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Recap: Queen In-Hyun’s Man Episode 16


“A chance meeting that started at a gap in time. That meeting already ended a year ago…”

It’s a busy day in Seoul, ONE YEAR LATER.

Hee-Jin’s house is a mess and Soo-Kyung is on the phone with the movers. She hangs up and promptly receives a call from Hee-Jin. Hee-Jin wants to make sure that Soo-Kyung didn’t throw away tea set. Soo-Kyung complains that Hee-Jin never used it anyway but Hee-Jin claims she was just saving it until they moved to a nicer house. Hee-Jin makes Soo-Kyung swear and Soo-Kyung just tells Hee-Jin to worry about the photo shoot.

When Soo-Kyung hangs up, the hair stylist asks Hee-Jin if she is moving. Hee-Jin confirms. It’s the first time she has bought a house and moved. The hair stylist exclaims that Hee-Jin must have earned a lot of money, considering the number of commercials she has done in the past year. Hee-Jin clarifies that she actually didn’t make that much money since her appearance fee was so low.

The hair stylist gets a phone call and leaves. Right after, Hee-Jin gets a phone call from the director of the drama, “New Jang Hee Bin.” He is calling on behalf of his colleague, a director in the educational programming department who wants Hee-Jin to narrate a documentary for him. Hee-Jin agrees to do it since the director is asking her for a favor.

Hee-Jin meets with the documentary director and she asks why he wants her to narrate. The director explains that they are starting to film the next part of a documentary series called “The Untold Stories of History.” The series generally highlights hidden figures in history. The title for the next part is called “Queen In-Hyun’s Man.” Hee-Jin asks what the title means. The director replies that there was a rumored unofficial history of Queen In-Hyun having a lover. Hee-Jin is surprised. The drama she filmed didn’t mention anything of that. The director explains that because it was such a small event, it was probably taken out of the script. It was also only given a brief mention in the Annals. But last month, some very interesting evidence was discovered so the director hopes make an interesting story out of it. (Is it the letter?! Omg, it’s the letter!).

Hee-Jin is one her way to another job when she takes out the script for the documentary. She reads. “In 1694, on the twentieth year of the reign of King Sukjong, if you look at the Annals for the fifth month, you will find a interesting passage. Kim Boong-Do, who was a royal scholar, was rumored among the citizens to have frequently visited the Queen during the time she was stripped of her status.”

Hee-Jin repeats the name. “Kim Boong-Do? It’s my first time hearing that name. It wasn’t in the script for the drama. Kim…Boong…Do.” (My heart. Every time she says his name like that with no recognition, I bleed.)

Soo-Kyung has come home after a long day and Hee-Jin is still reading the script. Soo-Kyung asks why Hee-Jin agreed to do it when she doesn’t have that much time. Hee-Jin thinks it will be fun. “It’s called Queen In-Hyun’s man, not Jang Hee Bin’s Man. It’s strange, isn’t it?” Soo-Kyung asks, “Isn’t Queen In-Hyun’s man Sukjong?”

“Nope,” Hee-Jin explains. “Listen. At that time there was scholar named Kim Boong-Do and he is the ‘Queen In-Hyun’s Man.’ There were rumors that at the time when Queen In-Hyun was stripped of her status, Kim Boong-Do was her lover. This rumor reached the King. So the King brought Kim Boong-Do in for questioning and he died in the process. It was later revealed that the rumor was untrue. So eventually it was recorded in the Annals that he died an undeserved death. But this documentary is about what happened after that…” (Heart. Stopped. Beating.)

Hee-Jin continues. “It’s interesting starting from here. It was written in the Annals that this man died but records of him alive have been discovered recently. The descendants of Nam Goong Man Prime Minister revealed the minister’s journal last month (Nam Goong Man is the man with the daughter who the King wanted Boong-Do to marry). In the journal, the minister wrote that he saw Kim Boong-Do alive. Nam Goong Man saw Kim Boong-Do coincidentally one day while he was taking a survey of the country. This was a year after it was written in the Annals that Kim Boong-Do died.”

(I want to see Kim Boong-Do’s face so badly, guys. Only five minutes into the show but it feels like forever!)

It is Joseon and the subtitles read, “1695, fifth month, Pyeong-An province, Eui Ju.” The Prime Minister is walking the streets with his men and takes a break to eat. He wants to go wash his hands first so he heads out into the back alleyway where he bumps into a tall man, his face covered by a large hat. The minister asks if the man is alright but the man remains silent and tries to pass on. But the minister stops him, saying, “You look like someone I know.” Kim Boong-Do hurriedly pushes the minister away and runs. Soldiers come to the minister and ask him what’s wrong. The minister says, “What is this? I saw a dead man. Chase that man. Find out who he is!”

The soldiers chase after Boong-Do through the streets. (I want to see your face, Boong-Do! I want to hear your voice!) Boong-Do manages to find his way back the guesthouse and starts to pack his things. He hears the soldiers outside, however, asking for a tall man with short hair. The owner replies that a man of that description is here; he’s been hear about five days. Boong-Do steps out and the soldiers ask him if he knows that he just bumped into the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister wants to see him. While it first looks like Boong-Do will go with the men, he then quickly pushes them away and starts to run. The soldiers try to chase him.

The soldiers eventually just bring the only thing left from Boong-Do’s room to the Prime Minister. He looks it over, noting it is not a book that can be read by commoners. He flips the pages and sees a white document. He opens it and exclaims that the handwriting belongs to Kim Boong-Do. “How can this be?”

Boong-Do is once again running away on a horse. He comes across a divided road and asks his horse, “Where should we go? Where do you want to go?” (Why does it break my heart to hear him say this?!) The horse picks the left road and Boong-Do says, “This way? Okay, let’s go.” (Ugh, making a choice when it doesn’t make any difference. My poor Boong-Do.)

The Prime Minister reports to the King that country seems to be in a good state. The King asks if there was anything else and the minister answers that one strange thing happened. He saw someone who looked like Kim Boong-Do. It wasn’t just the physical appearance but also the handwriting and his writing style. He thought that perhaps Kim Boong-Do was alive so he wanted to question the man but the man ran away.

The King asks with a sad smile, “Did he look like he suffered?” The Prime Minister is surprised by the King’s reaction. The King continues, “I have a debt to Kim Boong-Do.” The Prime Minister tries to question the King but the eunuch interrupts him. The King warns the Prime Minister to not say anything about this to anyone. “That man is already a dead person.” The Prime Minister complies.

The Prime Minister later writes in his journal, “I don’t know what happened between the King and Kim Boong-Do, but I am sure that he is alive and that he is traveling around the country in order to not be caught. Because I know that due to the scholar’s sacrifice, the country has regained stability, my heart is saddened to think about his difficult life. But the fact that he lives must forever be kept a secret.”

Soo-Kyung asks Hee-Jin why she is not sleeping but Hee-Jin is too absorbed with the script. Hee-Jin feels bad for the man, Kim Boong-Do. Seeing that the King didn’t kill him but just secretly chased him away means that it wasn’t an actual affair but a one-sided love story. “I mean, how did a man from a well-known family, who passed the civil examination with top score at the age of nineteen and received the respect of the King, come to fall in love with the Queen? Tsk, tsk, tsk. This is totally a case of a life ruined because of a woman.” (That woman is you, Hee-Jin! You!!!!!!!!! My poor Boong-Do! Please remember him Hee-Jin. Please!)

Boong-Do is refilling his water container at a temple. He quietly passes the ladle to a couple behind him and walks away. The man thinks he recognizes Boong-Do.

Boong-Do is getting his horse ready to leave when a monk approaches him. It is the same monk that told Boong-Do about Sook Myung monk’s death. They bow to each other and the monk asks why Boong-Do is here. Boong-Do replies, “I thought Joseon was fairly large but after traveling for a year, I have passed the same places many times.”

The monk asks, “Until when will you keep running away? Aren’t you tired?” Boong-Do replies, “I am tired. But funnily enough, it has become the reason for living. Being chased is not bad. If I didn’t even have the goal of running away, I don’t know how I would have lived each day.” (I am weeping blood for this man.)

The monk looks on sadly. “If you have committed a crime, isn’t it right that you pay the price of the crime?” Boong-Do replies, “I want to do that too but getting caught is actually a larger crime.” The monk does not understand Boong-Do’s words. Boong-Do simply says, “I think I have stayed too long. I don’t want to bring trouble here too.”

Right at that moment, soldiers with the man who recognized him come for Boong-Do. Boong-Do tells the monk to say that he doesn’t know him. Boong-Do tries to run away but soldiers surround him. The head officer comes and proclaims that Boong-Do is to be arrested on the charges of murder. Boong-Do, without any weapons of his own and only using a rope, takes down a few men. He is then able to steal a weapon from one of the soldiers and holds it a point. He looks around his surroundings, however, and sees the  soldiers all around and regular citizens watching in fear. Boong-Do drops his weapon.

