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Korean Drama Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 2 Recap and Review

Posted on August 30 2016

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

Note: I will be referring to IU’s character, Hajin/Haesoo as “Haesoo” from now on as that’s how everyone sees her. She also introduced herself as Haesoo!

I went a little crazy with the screen caps for this episode, so I hope you enjoy them!


Episode 2 Recap

Continuing from the last episode, “Wolf Dog” So swoops up our heroine Haesoo onto his horse. He continues to ride with her, his hand around her waist as she grips onto his shoulder. He slowly comes to a stop and they stare at each other one more…

And then he roughly shoves her off his horse. HAHAHA! Haesoo falls onto the floor in shock. He’s about to ride off, but she yells at him to stop. She asks how he can throw someone around like a bag. Although amused, he stays silent and attempts to leave, but Haesoo grabs onto his horse. She then proceeds to lecture the Wolf Dog on how people come before horses.

He’s clearly intrigued by her outburst, but scares her with his horse before galloping off. Haesoo, irritated, screams after him. A concerned lady runs up to Haesoo, telling her to forget about him and stresses how lucky Haesoo is to still be alive. When Haesoo finds out that was the 4th Prince, she ponders just how many sons King Taejo has.

Chaeryung finally catches up to Haesoo. Haesoo, remembering the homeless man doppelganger, asks Chaeryung if she knows who the man with the Princes was. She doesn’t, though, but panics because Princess Yeonhwa has been looking for her.

Princess Yeonhwa, in the company of the six other Princes, mutters that it seems like their 4th brother, So, is not coming. Eun reveals that he accidentally stepped on So’s foot a few days ago and was asked if he wanted to die. LOL. Jung chimes in, saying he’s never had a proper conversation with So before as he’s never responded to his greetings. Won is just about to go on about So ruining the mood when, abruptly, So arrives. Everyone stares at him intently.

Yeonhwa smiles and Yo looks as snide as ever. So’s presence intimates Eun, Jung and Won to scurry together and bow their heads. So, of course, takes the seat farthest away from his brothers. Wook breaks the ice, telling him he’s late and asks him to practice with him for the Spiritual Ritual. He agrees.

Yeonhwa tells So they were going to send someone to Shinju to check up on him after not hearing from him for so long. She asks why they didn’t hear from him, but he simply replies he’s here now. She and Wook want him to stay with them here as opposed to the Queen’s home.

At this, Yo snidely tells Wook to stop trying so hard as So understands animals more than words of people. The air tenses at Yo’s insult, but So retorts by telling Yo that must be the reason why he thought his words were very clear. Oh, burn. Wook gives a small laugh and the servant girls arrive with tea.

Haesoo pokes her head in, but quickly retreats. She embarrassingly hides her face in fear that the Princes will recognize her as the bath spy. Both So and Wook notice her, though.

Eun does, too, and suddenly appears before her and drags her out. He confronts her, asking if she’s seen him before. She frantically denies it, but he pushes further, stating she looks familiar. Eun stares at her face when she attempts to fake being cross-eyed, but the realization hits him! She’s the bath spy! He grabs her face, outing her, but she pushes him away. In doing so, she knocks over the cups a servant girl is carrying. Everything shatters. Yeonhwa yells at her, asking what’s going on.

Haesoo scurries off in fear and Jung asks Eun if she really was the one who spied on them. Wook laughs to himself and So gives a light smirk. Baekah says she must be, judging by her behavior, but questions Wook on her strangeness as “Haesoo” was usually careful and well-behaved. At this, Wook says he doesn’t know as he wasn’t close to her. Yeonhwa tells Eun he must be wrong since only royalty have access to that bathing house. Eun pouts, saying he’s usually good at recognizing people.

Outside, Haesoo reassures herself that she’ll never see Eun again. Right when she does, Eun pops out and she ducks. He’s trying to look for her! Eun explores the resident grounds and peeks through a door hole only to find Chaeryung undressing. He spies on her – something that Haesoo witnesses. Chaeryung notices an eye through the hole and screams. Eun attempts to flee, but is blocked by Haesoo.

She confronts him for spying, but he asks why he, a Prince, would spy on a servant like Chaeryung. He asks Chaeryung if she is certain she saw him, but she is unable to confirm as she didn’t get a good look. He tells Haesoo she shouldn’t doubt the words of a Prince, but Haesoo reveals that even if Chaeryung didn’t see, SHE did. She scolds him for peeping and demands him to apologize to Chaeryung. He’s in awe she wants a Prince to lower himself in front of a servant.

