Everyone’s true colors come out in this episode.
We all know Empress Yoo is a bitch. She orchestrated the attempted poisoning of the Crown Prince, along with Princess Yeon-hwa. We know Empress Yoo wants to remove the Crown Prince to make way for one of her sons to take his place (any of them will do). There is nothing good that can ever be said about you.
Princess Yeon-hwa, you are confusing. Just who do you really want to be Crown Prince? Are you looking at the throne for yourself?
Emperor Taejo, well, I just don’t like him. I’m sure he was written so no one would like him. Good job, writers. He’ll give up anyone to “protect” the throne. I can’t respect that.
Poor Hae Soo. She gets accused of trying to assassinate the Crown Prince. Prince Wook promises he’ll help her. Hae Soo believes him, even through torture. Then, Prince Wook turns his back on her. He’s afraid of the Emperor and turns out to be a little power hungry, too. He’s willing, even though extremely guilt ridden, to let Hae Soo die.
Oh, Prince Wook, I’m so disappointed in you. When you literally turned your back to her when she was begging for Court Lady Oh’s life, you broke Hae Soo’s heart. You were the one person she could trust. Prince Wook, you are a prime example of many men women have regretfully trusted over the ages and through modern day. Power is more important than true love. Fear (and hence selfishness) is more important than love. I dare say, Prince Wook, you never truly loved Hae Soo and it was cowardly to let her think you did.
Court Lady Oh, you were a true lady. Your sacrifice was noble. We all know Hae Soo will never forget your selfless act. I’m not so sure Taejo will be the same, although he did seem a little upset when his former lover, the mother of his unborn/dead child, was hung.
Prince So is now solid as Hae Soo’s true friend and protector. He actually made a valiant effort at thwarting Hae Soo’s hanging (before the Royal Order cancelling the hanging was presented). While the other princes were afraid to physically stand by Hae Soo (even when it rained), Prince So tried to protect her from the rain and even tried to console her when Court Lady Oh was finally executed.
Hae Soo, you finally know who you can depend on: the one who will eventually become Gwangjong. You thought your life was complicated now. Just wait.
By the way, Lee Joon Gi is still awesome as Prince So.