Our Blooming Youth – K-drama Episode 8 Recap & Review

The Curse of The Royal Family

Episode 8 of Our Blooming Youth begins with Min Jae-yi apologizing to the Crown Prince for the choice words she called him. The Crown Prince asks if she believes he was hard on her and Min Jae-yi says yes. She goes on to tell him that she understands why he did it and also gives him a lecture on the importance of trust.

After her lecture, the Crown Prince admits that he was wrong and should have trusted her even after getting contradicting statements from the soldiers. He tells her that he should have continued to hold her hand. Min Jae-yi thinks he will take her back and let her work in the Eastern Palace but the Crown Prince says he won’t.

In the back of his head, he is thinking of the promise he made to Sung-on, the man she is betrothed to. He knows that if he will continue to keep her close he will want her to himself. He also refuses to let her use his secret library and asks her to continue staying with Myung-jin. Min Jae-yi is furious but what else can she do but accept the Crown Prince’s indifference towards her?

Elsewhere,  Princess Hayeon prepares herself to wow Sung-on with her beauty at the polo competition where he will be leading his team against the Crown Prince’s guards.  The eunuchs have an ongoing bet and they all believe Sung-on will lead his team to victory since the Crown Prince won’t be participating.

As they prepare for the competition, Min Jae-yi runs into Sung-on who is curious about which team she is supporting. Min Jae-yi says that she has bet 3 nyangs on his team and the Crown Prince overhears their conversation. He confronts Min Jae-yi for choosing the other team as she stubbornly tells him that Sung-on is bound to win. Hearing this, the Crown Prince decides to participate in the game much to the surprise of everyone. Min Jae-yi must have bruised his ego with her statement and he wanted to prove himself to her.

On the other side of the palace, a soldier leaves a secret message for someone within the place. In the letter, the other party is ordered to move according to plan. A few minutes later, we see a soldier give money to a guard at the palace gates. He nods to his colleague and allows the soldier to enter the prison carrying a white sack.

The soldier delivers the bag to the shaman and asks her to finish god’s will before the interrogation starts soon. The shaman promises to finish her mission and the soldier leaves.  Even though we could not see the soldier’s face, we saw his clothes. He was dressed as a Crown Prince guard. It is quite possible that he has been able to spy on the prince because he is always around him, guarding him.

Back to the Polo match, the game starts and Min Jae-yi starts to cheer Sung-on’s team as loudly as she can. Princess Hayeon finds herself unable to withstand and joins in the cheering. It is a fierce game as both captains and their team gives their all to win. Even Princess Hayeon starts questioning why they are going at it so hard. She thinks that it is because of her but we all know it is about Min Jae-yi.

In the end, it comes down to one point and the Crown Prince takes a hard-earned victory. Sung-on gracefully admits defeat and congratulates the Crown Prince. He remarks that it is okay since he would gain nothing even if he won. He asks the Crown Prince to remember his sincerity.

As the game rages on in the palace, Myung-jin has a meal with his master Monk Moojin. Man-deok and Bok-soon also know Monk Moojin and ask him about Oh Wol and the other kids. They also promise to give him money for rice to feed the kids prompting Myung-jin to offer his help too. I think that Oh Wol might be Man-deok and Bok-soon’s child.

Ga-ram is shocked to learn that Myung-jin trained under Monk Moojin and tries to remember where she has seen him before. By the time she remembers, Monk Moojin is long gone and she doesn’t get to ask him a question.

She remembers seeing Monk Moojin in Gaesong and Sim-yeong giving him rice. Myung-jin tells her that Monk Moojin lives a nomadic life. No one knows when he comes or goes but he will soon be back. However, it seems like Monk Moojin knows something about what happened in Gaesong. He hid when he saw Ga-ram looking for him in the streets. Why would he hide?

After chasing after Ga-ram, Myung-jin runs into the Minister of personnel’s daughter who is fated to marry soon. He tries to act cool but she ignores him and passes by him without as much as a smile. Ga-ram can’t help but laugh at him and she wonders if his marriage to the lady will have a happy ending.

After the game, Sung-on apologizes to Princess Hayeon for disappointing her. She in turn tells him she was hardly disappointed and marvels at his horse-riding skills. She tells him that she found him so cool and handsome as he played earnestly. Later, as the eunuchs clean up after the game, the Crown Prince mocks Min Jae-yi for losing the bet. Tae- gang is also not pleased that Min Jae-yi dared to support the other team so openly. He feels betrayed, he is so cute when angry.

Sung-on runs into Min Jae-yi and says he is disappointed in her for supporting him but never taking her eyes off the Crown Prince. He reckons that she is still in the Crown Prince’s team even though he kicked her out of the Eastern Palace. Min Jae-yi says she must have gone crazy and he promises to see who she will sincerely support the next time.

Night rolls by and Min Jae-yi returns to Myung-jin’s lab. Ga-ram tells her that she remembered seeing Sim-yeong giving Monk Moojin rice back in Gaesong. Min Jae-yi doesn’t think it is a big deal that Sim-yeong gave the master some rice. She is more concerned that Monk Moojin might place Ga-ram and turn them in since they are on the run. She asks Ga-ram not to ask him anything if she see him again and Ga-ram promises to be careful.

Meanwhile, the Crown Prince continues to miss Min Jae-yi. Min Jae-yi was pleased that he won the game and she mutters to herself that he was cool. However, she doesn’t dare to tell him this. Concurrently, the shaman uses the cover of the night to open the sack the soldier gave her.