He leaves, but she chases him and the two engage in a hilarious all-out brawl fest. Literally. They’re grabbing onto each other and screaming for the other to let go…

Of course, their screams are heard in the room where all the Princes and Yeonhwa are. They recognize Eun’s voice. Seeing the fight as entertainment, all the Princes and Yeonhwa leave to check it out… aside from So, who Yeonhwa notices is dozing.

Outside, the 5 Princes and Yeonhwa watch as Haesoo BITES Eun. He yelps in pain and they go at it again, pushing and kicking and punching each other. Haesoo manages to get on top of him, hitting him repeatedly. LOL, I love this. Wook actually looks a bit disturbed. When she’s about to hit him some more, So suddenly appears and grabs her hand.

She immediately recognizes him and he forcefully jerks her off Eun. Eun tells So to hold her still and is about to hit her back when Wook interferes. Eun stomps off in angry and humiliation. Jung, Baekah, Yo and Yeonhwa are clearly amused.

Haesoo manages to snatch her hand away from So’s forceful grip. She chases after him, mentioning he did the same thing to her earlier and asks if she looks like a bag to him. She demands an apology out of him as well. He asks who she is and she says she’s Haesoo.  He clarifies he wasn’t asking for her name, but her position given her attitude towards Prince Eun. Haesoo asks why she’s asking for her rank and questions if he’s going to ignore her if she’s a servant, but apologize if she’s a Princess. She mutters this must be a funny neighborhood and claims she will receive an apology from both of them. She adds that people “higher up” should care more for justice. He tells her he can apologize, but if she does, she has to die and asks if that’s okay. He’s about to start his apology, “I’m sor–“ but Haesoo cuts him off when she sees her cousin.

She runs behind Madame Hae. Madame Hae and So greet each other before Haesoo drags Madame Hae away.

Watching them leave, So repeats her name, “Haesoo.”

Madame Hae takes Haesoo to a temple where she offers a prayer in front of a mound. Disappointed, she scolds Haesoo for hitting a Prince and says she will not escape punishment. In fact, even Wook may be punished as well. At this, Haesoo asks if she can help her meet with the King to explain herself Madame Hae asks if she really believes seeing the King is easy.

Madame Hae reveals this temple is for mothers to pray for the well-being of their children. She asks Haesoo if she knows why she’s there despite bearing no children. It’s for her, Haesoo. Haesoo is stunned at this revelation and Madame Hae continues to tell her she never considered her as a younger cousin, but as her own child. In place of her real mother, Madame Hae build the rock mound for her. However, she contemplates if her efforts were not enough given Haesoo’s reckless behavior.

Touched and remembering her own mother, Haesoo starts to cry. Madame Hae pulls Haesoo into a loving embrace, asking what she’s to do with her, but caresses her head. They both cry and Madame Hae tells her to think of her mother and try to live at the Wook’s residence well.

Later, Haesoo is still by her prayer mound. She berates herself, saying she’s still a burden wherever she goes despite the people around her treating her well. She wonders if it’s impossible to go back to the 21st century… her mother must be waiting.

Chaeryung finds her and Haesoo asks about the mysterious man who was with the Princes. Chaeryung says she doesn’t know as the house if full of visitors. When Chaeryung tells Haesoo she needs a bath, an idea springs into her mind. If she could go back to where she was found… Chaeryung refuses to take her back to the bathhouse since it gives her a bad feeling.

At Damiwon Palace, the bathhouse, Ji Mong, Jung and Won tease Eun about his injury. Eun, still angry, labels her as his fated enemy. Of course, womanizer Baekah toys with Eun, suggesting him that Haesoo must be interested in him. After all, if she wasn’t, she wouldn’t even touch him! At this, Eun gets perks up cutely and gets giddy. Baekah quietly laughs to himself as Eun’s reaction.

So arrives at Damiwon Palace as well. The servant girls are restless at his presence. Won, Eun, Baekah and Ji Mong notice him pass and follow him, wondering why he’s there. So bursts into a room with closed door, despite a servant girl attempting to block his entry. When he enters, he sees his Mother, Queen Yoo happily enjoying tea with Yo and Jung.

