My Dearest – K-drama Episode 16 Recap & Review

Will Gil-chae Divorce Goo Won-moo?

Episode 16 of My Dearest Part 2 starts with the Qing Princess threatening Jang-hyun to return Gil-chae to Joseon. She says she will torture Joseon’s slaves if he does not heed her words. Meanwhile, Gil-chae tells Ryang-eum that she is not going to Joseon but will stay in Simyang. If she is Jang-hyun’s curse, only she can reverse it.  

Emperor Khan’s illness worsens, but he plans to conquer the Shanhai Pass next. Gak-hwa asks to be put in charge of controlling the Joseon captives. Khan is aware that she has been disguising herself and hunting down the prisoners of war. She warns her not to cross the line and not lose the people’s hearts. Khan suddenly starts coughing, and Gol-dae rushes to call the imperial doctor.

Meanwhile, news reaches King Injo that Khan is gravely ill. The King is angry that the Crown Prince is not taking responsibility for the things he is being accused of and is still alive while he is dying. He fears the nobles will say no people are worthy of character in the Royal court.

He orders the officials to ask Kim Jip and Jang-cheol for advice and send their students to the royal courts. The officials are unhappy about the King, suggesting that the Crown prince should take the blame. Yeon-joon’s teacher sends them to join the Royal Court as the King’s advisers. 

Jang-hyun and Gil-chae are walking when he suddenly hugs her and asks that she stay with him. They do not have to remain in Simyang; they can go whenever she wants. Since her husband abandoned her, she does not need to keep her fidelity to him. Gil-chae tells him that she has to wait for an explanation from her husband.

Later, Gil-chae goes to Jang-hyun’s room. She says that she can give up her life for him as her lifesaver. Jang-hyun thinks that she cannot love him. Jang-hyun says he does not want her to give up her life for him. He moves closer to show her what he wants and almost kisses her when someone calls him outside the door. 

Eunuch Pyo calls Jang-hyun to tell him that Khan is dead. At the same time, King Injo receives the same news in Joseon. The next in line is Khan’s six-year-old son, and his regent is Prince Dorgon, who now becomes the ruler.

Jang-hyun tells the Crown prince that Dorgon will do anything to strengthen his power, just like how the previous Emperor buried his mother as soon as he took power. The Crown Prince and King Injo feared that the people who wanted Khan to divide Joseon and distribute it to the Qing Imperial princes might take up power alongside Dorgon. What will happen to Joseon then?

Jang-hyun tells the Crown Prince that whomever Dorgon extends his hands to in the following months will be the ones to stay by his side. He suggests making a move first and intends to meet with General Gol-dae. Jang-hyun and Eunuch Pyo visit Gol-dae and gift him a Buddha statue made by the Crown Prince. He tells Gol-dae that he must ensure that Dorgon does not get rid of him.

His bargaining chip is that once the Crown Prince becomes a ruler in Joseon, Gol-dae and Dorgon will have rights to all the produce from Joseon. Joseon will stand with Gol-dae, and he will stand with Dorgon. 

Afterwards, King Injo receives news that Dorgon allows the Crown Prince to visit Joseon. Jang-hyun warns the Crown Prince that people now know whom Dorgon chooses to stand with. Gol-dae comes to Jang-hyun with some bad news. Dorgon extended his hand to Gak-hwa so he could control the imperial women, but she gave two conditions.

First, she is not to be sent to Mongol in marriage. Second, she is to have the authority to catch runaway Joseon captives. Gak-hwa knows Jang-hyun has been selling captives and giving Gol-dae the money. She will interrogate Jang-hyun first if given the power. 

Jang-hyun meets with Gak-hwa later that night and asks what she wants. Gak-hwa says she wants him, and if he continues to refuse her, she will bury him and all the captives he keeps at his house. She also gives him the option not to help the captive and, in exchange, keep Gil-chae. Back at home, Jang-hyun remembers that Gol-dae said that Dorgon does not care what Gak-hwa will do to the captives. His concern is about the Qing taking over the Ming dynasty. 

Jang-hyun asks Gil-chae to go back to Joseon with the Crown prince. He does not need her to care for him as they are of no relation. Jang-hyun clung to her for long enough, and he almost died. He says he has no regrets, and in his heart, nothing remains. Gil-chae thinks Jang-hyun is tired because of all the work after Khan’s death, but he insists that he is tired of Gil-chae pushing him away every time.

Gil-chae says she does not want to go back, but Jang-hyun reminds her that she has a husband. Gil-chae chooses to go back to Joseon since it is what Jang-hyun wants. She will do whatever she wants. 

Gil-chae asks to join the Crown Prince’s envoy, and the Crown Princess agrees. She goes to bid farewell to Jang-hyun and apologises for always bothering him. Jang-hyun says he never considered her a nuisance and asks her to forget all the hardships she experienced in Simyang and live happily in Joseon with all the fanfare and extravagance expected of Gil-chae.

Gil-chae says she has a goal not to ever hurt Jang-hyun again. When she goes back to Joseon, she will be courageous and live a good life for the entire world to see. The following day, Gil-chae and Jong-jong leave for Joseon with the envoy. 

Gak-hwa comes to Jang-hyun later that night. She begs him to let her stay by his side. She is scared since she has never lived in a world without her father, Khan. Meanwhile, King Injo furiously asks his officials to explain why Dorgon let the Crown Prince and Crown Princess visit Joseon as soon as he became Prince Regent.

The Crown Prince arrives at Joseon, and King Injo refuses to see them. In addition, he does not allow the Crown Princess to either visit her mother or mourn her father at his graveside. Yeon-joon and his peers report to their teacher that King Injo is also torturing palace workers to investigate the case of the palace curse. Yeon-joon starts to investigate the case of the palace curse.

Gil-chae faces scorn and humiliation from the people in Joseon. They mock her for choosing to come back and visit her husband after the barbarians taint her. They say she lost her chastity and does not deserve to return shamelessly.

When Gil-chae sees her husband, he finds him with another woman. His father also tries to kill her, saying he wants to save her from the humiliation she has to endure. She tells Won-moo that she was sold to a barbarian in Simyang and suffered abuse, but she would not agree to divorce him for those reasons it’s not her fault. However, she met Jang-hyun in Simyang, and he helped him get release. She has given her heart to Jang-hyun, which is why she wants a divorce from Won-moo. 

The Episode Review

The episode is full of emotions tugging at the heartstrings, and it is impossible not to shed a tear. Gil-chae is heartbroken when Jang-hyun tells her to go back to Joseon. However, the hurt Jang-hyun hides behind the façade of “I am tired of you pushing me away every time” is heart-wrenching.

Jang-hyun chooses to say goodbye to the love of his life in exchange for the lives of the Joseon prisoners of war. You would wish to hate Gak-hwa for separating them, but you cannot when she begs Jang-hyun to let her stay by his side since she is scared.

Her father has always protected her, and now that he is dead, she is afraid. The ones that are easy to dislike furiously are the Joseon people. They are prisoners of the Qing’s but still dare to insult Gil-chae.

It was so fulfilling to see Gil-chae slap some sense into one of them. More importantly, the way she stood up for herself about the divorce. She tells Won-moo he has no right to ask for a divorce since it is not her fault she was sold to and abused by a barbarian. However, will she divorce him since she has given her heart to Jang-hyun? Will the two lovebirds finally have their moment and choose each other?

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