In this episode Ye Jin manages to get herself out of a dodgy situation with the ambassador from Ming. Heo Jun starts his day off well when he successfully treats the king who falls off his horse on a hunting trip. But then things go pear-shaped when the police captain recognises Heo Jun, the smuggler he arrested years ago …
Heo Jun drinks alone. He’s upset that after all Ye Jin has done for him over the years, he is unable to do anything for her in return. She has been sent to provide ‘bed service’ for the ambassador arriving from Ming. Heo Jun goes to ask his boss to stop Ye Jin being sent there but it’s too late and there is nothing that can be done now.
At first she doesn’t know what is going on and she is pleased to see Nurse So Hyun has been sent there too. But her smile fades when she discovers the ugly truth. Both nurses are given new clothes and fresh makeup. Ye Jin pleads with the head court lady to let her off this task. But her pleas are ignored. In fact she is scolded for making a fuss when this job is so important. Still Ye Jin refuses to accept the situation and sits down with tears in her eyes to write a letter of farewell to Heo Jun. She bribes one of the court ladies (with her ring) to give the letter to him. Later when So Hyun comes to get her there is no answer from her room. They find her unconscious in bed having attempted to commit suicide.
Ye Jin must prepare to spend the night with the Ming ambassador
The head court lady and the nurses rush over to Ye Jin’s side. And with acupuncture and some sort of CPR they bring her back to life. The nurses want to get a doctor to look at her but the head court lady insists they keep all this a secret because since Ye Jin tried to disobey orders this could get them all in trouble. (The head court lady is so cold and only concerned about herself! Is that why she has bright red lip stick when all the others were subdued makeup?) The court lady who Ye Jin tried to bribe now hands over the letter!
Once Ye Jin is brought back to life she receives little sympathy
The head court lady orders Ye Jin to go through with her job or else she will report the affair with the doctor and then they will BOTH be in trouble! So Hyun has an idea and she and Ye Jin sneak into the medicine warehouse to get sleeping medicine.
As the two girls prepare to get into their palanquins to be taken to the ambassadors’ quarters a messenger arrives to say that only one nurse will be required. So Hyun is sent back to her residence! (So even after Ye Jin tried to commit suicide she is still the one that is chosen to go!) The head court lady has warned Ye Jin already that if she doesn’t do a good job here then her ‘affair’ with Heo Jun will be reported. And Ye Jin DOES NOT WANT THAT as then Heo Jun will also be in trouble.
So Hyun sneaks them into the medicine room to steal some sleep medicine
Ye Jin is frisked before being allowed to enter the ambassador’s room! (Her sleeping medicine is not discovered though!) The table is full of food and an old man is sitting writing. With a shaky hand Ye Jin is about to secretly put the sleeping medicine in the old ambassador’s drink when he suddenly bends over in pain. He is suffering from severe stomach cramps and Ye Jin’s instinct as a nurse kick in and she wants to help him. She ends up offering him the medicine directly, boldly telling him the truth – that she was going to drug him because since she is a nurse and not a gisaeng she would rather die than provide bed service. He appreciates her honesty and decides to trust her and take the drug himself. Later he feels better and Ye Jin leaves his room unscathed. The ambassador is satisfied and Ye Jin is praised for her good work. Phew!
So Hyun worries as Ye Jin is taken to meet the ambassador
Now Heo Jun is called to go with the king on a hunting trip. Gong Bin has asked for him specifically to go with the king. But during the hunt the king falls off his horse and hurts his ankle so Heo Jun gives him acupuncture – nothing is broken. The police chief comes over to thank him for his good work and Heo Jun recognises him as the man who arrested him for smuggling years ago. (Oh dear. 😮 ) So far the police chief doesn’t recognise him though. It was more than 10 years ago now but if he recognises him, Heo Jun will be in big trouble.
But the police chief is friends with another doctor at the welfare clinic and Heo Jun ends up getting invited out for a drink with them. The police chief says he feels like he has met Heo Jun before. He asks about his home town and Heo Jun looks uncomfortable. Of course the police chief eventually remembers WHERE he has met Heo Jun before. Heo Jun tries to deny everything and the police chief agrees that it’s lucky that he is NOT Heo Jun the smuggler who eloped with a yangban lady because THAT Heo Jun man will have to get the death sentence some day …
Heo Jun recognises the police chief who arrested him for smuggling years ago
OH NOOOOOO! What is Heo Jun going to do now? I agree that yes, strictly speaking, he broke the law smuggling and should therefore be punished. But on the other hand I don’t see what is so wrong with marrying someone from another class. And in some ways I feel like this second crime is considered to be worse than the first! Surely the death penalty for these crimes is far too harsh?
It’s interesting that now when Ye Jin is in real trouble – for the first time in the drama – Heo Jun is unable to help her. Instead she ends up getting herself out of the situation by herself – with help from her friend So Hyun and the sleeping medicine. By being her honest self with the ambassador she wins his trust. Good stuff. She is such a noble character. But in a way so tragic. And I think this episode emphasises how futile her love for Heo Jun is. Although I accept that she enjoys being by his side since she respects and admires him, she can never have more than this and as he is married to someone else in this strict Confucian society, he can’t do much for her either.