The trio are shocked to see him and a pained expression flashes across So’s face. He smiles and kneels to greet his Mother, saying he’s been wanting to see her. He asks if she’s been well. She coldly tells him she would’ve called him. Jung jumps in, saying So must’ve learned martial arts since he was great during the Spiritual Ritual practice. He’s about to share rumors he heard of So when Yo shushes him. Yo tells their Mother that Jung has been picking up nonsensical rumors whenever he leaves the Palace grounds – such as the rumor of the Shinju government dying. At this, Queen Yoo asks So to tell her himself if he’s learned martial arts.

So seems happy that his Mother is asking him a question and tells her no, he hasn’t. She replies with disdain, saying there’s no reason for the Kangs to teach him martial arts as they’re not raising him to be a tiger. Yo snidely asks their Mother has heard about the “Wolf Dog” in Songak. He continues to say this particular wolf dog is awful to look at – it’s worst than a wolf or a dog.

C’mon Yo…

So’s lips twitch at Yo’s comment and Queen Yoo coldly tells him to enjoy his stay and that she sent a gift to “his Mother.” She further rips into him, saying there’s no longer a reason for him to visit her while he’s here and asks him to leave. So looks extremely pained and mentions it’s been 2 years since they’ve last seen each other. Queen Yoo makes the excuse that him visiting her may hurt her adoptive mother’s feelings and that she lies around suffering without him. He swallows the pain, revealing he planned on staying longer this time and asks to stay with her and his two brothers. Queen Yoo instantly raises her voice, shocking even Jung, and tells him it’s not possible. She stresses he is a Kang of Shinju and tells him to not forget that his return would incite the longstanding grudge between the two households.

At this, So confesses despite being told he was sent there to be adopted, he is a hostage. Yo snickers and then bursts out laughing, asking how he can say he’s a hostage. He defends their Mother’s actions, saying she’s only concerned for their adoptive mother. Queen Yoo asks why she would send So as a hostage. Getting an answer from his Mother, So says he will trust her. Before he departs, he reaches to give her a hairpin gift when Jung cuts in, bringing out his own gift for his mother. She gleefully opens Jung’s present and it’s a golden hairpin with red beads. Jung mentions he got it specially made for her, seeing how much she loves hairpins. Overshadowed and hurt, So leaves his butterfly hairpin untouched.

He excuses himself, but Yo makes one more snide comment. He tells So nothing could be more embarrassing than a Prince looking so lowly. So says nothing.

Outside, Eun, Won, Baekah and Ji Mong are exposed for eavesdropping when So opens the door. Regardless, he leaves without a word. Back in the tea room, Queen Yoo tells her sons they must ensure So gets sent back to Kang once the Spiritual Ritual is over. Yo tells her not to worry. Jung brings up the fact that there are a lot of rumors surrounding So – one of them being their Mother was the one who gave So the scar on his face! Yo gets angry at Jung for bringing that up, asking how that’s possible. Queen Yoo continues to sip her tea…

Ji Mong follows So, who tries to cheer him up by telling him to take a bath before the Spiritual Ritual. He orders a servant lady to prepare a bath and So obliges. Eun, Won and Baekah wonder when and how So received the scar on his face.

Haesoo makes her way to the bathhouse by herself. She ponders at the possibility she may still be alive in the 21st Century and there’s only one way to find out!

So enters a private bath. He undresses and removes his mask. As he walks into the steaming water, it’s revealed that his body is covered in scars. He stares into the water when, suddenly, Haesoo emerges, completely catching So off-guard. Visible shocked, he takes a few steps back. Haesoo, thinking no one’s around, comments how she thought she was going to die for staying underwater for so long.

She opens her eyes and sees So, stunned speechless. He instantly covers the scar on his face, vulnerably asking if she saw it. She doesn’t say anything, but he removes his hand and inches closer to her and abruptly grabs her neck, demanding an answer to his question. Horrified, Haesoo asks for her life to be spared. He coldly tells her to forget him and to erase everything she saw – if she doesn’t, her face will end up like his, too.

Fearful, she nods and he releases her. He leaves, grabbing his mask and clothes. The butterfly hairpin falls out. Haesoo exhales a sigh of relief and fear. She notices the butterfly hairpin. When she hears the servant girls, she quickly pockets the hairpin and leaves.

When Haesoo makes her way back to the Wook Residence, she sees that everyone is worried sick. Madame Hae tells Haesoo she should’ve told someone where she was going because the family was worried. Haesoo, touched by the concept of family, tears up. She mutters she’s “home” now as she looks at everyone in gratitude.

