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Korean Drama Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 19 Recap and Review

Posted on October 31 2016

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo 19

All I can say is Moon Lovers is the epitome of drama! Are you ready? Let's get started. And yes, I'm back!


Episode 19 Recap

King Wang So reaches out to Haesoo, telling her to return to her bedroom but she refuses. He repeats Chaeryung fooled her all along and was never honest with her. He pleads for her to not treat him this way because of her. Haesoo thinks back to when Chaeryung comforted her on the night of So’s marriage to Yeonhwa and insists Chaeryung was sincere. When So asks if she trusts Chaeryung over him, Haesoo declares she wants to leave the Palace and adds she can no longer bear this. “What about me? Do you think I’ll let you go? You… can never leave me,” So sternly tells her and walks away.

So looks at Haesoo’s robes in her empty bedroom. During her bath, Yeonhwa recalls So’s proposal to her to turn her back on her family to become his only Queen. She smiles victoriously at the thought of Goryeo becoming her son’s one day.

Haesoo orders Ji Mong to give what she has to Chaeryung’s family. When Won passes by, Haesoo bitterly blames Chaeryung’s death on him. Won, being the emotionless douche he is, brushes Chaeryung’s death off like it’s nothing. He calls her crazy and Haesoo warns him that he will one day regret what he did. He laughs at her and insults her as the King’s mistress.

Later, after hearing what happened from Ji Mong, So tells Haesoo he will proclaim her as a Royal Concubine. Haesoo tells him there’s no need for that, but he says it bothers him. As a Royal Concubine, she will be treated as the wife second only to the Queen. Once she bares his child, she will be proclaimed as the Second Queen. Haesoo tells him the reason why she wants to leave the Palace isn’t because of titles. He ignores this and tells her to discuss the titles she wants with Ji Mong. He takes her hand and pleads for them to not fight; they shouldn’t waste their relationship over something so small. When Haesoo retreats her hands, he can only stare intently.

Wook angrily ponders over what So is up to after he declared he will be reading the entire Essentials of Government in the Zhenguan Reign book. He tells him he will bring a hawk to So as he likes hawk hunting. Won eggs Wook on, saying they can never trust him. He advises they must cut off the King’s arms and legs. When Wook asks if he’s referring to So’s cherished Baekah, Won brings up a particular gisaeng who is always with him.

Baekah continues to convince Woohee, who is reluctant. He tells her he already said they should emancipate all the slaves from Hubaekje, so what happened before will never happen again. Just then, they come across the bodies of publicly punished slaves (a child included!), which utterly horrifies Woohee.

Ji Mong, So and Wook discuss the slaves vs powerful families situation. So is adamant on not allowing foreigners to join in or soldiers. Wook announces lives are in immediate danger, but no soldiers are coming to help. It’s requested for the King to save the powerful families who are the foundation for the nation. So sighs and finally agrees to send soldiers; however, they must go without knives and only with wooden swords. Wook proposes Baekah to lead the troops, shocking So as Baekah has zero military knowledge or skill. Wook reveals Baekah had a Baekje court lady adopted into a Goryeo family and is even marrying her. This has caused suspicion to be raised as someone close to the King can be manipulated by someone from Baekje.

Later, So tries to talk Baekah out of leading the troops as he’s never wield a sword. Baekah proclaims he doesn’t like people suspecting Woohee for ulterior motives and this will ease the accusations. Ji Mong tells So that if he were to step in to take sides, chaos will erupt. Baekah insists on leading, or else they will be controlled by the families and the throne will be in danger. He tells So that he will be fine. Please really be fine, precious Baekah!

Baekah and Woohee have a lovely night together at Damiwon. He confesses he was pretending to be strong in front of So despite not knowing what will happen to him. Woohee tells him he has a wife, so he must survive – she doesn’t want to be a widow! He takes her hand and tells her once he returns, they should get married. At this, Woohee smiles at him and nods. “You are my eternal companion,” He tells her. Right here in this moment, I wish I wasn’t a daughter of Baekje. With all my heart, I am your companion, Woohee thinks to herself as they kiss.

The slaves see the doctrine from the King posted on the walls: I, the King of Goryeo, make this promise to the people of Baekje. Slaves will not be attacked. In order to take care of this matter, I will do the right thing and look into it. All those forced into slavery by war will be freed. Foreigners who were forced into slavery will have their status re-instated. This will be strictly enforced. Slaves who were taken will be returned to their original home region. They will be exempted from taxes for a time to be determined. Receiving different treatment based on your place of origin will be abolished. You may be appointed to work in government. You will become a Goryeo citizen.

