The Forbidden Marriage – K-Drama Episode 2 Recap & Review

Making Connections

Episode 2 of The Forbidden Marriage begins where the premiere left off, with King Lee Heon hugging Ye So-Rang, thinking she is his late wife, the Crown Princess Ja-Yeon. Captain Lee Shin-Won is shocked and when the King comes back to his senses, he gets flustered and leaves. So-Rang tries to sleep but she can’t forget the King’s hug. Outside standing guard, Shin-Won looks morose while the King is angry with himself for hugging So-Rang.

The next day, So-Rang is perturbed when Shin-Won tells her that she needs to become a court lady so that the Crown Princess’ ghost can communicate with the King. She runs back to Aedaldang but Ax whose real name is Gwaeng-Yi helps her come up with a plan. He approaches Shin-Won and tells him about his mystery woman setting up the foundation.

While heading to the palace, the Aedaldang staff and Shin-Won see the royal guards separate a newly married couple. So-Rang is pressured as she needs to convince the King to let go of his wife and lift the marriage ban. On her way to the palace, she sees Seo Woon-Jung, a powerful woman in a palanquin and hides behind Shin-Won. However, Lady Seo spots her and gets out. So-Rang takes Shin-Won and hides while the captain is clearly affected by the close proximity.

A flashback shows us that Lady Seo has found out about the marriage ban in advance and is worried for her daughter Hyun-Hee as she is the youngest of the two daughters. A talk with her maidservant reveals that she is planning on killing her stepdaughter Hyun-Seon just like she did with the girl’s birth mother. She hopes that this will allow Hyun-Hee to marry before the ban is announced. Viewers immediately find out that Hyun-Seon is none other than our outspoken and brash So-Rang who was thrown over a cliff by Lady Seo’s assassin.

Turns out present-day Lady Seo is visiting the Grand Queen Mother and hopes to sneak in her daughter’s name as she creates a list of suitable brides for the King.

So-Rang plans to stay at the palace as a court lady to hide from Lady Seo. However, this decision comes with its own woes like heavy uniforms that have her falling to her feet and tons of rule books that she needs to read and follow. Court Lady Won renames her Soon-Ah to hide her identity and teaches her how to behave.

So-Rang tries her best to blend in but her comments and expressions while the King eats have him annoyed. Trying to get out of a scolding, she pretends that the Crown Princess is talking to her and immediately the King gets excited. She tells him everything that she actually wants to and passes it off as the Crown Princess advising the King like letting So-Rang eat with him because she is hungry.

Her next plan of business is to get on the good side of Shin-Won so he doesn’t find out that she is a scammer. She tries to win him over by creating cocktails and drinking games and he is caught laughing at her antics. They decide to become friends and while trying to uncover why she looks like his mystery woman, Shin-Won reveals that he almost married the eldest daughter of the Minister of General Affairs, Ye Hyun-Ho. Yep, that’s right, our thieving, scheming of a heroine is Hyun-Seon, and indeed Shin-Won’s mystery woman before she escaped her assassination and joined hands with her pretend father Gwaeng-Yi.

We see a glimpse of recognition on So-Rang’s face before the viewers are taken into a flashback to when a young Shin-Won disguises himself to get into her household and get a glimpse of his betrothed. He spies Hyun-Hee throwing a tantrum as she tries to mess with Hyun-Seon’s wedding shoes.

He then spots So-Rang who is drinking and talking to herself about her husband-to-be and he falls in love with her at first sight. He is touched by her kindness to Hyun-Hee’s maidservant but hides as she almost catches him. However, at the wedding, he sees that the bride is Hyun-Hee and stops the marriage just in time for the marriage ban to be announced.

In the present day, he tells So-Rang that he became an investigator so that he could look for his missing bride while she is worried that he will recognize her as Hyun-Seon. However, he shares that he doesn’t remember her face anymore but her scent which was of a pink peach blossom. So-Rang is flustered and tells him to forget his bride. 

Onto the queen-killer, Minister Kim Sul-Rok tells the King that a man claimed he had killed the Crown Princess. The King is determined to catch him and prove that his wife was murdered. However, he cannot sleep that night. So-Rang decides to try a new trick by having him chase a ghost so that he gets tired and falls asleep.

When that doesn’t work she pits him and Shin-Won by praising the captain’s physique which leads to a duel between the two men and the King losing. So-Rang continues to rile up the King but he still does not fall asleep. He asks her to tell stories and she starts telling the plot of everyone’s favourite K-Dramas – Goblin, Hotel Del Luna and Sky Castle only for them to end with the marriage ban hoping to tug the heart of the King. He doesn’t fall for it but is entertained and goes to sleep.

She stays up all night looking after the King. While heading back to her rooms, the Military Minister spies upon her and gets suspicious. Court Lady Won is angry with So-Rang for bringing attention to herself. But she changes directions and brings out her matchmaking skills as she pairs Won and the Head Eunuch Se-Jang who clearly like each other.

Another restless night appears as the King hopes for So-Rang to call the Crown Princess. Not wanting to con him any longer, she tells him that she will summon his wife if he promises not to do it often. Forgetting that the King is talking to his wife, she starts feeling for him and his hurt when he calls So-Rang a shadow of the Crown Princess. 

The Episode Review

Episode 2 perfectly lays the love triangle, expecting hijinks and comedy rather than sympathy and the dreaded second lead syndrome for Shin-Won. We start seeing moments as Shin-Won falls for So-Rang even though he does not connect the dots and realise that she is his mystery woman.

And just like any engaging story, every time Episode 2 answers the questions posed previously, it creates more plot twists that have us at the edge of our seats waiting to see how they will turn out. We also get a Joseon Romeo and Juliet as a young Shin-Won hides underneath Hyun-Seon’s pink peach blossom garden while she monologues and wonders if he thinks of her too with the viewers guessing if their fate will also be the same as our tragic Shakespearean couple.

The second episode of The Forbidden Marriage also starts fleshing out the characters as So-Rang is not a one-dimensional crook but someone who actually doesn’t want the King to suffer as she tricks him into eating well or sleeping. And while she is amused that the King falls for her tactics, she understands his pain.

She is also honest with Shin-Won as she hopes to be his friend so that he won’t arrest her and is open about herself more or less (of course apart from the fact that she is a con artist). But only time can tell which leading man will she choose at the end of the K-Drama.

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You can read our full season review for The Forbidden Marriage here!


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