River Where The Moon Rises – K-Drama Episode 3 Recap & Review


Episode 3 of River Where The Moon Rises begins with Pyong Gang dusting herself down and scrambling off Dal. Tara Jin teases her over the “life is precious” line as Dal walks away. Only, in doing so he steps into his own trap. Chuckling, he eventually gets himself down and returns to Lady Sa. She warns about Pyong Gang again and comments how she could be an assassin.

Pyong Gang returns to camp where she pleads with the Chief to let her Father go. Well, her adoptive Father anyway. With Pyong Gang on her knees, Joong-Seo shows mercy but only if she can break into the castle and kill the King. Pyong Gang senses that the Chief is keeping secrets and realizes that he knows who she really is. If he’s not going to tell her, then she’ll take matters into her own hands.

The Chief calls her foolish and throws a cloud of dust into the air which causes her to go drowsy and pass out. When she awakens, Pyong Gang finds herself held captive in Yeom Deuk’s stead.

Dal suspects something is up and hurries off to investigate. Specifically, he looks into the Cheonjubang gang. He finds their entrance and confronts Tara Jin outside, asking where Pyong Gang is. Well, she in turn shows off the other assassins.

Mutiny grips them all as they manage to find Pyong Gang in her cell and break her out. There, she learns the truth about her parentage and how she’s not really Yeom Deok’s daughter. He hands over her necklace, pleading with her to find herself and learn the truth.

Time runs out and Dal breaks Pyong Gang out of the hideout. He admits that he knew she was an assassin all this time as the pair head out and light a big campfire to keep warm. He encourages her not to go back to Cheonjubang but the two fall out, eventually leading to Pyong Gang heading for the palace. There, she notices Go Gun leaving, who’s of course in charge of the place. This causes her to reconsider her next move, as Go Gun starts to draw up a portrait of Pyong Gang to hang around the palace.

In the wake of her escape, the Chief tasks his assassins to find Pyong Gang. However, he doesn’t want her killed. The King meanwhile, is slipping. Go Won-Pyo continues to worm his way into palace affairs, concocting strong medicine for the King to keep him sedated. Pyeongwon continues to see hallucinations too, brandishing his sword and swinging it wildly around.

Among those in attendance is Clown Prince Won, who sighs loudly and decides he should go and greet his Father. This is all part of Won-Pyo’s plan for the King to abdicate the throne and for it to fall into his lap.

Pyong Gang and Dal concoct a plan to pick mountain herbal plants and make a deal with the owner of the herb shop, Hae Mo-Yong, believing she may be able to connect them to the court lady and find a way into the palace. However, it seems like she may be compromised as she talks to Go Gun and follows his orders to pick some herbs for the King.

He reminds her that no one can know where these came from. To complicate matters, Lady Gong Son is taken captive.

Go Gun shows Mo-Yong the portrait he has of Pyong Gang and tells her to let him know if and when she arrives. Well arrive she does, as Pyong Gang and Dal concoct an elaborate herb show for all the excited villagers and townsfolk. It seems to work too but what they didn’t count on were bandits showing up and taking the two to Mo-Yong. She instantly recognizes Pyong Gang from the portrait, encouraging her to head inside with her.

Mo-Yong admits she’s been paid handsomely to try and find her. Pyong Gang weighs up her options and admits that she’s trying to find answers as she doesn’t know who she is. Pyong Gang eventually manages to convince Mo-Yong to let her go and she visits Lady Gong Son, who admits that she is the Princess.

Go Gun shows up though, leading Pyong Gang to hurry out and evade the guards. At the same time, Mo-Yong confronts Dal and asks how she knows Pyong Gang. She also mentions that he’s collateral damage and leaves a cut on his neck for good measure. Dal promises to destroy her, which garners a good chuckle from her as she walks away.

While she leaves, Pyong Gang bides her time and manages to break into her old bed chambers. Memories of the past come flooding back, reminding her of everything she’s forgotten. The King soon heads in though and recognizes his daughter. Now she too recognizes it as she calls herself Pyong Gang and asks her Father why he abandoned her.

The Episode Review

As River Where The Moon Rises closes out, the amnesia trope thankfully hasn’t been dragged out here. Even better, the show has added some urgency to the storyline.

Pyong Gang heads back to the palace and starts to fill in the blanks for her missing memories while Dal finds himself all tied up with nowhere to go. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this going forward but it’s clear that Mo-Yong is going to play a pivotal role in this going forward.

So far the story has been consistently engaging, with episode 3 continuing to deepen the character ties while introducing more players to the fold. While the show isn’t quite as epic as the first episode may have led one to believe, it’s still a compelling period drama nonetheless, leaving the door wide open for where this one may go next.

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