Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episodes 19 and 20

WTF, South Korea?

Oh, the cries…

We knew there would a sad ending to this drama.  This ending was over the top sad.

Episode 19 didn’t impact me much.  It was just an extension of Hae Soo’s anger over the death of  Chae-ryung and the difficulties the king had with various members of the court and his brothers.  The fact that Chae-ryung was a spy and killed King Hyejong (Wang Mu) didn’t seem to matter to Hae Soo.  The woman killed the king, for crying out loud.  Love is all warm fuzzies and all, but murder is another thing, all together.

Regardless, Hae Soo broke her promise to stay with the king if he wavered.  Yes, King Gwangjong (Wang So) was possessive to the extreme, but that was how royalty was to those “below” them back then.  It was the only way he knew how to express his love.

He tried his best to make Hae Soo feel better the only way he knew how, to the point of wanting to make her a royal concubine, and then second queen after bearing a child.  That was how things were done in the palace and she had served long enough there to know this.

And I still can’t get past her blindness when it came to Chae-ryung.  That was just plain delusional.

The episode ends with Hae Soo leaving the palace to go live with the exiled Wang Jung.

Episode 20… oh, the cries.

People are spying on Hae Soo and Jung… what a surprise (sarcastic remark).  This is how So finds out that Hae Soo is sick.  But, he lets his jealousy take over when he misinterprets a conversation between Hae Soo and Jung.  From then on, he wants nothing to do with Hae Soo and Jung.  He feels she left him, after promising not to, which is exactly what she did.

Predictably, Hae Soo is pregnant with So’s baby.  Shortly after giving birth, Hae Soo (predictably) dies.

When So finds this out, he finally reads the pile of letters Hae Soo has been sending him (he thought they were from Jung because the handwriting on the outside of the letters was not hers).  For months, Hae Soo waited for So, yet So’s stubbornness and pride prevented him from reading Hae Soo’s letters.  He never went to her.  She died without seeing her true love, again.

Of course, everyone is upset and So takes her ashes.

In all this, I felt attached to all the characters who interacted with Hae Soo.  Jung loved Hae Soo with all his heart.  It had to be difficult for him to know Hae Soo was in love with So.

Predictably, Gwangjong (So) becomes a benevolent king after reading a book by Taizong of Tang on the wise ruling an empire.  Part of that may also be due to So’s love of Hae Soo and her benevolent, yet posthumous, influence.

Here’s where tears come in.  Several years later and on the anniversary of Hae Soo’s death, a little girl runs into So.  The girl reacts in the very same way as Hae Soo did when she ran into him all those long years ago.  When he asks the girl who she is, Jung runs up.  The girl runs to Jung and calls him “father.”  So realizes the girl is his daughter and tells Jung to give her up.  Jung refuses, explaining Hae Soo’s final wishes about the girl.  Because that was Hae Soo’s wish, So releases Jung from exile.  He most likely did this in hopes of being able to see the girl from time to time when Jung visited the palace.

Back in present day, it seems Hae Soo had almost drowned when she rescued that kid from drowning in the first episode of the drama.  She went into a coma and didn’t wake up for a year.  Now healthy, she has recurring dreams about a man with a scar on his face and she remembers always crying with these dreams.

Working at a cosmetics store, which happens to be near an exhibition of Goryeo artifacts, Hae Soo (now back to being Go Ha Jin) meets up with a man we recognize as Choi Ji Mong, the palace astronomer.  She doesn’t recognize him, but almost faints and leaves the store.

She wanders into a room of drawings of the Goryeo exhibition and she recognizes them.  She knows the artist (Baek-A) and is compelled to look at the drawings.  Each one brings back memories.  She remembers her whole time in Goyreo.  She reads the history of Gwangjong and realizes she did change history and he became a benevolent and wise king.  When she sees a drawing of him all alone in the outside court of the palace, Hae Soo collapses in tears, apologizing over and over again for having left him alone.

We transition to So, all by himself in the outside court of the palace, and he seems to have heard Hae Soo cry out her apology.  He remembers a conversation they had once contemplating what might have happened if they had met in a different place and time.  He vows to find her, no matter the place and time.

Yeah, I cried.

When I started to watch this drama, I had high hopes.  This is because I am an avid Lee Joon Gi fan.  He didn’t disappoint me.

I felt uncomfortable with IU, at first.  I felt her portrayal of Hae Soo was over the top and childish.  I understand, now, that her character was just that… over the top and a bit childish.  As Hae Soo mentally matured, I began to realize that IU did a great job at portraying Hae Soo and did an awesome job in the rest of the drama.  I have new respect for her as an actress.

