My Dearest – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review


Mission to Rescue the King at Namhan Fortress

Episode 3 of My Dearest starts with the king, the crown prince, and the officials surrounded by the Qing warriors. Elsewhere at Neunggun-ri Village, the 60th wedding anniversary celebration of Song-chu is interrupted by Soon-yok, who comes rushing to announce that the king has been taken captive and foreign intruders have arrived. Everyone is horrified by the news of the impending doom. 

Later in the night, Jang-hyun visits Song-chun and his wife and wishes them a good wedding night despite the news of the war brewing at the distance. Standing outside Song-chu’s home, he suddenly flashes back to his childhood. He is crying in the rain kneeling in front of a door and calling out to his father. The memory seems to affect him deeply and is pulled from the retrospect by Ryang-eum. 

Jang-hyun tells Ryang-eum that since the war broke out, he will flee. Ryang-eum is perplexed by the news and does not believe he will flee. He lays down unbothered, humming in appreciation of Ryang-eum’s singing. Elsewhere, the elders and scholars discuss the next course of action.

News from the office indicated that the intruders planned a direct attack on the imperial city of Hanyang within three days, and the King of Joseon had no time to flee. He was forced to hide at Namhan Fortress. A messenger arrives at the village with the King’s Decree. All brave young scholars and strategists are expected to join His Majesty’s royal voluntary army. 

The Jin army orders the king to send his brother and a minister to be captives but the officers send decoys instead. The Jin army general knows they are decoys and slays the officer sent to deliver them. He sends them back with a message; the king is to send the crown prince as a hostage. The officers beg the King not to send the crown prince.

Back at Neunggun-ri village, Nam Yeon-joon implores the villagers to join the voluntary army. Jang-hyun sits at a distance watching the villagers but joins them when Gil-chae arrives. The men, including the young, old, and even the children, all rise bravely, volunteering to join the army. Soon-yok turns to Jang-hyun and asks him if he will join them. To everyone’s bewilderment, he proudly answers that he had no thoughts of joining the volunteer army. 

One elder tries to explain his response by implying that Jang-hyun might not be healthy enough to join the fight. Jang-hyun holds that he is healthy enough to fight but wonders why the people need to save the king when he flees and abandons the people. The villagers are perplexed by his words and some start murmuring amongst themselves that his words are sensible. 

Yeon-joon takes control of the situation, saying they are saving the root of the nation. Jang-hyun ponders, is fleeing at the sight of danger and abandoning the people what the root of the nation does? He leaves, telling them to do their best and save their king.

While arguing with his servant Goo-jam, Jang-hyun realizes that only the old men, kids, and women will be left in the city after the voluntary army leaves. Not strong enough to defend themselves against the Jin warriors. He starts a plot to try and convince the men not to join the voluntary army. 

He starts by getting Gil-chae to worry about the possible death of her crush Yeon-joon. He vividly describes the uncivilized barbarians who eat raw meat and drink animal blood. The barbarians are trained killers, and the scholars, including her crush, do not stand a chance. 

True to his words, the voluntary arny training at the outskirts of the village is feeble and can neither wield a sword nor shoot an arrow. Gil-chae tries to persuade Yeon-joon not to join the army but he is adamant about dying a hero with pride rather than living as a coward. She tries to convince Eun-ae to make Yeon-joon not join the army but her plan fails when Eun-ae and Yeon-joon plan to get married before he leaves. 

Gil-chae is heartbroken but still does not give up on breaking Eun-ae and Yeon-joon up. She manipulates Soon-yok into proposing to her in front of everybody during the farewell party to try and push Yeon-joon to express his feelings. The plan fails terribly when both Eun-ae and Yeon-joon agree to hold the wedding a double wedding together with Gil-chae and Soon-yok. 

Jang-hyun offers to help her by ensuring that Eun-ae and Yeon-jun do not get married. He talks to the elders and the scholars, promising to offer them weapons and armor on condition that they do not allow the young men and women to get married before leaving for the war. The plan succeeds but it does not deter Yeon-joon’s feelings for Eun-ae and Gil-chae sees them kissing. She comforts herself with the notion that they are not getting married. 

