who she believes doublecrossed her father taken away in a ‘prison cage palanquin’. (only yangban get taken away to prison in a palanquin! Every one else has to walk!) Perhaps this is good news for her. She could get her yangban status back if her father is exonerated.
Even though Heo Jun was told to keep out of trouble (since he has no ID badge) he manages to get into a fight and is thrown into prison. AGAIN! He thinks quickly and takes on the name of his friend Yang Tae. His cellmates are yangban involved in the conspiracy and he overhears them talking about Da Hee’s father. But when he asks, they refuse to tell him anything since he is just a commoner and should know his place.
Later, when the yangban suddenly get released, the prison guards are in trouble for putting Heo Jun in the cell with them. (commoners and yangban should be separate, but the prison was so full). He’s a thorn in their side and they want to get rid of him quickly, so he he gets away with 10 lashes for being without an ID. (They don’t bother to find out who he really is. Phew! That was lucky.)
Da Hee asks her father’s friend, the Mayor of Hanyang, for help
Heo Jun realises that Da Hee’s name has been restored. And now he’s afraid she’ll leave him if she discovers this. So he wants to get away from Hanyang before she finds out. (That’s very naughty, Heo Jun. Hiding this information is beneath you). But in the end he clearly feels bad about this (and so he should) and is about to tell Da Hee the truth, when she stops him and says that no matter what happens, she wants to be with him.
They continue their plan to get away from Hanyang and try to hire a boat but it’s too expensive. So Da Hee pays a visit to Min Ja Hun, the mayor who was her father’s friend (and the one who was in prison with Heo Jun) to ask him for help. But next day when the boat doesn’t show up Heo Jun realises that the ‘friend’ was the one he overheard in prison wanting to get rid of Da Hee and her father since they ‘know too much’. Heo Jun realises it’s a trap but it’s too late. Armed guards arrive and drag Da Hee away …
Just as it seems they can run away to a Joseon Gretna Green and live happily ever after in secret, everything falls apart. (Actually, I’m glad! I prefer the cranky, feisty Heo Jun, not the loved-up one. AND I don’t like these two as a couple. Don’t marry her Heo Jun. You’re making a BIG MISTAKE….)
But oh, I sympathise with the problem of trusting people that you think are on your side and then turn out to be your enemy. The capital is full of untrustworthy people as country bumpkin Heo Jun is about to find out. Now he’s out of his hometown and out of his comfort zone so he’s going to have to pull his beoseon socks up. Which can only be a good thing.
I was glad that his father finally stepped in to help him (even if it wasn’t till after his poor mother grovelled on the ground begging him for help. grrr.)