It is the recording studio. Hee-Jin is in the sound booth, recording the narration. “Last month, the Prime Minister’s journal was revealed. In it was written the surprise meeting with the “dead” Kim Boong-Do and his conversation with the King. Kim Boong-Do’s letter that was found along with the journal is also drawing attention. In this letter, written in the sixth month of 1694- a month after his recorded death- we can feel a deep affection and the sadness of a separation towards a nameless person. Scholars speculate that this letter is addressed to Queen In-Hyun, the rumored receiver of his affection.”

Another narrator reads the letter. (OMG, nice deep voice but Boong-Do was not that old!) “This letter is written to both me and you. I may forget that I wrote this letter or this letter itself might disappear. But this letter is written for me and you, either one of us who may live on holding onto memories… My final wish is that I want to remember you. Not even having those memories in an aimless life will be hell. And you…I hope that even if you read this letter in the future, you won’t know who it is for.” Hee-Jin is watching and listening to this in the studio. (Ha! So this how Hee-Jin doesn’t need to know to read the Hanja. Brilliant, writer, brilliant.)

Hee-Jin continues her narration. “A man who wanted his love to forget him. It is probably because she was out of his reach. How about the man? Was he able to keep his memories? It seems that he didn’t forget. The woman is mentioned a few times in other documents found along with the letter.” (Aw, Boong-Do kept on writing about her.)

The director calls cut. They are done for the first episode. The actor who narrated Boong-Do’s letter is going out for a drink. Hee-Jin looks on wistfully at the screen in front of her, portraying “Kim Boong-Do” writing the letter.

The director comes into the sound booth, followed by Dong-Min. He winks at her and calls her out.

Dong-Min and Hee-Jin sit drinking coffee. Dong-Min comments that Hee-Jin seems to be doing all sorts of stuff these days. Hee-Jin replies that since the director asked for a favor, she couldn’t decline. Hee-Jin asks, “I read you were shooting overseas. When did you come back?” Dong-Min is happy her question. “So you were curious about me? You must have missed me in order to read news about me.” Hee-Jin clarifies. “I don’t want to say this because you’ll act even more superior but whenever I go on the internet, your news is everywhere.” Dong-Min replies, “It isn’t acting. I am just really superior. Only you call it acting.”

Hee-Jin asks, “Why are you here?” Dong-Min answers Hee-Jin with his own question. “You don’t have anyone these days, right? I’m so lonely. Let’s date again. Do you just want to work until you die? What the point of making all that money? I’m lonely and you’re lonely.”

It looks like this isn’t the first time that Dong-Min has asked within the past year. Hee-Jin says, “I read that you are dating someone in a girl group who is ten years younger.” Dong-Min whispers into Hee-Jin’s ear that the girl was too immature. “No matter where I look or how much I think about it, there is no other woman like Choi Hee-Jin.”

Hee-Jin just says, “Do I look that easy to you?” Dong-Min pulls out the aegyo. “What about a drink tonight?” Hee-Jin looks over to the other side of the lobby to see Na-Jeong walking. She says to Dong-Min, “How about her? I think you guys are perfect for each other.” Dong-Min yells to Na-Jeong. “Do you want to go out with me? Hee-Jin claims we are perfect for each other.” Na-Jeong can’t believe what she is hearing. Dong-Min continues, “If you want to date me, I will comply. Since I’m so lonely, I can’t be picky.” (Wow. Now that’s a proposal a woman can’t refuse. *Snort*)

Hee-Jin whispers, “You’re crazy,” and Na-Jeong denies the man with a very clear “X.”

Dong-Min turns to Hee-Jin. “See, there is no hope for her.” Hee-Jin asks, “When will you grow up?” Dong-Min answers, “I don’t want to.”

Chun-Soo calls Dong-Min away but when it looks like he is going to leave with Dong-Min, Chun-Soo comes back and quietly asks Hee-Jin, “What is Soo-Kyung up to these days? Is she meeting someone?” Hee-Jin asks, “Why do you want to know?” Chun-Soo answers, “Because I’m lonely these days.” Hee-Jin tries to save Soo-Kyung from Chun-Soo. “She hasn’t said anything but it looks like she has a boyfriend.” Chun-Soo is disappointed.

Soo-Kyung and Hee-Jin are in the van together. Soo-Kyung exclaims, “If he can’t sleep at night, he should take a sleeping pill. Why is he asking about me? Why are those two so similar to each other and why us? Do we look that easy to them? Are we their plaything?” Still, Soo-Kyung can’t help but feel a little flattered as she brushes out her eyelashes. “That old man does have a good eye for people though. So what did you say?” Hee-Jin tells her that she told Chun-Soo Soo-Kyung has a boyfriend. This is not what Soo-Kyung wanted to hear, however. She cries, “When did I have a boyfriend?” Hee-Jin explains, “I told him that so he would give up and not bother you.” Soo-Kyung’s expression shows that she wants to chew Hee-Jin up and feed her to the dogs. Hee-Jin asks, “Did I say something wrong?” Soo-Kyung pretends that nothing is wrong. “You did well.” Soo-Kyung whispers to herself, “She is no help to my life.”

Hee-Jin scolds the driver. “We’re going to be late.” Soo-Kyung yells at Hee-Jin, her bitterness finding an outlet. “I told you to not do this documentary! Why the heck are they doing an outdoor shooting when it’s just a few lines of narration? Are they trying to milk you for everything they can?!”

The documentary production team is at the palace courtyard and the director explains to Hee-Jin that she is to walk down the path and narrate. Hee-Jin tells her stylist that she used to come here every day when she was filming the drama but it’s been a year since she last came. Hee-Jin slowly looks around the palace courtyard as we see Boong-Do, back in Joseon time, being led into the palace by soldiers.

Boong-Do is stopped at the same place that Hee-Jin stands in the future. Boong-Do looks around with a wistful smile on his face. The soldier asks, “What are you looking at?” Boong-Do replies, “It’s been a while since I was last here.” The soldier laughs. How can someone like him have been to the palace before? Right at that moment, the Prime Minister and other officials enter the courtyard. Boong-Do quickly turns his head.

Hee-Jin starts to film. “The battle between the Western faction and Southern faction. The entangle destiny of In-Hyun Wang Hoo and Jang Ok Jeong. We are familiar with their story that has been retold many times in dramas. In the recorded bloodbath in the spring of 1694, there is a record of an interesting figure. Because of a scandal with Queen In-Hyun, the man had to prove his innocence through death. Kim Boong-Do, a member of the Western faction, a royal scholar, and 27 years of age. He is today’s main figure- Queen In-Hyun’s Man.” As Hee-Jin narrates, she walks through Kim Boong-Do and stands back-to-back to him. We also see the buildings of Seoul rising in Hee-Jin’s time.

Hee-Jin continues, “Did that man really love Queen In-Hyun? Or as it is written in the Annals, was it just a false charge?” As the screen color fades back and forth to signify the thinning veil between the two time periods, Hee-Jin suddenly starts to feel pain in her chest. She looks around a bit but composes herself. She starts to narrate again.

“Kim Boong-Do. A figure recorded in history as man from a great family who passed the civil examination with top score, received respect from the King, and died after loving the Queen.” Tears start to fall from Hee-Jin’s eyes while at the same time, tears form in Boong-Do’s eyes. “Starting from now, we will take a look at his short life.”

The director calls cut. “What’s wrong?” Hee-Jin tries to explain but can’t stop from crying.

Boong-Do is led to prison to wait for his questioning tomorrow. The director comes over to Hee-Jin and Hee-Jin explains that it was just dust in her eye. But Hee-Jin can’t shake away the strange feeling so she once again looks around.

Boong-Do sits in prison, waiting. The prison guard throws Boong-Do his satchel and informs him that the questioning will start early tomorrow. Boong-Do asks who will question him and learns that it will be the head investigator, Yoon Sung-Moon. Yoon Sung-Moon is the man who was with Boong-Do on the day he disappeared from the city streets after being shot by arrows.

Boong-Do remembers what he said to the King. “Asking you to kill me is in order for me to live. I will live. I want to live. So please let me die honorably. Then I will never reappear in this land again.”

Boong-Do repeat the words, “I will never reappear in this land again. I will never reappear in this land again”

Hee-Jin is driving home and gets a call from Soo-Kyung. Soo-Kyung heard from the director that Hee-Jin cried while filming the opening of the documentary. She asks why. She heard Hee-Jin cried very sadly. Hee-Jin replies that she doesn’t know herself the reason for her tears. “Tears just suddenly started to fall and I was surprised myself. Suddenly, I was so sad without any reason.” Soo-Kyung asks, “Did you drink? What is so sad?” (There are different levels of “sad” in the Korean language and the word being used here describes a sadness that really comes from within.) Hee-Jin thinks she needs a beer when she gets home. She hangs up but she is still finding it hard to breathe. She turns on the music to distract herself.