The slaves think he’s making a fool out of them though and charge forward. Elsewhere, Jung sends Baekah off with the troops, who ask Jung what he is doing there despite being exiled. Jung tells him he will do as he pleases as he’s not afraid of anything. He sternly tells Baekah he can get injured, but to not die. Baekah asks Jung if he received what Haesoo sent him – the hairpin. At this, Jung acknowledges receiving it, but doesn’t know what it means as there was no message. Baekah tells him her verbal message: ‘I want it.’ At this, Jung is visibly shocked and asks if she really said that. Baekah reveals Haesoo desperately wants “it.” Despite not knowing what it means, he tells Jung to help her. Before going, he tells Jung to remain Haesoo’s friend and So’s as well – he’s having a hard time. Jung tells him he shouldn’t be worrying about others and inquires the whereabouts of Woohee. Baekah tells him he told her not to send him off. Jung leaves shortly afterwards.

Nervous and anxious, Baekah notices the soldiers’ commotion – it’s Woohee! Oh God. No. She’s standing on the ledge above them with dropped doctrine scroll: Later Three Kingdoms: Reunification of Goryeo, Baekje and Silla – it reads. The slaves arrive at this time as well and are horrified at the sight of their beloved Woohee on the ledge. They call out to her in desperation. Baekah runs up to her, but she warns him to not get closer. He begs her to not do it, but Woohee orders him to turn around. “If you see… you won’t ever forget,” She tells him tearfully and falls off the ledge.

I thought I could ignore it and live my life. I was going to deny my parents. But I can’t turn my back on my people who look to see me as a Mother. I don’t think I can live like that. Goryeo and Baekje. Gyeon Hwon and Taejo Wang Geon. Their sins… I will pay for them with my lie. Perhaps this is the reason I was born. I… love you. You alone… are my one and only companion, Woohee narrates at the aftermath of her death. WHY IS EVERYONE DYING.

The slaves drop to their knees and cry out in desperation. At Damiwon Palace, Haesoo falls to her knees as she hears the news. So is visibly shaken. Baekah cradles the lifeless Woohee as he cries out in anguish and heartbreak. Okay, is ANYONE going to have a happy ending?! C’mon. The amount of death this drama has is getting ridiculous.

Sometime later, Haesoo comforts Baekah. He asks why Woohee didn’t tell him – he must’ve made her that way. He labels himself as greedy and berates himself for never “truly” understanding how she felt – why was she so sad and what made her so unhappy? Why were her smiles so brief? Haesoo tearfully tells him Woohee is the bad one here – they gave their hearts to her. In the end, she was not selfish enough. He concludes the King already knew everything.

Baekah confronts So who tells him he knew Woohee asked him for the doctrines which means she already made a deal with him. So tells him he didn’t know she would die – he only knew he can save Baekah if he wrote those doctrines. He further explains that was the moment he realized she was a Princess of Hubaekje. “I wanted to save you,” So declares. “It was like grabbing onto a rotting rope, but I wrote them. I did not know what would happen, but even if I had… it would’ve been the same. To me, you are more important.” At this, Baekah tearfully tells him he knows and understands, but it is too hard for him to accept, “It is hard being my your side, Your Majesty.”

So looks hurt at Baekah’s crying, who suddenly gets on his knees. At the sight of this, So desperately pleads with him to not leave and admits his wrongs. “No, I was [wrong],” Baekah tells him. “I am sorry that I was not enough to protect you, Your Majesty. Please live long and be healthy… brother.” So desperately calls for Baekah as he leaves, but Baekah doesn’t turn back. Oh my goodness, my heart hurts so much for So. Everyone on his side is leaving him one by one: Soo Kyung (the Grand General), Baekah and Haesoo is bound to leave as well. If I knew this drama was a tragedy, I wouldn’t have started it!

In their bedroom, So approaches Yeonhwa who reaffirms her decision to toss away her family to become So’s Queen.

Wook brings So a hunting hawk, but is shocked when he realizes it’s dead. Wook is horrified and realizes someone is trying to frame him and desperately falls to his knees for forgiveness. Won coldly tells him he did it to himself – he was the one who brought the dead hawk. So demands to know if he plans on cursing him. “Then, is this treason?” So cunningly asks. Before Wook can answer, the assembly agree it is in unison. Wook declares he’s being framed, but So smirks at him, “If it is treason, you will have to pay with your life.” Helplessly, Wook looks up at So who looks on with a devilish grin.