The next morning, Bok-soon wakes up before  Man-deok and starts cleaning. Another arrow is shot with a letter asking them to prepare to go home.  This time  Bok-soon decides to hide the letter from her husband. I believe she is worried he will be put in harm’s way again.

As Bok-soon protects her husband by keeping the letter a secret, Myung-jin, Ga-ram and Min Jae-yi hope to uncover another one. They take the burned peony blossom petals to a man who used to work at the Hall of Incense. Unfortunately,  they find the man died man years ago and his son is not helpful.

He only knows that the petals were mixed with different ingredients and oil but he can’t remember what his father taught him. He is however sure it is an old method used to make incense. Myung-jin doubts that there is anyone else who can help them investigate the peony blossom incense. As they leave the store,  he once again meets the Minster of Personnel’s daughter. This time she talks to him and asks him to call off their proposed wedding. She says she is an ambitious woman and doesn’t want to marry a man like him.

She believes he is a good-for-nothing man who can’t even pass the civil exam and acts weird. According to her, he is the least eligible man in Joseon and will not tie her fate to his. She dreams of marrying someone who will rise in the scale and become a minister from the six bureaus. Min Jae-yi and Ga-ram try to cheer him up but Myung-jin is hurt by the lady’s cruel words.

At the palace, the interrogation of the shaman begins with the court officials, the King and the Crown Prince present. Princess Hayeon and Prince Myungan are also curious and they watch the interrogation secretly from a distance. Even before the interrogation officially starts, the shaman keeps saying under her breath, “The ghost letters.’’ This immediately puts the Crown Prince on edge.

The Prime minister orders for the shaman to be tortured but the King offers to spare her life if she tells them her motive and the last letter. The shaman laughs satirically and tells them that she won’t beg for her life.  She tells them the last letter is Lee which means a plum tree.  The message is a curse on the Lee family which is the Royal family. It means that the Song family will destroy the Lee family.

The shaman soon starts to shake as if she is in a trance. She stops and says the first words in the ghost letters. She asks them to listen carefully to her message and a thunderstorm starts as she delivers it. She says she is Song and has come back because of the innocent people in Byeokcheon who were killed innocently. The ghost of Song is in her to take revenge on the Royal family who is responsible for the deaths. She prophesies that the Song family will destroy the Lee family and take the throne.

She further states that the Lee family will be removed from existence as the Song family will cut down their family tree. Prince Myungan becomes terrified as he listens to the prophecy. The king is angered by her utterance and grabs a sword to kill her. The court officials also call for her death.  As the king moves to strike her with his sword, lightning strikes and the shaman laughs and says that god’s will has been done.

That is when they notice she has a snake hidden in her clothes. The poisonous snake bites and kills her. It drops to the floor and Sung-on kills it before it gets to the King. Everyone is stunned by the sight before them, but as Prince Myungan and Princess Hayeon run away,  Prince Myungan is so scared he pees on himself.

His mom, the Queen, rushes to check on him and they tell her they went to the interrogation. As they talk, another lightning strikes the plum tree in the palace and it catches fire. Prince Myungan and the other servants start believing the prophecy has started unfolding.

The Crown Prince orders the soldiers to check her left arm and they find the last letter cut into her flesh.  Sung-on points out that the wound is fresh so she must have done it before the interrogation. The Crown Prince asks him to look into the soldiers who were guarding the prison. The shaman sacrificed herself to complete the curse. He also notes that she used the gloydius saxatilis snake, which has the same poison in the arrows used to kill the messenger. It was also used on the arrow that shot him a year ago.

He remembers reading the report on Sim-yeong’s death and how his hair had suddenly turned white. He realizes all the cases are connected and he and Min Jae-yi have fallen for the same trap. He orders Tae- gang to bring Min Jae-yi to him.

As strange things start happening in the palace, red flyers are distributed in the capital.  Upon reading the letter, Min Jae-yi and Myungin are shocked as they realize it is the words from the Cardinal case. Min Jae-yi spots men dressed in black on the roof and starts giving them a chase. Myung-jin and Ga-ram join her but they end up going their separate ways. The episode ends with Min Jae-yi cornered and one of the men pointing his arrow towards her, ready to kill.

The Episode Review

This episode had us at the edge of our seats from the polo match to the shaman’s interrogation, it really was a thrilling watch. I think the Crown Prince finally believes that Min Jae-yi was framed. She was simply a pawn in a grand conspiracy projected as a curse.

We gotta praise Lee Chae-Kyung for her amazing portrayal of the shaman too. She did an amazing job roping in viewers and making us intrigued to know more. It must not have been an easy character to pull off. I noticed that there was thunder and lightning but it didn’t rain and it only happened in the palace. I am not sure if there is truly a curse or if this is an elaborate ruse for some greedy people to commit treason. Either way, they sure have thought of everything to scare people.

It will be much harder for the Crown Prince and the King to stabilize their power and keep the throne. This is what the so-called ghost must have wanted. It is psychological warfare and he remains hidden as his henchmen do his dirty work.

I also think that Byeokcheon is the home that Man-deok and Bok-soon were talking about. They must be in hiding and left their child behind with Monk Moojin. It is also possible that Monk Moojin is the mastermind behind this alleged curse on the Royal family. Perhaps the soldier helping him could be Tae-gang. The Crown Prince said he found him in the streets as an orphan. I wonder if there is more to his story. What do you guys think?

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