Boong-Do opens his satchel and sees his cellphone and necktie. Boong-Do carefully holds the necktie and remembers Hee-Jin putting it on for him, teaching him that the purpose of the necktie was for kissing. Boong-Do repeats, “The purpose of the necktie.” He starts to tie the necktie from the ceiling, standing on a barrel. (What the $%#&*!)

It starts to rain in Seoul and Hee-Jin sits at the red light. She says to herself, “Why does it rain so frequently.?”

Boong-Do tearfully places the necktie around his neck. The pain in Hee-Jin’s chest worsens and tears pour out from her eyes. Back and forth we go between the two people until Boong-Do, with finality, drops his hand from the necktie and prepares to step off the barrel. Hee-Jin cries uncontrollably, “What is this? What is this?”

Boong-Do pushes away the barrel. He hangs. Hee-Jin holds her head and chest, sobbing, “What is this?”

Suddenly, Hee-Jin remembers typing “sun soo” into a cellphone. “Who is sun-soo?” She looks up the contact list on her phone but can’t find the name. She remembers the number, though, and dials it.

On the floor near Boong-Do’s dangling legs, his phone lights up. The screen shows Hee-Jin’s face with the title, “The World’s Most Beautiful Woman.”

Hee-Jin’s phone rings but no one picks up. Hee-Jin drops her phone because she is hyperventilating. She has to get out of the car and as she stands in the rain, memories flood back to her. “You’re a player over there too, right?” “Mr. Player calls ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Woman’.” Boong-Do’s voice- “I will definitely return after solving everything.”

Hee-Jin breaks down.

Hee-Jin is back at the television station, dripping wet. She runs into the director of the documentary. He asks her why she is here. She asks to see the footage of “Queen In-Hyun’s Man.”

The director leads her to a theater to watch it. (It’s a room where audiences pre-watch a show and they record the audiences’ reaction for the background soundtrack.) The director shows her how to work the equipment. He looks on curiously at Hee-Jin but turns the lights off for her.

Hee-Jin starts to watch the documentary. She sees herself in the opening of the documentary, at the palace. Hee-Jin fast-forwards to where the she is talking about the letter. “Kim Boong-Do’s letter that was found along with the journal is also drawing attention. In this letter, written in the sixth month of 1694- a month after his recorded death- we can feel a deep affection and the sadness of a separation towards a nameless person. Scholars speculate that this letter is addressed to Queen In-Hyun, the rumored receiver of his affection.” Hee-Jin hears Boong-Do’s words, now knowing whom the letter was addressed to.

“This is letter written both to me and you. I may forget that I even wrote this letter, or this letter itself might disappear. This letter is for me and you, either one of us who may live on holding onto memories. When I obtained this amulet by chance, I wanted to know what the cause and effect/reason was. First, I thought the reason was so that I would be able to fulfill my dream. Then I thought perhaps the reason was for our fateful meeting. Then I thought it must be for me to live in a new world. But now I have belatedly realized the real cause and effect. In order to save my own life, I would have to lose everything. My future, my name, my values… my people…and also you.”

Outside in Hee-Jin’s car, her phone lights up. The screen shows Boong-Do’s number.

“I don’t know what will happen now. Will we forget each other or will we suffer forever, unable to let go of our memories? My final wish is to be able to remember you. To not have even those memories in an aimless life will be hell. And you.. even if you read this in the future, I hope you won’t know who this letter is for.”

The letter ends and Hee-Jin’s narration is heard once again. “A man who wanted his love to forget him. It is probably because she was out of his reach. How about the man? Was he able to keep his memories? It seems that he didn’t forget. The woman is mentioned a few times in other documents found along with the letter.”

Hee-Jin cries softly in the theater. The door opens but Hee-Jin doesn’t look up. She says, “I’m sorry. Just a moment please.”

A familiar voice is heard- “Why won’t you pick up after calling me?” Hee-Jin turns around slowly.

Boong-Do is standing by the doorway, in his black suit. Hee-Jin freezes. She can’t believe her eyes. Boong-Do speaks first. “I had to search a long time. Didn’t you call me? One hour ago?” Boong-Do smiles as he holds up his phone. Hee-Jin is still a statue.

Flashback to Boong-Do hanging from the ceiling but in his final moments of consciousness, he hears the phone ringing. He opens his eyes and sees the phone lit up with Hee-Jin’s face on the screen. Boong-Do desperately pulls at the necktie and struggles to break free. Because of his long legs, he can brace himself on the prison doors while the necktie loosens. (There has never been a greater use of long legs. Never! And thank god the necktie material is silky!) Boong-Do falls to the ground and he struggles to answer. Just as he slides the call connection on, he transports to the future. He places the phone to the ear and struggles to say “Hello” but Hee-Jin at that time has just dropped the phone and run out of her car.

Boong-Do focuses his eyes and he sees Seoul bustling around him. He starts to laugh in joy and sits himself up. Boong-Do’s voice has found his strength again and he cries into the phone, “Hello? Answer please, ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Woman.” Boong-Do continues to laugh in joy despite the silence on the other side.

Hee-Jin is still in freeze frame while Boong-Do tries to hold back his tears. “Are you going to keep staring at me like that? If you called out someone who was living well, you have to take responsibility.” Hee-Jin finally unfreezes. She orders, “Close the door.” Boong-Do obeys. Hee-Jin then commands, “Come here.” Boong-Do obeys. Hee-Jin slowly walks toward Boong-Do and gently caresses his face. “You’re real. You’re really alive.”

Then Hee-Jin simply asks, “How have you been during the past year?” Boong-Do replies, “I traveled the country, leaving a lover in every province. The year went by really fast.” Hee-Jin laughs. “You’re lying. The evidence is all here.” Boong-Do looks at the screen that is now showing his letter. He pretends to not recognize the letter and just asks, “What is that?”

Hee-Jin brings Boong-Do’s face back to her. “What happened? The talisman?” Boong-Do answers. “I burned the talisman.” Hee-Jin asks, “How did you come here?” Boong-Do replies, “I said I came because you called.” Hee-Jin- “Me?” Boong-Do- “You.”

Boong-Do cups Hee-Jin’s face and memorizes every curve and every eyelash. He gives a long blink, like the one he gave at the red carpet, the blink that conveys more than words ever can. Hee-Jin blinks back.

Boong-Do speaks. “The purpose of the necktie. I missed the purpose that you taught me.  I almost used it for something else.” Hee-Jin asks, “You missed the purpose of the necktie?” Boong-Do answers, “So much that I could die.” Hee-Jin pulls at Boong-Do’s tie. “You mean this?” Hee-Jin start to pull Boong-Do in, but Boong-Do has waited too long and leans in quickly for a kiss. Hee-Jin holds on tightly to his tie.

Hee-Jin narrates, “A chance meeting that started at a gap in time. That meeting already ended a year ago. Right now, we did not meet because of a monk’s strange talisman but because of our very own link of memories. So we start this second meeting. Now I am his savior and the price for that is being by my side forever.”

Boong-Do stops kissing to look at the screen. It is showing his letter. “My letter still exists? How?” Hee-Jin explains that it was found with the Prime Minister’s belongings and his descendants revealed it last month. Boong-Do is indignant. “Why would they do that with someone’s private things? I have to get rid of it.” Hee-Jin informs Boong-Do that the letter is in a museum now. He can never get rid of it. Forever. “Or at least until the museum falls down.”

Boong-Do is angry. “I’m losing my taste.” (Meaning he is going to go crazy.) Hee-Jin laughs and they proceed to kiss again (heating up my screen).

On the theater screen we see poor Soo-Kyung sitting once again with Boong-Do. “I’m REALLY going crazy here. You just suddenly appear and say you are Hee-Jin’s boyfriend. I have never heard about you from Hee-Jin before.” Soo-Kyung sighs and folds her arms. “From now on, you have to tell me truth. Do you understand?” Boong-Do replies yes. Soo-Kyung starts the all-too-familiar line of questioning. “What school do you go too?” Boong-Do answers the first few but can’t help but laugh. Soo-Kyung asks him why he is laughing. Boong-Do just tells her what she wants to know. “My parents are both dead. I live alone. I have an inheritance.” Soo-Kyung says this time, “Oh my god, how perfect. You’re a perfect man.” (She is echoing the voices of fangirls all around the world.) Boong-Do continues, “My father worked for the country.” Soo-Kyung- “Wow, politics?” The fourth wall breaks and we see the actors start to laugh.


Ah, love that transcends time and memories that are more powerful than a talisman.