Haesoo asks Chaeryung if she knows anything about the 4th Prince. At his name, Chaeryung is horrified and tells Haesoo she must avoid the 4th Prince at all costs. He’s the son of Queen Yoo, but was adopted by Royal Concubine Kang in Shinju. He’s a powerful man with two families and is notorious for being cruel, Chaeryung tells her.

We get a flashback sequence of So appearing by a cave, completely covered in blood. A Kang man – the man who escorted So to the Palace – is displeased to see So still alive. Chaeryung’s voice carries over the flash back, “They say it was his hobby to hunt animals since he was young. There is a rumor that he has caught every last wolf in all of Shinju.” The So in the flashback sequence lets out a roar and Chaeryung tells Haesoo  that he kills people, too, especially those who have seen the scar on his face. At this, Haesoo‘s eyes widen. She thinks to herself she almost died because she saw his face.

Chaeryung continues to say he won’t be able to set foot in Songak if not for his Prince status as people only like attractive faces. Haesoo rolls her eyes with her inner monologue thinking about how crappy the world is.

Queen Yoo bathes, surrounded by candles. She thinks back to earlier when she and Yo are planning the Crown Prince Moo’s assassination. She tells him to quickly kill him during the Spiritual Ritual as opportunities like this don’t come often. Yo tells her not to worry.

Finally, it’s the day of the Spiritual Ritual. People are running around setting up for the celebration and rite. Haesoo is getting dressed by servant girls. She is amused by all the layers she has to wear. As she walks around town, she finds herself tripping on her dress’s hem.

Elsewhere, Queen Yoo is getting dressed as well. She looks extremely eloquent and is wearing the pin that Jung gave her. Looking at herself in the mirror, she comments that she doesn’t want any woman to shine brighter than her.

Queen Hwangbo, Yeonhwa and Madame Hae run into Queen Yoo on the Palace grounds. Queen Yoo approaches and the two exchange pleasantries. Queen Yoo tells Yeonhwa to visit her as well, not just her mother. Yeonhwa humbles herself, saying her speaking skills are not good enough to entertain her, but that she will soon.

When Queen Yoo walks away, Yeonhwa clenches her hand. Queen Hwangbo comments that running into Queen Yoo makes the color of the day feel different. Yeonhwa tells Queen Hwangbo that it concerns her that she has to deal with such a force alone in the Palace. She further says Wook must stand by her side in the Palace as soon as possible. Madame Hae warns her to be careful with her words within the Palace. Queen Hwangbo agrees with Madame Hae and tells Yeonhwa it’s better for her to forget everything. At this, Yeonhwa asks how she can forget a grudge. Queen Hwangbo asks Madame Hae why she didn’t bring Haesoo – the whole palace already knows what she did to Prince Eun. Madame Hae says Haesoo has been making a lot of mistakes lately, so she left her on her own to have fun.

Elsewhere, the all the Princes including the Crown Prince are practicing the Spiritual Ritual. Eun asks Wook if Madame Hae and Haesoo will be attending. When Wook says he believes so, Eun smiles. Won teases him, asking if he’s going to be beaten up again. Flustered, Eun says he’s going to give Haesoo a piece of his mind. Yo teases Eun about getting another black eye. Eun gets into a playful bicker with Jung. So laughs at them, a gesture Wook notices. When So realizes Wook is looking, he stops.

Right before the Spiritual Ritual, Crown Prince Moo and So secretly switch places. He takes over Moo’s role of the lead monster-hunter who chases away evil spirits. The ceremony starts! The King is seated between Queen Yoo and Queen Hwangbo.

Everyone watches the performance. Queen Hwangbo compliments the Crown Prince for being so good at his role (in actuality, it’s So). The King agrees, saying it’s because he has a lot of battlefield experience. Queen Yoo looks uncomfortable.

In the town, Haesoo and Chaeryung entertain themselves amidst street performances, vendors and dances.

At the Spiritual Ritual, the assassination attempt occurs! Assassins leap in! Ji Mong yells for the guards to protect the King. The assassins aim for the Crown Prince’s character (So). Horrified, all the other Princes aside from Eun jump in to help. They engage in a bloody sword fight.

Two assassins manage to cut So on the arm, prompting the King to scream out Moo’s name in concern. Queen Hwangbo, Yeonhwa and Madame Hae look terrified. When one of the assassins is about to deal the finishing blow on a wounded So, the real Crown Prince in So’s character defends him. Knowing they failed in their assassination attempt, the culprits flee.

Yo, suppressing his concern that the Crown Prince is still alive, orders the guards to follow the assassins and leaves as well.