Queen Hwangbo rushes to Yeonhwa and asks her to help their brother. At this, Yeonhwa tells her she will not get involved in politics “just” to save him. Her mother is repulsed at her disregard for Wook’s life. Yeonhwa scoffs and says she is Queen now – she has to look at the bigger picture. Queen Hwangbo trembles with rage as Yeonhwa leaves.

Wook is still kneeling before the throne, but no one is in the assembly room anymore. Haesoo begs So to forgive Wook, declaring he was obviously framed. She suddenly pleads on her knees, causing So great concern as her knee is heavily injured. Haesoo tells him he promised not to hurt his brothers. He pleads with her not to do this and notes he doesn’t like her kneeling for Wook’s sake.

“The person who killed the hawk was you, Your Majesty,” Haesoo suddenly says. “You killed the hawk on purpose and now you’ve put Wook’s life in danger.” So releases his grip on her, “What? Is that wrong?” Haesoo’s eyes widen at his words and he continues to explain that Wook killed his oldest brother and Eun. On top of that, he chased Baekah away, tried to kill him and tried to split them apart.

“If you kill anyone else…” Haesoo interrupts him. “It will return to you as bad luck. If you are too severe in giving out punishment, everyone will eventually consider you the enemy. In the future, I do not want you to be remembered as a bloody monarch.”

At this, So says he will let him live, but he will be punished by being confined to his home, never allowed to take one step out. He had greed for Goryeo, so his house will become his entire world. “He will suffocate in that house,” So viciously says much to Haesoo’s horror. “He will have to live until his heart rots.” So continues and laughs, “If I think about it, I suppose this suits him better than killing him immediately.”

Wook treks around his home, but is meted by guards the moment he opens the doors. At Damiwon Palace, Yeonhwa blames what happened to Wook on Haesoo. She admits to Haesoo that that, yes, she pressured him but it was Haesoo who ultimately hammered in the nail. She reveals Wook started to change when Haesoo warned him to be wary of Wang So after the Rain Ritual. After that, Yeonhwa reveals Wook believed So would become King. Moreso, he hated it more than anything that Haesoo was acknowledging another man as King as he had feelings for her.

At this, Haesoo recalls Yo blaming her for everything right before his death. “Everything started with you,” Yo told her before he died. “All because you helped So cover up his scar and take my seat. Because he took what was mine.” Yeonhwa berates Haesoo for changing Wook and blames her for ruining everything and everyone. “You ruined everything and yet, shamelessly, you still live,” Yeonhwa bitterly tells her. Tears swell in Haesoo’s eyes as she questions her own actions.

Later that night, Haesoo recalls the more innocent days when she first arrived at the Palace when all the Princes got along. She questions if everything was her fault, causing her chest to ache.

So is getting his portrait drawn when Jung suddenly barges in, demanding him to give consent to the Late King Yo’s doctrine. So scolds him for ignoring his exile so easily, but Jung hands him the doctrine: I consent to the marriage of the sacred Prince Jung and Court Lady Hae Soo. Visibly shocked, So declares it is fake. Jung says he was enthroned without even a last decree, so he cannot treat the late King’s doctrine this way. He tells him to compare his writing to the late King’s other documents and he will see it is real. So proclaims that everyone in the Palace is aware of his relationship with Haesoo and yet, he still wants to marry her? Jung presses that Haesoo is not a Queen nor is she a Royal Concubine – she’s not his wife, so there is no reason she cannot marry him. He reveals he had informed the other ministers that he is only waiting for his consent to marry her.

Clenching his fist in rage, So orders Ji Mong to punish Jung for breaking his exile but is interrupted by Jung who tells him Haesoo wants it. So is shocked speechless.

So confronts Haesoo about Jung’s marriage proposal, which is news to Haesoo. She quickly recomposes himself after he tells her he had a doctrine from the late King that gave him consent to marry her. Haesoo asks when the doctrine was written and So tells her it was the Year of the Monkey in September – it was right after Jung won a battle in Hwayi against Khitan.

“Jung says you want marriage, too. I know you don’t,” So says to her, hopeful. “I can dismiss that doctrine as fake.” Suddenly, Haesoo interrupts him and tells him she wants it. Shocked, he can only look at her as she explains it is a big crime to go against the will of the King – if he does not adhere to it this time, someone will bring up his ascension to the throne. “When we were apart, we always longed for one another,” Haesoo continues. “My heart got torn up just thinking of you. Now, I see you daily and smile. I am afraid. Sometimes, I even despise you.”