Time is both the enemy and friend to this couple. Three hundred years separate them but it is also the time they have spent together, and the memories they have made, that creates a connection that can’t be severed, be it swords, assassins, death or fire.

The first time the talisman was torn, it was through no will of their own and Hee-Jin retained her memories as if it was a dream, while Boong-Do’s memories were suppressed. When the talisman was burned by Boong-Do for the sake of Hee-Jin, he was able to keep his memories while her memories were lost. But once again they came back to Hee-Jin, unable to be suppressed forever.

*EDIT– I have to add here, after reading the comments, my theory regarding time, memory, and the talisman.

My theory is that memories transcend power, time…everything. So even though the talisman burned and time was reset, Boong-Do and Hee-Jin remembered it (eventually) both times. The writer has shown through the first instance of the talisman breaking that memories are ultimately unaffected for Hee-Jin and Boong-Do, whether time is reset and the talisman torn apart. The second time when it is burned, memories still last even though once again, time is reset and the talisman is gone. It makes sense in this story that Boong-Do was able to retain his memories and that Hee-Jin’s came back to her.


Boong-Do has been written as the active figure in this drama, while Hee-Jin is the reactive character. He is the one who gets to travel back and forth, fight villains, and risk life and death. So many decisions and the ability to choose rests in him, and in a lesser character or in a poorly written drama, we would have found this unfair and unequal.

The rules of time-travel were laid out by the writer and we could have blamed her for leaving Hee-Jin so helpless and powerless to do anything. This aspect of Hee-Jin would have been a glaring flaw in the drama if Hee-Jin was not such a functional human being. Yes, Hee-Jin waited at an empty park and cried, but she only went when she had time. She still continued filming and doing what she had to do in her daily life.

I have said this before but I love Hee-Jin’s reaction every time when Boong-Do returns to her. She never dramatically drops the phone or rushes over to Boong-Do. She always quietly asks after him, wanting to know what happened,

While Boong-Do can physically move back and forth through time, it is Hee-Jin that can spiritually (for the lack of a better word) connect with Boong-Do. She is the one that feels Boong-Do through time and not the other way around. Hee-Jin is doing what she can, opening up the gap in time so her phone call reaches Boong-Do and saves him from dying.

As for Boong-Do’s choice to die… Boong-Do is a man of his word and his promise to never appear in Joseon again has to be kept through his death. I am incredibly happy with this writer who has laid out our characters and their choices so carefully throughout the drama, so that an action never feels like it was a last-minute stunt to keep the drama going.

As you may be able to tell, I am happy with ending. While we didn’t get to see Boong-Do and Hee-Jin make a life together, we got a little bit of that in the previous episode and we also got some major kissing in this one. This episode was not as emotionally packed as the previous one (at least for me) but it was incredibly well-suited to the entire tone of the drama.

The verdict has come in and this drama is now my number one drama of all time. “Damo” has been my number one for nine years and while many dramas have come close, none have been able to topple her place. But here is “Queen In-Hyun’s Man,” a wonderful balance of comedy, romance, and thriller. The writing was subtle, the direction sure-handed, and the acting was tailored to the characters. “Damo” tore my heart out but “Queen In-Hyun’s Man” did that and piece it back together again.

Dramas are made for entertainment and many remain at that. But once in a while, a special gem comes along that will latch itself onto your heart and head, and remain there for a very long time. There is no doubt that my experience of the drama was enhanced by the readers of this blog. Thank you so much for reading through my uneven writing and inexperienced recapping. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions. Thank you for sending me virtual hugs and cookies. I felt and ate them all. Thank you for loving this drama as much as I did, even if you perhaps didn’t as much. Thank you for sharing Boong-Do and Hee-Jin. I will keep them safe in a little corner of my heart.

286 Comments Post a comment
  1. ss #

    When I first watched the episode I believe my reaction to Boong Do’s time traveling was as incredulous as his. Because, WTF??? The handphone thing was so simple and unbelievable that it’s hysterical and absurd. Then I realized this is a show about TIME TRAVELLING in the first place, so suspense of belief is a prerequisite. The writer has made the rest of the show so believable that I feel that the handphone (failure of) hanging thing was a little off. Some parts didn’t really make sense. Some parts didn’t make sense.

    That black tie must have been top of the line and silky smooth: he should thank Hee Jin, hahahah!!! And the hanging, while I understood him completely, I was like WTF%^$%^$%#$%#!?!?!!? and literally clutching my hair. Mouth was gaping of course. Not a pretty sight.

    Like you said it wasn’t as nearly as dramatic or as good as the last few episodes (those were incredibly good, it was ridiculous), so I felt a tinny bitty let down. But only a tinny. Because it’s still a great ending. Blame it on the show’s high standards, hahah XD We were certainly spoilt for 16 episodes!

    “I have said this before but I love Hee-Jin’s reaction every time when Boong-Do returns to her. She never dramatically drops the phone or rushes over to Boong-Do. She always quietly asks after him, wanting to know what happened”
    I remember you mentioning this, and I never really felt that until this episode. She shows her concern for him subtly and doesn’t need explanations. She just needs for him to be alright. And I love it that she just takes everything that has happened in her stride. The way she caressed his face to see if he was real. Awww. And OMG those were EPIC kisses. EPICCCCC.

    LOVED the last bit with Boong Do and So Kyung HAHAHHAHA. Brilliant.

    Thank YOU for writing the recaps, sharing your thoughts and opening up this space for discussions. It has been a great ride!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ to all and QIM!

    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      I have watched too many dramas and read to many time-traveling stories to ever believe that anyone will explain it completely. There is just no answer to that question. It is beyond a human’s beings comprehension so I’m contend to let this writer do what she can do.

      Epic kissing. Makes me feel like I am some kind of pervert just watching them.

      June 7, 2012
  2. tya #

    Thanks Joonni! i try refreshing your page many time last night (Malaysia time) if there is any possiblity that u are doing live recap. Then i find others site, i read the recap but i was like “is that all” “why is the ending seems like short”. Since i cant watch live so i’m hoping for a live recap. But after reading your recap this morning, i smile again. The way you write are totally different..thank you so much sincerely from my heart!

    June 7, 2012
    • madsu #

      Tya, her recap was up at roughly 8:20 am our time (Am in Singapore).

      June 7, 2012
      • tya #

        really???and u are in singapore..glad to know it =)

        June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      I apologize. My recap came about an hour later than usual because I wanted to take my time writing out my thoughts.

      June 7, 2012
      • tya #

        its ok! i just love your thought..can i say you make my day =p

        June 7, 2012
      • madsu #

        Please don’t apologize. I refused to spoil myself with any other recap versions, so was simply camped out here, happy to wait for you. Thank you for your hard work and persistance. Especially all those detailed thoughts, screen caps and love.

        June 8, 2012
  3. LadyM #

    Ah…so thats the ending…good ending thou….but I thoroughly enjoy the whole journey of it…how intelligent each scene was made out…when we thought this happen but this happen and how it happen…I wish more dramas to be like this..Viewers were kept on edge of their seats, always anticipating the next scene…unlike some dramas in which we know the ending but decided to watch it anyways…

    Frankly I am never a fan of sappy dramas…but this have a mixed of everything…when I watch dramas usually…usually I dont really like watching the female antagonist…but I find Yoo In Na portraying Hee Jin is simply adorable…If Im a man I’ll definitely fall for her…so if in real, they are really seeing each other, I’d give them my blessing (it not as if blessings from a fan is important..) so, yeah…go ahead..we can see they had the chemistry to work together…

    All in all…it was a drama and great recap from Jooni…Jooni-ssi, gamsahamnida…well, definitely re-watched this…Off to find another drama…oh…one question, what happen to the
    scene at the beginning of the drama?

    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      Like I thought and desired, the beginning scene of the drama has proven to just be a metaphorical description of the entire drama itself.

      June 7, 2012
  4. Revy #

    Thank you so much for all the recaps & your fangirl commentary. This show made me laugh, cry & swoon in such a way that u will never forget. It is definitely my fav kdrama of all time.

    June 7, 2012
  5. bamsa #

    Thank you very much for the recaps!!! It was a very well written drama. Hats off to the writers. Time travel worked… life after death, death after life… when he chose to end his life, Hee Jin remembered everything, the will of the talisman as in will of Hee Jin worked as a time transporter. I am very satisfied with the ending. thanks again for a wonderful drama

    June 7, 2012
  6. chihana #

    Thank you very much Joonni for your hard working and heart pouring.

    This is really the best film ever to me. I watch this drama from beginning to end without any claim on any little scene of the show, every moment on the screen is too perfect in my eyes and thought.

    I like gentle KBD so much, he makes all the other lead characters disappear from my mind. And I love cute CHJ so much for her frank, clever and strong love for KBD.