The King, worried for Crown Prince Moo’s well-being, rushes to “him.” When he unmasks him, he is shocked to find 4th Prince So. Everyone present is stunned at this revelation as well. The King, disregarding So, calls for Crown Prince Moo. Prince Moo, in So’s position, reveals himself. Ji Mong asks So if he’s okay when no one else does. So stands up, tears in his eyes, as he faces the King. The King softly says his name, but So only says he will catch whoever is behind this and leaves. Crown Prince Moo attempts to follow, but the King stops him.

In town, Haesoo and Chaeryung amuse themselves with the lit lanterns. So chases the assassins in the town as well. In the corner of her eye, Haesoo suddenly sees So. She tells an exhausted Chaeryung to stay where she is and takes off running after So, who, unknown to her, is chasing the assassins. She follows So into the forest, but temporarily loses sight of him. So manages to catch one assassin and they duel.

Haesoo, however, stumbles across Yo who is standing before the kneeled assassins. She hides herself and watches as he gives the order for his guards to slaughter them all. She gasps in horror and her shuffling is heard by Yo. He turns around, concerned if he was seen.

Elsewhere in the forest, the So attempts to negotiate with the assassin. He strikes him a deal on the promise of a Prince – if the assassin reveals who ordered the assassination, he will ask the King to pardon him. Hesitant, the assassin lowers his guard but a terrified Haesoo runs by. The assassin takes this as a chance and holds her hostage against So.

So seems unconcerned with Haesoo though. He tells the assassin to kill her. When the assassin doesn’t, he wonders aloud if HE should kill her himself. Despite his cold words, he appears to show signs of concern when he notices the assassin’s sword pressing into Haesoo’s neck. Haesoo stutters to be saved, but he keeps his façade by saying he doesn’t care what happens to her.

Once again, So asks the assassin to out the mastermind behind the assassination. The man is about to reveal it, but Haesoo bites the assassin’s hand, completely wrecking So’s plans. When the assassin is about to strike Haesoo, Wook throws a knife and kills the assassin. So, devastated his chance is now gone, screams out “Why?!” Furious, he yanks Haesoo and yells at her for wrecking his plans. He puts his sword by her neck. He almost had him, but because of her…

Wook points his sword at So, demanding him to stop. Wook tells him to let Haesoo go. Holding onto her, So threateningly points his sword back at Wook, saying he doesn’t want to.


Episode 2 Review

Once again, Lee Jun Ki / Lee Joon Ki's acting is phenomenal. He completely overshadows everyone on screen. In the sequence where meets with his Mother, Queen Yoo, and brothers, Jung and Yo, Lee Jun Ki's acting just blew me away. You can feel the pain for his character through Jun Ki's facial expressions. It was so heartbreaking! I also have to point how the expression he made to Haesoo when she sees him unmasked in the bath. He looked incredibly vulnerable. I'm actually quite surprised at how rough he treats Haesoo, but at the same time, I can only imagine the pain he's feeling after everything that happened to him. This was supposed to be his chance to stay in Songak. Everything is going according to plan, but gets destroyed by Haesoo's actions. Thankfully, she holds such an important piece of information right now: Seeing Yo!

I love IU, but I feel like she looks a bit too dazed and/or emotionless in some of the more "intense" scenes (i.e., the ending sequence where he threatens her for ruining his plans). I'm not sure if it's her acting or her facial features, but when her face is next by Jun Ki's, who is exerting so much emotion, IU's character just looks dazed. That aside, her acting is fine when she's the cheerful Haesoo. Her cross eye and fight with Eun had me laughing so hard!

I'm really enjoying the amount of Haesoo - So interaction we're getting this episode. Surprisingly, there was barely any interaction between Haesoo and Wook! Yo is an utter douchebag.. then again, he is a villain. I'm assuming Haesoo saw his face when he turned his head from the blood spatter. I'm curious as to what he will do now that someone saw him - he did realize that, right? I clearly have no words for So's Mother, Queen Yoo. She's absolutely terrible. It seems like Jung has no inkling of the scheming his mother and Yo are doing.. Let him stay innocent!

I thought EP2 had a great balance between light-hearted comedy (Eun and Haesoo's interaction) and the more serious plot progression scenes (Queen Yoo's mother, the Spiritual Ritual assassination, etc.). Unlike EP1 which was an onslaught of information and character introduction, EP2 felt nicely paced.

Last but not least, who else loved the OST/soundtrack for this episode?


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