Later, Gil-chae uses Soon-yak’s infatuation with her to manipulate him into promising her to protect Yeon-joon with his life during the battle. Jang-hyun eavesdrops on their conversation. He aggravates Gil-chae by saying that if he were to join the army and protect the people, maybe she would allow him to kiss her. She angrily slaps him and he uses the opportunity to enlighten her that when the barbarians invade the village, she should be brave enough to react the same way. He walks away. 

The next day, the young scholars of Neunggun-ri village are leaving to join the war. The villagers are all gathered to bid them farewell. Jang-hyun, Ryang-eum, and Goo-jam arrive riding their horses and in warrior armour, making the ladies swoon over them. Gil-chae boasts that Jang-hyun had asked her if she would like him if he decided to protect the people. Therefore he is joining the fight to impress her. 

Before she can even bask in her pride, Jang-hyun announces that he wasn’t intending to join the army but to flee. He was dressed in armor as protection in case he met with the intruders. He was afraid of meeting the Qing army on the road. 

Eun-ae tells Jang-hyun that she has an idea of whom Gil-chae likes. She tries to match-make but Gil-chae does not offer Jang-hyun a parting gift. Jang-hyun gifts Gil-chae a knife and asks her to promise to flee when she notices smoke over the hill. Gil-chae thinks that Jang-hyun is referring to the whole village but responds that he does not care about the village; he only wants her to flee alone. 

Eun-ae knows that Jang-hyun likes Gil-chae but he tries to deny it. Eun-ae holds that she might know Gil-chae better than he knows herself, and she knew who Gil-chae had feelings for. In times of danger, people tend to look up to the person they can depend on or who they have feelings for.

When the news of the intruders arrived during the 60th wedding anniversary, Eun-ae saw who Gil-chae looked at. She wishes Jang-hyun be safe and tells him to come back. She and Gil-chae will be waiting for him. 

As the youngsters leave to fight, Eun-ae’s words suddenly sink when Jong Jong mentions that it was Jang-hyun who stopped the marriage. When the villagers received the news about the war, Gil-Chae looked at Jang-hyun. Jang-hyun asks Ryang-eum, whom Gil-chae looked at, and coincidentally since he looked at Gil-chae, he saw her looking at Jang-hyun. He, however, lies and tells him that she looked at Yeon-joon. 

Hyeon-joon and his friends arrive at the army base and they send the fire signal. The volunteer army has arrived to save the king. Suddenly, they are ambushed and Yeon-jun gets hit on the head and he faints. Yoon-sak defends him just as he promised Gil-chae but the voluntary army of King Joseon seems to be overpowered by the raiders. 

Elsewhere, Ryang-eum brings news about the progress of the war and the state of the Qing army forces. He tells him that Mongolian soldiers are among the intruders. Unlike the other soldiers following Jin’s strict orders, the Mongolians join the war for wealth and the women. 

The Episode Review

Jang-hyun is still a mystery in this episode; who he is, where he came from, and his intentions are still unknown. His interest in Gil-chae is vivid in this episode. He cares about her and offers to help her in every situation.

On the other hand, Gil-chae is still obsessed with Yeon-joon and she comes out as overly manipulative when he takes advantage of Soon-yak’s infatuation with her to try and force Yeon-joon to accept his feelings for her which seems non-existent. Yeon-joon is still very much into Eun-ae. 

Eun-ae’s loyalty to her friends shows in this episode. While Gil-chae is running around trying to break her up with Yeon-joon, she, on the other hand, is caring and worried about her. She offers to have a double wedding when Gil-chae manipulates Soon-yak and tries to match-make with Jang-hyun, whom she knows has feelings for Gil-chae.

The episode also gives a deeper understanding of the war. What will happen to the villagers of Neunggun-ri if the Mongolian soldiers invade? Will Jang-hyun go back for Gil-chae? Who dies in the ambush? Looking forward to what happens in the next episodes. 

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