Our Blooming Youth – K-drama Episode 18 Recap & Review


Episode 18 of Our Blooming Youth begins with the Queen meeting with Sung-on and pretending that she received a prank letter from one of the court ladies. She shows Sung-on the so-called anonymous letter which states that Eunuch Soon-dol is Jae-yi. Sung-on tells the Queen that it is impossible but he leaves her chambers shattered.

Elsewhere, the Crown Prince finds Tae-kang choking Jae-yi and asks what is going on. Jae-yi tells him that she saw Tae-kang’s twin and he stopped her from going after him. Tae-kang pleads for understanding saying he was scared and only wanted to protect his brother. He didn’t mean to hurt Jae-yi.

The Crown Prince asks him to tell him what happened to his twin ten years ago in Byeokcheon. Tae-kang admits that he has no memory of the days leading up to the Byeokcheon attack as he was away, living with relatives. He returned that fateful day and thought his brother died in the attack.  He was afraid to say he was from Byeokcheon since he had seen how the Byeokcheon people were discriminated against.

He asks if it is true his brother is involved in the crimes against the royal family and begs for forgiveness on his behalf.  The Crown Prince sends him home and explains that it would be better if he stayed away from the palace for a short while. Jae-yi checks to see what was taken from her room and is relieved to see the bracelet is still there.

Meanwhile. Sung-on ponders on the strange relationship between the Crown Prince and his eunuch. He looks at the wanted poster of Jae-yi and realizes that she is indeed Eunuch Soon-dol.

At Myung-jin’s lab, Ga-ram tries to recreate Min Ho-Seung’s drawing. Myung-jin fails to understand what she is drawing.

At the palace, the Crown Prince visits Prince Myungan and watches to see if his hair will turn white. The Prince is still in a deep slumber and the Princess is worried that he has not woken up yet.

That night, Jae-yi finds it hard to sleep in her room given that Tae-kang’s twin is still roaming around. The Crown Prince pretends to be reading a book at the library but his goal is to watch over her.

The next morning, the ladies from the Queen’s selection meet the King and the Queen. It turns out that  Han So-eun has been selected as the Crown Princess and the Jo family doesn’t waste a chance to begrudgingly tease the Han officials. Jo Won-bo is however not worried because he has a card to play against the Han family.

The eunuchs at the Eastern Palace congratulate the Crown Prince but he doesn’t seem happy about his upcoming nuptials. One of his court ladies, Lady Choi, bids him goodbye to take care of his new bride-to-be. Jae-yi is also sad about it but tries to overcome her feelings. She decides to take the incense burner from the temple to Myung-jin’s lab and the Crown Prince insists on tagging along. He is worried that she is in danger as Jo Won-bo knows her secret.

Left State Councilor Han Joong-eon meets with Han So-eun and wishes her well in her upcoming marriage.  He thanks her for her sacrifice and for holding up well.

Outside the palace, Man-deok gets another message to return home and Bok-soon insists on going with him.  She doesn’t want to stay behind wondering if he will return alive or dead. Man-deok agrees to let her come along. The kids remain behind and Myung-jin and Ga-ram give them some new clothes.

Ga-ram makes a mistake and addresses Jae-yi as her lady. Myung-jin confesses that he knows her identity and that Scholar Park is the Crown Prince. He, however, doesn’t want to act as a subject in front of him. Myung-jin also starts teasing Ga-ram to check if she is in love with him.

Man-deok and Bok-soon attend Monk Moojin’s funeral along with Court Lady Kwon Deok-sim and Tae-kang’s twin. Court Lady Kwon Deok-sim tells them that they will be going home soon and Tae-kang’s twin asks for permission to bring his brother.

Myung-jin is also saddened to hear of his old master’s death. The Crown Prince asks him how he met Monk Moojin and he explains they met two years ago by coincidence.  Myung-jin is shocked to learn the truth about his master. Jae-yi asks about Ga-ram’s drawing and the Crown Prince and Jae-yi realize it is Jikgeumdo ( a coded message.)  They deduce that Min Ho-Seung was sending a  secret message to someone. Ga-ram and Jae-yi believe the only person in Gaeseong who would now is the Gaeseong Judge. As they talk, Myung-jin makes a mistake and reveals he knows the real identity of Scholar Park.

