Behind The Shadows
Episode 3 of The Forbidden Marriage sees So-Rang taking leave of the King to stay at home for 2 days. He allows her without a glance which seems to have hurt her feelings. But only Shin-Won notices the King watching her leave. The Captain is nice to her as he escorts her home which just makes her more guilty about keeping her identity as his betrothed hidden.
While she is sleeping, she has a nightmare of the time Lady Seo’s assassin stabbed Hyun-Seon’s empty bed. In her memory, she runs till she is cornered at the edge of a cliff. The assassin strikes her with their sword and she falls into the river below. As So-Rang wakes up, she remembers her mother falling sick with Lady Seo replacing her.
She heads out to get some air and is surprised by Shin-Won standing guard. As they talk about the King, he reveals that he is worried that the King might get delusional and think So-Rang is the Crown Princess. A butterfly interrupts and they share a moment. So-Rang runs away, arguing with herself that she should not get close to him as it could lead to him finding out about her past.
Minister Sul-Rok is busy following up on the lead of the Crown Princess’ killer and comes upon a girl’s body hanging just like her and the rest of the king’s selected brides. While he tries to catch the killer, he suggests that the King go hunting so that he can prove he is strong and end all baseless rumours of his manhood. It can also confuse the killer causing them to make a mistake and get caught. The King remembers his wife being against hunting and animal cruelty and is not happy about the plan.
Shin-Won and So-Rang go shopping and he hopes to buy shoes for her as hers are those of wanderers. She muses that she might not stay in Hanyang for long either and he is saddened by that.
In a secluded place, we see the Military Ministry and his acolyte wonder why the king is suddenly going hunting and decide to set a trap for him. But the King has other worries as his archery skills are less than par as he cannot even hit a bull’s eye.
Lady Seo on the other hand plans to become a part of the royal family so that she can be above the law. She creates an association where women pay her a high fee to train their daughters to become the next queen and those not part of it cannot submit their names to the King. This way Lady Seo has complete control over which girls are selected as prospects for the King. While leaving, a madam recognises her as Un-Jung, the gisaeng (escort) that ran away and became the General Affairs Minister’s concubine.
The King practises with his shadow and misses So-Rang. She comes back and hears him which leads to them bantering. They hear an echoing sound that scares the King and she decides to root out the problem. She finds the bamboo instrument responsible for it and breaks it.
In her delight to inform the King, she runs into him and they both fall into the lake. She gets deja vu from the time she fell off the cliff with Shin-Won rescuing her in the present day. Se-Jang saves the King who is shocked that Shin-Won saved a girl over him. So-Rang tries to take care of the King so he doesn’t fall sick but he holds a grudge.
He melts with her cuteness as she praises his muscular body and flatters him. While talking about the Crown Princess, the King gets sleepy and sees her. He ends up kissing her and when he opens his eyes he realises he’s kissed So-Rang in reality. He’s shocked but thinks that So-Rang has fallen asleep with her eyes open.
Shin-Won takes her to her room and once he tucks her in, he remembers saving her from the lake and giving her CPR and realises that he kissed her. In the palace, the King is anything but asleep as he is frantic and wonders if she will remember. So-Rang opens her eyes in her room indicating that she was only pretending to be asleep and remembered the King’s kiss.
The Military Minister turns out to be the one who had hidden the bamboo instrument to haunt the King. He continues to set a trap for the hunt while the unsuspecting King gets ready for it. The townspeople are unhappy with him for the marriage ban and are ready to protest but as they see him for the first time in 7 years they are all mesmerized by his beauty.
At the hunt, he is surprised when Shin-Won bring a sick So-Rang in disguise so that she can eat meat. While they try to send her back she claims that she will protect the King from ghosts which has both the men amused. The King hesitates as every time he tries to shoot he remembers his wife’s disappointment. But the three have fun as they ride through the forest.
In the meantime, the Military Minister’s minion, Minister Kwon ropes in two fools and tells them that the King needs to hunt a worthy creature to end the marriage ban. Knowing that there is no wild boar where the hunt is happening, he goads them into unleashing one. The boar heads straight for So-Rang who faints. Both the King and Shin-Won kill the boar together but think that they did it singlehandedly.
The Military Minister sees the King looking wistfully at So-Rang and Shin-Won and wonders who she is. At the banquet, So-Rang gets worse and the King who had once been unable to look after his sick wife decides to do things differently as he personally nurses her. So-Rang wakes up and asks why he kissed her before. She doesn’t buy his excuse that he was half asleep and kisses him while an upset Shin-Won watches.
The Episode Review
The third episode of The Forbidden Marriage shows us the love between the King and the late Crown Princess, making it believable that someone would put their love above their kingdom and mourn for 7 long years. Her tenderness for even animals and sage advice had the King not only falling for her looks, but also her heart. It also seems that the King has regrets, as he finally realizes that the Crown Princess must be having a hard time as she had to leave her home and live in a strange place.
We also finally make some headway into our love triangle as both male leads wonder if So-Rang will remember their kiss with the female lead… unfortunately only remembering the King’s. We can’t help but feel for Shin-Won as he helps So-Rang get close to the King and is unable to help her when she is sick. Both Shin-Won and the King’s hidden smiles at So-Rang’s antics have viewers torn as there is no clear winner yet with even So-Rang starting to enjoy both men’s company.