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Korean Drama Moon Lovers Scarlet Heart Ryeo Episode 3 Recap and Review

Posted on August 31 2016

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

I’m surprised at the mediocre ratings Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is receiving in Korea because… I absolutely adore the drama so far. Sure, I can see why IU's acting is being criticized (see my review for EP2), but I still find her performance enjoyable to watch. She pulls off cute and sassy well - something that all the Princes in Goryeo seems to need! Plus, the plot and characters are all so intriguing – I’m literally on the edge of my seat for more!

On another note, some of the .gifs I captured for this episode came out looking strange.. Regardless, let's get started!


Episode 3 Recap

Still pointing their swords at each other, Wook explains to So that Haesoo is his wife’s cousin and pleads for him to let her go. So is angry, blaming her for the assassin’s death. Haesoo pleads for her life as well, saying she just lost her way. He coldly tells her he has no reason to since he doesn't even know her. Wook slowly points his sword away and drops it altogether, telling him they will catch an assassin sooner or later since the Palace Guards are scattered everywhere. For his sake, Wook implores him to let Haesoo go. Begrudgingly, he lets go of her.

A traumatized Haesoo scurried to Wook, who asks if she’s okay. Despite being terrified, Haesoo manages to nod and sputters out that there are a bunch of dead people farther down.

Still disturbed by what she witnessed earlier, she points in the direction she came from and mutters that they were all wearing those masks. So and Wook realize she must be talking about the assassins.

Back at the Palace, Crown Prince Moo tells Ji Mong he never should’ve allowed So to stand in for him. Ji Mong tries to comfort him, saying So chose to do so himself. Regardless, Crown Prince Moo says he put his own brother in danger – if that’s not wrong, what is? He laments that So even got injured.

I really love Crown Prince Moo. Please don’t get assassinated.

So, Wook, Haesoo and several Palace Guards reach the area Haesoo saw the mass killings. The bodies are gone! Furious, So asks Haesoo what she saw and if the dead got up and walked away on their own. Confused, Haesoo reaffirms she definitely saw what she witnessed earlier – a bunch of men stabbed from behind. Wook spots a blood stained tree and So questions if the people Haesoo saw were killed.

Impatient for more information, So grabs Haesoo’s wrist and demands to know who killed them. She screams how she could possibly know. Wook interjects, confirming there was definitely a gang of assassins here.

Analyzing the blood splatter, Wook confirms the leader of the assassin gang killed off his own group. So asks if it could be the Palace Guards that killed them, but Wook says he didn’t receive any reports. On top of that, the bodies were cleaned so everything was planned out well.

So brings up the assassin Wook killed earlier to save Haesoo again, angry that he killed their last trace. He winces in pain, but Wook tells him he couldn’t let Haesoo get hurt. He tells So to get treated, but So forcefully pulls away.

Once he leaves, Haesoo collapses and begins to sob. Taken aback, Wook doesn’t know how to react and awkwardly looks lost, LOL. Haesoo’s fear of So overflows and she cries out that So is always tells her he’s going to kill her. Even earlier, he told the assassin to go ahead and kill her! She continues to sob, saying all she wanted to do was return something he dropped (remember, she picked up his hairpin in the bathhouse). Wook awkwardly tries to comfort her, but she pulls him down next by her and babbles on about So, saying he must have no tears or blood. LOL. Wook finds Haesoo’s sobbing endearing and tells her everything will be fine. He hugs her and gently pats her back, cooing her. He laughs to himself.

Queen Yoo is bathing again and thinks back to how Crown Prince Moo and Prince Wang So switched place. She’s upset her plans failed. Her servant ladies dress her and Yo arrives. As he dries her hair, she laments how So ruined everything. They should’ve been celebrating Yo becoming the new Crown Prince if it weren’t for him. Yo tells her he wrapped up the ends – no assassins were left alive. She says must be satisfied with the fact the King not being able to abdicate the throne for the time being. They discuss Ji Mong being unpredictable and how he and So may have a relationship no one knows about. Queen Yo says Jung’s rumor must be true: So someone learned martial arts.

