After yesterday’s dramatic cliffhanger, we return to Rookie Historian with more answers in regards to the arrival of the Western Intruder. Boasting some nicely implemented flashbacks and a good dose of drama, Rookie Historian: Goo Hae-Ryung continues to produce solid, enjoyable material with its latest episode.
We begin with Goo asking her Brother what he and Mo-Hwa were talking about in the room but receives a dismissive reply instead. It’s here we jump back in time and see Mo-Hwa’s back-story as she runs out the palace. She was recruited to Seoraewin to become a trainee physician, thanks in part to her skills. Once there she meets a young Goo Jae-Kyung and also see a tiny Goo;the familiar flashback yesterday repeats, showing her telling Mo-Hwa to be quiet. This prompts the physician to break down crying away from the Palace.
Meanwhile, Prince Lee, Jean and the girls have some fun with a sleeping Sam-Bo, drawing over him with ink until he wakes up. Chasing Jean Baptiste, Prince Lee watches in amusement as they run around the palace until guards march past.
Back at the Office, the Officers question Goo about her work, but she refuses to let them see what she’s written down. Convinced there’s something going on between Seong and Goo, the officers wonder if they’re dating one another while Jean Baptiste plays a trick on Prince Lee and tells him the words for “I’m dumb” in French mean “I like you”, leading to some hilarious moments.
Spreading rumours that the Foreign Intruder is out the palace and in the ensuing neighbourhood, it doesn’t take long before the rumours send the guards in to investigate. Meanwhile, Sam-Bo leads him as far as he can go, with Goo taking over.Unfortunately, despite finding him safe passage out, Goo realizes he’s snuck away again and is currently nowhere to be seen. However, he does leave a note for Goo, telling her the truth about Kim and thanking her for the hospitality.
Out in the wilderness, Jean Baptiste comes across Mo-Hwa, who tells him he looks like his Brother. His Brother who happened to be the one who taught Mo-Hwa medicine all those years ago. He asks to be taken to the grave to pay his respects and she obliges. where he prays in French in a really fitting, touching moment.
Meanwhile, Prince Lee deliberates over telling the King about hiding Jean Baptiste in the palace. He tells them he’ll take responsibility but Sam-Bo explains they’ll be severely punished if he spills the secrets, especially since they helped him escape too. Determined to save the people rounded up as Catholics, Prince Lee tells him he doesn’t want to live with regret while Goo agrees to go with him as a witness.
As the historian writes everything down, the King is told the truth about what happened. In retaliation, he orders for all the Catholics to be beheaded, before learning that the Crown Prince has already undermined him and ordered something different, causing him to hit out at his Son in a flurry of rage. While he showers his son in anger, Goo showers Lee in praise for his honesty while the rest of the Officers discuss the drama surrounding the Catholics being released.
Given Officer Seong hasn’t been seen for a while, Min heads out and confronts him in the records room, asking him about his religion. To save face, he tells Min he’ll sacrifice himself to the lords while Goo is told to travel to Dongjungseon. As the episode closes out, Prince Lee learns a Royal marriage is on the table as Goo watches on, heartbroken at this turn of events.
With a Royal Wedding on the horizon and Goo’s potential interest in Lee taking a turn for the worst, the door is left wide open for the final 3 weeks of this drama. There’s plenty to deliberate over this week too, with the French Intruder sub-plot doing well to add some much-needed backstory for Mo-Hwa and Goo’s family history. The flashbacks are well timed and certainly helped add some clarity into the fold, although Goo’s lineage still remains clouded in mystery.
There’s plenty to ponder over this week, with the romance taking a surprising back-seat in favour of a more historical flavour to proceedings. I wasn’t initially sold on this idea, feeling the show needed more humour as well, but I’m certainly coming round to this new flavour of Rookie Historian. Another good episode this one, this mid-week Korean drama continues to impress but what direction this is likely to take going forward, remains a mystery.