 “You despise me?” So asks. Haesoo continues, “If we continue like this, it is obvious that someday, only hate and disgust will be left. I do not want that. I would rather leave now.” So tells her he will never allow it. He stares at her intently before walking off, leaving Haesoo exasperated.

Yeonhwa berates So for ignoring the late King’s doctrine due to the suspicious way he ascended the throne. “You made me turn on my family and brother,” Yeonhwa declares. “You cannot throw away Haesoo, Your Majesty?”

“That’s right,” So coldly tells her. “I can never let Haesoo go.” Yeonhwa scoffs and asks how long he will say that – she will wait and see. “You may throw away the throne, but I can never do that.” She turns to leave.

In his library, Wook thinks back to Haesoo telling him to stop kneeling in front of the throne and that the King has agreed to let him live. He asks what if people start suspecting her, too. “It’s not like… you have any feelings left for me,” He says. Haesoo tells him that no matter whom it was, she would’ve done the same thing. The King knows that, too, she reassures him. She tells him to get over this – the throne and person – no one can escape this misery if he does not leave this place. “You… must give up first,” She tells him. Wook looks at her as she leaves.

Yeonhwa visits Wook with the worst disguise ever (a SHEER mask, oh please) and asks him to help her.

The next day, Wook visits the King. Yeonhwa tells So to listen to Wook until the end. “I… had something to confess about my relationship with Haesoo,” Wook starts, piquing So’s curiosity.

“The two of us… had promised to marry one another,” Wook confesses. So asks if he wants to die. “It was long before she became your woman. Soo… was my person.” So is enraged at this.

Later, So confronts Haesoo and tells her he found out why she was so desperate to save Wook – why she got on her knees. “That bracelet you wore for a long time… the secret meetings at the Damiwon,” So starts. “Is it all true? Were you really planning on marrying Wook?”

Although shocked, Haesoo admits it. “The person you told me you loved… was it Wook?” So asks. Haesoo admits it, too. He pieces together pieces of the puzzle from past memories and reconfirms their previous relationship with each other.

“Just lie to me instead. Tell me it’s a misunderstanding. Then we can go back to before,” So pleads with her. “We said we would not lie to one another,” Haesoo tells him. So asks how she could hurt him like this – why Wook of all people? Haesoo steps towards him, reaching out, but he is in tears.

“You always had Wook in your heart,” So tells her. Haesoo pleads with him that that is not the case, but he tugs away (so heartbreaking). “Starting today, I will not ever see you again,” He coldly tells her and leaves. Tears swell in her eyes. Haesoo falls to her knees, completely defeated.

Haesoo leaves Damiwon Palace and her attendants are all in tears at her departure. She smiles at them.

Ji Mong tells So it was enough to case Haesoo aside once, “I know they say you must sacrifice in order to protect this throne, but if you send her away like this, you will lose yourself as well.”

So irrational insists he didn’t throw her away, but she threw him away.

Baekah sends Haesoo off with a drink as that was how they bonded. They lament over Jung’s “way out” of the Palace. They both don’t like the marriage idea, but since it is the only way, she will do it. Baekah tells her what they had was a precious relationship and they drink to that. She tells him to not become sick with grief. “At the very least, I wanted you to stay with my brother,” Baekah tells her but Haesoo tells him there is too much blood in their relationship. “I thought I could stop it. I was wrong. I have no confidence to stand by and watch anymore.”

Wook comes by as well, but an angry Baekah tells him to leave before he does something to him. Haesoo stops him, however. He leaves to give the two some privacy.

Haesoo thanks Wook for what he did, who then confesses he didn’t do what he did out of good intentions. “If you did not know that I wanted to leave, I know you would never have said such things,” Haesoo tells him. Wook tells him Jung will be good to her. He tells her to take good care of herself and since she is intent on leaving, to cut things off cleanly. He tells her to forget everything that has passed and to only think of the future. Goodness, this scene is heart wrenching. Wook… ah, oh Wook. I love you, but I hate you.

“Soo… I think you might understand me,” He tells her. “If you do, you might understand. If you understand, you’ll have nothing to be sad about.” He reaches out to her shoulder, hesitantly. THIS SCENE OH MY GOD. THE TENSION AND EMOTIONS! “You should go now.”

Haesoo looks at him as he pulls her into a last embrace. “Forget us. Forget everything. This life… is over.” He finally smiles a genuine smile and she, too, returns one. Wow, anyone tearing? I am so happy the two of them have finally reached a CLOSURE! It's about time!