    June 7, 2012
  7. Thank you, Joonni, for all your words and things you say each episode, and your videos ♥♥♥♥♥. They were ✮✩✬✫★!
    It wouldn’t have been the same without you. Actually, it wouldn’t have been without you. You gave us a nice place to hang out, squealing and swooning, and fangirling along with you. I looked forward to the recaps as much as acutally watching the show. Even if the subbed version had been avail, I still wanted to read the recaps.

    Oh oh oh oh oh oh I am happy happy happy with the ending!
    Let’s face it, the story revolves around an impossible reality: Time travel.
    I can accept that a piece of yellow cloth with red characters can be imbued with same power as a cell phone. We are talking about human emotions attaching to an inanimate object, or better yet, human’s hope, love, chi, whatever. Like in Harry Potter’s world, the object wasn’t important, but the person who’s desire made the thing happen.

    (Actually, I would love to see FUTURE humans look back on our quaint use and almost worship of cell phones. In 4000 years, they will look back at us and think BOTH are ancient, right? Powered by AT&T could equal powered by monks!)

    I think the careful writing held up through to the end. I really really do.
    I liked the overlapping time scenes, I loved the use of his letter. I love how the story veered away from his time in history, but then, he ended up there anyway. That was kinda cool.

    We kept asking the question, why did he time travel? Why did he meet her?
    Why HER? I think the answer is simple: He was very lovable, both YW and HJ recognized him as a good person and worried/cared for him.
    One enough to pray earnestly in the past, and the other enough not to let reality forget him. Even after the talisman was destroyed, HJ’s feelings didn’t just disappear.
    Without HJ, all of the ACTIVE things she did from the moment they met, BD may just have gone home and stayed in Joseon.
    There would have been no more time travel. It would have been “WOW! That was weird. I think I will never play with this piece of yellow fabric again.” The End.
    HJ’s immediate TRUST, her aggressive pursuit of him is why he kept coming back. She was the sole reason. If it had NOT been HJ that swung him around the first moment he was here, if she had NOT gone looking for him at the set, trusted him enough to put him in her car so he could get the talisman back, if she had not helped him go look up the historical documents, BD’s story would not have happened.

    I try to avoid ideas like Fate, but I will accept luck. He was lucky to meet her because they BOTH found someone very very special.
    Once handed this lovely opportunity, they CHOSE to actively stay near each other, to explore this other person. They turned a chance meeting into good fortune, and after both invested a lot of heart and determination not to let go, they ended up together. Their actions drove this.

    This is the best love story for a long time. They are the best OTP. And even if they date for six months, IRL, while the glow of this drama hangs gorgeously around them, it will be nice for them.

    PS This IS my favorite of all time. YEP!

    June 7, 2012
    • pereleal1 #

      jomo, just want to say I love your thoughts and comments 🙂

      June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      I agree with you about Hee-Jin and about luck over fate. So the question about why it was Hee-Jin that Boong-Do first met becomes irrelevant.

      Jomo, thank you so very, very, very much for your headers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      June 7, 2012
      • Hey! You know it was my pleasure. Thanks for liking them enough to use them.
        By the way, just tell me what shows you want headers for next, Tomato.
        My software is at the ready!

        June 7, 2012
      • joonni #

        the Tomato does a giddy dance.

        June 7, 2012
    • madsu #

      That is a beautiful analysis jomo. Fate brought them together twice. From then onwards it was conscious choice on BD’s and HJ’s part to seek each other out. I mean, she actually tracked him down by GPS for their third meet. Hmm.. it was the phone then as well that led her to him.

      June 7, 2012
    • JC #

      Yes, thank you Jomo for making the headers. I always like seeing the new ones when I visit the site.

      June 7, 2012
    • Asiatic Rock #

      Same here.. Loved your thoughts 🙂

      June 7, 2012
      • Asiatic Rock #

        Well the above comment was for Jomo.

        June 7, 2012
  8. Joonni, you’ve no idea how glad I am that you view the finale as you do. I’ll admit that at first I too thought the phone was a deus ex machina. But then, I realized that it was Heejin and her yet again remembering Boongdo. I love what this drama has to say about the power of remembering. I am reminded specifically of the existential conversation between Boongdo and the younger monk, a convo during which they debate the value of a life that knows how its own future will unfold versus a life in which but one other soul recognizes/remembers its existence. Boongdo chooses the latter, saying that it would be worthwhile for him if even only one person remembered him as Heejin had done. I didn’t think much of that conversation then, but now – after the finale’s emphasis on Heejin’s memory – I find myself reminded of the value placed on memory by various peoples and traditions. Memory as the key to existence for African Americans, for Holocaust survivors, for various peoples with tenuous ties to history due to genocide or historical manipulation. It is then even more wonderful that Heejin recovers her memory as a result of a documentary on Untold Stories of History. Especially since the historical context also dealt with stories and histories that could have been lost to us, e.g., Queen Inhyun, whose own story has managed to come down to us although we will never be able to authenticate its author. I also am reminded of the memoirs of Lady Hong, the wife of Crown Prince Sado and the mother of King Jeongjo. The historical richness we would have lost had her memoirs been lost to us.

    This finale is so intelligent, so thoughtful, so material for intellectual masturbation. Now I wish I were back in academia.

    Joonni, thank you so much for your excellent work recapping this drama. I have appreciated your translations greatly and your reflections even more.

    June 7, 2012
    • Wooh, that was long. Here’s a shorter version.

      The finale was – quite contrary to the prevailing complaint of a deus ex machine – SOOOOOOO intelligent and thoughtful. So thoughtful that apparently it’s going over the heads of most viewers, even ones I would have expected more of. A finale that holds up life-affirming power of memory, especially when events in history would attempt repeatedly to erase such existence from collective memory. Memory as key to existence and identity. After all, one’s own memory of oneself is so vital to one’s sense of identity (as Alzheimer’s and dementia patients’ suffering all too sadly demonstrates).

      Memory as key to existence and identity. How beautiful is that? Hegel would have loved this drama.

      June 7, 2012
      • joonni #

        echo…wow… you brought Hegel to this conversation. Because my field requires that I read French and German philosophers, I have a knee-jerk reaction to their name…which is to pull my hair out. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, I love their work but you understand, right? The style of writing back then and the translation of that writing can drive anyone crazy.

        Back to your main point. You put what I (wanted) to say, better. So jealous of you and your writing.

        June 7, 2012
      • needlight #

        ok, now i’m even more ashamed of my initial fixation on other details in this final episode and overlooking the beauty of the writing. I guess I was so fixated on the visuals (seeing the phone multiple times in the episode) that I neglected the audio (hee jin’s narration about how they came back together etc…).
        Thanks echo!!! “Memory as key to existence and identity”
        Beautiful indeed. I would have to re-watch the episode again (well, probably the whole drama) to slowly appreciate these things again, without being so emotionally charged this time (coming off of ep 15 and desperately waiting for the whole day for the finale).

        June 7, 2012
      • madsu #

        Thank you for putting that so beautifully echo.

        June 7, 2012
      • Joonni, LOL!! Yes, I get you. Even in English, Hegel makes me want to tear my hair out. I haven’t yet attempted to read Hegel in the original German, except a few phrases. Derrida would have been relevant as well, methinks. And ha! I’m just glad that I didn’t think Kant would have been relevant. Kant’s writing (in translation) drives me utterly crazy.

        Throughout the show, I’ve definitely thought about Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, especially of the life-affirming value of recognition, of the need for an other and by extension society (which is what the monk raises), and of the relationship between the body and the spirit (when people were still debating whether the finale would involve reincarnation).

        Thank you for the compliment, but your writing and – more importantly – your insightfulness are not to be sneezed at either. 🙂

        June 7, 2012
      • joonni #

        That’s it. You killed me. You put the name “Derrida” in this blog. Derrida, the bane of my existence.

        June 7, 2012
      • Hahah! I thought Derrida would do the job. 🙂
        I promise that’s the last time I will mention any French or German thinker by name.

        Oh, one more thing about the body vs. the spirit. The first time I thought of it was in relation to the talisman after it was first damaged. How the spirit is literally embodied and cannot be dissociated from the body, which is why I love it so much that Heejin has such visceral reactions demonstrating her spiritual connection to Boongdo. (And why I would have been so grossly dissatisfied with a reincarnation ending.)

        June 7, 2012
      • joonni #

        Your point about the spirit and body. So good. I wasn’t on board really with the spiritual connection thing, because it always seems like the people understand the spirit as apart from the body, but you’re explanation of the embodiment makes so much sense. I love you, echo.

        June 7, 2012
      • missdory #

        Dear Echo, wow. Thank you for the insighful views of the relationship between the mind and body. I will go back and think about it more deeply. I love this drama even more than I thought I could after reading your words. Thank you.

