Rookie Historian Goo Hae-Ryung – Season 1 Episode 15 Recap & Review

The Forbidden Love

Fleshing out the reveal around the Royal Wedding last week and wrapping up the Catholic sub-plot, Rookie Historian returns for a much more straight forward slice of drama. There’s some nice pockets of humour in here too and as Goo and Prince Lee continue to grow closer, the divides between them are clear to see as they struggle to keep their romance a secret.

We begin in the dead of night with one of the historians writing down notes from the record room before an impromptu meeting with the King. As things get a little intense, we cut back to Goo who embraces her day off, refusing to lift a finger to do anything. Until she spies Prince Lee of course, which is incentive enough to lift her off the floor and over to him, where he gleefully tells her he’d like to spend the day together.

Confident and love-struck, he embraces her inside her room (after a mad dash to tidy up her house) and the two discuss the future while Officer Min finds himself under fire by the other Officers in a heated meeting, learning of a request filed by Min demanding Officer Seong’s impeachment. The other Officers confront him about this but he remains tight-lipped, partly at the request of the Crown Prince.

As they all discuss the issue under the dim lights of the palace, the true nature of what happened to Officer Seong is revealed to them, as Apprentice Song tells them all about him pleading for his life and the situation with the Catholics. While the Officers discuss what this means, Seong thanks Min personally for saving his life and he offers a grateful reply, sympathetic with his situation and telling him it mustn’t be easy to live in exile.

As things begin to settle down a little at the palace, Prince Lee and Goo decide to spend some time together, only to be spotted together by two of the Apprentices who decided to sneak off minutes before. They immediately berate their fellow historian for not telling them earlier and immediately begin gushing over the couple and asking them questions. As Goo tries to wave away their interest, Prince Lee revels in it, immediately telling them to spread the news, which they refuse to do. Unfortunately the court ladies overhear the commotion and immediately join in, prompting a cat-fight to break out which is eventually broken up by Sam-Bo before things get too serious.

The historians continue to discuss Prince Lee in private after hurrying away from the palace, where they gleefully cheer over her admitting to seeing him sleep, leading the girls to believe she’s slept with him. Successfully managing to navigate past their prying questions, she heads back to Prince Lee who kisses her before they carry on with their duties.

Meanwhile, the King and Queen discuss Prince Lee’s upcoming marriage before revealing a hidden agenda after the meeting to her close advisor. As news filters through to the Prince himself, Goo tries hard to be happy for him but as he pulls closer to her, she pulls away, knowing there’s nothing she can do to stop this happening. The ministers already have someone in mind for him too but before they can reveal who it is, Prince Lee has a plan of his own.

He arrives at the Office Of Royal Decree while Goo’s working and tells her to follow him. With Goo by his side, he leads the historian in to see the Queen and immediately reveals he’s in love with someone else but doesn’t say who it is, as Goo watches on in stunned silence.

With another tantalizing cliffhanger and the truth around Goo and Prince Lee’s secret relationship bubbling to the surface, it’ll be interesting to see where the show goes from here. There’s plenty of political intrigue to chew over too and the blend between comedy, historical fiction and romance works reasonably well here, with the usual array of sound effects used to hilarious effect. The cat fight, much like the war between historians several episodes earlier, is easily the highlight here though and helps this progressive episode shine, one that feels much more of a transitional piece rather than an outright memorable slice of drama.

Still, there’s enough of a foundation set here to make tomorrow’s episode incredibly dramatic, especially if Prince Lee reveals the truth to the Queen about Goo. Whether the Prince will follow through and reveal this though remains to be seen.  


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