Joseon defeat the invaders with the help of Ming. And things get back to normal, which unfortunately means political scheming. Heo Jun is promoted for his good work. But due to scandals, Ye Jin leaves the palace.
Do ji is treating the king with acupuncture. The king is unconscious (but surely if he were awake he would not be wanting Do Ji to treat him! ) However, the treatment works and the king soon recovers consciousness. He asks Heo Jun to forgive him for questioning his loyalty (when Heo Jun chose to save the medical books over the king!) and he is prepared to forgive Do Ji. So Heo Jun has saved Do Ji’s life. (The last time Heo Jun helped Do Ji – when he saved his mother’s life – Do Ji didn’t like it and was desperate to repay the debt asap so that he could get back to HATING Heo Jun. But this time it’s different. He’s changed.)
The king decides to forgive Do Ji
And now for another great scene. Do Ji and Heo Jun stand in the pouring rain as Do Ji begs for forgiveness. He wants to pour his heart out and tell Heo Jun about ALL the times he has backstabbed him. But Heo Jun stops him saying the past is the past. This made me cry. 😥 )
Do Ji begs Heo Jun for forgiveness
But I do have one issue with this scene. The rain pours down hard. They must be so cold. Realistically, why wouldn’t they just run for shelter? These days even a spot of rain will bring out the umbrellas! Yes, it’s emotional for them, but they could still stand under a roof. I think there is too much blatant sympathetic background in this scene for my taste. The fact that Do Ji tries to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness is powerful enough without the hosepipe.
Anyway, the king must prepare for more bad news: Pyeongyang Castle has fallen to the Japanese. We don’t know what has happened to Heo Jun’s family, but Prince Gwang Hae is unharmed and there is new hope as Ming has promised to back Joseon against the Japanese. And General Yi Sung Sin (there’s a statue of him in Seoul) seems to be on top of things with his naval forces down south too. Finally Heo Jun hears that his family are OK.
Ye Jin watches from a distance as Heo Jun hears that his family have not been found
Joseon wins this war with the help of backup from Ming. The king is happy but Heo Jun is disturbed because many civilians died – not because of direct contact with the war, but due to disease and epidemics. Heo Jun wants to write medical books to help the ordinary people.
Now we jump to the time that Heo Jun and his team of doctors have finished compiling the books. Heo Jun has compiled them in a new systematic way because he wants the commoners to learn about herbs since many people die not knowing that medicine is growing for free nearby.
Finally, for the first time in a long time Heo Jun and Ye Jin sit and talk together. It’s an intimate mood. She pours him a drink worried that he has been up for 3 nights in a row. He tells her that this is the most important work he has ever done and she looks at him with admiration. But suddenly Consort In Bin’s brother bursts in wanting to speak with Heo Jun – and he clearly notices the intimate mood… Ye Jin leaves. Now the war is over the political games can begin again. sigh. The same old tricks begin as Heo Jun is told NOT to help a government official – Sir Sung – recover from his illness. Of course Heo Jun refuses.
Heo Jun and Ye Jin share an intimate moment before In Bin’s brother bursts in!
Sir Sung recovers and the king puts him in charge of rewarding those who helped them during the war – and that includes Heo Jun! Heo Jun is promoted to a level 1 official position! There are grumbles and complaints again about this and the fact that his mother was a concubine is brought up again. When this doesn’t stop his promotion, rumours spread that Heo Jun and Ye Jin have been having an affair for years. Ye Jin is blamed of course and is sent to see the king. In a very moving scene she explains to the king exactly how she feels. (This is Ye Jin’s best scene of the drama) She explains that she has admired and respected Heo Jun since she first met him. But that is all. She would never come between him and his wife.
Ye Jin explains her relationship with Heo Jun to the king
Heo Jun is promoted as planned. Ye Jin decides to return to the temple. Faithful till the end she tells Sanghwa to support Heo Jun with his books. In the evening she notes that even the owl’s coo is sorrowful tonight. Its bittersweet for Heo Jun because as he gets promoted, Ye Jin leaves the palace.
As Heo Jun is promoted Ye Jin leaves the palace
So we see how men and women are treated differently. But Ye Jin got off lightly here because if they had decided that she had indeed had an affair with Heo Jun, then she would probably have been put to death. But he would just have lost his job. It seems the gossip is enough to convict someone though. There is absolutely no proof but spreading rumours can end a career. Scary. It is so sad to see Ye Jin leaving the palace to go back to the temple while Heo Jun remains at the palace and gets promoted. Yes, he has done amazing things. But at the start of his career, she knew more than he did. But she gets no recognition at all.
The last few episodes remind me of the importance of books. Without the medical books Do Ji was unable to cure the prince. Yes they were heavy and a burden to carry. But in the long run they could have saved the prince’s life.
So now Heo Jun wants to write books for the ordinary people. At this time, although the yangban still only used Chinese characters, books could be produced in hangeul too for commoners. No matter how high Heo Jun becomes in rank he never forgets his goals in life. It’s too bad that Do Ji was not like that. He was only interested in promotion and that was his downfall in the end. Hopefully he can redeem himself from now on as he seems, for the first time, to be behind Heo Jun.