She orders Yo to keep an eye on him, lamenting how she needs to know who he’s met and what cards he has up his sleeves. If Ji Mong is connected, that could mean the King is connected as well. Yo argues that no one ever went to see So while he was in Shinju, though. In order to chase him out or make him theirs, Queen Yoo orders Yo to keep an eye on So. She caresses his face, telling him that Goryeo must belong to one of her sons.

Queen Yoo looks so manipulative in this scene.

Somewhere in Wook’s Residence, Yeonhwa patches up the injured So. She tells him to stay with them, but So says she’s different from Wook – he, himself, prefers to live catching animals in the mountains. As she cleans his face, the atmosphere between them gets tense. So coughs awkwardly, saying it’s enough. Yeonhwa tells him to make himself comfortable. Before she leaves, So tells her he often wondered what kind of woman she’d grow up to be. She smiles.

Madame Hae scolds Haesoo as Chaeryung tends to her neck wound while Wook watches. When Madame Hae asks why she was in the forest anyway, Wook shakes his head at her. She tells Madame Hae she simply got lost. Wook eases his wife’s worry by saying it’s a relief she’s even alive since those were people attempting to assassin the Crown Prince. Haesoo declares she must be lucky to only get a neck wound! She laughs awkwardly as Madame Hae asks if she’s even serious. Wook laughs.

Once Haesoo leaves with Chaeryun, Madame Hae apologizes to Wook  for always being a burden to him because of Haesoo.

“I never thought of her that way,” Wook says with a smile. “In fact, she is a source of happiness.” Oh my, what are you saying to your own WIFE, Wook?!

Madame Hae looks surprised at this and Wook continues to explain how Haesoo is like a breath of fresh air to him. When people come to him, they always speak of hardships. “But Soo is not like that,” He says and explains how she claims to want to do everything by herself. “I wait until I can see her again…” He smiles, obviously smitten.

Madame Hae awkwardly tells him she’s thankful he cares so much for Haesoo.

Outside, Haesoo and Chaeryung encounter So, who is waiting for Haesoo. After he signals for Chaeryung to leave, he inches closer to her. She anxiously repeats she saw people with swords stabbing the people with masks from behind. It was sudden, she blabbers, almost as if… as if they had planned it beforehand. At this piece of information, So grabs her face and orders her to think harder in order to remember everything.

Just then, Wook interferes, saying it’s enough. He forcefully takes So’s hand off Haesoo. “Fur outfit!” Haesoo suddenly remembers. “There was a man wearing fur. He told them to kill them.” Wook and So both look horrified at this, knowing Prince Yo was wearing a fur outfit during the Spiritual Ritual.

So asks who else knows about this and Haesoo says no one is bothering her except for him. He sternly orders her to forget everything she saw in the forest. Wook agrees, telling Haesoo she will only be safe if no one finds out what she saw. She asks if she can leave now. Before she walks off, So tells her to not show up in front of him again.

At this, she asks what she did wrong. Was she supposed to do nothing even though he told the assassin to kill her? Was she supposed to just die? Wook tries to calm her, but So gives an exasperated scoff. As he walks past her, she asks if it’s a crime to want to live. Everyone wants to live, she says, and questions why he’s picking with her. Although he remains silent, it appears as though her words resonated with him. She calls him terrible jerk when he walks off, but is embarrassed when she remembers Wook is by her side.

Later, Wook lights candles for Haesoo, telling her she should sleep with lights after experiencing something so scary. Haesoo asks if he’s okay – because of her, he had to kill a man. She’s worried he may have a nightmare or even post-traumatic stress. Wook reveals he can’t get bad dreams every time something like this happens and Haesoo is shocked that he’s killed people before (and often). He confesses the first time he killed someone was when he was 11-years-old. A man broke into their house where Yeonhwa and his Mother were. He says he’s happy and proud to be able to protect the ones he loves.