        June 8, 2012
      • sb #

        Wow, I’m really impressed with your analysis!

        June 11, 2012
  9. MissNg #

    Thank you for your wonderful recaps. I have enjoyed reading them along with your opinions and analysis of the show. You’ve made me love this show even more, if that’s even possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      One of the greatest compliment. Thank you!

      June 7, 2012
  10. j5tang #

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR RECAPPING – i cannot even put into words how much i enjoyed this drama :).

    I’m probably going to be TEAM BD & HJ FOR A LONG TIME. ahhh

    I’m pretty sure I can rewatch every episode and genuinely enjoy every scene they are in together. =) Not like the typical fight and make ups familiar to other dramas.

    I LOVE!

    and THANK YOU!

    June 7, 2012
  11. Fairycutter #

    All i can say is thank you for your wonderful recaps of QIHM. might not the best but its sure i enjoy the most and convey the right feel.
    i haven’t watch last few episode but i sure will catch up. there few things i’ve been wondering, what inheritance? he might sold again his sword for the third time, but can he go back to the past and get it.
    forget the batteries, i’ll take that boong do turn it off for year and turn it in when in jail, or the just simply turn on by hee jin will like the talisman by danger.
    i’m not curious how their future, if the sword exist, then like the previous episode, they just have to repeat all over again. but i still wonder how boong do will fake his identity.

    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      When Boong-Do’s parents died in Joseon time, Boong-Do is left with everything-house, land, servants, legacy..That is what he means by inheritance. He’s referring to how he lived in Joseon. I don’t think he is specifically talking about how he will live the future now.

      June 7, 2012
    • Ffeyelle #

      cp w/ a drained battery working in joseon era not possible but i guess somehow when HJ remember everything about BD and trying to reach him, it “delivered” enough “electricity” (connection) to turn it on, just like what jooni’s thought about HJ, she had this “spiritual” link to BD, sufficient enough to make the cp to be the new talisman ^_^

      June 10, 2012
  12. Before I start fangirling, I just want to say thank you so much for all your insightful, wonderful recaps, Joonni. Sometimes I was simply nodding in agreement, other times I was sobbing right along with you (haha) and many times I was squealing like a mad hamster xD

    My initial reaction whilst watching ep 16 RAW this afternoon was what. the. hell. The whole phone thing just seemed too far fetched and weird to me. But now, after reading the recap, I realise how important it is to fully understand what is being said by the characters during an episode (and not just little bits…darn it, why can’t I speak Korean?!). Everything makes sense now and I’ve gone from feeling weird about the ending to loving it.

    Like someone else pointed out, that phone working, Boong-Do being pulled to 2012 again…it was all because of Hee-Jin remembering their love (“I said I came because you called.”) and then the universe just did what needed to done. That’s how I interpret it anyway. The Powers That Be are quite magical 😉

    I will never look at another kdrama the same way again I think. Queen In-Hyun’s Man has raised the bar very, very high.

    (And I’m not surprised that JHW has confessed his love for YIN. As amazing and breathtaking that tiptoe kiss was, at the same time while I was watching it I felt as if I had just walked in on two head-over-heels-in-love people making out hahaha aaaaaaawkwaaaaard xD You can’t “act” chemistry like that!)

    June 7, 2012
    • madsu #

      Did you notice how he followed when HJ broke off the tip toe kiss? It is a fraction of a second, but that happens only when the kiss is real, and there is pressure. That was a total make out session. Hee hee.

      June 7, 2012
      • joonni #

        I can replay that scene over and over again.

        June 7, 2012
      • madsu #


        June 7, 2012
      • @madsu – can?

        Mwahahahahha! I take it yours would be “did.”

        June 7, 2012
      • Yes! That was the cutest thing (and the little lip sucking action, ohhh la la *fans self*)! I got the impression that he was so into it that he forgot for a sec that they were filming hahaha, until YIN pulled away and then it was like “oh oops, uh yes, stick to the script!” hahahaha (o^_^o)

        June 7, 2012
      • Niki #

        @ joonni: been there. done that. raped the replay button. XD

        June 7, 2012
      • missdory #

        Ahahaha.. I’m glad I’m not the only one in the replay button club.

        June 8, 2012
    • palangga #

      i love that scene and watched it so many times….. : )

      June 7, 2012
    • madsu #

      @echo : ‘fess up. Those who didn’t do some damage to that replay button shout now..I predict deafening silence.

      June 8, 2012
  13. dear joonni,

    i didn’t read the rest of your recap. just your comments.
    and i cried again.

    thank you for pointing one reason why QHIM is the best drama (yes it already topped my list too).

    LOVE transcends time and space.

    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      “LOVE transcends time and space.


      June 7, 2012
  14. Niki #

    Oh! Another emotional rollercoaster! Thank you sooooo much for the recap, Joonni. i wuv you~♥ *hugs* I was refreshing like crazy and i thought the finale knocked you out. hahahahah! i thought you didnt like the ending and was abit worried.

    I LIKED the ending though. I dont necessarily love it and it wasnt awesome or mind-blowing but i didnt have any grumbs about it. At least we didnt get the whole reincarnation crap! I was just plain estatic that Boog Do finally got to embrace Hee Jin. i had to pause the vid and do a little jig to blow-off some of my accumulated adrenaline. If it was me, i’d be running towards him like a mad woman the moment i set my eyes on him. I mean…he could literally go whoosh like the last time. And i couldnt help but think back to ep 15; how things would have turned out had both Boong Do and Hee Jin touched the talisman together as it blackened? Would she be transported back with him as well??? That would be a sight to behold. They’ll be the Joseon version of Boney and Clyde.

    And i cried buckets when he took out his tie and thought about HJ and her kiss. Gawd…it broke my heart to see him so heartbroken. And when he looked to the ceiling, i had this look of horror on my face….i was screaming at my screen going “BOY!! you aint going to do what i think you’re going to do!!!!” The intercut of him preparing to hang himself and HJ crying uncontrollably whilst not knowing why just about killed me. And when she finally remembered BD and he stepped off the stool, gawd…………i was a mess.

    I thought the scene where they stood back to back at the palace was breath-taking and heart-breaking at the same time. When she passed through BD and felt him in her heart, i was crying again. You made me realized that whilst BD had to make all the crucial decisions, it always ends up with HJ taking the brunt emotionally. He was the cause, she’s the effect. As much as HJ doesnt know the dangerous things BD had to go through to be with her, BD also doesnt realize the extend of her connection to him so much so that she feels physical and emotional pain whenever something bad was going to happen to him. I feel that it evens out in the end and theirs is a love that is balanced.

    Like you said HJ’s character seems a bit drool and if played by another inexperience actress, HJ might end up being plain-old damsel in distress, never doing anything helpful but cry which equates to someone i’d like to boot! There was never a moment in this drama that i felt like kicking HJ. Even when she was crying and looking for BD, she wasnt helpless nor stupid. She did things her way, loved him her way. Even when he wasnt there physically, she didnt give up hope that she’ll see him again. She carried on living whilst she mourned in her heart. I love that she strove to live just like BD did (until he was caught…uurrrgghh…..) just coz she had hope. The biggest pain is to carry on living FOR your love even when he/she has long gone. And knowing that becoz you live, he/she lives through you.Even if the journey is one of loneliness and despair, you carry on because you know you will meet again at the end. Both BD and HJ had to go through this separately. HJ twice when the talisman was split and when Yoon Wol and the monk died and BD once when he burned the talisman. i love that their love-story is not just about one party footing the bigger bill of sacrifice.

    So tvN better come out with the DVD. Irregardless of how things pan out in reality (YIN and JHW’s love story…if there would be one), i desperately WANT to give my money to tvN. Here!! Take my $$! And give me the DVD damnit!! This is such a keeper and a gem! I never had a drama that i was CRAZY about. Liked yes….favourite….yes but not CRAZY in love with. QIHM, I’m crazy about you. Let me immortalize you in HD!

    Thank you so much for this fantastic journey, Joonni. It was a blast and i hope to continue other dramas with you! Keep the MVs coming! The polls!…i look forward to your polls. And…you know i love you, right?! XD Will come by again later to spazz more! *muaks*

    June 7, 2012
    • Wasn’t there already an announcement that there will be a DVD release?

      June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      “As much as HJ doesnt know the dangerous things BD had to go through to be with her, BD also doesnt realize the extend of her connection to him so much so that she feels physical and emotional pain whenever something bad was going to happen to him. I feel that it evens out in the end and theirs is a love that is balanced.” ——–Thank you for these words.

      Like you, I did not LOVE the ending. I wrote that I was happy and satisfied with the ending. It was a good end to a good drama. Endings never make it or break it with me anyways so I can love this entire drama, no matter what.