The biggest thing that disappointed me had nothing to do with the drama, itself.  I am in love with this drama and will recommend it to anyone who wants an intro to kdrama watching.  Why not get them addicted to kdramas with the good stuff?

I was totally disappointed in the national ratings of the drama.  WTF, South Korea?  Scarlet Heart: Ryeo seems to be a huge success, internationally.  We want a season two.  We hear rumors of two extra episodes and we can’t wait to see if that’s true.  What in your part of the Korean television universe went wrong?  I don’t get it.  If someone in South Korea ever reads this, I’d love to have an answer to this.  I have comments turned on.

Anyway, I loved this drama.  As it seems to have done well internationally, the door may open for its actors and crew for more projects within the international realm.  I think that would be awesome.

Watch Scarlet Heart: Ryeo on Drama Fever.

Author: conflictingimpulses

i am a mass of conflicting impulses...surviving in a universe of barely controlled chaos.

3 thoughts on “Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episodes 19 and 20”

  1. Everything you have written about episode 19 and 20 is so true. Soo did made a promise and because of one girl infatuation with the wrong person. I mean the guy you claim to love tell you to kill the king and you did all that in the name of love and Soo is angry at So over that. I mean she killed the king, considering how they deal with traitor back then, I believe her punishment was light. She could have been tortured first then killed the way they killed traitors in the kdrama Princess Man. Lee Jung Gi played a perfect character, never changing towards his love to Soo, yoy must be tough to be a good king and he never throw anyone away while IU character was a perfection but I wonder why the director made her to leave Wang So at the end beside they don’t have to follow the historical pact since they were taking licences to twist history to their liking, Wook; he was just a confuse guy who end up being played by his sister greed and the greatest of all, his own greed. While Jung is a spoilt brat, he never liked So. He was aware of the relationship between Soo and So but no, he has to meet the king for that stupid marriage write and constantly putting words in Soo head about wanting to leave the palace and finally Beak ah, he has always be So great supporter and he never change till the end and I love him for that. Moon lover was a great drama and I wish Soo had never broken her promise because she did regreat it.


  2. Indeed I find this one Korean drama a great opportunity to learn a few of the ancient korean culture and traditions of the early monarch of Korea … especially what is happening in the palace and the way each sons and daughters of the reigning King vies and struggles to claim the throne . I do appreciate the director.. script writers and the production staff in their hard work in making this great immortal love between a despised and unwanted son of King Taejo .. whose mother the queen wanted to recognize as her own son and one of the heirs of the Goryo throne . I just fell in love with the story and its characters .. especially the role played by actor Lee Joon gi.. despite of his trials (being given away to a family and place he is alienated of at a very young and tender age , he rose up from his down trodden status to become the King against all odds )Hardships and trials made him prepared eventually to become an astute , willy and wise ruler .But a man regardless of his status in life needs some one whom he can derive comfort of .. some one who understands and fill in the gap that has been there for long . he found it in the girl he did not expect to love (Hae Soo has given Prince Wook a promise being him who took care of her in his household ). But “All the waters can not quench the love” burning in the heart of Prince Wang So…heneeds to quench that fire by proclaiming to Hae Soo “she is mine ” in front of the cunning and cruel Princess Yeon Hwa and his prince brothers… much more the love in his heart grew deeper as he was able to show to the King and his mother and the entire kingdom that heaven granted him the much needed rain.. his face open and he is no longer the ugly prince his mother hated .. thanks to the able hands and beauty skills of Hae Soo.. the girl he claimed to be his …I could rationalize how actor Lee Joon gi acted the way he did in showing his affection to this beautiful and young actress IU the drama unfolds . I could feel the great chemistry between them .. their eyes speaks the language that the heart dictates .. the lover that is in deep feeling of love and affection in the drama is alive …Lee Jon gi .. is one of the brightest .. mature and versatile korean actor .. not just because of his handsome face . his best asset is his beautiful eyes .. it mirrors his emotions .. whether of love .. passion .. anger or hate . Great drama based on history and culture of Korea .. great actors and actresses.. I still hope to see more of Lee Joon gi and IU in future love stories with a historical background .. Congrats to the prolific and resourceful script writers , director and the production people for airing this Korean drama in the Philippine entertainment audience .Thank you !


  3. I can’t even with Hae Soo right now, yeah I understand Chae Ryung was your girl, but that makes her betrayal all the more worse😐. I don’t recall her acting this way when her friend cheated with her boyfriend😑. After living in the Goryeo dynasty for so long I’d assume she’d know the customs by now, she needs to think clearly and not act so rashly. I’m also in agreement and in shock with the national ratings of this drama, it’s probably because it’s not a typical happy ending, but that shouldn’t be the case, and I feel like that’s why they’re stalling on the second season.


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