Haesoo sees right through him and says he still remembers. That means she can’t forgot it – it’s obvious he’s just holding it in and living with it. Wook tells her since it’s a burden he’s born with, he’ll just have to endure it.

Haesoo smiles at him, telling him not to worry as she won’t latch onto him. She clarifies herself, explaining she won’t weigh him down (with her problems) so he can live lightly. She tells him to not worry about her and says she will live on her own. He tells her that her lost memories have now been replaced with false courage. He then asks what that post-traumatic stress is… She laughs. HAHA!

As Wook leaves her sleeping quarters, he glances back.

Taejo 25th New Year (Year 942)

The King, Ji Mong, Crown Prince Moo and 4th Prince So discuss the assassination attempt. Because it took place in the Palace, it was a clear attack on the King and a signal that the enemy is powerful. Ji Mong reports that no one was able to catch one assassin alive. They are currently examining the corpses. Crown Prince Moo adds that all the assassins were acrobatic performers in Songak and that he will find out who allowed them into the Palace.

The King asks So about his injury, to So’s surprise. He reports it wasn’t a large wound and that he got it treated. The King then asks why he stood in the Crown Prince’s place since it risked his life. At this, So reveals Crown Prince Moo saved his life 15 ago. He tells the King he wants to stay in Songak to find out who is behind the assassination, if The King permits it. The King agrees! He orders Ji Mong to inform Shinju that So has some work to do on his behalf. At this, Ji Mong flashes So a smile. So is clearly happy as well.

The Six Princes gather at the bathhouse and Won starts to gossip about So, saying he must’ve learned martial arts seeing how he was at the Spiritual Ritual. So disregards it, saying his skill was learned from dealing with animals. Jung chimes in, saying it looked like So’s moves looked like he was properly trained by someone. So tells everyone to let him know if they hear anything about So’s martial arts. At this, Wook gives Yo a glance since he suspects him to be the culprit. Eun says it should be easy for Baekah to inquire about So for Yo since he knows many people.

Wook questions Yo, asking if he didn’t chase the assassins last night. Yo lies, telling him he went in the opposite direction. Wook says he heard he went to the same forest and notes that he was hoping he caught at least one. Yo says he regrets it, too. If he was there, would they have slipped away like that?

Just then, the King arrives. He notices the bruise on Eun’s face and demands to know who fought with him.

Later, a nervous Haesoo is waiting outside of Wook’s Residence with Chaeryung. Apparently, 10th Prince Eun is on his way with the punishment from the King! She worries that her limbs may get cut off. To her surprise, Prince Eun arrives by himself with three attendants. He proudly tells Haesoo he begged the King for forgiveness on her behalf in a way she can’t even imagine.

In a quick flashback, Eun kneels before the King and asks, “If a girl who hit the Prince must be punished, what kind of a punishment must a man who got hit by a girl receive?” Eun is cheekily proud of his own words, saying it should be quoted down in history. LOL!

He tells her he has something to say to her. After shooing away his attendants and Chaeryung, he becomes bashful. Observing his body language, Haesoo ponders to herself if he has possibly fallen for her. She wonders if he’s going to use the “You’re the first girl to ever treat me that way!” line.

And… he does! “You’re the first girl to ever treat me that way!” Eun tells her. She mutters a whattheheck (LOL) and says aloud she didn’t realize this line has been in use for over a thousand years! Eun cutely tells her it was fun fighting with her and she nonchalantly tells him to come by often as she will fight him without holding back.

Eun asks if she wants him to come by to see her (LOL) to which she says that’s the least she can do for not having her limbs cut off.

Prince Baekah, disguised as a commoner, explores the town and uses the commoners as models in his sketchbook. A street fight catches his attention and he’s thrilled to be able to use the fighters as model for a picture. Once the brawl ends, he realizes it’s Prince Jung (also disguised as a commoner)! Jung sees him as well and is exasperated. He follows a teasing Baekah, pleading for him to not tell anyone. He outs Baekah for dressing up as a commoner as well. Jung manages to trick Baekah and snatches away his sketchbook.