Haesoo looks back at the Palace one last time. In the Palace, So gazes at Haesoo’s room in defeat and anguish. He staggers towards her robes and grips it. Tears swell in Haesoo’s eyes as she narrates: If I had not met him, I would not yearn for him. If I did not know him, I would not think of him so much. If we had not been together, I would not have to disappear. If I did not treasure him so much, I would not have so many memories. I f I did not love him, we would not have to throw each other away. If we had not been face-to-face, we would never have been together. Perhaps… if I had not met you all.”

Tears swell in her eyes as she looks back at the Palace one last time. In her room, So cries as he clutches onto her robes.


Episode 19 Review

Okay, I know, I know I don’t have recaps for 16, 17 or 18 up, but I managed to binge watch 3 episodes after getting access to the drama again. Since 19 aired today, I didn’t want to miss it so I decided to do this instead: I’ll do a mini recap of the important things from what happened over the past 3 episodes and continue from here.

I loved Haesoo when she decided to stay by So’s side after realizing the pressure he is getting to marry Yeonhwa (especially as the King of a nation). That is the Haesoo I love - headstrong and determined to not allow anything to get between their love. However, I hate the Haesoo who resents So for punishing Chaeryung even when everything has been explained to her. How can she be so blind? I can understand her compassion for Chaeryung, especially since she supported her during the night of So's wedding to Yeonhwa (that must mean a lot), but Chaeryung literally killed King Mu (a huge crime!) and admitted no regrets for her actions out of blind love for someone like Won. Although I hate how all the Princes are dying one by one, I need Won to go. Like, yesterday.

I feel like EP16 onwards has been… incredibly rushed. Eun and Soon Deok are killed, Haesoo and So break up, there is another time skip, Yo dies, Haesoo and So get back together, So becomes King, Queen Yoo dies, So turns evil, Jung gets exiled for treason... Everything happened (and is happening) so quickly – it was all crammed into these episodes. I wish So’s “turning evil” was more fleshed out because his “evil personality” almost came out of nowhere!

I LOVED the cute scenes between him and Haesoo (at the festival and I especially loved the dinner scenes that included Baekah)… but all the personality changes came out of nowhere. It’s not just So. It applies to Haesoo as well – her resentment towards So because of Chaeryung’s situation (seriously?). Ji Mong’s wishy-washy stance on Haesoo and So’s relationship is also questionable. One moment, he tells Haesoo to give up on So and the next, he tells So he will regret his decision forever if he casts Haesoo aside.

There’s also Queen Hwangbo who tells Yeonhwa she will cast aside Wook, but gets enraged when Yeonhwa doesn’t help him. I love Jung and I love his character – I’m actually glad that out of all the Princes Haesoo can marry, it’s him because… he has been the most honest with her and least greedy; however, I can’t understand how he can still side with his Mother over So (and constantly blame him – even for Eun’s death) after witnesses everything she and Yo did. Out of all the Princes, I love Baekah the most and OF COURSE, Woohee has to die. I can also go on about Yo’s sudden guilt over killing Mu and Eun which seemingly came out of nowhere… but I have to say, I felt so bad for him when he confessed to Haesoo that he was only trying to live because he didn’t want his Mother to treat him like So. Regardless, bad choices, Yo, bad choices.

Onto this episode, I am baffled at how angry So is over Wook and Haesoo’s past relationship. I understand he is hurt, but how can he say she is tossing him aside? How can he even think she had Wook in her heart all along? It’s so heartbreaking! WHY IS THIS DRAMA A TRAGEDY?! AHHHH. Why can't these characters be more empathetic towards each other?! Where's the compassion?! Where's the two-way communication?!

On another note, I am happy Haesoo is leaving the Palace. I am scared for her future after learning she has chronic heart pain… and thus, not long to live. The Palace is such a toxic environment and it will only deteriorate her health faster. She put so much trust and faith into So, but to see him spiral into someone so evil must be… I can’t even begin to understand how she must feel. He even doubted her love for him after finding out about her past relationship with Wook!

Despite loving the chemistry between Haesoo and So, I have to admit it has evolved into something incredibly unhealthy. As Haesoo even states herself – if they continue at their current rate, there will only be hate left in the end. However, I feel so much for So because everyone he loves is leaving his side one by one.

I am so not ready for the finale tomorrow. Sadness everywhere. MY HEART ACHES FOR EVERYONE. WHY, MOON LOVERS, WHY?!



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