      June 7, 2012
    • sb #

      “There was never a moment in this drama that i felt like kicking HJ. Even when she was crying and looking for BD, she wasnt helpless nor stupid. ”

      So true! What I love about both of the characters was that neither one made me want to kick them! LOL! There are other OTPs out there that I’ve loved, but have wanted to kick at some point or another… or the crying would actually make me roll my eyes, but not with this show. Whatever people feel about the ending, the OTP were perfect in my book.

      June 11, 2012
  15. dee #

    thank you……………. so……………….. much………………………………. love it!!! this drama is sure the best drama ever.

    June 7, 2012
  16. JC #

    Dear Joonni,

    Thank you for this ending recap. My heart is whole and happy and full. I am still sad about the death of Yoon-wol, but I am more than satisfied with the reunion of Hee Jin and Boong Do. They have stayed true to themselves and to each other. That is so satisfying.

    I discovered your blog because I was watching QIHM, but I have to say, my experience of QIHM has been very much enriched by your recaps and by the community of QIHM fans you have gathered around you. Truly, I can say that you have increased my attachment to QIHM and to the k-drama community in general, by your own reactions and analysis, by providing this space on your blog to think and comment on the drama, and hear what other fans think and feel.

    You may not have guessed it by my looongg comments, but I’ve always just been a lurker on Dramabeans. QIHM and your recaps brought me out of the lurker woodwork!

    I love your recap writing style. You don’t skim on detail, and the emotional pacing of your writing and your choice of screencaps, is so careful and nuanced. For example, for episode 14, for the rooftop reunion scene at the end, the picture and paragraph “beat” before you revealed the “I love you” was so nicely done. This is the 2nd drama I have watched while it has aired, and it is the 1st one I have read multiple recaps for. It’s given me a further respect for recap writers, and it’s also shown me how recappers will handle the same scenes differently.

    I enjoy all the recaps of QIHM, and regularly read at least 3 recaps for each episode, but I wanted to let you know that yours are my favorite. And I think that would be true even if they weren’t the fastest. But it’s just been lucky for all of us that not only are you the fastest recapper, but that your writing is so excellent.

    Thank you for enabling us (in the best way!) and for sharing this QIHM journey (with all its tears of both heartbreak and you) with us all.


    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      JC, I am earning the nickname around here as “Tomato” because of all the blushing that my readers’ comments make me do. You are officially one of those people.

      Thank you for noticing that detail in the episode 14 recap! I really did conscientiously position the screencap that way and it makes me unbelievably happy to have a reader appreciate that. *Wailing in happiness*

      June 7, 2012
    • add also the way she presented the letter of KBD in episode 15. how she had written the convo plus the photos and all. it was like reading a book..sigh. swoons.

      about the debate of the phone as talisman and became the connection of HJ AND BD.
      i think we are forgetting about the obvious here.

      i remember the movie Lake House where keannu planted a tree on a certain spot in the city then after 2 years , Sandra saw it.

      it was like that here in qhim.

      ” But this letter is written for me and you”

      when hee jin saw that letter, it triggered her , yes.
      but the most important thing was THE LETTER connected HEE JIN in the future.
      (and agree with you Joonni on how the writer delivered it, agh.perfect)

      June 8, 2012
      • joonni #

        Right, the letter.

        When the talisman was sliced the first time, time was reset for Hee-Jin, but nothing in Joseon time changed. So it makes perfect sense that the letter didn’t disappear when Boong-Do burned it, because that past remains as it is. Do I love the writer even more? YES I DO.

        The letter survives and Hee-Jin reads it. A letter that connects them both because it is written to them both.

        Have you watched the original Korean version of the Lake House?

        June 8, 2012
      • Ilmare , aww not yet 😦

        June 8, 2012
    • sb #

      Ditto what she said.

      June 11, 2012
  17. ariae #

    Thanks Joonni! Brilliant as always… after reading your recap I feel so glad about the drama… I loved QIHM even before, in fact it had been my most favorite drama of all time since episode 9 but after I read your thoughts my appreciation deepen. I love how you described HJ reactions everytime BD comes back. As I may add HJ reacted in all the heartbreaking situations glamorously. I love her cute and funny side, but her glamorous side appeal to me more… I love HJ’s virtue of patience and loyalty and BD’s sense of responsibility in keeping his words and promises. Aaaahhhh… It breaks my heart to know I won’t be seeing anymore of them in this drama, but I am glad to have shared a beautiful and memorable journey with them and everyone else who love them dearly. I am crying because of sadness that this drama is over and no more crazy wednesday and thursday for me. I’ll keep HJ and BD forever in my heart, as for JHW and YIN– if they are to date or already dating, I pray and am praying harder than before that they’ll be blessed with love, loyalty, and later on so much happiness like Hj and BD. I have never wished a couple to be together as I am wishing them to be.

    June 7, 2012
  18. Mary-Ellen #

    i really like this drama. I think the ending of moving on after a year and the letter appearing made sense. I lalways wish it would go longer but it ended for me awesomely.

    June 7, 2012
  19. mayu #

    i love the ending of ep 16. so MUCH if i can add. it’s just i’m not satisfied with the whole process to the ending (except for BD’s letter, it’s so touchy). for the entire eps it’s like watching another k-drama not QIHM. i cant get the feeling that i always had when i watch QIHM since eps 1-15. it’s like something missing in the line. for me this drama should’ve ended it in “pasta date” :).
    anyway, thank a lot for your awesome recaps Joonni. you light up our day with ur writing, comment n of course ur lovely screencap.

    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      I completely understand your feeling about episode 16. The drama could have definitely ended earlier. I also didn’t experience that incredible emotional rollercoaster while watching the episode but recapping it helped me to not focus on simply on my initial feelings, but to let the scenes settle in.

      Thank you so much for your compliment!

      June 7, 2012
  20. Your recaps has given me an insight of what the writers vision is portraying. Everthing has it cause / effects as it should be. This Drama consist of happiness, sadness/ laughter / dignity / respect / honor and most of all Love will always prevail thru time. This Drama has it all, except the bad guys.

    June 7, 2012
  21. Reideen #

    It’s also my nr. 1 drama! Love it very much! Thanks for the wonderful recap Joonni! =)

    June 7, 2012
  22. Dear Jooni,
    Thanks a million for recapping this WONDERFUL DRAMA.. My heart is still beating hard and.. my hands are still shaking while typing this.. This drama will remain at the top list of my favorite drama since Notting Hill.. Once again.. Thanks Jooni.. Saranghe….!!

    June 7, 2012
  23. Kittymommy #

    It saddens me to say goodbye to this drama (I’m choking here). This is the best drama that I’ve ever watched and I love it dearly. At times I just feel that I didn’t deserve the perfection of it. It feels as though the stars were align to presented us with such perfect script, direction, actors, cinematography, soundtrack, chemistry….oh I can go on and on about it. For me QIHM need to be savor like a very expensive wine, one little sip at time, to really enjoy the brilliance of it as no scene or dialog are wasted you just need to focus on every little details they presented & to trust the writer coz every question will be answered later on. And not one time while watching QIHM tht I feel need to suspend belief (albeit the time travelling theme) because everything is so logically and beautifully explained.
    I LOVE the ending, its just wht I needed… for me its perfect in its subtlety (no reincarnation crap-thnk you writer-nim). I just want to give shout-out to my fav girl Heejin you proved to the nay-sayers that you are as strong and active as Boong-do is, in the end your earnest love that saved the love of your life and bring him back to you. No time, space or amulet can defeat the strength of your love and memory (thts my girl!!!). For once I’m not jealous of the heroin, usually I want the hero for myself, but Heejin totally deserve the perfect man Kim Boong Do, tht I’m not worthy of.
    So I’ve decided to created a special altar in my heart for QIHM so no other drama can dethrone it from its rightful place.
    From the bottom of my heart, thank you Joonni for taking us by the hand and lead us through this wonderful journey of Queen In Hyun’s Man. I love your style of writing, ur nuance, ur explanation (for us non-native speaker) if without I’m sure wouldn’t make the viewing as magical as it is for me at least. Sorry Joonni for taking so much space in ur blog I just need to express my love to QIHM and our lovely OTP, or I might burst.

    Note to Heejin : Girl you oughtta run to the bank and safe keep tht uber wonderful & powerful Sony Ericcson Experia phone. God knows what wud happen if the phone got damaged or somethin’. We wouldn’t want Kim Boong Do to disappear for the umpteenth times now do we? (well tht wud call for QIHM season 2…wink…wink..)

    June 7, 2012
    • Kittymommy #

      And Joonni, I saved all ur QIHM recap together with all the mv, pics, vids, gifs I can scour over the net coz I treasure it so much

      June 7, 2012
      • mayu #

        and here i thought im the only one who did it.

        June 7, 2012
      • joonni #

        Wow! Thank you!