Later, Baeak visits his sister, Madame Hae at the Wook Residence. She reminisces about the time they’ve spent together when they were younger and Baekah tells her he resents Wook a bit for not opening his heart more for her. Before she was his sister-in-law, he called her “Sister.”Once a Sister, always a Sister, he tells her. Baekah spots Haesoo nearby, who is impersonating Yeonhwa. Madame Hae tells her Haesoo is like Baekah.

Baekah hilariously finds that insulting, but Madame Hae says it’s because she’s free, says what she wants and likes to have fun. She wouldn’t be surprised if they were siblings. She tells her Haesoo should be his sister, not her. At this, Baekah tells her to not say those things as she should know very well his feelings for her.

Ji Mong, So and Crown Prince Moo examine the bodies of the assassin. Ji Mong is hilarious – he’s fearfully covering his nose from the stench of rotting bodies which causes So to give him a funny look. Upon checking the bodies’ mouths, they realize that all of them are missing their tongues! Ji Mong hurls at this.

It’s Daegyuhwan Hell, Crown Prince Moo concludes. They cut off the tongues of those who commit murder or adultery. Ji Mong then says the assassins already had no tongues to begin with. He explains there are fallen monks who use this kind of punishment – once the fallen monks are punished, they are excluded from the Holy Order.

He would use these punished men with no tongues as the assassins. There’s a flashback of Prince Yo. Ji Mong continues, “The assassins that were disguised at performers were let into the palace.”

So asks them who could be behind this and the Crown Prince says it’s someone who could meet with the fallen monks without anyone noticing. He orders Ji Mong to find out who went into the city the most in the recent months.

So vehemently confronts Yo, accusing him of trying to kill the Crown Prince. Yo calls him crazy, asking for proof. So tells him he used the assassins from the monks and then murdered them all. Yo calls that nonsense, but So painfully asks if it’s their Mother is behind this. Yo is shocked speechless for a few moments before telling him to not disgrace their Mother like that. Too late though because So already knows.

He goes to the bathhouse and spies on Queen Yoo. He watches as she and a playful Jung are walking through the bathhouse. So’s expression darkens.

Haesoo finds out that Wook is planning on donating food and items to a town hit by freezing weather. Haesoo suggests for Madame Hae to go and tells her she’ll do her make up! As she applies makeup on Madame Hae, she tells her of a “dream” she had…

She was selling make up in her dream and did it for a lot of customers and friends. In a flashback, Haesoo is applying make-up on her best friend. It’s playful and sweet and Haesoo voices it was a delusional thought. One day, Haesoo sees her best friend and boyfriend together. Devastated, she realizes she’s been prettying up her best friend for her dates with her boyfriend. They’ve been cheating together.

Madame Hae tells her it was a nightmare – she should forget about such a bad dream. Haesoo says she’s right. With this, she’s done with Madame Hae’s make up! Madame Hae, looking at herself in the mirror, is shocked at how healthy her complexion looks.

Haesoo, Madame Hae, Chaeryung and Wook are happily donating food and items to the town! He gazes at his prettied wife and smiles. Haesoo chases after a little boy who stole his friend’s portion and scolds him. Wook watches their interaction and smiles. When Haesoo waves at him, he waves back in smiles. He catches himself and feels embarrassed.

Later, at the Medicine seller, Wook notices Haesoo’s interest in some ingredients. Due to her knowledge as a make-up seller in the 21st Centurty, she points out the myung beans, bombycis, buttercups and galangal roots as ingredients for soap and face wash. He’s impressed at her knowledge because even he didn’t know! He gives Haesoo ointment for her wound and tells her to apply it as a girl shouldn’t have a scar.

When he sees her having difficulty, he helps her apply the ointment to her neck. Oh, that romantic tension between them in this scene!

Later, Haesoo and Wook carry a sleeping Madame Hae back to her bed. As they’re tucking her in, Haesoo and Wook’s hand brush against each other. The air turns awkward and Haesoo, surprised, quickly leaves. Wook stays by his wife’s bedside and watches her sleep, but it’s clear his heart is shaken.