They track down the judge, and initially he is hesitant to tell them anything as Jae-yi is considered a suspect in her family’s murder. The Crown Prince convinces him to help them and shows off the letter written by Min Ho-Seung. He explains it was meant for Left State Councilor Han Joong-eon but was scared to deliver it after the various scandals arose. They try to decode the message but fail.

The next morning, Sung-on visits the palace and spots Jae-yi. They finally get a chance to talk and he apologizes for not recognizing her first. Jae-yi tells him it is okay and explains that she has no intention of returning to him. Sung-on is heartbroken and the Crown Prince overhears part of their conversation.  Jae-yi asks Sung-on to forget about her and find happiness. She asks him not to try and hold on to her using their marriage approval letter.

The Crown Prince waits outside. Sung-on tells him that he once promised to return Jae-yi to him and he is sure he will keep that promise. The Crown Prince is conflicted as Jae-yi wishes to leave as a free woman and loves someone else. On the other hand, Sung-on is his best friend. Sung-on believes that Jae-yi understands the law and her duty so she will return to him soon.

Later, Jae-yi asks about Prince Myungan and why the Crown Prince seems more worried about him. The Crown Prince shares his theory about the peony incense, hypnosis and white hair. Jae-yi tells him about Prince Myungan’s confession that he gave Prince Ui-hyeon the peach that ended his life. The Crown Prince is in denial but Jae-yi adds that the Queen knew and hid it from him.

She further explains that there is no way that the Queen had no idea what the Princess and Court Lady Kwon Deok-sim were up to. She also finds it strange that they only tried to kill the Princess. The Crown Prince gets angry at her for even thinking the Queen is capable of such a thing. Jae-yi reminds him that they need to investigate all hypotheses and they can’t ignore the facts. Meanwhile, the Queen sits in her chambers waiting for Prince Myungan to wake up.

The next morning, Prince Myungan’s staff are shocked to find him awake and spotting a new hair colour. He is also no longer depressed and is back to his old jovial self who loves food. The Crown Prince realizes that the Prince was hypnotized, and questions the Princess about Prince Myungan’s confession and if the Queen was present. The Princess finally tells him the truth.

The Queen is unaware that the Crown Prince is closer to the truth and is taking care of the strange fish from Byeokcheon. Rumour has it that the eggs from the fish have the ability to turn men mad when ingested.

Later that night, the Crown Prince pays Left State Councilor Han Joong-eon a visit to ask for his help to decode the secret letter from Min Ho-Seung. Left State Councilor Han Joong-eon admits that he knows the rule to decode the message. The Crown Prince tells him it is possible that the letter can prove Jae-yi’s innocence.

Elsewhere, the Jo family has another fun night drinking and plotting away. Jo Won-bo shares the secret that plans to use to take the Crown Prince down. The others are shocked and happy that such a golden chance has fallen on their laps.

Left State Councilor Han Joong-eon starts decoding the letter and it turns out the message is related to what happened to Byeokcheon ten years ago. Once the Crown Prince reads it, he’s utterly shock.

In the meantime, the Queen looks after Prince Myungan and inwardly mumbles to herself that his real name is Song Hyun. The episode ends with Jae-yi realizing that her dagger is missing. She rushes to tell the Crown Prince but is unable to find him. Instead, she finds the vault in his chambers open and another ghost letter waiting. She reads the letter and realizes the Crown Princess is in trouble.

Rushing to the Royal Villa, her heart sinks as she realizes she’s too late. She finds the Crown Prince dead, stabbed with her dagger.

The Episode Review

What a tantalizing episode this was! The twists kept coming and I have so many questions. Is Prince Myungan the son of Song and how did this happen? This would certainly explain why the Queen hates Jo Won-bo.

What happens to Jae-yi now that she is being framed for another murder? This was clearly the Queen’s plan but what is her end goal? Lastly, when will Jo Won-bo use his card against the Crown Prince and how will this new incident affect his plans?

I am also very curious about the information on the secret letter, What had the Crown Prince so shaken?

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