        June 10, 2012
    • tarianant #

      @ Kittymommy: but the best thing about this new talisman is it has after-sales service agreement right? Best product replacement ever. LOL

      June 7, 2012
  24. fontel12 #

    Really good drama.
    The script, the actors, the effects…
    Worth the journey.
    Thumbs up to YIN’s heart wrenching crying scenes… Gets me depressional too every time.
    I succumbed and read the recaps first. I think I’d have cried buckets more, if I thought KBD had really died, using their symbolic love necktie somemore.
    I felt that somehow or rather, this story has to end good & happy.
    (Unlike RTP, the ending kind of left a sour feeling, not even bitter sweet.)
    It may not be logical (the handphone being left uncharged and even reaching Joseon) but this ending is not lame either. Just as how many really believe in time travel, supernatural etc etc. It may not be scientific, but there’s always a possiblity.
    It must be when KBD is just abt to hang himself, he’s so discontent that this is how it’s all going to end, that he keeps calling for CHJ in his heart, and then somehow, it revived CHJ’s memories, and worked the magic with the mobile phones.
    It takes so much fate beween them. Otherwise CHJ who is never supposed to recall what she’s meant not to remember and not even to think abt making that call to KBD.
    Let’s just say their love is so strong, that it simply transcend time and moved the heavens! Hahaha….
    Btw, how can KBD be still so cool & calm when he finally gets to meet CHJ again?? It hasn’t been easy!!!
    And when the part of SK comes out interrogating KBD again (3rd time??!!)… I died laughing.
    Good one!

    Side Note: Best wishes to JHW & YIN, for a true romance.
    I just worry that it might be spur of the moment, too many celebity couples got together because of a drama/movie, and then break up months after that.

    June 7, 2012
  25. Asiatic Rock #

    Thank you so much for the recaps Joonni. This drama has been a roller coaster ride for me and Your recaps were so much insightful. I had been reading your recaps from the 1st episode but this is my 1st time posting a comment here. I am heartily thankful for your recaps coz without them it would have been very difficult for non Korean speakers to understand what was going on in the episodes that were not subbed. And with QIHM one goes crazy with the wait. Arrrrg….
    As far as the ending is concerned, I liked it. Coz we have had Harry potter series where brooms flew all over, objects were used as means to transport to places and many others. Well if a yellow piece of paper can transport a person from 1694 to 2012 why cant a phone do the same? The people and the destination is the same and only the means changed.

    June 7, 2012
  26. tarianant #

    I’m late for the party. Blame it on THE confession LOL, what a distraction so I needed some time to digest ep 16. I looveeee Scattered Joonni more than ever, thank you guys for sharing your thought about the finale. I love you guys (echo, madsu, jomo and everyone here)

    I’m agree that the key word is “Memory”. Has anyone mentioned about the mug in the first scene? Heejin was talking about a certain ‘teaset’ not to be thrown away, is the word they use really a teaset Joonni? Because SK was holding a mug, and the handle is green, it was wrapped with a paper though (but this show is nothing but subtle right). Remember the couple mug on their nightstand after they spent the night together, they were green and blue (for the record, I’m in the camp “They did it and I’m happy”) And SK complaint that she never use it but our Heejin insisted anyway. Memory maybe forgotten but they’re still there, just like Madsu said “waiting to be jolted”, and the smartphone was indeed playing an important part in their story (thank you Jomo and Madsu for noting that).

    I’ve never been so emotionally invested in a drama like this. I love FBRS and SUFBB is even better, those dramas make you reconsider your own drama rating.
    I discovered kdrama loooonng time ago, those days Bae Yong Joon ruled dramaland with his no lense glasses, and Queen In-hyun’s Man is the best thing that ever happened since.

    And Joonni I love you. Please keep blogging.

    June 7, 2012
    • madsu #

      Thank you and likewise Tarianant. I shall miss our conversations 🙂

      June 8, 2012
      • tarianant #


        June 8, 2012
    • joonni #

      Yep, she said tea set.

      So you’ve been through the whole melodrama phase in kdrama history? What’s your favorite in that era?

      June 8, 2012
      • tarianant #

        Teaset huh? Well, my mistake, over excited I guess.

        Well Winter Sonata is my first drama LOL, I’m so telling my age, but it has been on and off relationship between me and dramaland. Kdrama is on the TVs everyday here, maybe around 4 shows a day. But they dub em, haateeed it! Where’s the oppa and the noona? But to see a lot of them is also difficult, the internet connection is kinda suck, I’ve to download everything. Bootleg DVD is everywhere, but I didn’t buy em.
        My favorite melodrama? Haha, I think WS for introducing me to dramaland alone. And it has all the makjang craziness that last for a lifetime, I don’t do makjang afterthat. But what got me hook to asia drama is Long Vacation (Jdrama).

        June 8, 2012
      • madsu #

        Tarianant, LV? Same here. I just recommended it to some one here yesterday. I am afraid she may have a generation gap though.

        June 8, 2012
      • madsu #

        Then I proceeded to watch every drama Kimura Takuya has been in. Brilliant actor. Sort of like Yoo Eun Hye though. His latest projects are a disappointment.

        June 8, 2012
      • joonni #

        @tarianant I liked Winter Sonata. I actually think it gets better on rewatch and I can fast/forward a lot.

        I was late to the J-drama scene so I think my first j-drama was Gokusen 2.
        I confess that I have never watched a Kimura Takuya drama. I know that sounds like blasphemy but I didn’t want to dig up old dramas and his new ones never made me want to watch them.

        June 10, 2012
  27. palangga #

    Watching ep 16 raw and dont understand what they are saying, i felt like a lost puppy and then when they are finally reunited and its a happy ending – im like oh ok its still bd and hj thats good plus the mindblowing kiss – awesome!
    Now after reading your recap esp the translation of hj voice over – i feel weak inside… i need a hug : )
    God bless you jooni!

    June 7, 2012
    • madsu #

      Will mine do? *Hug* anyways

      June 8, 2012
    • joonni #

      Joining this hug.

      June 8, 2012
  28. kai #

    I have read your recap and the comments from top to bottom. I stayed late last night (i’m from taiwan) just to read your live recap, i went to sleep with all the troubling question. Like the battery and other loopholes that others said but most of the commenters here are really really smart. The timetravel alone is a an impossible thing, why not the battery thing eh. And for all the comments, i especially love ECHO and Joomo(the one who make the headers) comments. Now i feel so at ease with the ending, nothing’s rush, or wind up, everything is in place . Thank you our beautiful fresh sunshiny red Tomato. cheek kiss from Taiwan!

    June 7, 2012
    • joonni #

      omg, you’re calling me Tomato too. LOL.

      June 8, 2012
      • madsu #

        Umm… Red suits you?

        June 8, 2012
      • tarianant #

        scattered tomatoes..^^

        June 8, 2012
      • kai #

        yap, cherry tomato (this type of tomato is cuter and yummier) . I am so convince with the purity and sincerity of your drama recaps that I started watching DAMO (i’m currently in ep 1) You wrote that for 9 years , DAMO has been in your esteemed pedestal of Dramas until another one came along , this QIHM. So for DAMO to be at par with QIHM in your list then it must be something. ANd no regrets, I am hooked, beautiful beautiful drama.

        June 8, 2012
      • joonni #

        @kai. Yay! You’re watching Damo!

        June 10, 2012
      • madsu #

        I am also watching Damo. How can I not, when it is being recommended by some one with such exquisite taste.

        June 10, 2012
  29. Kittymommy #

    Anyone notice tht the phone plays and integral part since the early episodes. I was like damn Sony Ericsson surely paid them big bucks to be advertise in this drama with so many screen time, it almost like a side character and I swear it received screen time as much as Dong Min is. And BAMMM!! the write surprise me as always… the phone was indeed integral to the drama, who wud know tht THE phone wud bring Heejin and Boong-do back together. Its 21th century anyway who wud need a flimsy amulet?… hv a freaking smartphone. If we cud belief amulet be able to time travel BD, why not smart phone?? its freakin SMART!!! LOL!!! btw I hv to say this is a GENIUS product placing tht interweave with the story line…deep bow, adding another reason to be awed with the drama.

    June 7, 2012
  30. Thanks so much….this is my first time i bexome so addict with the drama, while reading your recap, i can feel you,other andmbd and hee jin feel, sad, happy…..thanks you so much…

    Heenjin might look week,because she dont do anything,but she act like a normal girl do…waiting and believe as well trust that bd will be by her side again,that why she waiting at the same place….i like the connection between hee jin and bong do…bong do keep live,as he believe hee jin want her to live,but we know bong do is a responsible person,he make promise with the king….

    Ahhhh..i sure everyone know it,but still want to share my thoughy as i love them so much…..bong do and hee jin will be my fairy tale…forever

    June 7, 2012

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