Haesoo visits the temple Madame Hae built for her. She prays to her mother, telling her she’s doing fine and to not cry for her. She confesses her heart is wavering. She tells herself not to, but… she’s being shaken.

As she's leaving, Haesoo comes across So who looks distraught in thought. After watching him momentarily, she leaves without saying a word.

Sometime later, So sets off on horseback.

Ji Mong tells Crown Prince Moo he’s found the assassin’s hideout. He and the Crown Prince set off as well.

So reaches the assassin’s hide out. He engages in a very, very bloody fight with all the tongueless assassins. He roars out who created such a disgusting place. He slices and cuts and blood spills everywhere. So takes them all on by himself, defeating everyone in a tremendously violent manner. Finally, the leader monk shows himself.

The monk tells him those assassins were burdened by their sins. He’s been tasked with watching over them. So says that means he just has to get rid of him. The monk asks him who he is doing this for… and asks if his mother knows. He smirks, saying he’s talking too much for being in a place where people don’t talk. So slices him and deals the finishing blow.

“You have lived off the Queen, so die for the Queen,” He mercilessly tells him.

So sets the hide out in flames and leaves, completely blood soaked.

Soon thereafter, Crown Prince Moo, Ji Mong and the guards arrive. The hide out is up in flames already. Crown Prince Moo asks if it’s the right place and Ji Mong confirms. They wonder what happened. Crown Prince orders to find any survivors.

“Daegyuhwan Hell,” Ji Mong mutters as he watches the ablaze temple.

So approaches his sleeping mother. Queen Yoo, seeing a figure approaching, nervously gets up, asking who’s there. So reveals himself, saying “It’s me, Mother.” She gasps in horror and asks how dare he come into her bedroom. His slowly approaches her, revealing his blood-soaked self. Queen Yoo looks in horror as he smiles.


Episode 3 Review

Whoa, who else was surprised by the pacing for this episode? It may be due to the first 2 episodes offering a lot of character introductions and plot set-up, so the pacing here felt vastly different. EP3 had the plot just rolling along! Tension, tension, all kinds of tension everywhere.. I felt it through the screen between Haesoo and Wook, Wook and Yeonhwa, Baekah and Madame Hae, So and Yo, Wook and Yo.. so much confrontations and intimate conversations. It also explored the growing relationship between Haesoo and select Princes, one being Eun (so adorable) and the other being Wook. WHY IS HE MARRIED TO MADAME HAE!? She's such a wonderful character, especially towards Haesoo. I can't bear to watch her get hurt by Wook's emotions. It's clear as day he's falling for her bubbling new personality.

I didn't expect So to confront both Yo and his Mother, Queen Yoo, so soon. That sure surprised me as it was so quick - I personally thought there would be more build up before the confrontation. It's completely in So's character though - he's such a savage! The scene where he slaughters all those assassins had me in awe. Junki's facial expressions are amazing.

I'm curious to see how he will confront his Mother now. From the previous episode, it's clear he loves her dearly and deeply craves for her love and attention. Now that he knows she's behind the Crown Prince's assassination, I wonder how those feelings will change. He looked so creepy in that ending shot!

As for the love triangle, oh boy. Wook is clearly on Cloud 9 when Haesoo is around. Again, my heart breaks for Madame Hae. I'm curious as to when and how So will fall for Haesoo. Despite telling the assassin to kill her in the previous episode, it's clear (to us viewers) it was just a front. You can see him try to reach her first when she appears in the forest and his expression betrays him when he notices the sword cutting into her neck. If he really didn't care about her, he wouldn't have ordered her to forget what she saw in the forest either. Regardless, he's so rough with her! I'm torn between Wook and So because, despite Wook's gentleness.. he's married to the wonderful Madame Hae. On the other hand, So is single.. but, like I mentioned, he's so rough with her. Haesoo's words to him about wanting to live definitely resonated within him though. As someone who is neglected by his family, I'm sure what she said struck a cord.

Can't wait for EP4 to air! Monday can't come sooner!


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